/q/ - Quest


[To Bottom]

File: 1377954722360.jpg (27.17 KB, 598x269, cells.jpg, IO Exif Google TinEye)

476132[Last 50 Posts]

Byzantine: (adj) (of a system or situation) excessively complicated, typically involving a great deal of administrative detail.

You're there again. Walking with the little emperor. They're always young. Performing as you walk… He loves your music.

In the blink of an eye, they're upon you. You have just a second to give a choked gasp of surprise before a blade has sprouted from his chest. The masked ponies look you over for a fraction of a second, and they're gone again. You try to yell for help, but nothing comes out of your mouth but maggots, that begin to fester all over your face.

You sit upright with a bolt in your cot. Salamander is up, sitting your cell's chair, and he eyes you with his functional eye. He regards you for a moment, then rasps at you, mouth parched by water deprivation:

"The nightmares again? They never go away, Vox. Once you've seen death up close… tasted the exhilaration, the tension… it all becomes part of you. Once you've awakened the warrior within… it never sleeps again. You crave ever bigger tensions, ever bigger thrills. As a member of the Varangian Guard, I'd thought you would have realized that by now. Even a tin soldier – an ornament – understands what it is a simulacrum of. You care nothing for tangible wealth. The only thing that can satisfy you now is conflict. And now… they've imprisoned you. They've taken your reason to live. What will you do to take it back, I wonder?"


"They can imprison a singer, but they can never imprison his song.

How long have even been in here by now? I keep forgetting."


He blinks his one eye at you and looks up… counting mentally.

"Maybe a week. Starting to get thirsty. We have a big day tomorrow, you know.

To sit in solemn silence /
On a dull dark dock /
In a pestilential prison /
With a life long lock /
Awaiting the sensation /
Of a short sharp shock /
From a cheap and chippy chopper /
On a big black block."


"A week…

To think just a few days
Could change so very much
To think that in such short time
I could go so out of touch
And to ever think
it could end like this
To what end, my friend
Tell me, what did we miss?

Where did it all
Go so very wrong
Where did we all
Give up being strong
And above all
Tell me this my friend
Why are we here, why, to what end?"


He glances at the barred window.

"Everything has its beginning. But doesn't start at 'one.' It starts long before that, in chaos. That chaos is far too stirred up for us to see through it now. Keeping our future alive means putting the past to death. So what will it be, Vox? The past? Or your head?"


"I've grown attached to my head."
Try not to snicker at my own terrible pun

Roll #1 9 = 9


This is no time for puns
"But forgotten and useless or not, there is still potential in these shiny bones. Potential I was not about to cast aside freely.
So what say you to a new beginning?"


"Yes, I think so."

With that, he goes into a series of hacking coughs.


"You should have cut down on the smoking long ago.
But lets worry about that once we have established something to build a new life on.
After all, all we have is one more day if we don't.

One day more to our end
Or one day more to a new beginning
One day left that we can spend
One day left for plans and scheming
One day sounds like plenty
But we still need a plan
One day for its execution
…and ours, most likely."

Hit the bars on the window angrily for fucking up the end rhyme

Roll #1 10 = 10


You jolt loose the entire frame and the domino-formation bars fall out like a house of cards. Checkmate.

You glance over to see Salamander has stopped hacking and there is an odd little cube on the floor.

"I've been loosening the bars every night as you slept with this…"

…He smuggled a tiny Gelatinous Cube into prison… in his stomach.

"We need guns… and I need a catalyst… and maybe a doctor."

The cube quivers at you.


Pat the cube.
It has done well.
"You always were the better of us at sneaking. Do you have any personal catalyst we must find, or?"


Your hoof tingles a bit from the acid.

"If they're smart, they've already smashed it. This was to be an execution."


"If they were smart, they would have chained us up.
For now, we had best buy all the time we can. Roll up anything we can in a corner to make dummies and put the wall back up once we're out."


He glances between the beds and the only other thing in your cell, the chair. He stands up, smashes it into two pieces, and tosses the ramshackle, splintered remains onto each cot, then tosses the thin sheets over each.

"It'll have to do. Ready?"


"Towards a new tomorrow my friend. Towards a heaven we build for ourselves."
Lets see if putting the wall back together on the outside is in any way feasible

Roll #1 1 = 1


The bricks come tumbling down, loudly, as you try to fix up the hole in the wall.

"We need to move, now. Go, go!"

He points to a thin alleyway between two yard houses.

Roll for agility.


This body is old but it can still move.
However, such disheartening failure weighs me down

Roll #1 9 - 1 = 8


You hurl yourself across the yard, directly behind a guard wandering around with a lantern.

He turns immediately as you pass him, asking himself: "Hm… what was that just now?"

After staring at the big hole in the wall for several seconds, he concludes: "Probably rats… they're into everything." Then he continues his patrol route.

Salamander gives you a curt, businesslike nod and indicates the yard ahead. Searchlights dance about and cover the yard in shifting patterns that are hard to follow.

He whispers: "They have night vision magic, too… and guards in the towers with the lights. The night-vision guards are on ground level… we'll never be able to sneak up to them… I have an idea, if you're willing."


"I remember being told never to look at lanterns with night vision or you go blind.
Lets hear your plan."


"Right. You're one step ahead, as usual. We can't approach the night vision guards, but we can get into those towers. Take out the guards relying on the lights, then one of us can sneak out using the spotlights as the other guides it. I've seen rappelling lines up in those towers… whichever one of us makes it out can toss a line over the wall for the other to climb out."


"Question is, how do we make it to the towers undetected.
And better yet, what's Plan B?"


"Plan B: They've got guns in that tower. If we make it there, we're armed. As for making it there… It'll have to be sprinted, unless you've got a better plan."

You glance around. There's nothing in this alleyway but wooden crates and some old refuse.


"Why not hide in the boxes and inch along when we can? A stationary box by a wall is less suspicious than a sprinting shadow.
We just need to punch a hole on one side so we can see out."


"You think they'll fall for boxes out in the middle of an open area they've been patrolling all night? Well… if you think so."


"This is why I said next to a wall.
…or we can double the ruse.
Push a box out into the open when they aren't near it.
Leave some of our clothes under it, poking out a little. And a lantern.
When they go investigate, they will see what they assume is a terrible attempt at sneaking over the yard. They lift the box, and BAM. Blinded by the light thanks to their night vision.
In the mean time, we simply sneak around the place while they focus on the box."


…I can totally find a lantern here, right?

Roll #1 4 = 4


The only lanterns here are those with the patrolling guards.

"Wouldn't they be able to see the light through the cracks in the crate? Still, a distraction isn't a bad idea even without that element."


"I suppose.
Well, so much for that extra layer.
Now, will you do the climbing, or should I? You're the one who actually knows his way around ranged weapons."


"Fine… just don't forget to throw the line over when you get out of here. You go place the crate, and I'll make a move for the ladder. You'll know I'm in position when I shine the spotlight at this alleyway. You must walk in time with the light."


"I'll climb back in here to get you if I must. Now, go."

Once he is in position, lets push that crate out into the open.
Try to make it look suspicious, but not like an obvious trap '1d10'

Roll #1 1 = 1


As you head out into the clearing, you very loudly trip and drop the crate. As head swivel toward you, you are forced to jump inside and start hoping and praying. No atheists in the foxholes.

You hear the hoofsteps of a guard as he approaches, you realize that you were destined to be in this box. You feel secure and in peace. More ponies should come inside this box: then they'd know what you mean.

Anyway, even this dumbass box makes a decent disguise, because the guardpony prods it a couple of times with a hoof, then you hear the sound of him wandering off.


You stay stationary in the darkness for a time, until you become cognizant of light seeping in through the cracks. The spotlight must be on you.

…Dammit, that means that Salamander knows that you had to jump inside the box.


Moving with the light on me is not an option.
I have to wait for Salamander to give me a chance to slip out.
If I had some writing implements I could try to forge a delivery order for the box and hope they carry me out of the compound…
But alas, for now, lets sit tight and see what happens next

Roll #1 3 - 1 = 2


The light remains on you.

He must think that if he takes the spotlight off of you, the nightvision guards will be able to see you.


I cannot help but wonder why they added searchlights in the first place if the guards can't see anything in them.
Can I see out of the box? Has Salamander taken out only one tower or all of them?

Roll #1 9 = 9


There's just one tower, but it houses all of the spotlights.

(The spotlights are for the guards in the towers. The guards on the ground look everywhere except the spotlights.)


So if he did his job right… I'm now invisible so long as I stay in the spotlight?

Could this be my day in the limelight?


It must be.


Time to lift the box and step out from it.
Salamander has the lights, so he should be able to keep one on the box to keep it invisible while allowing me to walk in the other.

Gaze at this glorious path to freedom
And suppress my will to sing to this blind crowd

Roll #1 1 = 1


There was a time when guards were blind.
When your voice was soft, and your word conniving.
When the world was a song.
And the song was good for sneaking.

Then it all went wrong.

You break out into a power ballad and the guards disable their nightvision and charge at you. The spotlight quickly swivels off of you, but the damage is done. A repelling rope hits you, falling from somewhere above. You think you can make out a figure with a rifle taking shots at the guards, but there's no time for that now!

The main gate is sliding closed. Get out, now!


This is a time that demands song and dance.
Let the fools run blind, hunting a ghost that sings of their folly
For this is my day
My day of destiny
A day long thought lost
The day of victory
A day long sought
For which I long fought
A day that makes history

See me now, unbelievers
See me now, how I fly to freedom
See me now, as I take hold of my dreams
See this day, how I fled from your oppression
And gave birth to a new world


Roll #1 4 - 1 = 3


You make a sprint for it, but get tackled by a guard. Seconds later, his head practically explodes as a slug tears through it. You're lucky that Metal Slug didn't hit you, or you wouldn't be feeling very Solid right now.

The door is nearly closed. Get up and go!


Go go GO!
-some Starcraft unit

Roll #1 10 = 10


You recall that colt back in the Oddomane lands that would lure soldiers in by looking innocent, then kill them with a knife like a cold blooded hunter.

With a dramatic lunge and roll, you dive out of the way right before it slams shut. No doubt Salamander is waiting for you.


Time to fix him an exit point. It simply won't do to leave him behind.
Spurred by that previous great success, lets secure a line for him to escape with

Roll #1 10 + 1 = 11


With a mighty hurl, you land the line on the other side. Mere moments later, you feel him take hold of it and begin to hoist himself up. He's fast!

You anchor yourself to the ground, digging in, and soon he's at the top. He loops it around the crenellations and quickly repels down to join you. "Go, into the city, now! I know someone who can get us out of here…"


"Onwards then! To glory!"
I must be destined for grand feats of leadership, given how well that went. Hell, maybe there is some future for me as a #Commander of sorts.

surely nothing bad can happen along the way any more

Roll #1 2 + 1 = 3


You disappear into the darkness of the city. No doubt tomorrow your new life begins…



Surely we will make it safely


Your eyes flit open. You're in a room not exceedingly different from the one you spent last night in, but it doesn't have barred windows. You get up, rubbing your back, recalling where you are. Right… you're hiding out in the servants' quarters of one of the great houses of the Island of Roads. The head of house is the current Roadesian Controller, and he may be able to get you pardoned. Salamander is already up, it seems, because he's not in his bed, but he's left a note for you.

Vox –

Went to secure passage for us. If there's anypony you trust, get them now, we leave today or the next day. I know some guys that might be interested in disappearing, a couple of which were suggested by my friend.

Ask about Cast Iron here in the house, Stanjez out at the Explorers' League offices in town, and Grinning Canyon out at the Sleepy Seagull inn & tavern. Traveling through town may be difficult, so use stealth, and try to remember the basics of CQC.

Be back soon

Right… your bearings… This little place will be a good HQ for now.

House Kaballarios Servants' Quarters
Stables up to 4 minions


For now, it will make a fine Mother Base.
Easiest to start here then. Best put on something that doesn't imply I'm a fugitive and see if someone reliable looking is around

Roll #1 6 = 6


You change into some peasant clothes and wander out into the hallway. Servants are moving to and fro with practiced efficiency, most of them coming and going from the stairs to the main house. Judging by the way the sun comes in from the windows, it's probably nearing breakfast, and the masters will be anticipating breakfast.

Overseeing the flow of these servants is the Butler. You know that a Butler is in charge of the dining room, wine cellar, and pantry at the very least. A leader among servants.


Seems like the type of person who should at least know something about someone who knows someone.
Is he busy?


The Butler is always busy. He has a clipboard and everything!


Such efficiency.
"Excuse me. I am looking for someone."


He doesn't even glance up from his work.

"Quickly, then."


"Cast Iron."


"Third floor, sixteenth room on the left. Will leave for the concert hall this afternoon. Is that all?"


"Is there something I can aid with as thanks for your help?"


He glances up from his clipboard a moment. "Well… there is one thing if you're insistent. The master of the house is a noted snake eater, but obviously there are no places at market that sell snakes to cook. If you could find one before lunch and bring it to the kitchens, I'd appreciate it."


"I will do what I can. I wish you a pleasant day."
Now, to the third floor


You head up the stairs into the main house from the servants' quarters, and from there, up the large, winding grand staircase to the third floor. This place is huge and opulent, like all the noble houses of the Island of Roads. The third floor is less busy than the lower ones, and seems to house mostly the entertainment patronized by the family.


This makes my life easier.
Commencing operation Interlude P0N1
Surely I can remember the room number right '1d20'

Roll #1 10 = 10


lets knock on room 10 and ask for Cast Iron



You approach the doorknob and find that it is rusted. You'll have to be able to jar it free if you want any chance at talking to this so-called Cast Iron.

You assume a combat stance and withdraw your knife. Right… CQC.


Time to do this!
Open the door forcibly, but silently, remaining ready to leap out of sight if I fail with the "silent" part

Roll #1 3 = 3


You try to bodyslam it, but miss and trip.

Dusting yourself off, you take cover from any glances in a nearby potted plant.

A voice calls from within. It's quite high, and feminine: "Yes? Is someone out there? The door is stuck."


"I'm looking for Cast Iron, on a… business deal of sorts"


"That's me. I'm Cast Iron."


"Then who is in room 16?"


"Room sixteen?"

The voice is coming from within the sixteenth room.


…best not dwell on this.
"You have passed the test. Can you open the door?"


"No, I just told you, it's stuck. This rusty handle always catches!"


"You really have met with a terrible fate, haven't you?
Hold on, I'll try to dislodge it"
Dislodge it '1d10'

Roll #1 4 = 4


You lodge your knife in the door and pry the mechanism open, then you pop it forth.

Inside is the most beautiful, feminine figure you've ever seen. Long, flowing hair. Beautiful curved figure. Soft, supple skin. A warm, inviting smile.

Cast Iron greets you in that same very feminine, high voice. "Thank you, I was starting to think I was trapped."


"I have heard you may desire to move your act elsewhere in the near future, if you get my meaning. Is this true?"


Cast Iron nods. "Right, my contract with the family is ending soon, and I've been looking to take my performance on the road – or the sea, at least."


"I believe I may be able to see this desire made reality. My friend and I are departing soon, and have room for a few more bodies. As you and I both are fans of the musical arts, I felt it perfect to inquire after you at first possibility.
So, will you join us?"


Roll for command.



File: 1377982982228.png (175.05 KB, 1135x325, using Command.png, IO Google TinEye)


Roll #1 9 = 9


Cast Iron smiles and adds, "Sure! Help me pack my things? They're mostly together already."

The pony smiles and wags her tail side to side cheerfully.


I am of helpfulness being
What sort of stuff is this pony packing anyway?

Roll #1 8 = 8


Clothes, mostly, and some sheet music. There's a rapier here, but it's practically just there as a prop. You test the steel and find it suitable for combat, at least.

"Ready to go? Let's walk and talk!"


There are a few others I was going to look for as well. One Stanjez and Grinning Canyon.
And if we can find a snake, it would be all the better."


"Hm. Can't say I know where to find any of those! Do you play, or sing?"

Since you only have one pet mastery, you'll need to send one to your room when you pick up the second.

Cast Iron
Gender: Male (Eunuch)
Race: Earth Pone
Class: Singer
Skills: Inspire
Special Talent: Beautiful voice
Hits/Wounds: 2/5
Character Traits: Extremely feminine due to a lack of testosterone. Doesn't like to eat meat.


"My songs are as much part of me as my limbs. And they carry me onwards along the wild finds of fortune all the same.

Might you know where we can find the Explorer's League or Sleepy Seagull?"


"I've performed at the Sleepy Seagull once or twice. It's down near the docks. It's a little raucous, but not unpleasant!"


"Do you know of any less traveled routes that might get us there unseen?"


Cast Iron laughs. "Not unless you want to take the sewers."


"I've had worse options given to me.
I'm game if you are."

How long until lunch?



This morning, the fleet pulls into view of the fortress-city of Roads. What lies before you is an awe-inspiring blend of culture, art, and impregnable fortress.

Truly the new city of world's desire.


I did not ask for a fleet, I asked for a snake


After two weeks of learning a new skill, writing books, and teaching Seekkill and his chick how to read, write, and in the latter's case, speak, I've had a busy trip.
But that is quite the view.


Look at it from the deck of the Pillanger's Fancy.
Have Fervored, Zivur and Kilana summoned.

Does it feel like home, Zivur?


A couple hours. "For real? Okay… there's a grate right outside the mansion, accessible from the servants' quarters."


Probably spent the last two weeks doing the usual. Going around talking to ponies and shit.

This city does look very lovely though. My, my! Flutter over to All-Jinn.
"Plans, captain?"


I focused on learning to read and teaching my chick to talk.


Woo, own room where I could fuck with Tela whenever!
And talking a lot with my Hamburgers!
And hoping that I got the Hourglass!


"As much as I love to travel, there is something to say about making landfall." I say to just myself.


…. N-No… not really…


"Lets just say that the odds of our safe departure will decrease if I attract the wrong sort of attention.
So I ask again - is that the only stealthy route you can think of?"


You get an additional '1d3' books. Roll for luck at mastering natural elemental. You get it automatically, but let's see how quickly.

But did you ever fuck Rosemary as a stallion?

"We're making port legally. No way to get in otherwise. Until then, crews are free while we scout and make transactions. I recommend taking in some culture before it gets burned down."

And my, she has grown after the past few weeks. She's started using basic sentences and grammar, and can easily catch rats now. She has been known to glide from crates, too. So young!

In the past two weeks you've noticed two other griffons on the fleet besides the aggressive Rahjak. There's the venerable but highly intelligent General Movp and the very feminine female necromancer Dolly Doldrums, who is a specialist in wind patterns.

That will be decided at tonight's meeting.

Yes, indeed. In the past two weeks you were transferred to the Eagle's Roost so that General Movp could mentor you more directly.

"Well, actually, I have a bunch of costumes in here. If you think it'd be less suspicious, we can just dress up and walk straight down there. Probably would be easy. There's… just one thing. All of my costumes are… well, mare outfits. Dresses and stuff."

Roll #1 3 = 3


I go up to the deck.


Well then, go and check in with General Movp. This is an important day for the fleet.


Oh boy. '1d10'

Roll #1 5 = 5


Yes, that too, of course. I'm sure she would have agreed to it.
"Hmmm… I see. I suppose I will see you at tonight's meeting then?"


Let's meet up with Strom then before I head out into the city.


Lets practice on my close fighting techniques.
Also how about we make a blunderbuss so I have something ranged that doesnt require much accuracy.


Guess it's time to visit it closer then.
Spent two weeks getting to know the mates of the other ships, probably with the help of both LH and Chip.
Also, trained with Emrille on how to shoot and kept up with my usual training with Terrebonne.


oh, go check it out!


… d-do we really have t-to? I d-don't really like c-crowds…


"Do I look like someone who'd be inconspicuous in a mare outfit?
Some powder and a wig should be enough. I doubt I look the same at all without my crystal shine."


Think about all the books we might find…
Or what if someone from the Crown's Head Society is still around?


..o-okay…a-and I doubt it…


Never give up hope.


Y-You need to h-have it to give it u-up…


A bright and pleasant day. You can see the city slowly approaching. No doubt a thick, mazelike city like that will have plenty of hunting grounds. Better be careful about the guards if you want to hunt ponies, though. This city is 'impregnable' for a reason!

He greets you warmly. "Ah, Mister Cross, good to see you in good health. How do you care for the view?"

You do moderately well, but you don't ever stand out at it.

Achievement Unlocked: Babykiller

"Of course. I would never shirk my duties."

"Well, well, miss bigshot officer stopping by. You sure have been walking tall ever since my advice won you a leadership position."

You spend the two weeks chatting with Topaz and at the forge.

Roll for that.

You head up to the deck and take a look. Your fur is a little disheveled. Helena is… a demanding lover. She is tossing you into bed more often than you expected, but a dog your age isn't about to complain.

The blackjay lands on your shoulder. Caw.

I have decided to tell you my name. It is Rasputin von Wittlesbach. I take great pride in my family name, so I expect you to pronounce it properly.

"I suppose you're right… here, have some powder."

As he bends over to get things out of his bag, you get a clear view of his masculine sheath. He's a eunuch. No testosterone.



Thankyou friend. I give him a little pet and
"Rasputin von Wittlesbach" I practice a few times '1d10'

Roll #1 9 = 9


I let out a chuckle.
"Sure, if that's what helps you sleep better at night.
How did you get your own leadership position? Coloring a lot of paper green?"


I do so love checking out dude junk.
Apply powder and wig to look like a boring normal-ass pony



"Good, until then."
Time to round up my party. Rosemary, HP and… probably Onik. Where is Onik?


Nuts. I was hoping that would be my new talent.


"The view itself is engrossing. Such a city to have stood so long."


Gotta find it then. I wonder if there's a wizard that gives hope to those who have none…
Just once or one for each activity?

Roll #1 7 = 7 / Roll #2 8, 8, 1 = 17


… I w-wouldn't get my hopes up to f-find one


I will invent the spell myself if I have to. Watch me try!


Y-You think raising hope m-might be like raising d-dead?


With you? More like resurrecting.

I think we just have to find something you want to live for.


… I-I'm not alive


You have full control over a shadow, the ability to interact with whoever you want, and even some magic running through your body.
Give me time, I can try to bring you back fully, if I ever crack the secret to soul transfer.


N-No, no, thank you, thanks, I-I'm comfortable in a shadow…


Not even a lich body? We just need another Phylacteric Forge…


Shake my head.
D-Don't you r-remember my notes? I-I never wanted to be a L-Lich…


That would solve the touch problem though.
You wouldn't feel it.

Stay silent for a moment.

You know, I think I'm getting past it. The no touching thing.


I-I had someone I c-could touch t-too… a-and she was a s-she and had a pulse a-and was warm a-and everything…


See, you were doing even better than me.


I-It took time…


It is never easy.
It took me…. Ten years? Maybe even more.


…I-I still didn't l-like any o-other mares being around me…


And I would still run away crying if any other stallion tried to touch me without my permission.
But slowly, one step at a time, we can change. Better ourselves.


… I-I can just stand in the dark too and n-no mare can f-find me


And what if your loved one comes back and she wants yo touch you again?



She s-shouldn't…


Would you deny her one more dance?

Smile tenderly.


You've got it, more or less.

"I was elected to my position by my peers."

Well technically he doesn't have junk.

You are pretty white now. Like a male geisha.

She's on deck with her motorcycle.

"Its resilience to change is the very reason it has remained standing."

You meet four random officers you haven't spent much time with in this order:

Roll #1 4, 12, 9, 2 = 27


You have a pleasant meeting with Lockermaster Jones one day, coffee with September another, and Al-Jinn the next. However, you have a run in with Sunnyskies and get in a fight, and to be honest, it was your fault.


"Onik. Good morning."


White ponies are not uncommon, crystal ones are.
This should keep attention off me.
Secure the wig in case of possible gusty wind and set out to find that tavern.


Oh c'mon, I couldn't help but snicker thinking back at him in the maid outfit!
I will have to make it up. Maybe.


She gives you a nod.

You head down into the lower city, near the docks, and enter the bar. On stage, Whiteboy James and the Blue Express are performing. Their hypnotic, down-home strumming is characterized by an old-fashioned light country-rock groove.

The whole complex is completely packed, but it gets especially dense over near the back corner. The bar is being swarmed by thirsty patrons.



"And you got a fort at a nice place thanks to me.
Are we even then?"


"… Are you planning on leaving already?"


He shrugs. "We haven't exactly seen any action like you promised."

She gives you a neutral expression. "Maybe. I'm going to look through town, too."


Time for some deductive skills
Do I realize Grinning Canyon is a buffalo name, not a pony one?

Roll #1 9 = 9


Sure, why not?


"Of course. I… do hope you will reconsider leaving if it comes to that. If you are interested, I will be leaving on a trip through Tartarus soon, to visit the city ruins of Stonebriar."


Time to check on Abilio.
"Hey. Plans once we make dock?
I was thinking about going through old records to find some mention of the Crown's Head."


Then the question is, can I spot a buffalo among the lot here?

Roll #1 7 = 7


"Oh, you will soon.
This place? I heard it will be tough.
And packed full of action. So don't you die on me."


'You want me to come?"

"Go ahead. We have to sell off all our cargo before we even think about raiding."

The crowd is too thick. Cast Iron mouths something to you through the loud crowd, but he points up to the second level. Maybe you can spot a buffalo from the bannister.

"Yeah, yeah, we'll see."


Raise a brow.
"Does that mean payday anytime soon?"


"If you are interested in joining, I would certainly welcome you. Still, I could understand you wishing to stay in Roads instead. It does have… more charm to it than Tartarus."
I chuckle.


A plan as good as any.
Lets make our way up there, inconspicuously.


"You don't seem very enthusiastic."


"On Sunday. I'm not sure how long we'll be in port. In any case, this seems just as good a place to retire as any."

"It's important to me to take in the culture of everywhere we visit. If you could find out how long we'll be here, then I'd feel more comfortable."

You very roughly shove your way through the thick crowd and up the stairs. It's okay, that's what the locals do.

From up here, you have a bird's eye view of the room, but soon it becomes obvious that it wasn't necessary. James and his crew step off the stage and a big buffalo gets up on stage and begins blasting his own song.


"I'm just saying, I've been hearing that for a long time, and so far all we've shot at is targets. I'm starting to wonder if this is a pirate fleet or a merchant fleet."


"Very well, I will."
Hmmm… Smitts?


"Not much shit to shoot at the sea, is there?
We just docked. You think I'm not aching to shoot something interesting too?"


"Still thinking about that?
Leaving for a place you don't even know?
There will hardly be safer harbors than our own ships."


This music is awful
What the fuck was Salamander thinking?
I can't work under these conditions.


You head off to his office. His secretary is lounging about.

"Just call us when the action starts."

"I do think it's time to retire, now. My research is completed, and I'd rather retire at land than die at sea. In any case, Miss Terrebonne will make a fine captain for the Pillager's Fancy."

You quickly make a tactical roll to the right and grab several goblets of wine before their owners notice and get sufficiently hammered so that you can't focus on the music anymore, and also so that you can't work.


"Is the commodore in?"


"It's not leadership I'm worried about.
It's more the idea of… Losing a friend."


Rolling to appreciate buffalo music

Roll #1 9 = 9


"Don't worry, I will.
It'll probably be pretty obvious too."


I can work with this.
One day he will sing opera with the best of them.

Can I keep myself from swinging to the stage and joining him?

Roll #1 3 - 1 = 2


"Cargo bay."

He chuckles. "You're free to retire, too."

"Whatever you say."

Maybe it's the copious amounts of very strong alcohol but you find yourself leaping down to the stage. Cast Iron yells something in surprise at you as you join Canyon below for a duet.



"I like it too much here.
And Terrebonne would be sad. Can't do that."


"Thank you."
Let's head down there then and see what that jolly old goat is up to.


Where is everyone?


Roll my eyes.
"Better fix that attitude by the time the combat starts."




Preparing to dock at Roads so we can enjoy the city before torching, pillaging and murdering the shit out of it.


"I'm sure you'll do fine. Have confidence in yourself. Although… I suppose you never had a problem with that."

He's surveying the menials moving large amounts of cargo out of the bay, preparing to take it off the ship and to market.

"You may look grown up now, but you're still a filly at heart. We'll be carrying the fleet on our own if a firefight breaks out."

You have arrived at the Island of Roads. The ships have just docked, but no PCs have exited to the docs.


The music comes to an abrupt halt and he gives you an odd look. "Hey, look at dis white boy tink he can go wit da best a dem."


"Commodore. I wont take much of your time. How long are we planning to reside in Roads?"


"No, not really."
Stay quiet for a while.
"You up for one last trip, before you retire?"


"Are we not allowed to go into town?…"


"I be I can score more headshots than you by the time we're done here."


And what did we talked about? Anything of worth?

Roll #1 8 = 8


"Of course we are, dear."


It is time to tap into my extensive knowledge of foreign cultural sensitivity and attempt to channel what I once learned in Zebrabar Land

"For sure, my sibling. This feces is most wham."
Rolling for believable zebonics '1d10'

Roll #1 9 = 9


"A few days at least. It will take time to find buyers for all this cargo."

"Trip? Where?"

"That is a bet you will lose."

She just teaches you how to work the mint and about other metals.

The next couple of hours are a blur, but by the end of it, you're out in the gutter in the back alleyway with a splinting headache sharing a bottle with Grinning Canyon, who has also been kicked out.

"Man, whaddamI gonna do? Dat was a cherry gig, mon."


"So why hasn't anypony left?"


"Join a band of musical mercenaries and make the world your performing stage?"


"Back to Stonebriar. Believe it or not Light Heart needs to stop there, and I offered to accompany her."


"Good. I will see you tonight at the meeting then."
Nod my head and head back up to Onik.


I shrug.
"We can leave now if you want?"


"That's what you'd like to think, huh?"


"Where am I gonna find sometink like dat?"

"She mentioned it to me before. Even with the portals, that is a considerable walk."

You return.

"I taught you everything you know about shooting. I remember showing you how to use a revolver back when you were knee high to me."


"Can we bring Emrille? Pleeease?"


Where are we now btw? I go to the deck and check out.


"It appears we will be staying here for several days at the very least."


"Now wouldn't it just be the funniest thing if such an opportunity was waiting for you right around the corner?"


"Guess it's gonna be an occasion to spend some more time together before you…


I grimace.
"I'd rather not…"


I give you pleading eyes.


Give him a deadpan look.
"You taught me how to handle recoil.
Which I learned in ten minutes.
Do you know how to use air magic to have your bullets fly more straight?"


"Maybe some other time."


"But I wanna show her how much I've improved on shooting! She'll probably be really proud…"


You are at the docks of the city of Roads, on the eponymous Island of Roads.

"Fine, then I'll come."

"I don like corners, mon. Been jumped too many times."

"Well, I certainly won't stop you."

"Nah, when I was a colt they just taught me to shoot in a straight line in the first place."


I smile.
"Excellent. Very good. Come, let us make haste then."
HP and Rosemary are following? To Abilio!


"You can always do that when the fleet leaves again!"


We have arrived? Yes!
Hmmm.. look at the other crew and see what they are doing today. Is the plan of trading food in the dock going smoothly?


"And you never heard of this thing called 'wind' and shit?"


You head to his cabin. Felfire is here.

There are many menials transporting crates to market.

"Yeah, I can account for that because I don't have to rely on cheap parlor tricks."


"Then take the straight route.
There is a room at the servant's quarters of the house of the Controller. If you are there this evening, a crystal pony will come for you to show you the way to a new tomorrow."

Did I miss lunch? Where's Cast?


I frown and stomp my hoof.
"You never let me do anything! I'm gonna go and show her and then I'm gonna go into town with her WITHOUT you!"
I run off to go find Emrille.


Good, approach them.
"Is the operation going smoothly? Do we have any income? Can you guys handle it?"


"Miss Felfire, fullmaster Abilio. Are you both well?"


"What? Hey! Come back!"
Pull her back with my telekinesis!

Roll #1 6 = 6


I snort.
"Call me when you can heal yourself by shooting at others."


Dodge! Avoid! Get away!

Roll #1 8 = 8


"Just thinking about town."


It looks like you have about half an hour before lunch, though you don't know what happened to Cast Iron.

"Mebbe I'll check it out. Mebbe."

"We just move the goods. Topaz is doing the negotiation."

Strictly speaking, Earth Shot doesn't heal you. It restores hits, meaning it makes you stand more firmly.

"Anyone with a gun should never to worry about getting hurt in the first place."

A narrow escape, and into the crowd.


And I was there as well.


"If you can tell me where to find a snake in less than half an hour, I'll put in a good word for you with them."


No! Try to find her!

Roll #1 2 = 2


"Oh is she? Thats great to hear." I smile and head off to find Topaz.


Off to find Emrille now!
She'll definitely be more fun to hang around than Spring…

Roll #1 6 = 6


He doesn't need to know that.
"Yes, because we are the only ones with guns.
Nopony else has any."


"Is there an ETA on when we could visit Stonebriar, captain? Not to rush you, of course."


Right you are. Shall you go into town, or study with Skylight?

"Tried a law office, mon?"

You locate her on the Seaworthy, at the Fort.

You get lost in the crowd.

Topaz is here at market arguing with some shopkeepers.

"Sorry if I learned how to shoot well enough that I don't need to worry about enemies. Guess that's my bad."

"It's a very long walk. And look… I normally do this free of charge as a gesture of good will and in the spirit of good faith, but this is a considerable amount of my time and energy to walk nearly twenty kilometers even one way. We need to discuss compensation."


"If your enemies were all blind and lonely and couldn't shoot back, I guess you're right."


"Of course! Confiscates exotic pets!
If this works, there will be many good words in it for you."
Now then… A quick peek inside if I can see Cast.


Get a last little bit of studying in before heading to town. Since it's been two weeks, I've got two doubloons… or most of two doubloons, after paying for those books from the quartermasters.
So, study roll. '1d10'

Roll #1 3 = 3


"Of course."
Glance at Rosemary.
"For my love, I will gladly do so."


Stand next to her and listen to the conversation.
"Is there anything wrong?"

Also whats happening in the market right now?


"Excuse me a minute."
Leave and look for Doc.


Okay, just don't panic… Try to locate the fleet.

Roll #1 8 = 8



"Hi Emrille!"
I run over and tackle her into a hug.
"Wanna go into town?"


"Whoa, hey, there squirt."
Ruffle her mane with a hoof.
"Right now?"


"I'm not comfortable having my enemies compared to your girlfriend that way."

Down an alleyway he's been pinned against a wall by a bunch of thugs who are trying to pull off his nice performing clothes, which in their defense looks dangerously like a dress.


You don't get much done. You're about to leave when Skylight tucks you back into bed insists that you let her read to you while you drink some warm milk.


She smiles and blushes a little.

You find him in his quarters (not the clinic).

"Just bartering. I'm a little busy right now."

You eventually find your way back.

Roll #1 9 = 9


"Or maybe later… Oh! I've been practicing shooting! I gotta show you how good I've gotten!"
I drag you up to the top deck and draw my pistol.
"What should I shot at?"


"What would you have me do in the meantime, Sir."


You learn quite a bit more with Skylight teaching you.


"Do you have a proposal, captain?"


"Hey, we are about to go. It's gonna be a long walk, you ready?"


"Just find me if there is anything needed of me."
I nod at this, and leave her.

Now lets go around the the city of Roads, anything that gets my interest?

Roll #1 6 = 6


Now try to locate Emrille…

Roll #1 4 = 4


I snort.
"Hah, you motherfucker.
You're lucky I found that funny. Be ready for combat. Ta-ta."

Follow her.
"Whoa, easy there!
Are you sure about that?"


"Gentlemen, please.
Stop feeling up stallions in back alleys. It hurts your credibility."


I vigorously nod.
"Yeah! I've been practicing a bunch!"


"Okay then, but I take no responsibility for you!"
Smirk, then look around.
Any empty bottles lying around?


Maybe Skylight should be a teacher? She's good with kids, and once we manage to get off the fleet with Spring and Summer, we could set up a little school near the clinic and shrine.
Once we're done, I'll hop of the bed and start getting ready to go into town.


"I don't know. I'm not really doing this for the money. Let's say a doubloon for every hour we're out there and in travel. And you can split that cost between all of you, not per head."

He nods and picks up a bag.

So much. Greek culture is everywhere!

Of course nearby you see a beautiful mare being assaulted against a wall by some thugs.

The thugs are interrupted by a single white pony, but they outnumber him three to one!

You find her on the Seaworthy with Summer.

"Later, then."

"You callin' us faggots?"
"We don't take kindly to those that disrespect minorities in these parts."
"Yeah, git 'em Skeeter! Show 'em we mean to create a progressive, forward thinkin' society!"

They advance on you.


Back to Abilio's room!


Too antsy.
I wanna show off!
I try to shoot the nearest bottle that I can see!

Roll #1 1 = 1


I don't suppose I've been payed at all since Autumnsreach?
"I do not ask my partners for money when they help me out, I'm afraid."


Approach the commotion and see whats happening.
"Whats going on here?"




Chat with Movp for a bit.


"The only thing I disrespect is those with a poor understanding of proper clothing care.
Now perhaps we can all benefit from this chance meeting. For you see, I am in need of a snake."
What's Cast doing?


In an attempt to summon your persona, you shoot yourself in the head.

You slip on a wet portion of the deck and clock yourself by running head-first into a cannon.

You return with Doc Peg.

"I was under the impression Miss Felfire was going for unrelated reasons."

Some administrative pay. Just a couple doubloons.

"Enjoy yourself! Take in the culture. I'm sure you'll appreciate it after the Eastern Campaign. Do me a favor and find me the sweetest ale they have in town. I can't head out until later."

Sidling away deeper into the alleyway.


Some thugs are advancing.

A diamond dog approaches and asks, "What's going on here?"


Enough to make the trip without going broke?


File: 1378046276574.png (8.34 KB, 92x95, qtm.png, IO Google TinEye)

Maybe. In any case, she gasps in surprise.

"Curry, you have a new cutie mark!"


"Shit, are you okay?"


Depends on how long you spend there, but even without that, you should have plenty.


I- I'm a big pony! I'm not gonna cry from a lil' bump!

"Y- Yeah…"

Roll #1 5 = 5


"Thank you Sir, I'll see what I can find."

Tip my hat and excuse myself. What kind of stores do we have close to the dock?


He better not get lost. We are on a schedule here.
"Merely interceding in what appeared outwardly to have been a scuffle born of misunderstandings and/or false pretenses and artistic disagreements.
I am also in search of a place where I may locate exotic animals, namely snakes."


Thank goodness.
"Very well, we have a deal then. Thank you for bearing with me, captain. This is… rather important."



The most prominent is a large bar up front named "The Sleepy Seagull". Looks like next to it, Chip is trying to break up a scuffle.

see >>477015

He nods. "I understand. Are we all ready to go?"


"Y'know, you can show off later.
On the practice field. Where you're not a danger to yourself, others, and most importantly, me."


"M- Momma?…"
I sniffle.

"Where's the practice field?"


"I what?"
Take a gander at my butt.
"Well, I'll be."
I'll break into a wide smile, then rush over and hug Skylight.
"Skylight, I think your lesson did it!"


"I believe so, yes."


Nod slowly.




"Snakes? I mean I was looking at the mare, and she looked great… oh here they come."

"Hey there!"


Give her a look.
"Where we shot at targets?"


"For goodness sake!"
Pick her up and hug her.
"… Don't run off like that again."


Get close, but don't get involved yet. Keep an ear on them. I don't want to have to get involved in fight between drunkards if that is what is happening?


Glance at Summer.
"You ran away from your mother?"


She levitates you up and gives you a big hug. "I knew you had it in you! And a sun cutie mark, too!"

He opens a gate. "Let's get to it, then."

They are in a stand-off with some thugs. You would even the numbers to three on three.

see >>477037


"Oh must we fight? I need that cursed serpent by lunch."


"Ooh… the practice range in the mansion!"
I rub my head and wince.

"Only because she was being mean…"
I frown and don't hug back.


Look back at my three followers and motion them to follow, then step through.


"Well, with you as a teacher, I doubt it could have failed getting it. Or it going to the moon."
I'll grin at her.
"Now, let's find Abilio and get me to a more useful size."


"I dunno, ya mudpony, how about you apologize to my buddy Skeeter for making that offensive slur about sexual orientation?"


Use my my cutlass and fight back these thugs.

Roll #1 3 + 1 = 4


Into the abyss.
"It's a shame I never picked this up, now that you plan on retiring."


"I never meant to offend anyone of c-
…what did you just call me sonny?"


I facehoof.
"And the one on the Seaworthy."


I frown as well.
"You already got yourself hurt. Come on… let's go find Curry and head into town."


She sighs. "Are you sure you want to do this? I was sincere before. I would be happy to repay our parents' debt by reraising you… giving you the foalhood you never had. But… I also understand your reasons for needing to protect Summer. Just… this is your last chance, probably."

You hike for '1d2+2' hours. It's exhausting, any any time you lose concentration, you begin to slip and fall into the burning abyss. However, eventually you make it there safely.

"I called you fucking mudpony filth!"

You try to box them out, but you get kicked in the guts.

Chip: 6/7h

Roll #1 2 + 2 = 4


"I'm sure, Skylight. But I'm only going up in age to about eighteen. Puts me just about in my prime, and I'd be young enough to enjoy life a little."
I'll chuckle a little.
"If you end up shaving off a couple years, we could probably pass for twins."


Turn to Doc.
"The survivors live around the old mansion outside town.
They are ruled by someone called the Hunter."
I have my scythe with me, right?


… How's it look?

Roll #1 5 = 5


"Can we go there?"

"But I wanna show Emrille that I improved my shooting!"


"While I am most accepting of your desire to seek sexual equality among all ponies, I cannot condone your short-sighted dismissal of one based on your perception of his race.
Or kicking a bystander like that.
Now let us all agree to disagree, realize we each are flawed beings but that those flaws make us the unique marvels we are, and go our separate ways an experience richer."


I sigh.
"Fine… but I'm staying to keep an eye on things."


Honestly, we just got here and I'd have liked to avoid trouble. As good as Chip should be, I have an idea.

"Chip, stop picking fights like this! I know you got promoted on the fleet, but all those sailors are waiting on you and getting angsty. You don't want all of them to come at you, dont'cha?"


"I think you're getting a bit too excited. I was there when you dragged me here."
Let's go to the Seaworthy's shooting range

"Don't worry, she's past the point of fatally injuring herself already. I think."


I stopped and look at Voxam and Freisian confused.
"They are approaching us with an intent, what have you let me do? Stand there and take it in the face?"


She sets you down.

"Calling me old looking now?"


And he nods at you.

The town is in shambles, mostly. Collapsed brickwork everywhere. Only the old Lower Class District is still standing in any recognizable form. The ruins there might be worth picking through for survivors.

Of course, Rosemary can probably navigate it better than you. That being said, she looks a little stressed out.

Roll diplomacy.


I'm so diplomatic I dip lomacies

Roll #1 8 = 8


"They can be dangerous. I'd rather not go there alone."
Look at Light Heart.
"What's your plan now?"


Turn to her.
"… Will you be okay?"


"Thank you!"

"Oh. Well let's go back there!"
Onwards to the range!


"Not at all. But it would be less confusing for ponies calling me your older brother, since I wouldn't be younger than you… if that makes sense. And besides, with a bit of extra time, you should be able to become a teacher, since you really seem to have a knack for it. I know I wouldn't have gotten this without your help, after all. Maybe there are other colts and fillies out there who need a guiding light?"


"Play along Chip. We have more important things to do here."

"I'd have expected you to skewer them if you were really trying. You don't get promoted to Jack of Swords and let random people just hit you unless you like that sort of thing."

"And you kids, don't get in fights with people thrice your size! You should be grateful he was only trying to scare you off and not have that chef serve you for lunch on the fleet."


I shrug and stand down.


They give you a stare for a while, but eventually one of them says, "Come on Skeeter, he ain't worth it." and they disappear into the crowd.

She pales a little, but then rallies herself and gives a little nod after putting on a brave face.



Now lets go to the cornered mare.
"Are you hurt?"


"That depends on miss Rosemary, actually."

Give her a encouraging smile.
"Where to first, Rosemary?"


We went to the shooting range of the Seaworthy.
Did we arrive there?
Also, any familiar faces?


"Well that went well.
Time to turn around
"Fleet, you say?"


"Regardless, it's up to you. You're a grown mare, after all, and can make your own decisions. I… enjoyed the time I spent as a colt, since we got a little closer, but it's time for me to grow back up."
I'll toss on my cloak.


"Don't take it too personally if I offended you with that, but the fleet just barely docked and I barely got off of it and I was hoping to keep it quiet."

"Well, yes. Our ships just arrived to uh, resupply. We have a few of them docked right now."


Let me know if you are going after the survivors too."


I look at him.
"No harm done, they approached us with ill intent and I reacted to what they could have done to us."


She rallies to the side of the stallion that was protecting her. She is the picture of feminine beauty. Truly a sight to behold, with long flowing hair and curves in all the right places.

Cast Iron regroups with you. "That was close!"

Yes, and yes.

Sunnyskies is drilling some of the raiders here. It's not huge, but it's more suitable than the jury rigged setup you've been using. Mellow Marsh is also lounging about, and Salty Slugs is instructing a pony on the use of a cannon here.

You even notice a few of the Hamburgerburgians. Benjamin, for instance, is here.

She smiles, and with that you head over to Abilio's office. He isn't here.


"I think… I'd like to go see my old house… and the clinic."


Is miss Stripes?


Tip my hat to Sunnyskies.
Usher Summer to one of the free shooting places with a target.
And Benjamin? Who was he again?


Ooh ooh!
Find a target, an empty lane, and try shooting!

Roll #1 7 = 7


"Interesting. Most interesting.
Vox - singer, performer, and most recently a rising star in the field of hiring my own troupe.
Perhaps there might be room on your.. .fleet for a few individuals looking for a change of scenery?"
"What did they even what with you in the first place?"


I nod.

Put a wing on her back.
"Right behind you."


That was protecting her? Who is it, it appears he has nt done a good job.
"Are you fine Miss?"


"An entertainment group? Well the deck could use some entertainment specially on a long voyage but it depends if we have the doubloon, food stuff and drinks to support your group, right Freisian."



"You did what you know how to do, but you were outnumbered, and even with my training, I wouldn't be much help without resorting to a projectile and escalating the whole thing unnecessarily."

"I'm not the one who does the hiring, but some entertainment on the ship might help quell the crew on restless nights. Go look for a Gryphon named Al-Jinn, he may have come out and can probably be found some of our ships now, like the Seaworthy or the Dark Lantern and such. He'l be the one to determine if you can join."


"We'll let Al-Jinn deal with that. He should already have those things worked out, he'd know what we can take and if it's worth the trouble."


Much to do and less and less time to do it.
You two don't happen to know where I could get a snake, do you?"


"Still depends if Ms. Topaz is able to get a good deal on the trade but since this is Ms. Topaz I doubt she will fail." I smile.

"We've just landed so I really have no idea sir…. ?" I shrug.


"Didn't one of your other Diamond DOg friends have one? But I'm sure he wouldn't part with it. He seemed rather attached when we talked about it."


"Call me Vox"
"The snake is destined to become lunch, so I'd rather not take one that someone wishes to keep."


"Sateo? No. He has a magpie, an interesting bird that can repel magic. Well thats what he said."

"Vox is it. Its good to meet you, just call me Chip." I nod.


You hear moving around in the other room, so probably.

He was the one who attended the conference with you. He does magic like you, in fact, and he does the neat elemental tricks.

You have no trouble hitting the targets.

"Er– I think they wanted me to sing for them."

She unevenly hikes through the ruins of the city toward the remains of the middle class district. She gets to where her house was, but there's only rubble.

She quivers a little. There's nothing left here.



And I think you already met Cast Iron, one of my singers. He has quite the high notes."


"Oh, and I'm Friesian. It's a pleasure to make your acquaintance. Regarding the snake, we just docked and have quite a fair bit to do before we leave, so you shouldn't feel to rushed to find your snake. I myself am looking for some sweeter alcohol in these stores."


I'll knock.
"Excuse me, miss Stripes?"


Stay back with Doc.
"Just say when you want to leave."


Reminds me of Dixie…
Give her a moment.


"I need the snake in the next fifteen minutes or not at all."


I might chat it up in a bit with him.
Glance at Summer now though.
And snicker.


He nods.


"Hm? Just a minute, I'm getting my things together. Er – fine, just come in."

Perception check.


Don't say, do!


I stare at her and bow a bit.
"Perhaps I might have offended you miss. Apologies."

I look at him.
"Cast iron?"



Roll #1 6 = 6


Keep shooting!

"You really think so?!"
I give an excited hop.

Roll #1 7 = 7


I'll enter.
"Sorry for intruding. How are you today, miss Stripes?"


"Then you should hurry. I don't know where anything is located here, since I just got off the boat and got caught up in all this."


I just need to watch over Summer for now!
Hmm.. Let out a whistle and wave at him.
Make him come over here.

"For you, yeah. Pretty good."


She's quietly sobbing.

No problem. You got this down pat. A good teacher, maybe.

"Ah, fine. Just… getting ready to leave."

Skylight looks surprised. "Leave?"

"Yes, we're returning to the retirement plan. I promised Abilio that I'd give running for fleet officership a shot. Clearly it didn't go over well. Anyway, now that his research is done and I have no real future here, we're leaving the fleet. Retiring from the pirate life. I think we'll be able to get by just fine on sea chart sales, anyway."

He gives you a friendly nod and goes back to toying with his strange elemental sword.


"We will back later Abilio."
Let's go. Start checking out the most 'intact' parts of town.

Roll #1 5 = 5


I will pay a visit to your fleet later."
Turn to go
"Cast, to the law off- fuck."
And turn right back
"Perhaps we can make a deal?"


I give another excited hop.
"Maybe I should become a merca… merce… mercenary like you!"

I go for the bullseye now!

Roll #1 2 = 2


"What deal are you talking about?"


Ah… Try to pull her closer and comfort her.

Roll #1 7 = 7


Whistle again, and motion for him to come over.

Pat Summer with a wing.
"Nice, you're getting a feel of this, aren't you?
I think your healing is more profitable though. You can't compete with the pros in shooting."



"That's… well, it's a shame to see you both go, but it's good to see you both going for a stable life."
I'll rub my foreleg for a moment.
"I don't suppose you know where the Fullmaster is at the moment? I managed to change my mark, with a little help, and I'm ready to grow back up a bit."


You head off toward the Lower Class District, which is still mostly intact.

There are some patrolling guards near the entrance to the district. They look familiar. Wearing the colors of that old order of zealous ponies.

Far too wide. You over-corrected!

"Law off fuck?"

She trembles a little as you pull her in for a wing hug. She breaths unevenly, and you just stand there for a while, paying respects.

He chuckles and retracts the blade, then returnst o polishing it.

The incredibly beautiful and feminine pony replies, "Actually, I'm a stallion."

"Ah, actually, he'll be out for probably the entire day. They left via portal."


"Maybe not now… but I'm sure with enough practice I can! Maybe you can take me along with you next time you go out and do your mercenary work? Pleeeease?"

Hit the bullseye!

Roll #1 4 = 4


"If you worried over our reward being an issue, were we to perform on your fleet, I can speak to my troupe about making possible exceptions on some of our usual requirements, if you can head out to the law offices here, and see if they have any impounded exotic pet snakes you can bring me - or better yet, bring it right to the butler at the house of the house of the Roadesian Controller. He is expecting it by lunchtime.
Do this, and we can all benefit greatly. No tot mention you have an excuse to take a good look at the city."


My face will fall a bit.
"Oh… well, I suppose one more day as a child won't hurt."
I'll pause a moment.
"Did… would you like any help packing, miss Stripes?"


Give her all the time she needs.


I smile.


They just have to try and get near.
"See them yet?"


Facehoof at him.

"You know that's dangerous as fuck, right?
You might die. Or your momma might die."
Also, Air Marksman shot that bullseye.
Just to prove her.

Roll #1 10 + 2 = 12



Roll #1 5 = 5


"Sounds reasonable. I've no other pressing matters, and this does help me too. The fleet would like a bit more entertainment, and they should know where I can find that alcohol. I guess you can say we have a deal."


Too wide. Control your anger!

"That's alright. I'd like some time alone to say goodbye to the ship."

"Er… and what?"

Eventually she gathers herself and nods. "Let's go to the clinic."

He pulls out a bottle from his bag and swigs it.

"Probably inside somewhere. We should try to avoid fighting, I think. We need their help to identify them."

You take a swig out of a nearby bottle of whiskey, throw it up in the air, and shoot it as it is coming down. The bullet blasts through the glass, shattering it, then rips through a bullseye on the paper.


You're too busy staring to miss or even shoot.


I nod and let her take point again.


Hit the stupid bullseye!

Roll #1 5 = 5


"And that is how it's done!"
Let out a laugh.


I'll nod.
"I'm a bit sorry I never got to know you better before you left, miss Stripes. Don't forget to say goodbye to miss Seas before you go? She'll miss you, I'm sure."
And I suppose I'll leave her to her packing. Next up… well, let's-
Wait, where has Mera been this whole time? With miss Spring and Summer, I hope! Let's go find her.


"Well, the ponies here are zealots. We can probably say our targets are heretics and have them help us."


I will be in the servant quarters of that same house this evening."

Now what was that last place Salamander told me to look in…


I sigh and lower the gun after missing again.


I grin.
"Nothing, its just that you remind me of someone. Apologies if I mistake you for a female but its just that your looks are extraordinary."


I then look at him.
"Also, what will you do with the snake? Keep it as a pet I take it?"


"Alright, I'll head over there now. Chip, would you like to come along, or do you want to show our new friends here where they can sign up?


The clinic is in slightly better shape, in that it's still kinda standing. You're not sure it's structurally sound, and it's a bit burned out. Better not hit a wall too hard.

She trots inside.


Yes, she is, over on the Seaworthy with those two.

"Maybe. Are you ready?"

Explorers' League, for Stanjez.

He blushes. "It's… alright. I get it. I mean, that's what I'm mostly hired for. To play female parts and the like, because they don't like real mares on stage."


"The head of the house want to eat it. The butler had none on hand so he sent me to get one. It would put the fine leader in a good mood."


Walk in after her.


Oh thank goodness. Since they're in good fins, I'll swing by Smitts' office. He's probably out on the town, but I can at least check.


Time to explore some legionnaires then.
Onwards, my clear-voiced compatriot!

Surely this was enough trouble for a while

Roll #1 5 = 5


"You mean escort them back to the ship? Perhaps I could do that but after that I'd like to explore Roads more and see how the place is. Perhaps check the docks too and their shipyard afterwards." I scrathced my head.

I stare at him.
"Eat a snake?"


This place looks pretty looted. It is surprisingly not too burned on the inside, but headed room to room you can see beds are missing, and you don't see any medical supplies like bandages. Yeah, this place was a prime spot for looters and survivors.

Rosemary heads into the back room.

The secretary informs you that he's down in the hold.

You hike to uptown where you locate the Explorers' League. It's a fairly impressive place, with a blend of old world marble and fine birch paneling.


"Want to do the talking?"


"Don't worry, did you see me though?"
Chuckle again.
"That's good enough, but you still need to practice."
Come on now.
Flutter over to Benjamin.


To be expected.



"And I assure you play the part very nicely." I grin.

Also follow their troupe.
"So Freisian told me you have plans to sign up?"


Probably taking stock of a few things. Down we go, and we'll see if he's too busy to hear me ramble a bit.


I'll ask Vox and the others for directions then, and head off towards the Law Office to check if they have snakes.


"Supposedly he is a snake eater."
Now this seems like a place I might appreciate.
Can I get in through the front?
"Indeed. Me and my cohorts are in dire need of a change of scenery."

Roll #1 8 = 8


"Er… perhaps you should."

She stops and starts panning around on the dust-covered floor.

He gives a weak smile. "Thank… you?"

He's down there overseeing the withdraw of crates of food.

The Central Bureaucracy is in uptown. You stop by and find it busy with legalists and interpreters.

Sure, you stroll on in. They get all kinds here, of course. And they're not affiliated with the government, anyway.

When I said they get all kinds, I meant it. You see all sorts here. Even a crystal pony or two. Knights in shining armor to pirate raiders, to even neighponese ninjas. It's like an adventurer's organization. You see a sign nearby:

The white zone is for immediate departure for quests to save the world only.

Adventurers with tragic backstories involving the death of their entire family or village should pick up their tax exemption 72-C form.


Cock my head and wonder what she's up to.


I just frown a bit at the thought.
"A change of scenery? Well it will be new in the first week on the sea, after that the next consecutive weeks can be tiring to anyone uninitiated to the sea since all the scenery they will see is the endless sea." I smile.

"But once the ship lands to a new port, that is where it will all pay off. A new land to explore aye?"



"Keeping busy, I see. Did you gather much from that seminar?"

She brushes off a big brick and extracts it, then gasps.

"It's gone! That means… he might still be alive!"


"This and that."
"Did you see what I did though? I hope you did!"


Hmm. He'd probably not be too keen on me interrupting him… though he might not be on the fleet for the rest of the time spent docked. Ah, what the hell. Go big or go home. I'll walk up to Smitts.
"Pardon me, Commodore, do you have a small moment?"


I follow her over.

"Hi there! Who are you?"


Let's look for a secretary or some other who can direct us where to go. Maybe there's a sign somewhere that has a map or guide on the place.


"Wait, I know someone who could help us."

Sneakily summon Id-

I might need your ability as a mind reader.


Do I see an info desk or similar method of inquiring about the residents?
"Lets just say that the current scenery is no longer hospitable to all of us."


"… Sorry?"


He chuckles. "I may be handy with a gun, but it's not quite my life. I'm more interested in the magical side. I notice you used wind magic there."

"Hm? Yes?"

He gives you a friendly nod. "Benjamin of Hamburgerburg, though most call me Old Ben."

You head up to the front where there is, indeed, a nucleus of secretaries. "Yes?"

I thought you were against that.

There is a front desk. There's a bit of a line, but now that you've pawned off your other work, you can afford to wait.

"Doctor Cutter. Remember, when we first met, you were here to see him, but then we left together?"


"Old Ben? Isn't there a clock named that? I heard that from a sailor once!"


"Ah, yes. Now that you mention it, I do."
I smile.
"How could I forget what you did?"


I raise an eyebrow.
"Ah I see, if thats the case then you are welcome to our fleet." I nod.


He chuckles, then gives you a serious look. "We don't talk about that."

"Right… I hope he is alright. I would feel a lot better if he's still alive…"


Then wait I shall.
Maybe spend the time getting to know these two better.
"So, Cast, did you choose to have that done to you?"
"What's your story then, big guy?"


"D- Don't talk about it?… Why?"
I gulp.


Extend my tongue cheekily.
"Damn, I got caught.
Yeah, that's what my mark stands for."
Fire shot at a target.
Make it burn!

Roll #1 4 + 2 = 6


"Pardon, an associate sent me here, he said you might have impounded some animals he would be interested in taking off your hooves and off your books. Do you know where I should got for those? I'm not terribly familiar with the structure of your bureaucracy here."


"Should we look for him then? It seems important to you."


"Commodore, there are quite a number of necromancers on this fleet, correct? And they are all quite capable at moving the life force of things. As you may recall, I had that living wooden armor once upon a time, and since it was rendered into little more than glorified charcoal, I was wondering if it were possible for one of the fleet necromancers to raise it, as they would a pony. Can that be done?"


Against using it on ponies that can kill us with a glare, yes.
But here it's safe enough.
I need to know who those

Point at the cloaked ponies

answer to, and what to say to get in their graces.


"Mostly a slugger and trader by chance, I'd loved travelling and the sea and is stuck with it ever since."


"Become a castrato, you mean? No, nopony chooses to become a eunuch. It is not uncommon in lower class families for the younger sons to be castrated to become performers in hopes that they will strike it rich. I'm one of those who did become rather successful. I'm fortunate, and get to live a life of luxury. Maybe if I knew the life I would get, I might have chosen it, but I still would have liked to make the choice myself."

He laughs. "I was just having a giggle with you, mate."

The room goes up in smoke as Emrille sets fire to it.

He raises an eyebrow. The target catches on fire, and soon the ship is engorged in flame as the alcohol-socked boards light rapidly. Smoke fills the room, and heat and death surrounds you.

As it reaches the cannons, there is a series of explosions as the gunpowder detonates and the weakened deck gives away under their weight.

"Impounded animals? Like what?"

"Yes… I think so."

He shakes his head. "You wouldn't have had any way of knowing this, but no one has ever managed to create a spell to raise flora from the grave. They are fundamentally different than we ponies: they don't have souls, or if they do, none like ours. They also are structurally different, down to the core, as you well know. It's a pity, but that is what makes the seed you showed me before so rare and valuable. It is the only known way to bring plants back from the grave. In fact, the information about how it functions – which I gave you earlier – was as a result of an inquiry into the idea of raising flora. It turned up no results, of course. The seed is, as I described, a reverse fungal growth that feeds life into a decayed plant. Thousands of years of masters have come and gone, and none have had any success with it, I'm afraid."

That seems like an abuse of power. I typically read minds for the purposes of eliminating barriers and promoting peace, not manipulating ponies.


I see. Then, you might not exactly like me. I am a villain. An enemy of many.
But would it be any help if I told you, those ponies are just blind haters of all the dark arts?


"Hmmm… we should find miss Felfire and mister Abilio first then. … What was under that stone in any case?"


"Not even you? You probably know the most about nature magic out of everyone in the entire fleet. Surely there have been attempts, at least, to replicate the powers of that plant through natural magic?"


"A serpent, preferably not a poisonous one, but I'll take one if there are no other options."


"Much as I expected. If you don't wish to dwell on it, I will not ask more."


I look at Cast.
"You're a… oh." I gulp


Perhaps. We will see. We need to get closer, though.

"Nothing at all, that's the point. Only he would've known where to look. It was his old stash. He kept his personal things there so they'd be safe while he was in surgery. We didn't have a safe for personal effects, you see."

"As I've said, for thousands of years ponies have attempted, and none have reaped success. I can say with certainty that to the extent of my knowledge – and with total sincerity – that nopony has ever been able to raise plants from the dead without one of those seeds."

She gives you an odd look. "What, is this a joke? Come to a law office to find a snake?"

He shrugs. "I don't mind talking about it. It's not as though I don't deal with it on a constant basis. It's not something I have to hide from, you know? It's actually the source of my fortune."

He nods. "A eunuch."


Nod and move closer to the group.

Can do now? Stay hidden in my shadow.



Roll #1 7 = 7


"Clever. Shall we?"
Let's find Felfire and Abilio then.



Roll #1 6 = 6


"An interestingly positive outlook. I appreciate it. To be honest I'm sure there are many new ways you could help me look at the world."


He shakes his shadowy head at you.

They're thinking about your approach pattern. Worried that you might be a threat to the innocent civilians inside. These do not seem to be the thoughts of the prejudiced and hateful.

You regroup with Abilio, who is appreciating a fine mural on the ground that has mostly escaped the fire.

"Poetic, is it not. Was Felfire with you?"

He nods. "I try to see the bright side."


"No, I came here to find out where you would impound them. A city of law like yours should have a place whee they are stored when they are taken from criminals and asorted ne'er do wells."


"Thats kind of… I dont know what to say." I look at him.


I'll think for a moment.
"No… pony. But you are no pony, commodore."


"You still feel with it though, right?
I'm trying to wrap my head around the mechanics here but it's somewhat hard to imagine."

How much more line is there?


This is good news. Thanks.

Approach them.
"We have grave news for you. Some of the ponies you are protecting are, in fact, spies for the Hunter."
Was this his name?


Look at the mural.
"I had thought she was with you. Hm. We are looking for somepony. A survivor."


"Why should we trust you? You probably work for the Hunter yourself."

Just a few more ponies. '1d3' rounds left.

"Yes. They didn't cut that off. Just the other part. The, uh… balls."

He chuckles, "Indeed I am not, a figure of speech. In any case, I see you've had some luck with your studies."

"Look, if you really want to find some snakes, you should try the sewers. They're teeming with rats, and that means that they're teeming with rat predators."

"Then… don't?"

"She split off. I figured she wanted to go find you. She might have headed over to the district that's still standing. That's where I'd look for survivors anyway."

Roll #1 2 = 2


I look at him.
"What are your plans? Will you go and find some snake first or do you want to see the ship?"

I nod.
"So are you with Vox and have plans to go and sign up with the ship crew?"


I nod.
"Very well."
Head off to that district then.
"Be on guard, everypony."


"I'll keep that as a last resort. Sorry fot aking up your time."

Let's head into the market area, if it's available. We can find the drinks that Movp likes and someone selling exotic animals there.


You find Felfire talking to the gate guards.

"I'm not sure. I think there was talk of a performance for your fleet?"

Are you sure? It's nearly noon.


Oh, I see, well, you can check for animal stalls first.


Roll #1 5 = 5


You locate a stall selling snakes.


Raise a brow.
"Do I look like someone working for the Hunter?"
"Ah, Light Heart. Perfect timing."


Approach them.
"Is something the matter?"


I'll nod.
"With some help from my sister, I've even managed to get a new mark. Though I was hoping you at least would have some alternative method to the resurrection of plants, so I wouldn't be forced to rely on that flower… It seems like too much of a waste to use it for my own gain."


Well shit.
Try not to get hurt in all that crap at least.

Roll #1 8 = 8


"Excuse me, how much for one of your more average sized, non-venomous serpents?"


"Cut… hrm.
So you are still capable of feeling the physical pleasure but simply lack the drive to seek it?"
"The snake thing should be handled now. Your friend Friesian went to take care of it as a part of our agreement.
As for our more immediate plans, we are here to find one Stanjez to see if he will join us.
Beyond that, I only have one last pony to track down before I am ready to call myself ready - an old comrade of mine by the name of Essan."


"I'm trying to tell this pony how we have information about spies from the Hunter infiltrating the civilians."


"Decent clothes. Not starving to death. Yeah, you do."

"Are you with this other outsider? She accuses the civilians we protect of being spies in our midst with no proof."

He shrugs. "It is what they were made for. Natures' bounty is here for us to enjoy. Why else would it be here? In any case, congratulations. Now, on that note, I have to ask – do you happen to have a timetable for leaving this fleet yet?"

What crap? You lit the target on fire but it went out.

"You look like a tourist. Let me guess, bits?"

"I… think so? I don't know if what I feel is the same as what you feel, because I was castrated before puberty. Did… the sensation feel the same for you before and after puberty?"


"Well, if you have plans to perform, I myself will see forward to it." I smile.

"Well since we are to be acquinted with each other in the long run, it will not be bad if I tag along aye?" I grin.
"Just tell me when to apply force or not, agree?"


"Correct, bits it is. Would that be a problem?"


… The Hunter? What is she even talking about? Best play along.
"I see. I assume he is being difficult?"

Nod at Rosemary.
"My companion here wishes to find a friend as well. Doctor Cutter."


"Perks of being smart."


"My leaving hinges on miss Seas and her mother leaving as well. Since I don't know what or who keeps them here, I cannot work to get them freedom to leave faster. In the meantime, I'm doing work as a menial crewmember to at least carry my weight and build up some funds. Perhaps whomever is insistent on their staying can be bought off… Though at the rate of my salary, it's not likely to happen any time soon."
I'll shake my head.
"Safe to say, I'm not likely leaving the fleet for a good while."


"No, I can do bits. Twenty five of 'em."


"Doctor Cutter is inside. He's treating the sick."

Rosemary perks up, "Really?"


"Roughly. I just learned to appreciate it more as time went on. Though my memory may be hazy. It wasn't exactly last year."
Smile from under my mustache.
Just how old is this lad anyway?
"Let us avoid unnecessary conflict if we can. I have reasons to not want attention drawn to myself."


I nod at this.
"Lead the way."


"Could we… enter, perhaps? Miss Rosemary here worked as a nurse in the nearby hospital."


"That seems a little much for me, perhaps there is one you'd prefer to part with for less? One that is getting on years."


"I've heard a lot of ponies describe looting and tearing bread from starving children 'smart' ways to survive. We're not barbarians in here."

"I'm not interested in keeping you here, Mister Curry. They are not here at my whim. In fact, I want them to leave. I can't imagine why they're still around."

Probably in his early twenties. He looks gorgeous. Seriously, easily mistaken for a model mare.

"If true, no problem. Mind waiting?"

He knocks on the door and a slit opens. "Yeah?"

"A Rosemary for Doctor Cutter."

"Right, be back soon."

The slit closes.

He kneads his brow. "You're killing me here. Listen… what's your price range?"


Groan as he leaves.
"Okay quick rundown.
We are here to kill a few specific ponies that might be hiding amongst the civilians.
I tried to lie my way in but it evidently didn't work. Sorry for that.


There are places an old soldier may want to go in life. Lets see what comes of this one.

Are we at the desk yet?


"Dreadful, what happened here…"

I nod ever so slightly.


"That is curious."
I'll rub my chin a moment.
"Though there's a reason miss Seas wants to stick around now. For some reason she's become attached to Emrille. I don't know what they did in Dixie, but ever since miss Seas has been practically obsessed with her."


"About 10, 15 bits. An acquaintance of mine asked for one, they never specified what. Maybe you have one you'd rather just have me take off your hooves?"


"And in case you are having some moral problems, don't worry.
They deserve what's coming for them."



The mare at the desk looks tired. She's a neighponese data analyst and speaks with a thick accent.

She smiles at you, however, and remarks, "Vox, this will probably be your first save. I'm going to make some hard copies of your codec data from this point forward, so you can review it if you ever need it later. Now, was there something you needed?"

"This is all that remains of Stonebriar City after a terrible raid and fire."

He shrugs. "Whatever it is, I'm tired of having civilians on my fleet. It's not profitable."

"Look… I could maybe do 18, but that's the best I can do."


"Excuse me?"


And alone.
It's hard to put spoiler tags every time.


Also, who said that?


"Does that include Landgrave and his odd mansion, Commodore?"


"Alright, alright. I'm sure neither of us wants to spend all day hagling like this. So which one do you have for that much?"


"Muh Ling? What are you doing here?
…or are you someone different who just looks the same?
Anyway. I'm looking for Stanjez."


"We heard as much, yes."


The guard you spoke to before.

"That is not technically on the ship. You'll notice they are good about staying off of the physical ship itself. Out of the way."

He pulls out a short black snake. It's not much, but it doesn't look old or sick or anything.

She winks at you and passes you a crystal. "If you ever need to call one of your friends that you don't have with you, or just want to save, you can use that. As for Stanjez, he's the one in the shiny armor with the sun on it, over in the corner."

The slit opens again. "Rosemary is fine. I don't know about these other outsiders."


I look at the neighpon.
"Hello there." Wink.


I thought he had left! You said the slit closed and he walked away!


"Seems fine, but I don't have to worry about being bitten, do I?"


"True enough, I suppose. And I'll take that as a hint to get out of your way, since you've likely got a lot more unloading to oversee."
I'll nod.
"I do so enjoy our chats, commodore."
And I'm off… back to the Commodore's room.


"We are friends of miss Rosemary who have been traveling together."


Place it against the bones of my ear so it can stimulate them directly.
"Thank you."
Move out of line and test it

#This is Vox
Come in Salamander


She smiles at you.

Let me clarify. There are two guards that remain at the door, and there was one behind the slit. Notice how the slit opened in that post, too?

I'll let it slide this time.

"It's a constrictor. No fangs."

He nods.

The secretary is here. "I told you he's in the cargo bay."

Rosemary nods at that. He scrutinizes you. "We'll be watching you. Closely."

You hear a weird, echo-y ring.

#Salamander here.
Sounds like you picked up your Codec Crystal, Vox.


Thaaaank you.
Especially because it was just silly, unneeded chitchat.
"We won't raise any hairs."


#I did. I've secured Iron and Canyon, am within sight of Stanjez, and got us passage to a fleet


"I know. He asked me to make certain the plant in his office was watered. Is there something I can use to water it?"


"I won't mind carrying something like this around. Thank you for your time."

Lift up the snake with telekinesis and give it a nice lookover. "Well, I guess we'll only get to know each other shorty, since you'll soon find yourself in a new home."

Let's find a stall that sells the sweet stuff Movp likes.


I just look at Vox for a bit before looking back at her.
"So how's your day? You look mighty find if you ask me."


"Thank you."

Wait for them to open up.


#Good. If you have any friends of your own that are trustworthy, that might be worth looking into, too. I'm nearly finished with my own mission. We'll reconvene in the servants' quarters this evening.

She smiles. "Nice of you to say! But it's busy, as you can see."

She gives you a look, the decides she doesn't care and shrugs. "Wouldn't he tell you where a can was if he had one and wanted you to water?"

The gate slides open. The road is mostly flanked with ragged looking members of the Order of the Virtuous that have are patrolling the streets. Up ahead, you see a hastily painted red cross symbol on a board nailed to the side of a house.

The ponies here look exhausted and a little starved, but they're clearly doing better here than out there.


"Doc, you think we should… Help some of them?"


#I intended to seek out Essan, just in case. I'm not sure how to reach him safely though.


"He was busy directing the crew to unload the cargo. He said you'd point it out, since you're his secretary."
I'll give her a a sideways glance.
"You… do know where it is, don't you?"


Lean in.
"Not to sabotage your personal mission, but I would very much appreciate it if miss Rosemary did not have to deal with more fighting today."


Any stalls selling sweet ales?


"When will you be not busy? Mind you and me hanging out together?" I give her the looks.

Roll #1 5 = 5


"We will be quiet."


"We didn't bring any food with us."

#Getting into the Varangian Guard chapter house may be difficult, but I doubt if you get inside you'll have any issues. Your discharge was by imperial mandate – I doubt any of your old friends in the guard believe you're guilty. Listen, if you get into trouble, keep an eye on your life gauge. The rate at which it refills is based on how full your stamina gauge is, so you might want to think about stopping for lunch before you try any frontal assaults.

"No. And I don't care."

Hm. There's a wine place up ahead. That seems like a good place to start. Or are you hold out for a gyro?

She laughs. "Maybe after the mission."


"You know, the sick and dead… Though I'm not sure how good it'd do them to raise their dead."
Look around. How is this place organized?


I'll roll my eyes.
"Alright, then. Mind if I look for it, then?"


Let's head off to that red cross tent then.

I finally get to meet the pony I was supposed to get!


Well, the store is just right there, and I was told to enjoy myself, so gyro time it is.

"Hello there chef, mind telling this traveler what's on the menu?"


#You sound just like your old mentor.
Speaking of lunch, I had a snake sent to the man of the house as a token of goodwill. His butler let me in on the fact that he is a snake eater.
I'll meet you back at base when this is all done.

Now lets go check on that praiser of the sun


I tilt my head.


The nucleus of command seems to come from two places. The medical center on one side, and the other, a ramshackle chapel.

She shrugs. "Whatever."

It's actually a house. A sign hammered to the side of a house.

Rosemary dashes inside. You walk in to see a charming scene, she's hugging Cutter, re-united at last.

"I was so worried about you, Doctor!"

"I thought you died. I didn't know if I could get by without my best nurse."

"Aw… but really… have you been here this whole time?"

"Treating those I can. Easing those I can't."

"We mostly trade in gyros and gyro accessories. Hence the name, 'The Gyro's Welcome'!"

#Right. Salamander out.

You take a look at him. He's standing off to the side, basking in the sun coming in from the window. As you approach him, he regards you.

"Ah, hello! You don't look weak, far from it. I am Stanjez of Artsyz. Now that I am a knight, I have come to this place, the heart of Trotantine power to seek great glory. Ha ha ha ha ha!"

"I'm here to help Vox! But really, you need to let the next pony in line come up!"


"Let's check out the medical center first, shall we?"
Go over there.
Do I have to roll?


Sit back and watch the exchange in silence.


"Thank you for your permission."
And I'll go into Smitts' room, and look for a watering can, or something similar. '1d10'
While doing so, I'll chat with the plant.
"Good day, there."

Roll #1 3 = 3


Do I remember a certain someone from my history studies who resembles this strange sun horse?
"I hear you may be in search of a new direction in life. A chance to see new places under a new banner."

Roll #1 3 = 3


"Oh! Sorry." I step out of the line and let the other pass through.


"Well, why you don't serve me a vegetarian one, I've got some time and the best way to take in a new city is to experience it's food."


Not at all. You step in and see Rosemary hugging a doctor pone.

The doctor acknowledges you. "Oh? Who's this?"

"I've been traveling with her. She helped me get out of the city when everything went… bad."

"Oh, I see. I owe her a great deal for bringing you back to me."

Day and night is meaningless when your room has no windows.

No luck on finding a can, either.

He's clan in armor, you can't see his face.

He chuckles. "I'm sorry. Did you find that introduction strange? No need to hide your reaction. I get those kinds of looks all the time. Tell you what, I have a proposition for you.

[Yes] [No]"

The other ponies step up to speak to her.

"Sure, sure! Whaddya want on it?"


How tender.
"See them?"



"Amusingly enough, I merely met miss Rosemary because I needed to see you on that faithful day, doctor. It is good to see you survived, however."


Is this the same plant?
"True enough. Have you been watered recently?"




"I know they had to have meat in them, but how about some mushrooms in the sauce instead? Obviously, a little lettuce and onion for the rest. Just a little of that sauce you have, I want to try every piece of them."


"Not here. Maybe we could find some records of who is in town, or ask around?"

"So I didn't scare you! The way I see it, our fates appear to be intertwined. In a land brimming with infidels, why not help each other on this lonely journey?

[Yes] [No]"

It is.


"Oh? Then I'll bet you've set a record for waiting time in my office. Does it still ail you, or have you keeled over dead yet?"

Rosemary suppresses a girlish giggle.

"Yeah, I can do that. No problem. Two bits. Real cheap!"



"Seems reasonable, and I've already haggled myself out."


"Thank you for the hint about the stone thoughts, by the way. It was very helpful."
I'll scratch my chin a little, and then move up next to the plant.
"Level with me here. Does Smitts know how to raise plants from the dead?"


"I still have no idea what they look like or even how many of them there is."


I chuckle as well.
"It is cardiac dysrythmia, so I'm afraid it does. Miss Rosemary here saved my life several times already. A most capable nurse indeed."


Attend back to Vox.
"So hows your end?"


"Just one more stop to make after this - the Varangian Guard chapter house. Then I am free until the night."


"This pleases me greatly! We are amidst strange ponies in a strange land. Together we will cross the gaps of this land and engage in jolly cooperation. Take this. I will stay behind for, and gaze at the sun. The sun is a wondrous body, and so grossly incandescent. Contact me when you require my aid. Perhaps if these charts interest you, we can set out for adventure there, as well."

Got: Sea Charts

He toasts you up a fresh gyro. It's got a little of everything. It may not have much meat, but if you like pepper? Fuggedabowdit!"

What an odd question. Why would I answer anything you want to know at all?

"Three, remember? Maybe less now. I know their faces and now their names"

"How terrible. I'm afraid I can't do much for you long term for that."


"Say, what places would you recommend to a tourist short on time?"

Munch, munch.


I nod at this.
I told Freasian to escort you to the ships if you are having trouble finding it thats why I'm here."
I then stop and think.
"Varangian guard chapter house?"


"But I don't. What should we even ask about?
Races? Any special trait?
When they came here to Stonebriar in the first place, what's their job-
What was their job.


I nod.
"As I am aware. It has not stopped me from making it a life goal to fix it, however."
Look around the room.
"Seems like things are very dire here."


"A good question. And it would be to save us both time, and a bit of displeasure. You see, there's one way I can find out, though it involves you having an unfortunate accident. If you'd like to remain potted and whole, it would just be easier to tell me."
I'll shrug.
"Of course, if you don't answer it, and I do go through with the plan, then I'll have my answer regardless if you show up again, all in one piece. I've nothing against you, personally, and in fact find you a rather charming plant, so I would be loathe to do something we both will regret."


"You can't skip the Apollo Theater. There's a play about Nemesis on today through Friday."

"I am not sure how to describe the job other than researcher, but all three were unicorns."

He nods. "Things are getting better, though. Even a few weeks ago I could have never stopped for a full conversation!"

Unless he kills you.


"I got a friend there. Thought I'd ask him if he needed some fresh air too."
"If you want adventure, seek me out tonight at the leader's house servant quarters. There, we can engage in your jovial cooperations."

Now, is there anything more to be done here, or should I go seek out something to eat?
Perhaps return to base and see if this Friesian fellow got my snake.


"That is good to hear. It is a shame you are so busy, or I would have invited you to come with us."
I chuckle.


"A bit of antiquity, my favorite. Delicious, my fine chef. I hope you have a good day, but I must now return to mine."

Time to head into that wine store and see what they have.


"Let's start looking then."
Approach the doc.
"So how did you all manage to create this…"
Wave around.


"Well, yes, that's more than equally possible. But there is a plant I must revive, and if Smitts knows how to raise it, he's playing coy. I know it's wise not to show one's entire hoof, but his dancing around the issue is giving me the impression that I'm not worth the time to teach. So I must use alternative methods. Asking you seemed the most direct, next to pestering Smitts himself."
I'll sit next to the plant.
"So, if you would please answer the question truthfully, I will be out and away in moments, and we can forget this entire thing happened."


"More people to get for the band eh? Alright lets go."
"By the way, is that lady clerk right there your friend too?"


"She might be a mare I met on a mission in Neighpon once.
Or not.
They all look the same to me."

Lets go take a cursory glance at the chapter house to see what we're up against.
#Salamander, what can you tell me about the Chapter House security?


To the Mother Base, then?

"Right, right. I'm hopeful. We're nearly back on our feet already, and with Rosemary back home, things will go much faster."

You head in and find a selection of fruity wines. These are truly exotic. Grapefruit and dragonfruit?

"This is actually just the lower class district. It's slightly set apart from the rest of the city, so it didn't burn in the fire."

Why did you open with a murder threat?

#Interior security shouldn't be a problem, Vox. Like I said, it should still be full of your old buddies from the Varangians. The front entrance is probably a non-option, though. Imperial Guards are watching the place for you. You should be careful, they will expect disguises.


Time to fall back to Mother Base then.
I will make a better plan later.

Step one: find the butler, ask if the snake was delivered.


"But how did you manage to organize it? The supplies, the food distribution, the housing assignments…"


Ask one of the employees there for help.

"Excuse me, but I was looking for some sweeter drinks for a very important friend of mine, what can you tell me about these two beverages here."


"I'm… afraid we cannot stay for long, doctor. I have duties to attend to elsewhere, and our way of transport will be gone in a few hours time."


I'll sigh, and frown a little.
"I… I don't know, really. Perhaps I'm getting more influenced by the fleet than I'd thought. Maybe it's Emrille's bad nature rubbing off on me. I am sorry, though. For what it's worth, I wouldn't have gone through with the threat."
I'll frown a little deeper.
"I was raised better than to be some common thug… though I fear I might be turning into one."


"We owe quite a bit to the Order of the Virtuous. The guards you see around here are from an order that is dedicated to protecting the poor from corrupt nobles."

You get back there.

"Ah, do you have the snake? We really need to get cooking now if it's to be ready by lunch time. Ideally it would have been here before, but I think we can still make it."

"Well, are you familiar with Dixie Barleywine?"

He looks confused. "Rosemary is leaving with you?"

She looks a little distressed.

"But… this is her home."

Mmm. Fine. Smitts has perfected some kind of revival. I don't know if 'raising the dead' is a literal translation. Plants and meat are different.


"Sorry, I was there for only a brief stop over, nexer got the chance. What's it like?"


"So their military leaders set all this up, once shit came down?"


"I sent someone to bring it to you. It seems my trust in their abilities to be punctual was misplaced. My apologies.
If time still permits, and you can tell me where to get one, I can still try myself."


Look at Rosemary.
"… Unless she wishes to stay behind?"


"So Smitts has said. Is it similar to what the Nature's Bounty flower does?"
I'll think a moment.
"Or was it called Nature's gift? I can never remember. But it's the flower that brings new life to dead soil and plants."


"It's fine. We weren't counting on having one anyway. Really, it would have to be right now, by the time you could get to market and back, it would be too late to cook it."

"Unfortunately, their religious leader, Provost Seed Sower, was lost in the attack."

"Very sweet. Barleywine as you probably know is not a true wine, but instead a grain alcohol. That's not totally true in Dixie where they add fermented grapes and sugar cane as well. This creates a highly sweet flavor."

She looks very torn.

You should ask him.


"A shame, I imagine.
Was the body ever retrieved?"


So, as I said.
Well, shit.
Try to dodge any falling debris/the fire


"I see."

follow him.

All the while talking to cast Iron
"Cast iron is it? Why the name? It really doesnt sound too feminine."




"Hrm. Well. Perhaps he can enjoy it as a mid day snack.
Again, my apologies for failing by entrusting others with tasks I should have done myself.
If there is anything else I can do to earn a place at the table for lunch, I would be glad to see it done. Properly, this time."


Take her hoof and look her in the eyes.
"You should… listen to your heart, miss Rosemary. I understand you must be utterly torn… I was too when we had to leave Dixie. Leaving what little remained of my former life behind again after losing most of it before was… very hard. That said, it is your choice."


"I did. He said that nopony has managed to make a spell to bring dead plants back to life. When I mentioned that he said no pony, he claimed it was a figure of speech. That's what made me suspicious and why I came to ask you. You're around him most of the day, so you'd have been bound to see something like that happen…"
I'll think for a minute.
"Maybe I'm going about this the wrong way. Maybe I should try talking to that flower, and see if it can't shed any light on the problem. If Smitts won't teach me, then I'll just have to learn on my own."
Getting up, I'll nod to the flower.
"I'm sorry for the bad start, and hope you grow well and long."
I'll cough slightly.
"I'd also appreciate it if this chat doesn't reach Smitts' ears, but I know that that's likely an impossible request."


"I'm not sure, they may be able to tell you."

Weirdly, in spite of actual explosions and collapsing cannons, by the time the room is clear of smoke, there's no trace of fire. The deck seems unharmed, if a bit black.


Anyway, the regulars of the ship have a good laugh about it and go about their business.

"It's not supposed to. I'm a stallion – or, a gelding, technically, I just play a mare on stage. Everyone in the audience knows I'm a stallion – that's the whole point."

"Don't stress too much about it. Actually, if you really want to impress the mater of the house, there are these famous twin snakes that live in the nearby sewers. They're albinos, and real nasty ones. The guard keeps trying to smoke them out, because at night they'll creep up and bite ponies. If you could gut them, they'd be more than just a meal: their fangs would be trophies."

Hm. The snake eater wants those twin snakes.

She closes her eyes for a time and thinks, and finally says, "No… I am happy with my new life. I want to see the world. Stonebriar can recover without me."

Cutter seems a bit disappointed, but acknowledges her decision.



"Where's their… HQ?"


Blink and stare.
"I… what?! But didn't everything just?"
Look at Benjamin.
"You saw that too, right?"


I'll sigh.
"Before I go, is there anything I can do for you? My excuse for coming in here was watering you, but since you've already been watered…"


Better than wanting a bite of my naked snake
"Sewer duty, huh.
How pleasant. Where can I get down there?"


I smile at her, then turn to look at the doctor.
"Sorry doctor. Perhaps there is a different way for us to help before we leave?"


"Well you fooled me for an instance thats for sure." I smile.
"Why not adopt a mare's name?"


"I have a plan."


Glance at her momentarily.


Summer is the only other one that seems bewildered.

He nods. "Yeah, we noticed that tendency too. Neat, huh?"

"I forget what they call it. A basilica or something. Anyway, its that big cathedral made out of all different kinds of wood with the stained glass. Really, can't miss it."

There's no sun down here, and no way to put in a window. I don't suppose you can think of a way to get any sun in here, do you?

"There's a grate outside the quarters. It may not sound like prestigious work now, but you're sure to impress if you're successful."

He shrugs. "The worst is passed now. Although… Rosemary, you never actually got your certification, did you? You were close, but I never signed off on it."

She slowly nods.

"Well, if you cared for a patient with arrhythmia for this long, I think that warrants your remaining number of hours of care. Here…"

He digs through his effects and pulls out a certificate that has already been filled out except for the last line. He signs it.

"There… congratulations, doctor Rosemary."

She hugs him, and begins to cry hysterically as he pats her on the back.

He raises a brow. "You don't understand. In my culture, mares aren't allowed to perform on stage, but they need ponies that can convincingly act as mares in plays, and hit the beautiful high notes that only mares can. So as a stallion I am allowed to perform and fill those roles."


Glance at him.
"But how? Not that I'm not glad that I didn't actually burn down a ship, but what just happened?"


"If I may be so bold, can I at least get a bath and my clothes washed for this, regardless of outcome?"


That's… wow.
I smile slightly and just wait for her to calm down.


"Well… it may not be as good as the real thing, but maybe this will do until I can figure something out."
And I'll become Sunny for the plant.


"Oh, yeah, we noticed it weeks ago when we were playing with cannons. You know I'm not sure what it takes to damage this tub to the point where it won't fix itself. It just seems to be a bit lazy about self-repairing really minor problems like cracks or anything to do with sails. Also it eats crap. I mean that literally."

"Of course. In fact… we'll get you some different clothes. Burn those when you're done."

She finally finishes hugging him and lets go.

"Cutter… I'll miss you…"

He smiles weakly. "Me too, but I understand that you have to go."

Mmm… feels… warm.


Nod and leave.
Once in the middle of the road, turn to Doc.
"Okay, I have a half baked plan.
We tell them that we will bring their messiah back if they give us those ponies, or info about them. Sounds good?


I'll sit with the plant for a moment, shining like the tiny sun I might look like.
I'm going to have to come up with a moonlight version of this. Some plants prefer that to the sun.


Do I remember how to send letters from and to the fleet?
"Perhaps once things have been organized again, the two of you could still write each other."


"Alright, I think I can grasp it now, its all just too new for me. Back where I came from there is a variety of street performers from all different race and gender."


"How encouraging.
I will be back… shortly."

#Salamander, I may need you down in the sewers. I need to track and kill a… Twin Snake.


I blink.
"Okay, I was with you until the self repair magic, but I think you lost me there.
Why would the ship do that?"


"What if they don't have the body?"

I'm sure Skylight would be very proud to see you as the little sun you are.

You know how to send internal mail. You never sent those letters to Dixie.

He nods. "It's just a different culture."

#Alright. I'm almost done here. I'll meet you at the sewer entrance when I'm done. I've been able to get some guns from some Trotantine nationalists. These guns of patriots will definitely be useful.

He shrugs. "I dunno, but it makes for a good story."


But I did! I specifically said so!


"I'm not sure I want to know how you found that out."


"Then we go with plan C.
The mind reader."
Enter the basilica.


I'm sure she would. Once the form wears off, I'll bid the plant farewell, and then head back to our room on the Sirocco. I've got to talk to a plant.


Back to Cast and Chip then
"You two.
I have been asked to go down into the sewers to take down some kind of mutant albino snake. There is a reward involved."


I look at him.
"Is it really important? I am just here to escort you two to the ships you know."


Did you? I'll check later.

Anyway you don't have a quartermaster to hand these off to at your location.

"Most ships just empty chamberpots into the ocean, but this ship has an actual relief room. So we thought: no way it's just emptying into a room or something down there, that would be terrible. We searched up and down the side of the ship to see if there was a chute, but of course there wasn't. Anyway, we ended up smashing a hole in the wall to determine what it was doing with all the waste."

"Mind reader?"

You head inside. Many ponies are sitting here at benches, praying.

You head back over to the room.

You reunite with them.

"I was just joking about the sewers before! I really don't want to go down there."

"I was just answering your questions, that's all."


Smile slightly.
"A friend of mine."
Head for the altar and go to whoever looks the most pampered up.
"I need to speak to an officer of your church."


"That's fine. I have another who is willing."


"We still have some time before we leave, should I leave you two be for now?"


"And it was doing what exactly? Making it disappear?"


Whoops talking to Voxam



"Your call my friend. But this is something I feel I should do.
As it stands I have all too few friends here, and every favor I can earn from someone is worth much to me."


"Good timing! She'll be here any minute. Have a seat, she is very kind, I'm sure she'll be willing to talk to you."

He sighs in relief. "Thank you."

She smiles. "Thanks."

"Yeah, well, mostly. It absorbs most of it, seems like. They make one of the poor menial workers scrape out what it doesn't take at the end of the week. We didn't do a very scientific study. After we figured that out, we were plenty sated."


Take a seat, then.


I shrug.
"If I cant stop you then I'm in, where too?"


Start walking out, but stop and turn around.
"Is there is anything else you would like to see or find?"


I shiver.
"Fucking hell… I think I remember this is a ship with 'ancient traditions' of whatnot… if it can repair itself and all that freaky shit, how old do you think this ship actually is?"


We in Roads?


"There is an entrance to the sewers out back.
Though as I understood, this thing may be dangerous."


"Just the two of us wont be enough you know if thats the case."


"I have a third guy en route. But if you can get us more backup, that may help. It will also win us the favor of the leader of this place."


She shakes her head. "I think I'll just catch up with Cutter for a while."

They begin to sing a hymn. Whatever is coming, you sense it is about to arrive.

He shrugs. "I never thought to date it. Maybe you should ask Burnside."

Yes ma'am.

Your honey nearly burned down a ship.


As if on queue, Salamander descends a rope ladder hastily thrown over the side of a wall.

"It's showtime."


Let me guess.
Emanating 1.21 gigajesus of holy energy?


"Salamander, Chip."
"Chip, Salamander."


Let's look around town a little. Where is Felfire gone to?

Roll #1 5 = 5


I think for awhile.
"Most of my guys wont work if they dont know who they are working to whom. If you've signed up with us they will work without question since you're one of us but as for now, it is doubtful I can recruit them, without pay of course."


Stupid bint. Find her.


"Salamander. The third man." I nod.




He nods. "Let's go."


Punished Salamander
Gender: Male
Race: Earth Pone
Class: Foxiest of Hounds
Skills: Homing Magic, Elementalist - Fire
Special Talent: Guns +1
Hits/Wounds: 3/5
Character Traits: A half-blinded (missing one eye) pony you "liberated" from prison.

You locate her on the range of the Seaworthy. You learned in the last two weeks that she was reassigned here to be a full officer.

Light Heart regroups with Felfire in the church. As the hymn finishes, the room fills with blinding light. When you open your eyes, standing before you at the altar is none other than

Celestia, God-Princess of the Sun



Yeah, good for her. Finally achieving something in her life.
"Emmy, what's up? The fuck are you doing in here?"


"Burnside of Hamburgerburg. Our historian. He's good at dating things – and not just mares."


Blink a few times.
Dismiss every shadow I have.
Is she…
Really that one?
I mean, I should know.
I saw that light already.

Roll #1 7 = 7


Blink a few times in surprise.


DM will sleep, does this mean I'm stuck?


I chuckle.
"Heh, I should drop by to visit him then."

Ooh, and hey, check this out!"
Shoot a Fire Bullet at a fuse of one of the loaded canons

Roll #1 1 + 2 = 3


"Gather any who wish to take part. If you want a more official briefing, ask the butler inside. I'm sure he can explain things better.
Salamander and me will do some prepwork."


She's the real deal, alright.

"My loyal followers! Long have you suffered, but with each day, you grow in strength. Know that I have not abandoned you, and will continue to protect you! Even now, more supplies are on their way. You must keep strong, and soon, Stonebriar will be restored to its former glory!"

The ponies here cheer and shout exclamations of devotion. One pony hobbles forward, missing limbs, and begs for healing.

The alicorn's horn glows, and in an instant, new legs sprout.

"I must go now to the most distant parts of the principality to aid my other suffering subjects. Keep the faith!"

With another flourish of light, she's gone.

You may simply return to the ship if he sleeps and rejoin him next time.

You miss and shoot Tela in the stomach with a fire-y bullet. She goes up in fire as the bullet breaks against a bone and gets lodged deep inside her body.


I wince.
Look for water!

Roll #1 6 = 6


Okay. Stay silent for a while.
A bit.
A minute or two.
Sneakily summon Fervored.

S-she was here!


"Sounds like a plan, I'll try to see if Freisian will help us after he found the snake. As for the others I am not sure if they will help a non-crew member but we will see."

Head out and find Freisian

Roll #1 6 = 6


And impressive in a way, that will make for a good story.
Is the crowd dispersing now that she's gone?



Roll #1 3 = 3


You locate a bucket of water nearby.


You locate Friesian in the market.

The rolling only hurts your shattered bones more.

About half and half. The other half are throwing themselves at the feet of the altar.


Put Tela out with the bucket of water!
"Stop moving around!"


You pour seawater all over Tela. It puts her out, but now her bullethole stings more.


You knew?

Slowly back down and regroup with Doc and Light Heart.
"This sends that opportunity out of the window.
See them here, Doc?


Anyone got a medic already?!
Kneel down beside her.
"Shit, Tela, I'm so fucking sorry, that wasn't on purpose!"


I rub the bridge of my nose and sigh softly.

"What is this all about?"


"The apparison of fire and light that just went away?
Doing 'good' I suppose. I'm asking!"


Grit my teeth and curl up slightly.
"What the FUCK, Emmy!?"


If Knight is not here….
Lets go back and locate Cast Iron. Perhaps I can escort him back to the ship.


We have a shadow bond. I could feel your heart swell with anticipation.

"I was able to get a hold of the town annals. Only one of them ever checked in, but they left town. The other two probably died in the fire."

After several minutes of waiting someone finally drags down a dazed looking nurse.

"Yes…? Is something wrong…?"

She's pretty cute, you have to admit, but looks like an airhead. A unicorn, of course.


You try to do that, but you're halted on the way by the Port Authority.

"Are you Chip of Novdogod?"


"I told you, it wasn't on purpose, my wing slipped!"

No time for sexy thoughts now!
"Don't just stand there, she needs help with healing!"


She gives a mostly blank look.

"What seems to be the problem?"


"She hurt her pony pedi, what do you think? The fucking bullethole in her chest is the problem!"


"Oh… just a bullethole or is there a bullet involved, too?"


"Goddamn you!"

"The fuck do you think!? I'm bleeding here!"



Take a deep breath.

It was majestic.

"Left how long ago?"


"YES, there was a bullet involved, now treat her already!"

"Shut up, I'll make up for it!"


"You best start running!"


"It was an accident, now stay fucking put!"


"I'll accidentally bloody your nose!"


"Stop cussing or I'll leave that hole in you! We can talk this over in my room!"


I felt.

She frowns. "It's more complicated. I have to extract the bullet or else the lead poisoning will kill her."

She floats over a bottle of alcohol.

"Drink this."

She uncorks it and stuffs it in your mouth. It's extremely high proof alcohol, and it hits you immediately.

She then begins using telekinesis to pull chunks of bullet out of your torso as you remain conscious. Hopefully this alcohol won't leave you that way long.


How long ago?


"Be careful with her!"


"They don't have great records."


"Ffffffug'n… c'nt…"


She blinks at you. "I wasn't the one who shot her."


I look at them.
Do they look like they are going to arrest me? Any handcuffs visible etc etc?

Roll #1 4 = 4


After extracting all six pieces of the bullet, she starts rearranging bone fragments so they line up, then fusing them back with the bone.

You can't get a read on them.


Roll my eyes and snarl at her.


"I am, whats the meaning of this?" I look at them.


How much do I actually feel?

Roll #1 1 = 1


Turn to Happy Puzzle and Onik.
"Have either of you ever seen Celestia before?"


"Nothing else we can use, there?"


HP cheerily says, "Nope!"

Onik adds neutrally. "No. I am glad I came. It would have been a shame to miss that."


You can't describe the pain, so you just convulse miserably.

Finally, she minds the muscle and flesh, and wanders off as you hack up large quantities of alcohol and blood.

"Not as far as I know."

"A letter has come in from Novdogod for you."

They hand you a letter and depart.


Well, thank her on my behalf.


"Hmmm… " I scratched my chin. I find a nice place to sit on, perhaps one with a shade. I then open the letter and read it.


I look at Tela with concern.
"Come on, let's get you to bed or something."
Help her up!


"It certainly was unexpected."
Guess there's not much left for me to do until Felfire figures out her thing.


"We should ask around."
"Light Heart, mind helping me on this next part?"


Well I probably feel fan-fucking-tastic right now.
Try to get back on my hooves, I'm a fucking iron pony dammit!

Roll #1 7 = 7


"Of course not. What do you require?"


"Looking for any information we can get on a stallion that came to town recently. A unicorn.
He's already left."


"I see. Any more information than that? Because that is rather limited."


Turn to Doc expectingly.


It's rare for her to leave the palace. Unsafe. There can be enemies about.


Your father Block passed away recently. You may recall that he was a world famous archeologist. He was secretly researching a powerful artifact for our dogs in Roads. You are his natural successor. The serene republic expects you to pick up where he left off. Go retrieve your father's journal at the following address. Do not disappoint us, Chip.

455 Winding Boulevard


Vladimir Shirz
Vladimir Shirz, Minister of Information

Roll for that. Come on, helping up is a basic rule.

You pull yourself to your feet.


"His name was Weatherford."


"Anything more? His colors perhaps?"


She stood up just fine it seems.
Be calm now.."


I look at the letter a bit disgusted, just contacting me when he was already dead…. Heck how are they able to find me in the first place.

Fold the paper and put it inside my bag. Now lets go around and find this 455 Winding boulevard.


Yet she still does.

"Yeah, that might be useful to know."


Give her a death glare, but don't attack.
"That really, really fucking hurt."


"I know, I told you, it was a fucking accident, y'know I'd never shoot you on purpose!
Hey, how about we go to town and I treat you for something nice for this fuck-up, huh?"
How much money do I have now?


Wipe the alcohol and blood off of my mouth in disgust.
"Would you believe I'm not hungry right now?"


"He was… blue. Green eyes. Dark blue mane."

You head over to the address. Just as you're about to arrive at the house, you'll pulled into an alleyway with a bunch of diamond dogs lurking in it.

"I suppose you're here for the journal, eh? Well I'm glad to be rid of it. It's cost me my fortune, my luck, my happiness, and half of my fingers."

He shoves a parcel in your hand, then you feel someone hit you from behind over the head with a blunt object. When you come to a little later, your groan about how all this cloak and dagger nonsense gives you a headache.

2 doubloons


"Anything you see and fancy, it doesn't have to be food!"

Shit, that's not too much


"Very well, that should be enough."


"We should start looking with the guards responsible of keeping watch on the town's gate."


Ugghh fuck. How could I have fallen for it. I should have told someone where I have gone.

God where am I? Can I stand up?


I sigh.
"Just fucking… nevermind. At least I didn't die."


"Yes, an excellent idea indeed."


"Come on, let's just go to town, please?
Y'know I wouldn't hurt you on purpose!"
Cautiously nuzzle her neck


"Yeah, sure fine. Let's go."
I wobble my way out of here.


"I'm afraid they might not like me."


Right. Fish out that flower. It's time for a chat, if it's capable of being talked to.


I smile.
"Leave it to me then."


To the others there.
"Sorry for the scene.
Take that as a lesson for trigger discipline, the lot of you!"
Follow Tela.
Wrap my tail around hers.
"You're not going to stay too mad at me forever, right?"


"The hell are you talking about?"
I grunt and stagger for a moment.
"… I'm too broken to even bother being mad right now."


"C'mon, at least that dumb nurse was quick to arrive!
I'll make up for it, don't worry!"


"Can you please just shut the fuck up about it already? I said I'm fine."


"Sure thing, master."
Bow slightly with a smirk and then be off to the place with the thing.


Let's go see those gate guards from earlier.


"Of course you are, iron pony…
So, what should we check out in town?"


I shrug.
"I dunno, never been here. Don't know what there is to see."


"I haven't been here either."
Let's wander into town. And keep holding Tela's tail with mine.


You pull yourself to your feet and drag yourself out of the alleyway. Well… it looks like you ended up in the same place you left off. Nothing has been taken. Hm… well, better check out that journal.

You fish out that flower from your stuff.

You go find those gate guardians.

"Wasn't your entry conditional on sticking with Rosemary? Why are you wandering around on your own?"


Friesian: >>477321
Seekkill: >>476520


I fly over the city and take in the sights.


"He might have one from our stop over there, what was the other option available? Anything local?"


"Let's have a little chat, you and I. First things first, can you talk back to me?"


The city is tiered, each level higher than the last one. In an assault scenario, it would be a nightmare: gunshots would rain down on invading troops for miles as they snake their way up to the top of the city. Each district is more opulent the last as you proceed vertically. The most mundane is the wharf district down at the bottom, relatively poor, but up at the top, great palaces and structures stand. You think you see a faint shimmering in the distance.

Gliding over the wharf district you notice entrances to the sewers. No doubt they're crawling with edibles. The streets are also crawling with edibles, packed crowds everywhere – street vendors, too, trying to peddle cheap food and goods.

As far as you can make out, you'd split the city into four parts. The lowest tier, the wharf district, houses the poor and working classes, but is full of the bustle of business as the marketplace roars. The next tier is home to the service industry and the middle class – great performance halls and institutes for higher learning are here. The third tier, near the top, has mostly guards about and is quite green with plenty of plantlife. You see small mansions where the rich must dwell. The highest tier is beyond even greater walls than the outside of the city. The palace district for nobles and royals only.

"Ah, that is Neighponese Fire Wine. A little spicy, but you wouldn't even know it's alcohol. We do have some local brews, but neither of those two you're looking at is local."



"Good. I was afraid that you wouldn't be able to unless you took root in something, and by then it'd be too late."
I'll look at the flower a moment.
"I'd like to ask you… how do you revive plants? There is one I must bring back to life, but I feel that if I used you, I would be squandering your potential…"


I fly closer and try to get a look at the faint shimmering.

Roll #1 4 + 3 = 7


Like a rainbow, no matter how you fly, you never seem to get closer to it. Still, you finally determine that it is a shimmering mist like layer that has set in over the palace district. No one there seems to notice – or at least they don't care.

There's no response. Perception check.



Roll #1 6 = 6


"We just stopped at Dixie, so , so he might already have one. If the Neighponese one has a bit of sweetness, I'll go ahead and take that one if the local options aren't so sweet. It is for a friend."


I fly up closer to the mist, but don't touch it.


You're not sure what, but that one word response was totally unlike any other time you've ever spoken to a plant. You are filled with a faint feeling of loss, wishing you knew more about plants to be able to determine more.

Like no matter how close you fly, it seems to shift about so that you can't get closer to it.

A guard patrols by and starts yelling at you to go back down to the lower districts. You do notice something odd before you are shooed away, though: there's a large cathedral here in the palace district with a skull symbol on it. Hm.

"You've come quite some ways if that's the case. Very well, would you like an entire bottle?"


"That would be preferable. I'd hate to be an inconvenience and have you open it. While you ring this up, what can you tell me about this area. What would you recommend as a good place to visit besides the Atrium the Gyro dealer mentioned."


That fungal tome, maybe it's got something on this?
Check the tome! '1d10'

Roll #1 10 = 10


I fly back down to the warf and start looking for places that are both hard to get away from on hoof and away from the crowds.

Roll #1 5 = 5



Look at it and check it out inside my bag of holding. Are they able to take it?


You flip to the page about Nature's Gift. All of it seems pretty normal, but then you notice two pages are stuck together. The next two pages are just about some mundane fungus, but it looks like whoever owned this book before you left a note inside!

Sister Cloudflare returns from visit to Supreme Steward. In rare exception, he answers a question. Cloudflare believes, based on answer, that the flower Nature's Gift contains a small fragment of Mother Nature's immortal divine soul, which demonstrates why previous attempts to speak to the flower have been impossible. Mother Nature speaks to no more than three or perhaps four in a generation.

"I'd recommend Mount Hero. It's a little bluff out on the west side of the island where all the great historical figures of Trotantium are immortalized in stone."

There are a lot of alleys, but they are pretty narrow for your wingspan, meaning they'd be hard for you to follow in as well.

Perhaps elsewhere on the island, outside city limits would be a better option.

Nothing was stolen from your bag of holding.

The journal is in the unmistakeable penmanship of your father. It speaks of an ancient tomb out in the countryside of the island that has a great sun map reputed to point to the location of a powerful artifact. To work the sun map, though, one would need the legendary Staff of Dal, which has been split up into pieces.

He had the easiest time finding the Shaft of Dal, which is currently on display in the museum called Panama – the museum that is lost and can only be found by the extremely perceptive. Supposedly there is a pirate gang in Roads that may know more, known as the Mad Hatters. He has a note scrawled to the side:

#Password: Swordfish

The Gem of Dal supposedly fell into the possession of a very rich member of the upperclass, Lord Startlemonger. Your father was denied an audience with him, but perhaps you'll have better luck.

Finally, the Headpiece of Dal was said to be lost to the wilds outside the city. Your father picked up clues pointing to it falling into the hands of the pygmy ponies that lurk in the ruined city of C'j – the ruins of which are on this very island.


I fly around and get the lay of the land outside the city walls.


There's more to this island than the great city of Roads, not unlike the island that Reptil sat on. In the distance, you see a bluff with gray flecks that you can't make out from here. In the valley, you think you see some ruins. On the far side of the island, you think you see a small village.


"Oh, even more antiquities. I may be an old mercenary, but I haven't forgotten some of my simpler pleasures. Thank you for your time and the alcohol."

"By the way, before I forget, there's a particular address I need to get to." Ask her about the location that Voxam gave to me. I have an address, but I don't know where exactly it is.


He gives you directions to a great mansion on the third tier of the city.


I'll consider the weight of that for a moment, then look at the flower.
"You are a rather special flower, aren't you?"
Closing the book, I'll consider my options.
"…alright. I won't press you for the answer that I can't understand yet. I need to learn more about nature, plants, everything… before I can even think of trying to copy what you do simply by taking root."
I'll sigh.
"I don't even know if you're the last Gift of Nature, or if there are thousands more scattered about the world…"


"Thanks for your time." Haul myself, the snake, and the alcohol over there. I can't keep them waiting, especially since it would help save the fleet some money.


You put away the book in your stack.


You hike on up to the third tier and head in the servants' entrance. Locating the butler in the servants' kitchen, he sighs as you approach snake in hoof. "Ah, you must be the one that he delegated the task of the snake to. I'm afraid you're too late for lunch, and he's already headed down into the sewers to find another."


"Sorry about that, the, erh, Marketplace was packed, and these old bones aren't good at pushing their way through most crowds. I'll see if I can get him if he headed down there. Would you be able to direct me to where he went?"


I will do a flyover of the ruins first.

Roll #1 3 + 3 = 6


I'll regard the flower, and then gently put it away.
"I will return to ask more questions in the future, when I feel I'm ready, and capable of understanding the answers you give."
Looks like I've got to pester Smitts about this. Though if it's something as stupid as 'eat the flower', I'm going to be quite put out.
He's probably still busy, though. I wonder if there are any other nature-following folk on-board? I suppose I could ask some of the random crewmates who are flitting about on-deck.


"Down into the sewers next to the house. He may not have even left yet."

DM can't play until later.

The ruins look similar to those you saw in Reptil and back on your home island. They were probably created many, many years ago by the Molon Labe tribe. You wonder briefly if Trotantines gained inspiration for their necromantic magics from your ancient ancestors.

You get a variety of answers. Some of the folks on deck point you toward a diamond dog on the Eagle's Roost that no one can seem to remember details about. Others point you toward an old soldier that generally accompanies General Movp. Still others suggest that there might be a deer somewhere on the fleet – and deer typically know about plants.


Hmmm… whats the reason they gave me the journal is it because its rightfully mine or is it just bad luck?

Lets go back to the fleet, lets ask some of the crew if they have heard the pirate gang known as the Mad Hatter. Perhaps Smitts may know have heard of their name.


A deer? Here?
Well, that's worth investigating! Never met a deer before. Let's start gathering information on this deer! I'll start asking around about which ship he was last seen on. '1d10'

Roll #1 10 = 10


I fly over to the village and check it out.

Roll #1 1 + 3 = 4


Catch up to the open Ponyhole and yell in there.

"Voxam! I took the snake already! Come on out!"

I'll have to take my leave with that. Now, which was closer, the place with the plays, or Mt. Hero?


Where to? Ask random crewmembers, or pester Smitts?

Legend takes you to the Eagle's Roost. You could start in the room of the three doors. You could push in the door to the right, and a staircase might lead you down into the wall climb. Here, you must choose a new path. You could head up into the galley, spin around to your left and pass into the room of the treasure display. You could head below into the shrine, or into the shrine of the silver monkey. If the torch is there, you could descend into the elevator into the mine shaft. Knock down the stone wall, and you may find the key, allowing you to enter the Tomb of Kings. If the correct door is unlocked, you may be able to leap into the pit of the spiders, and if you survive, sit on the throne of the pretender. If you choose the correct door, you may find yourself in the lair of the dragon king. Climb up the forbidden pathway of the forgotten banished demon, allowing you to cross into the bunkhouse, where you may meet Ciddir, the deer. Alternatively, you could just head down the port side stairs. The choices are yours and yours alone.

You glide too low over the village and spears and arrows get chucked at you. You crash to the ground outside the village limits, where you see a warning sign:

Pygmy City of C'j ahead. Pygmy ponies are stupid, aggressive, and will attack without warning. Most importantly, these idiotic, retarded, fucking useless dangerous wastes of breath can't read our language, so they have no idea what this sign says.


The plays would be on the second tier, inside city limits.


How damaged am I?


Ask the crewmembers first if they heard the name.


The Play it is! Besides, they close after a certain hour because the performers are tired, but those statues at the mountain probably aren't moving. Head on over there.


No one ever gets through the shrine of the Silver monkey. I'll just take the stairs.


You're fine, just a little scuffed up.

There's a murmured consensus amongst the crew that they must be moored in port somewhere. You should look for the ponies all wearing top hats.

You hike up into the second tier. It's no less busy than the first, and quite crowded as a result. There are a variety of performance halls here. Where to?

You head down the port side stairs and find the deer known as Ciddir sitting by the window working on a wood carving.


"Good day! I've been looking for you, Ciddir."


I fly around the village and go to the ruins.


The Gyro chef said to watch Nemesis here at the Apollo theater. I have no reason to doubt such an excellent person.


He stares at you for a time.

"How do you know my name?"

You glide back around and land at the site of the ruins. They look a little picked over by scavengers and looters, but you can still see a way in.

Pushing your way through the crowd, you find a showing of Nemesis. The performance is… interesting. It's an opera, and entirely in some foreign language you don't know (but that's not uncommon for an opera). Following the performance in the program, you learn that the story is about a mare that gets rid of competitor so she can win the heart of her beloved. At the end of the play, she's left sobbing in the gutter, having lost everything because she trusted him too much. You wonder why it's called Nemesis, because no one ever showed up to take revenge on her.


First I check for any runes on the outside of the ruins.

Roll #1 6 + 3 = 9


"I asked around the fleet after hearing rumors of a deer. And it's only fair I give you my name, to balance the field. I'm Curry."


"I wonder about that. To wind up poor and alone, even forgotten. What a terrible fate."

Best thing to do is look for a member of the staff and ask them about it. I might not be the first one to ask, and they might have an answer ready. Inquire about other plays they might have here.


The outside of the ruins have been worn away by centuries of weather, much like the ones back home.

He stares at you for a long time. Perhaps appraising you.


You spot an usher nearby who will probably help.


"Excuse me, but I'm hoping you can answer a question for me. Unless the title was meant to be deceptive, but in the end, who was the Nemesis of the leading lady? I felt like I was left hanging, but at the same time that I should know the answer."


"I've a few questions, if you don't mind answering them. I could answer a few as well, if you have any."


I head inside and sniff around for anything that smells like the gas in the last temple.

Roll #1 1 = 1


He shakes his head. "Nemesis refers to one of the ancient pantheon. Before the rise of what we know today as true Gods and Goddesses with sway over the afterlife, ponies worshiped constructs like Nemesis. The word nemesis – meaning a foe that seeks revenge – comes from the name of the Goddess of Justice. Justice in the ancient, traditional sense didn't just mean bad ponies getting their dues, either. Total karmic balance. If you have great fortune one day, you should expect Nemesis to make sure you have bad fortune the next. Struck by lightning? Better enter your local raffle. Of course, Nemesis isn't real, unlike beings like Tirek or Celestia which are nowadays worshiped as Gods."

He surveys you for another long time.

While you outstretch your beak to sniff about, you lose your balance and tumble down the stairs. Eek! Oof! Ow! Kapow!


I pick myself up and shake myself off.

Roll #1 6 = 6


I'll sit, and wait for him to give me the go-ahead. I won't break eye contact, though.


You pull yourself together. It's dark down here, but you're alright.

He continues to watch you.


I sprinkle some dust onto my head and staff then tap along through the darkness with my staff.


"I suppose I'll take that as a sign that I may. First question: how did you come to find yourself on this fleet?"


"So her greed drew her from riches to rags. But after the things she did, I can't even say it wasn't undeserved. Things have a way of balancing themselves out like that."

"Are there other plays today, or is it just Nemesis for the day?"


"I don't. I followed a dog."

Tap, tap, tap, tap…

Suddenly, nothing. Hm.

"It's the only performance today in this theater. There are other opera houses if you want to take in other culture."


I tap slowly to the left until I find solid ground again.
Tell me when to start rolling.


"Thanks for the information. Do you know what plays the other houses have, or would you suggest y time is better spent visiting Mount Hero?"


"I see.You must have joined up in Reptil, because I certainly didn't see any deer in Dixie."
I'll rub my chin a moment.
"What do you like to do?"


You reach the wall. Hm.

"It just depends on what you want to see. I'm not sure what performances the other performance halls have in town right now, but most of these are traveling shows, so you might see them elsewhere, too. If you're just in town to tour, there are some other sights inside the city. For instance, the botanical gardens. It's tradition to leave a wood carving from wood from a foreign land there as good luck, so if you visit, be sure to take part in the tradition."

You recall Ciddir, the dear carving a totem as you sailed into port.

"I don't. I reshape things."


"I think I might just know someone who can help with that. Thank you."

I'll fight my way through the crowds to try and get back to the ship and deliver the alcohol to Movp, and then I can ask Ciddir if he'd like to join me going to the Gardens. It should help make up for when I left him on our way to the Hourglass.


I tap my way back to entrance and smell again for the gas.

Roll #1 4 = 4


Can I just take six on smelling for gas?


I'll look at him curiously.
"Reshape? Like a crafter?"


"I don't. Yes. I don't. Yes."

You smell no gas as you feel your way back to the entrance.

He reimburses you for your alcohol. You head down to see Ciddir, but Curry is here talking to him.


I'll just listen in for the moment, no need to interrupt any discussion going.


For some reason, I feel like he's not really giving me complete answers here… Well, might as well move on.
"What do you know of the Nature's Gift flower, and have you ever spoken to one?"


"I do, and I don't, no."


I leave the ruins and fly back to the ships. I then request a couple of lanterns, some candles, and something to light them with from the quartermaster.


To which quartermaster will you go to?


"So you know of it, but you don't know a lot, nor has it ever spoken to you, or you to it."
I'll frown a little.


Whichever one I got my gauntlets from.


"Sorry to jump in, but what are you two discussing? I feel like I'll get a head ache if I try to follow from this point."


"No." He agrees (?)

You fly over to the Darklantern and knock on the door to Blue Topaz's room, but there is no response.


I check the Eagle's Roost quartermaster's office.


I'll look at Fresian.
"Oh, hey there mister Cross. I was askign Ciddir a few questions about a plant that I'd run across in one of the old books I've got floating around. You ever hear of something called 'Nature's Gift'? It can restore life to dead earth due to the tiny piece of Nature's spirit in it."


You find Flux working on some rigging and ordering menials to lift crates out of the hold with the pulley crane.


"Seekkill looking for lan-turns and can-duls and fire makers."


"Sorry, I can't say that I have. I tended to work with a rougher bunch that probably couldn't prepare a carrot if their lives depended on it."
Why do you ask, did you hear about one being here in Roads from someone and you want to go find it."

Offer him a big smile at the end of that sentence.


He raises a brow at you. "Oh? What do you need them for?"


"Making light."


I'll shake my head.
"Nope, I'm trying to come up with a way to duplicate the effects through nature magic. I mean, what if there was only one left in the world? You wouldn't want it wasted on something trivial, right?"


"Clarification. To what end?"


"You're getting a little too deep for me. WHy don't we go to the ending of it instead? Say you had the plant, you copied the ability, what would be worth bringing back? A lot of times, we see the road and enjoy that, o find that we don't like the place where it ends."


"Seekkill want explore dark place with holes. Seekkill want see so Seekkill not fall down holes."


"Well, there's one thing I need to bring back. Something old, that died long before its time. Afterwards, well, after that I can simply find a good spot to plant the flower. A burned out forest, or a barren plain… anything that would do the most good."


"Holes? Where did you find that is dark with holes?"


Friesian's eyes begin to narrow.
"So we've established a clear final objective, even if you don't want to tell me. What do we need to begin this mission? Do you have that plant in your possession, or do we have to track it down? If so, any leads?"


"Ruins. Remind Seekkill of home."


"I know where one is, and it is safe. I've simply been trying anything else to resurrect the plant so that I don't squander the…"
I'll close my mouth a bit, then sigh and shrug.
"Well, I suppose you would have figured it out anyway. Yes, There's one in my possession. It was recovered from the vault in the Saint Radiant Basilica in Autumnsreach. What I plan on bringing back to life is a set of wooden armor, living wood that served the moon long, long ago. I asked the plant how I would go about doing so, but I couldn't understand its answer. That's why I came to talk to Ciddir."


He nods. "Ruins. Fine, I think I have some to spare. Careful. I had planned on taking you on a hunting trip later."

He has some menials bring out an oil lantern for you.


"So, what are we waiting for? Why don't we go to the plant and learn its secrets? Many hooves make short work, after all."


"Thank you. Seekkill find village of ponies for hunting. How Seekkill light this?"


"Because I already asked the plant how it does what it does, but I couldn't understand the answer it gave. And the book I had on it didn't help much, though that's probably because it's almost a thousand years old…"


"A 1,000 year old book, you say? Mind showing it to me when the opportunity presents itself? In the mean time, why not show it to Ciddir here, maybe he can get more out of it? Maybe it just doesn't like us ponies?"


"C'j? That is the place I was referring to, as well. Oil. Turn the crank quickly to create a spark."


"Thank you."
I go back to the deck then fly back to the ruins.


"…Maybe you should both just come with me. It'll be easier to show than to explain."
I'll turn to Ciddir.
"Would you like to come with us? You might be able to have some insight I don't have."


Well I was going to head into town with Tela but she isn't here.


"I've got some plans, but they involve both of you anyway, so I'll come along."


I guess you better just go to sleep.

You coast on back to the ruins on your lonesome.

"I don't. No."


Isn't it still daytime?


I beakclaw then fly back, get my chick, then fly back to the ruins. She should be seeing the spirits too.


"Curry seems rather enamored of his plant, come with us. I have plans for other things, but they can wait until after this."


I'll look a little sad.
"Well, if you're sure. Who knows when the next time you'll see a Nature's Gift will be."
I'll pause for a moment.
"Though if you think about it, everything is nature's gift, isn't it? The flower's just a tiny piece of it, same as everything else."
I'll shake my head.
"Bah, no time for philosophizing, there are plants to question."


I meant Nopony should sleep.

It's morning in Europe.

You go pick up your check. She settles into your bag as usual.



I light my lantern and walk down the stairs.


Nopony slept enough I think


"You won't regret it."

"Lead the way, Curry."


Where am I?


Contrariness of deer.
Anyway, we'll be off to the Sirocco, back to the room, and then I'll haul out the tome and the plant… and the charred remains of the once-living armor.
"Well, here's everything. A catalog of dozens of funguses and plants, from hundreds of years ago and transcribed to a more durable binding. One Nature's Gift flower, that I don't want to use unless absolutely necessary. And the thing I want to bring back to life, charred to a crisp courtesy of Emrille."


We were heading to town, holding tails to let everyone know we are two mares in love~


i remember.


Poke the remains a bit.
"What did the little lady do to cause this?"


"She lit it on fire. I'd like to think it was by accident, as she was being attacked by a rather large plant at the time, but her continued disdain and the amount of abuse she heaps on me put that to doubt."
I'll shrug.
"Regardless, this is a loss that shouldn't have happened. It waited hundreds of years after the Darkest Night, and the selfsame day it gets used again, it's torched. It's a travesty."


Slowly moving down the path, you come again to where you left off. There's a dark drop, and the lantern isn't enough light to fill the room.

He follows.


How big is the room? What's it look like? Is there anything in it? Does the hole look like it is supposed to be there? Is it big enough to fly down?



"As cool as us mercenaries play it, it's a stressful life. Here today, dead and eaten the next, so I'll apologize for you. But I like you doing this, it's good to be pro-active about your defense."

"Let's give Ciddir a go with it. I'm liable to turn it into part of a sandwhich."


I'll look at Ciddir for a moment.
"Are you able to speak with plants? I mean, I know that this particular flower is rather untalkative, but…"


It's definitely big enough. It's huge. It looks like there was a bridge here once, but it must have collapsed.

You remember heading into town and into a nearby bar / restaurant. You ate some delicious amino acids while you were there.

"I don't. Yes."


I fly over the hole.


You sail effortlessly over to the other side.


I'll reach over to Curry and have him push the plant over to Ciddir.

"The Operation has started, let our VIP handle the rest."


I'll grimace a bit. So that means it's up to me.
I'll pick up the flower, and whisper to it.
"Little one, I want to understand the answer you gave me before. Is there a way you can tell, or show me, in a way that I understand?"


What's over here?


Sounds really fun to eat while you can still taste blood in your mouth.
What kind of city is Roads anyway? Not like Reptil at all, is it?


I'll let her look around and go where she wants to go.
Wouldn't be wise to accidentally anger her now


No response.

He surveys you with curiosity.

The walls here seem somewhat less pillaged. The runes… they look similar to the ones you're familiar with, but they're some different dialect or something. Hm. You wonder if there's a way to learn how to use this dialect.

This stately city is four-tiered. You're in the wharf district, the lowest and the poorest. There's a service district above, with the middle class and many of the performers. The upper class district above that is full of extravagant mansions, and the highest tier is the palace district.

Even the wharf district is not without wealth, however. Being the closest to the ships, it houses the huge market of Roads.


"Try talking to the plant here."


"It is forbidden."


Sigh. Maybe Smitts is the only way I'm going to figure this out. I thought that, if I can't learn it from Smitts, I'd learn it from the source. But now it won't talk…
I'll look at him curiously.


Right, the market.
Look around and lower my voice.
"Umlock and some guys are going to wreck the market today against the commodore's orders, so if you're wanting to go there I suggest doin' it fast."


"Why is that?"


I glance at her worriedly.
Keep my voice low down too
"What?! Are they out of their fucking minds?"


"I do."

You see a variety of stalls, ranging from snake oil salesmen to crackpot inventors to delicious fried treats to mysterious magical curios.


"You mean it's forbidden because you can talk to plants, or have done so in the past? Why would it be forbidden? You can learn so much from plants."


I shrug.
"They asked me to come as well, but I'm not interested in beating up civies."


"Please, it would help Curry."


"You better fucking not."
I sigh distressedly and rub my forehead with a hoof.
"Fuck, if they do that… I'm not sure we should let them."


"I dont. No. I do."

"It is forbidden."


"It's their problem, not mine. They want to shit on the commodore's plate, that's their problem."

Casually walk over there.
What are the inventors offering?


"Then… can you interpret what a plant has said? Offer any advice at all?"


"Have you talked with similar plants? Something that isn't forbidden so we can gain some insight into Curry's dilemma."


Follow her.
"No, you stupid cunt, it's our problem too!"




One inventor is selling pots with a crack in them so that you won't overwater your plants. Another is selling a sword with a knife for a hilt so that you can use the whole weapon as a weapon.

"I don't. I don't know. I don't. I would advise you to respect it."

"There are no plants like this but this."


Some inventions those are

"Because if they wreck shit, then we will be attacked, and we will be unprepared for it!"


"Sorry Curry, but it seems we'll just have to wait until your plant wants to talk to us."


Ridiculous. And fucking useless. Move on to the curios.

"I seriously hope they'll play it smarter than that. I reckon they will."


I'll nod.
"I do respect it. That's why I didn't use it instantly. As much as I would like having this armor back alive, I know there are places that need the help of this flower far more than I do. I can't justify using it for something selfish."
I'll sigh.
"We've likely got a long wait. This flower only speaks to two or three out of an entire generation."
I'll rub the bridge of my snout.
"If only I could understand what it said! That feeling of loss, of helplessness… I can't help but feel it's disappointed in me. That it measured me, and found me lacking."


"Umlock and being smart are like you flying on your own.
Not going to happen."


"Think about it like I did when I signed up for my mercenary career. I was lacking, I really wasn't cut out to be one. But I worked at it, I developed myself, and I proved I could handle it."

"You need time and practice, and then that plant is going to want lessons from you."


"Guess we'll see what happens."


"Or we do something about it!
I don't know, like… fuck, ask Heart. She'll know what to do.
Do you realize how much danger this is putting us into? More than if we go by the plans. That's why plans are plans."


I'll shake my head.
"I think it will always be the teacher, in this. Inside each of these flowers is a tiny piece of the spirit of Mother Nature herself. That's how it manages to bring the dead earth back to life. It answered me, once, and I couldn't understand the scope of it."
I'll shake my head.
"Without Ciddir's help on this, I'm stuck with only one more option. And I doubt he's going to be too willing to help."


A shifty looking magician has a booth with signs that claim his mystery mixture can make you more in touch with your emotions. They're offering free samples. It seems questionable, but could they really afford to give out free samples if it didn't work?

There's a book handing out pamphlets about some kind of magical connection to everyone else in the world.

And another booth is selling magic lanterns. Instead of running on oil, you power them with your own magic.

He looks at you a little odd. "The world was put here for us to use."


I roll my eyes.
"I'd rather not be seen as a telltale."

Hey, a magic lantern like that sounds pretty damn useful!
I'll check out the pamphlets as well.
And sure, let's sample that mixture. Why not?

Roll #1 2 = 2


"So what you're saying is this plant was here to use?"

"Technically, if you use the plant, the piece of Nature goes back to Nature, no? Isn't that a good thing, and you get your armor back? If it didn't want to be used for that, it probably would have been making a raucus by now."


"But there are better uses for something like this! How can I be that selfish, to use something so powerful for something… something that with training I could do myself?"


"I just… it seems like such a waste. I might just be bogging myself down in what-ifs, but by the moon and tides, I can't justify using this flower on the armor."


Whip my tail in the air in frustration.
"You're no help!"


The pamphlets describe what is referred to as the Kínima – a sort of psychic bond between many ponies. It describes being able to mentally communicate over long distances, and to fully submerse ones' consciousness on passing. There's a cult meeting for it later this evening outside of town.

"Yes. When it is used, the fragment will return to Her."

"Bringing plants back to life is impossible. No magic can do it beyond Her gift. To even speak of it is an abomination."


"Yeah, okay, fine. Go tell the commodore then. Be sure to keep wagging that tail like a good, loyal doggy."
I snicker.

That sounds like total bullshit. I love it. Might be good for a laugh, so I'll bag it for now.
How much do those lanterns cost?


"Think about it though, that armor would do you, and everyone who depends on you, a whole lotta good. If you die, what's to stop some pony from just throwing it out or using it for kindling?"

"And see, >>477762, Nature gets back what is hers anyways. Though I'm not so keen on that abomination part."


I'll close my eyes for a moment.
"So… if I use the plant for this, another will spring up, somewhere else?"
I'll nod slightly, but wait for Ciddir's answer.


They're pretty cheap. Ten bits.

You took the sample, too, but haven't actually consumed it.

"I don't know."


I'll look between the two of them, and then back to the flower.
"Is this what you want to be used for?"


"Yeah, sure, I wonder how much you'll laugh when half the fleet dies because someone cannot obey some fucking orders."


No response.


Nod my head up and down.
"Only her gift could do it anyway, and I'm sure Nature is aware of where her things are and what ponies plan on doing with them. Go ahead."


"Make it easy, why don't you."
With a heavy sigh, I'll slowly place the flower on the charred armor.
"Grow well, and return to Nature."


I'll buy one, might come in handy and I got some money to blow.
Take the sample.

"I'd probably laugh a lot, because that would open up some good opportunity to climb up the ranks."
I guffaw.


The flower takes root, and quickly shrivels up.

You can see the flow of life trace through the vascular structure of the wood, and soon the armor thrums with life once more.

You guzzle the sample and you already feel more emotional. Forgive me for making the comparison, but it's not terribly unlike PMS.


I groan.
"So much for you fucking whining about how dangerous this shit is."


"Hello again. Sorry for taking so long to bring you back."


"It's not dangerous when I'm not on the fleet when it goes down."
I smirk.



"You got only mud in that head of your's don't you?
Ever heard of retaliation?"


You talk to the armor without casting Earthsong.


Stomp a hoof angrily.
"I'm not gonna be spending any time on the fleet while in town. Gotta enjoy that fucking shoretime, Emmy!"


Of course I do.
"Well, Ciddir, it was an odd pleasure meeting you, and I believe I owe you answers to any questions you may have for me."
I'll sit facing Ciddir.
"That is, of course, if you do have questions for me."


"Psst, and guess what could wreck a perfect day on the shore!
Since you are you I'm going to give you a few minutes to think about it."


He thinks for a long time. "Why do you want armor that won't fit you?"


"Because, by tomorrow, it will. Fullmaster Abilio will be able to undo the aging magic, and I'll be returned to about a score of years."


"There's other places to work at, I'm really not that attached to a fucking fleet! You're acting like it's already been sunk. Fucking hell."


"Yeah, I know, you say you're just a merc for it, but I'm a fucking officer with fucking responsibilites!
Not letting people do dumb shit, even if they are above me, should be one of those!"


He thinks for a while. "Do you serve nature?"


"Well, go tell the commodore then! I told you to go for it you whiny little shit!"


"I serve the kindly Moon, and all she oversees. The tides present in nature are a part of that, so in a way I do serve nature as well."


"Not without asking Light first!
Because this sounds like another of those fucking fleet politics thingies, and she's the expert on that."


"Why do you seek to usurp the natural order?"


"Yeah yeah, go ask Dainty then. Whatever."
Let's move on, what else is there on this market? Any sword selling merchants?

Roll #1 9 = 9


I tap my hooves, then follow you.
"I have a feeling you are still upset over me shooting you.
Like this is the first time it happened!"


"It's the first time you set me on fucking fire as well as shot me."


There are. Sword SWALLOWERS, too.


"Now you can compare it with that one time I accidentally frosty shot you!
So, which one is worse? For research purposes."


Oh man.
Observe them for a moment.

Snarl at her.
"Do I need to research pegasus endurance with my sword instead or what!?"


"I don't. Though I suppose seeking such a skill would be considered as such…"
I'll ponder a moment.
"To help those that are within my reach to help?"
I'll consider that answer.
"No, no. That's not it. I suppose the real answer is that I'm afraid. Afraid that I will fail, and someone will get hurt. Afraid that this armor will suffer again. And I just can't bear to live with any of those things happening, but I'm weak. I know this won't make me strong, but it may at least help."


"Hey, you're the iron pony, aren't you, it didn't even scratch you."


It's pretty impressive. After a few tries, they ask for a volunteer.

"Some things are for the divine alone. To trample on them is terrible."


"Sometimes a pony must become something terrible to protect those he cares for. I will not be without regret, but if it must be done, then it must be done."


"Do I need to fucking shoot your spine and set you on fire to show you what a scratch can do?"

Smirk and raise a hoof.


"Tela, I know you can swallow dicks, but please…
You'll hurt yourself again."


"By definition, a buck should always strive to be not terrible."

"Alright little mare, step right up. Why don't you try to hit me with your best shot? Magic or steel, doesn't bother me."


"No I fucking wont, watch."

Unsheathe my sword and slash at him.

Roll #1 10 + 1 = 11


You are filled with incredible power and feel stronger than you've ever felt before! Even this trained swordsmaster falters as you smash through his blade with a deft swipe and send him stumbling.

"Impossible! Oh, but of course! How could I not see before? You must be one of the legendary Varangians!"

The crowd that has gathered whoops and hollers for you. Wow… you feel really, really, great.

Lost: Toughness
Gained: Crystal Emotions

You notice that Tela seems… shinier than usual. Huh?


"The who now?"


"Which is admirable. However, I am no buck. I am a stallion in the form of a colt, who will return to somewhere in the middle so that I have enough years left to carry out my duty."
I'll look Ciddir in the eyes.
"Do you have something, or someone, that you would fight and die for, Ciddir? Someone that you would go to any length to keep safe from harm? The number of those important to me keeps increasing, but my strength does not measure up. Without that, what good am I?"


I stare at her.
Is she using a new coat shampoo or someshit?


"The Varangian Guard. The legendary elite northern warriors that protect the Emperor. I can tell, because you are a crystal pony. Your kind are rare here."


"It is better to die good than to become something worth loathing. Death eventually comes for all. It is natural."


My eyes widen.
Then I let out a laugh.
"HAhaha, oh, wow, a comedy act too.
Tela as a crystal pony, oh, hell, that's good."


"Natural though it may be, it will not claim me without a fight. I will struggle against that eventuality with all my might until I feel I can let myself die. That, too, is natural."
I'll sigh, and lower my head.
"But, you have a point."


"Are you drunk or what? I'm not from the north at all, and the only royalty I protect is that royal pain in the ass over there."
Gesture at Emrille.


"Then where did you get your fine crystal coat?"

He points at you. Huh?

You are, in fact, crystalline.


He nods.


Did she get even shinier?


And that's about where I'm stopping for tonight. Thanks for running again, Wf.


"What the?"
Look myself over.
"The hell is going on here!?"

Roll #1 8 = 8


She's practically see-through!

Well, okay, not really fully see through, but she refracts the light like she's made of amethyst or something.



You are certainly a crystal pony. You glimmer in the morning sun.

"Something… wrong? If you are a northerner of such consummate skill and you are not a Varangian, you should go see your brothers and sisters at the Varangian Guard chapterhouse on the higher tiers of the city. I am sure they would welcome an addition such as yourself to their ranks."


Okay, this isn't a joke.
"Holy shit, Tela…"


"I spent enough time in the military to last me a lifetime, not thanks."

"Did that fucking nurse give me some freaky shit or what?"


Shake my head.
"That was just alcohol.
What about that free sample you just took?"


"That was just… emotional crap."


"Emotional crap?"


"Yeah, you know, enhances emotions or something! Didn't you read the sign?"


"Not really…"
Check her out.
"You do look better like this."


"Not exactly stealthy or subtle though. And that dick could've warned me about this shit!"
Hop off of the stage and head back over to where I sampled this.


The stall is missing…


Flutter my wings.
"So you're not an earthy at all, huh?"

"…well shit."


"How in the…"
Look at the stall next to this spot.
"Where the hell did he go!?"


The inventor shrugs. "I wasn't watching. It's not unusual for a merchant to pack up early if they're doing poorly in sales."


"Great… just great. Whatever. It'll probably wear off anyway."


"That's not what the guy at the stage said."


I grumble.
"Let's go see what those Varangian guys have to say instead then. Maybe they know something."
The chapterhouse was in a different part of the city right?


Yes, two tiers up in the upper class district.


Let's see if we can find this place then.


I chuckle and shake my head.
"I knew you for a long time, Tela, but this is new."


Have a roll too [1d10]

"You don't say, what tipped you off?"

Roll #1 4 = 4


"Hey, you didn't shine this much when I set you on fire just now, so probably that."


Punch her in the gut.

Roll #1 1 = 1


You hike up into the second tier. It's just as crowded here as on the first! However, the buildings look even nicer. This whole tier seems to be full of service industries, like massage parlors, escort establishments, concert halls, a Colosseum, and more. There's a great law office here, too.


Missing so badly makes you feel depressed. Emotions seem to affect you a lot more now.


Spit on the ground angrily and keep walking

"Massage parlors? Colosseum? Hold on…"
Any games planned for the colosseum?

Roll #1 3 = 3


Don't mind the roll.


Snicker at her attempt.
"Did you blind yourself with the bling now or what?"


"Don't push your fucking luck."


"Y'think I can get some pretty mare to massage me?"


You see a sign that points out that there's one planned for tonight. It's a big finale fight. Team Urogot vs. Team Ihsemaru.


"I'm sure you can."

Any events you can apply for to fight in?


"I hope it's not too expensive."


Not any listed on the sign.

In any case, the chapter house is still up one more level.


"I hope so too, I'd like to get one myself, y'know."

Too bad, could have been a fun little scrap.
Move on then.


"Yeah, though I can't forget about some other shit."
What's the time about now?
"As much as I want to stay and see what this shiny shit is all about, you can tell me afterwards. I need to speak with the Commodore about the y'know what."


You head up into the third level. This place is pleasantly green with many fine mansions and estates. They all have similar styles except one very different structure up against the wall.


"Yeah yeah, go ahead. I'll be fine on my own."

What's the difference?


It's more spartan and heavily reinforced. It looks more like a little fortress than a stately estate.


Reminds me of the Darklantern. This must be the chapterhouse though, so I'll approach it.


You see a plaque on the side:

Varangian Guard Chapter House
Designed by the master architects of Timberjaw, Northlands


Never been that far up North…




You head into the chapter house. It's pretty empty. There are great suits of armor and trophies throughout the hall. A crackling fire is in the fireplace, and you hear faint idle chatter in the drawing room up ahead.


Where am I?
Still following around Emrille?


Follow the voices.


So… Me and Light Heart were going to chat with a guard, right?


"She wished for some private time with the good doctor. Surely, an understanding stallion such as yourself must understand the need for that."