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Pitstops. Small buildings that exist between cities all across Equestria. Often there will be rusting down autocarriages and chariots rusting around them in makeshift walls. Among many of the pony tribes these are considered neutral ground for all to gain respite from. These pitstops are centers for trade and could be the basis for many cities if they had better fortifications.

A pair of heavily armed and armored ponies have arrived at such a pitstop in the northwest, where tall buildings vie for vertical control against tall forests both dead and alive. It is midday and there are few inhabitants resting here.



Grimsley came here for food. Sadly, he currently has no money as the work around here has dried up. Still, maybe he can work something out.

He looks around for some sort of food purveyor.


Tora was quiet for now, one wondered what went on inside her head sometimes as she looked around the area. She always found these places a bit odd even after having gone out and wandering about the wastes for a bit.

She looked around lazily as her giant hammer would certainly stick out like a sore thumb.


You do see there is an Earth pony situated close to the large entrance of the building with a wooden cart and cloth covered mounds that have soaked through with whatever's underneath. On the side of the cart is a sign labeled [MIRS 2CAPS]

Likely a food merchant who resells insect-made rations.

You see on your way into the pitstop that a pony was trying to scratch something into the rusted side of an autocarriage.

Most of the ponies still here look vastly underequipped compared to you both, a good half of them are emaciated and keeping under the shades that aren't used. Inside the building are a couple more merchants who appear to be established here as they have counters and shelves lined with their wares with at least two guards looking out at you both and anything that moves beyond.


Tora decided to move over and investigate the pony who was scratching something. She was curious and had to take a look.



Grimsley notices the cart, but sees that it requires money that he does not have. He sighs and heads inside to speak with the merchants.

"Got work that needs doing?" he asks the merchants in a rough, scratchy voice.


The pony was using a rusted pin of metal between their teeth in the middle of finishing a letter to his
sign. He doesn't notice the shadow you cast as he moves his mouth around to begin another letter.
"dlasted sign nakers, can't I just hang their thing and call it a day."

The merchants inside have much nicer boxes, baskets, and cloth-wrapped food on display. They have a few small knick knacks, knives, and some glowing pink fluids in transparent bottles on sale for much higher prices. One shakes her head negative, the other responds with "Not since I hired these two this morning. I'm Hot Rays, if you come through here regularly then I might have work later."


"What ya trying to warn folks from?" she asked, accent immediately screaming outsider.



"Damnit," Grimsely grumbles. "I'm hungry. Can't spare a couple caps can you?"

>Charisma 2 roll [1d10]

Roll #1 9 = 9


You surprise the pony, causing him to jump and implant a deep scratch across the length of where he might put more letters. The pony is covered in light leather plates and folded cloth, only revealing the color of his coat (orange) when he looks at you with surprise.
The pony spits out the metal spike into one of his pockets
"Damn, startled me! Putting up a sign from the east merchants to warn about Diamond dog raids happening further north. I heard rumor they're trying to cut off a vault town cuz they couldn't invade underdirt. Anyways the big town's are still musterin ponies to deal with that so the merchants paid me to put up a warning to anyone going north on the blacktop."

The pony shakes their head.
"Nnope! I'm bleeding caps just set up here. You want charity go ask that bloatfly hawker over there. He's always got full piles o' the stuff coming in from somewhere. I don't know cuz I haven't so much as seen him pull out that rusted piece of a caster under his cart."



"Hmm," Grimsley says as he turns to look at the purveyor of bug meat. He lumbers over to him/her.

"Where you get all this meat?" he asks abruptly.

>Charisma 2 roll again if necessary [1d10]

Roll #1 9 = 9


She nodded as she took a note of that "Been a while since I wailed on a dog, might sign up." she said petting his shoulder and heading into the market.


The bug meat merchant looks up at you underneath what looks like a pile of old and soil cloth kept together by rope and belt. You can see a sneer spread across her disheveled face.
"Heard you want food but can't rub two half caps together."
She smiles, revealing yellowed teeth.
"I can give food, but need something done. Something a big heavy pony like you could do for me."

He nods at your departure and starts to fish something out of his pockets. You're close to the building entrance when you hear the screeching of metal pick up again. Grimsley is speaking with a food merchant who's covering their product. The smell of greasy meat and sweet trash waft through the normal smell of sweat and droppings. Inside are more merchants who have nicer looking stock.


She took note of the rather large Unicorn and decided to watch him for a moment, you didn't normally see them that big or well armored out here.



Grimsley smiles. Finally, food for work. This is what he knows. "Works for me. What's the job?"


You hear them talk, being light enough on hoofstep that you're not heard walking up.

"Some diamond doggs up north have cut off travel coming and going. That's bad for business, my business. Go north, get ambushed, kill the ambushers, they've been seen where the blacktop gets swallowedd into dirt and root."
The pony pulls part of the cover on their cart away to reveal a basket filled with large cuts of bloatsprite sliders underneath radroach steaks, mashed larvae in cloth bags, and some kind of greasy looking root that still moves from time to time.
"But first your payment, go ahead take it. You look h u n g r y."



"Wise mare," Grimsly says as he telekinetically takes some bloatfly meat and starts eating it. "Better not to do a job on an empty stomach."

"Diamond dogs are my specialty. North, you said? If they're ambushing, I can just follow the road, right?"


"There room for another on this job? Been meaning to get some work done around here and this sounds like decent enough work." she chimed in.



Grimsley looks Tora up and down. Then, he shrugs. "Sure."

Then, he takes another bite of bloatfly meat.


Your meal tastes wet and greasy, but it fills much like a skull-sized apple that you've seen on some faded pillar murals ought to.

The mare picks up the basket and holds it up for you to take. It looks to be a week's worth of packaged meals. "Whole thing, you earned it."

The mare look at you. "One pony for this job, but if you're lookin for food I can trade a basket for diamond dog bodies. My grubbies will need meat or they won't grow big and fat."


"Suppose I can trade the meat. Or hold onto and eat it. Better than working for free."



"Well shit, thanks. I'll make sure I DO earn it."


"I can share," he shrugs as he offers some of the payment given to him to Tora.


"You want bodies, I'll bring you bodies," Grimsley says as he turns to leave, snacking on his payment. He heads north.


I have me own but I thank ye for the offer." she said as she tailed him.



"What's your style?" he asks as she follows.


The mare pulls away more cloth to reveal another basket you take before following the other large equestrian.

You both head north along the blacktop trail that rests eternally in place. Clouds keep out much of the day's heat as you pass piles of rusting autocarriages, unstable cloud chariots, and bones that get rearranged into comically large pony anatomies. It will take the rest of the day before you see a torchlit bridge that overlooks the trail you're on.

Dead trees on either side of the road don't offer much cover, but you spy that there's no large silhouettes of diamond dogs on the bridge either.


"Feels like there's an ambush coming up, but it ain't gonna be above from the looks of it."


Style? Whatcha mean?"



"Fighting style. If we're going to work together, it's important to know."

"Name's Grimsley, by the way."

As he walks, music starts to play from somewhere inside his armor.

As he walks, music starts to play from somewhere inside his armor.



He continues to head north, heedless of any potential danger.


The Giant hammer don't give it away nuttin will there boyo." she said walking "I hit tings up close and personal."

"Mines Tora Lora."



"Big Hammer doesn't tell me everything," he says more conversationally than argumentatively. "Are you fast? Can you take a hit? Do you have finesse or do you just swing it at random?"

"Besides, fighting is just the start of it. Kind of why I didn't use the word the first time. Do you like to talk or hit first? Do you like to sneak? Do you set up traps or find clever ways around problems?"


"I hit if the other fella don't wanna talk. I ain't much for sneaking, and I just get in and hit and heal when I'm done."



Grimsley nods. "Everyone's got their different styles. I think ours can work together."

"Just watch out for my magic."


"Just lemme know where your aiming and I'll go somewhere else."


You head for under the bridge, mindful that diamond dogs will ambush you. The sun has set but the world is painted a royal blue underneath dreary clouds when you reach the bridge. Immediately a pair of towering diamond dogs burst forth from the ground away from the blacktop.

One fires at Grimsley with the repeating cracks of an automatic rifle.
[1d10+4] DC 8
Short Range, Attack [Combat (GRIT)+4], RoF 5, Extra hit for every 3 points under DC

The other launches itself at Tora Lora with a screeching hammer powered by some kind of rocket on its back. You are struck with the force of this weapon as it punches through your armor and rattles you inside. (-5 HP)
DMG 5, One strike per 5 points in Combat (Grit), Ignores DEF, Utility (Bashing)

Roll #1 6 + 4 = 10


6-8=2, that's 1 hit for 6 DMG
The diamond dog sprays wildly in your direction but only a stray bullet bounces off your armor. You don't even feel it.

Roll initiative and post your actions.
DD1 [1d10] DC4
DD2 [1d10] DC6

Roll #1 9 = 9 / Roll #2 3 = 3


(1D10) DC6 Initative


[1d10] For Reals this time

Roll #1 5 = 5



Grimsley's expression barely changes as the Diamond Dogs pop out and start shooting at him. As it starts, the music coming from his armor changes.


When the music changes, the slightest bit of a smile crack on his grim countenance.

>Agility 1

>[1d10] initiative

"I'm going to cast a spell at them," Grimsley warns Tora.

>Mystics 10

>Fire, AOE, short range, ignores defense, enemy, 1d10 damage, modifier +2
>[1d10] to hit (technically 100% chance, but I am a sucker for protocol!)
>[1d10+2] for damage

As his other action, he walks up to them after his spell is finished casting.

Roll #1 5 = 5 / Roll #2 5 = 5 / Roll #3 10 + 2 = 12


Tora also lets out a roar of pain and proceededs to pull her own hammer off "Cmon you little shit! Lemme show ya a real damn hammer!"

>Super Sledge: DMG 11, One strike for every 7 points in Combat (Grit), Adds [GRIT] to DMG, Utility (Bashing), 2 swings


Action Turn:
Tora Lora

Diamond Dog 2 goes in for another strike
DMG 5, One strike per 5 points in Combat (Grit), Ignores DEF, Utility (Bashing)
@Tora Lora: You can roll d10<GRIT to resist this damage

You hit once, breaking multiple bones in the large diamond dog as it pauses to understand just how much damage you caused. You hit again with an upper strike that sends the creature flying to slam against the mound wall that leads to the bridge. It crumbles and falls with wet sounds.

You create a fireball and hurl it at DD1, engulfing it with instant and hot flames that cauterize the wounds as they're inflicted. The fire expands to cook its weapon and armor, charring and brittling them both to uselessness. This one can still stand but doesn't look like it wants to.

DD1 starts digging back into the earth [1d10] <DC4
+Success means it immerses itself to the waist
-Failure means it only gets to its knees in depth

Roll #1 7 = 7


[1d10<14] Resist damage


[1d10] < 14 Resist damage because I'm an idiot

Roll #1 4 = 4



Since Grimsley is already in melee range of the diamond dog, before he can escape, Grimsley grabs him by the leg and pulls him back out of the ground.

>Grit 10

>not sure if you want to handle this as an attack or a grapple

At the same time, he casts a healing spell on Tora.

>Mystics 10

>Healing, 1d8, ally
>[1d10] to hit
>[1d8] heal

Roll #1 8 = 8 / Roll #2 3 = 3 / Roll #3 1 = 1


Tora moved to bring her hammer down on the fleeing hound "Smash goes the dog!"


Grapple! The Diamond attempts to break free but knowingly can't [1d10] <4

With the diamond dog's leg caught you turn and heal part of Tora Lora's supposed injuries. visually it's difficult to tell so you don't affect much on her.

You cave in wherever you aimed at the dog and it dies instantly.

[1d10] reinforcement

Roll #1 4 = 4 / Roll #2 6 = 6


You have a turn to fix yourself if you wish, because it feels like another dog is coming out from somewhere towards you both.



"Well done," Grimsley says with a nod.

"There may be more on the way."


[Pause] we'll do the next part another time.


"Not bad yerself big guy, but watch the ground." she grumbled "Course if der smart they won't come out."


Minutes pass in surrounding silence before you hear several somethings start to crawl from underground again.

You both have caught your breath in time and likely healed enough of the damage taken from your previous fight.

The ground explodes outward as a larger Diamond Dog covered in layers of cloth studded with metal at roughly even spaces carrying a rough looking rifle, surrounded by four molerats with metal collars on their necks!

You've been ready for them, so it's your turn to act first!


Tora wasted no time in letting her hammer have a pair of massive swings off at that big bastard.



Grimsley's horn glows and a burst of cold blasts the diamond dog and his molerats.

>Ice, AoE, Enemy, 1d10, +2

>technically unnecessary roll to see if it hits: [1d10]

>damage roll: [1d10+2]

Roll #1 3 = 3 / Roll #2 10 + 2 = 12


The Diamond dog barely moves out of the way of one strike, and parries your second hit which destroys part of his arm shielding.

You hit the Diamond dog and two of the surrounding molerats with freezing blasts, covering all three of them in a glittering layer of ice that they can't break out of.

There are 2 molerats free, 1 of them rushes Tora Lora to bite for 5 DMG (minus armor and GRIT), 1 of them rushes Grimsley to bite for 5 DMG (minus armor and GRIT)

Your turn again



Grimsley grimaces at the molerat biting at him. He stomps on its enlarged head.

>Unarmed attack with 10 grit


Tora, dismissing the rats as basically harmless, moves to just hit that big bastard with another pair of strikes.



Grimsley looks to the big diamond dog. "I suggest you run," he says in a flat tone.

>rolling to intimidate with a Charisma of 2


Roll #1 1 = 1


I also try to make the molerats flee with angry irish horse noises with a Charisma of 7


Roll #1 6 = 6


You stop the molerat's head and its skull explodes under your armored hoof.

You hit the Diamond's weapon out of his hand and break off the last of his armor, he would be dead here but.

Covered in blood of a fallen pet, the shivering Diamond Dog nods and starts digging his way back into the ground he burst from.

You stomp and snort with the correct vigor to scare off these remaining molerats who dig and burrow back into the ground as fast as they can.

It is quiet again, dark still. Ahead of you is a bridge made of old grey sandcrete with ruins of a shanty on it.

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