/q/ - Quest


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 No.514657[Last 50 Posts]

'The Equestrians are without a doubt the closest and most valued allies of the Crystal empire. The two nations enjoy good relations with each other and have extensive trading records. Some suggest that some day the two nations may merge into one big pony empire. If this is indeed the case, neither sides have shown any inclinations towards it. The logistics of such a merge would likely be very complicated and take many years. As it stands, most citizens are content with the current political situation. Patriotists fear such a merge would destroy many of the crystal empire's traditions.'
- Excerpt from: 'Crystals and Ponies'.

She nervously wipes her forehead with her hoof.
"The research… it's… sensitive. I can't just spill my mouth about it to anypony who asks. I've been trying to reach the paladins in the capital by mail, but I've gotten no answers."

You see her jumping from roof to roof with practiced ease and agility, clearly very experienced in parkour. She's quite far ahead, catching up wont be easy.

You try to climb up the roof after him, but you lose your grip halfway up and fall back to the ground with a loud thump. That smarts.


Look for a pony to sell my stuff '1d10'

Roll #1 6 = 6


"Mr Gotti please, could I see those weapons before you sell them?"


Show the weapons.


"If you don't mind, I'd like to keep…"

Look for a light weapon, a rapier or such in the bunch.


Well, I've got to try. If I can't catch up, maybe I can spot a way to cut her off? [1d10+3]

Roll #1 7 + 3 = 10


"You'd be happy to know that I travel with some Paladins and we are indeed headed towards the capital."


Damn it. Crystal ponies are not made for this. Maybe I can try to get ahead street side, go around another way? '1d10'

Roll #1 10 = 10


You move away from the town hall and look around the inner city district for weapon shops. Soon enough, you find a store to your liking.
'Gemstein's Emporium: For all your self defense needs'

There is a long silver dagger you could probably use. As you remember from your training, silver weapons are extremely effective against certain undead creatures, but tend to get worn much more quickly than steel weaponry.

Your talent doesn't apply to this, but you beat the DC8 anyway
Using dramatic leaps, spectacular combat rolls and the occasional gravitydefying jump, you manage to plot a way to cut her off. She's no longer recognizable under the strange suit of armor she's wearing. The sleek black and white painted leather covers every inch of her body. If she were surprised by your catching up, you wouldn't be able to see her expression.
Both standing on a roof, the only thing keeping you apart is a few meters of distance.
She wastes no time and takes out a wooden tube out of her bag, moving it to the mouth hole in the mask and blowing on it. A dart is quickly flying towards you. Roll to dodge.

"… Really? That's… a quite convenient. If you could prove this, I'd be happy to inform your paladin companion of the situation."

Oh hey, there was a ladder right there! That sure makes things easier! You trail behind Ardent, who is trying to catch up to a shadowy figure jumping from roof to roof. He eventually catches up and cuts her off a few roofs ahead of you.


"I will be taking this."


I'll let Sonnet have what she needs and then I go in and look for the happy merchant.


"Okay, Gotti hopes Sonnet will like it."


But can I even make that kind of jump? '1d10'

Roll #1 3 = 3


Ohhhhh uh-uh, you got my adrenaline pumping, gurl! I am not gonna let you end this fight that easily! [1d10]

Roll #1 7 = 7


"I could try and find her. In return, maybe you could help me yourself? I need to find some documents, but they seem to be missing from the archives."


"It might be smart for you to keep one of these weapons aswell, they might come useful."


Got: Silver dagger: Single tagged.

You enter the fancy shop. Inside, there are plenty of weapon racks lined up in rows, each sporting their own type of weapon. You also see a few pony mannequins wearing armor placed around the shop. Behind the counter, a crystal stallion is counting his gems.
"Shalom, esteemed customer! Welcome to my emporium!"

No… it's a bit risky with the equipment you're wearing. Maybe you can create a bridge with something lying around?

You narrowly dodge the unicorn's dart.
Without hesitation, she charges at you, not even pulling out another weapon at all.

"Which archives? Don't tell me more research was stolen in my absence!"


"Now, I should go look for Angelite."

After her trail!

Roll #1 3 = 3


"Gotti will think about it."
Any maces?

I perk my ears.
"W-why does gem pony say s-s-…that?"


Now we're talking! -oh, shut up!-
Swing my greatsword at chest height, then use the momentum to bring it back in a downward slash. [2d10]

Roll #1 1, 3 = 4


Maybe my father's maker instincts go carried over after all. But I am just wearing clothes and my weapon as I recall. Anyway, try to find something flat to use as a bridge '1d10'

Roll #1 8 = 8


"Me and my companions tried to find out more about the mining operations of Winterheim."


You look around helplessly, not spotting her immediately. Maybe she went inside the city hall?

"What do you mean, haver? Come, look at my wares! I have good prices for you!"

You swing too slowly, allowing her to get into close quarters. She swats your hoof away, disarming you and sending your sword flying off of the roof, then swipes your hooves from under you, causing you to smack down on the roof.

You are helpless.

You pick up a wooden board lying on the flat roof you're on and place it to fill the gap, allowing you to move over. Ardent was just disarmed by the unicorn mare.

She shakes her head.
"I'm sorry, I don't know where Winterheim even is. I'm practiced in biology, not geography or geology."


Right. Gold said somepony from the medical facility would be there.
Go check City Hall.


"Yes, the mare responsible for geology was eager… however, she could not provide sufficent information. Neither her own records nor the archives had the documents. Both were missing."


Get closer, draw my sword and attack her '1d10+1' "Stop. Picking. On. My. Friend."

Roll #1 10 + 1 = 11


Roll away from her and back onto my hooves! [1d10]

Roll #1 10 = 10


There she is! She's talking to another crystal mare in the lobby.

"I had no idea… Goddess be damned, I wish the guard would increase their efforts already. This city just isn't safe anymore."

Seems like she didn't expect you to get here so quickly, you quickly beat her away from Ardent, forcing her to retreat to a safer distance.
She doesn't make another move, opting to go defensive.

You spring back to your hooves at the sight of your paladin companion. Your sword is lying down on the ground and out of your reach, but at least you're back to speed!


Walk by her.
"Are you on a lead?"


He talks a bit like the demon merchants from the zebra lands.
I better keep my wits about me.
"Gotti w-was looking to sell some weapons."


"I suspect a conspiracy. I know it sounds paranoid, but I suspect the pony we encountered in those thought to be abandoned mines might have a hoof in it."

"Ah, Miss Sonnet! Good that you are here! Miss Flux needs your help, as you are a Paladin."


Keep the sword aimed at her "Just who are you anyway? Were you following us?"


Raise a brow.


"It has something to do with her research which she did not share with me just yet."


"Who? What pony are you talking about?"

"Oh, you are a paladin! Have you come here per my request? I sent several mails to paladin command in the capital already."

"Good, you want many gems, yes? I can give you a profitable prices. You will not find better prices for your wares in all of the crystal empire, goy!"

She doesn't answer. She briefly glances around her, familiarizing herself with the immediate area.


"I'm afraid not, but since I am here, let's see what I can do to help."


No time to go after my sword; besides, we want her alive. Pull out my rope and jump her, trying to tie her up. [1d10+1]

Roll #1 5 + 1 = 6


"Hey, are you listening at all? Or can you not talk?" Make a vague 'hurry up' gesture with my blade.


Oh ancestors, they have a shekelpony infestation here.
I need to be careful and not cause any suspicion.
"OOOOH it is very late….perhaps we can do business tomorrow…."
Start slowly trotting backwards to the exit, not looking away from the shekelpony.
Try not to sweat '1d10'

Roll #1 7 = 7


"A criminal that pillaged Winterheim and took hostages as slaves into the mines. He fled before we could apprehend him."


She frowns.
"Why aren't they answering… ah, no matter. My name is Sapphire Flux, senior medical physician at the Brilliance medical research institute. There has been a theft of… very sensitive research from the institute."

You jump her with the intent of tying you up. The mare proves to be much faster as she reacts quickly, dodging your attempt with ease. She quickly takes a few steps back, wanting to keep her distance.

She looks at you. Or at least, you think she does. Her eyes are not visible through the armor suit.
"There is nothing to discuss. You are at a major disadvantage."

You manage to keep your cool somewhat.
"Oy vey! Why are you leaving? You could do good business with me right now, goy! Many gems for you, yes?"

She shakes her head.
"We've not been made aware of this. Not that the guard would care anyway."


"Then perhaps we should discuss the details in private."


Break into a run and gallop out of there.

Roll #1 5 = 5


"This might be more important that petty theft of paperwork, Miss Flux."


Dangit. Look around and familiarize myself with the area, see if I can guess what she might try. [1d10+2]

Roll #1 6 + 2 = 8


Glance around as well. '1d10'+1 if CE counts right now "So.. about how many are you talking here?"

Roll #1 1 = 1


She nods and looks around, leading you outside of the city hall and into a desolate spot in the garden.
"I must stress again that this is confidential research that is not to be made public. Four years ago, I was assigned to a team of fellow physicians to work on a new project. I wont bore you with the details, but you no doubt are aware of the incident that happened here in Brilliance, over two decades ago, yes?"
You both are. A clan of diamond dogs tried to annex a bunch of gem mines into their territory, which lead to a conflict that lasted several months. The clan of dogs were eventually defeated and driven away from the area. After that, all diamond dogs were banished from the empire and supposedly driven out once and for all.

You bump into a few racks and a mannequin, but manage to flee this horrifying place without having your soul stolen.

Well, the only thing she can do is make her escape via the roofs. Despite your earlier performance, there's no doubt this pony knows this area much better than you do.

She doesn't answer, deciding the charge at you with surprising speed. However, instead of trying to attack you, she jumps on top of you and leaps onto the roof behind you, then starts running again.


Nod slowly.


"Go on."


Look at Ardent and give a slight nod. "Alright. If you insist on this.. come here, At least you might pin her down until I catch up." '1d10' roll to launch Ardent towards the mare, provide he is willing.

Roll #1 3 = 3


Dangit, if this works, I'm gonna be sore tomorrow morning…
Tackle her off the roof. [1d10]

Roll #1 2 = 2


"The nobility feared that if the dogs managed to rouse other clans into their cause, they could pose a serious threat to the crystal empire. The issue lies in the fact that they are excellent diggers and that they could pop up just about anywhere without us seeing them coming. So… we were told to develop something that could stop them dead in their tracks. We came up with… a disease. Or rather, we changed an existing dog disease called the Tunnel Fever into becoming extremely potent and dangerous. The idea was simple, take an iconic disease diamond dogs feared and make it ten times as deadly. It would serve as a diplomatic tool to scare off any possible dog invasions."

Ardent smacks into the roof like a sack of potatoes, completely missing his target.
The mare glances back at this, then continues to jump from roof to roof, away from you both.


"I would hardly call it diplomatic."


Dangit, she's… she's… such a tease! Chase and tackle her! [1d10]

Roll #1 9 = 9


Help Ardent up again, find him his weapon. Don't say anything just stare at him.


"It wasn't something we would ideally actually deploy. Just… use it as a discouragement to prevent them from attack us again."

You get back up and start the rooftop chase again.

His weapon is lying down on the ground. You'll need to get off the roof first before you can grab it.


Go down and fetch it.


"I suspect something went wrong."


Knock her off the roofs and onto the streets below! [1d10]

Roll #1 5 = 5


You lower yourself back onto the street and grab Ardent's sword. He seems to have fallen down from the roof up ahead.

"Like I said, the disease was stolen from the institute despite our best efforts to keep it safe and hidden until needed. I don't think I need to tell you how disastrous that is. If that disease falls into the wrong hooves…"
She trails off.

You try to tackle her but miss, falling down onto the street yourself. The unicorn just keeps jumping, really picking up the pace now.


Work on catching back up to him. If he's going to chase ninjas on roof tops he needs to be armed.


"Has anypony else been informed? I suspect somepony is on the case already… am I correct?"


Damn that mare! Stomp the ground in frustration and hope I won't have too many bruises tomorrow morning.


You hurry your way back over to him.

"Yes, I've informed the mayor and he promised he would have the guard help retrieve it. In the meantime… I've been working on an antidote just in case. Or trying to at least… the mayor wont give me the necessary funds for it because he considers it to be a waste."


Narrow my eyes.
"Who gave autorization for this disease to be created?"


"The strain is dangerous. Should it spread to ponies, an antidote is of the utmost importance."


Hoof him back his weapon. "I'm sorry we couldn't catch her, did she steal something from you.. or was she just stalking us? "


"Lord mayor Redwood and some of the local nobility. They also funded the whole thing. Brilliance was the staging ground of the last conflict, the wounds still run deep here."

She shakes her head.
"That's impossible, it doesn't affect equines at all. It never has and we made sure it stayed that way."


"It wasn't ten times as dangerous as it was before, was it?"


Take my sword back and shake my head. We we so close! I sigh and rub my temples. I'll find her eventually, and then she'll see why you don't mess with the Hospitallers.


"I see.
Then, we will deal with the thieves."


"If she was stalking us she'll come back around. Don't worry buddy." I try to console you. "Lets go see if the others are back yet."


Nod slowly and get up. Let's go back to the rest of the group.


"Yes it is. It's much more potent and infectious now, but it's still a dog disease. Like the feather flu to pegasi or matte fever to crystal ponies. It doesn't affect our systems."

"Please do. Your presence here is greatly appreciated, paladin Sonnet. You must retrieve this before something disastrous occurs. The consequences of this disease finding its way to the dog clans outside of the crystal empire would be… unimaginable."

You find the others minus Gotti talking to a mare in the garden if front of the city hall.


"Oh I don't fail to imagine.
Where can we start?"


"Still, I will try to convince the mayor on this matter to make the right decision and fund your research."


Wave at them all. "Are the gardens open at this hour?"


Try to see if anypony followed us. [1d10+2]

Roll #1 1 + 2 = 3


"I… don't know. I haven't heard any word on who the suspected thieves are. I mean… it could be the Magpies. They're very active around here."

"I doubt you will succeed in that. He's probably not even in the city hall right now, knowing him."

The mare immediately stops talking and eyes you nervously.

Doesn't seem like it at all!


Smile back.
"Ah, Mister Gallant! What a pleasant surprise!"

"Where may I find him then?"


"Not a clue.
How did your investigation go?"


"I have no idea. How could I possibly know?"


Fine. Walk over to the group with my ears down and head hung; I am a sad crystal pony.


"That is not good news. Does he have any representatives I could talk to?"


Was it something I said? Damn it. This must be why my sister says I'll never have a mare-friend. Not that I want one. Oh never mind, just shut up and look around in case its something else '1d10'
"We might have something to discuss. I don't know how safe we are here"

Roll #1 3 = 3



Raise an eyebrow.
"Is something the matter?"


"Nothing of immediate concern, but you should be aware."
Nod and whisper to you both.
"I'm fairly certain we are being followed by the magpies, we caught a mare stalking us, and tried to catch her but she fled."


"Let them come. This is just what we needed."


"Ah, I see…"
Glance around.
"Most unfortunate."


"I was thinking something similar actually, I have an ally who knows the area, and is looking into a possible solution, places we could corner them that is."
"I'm sorry to have startled your friend."


"Yes, of course. But they're always very deflective when I ask them anything. You saw my argument with the councilor before, didn't you?"

"… Is something wrong?"


"Then lead the way."
"No, nothing of concern.
Now, if you don't mind, duty calls."


"It's okay. We have a situation on our hooves as well."

"The last of it, yes."


"We should regroup back at the hotel, that would be safest." I suggest.


Nod in agreement.


"If you need anything… I will be at the institute. Please be careful and… good luck."

"Well, she was not open to my suggestions."


"I will remember that, miss Flux."


"That is what negotiators are for, is it not?"


Don't mind me, I'll just wait over here, beating myself up for not being good enough to beat a single rogue.
Not like getting disarmed so easily was a blow to my confidence in skills I've worked hard to master or anything.
You were doing fine without me, I'm just a third wheel.


We all going back big boy. You will have time to tell us what's happened once we are safe.


"Is something the matter, Mister Ardent?"


I can't tell you because I'm MUUUUTE


Man, we should see if we can get wine or beer or something in the rooms.


Someone will tell 4 you.
And we'll get Angelite to learn sign language.


Rub my foreleg and look away, then shake my head. I shouldn't be worrying her just because I'm feeling incompetent.
man, it's hard to write emo without going full irritating.


"Mister Ardent, there is no need to be feeling anxious. Friends help each other, do they not?"
Don't call it a graveIt's a future you chose


I'll give you a sympathetic look, its not as if I did much better. "You look like you need a drink."


Trot over there.
"Is there a problem?"


"We will see how you fare…"

What does the party wish to do now?


I suppose they do, at that. Look up and give her a small smile as a sign of gratitude. At least her intentions are good.
…you know, she's… actually kinda cute when she's worried.


It appears we are headed back to the hotel.


"That's what I want to fidn out."

"I shall try and convince them both later. For now, my associates need me. Have a pleasant day, Miss Flux."

Smile back.


Back to the fancy hotel you go then. Edelweiss and Cassie are still there. Edelweiss seems to have taken the time to gather a near library's worth of books on law and economics to her room and is busily reading on her bed. Cassie is resting, no doubt tired after pulling that cart for hours on end. The strange crystal is located on her nightstand.


Talk to Edelweiss.
I see you have been busy."



"Everypony, we should gather up and share what informations we have. The situation seems to be coming more and more complicated by the minute."


She nods absentmindedly, probably concentrating on reading and not really listening to what you have to say.


about what time is it?
'1d10' look around to be sure nopony followed us up here.

Roll #1 10 = 10


… There is someone in your room. You can feel it.


"An excellent idea, Miss Sonnet."

I'd rather not be a bother in that case.


Oh. Oh wow. She's cute when she's worried, but when she smiles… She…
Absentminded dopey grin engaged. Ardent is not available right now, please try again later.


Wave a hoof, a bit confusedly.
"Mister Ardent? Are you quite all right?"


Sit on the bed and stare at my sword. "You know why I chose vigilance as my blade? Because I can not rest knowing there is work to be done, I can not look away knowing there is darkness to move. More than just a few runes on a blade, they are who am I. Now, please, come out and tell me who you are."


I, uh… I…
O-oh jeez, how long have I been staring?
Turn away and try to stop blushing. [1d10]

Roll #1 2 = 2


You hear a chuckle and see Herald step out of a shadow.
"Always so dramatic, Gallant. You weren't here, so I let myself in."


"You're not coming down with a fever, are you?"


"If he's sick he'd better remain here."
Draw my gauntlets aswell.


Laugh a bit. "You scared me Herald. I didn't think you'd beat me back here. You really do know your way around."


I-I'm not sick! Am I? I do feel kinda dizzy… W-why am I so sweaty? Maybe I am coming down with something?


"I just had to pick a few things up and check in on someone."
He drops his bag on the floor.
"The magpies are worried about your presence, so much I've learned."


"What did you learn then?" make some room for him to sit as well. "They are scared of us already and are going to all leave town?" I ask with a sarcastic smile
"Don't worry Sonnet, Its just my friend. I meantioned him earlier."


"Hold that thought!"

"Who might you be?"


Look between them.
"You friend with burglars now?"


Try to get my shit together. [1d10]

Roll #1 6 = 6


"Paladins tend to be impossible to bribe, so they're sweating alright. As capable as they are as thieves, they're better at running and hiding than they are at fighting. Keep that in mind when you do corner them."

He walks up to you and grabs your hoof, kissing it.
"Herald Shadowforge at your service, my fairest lady. I am a friend of Gallant here, I assume you are as well? He always did choose the most lovely of company."

"My lady, you hurt my feelings. I am no thief or burglar."


"Herald is a good pony, I assure you. He's on our side, knows the city, and aside from that. I trust him as much as my own family. " give you a stare. "Anything else?"


"Entering a room uninvited and not from the door is usually the sign of a burglar."
Put away my weapons.
"What do we owe this interruption to?"


"I promised to aid my friend, so here I am. He was expecting me and I certainly did use the door to enter."


As a diplomatic gesture, I will allow him to do that.
"Lady Angelite. Indeed, I am a friend of his, and the diplomat of this travelling ensemble. May I ask you how you aim to provide help for Mister Gallant?"


"And in which form does your aid comes?"



I must warn the guard.
Run up to the closest guard.
"Guard pony, help!"


"Gallant and I both have our own skills that fill each other in perfectly. I have some knowledge on the city and those who live here."
He looks at Gallant.
"I assume he came here to pass on some information I gave him earlier in private."


"Its true, none of us here are going to be bribed away. The running part I know first hoof, running on roof tops as if they were streets."


Growl and protectively move beside Angelite.


"If you don't mind then, delucidate us about this group of thieves that roam the city.
The Magpies."
Raise a brow in surprise.


"It's all right, Ardent, he seems to mean no harm."

"Might you have information concerning other matters?"


Smile at the first part. "A working friendship I think."
Then nod "I wanted everypony involved to be equally informed."
"Ardent, you remember Herald right? You met earlier tonight.. "


and I didn't trust him then, either. Still, I let myself relax, though I stay next to Angelite.


You startle one of the guards at the city hall.
"What's wrong, citizen!?"

"Wait, you found one?"

He cocks a brow and carefully steps away.

"They're the big boys in town. A group of skilled thieves led by a stallion called Shadow Play. Their connections allow them to roam relatively free in Brilliance without having to worry much about the guards. You wont like hearing this, but the mayor, the guards, the magpies… they're all in the same pocket."


"There's a shekelpony in the city! We must call the guard immediately to exterminate him before he summons others!"


"That is troubling news indeed…"
Take a deep breath.
"I am afraid this might sound drastic… however, it is my opinion that the mayor has to be removed from his post in that case."


"Yes, Well, Ardent spotted her really, I just helped chase, a unicorn mare, she was way too fast, got away from us.." Look sad at that.


"I see."
Start tapping the ground, slowly. thinking.

Then stand up.
"Gentlemares, gentlestallions.
I think this calls for drastic actions. Our next move might bring many enemies at our doorsteps. Thus, I'm not forcing anyone to come."


Nod sadly, good feelings gone at the reminder of my failure.


"Miss Sonnet, you are not thinking of doing anything violent, are you?"


The guard seems flabbergasted.
"… A what?" He blurts out.

He clears his throat.
"Worse yet, the pocket I mentioned belongs to Obsidian Flow. He's the founder and owner of Gemco. He practically owns this city thanks to the vast wealth he possesses. With the mayor, guards and magpies under his control, he's practically untouchable."

"I'm not surprised. This is why you have to catch them by surprise and corner them."


Nod in agreement. "Yes. But you haven't heard the worst part yet."


"I'm afraid I am, Angelite.
I plan on storming the main hideout of these bandits and and bring proof th-"
Stop, stunned.
"The owner of Gemco?
How did you even discover all this?"


Then my mistake was waiting before I jumped her. Next time, I will not hesitate.
I'm all for the direct approach. Cracking skulls always cheers me up.


"Could you describe this so called Obsidian Flow? I have a bad feeling about this."

"That will not solve the problem, Miss Sonnet."


I stomp my hoof.
"A shekelpony. They come to towns and take everypony's money. And they never give it back! And they talk in tongues, saying shalom and they call everypony goy. One time, one came to my uncle's farm, and my uncle didn't know about shekelponies. And when the shekelpony left, my uncle only has two beans left and no farm and no home!"


"We cannot have the mayor step down or throw Flow into jail without proof. And the best place is their hideout."


"Then we shall try and find proof against him to make him resign. However, your abilities to… how shall I put it lightly, force information out of uncooperating ponies might be useful for that cause."


"Anypony who sticks around here long enough and gets to know the right people can figure this out. I'm very good at what I do."

"I don't know that much about him, but he's a mean bastard. Ruthlessly managed to pilfer his way to the top by sabotaging, stealing and buying out rival companies."
You've heard about him before, you think you may have seen him at a royal feast back in the capital a few years ago. He's a big deal.

"Uh… Are you talking about Gemstein, sir?"


"Resignation will not be enough.
I will personally see to the arrest of every corrupted officer in this city.
A confession alone will do us no good, not against this kind of ponies.
You are a newcomer to the law game, miss Angelite. Take it from me. We need written proof. Contable books, records of all possible kinds."


"Well then. Where is the magpies' hideout?"


"Yes, that's his name. But who knows what his real name is!"


"Ah, yes. I remember now. His words do hold quite the sway. We alone might not be able to challenge him personally… no just yet."

"Of course, Miss Sonnet.
I also know that a resignation will not be sufficent, however, if the guards are on his side we will need to remove him from his seat of power before we can take further steps towards his trialing."


"I am not going to move against the mayor without that proof in my hooves."


Yes, where is their hideout? Try to remember anything that might help us figure out where their base is. [1d10]

Roll #1 8 = 8


"Just please, try not to kill any of the bandits. Give them a chance to surrender first."


"Killing in battle is no crime, Angelite.
But I am no bloodthirsty murderer. They will get their chance."


There is a knock on the door.

Herald nods in agreement.
"The paladin is right, you need evidence first. I don't have any evidence other than hearsay."

"I don't know exactly, but I have a few locations in mind which might be relevant. I don't think they have a central hub… just safehouses."

"Sir, I think you are confused. Mister Gemstein is a well established citizen of Brilliance. Your accusations are rather… offensive."

You can't remember anything relevant.


There go the alarms again. I draw my sword and press myself against the wall next to the door, slowly opening it just a crack so I can see outside.


"So, that's where we need to.." fall silent and go toward the door. "Hello?"


"Killing is never nice."

"Yes, who is it?"


Turn to the door.
"Who's there?"
Word of Power.

Roll #1 3 + 2 = 5


You open the door ever so slightly. There's a crystal stallion standing there, wearing a saddle with some bags attached to it.

A voice sounds from behind the door.
"Express letter for paladin Gallant."


Take point at a side of the door, draw my gauntlets and nod to the others.


Open the door carefully. "Yes that's me."


Nod back to Sonnet and prepare myself.


The stallion reaches into his bags and pulls out a large rectangular envelope, giving it to you. He also presents a form to you.
"Please sign here to confirm you have received this letter, sir."


accept the letter and sign for it. Check the sender, who is it from?


Remain still and ready to react if he turns hostile.


Judging by the weight, there are quite a few papers in there.

"Thank you. Have a nice day."
He bags the form and leaves.


Close the door.
"I hope you checked what you signed."


Wait until the door is shut before I relax, releasing a breath I hadn't realized I was holding as I sheathe my sword.


"And a good night to you." close the door behind him and hold up the package turning it a few times.
"this feels like paperwork."


Raise a brow.


Herald chuckles.
"More mail from your secret female admirers, maybe?"


"How nice of the academy to find us so quickly…"


slightly flinch when you say that.
"I'm sure its fine."
"Only one way to know for sure." open the package up.


Watch from beside the door.


You open the letter and find a small sheet of paper with some text on it as well as a folder with more paper inside.

The sheet of paper reads:
'Meet me on the roof of your hotel at 9 PM.

- A friend


"What is it?"


"That's what they always do, they try to become one of us, and then WHAM gone are the money."


fold up the note putting it in my pocket "A lot of paper." open the folder up, what does this contain?


Try to read the letter from over his shoulder. [1d10+2]

Roll #1 3 + 2 = 5


"He has been living here all his life, sir, I think you should leave."

The folder is marked as 'Winterheim geological record - Archival copy'
Inside are various reports, maps and survey sheets you don't really understand much of.

You couldn't quite catch that.


Keep looking at him with interest.


"And that?"


"Hmmph. Well you'll be sorry when he owns all the houses in this town.
Can you then at least point me to a merchant that's not a shekelpony?"


Look frustrated. "Something about Winterheim" sit down and spread a few of the papers out trying to read them '1d10'
Also dart my eyes to the clock, what time is it?

Roll #1 2 = 2


"Interesting. We have been looking for infos all day long."
Join him and check that stuff.

Roll #1 10 = 10


I gasp.
"Mister Gallant, we have been looking for these documents all day!"


He sighs and points east.
"There are plenty of shops in the commercial district, sir."

Just past 8 PM.

This stuff is all really technical. You don't know enough about geology to understand all these terms!

Well, it's what you expected. A ton of data and records on the old mining operations in Winterheim. There is no doubt in your mind this is the missing folder Desert Gold was looking for.


"Who sent these?"


"You have?" Laugh a bit. "What for exactly?"


"Exactly for this!"
Look midly surprised at him.
"This stuff has been stolen by the geological institute!
Who sent it?"


"Thank you."
Fiddle with my hooves.
"So..you've never had problems with shekelponies yet here?"


He sighs again and rubs the bridge of his nose.
"No, we haven't. And calling them shekelponies is very offensive too. A word of advice though, most shops are going to be closed at this hour."


"No idea actually. But if this is what you need then help yourselves. I don't even know how to read half this stuff."
"What are you going to do with it? Just return it?"


"To get a lead as for why a pony would be enslaving others to work in the abandoned, thought to be empty mines of Winterheim."


"I'm starting to feel this will help us greatly in understanding the bigger picture. Hold on dearly to those papers."


Look stunned. "Why didn't you tell me about this?"


"Okay than. Thank you, guard pony. And watch out for those shekelponies."
I raise my hoof ominously.
"If you don't watch out, one day you'll look and all your bits are gone!"


He waves you off.
"Yeah yeah. Move along."


I trot off.
Look for another shop.
One not owned by a shekelpony.


"We didn't want to trouble you. It happened before we have met."


"We were going to, but you and the mute decided to split up!"


"Angelite, if you hide things from me I can't help." look mildly upset. "But now that I know, I'll certainly help you."
"I can manage to guard a file, they don't flee over roof tops."


"Is it something that happened while we were separated?"


"Please, Mister Gallant, I was most certainly not hiding anything from you. Miss Sonnet and I were already on this case so I saw it best not to trouble you with it. I assure you, all the ponies are fine. Cassie was one of the captured, actually."


You come across a workshop just outside the inner city which is still open.
'Anvilhooves and sons: Smithing, spitting and swearing'


Go inside and look for the merchant.


"Well, go over the file as much as you like, it will help you get to the bottom of things right?"
Lay it down for the others to all see and sigh.
"So about the Magpies. We still need to get more information, so.. we need to catch one. Any ideas?"


"I say we storm their safehouses.
One after the other until we have enough proof to bring them to justice."


You enter the workshop and step into another world. Blazing hot furnaces, roughed up anvils, plumes of scorching steam, the raunchy smell of coal and sweat…
Four ripped stallions are hammering away in tune on their respective anvils with their bare hooves. Their muscles bulging and throbbing intensely.




"I have to disagree with Miss Sonnet, as her idea sounds too dangerous."


The eldest of the stallions stops and looks at you with a very intense gaze.
He lifts up his anvil with a single hoof and tosses it into a furnace, then stomps his way over to you with a loud, thundering voice.




"Right, we just need to be careful of the corrupt guards they might stop us.. and we'd need to know which place to hit.. and be able to stop them from destroying the evidence.."
"We could lure one into a corner, they were following us, or definitely me. So we could try to use that to ambush one."


"Your friend seems to know the place.
As for the guards…
Their stopping us would be seen as an obstruction to justice."







The clock is ticking. 30 more minutes before 9 PM.


Show him the weapons.


"That might indeed work. Who would be our, pardon me for the expression, 'bait'?"


He looks at the silver weapons and lifts them all up.
Sell the weapons you don't use? Your wealth level will increase to 4.
Angelite to 6
Sonnet to 5
Gallant to 5
Helaine to 4
Ardent to 4

"All of you would be."


"That's about the gist of it. But I'm a lot tougher than a worm, so I won't get beaten up or anything."
"Even after this we will still need some kind of proof, this is a tough situation.."
Stretch and yawn. "I need to stretch my legs for a bit. I'll be back soon." try to leave.




"All of us?"

"As you might recall, however, I am not suited for combat."


"Which is why we are raiding their safehouses.
It's death or justice tonight."
Stand up and turn to Gallant's friend.
"Do you have a map with the safehouses' locations?"


I don't think a letter that comes with vital information is "nothing." Discreetly trail Gallant from a distance.


That gets him really excited for some reason. In his excitement, he tosses another anvil into a furnace with a mighty roar.

"They're trailing you. They've been trailing you all day to keep a close eye on you. If we go somewhere, they will follow. We just need to lead them somewhere they'll be cornered."

"That I don't, no."

Herald cocks a brow.
"Try not to get in trouble, okay?"

You'll need to roll for that.




"But do you at least know where they are?"


"I've managed to stay afloat so far." smile softly. "I won't be long."

find my way to the roof.


"…even me?"
I stay silent for a few seconds.
"How dreadful."


rolling. [1d10]

Roll #1 5 = 5


He picks up a large and dangerous looking mace off of a rack.

"Not with certainty. I have a few suspicions, but no solid confirmation. Like I said though, why bother looking for them when you can let them come for us?"

You take the many stairs leading up to the roof. You hear faint footsteps of someone following you. >>515084

"Not to fear, my lady, I would not allow them to inflict any harm upon you."


"Because we don't need their heads, we need proof."




stop and turn back to look, this can be a coincidence . '1d10'

Roll #1 4 = 4


Uh… Hi? Fancy meeting you here…


"Capturing one of them would allow us to acquire much needed information and lead us to actual evidence. We need the element of surprise to get to them."

You're not quite sure how a 6 year old could possibly lift something like that.
Great unique weapon: Fluffy. Crits on 8 and higher, only critfails on 1. Buying this would lower your wealth by 1, because it's quite expensive.


"That is comforting, but if what you say is true we might be outnumbered."


Now, onto how to lure them…"


Smile at you and put my hoof around you in a friendly manner. "Wouldn't let me go alone huh? Well okay Ardent, lets go to the roof."




Smile back. We go to the roof.


"No, too many ponies following you would attract too much attention. Besides, the Magpies are thieves, not assassins."

"Keep it simple, just move as a group to someplace where they have little room to maneuver. They're likely waiting on you outside the hotel. I recommend going into the mines under the guise of looking for something. They'll have to follow."


The two of you arrive on the roof after climbing what feels like a million stairs. The sun has disappeared behind the horizon and a somewhat chilly wind blows here. The roof is flat and seemingly empty.


Hit him!
I bet he flexes his muscles so hard, he won't even feel it.

Roll #1 3 = 3


"Sounds good. Let us be ambushed, then!"


squint and look around "cool out here." '1d10'

Roll #1 1 = 1


"As am I a diplomat, not a warrior."


I, too, look around. What is he expecting to find up here? [1d10+2]

Roll #1 1 + 2 = 3


You're right. He doesn't as much as flinch or budge.

"I'll be there when you do. Just give the word when."

"Well… you could split off from the group and just stay in the city. They'd be forced to at least send one pony after you."

This roof is completely empty. Is this some kind of prank? An ambush? Was that letter just a figment of your imagination? A fib? Maybe you're just going crazy, maybe it's high time you lay down the sword and retire from this life, maybe-
"Good evening."


I'm not going down like this!

Roll #1 4 = 4


"I am not even sure where I would feel safer that way…"


Look in the direction of the voice.
"Either you're late, or I'm early."


"You should learn to hold a sword properly or not embark in dangerous adventures like these."


Half-draw my sword as I turn to face the speaker,
Then sheathe it as it becomes apparent Gallant was expecting them.


"The disputses I have encountered I solved with words, not strenght."


"Not every opponent you face will be willing to listen to reason."


You hit him again, with little more result than before.


"Your choice. Like I said, they're not fighters either from what I've seen. I've never seen or heard of them purposely attacking someone."

You both turn around and are surprised to see the same unicorn mare you were chasing down earlier to be standing there, a few meters away from you. She's wearing her armor suit again, but without the mask this time, allowing you to see her face. She's also carrying a saddle with some bags attached to it.
"You are early. But no matter."



Roll #1 2 = 2


"I might consider hiring a personal guard at the capital."

"Do you think I could be more useful elsewhere then? Who might be opposing the mayor? Any potential allies perhaps?"


I keep a death grip on my blade; if there's trouble, she'll regret it this time.


"So.. you have been watching us a long time then?"


Not even the slightest reaction.

"Sorry, but I've got very little insight on that stuff. I usually stick to the worker's district. You could try and mingle with the local nobility though. You can find them here in the inner city. Tea rooms, restaurants, theaters, brothels, masquarade balls…"

Her posture is relaxed and non-threatening in response.
"If you're going to try and kill me, this is not the place to do so."
She looks behind you.
"Only the two of you are here? I'm surprised."

"Yes. Do you know why I am here?"


"I am guessing that you either need our help, or are going to ask us to leave." Tilt my head at her.




…Fine. I force myself to relax, but continue to watch her warily.


I cough loudly when he mentions brothels.
The nerve, saying such a thing in the presence of a lady!
"I see. I shall try to find some of then while you work on your case then."


suddenly I'll light up in realization. "Wait.. you wanted to speak to the others too? Why not join us inside?"


"Insightful. Yes, I am here to make you an offer. My name is Leadlight. I am Shadow Play's lieutenant of the group you know as the Magpies."

He roars and smashes his hoof onto an anvil, bending it slightly.

"I recommend the tea rooms, they'll be the easiest to mingle in."

"That's not necessary. I only need one pair of ears."


One more try? '1d10'

Roll #1 3 = 3


Sit down with a nod and a smirk. "Of course we are willing to accept your surrender."


"That was my option on the matter as well."


Very little effect once again.

She shakes her head slowly and deliberately.
"That is not what I am offering. I am offering the aid of several of my comrades and I against Shadow Play, Lord Redwood and Obsidian Flow. Let that sink in for a moment."

"We've got a plan then!"
He stretches his hoof out to you and looks at you expectantly.



Glance down at his hoof, then extend mine and shake his.
Diplomatic gestures are diplomatic gestures, after all.


'- The goddess is without a doubt the most popular deity in the Crystal Empire. Her paladins and priests are spread far and wide, upholding her teachings on Love, Compassion and Mercy. To harm an innocent or to showcase cruelty to others are often seen as the severest of offenses towards the Lover. Love itself is a sacred thing, not to be corrupted by demons like Changelings.'
Excerpt from 'The Goddess of Love'

He looks surprised at you, then chuckles.
"Not a fan of hoofbumps, are you? That's fine."


Look impressed and stay quiet a moment before answering. "That's quite the offer."


She walks over to the edge of the roof as you remain quiet, looking out over the city. It's dark now, dusk has come and gone, replaced by a curtain of blackness. You notice there are no stars out, not even a sign of the moon. The magical shield around the city blocks it all.
"Yes. But not without a price."


Consider her thoughtfully. What game is she playing that she would offer us help? This must be a power play of some kind.


How sad.. Nod in her direction.
"Yes, I am curious what kind of thing you could need our help with, you're clearly quite resourceful on your own."


She turns her head to look back at you.
"You look skeptical. How could you not be? I am a thief, you are a guard of the roads… our goals conflict with one another."

You see her smile for the first time since you were in the bar talking with Herald.
"I am skilled, but Shadow Play is better. That is why he is in charge and not me. We will help you and I will explain you why, if you agree to my conditions. If my comrades and I aid you, you will promise not to turn us in or attempt to arrest us, as would normally be your job."


"I much prefer the protocol way, yes."


"Very classy. You're a city dweller, aren't you?"


Smile back at first, and then look concerned with a firm nod. "For my part, I won't take you in if you really help us as much as you promise. The others might take some convincing" look toward Ardent as well. "So, give me something to work with, why do you want to betray your boss?"


"Correct. I was born and raised in the Crystal Capital."


In other words, they want amnesty in exchange for their cooperation. It is… not unheard of for such arrangements to be made when dealing with particularly nasty organizations - strange bedfellows, and all that - but I am curious as to why. This assignment has certainly taken an interesting turn.


She ignores your question.
"And secondly, you will agree to myself traveling alongside your crew."

"How'd you meet with Gallant?"


"We were travelling in the same direction, and the roads near Winterheim were not safe. We decided to stick together for the time being, as we head towards the capital."


"A curious request, wouldn't this make your betrayal clear?"


Blink. I certainly didn't see that one coming. There's an ulterior motive, I know it… but I can't help but feel curious about what she's trying to do.


"And now you decided to get mixed up in Brilliance politics and corruption…"

"I was assigned to shadowing you, it will seem as if I am doing my job. There are others too, but they are on our side as well. Do you accept these conditions?"
She looks equally ready to hear either acceptance or rejection.


Turn to Gallant and nod. Sure, it's probably a trap, but… I want to see where this goes.


"On the contrary, I do not want to 'get mixed up' in it, I want to clear this city of it as much as I can."


Nod slowly. "That seems agreeable then, easier than meeting on roof tops too."


"Yeah… let's hope that works out. Gallant may be an old friend of mine, but I'm not keen on dying for him just yet."

"Go inform your friends. If they do not agree to our conditions, there can be no deal. If they accept, you will all visit a bar called the Rusty Stool tomorrow. I will be there, watching you. You will get the goods that were stolen back from us if you accept. Consider the papers you received an early gift, more is to come."


"Very well. I will see you there Leadlight."


"I am hoping to achieve our goal with the least amount of violence possible as well."


Nod absentmindedly. It's going to be interesting seeing how the rest of the group reacts; I can't imagine that the zealot will take very kindly to the idea of working with a criminal.


She nods at you slightly, then jumps off the building without hesitation.

"Yeah… I don't know. Obsidian Flow is rich as heck and he has his own small private army of mercs to guard his belongings. Have you seen them yet? They're mostly gryphons. Mean bastards."


"Well.. Sonnet isn't gonna like this, but we might as well get it over with yea?" turn to go down the stairs.


"Should we act fast and smooth, we may be able to restore order in the city before he gets to know. Once the city is safe, so to say, we will be able to deal with him properly, but not without help."


I guess my trading with anvilhooves is done?


Cast one last look after her, then follow Gallant down the stairs and back to the room.


"Well, I'm about all the help you've got. There's a few guards who don't allow themselves to get bribed and are clean but… they're usually posted someplace they can't cause trouble for him."

You just have to decide whether to sell the silver weapons and to buy the new mace.

She's already gone. You return to the same room as before.


Of course I will.
Much money please.


Enter the room looking serious. "Everyone doing okay in here?"


"I meant help from the capital. If he truly possesses this much power and influence, then it might be a national threat to let him do what he wants."

"Yes, we do. How about you, Mister Gallant?"


Are we still in the hotel room?


Sit back and watch everypony react to what Gallant's about to tell them.


If we go by the split payment among the party:
Your wealth level increases to 4
Angelite to 6
Sonnet to 5
Gallant to 5
Helaine to 4
Ardent to 4

"Hey! Had a nice walk?"

"Oh… yeah, possibly."

Yup, Gallant and Ardent just returned.


And a mace?


"Where did you two run off to?"



"It is safer than to rush head first into the unknown, is it not? We cannot know what else he might be planning or doing"


"I am fine, and it was a productive walk." I pause trying to find the right way to approach this.
"I have some news, we've been given a unique offer. I have met with the pony that gave us that information. She wants to help us with our current issue."
Give you a small smile.


"We cannot gain such help without proof."
Raise a brow but wave it off.


"That is why we will have to restore order to this city first."

Raise a brow.
"Oh? That is splendid. Where is she?"


Shrug and gesture vaguely at Gallant.


And a mace.
Unique Weapon: Fluffy
Great Mace
Crits on 8 and above
Only critfails on 1
The handle is made of silver colored wood while the head is solid steel, sharp and heavy. Cracking heads has never been so child friendly!


"There's an awnful lot of very helpy ponies around here…"


"Common enemies unite everypony, Miss Sonnet."





"Really? Who?"


Nod and go off.
Wow, what a great day.
Where are the others?
Look for them in the hotel.


serious face again. "She is a Lieutenant of the Magpie group, she and her allies would help, and they would return more things like that file. She would wish to travel with us."
direct this part toward Sonnet particularly. "And we can not arrest them."

"We all have to agree on this, or it won't work. So What do you think?"
"Her name is Leadlight."


"Ah… so she is one of the leaders of the thief group then."


Narrow my eyes.
"The law does not bend."


Raise an eyebrow at her. I'm pretty sure there have been legal cases where pardons were granted in exchange for cooperation.


Stare at him.
"If you have something to say, find a way to express it or don't give me that look."


Look around for something to write with. [1d10]

Roll #1 9 = 9


"You have to look at this situation in the great scheme of things. You would let a petty thief go to apprehend a pony who has enough power to corrupt a city."


You head back to the hotel. You notice it's gotten dark outside but… there are no stars, no moon. Creepy…
The others have gathered in Gallant's room. There's a stallion there you haven't seen before. Cassie and Edelweiss are both in their own rooms, both of them reading books of their own interests.

"That's… odd. I didn't know there was so much dissent inside their organization."

You've got it!


"Or we could arrest both and explain how the thief helped us, still letting the law run its course."



Go to Gallant's room.
"Hallo friends! Gotti sold the weapons and brings lots of money."
Give all of them their share of the loot.


"It does sound odd, but she seem sincere to me."


"…You are not as helpless as you seem."


I perk my ears and look at you weirdly.
"Why Sonnet think Gotti helpless? Gotti powerful warrior of zebra tribe!"
Puff my chest.


Write down >>515824 and give it to Sonnet.


Smile at him. "Thanks."


"Oh… why thank you, Mister Gotti."

"I advise that should you really want to keep to the law in such a manner at least you wait until Obsidian has been dealt with."


"Towns are worse than most enemies."
Look at it and put it away.
"Those cases still begin with a regular arrest.
It is not our place to handle out pardons."
"Of course, I am no fool."


"No, Gotti thanks you! For showing him so many things!"

"Town is bunch of buildings. Buildings don't hurt."


"I am sure the judge would take her help into consideration then."

"You have yet to experience many things, Mister Gotti."


"So, are we decided?"


"She won't help us without a promise that we won't arrest her and her allies."


"You can promise for all I care. I will not."


"Then you have decided that we do not want her help."


"I agree to her help. It is indispensable for the success of our mission.
I also know my duties and will turn her over to the proper authorities once the time comes."


"I am sure there must be a compromise."


"So far she has not deceived me, I do not want to deceive her in this."


"Suit yourself. I will not let the law go unapplied."


Italics are to denote writing
If she does not betray us, then I will not betray her


"What if we promise her amnesty? That would be legal and in the favor of everypony."


Sigh. "The message has been passed on, its up to you to come to an agreement, if we all agree to her help and conditions, I know where to meet her.. She also mentioned that she could do more things, like how she returned that file to us."
Turn away a moment, go stand in a section of the room slightly away from the others to indicate they should talk.
"I feel the same way, thank you Ardent."


"It is not our place to promise her that. I can however tell of her help to the authorities."


"Actually, the new mayor of the city could give her amnesty. Provided that we can arrest the current mayor and elect a new one, not touched by corruption, I think it would be reasonable to ask for this favor in light of the help she would provide in making it possible."


"Thus the reason we will tell them of her help.
It sounds like you are agreeing with me."


"If she will get amnesty in the first place why bother arresting her?"


Raise a brow.
"Because that's the law, of course!"


NOT OUR PLACE!? You who are so quick to lay down judgements of guilt and punishments now claim that temperance and pardons are not within your authority?


"My job is to apprehend criminals, not sentence them."


Look at this conversation confused.


When or if consensus has been reached, you may sleep to skip to the next day if you so desire.


"I'm sure she will be comforted by the fact that we will tell the potentially corrupt authorities of her help bringing down corruption."


"Are you doubting the law?"


"Law might be a strict, written set of rules, however each case must be also overviewed seperately so the best judgement would come to pass. If you weight up this situation I think it is quite clear that the arrest should be postponed until further notice, which is until it becomes null once the amnesty has been issued."

"Is there a problem, Mister Gotti?"


"Again, you are trespassing. It is not our place to judge."


"Gotti wonders why Angelite and Sonnet are arguing…"


"I am not as well versed on the law as you are, however, I definitely know that during the investigation of embezzlement, if a pony provides written proof, documents which would be illegal to hand over otherwise, the pony is pardoned in the name of discovering the bigger crime. I am sure that there must be a clause for this case as well."


"We are not arguing, Mister Gotti, we are trying to come to a compromise."


"It is about the reach of our hooves, mister Gotti.
Whatever it is in our right to decide the fate of a pony, or if this decision should be left to those appointed by our laws at that role."
"And then why would arresting her be a problem, if she can, and I will testify this, provide help much needed to solve the case?
Arresting her is merely a required passage to then have her cleared of charges."



Would not having her join our group technically contitute an arrest?



"You seem to have misinterpreted Mister Gallant. To provide full help to us, that mare will need to be free so she could get items that are necessary to the investigation, such as those documents. She could not do that while under arrest."


I nod my head.


"And you both seem to misunderstand me. Once this whole matter is dealt with, then I will arrest her. Not before."


"Grand! For this matter is not dealt with until after there is a new mayor and as soon as the new mayor is in office the amnesty can be issued and thus you will not have time to arrest her!"

"I am afraid I do not understand what you mean, Mister Gotti."


"If an amnesty is issued, that is fine with me."
Just know that mares like her will never change.


"Gotti understands why Sonnet and Angelite argue."


"Then it is settled, she helps us and you will not arrest her until we have this corruption case closed!"
Clap my hooves together.

"As I said, we were not arguing."


I suppose that's as far as we can hope to get for now, and I need a bath. I politely take my leave and go to my room.


Politely nod at him as he leaves.


"We'll need to figure out which of the nobles aren't dirty if you don't want another corrupt mayor to take his place…"


"If you believe that will work, we should meet with her tomorrow at the Rusty Stool."


Nod in agreement.
"Might the true path shine upon you."

Take my leave, going to my room.


If everyone is ready, we will skip.



"I shall try and seek out the nobles to get to know them better first thing tomorrow morning."

"You and the rest do that, I will have to look for a suitable replacement in the town's leadership. "
Ready to skip to the morning!








You all enjoy a full night's rest, well-deserved after the long hike to here today. The beds are very comfortable to sleep in and you feel fully rejuvenated as you wake up in the morning. After taking a hot bath and sharing a lovely breakfast in the hotel, you are all set for today. Cassie has decided to find a smithy to work at today, hoping to earn some money. Edelweiss will continue devouring books on law and economics in her room.


Aaaaaah, a comfy bed and a pleasant bath… I needed this.
If only I could start the day with painting a pretty picture, but alas, I have obligations!
"I hope all of you had a pleasant night."


I tell Cassie about Anvilhooves before she leaves.


Roll out of bed and do morning routine, stretching, washing, eating and finally donning my armor.
Go into the common hall.


She gives you an incredulous look.
"With his bare hooves? That's insane. Literally insane. Not the type of workplace I enjoy."

The others are there too!
Herald Shadowforge has showed up again as well.


"But Anvilhooves is good smith and talks very clearly!"


Spend a while cleaning my sword and armor, then put them on and my Order tunic over them. Feeling the extra weight of the bits Gotti distributed to the group on my sides, I make a mental note to keep an eye open for any shops as I rejoin the group.


Herald can totally share my room, its big enough, no homo.
Get ready and meet up with the others.


"Sounds like a headache in pony form to me."

You have gathered in the hotel lobby.


"Gotti thinks he was really nice!"


"But is he competent?"


Tap my hooves at the ground.
"Good morning everypony. After this rest, I hope you are all ready to continue what we have started yesterday."


"Anvilhooves made this when still a foal!"
Show the mace.


"I'm sure he is, but I think I'll look for a forge where I can work in peace."


Look it over, the give it back in his hooves.
Where can he be found?"


Cassie does a double take.


"Anypony want breakfast?"


You already had breakfast together!


"A bite cannot hurt."


"Because Anvilhooves was a really strong foal!"

"In Anvilhooves and sons shop!"


"But where is that?"


Oh, nevermind then.
"Right, how could I forget. Anyway, we should get going then." too the Rusty Stool?


Well then, I know one potential shop to look out for.


She blinks a few times, then shakes her head with a huff and leaves.


Explain where.


"Thank you mister Gotti. I will be sure to check it out."


"Try to stay out of trouble, as I will not accompany you in your search. As I have mentioned I will do my best to scout out the nobility of this city, and possibly try and find a suitable candidate for the next mayor."


So, does the party leave for the Rusty Stool?

"Be careful. Some of the nobles are just as rotten, from what I've heard."


Nod "You're probably best suited for that."


"I see. Make best use of your skills then. We will soon return."


"I will be cautious. When and where shall we meet back up?"


You leave the fancy hotel lobby behind you and strike out into the city. The sun is shining outside, seemingly the only thing strong enough to pierce the magical shield. The temperatures are nice and temperate, not too hot or cold to comfortably.


not too hot or cold to comfortably walk around in*


Eh…what should I do now?


"You seem lost mister Gotti."
To the cove of rascals we go!


Well, you could come along with the party. Or join Angelite with the nobles. Or follow Cassie. Or do something else?


"Yes…Gotti will help Sonnet…but Gotti doesn't know what Sonnet wants to do."


"We are meeting Ardet's friend. Our plan is easy, we explained it last night. Did you forget?"


Scratch my head.


Motion him to come closer.


Come closer.


Just quietly follow the rest of the group.


Well, let's head out by myself then.
Look for a fancy place. a really fancy one. Possibly a teahouse.


Whisper to him.
"We are being followed, so it's not safe to talk.
But to make it quick, we will meet with Ardet's informer, raid the Magpies' safehouses and find proof of their crimes.
Then, after a second, add.
"Anypony could be our enemy."


look for this bar, the rusty stool. '1d10'

Roll #1 6 = 6


Nod and move with Sonnet not saying a word.


You arrive at the Rust Stool. Gallant and Ardent recognize the place, it's where they met Herald the day before.
"Funny how it was apparently right under our nose the whole time…"
The place isn't as busy as the day before as it's quite early. Signs of yesterday's binge drinking are still somewhat visible. A few lone ponies are nursing a drink at the bar.

The unicorn mare is nowhere to be seen.

You strike out on your own! It's 10 AM and the streets are flourishing with activity. The inner city really does make you feel at home, the grandness of it all reminds you of the palace back at the capital. You still remember visiting it when you were a mere filly, a day you wont soon forget.
You look around for a while and find a tea room which is located on the top of a large building, overlooking the city. The sight is absolutely breath taking! Several groups of ponies are sitting around their respective table, clearly forming small groups to boast about their latest purchases and laugh at the peasants on the ground.


Go by the counter and wait.


Smile at the overlook of the cityscape.
This is quite pleasant indeed… however, can I find a group of ponies who are just having a moderate discussion I might join?

Roll #1 9 = 9


Check the alley where I caught her before for her or anything she might have accidentally dropped. [1d10+2]

Roll #1 5 + 2 = 7


"Yea, its strange how things work out." Smile and order a few drinks.


You sit at the counter, the barkeep eyeing you with some curiosity.

Two stallions and a mare are having a relaxed conversation about their planned travels.
"Indeed, I specifically hired the Manehatten weather pegasi to ensure only the best of weather during my stay there. It would be dreadful to have my vacation ruined by bad weather."

Nothing at all.

You enjoy a light drink as you wait… which you don't have to do for long.
A voice sounds from behind you.
"You have come."


Ignore him and start looking the patrons for my mare.

Roll #1 8 = 8


Ah well, was worth a shot. I return to the bar.


"Are you surprised?"


Walk over slowly, then do a little curtsey.
"Good morning, Ladies and Gentlecolts.
Might I have a seat in your company?"


A mare just addressed Gallant.
She looks… not like what you expected at all. She has heavy armor on, a sword and shield on her back and… hey, that's the same symbol as on Ardent's armor!

There's a mare standing behind Gallant, but she's wearing full armor… Hospitallion armor. You can't even see her face!

"That's irrelevant. Follow me."
You hear her walk away behind you.

"Why of course, my lady! How lovely to see a new face around here."
There's an empty seat for you to sit on.


Well now. Evesdrop on them.

Roll #1 10 = 10


You're right next to them, you heard everything they said and see the mare in armor walk away.


turn around to follow, but.. Look around for the others, and try to subtly motion to them. they should follow me as well! '1d10' roll to do that well.

Roll #1 2 = 2


Follow together with Gallant.


What the…? Approach the mare in Hospitallion armor.


Uh follow?


She leads you all to the… mare's restroom?
"Close the door behind you. Don't worry, Ardent, you're allowed in here for this special occasion. Relish it."

That voice… that's Leadlight for sure.


Lock the door.


Smile gratefully and take the seat.
"Thank you. It is always a delight to meet new ponies to me as well. My name is Angelite, a diplomat of Crystapolis."


Well, okay then. "A little a cramped isn't it?"


Enter the mare's restroom with the rest of the group, then fix her with a glare that switches between her and the armor she's wearing. Where the heck did she get that armor from?


She removes her helmet and looks around. "Nopony is around. Good."
She walks up to one of the toilet stalls and opens it up. She pulls the flushing lever, which triggers some kind of mechanism, flipping the wall behind the toilet around. She carefully moves one of her hooves over the wall.
"If you are wondering where I got this armor from… take a guess. It works well as a disguise, so sorry for taking it."
She finishes touching the wall and takes step back as a magical portal materializes into the wall.
"Now follow."
She steps through the portal, disappearing from sight as she does.

"How wonderful to have you here in our lovely city, lady Angelite. I am certain you are finding it quite to your liking, yes?"

A waiter pony approaches the table.
"Does madame wish for a refreshment?"


"It is quite a brilliant city, as the name suggests."

I nod to the waiter.
"Which tea would you recommend?"


Taking… Well, stolen is still better than… the alternative method. Follow her through the portal.


"I don't like this…"


Through the portal.




'Sunstone island, once the royal family's favorite holiday spot, is a mere shell of what it once was. Located to the west of the Crystal Empire and Equestria, the former mining colony was abandoned during the reign of Discord. It became easy prey for ambitious individuals wishing to get away from the pony kingdoms and the law.'
Excerpt from 'The ten most dangerous places in the world!'

"This year's Chineighse black tea is rather excellent madame. I believe you will find it quite pleasant to your tastes. It also comes with a pair of authentic biscuit rolls."

As you step through the portal, the world around you goes black. Opening your eyes, you see you are no longer present inside the mare's restrooms. The portal has led you to a large circular room with only one visible exit, a large wooden door on the opposite side of the room. The walls look weathered and grey, lit up by a row torches. A dusty old chandelier hangs from the ceiling, lighting up the area even further. Spread around the ground are several bedrolls, some of them in a better state than the others. Old barrels and crates are stacked to the ceiling to the left of you, while a large dusty carpet covers the floor of the middle of the room. A few tables with candles, empty mugs and plates on top of them are scattered around, as well as a few burning braziers.

There's only a handful of ponies here, a stallion and a mare are sitting at one of the tables, engaged in a quiet conversation, another stallion is digging around in one of the crates, while yet another stallion is sweeping the floor with a broom. Finally a colt and a filly running around the room playing tag. Sonnet recognizes the colt as the same one she asked to fetch paper and a quill for her the day before.

Leadlight glances around the room, then turns to you.
"Welcome to our home."


"That does sound quite a treat. I would like to order one."


Where am I?


Glance around giving concerned looks to the ponies who seem injured.


Well, this is interesting. Bringing us to their home instead of a remote meeting place implies a level of trust towards us.


Say nothing, merely sizing up the place.


With the party still.

"With haste, madame."
He walks off.

One of the stallions speaks up.
"How does the capital fare, miss Angelite? My schedule has not been kind to me these last few months, so I must admit I am somewhat out of loop."

Injured? None of them are injured, I don't know where you got that from.

Seeing your lack of response, she turns around and starts walking away, going for the door.


Keep following her.


Gently grab her shoulder and give her a questioning look, gesturing toward the children.


Close in and hug next to Angelite before whispering,
"This place gives me the creeps girl, where did you bring us?"


"I have been away for some weeks myself. However, the last time I was there it was still a shining standard of crystal pony life."


"I assume you have a good reason for showing us around."


You are with the others, Angelite is not with the party at the moment


Alright my bad.


The stallion sweeping the floor is giving you the eye…
Leadlight reaches to open up the door, but is interrupted as Ardent reaches over.

She tenses up at your touch and grabs your hoof in one swift motion, ready to counter your move. When she sees what you're gesturing at, she relaxes.
"Mining accidents sometimes leaves Brilliance with nothing but orphans. We sometimes offer them a home and a full belly for their services. None ever decline."

As I said in meta, Angelite is not with the party.
Also, the unicorn mare you are following looks very similar to the one who shot Cassie with a dart way back.

"Splendid! I cannot wait to get back there and enjoy my holiday estate."

"I am not showing you around. This is a safe place for you to be without any spying eyes around, which is why we are here. We have what you desire stored deeper inside this place. You are here because you accepted my offer, which required a certain amount of trust from you. I will show you we can and will back up our own end of the bargain."


"I see. But let's make it quick."


"If it so happens we might even be able to share a meal with some friends, should you be inclined, Mister?"


Nod and let go, taking a step back.


Just ignore the stink eye, give him a small friendly smile, I'm not here to take him in or anything.

"Seems.. cozy." I'll try to offer as a compliment.


Pause as I go order and eat some pizza for dinner, sorry for the interruption


What?! Oh dear God… or Dear Celestia if that is appropriate here?! Oh dear what to do what to do…

Is it really she? Can I identify her while still following her like nothing is happening?

Roll #1 10 = 10


"There is no sense in rushing our target. Paladin or no, you must practice restraint."

"Lord Meadow Star. A name I am sure you know well."
You have heard of the Star family for sure, but not him in particular.

"It is one of our temporary homes, shifting and changing as time passes."
She opens the door, revealing a hallway behind it. The walls are lit by torches. More doors are present ahead.
"Please stay close to me."

It's definitely her. I linked a summary in meta by the way, it's best you read it.

Pause as I eat the pizza now


"Ah yes, Mister Meadow. Anypony who knows upper class is aware of your family."


"There is no use wasting time aswell."


Hold back a snicker at Sonnet being chastised.
"It makes sense, but if you travel here by portal you'd think it would be a bit safer to settle in more permanently."


Follow her.


I just remain fidgety near her, are we properly introduced in the past or is this the first time I saw her again in the city?


'Please do not touch the Crystal Heart.'
- Writing on the plaque marking the Crystal Heart

He gestures to the mare sitting next to him.
"My sister, Tranquil Star."

She gives you a polite nod.
"Charmed, miss Angelite."

The waiter comes back with your Chineighse black tea on a neat little plate.
"Your refreshment, my lady."
It smells rather nice, if a bit foreign. There's a strange cookie lying next to the cup.

"I am not wasting time, paladin. Merely…"
She stops at one of the doors. It looks very sturdy and has a strange looking lock on it.
"… keeping my end on the bargain."
Taking out a set of keys, she begins to unlock the door, which appears to take quite a bit of hassle.

"Absolutely not. This dimension will eventually destabilize and become too dangerous to enter."

This is the first time you've seen her again since the incident. Ardent and Gallant have met her before though, but they don't know it's the same mare that you encountered because they never saw her back then.

She no doubt recognized you as well, but hasn't cared to comment on it.


Wait for her to open the door.


"I see that you two love a touch of class. Do not we all?"
Chuckle a bit.

Nod my thanks at the waiter, but stop him.
"If I may ask, what is that little treat beside it?"


Look around for anything else of interest. [1d10+2]

Roll #1 6 + 2 = 8


Stare at her a little unsure.


The lock is probably enchanted, similar to the shackles back in the old mines in Winterheim. In a place full of thieves… only the best locks will keep something shut to the wrong ponies.

As she nimbly manipulates the keys with her telekinesis to move from lock to lock, you suddenly sense an intense feeling of dread washing over you. Something horrible is about to come!

She's too busy concentrating on the lock to pay attention to you. You too feel a powerful emotion surge through you. Your paladin sense is tingling and it's detecting something horrible.

This hallway is long and dusty, there's not much to see here in the dim light of the torches along the walls. There are several doors up ahead which are all closed as well. Further ahead, the hallway takes a sharp turn to the left.

"A fortune cookie, my lady. A traditional treat from the orient containing a special message."
He bows his head a little and walks off.


Turn back to a wall and draw my weapons.
"Everypony! Stand ready!"


"How delightful!"
Take a modest sip of my tea, then turn to the others.
"This fortune cookie seems like an amusing concept, does it not? I wonder why it is not more widespread."


Get myself in position and snarl.
"You! What are you doing here? Planning to kidnap us again wont you?"
I glance around and see if her accomplice is nearby.

Roll #1 3 = 3


Draw my blade and step back from the door.


The mare reacts in an instant, dropping the keys and unsheathing a long dagger, ready to attack you.
"And they say us thieves have no honor. You have made a mistake coming here just to attack us in our own homes."

Nothing else seems to be happening… Though the feeling of dread is still strong inside the minds of the paladins.

Meadow nods in agreement.
"The Neighpons certainly are quite creative when it comes to these things. It is a shame they are so… different in regards of manners."

"It is quite exotic. Only befitting for the higher class and not the peasantry."


Sip from my tea gain.
"Now, Miss Tranquil, do you not believe in pony equality?"


Turn my back on her and look around. Can I find anything that would suggest why the paladins are acting like we're about to get jumped? [1d10+2]

Roll #1 7 + 2 = 9


"What? I didnt come here to find you! I stumbled here and here you are! Drawing daggers and all."
Do I see Ardent or Sonnet Glory nearby?


"What is behind that door?" I ask in a calm yet demanding tone.


"What is behind the door?"
Word of Power.

Roll #1 4 + 2 = 6


"Miss Angelite please spare me those kind of thoughts. We are the elite. The peasantry work for us while we rule them. They would be lost if it weren't for us."

You lack the special training they received on detecting anomalies, so no.

She opens her mouth to answer, but is interrupted as a deafening screech sounds through the hallway, making her cringe. The sound is completely unponylike and seemingly pierces your very soul. Even more worrying is the fact that you can't even tell where it exactly came from.
Leadlight looks around in complete surprise.
"… Not good. That sounded like invading spirits again. A rift must have opened into this dimension… come!"
She gathers the keys and pockets them, then starts sprinting further down the hallway with impressive speed.

Yes, you are all here together!


"Accursed place."
After her.


Invading… spirits? That sounds bad. Follow her down the hallway.


I scratch my ears in iritation.
"What in Dogshit is that?! Hey! Hey wait for me!"

Wait! Where did the theif go?


>Asking Sonnet.


Sip my tea in a refined manner as she talks.
"We work for the lower classes as much as they work for us. Without their continued efforts and contributions, we would starve without food. There would be nopony to provide us with fabric. We would have no furniture to speak of and we would have no roof above our heads. I strongly believe that society is built on relying on each other, and I implore you to consider this yourself."
'1d10' Good Word.

Roll #1 2 = 2


"Abominations from a realm we don't belong to.
Be ready to defend yourself."


follow her with an annoyed look. "What are you keeping in here?"


I shake my head.
"Abominations? Inside the Crystal city?! I thought it is safe in here?" I gasp as I try to follow.


You all run down the hallway after her.
"As time goes on, these pocket dimensions destabilize… which sometimes results in small rifts opening up. Most of the time these can be closed without much issue but…"
She stops in front of a set of large wooden doors at the end of the hallway.
"… other times they bring in beings that cause trouble. Be on your guard."
She looks back at the two paladins of the group.
"Although it seems you sensed them long before we did."

She waves a hoof dismissively.
"I will not hear any more of this nonsense. I suggest you learn how the world truly works, miss Angelite. Your childish views on these things are hardly fact."



I rubbed my head, trying to make it all clear in my head.
"Wait, I thought this city had it all solved out? What is this pocket dimension thingy?" I look at the commanding officer."

Also be on guard as I ready my hat for some casting to be done.


Nod firmly. "Yes. The feeling was quite clear. We need to defeat whatever is coming from that rift. Get those foals out of here before something happens to them."


"On the contrary, views such as yours are the exact reason why many ponies think that nobility has an incurable superiority complex, which can severly damage the public image of Houses, as you might imagine."


The fancy mare gives you a condescending look.
"We simply see the world as it is, it is our money that keeps the country running. The peasantry is powerless and penniless."

The two stallions also sitting at the table remain quiet, simply listening to the argument while enjoying their tea.


Well I will enjoy my tea as well before answering, calm as ever!
"Our money is only worth the price that it is worth as long as the country is in stability and peace. Should this, by your words, 'powerless' mass rise against their current state, the worth of gold would plummet, not to mention what other damage an uprising may create. Therefore, it is my opinion that it is for the sake of everypony to keep the working class happy."


"We keep them happy enough, they are locked up in their own little world. Give the masses bread and circuses and they will stay happy. Our fair city is the perfect example of that. The peasants are happy enough to toil in the mines while we give them rewards for doing so. They should be grateful for this!"


"They are ponies, living, feeling persons just as you and I, do not forget that."


"We are simply more than just that. Perhaps your youthfulness is to blame for your naivety, miss Angelite. In time you will learn that peasants and nobility are two separate entities, pieces of a pyramid where we stand on top while they stand at the bottom."


"A full wallet does not make one pony better than one without one, Miss Tranquil."
Sip my tea with a smile.


She lets out an undignified snort.
"I believe the time has come to excuse myself and return to my estate."
She gets up and walks away from the table, head held high. Meadow Star excuses himself as well and takes his leave after her, leaving you alone with the stallion whose name you haven't asked.


I will chalk that up as a victory.
Sip my tea again and look at him with a smile.
"I hope you do not share his views, Mister?"


"Silver Lining, from Crystalport."
Your trained ears catch the hint of an Equestrian accent in his speech. He looks like a crystal pony though. You don't recognize his family name.
"Lady Tranquils views are extreme, but sadly not all that unique."


her views*


This will require further investigation!
"A pleasure to meet you, Mister Silver."
"I just hope that one day she will see the light of day and come to realize how wrong she was."


He chuckles softly.
"Your optimism is most charming, my lady."


I can afford a dignified chuckle as well.
"I firmly believe that all ponies can change."


"That is a nice sentiment indeed. Sadly, I have not seen it happen often enough."


"On occasions, the change itself is already within the pony, Mister Silver.
With a good mediator, said change could blossom and turn the pony to the better."


"Perhaps you are right, but I am a business pony, not a psychologist or a priest of the heart."


"Neither am I. I am just a mere diplomat myself. However, many ponies can be surprised at the power of words."


He takes a sip from his tea.
"If I may be so bold, what is it that brings you here to Brilliance?"


"Me and a few accompanies have been headed towards the Capital. We decided to stay for a while, after a string of events."


"May I take a daring leap of assumption that your accomplices are not nobles?"


"Your assumption is correct. I wonder why you are interested in that detail, however."


"You seemed very set on defending your ideals in regards to those of common lineage and I wondered how much sincerity there was in your words. The fact that you surround yourself with commoner ponies shows that you do believe what you say."


"I have to correct you on one part, though, I do not view them as if they were commoners, I view them as if they were friends."


"Yes, but they are still objectively commoners. Even if you do not see them as such, others most definitely will."


"If anypony thinks that would damage my image then, pardon me, but I can safely disregard their opinion in the matter. I was lucky enough to be born in a wealthy family, however that does not mean I am better than anypony else."


"You said you are a diplomat, correct? I would think the image other nobles have of you is quite important indeed."


"Yet even they must understand, that as a diplomat and negotiatior I not only move within noble circles. Ponies from other social classes have problems that need to be solved as well. I would rather that these problems are solved peacefully, which is why I help everypony equally."


"I understand, but others may not. No matter how many words you spill, they may stick to their stance."


"In that case I cannot help but feel sorry for them."
Let's crack open that fortune cookie!


"That does not befit a diplomat, my lady. You must be flexible and willing to twist the truth a little. Do not waste your breath on fighting lost battles like against lady Tranquil. Instead take a different approach and keep your opinions to yourself."

You crack open the fortune cookie. Inside you find a rolled up small piece of paper.


"I do not like to lie, true. Yet if I see a chance to make a pony change his or her mind I try to take it.
Thank you for concern, however, this was merely a chat. As much as it pains me on occasions, I do have to remain neutral on more serious matters."
Let's roll it out and read it!


"We all must make sacrifices, I'm afraid."
You roll open the paper and read:
'Leave Brilliance or you will regret it'


Nod, then frown at the paper.
"I have to admit, I expected some sort of wise saying."


"Excuse me?"


Crumble up the paper.
"I am afraid I have a secret admirer."


He raises a brow as you crumble up the paper.
"That is quite the… interesting trick then."


"That it is."
Raise my head proudly.
"However, I will not let myself be threatened. Some ponies obviously do not like my presence here, which tells me I am doing something good. I might be a diplomat, but as my father used to say, you will not accomplish anything without making a few enemies."


"Your father sounds like a wise man then. But receiving threats through fortune cookies? That does not sound like a secret admirer to me."


"On the contrary, the pony would definitely admire me as I was leaving the city.
I am afraid he or she will be severely disappointed."


"That sounds like a troubling situation. Do you have any clues as to whom it might come from? I myself am here in Brilliance for a mere few days before I return to Crystalport."


"Judging by the method, I suspect the group called Magpies."


He frowns.
"Oh dear."


"So you have heard of them."


"Yes… they are somewhat troublesome. Our family owns a trading company, you see. We ferry goods mostly from Equestria and the Crystal empire. The Magpies have not been shy about stealing items from our shipments passing through Brilliance and elsewhere."


"I was right about your Equestrian accent then.
Clear my throat.
"As it seems to me, even the magpies are small fish in this city, so to say."


"Are they? I admit I am not too versed on their exact workings, only their past deeds."


"I would not want to stress you with it."


"Hm… well, if they feel threatened by your presence then I can only applaud you. They have no taken the time to address me, which raises some questions about my methods. Indeed, perhaps I am being too lax. Do be careful, my lady. They are still crooks."


"I will.
May I inquire what you are undertaking that they might have taken a notice of your methods?"


"I have been attempting to persuade the lord mayor into taking stricter action. Our family also lends monetary support to the Hospitallion knights to help increase the safety of the road network. The paladins… something else has recently enthralled them completely."


"Oh, you might find it interesting, but one pony in our group is a Hospitallion! As well as paladins. What exactly got their attention, if you do not mind sharing?"


"Haven't you heard? I do suppose it is not that relevant here this far away from the coast. The island of Sunstone has been invaded and taken over by a changeling hive."



You are here with the party, Herald (A friend of Gallant) and Leadlight (The unicorn thief).
"This place… it's not part of the world we live in. It's a separate dimension we can enter through the use of magic rifts and portals. These pocket dimension are very useful but also unstable at times. Rifts to dangerous places will sometimes form, allowing these spirits to enter and wreak havoc."

"Don't worry about them. All we need to do is get these restless spirits out of this place and close the rift. You are a paladin, you should be able to do that."
You theorize you could indeed use spellbreaker to break these portals.
You hear Herald whisper in your ear, having already taken to the shadows to hide.
"I hope you put on your paladin pants today, Gallant. This isn't my field of expertise."

Leadlight slowly unlocks the wooden doors and swing them open, revealing a large room ahead, similar to the one you arrived in. There are no living ponies in here though. You count eight spirits rampaging around the room. They look vaguely ponylike except more spectral, though their exact shapes are actually quite hard to see. The paladins know that these entities are more resilient to physical attacks, but also weaker to magical spells. There is a large glowing tear in one of the walls, glowing with the same kind of intensity as the portal you entered through to get here.
"There it is, the rift they got through. We have to close at soon as possible."
Leadlight pulls out six daggers with her telekinesis.
The spirits have spotted you and are howling as they move in to attack. They are blocking the path to the rift, so you'll need to at least fend them off first.


Draw the silver weapon.
Point at them.
"Stand down horrid creatures, and face justice!"
Word of power.

Roll #1 7 + 2 = 9


Gasp, but cover my mouth with my hoof.
"Oh my, that sounds horrible! Are the ponies there safe?"


…So, ghosts.
Those are ghosts.
Ghosts are real.
…Well alright then.
Okay, whatever they are, they're hostile. Right. I can deal with hostile.
I ready my sword and eye the hostiles up. Are there any apparent weaknesses or patterns of behavior? [1d10+2]

Roll #1 7 + 2 = 9


Wait so what happened after the chase scene?


Sorry didnt saw that.
Began to grab my crossbow and get ready as they approach.

"Run or shoot?!"


"If you can, cast spells at them!" I'll call out and try a spell breaker on the tear in the wall '1d10'
"I never leave home without my faith Herald."

Roll #1 8 = 8




Give her a neutral look.


I nod and shoot those spirits with my crossbow.

Roll #1 2 = 2


"Cast spells on them"


Surprisingly so, you manage to shout at least one of them down, freezing it in place. It wont be able to move or attack next turn.

This was mentioned before in one of those quotes I put when starting a new session and Angelite must definitely know this, but Sunstone is not actually part of the Crystal Empire. It is an old mining colony settled on an island to the west of Equestria and the Crystal empire. It was also a popular destination for crystal nobles to visit during those times. This was ages ago, however, the island was abandoned by the crystal empire, causing all kinds of outlaws, pirates, thieves, bandits and other rogues to use it as their own little resort. It's independent, but obviously not considered a state of its own. Still, a pegasus mare called Storm Cloud has managed to exercise some control over the island, keeping it from tearing itself apart. The island is inhabited by all kinds of species, diamond dogs, crystal ponies, gryphons, normal ponies, donkeys… it's a melting pot.

"I imagine not. Some of them seem to have gotten out in time however. Including Storm Cloud who is currently taking shelter in Crystalport. She is exceedingly angry about losing her turf to changelings, as you may imagine."

They don't really seem like ghosts. Ghosts are completely immaterial and non-solid. These spirits are at least somewhat solid, meaning physical attacks do actually work on them, but aren't as effective as say magic. They seem intelligent, not like mindless animals.

>They are blocking the path to the rift, so you'll need to at least fend them off first.
You can't reach it, there's a spirit in the way! It attacks you, but you hit it with your spellbreaker, which does seem to have a very damaging effect on these spirits.

You shoot a bolt at one of the spirits, but it easily dodges it. It smacks your crossbow out of your grip and onto the ground.

Helaine 4/5


Empower my silver Weapon and rush at the closest one, slashing it apart!

Roll #1 1 + 3 = 4


"I can imagine. Do you think the changelings can be contained in time, before they can spread?"


"Don't let your guard down."
Fair enough. Then target the nearest one and..
'1d10' Blast!

Roll #1 4 = 4


Seeing as I don't actually have much in the way of overt magic, let's see just how effective steel is against these creatures. I attack the closest one. [2d10]

Roll #1 3, 2 = 5


You channel the power of LAW and ORDER into your teeny weeny silver dagger and slash at the spirit you just incapacitated. It's a good thing it can't move because you somehow manage to completely miss it and leave yourself open for a potential counterattack… which never comes.

"That is what is keeping the paladins so busy at the moment. They are worried that Sunstone will be used as a staging ground to invade Equestria or the empire. Now, they likely don't have the numbers to perform a full scale invasion, but they could still hit one of the towns along the coast… like Crystalport."

You swing your runed longsword at the spirit, fueled with holy power… but miss! The spirit moves in to attack, only to be beaten back by a magic bolt from Herald, saving you from retaliation.
… When did he learn how to use magic anyway?

The spirit's agility catches you off guard and it dodges your strikes completely, allowing it to attack your flank with ease.
You are helpless.

Helaine 4/5
Ardent Helpless/4


Roll back to my hooves and shake it off. [1d10]

Roll #1 6 = 6


"EEEP!!" I shout in fright
Try to grab some…. anti-ghost spray inside my hat and keep these buggers away from us!!
Hat trick.

Roll #1 7 + 2 = 9


That guy is full of surprises.
'1d10+1' lets try a might swing with Vigilance (sword) while I collect my energies again.

Roll #1 8 + 1 = 9


"I hope that it will turn out for the best, then. I can see why this is concerning for you."


You successfully roll out of the way and get back up. You receive a +1 to getting back up yourself or helping someone get back up for the remainder of combat.

You pull out a small spray can of Spiritonidazolepidogrelasteride. And use it to spray the spirit.
It doesn't seem to like it, at least!

This time you make contact, although it is a mere physical contact. Some ectoplasm bleeds out of it, a strange liquid often associated with spiritual things. Still, it doesn't seem too hurt by this!

"I do hope the same, lady Angelite. Changelings are horrible creatures, believe me."

Helaine 4/5
Ardent 5/4


"Fortunately, I have never met any of them in person, but I have read and heard stories about them."


Well, I can only do so much magic!
"Keep it up guys." '1d10' spell breaker on one of the spirits.

Roll #1 1 = 1


Whelp! If that doesnt work then lets see if they will run away with…

Fire a magic bolt at one of the ghost.

Roll #1 4 = 4


Alright, they're fast. Keep my blade spinning in a slicing whirlwind. [2d10]

Roll #1 1, 6 = 7


"Then you know the dangers they pose."
He clears his throat and gets up.
"It was lovely talking to you, miss Angelite, but I must get going now. If you do ever find yourself in Crystalport, you are very welcome to look me up."

Your mind blanks out as the spell backfires. You lose consciousness for a second and when you wake back up again, you're down on the ground.

It dodges your bolt but doesn't come in for an attack after it got sprayed by you.

You actually manage to hit it! Unfortunately, you are rewarded by a counterattack from the spirit in the form of a magical blastwave which knocks you to the ground.

Ardent Helpless/3
Gallant Helpless/4
Helaine 4/5

Leadlight destroys one of the spirits by sending a volley of daggers with her telekinesis at it, leaving her exhausted. 7 remain.


Get back up. I don't have time for naps. I have holy light to dish out.

Roll #1 6 = 6


"I shall, Mister Silver. It was a pleasure talking to you."
Finish my tea then!


Blink. This isn't working. Pull myself back up. [1d10+1]

Roll #1 6 + 1 = 7


Eh?! No no!
Try again to shoot it! Use my crossbow

Roll #1 9 = 9


You get back up, ready to serve some spirit fools.

He walks out as you finish up your tea. The waiter returns to your table.
"Would the lady care for anything more?"

You too get back up. +2 to your next getting up rolls.

This time your crossbow hits its mark with a bolt straight to the face of one of the spirit. Some ectoplasm bleeds out of it as well!


'1d10' Blast. "Its time for you spirits to move on. Don't fear the light."

Roll #1 2 = 2


Okay, let's try a single, controlled strike. [1d10]

Roll #1 7 = 7


I still need to find more possible help… obviously the Star family will not be any.
"I would like to order another cup."


I hug my crossbow in surprise.
"Oh!… OH! I mean it works!!"
I then stand up and point my horn at the ghost!
"Lets see if this works to you!!"

Magic bolt

Roll #1 5 = 5


The spirit once again dodges the holy blow, giving it a chance to deliver a blow of its own to your head.

You hit the spirit with your sword, wounding it further. These blows aren't as effective, but they still have an effect! The spirit seems to fade slightly, obviously hurt.

"Of course."
He bows and walks off again.
As you are sitting there waiting, you suddenly hear a female voice whispering uncomfortably close to your ear from behind you.
"You are not safe here."

Your magic bolt narrowly misses the spirit as it moves out of the way to dodge.

Gallant 4/4
Ardent 5/3
Helaine 4/5


"How many of them are there? Also why are they attacking us!!" I scrunched as I readied my crossbow again for another shot while dodging.

Roll #1 3 = 3


Keep looking forward.
Speak quietly.
"I guess you are the reason why, correct?"


Get Gallant's attention and point towards the portal, then leap forward and clear him a path. [2d10]

Roll #1 6, 4 = 10


'1d10' spell breaker then. Get them out of the way.
"You're stubborn aren't you?"
"They are unholy spirits, they are simply angry, and irrational."
"Don't let up!"
I nod to you. "I know, but the spirits are blocking it."

Roll #1 3 = 3


Before you can shoot, your are knocked aside again by another spirit.

You feel something sharp slightly press into your back, but then disappear again.
"No. Lucky you. Why aren't you with your friends? Didn't mommy and daddy tell you it's unsafe to play on your own? I had to come aaaall the way up here and lie to my colleague to get him away from you."

You slash away at the wounded spirit, finally finishing it off. Another one slams into you in retaliation, however.

Your attack misses once again, these spirits sure are quick! It howls at you.

Herald launches another pair of magic bolts at one of the spirits, destroying it.
4 remain.

Gallant 3/4
Ardent 4/3
Helaine 3/5


Let out a small, noble Hmph!.
"What are you aiming at, if I may ask?"


So they can die. Show this one why you don't mess with a Hospitallion. [2d10]

Roll #1 5, 8 = 13


Breath evenly, calmly, focus and steady my blade.. '1d10' blast a spirit.

Roll #1 10 = 10


"Ack! Okay okay that hurts. Ow.."
Try to focus and fire a bolt of magic at one of those ghost.
Magic bolt.

Roll #1 1 = 1


"I'm here to look after you. You me and every dirty little secret~"
You hear a soft giggle.
"Seriously though, I'm watching you. Leadlight says whatever business you have in mind should be dealt with as quick as you can. The longer you're out here… the more danger you're in. We wouldn't want that pretty face of yours to be ruined, now would we?"

You slash back at the spirit, wounding it slightly and causing it to back off slightly.

You perform a calculated charge and swing your sword with some divine help at one of the spirits, damaging it severely. The strike is so strong that the resulting blast hurts several other spirits as well!

You are hit by a very powerful magical blast from one of the spirits, sending you flying through the air and smashing helpless into the ground.
Helaine Helpless/4


Keep up the assault. [2d10]

Roll #1 10, 9 = 19


Lower my voice even more.
Try to appear like I'm not talking to anypony.
"In danger from who, aside from the magpies, who are common thieves?"


"…… *gasp*…."
"uhhh… no.. damnit… stand up.."
Shake my head and try to get my bearing.

Roll #1 9 = 9


Smile a bit as I feel the support of the light with me. Try to finish off the spirit, with a sword strike. '1d10+2'

Roll #1 5 + 2 = 7


With an impressive show of swordsmanship you slash the wounded spirit in half and follow that up with another slash which wounds a different spirit.

"Hired thugs, sweetheart. The magpies may not be much of a threat aside from keeping an eye on that precious flank of yours, but the big guy has plenty of other cards on his hoof."

You scramble back to your hoofsies!

Isn't that +1?
You slash at the wounded one Ardent hit, finishing it off for good.

Two remain, you can easily reach the rift now!


Nod to Gallant, then give the remaining spirits something to think about. This is what I do best! [2d10+2]

Roll #1 6, 2 + 2 = 10


"I assume you mean the mayor."


Crystal Emotions! I had just crit!
'1d10' spell break that portal.

Roll #1 8 = 8


Cover the paladins by using my magic bolts!
Magic bolt

Roll #1 9 = 9


"The mayor isn't the biggest fish in the pond, you silly filly. I'm talking about Obsidian Flow. He's got a lot of money too, you know… and he's kinda cute looking~"

You destroy one of the wounded spirits with your strike, but the last one retaliates by tackling you.

You charge forward, speeding towards the portal to close it before more of these beings flood in. As you close in, two more of them pop out in front of you, but are torn apart by a volley of daggers and magic bolts in mere seconds. You hit the magical rift with your spell, causing it to collapse into itself as the tear mends itself and closes.

Finally, Helaine destroys the last spirit using a pair of magic bolts to shoot it out of the sky.

It is done. The rift has been closed and all the invading spirits have been destroyed.
Leadlight pockets her daggers while Herald smirks triumphantly.
"Well done… it seems we have succeeded."

[Minor pause]


I breath in relief
"Whew! Well that fixed things! I mean for a minute there I thought we are goners. Well with all those ghost and paranormal business and stuff I mean you know… wow… "

I then look at Leadlight and Herald.
"You're both ghost hunter?!"


"An egg could look pristine on the outside but that does not mean it cannot be rotten to the core."


"Well done everypony."
I smile a moment.
and look back, is anypony hurt?


"Now let's get this over with before any further interruptions."


Get back up and brush myself off. Guess spirit-hunting isn't so different from what I normally do after all.


Leadlight stares at you for a moment, then softly shakes her head and starts walking out of the room.
Herald laughs and shakes his head.
"No, I just happened to dabble a little bit into magic."

"And you're not rotten, aren't you? No… you're a perfect little egg. A perfect noble egg with such a brittle shell."

The waiter returns with your tea, which makes your new friend go silent.
"Your Chineighse black tea, my lady."

Some of your companions look a bit weary, but nothing too serious.

Leadlight nods as she walks out of the room back to the door she was unlocking earlier.
"I agree. Just a moment."


Wait for her to unlock said door.


"Thank you."
Wait until he leaves.
"I have no reason to trust you, Miss."


Sheathe my sword and wait.


"After all this is over, perhaps you should look into a safer place to hide out."


look again at Herald.
"Were you following us the whole time? You were awfully quiet earlier."


After dealing with the intricate lock for another minute, she finally manages to unlock the door. She pushes the heavy steel doors open, causing them to creak. The vault is open to you. Inside there are rows upon rows of boxes and bags spread around the room. All of them have tags on them.
"A large portion of items that have been recently stolen by order of either the mayor or Obisidian Flow are stored here, they have the tags GCOF and LMBR."
She walks over to a bag.
"… This was stolen from the medical institute. You've no doubt heard about it from doctor Sapphire Flux."

"This place may have its issues, but it also has a lot of merits. That said, it changes and shifts as time goes on anyway. It could be somewhere completely different by tomorrow."

He bows and leaves again.

"I don't give a shit. Just hurry up cupcake, and don't squander too much time. I'll be watching after you, don't worry~"


Hmph again, and finish my tea.


Walk up to her and extend a hoof, waiting for the bag.
"Yes, we have.
But what links all of this to the mayor and Obsidian Flow?"


I jump and block Leadlights path.
"Hey! Where are you going!?"


Sigh a bit at her explanation about staying here.
"Well.. this is what you wanted us to see?" '1d10' can I see what's in the bag.

Roll #1 2 = 2


Look around for anything else that catches my eye. [1d10+2]

Roll #1 5 + 2 = 7


*after she unlocks the door*
"Can anyone explain to me where you guys are going?:


He nods.
"I decided to hide in the shadows and stay there in case you-"
Leadlight interrupts him.
"I saw you hiding, but decided not to comment on it."

She looks at your hoof and shakes her head.
"You don't want to carry these around just yet. We have work to do first. As I said, these items were stolen by their orders. They gave us a target and we retrieved whatever it was. The collection of goods we've stolen range from old maps of the empire to…"
She kicks the bag softly.
"Biological weapons. A bit odd, do you not agree?"

You finish your lovely Chineighse tea. The fortune cookie still sits on your plate.

There's all sorts of folders filled with papers and vials filled with strange liquids inside.
"This is my part of the bargain. You still have yours to fulfill."

There are a lot of other bags tagged with different codes. These guys sure have been busy.


"I can see why it would be of use to someone with Obsidian's renown."


Well, let's open it then.
Also, sign to the waiter that I wish to pay.


Give her a look. Biological weapons?


We have been briefed on that!


"You might think that at a first glance, but it runs deeper than that. You were looking for those mining documents on Winterheim alone at first. Why? Did you witness something there?"

You crack open the cookie and unfurl the paper.
It reads: 'U You have a hot flank'
The waiter comes over and receives your payment.

"You seem to be confused. In this bag lie the biological blueprints of a certain disease that has been modified by the good ponies of the medical institute. It only affects diamond dogs and is extremely deadly and contagious."


"Little of your concern.
If you do not have proof that links all this to who you say it does, this meeting is over."


Nod slowly, listening to her.


How utterly distasteful.
Crumple it up and throw it in the trash as I leave.


Specifically targeting diamond dogs? To what end?
…No. The answer is obvious and nearly unthinkable. These ponies are planning to attempt genocide.
Keep listening to her.



"They are looking for something. Something old and hidden underground. The old mining reports on various places in the empire, the old maps of the empire, the history books… I think they are attempting to dig around in various places to pinpoint the location of whatever it is they are looking for. I don't know what and I don't know why, but I believe you are all involved in it. The other things that were stolen… I am not sure which purpose they serve to them, but it cannot be good."

You do so. Now what?

You are in a vault where the thieves store stolen goods.


"Nothing of this is evidence yet."


"Oh… Oh."
What are the goods that they have stolen? Food? Weapons etc? Anything that looked important or that will make me beautifull/eyecatching?


Let's find a park and sit down on a bench.
I'm sure my friend is still around.


Keep listening.


"They are stolen goods with their names on it, I gave you what you wanted. Now I require your help back with something you will no doubt want to do anyway."

There is some jewelry in some of the bags as well, but the thief lady will probably be very angry at you if you steal their stolen goods.

You head to one of the parks in the inner city. It's one of the few places where you aren't completely surrounded by towering buildings! You sit down on a bench looking over a small pond with koi fish in it.

After a few minutes of silence, you hear the voice from behind you again.
"Are you going to just sit there?"


"What if I am planning to do just that? Will you get bored and leave?"


"Go on."


Arch an eyebrow at her. And that would be?


"What do you think? I once had to hide under a bed for a whole night so I wouldn't get caught."
There's a few seconds of silence.
"Awww, are you mad because of that cookie? Can't take a joke, miss fancy lady?"

"I want your help taking down Shadow Play, our current leader. He is firmly inside Obsidian Flow's pocket and is secretly plotting to kill me. Once he and his closest allies are gone, the Magpies can move on."


"I will apprehend your leader."


Noble scrunch of distate!
"It was very distasteful!"


As I thought, the motivation for helping us is making a power-play and self-preservation. Now, we need to know where he is.


"I suggest we kill him. He will likely escape if imprisoned."

"Should I have worded it differently? Like 'Your derriere is excellent'?"
You hear some soft snickering before she continues.
"Seriously though, don't waste time like this."


"What do you expect me to do?"


"How can we prevent him from fleeing while we fight him?"


I've got no problem taking out the trash.


"Whatever the fuck you need to do! If you don't have anything to do, you'll probably want to get back to your friends and the boss, because you'll be out of sight and safe… mostly."

"We will fight him in a pocket dimension similar to this one. My comrades will ensure he'll have no portals to flee through."


"Do you spy on other ponies as well? Would that not mean that you have information about other ponies?"


"That sounds like a quick way to make short use of any possible contradiction or dissenting voice to your story."


"And this pocket dimension is 100% stable?"


Out of curiosity, start poking through some of the bags in the room. [1d10+2]

Roll #1 4 + 2 = 6


"Oh. Ohohoho yes. I know lots of dirty little secrets. I love spying on nobles here in this district."

She looks down for a second.

"Yes it is. There should be no worries there."

Leadlight is keeping an eye on you as you rummage through some of the bags and boxes belonging to the mayor and Obsidian Flow, you can feel it.
There's a blueprint of some sort of machine, old tomes filled with spells, runes, books on history of the empire and several… empty bags inside a bag?


Hold up one of the empty bags in the bag and give Leadlight a questioning look.


"I ill care for dirty secrets. However, you may be an useful asset, after all. I am in dire need of nobles who share our views and want the current mayor gone."


"Killing is not what we need. Not in this case."


Sigh. "I don't like this plan very much."


"That is a bag of holding, it uses the same pocket dimension mechanics to create near infinite space to store items in. Very valuable, as you might imagine."

"Oh there's several, you know. The Stars, the Roses and the Flux's all dislike Redwood. They're clever enough to not challenge him openly though."

She seemingly gets moves closer to your ear.
"Will I get a kiss for helping you like this?"

"And what will you do when he escapes?"

"I am sorry, I realize I am asking you to put your trust in me an awful lot. But I did not go through all of this just to simply backstab you in the end."


"Carry out the sentence for runaways.
Break every bone in his legs."


Shake my head slowly and glance at the evidence pile, does most of it seem legit? '1d10'

Roll #1 10 = 10


Hmn. How big is this bag of holding?


"Absolutely not."
Flick my ear.
"The Stars did not seem very cooperative. I could see why the Flux family would disagree, however."
Do I know the Rose family?


She regards you silently for a while before speaking again.
"You are a harsh paladin."

Books are books and papers are papers. If you are wondering if they are genuinely stolen, then yes they probably are seeing how they are locked up in a vault guarded by thieves.

It's a pouch about as big as your head.

You do, they are fairly important and not just in Brilliance. The Flux family is not very powerful and is limited to Brilliance. The Stars are quite spread out over the crystal empire and certainly not unimportant!
"Why not? I brush my teeth every day, I promise!"


"I am a paladin.
Now. Show us where he hides."


"I am afraid you will have to look for affection elsewhere. Now, what can you tell me about the local Roses?"


Peek inside the bag. How exactly am I supposed to get stuff back out?


"I will. We can open a portal up to our current main base where he resides so we can confront him."



Nod at the evidence. "Hopefully this will be enough to convict the real villains. And I think Sonnet is right, we should at least attempt a live capture.. And killing someone is more harsh than breaking their bones."


'No trespassing allowed, dogs will be prosecuted.'
- The most commonly sign found inside gem mines

"The big name is Prim Rose. A bit of an uptight cunt, but he doesn't take shit from anybody, not even Obsidian Flow. His sister Lavender Rose left a while back and went for the capital. She's just as uptight as he is, but she likes it rough in bed from what I hear. The Roses own a lot of the farms around here. That's kinda their thing, y'know?"

There is only blackness. You have no idea. Magic maybe?

"Not if it is a swift death."


Flatten my ears.
"Please, do mind the language and focus on the important parts. Where can I find Prim Rose?"


Alright, put it back for now, but remember where they are.


"His estate? Unless he's out for business and shitting all over someone again."

You put the bag back into the larger bag. Leadlight is keeping an eye on you all the while.


"Where is this estate located?"


"Out in the hillside- Wait are you planning on visiting him? It's a pain in the ass to sneak around there!"


I sat next to the paladins a bit ill tempered of the situation.
"How is it that all of you are acting like there is nothing happening? There are ghosts in this… vault, hideout… thing. We should get out of here!"

I then look at Leadlight
"I assume this pony is the one who lead you guys here,:


Actually smile.
"How unfortunate.
Now, out in the hillside and?"


Alright, I think I'll head back to the main room, take a look around.


"They have always been here. We've taken care of them for now so there is no reason to leave. And I am. My name is Leadlight and I am Shadow Play's right hoof."

You hear some soft curses before she answers.
"… Fucking south. There's those weird farms placed on those hills you passed by when you arrived, those are the Rose's."

You leave the vault and head back into the main room on your own. Not much has changed there. The stallion from earlier is still sweeping the floor while the others are doing their own thing. Those kids seem to be fumbling around with a locked chest. The stallion who was digging inside one of the crates earlier has settled down to sharpen a set of daggers. The couple of crystal ponies are still engaged in a conversation with one another.


That should teach her a lesson then!
"Thank you."
Get up, and start walking towards that direction!


See if I can listen in on their conversation. '1d10+2'

Roll #1 4 + 2 = 6


You leave the park and start heading south.
… You still have the feeling you're being follow though.

"- All over … place … Heard from … that the paladins … in the capital are …"
"Let's hope they do."


Keep listening. '1d10+2'

Roll #1 5 + 2 = 7


I knew I would be followed.
However, she said it will be more troublesome for her.


I frown as I flare my wings in readiness.
"And? What if you are someone's shadow, or right hoof? You and that stallion friend of yours treathened me and my friend. Why are you with these paladins? As a hostage?"


"Maybe there's some profit to be had out of it for us."
"You wish, stealing from paladins would just draw a shitload of attention towards us. I don't want to have to face down one of those warhammers."
"Don't you think they have bigger worries?"
"Maybe, but once they've dealt with those they'll still remember. Besides, they deserve better than being targeted by us, they'll need those supplies."
"I guess you're right…"

You leave the towering spires of the inner city behind you and soon leave the city altogether. Heading down the same road as before, you are once again surrounded by hills covered with large stone slabs used as farming surfaces. Terrace farms as you recall them being called.
"Take the path left, sweetcheeks.."

She stares you down.
"I did no such thing. Neither am I a hostage."


Turn left.
"I would appreciate if you stopped mocking me."


Well, thieves with honor; for a certain value of "honor," at least. Keep listening. '1d10+2'

Roll #1 6 + 2 = 8


Fly higher than her stare and cross my hooves
"Really? So you are not only a thief but a liar too. I've met ponies like you on the road and all they do is attract trouble. Come to think of it we are in trouble right now and I blame it all to you."

I then look at the other paladins.
"Why are you not arresting her? Do something!"


"You look kinda worried there, what's wrong?"
"Just hoping we're making the right choice here. I… don't want to die."
"Don't you trust 'Light?"
"I do but… shit. There's a lot on the line."
"I hear you. But if there's one pony who can help us get to the other side, it's her."

"I shot your friend so she and you wouldn't die. I threatened no one, I only took action."

"I'm complimenting you, that's all. You could learn something from that you cold cunt."


Interesting. Very interesting. Keep listening. '1d10+2'

Roll #1 7 + 2 = 9


"I do not want to criticize you, Miss, however you seem to possess some misconceptions about the definition of compliments."


I tilt my head.


"Y-Yeah, I guess."
"Just keep your head clear. You'll be fine."
"I think I'll need another drink for that…"

"You have nice soft looking cheeks, how is that not a good thing?"
You see a large mansion up ahead, nestled between two hills. A fence surrounds the estate, as well as a rather large garden. The mansion itself is quite big and made out of red crystal.

"It was likely that the stallion you attacked would have hurt you. I interfered to prevent that. Taking down your friend was necessary."


"It all lies in the wording as well as knowing your limitations. Giving a compliment on the… assets of somepony can be very rude, you see."
Fitting for Roses!


Guess that conversation's wrapping up. Have those kids unlocked that chest yet?


"Impossible, it is clear both of you have ill intent on the three of us. If not then why the hell are you two skulking near that winter cabin in the first place?"
I snarl at her being just 'too cool' about the situation, something is fishy. Is she lying? What do my guts tell?

Roll #1 4 = 4


"That's fucking stupid."
You feel someone tug your tail, stopping you in your tracks. As you turn around to look, you are surprised to see a crystal mare standing behind you. She's wearing a nice dress and has a simple, yet proper manestyle.
She grabs your hoof and gently leads you along towards the gate of the estate.
"Come on, my cousin."

Several times. Seems like they're practicing their skills. In time, they'll no doubt be skilled thieves. The same thieves you'll be on the lookout for while on the job.

It's hard to say, she's keeping a pokerface on and has a relaxed posture.
"I was shadowing him and he took the initiative. When I saw where things were going, I stepped in to intervene."


Give her a surprised look.
Then return to my proper poise.
"I seriously hope you do not expect me to lie about my family."


"No choice there, I'm afraid. Unless you want to introduce me as your marefriend?"
She bites her lower lip and gives you a suggestive look.
"… Or just your friend, that works too. I wanted to feel like a pretty little noble pony though."


I keep quiet for a moment.
"If you are following him then what the hell is he doing there in the first place…"


"He was given a mission by our leader and I followed him to figure out what it was. He had no idea I was even there until I showed myself."


Keep a straight face.
"Let us simply stay friends."


Sad, that they see this as their only available path in life. What about that guy sweeping? What is he sweeping for?


She bumps against you.
"Alright. Call me… Clementina, I'll call you Angy~."
You approach the gate. There is a guard standing there who stops you.

"What business do you two have here on the Rose estate?"


"I would appreciate if you used my proper name."
When we arrive.
"Good day, Mister. My name is Angelite, a diplomat from the Crystal Capital. I would like to see Mister Prim Rose."


You could always inquire about it. They don't seem particularly hostile.

Dust? He's collected a pile of it near the trash bin by now.

"And I am Clementina, a good friend of hers."

"Do you have an appointment, miss?"


Go up to the guy sweeping, nod in greeting, and gesture towards the broom.


Shake my head.
"Sadly, I do not.
However, I wish to discuss matters that will be surely of his interest."


"Leader? So you're in a guild or something?"


He looks at you, then at the broom.

He grumbles and opens the gate.
"You may go inquire whether his lordship has time for you."

"A guild? That's a strange way of looking at us. Normally ponies call us a gang or a band of criminals."


"Thank you."


Huh. You know, I don't really know what I was going to ask. Shrug and walk away.


You enter the garden surrounding the mansion and follow the the path that leads to the main entrance.
"I thought you were going to have to start unbuttoning your dress to persuade him. Shame."

He gives you a incredulous look as you walk away.


Keep walking.
"I do not need to resolve to such strategies in any situation, I assure you."


Is that stallion still sharpening daggers?


"I wouldn't mind if you did, that's all."
After a nice walk in the garden, surrounded by delicious looking and smelling flowers and plants, you arrive at the main entrance. A servant pony is there waiting on you.

"Greetings my ladies."

Yup, slowly and steadily.


"Good day. We are here to see Mister Prim Rose, should he have the time."


Alright. What's the couple up to? Anything interesting?


"I believe he may. Please follow me to the sitting room, you may need to wait a moment for him to arrive."
He opens the door and leads you inside the red mansion. Inside everything is as polished and neat as the outside. Works of art decorate the glistening walls while a beautiful carpet brings some warmth to the cold floor.

They've gotten themselves a fresh drink and have moved a bit closer to each other, their bodies nearly touching now.


What a delighful place to call home!
Follow him!
"Thank you."


Seeing as they're the most interesting thing going on, I think I'll start listening in on them again.


"Gang then? What is the difference?" I pout


You arrive in the sitting room. It is quite open and has a fair amount of windows looking into the garden.
The servant directs you to some comfortable seats to sit on and takes his leave with a bow.
'Clementina' fidgets uncomfortably.
"… There's a lot of shit in here I've seen so far that I'd love to get my hooves on."

You'll have to roll to not be noticed eavesdropping.

She shrugs ever so slightly.
"One is more negative than the other."


Take a seat.
Keep my voice low.
"I will have to ask you to keep your hooves to yourself, unless you wish me to hoof you over to the guard on the way out. Or worse for you, my good friend Sonnet Glory."



Roll #1 6 + 2 = 8


"Then gang it is you brigand, if you view yourself that low then better give your group the appropriate title."
I then look around anyone else who are with this group that I can converse other than this thief.


Sonnet and Gallant are here, but their players aren't.
Ardent has left the vault and went to the main room where the other thieves are.

"Oooh, feisty~ I like you more than her though, so don't get jealous. You're softer and sweeter."
She leans in a bit closer to you.

"- To Crystalport."
"That's where Storm Cloud is."
"I seriously hope she's not going to ask us to fight changelings."
"Nah… I'm sure she wont. She'll use us for the subtler parts."


Changelings? Crystalport? Keep listening. '1d10+2'

Roll #1 10 + 2 = 12


"Please respect my private space."


"Recon, espionage, maybe some sabotage."
"Fuck me, if we get caught-"
"We wont."
"We. Wont."
"How can you be so sure?"
"Because we're the best at what we do. Once that bastard Shadow Play is gone, we'll have the best leader we could ask for."

She frowns and backs off again, grumbling to herself.

Before long you hear the sound of hoofsteps coming from behind you. As you turn around, you see a crystal stallion has entered the room. His shiny coat is a pale yellow while his mane is light red. He's wearing pristine looking garment as well as a monocle.
"Good day ladies. I am Prim Rose, the owner of this wonderful estate and the lands surrounding it. To what do I have the honor of having you here to thank for?"


Sit back, put my hood down, and keep listening. '1d10+2'

Roll #1 3 + 2 = 5


Smile at him.
"Good day to you as well, Mister Prim!
I am Angelite, a diplomat from the Crystal Capital. This is my friend Clementina.
I am here to discuss a serious matter which requires some level of discretion."


For a bit


"Hey… is that guy listening in on us?"
"… Damn you and your constant yapping."

The mare turns to glare at you, clearly not amused by your eavesdropping.

"A serious matter you say? Well then…"
He motions at a servant to bring some tea, then walks over to one of the chairs and settles down in it.
"I am all ears, miss Angelite and Clementina."


"Let me give you some context first, Mister Prim. My friends and I have been travelling towards the Capital from a small town. Said smalltown was recently attacked by some ruffians, who took some of the ponies as captives to the nearby mines. We managed to deal with these bandits and free the hostages, who have been made to work in a seemingly abandoned mine. Once we have arrived in this city we tried to get some geological information on the surrounding area, which lead to a small investigation of… quite interesting results."


"Indeed? May I ask which town you speak of?"

Even 'Clementina' is very interested to hear what you have to say now.


"The town of Winterheim."


He nods.
"I see. I am not terribly informed over said town however, why come to me? What were your findings?"


"My findings are much more troubling than any of us was expecting it. Altough we did not manage to find solid evidence, it might be plausible that the one who was behind that assault was none other than the company Gemco."


He frowns.
"Obsidian… How certain are you of this? What purpose would that have? I know enough that Winterheim has run dry on minerals. Not to mention that he has enough employees to not have to rely on bandits to do the digging."


"It is unclear, but this string of events has lead us to discover something else… Concerning Mayor Redwood. What can you tell me about him?"


"He and I have our differences, miss. I tend to avoid the city itself because of this."


"Is he a bad influence on the city itself?"


"I feel he lacks certain qualities as a mayor. Yet has enough friends to remain in a position of power."


"Would you say he is inadequate and is only in his position because of nepotism?"


"That is what I said, miss Angelite. The city of Brilliance is faring well if you look at it from the outside, but a closer look will reveal its true form."


"Do you think this might be the time to replace him then by somepony who is better at fulfilling the tasks of a mayor then?"


I he raises an eyebrow.
"What exactly are you implying?"


Clear my throat.
"That corruption is not beneficial for the good of the Empire. I, personally, serve the Empire and strive to make it the best it possibly can be. Do you?"


"Of course I do. Our family swore fealty to the empire. But Lord Redwood currently holds the office and as I said before, he is backed by powerful benefactors."
A servant arrives with tea, pausing the conversation.
'Clementina' takes a very refined sip from the cup, staying in character quite well.


I sip my tea as well after thanking the servant.
"That is why I am the lookout for allies myself. Should we find solid evidence of his corruption and a suitable replacement, I believe that we could make a change with the power of the people."


"Acquiring evidence… I suppose that could work well as a diplomatic weapon of sorts. How would you acquire said evidence however? He has a lot of allies protecting him after all."


"I am not quite sure.."
Glance at 'Clementina'.
"Unless we can get our hooves on some documents they are hiding, I only have a single idea. We need to try and lure them into a fake investment."


She winks stealthily at you.
"A fake investment? What kind are you proposing? How would this help us?"


"We would be the investors, incognito. Propose them a deal which would be beneficial to them, but not the City, then let the world know what kind of ponies they are."


"That sounds rather risky, miss Angelite. It easily could backfire on us if something were to go wrong."


"I see no way to remove Redwood from his position without risk."


"The alternative of getting evidence might be less risky. But… it will not come for free either."
'Clementina' offers.


Turn to her.
"Do tell."


"Well… there are ponies who could help you acquiring evidence for a price that we know of, no?"


"At what cost, I wonder?"


"You'll have to discuss it with them, I think."

Prim Rose speaks up again.
"My family has quite a bit of funds ready. The problem has been finding anypony who was willing to accept it so far. If you two can help the city of Brilliance… we would be grateful and happy to extend a reward."


"The best reward I am hoping for would be a mayor who would be in office to be on the lookout for the people."
Smile at him.
"Can I count on you on this matter then?"


He nods.
"Of course, miss Angelite. Do be careful of whom you trust."


"I trust you, Mister Prim. That is why I came to you, and why I must ask you to gather the fellow minded ponies together. Tell them that change is coming."


"I shall do so, miss Angelite. But you will forgive me for remaining cautious."


I nod.
"Of course. We all should be. From what I have heard we are treading on dangerous waters."


He gets up.
"Good. We shall see each other soon again then. Let us hope we are successful. If you do find evidence… I suggest you bring it to the capital rather than here. You never know, after all."


I nod and stand up as well.
"One more thing. I expect that you know the local political circle better than I do. Should we find the evidence and bring it to the capital for justice to be served, do you know anypony who can take the position?"


"I will likely be appointed temporary mayor by the magistrates until they have sufficiently studied this whole case."


Thank you for your time and cooperation, Mister Prim."


"If it helps this city, I am glad to aid. I will pray for your success, miss Angelite."


"Thank you. Have a nice day, Mister Prim."


"My servant will lead you out."
He takes his leave.

The servant bows and leads you away from the sitting room, back outside.
"Have a pleasant day, my ladies."


"Thank you."
Start walking back towards the city.


You start walking back through the garden.
'Clementina' plucks a few flowers and chows down on them, offering some to you as well.
"Whant sum flowyers?"
She speaks with a full mouth.


"Please, have you no manners at all? A lady does not speak with her mouth full.
Not to mention these flowers are serving a decorative purpose."


She swallows, leaving behind a petal at the corner of her mouth.
"You really need to loosen up a bit. After acting like an uptight noble for that long, I need some winding down."
You reach and pass by the gates.


"I do not want to seem rude, but you have leftovers on your mouth."
Keep walking.
"Sitting still with the right poistrure could not have been that taxing, could it?"


She licks her lips, removing the petal.
"I thought I was going to fucking die. I hate this dress."
She looks around and jumps into a nearby bush.


"What is wrong with dresses?"


No response.
You reach the edge of town again.


There is only one matter I should take care of before telling the others what I have achieved.
Look for a bookstore!

Roll #1 7 = 7


You easily find one once you arrive back in the Inner city. The building is quite tall and has a lot of floor, so the selection is sure to be varied!
"What the fuck are you doing? Are you going shopping now?"


"Calm down, this shall only take a few minutes."
Enter, and try to find an employee who might be able to help.


You head inside the book-filled store. There are many rows of racks here, all of them categorized. You spot an employee busy with unpacking books out a box. It's not too busy in here at the moment, it seems.


Walk over.
"Excuse me, may I ask for your assistance?"


She gets up and bows.
"Hm? Yes my lady, how may I help?"


"I am looking for a book on how to learn and master sign langauge."


"Sign language? Oh dear… Let me think… Oh I think we do. One moment please."
She walks off.

"She's kinda cute. Not as cute as you though. Did you check that flank of hers?"


"Two copies, if possible!"

"I see no reason why I would have needed to do that."


"Seriously? It looks nice and squishy! Probably from sitting around all the time. Yours is squishy too though, so don't get jealous again."
She goes quiet again as the mare returns with two books.

"I believe these two will be to your liking. They both cover the subject extensively."


"Thank you, Miss. Have a nice day!"
Take the books and pay for them.


You now have two sign language guides in your possession. Not much of a strain on your current budget!


Now where could the others be…


You could ask your friend.


Leave this estabilishment.
"Do you know where my friends are?"


"Yeah I do, you little ditz. I've been trying to shoo your flank over there for hours now!"


"I had different matters to attend to."


"Whatever. Keep walking straight."
You follow her directions and find yourself in the less reputable parts of town before long, eventually being lead to a bar called 'The Rusty Stool'.
It seems… rather dirty and unfit for a high class lady such as yourself.


"What exactly are we doing here?"


"Getting you back to your friends. What does the lack of money and posh shit offend your sensitive eyes? Go inside."


"It does not seem safe either…"


You enter the bar. It's not very busy inside as it is still early on in the day. It doesn't smell too hygienic in here, but it's bearable… as long as you don't have to stick around for longer than 10 minutes.
The bartender gives you a weird look.
"To the mare bathrooms."


"Good day."
Quickly excuse myself to the mare bathrooms.
"I hope you are not planning anything rotten."


"Leadlight would kill me if I did. And that mare is dangerous. I gave her a nice compliment once and she smacked me with her tail!"
The bathrooms are not all too clean. There are several stalls in here, all of them open.
You hear the door close behind you. As you turn around, you see 'Clementina' standing there. For the first time without a disguise at that. She's wearing a sleek looking black and white armor which covers every inch of her body. Even most of her face is obstructed by a plain mask, leaving only her eyes unobstructed.


Look her over.
"So, why are we in this nasty place again? I hope it was not for the sole purpose of you showing yourself."


"Of course not, just have some damn patience."
She brushes past you and walks over to the third stall, opening it up. After fiddling around with the toilet inside some, the wall suddenly flips over revealing… an empty wall. She begins to move her hooves over the bare wall for some reason you cannot fathom. You notice the outfit she's wearing doesn't leave room for a tail to come out, leaving her with a tailless flank.


Wait for her to… do whatever she is doing.


A few seconds later, she takes a step back as a large magical tear appears in the wall. It looks like some kind of magical portal! Dark purple streaks swirl around in it.
"There we go."


Raise an impressed eyebrow.
"I have to admit, this pleasantly surprised me."


"We can can have a hot makeout session later. Go ahead and step through, it'll take you to a pocket dimension where your pals are."


"I would rather not."
Step through the portal.


You hear some chuckling from her before the world around you goes dark. Opening your eyes, you see you are no longer present inside the mare's restrooms. The portal has led you to a large circular room with only one visible exit, a large wooden door on the opposite side of the room. The walls look weathered and grey, lit up by a row torches. A dusty old chandelier hangs from the ceiling, lighting up the area even further. Spread around the ground are several bedrolls, some of them in a better state than the others. Old barrels and crates are stacked to the ceiling to the left of you, while a large dusty carpet covers the floor of the middle of the room. A few tables with candles, empty mugs and plates on top of them are scattered around, as well as a few burning braziers.

There's only a handful of ponies here, a stallion and a mare are sitting at one of the tables, engaged in a quiet conversation, another stallion is sitting near the wall and sharpening his daggers, while yet another stallion is sweeping the floor with a broom. Ardent is standing around as well but isn't here. Finally a colt and a filly are busy fiddling around with a locked chest. They both turn to look at you as you arrive and start whispering to each other, casting you the occasional glance.
'Clementina' steps in from behind you.
"Welcome to our crib."


Try to maintain a poker face.


"It's not a palace, but it's also only temporary. So don't start bitching again if you don't like it."


"Did I sound like I was complaining?"


"I know you so well~"
She looks back at you and winks.
"Stay put in here, okay? I'll go tell Leadlight our little princess has finally arrived."
She walks away and through the door, disappearing from sight.
The colt and filly carefully walk over to you when she's gone.
"Spare some change, miss?"
"We're soooo hungry!"


Take out a bit of money, worth of a few good meals, and hoof it over to them.
"Here you go. I trust that you will be honest with this money, as I give it to you to get food from it. I would be terribly sad if you were to cheat me on this, even though I may never know if you did."


"Bless you!"
They seem very pleased by this and run off again.

Moments later, 'Clementina' returns with a unicorn mare you've not seen before. She's not wearing a mask, allowing you to see her face. She seems to be in her early thirties and appears to be quite calm and relaxed. If you were to spot her walking on the street, you'd never suspect her of being a scoundrel!

"Good day, miss Angelite. My name is Leadlight and I am the watcher of this place. Your friends are all here as well, we have been discussing some things regarding this whole situation."


Nod politely.
"Good day. I have been trying to do work supporting our plans myself."


She looks back at Clementina for a moment, before returning her gaze to you.
"So I have heard. I hope Shimmermist hasn't caused you any grief, she can be quite the hooffull."
"Hey! We're good friends already!"


"Now I know her name. Apart from her bad manners and distasteful jokes, she was merely a creepy stalker. However, I believe that was her intended purpose in the first place?"


"She was there for your protection. I'm sorry it has to be this way, but there are ponies who do not like you digging around in Brilliance. You may not believe me, but she's one of my best ponies. She was there to keep you safe from harm and it appears she has done so successfully."


"I do not want to bellitle her skills, however, I was not assaulted."


"Good. Soon, we will begin setting things in motion. You and your friends will join me and take down Shadow Play. In return, I will grant you all the items that were stolen on request by mayor Redwood and Obsidian Flow by the Magpies."


"Pray tell, could you remind me who is this Shadow Play you speak of?"


"Our current leader. He works for Obsidian Flow and wishes to see me killed, although he is not aware I am aware of the latter. This is reason enough for me to remove him from his throne."


"If he is indeed working for Obsidian Flow and you are against him, I can assist you, within certain boundaries of course."


"As was agreed in the deal we made."
Shimmermist pokes Leadlight's flank.
"Hey Lead, we should talk in private for a sec."
Leadlight nods and walks off with Shimmermist, leaving you alone once again.



Once the two mares walk away, I make my way over to my friend standing around.
"Good day, Mister Ardent."


Look up as two ponies come through the portal. Is that Angelite?


It is! Smile and nod in greeting as I stand in a more attentive posture.


So whats happening?



You were probably in the other room, but I just arrived to the hideout.

Smile back.
"Are the others here as well?"


Nod in confirmation, then make a questioning gesture at the mare you came in with.


Look at the way they walked.
"Oh, yes. Her name is Shimmermist, apparently. She has been, for the lack of a better word, stalking me for the most part of the day."


Just sit there and wait I guess


Narrow my eyebrows at this and glare at Shimmermist.


or you get bored and wander out into the main room with us.


You could just walk out here and notice us

"Do not worry, Mister Ardent. She may lack good manners but she is harmless."


Chew my lip and nod, still uneasy about this stalker-pony.


"Mister Ardent, I can take care of myself. She even warned me about possible threats and claimed to be there partially to assure my safety. I do not believe she was lying about that."


Close my eyes and nod a few times, then give Angelite a warm smile.


"May I ask, have you made any progress today?"


Nod and hold the door to the hallway open for her with a smile, leading her back to the rest of the group


Smile at the polite gesture and walk over there.


Give her an inquisitive look, as if to ask any luck?


"I assume you want to know about my day and productivity?"


Let my smile go a bit wry as I nod.


Smile a bit cheekily.
"First I had some lovely tea at a tea house. Afterwards, I had a countryside walk, then I paid visit to a noble estate. Before coming here, I also went to do a bit of shopping."


Wow, that sounds impressive! Nod and tilt my head with an slightly eager expression.


Cover my mouth and chuckle softly.
"Jesting aside, I visited the teahouse to look for potential allies. It was not what I would call a success, however, afterwards I did visit the Rose mansion. I had a conversation about Mister Prim Rose, who is against Mayor Redwood just as much as we are. Provided we can get any proof of his corruption that we can take to the Capital, Prim Rose will take control of Brilliance until a proper election is held."


Nod and consider this new information, still giving her that slightly eager expression.


"That concludes my productivity to the task at hoof for the most part. However, I believe I have managed to pick up a gift for you, Mister Ardent!"


Perk my ears at this. A gift? For me? Try to keep my cool. [1d10]

Roll #1 3 = 3


Smile widely at his visible excitement.
"I do hope you like books!"
Take one of the sign-language books out of my saddlebags and hoof it over!


Guess I can't contain my eager grin. Or my blush.


Take it eagerly and read the cover. Then pause, my expression becoming unreadable as I open it and start flipping through the pages.


"I have got one for myself as well! I hope you do not mind, but I was thinking that as the diplomat of the group, it is my obligation to assure that everyone in the party can communicate their desires or objections about matters. I need to learn it myself, so it will definitely a learning experience!"


Look from the book, to her, to the book, back to her… Then give her the biggest hug ever. [1d10]

Roll #1 6 = 6


Smile and hug back, letting out a relaxed sigh.
"Thank goodness, for a moment I was afraid I offended you!"


Give her the biggest smile I possibly can, then flip through the book until I find what I'm looking for, and try to sign "thank you." [1d10]

Roll #1 6 = 6


I'll smile at those two and poke Helaine gently.
"Hey, Angelite is back. You might be more comfortable talking to her. If you were scared or anything."


Keep smiling.
"Hold on, please!"
I open my book as well, and try to find out what he was trying to say.

Roll #1 6 = 6


Chuckle softly.
"You are welcome, Mister Ardent."


Give the sign a few more times to show just how much this means to me.


:"Are they?" I stretched and lie down again before resting my head near your hoof
"Naaahh… let them talk, well if Ardent can convey his message at all that is."
"As for me, all those ghost plaguing this place took a drain on me and I just want to have my beauty rest. Thats all."

"Say why dont you greet them?" I raise an eyebrow.


"I am glad that you like it. Maybe after we have learnt it properly, we could lend the book to the others as well, should they want to communicate better with you."


"I just don't want to interrupt. But I remembered you being a little distraught earlier. I hope you know you're safe with us, but Angelite is a nice pony to talk to if you're still feeling upset."
Smile softly. "Look how happy Ardent is."



Roll #1 1 = 1


Nod eagerly, then see if I can find the signs for "good" and "friend." '1d10'

Roll #1 6 = 6


I look at Ardent and smile before biting my lips and lower my hat trying to hide my eyes.
"Will you keep me safe from everything?"
"Will you be able to keep me safe from yourself?"


Smile and try to find those.
This is fun, like a game!

Roll #1 6 = 6


Chuckle softly again.
"Oh, Mister Ardent, you flatter me."


Shake my head and sign "good friend" again.


Wave a hoof around.
"Any friend would do this, I assume! I just try my best!"


Stare directly at your eyes, bowing slightly.
"I will use my light to protect you from harm, and will never lift my blade nor my words toward you in malice."
After a moment I will offer you my sword slowly.
"If you believe I speak falsely in this. Then take my blade, Vigilance, before I can harm you."


Smile and shake my head in amusement. Let's see if I can find "beautiful," "funny," and "angry." Not signing anything until I know what I'm "saying." '1d10'

Roll #1 1 = 1


With that I wipe away the tears that welled up
"Thank you Ma'm Striker, that really helped."
I then put a hoof on Vigilance and push it slowly aside as I lift my head and smile
"There is no need for that, the offer is proof enough and I thank you for that."


NOPE, I know that sign and it is not what I want! Flip the page before she sees! '1d10'

Roll #1 1 = 1


Nod slowly and put it away.
"I am glad I could put you at ease Miss Helaine. "


AGH! Slam the book shut! '1d10'

Roll #1 2 = 2


Well I'll just sit here and hide my face behind my hooves as I slowly die of embarrassment. '1d10'

Roll #1 8 = 8


Watch all of this transpire with a slight blush, then clear my throat.
"… I can see that you are already having fun exploring the contents of this book."


Just, flip the book shut already. My whole face is burning red as I try to disappear into the floor. '1d10'

Roll #1 7 = 7


Oh dear, he seems to be pretty embarassed.
"Do not worry Mister Ardent. I know curiosity is a strong thing…"


Shake my head furiously. It was an accident, an accident! Ugh. Try to look up "accident" without stumbling on any more traps like that. '1d10'

Roll #1 4 = 4


Come on, it's in here somewhere! '1d10'

Roll #1 5 = 5


Man.. I wish there was something I could do.
For now just try to give him an encouraging look.


Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh Where is it? '1d10'

Roll #1 8 = 8


"…I am not quite sure I understand, Mister Ardent.
Needless to say, I do not hold you-"



"Accident." "Accident." Oh, look, here's the sign for "stupid." Perfect description for me right now.


Smile slightly.
"As I said, do not worry, Mister Ardent. I understand."


'1d10' look over his shoulder to see what he's signing.

Roll #1 10 = 10


Nod at him.
"Good day, Mister Gallant."


"Hello, its nice to see you're back."
gesture to the book.
"Do you mind if I see that for a second?"


Nod and hoof the book over.


"It is nice to see you as well. I have already told Mister Ardent about some of the progress I managed to make in our case."


'3d10' Okay. now I will take my time and look over for the phrase
would you like to see a show

Roll #1 2, 6, 6 = 14


Looks like I found it eventually.
Show it to Ardent.


Give him a quizzical look but nod.


Give these two a curious look but do not interrupt.


"You should ask her."
'1d10' try to find a few other words. like parkdinerflowers

Roll #1 2 = 2


Man this book is hard to navigate. one more try before I hoof it back '1d10'
"Its a wonderful gift. Anything that helps Ardent be heard is something I support. Very thoughtful." Smile.

Roll #1 10 = 10


"Once he and I are finished learning, I could lend the book to you, should you want to talk to him more convinietly. Unless you'd like to join us as we learn it."


Well, alright… Wait, "would you like to see a show?"
…See if I can find a way of phrasing it that isn't as likely to get taken the wrong way. '1d10'

Roll #1 2 = 2


No, that's even worse! '1d10'

Roll #1 9 = 9


"Oh, I'll just borrow it from ardent sometime after he's done. I will probably be too busy to attend a full study session anyway. Work is never done for a paladin after all."
Well, show you those words parkdinerflowers and let you have fun.


Okay, that's better. Turn to Angelite.
Want, to watch, a show, with me?
Start blushing and give Gallant a glare.


"Ah, I see. Such a shame, learning is always more fun when done with friends!"


Look up those signs.
Then look at him.
"What do you mean, Mister Ardent?"


Nudge Gallant and give him a slightly panicked what now? look.


…give you a reassuring look. and gesture to Diner instead.
"try that one"


Okay, that gives me an idea. Look up "apology" and "buy." '1d10'

Roll #1 8 = 8


I, apologize, buying you dinner?


Blush a bit when I look those up.
"Oh, Mister Ardent, you need not worry. It is not necessary, I assure you. However, I do appreciate the thought!"


Look up "insist." '1d10"



Roll #1 4 = 4


No… '1d10'

Roll #1 2 = 2


Agh! No! '1d10'

Roll #1 6 = 6



That took a few tries it seems.
Well now…
"It would be afwully rude of me to refuse in that case."


Give a sheepish smile in return.
Sign "thank you" to him, then show him in the book what it means, and sign it again, along with "good friend."


Nod and sign back 'good friend' '1d10'

Roll #1 1 = 1


"I do believe we have more pressing matters before we can afford to relax, however. Duty comes first!"

Raise an eyebrow at that.
Oh dear.


Try not to laugh at what I recognize is a lewd gesture. '1d10'

Roll #1 1 = 1




Look a bit confused.
"I guess this is going to take a while to get the hang of."


"Let us just say that… you were being mildly inappropriate, Mister Gallant."



Roll #1 5 = 5


"I'm quite sorry Miss Angelite." look embarrassed.
Chuckle a bit and offer you a hoof up from the floor.


Accept his help, rubbing my throat ruefully as I fight down the last of my giggles.


"It was rather mild compared to earlier."


Give you a small smirk and a pat on the back.
"I did not mean to offend you."


"You did not."
Look between the two of them.
"Stallions will be stallions, or so the saying goes."


Blush and rub the back of my head as I look away in embarrassment.


"Would it be any consolidation if I said I have been listening to certain implications all day coming from a mare?"
Cover my mouth and chuckle softly.


My ears shoot up in suprise as I gape at her, then glance out the doorway and gesture at the area we came from, or more importantly where Shimmmermist is.


"You would not believe the nerve of that mare, Mister Ardent."


Shake my head and turn away from the doorway.
Nudge Gallant, then look up the sign "tell" so I can tell him to tell her what we were up to down here before she arrived. '1d10'

Roll #1 9 = 9


"We helped the thieves clear out ghosts caused by being in such an unnatural space, looked at some evidence, and discussed a plan to corner the leader in a portal with no exit."


"I see. As I have mentioned previously to Mister Ardent, I have made an ally with Prim Rose, one of the more influental lords around here. He is a supporter of our cause against Mayor Redwood."


"Sounds like you've made great progress."


"As have you."


Silk Orchid
Look at you now, trudging along the snowy road through a roaring blizzard. Just a few months ago you still had it all, money, family, a place to call home, friends… where did it all go wrong? Was it really worth it to run away? Well, you know the answer to that question thoroughly and it wont help you now that your hooves are freezing off.

The capital can't be far now… but it's getting darker and this snow storm isn't making it any easier on you to navigate. You're still following the road as far as you are aware, but even that is hard to tell as it's been covered under a blanket of snow. Your hooves can't even feel the surface your walking on and the harsh icy wind is making you squint your eyes, lest you go blind.

Fortunately for you, it seems Lady luck is smiling upon you as you spot faint signs of light up ahead. Could it be the capital city? Could this icy torment finally be over?


Chase away those nasty thoughts, girl.
You can make it anywhere.
Trotting faster.


You press on, pushing away those submissive thoughts, and trudge your way through the snow towards the sources of light. You've been regretting not just taking a comfortable carriage for some time, but now that you finally have your goal in sights you're happy to have succeeded nonetheless. As you close in on the lights, you notice some of them are actually quite high up. Soon enough, you see the faint silhouette of a tall building where the lights are emanating from. Not long after you see two more silhouettes of tall buildings surrounding the tower in the center, though these two don't seem to reach as high.

As you get close, you finally can make out some details. The towers seem to be made out of some kind of greenish crystal and are connected with each other through bridges in the sky. The weather is making it hard to discern too many other details, unfortunately, but these buildings are definitely inhabited by people. You push through an opened iron gate in the fencing surrounding the area and see the entrance to the largest of the three towers up ahead, a large wooden set of doors lit up by a set of heavy torches. The pathway leading up to it seems to be illuminated in some other way, as the snow lights up in various colors. Perhaps more crystals that give off light?


Carriages are the easiest way to get caught.
They can be stopped.
At least on hoof they don't know your route.
I try to go up the pathway and knock on the door.
Put on my most sad puppy face.
Should be easy, I'm pretty miserable.


It takes a solid minute before the door finally opens, revealing a young crystal stallion wearing some simple brown robes. His eyebrow arches as he sees you.
He glances at your forehead and frowns.
"Not a unicorn… darn. Uh… good evening miss?"


"H-hello, mister. I've been travelling from Equestria to the crystal capital. Is it near?"


"The capital? Oh my, um… about an hour or three on hoof from here I think."
He glances at the outside behind you.
"Through that weather though? You'll want to add a few hours to that. Not like you can fly in that."


I look at the storm sadly.
"Oh…I think I might make it…If it's not too much of a bother, you seem like a generous stallion, could I ask for a tiny cup of tea? I haven't eaten anything today and my wings are nearly frozen…"
Unwrap my beautiful wings slowly, and shake them a bit as if I have trouble moving them.


He looks at them with some sense of wonder.
"Oh! Um… sure!"
He steps aside.
"Come in then. Welcome to the Jade Towers, miss."


"Oh thank you!"
Run my hoof over his chest for a second.
"If there were more stallions like you, this world would be a much better place."
Trot inside.
What does the place look like?


His seems a little flustered by the gesture and you move past him inside. He closes the doors behind you, stopping the cold from coming in any further. The inside of the tower is just as shiny as the outside. The floor is nicely polished and the walls give of a warm magical glow, lighting up the area quite nicely. Up ahead there are stairs which lead up to an elevated level, which in turn seems to lead up to the next floor. To the left and right are two doorways, both of them flanked by a set of statues of ponies. It's nice and warm in here, making your hooves kind of hurt. Still, you're grateful to be out of that wretched cold.
"… Miss? I don't think I caught your name…"


I take a second to enjoy the warmth.
A bit of pain is a lot better than freezing.
"Silk…Silk Orchid. What a beautiful place you have. I've never seen anything like it."
Reminds me a bit of home.


He opens his mouth to answer but is interrupted as another crystal stallion materializes out of thin air between the two of you. He appears to be a few years older than the other stallion, probably in his late twenties, and is wearing a white cloak.
"Why hello there miss Orchid, welcome to the Jade Towers."
He grabs your hoof and shakes it.
"My name is Golden Flux the enchanter, owner of this here estate. You've found us during some very exciting times."


"Oh my…lovely to meet you, mister Flux. And thank you both for your hospitality. Might I ask what is so exciting about these times?"


"Progress of course! In truth, times are always exciting around here because we're always pushing the boundaries of magical research. My apprentices have their own personal projects while I have mine as well."
The other stallion scrunches and walks off to get you some tea.
Golden Flux leads you up the stairs to the second level.
"We don't usually see pegasi up here, so I'm afraid the towers aren't too flight friendly."


"Oh that's quite allright. My wings are not in good condition right now anyway. All the cold, you understand. I should really preen them…"
I look around.
"And I've always been fascinated by the magical arts even if they've been beyond my reach. What are you working on, mister Flux?"


"Magical shield spells, ones that are powerful enough to protect this entire facility from the roughest of attacks! If fact, they are so strong that they could cut a pony in half should they stand in its way."
You reach the second level, there's a large rack of books on one end of the wall, as well as several iron cauldrons on top of what you assume to be furnaces. A mare is stirring a large wooden stick in one of them and looks back at the two of you as you pass by. Smells like… chocolate. Mmmm.


I wave at her "That smells divine!"
Turn back to the wizard pony.
"Amazing, Lord Archmage, how did you accomplish such a feat?"


She ignores you.
He takes your hoof and raises it in the air with his own.
"Reckless magic!"
Moving onward, you take the stairs to the next level, filled with chests and closets of various sizes. This appears to be some kind of storage space. What's more eyecatching however are the ponylike constructs walking around here, seemingly cleaning the place.
"Can't forget about our golems helping us out a ton as well. These guys are responsible for keeping everything clean and organized. Never do we have to pick up a broom ourselves!"


I look in wonder at the golems.
"Wow…are they like…metal ponies?"


"Magical constructs of metal and enchanted crystals! These particular models are simple and only have a single function, but we have other types as well to fulfill other tasks. Cooking, spellcasting, gardening, defense, everything that's useful!"
You continue up again. This time the room is filled to the brim with racks of books, looks like some kind of library.
"Tomes, books, scrolls, everything literate goes here. One of our three grand libraries!"
There's another mare and stallion busy here. The former sifting through one of the racks in search of something while the latter is taking his time to read through an old tome.


I wave to her. "Hello!"
Turn to the wizard.
"My, Lord Archmage, this is so much to take in at once. Simply amazing."


"The Jade towers are something special, you haven't-"
He trails off as the younger stallion you saw earlier runs over. He stops and bows his head respectfully, then moves over to whisper something in Golden Flux's ear.
"Mmm?… Oh… right-… yeah no-… I see… Yes… of course…"
Both turn to look at you.
"I'm sorry, it seems my attention is needed elsewhere with an urgent matter. Nothing to worry about of course. It's not like the entire building could blow up or anything."
He chuckles and whistles the mare who was sifting through the books over.
"Take over from me for a minute, would you? Make sure to make our guest feel welcome."
She looks at you, then back to him with a nod.
"Alright, sure. Uh… is the western tower safe today?"
Golden Flux nods in reply.
"Yes, don't worry. It'll be fine. There's just some leftover energies floating about."
With that finished, he turns around and fastwalks away with the younger stallion, out of sight.


I smile towards the mare.
"Hello. I'm Silk Orchid."


"Olivine Flux."
She looks you over from head to hoof.
"Say… are you afraid of magic?"


I blink at that question.
"I'm not a magic practitioner, but I wouldn't say I fear it. I respect it and treat it carefully."


"… Alright. Nice. Follow me then."
She walks up the next set of stairs which leads you to the next floor. Just like the previous one this is filled with racks of books. Instead of head up the next set of stairs however, she leads you through the maze of books until you come face to face with a tunnel. Or rather, one of the bridges you saw earlier, spanning between the towers. Luckily, they aren't opened and exposed, being just as warm and shiny as the rest of the tower.
"I'm taking you to the western tower. Uh… if you see a small ball of light flying around, don't freak out okay?"


"Okay. Are you related to mister Flux?"


She nods.
"I'm his third cousin thrice removed."
You walk through the tunnel, seeing the storm still raging outside through the windows. Arriving at the western tower safely, you now find yourself in a room filled with glass bottles and vials, carefully placed inside glass cupboards. There are also several tables set up here with equipment placed on top of them. This looks like some kind of alchemical room…
The mare starts digging around inside one of the cupboards.
"Try not to wreck any of these vials, some of them are pretty potent."


"I wouldn't want to be too much of a bother. I'm just glad to be out of the storm."


As she keeps digging around, a small ball of blueish light flies past you, landing on the tip of your nose and making it tingle slightly. It looks… like it's made out of pure energy. It's certainly not solid… it doesn't feel solid.


"Well, hello little guy."


It flies up again as you speak, then quickly rushes inside your mouth. You now have a ball of magical energy inside you.


Oh shi-


"Mmmm? Ah!"
She finally fishes out a vial of greenish liquid out of the cupboard.
"Here, drink this. Don't worry, it's not harmful. I just want to see how it'll affect a pegasus."


"Uh…you know that little orb you mentioned? It flew in my mouth. Is that bad?"


She gives you a flat look.
"Try burping. … Actually here-"
She digs out another vial of liquid, this one red.
"Drink this first."


Oh god, why didn't I just leave.
Drink it.


You drink up the red liquid, which actually has a nice spicy taste. The crystal mare looks at you expectantly.



Roll #1 3 = 3


You feel your belly swelling up for a moment and feel a sudden need to burp. Which you do. One mighty burp accompanied with a ball of floating energy later, you're back to normal.
Olivina smiles.
"That works, are you okay?"


"Oof, that felt really weird for a second. But I'm okay now."


"Good to hear."
She hoofs you the other vial.
"Now drink this!"


I give her a sheepish smile.
"Tea after this?"


She scrunches.
"… Sure."


Mental note: Look for exits.
D-drink '1d10'

Roll #1 8 = 8


You down the green liquid from the vial and feel something stir deep inside you… but nothing else.
Olivina's grin widens as she looks at you.
"That's amazing!"
Confused, you look yourself over to see if something changed and are quick to spot that your wings are no longer their feathery selves! Instead, they now look like colorful pretty butterfly wings.
"I was sure the potion would just grow you another set of wings, but instead it morphed your current ones."


Roll to not freak out '1d10'

Roll #1 7 = 7


"Wah! My wings!"
Give them a few flaps.
"Though these are pretty nice as well…"


She nods and moves in to inspect them more closely.
"I don't think you'd be able to fly as well with these as with your actual wings though… they're pretty, but not practical when you already have a set of existing wings."
You do feel lighter… more fluttery.
"The potion will wear out after a few hours… but if you want I could just turn them back to normal right now."


I flap them.
"Oh no that's fine. You don't always have butterfly wings, I should enjoy it for a little bit."


"Alright… I'm sorry to use you like a test subject like this, but pegasi aren't exactly common around here. My curiosity is sated though, please follow me."
She seems friendlier and more open now and leads you out of the room to the upstairs. This level has a large dining table in the middle of the room. Once again some of those pony statues are standing along the walls. Smaller tables surrounded by fluffy couches are set up in the corners and she leads you over to one.
"Go ahead and sit down, I'll make sure you'll get your tea."
She walks over to one of the statues and says something to it, prompting it to start moving! Looks like that's another golem and not just an ordinary statue. The golems lumbers out of the room as Olivine joins you.
"Wont take long, don't worry. I don't know how much longer you're stuck with me, but if you're tired I could make sure you have a room to rest in. We have several unoccupied ones."


"Oh if it's not too much of a bother. I don't want to disturb all the amazing experiments that are happening here."


"It's a crazy place we have here, I know. But it's our home. We don't always succeed in reaching our goals, but when we do we find out amazing stuff about the world of magic. We're not… really your average noble family."


"I really love these golems. Do you build them yourself?"


"Yeah we do, they're nice because we don't have to maintain a full staff of ponies to do the chores around here. Some of them are more valuable than the others though."


"And they do everything you ask them to?"


She nods.
"Everything their owners ask them to. … Everything they're equipped to do, at least."
She gives you a sly wink.
The golem returns with a tray of tea, setting it down onto the table without a word. Smells like…rose hip. The construct returns to his position alongside the wall.


I take a sip from the tea. '1d10'

Roll #1 6 = 6


Bretty gud.
I sigh.
"I assume they must be pretty expensive."


"Depends on the model. Are you saying you'd want to buy one?"


"Well…I'd love to have one. A mare travelling alone could use some protection. But I'm not sure if I could afford it."


"Well you could ask Spinel about it, you know, the stallion that was accompanying you and Golden? He's in charge of regulating them and stuff."


"What a wonderful idea. But wasn't he busy with an experiment?"


"Wait until tomorrow then, we'll all still be here."


"Is there any way I can help you out? I feel like I should repay in some way for all this hospitality."


"Well there's always the potion testing… or if you're not into that, you could ask one of the other apprentices if they need help. There's several others in this tower alone."
Another one of those energy orbs flies by, prompting Olivine to swat it away with a hoof.
"Stupid wisps."


"What are those anyway? They look cute."