/q/ - Quest


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 No.536930[Last 50 Posts]

A quick summary of events over the last year – the recovery efforts and how characters have developed.

Light Heart, you have events to answer:
+Job offer
+Education events for Red
+Education events for Grey Worm
+Mocking Wark is upset
+Rosemary is distressed
+You received a letter
+Three random event(s) - Found mysterious item, encountered missionaries, strange encounter in the deep


Down the list I go.

A job offer?


Commodore Abilio has offered you the position of second mate of the Sirocco or second mate of the Hourglass under Captain September.


Second mate? Don't mind if I do!


Of the Sirocco that is. Staying with my roots here.


You move into your new cabin. It has a silver handle.

Rusty Wrench has repaired the Sirocco and restored the privacy enchantments that he put on the doors over the previous era of piracy.


Good buffalo.

I assume it's not too much different from my other cabin in terms of design? I will miss that second room I used to have, but momma always taught me not to look a gift whatever in the mouth.


It looks identical to the old cabin in every way. Only the captain's cabin is different here. This ship uses the new concept of function over form, with sleek symmetrical designs uncommon to earlier ships.

Months later, the Darklantern is dredged successfully. Commodore Abilio takes it as his flagship. You are named first mate of the Sirocco under Captain Marsh. Face is promoted to second mate. Mellow Marsh names Ciddir third mate.

A new event has appeared. Your list:

+Education events for Red
+Education events for Grey Worm
+Mocking Wark is upset
+Rosemary is distressed
+You received a letter
+Three random event(s) - Found mysterious item, encountered missionaries, strange encounter in the deep
+Ciddir asks for advice


I was going to go down the list, but let's see to the new third mate first.


After his appointment, the deer known as Ciddir comes to your cabin to ask you for advice.

Knock knock


"Enter please."


"Light Heart?"

He sticks his head in the door.


"That is my name."
I chuckle.
"Please, enter. My door is always open to those who require my assistance."


"You have a lot of experience leading ponies, right?"


I nod.
"I do have some experience, correct."


"I continue to feel like an outsider. I do not think these ponies are familiar with deer… we have different customs. Do you think I will be able to be a competent leader? I think a major part of my promotion was a tradition of having a certain number of positions, and a literal lack of others to promote…"


"The fleet houses a rich variety of different cultures, though less today than in the past. Even if your customs and traditions are different to many on this fleet, this should not impact your performance as long as you understand the need to adapt your behavior when the time calls for it. I admit I do not know much of your past and that my experience with deers is somewhat limited, but you must understand that the crowd the fleet attracts tends to require a different kind of approach than say dealing with a group of your own kind. Adaptation and flexibility are truly the keys to keep in mind."
Pause for a moment, regarding him.
"You are a smith, correct? If my memory serves me well, you joined us during our escapade to Reptil for this reason."


"You mean Alandril."


"Is that what your people call it?"


"The island is called Alandril. The pony city of Reptil is on Alandril, a part of it, but inexplicably ponies refer to it as the city which is only a part of the island. I noticed the same thing when we visited Roads. The island itself doesn't even have a name – it's just the island that houses the city of Roads. The Island of Roads. The way your minds work confuses me, sometimes."


I chuckle.
"I suppose you do have a point there. Although is it not perfectly reasonable to specify the city itself? If I were to travel to say Canterlot and I informed you of this, would it not be vague of me to tell you that 'I will travel to Equestria'?"


"Perhaps, but I did not come from Reptil, I came from my village which is on Alandril and has no name beyond this because we do not believe in such things."


I nod.
"Fair enough. But back to my question, you are a smith correct?"


"Not in the way that you understand it. Your pony smiths… bend iron, steel… it makes no sense to my sensibilities. These are dead things. I shape living things. Such is more natural."


"That does sound intriguing. Mister Chip is a smith as well, you see. He joined the fleet a few weeks before I did and was promoted to third mate just as you were. Not to speak any ill will of him, but he is hardly a master speaker. Still, he performed his duties admirably and recently almost became commodore of the fleet. Why do you think this is?"


He thinks for a time. "The old commodore liked him. It was in his will letter."


"He did. But in truth, plenty of people like mister Chip. He is a competent engineer and smith, but also a fighter. And that is what it comes down to; competence. People respect competence. Respect breeds authority."


"Hm. I'll think about it. Thank you."

He departs.


Time to deal with the unrest among my associates.
'1d2' Wark/Rosemary next.

Roll #1 1 = 1


You notice that Wark has been grumpy and kept to himself lately. He seems like he has something on his mind.


Then I will approach him when I am able to.
"Good day, master Wark."


He grumbles something.


"Something ahoof?"


"Remember tha terms of my employment we made in Autumnsreach?"


"Of course I do."


"So ya see tha issue?"


"I do. I had hoped you would receive a promotion, as you most certainly deserve. But before you despair, you should remember that we are likely to add more ships to our roster in the future. I will certainly lobby for it if at all possible. I understand what you must be thinking, but I promise you that I have most certainly not forgotten about your needs. Had I been promoted to captain, you would have been my first choice for first mate."


"I believe our terms specifically specified ownership of tha Seaworthy, which is now resting at tha botto' a tha Roadesian Bay."


"So was the Darklantern, yet there it is sailing again. I cannot promise we will retrieve the Seaworthy, but there was also nothing I could do to stop the Seaworthy from sinking. I did not foresee the scale of destruction we would face."


"Ah know ya cannae do a thing aboot it ya war tha one who came ta me an asked."

He seems a little uneasy before asking the next bit. "There, uh… May be somethin ya could do ta make it up ta me. You willing a course. .."


I cock my head in surprise slightly.


"Ah have grown a wee bit attached ta ya perhaps… saving yer behind morin once…"


I smile.
"I would not be standing here if it weren't for you."


He clears his throat.

"Ya may know tha there ain't many jennies left on a count a tha in fightin with ma people… and a need fer more foals b'fore none a ma kin are left… so I need ta find a jenny. "


"… I see. That is a reasonable wish to have. I gather you wish me to help you seek a partner that befits you?"


He gives a really awkward cough totally uncharacteristic of the Wark you know.

"Tha reason I was busy on my own business in Roads was on account of having found an alchemist with transformative potions. I was convincing him ta pack up and create a potion ta turn a pony into a donkey and an antidote… because I thought ya might be willing ta provide me with a pure donkey heir… then you could change back and ya need not raise it or even tell the child you're related if ya don't care to. It's a strange request given yer relationship wit Rosemary… but it's rare fer a Jack ta run into someone he likes and has good genes."

Because Abilio was saved you could accelerate the pregnancy significantly with his age magic if you choose to indulge him.


"I… do not know what to say. I am flattered you think so highly of me."
Recompose myself.
"I suppose I should admit that my biggest worry here is my heart condition. It would make this plan a bit… risky."


He looks embarrassed.

"Sorry. Ah shouldn't have asked. It complicates things."

He leaves rather swiftly.


Well now I feel bad for him…
"Master Wark please, do not discount the possibility just yet."


He departed. Roll search or end event.



Roll #1 2 = 2


He's gone off and hidden himself somewhere. Perhaps some other day.

New optional event:
+ Wark is aloof


I will have to deal with that. But if he's gone into hiding right now and I can't find him, I'll direct my attention to Rosemary first.


Rosemary is distressed and keeping to the room. She had been sick and vomiting lately


Oh dear.
Let's go talk to her.


She's confined to the bed but seems nervous

"y yes?


Walk over to the bed and sit down next to it, taking her hoof in mine.
"How are you coping?"


She seems very uneasy.

"I don't want to get you sick…"


I raise a brow.


"I'm vomiting lately…"


"So I have noticed. But are you certain it's mere sickness?"


She seems evasive

"Pretty sure…"


"It is amusing, I always heard doctors tend to avoid admitting to being sick."
Give her a sly wink.


She seems very uneasy

"Well you know I know I can be honest with you."


"So… why are you denying it then? Fear?"


"Denying what?"


"Should I retrieve miss Puzzle for a medical check-up?"


"I'm sure I'll be able to sleep it off.. let's not get her sick."


"Rosemary… you know what we did a while back. The altar may be gone, but that does not change anything."


She grabs you into a hug and sobs

"Don't make me kill it!"


"… I'm sorry?"


"You said we could only have a child if things were safe and stable!!"


"Why, yes I did. But things have changed considerably since then. This may not be the ideal place or time for this… but in truth there are no such things as the ideal place and time. We both took the decision together, and if you wish to keep it then we will keep it."


She hugs you a little tighter and whispers through the sobs: "Thank you"


"I prefer my ponies happy and content. It creates a better general atmosphere."
I smile as I hug back.
"Do you… wish to quicken it?"


"You mean Mister Abilio…? What do you think we should do?"


I nod.
"I think you should decide. It would likely make things easier for you, no? The choice is yours to make."


"Maybe you're right… I'll go ask him about how safe it is."

She thinks for a moment. "He's very nice for a powerful warlock and pirate lord."


New event added

+Rosemary visits Abilio


I nod.
"Quite right. Though he has his flaws like all of us, I believe he will make for an excellent commodore."

Right away? Okay then.


You can do your events in any order.

Move on to the next?



You have your list

what's next?


Education. Let's go down the list again. Red first.


Red seems to delight in subterfuge. She's always playing little pranks.

Ignore it, talk to her about it, encourage it, birch her, pray for it to stop, or something else?


I think I'll talk to her about it.


On this fine day you catch Red Board setting up a bucket of water on a doorway.


What has happened to the pirates in the succeeding week/months/years?


You have the following events to encounter. You can choose any order:

+Job offer
+Topaz's mint recovered
+Rusty Wrench wants to talk
+Ciddir following you
+Nurturing Heart seems lost
+Four random events - Found mysterious item, old hand encountered (KM), chance encounter


Just got to ask is this time based?


No. You have to complete all events before Pirates 2 starts.


Go and comfront Rusty Wrench and see whats the urgency.


He's at work in the hold of the Darklantern.

"Hey Chip. Long time. Lot changed. No Smitts. Ships different. Harder upkeep. Less hands. More holes."


Ah, a classic.
"Providing refreshments for this fine day?"


She giggles. "Jus' keepin' 'em in line, I reckon. Make sure they ought know who's king 'round here."


"But it is still the same work and well some of the same ships but as you said, with more holes in it."
I frown upon hearing Smitts name.
"I should've have repaired the ship where we are in, I have just left Smitts to be taken by the sea. "

Have we got smitts spear?


It was lost.

"Ship's holes. Don't heal. Not anymore."


"I see. Though are you not worried your vassals will begin to… revolt?"


"Not overmuch I reckon. They oughta respect my authority methinks."


I nod at this.
"I always liked him, he is a bit shady but the good thing about him is that he can tolerate almsot anyone, not to mention bringing us to the booty, healing the ships is also a big thing too. I just hope Abilio is a capable leader as him though."

"So how about you Rusty? Any plans?" I look at him as I help him repair parts of the ship.


Is this thing on?


"Dunno yet. Never have. We'll see. Keep going. Think deep. This job… don't plan. Adventure comes. Just wait."

The darkness was familiar. That blackness, all consuming. You'd been dead before. This time something was different. It wasn't that weightless feeling of the void.

Your eyes bolt open. You're sitting in a chair in front of a desk in a nice little office. A mare is stuffing paperwork into a file folder.

"We're nearly ready for your big day. Good to see you made it."


Adjust my eyes, looking closely at her.
"..Are you?"
Then, scan the 'nice little office' to try and make sense of this place.


I nod at this all the while thinking for a moment before looking up again and pondering.
"Rusty… do you want to talk about something to me?"


The office has pleasant wood paneling and a couple of bookshelves, but most of the space is taken up by filing cabinets.

"I'm going to be your caseworker. My name is Manila Folder."

He shrugs. "We talked. And you?"


Keep absent-mindedly looking aroud. Doors or windows?


"Yes, of course. But does being harsh on them truly pay off more than showing kindness?"


Just one door, behind you. No windows. Cubicle-like.

She sighs and sets down the folder for a moment. "Let's see… where to start. You're what we refer to as a special case. Oh – right, I forgot. In case you didn't realize, you are indeed dead."


"I had that sinking feeling, yes."
Look myself over. Am I wearing what I was wearing in Roads?
What of my scythe, and my pouch?


You're naked. Not that it's a big deal for ponies, but then one supposes you liked to be more covered than other ponies.

"I lived with rough types all my life. I figured out pretty quicklike that the pony who sits back all passive and plays nice don't get no dinner. Ya gotta be forceful and show you're the boss! You can use that advice for free."


I'm a spirit aswell, so it's not too much of a shock.
But. Arc my shoulders a bit to cover myself somewhat while on the chair.
"So. What is a case?"


So I've heard something about stuff


I smile.
"That is very gracious of you. Do try not to overdo it however. I admit I have a fondness for pranks as well, but other ponies may not react well to them."


"Right, I'm going to try to go over this quick so that we can get to your hearing, but basically sometimes somepony falls through the cracks. They don't really fit in one afterlife or the other, or more than one afterlife has a decent claim over their immortal soul. Most of the time we file a soul with no affiliations into oblivion, but those with too many affiliations need an arbitrator. And that's what a case is – we decide once and for all where you spend the rest of eternity."

You have these events to deal with before Pirates 2:

+Job offer
+Hamburgers join the fleet
+Studies continue
+Party never ends
+Half forgotten dream
+Four random events - chance encounter, chance encounter , salvage opportunity, fungal growth discovered

"I can take 'em. Is that all?"


Let's see what that job offer is about!


I nod.
"Yes. I will keep an eye on your progress however."
Pat her on the head.


"Can't I decide that myself?"
Give Manila an opeful, if sheepish, smile.


After the dredging of the vessel, Commodore Abilio wants to offer you a position as second mate of the Darklantern.


Emboldened by your talk, Red would continue to grow to love subterfuge and combine it with her brash nature.

Red became a Dark Knight.

+Education events for Grey Worm
+Mocking Wark is aloof (optional)
+Rosemary visits Abilio (optional)
+You received a letter
+Three random event - Found mysterious item, encountered missionaries, strange encounter in the deep

"I'm afraid not. There are forces lobbying for your soul from many different domains – and besides, there's The Law to think about. Nothing more sacred in all time or space."


Second mate?
With room and everything? Sweet!
Am I still responsible for getting mercs too?


Grey is next up then.


"…Can I see Fervored?"


I shake my head.
"Not much I suppose." I began to stand up after helping him with his duties.

"I'll be gone for a moment, I just remembered something I need to do." I smile as I began to run.

Go find Nurturing Heart!!


With no coffers left, mercenaries are no longer an option.

Grey always seems to be reading. She spends entire days seemingly absent as she sneaks off with a book and reads it cover to over. She could grow plump and craven – besides the fact that there are better talents in life to hone than reading. How do you want to handle this?

"I don't think we have time before the hearing – but you'll see Fervored Freedom there."

Lately you notice that Nurturing Heart has become less and less responsive. Her brain condition is probably worsening. If you don't treat her, she may go permanently catatonic – but if you do treat her there's a chance she'll be very upset when she realizes what you've done to her.

You find her laying listlessly in bed, drooling slightly. What do you do?


Grow serious.
"Where am I bound to? Who's lobbing for my soul, and why.
Fill me in before this happens."


Perhaps its time to treat her and face the consequences.
Bring her up and see and find who in the ship is able to cure her.


"Well, the Celestials claim you chose to follow Celestia later in life, but the realm of Death has a decent claim that your soul belongs to Grogar. And even though you never showed worship toward Luna, there is one pony lobbying for you to go to a very special place that is very rare for ponies to go to… the realm created by Luna and Celestia to share their followers before their schism.

You take her to Happy Puzzle since Rosemary is on bedrest.

"Hiya Chip! Oh… your marefriend doesn't look so good! What's the matter?"


Ah. I almost fell to the same trap as a child. Reading is fine, but there is more in life to that.

I will just need to make sure she does some other outdoor activities. I should certainly teach her how to shoot a gun like papa did when I was a filly.


Still, job taken!
Second Mate Emrille, oh yeah!
Who's the first? I know Abilio is the boss of the Darklantern.


Roll Diplomacy to see how well you did at molding her.

No big surprises from that nepotistic necromancer. He made his new wife, Cloudy Stripes, the first mate.

+Hamburgers join the fleet
+Studies continue
+Party never ends
+Half forgotten dream
+Four random events - chance encounter, chance encounter , salvage opportunity, fungal growth discovered



Roll #1 7 = 7


I bow my head and and bite my lips.
"Could you examine her for me Ms. Puzzle, Nurse Heart's head is knocked over a long time ago back then. I fear its effect is taking place and I have no one to turn too other than you. If you need anything I will try to do it every way I can."

"She was shot in the head back then when she was accused of being a pirate by the guards. If I had acted faster back then all of this would have not happened." I frown.


If she can handle the pressure.
Let's see about the Hamburgerburgians.


"All better than oblivion at least.
But I know which one I would choose…"
Bite on my hoof nervously.
"What else do I need to know?
I want to see him again…"


Grey Worm gave up her bookish inclinations and threw herself into her gun studies.

She became a Wardancer.

+You received a letter
+Three random event - Found mysterious item, encountered missionaries, strange encounter in the deep
+Mocking Wark is aloof (optional)
+Rosemary visits Abilio (optional)

HP rolled natural 10 to diagnose.

Happy Puzzle ushers out of the the room. She works for hours on end, but when she finally emerges, she gives you a smile. "We'll have to wait until she wakes up, but I think she'll be just fine!"

Roll 1d10 for luck.

One day you find Strom and Burnside chatting by the railing of the ships. You'd heard they were considering officially joining the fleet.

"It might be worth noting that the last of those three – the one pony? That's Fervored Freedom."


Flutter over.
"What's keeping you from doing it, huh?"


>rng pls

Roll #1 2 = 2


Good girl.

A letter?


Roll 1d10 again for following effect.

"Doing what?" Strom asks, surprised.


"I had guessed as much.
And now you are gonna tell me that's the hardest one to get into aswell, uh?"


It came in when you stopped by a small port town. Thank goodness for magical mail systems.

Open it?



Roll #1 2 = 2


Of course!


"Y'know, getting official."
Grin and 'dust' off my attire.
"Ponies like you always have a place on my ship."


"Yes, it's extremely rare. Actually, nopony has been admitted to that afterlife in literally hundreds of years… nearly seven hundred now – since the rise of nightmare and the two new realms were created. Ponies chose sides in their lives – sun or moon – and that's how they became split."

You wait outside the room for a long time, suddenly there's a scream from inside.

Miss Heart
Sorry for not contacting you sooner. Things got… complicated fast. I'm sorry to tell you that Stein… didn't make it. He was afflicted by some sort of necromancy from that white unicorn. I'm still traveling the world. I saved my motorcycle. This is kind of embarrassing to ask, but I never got my backpay and it would really help right now. When you reply, could you send my wages with it?

The time we had together was exciting, but I need to explore the interior now. I wish you good health.


Burnside looks a little resistant to the idea, but Strom speaks again.

"With the loss of our friends, we're less an exclave and more individuals. I fear the time has come to become one with the whole, personally. Burnside is still mulling it over."


Whelp go inside and see what happened.


"Hey, just because you join, it won't change the way I think of you."
Smirk at Burnside.
"You could even get an official joinage clap from me, for old time's sake."


Nurturing Heart is sitting bolt upright on the table and looking extremely distressed. She's touching her mare parts with a hoof.

"What – what happened to me?! What the actual fuck? This has to be a nightmare…"


Stare seriously at her, talking through barely contained anger and sadness, trying to keep my composture.
"I chose a side aswell.
Fervored's. That's the onlyreason I even changed."


He grunts. "Yeah, I'm sure you've got the clap alright! I think it's a blight on our individuality. To become pirates is unseemly."


"Well, it's good that you're telling me this, but in the hearing, let me do the talking. They won't like it if you phrase it like that at all. I'll try what I can to get you there, okay? But it won't be easy."


"…. ahahaha! Its you! Its really you!!"
"Thank you! Thank you Miss Puzzle! I owe you!' I give her a smooch before running to Nurturing heart and hugging her.
"Thanks the sea you're back!"


"Yeah, because you haven't been with a pirate fleet before. Listen, I went over the same shit at first, when I joined. I tried to say that I'm a merc and not a fucking pirate. Then I accepted that I am, and now?"
Run a hoof over my attire.
"Merc Captain first, Second Mate now."


HP takes the kiss in good fun.

Nurturing Heart doesn't take it so well, though. She recoils physically and falls out of the bed.

"What? You… you're… Chip, right? Chip, what the FUCK happened to me? I'm a mare! What the hell? What… where am I? What's going on?"

Roll diplomacy.

He grumbles. "I'm not so sure… but that is a decent story."


"I'm counting on you."


I frown.
Now that is a true shame to hear.

Miss Onik
I hope this letter finds you in good health. It saddens me to hear of mister Stein's demise. He was a brilliant ram to be sure. I thank you for attempting to help him nonetheless. Rest assured that those responsible for this despicable mutiny are no longer of this world. Your wages will be sent along with this letter, I do hope whatever is troubling you will be resolved swiftly. Thank you for your service, if you were to ever search for work again then my cabin door will be open to you.

Best of luck with your travels.

I remain,
Light Heart


They love me, I know it!

"It's all true, too."

Roll #1 7 = 7


You receive a package in reply later on.

Light Heart

Thanks for the backpay. I did some thinking and realized that this wasn't much use to me because it's not a gun. Maybe you know someone who can use it?

It's Stein's lightning greatsword.

+Three random events - Found mysterious item, encountered missionaries, strange encounter in the deep
+Mocking Wark is aloof (optional)
+Rosemary visits Abilio (optional)

"Alright, alright. We'll join. You wore me down."

The Hamburgerburgians joined the fleet. Later, Strom became the third mate of the Hourglass.

+Studies continue
+Party never ends
+Half forgotten dream
+Four random events - chance encounter, chance encounter, salvage opportunity, fungal growth discovered

"I'll use everything in my power. Are you ready?"


Bite my lower lip and nod feebly.


[clapping intensifies]

Now, what sort of Inheritance is that?
That usually means money!


Ah… the sword. I will put it on display in my cabin for now. Stein was always proud of it after all. Maybe someone else will pick it up and put it to use one day.

Now, back to Wark.


I smile back to her and try to control myself after laughing a bit too much.
"Well its a long story but there are adventures here and there and we found an altar and I throw you in there plus all those pirating business. and now you are here."

I then give her a lighthearted smile, glad that she/he is back now after all.
"Its been a long time since that meeting of ours back in Stonebriar remember. That last time where you are shot, I just could not leave you there specially with Little Miss Summers begging me to return you back to the living, that is why instead of leaving you I brought you here in the ship, most of it is because out of guilt for getting you involved in… everything."

I then bow my head humbly.
"I am an intolerable pirate most of the time but now I ask you Ms. Heart to understand and I am here to apologize for my actions."


She leads you out of the office, carrying her briefcase full of folders, into the hallway. This is the most generic, gray, boring hallway you've ever seen.

You take so many twists and turns you rapidly lose your way, but you suppose it doesn't matter. You'll never go back to that office, will you?

Eventually you arrive at a doublewide set of doors.

"This is it. Ready?"

One day Strom tells you to come down into the hold. They're going to read Old Ben's will.

He's been avoiding you lately – not even sleeping in your room anymore (with previous crowding, this bed seems almost empty with only two mares and two fillies). You can imagine he's really embarrassed.

Eventually you manage to spot him in the evening taking a breath of fresh air out by the prow of the Sirocco.

"What – what?! An altar? You can… you can change me back, right?"

She's on the brink of tears.


I see.
Walk down there.


Trot up to him.
"Master Wark?"


I give her a teasing smile.
"Yes… and?"


"I just shut up all the time and let you do the talking, right?"


"Then do it! Change me back – I don't want to be a mare. This is like a horrible nightmare!"

He looks startled. "Ah, er – I should go."

It's not too long. He traveled with his stuff on his back. To your surprise, there is something in it for you, too.

"To Emrille, who may one day learn to respect the elements she's already mastered as a weapon, I leave a weapon for only those who understand the element. My sword."

Strom produces from a box an extremely narrow weapon that more resembles a lightning rod than a sword.

"That's about the long and short of it. You can whisper into my ear if you have something you want me to say."


"Let's get this over with then. No sense in waiting. I've been preparing all my life for this moment anyway."


Stop him with a hoof.
"You meft rather swiftly last time we spoke."


Pfftt.. last teasing.
"Aawww… but it suits you."
I turn to Ms. Puzzle.
"It suits her am I right Ms. Puzzle?"


Take off my hat with respect, and take that weapon.
"I'm honoured and everything, but he knew I wasn't good with swords, right?


"Let's go, then."

The room is big. It's not like a courtroom in the real world – instead, it's circular. There are a lot of ponies observing from the seats around the room. Manila leads you down the aisle into the inner area and indicates a seat next to her at one of the tables. There are a few other tables here, all arranged in a circle. You notice that there's no center "bench" for a judge. It's a big circle with no single ruler.

"Aye. It was inappropriate ta ask of ye. I feel… embarrassed for even considering it. Sorry."

HP even seems a little weirded out.

"She's not a mare…?"

"No! I mean – I mean now, but I wasn't always! I was just a stallion who looked feminine – and he did this to me! I want to change back! I don't want to live like this, this is the worst thing imaginable for me. I spent my whole life being conscious about how feminine I looked! Fix me!"

HP looks mortified. "That doesn't sound fun at all! I can't fix that… how did you do that, Mister Chip?"

Burnside notes: "If you can't use elemental magic, that weapon is less useful to you than a gun without bullets."


"How exactly does it work?"


He scoffs. "I'm not some pansy mage!"


Guess gods wouldn't want anyone to affirm himself superior to them.
Little mental snicher, the matter is serious.
Sit down where Manila tells me.


I shake my head.
"I understand. Kin is very important to you, I can relate with that to a degree. But… you must understand that my condition is also genetical. My niece in Dixie developed the exact same thing as you may or may not remember. That's not to say I myself never want children, but I believe you should be aware of this fact nonetheless."


I look at Miss Puzzle then to Nurturing Heart before I bite my lips, looking sideways while scratching my head in embarassment.
"Well……….. I had a little help from some altar dug out by me and the gang in an underground temple by those who worship Luna? Or whoever that moon pony thing is, I mean talk about fetishes those Lunites have it all if you ask me."


"Gee, that helps… still, I'm thankful that he thought of me."


You glance around the chamber. All of these ponies look very orderly – which is a nice way of saying boring. Statesmen. Bureaucrats. Judges. Even mercenaries. Those that value the letter of the law above all else.

Eventually things begin to quiet as well dressed ponies enter the main ring, taking seats at the tables. In all, there are four tables. One has a sun on it. One has a sun and a moon. One has a skull. And your table.

"Ye don' need ta talk me out of it if ya feel uncomfortable. It was a stupid idea. I just… grew ta like ye a bit. It was unprofessional. But it wasn't cause ponies think yer pretty er that garbage. Er yer honeyed words. None of that matters ta me. Ya can fix up an ugly face. Ya can ignore blunt words. But… is it foolish fer a warrior ta be attracted ta mare with a brain in her skull? I wanted my kid to have a brain. Smarterin me maybe. I'm rambling like a bloody schoolfoal."

"So? Where is it now?!"

"He did know us well."

+Studies continue
+Party never ends
+Half forgotten dream
+Four random events - chance encounter, chance encounter, salvage opportunity, fungal growth discovered


Studies continue!


The Commodore has summoned you to his office aboard the Darklantern.


Look at the ponies at each of the four main tables.


Pay him a visit then!


Think silently for a moment.
"… Perhaps we could attempt to find a suitable jenny for you first. If that does not work out, we could instead consider trying your plan. There is no time pressure, is there?"


"I think its around here somewhere." I scratch my head. "LightHeart keeps all of the magical items if I am correct, come lets see if she knows."

I stand up and try to help Nurturing Heart up


None of them look familiar. They're all pretty professional-looking, though. They must be representing each faction rather than actual members. It strikes you as quite detached. You're the only one here who isn't one of their legalists… these followers of the Spirit of the Law.

You knock on his door.

"Enter, please."

"Maybe… I ken feel something coming… maybe tha final battle is at long last coming home… I had always thought I had more time with the immortality… Maybe I will have no legacy."

Nurturing recoils at your touch and keeps an uneasy distance as she follows you.

(Separate event for LH)
Chip is leading an extremely lucid and troubled Nurturing Heart to you. You've never seen the typically-addled nurse look so bothered.


And I'm the only one here who's personally involved.
Look at Folder, wait for her signal.


Enter then.
"Hey there. What's hanging?"


I frown.
"That does sound… troubling. This potion, are you certain it works?"


"Good day. Can I help you?"


I close in to LH and whisper.
"Hey do you still got that altar of changing gender or something? You know that kinky device used by those Lunites? I kind of need to use it."


"Ah, the Lunite altar? I'm afraid it has not been found yet. Quite unfortunate, but I am hopeful we may still recover it in the future. To what end?"


"I do not hang anything in my chambers. It would be a hazard during a firefight if it fell."

"I suppose I haven't had it tested. But he showed me his other transformative potions in the market and they had amazing effects."


Nurturing Heart gives you a desperate look. "You have to fix me!"


"Ooh, so scary, something might fall!"
Roll my eyes.
"Like that's the worst thing that we faced. Falling shit."


I nod.
"Could you… perhaps have the commodore take a look at them? I do not know whether he would know anything about alchemy, but perhaps he could ensure that the potion truly works. And perhaps even replicate it."

I cock my head.
"I'm sorry?"


"Ah goddangit."
I turn to Nurturing Heart.
"There was a mutiny not a long time ago, some pirates betrayed us and sink some of the ship. As for the altar… I didnt know it got lost in the process."


"I'll have him look at it if ya'll feel better. If Mister Cross were here… he was an alchemist."

"I'm not a mare!"

Though you've always known her as one.

"But… I can't live like this!"

"Why create issues when you can avoid them? Do you polish your guns strictly to make them look good, or do you care about the function?"


I nod.
"Thank you."

Stare at her perplexed for a moment, then blink a few times.
"… Oh. I see! My apologies, I was unaware other ponies had been using my altar."
Look at Chip, then back at her.
"… Once we retrieve it, you are free to use it again."


"Both, duh."
Caress my rifle with a wing.
"This beaty is both good lookin' AND deadly! Just like me!"


Just give an embarrased expression to LH

I kneel in front of her and try to calm her down. "Nurturing Heart, it may take some time but if we do recover it you are free to use the altar as Ms Light Heart said."


"My apologies, there were so many other things to recover first, so the altar moved down the list."


+Three random events - Found mysterious item, encountered missionaries, strange encounter in the deep
+Mocking Wark visits Abilio (optional)
+Rosemary visits Abilio (optional)

She just sobs at the two of you.

"I can't live like this. I'm not a mare. I don't want to be a mare."

"Well, there you have it. A speck on your rifle is not something you need to worry about in a battle – but why not ensure you DON'T need to worry about it at all during a battle by removing it? It just makes good sense."


"Fair enough… anyway, you called?"


"Mi-… nurse, please calm down. It will not be forever. See it as a unique experience, I thought it was quite interesting to see the world through the eyes of a stallion for a while. You are a medical professional are you not?"

Rosemary next.


I breath out and
"Dont be like that, Stallion or not what matters is that you are here and alive. Besides it will take awhile to get the ol' altar but it will be retrieve so what I must say is patience."


"Right, so we now begin the hearing for the eternal hearing of my client, Miss Seabreeze."

"Objection. Mischaracterization."

"Miss Felfire, then."

Some of the ponies trade glances at the name. The pony at the skull desk just grins wider. "Objection. Use her real name. It's the Law."

Manila grits her teeth but spits it out. "Miss Doom Destiny."

A lot of looks are shared about the room.

"I just planned to remind you that you aren't getting out of your studies. You still have a lot to learn."

"I've spent my whole life with ponies treating me like a mare because I was a nurse. I don't want them to be right! I just… waaaaaah."

She runs off sobbing. You expect she'll be totally indisposed until you get that altar back.

End of event. Chip's remaining events:

+Job offer
+Topaz's mint recovered
+Ciddir following you
+Four random events - Found mysterious item, old hand encountered (KM), chance encounter, salvage opportunity

Once Rosemary is feeling up to it, you escort her to the commodore's chambers and knock. "Come in."

"Mister Abilio… I have news. I'm pregnant."

"Oh. Terribly sorry, Miss Heart."

"No uh… she's the mother."

The traditionalist Abilio blinks. "I… probably shouldn't ask."

"We wanted to know… how safe your age magic would be potentially for accelerating a pregnancy… I don't want to risk a miscarriage if we get into a battle."

Back in his element with theoretical questions of magic, Abilio thinks on it a moment. "I'd have to run the numbers. I can't do a change of rate… I simply don't know a spell. However… we could make appointments for me to altar the age of the fetus repeatedly. Move it along at each step, but slowly enough that your body can expand. Potentially, it could be done safely in maybe… a month? That's about ten times faster."


"…wait, like the magical shooty shit kind of studies?"


I scratch my head.
"Well that was unexpected, but at least not a total downer." I smile as she runs away.
"….. "
"Naahh… she can take it."

"………. "
I look at my back and frown, looking back at Ciddir.
"Why are you following me? Its a bit creepy you know."




Hm. Well perhaps I can convince her to work with HP Lovepone at some point. Always need more medical ponies…

Look at Rosemary to see how she feels about this and how she responds.

"I am not certain what happened exactly, but I suggest you treat your associates with more respect in the future, mister Chip. Upsetting a medical pony is very unwise."


I grin.
"Yes, its my fault completely I admit. But there is just something about her that makes me go a bit crazy about her you know what I mean?"


"Potentially. There other realms of magic, too, you know. And you never completed your initial studies."

Ciddir blinks at you.

"I am merely observing your strange customs. You are also a smith like myself, but the way you work is different."

Your council leans over and whispers, "That's your real name. Your birth name."

The Grogar representative stands up. "I think this case is cut and dry. For 99% of his soul's life, she worshiped Grogar. Grogar's power sustained her and she even spoke to him and received his blessing. She met the insistent poltergeist from opposing council as a result of his power. She was BORN INTO HER ROLE AS A SERVANT OF GROGAR, AS SIGNIFIED BY HER NAME. It has always been her destiny to be a soul of Grogar. This is simple. Send her to Grogar."

Rosemary is already looking to you to see what yo uthink.


"Why would I care about other magic?"


Whisper back.
"What? They nev-
They called me something in their horrible prench, not…
Doom Destiny!


"You might one day get locked into a cage and wish you had learned to teleport, or something."


"Well, I would be quite interested having her employed as one of the fleet's medical ponies like miss Puzzle. We are in dire need for such skills."

I smile at her.
"The choice is yours, Rosemary."


"Yes and? What if its a bit different?"
I close my arms.
"Why are you a smith yourself sir?"


Roll the dice.

"You smith entirely different to me. It is foreign to my sensibilities. I do not understand why you smith the dead. You are like a necromancer, are you not?"


Tilt my head.
"I can only teleport bullets, not myself."



Roll #1 8 = 8


"Oh, no, not them. Your original parents. Before the Prench family and before the raiders who came before them. Do we need to take a break?"


Stare at her in surprise.


"But you could learn."

She nods hesitantly. "I think so… that will give me time to get back to caring for Grey and Red… and the new little one."

Her voice screws up at the end a little bit. She's clearly very excited.

+Three random events - Found mysterious item, encountered missionaries, strange encounter in the deep
+Mocking Wark visits Abilio (optional)


I've been ignoring these random events… but I'm so curious.
Mysterious item?


"..you think?"


She sighs. "I need a moment with my case. I move for a ten minute recess. Ayes?"

There are hooves that shoot up all over the room.


She leads you back out, but this time into a small room off the main hall instead of her office.

"Oh… geez, where to start?"


Roll 1d5

He snorts. "Emrille with confidence issues?"



Roll #1 1 = 1


"Hmmmm… you are quite right about that Miss Heart. Dont worry I'll try my best to talk to her into staying and being at peace with herself.

"….. I smith the what?"
I try to clear my head.
"No you got me wrong, I am no necromancer or magician or whatever those things. Technically I am a ship-builder of sort. I repair the ship from its wooden and metal parts. I do have a bit of knowledge on forging steel and metal all thanks to Miss Blue Topaz, may the gods of the seas bless her soul." I bow a bit.


Shake my head.
"No, dumbass, I just never really thought of expanding my magic beyond… y'know, shooting shit."


Start pacing around in circles, in anger.
"Maybe on where and why the fuck my real name suddenly is DOOM DESTINY?
That doesn't leave much room to interpretation, does it?!"


"Oh no, I do believe that if he wishes to be a stallion, he has all the right to be. What is the point in having the altar otherwise?"


"… welll nnnyeahh… perhaps?" I scratch my head.


"As I remember it, he did sign up as crew. That means it is not unreasonable to put his medical skills to use."


"Yeah, you're correct. If we find the altar I'll see to it that she got changed back if she wanted too." I nod at her.


"All of the materials you work with are dead. Dead wood, dead metal. It's not alive. It's like working with corpses."

"Oh, Emrille. You're the only mare I could imagine who calls someone else 'dumb' while in the same breath complaining they had never thought to just learn more magic… as a mage. And you are, technically, a mage of sorts."

"Don't panic. It's not some kind of fate or soul name. It's just your birth name. Your mother gave you that name because she intended to turn you into a lich to usher in a new age of darkness for the world. In fact – the reason why so many people care about this case is because you may be proof that ponies can CHOOSE to resist their nature and buck fate – to be good even when born to the worst situation."


"Mages need cataclyst, though, right? And I only have my rifle and revolver for that. So that means I can only enchant bullets and shit, right?"


I will just stop and stare at her, mouth wide agape for a second.


"One of my other students, Miss Felfire – she wore a necklace as a catalyst. I suppose she could only perform jewelry based magic?"

She squints at you. "I really thought you had learned some of this at some point."



"Not. A. Word."


One day while aiding in the recovery effort to dredge things out of the Roadesian Bay, you discover a bottle submerged in the mud. There's a paper inside.

"Are you asking me to use discretion or commenting that you never divined any of that?"


Shake my head.
"Screw discretion, I'm dead, and everyone around here knows my life better than I!
You mean those bastard fucks of the raiders weren't my parents!?"


Well… that's rather traditional.

Pop it open and take out the paper for me to read.


"Oh, well….. hmmm…"
I think for a moment.

"Well now that you put it that way it kinda is, I do work with 'dead' material. So what about it?"
"Just to be clear I dont use any magic, I mean if I got the materials I just heat metal and cut wood to make boats because that is how the basics of boat making works."

"How about you?"


Roll my eyes.
"So what, my pistol lights up and zoom, I'll be in the fucking other side of the room? Although…"
Poke him in the shoulder excitedly.
"Shit, what if I was in a mexipony standoff, and then BAM!
I teleport out of it and let them shoot each other to shit!"


"No, they stole you away from your mother, the high priestess as a child. Your father died in battle before you were born."

It's… a map! Interesting.

No labels, either… how furtive.

"I shape the living."

"Or, perhaps you need to storm a room, but you wish to know what you will encounter… an Astral Projection would serve you better than those ridiculous hat lenses."


Grow pale.
"You must be shitting me."
Find somewhere to sit.


I sure hope Cloudy has a way to read maps like these.
Anything that stands out at all?

Roll #1 10 = 10


"Don't you understand? This is GOOD news – you were born to be a death harbinger – a dread lich. Instead, you converted and fell in love with a paladin – not just any paladin, one who believes in peace between the sisters!"

There are clearly depicted islands on the map, but you have no idea where these are. You'll need a skilled navigator to look it over, or to compare it with good sea charts.


"And when were you gonna mention any of that!"


"Bitch, don't you start dissing my hat too…
Oh, shit, uh, is there like some spell that could make me not use scopes at all? Y'know, like I'd do some magicky thing and then my eyes would focus onto something and I could shoot people in the head more accurately?!"
Flap my wings excitedly.


"When procedure says it is my turn to speak."


Of course. Can I go see that blind mare then?

Roll #1 9 = 9


Look beyond her, to one of the grey walls.
"So… The raiders killed my real parents?"


"Shape the living?"

"….. like you can heal ships and woods?" I raise an eyebrow.


"That is the gist, yes."

Sure. The First Mate, now.

"Yes, or, just your father. Your mother outlived you."


He shakes his head, then nods.

"Ships are dead wood. I shape living wood. Like Curry's armor… living trees… That sort of thing."


I am hardly surprised.

Let's go knock on her cabin.
"Miss Stripes?"

Roll #1 9 = 9


When do we start?"


"Good fucking job, mom…
Not like I wanted to meet you or ever needed you, mom!"


"Hmmm… now that is interesting, it looks like you and me are interested to each other." I smile.
"Say perhaps I think Miss Puzzle's workshop is around here if I remember, want to visit it?"


"Um… come in."

"At least you're enthusiastic. First, we'll go back over your fundamentals, then we'll think about new things."

With that, you continue your studies.

+Party never ends
+Half forgotten dream
+Four random events - chance encounter, chance encounter, salvage opportunity, fungal growth discovered

"If it makes you feel better, you died far, far away from home. She couldn't have found you – and believe me, she wanted to."

"You mean Miss Topaz?"


What cool stuff do I learn?


"My apologies for disturbing you, but I require your navigational aid once again with something I found."


You went over your fundamentals. You're four skill points ahead of the people joining Pirates. You don't need any skill points for a long time.

"Oh? What did you find?"


I shake my head.
"Yeah, I mean Miss Topaz. What am I thinking."


Look up at her.
"I feel…"
Gulp down heavily, damp eyes.
"I feel like I've missed out so much. Like I've thrown myself away…
I always thought I'd be ready for this!"


"If you'd like to, then I will observe."


"A map in a bottle. Rather cliche, but it did intrigue me."
Pull it out and unfurl it on a table or something.
"Unfortunately there are no labels on there whatsoever. All I can tell is that it depicts some sort of archipelago. I was hoping that perhaps you could help me."


She nods. "That's a common reaction to death. Many who pass into the realm of the eternal think they would have had more time… time to do the things that they always wanted to. We Law lovers are fortunate – we have all eternity to do what we love."

"I can take a look…"

She runs her hoof over it extremely fast, parsing each part of it.

"No labels… this may take a while."

+Random: encountered missionaries, strange encounter in the deep
+Mocking Wark visits Abilio (optional)


"I will leave you to it then. Thank you dearly."


Learning magic is haaaaaaaaaaaard…
What's that half forgotten dream?


Wipe my eyes.
"I would have liked to say goodbye to Terrebonne one last time..
At least she could always call on me…"


"Haaa… your jaws might go ajar." I grin as I go to work in making an axe."

Roll #1 7 = 7


One day while sailing along the shore a missionary ship sails up alongside your vessels. It bears the symbol of Celestia's sun. They hail you to stop so they can board.

One day you awaken in the early morning… your dream is already slipping away… what was it? Roll to recall.

"Felice Terrebonne is dead. She was killed at the Battle of the Roadesian Bay."

He watches intently. "What if it cracks?"




Oh goodness me.

Let's go see what they want.



Roll #1 3 = 3


I stopped.
"Cracks? What do you mean crack?"


"There was a brutal conflict in the Roadesian Bay. Very few survivors. Most of the city died. In fact, we're about to start the paperwork for it after you get processed. It's going to be a nightmare."

One of the priests greets you warmly.

"Good afternoon, my child. I could not help but notice you are malnourished. The Abbot-Commander of this vessel has graciously decided to offer your starving crewmen food. The Lady of the Sun provides for all her children."

It was a dream… of music. Something… from your past. How odd… You can almost still remember… but something about it was so Germane…

"Like if you heat it too much, or if someone smashes it in battle."


"…What about Abilio, and Curry, and Roger?
What about those little kids that were on board?"


"Oh, I just reheat and repair it again and if it is dull, re-sharpen some weapons to show him as the axe slowly kept cool."
I then sharpen the axe.

Roll #1 5 = 5


"… I see. That is very kind of you."
What kind of ship is it?


"Abilio and the kids, I believe. I've been very busy with your paperwork."

"That seems like a considerable pain to have to keep fixing it every time."

It's a heavy frigate and armed to the teeth. It probably belongs to one of the floating abbeys that dot the Equestrian coast, like the one Abbess Ballast of Fairwave belonged to.


"So they died too?
Will I.. Like, get to meet them?
Is there a ticket to meet your friends in the afterlife or something?"


Germane?… the fuck… maybe it was Stein.. or was it Onik? Or someone was germane, I think!
What music?
Urgh, this is maddening.


"I would invite you for a cup of tea, but I am on duty at the moment. What sort of food would you offer?"


"That's not how these things work."

Maybe… but perhaps you can investigate further in the future. You seem drawn to it, though… that musical capital of Equestria, in Germaney – Anneiv…

+Party never ends
+Random: chance encounter, chance encounter, salvage opportunity, fungal growth discovered

"The most holy of foods. Sunflowers."


"Where did they go? Have you decided already?
Could you tell Terrebonne something for me?
Stand up and take one of her hooves, staring into her eyes with a begging expression.


I wipe my brow.
"Kind of but it is good money and besides it is good work. Not to mention that you can fashion many items in this way like nails, swords, armor, and statue's and wheels." I smile at him.

"How about you? How do you make items?"


These ponies certainly know their propaganda. Perhaps I will try praying tonight again.
"I graciously accept your offer then."


"I don't know. Maybe? I could try. It's not that simple."

"Next time we make landfall I'll show you. Until then, I think I should go think on this."

He takes off.

+Job offer
+Random: Found mysterious item, old hand encountered, chance encounter, salvage opportunity

He gives you a nod. "Very good then. Praise the sun!"

They drop off some much needed food and depart. With the loss of your coffers, the food is literally a godsend.


…weird… I guess we might sail that way sometime.
Oh well!



+Random: strange encounter in the deep
+Mocking Wark visits Abilio (optional)


"Tell her, tell her she was the best friend I could have ever hoped for.
Tell her, I am the mare I am today thanks to her."
Start tearing up a little, but still remain fixated into Folder's eyes.
"And not to worry, because everything is gonna be just fine…"


I nod at Ciddir as he takes off while I look at Blue Topaz room and think for a moment before relaxing.
I think there is something about Topaz mint recovered?


One day while checking the rigging on the ship to make sure the lines are secure, you blink.

Somehow the lines managed to tangle themselves into a huge knot– but they're taut with pressure of maybe one or two hundred pounds. How is that even possible?

You're about to question it when you hear a familiar voice.


She thinks on it. "Interesting. That may be useful for your case, too… I'll try, though."

You give it a cursory look over. You don't have the skills for it… she taught Tony how to use it. Still, someone might learn to use it – maybe even you. Until then, it gathers dust over there…


I suppose.
Rolling to pray that night '1d10'

Last random encounter… let's see what's up with it.

Roll #1 2 = 2


Step back, wiping off my face.
"That was…
And don't tell anyone I bawled like this, okay?"


Oh, fuck me.
"Itz- Izt…. that fucking rabbit? Where are you?"


It doesn't do anything for you, really. You wonder if Skylight was praying at daybreak for a reason.

One day while you're diving, helping to recover corpses, a curious octopus glides over near you and extends its tentacles to touch you.

"It might help your case if I did. Hard to see dread necromancer in bawling schoolgirl."


He waves at you from the crow's nest.


"…Only if you really need to, okay?
Let's go back.
Let's finish this."


Fly aaaall the way up there.
"How did you get there? How did you survive? And why the fuck did you do this? Fucking hell, do I need to shoot you?"



An octopus huh? I hope its not too big. Boop its tentacle with a hoof.


It curiously and gingerly wraps a tentacle around your hoof. It strikes you how gentle it is being, because you can see the muscles rippling though its body.


After a stressful ten minutes, you reconvene.



"Listen here you little shit, I survived too, and I took down the motherfucking dragon and his fleet. Now, why the fuck did you do this? I really hope you don't plan to leave this fucking mess as it is!"


What a strange creature. I guess it's just curious and not used to seeing ponies underwater.


Sit back down.


Hmmm examine it… very very carefully and take notes.

Roll #1 1 = 1



A recovery ship sails overhead, which spooks the octopus. It departs as quickly as it came.

+Mocking Wark visits Abilio (optional)

You try taking notes for a time but you can't figure out what the pieces are for. You try gently moving the parts around, but something breaks off. Oops. Better leave this stuff to someone else.

+Job offer
+Random: Found mysterious item, old hand encountered, chance encounter, salvage opportunity


"Fucking undo it!"



Last one then.


This is spirit.



Mocking Wark left a sealed letter on your pillow.

You sit bleakly through more arguments. Your council makes the argument that choice is important and that your conversion was not just the work of one pony but several, and it had more to do with your search for a new life and new fate than just an urge to be with one pony.

The Grogarian council keeps the same stance: your whole life was Grogarian, you spoke with Grogar directly, you were born to be Grogarian. You belong in the Mossy Fields.

The Celestial council takes an interesting argumentative route. He cites prior rulings that show that conversions at the end of life count Then it makes a procedural argument: it doesn't make sense to use an afterlife that hasn't been used in hundreds of years. Maintain the status quo. Order.


Open it up.


The Commodore couldn't figure out if it'll work without wasting any. He referred me to a discretionary specialist the fleet has used before living in the farming community of Dawnwood, inland of the southern coast of Equestria. If you agree, I'd like to lobby to go there next. The trip will be brief.






Grab him.
"Listen, you will unfuck what you fucked up or I will fuck you up!"


Look at Folder in worry, but determination.



I approve of this. Sounds interesting. Be sure to let him and the commodore know.


File: 1394989589277.png (18.89 KB, 312x461, ff.png) ImgOps Google

He seems unimpressed by your grabbing.


The fleet moors in the south of Equestria so that you can Wark can travel up north to Dawnwood. It's a few miles up.

"We're looking for somepony named Theia Springleaf."

The sight before you reminds you somewhat of home. It's an old agrarian stronghold – large manors and fields, not much of a central town in comparison.

The Esplanade council calls for a character witness. For the first time you see him clearly as he takes the floor at the center of the room – It's Fervored Freedom. He glances at you, but doesn't dwell. If anything, his gaze seems to avoid you.




Open my mouth slightly, in surprise and wonder.
But don't say a word.




Oh… I wonder how my niece is doing, I never got a letter back…

"I quite like it here. Have you been here before?"


"I am sensing bullshit! Don't fucking mess with the fucking ship or I'll put more bullets in your body than you can count!"


"Neh. Too far inland for me. An old sea jack."

How mysterious indeed. You wonder if that peacekeeping organization, the Fraternal Order of the Olive, is tampering with her mail.

"I have been advised…" he begins, "To not even mention love as a reason. Too messy. Too hard to define or quantify. Too irrelevant to the Esplanade. Fine. I won't dwell on it. But love isn't purely romantic. I was always taught that the nature of the Sisters is to be forgiving and emphasize kindness – true unconditional love. What kind of forgiveness is it when you only forgive certain behavior? That's not really forgiveness, is it? That's saying you're going to forgive, but then practicing something totally conditional. It's never too late to come to the Sisters. That's what I was taught. And… maybe, just maybe, if ponies start believing in the good of both Celestia and Luna, maybe the gap between them can be repaired. Maybe that doesn't matter to you Law followers, but there are a lot of ponies that would matter to. And maybe it would be less paperwork for you or something if you had less fractional afterlife realms to deal with."

It's hard to judge how they took the speech. Someone in the audience speaks up. "According to procedural rules, the case in question may speak on her own behalf if she chooses."



"What good would that do if the ship fucking crashes into a rock or something?!"


I don't doubt it. Hopefully we can return there some day and see whether she and her brother are happy or not. That is what is important to me.

"I have come to enjoy a good seabreeze myself to be frank."



You begin to wander through town. Eventually you spot a cart with a cartoonish potion sign. The kind you might see on a Saturday morning.

Wark chats on the way over. He's never been so wordy other than to mock ponies. The thought of whether you're growing closer crosses your mind.

"Beats explodin' mansions, I reckon."


"Don't you fucking dare!"


Another day of slow business, I sigh.
I spot the pegasus and the donkey.
"Hey there! Travelers I take it? Don't go out into the forest without one of Springleafs Healing potions! Will fix you right up from any trouble at a fair price!"


"Theia Springleaf?"

Your mother's name…



"Quite. Though the fleet has had its own share of explosions over the course of time. I suppose the freedom is what I enjoy the most, even with all the danger involved that is what makes it especially worth it."

"Good day miss. Not to worry, we are not planning on going to the forest quite yet. Rather, we are here to do business with one Theia Springleaf."


He is about to say something but stops to allow you to talk.


"With you? Of course I fucking can't tell!"


I take a step back.
"What? Why? Who's asking?"
I look at both of you closely.


"I would like to."
Stand up.
"And I really would hope to say my part and impress the whole lot of you and make you realize what a messed up situation this is, but it's probably not gonna happen. I never had it in me to give speeches and move crowds.
Instead, I can only tell you about what I know. About the nature of a soul.
I've seen many, in my travels, like the Grogarian representatives so stalwartly pointed out. Souls burn. They wither and grow old and never die. Souls live through the eyes of the ponies they live in, and as that pony grows, so do they.
In my life I've wanted nothing more than to escape the vessel of my body, free my soul from this skin it was imprisoned in.
But then I changed.
I met ponies, ewes, dogs, griffons, many, many more, who taught me life is what we make of it. And by changing my life, I changed my destiny.
If it wasn't so, the Celestial representatives wouldn't be here today -if day can this even be called, in the realm of Law- moving claims for my soul.
But in truth, I tell you, my one reason to change, my one act of conversion, it was all born from the efforts of the paladin who so stalwatly watched over me through dark and through light.
And in his beliefs, I adhere."


"We require her expertise when it comes to alchemy and potioncraft."


I look away for a second.
"She's….was my mother…"




"Ah. My sincerest condolences, miss Springleaf."


"In what?"


I'm silent for a second before turning back to you with a forced smile.
"What do you need? She taught me a lot about alchemy, I'm sure that whatever you need, I can find or make it!"


Roll for eternal fate. Alternatively, save against investigative committee scrutiny. Whichever phrasing makes you feel more uncomfortable.



"Shooting you and using your corpse as shark bait has a certain appeal too, don't you think?"


This is the end, my friend, the end.

Roll #1 3 = 3


"We were hoping you could aid us in identifying and checking a certain potion we have in our possession. … And perhaps even more than that."




"I thought you liked dying and shit, with how much you are trying to get me to shoot you with your bullshit!"


I laugh nervously.
"Well, miss, I'm your mare! Whatever it is, I'll identify it!"


Take out the potion and give it to her.


Your council speaks up. "If that's all evidence being considered, then we will hold the final calculation in the holy name of the letter of the law."

She motions to the door for you. "A final tally must be calculated."



Sniff it, look at it, can I identify it? '1d10'

Roll #1 6 = 6


"Ugh…you're fucking hopeless… how the fuck do we even fix this mess?"


Turn to Folder, my breath unsteady and my eyes singed with worry.
Then, move through the door.


There are a lot of smells in here… you can definitely tell it's a consumption potion… seems like it's something transformative…with permanency on it. No expiration time without a way to dispel it, like an antidote.


The deliberation is painstaking and takes longer than you expected, for a simple tally. It seems like nearly two hours before you're finally summoned back for a final judgment.



"Like shit it will…"


Hmm, if there's enough, put a tiny drop of the stuff in a tube and run some experiments, adding a few reagents to determine the ingredients, perhaps if I can find out the ingredients I can find out what it's for! '1d10'

While working I ask "Did you meet my mother before?"

Roll #1 1 = 1


"I'm afraid not no, this is my first time in this town."


"This committee has found by a plurality decision under the bylaws of the Spirit of the Law a final resting place for this soul in question. This final decision may not be appealed by any authority short of the Spirit of the Law itself. Are you prepared for the reading?"


You spill it by accident.

The donkey speaks up. He has a Scottish accent. "We were referred. She did previous work for our fleet."


That is, the drop you spill.

They would've noticed the whole flask spilling.


Take a deep breath.
Come on filly, focus, you can do this. You've got to do this…
Try it again with another drop.

Roll #1 6 = 6


What can change anyway.


"Well maybe, but not if it fucks us over!"


"Really? She worked with so many ponies, she never told me."


"We did used to have a potion expert of our own, but he has unfortunately retired you see."


It's been said that ponies come into our lives for a reason, bringing something we must learn, and we are lead to those who help us most to grow if we let them. There is a certain security in the rulings of the Court of Law. It is a place devoid of good or evil, only law. A place where black and white truly exist, and emotions do not come into play. Perhaps to some that is a nightmare, but it provides a security in their decision. They cannot be written off as purely subjective. In a way, that might be the nightmare. Confronting the truth once and for all. Felfire got her ruling, and moved on to the afterlife. It was not the perfect fairy tale ending, but in time, she grew at peace with the decision. And in time, maybe to love it. Felfire lived a life defined by death. It seems only fitting, then, that her death would be so little defined by her life. Her death was meaningless. A pitiful end to a life of adventure… but not all can die as heroes. But there is hope for every fallen pony.

The faint sound of crickets filled the air. It was perpetually noontide. Felfire looked up from her position, reclining. It was warm – it was always warm. She had just lost her train of thought, but it didn't matter anymore. There, by the bridge, the edge of the domain. He couldn't visit the realm of Celestia often, but she was always pleased when he did.

The End

There are a lot of odd ingredients here. Looks Oddomane, inner continent. Hard to say… but it has some subjective ingredients, too. Stuff like Heart's Desire and Rainbow Dollop. Interesting. You're not familiar with this recipe, but you've learned a lot about it.



"But you will if you keep pulling shit like this I bet!"




"Bullshit, chaos isn't calculated!"




"Enlighten me then!"




"Uh.. so, why didn't you see the whole Umlock thing coming?"


"I see."
I cough.
"The potion seems to be of oddomane origin. A number of interesting ingredients such as Hearts Desire and Rainbow Dollop. I have to say I'm not that familiar with oddomane recipes. But I'm certain studying a book on oddomane alchemy would reveal the nature of this potion."
I note down the effects and the ingredients I can determine and hoof it and the vial back to Light Heart.
"I hope that will help, miss."


He tilts his head.



Grab him.
"You little shit, why didn't you warn us then?!"




"Hmmm… I was hoping to confirm that it would indeed work without risk."


"Actually, we are pretty sure it's a transformative potion ta turn one inta a donkey. We wanted ta confirm that."


"Well, it is definitely transformative. I couldn't determine the exact transformation, but it could very well be a donkey.
However, the potion seems to have a permanent element added to it.
Once the transformation happens, whatever it is, there is no way to undo it."


"He provided us with an antidote. That would work, right? Do you need to see it too?"




"Let me see."
Perform same tests '1d10'

Roll #1 5 = 5



It shares a lot of traits with the other potion. It would not be unreasonable to say it is an antidote.


"Yes, I believe this should work. Seems like you made a good buy."
I hoof it back.


"Yeah, that fucking Umlock thing!"


"Do you believe you could recreate such potions? Transformative ones?"


He nods.

"Well, that's good at least."



"How is that a minor fucking detail!
It was a huge fucking detail! The motherfucking biggest fucking detail!"


I smile.
"Why, of course, if I had time, and money, to do proper research."
I rub my shoulder.
"And I haven't had either of those since…"
I cough.
"I'm sorry. Is there anything else you needed? I still have some nice potions."


"Are you familiar with water of life?"


Am I, wf?



+Random: chance encounter, chance encounter, salvage opportunity, fungal growth discovered

If you haven't been to Roads, no.


"I'm sorry, I'm not familiar with it…"


That fucking rabbit.

Let's get random.


Pick one, there are four


"Unfortunate, but hardly surprising."
I smile at her.
"How is business here, miss Springleaf?"




Roll 1d10



Roll #1 8 = 8


One day while you're working through the wreckage in the Roadesian Bay, you notice a door sticking halfway out of the mud. It's the old door to Landgrave's room.

It would be easier to salvage if you dropped what you were doing and got it now…

Normal Cost: 5
Current Cost: 2
Remaining Points: 4


I cock my head.
"If I may be honest, not so good miss. Ever since another alchemy family moved in here." I grumble "and became good friends with the mayor. we haven't had many customers. Me and mom resorted to traveling up and down the river to try to sell enough to live. Some days I can't even buy food after paying the ferry. You're lucky I was in Dawnwood today."


Job offer? What is this Job offer and who is offering it?


Commodore Abilio would like to formally offer you the position of First Mate of the Hourglass under Captain September.


Get it right away!
Private fucking Mansion for Miss Emrille is a go!


You salvage the Mansion in a Door.

+Random: chance encounter, chance encounter, fungal growth discovered


Hmmm that may sound worthwhile go to Abilio's place.


Well, let's get settled in there too.
Fuck yeah.

Let's see what that fungal thing is about


"I see… You would not happen to be searching for a more stable income and workplace, would you?"


"Come in, yes?"

One day while sailing you notice an odd, fuzzy fungus growing near the aftcastle of the Darklantern.


I enter and give him a smile.
"Greetings Commodore Abilio." I nod at him.


I puff my chest.
"I'm sorry, miss. But I'm not that kind of mare. This isn't the first time a mare or a stallion asked me to work in their….pleasure house. And I won't do that!"


Eww, what the fuck.
Get a board or broom and poke it.


I cock my head.
"I'm afraid that is not quite what I meant. We happen to have a few ships at our disposal, you see. As I mentioned before, our previous potion maker has retired due to his age."


What do you expect it to do, spring alive? It's some kind of mold. A little bit sticks to the broom but otherwise it remains in place.

"Oh – is this about the job? You didn't have to come in person."


I blink and deflate.
"Oh…I'm sorry, I didn't mean…yes, if you need an alchemist I'd be happy to help."
I smile sheepishly.
"What kind of fleet are we talking about?"


I need to tell someone about this.
Uh, let's get an engineer or something.


"Well its a bit late for that now am I right?" I grin.
"So what is this job about sir?"


The most obvious options are Ciddir, Rusty Wrench, and Chip.

"Well it's pretty straightforward. Same responsibilities as your old job as third mate, but two ranks higher. Not much to say about that, is there?"


"One who is not part of the Equestrian Royal Navy, yet has a large amount of cannons and weaponry on board for some curious reason."


Let's get Ciddir.
I also want to rub something in.
"Hey, I need to show something to you, like, some weird fungus shit growing on the ship…"
"And by the way, remember when you said we'd die if we fought the dragon?"


"I see…"
I look again at my stall and Dawnwood.
Then back to you.
"Is the pay well?"


"Okay. Yes I remember that."


"I would say so, yes."


Lead Ciddir to where I found that shit.
Keep up the shit eating smirk.
"Guess I sort of kill it, didn't I?"


I cough.
"Then I'll do it. At least until I can get enough money to start my own business. The fleet is in the harbor I assume?"


"Yes, it is fortunate we did not need to fight it. Death would have been certain."

He leans in and examines it.


I bow.
"Well… I take that it comes with a bigger room, a bit higher wage, my own forge, choice of whom wench I want to stay in my crib and most likely one of the guys who are first to pick the spoils of our adventure aye?" I smile.


This town doesn't have a harbor!
I smile.
Extend a hoof.
"You may call me Light Heart, miss Springleaf."


He rolls his eyes. "As I'm sure you've noticed, we don't particularly have gold or wenches right now."


Wark looks at you expectantly.


"You're right, it wasn't even a fight, it was fucking slaughter!"


Well it's next to a big river, I imagined in MH it had a small harbor. Whatever.

"Nice to meet you, miss Heart. If you'll excuse, I'm sure you don't have much time, so I'll pack my things and we can meet in about an hour in the tavern, is this acceptable?"


I laugh.
"Yes I know that, just lightening up the mood."
"Yes sir I accept your offer."


"You are quite alien. Why did you want to show me this fungus?"


"Good. Report to your newly assigned vessel at your convenience."

+Random: Found mysterious item, old hand encountered, chance encounter, salvage opportunity


Introducing people happens one at a time!
"- And my associate master Wark."

"Of course."


"Duh, because it's not supposed to be here! Do something about it!"


"Pleasure to meet you, mister Wark."
Gotta go now.


I nod at this.
"Thank you Commodore and Good day to you." I then leave.

What do I do with random? Do I roll or do I pick?


I suspect he was more interested in knowing your assessment of the potion now that formalities are out of the way.

"I don't think I can eat the whole thing in one try."

Do all of them in any order you want.


"Eat it? What the fuck is wrong with you?"


Perhaps go around a bit and investigate what is in the ships.
Found mysterious item


"It would be a waste to not eat it. This is Black Creeper Morel, and our hold is running out of food."

Roll 1d5



Roll #1 2 = 2


While exploring the Oddomane coast a few months later, you come upon a jar half buried in the sand.


"Well, it appears miss Springleaf believes it works properly."




Pick it up. and examine it.


There's a large cork in the top and it has mosaic tiling. Otherwise it seems normal.


"Black creeper what? And isn't it, like, dangerous?"


"No, it is good for eating."


Can I open it? Lets see whats inside.


"Show me."


"Your request is feasible. I will discuss it with Rosemary as soon as we return to the fleet."


"Thank ye… that's all I cen ask fer."

You open it. There is nothing inside, but a cool breeze seems to blow slowly out of the jar. How odd…

+Random: old hand encountered, chance encounter, salvage opportunity

He gives you a blank look as he pops off a piece and munches on it, mouth open.

"Tastes good."


Pick up a tiny piece, and try a taste.


Recork it and keep it as a decoration for my room, it looks nice enough to keep.

Perhaps go around and see the people of this place.
Old hand encountered


"It will be strange to walk around as a jenny for some time. But perhaps also interesting."


It tastes extremely starchy. Like… eating starch, really. Other than that, well, it's bland but not bad tasting. You bet with spices or some shit it would liven up, like rice.

In the evening you are wandering the halls of the Darklantern, looking for holes to patch, when you see someone moving around down in the hold.

He nods. "Thank ye again. I know I told ya ya don have ta but… if ya want ta have a relationship with tha child, I'd be pleased fer it. But if it would be easier ta not… get involved, I won' hold it against ya."


"I… yes, of course."


Call out
"Hey I thought everyone is asleep except the guards! Who are you!"


"…okay, this isn't terrible…"
Poke Ciddir in the side.
"Wait, fuck, you said we're low on food? Why don't we just grow this shit then?"


"Well… ya don' have ta make a decision right away anyway."

"P't a th' s'ps, p't a th' c'w."

An old, familiar voice calls.

"It is possible. I could smelt it."


"Of course. There is time."


"Don't smell it, make some bins or something and grow it!"


"Huh? Who is there?" I began to go near him/her/it with my weapon drawn.

Do I recognize the voice?

Roll #1 4 = 4


You are ready for Pirates 2!

"Smelt it. Smith it. Refine it."


Why yes, it appears to be Keymaster. You thought he died.

"J's' o' K'm't'r."


"Oh… yeah, do that!"
"Oh, and thank me later when we don't starve!"


"Your thought processes are alien. Why would you not be thanking me?"

He wanders off with a sample.

+Random: chance encounter, chance encounter


Roll 1d16 for chance encounter


"What the hell!" I readied my stance
"You goddamn traitor what the fuck are you doing here!"



Roll #1 3 = 3


He blinks at you.

"I d'no w' y'r t'k'n ab't."

While visiting a little parish down on the edge of Poneland-Lethuania, you visit the missionary clinic. In a moment of surprise, you notice Diamond Luck is working there.

Roll to remember face, given that you never interacted.



Roll #1 9 = 9


Oh yeah. That was a doctor on the fleet once.


I cant understand a thing! What is the thing saying? Am I even awake?

Roll #1 7 = 7


"Hey. You."


Yes, you're awake. In any case, he seems harmless. He's just sweeping up. Barring any other interaction, maybe just leave him be. He is a fellow diamond dog after all.

+Random: chance encounter, salvage opportunity

"Yes? Wait… I know you."


"Of course you do."
Tip my hat.
"I'm Emrille, an officer from the fleet. You didn't think we'd be held back by something like a shitty little dragon, did you?"


"Uggghh.. euggh." I leave the ghost be and hope it doesnt visit my chambers whenever I bring a wench.

Perhaps I might ecnounter something or someone better than ghost or whats not.


"Well obviously I did, that's why I took my chances leaving."


"He and his followers are fucking dead, taking a little nap on the bottom of the ocean."


"Good for you, I guess. Not much reason to celebrate given the amount of death and destruction. That's why I gave up that life… I'm a volunteer doctor now."


"Shit like that won't happen again. Abilio is the Commodore now, and we could always use a good doc."


"I've moved on. You should, too. Life is too short to spend it on greed. I wish I had realized that sooner."


"Yeah, right. Things are going better than ever for me. It could for you, too."


"Oh? How?"


Roll 1d15 for encounters


"Come back! The fleet isn't like a bunch of strangers anymore, it's small and focused and shit! And we could always use a medic!"


"That wasn't even an answer to my question!"


"Less people means more money!"


Then I'll go talk with Abilio first. I haven't had the chance to.


"Do I look like I'm here for the money?"


His office door is open. He's working on some sea charts.


Knock on his door anyway.
"Commodore? Am I interrupting anything?"


"No, go ahead."


"You could also make friends, travel the world, all that shit!"


"I already know all those ponies, and I already traveled the world!"


"How are you settling in in the Darklantern? It cannot have been easy losing the Pillager's Fancy."


"Well, the Fancy was an old vessel. She has a good life. The Darklantern is obviously the superior vessel in terms of function. It's nice having a kitchen for one. And I've remodeled the first mate's room into a library with a staircase directly into my new chambers here. In all, I have learned to like it."


"Then you know Light Heart loves doctors a lot!"


"The truth is Emrille, I never cared for Light Heart. The one I always wanted to sleep with… was you."


"Huh, what?"


I nod.
"I must say I am glad to have the Darklantern back. She is quite unique, I don't believe I have ever heard or seen of a ship like it."
Look around the room. What kind of decorations does he have set up?
"I am also pleased to have you and some of the others returned to this world. It would not have felt quite the same without you all."


He cracks a sly smile.

"You're so damn gullible. Still, I still have my poker face. They don't call me Diamond Luck because I make jewelry."

The room is far from spartan. He has already put up his old bookcases and his odd necromantic artifacts, like his chess board… thing, some kind of scales, among others. There's a flesh tapestry hanging on one wall and much of the floor is chalked out with odd circles. The tables are covered in navigational and star charts.

"Well, pleased to be back, I should say. I felt indebted enough to not retire immediately, anyway."


Narrow my eyes, but then smirk and chuckle.
"You motherfucker.
C'mon, I know you'd be bored to shit if you stayed here, and then realize it was a mistake later!"


I smile.
"Let us simply hope that we will no longer have hidden dragons among us with this fresh start. If you don't mind me asking, what are your plans for the fleet in the future?"


"I dunno. I can make a difference here."

"First things first, we need to re-establish our base… dredge up what we can of our coffers and hire back a menial staff. It may take the rest of the year just to get back into working shape before we really consider our future."


"You could make a bigger difference with us. We need you more."


"A bigger difference in the wrong direction!"


"Yes… of course. There is plenty of work ahead of us for the time being."
Take a look at the sea charts. Are those the ones we fished up?


"Oh come the fuck on, who's going to tell you what's wrong or right?"


Some of them. Others are entirely new ones that he and Cloudy have made. The sea charts are mostly Cloudy's, and the Star charts are entirely Abilio's.

"No one – that's why it's so important to figure it out for one's self."


Huh. They're quite productive.
"Are you an astronomer, commodore?"


"Yes, always have been. Actually, my star charts are part of the reason I got together with my fiance. Our wedding is set for the fall, by the way."


"So you would rather do something that is boring as shit compared to an example life, just because you want to sell it to yourself that 'it's the right thing to do'? What will that achieve?"


"Ah, congratulations with that. The two of you make for a lovely couple."
I chuckle.
"But I should let you get back to work. Thank you again for my recent promotion."


"Of course. Good day."

"You're not being very compelling. How about this, just boil it down to your strongest point and let's get this over with."


September next.


She's in her quarters working on some blueprints.


Knock knock.
"Captain September?"


"Mm? Miss Heart?"


"It worked out for you for the first time around, it will work out even better now."


"Am I interrupting? I thought I would swing by to see how you are faring."


"This time is as good as any I guess. Anything specific?"

Roll Diplomacy


"How are you liking the Hourglass? Not quite the same as the Eagle's Roost, is it?"


"It's a lot smaller, that's for sure. I guess I got used to always finding new stuff… a quirk. Maybe we'll get another big ship eventually


Pom pom pom. Seems I packed my bags.


Think of the children!

Roll #1 7 = 7


"Yes… recovering the Eagle's Roost was simply too hard of a task. I am pleased to have you back however. A lot of people may have died that day, but in the end we managed to prevail."


He finally comes around.

"Alright… I'll give it another shot."

1d15 for chance encounter.

"Yes. I lost more friends than I cared to, but that's what you have to expect in this line of work."

Bags packed! Go find that girl!


Yeah, where is LH?
Wave wave. I packed.


"Did you ever sense something was off with Umlock? I admit I had simply written him of as a brute."

"Ah, are you ready?"


I nod.
"Yes, lead the way, miss Heart. Good riddance to this town I say."


"I knew he was a dragon, if that's what you're asking. I just never thought he'd pull something as stupid as that."



Roll #1 1 = 1


"A brave thing to leave your home just like that. I did it too once, but in the end I do not regret it. Come, let us leave then."

"To be fair, he did nearly end us all. We had some… very close calls to biting the dust."


"It was never really a home these last few years anyway."
Trot trot trot.
"How large is this fleet, miss Heart?"


"At the moment we own three ships. A rather nasty mutiny has left us a bit short on that front. I serve on the Sirocco, which I can admit without exaggerating to be quite possibly the fastest ship in the world. Aside from that there is the Darklantern, a unique heavy frigate protected by iron plating, and the Hourglass, a Saddle-Arabian Dhow. If it pleases you, I can have you signed up on the Sirocco."


"That sounds nice. If I am to work chemicals I would need a place a bit away from other chemicals.
You do not want the alchemy room to be next to the gunpowder room if an accident happens."


While docked in an Oddomane port, you think you've seen a ghost when you run into Felfire on shore leave.

She grumbles. "Maybe I don't feel like being fair to him."


"Wait, what? Felfire? That you?"


She gives you a weird look.

"I should go."

With that, she takes to the sky.


Fuck that, follow her!


Roll to catch


"Quite right. We will make the proper arrangements once you are signed up. I believe you will quite like the commodore, he is a magic enthusiast as well and referred us to your mother."

"Understandably so. But I blame that snob Landgrave more than anypony else. He thought he could walk all over me and force me into his uprising. It was very satisfying to see him crushed."


"He wanted the same from me. I probably wouldn't have made it out of breakfast if not for Gerard."



Roll #1 4 = 4


vs 5

You manage to keep pace, but as you speed up she speeds up.


"Ah yes, the general… He was present on the Sirocco. We had a bit of a shouting match until some of the crew grabbed him and ended his life. That was… regrettable in a way."


"He did? Well he certainly knows quality, my mom was one of the best alchemists around."


"He was a close friend. I will miss him very dearly."


Catch up, fuck, don't let her go!

Roll #1 7 = 7


"I do not doubt it if the commodore recommended her. I am sure you will one day live up to her legacy."

"I did enjoy the talks I had with him. Very educational. Mister Cross was very upset over his passing."


vs 4

You finally catch her and tumble to the ground.

"Let me go!"


"Like fuck I will!
Where the fuck were you?"


"Well, if I ever find out which of them is responsible, I'll find their corpse just to stab it again for good measure. Anyway, dwelling on all this anger isn't good for the heart. Was that all?"

"I left after the battle. It was too much!"


"Well, now you can come back!"


I scrunch.
"So what about you? What's your part in all this, miss Heart?"


"Everyone's dead!"


"No they aren't, you idiot!"


"Yes. Always a pleasure talking to you, miss September. I am happy to have you back on the fleet."

"I currently serve as first officer under captain Marsh on the Sirocco. The fleet is quite the unique place and I very much enjoy the sense of adventure it brings. Always new places to visit and explore… I very much enjoy it."


"Pleasure's all mine."

"Everyone I cared about, then!"


"Good day then."


"Abilio is back, and he's the Commodore!"


"Oh? Where have you been? What's the most exotic place you've seen?"


"Dixie, Poneland-Lethuania, the Oddomane empire, the island of Roads… There is too much to choose from. They are all exotic in their own respect."


She's on bedrest.

"Oh…? Well, maybe I'll come back and check it out."

You are ready for Pirates 2!


Walk up to her.
"Hello there, stranger."


"I haven't seen much besides Dawnwood and Vanhoover. To be honest, miss Heart, I am a bit nervous."


She gives you a little kiss on the nose.



I chuckle.
"I was excited when I left. Is it not comforting to know that you are about to spread your wings and take in the world rather than being confined to a town or two? This is opportunity, miss Springleaf."

"How are you feeling today?"
How far in is she? It might be wise to wait until she's had the child until I ask her approval of that thing, now that I think about it…


I glance back at my wings and back to you.
"Opportunity….what a strange way to look at it."


It's up to you to when you approach her. Let's say two weeks in. She has a large belly and other things that will make Sion think I have a pregnancy fetish if I describe in detail.


"I signed up as crew and climbed my way up the ranks to first officer. If that does not spell opportunity to you, then I do not know what does."
I chuckle.

Okay. Stress is bad when pregnant, I know that much. I don't know how she'll react to it, so I'll wait.

"I was thinking… have you thought of a name?"


"Oh, nothing serious… I toyed with Lilly Belle…"


"I suppose this will take some time getting used to. Who is the commodore?"


"That sounds lovely. … But what if it is a colt?"

"Mister Abilio. He may seem a bit aloof at first glance, but he is a fine stallion nonetheless. A magic practitioner and astronomer."


"Oh, I hadn't thought… can two mares have a colt? I suppose I'll need to put more thought in. Do you have an idea?"


"Could you come with me when I sign up? I'd feel much more comfortable."


"Technically I was a stallion at the time. A shame we lost the altar, is it not?"
Smile coyly.

"Of course. The perks of being a pegasus is that we can simply fly from ship to ship as we please."


"Thanks, miss Heart."

I suppose I should go to Abilio to sign up.


She squirms a little. "Yeah! I know I'm supposed to act all fragile and dignified but… my hormones are really going crazy! Ugh!"

To the Darklantern! What a relief that OOC you know what it looks like so I don't have to describe it.


Very nice.
You wouldn't even guess that it got blown up by a magnificent daring Diamond Dog only a few months ago.


You literally wouldn't!

Anyway, his cabin door is hanging open as he pours over maps. He looks up. "Ah, it seems Light Heart brought someone back. You look… like the spitting image of Theia Springleaf."


I chuckle.
"Easy there. We can take care of that when we have a moment to ourselves."

Lead her to Abilio's cabin then.


I gasp.
"You met my mother?"


"Indeed I have, commodore. This is Selena Springleaf, an alchemist to the likes of her mother."


"I'm sure I can convince Wark to watch the kids… he's been acting awfully nice to me lately. You must have made him less grumpy grouchy."

"I knew her well. We kept in touch – we went to school together, in fact, which is saying something, because it wasn't some big fancy university with thousands of students."


"We have been through quite a lot together lately. It does have a tendency of putting things in a different perspective."


"So how about it?~"


Feign ignorance.


"How about I go establish a moment to ourselves?"


"Of course, dear. You wear the pants in this relationship."


"Not right now – I don't have any that would fit!"

She pulls herself out of bed and waddles that ass out of the room in search of Wark.


I'll wait for her to return then.
Better take a pill as precaution.


Another ass comes by – this time, a jack ass. Wark collects the kids and takes them out to play. Then your mare returns.



I swallow.
"I should tell you then that she…she passed away."



I think a visit to the final captain is in order. Mellow Marsh, that talky pony.


He nods somberly. "A pity. I've lost too many friends lately."

Right now he's going over your very barren hold.


"Captain Marsh."


I recompose myself.
"Miss Heart told me the fleet could use an alchemist. I can assure you I have been trained in alchemy since I was a filly and I would like to join on this…venture."


I nod.
"I was hoping to employ her on the Sirocco."


"Good evening Miss Light Heart. Have you come to the hold for something in particular? I'm not sure we have it."


"That's fine by me. It's a pity, our old Commodore used to keep an amazing collection of herbs and plants, some alive, some plucked. I wonder if it could be salvaged… well, not to dwell on it."


"Yes. I was looking for one Mellow Marsh. Fortune has it that we have one left."
I chuckle.
"If you are not busy, I was hoping for a little chat."


"Perhaps that could be a future project to keep in mind. There are still things I wish to recover as well."


I nod, visibly relieved.
"Thanks mi….Commodore. If you ever need help with alchemy or a touch of magic, I'll be at your service."


"Oh? What do you want to chat about? I'm guessing it has to do with the coup? That's all anyone seems to want to talk about lately. People asked why I sided with Smitts. Not a big shocker there, though, was it? He gave me a career. I slaved under Abilio outperforming his other subordinates time and time again, but I wasn't promoted – not a necromancer. Can't say I'm incredibly hyped about having him for a commodore, but we don't have many necromancers anymore. Just that weirdo that even Abilio doesn't like… and Felfire's back. Emrille brought her in from a recent excursion."

"Please, for Theia's daughter? Call me Abilio."


"I won't let you down, Abilio." Oof, time to get to the Sirocco with LH.


"Do you mean the resurrectionist from Roads? … And miss Felfire is back? How… interesting."
That smells like ratshit.
"Still, I mostly wanted to congratulate you with your promotion to captain. After all this time I can imagine it must be quite pleasing to finally command your own ship."


"Ah, yes. The Sirocco is a fine vessel and one I'm proud to captain. Her design is quite sleek. I think it's a sign of good fortune and we'll no doubt start fresh successfully."


I nod.
"It is very good to still have her under our reigns. A shame a lot of the old faces are not around anymore, but we must move on from that and begin anew."
I smirk slightly.
"I also remember you being quite surprised I sided with commodore Smitts."


"Well, it wouldn't have been a large leap. You kept company with Landgrave and his nobles."


"Mostly to keep an eye on him, admittedly. I was intrigued from the moment I saw the portal to his illustrious mansion. I admit I hadn't expected the attempted coup to happen though. But believe me when I say that I will shed no tears for his demise. He was quite the insufferable snob."


"Oh, I could write a book on all the problems I had with him alone, much less his pack of cronies. I won't bore you."


"Well, in the end he got what was coming for him if you ask me. Before I leave, we have a new member to add to the crew roster on the Sirocco. An alchemist at that, which may come in handy after mister Cross' retirement."


"Oh? Do tell."


"Selena Springleaf from Dawnwood. From what I gather her mother was a very experienced alchemist as well. She seemed to be having financial issues, so I decided to invite her in. It cannot hurt to have a pony who knows a thing or two about potions and magic."




"He seems okay. Very…friendly for a commodore. I didn't know he and my mother used to study together."


"He is quite the scholar. Engaged to our navigator too."


"Must be a lucky mare."
I look at the ship with the numerous sails.
"That's the Sirocco?"


"Indeed. This is where you will be spending the majority of your time during your employment. The Darklantern is quite nice, but it is rather dark and enclosed if you ask me. The Sirocco is far more lit up."


I fly over there.
"It looks very…orderly."


"Well, we do our best to keep it that way. Much more efficient in the event of battle, don't you agree? Now, normally crew tends to sleep together in hammocks, but as first officer I have the privilege of possessing a cabin. I and some of my associates use it to sleep in for added privacy. If you wish, you could sleep there as well. The choice is yours, miss Springleaf."


"That's a very generous offer, miss Heart. But . I wouldn't want to cause you more trouble, especially after all you've already done and it might be a good way to get to learn the rest of the crew."


Just taking in a bout of fresh air here. Reminiscing that time when everyone was getting brutally murdered by mutineers and a dragon.
"Well well, what do we have here? Rosy not good enough anymore for you, Light?"


I halt. What is this shiny pony creature.


"It wouldn't be any trouble, if it were I would not be offering."
I chuckle.
"But feel free to decline if that is what you wish. My offer will remain open were you to change your mind however."

"Ah. Tela. This is miss Springleaf, a new crewmember on the fleet."


I fly over as well.

"Well, hello there~"
Eye her up.


"Yeah, I don't remember seeing her anywhere before."

"Whatcha looking at?"


"Probably checking you out."


I was inspecting the crystal pony.
But I look up.
"Oh hello. My name's Selena."

"Oh sorry. I was distracted…you're very shiny. I've never seen a pony this shiny."


"… And wherever Tela goes, Emrille is closeby. What honor do we owe your visit to?"


"Just wanted to get some fresh air. Why do you think I always want something."

"Name's Emrille."


"Oh yeah, don't worry about that. It's some kind of magical effect from a potion I once drank. Thought it would fade away eventually, but I guess that hasn't happened yet. It's not so bad once you get used to it, I actually like it now."


"Strange, Ive never seen that kind of reaction before. I'd love to have a sample of that potion."
I look up.
"Oh sorry, I keep rambling about potions. My name's Selena, alchemist and magician on my days off."
Offer a hoof.

"Nice to meet you, I didn't know there were this many mares aboard this fleet."


"I did not imply you do."


I snort.
"Doubt you'll ever find a sample of it. Town where it was made got fucked up big time by a dragon and an army of small ponies. Nothing left of the place."


Oh, shake the hoof too.

Firm shake.


"It sort of sounded like you did!"

"What, you were hoping for stallions?"


"Wha…no, I…it's just a pleasant surprise, that's all."

"Such a shame. It must have been quite something."


"Perhaps you simply wished to ask something or chat about something, which as it so happens did."

"The officer corps is rather neatly divided between males and females, as it so happens. Captain September of the Hourglass is a jenny for example."


"If you're into that sort of stuff, sure. Pretty cool to have an alchemist though. Can you brew ale as well?"


Saunter a bit closer.
"I hope you're not disappointed that pretty mares surround you, hehe…"

"Right… I should get some shit for the mansion!"


"The mansion?"


I giggle.
"Well I'll admit I did make a little in my off days.
Perhaps I can brew some if I manage to find some hops. It would take a few weeks at least however. I found that magical acceleration of the process is no substitute for natural fermentation."

"I see, I always figured fleets were huge chauvinistic sausagefests. Glad to see I was wrong."

"Heh, of course not, why would I be?"
Still clueless.


"Yeah, y'know, my mansion."


Raise an amused brow.
"Your mansion?"

"What a curious expectation…"


Pull her back by the tail
"Easy there, slut. Wouldn't want to somehow stumble and break your neck or something."

"Hehehe, you and I are going to be good friends."



"Ah, fuck, can't I make some friends?"

"Yeah, y'know, it's pretty roomy actually. Just needs some prettying up."


"If you are referring to Landgrave's mansion, then I'm afraid I must say I do not agree with it being yours entirely. It is technically part of the fleet after all. With the amount of destruction he has sown, I believe it is only fair that we confiscate it to our common benefit."


"All the boats I've been on were mostly run by stallions, but I admit that was mostly the few boats near Vanhoover that ferried the Dawnwood river.

"I sure hope so.
What's your duty here?"

Look at them curiously, they sure seem very familiar with each other.
My ears perk.
"A mansion?"


"Keeping all these assholes here in line, mostly. It's a tough job, believe me."

"What the fuck are you even talking about?"


"Sorry, but finder's keeper's. Y'know how much I wanted an own room, and now I get this!"

"The mansion in a door!"
"I got it salvaged!"

"Yeah, on the boat. You get there by this magic door and everything. It's fucking awesome."


"An entire mansion inside a door…interesting."


"If you remember, unlike you I had my own place in there myself. I suggest you do not keep fleet assets to yourself, as that would be theft."


"Tela can live there too! And hey, if your little friends want to come and live there, they gotta' pull some weight. I could use some cleaners…"

"Want in?"


"Uh… sure. That sounds… safe."


"That's very generous of you, miss Emrille, but I'd rather start with a humble hammock. I feel it would be the best way to learn to know the crew."


"Miss Emrille, I strongly suggest you do not violate our long standing friendship by blatantly stealing fleet assets."


"You're not being a pussy, are you?"

"Giving up that for a hammock… 'kay… If you're sure."

Roll my eyes.
"What the fuck do you mean stealing? You really think I can steal a fucking mansion? Like, what, I'll just put it in my front pocket or someshit?"


"If I may ask, miss Emrille, what is your duty in the fleet?"


"Second mate of the Darklantern, but I am good at killing too."


"It belongs to the fleet, not you. It is that simple. It was property of Landgrave, but seeing how he is now deceased after his untimely betrayal, it ought to belong to the commodore and by extension the entire fleet. That mansion is large enough to house the entire officer's corps. Do you truly believe you will hold on to it for even a single day once this is found out? Carry this over to the commodore the easy way, not the hard way."


"Nah. Kinda curious how the fuck it works though. Remember those dark portals? They didn't work on moving ships did they?"


"I suppose that's why you have so many visors."

Whisper "I can see why you have a hard job."


"Dumbass, it was on the ship before!"

"I barely have to use them."

"Who'd move in, huh? Abilio and his wife?"


"It could be a pocket dimension, but I wouldn't know how to make those."


"That is up to him to decide. It could function well as a planning room for one. Even as storage. Perhaps he will allow you to keep it entirely."


"He better fucking should. I got it! If it wasn't for me, it'd be sitting on the bottom of the ocean!"


"We would have recovered it eventually. I for one plan on bringing back my altar I was gifted by the old commodore as well."


"Well, I called dibs on the best room, so there's that."


"No shit."

"That doesn't answer my question, you stupid bint."

"Or maybe some kind of teleportation beacon, I dunno."


"Do you know by any chance who made it?"


"It works when the ship moves, yes, geez, are you this thick or are you pretending?"


"Rank overrules 'dibs', I'm afraid. The extra rooms are beneficial to the entire fleet."


"Nah, it was here before I even joined as far as I know."

I groan.
"I want to know how it works, you monumental fucktard. That was my question. I know your thought process only consists of cunts, guns and gold, but I like to think about more than just that. Stop being such a goddamn embarrassment."


"The biggest room is mine, no arguments."

"You open a door and you enter a fucking mansion! Do you know how fucking doors work or do I need to walk you through that as well?!"


"You will need to discuss that with the commodore, not me."


"Oh, he likes me, don't worry."


"That is none of my business. He will decide what he will decide."


"Do you ever even think before you talk? … No wait, I know the answer already."
Roll my eyes.


"Keep bitching and I'll set you on fire again."

"You're jealous, aren't you?"


"No, I simply do not let greed consume my thought process entirely. Besides, seeing how the mansion is not yours under any circumstances, there is hardly anything to be jealous about."


"Fucking try me."


"You didn't take it too well last time!"

"Like fuck it isn't! It's the first time I have a house of any sorts, nopony is taking that away!"


"Miss Emrille, we have been working together for over a year now. We have aided one another time and time again over the course of our partnership. I am not attempting to take away your joy and pleasure, but even you must see that taking a mansion that belongs to the fleet is not going to work well. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but there was a reason Landgrave was hated by the majority of the fleet. Do not fall for that trap."


"I'd give me an excuse to beat your ass at least."
Shake my head and walk off.
Fucking cunt.


"I'm telling you, I can let others live there. But the biggest, best room is mine."

Roll my eyes.
"Play that way then, bitch!"


Look at Tela walk away.
"She seems frustrated."


"She gets pissed over nothing sometimes."


I'll assume Selena has ran off as well, so I relax my posture after making sure no one is around and smirk.
"Better buy her some flowers if you don't want to go on a dryspell again for a while. Unless you're just gunning for some aggressive hatesex. Good job in that case."


She would have excused herself to find a bunk, but same result.


"She always comes around."
"Heh, comes around."


"Hope you're right. With this whole fucking mutiny mess there's just so much shit for me to do that I wouldn't have the time to offer you a quickie if I wanted to. Half of my staff is gone or dead, Doc Peg is gone, Terrebonne is gone, Felfire is gone… we're going to be real busy replacing them all. From what I hear, Abilio hates the new resurrectionists guts too. Don't know how he managed to have Abilio hate him even though he's a necromancer too, but there you have it."


Shake my head.
"Tela would gut us both if we fucked, you know that, right?"
"I don't know, I like the changes. Smitts gone, Abilio as the Commodore, Second Mate of the Darklantern…"
"And I get to fucking shoot down a dragon and murder everyone working with him."


"It was a good cleanup, just a shame a lot of good ponies had to die with it. And that we lost three fucking ships because of that moron Umlock. On the upside, if we acquire more ships I might get a shot at being captain. That'd be nice."


"And you called me a greedy cunt!"


"Not like it'd be my ship, we're still part of a fleet. Abilio is the commodore, he holds the strings and he can have them. Commodores have a tendency to die. A lot."
I chuckle.
"I just think captaining a ship would be a nice peak to my career as a pirate. My… zenith."


"I think having a fucking house is pretty fucking sweet too!"


"I had one once. Two if you count the one in Dixie. Both of them blew up, figures."
Wave her off.
"Anyway, better get back to work. Whip this fleet back into working order and all that good stuff. Toodles."


"Catch you later, cupcake."



Roll #1 8 = 8


Alright crew, what's up?



Me, early in the morning.
Time to look for a ride out of this place.


There's a new pirate commodore in town and I want to talk to him


"I'm afraid we have financial issues, too. And we're in no position to make any with our support corps in shambles. We're in an odd position: the Darklantern alone is intended to be crewed by hundreds. We're fortunate that we have the Hourglass to make port, I'm not sure that we can safely dock even with the Sirocco on this ghost crew. Or… hey, that's… that's not a bad idea, actually, now that I think of it."

The inns here aren't comfortable. You got a bed, though, and that's more than you can say about the poor sods out in the stables. Your blade still commands some respect here. There's no doubt at all that the Secret Police have checked out your papers to ensure your right to carry a blade is legitimate. The Ode dynasty… your minor house was so irrelevant in the war that you never even came into direct conflict with them. Ever since they established their hegemony 80 years ago, they've maintained a perilous grip on Neighpon. In a way, it's a blessing you became unlanded. With the hostage system still alive and well, there's a chance you might be forced to spend all your days in the Forbidden City to keep your father in line.

His door is open. Perhaps because with the shortage of crewmembers there's not many left to distrust.


Not my life.
I couldn't have beared the idea of staying in one golden cage forever, no matter how sweet the saké or how skillfull the geisha.
The world is my oyster. Off I go.
To the docs.
My business with brother River is over.


"Hmmm? What are you thinking of?"


Lean inside.
"Hello? Anyone home?"


"As much as I hate to admit this, I actually did pick up a useful thing or two about necromancy in my time on the Fancy. Years ago we picked up a mermare statue off the coast of Novdogod that had curious properties of conjuring ghostly servants. Tallow wanted to use it for crew members, but Thatch died trying to break whatever protective hexes it has on it. It's cursed something fierce. If we even still have it… we'd need a specialist in hex breaking. Those only come in two flavors as far as I know. Inquisitors and Naturalists. The first will want to sink us… the second, our best bet is Neighpon."

No less crowded than when you arrived. As the only place foreigners are allowed to dock and sell goods, it is overflowing with ships. Finding passage shouldn't be hard… after your papers clear.

"Come in… I'm downstairs."

A section of the floor has been removed and there's a spiral staircase into the room below – a private library.


Those dirty commoner pigs still haven't cleared them, I bet.
Time to go to customs again. See if they are done with it.


What the…
Well, he sure has a nice thing going for him.
Head downstairs.
"Uh… I'm not bothering you aren't I? I can come back if you're busy renovating or whatever."


"Now that… that sounds very intriguing. Which ship was this statue stored on? As for Dixie… well I could use my diplomatic talents to attempt to secure passage."


The customs house is the nicest in this merchant city. The roof is inlaid with real gold and there are lucky jade dragon statues across the lobby. The lines are quite long, and the workers at the desks already seem quite on edge – uncharacteristic.

"No, no. I always have time for the crew. What's on your mind?"


"I believe it was salvaged as a figurehead for the Darklantern."


"Then we must still have it."


Bad sign.
Exchange a glance with one of them, try to peer through his intentions, through his fears.
Walk slowly down the entrance.

Roll #1 8 = 8


"Just… I don't think I thanked you properly for saving my ass back on the Fancy during that shitst- err… mess."


"If it got dredged up."

You see all the distinct signs of under careful watch of a supervisor… but they must always get that here at the customs house. To elicit this much fear… Secret Police must be doing an inspection today.

He nods slowly. "Well, we'll call it even. You did dredge up my bones. Well – maybe not you specifically. I never asked."


"We can check whether or not it did. And if we do have it… well, a ghost crew during a time like this would be quite the godsend."


…How much do I have to fear from them?
I've left this land long, long ago. They shouldn't be bothering me for this.
Keep going.


"I mostly did menial work, hauling stuff back onto the ships and whatnot. Still have that earth pony blood pumping through me after all. Still, why'd you do it?"


The Secret Police are the ultimate realization of the Shogunate's will. Rumored to be cobbled together from the remnants of ninja clans, ponies who give them trouble have a tendency to disappear and not reappear. They aren't like the city guard or the military.

You get in line. It's pretty long."

It would not be long before the fleet turned toward Nagobana… dispatched in search of one who can break hexes.

Soon, you'd see that bustling city on the horizon as you pulled into port. So many ships… Stonebriar had nothing on this. A true locus of trade. All of neighpon's foreign trade focused to a single point.

"You… have a lot more life left in you. Old unicorn like myself… my time is passing. My only regret is never having found a proper successor to my abilities."


"I'm not all that younger either, y'know. I'm guessing not even age magic would help?"


I wonder how Happy Puzzle will feel about returning here.

Still, seems like a nice enough place.


Give a mean look to the ponyin front of me. Then to the sword, then to him again.
Repeat until top of the line.


"Frankly? I don't know the limits of it. I only learned the spell briefly before you joined us – mastered it more recently still. I get the distinct impression that age magic is not the key to immortality."

You could ask her. She's rooting around in her bag for stuff, waiting next to you.

Roll for ratio of good citizens.


"Rejuvenates the physical form but not the soul?"


"Happy Puzzle?"
What is she wearing?



Roll #1 6 = 6


"Possibly. I hadn't even considered that angle. I was more interested in the fact that none of my subjects have acted more immature – well, bar one, who had brain damage – when reduced in age. I suspect that the brain is not affected by this particular spell. Reducing someone's age to infancy might cause death due to brain trauma, and brain death… well, what good is a young body with a dead brain? This is all hypothetical of course. I haven't had any volunteers to let me cut open their skull."


She's digging out a kimono.

They mostly move, but then there's a totally oblivious baka gaijin who is clearly some foreign merchant who doesn't seem to get what you mean. He just gives you a smile and turns back around.

At least you're NEAR the front.


"How long has it been since you have seen home?"


"Hm… let's see, I was in Stonebriar for two or three years, I think. I did a little more work around Equestria before that. Maybe five? I don't worry about it that much!"


The wind blows, the stream flows. And I, I wait.


"Uh, yeah. I'd pass on an examination like that too. Why would they act more immature though? I mean sure, your brain would shrink if you were brought back to the size of a foal, but your personality and memories aren't something physical are they?"


"Are they not? I make not claims to being a neurologist. Perhaps you'd be better served asking Miss Puzzle."

Eventually you get up to the desk.

"Papers, please."


I smile.
"Are you happy to be back? I admit that as much as I enjoy traveling, I did enjoy seeing Dixie back again."


Slip the parchment out of my haori and down on his desk.


"Me neither, but shrinking down a memory wouldn't really alter it either… I think. You know that creepy altar Light Heart has? Emmy told me she got changed into a stallion by it, but that didn't make her turn gay for stallions either."


She thinks about it. "I won't know until we spend some time here!"

And when that, you disembark. It's a big city to search, but first you need to go through customs to be allowed to use ANY services – even an inn.

"Mister Tree…" He runs his hooves rapidly through cards in a filing cabinet, "…yes, we fast-tracked your paperwork. There's only one bar on it. You're departing earlier than you anticipated when you crossed the checkpoint earlier. You requested two months – it's been a week. Why the sudden change?"

Abilio shrugs. "Until we work with hard evidence, all we can do is speculate. A nod is as good as a wink to a blind pony."


Lovely. Patience is a virtue though.
"This seems like quite the busy port."


"My brother was easier to find than expected."


"Very good."

He stamps a form, and returns your papers to you. "Farewell Mister Tree."

"All the trade with the outside world goes through this port!"

There's a lot of crowding and market stalls everywhere.


Look at the stamp and then fold the paper again, back to its pouch.
Time to leave.



You head out the door. You're free to find a ship and leave.


"It certainly looks that way. Is this where you left from as well?"
What do they sell?


Not the baka gaijin's one, for sure.
Look around.
A ship that can travel quick, that's what I need.


Everything. Literally. There are stalls for everything from metal to vegetables, and stalls exclusively for eggs.

"Yes, everyone goes through the great customs house here."

Most of the familiar neighponese vessels are Junks – a slow, old design but one well suited to supporting large numbers of musketeers on deck. There are a variety of foreign ships, though. You're familiar with some and not with others.

Roll perception.



Roll #1 4 = 4


Oh my.
"Seems rather restrictive, no? I had heard Neighpon was rather isolationist, but I never experienced it firsthoof."


There are a lot of new designs you don't recognize… it's hard to say if they'd be faster.

She puts a hoof up to her lips, then whispers, "Let's not draw unwanted attention!"


Well, I could always ask.
There has to be a dock worker boy around here.
"Hey you.
The fastest ship in here.
Point me to it."


I raise a brow, but nod anyway and lower my voice.
"Care to indulge me on some of the local customs?"


He bows. "Of course, samurai. The fastest ship is undoubtedly his honorable lordship's Sky Eater."

This is clearly a polite fiction. The Sky Eater is a prominent sight in the bay – a show of arms to merchants. You're not even sure if that heavy mass will even sail, but it's overflowing with gold and cannons.

"Oh, there are many customs, but the most popular is oral tradition. Storytelling is very important. Or maybe you'd like to try the seafood! If you can stomach meat, you have to try the crab and seaweed wraps! Fried food is really popular, too… Oh, but enough food… ah, there's so much culture here alone! If only you could come to inner Neighpon… You'd see some amazing sights!"


Look at the ship, then back at the boy.
"Second faster."


I smile.
"How I wish I could. Though meat? I'm not entirely certain if that would be healthy for me."


He points at a curious ship you don't recognize with squared sails – a LOT of them. In fact, you'd think there'd be diminishing returns of some sort. Maybe they're arranged in a special way… in any case, it is a very stately, simple design characterized by very light wood, maybe birch.


"Where is that ship headed?"


"Hm… nor fried food, probably… I wanted to show you the yakisoba!"


He shrugs. "When it sailed into the harbor all of the others commented on its swiftness. I saw it too. I do not know about it for it is a foreign vessel and I do not have the papers to ride one, I would not have had a reason to ask. For a samurai securing such papers to leave Neighpon is probably a non issue."


"I guess so. I've been getting more and more involved in magic training though. Not age magic or anything as advanced as that, but stuff like teleportation. Can't believe I never dabbled into it before."


"The… what?"
I chuckle.


"I mentioned teaching that to your… ahem… girlfriend before. She said that she had never considered learning more magic. A little dense sometimes."

"Ah, it's like, um… what do you have? Right, pasta, but fried instead of sauce."


"You answered well."
Throw him a dime and be off to that boat's pier.


"Ah, now that does sound quite delicious. I agree then."


I smirk.
"Sometimes? Did you mention it would help earn her money better? That usually catches her attention."


It's docked alongside a heavily armored ebon ship of the line and a smaller support vessel.

"Oh! But we'll have to go through customs f– who's that going to the Sirocco?"

She points at a samurai headed straight for your vessel.

He sighs. "I had hoped she might learn virtues in life other than that."


Is this a whole fleet? Well now.
Anyone on board?


"I've been hoping it for years now. She just has these… uh… issues. Always had them. Probably a result of living on the streets without family."


Who is that indeed? What does he look like?


They must be out trading because there's no one on the main deck.

He looks to be a Neighponese samurai in traditional dress in his thirties.

"Yes, well, it seems even an opportunity to grow up again didn't do much for her disposition."


Not even menials?
A whole ship left alone?


Let's observe this fellow then.
"What would a samurai be interested in our fleet?"


"She hates kids, that's why. And being a kid too."


There are no menials on the main deck of this specific ship.

"He could be with the Secret Police, or work for the local daimyo."

"I hadn't noticed."


Approach the boarding plank then.
Shout towards a menial.
"I need to talk with an officer."


He points over at the small support vessel. "Captain's cabin is in the aftcastle."


"How intriguing."

Clear my throat from behind you.


The foreigner behind you has a neighponese pony in a kimono with her.


Turn around ignoring the menial.
Take one look at the mare and gently bow down.
"Flowing Tree of the Gun-Do clan."


Uh. Interesting.


I shrug.
"Honestly, I'm not a psychologist. I don't know if she'll ever improve or not. I sure don't know what I'm supposed to do about her behavior. But whatever, I'm just rambling about my own problems right now. I'll leave you be now. Thanks again."


Smile pleasantly and nod politely back at him.
"My name is Light Heart, first officer of the Sirocco. How may we be of service, mister Flowing Tree?"


"I am currently looking for a ride out of Neighpon. Would your ship be of service?"


"Good day."

You're free to go about your business. Or if you're feeling bored, you could run into some random encounters.


"Ah. Perhaps it could. Though our next destination has yet to be determined, I'm afraid."


"And we can't leave until we find a hexbreaker!"


Which ship do I now serve on anyway? The seaworthy is gone.
Who are the other officers serving on there?


Raise a brow, curiously.
"You are not merchants?"
Wait. Do I know what that's supposed to be?


Maybe I should tell Abilio about the manor.


I chuckle.
"That depends."


You're "under" Emmy on the Darklantern.


Is that not self-explanatory?


Now I can't even hit her in public.
Cloudy Stripes, isn't that the mare Abilio is screwing? No idea who Rusty Wrench is at all


I suppose I'm getting settled in.
Any special duties for me today or am I free to meet people/explore.


Not to me as the player, no.
Is this something strictly neighponese or what?
Smile slightly.
"I see.
For me, it is not really a matter of where, Lady Heart. Anywhere in Equestria would be good."


It is. And maybe you should've explored more!

You're free to explore. Work has been light. Speaking of Light – Light Heart is on deck talking to a Neighponese pony.

One who breaks hexes. Someone who spellbreaks curses.


See, I thought it was a thing instead!
Like a dreamcatcher, or a lawnmowner.


"In that case, you will need to request permission from the captain. I am not quite sure where he is at the moment, I'm afraid."


Where is her cabin then! I want to meet the mare who is in charge of keeping Emmy in check.


"Very well Lady Heart."
Nod slowly.
"Would it be asking too much to see your captain?"


I should set up a lab and storage soon for alchemy if I want to do this properly.
I'll talk to the captain about that later or perhaps Abilio would be better.
But let's see this neighponese pone first.

I wave to Light Heart.
"Hello, miss Heart."


You just left it. She's the fiance of Abilio.


Turn around and look at the newcomer expectingly, but without a word.



So they share one? That makes sense I guess. Where was she though?


"Of course not, but we would need to find him first and… I am rather pressed to find a pony who is skilled at hexbreaking."

"Miss Springleaf. Welcome to Neighpon."


"You already have."


Raise a brow.
"You… are?"


Oh shit, neighponese have all these strange customs and stuff, I'll have to make a good impression.
"Hey! I'm Selena, what's your name?"

"It looks magnificent. I hope I'll have some time to take a stroll."


Nod briefly.
Bow slightly to greet her.
"Flowing Tree of the Gun-Do clan. Honored to meet you, Lady Selena."


Oh shit I forgot the bow.
Bow slightly as well.
"The pleasure is mine.
Uh…would you mind if I called you mister Tree?"


I nod.
"Take care however, this is the only port open to the outside world."


"Well, that does make this a lot easier. Consider yourself cordially invited to the fleet, mister Tree. We will detail your work at a later time."


Probably out in Nagobana.


"I would not."
Smile slightly.
"But do not fear. Neighpon is a homely place."
"Your fleet must have quite the talents to be in need of a hexbreaker."


"I could use this opportunity to buy some special neighponese herbal ingredients for the fleet. Well that is if the fleet can cover those expenses."


"I have heard little about it. Butsome describe it as a beautiful but mysterious land."


"We are short on workforce at this time and recovering from a rather nasty attack on the fleet."

"I still have my own share of funds as well, so fear not."


"While I'm there, is there anything else I should be looking out for?"


Nagowhat now? Oh. I get it. The port we're in.

Fine then, I'll go out there as well. Maybe I can find her.


Chuckle softly.
"Very mysterious, yes.
A stranger could lose yourself in this very city if all alone on her own."
Look mildly surprised.
I did not take you for a seasoned fighter, Lady Heart."


There's a little pack forming. Light Heart and Selena chatting with a foreigner.


Look at Happy Puzzle.
"What do you think, miss Puzzle?"

I chuckle.


"Plants aren't really my thing… um, the cherry blossom trees?"


Which type of chink is he?


I smile.
"Well I was hoping you'd be so kind to be my guide"

"Oh yes, I want to see those."




"As always, looks deceive. Even a gorgeous Lady could be dangerous, in the outside world."
Take a deep breath of fresh air.
"That's why I love the outside so much."
"They blossom and wither in a single week.
One of the rarest things to ever leave Neighpon."
Then, to Selena.
"And I would be honored to show you the graces of this city."


Of course he is.

"Hey! What's going on?"


"Hm, I would like to see as much of it as possible myself."


Another one.
"Like cherry blossoms, the beauties on this vessel are scarce to be counted."
Bow slightly.
"Flowing Tree of clan Gun-Do, at your service."


"We are conversing with our latest addition to the fleet, Tela."


I wave.
"Hey, miss Tela."

"I'd love to see the cherry blossoms."


"Uh… okay. I'm Tela. You're lucky you're talking to the beauties and not the fleet's witch with that kind of talk."

"Oh… nice. Cultural diversity."


I nod.
"All races are welcome to the fleet."


"Witches could not fault me for being honest. It's a code I live by."
Keep on smilin'.
"Then, if Light Heart does not require my help immediatly, I'd be glad to show you around."


>if Lady Heart*


"It can wait. I am simply glad we found somepony so soon, to be quite fair."


"Yay! You coming too, Tela?"


Nod calmly in sign of understanding.


"This witch probably would. But you'll learn that when you meet her."

"Sure, I was gonna go on my own but it's probably smarter to follow someone who knows the place."


"The forest will make treasure of the voices in the rain."
"Now, cherry blossoms, I believe?"

Take them to a park. Or the nearest imperial building, really. Those are all made to impress baka gaijins anyway.
Or an imperial building with a large garden, to put the two things together.


"Sure, whatever you say."


Look amazed at the treasure line.
"Wow, that's deep."


"Most things you will hear or read around here are.
We do not believe in the need for endless streams of words, they dull the soul."


The nearest park is the courtyard outside the customs house. It's nothing elaborate, but there is a simple beauty in the floral arrangements and, indeed, cherry blossoms.


I just chuckle at that.

"These are quite pretty, I must admit."


Walk under them and pick up one of the leaves from the ground.
"They're more beautiful than I imagined!"


These are some of the last leaves of the year… perhaps you'll visit again when they are fully in bloom. While it is a somber reminder of how time marches on, the path is truly gorgeous: it's like the red carpet has been rolled out.


How do they taste?


Smile at them.
"Most of our country's history has been written under blossoms just like those, be it at the sound of pens on parchment or the cutting motion of a katana, deciding in a single blow the destiny of thousands."


They're a little old… they taste kinda vascular.


Munch munch.
"Pretty juicy stuff."


"How lovely. This would be quite the spot to read or write things, it seems very relaxing."


Give her an amused look.


"Glad you like them.
A delicacy, but few ponies actually eat them. Too spicy for the locals."
"Ever heard of haikus? It's poetry, but short, quick as a breath."


"I have, yes. Not my cup of tea, but I can appreciate them nonetheless."

"Miss Puzzle? You have been rather quiet all this time."


Nod, and turn to the pony in a kimono. Is she neighponese aswell, at least somatically?


I collect a bag full of them.
I'll put them in a pot and keep them for later.
I'll put some fluids to keep them fresh…Well as fresh as they are now anyway.


She is definitely Neighponese.


"Just keeping my ears open!"


"Yeah… they do have a weird aftertaste."


"Well, if you do have any more suggestions, I am listening. Perhaps you could elaborate on the folklore you mentioned earlier?"


"Perhaps they're better served fresh."
I close my bag.


"Oh, there are a lot of stories about monsters – ranging from the fae-like Breezies to the monstrous hydras!"


…Her ears open?
Twitch an ear.
Is someone stalking us?

Roll #1 3 = 3


Not that you perceive of.


"I am familiar with hydras. We did take one of those nasty creatures down about a year ago. But breezies?"


Doesn't mean anything.
If it's the secret police, they might be as quiet as leaves in the wind.
Exchange a glance with the neighponese girl.


I haven't introduced myself to Happy Puzzle yet.
"Hello, I'm sorry we haven't been introduced yet. I'm Selena."


"Or maybe as part of a salad with some dressings."


"Tiny pony-like creatures that do not dwell in this world.
Some call them pixies, and it's said that helping or catching one will allow you to make a wish come true."


She gives you a lighthearted smile.

"Pleased to meet you! Happy Puzzle."

"Little tiny ponies!"


Cock my head.
"Are they benevolent then?"


Go back to scanning the horizon with my eyes.

Roll #1 3 = 3


"That much is left to the pony who dares meet them to discover."


"They're traditionally depicted as trickster spirits, but ponies are ponies, I'd say!"

Nothing but flags.


"I love that name. So cheerful. What do you do around the ship?"


"Miscellaneous doctoring."

She gives you a cryptic smile.


"I assume they are a rare sight then. What a pity. They sound very intriguing."

I chuckle.


"Sounds…exciting….and a bit vague."


"Instructed in medicine, are you?
Acopuncture aswell?"


"Only a dabbling!"



"I see."


I look puzzled.
"Well…I'd love to have a cup of tea with you sometime then. I love puzzles."


She gives you a bright smile. "Sounds fun!"


Cough a bit, to clear my throat and get everyone's attention.
"Maybe we should move on, the keepers of this park might grow restless at such an assembrament."


I snort.
"Yeah, who knows, maybe we're here to invade your land or something. Can't be too careful."


"Or looking to steal their breezies."
I giggle.


"You may be right. I was hoping to visit the markets too, in fact."


Grow serious in tone, but keep a smile on my face.
"Caution has kept the empire together for so long.
They distrust each and every foreigner."


"The greatest portal city in the world is at your hooves, Lady Heart.
There is no ware you won't find, in here."


"Oh I am sure."


"Eh, that'd be too much of a bother. What would I even do with it?"

"I think the word you're looking for is paranoia."


"I'm sorry, I don't know that word."


I laugh.
"Nevermind then."


"We could visit a market then."


And to the market we go!


There are stalls of all shapes and sizes filling the streets, because there isn't enough space in the shops. Not that any of them can sell to these foreigners who have not cleared customs yet.


They should totally tell me they haven't done that.
Not like they wouldn't be ripped off anyway.

"What are you looking for, exactly?"


"Nothing in particular yet. I would like to hang on to my funds for the time being, but it would be interesting to see what there is to offer so that when we come back I may take a look at it again."


What kind of herbs/ingredients/gems are they selling here?


Any sign of Abilio's blind waifu?
What would a blind person even visit?

Roll #1 10 = 10


Nod in understanding.
Start walking slowly through the stalls, paying attention to whatever might be of interest, or rare enough.

Roll #1 1 = 1


I think I'll take a look at any medical stalls.

I do still have a certain promise to fulfill…

Roll #1 8 = 8


This is a very tourist-trap area. Mostly overpriced jewelry and food in terms of gems and herbs. Potions being sold already made. There is a little stall with ingredients, but it only has some odds and ends. Mealworm, Arrowroot, Polypore Cap, Flax Seeds, Fennel Seeds, Fly Amantia Cap, Ginseng, Lavender, and Onion.

By pure chance you run into her "looking" over a stall with sea charts.

Your guests are keeping your eyes distracted. If you want to stop being distracted, you should get some "stress relief".


The only real medical stuff you find are snake oil-esque natural remedies for balancing chi and the like. Tea is popular.


Hm. Of course it would never be this easy. That sounds like trash.
Oh well.

Look around further and see if something unique or special catches my eye or not.

Roll #1 2 = 2


Frown and exhale deeply. It's not the best moment for that.
Let's slide by this 'Puzzle' girl.
Talk in neighponese.
"You travel with an interesting company."


Eh…I could buy these in Equestria at a lower price probably.
These aren't exotic ingredients at all.


You're just overwhelmed by the amount of stalls trying to catch your eye with flashing touristy stuff. Your better sensibilities tell you all the best deals go on behind closed doors in a government like this anyway.

She cheerfully replies, "They're definitely oddballs, but likeable enough. But liking your client isn't necessary for a mercenary, it's just a perk!"

Certainly not.


Aw shit. I can't bother her now, she's probably preoccupied.
… Whatever. Walk over.
"Hey there, you're the first mate of the Darklantern now, aren't you?"


"Sword for hire?
You must have left home very early.
Is she carrying a sword?


She raises her eyebrows in surprise. "Yes… Tela?"

Not visibly.

"Only about half a decade ago! It is pleasant enough to be home. Are you…"

She taps twice on the wood of a nearby stall with a hoof.


Beep boop I am a robot
I am hear to steal American jobs


Of course. Perhaps in the future I will get the chance to do fairer business here.

This place… I'm not sure I like it. Or maybe I do. So many secrets…


I need to tell Abilio how I got dibs on the best room of the manor!


It is hard to judge a nation by a city.


No one is stopping you.

He's in his room.


"Forgive me?"
Bill Gates said so.


"Getting some groceries for the lovenest?"
I snicker.


"Hey, got some time time for your favourite pegasus?"


They leave me little choice, I'm afraid.

And now Happy Puzzle is talking in her alien language. How pretty it sounds.


"I think Light Heart went into town, are you fetching her?"

"You… eat paper…?"

"Secret Police."


Shake my head.
"But you do think they'd be following us, don't you?"


"Awww, don't be like that…"


"I haven't picked out any yet, but I can sense their presence in the anticipation of others here."

She switches to Equestrian. "Like one observes the wind by how it moves leaves."

"What is it, then?"


"I'm just here to tell you about my manor."


"You're in the markets, there's plenty of food here too! Seriously though, I don't think we've really talked before and you're first mate now. So… my superior officer. And… Emmy's superior officer."


"Your language is quite lovely. I do not think I have heard you speak it before."


How dare they sell crap like this.
Hmmm. I'd love to take a look through the back streets, perhaps there's somepony there with exotic ingredients…but I don't know the language. Decisions, decisions.
I'll ask Tela if she'll join me.

Oh she's talking.
I'll wait a moment then.


"Everything recovered from that wreckage is fleet property, you know. But I see no problem in letting you sleep there so long as we don't have much crew anyway."

She smiles. "Yes, well, I like children, and she is quite a child, even when she's physically grown."

"There hasn't been a need."


"Of course not. Neighponese is one of the pony languages I do not speak. But I did like hearing it just now, sounds very… mysterious."


"The biggest, fanciest room is mine. That's that. This isn't an argument or a question, it's a statement. But I can let ponies sleep in the other rooms, I guess."


You can just ask

"You like her? Wow, I didn't think anyone was crazy enough to aside from me."
I smirk.
"Seriously though, she's a hooffull to deal with. No matter her size."


What does this mare Tela is talking to look like?


I cough to attract attention.


"There are many dialects, besides."

"I don't care for your tone, which prompts another question… have you been thinking about your future on the fleet, Emrille?"

"I like her more tiny. Easier to make her sit in the corner. I imagine you like her large for less child friendly reasons."

She's a lithe unicorn with an unkept mane. She doesn't open her eyes.


"Like, getting a ship to captain and ship?"


"A thick dialect has its charms. I used to have one for the longest time. Courtesy of Dixie."

I chuckle.


"I don't think you can ever exist in a legitimate environment. I suspect that if we ever took privateering contracts that you would just shoot the civil servant who was supposed to pay us. And that would ruin the fleet's reputation. Have you thought about joining a different pirate fleet?"


"She was easier to push around when tiny, that's true. But we go back a long way. We were just friends for a long time after I took her under my metaphorical wing when she was just a kid."

Turn to her.
"Hm? What's up?"


"Did you give it up on purpose?"

"Well, there you have it. It looks like someone else needs you more than I do."


I look taken aback.
"Excuse fucking you?!"


….that's certainly curious.
"Hello. I'm Selena, are you with us on the fleet as well?"

"Hey Tela, I was thinking about looking for some herbs and ingredients since this is all overpriced shit. Wanna go take a stroll through the city?"


"Well, I was going to say you lack restraint and the capacity for politeness, but you just demonstrated that in three words, didn't you? It's the reason we didn't even want you off the ship in Dixie."

"The first mate of the Darklantern, Cloudy Stripes."


"Yes… It took quite a bit of training before I stopped slipping up. Not that I did not like the accent, mind you, but it was necessary."


"Ah a pleasure to meet you. Sorry about not seeing you before. So many new ponies to meet, Ive been almost overwhelmed."


Narrow my eyes.
"Don't forget why are you still here in the first place, 'kay? You barely have any crew as it is, and you want to send me away? Your best markspony?"


"Right… nice talking to you for a split second."

"Uh… can we just do that? Sounds fun though."



She nods. "Of course."

"Are you trying to make me feel indebted to you? I gave my life to save your marefriend and you didn't say thank you, you ungrateful foal. That's besides putting up with your insanity and mentoring you in spite of your total lack of growth. What this fleet needs is stability. I don't want another civil war on my hands, and Umlock was a loose cannon as well. After all, you've made two threats against me in this conversation alone."


"Did I ever tell you what my special talent is and why I left Dixie in the first place?"


"I don't think you told me why you left, no."


"You started the hostility, with this 'don' you want to leave the fleet' bullshit! What, will I turn to a dragon too and try to murder my friends, huh? Wasn't I loyal enough so far?"


"Who would stop 2 cute mares from trying to see the city?"

"I'd love to have a cup of tea sometime and get to know each other. If time permits."


I laugh.
"You got a damn good point there."


"Yes. It has always been a question in my mind of when you'll decide to try to kill everyone and flee with all of the money, because that's the only thing that matters to you. And now you're giving 'statements' to me? You cannot operate within the chain of command. How can you expect your subordinates to obey you when you refuse to listen to your superiors? Moreover, I am totally sure that if you were allowed to be involved in the dredging of our gold from the harbor's seafloor, you would take it all for yourself and start childishly yelling 'finders keepers'. So yes. You are an excellent markspony. But I'd rather have a competent markspony who will have my back than a master markspony who will shoot me in the back if someone offers her more gold."


"When the time permits, then. But not out on the city, I'd rather get back to my room."


"I'm ready to go when you are."

"Of course. I wouldn't want it any other way."


"Did you clear customs yet?"


"As a filly, I always dreamed to see the world. The fancy ladies around me would speak of Canterlot, Germaneigh and Prance and other places that were entirely foreign to me. As it so happened, I also loved theater and whatnot. Sometimes actor groups would visit Dixie from Prance to perform, which was always exciting to me. As I grew older and I began to practice my talents, I realized that as an actress, voice control is very important. How was I to convincingly act as say an Equestrian if the Dixie drawl was still present in my voice? So I worked hard to control it entirely. I learned proper Prench and Germane, read so many different plays and acts… and when I was old enough, I finally had the proper experience and skill to sign up with one of these traveling groups of actors. It was… perfect. I could combine my talent for acting with my childhood dream to explore and see the world."


"Come on, it's just a little walk. Not like we're going to corrupt their culture."


Shake my head.
"It's not about that. Merchants are not authorized to sell to you, if you don't have the papers."


"I'm ready for sure."


Since I was talking with Puzzle just now, does this mean you just spilled all that in front of me or moved away?"


"That's a nice goal!"


"But at least we'll know where to look then next time. All this stuff here is overpriced. I could buy this in Dawnwood for half."


Narrow my eyes even more.
"Fucking really? Let me guess, you think I'd shoot Tela for gold too, right?"


"Best of luck."


I'm pretty sure we've moved on, seeing how we're not with Tela and Selena.

"I believe so too."



"You can come with us, if you'd like. You know the language!"


"Yeah, because I sure don't speak Neighponese for shit!"


"I'd be honored."


Lets see if we can't find a decent herbal shop around in the backstreets '1d10'

Roll #1 7 = 7


Eyes at maximum narrowness.

Movin on then

"Quite conceivably. But whether or not you would doesn't really matter, because I KNOW you would operate outside the chain of command because you just did. It was the first thing you did, and the reason we're having this discussion. Nothing else matters because if you can't be part of the command structure you can't be a part of this fleet. You can go back to being a mercenary in our employ instead. I'll write you when we have enough gold to pay your retainer fee."


You wander around for a while and eventually come to a little shop that smells thick with incense.


I crack a smirk.
"What of you? Why are you with us?"



Snif, snif.
That smells better.
"That smells like a real herbal shop. I bet we'll find an old mare inside ready to tell us all about the herbs she plucks herself." I say to the others.
trot inside


"What, just because I want something out of something I recovered I'm instantly a fucking outlaw? Really, it equals hijacking a ship or something!"


"At least you're optimistic. Do these guys know tobacco?"


"Well, the pay was good before, but now I'm sticking around because I like you! We bonded a lot! Otherwise I probably would have rejoined Goldenblood during the coup."

There are eight fillies running around tending large pots in here.

"This has nothing to do with the item in question and everything to do with how you're acting. Imagine tomorrow you walk out on deck and ask a swabbie to swab the deck, and he replies, 'You do it. That's not a request or a question, that's a statement.' I'm guessing you shoot him. So is that how I should treat you? Should I shoot you?"


"I'm not sure. Maybe."

My eyes go wide.
"Oooh they're so cute…"
Where's their momma? '1d10'

Roll #1 10 = 10


"Don't worry, you're late to the party. Remember this guy called Al-Jinn? He already thought me how to be an officer without shooting who's under me. Yeah, I can fucking learn, and not just from you, big fucking surprise, right?"


"That is kind of you. Having lost so many during that battle, it is comforting to have some loyal ponies around."


"Classy child labour."

"Probably not, too foreign."


You don't see any momma, but there's a cheeky looking stallion you'd guess is in his teens. He seems to be in charge here anyway.

"Look, I'll make this simple. You say you can learn from other ponies? Go study under one who can teach you to be more sociable. Learn to be less of a liability. Statement, not an argument or request. If you can't manage it, you're back to being a mercenary. At least then I have an excuse when you start killing innocent civilians. Dismissed."

She gives you a smile.

"Hey, can't argue with results!"

He takes a puff on his cartoonishly large pipe. "Plus, they're all twenty. Just a really good skin cream makes them retain that youthful look, I promise!"


Piece of shit asshole.
Storm out of his room.


I clop my hooves together.
"Now, how about that food you mentioned?"


Okay, you've left.

"We need to get processed first."


"Hello." I wave at him.
"Do you speak Equestrian?"

"It's probably a family business."


"Sure do."


"Riiiight. Sounds legit."
Do I smell what he's smoking or is the smell of incense too dominant?

I laugh.
"Yeah, I bet it is!"

Roll #1 8 = 8


"Shall we then?"


Step inside aswell.


First thing first get some fresh air.


"I'm looking for some authentic neighponese herbs and ingredients for potions. Do you have special here?"


The smell of incense clogs even your superior nose.

She leads you off to the customs house. You wait in line for longer than you'd like and finally receive approval for shopping.

The shopkeep gives a polite nod.

"Just the things you won't find at home… Southern oyster pearl, flowering spikenard, wolfspore polyporaceae, wolfberry, Neighponese honeysuckle, dragon lilly, Ikkisum crystals, eastern liquorice. More perhaps."



It's a opportunity I cannot miss.
"Quite busy, these custom houses."


"Motherfucking little bitch… why doesn't ge go back to eating shit…"


"What are you smoking?"


I squeeee.
"Oh wow. Tela, look at these wolfspores, they look amazing!"


>also for you


"That wait wasn't so bad. We missed the rush."

"Exotic for me – northern pine!"


Do I have local money? Enough for some oppium, let's say.


Not much, but you could get a little. You had set aside some money to buy passage back to the mainland, after all.


"What's a wolfspore? Is that like catnip for wolves?"

"Pine? Good stuff?"


"Smells better than my old stuff! Dohoho."


Eh, not worth burning what I've left aside for some frivolous bribes.
Take a quick look outside the shop, I want to know if I'm still being followed.

Roll #1 8 = 8


As far as you can tell, no one is following you.


"No it's a species of fungi. Wow I've never seen this kind hymenium before."


"Heavens me. I suppose I should not be surprised given this is the only open port, I suppose."


"Uh… right. Must be pretty expensive though, doesn't sound like it's from here. Or is it?"

"Hymen? What?"


Don't look with my eyes. Not directly.
Check for the telltale signs of unrest in the shoppers and shopkeepers around.

Roll #1 5 = 5


She drags you along urgently by the hoof and mentions: "Shh, come on, I want to show you something!"

She tosses up a sheet into the air and camouflages you as it lands on top. "Let's sneak!"

"From your homeland, crystal pony. Imported from Crystalport."

Things seem more relaxed here in this sidestreet than the customs house.


"Hymenium, it's the fertile layer of a fungus."


Well, better follow her. Must be important, right?


Alright. Not like it's gonna change my life anyway.
Chuckle at the exchange.


"Oh right. Of course, how could I forget?"
I snort.

"Wha-? Oh. Yeah sure."
I smirk.
"That's my home alright."


She swings you down into the sewers and drags you along down the dry path outside of the muck. Soon, you're exciting the sewage route on the side of a hill. From here you can see the mainland of Neighpon, but that's not what she's here to show you. She leads you down the western side of the hill until she comes to a very shallow cave. "I hope they're still here… it has been a really long time!"


I look over the herbs/ingredients, do they look fresh?

"Tela, you weren't thinking naughty thoughts were you?" I smirk.


I could ask her what she wants to show… but I might as well be patient and wait and see.
So just keep following.


Fly over to the Sirocco, is Ligtht there?


"You two are so…


"Hey I don't know about you, but I'm a pure maiden. I never ever think naughty thoughts. Emmy is the lewd one."


"I noticed. But you two seem to get along very well.Have you been friends for a long time?"


"Years. I knew her when she was barely an adult. Always had a lot of spunk and thought she was some kind of hotshot."



"She does have a lot of spunk. How do you handle it?"


"You are more…
Friendly than most other girls here. Guess it's one of the many differences."
"And this girl you mention…
Is she on the ship aswell?"


"I manage. Usually. Sometimes I really want to choke the life out of her though. But we've been through so much shit together that I'm kinda used to it by now."

"Remember the witch I mentioned?"



"She's one and the same. Word of advice, watch your mouth around her. She can get really pissy."


"I… See.
What is her…
How do you say it…


"My mom always said the way of harmony is the best way to make friends and keep them."

"I see. Comrades-in-arms."


"She has a few. Don't ever touch her hat or her gun or her retarded uniform or she'll chimp out completely. She's also really possessive about gold. And she's about as gay as a pony can get."

I nod.
"Exactly that. If it weren't for her, I'd probably have hightailed it out of the fleet a while ago."


"She's as gay….oh I see. That explains a few things."


"Your description doesn't really match the ideal gay and joyful pony."
Now that's a word I know."


I giggle.
"I don't think she meant gay as in joyful."
I cough.
"They know the way of harmony here in Neighpon too?"


I laugh.
"I meant gay as in homosexual. We're together."


Look at her unfazed for a second, but then let a tiny smile creep on my face, and chuckle silently.
My traditionalist mind would never have thought of that, I'm afraid."
Then, relax and nod.
"It is actually the most prominent religion in Neighpon.
Elementalism. The belief we are all linked to the elements of harmony, and that one day those elements will arise to save the world against great threats."


"I think it's very sweet."

"I didn't know. In Equestria most ponies are Celestials."


"Not my first choice.
There's only one emperor I recognise."


"Not really imaginative, I guess!"

"Sweet… and sometimes really sour."


"She mistreats you?"


I laugh.
"It's more of a mutual mistreatment at times. We can be at eachothers throat at times. Selena saw that once already."


"Love is always bittersweet.
Even this crazy kind of love of yours."


"I suppose so, but the Elements are universal."

"Your relationship does seem a bit unorthodox."


"Yeah, no shit."


"Lady Tela, please.
Most ponies here wouldn't approve of that kind of talk."
"I take you are a believer, then?"


"Eh…I suppose I am. My mom was."


"You can learn much from a pony here in neighpon by asking a simple question.
Which element are you?"


"Hey, freedom of speech not mean anything to you!?"


"It's not wise to go against traditions, not while guests in a strange land, at least."


"Is the tradition police going to arrest me for saying a naughty word or something?"
Roll my eyes.
"Fine, have it your way. I won't swear while I'm walking on this soil."


"I like it. You obviously mean a lot to her…in her own way."

"I like to think I'm generosity!"


"I am deeply grateful, Lady Tela.
A true testament to your wisdom."
"Well now.
Generosity, such a great virtue.
Your friends must be lucky."


Roll my eyes.
"You sound like Light right now."


"Is that… Bad?
She seems a pleasant mare."


"A little too pleasant and full of herself if you ask me. But whatever, she's alright."


"I understand."


"No, you don't."


Stare at her for a second.
"You are a pony of action, not words, is that so?"


I smile sheepishly.
"Yeah…I hope so…"

"What do you mean?"


"I was. Then I died. That changed me a little bit. Action is fine and all, but I want more now. I almost became a paladin after that but… now I've plunged myself in magic studies. Fun stuff."


Take a deep breath.
I see."
Smile a bit.
"We are more akin than I thought."


"Uh… we are?"


"Why do you travel, Lady Tela?"


"I like it. I like fighting, I like the money, I like the freedom and it beats serving in the navy."


Nod again.