/q/ - Quest


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File: 1395432439217.jpg (37.23 KB, 720x480, midnight guard.jpg, IO Exif Google TinEye)


The party had split up
Whisper, having just claimed a victory in an oil wrestling match, was being paraded to a feast with the Bandit Leader along with Amber.

Meanwhile, in the tunnels under the town, Coral and Fire were headed to raid the holding cells.


Alright then, stick with the crowd and follow Whisper. Guess that since he's the center of attention, it'll be up to me and my crew to save him if things go haywire.


Keep walking, with slow but sure gait.


Keep climbing deeper into the mountain.


Cassie was there too


As you follow him and the cheering (and oily) bandits, you notice the corridor is far too long to be inside the building…
You can hear some jolly laughter nearby. Sounds like the guard started his party a little early.


Hold my breath and move ever so slower.


Sword at the ready, snoop closer.


Huff a bit and keep going. '1d10' to get an idea of how many.

Roll #1 6 = 6


So we're underground now. That fits with what we know. Keep following the crowd, avoiding the more oily members just in case.


The corridor is rather wide, fitting five ponies side by side. It seems to be lit with lanterns and candles.
By the sound of it, two. They are finding something really funny.


Can we see them yet?

Roll #1 3 = 3


How close/far are they?


You turn a corner and come to a doorway. They should be close to it inside the room.


They are two, we are three, we have the advantage of surprise.
Keep going.


I hope the rest of the party is doing okay. At first this was just something to laugh about, but now it looks like Whisper might have landed himself in some serious trouble.


Draw my sword.. and move carefully inside.


Someone shoves a mug in your hoof
"Drink up lad! This is a feast!"
You creep into the room.
Two guards are drunkenly giggling and tossing hot coals into a cage, where a frail looking unicorn is trying his best to dodge them.


Well now.
Share a look with the others.
Draw my halberd.


'2d10' yeah. Fuck that. Dual cut them "Stop."

Roll #1 3, 8 = 11


Cleave them.

Roll #1 8 = 8


Oh well!
Jump inside and HOLY WRATH!

Roll #1 6 = 6


Alright, take a mouthful without swallowing yet. Does anything taste off about it? '1d10'

Roll #1 10 = 10


You charge in and send the two guards tumbling into their ember heater, spilling coals on the floor.
They scramble for their weapons, but are too drunk to think of raising an alarm.
This is high quality stuff. The sort that cost as much as a week's worth of food back in Canterlot.


Alaberd slice on the closest!

Roll #1 10 = 10


Alright, I'll drink some, but keep it in moderation. I'll need my wits about me before the night is done.


Grab one of them and force his head into the coals.

Roll #1 4 = 4


"I told you to stop. " '1d10' attack the same one as Cassie

Roll #1 2 = 2


It tastes smooth and sweet. If this kind of stuff is being just openly given out, the Boss must be quite wealthy.
Cassie ends up grabbing a fistful of coals, and throws them at Coral.
You stab the other one as his friend scrambles away from Cassie, killing him.


Throw the halberd at it and IMPALE HIM!

Roll #1 9 = 9


"I wasn't aiming at you!"
Hold down the other stallion!

Roll #1 6 = 6


I hope Whisper doesn't let himself go with this fancy stuff. When a noble goes overboard trying to provide quality like this, it means they want something.


"I know."
'1d10' help with the last one.

Roll #1 7 = 7




Coral trips the remaining guard, who stumbles into Cassie, gets tossed in the air and impaled by Blossom's thrown halberd, landing with a wet thud.
The unicorn seems amazed.
You can hear the sounds of music and roaring laughter from ahead. You might be nearing the heart of the bandit lair…


Turn to the cage.
"All you allright?"



Pull the weapon out of the guard.
Then mutter a prayer for them both.


All right, we're entering the lion's den now. Need to be prepared for anything-
-Damnit Whisper, why are you losing your composure now of all times?


"Hey. Did you see any other ponies here?"
Look for the keys. '1d10'

Roll #1 6 = 6


The tunnel finally gives way to the great bandit hall. From the looks of it, this is probably the volcano crater, with a roof built somewhere near the top.
The place is massive, and a second floor extends around the sides of the round hall.
Towards the back is what looks like a mountain of gold, atop which is a throne on a platform.
Below, on the floor, dozens of bandits are eating, drinking, laughing, playing music and ogling the slaves who are carrying their food.
"I'm f-fine enough.
Have you seen the others? I think G-Grandheart was being taken to an arena, but I h-have no idea where Sir Breeze is.
…and I shudder to think what became of… lady Sunset…"
You find the keys hanging from a nearby wall


Wait, slaves? Any ponies that I recognize?


"Haven't seen anyone else yet."
Get the keys, unlock the cell.


"Lady Sunset!
Where is she?! Where did they take her?"


Not really.
They all have a sort of uniform going, which restricts movement to a degree.
They seem to have mares and stallions in almost equal count.
He steps out, brushing soot off his hooves
"Thank you. Now, have you seen my book?"
"I do not know. They probably moved her to some other area down here. But I know very little beyond that. I think the kitchen is close by too. I can smell it."


"What book?"
Supreme Survivor, spot check, is it around?


We must hurry!"
Start rushing for the corridors.


Uniform? Dare I ask what kind of uniform?


Not here, but there is a locked room off to the side which looks like it may be some kind of loot storage. Maybe they left it there.
"My spellbook. I would like get it back."
Four doors lead away from here
One leads to what is probably a loot storage
One leads towards the kitchen
One leads to an unknown area
And you came in from the last one
It consists of a simple harness connecting the head to the tail, making it hard to move either around too much. A second strap binds the back legs, making running impossible without hindering simple walking.
Some of them also have a tray strapped to their back for carrying things.


Kick that door down.

Roll #1 2 = 2


After cassie!

Roll #1 6 = 6


Well, guess we're not getting out of here without bloodshed then. I'm just going to make sure I'm ready to pull Whisper out of the fire.


"I'm investigating."

I go sit down at the table of honor
Who runs the place?


You break down the door, revealing a fairly big room full of stuff tossed into random piles. Probably possessions from recent captives left here for later sorting.
The unicorn looks inside
"Ah. Good, I can feel it in here. Thank you.
I am Whimsyshine, traveling companion and long time friend of Grandheart and Sir Breeze."
Probably whoever is up on that throne on the huge pile of gold.
A slave silently comes offer you another drink


"Now help us save Lady Sunset!"


Raise my drink.


"Cassie. I hope you have a tracking spell for your Lady too."


I'll accept it, but take careful swallows instead of just chugging it down like most here seem to be doing.


"Give me a moment to dig through this stuff to find my book first. Go on, I will catch up."
"I have no such thing. But I can probably blow apart a few walls if needed."
He wanders off to get a new batch from the kitchen, which is off to the side, behind a two-way door.
You are joined by just about everyone in here in the cheer.
A light is shined upon you from the platform up there.
"Witness tonight's champion, lads! Put on the best show a newcomer ever has!"
The cheering continues.
Even Bald Bull claps approvingly.


Two other door remaining, right?
Which ones?


Wave my hooves.
"Ponpeii is the greatest town in the world!" I shout


To the unknown area!


A kitchen? That might be worth investigating… if I can do so without drawing attention to myself.


The guard who was talking earlier comes up to you
"What's your name, lad?
And what crime did you run from?"
Slaves are let in without a second glance at least.
You unlock the door with one of the keys you took from the sentries.
The room is shaped like a long curving hallway, and is lined with cells. It also seems to have a wooden ceiling, and you can hear hoofsteps above.


Hold my breath and start walking silently down the hallway, not wanting to attract any attention.
Are all the cells empty?


Well… It's tempting, but with Whisper making himself the center of attention, I probably need to be here in case things go south. Maybe one of my followers would be able to sneak in?


"Name's Blazing Torch.
Those guards called it "arson".
I call it "what happens when you don't pay up."


Are there ponies in the cells?


A lot of them have prisoners in them. Some asleep, others just sitting there. A few are eating.
Curiously, most of the cells seem to have some sort of grid or hatch on the ceiling, and light is pouring in from above.
Do you want to risk it?
"Good for you lad. Try to keep your inner fire internalized around here though. We don't want the booze exploding now do we? HA!
Now, usually anyone who beats the champ on Feast Night gets a wish from the Boss.
Are you stallion enough to make one?"


Any of them Lady Sunset?
Keep going until I find her!


Are there any keys around?


None of them seem to be Lady Sunset. None of them also seem to notice you. The corridor is poorly lit, but the cells have light coming in from above.
As you pass one cell, the hatch above is opened, and someone lowers a harness and some chain, which the prisoner steps into with a sigh before getting hauled up to the floor above.
Lady Sunset may be somewhere further down the corridor…
The key ring from the sentries is huge. It probably has several dozens of keys.
Whoever made the locks here must really like his job….


"Damn right, I know what to ask for.
Something any stallion needs."


Start unlocking!


Maybe Dulltooth? He's big enough that most ponies will be smart enough to not ask questions.


Keep running.


"Then go up to the boss' throne and ask away."
He points at the foot of the gold pile.
You silently open the door as the prisoner is hauled up.
It might be possible to toss someone else up there…
"I go. What should look for?"
You ignore Cassie opening a cell and keep going.
Indeed it does seem this is the right track. You can see someone far more finely dressed than the rabble in this shithole get let into a room at the far end up the curving hall.
Two guards remain outside its door.


Open the other cells before they can be lifted out too!


A lot of the prisoners seem quite alarmed at your arrival.
They also seem incredibly confused when you just open the door and leave it at that.


Walk up to the pile of gold.
"Boss, I'm here to claim my wish."


"Any sign of miss Sunset or the rest of the party."


"Lets hear it then."
A female voice…
He lumbers off towards the kitchen.


"Come on, you dumb ponies, just run!"


Well now~
"I would like the honor of sitting at your side for this party!"


I found the Lady! But there are guards!"


Go over there.
"Where is she?"


"Follow me."
Guide Cassie to the cell where the Lady is kept prisoner.




Are you sure you want to shout loudly in a place like this Y/N?
Two pegasus guards land at your sides and haul you up into the darkness.
At the top of the gold pile, on a metal platform covered in carpets and pillows, is a throne built for reclining. Upon it sits a mare of deep midnight blue, nearly invisible in the shadows that dance across this lightless platform.
From up here you can see the whole place, even the upper floor.
The room is at the end of the curving path. You have nearly gone a full circle by now.
Two guards watch the door.


Time to

Roll #1 9 = 9


Sit next to the throne.
"You have a good taste in thrones, boss."


I didn't say I'd shout!


Roll #1 7 = 7


Something about here that needs breaking? Totally followed fire.
'1d10' look around for more guards

Roll #1 9 = 9


"I have developed a good taste in just about anything. That's why I rule here.
That, and because I'm just so well liked around here.
But tell me, newcomer champion, what are your tastes?"
There are a few on the upper floor. There are stairs nearby if you wan to go check it out.
You charge in and take the guards by surprise. That was remarkably easy, like they weren't even paying attention to you.
…which is entirely possible. The sounds coming from the room are rather disturbing.


Open the door!


Oh boy, here we go.
Let's see what's inside.


Well, Whisper's gone. Any sign from Dulltooth?


Nah stick with the others.
"This place is a maze. " I comment as we go in.


"I love the finer things in life. Money, alcohol, mares, you seem to have all of those in abundance."


Still in the kitchen. Lets see how well he is doing '1d10'
You slam down the door and find a rather… unexpected scene.
Lady Sunset, slightly beat up but still full of fight, is busily undoing the straps that had her bound to a bed not too long ago.
Sunsong, for the first time ever without his armor (and covered in a rather worrying tapestry of wounds, possibly from torture) is showing an uncharacteristic amount of emotion as he repeatedly kicks the helpless rich looking pony who entered earlier, while choking him with his own cape. Sunsong still has some chains attached to him, the rest of which hang loosely from an iron frame on the side of the room.
…a lot of weird stuff was about to go down just a moment ago it seems.

Roll #1 7 = 7


"Hm. Well I'm sure there are many here who share your interests. Gaze down and you can probably see dozens who have given me the same answer."


" well it seems we are a little late.. did a hoof with anything?"


Shut the door behind us.
Break the neck of that pony Sunsong is choking.

Roll #1 1 = 1


Bow down.


Well then, how's he doing?


Lady Sunset pulls off the last restraint.
"Some clothes would be great.
Has anyone seen Calming?"
"Blossom! Great to see you made it.
But we really need to find Calming. Right now."
Sunsong headbutts you in the ribs, sending you flying back
He soon lumbers back out again
"Found where they keep alcohol. Not many guards. Everyone drunk.
Also, was door leading to jails."


Isn't Calming the mage we saved earlier?
Stand up.
"Are you hurt, milady?"


Clutch my head.
"Ah… okay, suit yourself."
Damn, stupid, idiot, dumb ponies…


"But that is not what you're looking for, is it?"


"Good work. Let's go see if we can find Lady Sunset."


'1d10' find her some clothes.
"I saw more guards up the stairs we can look there.">>541637

Roll #1 3 = 3


That was Whimsyshine, Calming's mage buddy.
Calming is the leader of their little adventurer band.
"Few ponies could ever hope to understand my ambitions. It would be unfair of me to ask that you do either."
There isn't much here, unless you strip one of the dead guards.
"Upstairs is where they have the private rooms.
Well, save for the ones they have down here, like this one. I guess I was pretty enough to be considered for the special treatment. Lucky me."
"Could be in jails.
Or maybe up there."
He points up at the second floor.


"Let us make haste, milady."
Back from whence we came!


"Okay. I don't have spare clothes.. you can help yourself to theirs if you wish.." gesture to the dead ponies. "I'm go in upstairs. "
Go up stairs


"Well, let's head downstairs first, and if we don't find anything we can make our way upstairs."


"If I had to guess…
It is not money.
And it is not power either, at least, not power for it's own sake, like so many warlords.
No…you have a dream."


You grab the keyring and after a few tries unlock the staircase to the second floor.
Several guards are patrolling here, and indeed you can see that the whole second floor is entirely open. It is just a rim around the wall of a far larger hall. Probably the main lair of the bandits.
Several doors line the outer wall. Those rooms would be directly on top of the cages below…
Coral heads upstairs. Do you want to follow her or head back to the jails?
Several minutes later the well-dressed pony runs out of teeth to kick out, and Sunsong finally calms down.
"Let this be a warning to any others who would touch my Blazing…"
Her ears perk up a little
"An astute observation, for an arsonist."
Might draw attention in kitchen though…"


Follow her.


Put a hoof on his shoulder.
"You okay now?"


"You said they were all drunk, right? Besides, worst case scenario the fighting starts earlier than we expected." Let's take our chances.


Head up there and give them something else to think about. '1d10' blast the first one I see.
"This ends now bandits. "

Roll #1 4 = 4


I look over the lower levels.
"A place where anypony is free to behave as they please.
Where everypony can live, fight and die for what they believe in, unburdened, by the shackles of an uncaring nobility.
Am I close?"


"Blazing is okay. So I am too.
…Lady Sunset."
He looks ashamed that he lost composure like that.
"As you want."
You head on into the kitchen.
A lot of slaves are milling about, carrying drinks and food.
"Alcohol was over there, on left.
Jails door was further on right."
You follow her up the stairs, staying away from the guards' sight
Your attack misses and you stumble.
The nearest sentry pulls a sword on you but his (rather drunk) buddy just laughs
"Mate cool it. The lass is just had a few too many to drink."
He tries to give you a nice smile
"Lets not start no fights here, yea? This is a feast after all!"
Looking around, you realize you are on a raised platform circling the outer wall of a massive, massive domed room. This must be the old crater.
Far above, a heavy wooden roof caps the volcano. Below, dozens and dozens of bandits party in a drunken stupor.
And near the back a great tower of gold rises, topped by a shadowy throne. Too high up to get to from here. You'd need wings. Or a ladder.
I dreamed of a haven for the wrongfully scorned. Those who spoke against their lords, who violated petty laws that exist only to stroke the egos of the powerful. A place where justice was law, not power.
…but you'd be surprised how easily those dreams are tarnished, little arsonist. You are living proof of that. I never dreamed of housing one like you in my haven. Yet here you are.
On one hoof it makes me bitter. On the other… it was the best I could do. And it was still better than the world the nobles of Canterlot crafted.
…but thugs do not understand such dreams. They only think of their own bellies and nethers. In that, they are no different than the nobles I once lived among. But at least they are honest, so I still feel I traded up."
Sounds like she hasn't had anyone to talk with in a good while…
Looking down, you can see Coral Burst pop up on the second floor and nearly assault a guard.


And what do I see?


"Alright, let's head up."
Have to go now. Sorry.


Help him up.
"Just get it together now."
Leave, back to that cage thing.


Scoff "afraid to brawl ? Fine. I will just go find something else." '1d10' 'stumble' around this room and check the doors and try to spot a ladder.

Roll #1 10 = 10


Oh that little Coral.
Better keep the Boss entertained.
"Nobles and criminals. It is surprising how much they have in common.Often the only thing separating them is that one does the killing himself and the other lets others kill for him."


You see the great hall stretch out into the heights above you, capped with a wooden roof. You also see that this second floor is built over the cages below, and has no wall on the inner rim, just a rail.
You return to the cage hallway.
Whimsyshine soon catches up
"Lady Sunset! You're… mostly unharmed! That's good."
"Indeed. But Calming is still missing."
"As is Grandheart.
All I know is that Grandheart was going to be taken to some arena, and that a few of the guards were eying up Sir Breeze."
Your stumbling is very efficient. You find a bit of scaffolding the bandits were probably using to make repairs to the higher support structures. From up here you can swing over to the platform via a rope.
You also locate a walkway that spirals up the entire area towards the top. It looks like it was meant to be temporary but was never taken down. Perhaps it was used to build the wooden roof?
As a final observation, you see Calming Breeze in one of the guarded rooms.
"You speak of the matters of assassins like you have personal experience.
…which house did you serve?"


Point upwards.
"Maybe they are up there. You ponies shouldn't show yourselves, they'd know you escaped. Try to find them down here."


Can I… Do that climbing Coral just did aswell?

Roll #1 4 = 4


You might need to distract the guards first, or they might follow you up.


Go talk to the ones guarding calming breeze "hey, you got a minute to celebrate with me?"


Classic 'throw a rock' trick, but with TELEKINESIS!
Make something fall over.

Roll #1 1 = 1


"House Starling. Which house were you part of?"


He glances around, then smirks
"Sure. This guy ain't got no air in him to run with anyway."
You fall over in front of the guard
"Whoa there. Had a little too much, huh?"
"Falconwreath. Guess I still am, since the Lord is too thick to see through me."


Feign innocence.
"Effin' right…"


Smile and lead him away to an empty room . "You are really cute. And I don't like to share"


Well, seems that the way is up.
Am I tall enough to pull myself up to the 'party'?


Sit back next to her.
"You hear the craziest rumors about that house.
Almost too crazy to believe."
Light a cigar, I'm sure they have those.
"But if there's anything you learn in our profession it's that the truth about nobles is often weirder than the rumors."


"Need to lay down?"
"Well I guess I won't ask anyone to join in then.
…this one looks empty."
He unlocks one of the rooms and opens the door for you
"Ladies first."
You'd need a boost, but Whimsyshine can probably levitate you up to a hatch if you want to avoid taking the stairs.
She sits quietly for a moment
"He sent you to kill me, didn't he?"


Shake my head.
"Lemme be."


"Alright, but you take care now.
I can get ya some water at least."


Blow out a puff of smoke
"If he did, you would have been dead already."
Look back down.
"I would be careful about everypony down there though.
If I could get in here, one of Falconwreaths ponies definitely could."
Smile towards her.


Lie against the bookshelf and wait for him to turn.


Wink and pull him in with me.
Wait until the door is closed behind us and then attack him '1d10'

Roll #1 3 = 3


Ask him to do me a solid then, and lift me up.


"They could. But they won't. I spend as much of my life with them as I do with those here. I know them, and they know me. That is how I have kept this place free of their shadows. And I know better than to anger Lord Falconwreath himself.
But I suppose I didn't expect Starling to send assassins."
Her tone has gone flat and sombre.
He shrugs and goes back to his patrol
He is sturdier than he looks, and your attempt to throw him to the ground comes off as a passionate embrace.
"Right. Going up."
You get lifted up into
1) An empty room
2) A room with a slave
3) A room with a patron
4) The room where Coral is
5) The room where Calming Breeze is

Roll #1 3 = 3


Now! Climb!

Roll #1 4 = 4


"I'm not here for you, nor any of your….citizens. And for what it's worth, I am enjoying this talk."


"Uh.. hi?"


'1d10+2' break the poor fool in half with shatter.

Roll #1 9 + 2 = 11


You end up face to face with a somewhat scarred diamond dog
"Huh? I didn't know they served bitches in here. Must be my lucky day."
You nearly fall off the walkway as you head up, but manage to keep a low profile otherwise.
if you keep heading up, you can reach the roof.
"I doubt you are here just for a joyride either.
I will not mourn this place, nor most in it, but there are still those here who I made all this for. Those who the powerful and self-absorbed would hunt for the sake of vanity and pride. Those who need a shadow in which to hide - a shadow where they can know no assassin lurks in.
Tell me, then, why are you here?"
He puts on a grin and pushes you over on the only thing in the room - a bed.
Your passionate embrace intensifies, until in a blast of gore you hug him clean in half.


Yes, and follow after Coral. She's disappeared since too long!

Roll #1 2 = 2


"Uh…no, actually, I'm just here because I was… y'know, trying to catch a pony. Slippery ones, aren't they?"


"A friend of me got captured here.
A lady Sunset ring a bell?"


She isn't up here any more. She is back down there on the ring platform.
Looking down gives you vertigo. You might have a hard time going back down there…
But I was told to just wait here and they'd deliver me some entertainment. And you got delivered."
"I know the girl.
She is down below in the cells, settling an old grudge with one of my people she nearly drove to ruin."


I'm slightly lost as to how this place is shaped.
Can I see Calming from here?

Roll #1 6 = 6


"Sorry pal, you'll have to wait a bit longer. I'm not something you want."
Let's head for the door now…


"I see. Might I ask that you release her?"


Take his keys, and try to wipe most of the gore off of me.


You are standing on a rickety temporary ramp that spirals around the inside wall of the volcano crater.
The top connects to the large wooden roof built to cap the crater.
The bottom connects to a large circular platform full of private rooms that circles the edge of the crater.
The bottom of the crater is one big dining hall.
At the center of the whole thing is a towering pile of gold with the Bandit Leader's throne at the top.
You can just barely make out Calming's colors in one of the private rooms
He grabs you by the wrist
"You sure?"
"That isn't up to me any more. But if she has been forgiven for what she did to him, then I suppose I can let you take her.
But if I let you leave, I know we will all be dead as soon as word gets out."
You now have the keys to the private rooms.


Sneakety sneak over there and see if it's low enough to drop down!

Roll #1 7 = 7


Fuck, fuck, fuck…
"I'd love to, but I was told not to spread the crabs."


Casually go unlock Calmings room. How is he?


"You know just as well as me, that the word of an assassin is worth little. But would you believe me if I said I admire what you're doing here?"


You can leap off the scaffolding either onto the ring walkway or the bandit leader's throne.
"Oh. Eww.
Yeah no offense but eww."
Agitated. He looks like he has seen some shit, which is a little jarring since last time you met he was impossibly cool and calm.
"There is more to this than you say. The statue maker and another resident are dead, and someone tried to start a fire in town. Twice.
You, or someone you came in with, is here to destroy this place. Purely out of spite at this point. If you're after that damned jewel, it isn't here any more."


Down onto the walkway as I see Coral open the door.


"You don't say.
Well this is why I hate working with others.
Rash, reckless, undignified behaviour.
Tell me where that jewel is and I'll make sure those troublemakers are off your back."


Come in with him "hey. I came to help you. Can you walk?"


"Yeah, I know, that's what I get for taking a job with looking over ponies.
Anyway, I won't keep you."
Slip out the door!


"No honor among thieves I suppose.
Those cultist types have it. I only know they were headed out to the shore, so my only guess is they were going for Marenburg, the port town just east of here.
…I don't ask you to spare this place. All I ask is that you don't try to find me and those I choose to save."
"Yes, yes I think I can but but yes
Yes I suppose so yes YES.
Argh what TOOK you so long?"
You bump into the door guard, who is finishing his drink
"…had fun?"


"Uh, sure. Tons."
Take that drink from him, and finish it myself.
Start walking away, Supreme Survivor, spot check for any clues, I need to find the others.



"…let's just get you to Lady Sunset." Escort him out and down the stairs. Can I spot any pony?'1d10'

Roll #1 5 = 5


Grab her hoof.
"If somepony comes after this place, it won't be because of me."
Kiss it.
"And if you need some help, I'm sure you'll know where to find me, Boss."
How do I get off this mountain and get to those little rascals?


You return to Coral, and barely avoid drawing attention to yourself.
Coral, Blossom and Calming Breeze are a few cells away on the walkway.
They seem to be going for the stairs.
You head for the stairs.
As you go, you realize no guards are stopping you. Because their focus has shifted to the main floor where an arena fight is about to begin.
"I suppose it's high time I moved. Maybe my next dream home will not become this sort of bloated nightmare…
…close your eyes, assassin. This is the only time I will ever say this, but trust me."


Close my eyes.
I'm about to regret this, am I?


Join up with them!


"We have to save the rest of the ponies here now!"


"We can't fight everyone!"


"Ye of little faith!"


".. arena fight.. this is not good. "
Does calming look like he will be okay alone?


"No, me of much sense!"


Pass you the keys to the cells up here. "Go for it. No one is watching"


"Do not pursue us."
You feel a warm body press tightly against you, and then a rush of adrenaline as gravity seems to stop working quite right, as if you had fallen through the floor.
When you open your eyes you are on the wooden walkway of the second floor, and the Boss is gone.
Just point him downstairs and Blazing will take care of him.


"I'm not leaving ponies like this!"
Nod. "Meet you on the other side of the tunnels."
Rush back down to the cells. I've got the keys now.


"Boss, you are something else."
Allright, let's get to lady sunsets cell and get this over with.


"All the guards are dead down there. Your friends are waiting." Say softly to him and point him down there.


"I don't want to either, but we're no use for them if we die! We need to wait for Cloudcover!"


"Look. They are all focused on the arena. She will be okay."


"F-friends… yes…
…thank you.."
He hobbles on down.
You start unlocking the rest of the cells, rushing everyone out as best you can towards the trap door exit.
You return to the others, and see Calming Breeze and Lady Sunset embrace down in the lower cell corridor.
Looking out into the arena, you can see why they are so focused on it.
The last of the others, Grandheart, has been tossed out into the makeshift pit built from heavy tables and spears. Though unarmed, he is already beating his first challenger against the floor like a ragdoll.
…saving him will draw a lot of attention…


Send them all towards the tunnel entrance I came in from.


"Well….I see you've been causing quite a stir while I was negotiating your release."
Lean against the wall shaking my head.


"Grandheart. We need to get him out of there."


"…damn it how can we get to him.." uhh ways into the arena? It some pony who looks in charge of it? '1d10'

Roll #1 5 = 5


"I know but how without drawing all their wrath?"


It's just a pile of turned over tables in the middle of the floor, and ponies with spears keeping the combatants in.
Grandheart is not doing too well unarmed, since he usually fights with two greatswords.
…perhaps they are still in the loot room where Whimsyshine's book was.


So, I was on the second floor, correct?


"What if I pretend I'm drunk and want to show them I'm better than fighting than ponies?"


Okay.. hurry and look for weapons for him. '1d10'

Roll #1 7 = 7


Keep going until they are all unlocked and afterwards start leading the ponies out.


"If you think you can buy some time with that. Be careful thou." Nod.


"Just make sure to get Cloudcover and his pals here to rescue us."

Let's grab some booze so I won't just pretend to be drunk.


"Don't worry. We're getting out of this alive.">>541905


"I know, I'll make sure all of you do."


You are on the first floor, in the kitchen, which links to the jails.
You find his swords in the loot room.
The rest of Blazing's, Sunsong's and the others' gear is alo there.
Tossing these swords to Grandheart will surely change the tide of things… quite a bit.
You help the remaining prisoners escape outside, where Blazing and Calming are still comforting eachother, Sunsong is standing guard silently, and Whimsyshine is frantically looking for his buddy Grandheart.
You head back up on the second floor and down the stairs into the main floor. You can enter the arena line if you want, or just stay and watch for now.


Oh seems like they don't want to talk to me.
That's fine.
Let's go see at the arena what they're up to.


Step by Whimsyshine's side.
"I'm sure the others are doing their best to find Grandheart."


Alright then, the logical choice is to head down into the jail cells!


Grab a drink and down it.
How is he holding up?


You see a lot of slaves being herded out towards the trap door exit.
Some of the party is standing around here, discussing plans.
"I should be there for him. If only I knew where he was!"
He is putting up a good fight that's for sure. He even threw one of the spearmen into the arena to have more things to punch, but he won't last forever.


Give him those swords asap!


Shake my head.
"You have to recover.
All of you, after what happened.
You should leave this place as soon as you can.
But first…"
Check the ponies here for wounds and apply the proper medical help.

Roll #1 10 + 2 = 12


One more drink, then jump in the arena, and crack my paws.
Walk up beside him.
"You are all a bunch of sissies. Put up a good fight already. C'mon, let me at them!"


Well then, rejoin the group. "Well, seems like you've all been busy."


Oh boy, this will be something.
I suppose I'll wait here.


In a gleaming arc, the two swords fly from seemingly nowhere, embedding themselves in the stone arena floor.
The cheering dies down. For a second, everyone, Grandheart included, are dumbfounded.
Without a second thought however, he draws the massive blades and readies them
"Come at me then."
With a single thundering blow he splits the heavy oak table and the three bandits behind it in half, opening a path for himself.
As you go through the wounded, beaten, tortured and violated, healing all that ails them, from body and heart to the depths of their soul, you see new faith in your own abilities burn with new passion with every ember of hope you light in their eyes.


And even if it's hard work, I feel light in my heart.
Sit down, catching a quick breath.
"Lady Sunset, I have to go. The others might be worrying.
Please, run away from here with everypony else."


Do I hear that roar? If I do, I perk my ears and draw my sword. "Sounds like it's that time again!"


Draw my claymore.
"They are all chickenshit, you might be the only one with any balls around here."


Whew okay let's wave to Cassie real quick. And then shatter one of the tables '1d10+2'

Roll #1 2 + 2 = 4


Sunset nods
"We will take cover somewhere out of town. Please be safe.
Promise me you'll be safe."
You hear it, and so did Whimsyshine
The unicorn dashes back inside the tunnels to reunite with his lifelong friend.

In the far distance, a thundering of hooves is growing louder.
In town, worry is stirring in the hearts of its residents.
In a place nobody knows about, a small band of ponies march in silence, looking for a new place to make their dream real.
He would probably reply to that, but he is too busy bisecting the nearest duo of bandits who thought two on one were good odds.


Nod back.
And hug her. Just an instant.
Then rush back inside, through the tunnels. Back to the others.


Well, I shouldn't be outdone, cover him.
Slice down any bandit trying to come at us.

Roll #1 4 = 4


"I swear on my life, Lady Sunset, no harm shall befall her while I still stand."


Try to break the tables closing them in. '1d10'

Roll #1 10 = 10


Follow with sword drawn, ready for action.


Gasp in surprise!
"Lord Ember! Thanks the princesses!"


Well, they do have some guts.
Jump into the arena out of nowhere and slice a bandit '1d10'

Roll #1 8 = 8


"Glad to see you're still in one piece, miss Blossom! It seems your group had more luck than mine at finding lady Sunset."


"The only pony missing to the count is Grandheart now!"


It seems the bandits are realizing just how bad shit has hit the fan, and they are starting to really gang up on you.
Blows rain from every side, and it seems you might be overwhelmed soon…
When suddenly a great swathe of the bandits are blown clear across the room by a blast of energy as wide as a tree.
Whimsyshine, still panting and slightly smoking from the energy he just unleashed, frantically pages through his book, chanting out a storm of magical bolts
With all hell breaking loose between the sudden magical shitstorm and the berserker who cleaves flesh like fruit, the bandits are in disarray. Coral flips a table over, smashing three bandits down with it, while Whisper swiftly cuts down another.

You can now try to make your escape, or head for the kitchen and have some fun with flammable alcohol in a place supported by wooden scaffolding.


"Judging by that roar, I'd say somepony from the group's already found him. Let's go make sure he gets out all right, shall we?"
There's no way I missed that last part.. My eyes go wide and my expression pales a bit as I turn to Blossom. "Please tell me I'm not the only one who heard that."


Smile at whisper.
Then shout "hey let's get out of here!"


Look at him with equal parts fear and surprise, gulping down heavily.
"Which answer would you like best, milord?"


The things I'm seeing ponies do, man, dogs would never believe.
Keep cutting the bandits down. '1d10'
"We got to get out of here!"

Roll #1 6 = 6


"Best plan I heard all day."


Sigh with relief, though I'm still rather pale and clearly worried. "The one that means I've not yet gone mad."


Draw my halberd.
"Not mad yet, Ember."


"Glad you caught up to us."


Smile back.
"Then let us show these miscreants why they should not tamper in the dark arts."


"I couldn't let all of you have all the fun today."


Nod and stand on guard.
Let's move in.


And so we charge once more unto the breach.


An exit it is. As you fall back into the tunnels, more bandits pour in from the other entrance, summoned by the commotion.
Once the last of you has made it past the jail room, Grandheart slams his swords into the rock and collapses the ceiling to buy you some time before following you to the trap door exit.

As you climb out from the exit door, cleverly disguised as a tree stump, you see the whole town is up in arms. Chaos reigns as bandits are looking for those who killed the zebra and statue maker, tried to light the place on fire, and started the devastation in the main hideout.
You're in for one hell of a fight…
But hope is far from dead, as in the not at all far distance you can see the thundering arrival of the Equestrian Guard, here to even the odds.
It has started to rain.
And somewhere out of sight, a lone broken figure watches, his black heart racing at the sight of such destruction. Racing in fear. Fear for the safety of his very gods.



Cloudcover will soon be here with backup. You can try to stay out of sight for now and wait for them to arrive, charge in and kill what you can while nobody is looking, or climb the volcano to collapse the roof in on the bandits in the hideout.


"Lord Ember! We have to collapse the place behind our friends!"


"I'd prefer staying out of sight, no need to take unnecessary risks."


"Should we sneak around, or take the fight to them?"
"Collapsing the roof would kill the slaves too. If possible, I'd like to avoid innocent casualties."


"No, they are already gone!
We got the keys and freed all of them!"


"All the ones in the cells, yes. What about the ones walking around down there carrying the food and drink? Did you rescue them too?"


Look down in embarassment.


"They ran in the chaos, if they had any sense."

"A little late for that, don't you think?"


"They're not focusing on us for the moment.
But if you feel like risking your life again, I'll help."


"I don't usually say this.. but I think we should hide and regain strength."


Perk up, relieved.
"The slaves and Lady Sunset are all safe out of town!"


"They were wearing… 'uniforms' that would have greatly impeded their ability to run."
"It's not your fault. You didn't know, or else you would have already freed them. Still, I think we can agree that we don't want them to pay for their tormentor's sins."


"Don't worry yourself too much. " I say sympatheticly.


"Would you rather give these guys get a chance to run and start this all over again somewhere else?"

"Good job!"

"Damn… we'll have to wait for the guards for that then."


"The survivors will anyway."


"Perhaps you are right. The odds are certainly against us."


"What if we hide on the other side of town. Catch any trying to run that way?"


"There's an idea."


Nod "a direct approach would probably get us all killed on this case."


Nod in agreement.
"Worth a shot. Now, how do we get over there?"


You can try to use the forest as cover to meet up with Cloudcover's forces, or sneak around near the volcano's side to get back to the ruined tower.


"Perhaps we should meet up with Cloudcover. They need to know that there are still civilians in the area."


"Okay." To the forest then?


The forest has a few bandits trying to make a run for Marenburg or simply escape into the wilderness


I nod.


"The forest it is then. Let's get moving." Head into the forest!


'1d10' cleave three of the fleeing bandits

Roll #1 6 = 6


You charge into the forest and manage to block off a band of fleeing bandits.
However, they don't seem to be giving up without a fight


"You aren't leaving so easily."
'2d10' double strike to hit two.

Roll #1 8, 6 = 14


I'll hit one, Dulltooth Slams another! '1d10' '1d10+1'

Roll #1 9 = 9 / Roll #2 9 + 1 = 10


Cleave a pair!

Roll #1 1 = 1


Dance of blades '1d10+2'

Roll #1 4 + 2 = 6



Roll #1 6, 1, 5, 8, 2, 9, 9 = 40


Clenche the holy icon on my chest tight, and radiate the LIGHT OF MY FAITH!

Roll #1 1 = 1


The light of your faith is a tool of healing, not of destruction.
But there are those who would see great promise in the twisted grin of a healer and protected turned slayer and destroyer. The darkness has cast its eye upon that sliver of black in your heart. And it now waits. Patiently.
Nothing seems to happen.
Whisper leaps onto one of the enemies, but is thrown aside as >>542579 Dulltooth smashes into the same one, crashing through a tree with him.
In the mean time, Ember and >>542577 Coral attack the two others, forcing them down after a few blows are traded.
The trio are all helpless now.
You ready your sword and soon realize it already kinda ended before it started.
Dachs taps you on the shoulder.
"Hey, I went and found some medicine for ya."


"Well, that went well." Keep the bandits pinned.


Get up again, like a boss '1d10'

Roll #1 10 = 10


"Was that all?" I say unimpressed


You do a cool flip, landing on your hooves like nothing happened.


Throw a knife at one of the bandits '1d10'

Roll #1 3 = 3


You fumble with the knife and drop it.
The subdued bandits chuckle.
You can tie them up if you want to.
Or just execute them. Nobody will ever know.


"What kind of medicine?"


Stomp one with my hoof '1d10'

Roll #1 4 = 4


"Should we tie them up so they can face justice?"


"For the cunt crabs"
You kick one of them in the jaw. It doesn't seem to hurt him all that much.


Hmm "hey. How long have you worked with this town? What did you do?"


"The what?!"


"Maybe we should ask them, why they should live."


Give Cassie a questioning look.


"Let that be a lesson."
Now turn to the other party members.




"Oh come now. I know it's kinda embarrassing and all but ignoring it will just make you go bald."
"Been here for a year now, stole me some stuff, beat up a guard who tried to stop me."


"I made that up, you idiot, so I wouldn't have to stay with that dog in that room."


Nod absently and tie that one up. "What about your friends there?"


"I doubt they'll live for long. It's more a question of whether giving them due process or taking matters into our own hooves."
Let's go ahead and start tying them up.
Nod and turn away.


"Oh …I get it. Not in front of the others, huh?
…is that why you wear pants by the way? Already got a bald spot going?
You soon have three hogtied bandits, in varying states of health.


"Let's hope these are all of them."


"We should get going. We need to find Cloudcover."


"Its probably good to have some ponies alive who know what this town was. So that way it doesn't look like we just slaughtered the whole town on a whim."


Growl at him.
"Do I have to punch you? I told you, I made it up! What would you say if a dog wanted to get intimate with you, huh?"


"There are probably more. The town is full of them after all." I say a little depressed.
Keep exploring the forest '1d10'

Roll #1 10 = 10


Through the forest! '1d10'

Roll #1 6 = 6


"Alright, alright, I get that you don't want to talk about it here. But really, get that treated."
He hands you a jar of powder.
Cloudcover's forces are very close by. You need but exit the forest to the road and you will be right in front of them.


Knock it out of his paws, then slap him.
Not a girly slap though, a good, solid one.

Let's do that, with the prisoners in tow.


"Well, let's go meet up with your coltfriend." Walk out of the forest towards his forces.


Shake my head at you.
Pop out right next to him with a smile. "What's this? A lost band of boy scouts?"


He hits you back
"I was just trying to be helpful."
You arrive on the road towards Ponpeii, right in front of the Guard forces.
Cloudcover and a guard officer are leading close to forty guards up the road, the back row pulling large prisoner cages with them.
"I'm glad to see you're still alive."
"We're not late are we?"


Give him the cold shoulder.
"Very, very late. How did this place not get busted sooner?"


"Right on time."


"Nah, they're mostly still here. Town's in chaos, though. Also, you should know that there are prisoners being used as waiters in the main area of their base. You'll need to watch your fire."


"We had a but of fun without you. But there is still plenty to do. " gesture toward the three captives. "For your box officer?"



"No information of it exists. Even after we started to organize for this expedition, we received express orders to abandon the mission at once."
The officer gives a stern nod
"I do not like disobeying orders, but if this is as big as you say, it will have been the one time I can forgive such an act."
A few guards break off to throw the prisoners in the cage they brought.
"I missed you."
Civilians are present, so watch yourselves. FORWARD!"
The guards march on


"This place is one of the worst thing and I've seen a thing or two."


" I missed you too… more than you can know."
Sneak a kiss onto his cheek.


"Wait.. orders from who?"


"Anything you need from us?"


"From the sort of ponies who can order us around."
"Any and all intel is good. We need to know what we're about to get into."
"We can celebrate later."


"Lot's of bandits, chains and cells."


Nod at that order comment.
Seems like Falconwreaths been busy.


"Hmm but yet you still came. Thank you."
Give him a polite bow and the smile softly and walk with cloudcover.

"Oh boy. Well this whole town is run by a bandit gang. The worst of the worst. They filled it with traps to catch innocent ponies so they could do horrible things with them."


Can I give him a description of the lair's layout? If I can, I do so.


The guards listen carefully as you explain what they will soon be up against, and draw up a quick plan.
"Alright. We all know what to do now.
Five will stay behind to guard the prisoners, take in any wounded, and secure civilians as they are sent out.
Another five will comb the forest for escapees.
The rest of you are with me. We will split up once we establish a foothold in the town, ten will secure the town, fifteen will head into the main base. The rest will secure those ruins and check that nopony is hiding on the mountainside.
Civilians are excused. This is now a military operation."


"What do we count as?"


"Then I suppose we should get going after those cultists."


"Where do you need us?"


"You are civilians."


"Oh, great."


"If you say so. I'm sure you could use some guides in those tunnels, though."


"Very well then."
Leave and check on Smooth Silk. "Hey there. How are you holding up?"


Frown " I am a fully capable paladin. Its against my nature to turn away from this."


"Lots of nice valuables in there. These will fetch a fine price."
"We don't want any accidental friendly fire in there. Telling you apart from them in the heat of battle will not be easy."


Go quiet for a minute.
"Are you all right? That bit with the statue-maker… that was rather dicey."


"Fine, fine."


"Seriously? Well fine."
Stand aside with clear irritation


"Consider it an official stance on the issue. I would not want to face punishment for endangering civilians."
He winks at you and leads his troops forward
"Yes… yes it was…
But at least we're all still alive."


"And I'm glad about that, but… I wasn't just talking about him putting something in the tea. Silk… When he was describing what this town was for, it reminded me of what you said you were looking for: a place to escape the wrath of the uncaring noble houses. What if your original trafficker… what if he was going to bring you here?"


"Any bar in the neighbourhood? I could use a drink."


"It is possible. Given how they seemed to all be tied to those high-profile burglaries, and my history with taking things from nobles…"
"There might be one in Marenburg.
…or see if there is anything left when the boys are done clearing the local pub."


"Marenburg is still a long way awake.
Seems like I'll practice that time-honored tradition of looting the bar after a fight."


"I can help clearing the pub."


Can I tell how she feels about that possibility?



Contemplative, but not terrified.
Cloudcover sighs
"I'm glad I'm off duty. Looting is a crime, after all."


"We are liberating the booze."


"And… how do you feel about that? Knowing that you might have been one of those ponies down there, doing what they did to those prisoners and slaves?"


"It is a dark thought… but I suppose it would have been better than facing the nobles' retaliation."
"The guard in me wants to tell you to not do it.
The pony in me knows you need it."


"You're damn right. This place should be burned to hell anyway."


"Maybe the guard inside you, could look the other way?"


"Well, now you have alternatives. Did you… have any specific plans on where you wanted to go once you got out of Equestria?"


"I will have no part in it. Go along if you must. I will stay out of it."
"…I don't even know what is outside Equestria…"


"Suit yourself."
Those drinks need liberty!


"…Have you ever considered… going north?"
How is she reacting to all of this? Particularly this question.


"Still off duty even with this going on?" Ask him with a quizzical stare.


Let's go.


"I'm on vacation."
She looks a lot less joyful. Being with you has been a welcome distraction, and these questions are bringing her mind back down to the dark realities of life.
"I had never planned that far…
…I suppose I should have…"
You head back into town.
The prisoner cages are filling up nicely as the soldiers press in deeper. Most doors have been kicked down, bloodstains can be seen here and there.
The pub is mostly intact, but has been cleared of bandits.


Look for whisky '1d10'

Roll #1 9 = 9


Supreme Alcoholist, spot check for their best stuff


"Don't be too hard on yourself. You thought far enough ahead to make sure you had enough money to last you a while." Pause and take a deep breath.
"You know, I might be biased, but… I hear the Crystal Empire has beautiful architecture."


Smirk "but there really isn't such a thing for ponies like us is there?"


As the guards' job was to take down bandits, they have yet to look through all the stuff gathered in town.
You can easily get away with a large barrel of fine whiskey that is both valuable and delicious.
"So what you're saying is you want your home to be my home?"
"A vacation is a chance to relax.
And you would not believe how relaxing a lack of regulations and red tape is to one like me."


Look toward the town a bit uneasily. "Yea. That must feel good. Not having to take orders and make reports."


Well, let it go free!


"…I'm saying that… if you wanted… I'd be more than willing to welcome you." Look away and shuffle a bit nervously. "Of course, you're probably sick of nobility, and the fact that I'm a noble- even a minor one- is probably offputting… I'd understand if you're not interested. No matter what, I promised to get you out of Equestria and that's exactly what I intend to do."


Open it up
And tap a glass.


Do you want to stay here and drink, or roll the stuff out of town to share with the others?
"It helps, when done in moderation.
We saw some ponies set up camp earlier down the road. They told us they escaped this place with your help, and we left a couple of guys to keep them safe."
"Being around you has helped me feel safe.
…and forget the weight of life's less happy realities. In short… you have made me very happy."


I'm a generous soul, we can share.


Eh, sharing is caring.


Nod "we did free some ponies that were held in awful condition. "
Glare into the distance at the memory.


Give her a genuinely happy smile.
"I'm… glad to hear that. Having you around… makes me happy too. And hey," give her a wry grin, "If you ever get sick of me, there's plenty of relatively valuable stuff laying around."


You load up a couple of barrels and sneak out of town before anyone even realizes you were there.
The others are still outside by the side of the road.
"Lady Sunset and her companions were among them. They said they would head for Marenburg soon."
"We both know how my last marriage ended."


"If I remember correctly, that was because one, it wasn't of your choosing, and two, he wouldn't take no for an answer."


"Want to rejoin them?"


"We've got you some gifts!"


"I can't help but wonder if this was your plan all along…"
"It might be reasonable.
Though I'd much rather find someplace we could be alone for a moment~"


Tap some booze while thinking of the Boss's flank. Damn that mare. '1d10'

Roll #1 5 = 5


"To another messed-up adventure!"
Totally not sarcastic there!

Roll #1 8 = 8


"Had the thought crossed my mind? I admit it did, but at first it seemed like wistful dreaming. Going to a foreign land, go on a grand adventure, and bring back my true love? That's fairy tale stuff that just doesn't happen in real life.
If you wouldn't be happy, just say so. I'll make sure you get started someplace nice, and you'll never see me again. I want you to be happy, Silk. Is it foolish to dream that maybe I could be happy too?"


Shimmer a bit "well it is a big forest.. we can take the long way"


If you ever feel like a daring stallion, try breaking your promise and pursue her.
Because what is life without a bit of danger?
This is good stuff. And the barrel is big enough to last you for a good while.
She cracks up at a bit at 'true love'
"Noblepony comes to a distant land, falls in love with a murderous thief.
That's not a fairy tale, that's the setup to a joke."
She does look happy again though.
He offers a wing
"Shall we, then?"


Eh, maybe after this job I'll consider it.
I'm a bit done with Starling anyway.

"To another adventure."


Walk under his wing.


"We deserve this, don't we?"


"I'm not sure if we deserve it, but we need it definitely."


The underside of his wing is very warm from resting against his body all day. It's also probably the softest past of him, a welcome break from his work-hardened exterior.


"Well hey, life can be funny like that. Besides, maybe your attempts to infiltrate nobility would be easier with one of those nobles on your side."
Chuckle a little. "Even if that noble is a bit of a klutz. So, what do you say? Are you… interested at all?"


"More than definitely."


Sigh softly and rub against him. "We need someplace soft. Like a mossy patch"


"So while I was gathering intelligence, what happened down there with all of you? I saw you running from this place to that place."


"We found where Lady Sunset and her friends got taken to. Freed all the slaves we could too."


"Well, good job, I raise my glass."
Raise it.


"Is it cold up north?"
"I think we passed something like that near a large tree on the way here…"


Raise mine.
"For you too, whatever you were doing."


"Reconaissance. I'm not much of a fighter. So I oil wrestled my way all the way until I could talk to the boss of that place and ask her personally where Lady Sunset was."


Smile at him and go back there. '1d10' get comfy~

Roll #1 10 = 10


"Oil wrestled?"


Smile widely. "Winters can be downright freezing, but the summers are still hot. Besides, with a warm fire going and good food on the table, you'd never know it was winter unless you looked out a window."


"Yes. They were looking for somepony to oil wrestle their champion named the Bald Bull. It was an entirely furless mare with muscles you wouldn't believe. It was quite an experience.
But I haven't yet met anypony who could beat me in a one-on-one.
So I became the champion of the hideout."


"So, who was this big boss of theirs?"


"A mare believe it or not.
She had a throne at the top of the pile of gold.
Surprisingly charming. She showed me the way to Lady Sunsets cell."
I look at the guards.
"I fear they won't have mercy on her, however."


Try not to gush all over the moss, lady.
"We should probably try and keep it brief…
But I wouldn't want to cut my time with you short for any reason."


"You better have a damn nice interior in that house if I'll be looking at it so much."


"They caught her? Serves her right. I hope she gets tenfold of whatever she made ponies suffer down there."


"Cloud.. every moment with you is like a lifetime. " pull him closer, until we are embarcing passionately. '5d10' "so we can be fast if we need too."

Roll #1 5, 1, 8, 5, 9 = 28


"I think so. I wouldn't now."


"Did you see what was going on down there?"


"You really do have a way with words, don't you~" '5d10'

Roll #1 9, 8, 8, 5, 9 = 39


"It's a big house, and I'm sure that you'll change any of the interior that you don't like. Plus, other nobles like to throw parties to pass the time, so it's not like we'd be staying in one place for months on end or something."
Shuffle around a bit. "So… if we're going to do this… what exactly does this make us? Dating?"


"Chaos, absolute chaos. But I didn't see it up close, you must know more than me."


"Two words:




"And you have a way with other things my cloudy ~ " kiss him as we rearrange ourselves


"You've heard me. Cages, ponies lifted up by harnesses to rooms where.. ugh."
Just drink.


"I didn't know about that."


"Lets try to stop the world ending first and worry about naming conventions afterwards, okay?"
"I should bring you in for indecent exposure. But with you, that's a crime I'm perfectly okay with."
He looks around
"Looks like we really were fast. Nobody has passed by here."


"Right, right… this certainly isn't a typical love story, so I'm just… a little lost on what I'm supposed to do now." Cautiously press up against her side, try to see what her boundaries are.


"You don't want to know what we walked in on to get Lady Sunset either… she was fine, thanks to Sunsong, but I doubt anyone else in that room was that lucky before."


Nudge him a bit and grin "don't forget about bribing a guard. "

"Lady Sunset should be happy to see us."


"Disgusting. I doubt the Boss knew about it however."


She flinches a bit, but doesn't move away
"Typically a love story involves people falling in love. Lets see when that part happens."
"Indeed. We should get going."

You may head out to reunite with Lady Sunset and the others at any time.


"How can a boss not know what her minions are up to?"


"They weren't really her minions. She just ran the place."


"If she ran the place and didn't know about it she was a shit boss."


Proceed to them. next time. night


"I'm willing to wait. Anything worth having is worth waiting for." Don't try anything else, but stay pressed against her. Small steps. "Just remember that I'm not the brightest, and let me know if I'm pushing too hard."


"She was more of a relaxed boss really."


Just shake my head and drink again.
"Sometimes I wish I just had a normal life without all this crap."


"You make me feel safe and help me forget the dark realities of life. That's more than any living stallion has been capable of.
It's a good start."


"Could be worse."


"I could be surrounded by pon-oh, wait, right."


"Just living stallions? Don't tell me you have some shambling undead husband who turns your legs to jelly." Scrunch up.
"I'm not bending over for him, no matter how much you plead. Rotting corpses are where I draw the line."


"Even worse."


"He was very nice for a skeleton…"


Give her a worried, questioning look.


"Worse than that?"


She giggles
"I'm kidding.
Well, to a degree. He is a skeleton now. But just a normal one, not the walking, talking type."


Breathe a sigh of relief. "I knew that, but still… had to make sure, you know? This whole adventure has been one strange experience after another." Blush a bit. "Like taking it from a Dulltooth and liking it.[/size2]"


"we could all be in the rape-dungeon right now."


"We were, just recently."


"Not anymore."
Raise my glass.


"Didn't quite catch that last part."


"It won't exist for long, either."
Raise my glass as well.
Take a deeeeep swing.

Roll #1 10 = 10


Blush dark crimson. "L-like… t-the thing with Dulltooth… and…" Gee, it's suddenly really hot here. "A-are you going to want me to… do something like that again?"


Her face goes really blank
"Well that sure came out of nowhere. I think you should be asking him, not me."


"No, I don't mean with him, I meant… well, you really seemed to enjoy… watching that…" Sweating bullets now. "…Well, I just wanted to know… I told you I'm not good with this stuff!"


"I believe that."


"I guess I know why I don't want a boring life. So I can get the world rid of ponies who do these sort of thing."


"I might be crossing some lines here, but some ponies claim some dogs do the same to ponies."


"So you want to put on a little show for me, huh?"


How is she reacting to all of this?
"…Just saying that… if you want it, I'm… not entirely opposed to the idea…"


Bemused, and possibly intrigued
"You really do want to, don't you? Why else would you bring it up like this?"


"I know. I did help pony slaves escape from the mines from the dogs, didn't I?"


"It's weird for me, okay! I'd never thought I'd like it- I didn't like it, and then-" Look away in embarrassment. "-and then you were there, watching me, and it…" Trail off and blush hard as I can.
"We'd need to… lay down some rules about it first, okay?"


She puts on a downright evil grin
"My my, already trying to give me rules…"


"Yes, I'm not accusing you personally, but it's not just ponies who do that."


"Well, you do exclude us every time you say 'somepony' or 'everypony'.


"Well, I mean everypony..or everyone. It's all the same to me. If you said everydoge I wouldn't mind. It's just a word."


"It's not like- just-" Sputter off, then take a minute to collect myself. "I want you to… ask me about… whoever it is first, okay? Since I'm the one who'd be… well… I-I want to be involved in the decision-making process."
"And I want you to be there. I-it's… I… enjoy it… because you're there. It's seeing that intense fascination in your eyes, knowing that youlike seeing me being-well."
"So… that's not too unreasonable, right?"


"That would just sound dumb."


"Hmm what would be a good word then?
Somedoge, everydoge?"


"Those are dumb too. It just doesn't click."


"How about this. Gesundwoof"


"I'm barking with laughter."


"Of course I'll let you pick your showcase partners, silly.
Now, where did Dulltooth wander off to?"


"Wait, what? I didn't say anything about showcases!"


"What, I'm not allowed to bring friends?"


I drink another Whisky
"Say Cassie, another question, I heard it said, that before a dog male and a dog female get it on, they sniff each others butts. Is that true?"


"T-this is something that's… kinda private." Dance uncertainly. "What if it worked both ways? Would you want me bringing friends to watch you get…" No, I can't even finish that sentence.


"…sometimes, I guess. I thought you'll just ask about knots again."
Take a drink.


Recap pls.


Basically faff session at this point. We met the guards, they're taking care of the town of bandits. then we started faffing.


"Nah, that's a subject I'd rather avoid."


"Well this love story sure is escalating quickly…"


But what of the fight?


"Thanks, really. A pony saying that is more rare than you'd think."


"Well, it wasn't that typical to start with! On the first day you met me, you suggested, then helped me get… screwed… by Dulltooth!" Is she laughing at me, or is she serious?
"B-besides, this is stuff we sorta… need to get sorted out before we start doing… whatever we call what we're doing."



"Just promise me not to start about sheats."


Are you getting pushed around by your girlfriend again, son?
Where am I.


She seems amused by all this, but is clearly not opposed to your ideas.
"We're about to chase down a bunch of crazy cultists into some dinghy port town and possibly face off with the lord of midnight reborn. Do you really think this is the time and place for rules about who we invite to bed, if we ever get to see a bed again?"
Everyone has gathered outside Ponpeii on the roadside while the Guards round up the bandits.
Cassie and Whisper brought some looted whiskey.
Cloudcover and Coral went into the woods alone.


Good for them.
I will instead be praying away the dark images that have been hunting my head.

Roll #1 4 = 4


"Believe it or not I actually don't care about horse genitals."


"Well, maybe because it might be now or never? Plus I know that if I don't, you know, bring these up and get them taken care of, I'll just keep avoiding them."
"So, you've been hearing about about what I want to do for you… What do you want me to do for you?"


"No? What a shame."


Those who give in to their dark desires cannot stop the dark in their heart from spreading. Instead, one should focus on the good things.
"Well, you already seem to know I like to watch~"


Like the fact I'm alive and we defeated the bad guys!
And Lady Sunset is alive aswell!
Trot over to her.


Gulp audibly.
"Is there… anything in particular you want to… watch me do?"


She and the others who you helped escape are camped out a little further down the road.
While most of the slaves have moved on along with the guards left to keep them safe, Blazing Sunset, Sunsong, Grandheart, Whimsyshine and Calming Breeze are sitting around a small campfire, checking their recovered equipment.
"Well, we're all alone here… I'm sure we can find some place out of sight where we can explore some options~"



Blazing Sunset and the others have set up camp a little way down the road. It might be good to check on them before heading out to Marenburg.


W…what's Smooth Silk going to do to me?


"Sorry I couldn't meet with you all earlier. I was caught up with an, unfortunate, Smith and his shoddy work ethic."


I'm on a quest.
A quest to bring peace on Equestria
And love for all.
On a quest.
Off to Lady Sunset!


That depends on whether you want to head on to meet the other party down the road, or find some secluded nook in the woods with her.
The smith is probably in custody by now anyway as the Guard are sweeping the city, arresting all remaining bandits.
If you wish for a report on them, you can chat with the guards by the tower ruins. Otherwise you can catch up with the other party down the road.
She and the others are resting a little way down the road. Exhausted and a little beat up, they are checking their equipment and patching up the remaining cuts.


I'll head down with the others. There will be enough paperwork to go around.

Let's see if Primrose and I can help with any of those cuts. '2d10'

Roll #1 10, 6 = 16


"I'm so happy to see you all made it, milady."


Well, she did want to find someplace private in the woods…
"Well, uh… I'm sure we can…"


A bit of actual medical knowledge is always good. Sunsong in particular looks terrible, but it turns out a lot of that is old wounds, and most of the blood is from surface cuts.
"I appreciate your aid."
…that's probably the most he has ever said out loud.
She is sitting close to Calming Breeze, who has calmed down notably but is still a twitchy husk of his former self.
"We may indeed have you to thank for it."
She raises a brow
"But do you want to?"


Shake my head.
"We are on a quest that's proving our faith and our bodies, milady.
If there's somepony that needs thanking, those are the Sisters."


Blush and look away. "…Yeah. I'm… curious."


"You'll need to take better care of yourself. These old wounds are still at risk of opening up."

"Of course, I say that as a Doctor. I'm grateful you and the others came along."


Whimsyshine rolls his eyes
Grandheart, who is cleaning his weapons, huffs. "The only sisters I have to thank are these two iron princesses here."
"Curious, hm?"
She is still smiling but is going rather… red in the face.
"You're expecting something aren't you?"
"A guard's job can be dangerous."


Look down, a bit saddened. Then, talk again, with shaky voice.
"M-maybe for you!"


"As I've started to learn all too well these last few days. Still, I, we, owe you a great debt. When we get through with this and I can go back to my practice, I'd like to see you again and check on those wounds, then take you out to whatever merriment you enjoy in your spare time."


"Actually, I… don't know what to expect. And that's…" Chuckle nervously. "…Kind of making it that much more… scary? exciting? I'm… not sure what to call what it's making me feel, but… I think I like it."


Blazing lifts your chin up
"Pay them no mind, Blossom. We both know what you mean is true."
"My time belongs to Lady Sunset, as it is my duty to keep her safe."
"Well surely you have some hunch, do you not?
You never fear the unknown, but what you think you'll encounter there~"


Clench my jaw shut, in a mix of anger and sadness, looking down on her hoof.


"My offer stands for both of you then. If you'll excuse me, I still have to tend to the others."

I'll look around for the others.


"I suppose I do have a hunch at that.
However, I… would not want to be presumptuous…"


"What bothers you so, Blossom?
We're all alive after all. We won."
Grandheart the berserker is fixing his swords
Whimsyshine the mage is checking his book
Blazing Sunset and Calming Breeze are talking with Fire Blossom.
"Don't you dare lie to me like that or I'll steal your armor and parade you to the next camp naked~"


"Miss Blossom, are you and the others in need of assistance?"


"I'm sorry milady, I-"
Pull away and gasp slightly, surprised but brought back to reality.
"No we…
I've done my best to heal their wounds, they should be fine."


"You wouldn't…" Pale a little. "You would."
"Look, the truth is… I'm scared right now. We've only just started this… relationship, and I'm terrified of doing something wrong and screwing it up again. Like I did in the tavern the day we met."


"That's good to hear. I'm glad everything seems to be working our way, but I'm starting to get worried about what awaits us further."


"Of course, the things we've already encountered have worried me quite a good deal. I'm not that cold that I wouldn't be unfazed by what we've encountered already."


"I keep having faith, doctor Gray."
Smile a bit from under the hood.
"I sure do."


"At least you offered me a house first this time.
Now lets find someplace out of the way before someone interrupts us"
Blazing keeps silently petting Calming's mane


"I'm going to have to ask you to keep enough for the two of us, then. I'll admit to admiring your dedication in all this. Other than Primrose, it's hard to see anyone else standing so strong in the midst of all this, and Primrose doesn't have to worry about herself like we do."


"Yes, that would be… awkward."
Let's find someplace before my head explodes from embarrassment.


Trot up to him, and do the same."
"I do not worry about myself, maybe this is the reason."


"Admirable, and you're right. I should focus on the task at hoof and make sure I fulfill my own oath."

Is anything else going here in the camp?


What did I miss?


You wander off into the woods and find a small out of the way spot behind a rather large bush.
Silk says nothing, just stares at you with a sly grin
Blazing pushes your hoof away
"What, exactly, are you doing?"
Not really. The prisoners have already left with some of the guards.
The only thing that really pokes out is Whimsyshine's spellbook, which he seems oddly unfamiliar with, given all the bookmarks he keeps adding in.
A third of the party is out in the forest fucking NPCs. The rest are with Blazing's party down the road.


I thought it'd help him calm down…"
Whimper and move away.


Let's look at that book and Whimsyshine.

"Is it giving you trouble?" I point at the book.


Dumb ponies.
Let's join Blazing and Co


Mess up the link?
Smile nervously and take a deep breath. "So… how do you want to… do this?"


"I tend to forget how naive you can be…
That's fine. No harm done…"
"New books often do. Or, old ones in this case.
…I did remember to mention what this is, right?"
"Well, you did imply you wanted to entertain me~"
Grandheart is almost done with his weapon maintenance.
Blazing and Calmiing are cuddling.
Sunsong is standing off to the side.
Whimsyshine is paging through his book.


"I think you may have passed me when you were explaining it. Go ahead and do so now, if you can be spared."


Nod slowly and get the heck outta here.


Just sit down.
"Well, this was fun, wasn't it. In a sick, messed up, not fun at all way."


Blush harder. "That I did… so… should I sit down, or… do you want me to do… something else..?"


"This is the Tome of Forbidden Arts, one of the artifacts of Tirek we recovered earlier.
I believe it holds the key to finally chasing down those cultists, and cutting off their escape."
"There is no need to be upset!"
"You do it sitting down?"
Grandheart offers a chuckle
"That was a rousing start to a good battle. Marenburg should prove most interesting."


Shake my head.
"I'm not milady. Please, forgive me now."
Lets leave them alone instead.
Find a place to rest, or something going on.

Roll #1 3 = 3


"Really now. I'm surprised they haven't launched a counter-attack to retrieve it, but what have you learned so far? What do we need to finish this?"


"More interesting than this?"


Apparently Whimsyshine's book is the stolen Tome of Forbidden Arts, if that counts as 'something'
Sunsong is also alone, if you want to keep company to a pony-shaped wall.
"Eh, who knows.
Interest is about heart anyway. If you take life as a series of great events, you look forward to each day.
That's how I think at least."
"Well, I don't know that, but I have learned how they call the… gate-wyrm I believe it's called. A strange beast that burrows between realities, allowing it to appear in unexpected places and transport its masters to their desired location.
The tome also sheds some limited light on the history of Tirek…"


"Remind me which part of today was great again?"


Where in Equestria did he get that book!?


"Please proceed. I know we might be heading towards things we are better off not knowing, but this information may prove valuable."


"I've… actually not done it enough to know…" Blush and look away. "I'm just… trying to figure out what would work best, you know?
Though, maybe I should take off this armor first."
Sexy striptease? '1d10'

Roll #1 1 = 1


Well, his party did hunt down the artifact that the same time you did. You found two, so odds are so did they.
"The great escape. Living through the battle. The heat of battle itself. Seeing the fear in the eyes of lesser foes as they realize who they are up against. The destruction of a great rotting tumor in the society of Equestria. Today was a grand day full of grand victories."
"If only I had eyes that could read this cursed language…"
You start slowly undoing the straps and clasps on your armor, maintaining eye contact with the judging Smooth Silk. However, full armor was not designed for quick removal, and you soon start struggling with it. In an effort to speed things up, you pop open the last few straps and rise upright, thinking you'll simply toss the armor off in one dramatic move. Unfortunately you did not expect the moss to be so slippery, and the armor's weight makes you lose balance, falling over backwards between two nearby trees, getting stuck on your back in their grip, all five legs helplessly waving in the air.
Silk seems most amused by the display.


"I can only agree with the 'bad guys smoked out' part being good, but not grand."


Well that backfired.
"Dangit, that didn't go as planned! Um… could you help me? I… seem to be stuck."


She starts circling around you, taking her time to evaluate her catch
"Hm. No wonder you have no joy in your life with that attitude."


Gulp audibly and give her a nervous smile.


"Perhaps some of my comrades might recognize more. We've come up against similar things, maybe it will be clear to one of them."


"I do have joys in life!"


"You seem terribly tense~
Am I worrying you?"
"Interesting. I would appreciate the help."
He speaks very openly, but keeps the tome close at all times, like he was afraid someone wanted to take it away.


Okay, that makes a lot of sense.
Trot over there.
"Is that…"
Motion at the book.


"The Tome of Forbidden Arts, yes.
We recovered it from the bandits earlier, and I have been trying to use it to better understand our enemy."


"Somewhat, yeah… W-what are you going to do to me?"


"…Could I… Look at it? Just a peek."


"Be careful with it. He's still trying to decipher it and we don't really know what to expect."


He looks suspicious, but nods
"I could just help you down and leave it at that.
…but then, where's the fun in that, hm?"


"If I remember correctly, Lord Ember could…"


Just flip through its pages for a moment.

Roll #1 5 = 5


It's mostly strange runes and insane gibberish.
The whole book radiates an uneasy energy, as if it were alive, and restless.


"I see… okay." Take a few deep breaths. "I… said I wanted to give you a show, and I suppose this counts. So… feel free to… do whatever you want with it."


…is that a knife she has there?


"W-what's the knife for?"


"Oh, did I have that out?
Hm, silly me. Now I ruined the surprise.."
She disappears somewhere near your rear end. Seeing what's going on is a little difficult due to your bent backwards pose, but you can almost certainly feel her breath really close.


"S-Silk? If you wanted to scare me, i-it's working…"


"Do you work well under pressure?"


Yeah, put it down.
"Not my thing."
Shrudder a bit.
So what was going on around here?


"I-I think so… M-maybe… w-why do you ask?"


"Were you able to understand any of that?"


I think I was taking cloud and meeting up with lady sunset.


Am I here too?


Shake my head.


"Still, it's good to know we are in possession of the book and not them, we can try again later when more information becomes available."


Everyone was just getting ready to move on to Marenburg.
You can feel her muzzle on your inner thigh
"Does danger excite you?"
You probably went to Lady Sunset's camp with the others.
"If you don't want to spend any more… quality time together I think we should get going."


Shudder in… fear? anticipation?
"I suppose it does, at that… W-why?.."


Okay, guess I can wait aswell.


"For a long time now my life has been nothing but fear and pressure. So I need to be sure you can stand it."
Her words softly brush air against your stallionhood as she speaks…


Try to keep from whimpering at the sensation. '1d10'
"I-if I wasn't… I wouldn't have taken this job. For you… I'd go through Tartarus itself."

Roll #1 10 = 10


"I'm sure the others are worried by now." Smile " besides I don't want to be accused of kidnapping. "


Like solid steel you are.
In many ways.
But how long can you stand it?"
Two very powerful, yet very opposite sensations suddenly assault you.
The cold steel of the knife softly resting against your sack
And her tongue, slowly moving along your length
"Don't disappoint me~"
"Very well, let's move"
He give you a friendly slap on the flank and start walking


Oh boy. I really hope she isn't dissappointed…
'5d10+1' +1 because Crystal Emotions

Roll #1 1, 10, 5, 1, 4 + 1 = 22


Well, that depends on what she was hoping for.
If it was you unloading the moment she touched you, she was well served. You barely lasted long enough for her to finish speaking. However, with the fortitude of a living legend you are back at full capacity before she can even finish wiping your glitter glue off her face.
This feat alone is enough for her to drop the knife, and give this a more empirical attempt.
Thinking you are past the worst of it after enduring a few seconds, you loosed up, only to release a second time moments after.
She does eventually help you off the tree though, after you promise to wash her mane before heading to the other camp.



Smirk back at him and make way back to the group.


And so everyone gathered to camp, preparing their final plans for the move towards Marenburg


I'm sure they sell wonderful dresses in a place called marenburg.
Can't wait to see ZA WARUDO.


I'm ready to move.


Let's… put this place behind us.


"Everyone feel strong again?"


Having regained his composure, Calming Breeze takes the center.
"My plan is fairly simple. We know the cultists have escaped to Marenburg, and are probably very easy to spot among the populace.
However, asking around outright might scare them into hiding, or end up making someone tip them off of our intentions. Thus, my plan is to not ask anyone about the cultists and just search for them ourselves."


"So, pretty much exactly what we've been doing up till this point?"
How are my followers doing?


"That's it?. are we really just gonna run into one on street? What if we do find one?"


"You figure they'll just be walking around in black robes and chanting about demons?"


"Not like they are hard to spot."


Silk is still drying her mane.
Dulltooth is feeding Fern some bread over his shoulder.
Calming looks a bit offended
"Well… I know it sounds like a simple plan but…"


"Simple is good!"

Approach Silk cautiously. "…Sorry about… back there."


Look unimpressed.
"Well explain it again. Do we break down doors? Catch one and make him show us? Or what?"


"I don't have a better one anyway."


She smiles a bit
"It's fine. We don't need to bring it up if you'd rather forget it."
Calming seems to be at a loss of words for a moment, but Whimsyshine butts in
"I can try to cast something that will absolutely get their attention."


"Cast what?"


"Don't do anything that will be as bad as them." >>544776


"I don't want to… forget it, actually. Just want to… try and figure out how to better control myself next time."
Eye Whimsyshine suspiciously. "would this have anything to do with that shout from back in the caves?"


"I believe… I might be able to call the Gatewyrm."


"…woah there."


"That sounds…sinister."


"…It does. It does have to do with what I heard down in the tunnels. Whispy…"
Sigh and rub my temples.
"Just how do you intend to justify this?"




"If I call the beast, we may be able to use it to chase them down to their true lair. Where they took the artifacts they already stole."


"Yeah, and how exactly do you plan to call it?"


"…is that the only way? It sounds like a huge risk."


"All right, problem: how to we do this without corrupting our everlasting souls?"


"With just a little assistance with reading the tome, I may figure out the call that summons it."
"The only way? P-probably not. It just… felt like a surefire one…"
Grandheart gives you a mean look
Whimsyshine just looks at his hooves
"What is one soul… to save countless others?"


Nod. And inhale sharply. "Can you control it? This beast?"


"Are you sure you're not working with them?"


"I appreciate what you're trying to do; after all, a leader has to know that sometimes you can't save everyone.
But let me tell you something: no good general sacrifices even one soldier unless it is absolutely necessary.
If no alternatives present themselves, then we can reconsider this. But right now, I say it's not worth it if there's another way."


"Wait. Is it going to kill him?"


"I do not know if anything can. It may just do what it desires. But it will not harm its caller, that we have seen."
"If I was, why would I have not simply left already? I have the book right here."
"I doubt it will kill me.
…if I get it right.
…it was just an idea…"


"…Correct me if I'm wrong, but… didn't it eat the last guy who called it?"


"Still this sounds like a terrible idea. Absolute madness."


Shake my head a little. "If you can't control it why summon it? One does not use a rabid dog to hunt rabbits."


"It merely gave him shelter inside it. The gatewyrm is… for lack of a better word… sort of an organic portal."
"It performs a task it was made to perform. i do not know if I can force it to do more."
"I… guess…"


Facepaw and sigh.
"I guess we have no plan B…"


"Okay. Summon it. I will watch. Let me know if I should kill it."


"Well… I guess if we're going to do this, let's at least try to be prepared."


"I do not know if it is wise. But it will certainly get us all the attention we can ever ask for. Good or bad.
…if you truly… want to try it, I will need to get to the shore. It needs water to appear from."


"Are we sure about this?"


Stop this madness!
Stomp my hooves to the ground and shout in panic.
"This is crazy!"


"No, but if we die at least we won't be here to see the end of the world."

"It is. We are fighting fire with fire I guess."


"Not in the least.
…but something in my heart tells me it might work."
"P-perhaps we can… just… try going… to town and… asking about them…"


"We better!
I won't let heresy consume you, or anypony else, no matter how grave the matter!"


"We've been over this, asking around would just get us busted."


"We can send just one pony in to look? Somepony good at talking?"


Everyone looks at Calming, the usual face of the party
He looks uneasy
I suppose that'd be me then."


"And then we just do what we always do."
What about Silk? Does she look up to it?
"Maybe Silk could go ask a few questions?"


"Why so anxious? Would you like someone else to go with?"


Growl in anger.
"Let them come."


"Yeah, or let them flee from us forever and summon a dark god that brings the apocalypse. That sounds good to you?"


Silk shrugs
"I can give it a try"
"It's nothing. I can do this."

Send Silk?
Send Calming?
Send both?
Send someone else?


"Stand guard at the edge of town.
Stop anypony that tries to leave."


I trust Silk. I say we send her.


Send both


Send Silk.


"If silk fails you can still summon that other thing. Send her."



You take up positions on a small hill overlooking Marenburg. From here you can observe Silk's movements in town, and if need be, signal her with a torch or similar.
"Anything specific you want me to say/do, or should I just wing it?"


"Diplomacy isn't really my thing. Just send a sign if you need help."


"Maybe try using a few keyphrases, like "midnight forever?" Just be careful and signal us at the first sign of trouble."


Speak up.
"I could go as well."


"That's a good idea. Better to go as a pair right?"


Silk nods
"Should we both go, or just you?"


"I'd support this as well. Safety in numbers, after all."


"Let's go together."
I get up and start walking to town.


You head into town.
Marenburg seems quiet. Quaint. Laid back.
It reminds you a little of New Silent Lake, but without all the cheerful street life.
You can smell the sea in the streets here, the shore must be close.
A few ponies are milling about, one is gutting some fish.


"…I hope they'll be all right."


Do my eyes see anything suspicious? '1d10'

Roll #1 8 = 8


Not your eyes, but your ears.
Sounds like a sermon of some sort.


Perk my ears.
"Do you hear that, Silk?"
Follow where it's coming from.


It seems to be coming from the market…
As you head that way, you can see more and more ponies have gathered to listen


"I have faith in them. And they can always send a signal to use. "


Let's listen to the good preacher.


"Still, it makes me nervous, not being there with her…
You've felt like that before, right? When you're away from Cloudcover?"


"….only once."


"…I'm glad you understand, at least. Besides, after that little fiasco in the woods, I owe her."


You cannot see him, but his words still sound crystal clear to your ears.
He speaks of the night, and how all who fear it must prepare for it now, before it is too late.


"It will be okay." Pat you on the back.


Tap somepony on the shoulder and ask who's speaking.


Give a wan smile in acknowledgement of the gesture, then sigh.
"You and Cloudcover have it lucky. Your relationship… it's clear even from the outside that you're meant to be together. Part of me wishes mine was that simple."


Look concerned
"Do you have reason to question her faithfulness? Or is it her combat prowess that concerns you?"


He turns around. Looks like an old fisherman.
"It's the preacher, Silverchord. He has been giving these sermons for a while now, ever since he came to town.
I like to come and listen, they help calm me down."


"He does seem to speak with a passion rarely heard. What is this night he speaks of?"


Laugh a bit wryly.
"Considering we only became a couple earlier today, I think it's safe to say it's not a question of faithfulness. Especially considering-"
Blush and look away.
"-well, I suppose that's rather private.
No, I just… it feels so right, but… I worry that she's 'settling' for me when she could do so much better if she really wanted to."


"We've seen a lot of strange things lately. Some of the fishers are too scared to go out to sea any more, and nopony wants to take to the waters after dark. The stars look wrong, and it feels… evil is in the air.
But Silverchord has seen it before, and his words really help reassure us. Something about a night from a different time, when the night was not benevolent like our beloved Luna, but unknown and dangerous."


I scratch my head.
"I just came here recently and I too have seen many things. I told myself I was just imagining things. You people feel it too?"


"Oh yes. This eerie power in the air.
Some of the fishers said they saw a great big monster out at sea too."


"If you make her happy. Why worry for anything else? Unless it is a social matter? But I understood she had issues with the nobles?"


Act nervous.
"There must be somepony stopping it. I'm sure Princess Celestia and Luna will stop it!"


"I share your hopes, lad, I truly do.
But those are matters bigger than me or you, so I'm quite happy with just staying here and hoping for the best."


"What does Silverchord say will happen?
If he's as smart as you say, he must have an idea."


"Long story short, she's a common-born who tried- and succeeded -in passing herself off as being of noble blood, and when she was found out it ended messily.
That's not the issue, though; I actually sympathize with her. No, she's absolutely… amazing, and wonderful…
And I just feel like… how is a spoiled little colt like me going to make her happy when I can't even…?"


"He tells of old legends of the nights growing long, and finally morning never rising again. But that we need not worry, so long as we are prepared."


"How should we prepare? I don't want to be stuck in neverending night!"


"Then stay a while, and listen"


Listen further.
How does the well-spoken priest in the middle of cult territory suggest we respond to this heretic threat?


"Be loyal to her. And defend her when she needs you. " nod firmly. "And stand by her when things look bad. That's love."


Smile. "That I can definitely do. She says I'm the only colt to ever make her feel safe."
Chuckle and shake my head.
"Forgive me for being so melodramatic. I just, well… I discovered that I'm… not as good as I'd hoped with, well…" Make vaguely lewd gestures.


"…so remember, hope endures. Hope survives. Hope dies last. Where there is hope, there is light, and where there is light, the night can never last forever.
The weapons of the night are as numerous as they are faceless. They sow fear in your hearts, confusion in your minds, worry in your souls and unease in your stomachs. Do not let them. They speak words of madness that drive your heads wild and your ears aflame. Close yourselves away from such.
They will take those close to you to wound your hearts, and wound your bodies when you do not expect it. So steel your hearts, and open your eyes.
Be vigilant, be skeptical, be courageous and be hopeful. For those are the bane of the eternal night. So long as these are the kinds of souls that fill Equestria, midnight can never be forever."


Snicker "you'll have to practice then."


"What a speaker. I'd love to meet with him."


Smile sheepishly. "Yeah… I suppose I will. Hope I get the chance to when all this is over. Hope we all do."


"We will succeed don't worry. "


"He does have a gift with words. He usually speaks from the old bell tower."
He points at the other end of the market, at an old church


"Thank you for your time, sir. And take care in these dark times."


Dulltooth and Fern seem to have hit it off rather well.
…How much you want to bet I can make sure they're a couple before this whole thing is done?"


"You are a match maker that cadence herself would be proud of."


"You take care too, lad.
Keep that light lit in your heart."


"Well we are loyal servants of the empire, are we not? Besides, I'm just giving them the little push they need to find happiness together."
Speaking of which, where is Dulltooth and Fern?


Trot towards the old bell tower.
"What do you think about our shining beacon of hope, Silk?"


Fern is stretching her legs out of the basket for a change.
"Either a honest beacon of hope in the coming darkness, or a well-spoken deceiver working for the enemy."


"In either case, if he is standing against these cultists, he might have an idea of their activities here, I find it hard to believe they would let somepony like that in their city. If not, he is almost certainly one of them."


"I am better at killing the empire's enemies than at helping young love bloom." Smile.


"So, to the bell tower then?"


"Hey there Fern! Been a while since we talked. How have you been holding up?"
"Well, you have your skills, and I have mine."


Bell tower it is.


Nod at that
"That is what a team is about. And why Whisper and Silk are investigating and I am not."


"The basket is nice but it can get a little cramped. Remind me to not put on any weight."
Ponies are starting to leave back into their homes as the sermon comes to an end. Only a few remain to clean up around the church.
It seems this place hasn't seen much official use in years. Indeed there is no bell in the tower, and the pews have been replaced with hay bales and stools.


Can I see this Silverchord somewhere? '1d10'

Roll #1 2 = 2


"I'm sure Dulltooth wouldn't mind letting you walk every now and then if you wanted.
Speaking of which, how's Dulltooth been treating you?"


Not down here. He must still be up in the bell tower.
The only way up is a ladder.
"The old lug is nice enough. Though he isn't very good at getting hints. I need to be pretty blunt about what I need and when."


I suppose we can climb up.


You clamber up into the bell tower, and come face to face with the ass end of a pony who is leaning over the side of the tower looking over the town.


"Bet that's frustrating, dropping hints all over the place only for him to completely miss them? Ah well, guys tend to be like that. Maybe you need to be blunt with him about it, even if it is a little scary."


"I suppose I could just cut a hole in the basket bottom too…"


Back my head a bit back.
"Excuse me, sir"


"Yes, I suppose that could work…
You seem to stick very close to him most of the time, even though you were a diamond dog slave for a long time. Anything going on with that?"


He turns around in a single fluid motion
"Ah, hello. I don't think I've seen you around town before."
"Well, big dog like him should be able to keep me safe from any other dogs, right?"


That certainly is better than staring at his balls.
Go up.
"Yes, we're new arrivals. I'm Shield and this is Cotton. Sorry for barging in like this, but we were so moved by your courageous words, we just had to meet the pony who spoke them."


Grin at her. "Are you sure that's the only reason? I've seen your eyes wander when you think nopony's looking."


"Ah. Welcome, both of you.
I've made a temporary home in this tower on my travels, once I saw all the ponies here in need of guidance and hope."
"Are you making some sort of implication here?"


How is she reacting to this?


"The whole town seems to cling to your word."


Calm and flat.
It might be that she really hasn't looked at Dulltooth like that.
"I am fortunate to be of help to them. It lends some purpose to my life as well."


"Are you telling me, that after all that time feeling his muscles rippling beneath your hooves, his paws wrapping around you with uncanny gentleness when he picks you up and puts you down, and you still haven't noticed what you're doing? You really do have it bad, don't you?"


"You really are trying to make implications here, aren't you?"


"I don't hear you saying I'm wrong."


"He's a dog."


"And I'm a crystal pony. Do you have any difficulty picturing taking me to bed?" Scrunch. "Wait, don't answer that."
"Look, if you don't believe me, here: Sit here with me, watch Dulltooth for a while, then look me in the eyes and tell me there's nothing about him you find attractive."


"He seems more like a guardian than a husband.
A master if you really need to evoke that mental image."


"You haven't seen the way he acts with kids, have you? Guy's a big softie underneath all that muscle. Did you know that the night we rescued you, he sat a vigil by your side the whole night? I went to check on him later, and he'd fallen asleep in his chair next to your bed, watching over you.
You're right about him being a guardian… but isn't a father supposed to act as a guardian for his family? He might be a little thickheaded at times, but so can almost any stallion.
Plus, it doesn't hurt that he's really good at se-"
Clap my hooves over my mouth and blush scarlet.


She raises a brow
"What are you, his wingpony?
Besides… not like I could turn him into a father even if I did want to."


"It was a one-time thing, Okay!" Blush hard and look away.
"Smooth Silk suggested it, and Dulltooth was horny… and I was curious…
B-besides, he doesn't necessarily want to be a father; I was just pointing out that he's got a gentle side too!"


She stops just as she is about to say something
"Wait so you… and him?"


"Well, me and Silk are together, and sometimes she likes to watch, so… she brought it up, we talked to Dulltooth, and… she got her show."
Blush harder and stare at my hooves.
"He's… really good with those paws. You think you know how it goes, and then he…
L-like I said, it was a one-time thing, nothing serious, just… working off tension."


She cocks her head to one side
"Look son that's maybe just a little too much info.
I'm glad you and him are happy but really, I don't know if I need any part of that."
Fer slight blush and occasional glancing at Dulltooth do show that your words awoke… something in her though.



The plot continues to thicken as the sun begins to set.
From your vantage point you saw Whisper and Silk make contact with the priest Silverchord, but nothing outright suspicious has happened. Not yet at least.


Look impatiently at the horizon.
"How much longer will they take?"


Well then, since there's nothing else to do and I've already softened up Fern, it's time to work on Dulltooth.
"Hey there big guy. How have you been holding up?"


Keep observing.


You can always signal them if you wish them to return.
"Battles beginning to make me weary. Could use some rest. Peace and quiet."


Patience is important..
I'll just walk around the campsite.. '1d10' to spot anything off.

Roll #1 5 = 5


"I know the feeling. It's always easier to rest when you have somepony-or someone- at your side to help you. By the way, how's Fern been doing? She hasn't been giving you any trouble, has she?"


Nothing in the camp seems amiss. Grandheart is sitting with his friend as he reads the Tome of Forbidden Arts, even though it is clear the massive warrior can't read any of it.
"Not trouble. Very cooperative. Strong heart.
Not whiny or sad. Helps me be happy too."


Might as well join them.
"How is the studying going?"


"Sounds like she's really started to rub off on you. She did mention that she'd like the chance to walk around more often, just to stretch her legs."
Give him a grin.
"Or maybe you're wanting to give her legs a different kind of workout?"


So, any update on the surveilance?


"It is slow. The writing was not meant for normal eyes, and it strains me greatly…"
"Should let her out of basket more I suppose. Just feels safe keeping her close."


Sit down next to him concerned. "I see. Are you making sure to look away from time to time?"


"Just, ah… just how close has she been letting you keep her? If you understand what I'm asking."


"If I could burn my eyes to help me read better I would. This cursed thing taunts me."
"Basket is on back. Fern is in basket."


"So… what? Is she so completely unattractive, you can't stand to look at her?"


"is it really that hard?" look over his shoulder. '1d10'

Roll #1 2 = 2


"She is nice. Would not want to ruin what we have."
The text seethes. Crawls. Pulses.
It is not ink on paper. It is a fragment of a dark god torn asunder, writhing in agony in a parchment prison. If it had eyes, they would stare into your soul. If it had a mouth, it would scream until the world no longer had ears.
And Whimsyshine is determined to beat it.


Glare at the text. "You know.. you don't have to read that evil thing.. we can find other ways."


Give him a knowing smile. "And… what if she was interested?"


"I can defeat it.
I know I can…"
"Hard to say. She had bad history with dogs."


Nod. "If that is your true desire. Be sure to take care of yourself. Body and Soul."


"I'm not asking why she wouldn't be interested. I'm asking… What if she was? You've got to admit, she's pretty attractive."


"I will not be taunted by a mere book. I am a sorcerer, sorcery is my slave, not my master."
"She is pony.
…pony is nice."


"Be sure it stays that way."


Is he at all flustered by all this?
"What if I told you she was a little bit interested? Maybe if you play your cards right, she'll get fully interested."


"Oh I will. I will…"
It's hard to tell.
"Never was good at cards."

Calming Breeze seems to have gotten impatient…


"If you want, I could help you out. After all, with the way she's been eying you, it'd be a shame if you weren't willing to at least try."


"You like seeing people get together, don't you?"


"I like seeing people happy, and nothing makes someone happier than finding someone to be together with. I just give a little push to what's already there, that's all."


Meanwhile, in a tower


"Mister Silverchord, is there any way we can help you with your goal to help the ponies here against the coming darkness?"
I wave to both of us.
"You might not see it, but we have quite some experience in combat."


Where were we?


"The dark has no power over a heart filled with light. Even the tiniest fragment of light can overpower the deepest incarnation of darkness, for the more dark there is around it, the brighter that light will seem, and the more it will stand out.
So long as the good word is in their hearts… the dark will not take this place."


"I've found that's all nice in theory, but in practice a good heart supplied with some courage and a sword can do the job quicker."


Whisper and Silk went to the bell tower to talk to a traveling preacher.
The rest of you stayed behind on a hill out of town.
Whimsyshine is silently trying to study the Tome of Forbidden Secrets. Grandheart is keeping him company.
Calming Breeze is pacing around, casting long looks at the town below. Lady Sunset is sitting near him. Sunsong is keeping a little distance, but standing at constant attention.
"You cannot cut the dark with a sword…"


"So you suggest we just wait here and let them come and hope that somehow our heart will protect us?"


"What else would you do?
My power is in my words, not in my hooves. I am a herald of hope and faith. The antithesis of dark's harbingers."


"I would find the ponies who spread those dark beliefs and bring them lights justice! Not you, mr Silverchord, your strenght lays in words and we need it, but my strength lays somewhere else.
I just do not know where to strike!"


What about cloudy?


Stretching his wings under a tree
"I would listen more if only I could, but I am but two ears in this town of many mouths.
Perhaps someone who meets the locals more could say better. The innkeeper perhaps. His establishment is near the docks."


"Thanks. Please continue your preaching. We need it now more than ever."


Sit near him.
"So. You think they're okay down there?"


"They should be. We've seen no sign of trouble at least."
"I will, after I rest my voice a little.
If you need me, I will be up here."


Take my leave.
Go to the inn!


"I'm not very good at waiting, Its even harder when.. all I can think about is that damned corruption.."


Do you wish to signal the others or go in silence?
"We have nary a weapon to wield against it though. If we let it consume our thoughts, we may charge right into a trap."


Give a discontented grunt. "I know, I just thought you might have some secret to keeping your thoughts clear."
Stare at the horizon.


Let's signal the others.
So we can this plot moving.


Silk gives you a mirror, letting you flash a signal up onto the hill, and then at the inn on the docks.
The signal!
Whisper has given the Signal!
He is headed for the inn by the docks
"Seems like we have something."


Leap up and start troting down there. "Yes! Lets get down to that inn!"


Meet up with them.
"I've heard the innkeeper might be able to tell us more."


"So.. what did you find out besides that inn keepers are knowledgeable?"


"That there's a very influential preacher around here, doing his part to keep the townspeople courageous. It surprises me the cult isn't trying to undermine him."


Tilt my head. "Really? Well its good to hear that the town's spirit is strong. Maybe that means they'll help us."


"I'm not sure, but I hope so."


Nod. "Nothing left but to try."
Walk into the Inn.


Trot in.


It is a quiet place. Nobody here but some fishermen and a few who look like they might be merchants.


Nuzzle Silk affectionately. "I knew you could do it. That silver tongue of yours is as effective as any sword."
"So, what's the plan?"


Ask for a mug of ale.


"Talk to this inn keeper, and hope he's cooperative I think."


A few of the patrons eye you up as you enter, but the barmaid pours Cassie's drink without a word.



"Hey, innkeep, pour me a double."


I've no idea what we chose to do.


Nod a thank you and start sipping.


Silk smiles
"I can't claim all the credit though."
Whisper signaled everyone to meet him at the Inn by the docks to check for more info.
Tastes watered down. Thirsty seamen probably don't mind…
The barmaid silently continues pouring.


Sit at the bar and order some food. Lettuce something.


Inn by the docks, let's see what's there.


Supreme Survival, spot check, anything at all that could be suspicious about the ponies here?


Throw her a few bits.
"Any curious fellows passed by here recently?"



"Still, I'm glad I was right about your skill with words.
…I was worried, you know? I knew in my head that you could handle it, and that even if things went south you'd just signal us, but… I still worried."


The merchant-looking guys might be from out of town by the looks of them. Their clothes do not match those of the other patrons.
"A new boat came by. Docked to rest."
She is ignoring the money
"You don't seem to have a whole lot of faith in me"


How many of them are there?


'1d10' look them over, are they armed? how many?

Roll #1 10 = 10


Lean in and whisper.
"So… Uh… What now?"


Leave them there.
"Really…..anything else?"
Throw some more bits '1d10'

Roll #1 1 = 1


Seems like just three of them here.
One is carrying what seems to be a portable cannon. The others just have small sabers and don't look like fighters.
One of the bits pings off the table and hits the barmaid on the butt
"I am not for sale…"



"I do have faith in you. It's me I'm worried about: I mean, I promised to protect you, and… It'd be just like me to bungle it up at a crucial moment.
Is it wrong to be terrified of sending someone you care about into the unknown?"


"Everypony has her price. But I just want information now, if you haven't seen anything, just keep the change."


"Only three? Should we just.. say hello?"


…might find it a little hard to know how that feels."
The barmaid shrugs and walks into the back room. As she goes, a larger stallion comes out. His mane looks a little greasy and is hanging over his left eye.
He wipes a tomato peel off his shoulder and looks you over
"Oh. I see we have new arrivals.


"Wouldn't that arouse suspicions?"



"Hello, innkeep. Lovely establishment you have here. And lovely employees."


Wave my hoof in greeting.


"okay then."
"Hello!" Greet him by waving my hoof.


"Part of me hopes you never have to. Now, not to cut this conversation short, but I believe we need to focus on gathering information."


"The lass can be a little quiet. She is handy to have around but has long since grown tired of being nice to patrons."
"What a lively bunch.
Might an old innkeep inquire as to what brought you to our humble little port?"


"Eh, who can blame her?"


"It was recommended as a nice place to relax."


"A curious recommendation. Most folks only ever want to pass through or move in…"
"I get complaints all the time. Mostly from folks who can't tell an inn from a brothel, like those three in the corner."


"New folks?"


"Really? What attracting people to move in?"


"The quiet life.
This place never sees much action, and for some folks, that's everything they ever wanted."
"Another merchant boat making a little pitstop before finishing their trip towards the bigger ports. A lot of them come through here on their way to Manehatten or Baltimare.
Most of 'em turn out to be troublemakers."


"Any new arrivals lately, but not by boat, from the mainland?"


"Hmm I see.. any large groups moving through lately?"


To Silk.
"So, you're the one who came down here first. Where should we start?"


"Just the crazy priest who moved into the bell tower."
"No large groups… no."
"I don't see anything out of the ordinary here.
Maybe they have a… hidden lair or something."


Perk a brow.
"Excuse me?"


"Crazy priest?"


Listen carefully.


"Some unhinged sod that started preaching from the old bell tower about how we need to… prepare ourselves for something. I never paid him much mind."


"Hmm.. I see, what about ponies buying up homes all the sudden?"


"How long ago was that?"


Drink some.
"Some ponies, huh?"


"I dunno. Some days ago maybe?
I'll be honest - things are so quiet around here I don't really notice the passage of time. I don't even have a clock."
"Not really. Just the slow influx of people moving in, and the old timers dying out.
The only real change in a long time was that the seas got more dangerous."


"What made the seas calm?"


"More fish, less sea monsters.
Or, well, I don't know if the monsters are real. But that's what they blame the recent sinking boats on."


"I met this priest before.
He didn't seem that weird to me.
Many ponies listened to him."


My ears perk up a bit. "Recent sinking? How recent?"


"Ponies listen when there is nothing better to do."
He shrugs
"Past few… weeks I'd wager.
Might be some new rocks in the water or some new pirate band out at sea if you ask me.

Say… you lot were actually going to do business too and not just chat, right?"


"I'd like some food yes." give him a few bits. "And my friends have been drinking."


"Who doesn't like a chat?"


"If y'all want rooms, the drinks are on the house."


Glance at the others.
"That sounds like a fair deal."


"Sure why not. We've got so much time to spend here." sigh and shake my head. "How many rooms you got sir?"


"I'm sure I can… squeeze you in.
Would you prefer the ground floor, top floor or basement?"


"You have rooms in your basement?"


"Doesn't matter to me, but we have a large group as you can see."


"Well, I used to have a storage room in the basement but ended up turning it into a big guest room at one point. It doesn't see much use these days, save for some larger ashore parties."


"Oh, that sounds like it might be big enough to hold our little vacation party."


"Well, maybe half of you. But the rest can have other rooms"
He points at Calming and his group


"Hmm I see." munch on my food.


Do you wish to spend the night at this Inn or come up with an alternative plan?


Eh, I'm good. If nothing comes to me during the night, I'll explore the sewers tomorrow.
Also no faff, I'm straight to bed!


buy the room and make a new plan there? Maybe explore at night?


Buying a room here would be a good cover story at least.


"A room it is then."
He gives you a heavy key
"Sorry if the door's a little heavy. It is a basement after all."
He then proceeds to give some keys to the others
"You can sleep upstairs."
Finally he turns back to you
"If you need anything, do not hesitate to come look for me. But please don't make a ruckus at night. The other patrons deserve their sleep too."


"We'll tell the love birds to keep it quiet."


"Of course. I wouldn't dream of making a ruckus."


"Right. Thanks for the room.
And about that free booze…"


Give him a costanza look.


He slides you another mug of watered down grog
He then pulls out a pipe and starts smoking it lazily. Something about the smell is odd, yet familiar.


Can my doge senses identify it?


Roll #1 7 = 7


give you a flat stare back.


It smells like a narcotic.
The same stuff that you lit up back in Silent Lake.


Finish the mug.
"Ah, I wish I didn't lose my trusty pipe a few weeks back. I could go for a good smoke right now."


"That costs extra."



Rolling for dreams '1d10'

Roll #1 9 = 9


"How much?"


You sleep rather soundly, dreaming of yourself banishing the dark with great blades of light.
"I can sell a pipefull for… fifty bits."


"You can sell it for thirty."


"I can… but I won't.
This stuff is hard to come buy these days…"


groan at this conversation. "I'm taking a walk. See you back at the room."
'1d10' walk around town looking for anything off.

Roll #1 1 = 1


"Yeah? What is it that makes it so expensive?"


It may have been unwise to let Cloudcover tag along. Your eyes seem to wander quite a bit…
"My old greedy pockets~
But I like you, so I'll make you a special offer.
Forty nine."


"I like you too, so I can buy it for thirty five."


"Ehem" look away from that "So.. we're sure this is the right town?"


He blows some smoke in your face
"I don't want to make bad deals"
Something here is amiss… but I can't quite tell what.
That preacher is the only person who seems off…"


"Lets see if we can get a private sermon then." go find the preacher '1d10'

Roll #1 2 = 2


After a bit of walking about, you find yourselves in a secluded alley
"This is about as private as we can get on short notice~"


"I don't see how that is a bad deal."


"Oh.. Cloudy, did you do this on purpose?" kiss him '1d10'

Roll #1 5 = 5


"I don't get a lot, and it has to last a long time.
Forty five."
"I thought that was what you meant…"
He looks a little embarrassed about the misunderstanding


"Is it something special?


"It is for those who know how to use it.
Forty two and you clean the kitchen"


"You really missed you huh." Touch his cheek and stare into his eyes. "We can have fun later, for now we should at least try to work."
'1d10' is there a church here?

Roll #1 7 = 7


"Y-yeah… later…"
He tries to shift around a bit to not make it too obvious how prepared he was for this.
The church is right around the corner.


"There is more than one way to smoke?
Thirty seven and I won't tell anyone you water your ale."


"Don't worry.." go up to the church and try the door.


"Forty one and a hug"
The door has long since fallen to disrepair. nobody really uses this place.


Scratch my head. "Uh.. so the preacher isn't here.." '1d10' take a lantern and look inside.

Roll #1 7 = 7


"Thirty nine, a hug and an ear-scratch, but you tell me why it's special."


"I suppose he lives up in the tower."
he tosses you a packet of powder

You know what this is going nowhere
prepare for a time skip if I can't get it back on track


"Ready for a climb cloudy?" up we go!


Examine the powder.

Roll #1 1 = 1


Somepony is sleeping at the top of the tower, in a warm patch of light left by the setting sun.
You open the packet and take a sniff, making the entire power load fly up your nose.
You feel dizzy. Laying down might be a good idea.
"Careful there pal."


Okay, time to go to the room and sleep this off.


knock on the wall to wake him.


You struggle to make it back downstairs. The world around you is going nuts. The stones are peeling off the walls… the floor is falling into a gaping void under it… your eyes are filling with mist and smoke… and there is a constant wailing noise in your ears…
He pops his head up
"Wh-who is it?"


"Are you the preacher?" '1d10' look at his room, does it seem.. suspicious.

Roll #1 3 = 3


Well crap.
Find that bed ASAP!
This was a pretty dumb idea. The ponies are rubbing off on me.

Roll #1 5 = 5


Can I see Cassie in trouble? '1d10'

Roll #1 1 = 1


You decide to give her a check as she stumbles in.
She sneezes, giving you a face full of strange powder.
…the walls look a lot less sturdy all of a sudden. Maybe you should lay down.
You sneeze on Whisper and fall over onto a bed. Even though it looks like a slab of raw meat, it is surprisingly comfy.
It's not much of a room just the open top of a bell tower, sans bell.
He has nothing here but a bedroll.
"Yes. My name is Silverchord.
how can I help you two?"


This reminds me of that time I tried opium.
Aaaaaaw shit.
Sit down and let the waves roll over me '1d10'

Roll #1 9 = 9


Sit down with him. "Where are you from? Why is your church in such a bad state?"


Can I snap out of it?
"Why would anyone want to do this…"

Roll #1 1 = 1


"Sssshhh, when you fight it, the stuff goes bad, just let it wash over you."


"I travel hither and tither. This is not my church, but it had fallen to disuse so I took up temporary residence here. It was a good place to speak to the people from."
Cassie goes into a coughing fit, willing the air with loose powder.
The wailing sound in your ears is starting to shift. It is becoming a strange pounding noise and the distant grinding of metal.
The air looks heavy. The walls are shedding.
You are no longer entirely sure what is real.


"Eh, what kinda stuff is this? I didn't try it before."


"Something from the inkeeper… I recognized the smell from that lake…"
Bang my ears a few times, make it stop!

Roll #1 6 = 6




The banging and scraping stops.
Everything stops.
You can hear Whisper's voice just fine, but all the ambient noise is gone. Moving makes no sound. Touching things makes no sound.


"I see. And do the ponies like your speeches? "


"I do not know. But they do come to listen."
The sun hangs low on the horizon.
All you can see below are a few ponies repairing nets and absentmindedly smoking typical sailor pipes. Seems common around here.


"I see.. What is that they are all smoking?" I ask concerned.


Snap my fingers beside my ears.
"Silent Lake… the drug that burned up, this is the same stuff."


"You mean, where all those cultists are?"
Good shit, that takes me back
Rolling for deciding wether my stoned ass should try to talk to the innkeeper '1d10'

Roll #1 10 = 10




"The lake where was we found the mirror, with the ghosts and everything."


"Probably just tobacco. You know how sailors are."
He clearly has no idea.
But the faint smell brings back memories of the ghostly madness you saw in Silent Lake.
You walk down the staircase leading up to the ground floor.
You enter the below ground ground floor.
The walls are staring at you


I know how this works.
Stare back! Stare them into submission '1d10'

Roll #1 5 = 5


Shiver. "Okay." talk to him calm and quietly "You should move on to the next town. In the morning if you can. Its not safe here."


What's going on here at the inn?


Is sound coming back yet?

Roll #1 1 = 1


It's a wall bro. It can do this all day.
You can hear some shambling in the far corners of your hearing.
The grinding metal has returned. Worryingly, it sounds like it's trying to form words now.
You all got a room in the basement. You were woken by some violent coughing from Cassie, and now your head feels a little light.
Also, the stone basement seems to be bleeding. Somehow.
You are not entirely sure how that is even possible. But there are traces of strange powder on your nose.
"I have come here to awaken the hearts of the citizens here. I cannot leave them defenseless in the face of the coming darkness."


Heal the stone basement!
"You pons see this cray cray shit?"

Roll #1 1 + 2 = 3


Aw shit, we're surrounded!
This is not a good place to be right now.
It is time to leave for safer places.
Find a way to the outside, I feel like I can handle infinity better now than paranoia. '1d10'

"Cassie, Fire, follow me, we have to move safer environments."

Roll #1 2 = 2


What words?
Can I make it out?

Roll #1 2 = 2


"Move environments?
I'm not a pegasus!"


A great tear opens in the ceiling, dripping dark sludge.
You are alone in there. The others have left you.
Lady Sunset is upstairs. But you are not sure if concepts like "up" are valid any longer.
You turn to the stairwell behind you, grab the rope, and descend down into the well with one hoof in the bucket.
Once you reach the bottom, you see you stand among a vast ocean of water with no horizon visible.
No. It is not a language mortal ears should ever comprehend. But it seems to be talking with someone. Or something.
Perhaps you should find some stairs.


Top priority stairs!
I don't wanna get that sludge on me.

Roll #1 4 = 4


Supreme Survivor, spot check.
What is it talking to?


"Guys, we're gonna need some waterproof boots!"
Climb back up to find boots '1d10'

Roll #1 9 = 9


Give a tired sigh "What do you know of the darkness priest?"


You all converge next to the staircase leading up.
Far up, into the darkness.
The Iron Voice in the far distance still speaks to whoever is willing to listen. It asks for ears. Ears deaf to all else. Ears long since ruined to this world. But awoken to the next.
It calls for its followers.
It calls for them to pay tribute.
"It surrounds us all."
He annoyedly rubs his ear for a second
"And lest we learn to keep the light in our hearts strong, it will consume us all."


Does this voice seem like a friend to me '1d10'

Roll #1 9 = 9


Bad voice.
"That's a bad voice. We should go there and tell it to shut up."


'1d10' huh is something happening?
"Did you hear something?"

Roll #1 1 = 1


Yeah, I'm with Whisper here.
Friend check?

Roll #1 7 = 7


The only voice I listen to is that of the Big Sis'!"
Make a cheering motion with a hoof, squeeking a bit.


"Pay tribute my ass… I'm with whisper on this one."


He seems to be getting a headache
"It's… my ear.
Something is wrong about it…
He trails off for a moment, looking entirely blank
But then snaps out of it
"…did I just…
…what did I just do?"
Do you wish to climb up towards the darkness above or delve deeper into the darkness below


look concerned. "Is the darkness.. inside of you? I have some friends that are effected similarly.."


Climb up, the voice is coming from there, right?


Up and down are very confusing concepts.
I'll go up to the darkness below '1d10'

Roll #1 8 = 8


Eeeeh, I'm too out of this to think.
Let's instead go down the darkness inside my soul, crawling in my skin!

Roll #1 1 = 1


"Cloud? what do you make of this?"


What's happening? Why is everyone tripping balls?


"…did I say that?
Tell me I did not say that.
What have I been saying lately?"
You reach into yourself and touch your heart.
You come face to face with yourself in the darkness. You look concerned. Remorseful. Sad.
You each take a different set of stairs
The world contort around you as each step seems to be a burden. Forces beyond your control distort your understanding of the world, and while the center of your vision remains dark, the corners of your eyes catch glimpses.
Glimpses of fire. Of faces. Of voices.
It probably has something to do with the odd powder and smoke in the air.
Roll to see how well you have resisted the effects.
"I don't like it. Look."
He points down at the street.
Ponies are on the move. Carrying torches of dark flame. Dozens of them.


Mindblowing '1d10'

Roll #1 1 = 1


"Hey sad me.
Stop being sad and be HOLY POWER OF THE PRINCESSES instead!"
Heal my own heart.

Roll #1 1 + 2 = 3


Ignore them.
They are all dumb.
Keep going.

Roll #1 10 = 10




"I wish I could tell you something different, but you have been talking about the darkness, and holding onto the light inside you."
glance outside concerned. "will you be okay here? Can you control yourself? Or should we tie you to something?"


The other you removes her cloak, revealing her disemboweled body.
Her eyes stare into yours, shaking as if they wished to be glistening with tears. But she has long since ran out of tears to shed.
"You did not keep this heart pure."
Cassie grabs Whisper as he proceeds to sample the barstool and walks both of you outside.
The cold sea air helps clear your heads a tiny bit, but nothing still looks even close to normal.
You can hear chanting from the streets towards the church.
You should take these, and run. Run right now and run as far as you can.
There is no saving me any more."
He pushes a pile of papers onto you


Hooh boy. Rolling for me, Dulltooth, Silk, and Fern. '4d10'

Roll #1 1, 1, 4, 5 = 11


"Chanting. We must tell them to stop chanting!"
Go towards the chanting '1d10'

Roll #1 5 = 5


Slide the papers into my bag and stare at him. "I'm going to tie you here and come back once I stop this."
"Cloud give me a hoof."
'1d10' tie him up so he can't join the parade downstairs.

Roll #1 5 = 5


"…B-but I love only the s-sisters!"
Take a step forward, almost trying to hug her.


Deep breaths.
Walk towards it.

"We will."


You awaken in a hellscape of flesh-draped walls and floors slick with bodily fluids. The mutilated bodies of dozens have been stitched over the walls, covering great gaping holes into nothingness, from which something is trying to claw its way towards you, through the bindings of flesh and skin.
Dulltooth is trying to swat away some unseen attacker.
Silk is trying her best to escape the room.
Fern is stuck inside the basket.
You head for the chanting, and as you turn a corner, you see half a dozen locals carrying torches of dark flame.
They are heading for the old church.
"Throw me over the edge before I can do anything more.
I feared this would catch up with me. And now it has."
"You let doubt gnaw your heart hollow. Anger fill that void with darkness. Fear heat that darkness to a boil. And shame make it explode throughout your body.
You let this happen."


Am I still high as a kite?


"I'm not throwing you anywhere old man. You're staying here. While I go smite those cultist. Got it?" Don't even wait for him to answer just walk down to the street and follow the dark fire.


Oh shit! Something invisible is attacking Dulltooth! Hit whatever's attacking him! '1d10'

Roll #1 7 = 7


Hug that talky bitch.

Roll #1 8 = 8


Follow them I guess.


You can roll to see how much the sea air helped clear you up
1 - not at all
10 - stone sober
You and cloud climb down from the tower.
But there is no need to search far. They are coming for the church.
You swat at thin air, slip on the floor and fall over backwards, through one of the flesh coverings and out the door.
You see Fire Blossom hugging herself out in the seemingly endless void
She feels cold and clammy
"Do not let yourself become me. Do not let your heart be lost like mine was.
Because the heart is our greatest strength, and greatest weakness. Whether we be ponies of the light, or monsters of the dark."



Roll #1 7 = 7



Roll #1 1 = 1


"Halt! What business have you here?" Stand in front of the church steps.


"Fire Blossom!" Go give her a hug; she must know how to fix this! She always does! '1d10'

Roll #1 7 = 7


Do I register that?

Roll #1 2 = 2


The world is not entirely right yet, but at least you can make some sense of it.
The townsfolk seem to all be cultists, and a dozen of them are headed for the church.
Sounds of battle further down the docks area implies that this was not all that is happening.
The faceless beasts of the deepest abyss have risen to take their vengeance upon this world. Clothed in black flames and speaking in a language composed entirely of mad screams, this endless legion marches onwards with an intent to devour the great spire of flesh jutting from the landscape like a perverse monument to gluttony and lust.
You do.
But you yourself must choose to let go of your hollow self. Betray what little trust it may have in you. Let it fall back into the shadows inside you. And be forgotten forever.
She just… stands there.
The innkeeper stands among them
"The time of sacrifice is upon us once more.
The dark must feed."


Oh shit….

Get my sword ready!


No way man, I'm saving this pone.
Heal her spilled guts back together and stuff.
"Hang in there girl…"

Roll #1 9 + 2 = 11


"No. You're not sacrificing anyone!
cloud fly the old man out of here, I'll hold them back as long as I can"
'1d10+2' shatter the inn keeper

Roll #1 9 + 2 = 11


Get to the fighting '1d10'

Roll #1 9 = 9


"Blossom? Blossom, snap out of it!" Shake her out of whatever daze she's in! '1d10'

Roll #1 1 = 1


"Shhh, I can hear you!
But I can't let her fall!"


Careful where you put those hooves mister.
You carefully lift up her hollow heart and fold it back together. You take her hoof and place it in it, and then, together, you help it back in place, and seal it where it belongs.
The other you looks into your eyes with a glimmer of hope in her smile
"Remember this. It will save you later."
She then finally returns your hug and fades away.
You see Cloud rocket out of the top of the tower as you charge the innkeeper and send him flying, splattering teeth and blood on the cobblestone road.
You charge in from the side, pushing back a couple of other cultists.
This battle seems rather stacked against you with your current odds. Do you wish to stand your ground here?


I can Cleave three of them!

We should probaby get to a better fighting spot after that though

Roll #1 4 = 4


Let's see

Roll #1 2 + 2 = 4


Smile happily and blink, to return finally to reality.
Okay, battle report.


'1d10'. Cleave 4 ponies. "Stop this madness"

Roll #1 4 = 4


That reminds me…
"Silk! Silk, where are you?" Find Silk! '1d10'

Roll #1 3 = 3


You, Ember and his minions are in the basement.
The others are topside.
You can hear a fight is going on.
She is whimpering in a corner, swatting at something.
Coral's massive swing lands far too wide, and she falls over before getting jumped by a cultist.
Whisper gets kicked in the chin before he can launch into a flurry
And Cassie trips over her own pants.
Things are not looking too good.


Upstairs, quick!
I will run to the others!"


Time for a retreat get Cassie up '1d10'

Roll #1 10 = 10


'1d10' get up

Roll #1 9 = 9


Your head has cleared enough that you can understand the structure of the stairwell. Soon enough you burst out the inn door and into the streets.
You can hear fighting towards the church, and down by the piers.
Everyone is back up on their feet.
Even the innkeeper, despite his fractured skull.
"Yes. Fear us. Run.
It will make your souls all the sweeter."


To the church!


Time for a strategical retreat to the church '1d10'

Roll #1 10 = 10


I'll just go where the others take me.
Am I still on acid?

Roll #1 1 = 1


'1d10' "not running" blast on the nearest cultist

Roll #1 3 = 3


You rush for the church and see Cassie, Coral and Whisper fighting a group of cultists
You probably should be.
You get clobbered with an oar
The sounds are returning. The terrible, terrible sounds.
The voice that speaks from beyond the immeasurable depths. The will of a monster you can never begin to comprehend.
All you know, is that it guides them.
And soon it may guide you.
You yank Cassie, Coral and Blossom with you into the church and jam the door with a nearby wood beam.
This should buy you a short moment at least.

There isn't much in the church. Just some stools. an old altar, and the ladder to the old bell tower.


"Anypony got a plan?"


"Damnit you should have let me have at th-"
Turn around as soon as I realize I'm in a church and bow down in prayer.


"Can't you summon Celestia here or something? We could use some divine aid right now."


Cover my ears!
Snap out of it!

Roll #1 4 = 4



Roll #1 5 = 5


Push some stools to block the door more '1d10'

Roll #1 2 = 2


Run and hug Silk! Hug her until she's normal! '1d10'

Roll #1 3 = 3


'1d10+2' shatter "I can't stop here."

Roll #1 1 + 2 = 3


She seems frightened by your sudden approach
"Please! No!
I'll… I'll do whatever you want!"
After a lot of effort you manage to stack two stools on top of one another, and spend a moment to reflect on how proud that made you feel.
The pounding at the door intensifies, but you hear a loud thump from the top of the bell tower, and soon see Cloudcover sliding down the ladder
"I found the others! They saved the merchant crew from being sacrificed, and are now trying to hold the cultists back on the merchant boat with what they have left. We need to get there so we can get out of here!
I can-"
In blind rage you swing out wildly and land a hard hit, forcing Cloudcover to cut his explanation into a pained groan.


"Yeah, we should get out of here, I'm with him!"


Heal on CC.

"Let's get to the boat, is there another way outta here?"

Roll #1 3 + 2 = 5


"Silk… Silk, listen to me. We have to get out of here." Hold my hoof out to her.
"Take my hoof. I'll keep you safe. I promise."

Roll #1 7 = 7


Very proud.
Get Coral under control '1d10'

Roll #1 4 = 4


"I planned to fly out and… warn the others to… come get you but…"
He groans again
"…I may need a minute."
Her eyes are mad with fear, but as soon as she touches your hoof she charges into a hug
"Ember! I knew you'd come get me I just knew It I…. we… we need to get out of here!"


"C-cloud.. I'm sorry are you okay?"


"Stand still and maybe I can fix you!"
Assuming he's at 4 wounds.

Roll #1 3 + 1 = 4


"It's fine I…
…I doubt anything is broken."
He shakes his head
"Let me breathe a moment I..
…I'll be fine."


Nod weakly and back away then.


"I know! We need to find the others; one of them must know the way out!" We go find someone! '1d10'

Roll #1 8 = 8


How is the door?


Still holding.
But not for long now.
"You may need to… hold them off in the bell… tower. I can try to… fly out and get the others to… come back you up."
There are sounds of fighting coming from the church and from the pier


"Okay" there isn't anything left to kill here?


"Do so."
I look around, is there something I can use for a trap?
Like the old chandelier trap? '1d10'

Roll #1 7 = 7


"I'm going there!
And by Celestia and Luna's might, I will smite those bastards back to the infernal pits they came from!"
Then, yelp because I said the word bastards in a church.
Off to the belltower.


They are on the other side of the door, and outnumber you by a considerable amount.
You climb the tower, and can see Ember in the streets below
While not much remains here, you could probably easily rig some of the old tapestries to fall on any who enter. If they have torches, they will all be under burning blankets in seconds.
Or you could take some loose stones up to the tower and drop them on any who climb the ladder.


Rig the tapestries and hope those dark flames burn as much as normal flames '1d10'
What's the point of carrying dark flames anyway?

Roll #1 1 = 1


What of the cultists?


Head to the church with sword and shield drawn!


You end up getting tangled up in the tapestry hopelessly.
They are still trying to break in, slowly starting to encircle the church.
You might be able to yell instructions down to Ember if you tried. Perhaps he could get to the pier to warn the other party at the ship if you don't want to send Cloudcover.
You see a large bunch of Cultists trying to break down the door, and Fire Blossom up in the bell tower.


Let's try.
Shout with all my might!
The pier!
Warn the others!

Roll #1 4 = 4


Goddamn, get out and finish it '1d10'

Roll #1 8 = 8


"Cloud.. do you feel like you can fly now?" '1d10' give him a loving pat.

Roll #1 3 = 3


Can I hear her?
"Silk, you need to find somewhere to hide while I take care of this, okay?"


You set the tapestry up over the door.
On the plus side, this will catch fire neatly.
On the negative side, so will most of the church soon after.
You got the gist of it.
You should go get help from the pier.
Silk shakes her head
"No. I'm coming with you."
He groans and tries to flap his wings

Roll #1 10 = 10


"Good to go. Luckily it wasn't my wings that took the worst of it."


We're gonna die anyway if they get in.
But…quickly look around for rope, maybe the rope that held those tapestries. '1d10'

Roll #1 10 = 10


"…Okay. Stay close to me, all right? We need to run for the pier." Sprinting time! '1d10'

Roll #1 9 = 9


Winch "sorry… I'll make it up to you later.. get us some help please?"


And now, before leaving, do one thing.
Look at the sky and bow down in silent prayer, here from the top of the bell tower.
"Celestia. Luna.
Thine the glory.
Thine the mercy.
Thine the fury."
Wrath upon the enemies below.

Roll #1 3 = 3


Well, gotta go fast!

Roll #1 8 = 8


There is a whole lot of rope available here.
You rush through the streets, seeing more Cultists coming out of their houses.
You rush down the far piers towards the sounds of battle, and soon find a few more cultists trying to fight their way onto the only larger ship in there, being held back by Grandheart.
"Yes. I will."
He leaps off the tower and flies towards the far pier
For a moment, nothing happens.
Then, down the road, you see a flash of light, and hear a thundering warcry

Help is on its way.
Try to hold the line.


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