/q/ - Quest


[To Bottom]

File: 1415975189035.png (630.76 KB, 1600x724, 1369333896888.png) ImgOps Google

 No.605425[Last 50 Posts]

It was a long journey. The train ride from Canterlot took hours and now you're in the small town of Brittleville, near the eastern coast.
You're here to meet with Still Tree, the mage who your parents hired to develop your magical ability.
According to the letter you carry, the school should be in this town and there should be somepony to pick you up.
As the train leaves again, you're alone in the station however.


How come there's so few people here? Look at all the free space!

Look around the station some more.

Roll #1 6 = 6


Soothings Action dice: 3
Sions Action dice: 11

It's not that big. There must not be a lot of trains coming around here. You only see one station employee napping behind a desk.


That doesn't help. Let's go ahead and leave the station, I'm no going to stay here until I start gathering dust. Tree-senpai must be around somewhere.


Indeed, but where?
You get out of the station.
Brittleville is a small farming village, very unlike the splendor and crowds of Canterlot. The main street is empty except for a few farmers loading their wares and some mares talking.

You may roll an investigate check to ask around about Tree. You may use the bonus as stated on your sheet.


I don't have my sheet here but I believe it's 11?
If this place is so small, it's likely people know everyone. Approach those chattering mares and bow.

Roll #1 2 + 11 = 13


The mares stop and look at you.
"Good afternoon." they smile friendly.


"I'm looking for the pony they call Still Tree."


"Still Tree? Never heard of him…" says one.
"Maybe she means that Lotus fella." offers another, she turns to you. "Is he from Neighpon?"


"I think so."


"I'm sorry, sweetie. But he lives out of town, near that hill." She points to a hill in the distance. "That's about half an hour walk."
The other mare snorts "What's wrong with that pony. Leaving a little mare like her all alone here? I knew he was a weird, but that's simply uncouth. Are you sure you need to see Lotus?"


"If he is the same pony as Still Tree, yes. He is a magus, yes?"


They look at each other.
"See, the rumors must be true!"
"Hmmp, figures. A mage living all alone doing Celestia knows what. What do you want with Lotus, girl?"


"To learn from him."


"Well if you see him, you better tell him that it's very irresponsible to leave a sweet girl like you on her own here."
She rummages through your bag and hoofs you a few apples. "Here, for the road."


"Thank you. You're all very kind."
Look at the hill in the distance. Not that far. Just a unnexpected walk, that's all.


Roll your athletics.
That's a +4


I should probably be fitter than this…

Roll #1 2 + 4 = 6


It's a long way, you haven't had a good ol countryside walk like this since…ever.
The mud, the heat, this is such a waste of time.
Stupid Lotus or Tree or whatever his name is.
Maybe go back to the station and make sure mommy and daddy get you a good teacher.


They will surely ground me if I give up already. Perhaps this is a test of character. I'm not a mewling infant without willpower!

Keep going.

Roll #1 15 + 4 = 19


Going back now with your tail between your legs might be shamefurr indeed.
With renewed motivation you trot on.
Eventually you find yourself in the cool shadow of the hill.
There's a mail box at the side. It says "S. T." there's a path leading from it, but the home must be hidden behind some trees


Follow the path. All roads lead to home.


You follow the path to a small wooden hovel. There's holes in the roof and one look through the window shows the inside is a mess.
In the garden next to the house, you see a red neighponese pony with a black mane and beard. His eyes are closed and his sits in a lotus position.


What a slob.

Close in on him and sit down in front of him.


He opens an eye. "You're Soothing. Right on time."
He gets up. "Follow me."
He walks to the edge of the garden.


"Leave the bags here."


"You were not at the station. Why?"

Do as instructed.


"We'll get to that soon. Right now I want you to take a look at this. Study it closely."
He points to some metal chain on the ground.


Another Investigate check '1d20+11'

Inspect this chain.

Roll #1 19 + 11 = 30


You put your head to the ground and investigate every inch of it.
It's a metal chain with a leather collar on it. Attached to the ground with a metal stake, probably used for a dog or something, though you don't see a dog around.
As you're inspecting it, with one swift move, Still grabs the collar and presses it on your neck, with a click it shuts.
"There we go." he turns around and walks back to the hovel whistling a tune.


"Hey! What? What's this for!?"
Take it off! Uh… Prestidigitation check?

Roll #1 16 + 5 = 21


He chuckles as you shout to him, walks into the hovel and closes the door.
You yank at the collar, it's locked tight.
Then you investigate the chain again and notice that the chains are locked in a weird way. As you pull they become tighter, but as you come closer they loosen up, until they simply disconnect. When one disconnects, the others fall to ash as well as the collar around your neck.
You're free.


I'm not amused right now. How dare he treat me like a dog? Go after him!


You stomp open the door into the messy hovel.
You find him making some tea.
"Well done. Please forgive me for that little joke. I needed to see your temperament."


"Don't do that again. I'm here to learn, to be your source of entertainment."


not to be*


"I do as I please. That's one of the perks of being a wizard. But you are mistaken. I did not do this for my entertainment, though your face was a little funny." He offers you a cup of tea.


Frown at the tea.
"Is this another trick?"


"No. I suppose you need a good sip of tea after all that.
Let me tell you now why you didn't see me, for I was at the station, make no mistake. But I wanted to see if you wanted to learn or if you were just a spoiled brat here because mommy and daddy told her. You went looking for me of your own volition and were willing to do some climbing for your education, this is good."
He takes a drink from the tea.
"As for my little prank, I wanted to see what your temperament was. If you were agressive, you'd have yanked at that chain until it broke. If you were patient, you'd have waited until my tea was finished and I'd come get you. No, you are..cunning. You investigate and act."


"I suspected it was a test of character. Why do you have two names?"


"I have a lot. I found it is always easier to act without the burden of a reputation attached to your name."


"That doesn't fill me with much trust."


He shrugs.
"If you feel at all uneasy about my methods of teaching. And trust me, before your apprenticeship is done you'll have to bear a lot more of my pranks, you're free to leave right now. Door is over there."
With a swing of his hoof, the clutter on the floors flies everywhere arranging itself neatly in the drawers. "If however, you want to learn, I promise you, I don't have time for pranks, all I do is in the interest of you becoming more than just a mere pony. I can teach you the secrets of the universe, the power of the elements.." he swings his hoof again and outside the wind picks up drastically as if a hurricane was unleashed, the house creaks dangerously but with another wave of his hoof the wind dies and the sun shines again "the mysteries of the mind" he holds out his hoof and a bunch of small purple butterflies pop out and disappear again. "and more."


Look at the tricks in amazement.
"I still don't see the need for all the secrecy with the names. A powerful name is important."


"Perhaps for you it will be. Perhaps you will etch your name in the very fabric of Destiny itself.
But such renown comes with a price. Wherever you go, ponies will have heard about you. They'll be ready for you, some will even seek you out.
Me, I'm the outcast, no one knows me. And therefore they don't see me coming when I'm coming for them."
He chuckles.
"In the large scheme it matters not. Don't worry, I'm not here to make you into a mirror image of me. I'm here to open up your own inner knowledge and teach you how to make your own methods of dealing with magic and the world. Two things that are very alike.
Look at how you escaped from that chain. I could spend a thousand years trying to teach you the value of patience and you'd still escape the same way you did now."


"Clearly patience doesn't work then, no?"


"Not when you're waiting for ponies to change, it aids greatly in everything else."


"Inaction is no good!"


"Patience is not the same as inaction, young one.
Patience is the art of waiting till the precise moment to take the right action.
It takes experience to know when to act to maximize your advantage.
Would you say waiting till the water is the right temperature to make the perfect tea is inaction?"


"Why not just use a spell to create tea instead?"


"It expends energy. You can only cast so much spells until you become weary and need to rest.
Let's say I expend my last energy for a good cup of tea. And right at that moment a brigand stormed in the door, ready to cut off my head. Would that tea I just summoned protect me?"


"Yes. I would throw the tea into his face."


He laughs. "What a waste of good tea."


"A spell is a spell."


"Now, it seems about time you got settled in." He points to a bed in the corner. "That will be your bed. You may use the cupboard next to it to store your belongings."




He nods, stands up and goes outside again.
You test the bed. It's hard and you notice one of the holes in the ceiling is not too far from it.
Still, a bit further is another similar bed for him, so at least you're not alone…



Move my stuff from outside over here.


Estimated time: 2 weeks


2 weeks later…
The last two weeks have not been very comfortable to say the least. The wind picked up and rain started gushing endlessly.
That wouldn't be so bad if there weren't holes in the roof, next to your bed.
The endless ticking of drops of water in buckets kept you up at night.
Cleaning during the day together with your master.
And worst of all, he hasn't shown you any magic yet! All you've been doing was "meditating".

At least today the sky clears up and the Sun is smiling again.


What a massive waste of time. How am I to learn anything by inaction?

Where is he?


As usual he's up way earlier than you and sitting in the garden.
You should start with making breakfast tea now.


Right. Time to make some tea for us. What's that, a crafting roll?

Roll #1 3 + 11 = 14


Eh sure why not. It's like alchemy.
You make a reasonable batch of tea, your master is very precise on his tea however.
He comes in and gives it a sip. "Let the herbs in the water a little longer next time."


Set it aside for now then.
"What will you teach me today?"


"We'll see today how well you studied the lessons I've given you for the last few weeks.
If you pass the test, you'll get a reward. If not, we'll need to spend the next few days meditating more."


"I look forward to action."


"Good. Now, get a good breakfast, because we'll be going on a hike to the top of the hill."


I nod. Time for breakfast!


After some good bread with veggies you both grab a waterskin and start on the path to the top of the hill.
After about 15 minutes of silent walking, the master speaks up "Now if you're going to learn magic, you should know what magic is. Otherwise you're no better than those unicorns that float around some clothes and think they can do magic. So tell me, what is magic according to you?"


"Magic is a force of nature like gravity is. It's everywhere and we're all affected by it and abide by it."


He nods.
"Not a bad definition. But a bit vague, isn't it? It's everywhere and we're all affected by it… Of gravity I could say it makes sure none of us are accidentally flying into space. What does magic do? If it is a force of nature, what is it's role?"


"I don't think it has a role. It's just there. What's important is that we can harness and tame it for our own use!"


"Ah, and that is where you are wrong. It does have a role in this big world of ours. And I hope you'll discover that role yourself today."


"I look forward to this discovery then."


You keep walking up to the hill until you reach the top.
"Now let's get back in meditation position." He sits down.


Curse this endless meditating.

But very well, do as told anyway.


Roll Spellcasting.
"Now…look beneath your own mindless chatter and feelings, what is left?"


What is left?

Roll #1 11 + 13 = 24


It takes a while to breath and calm down.
You just see black and emptiness.
Then you become aware of something deeper, the beating of your heart, the soft rhythm of your lungs, the soft breeze of the wind against your face, the feeling of grass underneath your hooves.
Somehow you feel as if all this is connected to the answer somehow.


That's a little vague.
"My senses?"


"You're on the right path. Focus deeper."
It is. You may roll another spellcasting roll to think deeper about this.
Or you may roll an Investigate check to decipher the solution.


Let's go deeper.

Roll #1 20 + 13 = 33


Oooooh, shit. Spending an action dice on that.


Critical Hit ACTIVATE

You focus again on your senses and the rhythm of your heart. It takes a while but you suddenly become aware of the energy in your body. It flows through your spine to any part of your body. To your heart making it beat, to your lungs making you breath. As you feel it flowing through your body you feel the wind in your mane and you realize with a shock that the energy moving the air is very similar to the energy moving your lungs. That the energy in the grass is similar to the energy in your heart.
You were always aware of this but somehow you were so busy chattering in your head to notice.
You realize that the concious manipulation of this energy is magic. But that this magic in nature has the purpose of making things grow, move or break. It keeps the universe flowing, literally.


"Oh… it's all connected. Everything is held together by it, but we can also manipulate it to make it behave in a different way as we please. That's why we can do so many different things with magic, because it's literally ingrained in everything!"


He nods.
"Very good. When the Sun and Moon and Nature still walked the ground, they created the mountains and trees, but they could not create them to grow or move. That was the task of the Tree of Harmony. It sends an extraordinary amount of magic energy through everything. In it's normal form it merely takes care of the processes of life. The only thing mages do is speed up those processes or even change them."
He chuckles.
"This is why it is so funny to me that mages are so often reviled while we do not do anything extraordinary. A pegasus flying uses magic, an earth pony planting trees or making food uses magic."


"Not to mention the alicorns controlling the sun and moon…"


"Hmm exactly. But that's one very special case.
In any case, you passed the first real test. You have gained a first taste of what magic really is, which turns you away from just doing tricks to true understanding of magic. Now let's go further in this. He reaches into his pocket and throws you a rock. "Try to feel the energy of this."


Catch the rock with my magic and inspect it first. I don't want to fall for another trick.

Roll #1 13 + 11 = 24


It's a normal rock.


Okay, let's sense what super magic it holds then. Feel the power.

Roll #1 10 + 13 = 23


Just like the wind it holds a certain magic.
You feel around it and suddenly you hear the voice of your Master, but in your head.
"This is a message written by magic writing. By manipulating the energy in any object you can leave a message that can only be read by another mage. Very handy to deceive the average pony but beware if another mage gets it. I use an extra cipher just in case. This message is a voice, but might be made to be visual. That's up to your preference.
Now that you've succesfully read this, write something of your own in the energy of this stone and give it back to me. Simply feel the energy and manipulate it, it is just as easy and natural as telekinesis once you can see the magic around you

Roll a write magic spell to inscribe the stone magically.


Hmmm… that's a pretty good trick! Finally learning some stuff! Okay, let's inscribe… 'Hello, world!' into this rock.

Roll #1 17 + 13 = 30


Easy as fuck.
The DC for this spell is 13 so with your modifier you may take a 10 whenever you want to cast it, since your modifier makes you cast it anyway.
I might still ask you to roll it if I feel there are situational negative modifiers attached.

You successfully inscribe it.


Give it back to sensei.


He looks at it.
"Good, you picked that up quick. Now a spell that might save your life. Feel the energy around you. It is a flow like water. Try to materialize water from the energy"


"Just… water? Okay, let me try."
There's water in the air right? I mean clouds can create rain! Let's try this.

Roll #1 2 + 13 = 15


This goes a little harder than before but you manage to collect some water together from the air and collect it in the waterskin.
"Water is the easiest to create or collect as you did now. Because water is so like magic. The magic flow is like a tide, you'll find as you become better that your magic will be stronger or weaker as the Moon shifts phase. A good magus always makes sure to know the Moon phase."
He holds his head to the side.
"I noticed it went less easy than before. This is what we call magic fatigue. As you get better it will take longer to become fatigued but make no mistake, even the best of magus can't cast spells indefinitely."


"I see. I guess I'll have to train my endurance for maximum spell usage…"


"Yes. Now I know the best way for you to relax for today. It's time for your reward. "
He gets up and starts walking down the hill.


Cock my head and follow him.


He starts walking down the hill. Roll perception



Roll #1 19 + 11 = 30


You notice you're not walking towards the hovel.
In fact, you're going the totally other way.


That's not too alarming.

Unless sensei is so demented that he doesn't know the way home anymore, which I really doubt.


You both walk down until you arrive down the other side of the hill. There's a wall here without any special markings.
"Now that's a bummer, I forgot where the door is. Figure it out for me, Soothing."
Roll Detect Secret Door


Oooooh, can I do this?

Roll #1 2 + 13 = 15


Of course.
DC 13 you didn't even need to roll!

You see the energy again and see a door tucked away. You walk to it and touch the wall there and the door appears!
your master walks over. "Ah well done, open it."


Open up and see what's on the other side!


You open up and see a big mansion with a lush garden before it, many flowers and some benches in the garden. There's a little pond.
Your master walks in and sits down in one of the benches near the pond. "Ah, that's a lot better."


My eyes go wide.


You should.
The wall wasn't that high, and you didn't see a mansion like that behind it.


"… How?"


He doesn't look at you, simply relaxing. "How what?"


"Where are we? How does this… work?"


"This is my home. You didn't really think I lived in a hovel did you?"


Well, crazy people often live in hovels… not a far stretch.
"Hmmm… no. But where are we? This mansion wasn't here before!"


"It was always here. You just didn't pay attention! Just like that door."
He gets up again.
"Now this is your new place to sleep. I think I'll take a little nap. My wife is inside. She can show you your room. Your bags should be there."
He lays on the bech and starts snoring.


"… You have a wife?"


He laughs.
"There's a lot of things you don't know about me."


"Very well. I'll go meet her, sensei."


He waves with his hoof.


Well… go inside then. Let's meet this wife.


The door is wood with all kinds of runes etched into it. Before you knock the door opens and a beautiful mare with a blue mane opens.
"You must be Soothing." she gives you a hug. "Nice to meet you. I'm Bloom."


What on earth… is she Neighponese looking too?
"Yes. Hajimemashite, miss Bloom."


She is. But she doesn't have any kind of Neighponese air to her. Your master has that typical neighponese dress and hairstyle. She seems to have completely integrated into equestrian society. She doesn't even bow until you say the words.
She smiles and gives a little bow with her head.
"Been a while since I did that."


"Ah… Okay. I will remember that. I'm trying to integrate as well."
Look around the room.


The hallway is decorated with small paintings of different landscapes. There's a very elaborate wooden clock in the corner.
You can see the living room from here. There are 2 enormous paintings you can see from here.
One depicting a fiery pony with a volcano in the background, the other a very small pony in a cave surrounded by gems and holding a lantern, each on one of the two walls you can see, there are 2 other walls you can't see from your vantage point. There's of course, couches, a desk, all kinds of mechanical contraptions in the living room as well.
"You seem pretty well integrated. It took me a while to learn the r."


"I have been here for years now, so I had time."
Walk up to the painting with the fiery pony and look it over, then to the next painting with the cave.


They look so lifelike.
From this vantage point you can see two more.
Opposite from the fire one, a painting of a beautiful seapony in the water.
Opposite the small cave pony, a painting of a cloud and small lines that if you look very closely outline a transparant pony.
Bloom follows you.
"What do you think?"


Narrow my eyes.
"Fire, water… air and earth?"


She nods.
"The beings of the four elements. I painted them as my husband summoned them."


"I don't understand."
Point at the small pony in the cave.
"That's an earth elemental?"


She nods.
"They're sometimes called gnomes."


Look at the seapony.
"They can breathe out of water?"


She chuckles.
"They don't need air at all, silly. They're not like you and me."


Now look at the fire elemental.
"And this one, does it not set everything on fire?"


"Do you mean them walking around would set everything on fire or if they would set everything on fire on purpose?"


"Both. It looks angry."


"They don't set anything on fire they don't want to. They could walk on grass without it even being singed. But they like setting things on fire, so any mage valuing their mane would do well to bind them during an evocation."


I glance over at the last painting, then to her.
"Why did he summon them? Did he look for their knowledge or power?"


"Is there a difference between the two?"


"Yes, definitely."


She looks at the painting again.
"Summoning elementals or demons or even angels or gods can be a very educational experience to the budding mage. Those beings work with the powers we seek to understand every moment of their life.


"… How old are these paintings?"


"Hmmm, I think I made them around 15 years ago…but we've been summoning them way before that. We just figured it was time to get a portrait of our friends."


"How long have you known him for now?"


"My my, aren't you the curious mare?
We've been married now for 25 years next Snowrule." Snowrule is january.


"Are you a mage too?"


"You tend to pick up a thing or two when you're married to a mage but I never went to any Academy. Do you want to see your room?"


"… Sure. There's nothing wrong with not going to an academy, I think. Having a mentor is more effective."


She leads you up the stairs.
"What do you think of your mentor?"


"I wish he would give me more stuff to do that isn't just meditating. He taught me a few things today though, so that's nice."


"Don't worry about it. You've worked your way up from the hovel to here. I think your training will become a lot more interesting from now on."
The hallway upstairs is green with a long rug on the floor. There are a number of doors. Bloom walks you through them.
"This is our bedroom. This is the bathroom." She skips a door, as you look at it, it sends chills up your spine.


Oooooh, chills huh? Stop walking.
"This door is special?"


She stops as well.
"You have keen senses. That is our summoning chamber."


"It sent chills up my spine, how come?"


"If you smell something foul, you gag, do you not? It's simply a natural reaction. That chill up your spine is your reaction when you feel an outsider nearby."


"Should I be worried?"


"Not at all. Through the proper magical seals there's no way anything can come in without our permission.
If you're curious, I might show you the room now but you must promise not step a hoof inside the magic circle, nor go in there without either me or Still Tree."


"Okay, I promise I won't. I just want to see it."


She opens the door.
The room is far less impressive than you might have imagined. Blank walls and a few wooden cupboards.
There are 2 major features:
In the middle of the floor a very elaborate circle is drawn decorated with a number of magical sigils and a triangle in the middle. The epicenter of the circle is charred. You see a stack of candles nearby, probably used during a summoning.
And on the wall opposite you is a large mirror with a completely black surface, you can barely see your own reflection in it.
Despite no one being in the room you feel very uneasy. As if the room itself finds you unwelcome.


Let the adrenaline release itself.
"I see. What was the last thing summoned here?"


She shrugs. "I don't keep track of what my husband summons in here. One day it's a Mothrazin angel, another it's a Duke of Tartarus, sometimes something from the beyond. I just tell him that if he ever starts making deals with demons again, I'll leave him." She smirks.




She rolls her eyes.
"Yes, some years ago, my husband got it in his head that it might be a good idea to make a deal with Gev'Oi, one of the great Demon Lords. We were having some money trouble at the time and the deal was that Gev'Oi would stimulate our business at the time, as he's a demon of commerce in return for a large amount of condensed magic, a hard treat to come by but a delight for demons.
Everything went pretty well for a time, we made far more money…but we still ended up spending far more than we had. Until one day our debts caught up with us. So my husband demanded of Gev'Oi to make sure he got some money in 2 days. And we did, from the insurance when our house burned down.
That's when I told still to never ever deal with demons again."


"I see… it sounds like you have had a lot of fun together."


"You're not a true mage until you accidentally almost ruined your life through magic."


"I'll… keep that in mind."


"Good. Now to your room?"


"I'd love to see it."
Take one last look at the the room, then step outside again.


She leads you two rooms further and opens the door.
"Here it is."


Peer inside.


It's a small room with a big window looking out on one of the garden trees.
There's a big waterbed with glowing fishes inside and a desk with papers and a writing feather on it. Your bags have been put next to the cabinet.


Immediately trot over to the waterbed and poke it with a hoof.


It wobbles and flows!


"Wow… this is crazy!"


"Yes, I've never seen that before." She pokes it too.


"What do you mean? You put it here, no?"


"I didn't. It was Zim."


"What? Who?"


"Our other guest. He's an outsider. An Air Elemental. I'm not sure where he's now. He's a bit shy around new ponies."


"… I would love to meet him. Can I? When he turns up?"


"He runs through the house every once in a while. If you hear somepony running through the hall at night, it's him. Just talk to him and he'll show himself if he wants. Air Elementals are very shy."


"What else can you tell me about them? What does he do?"


"Oh they're very sweet once you get to know them. And smart, some of the brightest Elementals in existence are Air Elementals. Zim came here one day because he felt my husband and him were working for the same goal and he wanted to help. To be honest I'm still not completely sure what he meant by that. Ever since he's been in the house. You only see him rarely but he sometimes returns things I've lost or helps out when I have a problem." She waves to the room. "Or decorates rooms, however he does that. He certainly went all out for you. You should thank him."


Interesting. He must know a lot…
"I will thank him when I meet him."


"Good. I'll leave you to get settled then. Dinner is in a few hours. I hope you like steamed salad?"


"I'm not a picky eater."
"Thank you for the tour."


She gives a bow with her head and leaves you.

Anything else you wanna do?
I was thinking about zipping you a year later.


I'll unpack and stuff, but skipping forward a year is good.


After you settling in your life becomes somewhat easier. Your training becomes more practical and you learn a variety of different spells
You even stay up late more than once trying to catch a glimpse of the elusive Zim, but more than the occasional weird noise you don't see him. But as Bloom says, sometimes you come back in your room to find stuff you lost a few days ago or to see things ordened, with Bloom swearing she hasn't been in there.

You find yourself in the living room near a heartfire. It is winter and the snow is falling outside. Soon you'll take a few days to go back to Canterlot and celebrate Hearth's Warming Eve. It was a stressful day and sitting here with a cup of warm cider is quite nice.


Take a deep breath and let the scent of cider fill my nose.


Now this is living.


Your hoofsies are getting warm again.
Still walks to sit by the fire as well with a glass of wine.


"It's on evenings like these that I like to sit and contemplate what I've achieved during the latest days."


Still takes a drink of his wine.
"Enlighten us."


"I think you already know what I've learned, you were there. Always keeping an eye on me."


"No worldshattering reflections on your teachings?"


"Does finding joy in learning new things come off as worldshattering to you?"


"Not especially, no."


"Then no, I have nothing to add. I'll just keep on being happy with myself."


"I"m happy you achieved happiness these past days."


"Is that genuine happiness?"


"If the general opinion is to be believed, genuine happiness comes solely once you've decided to spawn some foals."


"I don't want to have foals. I don't think I ever will."


He shrugs.
"It must be a drain on your research."
You hear walking upstairs even though nopony is supposed to be there. Probably Zim again.


I smirk at him knowingly, then look up as I hear the noise.
"I still haven't seen him after all this time."


Still cuts a piece of cheese and offers you some.
"What have you tried?"


Take it.
"Staying up late into the night and trying to ambush him. He's clearly too smart to fall for that. I just don't know enough about him to really predict his movement. I'm sure you could help me if you wanted, but that wouldn't teach me anything."


"No, it wouldn't, but I'm willing to give a hint."


"You have my undivided attention."


"So far, you seem to treat Zim as animal to be caught. That is not how I or Bloom treat him. For us he is a guest in our house, just like you."


Look confused.
"What makes you think this? I just want to talk to him."


"Predicting his movement? Ambushing him? That seems more like a hunter chasing prey than a pony sincerely wanting to have a pleasant conversation, does it not?"


"Do you think I'm chasing after him wearing a cowboy hat and a lasso like the ponies of the west? All I do is stay up later, hoping to catch a glimpse of him. I don't want to hurt him or make him nervous."


"You might as well wear a comboy hat and lasso. In fact, it might work better, he'll wonder what's gotten into you."


"This is silly."


"Give it a try."


"You're saying I should be silly to get his interest?"


"I have no doubt old Zim will be curious. Air Elementals are curious creatures."


"You don't happen to have a collection of costumes, do you?"


"We have a lot of old junk in the attic. I think there should be some outfits among it."


Finish my cider.
"Time to be silly."


You leave the old people downstairs and go to the attic.
You light a candle, you haven't been here before.
The attic is far larger than you thought and filled with all kinds of stuff.

Roll for Search


I will search… for costumes! Doesn't even have to be a cowboy costume. Clown, viking, pirate, doesn't matter.

Roll #1 10 + 11 = 21


You look around and find a bee costume.


For science.

Put it on. Hopefully it's not too big.


It has a big bee butt.
But it fits.
Roll Notice.


I'm not sure how to feel about this, but at least it looks funny.

Roll #1 16 + 11 = 27


You notice a ripple in the air atop a nearby chair. As you look over it, it quickly jumps behind a cupboard.


Ignore it. Close the box or whatever I found this costume in.


You close it.
You are now a pony dressed as a bee.


Good. Go downstairs again. Find some flowers, I need to go full roleplay here.


There's snow outside.
But you know there's a big pot of flowers….roll a 1d2



Roll #1 1 = 1


There's a large pot of flowers back downstairs, in the living room, next to the room with the heartfire.


Let's circle around it for a while, then sniff the flowers!


They smell delicious.
If Bloom or Still noticed you, they don't make any comment about it.


They can judge me for all I care!

Eat one of the flowers.


It tastes yummy!
In the corner of your eyes you see a ripple air coming a bit closer.


Lick my lips and eat another one.


It comes closer until it flies opposite you on the other side of the flower pot


Sniff the flowers some more. What kind are they anyway?


The ripples in the air grow bigger until they vaguely resemble a pony form.
"Is the Soothing feeling well?" a voice says.


Look up and stop munching on the flower.


You can't quite see an expression, he is more of an outline than a real figure.
"You are aware you are behaving similar to a bee?"


"What makes you say that?"


"You are wearing clothing reminiscent of a bee and you are eating from flowers with an aesthetic value. This is highly illogical….unless it is some kind of pony holiday? I know that ponies like to dress up for parties."


"Flowers are yummy, ponies eat them all the time. And the bee costume… well I found it upstairs and thought I'd try it."


"I see. You did this solely for your own amusement?"


"Out of curiosity, mostly."


"Perhaps you are attempting to understand the thought processes of bees by emulating their behaviour?"


"Do you think that's a valid study method to understand bees better?"


"Yes, it would take time however and your lack of wings would impede the process. I would suggest to wait for this kind of experiment until spring so you can do this outside."


"I would do that, if understanding bees better was my intention."
Eat another flower.
"It's nice to meet you, Zim."


"I like talking to you too. You have a very pretty name."


"… You think so?"


"Yes, Soothing Mist…it reminds me of home."


"Your home? Was there a lot of mist there?"


"Yes, lots of clouds and mist and sun. It's very different from this place."


"That sounds… soothing?"


"Heh, you're funny, Soothing. Yes, it's quite a peaceful place. We can relax all day until the Lords need us. Or spend our time in the library."


"That sounds like the ideal life to me. Do you study a lot?"


"Yes, it's fun to pass the time that way. I also observe. Looking from the clouds to the comings and goings of ponies and trying to understand them. Why do you dress up like a bee?"


"To observe you."


He pauses for a while.
"Hmmm, very smart Soothing."


"It wasn't my idea, I should add."


He looks towards Still for a second.
"I suppose not. But you did right. So you wished to talk to me?"


"I wanted to talk to you and now I have. I'm glad I did, this is the first time I spoke with an elemental."


"Heh, I'm glad I was your first."


"Thank you for explaining what you did, Zim. I'm as eager to learn as you are."


"If you want to talk to me again, you should just ask. No need for bees."


"That's good to hear, this costume is itchy."


"Don't you mean…stingy?"


Cock my head.
"Elementals with a sense for puns?"


"Is that inappropriate?"


"It's unexpected!"


"Humor is fun, isn't it?"



"Well, not everypony likes puns as a way of humor."


"Why not?"


"You'd have to ask them!"


"I see. Maybe one day, I will."


Continuation of /s10/ thread

You remember from those monks in Canterlot that the Tree of Life is supposed to be the first tree ever and the world sprang from it. Luna and Celestia are said to guard it against all evil. And the powers of Harmony protect Equestria.
It is never pictured on top of a heart tho


"It looks sort of wrong the way its depicted."


"Does it? What do you recognize? What is wrong?"


"Well, the tree usually isn't depicted at the top of the heart."


"Indeed. In Equestrian and many other religions with the Tree symbolism, the Heart has been wisely hidden. But I can assure you that this is in fact a far more accurate description.
As most religions say, the Tree of Harmony was the first tree formed by mother nature, and this is somewhat true, but this half-truth hides a much more elaborate secret."


"Yes? What secret is that?"


"First you have to understand how this world began. Before there was this world, there was only one thing, the Void. It was from this void that the Sun, the Moon and their daughter Mother Nature came. But the void is a place of completely random unpredictable energy. That's why the first thing they made, was the Tree of Harmony, to anchor the world in the chaotic Void. Make order out of chaos. From the branches came first the place called the Labyrinth, essentially proto-reality and it further evolved into the world you see now."


"So the Tree of Harmony was the first tree formed. That's not a halftruth is it?"


"Quite an unusual tree to spawn reality from it. It is a tree, and so much more than a tree. It is the base of this whole world. Should the tree ever be destroyed, this world would cease to exist.
Through the Tree magic is spread to every part of the world. But it does not create magic. It merely organizes it, orders it, creates harmony in the chaos."


"Sounds like something you don't want to mess around with."


"Of course not. To reach it, one would have to navigate its branches, the Labyrinth, all the way to the trunk. On the edge of the Void.
Now this is where it becomes interesting. Because the Void itself also has an avatar. As you can imagine the Void rebelled against having a giant world in its midst. So the Void came into the world itself. That is Tirek."


"Right, Tirek. He's a fun guy. Not."


"You know that the sign of Tirek is a beating Heart?"


"Yes. I've received the memo."


"It is said that when Tirek invaded he stole the magic from ponies, griffons and all kinds of beings. He proclaimed it was stolen from him.
The energies of magic come from the void, regulated by the tree of Harmony."
He grins.
"All magic comes from Tirek, isn't that interesting?"


"Here's an interesting question: Why don't we destroy Tirek?"


"Even if that was in our power, Tirek is the void. He'd simply reform and re-enter the world. Leaving him in Tartarus means that at least the powers that be know where he is."


"That's exceedingly annoying."


"Isn't it, but he is a necessary evil.
Tirekians call Tirek the Heart of the World.
And there is some truth to that, without the magic of the Void feeding the Tree, this world could not exist."


"Maybe we'll find some alternatives in time."


"That is why machines are made. But will it ever surpass magic? I don't know."


"Better to combine both I think."


"Hmmm, those are the most dangerous. Their machines were remarkable amalgations of the arcane and metal. But their war nearly destroyed the world. In a way, it did more damage than the war against Tirek did."


"Whose machines?"


Shit I fucked that up.
"Excuse me, the Lemarians of course"


"How nearly?"


"How can one measure such a thing? It can only be said that once it was over, the world had changed. Large parts of modern Equestria, Trotantium, Vilitus, Saddle-Arabia were ash.
The donkey Empire has turned into a sea. And so, so many were lost."


"What did they hope to achieve?"


"Hmmm, it is hard to know. There are many theories. The Lemarians were a pony race unlike any other since. It is said a fraction of them rebelled against the others who were loyal to Mother Nature. This faction came to be known as the Black Lemarians and they received arcane secrets from the fallen god, Kronox. Most theologians say those secrets corrupted the Black Lemarians and turned them against the True Gods. But I'm not a fan of corrupting. It seems like a lame cop out. No, I believe they were trying to reach the Tree of Harmony and claim it for themselves."


"That sounds plausible. God complexes, am I right?"


"A regrettable condition. Though controlling the Tree of Harmony would imbue one with more power than even the gods.
The gods are extremely powerfull, nearly without limits, but within their own domain.
Love cannot dictate on matters of justice. The Sun cannot influence the flow of magic.
Controlling the Tree of Harmony would allow one to control all of creation."


"I assume getting to it is hard, otherwise one of the gods could have taken control, no? Specifically, Tirek."


"It is in the middle of the Labyrinth. Protected by the Laughing One and his Harlequins. One could spend a thousand lifetimes in there and not find the Tree."


"So either those Lemarians had a lot of time on their hooves, or they knew where it was somehow."


"Kronox was at one time the God of Law and Knowledge. It is possible he knew."


"So they were really just his agents doing his bidding. How did the other gods react to that? As far as I know, Kronox is no longer a thing."


"Nature was shocked by what happened, and ever since she speaks only to the most loyal of Nature followers.
The Sun and Moon guarded Tirek to ensure Kronox would not attempt to break him out.
Grogar and Discord did not exist, yet.
In the end, the defense of the Tree came to the Harlequins and the loyal Lemarians.
And Kronox was killed, but he still survived."


"What do you know about nature, exactly? What was her avatar? Did she even have one?"


"She had one, at one time. Because old texts speak of her throne in the City of the Gods, modern Canterlot. But I've yet to find what it was. Perhaps a deer? It is said deer were her first and favorite creation."


"Not so neutral then, is she? What did she herself look like? Just a being of pure energy?"


"Could be. I like to think her first appearance might have been as an exceptional Treant. After all they became one of her greatest forces protecting nature. And even nowadays shrines to Nature often have a tree as a shrine rather than a pony effigy or something of the kind."


"And now she's become completely anti-social. That's sad. How is inaction going to solve anything?"


"Perhaps she feels this problem is beyond her ability to solve."


"If one of the most powerful beings in existence thinks that, I'm not sure what to think anymore."


"Our hardest problems are usually the ones we create ourselves. I do not see why that would not be applicable to the gods."


"You'd think she'd right herself after a while. Or that maybe the other gods would talk sense into her."


"Gods aren't like us. Their ways are very different. Sometimes outright weird. It is a consequence of the ebb and flow of magic."


Blow wind through my nose.


"This has often been studied by magicians particularly those interested in divine energies. The case of Grogar has always been exceptional, when one goat toppled Kronox and became the Lord of the Dead."


"What do we know about Grogar?"


"Not much, by his very nature, all those who knew him are dead." He chuckles. "Get it? Dead? He's lord of the dead?"


"Shut up. Is that a problem when you can speak to the dead?"


"You can only speak to so many dead. Those who were there have been dead for so long that they've gone to their next lifetime multiple times already. And the Ancients are not known for being friendly when they get summoned. It goes against their faith."
He coughs.
"What we do know is that sometime after the war of the Lemarians, the Underworld became the last hideout for Kronox as the other Gods searched him. But the Underworld was his domain and he felt himself invincible there.
That was until a recently deceased soul of a goat met up with Ovrin the lord of the Ancients. It's said that Ovrin liked Grogars cheerfulness and lust for battle even in the Underworld and they formed a pact to take down Kronox."


"Only a goat could behave like that in the realm of the dead."


"What is more interesting is that this completely doesn't stroke with the popular image we have of Grogar as a solemn stoic lord of the dead. Why do you think that is?"


"Lack of sunlight, cynicism growing by age, not enjoying his job… could be a number of things."


"Or maybe it was the divine power itself."


"You'd say divine magic corrupted him?"


He shakes his head. "No…"
He scratches his chin. Deep in thought.
"Imagine for a second, the whole universe.
Filled with magical energy in all forms.
There is the energy of fire, the energy of water, the energy of the sun, the energy of death, etcetera.
Now we magicians, we manipulate that energy. And because of that, we tend to assume gods are merely beings that can manipulate an enormous amount of that energy at once. I believe that is a incomplete view.
I believe that when Grogar became the Lord of the Dead, he became one with the energy flows that regulate death. In a sense he could now control those forces at will, but at the same time, those forces would be part of him. Solemn, cold, calculated."


"So you think they're puppets of their faith."


"Are they puppets or the puppeteers? Or both? It is hard to say.
There are other implications as well.
Are the Sun and the Moon the original gods? Or did other ponies in their time replace them, but simply further behaved as these gods did?
Are there even original gods? For in truth has anypony seen the Tree of Harmony or the Void? Or was this merely the design of one of these pony gods?"


"Not a lot of certainties there, it seems. I hate not knowing things."


"If you're looking for certainities, magic might not be your forte after all."


"What do you think personally? You think I'm not fit to be a mage?"


"I think you are a talented student. I think if you dedicate yourself and are willing to question everything, even the things without an answer, you will come far."


"I should ask Bloom the same question and compare answers…"


He laughs.


"It's important to get information from different sources!"


"No, there is only one source important."
He lifts his hoof to his heart.


"I have a lot of heart."


"Then listen to it. I can teach you a lot. But only you can find out how to live your life."


"I know what I want in life for the moment."


"Then go for it."


"Don't worry, I'm pretty industrious. That's why I'm still here."


He nods.
"What are you planning?"


"Learning magic is a start. From there, the world is my oyster."


"You are nearly ready. Ready enough to enter the world in any case. Your apprenticeship itself is never done. I myself see my guru once in a while."


"Your guru? Tell me more."


Your teacher leans back.
"I met him when I was but a colt in Neighpon. Though I didn't know it yet, he had seen signs that I was to be his apprentice. Yet my parents were very simple folk. They would never allow me to learn about magic. So my guru had devised, as was so typical of him, an overly complicated scheme to trick me and my parents into learning magic."


"How did he do that?"


"He came to our farm one day, bloodied and wounded. I was with my dad picking rice in the fields when we saw him. When we waved to him, he shouted don't come close. leave me be… and limped off. We both saw he was terribly wounded and compassion and curiosity made us approach him. He limped away but collapsed on the ground, exhausted. We took him and brought him into our house.
Now, we weren't rich folk like you. My parents lived on an old rice farm miles away from the nearest town. But my mother did her best to patch him up. When he finally awoke, he said we should have legt him there and started crying."


"This was a ruse?"


He snickers.
"There is one thing you have to understand about my guru. He might be one of the most intelligent ponies I've ever met. But before he became a mage, he was an actor, and his one hobby in life was to create ruses so overly complex, just to see if ponies would fall for it. And we did.
He told us he had been cursed by an evil witch and had been fleeing her minions for some time now. He feared he had cursed us by us taking him in. My father thought the man to be quite insane. But the next day, me and my father went back into the fields and saw an oni. (Demon in weeaboo)"


"I mean, if somepony told me that story I wouldn't find it that unbelievable either. Curses are real, onis are real, not that outlandish!"


"Exactly. We ran home scared for our life. What could we do? And then my would-be guru revealed that he had been travelling to a far-off wise pony. Somepony who could lift the curse off him. My dad offered to come with him. But after some time, he convinced my parents it would be safest if I came along.
And so I went. In my heart I was filled with a holy mission. To save my parents and myself from this demon."
He shakes his head.
"It was only much later that I learned that it was all a ruse. The Oni was a friend of my guru. And during our travel to this mysterious wise pony, he thought me many things about magic, supposedly so I could protect myself.
I must admit, he was such a good actor, that when he finally told me the truth I did not see it coming."


"How clever of him. What did you do then?"


"Are you kidding me? I was mad as hell. For him to have fooled me for so long. I ran away, cursing his name. I traveled the countryside for a while, I renounced everything to do with magic and for a short while became a farmer help."


"And then you realized you were a wizard thanks to your guru, capable of bending reality as you see fit, that renouncing it is a silly thing to do?"


"Maybe. Let's just say that after a while, I realized magic wasn't so bad after all.
Better than cleaning pig barns at least.
And after a while I got to be in on the ruses. My guru had many students. And he was always plotting and scheming with all of them, against each other."


"Does this mean I'm now part of your very own ruse team as well now?"


"No, my ruses look like foals play compared to my guru anyway."


"Fooling a child isn't that difficult to pull off."


"You'd be surprised. I've often found foals are the first to realize something is not quite right when a mage tries to deceive them."


I laugh.
"You sound like you speak from experience, do you like deceiving foals?"


"It's my hobby. Don't you?"


"I've been spending most of my time around you since I was a foal, I never had time for foal deception"


"You should try it sometime."


"Sure, I'll try it out when I see the chance. If I get into trouble I'll refer them to you."


"You still haven't answered my question.
What will you do once you're done here?"


"Travel. Meet people. Acquire knowledge. Share knowledge. Make contacts. Start a business. Make money. Build a wizard tower. Not necessarily in that order."


"Ever thought about starting a business?"


"Yes I have. My parents have one of their own, but as much as I love them I'd rather not be bound to their rules for the rest of my life."


"We all have to do something. Live would be pretty boring otherwise."


"I'm sure you'll hear plenty about me in the future. I don't plan on keeping a low profile."


"I'm sure it will be interesting. I'll be keeping an eye on you."


"You won't be the only one. Is that all for now?"


"Unless you have more questions?"


"I'll leave you be."
Take my leave.

Thanks for running, but I need to bed. Tired as hell.


Moved to >>>/g/125689.

[To Top]