/q/ - Quest


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Paladinquest - Thread 6 DM 340336

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Guess after Star's training I approach Jon.
"H-hey Jon… Can we.. Can we go for a walk, for a minute?"
Try to sound natural.

Roll #0 8 = 8

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 340344

Sounds natural to me.

Papaver Field [Mage] 340349

That went well.
"I… You and Star are having dates, right?"

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 340351

Blushing a bit, I'll nod.
"We've… had one, yes."

Papaver Field [Mage] 340353

Perk up and smile hopefully.
"Then tell me, what did you do? I have no idea how those work!"

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 340360

I'll blush a bit more.
"W-well, we didn't do much, actually. Both of us are still really new at the whole dating thing, and spent about half of it trying to think of what to say."
I'll rub my hoof on my foreleg.
"Eventually what we ended up doing was setting up the telescope and stargazing for a little while. Then we talked for a little while, mostly about our families and stuff."
I'll rub my nose a bit, and then continue.
"After that, we, uh, we sat together for a while and then we h-held tails until we fell asleep."
I'll be blushing furiously by the time I finish, and speaking in just above a whisper.

Papaver Field [Mage] 340362

Start to pace nervously back and forth, talking to myself, but loud enough. After all, not like I care.
"We talked too, and held close and…"
Sigh and grow a little smile as I think about it.
"She's really soft."
Then look back at Jon.
"So that's it? Talk and stay close to each other? This is what dates are?"

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 340366

"W-well, not always. I mean, we've only gone on the one, so I don't really have a wide experience… though…"
I'll look around a bit nervously.
"I… I sorta checked out a book in the library about how to go about it."

Papaver Field [Mage] 340368

My eyes light up and I trot excited around him, poking the books he's carrying.
"Is it here? Is it here?"

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 340369

I'll step back a bit.
"N-no! I brought it up to my room after history class because I was afraid Star would see it and realize I didn't know a single thing about dating!"

Papaver Field [Mage] 340371

"Well neither does she, why should you hide that from her?"
Cock my head and look at him quizzically.

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 340375

"B-because…" I'll sweat a bit. "A stallion's supposed to just know these things!"

Papaver Field [Mage] 340378

"Oh. Are they?"
Try to downplay the issue.
"I-I'm sure Star doesn't know that!"
Giggle nervously.

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 340381

"I'm pretty sure, too, but… I don't want to let her down."
I'll sigh.
"I don't even know why I checked that thing out, anyway. It all just boils down to confidence, anyway. Or at least that's what my brother Bolero keeps saying…"
I'll snort.
"'Course, he's with a new mare every other week, so it can't be doing him much good."

Papaver Field [Mage] 340384

"No I don't want that! I promised Nock I'd fight for her till the en-"
Wait a moment.
Narrow my eyes.
"Are you planning on leaving Star after the week is over?"

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 340386

I'll just glare at Papaver.
"If that's the sort of impression I've left on you, then I must have done something incredibly wrong. The only way Star's getting rid of me is if she's the one who tells me to go."

Papaver Field [Mage] 340395

"Well you said your brother does it."
Snort and relax.
"She says the same, you know.
Says she doesn't know what to do because she fears you might not like her anymore."

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 340400

I'll just shake my head.
"My brother Bolero's a good-for-nothing guitarist and singer. Only reason we haven't kicked him out is because, well, he's family. And we need his help come harvest time."
Sighing again, I'll continue.
"She said that, huh? Well, I'll tell you what I told her: not a thing's going to stop me from liking her."

Papaver Field [Mage] 340404

Giggle softly.
"She's lucky. But yeah, that book about how a date works sounds really useful right now.
I want Nock to feel just right when she comes back from her classes."

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 340408

I'll shuffle my front hooves.
"Well, I could always go get it… we've got a little time before dinner."

Papaver Field [Mage] 340410

Nod eagerly.
"Where do we meet to read it?"

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 340414

"Uh… well, I'm not sure. It's getting too dark outside, and… hmm."
I'll think for a minute.
"The library's probably not a good spot since Star might spend some time in there before dinner. We could try near the Sword dorm. I think there might be a bench or something we could sit on and read."

Papaver Field [Mage] 340416

"Sounds good to me!"
Go wait there.

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 340418

I guess I'll scamper off and pick up that copy of Dating for dummiesDating for Eggheads: Hopeless Romantic Edition - By: Twilight Silk, if you were going to use its name for inspiration, DM, and then track down Papaver. There are benches, right? '1d10'

Roll #1 9 = 9

DM 340425

Yes, there are some benches.

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 340427

Excellent. I shall sit next to Vera and open the book up to page 1, and start from the beginning.

Papaver Field [Mage] 340428

Seat on one and wait there.
"You got some reading done already?"
Take sight of the book.
Well this looks promising…

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 340433

"I haven't, actually. So we're starting from the beginning."

Papaver Field [Mage] 340437

"Still… Maybe this book is not the best idea for me and Nock.."

Read anyway.

Roll #1 9 = 9

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 340438

I'll keep pace with Papaver. '1d10'

Roll #1 9 = 9

DM 340442

[So you've decided to start dating at long last. Good for you. I hope my last book, Confessing Love for Eggheads, was helpful with that. Now that you're past that problem, this guide should help you get a good start on dating.
In it, we will be dealing with
-romantic locations
-fitting gifts for him and her
-how to avoid awkward silence
-being endearing (even if you aren't)
-dos and don'ts
-how to kiss correctly
-hoof placement when hugging
-a polite and appropriate approach to intimate suggestions
-basics of physical interaction-]

Papaver Field [Mage] 340444

Look lost at Jon.
"Uh-uhm… Where do we start?"

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 340445

"That's… a good question."
Scanning the table of contents, I'll pick one that looks promising.
"Let's go with 'how to avoid awkward silences,' since I don't think we'll have the chance to do a lot of gift shopping in our first year…"

Papaver Field [Mage] 340447

"Yeah let's start with that.
Oh, and I had problems with this!"
Point at -hoof placement when hugging-.

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 340448

I'll raise an eyebrow at that, but nod.
Turning to the chapter about awkward silences, let's see how much we can understand retain. '1d10'

Roll #1 7 = 7

DM 340458

[-a poorly timed remark, sensitive topic, or joke gone wrong can easily lead to a painful silence. Only break this silence with an apology if you absolutely know you were in the wrong. It is better to try and direct talk into another topic, or if talking just won't do, try a little act of kindness, like holding their hoof or tail, or offering a hug.-]

Papaver Field [Mage] 340460

"Sounds reasonable. But… I got problems just with that part!"

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 340461

Does it say how to avoid such things? '1d10'

Roll #1 6 = 6

DM 340467

[-To best avoid these common causes, it is good to know about the likes, dislikes and limits of your partner-]

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 340469

Well, that's reasonable, I guess.
"You know, how much do we each know about our, uh… partners? We only met three days ago…"

Papaver Field [Mage] 340470

"Well that's easy.
She likes bows. And to teach. And she's afraid of magic. And…" Oh fuck. She even told me.
Roll not to break down and cry.

Roll #1 10 = 10

Papaver Field [Mage] 340471

No matter what her parents think. Yeah.
Assume the above is a reply to you too.

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 340475

"Well, I guess that's what's going to happen on your first date. Getting to know each other better."
I'll chuckle a bit.
"We kinda skipped that step and jumped straight into the second part."
Alright, now, I think we're good on the awkward silences, so let's turn to inappropriate hugging and how not to do it, and start reading from there. '1d10'

Roll #1 1 = 1


Stop staring Jon.
Help him read.

Roll #0 1 = 1

DM 340481

[-place your hoof on the flank or crotch, and rub gently-]

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 340485

Wait. Wait wait wait. This was avoiding awkward hugging positions! That sounds awkward! '1d10'

Roll #1 10 = 10


Can't be.
Give a puzzled look at the book.

Roll #0 8 = 8

Papaver Field [Mage] 340487

"How do you think that works?"

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 340489

Blushing a bit, I'll answer.
"I-I think we may have turned the book a bit too far ahead. That sounds like something my pa does to sooth my ma's temper. Well, before they tell us to skedaddle, anyway."

DM 340491

Oh wait, there was more on the previous page.
[-For example, do not-]

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 340495

Ah, there we go.
"See? We don't go into that when it's just hugging."


"Sounds about right. Let me turn the pages now, okay?"

Gosh I was about to try that on Nock.
This book is dangerous.
Keep reading.

Roll #0 1 = 1

DM 340502

[-as this will probably stimulate a desire for more intimate contact, which, if you simply wanted a hug, may be undesirable. See Fig.34-]
You turn the page and find fig.34. It is a detailed illustration of inappropriate hoof placement, and its results on both parties. To go with it, there is a page of text to explain it in full detail.

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 340504

'1d10' not to blush at this.
Why are all the textbooks in this place so anatomically correct?

Roll #1 6 = 6


Oh gosh~
Roll NOT to get any ideas.

Roll #0 9 = 9

Papaver Field [Mage] 340506

"So… Yeah. Not going to try this anytime soon.
I think you should choose the next topic, Jon."

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 340508

"M-maybe, yeah."
I'll turn to the dos and don'ts, and start at the beginning of the chapter. '1d10'

Roll #1 9 = 9

DM 340514

Guess we'll save trying those out for your next 1s
[-When dating, there are many things one should do, and at least as many things one should not. It is important to know one's partner well to understand what should and should not be done, as some are more sensitive and easy to offend than others-]

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 340515

Keep reading.

Papaver Field [Mage] 340517

I don't think I've problems with her.
I mean, she's strong, values honor, family…
Oh goddamnit this is going to get messy. I wonder how my parents would take it. They never said my mate had to be a stallion, no?
'1d10' not to think horrible things.

Roll #1 1 = 1

DM 340524

Well, Jon is a stallion, for one.
Maybe he could be your boyfriend tonight?
[-For example, one should not go about making lewd suggestions or racist jokes unless they know their partner is the kind who takes kindly to that sort of thing. Another example would be-]
…Vera is kinda ogling you…

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 340527

I'll pause reading for a second and look at Vera.
"You doing alright?"

Papaver Field [Mage] 340529

Ahah no chance. I like that girl. And made her a promise. And I don't like Jon that way, never did.
He's not a strong warrior I know I'll be able to rely on like my Nock is…
"I… Nothing. Just a few bad thoughts about what my parents would say. I'm sure it's just me being silly…"
Try to look convinced.

Roll #1 8 = 8

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 340533

I'll shrug.
"If you say so."
Before reading, I'll turn to Papaver again.
"Where are you from that that would be looked down on?"

Papaver Field [Mage] 340535

"Oh, my ancestors came from one of the old northern nations, Eaglecrest it was called…
But my parents don't have a problem with this. They never said anything about having to choose a stallion as a mate…
But neither did they say I could even choose a mare. I didn't even know it was possible until a few days ago!"
Sigh and look sad towards the sky.
"I just hope they won't hate me for this…"

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 340536

"Why would they hate you for doing what they taught you to do? Nock's a nice mare, and you like her. Shouldn't that be enough for them?"

Papaver Field [Mage] 340540

"I have no brothers or sisters…"

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 340542

I'll look aside for a bit.
"That would make things a bit harder…"
'1d10' to stop myself from suggesting a stupid idea.

Roll #1 1 = 1

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 340543

"Well, you could always encourage them to try and give you one. I mean, then they wouldn't have to worry!"

Papaver Field [Mage] 340544

"I… Don't think that works. Or probably I would have already."
Smile at him.

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 340545

I'll sheepishly turn the other way.
"Yeah, I suppose you probably… I'm sorry. That was a dumb idea."

Papaver Field [Mage] 340546

"That's okay, not the dumbest idea I've heard today.
So, what do you want to read about now? It's your turn to pick a topic."
I turn the book back to the index.

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 340548

"I think it was your turn, actually, but…"
My eye will linger on the kissing section.
"Nah, I think you should pick."

Papaver Field [Mage] 340551

"Well I've had problems with this…"

Turn the book at the -basics of physical interaction- section.

Roll #1 9 = 9

DM 340560

[-Often considered the goal of dating, good physical interaction begins with light foreplay. See FIG.55-]

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 340563

Raising an eyebrow, I'll turn the page until we see the illustration.

Papaver Field [Mage] 340564

"What's 'foreplay'?"

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 340565

"I dunno."

DM 340568

Well the illustration sure answered that question.
And here you thought the previous one was pushing it on the details.
This one is several pages long, detailing a dozen or so methods, from hoof usage to oral play to… less orthodox things.

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 340570

'1d10' to not blush.
Slowly close the book.

Roll #1 8 = 8


Hey horsebrain, do I take a spaghettiroll?
Why yes, I think it's time to.

Roll #0 5 = 5



Roll #0 6 = 6

Papaver Field [Mage] 340574

"Maybe that's not exactly the kind of stuff I want to do just yet…"

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 340575

"I think that's enough for one day. We've still got to meet the others for dinner."


"Wait! There's one last thing I want to read about! We are not late anyway!"

Hastily take the book and go over the -kissing- section.

Roll #0 6 = 6

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 340579

I'm stuck for that one. '1d10' to see if I can actually see the book or if she's in the way.

Roll #1 7 = 7

DM 340582

[-the kiss is considered one of the most important milestones of a relationship. But it is important to let it come naturally. A rehearsed kiss won't feel good. At best it will come off as an emotionless kiss on the cheek like a mother kissing their child good night. At worst it will be like slapping a wet towel on their face.
Do not put too much force into it and avoid clashing teeth. Do not use tongue on the first try. That won't end well. And most importantly, just turn off your brain and let your heart take over.-]

Papaver Field [Mage] 340584

"So.. No tongue. No brain. I can do this!"
Grin confidently.

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 340588

"Sounds easy enough for me as well."
I'll blush a bit.
It's going to be a while coming, though, at Star's pace. But I did say I'd wait until she was comfortable.
"I think that's all we'll get out of it today. I can let you borrow it sometime, though. Or you could check it out after I give it back to the librarian, if you need to, ah, look at some things more thoroughly."


"Uh… Yeah. Definitely.
There's totally a few thin-"
Better shut up.
And don't you dare go red on me right now!

Roll #0 5 = 5

DM 340708

It continues

Sidus [Rogue] 340709

What do

Star Hopper [Cleric] 340710

I sniff and wipe my nose
"I g-guess a little b-bit of everything…"

Sidus [Rogue] 340711

"Then the better question is, why?"

Star Hopper [Cleric] 340712

I pause
"Well… they m-make me w-who I am and… P-ponies make f-fun of it b-behind my back…"

Papaver Field [Mage] 340713

Damnit Star. We don't make fun of you, we love you.
But I should shut up.

Sidus [Rogue] 340714

"So you think that your flaws make you who you are and not your virtues?"

Star Hopper [Cleric] 340715

"T-those too I guess…"

Sidus [Rogue] 340716

"And do you really think that the opinion of other ponies matter?"

Star Hopper [Cleric] 340717

I fidget with my hooves uncomfortably
"Yes… I-I mean… why w-wouldn't they?"

Sidus [Rogue] 340718

"Let me ask you back… Why would they?"

Star Hopper [Cleric] 340719

"B-because… well…"
I swallow
"I-I'm a pony just l-like them?"

Sidus [Rogue] 340720

"And that allows them to judge you why?"

Papaver Field [Mage] 340721

I should really find Leaf Blade.

Star Hopper [Cleric] 340722

"B-because it's in t-their right to… I mean… p-ponies don't just give p-praise alone…"

DM 340723

What luck.
He is up and about in the main building.

Papaver Field [Mage] 340724

Approach him.
"I might have done something bad.."

Sidus [Rogue] 340725

"When you are miserable, you want to find somepony else and make them feel even more miserable than you. Ponies who pick on you just do it because that's how they try to forget their own flaws, by putting emphasis on yours."

DM 340726

"Hm? How so?"

Star Hopper [Cleric] 340727

I let those words sink in for a moment
"I-I guess that's true…"

Papaver Field [Mage] 340728

"I spoke with Balsawood about something and now he wants to…"
Trail off my voice.

DM 340729

He groans
"Please don't tell me you actually went and talked to him about the sneaking…"

Sidus [Rogue] 340730

Put a hoof on her shoulder.
"One of the first things you'll need to do is to feel good in your body. Don't try to live up to the expectations of others. Just start feeling good about who and what you are."

Star Hopper [Cleric] 340731

"I just…"
I sigh sadly
"I-I don't k-know how… or w-what to do…"

Sidus [Rogue] 340732

"First of all, find a mirror. Look at yourself, smile, and say, 'Yes, I am Star Hopper, and I'm proud that I am me, because nopony else is me.' You are special and unique. Cherish that thought."

Papaver Field [Mage] 340733

"I might have…
I just needed to know about something, the headmaster talked about his collection and I thought he might knew something about it!"

DM 340734

"The collection?
That's a myth of sorts. Been going around the academy since it was founded. You didn't think me and Balsa were the first to try and break the rules, did you? There have been dozens like us in the past. And The Headmaster's Collection has always been something of a legendary goal nobody could reach. Considering the story attached to it, I always figured it was some spooooooky story coined by some senior students to scare younger ones."

Papaver Field [Mage] 340735

"He confirmed it himself, didn't think it would be such a big deal! And now Balsawood said he's going for it."

DM 340736

"Wait wait wait wait wait stop go back.

Papaver Field [Mage] 340737

"The headmaster! When I asked him about a symbol I had seen in my dreams."

DM 340738

He goes a little pale
"The Headmaster himself confirmed his collection is real?
you just went up and talked to the Headmaster?"

Papaver Field [Mage] 340739

"Long story. But yeah."

DM 340740

"…I need some air…
…I wonder if this means the rest of it is true as well…"

Papaver Field [Mage] 340741

"T-the rest?"
Follow him outside.
"What's the rest?!"

Star Hopper [Cleric] 340742

I sigh
"Easier said than d-done…"

DM 340743

He looks around a little and lowers his voice
"As I said I always thought it was just some stupid scary story.
See, when I first ended up getting curious about the forbidden areas, and why they were forbidden, I was of course told they had all the coolest things and got interested.
Well, turns out most of those places are off-limits just for boring old safety reasons. lethal weapon storage access is granted after you pass combat theory, magic range is available once you have demonstrated under supervision you can use it safely, and I can imagine the bestiary is a lot less scary once you've actually taken the Beast Handling courses.
…but then they said that some places were off limits because they really housed things no student should see. Things locked away here because they were not safe to keep anywhere else.
And the biggest of these secrets was the Collection. So secret, it was not even mentioned in official materials.
And only one student ever made it there.
And his reward for pulling it off?
they say he was killed by the faculty"

Sidus [Rogue] 340744

"Listen, Star, this will only work if you really want to do it. You are making progress, but I'm not sure I can help you if you don't improve your attitude."

Papaver Field [Mage] 340745

Gulp down nervously.
"We… I must stop Balsawood before he does anything!"

Star Hopper [Cleric] 340746

I nod weakly
"I'll t-try my b-best to…"

DM 340747

He is a stubborn old stump and even after the school cracked down on everyone sneaking around and got them penalized he just kept going…"

Papaver Field [Mage] 340748

"Hey he is your old friend, you should have sme ideas!"

Sidus [Rogue] 340749

Smile at her.
"What did I say about trying and doing?"

DM 340750

"Well… if he is still like he was when we were pals, I know for sure he is a lot more likely to listen to like-minded folks over outsiders. And if anything, he respects those who impress him."

Star Hopper [Cleric] 340751

"Sorry… I'll do it t-then…"

Papaver Field [Mage] 340752

"Do you think beating the crap out of him will be enough?"

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 340753

I'll give Star a reassuring smile.
She'll be fine.

Sidus [Rogue] 340754

Ruffle her mane.
"And cheer up already, come on, have fun! Enjoy life!"

DM 340755

"That will probably just make him resent you. He was never good with rejection, and quick to brand others as traitors and deserters. But those who stuck with him he listened to, respected and protected.
He even took a few bad hits for a few of his pals, including insisting he worked alone to protect three others from getting into trouble.
One of those, as I remember, was a cadet who had his sites set on becoming a Royal Guard. Had Balsa not stepped in… that dream would have died there and then."

Star Hopper [Cleric] 340756

I give him a small smile in return

I take a step back

Sidus [Rogue] 340757

"What do you do for fun anyway?"

Papaver Field [Mage] 340758

"Is… Is that cadet still around? Maybe he can talk with Balsa!"

DM 340759

"He serves in Canterlot now."

Star Hopper [Cleric] 340760

"I uh… I-I read… and practice m-my magic… a-and occupy myself with a-astronomy…"

Papaver Field [Mage] 340761

"Next free weekend we might…"

Sidus [Rogue] 340762

"Not exactly my type of thing, but those sounds interesting. I only ever read books about exotic weapons."

DM 340763

"You can try.
But as far as I know, Royal Guards are not the kind to talk much, let alone do favors."

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 340764

I'll nod.
"The night sky is really quite lovely. You should take miss Heart out and just watch the stars for a while, one of these days."

Papaver Field [Mage] 340765

"He kinda owes one to him."
"Should be able to spare the time for a talk!"
Pace back and forth.
"Why do I even care!"

Star Hopper [Cleric] 340766

"It is nice…"

Sidus [Rogue] 340767

"Hmmm… that might be a good idea…"

DM 340768

"Maybe you like him?
Maybe you just don't think anypony should get killed for their own stubborn stupidity?
Maybe you think you can somehow 'save' him?"

Papaver Field [Mage] 340770

"I know how you feel. Before meeting Star I had only read boocks about battles and heroes."
"More like I feel responsible for what would happen to him if he gets caught."

DM 340771

"So… what do you plan to do?"

Sidus [Rogue] 340772

"Have you ever tried writing a book on it?"

Papaver Field [Mage] 340773

"See if that royal guard guy wants to help. Otherse, I don't know. Tell the headmaster and assume responsability for it."

DM 340774

"…have you considered trying to get close to Balsa and guide him away from the wrong path yourself?"

Star Hopper [Cleric] 340775

I scratch my head
"… uh… No, I-I haven't…"

Sidus [Rogue] 340776

"You should! I bet it would be a huge succes!"

Star Hopper [Cleric] 340777

"You… y-you think? I d-don't know… t-there's so m-many books already…"

Papaver Field [Mage] 340778

"I'm not the best with friends.. And I don't think I'd leave a good impression on him."

Sidus [Rogue] 340779

"There are many books but this would be your book. And I'm sure you could easily pull it off!"

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 340780

"But none of them are yours. How many of those books have the same joy in them that you do when you watch the stars?"

DM 340781

"Up to you, really.
Quite frankly, I'm done with him. And if he insists risking his life to become sloppy seconds to a school legend is worth it, it's his head, not mine."

Star Hopper [Cleric] 340782

"I guess y-you have a p-point… M-maybe I could… I-It would t-take a lot of my t-time but… I c-could…"

Sidus [Rogue] 340783

"It will be worth it, I assure you!"

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 340785

"It might, but no one says you have to be alone while you're writing. And once it's finished, we could all read it together."

Papaver Field [Mage] 340786

"What? He's trying to chase the legend of somepony else?"

DM 340787

"Well I just said there is already a story about one student getting into that collection.
I guess Balsa wants to be the first to get in and then get out."

Star Hopper [Cleric] 340788

I think for a moment longer, then smile
"O-okay… I'll d-do it. I just… I'll need time to think m-more about i-it first…"

Papaver Field [Mage] 340789

"That's stupid! These things make me rage!"
Turn to him.
"I'm stressed. Wanna go out and throw swords?"

Sidus [Rogue] 340790

"Good! Now you have a new goal to look towards for!"

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 340791

I'll smile back at her.

DM 340792

""I was planning to do it in the magic range. As I have access, I also count as a supervisor. So you can come too."

Star Hopper [Cleric] 340793

"Yes, I d-do. Thanks."

Sidus [Rogue] 340794

"Anything for a friend!"

Papaver Field [Mage] 340795

"Yeah, sounds good. Getting that right is a matter of honor now!"
Follow him.

Star Hopper [Cleric] 340796

I nod
"I-I know."
Look over at Jon expectantly

DM 340798

He leads you to the second floor of the main building. The Magic Range is behind a guarded door.
"Leaf Blade, second year. With me, Papaver Field, first year. I will act as supervisor. We are here to train in weapon conjuring."
"Very well. The range is free. Do go in."
The guards opens the door.
Inside is a long room with target dummies set at varying ranges, a distance measure painted onto the floor, some tables and seats, a few books, and a sheet for tracking who used it, when and for what.

Sidus [Rogue] 340799

"I think we can call what we did today a success, by the way. We'll continue tomorrow. And remember, improve your attitude! That's your task until next time! I want you to want to be better!"

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 340800

I'll walk over to Star and… '1d10'

Roll #1 8 = 8

Papaver Field [Mage] 340801

"I feel so out of place…"

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 340803

Give her a small kiss on the forehead.
"You did good."

Star Hopper [Cleric] 340804

I flatten my ears and blush profusely

DM 340805

"Well you'll be seeing this place a lot if you pick up any magic or antimagic training."

Papaver Field [Mage] 340807

"Not a chance. My parents would disown me."

DM 340809

"And what if they did? In the end, they don't control your life."
He conjures a sword
"We should get started. We can only use this an hour at a time."

Sidus [Rogue] 340811

"I'll leave you two to do your stuff now. Sidus is making an exit!"


"Lay one on me!"
Raise my hoof and get ready to hold and throw the sword.

Roll #0 6 = 6

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 340813

I'll smile a bit, and blush as well.
"It was my pleasure."
"Thanks, Sidus. Maybe you and miss Heart could join us for dinner later?"

DM 340814

He gently levitates it down


"They don't seem to explode, for now."
And throw it!

Roll #0 2 = 2

Sidus [Rogue] 340816

"We could, yes. Meet you at the cafeteria then!"

And now try and find Burning!

Star Hopper [Cleric] 340817

"S-so… uh… what n-now?"

DM 340818

Looks like the blast was just delayed.
Leaf pins you down to protect you from the hit
"It keeps happening.
…still, you can at least touch them safely. I wonder why?"
Well she isn't one that's too hard to find.
Indeed it seems she was right behind you

Sidus [Rogue] 340819

"He-wait a second, how did you sneak up on me like that?"

Papaver Field [Mage] 340820

Groan in defeat.
"Thang. Thick coat I guess?"

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 340821

"W-well, we could-"
"I guess I'll meet you back at the dining hall for dinner? Sorry we never got to spend some time alone, but there's after dinner, right?"

DM 340822

She shrugs
"I wore socks. Makes less noise."
"Coat has nothing to do with it.
…latent magic power, on the other hoof…"

Star Hopper [Cleric] 340824

"Oh… o-okay. I-I'll go read a little t-then…"

Sidus [Rogue] 340825

Check out her socks.
How do they look like?

DM 340826

They are rather nifty.
White with a little golden trim on both ends.

Papaver Field [Mage] 340827

"Maybe you are just that good with magic weapons.
Because if it was up to me, latent power could remain latent."

DM 340828

"…lets try something a little unorthodox shall we?"
he conjures another sword, and grasps it
"touch the blade"

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 340829

I'll give Star a small smile.
"Hey, no worries. I can't steal all your spare time, after all."

Sidus [Rogue] 340830

"They look pretty nice on you."


Look at him hesitantly for a moment.
"Okay, I guess.."
Touch the blade. Just the tip, to see how it feels.

Roll #0 1 = 1

Star Hopper [Cleric] 340832

I nod quietly and head off to go reading until the time paradox is fixed

DM 340834

It speaks against every fiber of what you have ever understood of yourself. Because it does not feel like an enemy. It feel like it wants to be a part of you. Like it should be a part of you. You feel as though you should stop fighting it. To give it a chance and to let it speak its mind.
But you resist the thought, and the sword explodes.
Roll for damage.
Rolling for damage against Leaf
I knitted them myself the other day…"

Roll #1 7 = 7

DM 340835

Leaf is rather shaken and winded, but not maimed or anything.



Roll #0 8 = 8

Sidus [Rogue] 340837

"Mhmm. Want to go somewhere? Or just walk?"

DM 340838

It seems the sword was not angry at you. Just disappointed.
You got off better than Leaf.
"…that felt… curious, to say the least. How was it on your end?"
"I had no real plans. You?"

Sidus [Rogue] 340839

"Star and Jon said we could go and watch the night sky together sometime. Oh, they also invited us to have our dinner together later."

Papaver Field [Mage] 340840

"It… it tried to enter me!"

DM 340841

rolling to not misunderstand that
"Dinner sounds nice, but isn't it a little early for that?"

Roll #1 7 = 7

DM 340842

"Hm. Ok, this will sound entirely crazy but…
…you try conjuring one."

Sidus [Rogue] 340844

"That's why I said later… We could go up on the roof again if you want."

Papaver Field [Mage] 340845

Give him a flat look.
"Do I look like a unicorn to you?"

DM 340847

"Sounds like you'd like that. So sure.
…which roof?"
"No. But not only unicorns wield magic."
he levitates one of the training catalysts from the tables over
"You know what a catalyst is, right?"

Papaver Field [Mage] 340849

"Yeah. Aren't you supposed to have some sort of emotional connection to it?"

Sidus [Rogue] 340850

"If you can sneak up on me like this, what about the Sword Dorm roof?"

DM 340853

"That certainly helps. Traditionally it was assumed that was mandatory, but studies have shown that even an entirely foreign catalyst can work, provided the caster himself provided the needed emotional power. The important part is that there is emotion to fuel the spell, whether it comes from the catalyst… or the user's will."
"Sounds fine. Meet you up there?"

Sidus [Rogue] 340855

Grin at her.
"Don't keep me waiting!"

Head towards there.

Papaver Field [Mage] 340857

"But I dont't want to… What if I actually can doit?"
Look distressed at him

DM 340858

She nods and hops off.
By the time you get to the roof, it seems she has not made it there quite yet.
"And what if you can?"

Sidus [Rogue] 340860

Let's wait a bit.
Look around in the meantime.
Inspect the roof and stuff

Roll #1 9 = 9

Papaver Field [Mage] 340861

"If I can, I'd rather never use it…"
Look sad at the ground.

DM 340862

There is a rail along the side, designed to keep repairponies safe and pigeons away. A few entrance doors. Chimney. Bowl of sweets. Ventilation pipes. A few gargoyles on the sides. A nice view down onto the balconies. Burning Heart behind you. A good view over the top of the outer wall too. Not to mention down onto the training field. Heck with some aid you could probably see to Hammer Dorm from here.
"Why are you so against magic? Have you ever even tried it?"

Sidus [Rogue] 340863

I chuckle.
"You did it again."

DM 340865

"I guess I got a knack for it.
Want me to feed you some sweets before dinner~?"

Papaver Field [Mage] 340866

"I am not against magic. It's just, my parents told me of the battles of our ancestors, their fights against the gryphons. The lone stength of their bodies making them survive in the cold of the north.
They despite the mages that left them to rot ages ago. That's not how a true warrior fights.
Not how they would want me to fight."
Pick myself up.
"Do you understand why I fear this, now?"

Sidus [Rogue] 340868

"Are they as sweet as you?~"
Chuckle again.

DM 340869

"I could be your sweet if you asked me to~"
"Not in the least and you are silly. Now wand in hoof and pop out a sword. It's just a damn spell it's not gonna hurt."

Sidus [Rogue] 340870

Smirk at her.
"I need to ask? Wouldn't you do it just for me?"

DM 340871

Rolling not to get too many ideas

Roll #1 10 = 10

DM 340872

"Anything you want~
I've learned that you don't like it when I get too pushy."
She grabs the bowl

Sidus [Rogue] 340874

Let's just lie down and get comfortable.

"As long as you are still assertive but not too much, we're good."


Roll my eyes.
"Just to show you I have no magic!"
Wand in hoof. How does this work again? I should have emotions.
The emotion of my parents kicking me on the street?
Nock leaving me because I'm a danger?
That better put in the backburner too.
Let's imagine… Just a sword.

Roll #0 8 = 8

DM 340876

…well one day when you feel ready I'd love to be your little bowl of sweets~
But… you did say you didn't want to rush into things. Right?"
You feel a connection with… something.
A flow of immaterial energy.
As if you were standing in a river. A river that softly moved around you. And through you.
A river you could move, shape and conduct with that wand.


Open my eyes. See the monster I've become.
And whatever happens, don't cry.

Roll #0 9 = 9

Sidus [Rogue] 340879

"It's not chivalrous and fitting for my greatness to rush things!"

DM 340880

"So… how was it?"

DM 340881

…Well, just tell me when you feel ready~"
She picks out a piece of candy and offers it to you

Papaver Field [Mage] 340882

Gulp down, speak in a broken voice.

Sidus [Rogue] 340883

Take it and eat it.
"You're not disappointed, are you? Patience is a virtue, you know."

Star Hopper [Cleric] 340884

Jonagold pls

DM 340885

"So is forgiveness~
And you have a lot of both…"
She rests her head against you
"I could see it power up. It clearly reacted to you."

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 340886

Sorry, I thought we were waiting for dinner to roll around.

Star Hopper [Cleric] 340887

We are. But I'm bored.

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 340888

After-dinner thing, then?

Papaver Field [Mage] 340889

"Could we… never speak about this again? Please."

Sidus [Rogue] 340890

I chuckle.
"But would it be so great if anypony could just get me in such a short time? Of course not. That's why you'll have to wait… as well as to prove that you deserve me~"

Star Hopper [Cleric] 340891


DM 340892

Or I can just warp you ahead to dinner.
So far everything about you points to you clearly having locked away talents. If anything, we should report to Leyline immediately and ask for him to evaluate you."
She sighs sadly
"If that's what it takes…"

Sidus [Rogue] 340893

"It will be all the better once the wait is over, won't it?"

Offer her a sweet back.

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 340894

Timestream-jumping goooooo
Or that could work too.

Papaver Field [Mage] 340895

"N-no! They'll hate me! She will hate me too and leave me! I'm a danger and a dishonor to my family!"

Star Hopper [Cleric] 340896

We'd need Sidus and Burning too

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 340897

True. And Papaver, if she doesn't skip dinner in depression.

Papaver Field [Mage] 340898

>tfw notinvited to double date

Sidus [Rogue] 340899

I think we can skip there

DM 340900

"So long as you remind me of the prize at the end from time to time~
…give a little taster, so to speak…"
He looks honestly rather shocked
…hey, calm down, ok?
C'mere. I didn't mean to offend you or anything ok?"
He tries to put a platonic hoof on your shoulder


Try to calm and not break down right there in front of him.

Roll #0 7 = 7

Sidus [Rogue] 340902

I guess she deserves a kiss.
But just a kiss.
Not more.

Roll #1 7 = 7

Papaver Field [Mage] 340903

Okay I can handle it. Raise my head and give a shaky nod.

DM 340904

"You sure you're ok?"
You can accept a friendly, non-sexual hug if you want it
It is a very nice little horse kiss.
She seems perfectly happy with it.
"I gotta remember to make you something special when hearts and hooves rolls around~"

Sidus [Rogue] 340905

"Hmm, I guess I should start thinking on what to give you as well."

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 340906

Well, I guess after the thing with Papaver and the book, I'll return it to the dorm, and head to the dining hall. I'm probably pretty early, though…

Papaver Field [Mage] 340907

I'll take a hoof to get up if he's offering that.
"Leaf, this changes everything for me. All I've been thaught and told. Everything. And I'm scared."

Star Hopper [Cleric] 340908

I'll be there too, reading at one of the tables

DM 340909


"Don't be. This is the beginning of a whole new road for you.
Your own road."
"Well, we got a lot of time to think~"
She cuddles up next to you
"I wouldn't mind just listening to your heart all the way until dinner…"

Sidus [Rogue] 340910

Hug her closer.
"I could go for a bit of relaxing…"


Do I see the others in the cafeteria?

Roll #1 6 = 6

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 340911

I'll give a little wave to Star, then scope out the dining area. Can I see the kitchen from here? '1d10'

Roll #1 10 = 10

DM 340912

It's behind a pair of swinging doors and they occasionally bring out more food to fill up the buffet.
Why yes you can.

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 340913

I'll keep a note of that.
Then I'll head over to Star's table.
"Good evening. I see we're both early."

Sidus [Rogue] 340914

Walk up there.
"Not really! Hey!"

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 340915

I'll nod to Sidus.
"Hey there Sidus, miss Heart."
Then I'll take a seat next to Star.

Star Hopper [Cleric] 340916

I don't even notice that, too busy reading

I peek out from behind my book and smile

Papaver Field [Mage] 340917

"I wish it was so easy.."
Sigh and put the wand back where Blade picked it up from.
"Should we go and meet this instructor of yours?"

Sidus [Rogue] 340918

Sit down somewhere near.
"So what's up?"

DM 340919

…you sure you're ok?
Look, I probably could have been a little more sensitive about this. If you need a breather, well, we have time."

Papaver Field [Mage] 340920

Can I see any one of them?
"I think… I should talk with a few ponies, first. Maybe."
Sit down and shiver slightly.
Roll not to cry.
'r2 1d10'

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

Star Hopper [Cleric] 340921

I stealthily try to shuffle a little closer

"Oh, hi S-Sidus."

Papaver Field [Mage] 340922

Yeah, pss, switch the rolls around.

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 340923

I'll return the smile.
"Just waiting for dinner to start. How about you?"

Sidus [Rogue] 340924

"The same. Had a little appetizer before, but that's about it."

Star Hopper [Cleric] 340925

"W-where is your… uh… f-friend?"

Sidus [Rogue] 340926

"She was right behind me…"
Burning is still here, right?

DM 340927

And a breakdown was had.
He rushes to try and calm you down, holding you tightly
"It's not that bad…
…please calm down…"
Right behind you.

Papaver Field [Mage] 340928

Squeeze him tight.
I could insult him, say it's all his fault.
But that wouldn't really help.
Try to calm down.

Roll #1 10 = 10

Star Hopper [Cleric] 340929

I look at her confusedly
"Uh… H-hello?"

DM 340930

It seems a bit of physical closeness goes a long way…
…ok maybe I'll just… not say that…"
"Hey there.
Sorry, I was a little distracted. Was thinking about what to eat."

Sidus [Rogue] 340931

Motion for her to sit down beside me.

Star Hopper [Cleric] 340932

Awkward pause time!

DM 340933

"let me just go grab my plate and I'll be right with you"

Sidus [Rogue] 340934

"Could you bring me some food too?"

Papaver Field [Mage] 340935

Clean up my face and move away from him.
"Thanks for… That. Yeah. It's just something hard for me. I need… I think I need to sleep on this."
Take the wand back.
"Can I take one of these?"


"Uh… right! I-I need to g-get some t-too!"
Let's go gather some food for Jon and I

Roll #0 3 = 3

DM 340937

"No. Those are not to be removed from the range. But the academy makes custom ones for caster students.
…unless of course… you feel it has a special connection to you now."
And then you all got food and went to sit down

Sidus [Rogue] 340938

Start eating.
"So have you been thinking about the book?"

Star Hopper [Cleric] 340939

I nod
"A l-little bit… I'm s-still not sure what to i-include and what n-not to include though…"

Sidus [Rogue] 340940

"You have no topic yet then?"

Star Hopper [Cleric] 340941

I think for a moment
"A-astronomy is a b-broad term… I-it's kind of hard to decide…"

Sidus [Rogue] 340942

"What do you like most? Why don't you write about that?"

Papaver Field [Mage] 340943

Sigh and speak in a shaky voice.
"No, n-not really. It's just a wand.
That would be silly."
Get up once more.
"We… I should go. This was a stupid idea."

DM 340944

No this was not.
Because it proved you did have some latent skill.
Who knows. Maybe unlocking them could finally get you a… cutie mark."

Star Hopper [Cleric] 340945

"I… I guess I could write about the different constellations… asterisms… star charts…"

DM 340946

And then DM went to do things he should have done 12 hours ago.


Papaver Field [Mage] 340947

Speak in a perfectly flat and serious tone.
"And then I would be cast out of my home, refused by my loved one for betraying her, and lose my honor."

DM 340948

"If they cast you out for finding tour destiny, did they truly love you in the first place?
Think long and hard about that."

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 340949

"Have there been books on those?"
I'll rub my nose a bit.

Star Hopper [Cleric] 340950

I nod quickly
"Numerous books…"

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 340951

"Wonder which ones are in the library? We could read those and get a good idea of where to start when you write yours."

Star Hopper [Cleric] 340952

I nod
"I-I already did that… I r-read all of them when I-I was younger…"

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 340953

I'll raise an eyebrow in surprise.
"All of them?"
After thinking a bit, I'll continue.
"Hmm. Are there any that might have come out recently that you would be interested in?"

Star Hopper [Cleric] 340954

I shrug
"N-not that I heard of…"

Papaver Field [Mage] 340955

Enter the dining all, I guess. Can't survive without food.

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 340956

Well, there goes a gift idea. Unless I can ask the librarian…
Oh hey look, it's Vera.
I'll wave her over.
"There's Vera. Maybe she'll have some ideas."

Papaver Field [Mage] 340957

Trot over and sit with them.

Star Hopper [Cleric] 340958

"Oh, h-hi Vera."

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 340959

"Hey yourself. You look terrible. What'd you get up to after our talk?"

Papaver Field [Mage] 340960

"Just… Did some training. I must be tired, that's all."
Try to sound natural and downplay the issue.
"Hey Star. You did great with Sidus today."
Give her a wide smile.

Star Hopper [Cleric] 340961

I blush
"I… t-thanks…"

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 340962

"Must be some pretty heavy stuff if it's weighing on you like that."

Papaver Field [Mage] 340963

"You deserve it."
Smile again.
"No, really, don't… Yeah, just tell me about you.
What did you do while I was gone, uh?"

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 340964

"Came straight here, actually. Star got here before me."
I'll give her a slightly concerned look.
"Are you sure you're okay? I don't mean to pry, but…"

Papaver Field [Mage] 340965

To sound natural.
"Yes. Absolutely nothing wrong."

Roll #1 1 = 1

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 340966

Obviously nothing.
I'll glance at Star a bit worriedly.
"I'm not gonna force you talk about it if you don't want to, but if you do want to talk, you've got me, Star, and Nock here for you."

Papaver Field [Mage] 340967

"I just… I don't feel like talking about it, okay?"
Should have stayed in bed.

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 340968

I'll nod.
"And that's fine. I'm not gonna force it out of you, especially when you haven't eaten yet."
I'll share another glance at Star.
"But, if you do ever want to talk about it, I'll listen. We could spar a bit, as well."

Star Hopper [Cleric] 340969

I give her a sad look

I nod in agreement

Papaver Field [Mage] 340970

Slowly nod at him.
"I just feel… A bit weak right now. Maybe another time, okay?"
"Star… I should… Yeah, I should go back to our room."

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 340971

"Don't forget to grab something to eat, Vera. Going to bed hungry will only make it worse."

Papaver Field [Mage] 340972

"I don't really feel like…"

Star Hopper [Cleric] 340973

"B-but… you were t-there for me when I w-was upset… so s-should I."

Papaver Field [Mage] 340974

Give her a weary smile and try to reach for her hoof.
"But I'm not angry Star. It's just something really… Strange happened to me, and I have to think it over."

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 340975

"That was not a suggestion, Vera."
I'll look her straight in the eye.
"You are my friend, and as friends, I am entitled to worry about you. And in my experience, going to bed hungry only sours somepony's mood further. So either you grab something to eat, or I send Star up there later and she makes you eat."

Papaver Field [Mage] 340976

Hold my breath and slowly shrink on my seat at that reaction.
Then, get up and hastily grab some food.

Roll #1 6 = 6

Star Hopper [Cleric] 340977

I droop my ears
"I… uh… I'm sorry to h-hear that… But… I really t-think we s-should t-talk about this…"

Papaver Field [Mage] 340978

I think that's enough to survive.
Trot back to the table and take a few bites.
"Star, really I…" Shiver slightly.
"I don't feel much like talking about it, okay?"

Roll #1 3 = 3

Papaver Field [Mage] 340979

This food tastes like tears. And it's moldy. And I'd rather being on the training field hammering ponnequins.

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 340980

I'll frown a bit, then sigh.
"Alright, I'm sorry. Obviously whatever happened has upset you. A lot. And the dining hall is probably not the best place to talk about it. So. Tomorrow, during the free period, you and I are going to spar. You wanted to see if I was any good, and I want to see what I can do against a pony who's trained all her life."
Picking at my food a bit, I'll continue.
"I might try to talk to you during the match, but if you don't want to answer anything, then you don't have to."

Papaver Field [Mage] 340981

"A spar sounds… Nice."
Smile weakly at him looking up from my plate.

Star Hopper [Cleric] 340982

I nod
"Okay… Sorry… I d-didn't w-want to pressure you…"

Papaver Field [Mage] 340983

"It's okay."
Chuckle briefly.
"You are finally becoming more assertive!"

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 340984

I'll extend my hoof.
"Then I have your word you'll be there tomorrow?"

Papaver Field [Mage] 340985

Dust myself up.
"Should I drag myself on only two hooves, I'll be there!"
Grin at him and shake his hoof.

Star Hopper [Cleric] 340986

"Y-you… you're going to f-fight?"
I look a little worried

Papaver Field [Mage] 340987

"No, it's just a spar!"
Look at her with a natural expression.

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 340988

"Then we have an appointment."
Giving her a small smile and a hearty hoofshake, I'll return to my food.
"It's just a sparring match. No worse than combat lessons. You and I will be sparring at some point in the future as well, depending on how you do in the class."

Star Hopper [Cleric] 340989


I look at him with wide, concerned eyes

Papaver Field [Mage] 340990

"I think you two should have had a real fight already. That's how you can tell the heart of a pony, after all."
Eat another bite.
"You have to read her pose, her strength, her convincion, her willingness to think of you as her equal and strike as if she meant it.
That's why you two should spar."

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 340991

I'll chuckle a bit.
"Now now, don't look at me like that. This is just going to be after the exercise and hitting a ponnequin. If we're lucky, I won't have to do a thing."
I'll give her a playful nudge.
"But if we do end up having to spar, well…" My voice will sink to a whisper. "I'll be sure to kiss you better, okay?"
I'll blush a bit, and then go back to my dinner.

Star Hopper [Cleric] 340992

I blush as well and look away
"O-okay… if y-you say so…"

Star Hopper [Cleric] 340993

Once we're done with dinner, I turn to Jonagold once more
"S-so… uh… w-what do you w-want to do n-now?"

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 340994

"W-well, we could pick up where we left off earlier…"

Star Hopper [Cleric] 340995

I cock my head questioningly

Papaver Field [Mage] 340996

That's my cue, retreat silently back to my room, giving a confident non-sexual wink to Star.

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 340997

"You know, before Sidus found us. We could go back to that and pick up where we were interrupted."

Star Hopper [Cleric] 340998

I completely forgot what we were doing

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 340999

Shaaame. We were gonna cuddle on the library chairs. Maybe read a little together.

Star Hopper [Cleric] 341000

"Oh… oh!"
I blush as well now
"T-that sounds really… n-nice. But i-isn't there something y-you want to d-do? I… I don't even k-know what your i-interests are…"
I look down at the ground ashamedly

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 341001

"We can talk about that while we're there."
I'll give Star a small smile.
"And the day I don't want to sit with you is a day that's quite a ways away."

Star Hopper [Cleric] 341002

"O… Okay."
I hop off of my seat and wait for Jon

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 341003

I'll get up and join her, and then we'll walk side-by-side to the library. And back to those comfy-looking loves seats.

Star Hopper [Cleric] 341004

I settle down next to him and lean slightly against his shoulder with my head

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 341005

I'll give a quiet laugh.
"Am I really that comfortable?"

Star Hopper [Cleric] 341006

I blush and retract my head
"S-sorry… was t-that too b-bold?"

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 341007

I'll shake my head, and blush a little.
"Nah. I just didn't think I would be too comfortable, what with being a bit stringy for my size. But, if you like it, I can't be too bad of a pillow."
Giving Star a small smile, I'll continue.
"And it feels… nice. Comforting, even."

Star Hopper [Cleric] 341008

I smile back
"It's… r-really comforting f-for me too…"

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 341009

"Then by all means, my shoulder is yours."
I'll widen my smile a bit, and let her get comfortable.

Star Hopper [Cleric] 341010

I do just that.
"T-thank you…"

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 341011

"You're welcome."
After a few minutes of silent cuddling, I'll speak again.
"So you said you wanted to know about what I like? I don't know if it's as neat as stargazing, but I kinda… well, I do fancy a bit of baking. Nothing spectacular, mind you, and certainly nothing fancy like some of those cakes you see sold in shops, but…"

Star Hopper [Cleric] 341012

My eyes light up with the intensity of a thousand stars

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 341013

"W-well, I mean, the Apple family expects all of its members to at least be able to make the Apple Fritters we have at our reunions, and well, pies and such are expected too. I always seem to put a bit too much or too little of something in the dough, most days, and they never seem to settle right. Now, my sister Malinda, despite being just shy of her tenth year, can make a mean apple tart. We're starting to think baking's her talent. Not that she can upstage my ma, though. The pies she makes are just… I can't even say, it's so hard to put to words."
I'll sigh a bit.
"I'm a bit worried I'll fall outta practice while I'm here."

Star Hopper [Cleric] 341014

I blissfully close my eyes

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 341015

I'll chuckle a bit.
And they said the way to a colt's heart is through his stomach.
"Well, I wonder if I can make friendly with the kitchen staff so they'll let me practice. I'll probably have to pick up the odd job here and there to cover the cost of ingredients, though."
After a little though, I'll add:
"And if they come out good enough, maybe we could share them. Once a week, maybe."

DM 341276

Meanwhile, after coming to terms with herself, a certain paladn cadet has sought out Leyline, the magic trainer.
"Well now, I don't often get student visitors. What ails you, cadet?"

DM 341278

You found him in his own office.
"What ails you, cadet?"

Papaver Field [Mage] 341279

"Sir, I've been told to seek your help by a second year student, Leaf Blade."

DM 341280

"Leaf Blade? Hm, ah yes, him. That reformed troublemaker. Quite an unorthodox one, he. Well, what is this about then?"

Papaver Field [Mage] 341281

"We- He, was conjuring magic swords to practice his throwing. I tried to use one despite the warning and…
It didn't blow up. It didn't even hurt me in the slightest. So he was surprised, and hoofed me over a wand and then…"
Try to keep it together.

Roll #1 10 = 10

Papaver Field [Mage] 341282

Ah, no way I'm breaking down in front of an instructor.
"I could feel it, sir. Magic flowing through my body. In front of me, around me. And I don't know what to do."
Pause for a second.

DM 341283

He calmly adjusts his glasses
"Sounds like a textbook case of discovering magical talents. Though it's more common for ponies six to ten years younger than you.
Have you ever tried spellcasting before?"

Papaver Field [Mage] 341284

"No. It's not something my family approves."

DM 341285

"Mhm. Well, we all have our taboos. However, here in this academy, our rules supercede those of the personal lives of our students.
Who knows, you may well hold remarkable talent in spellcasting ,if you only let it out."

Papaver Field [Mage] 341286

"Sir I… May I speak freely, sir?"

DM 341287

"So long as you keep it appropriate."

Papaver Field [Mage] 341288

"Sir, I don't want to learn magic."

DM 341289

"And I don't want to waste a great potential talent. Let alone one who has all the signs of a budding spellcaster.
So long as you are a part of this academy, famility traditions are ill an excuse."

Papaver Field [Mage] 341290

"Sir, they will.. They will disown me, sir."

DM 341291

"Then they will. You did not expect to go back to living under them after graduating did you? Because of you did, your assumptions regarding the life of a paladin are deeply misguided.
Of course, I cannot force you. You are free to resign from the academy if you feel you cannot take what we require of our cadets."

Papaver Field [Mage] 341292

Oh gee, that's totally not breaking my heart.
"Sir… But what if I don't feel like I can handle magic?
All my life, brawling is all I've known."

DM 341293

"Then you will be taught, cadet. It is my duty as an instructor to ensure those who seek to become Paladins of Equestria are given all the training they could possibly need. Be it defense, combat arts, physical stamina, knowledge, magic or emotional streangth, we exist to give it to you, so that you may be at your strongest when you defend Equestria.

Papaver Field [Mage] 341294

"I understand sir… May I… May I b-be excused, now?"

DM 341295

"Do you believe you could demonstrate your control of magic before you go?"

Papaver Field [Mage] 341296

"Sir I… I don't think I'm capable of actually doing anything, with my magic…"

DM 341297

"Nor do I expect you to. I simply need to see what your current state is. Use this."
He levitates over a training catalyst.
"Whenever you feel ready."


Extend one hoof to grasp the catalyst.
Close my eyes, lower my head, don't think about the betrayal and horror and dishonor.
Don't think about the danger I am or how much of a coward this makes me.
Think about the sword, just like last time.
And keep my eyes shut.

Roll #0 1 = 1

DM 341299

And we'll get to the effects of that crit fail in a little over half an hour when I get home.


Star Hopper [Cleric] 341300

I grin happily
"T-that would be… oh… t-that sounds a-amazing…"

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 341301

"Well, we'll see how amazing it really is. Though… If I do get the hang of it, maybe I could teach you a few recipes."

Star Hopper [Cleric] 341302

I shuffle a little closer
"R-really? Aren't t-those like… uh… s-secrets?"

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 341303

"W-well, not all of them. I mean, sure, some of them are, and I can't teach 'em to anypony I don't plan on bringing into the family, but… there are some I should be able to teach anypony."
I'll blush a bit.

Star Hopper [Cleric] 341304

Still starstruck, I keep grinning
"Oh… I c-can't wait to taste i-it all!"
I then hug him excitedly
"W-we should head t-to the k-kitchens immediately!"

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 341305

"Hold on there, Star. I know you're excited, but…"
Well, what better way to start making nice with the kitchen staff than helping them clean up after dinner?
"Well, they probably won't let me light up any stoves right away. They'll probably put us to work washing dishes for a while before they actually let me bake."
I'll hug Star back.
"We might not even get in there tonight, but we can try."

Star Hopper [Cleric] 341306

I deflate visibly
"O-okay… I s-should have k-known it wouldn't b-be that e-easy…"

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 341307

"Cheer up. There's still plenty of time before…"
I'll blush a little.
"I mean, we don't know if we don't try, right? So let's go back to the kitchen, and see what they'll say about letting us use the equipment."

Star Hopper [Cleric] 341308

I hop off of my chair
"W-wait… wouldn't y-you rather stay h-here? You d-don't have to do this f-for me if y-you w-wanted to do s-something else first…"

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 341310

I'll get up as well.
"Nah, it's alright. You remember I said I was afraid I'd get worse at baking if I didn't practice, right? Well…" I'll blush a little further. "You gave me a reason to go practice."

Star Hopper [Cleric] 341311

I blush as well
"O-oh… that's… that's a-awfully n-nice…"

Nock [Tracker] 341315

Working on Inquisitor homework in the room.


Roll #1 5, 2 = 7

Papaver Field [Mage] 341316

Waiting for the result of that 1.

Nock [Tracker] 341317

They're pretty middle of the road heretics so I keep it together. Not worth getting upset over every little heretical insurrection in history. Better just take notes without getting worked up.

DM 341319

You feel the flow of magic surround you.
Like a river.
A vast, fast flowing river.
A white-water rapid.
It overtakes your senses, hurling your body around wildly. You are entire lost in its mad dance of power, swept around like a leaf in a storm.
Yet the power does not strike at you.
It strikes through you.
You feel immense power focused within you, using you as an outlet for its fury.
It hurts. But you don't mind. You know it means well. So you endure every violent thrust and painful shiver. Because you know this power wants to be one with yARGH!
You fall over, exhausted and in pain.
The catalyst is embedded in the far wall behind you.
There are singe marks, icicles and patches of soot all over the office.
Leyline is covered in a faintly shimmering bubble, and his horn is still slightly steaming from recent spell use.
"Miss! Can you hear me!? Are you alright? I didn't hit you too hard did I?"
Boring, boring boring, boring…
Ok that's not boring but it's really really hard to look at. Why would anyone do that to a pony?

Sidus [Rogue] 341320

I'm sure I have terribly important business somewhere somehow

DM 341321

One of the second year cadets bumps into you as he walks by, and walks off without a word, muttering something in deep thought.

Burning pokes you on the side
"So… what's shaking?"

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 341322

Don't have to tell her I was gonna plan on doing it anyway. Best it's not a secret, now.
"Well, you're worth the effort."
Still blushing, I'll walk up next to Star.
"So let's head back to the dining hall, and see what we can see."

Papaver Field [Mage] 341323

Stand staring, mouth agape, trying to understand if I actually did all this.

Roll #1 9 = 9

Sidus [Rogue] 341328

"Hey! Whatch where you are going! You can't just cross my path and not apologize!"

Turn to her.
"Did you see that?!"

Star Hopper [Cleric] 341330

I nod and obediently follow

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 341331

AND SO we're back at the dining hall. Is the kitchen staff still there? '1d10'

Roll #1 6 = 6

DM 341332

Oh yes.
That was all you.
"I'll take that as a no. Not all ponies take well to being spellbroken. I must say that was rather more than I expected from you. Tell me, what did you tap into to do it? What did you feel and imagine?"
The older student stops and turns around
"Are you talking to me?"

DM 341333

Where else would they be?

Star Hopper [Cleric] 341335

Is this a 24/7 kitchen?~

Sidus [Rogue] 341336

"You bumped into me just now so yes, yes I'm talking to you!"

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 341337

Well, if they're not busy, I'll head up to the doors and knock a bit.

Papaver Field [Mage] 341338

"I thought just of a sword…"
Keep staring at the damage with an expression of shock on my face.

Nock [Tracker] 341341

Too boring. I need to stretch my legs, or I'll fall asleep early.

Maybe I could use a breath of fresh air… '1d10'

Roll #1 5 = 5

DM 341344

Might as well be seeing as it needs to feed hundreds of ponies every day.
"Terribly sorry, I had actually important things to talk about."
One of the cooks answers
"Yes? Dinner is over. What do you want?"
"Well that would explain why the storm manifested as sword, yes…"
Anything specific you're looking for?

Sidus [Rogue] 341345

"And does that give you the right to just walk over others like that? I think not!"

Papaver Field [Mage] 341346

"I also… Kind of tried to repress all my fears at once. I might have had one or two of those in my minf…"
Look down in shame.

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 341347

I'll shuffle my hooves a bit.
"W-well, sir, I was wondering if you allowed students to use the baking equipment. I was a bit afraid of getting out of practice, and was hoping that maybe you'd let me… I mean, I wouldn't expect you'd let me do it for free! I can wash dishes, and help with chores and such!"

Nock [Tracker] 341348

Apparently, just to get my mind off the gore. Clear my head. '1d10'

Roll #1 5 = 5

DM 341351

"Look kid, I have things to prepare for. I'm terribly sorry if I smudged your makeup or something, but I really need to be going."
"Mhm. Well that explains the rest of it then.
…do you even realize what happened?"
He looks surprised, then squints
"Are you trying to sneakily ask for extra treats?"
Just… try not to recall it too vividly.

Papaver Field [Mage] 341356

Look around once more before cocking my head and giving him a quizzical look.

Star Hopper [Cleric] 341357


Sidus [Rogue] 341358

I narrow my eyes.
"You're not going anywhere as long as you keep up that tone with me."

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 341359

I'll shake my head.
"No sir! And if I were, I'd be asking to make them, not make others do that for me. My family's got a bit of a tradition that everyone in it knows how to bake at least a few things, and I was afraid I'd get worse if I didn't practice."

DM 341361

"That's putting it rather lightly. You more or less conjured a veritable storm of swords in here. Magical swords. Fire swords. Ice swords. Lightning swords. Launching the, randomly in all directions, and not responding to anything I say. I had to throw up a shield and spellbreak you for safety."
"And who are you to warrant special treatment?"
He smiles
"A lad to my liking. Let me ask the head chef real quick."
He goes back into the kitchen.

Sidus [Rogue] 341362

"I am Sidus, a pony destined for great deeds, but even if I was a simple pony, what you did is unnacceptable!"

Papaver Field [Mage] 341363

"Magic is a danger… I am a danger…"

DM 341365

"I said I was sorry twice. Now are you really going to make a big scene just to hear it a third time?"
"Danger? That was among the most impressive bursts of raw magic I've seen in all my years!"

Nock [Tracker] 341366

Maybe I could get in some extra time at practical studies. How late is it?

Nock [Tracker] 341367

That is to say, would a teacher be there if I stopped by their classroom?

Sidus [Rogue] 341369

"Your insults invalidated that, you know."

Papaver Field [Mage] 341370

"Sir I… I think I'm going to cry. And no the good kind. Could I go?"
Mouth a little please.

DM 341375

There are classes going on at almost all hours. This way everyone has a chance for a break now and then.
"Go file a complaint about it then. For the last time, some of us have actual things to do rather than just amble from class to class and complain."
"Before you do, I suggest checking your flank."

Star Hopper [Cleric] 341377

Patiently waiting…

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 341378

"He's been gone a little while…"

Sidus [Rogue] 341380

"What is soooooo important then?"

Papaver Field [Mage] 341381

Widen my eyes and try to grasp for breath.
No. Please no.
Nononono. I'm done. Over. Forever.
Trembling, crane my neck around to look at my flank.

Nock [Tracker] 341384

I'll stop by Glossy Ward's place. I'd like to meet him outside of class.

Approach his door and put my ear up to it. Is there a class going on?

DM 341386

He returns with a large mare in tow
"These two, madam Chef."
"Mhm. And who might y'all be?"
Oh hey, would you look at that.
Three crossed swords. Blue, yellow and red.
"I'll be seeing you for extended magic classes in the morning. We need to get those powers reined in properly."
Sounds like it.
Though judging from the time it should be over soon.

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 341388

"Evening Ma'am, my name's Jonagold Apple."

Star Hopper [Cleric] 341389

I gulp

DM 341390

…wait have we met? You look oddly familiar.
Apple family reunion?"

Sidus [Rogue] 341392

Papaver Field [Mage] 341393

'1d10' to have the strength to answer "Sir, yessir."

Then, walk away. In shame. And think about how I've just lost about everything I've ever had.
My parents, that will rather think of me as dead than still their daughter.
My friends, that will look down on me for using that magic I so harshly disdained.
Nock, because I'm a danger.

Looks like I've only this place now.

Go back to my room.

Roll #1 6 = 6

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 341394

Do I recognize this mare? '1d10'

Roll #1 9 = 9


Let's see how long it takes.

Roll #0 2 = 2

DM 341399

"Wouldn't you like to know.
Suffice to say, it is business that concerns only those initiated to it."
"Chin up cadet! The old Royal Guard of Rockeye would have gone to war to have you. Make me proud out there. And lets show those mage academy eggheads we, too, can command the arcane.
And back in your room you are.
She's your aunt's son's wife's mother. Adam's Apple.
About an hour.
Finally, the students clear out.

Sidus [Rogue] 341400

I grin and shake my head.
"Way to cover up your important business."

DM 341401

"Only the skilled need apply. No whiners allowed."

Sidus [Rogue] 341403

"You are mistaken. I'm a winner, not a whiner."

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 341405

And I posted that big ol' webpage full of apples just a few days ago…
"Well, I'll be, miss Adam's Apple. It's been a while since the last reunion, so I'm surprised you recognized me. Never expected this is where you worked!"

Star Hopper [Cleric] 341407

I look between the two of them, surprised

Nock [Tracker] 341409

Walk in with trepidation after class.

"Good afternoon, sir."

Nock [Tracker] 341410

Maybe that's too strong a word…

Uncertainty? You get the idea.


I should start packing up.
Leave this place soon rather than later. Or at least change dorm room.
Star and Nock will hate me anyway once they learn about it.
Start packing my stuff.
Even the hammer. I don't really feel like playing it tonight.
Strange I always imagined this day to be so much different, with a party maybe, and music, and my parents telling me how strong I had become.

Go trough Star's books. She won't mind.
Find something on magic, anything. Find something to read.

Roll #0 6 = 6

DM 341413

"Sounds the same at this end. Now I really am sorry for messing up your mane or whatever. And I really do need to run."
He starts walking off again.
>implying I read it
"Ah thought ah mentioned it.
Guess not.
Well whatever, good to see family! So y'all wanna help around the kitchen, huh?"
"Hm? How can I help?"
[Awakening Magic - a natural stage of life for all mages. - By: Opened Eyes]

Sidus [Rogue] 341415

Huff and turn to Burning.
"Do you believe that guy?…"

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 341417

"That was the plan, ma'am. I'd bring shame to the Apple family name if I couldn't hold my own in a kitchen, so I need to make sure I keep up with practicing."

Nock [Tracker] 341418

"If I'm overstepping my bounds, feel free to dismiss me, sir, but I wanted to ask a few questions, sir."


"Besides the fact that dousing magic is my talent and favorite subject already… I wanted to ask if you remembered my father, sir. The Battlemaster said you might."


A kids' book I bet.
Does it tell how to remove the magic? How to deny it entirely?

Roll #0 7 = 7

DM 341426

"I wonder what he was talking about…"
"Well if that ain't a good reason ah dunno what is. C'mon in!"
"And who might your father have been?"
Not really.
It does mention that a unicorn needs to take extra good care of their horn and make sure they never hurt it though.

Nock [Tracker] 341429

"My father is called Spell Seeker. It's his paladin name – a name each member of our dynasty chooses upon officially becoming a paladin. To be honest, I don't know his birth name, and he would have only used 'Spell Seeker' from year two, on. That's part of why I came. I don't really know anything about him from before he became an Inquisitor, so I was wondering if you did… sir."

Sidus [Rogue] 341431

"I don't know… I think he was just trying to fool us."


This book is not helping. I need something stronger. more powerful.
I need to kill the magic in me.
I have no horn, but a way there must be.
To the library!

Roll #0 7 = 7

DM 341434

"I remember Spell Seeker. Sharp one, if a little hasty. I warned him not to get too into that whole Inquisitor business but he wanted to be 'proactive' in his work, as I recall."
"He did seem rather confident behind all that snootiness."
The librarian greets you
"Looking for something specific?"

Sidus [Rogue] 341435

"Why, what do you think could be so important?"

Papaver Field [Mage] 341437

"How to take magic away from a pony. Permanently."

Nock [Tracker] 341438

I beam. "Either your memory is amazing, or he must've made an impression, sir. Or both."

DM 341444

"I dunno…
…I guess he just had a certain air to him. Like you.
Speaking of you~…"
"Antimagic study material is in the magic wings, to the right."
"A strong character sticks to one's mind.
So in short, proactive and purpose driven…"

Star Hopper [Cleric] 341447

Follow her!

Nock [Tracker] 341448


Sidus [Rogue] 341451

I raise an eyebrow.


Go there, look for books on particularly dangerous mages and how to counter their magic.
On prisons for mages, manacles, bindings. Whatever is needed to stop this.

Roll #0 10 = 10

Nock [Tracker] 341453

Wait, I read the wrong response. The tilde should have tipped me off!

I nod and smile. "Admirable traits, even before he joined the Inquisition. I wish to make his legacy proud, sir."

DM 341455

"I wouldn't mind spending some time with you~"
"If you want to make me proud, stay away from those Inquisitors."
[Our Greatest Enemies VOL XVII: Mages and Spellcasters]

Sidus [Rogue] 341456

I smile at her.
"You know I'm up for that. Had anything in mind?"

DM 341460

"Oh plenty…
…but I think you'd rather save that for later…"

Nock [Tracker] 341461

Give a look of surprise. "You don't like the Inquisition, sir? But you're one of the preeminent spellbreakers of the age!"

Also that book title. Our greatest enemies volume SEVENTEEN? Hehe.

Sidus [Rogue] 341463


Roll #1 1 = 1


Damn right.
Take it back to my room and start reading.

Roll #0 5 = 5

Sidus [Rogue] 341466

She does look…
"Hmm… let's just say, I'm listening…"

DM 341472

She looks surprised and blushes quite a bit.
"…um… lets go somewhere a little more private ok?"
It's a long series.
"And most of them are overzealous to the point of being dangerous. Nor do I care much for their ruthless methods. I mean spellbreaking is one thing, but going as far as to-"
[-cause direct damage to the areas of the brain connected to emotion, in order to hamper and shatter the caster's ability to amplify their control over the flow of magic, is a proven method of weakening or disabling spellcasters. Though some do not like the side effects, including loss of higher thought and several brain functions. Then, many also decry de-horning as akin to gelding, a brutal and unacceptable act. So what do they know?-]

Nock [Tracker] 341474



Okay… Maybe that's going to be my last resort… Second last.
Non-damaging methods to remove magic?

Roll #0 6 = 6

Sidus [Rogue] 341479

"Do you know a place?"

DM 341481

The joke is he said most of the same this Vera read in the book.
Or "-cause direct damage to the areas of the brain connected to emotion, in order to hamper and shatter the caster's ability to amplify their control over the flow of magic."
[-Incarceration in sufficient containment facilities is an option when dealing with mages who somehow resist more direct processes. Some success has also been found in bound spellbreaker or brand enchantments placed on manacles or headgear. Though few favor them, due to them being prone to failure with repeated use, and it is usually easier to disable and kill the target anyway.-]
"W-we could try my room?
Or y-yours?
O-or a roof? Some bushes behind the training grounds? Up in the rafters of the grand hall maybe?"

Sidus [Rogue] 341483

"What about your roommate?"


This! I found it! More about this 'Brand' and 'Spellbreaker' magic! How to bind them to items, how to cast it!

Roll #0 4 = 4

Nock [Tracker] 341488

I thought so, but I wasn't sure.

I frown. "That does sound serious, but… surely it's better than a death sentence for those too dangerous to be spared? A powerful mage could just teleport outside of prison, right, sir?"

DM 341492

"…I can arrange her to be elsewhere…"
[-Another reason for their rarity is the massive cost of binding antimagical enchantments, since the deed itself requires incredible precision and knowledge, and most enchanters refuse to work with antimagic. Brand is also a complex thing in itself, usually only taught to highly dedicated mage hunters, like Inquisitors. Spellbreakers however are rather commonly taught among paladin orders.-]
"That depends on who you ask. Few ponies want to live their lives with no emotions and barely able to walk, let alone speak, write or read."

Sidus [Rogue] 341495

"If you want to…"
Lean closer.
"Don't expect too much, but you did say you wanted some reminders every now and then."

DM 341498

She blushes even more
"I-I'm fine with anything you let me do…
S-so my room then?"

Sidus [Rogue] 341499


Nock [Tracker] 341500

Frown a little. "Do you think joining the Inquisition changed the way may father acts, sir?"


I know. I will just wait for Nock to become an inquisitor! Then she'll do it for me and-
I'm rambling.
Fall on bed.
Roll not to break into sobs.

Roll #0 4 = 4

DM 341505

"Ok um… I'll go clear the way.
…be under my window in… two minutes."
She dashes off
"Almost certainly. They have ways of picking out those aspects they like in ponies, and cultivating them into one beautiful flower of wanton cruelty."
You break.

Small pause as I get my laundry
BRB 10

Papaver Field [Mage] 341523

Just like a little girl.
I wonder if singing something will help..

Roll #1 5 = 5

Nock [Tracker] 341525

Give him a baleful look. "What alternative is there? My family has been in the Inquisition for at least six generations, probably more."



Roll #0 8 = 8

Sidus [Rogue] 341533

Well, go under her window.

DM 341534

It does.
It feels familiar. Yet magical. A magic even you can appreciate.
"And mine included four generations of necromancers. What of it?"

DM 341535

"Close your eyes."

Sidus [Rogue] 341537

Close my eyes?

Nock [Tracker] 341538

"You've… given me a lot to think about, sir. I think I need to go mull it over. Am I dismissed, sir?"

DM 341539

An unseen force grabs you and you feel like you moved at a rapid pace.
When you open them you are in a neat little dorm room fit for two
"You may go.
If you wish less extreme training in antimagic, do not be afraid to ask."


"I should have been a singer…"
Give one last look at my stuff and see to it everything is ready.

Roll #0 7 = 7

Sidus [Rogue] 341541

Look around.
"So this is your place, huh?"

DM 341542

Seems about right.
Main gate is in in front of the main building.
Have a nice life.
…not really as cool as yours but it's enough for me."

Papaver Field [Mage] 341545

What time is it anyway? I should probably say goodbye to my friends before I go. And Leaf Blade. He should know what's happened too.

Sidus [Rogue] 341546

"I think it's nice. Especially with you in it."

DM 341547

Past dinner.
Go ahead and talk to whoever you wish.
She looks around
"…still feeling up for it?"

Sidus [Rogue] 341548


Roll #1 6 = 6

Papaver Field [Mage] 341550

The uniform should cover the flank, right?
"Hey. Sorry for breaking down loke that earlier."

DM 341551

It does
"Happens to the best of us. So, did you go see Leyline?"

Sidus [Rogue] 341552

Take a deep breath.
"Nothing serious though, if you know what I mean, okay? I just know how much you'd like to get to know me closer."
Smile at her.

Papaver Field [Mage] 341553

"I did. And I destroyed his office."

DM 341555

"What? HA! That's quite something! Now you just gotta tell me the whole story!"
She frowns just a little
"…you really read me like an open book.
I just wanted to… you know… a little…"

Roll #1 3 = 3

DM 341556

And she mumbles the rest incoherently, blushing harder.

Sidus [Rogue] 341557

"Burning, you know what I think about mumbling. Articulate. I know, a little…?"

DM 341558

"…a little taste of you?"

Papaver Field [Mage] 341559

"No great story. He tells me that I might as well not have a family anymore since I'm a paladin, tells me I must train my magic if I do have it and slaps a catalyst in my hoof telling me to give it a try.
I close my eyes and next thing I know he was surrounded by a bubble, I had been spellbroken and was lying flat on the ground and all around there were all the signs of the fury of tartarus breaking lose.
From what he told me, it was quite a show. Swords of energy, fire, lightning and ice flying around out of control."

Sidus [Rogue] 341560

"…if that is really what you want. I'm not going to force you to do anything, but I won't stop you either."

DM 341563

She giggles
"Oh you big chivalrous dolt~
I doubt I'd be asking for it myself if I was being somehow forced into it.
…unless you wan to pretend you're forcing me~"
She takes a step closer
He listens very intently
Though, I don't really agree with his wording.. what you say sounds… well, incredible.
I can barely manage one sword… but a storm?"

Papaver Field [Mage] 341565

"You didn't see that room…"
Shiver slightly.
"I'm a danger. And for this, I will leave. Hide myself somewhere. Never touch a catalyst in my whole life."

Sidus [Rogue] 341566

I chuckle.
"I could never even pretend to hurt you~"

DM 341568

…I'm terribly sorry you feel that way. If only there was something I could do to convince you to stay and give yourself a chance… I'd do it in a heartbeat."
The bed on the right is mine~"

Sidus [Rogue] 341569

And then we fade to black because this isn't NL

DM 341571

~oh my~

Papaver Field [Mage] 341572

Sit down, look sadly at the ground.
"I just want my old life back…"

Sidus [Rogue] 341573

Don't you oh my me, it was the RNG and that damn >1 and 6!

DM 341574

"Would you really turn your back on this opportunity?"

DM 341575

Whatever you say dear~
Roll to not go all too far with it

Sidus [Rogue] 341576


Roll #1 5 = 5

Papaver Field [Mage] 341577

Look up and meet his eyes, but say nothing.
After a while, stand up.
"I… I should sleep this over."

DM 341579

"You do that.
And don't let your talents go to waste. It would be a loss to us all if you left now."
It didn't go quite as planned on your end. She can be a tad greedy.
But can you blame her?
"You taste nice~"

Sidus [Rogue] 341580

"I'm glad… you think that?"
Can I catch my breath at least?

Roll #1 1 = 1

DM 341582

She's not even done it seems.
And not like you're in any condition to stop her.

Sidus [Rogue] 341583

Well, as long as she doesn't do anything we haven't agreed on before…

Papaver Field [Mage] 341585

"If only I had a talent for baking, or moving clouds."
Back to my room I guess.
Time to be alone with my sorrow.
Guess I can stop here?

DM 341586

Lets see how good she is at it at least before we call it a night

Roll #1 10 = 10

DM 341588


Star Hopper [Cleric] 341589

I'm s-still here~

Papaver Field [Mage] 341590

But aren't you busy with Jon?

Star Hopper [Cleric] 341591

We can do a small timehop

Papaver Field [Mage] 341592

To when? This is important because her mood can change incredibly over a few hours, right now.

Star Hopper [Cleric] 341593

Let's say I arrive a few minutes after you got back to our room
I open up the door and walk into our dorm, carrying a small pile of cooking books.
"Oh, hi Vera…"
I'm assuming I can't see your new buttmark from here

Papaver Field [Mage] 341594

I keep quiet, hugging the pillow quietly. The lights are out right now, but otherwise I'm lying in plain sight on my bed.

Star Hopper [Cleric] 341595

I stop and light up my horn

Papaver Field [Mage] 341596

Look back at her, eyes red, still without saying a word.

Star Hopper [Cleric] 341597

My eyes widen slightly and I immediately drop the books onto the ground
"You… you l-look like y-you've been c-crying… W-what's w-wrong?"

Papaver Field [Mage] 341598

"Star… I've been a terrible friend."

Star Hopper [Cleric] 341599

I take a step closer, trying to come up with something to say
"I… W-why? Do you… D-did Nock and you g-get into a f-fight?"

Papaver Field [Mage] 341600

"Eh. That would be fun… I miss her already, you know."
Smile weakly at Star.

Star Hopper [Cleric] 341601

"B-but… I don't understand…"

Papaver Field [Mage] 341602

"Star… You promise not to be scared if I tell you something?"

Star Hopper [Cleric] 341605

I gulp
"I-I'm not really all t-that good with s-scary stuff but… okay."

Papaver Field [Mage] 341606

Look at her, biting my lower lip as I try to force a smile under my swollen eyes.
"It's a good thing. I got- I got my cutiemark today!"
Roll not to cry again.

Roll #1 9 = 9

Star Hopper [Cleric] 341607

I gasp, putting on a big happy grin
"V-Vera that's… t-that's amazing! I-I'm so glad f-for you!"

Papaver Field [Mage] 341608

"It's in magic."

Star Hopper [Cleric] 341610

I take a moment to let that sink in
"So… uh… you d-do like magic a-after all? But I thought…"
I let myself trail off, looking completely confused


"I'm all alone now, Star. My parents will disown me. Nock will hate me for the danger I am. And you should go away too.
You didn't see what I did when this first happened. It was so wrong. I destroyed a room! The magic teacher had to stop me himself!"
Your daily roll not to lose it.

Roll #0 9 = 9

Star Hopper [Cleric] 341612

I quietly look at her with wide eyes, unsure how to deal with a social situation like this.

Papaver Field [Mage] 341613

Smile softly.
"I knew you'd understand, Star."
Step down from the bed, move to the balcony.

Star Hopper [Cleric] 341614

Skittishly follow her, still keeping quiet

Papaver Field [Mage] 341615

"But… Why?"

Star Hopper [Cleric] 341616

I fidget with my hooves nervously
"Uh… I-I don't…"
I trail off.
Rolling to keep calm '1d10'

Roll #1 9 = 9

Papaver Field [Mage] 341617

"Star.. You don't have to stay anymore. You can leave me. I'm a monster that will only hurt you."
Speak in a calm tone.

Star Hopper [Cleric] 341618

I flatten my ears
"Vera y-you… p-please don't say that…"


"You haven't seen what I did in there. What could have happened if you or Nock had been in that room. Please."
Roll to keep it together and don't give up that I need them.

Roll #0 8 = 8

Star Hopper [Cleric] 341620

I gasp again, my breathing increasing in volume
"V-Vera… J-just… please…"
Not being able to take it anymore, I jump in and pull her in for a hug
"T-tell me what h-happened."



Roll #0 10 = 10


And I melt into the hug, squeezing her back.
"It's… I was a mage all along. All this time, and never knew it."
Let's hope I don't break into sobs, too.

Roll #0 10 = 10

Star Hopper [Cleric] 341623

"B-but… Why… h-how d-did you find out? I-I mean… i-it's not that bad to u-use magic i-is it?"


"You… Remember that second year we met? Leaf Blade?
He realized it.
And now my parents will cast me away forever. I might be very well dead to them."

Roll #0 6 = 6

Star Hopper [Cleric] 341625

I sniffle
"Y-you don't k-know that! I-If it's y-your cutie m-mark then they c-can't cast you away! T-that's horrible!"

Papaver Field [Mage] 341626

"I hope so Star, I really hope so…"
Squeeze her a little tighter before letting her go.
"I was about to run, you know?"
Give her again that trembling smile.

Star Hopper [Cleric] 341630

I gasp and immediately hug her again
"Y-Y-You can't! I… I…"
I start sobbing and bury my face in her mane, that's what

Papaver Field [Mage] 341632

"You and Nock would chase me all the way to the southlands if need be, and I'd get you all expelled.
That would be selfish."
Stroke her mane slowly.

Star Hopper [Cleric] 341634

I keep breathing heavily
"S-so… sorry… I should h-have been t-there for y-you…"
After a moment, I pull back and wipe my eyes
"T-that was s-selfish of m-me… You're t-the one having to f-face this and I… I'm c-crying like a little f-foal… S-sorry… I k-know you don't n-need this right n-now…"

Papaver Field [Mage] 341635

Use a hoof to wipe her face.
"It's okay. Enough tears for one day, from both of us. Okay?
I'll find a solution. There are plenty of ways to remove magic."

Star Hopper [Cleric] 341637

"V-Vera… you shouldn't… t-hat's terrible…"

Papaver Field [Mage] 341638

Give her a scornful look.
"No, that's what my parents would want! And this way, I won't be a danger for everypony nearby."

Star Hopper [Cleric] 341641

"Y-you can't…"
I take another deep breath
"Vera… p-please don't do this…"

Papaver Field [Mage] 341642

Pet her mane softly.
"Shh, it's okay, I'm okay with this. Nock will be. The magic instructor will have to deal with it once it's done."

Roll #1 10 = 10

Star Hopper [Cleric] 341645

"B-but it's y-your cutie m-mark! Y-your destiny! You can't… you c-can't turn your b-back on t-this!"

Papaver Field [Mage] 341646

In a perfectly calm tone, a smile on my lip, keep holding her.
"I can shave it off."

Star Hopper [Cleric] 341648

"V-Vera please… t-that's not healthy… denying all t-this just f-for your family is n-not healthy…"

Papaver Field [Mage] 341649

"…But what can I do…"

Roll #1 5 = 5

Papaver Field [Mage] 341650

And as I say this, I finally break down into sobs.


Do I start sobbing again myself as well?

Roll #0 5 = 5

Star Hopper [Cleric] 341653

I keep it together… somewhat
I tenderly rub her back
"… I-it's okay…"

Papaver Field [Mage] 341654

Amidst sobs, try to mock a laughter.
"She won't like me anymore…"

Star Hopper [Cleric] 341658

"I-It's not your f-fault V-Vera… N-nopony can b-blame you f-for this… Anypony who cares a-about you would s-see this is j-just as tough to go through for y-you…"

Papaver Field [Mage] 341659

Keep silent and slowly let go of her.
Smile at her, too.
"You are a great friend."

Star Hopper [Cleric] 341664

I pause for a moment
"I l-learned from t-the best…"

Papaver Field [Mage] 341667

"That Sidus must be really good at giving lesson!"

Star Hopper [Cleric] 341668

I shake my head and quietly put a hoof on her chest, right where her heart is

Papaver Field [Mage] 341671

Oh you big silly.
Hug her.
"I was teasing you, Star~"

Roll #1 10 = 10

Star Hopper [Cleric] 341672

I blush brightly

Papaver Field [Mage] 341678

"Show me the sky once more, Star."
Lie down on the matress on the balcony and start looking at the sky.


I skittishly lie down next to her
How's the sky look tonight?

Roll #0 7 = 7

Papaver Field [Mage] 341682

"I want to impress Nock when she comes back. Show her how much I know of the sky.
Teach me!"

Star Hopper [Cleric] 341688

"O-okay… uh… d-do you know t-the constellations?"

Papaver Field [Mage] 341689

Shake my head.

Star Hopper [Cleric] 341690

I gulp
"N-not even the b-big dipper?"

Papaver Field [Mage] 341691

Shake again.

Star Hopper [Cleric] 341693

"O-okay then…"
Try to show her as many of the constellations and other celestial sights as I can. Rolling for effectiveness '1d10'

Roll #1 1 = 1

Papaver Field [Mage] 341694

"So the big dipper is a flower shop in Canterlot?"

Star Hopper [Cleric] 341696

I sigh and start over again


Rolling for retention power.

Roll #0 3 = 3

Nock [Tracker] 341793

It's been a tiring day. Push open the door and make my way into the room.

Papaver Field [Mage] 341794

Shrink back on the matress by the balcony as I see her enter the room.

Nock [Tracker] 341795

"You two back yet?"

I yawn and pull off my training weapon and uniform.


"I am…"
Rolling for tone in my voice, from broken sobs to confident grin.

Roll #0 3 = 3

Nock [Tracker] 341797

"Vera, what's wrong? You aren't that broken up over losing to Jon, are you?"

Papaver Field [Mage] 341798

Giggle for a moment.
"No silly."
Give her a large smile, looking at her with swollen eyes.
"I got my cutiemark today!"

Nock [Tracker] 341799

"Hey! That's great news! Can I see?"

'1d10' for spot

Roll #1 7 = 7

Nock [Tracker] 341800

"Aha! Swords! So it was your destiny to wield them after all! See, I told you that you should learn to use both."

Star Hopper [Cleric] 341801

This is going to be awkward.

Keeping my mouth shut may be the best course of action for now

Papaver Field [Mage] 341802

"Don't hate me for this…"
Cringe and look away.
"It's not what you think…"


Go over and see how good a hug I can muster for cringepony.

Roll #0 10 + 2 = 12


How much guilt do I feel, through this perfect hug?

Roll #0 8 = 8

Papaver Field [Mage] 341805

Break into sobs and hold her tight.
"I betrayed you!"

Nock [Tracker] 341806

"Shhh. I was the one who told you to follow your heart and use swords."

Papaver Field [Mage] 341807

Bite my lip and sink my head low on her shoulder.
"Nock.. Swords are not my talent.."

Nock [Tracker] 341808

"What do you mean? I can see your cutie mark!"

Papaver Field [Mage] 341809

Whisper in her ear.
"Don't hate me for this… Please."
Then, let go of her and look at the ground.
"My talent is magic."

Nock [Tracker] 341810

Back up an give her an odd look.

"I… what? I don't get it? Is this a joke? Are you teasing me because we upset Star? I already apologized."

Papaver Field [Mage] 341811

Shake my head, try to hold the tears.
"I almost destroyed a room with it…"

Roll #1 9 = 9

Nock [Tracker] 341812

Back away further. "It's not really funny. I don't get how three swords means 'magic'. I'm glad you got your cutie mark, though. Look, I'm pretty tired. Maybe I should just go to bed."

Turn and hop up on my bed.

Papaver Field [Mage] 341813

Hang my moth open, unable to speak word and follow her movement with my eyes open wide.

'1d10' not to do anything overtly crazy.

Roll #1 3 = 3

Star Hopper [Cleric] 341814

I frown disapprovingly at her but keep quiet

Papaver Field [Mage] 341815

In a rush, run over to my things and grab them, then run out of the door without looking back.

Nock [Tracker] 341816

Stare wearily at the door as it shuts.

"I wonder where she's going at this hour…"

Star Hopper [Cleric] 341817

I gasp and quickly run after her

Nock [Tracker] 341818

"Huh? Star?"

Follow her, I guess, tired as I am.

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 341819

After baking practice, and Star has left the kitchens, I'll head out to the main area to walk a bit before heading back to the dorm.
It's nice to stretch a bit, after spending most of the day seated.

Papaver Field [Mage] 341820

"Go back! Don't follow me!"
Keep running towards the main gate.


"B-but where… a-are you g-going?"
Try to keep up with her

Roll #0 2 = 2


Roll for speed.

Roll #0 2 = 2

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 341823

Well, let's see if I hear her coming, or if I'm broadsided with no warning. '1d10'

Roll #1 3 = 3

Nock [Tracker] 341824

As I leave the room I grab my bag and weapon. I scrawl a quick note on a piece of paper and attach it to an arrow as I run.

Then I shoot it so that it will land in front of Papaver. Trick Shot + Vantage Point.


Roll #1 10 + 3 = 13

Papaver Field [Mage] 341825

Looks like I trip over something.
Oh, it was Jon.
And look, an arrow with a piece of paper.

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 341826

Stumbling a bit, I'll look at Vera.
"Where are you going in such a hurry?"

Star Hopper [Cleric] 341827

And I land on top of you

Nock [Tracker] 341828

The note reads:

"Be I damned if I ever let anypony take you away from me." Those are some awfully familiar words.

Do I catch up? '1d10'

Roll #1 8 = 8

Papaver Field [Mage] 341829

Stop there, looking ashamed at Jon and Star.
"I… I don't even know.."

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 341830

Do I notice anything odd? '1d10'

Roll #1 4 = 4

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 341831

"So, what are you two doing, running around this time of night?"

Papaver Field [Mage] 341832

Like the red eyes, new buttmark or the bag with all my stuff packed up?
Look as she comes closer.

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 341833

The bag I might notice, but Jon's not one to stare at a filly's flank without invitation.

Papaver Field [Mage] 341834

Look down in shame, unsure on what to do next.

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 341835

I'll frown a bit, and then look to Star and Nock.
"Well? I'm out of the loop here, what's the matter?"

Nock [Tracker] 341836

"Vera, come back to the room."

I tear the note off the arrow and hoof it to her.

Star Hopper [Cleric] 341837

I stay quiet, looking at Vera

Papaver Field [Mage] 341838

"I was… Running…"
Look away.
But then at her, read the note, and tear up a little.
"I thought you didn't care…"
Speak in broken sobs.

Nock [Tracker] 341839

Okay gotta go.

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 341840

Oh. Lover's spat.
Sighing a bit, move over next to Star and sit on the floor.

Star Hopper [Cleric] 341841

I look at him and awkwardly point at Vera's flank

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 341842

Looking, I'll notice the buttmark.
"Oh, so she got her mark! That's great!"
Taking a closer, yet still polite, look, I'll speak again.
"But why are the swords different colors?"

Papaver Field [Mage] 341843

"It's because… They are magic."

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 341844

I'll think for a second.
"And you thought that this would somehow drastically alter our opinion of you?"
I'll frown at Vera for a minute.
"You really underestimate your friends, you know. And if running away was your plan, then I'm incredibly disappointed. Not just because you promised to spar with me tomorrow, but also because that goes against everything I know about you so far."

Papaver Field [Mage] 341845

Curl up in a little ball on the ground and say nothing.

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 341846

I'll sigh again.
"Look, Vera… I know you said that magic was something your family looked down on. I know you don't much like it either. But how does it change you, really? You're still the same mare from Eaglecrest, daughter of a proud line of warriors, and you've got a mare who likes you."
I'll gesture at Nock.
"Not to mention you've got Star and myself as friends. Heck, I think Sidus is even starting to warm up to you a little."

Star Hopper [Cleric] 341847

I crouch down besides her
"V-Vera please…"

Papaver Field [Mage] 341848

"Jon… There is one thing this cutiemark says. Only one thing I can see when I look at it.
It yells to me I will never be able to go back to my parents again."
"I should… Yeah, I should go back in our room. Maybe show Nock the stars like you taught me."

Pick myself up.

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 341849

I'll frown a bit, but then get up and clear out of their way.
"But we'll talk more tomorrow, during our sparring session. I expect you to show up, since we agreed on it."

Star Hopper [Cleric] 341850

I look at her sadly
"I… P-please don't leave us…I k-know your upset b-but…"
I shut my eyes tight
"I d-don't want to lose m-my first true f-friend…"

Papaver Field [Mage] 341851

Smile at both of them.
"Got it."
Then, walk over to Star and hug her.
"I'll try to stick around.."

Roll #1 4 = 4

Star Hopper [Cleric] 341852

I let out a relieved sigh and hug back
"T-thank you…"

Nock [Tracker] 342007

When you return the room, I'm on my bed with my pillow over my head.

Sylt 342021

"So, now you know. I learnt it a few hours ago."
Speking in a grave voice, throat burning for how much I cried, I stand near the door.

Nock [Tracker] 342024

My voice is hard to make out under the pillow. It's a little strained.

"Can you just lie to me? Just tell me it's for sword fighting?"

Papaver Field [Mage] 342029

"I could shave it off. Block my magic forever. I've read there are ways…"
Look away, my knees giving in under me.
Because maybe, deep down, I was hoping she'd accept it.

Nock [Tracker] 342045

"I don't want you to find a solution for it, Vera!"

Suppress sobs. '1d10'

Roll #1 1 = 1

Nock [Tracker] 342047

I violently shake and start punching the headboard of my bed, spasms rocking my entire body as I weep openly, screaming into the pillow.

"I don't want it to have ever been a problem! Just lie to me! Tell me that you're not one of them! Don't fix it! Make it never so!"

Papaver Field [Mage] 342049

Try to keep it together.

Roll #1 8 = 8

Papaver Field [Mage] 342061

Slowly, I approach her bed.
Waiting one more minute for her to calm down, I lie at her side.
"I can do that."
Offer her my hooves, try to smile under my swoller and red eyes and the mess my mane has become.
"For you, I can renounce to it. Forever."

Nock [Tracker] 342086

I suddenly pull her close, tight, up against my body.

"Don't renounce it. Don't do anything about it. It doesn't have to be a thing if we don't make it one."

Shaking, I pull her in as close as I can, into a deep, full body embrace on the bed, gripping her with both pairs of legs. '1d10+2'

"The Inquisitors would want you to burn it out and become somepony else. Those mages would want you to grow you power and become somepony else. Why can't you stay the same? The pony I like. Can't you please be Vera?"

Roll #1 10 + 2 = 12


Widen my eyes in shock and slowly melt into her embrace, suddenly letting go of all the tension in my body.
Then, grasp her tight and throw my head around her neck.
"It's been so terrible… They had me… Hold this wand and then I went to see the instructor and then…
I almost blew up his room, Nock! I'm a monster!"
Roll not to cry too much.

Roll #1 4 = 4

Nock [Tracker] 342120

I keep hugging. "You don't have to hold a wand, though. It's the monster, not you. You never hurt anypony who didn't deserve it before the wand was in your hoof. Don't let them take you from me, Vera. Don't let them put a wand in your hoof, and don't run away or burn away who you are, either. Glossy Wards told me how Inquisitors burn away magic. I don't want you to be a zombie. You were perfect this morning. Why does this knowledge have to change things?"

Papaver Field [Mage] 342138

"I wanted to run, I really did…
The mage, he told me I have to. And I wanted to take everything and run.
But I have no parents anymore. Nowhere to go.
Then you didn't believe me, and suddenly I had nothing to me but this…
Mark, this brand on my flank."

Nock [Tracker] 342144

"Tell them it's for swordfighting, Vera! They'll believe it! They will accept that!"

Papaver Field [Mage] 342148

"But… I can't lie to them! There is no honor in that!"

Nock [Tracker] 342160

Keep my grip on her and sob.

"Why does this have to be so hard, Vera? And I'm so stupid, too, I was supposed to be the one showing you how this works… I'm supposed to support you at your weakest and I'm letting you down."

Squeeze. This 12 hug is too good to give up.

Papaver Field [Mage] 342177

Give a weak squeek and lose myself in her mane, slowly moving a hoof around her back.
"But I'm the one at fault… I was born wrong and didn't even tell you… Didn't even know it myself…"

Nock [Tracker] 342182

Stroke through her mane and down her back, savoring her warmth. "That's not how it works here–"

I break to choke back a couple more sobs.

"I told you that it's not Eaglecrest. We don't give up because our mate looks weak. I was supposed to teach you about caring no matter what, and I messed up… and I'm still messing up, and I just want to forget it all after this long day and be with you. It's all too complicated with these rules. Will you be with me tonight? No more talking about what will happen and focus on nothing but our heartbeats?"

Papaver Field [Mage] 342185

"But we can't-
Shouldn't. I have to…"
Okay shut up.
This hug is just the perfect lock.
"You feel so good… Why…"

Nock [Tracker] 342191

Nuzzle her, here in the dark.

"It feels good because it's right."

Papaver Field [Mage] 342200

"I will just… Forget it's even a thing.
Never use it unless they order me to. Yeah. That might work."
Nuzzle her back.
And see if I get that idea.
"Will you help me write to my parents about it?"

Roll #1 6 + 2 = 8 / Roll #2 10 = 10

Nock [Tracker] 342203

"I promise."


"Thank you…"
I should probably stop moving this close to her face.
But it keeps feeling just so right.
Steal a quick, small kiss from her, and then suddenly pull back, looking at her with eyes wide in fear.
After all the book said to follow your heart.

Roll #1 5 + 2 = 7


Well… I'm beaten up, tired, confused, and just holding to my last anchor.

Can I take more confusion added to the mix?

Roll #1 2 + 2 = 4

Nock [Tracker] 342227

Burrow my head in her chest.

"Not now Vera… Can we… just be tonight? I don't want to let you go for anything right now."

Papaver Field [Mage] 342228

Nod silently, closing my eyes and holding her head close.
I guess my heart must be skyrocketing right about now.

Nock [Tracker] 342232

It has been a long day. I fall asleep, hooves wrapped around her. Regardless of my dreams tonight, I have somepony to hold.

Papaver Field [Mage] 342236

I follow soon, never letting go of her.
It's good to have somepony who cares for you.

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 342376

Waking from sleep, I'll grab my training sword, shield, and paladin armor, and then head to the main area to meet with Papaver for our sparring session.

Star Hopper [Cleric] 342387

I meet him there as well
"I-I don't like this… H-hopefully she'll h-have calmed down…"

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 342390

"Well, even if she hasn't, this should still be good for her. As long as she's doing something familiar, it should help put her head back on right."

Papaver Field [Mage] 342403

"It's not very honorable to talk about somepony as if they weren't there."
Grin at him, planting my training sword on the ground.

Star Hopper [Cleric] 342406

I poke at the ground sadly and open my mouth to respond

Then shut it again as she arrives

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 342409

I'll give her a little smile.
"Well, if you'd gotten here on time, we wouldn't have to."
Taking up a position opposite to her, I'll ready my sword and shield.
"So, how do we want to do this? First one to fall down? A certain number of hits?"

Papaver Field [Mage] 342415

"I'm sorry, but I've promised to ever duel only with Nock. She wants me to keep good of that, you know."
Tighten my grip around the arrowhead in my hoof.
"But we can spar. We can spar as long as you want."
Grin at him.

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 342421

I'll grin back.
"Sparring was all I intended. I'm not one to move on a mare who's spoken for. Besides," I'll say with a little blush, "I'm already spoken for as well."

"So, we'll spar until one of us falls down, or calls a stop, then. Whenever you're ready, we'll start."
And I'll put my shield up.


"Stand your ground!"
Charge at him with all the might of my sword!

Roll #1 5 = 5

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 342425

I'll block, and give her a tap back with the flat of my sword. [1d10]

Roll #1 3 = 3


The attack crushes agains Jonagold's shield, who tries to go for a riposte but is caught off guard by the butt of the sword, that strikes him on the side of the chest.
How many hits do you have total by the way?
"Bad form!"
And again, I strike.

Roll #1 7 = 7


After that, 8/9. You've got a ways to go.
I'll move out of the way, and attempt to give as good as I get.
"So, you talked with Nock last night, I take it?"

Roll #1 3 = 3


Following the hilt strike, Papaver lets the sword run flat through Jon's side, hitting him again.

"Yeah, we did."
And I really hope he doesn't ask about it. Attack again.

Roll #1 1 = 1


That threw her off.
"Well, now I said we weren't done talking last night, so now we're gonna keep going. What do you plan on doing?"

Roll #1 5 = 5


Letting the wild swing glance harmlessly off my shield, I'll knock her sides with the flat of my sword.
And then press the attack once again.

Roll #1 10 = 10


"I will stay. There is nowhere else for me now."
Let's try not to get too hurt.

Roll #1 6 = 6

Star Hopper [Cleric] 342440

I lighten up as I hear that


She's really distracted. I'd never have hit her otherwise.
"And your magic? What do you plan on doing about that?"

Roll #1 6 = 6


Reposte. Fight back. Focus.

Roll #1 8 = 8


Maybe due to focus, maybe due to Jon's overconfidence, Papaver manages to counter the following attack, stinging Jon on the side.

And once more, without a second thought, I rush to attack.

Roll #1 8 = 8


"Nothing? So you're just going to ignore the issue, and hope it goes away?"
She's getting back into focus.
Sidestep, and strike back.

Roll #1 10 = 10


And to the ground I fall.
Trying to get back up roll.
"It won't go away! This damn curse just won't! But be I sent to the deepest reach of Tartarus if I ever use it on my own volition!"

Roll #1 5 = 5


With a heavy smack, the sword lands against Papaver's flank as she rushes past.
I'll set my defense.

Roll #1 9 = 9

Papaver Field [Mage] 342460

Aaaaand I cannot get up.


And then sigh. Offering Vera a hoof, I'll help her get up.
"And that's why you lost. You were fighting yourself and me at the same time."

Roll #1 5 = 5

Star Hopper [Cleric] 342462


Papaver Field [Mage] 342463

"I don't really need a lecture. Not now."

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 342464

"Who's lecturing? All I'm saying is that you're so dead set on cutting off a piece of you, can't see it's holding you back."
Withdrawing my hoof, I'll continue.
"You're running away, just as sure as if I'd not stopped you from leaving the academy."

Star Hopper [Cleric] 342468

"B-but… what if it i-isn't a curse b-but a blessing?"

Papaver Field [Mage] 342472

"I'm not running."
Narrow my eyes at him.
"I will take those damn classes, just like Layline wants.
But be I damned if I ever touch magic otherwise."
"It doesn't feel like one to me…"

Star Hopper [Cleric] 342473

"B-but it is! You just… y-you just have to open your h-heart for it and a-accept it as a p-part of you… I… I could h-help with t-that if you want…"

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 342474

Turning to Star, I'll speak.
"Heal her up, please. We're not done 'talking'."
Setting myself back up a few feet away, I'll speak again.
"I don't know much about magic, Papaver, but if it works with intent, your dislike of it might make it dangerous."

Papaver Field [Mage] 342479

"It's dangerous anyway. Exactly why I won't use it."
"Star how…"
"Me and Nock had a chat last night. I don't think I will be using magic any time soon, Star."

Star Hopper [Cleric] 342484

"B-but you can't d-do that! Why w-would you do t-that?"

Papaver Field [Mage] 342488

"Because I'm dangerous! You haven't seen what I did! My magic is not nice like yours, it doesn't heal ponies! Mine destroyes rooms!"

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 342490

I'll roll my eyes.
"So, what, you're scared of it? It's just magic! A tool you can use, if you know how to use it properly."
I'll paw at the dirt for a second.
"Look, I know your family doesn't really like the idea of magic. You've been raised that way, and only that way. But, just hear me out, what if they were wrong?"

Papaver Field [Mage] 342491

"I've given up on my parents, Jon. It's too late for that."

Star Hopper [Cleric] 342492

"T-that's just because y-you need to control it! D-dad said t-the same thing t-to me when I w-was young!"

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 342494

"Then why cut yourself off from magic? What possible reason could you have that would make you shut out an entirely new piece of who you are?"

Papaver Field [Mage] 342497

"Star… I don't want to learn it. I don't want to use it. Please. Don't make me."
"Because it's what I want."

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 342499

I'll just sigh again, sit down, and stick my practice sword into the dirt.
"But why do you want it? How you were raised? Fear?"

Star Hopper [Cleric] 342500

"But… c-can't you give i-it a chance?"

Papaver Field [Mage] 342504

"Look I… I don't promise you anything. I cannot.

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 342508

"I'm not asking for promises, I'm just asking you not to be so scared of it you shut it out rather than deal with it."
I'll give a small smile.
"We could probably fit another small spar between now and breakfast, though, if you're up to it. No questions from me this time, honest."

Star Hopper [Cleric] 342509

I visibly deflate

Papaver Field [Mage] 342511

"Honestly? I'm beat. And worried. And I don't even know if I want to hold a sword anymore…"
Look at her in worry.

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 342515

"There are a few practice hammers in the armory, if it's open."
Picking myself up, and putting my sword away, I'll head back over to her.
"But if you're done, you're done, I suppose."
Picking up her sword, I'll hold it out to her, hilt first.
"And you can always share your worries with us, Vera. We're your friends, in case you forgot, and friends help each other when they're worried, or in trouble. You just happen to be in both, and that makes us worried."

Papaver Field [Mage] 342520

Take the sword, and immediatly plant it on the ground before falling over it.
"I'm scared…"

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 342524

I'll chuckle a bit.
"Well, I kinda noticed that."
I'll serious up , though.
"But what, exactly, are you scared of? You already said your family isn't an issue anymore. Nock would love you even if you turned into a full-blown, hat-wearing bearded wizard, so that can't be the problem."

Star Hopper [Cleric] 342525

I just give her a blank look back

Papaver Field [Mage] 342547

"No, she's scared too. I wanted to take my magic away, but… It's something so horrible she didn't want to do it and…"
Try not to break down.

Roll #1 6 = 6

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 342555

I'll share a look with Star.
Putting a hoof on Papaver's shoulder, I'll speak.
"So, it's Nock's idea never to touch it again, and run away from the problem?"

Papaver Field [Mage] 342558

"No. That's my solution. She just wanted me to lie to her. Tell her it was just fencing. Do it behind her back…"

Star Hopper [Cleric] 342561

I close my eyes and look away, shaking my head

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 342563

"That's even worse!"
I'll throw another look at Star.
"Look, there's no way you can lie about that. And Nock should have known that. Known you better."
I'll think for a minute.
"Maybe it's time I had a chat with Nock myself."

Papaver Field [Mage] 342568

"But I don't want to use it. I don't like it…
All I wanted to do was fight. And sing of great battles.
I never wanted the power to burn a pony to crisps, damnit!"

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 342576

"Then don't learn those powers! Focus it into something else instead! It's your magic, Vera. You tell it what to do, not the other way around."
I'll give her a small smile.
"What if you learn a spell that makes you sing louder, or carries your music on the wind so everyone can hear it?"

Star Hopper [Cleric] 342579

I'm still looking at the ground with my eyes closed

Papaver Field [Mage] 342581

"You don't get it… I already know those things! My magic… It takes shape on its own! Flaming swords and frost and thunder all together.
I don't ever want to do that anymore."

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 342586

"Well, of course I don't get it, you never told me."
I'll give Vera a soft headbutt.
"So you can make swords. That's neat. That's a skill any paladin would probably trip over themselves to learn. Are you sure you didn't just panic when you first tried it? Like with what happened to Star when she tried to float me off the roof. Maybe you tried to do too much, too quickly?"

Papaver Field [Mage] 342589

"I hope so…"
Hang my head low.

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 342594

I'll take my other hoof and bring her head back up, making sure she meets my eyes.
"I know so."
Giving her a smile, I'll boop her nose and get back over to Star.
"Remember, Vera. You're a strong pony. Stronger than me, and more than strong enough to get that magic under your hoof. And if you ever need someone to talk to, or help you deal with a problem, you've got me and Star to rely on."

Papaver Field [Mage] 342602

Nod and shake myself up.

DM 343351

I have no idea what the hell you have been doing here so I'll assume it was mainly pillow talk and euphemisms.

Ready for magic class?

Papaver Field [Mage] 343352

Sadly, yes.

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 343353

Not that I'm taking them, aside from Theory, but yes.

Sidus [Rogue] 343354

Star Hopper [Cleric] 343355

I was born ready

DM 343356

Fuck it, magic theory.
After that, skill classes.

I'll assume you've made it to the lecture hall by now.
You have a moment before Layline arrives.

Sidus [Rogue] 343357

Find a spot at the back of the classroom.
Magic still is not so hot topic for me.
Reserve a seat beside me, though.

Star Hopper [Cleric] 343358

I quietly go over my stuff, glancing over at Vera occasionally

Papaver Field [Mage] 343359

Sit somewhere in the back.
Fiddle around sadly with the string and arrowhead.

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 343360

I'll give Papaver a pat on the back as I make my way towards Star, and sit next to her.

DM 343361

How very thoughtful.
Burning climbs out from under your seat and sits down on it with a smile.
And what might those be for little lady?

Sidus [Rogue] 343362

"How di-ah, nevermind."

Papaver Field [Mage] 343363

We had a magic theory class just the other day.
Catalysts are born from items you have a strong connection to.
A string from my guitar and the head of the arrow Nock used to stop me from running.
The two things that tell me how dangerous magic is.
No better catalyst I can think of.

DM 343364

She smiles and shrugs, then puts her nose against yours with a giggle
I'm sure every single Catalyst Carver in the land will hate you for making them carve runes into string.

Layline finally enters, with some notes in tow.
"Terribly sorry for my lack of punctuality, I had to clear up a few things.
Right. First things first. How many here already are spellcasters of some level?"

Papaver Field [Mage] 343365

I hate them with equal passion right now.
As Layline speak, stay quiet and still.
If possible, even shrink back a little.

Sidus [Rogue] 343366

Smile at her, then speak with a low voice.
"You think TK counts as spellcasting?"

DM 343367


Star Hopper [Cleric] 343368

I raise a hoof

Sidus [Rogue] 343369

"Yeah, but it something every unicorn has. It's not like a spell-spell, with balls of fire and bolts of lightining."

DM 343370

Several others also raise their hooves. Ten in total.
"Mhm. Mhm. Good."
"Cadet Field! Attention!"

Papaver Field [Mage] 343371

An order is an order.
Stand on attent.

DM 343372

"Would all the spellcasters please join me down here?"

Sidus [Rogue] 343373

Well, nod at Heart then go down I guess.

Papaver Field [Mage] 343374

Trot down. Pocket my stuff.
The uniform has pockets, right?

Star Hopper [Cleric] 343375

I gulp and go down there

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 343376

I'll give the two of them an encouraging little wave.

DM 343377

Of course it does. It is very practical.
Layline nods
"Please. Tell a little about your skills."

Papaver Field [Mage] 343378

Give him a weak smile back.
Stay quiet.

Sidus [Rogue] 343379

"Telekinesis, but I can use it on multiple objects at once."

Star Hopper [Cleric] 343380

"I uh… I k-know my healing m-magic and… advanced telekinesis…"

DM 343381


Burning Heart mentions she knows advanced telekinesis as well
"Hmm. Mhm."

"Cat got your tongue, Field?"

Papaver Field [Mage] 343382

"I.. I have no idea what my magic can actually do, sir. You know more than I do."

DM 343383

He turns to the class
"Cadet Field here just got her cutie mark yesterday, when she destroyed a good part of my office in a storm of magic."
There is a slight snicker
"No laughing. She is a textbook example of untapped potential, and will serve as a fine demonstration tool for this lesson."

Papaver Field [Mage] 343384

Oh great. All I ever wanted.
Look at the ground and say nothing.

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 343385

I'll wince a little at this.
Oh, no.

Sidus [Rogue] 343386

I raise an eyebrow.
"Did she now?"

Star Hopper [Cleric] 343387

I carefully inch a little closer and put a supportive hoof on her back

DM 343388

"Oh yes. It was quite something."
"Cadet Field! Do you have a catalyst prepared?"

Papaver Field [Mage] 343389

"I… No, sir. I never used a catalyst in my whole life. Never even saw one before yesterday."

Nock [Tracker] 343390

Remain stoic in the back.

DM 343391

He turns to the class again
"And who might tell me how an effective catalyst is made?"

Papaver Field [Mage] 343392

Sigh and continue.
"Items the pony has a strong connection with. It was in your lesson yesterday.
That's why I took a few with me."

Nock [Tracker] 343393

Stay quiet. I think I know this one, based on what Glossy told me yesterday…

Sidus [Rogue] 343394

"The most effective ones grow on your head."

Star Hopper [Cleric] 343395

Yeah, I'm not going to speak up in front of a crowd

DM 343396

"A natural catalyst does have its advantages."
He smacks your horn
"And disadvantages."
"Very good, Field. I'm impressed.
So, for homework today, all of you will pick out suitable objects to be made into catalysts.
But since Field here demonstrated such initiative, she can make one for herself now."

Sidus [Rogue] 343397


Papaver Field [Mage] 343398

"Sir, I have no idea how it works, sir…"

DM 343399

He gives you a crooked smile
"And that is what I am here for.
Now, lets see the materials."

Papaver Field [Mage] 343400

Pull out the long guitar string I stripped from the hammer and the arrowhead.

DM 343401

Well, Field. These now need a runic string on them. Based on our earlier encounter, I prepared a string for you."
He pulls out a paper slip
"A string for conjuration"

Papaver Field [Mage] 343402

"So I should.. Copy the design onto the arrowhead?"

DM 343403

"Is the arrowhead aline enough?"
He levitates out a plain core of a wand
"Or would you rather graft them on a separate core?"

Papaver Field [Mage] 343404

"I.. Sir, Wuldn't know what else to use as core."
Yeah the arrowhead should be plain enough to inscribe it.

DM 343405

"…well Field, this stick here is a core for one. It adds a little extra surface if you feel the need. Though if you can fit the runes on the arrowhead, that will do well. Many catalysts are pendants for example.

Make a note of that, class. Common catalyst shapes will be a question in the exam."

Papaver Field [Mage] 343406

Nod at him.
"Could I go back to my sit now, sir?"

DM 343407

"…in the middle of the demonstration?"
He hoofs you a carving tool


Sigh and take the tool.
"I'm no carver, sir. But I will try."
So. Pattern on a side, tool in my hoof, arrowhead held in place in front of me. Carve that shit up.

Roll #1 1 = 1

DM 343409

After a good ten minutes, you have a pile of crumbs and fragments.
"…I see. Well, perhaps we can make something of it. Let me try.

Remember everypony! Next time, bring materials for catalysts."
Layline the grabs the shards, string and wand core.

Papaver Field [Mage] 343410

T-the arrow… The arrow she used… It's destroyed because of me, because of magic…
Stand still and wait.

Nock [Tracker] 343411

Disappear out the back door without another word.

What a glum day.

DM 343412

Layline lifts up the core, jams the shards into it to form a neat pattern around the top, and uses the tool to inscribe the runic pattern across them, finishing off by winding the string between the shards as a little decorative bit
"There we go. Unless you really would have preferred a pendant?"

Star Hopper [Cleric] 343413

Stand by her side

Papaver Field [Mage] 343414

"I don't imagine it's gonne be very useful in battle…"

DM 343415

"Only one way to find out."
He tosses you the wand
"Whenever you're ready, try your thing. But only aim at me."


Grasp the wand and wince.
What's the shape of this thing exactly? Just a wand?
Think of swords, just like the other time.

Roll #1 6 + 2 = 8

DM 343417

It's more or less what you'd like it to be like.
Hello again, river of magic.
Your tides no longer feel so foreign.
Indeed it is a familiar current you feel around you. A soft and obedient one. As if it was there to aid you. To serve you. To be your ally. And your friend.
As you open your eyes, a magical sword hangs in the air.

Papaver Field [Mage] 343418

A bracelet with the arrowhead as stone tied by the guitar string.
Look at the sword, but do nothing.
"Can I leave now?"

DM 343419

"What? Now? Of course not. Take the sword and wield it!

Now, students, who can tell me how conjuration works?"

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 343420

I'll just keep sitting quietly.
Toss a worried look at Papaver.
Can she really handle this? I had hoped they'd put her through it a little slower…

Sidus [Rogue] 343421

"Pff, material weapons are better. More reliable."

Papaver Field [Mage] 343422

Take the sword.
"I agree."
But don't look at him, keep my eyes locked on Layline.

DM 343423

"The answer I was looking for is that they are magically contained objects formed of elemental energy and held in shape by the maker's will.

How does it feel to hold, Field?"

I see this is going nowhere at all

Papaver Field [Mage] 343424

"Light… And heavy.
And everything I want it to feel like. It's strange."

Star Hopper [Cleric] 343425

Star has stage fright. All she can do is watch and wait

Papaver Field [Mage] 343426

And Papaver wants to get off the magic hour for beginners spotlight asap.

DM 343427

"Swing it around a little and then let it dissipate. That should be all I need you for today."


Do swing it.
And try to call an element to it.
Recall that burning sensation. Fire element.

Roll #1 5 = 5

DM 343429

There is a burst of fire along it's length, but it does not change.

Papaver Field [Mage] 343430

Let the sword go, and look apprehensively at the instructor.

DM 343431

"Very good.
We shall have a few private sessions later to help you get over the hickups in the spell.
Dismissed, all of you."
You now have access to Conjure Weapon. Single weapons only, at MIN8.

Star Hopper [Cleric] 343432

Quickly trot of stage, back to Jon

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 343433

"Hey, you didn't do too bad up there. I'm a bit worried about Papaver, though. Was hoping they'd dive into that a bit slower…"

Papaver Field [Mage] 343434

Nod and leave. Avoid talking to ponies.
Go back to the training field, take a real weapon in my hooves.

Sidus [Rogue] 343435

Well get my stuff ready to leave.
"I'm still saying weapons I know are better than these fancy magicky ones."

Star Hopper [Cleric] 343436

I nod
"I know… I-I wish I c-could have done something to help her…"

Trot after her

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 343437

I'll watch her go.
I did my best to help Vera get her head on right, it's Star's turn now, I suppose.
Looking for something to fill my time, I'll head out to the training field, and see if I can't find any combat instructors. '1d10'

Roll #1 6 = 6

DM 343438

Burning shrugs
"Maybe… I've never used a magic weapon though…"

DM 343439

There is always one around.
"Afternoon, cadet."

Sidus [Rogue] 343440

"Me neither, but I don't plan to. I like to know my weapons. Know what I'm dealing with. Have a bond with it."

Papaver Field [Mage] 343441

Are there ponies willing to spar around here?
A static opponent is not an opponent.

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 343442

"Afternoon, sir. I was wondering if I could take a few extra defense lessons in my free time. I seem to have a bit of trouble with keeping my guard up…"

Star Hopper [Cleric] 343443


Papaver Field [Mage] 343444

"Yes, Star?"
Keep hitting the ponnequin.

Roll #1 6, 8, 1, 2, 5 = 22

DM 343445

"But isn't that supposed to be what magic weapons are like? Manifestations of what their wielder desires them to be?"
Several cadets and a few instructors.
"Certainly, cadet. What is your name?"

Star Hopper [Cleric] 343446

"… Are you o-okay?"

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 343447

"Jonagold Apple, sir. First year student."

Papaver Field [Mage] 343448

"Yes. Why shouldn't I be okay?"
Keep hitting. Use stronger swings.

Roll #1 8, 7 = 15

Sidus [Rogue] 343449

"They are unreliable. A slight mistake and you are without a weapon. At least if your weapon breakes, you can still use it's parts, but if it dematerializes, you can't do anything."

Star Hopper [Cleric] 343450

"Because… t-the stuff on the stage… um…"
Come on brain, work with me here!
"I-I mean a lot has happened t-to you lately… you must b-be u-under a lot of stress…"

Papaver Field [Mage] 343451

[1d10] to attack again.
Then, plant the sword on the soft ground.
"Maybe. I just… I wanted to be out of there. Soon."

Roll #1 8 = 8

Star Hopper [Cleric] 343452

I sit down in front of her
"I'm just… w-worried about you…"
I sigh. Ugh this is hard…
"I mean… uh… I just feel like I s-should talk to you more about your m-magic…"

Papaver Field [Mage] 343453

Lie on the grass of the training field.
"Star, we went over this. I will train to graduate and then never use my magic again."

DM 343454

"Cadet Apple. Sure, I can fit you in one of the defense courses."
"Well, except make a new one."


Star Hopper [Cleric] 343455

I settle down next to her
"I-I know you said t-that but… I feel l-like I should change your m-mind and stop you…"

Papaver Field [Mage] 343456

Cross my hooves in front of me and lay my head on them.

Star Hopper [Cleric] 343457

I gulp
"I… B-because I think y-you're making a mistake…"
I fiddle with my hooves awkwardly
"Are you… H-how religious are you? Uh… I-if you d-don't mind me asking that is…"

Papaver Field [Mage] 343458

"Eaglecrest, remember? A few hundreads years ago we didn't even know there was a princess of the Sun and a princess of the Moon.
But I do believe in Celestia, to an extent."

Star Hopper [Cleric] 343459

"O-okay… well…"
I gulp
"I think… I-I know this will s-sound stupid but… w-what if this is a t-test of faith? I mean… T-the H-Headmaster was t-talking about us being marked and… M-maybe this is s-something important?"

Papaver Field [Mage] 343460

"Star… Then it's a really hard test, you know?"
Toy around with one hoof and the bracelet-catalyst.
"I lost my parents for this. And if I don't keep it in check, I will lose Nock too.
Did you see her, during lesson? She just took off.
She left…"

Star Hopper [Cleric] 343461

"I know but… N-nopony ever said becoming a p-paladin would be easy… M-mom always said it's a path of s-self-sacrifice… And if you… c-contain your magic… that s-sacrifice will be for nothing…"
I rub my nose
"M-maybe Nock just needs s-some time to adjust…"


"Or maybe I should just forget about it entirely…"

Stand up.

Try to conjure a sword.

Roll #1 6 + 2 = 8

Papaver Field [Mage] 343463

"It just comes so easy…"

Star Hopper [Cleric] 343464

"But… it's your d-destiny… it's who you are…"

Papaver Field [Mage] 343465

"I didn't have a cutiemark until yesterday Star."
Smile at her.
"It's nothing I need to sruvive."

Star Hopper [Cleric] 343466

"B-but… T-that's not the point… T-there's a reason for this… I just k-know it… These kind of t-things don't happen without r-reasons after all…"

Papaver Field [Mage] 343467

"Yes, you said it yourself.
To test my faith. See if I'd run.
But I can do it, even without a talent for battle or for arms, I will make it!"

Star Hopper [Cleric] 343468

"But y-you are running away from your d-destiny if you don't e-embrace it…"


"Maybe I am. But it's my destiny or all I care for. And I can't fight when I have nothing I care for left."
Throw the sword at the ponnequin

Roll #1 3 = 3

Star Hopper [Cleric] 343488

"D-don't you want to help p-ponykind?"
I sigh
"I k-know that sounds silly coming f-from somepony like me…"

Papaver Field [Mage] 343490

Go back sitting near her.
"Ponykind is a lot of ponies, you know.

Star Hopper [Cleric] 343495

"But it's what a p-paladin is supposed t-to fight for… Mom… s-she always put her work first… b-before the family… She w-warned me I'd have to do the s-same once I graduate…"

Papaver Field [Mage] 343499

"Maybe I was right yesterday then. I should have left."

Star Hopper [Cleric] 343500

I sigh weakly
"I-I don't know about that…That's f-for you to decide… But I… I c-came here knowing that much… that I w-would need to m-make sacrifices… and…"
I clench my eyes shut
"… e-eventually face m-my fears…"


Stand up once again.
Try to conjure one more sword.

Roll #1 10 + 2 = 12

Papaver Field [Mage] 343505

And as i look at the construct in front of me, at its perfect shimmering light, I can't help but sigh.
"It feel so natural, you know."

Star Hopper [Cleric] 343510

I keep my eyes shut
"Then y-you shouldn't fight it… you… you w-were the f-first pony to reach out t-to me… e-even becoming a friend… m-my first friend…"
I take a deep breath
"I'll n-never forget that feeling… a-and I have you to t-thank for it… so n-now I want to repay you… s-show you that m-magic isn't bad… and… t-that you c-can use it yourself…"
I finally breathe out again
"… b-but I don't know how…"

Papaver Field [Mage] 343512

Move closer to her, smiling.
"Your magic is not bad, Star. But look at this. It's both the way my parents wouldn't want me to fight and the reason Nock fears magic.
What if one day i lose control and what happened in Layline's office repeats itself?"

Star Hopper [Cleric] 343515

I shake my head slowly
"Vera I… I d-don't know what h-happened in there exactly but… I t-think that you have the s-strength to control it… y-you'll just need to practice… and some h-help in doing so…"
I open my eyes again and look at her
"When unicorns are s-small… like… babies… w-we have trouble c-controlling our magic as well… It's like… an untrained p-pet…"
I light up my horn slightly
"But that's w-why we have t-training programs… to make s-sure we c-can control our m-magic potential and use it on our own a-accord…"

Papaver Field [Mage] 343516

"But why do I have to do this? It's magic that hurts ponies after all. Magic made to fight, to kill.
Can't I just pretend it's not there when I don't need it?"

Star Hopper [Cleric] 343517

I shake my head softly
"Conjuration m-magic doesn't just h-have to be used for…"
I swallow difficultly, shutting my eyes again
"… killing…"
I pause for a moment, drawing another deep breath
"T-There's other s-stuff you c-can do with it as well… T-the wielder of m-magic decides what to do… not the o-other way around…"

Papaver Field [Mage] 343518

"But nothing else comes…
Maybe this just means I'm no good with magic."
Smile at her.
"Layline could even let me go, in that case."

Star Hopper [Cleric] 343519

"N-nothing else comes because you also need to learn spells first…"
I point at my own cutie mark
"I… took my t-time to learn all about healing magic w-when I got my c-cutie mark but… before t-that I knew only a single spell… i-it's just… practice…"

Papaver Field [Mage] 343520

"Star… You know what will happen if I go that way. Nock will hate me. And right now, she's all I've left."

Star Hopper [Cleric] 343521

"B-but I told you! M-maybe she'll change h-her mind… s-some time and room for herself for a while… I-I'll talk to her too!"

Papaver Field [Mage] 343522

Stand up and throw the sword at the target.

Roll #1 9 = 9

Papaver Field [Mage] 343523

"That's a damn nice sword…"
Stand back and trot besides Star.
"Ready to leave?"

Star Hopper [Cleric] 343524

I calm myself down again and meekly stand up
"Y-Yes… I am…"
We pause here?

Papaver Field [Mage] 343525

Yeah I think this is a good point to pause it.

DM 344090

Something something paladins.
If you want to still do something before the timeskip, now is the time.

Sidus [Rogue] 344099

I was scheduled to accidentally meet someone, didn't I?

Papaver Field [Mage] 344100

I'm good, magic is still shit.

Nock [Tracker] 344108

I'm all set I believe.

DM 344113

Which someone? I think there were two. Can it wait?
Guess we're bracing for a jump to Hearts and Hooves then?

Sidus [Rogue] 344117

I guess it can.

Star Hopper [Cleric] 344121

B-but no Jon!

Papaver Field [Mage] 344122

Good for it, I guess.

DM 344134

Last chance to turn back
If all is good to go, please write about the past few months and tell me how it all went.

Sidus [Rogue] 344142

I probably made friends with the others.
Got a bit snarky with Papaver, but I have no intention of being on bad terms with her.
Probably slighly less egoistic because of Burning's influence.

Still annoying the Battlemaster to hell and back.

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 344150

Sorry I'm late.

Star Hopper [Cleric] 344154

I'm still chubby
Slightly less awkward and insecure thanks to help from Sidus and others
I have made no progress on writing that book

Papaver Field [Mage] 344161

Dear Mother, dear Father,
I earnt my cutiemark this week. As you had hoped, I am a mare now. But the nature of my talent prevents me from being the honorable warrior you hoped me to be.
For my talent, is magic. Magic so terrible that if left without control, could detroy whole rooms in an instant. Sadly, I've been witness to that much.
I have found a strong girl who accepts me anyway, she is teaching me about equestrian culture, about their way of… Living.
One of the istructors told me I should not worry about my cutiemark, for I have no family since the moment I stepped inside this academy.
I hope he is wrong, but am ready to accept whatever decision you should take, even if it leads to my exile from the family line.
I will forever try to bring honor to my name.
Best regards, your ex-daughter.

I started training the ways of magic, because the sword felt just right.
But never in front of Nock, never while unsupervised by Leaf Blade.
And kept it hidden, avoiding to talk about it for the rest of the time.

DM 344173

Please tell us about your past few months at the academy as we timeskip ahead.

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 344177

Took a few extra defense classes in my free time, though made sure at least one day a week I got some baking practice in the kitchens.
Wrote a letter or two to home, asked how things went, things going well, etc.
One of those letters said I met a mare I like. Asking pa for some dating advice.
Still waiting on the medical results from the physical concerning that matter.
Likely made a few more friends, and picked up a few more tricks for fighting.
Starting to plan things for Hearts and Hooves, with the help of Adam's Apple in the kitchen.

Nock [Tracker] 344201

Conflicted about their views, but not totally convinced, I remain in the Inquisitorial classes. I begin to harden ever so slightly – becoming more serious, but because of my relationship with Papaver, I can never truly grow to loathe spellcasters. Instead I pour that hate into other things, like heresy. I devote extra time to spend with Papaver. I remain committed to supporting her.

Doubts linger in my mind as I continually return to Glossy Wards to ask for advice in between classes and on off-days. I write back home and patiently wait for response.

Canterlot has opened my eyes to how the world works. I strive to make the bloodline proud. I've made some very close friends, whose martial valor you would approve of, but I am left at a crossroads. My classes from the Inquisitors teach me that arcane magic slanders the school of divine spellcasting, but I know ponies that use arcane for good purposes. How am I to treat them?

My studies progress well. I am performing well in history and combat theory, and in physical training I am at the top of the class. Magic eludes me: perhaps it's why I look to you and my teaches for answers.

Your loving daughter,

DM 344233

There will be a letter waiting for you in your dorm when you want to go do that medical academy sub plot.
It also seems your connections with the chef have earned you some valuable info, as you know about the secret hearts and hooves day.
As Adam's put it - "Now a lot of the caders here are young, an' you know how young 'uns think. That is, they think with the wrong end. Still, no stopping them. Though the school did ban Hearts and Hooves celebrations some years back, students have been doin' it in secret under their noses ever since."
[Dear diary.
It has been long since I last wrote, since I've been busy busy busy. <3Sidus<3 is really starting to turn over a new leaf at last. Becoming a true gentlecolt, like I always imagined he'd be. I pushed a little too far earlier… so I've tried to give him some space and respect lately. It is cold alone at night, and it hurts to not be near him… but I know that when he asks for it himself, rather than just agreeing to me asking for it, it will be all the better~
Though I will admit, some nights I just can't take it. So I do sneak out, and climb into his bed, just to sleep next to him, and be gone before he wakes…
-Burning Heart]
[A book about stuff - By: Star Hopper
Chapter 1: THE]
Paladin studies have gone well. I've finally cut ties to Balsawood like you asked, and I even helped one girl get her cutie mark.
No, not like THAT.
She seems troubled. Fears her parents will abandon her. But I hope I can help her along. As a friend. Still looking that special someone though, before you ask.
Your son, Leaf Blade

Inquisitor Spell Seeker is currently on a mission, and I have been empowered to take care of his mail in the time being.
I'll be sure to tell him you miss him.
-Winterfields, Scribe

Your studies have truly begun now, and you have basic knowledge of the skills you seek to harness.
You have your first year skills (either Blast, WoP or Spellbreaker, plus your Multiclass skill) at MIN8 for now.

Hearts and Hooves day is coming up
But only Jon seems to know how it works around here.

Nock [Tracker] 344241

>But only Jon seems to know how it works around here.
Not Nock?

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 344247

You haven't spent time getting in good with the Kitchen Staff.
Hmm. Let's see if I can't hunt down Papaver. It might be nice for her to surprise Nock, and in a good way. '1d10'

Roll #1 4 = 4

DM 344252

Now where would she have found out about the secret ways of the school?
You don't need to roll to find another PC if you don't want to.

Papaver Field [Mage] 344253

We kept reading from that dating book, right?



Any inspiration, brain?

Roll #1 2 = 2

Nock [Tracker] 344258

>Now where would she have found out about the secret ways of the school?
Who knows! We've been coming here for generations! But it's cool, it's not a point of contention for me. Obviously Spell Seeker thought it wasn't necessary to tell me about that.

Sidus [Rogue] 344261

Uh, shit.
Let's go to the Library for now.
I need to be sneaky for once.
Spot check if Burning is around.

Roll #1 4 = 4

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 344264

Every so often.
Though it could have turned into magic counseling if she ever wanted to bring that up.
"Hey, Vera, good morning."

DM 344267

A good inquisitor would probably not talk about the obviously forbidden shit.
suuuure she isn't.

Star Hopper [Cleric] 344268

None at all!

Ugh… I'll go find Jon

Sidus [Rogue] 344269

Go to the Library.
Don't bother with the librarian.
Go for the DIY section. Or something like that.

Roll #1 1 = 1

Papaver Field [Mage] 344270

Kept that stuff hidden. I'm a closet magician bra.
"Hey Jon." Smile at him and trot along.

DM 344272

[Dicks in you: the joys of prostate stimulation]

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 344274

"Got a quick question for you."
I'll look around for a bit, and then whisper to Papaver.
"Did your family ever tell you about Hearts and Hooves Day?"

Star Hopper [Cleric] 344275

"H-hi Jon!"

Sidus [Rogue] 344276

Put it back with disgust.
"Why is this even a thing? In this Library?"
Search again!

Roll #1 6 = 6

Papaver Field [Mage] 344279

Just shake my head.
"Other equestrian stuff?"

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 344284

I'll take a step back from Papaver and wave to Star.
"Morning, Star!"
I'll nod.
"Yep, it's coming up, so I thought it would be neat for you to give Nock a nice surprise for it."

Papaver Field [Mage] 344286

Look at him quizzically.
"Why? I still have no idea what it is, Jon. Not like it's her nameday or anything."

Nock [Tracker] 344287

I'm probably working on homework or something unless someone comes to get me or I need to do something.

DM 344291

[Solving Practical Problems - By: Engine Ear]

Star Hopper [Cleric] 344298

Walk a little closer
"What are you t-talking about?"

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 344300

I'll cough a bit.
"Well, Vera…"
I'll look at Star, for a moment, and then continue.
"Hearts and Hooves is a pony spends time with their special somepony, and often either go on a date, or get a small gift to show their affection."
I'll rub my foreleg.
"Y'see, officially the academy banned it, since there's been a few too many 'problems' in the past, most likely tied into why there's a rule against, uh, relations between students. But here's the thing, the holiday is still celebrated in secret by the students."

Sidus [Rogue] 344302

Hmm, let's give it a quick read.

Star Hopper [Cleric] 344303

I blush and take a step back

Papaver Field [Mage] 344304

Think about it for a moment.
"Nock would just yell at me for breaking the rules."

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 344306

Then I'll serious up.
"Now, there's a bit of a loop hole for you and Nock, Vera. Those rules were mostly concerning male and female students. I don't think they cover a pair of female students. If you dodge a rule, you don't technically break it, and she can't get mad at you for that."
I'll smile a little.
"And besides, I think the surprise might cheer the both of you up."

Papaver Field [Mage] 344310

"…What did you have in mind?"

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 344314

"Well, what do you think Nock would like? I know what I'm doing for Star, but there's really no set 'gift' you should get."


I freeze up, realizing I hadn't though of anything myself
Try to keep calm

Roll #1 4 = 4

Papaver Field [Mage] 344317

Blush furiously as I think about it.
"I could bringhersomechocolate…"
Make that a little squeak. And look at the side.

DM 344320

[-now most often someone will come saying something is broken, asking you to fix it. Well, if something is moving that shouldn't be, tie it down. If something should be moving but isn't, oil it up. Not pretty, sure, but beauty is more of a philosophical topic anyway-]

Star Hopper [Cleric] 344324

Looks like I start sweating a little

Sidus [Rogue] 344327

I don't think this would help me crafting something for her…

Look for another book!

Roll #1 10 = 10

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 344330

"That's a good start."
I'll nod.
"Now, where are you going to get them from? They don't exactly have a shelf of them lined up in the dining hall. We might have to go into town on a free day."

DM 344331

[Making gifts with a lot of heart - By: Q. Tea & B. Mine]

Sidus [Rogue] 344332

Start reading it carefully!

Papaver Field [Mage] 344335

"Y-yeah… Damn I should have though about it befor-!"
A revelation strikes my mind.
"A hoofguard for her bow! That's the best thing I could give her!"

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 344339

"And you could even make it yourself, if you have the materials."
I'll smile again.
"Sounds like you've found your gift."

DM 344340

[They key to a good gift with a lot of heart is knowing the one you are giving to gift to. What they like, what they want, and above all, what they would love to get from you.-]

Sidus [Rogue] 344347

Let out a chuckle.
"I sure know something she'd like to get."
Read a bit more. Any more tips on how to make a gift good?

Papaver Field [Mage] 344354

"But it should be impressive. And efficient. And it should remind her of me…"
Pace around nervously.
"I have no idea where to start!"

Star Hopper [Cleric] 344360

Neither do I!

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 344362

"Well, there's always the library, and the forgemaster. Though," I'll add with a little laugh, "you probably shouldn't advertise it's for your special somepony."

DM 344369

[-A good gift does not need to be expensive, so long as it is thoughtful. Many consider self-made gifts the best, as they contain one's truest intentions within.-]

Sidus [Rogue] 344378

That's what I was going for.
Something home made.
Read read read!

Papaver Field [Mage] 344384

"I can always say that's something I want for me."
Turn to Star.
"What should I place on it, to make it unique?"

Star Hopper [Cleric] 344401

I snap out of my thoughts with a gasp
"I-I-I… uh…"
I gulp
"S-sorry… I'm kind of out of it r-right now…"

Papaver Field [Mage] 344406

"Wanna come with me so we can find something nice for Jon too?"
Turn to Jon.
"What would you like from Star?"

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 344410

"Are you okay?"
I'll look a bit worried.

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 344418

I'll blush a little.
"I uh, um."
Backing up a step or two, I'll speak again.
"Well, uh, normally it's up to the gift-giver to decide, and, well, I'm sure that Star can think of something. B-besides, it's hardly a surprise if I just ask for something!"

DM 344419

[-For example, an artistic mind can sculpt, paint or make music for those they seek to gift. Other may wish to create jewelry or accessories, or even weapons-]

Sidus [Rogue] 344423

I grin.
"Now that's something!"
Are there instructions on how to make the last happen?

Papaver Field [Mage] 344424

"Oooh, so it has to be a surprise?"
Think some more.
"I know! I could write her a march! Something to bolster her resolve while she hold the bow, and then write it on the hoofguard!"

DM 344430

[-ask a smith-]

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 344431

I'll nod.
"That might work, or even just a small message about how you feel about her. It could be anything."

Papaver Field [Mage] 344437

"I'm better with music than words, really…"

Nudge Star.
"So, will you come?"

Sidus [Rogue] 344439

Roll my eyes.
Look up some other ideas then.

Dewdrop [Inquisitor] 344440

I nod quickly

"Uh… yes."

DM 344444

[-smiths are not scary. They can be nice ponies if talked to. So can older students who have access to the forge. Hint hint.
Anyway, some ponies like to make necklaces out of wooden beads, carving a little something nice into each one.-]

Papaver Field [Mage] 344445

Then, with her, trot over to the smith.
"So, what will you do for Jon?"

Sidus [Rogue] 344448

…check out this book for now.
Then look the Smith up.
The one who made my replicas.

Star Hopper [Cleric] 344449

I start breathing a little quicker
"I-I-I don't know!"

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 344454

I'll take this as a cue to head out.
"See you two later."
And then head to the library, and look for a cookbook. '1d10'

Roll #1 7 = 7

Papaver Field [Mage] 344456

"Well, what does he like?"

DM 344490

He is at the forge
"Good day cadet. How can I help?"

DM 344496

[Various Pear Dishes for Pairs - By: Juicy Pair]

Papaver Field [Mage] 344498

As in, find the smith.

Sidus [Rogue] 344500

"Hey! I don't supposse you would be inclined to make a unique weapon?"

Star Hopper [Cleric] 344501

I gulp
"He really likes b-baking for one…"

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 344508

I'll frown at that.
Pears… bah. But at least I'm in the right section.
Let's see if I can't find something nice for a dinner option, since I'll be whipping out the Apple Family Tart Heart for the dessert. '1d10'

Roll #1 9 = 9

Papaver Field [Mage] 344512

"I don't think you could gift him an oven.. But maybe you could bake with him!"

Star Hopper [Cleric] 344514

"I already do every time he bakes…"

Papaver Field [Mage] 344516

"That's so sweet…"
Look at her with a surprised expression.

DM 344519

Well he is at the forge.
So is Sidus
"'Course I do. Next year, so will you."
[-Pear Salad, Pear Pie, Pear Bear, Pear Cider, Rare Pear…-]
Oh hey, how about this other book
[Romantic Dinners - By: Candle Light]

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 344523

That's the one.
Let's start reading.

Papaver Field [Mage] 344525

"Oh, are you busy?"
Nod at Sidus. He's not so insufferable anymore.

Star Hopper [Cleric] 344526

I fiddle with my hooves and smile sheepishly
"He b-bakes really good pastries and lets me s-sample so…"

Sidus [Rogue] 344528

"I mean, I want to give a gift to somepony. In form of a weapon."

I guess I know her choice of arms?

DM 344532

[-Chapter 1) A light and fluffy start
Chapter 2) A hearty main course
Chapter 3) A delicious dessert
Chapter 4) Drinks-]
What would you like it to be?
I'm sure she'll love it~
"Hrm? A gift? Whatever for? Your friend having a birthday or?"
"G'day, cadet."

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 344534

From the top, then.

Papaver Field [Mage] 344536

Oh, looks like Sidus is getting something too.
"I'm interested in practicing bows, and was looking for a sturdy hoofguard."

DM 344547

"Check the racks if any fit you."
He nods towards the equipment racks
[-The point of a good start to a meal is to tease the appetite without actually sating any hunger. A small salad is common, but some prefer to make neat little pastries or carve fruit into decorative starters-]

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 344551

I'll nod.
A good start, right. Maybe a light salad, with some sliced apples? Hmm.
Keep reading.


Take the most plain looking ones, those easy to incide and model.
Then, look for one that fits me. Good thing me and Nock have the same shape.

Roll #1 5 = 5

DM 344564

[-The meal itself is of course where the most effort has to be placed. With the pallet teased, finding a good balance of tastes is key. And the diners need to be full by the end. But not too full. Just enough room for desert~-]
They are all a little tight or a little loose.
Looks like you are just in between sizes.


Oh c'mon. I can't have a gift that doesn't fit, she'd never use it.
"I'm sorry sir, looks like there's nothing my size here."
Keep looking.

Roll #1 5 = 5

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 344574

Balance of tastes… Since we're starting with the salad and apples, we'll probably want something a little different, since I plan on the dessert being apple-based as well. Hmm. Maybe Adam's Apple will have a good idea for this. A nice soup, or maybe something a bit more solid?
Might as well see what they say about dessert. I'll probably need all the help I can get.

Sidus [Rogue] 344575

"Yes, a very special day. A gift is a must have."
Let's just get her a backup weapon. A small dagger that's mostly for show, but she can use it to defend herself and always hide it.

"A nice dagger would be just fine."

DM 344586

"Well for one I can't make lethal weapons for first year cadets. Them's the rules. Safety reasons and all. I can make something purely aesthetic though. But I need some payment. If I make stuff for free, I will never find time to do my real work."
You know you could just adjust the straps on one right?
[-A dessert should never be too heavy, as you should be well and full from the dinner. It should also not be too big. Rather leave a small craving for more, than stuff in too much and get sick of it.-]

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 344593

Hmm. The Heart Tarts can get pretty big, but they're meant to be shared between two ponies, so it should be fine.
Wonder if the drink section will have a list of complementary drinks?

Papaver Field [Mage] 344595

Okay, this looks good then.
Approach the smith.
"If I wanted to write or decorate something over this, how would I go about doing it?"

Sidus [Rogue] 344596

"Hmm… can you make it look nice and shiny and pretty to look and still not dangerous, but in a way that you can modify it to be actually lethal once I'm not a first year? And how can I pay?"

DM 344604

[-Some prefer to start off a meal with a small sharp alcoholic drink to ease the mood-]
"You can buy it off me if you want."
"I'll do my best.
For payment, I accept bits, volunteer help or future favors."

Sidus [Rogue] 344606

"I could give you a helping hoof. Can you engrave something in too?"

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 344607

Nope, no alcohol here. Doubt they'd serve it to students, anyway, even if we could sneak some of the cooking sherry out of the kitchen.
I'll keep reading to see if there are further, non-alcoholic suggestions. '1d10'

Roll #1 1 = 1

Papaver Field [Mage] 344609

"Well yeah. That would be great. But what about showing me how to write on this?"

DM 344620

"You can do that yourself.
I expect my force to he hot by the time I wake up in the morning, for every day for a month. Got it?
You do know how to heat a forge right?"
"Hrm. I'm a smith, not an art teacher.
You can embroider text on with a needle and thread for one."
[-And if you did everything right, he or she will be more than ready to leap into bed with you. Go get 'em!-]

Papaver Field [Mage] 344626

"On metal?"

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 344630

I'll stare at that bit for a short minute, and then shake my head.
What's this even doing in the library if they banned Hearts and Hooves anyway?
Putting the book back, I'll make my way to the kitchens, and ask to speak with Adam's Apple, or the chef on duty.

Sidus [Rogue] 344632

"Duh, I learned about weapons a lot in my younger ages. That's it? When do you wake? And are you sure you can't engrave? I don't want to ruin your work in case my hoof slips, not that it would."

DM 344633

"Get a big needle.
Or just use paint."
"Jon! Good to see ya! So, what's cooking?"

DM 344637

"Oh I can engrave. But I don't care about reading and reproducing whatever mush you intend to stain my work with. Unless you feel liek giving me a back massage and breakfast in bed too.
I get up at sunrise."

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 344638

"That's what I came to talk to you about. Now, You said that Hearts and Hooves is 'outlawed', right? Well, what if, instead of something fancy like a gift, I make the mare I've got my eye on dinner, and the kitchens turn a blind eye to it? I know I'd probably owe you a favor or ten, though."

Papaver Field [Mage] 344640

Roll my eyes but say nothing.
Take the wristguard and go somewhere nice where I can think about music.
'1d10' for a tune.

Roll #1 9 = 9

Sidus [Rogue] 344641

"My cutie mark would not be that hard, would it? And it's three weapons, not even anything cheesy!"
I roll my eyes.
"And how about I lend you a hoof with work in the morning instead."

Star Hopper [Cleric] 344643

… I should probably think of something to give to Jon.

Uh… I don't suppose there are any kitchenware stores around here right?

DM 344659

That march could use some more trumpets…
"I can work better without an amateur to get in my way."
Not really.
This is an academy, not a mall.
"You sure would.
But hey. My parents met on ol' H&H. So what the hay."

Star Hopper [Cleric] 344663

Of course…

Maybe I could get him a nice shield? Approach the smith
"Uh… d-do you make shields here too?"

Sidus [Rogue] 344666

"Even if I just bring you the materials or tools you need would get you further."

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 344667

I'll smile.
"Thanks so much. Now, I know what I'm doing for the entree and the dessert, it's just the dinner itself I'm having trouble with. Don't know if I should do a soup, or something a bit more solid. I don't suppose you'd have a suggestion?"

DM 344673

"Got a bunch in the racks, cadet. What do you need one for?"
"Hrm. Don't you have classes?"
"Soup is for curing colds. If ya wanna impress a mare, make some real food."

Star Hopper [Cleric] 344676

I freeze up
"U-uh… I just need a nicer custom shield… F-for myself!"
I grin sheepishly

Sidus [Rogue] 344677

"Classes don't start at sunrise."

DM 344679

"Nor does my work stop then. What, you too lazy to get up early to heat one forge for an old smith?"
"Sounds frivolous. Unless the weight or grip is wrong or something."

Star Hopper [Cleric] 344680

"I j-just want something m-more personal…"

DM 344693

He gives you a long look

Sidus [Rogue] 344697

"No, I would do that. I just thought you'd ask for something extra for engraving my cutie mark in it, since I'm not going to give you back massages."

DM 344701

"I really could use one though."

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 344704

"Well, what do you suggest? I'm planning on making her the Tart Heart for dessert, so I don't want to overdo it on apple dishes…"
I'll scuff my hoof on the floor for a second, and think.
"Maybe… hmm. D'you think she might like… no, that's silly."
I'll think a bit more for a moment.
"Would a casserole be a good idea?"

Sidus [Rogue] 344707

"Not going to happen. Come on, wouldn't you appreciate some help here instead?"

Star Hopper [Cleric] 344712

I swallow
"Uh… m-maybe a little decorated? O-or made from a different m-material?"

DM 344717

"Would you prefer to clean my house?
Because no, I do not need you fumbling around with my tools."
"Might be. Or a roast of some kind.
Heck, make a savory pie."
"And how did you intend to pay for that?"

Star Hopper [Cleric] 344722

D-do I have some savings from home?

Sidus [Rogue] 344723

"Again, why do you think I would be that bad? We had a small smitthy back home. You think I learned all about weapons from books? I couldn't make one, yet, but I saw my father do it."

DM 344729

Well, do you?
"Look kid, I've worked this forge since the founding of this academy, and I know where everything is, and I have a process for things.
By now it's starting to feel like you want to be an apprentice."

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 344733

I'll sit down and rub the back of my neck.
"I might do the pie. Something savory, followed by the sweetness of the tart… That might work."
Nodding a bit, I'll continue.
"Yeah. Salad, savory pie, tart. That's dinner."
I'll give AA a smile.
"Thanks for helping me get my head straight. And thanks again for letting me use the kitchen. Though…"
A worried look will cross my face.
"I don't suppose you'd give me a few pointers for the family Tart Heart? If nothing else, that's the one thing I don't want to mess up on tonight."


I should have some yeah

But how much?

Roll #1 7 = 7

Sidus [Rogue] 344744

"Pff, with how much I know about weapons I'd become a master myself in no time."

DM 344746

She chuckles
"Oh boy, it pains to admit this, but even I can rarely get that one right.
But maybe together, we'll succeed!"
Enough to pay him off and shut him up.

DM 344750

"That's cute, stoker boy.
I expect a hot forge in the morning."

Papaver Field [Mage] 344751

Sounds about right thou.
Even gave me an idea for what to engrave on it.
Forever by your side, forever straight as the arrows you fly.
That should do. Go back to the smith.

Star Hopper [Cleric] 344753

Do it!

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 344755

I'll nod enthusiastically.
Getting back to my hooves, I'll feel a little more confident now that I've got this set up.
"So, what time do you think would be good for me to start? Right after the class before dinner?"

Sidus [Rogue] 344758

"You'll get it all right. When will you be done with what I asked?"

DM 344764

"…sure. I guess I can let it slip. This once…"
"Hello cadet."
"Day or two."
"That should work."


Papaver Field [Mage] 344765

And then I got that hoofguard engraved.

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 344766

And then classes happened.
Maybe go hunt down Nock in the interim.

Nock [Tracker] 344843

Normally I'd be in the Hammer Dorm, untouchable by you, but I'm on one of my frequent outings to visit Glossy Wards for advice.

Now passing the courtyard.

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 344845

So you are.
"Hey, Nock, I wanted to talk to you."

Nock [Tracker] 344846

"Oh? Jon. It's unusual to see you without Star Hopper at your side."

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 344847

"She's off with Papaver preparing for a surprise. It is Hearts and Hooves, after all."
I'll shake my head.
"But that's not what I wanted to talk to you about. C'mon, let's go to the training ground. We can talk while we spar, since I don't think I've tested myself against you yet."

Anonymous 344848

Chuckle a little. "I don't know, Jon. I'm not much of a fighter. How about I let you take the win? Let's just find somewhere quiet to talk. I think I have a little bit of a headache."

Jonagold (Male Earth Pony Knight) 344849

I'll shake my head.
"Can't take wins I don't earn, Nock. But the talking, we can do."

Nock [Tracker] 344850

"Very well. The library, then?"

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 344851

"Anywhere's fine. Library it is."

Nock [Tracker] 344852

Then to the library we walk. Let's find a quiet nook.

"So what is it you wanted to talk to me about? Hearts and Hooves? It's a shame it's banned. I'd like to do something for it… maybe I can sneak something under the radar."

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 344853

"I was planning on talking to you about something else, but Hearts and Hooves is slightly related."
I'll shrug.
"And has been flying under the radar ever since it got banned, but that's not it. What I wanted to talk about with you was Vera, and how you and she are… dealing with her mark."

Nock [Tracker] 344854

"Flying under the radar? Interesting. It just reaffirms my thoughts, then. It's my responsibility to teach her about Equestrian customs. What do you think I should get her? I was initially thinking cake, but the whole nine yards, go all out to get the cheese, ice cream, strawberries, and everything I couldn't before. She really liked my family recipe even without all the trim. Do you think that's too small a gesture? I thought it would be… personal. It's one of the first things we bonded over."

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 344855

I'll sigh a bit.
"You don't intend to even recognize she's got it, do you."

Nock [Tracker] 344856

Frown. "You're not very easily distracted, are you?"

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 344857

I'll give a small smile.
"I believe in facing issues, instead of dancing around them, Nock."

Nock [Tracker] 344858

Politely smile back. "It doesn't have to be an issue if we don't make it one, Jon."

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 344859

I'll frown.
"It does if what you're doing is denying a part of the mare you're supposed to love, Nock."

Nock [Tracker] 344860

"She doesn't want to be a mage, Jon! Shouldn't she get some say in her future?"

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 344861

"I'll spit those right back at you. Who are you to tell her she has to never use magic again?"

Nock [Tracker] 344862

"I didn't! And I wouldn't. That night she got her cutie mark, she told me she wanted the magic burned out of her. I convinced her that it was too extreme. Who's the magic hater now, Jonagold? I just want her to happy."

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 344863

"You want her to be happy, but instead of accepting the fact she got a mark in magic, you don't even bring it up. You make her even more ashamed of something she was already having trouble with!"
I'll rub the bridge of my nose in irritation.
"You saw how she almost ran away from the academy that night. She was practically in tears. She doesn't even mention it outside of her magic classes, either. Doesn't sound like she's too happy to me."

Wf+6 344864

"Why does she have to be a mage, Jonagold? Why's that so important to you? She doesn't want to be a mage. So what if she has some talent for it? She has talent in being a warrior, and that's what she wants to be. Do you seriously believe we're put here in this world with a predetermined fate? That we're born with one talent and that has to define our lives, and we never get to choose? I say no! She can choose to be a warrior because that's what she wants to be! You're the one making her ashamed, pressuring her into being something she doesn't want. That's why she's unhappy. She never cried before you ponies told her she had to be some kind of witch!"

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 344865

I'll let out a small growl.
"When did I ever say she had to be a mage?
Settling down for a moment, I'll take a small breath to calm myself.
"Nock, haven't you been paying attention to anything that goes on around here aside from spellbreaking class? Paladins do more than just hit things and break spells. There are classes where they teach you how to create your own weapon out of magic, and throw it at enemies out of reach, or just hit them with it. They aren't going to shove her into some book, rip her away from you, and never let her see the light of day again just because she has talent."
Tapping my foot impatiently, I'll continue.
"And as for predetermined fate, well, that's a load of horseapples. Sure, every Apple family member gets a mark that involves apples somehow. Always have, likely always will. But do we let that stick us with just apples, nothing but apples apples apples? No. That's why I don't see Vera's mark as a damn death sentence like you seem to. It's a talent, sure. One she was probably destined to have. Does that give it power over what she does? No! Magic, and ponies, don't work like that!"
I'll start pacing a bit.
"Look, Nock, Vera's my friend. As such, I'm worried when she doesn't even ask for help with something everyone can see she has trouble with. I know she's not talking to you about it, thanks to you trying to dodge the issue. Can you blame me for being worried when I see a friend start closing themselves up because of something they've got no way to change?"

Nock [Tracker] 344866

"I have been paying close attention to class, Jonagold. In my classes, they teach that arcane magic slanders the divine. So you want me to be supportive of budding heresy? She doesn't want to be an arcane-user, Jon. That should be a good thing, yet you seem to act like it's the greatest crime ever committed. At least Star's magic is divine in nature."

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 344867

"Arcane magic is a tool, Nock. No different than a rake or an axe. You think it slanders the gods just by existing, and not in how it's used? That's like saying that Vera's been marked by the Dark Ram himself. Can you even imagine how that made her feel? The pony she bares her heart and soul to saying that she's tainted?"
I'll just shake my head.
"I don't know what they teach you in your other classes, Nock, but that ain't what they teach here."

Nock [Tracker] 344868

Frown at him. "If you want to put words in my mouth, I'm just going to leave. I already told you, her cutie mark doesn't matter to me. She can choose to be a warrior if she wants to, and she does. Isn't that good enough for you?"

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 344869

"Of course it is. But she can't be a real warrior if the mare she loves doesn't accept all of her."
I'll sigh again.
"Do you remember the day after she tried to leave? She and I had a sparring match that morning, and she lost. Badly. To me, of all ponies. I tried to cheer her up as best I could, and those sparring matches are the best I could come up with. I got her back to normal, but she won't get any better unless you're there to support her entirely. Which means you will have to talk about her mark. You will have to accept she can use arcane magic. You need to just sit and talk with her, Nock. Until she faces that mark, accepts it, she'll be stuck exactly where she is. And she's terrified of doing anything that would make her lose you."
I'll sit down.
"If you were another stallion, I'd beat you just on principle. As it is, I should probably leave that to Vera. When's the last time you two got together and had a match?"

Nock [Tracker] 344870

"That's kind of an intimate question, isn't it? Given the circumstance. Just what kind of stallion are you, Jonagold Apple?"

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 344871

"I'm the kind that cares deeply for his friends, Miss Nock. And I know the circumstances, Vera made them quite clear when I requested that first sparring session. She was quite insistent that you were the only one she'd really 'spar' with."

Nock [Tracker] 344872

Redirect. "Well I care about Star Hopper. Have you fucked her? You kept her out all night on your first date."

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 344873

I'll blush crimson.
"I have not laid hoof on her past where she is comfortable. And what kind of… of… horndog do you take me for?"
Time to bring this back to her.
"But we aren't talking about me and Star. We're talking about you, and Vera. I'm not even going to ask how far you two have gotten, because I don't want to know. What I do know is that, to Vera, you two are practically wedded already. She loves you more than she has any reason to, by my reckon, and I'll be damned if you aren't making my opinion of you worse."

Nock [Tracker] 344874

Give him a hateful glare and open my mouth, then pause, and reply calmly. "Are we done here? I should go before I say anything cruel."

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 344875

"No. Let it out. Speak your piece, and let it be done, because until you actually sit down and talk with Vera, and come to terms with this, I will keep bothering you with it."

Nock [Tracker] 344876

"There will be no peace if we trade insults like blows. Haven't you studied your combat theory? In war, there are no winners, only survivors. Instead of coming to conflict, let's forgive, forget, and be at peace."

I stand up, and give a deep sigh, letting the tension flow out of me. "That's all it takes. I think I've let it all go. Now you."

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 344877

"You know I can't do that so long as you don't even promise to talk this over with Vera. A good, long talk, not just about why she shouldn't, but perhaps a benefits of why she should. Because until you actually start looking at that mark as a positive, she won't. Ever. All because she's terrified of losing you."

Nock [Tracker] 344878

"Maybe it's hopeless trying to talk about peace to a farmpony that knows only war."

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 344879

I'll just shake my head in disbelief.
"Maybe it's hopeless to try and help such a pigheaded mare see sense. But by the stars you can't say I didn't try."
I'll turn to leave.
"She made her catalyst out of that arrowhead, you know. From that night. To 'remind her of what's wrong with her.'"
I'll shake my head again.
"I can only wonder which pony gave her the idea that there was anything wrong with her."
And then I'll leave. I feel the need to hit something, and there should be some time before the next class to do so. To the training fields.

Nock [Tracker] 344880

Calmly, if a little disappointed. "I still forgive you your trespasses."

Jonagold [Male Earth Pony Knight] 344881

I'll just shoot her a glare as I leave.
Of all the stubborn, stupid, mule-headed, idiotic mares. She's worse than Sidus was in the beginning.

Nock [Tracker] 344882

Shrug. With that done with, I can get back to… Glossy? No doubt he's started his next class. That stallion made me miss my chance. I'll have to burn some time. Maybe I'll go work on that Hearts and Hooves gift…

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