/q/ - Quest


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[Character Sheets and Information: http://goo.gl/y9CC4 ]

Luna's stars cover the night sky watching over the group of adventurers down below.
Drinking and laughing, enjoying life, for each day could be your last.




"Didn't you get hurt?"


Time to go back down.
I got no spoils from the monster…
He was even made out of stone!


Is Star awake?


Well, we spent the night telling stories of our past, a bit of the present, and maybe hopes for the future.


You want to go back to the dungeon next day or middle of the night.
Alone or with someone?

The next day you wake up bright and early to report of your findings to the Captain at the Shardstone outpost.
You find him overlooking a map of the area.

She is.

I'm not going to move the plot on tonight.
If there's an NPC you still want to talk to now or next morning this is your chance.


I guess I'll talk to Iris in the morning.
"Hey, morning."


With Indy of course!
Wait, how is Indy doing?


Salute him!
"We went up the mountain and entered a cave system below some ruins, sir! We found a few possessed ponies and fought some wraiths and… a really big statue that came to life and had crystals inside it! It blew up and we narrowly escaped!"


"Morning." I nod.

"Morning." I nod at her and look at the tablet.


I'm fairly good on that front… I could chat with Tulip or Vilina, but I don't have much to say. Same with Bedrock and Iris. I'll admit I'm at a bit of a loss.
Ribs feeling any better?


She's starting breakfast.
"Hey, had a good nights rest?"

He's sleeping but he'd be more than happy to wake up and accompany you.

"Possessed ponies? Do you believe they were the missing travelers?"

The tablets are filled with a number of unknown runes.
"Hey Snacks, had a good night?"

Not yet. Give it time.
You might want to check with Bedrock if you want to learn about the next part of your trip and may learn some more interesting things if you look around near him.


"I did, yes.
And you?"


I'll wander on over to Bedrock's, then.
"So, with that out of the way, it's on to Canterlot after a brief stop in Ponyville, then?"


I nod.
"Yes! One of them survived thanks to spellbreaker getting rid of the ghost inside him! He had a broken back, but I fixed him up. He'll recover slowly, but he should be fine eventually! … The others didn't though…"
Sad scrunch.


Nah I want to check on his wounds.
He looked pretty out of it last time…


"Snacks and others talk all through the night thats why Snack slept little." I grin. "What Star's pony plan today? Has she had her morning meal yet?"


"Like a foal!"

He looks up from his charts and maps.
"Yes, it should be. Getting to Ponyville will be a little challenging however…"
Roll to check out the charts.

He nods.
"What about the statue?"

His wounds have been bandaged as well, aside from some bruises he seems okay.
He wakes up.
"Hey Soil."

"I think Iris is still working on it. And I'm going to work on the tablets. Even while we're walking.
Bedrock told me I could sit on his cart so I could spend my time studying them."


"Hey pal."
Awkwardly scratch the back of my head.
"You alright?"


"Like I said, it exploded! Fwooosh! We had to run out of there real fast because the whole cave was collapsing."


"Oh? How so?"

Roll #1 9 = 9


"Glad to hear that.
I bet you would have rather slept in the company of somepony, am I right?"
Give her a playful nudge.


"Thats nice of Bedrock, if this continue we will be finished to solve the mystery. If Star needs Snacks help, just tell."


He moves his arm and legs a bit.
"Okay. You?"
He points to your bandages.

"It has been destroyed then.
I suppose that is the most important part.
Good work, Aspirant."

You notice a strange map amongst all other.
A map of Equestria without any marked cities instead there are a large number of letters on it.
One city in particular, the one where Shardstone should be is filled with letters, Wa, S, V, So, St, I. There are many more letters spread over the map though.

She looks a bit nervous.
"I don't know what you're talking about…"

"I don't suppose you know High Equestrian?"


"I get better with some rest.
Happens a lot."


"Aspirant? Does that mean…?"


I'll raise an eyebrow at that.
"What map is that there, Bedrock? The one with no names and the odd lettering. I've not seen its like before."


Glance around and lower my voice.
"Like it's not clear as the day, Iris.
It's adorable, really!"


I look sideways, embarrassed and lower my ears.
"Snack is not that educated it appears." I grin at her. Perhaps Snack can bring Star pony something to drink like coffee or to eat. Perhaps there is a nearby foodstall…" I then look around, do I spot one?


He nods.
"You heal fast. Faster than dragon.
Other ponies heal fast too?"

"It means you have past your first test, Aspirant.
One of many to come."
He sits down again.
"With the current duties we have to attend to, it seems your training will be an unorthodox one. We simply do not have the manpower currently to assign you permanently to a Master.
But we'll find another way."
He points to the chair in front of him.
"Sit down, and tell me what you know about Cadence."

He looks at it.
"Aaaaah….well, what do you think it is?"


There is a huge pot of coffee near Iris and Mabel.
"It's okay, most ponies don't."


"I don't know.
Dad sure didn't.
Warren or Amber don't."
Sit down.
"And Iris can't even take a pat on the back…"


"Well, if I had to hazard a guess…"
I'll think a moment.
"Magic map showing things and routes not normally accessible to the average traveler? I do recall you fiddling with a map when you sent me to that odd labyrinth, so that may be hte one you were using."


"Ah, okay." I then look at what they are doing, anything that I understand?

Roll #1 5 = 5


"I'm not blind!"
Look around again and lean closer.
"You totally got a crush on him, don't you?"


I grin and sit down on the chair in front of him.
"There's so much to tell though! She's our Lady and Savior, our protector, our ruler, the avatar of Love and one of the few majestic alicorns in the world. Thanks to her, I have access to my spells to heal ponies and empower my hammer with holy fuel! I wouldn't be here without all that! None of us would!"


He nods.
"And what of her powers? Do you understand their nature?
Do you understand what it means for her to be the Avatar of Love?
Tell me your thoughts."

They seem to be talking together, quietly.
Talking about mare things no doubt.


"Close but no cigar."
He grabs the map.
"It's one of my own making, to keep track of our journey, where we defeated monsters, etcetera."

"Maybe Iris know. Iris smart pony."


Give her a deadpan look.


I'll ponder a moment.
"So the letters are… us? I would be 'Wa', Snacks would be 'S', and so on?"


"Oh yeah, she real smart! We should ask her!"
Off to Iris we go!


"Well… she encourages love and compassion among her subjects and has the power to create a spark between two ponies destined for each other."
I scrunch.
"… I don't know how that spell works though."


She looks down.
"F-fine. Maybe I like him…a bit."

"You could say that. As I said, just to keep track how our journey goes."
He fold the map and turns to the other map.
"Here" he points to a line on it.
"This is the quickest route to Ponyville. And it just so happens to lead us close to a few interesting locations."

Indy hops on and you run for Mabel and Iris.

"That's nothing to be ashamed of. Those powers can only be wielded by somepony like Cadence.
However, contrary to popular belief, the Princess does not create the spark per se."



Since I have no idea and of no help, lets go around town what is there to see?

Roll #1 1 = 1


"Hey Iris!"
Move quickly forward.
"How comes I heal so quick? Indy wanted to know!"


"Oh. But she still encourages ponies to love, doesn't she?"


"Do tell."


As you wander around town, you lean against a tree, not noticing the agry hive of bees next to it.
Roll to run!

She looks bewildered.
"What do you mean? Can I check your bandages?"

"Of course she does. Promoting harmony between ponies is her first duty.
Yet for Cadence it is a special duty since she is the Avatar, the personification of the Divine force of Love."

He points to a region not too far from here.
"There's been trouble here with an Ursa Minor. Nasty beasties, but the spoils are worth a lot. A whole lot."


Raise a brow.


I smile.
"She's so great, isn't she?"


"I'd imagine they would be. But it's not going to be easy taking down something that big."
I'll think a moment.
"But what could be made from it, I wonder… I know Soil would leap at the chance to fight something that big, but hacking at its shins isn't exactly going to do us much good. You wouldn't happen to have some new toy you've been dying to test out, do you?"


Just snicker.


She checks your bandages.
"That is healing really quick…I don't think you'll have to wear those much longer."
She looks puzzled.
"And this is…normal for you?"

"And why is she so great?
Tell me in your own words.
To serve divinity, you must first understand divinity."

"I have a trick or 2 up my sleeve, you could say that."
He gets out a flute and hoofs it to you.


Raise the brow even further!
Like, it's taking a lot, actually."


I'll look at it a moment.
"I don't much see how a flute will be of much help… unless there's more to it than meets the eye."
Is it obviously magical, or does it just look like a regular old flute? '1d10'

Roll #1 5 = 5


Let out a whistle.
"That explains why you weren't fazed by falling down a mountain."


"I already told you! She's our Lady and Savior, saving all of crystal kind from doom. Without her, we'd still be under Sombra's rule! We all owe so much to her, nothing we ever do will ever be enough of a repayment. But I try my best! I live by her example of showing compassion to others and making sure they're safe and free from oppression!"


"That was fun!"
Smile a bit.


She scratches her head.
"That's…unusual. I'm not a doctor, but I'm pretty sure even a doctor would say nopony heals that fast. Did you have any healers in your family?"

It looks like a nicely decorated flute.
"Ursa Minors are simple creatures. They're immatured Ursa Majors and they are susceptible to the same things as kids.
Usually some good music, can make them drowsy.
And this flute is magically enhanced to sound very soothing to the ear. Even if the player is merely average."

He listens
"You've just told me about Cadence's actions and why we crystal ponies are grateful to her in particular. It is indeed a great start to emulate the actions of the Saviour.
But being a paladin requires more.
To be a true paladin, you must not only know the actions of your divine guide, you must also understand them. Fully.
Only that way can you properly become an agent of Cadence, not just a pony with a hammer and battle shouts, but instead an instrument of her will.
And to do that, you must thus understand the nature of the Divine Force she represents."


"My parents are farmers!"


"Did spend a lot of time near a shining rock when you were a kid?"


Look at her with a slightly confused look, as to wonder what on heart she means.


"So you basically want us to put it to sleep… and then put it to sleep."
I'll consider a moment.
"I know it's a monstrously huge bear made of stars, but something just doesn't feel right about that. Does it have any outstanding warrants, or is it just there and it drew your attention?"


"I know that, but things are so busy these days! There's constant fighting going on so I don't have much time to meditate and stuff!"


"Are you sure you are a pony?"


"Hey momma told me so!"


she thinks for a bit.
"And…what about…shamans?"

"It was one of the creatures that destroyed part of the railroad and makes railroad personnel nervous of coming around there to repair it.
There's a bounty for ponies who help clear the creatures around there…not to mention, an Ursa Minor, it's worth a lot of money.
We'll have to move fast though, otherwise those crystal paladins will get it first."

He looks at you sternly.
"Amber, how much are you willing to sacrifice to become one of Her Chosen?"


I'll nod.
"Though we do have one in our group… well, at least one in-training, at least. I don't see Amber sitting this one out."


"Is that some kind of freaky magic?"


Cock my head.
"Everything! I left home just for that! I want to serve Her with everything I've got!"


"Not freaky, it's… they are sort of like druids.
Nature and everything."


"Then you will make time for meditation and observation.
Training the body is useless without a strong mind to guide it. Both must be harnessed, trained and perfected. Only then will you truly be able to channel divine power.
No longer will you beseech Cadence for her aid, you and Her will become as one. Then and only then will you be a true paladin, instead of a fighter with faith.
Thus you will not only fight, but you will also meditate on the nature of the divine powers.
We can help you with that, show you the way, but you must walk it."

"That's unfortunate. Still…I'd like to somehow get my hooves on as much of that stardust as we can. I have no doubt that if those Crystal paladins slay it, they'll claim it for themselves."

"You could say that. Wait."
She grabs a book with her mouth from a pile and holds it open for you.
There are a number of drawings of ponies in traditional shamanic garb and some of their known sites of worship.

Iris nods.
"They're the guardians of nature."


"No idea then."


Rings any bell?

Roll #1 10 = 10


My eyes will widen.
"Hey I saw stones like these!
I used to play there all the time!"


"We'll need something to carry it, then. I doubt random bottles will do. I suppose you've got that covered as well?"


I grin.
"I wont disappoint! Teach me!"


"See, I knew it would be stones."


W.. what?!

Roll #1 2 = 2


Iris looks amazed.
"That must mean there were shamans near your house, maybe a long time ago. That could explain it, I've read about a few ponies who had remarkable self-healing capabilities through Nature…"
She then looks embarrassed. "Well, that's just a theory…I never met a shaman."

He gets up.
He leads you to a round painting of Cadence.
In the edges are pictured all sorts of different ponies, and even a few zebras, each is bound together by silver ropes.
The ropes reach across the entire painting, binding all ponies together, in the middle a brilliant vision of Cadence is visible, standing inbetween the ropes.
"Love, in its most primal, most pure form, binds all ponies together as one. All of us.
It is a fundamental part of who we are and translates itself not only into romantic love, but friendship, kindness and affection.
Even between those who hate each other, there is this bond, albeit in a very low form.
As the Princess of Love, Cadence does not control those bonds between ponies, that would rob them of their sentience, instead Cadence watches over those bonds, ensuring the proper ebb and flow of relationships between ponies."

You get stung pretty bad.
Maybe you should see a doctor.


"I've got something to get most of it, yes."
He grabs you by the shoulders.
"Warren, you know you're my number one guy, right?"


Look a bit out of it.
"What's a shaman?"


I look at the painting for a time, then back at the paladin and nod.
"Of course! I get that!"


"I had not, but continue."
Though this doesn't exactly fill me with confidence…


Uh, where are we?


"No, I'm pretty sure you're right.
I met a druid, and that's almost like meeting a shaman, right?"


What's happening?


"A shaman is a pony who can bend the forces of nature, plants and animals for example, to their will."
She looks at Indy and back at you.
"Maybe there's something of a shaman in you…maybe that's why Indy follows you."

"Do you understand what a powerful force Love can be? It drives us forward and can give us the strenght to push ourselves to heights we never dreamed of, or it can chase us into the vilest depths of depravity. To be a paladin of Cadence is to understand both these sides of Love and use them to fuel your actions."

He holds up a big bag.
"That's good. I need smart ponies like you I can count on in this organization.
This here, and don't go bragging around with it everywhere, is a genuine Bag of Holding."

You're both back in shardstone the morning after the fight and you both had some rest.
The party is mostly chatting and preparing for the next part of the journey.
Amber is with the Crysta Paladins and currently not here.
Mabel, Soil and Iris are talking.
Bedrock is talking to Warren.
Snacks is getting chased by bees.
Tullip is sitting outside her tent.
Star is studying the tablets found in the dungeon.

"I suppose so. There are supposed to be a few differences but they aren't exactly clear to outsiders."


Well fuck, we get paid for that whole dungeon thing?


"I think they aren't exactly clear to anyone."


"Right! Even love has a dark side. I know that too!"


"Hey, Indy and I are just pals.
That's why he sticks around! Not for some kind of…
Nature trickery I did him!"
Sit down and huff.


I watch with a smirk on my face while Snacks gets chased by the bees.

"That's a good question, Melody."


Go find a doctor in these parts.

Roll #1 3 = 3


"You mean a bag that can hold far more than it should normally? Just how much starstuff do you think I can shove in there?"


The point of the dungeon thing was discovering the tablets which will lead you to the next part of discovering the use of the Runed Crystals both of you have found in Silverhaze.
If you want something to do perhaps you could investigate the things all of you stole.

She giggles.

He nods.
"You have heard of those. You've learnt of those.
But you have never experienced this. This knowledge has not yet become part of who you are.
That's why you must meditate on this further.
Imagine how these bonds affect each others life, try to see them between your comrades, between you and others, between strangers.
Then you will truly know."

"It's not trickery…it's more of a gift of nature.
And it was just an idea, whatever was the reason why he started following you, you're friends now!"

You find the doctor of Shardstone who prepares some ointment on the stinged areas.
"This can give a burning sensation just a tiny bit. Just think it could be worse.
Ever heard of Giant Bees?"

"It can hold everything. Well, to be honest, I'm not sure since I never put everything in the universe in there, but it should be able to carry anything you ever put in there without problem.
You understand why I won't just let anypony carry something like that right."



I scrunch and think this over for a moment, then start nodding.
"I will!"


"I can understand perfectly. Soil at least would probably try to climb inside just to see if he actually could fit in there…"


"Giant bee's? Not the bee's." I frown.

"What are they?"


He moves on to a next panel.
It depicts the Crystal Heart with Cadence and numerous other crystal ponies around it, defeating Sombra through the Crystal Hearts power.
You notice the different ropes here again, but this time linked to the Crystal Heart.
"Tell me about this…what does it depict?"

"Exactly. He's a good kid, but I wouldn't trust him with my collection of bombs…..if I had that." He laughs."Anyway, you just keep hold of it and watch out when you poke your hoof in there. I've been using it for so long, who knows what got in there still…."

"What the name implies, bees twice as big as a pony. Imagine getting stung by that."


I'll raise an eyebrow at that.
"It's almost like you're tempting me to try. But I'll keep that in mind."


"What's been going on with he two of you?"


"Oh! Oh! The crystal heart! It's a magical artifact used to protect the Crystal Empire! It holds incredible power!"


Wait a second, that's the wrong name.


"Discussing our next job. Turns out we're going to be hunting down a rather large bear. And it's a race before the crystal paladins get there first."


"Just a regular bear? That doesn't sound too bad."


"Well… I never said it was a regular bear. It's an Ursa Minor."


"Good man."

"Ah, miss Shortcake, looking lovely as ever.
We were simply discussing the nature of the next part of our journey."

Bedrock grins.
"Yeah, just a good old Ursa Minor."

"But where does its strenght come from?"


I gulp.


"No worries, miss Shortcake.
I'm sure all of us will do swimmingly."


"The love within crystal ponykind!"


"Yeah. Soil will probably be ecstatic, though."
I'll chuckle.
"This just means we'll need to prepare carefully before we just jump in there."


"If you say so."

"How do we even kill one?"


"I'd wager we hit it a lot until it stops moving."
I'll grin.
"But, Bedrock has provided a method."


"What is the method?"


"Yes, you could say that. In none of the other races is that bond we spoke about more visible than in the Crystal Ponies.
The Creator of the Crystal Heart, a mage named Aragonite, knew about them and created the Heart to channel the power flowing from them.
The Heart is merely a channeling tool, yet after all these long years, we Crystal Ponies have become like it. It is hard to be so far away from it, wouldn't you agree?"

"We get it to sleep. We need a half-decent pony to play it though….
But there are other way, perhaps through your cooking, miss Shortcake."


"A bit of a surprise. Have you heard the phrase 'music soothes the savage beast?'"


I nod.
I pat my crystal pendant.
"Which is why I'm glad to still have this with me!"


"Cook it to sleep? I'm afraid I am not into that sort of baking."

"Melody's and Mwandishi's songs aren't exactly lullabies."


"Well, perhaps they're just using the wrong instrument."
I'll wave the flute Bedrock hoofed over to me for a moment.


I shrug.


"Without it, we'd be lost here. We'd lose the inner strenght that the Crystal Heart and by extension, Love gives us. The Crystal Heart could rightfully be called the true heart of the crystal pony race."
He taps the shining crystal pendant on his neck.
"That is why, as paladins of Cadence, we always carry a true piece of the Heart with us. To remind us, where our strenght comes from and for who we fight."

"Oh you aren't? How odd, I heard some ponies whisper that you were.
Besides, maybe you could cook something more…unpredictable?


I stare at the pendant in amazement.


"Unpredictable? Yes, now that you mention it. Where is the inn you are all staying at?"


"Now, Aspirant, tell me what you feel is the most important thing you learned today."

"Oh, we're just camping out here.
You should ask Tullip, I think she has a kitchen in her tent."


"A kitchen inside a tent?"
I raise an eyebrow to that statement.


"I need to meditate more often to get a better understanding of Cadance's domain!"


"It is a rather fancy tent."


"It's one of those fancy magic tents or something.
I think it even has a pool, but Tullip didn't want to let me in.
I really felt like having a swim today…"
Bedrock looks supremely sad.

"Of course. But how do you see Cadence now?
Does she create love?"

"I'd love to have one of those, I keep beating myself up over never having bought one."


"What? How?"
Where is Tulip?


"You ponies always make sleeping out in the wild such an expensive thing."


I slooowly nod my head…
"So what's all this for again? Something about… fighting a bear?"




Bedrock points to a mare lounging next to a 2 story tent with balcony, polishing her hooves.

"Hey, if you're gonna do something you better do it in style" responds Bedrock.

"A big bear. Made out of stars."

The Captain nods.
"I suppose that will do for today."
He sits back down at his desk.
"Are you going towards Ponyville?"


I nod.
"I am, together with some friends!"


I walk over to her.
"Ms. Tulip, can I borrow your kitchen?"


"Our next contract. Well, providing we can beat the paladins to it. An ursa minor."


"An ursa minor? Aren't they like… relatively docile? Why do we gotta kill it?"


"Because it busted up the railways between here and Canterlot, and so long as it's still there, they won't fix them."


"It probably trod on some rich lady's chrysanthemums."

"Maybe they shouldn't build a railway through its territory."


"Not to mention, that stardust they drop makes lots and lots of money, to the right ponies."
adds Bedrock.

"Good, you'll pass next to the Crystal Pony encampment then. Our paladins are out there, hunting an Ursa. Talk to them, mingle with them."

"Who's asking?"
She looks up.


"I'm fairly certain it moved in after the rails were set up, but I could be wrong."
I'll shrug.
"As it is, either we take care of it and get paid for it, or the paladins do and we get nothing."


I stick out a hoof.
"I'm Shortcake."


"Why don't we try to move it first? You know, instead of leaving it to ponydom's uncontrollable will to conquer all wildlife and subject it to some ridiculous level of biopolitical control?"


"Oooooh, an ursa? I heard about those! … Aren't they really huge though?"


She takes it.
"Ah yes, you were with us in the church.
I'm sorry, have you been with these ponies for some time?"

You also hear what Bedrock says here >>484134


"Oh, that shit. Well-"

"Yeah!… Why don't we just move it?"


"Off and on. I think I was with them when we rescued you from the boat?"


I'll just give you a flat stare.
"Can either of you talk to bears, Ursa or otherwise?"


"I like you. But honestly, we'd not even be killing it really. Ursa's are immortal, we're just turning it to dust, sell that dust and in a few years that dust will turn into an Ursa again."


"I believe I saw you there, thanks for the help.
I suppose I could lend you my kitchen."
She gets up and guides you in.



"I don't know – never tried before. But ignorance is no excuse for imperialism."

"Sell it? Talk about biopolitical control!"


I follow her in and familiarize myself with the kitchen.


"You don't have to help if you find it so objectionable. Just don't expect a cut of the pay after it's all said and done."


"They are bigger than houses and very, very strong.
That's why we sent an entire detachment after it."

Bedrock grins.
"Money has to roll. You know that just as well as me."

The inside is huge, you enter into a comfortable living room with a couch, chairs, a heartfire, stairs to the second floor, through one of the side doors you enter into a sizeable kitchen with all accomodations you could ever need. "It's a bit small, but we can make due."

Bedrock nods.
"That too."


"You don't even want to try? Now you're just being lazy."


"Whoa! Is it causing that much trouble?"


"And you're being contrary for the sake of your ego. You want to go to the paladins and ask them to try and talk it out of its hole? Fine. If you hadn't noticed, we're supposed to be monster hunters. Our job is to hunt."


I whistle.
"Amazing! Uh, you might want to stand back."
I carefully take out that Discordian cookbook and set it on the counter.


"…for the sake of my ego? And now you're just imagining things!

"Let's at least try to move it before you try to harm it! What's so hard about that? Because it doesn't fit your little job description. I've got a bulletin for you, angelwings: the gods didn't give you the title 'monster hunter.' It's something you chose, and it's something you can decide how to pursue. There's nopony holding you down and making you go out and kill things for fun or money or whatever it is that motivates you."


I just stand by, giggling at the argument.


Bedrock nods.
"I'm sorry, Mwa, I like you but I have to keep a business open here, I'm sure you understand.
If you'd rather go elsewhere, I propose we settle any outstanding debts and depart."

"Woooow, my dad has one of those too."
She looks at it amazed.
"Where did you get it? My dad always said it was like, really rare."

"You could say. It's one of the reasons, only one, that the railroad is still broken."


My expression turns more serious and I salute him
"Then by your leave, I will go and help take it out!"


"I said it was to stroke your ego because you likely honestly believe a bear made out of stars that's fifty times your size and probably a thousand times your weight will listen to you."
I'll shake my head.
"And let's say we do try to move it. Say it doesn't take kindly to the attempt. You now have a very angry, very big, and likely very hungry bear ready to kill whoever woke it up."


"I, uh, can't really remember."
I get a wooden spoon and carefully open the book while shielding my face with a hoof.


"That you shall.
But most importantly, you will talk to the other Aspirants there and the Commander.
They will guide you further. And remember, contemplate the strenght of Love, let it fuel your actions."



"I'm willing to give it a shot. How is that more egotistical than believing it's your right to just run into its home and hurt it for no good reason?

"And if it wakes up and wants to hurt us, then we're back to square one and can deal with it.

"That's better than your plan of assuming it will want to hurt you and deciding to hurt it before it even gets a chance to prove you wrong."



Roll #1 6 = 6


"Sir, yes, sir!"


"If it wakes up and wants to hurt us, then we've lost the only advantage over it we had."


"What the hell do you think you're going to be able to do to a gigantic sleeping bear that's going to give you such an 'advantage'?"


"It's a lot easier to hit a vital area that isn't moving. With luck, we could make it as painless as possible."


"Whatever helps you sleep at night, pony."

I dust off my hooves.

"This scene stinks. I'm going back to town. Stay with the pigs and Shorty if you want, Mel."


The book opens onto a page detailing how to make a Chronic Soufflé

"This might be the last time we meet, Amber.
Remember what you learned and keep going.
Let the Saviour guide you."

Bedrock coughs.
"Melody, Mwandishi, while those are very noble intentions, I still have a business to run here.
I want that beast dead."
He looks over both of you.
"Why don't you both step into my office?"
He grabs his small bag and takes out 2 chairs which shouldn't fit in there and places them a bit away from others, then he takes out 3 large planks of wood, putting them around the chairs like walls, with only one opening on the other side, shielding it from the rest of the camp.


I read the description and the ingredient list.


"I will sir! I wont disappoint you!"
I'm happy, so I'll give him a quick crystal hug before running off. That's not going too far, right? Right.

Roll #1 9 = 9


I just shake my head. Fuckin' magic…
"So… yeah? What are you gonna tell us?"




Unfortunately, it doesn't say what it does exactly.
The ingredients are mostly the same as a regular soufflé, at least you won't have to get any extra, yet the manner of preperation is very different.
The tome instructs you to stir it with your back hooves while singing a lullaby backwards.
To cook it by putting it on the fire for exactly 3 minutes, letting it rest for 2, then set it on the fire again for 3, and so on.

Bedrock gets out a pipe as he sits down as well.
"You know, I like both of you. I honestly do, I heard about all that stuff you guys did in the Arena, quality stuff."


Let's get cooking!

Roll #1 3 + 2 = 5



Roll #1 7 = 7


It's a nice hug I guess.
He simply salutes.
"Good luck, Aspirant."

Cooking with your back hooves is tough. Stri faster!


"Yeah, we're awesome. What about it?"


Now let's get back to camp!


Gotta do the cooking by the book!

Roll #1 1 + 2 = 3


"Where're you going with this?…"


"Unfortunately, I have a business to run here.
And I can't really use your biopolitical crap here.
You're free to do anywhere else, in fact I encourage it.
But not here, not with me, I need that beast down and if you don't like it…, well I'm sure the Guard would be most interested in my story about you."
He pulls something else out of his bag.
The Black Cube you stole.
He throws it to Melody.
"I've been in this game a lot longer than both of you. So what will it be? Either we help each other and you will be well rewarded or….well I'll leave that to your imagination."

Roll for the perils of the Warp.



Roll #1 32 = 32


You're back.
Seems like somebody put up a wooden shack somehow.
There's a big sign on it "DO NOT DISTURB -Bedrock"
The other ponies are outside.


"Fine. What do you want from us?"


What? A wooden shack?
… Oh well!
Skip over to the other ponies.
"I'm back!"


I frown.
I sigh.
"What do you want?"


"Welcome back. How did it go?"


"Great! I have a new mission now!"


"Oh? So do we. We've got a bear to hunt."


"You're quite a talent, Mwa. I don't want to waste it. I need some things done once in a while, some things that belong in the shadows. And I need somepony who can work quickly, who can blend in and get the job done before anypony knows he was there. Often that will involve, what do you call them, Imperialists? Well those guys, so you may consider that an extra bonus on top of your pay. You're welcome to stay around camp when not on duty."
He nods to Melody.
"She too. Just don't interfere with my other business ventures.
Do we have a deal?"

The cake dough explodes all over the kitchen! Covering both you and Tullip.

Iris nods at you.
"Hey Amber, how's it going?"




"An ursa? Because that's what I need to take on as well! There's a detachment of crystal paladins on the tracks to Ponyville. I need to go meet with them and help them kill the ursa."

"Just fine! On my way to become a paladin now…"
I look at her with starry eyes.


"Good enough."


"Deal, I guess."


"Then it seems we'll be working against each other, for the most part. We're to try and beat the paladins to it."


I cock my head.


Tullip screams. "My dress!"

"Wow, Amber congratulations. They accepted you."

He grins and in a tone completely different from the more threathening one just seconds earlier.
"Good to hear. Let's hope we won't have to talk like this again right?"
He stomps one of the walls and all 3 of them fall down, exposing all of you again.
"Now I've got business to attend to. Play nice. Oh and just a word of advice, don't try to open that cube."


I shrug.
"Sometimes you get dirty when you cook."
I try again.

Roll #1 3 + 2 = 5


I raise an eyebrow at him, but still take the cube and stuff it in my pack.
I walk out of his office square.


I take my stuff and leave.

"Stick with Shorty, Mel. If you need me, I'll be back in the town."


"We're hunting the same bear, so it's a bit of a race. We don't get paid if we're not the ones to take it down, after all. And the materials from it would be claimed by the paladins for whatever purpose they'd use them for."
I'll smile a little apologetically.
"And since you're with them on this one… well, I don't think we'll be on the same team unless we can convince them to work together with us and not take all of the starstuff that the Ursa will leave behind."


Nope, still don't got that backhoof stirring, try harder!
Tullip is hiding behind a plate.


I nod.
I lean in a bit closer.
"And hey, raise some hell for me, will ya? We might be under a filthy deal but that doesn't mean one of us can't get a little stuff done."
I grin and chuckle.


I scrunch.
"But we should all help the paladins, not ourselves! If they need this… starstuff, then we should give it to them!"

"I know! I'm so happy I could burst!"



Roll #1 6 + 2 = 8


It works, you then bake the cake as described and you end up with a rather normal looking souffle, you had expected it to be undercooked or something.

She laughs.
"please don't"


I set it aside in a safe place and write a note warning people not to eat it.

After that I make celebratory cupcakes.

Roll #1 9 + 2 = 11


And I guess I walk over to the tent kitchen now.
On the way, I glance at the sheet music I… found. Do I notice anything interesting about it?

Roll #1 8 = 8


I tremble for a moment, then let out a slight giggle.
"I wont. Promise!"


It feels cold to touch…
Which is weird for paper.
There are 2 experts on relics in this camp.
Either Bedrock or Iris.
You follow the smell of cupcakes into the large tent, the first floor of it is a room about as big as your old bedroom, extremely big, richly decorated, there are comfortable couches and a heartfire. Even some wooden stairs to the second floor and a number of doors, the open one leads you to the kitched where Tullip and Shortcake are, both covered in dough.

Those are a pile of good cupcakes!
Smell good too.


"Okay then. Wanna help me bring some food to Star, she's been working for hours now."


Like hell am I going back to Bedrock, that rat bastard. Guess I'll have to remember to find Iris when I have some free time.
I stash the sheet away in my pack and walk inside.
"Heya Shorty! Like the new look."
I chuckle.


I eat couple, just to make sure.

"Melody! Try these!"
I shove a cupcake into your mouth.


Tullip looks at you.
"Don't you know to knock before entering?"


"Sure do! She must be knackered!"


"But what if what they want it for isn't to prepare for the dragon?"
I'll shake my head.
"I know I can trust you, Amber, it's the other paladins I'm not sure about."


My eyes widen in shock as she shoves the cupcake in my mouth, but go down as I start chewing, speaking while doing so.
"Oh wow, that's good! You just make these?"

"At one point I did!"
I laugh.


I frown.
"Why? Are you saying us paladins are bad?"




"Ok I'll grab a few things for her."
Go to Star once you're done talking with Warren.

"Hahaha" she says mockingly.
"What's your name?"


"Of course not. But when it's our job to take something down, them taking what amounts to our payment won't go over well with a lot of the party. Soil alone I'm fairly certain will probably try and start a fight."


"You did a real fuckin' good job on them!"
I chuckle and lean in closer to her,
"I can think of something else I'd rather have shoved in my face though~"

"Call me Melody. You're uh… Tula? That mare we rescued."


I blush.
"Maybe, um, maybe after we beat that bear. Besides, I, uh, I need to go get rid of this batter."

"Can I borrow you shower, Tulip?"


"Oh so nice to meet you Mellow."

Tullip looks at both of you.
"Sure, but not together. Not in my shower."


I scrunch.
"You want money? You can have mine!"


I blush harder.
"I would never! Not in another pony's shower."


I just grin at her reaction.

"Uhuh. So, uh… what's up with this tent exactly?"


"The money's not the whole thing. That's just a bonus. It's the stardust that's important. I can't even begin to imagine what can be made from it."
I'll shake my head.
"I just don't think we can risk it being used for anything other than something to fight that undead dragon."


"First door on the left."

"Modified for more space. To make sure one can take all the basics with you on the road. They're quite rare though."


I run run off, bouncing off a wall, and clean off in the shower.


I stomp a hoof resolutely.
"The crystal paladins are far stronger than we are! If this stardust will help them then I'll make sure they get it! I never asked for any trophies before, I always let you guys have it!"


"You come from money or something?"


The bathroom is decorated with the same extravagance, pink marble, fine shampoos and conditioners and soft towels everywhere.

"My dad was a rich banker in Tall Tale. Maybe you've heard of him? Silver Coin?"


"Well, the offer was always open to you on previous hunts."
I'll rub my chin a moment.
"Well, what if we work out a deal? A compromise, so that both groups get enough stardust?"


"Caaan't say I have…"
I slowly start backing out.
"Aaanyways… I gotta go check in with a few others before we head out. Later!"
I start heading out to go find Iris.


"Well I don't do it for personal profit! I do it to help others, because that's what a paladin does!"
I frown and turn around, walking off towards Iris.
"If you want to work out a deal, we'll have to talk to the pony in charge of the detachment there."

Off to Star and Iris.


I'll sigh.
Well, that could have gone better…


She looks confused.

You both find Iris with Star.
She has just given Star some breakfast.
Star has a large stack of notes already about the tablets found in the dungeon.



I practically bounce over to Star, completely tuning out the argument I just had.
"Hey! How's it going?"


Let's assume I went over to Mabel instead


"Oh, hey there!
Good, I guess, and you?
Had good sleep?"


"Sure! Just went and reported back to the paladin outpost about what we did. The captain was so pleased he immediately gave me a new mission!"


"You seem excited."


"Super excited! I've never even seen an Ursa in real life!"


"They are a bit dangerous though, aren't they?"


"Definitely. That's why I need to help out a detachment of other paladins in taking it out! That's the second time I'll be helping out crystal paladins!"


"You want to be one of them, aren't you?"


Nod violently.
"Who wouldn't? They're heroes!"


"And you'll be one of those heroes too!
I'm honored that I knew you before you got famous."


I giggle
"I still need to get there first. It's going to be really tough… but as long as I have my faith, I can take on anything!"


"That's the spirit! Just don't get too confident.
I heard that's more dangerous than any monster."


"I know. And I wont!"


You know, I never worked with a paladin before."


Circle around her.
"I never worked with a donkey before!"


"And how does it feel?"


Stop in front of her and look her over from tip to toe.
"It's… interesting! Are you really as stubborn as they say you are?"


I laugh.
"Oh girl, you don't want to hear!"


"I do! I do!"


Lower my voice and look around.
"Can I trust you?"


I look around as well, then nod conspiratorially.


Put a hoof over her neck to pull her closer.
"It's not a happy story."


"Oh… well not all stories are happy…"


"Can you keep a secret?"




Glance around again, to make sure we are out of earshot.
"There was a guy who was really jealous of me once. Like, really jealous.
Like, so jealous he wanted to kill me.
So, I sort of killed him.
He had a lot of friends and that move made all of them very unhappy."


I blink a few times in confusion, lowering my voices too.
"Huh? Why… why would he want to kill you, miss Mabel? You're nice. Why was he jealous? What happened?"


"Yeeaah… I was more succesful than he was. And this wasn't about show business.
He wanted to be in the position I was in."


"Which position were you in?"


"It'd be hard to describe.
Long story short, I was good at what I had to do, and made progress."


"That's terrible! Uh… not that being good at something is terrible, but that somepony would want to kill you over it. Why not ask the guards for help though?"


Hesitate a bit then bite my lip.
"…It wasn't exactly legal."


Star nips from her coffee.
"I'm doing fine, Amber. It might take a few days before I get this though…"


I wince slightly
"… Oh."

Lean over her and inspect the tablets myself

Roll #1 1 = 1


"Yeah… so anyway, after he was dead, his friends started to come after me. And they caught me, I knew that figthing would only lead to more deaths, possibly mine too, so I surrendered."


I shift a little uncomfortably.
"So… w-what happened? I mean you must have survived!"


You set your two front hooves on the table to lean over more easily but the fragile table support snaps and Stars expression turns to horror as one of the tablets falls to thee ground.
Roll to catch it.


No! Catch it catch it catch it!

Roll #1 4 = 4


"I did.
And I was lucky, so to speak. Because do you know what they tried to do?
Break my spirits. Apparently, they forgot I was a donkey. If you're wondering what that means…
I spent a year in a dungeon that belonged to them before they realized it's not working."


The tablet falls to the ground before you can catch it but aside from a crack in it, it seems largely intact.
Star takes it and quickly inspects it.


"Oh! That's a long time! You really are stubborn!"

I gulp and stand up.
"Uh… Sorry… I didn't mean to…"


Star manages to smile a bit towards you.
"I-it's okay…look I can still read it. It was just an accident."
She does put the tablet a bit away from you on the next table.
"Anyway, from what I can gather, the tablets seem to be a set of simple instructions in 3 languages, Lemarian, High Equestrian and Old Griffon."


I perk up.
"What's high Equestrian mean?"


"Yes. I played along so they'd try to sell me as a slave. So they did.
I used that window to break free one night, get my stuff, and run away. I don't think they gave up though, so I'm sort of still hiding from them…"
"Do you understand now why I didn't want to get involved with the gang in Tall Tale now?"


I giggle.
"Don't be silly! Like we'd allow anypony to enslave you! I hate slavers! Hate them so much!"


"It's an old language ponies in Equestria spoke around the time of the Founding of Equestria, it gradually faded out and New Equestrian became the common language."


"I don't think they'd try to use those old methods that didn't work before next time.
By that I mean they are probably out for my blood."


"Wow, how long was that ago?"


"Well I wont let them touch you if they ever tried!"


I smile.
"Thanks… And, hey… it was good that I could tell this to someone. Just, please, don't advertise it. I don't know what the others would say."


"Around a thousand years, it wasn't long after the Fall of the Crystal Empire. In fact, the language is similar in a few ways to Old Crystallian. And I learned that in school."


I grin.
"It's our secret!"

What did Amber learn?


Pat her back.
"That a girl."


"You're a good pon- errr jenny, Mabel! I just know you are!"


"I'm glad you don't think less of me, I'm really are."


"Don't be silly! You must be good, otherwise you wouldn't be travelling with us!"


"Heh, I guess that is true.
You're a nice bunch of guys and gals."




"It's the truth, really."


"I just… try my best to be nice. Because I want others to be nice to me too!"


"That's nice."


"Well it works! … Most of the time."


"Some bad people just can't be changed, I know.
But most of them are."


I wordlessly glance over to Vilana.


I glance over there too.
"Given the chance."


I scrunch.
"She tried to kill us. Twice!"


"So, what? You want to kill her then?"


"… no, but she can't just get away with everything! I mean… she hurt innocent ponies!"


"So you are going to hurt her back? What good would that do? Why not tell her what you told me?
That being nice works?"


"But… she was saying bad things about Cadence when we last talked!"


"Because she wanted to anger you."


"What? No! I'm too smart to fall for that!"


"So what did you say to it?"


"I told her what she said was stupid and ran off!"


Give her a deadpan look.
"You did fall for it then."


I scrunch up again and shake my head.
"N-No I didn't! … Maybe just a little!"


"See, don't give her what she wants. Just… be calm, no matter what she says. I know this will sound atrocious, but try and be nice to her."


I huff slightly.
"W-Well I guess I can try."


"You'll see her attitude will change soon enough."


"If you say so…"


I snicker.
"I hope so."


"Okay then, I'll be nice to her from now on."


"Thanks. And let's see if it works.
We can just spank her and ground her in her room if it doesn't."


I giggle.


"Let's just hope she's not as nasty that she'd enjoy it."




Wave a hoof around, smirking.
"Nothing, nothing."


"Wait! You mean like… enjoy spanking?"




"That's… kinda odd, but okay!"


"We all have our oddities, don't we?"


"Uh… I guess…"
I look around uneasily.


"…did I say something wrong?"


"No! I just… uh… well… I don't like being spanked!"


I let out a chortle.
"Haha, oh wow…
Don't worry, I think that's pretty normal."
Nudge her side.
"It's an acquired taste, so to speak."


"I know! But… I just wanted to make that clear."


"Don't worry, I didn't plan on spanking you."
Pause, then add mischievously.
"Unless you misbehave."


"Hey no! You can't do that! I'm an adult!"


"How old are you?"


"Almost nineteen!"


"I see, then I'm older which means I can."


That's not how it works at all!


woops, forgot quotes


"It totally does."


"Prove it!"


"Are you being unruly and disrespectful? That means you are misbehaving!"


"Just because you're older doesn't mean you can waltz all over me!"


"I can be your substitute parent!"


"What? No! I'm an adult, I don't need parents anymore!"


"Okay, then, I'll just throw those bedtime stories and hot chocolate in the trash then."


I scrunch.
"I'm not a filly! I don't need bedtime stories!"


"You didn't say no to the hot chocolate."


"Well… Uh… I wouldn't mind that… But I can get that myself!"


"Oh, kids, they grow up so fast!"


"I'm not a kid!"


"You're a young adult."


"Emphasis on adult!"


"Or young?"


"Stop trying to belittle me!"


"Hey, I'm not belittling you."
"Maybe you just activated my motherly instincts. I could adopt you right now."


"No no! You can't!"




"Because I have parents and because I'm an adult! It's not even possible to adopt me!"


"It is. Watch me.
I, Mabel, now adopt you, Amber.
Bam, there.
Now you are adopted."


"I refuse!"


"As your stepmother, I don't let you."


I scrunch and grip my hammer a bit closer, narrowing my eyes at her.


Glance at it, then pout.
"You wouldn't hit family, would you?"


"Stop trying to make me angry!"


I chuckle, then give her a hug.
"Aww, come on, I was just poking some harmless fun!"


Give her a sour look.
"I didn't think it was funny at all."


"Was I a bad mother?"


"I have a mother! I don't need two! That's just silly!"


"So I was a bad mother!"


"I never said that!"


"You implied!"


"That's not true!"


"Yes it is, you told me you wouldn't want me as your mother!"
Fake another pout.


"Because I already have a mom! And I'm an adult!"


"I see…"


"… Are you sad now?"


"No, not at all…"
Make sure to drop my donkey ears for emphasis of fake sadness.


Give her a hug.
"I'm sorry!"

Roll #1 8 = 8


Hug her back and smile when she can't see.
"It's okay, I understand…"


"Don't be sad…"


"Wouldn't you be sad?"


"You have to understand!"


"I do, I do.. It's my fault…"


Break the hug and smile at her.


"Will you consider it at least?"


I scrunch.


Smile even wider.


"I'll think about it!"


Hug her again.
"You're the best, Amber!"


"I'm still an adult though!"


"Young adult."


"Heeey… you're just toying with me, aren't you!?"


"Maybe I am, maybe not…
Hey, aren't you glad at least you got someone to watch over you?"


"Cadence watches over me!"


"She's not here, is she?"


I gasp and flail my forelegs in the air.
"Wrong! Wrong! Wrong! She's always here! Always by my side giving me strength! … Not in person of course, but still!"


Pat her shoulder.
"Whoa whoa whoa, cool it, I meant she's not here in person like I am!"


"But she watches over me better than anyone else could!"


"Yes, but she couldn't warn you about that timberwolf creeping up behind your back like I could."


I quickly spin around to check, then turn back to her with a angry look on my face.


Look at her innocently.
"Why I didn't say right now.
And I am a showjenny."


Stick out my tongue at her, then walk away.


Bow even as she does.
"Thank you, thank you, you've seen Mabel!"


I huff and just walk away.


Whatever you'd like, however High Equestrian would have been a more advanced subject, one I don't think Amber might have liked.
If you want to know about it anyway, roll for it.

What's the rest doing?


Where was I?


I think I was mostly just sitting around. Might be talking with Vilina after dinner, though I've no idea what to talk about.


But she knows old Crystallian and New Equestrian both right? Right.

"It's all so old! Even older than we are!"


I talked with Amber.
I still got to a talk to finish with Iris, but we got interrupted.


Last answer seems to be here >>483543


"Ah, but I know a thing or two about High Equestrian and with that I can try to translate the Lemarian part, since I'm quite certain it's the same text in different languages.
And once we know some words in Lemarian, well…we can translate the rest."

Talk about your life and hers.

Uh….Here she giggles >>483543
I think you should find her with Star or we can timewarp a few min.


"That's so great! I can't believe how smart you are!"


Enter the warp drive!


I could.
"So… I don't believe I ever asked, but where did you come from? You can't have lived in Tall Tale all of your life."


"Hear that Indy?
Even Iris thinks we're friends."
Grin to him.
"Now we can go back and see what's left of that place."


She shakes her head.
"I lived in Springbreeze for most of my life."

Indy grins too, then scratches his head curiously.
Iris nods "Well…okay if you think that's a good idea…Should we tell the others?"
I'll have Iris pack a little emergency supplies quick, so Mabel can talk to her. We'll skip that part naturally.

You find Iris packing some stuff, humming.
"Hey Mabel."

She tries not to blush '1d10'
"Oh stop it. I'm nothing compared to your fighting."

Roll #1 7 = 7


Look back in surprise.
You mean you want to come?


"Don't think I've heard of it. Care to share?"


"No really! I… I wouldn't even know where to start! You must be like… the smartest pony I've ever met!"


"W-well…I thought you said…uh…if you think it's safe maybe?"

"It's a small town not too far from Los Pegasus. It's not too much to speak about really. Just some homes and a few acres of fields. And very very boring."

"Oh well Iris is pretty smart too. And she lent me a few books to help!"


We got interrupted before, haven't we?"


I'll smile a little.
"Well, I can understand boring. Was that where you learned how to mix plants and things?"


"Unless the thing comes back."
Think about this.
"Stone things can't come back after they explode, right?"


"I heard. All those books… and I just got one!"


"Yes, yes we did…uh…what were we talking about again?"

"I did. There was an old apothecary there, Green Grass, he saw my talent for alchemy and taught me…" Her eyes grow a bit hazy.

"Well you're there to protect me right?"

"What kind of book did you get?"


"Your crush."


Take it that bad boy.
"It's a big one! … But still only one book. Iris has way more…"


I take it you're talking about Cadence's book?


"I'm there to smash anything that tries to lay a hoof on you.
Just like the other times."


"An apothecary? That's a good profession. Healing the sick, easing pains… You must have been a good student."



"He's not my crush. He's just a good friend and I'd like to get to know him better."

She looks in amazement at the deep pink book with the emblem of the crystal heart on it.
"I-is that what I think it is?"

"Well, then I'll be safe. I'll get a few things and then we'll go."
She runs off, go to the ruined church?

"I suppose I was. It was my talent after all."
She sighs.


Whistle, get my stuff on and wait at the entrance of the inn with Indy.


"Yeah! Fancy, right?"


"Oh, I bet!
Hey, there's no shame in it!"




She's here.
Wanna go?

She snorts and then keeps packing.
After a few seconds comes a hesitant
"Uh….so…did you have some stallion…friends?"

She whistles looking over it.
"Amber…carrying a book like this…these are sacred. It must mean the Paladins really trust you.'

"Meh…some folks in town didn't like the doctor.
I don't know why, maybe some outstanding debts or something. One evening I was cleaning the shop, when I saw them talking to the doctor…and they…."
She makes a movement across her neck.


And keep a brisk peace!



I'll grimace slightly.
"So much for a quiet, boring place?"


I smile broadly.
"Well I'm going to be one of them one day!"


You arrive at the ruins of the church, the pile of dirt is still smoking in some places.
The Watchtower is still mostly intact.
"Good thing we got out of there when we did."

"It's in those kind of places that often the worst things happen. In Tall Tale evil is anonymous, just a random guy in the streets attacking another random guy, nothing personal.
In small towns, everyone knows each other and it's often friends killing friends.
Anyway…they grabbed him by the throat and poured poison into his mouth.
While I hid in a closet."

"Make sure to take good care of these…they're like one of the most sacred artifacts of the Empire, as far as I understand, Cadence personally blessed every single one of these.
You've got to guard it carefully."


Sigh amusedly, then sit down nearby.
"Yes, I did have some stallion friends already.
I didn't want to mock you. I wanted to give you advice."


"Too bad everything's still under there…"
So, inspect the ruins. Any 'weak points' I can try and move through?

Roll #1 6 = 6


I'll just shake my head, and then motion for her to continue.


"Of course I will! I'll defend it with my life!"


File: 1379541188732.png (3.8 MB, 2400x3429, map8.png, IO Google TinEye)

"W-well I know a bit about stallion…friends."
She looks a bit nervous.

You remember the other entrance in the Watchtower.
You go in.
>rudimentary map of what's still there.

"Right….say, maybe you should hang it around your armor somewhere…so you can make sure you always have it. Bags can be stolen you know."


"But then it's all exposed! What if… what if something happens to me and the book gets damaged too?"
I gasp
"Oh no! That'd be a double disaster!"


That wall is still there, and so is the crack.
"Hey Iris, stay here."
Jump in and SLAM the crack in the wall!

Roll #1 5 + 2 = 7


"Yes, I'm all ears."


"Good point."

You enter through slamming the wall into another sealed room.
You find the grotesquely distorted body of another pony. Partly crushed beneath a rock.
You find a huge axe next to it inscribed with "Red Fury"
This could be the last one of the travellers, having met his unfortunate end during the explosions.
Iris looks disgusted at it.

"W-well I know stallions like…food."


"I really miss that old stallion. He was a kind teacher."



"So… what did you do then? You couldn't stay in that town, obviously, and traveling alone is dangerous."


Put the book away again.
"I'm nervous now! I just can't fail them! I… I'll let you get back to your smartypants stuff!"
What should I do? Oh no… no… Warren! He's smart! Where is he?


"This makes all of them."
Axe, uh?
Sounds interesting.
And hey, it's not stealing if he's dead!
Put that sideways around my flank. And then step out.
I feel like I'm not doing something.

Roll #1 8 = 8


Turn to the other two.
"You think we should bury him?"


"At first I tried to tell somepony about it…but those guys, they were influential in town. And I was…not that social. So everypony thought it was me and wanted to put me on trial.
I skipped town and went to Los Pegasus and from there I moved from place to place, until I ended up in Tall Tale.
It's not that dangerous if you keep your wits about you."

He's talking to Vilina.
"Bye Amber." Star says.

Iris nods.
"Yes…I think that's the least we could do for him."
Rolling for how hard the ground is here '1d10'

Roll #1 8 = 8


Nope, soft as shit, you may take an automatic action to bury him.


Rush over to him.
"Warren! I-I need help!"


Start digging then.
Halfway through it, start talking again.
"Did shamans do this kinda stuff, too?"


I chuckle.
"Yes, that's very true."


"It's a good thing you ran, since you likely wouldn't have been able to get out of that situation otherwise… though the rest would probably take that as an admission of guilt."
I'll turn to look at Amber.
"What's got your feathers in a ruffle?"


I glance over at Vilana and smile slightly.
"… Hi."


Iris scratches her head.
"I think so. I don't really know much about them.
But most ponies do, so shamans probably did as well."

"I've got it all here. And all figured out."
She shows you a book called "The Rules."

"I suppose so. Not like I'm ever going back there."



Grunt a bit and keep digging the soil.
"It's done."


I'll nod slightly.


"Are you serious?"
Take the book and read a random page.


"Uhm… I'm sorry for being mean to you earlier, miss Vilana, but I need to talk to Warren about something super important!"

Lean in and whisper.
"Those paladins gave me the Book of Cadance! I need to safeguard it but I'm afraid I'll mess it up!"


>Write down (or at least thinking about) what you're looking for is actually a good thing—it keeps you focused on what's really important to you in a long-term stallion (such as he wants to get married eventually, likes foals, dislikes prison…you know, the little things)

Iris nods.
"Uh….should we…say a few words?"

Vilina is quiet now that Amber is here.

"Of course."


Sit on the dirt.
"I'm no good with words."


"Uhuuh… where exaclty did you get this?"
Read another passage.


I'll think a minute, briefly considering tucking it into the bag of holding until we're done with it. Then I'll dismiss the notion.
"What happened to your confidence, Amber? It's just a test they're giving you, not asking you to be a hoofmaiden of Cadence herself. If you're worried about it getting wet, wrap it in something to keep water out. It should be fine in your bag, barring circumstances completely beyond our control."


I take a few deep breaths, then nod.
"R-right! You're right! Why am I being silly about this? My job is to keep others safe, so a book shouldn't be a problem!"


"Uh…well we never knew this pony, but I'm sure he had a family and friends that loved him very much…let's think about that for a moment and be happy about the ponies we have in our life. Whoever you were…I'm sure you're in a better place now."
She closes her eyes.
Indy looks weirded out at the whole thing.

>If you're annoyed about something a stallion does, don't tell him directly but give subtle hints.
If he gets them that means he loves you.

"At the library?"


"It seems… strange?"
This is a joke book, right?
Read another.


Stand up.
"You were good.
I'm sure he won't complain."
Pat Indy on the head.
"I'm not sure I understand either pal.


>When going on a date, make sure to make him spend AT LEAST (more recommended) 20 minutes waiting for you to finish your make-up. It will make him more open towards you.

It seems disturbingly serious.
"What do you mean?"


"Why tell words for dead pony? Why put him in the ground?"


"It shouldn't. But it's good to worry at least a little. That shows you're at least thinking about the problem."


"So he won't go walking around.
And it's like…
Reading a goodnight book."


I smile and nod.
"Thanks Warren! And uh… sorry for being angry at you earlier!"


Point at the one I just read.
"Like… what's this?"


"It's fine. What are friends for, if you can't get argue with them from time to time?"


"Oooooooh" He nods with understanding.

"A…helpful hint? I did it…often."


I glance at Vilana again.
"… I shouldn't have been so mean to her. I don't know what I was thinking!"


"As long as you recognize the mistake, I'm sure it's fine."


"And your succes rate is…?"


"We got one more place to check."
Jump down again into what is left of the biggest secret chamber and start inspecting the ruins of the monster.

Roll #1 8 = 8


"Miss Mabel helped me realize that! She's nice! … Kind of."
I frown slightly.
"… She was being mean earlier though. I don't really understand why."


"…..fine. What's your advice?"

That tunnel was collapsed as was clearly marked on the map.
But since you rolled an 8.
You manage to climb through, the chamber is severly damaged and pieces of the statue lay everywhere.



"You are pretty fun to tease, or at least I'm sure that's what she thinks."
I'll smile.


I scrunch.
"Well I don't like it!"


I thought there was space left!
But yeah, let's slam my way through.
I should look for pieces of the statue that would look nice!


Approach Amber.
"Does Amber pony have time to chat?"


Turn to look at him.
"Oh, sure! What's up?"


"Does Amber heard of the Ursa Minor nearby? Bedrock told Snacks about it though Snack is not sure what Ursa is doing around tin these parts. It might catch a good price if taken down though."


"I have! I'm being sent to a crystal paladin encampment up ahead to meet with them and help them take the Ursa down! It's preventing the railroad from being completed so it has to go!"


I scratch my chin.
"Snack didnt know the crystal ponies are interested in it too. Thats good to hear." I grin.
"How about the others like Soil and Warren? Do they know about this predicament?"


"Warren does! But he doesn't want the paladins to get their hooves on the stardust."
I frown deeply.
"I guess there's no point in getting upset over that though."


I tilt my head in confusion.
"Upset about what?"


"He doesn't want the paladins to get the dust from that ursa! … I just don't know why that dust is so important. But like I said, no point in getting upset! I'll just do what I was told to do and help out the paladins as best as I can!"


"One of these days you'll need to learn how to take a good-natured joke."
"I never said they couldn't have any, just not all."


I closed my arms together.
"Whats so important with the dust btw?"


"I just told you, I don't know!"

"Well… maybe you should leave this hunt to the paladins and I! I don't know!"


"The dust is, to put it bluntly, our pay for taking down the bear. Not only is it worth a fair amount, it's a material that can likely be used for crafting a wide variety of things."


I scratch my head.
"Snack will have to ask Bedrock about the stardust though."

"Ah, Snack see's, if that is the case then both our party and the paladins might wrestle for it. What does Warren and Amber think?"


I huff slightly.
"I'll ask the head paladin in charge first! If they want all that dust, I'll help them get it! It's my duty to do so!"


"Well, I'm in favor of getting there before the paladins do. I'm willing to compromise with Amber to donate a portion of the dust to the paladins, if everyone else agrees."
I'll look at her for a moment.
"I cannot speak for the others, but if no compromise can be reached, you might just be trying that without us."


"Ask them Amber pony, if not then the party is basically working for free and Snack think not many of us would be happy with that."

I nod at this.


"Fine! But I'll remember that. You can count on it."

"Then don't take on the ursa at all! No work done means no fee needed!"


I lower my ears
"Amber, Snack is just telling what may happen."


And I'm telling you what may happen as well! This is really important! I have to perform well if I ever want to become a paladin… and that's important to me. My life goal right now! My duty as Aspirant Paladin!"


"So Amber pony is deteremined to do this with or without our help?" I tilt my head.


I nod.
"I have to!"


"Then let's hope that the paladin commander there is open to compromise. I'd hate to see a friend get eaten by an Ursa due to stubborn pride."


"Snacks will be in whether or not there will be pay if Amber's dreams are on the line."

"Lets just hope the paladin recompense if one of us go down." I frown.


"Well, let's hope none of us go down."


"It's not pride! Don't you get it? If I fail here, I might as well wave goodbye to my dream! I never did this for the money, if you want money then I promise I'll pay it back to you!"


I lower my head before looking at her and nod at Amber.
"Snack will be there for Amber pony to achieve her dreams."


I smile at him.
"Thanks Snacks! I… I'll make it up somehow!"


I'll hold my hoof up for a moment, and shake my head slightly.
"Look, let's just… back up a second. Say we can't work out a compromise with your paladin commander down near the bear. I'll just have to write it off as a loss, and try and not make myself obvious while helping. Snacks isn't the only one worried about what can happen during the fight."
I'll grimace a little.
"Besides, as tempting as the stardust is, I'd rather you come back alive than get paid."
An expression of mock seriousness will settle on my face.
"And you can bet I'm going to try my darnedest to get paid for fighting an Ursa Minor."


"Good! But you don't need to worry about me so much, I'm a big pony! With those paladins at my side, I wont be able to fail!"


I'll chuckle slightly.
"Well, in the extremely unlikely event that you do, Snacks and I will be there to help pick up the slack."


"I promise… I'll pay you back somehow!"


I think for a moment.
"Maybe, we will see."

I nod at this.


"Just staying alive is fine, for now."


"Well… maybe the commander will be open to pay you all anyway. I don't know yet! … Really, I have no idea."


"We'll see how it goes when we get there. For now, we should relax, and prepare for the trip."




"Yes, we should."

I approach Amber.
"Can Snack and Amber pony talk about…. things?"


"Sure! Always!"


I let two of my finger touch each other while looking down.
"W… what do Crystal ponies want in life?"


"Uh… well that depends! I want to become a paladin, see the new world and help ponies! And… Star probably wants to travel and explore the world as well! I guess that's kinda normal after being locked away for a thousand years though. So much changed!"


I scratch my head
"Do crystal ponie's dont like anything? Like a good set of gem necklace or fur coat?"


"Uh… Well I think gems are nice! Most ponies do, don't they? Don't diamond dogs as well? And dragons? Yeah!"


I produce a notebook and began writing
"Besides that, what do crystal ponies think of the new world?"


"It's… different! So much new technology and magic has been developed! You can't imagine how scary it was to see stuff like guns and trains for the first time! But it was exciting as well! It feels like we weren't even gone for a day, yet the world changed so much around us!"


"That is true."
"So Crystal ponies dont want to settle down in one place while they are young right?"


"Uh? That kinda differs from pony to pony! I for one want to keep traveling. Why shouldn't I, while I'm still able to?"


I scratch my head while smiling.
"Amber is correct about that, Snacks is just thinking too much ahead of the future and what is to be done."


"Right! You don't have to worry too much about it yet. I still have plenty of time left myself for one."


I nod at this.
"So once Amber's dreams come true and become a pony paladin, what is Ambers plans after that?"


"I don't know… keep traveling? That's what paladins do. Looking for wrongs to right and ponies to help!"


I close my arms.
"Looking for wrongs to right and ponies to help, all the while sticking with us right?"


"I sure hope so!"


"Thats the Amber pony Snack knows." I raise a paw and offer a high five.


I smile and jump up, trying to match his height for a high hoof.

Roll #1 6 = 6


"Snack knew Amber can do it, dont worry Amber Pay or no pay Snack will help Amber get her dreams come true." I smile


"Good! Let's just hope it wont come to that. I'm sure the paladins will pay you all though!"


"Not necessity, this is Ambers dream after all. Snack is glad to help Amber get her dreams."
I then stroke her mane
"As long as Amber is happy Snack also is."


"Well thanks again!"


Roll for what you find.

Do people still want to faff or is it time to move on?


Ready! Ready! Ready!

Roll #1 10 = 10


I'm ready.


I guess I can just tell Iris we'll need to talk about her methods later.
And take that book away from her, it's not healthy for her.


Like, kinda ready?
Hadn't I just breached the old collapsed chamber?


How about a timesplit?


Works for me.
So, in the future, or in the present, come back to the inn and give Snacks the axe.
"I know this is right up your alley, pal."


Works for me.
I should also apologize to Amber


I guess we can faff if the others want to. I could apologize properly to Vilana.


The past
Roll for what you find in the collapsed chamber.

You were here >>485226

The interPC faff you'll have to do yourselves.

The present
It is time to leave Shardstone.
Packed and ready for the hunt you leave for the untamed wilds.
The road is old and rough and the sun above shines bright and unforgiving.
Without even a breeze, the journey soon becomes a slow march trying to ignore the heat.
The only one who seems to be doing fine is Bedrock, who's pulling a cart with all his merchandise, belongings and Star, who's spending her time researching the tablets.

You try to keep your senses alert. It is in these woods that the Ursa Minor and other horrible creatures lurk….


"First of all, get rid of this."
Point at the book.
"It's full of rubbish."

"Oh, what I wouldn't give for a nice cold glass of icy water now…"


"Thanks Celestia…"


I'll just be flapping along.
"Well, you've a water pouch, don't you? So long as you don't pull too deeply on it, you should be fine for a little while.


"Yes, but I want an icy glass of it.
For style."


"Sadly, part of roughing it is, well, roughing."




'1d10' Because I'm not a very observant pony.
But I like shinies.

Roll #1 3 = 3


"Giving up the creature comforts of home and hearth. Making due with simpler things."


"Never liked it rough."



"Me neither!"


Go and talk to Iris.
"Is it Iris right?" I scratch my head.


She has a look like a sad puppy.
"B-but….the magazines I read it was a good book."

Not too much here….
It exploded in a thousand pieces.
You do find a crystal shard of something…might have been part of the machine.
But wether or not it will be really useful is another question.
It's a nice shiny to hang on your shield or give to someone important.
Indy scavenges around as well, munching a few crystals as he finds them.
Iris just looks at the statue in awe.
"I wonder who made it."

You find her cleaning up the dishes.
"Yes, what's the matter Snacks?"

In the present all of you see a plume of flame.



>in the distance
>you see a plume of flame in the distance.
>A forest fire?


"That must be the camp ahead of us! Finally!"
Pick up the pace.

"Why would anypony like that?"


"I bet it was in some Daring Doo book."
Oh well.
It's still a slab of crystal, no?
Good enough to hang on a wall and use as a mirror to shave.


It's a BIG plume of flame though


"Some ponies are weird like that."

"Who do you trust more, some magazines, or me?"

"That is either very good news or very bad news."


Uh… m-maybe it's a big campfire?

I just scrunch and keep walking.


"…hey, I didn't say you were weird. I just said some ponies are!"


Oh shit.
Squint my eyes.
"You didn't do that, did you Indy?"


I stick out my tongue at her.


"Snack is… confused. Is Iris pony… new to hunting monsters? Snack and Iris have not talked much in the past, well we havent talked at all for that matter."


I catch up beside her and chuckle.
"Real mature."


"While he was with us? I doubt it. That might either be the paladin group, or a dragon."
I'll fly up a bit higher. Can I make anything out over there? '1d10'

Roll #1 9 = 9


"I am mature!"


"See anything?"

"But you stuck out your tongue at me!"


"So? It works!"


"It's rude!"


"Well you were being rude too earlier!"


"I was just poking some fun!
I didn't hurt you, did I?"


"What? no! You didn't even touch me!"


I shake my head.
"I mean I didn't offend you, right?
I was just trying to have fun with you."


I idly kick some dirt on the ground.
"… Maybe I got a little mad…"


The road seems to curve towards the east, while the plume of fire is more to the south, far in the forest.
You might want to inform your friends if you're going off-road.

You can do whatever you want with it.
Indy burps fire and the light of it flickers in a hundred of those tiny crystals for a second.
Iris' eyes widen. "I've never seen anything like this before…" she looks towards you.

She looks at the book for a long time.
Then she looks up.

Who knows. It's off-road, keep following the road and you might never see it.

"It wasn't me. Promise!"

"New? I guess you could say that but I'm not much of a fighter. I came with you because Bedrock invited me and he thought I'd be a good researcher for the team."

There's a huge fire going on! A forest fire.
…Wait a minute. The fire isn't moving, come to think of it, the trees are ablaze but the don't show any signs of actually being consumed by the fire.
They just keep burning.


"What do Iris pony researching by the way? Star and Snack is researching runed crystals and gems." I grin.


What can I see? Can I spot anything?


Tap the crystals.
Indy does fire all the time!"
Scrounch at him.
"We should check it out."


That's… odd.
I'll float down to the others.
"That fire isn't actually burning the trees… I think it might be an illusion, maybe to keep the Ursa away?"


"Huh? The big campfire?"


"Yes. It's practically a forest fire, but the trees aren't actually burning. Nor is it moving. Might be that paladin group."


"You think it's an illusion! Wow!"
Inhale! Do I smell burning? If not, it's an illusion!


I frown.
"Oh, I'm sorry…"

"Huh… or one of those elemental things?"

Smirk and hoof her the book.
"Good! First thing first, I want you to get rid of this book. And I'll be very cross with you if you keep it and I'll catch you reading it ever again! With this, you'd never get a proper relationship with him."


"Snack can check it out if everyone wants. If not… dig something?" I scratch my head.


It's hard to see much from down here.
But you get a bad feeling about it.
You've seen forest fires before, this doesn't feel like one.

"No I mean…it's so pretty, I've never seen something like it before!"


Indy squints his eyes.
"You sure? Looks dangerous."

Roll to see if the wind is coming your direction


She grips the book a bit more tightly.
"But getting rid of a book is such a waste….but I'll stop reading it, if you think that's the right thing to do."


Look at it for a while.
"Do it again, Indy."
Sit down next to Iris.
"Looks fun!"


Feing a non-caring shrug.
"Well, if you never want to have some romantic novel moments with him…"

"Should we investigate?"


"It's fine… "

How far is it? Smell of burning tends to be quite strong no matter where the wind blows.

Roll #1 2 = 2


"Oh pretty much…Everything.
I don't know that much really.
But Bedrock said he thought I was good with books."
She points to a pile of them not far from her


"Well duh!
Might be a monster!
Maybe a biglarghuge flaming monster!"


"Are you sure?"


"Warren! Did you smell burning?"


"And how do you plan to hurt flames?"


"Snack has seen many forest fires before, Snack can tell from his guts and from the many forest fires Snack has witnessed in his days."


"Books? Its a pretty new concept to Snack because dogs mostly use runes down underground."


Look at her as if not even understanding the problem, and raise my shield.
"Well damn.
No monsters then?"


I smirk mischievously.
"Only if you admit that I'm an adult and mature pony!"


"Well, we'll feel it if it's real soon enough."
"Not yet, but we'll see soon enough."


I suppose you're right.
There's a feint smell of fire on the wind.
But it's still a distance away.

Indy does it again.
"It's weird but…I guess things like this is why I came with all of you. You can't see this in books."
Indy cringes.
"Can't fight fire."

"Fine. I'll get rid of it. What next?"

"You do? I've never read much about Diamond Dogs. There's not much known…how is life in the…Forts is what you call it?"


"Snack can try and find if there is any tracks around here. Wait."

Go around the area and see if I can find any tracks of large games or monsters around.

Roll #1 3 = 3


Pat her head and coo.
"Of course you are, little Amber."

Now forget everything you read in it."


"Plenty of these things, all around.
One day I watched a waterfall. It was so big."
"Watch me do it!"


"Hey! I'm not little! I bet I'm stronger than you are too!"


"Wait a second… The townsfolks said something about elementals."

"I never said I was stronger than you though."


I scratch my head.
"Its very different from the lives that ponies lead in the surface world, that is what Snack can tell."


"But you still implied I'm small!"


"They did? You wouldn't think we'd run into one this soon, would you?"
Head over to Bedrock.
"Say, Bedrock, you wouldn't happen to have a spyglass, would you? That huge fire is a bit suspicious."


"Pepper is small too, and still strong."

Click with my tongue a few times, then perk up.
"Burning Grove, that was it!"


"But I'm a big pony!"


"I told you! Big fire monsters!"


"Burning Grove does seem to fit the description…"


"Fire elementals."

Perk my long donkey ears.
"I'm taller."

"That explains the heat too."


"Same thing!"


"That thing? Doesn't look suspicious to me."
He checks a rather complex looking machine of gears and orbs.
"And we don't have that much time left. If you want to check it, I suggest you do it fast mister Warren."
He gives you a spyglass.
"And don't break it or I'll take it off your pay."

You don't notice anything here.
She nods.
"I suppose you must miss your old friends?"


"Not in Tall Tale…I suppose I really needed this. It's so exciting. Searching for things nopony set hoof in..in well maybe centuries."
Indy grabs on.


"No fair! That's… That's totally cheating!"


I'll nod. Fly up, and take a careful look.
What can I see? '1d10'

Roll #1 7 = 7


I just smirk.
"No it's not."

"So, first thing first… Be yourself. Okay? That's the most important thing."


One last patrol and see if I can spot or see anything


"Well Snack kind of miss them but Snack is not sure if they missed him." I scratch my head
"Have Iris ever seen a dog fort before?

Roll #1 7 = 7


What are the others doing?

I pout.


"It's okay. I'll call it a draw just this once."


Sure it is nice here in this half collapsed building with a thousand gems lighting our private night.
Time to say absolutely nothing.
Let's unlock the cart and start marching for the fire.


"Whoa there, what are you doing?"


"Going to fight the fire elemenentals!"


"… Fine!"

"Good idea Soil! Wait for me!"


"And how exactly do you two plan to do that?"


I pat my hammer and smile.


"Race you there!"
"Loadsa slamming!"
Don't even turn around.

Roll #1 5 = 5


I give her a deadpan look.
Fire, Amber."


I nod and smile

Chase after him!

Roll #1 4 = 4


I sigh and facehoof, then follow them.
"This will be bad."


"Soooo….where do you hail from, Soil?"
Are you sure?

You take the spyglass and look.
There's movement in the sea of flames.
Flames moving around, in an organized fashion.

"But what if he doesn't like who I am?"
Iris looks up.
"WHAT? Fire Elementals?"
She starts digging in her books.

There's no tracks here mate, you look around good but there's nothing right here.
"No I can't say I have…what's it look like?"

Iris is digging in her books
Snacks is looking for blues clues
Mabel is talking about fire elementals
Soil wants to get moving


Yep, those are fire elementals, I guess. Float down, and return the spyglass to Bedrock.
"Yep, those are fire elementals. We should probably go around."


"Obviously, he does.
That's why you shouldn't rely on cheap tricks or try to act different. So he continues to like you for who you are. Get it?"


"Can they even be damaged by normal weapons,"


I stop
"What? Why?"


My farm.
Except it's not a farm anymore because it burnt down."
I really wish someone had explained to me how this stuff works.
Shift a bit in place, uncomfortably.
Hell yes motherfucker!


"Do you want to walk into a giant bonfire? It looks like their town. And I'm not fireproof."


"Don't be such a chicken!"


I scrunch.
"I don't want to be set on fire either…"


"Really, think for just a second.
They are made of fire. What happens when you touch fire?
And what is your plan to defeat them?"


"Rather a live chicken than a cooked goose, Soil."


"Slam them.
Over and over!
It's like you never even fought monsters!
This shield is fireproof!"


"Yes, but you aren't.
What happens if you walk into fire, Soil?"


I'll just shrug.


Raise my hoof.


"Nothing, because of the armor!"


Shoot her a glare.
"Hey! She asked me!"



"Yes, Amber?"




"You get burned! I burned my hoof when I was little once!"


"That's correct. You get burned."
Look at Soil.
"Even through the armor."


"I don't get burned though!"


"Are you fireproof now?"


"I never really got burned.
Not for long anyway.
Could be that shaman thing Iris talks about."


I hoofpump.


"…you really think he likes me? He seems so…distant."
Iris gets out a book with a fire motif on it.
"Fire Elementals.
The living embodiment of elemental fire energies, the task of these creatures is to regulate, expand or curb the influence of the fire element in accordance to the larger cosmic equilibrium. They can usually be found in deserts or volcanos. Wow…should I read more?"

Iris looks a bit uncomfortable.
"Oh…eh…an accident?"
>Hell yes motherfucker!
Soil moves into the forest towards the raging fires. If you want to accompany him now is the time because he is gone.


"Iris, talk some sense into Soil, please."


"Soil! Waaaait! You'll get nasty burns!"
Chase after him!


"He just has a hard time expressing feelings is would be my guess. I'm pretty sure he does."
"Yes, and quickly if you can!"

Follow that dummy Soil.
"Hey, stop for just one second!"


Huff and stop.
"What now?!"
"It was during that war… Thingy."


"Do you really want to run into what's probably a town of these things? There's a limit to bravado, Soil."


"We are paid to clear monsters on the road!
They are monsters, and are on the road!"


"At least let Iris finish up so we can know how dangerous this is!


"They're in the woods. That's a little different.'
I'll nod at this.
"At least know what you're running into, Soil."


Groan and stop.
"If they don't pay us, I'm gonna be angry at you."


"But at least you'll be alive to do so."


"We can always come back!"


Just scrounch at both and say nothing more. But stop.


Iris looks up and walks after Soil.

You all catch up at the edge of the forest.
Iris taps the book.
"I can tell you a thing or 2 about them…"
She continues reading.
"Fire Elementals are very territorial, they will usually leave a passing traveler alone but won't hesitate to attack anypony interfering with their duties.
There is a strict hierarchy amongst the Elementals with at the top the immensely powerful near-godlike Elemental Lords. The more higher in the hierarchy, the more intelligent and communicative an Elemental is.
The only way to banish Fire Elementals is using their opposing Elemental force, Ice, against them.
Hey maybe Star can enchant you weapons? like the ghosts?"


"Wait so… they're actually not monsters? Oh… good thing you told us! We should keep going to the encampment then!"


Smirk in joy.
"Ah! I told you there was a way!
You are a genius Iris!"


"Did you miss the part with them not being bad guys?"


"Ice magic?"
I'll think a moment.
"Well, if Star can't, then I'm pretty much the only one who can hurt them, if it comes to that."


"I don't understand what you are talking about.
Look like monsters to me."


"Who regulate fire and cosmic stuff and that."


Iris shakes her head.
"But it's really weird to see them out here. They usually don't do that. And the book says that Fire Elementals, while neutral in the grand scheme, are the more agressive ones.
We should find out what they're doing…"

"…against Nightmare Moon?" she shudders.


"Wont they attack us though? You said they don't like intruders…"


"…fine, we can try to talk to them first then."


"If we're lucky, one of them's smart enough to talk. If we're not lucky, well… we should be prepared for a few burns."


Smirk in victory towards Mabel.
Nod slowly.
"So my pa' and ma' bought me a shield, and I went off.
It was fun.
Met a lot of ponies.
Snacks. Warren. Amber."
Pause for a few moments.


"…I don't know."

Well I don't know what to do anymore, just go wherever you want and I'll make something about it.


We're probably going to approach. I'll whip up a couple missiles. '1d10'

Roll #1 5 = 5


We sort of just decided to check if the elementals can talk


Everyone cast their vote for where you're going

>Follow the road

>check the elementals
>somewhere else


We're going to risk approaching them and try to communicate.


Check the elementals. We'll meet up with Bedrock on the other side.


>check the elementals






"Its big and… underground. All dogs work with each other and help each other. We mine the earth for minerals and gems that nopony has seen and we either kept its beauty or sell them for a price." I smile at Iris.


Star takes out some time to enchant your weapons, consuming one gem from each of you.
You approach the clearing cautiously.
The heat intensifies considerably next to the burning trees.
Inside the circle you see numerous living flames shaped like reptiles.
You see a few crocodiles, wingless drakes, snakes, basilisks, all made of flames patrolling the area.
They hiss as you approach but a more pony-like Elemental in the middle of the clearing makes a short strange sound and the elementals return to their business.
The more pony like being must be the one in charge.

You can't quite summon ice motes this close to the heat.

"I see…have you been travelling long?"

"That's so fascinating. I don't know, I don't think I could live that long underground, but you Dogs manage it just like that."


"Hey! Whatcha guys doing?"


I'll sweat a bit, then call out to the firepony.
"Excuse me! Can we have a word with you?"


"Uh… hi?"


The pony quickly turns towards you and with the speed of lightning sits next to you.
His fiery gaze is piercing, seemingly looking into your very soul.


Clint Squint that one elemental.
Smile a bit.


I raise my weapon and get ready.


"Well Snack thinks most pony or most races can live underground just fine." I nod


"I just did! Whatcha guys doing here?"


"We didn't know you were setting up a… town? Outpost? Has this all been cleared with the locals?"


"Heey, just checking.
What are you up to?"


Do I have any idea what it is?

"Fire pony will burn everything!" I raise my weapon against it.

Roll #1 4 = 4


>Do I have any idea what it is?
Iris read out aloud what that is just a few in-game minutes ago to all of us.


"Pony law or customs do not apply to us. Our liege sends us here and here we work."

"Renovations. Our duty is to allow the proper restructering of nature to occur. We are preparing this location for its new purpose."

"I don't know, it seems so dark and gloomy, but…there must be a lot to see of course. All beautiful gems…"

It's a fire elemental obviously.
"This fire is perfectly under control. It will not spread into the remaining area. This is not our purpose here."


She smiles a bit.
"Tell me more about yourself."


"What new purpose? Are you guys going to build something? Ooooh, tell us!"


"What sort of new purpose?"
I'll wipe my forehead.
"You have to admit this looks rather suspicious to the average passer-by."


"And that purpose is?"


"To properly reroute internal pressure within the world, we are seeking to open new fissures into the inner depths. Soon this place and the surrounding area far and wide will be changed forever. Remade in fire."


I just raise my arm against the intense heat and steel myself.
"Purpose for what?"

"Snack thinks this fire is not our place! But if fire pony do something bad Snack will help!"


I just smile at her naiveity.
"Is this the first time Iris meet a diamond dog like Snacks?" I smile at her.


"That sounds like it would burn the poor fellas living nearby."


"… Oh! Like a volcano?"


"They are none of our concern. Our duty is to stabilize nature and the world. Our liege the Lord Pyrrus has decreed this area is suitable. The ponies living within nearby settlements are not our responsibility."

"Yes, I've never seen one before…"

"That's what ponies call it."


"That… sounds actually rather terrible. Why not open one out at sea? Away from where everyone here lives?"


"But… why here? You could totally do it someplace nopony lives, right? The frozen north has plenty of places where it's too cold-… Oh. Right… fire elementals…"


"Can't he decree someplace else suitable? Where there are no settlements?"


"Pyrrus commands it needs to be here, therefore it needs to be here. He knows better than you or me the complex intricacies of the inner world.
Besides any place would risk death, at sea numerous fish would die because of a new fissure for example. It is merely the processes of Nature at work.

"I cannot petition my Lord, his word is law to us."


I grit my teeth upon hearing the settlement nearby.
"Will this plan of this so called Lord phyrrus involves the burning of the nearby settlements?" I then ready my weapon


I smile and sit next to her.
"Iris is a bit lucky she meet Snacks at this time and age since Snack today is very different from Snack in the past. Dogs are not that friendly to other races." I look at her shyly.


"Our activities here have a 94.56% chance to destroy the nearby villages. And our duty here is final, our Lord has decreed it. Instead of fighting a pointless fight you should warn the village of Shardstone of its coming destruction."


She winces a bit.
"I heard…but you're not like that."


"But… that's evil! You can't just hurt ponies like that!"


"…Why not put it under the lair of the big undead dragon that's flying about? No chance of collateral damage when you take out an undead!"
I'll grimace at that.


"That's bad news.
I'm sure you are reasonable though! We can work something out."


"The sentient races hurt each other all the time over petty conflicts. We are not here to hurt ponies. This is merely a side-effect. Furthermore, instability of the worlds crust through improper pressure management would create far more catastrophes."

"I merely follow the word of Lord Pyrrus. It is not within my power to disobey him. Unlike sentient creatures we do not have any free will in the matter.
If he says this place is perfect, then so it must be.


"I want to speak to this Lord Pyr… Pyrrirus!"


"How much time would the ponies of Shardstone have?"


This heat's making it hard to think.
"Why would this place be any more perfect than, say, somewhere in Prance? Or the Himaneighyas?"


"Burning settlements…"

I then look at the others knowingly with my weapon ready.


I then drink a cup of water.
"Snack is a hunter and Snacks hunt does not end on games like rabbits and the likes. If the fort needs big game or.. someone Snack hunts it and bring it to our lair."


"Here? Like this?"
Turn my head towards here suddenly, as if taken by surprise.
Turn to the others.
"Look, I've had enough with these guys.
Why don't we stomp them already?"


"Approximately 56 hours"

"Pyrrus has investigated. Based upon the local elemental structure of the soil, presence of Earth Elementals, Astral pressure upon the underlying magic currents in this place and the proximity to problematic deep magma storages, He has judged it perfect."

He looks at you
"Lord Pyrrus is not like you and me. His power borders on the divine. It is…unusual for us to bring non-elementals before him. You would be tested. And there would be consequences for failure."


"Because we don't want ponies to get hurt. And natural catasthropes might do just that."

"What is this test?"


"What kind of test? I'm really good at gym and geography!"


So we stomp them and then it's all good because they can't do no volcano."


"So the volcano will be someplace random. That's no good either."


"Better than near a village."


"Who can know what our Lord plans, however our Lord respects only willpower, for willpower is the essence of the Fire Element. It alone can burn through any obstacle.
You would need to brought before him on the Elemental Plane of Fire, where his hosts gather.
To enter the Elemental Plane we must fill you with the Essence of Fire, you will become one of us….and should you fail.
He points to one of the more animalistic fire elementals.
"You will become one of them eternally."

His gaze is piercing.
"The Secrets of Fire should not be taken lightly, young crystal pony."


I just grit my teeth upon looking at this fire pony and just ready myself in case my friends attack.

"Knowing it might destroy a village is bad enough. Snack dont want others to lose their home."


"The random place it could erupt could be near a city. With even more ponies. Let's just hear them out."

I scrunch and step closer.
"I accept these terms to be tested before The Lord of Fire."


I'll think a moment.
"If it can spare that village, then I might as well."
I'll take off my monocle.
"I agree to the test."


"I'm super serious right now."

"Me too!"


"More empty places than cities.
More sea than anything."


"Life and death are a continuous circle. "

"Are you sure? If you do this, there's no turning back. You either succeed and see our Lord or fail and serve us."

The more animalistic fire elementals stop their patrol and watch both of you.


Give the others a mean look.
"Stop that right now. This is stupid."


"Trust me, I learned from a druid.
I can do this."


"If this is the only way to convince your master to move this volcano elsewhere, then there's really no choice but to try."
I'll shrug.


"I thought Dogs always hunted in packs?"


"I'm sworn to protect ponies, even if it puts me in harms way! Of course I'm sure!"


"Then so be it."

Everyone who wants a transfer to the elemental plane should roll.



Roll #1 10 = 10


Savior give me strength!

Roll #1 1 = 1


'1d10' no time for second thoughts now.

Roll #1 6 = 6


Hell no I will stick to mean looks.


"We do, we hound our target either to trap it or exhaust it until he or she can be caught safely." I scratch my chin remembering the past.


Stick to the material plane.
"I dont like this."


"I'm with you on this pal."

Stare at the pony elemental.
"If they don't make it back, I will beat them out of you."


"Yeah!" I raise my weapon and try to intimidate the pony.
B..before checking its flank.


It's not a real pony.
It's made of fire.


I know part of my jest


Your training with the Druids has prepared you for a moment such as this. As the fire elemental essence awakens within you, you effortlessly ride the wave of energy within you. When you open your eyes you're in the Elemental Plane of Fire.
Your material form has erupted into flames.
+1 to all actions while in the Fire Elemental Plane

You cannot help but scream as the Element erupts inside of you, and great heat and immense energy flows through your body, uncontrolled.
There is no Saviour here.
Only the Elements rule here.
You're far, far away from Cadence here. And while she might still see you, does she have any power to help you here?
While in the Elemental Plane your Racial passive is disabled, both positive and negative.
You look like a fire elemental pony now

You manage to make it out okay.
You look like a fire elemental pony

All of you look out over a barren landscape. This might be what the world looked like when it was just born, a dark wasteland, filled with volcanoes, rivers of lava, great storms of lightning pierce the black skies.
And from the wasteland you feel something looking at you. A mind pushing against the edges of your sanity. Its gaze fixed upon you like 2 infinately strong headlights.
In the distance you see movement, more fire elementals are inspecting something on the ground.

And the rest is poof.
"I sense you both want to challenge me. Challenge us. Foolishness. Yet if you seek a duel, we will not back down.



"T-That didn't feel good at all!"


"You are little more than a bunch of dancing flames and freaky magic.
That's no duel, that's just putting out a wildfire."


"I don't know. He probably has his mind set on somepony else already…"

"Uh….do you like travelling?"


"Hey, quit that. Unless you want to give up on him."




"It's the best.
And sleeping in the wilds, near a river, or on a patch of grass, under a tree…"
Give a small smile.


"Oh….but tell me what I should do, Mabel? I mean, maybe I should tell him, but no wait I wouldn't survive if he said no, and he'll probably say no."
She starts trotting in circles.

"Just you and the wilds…real freedom…I like that."

Anyone wanted to talk to Vilina?


Calm. Down.
You just need to set the right mood!"


"It's not so fun when it's just me and me.
Got nopony to talk to.
That's why I like it now! Plenty of friends, and Indy, and you!"


Yes. Me.


"Uh….you mean like flowers and candles?"

She smiles a bit.
"I enjoy travelling with all of you too. Especially you, Soil~"

You wake her from her brooding.


Gulp down loudly, looking visibly embarassed.


I grin and walk next to her.
"Just saying hi! Uh… because why not right?"


I tap my chin.
"I don't know if he's into that… hmm, does he like books just as much as you do?"


Her smile fades a bit.
"Uh….was that too strong? That was too strong wasn't it?"


"He likes….adventure books!"


I smirk.
I think I have an idea."


"So uh… how are you doing? You look a little dour! … Are you mad at me for being mean to you? I'm sorry if that's the case… I don't know what I was thinking!"


It was just…


She looks expectantly.
"We read together?"

"Well….thanks, paladin. I did not expect this."

"Oh I'm sorry!"


Look at her in surprise.
"Sorry? Sorry for what?"


I smile confidently.


"No need to thank me! I was wrong to be mean! Because… if your're not nice to somepony, that pony wont be nice to you either, right?"


"Yay that's gre-….wait, so we read….and then what?"

"Uh…….for startling you?"

"Sometimes. Other times some ponies just become nicer when you treat them like shit."


"What? That… doesn't make any sense!"


"No, it was… Fine. But nice.


"You read a book that starts with adventure… and ends with romance."


"Ponies don't always make sense, young pony.
I'd say they don't most of the time actually."

She looks deeply in your eyes. Maybe she's expecting something….

"Oh….that's a great idea! Like one where the prince saves the princess!"


"Exactly! And make sure to sit right next to him while you read! You could even rest your head on his shoulder."


"Oh Mabel you're so smart!"
She gives you the H '1d10'

Roll #1 2 = 2


I scrunch.
"You're telling me! This stuff is hard sometimes! Mabel said the same thing about… ponies like it rough? I don't really understand why someone would like that…"


Look back, hinging closer.
Gotta look into 'em eyes.


That's awkward…
"Easy there…"


"Who knows? Maybe you should give it a try?"

After a long time of staring, Iris coughs.
"Uh….wanna read a book?"


I guess she's not too used to hugging.
"You're such a good friend Mabel!"


"Down here?"
Smile in entusiasm.


"But… I don't want to hurt somepony for no reason!"


"Yeah… we're gonna' have to work the way you hug though.
Also, did you ever kiss someone?"


"I brought a light!"
She takes out a glowing crystal.
"Star made it!"

"But if he or she likes it, why not? Wouldn't you want to help that pony?"

She looks down.


Lie down.
"What book do you want to read?
Oh damn, I didn't bring any!"


"But… how can you tell? I've never seen anypony ask somepony else whether they want to get roughed up! That's crazy!"


"I'll take that as a no. No shame in it, relax."


"I brought one."
She gets out a book with a red cover.
"It's an old story called Fleet and Flotilla!
I'm sure you'll like it!"

She shrugs.
"Oh I'm sorry Amber, I thought a smart pony like yourself would have heard of things like that before. I shouldn't have brought it up."

She bites her lip, looking sadly.
"What if he…doesn't like it?"


"Doesn't like what?"


Lie quietly with a smile expectingly and wait.


"H-Hey what! I just… m-maybe it's one of those modern customs I don't know about yet!"


"M-my kisses?"

It's a story about 2 young ponies in love, yet their families don't want them to be together.
In a series of daring feats, the young knight succeeds in eloping with the beautiful pony.
Yet her family is chasing the young couple!

"Of course, how silly of me. That must explain it!"


Scrounch hard.
"That's so unfair!"


Look around and lower my voice.
"I don't think he ever kissed anyone either. No offense."


"So tell me then! I want to know!"


The daring couple flees into a vast cave complex to escape their families.
Alone in the darkness they try to find a way out…yet the caves are so wide, the situation soon seems hopeless.
The dapper stallion looks his scared mare in the eyes and in the darkness they kiss for the very first time, in the face of death.
Iris pauses.

"You think? But he's cute!"

"Well it just sometimes happens. Love and affection comes in many forms Amber. Some you don't expect. If you're a student of cadence you should know all those forms."




Well damn.
Turn and look at Iris.


"I still don't really understand but… I guess you're right."
Punch her.
"Like this?"

Roll #1 9 = 9


She looks at you.
"Quite…romantic, isn't it?"

You hit her good.
She winces.
"Yeah…just a reminder. I'm not one of those ponies. But I'm glad you get the point."


What's happening?


"I'm pretty sure."


Talking to Iris
"We do, we hound our target either to trap it or exhaust it until he or she can be caught safely." I scratch my chin remembering the past.


"This is really weird… I don't like this strange new custom at all! I mean… some things you ponies do are weird already, but this is extra weird."


We're still at the campfire faffing.
I think you were taking a shower in Tullips tent-palace.
Plotwise the party has moved on to a place and you may either enter the Elemental Plane of Fire with Amber, Mabel and Warren or stay behind in the corporeal world with Soil and Snacks.
But that won't happen tonight, just think about which side you want to be on when we move on.


I'll go into the Fire Kingdom Plane.


So you going to take that shower or what~


I didn't already? How long has Shortcake been in there?


So what's going on here?


Shortcake is in the shower and I think the others are talking about attacking fire elementals?


Amber is getting cultural lessons from Vilana


I'll finish my shower and step out.

"Oh! Hello, still waiting for me?"


Then that means I'm visiting Iris to rack her brain on the stolen found artifacts.

"I was just gonna go visit Iris, actually. Wanna talk to her about the shit we, uh, 'found'."




"What, you're coming with? I thought you had stuff to do?"


"Uhh, I can't think of anything?"


"Oh. Well, I can't say I wouldn't… enjoy your company then~"


"Okay? Are we going or what?"


"Okay….I trust you. So…if I find a book, then what?"

"You want a hare to be caught alive? Why?
To breed more rabbits first?"

"What are you going to do? Last summer it was fashionable to wear horrible looking horseshoes. It just happens."

Let me rephrase that.
There's a timesplit going on.
In the present, you're all about to enter the Fire Elemental Plane.
However, since Sylt isn't here, I'm not moving that plot on, so we're still safely in the camp where you was last time.

There are some fresh towels.
Tullip knocks on the door.
"Are you done yet?"

Iris is reading.
"Hey Melody, Shortcake. How are you?"


"…We're already here."

"Just fuckin' peachy. Can you take a look at these?"
I show her the cube and the manuscript.


"All done, thanks!"

And then, after I finish drying off and leave.
"Pretty good. How are you?"


"Well… if you say so…"
Walk over to where Iris, Shortcake and Melody are.
"Hey you three! Do any of you like it rough?"


I just smile at how clueless she is.
"No not that, a fresh rabbit is better than one being hauled to fort after 3 hours of travel. Same like fish, prawns or any kind of meat, meat that is fresh before being cooked is better than one that is a half days or a days old."
"Breeding is a bit harder than one thinks. Sometimes they dont reproduce at all, hence the need for hunters."



Roll #1 6 = 6


I inwardly struggle to not break out in laughter.


"Melody does, sort of."


She inspects the cube first.

Tullip rushes in as you leave.
You didn't forget the cakes and your book did you?
Iris nods. "Trying to get some sun."

"Uh….then what do you catch alive?"

Roll #1 3 + 2 = 5


"So find a romantic book, get to the juicy parts and everything and then… hmmm… I guess that really depends on how responsive he is."


"And you don't?"

"Iris, what about you? This is important to know!"




She hold the cube in all sorts of angles.
"Well, I'm flummoxed. I've never seen or read about this before…but look."
She squeezes the cube a bit and a part of comes out.
"I think it's a puzzle or something…"

"Right, right…that should give him a good hint. But…what if he doesn't…respond?"

Iris grins a bit…
"Eh….I like it quiet and calm, thank you."


"Uhmm ahh.. many different things, depends on what the fort needs during that time." I look sideways while scratching my head.


"A puzzle?"
I hoof her the manuscript and take the cube, and start twisting the cube around trying to see if any other parts come out.

Roll #1 6 = 6


"Oh, thanks!"
I take my books and cakes before leaving.

I munch on one of my cakes and shrug.
"Eh, sometimes?"

"What? I was talking about flour. You know, for baking? How rough or how fine it is impacts the texture of whatever you make with it."



"But why? I really don't understand why ponies like it rough! It hurts!"


Flutter your eyelashes for me, will you?"


"If things made with rough flour hurts you've got something wrong with your mouth. Go to a dentist."


"Suuure you were…"


Roll #1 9 = 9


Total pokerface.


I cock my head to the side.
"What? What else would I be talking about?"


"No no! I'm not talking about flour, silly!"


She squints her eyes.
"I see…."

Another click and another part comes open.
"Ponies in ancient times used these kinds of things to keep things hidden….but I don't like this cube thing. It feels wrong."

She inspects the manuscript

"Eh…..I suppose some ponies like different things."

She tries

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


"Whatever the fuck it is I wanna solve it."
Poke one of the pokes. See what happens.

Roll #1 1 = 1


>Poke one of the parts


I tilt my head in confusion.
"What does Iris pony see?"


"Then what are you talking about?"

"What sort of wrong? Wrong like this book?"
I show her my cookbook.


"Great! Try to do something like that. Be charming and beautiful.
Now show me a nice smile."


I swing a punch at her.

Roll #1 2 = 2


"What the heck was that for?"

Roll #1 3 = 3


"Stand still, I can't punch you if you dodge out of the way!"
Try again!

Roll #1 9 = 9


You poke and poke and poke but it doesn't budge.
In frustration you throw it on the ground and one of the outer parts cracks. There is a cold breeze out of nowhere for a second.

"……Is this a manuscript of Triangle Tune?"

"Nothing. So you were a hunter. I thought most dogs were miners."

Forced smile '1d10'

Shortcake manages to dodge that.

Roll #1 1 = 1


I try to dodge and blind you with thrown sand.
"Cut it out!"

Roll #1 7, 2 = 9


I scrunch.
"But you said you liked it rough sometimes!"


Whatever. Fuck that thing. I shove it back in my bag.
"Yeah, an original manuscript. Anything interesting?"

"Hey! Woah! What the fuck? Why are you trying to hit Shortcake Amber?!"


I rub the spot where you hit me.
"I was talking about flour! What sort of pony likes being hit!?"


"I don't know! That's why I asked! I'm sorry! This is all new to me!"


"Go ask Snacks or someone! I know diamond dogs like hitting things."

"You shouldn't throw things around, Melody."


I frown.
"Whoa, whoa, whoa.


My face brightens.
"Many are, dog mines from morning to dusk, well if one can tell morning from dusk underneath the earth. Many dogs unearth, polish, smelt, purify or improve anything that they dig, from jewels, to bars, to armor and weapons. As long as it can be digged and can be found, a dog will do so."
"The promise of gems, minerals, ore's and wealth are just below one's paw so why not dig for it right?


"….where did you get this? It must be priceless!"

Iris smile is so forced it looks comical


She keeps "smiling."
"Not okay?"

"I heard Dog Forts have lots of treasure."


"But this is supposed to be a pony custom! Vilina told me so!"


"You try figuring this damn thing out then!"
I shove the cube into her hooves.

"A friend."
Do I notice anything about the manuscript?

Roll #1 10 = 10


Shake my head.
And try to resist a chuckle.
"We got to work on this."

Roll #1 6 = 6


"A friend, yeah. She let me have it."

"I've not heard of it."

I try to figure it out.

Roll #1 10 = 10


I look at Mabel then to Iris, confused as to why she is giving off that kind of msile.

"We have many, dug from the earth. Treasures and loots can be used to many things, from trading to appeasing to making deals or swooning others. Not to mention that one can buy many things on it and the way it glitters is so… beautiful." I grin.


"What? It's supposed to be really popular!"


You concentrate on the manuscript.
You try to play the song in your head. It plays louder and clearer, until there's no doubt in your head, somepony is playing that music around here somewhere.
Look around to find it?
Iris won't stop however.
"A friend? What kind of friend? This is fishy, you're hiding something from me!"

She tries again '1d10'

"Maybe we could visit your old fort sometimes?
Or wouldn't they like ponies in there?"

Roll #1 4 = 4


"What the fuck…"
I look around for where the music is coming from.

Roll #1 2 = 2


Wave a hoof.
"Mare stuff, you know. I'm giving her practice."

"Stiiiil not quite there."


"She might have been lying."

I meant the cube.


"… Why would she lie about that? I punched her too!"


I shrug.


I sigh and give her a sad smile.
"Snack doubt ponies would even like being in the place."


You have a knack for puzzles and you manage to nearly get it open.
The further you get the more cold you start to feel however…opening it might not be such a good idea is what your senses are telling you.
Open it completely?

More forced smiling '1d10-1'


Roll #1 1 - 1 = 0


"So… I punched you for no reason? … I'm so sorry! Please don't be mad at me!"



I shiver.
"Uhh, Mel? I think we should bury this somewhere. I don't like it."


I look uneasily at Iris.
"Is Iris okay?"


Perk up my ears and keep listening.

"Yeah, yeah…"

Roll #1 9 = 9


"Is something wrong?"

I put the puzzle in my bag.


Run back over to Vilina.
"Vilina! Vilina!"

see >>487398


"It's…fine. Want a cake?"
I offer you one of my cupcakes.


"Oh… sure! Thanks!"
Take one before I run off.


It looks really really creepy.
"It…it's not good, is it?"
Tears well up in her eyes.
"Oh…I'm such a failure, I can't even smile right."

You can pinpoint the general direction and trot towards it, you'd be leaving the camp though.

It's there.

She grins.

You got one of them cakes.


"I'll be right back…"
I go flying off in the direction on the music.
And that's it for me. Thanks for running!


Munch on it.
"You lied! Why did you lie!? I punched Shortcake for no reason!"



I follow Amber.


Whoa okay.
I approach her and stroke her mane trying to comfort her.
>rng pls
"I.. errr Iris is an okay and cool pony. Snack doesnt see the reason why Iris cry." I frown.

Roll #1 6 = 6


"And you were being mean to me earlier for no reason.
We're even now."

She's munching on the cake.

And there you go.


I give her a hug.
"Oh nonono, hey, come on, you just need to practice it! I have an 'It's okay, my throat is totally not bleeding because I stabbed myself' smile for my show, and believe you me, I had to learn that the hard way!"


I scrunch and glare at her for a moment, then sigh in defeat.
"… Guess I deserved that, huh? Well that's what I get…"


She dries her tears.
"Right…right..I got to stay strong."

"At least you can take a joke…"
She offer her hoof.
However something weird happens, she moves her hoof extremely fast and speaks so fast you can't understand her.

Amber suddenly slows down and starts moving in slow motion.


"Whoa! What!?"


I look at Mabel while whiping the perspiration that formed on my nose.
"Iris is an okay pony, dont forget that." I stop stroking her mane before pondering.
"Snack might be distracting both Mabel and Iris. Snack would think letting Mable and Iris talk would be better." I smile before leaving.

Lets go and approach Villana.


I try to grab her with my TK and pull her away from Vilina.
"Hey! What are you doing to her?"

Roll #1 1 = 1


"Good girl.
Now, just… act natural, okay?"
Lean closer to whisper.
"Imagine how you'd smile if he asked you to be your very special somepony!"

We'll talk later!"


It keeps going.
Everypony else moves crazy fast as well.
See next post as well

You grab her with TK and bring her to you.
From Ambers point of view however, you yanked her of the ground and towards you at the speed of light.
Amber must roll.

Vilina looks surprised. "ME?!? I DID NOTHING!"

She givs you a hug.
"You're a good friend Mabel, thanks."


I nod before approaching Vilana.

Whoa whats happening?


"I'm trying my best."


Vilina and Shortcake are argueing.
Amber moves really really slow.


"What's going on! Shortcake stop!"

Roll #1 8 = 8


So I see things are… well, happening. Gracious me.


"So why's she moving slow?"

I set you down.


Amber manages to keep her body together.
None of you understand what Amber says.
Nor does Amber understand what any of you say.



"What's going on here?"


Aaaaaa! How did this happen!?
Write 'HELP' in the dirt!




"Whats happening?" I approach.

"Is Amber pony okay?!"
See what I can do to her situation.

Roll #1 10 = 10


"All right, look, just calm down. We don't help Amber by panicking."
I'll watch Amber moving at a snail's pace for a moment.
"When did she start going slow?"


It must be some kind of evil spirit messing with her.
Quick use the sacred Doge rites of exorcism!

"About a few minutes ago." says Vilina.


I'll nod.
"Alright, and what did she do before that? Eat anything odd, mess with something she shouldn't have, annoy a wizard?"


Hell do I know any rites of doge exorcism.
Like that will stop me from exorcising her, lest her color fades.

Exorcise Amber!!

Roll #1 9 = 9


"Eh….she was eating a cupcake."

You do the Sacred Doge dances and prayers to the Fort spirit, just like you used to see the shaman do back home.
And the Fort guardian spirit must like gem ponies as well.
Amber slowly returns to normal.



"Wha-What was that!?"


I tap Amber on her face.
"Is Amber alright? Is she hurt?"


"Well, she seems fine now… But that doesn't explain why they were yelling at you for this."
"You started moving incredibly slowly. Thanks to Snacks, whatever happened is gone for now."


"No! Why would I be?"

"What? No! You guys were just moving really fast all of the sudden!"


"To us, you were moving slower than a snail with nowhere to go."


I wipe my brow.
"At least Amber is fine now. She was looking very sick that moment."

I nod at this.
"Slow and sick."


"I don't understand how! It just… happened! I'm sorry!"


I scratch my head.
"Snack dont see the situation being Amber's fault. How did it happen in the first place?"


"I just told you, I don't know!"


"There's no need to apologize. We were just worried and trying to figure out how it happened."
"We'll figure it out. All we need is to go over what you did before you started slowing down."


"Uh… I was talking to Vilina… then went talking to Shortcake, Iris and Melody… Shortcake gave me a cupcake so I ate it… then I spoke to Vilina again and then this happened!"


I scratch my head.
"At least Amber is now moving normally, Snack doesnt want to see friends being… slow. Got to go fast."


"Do you think the cupcake might have had something to do with it?"
I'll rub my chin a little.
"I mean, Vilina can't cast spells, so it can't have been her, and just talking wouldn't have done anything."


"Maybe? I don't know! I'm not eating cupcakes any more after this though!"


We're still in faff country.
It never ends.


We were discussing the curious case of Amber's Atrophied Acceleration.


"I still don't know what just happened!"



"Well, let's take a look at those cupcakes you were eating. Who made them?"



"Shortcake did! But they were just cupcakes!"

Roll #1 9 = 9


"Was there anything else in the kitchen that might have gotten into the cupcakes? What else was in there that was recently cooked or baked?"


"I don't know! I don't even know how or when she baked them!"


You feel…..tainted. You should do some prayer and meditation to cleanse yourself.
Your intuition tells you some foreign being or force tried to influence you.
Where that being is, or reasons are unknown however.
It must be close.


"Well, then that means we've got to ask Shortcake a few questions."


So, I was talking to Iris…


"I… I need to meditate on this…"
Stagger off somewhere I can pray in peace.
Heal myself just for the sake of it.

Roll #1 6 + 2 = 8


"The cupcakes are fine."
I eat one.


"I just hope it works…"

You start to feel better.
Yet the thought remains.
A psychic attack is no laughing matter.
It might strike again if you cannot figure out how to stop it.
Maybe it is time to follow the advice of your commander and meditate….and read Cadence's book?


"I'm sure it will. I think you two are on the same lenght already. Now you just need the magic to happen."


Right right! Meditate!
Uh… get comfortable, relax, clear my mind and let the warp overtake me.

Roll #1 4 = 4


I'll rub my chin a moment.
"Was there anything else that happened that could have caused it? Some baked bad, or offending a god of some variety?"


I take the puzzlebox out of my bag and show it to you.
"It might have been this. I almost got it opened, but stopped because it was scaring me."


I'll hold it for a moment.
Do I have any idea what this thing is? '1d10'

Roll #1 7 = 7


"I'll do my best…..I just have to grab the right moment when it arrives!"

There is an unknown whisper in the back of your mind.
Do the Prayer of Protection to Cadence and try to follow it.

Warren doesn't know shit about it.
But its touch feels cold and, just like everyone, it gives the impression to be..just wrong. It shouldn't exist.


Right… uh… look that one up in the book!

Roll #1 3 = 3


"Where… where did you find this thing?"


"Which we just discussed how to set up."


"I, uh, can't remember."


I'll give you a flat look look for a second or two.
"Of course you can't."
I'll shake my head.
"When we run into the paladin encampment, this gets destroyed, got it? Destroyed or sealed away."


"I don't know….shouldn't a perfect moment just…come?"

You search the pages franctically as the whisper gets louder again.
It doesn't speak a language you can understand but its words feel dirty in your mind.


Ew! Stop trying to make me think dirty thoughts, voice!
Keep looking!

Roll #1 5 = 5


"It can be urged.
But not forced! Big difference!"


"Fine by me."


I'll glance at it a second.
"Is… is there some way to shut it?"


I shrug.
"I don't know how."


The cube clicks and folds itself locked once again.
There's a cold breeze out of nowhere for a second…

You feel the Warp overtaking you.
Thoughts about Sombra and the terrible time are bubbling up in your mind.
Your world seems to be slowing down.

"Uh…I guess…"


Shiver a moment.
"What I wouldn't give for a cleric right now…"


N-No! Sombra is dead! The Crystal Empire is thriving!
Banish those thoughts and try to just remember the right prayer!

Roll #1 2 = 2


I shiver.

"Same here. Cupcake?"
I offer you one.


"I've never been one for comfort food, but I believe I'll make an exception this time."
Take it, and munch on it.


"And just relax. You really really really can't screw this up unless you want to."


I eat another.
"How is it?"
They were a 10 to make.


There's one screaming in the forest right now.

You remember the shackles don't you?
The hours of work, the whipping, the beatings?
The killings?
You're not in the forest anymore, you're there.
Surrounded by the crystal minions of Sombra.
They step aside, making a path for you to the throne of Sombra.
There's a pony laying in front of his throne…a pink pony….

"You'd be surprised about the things I manage to screw up."


"Tasty. Just the right amount of icing."
I'll perk my ears at that.
"That sounded like Amber. Quick."
And I'll run off in that direction.


I smile and lick the frosting off my lips.


"My biggest screw-up got me in a one-year timeout. I think you'll manage with some simple romance."



Roll #1 5 = 5


Make sure the door is open to the maximum, and try to use the rubble of the house to even conceal the door and block it from closing.

Take a deep breath to calm myself after all that happened, and head to town, making sure that the package remains unopened and in my possession.


This is your life little pony.
Equestria? Cadence? It was all a dream you desperately wanted to lose yourself in.
But this is the reality of what happened.
Before Sombras throne lays Cadence, dead. Her eyes open and cold.

You find her writhing on the ground speaking in tongues.

"If you say so….how did you…manage that first date?"

You may roll to directly fly to the House mansion or you may visit the town first.


Shit. I need to calm her down.
"Amber! Amber, listen to me! You need to calm down! You're going to be fine!"
Calm that pony. '1d10'

Roll #1 7 = 7


I have a package, and therefore a responsibility. I'll head to the House Mansion first.

Gryphon Flight [1d10]

At the same time, keep an eye out. That scene of the undead invasion is still too fresh and I want to make sure I am not arriving right before it starts.

Roll #1 9 = 9


It can't have been a dream! I don't want to go back there! I don't want to relive that life again!

Roll #1 9 = 9


What's happening?


"Oh, funny story. I was pretty young, and had the night off after a show that went pretty well, so I was happy. I was strolling through the town when this pegasus flew after me and started telling me how much he liked everything about the circus, and so on. He was cute, so we went to walk together and everything. Later we went to a park, talked and talked, watched the sunset, and you know the rest. Awkward smooching and holding tails for the first time."


Amber opens her eyes again, looking at Warren.
The whispers are silent…for now.
The memories of the old life fade again, surpressed by whatever magic made Sombra and the Crystal Empire disappear.
There are only some fleeting images and a feeling of terror left.

Shortcake gave the cube to Warren.
You were out in the forest still?

She holds her head dreamily.
"…and what happened?"

You arrive at the gates.
"Identify yourself" says a mean looking guard.


Right, yeah. I flew out to investigate the music.
Continue investigating.

Roll #1 8 = 8


"Awww. How romantic."


"Amber, are you alright? What happened?"


"I am Queren Pico. I have returned from Equestria to visit my family and deliver a package."

Stand tall and proud, have to make a good impression here.


I pant and look around in panic, then quickly hug Warren while sobbing uncontrollably.


"We spent aaaaaaallll night kissing. All night! A whole damn night, until the Sun started to rise! Then we both freaked out, because he was supposed to be home before nightfall, and I freaked out because the circus was moving on in the morning. Of course, they would have looked for me, but still. So we said and smooched farewell, and then we both ran our own way.
After that I was so exhausted I fell asleep when I got back. Leo had to carry me for the first part of the trip."

"I know right?
My lips felt numb for a whole week."


Looking through her eyes?


I'll hold still for a moment, and then return the hug.
"There there. You're alright now. You're alright. Everything's fine."


"You were with the circus?"


"Hah, yeah.
Where do you think I learned to duel and swallow swords?"



I nod and sniffle after calming down a little.
"I-I'm sorry… I don't know-… that was unpaladinlike…"


"You can swallow swords!?"


>She looks at you.
>"Quite…romantic, isn't it?"

You fly over the forest until you find a clearing.
In the middle sits an older pony playing a flute.
There are numerous animals near him.

He looks you over.
"Pico….Very well. Enter, but don't cause any trouble."
The gate opens up.

Iris looks dreamily and plays with her mane.


"Glory to Hyperborea."

Walk inside, what does it look like?


"Didn't you watch my show at that fancy place?
Okay, I sort of messed up there, but still. Yes, I can. I did it for a living, too."

"See? You don't need to worry. Even if it's awkward. Because in the end, it will be a pleasant memory."


I'll pat her back lightly as she calms down.
"It's fine. Really."
I'll look at her a little concerned.
"What happened? You went off to meditate, and then a few minutes later you were screaming and speaking unintelligibly on the ground."


Keep looking at her.
"A bit. But it wasn't that bad.
I liked it."
Get a clue.

Roll #1 2 = 2


"No. I was…busy."


Approach Vilana.
"Snack and Vilanna needs to talk."


"I… I don't even know how… there was this voice in my head and… visions."
I cringe a little and clench my eyes tight.
"… Horrible, horrible visions…"


I shrug.
"Oh well. I'm sure you'll see me do it more than enough."


"If it's about how horrible I am, your crystal friend already expanded upon that."

You don't get a clue.
Indy facepalms.


It's a grand hall made out of wood.
The walls are decorated with animal trophies, ancient weapons and armor and paintings of long dead heroes.
There's a heartfire burning in the hall. A perfect place to warm up.


I fly down into the clearing.
"Who the fuck are you?"


"Well, we at least have an idea of what might be behind it. Once we reach the paladins near the Ursa, we can have it safely destroyed, or sealed away."


I'll take the opportunity to do so. Sneezing on people isn't good manners.

Ask any servants or workers where the lord I'm supposed to deliver the package to is.


"Trust me. It will get awkward at least at one point. Somewhere along the line. It's inevitable. But you'll just laugh it off, I bet. I did, at least."


I open my eyes again and look up at him weakly.


"Is Vilana that or is there more to Vilana?" I look at her worried.


Use my special bro telepathy with Indy to ask him
She's too close! What am I supposed to do?

Roll #1 7 = 7


He stops playing.
"A traveler. Who are you?"

Lord Goldbeak is currently in negotiation with some other griffon.
The servant promises to get back to you as soon as possible though.

"Ok. Just laugh, got it."

"What do you think?"

Unfortunately Indy doesn't seem to posess the Telepathy perk yet.
However he points towards Iris.
She giggles a bit.


"Someone. What are you doing here?"


"There is something more to Vilana, like who she is, what is her back then, what is she thinking now and how she become like this." I sit on a rock near her.


"I bet he'll like your cute giggles. So you can even profit from it!"


"Thank you for your time."

Let's look at some of the weapons they have mounted. Any that catch Pico's eye?


"Isn't it obvious?"
He holds up his flute.
"I'm quite surprised to see somepony here…usually it's just me and my friends."
He nods at the animals.

She snorts.
"That's it? You want rehabilitate me or something? You hope I just say my story and somehow I'll realize what a horrible pony I am and change my ways?"


There's a strange empty spot on one stage.
There's a plaque underneath it "Griffonsong"


"He'll find it cute and fall for you even more, that's how, silly!"


"That's… it?"
I look at him confusedly. Is there anything off about him?

Roll #1 7 = 7


"That's interesting. What happened to it?" I ask myself.

Look over to any spare servants and ask them about it.


Look at him, then at Iris.
Awkwardly scratch the back of my neck.
"You look nice from here."

Roll #1 6 = 6


Well Fidget is ded…
So I'll just stumble back over to the camp and try to keep it together.

Roll #1 3 = 3


Can I track Melody?

Roll #1 7 = 7


I scratch my head.
"Snack didnt say once he wants Vilana to change nor does he say Vilana is a horrible pony. Snack doesnt know a thing about Vilana." I shrug.
"Or does Vilana wanted to be left alone?"


He's quite an accomplished flute player for a random pony in the middle of the forest.
His music is moving and soothing, you could listen to it forever.
"That's it. Who needs anything more?"
There is something off about him, but you can't pinpoint it.

A griffon with a golden beak appears.
"The Griffonsong. Once the pride of our House. Now lost."

She flutters her eyes.
"Nice how?"

You don't feel good.
And there's still that little whisper in the back of your head.
Not so loud but it's there and you try your best to ignore it.

Sure. You follow the smell of her mare juices and find her in a clearing in the forest. She's alone.

She sighs.
"Fine. You want to know?"


"Hi, Melody. Are you feeling, uh, okay?"
I blush as I ask the question.


"What was it? What happened?"


I have to get rid of this… Try to pray… oh goddess, please answer my prayer and protect me from this… evil.

Roll #1 9 = 9



"Just nice. Like, sleeping under a tree on a sunny day."


"Snack and Vilana is not acquinted with each other so Snack want to ask what is Vilana back then before we do… that thing." I made a sign of us killing a hydra


"Huh? Shortcake? What are you do- whatever. Doesn't fuckin' matter. Is it just me or is there something weird about this pony?"
I gesture to pony with the flute.

I look back at the sheet of music and examine it. '1d10' I then pull out my mandolin and start playing along. '1d10'
Do either of these actions help me determine what the hell is going on with this pony?

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


"Weird like there not being a pony there?"


"A terrible thing. An old griffon arrived in town. He was carrying a seal of our House, so we gave him all our hospitality, despite no one here ever having heard of him.
We gave him everything he wanted until he was recovered.
And this is how he repaid us in an unguarded moment."

you grab the book of Cadence and recite her prayer again and again.
The whisper lessens for now.

"R-right, of course how silly of me!"

She gets a bit closer.
"Nice like 2 ponies sitting in a cave together?"

"I was a businesspony. Ponies needed their drugs and I provided it for them."

You start off a bit rough, but somehow you start following the rythm of his flute and soon you're playing better and easier than ever before.
The old pony stops.
"I'd appreciate it if you wouldn't talk too much about me."



Just… hug the book and curl up. Those horrible, horrible memories…


"What a terrible thing to do. He's probably paid for his crimes in some way by now, but that leaves little hope for your weapon."


"Hey… do you want some company?"


Nod silently as I stare at the fire, still clutching to my book.


I'll sit next to you, and extend one wing. Gesturing lightly, I'll wordlessly ask if you need a hug.


Just keep looking into the fire.
"… I can still feel those chains. Still hear the sounds they made… feeling that cold, rough collar weighing down my neck. I relived all that for a reason I don't understand… Why is this happening to me? Why did that feel so… real?"
I shudder a little.


I'll lower my wing, scoot closer, and then wrap her in a light hug.
"I don't have a real answer, just a guess. Do you want to hear it?"


Nod slowly, relaxing a little.


"Well, while speaking with Shortcake earlier, I found out that she had, at some point, run across a strange black puzzle box. It was partially opened, and it had a profound feeling of wrongness to it. I have some reason to believe that it is what made you slow down, and whatever's in it might be forcing those visions on you. Trying to weaken your resolve, maybe."
I'll pat her back.
"As soon as we reach the paladins near the Ursa, it's getting properly taken care of. Destroyed or sealed away."


I frown slightly and look at him.
"It felt evil. Where is it now?"


"Currently? It's in my bag. I'd suggest to destroy it, but I don't know what would happen if we did."


I glance over to your bag and shuffle away.
"… I don't want it near me. Keep it away."


I'll let you go.
"A perfectly understandable desire."
I'll move a few feet away.
"Would you like me to get someone else?"


"… Is Mabel around?"


"I can go see. If she is, I'll send her your way. With a blanket, if you like."


"I'm not cold. The North was far colder. As long as that… thing isn't near me."


I'll nod.
"Mabel should be by in a minute or so."
And then I'll go find Mabel.


I was just chatting it up with Iris.
"Oh, hey.
What's up?"


"Do you think you could take a moment to chat with Amber? She could use a friend right now, and she asked for you."


I give you a look of concern, and stand up.
"Of course. What's wrong?"


"It seems that an artifact that Shortcake and her companions acquired started to effect her. It did something, gave her some sort of horrible waking nightmare, and she could use a good friend to help her get back together."


I nod.
"Right. Sorry Iris, we'll c