Swift Study

Equestrian Chronicles: A Roleplaying is Magic "Blog".

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Session 5

When the noise and the shaking stopped, the heroes took stock of their surroundings. They found themselves in a small chamber, the only exits being 2 sets of stairs, one leading down the other up. Since they came in at the apparent base of the pyramid, the stairs leading down must head underground. They saw the walls covered in bass relief images of Ponies who roughly resembled zebras, though they had more black then white on their fur, instead of the more or less even distribution of black and white that Zebra have. There were also no visible cutie marks. They also seemed to have mastered Unicorn style magic, including telekinesis, magical energy blasts and even teleportation. All of this despite not having any horns.


Professor Tinker admitted that the amount of real knowledge historians had about the Mareyan Ponies was woefully small. Only that they existed millennia ago, predating the Three Tribes and Pre-Classical Age, that they had a level of technology and scientific understanding centuries beyond their time... and that they all mysteriously vanished, almost literally overnight, leaving no remains. This last thing was made even stranger since many early Mareyan documents and artwork showed them practising a crude form of mummification. Not as complex as the form mastered by the ancient Northern Zebrican Empire, but still sufficient to allow at least some preserved bodies for later archaeological study.


While he was explaining this, perhaps rambling a bit, Gimbal decided to scout a bit upstairs, after getting Sugar Song to cast a Light spell on her. Unfortunately, she must have tripped some sort of hidden switch, as there was a sudden sound of shifting stone, followed by a slam... and the stairs leading up were cut off by a sudden floor/ceiling, trapping Gimbal and the rest on the other. Nutmeg ran up the stairs and started slamming on the new ceiling, shouting to Gimbal, asking if she was okay. Tinker shouted to Gimbal to stay put, as they tried to find a way another way to her; Nutmeg added that yes, her mum used to tell her to stay put when she got lost at the mall, and this was basically the same thing, right? With that, the rest of them went the only other way, down the stairs.


Unfortunately, expecting Gimbal to stay still for more than 5 seconds is an exercise in futility, and soon she started to climb the stairs on her side, looking for her own way back down. The Light spell that Sugar Song had cast on her started to flicker, and she started to panic at first, until she remembered (GMs Note: Thanks to Bits and Bobs) that she had a flashlight in her saddlebag. She continued up the stairs, until she came to a small room, obviously right near the top of the pyramid. Three strange stone panels, with grooves and indentations for hooves, covered in a network of thousands of small lines running in all directions, were on three of the walls. There didn't seem to be any other way out, so with nothing better to do, she went over to one of the panels and put her hooves in the grooves, seeing the lines start to line up. She moved her hooves, and found she could direct the flow of light among the lines, forming various patterns, so she started to experiment.


In the meantime, the others had travelled down the stairs, finding themselves in a massive chamber, with no obvious exit other than back up. The walls were covered in more bass reliefs of the Mareyans, this time seeming to show them in all different time periods. But all this paled to the massive, impossible machine floating in the middle of the chamber. It consisted of a countless number of huge rusted metal rings, spinining around and within each other, sometimes even seeming to pass through each other in a seemingly impossible way. In the middle was a crackling sphere of dark red energy, that had a definite feeling of something broken to it.


Mutt pulled out one of the pieces of candy that the still had from Nightmare Night, and threw it into the sphere of energy. It hit the energy and disappeared, and several items came out the other side. They went to check, and found sugar and barely and other raw ingredients. Nutmeg and Prof. Tinker realised that the candy had been chronologically reversed to an earlier state in its existence. They tried a few more experiments, with more candy, finding that the effects were temporally random. Some pieces turned into half digested messes, others vanished entirely (Nutmeg and Tinker theorising they were being moved out of time) or even duplicated (possibly by drawing on a parallel timeline).


Suddenly, the floor started to shake, then with the sound of grinding stone, started to open, slowly but inexorably, each side moving into the walls. Luckily they stopped before there was no floor left, so they weren't forced to fall into the vast pit that appeared. Moving carefully to the edge, they looked down to see a vast cavern, with a huge lake in the middle, surrounded by strange, yet eerily beautiful crystal growths. Mutt drop another piece of candy into the lake, and it seemed to slow right down, as if falling through treacle, before hitting the water with the softest of splashes, as if it had only fallen from less than a metre.


Wondering what had happened, Sugar Song, Mutt and Champion, having known her the longest, started to realise that Gimbal, in her typical impulsive, impatient fashion, had gone off exploring herself, and had probably found some sort of control system to mess with. After a simultaneous facehoof, they decided to search the walls, looking for another control system. 


They found a control panel, the same type that Gimbal had found, they guessed. Luckily, it turned out that Tinker did know a little bit about this, since archeologists had managed to translate some of the instructions the Mareyans entered into these machines. Trouble was, they had little context as to the exact meaning of the instructions; instruction's like: Restore to Previous Settings, Open All Doors and Safety Recall. Of all of these. Safety Recall was the least ominous sounding (after all, who knows what is meant by "doors" when dealing with Ponies who apparantly mastered time and space; and Restore to Previous Settings is never a good idea without backing up, first). They entered the command, there was a sudden sensation of time and space being compressed all around them, and they suddenly found themselves together again, next to the lake in the cavern.


Seen up close, the crystal growths that surrounded the vast lake were even more beautiful, each having an inner glow that almost made them seem alive. Mutt reached out to touch one... and was suddenly overwhelmed with a flood of knowledge... all knowledge... in seconds. His bled from his nose, eyes and ears before he managed to pull himself free before his brain was literally fried by the information overload. After Champion magically healed him, he explained what had happened, as best he could.


At this point, Gimbal decided she wanted to experience knowing everything for a second, and touched the crystal herself, with predictable results. Nutmeg was almost about to follow suit, out of a mix of curiosity and a desire to belong, but Flurry stopped her, managing to communicate through over-dramatic pantomime that someone already as smart as Nutmeg would probably have her head explode with all the knowledge.


Prof. Tinker asked if Sugar Song could touch the crystal safely with her magic, and sure enough, she could. He theorised that while the a complete crystal would cause an overload of knowledge that would be fatal (how exactly was still to be determined), but maybe a tiny shard could be fashioned into some sort of mnemonic device. Understanding what he wanted, Sugar Song broke off a tiny piece of one of the crystal growths.


No sooner had she snapped off the piece, when the crystals, all of them, all around the lake, started to shudder. This was followed by a churning in the lake, and something emerging from under the surface. What came forth resembled a crudely carved statue of a pony, standing nearly 12 feet tall, seemingly made from the same crystal surrounding the lake.


It made directly for Sugar Song, and they all ran for their lives. All except for Nutmeg, who found herself staring in a mix of shock and awe, while a massive crystal hoof was raised to crush her. A familiar magical shield suddenly appeared to just barely block the attack. Finally shaken out of her shock, she turned to see Champion, shouting at her to run.


Luckily, the crystal construct did not follow them much beyond the lake, lending credence to the theory that it was a guardian of the crystals. Still, they decided not to push their luck, and leave the rest of the crystals alone. While Nutmeg thanked Champion for saving her life, much to his embarrassment, Sugar Song gave the piece of crystal she was still holding in her magic to Tinker, who said he knew an artificer who might be able to make something of it.


They decided to explore the rest of this vast cavern for a while, moving to one wall and then walking clockwise around it. They saw that the walls were covered in roots, coming down from the jungle far above, and probably the reason the walls didn't collapse in on themselves. Sugar Song used her Plant magic to transform one of the larger roots into a ladder, creating a quick way out in case in became necessary. 


A while later, they came across a tunnel dug into one of the walls, leading away from the cavern. They searched around the edge of the tunnel before deciding to move in, and found another one of those Mareyan Control Panels. Champion put his hooves in the indentations, and a glow run down the tunnel, surrounding the walls and floor. When Champion took his hooves off, the glow vanished, only to return when he put them back on.


Tinker had a theory, and telling Champion to keep his hooves on the Panel, he walked into the tunnel... and instantly vanished. Before the others had time to panic, he was back a mere moment later, holding a flower from the surface in his mouth. He asked how long, from their point of view he was gone, and when they told him a mere moment, he nodded, satisfied. From his view, he'd been walking up and down that tower, which led to the surface for several hours. The Mareyans seemed to use their mastery of time and space to facilitate fast travel. Unfortunately, since it seemed to need a pony on one end to keep the effect going, they weren't going to be able to use it to leave the cavern in a relative instant. Still, it was another way out.


They searched for a while longer, and came across another hidden Panel, this one near the lake in the centre of the cavern. This one opened a hidden staircase that seemed to lead under the lake. Unlike the tunnel, this Panel stayed active even when not attended. They went down the stairs, seeing that the walls were covered with yet more bass reliefs of the Mareyans. This time, it shows a procession of Mareyans, bearing treasures from many different places and time periods, as well as captives, to what looked like a temple, above which was what looked like an image of the impossible machine they had seen above.


The stairs lead to an expansive chamber, far below the lake. In the middle of which was a vast pile of treasures; gems, jewellery, and artefacts from all over time and space. In the middle of the pile was a long dead creature, now merely bones. Bones in the form of many rings. In a flash of inspiration, Nutmeg guessed that this creature was the original that the machine was based on, and was probably the source of the Mareyan's mastery of time and space. Perhaps the Mareyans tried to create an artificial version of their god, to free themselves from their dependence on it, and in vengeance for trying to usurp its power, it punished them by removing the entire species from time itself.


Mutt's Diamond Dog nature got the best of him, and he started stuffing his pockets with gems. Nutmeg found a golden sextant that caught her eye, while Gimbal could her hooves on a golden electric guitar. They thought they heard the sound of bone rubbing on bone, just for a second, but nothing else seemed to happen. They then decided it was time to leave, making their way to the tunnel they'd seen before.


They emerged into the jungle, which seemed thicker than before... and suddenly heard roaring. They span around, to see 2 dinosaurs, locked in a life and death battle. After staring in shock for a moment, they realised they were in the distant past. The seemingly dead Mareyan god had sent them back, probably as a punishment for daring to touch its treasures. Tinker actually wanted to explore for a while, trying to argue that how often would they have this chance, but the others were insistent they they go back down the tunnel, and give back the treasures.


When they got back the the treasure chamber, and started giving back the stolen treasures, Tinker tried to call upon the Mareyan god. The pile of bone rings suddenly rose into the air, and start spinning in the same manner as the machine above, lending credence to the theory that, indeed, it was modelled on this strange creature. It then 'spoke' directly into their heads, and the sheer power of its whisper had them bleeding from the eyes and ears.


The being explained that yes, it was it who had taught the Mareyans how to master time and space, in exchange for tribute. They grew ambitious though, and fearing that soon, no tribute would be enough, they decided to create artificial versions of the being. When the being learned of this, it punished them by removing them from time and space all together, always trapped between moments, only able to observe, never to interact.


Not wishing to anger this vengeful being any further, they promised to give back the stolen goods, if it sent them back to their time, and they would never return here again. The being agreed, and they kept their end of the bargain. It then told them that they were now back in their time. They said their not so fond farewells. and left.


When they emerged out into the jungle, there was a distinct lack of dinosaurs, so so far so good. However, when they came to their balloon, they found it covered in vines, as if it had laid there for months. At the moment, they noticed a wing of Pegasus guards flying overhead. When the Pegasi noticed the group, the flew down, and Gimbal saw they were led by her big sister. Rally Point.


Rally Point instantly started telling Gimbal off, between hugging the life out of her. Apparently, they had been gone for months, and her father had pulled in all his old favours to arrange this search party. Needless to say, she was super-fired, and probably super grounded as well.


They returned home, and as best as they could, explained to Gimbal's and Nutmeg's parents why there were gone for so long. The only real evidence they had was the piece of 'Knowledge Crystal' Tinker still had on him, but the story was still hard to believe.


Prof. Tinker said he would take the crystal to a friend of his in the Crystal Empire, to make something for them. He also encouraged them to come visit him there, especially Nutmeg.


The episode, and the session, was wrapped up there, though due to time restraints, we didn't get around to XP earning and the spending thereof.



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Session 6

Before we started on episode 4, we handled some bookkeeping, with XP handed out and some Edges bought. Nutmeg was the only PC to buy an Edge this time, taking Gifted: Heart.


Episode 4

We rejoin our heroes a couple of weeks after they returned to Ponyville. After being grounded for most of that time, and despite being unemployed and not having a steady income, the impulsive Gimbal had spent most of the bits she had earned working for Prof. Tinker on an electric guitar. Unfortunately, her parents, tired of her lackadaisical attitude, gave her a kind of ultimatum. She was to move out of their house, and live with her sister, Rally Point, who would take her as a kind of apprentice, hopefully teaching her discipline and respect for authority. 


As much as Gimbal loved her big sister, there was still no way she'd agree to such a thing, so she just moved out. After staying with one friend after another, she eventually settled on staying with her friend, Mutt, in his Diamond Dog hole. It was around this time that she expressed her plans to start a bitching new band, whose new, avant-garde sound would blow all the critics away.


Coincidentally, Nutmeg's parents had decided that she should start to learn an instrument, and of the choices offered to her, she decided to take up the xylophone. When Gimbal heard of this, she decided that she would be perfect in her band, which she had decided to name "Lock, Stalk and Barrel". Despite her fears of being on a stage, Nutmeg agreed, as long as she could stay in the background.


Mutt decided he was going to join in on the fun, playing percussion on trashcans. All they needed was a vocalist, and so they approached the best one they knew, Sugar Song. Sugar Song agreed, mostly so she could bring a touch of class to what was shaping up to be a chaotically thematic mess of a band. Champion, of course, would be their bodyguard, holding back the no doubt throngs of ravenous fanponies the band would soon gather.


As they were looking for a place for their first gig (after all of about a week of practice), they found out that Sapphire Mountain, the singer who was supposed to perform at Appleloosa, but got delayed for some reason, was due to arrive in Ponyville for a concert. Learning that the concert was to be held at Sweet Apple Acres, Gimbal decided that would be the perfect place for their first performance. Of course, it was too late to book an official place in the concert, so it would need to be a surprise performance. A guerrilla gig, if you will.


They set up the side of the road leading into Sweet Apple Acres (basically where the Cider Stall is set up during Cider Season). Not wanting her friends to make total fools of themselves, Sugar Song cast a Sound based spell that would at least help fix the tone and rhythm of the performance they were about to give. They waited for dusk, when the audience for Sapphire Mountain's performance started to file in.


They played their first song, lyrics (quickly) written by Nutmeg: 'Dad, Give Me Back My Hay Fries!'. It went down surprisingly well, with some of the Ponies who had come to see Sapphire Mountain breaking off from their place at the back of the audience to get a closer listen. Encouraged by this interest, they were about to start on their next song, 'Mum, Dad, I Hate You (Not Really, Just Kidding!)', when they suddenly heard a mare shrilly demanding what they thought they were doing, and to get out of here.


They saw an Earth Pony mare who did, indeed, look a bit like Sugar Song, explaining why the Appleloosan's had mistaken them at first. Sapphire Mountain looked quite angry, and as she stormed towards them, she had several Earth Pony heavies, thick set stallions wearing intimidating shades, and she ordered them to kick this upstart band out of her show. They also noticed a middle aged stallion with her, carrying a clipboard. They didn't realise it at first, since he wasn't all shiny, but they learnt later he was a Crystal Pony. He was giving them a strange, bemused look, that had a hint of admiration.


After promising the 'audience' to their first performance that there would be more to come, they grab their instruments and made a break for it. Despite being interrupted mid song, Gimbal still considered their first 'gig' a resounding success. She then declared that their next step was to get into the concert after party. When Sugar Song pointed out that the party was probably for VIPs, Gimbal just shrugged and said all they needed to do was get their hooves (and paws) on some VIP tags. Easy, right?


Sugar Song looked a bit doubtful, but she didn't have the heart to dispel Gimbal's dream yet, especially since she was letting her do vocals for it, so she suggested they try to befriend Sapphire's manager, who she guessed was the Crystal Pony they saw before. They agreed, and waited for a chance to talk to him.


Their chance came when they saw him, looking somewhat haggard, heading to the Punch Bowl, a local bar. They approached him, and struck up a conversation. His name was Paper Waltz, and they learned that he had always loved music, but couldn't hold a tune or play an instrument to save his life. What he was good at though, was organisation, administration and other clerical tasks, so he decided to become a music manager.


Sugar Song asked why he seemed so depressed, and he confessed that his relationship with Sapphire Mountain was getting a bit strained. She seemed to care more about the fame than the fans, and was constantly demanding changes to the tour schedule. She had also turned out to be a lot more snobby as her fame grew, even going so far as to cancel her performance in Appleloosa, since she didn't like Buffalo. Paper considered it a personal triumph that he had least got her to go ahead with her performance for Ponyville School.


Perhaps it was a mix of his obvious passion for music, even if from a different angle, mixed with a strong loyalty and professionalism that kept him working with Sapphire despite his growing dislike for her, but Nutmeg noticed that Sugar Song seemed to be growing a little smitten with Paper Waltz.


Paper Waltz, for his part, was encouraging to the new band, saying that he could tell they had potential. He even gave them five VIP tags, so they could start canvasing for a manager. He'd do it himself, but unfortunately he still had a contract with Sapphire Mountain.


And thus they were able to crash the Sapphire Mountain Concert After Party, and started mingling with the mover's and shakers of Ponyville, while making sure to stay out of Sapphire Mountain's sight, who would kick them out, VIP or not. Gimbal found herself talking to a bemused Princess Twilight, offering to perform at the next royal coronation (perhaps not realising what a coronation actually was, thinking it was just a fancy royal party). Twilight, agreed, saying that they could perform at Princess Flurry Heart's coronation as Heir Apparent of the Crystal Empire when she came of age, in about 5 or 6 years at the earliest. Gimbal then left, satisfied at having secured such an important gig.


Mutt's kleptomania got the better of him, and he swiped some small pieces of jewellery from the more wealthy guests. He got his paws on an earring from Spoiled Rich, a cuff-link from Filthy Rich (they were divorced at this point, and Filthy Rich seemed to be getting quite friendly with Applejack, who was tending the open bar, much to the excitement of Diamond Tiara and Applebloom), and a golden pen from Mayor Mare.


Nutmeg ran into some trouble, when her Breezy friend, Flurry, saw the baked pastries tray that Pinkie Pie had set up, and sneaked out of Nutmeg's saddlebag to dive into a lemon meringue. By the time Nutmeg realised, it was too late, and now thoroughly sugar high Flurry was zipping around like a crazy dragonfly. Still paranoid about Flurry being seen by the wrong people, she tried to, in that seemingly impossible loud whisper one does when trying to get someone's attention without drawing any other attention. demand Flurry get back in the bag, now!


Luckily, Gimbal and Mutt saw this happening, and moved to help catch the rogue Breezy. Gimbal and Nutmeg both dived at her, but collided mid air, and fell to the floor, with Gimbal on her back and Nutmeg on top, in a somewhat compromising position. Laughing hysterically at this sight, Flurry didn't look where she was flying, and flew straight into Mutt's baseball mitt sized paw. He quickly stuffed her into one of his waistcoat pockets; unfortunately, he would learn later it was filled with his Nightmare Night candy, half of which was inside the Breezy's somehow limitless stomach for sweets.


They decided that they had pushed their luck for long enough, and decided to leave the Party, with Sugar Song and Champion joining them. Sugar Song had learnt that the scheduled School appearance was for tomorrow afternoon, after school hours. When Gimbal learnt this, she declared that that would be their next 'Guerrilla Gig'. He told Nutmeg, who had been 'elected' the band's lyricist, her vague ideas for a new song, 'Skool is For Stoopid Ponees!', and asked if she could whip up a draft overnight. Caught up in the excitement, Nutmeg agreed.


The next morning, Nutmeg showed her draft to Gimbal and Mutt, and then they went to Carousel Boutique, to ask Rarity to make some t-shirts for their band. Rarity was swamped with a workload already, but she appreciated their enthusiasm, and promised she'd get to their t-shirts as soon as possible.


They then went to Sugar Song's house, so they get some practice in before that afternoon's gig. She cast a sound bubble, so as not to disturb the neighbours, and they put in a couple of hours practice.


Later that afternoon, they set themselves up in the hallway leading to the School auditorium, about half an hour before Sapphire Mountain and her retinue were due to arrive. When the school foals lined up to enter the auditorium, they started their performance. Once again, aided by Sugar Song's magic, they managed to put on a decent performance. The subject of the song was a hit with a lot of the school foals, some one whom even asked for autographs, which really touched Nutmeg, who had a soft spot for small, cute things.


After the performance, and despite some requests for an encore, they decided not to push their luck. They waited for Sapphire's performance to begin (they had to admit, she was really good) and moved around the inside edge of the auditorium. Sugar Song found Paper Waltz, and invited him to their next practice session, later that night. He agreed, since he had overheard their performance, and was once again impressed by their enthusiasm, even if it was a tad unrefined.


True to his word, he did come to Sugar Song's house to listen to them practice. Now, one must realise, that up to this point, he had only heard them whilst under Sugar Song sound enhancing spell. But since this was a practice session, she didn't cast an enhancing spell (they wouldn't learn if she did). Thus, he heard them performing after about all of a day of practice.


When they had finished... and he stopped twitching... he asked them where they were going to perform next, and Gimbal said she was thinking of the Diamond Dog Fields. After all, they had one of them in the band, so it just seemed right. But they could use some help arranging it, hint, hint.


Paper Waltz said he would go to the Fields to warn... um I mean, make arrangements with the Diamond Dogs.


At that point, the session ended.





Edited by Swift Study
A couple of minor corrections.
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When Gimbal heard of this, she decided that she would be perfect in her band, which she had decided to name "Lock, Stock and Barrel"

One little edit, if I may ,the name for the Band is spelled "Lock (Gimbal Lock), Stalk (Nutmeg((plant lover)), and Barrel (Mutt)". I feel bad for not including Sugar Song in the title, considering what she does and puts up with. Word of warning Gimbal has some ideas for the Diamond Dog Concert and a new song. Was lots of fun, this was my first time forming a band in an RPG. New art probably tomorrow.

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Awesome art, as always. Just one tiny issue. Nutmeg plays a xylophone in the band. I'll as her player if he wants to change instruments next time we meet, and edit the blog accordingly.

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No, this is a blooper on my part, Nutmeg keeps the xylophone. For some reason I though clarinet, (FYI when it comes to music I'm complete boob,couldn't even master "hot cross buns" on the plastic recorder in school. Go figure, I overlooked it. Now that I picture it fits Nutmeg much better. 


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I've been working on Nutmeg drawings for a while so I figured I'd just post the ones I have finished for now...


A recent practice drawing I did with Nutmeg in my new greyscale style.


Flurry, meet Mutt, Mutt, Flurry... this is from when the gang first met Nutmeg on the train.


Nutmeg's first impressions of Mutt was fear... not surprising.


Flurry and Nutmeg singing their favorite song after a night of drinking with Gimbal. This didn't actually happen in the RP but I like to think it's something they'd do. Flurry doesn't speak Pony, but she still sings the words. Think of singing the words to your favorite Japanese song.


Anyhow, I have more drawings but they're still not finished, hope to post more soon!


EDIT: I changed Nutmeg's cutie mark up a bit, you can see the original design in the third image, I thought it looked too much like a pineapple so I changed it. Her cutie mark now is the one in the second and fourth image. If anyone has thoughts on the design, feel free to make suggestions.

Edited by WillDaBeard
Cutie Mark Note
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Session 7

Mutt's player couldn't join us this session, so Mutt went into NPC mode. Also, a slight retcon, since Nutmeg's player liked the idea of her character playing a clarinet more than a xylophone, so that's been changed as well.


Taking travel time into account, it would probably take Paper Waltz and Mutt (who Paper Waltz asked to accompany him, since as a Diamond Dog himself, he might be able to help talk to his fellows) at least 24 hours, so the rest of Lock, Stalk and Barrel had some time to kill. 


When Nutmeg went home for the day, she learned that a package, sent from the Crystal Empire, had arrived for her. Remembering that Prof. Tinker was from there, she excitedly tore open the package, to find a black velvet jewellery case inside. Inside the case was a fine golden necklace, with a pendant consisting mostly of a familiar piece of crystal, now cut and polished. There was a note from Prof. Tinker, saying that it would now help with clarity and recall.


Now even more exited, she put it on. This may have been a mistake, in her currently excitable state of mind, since she suddenly found herself thinking about everything that had happened to her, and everything that was happening, and all the exiting things that would happen. She wanted tell everyone everything, but she remembered that Mutt and Paper Trail would probably not be back until tomorrow.


She couldn't sleep in her current state, so she went to a hill that faced the east, and bouncing excitedly, waited all night for the dawn. The instant the sun started to peek above the horizon, to zoomed at full speed to Mutt's hole. She woke Gimbal up, who was not an early riser at the best of times, only to find that Mutt and Paper Waltz weren't back yet. She then tried to tell a very confused Gimbal everything, at the same time.


Gimbal saw Flurry, who had followed her friend, gesturing frantically to Nutmeg's throat, where Gimbal saw the piece of 'knowledge crystal'. With Flurry's help, she carefully took it off... and hours of missed sleep suddenly caught up to Nutmeg all at once, who suddenly collapsed. Gimbal took her inside and put her on the bed to sleep it off.


That was when a pair of Police Ponies showed up, wanting to talk with Mutt. When Gimbal said that Mutt wasn't home at the moment, and asked if she could pass on a message, they told her that a gold pen, of sentimental value, had been stolen. They weren't accusing Mutt, of course, but they knew of his unsavoury contacts, and maybe they knew something. If Mayor Mare got the pen back, she would not press charges, the Police Ponies promised.


Gimbal promised she would pass on the message, and the Police, seemingly satisfied, took their leave. Then, knowing that Mutt did have a bit of a kleptomania streak (wasn't his fault, it came with being a Diamond Dog) she had a quick look around, without being too nosy, to see if she could see anything, but found nothing, so she decided to wait.


Mutt and Paper Waltz arrived a few hours later, surprised to find Nutmeg there as well (she had woken up by now). Paper Waltz told them that they had succeeded in arranging a gig at the Diamond Dog Fields, in 3 days from now. He told them that he would join them at that time, but he still had to tend to his actual client, Sapphire Mountain.


After he left, Gimbal told Nutmeg about the police visit. Mutt, remembering that he had, indeed swiped a golden pen from the Mayor. When took it out and looked at it (he still had it on him, as he often did with recent swipes), and saw the inscription on it, he realised it indeed must have personal value, and he decided to have to sent anonymously back. True to her word, Mayor Mare did not press charges, just glad to have the pen back.


They then spent the next couple of days preparing for the Diamond Dog concert. They wrote up a couple of new songs ('Gimbal in the Sky with Diamond Dogs' and 'The Great White Whiner'). They also went to Carousel Botique to pick up the t-shirts they'd asked Rarity to screen print for them. Rarity being who she is, however, she couldn't leave well enough alone. Instead of simple t-shirt's with a band logo, she had made them full leather rock and roll outfits, as well as a little jacket for their bodyguard, Champion.


They then arranged to borrow an apple cart from Sweet Apple Acres, for transport and to act as a stage. On the way to the farm, they passed by Paper Waltz and Sapphire Mountain, who were sitting at an outdoor cafe table, going over some paperwork. Waltz had his head down, so he didn't notice the smirk that Sapphire gave to Gimbal, Nutmeg, Mutt, Champion and Sugar Song.


After they picked up the apple cart (with Mutt offering a small gem as security), they met Paper Waltz at the outskirt's of Ponyville, and began to approximately half day journey to the Diamond Dog Fields. When they arrived, they took a couple of hours to set everything up, including a crude balloon in the shape of Rarity, hidden in a large tin, that would be released during the climax of Great White Whiner.


While they were setting up, Nutmeg thought she saw a unicorn watching them from behind a rocky outcropping. She shrugged it off, thinking it must be a fan. 


The Diamond Dog audience, still looking quite dubious, started to show up, and the concert started. The concert went well for a while, thanks to Sugar Song's magic and some thunder created by Gimbal for awesomeness. 


Then it came time for the final song, Great White Whiner. It went quite well at first, being mostly an instrumental. It was when it came for the vocals that it all went wrong. A strange, orangey-golden magic suddenly enveloped Sugar Song's horn, and the magic she was using to compensate for the band's lack of experience and skill suddenly turned off... during mid performance.


Now having their sensitive ears suddenly assaulted by a cacophony, the Diamond Dogs suddenly started to attack the ban, throwing spears and large rocks and charging in with spears and clubs drawn. Champion managed to get the biggest shield he'd ever conjured up just in time, but the constant barrage of attacks threatened to break it at anytime.


Then Sugar Song stepped up, and without any magical assistance (the strange orange glow was still cutting access to her magic, even if she wanted to), she began to sing. The attack stopped almost instantly, and the Diamond Dogs sat down to listen to the most beautiful sound they had ever heard. Gimbal glanced over to Paper Waltz, who was now in full Crystal form, love and joy overcoming the disappointment and depression that had been his life for so long.


Not wanting to push their luck after that close call, they decided to make their leave. On the way back to Ponyville, Sugar Song said that a unicorn must have cast a magic suppressing spell on her, and Nutmeg confessed she had seen one hiding nearby, but thought it was a fan. Gimbal said that she remembered that smirk from Sapphire Mountain, and said it must have been her.


Paper Waltz confessed that, while he didn't see the smirk in question, he did know that Sapphire hated them. They had, after all, crashed her performances on more than one occasion while she was here. Worse, she saw them as talented hacks, using magic to make up for it, something she, as an Earth Pony, could never do. That being said, he still found it hard to believe she would stoop so low as to use bribe a unicorn to cast a spell to suppress Sugar Song's magic. If she did, and it could be proven, he would be able to quit being her manager, and become theirs (in truth, he mostly wanted to be Sugar Song's).


Sugar Song reminded them that the Unicorn in question must have had golden orange eyes, since that was the colour of the anti-magic spell cast on her, and Mutt took them too see some of his contacts in Ponyville's burgeoning criminal underworld (mostly pickpockets and minor offenders). There, he managed to get the name of a unicorn who was hired to sabotage a spell near the Diamond Dog Fields. The contact also told them that he hadn't returned yet, though he should have by now.


Figuring that he might be trying to leave Ponyville, they made their way to the train station, and asked around for anypony matching his description. They got a lead; apparently a somewhat suspicious Unicorn, who was wearing dark lenses to hide his eyes, had booked a one way trip to Canterlot. The train was due to arrive in half an hour, and leave in half an hour after that, so they decided to board the train and trap their quarry before it left.


Splitting up and starting from both ends, and working their way inwards, they corned him on one of the middle carriages, trying to avoid notice. When they saw him, Nutmeg's exited shout alerted him, and he almost escaped through a window, but Gimbal's speed blocked his escape.


They escorted him off the train, and made a deal. If he would come with them and convince Sapphire Mountain that he would testify against her to make her give up her contract with Paper Waltz. He agreed, if they promised to let him go afterwards and never mention it again, and they agreed to that.


The plan worked more or less as they hoped it would, with Sapphire breaking ties with Paper Waltz, and declaring that she would never perform in Ponyville again, calling it a hick town full of hick Ponies, Princess and Elements or not. Paper Waltz then asked the band members if they were, indeed, serious about Lock, Stalk and Barrel. When they confirmed that they, indeed, were, he agreed to act as their permanent Manager, and with that, the Episode came to a close.


Nutmeg and Gimbal both took a Skill Training Edge in a musical instrument group (Wind and String respectively). 



GM Note: As always, my players should feel free to correct any mistakes I may have made in this recap. Also, I am open to any comments and suggestions.










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Session 8

Due to personal reasons, which I will not go into (that's up to him to reveal, if he wants), Mutt's player will not be joining us for the foreseeable future, so Mutt is in full NPC mode until then. I'll be spending his XP based on what I feel makes the most sense for his character and the circumstances. Thus, Mutt has also taken the Edge, Skill Training: Percussion Instruments.


Episode 5

A week had past since Paper Waltz had signed on as Lock, Stalk and Barrel's new manager. Sugar Song had said that she didn't want to use magic to improve their performances anymore, so the next time they put on a concert, so had spent that time practising, in a sound stage Paper Waltz had arranged so they could hear how they sounded.


It was early in the morning when they received a call none of them ever expected in their life. Gimbal was woken from her sleep (7 AM is way too early) by a strange, vibration on her haunches. Looking down at herself. she saw her cutie marks glowing and pulsating, then a projection of took off from her haunches and flew out the room. She ran after it, passing a confused Mutt, who had seen the cutie mark fly by while making breakfast, and who decided to chase it with Gimbal, as it flew towards the Castle of Friendship.


Meanwhile, Nutmeg was brushing her teeth when she too felt a weird tingling on her haunches. Looking back, with a mouth full of toothpaste lather, she saw her cutie mark glowing and pulsing, and then an image of it flew off her haunches and out the window, with an equally confused Flurry trying to catch it. Having the sense not to dive out the window after her cutie mark, she ran down the stairs, shouting a quick good morning to her parents, and ran out the door, chasing her errant mark.


She met up with Gimbal and Mutt on the way, as well as Sugar Song and Champion, all chasing after their cutie marks. They came to the castle, to find an intrigued looking Twilight and Spike waiting for them. She invited them, asking Spike to prepare tea for 6. When Gimbal and the others looked confused at the mention of 6, Twilight took them to see the Cutie Map.


They saw 5 cutie marks, hovering around Las Pegasus. Gimbal's hailstones, Nutmeg's flowering seed, Sugar Song's musical notes, Champion's heraldic shield; the fifth, however, filled them with confused dread: a heart, run through with numerous cracks.


At that moment, Spike, carrying a tray of tea and cakes, backed into the Map Room, with Cracked Heart pointing a dagger at him. Cracked Heart looked angry, confused, and even a tiny bit scared, and he demanded why they'd drawn him here, and if this was a trap. Needless to say, things were more than a little tense at that moment.


Twilight tried to defuse the situation, saying that if they had all been called by the Map, then they were all meant to solve a friendship problem in Las Pegasus. Cracked Heart said that the only reason he had to go the Las Pegasus was to rescue his Da... I mean, Master, Past Endeavour. They asked what happened and without giving away too much, he said that Past Endeavour had arranged a meeting with the Cloud Stealers, one of Las Pegasus' three organised Pegasus crime families. It turned out to be a trap, and Past Endeavour was captured by the Cloud Stealers, who used counter-magic specialised Unicorns to help them. Past Endeavour quickly used his magic to teleport Cracked Heart to the relative safety of Ponyville, and the last thing he saw was his Unicorn master being trapped in magic chains.


They decided that Cracked Heart needed Past Endeavour; without him, his murderous urges would have no focus. At least with Endeavour, he would "only" murder Ponies who got in his master's way. Also, Twilight was insistent on trusting the Map, and if they felt this was their quest, than so be it.


Thus began an alliance that none of the parties would have even imagined possible. They took a train to Las Pegasus, seating in a way that would allow at least one of them to keep an eye on Cracked Heart. During the journey, in an effort to try to understand him even just a bit more, Sugar Song asked how he met Past Endeavour and started working for him.


Cracked Heart was silent for a while, before revealing that he'd had bloody urges for as long as he could remember. He described it like a constant pressure that was only relieved through violence. He told them how his parents. not knowing how to handle him, more or less abandoned him to his own devices. He was about 12 (around Champion's age) when he met Past Endeavour, who saved him from some vengeful thugs, after he'd killed one of their own.


Past Endeavour saw that having a Pony who had the ability to kill without hesitation, who, in fact, seemed to have an overwhelming need to shed blood, would be a useful asset, so he took Cracked Heart under his care, becoming a mentor and father figure. Cracked Heart knew that, in the end, he was just a very useful tool, but he didn't care. He had purpose; Endeavour's dreams would become his dreams.


He fell silent at that, and they didn't press him further. Soon, they arrived at Las Pegasus, taking a balloon from the station to the city in the sky.


They started to walk around the city, trying to find a lead (while also trying their hooves at some busking). Realising they might need some more bits, Gimbal had one of her patented brilliant ideas, and hit the blackjack tables, craps tables and roulette wheels. Nutmeg just tried a few pulls at the slots.


Nutmeg was just cashing in some of her wins (she'd been quite lucky at the slots), when she noticed a beautiful pegasus mare, dressed in an elegant gown, entering one of the employee exits as if she belonged there, even passing by a croupier who just gave her a respectful nod. She also saw that Cracked Heart had seen her, and was going to follow with a dangerous look in his eye. 


Luckily, Sugar Song had also seen this, and they intercepted the steadily more and more impatient Cracked Heart, and with Gimbal, they left the casino. Outside, Cracked Heart revealed that he recognised her as a Cloud Stealer, and he thought to follow her and make her tell him where they were holding Past Endeavour. They managed to convince him that attacking her in the middle of the casino would be stupid, and to trust them to find a better way.


He reluctantly agreed, willing to try to resist his stabbing urges for the sake of his master. Gimbal then put forth the idea of talking to her sister, Rally Point, who worked as head of security for the Mayor of Las Pegasus. So they made their way to City Hall, where Gimbal tried to get a meeting with her sister, dropping their band name for celebrity points.


The somewhat confused receptionist mare settled for seeing if Rally Point was free. She asked them to wait while she checked. A few minutes later, she returned, with a somewhat annoyed looking Rally Point. Now, Rally Point adored her little sister, and was always glad to see her; it was just a pity that Gimbal seemed to have an abysmal sense of timing. Nevertheless, she did take a few minutes to see what her sister needed, since she could tell this wasn't just a friendly visit.


Gimbal asked if they could talk in private, and Rally Point took them to a conference room. There, Gimbal explained the situation to Rally Point, asking if she could help in anyway. Rally Point told them that this would put her in a tricky position, since the influence of the Las Pegasus crime families spread to City Hall, including Ponies who payed her wages. She asked them to wait there, while she went to see what she could do.


About 20 minutes later, the receptionist returned, carrying several bags. She spoke in a very formal tone, welcoming them to Las Pegasus, offering gift bags, and hoping they would enjoy the gifts within. They picked up the hint in her voice, and taking the bags, left City Hall. Not wanting to look inside the bags in public, they first decided to get a hotel room. Cracked Heart knew of a relatively safe place, that could be relied on to not ask questions, and that had suitably big enough rooms for all 6 of them.


Once they were in the privacy of a hotel room, they checked the contents of the bags. Inside, they found some complementary casino chips, various souvenirs, and VIP tickets and backstage passes for a performance by Sculpted Myth, a Unicorn stage magician performing tomorrow night. Cracked Heart recognised the image of Sculpted Myth, saying that he worked for the Cloud Stealers; a Made Stallion, as the term went. This would be their way in, so they decided that they would indeed, attend the performance tomorrow night.


Sugar Song, by far the most mature of the group, took all the casino chips and gave some out to Gimbal, Nutmeg and Mutt, so that they wouldn't risk them all; Cracked Heart had no interest in such things, and Champion was too young even if he wanted to. They killed some time gambling in the casinos (with a bored Champion forced to sit and watch and nurse a chocolate milk), before the time came for the performance.


The performance itself was pretty good, but, in truth, they were just waiting to go backstage when they got the chance. They decided to try a stealthy approach first, using Sugar Song's Light magic to make the group invisible while they searched backstage for clues.


They found a hidden door that led into a cloud corridor, built so that only Pegasi (or Unicorn's who could cast the Cloud Walking spell) could use it. Gimbal did a bit of scouting, finding that it led to a Pegasus built building hidden within a large cumulus cloud; enchanted to allow non-Pegasi allies of the Cloud Stealer family to stay, though since it had a non-enchanted entrance, it meant that could only come by invitation, usually.


Not wanting to explore the multi-storey building alone, she returned to the others so they could discuss a plan. Champion said he could use Body magic to shrink the non-Pegasi in the group, so they could travel in Gimbal's saddlebags. The question then came down to wether they would try to stealthy approach, or an infiltration approach. After all, as Sugar Song pointed out, Gimbal was (sort of) an enemy of Past Endeavour, and she might be able to use that to charm her way into the Don Cloud Stealer's good graces, with some secret coaching in sweet-talking from Sugar Song, hiding in her mane.


She found Sculpted Myth in his dressing room, gaining access thanks to the VIP tag around her neck, and struck up a conversation with him. She dropped hints that she was an enemy of Past Endeavour, and would like to congratulate the Don on capturing him, and perhaps gloat a little. Sculpted Myth seemed to believe this, and offered to take her to see the Don.


He took her (with the rest shrunk down and hiding in her saddle bags), to the building, with him using a Cloud Walking spell on himself to make the journey through the cloud corridor. 


They arrived at the door to the Don's office, and Sculpted Myth gestured for Gimbal to go in. Gimbal didn't see the slight glow that surrounded the door frame, and when she walked through what turned out to be an anti-magic barrier, the shrinking spell that Champion had been sustaining was suddenly dispelled, causing the rest of them to explode out of his bags (or her mane) in a heap.


Before they could re-orientate themselves, they found themselves surrounded by several Pegasi wielding crossbows. An elderly Pegasus, in a pinstripe suit, then walked up to them, asking who they were and why he shouldn't have his soldiers full them full of bolts. Cracked Heart moved suddenly, lunging at the Don with a knife in his muzzle, shouting, "Shields!". Understanding what he meant, Champion quickly erected two magical shields to block the crossbow bolts, while Gimbal called upon a fog to cover them.


And it was at that moment, frozen in time, that the session ended.


GM Notes: Usual disclaimer about corrections if I made a mistake or left something out, and call for suggestions/comments.







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Session 9

Cracked Heart pinned the Don, holding his knife to his throat, and demanded where they were holding Past Endeavour. Meanwhile, Gimbal released the balloon of Rarity she originally meant to be used during a performance of 'Great White Whiner', which helped distract the crossbow wielding Pegasi. The Don told Cracked Heart that Endeavour was down in the basement level. Cracked Heart was about to slit his throat, but Sugar Song stopped him, grabbing the knife with telekinesis, telling Cracked Heart that there was no time for that sort of thing.


Gimbal summoned a hail cloud, and called dozens of hailstones down on the Pegasi, to help cover the escape. Unfortunately, she misjudged the area, and took a couple of stones herself as she escaped with the rest into the hallway. One they were all in the hallway, Sugar Song cast an invisibility spell to hide them. They then looked for some stairs down, to find Past Endeavour.


They found a door with a sign indicating stairs, and opened them. They failed to notice the subtle magic around the door frame, however, and as soon as they walked through, Sugar Song's spell was dispelled, revealing them to the trio of Pegasi that were flying up a shaft that seemed to be built into the building from top to bottom, allowing Pegasi to quickly fly from floor to floor, while the stairs allowed their non-winged allies to also traverse the building.


The Pegasi, armed with spears, charged at our heroes (and Cracked Heart) with spears. Champion Managed to get a shield spell up, blocking their attack, while Gimbal summon a fog cloud to cover their escape again, figuring that the doors (or at least some of them) had anti Unicorn magic cast into them, which wouldn't effect Pegasus Weather Control. Under the cover of the fog. they tried to sneak down past the Pegasi spearponies. One of the Pegasi must have heard Nutmeg, and thrust his spear at her through the fog. Champion managed to block the spear with a shield spell, while Nutmeg started to panic.


Looking around for a way to escape, Nutmeg saw a hidden passageway, underneath the stairs. It took a bit of acrobatics for the non-Pegasi in the group, but they managed to slip inside, finding themselves in a kind of shaft, between floors. They saw that the shaft had grates that could be used to see into various rooms (mostly bedrooms of the Cloud Stealer members). Using these grates, they were able to spy on some Cloud Stealers, overhearing that they were planning to mount a defence of the prisoner, rather than waste time trying to find the intruders.


They sent Flurry to do some scouting, and she returned about 20 minutes later, telling them (with Nutmeg translating) that dozens of Pegasi guards were gathering in down in the basement level. They then came up with a plan, involving shrinking them (except for Gimbal) down to miniature size with Champion's magic, and then have Gimbal carry them in a satchel she took from one of the rooms, while she flew around the outside of the Cloud Stealer building to sneak in from below. It was a tighter squeeze, since this satchel was smaller than Gimbal's, and there was only one, so 4 ponies, a Diamond Dog and a Breezy were all squeezed together. A still slightly panicking Nutmeg, wondering what she was even doing here, clung to Champion for comfort, squeezing him tight.

Gimbal flew around the outside of the building in the clouds, finding her way underneath, and sneaking in from below, through another shaft. Soon, they found a shaft that led above a prison cell, where Past Endeavour was being held. The elderly, dapper Unicorn was shackled to the floor with chains on all four hooves, in the middle of a large, magical circle, that seemed to be suppressing his magic. There were several Pegasus guards, though they were watching the only door in, having seemed to have forgotten, or not realised, about other ways in.


To test the area of the anti-magic field, they sent Flurry, made invisible thanks to Sugar Song's magic, figuring that she would be small enough to hide even when the spell was dispelled. With this method, they found that the anti-magic field didn't quite reach the ceiling, and that Gimbal would be able to fly above and over the magic circle if she was careful, without hitting the field and thus causing her friends currently shrunken in her new satchel to suddenly grow to full size again.


Once she was over and behind Past Endeavour, who, for his part, stayed silent, especially when he saw a tiny Cracked Heart leap out of the satchel (with several other Ponies, and a Diamond Dog, most of whom he recognised, albeit as tiresome meddlers for the most part), Champion cast another spell, while still maintaining the one on the rest of them (no easy feat) to shrink down Gimbal, so they could be mostly unnoticed while they quietly discussed how to free Past Endeavour.


Realising that no magic (at least, Unicorn Magic) could get past the circle, from within or without, they eventually settled on having Flurry pick the lock, after been given a very, very quick crash course on lock-picking by Mutt. It was a tense few minutes, but finally Flurry managed to free one of Endeavour's hooves, allowing him to free the rest of his hooves. As soon as he was outside the circle, he teleported them all to the hotel room that Cracked Heart had shown them earlier, before the Cloud Stealer family even knew they had lost him.


The first thing he did, once they were all relatively safe (and full sized), was check on Cracked Heart, and then ask what was going on. Cracked Heart told him that he had made a deal with the others, though his tone indicated he had no problem in breaking it and killing them all now, since they had no more use. Past Endeavour disavowed him of that notion, however, insisting that no son of his would renege on a deal, even one made to an enemy.


He then turned to the others, who were, not surprisingly, still a little tense, and offered to teleport them back to Ponyville, hinted that he had plans to punish the Cloud Stealer's for their treachery. He also added that as long as they didn't meddle in his plans again, they would have no reason to fear him. Gimbal and the others didn't want to leave it at that, feeling that, surely, the Friendship Map had not summoned them just to let these evil Ponies have their way. Gimbal tried to convince them not to take revenge, but Past Endeavour was quite insistent. Sugar Song then suggested they at least lie low for a while, and Past Endeavour did agree to that wisdom at least.


He offered to teleport them back to Ponyville again, but they weren't ready to leave Las Pegasus yet, so they politely disinclined. They then parted ways, with Past Endeavour teleporting Cracked Heart and himself away. At that moment, the Ponies felt a strange tingling on their haunches. Looking back, they saw their cutie marks glowing, and realised this meant that they had finished the mission the Map sent them on.


Gimbal wanted to spend some more time in Las Pegasus, having fun, gambling, and getting high on sugar. They went to see Rally Point, to let her know about the possible threat to the Cloud Stealers, and to ask if they could crash with at her house. Rally Point was always glad to have her kid sister over (you may recall that she originally wanted Gimbal to live with her for a while, in the hopes some of her discipline would rub off on Gimbal) and even had a room ready for her. She'd have to make extra arrangements for her friends, but she still agreed, asking for a few hours to set things up.


This suited them fine, as it they could spend that time having fun in Las Pegasus. After buying some pixie sticks for later that night, they wasted some money on gambling (not surprisingly, losing more than they won. They then hit the amusement park, especially the roller-coaster. Gimbal had a plan for an awesome photo, which required Sugar Song's magic to pull off, so she claimed the first car, with Sugar Song. Nutmeg and Champion sat in the next car, with Champion once again being strangle-hugged by the terrified Nutmeg. Being quite large, Mutt had the third car for himself.


Like many roller-coasters, a photo would be taken during one of the major drops, to capture the reactions of the riders. It was during this drop that Gimbal put her plan in motion. She had Sugar Song cast a spell to create a rainbow of bright lights, while she called on a cloud to form a trail behind them. It wasn't until the ride was over that she saw the fruits of her work. There was the cloud, interspersed with bright sparks, flying behind Gimbal and Nutmeg like a train. It flew over Nutmeg, eyes frozen shut, screaming silently, clinging to Champion for dear life... and hit Mutt right in the face.


Due to time running out, I ended the session, and the episode there. XP will be given next session.




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That little comic, while probably not canon, is pretty funny. I especially like Mutt with the 'stache and three day growth, and Champion in the Papoose. Knowing how much he hates being treated like the 12 year old he actually is, there must be an insane story that led to him being Mutt's baby.


Also, due to my tendency to be very vague with NPC descriptions (often using archetypes and themes rather than physical attributes, unless those attributes are part of the themes and archetypes in question) I'm often slightly surprised by your takes on them, and this (your image of Past Endeavour) is perhaps the most surprising. This is, in no way, a criticism. In fact, you've probably made him more interesting than I could; I more or less pictured a more sinister Fancy Pants, whereas you've made a sinister, grandfatherly figure. I picture him flicking that beard contemptuously, kind of like Pai Mei. And that Cutie Mark is perfect.

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7 hours ago, Swift Study said:

That little comic, while probably not canon, is pretty funny. I especially like Mutt with the 'stache and three day growth, and Champion in the Papoose. Knowing how much he hates being treated like the 12 year old he actually is, there must be an insane story that led to him being Mutt's baby.


Also, due to my tendency to be very vague with NPC descriptions (often using archetypes and themes rather than physical attributes, unless those attributes are part of the themes and archetypes in question) I'm often slightly surprised by your takes on them, and this (your image of Past Endeavour) is perhaps the most surprising. This is, in no way, a criticism. In fact, you've probably made him more interesting than I could; I more or less pictured a more sinister Fancy Pants, whereas you've made a sinister, grandfatherly figure. I picture him flicking that beard contemptuously, kind of like Pai Mei. And that Cutie Mark is perfect.

thanks your GMing inspires a lot of this, thanks for that,for some reason I was inspired to do a take on King Haggard from "The Last Unicorn"  for Past Endeavor's design. Love making these sloppy little cartoons as I get time to do them. :) 

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Session 10

Episode 6


The episode began a few days after their trip to Las Pegasus, the last days of of which were a blur of gambling, drinking and partying, culminating in, among other things, Nutmeg losing a tooth and Gimbal spending a night in a lock-up. 


When they arrived back at Ponyville Station, Twilight and Spike were their to greet them, and ambush them with questions about their Friendship Mission. Twilight invited them back to the castle for tea, so they could give their official report. When they told her about how the rescued Past Endeavour, and at least convinced him to lie low before taking vengeance on the Cloud Stealer family for double crossing him, Twilight was confused that such a vague resolution would satisfy the Map... but her faith in it quickly reasserted itself, and she assured herself that the Map must have a purpose.


After the debrief, the friends went their own way for a bit. Nutmeg went home to her parents, both to try to explain why she went missing for a few days again, and to make a potion to fix her tooth. A potion that worked perhaps a little too well, as the new tooth it created was so shiny it was prone to blind ponies when she smiled.


Her parents wanted to meet her new friends, and asked her to invite them over for dinner that night. This almost sent Nutmeg into a fit, since she knew that her friends, as wonderful as they were, weren't exactly what most Ponies would consider 'normal'. Nevertheless, she agreed, and went to invite her friends (and beg them to behave).


When she found her friends, she also found Paper Waltz, walking with Sugar Song (they seemed to be growing quite close, lately). He had some good news; he'd secured a gig, in a few days, at Appleloosa, where Sugar Song was still remembered fondly for her performance the last time they were there. 


Nutmeg then invited her friends to dinner at her place, to meet her parents. She included Paper Waltz, but he politely declined, saying that he still had work to do. Sugar Song picked up on Nutmeg's unspoken hope, and told Gimbal they needed to be on their best behaviour around Nutmeg's parents. Also, it would be nice to dress up for this.


Gimbal knew she had a nice dress in her room back at her parents house, and waited for the time of day when she knew her dad would be out golfing with his veteran buddies, and her mother would be working in her garden. She asked Nutmeg to help distract her mother, Baby Tulip, by engaging her in conversation about gardening and botany, since it was a shared interest.


It didn't quite work as plan, however. Gimbal did manage to sneak into her room, and grab her dress, but on the way out the window, she caught the dress on the sill, tearing it and sending herself crashing to the ground. Nutmeg tried to keep Baby Tulip distracted, but to no avail, and Gimbal's mother found her, lying in the dirt outside the house. She almost begged Gimbal to come back home, but Gimbal said that she was fine, really. She even had a (sort of) job. She asked her mum not to let dad know she had been here, and then more or less ran off. Nutmeg grinned sheepishly, quickly said it was nice to meet Mrs. Tulip, and ran off after Gimbal.


Despite these setbacks, the dinner went pretty well, and Gimbal, Mutt, Sugar Song and Champion made a good impression on Nutmeg's parents. Mutt was especially eloquent, charming them with his polite humour.


A few days later, they took the train to Appleloosa, ready for their first real gig. To their surprise and delight, they found that Paper Waltz had worked overtime promoting the band, and when they arrived, their was a welcoming committee waiting for them, complete with banners welcoming Lock, Stalk and Barrel.


The performances went very well, even without Sugar Song using her magic to enhance them. There was only a couple of slight hiccups; one when Gimbal tried to call on a dust-storm for effect, which clogged their instruments somewhat, and another when she tried a stage dive, and the audience, not knowing what she was doing, step aside, causing her to crash.


Nevertheless, they were a hit with the Appleloosan Ponies and Buffalo. At the after party, which unlike Sapphire Mountain's, which was only open to the elite, was open to all, they found themselves beset by new fans, getting their first taste of real fame.


It was during the party that Sugar Song noticed that Champion had gone missing. Frantic, she gathered her friends, and they went to look for him, using Mutt's nose and Gimbal's flight to try to find him.


It was Gimbal who first saw him, or rather, the glow of his shield, to the south, in the direction of the Badlands. Realising this meant he was in trouble, they asked to borrow a carriage, so Gimbal could fly them all, and asked Sheriff Silver Star to get a posse ready.


As soon as the carriage was attached to Gimbal, and her friends were on-board, she took off, flying as fast as she could towards the glow of Champion's shield. When they arrived, they saw that Champion, with a pinkish scaled baby dragon on his back, had erected a shield around them, to hold off the attacks of a large group of Earth Ponies, Pegasus and Buffalo.


They managed to fight off the attackers, though Nutmeg was badly injured in the fray, fainting from blood loss. Luckily, Champion managed to heal her with his magic before as they made their escape, aided by the arrival of Silver Star's posse.


Back at Appleloosa, the next day, Champion told them how he had overheard a suspicious conversation, and followed the Ponies he had heard. They led him to a group of Pony and Buffalo bandits, who had a stolen dragon egg with them, planning to sell it to an underground exotic pet dealer. He snuck in to steal the egg, hoping to return it to its mother, but the egg hatched as soon as he approached, almost as if sensing someone who would protect the hatchling inside. The hatchling seemed to instantly imprint on Champion, and he fled with her, with the smugglers in hot pursuit.


Realising he wouldn't be able to outrun them, especially carrying the extra weight of the hatchling, he quickly erected a shield, hoping it would buy enough time for him to come up with another solution. Luckily, Gimbal and the others arrived just in time to save the day.


Sugar Song was both furious that Champion had ran off without telling anyone, and proud of his heroism and compassion. Perhaps, as orphans, they both felt that re-uniting children with their parents was a worthy goal, so she agreed to join Champion on his quest to find the hatchling's parents. Gimbal and Mutt were also eager to help, just leaving Nutmeg.


Nutmeg, despite having nearly been killed, agreed to come along. and got a hug from Champion, who was normally loathe to give hugs, and only seemed to grudgingly tolerate them from his friends. With that, they made their preparations for their quest, to return the dragon hatchling to her parents.






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just a small illo of my concept for the hatchling in the story, sorry been a busy, busy week just barely got this little one in. 

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Hi Swift Study,

I've gladly read all your campaign blog, and really enjoyed it!

I'll probably take some free inspirations and adaptations when I'll run mine own.

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13 minutes ago, Pumpkin Matt said:

Hi Swift Study,

I've gladly read all your campaign blog, and really enjoyed it!

I'll probably take some free inspirations and adaptations when I'll run mine own.

Thanks Pumpkin Matt, if you decide to document your game too let us know, I'd like to check it out too.

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14 minutes ago, Lemur said:

Thanks Pumpkin Matt, if you decide to document your game too let us know, I'd like to check it out too.

I'll post a similar blog, once the campaign has begun.

Meanwhile I'm currently finishing the Setting. I'll post an updated status of Lunnova in my other thread soon.

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