Swift Study

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  1. Equestria Chronicles: A Roleplaying is Magic "Blog".

    The ponies, Diamond Dog and dragoness were sharing a carriage on the train back to Ponyville. On one set of facing seats were the Unicorn colt Champion, looking somewhat thoughtfully out a window, his older sister, Sugar Song, sitting next to him, the Pegasus mare, Gimbal Lock, still still somewhat flustered by Rhythm Quartz's last words last night, sitting opposite Champion and the Crystal Pony stallion, sitting opposite his special some-pony, Sugar Song. On another set of facing seats, Mutt and Nutmeg had started another round of their ever changing impromptu card game. Rhythm Quartz found herself drawn into the game after asking that most dangerous of questions, "Ooh! What's that?" It was around lunchtime, and they were enjoying some snacks from the food trolley, when the train came to a screeching halt. Cards, wrappers and foodstuffs went flying, and Champion, who was facing in the direction of travel, found himself stumbling into Gimbal. Both blushed briefly, before disentangling themselves. "What was that?" Mutt asked, sitting up. "And where's Nutmeg?" He felt something tapping his stomach, and looked down to find himself sitting on Nutmeg. "Oops, sorry, Nutmeg!" He stood up, releasing his Earth Pony friend. "Looks like something is blocking the track," Rhythm had her long neck out a window. "I can't see exactly what, though. Let's check it out." Her long, slender body slipped through the window. The others followed, except for Paper Waltz. He was a manager, not an adventurer. They walked to the front of the train, to find the engineer and crew looking pensively at a large, metal sphere, covered in long spikes, four of which seemed to act like legs, keeping the sphere stable, on the tracks. A unicorn was magically scanning the sphere, saying, "There's a lot of explosive energy within. I don't think we can safely move it without an expert." A certain scoundrel instinct made Mutt turn and look down the other end of the train, just in time to see several Ponies and Diamond Dogs retreating into a nearby forest, carrying sacks marked with the trains logo, no doubt stolen from the baggage carriage. He pointed it out to the others, and Gimbal said, "We better get them back then. We are pretty much the new elements of harmony, after all." They told the conductor their plan, and he said, "Be my guest. We'll be here for a while, waiting for somepony who can successfully remove that mine." With Mutt leading the way, they headed into the forest, following after the train robbers. The forest was dense, with a lot of undergrowth that made movement difficult and they soon lost the robbers. Realising that they weren't going to catch them with speed, the 'Mark II Elements', as Gimbal dubbed the group, moved with stealth and caution. It was Mutt who sensed the ambush, and he shouted a warning just in time. Six Ponies and two Diamond Dogs were hidden in trees, and fired arrows at the party. Most of them bounced off Champion's shield spell, but Gimbal was not so lucky, taking two in the flank as she tried to fly out of range. She screamed in pain, which quickly turned to anger, which she used to manifest a hailstone cloud. Like a shotgun blast, she sent the stones down onto the archers that had hit her, stunning them senseless. At the same time, Mutt reached up and grabbed a branch, ripping it off the tree with a mighty grunt. An Earth Pony bandit and a Diamond Dog were standing on that branch, and as they fell, Mutt swung the branch like a baseball bat, catching the Diamond Dog in the stomach. Nutmeg reached into her saddlebag and pulled out a garden trowel. Yelling and closing her eyes, she flung it at one of the bandits. She heard the makeshift weapon bouncing off a tree, and then off Champion's force shield, inches from her face. She opened one eye to see a somewhat miffed looking Champion, who then quickly moved his shield to block an arrow fired at his sister, Sugar Song. Embarrassed, Nutmeg resolved to be more useful in this fight, and pulled out her hoe, holding it in her mouth, and charging into the fray. Sugar Song's horn glowed, and a flash of intense light blinded two more of the bandits, causing them to stumble and fall out of the tree. Nutmeg swung her makeshift weapon at one of them, the second Diamond Dog bandit, breaking the shaft of the hoe over her target's head. In the meantime, Rhythm Quartz had snaked up a tree, getting behind one of the bandits, and attacking with her jaws, shard teeth digging into the bandit, and throwing him off. She growled, blood dripping from her fangs and this seemed to break the bandits' will. Those that weren't unconscious and or too stunned to do so fled, scattering into the trees. With the battle over, Champion released his concentration on his shields, and rushed over to Gimbal. Placing his horn on her side, he sent warm pulses of magical healing energy into her body. The arrows popped out, and the wounds closed before her eyes. "Thanks, Champ!" she said, nuzzling the colt appreciatively. Mutt walked over to one of the Diamond Dog bandits, and lifting him by his throat, growled, "Why did you attack us! And where did you take our stuff?" "Alright! Alright! I'll talk!" The Diamond Dog babbled. "Our boss, Break Fang, sent us to drive off anyone who tried to follow the train robbers! Our base is in a Diamond Dog cave network about an hour from here, on foot!" He pointed deeper into the forest. "Who's this Break Fang?" Rhythm Quartz asked, wiping her muzzle. "And how many more minions does he have?" "Uh, she?" Their prisoner stammered. "Break Fang is a female Diamond Dog. There's about a dozen Diamond Dogs in her pack... and a lot more Pony mercenaries." "Tell us about this Break Fang." Sugar Song asked, in a slightly more conciliatory tone. The Diamond Dog bandits expression changed to an odd mix of fear, admiration and and even a touch of lust. "She's... amazing. Tough, savage, beautiful. She's called Break Fang because she takes the right canine of any Diamond Dog who tries to mess with her, or who pisses her off, or fails her, or looks at her funny." "She sounds... nice?" Nutmeg said, glancing up from where she was using some duct tape to repair her hoe's broken shaft. "Alright, take your friends and get out of here." Mutt growled. "Probably best you not go back to your boss, if she's as unforgiving as you say." As the Diamond Dog took his friends and fled, Mutt turned to his friends. "This Break Fang will probably know we're coming, and be ready for us. So let's dig our way there. We might be able to take her by surprise." His friends nodded in agreement, then got behind him as he started to dig a tunnel. ********** About an hour of digging later, Mutt felt Nutmeg tap his shoulder. "Hold on; I think I hear something up ahead." They nodded, and listened against the wall of dirt and soil in front of them, hearing Diamond Dog voices, one male, and one female. "Maybe they're not coming? Maybe they've decided to turn back?" The male was saying, but his tone was not convincing, even to himself. "I doubt it." The female voice replied. "Not they way they apparantly fought. And remember, one of them is a Diamond Dog; so they might be digging their way here." "I'll get the others!" They heard footsteps fading, as the male Diamond Dog ran off. "Hey, Mutt," Gimbal whispered. "You're really strong," she paused to let her friend preen a bit, then added, "If we can pin-point where she is, I bet you can pull her through, and we can use her as a hostage to get the others to stand down." She tapped her temple with a fore-hoof. "See, I can be tactical and stuff too!" Mutt nodded, and waited while his friends started to scan the wall, helped with some magical auditory assistance from Sugar Song. Then, at thier signal, he pushed his arm through the dirt wall, grabbing Break Fang, and pulling her back through. At least, that was the plan. Instead, he found his arm grabbed by two paws, and in an explosion of soil, found himself on his back in a large cavern. Before he could recover, he felt something land on his stomach, winding him. He looked up, and gasped when he beheld the most beautiful Diamond Dog female he had ever seen, necklace of canine teeth around her neck not withstanding. A claw swiped at his face, only to be stopped by a pale blue shield, courtesy of Champion. Recovering, Mutt grabbed her and threw her off him. She landed on all fours, growling. "Okay, it's time for you to calm down, I think!" Sugar Song said, her horn glowing. A similar glow surrounded Break Fang's head, and she stood up, grinning, "You know, you guys are pretty good! Ever thought of the bandit life? Good hours, awesome pay, and lots of perks!" Her friends looked questioningly at Sugar Song, who shook her head. "I just used a Mind spell to calm her down, not control her. This is genuine." "We could especially do with a couple of Unicorns in the gang. You won't believe what I had to pay that loud-mouthed blue furred illusionist for the fake energy spell on that dud sea mine." "Wait?" Nutmeg asked. "You mean that big mine on the tracks is a fake? There's no real danger?" Fang laughed. "We're bandits, not brutes. We got what we wanted." "Guys, she calling for help! A whistle too high for anyone but canines!" Mutt said. "Good ear!" Fang said, nodding. "So, what do you say? You in?" "You know what?" Gimbal spoke up. "Why not? Sounds like fun." As her friends looked at her incredulously, she added. "Hey, she doesn't seem too bad. And maybe we can help her learn the magic of friendship and all that jazz! We're the New Elements, after all!" "You're really going with that, aren't you?" Sugar Song said, ignoring Champion snickering nearby. She then turned to Fang. "But, she's right. We'll join, if you let me send a message to the my friends back at the train, letting them know everything's okay." Break Fang nodded, just as the rest of her pack showed up, ready to fight. Fang held up a paw. "Stand down, everydog! Meet our newest members! Take them to the cavern at the end of tunnel 5. I think its big enough for them for now." She grinned to the 'New Elements'. "Welcome to the Pack, friends." As they were led down the tunnel, Champion whispered, "Notice how their in front and behind. Smart. They don't fully trust us yet." This theory was further confirmed when a large stone slab was placed in front of the cavern entrance, trapping them inside. "Break Fang is definitely a strategic mind to reckon with." "Yeah, she is..." Mutt said, dreamily, pointedly ignoring Nutmeg's squeeing nearby. Sugar Song laughed, shaking her head. "Hold on, I'm going to let Waltz know that everything is fine... sort of." She closed her eyes, horn glowing. The glow flickered and pulsed for a while, then she opened her eyes. "He's not happy, of course, but he'll pass the message on to our friends and family back home. And he won't call the authorities until I give the clear. I honestly think Gimbal might be right. Maybe we can do some good here."
  2. Equestria Chronicles: A Roleplaying is Magic "Blog".

    They took Champion to Crystal General ER, and as soon as the triage nurses saw the state he was in, he was immediately bundled onto a gurney and wheeled to the nearest operating room. Gimbal and Rhythm Quartz tried to follow, but a pair of Crystal Pony orderlies gently but firmly directed them back to the waiting room, ensuring them that their best Unicorn surgeon was on it. They looked about to protest, Rhythm especially looking ready to throw down, but they kept themselves in check for Champion's sake. Sugar Song was pacing urgently back and forth, while Rhythm was almost tying herself in a literal knot with worry and Gimbal was staring at the doors leading to the operating rooms, as if willing them to open. Nutmeg, in the meantime, was clinging to Mutt, sobbing uncontrollably, while the Diamond Dog was awkwardly patting her back. Lunar Tinker watched Nutmeg with concern, then caught Mutt's eye. They shared a small nod, then Tinker spoke aloud, "Welp... I better get back to my shop. I did leave it in a bit of a mess. Nutmeg, want to come help me sort things out?" "Can Mutt come? And can we get ice-cream on the way?" Nutmeg said, between sobs. Mutt nodded, and Tinker said, "Of course we can." With that, they walked out, with Nutmeg still clinging to Mutt. ********** A couple of nerve wracking hours passed, when the doors leading into the operating rooms opened, revealing an exhausted but relieved looking Unicorn stallion in hospital scrubs. "Party of Champion?" He was almost crushed under the sudden rush of two ponies and a young dragon. "Is he...?" Sugar Song asked, almost too afraid to speak. "It was touch and go for a while," the doctor said, "but he's fine now. You can go and see him, if you want, but he may be a bit whoozy." They found Champion propped up in a bed in a small, clean hospital room, sporting several bandages. Sugar Song rushed forward, wrapping her hooves around him in a tearful, relieved hug. "Uh, hey everypony..." Champion said, sheepishly, choking a little from his big sister's hug. After a final squeeze, she stepped back, giving room to Gimbal and Rhythm. The handsome young colt found himself nuzzled on both checks by an immensely relieved Pegasus and dragon. "Really, girls, I'm okay. The doc says I'll be out of here tomorrow." Sugar Song looked to a wall clock, and said, "I'd better go and let Paper Waltz know we're back, and what's happened. Will you two look after Champion?" She smiled knowingly when Gimbal and Rhythm both nodded eagerly. "Keep them out of trouble, Champion," she giggled as Champion saluted with precocious seriousness, then left them alone. ********** Nutmeg was riding on Mutt's broad back and shoulders, licking a double cup ice-cream cone, as the three of them walked down the street towards Lunar Tinker's house/workshop. When they arrived, Tinker said, "You'll have to forgive the mess. I was very exited to get started on our expedition, so I left the shop in a bit of a state." Mutt and Nutmeg glanced at each other guiltily, and Nutmeg said, "Oh, um, I'm sure it's fine!" Inside, she and Mutt pretended to be surprised at the sights before them, acting like this was their first time here. They set to work, helping Tinker clean up. The Earth Pony scholar and inventor didn't seem to notice their guilty expressions, and walked over to a workbench. "Huh, that's odd," he mused. "I had something I was working on for you, Nutmeg, but it seems to have gone missing; and I don't rememember leaving a big pile of bits just lying here." "Um... is this it?" Nutmeg said sheepishly, revealing the pocket-watch she had taken the last time they were here. "I, um, I paid for it?" "It was my idea." Mutt spoke up. "Well, okay then. I guess, since you did offer bits for it, no harm no foul," Tinker reached into a drawer, pulling out a small roll of velvet. "But it still needs to be completed. You payed for an unfinished product, and that I cannot allow. Professional pride and all." He opened the roll, to reveal a row of tiny, finely crafted tools. Seeing Nutmeg's growing exitment at the sight of them, he paused, then turned to her. "Since you were so eager for that watch, maybe you'd like to finish it?" "Oh my Celestia! Yes! Yes!" Nutmeg cantered excitedly. With Tinker's guidance, she used the tools to add the final touches to the elaborate pocket watch. She was a fast learner and an eager student, and when she presented the finished work to Tinker, the elderly stallion beamed with a mentor's pride. ********** Gimbal Lock and Rhythm Quartz sat on either side of Champion's hospital bed, keeping him company. Nutmeg had spent a large hoof-full of bits at a nearby vending machine, and Champion's bed was covered in snack wrappers. Champion hadn't eaten much candy himself. In fact, he hadn't done much but blush and fidget, flanked by two beautiful females. They kept nuzzling him affectionately; part of him wished they would stop treating him like a little colt, another part was enjoying it, though he tried his best not too show it. They suddenly heard hoof-steps, and in a panicked rush, tried to hide the candy and snack wrappers. The same doctor who had operated on him appeared in the doorway. He took one look at three guilty expressions, and sighed, shaking his head. "Sorry, ladies, but it's getting late, and Champion should get some sleep. Visiting hours are over." "Come, on, doc!" Gimbal said, "Can't we stay a longer. We can take care of our little Champ here." The stallion shook his head sternly, "Nope. He'll never get any sleep with you two around." He smirked. "Don't worry, you can see your little colt friend tomorrow morning." He then hustled them out, chuckling at their sudden coughing fits. ********** Gimbal, Rhythm, Nutmeg and Mutt all met back at the Palace View Hotel later that night. Nutmeg pressed Gimbal and Rhythm for information about Champion, anxious to learn that he was okay. When her friends assured her that he was fine, she nodded, happily, then proudly showed off her watch. "I made it myself! Well, at least, part of it! But, still, pretty cool. huh? Can't wait to show it to Champion!" "Let's get some sleep then, so we can be there nice and early tomorrow morning." Rhythm said, "Gimbal, would you join me?" Gimbal nodded, and the two retired to one of the rooms, while Nutmeg and Mutt went to another. ""Gimbal, I think we need to talk about this silly rivalry thing we got going on with Champion," Rhythm said, as they were getting ready to settle down. Gimbal didn't say anything, but listened as the dragoness continued, "It's pretty obvious that we both care for him, a lot." "Yeah, he's a great colt," Gimbal said, "but you're right, we should stop fighting over him." "Exactly. I don't want to jeopardise any friendships over this. Lord Ember would roast me alive, for one thing," Rhythm giggled. "Let's agree that it doesn't matter who Champion chooses, even if he chooses neither of us," she then gave a little smirk, "or both?" "Okay! Good night, Rhythm!" Gimbal blushed, then threw the blankets over her head, and immediately started loudly fake-snoring. Rhythm smirked, then went to sleep herself. ********** "Now, you be careful, young Colt." The doctor stallion was saying, as Champion was being signed out. "It's obvious you've made some dangerous enemies. With your Cutie Mark, and special purpose, that's probably not surprising." "I know, Doc..." Champion said, "And I try not to be reckless about it, trust me. My shield spell has served me well, so far. I never considered that a powerful Unicorn could turn my own magic against me. But I know someone I can talk to about it, if she can find the time." "Well, good luck then. I hope we never see you here again." Champion was about to take offence at that curt statement, then remembered who was saying it, and nodded, "Me too, doc!" Champion exited the hospital;, pushing through the front doors... and immediately found himself the victim of a vicious glomp attack by a savage Nutmeg. "Champion! I'm so glad you're okay! I'm sorry! Do you forgive me? Do you still love me!?" Nutmeg sobbed, speaking between chokes. "Um... of course I still love you, Nutmeg," Champion awkwardly patted his overly emotional friend, "and why would you think this was your fault. This was so not your fault... like, at all. Not even close." He looked to the rest of his friends, smiling warmly. "Let's go home, okay?"
  3. Equestria Chronicles: A Roleplaying is Magic "Blog".

    As the party approached the shimmering curtain of light that marked the outer edge of the Crystal Heart's protective aura over the Crystal Empire, Gimbal, never the patient one, said, "Right, let's go!" While the others were still putting on their coats and jackets, she stepped through the curtain. Almost instantly, she started to shiver, icicles appearing on her mane, tail and wings. "Celestia dammit it, Gimbal," Sugar Song sighed, walking over to the shivering Pegasus. "Even Champion put his coat on before rushing into the snow. So, if you're going to act like like a foal, I'll treat you like one." With that, Gimbal suddenly found herself enveloped in Sugar Song's magical aura, lifted into the air, squirming like a filly impatient to play in the snow while while her exasperated mother forced her into her jacket. Gimbal tried to ignore the snickering from the others. With Gimbal finally properly attired, they set off on their journey, north towards the mountains, and Mt Everhoof in particular. ********** The first day of the journey was dull, monotonous and freezing. Even the constant aura of warmth that Sugar Song was magically generating barely dulled the bite of the Frozen North. Gimbal, however, didn't need any magic to feel a burning heat in her chest; seeing how friendly Rhythm Quartz was being with her little Champion was more than enough. How dare that upstart newcomer think she can take her Champion away. As the sun started to set, Nutmeg pulled a book from her saddlebag, and flipping through the pages, said, "It says here that a digging a snow cave is one of the best ways to survive the night in the Frozen North." She looked up, to the others. "Huh, seems a bit counter-intuitive to me, but Mutt, do your thing!" Mutt saluted with a grin, then dove into the snow, digging with gusto. For a Diamond Dog, who could dig through almost any dirt or soil, even packed snow presented no challenge, and soon a large cave had been dug out. "Good work, Mutt." Sugar Song said. "Now, I think we should still post watches, just in case. Hmm... there's six of us, so three watches of two? So, how should we pair-" "Champion!" Gimbal almost shouted, "I'll take first watch, with Champion." She saw the dirty look Rhythm Quartz was giving her, and smirked at the young dragoness. Champion, seemingly oblivious to the rivalry, just smiled and nodded, "Sure thing!" "Okay then," Sugar Song nodded. "Then next, how about Mutt and Nutmeg, followed by Rhythm and myself." ********** Champion was sitting alert, his pale blue eyes scanning the moonlit snow. He had his duty, to stand guard over his sleeping companions, and he would not fail. He was so engrossed in his task, that he didn't notice Gimbal watching him intently. Gimbal studied the Unicorn colt's features as if really seeing him for the first time. Rhythm Quartz arrival, and her not very hidden affection for Champion, had made Gimbal realise that she didn't want to lose him. "You're growing up, aren't you, Champ?" She accidentally spoke her thoughts, aloud. Champion immediately started to blush, coughing and shifting awkwardly as the mare he'd had a crush on for ages now was acknowledging that he wasn't just a colt. He was about to speak, when something caught his eye. "Wait, what's that? Over there." He pointed with his hoof. Gimbal, a tad miffed that their moment (at least, she thought that was a moment) was ruined, followed his hoof, to see three shapes racing towards them, just under the snow. Gimbal took off into the air, grabbing Champion in her front hooves as she did so, and shouted, "Hey! Everypony wake-up! We got incoming!" The three shapes revealed themselves to be strange, large leopard like creatures, seemingly made of snow and ice. "Hey! Those are Snow Leopards!" Nutmeg said, forgetting fear in her nerdy excitement. "Well, if they're made of ice, I got this!" Rhythm Quartz took to the air, breathing in. She was going to melt them with her fire breath, but she glanced towards Champion, still dangling a little awkwardly in Gimbal's front hooves, and something made her reconsider. Instead, she breathed a line of fire just in front of the icy felines, sending them fleeing in instinctive terror. "That was awesome, Rhythm!" Champion shouted, and the dragoness blushed briefly, then flashed a lightning quick smirk at the seething Gimbal. "It sure was," Nutmeg said. "But they'll be back in greater numbers. We should move!" Sure enough, soon almost a dozen of the Snow Leopards were racing towards them. The party ran (and flew) as fast as they could, but the creatures were gaining. "We need to scare them off again!" Rhythm Quartz said, turning to face them. "Right!" Gimbal said, then she looked down to Champion, still held in her hooves. "Hey, Champ! Think you can form a force bubble around us?" "Going bowling, are we?" Champion grinned, then concentrating, formed a bluish shield around them. As Rhythm breathed another stream of her intense, blue flame, causing the Snow Leapords to back off in fear, Gimbal, wrapped in Champion's force field, bowled through them, sending them flying in all directions, some in pieces. The rest turned and fled, realising that the party was too much for them. "That was awesome!" Champion shouted excitedly. as he and Gimbal landed. "Rhythm, you were all: Wooosh! And Gimbal, you were all: Zoooom! Crash! And they were all: Yelp! Yelp! Yelp!" He suddenly noticed his friends all watching him with amused expressions, and coughed, embarrassed, "Uh... I mean, good work, girls." Mutt then dug a new cave for them, as he and Nutmeg took their watch. Gimbal wrapped a wing around Champion, holding him close, and giving a quick smirk towards Rhythm Quartz, who grumbled under her breath, before settling down to sleep herself. Champion, seemingly unaware, just lay against Gimbal and settled down to sleep. ********** A few days later they arrived at the mountains. Nutmeg explained, "According to that book we found, the Hooves of the North several cities built into the mountains around here, with the largest built about a third of the way up Mount Everhoof." "Then that's probably where we'll find Past Endeavour and Lunar Tinker." Sugar Song said. "We should head that way ourselves, but everyone be alert." It was Nutmeg who first noticed that they were being watched, and she called for a halt. Several Crystal Pony stallions, ten in all, emerged from various caves. They looked nervous, but ready to fight. "Wait!" Sugar Song said. "We're not here to make trouble. We've just come to help a friend, who is in great danger, even if he doesn't know it yet." "Past Endeavour warned us that someponies might come after him, and that we should stop them," one of the Crystal Ponies said, though their was doubt in his voice. "That Unicorn cannot be trusted," Sugar Song insisted. She then began to tell them the tale of their past encounters with Past Endeavour. She spoke with honesty and conviction, and managed to convince the listening Crystal Ponies of the truth of her words, and they were allowed to past. "Way to go, sis!" Champion whispered, as they made their way to Mt. Everhoof. ********** With the climbing gear they had bought as part of their survival outfits, the party began to climb, with Gimbal and Rhythm flying overhead for support. Other than one incident, in which Nutmeg lost her footing and fell, rescued by a quick acting Gimbal, the party managed to make it a cave about a third of the way up. Inside, they found an ancient city, surprisingly intact, though eerily silent. As they made their way towards the centre, they noticed something odd. Many of the city's ramparts and fortifications were facing inwards, against each other. "The Hooves of the North were apparently a very warlike tribe," Nutmeg said. "It looks like, in the end, they turned on each other." Suddenly, they all heard the sound of hoof-steps, coming towards them. Then, from around a corner, came a patrol of four clockwork ponies, looking like skeletal horses made of iron, with gears for joints, and glowing red eyes. The party froze in shock, as the eyes of the first two skeletal robots glowed more intensely. Four beams of fire shot forth, and Rhythm, thinking that her draconic immunity to fire would help, leapt in front of the group, using her long body to protect them. She screamed in shock and pain as the enchanted fire burnt into her scales, and she collapsed. Champion quickly cast his shield spell, blocking the beams before they could finish off the panting Rhythm. While he was straining to keep the shield strong against the constant beams of fire, Nutmeg was thinking as fast as she could. "Lightning!" She shouted suddenly. "Gimbal, hit them with lightning! They're machines! It'll fry their sensitive gears!" "Right! Hold on, Champion!" Gimbal said, taking to the air, and starting to form a storm cloud. Just as Champion's shield was starting to buckle under the assault, she released a storm of lightning bolts down onto the robotic equines. The robotic body convulsed under the electrical assault, then collapsed. Mutt quickly picked up Rhythm, wrapping her long, slender body around his shoulders. "Let's get out of here! We need to find a place to hide before more come!" They found a nearby building to take shelter in. Champion walked over to Rhythm, and gently placed his horn to her side, channelling healing magic into her wounds. Rhythm sighed in relief as she felt the warm sensation of his magic closing her wounds. "Thanks, Champ..." "Hey, I can't help but notice that the buildings are pretty close together." Mutt said. "I bet we could travel across the rooftops. We can avoid more patrols of whatever those things were," he looked to Nutmeg, "You don't think Tinker made them, do you?" Nutmeg shook her head emphatically. "No way! Tinker would never make something so destructive! He's all about using science and technology to help Ponies! No, I think they were left by the Hooves of the North. They were brilliant... it's just that they focused all of their intelligence on warfare." She stopped, realising she was growing over-exited, and added. "But, um, yeah, good idea, Mutt. Let's be like Ninponies, stalking across the rooftops!" The party climbed or flew up to the roof, and started to travel again. They saw a couple more patrols if those clockwork equine soldiers, but thanks to the cover offered by the rooftops, managed to avoid them. It was Nutmeg who saw it first. A grate against a nearby building had been removed, and a grappling hook and rope was still lowered into the darkness below. She pointed it out to the others. "I think that's where they went!" "Right! Let's go!" Gimbal said, as they squeezed their way down the hole; it was a particularly tight squeeze for the barrel chested Mutt. They found themselves in a dark tunnel. Down the other end, they saw a strange, eldritch glow. Nutmeg, growing increasingly worried about her friend, Tinker, started towards that glow with uncharacteristic eagerness. They soon came to a large, hexagonal chamber, the walls of which were lined with weapons and armour, all of which showed a level of craftsponyship that would be the envy of any guild-master. However, this barely registered to the party, as they saw Past Endeavour, standing in the centre of the room, holding a strange hexagonal box in his magic, that was giving off an aura of raw power so strong that even the non-Unicorns in the party could feel it. They also saw Tinker, the elderly, eccentric Earth Pony inventor and scholar was cowering in a corner, overwhelmed by the raw power of the box. Nutmeg ran over to Tinker, while Gimbal flew up to Endeavour, who was staring intently at the box he was holding. "Come, on, dude! We went to Vegas together! I thought we were compadres! You don't need to be all evil, do you?" Still studying the box in his magical grip, he grabbed Gimbal in another telekinetic grasp, and forcefully, but not violently, pushed her back towards the others. Champion then stepped forward, and sent a small sphere of force at the box, knocking it out of Endeavour's grip. The box hit the far wall, and broke open. An eldritch green light escaped from the box, disappearing into the ground and wall, the raw power seeming to crack the stone as it did so. Endeavour turned to the group, and for the first time, they saw him actually furious. Champion immediately erected his signature magic shield, as Nutmeg and Tinker ran behind it. Past Endeavour took a calming breath, "I tried to be reasonable, I tried to keep you all out of my plans. I even kept Cracked Heart away from you. But you had to meddle, didn't you, like... like heroes!" He spat that last word like it left a bad taste in his mouth. "Now, witness the fate of heroes!" His horn glowed, and Champion's shield suddenly shattered into a hundred tiny shards... which suddenly turned and slashed through the colt, cutting him all over. As he collapsed from the sudden blood-loss, Sugar Song, Gimbal and Rhythm Quartz raced to his side, crying in dismay. At the same time, Endeavour teleported away, but sending a sonic pulse off at the same time, that started to bring the roof down. Rhythm gingerly picked up the bleeding Champion, and the party fled from the collapsing room, barely making it to the hallway in time. The dragoness gave a gasp, then a sigh of relief, as she felt Champion go still in her arms. "He's just unconscious. But we need to get help, soon!" They made their way out the city, and down the side of the mountain, meeting up with the Crystal Pony porters and guides that Endeavour had hired. Luckily, they had a medic among their number, and he quickly bandaged up Champion, though he still suggested taking him to a hospital. On the way back, Rhythm and Gimbal put aside their rivalry for Champion's affections, nearly losing him making them realise how foolish they'd been. It didn't matter who he chose, if any, just as long as he was safe. Having Crytal Pony guides, well trained in arctic survival, made the journey back a lot safer and quicker, and soon they were back in the Crystal Empire City, heading straight for the hospital.
  4. Equestria Chronicles: A Roleplaying is Magic "Blog".

    That's fine, Lemur. It's still Pony RP related, so it still fits, more or less. Looking forward to this comic I hear talk of.
  5. Equestria Chronicles: A Roleplaying is Magic "Blog".

    GM's Note: I've decided to experiment with a more narrative prose style of writing. Let me know if you like it, or prefer the old style. Also, there may be a little artistic licence in the name of narrative cohesion. Gimbal sighed happily as she leaned against the sauna wall. It had taken the Spa Ponies most of the day, but her mane was back to its old glory. Now she and her friends, including their newest friend, Rhythm Quartz, though not Paper Waltz, who was busy arranging for the return to Ponyville of the Lock Stalk and Barrel train-car, were relaxing in the sauna together. "I hope we all realise, that if we do, indeed, try to stop whatever it is that Past Endeavour is planning in the Frozen North, we'll be breaking the verbal contract we made with him," Sugar Song spoke, breaking the pleasant silence. Even with her eyes closed, she could feel the questioning gazes of the others on her. "He promised to not act against us or our friends, in return for our non-interference in his plans." "Does that mean we should let him do whatever he wants?" Champion asked earnestly. "Who knows what harm he could cause?" Sugar Song nodded with a sigh, "I know. I'm not happy breaking a promise, is all... even one to a villain like him." Rhythm Quartz, who had been listening with the slightly perplexed expression of an outsider in these things, spoke up, "It's like my Lord Ember, said, to Champion here: sometimes you have to do things you might find distasteful, if its to protect those you care about." "I know," Sugar Song said. "He's too dangerous to leave alone, we need to at least investigate what he's up to." "Ooh! Ooh!" Nutmeg practically jumped up and down in excitement. "Lunar Tinker lives in the Crystal Empire, right!? We can visit him! He can help!" "Sounds like a plan!" Gimbal said, and everyone else nodded in agreement. ********** "Hey, Nutmeg, I've got a cunning plan." Gimbal said to her shy friend, as they were walking down the street after their spa session. Nutmeg looked at her curiously, and she continued. "We want to 'lie low' as they say, right? Well, Past Endeavour is an old stallion, so we should dress as old mares. Old ponies are constantly gossiping and complaining about young ponies, so they must all trust each other, right?" A small part of Nutmeg was shouting at her, telling her that this was a stupid idea, and she knew it. Of course, that might have also been her Breezy friend, Flurry. Her constant desire to keep hold of her friendships, made her ignore such wisdom, and she nodded enthusiastically. "Yep, sounds like a great idea! I'm sure we can scrounge up some old fashioned dressed, grey wigs, and things like that." They hoof-bumped each other, then ran off to their houses. ********** The next morning came, and the friends were boarding the morning train to the Crystal Empire. Paper Waltz, being a Crystal Pony himself, had decided to come along. His sister still lived in the Empire, and was looking forward to meeting her brother's new Special Somepony. In order to deflect suspicion from any agents of Past Endeavour who might be at the Crystal Empire, they had decided to spread out among the train, instead of all claiming one carriage; Nutmeg and Gimbal in one, Sugar Song, Champion and Rhythm Quartz in another, and Paper Waltz and Mutt in a third. An hour into the day long journey, Gimbal nudged Nutmeg, grinning, "Come on, let's get into costume. If we can fool our friends, Past Endeavour has no chance." Still ignoring the niggling little voice of reason in her head, as well as Flurry's tiny facehoofs, Nutmeg nodded, and they each headed to the bathroom at either end of the carriage. ********** "Do you see this mark?" Champion asked, tapping the shield surrounding a musical note on his haunches. "A shield. Not a sword, not a vanquished enemy. I'm a defender, not a slayer!" Rhythm Quartz had expressed her confusion at Champion's shame at slaying the dragon Skyscale, when so many other dragon-slayers would brag constantly about such a feat. The Unicorn Colt looked down, breathing heavily, trying not too get too worked up. Sugar Song glanced at Rhythm, who had the grace to look ashamed at upsetting Champion, then to her little brother with a mix of pride and concern. She was just about to pull him into a spontaneous hug, when they suddenly heard a creaky, falsetto voice, "Well, hello there, young whippersnappers! How are you this fine day!" "Oh, dear Celestia, no..." Sugar Song murmured, then turned to see two of the most ridiculously cliched old mares she had ever seen. Big blue manes, straw hats with flowers and fruit, even the cat's eye glasses. "Gimbal, Nutmeg, what on Equestria are you wearing? You look... ridiculous, even for you, Gimbal. And, you, Nutmeg, you should know better." Champion just looked crestfallen, his chin slumped against the back of the seat. "Why?" he asked plaintively, in the tone of one trying to make sense of the senseless. "Gimbal? Nutmeg? Who are they?" Gimbal insisted, refusing to break character so easily. "We're just a couple of normal old mares, on our way to the Crystal Empire Bingo Club." Sugar Song turned and slammed her head against the train window, groaning in both physical and mental pain. Champion put a comforting hoof on her shoulder, then said, hopefully, "You know, if you need more adult in the team, I could use my magic to-" "No!" Sugar Song said curtly, face still pressed against the window. "You will grow the normal way, young stallion. And besides," She turned and nuzzled him affectionately, "you're already adult enough as it is. Don't be in such a hurry to grow up." ********** The train pulled into the Crystal Empire station just as the sun was starting to set, and the party disembarked from their respective carriages. Gimbal and Nutmeg, who was staring in awe at the beautiful, sparkling buildings of the Empire, had removed their old mare disguises, for now, but they had them at hoof, "just in case." Paper Waltz, being the only pony of the group from here, had a few suggestions. "There's a good hotel with great views of the palace, called, not surprisingly, 'The Palace View Hotel'. While Sugar Song and I pay a visit to my sister, the rest of you can check in there. It's pretty expensive, but definitely worth it for rock-stars like yourselves." Gimbal nodded enthusiaticully, then whispered to Nutmeg, "And I bet they have a senior citizen discount, right, 'dearie?'" Nutmeg whispered back, "Or a foal discount," Nutmeg, who was always looking for an excuse to be shrunk, glanced to Champion, who was chatting with Rhythm Quartz. "First, though," she said out loud. "Let's try to find Lunar Tinker." "You all go ahead," Sugar Song said, "I'm going with Paper." With that, Paper Waltz gave them directions, to the hotel, and to his sister's house, then they parted ways. ********** They asked around for Lunar Tinker, and found that he was somewhat famous in the Empire, for both good and ill. Ponies young and old delighted in his wonderful, clockwork marvels, though town planners and other authorities lived in constant dread of his next 'brilliant idea!'. His house/shop could be found in the Craftspony District, so, with that information, the party headed in that direction. The Craftpony district turned out to be the newest district in the Crystal Empire, built not long after its return from the shadow world. It had the largest non-Crystal Pony population in the city, mostly Earth Pony and Unicorn of various crafts, who came to help modernise the Empire. At this time of night, most of the shops were closed, but it wasn't hard to find Lunar Tinker's Mechanical Marvels, by the huge gears that turned slowly on the roof. The shop was closed up, and there was a sign in a window, that read, 'Of on exploration and adventure. Closed for foreseeable future. Apologies for the inconvenience.'. When Nutmeg read the note outloud, she groaned in disappointment. "Oh, horseapples! I was really looking forward to seeing him again." "Let's ask around, see if anypony knows where he might have went." Mutt suggested. Luckily, they did find one shop still open; an armour-smith's. An old Earth Pony was beating out the dents in a guardspony's barding, something which Champion watched in fascination. When asked about Lunar Tinker, he told them that a few days ago, he saw a Unicorn with a long beard and a cutie mark showing a heart in puppet strings, talking with Lunar Tinker. He couldn't hear what they were talking about, exactly, but whatever it was got Lunar Tinker all exited, and he closed up shop and left with the Unicorn the next day, loaded for a long exhibition into the Frozen North. After they thanked the armour-smith and let him get on with their business, Mutt took his friends aside, and said, "That Unicorn was definitely Past Endeavour but we need to know more. I say we come back later tonight, and, um, search Lunar Tinker's shop for information." "But it's locked up," Nutmeg said, before remembering who she was talking to. "Oooh!" "Alright then," Gimbal added. "Let's book into that hotel Paper Waltz suggested, and come back in a couple of hours." ********** On the way to the Palace View Hotel, Gimbal had slipped into her old mare costume, hoping to get a discount. Nutmeg had asked Champion to use his magic to shrink her down to the size of a filly, "For no particular reason, honest!". Champion sensed she was up to something, but couldn't figure out what, and besides, she pouted. What's a colt to do? When they saw the concierge behind his desk, Gimbal put on her 'best' old mare voice. "Why hello there, dearie! One senior citizen, 2 foals, and 2 adults for the penthouse floor, please!" The concierge sighed when he saw the painfully obvious ploy before him. "Sorry, ma'ams, but the discounts don't apply to... cos-players or... little ponies." "Oh well, worth a shot right?" Gimbals grin faded under the concierge's flat expression. "Um... I mean, 4 adults and 1 foal for the penthouse floor, please." The Ponies, Diamond Dog and Dragon then paid the room fees, and made their way upstairs. They decided to share two rooms between them. Rhythm Quartz quickly claimed a room with Champion (a little too quickly, Gimbal thought). Nutmeg, who usually liked to share a room with Champion. seemed a bit disappointed, but then quickly grinned at the idea of a puppy pile with Mutt, Gimbal and herself. Mutt just rolled his eyes and grinned at his friends childish antics. They sat together on the balcony, enjoying the view and killing time until Mutt decided it was late enough to risk a break and enter. The Diamond Dog had proven his thievery credentials before, so the others trusted his judgement in these things. ********** The Craftspony District was deadly silent, as the 5 friends snuck through through the streets towards Lunar Tinker's shop. It was going fairly well, until Gimbal suddenly caught her hoof on a slightly raised flagstone, and landed face first into the ground. Her short cry of pain made the others freeze, waiting. Know lights came on, no hue and cry was called, and they breathed out. "Ow! Ow! Ow!" Gimbal rubbed her reddened, swelling muzzle. "Here, let me." Champion walked up, touching his glowing horn to the wound. As the bleeding stopped and the swelling went down, Gimbal sighed happily, "Thanks, Champ!" She then glanced up, to see Rhythm Quartz giving her a brief, but intense, look of hatred. It faded as soon as it appeared, and Gimbal wondered if she'd even seen it. They arrived at Tinker's shop, and Mutt scanned the front door with an expert eye, before taking out some of the tools of his trade, hidden in his vest. "Rhythm, Gimbal, can you two fly up to the roof and keep a look out for any night watchponies?" Rhythm nodded, and got ready to take off, but Gimbal whined plaintively, "Awww... but I wanted to see all the cool toys." Champion chuckled and rolled his eyes, then said, "Fine, I'll ride on Rhythm's back, and keep watch with her," he looked to Rhythm, "if that's okay with you, of course." Rhythm blushed slightly, then nodded quickly, "Of course." She crouched, letting the colt climb on, and they flew up to the roof. Mutt got the door open, and he, Gimbal and Nutmeg found themselves in a large workshop, full of half finished mechanical and clockwork marvels. Nutmeg's eyes started to widen, and Mutt covered her mouth just in time to muffle her high pitched squeal of pure, nerdy joy. They then started to search the room, looking for any clues to where Past Endeavour and Lunar Tinker went. Gimbal's attention was drawn to a strange contraption, consisting of a hollow frame with four equine like legs. A blue-print nearby labelled it as, "Prototype for Assisted Movement". Nutmeg found a complex watch, one that not only told the time, but indicated the phases of the moon and other astronomical events. "Oh, wow! I wish Lunar was here, so I could buy this!" "Just leave some bits," Mutt said, "Not stealing if you leave money." He nodded sagely. "Them's the rules." Nutmeg nodded, and put a hefty pile of bits on the table, pocketing the watch. Then her eye was drawn to an old tome, labelled, 'Ways of the Ancients'. "This looks promising," she said, opening to a bookmark. The entry she found detailed an ancient tribe of Earth Ponies called 'The Hooves of the North', who had cities deep in the mountains of the Frozen North. "I think this is where they went. Past Endeavour is probably liking for an artefact weapon or something." The rest of them nodded. They knew enough about Past Endeavour to know he would seek any advantage in whatever long term plan he had; anything that was obscure and not well known would be especially valued. "Lunar Tinker probably doesn't know exactly what Past Endeavour is looking for," Gimbal said. "He probably just thinks Endeavour is a fellow history enthusiast. Once Past Endeavour does find what he's looking for, however..." "Then we have to catch up with them before that happens!" Nutmeg exclaimed urgently. "Let's get back to the hotel, get some sleep, then tomorrow, find Sugar Song, and get some supplies for the Frozen North." ********** The next morning, the friends were enjoying a hearty breakfast in the hotel's dining room. All except for Rhythm Quartz and Champion, who hadn't emerged from their room, something which Gimbal took note of. Champion finally showed up, about an hour after they'd started breakfast. "Turns out, dragons are deep sleepers," the colt said, sheepishly. He then looked to Nutmeg with a wry smile. "She also has your bad habit of using me as a plushie. Had to wriggle free." Nutmeg blushed a bit, as Champion started loading a couple of plates, probably to take back to the room. Gimbal sidled up to him, "Hey, Champ. Word in your ear, over here?" Champion cocked his head, but nodded and followed Gimbal to a corner of the room. "What's up, Gimbal?" He asked, when they were out of earshot. "I can't but notice that Rhythm Quartz seems to have taken a bit of a shine to you, Champ," Gimbal said, and Champion blushed and coughed. "Look, I just want you to be careful," she added. "We still don't know all that much about her." Champion looked up at her, and said, in an almost hopeful tone. "You're not... you're not jealous, are you?" "Of-of course not!" Gimbal said quickly, looking away. "Oh... okay.." Champion nodded. In the meantime, Nutmeg had been watching this exchange, with sparkling eyes. She couldn't hear them, but her romantic imagination was running wild. So when they came back, she almost literally dragged Gimbal aside, "Spill! Spill! What did you guys talk about!" "Oh, um, it was nothing, forget about it," Gimbal said, distractedly, as she watched Champion leave with two plates in his magical aura. "Once Champion and Rhythm have had some breakfast, let's pick up Sugar Song, and get some supplies. We got an adventure to look forward to." ********** When Sugar Song learnt about the plan, she agreed to come along, mostly for her little brother's sake. After ensuring Paper Waltz, several times, with both words and kisses, that she would be fine, they then made their way to an exploration supply store, to buy the supplies they would need fpr a trek in the Frozen North. Tents, snow-shoes, skis, and woollen cloaks from crystal ewes. By the time they had everything together, the sun was high in the sky. With one, possibly last, glance back towards the crystal spires of the city, they stepped through the northern gates, and into the Frozen North.
  6. Equestria Chronicles: A Roleplaying is Magic "Blog".

    Looks fine to me (though I had to go to your deviant art page to see). Maybe not exactly how I pictured, but a certain level of artistic licence is permissible, so long as the general feel of the character is captured, which you're quite good at.
  7. Equestria Chronicles: A Roleplaying is Magic "Blog".

    Session 17 Episode 10 After the concert, Lock, Stalk and Barrel had their usual after-party. Dragons, especially teenage dragons, liked to party hard, and even Gimbal was a bit overwhelmed by the exuberance of friendly dragons. Besides, she also wanted to get her mane back to normal, not wanting to try balancing a battle-axe on her head for much longer. She asked Champion for some help first, since he tended to use body magic a lot. Unfortunately, he was more used to using the magic to enhance his own or other's physical prowess, and trying to restore Gimbal's mane back to its usual style proved beyond his ability. The best he could do was crudely undo the battle-axe style, leaving Gimbal with long, brightly coloured dreadlocks. Luckily, Sugar Song had learnt that the dragon's had natural hot springs, and invited Gimbal and Nutmeg to join her in a relaxing bath, while their personal bodyguard, Champion, kept watch. Sugar Song started the long, arduous process of cleaning out the several bottles worth of product in Gimbal's mane. At that moment, a young female dragon by the name of Rhythm Quartz was watching Champion with growing interest. She had seen his confession to Ember, offering back the sword he was gifted as recompose for his slaying of the traitor, Skyscale. Other's had slain dragons before; ponies, griffons, and probably others, but never had she heard of a dragon-slayer not bragging about the act. Champion seemed almost ashamed succeeding at such a mighty task, and Rhythm Quartz had to find out why, so she decided to secretly follow him. It was Nutmeg who first saw the rather pretty, quite slender (almost serpentine, in fact) young female dragon spying on them. Her shocked "Eep!" both startled Rhythm Quartz, who disappeared down a narrow tunnel, and got Champion's attention. When Nutmeg pointed to the hole the dragon had fled down, Champion ran over to it, incensed, and shouted a warning and threat down the tunnel to stop spying on his friends. After that brief unpleasantness (and misunderstanding, though they didn't know it yet) they decided to see how Mutt was doing. He'd decided to join some of the young dragons in their more physical games. Sugar Song had styled Gimbal's now totally clean mane into a high ponytail. Not Gimbal's preferred style, but that would require a visit to a proffesional hairdresser. It did keep her rather long mane from dragging along the ground, though... and Champion thought it looked nice, for his part. They found Mutt, in the middle of a wrestling match with a particularly muscular teenage dragon. Judging by his bruises and scars, Mutt had not been shy in testing his physical limits against the dragons. And judging by the way many were chanting his name, he had earned the respect of the adolescent dragons around him. After the match, which Mutt, lost, though only barely, Champion started to heal his wounds, bruises and broken bones, while they made preparations to return to Ponyville. Paper Waltz wasn't able to secure any record sales (mostly because the dragons didn't have record players) but he did manage to get the band quite a hefty fee for the concert. Ember approached the group, with a pretty, young (probably about 16ish, or the dragon equivalent thereof) female dragon, with a long, slender, almost serpentine body. Ember introduced her as Rhythm Quartz, and said that she was interested in learning about Pony culture, and had requested leave to move into Ponyville, as part of a kind of cultural exchange. The band agreed, and greeted Rhythm Quartz warmly. Gimbal thought having a genuine dragon friend sounded awesome. And so, after one last goodbye hug from Tinder Foot they started to make their way back to Ponyville. The trek back would be easier, since they were leaving the bath with Tinder Foot. It was Sugar Song who noticed the way that Rhythm Quartz kept secretly glancing towards Champion with interest. She whispered jokingly to Gimbal, saying that if she wasn't careful, the Pegasus might soon have a rival for Champion's heart. Champion just kept his ears on the ground, trying not to blush. Gimbal then challenged Rhythm to a race, saying she hadn't tested her speed against a dragon before. Rhythm agreed, mostly because she wanted to fit in, and thought this might be a good way to make friends with Gimbal. She unfurled her wings, revealing a wingspan as wide as she was long; the wings were very light and flexible, able to fold extremely neatly against her body when not in use. Rhythm proved herself a worthy foe for Gimbal, especially when it came to speed in straight bursts. Gimbal still won their 200 metre race, but it was a close one. Being in the air, they then noticed something strange. A huge, white furred monster, looking like a mix between a giant ape and a wolf, fighting a group of Buffalo braves. Gimbal rushed to help, shoyting to the others to follow, followed closely by Rhythm Quartz. The others were confused, but still followed. By the time they arrived at the scene, Gimbal and Rhythm were trying to distract and herd the beast away from the braves, many of whom were already badly injured or dying from its massive claws. Gimbal flying around its head to try to disorient it, while Rhythm breathed intense streams of blue flame at its feet to try to move it away from the braves. Sugar Song started casting bright flash spells at the creature's eyes, while Champion created his shields to protect the braves, while Mutt and Nutmeg and even Paper Waltz rushed in to drag the injured Buffalo to safety. Gimbal suddenly had a flash of inspiration; since the creature had thick, white fur, she realised it must come from the arctic north, transported here somehow. No matter it was pissed off. Realising this, quickly started to form a snowstorm within a cylinder of arctic cold. No easy feat, since this was a desert, but with great effort, she managed to pull it off. The ape-wolf beast instatnly calmed down under the soothing snow, and started to lie down to sleep. While Gimbal maintained the blizzard, the others asked the Buffalo what had happened. The braves had been on a patrol, just an everyday routine thing, when there was a sudden pale blue glow, and that thing appeared. It immediately went berserk, attacking everything around it, which unfortunately included the Buffalo. Gimbal, Mutt, Nutmeg, Sugar Song and Champion all recognised that glow as Past Endeavour's magical signature. It made sence, since he was a master of teleportation magic, perhaps matching, or even surpassing, Unicorns like Twilight and Starlight. They realised they needed Twilight's help. She would be able to teleport the beast back to the north, where it belonged. Since Gimbal needed to maintain the storm, they decided to send their next best flyer (in fact, their only other flyer), Rhythm Quartz, along with Nutmeg to explain what was going on, to Ponyville. Nutmeg hopped onto Rhythm's back, and the serpentine dragon took off at full speed, racing directly to Ponyville. Meanwhile, Champion used his body magic to keep Gimbal's stamina up while she maintained the blizzard. After about a day and a half off non stop flying, Rhythm crashed into through the top window of the Castle of Friendship, where Spike was busy reshelving books. Nutmeg started talking at a million miles per hour, trying to explain everything at once. A concerned Spike called for Twilight, who came up the stairs. As soon she she saw Nutmeg, she realised something must be wrong, but Nutmeg was in too excitable a state to speak clearly. So, apologising, she put her horn on Nutmeg's head, and cast a memory recall spell, learning what had happened. She agreed that the poor, misplaced beast needed to be taken back to where it belonged. Luckily, she had seen where Nutmeg's friends where in her memories, and using this, was able to teleport them back. Just in time, since, even with Champion's magical assistance, Gimbal look ready to collapse. Twilight touched her horn to the creature, and with a flash, they both disappeared. Gimbal finally released the blizzard, and collapsed, exhausted. A few minutes later, Twilight returned, and then teleported everyone back to Ponyville. They then discussed their next plans. It seemed that Past Endeavour was up to some sort of nefarious scheme, though what, exactly, they had no idea. The band decided that they had to find out what, and so decided to travel to the north to see what they could learn. Rhythm Quartz agreed to come to help them, even though she didn't have as strong a connection to Past Endeavour as the others had. Before that, however, they planned to hit the spa. Gimbal wanted her old mane back... With that, the session came to an end.
  8. Equestria Chronicles: A Roleplaying is Magic "Blog".

    Session 16 Episode 9 We open with the band beginning to make preparations for the concert in the Dragon Lands. Gimbal had a plan to show the awesome pony of the pony species, through ostentatious and outlandish outfits and props. She went to Rarity, with a heap of crazy ideas for costumes and props, which, among other things, included a leopard print leotard for herself, since, she reasoned, leopards were often found on royal heraldry. Rarity's eye twitched. A troubles started when the band seemed unable to communicate with each other about what the look should be, resulting in a chaotic miss-mash of styles, most of which sent Rarity into a catatonic state due to the fashion trauma. It was Sugar Song who finally told the others that they should first agree among themselves what the concert theme should be (in this case, "Royal Extravagance"), and then tell Rarity, and let her, the expert in fashion and design, create the costumes and set pieces. Gimbal also decided to call in the favour that Luna owed them for stopping the plot to steal her Dream-Walking power. She wanted Luna to make the moon rise over the mountains during the climax of the continent, briefly eclipsing the sun. Luna agreed, and they hashed out the details in Gimbal's sleep. Knowing that they were going to see little Tinderfoot, and thinking that, as her mommy, it was her responsibility to bathe the hatchling, Gimbal also had the idea to buy large bathtub. They bought a fairly large one, with wheels so it could be dragged around. This would prove somewhat useful later. With the preparations made, they took the train to Appleloosa. Once again, Paper Waltz arranged their own carriage, allowing room for the band, their props, and a large bathtub. They arrived at Appleloosa the next day but then had to decide how to get to the Dragon Lands. They came up with the idea of piling into the tub, with their props, and having the immensely strong Diamond Dog, Mutt, pull them, aided with a stamina enhancing spell from Champion. It was a very tight (and perhaps somewhat intimate) squeeze for the 5 ponies and their stuff, and it must have looked a strange sight to the Buffalo tribes whose lands they travelled through, but it seemed to do the job, nonetheless. As they neared the mountain range that marked the border between the Badlands and the Dragon Lands, Paper Waltz asked them to wait while he went in to make arrangements for the band and make sure Dragon Lord Ember knew they were coming. He returned about an hour later, just as Sugar Song was starting to fret, with a friendly teenage dragon to act as an escort for the band. He had successful sold the band to Lord Ember, and she had set aside a small flat plateau Lock, Stalk and Barrel could use as a stage. At the stage, they started to set up for the gig. Gimbal also got some water for the bathtub, then started to ask around for Tinder Foot. They didn't have to find her, since she had heard that her pony family was here. It was Nutmeg who saw her sneaking up on Champion, ready to glomp him. She didn't warn Champion, since the adorb potential was too high to resist. Thus, Champion had no chance against the vicious, sudden hug attack from the savage Tinder Foot. Tinder Foot jumped all over Champion and the other band-members, her eyelashes ablaze with joy. She took to the bath surprisingly well, though to be fair, most of it ended on Gimbal and Champion and the ground around the tub. The magical flames that burnt on Tinder Foot's eyelashes turned out to be water proof, burning even under water, so long as she was happy. Champion then asked if he could have an audience with Lord Ember. He was granted the request; helping save a hatchling, and Ember herself during the attempted coup, got him a lot of favours with the dragons. The others, not knowing why Champion wanted this audience, went with him, and they found themselves in a massive cavern, flanked by several large dragons, the elder council of the Dragon Lands, chosen by Ember for their wisdom and experience. When Ember, seated on a throne of gems, holding the Bloodstone Sceptre, asked Champion what he wished to say, Champion bowed, and pulling out the enchanted blade gifted to him by Ember during their last visit, held it out non-threateningly to Ember. He then explained how he had killed Skyscale, confessing his guilt at the death of one of her subjects. Ember listened gravely, then declared that, by breaking the oath to never return to Ponyville, she was no dragon, and thus, Champion had not slain one of her subjects, but had instead rid her of a potential enemy. She bid that Champion keep the sword; it was a gift of a Dragon Lord, and not lightly returned. As they walked out of the cavern, Sugar Song waited to make sure no dragons were in eyesight, then suddenly pulled Champion into another perhaps too tight hug, once again proud and frustrated by her little brother's courage and honesty, even if it turned out he was beating himself up for no reason. After that, they put on the performance. Paper Waltz had done a brilliant job hyping them up, as was his job as their manager/promoter, and many dragons showed up to watch. Once again, Lock, Stalk and Barrel gave a spectacular performance. True to her word, Luna raised the moon during the climax of the final song, and this was met with roaring cheers and skyward spouts of flame from the dragons. All in all, Lock, Stalk and Barrel made a damn fine impression on the dragons. And with that high note, this admittedly short and sweet session (and episode) came to an end.
  9. Equestria Chronicles: A Roleplaying is Magic "Blog".

    Session 15 We open with the band discussing how to get to White Tail Woods. Well, first, Gimbal, ever looking to promote her band, snuck among the sleeping Diamond Dogs, whispering, "I want to rock, with Lock, Stalk and Barrel..." into their ears. Unfortunately, she got a whack across the muzzle from a Diamond Dog who thought she was an annoying bug. So much for subliminal marketing. They decided to take the river from Ponyville to White Tail Woods, and with Nutmeg's encyclopedic knowledge and Mutt's immense strength, they turned a log into a large canoe. They then started to journey to the Woods. A couple of days later, they saw a large column of smoke coming from the forest. It looked like it was being burnt again, most probably to destroy the bark needed for the antidote against the Hate Spores. They then saw the dragon, flying among the smoke, breathing gusts of flame. It was Skyscale, the dragoness who had been part of the Dream Stealing conspiracy with Past Endeavour and Hraka, and who, in return for her life after being defeated by the Mane 6 and our heroes, swore never to return to Equestria. Obviously, she had broken that oath, and was working for Hraka, destroying the forest on his behalf. Under the cover of the smoke, they landed their canoe, then Sugar Song cast her invisibility curtain. They snuck closer, trying to figure out how to deal with Skyscale before she reduced the entire White Tail Woods to ash. As they approached, Mutt suddenly shouted a challenge to the dragoness. Skyscale flew over to where she heard the shout, but saw nothing. The dragoness had a way to deal with hidden enemies, however, and she suddenly breathed a gout of fire in the general direction of the shout. Champion quickly threw up a shield spell, just in time. Noticing her fire spreading around the shield, Skyscale knew who was there, and breathed harder. Champion buckled as the fire started to melt through his shield. Growing desperate, realising that shield's alone were not going to protect those he cared for, Champion did something he never imagined he could. Still maintaining his shield spell, he grabbed his sword, the same one given to him by Dragon Lord Ember with his telekinesis, and bought it up and around into the surprised dragoness' neck. The enchanted blade pierced the hard scales like they were nothing. Then, crying out, Champion ran the blade across Skyscale's throat. The dragoness gave one last roar, then collapsed, dead. Champion just stood there, staring at his blade, having just purposely killed a living creature for the first time. While Sugar Song and Nutmeg tried to comfort him, Gimbal and Mutt tried to put out the fires. Thus, they didn't see the mercenary ponies until they were surrounded. A desperate battle for survival broke out. The mercenaries were soon getting the upperhoof, since it seemed that whenever they started to get tired or injured, they got a second wind from somewhere else. It was Nutmeg who saw the culprit. Hraka was watching the battle from a distance, using Zebra magic to keep his troops fighting fit (in Roleplaying is Magic: Season 4 Edition, Zebras can learn a lesser form of magic; not as powerful as Unicorns can get, but still effective). She pointed this out to the others, and knowing that things were getting desperate for them (Champion had exhausted himself into unconsciousness trying to maintain his shield spell and heal wounds), Gimbal, Sugar Song and Mutt acted in unison. Mutt threw a spear he had yanked from one of the mercenary ponies, Sugar Song sent forth a sonic pulse, and Gimbal bought down a lightning bolt... all on Hraka. Hraka didn't see the triple assault, and found himself impaled, smashed and electrocuted, he collapsed, and with their boss dead, the mercenaries decided to hoof it, since they weren't being paid anymore. With Hraka and Skyscale out of the picture, White Tail Woods was saved... well, at least, what was left of it was saved. Still, a victory for our heroes. They returned to Ponyville to wind down and relax, though Champion was still troubled by the fact he had killed someone, despite Nutmeg's and Sugar Song's best efforts to cheer him up. In the meantime, Gimbal found that she had a couple of packages. The first was the painting she had ordered, which she planned to use as the inspiration for a new album cover. First though, Chill Factor and Paper Waltz would need to wring out the legal issues of using Crystal Empire royalty, especially since the type of music Lock, Stalk and Barrel were known for might not be something Princess Cadance would want associated with her and her daughter. The second package contained the torn and shredded remains of the frilly dress Gimbal had sent as a present to Tinderfoot. With it was a letter, thanking Gimbal for the gift, but declaring that Tinderfoot was a noble and fierce dragon who would not be shackled to the chains of ponydom... and that she was looking forward to seeing Champion and the other's again. Champion suggested that they put on a concert for the dragons, which Gimbal and the others thought was a great idea, so they started to make their preparations. With that, the session and episode came to a close.
  10. Ah, I think I'm a bit confused. This isn't a report of an ongoing campaign, like my Equestria Chronicles, but an adventure you're designing?
  11. That's right. PC = Player Character (for example, in Equestria Chronicles: Gimbal, Mutt and Nutmeg are the PCs).
  12. This is one reason why I've been somewhat reluctant to showcase the Mane 6 and other canon characters in my game, unless the PCs actively seek them out.
  13. Looking good so far. Though some profiles of the PCs would be nice.
  14. My interest has been piqued, good sir and/or madam. Consider yourself followed (or this thread at least).