You have collected almost all the statues now.
Currently you are in the home of the ancient pony Erdei with Chell and Dr. Camain.
You need to find a way to create a strong burst of emotion to contact the Empath so he can relay your message to gather your allies at the Big Tree in your home to finally complete the ritual.
"I'm not sure I can feel something stronger than what I recently went through. But. It doesn't have to be my emotions.. so what if would any of you be willing to try opening your hearts to feel?"
Chell clops her hooves exictedly.
"I like emotions! I never felt them like this before! But I'm still not used to controlling them!"
As if they can be controlled.
You see the zebra glance at her cute outburst and… is he blushing?
He clears his throat.
"I suppose that would be one way to handle it."
"Chell, have you ever heard a fairy tale? The kind with princes and princesses and magical curses?"
She lean forward in her seat, shaking her head, perking her ears curiously.
"I'm not sure what might trigger your emotions, but let's start with a story, I'll leave this note saying what we really want to convey in plain sight first, so it can get included.." write down the time and place I need them to meet up.
Well, I'm a bard, I'll tell her a classic fairy tale. Let's say.. "This is the tale of sleeping beauty.. Princess Dania was a beautiful baby earth pony, the whole kingdom loved her. Everyone but a wicked witch, who cursed Dania to be pricked by a needle on her 16th birthday and die, unless she had found true love by then.." and keep going on the story, to the part where a hundred years pass and a Prince who heard of her story came to wake her "He could only prove his love was true with a kiss, anxiously the three breezy watched as the Prince leaned down and touched his lips to the Lovely Dania's hoping she would awaken." Then pause for the emotional toying with moment. "She laid still as before, the prince distraught, picked up her sleeping hoof. The breezies turned away in dissapointment. It seemed the kingdom would never wake up. Then Dania opened her eyes, stretching and yawning. And the whole kingdom started to yawn and awaken. 'The Princess is saved' The red breezy cried out in joy. 'we must hold a celebration immediately!' the blue breezy chimed in and began preparing the most beautiful party breezy magic could create. "
You can see her get more and more into the story, her ears perked alert, her eyes wide as saucers, almost falling out of her chair in excitement.
Once the story is over, she is positively radiant, clopping her hooves, but you're not sure it is enough.
That is… until the Doctor chimes in.
"Sounds a lot like your story, doesn't it?"
Chell pauses, gasping.
"It does! But where is my true love? How will I know it? Kelani woke me up and I love him too! But you taught me so much and I love you too!"
The Doctor, seems to be at a loss of words.
"It's like… when you look at a pony and see her face even when you close your eyes. When you cannot sleep, she figure in your head. Every time she laughs, you feel your body get warmer. Every time you see her smile, you know that you want to right all the wrongs to cheris an protect that joy. You realize that waking her up also woke something up in you too."
Chell seems… shocked.
"You're… talking about me!"
To your suprise, but even moreso to the zebra's, she leaps at him into a hug, planting a big kiss on his cheek!
…If you've got something to say, you might want to whisper it quick, while the moment lasts!
I quickly whisper.
"If ever you were my ally come to my home at white run woods in time for the eclipse."
Now… are you going to just sit there and watch them nuzzle and hug like a creep?
Nah, I'm going to gather my statues and get going. I have ponies to meet up with after all.
You quickly grab your stuff and something to eat for the road.
If you make good pace, you can make it to your home just past Midnight.
This is no time to delay, I'll fly as fast as I reasonably can toward home.
As you fly, you notice something feels… wrong.
There are no crickets playing their night song, no frogs croaking, no owls hooting, no late-night birds hooting.
As you fly overhead, you see no trace of any animals.
It's as if the entirety of Nature just… went into hiding.
When the clouds overhead break up, that foreboding feeling only intensifies.
Aside from the light of the Moon, there is something else.
You see four, pale blue dots in the sky. They are brighter than stars, and have some sort of strange tail behind them.
The four seals. The Comets. The source of the power of the dark and evil witch you have been shown to be banished under the tree by the Elements of Harmony… no. That very tree was planted to keep her there, in a crater she herself created.
This is the endgame now. Once the comets approach and shine their full power onto Equestria, there is no telling what will happen.
I take a deep breath, and keep my eyes out for my rival, he could be anywhere. '2d10'Roll #1 10, 4 = 14
You do not notice him as you fly.
You get into the outskirts of town just fine!
…you do notice a campfire, outside of the boundary, and a lone, cloaked figure sitting there.
It… that's him! He's right there! He is not even trying to hide!
What a heretic! Grr, I grit my teeth, but It would be really foolish to go down there unarmed. I'll just avoid flying over him and go home.
You give him a wide berth and land at your porch.
You see one of the lights is still on in your house.
Dad used to keep those on for me whenever he was expecting me late from hoof-ball or working at on the night skies..
Let's just go knock on the door.
You knock on the door, but there is no response.
Dare you enter your own home?
I told my friends to come here, I have to go inside, duh.
As you enter, you are shocked to discover…
That your food has gone cold!
And Dad makes such good carrot soup too!
You see him, beside the light, snoring in his armchair, his book falling over his chest.
I chuckle and bring a blanket over to him, putting it on him and taking the book away. Guess he got the message.
You tuck him in and put his book on the nearby table for him.
He smiles in his sleep as you do so.
After some food, you should probably head to bed too, you're exhausted!
Cold carrot soup is easy enough to heat up with a little fire, then I can eat it happily before bed.
You heat it up and eat it…
Delicious as ever!
With a full belly, you fall asleep, content.
You wake up the next day… and it is already afternoon, judging by the way the light shines into your window.
I wonder if anyone is here yet? Probably not? Let's go find dad so we can explain what's going on.
You go outside, and see him preparing food… for, wow, judging by the size of that pot, a LOT of ponies.
"Good morning, sport! You seemed exhausted so I didn't want to disturb you. What is all this fuss about?"
"Its about a witch. A witch who's going to wake up soon."
"Is that why all those friends of yours are gathering here? I must say, you made quite a few of them. That tall, exotic stallion took matters into his own hoof and set up some tents to fit them all."
"They're already here? That was fast." I nod approvingly. "This is important, so I need all the help I can get. See, our temple tree, our whole town you could say.. is overtop a seal that keeps a powerful witch asleep.. one of many seals that have been being broken all over equestria. The witch will awaken on the night of the eclipse. Very soon. I can reseal her with statues containing nature's power. But there are ponies who actually want her to wake up and cause destruction."
He snorts, shaking his head.
"Why would anypony want that? That is absolute madness!"
He clicks his tongue.
"Nevertheless, with this many of your friends around, you'll have no issue. Oh and."
"That is a lovely mare that you call your marefriend. She came over to check on you a few times."
My eyes light up and my wings flutter "Lockbox is here?! Where?!"
"She's probably with the others. You are really lucky to have somepony like her."
"I know, she's an incredible pony." I sigh happily and add "I'm going to go look for her."
and trot off to the tents.
As you go outside, you do see more life in this town than ever before!
Dozens of ponies, milling around, chatting, setting up tents, making food… the locals seem to be all friendly and playful with the visitors too!
You see the largest tent near the Home Tree itself!
Lockbox would probably be.. let's go around the edges of the crowd where somepony used to patrolling might think to look for trouble.
You skirt around the edges, but it is hard to tell where the boundary between the town and the campfire end.
You see some ponies in the black leather armor of the Emeralds, some City guards, from multiple places, including Ponyville…
But you see no sign of trouble anywhere!
I'm not looking for trouble, but instead looking for a very cute police pony who might be around this area.
'1d10'Roll #1 7 = 7
You find her near a group of watchguard ponies!
She is sitting down on the ground, giggling, as a filly is making a little tiara out of flowers for her, multiple flowers already inside her mane!
Approach her with an excited trot. "Lockbox, you came!"
She glances up, then after exchanging a few words with the filly who runs to another guard mare, stands up to greet you.
"Kelani! Of course I came!"
To not tarry the innocence of the foals, she only gives you a nuzzle!
I acknowledge her conservativeness and offer to hold her hoof. I whisper to her. "Has anyone explained what's happening soon?"
"That Saddle Arabian has taken lead. He set up guards and everything. He seems… like he is on the edge."
"But the others seem to be more relaxed at least."
"I'm a bit on edge too. I don't have my weapons even after that pony stole them.."
He got a few statues too right?
"And he's in town, I saw him camping out on the edge of the village."
"We know. He… he gave back everything. He pleaded to be allowed to help, but folks aren't very keen on letting him in. I've had half a mind to give him a beating but…"
"He looks miserable enough as it is."
"What?" I look completely surprised. "After he tried to betray nature he just apologized??"
"So it seems. There was nothing wrong with the statues, but… we're not sure why he had his change of heart."
She holds you close.
"Just to be safe, stay away from him. I don't want you to be hurt again."
I look really disturbed. "Okay, So where are the statues now?"
"All of them are gathered in the Temple. In the uh… well, I wasn't allowed in there. There was a secret passage leading down, covered by roots. The druid took all of them there."
"Whew, that's good. Less ponies allowed near them the better."
"I should talk to everyone, but, now I'm really curious about him.. would you like to come to the forest edge with me in case something happens again?"
"Are you sure this is a good idea?"
Even as she says that though, she picks up a javelin and a sword from a nearby rack.
"No, I'm not. But if he's planning something he might slip up and say it to me. If he's not, maybe Nature has some plan for him after all."
I pick up a sword for myself from the same weapon racks. "We only have so much daylight to use, let's go."
She sighs, but follows you along, giving you a kiss on the cheek as you reach the edge of town, leaning onto her javelin, at the ready.
In the distance, you see the unicorn in the robe, in front of the embers of his fireplace.
He can see you approach, but makes no move to get up or move.
I walk tall as I approach the unicorn. "Noname, I heard you gave the statues back to the temple."
He nods, poking the embers with a stick.
"I have. I apologize for taking them to begin with."
Stand by his fire.
"Any particular reason you felt a change of heart?"
"I realized it would not change anything. It won't matter. I might as well try and find redemption."
He seems… resigned.
I squint at him. "Somepony doesn't usually change from wanting to kill a stallion to giving that stallion back valuable relics."
"I suppose I am not a regular stallion then. What more do you want? You've already won. You have everything."
Shake my head. "You don't get it, it wasn't about 'winning' it was about doing my duty."
"And how far will you go, to do that duty of yours? What are you willing to sacrifice for it?"
"Stay nearby, and you may yet see the answer. Fellow druid."
I will wait for him to reply before stepping away, he seems not in a mood to chat..
'1d10' can I sense any hostility left in him?Roll #1 1 = 1
Just… sorrow and resignation.
Which, in turn, leads to your own.
…just how far are you willing to go, really?
You've cheated, you lied, you stole, but that wasn't all bad! And most of the ponies deserved it!
You killed… did everypony you did that to deserve it?
What if you have to choose between your duty and something ele that's important to you next time?
Something important, like the very ponies who came all this way to stand by me..
I sigh as I go back to lockbox. "Well, at least I know now."
She looks concerned.
"What do you know? Is everything alright?"
She brushes your mane with a hoof.
"I don't like the face you are making right now."
"He gave the statues back because he gave up hope of revenge, and wants redemption instead. Its like he's unable to commit to anything." Shake my head, more saying this next bit for myself. "A weakness we do not share, no matter what he may think."
"Well… if he cannot commit to redemption either, doesn't that mean he might be dangerous? A liability?"
"You might be right, but he's only one pony, and the whole town knows not to let him into the temple now." I shake my head "He can't interfere at this point. I don't think."
"What if he knows things that… I don't know… do you think he will be alone? Or… why so many people here?"
"I'm just worried this might be drawing the attention of the bad ponies, instead of keeping them away. All the folks here are such nice ponies, look at your Dad, making food for everyone! I don't want anything to happen to them!"
"Everypony in my town will lose their home if this goes wrong." I pause "Wait He didn't tell you why everyone is here? Why did you come here?" I ask seriously concerned that she might not know what's going on.
"Well… we know about a witch… some witch. And that there is going to be a ritual. Also that you might be in danger of being attacked when you attempt it."
"That's right. This town is built around a tree. That tree is one of Mother Nature's sacred places. Under than tree is a sacred place, where a seal that keeps an evil witch asleep rests. There are actually, were anyway, many such seals, but now this is the only one. It must be reinforced as the eclipse passes over or she will be freed and the home I knew will be destroyed, as well as much of the area around here.. and more if she escapes in to equestria." I explain. "That's the basics of the situation."