There is a great illuminating dome that towers into the sky. The adventurers behind you along the road sides aren't phased by what happened, but Carrot's friends definitely are.
Three orbs surround you as Silver Lane lands off the road.
"Found you! Some containment mages trapped a bridge several miles out. Whisper's there but I don't know how long he'll be around. HEY LOSERS! IF YOU'RE SURPRISED BY THAT THEN YOU WON'T LAST OUT HERE!"
"Not for long if memory serves me right."
Taking a moment to steady myself, I'll turn back to face the young group.
"Listen, I know it's painful to realize, but this is well beyond what you're capable of dealing with right now. That barrier isn't going to hold for very long. Probably less than a day, at best. What I need you all to do is stay here
, and if Whisper gets past us I need you to round up everyone you can, and take them to my house, up there on the hill. The wards I've set will take the whole place, and everyone in it, away from here. I'd set it up like that because, in my youth I was enamored with the idea of a mobile hideout."
The scrawny mare fights as she's taken back to the city square, this group at least quietly respects your decision.
Silver Lane leads you down the road, talking about her group 4-pony group. She's a lancer with a catalyst-tip. Another pegasus who uses some large enchanted crossbow, an earthie who carries around armor and spikes, and a mage. From how she speaks it seems their careers weren't always of high adventure, and that the mage is a newcomer. A mile out from the dome's floor three ponies fitting Silver's description emerge from the left.
Looks like I'll be filling the role of healer, then.
"Hello. Seems I'll be bothering you all today, cleaning up an old mess of mine that seems to have come back."
Ironheart, a stallion of iron and spikes, laughs
"Don't worry about it! There's money in it somewhere for us! Any words of advice before we face death?"
"He didn't take well to having a fort dropped on him, but I don't think we've the luxury of having one on-hoof this time."
I'll think for a moment.
"I suppose… expect just about anything? He was an anti-group specialist, after all. And I doubt he's changed focus. If you catch him off-guard, make sure it isn't just a feint before diving in."
"Anti-group? Eh Comet, rough up some more inure spells before we go 'in!"
Are you ready for this?
I'll be sure to bolster everyone beforehand (auto-success on getting up from helpless). After that, we're pretty much as ready as we will be.
Entering the dome isn't difficult, finding this party-killing monster is what's difficult. Normally someone who hit these traps would've been blasting every direction and cratering the ground to get out. In here, well lit and quiet, there's no movement save for your breathing.
"Well. I suppose he just enjoys not having anyone else getting in the way. Keep on your hooves. He's probably near the middle."
Eyes open, ears swiveling.
It's eerily quiet in here, but halfway towards the dome's middle is when Comet cries out in pain.
"He's not moved from the bridge! My head! I tried to astrally project but he's trapped it! I'll catch up, he's not going anywhere from there!"
Ironheart stays with the unicorn mare while Silver Lane smirks, punches something under her armor and disappears in a flash of light and exploding magic.
And they immediately split up. It's a trap. An obvious, horrible trap.
I'll tell the bowpegasus to keep us covered, and hurry off after Lane, towards the center of the bubble.
The colors of the world invert for a split second before there's an explosion from where this bridge is. Water, rocks, leaves, and animal parts rain down as something smoking and burnt teleports behind you
"That fucker broke my lance!"
Target Mark takes to the sky and points you further down the road.
"I hope you prepared spares, then. You'll probably burn through most of them."
And I'll Haste us. '1d10+1'Roll #1 6 + 1 = 7
The world slows down, your body becomes heavy, and minute details from the gloss over the trees to small sparkles in the air pop dangerously into focus. This odd magical clarity gives you (+1 Turn Action) time to think and act with extra to spare!
"Don't worry about it! Get this guy!
Keep going forward until I get a visual on Whisper. Don't know how many actions I'll have left once I spot him, though.
You have (2 turns) left to act before Haste runs out.
Rounding a bend in the road and you see a thin, crazy-eyed unicorn looking in your direction from across the bridge. His movements are hauntingly the same, even in enhanced slow-motion this is a nightmarish sight in day time.
"I'LL SEE YOU BURIED THIS TIME!!
"Not if I bury you again first!"
and then Penitence (reduce target tier by 1/2 on crit) '1d10+1'Roll #1 4 + 1 = 5
/ Roll #2 6 + 1 = 7
"PRIDE BEFORE THE FALL!
The pony's eyes gloss over as your speed slows back down to normal standards. For his own thoughts he rushes you, lights his horn with a starry fire and launches one massive fireball at you! This great dust-spectacled midnight fireball hurls towards you with all the fury of an old crotchety stallion. The smell of seared dirt and ozone reaches your nose before this thing does!
Magic Bolt, Ice enchanted. '1d10+1'
If I hit it right, it'll disrupt the fireball before impact.Roll #1 8 + 1 = 9
Your ice crystal explodes inside the fireball, it's kinetic force driving the power back at the unicorn. He inhales and spreads celestial dust all around him, covering his in this strange thick smoke as a thick arrow flies through the air and sticks to the smoke's exterior!
Right, I'll use this time to prepare for him to pop up again. Homing Magic '1d10+1'Roll #1 10 + 1 = 11
The smoke slowly envelops him and his side of the river, then his silhouette is illuminated and disappears in that thick fog. As you finish making 5 ice crystals, the atmosphere fills out behind you
"Time spells have limits, worm!
"I'm sure that chronomancer you murdered would have appreciated that lesson before meeting you."
Spin, firing all five ice missiles. '5d10'
Then, launch an energy orb (lightning) '1d10+1'Roll #1 3, 9, 4, 5, 4 = 25
/ Roll #2 4 + 1 = 5
Unburdened by time he quickly dodges three ice spires, takes one in his side and another scratching his face! Then fires directly into your Lightning Orb!
The electrical explosion carries you both away from each other! Soreness and an undying energy flood your body as somewhere far away the other unicorn is laughing.
I'll Heal '1d10+1' myself. Hopefully he's more concerned with lording it over me than he is with killing these other adventurers.Roll #1 9 + 1 = 10
The sluggish feeling in your body disappears, and you're back at full health.
Another bolt flies into the strange moving smoke and gets stuck on its exterior. From it leaps the Unicorn once more! His horn lights up and from it a beam resembling the sky strikes through the air!
The pegasus arbalist disappears before it can touch him, then the beam tears down and through the treetops shortening the forest!
"PARANOID AND WEAK!"
"No, just knowing you couldn't resist revealing yourself."
Shining Beam, full blast of electricity. '1d10+3'Roll #1 5 + 3 = 8
You hit him with nearly everything possible, electricity pouring through and reflecting off the crazed unicorn as he tries to his you with something shining yet black at its core!
Before he can reach you, another bright flash of light comes from the right and Ironheart sends the unicorn flying into the air. A bolt from the sky followed by Silver Lane's piercing lance from the sky hit nothing as the Unicorn disappears once more!
Stop firing for the moment. No sense maintaining the beam if there's no target.
"Is everyone still in one piece?"
Homing magic should be off cooldown, so I'll fire that up again. '1d10+1'Roll #1 10 + 1 = 11
"Comet's trying to undo whatever followed Target Mark through that teleport- GET SOME SPACE! We're still good though!
Five ice crystals form around, with a slight chill up your spine. Then quickly and without warning, the ground beneath you explodes. You bounce off the dome's edge as nothing has any weight to it.
"PARANOID AND WEAK!
"I can't move!"
"There's stuff everywhere! Shooting won't be easy!"
What spellery is this? For the time being, though, I need to provide support against that damage.
Healing bonds '1d1+1' while I scan for where that bastard might have popped off to.Roll #1 1 + 1 = 2
You expend yourself, tapping the magical strength within and quickly channel 3 orbs of healing to hone in on random spots. Each explodes in a red mist that slows down Star Whisper until he and the anti-gravity both end. Everybody topples to the ground in various degrees of *THUD*
"Right where I need you! Because this was only going to end one way!"
The unicorn's horn splits, tearing reality into space close to him!
Yeah, well, he needs to chill. Fire off all five of the prepared ice missiles at him '5d10' and take what cover I can.
"You don't want to get hit by that! Dodge if you can!"Roll #1 6, 5, 5, 9, 2 = 27
He launches orbs of his own just as yours connect. The first explodes with no issue, but each subsequent crystal that hits brings his exploding celestial fires closer and closer until he scream in pain!
"My eyes! AGH MY EYES! YOU WORMS WILL DIE WITH ME!"
His body cracks from the horn with unnatural light emanating out. Then after this, a great orb forms from him and blows out, the atmosphere thickens and everyone not nailed down is thrown back!
Luckily I bolstered everyone before the fight. They'll be getting up if they haven't already been knocked out.
A pity I can't respond immediately.
"You'll die alone, same as last time, you ghoul!"
A moment to catch your breath weakens this headache to a sharp momentary pain. The group is back on their hooves, save for some hits sustained after getting thrown like ragdolls. Ironheart and Comet emerge from the forest ground, Silver Lane lands on the road while Target Mark's head pops up fallen trees.
A quick peeks shows that the enemy's eyes are as stars bursting through his skull, half of this thing's body is cracked or gone.
"THEN COME AT ME! ALL OF YOU!"
As if we'd be so foolish.
But, I'm ending this now. I am going to encase him in so much ice it would take throwing him into the sun itself to thaw him out.
Shining Ice Beam. '1d10+3'
I'm going to keep this up as long as I can, until either he's dead or explodes.Roll #1 9 + 3 = 12
The unicorn's horn lights up to ignite another Energy Orb on himself, detonating early from your Shining Ice Beam and encasing him in ice and celestial fire! You set layer upon layer of ice to contain this pony until what's left is a great crystal that matches a starry night. Yet it's not finished, as even through a foot of ice he is manipulating and drawing in power from all directions. His silhouette emerges as that of the Sun God's before disappearing! First there is the ethereal push, then ice begins to crack!
"Everyone, stand back! If he bursts out, the debris will be dangerous!"
Grit my teeth and maintain the beam. '1d10+3'Roll #1 9 + 3 = 12
The celestial iceberg explodes, returning and breaking your beam's focus as what's left behind is a reminder frozen in time. In the midst of where this old unicorn stood, a great shining stone. Along cold surface of this strange statue are twinkling stars, celestial bodies, galactic waves. His celestial fires and your unending ice have created something timeless.
I'll collapse onto my side.
"By the Princesses, I hope that's the last I ever see of this bastard."
But did he really die? I can't relax until I know for sure.
Try and get my hooves back under me. If he decides to pop out of nowhere, I don't want to be on the ground.
The brilliant light in the middle is vaguely pony-shaped, but aside from that there's no pressure coming or going from the epicenter. Being incased in his own fire likely cooked him through.
Once we get back to town, I'll have to send a missive to the capitol, to get them to make sure he's properly dead or sealed.
Breath a sigh of relief.
"Alright, sound off, who's still here and how's the damage?"
Silver Lane lands next to you, burnt with her cooked mane jutting behind.
"Got a few good scars out of this, but we'll live. Oh I want to explode, we just stood hoof to hoof against your old foe! THINK OF THE LEGEND!! WHOOO!"
"I'm thinking more of the cleanup. And the fact I don't have to relocate my house."
Chuckle a bit.
"But try to leave me out of this story, if you can? My time in the spotlight is long over."
"Yea that retired life looked like a boon from here! Hahah, you know that someone will include you in this story even if we don't. Right? Anyway, we're gonna stay around to see if someone'll pay for this. You're welcome to sit and tell us stories if you want! That house ain't going nowhere."
It's around afternoon as the dome disintegrates and several more groups of adventurers come wandering in.
"Well, what did you want to hear about? If you've been following me since the Wendigo, you probably know most of them."
I should probably make sure no one touches it. Last thing we need is for all our work to get undone because of one touchy chronomancer.
If nothing else, I can hire one of these groups to act as guards until the experts from Canterlot make it out here.
[View All] (64 posts omitted)
Hearing stories not just about your successes, but about the preparations in between-adventures made this group's day. With several other groups stationed nearby, guarding this self-made tomb wasn't difficult. A small processing unit from the Provincial capital teleported in, haphazardly touched the materials to everyone's horror, and concluded that there were no life signs coming from Star Whisper here. The trip home, like any trip this far from the border, is quiet. Peaceful, glowing myconids standing as tall as your leg dot the wilderness. The day after is a sore affair made easier with magic, seeing that Carrot Juice's friends have time to wisen up upon listening in on Silver Lane's heroic deeds against the "Whispering Star," informing lumber yards and cleanup employment of damage done, and undoing all the wards with a clear mind.
After this things were quiet again, and a week later a familiar bonnet-wearing pony knocks politely on your door.