/q/ - Quest


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Your Destiny awaits


Cloud Skimmer
Your mind is swimming with troubled thoughts and your heart is full of emotions, making it impossible for you to concentrate. You are so distracted in fact that during a regular patrol, instead of dispersing a small little cloud, you accidentally buck it away, making it into a medium sized thundercloud. As luck would have it, some pegasi from Weather Control are around and can help you deal with the situation.

Lancer is among them, and you see you motion you towards him. Uh-oh.

Kelani Rush
You just paid a visit to the nice little home of a nice little family, and promptly disturbed the unicorn father by delivering a package to him as instructed. He 'advised' you to leave now.

You are currently in a dreamy landscape that looks like a stereotipical Neighpon water garden after the two goats you met in the forest lulled you to sleep with a magical tune.
It's pretty relaxing though.

Lone Mesa
You were currently conversing with a caged Warg in the back yard of an abandoned house, guarded by two bandit mares, may they rest in peace.
When you asked him how many bandits were in Fairbank, the junction trading town you are in, he only answered:
"I wouldn't know. But they have friends. The death from the sky ones. They are expecting an attack, and will kill us if we try."


This won't do at all. Fucking Celestia.

Glide over to him.
"Thanks for the helping hooves."


Is there anything here of note or is it just a closed off garden?


So one pig and he'd lead me to his master right?


"That could have been really fucking dangerous, you know. I saw you earlier too, you did nothing but bumble around all day."

You see a path winding down under some cherrywood arches, leading to a small, open tea house without any walls.
There seems to be somepony sitting there.

One pig and he will tell you where to find his master, yes.
Plus getting him out of his cage.
You know of some pig farmers to the east.


Let's hide those bodies of the mares and go for one of them pig farmers. Would I have money to buy a pig?


"Not having a great day today, no. You don't need to remind me. Sorry for the mess, chief."


Who? Fly over there.


You hide the bodies inside the dusty hall of the house, and head east. Should be there in less than an hour. Your dog is busy smelling the desert ground as you two walk.

You do not have the bits for a pig. They are pretty expensive, since they have to be raised and made out to go find truffles, which are expensive in themselves.

"Listen, I can guess what this is about."
He looks around to check that only you can hear it.
"I know I give everypony a lot of shit, but blood bonds are stronger than everything. You should take a few days off. I'll get someone to cover for your shift, and you can just owe me a favor."

The mare turns around and it is… you.
It's you, only younger.
"Nice of you to visit."


Well shit.
I'm not gonna steal a pig…
Let's find out if I can't make a deal with the owner.


"Maybe you're right. I'd hate to do it but I'm not really as productive as I should be."


"Where are we?"


"It does not matter."
She…you motion for yourself to sit down.

You're over two thirds of the way to the farms, which are even visible in the distance, but something catches your eye. You can't make it out properly, but it looks like a giant body is hung between two wooden posts. Maybe you should investigate?

"You either do it on your own or I will ask you to be put off for a few days, since I can't have you making thunderstorms or tornadoes inside the city for being distracted."
His tone is stern once again.


I sit down.
"Am I under the influence again?"


"Alright, alright. I'll take a day or two off of work."


Let's see.
I hope it's a pig.


She shakes her head.
"No, but we need to talk."

He nods.
"Good. Run that by the director and go home."
He goes back to his weather team.

It's not.
It's not a pony either. It's a gryphon.

Two sturdy logs have been erected on the ground, with the large wings of the halfbreed creautre spread and nailed to them. The body itself is spread eagled and attached with every limb to the poles by barbed wire, only the head hanging limply.
There is a sign on his chest reading DEATH TO ALL TALONS written in what you suppose is blood.

You do know that Talons are a mercenary group consisting of nothing but Gryphons… and they are not amateurs either.


Time to go talk to pigtails again, I guess.


"What about?"


That might explain the death from above deal…but I haven't seen many griffons about.
Look up.
They might be hiding in the clouds.


You knock on the door of your father's office and enter.
She is scribing furiously at the table. She stops and motions for the chair in front of the table.
"Good day, yes, take a seat. What is it?"

The younger you frowns.
"Why are you running?"

There aren't many clouds today, and even those are high above. You could use some shade, but those clouds provide none.
The sky seems clear for now.


Huh. I'll ask the warg about it later.
Let's go on to that pig farm.


"I need to take two days off. My head's not in the game and it's affecting my performance at work."


"That is an unwise question to ask yourself."


You arrive shortly.
You smell the pigs before you hear their oinking and see them in their pens.

You see a middle aged pig farmer mare getting water from a well. By the look of her rags and the sweat on her forehead she has been working all day.

She opens a drawer and gives you a form.
"Fill out this. I am afraid we cannot give you payment or benefits for those two days and today."

"Good medicine tastes bitter in the mouth. It has to be asked."


"I run because Neighpon is not welcoming anymore. When the mountain bear chases you, do not look back and keep running."


"Morning ma'am."
Tip hat.


"Sure, whatever."
Fill out the form.
"Lancer said he'd make sure somepony would fill in for me."


"That will be arranged, yes. Will you need anything else? This is a very busy time for the factory."
She takes the form, signs it and stamps it then puts it into another drawer.

She is surprised for a moment and you see a hoof insticntively reach for something under her clothes, but stops when she sees who you are.
"Ah, good morning."
She doesn't seem as uncomfortable as some other ponies upon seeing you.
"What brings you here, ranger?"

"You cannot hide from your Destiny. You may run from what you fear, but you cannot escape it. You must face it.
If you do not enter the tiger's cave, you will not catch its cub."


"That'll be all. Thanks."
Get up and flutter out of the office.


"I have been having some trouble you might be able to help me with.
But first I would like to ask if there's been any trouble here? I saw the Griffon on the way here…"


"It's rare for dreams to try and instill suicidal thoughts into my head."


You get out of the office.
Maybe you could visit Storm Dancer or Skyheart before you leave? Tell them what's up?

She frowns.
"That thing is going to be the death of me, but they threatened me that they will kill me if I take it off… but if any of the gryphons see it, they will take their anger out on me too."
She lifts her rags some to show you the stock of a sawed-off shotgun.
"I doubt this will help, but it makes me feel as safe as you can be out here."

She shakes her head again.
"They will arrive in Equestria soon. Where will you go then? There are only so many continents you can flee to."

For a moment, everything goes dark, and in the next moment, you wake up to the rays of morning light and the unicat sleeping on top of you at the forest camp.


I probably should. Storm Dancer is the closest.


"Who threatened you? The ponies in town?"


No respect for my elders I should have slapped me.
Pet the cat with a hoof.


She shakes her head.
"No. It was ponies dressed in black, with some serious weapons… I don't leave the farm aside from selling pigs or finding truffles, so I have no idea who they might be."

She slowly opens her eyes as you do, and stretches with a yawn.

You see the vanilla goat sleeping on top of their cart while the brown one is sleeping on a drum.

You knock and enter the infirmary and are welcomed by the sight of Storm Dancer groping the flanks of a mare… wait, what?


"I might be able to help.
I have an informant, but he asks of me a pig."


Keep petting my cat for a while longer and get up once I've had enough. I need to get moving again.


Just doctor things, I'm sure. Clear my throat.
"Doctor Dancer."


She raises an eyebrow.
"…they want one of my pigs?"
She looks back at the pens.
You see your doggie playfully chasing a fat sow through the wooden fence.
"I'm not sure I can afford that."

She mrows at you when you do, but ends up on your back with a flash of magic once you stand up.
Will you wake the goats or just go on your way?

She just says "Hold on!", but the mare almost jumps and gives you an embarassed glance before looking away. Storm chastizes her. "I told you not to move!"
About half a minute later she stands back and picks up a small box to give to the mare. "Put this salve on every day for a week and you should be fine."
The mare thanks her and leaves in a hurry. Storm gives you a smile.
"Come on, I know you want to, send those jokes my way."


"I understand that, miss.
Is there anything I could give or do in return?"


"The mental barriers preventing me from being a huge gaping asshole are particularly strong today."
Look at her desk.
"Yesterday hit me harder than I expected."


It would be rude to, but it's also rude not to. I guess I should say goodbye. Wake them.


She frowns.
"I'm sorry about that…"
She shakes her head.
"Ever since I've heard I've been thinking what if I was more insistent with him and told him to get a checkup sooner…"

The chocolate goat quickly jumps up and opens his mouth for a bleat, without any sound coming out of his throat while the vanilla goat faceplants right in front of the cart as she stumbles awake.
Still, they both gleefully jump in front of you.
"Good morning! Had a nice rest?"

"Raising a pig like this is not easy, you know…"
She looks at the well pondering for a while, then back at her pens with the pigs, and Rocky jumping around next to them.
"…I could use a guard dog…"


"So did I. And my mother. He's not a great listener when it comes that that stuff. Anyway, I just thought I'd tell you I've taken two days off of work to gather my thoughts and look after my mother."


"The rest served its purpose, but now I must leave."


She nods.
"I understand. I will tell the girls not to worry about you. Take care, okay? And tell your old stallion I'm going to whoop his flank once he gets back here for giving his doctor a scare like this."

They both pout.
"Aww, why the hurry! We can sing songs and everything on the way back!"


Look at Rocky.
"….Rocky and me have been friends for a long time. But nothing's been the same for some time now.
Would you take good care of him?"


She nods.
"Taking good care of animals is my cutie mark."


"That's a nice cutie mark…" I say more to myself than her.

Whistle to Rocky.


"You can take my place wooing all the mares around here, can't you? Thanks. … Give him a visit sometime if you can, I'm sure he'd appreciate it."


"I must be quick and move swifter than the winds. Work waits for no one."


His ears perk up and he quickly runs up to you, panting with his tongue out.

She smiles slightly.
"Already cleared up my schedule for tomorrow."

They both hop around you, Vanilla Sky talking to you cheerfully.
"Well, I hope we meet again! You seem like a fun pony! We can have songs and dance next time!"


"I'll see you around, doc. I'll get out of your mane now."
Leave her office again, I'm going to the weather lab.


Pet his head.
"Rocky, we've been together for quite a while."
Bite my lip.
"I need you to do something for me. You have to protect this mare. Just like you've protected me all these years."


You head towards the laboratories.
Before you enter, you see a sign that calls your attention to wearing safetly googles in the labs at all times, with several of them hanging racks below it. You can guess when this regulation was introduced…

There a few silent moment when he attentively looks between you and the mare before he jumps up at you to lick your face with a continous whine.


"Maybe. Farewell small goats."
I bow to them.


Yup. Put those goggles on.


"I'm sorry boy…"
Get up.
"The pig please." I say quickly.


They bow to you too and the chocolate goat plays a quick, upbeat tune.
You feel… refreshed, and your wings feel more agile. Weird…

You put them on and enter the labs. Now, last time you talked Skyheart said she was working on something in a wing that you are not very familiar with.
Roll to try and find her.

She nods and leads out a fat hog for you, putting it on a chain leash and handing that to you.



Roll #1 10 = 10


Take off, I gotta get back to my job.


"He…he likes a bit of whisky in his drink once in a while…"


Still, glancing at a map and judging by your chats from earlier, you easily find where she is, even getting past a guard who just nods at you. You guess being the son of the director does have its benefits.

You arrive in a lab room with tons of instruments you can't even begin to wrap your head around. She is currently studying a jar of lightining and it's reactions with some sort of metal conductor.

You are swifter than the wind itself and get back to Los Pegasus in no time!
You see the Blue Collar, your boss, giving out orders to other couriers as you arrive.

She nods with a knowing grimace.
"Don't we all? I'll make sure to get him some."
She kneels down beside Rocky and starts petting him, and he is obidient enough to sit down but still whines, looking at you with his ears flattened.


Lean against the doorframe and just watch for a moment. Might be something delicate.


"I'll come by when I can."
Quickly go on my way and don't look back.


Go over to him.
"I return."


You see her carefully applying some instrument to the jar, and after a flash and a zap, the lightining is bottled on the other side of the metal rod.
You see her smile victoriously with a small, excited squee.

You walk away and don't look back.
You hear a loud, sorrowful howl in the distance from the pig farm after you are out of sight.

It's slightly past noon once you get back to Fairbanks.

"Good, let's-"
He pauses and looks at the cat on your back.
"Uh… Why is the unicat still with you?"


Keep walking, I sure hope this was worth it.


"It is a long story. They did not want the cat, but they did sign for it. The cat has started following me now."
Give him the paperwork.


I clear my throat.
"Having a good time?"


You enter the yard and the warg immediately starts ramming against the bars and licking it's teeth.
"Good, good, now let me out!"

He runs over it.
"…yes, it does seem correct. I guess you can keep it, if you want. Those unicats are not cheap as far as pets go, so you can consider yourself lucky."

She perks up surprisedly and look over to you.
"Skim? How did you… I thought this was a restricted area!"


"Where will you lead me to?
Where's your master?"


"She is very tricky. She's outsmarted even me."


"I have my ways.

Listen, I won't distract you from your job for too long. I just came here to tell you I won't be coming to work tomorrow and the day after, so don't worry about me."


"They meet every night, at the old mines down south. Tonight, they said, the master of my master will be there."
The warg snarls.
"Now! The cage!"

"Why do you think we had to keep her in that big glass cage? They are more smart than they let ponies on."

She nods.
"I understand. Thanks for telling me."
She walks over to you and gives you a long hug.
"Take care, okay?"


Bind the pig to a post or something, then release the warg


"I will, don't worry. Tell Airheart not to worry either, will you?"


"Yes. Do you have work for me?"


It is obviously and understandably freaking the fuck out as you do so.
The moment bash the giant lock of the cage off with your metal leg, the giant canine springs out and leaps straight at the pig, tearing it apart within seconds.

She nods.
"I'm sure she is going to miss you too… but not as much as I will."

"Yes, I do. Will you need rest or can you start right away?"



"I am rested. Go ahead."


Alright alright, I'm leaving.
No need to get mad at me.


You leave the house behind.
It's late in the evening now, and you've still got until tomorrow morning to check back here. Where will you go?
You can skip if you want to just get a move on


I think I'll scout around for an antique shop actually.

Roll #1 6 = 6


You luckily manage to find one after a bit of wandering. It's still open!
An old, shrunken, tiny, wrinkly, but smiling mare is sitting behind a counter.
"Oh, hello, hello! What can I help with?"


Smile at the old lady.
"Hello, I was wondering if you had any druidic themed items."


"Oh, dear I am sure I do! Magical or non-magical! The former can be a bit expensive!"
She hops off her heightened chair, disappearing for a second before slowly waddling out from behind the counter.


Follow here over.
"You have both? Well then, I'd love to take a look at your collection, perhaps you have some things I've never seen before even."


She slowly makes her way to a table and hops onto a chair to rummage through it's contents.
"Oh, I have this magical statue that I'm sure you are going to love!"


Wait patiently for her to show me.
"Really? What does it do?"


She keeps digging through what seemingly looks like a bunch of junk.
"It can win over the heart of any mare you give it as a gift! Be careful though! If you break their hearts, so will you break this statue!"
She finally finds it and presents it to you. It's a medium sized leaf pedestal with a wittle cutie painted procelain poodle on top.

…well, that's not one of the statues you are looking for.


chuckle softly.
"Oh, I don't need any help winning over the heart of the mare I love. Do you have any other statues?"


"I might… I'm not sure if I sold that just yet…"
She hops from the chair onto a small ladder with wheels that is beside the shelves lined with all the old stuff you could imagine and starts rolling to the side with it.
"It's really pretty!"


trot after her with a bit of concern, a lady her age shouldn't be rolling around like that.


What if she falls? Would you be able to catch her fast enough?
She stops and climbs higher to get something from a high shelf, then slowly descends.
It is a large and ornate statue of a tree that is seemingly alive and resembles a pony.


Whew, she didn't fall.. but that's not it either. I regard the statue with a judging eye.
"Wow.. the craftsponyship on this one is really detailed."


She nods.
"Quite, quite! Some say Mother Nature personally helped guide his hoof while he crafted it!"
She knocks her hoof against the side.
"Real ironwood too!"


Just to humor her I'll touch it as well.
"I certainly haven't seen anything like it.. You have an impressive collection Miss..?"


It feels EXACTLY like the bark of the giant three that is in the center of your village!
"Coin Worth!"
She chuckles.
"The vendors next doors only call me Dust Collector, and it sort of stuck."


"What a lovely name, Miss Worth, I'm glad to know it, and you." I 'accidentally' touch her hoof as I'm pulling mine away from the statue.
"There is something so familiar about this statue.. how much will it take to convince you to part with it to a good home?"
'1d10' roll for smooth talk

Roll #1 8 = 8


She chuckles again.
"I suppose it does no good to me just sitting here on a shelf, does it? You seem like a nice enough young stallion. I can part with it for just a few bits, if you promise not to let it just gather dust!"


Nod and give her a few bits for it.
"I'll take good care of it, it was crafted with the guidance of Mother Nature after all"


She hoofs it over.
"You seem very interested in these sort of things!"


"I'm a fan of well crafted structures. Statues are just one of the forms this affection takes place." I wink at her and make my way out of the store headed to the inn.


She waves you off with a smile.

You're back at the inn, and the smell of nice food hits your nose.
Will you retire for the night?


Yes, that seems like the best idea. Got to be clean and refreshed for tomorrow.


You have a dreamless, but restful sleep and wake up early in the morning to the chirping of birds!


Wonderful, now.. how long until I should meet that pony again?
I have time to pick up a paper and go over it?


The definition was the vague 'morning' so yes, you have time to get a newspaper.


Time to read up on the latest news.
Truly the best way to start a morning.


The front page is taken up entirely by an article, with the freshest news, from last night, actually.
City Guards have found the corpses of 26 mercenaries, all of them brutally murdered in a warehouse at the edge of the town. The first inspections concluded that the place was used to manufactre ammunition illegally, as well as for forging traditional weaponry. No culprit has been found so far, no bodies other than the mercenaries have been found either, and there are several murder weapons seemingly either belonging to the deceased or simply being improvised like forge hammers. Some criminalistic experts have compared the slaughter and the mysterious lack of suspect similar to the infamous murder spree of Vilitus more than a decade ago. The City Watch has increased patrols all over Los Pegasus, and advises caution to all citizens and visitors.


Wow, that's a pretty big deal.. I wonder if it was..
Even if it was, that's hardly my fault.
Anything else interesting?


A new polar bear cub was born in the zoo!

Still no sign of the corporate unicorn who got duped out of his own company then went missing.


Is that a girl unicorn by any chance?


Nope. You saw the picture yesterday, he is a middle aged stallion!


Ooh, right.
I wonder if he's okay.. but I should get moving, who knows if I'll have to dodge those religious ponies on the way their again.


You fly at a leaisurely pace to the suburbs again to find the nice little house from yesterday.


I'll just go knock on the door.


A young colt opens the door.
"Good morning!"


"Hey there, is your dad up yet little guy?"


"Yes! He is in his study! We're not supposed to go in there! Are you his friend?"


"…" Pat the kid on the head. "Go knock on the door and tell him he has a visitor."


He nods.
"Okay, I will!"
He canters away, and reappears a few minutes later.
"He is telling you that you can come inside!"


Go inside and head to the office.


It is unlocked, but his magic clicks it as soon as you enter.
You see his forehoof shaking slightly as he smokes from his opium pipe and lounges on his chair.
"I hope you're happy."


I shake my head and sit down with him looking concerned. "I'm just doing what I was asked, same as you."


There is a newspaper lying on the table between you and him.
"You read that already?"
He takes another slow puff of his pipe and his legs shake less.


"I did.." I glace at the paper to make sure he didn't put anything inside it.


There is a packet of bloodied papers beside it.
"I hope you are going to hate yourself for it as much as I hate myself for even going in to this."


At that my expression changes to a smile and then a laugh. "You really are eager to blame someone, don't worry I'm not staying in town long. I have other things to do" Take the papers.


They look like blueprints.
"Who am I supposed to blame but the stallion who blackmailed me into it, huh? You're lucky they were assholes anyway. No big loss for the world."


"Hmm, I'm not actually very lucky, but you probably could guess that."
Stash those blueprints away.


You put them safely away.
He nods.
"Right. One more word of advice. If I ever see you anywhere near my house or family, I am going to kill you."
That might be a threat but he say that as if he was talking about the weather.


I sigh and start walking out. "I'll be sure to come by when I've finished my own work then."


He unlocks the door for you without a word.



You just left the guy who was probably responsible for a massacre last night.
You got some blueprints too. Time to meet your contract at the statue!


Off I go to that statue then.
Totally calmly checking around '1d10'

Roll #1 3 = 3


You can't help but tense up slightly every time you see one of the guard patrols… and there are lots of them out today.

You see your contract at the meeting point though, smiling.


Ehem, right.
Walk over and sit by him.
"Nice day isn't it."


He keeps grinning smugly.
"Yes. You just have to live to see it."


I wish he'd stop doing that.
Slide the blue prints into the newspaper and hold it in my lap a moment.
"You seem to have a lot to live for."


"Got to enjoy every moment while you can, these days."
He glances down.
"You have something for me there, I see?"


"Good news I think. Take a look." I slide him the paper with a totally not anxious smile.


He takes it.
"Crazy world we live in, huh…"
He glances at you.
"Now, how about a walk? It's getting unbearable, sitting here under the sun."


"Sure, I haven't seen much of the city yet. I could use a nice walk."
Nod and be ready to follow him.


He hops off the bench and starts walking.
He is silent as he starts leading you through alleys, occasionally stopping to glance around.
Eventually you find yourself at the south-eastern outskirts of the city.
There's barely anything here, just a few, run down houses and a small forest nearby.


I sigh. "I'm guessing this place won't have good booze?"


"Why would you guess that? It's much more comfy inside, but with a look like this, nopony but us knows it even exists."
He walks up to one of the buildings and opens a door that looks like it's about to fall off it's hinges… but there's a reinforced steel door behind it. He knocks on it a few times.


"…." I pay attention to the way he knocks and where this place is.


You get a pretty good grasp of it.
A white mare opens the door after a few seconds.
"Welcome back. Managed tog et anything done?"
"You bet!"
He enters, and motions you to do so too.


I follow him relaxing a bit.
"This day is getting better already."


You are very surprised by the interior.
There is a small corridor, which seems physically impossible from the outside, which leads to a clean and tidy lounge. It has carpet all over it, as well as tables, and everything, as if it was just a common room in some sort of bar!
You see doors leading to some sort of kitchen, some rooms with beds in it, and all sorts of faculties.
A white unicorn stallion is sitting at one of the tables, working on some gems with his magic.
"So, you wanted some booze before we settle you in?"


I chuckle a bit. "Sure, this is a time to celebrate as new friends. I hardly even know you, lets have a drink."


He leads you to the table, while you see the mare leave towards the kitchen.
He sits down.
"Got the newcomer from Ponyville Mirage was talking about."
The unicorn looks up, stopping his work.
"Ah, yes. What was your name again?"


"Rush, Kelani Rush." I say with a confident smile. "And you never said your name either."


"I am Diamond Tip. I run the Los Pegasus branch of our little boy scout group."
The unicorn motions at the pony who you met with at the statue and brought you here.
"He is Rainy Days, and the white mare who is about to bring us some drinks is Porcelain."


"Fantastic to meet you all. And I'm guessing all those beds weren't just for you three."


The mare returns with four glasses of red wine, floating one to each of you with her magic.
"Ponies come and go."
He sighs.
"We used to have more people here, but…"


"…I see.." swish the wine around and then sip it.
"Well, you did warn me it was dangerous."


It's really good wine! Tastes expensive!
He motions at the newspaper Rainy Days already put on the table.
"Not only for us. We fight back."
Diamond leans back on the couch he is sitting on, sipping from his wine.
"We don't really have the infrastructure to use the blueprints you just got us, but crippling theirs is more than enough."
Porcelain levitates a bullet from a nearby shelf and floats it to you.
"These things opened up like claws whenever they hit anypony. Makes a real mess. You saved many lives with this."


I tilt my head and carefully grab the bullet.
"So.. this is what you do here? And you're short hoof'd? "


Rainy cuts in.
"We do lots of things. Espionage, sabotage, assasination… Whatever Mirage needs us for."
The bullet has a weird shape at the top, with little ridges. It's made from some strange black material.


"I see. What's this made of?"


"Some sort of alloy. I guess we will find out soon, thanks to you."
Diamond speaks again.
"Now, we promised favor for favor. What did you want?"


I sip on the glass.
"Its a simple thing really. I need help tracking down something. Part of a collection of things. Statues of small size, modeled after animals."


Porcelain chimes in.
"Any recognizable traits?"
The wine tastes really sweet… you want to have more!


Well, it is a good wine, and not a poison. What did those statues have in common again?
"This is one of them." I reply calmly and show off the pony statue.


"Well, they are all made of stone…"
I gesture to the rough size they are.


They are ancient statues that still look new. They have inscriptions of Mother Nature on the bottom of their 'pedestals' too.
"Hold on…"
She runs off.
Rainy perks his ears.
"Mind if I ask why you are so interested in them?"


"Hmm lets just say I'm a collector, You can notice them by the old writing they have on them, despite looking new."


He just sips from his wine.
The mare returns, showing you a picture.
You recognize the stallion who you read about, the one who went missing for a while now. He is shaking hooves with some other stallion in his office.
"Like this one?"
She points at a statue in the background, on a shelf… Hey, it is a Phoenix Statue! One that you need!


I smile with a nod at the question. "Who knew such a lovely and keen eyed mare existed, I simply must get to know more about you, Miss Rainy."


Let's agree you said Porcelain, the name of the actual mare.
She smiles back at you.
"Whenever you have the time."


I stare at the photo.
"But.. this pony is missing right? Will the statue even still be there?"


Diamond points at the other pony.
"That is the pony who cheated him out of his company. He wanted his office ever since they partnered up. You probably will still find it there."


"Hmm I see, where is this office?"


He gives you a quick description on where you'll find the building, mostly made out of glass.
His office is on an upper floor.


I ponder over my drink already scheming of ways to sneak inside.
"Any special tips about this place or this guy?"


"Most people leave at 5, but the security guards don't start patrolling until 6. If you can slip in past the first one at the main door, you'll have more than enough time."


I sigh and relax in my seat smirking at Porcelain. "That means I have a whole day to waste doesn't it."


She smiles back.
"It does."
Rainy sighs.
"Well, I don't. I'm moving out."
He stands up to leave.


"Hmm see you later then.." I say in parting to him.


Diamond nods to you.
"I have to work as well. As for you, if you really want to get that statue, you might want to case the place now first, and get some way of getting in unnoticed."


"Easy, I've already got an idea." I say confidently and ease out of the seat.
"But don't worry I got the hint, I'll get out of your way for a while."
And trot off to the door.


He shrugs with a smile, then motions at the gems.
"Wouldn't want any of these to break because I'm too busy focusing on smalltalk."
You are confident in your ability to remember the combination too. Ready to leave?


"…ah, right the combination. How exactly does that go? Just to be sure I got it."


The unicorn taps on the table to knock it down.
It's a combination of short and fast beats.
"We can see you too, if we hear you at the door, but then if you forget it we are going to screen you for some nasty magic. Shapeshifting and mind control have both been problems in the past."


Try to copy exactly that combination to learn it '1d10' ?
"Oh, that makes sense, a secret knock is pretty old school but if it works for you.."

Roll #1 2 = 2


…nope, you're pretty sure you got it all wrong.
He sighs.
"Fine. If you show up, we'll ask you what kind of drink you got when you arrived here. It was a four years old Tyvian red. Got that?"


"That one I can remember. I'll be back before you know it." I confidently leave now.


'1d10+2' disguise to a sandwich delivery pony.

Roll #1 10 + 2 = 12


You leave, quickly making some distance from the run-down parts and into town to avoid suspiscion. Off to the building?


Yep, I'll go check it out.


You manage to throw together the most authentic sandwhich delivery pony outfit you can find.
So much so, that as you head towards the building, you run into a real delivery pony, who thanks Celestia that you are here, gives you half a dozen sandwhiches and an adress to deliver to… the very corporate building you are heading to.
Looks like fortune favors you today.

You arrive in short order. This building is very unusual for such a nature loving pony like you. It is at least seven or eight stories tall, but you can't really tell, since it's entirely made out of glass! Or at least the outside of it is!


Wow. In that case I'll just head on up to the door and walk inside.


You waltz inside just as confidently as ever.
A security stallion steps in front of you once you are past the glass doors.
"Good afternoon. What can I help you with?"


"I have a delivery. I believe you are expecting this.. a pepperjack lettuce with no tomatoe.. an everyday sandwhich with extra mayo..?" I offer to show him the sandwiches.


He nods.
"Oh, it's here already? Great! I ordered the one with the sliced carrots. You can take the rest upstairs."


look through for one labeled with sliced carrots. "This one then?"


He quickly takes it from you.
"That's the one! Thanks!"
He goes back to his desk and digs in, not really paying you any further attention.


Trot up the stairs with a sigh at my luck. I can get a good look at this whole place this way, so I walk slowly to make sure I pay attention.


You make sure to deliver slowly and by casing as much as you can… You get a glimpse at the door of the office you are supposed to go to, too!
If you can hide somewhere for a while, you might even be able to sneak in there when everyone leaves!


That seems kind of boring, but I suppose I can.. look for a closet or something.

Roll #1 5 = 5


You manage to hide decent enough that nopony can see you, but during the whole time you can thing about nothing but the thought of coming out of the closet.

The voices outside die down after a while, you think it's clear.


Finally, I can emerge!
Lets get out of this closet and take a look to be sure.


You gather your courage and bravely come out of the closet.
You know that no matter what happens, Mother Nature loves you anyhow.

The hallway seems empty… but you are a floor below the office, it would have been too suspiscious if you stuck around there for long.


Hmm.. slowly sneak up to the office's floor. '1d10' sneaky sneaky like

Roll #1 8 = 8


There is not a single other soul here in the office beside you, but you make sure to be as sneaky as possible.
You arrive in the hallway and see that the large door of the office is slightly ajar…


The door is even unlocked? This is actually too easy.. cautiously look inside the room.


Too easy indeed… You are about to open the door but it opens up as a stallion walks out and bumps face-first into you.
He seems very familiar, but you don't have time to think about it, you think he is about to-
"O-Oh, sorry, I uh…"
He quickly tightens his saddlebag and quickly starts walking away from you and the office!


"Oh.. I'm sorry, wait shouldn't you lock up?"
Can I see if he took anything from the office?


He doesn't stop to answer.
He might have taken things too.
It's hard to tell, since the giant office desk in the middle is on fire.
That is going to spread for sure.


"…fuck." can I put out the fire with something nearby?


It's already affecting more than a quarter of the room, so even as a pegasus you don't stand much choice against flames like these alone.


Fuckfuck.. quickly look for the statue, it was on that shelf in the picture..
'1d10' for speed/keeping the fire away from me by flying.

Roll #1 6 = 6


You avoid the smoke, but to your horror, the statue is the only thing that is gone. Everything else is the same, as in the picture! That stallion must have it, but why was he so familiar too?


Fly after that guy, maybe I can catch him. '1d10'

Roll #1 2 = 2


You are so stunned by the lack of your statue that you forget where you are for a moment, and you are painfully reminded when a few of your feathers catch on fire.
You quickly put them out, but you can't outfly a running pony now…
You gallop out instead, and you glance back to see the whole building is on fire now, ponies in the streets are screaming and you see weatherponies approach… yet you still manage to catch a glimpse of the escaping pony you saw!


I guess I'm hoofin' it then, after that pony!

Roll #1 6 = 6


You're not quite used to ground chases like this, or any chases at all. You follow the pony on hoof for at least twenty minutes, leaving the densely populated areas to the warehouses and complexes that are near the shore. You see him run into a wooden building complex which seems like it hasn't been in use for a while.


"Wait! Just stop a moment!"
go in from the window, If he gets away.. '1d10'

Roll #1 2 = 2


He doesn't stop, and he doesn't wait up either… you go in through the window, but all you see are his hoofmarks in the dust.
From those you can see that he stopped running and decided to walk instead.


'1d10' If he's walking then maybe I can sneak up on him, stealth time.

Roll #1 2 = 2


You follow his trail sneakily… as sneakily as you can with the creak of the floorboards, until it leads to some sort of big hall.
There you find him, standing in the middle on top of a pyre. He is wet and dripping with some sort of slimy fluid. As you'd sneak closer he hears the floor creak below you again, and his magic swings a lit torch in front of you to stop you.
"You… you shouldn't be here!"
He has another lit torch near himself, held by his telekinesis….
You finally recognize him.
He is the pony who has been missing!


Well, at least he didn't attack me.. but what is that stuff on him.
"You.. what are you doing? Why did you burn down your old building?"


You're not sure, but it's thicker than water, that's for sure.
The torch he has is still uncomfortably close though, preventing you from any sudden movements, not to mention he is at least five meters from you.
"Since I was a colt, I had a dream, of having my own firm… I have planned for it, I earned a cutie mark for it, I spent my entire life building that place… and this, this is what I got. My partner. He cheated me. Robbed me of the only thing that mattered to me. Robbed me of my life. Of my destiny."
You see tears roll down his cheek.


"But.. if you burnt it all down.. you can't get it back."
I frown.
"And uh, what's that goo on you?"


He starts breathing faster.
"A sacrifice… it needed a sacrifice…"
The unicorn slowly pulls out the statue, representing a phoenix with it's wings folded, and cradles it close to his chest.
"The prophets and priests always preach about freedom from death, but they are wrong… It is not what truly can save somepony…"
He glances at the side, and you can see an empty barrel of lantern oil there.
"You shouldn't be here. Nopony should have witnessed it. My death… my resurrection…"
His grip on the statue tightens even more.
"Like a phoenix, from the ashes, I shall rise once more and right the wrongs that they have done to me…"
His magic slowly pulls away the torch that has been in front of your face so far, and he floats it above himself.
"I will awaken the phoenix and it will grant me with its powers…"
He lets out a nervous laugh, gulps… then lets go of the torches, immediately lighting the pyre he was standing on ablaze…
But he still has the statue! You must save it!


Actually, I'm certain a little thing like a fire wouldn't hurt the statue.. Nature wouldn't make something so flimsy. Still. I can't watch him burn to death. '1d10' try to blow out the fire with wing power.

Roll #1 2 = 2


No, but a pony on fire who is going to trash around will. Not to mention the giant pyre in the middle of an old wooden building.
Your wings are still hurt, so you can't achieve anything.
You hear his manic laughter at first, which quickly turned into pained screams. If you want to do something, you need to act quick.


"YOU FUCKING IDIOT" I shout at him and tackle him off the pyre, try to tumble us outside or until I stop seeing things on fire. '1d10'

Roll #1 8 = 8


You gather all your might and tackle him off of the pyre, rolling on the ground with him… still, you now realize that he indeed drenched himself with lantern oil before you arrived, and even as you are away from the center of the fire, the flames still burn his coat…
You see his flesh and bones exposed on one side of his face as the other still burns, but this doesn't stop him from trying to push you off of himself, grasping the statue like his life -or resurrection, rather - depended on it.


"THAT STATUE ISN'T GOING TO REVIVE YOU! ITS JUST STONE! STOP THIS!" I shout even though its probably pointless and try to smother the flames out with with my clothes.


Looks like he was too soaked with oil to put the fires out, so it is indeed pointless.
He tries to respond again, but inarticulate screams are the only things he can manage, his limbs going limp.
You hear a worrying crackle and see a far wall collapse as the fire starts consuming the building.
You might want to grab that statue now and make for a hasty escape.


Well.. I tried to save him.. grab the statue and run away.


You suffered some burns in the process, too…
You start running away, out to the corridor, but the floor that is above you crashes into your way with a loud bang, sending dust and a wave of hot air your way… you'll need to find a different path! If only at least you were at the edge, you could find a window and jump out!


'1d10' nothing to be done.. I'll just have to keep going the best I can.

Roll #1 5 = 5


There is just too much smoke… You're not sure you can find your way out in time… You wander trying to find an exit for a bit, before you start suffocating… you close your eyes just for a bit…

You wake up to a sudden intake of air into your lungs, opening your eyes to find yourself on your back outside on the grass, with the muzzle of a stallion on yours. He pulls away to let you cough and greedily suck in some fresh air.


I look confused as I cough and focus my eyes on whoever just saved me.
"Ugh, who.. where?"


Good thing you came out of that closet earlier today.
The stallion, a muscular pegasus, smiles.
"Oh, good, you're allright, I was worried for a second… I'm Cloud Quencher, from the Los Pegasus Fire Department. My squad got called in when the sector next to us needed help with a fire at an office building, but we saw this fire too on the way."
You blink again, and see that you are outside of the building, which is currently getting doused by rainclouds.
"Are you hurt?"
Does he mean aside from the slightly burnt feathers, fur, and the small burns all over your body?


What a clever narrator you are. You.
"I think I can stand.. Thanks for the rescue Cloud."
feel around beside me for my stuff.


"You should consider yourself lucky. If a homeless pony didn't warn us there were ponies inside, we wouldn't have gone in to look for you. Thought the place was abandoned. We only found you, though…"
The statue is safe and sound…but something weird is going on.
It's the same phoenix statue as before… but unlike earlier where it surrounded itself with it's wings, the phoenix now looks proudly upwards, with it's wings spread wide.



Cloud Skimmer
You just told Skyheart the situation at the labs after taking a few days off, due to not being able to concentrate because of your father's sickness.
What will you do next?


Best to go home for mom. Unless she's gone to the hospital with my sister already… What time is it?


Just past noon.
She might be at the hospital, but you can't know from here. You could check either your place, her place, or the hospital.


I'm going to assume she's at the hospital with my sister. Go there first.


Maybe your cutie mark should have been prophecies. Or common sense. You do find both of them there.
Your mother is holding hooves with your father, and as you enter, your sister, Cloud Mender, rushes to hug you.
"Oh, Skimmy… I came back home as soon as I could!"


Hug her back.
"I'm glad you're here… Are you two doing alright? Can I get you anything?"


"We're fine, I already got us some salads…"
You hear the voice of your father, raspy and weak.
"Why aren't you at work, son?"
Your mother immediately chides him.
"Trim, please!"


"I took two days off, don't worry. Somepony will take my place in the meantime."


He raises his brow.
"Why? You're not sick."


"I can't look after mom properly if I'm at work all day… besides, it's just two days."


"Bah… with that kind of work ethic, what will they think? Our whole family withdrawing for a week because some-"
He is interrupted by a coughing fit, and your sister canters to him.
"Dad, you shouldn't strain yourself!"


"I'm not going to be out there pushing clouds while my father is hurting and my mother is alone. The weather can wait, I want to be here for you guys."


"Rubbish, that's what this is. I'm fine."
He waves a hoof weakly.
Your mother looks in your general direction.
"Don't mind him, you know how stubborn he gets… I'm thankful you are here for us."


Give her a hug.

"I'll be right back."
I want to go find a doctor of this ward.


They all nod.
You find one easily, an older stallion with a greying short beard.


"Excuse me, do you have a moment? It's about one of the patients here on this ward…"


He turns to you with a comforting smile.
"Of course, who is it?"


"Cloud Trimmer. I'm his son."


He nods.
"Ah, I see. Just a second."
He walks over the reception desk to get some papers.
"What can I help you with?"


"What exactly is his condition? How serious is it?"


He looks grim.
"Very serious, I'm afraid. It appears he has malignant mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer. It affects his pleura, which might lead to much more serious respiratory problems. The problem is, this condition has been discovered in an already advanced state…"


"… Oh."
I gulp.
"What kind of… treatment can we expect?"


"We are doing everything we can, but there are no specialists here in Cloudsdale. We might need to send for a doctor from Canterlot, who will be able to help better. Surgery and advanced magical treatments are likely."


"And the chances of success…?"


He frowns.
"If you must know, I have to prepare you, they are not very good. Are you sure you want to hear it?"


"I do."


"If everything goes right, sixty percent. Realistically… twenty to thirty percent. Of course, these numbers might mean nothing, but it is hard and dangerous to treat this kind of cancer."


"Right… right… thank you for your time, doctor."


"Try not to worry. We are doing everything within our power to help your father, and this hospital has seen miracolous recoveries in the past."


I nod.
"Of course, I'm not going to lose hope. My father is very hardy."


"That he is."
He looks around, and lowers his voice.
"To be brutally honest, what he has would have killed a lesser stallion already."


"That doesn't really surprise me. I just wish we could have discovered it sooner."


"It can go without symptoms for a long time… but that doesn't make it easier to treat now."


"Well, thanks again doctor. I'll leave you to your work for now. I should spend some time with my family…"


He nods.
"You should. Your father is going to need his family. We are afraid one of the magical methods might give him a high fever in the next few days."


"I'll keep that in mind."
Back to the room with me.


You go back to your family.
Your sister seems to be arranging some of the stuff she and your mom brought to the hospital room, it seems. Clothes, towels and the like.


Stand next to her. Keep my voice low.
"so how are you really feeling?"


She speaks in a low voice too.
"Well… I cried my share already, so I'm holding up for now."


Put a hoof on her back.
"We'll get through this, Mendy. One way or the other. We have to stay strong for mom and dad, so I'm really glad you're here."


She takes a deep breath.
"Of course… of course, we will."
She sighs.
"I was just hoping to come home in better circumstances…"


"I know, I know. Just try not to let it eat away at you. You know how father will be if your grades drop because of this."


She shakes her head, and then chuckles.
"Oh, no, that's the last thing we would need to turn this into a real issue!"


"Have you heard anything from Cloud Quencher? Does he even know about all this?"


"Mom couldn't write the letter, so I did it for her. He will hear about it in the next few days, but you know his firepony duties are much more strict, it's like he is in the military… I'm not sure he can visit us this week."


"I know. Let's not make him worry him too much. We should probably drop by grandma's too soon…"


"She said she will bring lunch tomorrow. You should probably visit her and help her come here, mom and I will have to do some stuff… since this was all so sudden."


"Sure, sure. I can do that."


"Thanks. There's just so much to do…"
She finishes folding up the towels.
"It was nice of you to take care of mom too."


"Well I couldn't just leave her to herself. I feel awful for her, all this must be so hard on her."


"You shouldn't give dad all the credit, she is a tough mare too. No wonder they got married."


"I know she is but… as strong as they might be, they can't tackle everything on their own. That's why we're here."


"Oh, and… just in case, don't listen to dad. He might complain, but I bet he is grateful you are here."


"Oh I know he is."


Timeskip until visiting hours are over?


Yeah, that's for the best.


You spend some quality time with the ones you love.
When you are asked to leave, your mother puts a hoof on your shoulder.
"Son… thank you for being here for us. Your sister can take care of me now, so you don't need to come over, unless you want to."


"It's… fine mom. I'll stay with you guys."


She smiles and hugs you.
"Thank you."
Your sister helps her out and the three of you take off to your parent's place.


Should we timeskip further? Not sure what more I can do here?


You can skip to next morning.


Noooot sure what I can do then either. Skimmer is just going to take care of his mother and father for as long as he doesn't have work.


One day, your sister asks you to help your father eat his dinner. Your mother already went home to rest, she is exhausted. To make matters worse, it looks like your father has a fever… still you should get around to do that now.



That's worrying. Let's get it done.


Your father seems to be sweating and breathing heavily when you enter.
"Where is… your mother?"


"She's resting, dad. It's been a long day for her and we should make sure you get to eat something…"


He nods and sits up on the bed.
"Look at your old stallion, having to be fed like a toddler…"


"Being sick has a way of taking away some of your dignity."
Let me take his food and help him get some of it down.


You start helping him with the food. His hoof is shaking, so it's good he has someone to help. Between bites, he starts to talk.
"When I was younger, I knew this mare… she got a cutie mark to be a cook. Said she was going to be the best chef in Cloudsdale. Then she got troubles, with her lungs. Not like mine, but still."


"Bad things happen to good ponies, dad. You shouldn't worry too much about it. I know you're going to pull through this."


"For now. What about the year? And the one after that?"
He pushes the tray away from him and rests back on his bed.
"You are nowhere near to inherit the Factory… you didn't even get a cutie mark in it. None of you did."
He starts coughing.


"Dad… maybe you should stop worrying about the factory so much and start worrying about yourself and your family some more. I know it's important to you, but right now you need to let go for a while. Don't let it cloud your mind, things are rough enough for you already."


"How could I not think of it? That place is my destiny. My life, and not just mine, the life of your grandfather, and his father… that factory is my legacy, too. How could I not worry about it? What will ponies say?"
For a moment, it seems like he zones out, staring in front of himself.
"How will I be remembered?"


Put a hoof on his back.
"Dad, you're not going to die. You hear me? The fever is just upsetting your mind. You're going to pull through this whole treatment and be fine."


He looks at you.
"I'm not afraid about that… I'm afraid about you."
He lies his head down on his pillow.
"You… you must do better than I did."


I scoff.
"Are you saying you didn't do a good job? You ran the most important weather factory of Equestria for years on end. Mender is going to become a doctor in a few years and Quencher is already making all the difference by saving lives of ponies in need."


He starts breathing more heavily.
"When dad…. your grandfather started to get sick he had to give me the Factory… I had a cutie mark in it, I knew I was going to inherit, but it was so much. So much pressure, so many things to do, so many ponies looking at me for support."
You start tears forming at the edge of his eyes, slowly rolling down his cheeks.
"The first month was horrible. Mismatched clouds, stopped production, no weather warning, no schedules… I asked dad if he could help me and he said… he said…"
He pauses to sob, but you don't feel it would be appropriate to interrupt him. He gulps and fights some of his tears.
"He said 'You have a cutie mark in running the Factory and can't even handle your first month? Maybe we should just close it down and let the Everfree do the weather for Equestria."
He falls silent.


"But that didn't last. You got things back together through experience. Just because you have a cutie mark in something doesn't mean you're flawless at it… I'm a good flier, but I still crash every so often."


He snifles… it's so weird to see him like this.
He puts a hoof on your shoulder.
"You must… you must do better. You must do better than me."
He seems a bit out of it… and he is definitely burning up.


Gentle push him back down onto bed.
"You should rest, dad. You'll feel better soon…"


He nods, wiping his face with a hoof.
"Right… right…"
He is fast asleep in a few minutes…
You should probably head home. Maybe even drop by your own place, get some fresh clothes.


Yes I should… let's go to my own place to get refreshed.

Take a final long look at my dad before I leave the room, then take off.


He looks more peaceful now… maybe getting that off his chest, even if it was a bit feverish, did him some good.

You arrive at home in a short while.
Looks like you've got a few letters in your mailbox.


Check up on them. Probably a lot of bills.


You quickly run over them.
Advertising Junk.
An invitation to a surprise party for Corvette organized by Orange Crush.
More junk.
A letter from the Wonderbolts Academy.
Some more bills.
And a coupon for a free ice cream to a nearby ice cream parlor.



The Wonderbolts academy? And free ice cream?

Open up that letter!


It seems like it!
Apparently you can choose between vanilla, chocolate, marzipan and forest berries flavors!

The letter is official.
Dear Cloud Skimmer, blah blah, you skip most of it until you see it. You see that one line that might change everything.
It says the following:
Your application to the Wonderbolt Academy Basic Training has been accepted.



Smack the letter down onto the table with enough force to make it tremble.


Pick it back up again once I'm done patting myself on the back.

And keep reading. When does this start?


After your gleeful outburst you manage to contain your squee enough to keep reading.
Apparently, you will have to start in three weeks. The place is near Cloudsdale, but you doubt you'd have the time and energy to make trips home at the end of the day.



… This is such bad timing. I'll need to figure some things out. When's my next workout session with Corvette and Orange Crush?


Two days from now.
You already missed the last one.


Alright well… let's go get freshened up and head for Skyheart's. I haven't been able to keep up with anyone lately…


Curry and Felfire
You two are still trapped in this giant metal coffin/labyrinth that is the Equestrian Ironclad Warship.
You are deep in the belly of it, finding your way out with the help of Crimson Tides, the donkey jenny who was a security officer. You also found a mangled and badly hurt Captain Spliterproof at the Armory, who is now missing her tail (aside from the ear she lost on the island).
You set up a rope to burn later so you will be able to explode the armory, hopefully making a big enough bang to sink the ship.
However, the current situation you have to resolve now is what to do with the Doc you have found at the sides of one of the corridors, impaled on a sharp metal piece by the side of the corridor.

Felfire just moved closer to squeeze his hoof, to which he responed by a weak, wavering smile.
"I hope you'll be a happy pony one day, little one…"
But then he turns to Curry.
"I'm not sure how much longer I can stay lucid. I'm sorry, but I can't help with the rope…"
He glances at one of the many pistols you and the jenny are carrying.
"Just… give me one of those."


I'll look between the other two, and then hoof him a pistol, with one bullet.
"Watch over it while you can, Doc."


He was my favorite.
Wish I could make him not hurt.


You like him too much for the only way you know how to make ponies stop hurting, because then they feel nothing.
He is a nice unicorn…
"It's okay, kid… but you need to leave me. Before the voices come back and I do things I don't want to…"

His magic is too weak to hold onto it, so he just grabs it with a hoof.
The Captain kneels down beside him.
The Doc smiles weakly again.
"Do you… do you think I'll see her? In the afterlife?"
The captain pats shoulder.
"I know you will."
"Good… that's… good. Now get out of here… please."


Close my eyes and sit to the ground, squeezing his hoof with all I've got.
I know what Curry is gonna do…


I'll nod to his slumped form one last time, and then user the others away.
"We've got to go, little one. He is too wounded to carry."


He nods back at you, but you see his eyes are getting somewhat hazy…

The captain gives him one last look before going away with the jenny.

He squeezes back before giving you a small push, letting Curry usher you away.


I know what you will do! NO!"


"Little one, this is his choice. I do not have the power to save him, wounded as he is. I wish I did, believe me, but I don't. The best I can do is save you and the others."
I'll pause a moment.
"I'm sorry. But we have to leave him behind."


Keep close to doc as tears stream down my face.
"I want to be with him when you do it…"


The others are slowly moving forward.
The Doc coughs.
"Please… you don't need… to see this, kid."


"I am not going to end his life, little one. I simply gave him the tool to do so."
I'll hunker down, and hug her for a quick moment.
"He knows you'll be with him here, in spirit. Just as he will be with you. But we need to live, and remember him, alright? That way, he'll never really die."
Float her up onto my back.
"Goodbye, Doc. Rest well."
And we'll head off at a brisk trot, to catch up with the others.


Bite my lips and hang my head low, after finally being pulled away from him.
Stay silent for a long time. Think about things.
Then, finally, ask Curry something.
"Wasn't he your friend?"


You catch up with the others.
Soon after, you hear a loud BANG echo through the corridor.

The donkey peeks out at a corner.
"Sorry about your friend, but we all need to focus, we are in the homestretch now. The next stairs can take us staright to the deck, from there we can run straight for your ship. Is that clear?"


"Yes, little one, he was. Is still. But there are hard facts of life that no power in the world can overturn. My not having enough strength to save his life is one of those facts. Us needing to get off this boat is another."
I'll sigh.
"There will be time for mourning later, little one, where we will properly remember him and pray for his peaceful rest. But we've got to escape first, and we can't do that if we're crying."
"As crystal. Hopefully the deck's still in one piece."


"Buck would have pulled the trigger for a f-"
Stop talking as soon as the Donkey comes into view.


"Good. Let's move."
She starts leading the way with the captain upstairs.
It's now or never!


Do the thing!
Hug Curry's neck.


"I am not Buck."
Let's do it.


Look away. In a way, I know that was the wrong thing to say.


You start running up! You see the door leading outside!
Suddenly, however, the captain almost trips, the rope going limp in her hooves.
"No, damnit, no! Something or someone just cut it!"
The jenny readies her weapon.
"Seems like we have bigger problems than that!"
She points outside with her gun aimed.

It's kind of hard to see, it is unnaturally dark out…


Protect on Felfire.
Raise my own weapons.


It's her again..

Look around, worried and alert.

Roll #1 6 = 6


You have quite a few, but not even sure how to use half of them.
You make sure to keep an eye on Felfire as you step out though.

The dagger whispers to you
Let her come
You stick close to Curry

As the four of you step out to the deck, you see why it is so dark out. Above the ship and it's surroundings, a black, unnatural storm is brewing, the eye of the storm swirling around right above the Ironclad.
In front of you, about the half of the deck, you see six of the crazies, all armed and ready. The large stallion with the pickaxe on his tail, who also killed the captain, in the middle.

Above them, the banshee, floating and casting whatever spell she is casting right now.


I'll stick with what I know. Spear for now.
"Where is she, little one?"


That's a bit more than what a kid should take all at once!
Point to the empty air above them, jaw hanging open, trying to let out words.


"Up there, then? Alright, you keep an eye on her, and I'll handle the ones I can see, okay? Focus."


"C-curry please…"
Squeeze his neck closer, whispering into his ear in a sudden moment of lucidity.
"Don't die."


"They'll need more than this to pull that off, little one."
I hope.


Surprising all three except Felfire, who could see her already, the banshee becomes visible! It looks like she finished casting her spell…
And she lets out a screech, gazing at Felfire, transfixing her and sending her in some sort of trance!

Meanwhile, two of the crazies start creeping closer. When Crimson takes a shot, one of the unicorns at the back lights up his horn, deflecting the bullet.

The Banshee stops for a moment with her magic, then lets out a terrifying scream!

The next thing you know, you are alone… you are in some sort of dark void… you are scared, lonely, you-
She wants my power. She is unworthy. You are stronger than her. You will kill her.
It's the dagger! You don't know how, but it is the only thing you have left on you! When you grab it, you can see the immediate area near you, like the arena the raiders used to make!
And now you can see the ghosts too, floating there at a small distance, swinging left and right in the air…
Follow my lead. Use my power. Do not be intimidated by her.
Looks like it's going to go down between you and her…


Breathe heavily, quickly, fear and flight instincts going to my head.
Listen to the one thing I know, and answer the voice's call.


Well, that's new.
Nothing ventured, nothing gained, though, so I'll use my magic to propel the spear I've got out up and into the banshee. '1d10'

Roll #1 9 = 9


Four of them are going to charge you screaming. Only one is real. Use me to stab the second one from the right.
And indeed, you see four of the screaming banshees charging at you head on!

It's visible, but it's still a ghost. The spear flows straight through her as she keeps transfixing Felfire. One of the crazies thinks this is a nice occasion to charge you, since you are focusing on the spear, but she stumbles to your legs in a bloody heap as the Captain fires one of the rifles she salvaged at her.


Well, it was worth a shot. Bring the spear back down, aided by gravity, into that unicorn that deflected the bullet earlier. '1d10'

Roll #1 8 = 8


Let them come closer… Closer…
Take a step back, just because I'm damn about to piss myself and then-

Stab the real one!

Roll #1 5 = 5


He anticipates it incoming, and manages to sidestep, but it distracts him long enough for Crimson to shoot a mutiliated pegasus.
You see the Captain taking a few defensive steps back as the bigass stallion starts moving towards you, his tail-pickaxe scraping against the deck. He also has a huge piece of what seems like was a door as a shield.

Maybe you did, you cannot know for sure.
Still, you extend your little hoofsie and stab the thing… for a terrifying moment nothing happens, but then the Banshee screams, in Anguish this time.
It disappears in a flash, only to reappear in the distance.
She is going to conjure some apparation to help her. Useless. Weak. It is nothing compared to what you can do. Think of the scariest being you can imagine and focus that image on me.


Well, dragging that axe can't be any good, let's magic it off the ground… and into his back. '1d10'

Roll #1 6 = 6


"I d-don't want to!"
Who would ever want to think of a tri-headed mixture of Buck, Bluntstone and Curry?
Stupid dagger for making me think of it!


He realizes what you are doing midway through and bucks his hindlegs in the air to distrupt your magic, but you still manage to wound his flank with it.
However, you are distracted by the Captain.
"Shit, we got company back here! Two of them just came out from the ship!"

You stop un-thinking it, but you can't.
You see two horrible red eyes glowing on the ground in front of you, soon splitting into six…
Out of the darkess rises a black equine demon, tall and nimble, yet strong and imposing… the left head bare, the middle bearing a horn while the right one has antlers.

The banshee, floating behind her meager little ghostly soldiers in some weird oriental armor looks worried.
Command it to attack. To annihilate.


But I cannot command it. Those are my worse fears. There is nothing but primordial pain inside my soul right now, like the screaming echo of a crowd before the slaughter.
I can't think. In my head, only the primordial instinct to survive.


"I'll try and distract the ones in front, then!"
Whip out another spear, and… have an idea. There's probably a shitton of kelp or barnacles on this tub. Let's make them grow. Miracle grow '1d10'

Roll #1 9 = 9


You start panicking! You want out of here, you want to leave, you want to-
The dagger is picking up on your state, giving you a small jolt of pain.

The captain falls back to deal with the ponies trying to flank you.
In the meantime, your horn glows up, letting all the nature that has been growing on the ship since it has been abandoned! It's working!


In panicked desperation, shout my command.


Grow and grow, and make life hell for those poor undead bastards.
Should I be rolling again, or is this just a matter of focus?


The dark apparation listens, and starts charging, his horn and antlers glowing with a sickly green light, tearing through the forces of the Banshee with ease, even impaling her onto its horn while the antlers destroy the remaining ghosts!
It screams again, and your vision darkens…

By the time you wake again, you are still in the void plane, but the apparations are all gone.
The banshee seems to be hurt, casting some weird spell.
Don't let her finish.

Just focus.
Technically, they are all alive, just mind controlled by the undead ghosts.
The ghost, that you can hear, screams in anguish, so Felfire must be doing something right!
Your miracle growth starts bogging down and trapping the crazies, letting Crimson pick them off with her rifles until only the unicorn and the beefy stallion remains. THe unicorn uses his own magic to make all life shrivel and die around him, while the other uses brute strenght to get out… at least you thinned their numbers.
From behind, you hear the captain grunt, then a mare scream… looks like she halved the number of your foes too.


Good. At any rate, while that unicorn is distracted, I'll hurl the spear I have with brute force, hoping he's too distracted by the plants. '1d10'

Roll #1 8 = 8


Charge it. I want to end this, I want to run!
I can do it if only I stab her! Stab her in the eye, like mother kills!

Roll #1 4 = 4


He succesfully managed to kill your plants, yes, but gurgles on his own blood as one of your spare spears get embed deep in his throat.
However, you get a painful surprise as the cold metal shield of the big guy smacks you in the face. You think you feel a tooth go loose…

Sadly, your mother was much taller than you and thus better at eye-stabbing.
You charge at it, but she quickly floats out of your reach, screaming at you, amplified with her dark magic, halting you to a painful stop!


Tumble away, holding the dagger as close as possible in my wing.
Just give up, I can't help going through the motions.
Again, charge blindly into the monster, only listening to the voice's whispers as my guide.

Roll #1 9 = 9


I can deal with that, since that unicorn isn't going to be casting spells anytime soon. Shake my head, and pull out the sword I took from the armory.
Begin to circle the shield-user and strike at any openings I find. '1d10'

Roll #1 9 = 9


You charge at it, but with it floating and you on the ground you don't see much chance… until you feel yourself lifted off from the ground!
You glance back, only to see your wings have transformed into mangled, demonic, black leathery…things, letting you leap in the air, leaving a deep gash in the Banshee.
When you land, your wings are back to their normal, broken state, but the Banshee is busy trying to escape now!

You begin circling the sword in a brave offensive, leaving several deep cuts in his side, neck and flanks! Easy!
Until he headbutts you, sending you reeling… holy shit, he is much tougher than he looks!
But at least he is bleeding now!
Worryingly though, you don't see the Captain anywhere, and the donkey is struggling with the last of the other crazies who came from inside the ship after you.


A normal filly would need years to recover.
I will push that for when I've killed the thing off.
Murder it.
Cut away limb from limb.
Slice it into cubes.

Roll #1 10 = 10


The Captain can take care of herself. She's gotten out of stickier spots than this.
Hurl my sword into the nutjob struggling with the donkey. '1d10'

Roll #1 5 = 5


Your mother would be proud if she could see you right now.
You dive on the ghost, slashing away at it with the dagger, and instead of stabbing like it is meant to be used, you hack the banshee into pieces, unfazed by her screams and screeches.
The magical weapon makes short work of her.
You can't even finish her properly before you wake up in the real world, and can see her scream and slowly disappear.

You hurl your sword but just nearly miss the donkey. Thankfully, she isn't hurt by your recklessness, but is still locked in combat.

Suddenly, you hear the banshee scream and her ghostly form slowly starts to break away into pieces… worryingly though, this is just making the storm worse.
The distraction is the perfect time to strike down the last crazy though.


Swallow a dry and heavy gulp of nothing, which gets promptly stuck in my throat.
Stare around, putting the dagger away. If Curry were to see it…


Heave with my mighty thews and bodily lift the shield-bearer and chuck him as far as I can. '1d10'
Hopefully he'll land on his tailspike.

Roll #1 4 = 4


It's a great plan, except he's probably twice the mass of a pony as you are.
You struggle around his body for a while before he spins around, whacking you in the face with his shield first then, stabbing your shoulder with his pickaxe as he swings around.

Your nerves are on fire!
You quickly put your weapon away, but thankfully Curry is being too busy beaten the shit up by the large stallion to notice!


Use his own weight against him. That's basic. '1d10'

Roll #1 2 = 2


Start singing "don't lose your" way to pump Curry up.
Or don't, since that'd be silly.

Jump forth. I'm still high off the same rage which led me to tear into a banshee with little but my own hooves. I can do this.
Run onto the monster-stallion and stab it at the heel!

Roll #1 8 = 8


He doesn't just jump at you, he actually uses tactics on how to hit you with his shield and tail!
The latter, especially painful, as you feel the cold metal pick stick into your side.

While he is busy impaling Curry, you dash at it between the legs and stab his leg… and surprisingly enough, you manage to hit something important, as he lets out a pained grunt and his legs buckle!
He is an open target to finish for Curry now!

You hear the weakened, pale, and as much hurt as all of you donkey scream as her assailant bites into her shoulder, followed by a bang as the crazy is put down by her for good.
Only the big guy left!


Well, I don't have anything on-hoof, so I'll just have to improvise. Grab his tail-pick, and jam it through his skull. '1d10'

Roll #1 6 = 6


I will go stumbling back, away from the big guy.


Felfire scoots away, just in time for Curry to yank the pickaxe from his side and dive onto the stallion with it, making quite the mess with some disgusting sounds as it enters the skull of the last crazy through his skull.

Woohoo! They are all dead!
No time for celebration though, the donkey hobbles along.
"I don't know what you did to that ghost, kid, but since it died this storm is looking worse and worse! We need to get to that ship of yours!"

That's all well and good, but you don't see the captain anywhere!


Look pretty seriously scared, but nod along.
W-wait, where is the captain? Scurry all over the deck looking for her!


"Where's the captain?!"
I'll blanch.
"No, she wouldn't have… That stupid mare!"
I'll look at Felfire.
"Little one, get back to the ship. I'm going to try and stop our captain from doing something incredibly stupid."
Bolt back inside the ship, following the now-severed rope.



Roll #1 7 = 7


"N-no! Then I… All alone!"


Nowhere! She is nowhere! Not even a dead body! She is not here!

You are stopped as the donkey extends her gun in front of you to bring you to a halt.
"There is no time! You go back in there you die!"


"I'll come back! Be brave!"


Grit my teeth as I'm brought up short.
"So I'm just supposed to abandon her? Every second we argue is one where she runs to the gunpowder."


Nuh-uh, I'm going after him!
But quiet quiet.

Roll #1 1 = 1


"You think you'd get before her with her headstart!"
She pushes you. It's not that big of a push, considering she is considerably weakened and fatigued.
"Move! Both of you!"

You're not going anywhere.
Especially after the donkey bites your mane to grab you and fling you on her back, going to the ladder!


Okay, to that I will not react. I'm too paralyzed by the sudden touch.


Gather the spears and sword I chucked around during the fight, and book it to the boat.
This is going to guilt me for quite some time.


As you near the ledge, you see the native and Angler both on deck on high alert with weapons out.
The donkey seems… insulted almost.
"THIS is your ship?!"
Still she wastes no time and jumps double times it down to the deck.
"Curry, the ropes! You, helmspony, get ready to disengage!"
He seems to be offended.
"Where is the captain?!"


Scream, eyes full of rage, tiny mangled wings almost flaring out in anger.


"She's blowing up this giant metal tub! It was full of zombies!"
Once on board, I'll slash one of the ropes with my sword, but hesitate on the other one.
Maybe… maybe the captain could make it?



"W-What? No! No, she can't be! Are you sure?!"
He starts freaking out!

The donkey notices your hesitation.
"If you keep hesitating we are all dead!"
Angler stomps his hoof.
"I am not going anywhere without Splinterproof!"
The donkey draws a rifle on him.
"As an officer of the Equestrian Navy, I am now commandeering this ship! Non-compliance will result in severe consequences! Now disengage this ship!"


I'm sorry, Splinterproof.
Cut the second line, leave the sword embedded in the siderail.


Damn you. Damn you all to hell.


With the lines cut and Angler at the wheel, the ship slowly starts to make distance from the metal coffin, the storm above it getting worse and worse, striking lightining near both ships and crashing giant, relentless waves against the sides of the boat.
You're just starting to make distance when Buangan, the native grabs your attention.
"Look! Up there! Look!"
At the edge of the railing you see the Captain! She is looking at the ship as it is starting to make distance!
When Angler notices, he starts turning the wheel, but before he can steer the ship back, he is knocked out by a powerful smack with the butt of a rifle from Crimson, who takes the helm. "I am not going to risk all these lives for one, I'm sorry!"

You all hear a deep rumbling from inside the ironclad.
At the same time, the captain takes a few step backs, disappearing from your line of sight.


She can jump
She could die, but at least it's not a sure thing!


Like fuck she does, pick her up with magic. '1d10'

Roll #1 7 = 7


You can't use your magic as she disappears… but as Felfire concluded, she only stepped back to gain some ground.
You see her jump over the railing and Curry manages to give her a boost with magic!

Not a moment later, the ship breaks into two.

The explosion going off in the armory sends a wave of energy in all directions, spreading through the Ironclad hard and fast, lifting the bow and the port of the ship in the air at the same time.
More worringly however, the explosion broke of a LOT of the ships interior and propelled it up into the air as deadly flak on their way down…
Crimson yells.
It's happening too fast, but Curry can see she means to stop the giant metal rubble that's flying your way from crushing the ship!


Ah. Shit. Focus everything I've got left in deflecting the incoming rubble. '1d10'

Roll #1 4 = 4


I think I count as everyone else!

Roll #1 4 = 4


That means you have to drop the captain from her glide, but even your drained magic can only do so much. You push the larger pieces away, but little sharpnel rain down, grazing your cheeks and flanks.

You zig-zag around on the deck, but it's no use, you feel something hot and sharp stick riht into your neck! It draws blood!
The native lets out a scream as she is peppered with the small pieces too… only Angler seems to be safe, as the donkey jumped on his passed out form to shield him.


Rip sails.
Jerk my head around, as if trying to get the rubble which land on me to fall off!


"Someone, throw a rope out to the captain!"
My legs will give out.
"Little one, are you alright?"


No time to answer!

I scram for a rope!

Roll #1 1 = 1


The sails gets pretty fucked up allright.

You shake yourself but nothing happens, the pain is there to stay!

As the hail stops and the ship slowly makes it's way from the burning, sinking metal tub, you collapse.
You see the native scamper for rope which the donkey quickly grabs in her mouth and dives into the water with.





"Little one, come here. Let me see what's hurting you."


You start rolling around on the ground! It does very little to soothe the pain in your neck.

You hear a splash and a thud as the captain is brought back onto the deck by the pegasus and the donkey… although she doesn't seem to be breathing.



Lone Mesa
You were investigating the strange emptyness of the trading town Fairbank, and why the streets were silent aside from a few ponies with their guns watching over them. The Sherrif is gone to somewhere, and you managed to track down a captive warg, a viscious, disgusting carnivore. Still, since he was your only lead, you had to get a pig for it, which you did, by trusting your dog, Rocky, to stay behind with the farmer in exchange. The moment you let the warg loose, it tore the poor pig apart, devouring it piece by piece.

Still, it gave you the information you needed. His master meets with others every night in some nearby abandoned mines, and tonight is special, as even the master of his master is going to be there.


Oh boy, is he gonna lead me there?


He seems a tad preoccupied at the moment.
You could always just ask the bloodthirsty canine twice your size, between the bites, if he will.


"What are you gonna do now?"


He just growls at you first, but then licks some of the blood off his fangs.
"Run, go hide in desert. Wait for Master call."


"Good. Don't show yourself in town."


"No town. Sky is death there."
He keeps on munching!

If you want to be at the abandoned mines (not to be confused with the Witchita abandoned mining town, which is a known, dangerous bandit hideout) you might want to start off soon, before it gets dark.


Time to go.
I must find out what's going on here.


You leave him behind and set off into the desert.

It feels much more lonely this time.

The sun is slowly starting to set in front of you as you head east. You see the occasional skeleton, bleaching in the sun buried in the sand, or some small scorpions resting in the shade of rocks. You can see the outlines of the mines now. There is not much cover here, but with a small detour, you could hide behind the rocks that remained from the quarry to get closer unseen.


>tfw 0doge

I have time, the meeting is only later, so I'd be a fool to not go for cover!


It's a feel that will require tremendous amounts of whiskey and cigars to cope with.

You circle around, and by the time you get to the mine, you are well hidden. You can see guards at the main enterance, both of them ponies. The stallion is armed with a high-power rifle, placed on his saddle, while the mare seems to have a lot of small knives. The stallion is watching attentively, while the mare is playing around with a small scorpion she caught.
Both of them wear some lightweight, black armor. Mercenaries?

You'll need to find another way in, unless you want to risk them raising an alarm.


Hmmm, there can often be other entrances to mines, only problem is if they're safe to enter

Search around sneakily '1d10'

Roll #1 7 = 7


You'll just have to find out for yourself.
You manage to keep a low profile and find another enterance. From the looks of it, it leads to the same shaft as the other, but this one has been closed down even before the whole thing was left behind.


Inspect it without going in yet.
Any spider nests, snake pits, coyote lairs, dangerous hanging rocks? '1d10'

Roll #1 5 = 5


None of the above.
Just darkness, narrow paths, and some omnious, who-knows-how-deep chasms you'll need to avoid.


Time to go in!
I sure wish I hadn't drunk earlier.


Your motor skills are not impaired.

Still, every now and then you feel rocks slip out under from your hoof to somewhere, which is not very comforting in the dark.


I wish I brought a torch.
Mental Memo: bring a lighter next time


You mentally jot down never to leave to the mines without a light.
Or at least a lit cigarette.
Still, the air is changing, and you think you feel a draft… yes, there it is! You see a passage opening up to the main shaft!


Oh boy, keep crawling, but don't go in the main shaft yet, take a look first


Seems like the main shaft is actually under you! This path lead to a rocky walkway that is running pararell to it above. You can look down to there and move around unseen!
You also see lights, signs that this place is indeed in use, but no ponies. Maybe if you head deeper.


Oh my, this is fortunate.
I'd drink on it, if my flask wasn't empty.
Crawl further down.
Any ponies or other things?


You crawl down along. You pass two oblivious pony guards who are a level below you to arrive at a larger chamber. There are tents, tables and whatnot set up here! The middle table seems to be the most interesting, as it resembles a tactical map, complete with little markers for different troops, although you can't make out the details from up here. A unicorn mare is sitting next to it, arranging something with her magic.
What also catches your attention, is the HUGE diamond dog standing next to one of the tents, as if he was waiting. He has a spiked collar, as well as thick chainlinks wrapped around his wrists. He only wears pants, which makes the various scars on his chest and arms very visible - bite marks, scratch marks, bulletholes, stab wounds…
If you had to guess, you are probably seeing the master of the wargs here.


Any wargs around that I can see?


At the far behind of the chamber, you see two of them fighting each other over some bones which look awfully pony shaped.
If they were to get under you, they might catch your scent, but it's unlikely they would from the other side while they are distracted.


In that case, I better move on before they get tired


The outcrop you are using does not exted over to the rest of the paths.
Which doesn't seem to matter, since they aren't lit.


Too bad, move further, is there anywhere I can see again?


You find a little ledge that looks over the whole chamber perfectly.


Hold myself close to the ground.
What's going on here?
Any leader looking guy?


As tough as the diamond dog looks, he seems… anxious.

The most leader looking is the unicorn arranging the table. You see a few chairs around it, so you guess that's where their special meeting is going to take place very soon.


Time to wait here.
Fuck, I forgot a bottle to pee in when necessary.


You could just take a leak over one of the rocks and pretend it's the rainwater dripping in.

You wait for a good while, but then there is a bright magical flash! When it is gone, a unicorn stallion, wearing similar armor as the mare, is standing in the chamber. He seems stern, taking a seat without saying a word. A while later, a pink pegasus with long, straight pinker mane walks in. She is wearing some very light combat dress and has a slim but long sword in a sheath by her side. She is whistling happily as she arrives.
"Hey there, dumbos! Why the long faces? This isn't going to be an execution… as far as I know!"
She laughs then pops down in her seat.
There is still a chair left, even after the dog approaches and takes his place.


Hmmm, this is good.
Do I recognize any of them, from wanted posters or something?


You've heard about this pink pegasus, yes. Supposedly she was a serial killer in Manehatten who could cut through a dozen guards like carving a cake. She was jailed by Ranger number Twelve some years ago though.
She keeps happily chatting, but only the unicorn mare respons every now and then.


This is bad news.
Wait here, they must be waiting for somepony…


While you wait some more, you notice a weird… shimmer around the table. And a slight glow from the horn of the unicorn stallion. Some sort of magical forcefield maybe? You never saw any shielding spells that were so subtle.

Still, your musing is interrupted when three ponies enter the room, all pegasi. They are something else for sure.
All of them seem to be wearing some sort of black armor, that looks like the carapace of insects. It looks very light sa they seem no trouble moving in it, but you're pretty sure it's not just for show. You can see that they are all carrying various types of firearms on their saddles, but you can't see which is what exactly, because they are all on their left side and you can only see their right.
The armor even comes with a helmet, fitting with the rest of the armor perfectly. Instead of silts for looking out, they have pony eye-sized visions, some magical green crystal from the looks of it.
The leader of the trio who walks in the middle also has a giant emerald on her chest. Whoever is paying these guys must be in the 1% of Equestria.

The two sidekicks stay back while the middle pegasus approaches the table. She looks them over, then removes her helmet, revealing her green coat and short purple mane.
"This has to be the worst fucking forward camp I have ever fucking seen."


This must be the leader.
Black armor, how edgy.
Though I'm not much to talk with my black coat.

So I monologue inside my head.


Just like with your coat, it's probably not a paintjob, but the type of alloy they are using.
"So, come on, brief me, what's up? I got shit to do in Los Pegasus before I can come back here to deal with shit."
The unicorn stallion speaks up.
"We managed to stabilize things from Dodge to Appleloosa. Some of my covert operatives are working on ensuring that stays that way. The bandit raid of Appleloosa was a failure too. I'm not sure what they were thinking, sending that amount of ponies against two rangers."
The leader snickers.
"Fucking amateurs. What else?"
The unicorn mare speaks this time.
"Fairbank is still under their control. We couldn't mobilize much without raising some alarm bells from the nearby fort, who have no idea what's going on. The sherrif of the town is dead."
"Fuck… that's not good news."
"My wargs have been thinning out their messengers are trapping them in, but they are going to get reinforcments soon. We can't take it with just the hounds if someone doesn't take care of the Talons."
"Fucking bird-brained pidgeons shitting up everything wherever we go… What else?"


Huh, this is getting really interesting.
This purple-green pony seems to be a major player.
Do I know anything about her?


She seems very young, maybe in her mid-twenties even. You have no records of anypony like her. Maybe you can take a detour to Fort Buckanaan and spend some time catching up on the newest mercenary groups of the area.
The pink pegasus chimes in.
"I've got bad news, so don't freak out. I cut up that old fart down south, but I've heard some news about our friends at Mareen Valley. They all got wiped out by the Blood Riders. They got the train station."
"WHAT?! Those fucking idiots let them capture it?!"
Seems like that pissed her off a lot.


Blood Riders, does that ring a bell?


You've only heard the stories.
Their territories are so far down South at the Palomino Desert that their control reaches to Macintosh Hills, and even into the Badlands through the hills and mountains.

They are mostly earth ponies, strong enough to keep up with a flying pegasus even with their chariots and battlecarts attached.
However, you never heard they'd be involved in any gang wars of any sort, since they keep to themselves, mostly just being defensive and territorial.


This purple pony is stirring up some shit.
I need to find out more.
Keep listening.


She kicks the chair out of under herself.
"You bloody fucking idiots! With the rails they can send their fucking chariots everywhere! Lollipop, get a team and blow up as many teams as you can!"
The pink pegasus blows her a kiss then hurries away.

"You, pull in the wargs, all of them! I want them ready to move! You are going to get that train station back!"
"Right now? But I need meat, provisions, I need-"
He is cut in half by the glare by the mare as she cocks her gun and turns it towards him.
"I-I mean I will do it, right away, I will…" You can see the dog pull his tail between his legs, looking at the ground and even licking his lips in submission.
She just glares a moment more before softly speaking.
"Get the wargs ready, you're moving out now…. NOW! NOW NOW NOW!"
The large diamond dog whines and runs away, out of the mines, his two wargs quickly following him.


She certainly has a temper.
Hmmm, this train station, is there a train station in the Talon town?



You just finished 'delivering' the Unicat, which you couldn't, but at least you got the receipt signed, and now you have a kitten with a horn and magic too!

After meeting two goats in the forest, who also gave you a weird dream with their music which made you talk to yourself about your past and future, you are now back at the Pony Express HQ. Since you are rested you told your boss, Blue Collar, that you are going to get right back into it!

"Listen… you seem to be one of our best runners from what little you've done so far. Fast and efficient… but the only real delivery I have now is a bit… strange. It has a nice little hazard pay bonus in it. Are you interested?"


"I am always."


"It' spooky, really… let's go to my office, I'll give you the details."
He leads you to his office!
It is kept very nice, tidy and orderly.


"I do not get spooked."
Then I follow him in silence.


He sits down behind his desk.
"You might when you hear the full story. I've been pushing this delivery for a week now, and two ponies already refused to do it."
He sighs.
"Near Vanhoover, an artist by the name of Guerpone Weiss was making all kinds of art pieces - drawings, statues, so on. Supposedly, he died more than a decade ago, when he finished his last piece, a coffin made out of obsidian. The weird thing is, nobody ever saw his body, or any trace of where he could have disappeared. What is even weirder… is that the Pony Express was his source of all the things he needed, and we get requests for easels, paints, raw materials to this day."
He looks like his hoof is shaking, like he spooked himself.
"…The worst part is, every time we send someone, they either never come back, or when they do they are… changed. Not quite what they were before they left. And the locals at Vanhoover say that every time one of our ponies bring him something… a new piece of art shows up."


"How is this possible? He cannot pay if he is dead. Why answer the request?"


"The requests we get contain the payment. We just get these letters from him, with whatever he needs already paid! We would be breaking our own contracts if we didn't respond to them."
He lowers his voice.
"If it was up to me, I'd never risk any of your lives for it, but the higher ups demand it. Say it's got something to do with the company getting fined for not doing the work for something already paid for. We just cannot refuse, as dumb as it is. They say for all we know he might be just hiding, but he was almost ninety years old even back when he was still walking around the cit and not busy being a ghost or whatever!"


Retarded westerners.
"I will take the job."


Yes, stupid Equestrians. It cannot be a ghost, those don't even exist.
Unless it is an Onryō in which case you should be very concerned. But hey, it probably isn't, right?
"Good. Take very good care of yourself out there, okay? First sign of trouble, and don't be ashamed to run! I know that's what I'd do."
He opens a drawer and takes out a large envelope.
"This has the receipt in it, and the special brushes you need to deliver. The place is a large mansion, just northeast of Vanhoover. It's impossible to miss."


Take the receipt.
"Your problems will be gone soon, washed away like sandcastle during summer typhoon."


He looks slightly confused.
"Um… okay? Good luck out there!"


I bow in silence and take off to pick up the package.


It was in the same envelope with the brushes! They have a very fine, expensive looking wooden handle and the tip is made from the finest hair. Looks really fancy for some simple painting equipment.


Ok. I'm not stupid and I think this gajin I'm supposed to deliver to is some kind of an undead. I need some equipment for this, like a blessed weapon, wooden stakes or a silver dagger. There are so many packages here, so I'm gonna do something naughty and look for a package that belongs to the Equestrian church.

Roll #1 3 = 3


None out here, nothing you could pick up…
Although… you do remember the storage. The one you had to put something in, the one with all the stuff that never got delivered! You could grab something from there, none will be the wiser, and nopony will ever miss it!


I will check there.

Roll #1 8 = 8


You slip inside, closing the door behind you. You start looking through the shelves, lit only by a single dim light… Ah, there it is! You find a silver letter opener! It doesn't look much, but it's sharp as hell! You think you also saw some weirdly shaped bottle the last time you were here, it might have been holy water… do you want to go in deeper and look for it?


Yes I do. A blessed weapon would be great too.

Roll #1 9 = 9


You venture deeper and you indeed find the bottle! You were right, it's holy water! Not much, but it should be more than enough to weaken any undead! You also see outlines of a weapons rack, which must have something! That part of the storage is even darker… looks like the lights have gone out there.


The dark doesn't frighten me.

Roll #1 9 = 9


You are a grown pony, not scared of anything! You let your eyes adjust to the dim light and walk over… you start browsing the collection of weapons here… there is indeed a blessed weapon! It's a sickle belonging to some Lunar priestess! It's probably here because those moon religionists and their moon princess is not very popular, with her being banished and everything.
As you pick it up, you hear something crash behind you!


Substitute myself. I am a master of shadows!
Don't even acknowledge the crash, I'm just going to walk out of here.

Roll #1 5 = 5


You make a decoy of yourself, but you cannot not acknowledge the crash, since it's on the way out. You almost trip in something! It's… the same doll, shaped like a colt, that fell on top of you the last time you were here… only, it was in the other corner of the storage! Still, you shake it off and leg it outside!

You got the silver letter opener, the holy water and the blessed sickle!


Why can't these westerners deal with their stupid spirits messing around with everything, I thought they had paladins for this kind of stuff.
I need to go check on my cat before I fly to Vanhoover.


They lack the Neighpon work ethic, the lazy slackers!

You return to where you left her. She is sitting on a table, licking and cleaning one of her front paws.
Two of your co-workers seem very intruiged by her appearance!


"I need to fly to Vanhoover. Do you wish to come?"


She stops licking her paw and meows in accordance! That sounds like a yes!


"There may be undead."


She hisses loudly, but hops onto your back nevertheless!

She might be useful even, as some say cats can detect spirits ponies can't even see!


Then it is time to fly to Vanhoover.


It might take a day, with some bad winds maybe even two, so you get some supplies ready!
Will you fly straight for it, next to Smokey Mountain, or will you take a detour to avoid the extra heights and fly above the Unicorn Range instead?


I'll take a detour for safety.

Roll #1 4 = 4


It makes the trip a bit more lenghty, sadly.
Skip ahead until you arrive in Vanhoover?



The journey itself is mostly eventless, and you get there in a day and a half, arriving to the southern outskirts by early afternoon. The giant tower with the weird saucer thingy on top of it could be seen from far away, guiding you in the rifht direction! The weather is also considerably more cold up here, and you can occasionally see snow here or there already.
You were told the mansion is northeast of the city, but you might want to get some directions from someone in the city.


I'm going to get some directions to a fucking church first I'll tell you what. A city like this must have a couple yeah?


Of course! You find a nice Celestial church right away!

Just barge in?


Yes. No somersaults or backflips if that's what your wondering.


You walk in. There is no sermon in process at least. You see a very somber looking, old earth pony stallion at the altar. He is lighting some candles.


Approach said pony.


He turns around, and starts speaking, pronouncing everything surprisingly slowly.
"Bless you, eh. Can I help you?"


"I have questions. Questions about a mansion that belongs to a painter."


He looks concerned.
"Ooh. You're not talking about the mansion of old Guerpone, eh?"




"Some young ponies go there every so often, to see all the art, eh. Statues and paintings and sculptures, all aboot that. I say it's dangerous, eh, ponies sometimes disappear there."


"It's haunted isn't it?"


"No no. Some priest, paladins, even me went there, more than once over the years, you understand, eh? We tried anything we have against spirits and ghosts, but found nothing. Ponies keep disappearing too. And then the statues and paintings show up, all with the signature of Guerpone."


"He would be a hundred years old if he hadn't died."


"That wouldn't be impossible, eh, but where would he even get food and water? He hasn't been seen in more than a decade, and his mansion has been searched from cellar to attic, by unicorns too, to rule out secret passages. Nothing, eh."


"I have a delivery for him."


He gasps.
"That's no good, eh! You might go and disappear like the rest!"


"I have duty to do job. Get this signed."
Show the receipt.


He shakes his head.
"I don't think that is a good idea, eh. The delivery ponies disappear even more than those who just go to sightsee."


"They must go somewhere."


"You intend on finding out? You wouldn't be the first, eh. I can bless you in the name of the Sun and Celestia, but you'd better not go there if you want to see the Sun again, eh."


"I have a cat. Thank you for the information."


He murmurs something, probably a prayer for you.
"You are welcome, eh. Stay safe, and I wish you do return from that terrible place."


"Can you give me some directions?"


"There is a road behind the church, it goes straight out of town, eh. Follow that until you reach a maple orchard, then turn north, along the fences. You will find a path with a signs, when the mansion was still an open museum, eh."


"Ok, thank you."
Time to see our artistic ghost for ourselves!


You follow the directions, as instructed.
In just an hour or so, you are out of the city, and down the path that goes away from it. In another half an hour, you can already see the mansion.
There is no mistaking it - the large gardens before it are filled with abstract statues and scupltures.
The mansion itself is impressive too - not only is it large, as if it really was a museum building, but the architecture is very pretty too!

Too bad it's pretty run down.


Western architecture is still inferior to glorious Neighponese engineering. Go ahead and enter the garden.


Still, it is very pretty.
The sculptures are very varied, some pretty abstract, some just looking like ponies, some huge, some tiny, but all of them has some sort of plaque with the name of the piece near them.


Look at some of them.


There is a bust of a pony whose face looks like it's melting. It's titled 'Melanchony'.
The next one is called 'Puzzle' and depicts a pony skeleton, with each limb and body part being a different color.
Next to it is a sculpture called 'Wine Sofa'. It looks like a giant wine glass with a strange tilt in it, the red 'wine' being cushions… which seems weirdly intact and undamaged, even though this thing must have been here for years, out under the weather.
There is another sculpture called 'Stubborn Twins', and it's just two giant plants, their vines stretching outwards.


Weird as shit. I'm just gonna to go to the front door and look for a bell.


You leave behind the sculpture garden and approach the enterance.
You don't see any bells around, only a giant metal knocker.




Before you are even done with the third knock, the door veeeeeeery slowly starts to open by itself!


Push it open quicker then.
"Pony express!"


You can't, it's too big and heavy!
It reveals a large, dusty hall with cobwebs on the corners. The art pieces though, of which there are plenty, seem pristine. The hall is dominated by two things, a staircase leading upstairs, and a giant sculpture of a mare being held by a skeleton in regal clothing and a sword. The mare seems wooed. You can't quite make out the nameplate from this distance though. There are paintings on the walls too, and some other statues here and there. Multiple doors leading to other places as well!

Still, your voice echoes emptily. Will you enter?


Yes, check the nameplate first.


As you step inside, a haunting music starts playing… seemingly out of nowhere, but still sounding like it's coming from everywhere.
It's just enough so you don't hear the door slowly closing behind you as you approach…

This one is called 'Tryst After Death'.


"Helloooo? Pony express checking iiiiiin!"


The music keeps on playing, but there is no answer.


Fly over the stairs to the next floor, I'm not touching those.


You hover above the stairs. There is a large frame for a painting here, but whatever was in it is missing, and the name is scratched off.

From here you can head either left or right.


Go right.
"Pony expreeeeeeess!"


To the right, you find a long corridor.
On the sides of it are bare ponequins and headless statues, standing by the left and right walls. The plaque that describes them calls them 'Death of the Individual'.
Proceed down this corridor?


Ew. Follow the corridor.


There is a series of paintings too, called 'Bashful Glance'.
It's the same face of a pony over and over again, but as you walk, his eyes seem to be following you…


Pervert. Pay no heed and walk on! "Pony express!"


No response… this calling out is starting to feel futile.
You enter a room. It has a single door. Next to it is a painting titled 'Lady in Red'. It has the upper body of a red mare on it.


Search the room, look behind the painting and everything.

Roll #1 9 = 9


You search the room for a while and find nothing, but when you lift the painting, there it is! A silver key!
You have to take the painting off the wall completely to get to it though.


Just do it.


You take it off and put it down beside you.
As you take the key, you feel something grasping at your hindleg though…
The 'Lady in Red' has emerged halfway from her frame, and is trying to grab you!


Tumble into her like mighty sumo wrestler! I'm going to chokeslam this bitch!

Roll #1 6 + 2 = 8


You kick her back and get behind her, between her front body and her frame, and start choking her!
Sadly, you come to realize, she is a painting and does not require air, so she keeps flaining!
You are still in control, but if she keeps that up, a lucky hit might hit you right in the face!


If she's a painting, she can be ripped. Rip and tear!

Roll #1 5 = 5


She can be! However, her body seems much more solid, almost as if she was real! You do manage to tear at the parts that connect her to the frame!

…but they quickly close back up, without a single sign of there ever being damage.

That might explain why all the art pieces look like new even after a decade.


Pull her out of the painting then, pull her with all my might!



Roll #1 1 = 1


You find out the hard way that she is inseperable.
The painting form of her, after all, was just the upper body, so it seems that's all she is. A torso, two forehooves and a head, attached to her weighty frame.
Trying to pull exposes you and gives her a chance to flip you over and throw you on your back. She quickly slams the edge of her frame into your belly, knocking the wind out of you, then starts strangling you with her hooves! Your only saving grace is your cat, who has been in the corridor chasing some bugs, coming here to investigate the ruckus and leaping at the Lady in Red with her claws, distracting her for the moment.


Tumbling my way out of helplessness. I want to pin her down again.

Roll #1 2 + 2 = 4


You are still trying to catch your breath after that hit, but with the help of the unicat, at least you manage to roll out of her grasp!


Get out that sickle I picked up and slash at her if I can actually do something this turn.

Roll #1 5 = 5


You can!
You roll backwards and get your sickle out in the same, fluid motion, slicing her up!
There is no blood, but she opens her mouth to a silent scream!

To your horror, however, just like the tearing, it starts to mend itself back.


Keep slashing!

Roll #1 1 = 1


You hack and slash and dice and slice but it's no use!
One swing goes awfully wrong, and the Lady in Red yanks your weapon from you, throwing it in the corner behind her!

..maybe it's time to consider running.


No. Tumble past her and pick my sickle back up.

Roll #1 2 + 2 = 4


The painting-pony plants her hooves firmly on the ground and spins around, whacking you in the face with her frame as you try.

You feel blood dripping out of your nose.


Jump away from her and put up a substitute.

Roll #1 9 = 9


You jump away and deploy a decoy of yourself.
This seems to work, the Lady in Red is distracted by it!


Go grab my sickle.


You have it again!
Problem is, now the painting is between you and the corridor/your cat.


This is why I have Tumble. Tumble past her!

Roll #1 7 + 2 = 9


You roll next to her and kick her in the face to give you a boost away! She seems disoriented.

Stay and fight or just run down the corridor?


I'm good to run now. Going back to the corridor the way I came and take the left passageway.


You run down the corridor as fast as you can, with your cat hanging onto your mane!
As you get to the end, you hear a scraping sound behind you. At a glance, you can see that all the ponequins and statues turned into your direction, but thankfully, they are not moving anymore.

They blocked the painting though!


There's nothing else on this floor?


There is the left side, just thought you'd like to know that happened behind you.

The other corridor is a lot less creepy, it's made to look like the starry sky, on the walls and the ceiling. It leads up to a small room, with a silver door in it.


Press open the door.


It's locked.

There is a tiny keyhole on it though.
And you do have a silver key.


Use the key on the door!


You open it up!
You also notice something…

There is plaque on the wall beside you, but nothing to go with it.
It ready 'Lady in Blue'.

The door opens up to an L shaped room.


Alright, what the fuck is in this room then?


Lone Mesa
Nope, there is not. This is one of the more desolate parts of the deserts and the south. There are traintracks to the north and south that are still in use though.


Hmmmm, what to do…..
Are they saying anything else?


The unicorn stallion has zapped away with his spell without another word.
With all the others mostly gone, it's only a few more ponies in the tents, the unicorn mare at the table, and the three pegasi in the carapace armors.
The leader looking one sighs.
"Useless fucking cunts, I have to do everything myself… what about the sheriff of this shithole?"
"They set up a puppet to keep the population in control. He's probably dead by now."
"Shit. That's not good."


Perk my ears.


You swivel your pony ears around to hear better.
"How will we proceed?"
"Fuck them all up. That guy was their only bargaining chip. If he is dead, nothing is keeping us from shooting the town up."


I've got to do something…


Yes, but what?


Maybe I can sabotage these guys somehow….


This doesn't seem to be their base of operations, or main strike force though, only a forward camp.
"Are you sure about this, ma'am? The wargs and the units of Lollipop just left for other missions, and we have reports of heavy bandit and Talon activity in town."
"I know. We are going to paint the town red. Fuck Los Pegasus, I'll deal with this first."


One Ranger can do little against a group like this.
Perhaps I should warn the townspeople and help them evacuate, while these two groups kill each other.


Now you know that all those armed ponies on the streets were all hostile though… maybe telling them to hunker down in their cellars might be easier to do.


Perhaps, time to sneaky sneak away the way I came


You leave the little camp behind, quickly making your way back to the dark passage. Remembering the little ledges and holes, you easily find yourself back at the enterance.
Now that you are outside, you hear something in the distance, from almost all directions.
A lot of it, each howl only slightly different, as if they were communicating something a pony can never hope to understand.
You guess those wargs really are getting rallied, and this is how they do it.


But they're not going to town, I can afford to wait here a bit


It's getting deep into the night by the time you hear the canine calls die down, only being a faint echo from the distance.
Moving out should be clear now.


Sneak, sneak back to town.


As usual, you see some lookouts, hanging out on the streets with rifles. They haven't caught sight of you yet. Things are deserted aside from their presence.


Sneak into one of the first homes I can see.


Through the windows or some back door or somehing.


You manage to slip in at the back door of a building that is on the edge of the town, the first one you see.

You see an old, wrinkled stallion sitting in the dark kitchen, contemplating whatever deep musings he must be thinking about, taking slow drags out of a small wooden pipe. He hasn't noticed you yet either.


Hold my hoof in front of my mouth to motion he should be silent.


He turns his head to you, his eyes glancing at your designation and recognizable ranger armor.
He takes another drag of his pipe and nods.


Sneak closer.
"Sir, I need you to take cover in your cellar. Things might get very dangerous soon in town."


He takes another puff.
"So I see. I'll tell my girls come dawn."
With how old he seems, he isn't surprised or even anxious. It's probably not the first time he was told what to do by a ranger either, it seems.


Wouldn't be surprised.
Time to sneak out and go from house to house.


You wake up some folks from their sleep, while others are still doing this and that in the dead of the night, the residents of one house even doing the dirty as you interrupt them to tell them to stay safe. Those who don't have cellars resolve to moving to the house of some neighbours.


Mmmmh, this is good.
Now…I want to get a good vista of the town.
…But if I get on the roof them Taloncucks will see me.
Is there some kind of tower in town? Like maybe a church tower I could sneak into?


The church tower is in the middle of town, sneaking there would be a tough nut to crack.

You could, however, try one of the two water towers on the edges of town, one north and one west.


Hmmm, water tower might be better for now. to the west!


You sneak down along the sides of walls, avoiding the main roads where bandits might be guarding the streets.
You reach the ladder at the side of the water tower in no time!


Look up, no hostiles? '1d10'

Roll #1 10 = 10


Looks like they forgot about this one, using the northern water tower instead. They probably thought that the west side was covered for them, as you've overheard.
The added bonus is that you can even see the top of the chuch tower and other water tank, without them being able to spot you.


Huehue, anyway lay back and rest, waiting for the metaphorical fireworks.


Kelani Rush

You just got rescued from a fire by a handsome pegasus firefighter. A fire you were in because you were retrieving one of the statues of Mother Nature you were looking for, namely, a phoenix one. Somehow, the statue activated, because the wings opened on it. The poor guy who was the previous owner is probably ashes now though.


I remember that fire.. and I need to find a way to relax.
"Did you say that you knew a place to get a drink?" I try with a smile and a cough from my ash covered body.


The pegasus chuckles.
"What you need is a medical check-up. I wouldn't suggest drinking now! We have some ponies on the way to take care of you as we speak!"


I cough a little "You're right. But I don't feel like I got too hurt. Just.." I stare at the building beside us, or what's left of it with fear.


"Don't worry, you are safe now."
He looks proud.
"Los Pegasus still holds the most ponies saved from fires title, after all."

In the distance, you see a tiny butterfly fluttering about… wait a second, that's the patterns of Mother Nature on it! You've heard of this, it's like her way of communicating!


I blink in amazement and get up to follow the butterfly, totally ignoring what the handsome firepony is saying.


He is saying "Hey, you should wait for the medics!" but doesn't stop you. Can't really force you to stay, after all.

The butterfly is flying towards a nearby line of trees.


Sorry handsome, I've got butterflies to chase.
Off in to those trees!


You can easily keep following it, never quite catching up, but never losing sight of it either. It soon sets down on a flower in the middle of a secluded grove.


I'll sit down across from the flower, watching the butterfly intently.


The butterlfy lifts off, and the flower moves, spraying some sort of pollen in your face!
For a moment, everything goes dark…

When you open your eyes, you find yourself in the middle of a different clearing. The sky looks… different, yet soothing. The last time you saw the sky like this was when…. when Mother Nature invited you to her realm!


I smile and breathe in deeply, taking in the sweet unique feeling of being here.
Trotting slowly around looking at everything and anything.



There is a lingering sweet scent of flowers and leaves, just strong enough to be felt but not enough to be irritating. The grass below your hooves is soft to the touch, tickling and caressing your leg as you walk by. The top of the trees sway in a gentle breeze, making the leaves sound like they were whispering in a hushed tone. You hear beautiful birdsongs from the distance, one answering the other.
You don't have to walk much to reach a shallow pond, the water a crystal clear blue. It almost calls to you, inviting you to go inside.


A nice swim could be relaxing.
This place is so peaceful, I can't imagine anything bad happening.
I strip off anything I was wearing and step inside the water.


You just now notice you were naked already, so you step in. The water is not too deep, only reaching to the middle of your chest as you climb in.
Still, it is just the perfect warm temperature, and as soon as your weary and tired limbs come into contact with it, you feel relaxed, your wounds healing, your fur and lost feathers regrowing, the grime and soot disappearing without a trace, not even staining the clear water.


I paddle around in the water, laughing as happily as a foal. Nature is the best deity.
Circling around just once more before diving totally under and playfully jumping out as if I wanted to fly away, but instead just lay on my back floating in the water using my wings to steer myself.


You splish-splash around, playing in the pond as if you were just an eight year old little colt.
You frolick around for what seems like an eternity for you in this peaceful realms, when you hear an angelic voice.
"You seem content and happy here."
It's Her! Sitting at the edge of the pond!


I eagerly swim over and get out of the water to stand by her with adoring eyes.
"Yes. You've made.. A wonderful place. I couldn't imagine a way it could have been better.. until you arrived My Goddess."


She smiles a smile that warms your heart more than any mare alive could.
She stands in front of you, running one of her hooves over your mane.
"Accomplish your task, and your reward will be the right to stay with me here. Not forever for there is no such thing as past, present or future here. Time stands still eternal."
The possibility of living in this peaceful realm for a time longer than you can possibly even comprehend blows your mind… and she is offering it so freely and nicely for you!


My wings almost move on their own to slowly flutter up to her muzzle.
"I would do anything to stay just like this. With you." And I give her a truly passionate kiss like a love stricken stallion does when he sees his truest love.


You move closer to her and lean in for a kiss, which she reciprocates, but no matter how long it lasts, you feel it is over far too soon. She lets out a giggle, playful yet at the same time elegant.
"I can see that you are eager, but now is not the time yet, Kelani. You need to awaken the sleeping. Just like you did with the phoenix."


I slowly realize what she's saying and sit down on the ground with a frown.
"But.. the phoenix.. that pony died. Do you require sacrifices to wake these statues?"


She nods.
"Each statue requires a different sacrifice. The phoenix could only awaken if something is burned in its presence, but it need not have been a pony. In the eyes of Nature, all death are equal."


"I see.. How will I know what a statute needs to awaken? What does it do for them?"


"The statues will grant their powers to those who awakened them. How to do it is something I cannot tell you, Kelani.
You must discover their secrets on your own."


I shutter thinking back to the fire again.
"…Then why did the Phoenix grant me the power when it was that pony who burned himself for it?"


Mother Nature smiles, calming your troubled mind, making you forget of all those nasty things in the past.
"He was not worthy."


I sigh rubbing against her slightly.
"Of course. I'll figure out how to gain their powers. Its worth it to help you."


"I am counting on you, Kelani."
She gives you another kiss, not passionate this time, but on your cheek, as a mother would to her foal.

You come to your senses back in the little grove, near Los Pegasus, in Equestria.


Frowning with disappointment at the grass and sky, so much less vibrant and perfect than the place I was just at, and check over myself holding the phoenix statue again.


You do have it on you, and it still has its wings spread wide.
You also notice that your body has healed entirely. You feel even more fit and virile, even!


"Poor medics. They won't get to examine me. I've heard they can be really cute too.." I sigh and poke the statue's wings a little.


It's, as you'd guess, stone solid.
You're not sure how it moved like that.


Perhaps I should store this one away before I go look for clues..
Maybe my friend will have an idea how to awaken the ones I already found too.
Unless I have to do something urgent here that I forgot..


You don't recall anything of too much importance…
Or maybe the idea of helping Mother Nature outweights everything.


Yea. Nothing is more important than helping Mother Nature.
I'll get to flying right away.


Back to the grumpy old nature-lover stallion?


Yep. That's right.


It takes a while, but you lose track of time, your mind still filled with the images and sensations of that other realm.

Before you even know it, it's the middle of the night and you have arrived!


He gave me a key I think.
I'll use it to unlock the door and go inside.


You enter the house.
It's as puritan as ever. Dark too, since it's the middle of the night. You hear the faint sound of heavy breathing from one of the rooms. Looks like he is asleep.


I should feel tired too, after flying all that way.
But first I should make sure no one followed me. Look out the window for a good five minutes.


The sky is dark and unmoving aside from the swaying of trees.


Now I can stash the phoenix and check on the rabbit statue.


You move the floorboard to put away the phoenix.
You also check your other statue.
It looks like a rabbit, with its head to the ground and ears flapped down.


I pet the statue silently thinking of what its secret might be.
I'll even take it into bed with me and meditate on that, after putting the trap door back of course.


You meditate… rabbits… rabbits like carrots… carrots are tasty… hmm… you are sort of hungry…

Then you fall asleep.

Maybe meditation is not best practiced after a long day of adventures and flying!

You wake up in the morning. You see a small plate with a salad on it by the bed.


I sniff the salad and try a bite of it.
Try putting a leaf on the rabbit too.


The salad is very deliscious.
Home grown!
You also put a green leaf on the rabbit, which is admittedly very amusing.

Not very effective though.


"Not hungry huh little thing?"
I chuckle and clean my plate before stretching and checking the time.


You have a hearty breakfast and stretch your limbs/wings.
It seems you slept in, it's nearly noon already!

You hear some sound coming from behind the house.


I bet its grumpy pants.
I'll go check it out.


Indeed it is him, Erdei, the large pony stallion.
It looks sort of funny, how he is holding a tiny trowel with his muzzle, weeding out his little garden of vegetables.


What a rude narrator. I'll look for a spare trowel to help out.

Roll #1 1 = 1


You should be glad I'm not ruder, you dumb featherbrained pegasus.

As you look for tools towards the shed you trip over a plank that was part of the fence, faceplant into the dirt, and as you try to stand up and regain your balance you accidentally step on a rake which hits you in the face.

Erdei looks up, shakes his head, and continues weeding.


"Owch." I rub my head and back away from the evil rakes.


You step away from these tools of the devil.
"Never held the handle of a tool in your life, did you?"
Well, that's not very nice of him to suggest, you helped your pa' out a lot when you weren't chasing tail!


"I'm just a bit tired is all. Old man. I can tend a proper garden."
Step up into the shed and look for a trowel. '1d10'

Roll #1 7 = 7


"Can you now?"
You find one easily, now that you don't hit yourself with any of the tools!


I go over to his side with the trowel in my wing.
"Yea, of course. Now lets see what you have left to do.." '1d10' identify the plants and weeds first off.

Roll #1 5 = 5


Well there's.. uh… actually, these don't look like the ones your father was planting at all. You can sort of make the weeds out, but you're not sure.
He looks up.
"These aren't just your regular plants. These ones were gifted to me by Mother Nature. Their seeds are special. Why do you think they are so tasty? Do you think you can handle them?"


"Alright. So, maybe I don't know about these plants. There are really rich and green and vibrant.." I sit down and stare at the garden with intense interest.


He points his trowel at the ground.
"See those tiny green vines? Those are the only thing we have to worry about. These plants can resist anything else."
He snorts.
"That one weed? It's pony made. They combined two other weeds when trying to come up how to get rid of them. Only made it worse. You can't do better than Mother Nature."


I nod with a smile at the sediment. "Of course, you can't beat perfection. So, just this little green vine? How deep are its roots?"


"What do you think the trowel is for?"
If your old stallion sass to Equestrian translator is working right, that means it needs a bit of digging to get out.


I quietly start working by his side to dig under the vines.
'1d10' rollin' to dig

Roll #1 5 = 5


You do so, but can't really find the roots of the vine…


Come on, Its got to be attached to the vine somewhere.

Roll #1 7 = 7


A-ha, there it is!
It's tricky, because the root isn't where the middle of the weed seems to be on top of the ground!


Tricky vines.
'1d10' pull the thing out.

Roll #1 5 = 5


It's stuck there! Maybe you can cut it a bit with the trowel?
"Need some help?"


"Just give me a moment." Pfft, I'm a stronk stallion. I can pull this.

Roll #1 10 = 10


You pull that weed out like it's nothing! In fact, the weed coming out lets you see the patterns the vines follow, and you quickly dig out five more.

Erdei stays silent for a bit, before nodding.
"Allright, that was nice. Thanks, for the help."


"It was nothing." I brush off the dirt from my hooves and look smug.
"Better than a rabbit could have done."


He stands up, putting his tool in a little saddlebag on his side.
"Rabbits don't garden."


"Nah, they're mostly know for making more of themselves." I snicker and put the tool I borrow back.


You put it back in the shed.
"That and outrunning wolves."
He closes the little fence around the garden.
"Also, for being little rascals. Have you ever had a pet rabbit?"


"Never had a pet at all actually. Not really sure why.."
I reply and follow him around the yard.


He starts organizing his tools, including the devil rake.
"Most of my rabbits were always nice, but in every bunch, there is just this one, this one rabbit who is meaner than a wolf."


"Really? A mean bunny? Did it steal your carrots?"


"If only. It knocked over things it didn't like, it was mean to the other rabbits, bossing them around, it wanted very specific food only… a nightmare."


"Wow. I never knew a rabbit could have such an assertive personality." I ponder the idea.
"The only stories I know about rabbits involve speed."


"That's true.
Nothing can get away from a hungry predator like a rabbit could."


"Hmm.. I'm puzzled by something actually. Maybe you can help. Did you see the phoenix?"


"No. What phoenix?"


"Come check it out." I make a sweeping motion with my wing and hurry to where we hid the statues.


He walks inside the house with you.
You uncover the floorboard.
He takes in a deep breath.
"It's been… a long time, since I saw more than one of these together."


"You've had them before? Did they ever. Move?"
I ask with curiosity.


"Not personally. I knew… somepony, who did."
He nods.
"They moved once. That's when they got lost. To protect Equestria from something terrible… but that was a very long time ago."


I shake my head.
"Not being moved from place to place. Changing their position.
Like.. unfolding wings."


He nods.
"I haven't seen any winged ones, but I mean things like that. I saw the turtle. It went back into its shell before it happened. Some… magic of the statues."


"I see.. any clue how it happened?"


"Many of the druids were called upon by Mother Nature. She said a great evil is going to rise from the North, something unnatural. Creatures from all over the world who were safekeeping the statues brought them, and performed a ritual, but it wasn't their magic, it was the statues itself who did it. Protected Nature, then disappeared."


"I see.. She wants me to awaken them.. So they must have used up their energy during that time."
I poke the Phoenix. "This one woke up because of a big fire.. took the life of a pony.."


He glances down at it.
"Your doing?"
His expression and tone is not judging you.


Shake my head again.
"No. I was just trying to get the statue from him.. I even tried to save him.. but.. He.." I shutter thinking about it and go quiet for a good minute.
"That's the way they wake up anyway, taking a life of some kind in a way related to them."


"Death and rebirth are part of what makes phoenixes so majestic. Maybe death is not what all the others need. I was never the one to know these things, not even back then. I was never a druid, like she was. I was just a simple pony. I wish I could tell you what to do.

I cannot."


I pat his shoulder and do my best confident smile.
"Yea. There are other kinds of sacrifice besides death. I'll figure this out."


"Good luck. Make Her proud."


Cloud Skimmer

Hard times await you soon. Your father is sick in hospital, but at the same time, you just recieved the letter of a lifetime, informing you about your admission to the Wonderbolts Academy, where your training can begin in three weeks!

You planned to head over to Skyheart, who is probably at home right now.


I think I'll make a detour first and head to my grandmother's.


You see her outside, filling a little wooden house with birdfeed.
You already see some colorful birds sitting on nearby clouds, waiting for her to finish so they can dig in.


Flap my wings and land so she can hear my approach.
"Hello nan."


She stops and turns to you with a smile.
"Well if it isn't my little boy paying these old bones a visit!"


Give her a hug.
"How are you doing?"


She hugs you back to the best of her abilities.
"Slow. Every day it takes me more and more time to get out of bed."


Does she even know what happened to dad?
"You're doing fine, nan. Should I help with that?"
Motion at the birdfeed.


She was informed, of course. Even visited him when she could.
"Oh, it's nothing, really, it's just the bags gets more and more heavy every day, you know!"
She chuckles.


I nod.
"Say… I actually wanted to ask you something. Just… some advice on how to deal with a situation I'm having."


"You know you can ask me no matter what it is!"
She smiles.
"Is it a mare? Tell me it's a mare!"
Always with the mares and marriage!


"Mmmm… that too in a sense. But it's not really a thing yet."
Get out the letter I got.
"Look at this, nan."


She unfurls her wing and takes out a tiny reading glass she keeps under it in a small glass/pen/bits harness, something you're pretty sure no one under 70 would wear.
She starts reading slowly, brightening up.
"I can't believe it! My little Skimmer is going to be a Wonderbolt! Just like you were telling me when you were little!"


I give her a small smile.
"Well, I'm invited to train to become one at least. That's only the first step of the process…"


She pats your shoulder.
"You were the colt who made thunder when he was six year old, this letter is as good as a badge and a uniform!"


I laugh.
"Well I'm glad to hear I have a fan already. Although… dad… I haven't told him yet. I doubt he'll approve since he wants me to continue the weather business."


She frowns.
"You know… your grandfather, bless his soul, he always complained to me. He told me every day while he lived that he never asked for the factory, that his father forced him into it, that he was meant to become something else… but I saw the pride in his eyes every succesful day, I saw how happy he truly was every year when the mayor shook his hooves, thanking him for keeping Cloudsdale running, and I saw how he wouldn't want to be anything else even if he was given the chance when the Princess honored him during a ceremony for the work this factory does for all of Equestria.
I see the same spark in your eyes, the same thing that was in his eyes… but it's not for the weather factory, even if your father might never admit that."


"I know, this is what I want. It's what I've wanted to do for as long as I can remember and I intend to see it through, but at the same time this has come at a terrible time with dad in the hospital and mom on her own."


"He might not understand, he was always stubborn, but you must tell him! You can only move forward after you did that."


I nod.
"You're right. It's just a matter of finding the right words. … Maybe I shouldn't overthink it too much."


"I know him like I know you. Just get straight to the point with him!"


"I think I will do that. Thanks nan."


Even as you talk, a few of the more impatient birds slowly start landing and cautiously pecking at the seeds behind her.
"If he is being a butt about it, just come back here so I can give him a good pep talk!"


I chuckle.
"Well, let's not be too harsh on him."


"He has no qualms being harsh with us!"


"He is feeling ill though."


She waves a hoof.
"Humbug. He's made of sterner stuff."


"We'll see how it goes. Say, would you mind a little family get-together sometime? When I'm going to this bootcamp, I won't be seeing you guys for a while…"


She brightens up.
"I can take care of the food!"


"I'll talk about it with the others, okay?"


She nods.
"You can count on me with it! Just warn me in advance so I can get everything set for a nice meal…"
You can see on her she is already weighting options on what delicious plate to make


"I'll leave you to it, nan. I've got to make some housecalls."


She nods.
"Off you go! And thank you so much for dropping by! You know how much it means to me to see you!"


I'll go see Skyheart now. Or Corvette. Whoever is closest.


Corvette is closer from here.
You arrive at her house in a matter of minutes


Knock knock.


No answer, but she should be home…


Knock more forcibly this time. I swear on me mum if she's banging in there again…


Knowing her, you'd hear her if she was.

She's still not opening it though!
She usually never closes the door either, knowing her.


Alright fuck it, I'm going in.


You go inside. You see her keys on the wall, so that means she is somewhere around here!


"Corvette? Are you showering?"


Still no response.
Go room by room or keep calling out?


Go room by room then. Goddamn.


You find her on her couch, sleeping.
You see some empty bottles of booze and unfinished snacks around her. She is snoring with her mouth - and legs, geeze, Corvette - wide open


Fucking hell.

Prod her with a hoof.
"I'm talking to you, sleeping beauty."


She lets out a loud snore, closing her legs as she gets startled up from sleep.
"Huh wha-?"


"What the heck have you been doing Corvette? Did you start binge drinking on your own last night?"


She looks very tired, blinking around.
"On my own? No… there was… uuugh."


"Aw gee, and they left without waking you up?"
I grin.


She sits up and rubs her eyes with a hoof.
"S-Shut up…"


"I'm just saying. Maybe you should pick your company better. Want me to fix you some breakfast?"


"Oh yeah… I've heard that before."
She lets out a cute little yawn.
"I'd be very grateful."


"These are the words of wisdom coming from an old friend."
Let's see what she has to work with in her kitchen. Probably shouldn't go for something too heavy.


Lot of snacks, the fridge is full of beer and wine… you do find enough stuff to make some small daisy sandwhiches though


"Corvette! You're a damn unhealthy slob you know that? No wonder you're slowing down!"
Make a bunch of them.


You prepare a healthy and tasty meal for both of you!
"I'm not slowing down, I'm just letting you have fun too!"


Give her a plate.
"Seriously. I hate to sound like your mother, but would it hurt to have some variety in your diet?"


She shrugs and starts chomping down.
"I go out to eat sometimes…"


"You're not a kid anymore, Corvette. Just a few more years like this and even my nan will outspeed you."


"Hey, I work out a lot, okay? I deserve some junk food!"


"Whatever. I'm not going to nag about it any further, okay?"


She nods, finishing up her plate.
She starts dusting off her tail from whatever was tangled in there during the night, you don't want to know.
"So, what's up? Haven't seen you since forever."


I sigh.
"Been tied up pretty bad lately. My dad got hospitalized so I've been taking care of my mother in the meantime."


She frowns.
"Seesh, sorry about that. I won't tell bad jokes about you not showing up to the races then."


"There's one bit of good news though."
Procure the letter with a grin.
"I've been accepted into the Wonderbolt bootcamp!"


She jumps in her seat.
"Nooo fucking way!"
She quickly reads it.
"Hoooooly shit, Skim!"


I nod.
"I mean, the timing isn't ideal, but there it is nonetheless! I can only hope dad makes a quick recovery."


She smirks, prodding your side with a wing.
"You better get the gang some VIP seats for every show in town, bigshot."


I snort.
"I'll see what I can do. Haven't really told too many people yet, but I came to you because… well, you're my oldest friend…"


"I'll keep it hush-hush, don't worry!"
She snickers.
"Plus I bet you'll need a pony to check if your flightsuit fits well, right?~"


I give her a sad smile.
"You know, I always hoped you'd be my wingpony ever since I started dreaming of being a Wonderbolt as a foal. I know it's a silly thing to think about, but I really wish you could come with me to bootcamp."


She sighs.
"Well… y'know, I guess I didn't make the cut, but I can still be happy for you. I'm not sure what I could have done differently, we trained the same, we flew the same…"
She shrugs.
"I didn't get a letter, you did, so just be happy for yourself, dumbass!"


"I am, but it still rubs the wrong way after all this time."


Curry and Felfire

It has been a day since you escaped the ironclad.
The native pegasus on board managed to get the water out of the system of the captain you fished out, but she has been unconcious ever since then. In her 'absence', the donkey is still commandeering the ship, trying to get the damaged ship anywhere that could be land nearby. The air has been cold between her and Angler too.

At least the sun is shining.


All this time, I've been curled up at the captain's bedside.
One ear always perked, hoping to find her awake between long naps.


You hear her take very deep, ragged breaths every now and then…


I guess I'll have spent the time mending people together with what little herbal supplies I've got left.


Whatever stockpiles you had are all gone.
The silence that has been hanging on the crew for a good while is broken by Angler.
"I… I think I see land."


Oh I know those. That's not good. Let's go on deck.
Let's find Curry.
Look down, mildly uncomfortable, but with a mission.
"You have a-"


"Where? How close?"


The donkey answers from the helm.
"Yes, land. I think I see it too."

He points with his hoof and readies the telescope.
"With favorable winds… maybe we will be there by evening."


"Let's hope they're more than favorable. If it's got decent vegetation and clean water, I'll be able to do more for the captain."


"Curry! Curry! Is that Equestria!?"


"Looks promising… quite a piece of land, but no continent."

The donkey shakes her head.


"Or not. But we'll be able to restock on food and water, and make more medicine for the captain and ourselves."



"We'll get there eventually. One day at a time."


"For now, anything is better than this death sentence of a ship."


"It got us this far, at least."


Speaking of.
I need to ask Curry something really important.
Isolate myself from the others, pretending they don't exist.
"Curry… Do you have a stick?"


"A stick? I think I can scrounge one up, why?"


Need stick."


"Alright, but do you mind telling me the reason while we're getting that stick?"


Time will pass as you chat away.


Keep my head low and follow him around as he scavanges.


Well, let's see if I can't rustle up a stick. One of the crates in the hold might yield something.


They are small sticks, but a few of them are easily found in the storage level.


"Will these do?"


Switch around from looking ashamed of asking to giving him big, hopeful eyes.


Look them over for a moment, then pick the longest, stubbiest one of the faggot and with a quick nod, rush off!
Curry shouldn't read this!
Rush off to the captain's room.


Where is she going? Follow after.


She is still on her side, breathing heavily.


Make sure nobody's looking
And then try putting the stick inbetween two planks before the captain's bed!

Roll #1 4 = 4


Congratulations, you have a stick between two rotten planks.
Sort of.


Smile happily to myself and go back to laying beside the captain's death bed.
Raider burial practice complete, in lack of mud to put said stick in.


Well, that's… odd. But harmless, I suppose. Head back on up to the deck.


Her deathrattle sounds so very comforting…


You both hear swearing coming from the deck! The land should only be an hour of sailing away, though, what could be the problem?


Son of a sea biscuit. Head on up and find out what it is.


Maybe someone turned raider!
It's like I'm back home!
Go check!


Angler is at the helm now, with the jenny surveying the sea with the telescope.
"Three ships, a frigate and two small destroyers. They are splitting up… it's an intercepting course."


Maybe we can all hide under the bedsheets…


"Can we outpace them and make landfall? What flags are they flying?"


You're not quite sure that will work here too.

"I tried to make it out, but I don't know them. Neither Equestrian nor Trotantine."
He frowns.
"Those ships seem top quality, and in great condition. It's a small wonder ours isn't sinking."


Time to sink then!
We can sink the ship, hide inside, close the door so the water won't enter and then paddle away from the bottom!


Brilliant! Let's get Curry on it right away!


No way!


"Pirates is probably unlikely, then. Still possible."
Frown a bit at the ships.
"Well, they're going to catch us, regardless, so the question is what to do when they do. We could secure the wounded down in the hold, and make it look like it's just me and Angler. If they're friendly enough, we might be able to get a lift, and medical supplies. If not, well, I'm sure you'll think of something to scuttle the ship and escape."


"We can do nothing but wait for now…"
Even as she says that, Angler interrupts and points at the sky.
"What is that?"

From the frigate, three spots are approaching in the sky!


Here come the shock troopers!


"Probably pegasus. Hopefully not cannonballs."


That seems to be right.
Soon enough, they land on your deck. Two of them heavily armed and armored, while the one in the middle is dressed a lot more fancy, even having a colorful feather sticking out of his hat! He speaks with a strange accent.
"Do you speak Equestrian?"


"Aye, and where do you hail from, stranger?"


Hide behind Curry!


He gives you a question look.

"The city state of Pontugal. You look like you need assistance."


"Direly, in fact. We've wounded, and have long since run out of medical supplies. We'd be indebted to any aid you could offer."


"Our vessels will tow yours into port. We will send word to have a medical team ready for your arrival."


Whisper to Curry.
"Did they capture us?"


"Our captain may not make it to port, if it will take more than a day. I know it's an imposition, but do you have a doctor available to watch over her until we reach your port?"
I'll shake my head.
"No, they're helping us."


"We can take her with us right away, if you think it is better. We can take the kid too."


My eyes will shoot open with fear.


"The little one will stay with me, for the time being. She doesn't do well with strangers, I'm afraid, and I did promise to look after her."
I'll nod.
"But the captain, I can release to your care. If there are no objections, Angler?"


One of the armored ponies stand closer, and takes out something from his pack OHNOHEISGOINGTO-wait, that's fresh water! He is offering it to you!

He shakes his head.
"Not from me. I just want her to make it."
"Where may we find her?"


My eyes widen up and I end up looking at the pouch of fresh water, lips slightly salivating, staring still for a long, hard time.
Eventually, my eyes will switch from the waterskin to the armored pony.


"Belowdecks. I'm afraid we don't have anything to rig up a proper stretcher…"
"It's alright, little one. He's not going to hurt you."


He smiles under his helmet.
"Go ahead. Take it."
He puts it down in front of you.

"We could fly back for one, or would you rather we just carry her as she is?"


I'll think for a second.
"If it's done delicately, I think you might be able to safely get her back without the stretcher. Or we could try rigging one up out of a worn blanket and prayer."


Prod at the neck of the bottle with a tiny hoof, lowering my muzzle to it as well, taking out my tongue to lick at the water pooling onto the edge, before finally tipping the waterskin's neck over just slightly, starting to drink with a passion!


"No, better safe than sorry. Private Charger!"
"Yes sir!" Answers the pony who just gave water to Felfire.
"You've heard them! Fly back and get a stretcher!"
He salutes and flies away.

It feels so amazing! And there was no trick behind it either!


"Again, you've my thanks."


"No need, sir. It's our duty."
You see the two destroyers rapidly approaching from both sides.


I will rush to the side and look at them!


They look absolutely amazing!
The craftsmanship, the healthy shine of the wood, it even has decorations!


"No need for the 'sir', friend. Name's Curry. And yourself?"


"Lieutenant Olive of the Pontugal Navy."


Look back at Curry with a huge smile on my face, pointing out the boats!


"A pleasure to meet you, Lieutenant. If you'll excuse me, I seem to be needed at the railings."
I'll smile back, then head over.
"Quite impressive, aren't they?"


Nod eagerly!
"What's that?"
Point at the land.


He doesn't mind as he starts to chat it up with Tides.
The other pegasus returns soon with a stretcher, and they head belowdecks to get the Captain.

There are so many ponies on them too!


"That's another land. Bigger than the island we left. Equestria is even bigger than that."


Hide behind the railing of our own ship as the destroyers come closer, so so afraid of the lot of them.


"It's alright, little one. Those ships are going tie onto ours, and pull us to a safe place. There, we can get the captain medicine, and food, and clean water."
I'll sniff.
"And a bath. A nice, warm bath for both of us."




What's a bath?"
Scared but not too much! Curry said it's okay!


"Well, it's when a pony gets into warm, soapy water and gets clean. They wash all of the dirt and grossness that's built up, and come out of it feeling better."


The ships are close enough, and some pegasi already fly over with ropes!
You can hardly believe this is happening!


"…What's soap?"


'It's… well, it's something that…"
I'll be quiet for a minute.
"You know, I don't actually what soap is made of, but you use it to get clean. It helps get the dirt off of you when it gets wet."


"Oh. Sounds useless!"


"It's not, actually. A lot of soaps are scented, and make you smell better."
I'll grin at her.
"And let's be honest, we both could stand to smell a little better."


"But then ponies will-"
Shudder a bit.
"Okay. Soap. I will remember that!"


Angler is helping with the ropes, and soon the whole ship jolts and starts speeding up, towards the shore.


I'll note that pause.
Let's hope this tub holds together.


Row row row you boat.
Rock my head side to side with the waves.


With speed like this, it doesn't take much for you to see the port itself… it's quite a bustling place, with lots and lots and lots of ships and even more ponies!
There are a lot of nice brick houses on the shore, one taller than the next… or maybe it's because the hill the city is built on.


Pull on his leg.
"I'm s-scared…"


Oh boy, this is gonna be rough on Felfire.
"Now, there's no reason to be scared. A little warning, though. There are going to be more ponies in that one area than there were on the entire island. So it's going to be pretty crowded."
I'll squat down a bit.
"Now, there are a couple options on what we can do. You can walk, if you feel up to it. You could ride on my back, if that would make you feel more comfortable."
And a little joke.
"Or, you could ride in my saddlebag, if you want."


Quickly, answer with a sharp, high pitched-


It's only a matter of minutes now, you can make out the ponies at the port, preparing one of the piers for your ship!


I'll raise an eyebrow.
"Yes to which? The riding on the back?"


Shake my head quickly!


"…The saddlebag?"


Nod quickly!


Hoo boy.
"Alright, then. Let's go grab it and we'll see if you can fit inside."
And I guess we're off to get the saddlebags.


Never get further than 5 inches from him!


It's a bit worn down, but if you emtpy it, it can fit a tiny Felfire perfectly.


Welp. In she goes, I guess.
I can probably rig up another saddlebag to carry everything else.


I'm so gonna spy from a tiny crack and hide inside!


Slowly, but surely, your vessel is docked.

You actually made it!

Five heavily armored ponies walk on the deck.
"Your companion is being treated right now. The rest of you, I will have to ask to come with me."


Oh this is the part where we meet the local Buck!


Right, well.
I suppose I should gather up…
'Alright then. As you can see, we're in no shape to cause trouble."


"It's just a precaution."
Tides and Angler both lay their weapons down.


Good thing I'm hidden, they will never find MY weapon!


I'll set down my own small arsenal.
"Little one, the knife I gave you. Don't worry, you'll get it back."


Everyone who is alive from your little journey, the weary bearded Angler, the even more worn down jenny, Crimson Tides, and even the brownish pegasus native, Buangan.
The six guards form a circle around you and start to lead you off the boat, down the wooden pier.


Look warily at the guards from my hiding spot!


They have quite the arsenal! And those metal plates and stuff… it's called armor, but why isn't it made out of leather or scrap parts?


It's nice to be back in civilization, at least. I can probably get a decent shave, here.


They must eat metals! That's the only explanation!



The guards start to lead you through the city, and you can see everypony stare at you.
Even though you are surrounded by guards, their stares are not accusational, but ones full of pity.

As you proceed from the port to the narrow streets between the brick buildings, you go across some sort of marketplace. There, when some of the merchants see your ragged state, despite the guards, do their best to levitate fruits and drinks to you, even as you go.

None of you are really in any condition to refuse it. At least the donkey and the two other ponies start chomping and gulping on the free stuff right away without shame.


Extend a tiny hoof from the saddlebag out to catch something!
Even go as far as allowing the lid to peel back and reveal my hidden figure for just a split second before gasping and jumping back down, covering myself again!


I'll nod my thanks to them while we pass, and levitate the food and drink as we go.
Fresh fruit has never tasted so good.


Some ponies saw you!
A fat mare (how did she get fat? How is that even possible?) even waves at you as you do get out!
You have some very juicy fruits to attend to though!

For a second, you consider the option that it must taste so good because you have all died and gone to heaven.
You don't see Luna anywhere though, so you conclude that it's indeed just fucking amazing fruit and you have been starving.

The winding path is full of twists and turns as it ascends the hill, all your hooves clopping on the cobblestones.


Gasp and look at them!
I bet she got fat, there's so much food here!
Chomp down on an apple, every last bit! Dig as fast as I can!


Pontugal is such a lovely place. Praise Luna that we had the fortune to be picked up by them.


You cough a bit, and realize you should really not try to eat the core of the apple. Where did it go already? You just started eating it!

You can also see a lavishly decorated palace at the top of the hill overlooking the entire port. You assume that is where you are going.


Well, we're in pretty rough shape, so I hope they're not expecting too much in appearance.
I'll float one of the drinks to her.


Nonono! More! The other fruits!
But now my tummy hurts… I ate so much!
He knows I'm here, right!
Grab that and drink off it.
I feel so much better now!


You've never felt this content!
Never ever!
You didn't even think it was possible to be not-hungry like this!

The elaborately decorated gates are opened to you, and two of the guards stay behind.
One of them who still follows stops you in particular, with some strange magical tool in his hoof.
"I will need to take a precaution with you. I hope you do not mind."


"No problems at all. I'm a pretty ragged-looking unicorn, only makes sense to take precautions."


Wait, what's the commotion outside?
Peek out of the bag!


Curry is being hold up!

And what is that flashing light?!

"Thank you. This will only take a second."

He holds the V shaped catalyst up, and you feel something tingle at the base of your horn… a moment later, you can see a streak of light, the color of your magic, seep into the catalyst.

"Allright, you can proceed."


Close my eyes and close the lid too!


And proceed I will. Though I'll have to carry my drink from this point on.


You will… it's a bit concerning they can just take your magic like that!

You can see the gates of the throne room open up…

It's comfy and safe here!


Well, there are probably more convoluted forms of assassination that have been attempted.


Now I wanna really see where they are taking us…


You can always take a peek… it might be worth it.

As all of you enter, you can see the fancy, rich hall is giving place to a centralized throne, on which a blue and red mare sits, wearing regal clothing and some beads and jewelry in her mane.
She claps her hooves and quickly sitting pillows are brought to all of you.

The guards stand to the side after that.
She speaks up.
"Welcome to Pontugal, weary travellers. I am Mareia Calado III, the regent of our prospering city state."


I'll bow slightly, and then take a seat. She'll probably want to follow that up with something. Tides probably has more experience dealing with noble types, so I'll follow her lead.


THAT's their Buck!


She is a lot more pretty and a lot less scary and bloodthirsty and threatening!

She is bowing too, so is Angler. Buangan too, but from her motions it's obvious she is just mimicking you to not offend.
Tides does take the lead.
"In the name of this crew, as their captain cannot speak for them, I express gratitude for allowing us in your port and letting us in your city."
"It is my pleasure to do so. Please, introduce yourselves so I may now the proper course of action."


Wait, hold onto the saddlebag so I won't tumble out!


I'll wait for the others to introduce themselves, and then recall that Felfire's in my saddlebag. Take that off, and set her in front of me, between my front legs. Then I'll introduce myself, and Felfire.


"Crimson Tides, Chief Security Officer of the Equestrian Navy. My vessel has been destroyed, I have been commandeering theirs ever since."
That visibly perks the interest of the regent, but she stays silent.
"Angler, simple fisherstallion. I serve under Captain Splinterproof, the mare who you are currently treating, and in her name, I thank you."
"Name… Buangan. Native island."
The regent is somewhat confused, but doesn't interrupt.
Your turn!


"I am Curry, formerly of Autumnsreach, now wandering the world. This filly is Felfire, from the same island that Buangan is from. It is where our ship originally crashed, and how we came to be in such dire circumstances."


She nods at all of you.
"I see. You will all be treated as friends here. Hundreds of years ago when this city was founded, it was founded on the idea of Friendship. Kindness and Generosity are vital point of that. Equestrian, or not, you will be medically treated, fed, given shelter, and if you so desire, we can find you a place in our thriving society."


I'll bow slightly.
"Your generosity is truly appreciated. This filly's wings have been damaged beyond my own abilities to repair, and I hope that your medical ponies will have more luck."


Whimper out a tiny word.
Or maybe just say it to myself.
'1d10' to actually say it.

Roll #1 2 = 2


"I cannot make any guarantees, but she will be treated to the best of our abilities."

Tides speaks too.
"I would like a vessel, if possible. I need to get back to the Equestrian Navy as soon as possible."
"Let us discuss such matters at a later time."
"You can hardly make such a voyage in your current state."

Her ears flick.
"Excuse me, filly, could you repeat that?"


Shake my head and try to rush back into the saddlebag!

Roll #1 5 = 5


You can't fit back in properly!


That might have sounded silent, but it's a real panic attack!


"Again, my thanks."
I'll place a calming hoof on Felfire.
"You will have to forgive her, your grace. She's not exactly had the best experiences with other ponies, and it's a small miracle she's taken to me so well."
"It's alright, little one. No one's angry. You don't have to be afraid."


The quitest type.
If only they could hear the frantic beating of your heart!

"I see. All of you must be tired too. My guards can show you to designated quarters where doctors are already standing by. Later on, you might request to discuss matters with me again. Dismissed."



I'll bow slightly, once again.

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