/q/ - Quest


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The party has barricaded itself inside the Old Church in Marenburg, with a ton of angry Cultists trying to break down the door.
Ember and Cloudcover have rushed to the Docks, where the others are trying to fight off more cultists in order to escape via a merchant ship.
Glorious Grace and Sweet Potato have shown up as well, and started fighting the cultists near the church.

Escaping to the boat might be the best chance everyone has.


Grace and Potato are outside?
"Should we break down the door and fight our way to them? Or do we have another way down there?"


"If we open that door they'll overwhelm us, we have to make our stand in the belltower.
I take the rope with me.


Come down from the top of tye tower.
"We must not back down.
Today, it is the day sun triumphs.
Today we cleanse these heretics of all the evil that's in their hearts!"


"So.. Let them in and wait at the top?"


"Yes, let them break through the door on their own, we'll be waiting with a little surprise."
Climb to the top.


"You have a plan?"


"What about Grace and Sweet Potato?"
Follow anyway.


"I trapped the main hall, they'll be in for a surprise when they get in here."

"We can't get through the main door. Once we've beaten them back, then we'll try to escape and find them. Pray they hold out that long."


The door is starting to give in, but some of the cultist attention has been diverted to stopping Grace and Sweet.


"Are you sure I shouldn't… help them open the door?"


"If you can do it without standing in front of it that might work."


"You… Rigged a church to blow?"


"Right.. because your trap is there? I guess that just running up and removing the stuff blocking it and running back is out of the question?"


"Not blow.
Just…made it better at burning heretics."

"If you don't use any torches you should be fine, it's just that they are using them."


"Whisper, this is a holy place! We shouldn't even spill blood in it!"


"Fire isn't my style. Be right back." '1d10+2' use shatter to break the door open

Roll #1 10 + 2 = 12


"I'm sure Celestia won't mind if we do it for good."


Stand by her side! As she breaks the door, use wrath to push the cultists back!
"Stand back heatens!"

Roll #1 2 = 2


With a single swing, you blast the entire apart, sending great jagged splinters raining upon the unarmored cultists outside. A few of them go flying from the initial shockwave and a couple of others are fatally impaled by large debris. The deafening blast silences their chanting, and for a moment all stands still in awe of your fury.


"What are you waiting for cowards? Come fight me!" run upstairs. '1d10'

Roll #1 2 = 2


Do I have to trigger the trap?


You can, or you can let them come in first.
You run back inside the church and stumble before reaching the ladder to the bell tower.
Coral rushes back in, and bumps into you.

The cultists are starting to recover, and are making their way into the church!


"Silk… we have to fight our way through. Are you ready?"
How many of my minions are with me?


Stand aside and focus.
Heal Coral up.

Roll #1 1 + 2 = 3


Let them come in first.
Besides my friends are still down there.
Throw a dagger at the invading cultists '1d10'

Roll #1 1 = 1


'1d10' ignore the pain and climb back up.

Roll #1 1 = 1


You throw a dagger, but misjudge your aim and hit a wall. The dagger ricochets off it
You walk up to coral and prepare to help her up, but get hit in the flank with a dagger, making you fall
You try to get up, but Blossom collapses right on top of you.

Outside, a massive blast shakes the walls of the entire church as Grace strikes another mighty blow against the cultists. But this is not all you hear. Shortly afterwards, a dark, hollow laugh so deep it seems to resonate inside your very bones fills the air, and a great shadow rises above the masses.
It seems the dark has sent an emissary to aid these poor fools.

You might want to make peace with your gods now.


Just get up.. I have to.. '1d10'
"So, the Dark as come out from hiding? Good. Let us ensure it ends here."

Roll #1 4 = 4


Am I down as well?
If so get up, if not help others up '1d10'

Roll #1 8 = 8



Both of them are here.
It seems not many cultists remain, but the four of you may help tip the scales before Grandheart and the others tire out.
In a moment of inspiration, you struggle back to your hooves.
You may make a stand here in the church, charge outside to take the battle to the streets, or climb up to the tower, from which you can always hop down to the rooftops.


"Alright, Silk, here we go. Stay close." Charge in with a warcry and strike one of the cultists while Dulltooth slams another. '1d10' '1d10+1'

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


"Whisper?! What do you want us to do now?"


"Change of plans, charge in and hope for the best."


Time for Dance of Blades '1d10+2'

Roll #1 5 + 2 = 7



Roll #1 3, 9, 7, 9, 6 = 34



Roll #1 3, 1, 8, 6, 6 = 24


"You have caused enough harm!" run in and blast a cultist. '1d10'

Roll #1 8 = 8


Is Silk willing to fight now, or is she still a noncombatant?


She pulls her knife
"I'd rather die fighting than live in a world they want to make."
You slam into the back ranks of the cultists, and Dulltooth picks one up, throwing him into the sea.
Cloudcover also crashes into one of the remaining cultists near Grandheart
"I told you I'd be back.
Get the ship ready, The church is under siege."
You open up with a furious blast, opening the way for Whisper
Like a storm of steel you leap from cultist to cultist, slashing and stabbing, carving out a path through their bodies until your blades hit something far too much for you to simply rip through.

As you raise your gaze, you see a towering monstrosity before you. It looks like a great mass of bodies melded together into a single shape, with three great heads looking in different directions at the top.
It has no front nor back, for it looks in every direction, and its entire surface seems covered in limbs. Some holding weapons, others holding shields, signs, masonry or other objects for protection.
In its mouths, great blades of rusted iron jut out and grind together, giving it a voice of tortured metal.
With a flick of one of its many arms, it tosses Whisper against the church wall, and lets loose a tortured wail with its Iron Voice.

#BOSS: Iron Voice


"For everything we hold dear! For the Princesses! For the Empire! For Equestria!!!"
Inspire everyone to fight well. '1d10'
Silk attacks one of the cultists while Dulltooth punches another. '1d10' '1d10+1'

Roll #1 2 = 2 / Roll #2 9 = 9 / Roll #3 9 + 1 = 10


Get in there and try to damage limbs, make it harder for the beast to attack us. '2d10'

Primrose helps whoever needs it. Heal '1d10'

Roll #1 10, 7 = 17 / Roll #2 8 = 8


Get the fuck up '1d10'
I wish I stayed on that pile of gold.
With a pint in my one hoof and in the other

Roll #1 1 = 1


Heal him!

Roll #1 9 + 2 = 11


You can't really find the right tone for that inspiration.
Dulltooth punches one of the cultists in the neck, then throws it down into the street with a hard THUD.
Silk sinks her knife into the thigh of one of the cultists and pulls up, ripping the entire leg open, and then proceeds to kick at him as he falls over.
You manage to duck a few swings from a limb holding a large tree branch club, and break the elbow on it, rendering the arm useless
Whisper and Coral are back up to health.

…looking at the sheer towering size of that thing, trying to slash at its legs might not be the best of solutions.
Sweet Potato is trying to get Grace to fall back
"We need to find a better place to fight it! There is no way we can just stay here! We'll be overwhelmed!"


"Thanks, darling."
Grin a bloody grin.

Kill another cultist. Try to get to Potato '1d10'

Roll #1 3 = 3


And to prove my point, let Their Wrath bloody the heavens!

Roll #1 10 = 10


Dang it! Leap of Faith a cultist while Dulltooth slams and Silk keeps fighting!
'1d10' '1d10+1' '1d10'

Roll #1 2 = 2 / Roll #2 1 + 1 = 2 / Roll #3 10 = 10


Is there any small opening we can lead it to? It won't matter how many arms it has if it can only use a few. Look around. '1d10'

Primrose takes a stab at it. '1d10'

Roll #1 8 = 8 / Roll #2 10 = 10


"I don't care. We are taking it down. Enouhh hiding" shatter the thing's legs

Roll #1 2 + 2 = 4


While the creation of the Iron Voice consumed many cultists, the few that still remain prove to have fight left in them.
You take a hard hit on the nose.
You raise your voice to the heavens and demand they answer.
And the heavens hear you.
A single focused beam of sunlight forces itself over the horizon, hitting your heart. From there, it explodes into a massive shockwave of divine fire, searing unholy flesh from tainted bone, extinguishing the torches of black flame, and splattering cultists against every nearby hard surface.
So long as there is light in your heart, no darkness can stand before it.
The few who survive look on in terror, and cannot help but envy the dead.
You leap at its legs. Its hundreds of legs. And suffer many kicks in return.
Primrose calmly evades its smashing blows, and manages to disable another arm.
It looks rather heavy. Perhaps if you took it to the pier, you could get it to fall into the water and drown.
You leap at a cultist, but just miss by inches, suffering a hard hit to your back in return.
Dulltooth tries to slam a cultist but instead falls off the pier into the water.
Silk jams her knife between the legs of one of the remaining cultists and rips it loose with a terrifying war cry.
Only a few cultists remain now.


'1d10' cleave 4 legs.

Roll #1 4 = 4


Wipe the blood off and strike again! '1d10'

Roll #1 8 = 8


Let out a slow breath and stare into the abomination.
Call the divine hand to raise Dulltooth off the waters, Healing him!

Roll #1 6 + 2 = 8


"Lead it back to docks! We can drown it or buy ourselves time while it's in the water!"

Attack it and try to pull its attention towards the dock. '2d10'

Primrose assists me again. '1d10'

Roll #1 10, 1 = 11 / Roll #2 6 = 6


Retaliate! '3d10'

Roll #1 2, 6, 5 = 13


Thats me, dull, silk like always.


Heal Coral


"Fine. We'll do it your way."


"It's got plenty of limbs to beat us with. Might as well occupy them all with swimming and hit it from a distance!"


Give you an annoyed look and gesture to my sword. "Can't do that doc."


"This thing doesn't understand drowning! The only way is to burn it in the holy fire of FAITH!"


You charge under the beast, and end up getting trampled by countless legs
You pull Coral up and begin to fall back towards the Docks. However, Jonica gets hit by a thrown chunk of masonry as you run, leaving him pinned.
Dulltooth manages to swim to shore, but you finally go down. Silk rushes to aid you up.
Grandheart and Cloudcover finish off the remaining cultists.
"Looks like the way is clear."
"Where are the others?"


Grab Jonica on my back.

Roll #1 5 = 5


"At least focus on attacking the same side. It has to commit to attacks instead of flailing wildly, you'll see plenty of opening that way."

"You can burn it after the water takes away its life!"

Try to get up with Whisper's help. '1d10'

Primrose bolsters Coral up.

Roll #1 4 = 4


"Thanks blossom "
'1d10' blast the beast. And keep it coming toward the docks.

Roll #1 6 = 6


Stop right here!
Use my TK to move the rubble aside!

Roll #1 6 = 6


Give Silk a kiss. '1d10'
"They're at the church! We need to hurry; the cultists have them trapped!"

Roll #1 7 = 7


Nod. "Take care of your self too "


Hmm, I won't let you die here. '1d10'
They played us like a damn fiddle.

Roll #1 1 = 1


The retreat is less than glorious.
The Iron Voice's unholy words ring in your ears as it pelts you with rocks it rips from buildings it passes, leaving you bruised and winded by the time you reach the docks.
The Iron Voice shows no sign of slowing down nor shutting up, but new hope is in sight as you see the others preparing the merchant ship to set sail.
Cloudcover flies over to you
"I was getting worried. Do we have a plan?
The ship has some cannons but limited ammo."
It seems you are almost correct. As they just made it to the docks on their own and WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT GIANT THING BEHIND THEM!?






And with this, turn around and focus all of their Wrath upon the abomination, in a single, unique beam aimed straight for where its 'heart' would be!

Roll #1 8 = 8


'2d10' dual attack two legs "can't we just squish it?"

Roll #1 3, 2 = 5


Inspire the defenders! '1d10'
Dulltooth slams it while Silk tries to find a weak spot! '1d10+1' '1d10'

Roll #1 1 = 1 / Roll #2 1 + 1 = 2 / Roll #3 8 = 8


The merchants and other party rush to get the guns ready.
Each of the 5 guns will be ready once it hits 11 in total prep
The thing, towering well above the rooftops of the town, smashes you under its countless legs and kicks your helpless body off the dock.
Cloudcover dives in to haul you back up
The massive monster grabs Dulltooth and wrings him like a sponge, cracking ribs and dislocating limbs.
His screams, and those of Fern, make you freeze up in terror, only serving to demoralize the others further
#-1 to all rolls next turn!
Silk grabs a large hook used to lift cargo off ships and climbs up some boxes onto a roof. From there she throws the hook at one of the Iron Voice's heads, jamming it between the blades in its mouth. She then leaps down from the rooftop while holding onto the rope, forcing the Iron Voice to pull back
You focus the last light of the sun into a focused burst and hurl it like a great spear into the beast's many chests, causing it to bounce around inside it.

For a moment, the monster seems exhausted…

Roll #1 4, 6, 6, 1, 2 = 19


I know what I have to do.
"Through holy forgivness, be reedemed!"

Roll #1 9 + 1 = 10


Time to make a substitute '1d10'

Roll #1 8 = 8



'1d10-1' was I still bolstered? Get up.
"Cloud can you get me on its back?"

Roll #1 4 - 1 = 3


Get myself up while there's a lull in combat. '1d10-1'

Primrose can go after Dulltooth, try to free him from the beast's grasp. '1d10-1'

Roll #1 5 - 1 = 4 / Roll #2 7 - 1 = 6


Leap of faith the monster while Dulltooth gets up! '1d10' '1d10'
Silk stabs a gap in its armor! '1d10'

Roll #1 7 = 7 / Roll #2 3 = 3 / Roll #3 6 = 6


Also, can we have hits/wounds next turn?


-1 to those.


I am here now.


Dulltooth is struggling, and Silk hesitates at the last second, causing her to get kicked.
Your strike lands true through, wounding yet another of its many arms
Primrose aids Dulltooth up and gives him support, but you find it hard to stand.
"I can try."
However he has trouble evading its swatting attacks, let alone find a good landing spot
You prepare a substitute.
Let them come. You are now ready.
You know where its heart is now. And a heart filled with light is anathema to the dark.
Reaching out to this dark heart inside its monstrous shell, you focus the good in you into a searing flame that purges corruption, cleansing its foul insides.
Like a rotting flower of flesh and ichor the three sides of the Iron Voice split apart and fold down, revealing a central column of corrupted flesh supporting its malformed heart. Great webs of pulsing veins connect the heart to each of the sides, keeping them from fully slumping down. But the heads are now on your level at long last.

The merchants load up their cannons with confidence, but Whimsyshine and Grandheart are having some trouble with the other ones.
Cannon 1: 4/11
Cannon 2: 6/11
Cannon 3: 6/11
Cannon 4: 1/11
Cannon 5: 2/11

The party has fallen back to the docks, where they now face off against the Iron Voice - a hulking monster made from dozens of fused cultists, topped with three great heads that speak by grinding the iron blades in their mouths together.
This monster, covered in arms and carried by dozens of legs, tore apart buildings as it chased you, hurling masonry and trees. Now its body has been split open, revealing its central heart in the middle, and leaving the heads flopping around it like a half-peeled banana.

Roll #1 5, 7, 2, 6, 2 = 22


Can we just flee then?


Time for the dance of blades '1d10+2'

Roll #1 6 + 2 = 8



Roll #1 9, 10, 3, 10, 7 = 39



Roll #1 5, 1, 10, 4, 10 = 30


Princesses, bless this blow, because it's the only one I will get.
Throw my halberd at the center of the monster!

Roll #1 6 = 6


Ror defiantly at it! Redeem myself by inspiring the group now. '1d10'
Dulltooth, get up! '1d10' Silk keeps stabbing. '1d10'

Roll #1 1 = 1 / Roll #2 1 = 1 / Roll #3 3 = 3


"We can do it." '1d10' try to fend off attacks gir him do he can focus on flying

Roll #1 10 = 10


I can get myself up, we've gotten so far already. '1d10'

"Primrose, just stab at the heads! Focus on it!" '1d10'

Roll #1 4 = 4 / Roll #2 7 = 7


But everyone seems keen on fighting it.
You charge in, running up the countless arms, cutting each in turn, leaping from peeled side to side, kicking the heads into the stones below, dulling their blades and distorting their voices. It is not until you try to strike at the heart itself that it unleashes a mighty pulse of darkness, blasting you away.
The dark pulse hits all three of you as well, sending you flying onto the ship, landing in a helpless pile.
Primrose keeps up the attack, but you may have dislocated something…
You stand firm before the dark pulse, staring into it as it advances, witnessing the thousands of tortured faces drawn into it. And you refuse to blink.
You spin your halberd, and with a mighty cry throw it, watching it ignite as it flies.
Cloudcover swoops down and drops you off onto Blossom's Halberd as it flies past, allowing you to surf it through the air and together with it land a double edged attack on the heart, making the entire monster collapse for a moment

Cannon 1: 9/11
Cannon 2: READY
Cannon 3: 8/11
Cannon 4: 7/11
Cannon 5: 4/11

Roll #1 5, 4, 10, 9 = 28


Cannon 1: READY
Cannon 2: READY
Cannon 3: READY
Cannon 4: READY
Cannon 5: READY


Good thing my substitute got that?
Hit the heart with a dagger '1d10'

Roll #1 6 = 6


"The dark heart of the beast!"
And I could really use Health meters to see who's in need of healing.

Roll #1 3 = 3


"Primrose, I might need some help now." Bolster on me while the beast is down.


"Come on, we need to get up!"
Me, dulltooth and Silk all pull ourselves up. '3d10'

Roll #1 1, 7, 2 = 10


'1d10+1' blast while I am close to the head.

Roll #1 1 + 1 = 2


Your ninja-like ruse takes the gods themselves by surprise, as your helpless form turns out to be nothing more than a bag of sand!
You fall from an unexpected angle, leaving a deep cut in the heart as you drop past it
Primrose sets up to help you back onto your feet
I'll try to remember next time.
The beast stirs one more and unleashes a second blast, which rocks the entire ship and buckles the walls of nearby houses.
You are thrown around like scraps of paper in a storm, but the merchant crew quickly sets their sights again.


Roll #1 8, 3, 7, 2, 2 = 22


"Blossom, I could use some help here!"


Snap out of my holy rage!

Roll #1 9 + 2 = 11


Groan and rise up again '1d10'>>551642

Roll #1 3 = 3


Keep trying! '3d10'

Roll #1 5, 4, 8 = 17


Hhehe. That sure sounds like me.
One stabbity stab more '1d10'

Roll #1 2 = 2


"I saw that other healer use it, might as well give it a try ourselves."

"Primrose, try to heal that thing while I cover you!"

Dual '1d10'
Heal '1d10'

Roll #1 2 = 2 / Roll #2 7 = 7


One more for dual attack. '1d10'

Roll #1 5 = 5


Three cannonballs miss their mark, hitting parts of the town instead.
But two find their way as if guided by Celestia herself. The central heart is severed from the sides in a great shower of dark ichor, and the fleshy peel falls off entirely, revealing just the final inner monster, a great tower of exposed flesh, pulsing with dark energy and stumbling around unsteadily on a few remaining legs.
It looks weak and unstable. But also clearly full of barely contained power.
Ember is back up, along with Silk, but Dulltooth is still hurting.
Cloudcover flies down to try and aid you '1d10'
Approaching the pillar turns out to be unwise. The sheer radiating power lashes out at you like a bolt of lightning, nearly flooring you for simply going close to it.
Another arcing bolt slams into you, knocing you off your feet.
Primrose, lacking a true heart, can easily walk up to it and attack it however, making it quiver and stumble.

Whimsyshine is trying to read his book as best he can in hopes of finding a solution. '1d10'
And Grace has finally caught up to you, and sees a chance for glory

Roll #1 7 = 7 / Roll #2 2 = 2 / Roll #3 10 = 10


Get up '1d10'
They won't do that again…

Roll #1 10 = 10


DDoM, Dulltooth.
I have no idea how many wounds he has, add as you see fit.

Roll #1 6 = 6


Try to get myself back up. '1d10'

"Primrose, keep attacking it!" '1d10'

Roll #1 7 = 7 / Roll #2 10 = 10


"Cloud!" Let him rescue me.. this one time. "We need to try one more time."


Whimsyshine is at a loss.
But Grace's sheer righteous fury seems to make him immune to the bolts of darkness, as he hurls his weapon at it, making the pillar discharge a massive burst of energy into thin air, weakening itself considerably.
You leap back up, and are in a great position to strike
You go help Dulltooth back up
And you stand up as well, as Primrose cleaves a few legs out from under the pillar
"I'm here for you. Lets end this."


HAHAHAHA Strike '1d10'
"You aren't that though!"

Roll #1 10 = 10


"I have HAD it with this thing!"
Leap of Faith it while Dulltooth and Silk attack! '1d10' '1d10' '1d10'

Roll #1 8 = 8 / Roll #2 4 = 4 / Roll #3 6 = 6


"Fly me closer. I want to hit it with my sword."
'1d10+2' shatter the beast.

Roll #1 5 + 2 = 7


Follow Their Light!"
Since it seems like I won't have to heal this battle.

Roll #1 1 = 1


"Primrose, try it again! It worked last time!"

Dual Attack '2d10'
Heal 1'd10'

Roll #1 5, 9 = 14


Primrose Heal '1d10'

Roll #1 2 = 2


As the beast tries to gather itself for one final retaliation, you charge in. Raining blows from all sides, you stagger the wobbly tower of unholy flesh until it begins to tear and topple, the bodies that fused to make it unraveling before your eyes and slumping down across the dock. In a screaming explosion of dark energy, the Iron Voice is silenced forever.
Or, almost.
One body lands close to you. That of the Innkeeper.
His coat has melted away, and his skin is distorted, but you can still clearly make out his face. His eyes, wild in terror and anger, focus on yours, and his lips contort to whisper one final curse.
May your heart rot in darkness
His exposed, swollen heart then beats its last, and explodes in a shower of dark blood all over you. He dies with a cruel smile on his face.

The Iron Voice is dead.
The few cultists that still remained are staring at the scene in awe and terror from the streets and windows. Not a single pair of eyes can believe what they just witnessed.
The darkness sent them a herald. And it has been slain.
Is this… the beginning of their end?


Throw my hooves in the air.
"Who's next!"


Okay, that didn't really do me any good.
Wince back, but push the worries away and rush ahead, back to my friends.
"Anypony hurt?"


"Any pony want to surrender?" I shout at the crowd of cultists.


"I count one, two, three… We could use some ponies to interrogate."


Victory kiss with Silk! '1d10'

Roll #1 2 = 2


"I dislocated something, but you should wash off that blood."


Shake my head.
"Where? The sea is as bloodied as we are.
Let's just fix ourselves and leave!"
Heal him up.

Roll #1 9 + 2 = 11


The cultists seem extremely hesitant to do anything right about now.
Some are extinguishing their dark torches.
Others are making a run for it.
You leap right onto her, pushing her over onto the still sleek wood of the docks, passionately making out with her in plain sight of everyone, friend and foe.
It was merely a dislocated shoulder. An easy fix if there ever was one.


Walk around and grab one who looks interesting.


"Can't say I disagree. Thanks for that."


"Blossom, are you all right?"
Smile down at her sheepishly.
"Sorry. It's just you look so hot right now that I couldn't help myself."


Nod eagerly.
"This is the day darkness was vanquished.
My heart is so filled with joy."


Smile down at Silk.
"Mine too."


I will take a step back and leave you two alone.


"Lay down your weapons and don't move." I command them. Stop one of the runners '1d10'

Roll #1 1 = 1


"I must say, to have called down all those things. You must be blessed by Celestia in particular."


You grab one of the fishermen in a headlock. His mutated eye swirls around to stare at you.
"Keep going."
You take a few running steps and need to kneel down for a moment.
Cloudcover comes help you
"Easy. You got pretty bashed up back there."


…Well, you heard the lady! '1d10'
That would probably be wise.

Roll #1 9 = 9


Turn to him with a smile.
"We all are, Doctor.
It's in our luck to be blessed by them, and our duty at the same time!"




Give him a kiss "if it wasn't for you I'd probably be dead."


"I hope it continues then. You should already know I had my doubts about joining at first, but this, this is beyond me. But I can't let them continue. As a Doctor, as a citizen, just, as a person who exists, this is all evil that I just can't stand."


You keep grinding against her as you roll around.
Everyone is trying to avert their eyes as best they can. She seems to be completely into it though.
"Maybe. But you're pretty though.
Maybe we should go take a breather?"


Slap '1d10'
"More. And something I don't know already this time."

Roll #1 2 = 2


Smile again.
"And as ponies who stand up for this, the princesses are granting us their blessings.
You should take this occasion to let them into your heart aswell, trust them with your life and fear no evil."


Try to catch my breath for a minute.
"So… how far are you willing to take this right now?"


"I've heard that saying all my life, but it's never rung so true as it is right now. It's been a true blessing to just have you here."


Shake my head.
"Any other mare of faith could have fit into these horseshoes."


"Maybe, but we were blessed with you. I couldn't ask for anyone else to be doing this with."


"Please, Doctor Jonica…"
Close my eyes.
"Each and every one of us is a blessing.
Without you all, I would have never embarked on this quest, never even survived past the diamond dog mines!"


That's a really sensual slap.
What do you want?
…I don't know what I even fight for any more"
"Great victories call for great celebration?"
He pauses for a moment
"…I don't think I've ever talked like this before.
It's… liberating."


Oh brother.
"Just tell me what you know, what was your plan here.
Where are your leaders?"


"Without your help, we would have suffered as well."

Stand up and offer a proper, respectful bow.


"Yea. Whisper can handle things here. take me somewhere I can't see the blood anymore "


Smile and lean in for another kiss. '1d10'
"It's a wonderful feeling, isn't it?
However," whisper in her ear. "As much as I wouldn't mind ramming into you until your eyes started rolling right here in full view of everyone…
I don't exactly want them all to see how I'll probably blow my load instantly.
Smirk up at her.
"So… shall we find somewhere a bit more… private?"

Roll #1 2 = 2


Screw bows.
Hug him.

Roll #1 10 = 10


"Hey, not so hard, you just set it my shoulder back a minute ago."


Chuckle and let go.
"I'm sorry.
It's just so nice to finally… Have friends!
True friends!"


"Those… chosen by the darkness… were granted a place on Midnight Island. There… they will prepare for the return of great Tirek. Prepare… to welcome him back… to this world."
"I'm sure we can find a quiet nook on the ship~"
"If you say so.
Lead the way."


"That sounds just fine~ " lean into him and head into the ship.


Go to the rambling cultist.
"Not as long as Light still exists, he won't."


"So where is this fairytale Midnight Castle, at the end of the rainbow?"


"You've done so much for us. Even with my limited experience, anything less feels unforgivable."

"During the fight, and even before, I noticed something but couldn't test it until now. Mind if I give it a try?"

Call Primrose over, just have her stand next to Whisper.

"Can you see her?" I ask the hostage.


He nods to the merchants as you pass them and leads you down to the hold.
It seems this ship was carrying a nice supply of fabrics, which should make for a comfy little nest.
His normal eye focuses on her
"Beyond the veil of darkness, where only the Gatewyrm can reach."
"The light… yes…
…they did speak of it…"
He is struggling to speak in the tight headlock


"If it's not too much trouble, turn his head a little."

Cover his normal eye with my hoof and signal for Primrose to start walking to the left.

"What about now?"


Lay down slowly and sigh into the cloth pile "we finally won one. A clear victory."


Head turned.


Let's find a private area in the ship.
Maybe one with some rope laying around…


"Well obviously not you're… covering my damn eye"
The mutated eye keeps twitching between you and Whisper, but never focuses on Primrose.
He winces slightly as he lays down next to you
"Yeah… we did. The dark is not invincible after all."
He extends a wing to slowly pet you
The hold might be your best bet. You can probably find some privacy among the stuff there.


Head down into the hold, grabbing any spare rope laying around as we head down.


"I was starting to suspect as much. For some reason, Primrose doesn't exist to them."

"He's all yours Whisper, though now I'm curious as to what happens when we operate on one in his condition…"


Silk follows, raising a brow
"…what's the rope for?"


Follow them to the hold.


"I knew it wasn't. That's why I wouldn't run." Close my eyes as he pets me. "Let's just rest now… it hurts too much to do anything else "


What did you plan to do with the cultist?
"Should I kiss it to make it all better?"


Smile at her with a slight blush.
"…for you to use however you want on me.
If you want to, that is…"
Look away as I blush harder.


Get out my rope and start tying a knot before his fish eye.


"I'm a Doctor, despite you having witnessed me attacking your comrades. I have a duty to fulfill and it requires you. You've done quite a terrible thing and had such a horrible fate laid upon you, let me see what happens when I try to lift that burden from one in your condition."

I'll have Primrose take over holding him, and see what Heal does on someone who is completely far gone. '1d10'

Roll #1 6 = 6


Chuckle. "Yes. Definitely. Lots of kisses."


"I… feel like I should be… trying to make deals now. Begging… for my life.
But… the dark has forsaken me. What do I have left to live for?"
She gets a faint smile
"Oh my~
And here I thought you'd be using it on me…
Well, I'm fine with these arrangements. Come come then."
She slips between some boxes
"Just guide me to where it hurts~"

Roll #1 10 = 10


"Hmm you seem to be getting it all on your own." '1d10' kissu back

Roll #1 8 = 8


Check if it is tight enough
"Eh don't worry about it pal, you'll go back to your dark soon enough. I wonder what it must be like in the dark afterlife?"


Follow her with a somewhat nervous but eager grin.


"For right now, let me try to help you. If you have any sympathy for your fellows, you'll let me learn about what happens to those who choose this."


Other than sex, what's happening?


"Hey Fire, what's the afterlife like for ponies who did bad things and became horrible mutants?"


"We… have no such things…
…the here and the hereafter would be made one… and the same… in the dark."
Do you… seek to reverse it?"
Whisper and Jonica are interrogating/murdering a captures cultist
Calming is talking with the Merchants
Whimsyshine is studying his book again
"Just relax~"
His muzzle starts wandering '1d10'
You end up finding her near some rigging loops, where she has set the rope up into some sort of… harness.

Roll #1 8 = 8


Start thinking, tapping my chin with a hoof.
Then, answer with an excited tone and large smile.
"A fiery hell with neverending torment where your worst nightmares become true!"


And I assume we encounter Coral and Cloudcover?


"Partially. I simply wish to know if it's possible. Of course, if you reject my offer, the only other option is the one my friend here, >>551858 , mentioned."


"Sorry pal, that got cancelled, you saw how we defeated that demon."
Put the noose over his neck.
"So eternal fiery torment? Sounds good?"


If you wish to make yourselves known, you can always make a little noise.
He makes no effort to resist
"To go on is pointless, I suppose. It was lies, all lies.
Perhaps the dark isn't even real…
…those artifacts… the shard of light… all for nothing…"


So sad.
"What's all this about a shard of light?"


"SO," I say a bit too loudly in order for them to hear me, "How does… that thing work?"


"Now, there is one way you can get the afterlife you want!
Just answer us and be reedemed by their light!"


Smile at cloud and give an encouraging moan. As for then other two..
Do I even care that they are here '1d10'

Roll #1 5 = 5


I guess I care a little.
"Hmm? What thing?"


Do we hear that? '1d10'

Roll #1 3 = 3


"So the light is as blind as the dark after all…
Or perhaps it was just more lies… told to us to keep us believing…
…the Shard of Light… as they called it… was supposedly the one thing… that could defeat the dark. And they sacrificed much to get it for themselves… so they could lock it away on Midnight Island, where no warrior of the light could ever find it…
…and I actually believed them…"
"…I didn't say anything."
"Just put your front hooves in these loops~"


"..are we not alone?" '1d10' look for others

Roll #1 3 = 3


"Well, too bad about all those lies.
Any idea where they put it on that island?"


Alright, stick my hooves into the loops.
"Have I told you how hot you are when you take charge?"


You might need to get up to see better.
But that would take effort…
"I was never worthy to see the island…"
"Well you just did."
She pulls on the rope, hoisting you upright.
From up here you can just barely see over some crates to catch a glimpse of Coral and Cloudcover laying on some fabrics almost right in front of you.
They have not seen you.


"Coral?! Cloudcover?!"


Nahh don't care enough
"Come here. " '5d10' kissu ~~

Roll #1 1, 7, 6, 6, 5 = 25




"Doesn't mean you never heard of it either."


"Right, okay, you know what, I feel sorry for you, honestly. I can't hang you anymore.
So here, keep the rope, go hang yourself if you want."
Leave him with the rope and walk back to the party.


"U-um… hi? T-this is… unexpected…"


"Uh.. stay on your side of the room"


"To us it was… a mythical place. A promised land of the dark… where those who served well were granted… passage."
He just sits there, staring at the rope
"At least I can… fell this rope. I know it is… real.
That is more than I can say of any faith I've had… so far…"


"So, heaven?"


Blush furiously as I dangle helplessly.
"So…W-what are you going to do to me this time?"


"Yes, yes, very sad." I mutter
>implying I'll feel bad over this

Go listen to what Fire is talking about.


Just a better place in the dark. Less a paradise and more… a court."
"Thank you… for sparing me.
You are a kind soul."
"Well, if we are ever going to get anywhere with you, you are going to need to get some stamina."

Should we move the plot along?


I'm kinda tired for this.


I'm already off to more plot.


Depends on what kind of plot you're talking about~…
Shiver in anticipation.
"H-how do you intend to do that?"


I gotta go for a bit tomorrow?


You can go talk with Whimsyshine and the ship crew if you want more info on your next steps.


Let's go over to Whimsyshine!


"Well, lets see if you can hold your… horses… for a little longer than last time."
Her hoof starts creeping down your body
"And don't disappoint me this time."
He is engrossed in his book, flipping between two parts of it
"Oh… hello. Quite the battle back there. I only wish I could have helped more."


"I-I'll try not to," I gulp, "b-but I know that if I do… you'll just leave me up here… and force me to try again… and again… until I finally learn my lesson."
Roll now?


"What's done is done.
What do you know about this Midnight Island?"


"Well, I'm sure you have plenty of tries stored up in these…"
She rolls your sack around in her hoof.
Roll away lover boy. Try not to get it all over the others.
"It must be where the Gatewyrm leads. If I could summon it… we might be able to reach that place."


Please, whatever dieties are listening, don't let me screw this up again… '5d10'

Roll #1 5, 6, 2, 3, 2 = 18


"What do we need to summon it? And more importantly, how to make sure it doesn't kill us?"


After but a few seconds you are whining and scraping at the floor with your hooves, so she just stops and leaves you hanging, sitting sternly in front of you
"That's kinda pathetic."
"All I need to do is get this one spell right. It will come… and see us as worthy.
But I fear I may not be able to get it right. Not unless someone volunteers to cast some Black Fire on me. These words were made for a corrupted mouth."


"Sounds ominous. Now…just to be sure, this Black fire isn't going to turn you into some demon is it?"


Whine and hang my head in shame.
"I know… Maybe if I'd had some more experience… or any experience at all…
I probably don't even count as a stallion at all…"


I don't want to treat you like a little colt either though~
Chin up. We'll train you up yet."
"No… not if it's used right.
It should merely give me the voice of a dark one."


"T-thank you… I want to do better, I do!
D-do whatever you need to.~"


She reclines back and lifts a rear hoof between yours


"Like one of those on the street?"


Gulp audibly. Oooh dear… '5d10'
Please let me do better this time…

Roll #1 3, 1, 4, 6, 5 = 19


"Something like that…
I do not know the exacts of this… my eyes are unfit to read this infernal language, so the risk of mistakes is very real."
You are already on the edge before it even begins, and the moment she touches you, you gently frost her hoof in stallion mayo.
"…I have no words.
Should I just let you down?"



"…One more try. One more try, and if I can't control myself… you'll never have to touch me again."


"And you're the only one who can attempt this?"


"Now why would I want to do that?
But lets see if you can last now that we've got the worst pressure out~"
She slowly caresses your inner thigh with her hoof
"Well, I'm the most well versed in sorcery around here, no?"


For the love of God, please let me last longer this time!

Roll #1 6, 7, 2, 9, 2 = 26


"I know, I'm just…want to make sure we're not taking unnecessary risks with a valued member of the team."


You put up a valiant effort of resistance until she ever so gently caresses your jewels, making you spill another load on the spot
"Well, it was an improvement. At least this time you didn't look like a teenager getting his first hoofjob."
She giggles a bit
"Ok hero, I've had my fun. Your turn."
"It's either that or I can try casting as I am.
That runs the risk of angering the Gatewyrm though. And we'd need a place where the alignment of magic makes it easier for me to conduct the summoning. I can't quite pull off the trick of summoning it from a shallow pool."


"If you feel up to it, let's try this Black Fire, just try to get through it in one piece.
Any such place in mind?"


"O-okay… what do I do? I'm… a bit tied up here."


"I'm sure I could find a good place out at sea if I had a map and some time."
"Do you want to change places?"


"Let's make it happen then. We don't want any of this happening all across Equestria, do we?"


"S-sure… You might need to walk me through it though. I-I'm still really new to this…"


"Very well. I'll go read up some maps"
"Just follow your heart~"
She lets you down and hoists herself up before you



With Marenburg clear of dark influence and the survivors fleeing for their lives, you have all settled down on board the friendly merchant vessel to plan your next move.

Silverchord the Preacher requested to remain tied up for now.
Whimsyshine has a plan, but a very dangerous one.


Maybe it's not the time for caution, anymore."
Look at Whimsyshine.


Look and listen to what he has to say.


"If I… burn myself with Black Fire, I should be able to ensure I cast the Gatewyrm Call correctly. Unfortunately… that does mean I will suffer some… mutations."


"I thought this plan was risky, not heretic!
No way!"


"As a Doctor, I can not allow this. As a person, I will stop you from doing so."


"I can also attempt the call as I am… but that runs the risk of… mispronunciation."


"Even just taking their tongue is ridicolous!
There has to be another way."


"We can find an alternative, as enough people have been hurt already."


"Well, if we are.. willing to risk the consequences… I can always just try it without any additional precautions and see what I summon."


Dark magic."
Stare at him.


"You heard Blossom. Can you think of any workaround?"


"Without the Gatewyrm, it may take us years to find what remote island in the world they claimed as Midnight Island."


So, now Silk is all tied up for me…
Do we do this here, or on steam?


"We cannot do this.
We are only ponies. If we use their magic, we will just be as bad as them.
The only way is to…
Ask for their blessing."


"I specialized in killing such beasts. Should it go out of control. I will stop it."


"It would be a better option."

"I'd rather avoid that option. We're surrounded by enough death as it is."


To keep the plot moving, we can take it to Steam and timeskip in here.
"We have all seen the beast already, so there is no surprise there, but I fear if I do not call it myself, it may see us as its enemies…
…unless… we got one of them to do it for us."


"I will not be part of a group that uses dark magic in any way, shape or form."
Step away.
"Don't count on me for this decision."


"So they can betray us? No. I trust you. Not them."


"They could also alter the spell, could they not? Send us on a wild chase."


"…I speak their tongue."
Shake nervously, then try to steel myself. I can't look weak, not now.
"They… they called what they did to me a gift… Maybe I can call it without… without becoming one of them."


Whimsyshine's eyes focus on Ember
"…we have some preparing to do, then."


"Tell me right away if you lose control of it."


"If you're going through with this, I'll offer my medical support."


Step away, but stop by Ember.
"Before you do this, I must renounce you.
For I cannot serve somepony who communes with the dark arts."




"This is between me and Lord Ember.
I swore to serve under him until the day this threat had been vanquished.
But now, he is becoming part of it, and I will not taint myself of the same crime.
Go on if you will, I won't stop any of you, and will still carry on until this world is safe."


"Okay… If I lose control… put me down before I get the chance to turn on you."
"Fire Blossom, please… I'm doing this to protect everypony. To protect you. Don't you see that?"


"Fire, we do this to stop this evil.
Lord Ember doesn't want to do this, but it might be the only way.
And we need your help."



Lady Sunset looks most upset in you
This brave martyr is willing to give og himself to possibly save the world!"
You see a shadow move in the corner of your eye


"And we might be dabbling in forces we can not comprehend. The portal we create to reach it might also allow more creatures Luke the one we dealt with earlier to run through. The cure may be as bad as the disease if we take this route."


Draw my blade and turn '1d10'

Roll #1 3 = 3


Snap at her, shouting angrily.
"There has to be another way!"
Before starting to sob quietly.
"I am not leaving.
I won't. Not until the darkness has been fought off from this world.
I took a holy vow, and serving under somepony who makes use of the dark arts…
That would be tainting it."


"Let her leave. One who is conflicted about their goal. Should have the freedom to choose a new path."


"…Fire Blossom, please. When I was burning in their fire, getting changed into something else… It was you who saved me, forcing the darkness back into a single point within me.
Over and over, you've kept me from falling into the dark… from becoming something I'm not.
…Don't leave me now, when I need you to keep me from falling the most. I don't want to face the dark alone."


It isn't there any more. It must have seen you turning.
Try looking around.
"Sometimes… we all must do unthinkable things for the greater good. That is what it means to be selfless."


Looking around like a boss '1d10'

Roll #1 7 = 7


Take out my halberd and stomp the boat's floor with its butt.
"I am not leaving your side, Ember.
I just cannot call you my lord anymore."
Remove the hood, revealing the scorched face and crying, red eyes.
"Please. Don't die now."
Then, turn to Lady Sunset, biting my lip.
"There is a thin line between selflessness and believing your own lies.
But I won't stop you."


"When did that happen!? Let me take a look at that!"


Raise a hoof.
"It's an old scar."


There! Towards the hold!
"Nopony is going to die, Blossom.
That is what Ember will help us ensure."



"Once we're through with all of this, please, come to my clinic."


What is it?
"You! Stop!"


"Please, Lady Sunset."
Look at her with begging eyes.
I can accept this. I can be at peace with it.
But I cannot allow it to happen under the oath I took, for it is sacred.
So all I'm asking, is for Lord Ember to release me from it.
Then, I will follow you through to the end of the world."


"What are you seeing?" '1d10' look for it.

Roll #1 8 = 8


Look on shocked, then start tearing up myself.
"…Oh, Blossom…"
Give you a hug, clinging to you like my life depends on it.
"…I wish there was another way… but I'm a leader, and that means the burden of this decision should rest on my shoulders alone.
If you truly wish to leave my service… Then I release you with my blessing and best wishes.
…But please… If I'm on the edge and seem to be about to fall… I beg of you, pull me back. Give me the strength to fight this darkness so it will not consume us all."



The shadow calmly stops in a shady corner
Seems like someone snuck aboard and went into the hold
Dulltooth picks you both up and hugs you in one motion of his massive arms
"Not sad. Be happy. Have hearts of light."


Trot over, cautiously.
"Who are you?"


"You kept your word, and did not send anyone after us. For that, I feel you deserve a bit of information."


"Then it is done."
Hug him right back.
"…You're right, Dulltooth. We'd never have made it this far without you.
Thank you… for reminding me of what's important."


Put my daggers away.
"You were about the last pony I expected here.
Speak freely."


Go after in them.


"It's okay, Coral."


"Whisper.. we are part of a team.you don't have to do everything alone."


"It's a friend. She'd rather speak privately, you understand."


"I see.."
Okay. Leave them alone then..


"I doubt you would have ever gotten this information via other channels, because it took even me far too long to find out. A notable Canterlot Paladin has gone rogue, and stolen the Shard of Light from the high cathedral. Since they themselves insisted on guarding it over allowing it to be kept in the Royal Vaults of the Sisters, it was all very well covered up.
We fear he has gone to the Dark with it."
"Is ok. Sometimes seeing what is important can be hard."


"We had heard something about this Shard of Light. We think it might be the only thing capable of destroying this evil. What is the name of this traitor?"


Be surprised for an instant…
But let out a big sigh as I hug them back.
"Thank you.
Thank you so much, Ember."


I guess I will walk in on this group hug.
Watch from the sidelines


"S till… Youre a good friend, dulltooth."


"Sundancer. A high ranking paladin of some renown. The cause of his falling is unknown at this time."
Cloudcover looks stoic.
"They seem rather happy."


I nod.
"Right. We will watch out for him."
I pause.
"Thank you for this."


"I felt it might be of some help to you, as you were of help to me in allowing me to purge my town of unwanted tagalongs."


"Of course, Blossom. After all, it is… was, my job to look out for you. Now, it's just what I want to do.
If you ever need anything from me, don't ever be afraid to ask. You will always be welcome in my home."


I nod.
"It was my pleasure."


Nod equally stoic. "Yes. it is good. For this may be their last chance to feel joy. "


Answer with a smile.
"Let's just kill some heretics for now."


Smile back. "Agreed."
Brush your mane out of your eyes.
"…You have a beautiful smile. You should show it off more often."


Pull away.
"One's true face is only for frieds to be seen."


"Then thank you, Blossom. I'm honored to be your friend."


Was there anything else you needed, then?"
"It won't be. The dark fears us now. We will walk away from this as heroes yet."
"Friends are good. Never can have too many friends."


"I'm sure you have more important things to do right now than saving Equestria from a horrible demon from beyond.
But when this is over, I was wondering if you're hiring?"


"I wish I was as certain of that as you."


"Isn't that the truth."
Unfortunately, the time has come to face the music.
Turn to whatsisname. "Okay… what do I need to do?"


"Tell me and Primrose what we need to do."


"Those wronged by the ones in power are always welcome in my hideout."
"I'm not certain. But hope helps light the heart up."
Whimsyshine opens his book
"For this to work… we will need to recite the Gatewyrm Call at a point where the alignment of magic is… suitable. I have found such a location and marked it on this map.
As you are not a trained mage, I will need to assist you in the process. Once there, we will begin the incantation, and if all goes well, the Gatewyrm should ask you who you wish to transport, then appear to do your bidding.
Then we can get inside it, and use it to find Midnight Island.
…and we can probably kill it from the inside too while we're at it."


"Any clues as to where I can find this new hideout?"


"I have my apprehension, but lead the way. It may be our only choice."


I will stand by your side, whatever happens."


"Alright, sounds simple enough. I'd ask what the catch is, but… that's pretty self-evident, isn't it?"
"I'm glad.
Now, let's finish this fight."


"Make it out alive and I will make sure you find us.
And any you try to bring along never make it there alive."
"Then… I guess we need to set sail."


"Later then, Boss."
Turn around and walk back to the rest of the group.

"There's something you should know.
I found out an Equestrian paladin defected to our enemy, Sundancer. It's because of him the enemy has the Shard of Light"


Look astonished.


"Nopony knows. But I fear we might meet him there."


There is no sound as she vanishes away.
Glorious Grace lifts his eyes from his weapon
…I know him."


"What?! Where are they?!"


"What?! You mean they have three of the four pieces they need? We need to move!"




"What can you tell us about him?"


"If we do, the light will have forsaken him.
And it will stand behind us."


"Probably at Midnight Spooky Skeleton Island by now."

"Sundancer, traitor, Shard of Light stolen."


"I hate to say this, but we will have to stop him permanently if he has, but it's not something I would like to do."


"Sundancer was… my mentor.
An old soldier of strong heart and great faith, covered in scars from conquests and adventures throughout his life.
He retired to help train recruits after his last battle, and we… somewhat became friends.
I would not call him a father figure to any extent, but his training is still with me. He knew what he was doing, and the fire in his heart was the brightest I have ever seen."


"This does not seem the description of a pony who would forsake the holy path!"


"This is outrage. We need to find him immediately. "


"Perhaps we can rekindle that."


"Though it shocks me too… I may understand his reasoning. Though I do not want to think that I'm right."


"What do you mean?"


"And what would it be?"




"What could drive someone like that to do so?"


"In battle he always believed more in divine protection than armor, and it lasted him for many years. He often got very bitter after telling about his past, and I remember him silently asking himself is that pain he felt in his knees every day Celestia's reward for her faithful followers.
Perhaps someone finally showed him another path, and now he is using it to take his vengeance upon Celestia for not protecting him."


Look astounded, my face contorted in a grimace of disbelief.
Not even raising my voice, reply.
"Well then watch out for me, I'm gonna blow up canterlot at this rate!"


What a sap.


"Well, If he's blaming her for his own decisions, there's not much we can do for him."


"Except you have us. Depending on your reasoning, we'll stop you long before or help you."


Sigh. "Really…"


"I hope he will have a the glorious final battle he so wanted. If nothing else, I will give it to him. And then kill him."


"Let's get going then."


"I am sure that you will be more reasonable and retire when your body demands it."


"Indeed." I guess I'm ready. Let's do this.


"Very well then. Let us go to him. I will allow you the honor of the final blow if it comes to that."


"Seems like the only way. We must hurry then."


"Let us set sail."

And so the good ship departed from Marenburg, and headed for a gathering storm to seek out the perfect focus of magic that would allow you to unlock the final part of your journey.



The merchant ship has set sail for the point Whimsyshine marked on their maps, based on his calculations on the flow of magic.

You have some time to settle any remaining talks you wish to have with anyone before the summoning ritual. Not everyone may make it out alive.


Not one for chats.


All right, I need to… settle my affairs with my minions, just in case something goes wrong.


I'm ready.
I'll might be off and on throughout the night though, so don't give me big tasks.


Suit yourself.
If you wish to discuss issues of faith, Sweet Potato and Glorious Grace are always available
Dulltooth is quietly brushing Fern
Silk looks a little worried
"You're one brave fool…"


"That I am." Give her a hug. "But I couldn't stand to let somepony else take the hit for me.
…I might not be coming back for this. If that happens… we need to figure out where you two will go afterwards."


"You're coming back. You promised to take me out of Equestria."
Dulltooth shrugs
"Do not want to sound cold, but you not first friend I lost. I manage."


I will keep watching the preparation for the ritual. With a glare.


Give her a gentle smile. "…I guess I don't have a choice then, do I?" Kissu~ '1d10'
"But I'm probably going to have a few more bruises by the time we get out of this. So… be gentle the next time we…" Blush and grin at her.

All right, I'm ready. Let's do this.

Roll #1 9 = 9


Cloud is rifling through his things, looking for something
"You seem upset."
"I'll be right at your side the whole time anyway. We can share the bruises."

Are we #READY?





"Displeased with the circumstances. "
I reply coldly.


#Processing, Please Wait…



"I'm sure we all are.
Just remember - don't let it darken your heart."
The ship slowly drifts to a stop, and Whimsyshine goes up on deck. The sky is dark, illuminated by occasional flashes of lightning. There is no rain, but the air feels charged around you.
"Perfect. This… will do well."
He opens the tome and copies a few of the odd runes from it onto a scroll.
"Just in case…"

"Ember… c-come here. Please read from t-this page, where it begins the calling spell."
He takes a deep breath to stop stuttering
"…Yes. From there.
I will be right here, helping you channel the spell. Do you feel the magic in the air? Let it in you. Let it flow through you. Let it become a part of you. And whatever you do, do not be afraid. Do not hesitate. Speak clearly. Slowly if you must, but clearly. We cannot afford mistakes."


I'm ready!


Stay on watch.


"A-all right. Guess there's no sense putting it off any longer."
Can I read the page he's indicating?


"I will stay strong. Do not fear for that." Smile and shimmer a bit as I whisper to cloud " light of my heart ~ "


Though the runes upon the page are like a cruel mockery of all things holy and pure, a dancing madness without rhyme or reason, beginning or end, structure or form, to your gifted eyes they arrange into perfectly understandable text, bowing before one who has been privileged to read them.
Gatewyrm who swims the dark depths between worlds, slavebeast who exists to please its masters, hear my voice, and heed it well. Gatewyrm who lurks in the abyss betwixt all places, powerless worm who lives by my grace alone, hear my voice, and swim towards it. Gatewyrm, my slave, my pet and servant, come to me, and take me to the dark.
He blushes a little, but softly places his wing on your back
"I'll be there for you, when you most need it."


Give him a quick peck on the cheek and keep watching.


"Okay. I'm going to start now, so… don't freak out, okay?"
Take a deep breath, then begin reciting.
"Gatewyrm who swims the dark depths between worlds, slavebeast who exists to please its masters, hear my voice, and heed it well. Gatewyrm who lurks in the abyss betwixt all places, powerless worm who lives by my grace alone, hear my voice, and swim towards it. Gatewyrm, my slave, my pet and servant, come to me, and take me to the dark."


From somewhere in the endless darkness that fills the vast chasms between realities, a roaring scream is heard, nearly deafening you.
You struggle to maintain balance against the intense, angry wind that blasts through you from the twisting void unseen by living eyes, and in the dark corners of your vision you catch a glimpse of a maw of infinite fangs surging up from the depths, headed straight for you.

To everyone else, it just seems like you shouted a lot of gibberish and then almost fell over for no real reason.


"Get ready, cause here it comes!"


Standing by.


For a moment, the world seems to slow to a halt. The waves cease, the lightning freezes in place, creating an eerie illumination for the scene.
Then, in what seems to be impossible slow motion, the sea implodes into a great vortex around you, as the seemingly endless length of the Gatewyrm forces itself through the gap in reality.
It arcs over the ship, again under it, and finally pushes its head out through the loop, creating an oddly intricate shape with its body, like a gate. Across its sides you see countless small faces, each with its single eye focused on you. At its front, a multitude of jaws open to form a single great gaping hole leading inside.
On the inside, the beast looks far more spacious and dry than you might have expected.

It speaks in a choir of unholy voices, ranging from deep bass to the voices of infants, addressing you, its current masters.

Whimsyshine is clenching his jaws
"Remember… no… fear…"


stand tall and watch.
Just barely shiver into cloud's wing.


"Consider your challenge accepted."

Turn to the group.
"Come on guys, everypony in! We're leaving in five, and we're not gonna wait for your luggage!"


Whistle while going in.
When you whistle you're not afraid, right! '1d10'

Roll #1 6 = 6


Go in after them.


"Coral, I know it's tempting, but please don't start whistling too. We don't want to piss the giant serpent off while we're inside it."


"I don't whistle for pleasure." Nod anyway.


"Remember when we were headed for the ghost town, and you tried to whistle the same tune I was whistling?"


Laugh at the memory. "Oh yes. Well. Your song was just so infectious. I wanted to be a part of what you were doing."


Laugh along with her.
"How about this: I'll teach you how to properly hold a tune, and we'll whistle together the rest of the way."


And so you head into the gaping maw before you, walking past rows and rows of stalactite-like teeth, the remains of the unworthy still lodged between some of them.
As you step deeper into the dark gullet, the mouth behind you slowly closes, and you come to a point of no return.

Midnight Island lies at the other end. Travel well, children of the dark.

The road ahead is not quite what you may have expected. The beast's insides are so vast you can hardly even see the top or sides from where you stand. Its inner surfaces are a slowly shifting mass of pale flesh, with the occasional opening and jutting bone. The entire beast only looks organic in the most visual of senses. Its layout is closer to that of a pony-made road…


Let's see if I can't teach Coral to carry a tune as we go along! '1d10'

Roll #1 9 = 9




"I was never a quick learner…" try to copy his tune. '1d10'
Walk and walk..

Roll #1 3 = 3


As you walk, the landscape begins to change, ever so slowly.
Walls of iron embedded into the creature's flesh, stairs to seemingly nowhere cruelly bolted to its insides.


Any signs that say "this way for shard of light"? '1d10'

Roll #1 1 = 1


"We always go to the nicest places, don't we?"
"Keep it up, you're doing great!" Keep trying to teach her. '1d10'

Roll #1 3 = 3


Sigh and walk up there.
Stepping a little more gingerly than usual.


"We are going forward at least."
'1d10' copy.

Roll #1 9 = 9


"There you go! You'll be a natural at this rate! All right, everyone together now!" Whistle together as we go along our merry way. '1d10'

Roll #1 7 = 7


Suddenly, the Gateworm turns as it swims, turning your world upside down. As it twists its body, more spear-like bones begin to jut out of its sides, and the floor becomes a wall as it turns on its side.
Coral, having already reached the stairs that seemed pointless a moment ago, grabs on and realizes they were there for this exact purpose!
The "wall" you saw is in fact an iron walkway hammered into the beast so that those who travel inside it can avoid being impaled as it moves. Try to aim for it!


Jump, flip and bam, them there '1d10'

Roll #1 7 = 7


"Move, move, move!" Me, Silk, and Dulltooth try to grab onto the iron walkway! '3d10'

Roll #1 5, 4, 9 = 18


Hold on'1d10'

Roll #1 8 = 8


You land with grace and ease
Holding on is luckily a simple task
You and Silk have a rather rough landing, but Dulltooth makes it with ease.

It seems the others grabbed onto other walkways. The paths, however, appear to diverge.
Lady Sunset waves at you
"Should we look for a way to get to you or keep going!?"


Can I spot a way to get them to us? "Do you see a good way up her?" '1d10'

Roll #1 4 = 4


No immediate route is visible, and the paths you are on lead in different directions.
You may need to wait for the wyrm to shift again, or wait for Cloudcover to haul them over.
"Not really, but I think most of these paths should lead outside, right?"


"I hope so… good luck then. " keep moving


"Okay, but be careful!"
Keep moving.


"Let's hope so."


You head down your path, the sound of metal under your hooves and a distant heartbeat being the only things that break the silence.
Some distance ahead, one of the small openings in what is now the ceiling quivers.


Recap pls.


"All right, Coral, show me what you've learned!" Strike up that whistling tune again.
We're headed through the Wyrm right now, and got separated from Lady Sunset.


How did the summoning go?


Went without a hitch. You might want to check me over to make sure I haven't been corrupted, though.


You bet your tiny shimmering ass I will.


Whistle back at you.
"Um.. are we close…" stare at the walls as we walk.


Nobody died, thanks to nobody showing fear.
You are now inside the Gatewyrm, confound to a metal walkway that was nailed to its insides as it turned on its side. What used to be the floor is now covered in jagged bone spikes due to its new posture. You need to find a way to its other end.
A small nearby opening in the flesh quivers before you.


Smile happily. "Look at you, already carrying a tune like a pro!"
"Alright… I've got a feeling this is gonna be weird." Investigate the opening!


"Should we… go in that?" Point at the opening.


A strange construct of flesh, bone and tainted ichor flows out, landing on the metal with a wet splat.
It stands up, staring at you with its eyeless face, its mouth opening vertically across the length of its entire skull
Who are you?


Stare it down as I put myself between it and the rest of the group.
"I am the Caller of the Gatewyrm. Let us pass."


It cocks its head to the side and looks at the others
To what end do you bring the untouched with you, Caller?


Glare at that thing.


To reward them for their service, by letting them witness the resurrection. Now let us pass.


It has no eyes, yet it must return your glare
The path ahead will test your worth, as it tests all.
We are the caretakers of the Gatewyrm, our task is to see it kept safe, and well. We wish you a safe journey. But cannot guarantee one.


My journey shall be safe, for I shall make it so. I am worthy.

Let's move on.


Follow ember. "Indeed. We can keep ourselves safe."


The faceless caretaker climbs back inside its hole.
Looking ahead, you can see the iron walkway bending into a tube-like cage, and notice something scribbled on the metal surface


Read the inscription.


#Try pulling, but be wary of up


"Try pulling, but be wary of up…"
Look up to see if I see anything.


"What does that mean?" '1d10' is there something to pull here?

Roll #1 7 = 7


"Heck if I know, I'm just reading what's written."


A little way up the wall, embedded on some dangling fleshy thing, is an old, slightly rusted halberd.


"Ew do we have to pull that?"


Wait, what's with this halberd?
Do I recognise it?


"I think we pull the cage, and then that thing attacks us. Get ready." Try pulling the cage! '1d10'

Roll #1 7 = 7


It's just some old weapon lodged in the fleshy thing. Yanking on it might hurt the Gatewyrm quite a bit.
The cage is a tube dozens of meters long, bolted to the iron walkway.
Pulling on it does nothing, but you can easily walk through it.


"So… do you guys want to keep going, or try to pull on the halberd?"


"Up we go?"
Trot trot into the spooky cage.


Into the cage it is!


You go into the tube cage. By its construct, it seems like it is capable of twisting to a degree without breaking, as it is made up of several rings connected with large chain-like loops.
At the other end of the tunnel is another walkway, but is seems to be on the ceiling.
One more walkway is to your left, but there are some bone spikes along the way. Though with some force it may be possible to dislodge the tube cage and have it roll over them safely.


"Want me to pull it?" I ask.


"Go ahead."


'1d10' pull the cage free.

Roll #1 3 = 3


The bolts that hold it are rather well made. You may need to try and shatter them.
Or Slam it loose.


"Dulltooth? Care to take a whack at it?"
Slam it loose. '1d10'

Roll #1 1 = 1


'1d10+2' " okay. Lets get this thing off.." shatter.

Roll #1 4 + 2 = 6


Dulltooth slams into the cage, and gets his paw stuck
At the same time Coral shatters the bolts holding it in place, and the entire cage starts rolling along the spiky flesh, deflecting pointy bits with ease, keeping you safe.
All of you except Dulltooth's paw, which gets heavily mangled in the process, until the cage finally crashes into the other walkway on the other side.


Winch "that looks.. painful. "


I think I finished processing how disgusting this is and thought over everything wrong with my life up to this point.
I'm here now.


He lifts up the limp mess attached to his wrist
"It… is."


"Ooh, sorry about that, Dulltooth!"
"Blossom, a little help here?"
"About time you woke up!"


Gasp and rush by his side!
"Stop right there!"

Roll #1 7 + 2 = 9


"Shut up, Ember. I'm troubled as it is."


"Thanks, Blossom."
"Hey, I'm the one risking my immortal soul here, you don't get to be snappy with me!"


Shoot a killer glare to them.
"Both of you.
Stop it.
This isn't a show about who is doing his best to abnegate his self and save the world!"


"It is disturbing… but we will get there soon. I am certain of it."


"Well, I can only hope that we'll get to it soon. This place freaks me out."


The bones snap back together and the bloating slowly dies down as blood escapes the bruises. After a few more loud pops and cracks the hand once again resembles what it once was
"Thank you, friend."
He hugs you with the other hand

Another walkway leads forward from here, and looking up, you can see another directly above you. Odds are the Gatewyrm likes to flop around a lot…


Smile and sigh as he hugs me.
"Don't worry. I've got your back."
"This is just the beginning…"


"Well, let's keep moving." Onward!


"Another cage? Okay. I'll get it." '1d10+2' shatter on this one.

Roll #1 9 + 2 = 11


This is merely a walkway, not another cage tube.
Do you wish to shatter the walkway?


Nah. Just walk.


Walk walk.


"Must be seeing things.." rub my eyes as we move on.


Just keep walking.


You pass a large overhang of bone spikes, and come to what looks like an abrupt end in the walkway.
Beyond this sudden drop is a bunch more spikes.
Right above you is another, intact walkway.
To your left is another one of those quivering openings.
On the ground is another scribbled message


Look expectantly at ember.


I wonder what would happen if I were to use heal on the bone spikes…


You can try. Though results are not guaranteed.


Go read the scribbled message.


There are two messages
#Try Jumping
and near it


Read that thing.


""Try jumping" and "Liar?" What does that mean?"


"Well, it means we should either try jumping or we shouldn't."


Cloudcover looks down at the spikes
"Judging from the amount of dead bodies down there, I think I can guess."
Indeed you can see half a dozen bodies worth of bones about a leap's distance away, impaled on the spikes.
see >>556145


"Yeah, I'd rather not."


"Well, looks like we have to go through that opening over there."
Through the quivering opening!


You pull the opening wide… open, and come face to lack-of-face with a Caretaker
You seem lost, Caller.


Oh. Right. Well fuck.


Was there something you needed?




I thought this couldn't get any more uncomfortable.
I was proven wrong.


Um… do I see any other pathways we can take?


Tap my hoof, let's just wait until the one who can talk to demons in gibberish guide us.
Wow, such plan.


There is one directly above you.
You could try to make the Gatewyrm turn again to reach it, or try moving the cage tunnel over here.
Or you could try to shove yourself in the opening to see what it's like in there.
The Caretaker turns its faceless head towards you, its vertical mouth slowly opening and closing along the length of its entire head
Your followers seem as lost as you, Caller. Do not lead them astray.


Hold up a paw.
"Please don't talk to me."




"Let's try moving that cage tunnel over here."

I won't.


The Caretaker slowly pulls itself back into the fleshy hole it fell out from.

Moving the cage tunnel all the way to this end of the walkway will take some effort.


"This is all quite unnerving."


Well, let's get to work. How would we go about moving it? '1d10'

Roll #1 6 = 6


"I know. Don't let it get to you."


Is there an easy way to do it?

Roll #1 9 = 9


"Seriously, that thing looked as if it was crawling out of a butt."


"It's one of the caretakers of the worm. So… that may actually be where they come from."


The easiest way, now that it's dislodged, is to simply climb back inside and walk against the wall to make it roll along the floor.


"All right, let's do this." Rolling, rolling, rolling…


"They should call it midbutt castle instead of midnight castle then."

Roll, roll. I'm gonna be sick if I'm here much longer




You roll the rattling cage along, and eventually reach the part where you left off last time.
You can try to either roll over the spikes, or set the tube up as a tunnel to get over them and see what is on the other side.


I don't want to see what's on the other side, but we'll have to.


Lemme try to mend over the spikes.

Roll #1 10 = 10


Jumping worked the first time '1d10'

Roll #1 7 = 7


Let's use the tube as a tunnel. Spikes are always bad news.


Blossom attempts to Mend the spikes, which causes the Gatewyrm to gently shift its position, slowly allowing the tube cage to roll into place between the two metal walkways, and revealing a new path of spikeless flesh before you.
The metal tube is now behind you, and the former floor and ceiling have become the right and left walls.
Before you opens a clear path onwards


"Well now!"
Smile and walk through.


"Good thinking!" Lets get going now. What's the next challenge?


Trot trot. Ignore all the horrible things around you


Walk through.
My inner dog screams at the thought of shifting tunnels.


You eventually come to what seems like a massive vertical pit. Looking around you can see the ends of other tunnels and walkways, all leading here. Perhaps the others already beat you to this place…
Near the lip of the pit is one more quivering opening. You can rouse the Caretaker from it, or go inspect the pit.


I'll inspect the pit '1d10'

Let the Weirdo talk to his Vagina Dentata marefriend

Roll #1 10 = 10


I'll inspect the pit first.
"Any sign of the others?"


The pit is deep, so deep you can't see the bottom. It seems to twist and contort a lot along its length, with occasional bursts of dark gas and ichor spraying from wounds on the walls.
Large fleshy protrusions jut out along its length, and you can see some ropes past travelers have tied to some of them, and to weapons and spikes they have driven into the walls to make additional hoofholds.
It will be a perilous climb, unless you want to get creative.
Silk points up
"Look at that large bone. If we can get a rope over it, we can possibly rig some sort of elevator, or at least a safety harness."


"Good idea, Silk. Who's got some rope?"


Can we reach some of the ropes that are already there to make our own elevator?

Roll #1 3 = 3


"I got rope, got it back at the church."
Throw the rope around '1d10'

Roll #1 3 = 3


Facehoof and levitate a rope to it, tightening it around the bone.


Not really. Though it may be possible to break off a bit of the cage tube to make a platform.
Luckily, Silk catcher the rope before you can throw it into the pit.
"One moment, please."
She nods at Dulltooth and then momentarily disappears behind him, soon returning with a length of rope
"There. Not much, but I suppose anything helps"
You now have enough rope to make something of an elevator. It will probably not reach all the way, but it will save a lot of perilous climbing.


And that takes care of half of it.


Well, make that elevator. We can climb the rest of the way.


You can either try to rig something with the cage tube, or use Dulltooth's basket.
Only two people can fit in the basket at a time though.


"Let's use that cage tube to make a platform for an elevator of sorts."


Cage tube, rather.


Roll for the safety of your makeshift thingy


Let's build this strong. '1d10'

Roll #1 5 = 5


Dog jury rig!
Always works!

Roll #1 4 = 4



Roll #1 2 = 2



Roll #1 7 = 7


Can my minions help? '2d10'

Roll #1 3, 5 = 8


It's rickety. Really, really rickety.
But it will hold all of you, and get you down most of the way.
You just need to make a few checks along the way to see how long it holds.

Do you want to head down, or talk to the Caretaker?


Eh…if Ember wants I don't mind. As long as I don't have to look at it.


All right. I'll talk to the caretaker, just in case.


It flows up from the hole, and …looks… at your contraption
Caller, know that you near the end of your journey, for better or worse. At the bottom awaits your passage to Midnight Island, so hurry along.
But go right to the bottom, and do not stray. For the chambers of the Wyrm's Heart are forbidden even from you. Do not disobey, Caller. Lest you wish to anger us.


Why are they forbidden?


You are allowed passage to Midnight Island. That is out service to the dark. The realm beyond this single corridor is not for your kind. It is our realm. And you are not welcome there.


I see. I shall not trespass.

"Okay, everyone. He says we need to go straight to the bottom; stop in any of the other chambers, and we'll have a lot of pissed-off things on our hooves!"


Cloudcover keeps his voice low
"They are trying to protect the beast…"


"When do we not have a lot of pissed off things trying to kill us anyway?"


"They say it is their realm. If their realm creates things like them… maybe we don't want to go there."

Anyway, we headed down?


"Sounds like a plan."


You get on your elevator. A creaking, malformed, tortured mess of abused rope and iron crying out for the release of destruction. It protest louder and louder and each of you step on its misshapen surface, but it holds, even if it has no desire to.

Slowly you begin releasing the rope, and start your descent into the hellish pit.

Around you, the heartbeat grows louder.



Your descent seems tortuously slow. The elevator moves in short, jerking drops, and with each one you can't help but glance at the ever shrinking coil of rope you have left. The sprays of noxious gas periodically belching out of the numerous wounds in the walls make your eyes water and noses bleed, so you have to time your descent carefully.
Looking around at the small platforms on the edges, the dangling ropes, iron spikes driven into the flesh, makeshift ladders and countless bones of unfortunate pilgrims, you cannot help but be thankful that you did not need to climb down the hard way.


Cover my face with some sort of cloth.


We could even make this easier.
Mend the wounds as we move down, to facilitate our descent.

Roll #1 8 = 8


"So… are we going to do as they asked and proceed straight to midnight Island, or do what's sure to piss them off and go into the chamber?"

Btw do my minions get the 2 SP as well?


No. Minions do not level up.
You reach out and touch one of the wounds on the wall, channeling your good will into it, allowing it to slowly close.
You can feel the Gatewyrm shifting. But it is not the same malevolent twisting it has done before. It's more relaxed. Slow. Friendly.



For a creature of the darkness it's incredibly friendly…


"Are you sure that's a good idea?"


"I'm starting to get the feeling that this thing doesn't serve the darkness willingly. Maybe killing it isn't such a good idea."


Pretty good


You may heal more of it, if you so choose.

Grandheart looks at the remaining rope
"We're almost as low as we can go…"
Whimsyshine looks down
"I can a-always try to keep the rope going w-with Telekinesis."


"If you do that, Silk might be able to help you, just to make sure. This thing's unstable as it is."
"Try healing it again. It seems to like that."


Let's keep.
Do I have to roll every time?
"I'm worried about hurting it…"

Roll #1 8 = 8


"Can you not-drop us if you do?"


Give her a gentle smile. "I have faith in you."


"I-if we tie the e-end of the rope into a noose a-around the rope itself, w-we can effectively double the length until the loop hits the bone at the top.
S-someone just needs to gently shimmy the noose upwards. I-if we simply let go, the elevator will fall until we run out of rope. A-and… well… it will probably break from the impact."
The wounds are large, and you begin to understand its pain quite well. You attune yourself with the needs of this flesh, and allow your power to wash over it, closing wounds as you descend.
The Gatewyrm slowly shifts. Perhaps with a little more coaxing, you can turn this sheer drop into a gentler slope, eliminating the need for an elevator.
+2 to all attempts to heal the Gatewyrm. If you crit, it becomes Automatic.



Let out a long sigh and close my eyes.
'1d10+2' to Mend the next wound.

Roll #1 1 + 2 = 3


You reach out to heal the next deep cut you come across, but the moment you touch it, the clammy, cold hoof of a Caretaker touches you back. Before you can even recoil in fear, the creature forces itself out of the hole up to its waist and stares at you with its faceless head
What is it this one is doing?


'1d10' not to do anything VERY stupid.

Roll #1 3 = 3


Let's start whistling again!
…or not.
She is healing the wounds of the Gatewyrm. Is this displeasing to you?


WRATH to free myself!

Roll #1 6 = 6


"Blossom, call down. He just wants to know what you're doing-"
"-Damnit Blossom."


You blast him back, letting yourself escape.
The blast shakes the elevator, making Whimsyshine scream and nearly drop the whole thing.
The Caretaker forces itself back up. It is hard to tell if he is displeased by the blasting
Such acts of generosity are unheard of.


Stand away from that thing, and don't say a word.


She is a very generous soul. If you wish her to stop, I can make her stop… but otherwise, I will allow her to continue. I see no reason why the wyrm must suffer in this state.


We would not dare ask for such things. Rather, we would ask her to become one with us.
Another Caretaker forces itself out of a nearby hole
It is the task of us, the Caretaker, to see to the well-being of the Gatewyrm. For we are it, and it is us. Without it, we cannot survive, and by now, without us, neither can it.
The Caretaker points at the countless wounds along the Wyrm's insides left by the climbing implements of those seeking to enter Midnight Island


"…They want you to join them. As a caretaker of the Wyrm."


Oh dear


Raise a brow.
"Are they insane?"


"I think they like you, Blossom."


Flush and look back at him.
"Great, now I will be remembered as the one who heresy loved!"


"You were healing them!"


"I can't help it!
It's crying! Can't you hear it?"


"Well if you like it so much, why don't you..mish mesh up with them?"


The caretakers stare at you.
One takes your hoof gently, the other points at a nearby wound.
Had they any faces, they would probably appear pleading


Give him a disgusted look.
And wince as they take my hoof…
But focus on the wound.

Roll #1 10 + 2 = 12


"….cadence help us.."


You place your hoof on the wound, focusing on the countless points of pain in this beast. You feel its suffering, from the broken bones to the numerous things nailed to its flesh, the cuts left from the blades of travelers, the bruises from the hooves of hundreds of pilgrims.
You take it all in, and contemplate on it. Nothing deserves this kind of pain.
You open your eyes and force your hoof into the wound, screaming as you unleash your power. The same power you had once in the dark reaches of your mind planned to use to kill this monster. Even in this dark place, in the bowels of a thing born within the lightless void beyond reality, your healing heart is a bright beacon of hope. Your light fills the wound and crawls up countless miles of veins that line the walls, pooling in wounds above and below, turning the entire dark fleshy chasm into a wondrous constellation of dancing lights. And the brightest stars in it are your very eyes, as they fill with pride for your own achievements, fury towards those who hurt this faithful servant, and compassion for these creatures who, though gruesome, never harbored any truly malevolent intents.
Slowly, steadily the Gatewyrm relaxes and eases up, turning the vertical pit into a straight horizontal tunnel lit by your healing magic.

The caretakers look around in amazement.
Several more of them start emerging from the walls. And on one of the walls, a short way down the hall, a great door of teeth and flesh opens, lined by bowing Caretakers.
One of them faces you, and speaks in an uneasy, retching voice, struggling to form words its dark voice was never meant to speak. Words of ponies.
"T-thaaa-nk hyyuuuuu…"


I… Start crying.
And hug the caretaker, still bawling like an idiot.


I am sort of speechless at this.


I blink in amazement. "Fire… you… "
"You have more light in your soul that I ever imagined possible.."


Let go of the caretaker and start wiping my tears, looking at them with a smile, shaking my head.
"It-it is j-just…
Their light, not mine."


Wow…she's amazing


"Pretty sure you were glowing the most."


"What are you taking about. This is a creature of darkness. The light must have been you."


The Caretaker slowly hugs you back. It has probably never considered hugging another creature before. It has had none worthy.
After a moment, it once again tries to contort its mouth to speak to you, as hard as it is for him.
It points at the chamber that just opened, then taps your chest
H-hhhheeeeal…. hearrrt.

From within the chamber, you can hear a thundering heartbeat. This must be the forbidden inner sanctum of the Caretakers. And you have been invited in.


"I meant the Sister's…"
Stare astonished at it, and then look at the caretaker.


Look at the heart and look back at her.


Enter the heart chamber?
Walk away and leave this place?


It's her choice man.
I'm not invited.


I've been invited.
Would be rude to walk away.
Enter, very slowly, the heart's chamber.


"I will stand by you. Whatever you decide."


Have to see what's inside.
At least that much."


Follow you in without another word.


I wish I was wearing a blindfold
Trot in.


You slowly walk into the Heart Chamber.
It is a massive circular dome. The floor is covered in those strange openings the Caretakers use to travel. The walls are lined with great pulsing veins.
And at the far back wall is the source of the thunderous heartbeat that has been booming in your ears this entire trip. A massive, strangely shaped heart hangs limply from from the wall. It does not beat, for it has long since lost its strength.
Rather, a massive Caretaker, easily ten times the size of the others, sits behind it. The massive creature has fused with the back wall over time, and is entirely immobile, but it does not mind. It holds the heart in its lap, and hugs it to help it pump the Wyrm's life blood. The other Caretakers occasionally climb in near it to feed it the bodies of those who failed to traverse the Wyrm.
It sits silently, steadily hugging the heart with all its strength. Its legs have atrophied to nothing, for it had no need to walk. Like its kin, it has no face, but it has no need for eyes. Not when the only thing that matters to it is right there, in its embrace.

The… 'talkative' caretaker points at the old, tired heart.


I'd cry if it wasn't so disgusting


I'll need therapy for this.
Let Blossom do her thing.


Cover my mouth with a hoof and walk slowly up to the heart, lookin at the massive Caretaker in the meanwhile.
Slowly, try to touch the heart, but stop before planting my hoof on it, as if to ask if it's okay.


"Hmm" stare softly at the scene.
". Love is a strange force.."


"Blossom… Wow. Just… Wow."
"I… this is bizzarre…"
"Yes… yes it is. But then again…" Smile at Silk.
"Love does conquer all."


Hundreds of Caretakers slowly turn their heads to follow you as you approach it.
The massive one slowly bows its head down, its skin audibly tearing as it moves for the first time in what may be centuries.
And it gives you the faintest of nods.


No messing this up.
Gulp down as if to try and exorcise the incredible pressure, then touch the heart.
Understand it.
Cure it.

Heal it.


"Blossom… I'm proud of you. Not many ponies have such Kindness within their hearts."


"It's not my kindness, Ember."
"It's the Sisters'."


"Don't downplay your own part. Many followers of the sisters would have killed the worm without a second thought. You… you showed it compassion. That's a rare thing in this world."


Did we already regroup with the other guys who got lost here?


As soon as you give the giant organ even the softest touch, you feel your own heart stop. Your eyes stand still in your face, and your mouth runs dry. Your limbs feel weak, and your breath grows shallow. You can no longer hear those around you. The edges of your vision grow dark and blurry.
All you can see is the heart. Its limp, loose muscle. Its dry, cracked surface. The countless fissures and punctures it has all over it.
All you can hear is the heart. Its struggling efforts to find the strength to beat any more. Its hollow chambers that have not filled properly for generations.
All you can feel is the heart. Its desperation. Pain. And hopelessness.
You stumble. Your head spins. You can feel your body giving up hope.
So this is what the Wyrm felt all along.
…and still it found the strength to challenge you all as you entered.
Thus, you, too, must fight it.
You force your hoof against the heart, then your other hoof, and finally push your entire body against it, embracing it with your tiny body. You let tears flow into the cracks, your last, shallow breaths to warm its cold surface, and what little strength you have left in your hooves to encourage it onwards.
Come on, little heart.



And it does.
Just as you fear the heart attack you suffered will be the death of you, you feel your own hear finally beat once. The surge of blood returns color to your vision, the rushing noise filling your ears, and an involuntary gasp fill your lungs once more.
And in turn, the great heart beats, for the first time in ages by its own volition. The mighty spasm pushes you onto your back, and sends the massive Caretaker almost crashing into the wall.
The other Caretakers watch silently as the walls begin to swell once more, and the pale flesh all around you starts turning into a healthier blush of red.
The massive Caretaker looks down at its precious heart, that once again beats on its own, and gently rests on top of it. Finally, after all this time, it can rest…
Not yet.
Though finding them should be much easier now.


Fall to the ground, gasping for air, and stare at the room change around me.
Look at the heart, and at the Caretaker behind it, and at my friends…
And then fall to the meaty ground, a large, incredibly wide smile on my face.




"Can you ask those caretaker fellas where our friends are?"


Help you back up.
"…well done.. "


Smile at her and accept her help to stand, laying over her.


"Yes, of course."
"Blossom!" Rush to help her up.
We entered with some friends. We have since been separated. Could you help guide them to us?


Pat you on the back.


"You did good."


Smile at everyone.
"Let's find our friends now."


We can offer them safe passage to the Island, Caller. You will meet them there.
The Caretakers slowly bow to you


Bow back.


"You're amazing, Blossom. When we meet Celestia when we get back, I'll be sure to tell her how exemplary and compassionate you were."
Thank you.
,,,You have probably figured out that we are not the typical travelers to visit the island.




Look at her quizzically.
"Why not? She'd be proud to hear about how well you served her, by healing a sick creature."


We do not care for your intentions. We have no ties to the dark that lurks on that island. We were born in a different darkness. Theirs is as alien to us, as it is to you.


"Uhh you really think a sun goddess wants to hear about this?!


"What I'm doing here, today…
I know in my heart it's right, I know They would understand…
But I'm not sure They will."


"I am sure that we are making the best calls we can."


"Ladies, please. Let's just get out of here and hope we can live so one day we might tell her Royal Sun Princess about all this."


Chuckle, and nod.


Very well. I only ask that, once we defeat the darkness on that island, that you provide us passage back to our own world.
"They'll understand. And if they don't, I'll just yell at them until they do."


The caretakers open the Heart Chamber's door once more, allowing you to leave.
One of them crawls up to the Heart Keeper, and accepts something from it, which he then brings to you.
It is a small, black crystal shard. A black so deep, it looks like a solid shadow more than a black object. It is as if light simply did not exist near it.
Remember. Dark is not a singular thing. To you, depending on how you view it, dark is either the opposite of light, or the absence of light. To us, such a definition is impossible, for within the primal abyss we come from, light does not exist. Dark, by nature, is not evil. But many who seek comfort in it, unfortunately, are. We hold no sympathy for the dark that you hunt, for it stole from us, subverted what was ours, and claimed mastery over what they merely adopted. Their dark as artificial as their faith. We wish no part of it.
When the time for that comes, we will gladly repay your great service to us. You will find the exit just beyond here. Go in peace. And hunt well, Caller.


Look at Ember.
"What did he say?"


"Remember. Dark is not a singular thing. To you, depending on how you view it, dark is either the opposite of light, or the absence of light. To us, such a definition is impossible, for within the primal abyss we come from, light does not exist. Dark, by nature, is not evil. But many who seek comfort in it, unfortunately, are. We hold no sympathy for the dark that you hunt, for it stole from us, subverted what was ours, and claimed mastery over what they merely adopted. Their dark as artificial as their faith. We wish no part of it.
When the time for that comes, we will gladly repay your great service to us. You will find the exit just beyond here. Go in peace. And hunt well, Caller."
"That's more or less the gist of it. Basically, they wish us well, and will take us home when we're done. Oh, and we'll meet our friends just outside."


"Good enough for me. Lead the way out. "


If you are #ready, we can leave this place behind


"Time to go. Let's finish this fight!"


Ready in character, not ready as a player.
Will be slow.




You leave the heart chamber behind and walk out. As you stride down the last lengths of the Gatewyrm, you see color slowly returning to its surfaces. Caretakers are hauling away piles of old rope, iron slabs, weapons and rivets they are at last able to pull out from the paths of tortured flesh.
The wyrm rests soundly for the first time in ages. Nothing obstructs your way any longer.
As you reach the great fanged maw at the other end, you hear a final echo behind you
T-th-thaaaank hyyuuuuu…

The maw opens to reveal a night sky devoid of stars. A blanket of dark blue and purple that gives all things a dream-like hue. In the distance, you see a city of stone, glass and dark wood. An intricately built place, where no two buildings look alike. Each telling a tale of its residents' desires and dreams. Beyond this city, towering up into the darkened heavens, rises a massive castle as magnificent as it is foreboding. Its great spires grasp the heavens like mighty claws of an angry beast, and its walls dominate the skyline like a great barrier between the mortal world and some twisted paradise.

Two caretakers lie dead near the maw.
A few steps beyond them stand the others. Some bloodied, all of them shocked. Staring at you.


Approach them with a stern expression.
"I'm sorry, but was killing them really neccessary?"


Stare up at the towers. That is where we must go.
"Good bye wyrm. " I say as I step out.


I'm so glad that is over now.
Let's see if this Midnight island can top it in horribleness.


Bow one last time to the wyrm, and turn around.


Thank the Wyrm for its help and see what this new place has in store for us.


Calming, Grandheart and Grace all look equally astonished
"What do you mean was it necessary? These demons have been trying to kill us the entire way here!"
Whimsyshine looks ashamed, but stays quiet.
The others join in on giving you strange looks
"What… happened to you?
Why are you thanking that monster?"


"The beast served us well. It deserved our thanks. Now let's move on."


"Oh… Things are a bit different than they look…"


"Experience tends to make you see things differently. Sometimes for the better."


Lady Sunset takes a step back.
Sunsong steps between you and her, but says nothing.


"Oh really? None of you look injured to me. Were they attacking you… or did you attack them because they looked scary?
This worm is not of our world, brought here and shackled by Tirek, living a tortured existence because of him. We healed it's heart and freed it of his power. Now it's agreed to take us back when we defeat Tirek. They want Tirek dead."
Glare down at them.
"And you killed them because they looked scary."


Stand with him om this.


"Shut up ember. This is not the time."
"Let's get moving. We have to recover the crystal."


"We'll discuss the matter later. We have more important tasks ahead of us."


Roll my eyes.
"This thing wasn't evil, just in a lot of pain. Calm down."


"Then when? The caretakers have been living in suffering for who knows how long, were nothing but cordial to us, and they just killed them because they were different?!"


I shout.
"I'm sorry I'm confused I thought we were going to kill some demons, not argue like old mares."


"Unless you suddenly became a necromancer. We aren't bringing them back. We can place blame and beg forgiveness later."


Grandheart takes an angry step towards you
"We had time to patch our wounds. Between nearly falling to our deaths several times, the endless spikes that tried to impale us, these faceless abominations that tried time and again to shove us off ledges, drag us off into the beast's bowels or pull us down as we made leaps of faith… NOTHING in there was NOT trying to kill us!"
He glares at you
"Yet here you are. Prim and proper, not even sweaty. Saying it served you well.
I have my eye on you. You can count on that…"
Calming Breeze nods
Try not to lead us into any ambushes. Friend."


"There are others who are suffering. We must focus on them, then we can deal with everything else, because right, now, from the way they are behaving, they won't put much stock in what we have to say."


"Hey, you ponies are really big on this sort of stuff, and I don't think I've ever said this unironically, but, a little kindness goes a long way."


Snort and shake my head. "Compassion goes a long way, Grandheart. And we did not make it through without injury. Still, this is neither the time or place. We've got a demon to kill."
Let's just move on. Are Silk and Dulltooth of a similar mind, or do they agree with Sunset?


"You're right. Let's just go."


"At least wait until we kill tirek to stay fighting us. "
Start walking towards the city ignoring their anger.


Silk, Dulltooth and Cloudcover were in there with you. They know what truly happened.
But trying to convince those who saw a very different place will be quite a challenge.
"…very well. Lets go."

You set off towards the city, as the Gatewyrm silently closes behind you.
And up near the outskirts of the city, a small band of scouts looks down towards the shore, shaking in terror at what they just witnessed.
They say the night is darkest just before dawn. And dawn may now be closer than ever on Midnight Island



"Coral is going to leave us behind."

"Do you think they will? Would they even listen to us if we had proof?"


Turn to you and give you a cold look.
"If I hadn't seen it I would never have believed."


"Everyone else will respond similarly, even I don't how to rectify the situation."


"When this is over. I expect there will be consequences. I am prepared to face them. "


"I was prepared to lose a lot of my possessions when I was assigned this task, but I can't go back on my Oath. I, and everyone else here, vowed to help those in need, even if they aren't what we were expecting to help."


"I still believe we have made the best choices available to us."
Inhale sharply "I am committed to finishing this. If there is hell to pay later. Then that was simply the price of the world. " keep giving you a cold look.


"Then you'll have to share that price. You aren't doing this alone."


Give you a nod and take another step forward.
Finally softening my look a bit. "We are a team. That much is true."


While the other group remains pensive, they know sticking together is the only way to survive here.

As you head uphill from the shore, the outlines of the city ahead of you start becoming more clear. To call it imaginative would be a cruel insult. No two houses seem to be the same, each one hosting countless unique touches with little rhyme, reason or care for structural integrity or unified aesthetics. And yet, it isn't like the great houses of Canterlot, striving to merely outdo one another in opulence. Rather, they seem to reflect the whims and dreams of their builders, every nook and tower built with love and care to cater to their creator rather than any outside observer.
Some might call it messy and chaotic. But isn't that exactly what dreams are?

Even though the island is shrouded in eternal night, as you approach the city you see that the night sky is lit by strange, elaborate constellations that are entirely unfamiliar to you. They do not look natural, but rather like they were built by hundreds of ponies each making their own little thing in the sky for all to see and share.
The streets are lit by small lamps of blue flame, giving the entire place the gentle calming atmosphere of a midsummer's night. Some ponies walk along the streets, idly chatting away. In the sky, the shadows of strange pegasi slowly drift. Perhaps on patrol, perhaps just on a flight of fancy.

In the far distance, beyond the city, rises a great temple, and the foreboding Midnight Castle.


"This is… strangely idyllic for the haven of a cult dedicated to resurrecting an ancient demon."


Instruct Primrose to stay near.

Are any of the ponies paying attention to us?


"Hmm.. oddly calm.."
"Let's not get too attached." I reply in a cold tone.


Silk points towards the sky
"Looks like we've been spotted."
From the sky a group of pegasi land before you as you approach the city.

Their leader, a bat-winged one, addresses you all
"Welcome, pilgrims of darkness. Your journey has been perilous and long, but you have made it.
Your devotion, dedication and faith will be rewarded here and now. On behalf of the Witness of Dreams, First of the Third Eyes of Tirek, we welcome you to the City of Dreams."


"Attached? I'm getting worried about what's going to happen when we spring the trap."
Best to keep this diplomatic for now.
"Hail, and well met. We have overcome every trial, and the journey has been worth it. May I know whom I am addressing?"


Stay in the back and shut up.


"That's the kind of worry I am talking about." shake my head.


"It's a… Privilege to be here."


"I am Dreamweaver, chosen herald of the Witness of Dreams. It is my duty to welcome those who make the journey, and see that you are given a guide to help you get your new lives started."
He uses his wings to indicate the other pegasi who are with him
"If you have any preference, all you need do is ask."


"Preference? We get a choice of some kind?"


Examine the other pegasi; what are we working with here?
"Well, Silk, Dulltooth? What do you think?"


"Will one of you stay with us to answer questions? We might have a good deal of them."


"Choice? Oh no, no. Here, there is no choice. But freedom. Freedom to do as you have always dreamed."
He points at the city
"In the City of Dreams, what you make your life depends on you alone. Nopony will restrict you, bind you down with laws and rules like in Equestria. Here, you are at long last free to follow your dreams.
And depending on what those dreams are, I can assign you somepony who can be most helpful with it."
One seems dry and to the point, standing very still and very straight, face neutral, eyes slowly scanning you all.
One looks very friendly, and has had a constant smile on her face. She seems to be trying to guess what you all like.
One looks strong and dependable, willing to keep you safe and help you with any heavy lifting.
And the last appears very eager, pacing in place, barely keeping her mouth shut.
Dulltooth points at the smiling one "She seem nice. Like friend."
Silk shrugs.
"Yes. That is what we do.
Unfortunately, I am rather busy, so I personally will need to return to my duties soon."


"This is.. a confusing concept. Perhaps exploring will help. "


Look at the smiling one.
"Well, what do you say? Care to help us get oriented around here?"
I'm going to have to be careful to figure out what she's up to…


My dream is meeting celly and luna and praying and being the best at priest.
Can't help me!


"Fire Blossom? Are you doing all right back there?"


Sulk harder.


"How about a tour, or demonstration. It is hard to process all of this."


Give her a hug! '1d10'
"Everything's going to be just fine. I promise.
Unless I say something stupid. Then all Tartarus is going to break loose and you'll have to pull me out of the fire.

Roll #1 10 = 10


"E-ember, please!
Ponies are watching!"
Blush under my scowl.


"Very well. Light's Hope will be your guide to dreams. I must now depart.
But first, one last question
Which one of you was the Caller?"


"So? What's wrong with a friend giving another friend a hug?"

Sigh and pull myself away since I know Blossom doesn't like when I do this.
I was.


Dreamweaver nods, and takes flight without another word

Hope's Light, the happy looking pegasus mare, stays behind
"Hello everyone! I'm hope, and I'll be your guide from here on. Now, I know you have a lot of big questions, but first, could you introduce yourselves to me? It'll be a lot easier for me to help you when I know a little about you first.
What are your names?
What are your dreams?"


Plenty wrong, baka.


Step forth.

"If you are just asking to know, I am Doctor Jonica Gray, Ph. D. Out of everything we have encountered, I wanted to return to my practice and use my skills to help others."


Glance at the others first and then answer.
"Rock Candy. And I dream of a place where I can fight all day and never tire."


Fllow Coral's example and… Lie, no matte how despicable it is.
"Frost Ribbon.
And I dream of… A calm place?"
Give a temptative smile.


"I'm Ember Dawn, of house Angelite. My dreams…"
I think for a moment.
"To be able to live my own life, free of the responsibilities and pressures of the Houses of the Empire.
To always know exactly how to lead so that nopony gets hurt under my command."
Pause, then turn and smile gently at Silk.
"To settle down and build a home and a family with the one I love.
And, uh…"
Blush and look away.
"I've always kinda wondered what it would be like to get spitroasted on two dicks.[/size2]"


"Ah, another doctor joins us. Good. Very good. Many of the other doctors here help Dreamweaver and the rest of us tend to those hurt on their journey here. Perhaps we can see your dream fulfilled in that."
"The rousing dreams of battle Equestria's armies could never make real. Worry not, for you are not the first, nor the last, with such dreams. We will find you company to sate your lust for battle."
"Welcome, friend.
Here, you will at last know peace and calm in ways only dreams can offer. We will see to it that your home here will be the coziest you have ever lived in"
"A noble dream, good Ember. Here, you can build that home you always wanted, and settle down with the family of your dreams.
As for the rest, the Temple of Love is just beyond the city."

Dulltooth sighs
"Dulltooth… Me dream of… not needing to fight. Of quiet life, with happy someone to share with."
Fern pops up from the basket
"I guess I'm the happy someone. Not sure if it was my dream, but hey, I think he deserves it by now."
Silk takes a step towards Ember "You already heard our plans."

Whimsyshine looks up
"I have always dreamed of… understanding. The world and myself. Of being able to devote my time to that pursuit, rather than mere survival."
Grandheart smiles at his little friend
"My dreams were to find a battle worth making me a legend."
Lady Sunset looks uncomfortable for a moment, but then steels herself
"He is my dream."
She points at Calming Breeze, who goes slightly speechless
Sunsong lets out a drawn out, dejected sigh. He then removes his helmet and throws it behind him
"My duty has always been to see to the well being of Lady Sunset. But that was not my dream. And I am glad for it, for if it were, it would now be broken forever.
My dream was that she would one day grow up to be a sensible mare no longer in need of my protection. Or even that she would grow to appreciate me as more than a meat shield between her and whatever bandits she chose to chase after this week. But no.
So I'll pick my third dream. To drown myself in hedonistic sin until I forget the first two."
This unexpectedly angry, verbose rant from the usually stoic and quiet Sunsong shocks everyone, none more than Lady Sunset herself.

Hope rubs the back of her neck
"I see the trip has left you… uh… tense.
Don't let me… get in the way. Just let it out, and we can all start again from a clean slate, right?"


"Are there many injured here, where are they?"


Shit Sunset, you must be as dense as Ember if this comes as a shock!
And Sunsong, you beta faggot, tell her sooner!


"There may be a few recovering in their homes. Some of the newer arrivals. Maybe a few injured from day to day life.
But not many. It's not like we're at war here."


"Yes… perhaps that would be best."
Uh… consult with Silk.
"That kinda came out of nowhere. Were you expecting that from Sunsong?"
Also, wriggle my eyebrows at Dulltooth and Fern and give them the most smug smirk I can manage.


Stare blankly at the scene. "Ehem.. if we could all find a place to rest.. maybe a tour of the city?"


"I had my suspicions after Ponpeii, but I thought he would have been too dead inside to even get that mad any more…"
"Yes. Of course.
Do you want to build your homes by hoof, or by magic? Would you rather make them by yourselves, or with some friendly help?"


"We should start them ourselves. Don't you think its more personal that way?"


"I do not wish to be presumptuous of anyone. Some like to make their homes on their own from the seeds of dreams. Others want to build them by hoof in traditional styles, saying the labor makes them feel more special."


"I would like to help those in need, but…"

Look at the others.

"Should we press on? I wasn't expecting such a welcome, but we have a goal, do we not?"


"Some help would likely be appreciated. After all, dreams are more satisfying when they are shared."
Nuzzle against Silk. "So, no more apprehensions about settling down with me?"
And what are Dulltooth and Fern up to?


"How do you make something from dreams? I really only break stuff." Add hurriedly "Like skulls."


"If you go, I will help you."


"Right, indeed we do."
Steel myself for what's probably going to be a stupid decision.
"Would you be able to show us the way to Midnight Castle?"


"A goal, pilgrim?"
She glances back at Midnight Castle
"…you are already here, are you not?"
Dulltooth is standing around idly, while Fern is looking around, getting a sense of the place from her basket.
"I thought we'd share a house in the north, not in a demon realm…"
Hope smiles and takes a small seed from her saddlebag, then gives it to you
The seed has a strange shape, and a crystalline texture. Inside, you can see swirling energy and twinkling lights.
"This is a seed of dreams. Contemplate on it, and on your dreams, and once you are ready, plant it in the soil that best fits your desires. It will then bloom into what it saw in your heart, and you can go from there, building your dream home."
It is not a place for dreamers and lovers like us."


Trot over to our guide, and whisper to her.
"I… Have another dream."


"I see. Thank you for your help. Shall we get going?"
"That hasn't changed. Still, hearing you say it out loud… I love you, Silk. I don't think I say it enough, but I do."


She smiles and moves her ear closer
"It's ok. I'm here to listen."
"Do you still want me to guide you around the city?"


Accept the strange seed staring at it as if it will bite me. "Oh. Thank you."


"Yes, please."


"Being accepted. By those around me. And being loved, by him. That is my dream."
Stealthily motion towards Ember.


Whisper to cloud cover.
" cloudy.. why aren't we leaving yet. "


"I thought we were trying to get her to walk us right to their leader, so we can avoid needing to fight the entire city."
She cocks her head to the side
"Then… try talking to him?
Shared dreams are beautiful, but they can only happen when two ponies do things together."

"I'm sure it will become beautiful."
"Well, if we're all ready, I suppose we can go at any time."


"Yes, we can keep asking questions as we walk."
I start moving.
Do my minions seem to have any questions?


Nod at cloud.
And to this..Hope.. I manage a smile as big as I can "ready to tour then"


Trot away.


"Hey.. " follow you a second. "What's wrong?"


Look away.
"I'm just… Worried."


You set off towards the city
"I came here to look for my own dreams as well. Once, I was a believer in Luna, but always found her approach… wrong. While not cold or impersonal, it was… preachy. She always wished for dreams to have meaning, to teach lessons and convey greater truths in need of interpretation. I do not think that is what dreams should be. So I found my own dream here. That one is mine."
She points at a house shaped like a great tree of watchtowers and bridges, with a fountain at the heart
"My dream was to help others realize their true desires, without need for riddles and metaphors. Indeed, I was among those who helped create the Seeds of Dreams with our master.
He lives there, in the Tower of Dreams at the heart of the city. From there, he watches over our dreams, and helps keep us happy."


"Will we get the chance to meet him?"


Nod "it will all be worth it. Very soon. I promise "


"You sound so confident."


By the way, how are Sunset and her entourage doing? That was a pretty nasty fight.


"I do not know. He often just sends us, his heralds, to speak to the populace. Usually he only meets with very special cases himself, like that paladin… Sindancer, I believe he called himself. He had a marvelous gift to show our master."
Sunset looks down, and sticks close to Calming, who in turn is trying to keep her in one piece.
Sunsong has removed all of House Sunset's insignias from his armor and is staying far away from the others.
Grandheart and Whimsyshine try to have no part in the whole thing.


"Of course. I believe in my own hooves to walk the correct path." I say proudly.
"I see… what is he like?"


"The Witness of Dreams is a caring pony. He taught us about the nature of dreams, and the philosophy he wished to spread here.
He may not be an Alicorn, but in my eyes he is a far better ruler over dreams than Luna ever was."


"I see…"
Does our party have one of the artifacts with us or not?
"That name sounds familiar. What did the paladin look like?"


"I wish I had your strength."


"He sounds wonderful.. and he lives up in that tower? Why isolate yourself from other dreamers?"


" and I wish the same about your tenderness. " give you an honest smile.


Repay the smile with a laconic look on my face.


You have the Tome of Forbidden Lore, and the Shard of Primal Darkness.
"He was old, but many dreamers are. Scarred and limping from past battles, and with a heart full of resentment and anger.
The Witness of Dreams saw to him, and for his gift, he was granted access to where ever he pleased here on our island. I believe he is now being cared for by the Witness of Love in her Temple. There she will soothe his heart and body, let him heal, and come to terms with all he has had to endure. He deserves it after such a hard life. He deserves all the love and dreams we can spare."
"So he can watch over all our dreams, and send aid where it is needed."


"I believe we have something the Witness of Dreams might be interested in."


Give you a pat on the back. "If you need my strength its yours to borrow. Anytime. …sister "


"How does he watch everyone? What was this gift from the paladin?"


Give you a glare.


Recoil slightly, but stay quiet.
"Thanks… Sister."
Then move close to her and smile under my cowl.


"How else do you expect us to get an audience with him?"


" I thought we would just barge in. Once we knew he was there. "


"This way means fewer guards between us and him."


"Ember are you crazy?!"


Smile confidently at you.


Stomp a bit and hiss in his ear.
" no. We can't give them all three parts. Do you WANT them to succeed! "


"No, just playing the part. Trust me on this."
"No… but how else are we going to be able to move around without having to kill everypony on this island?"


Cloudcover mutters
"Five. Five parts. They have three."
"He watches over us from his tower, and through his heralds. Us.
As for the gift, I believe it was a Shard of Light. It was most impressive of him, for he was able to hold such a thing without it burning him."


" right well we don't want them getting anything else do we? Think about this. Carefully. Please. "
Then look confused and ask seriously.
"So.. he is watching us now? Through you?"


"I see. By the way, how do these dream crystals work?"
"I'm trying to, okay? If you come up with a better idea, please, share it."


"That was metaphorical. He can't see through my eyes. Though some say he can share his sight with his highest heralds, like Dreamweaver."
"The seed of dreams will listen to your heart and mind when you focus on it, and grow into what it saw in there. You just need to be honest with it, and it will grow into a start to a new, better life."


" we do not give up the tome. Is that much clear? "


"Alright. I suppose the Shard is just as good a ploy.
…what were you and Blossom whispering about earlier?"


"Oh. I see. So.. how does one become a herald?"


" we spoke about hope. " I answer simply. " we don't want to mess this up. "



"Through devotion.
There are three Witnesses… the three Third Eyes, as they are also known as.
They embody the three virtues we hold most dear on this island - Dreams, Love and Faith.
Here, in the City of Dreams, the Witness of Dreams watches over the dreamers. His heralds are those who have shown devotion to his ideals, from living their dreams to aiding others in realizing their dreams.
The Witness of Love watches over the lovers of the Temple of Love, and the Witness of Faith watches over the faithful in Midnight Castle. While I do not know for sure, I believe their methods are similar to ours."
What is it?"


Show her the shard.
"I believe this is something he would find of interest?"


She carefully looks at the solidified void of light in your hoof
"This… this is amazing…
It's the deepest dark I have ever seen…
I'm sure he would, at the very least, want to see this himself. Surely."


Grin at that.
"I believe we were on our way to an audience with him?"


She bows down for a moment and mutters some sort of prayer. Within seconds, Dreamweaver lands nearby
"We meet again, pilgrims. I hear I was needed here?"


"I see… I would like to see the three. To meet them. Is it possible? "


"We would like an audience with the Witness of Dreams."
Show him the shard.
"We have something I believe he will be very interested in."


"We will soon meet the Witness of Dreams.
Though if your gift proves worthy, you may be granted access to the Temple or even the Castle. Perhaps there you can earn a chance to meet the others."


One of the bat pony's eyes rolls back into his head, and he stares at the shard silently with this seemingly now blind eye.
He the blinks and nods
"Very well. The Witness of Dreams will grant you an audience."
The other pegasi from before, along with a few others, land nearby
"Shall we go right away?"


Look at her with suspicion. But give a nod to the Dreamweaver. Giving him a grin "really. We could even meet the lord of midnight himself? Oh gosh. That'd be amazing "


Turn to the group.
"Anything anyone needs to do before we go?"


"Yea let's go." Stand near cloud as if to silently ask for him to carry me instead of one of those bat Pegasi.


Each one of you is grabbed by one of the Herald pegasi, and you are lifted high above the City of Dreams, flying towards the tower at its heart where the Witness of Dreams awaits.



The Heralds drop you off on a large balcony near the top of the tower. Dreamwaver asks you to wait a while as he speaks with the Witness of Dreams.

You have a moment to yourselves. Use it wisely.


I check around.
Who's here?


Approach Lady sunset "..so.. are you handling this okay?"


Lady Sunset and Calming Breeze are sitting around.
Sunsong, now without his helmet or insignias, is angrily staring down at the city below.
Whimsyshine has hidden the Tome, and is studying his notes while Grandheart keeps him company.
Cloudcover is idly stretching his wings.

Glorious Grace and Sweet Potato have not been around ever since you made it out of the Gatewyrm… They must have snuck into the city on their own or something.
She casts a lingering look at her former bodyguard
"I feel terrible for him. But… I can't say I would have done things differently, given the choice."


I've never talked to any of them much…
I'll go to Sunsong.
"What's the matter?"


"Lady Sunsong has chosen to throw herself at that vagabond Calming Breeze. I consider my duty as her protector over. She can no longer be saved. Not from herself."


"That is… Kinda selfish."


Take a look at calming and back at him.
"Eh, mares, the more you protect them, the more they get themselves into trouble."


"I have watched over her ever since she was little more than a hot-headed teenager. I have cared for her through many phases of life, seen her ups and downs, been there for her when she needed someone reliable, stood between her and every blade ever pointed at her by whatever bandits she chose to chase in search of adventure. Answered to her father for every cut and bruise she suffered from blows I failed to take for her.
And now she has chosen to run off with that… 'adventurer'. I have nothing left to say or do in this."


Look back at him.
"Is this anger over failed duty? Or is it something more?"


Sit by him.
"You know, I agree.
Who the fuck cares about that.
Love is idiotic anyway."


"Maybe you could have.. waited a bit longer? I don't know.. and I feel like I should.."


"It's not like you may think it was. She was more like my child than someone I could ever look at with desiring eyes.
…at least that is how I wish to remember it."
"There are many kinds of love. But romance… romance is a strange, blind monster."
His eyes are slightly red and moist, but his face twists into a small smile
"Did it hurt you, too?"
Lady Sunset sighs
"He is my dream. I had to say it sooner or later."


"It… Kinda did."
Lay on the ground, trying not to think about it.


"…would it ease your burden to talk about it?"


"I can understand it hurts. But we are in a dangerous place here…"


"Is talking about how you lost lady Sunset helping you bear it any better?"


Nod "perhaps you can part at a lover's temple on the matter. After we finish here.. but as for this.. gift what do you think?"


"Maybe there are some dreams here I could embrace…"
"I do not know. Perhaps, in time, it will all seem absurd and insignificant. But for now, I am adrift in a world of dreams, my one unshakable tie to my old life forever broken away."
"You ask for my opinion on your plan to bribe the demon lords with trinkets you were given by the other demon?"


"Lots of dreams here. Never to late to chase a new one."




"…In these moments, I pray."


"It is becoming harder and harder for me to remember that you are not one of them."
"Have you found joy in it?"
"We will see. Perhaps this… Temple of Love will help me see a new path."


"I have found… Quiet. Peace.
Try praying to the temple of Love. You might find counseil, even if it's not the sisters…"


"…then perhaps they will be fooled enough to let us march in to meet him.." I sigh.


Hit sits silently for a while
"…is it right to judge, when one has not experienced that which they judge?"
"Just try not to bow too sincerely.
I will not lie. I worry for your soul in all this."


"…Where are you going with this, Sunsong?"


"As far as I recall, I have never… tried to love. My devotion has always been to protecting Lady Sunset, and her bursts of romance only served to make that duty harder. So I grew to resent them.
…what if I was wrong?"


"You seemed pretty in love with her for one thing…"


…do not wish to see it that way. She was mine to protect. Not to touch. Not to embrace. Not to love. Not like that…"


Nod "be assured. My soul is intact yet. And if any feel I moved wrongly. I will face that once our task is completed."


"There are some here who will hold you to that, I'm sure.
…sorry if I sound too grim."


"Then why are you so damned."


"She was my everything. My reason to fight. To live."


"Honestly ..I don't blame them.. but sitting inside an inquisition cell.. would be worth knowing the sun will shine on everyone else. Even if I never see it.." stare off in a detached way.


As you talk, the doors at the far end of the room open, revealing Dreamweaver
"The Witness of Dreams will see you now, pilgrims."

You follow him, and step into a great room the size of an entire floor in the tower, surrounded on all sides by great windows. A few Heralds fly in and out, and other assistants look out over the city with telescopes, documenting what they see.

And at the center of it all, dressed in great robes of midnight blue, is the Witness of Dreams - a pony of dark purple with a blue mane, his eyes bound, and with a third, gem-like one growing from his forehead.
He finishes addressing the aide he was talking to, and turns to you in turn. His voice is calm and pleasant, with a tone of genuine joy to it.
"Welcome, gracious pilgrims. I hear you have a gift for us?"

Those who paid attention to the aide he just finished with could make no mistake.
There, helping the other heralds of dreams, is Sweet Potato. Once a devoted priestess of Luna…



Gasp at it.
At both of it!


I'll let others give this gift.


"Sweet Potato? Is that you?"


She gives you a soft smile
"We meet again, hm?
Welcome to the realm of dreams. My new home."


"What happened to your partner? What happened to you?"


Stay quiet, just looking anwfully disappointed.


Perk a brow.


"When I left on this journey, I did it out of a sense of duty and faith. Cultists of some demonic night god are twice the abomination in the eyes of one devoted to Luna.
But then things changed. First, when I met Grace. He was… very different from me. Reckless. Angry. Brutal. All we had in common was… well, the depth of out faith. So I took it upon me to try and refine his divine rage into a more elegant weapon. Teach him to embrace his faith in ways other than destruction in the Sun's name. But for every change I made in his heart, so, too, he left a mark in mine.
Then I came here, and saw what these… cultists were truly doing. What their crimes against Luna and her night were. What their intentions and plans really amounted to. And in that moment, I chose to lay down my weapons.
Making dreams real, and granting them to any who are devoted enough to come embrace them cannot be a vile act. Luna's teachings tell us that dreams are a means of communicating lessons and showing deeper meanings to ponies. Yet… when we speak of our dreams, we pay more mind to our hopes than her lessons. Here… here is where that is rectified. Here is where true dreams reside.
And that is why I have chosen to stay here. With these dreamers. Who share my desire to allow ponies to realize their dreams in full.
Surely… you understand."




"…You're going to turn the whole world into a nightmare to give ponies their dreams? That's not insane at all."


"And what of Grace?"


"I have no part in these tales of making the world into monsters and nightmares. My place is here, in the City of Dreams. At the side of the Witness of Dreams. It is all I hope for. All I… well… dream of."
"What of Grace?
For all I know, he may still be trying to fight his way to the Temple of Love. Perhaps it is his dream to die fighting his old mentor. If so, who am I to deny him?"


"I think we lost her."


"…I understand your reasons, and will not begrudge you your choice. But I've seen what methods were used to achieve these goals, what was done to the Gatewyrm. The price is too high."
Sigh and turn to the Witness.
"Besides, I believe we have business to attend to."


"To… Fight?"
"We have to save him!"


"…it was no different in Equestria.
But judge us as you wish. I know my heart wanted this."
The Witness touches her cheek with a gentle hoof, and then turns to you
My heralds spoke of a gift.
Any pilgrim willing to give, as well as simply take, is welcome in my halls."
"That is one thing I could never change in him. He saw his sword as the best approach to any situation. All I can hope is that the dreamers stay out of his way, and that the heralds do not fight to their deaths so I may tend to them later."


Show him the shard.
"Will this give us access to the rest of the island?"


"We must go! Now!"


He looks at it very closely, his calm expression melting into deep surprise
"Incredible… Such a deep dark, it feels almost… primal. Magnificent. Truly magnificent.
Where did you find such a thing?"


"I agree."
We found it within the gatewyrm, correct?


"The wyrm gave it to us as a thank you! We cannot give that away!"


"The Gatewyrm… gave it to you?"


"Uh… Kinda?"


"Indeed." Sigh. "And as such, it would likely be ungrateful to simply give it away.
Perhaps… There is something else we could give to gain passage?"


I nod.


"I did not know it possessed will or ability to bestow gifts. Nor that the abyss it came from could take such a physical shape.
…Did it speak ill of us, or is there another reason you are unwilling to give up the shard?"


"I don't think it said anything bad about you at least."


"It did not choose it's fate, but was bound to it and consigned to an eternity of pain wherein it's very heart was unable to beat on it's own.
It did not speak ill of you, at least. But the one responsible for its torment resides in Midnight Castle."


"What happens within the walls of Midnight Castle is not my business. I am merely a guardian of my dreamers. My only connection to those who rule over this island, the High Priests of Tirek, is this."
He touches his third eye.
"But you seem very eager to join the Believers who reside there. It takes a special kind of pony to do that. One driven by faith alone. One who has no desire for love nor dreams. One who can turn their backs on all my city and the Temple of Love can offer.
Is that why you are here? Because your devotion and faith drives you to Tirek's halls?"


"The wrym said not one of you was kind to it before." I say flatly.


"Something like that."


"A good enough interpretation of our goals. First though, we have some friends to meet in the Temple of Love. Will you grant us passage across the island?"


The witness looks at Sweet Potato
"You know these pilgrims better than I. Perhaps I shall let you decide. Tell me when you know your verdict."
The Witness turns away and goes look down at the city.

Sweet Potato sits down
"Tell me why I should side with you."


"Because you know it's the right thing to do."


You should not, heretic whore.
But I'm keeping that to myself.


"We are fighters not dreamers. You know our place is in that castle."


Oh god the others.
"Because if we fail, the world as we know it will end, ushering in an age of darkness.
And this little utopia of yours will be the first thing to crumble, crushed beneath Tirek's fist."


"…The desire to stay here is strong, there is no doubt about that. But ultimately, none of this can change what we've seen. Ponies twisted into abominations from the deepest nightmares, a beast doomed to an eternity of agony, unable to so much as have it's own heartbeat as weapons and spikes tore at it from the inside out… No dream, however beautiful, is worth that price. Blinding yourself to such horrors does not make them go away."


"I doubt you can frighten me with that. If Midnight Castle falls, this place, too, may die."
"I have been kind to you, and not told the Witness of your true intentions. But I fear this kind of deception, after he has been so good to me, would be… evil."
"Those were not the fault of the dreamers! I…"

She looks like she might be giving in.
"…just tell me this, then.
If bringing an end to Tirek means killing every lover, dreamer and believer on this island…
Will you still go through with it?"


Give her a cold stare "sweet potato. Do you think I came this far only to let the world be devored by horrors?"


"Why do you think we are asking for your help? Most of these ponies do not need to die. In fact, we're here to save them.
If the believers in Midnight Castle are capable of such horrors, then let me ask you this: What price did you pay to stay here? Will it be worth it when the dreams are turned to nightmares? Because make no mistake, those in the castle are more than willing to do so."


"…I have not been here long. No longer than you. But I have spoken with the Witness, and I know he did all this with the power given to him by Tirek's high priests. He was allowed to create this place in exchange for his devotion to them and their will.
…I implore you. Do not make him go against their will, lest they smite him down for his transgression. If you truly must go through with this… give the shard.
…perhaps, for.. old times sake… I can try to convince him to let you take it to the castle personally?"
She seems to be on the verge of tears.


"That would be acceptable. No one else needs suffer for this save those responsible.
…for what it matters, I am sorry that you are in such a position. But our mission is too important."


Nod and step closer to her, "okay.. just help us in this.." give her a hug "and we will do everything we can to save your dreamers."


"That works."


"Thank you.
…thank you for seeing the beauty of this place. And for understanding why I fell in love with it so.
I will do all I can to convince him. And won't tell him of your true intentions, even after you leave."

She gets up and goes to the Witness of Dreams once more.


Sigh and wait.
"Well.. at least her heart is still there."


"It pains me seeing her fall victim to this illusion. Yet I can see why she would find it so alluring. It is fortunate that we know better."
Head over to Sunsong.
"How are you doing?"


Can I overhear that conversation with the Witness?

Roll #1 9 = 9


"I envy her. She was able to leave her past behind so very easily, and follow a new, better dream."
"Great Witness. I have spoken to them, and peered into their hearts. They carry a great devotion in them. Greater than their dreams and love. They deserve passage to the Temple of Love, and your recommendations to the Witness of Love to let them pass to the Castle. Let them take the Shard to the Witness of Faith, as proof of their devotion."
The Witness of Dreams soon returns to you
"My young herald speaks highly of you.
And for that, I am willing to grant you a chance. Take the road from here to the Temple of Love. There, seek out the Witness of Love, and show your gift to her. She will decide if you may pass to Midnight Castle."


"Thank you, Witness of Dreams. We shall make the most of this opportunity."
To Sunsong:
"What if I was to offer you a new path to follow?"


"Thank you."
When do we leave?


"I thank you. May we say a last goodbye to the herald before we depart for the temple?"


Sunsung lifts a brow
"What, you need a bodyguard too?"
"You may remain here as long as you wish, but when you are ready, simply speak to Dreamweaver out by the balcony."


I'll wait until everyone did what they want to do.


"I need someone I can trust to watch over her." Motion towards Fire Blossom.
"As I have had to use the Dark Tongue, she is no longer comfortable serving me, but that does not mean I do not still feel responsible for her well-being. I could use a loyal soldier willing to do anything to keep her safe."


"Sounds like my life is going in circles now."


Nod. "Thank you."
Go see that nutty potato one last time.


"Pardon me if this seems insensitive to say, but… I do not believe what you felt for Sunset was true love."


"It was duty and devotion. She was for me to protect, not to touch."
She is calmly watching over the city of dreams
"Hello again."


"Nice view." I say standing next to her. "How does it look to you?"


"But you did feel affection for her, and denying that affection is what led to these events. Like an open wound, you let it fester and grow until it turned into an infection rooted deep in your heart. Now that infection has been drained and cut out; that is why you are feeling so much pain.
I do not say this to be insensitive. Love takes many shapes and forms. But consider this… if what you'd felt for her had been true love, would you not have been willing to sacrifice your own happiness for hers?"


"Like the dreams I always wanted to give ponies.
Like… home."
I merely fear she is making a bad decision."
He signs deeply, and glances at her resting against Calming Breeze
"…so you want me to protect the young priestess, then?"


"And to serve me. Blossom is my friend, and has saved my life countless times. I would rather her guardian be somepony I know I can trust."
Command '1d10+2'

Roll #1 10 + 2 = 12


"Why not.. come with us? The best way to protect them might be to personally go, so we don't mess up-" gesture to the town "this. These lives."


"Guarding has been my life. I suppose there is no harm done if I simply change masters. My sword is yours."
Ember Dawn wants to take a new Minion
But Ember Dawn only has room for two Minions!
Release a Minion to make room for Sunsong?
[Smooth Silk]
"No.. my place is here. Among the dreamers.
…and I fear meeting Grace again. I don't think both of us would walk away from that."


"Very well then. I hope you are happy. And that it was worth it." Turn away from her.


"I am.
…for the first time in my life, I can say that honestly.
I am happy."


Shutter "I hope that grants your heart peace and rest.. friend.."


"That remains to be seen.
Do not be sad for me. There should be no tears. Only dreams now…"


Smooth Silk. At this point in our relationship, I'm not really in a position to tell her what to do anyway.
"Thank you, Sunsong. I promise to use your loyalty wisely, and I promise not to you won't have to worry about any dramatic relationships with me."
Blush slightly and look away.
"At least not any emotional relationships."


"There is time for tears later… after the end. Goodbye Sweet Dreamer." I sigh and walk back to cloud.


She remains by her window, looking down upon her new home.
Cloudcover remains stoic
"What did you hope to find in her?"
"I am a servant and a defender. Judging the whims and emotions of others has brought me no joy.
Do you wish I speak my mind, or serve in silence?"
Earth Pony M
Weapon: Shield


"If you served in silence, how would I know how best to serve you? For it is the responsibility of a commander to care for his troops; how can I do that if you hide your qualms from me?
Never fear to speak your mind, to me or anyone else. In fact, I demand that you always share your counsel with me, that I may make better decisions."


"She is sure of herself. It.. worries me to be honest. That if I were alone I could also be so tunnel visioned." Scoot close to him.


"Then I have just one last question - how should I address you, sir?"
"Well, you are not alone.
Not as long as I live."


Smoking my pipe and thinking about life.


Smile and put a hoof on his shoulder.
"Just Ember is fine. After all, we are friends, are we not?"
Turn to the rest of the group.
"Is everyone ready to go?"


"…I hope you don't mind, but I prefer to address my superiors with a title. Sir."


Look up at his eyes kind of sad, empty "this place.. it makes me feel alone.. cloud. Would you? Stay by me, even here?"


Sigh and shake my head.
"This again? Blossom was the same way…
Very well then, if you must have a title to call me by, I suppose 'sir' is as good a title as any.
But don't start calling me 'lord' or 'liege' or any of that, or I swear I'll buck you in the teeth. Even if we are friends."


I'm around.


Now let's get going to the temple of Love.


"I could think of no place I'd rather be. If you asked, I'd even leave my duties as a guard. For you."
"I was considering 'captain', but then, you aren't a captain. Sir will do then.
Forgive me if it sounds awkward, but I am more used to this sort of a setup than fighting alongside an equal."



"I understand. Though I hope that someday you'll be comfortable calling me by name."
Head on over to Fire Blossom.
"How are you doing right now? This was rather unexpected."



"Then. Just stay with me. Be the light in my darkness so i stand tall and continue to shine. " grab his hoof and smile.



"I just want to finish this and go back home.."


"I know. I think we all do.
You've seen how badly Sunsong was affected by that, right? I'd like to ask you to stick close to him, make sure he's okay. If anyone can help ease his pain, it's you."


He returns the smile and gives you a little kiss
"Lets go, lover. I think there will be many like us ahead in that temple."

You return to Dreamweaver, who shows you a way down via an elevator.
"The Temple is due northeast here. Just follow the Road of Roses out of the city and keep going. I would accompany you, but the Witness has sent me to deal with some trouble out in the island woods.
Be safe, good pilgrims. May your dreams come true."
he opens his wings to fly off


Wouldn't know how to. His body seems fine."


"What kind of trouble if you have a moment?"


"I fear not for his body, but for his mind. He needs companionship and purpose. I have given him the latter, but as his commander he is reluctant to let me be the one to give him the former.
Please, just stay by his side. Talk to him, watch after his soul. We all need someone to lean on to keep from falling into the darkness."
"What kind of trouble? Would it happen to be a rogue paladin causing a ruckus? We might be able to help with that."


"I… Don't understand.
Why me?"


"It seems somepony has gone crazy. Or perhaps someone has attacked us. All I know is that somepony dangerous is loose, and needs to be calmed down. It's my duty to do that."


Smile gently at her.
"Because I trust you, and because you've already saved me from the dark on more than one occasion. Plus, you both served Lady Sunset at one point; a familiar face may be just the thing to help."
"Call it a hunch, but we may know this somepony. Let us come with you, and maybe we can resolve this without bloodshed."


Look at him thoughtfully and then to the rose path.
"I see. Good luck then."


"If you say so, milord."


"Let him take care of it.."


"But it's probably Grace who's causing it!"


" I know. I have no desire to stop him"


"…But what if he gets himself killed? A lone paladin against an entire island is terrible odds."


Groan " do we have to stop him. To betray him too? Recall "


really not recall


Dreamweaver looks to the sky
"I must go. If you feel obliged, I should be able to intercept him in the woods near the Road of Roses."
He flaps his wings and flies off


"A good soldier never leaves a man behind."
"What do the rest of you think? Should we go save Grace or just continue to the Temple of Love?"
My minions should weigh in too.


"Fiiiine. Cloud let's go betray more vows together."


Dulltooth shrugs "He seem like strong guy. Will probably kill Dream-bat and keep going."
Sunsong just sits stoically "It is not my place to give orders, sir. I do not know enough of this Grace to make a good judgment."


Stop and stare.
"Are you all crazy?!
We have to stop this bloodshed.


"I don't want to stop him. Because we will have to kill him. Probably."


"What vows would we be betraying by making sure he survives?"
"I'm with Fire Blossom. If we can stop needless deaths but just keep going, that blood is on our hands."
"I think I might be able to talk him down. Failing that, Dulltooth can just tie him up and carry him."


Calming Breeze looks at Dreamweaver flying off
"We could always just chase Dreamweaver and kill him to protect Grace."


"Is he seriously so blind?
To his own vows?
Is it possible even just stepping into this matter has made a heretic of all of us?!"


Glare at you
"How about. The one we took back at the academy. Or did you recite a different oath that said to defend demon lovers over holy paladins?"


"As I recall, our oath said to save lives wherever possible!"


"Good idea."
"Then you don't object to this plan?"


"We promised Sweet Potato we'd try to save the Dreamers. Are you really so callous about going back on your word?
Dulltooth is right; he's strong enough to survive on his own. Let's just go."


"I said that I would do what I could. And killing Grace is not something I can do."


"We won't kill him! We'll convince him to come with us and stay his blade until we reach the true heretics in the castle. Failing that, we can subdue him and bring him with us by force! Nopony else has to die today!"


"You can go. I cannot bear to be forced into that situation "

Grab cloudy by the side and start marching down the path.
"Let's just go.."


"…Who else will go with her? I'm going to do my best to solve this without bloodshed."

Looks like the party's splitting up again…




Calming, Lady Sunset, Whimsyshine and Grandheart all head down the road
"We would rather see this to an end. Sorry. But this Grace fellow was not one of us."


My job is to take down Tirek, so that's what I'm gonna do, if it comes to splitting.
Did I spend my 2SPs already?


You did.
Skills: Substitute(MC), Dance of Blades (3), Backstab, Tumble


"Very well. Those who wish to help me may come with me. Everyone else, go ahead to the temple. We'll catch up to you once we've got Grace."
Start heading to the woods where he said Grace would be.


"I. Refuse. To. Fight. Grace. "



"I respect that. I'll come to the Temple."


To the temple.
"Thank you." I sigh letting go of my anger.


Follow with them, silently.


Lady Sunset
Calming Breeze

>Forest to intercept Grace



Sounds good, I want to get to Midnight Castle.


Let's go!


If that's the way it is, so be it. I still believe I can resolve this peacefully.


"Good luck, Dawn."


"Same to you, Whisper. Don't do anything stupid before I get back; that's my job."


I nod slowly.
And get on my way.


>Temple Team
The Road of Roses lives up to its name. Though a simple, if lovingly built cobblestone road, it is lined by hundreds of rose bushes, the petals of which have made the road look nothing short of a wedding suite bed.

>Forest Team

You break off from the road and head into the dark woods. The place is clearly artificial, given how the trees have been planted. Only a few are old enough to be part of a natural forest. But it still manages to be quite beautiful. On your way you pass many meadows and little groves, where starlight paints elegant shapes on the neatly kept grass, showing the depressions left by the bodies of lovers and dreamers alike.


"Keep an eye out for Grace. We need to find him before they start fighting."
Look for Grace!


Roll #1 4, 7, 7 = 18


"They certainly like to.. indulge themselves …"


That's me, Dulltooth, and Sunsong.


Very nice.
Can I pick one and smell it? '1d10'

Roll #1 8 = 8


You keep getting distracted by all the juices left behind by some passing lovers.
Dulltooth and Sunsong snap you out of it
"Look, sir. Bloodstains and broken trees."
"Also dead ponies."
Dulltooth lifts up a mangled, slightly mutated pegasus. Probably a former herald.
Lady Sunsong's eyes sparkle
"They are dreamers, after all.."
Smells lovely. It has been tended to with care and devotion.


"We should not fall into the trap of sin."


Ah young love.
My thoughts turn to the Boss again for a second.
I must really be a fool, even after all these years.


Nod. "We should be ever viligant."
"It is a sweet dream.." sigh and move on.


"Then he's already started. We better hurry."
Start running, we need to find him, and soon.


As you leave the City of Dreams behind, and begin climbing a hill towards the Temple of Love, the scenery around you begins to change.
The stars above slowly give way to nothing but a great, pale full moon, and the scent of roses begins to mix with an ambient sweet aroma. The forest is to your left, and to your right is a large garden, featuring a great number of statues. The temple lies beyond it.
You pass a few more bodies, and find him engaged in battle with Dreamweaver in a small clearing. Several trees have been broken already, and Dreamweaver's left wing hangs limply from a broken shoulder


What kind of statues?


Let's keep going.. "try to ignore it.."


"Grace! What in the name of Celestia are you doing?"


There are many kinds, from busts to single statues to pairs and even some larger groups. They all paint a very idealized picture of their models, be they dedications to single special someponies, scenes of love between couples, or elaborate thrones of lovers with one reclining on top.
He blasts Dreamweaver against a tree


"Grace, in the name of the sun, stand down, or so help me I will have Dulltooth bend you over hisknee and spank you!" Rollan intimidation. '1d10'

Roll #1 10 = 10


Grace looks at you and your companions, then back at Dreamweaver, and his own wounds.
Spitting out a loose tooth and a wad of blood, he pants and leans on his hammer
"Is this what you can here for, then? To take me alive so you can sacrifice me to your dark gods, heretic?
How DARE you speak of MY SUN!"


"YOUR sun? Celestia's light is for everyone!
We did not come here to sacrifice you, to dark gods or the princesses. We came here to talk some sense into you so that maybe you can help us end this nightmare!"


And that Sun belongs to me more than it does to you, you demon-befriending wretch."


"Well, while you're wasting your time slaughtering cultist after cultist regardless of whether they're important or not, WE are going after the head honcho himself!
But I guess that doesn't matter to you, right? Slaughtering defenseless ponies is so much easier…"
Glare right into his eyes.
"Especially if it means you can avoid having to face your old mentor. Right, Grace?"


"I am headed right for him, and willing to kill any between him and me. I know he is hiding in the Temple of Love."
As you pass the garden of statues, you come to a great wide moat that surrounds the temple. At its edge stand two guards
"Welcome, pilgrims."
"Have you come to seek love?"


"We need to talk with your high priestess."


"Then come with us. We can get you to the temple without further bloodshed. After that… What happens between you and him is your own business."


Hold cloud close "I have found love. But we seek the guardian of lovers."


"Why are you protecting this demonspawn!?"
Dreamweaver is still trying to compose himself, but is having trouble between the impact of the tree and the broken wing.
"Ah. So you must have business of great importance, then?"
"What is it that you need of the Witness of Love?"


"It's private."


"We have been instructed to see her by the dreamer. "


"Because I was taught that no pony is beyond redemption. If we slay Tirek, then there may yet be hope for those lead astray. Or have you soeasily forgotten your lessons on compassion?"


"We know."
"Love is often like that."
"We do not judge"
"We merely guard"
"The dreamer sent you?"
"Then things must truly be of importance."

They signal towards the temple, and the drawbridge is lowered.
It is hard to put a finger on it, but somehow the architecture of the moat, drawbridge and main gate are very… inviting.
"Go on ahead"
"The loves will guide you once you are inside."

"Redemption and compassion are reserved for those who have not committed sins this deep. To willingly embrace darkness is to forsake any chance to receive such blessings."




Across we go.


"Then you would see Luna and her followers cut down as well? Or maybe you should turn your weapon on yourself; after all, your heart looked pretty dark back at that haunted mansion."


"Your words are as twisted as your soul!"
Dreamweaver struggles back to his hooves, and reaches for his sword. If you keep distracting Grace, he will have a chance to strike with ease.
You cross the drawbridge, and enter the soft light of the Temple of Love. The entry hall is as wide as a lover's eyes. The floor is covered in soft velvet rugs, hundreds of candles give the room a very soft, atmospheric light, and incense burners add a gentle, sweet aroma to the air. Somewhere in the distance, behind many walls, you hear the faint whispers of sweet nothing spoken between lovers, and the soft moans of others.


Look around for these lovers that are supposed to guide us.


Sin and depravity.


Towards the far end of the hall, beyond a few statues, on a pile of pillows, two ponies snuggle while holding hooves.
They must be the lovers.


They look like lovers alright.
I hope they are married at least.
Stand in front of them, silent, still.


Cough a bit "excuse me. We were sent here by the dreamer."


"Dear, we have new pilgrims here…"
"Shh… I know… just let me have a moment more~"


They slowly disentangle themselves, and look at you with tired eyes
"We welcome you to the Temple of Love"
"Did you come here seeking love, when dreams were no longer enough?"


Clear my throat harshly.


"Oh. Then why did you come here, among lovers?"


"I'm not the one getting joy out of slaughtering the helpless! How many of those dead ponues we passed were armed? That's a coward's way ofstrategy!"


"To seek audience with the Witness."


"Not exactly. We must speak about going further. To the castle. That may be our place.'


Dreamweaver gives you a look, as if to ask if he may strike
"Well this one damn well was armed, and absolutely intent on killing me!"
"Have you come with proof of your devotion?"


Present crystal with a flat stare.


Need to murder and purge rising.


Shake my head almost imperceptibly, to say "not yet."
"Are you surprised, after the bloodbath you caused?
Look, all of this is beside the point. Just come with us, and you can face your mentor. Do you accept or not?"


"What a magnificent thing…"
"What stoic faces…"
"We can see you are devoted indeed"
"And that love has no place in your hearts"
This makes Cloudcover wince slightly
"The Witness of Love resides in the central sanctuary."
"Travel past the lover's homes, through the inner garden and across the pools to reach it."
"I do not understand you. All this changes is that I let this demon-worshipper walk away with his miserable life.
Why would I do that?"


"A direction."


"Having three other ponies to keep you from getting hassled the rest of the way isn't enough of a reason? I doubt he'll be the last they send, and in your condition I doubt you'd make it to the temple in any condition to face your old mentor."


"Will you guide us?" I say flatly.
subtly nudge cloud's hoof[?s]


"Fine then."
He turns back and spits at Dreamweaver
"Pray to your foul gods I don't make it back. And remember to suck this other guy off well as thanks. He is the only reason I don't break you into tiny pieces here and now. Scum."
Grace starts walking off towards the temple.
Dreamweaver looks as he goes
"Are you going to just let him leave!? You heard him! He plans to kill more!"
"We will not come with you."
"But you cannot get lost either. There is but one way, if you keep going north."


"Very well then. " go to the garden.


"This is between him and his old mentor. His mentor is well-rested and healthy, he is injured and exhausted. Who do you think is going to win that fight?
We'll keep him away from any other civilians. Let him have his opportunity to face his master one last time."
Follow after him.


Silently follow Coral.


"I… don't understand you. Why are you doing this?"
You can just ignore him. He is in no condition to warn anyone.
You leave the lovers behind and head deeper into the temple. Before you can reach the inner gardens, the lover's homes stand before you. It is a village of small huts, some raised on stilts, others sitting at ground level. Some have barred doors, others merely curtains of fabric or beads.
The air is heavy with muffled whispers and silent moans. This must be where the… hastiest of lovers make their home.


Don't smell the foul stench and press on, staring down my path.


If that's the case, then we follow Grace toward the temple. Explaining would take too much time.


"Cloud.. " I pause a second glancing ay the couples and huts and shake my head following Fire.


Dreamweaver gives up and lies down against a tree. He is too much pain to try and chase anyone, and the walk back will take a while. Especially with all the bodies he will need to carry.
You soon catch up with Grace as he nears the gatekeepers of the Temple.
"You have exactly one chance to explain why I shouldn't kill those two and swim for it."
You shut out the sensations and keep walking forward, the velvet under your hooves muffling your steps.
He gives an inquisitive look
"Yes? What's on your mind?"


"Because they can tell us where your mentor is."


Walk walk walking.


"What the lovers said. Its not true. "


"I will find him eventually if I just kill everyone. I've no more time to waste."
In your efforts to block out the sounds, smells and sights, you are beginning to lose track of how far you have already walked.
"Perhaps you are simply a good lia- …actor?"


It doesn't matter.
Keep walking forwards.


Winch at that. "This is.. why I need you..this place is changing me."


"It's a big temple. Better to know where exactly he is than have to search room by room."
Go up to the gatekeepers.
"This paladin's old mentor is here. He would very much like to meet him again."
What was his mentor's name again?


"The temple is for lovers."
"Are you lovers?"
"Is it?
Had it not changed you, what would you do now, here, surrounded by lovers, standing at my side?"
You retreat into your thoughts, your own happy place. That light in your heart where your inner self resides.


"We were with a group that has probably already passed through here seeking audience with the Witness. Perhaps you saw them?"


"Ah, them."
"If you were with them, then you should know what they brought as proof."


"A shard of darkness. My paladin friend here, however, seeks one known as Sundancer."


And I keep.
They sure have a lot of houses.


"I.. were this not the demon realm.. I would do many intimate things with you "


"We do not judge"
"We only guard"
They signal for the drawbridge to be lowered
"The loves inside will guide you forward"
"…does love truly care where it blooms?"


Look confused and lean onto his shoulder.


Alright, go to the lovers and get directions to the rest of the group.


He snaps out of it
"Sorry. The atmosphere must be getting to me."
The two lovers at the far end of the great entry hall slowly look away from eachothers' eyes and address you
"Welcome, lovers."
"What is it you have come to seek here?"
Silk is amazedly stroking some of the pillows laying around.
Dulltooth sits down on a couch while wiping his brow.
Sunsong stands at attention, keeping Grace in check.


"Its okay. We will have a home. In equestria. Or the empire if you like. " nuzzle his neck.


"We're seeking the rest of our group. They came here bearing a gift for the Witness. Could you direct us to where we can find them?"
Whisper to Silk.
"Think they'd mind if we borrowed some of these pillows?"


"I will try to keep my mind on the task at hand."
"They are headed for the central Sanctum. It lies past the Lover's Homes, through the Inner garden and across the Pools."
"Take all the pillows you need."


Blush at that, then hurriedly head out after our group.


Where am I?


Still walking.



"If it.. becomes hard. You can rely on me. Love is a two way street." I smile encouragingly.

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