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Swift Study

Equestria Chronicles: A Roleplaying is Magic "Blog".

38 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

Last night, I ran my first session of Roleplaying is Magic for a couple of players (known on EQD as Straydogdragon and Lemur), and had some of the most fun I've had roleplaying in a long time. So much, in fact, that for the first time in over 20 years of roleplaying, I've decided to start a kind of blog about the ongoing Equestrian Chronicles.

 

Introducing the PCs.

My two players have both made interesting and fun PCs, so let's meet them here.

 

First off is Gimbal Lock, a young green and purple female Pegasus (check out Lemur's awesome art below) who specialises in the creation of hail. A prankster at heart with a strong anti-authoritarian streak, she "works" (or at least, looks like she's working when her supervisor is watching) as a Ponyville Weather Pony, Junior Class. She always has a saddle-bag full of odds and ends, and often has just what she needs for a situation (GM Note: The Bits and Bobs edge allows her player to, once per Episode, declare she has just the right item needed, within reason). Her guiding Element of Harmony is Laughter, though she also has a spark of Kindness as well.

 

The other character is Mutt, a young male Diamond Dog, with dark brown fur and a stubby little tail. Mutt is a seemingly contradictory personality, an impulsive kleptomaniac with a strong sense of Generosity. He will, at times, even give back stuff he stole just moments before... and then probably steal something else from the same pony, causing many a confused scratching of the head. His tendency to not think things through gets him, and those around him, in a lot of trouble. Luckily, he's quite good at getting out of trouble as well.

 

Session 0.5

I had originally intended the first session to be character creation, but the process took quicker than I thought, and having a couple of hours of session left, I decided to start the game proper, hence calling it session 0.5, instead of session 1.

 

Our story started late one morning, with the City of Ponyville in an exited state, as it was mere days to Nightmare Night, a perennial favourite. With the streets crowded, Mutt decided it was a good time to risk some sticky paw discounts. An outdoor stall selling cheap, tacky, Princess Luna and Nightmare Moon memorabilia caught his eye, and he started to sidle up to it, acting all nonchalant like.

 

In the meantime, a bored out of her skull Gimbal was on weather Patrol duty, even though there wasn't a stray cloud in sight. Thus, she was spending more time scanning the Ponies having fun below. She saw her friend, Mutt, sidling up to the Luna/Nightmare Moon stall... and, at the same time, she saw 3 other ponies, 2 Earth Ponies and a Pegasus she recognised, expertly stealing from the same stall. The Pegasus was Storm Front, a personal rival of hers. Just as much a slacker and trouble maker as her, and yet somehow still the instructors pet, using his charms to get others to take the blame. She watched as they pocketed a handful of souvenirs, then made their way down a nearby alley. 

 

Deciding to have some fun by "messing" with her rival, she flew down to meet Mutt, who had snatched a pewter miniature of Princess Luna. Quickly explaining what she saw, they started down the same alley. They hadn't yet decided what exactly "messing with" would entail, planning to wing it as it were.

 

The alley led to a dead end, with one door, which led into the kitchen of Ponyville's Party Palace, one of Ponyville's hottest new nightclub; closed now, of course, since it was barely midday. Mutt's expert, thiefy eye (I don't care, little red squiggle, thiefy is now a word) noticed signs of quite expert tampering on the door, and realised the thieves (the bad thieves that is, not him, he's a good thief), had gone into the Palace, and locked it behind them. Not having the right tools on him for a break and enter job, they looked for another way in. On the top floor they saw that one of the windows was jammed open, slightly. Gimbal flew up to check on it, and was able to squeeze her own body through, just, but Mutt would need to force it open a bit more. After a quick debate about how to get him up to the window, Mutt decided to simply try climbing the wall. One Alicorn-roll later, and suddenly the Diamond Dog was a Diamond Cat, scaling the wall with ease.

 

Shimmying the window opening, he slipped in, and they found themselves on the dance floor, dull and lifeless during the day. They saw stairs leading down to the restaurant and kitchen area, and snuck over to listen down them. At first, they heard nothing... but then they heard a low, pained groaning. Perhaps it was the upcoming holiday that played tricks with their minds, as they had thoughts of zomponies. When Mutt smelt the coppery tang of blood, vamponies were added to the possibilities, before they realised that somepony must be hurt downstairs.

 

Climbing down, they found an old security guard Earth Pony, with a nasty stab wound in his side. Suddenly realising something very serious is going on, Gimbal pulled out some bandages and gauze she just happened to have in her saddlebag (using the Bits and Bobs Edge) to staunch the bleeding, saving his life. He still fainted from the blood loss however, just having enough energy to point to another set of stairs leading down to a basement level.

 

Mutt snuck down the stairs a bit, while Gimbal starting forming a huge hailstone near the top of the stairs, thinking she'd need a weapon if there's some stab-happy pony around. Seriously, who stabs over tacky, cheap, souvenirs?

 

Mutt overheard a conversation down below, to male voices, speaking in hushed, terrified tones about the psycho-pony working with them, who just out and stabbed that security guard like he was scratching an itch. They went silent when another voice, seemingly friendly and polite, but with an unmistakably unhinged edge, spoke to them, demanding to know if they were gossiping about him. He don' like gossip, see, make's 'im... twitchy, They immediately shut up.

 

From above, Gimbal saw a now terrified Mutt signalling frantically, that the stabber and some other ponies were down the stairs. And thus, she decided it was time to put the huge iceball to use, pushing it down the stairs. Mutt barely managed to dodge the icy ball of doom himself, by leaping up and pulling himself up against the staircase ceiling. The record breaking hailstone crashed its way down the stairs, and soon the heard cries of alarm, followed by cries of pain and thuds.

 

Mutt then saw a crazed looking Earth Pony, hide covered in scars, one eye a sickly, staring white, running up the stairs with a jagged dagger held in his mouth. He must have dodged the iceball, and was now looking for the bastard who tried to, quite literally, ice him. Mutt hid against the ceiling, and would have evaded noticed, but decided that he couldn't let his friend face this psycho-pony alone, and tried to jump on him from above. He mistimed the attack, however, and the dagger wielding pony deftly dodged, then stunned the Diamond Dog with a hard double backhoof kick, before turning to try to slash him. Mutt barely managed to avoid being disembowelled, but still took a shallow slash for the privilege. He started to run down the stairs, with psycho-pony in pursuit.

 

Up the stairs, Gimbal couldn't let her friend face this pony alone, but not having time to form an adequate hailstone, opted for lightning. Being a young, relatively innocent mare, however, she hadn't the heart to aim to kill even this mad pony, so her plan was to just frighten and stun with lots of little bolts. Unfortunately, she lost control of the lightning and one of the bolts did scorch his side; not enough to kill or even maim, but it still hurt like Tartarus, pissing him off even more. Still, silver lining, she did succeed in distracting him from Mutt... by turning his murderous eyes to her. Gimbal fled up the stairs, and quickly hid among the stacked stools of the restaurant area. Luck was on her side and despite some close calls, she managed to evade the murderous Earth Pony, as she gave up to head back downstairs to find that Diamond Dog mutt.

 

In the meantime, Mutt had found the stunned pair of ponies, both also of the Earth tribe. The iceball had knocked them like bowling pins, not breaking anything, but seriously winding them. He also noticed a huge hole in the wall, leading into a freshly dug tunnel through the earth. A tunnel he recognised as the paw-work of Diamond Dogs. He didn't have much time to think on this, as he heard hoofsteps coming down the stairs. He quickly slipped into the tunnel. then dug a small side tunnel for himself to hide in. The crazy eyed pony entered the tunnel, and walked past Mutt's hiding place, going further down the tunnel, which seemed to drop quite steeply up ahead.

 

Gimbal snuck down the stairs to rejoin her friend, and they spoke to one of the guard ponies, learning that the psycho-pony was called Cracked Heart, that Storm Front and his friends had taken their haul down the tunnel already. He also revealed they had been paid a thousand bits just to act as guards. Now Mutt and Gimbal were even more concerned. Something big was going on here, involving wealthy ponies, and even at least one, if not more, Diamond Dogs. What in the Tartarus was going on here?

 

After a quick discussion, the pair decided not to go down the strange tunnel, but instead decided to try to find some relatively friendly Diamond Dogs to talk to for advice and maybe information. 

 

That's where we ended the session, but not the Episode.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Swift Study
Spelling and grammar and correction of Gimbal Lock's description.

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This looks like an awesome start to the game! Thanks for posting it.

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58 minutes ago, Topaz said:

This looks like an awesome start to the game! Thanks for posting it.

You're welcome. Thank you for the kind words.

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gimbal_lock_character_sheet_by_lytlethel

my oc in this game, sorry Swift her colors got a few revisions.

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Awesome art, Lemur. And no problem about the change, I'll edit the blog to fit.

 

Do you mind if I put the pic (and others you make) on other sites I have this blog on (Facebook and Amino, for example)? You'll get full credit, of course.

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14 hours ago, Swift Study said:

Awesome art, Lemur. And no problem about the change, I'll edit the blog to fit.

 

Do you mind if I put the pic (and others you make) on other sites I have this blog on (Facebook and Amino, for example)? You'll get full credit, of course.

Go right ahead.

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mutt_character_sheet_by_lytlethelemur-db

 

 

made mutt too...

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Session 1.
Before I start with the recap, I'm going to take a piece of advice given by someone on facebook (where I am also posting this blog, on the Roleplaying is Magic facebook page), and include a list of the PC's Edges before each session's recap. So here they are (check out the Roleplaying is Magic website for a more detailed explanation):

 

Gimbal Lock: Weather Patrol, Advanced Weather Patrol, Skill Training: Flight, Speedster, Wingpower, Bits and Bobs, Gifted: Body, Gifted: Mind, Gifted: Heart, Skill Training: Weather Control, Special Purpose: Weather Based Pranks.

 

Mutt: Exotic Lore, Gifted: Heart, Improved Gifted: Heart, Job Proficiency: Thief, Resilience, Signature Move: Look at that!, Skill Training: Steal items, Skill Training: Quick Escape, Bloodhound, Dig Dog, Determination.

 

Episode 1 continued with Mutt and Gimbal deciding they need to get the unconscious security guard somewhere safe. They didn't want the authorities asking inconvenient questions about skipping out of work and breaking and entering and all that, however. They discussed it for a bit, then came upon the plan to have an anonymous note sent to Ponyville General, and hope that the doctors take it seriously enough to investigate.

 

As they left the Party Pony Palace through the side door into the alley, they noticed Cloud Kicker, Gimbal Lock's supervisor, flying above, probably looking for the errant Gimbal. Someone must have widdled in her oats, because she looked right, royally pissed. Telling Mutt she would meet him at his Diamond Dog hole, Gimbal formulated a quick plan. She formed a cloud, then, pretending to be exhausted from a hard fly, flew up to meet Cloud Kicker, spinning a tale about seeing a stray cloud and chasing it down. Wether Cloud Kicker believed her story, or was just too busy with other shit to care, Gimbal got away with it, and Cloud Kicker left her be, for now.

 

Making a detour to her own house (luckily her parents weren't home) to grab some supplies (including her Nightmare Night costume), she met with Mutt at his home, and they discussed their plans. Gimbal's "brilliant plan" was to wear her Nightmare Night costume (a broken horned and bleeding out the eyes Princess Celestia) to disguise her identity while they made their way to the Diamond Dog fields. They also decided to call in on a Zebra alchemist who had set up shop in Ponyville, to purchase a couple of invisibility potions, claiming it was for a Nightmare Night prank.

 

The Diamond Dog fields were a few hours trot away, and although Gimbal Lock could have flown to make it faster for her, she didn't want to leave her terrestrial canine friend behind. The trip was uneventful, and they arrived at their destination just as the sun was starting to set. Beholding the many Diamond Dog holes of the fields, Mutt called out that they wished to speak with the Diamond Dog leaders.

 

Suddenly, they found themselves surrounded by a horde of Diamond Dog guards, bursting out of the many holes in the ground. Then Spot, one of the Diamond Dog leaders, appeared to demand what they wanted. Mutt took out the miniature he had stolen, saying he had heard that someone was offering quite a lot for Luna/Nightmare Moon Memorabilia. Spot, however, just looked confused, then angry at the idea that Diamond Dogs would be doing business without the knowledge of him and the other leaders. He angrily dismissed Mutt and Gimbal, then retreated back down his hole.

 

Gimbal, meanwhile, had noticed that one of the guards was looking somewhat shifty as they spoke to Spot, and as the Diamond Dogs left them to go back about their business, she whispered what she had noticed in her friend's ear. They waited for other Diamond Dogs to depart, then sneakily followed the suspicious guard, thinking he might lead them to more clues about this mystery.

 

Since they had to wait for the coast to be clear, they lost sight of their quarry, but when they went down the same hole into the Diamond Dog tunnels, they noticed a new, freshly dug tunnel. Realising this must lead into the tunnels of the rogue Diamond Dogs, they went down the tunnel, drinking their invisibility potions to maximise their stealthiness.

 

They saw the guard, in another large tunnel, this one obviously built and shored up a while ago by several Diamond Dogs, talking to two more Diamond Dogs. As they heard his tale, they told him to go back to work before anyone got suspicious, and they headed down the tunnel, going the opposite way, to report to the "bosses".

 

At that point, Mutt had an idea. Knowing that his fellow Diamond Dogs were often easily confused and spooked, he decided to take advantage of his invisible state to play on this. He placed the Luna miniature on the ground before the guard, and it seemed to appear out of nowhere. The guard gave a start, then sat down, looking at the miniature in confusion.

 

As he looked at the miniature, turning his head one way then the other, wondering where it came from, Mutt executed the second part of his plan. He stood in front of the guard, then suddenly headbutted him, shouting (for reasons known only to himself), "DEATH AND TAXES!! DEATH AND TAXES!!!".

 

From the guard's point of view, a sudden pain exploded in his nose, and he heard a voice out of nowhere. He ran down the tunnel, the opposite way the other two he had spoken to before had gone, screaming bloody murder about the ghost of Nightmare Moon, come to punish those that had dared despoil her sacred relics (a bargain at 3 for 2 bits!). Gimbal and Mutt followed the Diamond Dog guard, as he ran into two more of his co-conspirators in a larger chamber with 3 more exits.

 

The two new Diamond Dogs grabbed the hysterical guard, demanding to know what in Tartarus was going on. He babbled a bit, then calmed down, explaining what had happened. That a spirit had attacked him while he was holding the miniature. Surely it must be the spirit of Nightmare Moon, what else could it be. They had to stop this sacrilege, beg for forgiveness before it was too late.

 

They told him to calm down, asking him if he wanted to be the one to tell a dragoness that they had changed their mind. That'd go down well, for sure. This seemed to calm the guard down a bit, but he still insisted they needed to at least get far away. One of the Diamond Dogs told him to stay put, he would get him something to calm him down. He then went down one of the other tunnels. Mutt and Gimbal decided to sneak after that one, to see what he was up to.

 

They followed him to another smaller chamber, this one set up like sleeping quarters, with several large dog baskets and chests. He went over to one of the chests, and muttering something about calming the guard down, pulled out a massive, spiked club. He held it behind his back and headed back down the tunnel. Mutt, still invisible, tripped him up. The club fell into the air, and right down on Mutt. He moved to dodge, but still took a nasty hit to the shoulder, though it could have been a lot worse.

 

The Diamond Dog he had tripped up was now a believer, however, and ran back down the tunnel, screaming that the guard was right, that there was a ghost. At this point, Gimbal and Mutt decided that they had pushed their luck far enough, and Mutt started digging a tunnel to the surface, They were right to leave, as the invisibility potion was starting to wear off.

 

It was night when they emerged, and not wanting to risk the long journey back in the dark, Mutt dug them a small hole, and they slept, somewhat cramped and uncomfortably, for the rest of the night. In the morning, they took stock of what they knew. A conspiracy involving Diamond Dogs, Ponies (one of them a crazed psychopath) and, apparently, a dragoness, all centred around stolen Princess Luna and Nightmare Moon memorabilia. Memorabilia so cheap it would be a simple matter just to buy as much as they wanted. Obviously there was something they were missing, a vital piece to the puzzle that would bring it all together. Unfortunately, they still didn't have any real evidence, and if they went to the authorities, a Diamond Dog thief and a known prankster and slacker would not be believed.

 

Gimbal then had an idea. They would get some more memorabilia from the stall back in Ponyville, and seeking out Stormfront, try to convince him that they wanted in on whatever scheme they had cooked up. Hopefully they would learn more that way. So they headed back to the city, arriving there around midday. They bought (or nicked, in Mutt's case), a few more trinkets from the stall. Then Gimbal took the air to try to look for Stormfront. She soon found him, emerging from Carousel Boutique.

 

She flew down to meet him, and with some fast talking and innuendo, seemed to convince him that she wanted in. He seemed to believe her, and told them to meet him that evening near the Everfree Forest. They then parted ways, and Gimbal and Mutt discussed their next plan. Suspecting a trap, they knew they'd need some backup, but didn't know who to trust. After pondering for a bit, Gimbal thought of one person who might be able, and willing, to help. Champion, the little brother of her unicorn friend, Sugar Song, whom she often babysat. Champion had a special purpose in protecting others, and was naturally talented in generating magical shields. The trouble was, he was still just a colt, and if he was hurt, Sugar Song's wrath would be worse than any dragon.

 

Still, beggars couldn't be choosers, so they went to Sugar Song's house, where she lived alone with her little brother. Gimbal span a story about wanting to take her favourite little unicorn warrior "ghost hunting" (at the same time whispering to Sugar Song that they would just be exploring the edge of the forest, no furthur, and things would be fine). Sugar was reluctant, but Champion seemed eager to help Gimbal, and finally his sister relented.

 

On the way to their destination, Gimbal explained the 'plan'. Champion would stay hidden, while they went in to flush out the "ghost". If they heard him shout the pass phrase ("Yoinks! A g-g-ghost!") he was to put up a shield to protect them. They met with Stormfront, who led them into the forest, promising to show them what they wanted. Not too surprisingly, it turned out to be an ambush, consisting of 4 ponies (including Cracked Heart himself) and 4 spear wielding Diamond dogs.

 

They seemed to forget their passphrase in the ensuing panic. Mutt used his signature move to escape by quickly digging a tunnel. Gimbal took to the air to try to escape, but a thrown spear clipped her wing, and she crashed to the ground. She tried to struggle to her feet as Cracked Heart and the other ponies charged in. Just as Cracked Heart was on her, dagger ready to slash her throat, a shield of force suddenly appeared in front of her. Luckily, Champion had snuck in after them, and with his help, they managed to escape the ambush.

 

Realising that plan didn't work (Cracked Heart must have described them after he encountered them for the first time at the nightclub), Gimbal Lock and Mutt took Champion back to Sugar Song. Champion promised not to tell what had really happened, though he wasn't sure himself exactly what had happened. Gimbal told him not to worry about it, apologising for bringing him in on this. After they dropped him off, they discussed their next course of action. They were both pretty badly injured by now, and decided to pay a visit to Fluttershy to ask for help.

 

This being the Nightmare Night season, Fluttershy was holed up in her cottage, but being who she is, when she saw two badly injured ponies (well, Pony and Diamond Dog) she took them in, asking what on Equestria had happened to them. Deciding that now was the time to be as honest as possible, they told the whole story, as far as they knew. Fluttershy listened, then said that she believed them, but this was beyond her understanding. She suggested they all go to see Princess Twilight, hoping she would know more. At this point, Gimbal Heard a noise at the cottage window, and pretending to not notice, walked out and around to confront to the spy... to find it was Champion, who was still worried about what Gimbal had gotten herself into.

 

He had overheard enough that it was useless to deny what was happening to him, so they decided to bring him along. Perhaps Gimbal was feeling remorseful for lying to a friend, so she thought he deserved to know more. And so, they all went to the Castle of Friendship, where Spike (a slightly larger spike, now standing only slightly shorter than an average mare since a growth spurt caused by greed's noble cousin, protectiveness) greeted them. Fluttershy explained that something serious was going on, and that they needed Twilight's knowledge and wisdom.

 

Twilight came and listened to their story, then said that she had a theory, but needed to do a bit of research. She asked them to wait while she and her number one assistant went to work. About an hour passed, and they re-emerged, a very exited Twilight babbling on about sympathetic magics and very old sorceries and... until Spike calmed her down. She then explained what she believed was going on.

 

There is a very old kind of magic called Sympathetic Magic. It involves using things tied to a certain individual in order to gain a degree of control over them. The more intimately tied to an individual the item is, the more powerful, but lots of stuff with a tangential connection would do as well. Such as heaps of Princess Luna memorabilia. Casting the ritual during Nightmare Night would also help. They realised that whoeever is behind this must want to get access to Luna's Dreamwalking power. That kind of ability, in the hoofs (or claws) of the wrong individual could be very dangerous. The blackmail potential alone would be bad enough, not to mention access to all sorts of state secrets.the 

 

Twilight concluded that she needed to gather the other elements (the Ponies, not the gems, which were still in the tree) to find and stop the ritual before tomorrow night (which would be Nightmare Night). Gimbal and Mutt asked to come along, but Gimbal insisted on taking Champion back home. When they got back, Champion was about to climb up to his room, when they heard Sugar Song going through her scales. Gimbal noticed a very slight crack of fear in her voice, and realised she was in trouble... but before they could do anything. they saw Cracked Heart emerge from around the corner. Moving with obviously magically enhanced speed (the pale blue glow being a big clue), the Earth Pony charged at them, slashing at the closest target at the time, Mutt.

 

Champion managed to get a shield up just in time, but the magic that was enhancing Cracked Heart's speed must have also been enhancing his strength, or maybe his blade, or both, as one slash managed to crack the shield. Gimbal saw Champion falter, as some sort of feedback made the unicorn colt feel the slash against the shield. In desperation, she quickly summoned a bolt of lightning, striking the psycho-pony between the shoulder blades. As Cracked Heart collapsed under the sudden pain of the direct lightning strike, dropping his jagged dagger, the pale blue glow surrounding him seem to grow in intensity, and then with a flash, he was gone.

 

At that moment, they heard an intense, high pitched note coming from within Sugar Song's house. They hit the ground, just in time to avoid taking a thousand shards of glass as the sonic pulse spell ripped through the house. Sugar Song ran out, and demanded to know what was going on. A unicorn had broken in, and was keeping her as hostage, while they waited for her friends to return. At first, they wondered if the same unicorn that was holding Sugar hostage was also helping Cracked Heart, but Sugar Song described her captor as not having pale blue eyes, explaining that a Unicorn's magic aura is tied to their eye colour.

 

Apologising for lying to her before, they explained everything they knew, including Twilight's theory, and that they were planning to join the Elements in order to stop the plan before it came to fruition. Sugar Song decided that she would come to help, and Champion insisted as well, pointing out that his Shield's had been useful, and the more help the better...

 

 

That was were the session had to end (and we had pushed to get that far). This means next session will include the end of Episode 1, followed by a break for XP spending, if any, then the start of Episode 2.

 

I may have missed some details with this recap. If my players think of something, feel free to add it.

 

 

 


 

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cracked_heart_sheet_by_lytlethelemur-db3

I'm having way too much fun, playing this, here is some depictions of Cracked Heart from early in our sessions, be back with more drawings hopefully.  Thanks for being an awesome GM Swiftstudy.

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Great artwork as always, Lemur. As a grimdark character in a non grimdark story, Cracked Heart has the potential to be one of the more memorable villains in this campaign, and he isn't even the main Big Bad. He's what TV Tropes refers to as The Dragon. 

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gimbal_and_mutt_episode_1_collage_by_lyt

As you can see I’m having way too much fun with this hastily sketched collage of our encounters and  I wanted  to post it before the next episode.

    1. Gimbal’s Celestia costume( and disguise) for Nightmare night along with our stealth(ish) encounter in the depths of the Diamond Dog Fields (caverns?), good thing we had invisibility potions.

    2.  I think either GM or Straydogdragon came up with Rammbo the Ram, I forgot in what context but I loved the Idea, (sadly he did not appear in gameplay or as part of the episode.) A BIG, BIG shout out to Champion the Unicorn colt his magic shields are the single reason Gimbal Lock and Mutt’s head aren’t on ice in a cooler in Cracked Heart’s van (wagon?).

    3. We cause such pandemonium we get the elements of harmony out of bed for this.

102550100 NestedThreadedFlat Oldest FirstNewest First
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It is immensely gratifying that my GMing has inspired all this art.

 

That sounds like humblebragging, doesn't it. It's not meant to... mostly. OK... maybe a bit...

 

#humblebrag.

 

Looking forward to tonight's Episode(s). This has become one of my week's highlights.

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Session 2

The story started pretty much where the last session left off, with Gimbal Lock, Mutt, Sugar Song and Champion returning to the castle of friendship to rendezvous with Twilight Sparkle, Spike and the rest of the Elements. They entered mid conversation, with Applejack lamenting the fact that she didn't have the time anymore to go running off on adventures. To which Pinkie Pie (wearing a Rammbo costume, complete with working Bubblegum Bazooka) reassured her, saying that they weren't the main characters this time around.

 

After the moment of confused staring from the everyone else in the room, Twilight coughed, then turned to Mutt and Gimbal, and had them lead the way to the secret tunnel dug into the Pony Party Palace basement. The hole had been hidden by an illusionary wall, which Twilight dispelled, revealing a large guillotine trap beyond. Mutt expertly disarmed the trap, the 9 ponies (and 1 teenage dragon) entered the hidden tunnels.

 

Unfortunately, Gimbal and Mutt had never gone any further, so everyone was equally in the dark. It didn't help when the tunnel soon branched into 3 others, with no obvious clues as to which way to go. Mutt sniffed around, and soon picked up the scent of a dragon (other than Spike) coming from one of the tunnels. Remembering that they had overheard a Diamond Dog mention a dragoness as being part of this conspiracy, Mutt and Gimbal led the rest down that tunnel, with Gimbal forming three baseball sized hailstones.

 

A large pack (about 20) Diamond Dogs came at them from various side tunnels to slow their progress. Knowing that the conspirators would probably be casting the ritual tonight, Twilight called the Unicorns in the group to her side. Rarity and Sugar Song joined her, but Champion stayed behind to help fight the Diamond Dog enemies. Twilight then teleported the three Unicorns behind the pack, then the three rushed down the tunnel to try to stop the ritual before it finished. 

 

A massive brawl broke out between the remaining heroes and the Diamond Dog minions. Realising that she may have slightly underestimated how many hailstones she would need, Gimbal threw the three she had at the charging hounds. She stunned one Diamond Dog, but another charged at her with his spear. Champion quickly put up a force shield in front of her, saving her from being impaled, but the force of the charge was so strong that the shield was slammed into her, stunning her. Then a hay-maker from Mutt bought down the spear wielding dog.

 

Recovering, Gimbal looked around to see the fight seemed to be a stalemate, which she was not a fan of. Drawing on all of her Pegasus magic, she summoned a huge hailstorm, trying her best to aim the barrage of icy balls only at the enemies. Hundreds of hailstones rained down on the Diamond Dogs, stunning or knocking them out, allowing the heroes to quickly rush down the tunnel to catch up to Twilight and the other 2 Unicorns.

 

They found themselves in a large chamber, with a huge magical circle, containing a massive pile of Luna/Nightmare Moon knick-knacks, gathered from several towns, judging by the amount. Chanting around the circle were 3 figures. One was a Unicorn stallion, a dapper gentleman in his late 40s, who looked like he'd be at home among the Canterlot Elite. The second was an imposing and stern looking Zebra stallion. The third was a medium sized (in that she was almost twice as tall as an average Diamond Dog) ferocious looking Dragoness, They also saw Cracked Heart, standing protectively near the Unicorn, a new, equally vicious looking knife in his muzzle.

 

Quickly realising that if they knocked away some of the items, it might disrupt the ritual, Gimbal Lock took to the air, raising her wings to create a massive gust of wind. Rainbow Dash quickly realised her plan, and she and Fluttershy flew up to join Gimbal. Seeing this, Cracked Heart rushed around to attack them, but Champion and Mutt moved to intercept.

 

Between the three of them (though mostly Rainbow and Gimbal) created a strong enough gust of wind to knock a large number of the items from the circle. A sudden magical backlash hit the three caster's dazing them. Cracked Heart, showing an emotion other than bloodlust since Gimbal and Mutt had first encountered him, suddenly had a look of almost filial concern, rushed over to the Unicorn, who was pulling himself to his feet, teeth clenched in rage.

 

He told the Dragoness to "Take back your deposit and meet us at the arranged rendevous point.", then, with a flash of blue grey magic (the same Gimbal and Mutt had seen rescuing Cracked Heart after Gimbal struck him with lightning before) the Unicorn teleported himself, the Zebra and Cracked Heart to places unknown. At the same time, the Dragoness ran down a nearby tunnel, and soon the heroes heard Diamond Dog voices, at first asking of their mistress what was wrong... and then screams of terror and the sound of crunching bone and tearing flesh.

 

Realising that this Dragoness might be their last chance to learn what was really going on here, the heroes gave chase. They caught up to the Dragoness, who turned on them, face covered in blood and fur and bits of Diamond Dog. She opened her mouth to breathe a gout of flame, and Gimbal shouted at Pinkie to use her Bubblegum Bazooka. Pinkie nodded, and taking aim, fired a glob of bubblegum down the Dragoness' throat. This did not have the desired effect, as when the Dragoness breathed out, a huge pink bubble, full of fire, exploded, sending globs of super-heated gum showing on the ponies and friendly Diamond Dog.

 

Champion managed to get a large enough shield up to protect them. While the Dragoness clawed at the shield, her immense strength already weakening it, Mutt noticed a cluster of stalactites above her head. Her whispered what he saw, and Rainbow Dash took to the air, planning to charge them and knock them down on the dragon. At the same time, Gimbal quickly summon a storm cloud, and bought a lightning bolt down of the Dragoness, causing her to roar in pain... just in time to get a large stalactite down the throat.

 

Mutt quickly made a deal with the choking Dragoness, saying that they would remove the obstruction if she swore to tell them everything she knew of the plan here. Not wanting to die, especially such an ignoble death as choking on a stalactite, the Dragoness agreed, and Mutt nodded to Twilight, who teleported the obstruction from her throat.

True to her word, the Dragoness than explained what she knew.

 

The Unicorn, named Past Endeavour (and his hatchet-horse, Cracked Heart), the Zebra, Hraka, and herself all had ambitions for power and control over their respective lands. Endeavour had discovered the Theft of Power ritual, and sought out 2 other spellcasters of similar ambitions to help him, first finding the Zebra chief, Hraka, and then herself. They had decided that Luna's dreamwalking ability was the best suited to thier purposes; subtle, but in the hoofs or claws of cunning schemers, invalueble. The agreement was that they would work together, gathering the resources for the ritual, but once it was cast, they would go thier seperate ways, each content with ruling their own corner of the world, wether openly, like Hraka intended to, by uniting all the disparate and independent tribes of Zebrica into an empire under his hoof, or subtley, like Endevaour, who would use the power to learn all the dirty little secrets of his fellows elites and keep them in line. It was she who had used a large portion of her personal hoard to hire the renegade Diamond Dogs to dig the intricate network of tunnels they would use. She also told them that the "rendevous point" Endevaour had mentioned before was near Los Pegasus.

 

Twilight Sparkle then declared the Dragoness banished from Equestria, upon the wrath of 4 Alicorns. Realising she was defeated, for now, the Dragoness retreated. Spike sent a letter to Dragon Lord Ember, to let her know of the potential treachery within her kingdom, and then sent a letter to Princess Celestia. Gimbal asked Spike if he could send a letter to her sister, Rally Point, who worked security detail for the Mayor of Los Pegasus. Spike apologetically said that his letter sending power only really worked with individuals he knew personally. Maybe if he had a picture of her, it might work, but even then it was no gaurentee. Gimbal thanked him, anyway, saying she would get in contact with her through more convential means.

 

They then retreated out of the tunnels, considering this a victory. Yes, Past Endevour, Cracked Heart and Hraka were still active, but they had thwarted a plan that would have taken a lot of time and resources to bring to fruition, and with Celestia warned about Endevour's activities, he wouldn't be able to play the part of a elite Canterlot snob for very long, cutting him off from one of the main sources of his resources. Mutt declared dibs on the pile of Princess Luna knick-knacks, which no-one else really objected to. The huge pile was probably worth a couple of hundred bits, tops. 

 

On the way out, Gimbal suddenly realised that Storm Front was nowhere to be seen. With Rainbow Dash, she flew up to his cloud home above Ponyville, only to find he had done a runner some time before, taking a bare minimum of belongings. Rainbow promised to have a description of him sent out to the major cities, but he could have gone in any direction, so finding him would involve a lot of luck.

 

Gimbal had something a lot more vexing to worry about however. The wrath of her father, former Royal Guard Sabres Crossed. Princess Twilight Sparkle spoke on her behalf, saying that she had helped thwart a treasonous plot against Princess Luna. Sabres Crossed appreciated that, and took it into consideration, but nevertheless, she had abandoned her post and her duties on a whim. She would be permitted to attend the Nightmare Night celebrations tomorrow night, but then she would be grounded for a week, only allowed out of her room to perform double shifts of Weather Patrol duty under Supervisor Cloudkicker.

 

Thinking it could have been a lot worse, Gimbal accepted the punishment without too much vocal complaint, just went up to her room (it was getting late, and she planned to make the most of Nightmare Night tommorow), to listen to Buck the Machine and mutter angrily about the her dad's tyranny. In the meantime, Mutt was digging holes to bury his new haul.

 

That night, Princess Luna personally rewarded them for keeping her power out of the wrong hooves, by setting a tiny portion of her power as a Watch-Pony over their dreams (giving them a +1 bonus to any roll to resist Nightmare effects from now on). With that, the episode ended, and the PCs earnt some XP.

 

Gimbal used some of hers to purchase a new Edge called Doormat to Dynamo, which will, once per Episode, allow her to spend a point of Valour, to gain a cumulative +1 bonus to each roll in a scene, until either the scene is over or she achieves a dramatic success.

 

Mutt bought an Edge called Gifted: Body, raising his Body attribute to 2.

 

Episode 2.

The episode started the next night, with the Nightmare Night celebrations. Wearing her "so metal" papier-mache grimdark Celestia costume, Gimbal joined Mutt and started the fun. They paid a visit to Sugar Song's house, where Sugar Song was dressed as a Siren and Champion as a Timberwolf. Champion was just about to head of trick or treating. Escorting the little-ones, of course, he was 12, way too old for such things, you know. Gimbal asked him if he wanted to go through the Sweet Apple Acre Corn Maze with them later that night, to which he eagerly agreed.

 

While Champion was escorting the little ones, Gimbal, Mutt and Sugar Song decided to go to the Party Palace for drinks and mingling. While Mutt was getting complemented on his awesomely realistic Diamond Dog costumes from Ponies who had already been hitting the hard cider, Gimbal found herself the object of Rumble's attention. They were about the same age. Rumble was wearing spooky clown make-up. For her part, Gimbal decided to be polite and friendly, but not commit to anything more. She did invite Rumble to accompany her and her friends in the maze. Perhaps thinking a dark spooky maze was the perfect place for a bit of action, he agreed.

 

They met with Champion outside the maze, who did a little bit of a double take when he saw Rumble. Gimbal introduced him, and Rumble greeted Champion with a probably unintentionally insulting ruffling of the mane. He seemed to miss Champion's glare, and he lost a few points from Gimbal from this display as well.

 

Unfortunately for Gimbal, Mutt and Champion, after so recently facing hostile Diamond Dogs, a vicious Dragoness, and a twisted and psychotic murder-pony, the fake scares and props of the maze couldn't really impress. Wanting something a bit spookier, Mutt, Gimbal and Champion slipped out to visit the grave tree of Granny Smith, who had finally let Death take her to the big apple orchard in the sky a couple of years ago.

 

When they got there, Gimbal pulled out a Ouija board (courtesy of Bits and Bobs) and they started to pretend to contact the spirit of Granny Smith. However, the planchette started to move by itself, while the grave tree (an Apple Family funeral tradition) started to rustle. Freaked out at first, they then noticed a shadowy, yet impish looking winged figure in the branches.

 

They soon realised it was Luna, who had decided to have some fun of her own for Nightmare Night. They played along, weaving a tale of angry spirits and curses and stews made from ground up Unicorn horns and flavoured with Diamond Dog bones and garnished with Pegasus feathers. They got to sample such a horror feast, with sherbert ice cream Unicorn horn, marzipan Diamond Dog bones and fairy floss Pegasus feathers, teleported to them courtesy of Princess Luna. They were both extremely realistic looking and delicious.

 

As tasty as it was, Gimbal had an idea for a prank to play on Rumble, which she quickly told Mutt and Champion. They hid and followed her stealthily while she found Rumble, pretending to be shaken by something and asking him to take her home (because her mother, Baby Tulip loved gardening, they lived on the ground, rather than in a cloud house like most Pegasi.)

 

Her parents were having dinner out with some of their friends, so they had the house alone. Sitting together on a couch, Gimbal pretended to feel worse and worse... until she suddenly went "berserk" "attacking" Rumble with wild eyes. Rumble freaked, and ran out of the house... to see Champion and Mutt, both wild eyed, crunching at bones.

 

Gimbal staggered out, gasping that they had been cursed, and forcing a folded piece of paper into his hoofs, saying that the only way to break the curse before it spread was to open the paper and read out, as loud as possible, whatever was written inside at midnight tonight (which is when the costume contest was to take place, so there would be a lot of ponies around). Shaken and not thinking clearly, Rumble agreed. 

 

Sure enough, when the time came, he ran onto the stage, grabbed the microphone, opened the paper, and without thinking, read out, "I'M A WIENER, I'M A WIENER, I'M A WIENER!!!". There was a shocked pause... followed by raucous laughter. Finally realising he had been punked, Rumble went beet-red. Luckily, after Gimbal bought him a drink, he seemed to get into the spirit of things, congratulated her and her friends on a brilliant prank. 

 

The rest of the night went pretty well, but then it was time to begin her sentence. Cloudkicker had her doing menial shitwork, such as putting dew on grass early in the morning, and as was agreed, she had to work double shifts. And she wasn't allowed to go out anywhere, but had to come home and go to her room for the whole week. It wasn't all bad though, especially when Champion snuck her some of his Nightmare Night treats during a lunch shift, and snuck in to visit her and keep her company one night with board games. He also kept her up to date with certain events, especially the rumour that Storm Front had been seen near Appleloosa.

 

In the meantime, the master thief, Mutt, had learned that Rarity was expecting an order of dragon cut gems, being delivered by cart, and he decided to boost some on the way. It would get him more precious gems for his collection, and it would also earn him massive bragging rights among his fellow Diamond Dogs for stealing from the Great White Whiner. 

 

Not being one for long, intricate plans, Mutt simply hid near a crossroads on the route, and when the cart stopped to give way to traffic.. snuck up to the side and started to break in. However, Rarity had paid extra to put a magical trap on the goods. The instant he touched the side of the cart, his paw stuck to it, and an alarm started to sound. As police ponies started to close in, Mutt, in desperation, punched a hole in the side of the cart (grabbing a handful of gems, because why not, and broke of the piece of wood stuck to his hand. He then scarped, quickly digging a tunnel to escape. Though now he had a piece of wood permanently stuck to his left paw.

 

Finally freed from her arduous sentence, Gimbal hatched a plan to go to Appleloosa. She still wanted to give that smug bastard, Storm Front, a piece of her mind, and this was the best lead. She took a few days of her annual holiday leave, and approached Mutt with the plan. Mutt agreed that Storm Front needed to get what was coming to him. He had led them into an ambush that nearly killed them after all. She also asked what the deal was with the plank of wood stuck to his paw, and he just shook his head.

 

They then called in on Sugar Song and Champion; Gimbal thought that a couple of Unicorns would be useful. Knowing that Sugar Song would probably never agree to let them take her little brother on the hunt for a dangerous criminal, Gimbal spun a tale about going to see the annual Buffalo stampede. It was a half truth, at least, since the stampede was happening soon. Sugar Song seemed to not buy it, but Champion seemed eager to go, so she agreed.

 

Noticing the predicament that Mutt was in, she solemnly explained that the only way to break the curse would be to give back what he stole to the owner, Rarity, beg her forgiveness, and serve her until she deemed him atoned. Mutt started to shake, terrified, at the thought of being a slave to the critical pony, she who mother Diamond Dogs would use to frighten disobedient pups. That was, until he saw Sugar Song's smirk, and Champion covering his mouth, shaking with laughter, and he realised he was being pranked. Sugar Song then cast a simple dispel, which caused the wood to fall from his paw. Nevertheless, she did insist that he should return what he stole from Rarity, even if only in secret, and Mutt, agreeing, stealthily left the stolen gems at Carousel Boutique that night.

 

With a new plan in place, that's we're we ended the session.

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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first_bubble_by_lytlethelemur-db4oi2g.pn

A notable scene from the close of episode 1, I actually forgot that my character asked Pinkie to fire her Bazooka, so there is a little artistic liberty to this scene.

 

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Artistically liberate to your heart's content, Lemur.

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nightmarenight_by_lytlethelemur-db4sn7e.

My favorite part from episode 2 at least so far.

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sabers_crossed_by_lytlethelemur-db4so5r.

Go to your room!

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Loving the artwork as always. Lemur.

 

Is the mare in the picture frame above Gimbal Rally Point?

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Again, sorry for missing out.  When I started this I was sleeping in most days, which as a result meant I was awake late into night to morning.  However, due to a number of things I've been awake in the day time too much.  Did try to stay awake, was still up and the 3:00 marker, but by then I knew I wasn't going to do much.  Between feeling exhausted and not feeling awake I felt I would not be able to contribute much on the rp.  Mind was not up to it in that state.

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23 hours ago, straydogdragon said:

Again, sorry for missing out.  When I started this I was sleeping in most days, which as a result meant I was awake late into night to morning.  However, due to a number of things I've been awake in the day time too much.  Did try to stay awake, was still up and the 3:00 marker, but by then I knew I wasn't going to do much.  Between feeling exhausted and not feeling awake I felt I would not be able to contribute much on the rp.  Mind was not up to it in that state.

 

No worries man be sure to get your rest, we had bit a slice life adventure anyway were we met with our newest player Nutmeg, you'll get interact next session, it'll be good to have Mutt back.

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sugarsong_by_lytlethelemur-db6b6cr.png

 In our latest adventure, Sugar Song is asked to give a performance for the good ponies of Appleloosa. Unfortunately her friends Gimbal Lock and Nutmeg missed her concert due to many rounds of AppleJack Daniels (we are otherwise very considerate friends). Not sure why she’s doing a cover for Tracy Bryd’s “Ten Rounds with Jose Cuervo” but the Appaloosa Ponies seem to request it a lot lately. Stay tuned...

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champion_by_lytlethelemur-db74csw.png

The reason our party is alive, a young stallion trapped in a Colt's body, Champion uses his shielding abilities to defend against the villains of equestrian and the hordes of adoring female fans

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Session 3

A new player joined us this session. His character is Nutmeg Rose, a socially awkward Earth Pony mare with a love for all things botanical. Her edges, so far, are: Number 1 Assistant (Improved) (A female Breezy named Flurry, whose curiosity and, perhaps, overconfidence gives Nutmeg a +2 bonus on checks to show assertiveness or confidence); Bits and Bobs; Courage; Determination; Gifted: Mind (Improved); Exotic Lore; Industrious; Noble Soul and Elementary, My Dear. As usual, check out roleplayingismagic.com to learn more about these Edges (I love this game, and it deserves more eyeballs).

 

Unfortunately, Mutt's player (Straydogdragon here on EQD) couldn't make it, so Mutt went into NPC mode for this session.

 

The session started about an hour into the train trip to Appleloosa. Sugar Song and her little brother, Champion, were sitting together on one seat, while the Diamond Dog, Mutt, had claimed the facing seat for himself. A bored and restless Gimbal Lock was pacing the aisle of the carriage.

 

Her attention was captured by the sight of a tiny, winged creature sneaking out of one of the other passenger's saddlebag. The creature seemed to be trying to get at a strawberry that had fallen off the treat trolley on its last run through the train, and the passenger whose saddlebag she had been hiding in, an Earth Pony mare, was lost in thought staring out the window, and thus didn't seem to notice.

 

Thinking that this must be a magical wish granting Breezy, Gimbal tried to catch the creature, who dodged her clumsy attempt, then started to berate Gimbal with such vigor that despite being much bigger, Gimbal found herself backing away from the irate Breezy. This caught the attention of the Earth Pony, who demanded to know what Gimbal thought she was doing.

 

Gimbal apologised, saying she simply wanted a wish, then started to gush about how awesome this Earth Pony must be to have a Breezy friend. The Earth Pony, a little overwhelmed, introduced herself as Nutmeg and her Breezy friend as Flurry. Nutmeg seemed very shy, but Flurry seemed to encourage her to make friends, and thus, Nutmeg the Earth Pony Botanist found herself with 4 new friends.

 

They arrived at Appleloosa the next day, and went looking for a play to stay. Since the Buffalo Stampede was coming in a couple of days, the usually quiet town was now inundated with tourists. They managed to find an Inn that, while crowded, still had 3 spare rooms.

 

When they walked in, they noticed that the clients seemed happy to see Sugar Song, at first, then disappointed that she wasn't who they thought she was. When Sugar Song asked about this, they learned that she seemed to resemble a singer called Sapphire Mountain, who was supposed to come as entertainment during the Stampede Festival, but was late.

 

Sugar Song, an aspiring singer, offered to entertain, asking for only free room meals and drinks for her and her companions in exchange. After giving a demonstration of her talents, the bar-pony agreed, and soon she was singing for the patrons, her voice enthralling Pony and Buffalo alike.

 

Free drinks may have been a bit of a mistake though, as Gimbal, Mutt and Nutmeg found themselves in a drinking game with several other patrons. Mutt and Nutmeg held their own, but Gimbal turned out to be a bit of a light weight, collapsing into a stupor after only a couple of mugs of hard cider. 

 

When it was time to go to bed, they let Gimbal have one of the three spare rooms for herself; Sugar Song and her little brother, Champion, shared another, while Mutt, Nutmeg and Flurry had the third. Flurry found herself curious about Mutt, much to Nutmeg chagrin, who was more scared for Flurry than the Breezy was for herself. It was touch and go for a bit, with Mutt being bemused and a little annoyed at first, but wanting to put Nutmeg at ease, he tolerated the Breezy playing in his fur and using him as a bed.

 

The next morning (very late for most of them, due to the heavy drinking last night) Gimbal started to ask around after Storm Front, the Pegasus she was still determined to bring to justice for his part in the Conspiracy against Princess Luna. On a personal level, she just wanted that smug arsehole to actually face the consequences for his actions for once. They found a Buffalo selling traditional goods, who told them a story about a very friendly and helpful Pegasus who matched the description of Storm Front, who helped his tribe in a rivarly against another Buffalo tribe. He spoke highly of Storm Front, but Gimbal knew that setting individuals and parties against each other for his own ends was Storm Front's favourite MO. She asked if he was still with the tribe, but the shopkeeper said that no, he had to keep moving south... in theory heading towards the Badlands and Dragon territory.

 

At this point, on a whim, she suddenly asked about the Stampede, if there was a prize for coming first, and if non Buffalo could enter. The shopkeeper said that sure, she could enter, but she would have to submit to having her wings bound, since the point was to be one with the Earth, a test of stamina, resolve and agility. Also, even though winning wasn't exactly the point, there was a gift of a necklace of turquoises for the first to cross the Stampede's end point. Mutt asked if digging was aloud, and the judges said he could try. Mutt was happy with this, thinking he and Gimbal could use the tunnels he could dig to avoid the worse of the stampede.

 

Unfortunately, that idea was soon put to rest after Nutmeg studied the course, finding that it was mostly over plains of exposed bedrock, impossible for a Diamond Dog to dig through. She hoped this would discourage them from trying to run among massive, stampeding Buffalo, but she was still new to the group, and underestimated how insane Gimbal and Mutt (mostly Gimbal) could be.

 

Gimbal's next "brilliant plan" involved wrapping herself in pillows, then have Mutt throw her over the Stampede at the last leg of the "race", securing the win. A plan whose flaws were soon exposed during a practice throw when, because of the pillows creating extra weight and throwing off her centre of mass, Mutt ended up slamming Gimbal face first into the ground. Nutmeg had to use all her willpower not to say "I told you so" (she was still amazed that they wanted to be her friend, and so didn't want to jeopardise it).

 

Despite Nutmeg's protests, Gimbal and Mutt still decided to enter the Stampede, deciding that skill and talent would suffice for trickery and planning. In the meantime, Champion had noticed a couple of Earth Pony locals giving Gimbal a suspicious look. He sought out Nutmeg, and asked her help in keeping an eye on her during the Stampede. Nutmeg agreed, realising that it would be useless trying to convince Gimbal to give up on something she had set her mind on, no matter how dangerous it might be.

 

The next dawn, the day of the Stampede came, and Gimbal and Mutt lined up with the other Buffalo and Ponies taking part. Nutmeg and Champion, in the meantime, stood on the sidelines, their eyes scanning the crowd, looking for the two suspicious Ponies Champion had seen before. The signal was given, and the Stampede was on.

 

Gimbal soon lost track of Mutt, as she concentrated on avoiding the hooves of the Buffalo, dodging between their legs. She suddenly stumbled on crack, falling flat on her face. Quickly recovering, she then noticed two ponies rushing at her..,. wielding nasty looking clubs in their mouths. 

 

She scrambled to her feet, just as a familiar shield of force appeared in front of her. Nutmeg had seen the would be hitponies, and warned Champion, who got his shield spell up just in time. Mutt, who was coming up behind, then tackled them from the side, and then he and Gimbal made their escape, abandoning the Stampede.

 

The party guessed that the would be killers were probably paid by Storm Front to slow down any pursuers. Gimbal hadn't exactly been subtle in asking about Storm Front, after all, and they were probably told what to look out for. At this point, they decided that it would be best not to dilly-dally any longer than they had to, and made plans to travel to the Badlands after Storm Front.

 

Looking around for some sort of fast transport, they found a hot air balloon, and asked around after the owner, hoping to hire or borrow it. They found that it belonged to an eccentric old Earth Pony inventor/explorer named Professor Lunar Tinker, who was looking for some enterprising and resourceful young Ponies (and others) to join him on an expedition into the Forbidden Jungle, looking for ancient Mareyan ruins.

 

Nutmeg remembered reading that the Forbidden Jungle was found in the Southern reaches of Equestria and that the Badlands would be on the way. With this is mind, they offered their services to Professor Tinker, thinking they could convince him to stop briefly in the Badlands so they could capture Storm Front. The extremely nerdy and learned Nutmeg almost instantly bonded with the eccentric, learned Tinker and partly thanks to that, the rest were bought aboard.

 

They took off the next dawn, setting off towards the Badlands and beyond. When they bought up dragons, and how vulnerable the balloon would be to fire breath, he showed them a large pot, filled with an ice cold gel he had invented, that would protect whatever (or whoever) was coated in it from at least a couple of blasts of dragon breath. When they got close, he planned to use his patented Extendo-Bendy-Brush to apply to the gel to the balloon. Gimbal offered to do so instead, using a normal blush and her flight.

 

It was Mutt who first noticed the horrific site, as they flew over the territory of the Buffalo Tribe that Storm Front had apparently been so helpful towards. Scattered all over the ground were dozens of Buffalo corpses. It looked like they had killed each other in a frenzy of blades and horns. When he pointed this out to the others, Tinker, reluctantly, lowered the Balloon so they could check it out and perhaps find clues as to what happened.

 

It seemed like a madness had taken over this Tribe and their rival, to the point that even allies were killing each other in a hate fuelled frenzy. Gimbal was now even more determined to find Storm Front, even though she couldn't believe even he would be able to do something like this. Yes, he was good at getting ponies to work against each other, playing all sides against the middle, as it were, but never to the point of mutual slaughter.

 

Gimbal confessed to Tinker that they had an ulterior motive in joining his expedition, explaining about their hunt for Storm Front, who they believed was to be found in the Badlands. They asked if he would be willing to stop there so they could find and catch him, then bring him back to Ponyville to face justice. In return, they would still join him on his expedition.

 

Tinker agreed that whoever this Storm Front was, he needed to be caught, so he agreed to the plan, adding the caveat that he would not join them in the Badlands, but instead be with his balloon, hiding behind an outcropping near the entrance into the Badlands. He also gave them a coating of his patented Ice-Cool-Gel to protect them from the heat and possible dragon breath (yes, there was a treaty between the Dragons and Ponies, but not all Dragons were friendly, as proved by Skyscale, the Dragoness who had joined the conspiracy to steal Luna's Dream-walking).

 

Thus, Gimbal the Pegasus, Nutmeg the Earth Pony (and Flurry, her Breezy companion), Sugar Song the Unicorn and her little brother, Champion, and Mutt the Diamond Dog made their way into the Badlands, determined to find Storm Front. They had barely been a few minutes into the Badlands when they saw a Dragon swooping down towards them. They started to panic, until the ever observant Nutmeg noticed that his demeanour was not hostile, just curious, so they waited for him to land.

 

The dragon asked what they were doing in the Badlands. Lord Ember had not been told to expect any visitors, and it was dangerous for strangers to come univited to these lands. One never knew how friendly or hostile the next dragon would be. Luckily for them, he was willing to be a guide for them, for the right price (being friendly to Ponies was one thing, not being greedy was another thing altogether).

 

Nutmeg showed that her saddlebag was filled with bits, that she had planned to use to try to purchase some exotic seeds from the Buffalo (her original reason for coming to Appleloosa). She asked how much it would cost, and the Dragon, knowing an easy mark when he saw one, casually said that all of her bits would do. Nutmeg was just glad to be helpful, so she paid up without question.

 

Thanks to having a dragon escort and aid, they weren't harassed by any other Dragons. Nutmeg started to look for tracks or clues of Storm Front's passage, difficult since, being a Pegasus and probably flying, he wouldn't leave many tracks. On the plus side though, flying in the open would be dangerous in the Badlands, so he must have taken to the ground at least a couple of times.

 

When they found a relatively hole in the side of a large rock face, much smaller than any dragon of decent size could squeeze into, Nutmeg pulled out a magnifying glass and went into detective pony mode, inspired by her favourite comic book heroine, Mare Noir. She found clues indicated that a badly injured Storm Front had scrambled into the hole, trying to escape an implacable pursuer, one who left behind a couple of threads of black fur. Gimbal and Mutt gulped, knowing it could only be Cracked Heart, or as they called him, Stabby Pony.

 

They knew they had a choice. Keep going after Storm Front, even though it would mean most likely running into Cracked Heart (whom they barely survived last time), or leave him to his stabby fate and move on. With that dilemma still in their minds, the session came to an end.

 

Session 4

This session was a bit shorter than most, since we changed to Discord for voice chat, and it took a while to get the kinks worked out.

 

The session started with the 4 Ponies, 1 Diamond Dog and 1 Breezy deciding that they couldn't let Storm Front be killed by Cracked Heart, and decided to go in after him. Flurry went in first, to scout for a bit. She came back, and use basic signs to indicate that beyond the small hole was a massive cavern. The rest followed, and sure enough, found themselves in cavern with 3 more tunnels leading away from it. Each of them big enough for a medium sized dragon, if she held her wings close to her body.

 

Mutt started to sniff the air, and soon picked up the familiar scent of Cracked Heart, leading down one of the tunnels. With some reluctance, they ran after it. They came to another, slightly smaller cavern, with one other exit. Cowering in a corner, one wing mangled, was the Pegasus, Storm Front, with Cracked Heart, looming over him, with another knife in mouth (Mutt still had his old knife), ready to finish off the Pegasus.

 

Champion acted quickly, putting up a magical shield between Cracked Heart and Storm Front. The black furred stallion spun around, and fixed his pale, staring eye on the heroes, before charging at them, a pale blue magical glow surrounding him, and obviously enhancing his speed and strength.

 

Sugar Song sang a single, high note, then used sound magic to turn it into a bolt of sonic energy, striking Cracked Heart, and stunning him, briefly. Mutt charged forward, slashing at him with the psycopathic Earth Ponies own knife. He managed to score a hit, slashing Cracked's muzzle... but Cracked responded with the instinct of a highly trained warrior, moving with Mutt's slash and returning with a riposte that sliced the Diamond Dogs's arm, barely avoiding a vital artery, and forcing him to drop the knife.

 

Seeing the cold murderous intent in Cracked's eyes, Mutt almost faltered, until Flurry swooped in and started harrying the stallion, buzzing around and kicking with her tiny hooves. Inspired by her companion's insane bravery, Nutmeg also rushed in, hooves flailing.

 

Seeing a chance, and realising that Cracked Heart's biggest advantage seemed to be mobility, Mutt grabbed him in a bear hug, trying to pin him. But before he knew what was happening, Cracked Heart, showing the benefits of both training and a magical enhancement to his strength, reversed the would be grapple, instead lifting Mutt and slamming him down in a kind of reverse suplex, winding the Diamond Dog.

 

Despite this, he managed to maintain a grip on Cracked Heart, holding on for dear life, while being elbowed in the ribs by Cracked's front hooves. At the same time, Champion and Sugar Song used telekinesis to pummel the stabby pony with rocks. At the same time, Gimbal was forming a large sleet cloud.

 

Cracked Heart managed to escape just as Gimbal finished the cloud. Picking up his knife in one smooth motion, he charged at the Pegasus, with magically enhanced speed. Gimbal flew up and kicked the cloud, releasing the hail of sleet, and just managing to hit Cracked Heart, freezing him in place.

 

Before they could take advantage of his paralysed state, the magical glow surrounding Cracked Heart suddenly intensified, and then, with a flash, she was gone. They collapsed, panting, relieved to have just survived another encounter with Cracked Heart. Champion used body magic to heal everyone's wounds (mostly Mutt's).

 

Then they noticed that Storm Front was gone, having slipped away during the fight. Cursing, they rushed down the other tunnel, chasing after him. Luckily, they managed to corner him as he found himself on what essentially a cliff edge, leading to another level of the cavern far below. And with his wing wrecked like it was, he couldn't escape. Sighing, he gave up and let them take him back with them. They left the Badlands, meeting up with Proffessor Tinker, and began the flight back to Appleloosa.

 

On the way back, they made him see the carnage he had, somehow, wrought upon the Buffalo Tribes he had stayed with. Seeing it first hand, for the first time, seemed to break him, and he collapsed into a quivering mess. They learned later that he had been given a a couple of pouches of pollen from a Zebrican flower called the Strife Flower, which had the devastating effect of even the slightest of annoyances somepony had with those around them to murderous rage. He had been told what it would do, but knowing and seeing were very different in this case.

 

Seeing that he seemed to be somewhat remorseful, Gimbal said that he could earn forgiveness if he helped in bringing Past Endevour and Cracked Heart to justice. He was part of the conspiracy, after all, and thus must have learned something useful. Storm Front just nodded, still in shock.

 

They arrived back in Appleloosa, and promised Professor Tinker that they would return to join his expedition once they'd dealt with Storm Front. He had spent years preparing for this expedition, so a few more days would be nothing. They then took the train back to Ponyville.

 

Back in Ponyville, they took Storm Front to Cloud Kicker, who was his and Gimbal's supervisor. After hearing their story, she told Storm Front that she would hand him over to the authorities to work off his debt by one, turning over any knowledge he had about the Dream Stealing conspiracy, and general community service. Storm Front, wanting to anything that would let him close his eyes without seeing mutilated Buffalo, heartily agreed. He also handed the last of the Strife Flower pollen he had to Nutmeg, who said she could use her botany lab at home to mix up an antidote, in case Hraka the Zebra had more.

 

With the successful return of Storm Front back to Ponyville, and setting him on the path to possible redemption, episode 2 came to an end. Nutmeg bought the Edge. Skill Training: Botany; Gimbal upgraded her Skill Training: Weather Control, to its Improved version; Mutt upgraded his Gifted: Body, to the Improved version; Champion bought Gifted: Body; Sugar Song saved her points, planning to buy a Greater Edge next time.

 

Episode 3

The episode began with Nutmeg up in her attic lab, mixing up an antidote to the Strife Flower Pollen, while Gimbal and Mutt were being entertained by her parents downstairs. Her parents were so glad that their usually shut in and reclusive daughter had made friends. A couple of muffled explosions came from upstairs. Her parents seemed use to this, and just made sure that nothing breakable fell from the shelf, otherwise taking it in stride. Then an exited Nutmeg came running down the stairs, shouting that she had done it, her voice somewhat muffled by the hazard suit she was still wearing.

 

Her parents had been told that she was going on an adventurecation with her new friends. She, omitted the fact that they'd be exploring a dangerous jungle an ancient ruins that none had set hoof in for millennia. Truth be told, her parents were just so glad she was making friends.

 

They met up with Sugar Song and Champion, and took the train to Appleloosa. When they arrived, however, they saw that the town was in an uproar. They soon learned that the Buffalo corpses had been discovered, and every pony and Buffalo was trying to work out what happened. It looked like it could turn into hoof pointing at any moment, and the hard earned peace between Appleloosan Earth Pony and Bufallo.

 

Nutmeg, having studied the effects of the Strife Flower, and having an antidote, knew that she had to get an audience... but her crippling social anxiety took over, and she couldn't bring herself to approach Chief Thunderhooves and the Mayor of Appleloosa, who were trying to keep both their sides calm. Sugar Song gently encouraged her, telling her that once she started talking, it would all come naturally. She was the expert here, not them, and once they realised that, they would sit and listen.

 

Unfortunately, the argument was getting too heated and loud for anypony or Buffalo to notice Nutmeg trying to get their attention. That was, until Flurry suddenly flew into their faces, and in her squeaky voice, shouted at them in Breezy. They didn't understand what she was saying, but they did follow her pointed hoof, to see Nutmeg, standing sheepishly before a presentation board. Flurry flew over, and gave her a nod, then hovered nearby, arms crossed, glaring at the Buffalo and Ponies.

 

Given confidence by this, and her friends watching nearby, she explained about the Strife Flower, and told them she had an antidote, that she would give the formula to any alchemists they had with them. Much to her surprise, they listened to every word she had to say, then heartily thanked her for stopping more tragic misunderstandings. Nutmeg was in a daze at this point, just thinking about how interesting... and enriching... her life had become since meeting Gimbal, Mutt, Sugar and Champion.

 

They met up with Professor Tinker, and as, promised, joined him on his expedition. With no more delays, his balloon flew over the Badlands and further south to the Forbidden Jungle. At a certain point, Tinker checked his map, and declared that the Mareyan temple they were looking for was somewhere nearby. He had Gimbal fly down with a rope-ladder, weighted on the ends to act as both a way to embark and disembark the balloon, and as an anchor, since the Jungle was too thick to land the balloon.

 

They followed Tinker, who referred to ancient maps and manuscripts to lead the way. Soon, they came to a swamp, with only a very narrow path crossing it. Luckily, Gimbal could fly, and she carried a rope to help anyone who fell in.

 

They were halfway across the swamp when they came under attack by two cragadiles. Trapped on a narrow path, the land based Ponies and Diamond Dog had nowhere to run. Gimbal stepped up to the plate, quickly forming a thundercloud, then kicking out a forked lightning bolt, hitting both cragadiles and stunning them, allowing her friends to escape.

 

After exiting the swamp, Tinker checked his maps, and knew that the temple must be close. He asked Gimbal to take to the air, above the canopy, to see if she could see any sign of a Mareyan step pyramid. Gimbal agreed, and took to the air. It didn't take long to find what she was looking for. A large step pyramid, overrun by vines. She flew back down, then led them to it.

 

When they arrived, Sugar Song used Plant magic to open a way through the vines, then created a light from her horn. With a mixture of excitement and trepidation, they entered the pyramid, the first living creatures to do so in millennia.

 

No sooner had they entered, when the whole pyramid started to shake, and they heard, coming from deep below, the torturous screech long rusted metal grinding againt metal, as if some great machine was coming to life... And on that cliff hanger, the session came to a close.

 

 

GM Note: Phew, finally done with three sessions worth of blogs in one. As always, if I left anything out, my players should feel more than free to add their own notes if they wish.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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buffalo_stampede_by_lytlethelemur-db6f7l

a short reenactment of Gimbals Appaloosa adventure. (I rolled a -1 in this scene.)

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