/q/ - Quest


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421548[Last 50 Posts]

[Only for Warren]

One day before the party left Silverhaze…

The repairs of the town are moving on slowly but surely. Only the most severely wounded are still in their beds, being tended to by Sparkling, Shimmering and Amber.

Cloudy has decided to leave already for Canterlot. She's packing her bags in her room as you enter to say goodbyes.

"Oh hello Warren." She says with a kind smile as a bunny packs some small things in her bags.


"Good day, Cloudy. Ready to go, almost?"


She nods.
"Yes, I'd like to get to Canterlot as fast as possible. There's no telling what that Dragon might do if he gets to run free for too long."
She sighs.
"I'm a bit sorry about leaving all of you on your own though…"


"Well, I'm sure we'll be fine. It's not like we're defenseless foals in the woods, at least."
I'll take off and clean my monocle for a moment.
"So, were you planning on traveling alone? Or, well, at least as alone as somepony can be with the local wildlife protecting her."


She giggles when you say "foals".
"No, I'm sure all of you can handle yourself.
And I won't be travelling alone, I'll be meeting a friend of mine nearby and we'll travel together to Canterlot quickly."


"That's good. Traveling with friends can make even the longest trip seem short."
Fidgeting slightly with my monocle, I'll pop it back in.
"Perhaps, once we all meet up again, we can have another cup of tea? Hopefully once things have settled down."


"I sure hope so Warren.
Would you mind if you went with me to the supply shop? I would like to pick up some things before I go away."


"Not at all. I should probably make certain I'm well-prepared also."
And, holding the door for her, I'll follow her out.


Both of you arrive at the supply shop to see Bedrock packing up.
"Ah my favorite customers. What can I get both of you today?"
Cloudy orders some supplies and Bedrock orders the goat Manny to get some before he turns to you.
"Warren was it? I was hoping to see you before we left tomorrow. I'd like to discuss some business with you."


"Well, fire away, Bedrock. Least I can do is help a recovering businesspony."


He chuckles.
"I'm afraid I'd prefer it if we could discuss this in private, without your friend here, lovely as she may be."
Cloudy blushes at that comment while Manny gets back with the supplies.
"It's allright Warren, I need to get going anyway. I hope to see you in Canterlot!"


"I hope so as well! And pass my regards on to your friend. I do believe I owe you a honey cake and tea."


She giggles.
"I can't wait for it. Goodbye."
She waves as she leaves.
"Kind girl." says Bedrock as she leaves.
"Now, Mister Warren, I've been led to believe you're quite the….how shall I put it, master in covert work?"


"Well, I wouldn't say I'm a master, but I do seem to have a knack for it. One can never account for luck, after all. What did you need?"


"I'm looking for somepony who can deliver a package, fast, safely and most importantly, discreetly to Hollow Shades, near Manehattan.
Fast, within the day in fact."
As far as you know, Manehattan is weeks away as the pegasus flies.


"And how would one manage to get there within a day, Bedrock? It's weeks on the wing. Unless, of course, there is some other method of transportation you have in mind?"
I'll think to myself about Cloudy's fast-traveling friend, but I wouldn't want to jump to that just yet.


He grins.
"There is…a way. But as I said, it would require the pony who goes it, to be as stealthy as a chameleon and as fast as a rabbit.
I can point you to that way. And should you be successfull you can use that way to get to Tall Tale as well.
Are you up for it, mister Warren.
Of course, as it is a special delivery, the pay will be extra special."


"Let it never be said I shied away from a challenge, Bedrock. But let's discuss the matters at hoof. What am I transporting, to whom is it going, and how much to get it there in one piece?"


He goes to the back and gets out a small box.
He opens it for you and inside you see a dark green gem.
"It's a special kind of magical gem, very rare. The client I'm talking about lives in the forest of Hollow Shades. He's a bit eccentric. Dabbles in what some would call the Dark Arts.
But he doesn't hurt anypony as far as I know, just being his crazy self in the middle of a forest.
And as for the pay…."
He gets a large bag of gold out of his pockets and a number of gems.
"I believe that will satisfy you?" He grins.


I'll nod.
"It will indeed. Now, where is this method of quick travel?"


"Oh it will be quite the journey for you."
He gets out a map showing Equestria, Hyperborea, Trotantium, the Fillyppines and some lands you haven't even heard of.
There are all sorts of weird symbols, lines criss-cross on it.
"Now let me see…ah yes. You need to go to the north of here in the forest. Follow a little stream you'll find there, until you come at a circle of stones with a small pool in the middle.
You turn around that circle 3 times counter-clockwise and, well…then you'll have to find your own path."


"Seems simple enough… Any way to know when and where to exit, or will there be signs?"


"I'm sure there will be signs and if not, that you'll be able to find the way. But do be discreet mister Warren. There are some things out there that rather wouldn't have you in their tunnels.
So be like a shadow and don't stand around too long.
Once you're back in Tall Tale, I'll reward you handsomely, not to mention you'll have quite the tale to tell."
He hands you the little sealed box with the gem.


I'll nod.
"Who knows, if it's as fast as you seem to think it might be, I could even beat you there."


"That's quite possible actually." He grins.


"Then, I'll meet you all in Tall Tale, once I've dropped this off."
Tucking the package in my saddlebag, I'll set off to that ring in the northern forest.


You set off from Silverhaze and after some searching within the forest, you find the little stream and follow it.
The circle is different than you imagined it would be. Not just rocks, but big ancient monoliths which must be weighing a ton, in a circle.
There are some faded symbols on all of them.
In the middle there is a small circular pool, not larger than a meter in diameter. And around it there are small stones, each having a different rune on them.


Hmm. Counterclockwise from where, I wonder? Well, no matter. Let's see if it'll go from anywhere. Marking the dirt with a small x to mark the starting point, I'll start going around the monoliths in the proper direction. On the third full circle, I'll… hmm. Step inside the circle?


You start walking around the circle.
One turn. Nothing happens.
Second turn. You notice how everything suddenly seems more quiet, even the birds have stopped singing.
Third turn. As you proceed on your third turn, you suddenly start feeling disoriented.
Like you're falling, even though you're walking on the floor. You focus and try to complete your turn.
As you reach the third turn you start feeling like you turn in a way unlike you've ever turned before.
Like you've become as thin as paper and slip through the tiniest crack in a wall and as you blink….

You're in a room, behind you, you see red veils with behind it the monoliths from which you came before the veils move in front of it again.
The room is giant with red veils on all sides and some chairs in the middle.
There is light but you can't find out where it's coming from.
And on the other side, far away you see….Cloudy?
She's talking to a pink pony and without noticing you, walk behind one of the red veils, disappearing from sight.


>they walk behind one of the red veils


Ah. So that explains their fast traveling. I'll slip into Stealth. '1d10+2'

Roll #1 4 + 2 = 6


You're stealthed, for now.
There are veils covering all edges of the room, and there are some chairs in the center.


Alright, then. Cloudy and her friend are headed towards Canterlot, so that means it's at least along the way. I'll follow behind them, quietly, and staying just out of sight.


As you go behind the veil they're passed through you enter a long corridor with innumerable doors.
Cloudy and the pink pony are nowhere to be seen.
You hear some light music coming from behind you and one of the veils on the other side moves and another brightly dressed pony steps in.
He hasn't seen you, since you're stealthed and he goes through another veil to your left, to what seems like a giant staircase.


Odd how busy this thing is, considering no one likely knows about it, officially.
Continue sneaking along the corridor. If anyone comes in, and I'm in danger of being spotted, are the walls close enough together that I could fly up to the ceiling and stick myself there? No one ever looks up.


The corridors are pretty low and brightly lit.
Maybe, but it's not certain, besides who knows what types of ponies uses these?

You go through the corridor, You hit a crossroads on both sides, in all corridors, the doors seem to stretch on forever.


Hmm. Take out one of my crossbow bolts, set it on the ground, and spin it. Which way should I go? '1d4'
1 being forward, 4 being back the way I came.

Roll #1 1 = 1


Forward it is. While walking, I'll look at the doors. Are they marked, or blank?


They all seem the same.
A wooden, unmarked door.
After walking a while you see another red veil in the distance


Hmm. I'll listen at the veil, to see if I can't hear anyone on the other side. '1d10'

Roll #1 2 = 2


You hear some soft music playing on the other side.
But you're not sure if there's anypony there.
You can't hear it well because of the music


Hmm. Wonder where that music is coming from. Well, let's peek around the curtain. What do I see? '1d10'

Roll #1 3 = 3


You see…the same room with the red veils as where you came from, at least it looks exactly the same.
There's a pony sitting in one of the chairs now, reading a book.
He looks up and sees you.


No he doesn't! Stealth! '1d10+2'

Roll #1 10 + 2 = 12


You close the veil and hide yourself.
The pony comes from behind the veil looks around but doesn't see you on the ceiling.
He shrugs and goes back in.


Ha. I knew they never look up. Now, let's see… can't quite go that way, at least without being spotted. So let's pop open one of these doors, and peek inside.



Roll #1 2 = 2


You open up one of the doors to see a giant cave with a fire in the middle.
Three ponies in tribal dress are chanting near a pony tied up on an altar. "KALIMA, KALIMA"



Well, shoot the lead cultist with a crossbow bolt '1d10', and then close the door. That's not where I'm going.

Roll #1 7 = 7


You hit him right in the neck and tied up pony tries to free himself, you shut the door.


Right, well, let's… hmm. Is that pony still in the other room? '1d10'

Roll #1 2 = 2


You take another peek and see him there.
He looks up again.
"Ah I thought I saw somepony. Why don't you come over here and sit down. There's still some tea."


Sheepishly, I'll head over.
"My apologies. I had heard that some of the other travelers who use these tunnels aren't quite friendly, so I had erred on the side of caution. Might I ask how you're called?"


"They call me lots of names. You can call me Peak. Or whatever you want."
He serves you some tea.
"And that's quite a wise policy. I myself don't really care about who walks around here.
But there are others who would take offense.
And believe me, you don't want those to find you." He chuckles.


"Thank you."
I'll take a small sip of the tea.
"You may call me Sparrow, if you like."
Adjusting my monocle, I'll take a look at Peak.
"I don't suppose you'd happen to know the way to Hollow Shades? I'm afraid this is my first trip through the tunnels, so I'm not quite certain if there is any sort of logic behind this place."


"There is and there isn't, if you understand what I mean. These tunnels are very old and at the same time they're the same as they were yesterday.
You can come to them again, and they might look completely different or they might be the same, who knows?
And Shady Hollows….yes, I'm sure I know where that is. What I would like to know is…why you would like to go there."


"I'm making a small delivery, and time was of the essence. Perishable materials mixed with a rather demanding and unrealistic delivery schedule."
I'll take another sip of tea.


"Well, you'll be happy to know then that the fourth door on the right where you came from leads to it. Be sure to keep it open when you go out, if you want to go back in. those are exit doors, once you slam them shut, you can't go back in that way.
And don't take too long either. If one of the guardians of this place finds that open door, he''ll shut it and you'll be stuck there."


"Thank you kindly. And I should likely ask while I'm still able, but I don't suppose the exit to Tall Tale is nearby?"




"You're in luck. You go down the passage, go left, then the 6th door on the left."
He takes another sip from his tea.
"You'll need a key for that one though."


"Of course, since such things are never easy. And I assume the Tall Tale key is on the belt of one of those less than friendly tunnel runners?"


He grins.
"Something like that. If you want it, it's on top of that staircase right up there…"
He points to one of the veils.
"But you'll have to deliver your package first before you can get it. Those are the rules."


"Far be it from me to break rules here."
I'll nod, and take a final sip of tea.
"Thank you for both the directions, and hospitality. Here's hoping we meet again, Peak."


"Maybe we will.
Or maybe we've already met before. Who knows in this place."


"Until that time, then."
Setting the cup back near Peak, I'll make my way to the door he said was the one to Tall Tale, and then scratch a pair of Ts into the door. '1d10'

Roll #1 6 = 6


The T's are firmly scratched upon its frame.
It does make a weird low screechy sound as you put them on there.


Well, that probably alerted someone. So, quickly, back the way I came, and look for that fourth door on the right… but did he mean the right from where he was, or the right from where I came from? Only one way to find out.


And by only one way, I mean trying them both. First his right, then mine.


The door on his right seems to lead to a dark swampy forest. You see a hovel in the distance.

The door on your right leads to the top of a castle wall, it seems to be in a very cold place, but you'd have to explore to be sure.


It was his right, then. But a bit of deception might be in order. I'll leave the winter castle door ajar, and head back to the swamp hovel door. Taking one of my crossbow bolts, I'll place it between the door and the wall, so that it looks shut, but isn't. This will give me my entrance back into the tunnels, and trick whoever shuts doors. Hopefully.


As you leave the door, you notice it looks completely different from this side.
It's the door of a miniscule little building, a toilet?
Out here in the middle of a swamp?


Well, let's just hope there aren't any ogres who want to use it while I'm delivering this rock. Speed is the name of the game, here.
For safety's sake, though, if there's a sign that says In Use, I'll make sure it says so.
And then off to the hovel. Knock knock.


"Enter please." says a deep, emotionless voice.
You enter and see two ponies sitting at a fire.
One seems to be a crystal pony. You've seen Amber sad and sparkleless before, but not like this pony. The very color seems to have faded from his coat almost.
He seems to be wearing some shreds of armor.

The other pony is an old unicorn, with some scars on his face and body.

In addition to the fire next to both of them there are a number of candles placed around the hovel and you see all sorts of masks, symbols and idols.

The unicorn eyes you curiously.
"You look different than I expected…"


"I am simply what I am."
I'll look to the crystal pony.
"I take it the delivery is for his benefit?"


"Of course, do you have it?"


I'll produce the crystal.
"I must say, this is the most lifeless I've ever seen a crystal pony. Were Amber here, she'd likely be in tears just from the sight."


Without changing his expression, the pony moves his hoofs and grabs a giant warhammer from behind him.
The old unicorn shakes his hooves.
"Now, now, there's no reason for animosity."

He turns again to you.
"you did very well, you may tell our mutual friend that I'm completely satisfied as always."


I'll nod.
"And I do apologize. I had meant no offense. I do hope whatever that's for works for you."
Bidding farewell to the two, I'll head back to the door. It's still there, right?


It's still there. And more importantly, still open.


Thank goodness. Quick check to see if no one's there in the hallway, and then step back into the hallways and recover my bolt, shutting the door behind me.


Ah, should probably roll for that check. '1d10'

Roll #1 2 = 2


As you enter the door again you feel as if you're spinning and when you open your eyes again, you're back in the red veil room. But the chairs seem to be gone, as is Peak.
It seems to have gotten darker as well, even though you can't figure out why there's even light here.


Hmm. Well, he said that key would be up… stairs? Behind a veil. Oh, I do hope I'm in the right area… Actually, there's a great way to check! Go back to the Tall Tale door, and if it's still there, I'm in the right spot.


As you pass through the veil that you figured would have the corridor with door you only see a corridor leading to a circular room with a hole in the middle.
When you look into it, you can see all sorts of stars in space.


I'll rub the bridge of my snout slightly.
"Nothing's ever easy."
Time to hunt down that Tall Tale Door. From there, I can hunt down the key. But let's stay hidden, shall we? '1d10+2' stealth, '1d10' to search.

Roll #1 7 + 2 = 9 / Roll #2 8 = 8


After some careful searching and snooping around, you walk through a large corridor with all sorts of doors. It looks very different then the one you came through the first time.
But there it is, a door with TT on it. The letters seem to have faded almost, but you can barely make them out.


Well, that's no good. Let's freshen them up a bit. Scrape scrape. '1d10'

Roll #1 8 = 8


"TT" once again firmly on it.
Still making that weird screeching sound.


Hope that this place isn't alive…
Now, to the antechamber with the veils, and the staircase.


You make your way to the red veil room again.
Peak seems nowhere to be found.
But the staircase is there.
As you move up it, you arrive in a very cozy room, a heartfire is burning near the wall and there is a chair with somepony sitting in it. The chair is turned away from you, so you can't see who's in it.

There's a key laying on a table right in front of him.


Hmm. Options, options.
I suppose the direct route will have to do.
Clearing my throat slightly, I'll make my presence known to whomever's in the chair.
"Pardon me, but may I borrow that key for a moment? I've a rather pressing engagement in Tall Tale and I dread being late."


"I know."
That voice.
The chair turns around and you see…you.
An older version of you. same monocle but wearing a facy suit, sipping a glas of what seems to be whisky.
"I know" he says again.


I'll blink a few times.
"I… you're…"
Shake my head.
"I don't think I'd understand this even if you lay it out plainly to me, so I just won't think about it and avoid the headache entirely."
I'll nod to the key.
"So, seeing as we're both… me, I don't suppose you'd mind terribly my borrowing that key? You could even come with me to the door to take it back once I'm through."


He shakes his head, smiling.
Then straightens up again.
"Of course, I had to go through a lot of trouble to get it for you."
He points to something to the right of you.


Classic misdirection, or just pointing it out? Well, I wouldn't deceive myself, so… I guess there's no harm in it?
I'll take a look to the right.


You see another corridor to your right with a number of bloody corpses of ponies in it.
You recognize Amber and Soil among them.


I'll take a step back.
"Amber? Soil?"
Turn back to Warren of Future Past.
"Why… why are they dead?!"


He points to you.
"You killed them."


I'll shake my head.
"That's improbable. Why would I kill my friends?"


He shakes his glass around.
"Does it matter? You sealed their fate already.
And if you take that kay, you'll join them as well."


"Then so be it. I'd rather not turn into somepony who would casually dismiss such deaths."
I'll go to grab the key.
"Besides, we've got a dragon to kill, none of us can die before that."


He sighs.
"I forgot how headstrong I used to be.
Forget about it. There's lots of other things to be worrying yourself about.
Why go after some stupid dragon and bring yourself and others a lot of pain?"


"Because, in the end? It will be worth it, I think. Besides, I can't exactly retire in a world ruled by a zombie dragon, now can I?"
Key in wing, I'll start to make my way back towards the stairs, sparing a glance towards the corpse pile.
I promise that this will not happen.


As you pull the veil away again and enter the antechamber, you see that same yourself sitting in a chair.
He suddenly starts laughing, takes out a knife and jumps you.
Roll to evade.


Nothing's ever easy.

Roll #1 5 = 5


You get a tiny slash but manage to evade the most of it.
you're fighting yourself.


Huzzah. Homing Magic. Let's see how many missiles I get. '1d10'

Roll #1 10 = 10


You've got 5.
The Other You does so as well '1d10'

Roll #1 2 = 2


But fails.


Joyous. Fighting myself was what I always wanted to do.
I'll send all of them at him, and use the confusion to sneak in a backstab.
Each one is using Ice Element. '5d10' and the backstab '1d10'

Roll #1 7, 1, 5, 7, 7 = 27 / Roll #2 2 = 2


3 of the projectiles hit the pony but as you go in for the attack, the pony grasps your stabbing hoof and swings you over his back on the ground.


Oof. Roll away, and (if helpless), get up. If not, attack. A cestus uppercut should do. '1d10'

Roll #1 4 = 4


You're both slammed on the ground.
You're still bit dazed but your brother is getting up fast.


Up! '1d10'

Roll #1 2 = 2


He's up and brandishes a knife, stabbing your leg with it, laughing as he does it.

Warren 0/3 HELPLESS.


Bah. That stings. I need to get up. '1d10'

Roll #1 10 = 10


As he raises his knife again for another stab, you quickly jump up and hit him in the face with your hoof. He groans and stumbles back.
You're up.


Alright, Homing Magic. Had decent luck with it last time, let's see how it goes this time. '1d10'

Roll #1 5 = 5


You don't summon anything.
Your other self grabs another blade and is ready for action again.


Good for him. Let's deck him. '1d10'

Roll #1 5 = 5


He's too fast for you and hits you in the face with his hoof.
"aLL isss loSt"


Shaking my head, I'll hit him back.
"It's only lost when you give up!" '1d10'

Roll #1 9 = 9


You duck another slam of his hoof before stabbing his leg.
"hoPE is yOur WeAkneS"

Warren 4/3


"Hope is my strength! You forgot that, or threw that away."
'1d10' homing magic.

Roll #1 1 = 1


Your magic goes awry and you collapse in shock as it discharges.
"nO I Did noT. hE dId"
Warren 0/2


Can't let this get me. I'm not going to turn into… that.'1d10' to get up.

Roll #1 1 = 1


The Warren before you stabs you right in your chest.
Life flows out of you, you grow cold and the world goes dark……..

But it is not the end….

You awake again. Once again in the red veiled room.
Confused you look around to see 3 brightly dressed colored ponies in clown costumes.


I'll pat the area that I was stabbed.
"I'm not dead? Why?"


"He who Laughs had mercy on you" says one.
"Why is unimportant." One of the ponies says.
"Beyond your comprehension" Another says.


"Not that I'm complaining, I suppose."
I'll make certain I have everything. Monocle, items, key for the Tall Tale door… Oh, wait, the Tall Tale door. That's probably fixed itself up, hasn't it.
Sitting up, I'll look at the three clowns.
"I'll admit, I'm a bit at a loss now. Was that… thing an unavoidable future? Or since I know of it now, can it change?"


"Nothing changes"
"Everything changes"
"All the time."


"I take it that that means what happens, happens all at once as well as not at all."
I'll shake my head.
"I'm not willing to give myself that headache. Please pass my thanks to the Laughing One for seeing fit to spare me getting killed by myself. I've got friends I need to meet in Tall Tale, and I think I may have lost the door."


The clowns laugh at each other.
"You weren't spared."
"Merely brought here again."
"To die again somewhere else."
"But if it is the door you seek"
"just go through that veil over there."
"And don't come back."
"You failed the test."
"Hope you don't fail"
"when it matters."


I'll frown.
"Well, next time I end up fighting myself, I'll at least have my friends and companions with me. I still owe that other me payback for that."
Getting to my hooves, I'll head towards the Tall Tale door.



And so you reach the door and use the key to open it.

You step into the fresh air on the hill of Tall Tale. The sun is shining and ponies are walking across the streets.
You hear a loud slam behind you and look to see the door has shut.
Suddenly it opens again…to see 2 mares coming out loudly chatting.
Behind them you see what seems to be a bar and above the door you see a sign that says "The White Mare Inn".




I would rather preferred to have not died. But that's quibbling. It worked fairly well, though I think I didn't roll as often as I should have.


Well nothing that could be done about that.
RNG decided differently. There was more for you to discover but after those 2 >1's the party was over.


I wonder if I could have liberated the belongings of the dead alternate Soil and Amber, as well as the other corpses and AU Warren. It's rather unfortunate.


There was things to discover there, but alas, nothing that can be done about it. It was nothing completely mind-blowing, more like clues that would have given you some idea of things that are coming.


Alas. No helping it, though I did get one really big clue: some deep shit is going to go down if it turns Warren into a servant of the Dragon.


Could be. But who knows what it really meant. Well the Laughing One does, but he's not telling.
That would spoil the surprise.~


What a douche. Beginning to think this is more of Discord thing…


I see the Laughing One as similar yet different to Discord. Discord and his servants know the world is a manipulatable illusion. Therefore they see all the beings working and creating order as wasting their time and they should be taken down just to show how futile their works are.
The Laughing One and his servants are different. They know the world is an illusion but instead of tearing everything down, they just smile at the ridiculousness of it all.
When the clowns told you the Laughing One brought you back to die somewhere else, that was a neutral statement, since Warren is mortal and will die sometime, maybe horribly or maybe in a gentle way.
Same with what's going to happen, the Laughing One knows there are a thousand things that could happen. So he can't tell exactly what even though he knows all possibilities


I still don't like the sting of failure. Did I get to Tall Tale before or after the party, though?


You are there at the afternoon.
A few hours before the place MH is now.
Time works different within the Labyrinth.
In fact it doesn't exist at all.

If you had taken another door next to the Tall Tale one, you might have ended up in a Tall Tale 5 years in the future. I was actually planning to have peak tell you that and let you explore that instead of the evil twin, but I decided this had run long enough , and I wanted to move on properly in MH.
It might just come back one day.

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