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File: 1499824717350.png (478 KB, 793x951, soul9.png)

 No.687100[Last 50 Posts]

Temporary thread for Soul Quest this evening / any future instances where we can't play on our normal site, post your sheets for the 9th session of Soul Quest


File: 1499824817483.webm (2.59 MB, 480x360, Scaramouch.webm)


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coming at you live from the other side of the world



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>https://boards.4chan.org/mlp/thread/30450941 previous game


Previously on Soul Quest, a break through was made on the side of Pain, Fixer, and Aether. After briefly conversing with the disgraced hero, Triple M and Fixer had managed to see through Satar's plot and reasons for betraying his fellow Elementals, and had convinced him with a glimmer of hope that they could help to divulge the truth of all what he saw on the mountain: assaulted by Kachina's on personal dragon guards, and bore witness to a wrecked castle wherein two powerful ogres, specifically referred to as Demons, had taken her captive…

Meanwhile, Alexis was thrown from the castle after seriously injuring the ogre demon Gold Horns in one on one combat, punted down into the lake of a small village at the base of the mountain called Willow Shades. There, she was introduced to the Old Wicked Willow, a tree who helped to heal her wounds and offered troubling information on the task ahead…

>As Fixer and Triple M and Pain were conversing, Aether was standing back a bit taking notes on the situation

Fex lets out a chuckle, gaining back some of his backbone he lost. "S-see? They've fought demons before too! I should have figured."
Satar's eyes open wide, "They were DRAGONS too…?! Well, I… have to admit, that is very reassuring. Because we'll have that to worry about too." He sighs, "Sorry, lemme just start from the beginning, give you all the full picture. Then, I'll let you guys decide the best route to take."

"Last week I really did go up the mountain just like I said. There were a huge slew of goblins, ogres, and even trolls on the way up there but, I was either able to fight or slip past them no problem. No, the real problems started when I got close to the top. Dragon fire nearly turned me to melted scrap."
Fex mutters, "Pryftan and Trāgu…?"
"It was definitely Kachina's own personal dragon guards. They nearly tore me apart before I escaped into the rock to get away."
"By the Four…they haven't turned Doomed, have they?"
"They sure acted like it but, I don't know for sure. Was too busy getting away from them to get into the castle itself to find out. But point being if we do go up there, we'll have them to worry about too."



Satar wiggles in his ropes, "After that, I snuck into the castle itself, and saw the whole place was nice enough from the outside, but a total mess inside. Looked like one of the gnarliest fights ever tore the place apart. I stuck around a while, hiding in the stone, and I saw Princess Kachina in her cage, dangling from the ceiling in some kind of green orb. And, I also saw her captors." He turns to the ponies, "Two ogres, one silver and the other gold. Both as tall as me or Fex stacked on top of each other, and armed literally to the teeth. A brother and sister from the sounds of it. I spent a whole day in the stone of the castle spying on them, they were definitely the ones to take out Kachina. Learned a LOT about them, they're DEFINITELY Demons. Maybe only as fresh as a couple months, but every bit as powerful. We ain't had a Demon Tainted on Kachina in… I don't know how long. Only the Princess would probably remember if there were ever."

Old Wicked Willow puts on a stern glare, "Hrrrmph. I may be rooted to the ground, missy, but I was not always like this." she points at herself using one of her branches, "I'll have you know, I used to be a soldier, who fought in the name of Kachina across more than one lifetime. And in doing so, I came across a powerful relic, one that I used to overcome more than a few harsh trials like you face now. I have not had need to use of it in many, many years, and was going to tell you where you might find it."

"But first, you're going to take deep breaths. A few of them."


Aether puts a dot in her notepad to finish a thought, and suddenly she inquires, "Couple months? How are they formed, these demons? What are they?"


File: 1499826694822.webm (3 MB, 1280x720, when the autism hits.webm)

{Ogre Strength; […] Drawback: Fire Autocrits you.}
Pain Train listens confidently to the elemental's recount. However, when dragon fire is mentioned, his body shudders on it's own volition, a chill going down his spine.
>"What, something scared ya Pain?"
"No, atleast, I don't think so. Something about fire being mentioned is all."
>"You've worked with pyrotechnics before, you'll be fine."
"Don't say that word."
>"What, pyrotechnics?"
"Yeah, I dunno why but it's got me on edge."
>"Whatever, let's get back to the matter at hand."

>Market turns to the elementals. "Well that's why the Princess was captured, the answer was right there: Those demon guys roofied the dragon's food with that bad mojo soup we rescued those animals from earlier, and since the Princess trusted them, she never realized they had been turned. So all we gotta do is sneak into the castle, rescue the Princess, and beat up the baddies with the rescued Princess in tow. It's practically a tale from a storybook."

"Princess and the Elementals."
>"Eh, we could find a catchier title. Anyways, Could you two just tunnel your way up the mountain so we could avoid the dragons and such? That way we can deal with the demons and get the Princess, THEN deal with those turned dragons."


"You can't tell me what to do, you're not my mom!" she says angrily.

"And unless your 'relic' is going to magically make me able to save Kachina, I don't really care!"


>"Eh, we could find a catchier title. Anyways, Could you two just tunnel your way up the mountain so we could avoid the dragons and such? That way we can deal with the demons and get the Princess, THEN deal with those turned dragons."

"Huh. That's a novel idea. A good idea, if we can do it," she says in response.


Satar turns to you, "You don't know, miss…?" He says in slight confusion, taking a moment to consider how to explain.

"Well… you know about Tainted, right? How dark magic corrupts and transforms normal animals, plants, elementals, whatever into feral creatures, and then eventually into monsters? Well, most of the time when they finally succumb to the taint, they come out completely different than before. Sometimes mindless, sometimes with a totally different personality, almost always a new kind of creature." Satar's tone takes on a more serious, low note.

"Every so often, one of two things happen. First: the Tainted that comes out doesn't forget who it was. They had a strong enough will to hang on to part of what they were before. Their minds are warped, but not destroyed, and these kinds of Tainted usually end up smarter than the rest and lead them. Second: some Tainted develop this thing called Soul Hunger. They wind up with an insatiable desire to eat Souls from their victims, and the more the consume the stronger they get. These Tainted usually have the opposite problem of the first ones though: their hunger makes them stronger, but in the process they lose even more of themselves until they devolve into mindless ferocity."

"Demons… are what you get in those rare, dangerous moments where a Tainted who turns happens who have BOTH of these symptoms. A beast with a hunger for Souls that makes them more and more powerful with every bite they eat, and worse the intellect to actually put that strength to good use. And we have TWO of them up there."

"Bad mojo soup? You mean the stuff they put in those cauldrons we've seen Ogres and Goblins use to turn others into Tainted?" Fex asks.

Satar shakes his head, "They definitely did SOMETHING to Pryftan and Trāgu but, I'm not sure if they're Doomed… what you suggest would require more cunning than a Doomed is capable of, they're supposed to be mindless."
"What they DID do is irrelevant: the point is they must have had a hand in betraying the princess somehow." Fex replies.

As you make your suggestion, Fex and Satar turn to each other. Fex says "Dig up the mountain… it would take some time. Weeks for us to make a tunnel THAT long from here, the castle is 20 miles away at least, but, it is possible if we can get a bit closer, maybe a little up the mountain before the dragons see us we can dig our way in safely and quickly!"

"That's how I got in the first time," Satar answers, "I don't think I can handle both the dragons, so when I got close enough I tunneled away from them. That could work. But, while I've been in here, I've been thinking about another way that might stop the dragons as well, if you'll hear me out."

The Old Willow lets out a sigh, "No, I suppose I ain't, am I? Fine, fine, far be it from me to try and offer good advice." She purses her lips, "But, while I can't make THAT sort of promise, I can guarantee you won't regret having it. My relic used to save my life time and time again back when I was a warrior. It's a powerful little trinket that might do the same for you and, the next time you come across anything like those creatures, give you the edge you need to come out on top. And it's not that far from here. Now, are you ready to hear more?" She asks more calmly, trying to avoid raising her voice.


>"Well Satar? What of your plan?"


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missed my audio webm


>"…And we have TWO of them up there."

She quickly scribbles down this information, and once she finishes, she comments, "Well, that doesn't sound good."

>"…But, while I've been in here, I've been thinking about another way that might stop the dragons as well, if you'll hear me out."

>"Well Satar? What of your plan?"

"Don't delay any more. The sooner we save the princess, the better."


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Alexis keeps listening to her sales pitch, before picking up her backpack off the ground and slinging it over her shoulder.

"Fuck this, I'm out of here. Thanks for the healing."

She turns tail, vanishes and keeps walking.


"I was never sure I could even do it at first… with the princess gone I just about gave up everything without her to lead the fight. But, with you all here, it makes me think it has a shot."

"First, I'm pretty sure even if they're demons, they're still OGRE demons. That means they should have their weakness to fire. There is a tribe of Fire Elementals to the south west raging in the forest who might help us out in a big way. That, or there's Alma Town to the south where I'm sure we could find some Fire Elemental Souls for you ponies."

"Second, when I went into the castle after getting away from the dragons, I got caught by the two demons, but before they could kill me some old looking goblin convinced them to let me go. He looked like some sort of shaman, he was the one who made that deal for me to get them supplies in exchange for leaving Seele alone. I overheard him mentioning doing something to Kachina's guards personally that didn't sound like Tainting them… and I also over heard he usually doesn't stay up there at the castle, but at the first place Tainted ever came to be on Kachina, Ogre Island just off the coast. I was thinking, with all those Tainted up on the mountain and running all over the island, their home must not be that well defended. Maybe we can catch the Shaman alone, and force him to tell us how to fix whatever he did."

As you suddenly vanish from thin air, you see Old Willow look surprised, hurriedly asking where you went and if you could return before you head your way out of her branches, pass Sawyer and a number of other animals in the village, and push your way towards the way out of there. You see to the west, the imposing figure of the mountain holding Kachina's castle, and occasionally a wide shadow passes in and out of the clouds.

Just out of the village you find a crossroads in a clearing, one path leading to the southwest around the base of the mountain. Another headed south towards a large, flowing river (with signs of another village running along it), and the last path running towards the east in the direction of a far off coast you can spot through the jungle thicket, along with a dark, black island a bit off the coast. There is a sign that says 'Sal Village' pointed to the south, along with one underneath it that says 'Alma Town' in the same direction.


"I say we beat up the shaman, demon's won't suspect the dragons to turn on them till they're up in flames."
>"And gets rid of local Tainted while we're at it. I vote 2."


After jotting down a quick note about the "home island" of the Tainted, she adds, "Dealing with the problem at the source, effective. I think that'll be a good way to do it."


"Stupid talking tree." she says, straightening her now dry hair and tying it back again.

She looks up at the castle, letting out an annoyed exhale.

"I should be doing college algebra not walking around a stupid alien planet dealing with stupid talking…."

She keeps muttering to herself, before taking flight into the air.

>Next stop, Ogre Island


Satar nods his head, "I think that's for the best. Even with this many powerful allies, after Kachina's capture I think we should be careful."

Fex pounds his fists together, "Careful? That's how you think an Elemental is supposed to do it, Satar?"

"You and I have never fought Demons, Fex. But we've heard the stories. I say if any time is good to be cautious, it's now…" He raises in his cage, "Fex knows the way, and can point it out to you on a map. I'm going to need to eat some metal before I'm up to doing anything. Maybe Fex can get started on that tunnel past the Tainted on the mountain while you investigate that island and the shaman, but I'm here to help in any way you see fit, sirs and miss. In either case, I think the lady is right: it might be a good idea to get a move on."

>May opt to have Fixer drive you guys towards this location at your ready when you're done in the village. Of note to both Pain Train and Aether Bright, Alexis has not been seen floating around in some time.

You take off into the air and make for the pitch-black island off the coast, flying over miles of jungle on your approach. Below, you see a few wasted villages, the damage looking worse with each one closer to the coast, and upon arriving at the sandy beach you see the dark, imposing island. A scary face with horns seems to be made into the rock-face itself on the island, looking out at you from across the short channel of ocean separating you and it, and several signs of movement can be seen the closer you arrive.

The island on inspection is infested with goblins running about the outside, ogres fighting over large dead animals, and others training their goblin hordes in the art of war-fare and fighting. However, you notice, there seems to be a significantly less number of them present here than you saw on the mountain trail leading up to Kachina's castle.


File: 1499832330009.jpg (32.97 KB, 320x320, oni island.jpg)

>Ogre Island


>"Safar ain't wrong. If you all live as long as you say you do, you have all the time in the world to do things right. It's the people with short lives who have to do things fast and stupid."

[load up car with metal elementals, make transformers, hire michael bay, head towards island]


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keep forgetting my allotted webm


The ghost girl keeps flying over the island, still in a very sour mood over learning of the extreme odds facing her on the mountaintop. In her moody flying she eventually comes to the open sea, and continues on.

When she sees Ogre Island, she opts to continue towards it, before stepping down on the pitch black sands, her astral form failing to leave any footprints.

She walks out among the Ogres and Goblins, looking around the island invisibly.

>"What am I even doing here?" she wonders to herself.

>Still intangible/invisible.


"I'm, uh, not so keen on stupid, but yes, I think we should go as soon as possible. Which right now would be after Satar, ah, eats some metal."

She looks to Satar.

"How does that work?" she asks, before pestering him with a barrage of questions for the rest of the time. The air around her smells almost smokey from how much scratching her pen is making.

[going to island now now now]


>She looks to Satar…

[disregard this portion]


>"…Which right now would be after Satar, ah, eats some metal."

[disregard this portion as well]


File: 1499835654225.png (493.73 KB, 443x572, update8.png)

As you investigate the island shores, you hear many ogres and goblins conversing among themselves about crass things such as the latest capturees they had pulled in to be turned by 'the grand shaman', or speaking of the latest villages their comrades had plundered. You see there are indeed many, many Tainted around this island, but fairly spread out to the point you would never have to worry about fighting them all at once.

Heading up the coast, you find that, despite some rustic shacks outside of it, the majority of their homes are inside deep tunnels that lead into the ogre-faced rock-cliff itself, deeper than the hideout you ran across earlier today. Heading inside, it is a maze to navigate, and it is easy to get lost. You happen to run across a goblin, a bag along his back, walking around confused before he runs into a much larger ogre, who turns and growls at him.

The goblin with the bag states, "Aiee! Sorry, Sorry, Very sorry! But, I do not come to these caves often. I-I am told the shaman here is offering rewards for…" he leans into whisper something to the ogre you cannot hear, and the ogre growls.
>"Head down that way, take the next two lefts, then a right. You'll find him in his chambers."
The goblin hurriedly bows in thanks, and begins to trot towards that way.

Fex looks down, crossing his powerful arms. "I guess you have a point there. Hrrmm… well, there are a few preparations we could make. Wouldn't want to charge into a horde of Tainted and a pair of Demons with out all our stones in a line. I can work on getting things ready after the Shamans' been dealt with."

Satar coughs, "Right, I need something to eat after all this time punishing myself…" with a slight flex, Satar's arms sharpen into blades, but he quickly slumps back. "Too weak to even cut through these ropes… Fex, you can give me a hand here, right?"

Fex groans. "I'm half obliged to leave you starving for the shit you put me through… but I suppose that won't do the island any good. You're getting the cheap iron crap though, none of the copper."

At each other's haste, you both retreat back to Fixer's car parked outside of Seele, and with all due haste (and directions provided by a map from Fex detailing the location of Ogre Island off the coast of Kachina island, and over the course of around a 30-minute drive along the dirt roads of the Island you speed along under the twin moons and gas giant above in the sky. Several villages, caravans, and signs of destruction you pass by as you loop around the southern mountain base to make your way east, until after a bit you finally come upon the shores of the ocean, and the sight of the imposing pitch-black isle off the coast.

The island has an imposing face built into it, a grimace with two horns, and is across the water by a significant distance that makes swimming less viable, and Fixer's car is parked uselessly on the sands unable to traverse this last stretch separating you from your goal. However, fortuitously, you happen to see a row-boat beached in the sands near by, that appears to be mostly intact and a pair of rows still within it to you.
>marked by the red dot on the right side of the map is the cape you find yourself in


>"So uh, you guys that can make water appear, could we perhaps make this a magical motor boat instead of rowing?"
Pain goes to lift them out of the sand while Market talks


File: 1499836191868.webm (3.98 MB, 640x360, parappa.webm)


She gets out of the car and stares at the island.

"Well… that doesn't look friendly."

She then says, "Looks too far to just teleport to."

She notices the boat and says, "Oh, yeah, no problem. This should be easy enough."

Her horn lights up and lifts the boat and oars out of the sand and off of Pain's burden, puts the oars into the boat's oarlocks, and lightly places the package in the water. She walks over to the boat, and at the water's edge, she is reminded of something.

"Oh! I think I can, uh…"

She walks into the water, knees deep, then suddenly dunks her head in, looks around in the water, and whips her head out.

She spits a stream of water out, and exclaims, "Amazing! That should be very helpful."

>Glavo: none / Sildo: Lesser Canine / Ilo: Water



File: 1499837755905.jpg (13.5 KB, 480x360, hqdefault.jpg)

The ghost continues walking along the beach, backpack on her back, mind still distracted with worry and annoyance.

As she looks around the island she has a weak urge to continue looking around further in, having come here almost by accident.

An urge she eventually gives in to, entering the cave not through the entrance, but by phasing through the walls and advancing onwards. She floats slowly, cautiously, before something seems to almost jump out at her as she phases halfway through a wall. She recoils in horror at the sudden appearance of the goblin and Ogre.

The ghost girl elects to follow the goblin to the shaman.


>…Her horn lights up and lifts the boat and oars out of the sand and off of Pain's burden, puts the oars into the boat's oarlocks, and lightly places the package in the water. She walks over to the boat, and at the water's edge, she is reminded of something…

[inserting something]

…Her horn lights up and lifts the boat and oars out of the sand and off of Pain's burden, puts the oars into the boat's oarlocks, and lightly places the package in the water.

"This should do."

She walks over to the boat, and at the water's edge, she is reminded of something….


Pain goes and lifts the row-boat out of the sand, but feels it swiftly leave his grip as Aether's magic takes hold of the boat and lifts it up to be set down on the water, gently floating along in the shallows of the cape as the mare walks up to it.

However, as she is reminded of her Water Soul, the mare re-adjusts her Water Soul successfully to the Ilo slot, gaining the utility function of Lotus' gift and gaining aquatic swimming abilities.

>Utility: Can breath underwater and use sonar [while underwater light levels do not affect you and enemies cannot become hidden].

In the water, you begin to 'hear' something vibrating just off the shallows close by, underneath the waves, with your new senses.

After you run into the goblin and ogre conversing in the caves, the goblin grabs at his bag and hurries his way through the caves at a pace you manage to easily keep up with. He follows the directions provided to the letter, through which tunnels you see many homes/dwellings/armories etched into the sides of the tunnels, before he comes out to a large chamber of a slightly larger size than the earlier hideout.

Around the circumfrance of this chamber is a squad of over a dozen goblins standing at attention or sharpening their blades. Along with them are a pair of ogres, the smaller variety fortunately, and with chains around their necks attached hard to the wall, you see a Stone Elemental and a large bear growling and pulling at their metal leashes, crazed and barking at the goblins just out of reach.

In the center of this room is a cauldron, more than four times the size of the small one you saw earlier, boiling despite no heat and turning the entire chamber green. Standing on top of its edge on the side of the pot, a long wooden pole moving in stirring, you see yet another goblin, though this one clearly far older than the others, with long, thick white side-burns and a thick mane of white hair ground around a bald crown, and a ceremonial garb filled with teeth and hides. The goblin you followed down here takes a gulp, and slowly approached the cauldron while the shaman gives no notice.


Her gleeful face disappears when she says, "Wait a second."

She sticks her head in the water again and looks around.

Underwater, she asks herself, "What that?" and tries to get closer to the source of the vibration, whether by walking or swimming, her curiosity getting the better of her.


File: 1499839706356.webm (1.05 MB, 601x396, goldolascape.webm)

"Should we wait to start going?"


Unfortunately, Pain's words don't appear to reach Aether's ears. She continues to meander in the water with her head underwater, determined to find out what she's sensing.


Alexis walks with the goblin, carrying her bag as she steps unseen through the Tainted's rotten fortress. She looks around nervously at their great numbers, like at any moment she would be rendered visible and torn asunder.

When she sees the numerous monsters in the cauldron's room, and the dark wretched shaman himself, she reacts much as the goblin does, with barely hidden fear. Her boots click on the stone floor, audible only in the astral realm as she slowly approaches the shaman with him.


Aether decides to stick her head further into the water to get a better sense of what her newfound sonar abilities are showing her from beneath the waves. And as she does so, her vision completely clear underneath the water as she swims, she finds what it is: a large-sized Shark, eyes glowing green with the sign of Taint taking hold, is steadily swimming towards the mare in the water. As she ducks her head down to see up close, the Doomed shark begins to surge forward, maws opening wide to clamp down on the mare with its upper and lower jaws through the water

[1d10+1]/[1d10+1] Biting
>From above the sea-level, Pain and Triple M and see a ripple forming from underneath the waves racing towards Aether but no sign of what it is yet

"Ahem…? Your shaman-ship, Master Grak?" the goblin asks gently as the shaman stirs his cauldron, only briefly grabbing the Shaman's attention before the Doomed bear chained to the cave roars at it, causing the goblin to fall back in fear before the Shaman gives him his full attention.

"Hmm?" The shaman says, not stopping with his stirring. "Speak up, I don't have all day." He speaks with a more eloquent tongue than most of his kind do, and the goblin you followed adjusts himself.

"Ah… uh, hello! It is an honor to meet you at last, sir. I hail from the caves on the main island. Sort of on my own from the rest of the horde, you see-"
"Get on with it." The shaman snaps.
"Right. I uh, heard from my brethren spreading rumors that you were offering rewards for Souls and artifacts?"
This seems to draw the Shaman's attention, and he smiles a sickly grin. "Indeed I am. You have tribute?"
"Yes sir!" The goblin smiles, grabbing at his back and jostling it, lots of clanking coming from within. "Lots of treasures pilfered from villages closest to the castle! Now, what kind of rewards we talking?"
"That depends on what you have to offer."

Roll #1 9 + 1 = 10 / Roll #2 4 + 1 = 5


"Ah! Nope! Nope!" she yells underwater once she discovers what she's been looking for. She whips her head out of the water again, this time not so gracefully, and with a yelp she scrambles on her hooves to try to make like a tree and not get bitten by the shark.

[1d10] Dodgey dodge hold the podge

Roll #1 10 = 10


File: 1499841967210.webm (2.22 MB, 406x720, giraffic park.webm)

"What's up Aether? Fish?"


With eyes wide open and adrenaline pumping, she shouts, "Shark! Shark!"


Alexis appears and takes the bag.

>Equipping Souls

>Glavo: Goblin
>Sildo: Feline
>Ilo: Goblin

[1d10] DC 4

Roll #1 6 = 6


"Cast the Nets, Market, I'm going fishing!"
>Squared Circle: Market makes sure the opponent knows where the fight is, and when it's going down. Enemies can't flee from a set area and only one opponent maximum can attack Pain Train per round.

Pain dives into the water, heading for the nearest shark to punch square in the nose, breaking the cartilage.
>"It's Summer Slammer all over again!"

Roll #1 6 + 2 = 8


As the Shark lashes out at you from the water, you swiftly bring yourself up above out of it and practically run along the water to avoid its gaping maw. Amazingly, you succeed, and the teeth chomp down on nothing but empty air as they miss you entirely

Seeing the huge shark miss Aether with its gaping jaws, you race into the water and with your powerful hoof bash it square in the nose, causing it to reel back in pain and try to swim away for a moment to distance itself for another charge
>All moves crit on 8+ for the round

The shark pulls back and tries for another bite this time on Pain as it leaps out of the water to bite at his upper-body

As the Goblin grabs at his bag, he smiles widely, "Well then prepare to be amazed, Master Grak! I assure you, what I have to offer you are rare, one of a kind Souls and items the likes of which Kachina only sees once in a hundred lifetimes. Many goods from beyond our shores and-"

As you appear from nowhere, The Goblin keeps his grin as he feels his bag taken right from his arms, only able to turn and look at you with that same stupid grin on his face as his fortune leaves him in an instant. Meanwhile, the Shaman takes note of your appearance, and retracts his long wooden pole from the goop to swing at you
>Earthen Strike

Roll #1 4 + 1 = 5 / Roll #2 10 + 1 = 11 / Roll #3 10 + 1 = 11


File: 1499843824088.jpg (901.82 KB, 896x504, Shamansfacewhen.jpg)

The ghost girl is slammed hard in the side, rolling across the floor, holding the bag tightly before vanishing again mid-roll.

She sits on the ground holding the stolen treasure between her legs as the goblins are left once again by themselves.


Now on shore, she tries to catch her breath. She looks back and sees Pain Train getting physical with the shark.

"Agh! What are you doing?" she shouts at him.

Whatever he's doing, he's gonna need some protection. Her horn glows as she points it at him, and she sends his way a spell that should keep him from getting his head bitten off.

[1d10+2] Inure from piercing damage

Roll #1 9 + 2 = 11


"Oh no you don't!"
Pain catches the shark midair, bending it's flexible vertebrate over his back.

>Fists of Fury: Great Weapon

[1d10] Crit on 7

Roll #1 8 = 8


File: 1499844025613.jpg (47.46 KB, 900x506, bock_shark_promo_USE.jpg)


The wooden pole slams into you with impressive force, sending you sliding across the floor with an eerie green glow but you successfully manage to escape from the Shaman as you phase back into the astral with your goods
>0/4, may get up automatically

As you vanish, the smiling goblin turns and looks around, before his smile slowly fades away in realization. "Ah… ah… aaaaaaaaaaaaaagh! WHat the… what?! I… my stuff! What?!"

The Shaman's eyes open wide and he turns around, "That couldn't have been… it's just not possible. Damn it all, where did it go?!" He growls and looks around, then shouts to the goblins in the room. "ALL OF YOU! Fan out, tell the guards to look for an intruder!" He turns around, looking in every direction as he sniffs the air. "Did you turn invisible… no, I smell nothing…" he turns to the goblin, growling. "You couldn't have held on to your bag?! Idiot!"

"W-wait! I-I kept the REALLY good shit on me personally!" He reaches into his vest, panicking as he pulls out a button used for a shirt. "Oooooh, see this? This is rare. This is a magical button that… magically makes anything you sew it on too look to be in perfect style! A-and makes you live forever!"

The Shaman glares, clearly not amused.

The shark opens its maw wide, and is about to slam down shut on top of Pain Train before a magical barrier from Aether surrounds the donkey, the Shark's teeth slamming down on only impenetrable barrier that cracks its teeth slightly when it tries to bite through.

Pain successfully catches the creature in-mid air as it leaps for him, and brings it down to crack its vertebrate in two over his back. Pain hears a satisfying *CRACK* from the Shark's spine as it seizes up, wallowing in pain before it tries thrashing about to pull free of your grip
[1d10] Get up from helpless

Roll #1 5 = 5


"My patience is running fin, shark. Time to end this!"

Pain says, cracking the shark over a bent knee
[1d10] crit DC9

Roll #1 3 = 3


She watches the fight unfold and cringes when she hears a crack from the shark.

"Eiee, that's a sound I don't like to hear…"


Alexis sits on the ground with her stolen bag, backing up closer to the wall out of the way with it, breathing heavily from the excitement.

She keeps listening to the shaman as he goes on, but turns towards her bag, digging through it.

>"Lets see, marbles, garbage….Souls!" she says, picking them out and setting them on top of her backpack. She pulls out a green necklace on a golden chain, dangling it.

>"Whats this?" she thinks to herself.


File: 1499847330993.jpg (506.88 KB, 970x970, verdantcharm.jpg)

The Shark gives yet another satisfying crack as you bend it over your knee, but despite the intense pain it must be feeling it continues to put up a fight and thrashes to pull itself free and get back into the water. As it does so, you hear a few things pinging off the sides of its innards.

You put the Souls down on top of your backpack, and as you touch them you recognize the light sage, white, and orange-red colored orbs are

>Fire Elemental:

>-Offense: Can apply Fire to your Attacks
>-Defense: Fire Shield; passive: Fire damage is halved.
>-Utility: Flame Shield: passive; you are immune to natural fires [this extends to lava]. This does not >shield against Fire damage caused by an attack.


>-Offense: Distraction; recharge 1: Enemy's actions next turn suffer -2.
>-Defense: Prince with a Thousand Enemies; passive: If an enemy critfails an attack roll against you, you >may immediately become Stealthed.
>-Utility: Rabbit Form; passive: You take the form of a Rabbit, your equipment either vanishing or >shifting to match your new form. Gain Adorable.


>-Offense: Entangle; recharge 2: Target enemy cannot act next turn. This attack does not deal damage.
>-Defense: An attack used on you has its recharge increased by 1 [assuming the recharge was at least 1 >already]
>-Utility: Miracle Grow

However, as you hold up the green-necklace on the chain to inspect it more closely, you hear the shouting from the Goblin peddler increase. "A-and this handkerchief! Woven by the finest Spiders from the lands of shadow, it's imbue-acacckh acaaakh!" The Goblin starts to choke as the Goblin points his staff at his throat, pressing up into it and pushing down to the floor as the pole threatens to cut off his circulation.

"Anything you had to offer me is clearly been pilfered. I have no use for a meager Soul as yours, but if you do not vacate yourself from my chambers, and my island, in the next minute I will gladly take it. Every bit helps." He says as he removes his pole from the peddler's throat, and the goblin swifty runs away from the chamber for his life, as the Shaman looks around sniffing the air. "Grrrrm… only saw it for a moment, but I'm sure what I saw." He turns to walk out of this chamber, headed for the halls.

Roll #1 6 = 6


Alexis races to her hooves as she sees the Shaman move to leave, dropping the jewel over her neck and absorbing the souls before tossing her backpack over one shoulder and moving to follow the Shaman out.

She moves a little too close to him and the Ogre for comfort and backs away, before following him on foot at a slight distance.


"Hmm, maybe I'm going about this the wrong way. Time to show this son of a beach some sand!"

Pain takes the shark on one shoulder and starts wading back to the surface, intent on killing the shark via lack of oxygenated water.

[1d10+2]Carry Fish(er)

"Really, I'm doing you a favor. You'll feel an extreme urge to take a breath you can't take, but atleast it's not me breaking you until you die from internal bleeding. Lesser of two evils."

Roll #1 1 + 2 = 3


By this time Aether's parasympathetic nervous system has kicked in, and she's now a mostly calm bystander to the ordeal taking place.

"Uhh…" she utters, head tilted to the side, as she watches the donkey try to lift the shark out of the water.


Aether then decides to "help out" and simply lift the shark out the the water and out of Pain Train's hooves, her expression halfway between disgusted and bewildered.

[1d10+3] Telekenesis

Roll #1 6 + 3 = 9


You hoist the Shark over one shoulder and start to drag it back onto the shore, but in a last ditch effort it summons the will to fight back as its tail-fin slips and slaps you right into the side of the muzzle with great force, sending you down to your side

As it makes its way back to open water, You successfully manage to grab hold of it before it manages to escape your grasp, and assist Pain Train in dragging it back up the rest of the way onto the sandy shore where it lays still, trying to wiggle its way back to the ocean before, between the lack of oxygen and its broken bones, it eventually lays still, and a small wisp of gray-white smoke pours out of its mouth and coalesces into a Soul. After wards, a slide churning occurs in its gut, and you see two more Souls of the same color fall out of its jaws and land into the sand, making 3 total


>-Offense: Splash: Spell; deals standard damage to single target. On a crit instead casts Tsunami, rendering all enemies Helpless.
>-Defense: Summon School; recharge 2: Summon a school of fish to distract your foe, giving him -2 rolls to attack you.
>-Utility: Fish Form; passive: You take the form of a Fish, your equipment either vanishing or shifting to match your new form. You can breath underwater and talk to nonsentient fish.

You place the necklace around your neck and follow the Shaman, and a single Ogre accompanying him, out of the cauldron chamber as he winds his way through a tunnel, grumbling to himself all the while in contemplation. Eventually, he comes across a small cave that he turns into. Within it appears to be some kind of personal study / lab, with a large alchemy set on one side of the room, a miniature cauldron on the far-side, and a writing desk at the other.

There, he sits down at a desk, and puts down his wooden staff. He grabs at a quill in his hands, and begins to stick it into a ink-vial and write something on the pages. The ogre stands at attention just outside his door as a guard as he continues to write out a letter. "The cat had better have an explanation for this…" he mumbles.


Her expression becomes more disgusted than bewildered as she stares at the dying shark. Once the threat is neutralized, she says, "Ah, well, that was unpleasant."

She inches over to the dead shark, eyeing its souls. With more caution that necessary, she slowly reaches for one and quickly retracts her hoof once she absorbs it.

She then looks to Pain Train to say, "Come on, let's get a move on. Sooner the better," and she proceeds to hop in the boat.


File: 1499850711019.jpg (49.63 KB, 564x564, 892d2bb581fdae1215b0444a56….jpg)

Alexis follows the goblin into his study, taking a seat on the other side of his desk. She sets her bag on one side of her chair, and takes the time to hide her new necklace under her white T-shirt.

>"I still have no idea what I'm doing. This is so stupid." she thinks to herself, before appearing out of thin air and quickly beginning to speak before the Goblin can panic.

"Uh. Hi. Sorry about stealing your Souls. Probably not the best first impression. My name's Alexis. I'm a ghost. I mean, you can probably see that. I'm kind of see-through. And you're not an idiot, I mean how could you be given you know magic. I'm getting mixed up, this was such a stupid idea."

"Please don't kill me. I only turned visible to talk."


File: 1499850877143.webm (372.59 KB, 480x480, internal external.webm)


Pain wipes the sand from his shorts, standing up as the shark is lifted off of him.

"Thanks Aether, now I've only got to deal with sea salt getting over everything."

One of the souls flies into Pain as he absorbs it.
>Offense: Splash: Spell; deals standard damage to single target. On a crit instead casts Tsunami, rendering all enemies Helpless.
Pain groans, grabbing his neck in pain (hah). He checks himself over, but sees no changes,
"Huh, no physical change with this one."
He checks his teeth and turns to Aether, rubbing the back of his neck as he accidently reveals a set of gills, albeit unbeknownst to him.

"Alrighty, can you magic the boat forward? Don't really feel like rowing after that."


In response to Pain's gratitude, she says "You're welcome."

The oars of the boat suddenly come to life as Aether works her magic once again.

"No problem at all."


As you suddenly appear from thin-air, the Shaman cannot help but be caught off guard. "ACH!" He shouts as he suddenly flies backwards in his chair, ending up on his back, "What on Tetra?!" He turns and looks at you, peering in disbelief as he slowly rises up.

The Ogre guard is less amused, and he reaches for his sabre to rise up high above his head, "Pony scum! Here on Ogre Island!?"

"Hold your blade! That's an order…" the Shaman demands, and the ogre quickly complies, visibly sweating as he backs off from you and the Shaman pulls himself up to his chair. "…you're awfully polite for a thief. But, I suppose I can accept the apology…" He leans forward, "I can well see you are a ghost. But I have seen ghosts before. I notice you are also a pony. That draws more of my attention…." He rubs his chin, "…Alexis, was it? Haven't heard of that one before. I am Master Grak, High Shaman of the Tainted on this island. Indulge my curiosity: what exactly are you doing here?"

Aether takes in the Soul from the Doomed Shark, successfully adding to her reservoir. When you put your hoof close to the Shark's mouth, you swear you see it close a little bit, but surely that is impossible given it has coughed up its Soul…

After rubbing out the pains of combat from the tail whip-lash, Pain also takes in his Soul from the Shark's corpse, changing his appearance subtly as Aether successfully animates the rowing oars of the boat with her magic as you both move into the boat. Aether's Sonar from her Water Ilo picks up no more movement from just off the shore of the cape, and with the magic moving at full speed, you two begin to motor on towards the black island ahead…
>Exact detail of propulsion to be determined start of next game



File: 1499852675636.webm (2.25 MB, 720x1280, jewbird.webm)


File: 1502170915797.webm (3.99 MB, 360x199, Adventure Call.webm)



Roll #1 1 + 2 = 3


>>30683269 (Fixer)
Satar closes his eyes, a happy appearance on his face as he responds, "I appreciate that, but don't worry about me. If the Princess and the Island are saved I would gladly put down my life, so just focus on yourselves."

As Fixer points out the hall, Satar and Fex both sigh, "Aye," Fex says, "What a mess…. this place used to be the envy of all the villages, now it's a damned wreck."

>>30683257 (Aether)

>>30683269 (Fixer)
>>30683363 (Aether)
Satar nods, looking warily at the demon pair, "Do you have any Anima that'd let you make spikes? Or something to help you dig and make holes for them to fall into? Then we could catch them by surpr-"

>>30683360 (Aether)

>>30683363 (Fixer)
As Pain Train goes strolling out, Satar's eyes open wide, looking between him and you two. "He… I guess he thinks he has this…?"

>>30683350 (Pain Train)

As Pain Train goes strolling out into the carpet, and MMM begins blaring into the microphone, the two ogres are immediately alerted, standing up and grabbing at their weapons. "What's that?!" Gold Horns shouts in a deep voice, looking around until he notices Pain Train coming up.

The two Demons are silent as MMM gives his introduction, staring questioningly at the Donkey and unicorn, but the silver one sparks a grin as he finishes. "Is… he challenging us to a FIGHT, brother?" Silver asks.
"I think he is. That's pretty damn stupid of him, ain't it sister?"
"Hehehehehe. Well, I'll be damned though. It's ANOTHER ugly pony! Two of them! Where in the Taint are they crawling out from…" Silver asks, glaring between the two. "Hrmm… neither of them are that bitch from this morning…"

>>30683364 (Alexis)

As Alexis strolls out, Gold Horns' eyes open wide, gripping on his claymore as he takes a step forwards. "THERE SHE IS! I told you Silver!" He points at you, "I knew you'd come back here! Hey!" He throws up his newly regrown arm, patting it, "I owe you for THIS! We're gonna see how you like getting your limbs chopped of, ghosty!"
Silver Horns growls, reaching forward to catch her brother by the shoulder. "So it is… looks like we finally have another real fight on our hands. Wanna tear her apart limb from limb first and see if Souls come out?"
Gold Horns bares his teeth, eyes bearing on Alexis. "You know it."
"Then let's go!"

The two twelve-foot tall demons start stomping their feet on the ground, the hall starting to shake lightly from their tremendous stomps. Gold Horns crosses his arms, kneeling down, "Who will impale you upon his mighty sword…" he throws his arms up, "GOLD HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORNS!"

Silver like-wise crosses her arms, "Who will make you go splat on her unyielding shield….." she throws hers up, "SILVER HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORNS!"

"We'll grind you up and spit you out! Ponies!!!" They both shout in unison before leaping from the throne, Silver closely sticking to Gold Horns as the golden foe swings his sword down at Alexis, and Silver slams her mace down on top of Pain
>Silver: [1d10+1] Suppress
>Gold: [1d10+2] Suppress

You fire off a sphere of magic to protect Pain Train from harm, but as you do so the Demons, in the middle of their charge, kick few pieces of broken marble out of the way right towards you, breaking over the pillar you hide behind and hitting you in the head and sending you to the ground mid-spell. The spell fails to cast

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


Just testing

Roll #1 7 = 7 / Roll #2 7 = 7 / Roll #3 6 = 6 / Roll #4 6 = 6 / Roll #5 10 = 10


Name fix


>"This is it." Alexis thinks flinching, before rolling out the way of Gold's sword. She takes a few steps forward and cuts at his knee with her katana.


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


"ooAAH!" is all Aether's able to say before being struck right in the head by a piece of marble. It knocks her over onto her back, and it looks like some stars and birds circle above her head as she groans, less of a disapproving groan and more of a pain stricken one.

She shakes her head and tries to get back up.



Roll #1 10 = 10


"Well, I'll be staying here," he says, "For now at least."

Homing Magic

Roll #1 8 = 8


File: 1502172593031.webm (2.84 MB, 900x506, asscat.webm)

Pain runs towards the demons intent on meeting them half way. "And who's going to stop you? Pain Train!"

Pain slides underneath Silver, slamming hooves into her feet as he goes by.

>Disgruntled: Silver

Shatter (breaking bones) [1d10+1] DC-1 (single), +2 Damage (ogre knight)

Roll #1 1 + 1 = 2


You successfully manage to pull yourself up from the ground, shaking the stars and birds from your vision as Satar tries to help steady you from behind the pillar (5/4). "Oooof! Are you alright?"

You successfully summon 3 floating spheres of magic over-head ready to be cast

Your sword cuts cleanly at Gold's knee, but Silver's shield swiftly comes down to protect her brother from the attack. "Nuh uh! Not that easy this time…" she shouts as she kneels down to parry the blow

>Silver: Vanguard, the two critfails of the Siblings are negated

>Silver: Protect on Gold
Your sword slides up along the shield towards Silver's arm, the ogre barely moving out of the way as you slice some of her shoulder off, causing her to roar in pain
>Sildo: Fire damage is halved
>Silver: 8/6

Gold, safe from your attack to he knee, swings down his sword at you to cut deeply along your side, "I underestimated you before! Not again!"
>Alexis: 2/6

Gold Horns, meanwhile, picks up his large sword, and swings it around violently to mark both Alexis and Pain Train with one large swing
[1d10+1] Cleave 2, Alexis + Pain Train

You slide underneath Silver amid their charge, but as you attempt to slam your hooves into her feet she nimbly jumps up in the nick of time, swinging her mace down on you at an angle to send you sliding away from her, "HAH! Oldest trick in the book, puny!" The mace hits hard and fast, hearing a crack already
>Pain Train: 0/4

Roll #1 8 + 1 = 9


>Protect is Automatic INSTANT
After she slams her mace into Pain Train, her mace begins to vibrate and shake violently, but she keeps a steady grip on it.
[1d10+2] Retaliate

Roll #1 5 + 2 = 7


>"Oooof! Are you alright?"

"Woo… not as alright as I wish I was at the moment, but I'll, uh, manage," she says. She blinks and her eyes spin derpily for a moment before she blinks again, now ready to cast another spell.

She spies the swinging (and intimidating) sword and gives an "Eek!" She then casts a spell again on Pain Train.

[1d10+2] Inure to metal I guess lol rip

Roll #1 8 + 2 = 10


File: 1502173848850.webm (1.52 MB, 900x720, batjoke.webm)

Pain falls flat. However, as sword starts swinging, Pain grabs onto it, using it's momentum to cannonball into Silver.

Tumble [1d10+1] DC-1 Damage+2

Roll #1 1 + 1 = 2


Fixer fires his magic orbs at Silver.

Roll #1 10 = 10 / Roll #2 3 = 3 / Roll #3 6 = 6


File: 1502174029242.png (998.58 KB, 1600x1200, hadou_no_33__sokatsui_by_k….png)

Alexis is hit hard by the sword in her side, sending her flying into one of the remaining pillars as it cuts a wide gash into her side. She reaches down to feel it with her hoof, finding a gaping slide through her right side almost to her navel, which the robe covers.

>"I don't know what this stuff is, but I'm so glad its hard to break." she thinks to herself, before trying Plan B.

"Glavo: Sokatsui!"


Roll #1 8 = 8 / Roll #2 4 = 4


Satar nods his head as you manage to stand, keeping his eye out over the pillar investigating the battle, "Alright. Looks like it's pretty even out there so far…"

You fire a spell on Pain Train, and the sphere this time forms successfully around his body.
>Inured from Slashing for 5 turns

The sword comes down on top of you, but Aether's barrier protects you from harm as it fails to pass through the shield. You grab it successfully, but the barrier forces you to let go early and you miss your mark on Silver, rolling closer to her but not hitting her
>0/4 still

Silver notices the barrier protecting you, "Huh… what's that?"


You fire out the orbs from behind cover at Silver, she's caught off guard as she stares at Pain, the orbs all impacting on her with explosive force as she cries out in pain
>Silver: 2/6

She turns towards the pillars as the spheres impact her, knocking one back to explode nearby
>Fixer: 2/5
"More of them!? You have GOT to be kidding me!"

You fire off a fire-burst, and Silver jumps to intercept it with her shield, the flames bursting and covering her shield-arm in flames, scorching her, "GAAAAH!"
>Silver: 2/5
>Alexis: 0/4

As you burst her with fire, Gold swings up his sword after his attack failed on Pain, running towards you, "You can shoot fire now?! Didn't have that little trick earlier..!"
Silver catches his attention, "Brother! We got two more over here!"
"I'll take care of THEM soon as I get pay-back for my damned arm!" He shouts as pulls back his sword his sword, and brings it down for another swing
>All or Nothing
Silver curses, instead racing over to swing her mace down on top of the newly discovered Fixer Heater, "Fine! More for me then!"

>Previous results: [3+2=5] for Gold, [10+1=11] for Silver


[1d10] Huge for next time

Roll #1 6 = 6


File: 1510544593562.jpg (78.08 KB, 862x502, forestclearingforweb_small.jpg)

It is in the dead of night, the bluish-purplish glow of the gas planet above shining down on the red-tinted Rosemary Woods. It has been a few hours since the party had gone to sleep, accepting the accommodations provided by the Lorde overseeing and running the Tournament. Many other Numeri have taken him up on his offer and have gone to sleep in his estate, though those who need not for sleep can still be heard going about their business in the main hall.

Alexis, among those who do not sleep, has decided to take herself away from the Villa and into the dark of the woods in order to train her Anima in private so she betters her odds of winning the Lorde's wish.

Alexis finds herself in a clearing, a large hole in the canopy of the trees letting the 'moon'light shine down onto it. There are many flowers scattered about the grass, and a few fallen trees gathered off to one side. A small stream passes over to the side, the occasional sounds of frogs croaking the only sounds she can hear in her secluded training circle.


The ghost girl stands in the clearing in the black robe granted to her by her Sildoastra, clutching her sword in her right hoof. It has been just over two hours now, and debris and shattered wood surrounds her as she tries to get her accuracy down for these strange pseudo-magical abilities. She presses her hooves together, extending a long iron-looking quarterstaff between them.

"Glavo: Hyapporankan!" she shouts, throwing it at an undestroyed section of trees. Mid-flight, it transforms into numerous such iron bars.


Roll #1 1 + 2 = 3


You toss the single quarterstaff towards the trees, but as they split off, your aim proves to need more work as the split-bars veer off into various directions, impacting into the floor and into the brook, causing a large series of splashes, but only one or two among them manage to hit any trees. Minimal damage is done around you.

The frogs have stopped croaking, evidently scared off by this latest display. You feel a small tremor in the earth replacing their chorus, a small but noticeable rumble.


"Ugh! Come on!" she throws down her sword, which lands in the dirt blade-first, standing up on its own.

"Hooves together, like you're praying." she says outloud to herself, making the motion.

"Glavo" she says, pausing, pulling her right arm back like its holding a javelin.

"Hy-app-o Ran-Kan" she says pronouncing every syllable one by one. She moves her arm like its throwing the imaginary 'javelin' she's holding.

>"All together." she thinks to herself.

"Glavo: Hyapporankan!"


Roll #1 5 + 2 = 7


File: 1510546452365.jpg (1.53 MB, 2480x3507, Giant.Soldier.Of.Stone.ful….jpg)

On the second attempt, you toss out the iron javelin, and this time when it splits off, the flying spears hit far more of their marks. Several trees explode into shrapnel of pine and splinters as many of your poles hit them dead on, and leave another good section of the clearing devoid of standing trees.

As you practice, the rumble you felt before intensifies, and begins growing in frequency. You see the stream you practice besides splash and ripple as the tremors, now sounding like giant hoof-steps as they make their way into your clearing.

Just barely standing beneath the top of the trees is the shadow of a giant monolith. It is hard to make out its features cleanly in the dark, particularly any on his face but it does not take much to recognize the giant stone elemental you noticed at the entrance to the Lorde's estate. "You're making quite a racket you know… some competitors are trying to sleep." He shouts in a low, gravelly voice as he stands at the edge of the clearing, making his presence known but no longer coming in.


The ghost looks on with approval at another successful hit, slowly but surely getting a handle on these stupid things. She freezes as the enormous creature stomps its way towards the clearing, looking up at his silhouette in the low-light.

"Uh. Sorry?" she says, still frozen where she stood at his sudden appearance.


The enormous stone elemental lets out a grunt, shaking his head. "Forget it. Just wanted to come over and see what was making all the noise." He looks over at the recent mess of destroyed trees, stepping through the clearing closer to you to get a better look. As he steps out into the moonlight, you see his face is covered by a stone plate that hides everything but the top ridge of his nose and his eyes, which seem to be made of blue gems. "You did that?" He says, pointing a somewhat stubby stone finger towards the collapsed trees.


She remains still, only speaking when he addresses her directly.

"Will you step on me if I say yes?" she says timidly.


File: 1510547668403.png (2.33 MB, 1482x1355, Stone Elemental Comparison….png)

>Posted for scale.


He turns towards you as you ask that, gem-eyes beaming in the reflection. "What? No, why would I…" he pauses part way, grumbling underneath. "Forget it. The answer is obvious, anyways." He says reaching for one of the fallen trees, picking up the broken off body in the palm. "Answer me this instead: what are you doing out here blasting trees to bits this late at night?"


"I'm practicing Anima." she says, taking a step backwards, floating into the air a little [but still nowhere near his eye level].

"Why are you in the estate with the others?"




"Too big for any of the Lordes' chambers. He offered his grand hall but I prefer to be out here. It's secluded, it's quiet… WAS quiet."

He tosses the tree off to the side, "You're practicing your Anima? I see…" he looks down at you. "Then, was it true? What the red pony was saying? Only one of you ponies are a fighter?"


She looks nervous as he tells her it 'was' quiet.

"No, its not true. None of us are fighters. I mean, I guess I am now. I didn't join the Tournament to be a spectator."


He takes another look towards the array of destroyed foliage. "So I see. No one who isn't a fighter could do this." He pauses, taking one more look back at you, then to the trees, before turning around to turn his whole body towards you.

"Well then. How about you try something a little hardier than twigs and leaves. I'd like to see just how true or false that statement is."


She floats backwards, looking shocked.

"What!? I can't fight you you're enormous! It wouldn't even be a fight it'd just be you stepping on me!"


The stone elemental looks at you with his piercing gaze. "Ooooh? I take that to mean you've never fought an opponent as large as me?"

He leans over you, pointing a finger, "And what difference does that make? What do you intend to do if you were to come across me in the finals? Surrender?"


"No, but-"


"Then what should it matter if I'm bigger than you if you'll eventually need to fight me, or someone who's defeated me, anyway? I'm not going to shrink any time before the competition starts, pony." He says, his voice getting a little sharper.

"If you don't have the courage to face me now, you might as well drop any hope for the tournament. Because there are fighters here who aren't afraid to take me for my size."


Alexis pauses, staring up at the living mountain before her.

>"This is ridiculous! I can't fight this thing." she thinks to herself.

>"But….that's what I thought about those Demons too…"
>"I had HELP then." she thinks, continuing her inner monologue.
>"The options are fight, or stay dead. The rules say you have to accept a challenge."

She breathes heavily as she takes a step closer to the behemoth, and draws her sword up out of the ground.

"I ante the Verdant Charm, my Astra." she says sounding like she's on the verge of an anxiety attack by the way of how she's breathing.


As you draw up your sword and ante up your Soul, you see the stone soldier hold up his palm, open, as a (comparatively) tiny sphere appears in its center.

"That's more like it. I ante up my Warblade Class Soul in turn." The sphere disappears back into his palm, and he reaches up for his back, picking out two short swords made entirely from stone out of their sheathes, brandishing them against you. "Brace yourself-!"

He swings up his swords into the air, swinging them down with a crash
>Earthen Strike
[1d10+1] Crits on 8+
>Living Steel: passive; Lowers critfail range by 2 for all skills and attacks with a minimum of 1.

Roll #1 6 + 1 = 7 / Roll #2 1 = 1


File: 1510551685527.jpg (25.02 KB, 631x474, Meta_Knight_Sword_Beam.jpg)

>"Oh. My-" Alexis eyes go wide as the swords come crashing down, missing her by far. Nonetheless the sheer shockwave knocks her backwards, stumbling to regain her footing as she slides to a stop on her heels.

>"WhatdoIdoWhatdoIdoWhatdoIdoWhatdoIdoWhatdoIdo" she thinks to herself as she see him towering over her.

"Glavo: Haien!" she says, swinging her sword with a backhand, causing a purple beam-slash to fly up and collide with the Giant's chest.

>Like this but smaller and purple
>Dual Ethereal

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


You avoid twins swords bearing down on you, leaving a large impact crater where they crashed initially, but are hit by the shockwave they create. You swing you sword and a beam-slash goes barreling for the stone elementals chest. However, with surprising quickness, he brings his swords up to an X to criss cross his chest, blocking the slash in time. "Not enough-!" He says as he swings the sword against you in a counterattack, hitting you with the flat of his blade and sending you flying back (0/5)

He comes barreling at you, looking to body slam you with his sheer size on his next attack.
Roll #1 7 = 7 Great weapon, crits on 9+


Alexis doesn't even have time to react as she's sent flying through a nearby tree, skidding backwards over the dirt as she rolls.

Her eyes go wide as she sees the enormous creature barreling towards her.

[1d10] Huge
>Posting again please wait

Roll #1 3 = 3


The ghost girl pushes herself up out of the dirt and off her stomach as he barrels at her.

>"Crapcrapcrapcrapcrapcrap-" she thinks to herself, eyes scanning her environment.

She swings her sword at the nearest tree, the thin black plan falling over the giant's path, hopefully tripping him.

>Road of the Spirited

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


You slice at the tree, cutting it down and blocking the giants' path, but it is ultimately to no avail: he careens right through it like a freight train, smashing it to splinters on his way to you. It is only with brief moments to spare you can get out of the way of being ran over by him, though the shockwaves and gravel he kicks up still collides with you and doing damage as he screeches to a stop in the woods.

He swings up his swords again, preparing to bring them down on top of you again like before, "Haaah!" He shouts as they crash down.
[1d10+1] Earthen Strike, Crits on 8+
[1d10] Fortify

Roll #1 10 + 1 = 11 / Roll #2 5 = 5


Alexis barely manages to dodge the giant at the last moment, leaping out of the way before the shockwave sends her flying, slamming into the branches of a tree.

>"Ow, ouch shit fuck!" she thinks to herself out of habit, despite not feeling any pain as she rolls to a stop.

[1d10] Recovery
>Clarifying she is IN a tree right now, so he's attacking her near eye level.

Roll #1 1 = 1


The shockwave sends you flying and slamming into the trees branches, rolling down to a stop after the powerful blow connects. You hear a few more stomps as he walks along the ground towards your position hidden in the tree tops.

He raises his swords again, turning them so that only the flat side connects. "I suppose we have our answer… you aren't a fighter." He raises them up, holding them up at a side in preparation to swing them back at you to knock you out of the trees. "Let's get this over with."


The ghost looks on in horror at the enormous foe before her, readying to finish her off.

>"I…..I'm going to lose."

>"I didn't even scratch it." she thinks to herself, tears running down her face as he holds his sword overhead.
>"Why is this so hard?" she thinks to herself, vanishing into the astral.


As you contemplate your seeming defeat, the two swords never fall, and the stone elemental looks on confused at your position in the astral, where in the physical plane he now sees nothing.

"What…?" He says aloud, looking around as he scans the nearby area. "Where did she go?" He swings his sword at a nearby tree, causing it to collapse over as he looks around the area.

"Are you just going to hide? There is more shame in cowardice than defeat, pony!" He says, pacing around the clearing looking for you.


Her robe vanishes, replaced by her typical attire as the Verdant Charm dangles from her neck, tears still streaming down her face.

>"Damn it! Damn it damn it damn iiiiiit! Its not fair!"

She thinks, burying her face in the tree branch. Her Troll's Sildo activates. Though her spirit shows no signs of wear in this dimension, the energy replenishes her as her Vimana begins to rise…


As the Troll Sildo continues to recover Alexis' astral body, the stone soldier paces around the clearing, angrily looking around as he pushes aside another couple of trees. "Damn it!"

He looks up and shouts to the air, "This isn't going to end until one of us loses our ante, pony! Either fight me or surrender. There is no other options for you." He says with increasing agitation. "I'm waiting…!"


File: 1510556477022.png (247.21 KB, 540x350, 36Ichigo_powers_up.png)

>"Its not fair…." her sadness begins to twist into anger as she grits her teeth, slowly rising her head off of the branch.

>"Grrrrrrr." she begins breathing very heavily, shaking in anger.

"No." she says simply.
"Sildo: Shihakusho."

>Glavo: Ogre Knight [recovered from Pain]

>Sildo: Verdant Charm
>Ilo: Ogre

Standing on the branch, eyes focused into a death-glare, stands Alexis. Her faint blue aura has turned white, and burns so intensely it seems to rise off her silhouette. She points her sword at the Stone Giant.


The stone giant turns around to see his opponent, his gem eyes reflecting the light of the moon as he re-brandishes his swords, preparing for another attack. "There you are. Got tired of hiding?"

He pushes his leg forward, leaping into a charge as he crosses his sabres, charging at Alexis on the branch "As I said… let's get this over with-!"

[1d10+1] Earthen Strike on Alexis
[1d10] Fortify

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


She swings her katana at his short swords, shattering the tips off of both, not moving from her position.

>Ogre for the required strength

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


You swing your sword and clashes against the stone elemental's two swords, causing an intense struggle break between the two of you as your attacks parry each others, both defending against the other but leaving each combatant strained
>Alexis: 1/6

"Urg… much better-!" He comments, taking up his blades into the air and swinging them down again in a criss-cross motion
[1d10] Great weapon, 9+ crits

Roll #1 8 = 8


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The ghost grits her teeth as she parries, still standing on the branch as she slashes out at his left hand.


Roll #1 9 = 9 / Roll #2 6 = 6


[1d10] Huge

Roll #1 4 = 4


You parry his blow with your sword, and successfully lash out at his left hand, slashing it as he grunts in pain and drops his saber, breaking off from the clash as you are both dealt more damage by the powerful blows colliding. You remain in the tree branches as she slides back a bit, kneeling to collect his dropped sword.
>Alexis: 0/5
>Obelisk: 0/6

"…much, much better." He repeats, leaning down to pick up his sword. "But, I'd like to see what you used to take out those trees."
[1d10] Recovery

Roll #1 1 = 1


*0/4 for Obelisk


[1d10] Recover

Roll #1 2 = 2


Alexis stands on the branch, clutching her blade in her right hoof for dear life, teeth grit, eyes not even seeming to be looking at the Stone Giant, but rather right through him.


The stone soldier narrows his glare as she stares right through him. He brings himself back up to standing, cracks forming along his hand where you slashed him before, and he re brandishes his weapons. "Not in a talking mood. Fine by me."

[1d10] Recovery

Roll #1 9 = 9


She leaps at him, slashing across his chest [counterattack from last turn, 0/3] before landing on the ground.

[1d10] Recovery

Roll #1 1 = 1


He grunts as you slash him across his chest, leaving a clean gash in the stone as he staggers back, clearly feeling the damage now as he holds his swords. But, he continues standing upright, and you see a white glow appear around him.

"Sildo: Armament…" he mutters
>Bear Sildo

He spins around, bringing up his heavy stone swords to crash down on you as he makes a rotation, "And Heavy Crash!"
[1d10+1] Earthen Strike
[1d10] Fortify

Roll #1 10 + 1 = 11 / Roll #2 1 = 1


[1d10] She raises up her sword, hoof to the back of it to block.

"Rrrgh, just get out of my way!" she screams, finally speaking.

Roll #1 1 = 1


The sword comes baring down on Alexis, causing a small crater to appear below and around her as the two stone swords drive down with terrific force from above. The stone elemental presses down with all his might, pushing through to finish the job with determination.

[1d10] Great attack

Roll #1 7 = 7


File: 1510559234244.jpg (8.98 KB, 480x360, Rukiacrying.jpg)


The white aura rages around Alexis as her Vimana lashes the empty and cool night air. She holds up her sword, hoof to its back as she tries to absorb the unstoppable force slamming down over her head. Her rage slips, and she feels her grip on her sword just barely loosen.

>"Nothing I try is working…"

>"I should have lost already. This is completely ridiculous. I'm no hero. I'm no fighter. I don't even know where this power came from. I was stupid, thinking I could just get angry and win, like this was some cartoon."

The tears break in again as she holds her blade up, trying to soak the strike.

Her scream of defiance echos in the night.

[1d10] Last Recovery

Roll #1 2 = 2


As you hoist up your blade against the onslaught of the stone sabers, you hear your scream piercing throughout the woods, and your sword slowly pushes back more and more against your grip. The stone elemental pushes down with his last push of power, breaking through your block as the force becomes too much to bear.

A shockwave surrounds you as you feel the blades push past your blade and pin you into the ground, pushed onto your back as the blades cross at your mid-section. The stone giant looks at you with an expressionless gaze as he stares at your tear strained face, keeping his blades from digging any further.

"…it is over." He says as he withdraws his blades. "You did well."


The young girl looks over on the ground, the scattered shrapnel of her sword disappearing.

"It was a stupid idea." she mutters, just barely audible.


The stone giant continues kneeling over you, sheathing his swords back up into their holsters on his back. "It wasn't. You could have won." He reaches up and runs a hand against the gash in his stone chest, then looking down at the cracks on his hand. "The only difference in us is in experience, not power. I don't know if I could have handled another blow like this one."


File: 1510561048532.jpg (119.16 KB, 624x755, rukias-face-start-to-disap….jpg)

She pushes herself up to standing. She puts her hoof at her throat, and her robe disappears as she grips the green necklace around her neck, pulling it hard enough it snaps.

"I was stupid." she tosses the Charm on the ground, barely three feet in front of her.

She sobs, closing her eyes hard as her teeth gnash, and with an astral step she is gone. They never even exchanged names.

>"So stupid."



File: 1516675293957.jpg (7.67 KB, 256x197, soul32.jpg)

Please post your sheets for the 32nd session of SoulQuest!


File: 1516675473819.png (17.99 KB, 542x771, 1516302801782.png)


File: 1516675493833.webm (3.95 MB, 480x270, trump's bizzare election.webm)


File: 1516675618924.jpg (223.84 KB, 1300x974, anxious-student-closeup-po….jpg)


Alexis: 7/5
>Glavo: Air Elemental / Sildo: Fruit/ Ilo: Speed Elemental +1
Pain: 1/4
>Glavo: Rhino / Sildo: Bear / Ilo: Knight
Aether: 5/5
>Glavo: Sand Elemental / Sildo: Troll / Ilo: Gambler
Castle: 8/6
>Glavo: Bear / Sildo: Knight / Ilo: Ogre>>692454

Previously on SQ,

The battle heated up between Rasheo and Pain Train at last, the later of whom even daring to fight the impatient lion with the wounded Raja on his back, no longer trusting their surroundings. Rasheo angrily accepted the terms, and the battle was joined. Though they clashed fiercely, Pain gained the upper-hoof quickly, powering through Rasheo's attack and sending him tumbling into the pit before he erupted in an attack of anger.

Alexis and Aether located the alliance of Baron Elijah Bello of Swampbottom, who extended the same offer he had made to Pain Train to the two of them. Telling him they'd think it over, the two instead challenged some of his alliance - the crocodile guard Darik and the mystical snow-elemental Firig - and handily won, shocking the King of Hippos and his companions.

Back in Equestria, Col. Castle Rock was met in his den by a mysterious military pony draped in white, who cited Rock's illustrious career as part of SHIELDWALL and offered a new mission for the retired soldier. After declining at first, the mysterious entity enticed him with an offer he could no longer refuse: a means of helping his deceased friend's ailing grand-daughter. Accepting the bargain and donning his old IRNHRT Mk II, Castle was instantly teleported in a bright flash of light to another world…

Aether's horn glows bright gold, magic swirling around it until it's all released at once towards the hapless ice elemental. The snowman looks up in time to see the massive force of golden energy rush him, and offers a mild,

Before he's bowled over by the rush of magical energy, busting him into powder as he goes flying down the path a ways. Most of his body is broken apart, scattered bits of snow all over the path, and Firig's body is significantly reduced, from his former ogre size to a size closer to the mares.

Elijah looks on from the side, flabbergasted as two more members of his alliance are beaten so hoofedly, "Well… that was rather brief wasn't it?"
The rat shakes his head, "They took them down in under a minute! I always heard stories about ponies but this…"
The hippo steps forward, moving to help up Darik first, "Someone see to Firig and see if he needs healing." He turns to you, "Congratulations are in order, Alexis and Aether… I've rarely seen such skill, even among Numeri."
Darik lets out a cough, "I… heh… don't suppose you've given more thought to the alliance, huh?"


>>(Luce's sheet here)
You take a closer look at the symbol in the pale 'moon'light of the gas giant, the blue hue mixing with the red of the trees to create a purple glow around this place. Inspecting the spot, you find the dirt has been clearly burnt, grass that was once here having been blasted away to make the crossed symbol. You feel a light heat from the burnt marks, but it's quickly fading in the chill of the evening (which while is hard to feel outside your armor, you can sense there is a coldness to the air).

You see no others around you, and you appear to be alone in the dense forest, though far off through the trees you think you spot lights of some sort of another peering through the maze of red trunks.

The lion jumps and leaps clear of the pit, but you are quickly there to meet him as you deliver a swift kick to his chest, sending him flying back down into the pit with a crash as he lets out a roar of pain.

As you taunt him, the lion's electricity starts to surge out of control, and he begins losing the shape of a lion, becoming more akin to a being made entirely of lightning that's merely in the shape of a lion. His eyes remain however, as they stare up at you with a hateful glow. "You…. dare…. mock…. me?!"
He moves to stand, roaring out angrier than ever as a tremendous shout fills your eardrums. "You fool! I! AM! RASHEO! And I WON'T be beaten by a novice! RAAAAAAAGH!"
He leaps out of the pit in a blast of lightning, poised to strike at you directly
[1d10+1: 10 + 1 = 11] Tumble
>Lightning Elementalist


Alexis stares at her sword as the rat and Elijah go on, marveling at the ease with which they won.

"Lets go again. You two this time." she says pointing at the rat, then the cactus with her sword.


File: 1516677736644.webm (3.82 MB, 640x360, DoubleCrit.webm)

Pain Train's eyes widen, but lets his face turn to a grin, jumping into the air to drop his full bodyweight on Rasheo, letting out a heart laugh,

"This Train's going off the rails! Woohoo!"


Roll #1 4 + 3 = 7 / Roll #2 9 + 3 = 12


Well, that sure was something.

Aether's horn almost appears to be red hot. Looking up at that thing sticking out of her forehead, she tries fanning it with her forehoof.

>"Lets go again. You two this time."

She stops fanning and says, "O—oh, we're doing this again? Uh, okay…"


*hearty laugh


Darik and Firig raise from their defeated positions, one of the other non-Numeri crocodiles, gifted with healing magic, steps forth to heal their wounds, and the two of them release the promised Souls to you
>Ice Ogre Mage Soul and Gecko Knight Soul gained

The rat looks alarmed as your sword points to him, looking back up at Elijah then to you. "What, who me? No way!" He says, pointing at Elijah, "You're fighting him next, I'm not losing one of my two chances to you!"
The hippo laughs, "She challenge you, Rachshun, not me."
"This is bad…" The cloaked rat protests, reaching up to rub at his head.

The cactus lets out a smug grin, pushing the rat aside as it pumps its fists together. "Aw, stop bein' such a sourpuss." The cactus speaks with a deeper, but clearly feminine voice, apparently female. "How many of your next lives are gonna be grateful for the opportunity to have fought a pony!? This is just the test I needed before huntin' down that lizard freak…"
Rachshun lets out a scowl, "You're pretty excitable for a Vegetable, you know that Getta…?" he sighs, drawing his two daggers. "Alright, fine, whatever. Name's Rachshun, from Serpen. I've got a pretty strong Mouse Soul if you beat me."
The cactus, evidently named Getta, continues to grip her glove-covered fists, needles moving up and down on their own along her body as she steps closer. "I'm Getta. Mostly I'm in this tournament for a shot at the Heavyweight Champ, and that Pain fella now that I think of it, but I won't mind usin' you two for practice. Got me a Pugilist Soul if you win."

Rasheo lets out an ear-splitting roar as his thunderous form rises up to slash at you, the long claws created from pure lightning creating a sizable and painful gash in your side when the pass through, thousands of volts of electricity now coursing through you. However, your final blow takes its effect on Rasheo as well: you collide with him in mid-air, crushing him with a full powered body blow that sends you both crashing into the ground below with you on-top of him, albeit paralyzed due to the lightning.

The crash creates a large crater, widening the pit even further with your body-slam, and after a few more sparks arc around the circumference of the hole, you feel a large, lion-shaped mass shakily breathing beneath you, no blood pouring from him but only the occasional low-spark of electricity. Rasheo lets out a pain grunt, "Im-*cough* impossible…"
>0/3, combat over. Raja is still snugly secured to your back, and you hear the clops of a sheep running over to the side of the hole
"PAIN! Pain you alright?! Hold on, I'll be down there in a sec…"

Rasheo struggles underneath your weight, unable to move easily, "Get… off… me… *now*."


Aether absorbs the Ice Ogre Mage soul.

>switching gambler ilo for ice ogre mage soul ilo (still saving that pocketed crit tho, just for l8r)

"I have a… what was—Oh yeah, a Paladin soul."

After a brief pause, she says, "Uh, I dunno if I should say my name again.

After another brief pause, she blurts out, "It's Aether, in case you missed it."


Pain Train nearly flops on his back before remembering to remove his belt, checking Raja's pulse as he elects for Market's help getting the tiger out of the crater.
>"Pain Train wiiiiiins agaaaaaain!" The unicorn shouts to a crowd that isn't there, using telekinesis to take the load of the tiger off of Pain somewhat.


Alexis absorbs Gecko Knight.

"I'll wager the Soul I just won." she says, taking a stance with her katana held in front of her.

"Okay. Go!"

She lets out an anxious exhale, before vanishing from view. She quickly reappears behind Getta with an arcing upward slash.


Roll #1 2 + 1 = 3 / Roll #2 10 + 1 = 11



>"Okay. Go!"

"Oh! Okay."

She watches as Alexis hits the ground running, practically, then she shifts her attention to the cactus.

"Yeesh…" she mutters to herself quietly before casting a protective spell on Alexis, already in the fray.

>inure from piercing, benefits from mage ilo


Roll #1 9 + 3 = 12


Getta offers a shrug, "Eh, it's really just a formality thing, but it's still nice to hear, honey. Let's do this!"

Getta looks surprised as you suddenly shoot out of nowhere and then attack her first, "Woah, fast!" She says in exclamation as you cut off a piece of her hard cactus exteriors. "GRrr!" However, as they impact, the cactus' needles shoot out at Alexis, injuring her in a counter-attack.
>Alexis at 4/5

The spell from Aether's horn shoots out at Alexis, covering her in a golden glow that protects her from any and all stabbing attacks for 7 turns, shimmering around her.

Rachshun lets out a whoop of glee, "WOOOOH! I'm not first, thank the Four!" he shouts as he loops behind Alexis, pulling into his cloak to pull out some sort of powder, which he then sprinkles over the mare as she attacks Getta, "Think fast, pony!"
>Rodent Swarm; recharge 2: The target is swarmed by rodents that deal 1 Hit per round until removed as a rolled action. They deal a Wound if the target is helpless. A target cannot be targeted by this attack twice in one battle.

Getta quickly re-stabilizes herself, and then throws a powerful punch in Alexis' direction, "Make that 'twice' as fast! Strong right hook, comin' at ya!"
>Dynamic Duo: Rachshun selected
[1d10] Knockout Punch

Raja is successfully lifted up and out of the pit by Market's magic, Lachoc coming over to assist the manager as his hooves reach up to grab at Raja's sides and pull him in closer to them, "Easy, easy there… got 'im!" He shouts as he helps steady them. He looks down into the pit, shaking with excitement, "That was one unforgettable fight, Pain Train! I doubt he'll forget it anytime soon either?"

As Pain Train gets up, Rasheo barely manages to do so, still sparking arcs of lightning instead of blood as the lion growls angrily at no one in particular, crawling away from Pain Train, "It's… it doesn't make sense… you've only been a Numeri for a few days… yet against me and Hun-Hun you wield Anima like it was second nature… it's impossible."

Roll #1 3 + 1 = 4 / Roll #2 7 = 7


>Inured against physical damage
>5 turns max


Alexis looks down at her shoulder as several pins are fired into her, not wincing or otherwise responding due to lack of the ability to feel pain. When Rachshun tells her to think fast, she does quickly spinning around and kicking him like a ball into a nearby tree.

Getta's punch slams into Aether's barrier while Alexis is facing the other way, drawing in the ghost's attention.

"Whoa!" she says as the large Cactus towers over her. She slashes across the front of her chest.


Roll #1 2 + 1 = 3 / Roll #2 10 + 1 = 11


Pain Train goes to actually help the lion up, but assumedly the prideful beast rejects him. He instead sits down, atleast beckoning the lion to join him.

"Well by my understanding, you can use souls like an extension of your own body, empowering the natural skills you already have."

Pain grunts, trying to flatten his static-shocked fur,

"I just figure, if you've got mastery of the body already down, then souls are that much easier."

He turns to Lachoc,

"Thanks Lachoc, I'm glad you enjoyed the spectacle. I think I'm going to avoid fighting for now on, I want to get this fellow as close to the border of the forest as possible. I don't trust the lord after all this."


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forgot my post-ly webm


Seeing that her barrier's doing the trick, Aether looks around for something heavy, and she spies a few boulders on the path. Her horn lights up as one of those boulders starts to rise. She flings it at the porcupine vegetable.



Roll #1 1 + 3 = 4


As you punt Rachshun towards the tree, he lets out a pained grunt as your hoof connects with his abdomen, "OOOFF! Okay that's pretty faaaasst!" he shouts as he collides into the tree, quickly picking himself up afterwards. Meanwhile, Getta's fist slams against the golden shield Aether erected around you, bouncing off harmlessly as Getta staggers backwards.
"D-damn, that shield again! That was my strongest punch too…"
Your sword then connects cleanly against her, cutting off a large swath of body as yet more needles spray out in retaliation

"Need a new plan!" Rachshun shouts, looking around as Aether's magic begins to cast a familiar glow around one of the nearby boulders. He races to it, jumping off on its size and, with a strong kick of both his hind-legs, sends it flying back towards Aether, the rock impacting against her side and sending her down (0/4). "Switch your Souls, I'll cover you!" He shouts as he brings up his knives in a defensive posture, the rats' arms moving unusually quickly
>Speed Elemental Sildo
[1d10+3] Dodging/protecting on behalf of Getta against Alexis

Getta grunts, "R-right! Thanks!"
[1d10] Switching Glavo Soul

You presume correctly: even as you offer a hoof to assist him, the lion snaps and pulls away, insisting on getting up himself though you see he is clearly having trouble. He listens to you though, as you explain your reasoning.

"…possible." He struggles to lean against the side of the pit, panting heavily as the sparks shoot out. "I'll admit: I did not think you for having such 'mastery' at first. Gifted with Anima, perhaps; you used what you had brilliantly against Hun-Hun. The monkey's a fool, but he's not a pushover."
He turns away, "But, still I thought you were merely coasting on it, using your new found Souls as a crutch. Your attitude is nothing like that of a 'true' warrior." He grunts, "Part of me still thinks that's true. But… grr…" he growls angrily. "It doesn't matter. I lost. You won. By all accounts I should be dead, not arguing." He lets out a sigh, and with that a bright yellow soul comes out of his chest, and he offers it to you. "Yet another reason to despise this tournament."

>Swordmage Soul gained

>Offense: Enchanted Blade; passive: Select two Elemental Effects you have access to through Skills or Souls. You may apply them to your normal attacks.
>Defense: Cut Magic; instant recharge 2: On a success negate one Spell targeting you this turn [if it is an AoE it is negated for all targets].
>Utility: Adaptible Style: Once an encounter you may reselect all your Souls as though out of combat.

Meanwhile, Lachoc nods, "I understand. But, you remember that's going to be quite a journey to the edge of the forest? It'll take some time to reach there by hoof."

Roll #1 1 + 3 = 4 / Roll #2 4 = 4


>Dodge is only instant
>As he brings up his daggers, Rachshun also pulls out a few small spheres from his cloak, throwing it out at Alexis' face as they explode into blinding flashes of light
[1d10+1] Blind

Roll #1 10 + 1 = 11


It all happened so quickly. Aether was caught off guard, not anticipating the rat's next move, and the consequences are unforgiving.

"Ooh…" Aether groans as she lays/lies on the ground, feeling as though she was just hit by a ton of bricks (and that's not far at all from the truth).

She tries to right herself.


Roll #1 9 = 9


Alexis parries his knives and creates an opening, swinging it widely against her enemies moments before he throws his flash-bombs.

>First hit is against Getta, if it takes her out second hit is against Rachshun otherwise the second is also against Getta. Fluffwise its just one sideways swing regardless.

Roll #1 5 + 1 = 6 / Roll #2 5 + 1 = 6


>additional change
>As Getta focuses on changing her slots, you see bits of her body starting to heal up and piece together as the vegetation grows to replenish the cut off pieces
>Sildo: Fruit activated
>1 wound restored


Having little reason to linger and look for visual clues in the middle of the night, I scoop up a small patch of the burnt earth and wrap it in my spare handkerchief. Taking a last scan of the perimeter and still satisfied I'm alone, I head out at a quick trot towards the lights through the wood, my eyes drawn increasingly towards the alien moon.


You manage to pull yourself up successfully (5/4) while Alexis takes on both the rat and the cactus alone.

Rachshun grunts as he tries to parry your attacks to keep Getta safe, but finds himself in dismay as you slip through his defenses and slash at Getta once across the side, causing the cactus to grunt and yell out as she's tossed aside, her regeneration failing to keep up with the new wound.
"Gaaaah!" she cries out as she goes down, Rachshun looking at her with wide open eyes as his light-bombs go off in your face, blurring and blinding your field of vision towards the rat
>+2 to rolls against you

"Oh, Taint me!" He shouts in dismay, gripping at his knives precariously as he digs into his cloak again, preparing to throw the same powder as before at Alexis, "For the record, I thought this was a bad idea!"
[1d10+3] Rodent Swarm

You take up the small patch of burnt earth and secured it safely, and began your trek through the red-tinted forest under the bright, luminous gaze towards the lights.

>You spend the evening in the forest, the lights you saw being bio-luminescent plants, and the next morning you trek through the forest in broad-daylight to explore. Along your travels, you manage to come across hostile elements in the forest that attack you on sight (a mad bear, and a pair of ferocious ogres). You manage to come on top in all these encounters, and with each one defeated they leave behind small, glowing orbs that absorb into your body naturally, granting you enhanced abilities you are somehow innately aware of and know well how to use right away.

>Later that evening, you happen upon a civilization at last in the forest: a location called the Rosemary Villa, home to the Lorde of the Rosemary Woods. Overseen by deer-plant like hybrids (you gather are referred to as 'Fae') as custodians, and filled with a myriad of talking/moving animals, plants, elementals, and even a working robot (which, you notice, every attendee in your limited interactions seem to mistake you for with your armor on, specifically a 'Machine'), you discover that this gathering is the Tournament of Roses the stallion in white told you to join, and amid its festivities you see four (and only four) ponies among the attendees.

>You rest in the Villa that evening, and the next morning move out into the forest to join in the Tournament of Roses, which requires you to seek out opponents among the many competitors in the forest. In your travel, you hear a loud crack of thunder, and are drawn to the sight of a great clash of light between a lion made of lightning and a donkey wearing a championship belt (one of the equines you saw last night), who came out victorious in the match. You watch them now from beyond the trees as the donkey, the lion, along with a nearby sheep and unicorn (older looking than the donkey) converse among themselves.

Roll #1 9 + 3 = 12


When she gets back up, her eyes narrow at the rat.


Two more boulders start floating now, and both are heading straight for the rat.

>telekenesis x2, road of the wise


Roll #1 4 + 3 = 7 / Roll #2 2 + 3 = 5


File: 1516688126221.gif (3.33 MB, 190x108, Shō.gif)

>"Got her!" Alexis thinks to herself, moments before the bombs go off in her face, blinding her.

She raises her free hoof as he throws the powder in her direction, her other hoof covering her blinded eyes.

"Glavo: Sho!"

A small bullet-like projectile flies from the tip of her hoof towards Rachshun, with similar velocity.

>Fruit Sildo as well, back to 7/5

Roll #1 5 + 1 = 6 / Roll #2 4 + 1 = 5


"What else do we have to do? I've done quite a bit of fighting, and I'd like to see if the forest keeps fighting back to confirm my theory."
Pain shrugs to Lachoc, turning to Rasheo,

"And please, using the souls as a crutch? I was a champion of my world before I was even introduced to Souls. What is a true warrior to you anyways? I love to fight, I hone by body to do so; is that not what true warriors are like?"
He laughs again,
"And besides the host, what's not to like about tournaments. Besides a war, how else does one get so many great fighters in one place to challenge?"


Still confused beyond words, I do take some comfort in my unasked-for disguise. As soon as I realized this place was home to intelligent life, my primary concern was disturbing the locals. Finding myself indistinguishable from an indigenous race (never mind the unlikelihood of machine "life" in the first place) was almost suspiciously convenient, but I had no reason to question it, and the facade was easy enough to maintain with some improvisation. It had been a long time since I'd slept in my armor, and the morning aches were all too familiar.

I was really starting to gag for a cigarette, though.

Curbing an impulse to lean against something I remain stock upright, watching the melee for any new revelations. It had taken a while, but to my shock I'd realized this was, in fact, the same donkey I'd seen occasionally on television over the last few years. Whether this was in favor or opposed to the "I'm dead" working theory, I hadn't decided yet.


The rocks Aether flings out at Rachshun hit him on either side: one impacts, causing him to stagger back, though he manages to hop on one of the others and throw a small dagger at Aether Bright, which barely grazes her but creates a small cut (4/4)

Alexis' hoof-bullets fire out at Rachshun at the same time as the powder covers the blinded pony, causing another wound on him that causes him to let out a grunt as the bullet-like projectile goes through his side. "Graah! A-alright, time for back-up…" he smiles as a couple dozen rats (normal sized, unintelligent) begin pouring out of the bushes and racing towards Alexis, jumping up to bite her and pester her as she tries to fight Rachshun
>Rodent Swarm active

Meanwhile, Rachshun charges at Aether, holding up his blades as readies to swing, "Nothing personal, lady, just can't have you castin' any more spells!"
[1d10+1] Backstab

Lachoc rubs at his long goatee, trying to think of a solution. "Well… it's a long way to run or walk but, if we could track down anyone with a Soul that would allow us to fly, it'd let us make the trip much more quickly." He raises his hoof to his chest, "I wouldn't want you getting disqualified though, in case we leave the boundaries of the tournament by accident." He lets out a sad sigh, "It's… pretty clear this ol' ram's not gonna make it far in this Tourney anyhow, I'd take him back on your behalf if we found one."

Rasheo growls, "What makes a warrior isn't just how he fights. It's 'why'." He grunts, pulling himself up into a more up-right position, but still laying down injured. "You fight for the roar and approval of the crowd. To hear them chanting your name. Your fights hold no lives at stake. That isn't a battle: it is entertainment." He grunts, reaching up to put a paw to his chest, "I fight to become stronger. To crush anyone who would stand in my way. I don't care who or what sees me do it. And, usually, 'no one' is supposed to live to tell about it afterwards."

He growls, looking around the forest, "This entire tournament is a mockery of the Numeri way. ALL of these Fae and flowers want is a 'spectacle'. Unless they are incompetent and fall to the forest's natural dangers," he says with a snide look towards Lachoc, "Every competitor will walk away from this without a scratch. If all these so-called 'fighters' wanted Souls so badly, they know damn well how they are earned."

>Unfortunately the stay hasn't been the most forthcoming in information as well: the myriad of talking animals/plants/elementals, the machines, the spheres you gathered and the nature of this place leaves much to be learned since you've arrived.

>You are close enough to hear the above conversation exchanged between the talking lion, the ram and the donkey. They have not noticed your approach yet from behind the trees, and everyone but the donkey looks fairly injured.

Roll #1 4 + 1 = 5


*Alexis hoof-bullet


File: 1516690436768.jpg (502.08 KB, 841x1280, VopRO.jpg)

The ghost regains her sight just in time to see the dozens of rats swarm around her and begin leaping onto her legs and climbing up her, biting her.

"Wagh! Get off! Get off! Get off! Get off!" she shakes around, trying to get them to leave her alone.

"Rrrgh. Glavo: Tenran!" she shouts, dropping her sword and holding one hoof at her wrist before a tornado roars, carrying away many of the rats as well as slamming into Rachshun.

>Still many rats ON her however.



Roll #1 7 + 1 = 8 / Roll #2 2 + 1 = 3


>note: Rachshun is using a Single weapon


"Ah!" Aether yelps. She inhales audibly through her teeth. She almost forgot how it felt to get hurt.

She isn't given much time to tend her wounds, though.

"Ah! Nope!" she says as she casts a protective spell on herself before he can lay another blade on her.

>inure self, etc.


Roll #1 3 + 3 = 6


"I Fight for the roar and approval of the crowd?"
Pain laughs,
"You're mistaking my drive for my job. I fight because I like to fight. I just get the money as a bonus, AND get to fight upcoming and famous fighters. Killing someone just means you don't get to fight them later when they're stronger. Like you, ideally. Assumedly you'd be the kind to want a rematch someday, I don't believe you could keep that hanging over your head the whole time."

He points to the tiger,

"And please, leave without a scratch? What was that vine pit. Those things don't follow the tournament rules. I certainly suspect something is ahoof."

He turns to Lachoc again,

"If I get disqualified, at least I saved a life. Don't lose any souls I won either. If we come across someone who can fly, that's just a bonus. Don't worry about how long it'll take, we'll go as far as we can."


But even though she isn't able to cast a healing spell on herself, the cut on her leg appears to be mending herself, all thanks to the magic of Anima.



Roll #1 5 = 5


I linger behind the trees, straining my hearing to follow the train of conversation while busying myself with some approximation of "mechanical" behavior. Flashbacks to grade school drama class appear, unwelcome. The self-consciousness only makes it worse.

With some interest, I notice the pit and move to the edge, examining it.


>Inured for 1 turn against physical attacks
>Alexis' inure lasts for 1 more turn as well
The knives scrape against Aether's magical shield just as she manages to put it up, the rat's eye twitching as his knives clink uselessly against it, "I 'REALLY' hate this thing!" He shouts as he pulls himself back, bringing up his blades in a defensive posture, "It's gotta come down sooner or later…!"

Meanwhile, the tornado fired from Alexis scatters several of the rats and hits Rachshun as he move away from Aether, injuring him again with the blast though several rats still clammer on you

Rachshun brings up his knives in a defensive posture, his arms seeming to cast after-images as he brings them up and spins his daggers about at unnatural speeds, "Please let this work… Sildo: Swift-Escape!"
>[1d10+1] Dodge roll (instant)
>[1d10+1] Dodge roll (action)

>The regeneration begins, but it is slow and does not close up the wound immediately like it should, Still at 4/4

Rasheo leers, but your words seem to have some impact on him. "Hrrrm… it is easy enough to 'say' that is why you fight. Another to prove it. But," he says as he moves to stand, "I admit I underestimated you. Perhaps there is the making of a warrior in you." He bares his fangs, "And you are correct in one other regard: I 'will' have a rematch. And next time, I will not be burdened by the rules of this farce of a tournament. We'll see if you still hold the advantage 'then'."
He growls, "But, for now… you have proven yourself. Exceed expectations, even."

Lachoc nods his head, "That's mighty fine of you, Pain Train. That saving a creature's life on the line means more than winning… you're mighty fine indeed." He nods, "If you'll have me I'll join you on the trip while we look for one."
"You would risk losing just to save that tiger, even…" Rasheo lets out a sigh, "Can't believe I lost to this… why do you not just seek out a healer instead? There are as many Souls in this forest that grant healing as well as flight."
Lachoc smiles, "Oooh… that could work too!"

You maneuver yourself closer to the edge of the pit to take a gander inside: within are the torn husks of what appears to be three massive, carnivorous venus-flytrap like creatures, their leaves and mouths and vines torn apart and scattered among the pit. Within it is also a good deal of blood and what appears to be sheep-wool. A violent scuffle took place within it only just recently, most likely from the quartet you see besides it.

As Castle Rock maneuvers closer to the pit in order to investigate, his massive iron suit's weight gives away his position, the sound of plant/dirt crushing under hoof and the servos of his machine giving a clear sign of somewhat's presence.

Rasheo immediately turns his attention towards it, moving into a battle ready stance despite his injuries as he growls, "We have company… come out! Show yourself!" The lion bellows, electricity coursing through his mane as he does so.

Roll #1 7 + 1 = 8 / Roll #2 1 + 1 = 2


I gaze down into the pit with some apprehension, disliking the implications.

The lion catches my attention instantly and I turn to regard it as hydraulically as I'm able. I take a quick stock of the situation and decide this is probably posturing, but quietly toggle my shoulder cannon's safety to off.

I struggle for a reply, not having had a strict need to speak before now. Nothing springs to mind. Now I start to panic a little.

"Ahurmurrrhh…. Beep boop."


The teen continues ripping the rats off of her as they continue to swarm, nibbling at her arms, legs, neck, ripping at the strange astral matter that composes her.

"Let GO!" she screams ripping one particularly nasty rat off her neck, tossing it to the ground and stomping on it.

She picks up her sword and shakes her head. She rushes at Rachshun and swings her sword, knocking his defenses out of the way, before kicking him in the abdomen like a soccer ball again.

"Call off these rats!" she yells.


Roll #1 8 + 1 = 9 / Roll #2 6 + 1 = 7


"Oh—oh boy!" Aether says when she notices Alexis'… new friends. She casts a healing spell on her when she notices bits of her getting gnawed off.


Roll #1 5 + 2 = 7


File: 1516693985998.gif (1.98 MB, 500x280, robots.gif)

"Haha, glad to hear it. As for a healer, I personally have a flower soul, but I can't stick it in him by force. We'll, er, that being Lachoc and me I suppose, see if we find anyone on the way, but might as well head towards the border in the mean time. Still, I'd like to see another disqualified person, see if they run into the same sort of traps once they've been booted off. I don't trust-"
Pain turns his head to the horse-looking robot, looking bemused.
"Don't suppose we'll be fighting you too, metalhead?"
>"Oh please I hope not, we already did one crosspromotion before, we don't need another robot fight."
"I thought it was harmless fun."


"… After consulting with my urhhh… probability trebuchet… outcome unclear. Boop boop."

"Internal hyperbole motor suggests subject is…" I wrack my actual memory. "Pain Train, holder of Saddlemania Series Championship Belt. Analysis: satisfying finishers despite annoying theme song."




Rachshun keeps his blades spinning as your sword comes at him, the rat grunting as you knock them aside with your sword before delivering another brutal kick to his gut, the cloaked rat coughing out painfully as you send him flying away down the path, making him roll before he tumbles out of his spin, coughing up a bit of blood as he brings himself to stand near where Getta was taken down
>Road of the Spirited

Aether's healing magic takes effect and cures Alexis of her minor injuries (7/5), as Rachshun gets back up again.
"Aaaaacgh… ooooow…. urg… what's wrong? They're just playing!" He says as he takes out his daggers, and charges at Alexis once more, "But lemme see if I can cut a few of them off!"
[1d10+1] Dual attacks

"We can't-" Lachoc comments, "But if we can wake him to be just lucid enough we might get him to take it. The issue is getting it 'back', we can't take it by force either. Well, not without killing the poor lad at least. Think he'll give it up afterwards?"
"At any rate, I guess I'm fine to head towards the borders whenever you are. I'm not quite sure what the best way is to find other fallen competitors, Raja was the first one we've met to lose twice…"

Rasheo looks towards Castle, decked head to toe in his IRNHRT Mk. 2 armor, taking cautious steps forward as he lets out a grunt of disapproval. "A Machine… not something you'd normally find wandering 'these' woods. Obviously another competitor." Rasheo lets out a grunt, turning his head towards Pain and Lachoc, "Scrap-heap! If you're looking for a fight, you'll have to wait. Neither of us are in much condition at the moment."

He pauses, taking a look, "…odd. Never seen a model like that before. New?"

Roll #1 1 + 1 = 2 / Roll #2 1 + 1 = 2




File: 1529116481368.jpg (88.54 KB, 900x602, dream lake.jpg)

After a long, tiring, and fairly traumatic day, Aether Bright has succumbed to fatigue and drifted off to sleep in the Rosemary Woods. For an indeterminate amount of time, you find yourself twisting through an endless sea of stars, your vision and senses dulled as you're pulled throughout an infinite cosmos. Your mind has trouble piecing together images initially, many of them seeming quite alien and difficult to look at like you were trying to stare through a kaleidoscope, but eventually you your vision clears and you find yourself laying down on your stomach on a soft, sandy shore.

Around you are large fields of tall flowers, yourself feeling rather small in comparison to the blooming petals above, and to your right you look out across a wide, deep, colorful lake with multi-hued colors painted in the sky. Amid the lake is a large, twisted tree with a mouth that suspiciously reminds you of Duchess' maw, but the tree itself looks quite dead and rotted sticking out from the middle of the lake.

As you rest, you hear a distant murmur echoing through the nearby forest of giant flowers, though somewhat familiar you cannot distinctly point out who it belongs to.



Aether gets up and stands of her four hooves. With one forehoof, she gently presses into the sand before drawing a circle then a squiggle on top of it. She then looks around. The somewhat intimidating presence of the flowers feels familiar, and the hues of the lake and sky fascinates her, like always. Her mouth gapes and her eyebrows rise as she looks around. The sight of the dead tree in the middle of the lake gives her a minor fright, but she quickly gets over it when she hears something amidst the flowers. She walks towards the sound without a question.


You brave through the giant flowers in search of the sound you hear on the lake's shore, and as you explore the gargantuan field the voice you hear begins to pick up more and more in volume.
>"….A..ther?…. Ae.ther! Aether!"

You poke your head through a few stems of the flowers and see another figure walking among them. It is another pony, violet in color with wings and horn and deep lavender mane swishing around as she searches through the flowers, calling your name. She is wearing golden/pink jewels around her hooves/neck, and a small crown sits upon her head as she calls out. "Aether!" Her magic pulls aside a few flowers as she looks around for you. "Aether, are you here?! Call out if you can hear me, it's me, Twilight Sparkle! Oooh I hope I picked the right dream this time…"

It's beginning to come back to you who this pony is. It is your teacher, your mentor in both magic and friendship. The last mare in Equestria you saw before this whole crazy adventure had begun.


File: 1529118255604.png (1.42 MB, 1600x800, twilight.png)

>not necessarily accurate but I thought it was pretty while searching for pics


Aether eyes light up. She knows that voice.

"Ms. Sparkle?"

She picks up the pace, practically galloping now in the direction of the sound. She's eager to see a comfortingly familiar face after these very intense few day. She's a bit too eager, though. She collides with her mentor (specifically, her left rump) and almost loses her balance, but she's able to catch herself, and as she does, she blurts out, "Ohmygoodness, I'm so sorry I'm so sorry I'm so sorry," while backing up and bowing with her head in reverence to her sensei.


You run head-long into your teacher's flanks in your over-enthusiastic charge, Twilight herself being knocked over from the impact as she lets out a surprised yelp, "What the-aaah!" She squawks as she falls over onto her side as well, shaking her head as she sits back up and takes notice of you.

"Wha… Aether? AETHER!" She squeals, completely ignoring your apologies and your bowing as she swiftly uses her magic to pull you towards her, in which she envelops you in both her hooves and her wings in a tight hug (notably with her alicorn-strength), "Aether! Oh thank Celestia, I found you, I was so worried!"

She squeezes the life out of you for a few more moments before putting you down, swiftly pulling your limbs in every which direction and lifting up parts of your cape inspecting you, "Are you hurt?! Where have you been?! What happened?! Are you alright? Are you somewhere safe? Who have you met?!" She quickly puts both hooves on your shoulders, and shakes you a little too worriedly. "Say something to me!"


"Aah!" she yelps when she feels herself being tugged towards Ms. Sparkle. Within her very tight embrace, she squeaks, "Agh, yes, hi," as she struggles to expand her chest to take a breath. Thankfully, it doesn't last for too long, and she gasps for air when her mentor lets go.

>"Are you hurt?! Where have you been?! What happened?! Are you alright? Are you somewhere safe? Who have you met?!"

"Oh, I, uh," she mutters before being interrupted by a firm shake.

>"Say something to me!"

"Oh! Ah! I'm okay, I'm okay," she reassures her, "I got hurt, but I got better. I, uh, didn't catch the rest of what you said though, sorry."

Before giving the princess a chance to respond, she herself starts to say, "Wait, are you… you? Like, am I just dreaming, or am I really talking with you? Wait, how would I be talking with you? Is there, like, a spell or something that's let you do that? Well, I guess so if I was really talking with you, though I'm still not sure if I am, since I might just be dreaming. How would I even know if I'm actually talking with you? If I was dreaming and asked my dream if it was real, it still might say it is. Oh, hm…" Her eyes wander off and her hoof finds a place on her chin as she ponders this (if she isn't interrupted in time).


As you say you got hurt, Twilight's face suddenly turns red with rage, "What? When, who hurt you?! That alien didn't say 'anything' about… you mean she didn't… you were…" your mentor begins to trip over her own words, finding herself torn between various emotions of relief and insult before you start questioning off how the two of you are speaking right now. She pauses in her rant and begins to listen to yours, but before you go on past that point, she holds up a hoof, a usual clear sign for conversation to cease. "Hold that thought, Aether…" she says, taking in a deep breath, before letting it out calmly in the breathing exercise you've so commonly see her perform to calm herself down.

"Okay… I'm sorry, let's try going at this at a slower pace. First of all, yes, you *are* in a dream. It was the only way I was able to find you!" She looks around, "After you stepped through that light with that alien, I didn't get ANY contact through the machine for over 24 hours! For four days, I tried every spell I could think of for communication over vast distances, but you weren't responding to any of them! And none of my locator spells were having any luck either! So I had Princess Luna help prepare this spell to see, if I couldn't find you in the waking world, maybe there'd be someway to reach you in your dreams! The exact execution is a little complicated, it inv-"

She shakes her head, stopping herself from going on a long-winded explanation. She puts a calmer hoof on your shoulder, "I-I can explain it all later. But the point is, I'm here now Aether, alright? It may only be in your dreams but, I'm here."


Aether widens her eyes and nods as her mentor mentions enlisting Luna's help, and since what she's been hearing so far has been pretty sound, she trusts that this is the authentic Twilight that she knows.

>"…I'm here."

She nods and a smile forms out of her lips, and one might even see her eyes starting to get a little watery.

"Well, I'm really glad to see you. It's been… it's been…" she looks for the word, "intense," then she shakes her head and boasts, "Nothing I couldn't handle, though." She then tilts her head and adds, "Well, it hasn't just been me…"


Twilight's gaze softens immensely as she sees your smile and watery eyes, especially as you point out just how intense it's been, but as you boast how it's been nothing you couldn't handle so far, she smiles wide with bride, reaching out with a wing to gently hold you as she leans her muzzle down to give you a light nuzzle. "THAT'S my star pupil. I'm very proud of you Aether, I'm not sure what you've been through but I bet it wasn't easy. If I could have gone with you, I would have-"

As you mention it 'not just being you', she pulls her head back up, ears perked quizzically, "Not just you? Oh!" Her enthusiasm begins to peek itself, "Have you met other aliens?! What were they like? What do their cities look like, have you learned anything about their culture?! Oh! Have you made any new friends yet? I-"

She grumbles, reaching her hooves up to her forehead, "Graaah! FOCUS Twilight! Okay, okay, first question… what happened five days ago after you left, where did they take you?"


Aether smiles to herself hearing her teacher's approval.

>"Have you met other aliens?! What were they like? What do their cities look like, have you learned anything about their culture?! Oh! Have you made any new friends yet? I-"

Each question after the first whizzes by her head. She needs to take notes.

"…what happened five days ago after you left, where did they take you?"

"Oh yeah, I, uh, ah, I knew I should've reviewed my notes before bed…" she mumbles to herself.

"Oh yeah! When I first got there, the place, or, well, planet, is called Tetra, I was just by myself in, like, the woods at night. I don't exactly know by what, uh, means of transportation I got there, but there was a symbol on the ground burned into the grass where I kinda landed, if I remember correctly."


She nods, "Yeah, I remember the alien mentioning the world's name, Tetra." Her eyebrows wise, "But… you're telling me you just got popped in the middle of the woods? At night? By yourself? Where did that alien go, the one who showed up in the lab? She asked for my star pupil's help in saving the world just to dump her in the middle of nowhere? Did you find anyone nearby?"


Aether nods and says, "Yeah, I dunno, I haven't seen her, but yeah, shortly I found others who're actually from Earth, too, a mechanic, a wrestler and his manager, and a… a ghost."


Twilight's eyebrows raise, "You found other ponies from Earth there… were they recruiting other ponies besides you?" She pauses, tapping at her chin, "I guess if the problem were big enough they'd need more than just one unicorn, but…"

She chuckles, "I'm sorry, can you repeat that back to me? You said the other ponies were a mechanic, a wrestler and his manager… and a 'ghost'?" She says, a slight bit of laughter escaping her on the last point.


She nods emphatically to confirm what she says, "Oh yeah, I thought it was like some translucency spell, but, yeah, like on TV, a ghost. I don't know how she died, though, but she wants to have her life back. Actually, yeah, it seems like they're all there, or, well, here, to get something."


Twilight sighs, holding up her hoof, "Leeeeet me hold you just one second, Aether." She puts a hoof on your chest, and then to hers, "Both of us know full well that ghosts aren't real." She shrugs her shoulders, "I couldn't tell how for certain unless I met her, but I *think* this 'ghost' of yours may be playing a little magic trick on you."

She rubs her chin, "That second part though… you're saying they're all there to get something? Do they know that they're supposed to figuring out what's going on with the weather?"


>"…but I *think* this 'ghost' of yours may be playing a little magic trick on you."

Mildly offended by her mentor's disbelief, she says back, "I thought they weren't real, but it really seems like she is!" and she adds, "She really doesn't like being one."

>"… Do they know that they're supposed to figuring out what's going on with the weather?"

"Oh! Haha, no, I think they were all told to Yig… uh, that place. It seems like I'm the only one whose there just to help and figure out what's going on. We still haven't gotten there yet, though. It's far from where we landed. Kinda inconvenient. Actually, really inconvenient. I met a few nice ponies—I mean, creatures, along the way, though. And one other pony. Two. Oh wait, oh my goodness! This place is fascinating, there are very few ponies on this planet, the planet is populated by mostly, like, other non-equine species, and sentient elementals and planets and machines, too! And the ponies here have, like, this very special ability that only ponies have, and we happen to have it too! Wait, the, uh, sorta 'magic' here is really interesting, too, it's like, ah… how do I…" and she then trails off, trying to find a way to explain it.


As you argue back at her regarding the ghost, Twilight's eyes open a little wider in surprise. She looks a bit more concerned, "Aether, I'll tell you again: there's no such thing as ghosts. The dead don't just, get up and walk around. I'm willing to believe you both may *think* she is, but there's a rational explanation behind it. Who is this ghost filly?"

As you go on to explain everything you've seen so far about Tetra, the light of excitement enters Twilight's eye, and she begins taking mental note of everything you say. "Yggdrasil, I believe, was the name of the place the alien told us about. But she didn't even bother to take you there herself?! What kind of business are these aliens running…" she snorts in frustration, before listening to you explain.

Her eyes beam, "So there are other aliens there… a-and you're telling me there's even other ponies!? Ponies on other planets, who'd have thunk?!" She gets up and trots around in a circle, "It sounds just crazy, I can't wait to see your notes on it! What sort of weird, bizarre alien creatures are up there? So much variety," she chuckles, "I mean, talking PLANTS?! I bet their machines and technology are CENTURIES ahead of us! I'll need to ask them for whatever new computer systems they have…" She shouts enthusiastically, even adding a little hop to her step. "And they even have their own unique magic?! Tell me about that *first*, the other notes can wait, I'm dying to hear what alien magic is like." Twilight says, taking a few deep breathes to pause in her far too inquisitive rant.


>"… Who is this ghost filly?"

Feeling indignant, like a child whose parent doesn't understand him, she says, "I don't understand it, either! But I have no other way to explain what's been going on. Her name's Alexis."

>".. I can't wait to see your notes on it! …"

"Oh, yes, I took many notes," she says smugly.

>"…I'm dying to hear what alien magic is like."

The number of questions getting a little overwhelming, she says, "Oh, yeah, let's start there. So, the magic there is called Anima, but only certain individuals can use it, they're called Numeri. The magic there is interesting in that the 'spells' are, like, contained in these things called Souls, which are produced when one dies—Oh! But no one really dies there, remind me to explain that later—and so, like, the souls appear to act as a sort of catalyst that enables Numeri to be able to have special abilities, like there's one that allows the user to be as stealthy as a cat, there's one that let's you fly—Oh, well," she gestures to her mentor's wings, "You can fly, of course, but, y'know—there's one that lets me cast a teleportation spell—Oh, yes! Oh my goodness, I can finally teleport now! And effortlessly! Most Numeri need to train themselves to use a soul, but ponies are special in that they're able to use a soul's abilities immediately."


>"… Most Numeri need to train themselves to use a soul, but ponies are special in that they're able to use a soul's abilities immediately."

"… Most Numeri need to train themselves to be able to use souls, but ponies are special in that they're able to use souls without any training."


Twilight furrows her brow as you start to snap back about the ghost, "Well, my faithful student, I can say for certain that whatever's *really* going on isn't a GHOST!" She lets out a small sigh, "You said her name's Alexis? Well, tell me what she's like. And these other ponies you met, you said there was also a 'wrestler'?" She asks incredulously.

When you smugly say how many notes you took, she smiles wide as well, giving your side a little tap with her wing. "That's how I taught you Aether, good work!" She pauses to let you explain the properties of their magic, in which Twilight nods her head along with every step as you explain the nuances of their bizarre magic. "Okay… a thorough explanation on that 'no one really dies here' thing will be needed later but, on the whole I think I understand… so these 'Souls' are excreted from creatures here when they die… and then those Souls offer unique abilities to those who learn how to use them?" She frowns, "Sounds a little macabre, if you ask me, using a piece of a dead creature as a catalyst, but it sounds like it delivers results. You can really fly and teleport now?!" She smiles eagerly, "We've been having SO much trouble with teleporting and this 'Anima' let you do it right off the bad? I can't wait to try my hoof at it."

She turns her head, "Though there's just one thing that confuses me… you said ponies can use souls with little effort? Why? We're from a completely different world and I've certainly never heard of 'anything' like this, why would we be able to use *their* magic so easily?"


*right off the bat


>"… You said her name's Alexis? Well, tell me what she's like. And these other ponies you met, you said there was also a 'wrestler'?"

"Okay, well, she's a high schooler. She has a family. Well, I mean, I guess most ponies do. She really wants her life back. Uh, she likes mangas, I think?" She appears to have run out of defining characteristics of her ex-friend.

She continues, "Well, uh, yeah, it's weird, that wrestler Pain Train is here, too, and his manager. And, yeah, a mechanic. And a veteran showed up later, too, in his IRNHRT armor."

>"…so these 'Souls' are excreted from creatures here when they die… and then those Souls offer unique abilities to those who learn how to use them?"

Aether nods and hum, "Mhm."

>"… You can really fly and teleport now?!"

Aether nods and hums again, this time with a little more energy, "Mhm!"

>"…why would we be able to use *their* magic so easily?"

"That's still a mystery to me, it seems like the denizens of this planet revere the ponies like gods, and apparently their world was created by the hooves of four ponies who're called, well, the Four. I don't know how, though, but I have the book about Tetra's history. It's also what lets me teleport, it's an Astra, a soul that was forged into a physical item."


Twilight raises her eyebrow again, "Wait… you don't mean *that* Pain Train do you? The guy on TV?!" Twilight blinks a few times, trying to process your companions. "W-when you said wrestler I thought you meant like, an actual fighter, not an entertainer. And you're telling me this Alexis isn't even out of HIGH SCHOOL yet?!"

She holds up her hoof, "Okay, I get why they came for you… you're my top student and I'm, not to too my own horn, one of the best mages in Equestria. But the other ponies they chose to save their entire world, AND ours, are a guy who pretends to fight on TV, a garage mechanic, a school-filly who is supposedly 'dead'," she makes quotation marks with her hooves, "and… well I guess the veteran doesn't sound too off the mark, though I have to say I'm surprised any of those old IRNHRT armors are still in service after the war. But still," she throws up her hooves, "WHAT was their selection process?!"

After she calms down a bit, she listens to you as you explain more about the world, and she beams with pride as yo get energetic about being able to fly and teleport, giving you a firm nod in approval of your growth. But then as you explain how the world was shaped by ponies, she rubs her chin, "They think ponies are gods…? That's so bizarre… could this not be our 'first' contact after all? No way 'any' pony has the power to make an entire planet though, not even Celestia could do *that*. Are these 'Four' still around? You mentioned that there were a few native ponies there, have you met them yet?"


>"…you're my top student and, not to toot my own horn, one of the best mages in Equestria. …"

Flattered, Aether chuckles and mutters, "Oh! Haha, ah, thank you."

>…she makes quotation marks with her hooves…

Aether's eyes squint for a second, seeing her mentor making air quotes.

>"… WHAT was their selection process?!"

She raises one eyebrow and says, "I know, right? Haha, it's weird, definitely," she says, looking off into the field of fine flowers, "I'd like to know the reasons behind their choices. Or maybe they just rolled dice! Hahaha," she laughs to herself. Apparently that was a joke. I've heard better.

>"… Are these 'Four' still around? You mentioned that there were a few native ponies there, have you met them yet?"

"I don't think the Four are still around, but I did meet one of the ponies who are, Princess Kachina. She was really nice. She reminded me of you, actually," she mentions, looking at her mentor with a nod.


File: 1529132080340.jpg (112.43 KB, 692x539, Howboutno.jpg)

>rolled dice


As you make your joke Twilight first offers a sharp glare, still clearly frustrated with the situation, but as you laugh she can't help but show a little smirk herself, snickering a little before letting herself go into a full giggle fit. "Hehehehe… i-it's good to see you're remembering those lessons about the power of Laughter, Aether. I would very much like to see how they decided this too." She giggles a bit more, and then sighs. "I'm… getting a little worked up. I've been VERY worried about you for almost a week now. After whisking you away with no easy means of contact, hearing that the other ponies you were with weren't exactly what I'd call 'hero' material didn't exactly help calm my nerves. I just want to know that Tetra is taking this matter as seriously as I am."

As you explain the other ponies you met, she smiles, "Really? Well, that's good to hear at least. Another pony princess, that's someone I certainly wouldn't mind meeting. Is she aware of the situation as well? Has she been helping you get to this Yggdrasil place?"



>"… I just want to know that Tetra is taking this matter as seriously as I am. … Is she aware of the situation as well? Has she been helping you get to this Yggdrasil place?"

"She pointed us in the right direction, but she couldn't come with us, she had to stay with her people, and, well, yeah, we've actually kind of just been left to ourselves. The help we've gotten so far we've had to find ourselves, but, honestly, I feel like I'm been growing so much from the experience, like, as a pony. And, I survived through Advanced Molecular Rejuvenation, I think I can get through this," she says, punctuating her last sentence with a chuckle.


Twilight gives another chuckle, "I'd call an A more than just 'surviving' it Aether. But, I see your point." She extends a wing, smiling, "This… this is 'exactly' what I was hoping for when I thought it was alright to send you out on this journey alone. To see you mature from the experience, of traveling to distant places and seeing things for yourself, and learning from it to become a better pony." She sighs, "Reminds me a lot of what a certain pony did for me a life-time ago. I'm very proud to call you my student."

She sighs, "I just wish you had more help than what it sounds like you're being given, but it sounds like you're making due. I'm sure this Princess Kachina did all she could, and while your new companions don't exactly sound like hero material 'yet'," she blushes, "I can't exactly say the Elements of Harmony were what you'd call fierce warriors either. I trust you'll get it done."

She smiles, "Well… anything 'else' you'd like to inform me about your travels so far? Perhaps… any new 'friends' you've made among all these new creatures and ponies you've been meeting?"


>"I'd call an A more than just 'surviving' it Aether. …"

Aether looks off and smirks to herself. She's proud of her A's, particularly that A.

>"… I'm very proud to call you my student."

Hearing her mentor relate her own story to her's now, she smiles, but she doesn't know what else to do. She feels something more than pride, it's more than just herself. Maybe it gratitude, being grateful for all that's been happening to her. She feels compelled to do something. She looks left, then right, then suddenly, she embraces her teacher and holds her for a solid moment, then she returns to her position, as if nothing absolutely adorable just happened.

>"I just wish you had more help than what it sounds like you're being given… I trust you'll get it done."

Aether nods with a smile, reassuring her.

>"…any new 'friends' you've made among all these new creatures and ponies you've been meeting?"

Aether's eyes light up, "Oh yeah!" but then, just as suddenly, they darken and she looks down at the ground, "Oh, well…"

She sighs, then begins to say, "Well, yeah, Alexis, actually. She was really nice—well, she's not flawless, but, I, uh, well, hah, you… don't need to sing it again. But, yeah, I thought we became friends. She told me we were friends, and, well, yeah, I really enjoyed her company. Talking with her. Having fun with her. It was really nice opening up to someone who seemed to really care about me, other than you and Dad, But…"

Aether, still looking at the ground, turns her gaze to the ground at her other side.

"I think she just became friends with me to get her own life back."


Twilight gives a small 'eep' of surprise as you suddenly embrace her at hearing her pride, but she quickly returns the hug before you return to your original position.

As you go on to begin to describe Alexis, Twilight's eyes open up with joy, and her mouth opens wide with excitement as you talk about her telling you that you were friends. She takes in an excited breath, "She's nice?! And you're sharing with her?! Bonding with another pony! YESSSSS!" She says, flapping her wings up and fluttering above the massive flowers of the field in a triumphant laugh, "You finally made a friend!" she comes back down from the air with a very enthusiastic face, "Okay, tell me all about it, how'd you break the ice? Did you tell each other your hobbies or favorite subjects? Oh! You said she's is in high-school right, I bet she'd love to have you as a tutor, you'll be best friends in no ti…"

She pauses, her enthusiasm draining from her face at your first friendship as you look to the other side, stating what you think Alexis befriended you for. She flattens her ears, "Oh… I… okay, for the record, I *still* don't buy this ghost business but, what makes you say that, Aether?"


Aether sighs again, then begins to recount the story, "Well, it didn't seem like she was really interested in being my friend for the first few days. We talked a bit before, but, it was like the, uh, sort of talk when you don't have anyone else to talk to. But, now we're in some sort of tournament—I haven't lost a match, by the way—, and the winner gets a wish that's supposed to grant them anything they want. She really wants it, and she's only really talked to me after she found out about it. I told her I'd help her win that wish after she told me about her… situation."


File: 1529138551522.jpg (401.79 KB, 777x1170, red waterfall.jpg)

Twilight nods her head as you explain the story of how you and Alexis first interacted, but her eyes pop open as you mention being in a Tournament. "You're in a *tournament*?! Why are you in a Tournament, aren't you supposed to be…" she pauses, reaching up to rub her temple, "Hrrm, nevermind… maybe it's best I save that question for later."

She listens to you explain the rest of the story, reaching up to rub at her chin, "Okay… so just so I'm getting this straight: Alexis needs this 'wish' the tournament offers, which is to 'get her life back', and when she told you about it, you promised to help her win it, and so you're worried the only reason she's your friend is to use you to get that wish?"

As she speaks, you suddenly feel water among your hooves. Twilight looks down in surprise as the sudden wetness and stands up straight, the water-level rising around you as well. "Don't panic! The dream is shifting… this happens frequently in dreams, your mental state and memories affect what you see in them. Talking about it may have sparked a reaction in your dream."


>"…maybe it's best I save that question for later."

Aether shrugs and just says, "Sidetracked."

>"…and so you're worried the only reason she's your friend is to use you to get that wish?"

She nods slowly. She starts to sigh again, but chokes up as she inhales.

>As she speaks, you suddenly feel water among your hooves.

Right when she's about to sniffle, she starts to feel the ground get a bit moist.

"Ah!" she exclaims as she lifts a hoof up, looking down now not at the ground but at the water rising.

>"… Talking about it may have sparked a reaction in your dream."

"Oh, oh yeah, we… we swam in a pond together. That was fun…" she recalls, downcast, then after a pause, she adds, "Most fun I had since I was a kid…"


Twilight spares you a sympathetic look as you choke on a small sob after she lays it out, moving over to move a protective wing over you as you work through the emotions. She pauses as the scenery changes, but you feel a protective gaze cast over you.

The water level continues to rise higher and higher, enveloping the flower-fields around you, but for some reason you do not sink into the water. More accurately, it's more like everything else sinks into it as the water begins to take over the whole of your scenery. Once you peak out from the top of the over-sized flowers, you find yourself in a familiar sight: a pond with a waterfall surrounded by tall, red-leafed trees. It is the spot where you and Alexis stopped to swim and she told you of her wish. Twilight looks around, and points a wing in a certain direction of two ponies by the shore as her hoof continues to grip yours.

"There… that look familiar?" She lightens the grip on your hoof slightly, and walks along the surface of the water (you appear to be able to walk on top of it) in the direction of the two ponies having an argument.

>Alexis: "I don't even feel like it anymore."

>Aether: "Oh, okay… well, could I… vent a bit then? Would you listen?"
>Alexis: "You? What do you possibly have to vent about?"

Twilight pauses as she stares at Alexis, her mind seeming to have difficult grasping what she's seeing as the see-through pony floats cross-legged in the air. "I'm… guessing that's her?"


Aether nods at her instructor's question, and she follows her to the scene.

>"I'm… guessing that's her?"

"Mhm," she answers with a nod, watching the memory unfold.


Twilight stares at her, looking her up and down as though observing a subject for a science experiment. "I… can certainly see your confusion. Clearly see-through, zero regard for gravity. Still, I'm sure there's a perfectly logical explanation for her appearance…"

As you two watch, the argument builds up into both you and Alexis pouring out your emotions to one another, venting upon all your worries and stresses from the journey so far.
>Aether: "I didn't know I'd feel so homesick, even after just a few days. I miss being at school. Everything makes sense there. It was clear what had to be done. Everything's where it should be there. I miss Twilight being there."
>Alexis: "I… I miss school too. I miss home. I miss my mom and dad. I miss homework…
The scene continues on until Alexis finally begins to openly sob, Twilight's quizzical look replaced with one of sadness as she looks between the two of you.
>Alexis: "I miss it all so much! What did I do to deserve this?!"

Twilight turns towards you, wrapping a ring around your side to pull you into a light hug. She doesn't say anything, but her expression and the misty edges of her eyes say it all. "These last few days couldn't have been easy on you… I'm sorry I couldn't be there for you until now. If I had just thought of the dream idea sooner…"


Feeling her mentor's warmth around her, Aether also get a little teary-eyed.

In almost a whisper, she says, "I'm just glad you're here now. I didn't know if I'd ever see you this soon."


Twilight smiles down at you, "Don't worry my faithful student. Now that I've pinned down how to find you, you don't need to look any further than your dreams."

As she consoles you, the memory plays out, with the past version of Aether shouting to Alexis
>Aether: "Alexis, how about we win this tournament, get that wish, and get that back. All of that back. For you,"
>Alexis: "I didn't mean to tell you that… I didn't mean to tell you ANY of that! I-I was emotional, I didn't mean it. I vented way too much, you weren't supposed to hear that!"
>Aether: "We're winning this tournament. We're getting that wish. You're getting what was taken away from you back!"

Twilight looks up with surprise, not recognizing the forceful-ness you exuded before. She looks down at you with a slight smirk, "Is that really 'you'?" she asks sarcastically, "Normally the only time I see you get this energetic is right after you've nailed a tricky subject."


To her mentor's comforting words, Aether looks up to her and smiles, like a child to her mother.

In response to her mentor's surprise to her "assertiveness," she explains, "Oh, well, I was really excited. It was a clear goal I could work towards to help someone I cared about."


Twilight perks her eyebrows up as you admit to being excited at being able to help someone, and she nods her head affirmatively. "Mmmmhm! I can understand how hard it is to know how to help someone before you really get to know them. But through perseverance, communication, and sharing, you found out a way to help somepony in need."

>Alexis: "I didn't mean to tell you that, that was a secret and I slipped, it slipped out! You can't tell anyone else, they'll freak out I wasn't supposed to tell you that! Shit shit shit."

>Aether: "Oh! Oh, no, if you don't want me telling anyone that, I won't…"

Twilight's brows furrow. "I have to admit though, she is a bit of an anomaly… it's not as though you can't achieve what she's doing with the right combination of spells, but I don't see any sort of catalyst. And she certainly does seem to 'think' she's really a ghost, but that doesn't exactly make it true…" she rubs at her chin again, and as the conversation continues on to you and Alexis talking about going swimming, she looks back to you.

"But, we can look in to *that* later, what interests me even more right now is your friendship. Let's back to what we were talking about… Alexis is the first friend you've made, but you're worried that the only reason she wants to be your friend is to use you to get this 'wish' you two were talking about?"


>"… But through perseverance, communication, and sharing, you found out a way to help somepony in need."

"Just like you taught me," Aether adds.

>"…but you're worried that the only reason she wants to be your friend is to use you to get this 'wish' you two were talking about?"

Aether simply nods in confirmation.


Twilight looks out at the scene before the two of them, silently contemplating the conundrum while watching Aether make the trade-mark Pinkie-Promise to Alexis to keep her secret / win the Tournament for her before they switch the topic on to other subjects like magic and what the two do for fun, leading on to Alexis' suggestion to go swimming. Twilight chuckles at the scene, taking a brief moment away from her thinking as she comments to Aether, "She seems like a fun filly."

She sits down onto the surface of the water, odd dream-physics preventing her from sinking, and looks to her student. "I can understand your fear well, Aether. I've witnessed many occasions where somepony only pretended to be someone else's friend in order to get something they wanted. But, based on the reactions I'm seeing, she seems very surprised at even hearing the offer be made. I don't think she was out looking to use you from the start."

She turns her head, "Have you two been getting along well since this memory? Does she only seem interested in asking you about the wish or otherwise fixated on it?"


>"She seems like a fun filly."

"Oh yeah," Aether says.

Before answering her mentor's question, she looks down at the water.

"It seems like she's… obsessed with getting the wish. It doesn't seem like she cares about anything else."

She turns her head slightly away from her before she says, "She even said she'd sacrifice the rest of us if it meant that she'd get that wish."


File: 1529302956565.jpg (162.37 KB, 1000x889, twilight when she sees gho….jpg)

As Aether recalls the time Alexis had made that claim, the sky begins to go dark, and on the opposite shore of Alexis/Aether getting ready to go out for a swim, the nude ponies already dipping into the water, on the opposite side of the pond where a light now shines down from above is another scene from later in the eve, with a defeated Duchess treading the top of the lake as several ponies and animals dart the opposite shore. Twilight's eyes bulge out at the odd collection of ponies, her eyes racing across Lachoc, the talking tiger Raja, the wrestler Pain, the armor-wearing Castle, and Alexis/Aether as well as her mouth drops a little in silent study and bewilderment. "I… uh… is that…"
>pic related

However, she is snapped out of it as Pain speak,
>Pain: "Whatever you could want from a wish, there was already some kinda promise that was made to you when you were offered to go here. Are you seriously so greedy that you'd be responsible for the death of multiple people just so you can cash out? You do realize tournaments have one winner. You'd rather have everyone here traveling with you die so you can get whatever stupid thing you want?"
>Alexis: "Yes…" she says while stomping her hoof down, her face filled with regret.

Twilight's ears drop, her attention turned to the Aether on that shore as your dream-self's expression droop before Alexis turns to look at her, about to say something before disappearing out of sight. Twilight jumps back a bit with surprise at the sudden disappearance, but as many questions as you can see building on your teacher's face she pushes them down for now, staying focused.

"I-I see… she seems very determined to get it. I can see why you might be thinking the way you are right now. Was this the last time you saw her tonight?"


Aether feels her chest collapse again when she hears Alexis say that one word once more.

Aether only nods in response to her mentor's question, trying to keep her composure.


As Aether feels her composure crumbling, Twilight quickly takes note, and takes you to face away from the opposite shore where the dark memory resides. "I see… what Alexis said was bad. I could tell how important it was to her earlier, but it isn't right to sacrifice others just to get what you want." She pauses. "However, I also know how to tell when a pony is under pressure. I know how to read regret on a muzzle. And I definitely saw that look she gave 'you' in particular before she disappeared… 'somehow'." Twilight says that last word with a very confused inflection, her face contorting in a odd look as she clearly tries to wrap her head around it, but shakes her head as she refocuses.

"Aether, I'm going to tell you a little story before I give you my advice. Do you remember that pony Starlight Glimmer? The arch-mage from the Crystal Empire who comes to our school every once in a while?"


>Crystal Empire


"Hmm," Aether hums at her instructor's observation.

>"… The arch-mage from the Crystal Empire who comes to our school every once in a while?"

She confirms, "Oh yeah, she's the head of the Canterlot of Magic."


>Canterlot of Magic
*Canterlot Academy of Magic


File: 1529305278958.png (1.04 MB, 1280x720, Twilight_smiling_contemptu….png)

Twilight nods, "Very good. AND she's one of my oldest friends. Starlight and I go back a long time…" Twilight sighs with nostalgia, "But, in addition to each other, we also had separate groups of friends. One of Starlight's was another unicorn named Trixie."

Twilight closes her eyes, taking a very stand-off-ish pose. "Trixie and I did not see eye to eye back then. She was a loud-mouth, show-boating, attention-hogging pony who had it in for me in particular. There was bad blood between us, and she was always trying to prove that she was more powerful than me, and occasionally took things too far." She opens her eyes to the side, "We eventually called a truce, and I never saw her again until Starlight had knocked the horse-shoes right of of me when she told me she was her new friend."

She puts her hoof down, "NATURALLY, I was certain that Trixie was no good for Starlight. I just knew that somehow, someway, she'd only agreed to be her friend so that she could use her against me. I tried everything to get Starlight to stay away from her because I knew deep down Trixie was only using her to get what she wanted, which was a cheap shot at me."

Twilight's ears droop. "Eventually, I confronted Trixie directly, and she said something that confirmed my suspicions right in front of Starlight. She ran away, crying, and that just left me and Trixie alone." She sighs, "I was ready to give that pony the chewing out of a life time… until I saw that Starlight wasn't the only one who was crying."


Aether follows Ms. Sparkle's story, her eyes widening in enthrallment.


"…until I saw that Starlight wasn't the only one who was crying."

"What do you mean?" Aether asks.


Twilight turns her head to the side, a sad look on her face. "To my surprise, Trixie was as heartbroken as Starlight was. As it turns out, Trixie really 'did' care for her as a friend. Not just to get back at me, or to show me up like I thought. I mean, there was a small part of her that 'did' enjoy that but, what was far more important to her was losing a precious friend than getting her long-awaited revenge on me."

Twilight smiles, "After I saw Trixie's genuine hurt, I sought out Starlight and convinced her to give Trixie another chance. And from that day forward, I learned a very important lesson."

She turns her head, "Can you guess what that lesson was, Aether?"


Aether looks around and scratches her mane, and with a quizzical face, she tries to answer the question presented to her, "Uh, ponies can have friends for multiple reasons?"


Twilight gives a small roll of her eyes, and reaches up to put a hoof on Aether's head, scratching it. "The lesson is about the benefit of the doubt. I was so certain that Trixie was out to hurt my friend, to just 'pretend' to be her friend in order to get something she wanted, but in the end I had misjudged her, and nearly ruined a true friendship because I didn't give her a chance."

She lifts her hoof from your head, and holds it up under Aether's chin to look up at her, "Aether… there *is* a chance that Alexis might be only using your friendship to get what she wants. But there's also a chance Alexis wants to be your friend regardless of if that happens or not. That you even 'tried' to help her win probably means more to her than actually winning."

She smiles, letting go of her chin, "There are ponies out there that might take advantage of you, but you shouldn't go through life expecting the worst of everypony. You should give them the opportunity to show their best too, or you might miss out on some good friends. My advice to you, Aether, is to be better than I was to Trixie, and give Alexis another chance. Let her explain herself before jumping to conclusions, and you might find yourself with a long-lasting friendship like Starlight's."

She looks over to her side, and you see a bit of splashing going around between the 'other' dream vision, the happier one that shows Aether and Alexis playing with each other in the water,
>Aether: "Actually, you're, I think… Are we friends? You're the first I've really had a… conversation with. That isn't about magic. Other than Dad and Ms. Sparkle."
>Alexis: "Are WE friends? Uhhhhh…. I don't really know you. And… you're a little….weird? Buuuuut. You've been cool. Like, way more understanding then anypony ever had a right to be. Most ponies, they see me and they just. Run away. You didn't even care. You still don't care. I guess we could try being friends? I mean…I definitely want to keep hanging out. And keep talking to you."

Twilight smiles one more time as she observes the happy scene of you bonding, beaming from ear to ear at the sight of you making a friend, and looks to you, "Do you think it's worth at least a chance?"


Like a cat, Aether blinks and turns her head slightly when her head is scratched.

>She lifts her hoof from your head, and holds it up under Aether's chin to look up at her.

She yields and looks up into her mentor's wise eyes to hear what she has to say.

>"… That you even 'tried' to help her win probably means more to her than actually winning."

"Oh," she says, looking away to consider this.

>"… Let her explain herself before jumping to conclusions, and you might find yourself with a long-lasting friendship like Starlight's."

"Oh, ah, hm…" Aether hums just before being interrupted by the shenanigans of two particular mares.

>"Do you think it's worth at least a chance?"

"I… I guess so. Yes," Aether nods resolutely, watching the fond memory.


Twilight nods her head as she watches the scene play out, "You still sound like you're unsure, and that's okay. But from what I've seen so far in this dream, there's more to Alexis than one might think, and I think she'd make a very good friend given the chance."

She smirks, "Also, you weren't wrong: it wasn't the point of my story, but friends 'can' have friends for multiple reasons. This may not be how most friendships start, but it certainly can be one. If you're still unsure about her, I would also advice being honest: share with her how you feel. One way or another, you'll at least have your answer."

She coughs, "Also, speaking of honest: I couldn't help but hear that part where she asked you not to tell anyone about her… you know what? And you promised not to…?" she says in a less than serious chiding tone.


"… One way or another, you'll at least have your answer."

"Hm, well, alright, Ms. Sparkle," Aether says with another nod, making a mental note to ask Alexis about the issue whenever she (or if she ever) gets the chance. Hopefully she remembers. She usually needs to take pen-and-paper notes.

>"… And you promised not to…?"

"Hm? Oh, darn it," she says, shaking her head, "Well, uh, since this is a dream, I don't think it counts?" Aether says, shrugging at Ms. Sparkle.

"And," she adds, "I guess I feel like I had to. I wouldn't have been able to get your help if I hadn't, and if what you think is true, that Alexis really is my friend to be my friend, your help has probably saved our… friendship," briefly pausing before saying that word "friendship," the concept of her being friends with someone still almost foreign to her.


Twilight smirks, "Sorry, maybe if I were 'Dream Ms. Sparkle', but I'm just 'Regular Ms. Sparkle', so it does."

She raises a hoof, "For the record, I 'still' don't actually think this girl is an actual ghost. She is 'definitely' a peculiar case, one I'd love to get a closer study on… oh!" She looks at you excitedly, "Take a mental note to take more notes on her when you get back to the waking world…" her eyes open wide, "Oh but, be discrete, be VERY discrete! You don't want to go scaring her off. I've made quite a few ponies uncomfortable with my over-enthusiasm."

She shakes her head, getting herself back on track, "But, regardless of if it's real or not, if a pony asks you to make a promise, you have to keep it. I'm glad I was able to help you out, and I swear I won't tell a soul in turn, but just keep that in mind that even your teacher isn't above a promise. ESPECIALLY a Pinkie Promise!" She says with a laugh, "I heard the exact words you used. If Pinkie Pie were still around and found out you broke one of her special promises, hoo-boy, detention would seem like a paradise." She chuckles a bit, letting laughter take hold.

After she settles down, she puts a hoof on your shoulder. "Maybe don't tell her that you let that slip to me, but other than that Aether, just be yourself, and talk to your friend. I'm sure you'll find a way to make things work out."


>"…but I'm just 'Regular Ms. Sparkle', so it does."

"Whoops," is all she says about that. May the Pink One have mercy on her soul.

>"Take a mental note to take more notes on her when you get back to the waking world…"

Still a bit bothered that her mentor doesn't believe her, she (mildly) protests, "I already took notes on her when I first met her, and I haven't seen anything else particularly noteworthy about her… But I'll… keep my eyes peeled."

>"…detention would seem like a paradise."

"Oh, heh heh…" she chuckles nervously, thinking about a fate worse than detention, if there even is such a thing.

>"… I'm sure you'll find a way to make things work out."

"Oh, okay, Ms. Sparkle." A few seconds pass before she remembers her lessons on gratitude and says, looking to Twilight with a small smile, "Thank you for your help, Ms. Sparkle."


Twilight offers Aether another smile, bowing her head, "No need to thank me at all, Aether. I'm always happy to help you in the ways of friendship. It's what I'm here to do. Any pony would be very lucky to have you as a friend. I'd bet my crown on it."

She stands up on the water, offering a hoof to you if you need help as well, and uses a wing to push you in the direction back towards the shore as Aether sees herself/Alexis beginning to have their huge water-fight in the pond. "Now then! I think we still have a few more hours until you wake up. Why don't you start telling me about everything that's happened? I don't wanna miss a detail! Tell me about the princess, the aliens, the god-ponies, the 'never dying' thing, how you wound up with a wrestler and an antique IRNHRT, the Souls… oooh I'm going to have so many notes to make when I get back!" She squeals enthusiastically as she and her student make their way to shore…



File: 1529373225330.jpg (68.99 KB, 600x600, soul50.jpg)

Calling for sheets for the 50th (!!!) session of Soul Quest


File: 1529373371184.png (Spoiler Image, 713.26 KB, 989x1333, aetherbright_by_ladykochou….png)


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>actually updated my sheet for once


Alexis: 9/5
>Glavo: Air Elemental / Sildo: Lemniscate / Ilo: Speed Elemental +1
Pain: 5/5
>Glavo: Rhino / Sildo: Pugilist / Ilo: Swordsage
Aether: 5/5
>Glavo: Sand Elemental / Sildo: Troll / Ilo: Monk
Castle: 3/6
>Glavo: Ghostknight / Sildo: Knight / Ilo: Ogre

Previously on Soul Quest: ( https://desuarchive.org/mlp/thread/32501486/ )

A great deal has passed since the last evening, and at last the finals have begun: an announcement this morning had alerted ALL remaining competitors in the Woods that the final sixteen competitors were all that remained, and Viola, one of the Lorde's head Fae, instructed them to make way to the Villa to prepare for the final rounds of the Tournament, a series of 1 on 1 elimination battles. After a night's sleep and some fare-wells from some of the NPC's, the remainder of the party all made their way together through the halls of the Villa.

After a long march back from the depths of the Woods, the three ponies who spent last night roughing it in the woods now finally find yourselves back near relative civilization, as Fae guards on either side of you lining the draw-bridge that leads into the Villa proper bowing down reverently to you as victors of the first leg of the Tournament. With these three ponies are two other finalists: Lachoc, who managed to make it to the finals without fighting a single official round in the Tournament thus far, and Dead Tom, whom you met with last night. Aside you are also a few of the fighters you all rescued last evening, namely the fire-bird (Pirona), the rabbit (Pierre), and the mongoose (Drake), who wished to see the Finals play out.

You all enter the same grand hall that you all first gathered in the night the Tournament began, now much more vacant than it was before. Only a dozen other competitors or so are there to greet you upon entry, many of them familiar and some not so much. Those gathered here in the hall include
>Bal'boa and his manager, Goldfrill
>Baron Elijah Bello, and the four members of his alliance that Alexis/Aether ran into, along with his persistent entourage of crocodile guards.
>Sir Ratton
>Rasheo along with his monkey and dog companions, Hun-Hun and Cerbi
>The bipedal robot Piston
>A pony mare that seems to be made entirely of copper, wielding a spear and magic helmet
>Gathered in a trio to the side are a golden-feathered condor wearing what appears to be an expensive tunic, a large, imposing 20-foot tall stone soldier, and a small 1-foot tall flower that bears the appearance of a pixie

You walk side by side with Rutinoi in Peche in relative darkness, the only light coming from the Grand Hall up ahead where you can hear the chatter and commotion of several competitors already. Rutinoi and Peche both have excited grins on their muzzle as they march on ahead. Both are silent, seeming to drink in the coming excitement of the finals as you three make your way towards the light of Rutinoi's balcony just up ahead.


Pain Train walks around the hall with practiced stoicism, treating it like a PR event mostly letting Market do his speaking for him. The only notable exception is upon walking up to Baron Elijah, as he hadn't seen him since the start of the competition and more or less left on friendly terms. He goes to the hippo, nodding his head and flashing a smile,

"Elijah, I see you and your alliance have made it to the finals as you had hoped so, best of luck in the competition to all of you."

>"C'mon Pain, we should be hyping up a rivalry. Goldshill (sic) and his brute been going around boasting about being undefeated, it'd be a great stunt to go and challenge him."

"There'll be plenty of time for that, I just wanted to say meet some of the folks strong enough to make it this far."


Aether follows Pain and Market to see the hippo, not exactly one to go off and have social interactions by herself.


File: 1529377953609.jpg (89.23 KB, 900x594, sports-stadium-tunnel-alla….jpg)


The ghost girl walks next to Lorde Rutinoi and Peche, wearing an expression far less optimistic then those of her patrons. Her eyes are straight ahead at the light before her, the scene reminding her of the tunnel in a sports arena. She takes small comfort in the new Japonese robe, similar to the one she lost to the Stone Giant, though with the addition of a sleeveless white overcoat over the sleeved robe. With each step comes rising anxiety as she realizes her life is hanging in the balance. She steels herself and steps into the light with the others.


I take the time to evaluate the other competitors, potentially lingering too long on the striking copper mare.


As you approach the large, boisterous hippo, Elijah's blubbery muzzle splits up into a wide, goofy grin, as he lets out a bellowing laugh. "Hahaaha! Pain Train!" he approaches you, putting a hoof down on your back with gusto as he laughs, "So I see you made it as well! No big surprise there, lad. Wouldn't bet against you after that loss you dealt me. Just be prepared for me to even up the score soon."

He turns around, "You did not get to meet the full alliance before, did you? Well, here is what you 'could' have been part of my friend!" He says, pointing out the cloaked rat, walking snow-man elemental, walking cactus with boxing gloves (currently practicing fighting the air), and a sword-wielding crocodile behind him.
The rat, whom Aether recognizes as Rachshun,besides him gives out a pained snort. "Some alliance… only reason most of us are stickin' around is because we forfeit our share if we split early. The only ones left of our 'alliance'," he says making quote-marks with his claws. "Are the Baron himself and Getta over there, the incredible punching cactus."
Elijah lets out a laugh, "Yes, we certainly didn't make it through without a few casualties… in fact, it's to you, I believe," he says, pointing a hoof at Aether, "That we have to thank for so many early losses. But," he says with a boisterous shout, "That was in the past! Now that we've had time to study all your abilities, I fear this is as far as you all will be getting, my friends."

Several of the other competitors take note of you as you evaluate the competition, but in particular the copper-mare you look at is already staring back at you. Angrily, her metallic eyes furrowed so deep you feel as though she is trying to kill you with glares alone.

As you progress through the long tunnel, Rutinoi keeping his head held high as Peche follows closely behind on his opposite side, the light from the grand hall casting down upon the three of you as you enter from the dark tunnel and step onto the balcony looking over all the other competitors below. It doesn't take you long to spot out the rest of your pony companions, down below speaking with Elijah and his entourage.

Attention is drawn up above to the balcony as the large form of Lorde Rutinoi, the deer's great antlers filled with red-colored roses, holds up his hooves above the assembly, smiling widely as he calls attention to himself. "Greetings, to all my distinguished Numeri guests, and let me be the first to congratulate you! For through your difficult trials, you find yourselves the best of the best, the sole survivors from a hundred and twenty one potential warriors, to only sixteen of the mightiest and most brilliant competitors in all Chevalerie! I am most honored to welcome you back to the Rosemary Villa."


>To Rutinoi's side, Castle, Pain, and Aether can see a pink-themed Fae with sakura blossoms decorating her horns and gown, and surprisingly, to the other side is a ghostly-looking pony in a black/white robe that you all clearly can see as Alexis, standing beside the Lorde.


Pain squints up at the balcony, looking to Aether with slight concern and another emotion which isn't readily apparent,

"That's… disconcerting. I hope in her angst she hasn't decided to marry the Lorde in rebellion."

(1/2 just wanted to get something out for aether to respond to)


>"… That we have to thank for so many early losses."

Aether suddenly feels uncomfortable. Does he harbor ill feelings towards her? Is he going to beat her up?

>"But, that was in the past! …"

Phew. No beating up Aether today.

>"… I fear this is as far as you all will be getting, my friends."

She shrugs. "We'll see," she says.


Aether stares up at Alexis with a squint and pursed lips.

>"… I hope in her angst she hasn't decided to marry the Lorde in rebellion."

"Haha, that's silly," she remarks with a small laugh, but after a few seconds, she adds, "Though, she has done some pretty silly things…"


Pain smiles as Aether speaks up, turning back to the hippo with friendly determination,

"All the same to you, Elijah. No one holds advantage over the other, so let our strengths determine who come out on top. Whether we fight again or not, let's agree to put on a good show."


"Alexis is a smart mare, she's just made some bad decisions under pressure. I don't think she meant what she said earlier, we'll just hope she's calmed down a bit since."

Pain sighs, looking up at the ghost again.


Aether responds to Pain by saying, "Oh, oh yeah, 'benefit of the doubt.'"


Suppressing the reflexive twinge of panic associated with being the subject of female derision, I break the gaze, grateful I still have my helmet on.

As Rutinoi addresses the crowd, I turn towards the balcony, puzzled to see Alexis there. "Was there a plan in motion nopony told me about?"


Alexis leans over the balcony, setting her front hooves on the railing as she looks down at the other Finalists.

The Stone Giant, who beat her earlier.

Brunhilda, paradoxically the most heroic pony here and the only normal person she'd seen since Kachina.

The Baron Elijah, whose alliance she crushed earlier, and the source of what little optimism she had for winning.

Bal'boa, the massive boxer with the beyond-coincidental name she feels freaked out just when he looks at her.

And the others, Pain, Aether, MMM, and Castle. She looks down in their direction, resolving to head down as soon as Rutinoi finished his introduction.


Elijah chuckles loudly, "Yes, I imagine we will! Very soon, in fact, Finals shouldn't be taking too much longer to start in general. Have been using the time before your arrival sizing up the rest of our competition. Lots to be found, it seems, but, haha, none of them have fought the King of Hippos yet." He coughs, "Erm, present company excluded."

Elijah holds up his hoof to shake with Pain's, "May the best fighter win, and of course: to give the crowd a brawl worth seeing is what we came here to do, isn't it?"

You turn away from the copper-mare, but somehow you can still feel a burning hole being drilled into the side of your helmet. However, if you chance one more look at her, you see her waving up at Alexis as she stands besides Rutinoi.

As you look down at the stone giant, his attention is drawn to you along with that of Hokkule and Lila, and he gives you a quizzical stare before returning to his inner focus.
Brunnhilda you can see a slight look of shock upon her face as you stand side-by-side with the Lorde, but after a moment of confusion she offers a light smile, and a discrete, casual wave towards your position.
Bal'boa takes up a look at you as the Lorde calls attention as well, his same creeping, unsettling glare from his snake-like eyes sending a chill down your spine before he returns his focus to the rest of the competition.

Rutinoi continues, "The Final rounds will begin quite soon, but there are still preparations to be made. Until then, please, enjoy what rest, food, merriment, and preemptive taunting with your fellow competitors you can! The next time I make my announcement, the match ups for the first round of the finals shall begin!"

He takes a small bow, the other competitors beginning to return to mingling below, and he looks to you briefly before cocking his head in the direction of the others, seeming to sense your desire to go down there.


"Teenage angst and a silver-tongued fae, most likely."

Pain shakes the hoof, nodding to the sentiment.

"It certainly is."


At Rutinoi's nod, Alexis vanishes, flash-stepping down near the others. She slowly walks the rest of the way over to the four.

"Pain." she says with a neutral, serious voice as she approaches the group.


When Aether sees Alexis, her eyebrows raise up then fall right back down, then she looks off into the distance, only one eyebrow now raised.


Pain looks to Alexis, brushing aside Market and pausing for a moment,

"Alexis, I'm glad to see you. I apologize for what I said earlier, have you been alright?"


Alexis pauses for a moment back, cycling internally through responses.

"I've been fine. Look. I-" she looks away for a second, before turning back to Pain.

"Rutinoi knows everything. He knows you're trying to sabotage the Tournament, and he knows you're wanting to get rid of him. The only reason I'm even talking to you right now is to TRY and talk you out of it before you get yourself killed."


"Knows… everything? I plan to see the Tournament through, and then challenge him with my Wish. I thought that would be the most sportsmanlike way to solve the issue, no foul play needed."

Pain says, his inflection not changing,

"I presumed he was spying on us, but all we did was make sure less creatures got tainted along the way. We even followed the rules doing so."


"Do you know something we don't then? We haven't exactly been ducking his notice."


Aether lets the grownups talk, even though one of them is younger (and arguably decidedly less mature) than her.


"Wait you're NOT going to try and stop the Tournament?" she says with surprise, crossing her arms.

"Well, I still can't let you do that. I need that wish. I know I kind of was a jerk last night when you put me on the spot like that, but I do."
"I've been here all night, I know everything, I've been enjoying his creepy old world vampire hospitality ever since I ran off."


When Alexis mentions how much of a jerk she acted previously, Aether goes, "Huh," and nods to herself, still not making eye contact with anyone.


"Then are you going to tell us, or was that all just personal time? I only care about the tournament for as long as it promises even a fleeting tactical advantage."


Pain rubs a temple, keeping a calm voice,

"It was alright, I backed you up into a corner and it was a terrible thing for me to do, double so since I know better. But I digress, I know many people in here need that soul. I won't deny you the importance of whatever it is you're wishing for; I won't even ask what it is,"

Pain says, holding a pregnant pause,

"But no one here is going to willingly give up their chance at such a Wish willingly, you do know you'll have to fight for it, right?"


"Of course I know I'll have to fight for it, its a fighting Tournament."
"I honestly don't know if I'm going to tell you anything or not. I came down here expecting you all were going to try and kill Rutinoi in the middle of the Tournament. I'm still not entirely sure that ISN'T what you're planning."

She looks back to Pain.

"You don't even know me, how do you know I'm not going to wish for, I don't know, something horrible?"


"Because I trust you won't do something horrible. You're a mare who's been through a lot, sure, but any bad choices so far I think have been more from stress from being a genuinely uncomfortable position than from you being a bad person."

Pain says, sincerely,

"I was wrong to shout at you earlier, again. Everyone here has things they plan to Wish for, whether it just because they want something, or they need it. If you were willing to give up everything, even friendship, for it, then clearly it's something you need. I won't press further."


When Pain mentions friendship to Alexis, Aether looks to the side and hums quietly, "Hmm…"


Arms still crossed, she raises an eyebrow, her whole face dripping with incredulity.

"That's really the angle you're going with, huh?"


"Hey I didn't say I'm gonna give up on my goal to get a Wish as well, just saying you can Wish for whatever you want, provided you get there."

Pain says, offering a small grin,

"You're made it this far, you can make it the rest of the way."


"That's not what I'm talking about." she says with irritation at his nice-guy act.

"Fine. But I'm keeping my eye on you. You touch a twig on his antlers and you're over."


"I do plan to touch that twig, but after the tournament."

Pain says, expression unchanging.


As the four ponies catch up with one another on the side of the Hall, soon the sound of a triumphant horn is called from the balcony, and a flurry of purple petals appear beneath the balcony on the floor as a purple-colored Fae, whom they recognize as 'Viola', one of the first Fae they met upon entry into the Villa, appears as though from thin-air on the floor. Up above, Rutinoi is holding up his hooves once again, the pink-colored Fae at his side as he looks down upon the proceedings with a smile.

"My beloved guests! The time has arrived! If you any food or drink left, finish it now, for the preparations are complete! I trust you've all had enough time to rest since the fighting has ceased, because it is time for it to re-bloom grander and more elegant than ever before! Ladies and gentlefae, the finals are about to begin!" A collection of cheers from the attendants gathered fills the Hall, all fighters and spectators giving a rousing cheer as Rutinoi holds up a hoof once more for calm. "First, of course, we must determine our match-ups for the sixteen proud Numeri gathered before us, which shall be determined by impartial and unbiased chance! Viola, my darling bride, if you would?"

Below, Viola offers a bow to the Lorde, an gives a swift wave of her hooves, as a violet magic extends forth from her horns to the ground in front of her. In an instant rise a small, unassuming red/black budded flower, but as the violet magic surrounds it, the budding flower begins to not only bloom, but grow exponentially in size, until it is the size of a large table. Meanwhile, Viola produces a bucket of acorns held in her hoof.

"This flower is a special creation of mine. It has exactly sixteen petals arranged in the order of the coming brackets, will at my command, spin non-stop until all sixteen seeds," she says bouncing the bucket lightly, "representing the sixteen finalists, have bounced and settled into each of the holes." As she finishes speaking, the flower finishes blooming, a series of red/black petals like a roulette splayed out in front of her as it begins to spin rapidly, turning faster and faster until the petals take on the appearance of a buzzsaw. With a mighty shout, Viola tosses the sixteen seeds onto the swirling flower, where upon its center they bounce and shuffle around. For several tense moments, each of the seeds eventually settles upon a pedal, and when the last one has ceased bouncing around and is caught onto the last remaining petal, the swirling flower finally begins to cease spinning, and Viola holds up a hoof. "The match-ups have been decided…!"



File: 1529388968117.png (13.63 KB, 586x465, bracket.png)

Upon inspect of the seeds and their falling slots in the petals, Viola steps in front of it closer to the center of the Grand Hall, holding up her hoof to draw everyone's attention.

"Hear me, finalists! This will be your first battles of the finals…

"In the first bracket, Aether vs Lila!"
"In the second, Rahseo vs Sir Ratton!"
"In the third, Getta vs Bal'boa!"
>You can hear a long, drown out call of 'YES' coming from the cactus that accompanies Elijah
"In the fourth, Pain Train vs Dead Tom!"
"In the fifth, Baron Elijah Bello of Swampbottom vs Obelisk!"
"In the sixth, Alexis vs Lachoc!"
"In the seventh, Castle Rock vs Piston!"
"And in the final bracket, Prince Hokkule shale face Princess Brunnhilde!"


>"Damnit, I wanted you to headline against Bal'boa. Starting the finals by taking him out would've been a major score!"
>Market says in frustration, hitting a hoof against the table,
"Relax Market, he'll be next after Tom. You go and watch him while I'm battling, and then we can figure out what's his schtick."
>"Yeah but the chance'll be wasted by then, he'll have a finalist under his belt. Damn damn damn…"


The ghost girl gives one more annoyed look at Pain, before her attention is pulled to the deciding of the Finalists. As the wheel begins to turn, Alexis looks at it nervously.

>"Not Bal'boa, not Bal'boa, not Bal'boa…" she thinks to herself as the roulette slows to a stop, putting her up against Lachoc. She looks over at the old man with relief.

"I guess its you and me first then." she says to the ram.


"Lila?" Aether looks around to see if any eyes meet hers. She'd like to know what she's up against, as one would before having to fight them to the near-death.


"So did he decide your match-up for you? He literally used a plant he controls for the most impartial part of the process."

"Who's Piston, anyway?" I search the faces again, and check to see if the coppery mare if still glaring at me.


"Lila's the breezie-plant, Piston I think's the robot. And no, he didn't decide the matches for me." she says with offense.


"The breezie-plant…" she echoes to herself, still looking.


File: 1529391108038.png (378.54 KB, 600x543, Machine.png)

As you enthusiastically make this comment, you note Bal'boa nearby has caught you in his sights. He makes a sickly grin, staring you down as he does a 'cut-throat' motion across his neck with his gloves (you note that they seem different than before, flame-decals on top of them this time), as Dead Tom comes up from behind, adjusting his red cape behind him as the skeleton looks on at him.

"Yes, I must say that is a good idea… in fact, given the number of followers we have," he says, looking back at the others you have gathered, "I think we have enough to judge 'all' of the other fights simultaneously. Should be quite helpful…"

He looks on at you, his empty eye-holes suddenly quite serious. "Pain Train… I am eternally grateful to you for letting me accompany you thus far. It brought me no shortage of comfort to once again find myself around others I could trust. But…" he lowers his head. "I'm afraid Miss Alexis isn't the only one who needs to win. There is something I desperately, TRULY need the wish for… and so I hope you hold no grudge against me when I say I cannot afford to lose to you now. I will fight with every last ounce of strength in these bones to defeat you."

Lachoc looks up with surprise, sweat gathering on the old ram's face as he reaches up to scratch behind his head with a nervous chuckle. "Hehehehe… s-so it would seem. Just my luck to get one of you ponies in my first go round, too. Can't say I have much room to complain, though, I've literally been coasting by hanging around Pain since the Tournament started. You're actually going to be my FIRST official match of the tournament. So uh, go easy on me, will you?"

AEther can see said Breezie-plant waving excitedly from across the way, roughly a food-tall and with fluttering, leaf-like wings and a fairy-like plant form as she shouts, "Hello! Over here, I'm over here!" She says as she is about to fly in your direction, the golden condor that she was accompanying appearing to say something in protest before she speeds her way over, getting up swiftly into Aether's muzzle as she flutters about,

"Hey! We haven't met yet, but it's so so cool to meet you! You're only the third pony I've ever seen up close!" She bows her head as she flutters in mid-air. "I'm Lila! Yours is 'Aether', right? How do you do?"

As Alexis points out who Piston is, you feel a series of steps shaking the floor as said large machine begins moving his way closer to you, a gorilla-like shape to him as he holds up a metallic hand,
>"That would be me! Hello there."
His voice comes out like it's emitting from an old radio, but has a strong tone behind it that reeks of confidence.
>"Nice to see another Machine made it out here! Didn't get much of a chance to talk to you last night, but I knew I would get another chance. Can't say I'm too surprised that the only two Machines to have entered the Tournament BOTH made it into the finals."

He puts a metallic hand on his hip and another on his chin, looking over your chassis,
>"Said your name's Castle? Definitely haven't seen a design like THAT before… that just off the assembly line? Have to say, I like the cannon."


>one more note: you also see that you've re-captured the copper-mare's glare, but now it seems to have only intensified in hatred as she now seems fixated on shifting between you and Piston. You see her trying to put it out of her mind, looking away from you as she shakes her head clean of distractions


"Ah!" she yelps when she suddenly find a small, winged creature fly up into her face. She would have swatted it away if it hadn't talked soon enough.

"Oh, hi," she says as she awkwardly bows back, "That's right, I'm Aether. Aether Bright. I'm, uh, doing okay, I guess." After a few seconds, she scratches her head and says, "Uh, are we supposed to be nice to each other? I guess we're supposed to, uh, be going up against each other very soon. You seem nice, though. I wouldn't like to fight you." Aether then looks down and murmurs to herself, "Maybe that's what you're trying to do…"


File: 1529391775094.png (1.06 MB, 650x1004, astra gloves.png)

>also note: the decals on Bal'boa's gloves aren't flames, they look more like the gloves in pic-related


"Hello…" I reply, taken off guard by the construct's amicable tone. "Well uh, you know what they say… Be a fast machine. Keep your motor clean…"

"Yeah, it's a new manufacturing line. Reboot of an old design."

"Say, you wouldn't know who that is, would you?" I indicate the mare to Piston with some subtlety.


Alexis tries to think of a response, some witty reassurance, but coming up with nothing just says.

"I can't."


Pain clutches his chest as Bal'boa gestures towards him, exasperatedly letting his head fall to the table and closing his eyes, sticking out his tongue pantomiming dying. As Dead Tom speaks him, he jumps to attention and smirks towards Bal'boa, then turning to Tom.

"Tom the only grudge I'd hold towards you is if you didn't fight with your all. I won't hold back as well, but if you defeat me, you'll have my graces and my best wishes in towards winning the tournament."

Pain says, wiping the goofy expression from taunting Bal'boa off his face and looking sternly at Tom in the eye sockets,

"I hope you won't hold it against me that I'll give my all as well."


Lila smiles, "That's good! I'm glad to hear that you're good. I'm good too! Been having a LOT of fun around here, normally m'lord doesn't let me do anything this fun for this long but since we're having a one on one fight, I don't think he'd mind if I spent time saying hello myself!"

As you comment about if you're supposed to be nice to each other, she frowns, sitting cross-legged in the air as she flutters. "Oh… I guess that's a good point. I'm not sure if we're supposed to be nice to each other right before a fight either, I guess that does seem a little weird…" she turns her head, "Well, m'lord says appearances are important, and it's better for someone to think you're nice than mean, so… I think it's alright." She chuckles. "You're nice too. I wouldn't like to fight either but, it's a fighting tournament!" She shrugs, "What can you do?"

Lachoc chuckles, "Hehe… well, can't say it wasn't worth a shot." He cricks his neck a little, stretching out his limbs. "Guess I'll just have to give it my all then and hope it doesn't come up too short. Guess I have to admit, I'm MUCH more glad to be up against you than some of these other bruisers out there…" he pauses, "Oh, heh, not to make you sound like you're weak or anything just, you know, less likely to leave this ol' ram a pasty pancake than that Bal'boa guy."

Piston sounds a metallic-sounding laugh.
>"Can't say I heard that one, but it's not bad."
He nods his head in approval as you mention it's a reboot.
>"Ah, must be falling behind on my model catalog, don't recognize it. So much new Tech being developed these days even I have trouble keeping up with it all."

As you ask him about the copper mare, the machine looks between you and her repeatedly, seemingly caught of guard.
He asks, his volume suddenly a bit lower than its bombastic level a moment ago.
>"You never laid eyes on Princess Brunnhilde before? I assume you 'are' from Osterlich, right?"
He shakes his head, and whispers
>"Well at any rate, best just let the cold stares bounce off your chassis, understand? If it were ANYONE else I'd be laying them out straight in a milisecond, but no sense giving our princess trouble over a little bad oil. Few decades at the most, she'll probably convert anyh-"

"If you cowardly piles of scrap metal are going to speak ill of me, ze least you could do is zey it outloud to my face!" The copper pony shouts angrily in a distinctly Germane accent, turning her muzzle up at the two of you.


Bal'boa snarls out the sides of his mouth as you mock him from afar, pushing himself towards your direction before his manager gets in the way, mumbling to him about saving his energy for the fight as he prevents an early confrontation and pushes him to the side.

Tom looks to you as you get serious, and bows his head. "No, of course I wouldn't hold a grudge against you. The only person I'd blame for my failure is myself. I will fight however hard I must in order to win, but you will have my best wishes as well should you succeed. I look forward to an excellent match, my friend… and let neither of us hold anything back."

He holds up a hoof, "If I may, I would ask an arrangement: should you win our duel, I will tell you everything I know of Bal'boa from my confrontation with him last evening. And should you win, I would ask if your manager might share anything he sees in 'his' fight while the two of us are ore-occupied."

As all of you converse with your opponents, you hear a call cry out from Viola once more as she raises her hoof.

"If you are all quite ready, it is time to begin the first round of the Finals! Please, pair yourself up with your designated opponent, and follow behind me as I lead you all to the first fighting grounds. All non-combatants, you will be escorted to the spectators' section to be part of the crowd."



Alexis: 6/2 [7/5]
>Glavo: NA / Sildo: NA / Ilo: NA

Kameron's expression twists into one of confusion. "Uhhh…. exactly like *who*? There another zebra I should know about?"
As you tell him how long you've been up, he exclaims, "Damn. Couldn't ask for better timing then, huh?" As you comment having come down for coffee, he adds on, "Here, lemme treat you." He says, grabbing for his bits. "Yeah I feel ya. Week and a half like that? I'd miss it too. I just sorta figured it'd be like, you know, waking up and not realizing you've been missing it all." He comments as he moves up to the barista, putting down his bits insistently before you can. "You sure you should be outta bed?"


"Its not that its just…its a really long story. And I don't even know if its safe to talk about it with you. I feel like I've been gone for months. The accident…it changed everything. I don't know what to do after this but for now–"

She exhales.

"I'm sorry. I'm still half-asleep. I'm probably sounding crazy."

"Well its too late now if I'm not. Besides. I feel good."


Kam nods. "Ah… okay, I think I get ya. Can't imagine what it's like, waking up after a week after… something like the accident." He shudders slightly. "Still shakes me up just thinking what coulda happened."

As you mention being half asleep, Kam spares a small smirk. "Well, crazy is about usual for you anyhow, so I guess you're not doing so bad. Think you just need to take it easy for now."

The barrista behind the counter coughs, "Ahem… hello, welcome to StarBucks, can I take your order?"
Kam looks up, "Uh, yeah, gimme a mocha, large, and something for her." He nods to you. "Go ahead."


The former ghost looks over at Kameron, visually uncomfortable. She pauses, wanting to say something about how bitterly shaken up he was when something *did* happen, or how comforting or unnerving the teasing was. As she is still trying to think of what to say the barrista coughs, shocking her out of her trance.

"Right. Sorry. Alot on my mind." she says, looking up at the menu.

"I want a mocha coffee, a crepe, a blueberry muffin…one of those croissants with fruit in it, an eclaire, and one of those little bottles of milk. And a green iced tea."


Kam's eyes open a little wider as you place your order, before he reaches for his wallet to pull out a couple extra bits to cover the pastries. "Uh… I think I'll add on a couple of scones too, man."
"Coming right up. I'll bring them over to your table if you'd like." the barrista states, going behind the counter to start brewing the coffee and the tea, and digging through the pastry rack to collect the treats.

Kam moves over to the table he was sitting at before with his back-pack, and offers a chair. "Hungry, I'm guessin'?"


The girl looks slightly embarrassed as she slides into the chair opposite him.

"Very. Its been awhile since I've eaten anything." she says, her bare hooves feeling cold in the small corner cafe, enjoying the uncomfortable sensation. She reaches over for a few napkins and begins wiping up his spittake, which currently covers whats left of his old scones.

"Thanks for visiting, by the way. It means alot."


"Fuck, yeah I can imagine. Almost two weeks without any real food? I'd have eaten the first moving thing I saw. If you're still hungry we can hit up somewhere else that has some substance." As you start wiping up the spit-take, Kam's cheeks flush, "T-thanks. I was gonna get that, you just kinda caught me by surprise."

He shakes his head, "You don't gotta thank me, was the least I can do. We were all really worried about you. I-" his eyes open wide. "Oh wait, shit, almost forgot. I got you a card-" he digs into his back-pack, moving through his laptop and papers to pull out a small Hallmark card. He hands it over across the table, where you see it is a picture of a ursa major with the flu, a comically over-sized thermometer in its mouth and ice-pack on its head. Underneath, it says 'Hope things aren't too un-bear-able'.

"…do you get it?"


"You realize I'm not five right?" she says with feigned annoyance as she takes the card.

"And to be honest? Things were kind of unbearable for awhile. They still kind of are. I'm glad you're here though. After the crash, I started to think I'd never talk to you or anypony else I knew again."


"Course not. Just, I thought it was cheesy and maybe a cheesy joke would help after you woke up. Plus Flawless and Bitter already got you like, five sports ones, I wanted to be original."

As you comment on how unbearable things have been, a frown passes across Kameron's face. "I'm sorry. I can't begin to imagine how scary it's gotta be, waking up after something like that." He pauses for a moment, thinking of what to say next. "If you don't feel like talking about it, I totally get it but, what was like? Do you remember the accident, or…?"

"Here we go!" The barrista interrupts, carrying a tray full of food with him. "Two mochas, one order of scones, crepe, blueberry muffin, croissant, eclair, milk and green iced tea."
"Oh-" Kam turns his attention, grabbing at his coffee as it's handed to him while the food is set down on the table. "Thanks."


"I don't get why I needed so many cards in the first place. Its not like I could read them while I was gone." she says flicking it onto the table casually, before he asks her about the accident.

"I remember it. I had alot of time to think about it too, to figure out more about what happened. Most of what happened at the time was a blur. It hit me right after I saw it. I was walking home. I had just said bye to Bitter, who started walking down the intersection to her street, down that one road that goes kind of downhill a few blocks from mine? I turned around and-"

"If I hadn't have looked back. If I'd just gotten out of the way, none of this might have happened. And I wouldn't be here. You don't even feel it at first. You'd think a car hitting you, head on, you'd FEEL it right? You don't. At least, not at first. All I felt, was all the air being sucked out of my throat, like someone was pulling it out of my throat with a vacuum. Everything after that happened so fast I only found out what happened after. When it hit me, it dragged me under the car, instead of over the windshield. Something in the chassis, cut and dug into my chest and dragged me with the car about twenty feet leaving a blood streak in the road, before it hit a bump and I popped loose. That's when I felt it. It was like somepony had set a grand piano on top of my chest. I wasn't even in pain, I just…I couldn't move. I don't even know how many bones I broke, but I found one later there was a hole going through my lung. One of those, tube things that goes under the car, had went straight through it. Thats probably what dragged me through the street. After that, there really wasn't much that happened. I didn't see a light, or…you know how in the movies, its always really dramatic when somepony dies? And they see their whole life flash before their eyes, or they just sit there looking at the sky for ten minutes thinking about what had happened. Its…its nothing like that. It couldn't have been more then a few minutes between it hitting me and me passing out."

"All I remember thinking was this panicked realization that I'd been hit. Not even that I was going to die, just shock. And that was it. I was still thinking about it, staring across the street when I passed out. When I woke up, that was it." she says, just as the food is set down.


"No, but you could read them all after you woke up and find out how much ponies missed you while you were out."

Kam listens to you silently, taking in the full description calmly. As you start getting into more vivid detail about how it 'felt', to have been stabbed in the chest by something underneath the car and being dragged by it, his nerve wavers a bit, a bit of color draining from his cheeks. He doesn't stop you however, continuing to listen to your whole story, and only after it finishes, does his head turn down. "…damn. Just… damn." He takes a slow sip of his coffee, thinking over his response. "I'm a little surprised you remember it that well. Something like that, I sorta figured it'd be something that happened so fast when you woke up you'd barely recall the whole thing. But having THAT on your mind soon as you wake up is just… I'm sorry."

"It's different than I thought. When I asked the doc what was wrong he said you managed to miss a full-on collision and the worst injury was to your head. That you'd be able to walk around and shit if y-… when you woke up."


"Like I said, I had a lot of time to figure out more about it later. It was alot worse then-" she pauses, raising her head and looks around, before ducking her head down.

"Kameron what difference would it have made if it hit me head on or on the side if it was going sixty miles an hour?"


Kameron's eyebrows perk up as you pause, seemingly curious as to what you were about to compare it to. As you duck your head down he seems confused, but then as you ask him that question he shakes his head.

"If you asked me that two weeks ago, I probably would have said not much. Ponies get fucked up in accidents where the car isn't even going twenty, even getting clipped by something going sixty is insane. But I guess you're living proof to the contrary. Doctor just said you got INSANELY lucky with how it hit you, how you landed, how fast they got you to ER. It was probably a miracle."


"Bullshit. That's bullshit and you know it." she says, speaking somewhat quietly, head ducked a little.


"Bullshit? What, am I supposed to complain you managed to live through something like that because it's unlikely?"


"Because its *impossible*. If Mare-Do-Well or Princess Luna, or fuck even your grandma got hit MAYBE. Anypony normal would be a pavement smear at half that speed. You don't find that the least bit suspicious?"


"I find it improbable, I think you must have gotten the luckiest hand dealt in the history of Equestria to make it out of that alive… should try buying a lottery ticket after this, come to think of it… but what's there to be suspicious of? You're standing here mostly unscathed after something that could have killed you. Like Granny Z says, 'Whether things are going North or South, you shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth.'"


"Trust me if you knew what I knew you'd think I was staring down its tonsils. I can PROVE something weird is going on here."


"For a filly who just cheated Death, you seem kinda unsatisfied. Hasn't weirder shit happened?"

He raises an eyebrow. "Prove? Prove what?"


"By this point, kind of, but this didn't happen. I'm in a matrix. And I can prove it." she says sitting her hooves down on the table.

"Anything you know, that I don't also know, you can't remember. I'll give you an example. Remember last year when you did that chemistry project and you had to memorize all the elements on the periodic table?"

"Tell me something about it I DON'T already know, like listing the noble gases, or telling me what 'noble gas' even means. Or what the numbers in the little element box mean."

"Or look at the coffee menu. Like half of those are just made up, they aren't even Prench."


As you bring up being in a matrix, Kam gives you a look as though you just spoke in a foreign language to him. "You're in a 'matrix'… like the movie, that Matrix?"

As you ask him about the elements, he responds "Alexis, I did that project a YEAR ago. We've both had a lot of shit coming down the pipe going up to graduation, I've forgotten most of what I crammed about the periodic table just trying to keep up with everything else."

He looks over at the menu, "You sure? I don't really memorize the menu, I just sort of order what I order."


"Yes like the movie. None of this is real. The doctor couldn't remember what an IV was earlier either. Look, take out your phone and google the Periodic Table. Or google anything you think you know, that I don't."

"I KNOW it sounds crazy, but its the truth. None of this is real."


Kam gives a dead-pan look. "We're in the Matrix… right. So, where's the part where we get to learn kung-fu?"

As you ask him to test out his theory, he pulls up his phone, "Alright, let's see." He opens it up, "Going into browser, typing 'periodic table', hitting search…" he bears a smug grin on his face, but it slowly turns into an annoyed frown, "No connection to Internet? What the hay, I was *just* streaming something."


"Its not funny. I'm really trapped in here." she reprimands.

"And see? Its not letting you online. Switch from the hospital's wifi to using the phone's internet. That's NEVER down in the city."


"I *am* using my phone's internet, it says it won't connect." He says, going through the motions of checking various settings. "Weird… maybe I hit my data limit for the month or something's just wrong with the hardware, I'm pretty sure there's better explanations than being stuck in the Matrix."

As you reprimand him for making jokes, he says, "Sorry for not taking it as seriously as I should, but come on: what would *you* say if I told you something like that?"


"I'd think you were crazy. Honestly I'm surprised you didn't start saying I had lost it, or freak out or something. If it was anypony else they'd be sending me up the river for a psyche referral."

"How do you stay so cool all the time?"


"I just smoke a ton of weed when you're not around." Kameron says extremely nonchalantly, making an obvious joke. He shrugs. "I dunno, that's just how I am. Maybe Granny rubs off on me."

"For the record though, I *do* think you're probably not thinking straight right now. You're minutes out of a hospital room and haven't eaten or drank anything in days, I think you should at least get a bite to eat before trying to convince me we're in a computer or something."


>"… Wonder if it's related."

"I've never had a sister before," Aether adds. Strange choice of words.

>"Oh, trust me, hon. I know. …"

She blushes. She knows what her fellow pony pal means by that.


"Ah!" Aether yelps. "Ah, ooh boy," she says before she takes a deep breath in and a deep breath out, like her mentor taught her. "We should probably see what's going on and help, we're probably the most capable on this whole ship—er, turtle," she tells the group.


Alexis opens her mouth to continue, but is interrupted by the sounds of clashing swords.

"Not a giant monster. Those are swords." she says, looking thoughtfully towards the stairs, before vanishing. When she reappears she is full size, and the ghost picks up the iPod and hands it to a vine-person.

"Don't lose this." she says, hitting a button on it before running upstairs. A second later Honey, Aether, and everypony else [including those on top of the turtle] hear booming music.



(Before these two)
>>33893736 #
Honey eased up when Alexis didn't push it any further. "Huh. Now that you mention it, I guess you're not wrong." She glances at Aether and tilts her head. "She actually sorta reminds me of Gentle. Shy. Soft spoken. Kinda awkward. I usually click pretty good with girls like that. Wonder if it's related."

>>33893745 #

Honey giggles. "Oh, trust me, hon. I know. Thanks for the input, though."

>>33893740 #

"Shit." Honey cupped a hoof over her mouth and shouted back up. "A what?" she asked. "There's a what?! That's important!"



Firm drops his book to the side, stands up, and stretches. "Finally got some action? Never actually got any of those ghost balls, but fuck me I need a stretch after being on this turtle for so long."

Honey takes a deep breath and nods. "Yeah," she says, clopping her hoof against the ground. "Let's fuckin'do this."


Seeing that the rest of the gang's with her, she heads up to see what's going on outside.



Cormeum quickly pulls up his arm in the direction of the sound to block the incoming attack with the metal frame of his lab suit. [1d10] to block

>Anima does a similar action. [1d10]

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


As the sound of clashing swords emanates from above, you hear some of the guards shouting from above, "I think it's Tainted attacking us!"

As Alexis re-appears in full size, the vine-person looks up in surprise as she passes him her IPod, the music blaring loudly as many passengers turn their attention it as you run upstairs, straight to the source of the action.

As the party ascends to the top of the turtle, they find a few dim light sources coming from a few firefly lanterns positioned on top of its shell, and several mantid guards fighting with swords and spear against three large, monstrous enemies.

One appears to be a giant toad with deer antlers, a glowing fire-hot belly, and large panther-like limbs and tail, currently breathing fire over one of the guards.
A second has what appears to be a large crocodile head on one arm, and its tail on the other, its mid-section made up of the furry torso of a wolf with a mud-like, misshapen vulture's head. Its legs appear as tree roots, and the crocodile-head-arm is currently in the process of snapping one of the guards' spears in half.
The third has the body of a large snake, wrapped around two more guards squeezing the life out of them, while its top half possesses the rock hard shell of a turtle and two arms similar to those of bears clawing at another. Its head has that of a snapping turtle, but also two faces on its side (that of a bear's and a snake's) that seem frozen in their expressions, barely moving and seeming in great pain.

"Chimera!" The lead guard mantid shouts, using one of his swords to try and fight off Chimera 2's tail-arm, being tossed aside by the strength of the blow. "What in the Four are they doing here?!"

The slicing metal sound crashes against Cormeum and Anima's side, and while cutting a nice slice through Cormeum's coat, Anima's block proves very effective and absorbs most of the damage at the last moment, letting it impact harmlessly against solid metal
>Cormeum: 1/5
>Anima: 4/5

Looking up, you see your attacker: it's some sort of monstrous hybrid. It has the colossal head of a bat, but with wings like a vulture's on its back and its two arms ending in long, sickles made of pure steel. Its hind legs possess vulture-like talons, and a painted, twisted face of a bird protrude from its chest. The bat head roars angrily as it comes in for another attack, slicing at the pair as the river-rapids below start to speed up. Back on the turtle ship, Anima can see the other monsters the mantid guards face are similar monstrous hybrids.
[1d10+1] Anima
[1d10+1] Cormeum

Roll #1 3 + 1 = 4 / Roll #2 9 + 1 = 10




[1d10] DC 3
>Great Cleave
>Will do followup post

Roll #1 5 = 5


Honey stares at the three chimara, swallows, clears her throat, and pulls out her whip. "Well," Firm says, cracking his knuckles. "I know which I wanna fight." He pulls his fist back and barrels at the one with bear arms, throwing a bulldozer of a haymaker. [1d10]

Honey chases after him, levitating her whip alongside her. When close enough to be heard, her horn glows a bright white and she cracks her whip in the croc chimera's general direction. She puffs her chest out, and her magically booming voice takes on a commanding tone. "Down!" she orders.

[1d10]word of power

Roll #1 5 = 5 / Roll #2 9 = 9


"Those are strange looking chimeras," Aether comments. "Well, here we go again." She lifts a few of the weapons dropped by the mantis guards and throws them at the fire-breathing chimera.

>Telekinesis roll


>… Its head has that of a snapping turtle, but also two faces on its side (that of a bear's and a snake's) that seem frozen in their expressions, barely moving and seeming in great pain.

After she fires, she notices the pained expressions of one of the chimeras. "Wait, what's going on here?"

>Observation roll


Roll #1 5 + 3 = 8 / Roll #2 7 = 7


Alexis looks surprised to see monsters, mistakenly believing their attackers to be using weapons as well based on the sound. Nonetheless she rushes in and proceeds to punch the Vulture in the face, then the other face, then a spin-kick to the tail. Its counters of flailing she dodges easily, effortlessly, instinctively before jumping back as it punches the ground, landing ten feet back like something in a martial arts film. She runs at the other two creatures, doing a leap over the Vulture towards the toad and snake, stealing a sword from one of the mantid's mid-jump, before doing a wide-swing against her two other opponents.

>-1W all



>Anima stares at the horrible creature with a deadpan expression. "You know… This is not what I expected when I woke up…"

"You don't sleep," Cormeum comments as he shoots at the horrible thing. [1d10+1] ranged attack

>"I didn't say this morning," Anima responds as she points the palm of her right hand at the flying beast. She shoots a red beam. Lifestream [1d10+1]

Roll #1 8 + 1 = 9 / Roll #2 10 + 1 = 11


The three-headed, turtle-snake-bear hybrid roars as Firm launches a clean punch into its face, but the creature's skin is very durable, causing it glance off. It lets out a loud roar as it fwips its two mantid-captives in its tail into the water, charging instead at Firm as he antagonizes it. It's about to bite with its massive beak, while lashing out with its tail against three other guards
[1d10+1] Cleave 4 (Firm, and 3 Mantid guards)
>Firm at 4/5

The spears are launched by your magic directly at the fire-breathing toad chimera, causing it to let out a pained howl as bits of plasma start to leak from its belly, the creature turning its attention towards you as it lets out a curdling grow, spewing fire towards you and a few of the mantid guards
[1d10+1] Cleave 3 (Aether and 2 Mantids), Fire Elemental

You take a closer look at the two faces on the side of Chimera 3, and see that the other faces besides the turtles appear to be alive, moving… but in a great deal of pain, mumbling incoherently as their eyes lazily dart around their predicament, unable to do much more than wince and groan.

Alexis punches the mud-vulture Chimera in both faces and its tail, the monster roaring angrily as it tries in vein to swing back at Alexis before she dodges away from her, slowly pacing after her using its tree-roots before Honey's whip cracks against its head, the monstrous beast distracted as its crocodile-head arm and tail arm go wide against its opponents. Afterwards, Alexis takes one of the Mantid guards weapons (eliciting a loud and annoyed 'HEY' from the soldier), and cutting into the other two Chimera as well, cutting them deeply

[1d10+1] (This will miss regardless due to WoP, but still rolling for counterattack possibility)
[1d10+1] Targeting Alexis
>Mantids pick up their weapons and fight back, operating under Mob rules. 8 Mantid guards are left
[1d10] vs Chimera 1 (Fire-toad fighting Aether)
[1d10] vs Chimera 2 (Crocodile-vulture fighting Alexis)
[1d10] vs Chimera 3 (Turtle-bear fighting Firm)

The creature is blasted twice over with the might of both Cormeum and Anima's long-range weaponry, the red-beam of Anima even draining life directly from the monster that recharges her and mends the wounds she incurred earlier. However, as it comes diving down into the water, one of its sickle-like metal blades strikes the side of the Vermillion, sending it spiraling as Cormeum loses balance and almost falls over-board, just barely clinging to the side of the raft as the water picks up speed.
>Cormeum at 0/4
>Anima at 5/5
[1d10+1] Rolling Huge for the Bat Chimera (it will go down helpless regardless, but may save a wound)
[1d10] To get up from helpless after, trying to fly around for another pass

Roll #1 5 + 1 = 6 / Roll #2 1 + 1 = 2 / Roll #3 2 + 1 = 3 / Roll #4 2 + 1 = 3 / Roll #5 6 = 6 / Roll #6 10 = 10 /


Need to roll for the last 3, mlpg has a roll cap

[1d10] vs Chimera 3 (Turtle-bear fighting Firm)
[1d10+1] Rolling Huge for the Bat Chimera (it will go down helpless regardless, but may save a wound)
[1d10] To get up from helpless after, trying to fly around for another pass

Roll #1 6 = 6 / Roll #2 2 + 1 = 3 / Roll #3 4 = 4


As she observes the chimera ooze out plasma, Aether comments, taking into consideration her career choice, "How ironic." She doesn't have much time to ruminate on it though, as it seems like the medical student has angered the chimera. "Ah!" she yelps before she puts up a magical shield for herself.

>Inure to fire


Roll #1 6 + 2 = 8


Successfully summoning a shield, she takes another look at the third chimera and its pained faces. "Something's not right…" she says to herself.



>"This thing is driving me batty!" Anima says as her chest opens up to allow some green ectoplasm to plop out and take the form of a fae. [1d10] Raise Dead

"You know, usually the hero is the one to make bad quips."

>"Usually, the hero isn't such a stick in the mud!"

"Eh, I'm not so sure about THAT," he says as he takes aim again. [1d10+1] ranged attack

Roll #1 6 = 6 / Roll #2 9 + 1 = 10


Honey giggles and cracks her whip again. "Cute. You're still trying? You know you may as well just give up now, you useless creep." She cracks her whip again, this time right at the creature's feet.

[1d10]Word of power

Firm's hand ached at the blow, but he just redoubled his efforts. Planting his hoof firmly into the ground, he launched his forehead up into the chimera's jaw.


Roll #1 5 = 5 / Roll #2 8 = 8


Alexis steps in a dead mantis as she steps back to dodge the vulture's attack, looking disgusted and surprised, right before seeing the two other dead cast into the water. The music downstairs now seeming very inappropriate [or sickeningly so] as it booms.

>Just try to understand this It's not that I am trying to outshine You've got your inner beauty We can't all be divine

She looks to the guards.

"What are you doing? Go inside or you'll die!" the ghost shouts to the guards before rushing in and slicing up the monsters again.

[1d10] Cleave 3

Roll #1 5 = 5


The bat chimera lets out a loud, angered roar as you blast it again, and you notice even the fairly motionless bird-head coming out of its chest letting out a small squawk of pain. It turns its way back for another attack run before the blast knocks it off course, cliping its wing as it struggles to right itself.
[1d10] Getting up from helpless

The green goo successfully forms itself into a Fae, ready for combat with a halberd.(10/1)

Aether successfully summons a shield to block her from the flames, and the two mantid guards besides her hide behind it as well to be protected from the monster's fire. The spears you threw earlier in its belly causes its body to ignite internally, a large explosion sounding out through the Undrot river as it falls backwards, suffering from its own attack.
[1d10] Getting up from Helpless
>Inured to fire for 3 turns

As you look at the faces on the chimera again, you start to see the bear mouthing out something that you can just barely make out as a whisper
>"Help… me…"

As the whip cracks at the croco-chimera's root-like feet, it roars from both its crocodile and vulture heads, not intimidated by the display. It charges at Honey, but finds itself disoriented by Alexis' attack as it flails angrily and inefficiently, missing all his marks. What's more, the mantid guards put up a stunning display, the captain leading his troops to impale the creature from the sides, though this only ends in angering it as it swats them away, trying to get some distance
[1d10] Chimera 2 getting up from helpless

This time, his effort is rewarded: the fist drives itself straight up through the snapping turtle's jaw, making the two other faces on its side groan as well as the snake-turtle staggers back, though its tail manages to land a solid whip to Firm's side
>Firm at 3/5
Chimera 3 rears up another attack, this time charging directly at Firm with its bear claws
[1d10+1] Great attack, crits on 9+

You rush in to slice up the monsters, but find themselves having re-doubled their efforts, their monstrous hides proving more difficult to slice as they absorb the blows. Chimera 2 lashes out with his crocodile-tail, glancing Alexis along the side

As you shout out to the Mantids to retreat inside, they all nearly drop their weapons in surprise, before one shouts, "W-we can't! Rathfur needs us, he's…"
"He's well defended…" the captain shouts, looking to Alexis. "Clearly. The ones inside not so much. Everyone, let the ponies handle this: we have to secure our passengers' safety."

With his order, the mantids all give the ponies (and minotaur) a brief glance before taking Alexis' suggestion, the captain looking out at her in particular as he retreats after them.

Roll #1 9 = 9 / Roll #2 4 = 4 / Roll #3 10 = 10 / Roll #4 3 + 1 = 4


Honey backpedals and her horn glows. A white aura surrounds her whole body as she prepares to take a hit.


Firm grins as he feels the satisfying crack of his skull connecting. He winces a little at the sting of the tail, but pushes through the pain. Standng tall, he tries to wrap one of his arms around one of its incoming claws, preparing to try and wrench the chimera off balance.


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


The ghost visibly shakes at the large explosion.

"Run!" she shouts to the guards, shortly before being tailwhipped, almost falling over. She slashes at the heads of this chimera, before impaling it in the chest and turning to attack the other two with martial arts.

[1d10] Cleave 3

Roll #1 5 = 5


Aether watches as the beast falls down. "Stay," she commands it.

>"Help… me…"

Aether's eyes open wide and she feels chills going down her body. Quickly, she summons a protective bubble around her and with the aid of Anima (the magic, not the homicidal robot) she flies up to the weaker face of the turtle-bear chimera to get a closer look.

>Inure to physical damage


>Switching Ilo to Monk

Roll #1 4 + 2 = 6


>with the aid of Anima (the magic, not the homicidal robot) she flies up to the weaker face of the turtle-bear chimera to get a closer look.
not switching souls, change this to
>gallops (gingerly) over to the turtle-bear chimera to get a closer look.



>"Finish off that ugly thing!" Anima commands her new friend. [1d10] Ectofae attack

>Anima herself shoots another red beam at the chimera. [1d10+1] Lifestream

Cormeum keeps firing away. [1d10+1]

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


The mantids are back safely within the interior of the shell, though leaving the opening open in case any of you need to retreat as well. You slash back at the head of the crocodile Chimera, but find it quickly adapting to your attacks as it kicks you with one of its tree-like legs, leaving a few scratches behind as the other chimera absorb your blows
>4/5 Alexis

Honey tries gathering her aura for a spell, but the Chimera moves too quickly before she can concentrate. It snaps back into action, its croco-head biting at her while the tail swings back around to attack Alexis. It plants its roots into the very shell of Rathfur
>Chimera 2
[1d10] Stand Firm
[1d10+1] Alexis
[1d10+1] Honey

Firm wraps his arms around the bear-arms of the chimera, and throws it around in a grapple. But as it is flipped onto its side, its shell hits the shell of Rathfur, absorbing most of the damage. Its tail wraps around Firm's midsection, squeezing him painfully in a reversal as the Chimera lunges for your neck with its beak
>Chimera 3
[1d10+1] Firm, Great attack

The fire-breathing tiger-toad writhes on the ground, not obeying your command at all to sit still as it tries to get up once more
[1d10] Get up from helpless

You inure yourself successfully to all physical damage for 1 turn, and get a closer look at Chimera 3 as it wrestles with Firm. You see the turtle-face is roaring, like a wild animal, but the bear and snake faces are all wincing, agonized, barely comprehensive or aware. You hear them whispering mumbles words of 'end my suffering' or 'i'm sorry, its not my fault', and see its as though the Chimera is literally composed of its various, individual components all sharing one biological body… but with only one in command.

The creature manages to catch itself at last after the powerful attacks directed at it earlier, and flies around in a circle about the swampboat as Anima, the Fae, and Cormeum all fire their respective attacks at the bat Chimera. Letting out a loud, painful shriek as it dodges around their attacks, and attacks both Cormeum and Anima with its sickles, delivering a square hit to both of them as it collides with the swampboat, its trajectory changed. The monster knocks both Anima and Cormeum off balance as the swampboat takes a turn at the fork: you see your ship moving off course onto the other track as the site of the turtle ship slowly fades away, the swamp-boat carrying you both onwards towards a different destination with the horrific bat-creature hot on your tail…
>Anima 0/4
>Cormeum 0/3
>Fae 6/1
The creature tries to attack the Fae, seeing as its the only one standing for now
[1d10+1] Fae
[1d10+1] Fae


Roll #1 7 = 7 / Roll #2 5 + 1 = 6 / Roll #3 7 + 1 = 8 / Roll #4 3 + 1 = 4 / Roll #5 10 = 10 / Roll #6 5 + 1 = 6 /


Marker of health for next game (before these attacks occur)
>Alexis 4/5
>Firm 1/5
>Honey 5/5
>Aether 5/5
>Anima 0/4
>Cormeum 0/3


[1d10+1] got cut off on rolls again, this is the Bat Chimera's second attack on the Fae

Roll #1 5 + 1 = 6


File: 1583203782393.jpg (175.55 KB, 1600x1200, soul118.jpg)

Please post your sheets for session 118 of SoulQuest!






Alexis: 9/5
>Glavo: N/A /Sildo: Lemniscate /Ilo: Speed Elemental +1
Aether: 5/4
>Glavo: Water Elemental / Sildo: Lesser Feline / Ilo: Necromancer
Cormeum: 5/3 Anima: 5/4
>Glavo: Lesser Tree +2 (Cormeum), Sildo: Vampire (Cormeum), Ilo: Monk (Anima)
Honeyed: 5/4 Firm: 5/6
>Glavo: Bear +1 / Sildo: Senespera / Ilo: Air Elemental

Previous thread: https://desuarchive.org/mlp/thread/35023606/

Twilight listens intently as you offer your explanation, nodding as you go along. "I see what you mean. From what you've explain how life there works in general, I imagine there's every shot that the way Souls work mean they only work on Tetra itself, which more or less renders my concerns a moot point unless travel to Tetra somehow became commonplace…" She pauses, seemingly lost in a thought, before continuing on. "I would be very interested in seeing, after your return to Equestria, if you can recall the spells you've learned with or without the Souls. These spells sound like they come so naturally to you they must be instinctive at this point, it's so hard to imagine something as learned as magic that just removing a single Soul removes your ability to use anything you've learned since."

Twilight rests her cheek on a hoof, "I really wish I could be there with you. As much as I'm needed here to handle the weather I can't remember the last time I've found myself at such a loss regarding foreign magical phenomena. I wish it never placed you in such danger, but I hope the chance to study such a bizarre environment has its rewards."

You blast more of the spiders, obliterating a dozen with one shot as dozens more appear from behind more furniture in the room. They advance on you as you grab the door and open it from behind, carrying Aether to get away from the oncoming swarm.

But as you turn your head and look to the otherside of the door, you see Anima, standing tall but with wretched, rusted armor pieces and bubbling ectoplasm oozing from her joints. She advances on you, a iron claw reaching out for your neck while two cold, unfeeling green eyes stare into you.
"The one… you were supposed to guide… the one you… utterly failed…."

>Firm, Honey, Alexis, and Anima are floating outside of the caves where Cerbi is being held, discussing the best strategy to approach the caves. Re-posting what Alexis saw on her scouting run in the caves (she has already relayed this to the rest)

>The first contains a couple of sentries, slightly obscured behind the hanging vines. They're a pair of birds, one an great horned owl and the other a large condor, slowly sipping what you assume to be coffee as they keep a vigil eye out below. Behind them is a small camp-fire, bags, several scrolls/books accumulating along the walls of the cave and a tunnel that you presume leads to the others.

>The second you see contains Cerbi, sealed up in a bamboo cage. She isn't moving or trying to escape, looking badly damaged. You see another trio of mages (a second owl and two ocelots), two keeping an eye on Cerbi and another sleeping.
>The last cave holds a single Crystal Elemental, about pony sized and shaped save for large, jagged appendages extending from its hooves. It writes down notes into a book, tipping its own jagged finger-tip into an ink-well to write. None of them seem to notice your presence.

Roll #1 2 = 2


>Aether 5/5
>Cormeum/Anima 5/5
>Honey 5/5 Firm 5/6
>Everyone up to full



"It's only a failure if you give up," Cormeum says stubbornly. "Otherwise, it's just an error.

He blasts the Anima impostor away then keeps moving with Aether.

>[1d10+3] ranged attack

>[1d10] to escape with Aether


I do believe it was determined that Honey and Firm would go talk to them.

>Anima grumbles as she waits nonviolently. Her least favorite kind of waiting. And nonviolence.

Roll #1 9 + 3 = 12 / Roll #2 7 = 7


"Alright, welp." Honey reaches up and pats Firm on the chest. "Guess it's up to us, big guy. Let's try not to fuck it up."

"So what're we doin'?" Firm asks. "Just flyin down and seein if we can't get outta this without fightin? Any idea who we should talk to? Can't really tell from the looks'a things."


>"That didn't sound very certain to me!" she says with a grin as she points a glowing red palm toward Alexis. "Come ooon, it'll be fun!"

"What's wrong with you?"
"The middle cave is the one with Cerbi in it, with three of the wizards. Just walk in slowly, say hi and see if they're willing to give her up without a fight. Try and see which one is in charge too, if they won't give her up Plan B is I'm going to take his body and make them."


>"…but I hope the chance to study such a bizarre environment has its rewards."

"Oh, definitely! I'm fascinated by all the alien idiosyncrasies of Tetra, and being here has challenged me in so many new ways—which is good, for the most part at least." Aether sighs gently. "I do wish you could be here, too, though. There's a lot that's happened that I feel like you would've been able to handle. I suppose you have to be there to take care of the weather, though, and the spirit didn't even let you come anyway…"



>Anima opens her mouth to say something, but pauses for a while.

>"Well damn," she says as if she's just realized something. "People have asked me that so many times I'm out of witty responses. Congratulations. You're boring."

>"Let's see how YOU like it: What's wrong with YOU?"


"Got it," Honey says. "Well, wish us luck."

Firm flies down to the middle cave and crashes a little too hard into the ground, jostling Honey a little. "Fuck, man, you need to practice this shit more."

"Yeah. Sorry." He unties the rope, letting her fall to her hooves. Before moving forward he removes the Air Elemental soul and replaces it with WitchHunter.

Honey shakes off and flicks her mane. "Well," she says. "Showtime.

Firm follows close behind Honey as the two walk deeper into the cave.


"At the moment? Five hundred miles of jungle. Now I'm going to turn invisible and go in, if you follow please either keep quiet or use Mouse Ilo." she says doing just that.
>Alexis follows invisibly.


>Glavo: Gambler/Sildo: Lemniscate/Ilo: Swordsage



>Anima shrugs, switches to her Necromancer Ilo, puts on necrovision, and looks around for shits and giggles.

>[1d10] to actually spot something important!

Roll #1 4 = 4


You blast the Anima imposter at point-blank range as it tries to snare Aether away from you, seeming particular about aiming for the pony, but your blast manages to tear it to shreds in one powerful blast. At least, for the most part: it manages to stumble backwards, barely surviving on a single, rusted and oil-spilling leg as the horrific imitation slowly follows you down the hall.
>"Such… insipid… idealistic nonsense…"
>"What does it matter if you surrender or not? The consequences… are… the same…"

As you turn down the stairs, you see Somba, the featureless 'face' of the Glow Moss seeming panicked. "Cormeum!" he shouts, "Why are you shooting up the place, what is going o-"

He pauses, looking up at the shambling terror behind you, slowly shambling.

Before long, the windows in the front of the tree-home break apart, and you see similar robotic monstrosities of Anima shambling through them. A loud roar emanates from outside on the river, and a small tremor shakes the house.
"N-no… not again, not here!" Somba shouts, not sure what to do.
[1d10] The barely stable zombie Anima tries to strike at you
>There are two others making their way inside

Twilight nods sadly, "As Princess, I do think there's a certain duty in putting my world's safety first before the exploration of another. But, all the same, I think Celestia, Luna, Cadance, and Flurry could handle things just fine without me. I really wish I could be there to protect you… but, at the same time maybe it's best I'm not."

"When I was about your age, maybe just a little older, I began to take on more and more challenges without Celestia's guidance. It was not easy, especially at first, but looking back all those years ago, I think those years are really what defined me most as the pony I am today. I would have wished it be under less drastic circumstances, but, perhaps this is meant to be your time to step up as well. And I have every confidence you'll succeed."

She chuckles, "Besides, even if the challenges ahead are tough, neither of us ever had to take them on alone. I had my best friends to see me through when I wasn't strong enough on my own." She smirks, "Soo… how are you getting along with yours? We talked at length about magic and souls and dangers, I wouldn't mind leaning on something a little lighter."

Roll #1 5 = 5


As Firm and Honey head up to the center cave's entrance, they quickly hear the sounds of chatter coming from within the stone tunnel. Before long, you enter the cave's deepest part where you see a small fire and the bamboo cage containing Cerbi within. She doesn't move to acknowledge your presence, merely laying still in the cage, but before you approach much further you are surrounded on all sides by fluttering wings and scraping stone, all the collective mages having appeared to set up beforehand to greet you with outstretched wands and catalysts brimming with magical energy.

"HALT!" The big Crystal Elemental (baring the image of a pony for the most part save for long, spiked finger-like appendages on its hooves) shouts, its cape baring the Eye of Mono draped over its body as its pointed finger brims with fire. "Come no closer. You are to return from whence you came, and-"

He pauses, looking at Honey with apparent confusion as he twists his crystalline head. "A pony?"
"It's one of the witch's allies!" The condor shouts in a gruff voice, gripping a small wand in its talon. "Come to aide their undead monstrosity, no doubt…"

You look around with your necrovision, and at first it seems all is clear. But, you think you spot a little bit of movement exclusively in the astral at the peak of the cliff on which the caves are built into. It is too far and too small to see clearly, but your necrovision confirms it's in the astral plane.



"But, consequences can be undone. As long as she is alive, she can be changed!" Cormeum shouts before heading toward the stairs. He doesn't finish off the fake Anima.

Cormeum practically jumps when he runs into the glow moss. "What do you mean 'not again'!? What's going on?"

However, he quickly shakes his head. "No time to stand around talking. Move and talk. We have to get outside," he says, pushing past Somba, dragging Aether along with him.

[1d10] to bring Aether downstairs

Roll #1 6 = 6



>Anima switches back to the Monk Ilo to fly. Her feet turn into rockets. She flies up to the top of the cliff, landing right on its edge.


>"…And I have every confidence you'll succeed."

Aether nods with a proud smile.

>"…I wouldn't mind leaning on something a little lighter."

"Ah, uh, well… Anima Prime almost killed Dr. Cormeum…"



>Anima switches back to necrovision and looks around. [1d10]

Roll #1 6 = 6


"Jeeze, do I fuckin look like I'm with the Iron Toothed Bitch? Nah, man, that thing-" She points at Cerbi. "Fucked us as much as it's probably fucked you. Real pain in the ass tracking it here, too, so thanks for that." She shakes her head. "Nah, man. You're right about one part, though. We're here to take it away. Some real fucked up shit going on, and it's that thing's fault, and it needs to fuckin answer for it."

Firm takes a step forward and shoots an intense glare at Cerbi. Following Honey's lead, he cracks his knuckles. "Just let me at it," he grumbles. "Beat its fuckin ass when it burned our ship. I'll beat it's fuckin head in now. Smash its fuckin brain in like I did with that dumb cunt Maggie and her fucktoy Noraz. This time it ain't gonna-"

Honey's nose curls when Firm speaks. "Slow the fuck down," she orders. "This is our business, not theirs." She shakes her head and turns her attention back to Crystal Elemental. "Anyway," she says. "I don't want bad blood with you guys, and trust me when I say you don't want bad blood with us. We're good with someone you might know, actually. Plant dude named Blome. Back in-" She glances over her shoulder at Firm. "Shit, what was that place's name?"

Firm crosses his arms. "Frior, I think."

"Right," she says. "Back in Frior. Been a bit. Can't really put my finger on what-" She taps a hoof to her chin and swishes her tail. "but something tells me he'd remember talking to us. So yeah. Bad blood is the last thing we want, and some fucking zombie is the last thing we wanna help."

[Show Them You Rock]
[1d10]Honey if needed

Roll #1 10 = 10


>Standing invisibly next to Honey


>"You chain her… like a mad dog…"
>"She cannot be changed. Only controlled…"
>"And you are beginning to lose even THAT…"

The Anima zombie chasing you needs not be dealt with, for in its final efforts to grab you it falls over itself, decaying rapidly in a pile of broken rusted bits to the ground. Meanwhile, Somba looks at you, shaking his head,

"Not again… the monsters should not be back so soon, they never come back this soon! Not here, why now…?!"

As you insist upon going outside, you and him run past the Anima zombies trying to follow you, and see a horrific sight outside: a massive crustacean, similar in detail to the one you were told assaulted Swampbottom, has its massive claws gripped on the side of the ship, the Ironside's port cannons blasting point-blank into its carapace while Roosevelt rides one of its antennae, blasting it point-blank into its skull as it assaults the dock. Much shouting and mayhem can be heard from the dock, but it's only superseded by the sounds of more Anima zombies coming form behind.

"T-there's only one place to go," Somba shouts, pulling on your arm. "Follow me, we can take Aether into shed with the ship supplies in it, barricade ourselves in!"

Twilight's eyes suddenly bug open. "I… I'm sorry, the dream must be getting fuzzy. It ALMOST sounded like you said Dr. Cormeum was with you. Which, I could believe, a superhero I could see the spirits taking to Tetra to save their world, but then there was that part about ANIMA PRIME being with you."

She laughs loudly, a nervous chuckle to her voice. "But, that's silly! I mean, she's a super villain! A psychopath, a menace! There's no way the spirits would send my number one student with a certifiable bad guy on their mission that could snap at any moment and attack you! Right? That'd be silly, just insane!" She smiles awkwardly. "Right?!"

You take a look around in the astral once again, and see a speeding little ball of white shooting back down towards the bottom of the cliffs from whence you just came, running away from you. It is small and pony-shaped that you can see.


As you start shouting authoritatively you, you begin to see Cerbi stir, moving around in her cage as she lazily turns to look at you. Her eyes spark with life, and she grunts as she makes growling noises, struggling to even stand.

The Crystal Elemental looks on, stunned by your speech as you explain things so quickly. "Blome…? You know Blome?"
"B-Blome is well known to witch and mage alike!" The condor contests
"Not this far south, I don't think. And what you said about 'Maggie'… you aren't speaking of Margaret Pie, are you?"
"Margaret Pie the Deathsinger?" one of the owls chimes in, equally impressed
"The one who was slain in her invasion of Helsfi?!"

The Crystal Elemental puts down his fingers, the flames sparking out. "We had heard there was a pony or two responsible for slaying one of the four Ebon Coven witches… and you are familiar with First Wizard Blome." He puts his claws to his chest. "I am First Wizard of my own charter, as Blome is of his in Frior. First Wizard Perido, you may call me. Blome is an old acquaintance, that you know his name and speak of the Witches as your enemy gives me reason to hear you out."

He sits down, looking to the others around the cave to lower their weapons. "You will forgive us for being on edge. We are deep in enemy territory, after all. Now, you say you are hear to take this undead with you?" He says, looking back at Cerbi. She is still struggling to stand and shout, barely audible barks coming from her dark muzzle. "I hesitate to allow it. She is unique among the witches' servants, intelligent. She must know things about her we can use. And we're the closest charter there is that is equipped to drag that information out of her."


Honey eases as they lower their wands. "That's us," she says. She shakes her head and gives him a genuinely solemn frown. "Dumb fuckin bitch really did a number on Helsfi. It was horrible. We all gave her what she deserved." She tilts her head back, gesturing at Firm. "He took one of her zombie fucks on one on one and then beat the hell out of her. Drove the rest of the witches off, but…" She falls silent, sighs, and shakes her head. "Just wish we coulda done more for the town."

She gives a dismissive wave of her hoof. "Anyway, ain't no thang. Like you said, we're in enemy territory. Not to mention I'm a pony and, while a teensy bit racist, I can see why you'd tie us together." She rubs the back of her neck. "Shit. Yeah, that's a good reason to want to keep it with you. Guess that's why you ain't offed it yet." She sits down. "Still. It's an 'intelligent' undead, but it's still undead. I'll admit, we have a personal vendetta against it and we're here to drag it off and execute it. Seems like your cause is a little more noble than ours." She runs a hand through her mane. "You really think it actually has any information? The witch is an evil cunt, but she isn't stupid. Seems like you'd have already been attacked or she'd have turned off whatever magic she's using to keep that thing alive-" She pauses and knits her brow. "Unalive? Whatever. Point is, you said it yourself. We're in the heart of enemy territory, so if the witch actually thought that thing had any important information then why didn't she do something about it, like, the second it didn't report back or whatever? Seems like you're just A:Putting yourself in danger for no reason and B:Just beating a dead horse."



Aether lifts a hoof up. "Ah, well, no." She explains, "To my understanding, Anima depends on Dr. Cormeum to live, since she lives in a robot that he built, so he… brought her with him. They joined us a few days after I arrived on Tetra. She hasn't caused too much trouble, though. Dr. Cormeum's still alive."



Cormeum scoffs at Somba's claim that there's only one place to go. "You lack imagination," he says as he runs with Aether toward the water line. Once he's at the shore, he pulls out the Vermillion Wind and spins it in the air. The next moment, he and Aether are standing atop the larger model of the Vermillion Wind, decked out with weapons.

Cormeum brings Aether safely into the bridge with him. There, he gets on the radio and shouts so that his voice rings out through the Vermillion Wind's speakers, "Hey, ugly! Over here!"

[1d10] to get the giant crab's attention

Also, [1d10] to get Aether on board if necessary


>Meanwhile, Anima spots the little ghost scurrying away. However, at that moment, Anima's necrovision fails (due to Cormeum taking the Ilo slot). "Oh, shit what?" she mutters to herself in frustration.

>"Hey, I know you're there!" she calls out to the little ghost. "Come on out! I just want to talk!"

>[1d10] to get ghost to come back

Roll #1 6 = 6 / Roll #2 4 = 4 / Roll #3 5 = 5



Roll #1 7 = 7


Alexis activates her Vero eyes, using her various sensory Ilo to scan the room


"So don't you think it'd make more sense to have one of her living lackeys? One of those witches or some shit?"


Perido stays still. "From what we hear, the town still stands because of your actions. There is always more that can be done. Do not look to the past with regret, but-"
The condor clears his throat. "Sir, while your wisdom is always appreciated, now does not seem like the time for a proverb."
"Hmm. Suppose you're right. At any rate, you were more than adequate, and the Iron Tooth Witch has lost one of her most powerful followers. Don't beat yourself up too much."

"Oh, make no mistake: we intend to exorcise the cursed creature and send it off to Yggdrasil all the same as you would once we've extracted all we can from it. But, none of us have magic that can look into the astral: the only way we'll get anything out of the dog is while it's still tethered to that foul-smelling body it inhabits."

As you point out the possibility the witch is setting things up, the crystal horse puts his claws to his chin. "The thought had occurred to me. That no retribution has yet come makes me wonder if this some sort of trick. But, the Mages Guilds are fighting a losing war now. We do not take many prisoners. If there's even a chance this creature holds anything of use, I must know."

"Though, perhaps it would do well to let you move her at least. If you found us this quickly who knows how fast the Witch-" he pauses, looking to you. "…I know our campfires are visible from afar, but there isn't much civilization to be had out this far. How did you come across this area? Entirely by chance?"

"We would if we could, but the witches often don't leave their own behind to be captured. In the cases we find ourselves in a position of advantage, I've seen witches slit their own throats before we could take them in. Whether it is out of loyalty to their Mistress or fear of what she'll do to traitors, I can't say. But point being, we don't get many to interrogate. This hound is the first we've caught in a while."

You look to Cerbi and the others, and you affirm that everything is exactly as it seems it should be. The dog is more riled than ever, trying to bark but finding itself lacking the strength. You note you have not heard her telepathic voice since arriving.

As your necrovision fails, your shout seems to echo out through the lake area below, and for a brief few moments, you think whatever it might have been has gone.

But, a moment later, you feel a tap on your metallic shoulder, and turn around to see a familiar little deceased Fire Elemental behind you. "Um… hi…" she says, her hollow eyes in a regretful gaze.


As the Vermillion Wind forms, you successfully take Aether within, Somba looking on in shock as he quickly follows you into the vehicle as well. "W-what are you doing, you don't mean to run towards that thing, do you?!"

As you shout at the massive crustacean, he turns his attention from the Ironsides to you, letting out a gurgled roar as it raises its massive claw to the air to bring down on your boat

"HOLD ON, LAD!" Roosevelt shouts, blasting a hole into one of its eyeholes
[1d10+2] Marksman Shot

The two Anima zombies shuffles after you, trying to jump into the boat as well
[1d10] / [1d10]

Twilight listens to you as you explain, falling on her flanks in disbelief. "You're not kidding, are you? T-they really set you up with Dr. Cormeum and Anima freaking Prime?!" She shakes her head. "Just… why? I was already a little dubious of their decision making in bringing along a professional wrestler of all things, but a supervillain?!"

She takes a calming breath, letting herself breath in and out. "Okay, okay… I'm sorry. I'm just, concerned for you is all. I don't entirely understand how it's working out but, you're saying Dr. Cormeum has her under control? And she hasn't caused too much trouble? You said she almost killed him."

Roll #1 1 + 2 = 3 / Roll #2 2 + 2 = 4 / Roll #3 10 = 10 / Roll #4 10 = 10


"We've been tracking the dog for ages," Honey says. "Actually surprised you caught her. She's fuckin slippery as hell. We fought it a little before the invasion. Beat the shit out of it and it ran away. We had to deal with Maggie dearest, and we lost track of it. Figured out we could use souls to get stronger a while back. I forget what they call us. Numbery or something."

"Numeri," Firm corrects.

"Right. Numeri. Anywho, one of them lets us see and track undead. We were right behind her, but never actually fast enough to close in until now. But yeah, I can't imagine it'd be any harder for one of the witches."

"Did you try using undead as bait?" Firm asks. "We had to pass through the witch's forest to get here. Ran into some of her followers trying to, like, absorb some will-o-wisp or fire ghost or some shit. We took care of em, but seems like we coulda taken one or two while they were distracted." He shrugs. "Maybe that's just a territory thing, though. Ain't too sure." He hums and runs his hand across his head. "Well," he says. "Shit. Anythin we can do to help out? Don't wanna lose our mark just because it might have some tiny piece of information the witch forgot about or somethin."


>"… You said she almost killed him."

"Apparently Dr. Cormeum intended to trap her in the robot body she resides in now, and, well, Anima didn't like hearing that. But yeah, since Dr. Cormeum's what's keeping her alive, she hasn't actually lashed out, and she's, uh, behaved herself for the most part. She's not really friendly, though. She calls me names," Aether says, more annoyed than offended.



>Anima looks down at the child with an annoyed expression. "What are you doing here?" she finds herself chastising. "It's dangerous out here!"


As the crab lumbers over to the Vermillion Wind to swipe the ship with its claw, Cormeum smirks. "Let's see what you're made of!" he shouts over the loudspeakers. He presses a large red button and two large kinetic blasters come out of either side of the front of the Vermillion Wind. They both proceed to pummel the beast with kinetic energy.

>fluff for the critfail

As they do so, Cormeum plugs his own kinetic launcher (still attached to his backpack) into another slot on the control panel. Another, though smaller than the other two, kinetic launcher comes out of the top of the ship. He shoots another shot at one of the monster's eye stalks. "They always DO say go for the eyes."

>fluff for a ranged attack [1d10+3]

Roll #1 10 + 3 = 13


The ghost continues watching the scene unfold, uneasy about Cerbi's injuries and frantic behavior.

>"What is she trying to tell us?" she thinks looking around for any sign of weirdness or what Cerbi is indicating.


[1d10] Huge

Roll #1 9 = 9


"Ah, I see." Perido nods. "So you were already tracking her from Helsfi. If this monster had a paw in that attack, I can understand why you'd desire its destruction."

As you suggest using undead as bait, he scoffs. "That is the line that separates us from the witches. I will not cross it. The souls of the parted deserve peace, not to be exploited by our magics."

"If you wish to help…" he looks back towards Cerbi, who you notice is now standing in full, clawing towards you. "Hrrm. It seems to recognize you. Still likely holds a grudge from your earlier confrontation." He turns to you, "As a Numeri, you are probably most well equipped to deal with it. If you wish, you may try and interrogate it here while we stand watch. If it knows nothing, then you may take it with you to do as you wish. Fair enough?"

She does not seem to be able to see you, and is clawing towards the entrance to the cave. Her snarls are animal and are unintelligible, pained as they are, but as you look around the cave you can't immediately see anything she's trying to point out other than the entrance.

As you scold Sala, she frowns, floating down to the floor. "I… I wanted to make sure Cerbi's okay. Firm said they were gonna kill her! I couldn't just wait in the ship!"

>Roll a perception check, instant

The massive claw hits the water, causing a small wave to slide the Vermillion to the side along the river while your two twin blasters shoot out of the vessels sides, and start blasting at the monstrosity with terrific force. It lets out a roar of pain as the twin cannons tear into its carapace, blasting apart bits of its shell more effectively than the damaged Ironside. It tries to come in for another attack as it swings Roosevelt from its antennae back to his ship.

But third launcher sticking out of the top of the ship lets out a precise shot, blasting out one of its eyes as it falls backwards out of the water, landing on the side of the shore writing in pain as it tries to scuttle itself back into attack position.

Somba looks on, awed by the display, but shouts, "LOOK OUT!"

Two of the Anima zombies managed to crawl on board, one making for you, the other for Aether
[1d10] Cormeum
[1d10] Aether

Meanwhile, the massive crawdad tries to pick itself up from the force of the attack, shrugging off the terrible damage as it looks around for its target, but finds itself facing a barrage from the Ironsides' cannons
>9 was successful in keeping it up
[1d10+2] attacking from Ironside
[1d10+2] the crawdad makes for the ship

Twilight lets out a sigh of relief. "That's not very nice, but if the worst she's doing to you so far is name-calling, Aether, I think we're both getting off insanely lucky." She purses her lips, thinking for a moment. "I'm surprised to hear she's behaving herself that well. Maybe Cormeum is trying to reform her? I mean… I suppose she wouldn't be the FIRST villainess to turn over a new leaf but, from what I heard I'm still a little surprised."

She chuckles, "Calling you names, huh? You know, my friends had some for me. 'Egghead' used to be Rainbow Dash's favorite. Sometimes, it's a term of endearment. What about Dr. Cormeum himself? I've heard so much about him but I've yet to make his acquaintance. I hear he's brilliant."

Roll #1 10 = 10 / Roll #2 7 = 7 / Roll #3 3 + 2 = 5 / Roll #4 5 + 2 = 7



"Tch," Cormeum says as he pulls his kinetic launcher out of its slot. He points it at the Anima imposter trying to abduct Aether, taking hit hit from the one attacking him.

>[1d10+3] ranged attack on Anima impostor attacking Aether

"Explain," Cormeum curtly commands Somba as he conducts his business.


>"Well, now I followed you up a cliff, and I can't get down!" Anima responds to Sala, more in an annoyed tone than a scolding one.

>She eyes Sala, feeling like something is up. [1d10] perception

Roll #1 6 + 3 = 9 / Roll #2 7 = 7


Firm shrugs. "Yeah," he says. "I can't promise nothin, but I can give it a shot. Ain't like it could hurt anythin." He digs around in his pockets. "Should have somethin I can use to interrogate it." He thinks for a second. "Actually, shit. I think the one I already have equipped should do the trick." His nostrils flare, he cracks his neck, and he takes a deep breath. "This is gonna look weird, but as long as you ain't stupid you'll know I ain't actually undead. The Astra just changes what I look like when I use it. Ain't gonna tangle with that thing without insurance."

"Weird it hasn't tried to get into our head yet, though," Honey comments. "Last time it wouldn't shut the fuck up after I started shit talking it. Did you guys silence it so it couldn't cast spells or some shit?"

"Well, whatever it is," Firm says. "If it knows somethin I'll drag it outta it one way or another. Let's ride." Fire engulfs his head, melting away his flesh and hair as he walks toward the cage. Thick ram horns curl out of the side of his head, and beads of flame flicker beyond his empty eye sockets. "Remember me, cunt?" he asks in a guttural, resonating voice. He stops and looks back at the mages, waiting for the go ahead to open the cage. "Long as it's weak like this I should be able to control it and get it to spew whatever shit it knows if I got this thing right. And using these things pretty much automatically gives you an instruction manual, so I know I do."


>"… I hear he's brilliant."

Aether giggles hearing Twilight was called egghead. "Oh, he is. I'm glad he's part of our group now. It's nice to have someone smart to talk to," she says, completely seriously.


The ghost continues watching the interrogation, unsure what to do.


You blast the one attacking Aether, forcing it backwards as Somba puts himself between it and her, wrestling with it to keep it away.
"I'm… I'm sorry…" he says, struggling to keep the zombie at bay as yours strikes a blow against you, pinning you against the control dash-board. "I didn't have a choice!"
>Helpless, 0/4
[1d10] Zombie attacking Somba
[1d10] Somba resisting it
>Make a perception check, free roll

Meanwhile, the Ironside's cannons either miss most of their marks or fail to make as much of an impression on the crawdad as yours did, as the creature dives into the side of the ship, tearing off a side of its mighty bulwark.

Sala frowns, "That's not my fault! How could you forget how to fly already after just doing it?"

As you converse with Sala, you see something metal flash under the pale light of the dim moon's glow, and swiftly avoid a massive iron ball and chain shooting out from the forest brush aimed for you. It hits the dirt besides you, causing Sala to scream in fright and move behind you, hiding behind your legs as you see a large, lumbering corpse of a crocodile/gorilla Chimera walk from the bush, pulling back the iron-chain.

"Damn… was hoping that unicorn bitch would be up 'ere, but I'm not gonna complain." It grins a broken, rotten grin, and you recognize its voice: it was one of the zombies that joined Maggie in attacking Helsfi, a massive bruiser that was pretty swiftly dealt with by Honey/Firm.

"Do whatever it takes." Perido nods, "We'll prepare ourselves."

"It spoke a good deal when it first attacked us, but it hasn't said a word since. Clammed up the moment we had it caught." The condor explains.
"Honestly, the whole ordeal was kind of odd…" the ocelot adds on. "You almost never see these things by themselves, even the intelligent ones, they almost always work in packs. I figure we just got lucky and found a stupid stray."

As Firm transforms himself, several of the mages besides Perido shuddering as you make your transformation. Cerbi is clawing through the bars of the cage, scratching at the stone floor of the cave as Perido gives you the go ahead to open the cage. "The creature is weak. With all of us present it won't pose a threat."
Cerbi does not seem to respond to your threat, still just reaching for the floor of the cave, claws extended. She reaches part of it, and starts scraping the floor

As Aether giggles, Twilight joins in as well. "Now, now, just because name-calling's not always mean doesn't give you permission to laugh, you!" She laughs all the same, shaking her head. "I'm glad to hear you have someone like that with you. You've always seemed a little more comfortable sharing conversations with someone with a PhD. I'd like to meet him as well, sure he may not be as flashy as all those other heroes, but everyone always seems to underestimate what a big brain can do."

"Anyone else you've picked up since we last spo-"
As you and Twilight speak, you suddenly feel a violent rumbling, Twilight standing up to her hooves as she looks around, startled. "W-woah! That… that's probably not good." She turns to you, "Aether, do you remember what you were doing RIGHT before you fell asleep?"

Roll #1 7 = 7 / Roll #2 4 = 4



"That's not an explanation," Cormeum coughs as he is thrust against the dashboard. "Whatever problems you have, we can work out later. Trust me, you have more options than you think. Now, talk."

[1d10] persuasion

As Cormeum talks, he pushes the Anima zombie away from himself and stands back up. [1d10]


>"You're not gonna complain?" Anima responds as if she's been insulted. "Aww, you're gonna break my heart."

>Then, her facial expression and tone of voice change as her chest opens up and ectoplasm leaks out onto the ground. "Let's see if we can change that," she says with a grin.

>[1d10] Raise Dead

>"So, who brought YOU back?"

[1d10] to get him talking

Roll #1 7 = 7 / Roll #2 6 = 6 / Roll #3 1 = 1 / Roll #4 1 = 1


"Woah, woah, woah. Hold the phone." Honey holds up a hoof and shakes her head. "That doggy is a lotta things, but one thing it ain't is stupid. You're tellin me-" She points at Cerbi and cocks her eyebrow. "Not only did you manage to capture it, but it was alone and the moment you captured it it stopped speaking. That doesn't sound a little off to you? Do you think maybe they did exactly what I just suggested? Used undead as bait to find your base of operations or something? I know how strong that thing is firsthand, and I gotta say. This is all sounding like it was a little too easy."

Firm opens the cage, steps in, and crouches. His eyes catch the T and if his face wasn't a skull he'd deadpan. Welp. Coulda guessed that. He doesn't turn to confront them yet, instead shifting a little to block the writing as best as he can. "Now," he says, buying time to confirm his suspicion. "You're gonna tell me every fucking thing you know."



[1d10] perception

Roll #1 2 = 2


As Sala's scream rings out from the cliffs over head, Alexis turns towards the entrance. Still invisible, she races to the source, leaping out into open air and flying that direction.


Aether's up on her hooves now, too. "Uh, I was, uh, resting up while we got parts for the ship we're travelling on, it got badly damaged in a recent encounter." Aether looks to her mentor with crestfallen eyes. "Do I have to go now?"


The zombie Anima thrusts its hand through the glow-moss, breaking it apart as it tries to wrestle in vain with the superior foe while you manage to push yours away from you
>Up at 5/4
The glow-moss struggles to fight back his Anima, and talks, "Hrrgh! My village… after the hydra attacked they were supposed to return to Yggdrasil as they always do. But before they had the chance, a second monster appeared as the hydra attacked! Some sort of massive rooster-lizard chimera, the largest Tainted I'd ever seen in all my lives! It…" he pauses, shaking his head. "..it ate them. It ate the Psyches of every last one of my fellow glow-mosses after they hydra destroyed their bodies! I could see it as it pulled them straight from the astral and into its-"

He screams in terror, falling back against the board as he struggles to push his Anima off
[1d10] Anima zombie
[1d10] Somba
"A-after that… three witches came to me…"

[1d10] Your zombie attacks you
[1d10+1] A long sling of web shoots out from the darkness towards Aether

You open up your chest and begin to spawn a ectoplasmic soldier to fight on your behalf, but a quick swing of the ball and chain impacts against your open cavity. "Uh uh uh! You don't get to do that little trick this time!"

The force of the iron ball and chain knocks you back, almost to the edge of the cliff while Sala lets out a shriek, shrinking back as the chimera-zombie chuckles. "One of the best things about bein' immortal: you can lose all you want, it just makes you smarter for the next fight!"

He pulls himself towards the iron-ball pinning you down, wrapping up the chain as he does so. "And, same chick who brought me back last time after that Honey bitch killed me on that robot boat. Most of the Witchies' zombies, they're a pain to bring back if they get killed. Lot of psyches fly off soon as they're free of the corpse, not too big on bein' recruited. Me, on the other hand? I'm smart: I come back all on my own! Cause there ain't no downsides to being able to come back again, and again, and AGAIN, no matter how many times you get demolished!"

Roll #1 1 = 1 / Roll #2 3 = 3 / Roll #3 8 = 8 / Roll #4 8 + 1 = 9


Every mage in the room is dead silent, looking around each other and sort of uncomfortably scratching their heads/appendages.
"I mean," one of the owl comments, "When you put it like THAT, I guess-"
"Normally we look gift-couriers in the mouth." Perido explains. "But I can't understate what a catch this was. We had to take her in, no matter the risk. Not only is she a clear danger to every living creature in Vanaheim, she's sure to know something we can use to prevent further tragedy. Even if there was a risk, we HAD to take it. We weren't followed, I know that for certain."

As Firm opens up the cage, Cerbi looks up at him, finally catching on to your rouse as she 'whimpers' pitifiully, but continues scratching into the stone as best she can with her claw, making out a couple more letters
>T R A

As you hear the scream coming from outside, you quickly race outside, making your way up towards the cliff-side. As you do, you look down, and see a sight in the physical realm:

Dozens of zombies are crawling out of the water, making their way straight up the cliff-face by climbing its sheer surface. Along side them you see three large, black figures flying around them, silent as the night itself as the trio make small circles around their advancing entourage.

>If you continue to fly up to the top after this, you also see the above scene with Anima and Mori.

Twilight frowns, "I'm afraid it is… and yet, it's not." She looks to you, "I'm not as experienced in the realm of dreams as Luna is, but I do know that when the entire dreamscape starts to shake like this, it means something is happening outside to wake you. But," she pauses, looking at the dark forest around you. "The dreamscape isn't fading, not even a little. I think some force is 'keeping' you asleep." She looks to you, "Think, my student: do you remember anyone casting some sort of spell on you before you stopped to rest? Did you drink or eat anything odd?"


>"… Did you drink or eat anything odd?"

"Oh, well, I did drink this tea… One of the inhabitants gave it to me, the ones who we're getting the parts for the ship from. It tasted alright, though."


Firm shakes his head and stands. "Well," he says, looking around at the mages. "I managed to get somethin immediately." He steps outside of the cage. "However they managed to find you, she's right. It's a fuckin trap. Y'all got a back door out or some shit so you can leave?"

"Damn it," Honey says, rolling her eyes. "Couldn't be as easy as 'get in, get the dog, get out', could it?" She stretches and shakes. "Well, guess you called it back on the ship. The only problem is, are all of you-" she points at Perido in particular. "Part of the trap too, or just dumb? Please tell me you're just dumb so we can deal with the actual trap."



"The witches caused all this in the first place," Cormeum responds. "Don't listen to whatever they have to say."

Cormeum sees the web shooting toward Aether, but is unable to do much about it in his current predicament. He backs up toward Aether while shooting at the zombie attacking him.

[1d10+3] ranged attack


>"Cool, so you're a professional bitch," Anima says as she struggles to her robotic feet. "Got it. Good thing it's easy to kill your… bitcher? I'm sorry, I don't know prison lingo. Unlike you, I don't willingly choose to lose my freedom."

>[1d10] to get up

Roll #1 9 + 3 = 12 / Roll #2 5 = 5


File: 1583219824475.gif (502.24 KB, 540x468, tumblr_ot5kb5eets1r72ht7o1….gif)

The ghost looks down, the zombies climbing the sheer cliffface by the dozen. For a moment, fear is suppressed by sheer anger as she sees the three black shapes flying up. She crosses her arms as she looks down at them, appearing visibly before 'flying' straight down in that pose to their level.

"There had better be an amazing explanation for this." the girl says sounding angry.


Perido looks at Firm, turning his head, "A trap? You're certain?"
Cerbi lets out a pained growl, looking up at Firm with a strained look. She bares her teeth, and opens her mouth, trying to say something but only snarls coming out.

As Honey calls the lot of them dumb, the owls look downcast. "Hey, we're under a lot of pressure lately, alright? I bet even ponies make mistakes sometimes!"
"There's no time to argue." Perido says, standing up as he moves the back of the cave. "We may have made an error. That is as far as any 'treachery' of ours goes. But, of course we would not box ourselves in like this. These caves aren't exactly natural."

His crystalline fingers dig into the stone, and you see it start to warp and move, pushing itself out of the way as he slowly makes the back of the cave longer, tunneling deeper in and slightly sloping. "I'll close up the entrances so no one knows we were even here, and my magic will dig our way out towards the surface."

"Tea? Well… that doesn't sound out of the ordinary but, there aren't many other explanations. If it was just some kind of sleeping drug, they could have done a lot worse."

She looks around, prepping her magic. "Alright… I'm not sure if my magic in the dreamworld is on par with Luna's yet, but now's about as good a time as any to find out. I'm going to try and use my magic to shatter the dreamscape forcibly."
You feel another shake again, Twilight struggling to stay on her hooves as she opens her wings for balance.
"I really wish we could talk all evening, Aether, but if someone doesn't want you awake, it's probably not for good reasons." She frowns. "I only wish there was more I could do for you, Aether… I really don't want to leave you like this."

"They have my people!" Somba shouts desperately, barely managing to push back his own zombie as it tears off his arm, the glow-moss showing no pain as he pushes it to the side and falls over due to the lack of balance. "They have them… and they said they'd only release them if I brought them the ponies that would be upon Nirgun soon. I-I didn't know how they expected me to do it but, I thought if I could only bring them one, just one…"

Your blast shoots half of the face off of your Anima zombie as it blasts you with a point-blank beam of its own, scorching your arm (2/4) before falling over the side of the boat into the river. Somba's still stands, and makes ready to fight as the web comes down and grips Aether in its binding.

>"And so… you fail AGAIN… lose another to your shortcomings…"

The whisper picks up again, as the web starts to pull Aether out of the boat.
[1d10] Somba tries to rise up and grab the web
[1d10] The remaining Anima zombie attacks you

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


He pushes down on top of the ball with one of his feet, keeping you down as you try to rise up. "Freedom? I 'chose' to live like this! Sounds like freedom to me, eh? I was an ogre warrior when I was alive. All I live to do is kill and conquer any chump dumb enough to get in my way anyhow! If I'm gonna be doing the same thing either way, why not take the perks?"

"GET…. OFF… OF… HERRRRR!" Sala lets out a shrill scream, her body glowing white-hot as a stream of fire shoots out from her hooves towards the chimera standing on top of you
[1d10+2] Fire-Elemental Magic Bolt

As you appear out of thin-air, the three crows pause in their circling strafes as they take hovering positions, looking at you with a similar red glare between them.
"Well now!" The larges of the crows, one with a overly muscled upper-body and a large, gnarly looking great sword strapped to her back. "Would you look at that? There really was a pony specter among them. Ain't that a sight?"

The extremely skinny one lets out a laugh, "Oh absolutely, Rae! Didn't even know ponies could up and croak like that, but there you go."

Rae turns to you, offering a sickly smile. "A good explanation? For what, I don't- OH! The one those Revas minotaurs told us about? You must be the ponies they told us to leave alone!"
Rae gives a faux gasp. "Oh… oh my, don't tell me we've broken some kind of rule Revas oh so carefully lined out for us? My, that would be just awful, wouldn't it girls?"
"Most unfortunate."
Rae nods in agreement, "But of course, there's a perfectly good explanation for what's going on here, isn't there Cruella?"
The skinny one answers, "Oh, naturally! Why don't you come with us and we'll tell you all about it, hmm?"
The grotesque portly one lets out a strained laugh, "Would be even better to bring all your friends up there too, we'll throw a tea-party. With scones."

Roll #1 4 + 2 = 6


Firm sighs as Cerbi tries to speak to him, but just shuts the cage. Letting the cat out of the bag might not have been the best move, but there didn't seem like there were many other choices. "You guys get outta here then," Firm says. "We'll take the dog and go deal with the dern trap, I guess. Probably some fuckin zombies if the witch sticks to her MO. I assume y'all don't mind, since there's no way in hell the witch just handed you a piece of bait that could actually hurt her." He rubs the top of his skull. "Might actually be best if y'all shut yourselves up in the cave for now instead of leaving, actually. 'Less you know y'all can make it out where there ain't nobody waitin' for ya."

"Come oooon," Honey says, impatiently hopping from hoof to hoof. "I wanna go kill some fuckin zombies."


Aether stumbles on her hooves as the dreamscape shakes again.

>"… I really don't want to leave you like this."

She takes a sharp breath through her nostrils. "It's alright, Ms. Sparkle, you've already done as much as you could for me. I'm glad I was able to have this respite from my travels, and I should get back to make sure we're okay." She nods at her mentor. "I'm sure I'll see you soon."



"Don't worry, we'll get them back. Unlike them, I'm not a liar."

Then, he turns to see Aether getting dragged away. "Shit!" he shouts. "Now would be a good time to wake up, Aether!"

He shoots at the web to try and break it. [1d10+3]


>"Yeah," Anima says as if the chimera is an idiot. "Like I said. You choose to not have freedom. I don't know, maybe I'm saying it wrong. I'm not a bitch like you are, so I can't really understand it," she continues to taunt as she's getting crushed.

Then, Sala shoots at him.

>"Sala, thank you, but stay back. This is dangerous," she says as she gets up. [1d10]

Roll #1 5 + 3 = 8 / Roll #2 1 = 1


There is a cold, dead silence from the ghost. Her long robes billow in the breeze as they float halfway up the cliffface, her gaze tilted down slightly.

"You came here to rescue Cerbi. You came here to help, in case the wizards wouldn't listen. That's why you're here, why you brought those things here. That's what you're going to say next-" she says, her voice unsteady, her body shaking with barely restrained rage.

"That's the only conceivable reason ANY witch would be here. You aren't the ones who hurt Cerbi, and this isn't a trap. You came here to help us, to show us you were on our side. You GET that we were being ridiculously generous, overlooking all the people you killed, all the horrible things I saw in Helfsi, and you UNDERSTAND how much I had to put myself out on a limb to convince my sociopathic-messiah-complex friends to leave you be. Its because you understand that that you came here as a show of good-will." she says, eyes covered in shadow from her downward gaze, not looking the witches in the eyes, twitching in anger, shaky in voice.

"That's what you're going to say next. Then I'm going to thank you for the help, give my best to the Iron Tooth Witch, and then I'm going to leave. That's what you wanted to tell me, right?"

She still doesn't look them in the eyes.


She smiles, leaning down to nuzzle you as she wraps her wing around you. "Much sooner than last time, I promise. Stay strong, Aether. You're close to your goal, and I know you can make it. And if you don't find you have the strength within, look to your friends. There, you will find an well of strength that will never run dry."

She takes a deep breath, "Okay… here we go." She closes her eyes, violet light building in her horn as she works to free you from the imposed slumber

The Elemental looks to you, "And just leave you here? Unacceptable. Blome would never forgive me if something happened to you."
One of the owls look down at his talons. "You… may be right and we may have completely botched this, but isn't that all the more reason we should take responsibility and help?"

"If you are staying, so shall I." Perido states, continuing to push the back of the cave in, tunneling a way out. "I shall shut them inside the cave to keep my mages safe, then return to assist you. I won't stand for anything less."

As you put Cerbi inside the cave, she puts a paw to your hand, struggling to write one more line as a warning
>W I T C

The witches flap in unison, listening to your plea for their answer. They do not interrupt right up until the very end, and look to each other contemplatively.

Eventually, Rae is the first to speak, offering a small cackle. "My… what an elaborate answer you've picked out for us. It's not really in my nature to say this, but I have to admire your tenacity to continue to extend the olive branch. If only for your own sake."
Cruella speaks up next, "I'm curious what your reaction would be if none of it were the case though. You're hopefully not an idiot. You KNOW how much of that is complete chimera-crap, I hope."
Jacqueline snorts, "And you're not the only one being generous, you know? Don't forget: you killed our sister. That's not exactly something we can just forget either."

Rae scoffs, "But, not as though any love was loss there: Maggie was a weakling and a fool. She was never going to last long in the new era the Iron Tooth Witch has planned."
"Alright, darling, since you had the ghostnads to come down and face us by yourself, I'll be frank: the Iron Tooth Witch is pissed. Our partnership with Revas is, effectively immediately, terminated."
Cruella smirks, "Don't act too shocked: leaving you ponies alone was one thing, but demanding we drop everything with the Mages after all they've done? Just 'stop' our takeover of these jungles when we're so close? We've nothing to gain under such ludicrous conditions."

Rae: "But, if you're so committed to not fighting, we'll make you a deal of our own. One directly between us, with no useless middle-man like Revas to muddle things. One that'll give you exactly what you want, to go to that tree you desire so badly, without a single drop of bloodshed this evening. What do you say?"

Roll #1 5 = 5


"How?! Do you know where they took them?! If they're even still… even still 'in' that monster?!"

The web is shot free of Aether as your blaster cleans right through it, and you hear an exasperated cry from the tree-tops
>"DAMNIT! Just have to keep getting in the way… but then that's what you do best, isn't it? Mess around where you're not wanted like you did with 'her'!"

Another web shoots out to try and grab Aether, and Somba struggles to try and pull her free
[1d10+1] Web
[1d10] Somba trying to get up

The zombie manages to pull you down after you fire your short, keeping you pinned to the floor of the craft as the web tries to ensnare her again
>Down to 0/3

Sala manages to successfully burn Mori, causing him to shout out in pain as his arm is lit on fire. "GAAGH! What the fuck…?!"

Sala looks to you, her eyes looking ready to water, "He was hurting you! I don't want to see anyone get hurt anymore, I'm sick of it!"
"Then why'd you go and hurt me, huh?!" Mori shouts, stomping down on your leg and shattering a metallic joint as you try to rise back up to fight him
Mori swings back his ball and chain, aiming to smash Sala beneath it as he slams it down. "How do YOU like it?!"
[1d10+2] Slam on Sala
[1d10+1] Sala tries to dodge the incoming swing with a shrill shout

Roll #1 4 + 1 = 5 / Roll #2 8 = 8 / Roll #3 4 + 2 = 6 / Roll #4 1 + 1 = 2


>"… There, you will find an well of strength that will never run dry."

Aether returns the nuzzle and tries to keep back her tears. She nods, ready to come back to the waking world.



"I don't know where they are," Cormeum tells it straight. "But, I intend to find out. These sorts of things are my profession and forte."

Then, he grunts with exertion as he gets up again. [1d10]

"And, as for you," Cormeum says to the voice taunting him. "Shut up," is all he can muster to say. The pack on his back begins to make whirring sounds. His eyes go bloodshot.


>"Yeah, you know what? Forget what I said before. Maim this bitch, Sala," Anima says as she gets up. [1d10]

Roll #1 4 = 4 / Roll #2 8 = 8


Firm sighs and opens the cage again. Squatting down, he picks Cerbi up with both arms, throws her over his shoulder, and shakes his head. "Knew this smelled like shit," he said.

"Confirmed?" Honey asks.

"Yep. Confirmed," Firm says. "They're witches."

"Well, shit. Guess you really fucking called it then, huh?" she points at Perido as he messes with the cave. Her horn glows with a pale silver light, and her voice booms through the room. "Do me a favor and hold on just a sec, chief." [1d10]WoP

"Unfortunately," he says. "Kind of a shame. Was sorta hopin we'd make some new friends here, but guess it weren't meant to be."

Honey grins and turns to the crystal elemental. "So where'd you get the getup?" she asks. "After you slaughtered the mages back at-" She taps the side of her head. "Ah, shit, I don't remember. Damn. You were really dedicated to keeping the act up, huh? Props, like, for realz."

Firm stretches his back, and, if they let him, backs toward the mouth of the cave where they came in. "So I don't suppose y'all are just gonna let us walk away, then. You're gonna make me kill ya, even after y'all seen what I did to yer buddies in Helsfi. Jeez this has been a real pain in the ass."

"Unless you're not with the witch. Then you'd just let us walk away no problem. Head outside and deal with whatever fuckery is out there." Something seems to occur to her and her eyes widen. "Oh, shit, what if that crystal dude is her in disguise? Wouldn't that be fuckin wild? Could you imagine us being in here and fighting ol' Denture Witch herself?"

Roll #1 1 = 1


With every word the witches can see the ghost get more tense, teeth gritting at every syllable, every statement burning her more with anger. She continues shaking, suddenly gripping herself in a hug as her teeth clench so hard she fears she'll shatter them.

"I-I-I-I-" she breaths unevenly, as though on the verge of hyperventilation.

"I've never felt like this. I-I'm shaking. I've never wanted to kill so badly. My whole body is shaking. I tried, I tried so hard to make this go away. I wanted there to be peace. I wanted to leave you alone, even though the others, nopony believed in me. Are you all so stupid? Are you so short-sighted you can't see where that Master is taking us? Gods, I can't stop thinking it! This burning killing intent! I felt it when I killed Margeret, it wasn't liking killing monsters. She was a person and I did to her what I wanted so badly not to happen to me."

Still floating in mid-air she grips her head, closing her eyes tightly. She takes several deep, fast, useless breaths.

"I'm a good person. Please go. Just go away and leave us alone. I can pretend I didn't hear what you said. You can pretend you didn't say it. Please don't make us kill you. Please gods pick peace!" she begs, her desperate words in full contrast to her body language, which still quakes with desire to kill, her words dripping with the thought, that she is holding herself back. Holding back a floodgate, breaching here and there in steady streams from torn rivets that threatens any instant to burst.


>"'Shut up'? What happened to that vocabulary of heroic nonsense from earlier, eh? Did I finally touch a nerve?"
The web shoots down, but Somba manages to recover in time and pull Aether out of harm's way, the glow-moss making the web miss its mark.
>"YOU! Don't think I won't tell 'her' about this, you glorified pile of glowing fertilizer…!"

Cormeum fails to rise up as the zombie pushes down on him, and turns its attention to Somba, attempting to maul him after leaving you
[1d10] Anima zombie
[1d10] Somba tries to keep it from Aether as it assaults him

Twilight's horn shines so brightly it envelops all you can see, soon the fading voice of Twilight's voice lingering to you,
>"Do your best, Aether! And good luck…"

A moment later, you're surrounded in darkness, the sounds of chaos erupting around your ears. You start to blink, and see Somba standing above you… wrestling with Anima. A grotesque, rusted, oil-covered monstrous Anima.

Sala tries and fails to avoid the iron-ball and chain in time, being punted away by Mori's swing as his crocodile jaw snaps wildly. "HAHAHA! Pinned the little shit!"

Sala is tossed back, huffing angrily as her head starts to boil over, "I… I HATE YOU!" She cries, throwing herself at Mori to burn him up as he swings at her again
[1d10] Fire
[1d10+2] Unarmed attack

As you call out to Perido at the back of the tunnel, he turns towards you as you give him orders to stop, continuing to do so as he turns his head in confusion.

"Get-up…?" He asks, looking towards you. "What are you talking about?"

The others look around in confusion, Perido taking a few steps towards you, twisting his crystalline head. "I don't think I quite understand what you're saying. Correct me if I'm mistaken: you're accusing ME, *US*, of being witches?"

As you share your anger and frustration with the witches, shutting your eyes tightly and gripping your head, Rae lets out a low cackle.
"Hehehe… you want to kill us so badly? Then why don't you?" She flaps closer, leaning her beak in close.
"What's the harm in trying? Let loose some of that aggression, why don't you."
Cruella speaks up next, "Firstly, I'd be impressed to see you do it: we're not like our sister. We don't need bodyguards to be a threat. You may be a pony, but there's three of us and one of you. So you may not even be able to kill us."
"And even if you did, the Iron Tooth Witch can just put us in zombie bodies like she does with everything else!" Jacqueline comments, bellowing. "So no harm, no fowl!"

"Go ahead." Rae whispers. "Draw your blade. Cut us down. It feels GOOD doesn't it? Just like it did when you killed our sister? Punished her for all her horrible deeds?"
"Killing feels good. The power of taking another's life into your own, to do with as you see fit? Total domination of psyche, body, and soul."
"It'll make you feel better. Just go ahead, pony. Kill."


Roll #1 8 = 8 / Roll #2 2 = 2 / Roll #3 6 = 6 / Roll #4 5 + 2 = 7


File: 1584409331663.jpg (22.73 KB, 250x300, soul119.jpg)

Calling for sheets for session 119 of Soul Quest!





>"'Shut up'? What happened to that vocabulary of heroic nonsense from earlier, eh? Did I finally touch a nerve?"
The web shoots down, but Somba manages to recover in time and pull Aether out of harm's way, the glow-moss making the web miss its mark.
>"YOU! Don't think I won't tell 'her' about this, you glorified pile of glowing fertilizer…!"

Cormeum fails to rise up as the zombie pushes down on him, and turns its attention to Somba, attempting to maul him after leaving you
d10 Anima zombie
1d10 Somba tries to keep it from Aether as it assaults him

Twilight's horn shines so brightly it envelops all you can see, soon the fading voice of Twilight's voice lingering to you,
>"Do your best, Aether! And good luck…"

A moment later, you're surrounded in darkness, the sounds of chaos erupting around your ears. You start to blink, and see Somba standing above you… wrestling with Anima. A grotesque, rusted, oil-covered monstrous Anima.

Sala tries and fails to avoid the iron-ball and chain in time, being punted away by Mori's swing as his crocodile jaw snaps wildly. "HAHAHA! Pinned the little shit!"

Sala is tossed back, huffing angrily as her head starts to boil over, "I… I HATE YOU!" She cries, throwing herself at Mori to burn him up as he swings at her again
1d10 Fire
1d10+2 Unarmed attack

As you call out to Perido at the back of the tunnel, he turns towards you as you give him orders to stop, continuing to do so as he turns his head in confusion.

"Get-up…?" He asks, looking towards you. "What are you talking about?"

The others look around in confusion, Perido taking a few steps towards you, twisting his crystalline head. "I don't think I quite understand what you're saying. Correct me if I'm mistaken: you're accusing ME, *US*, of being witches?"

As you share your anger and frustration with the witches, shutting your eyes tightly and gripping your head, Rae lets out a low cackle.
"Hehehe… you want to kill us so badly? Then why don't you?" She flaps closer, leaning her beak in close.
"What's the harm in trying? Let loose some of that aggression, why don't you."
Cruella speaks up next, "Firstly, I'd be impressed to see you do it: we're not like our sister. We don't need bodyguards to be a threat. You may be a pony, but there's three of us and one of you. So you may not even be able to kill us."
"And even if you did, the Iron Tooth Witch can just put us in zombie bodies like she does with everything else!" Jacqueline comments, bellowing. "So no harm, no fowl!"

"Go ahead." Rae whispers. "Draw your blade. Cut us down. It feels GOOD doesn't it? Just like it did when you killed our sister? Punished her for all her horrible deeds?"
"Killing feels good. The power of taking another's life into your own, to do with as you see fit? Total domination of psyche, body, and soul."
"It'll make you feel better. Just go ahead, pony. Kill."


"Ah!" Aether yelps, waking up to something much scarier than a bad mane day. "What's going on?!" She casts a magical barrier on herself.

>Inure to physical damage


Roll #1 8 + 2 = 10



Cormeum coughs as he gets up. His machine on his back whirs louder. [1d10] to get up

"Could really use some help right now, Aether," Cormeum calls out to her.


>"Hey bitch," Anima calls out while he's distracted. She points a finger at him. It glows white. "You're so proud of being a bitch zombie. I sure hope you have some plan to deal with this."

>Spellbreaker [1d10]

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


Honey shrugs. "Hey, I wanna be wrong. You seem like a nice enough dude, but this whole deal is pretty dang suspicious."

Firm adjusts Cerbi on his shoulder. "Y'all wanna prove you're just mages," he adds. "All you gotta do is help fight these bastards like I'm pretty sure you was gonna do anyway." He looks down at Honey and nods.

"Well," she says, turning toward the cave entrance. "You gonna come help us kick some ass or not?"

Honey starts toward the exit as Firm slowly backs out, keeping a hand out to his side ready to launch a spellbreaker at any false move.


"One sec," she yells back. In the unlikely event of a killer zombie robot attack, always put your own magical shield on before helping others.


Teeth grit ever tighter as the girl remains floating in mid-air, hooves on her head, eyes shut tight as she strains to control her unyielding rage at this betrayal. Rising like a tide from deep within her she feels it coming like a flood, sheer anger bellowing forth with a single desire. To kill, to strike them down with the powers she has at her hooves.

>"Killing feels good. The power of taking another's life into your own, to do with as you see fit? Total domination of psyche, body, and soul."

"It'll make you feel better. Just go ahead, pony. Kill."

"I…I…WOOOOON'T!" she screams in defiance, taking a centered pose, subtly bending fate as she punches each of the witches in rapid succession for coming too close.

[1d4] Gambler
[1d10] Cleave 3

Roll #1 4 = 4 / Roll #2 10 = 10



"As far as I can tell, the witches didn't like our deal," Cormeum explains. "And, as I suspected, Somba was in on it."


"I see," Aether says sternly.


Aether wakes up in a startle as she sees the scene around her: a horrific lobster monster assaulting the Ironside, herself covered in a small layer of sticky (and familiar) webbing while a zombified Anima fights Somba and Cormeum, the four of you all inexplicably inside the speeder-boat Vermillion.

Quickly, she cast a shimmering barrier over herself, as the creature turns its attention from Somba, having torn the glow-moss to shreds as he falls down into the boat's floor, not yet dead but clearly in no position to get up. The creature lets out a gurgled, mechanical growl, and the rusted mockery of Anima moves towards you with a rusted leap
[1d10] Attacking Aether
>Aether Innured for five turns against physical damage

As Cormeum tries to stand up, he finds a bit of web latched on to him, sticking him to the controls of the speeder while the mysterious voices groans from above
>"Damnit, she's awake?! She was supposed to be out for HOURS, what gives?!"
>"No matter… this is the perfect time to take my long-awaited vengeance!"
[1d10+1] A web shoots out to grab Aether once more

Mori is burned by Sala as she circles around him yelping as he tries to smack out the fire against his leg. Swiftly, he delivers a crushing blow to the side of her little head, sending her flying towards Anima as she rolls along the ground, shaking the non-existant headache off.

He looks distracted for a moment, but as you fire off your white beam of light, he yells, "OH SHIT!" And swiftly moves to the side, avoiding the beam while swinging his iron chain at the arm pointed at him, smashing it to bits as he lets out a breath
"Fuck… THAT was close. If that- uh… I mean, HAH! As if a little lazer light show like that could hurt me anyways."
Sala gets up, shaking her head as she stares angrily at the chimera-zombie, letting out a terrifying wail as she assaults him again
[1d10+2] Magic Bolt, Fire
Mori moves to deflect with a swing of his mace
[1d10+2] Slam on Sala

Perido looks to you, crossing his crystalline hooves with a cold stare. "I don't make a habit of running away. We'll take care of whatever's out there."
"Y-yeah!" one of the owls shout, moving closer. "I don't know what made you think we're in on this but, honest, we had no idea anything was up!"

Perido moves along with the others towards the front with Honey, moving with conviction. As Firm hits the back of the entrance, Cerbi lets out a growl, pointing outside:
You see three massive black crow witches: the very same you met with Anima and Cormeum earlier, surrounding Alexis who's appeared in mid-air. Along the bottom of the cliff, dozens of zombies climb up the sheer cliff-face towards your caves.

Roll #1 9 = 9 / Roll #2 10 + 1 = 11 / Roll #3 8 + 2 = 10 / Roll #4 2 + 2 = 4


Your hooves fly out fast as lightning, pounding each of the three witches in rapid succession as they let out loud screeches of pain, black feathers scattering to the winds as they're pummeled by your quick blows.
Cruella coughs up a bit of blood, "So fast…!"
Jacquline belches in response, "So strong…!"
Rae takes the attack best, grunting as she bares the attack head on and reaches for the gnarly looking great sword on her back. "Don't go all soft on my now, girls! She's outnumbered, and out-matched!"

Rae brings up the sword to bear, a dark sinister glow surrounding it.
"Drag the spirits into the dark of void… Rend the flesh of the pure from the bone… Let all light you see be destroyed, and the might of Ebon stand alone!"
"Glavo: Unkindness Smiting!"
[1d10+4] Spirit Strike

Cruella quickly tries to recover, reaching out at your head with a razor sharp claw…
[1d10+2] Voodoo Doll

Jacqueline hocks up something in her fat throat, spitting out something into the air that resembles a black pit of sludge…
[1d10+1] Summon Familiar

Roll #1 2 + 4 = 6 / Roll #2 7 + 2 = 9 / Roll #3 10 + 1 = 11


>Rae uses 'Path of the Mighty' to make her attack an Autocrit


>Adaptable Style [Swordsage Ilo]

The ghost screams in rage, disappearing in a flash step before reappearing directly in front of Rae. With a swift motion she hits her in the stomach with an open palm. After striking, she tries to avoid the blunt of the Glavo.

[1d10+3] Dodge
[1d10+2] Plantmorph

Roll #1 5 + 3 = 8 / Roll #2 4 + 2 = 6



>Anima deadpans at where her arm used to be just seconds earlier. "Shit," she states flatly.

>Then, she feels a bout of dizziness as her circuits go haywire. She loses her balance and falls over. But, she quickly tries to correct herself. [1d10]


"Now that you're awake, we'll be fine," Cormeum reassures Aether as he struggles to stand up straight. "We have to finish here so we can go back to killing that lobster."

[1d10] get up

Roll #1 4 = 4 / Roll #2 10 = 10


Firm deadpans, looks down at Cerbi, and whispers, "What, you think we didn't expect this? How dumb y'all think we are, anyway?" He sets her down, stretches, and swaps out the Witchhunger soul for the Monk soul. "Keep an eye on her," he tells Honey. She cocks an eyebrow at him and he clears his throat. "Sorry. You know what to do." Cracking his knuckles, he takes a step forward, and glances back at the mages. "Yell if y'all need help with these zombies. Slaughered 'em before, shouldn't be too hard to do again."

Turning his attention back at the crows, he digs a hoof in the ground, kneels, and launches himself at the crows, aiming to ram them all at once.


Roll #1 2 + 1 = 3


"Alright then," Aether answers with a nod. Confident that her shield won't fail on her too soon, she ignores the even spookier Anima and casts another spell.

>Heal Cormeum


Roll #1 8 + 2 = 10


The blacksword comes down on you hard, the necrotic energy rushing over your body with terrific force as it slams you away from Rae. However, your speed is great enough to avoid the brunt of it
Meanwhile, your hoof strikes Rae across the stomach, causing her to cough in surprise as she looks down at where your hoof landed. A wing reaches down to touch the sudden pink rose blossoming at her stomach, with spiraling vines quickly wrapping around her as her eyes go white
"What… Fae…?"

Rae goes still in mid-air, starting to fall as the flower immobilizes her. The black sludge ball that Jacqueline spat out swiftly takes the form of a grotesque, undead looking flying monkey, which flies down to grab Rae before she falls too far.
"What was that?" Cruella asks as her claw swiftly goes over your mane, grabbing a few hairs as she flaps back, the long skinny creature holding them up in her talon with a grin. "Something you picked up in Rosemary, perhaps? I think I'll enjoy seeing you use it on someone OTHER than my sister though…"
With startling quickness, she folds and molds the ghostly strands of hair into a small rag-doll she pulls from her hat, quickly making a little Doll Alexis with button-eyes.

Her attention is torn as something comes barrelling at them from up high…

Firm launches down towards the witches below, catching their attention as Cruella throws up the little arm of the Alexis doll, and Alexis involuntarily turns around and punches Firm straight on the jaw, causing a few fractures as his charging ram is cut off short

Cruella keeps a tight grip on the doll, cackling to herself as Alexis feels herself unable to take action this turn. "NICELY DONE! That's our little killer, isn't it?" Cruella shouts to Jacqueline, "JACQ! Help Rae will you?!"
[1d10] Maintaining Voodoo Doll
"I'm on it, I'm on it!" Jacq cries out, moving over to Rae's side as she starts inhaling deeply, a small veil of life-force starting to drain from Alexis
[1d10] Lifestream
Rae slowly reaches up with her wing, trying to grab at the plant binding her…
[1d10] Attempting to get up (Rae)
[1d10] The flying monkey Jacquline spawned flies down at Alexis, trying to grapple her after she's bound by the Doll

Meanwhile, as Honey, Cerbi, and Perido's group of mages look down at the climbing zombies below, Perido digs his claws into the mountain side, trying to shift the earth to throw off the assailants. "Hold on to something, this will be a bit shaky…"
[1d10+2] Earthen Strike

Cerbi growls at Honey as she holders her up, her words still sadly unintelligible but seeming to be pointing 'up'.

Roll #1 10 = 10 / Roll #2 7 = 7 / Roll #3 3 = 3 / Roll #4 10 = 10 / Roll #5 2 + 2 = 4


A wave of healing magic is cast out over Cormeum, healing his injuries as he stands back up to 5/4, tearing off the web binding his hand in the process.
The Anima zombie scratches in vein against her barrier, but as it shimmers and shines a powerful web cuts through it, binding Aether once more thicker than ever as the cry calls out.
>"You've got bigger problems than the crawdad, now! I've been waiting for this ever since you humiliated me, ruined my chances with Revas… now I get a chance to return the favor!"
The web tugs on Aether, trying to pull her out of the boat while slowly sapping the life out of her
[1d10] Lifestream (Poison)
>Aether is webbed: she has a -1 to all actions until she spends a turn to successfully remove it

The Anima zombie, driven by madness, continues to assault her barrier

Mori is blasted by a powerful bolt of fire to the face, causing him to reel back screaming as he tumbles on the ground, lit alight as Sala continues a angry battle cry, throwing flame after flame at the zombie while Anima loses balance.
"You're a bad person, you're hurting my friend! Why don't you just go away, LEAVE ME ALONE!"
[1d10] Fire Telekinesis

Mori tumbles away, trying to get back up on his feet and strike at the little ghost. "Fucking little undead runt-!"
[1d10+1] Tumble

Roll #1 8 = 8 / Roll #2 9 = 9 / Roll #3 9 = 9 / Roll #4 5 + 1 = 6


Firm grabs his jaw and rolls it a couple times. Smoke blows out of his nose as he turns his attention back to the witches. He stands up straight, and the flames in his eyes flicker as he glares at them. "Y'all're gonna regret that." Levitating back for more momentum, he holds his arms out and charges them, aiming to slam his body into one and chokeslam the other two.

[Road of the Spirited]
[1d10+3]Cleave 3

Honey shakes her head. "You know, I'm really starting to think you think I'm an idiot, when it's not my fault I don't speak dog." Bracing herself for the mage's attack, she glances up. "Unless you wanna, like, fly away or something."

Roll #1 8 + 3 = 11


The ghost's arm breaks in several places at it connects with Firm's jaw being used to strike beyond its ability. She continues shrieking in anger as the energy is drained from her and the doll prevents her movement.



"I'll be honest, I forgot who you were until this very moment," Cormeum says in a mocking tone to the creepy voice. "Still don't remember the name. Happy or something?"

Cormeum shoots the Anima zombie. [1d10+3]


>"Damnit! This is why I hate being a hero! You care about things and it distracts you!" Anima gripes as she gets up with one arm. [1d10] "Then, you just look like an idiot."

Roll #1 1 + 3 = 4 / Roll #2 3 = 3


[1d10] Cruella uses 'Road of the Englightend' to try and re-roll the attack

Roll #1 5 = 5


"Agh!" Aether yelps, feeling energy seep out of her. She pulls back at the web, frantically trying to unstick herself.

>"… now I get a chance to return the favor!"

"Who are you?" she asks in distress.

>Unstick web


Roll #1 4 = 4


As Firm recovers far more quickly than any of the witches anticipate, Cruella panics, quickly shouting at her sisters to avoid the attack as best they can. With unrealistic quickness, the just barely avoid the brunt of the blow, but several feathers are knocked off of each of them in turn as they let out screams of pain at the assault. Jacqueline lets out a loud belch as she drains Alexis' energy, sending it to Rae who uses it to recover some of the damage.

"That was too close! I thought she knocked him out cold!" Jacqueline comments, looking to Rae as she still lays stunned in the flowers's embrace. "Rae, damnit, wake up! This ain't time for your beauty sleep!"
"Like any amount of beauty sleep will help her anyways, HAH!" She manipulates the doll, looking at Alexis as the monkey lets go of her and goes instead after Firm, screeching as it claws at his face
[1d10] Monkey attacking Firm
[1d10] Jacqueline regroups around her monkey, a magical beam firing from her craw into the sludge minion she created
>Deathly Volley
[1d10] Rae tries to break free of the flower
[1d10] (voodoo doll) Cruella manipulates the Alexis Doll to try and make Alexis attack both herself and Firm at once with a dual cleave, "Time to make some real use out of you: break every bone in that big half-ape's body!"
[1d10] Cleave 2 (Alexis, Firm)

>"What?! N-no, it's not 'Happy', that was the damned monkey!"
A figure descends from the tree, and you quickly recognize the grotesque figure: it is the multilimbed spider-zombie creature made up of multiple parts that assaulted you earlier during the trip to Helsfi.
"You can be forgiven, however, I never formally introduced myself to YOU. Aether could surely tell you all abou-"
>"Who are you?" she asks in distress.
The zombie's mandibles drop in surprise. "W-WHAT?! Oh come on, you know me! We fought each other back in Tranquil! I, the great master of fear and the tyrant of terror, fought you and three other ponies to a stand-still! Ring any bells?"
He asks as he pulls you in by the web, your attempt to pull yourself away from him only tiring you out as the webs grow stronger
>5/4, still Webbed

He looks to Cormeum growling as he throws another web in his direction
>[1d10+1] Web
>[1d10] Pulling Aether closer

As he attacks the zombie, it narrowly avoids the shot, looking to Cormeum with a vile glare as the abomination charges him instead, pinning him back to the controls
>Cormeum at 0/3

Roll #1 9 = 9 / Roll #2 5 = 5 / Roll #3 2 = 2 / Roll #4 4 = 4 / Roll #5 6 = 6 / Roll #6 7 + 1 = 8 /


Mori manages to get back up again, delivering a harsh blow against Sala but the little ghost manages to endure it as she puts out much more force of flame, burning Mori's arm to near cinders as he drops his iron-ball and chain.
Sala looks over to you, "I don't wanna be a hero either! I just really really hate this meanie!"
"Feeling's FUCKING mutual!" He shouts as he swings another blow at the ghost. "But don't worry, once I pry that Psyche out of that ugly clump of metal, I'll make sure you never have to do no heroics ever again!"
[1d10+2] Unarmed attack Sala
[1d10+2] Sala uses Magic Bolt
>Still at 0/2

Perido's attack goes wide, cutting off part of the cliff but not doing much to stem the tide of crawling zombies coming up the side. Cerbi only shakes her head in frustration, letting out a sigh as she seems to give up on trying to communicate in this way. She leans into your shoulder, as Perido shouts,
"Damn, didn't get nearly as many as I wanted. I must be tired."
He prepares another volley when the zombies get within striking distance of the cave, lashing out at you with rotten claws and teeth
[1d10] Attacking Perido
[1d10] Attacking Honey

Perido using 'Earthen Grasp'

Roll #1 7 + 2 = 9 / Roll #2 10 + 2 = 12 / Roll #3 5 = 5 / Roll #4 3 = 3 / Roll #5 3 = 3


[1d10] Hit roll max, this is for Pulling Aether Closer

Roll #1 7 = 7



"Oh right. Happy was the monkey," Cormeum says idly as he gets back up. "No wonder I got the names mixed up. He was much more memorable. You… still haven't said your name, by the way."

[1d10] get up


>Anima stands up and steps out of the range of his attack. "I didn't say I didn't want to be a hero. I just said I hate it," Anima says in a ferocious tone as she steadies herself.

>Road of Spirited to auto-get-up.

>"Now, get away from that little girl."

Roll #1 8 = 8


Aether tilts her head and raises an eyebrow in confusion, but her contemplation is cut short as she's pulled towards the creature again. She struggles to stay in the boat, still trying to get the web off herself.

>Unstick web


Roll #1 9 = 9


Firm grits his teeth and tries to position himself between the witches and Alexis. [protect]

Letting out a guttural yell, he grabs one of the monkey's arms, one of its legs, and flexes in an attempt to tear it apart.


Honey's eye catches Alexis about to attack Firm and her horn glows. "Hey, what the fuck?!" she yells. Her voice resonates from her mouth as she commands, "Step the fuck off! What are you doing?!"


Roll #1 6 + 3 = 9 / Roll #2 8 + 2 = 10


>Road of the Spirited

The ghost moves to punch Firm again, but still in motion she begins to feel their control slip as Honey shouts from the sidelines. Still in a blind, half-thinking fury she turns upon the witches again, descending upon them with a swift spin-kick.

[1d10] Cleave 3

"Don't kill them! Don't let them die! They'll get away!" she yells to Firm.

Roll #1 5 = 5


Firm grumbles and fights with the monkey. "Way easier just to smash some damn skulls," he says. "But alright, guess you ain't wrong. Fuckin witch can just bring em back."



>Anima uses a finger from her still in-tact hand. [1d10] Spellbreaker

Roll #1 5 = 5


Cormeum pushes the Anima zombie off of him (5/3) and Aether manages to free herself of the web, the strings pulling off of her as the barrier cuts off another string from connecting.
"D-don't play dumb! I'm ARAIG! You ponies costed me my only chance at ever joining Revas, using their resources to become a full blown Demon-Tainted! But now I've been given a second chance, and all I have to do is BRING! YOU! TO! HER!"
Cormeum is caught up in web this time, adding -1 to his rolls until he pulls out of it, as a green spectral beam crosses the distance between the spider-zombie and Aether
[1d10] Lifestream on Aether

The Anima zombie sees Cormeum has risen, and tries to attack him once more

The zombies attacks fall too short, but so does Perido's, his magical attempts at throwing off their enemies failing as they manage to climb into the cave. "I appreciate your concern for your friends, miss, but maybe focus on the enemies in front of us too!"
[1d10] Zombie attacking Perido
[1d10] Zombie attacking Honey
[1d10] Perido uses Return to Earth on one of them

Roll #1 8 = 8 / Roll #2 4 = 4 / Roll #3 7 = 7 / Roll #4 8 = 8 / Roll #5 3 = 3


Thanks to Honey's shout, Alexis' attack manages to avoid connecting with Firm, who currently wrestles with the flying sludge monkey as they tear each other apart
>Firm at 1/5
>Alexis at 8/4

As the spin kick comes down, Jacquline puffs up her gut to try and deflect the blow, causing it to bounce back as Cruella struggles with the doll.
"HEY! I thought you had control of her?!"
"I DO, you fat moron! Sometimes it slips is all, but no matter!" She grins devilishly, moving a feather onto the little Alexis Doll's hoof, then forcing it into her own gut. "Her resistance ends 'now'! See how you like a little flower power yourself, my pretty!"
[1d10+2] Voodoo Doll control
[1d10+2] Plantmorph [Target: Alexis]
Jacqueline flies over to Firm's side, her maw opening wide as she tries to suck out his life energy. "I'll take the big guy! Go get Rae!"
[1d10] Lifestream on Firm
[1d10] Monkey trying to help up Rae (who can no longer get up on her own, deep in a trance of the flower as the briars sink in deep, her body slowly starting to shrink and change in color.

Sala and Mori's clash sends them both hurtling away from one another, dragging across the ground as she falls to the side besides you, looking up to you in confusion as you stand.
"W-what? I don't get it, why do you want to do something you hate?"
>Anima at 5/2

Mori shakes his head, standing up and stampeding towards Anima as she stands up to face him. "How about you MAKE ME?!" He shouts as he charges you, the beam scratching the side of his crocodile head as his fist hurls towards your chassis
[1d10+1] Tumble Anima
[1d10] Sala tries to rise

Roll #1 5 + 2 = 7 / Roll #2 7 + 2 = 9 / Roll #3 6 = 6 / Roll #4 8 = 8 / Roll #5 4 + 1 = 5 / Roll #6 5 = 5


[1d10+3] to instant 'Dodge' own Plantmorph, full post incoming

Roll #1 4 + 3 = 7


Aether grunts as she finally frees herself from the web. "Oh, well, uh, I'm sorry, I'm not really great with names," she says frankly. She yelps again, finding her energy being sapped again by the zombie spider. She casts another magical barrier on herself, a different one this time though.

>Inure to necromancy


Roll #1 8 + 2 = 10


Alexis strikes herself in the chest, a familiar pink rose rising from it. At the sight of it the ghost rages, managing to maintain control of herself for a few more moments, and attempts to use it to strike the Witches with her martial art.

[1d10] Cleave 3

Roll #1 10 = 10



Cormeum shoots the Anima zombie. [1d10+2]

"Have you tried doing something more constructive with your life?" he asks Araig. "Maybe open up a haunted house. I'm sure the kids would love you."


>"I don't usually get to do what I like," Anima explains to Sala. "But, I don't usually want to, either. Being a hero was one of the few things that made me feel important. That's what I wanted. But, there's a lot about it I don't like. Like this," she says as she sidesteps Mori's attack.

>"I hate caring. It makes me look like an idiot. I end up getting arms cut off or dying."

>Anima chuckles to herself. "I'm not making a bit of sense. I'm not good at big heroic speeches. I just kill bitches."

As Mori tumbles past Anima and (presumably) falls to the ground, Anima puts her foot on his back. Then, with her remaining hand, she grabs the back of his head. A red glow surrounds his skull.

>Lifestream [1d10]

Roll #1 5 + 2 = 7 / Roll #2 5 = 5


Firm's grinning skull looms over Jackequeline, and he lets out a deep, guttural chuckle. "Save me time not needin' to chase you down. Much appreciated." His attention turns toward the monkey. "Hey, I ain't done with you, you shitpile." He reaches out to grab the monkey before it can get away from him and tries to slam it into the witch attacking him. Fire swirls around him, blocking off her damage.

[1d10+3]Cleave 2

"Yeah yeah. Clearly he needed it more right-" she yelps as the zombie attacks her. Her horn lights up, bathing her whole body in a silvery glow, and she winces and stumbles backwards.


Roll #1 6 + 3 = 9 / Roll #2 4 = 4


"Not great with… you're not seriously telling me you forgot it?!"
The spider-zombie shouts angrily, his magical blast deflecting off your barrier with little issue
>Inured to Necromancy for 5 turns
>Still inured to Physical damage for 1 turn

Cormeum fires off a shot at the zombie, successfully blasting it off the Vermillion at last and leaving only Araig (and the massive crawdad still in combat with the Ironside crew) to deal with. He turns to you, shouting, "Oh, that sounds nice! Maybe I could FEAST ON THE CHILDREN'S ENTRAILS WHILE DRINKING THEIR NIGHTMARES, that sounds like a lovely idea!"
He points a leg towards the ground, attempting to summon something from the earth…
[1d10+2] Raise Dead

Sala looks up at you, still on the ground covered in swamp-mud as she considers her words. "Um… would you be mad if… I… cared about you?"
She pauses as you make the final comment, looking as you grab Mori's head in your red, glowing grasp, the life sucking out of his skull as he reaches up and grabs at it.
"GRAH! Lemme go, you metal bitch-!" he says, clawing at your remaining hand to break free
[1d10] Mori getting up from helpless
[1d10] Sala getting up from helpless

Roll #1 6 + 2 = 8 / Roll #2 5 = 5 / Roll #3 1 = 1


As Alexis strikes herself and forms the familiar pink rose, Firm manages to reflexively reach down and tear it off. Jacqueline's life-stream hits Firm just as he grabs the tail of the monkey, slamming it into her and preventing the attack from connecting, slamming her with her own minion as she goes flying through the air. In mid-air, she bounces back, pushing against the air like a ball would against a wall, looking back down at Firm with rage in her eyes. "HEY! You know how long I was workin' on that thing?!" She shouts as the crumbled remains of the sludge monkey fall apart.
>Jacqueline uses 'Road of the Spirited' to get up automatically/instantly

Rae's eyes finally open as she raises her wings and tears off the flower, gasping in fear as visible sweat pools on her brow. "That… that was too close. I almost-"
She's cut off as the attacks from Alexis lands on all three of the witches, causing them to cry out as the blows connect with horrific ferocity.
She clutches her sword, looking at the falling ashes of the sludge monkey as she raises her sword at it, covering necrotic magic over it as she shouts, "Pull it together! You have any idea what the witch will do to us if we all fail?!"
Cruella growls, grabbing at the doll in her hand once more. "Shut up! You don't have to remind me, Rae! I've got her-!" She looks around, trying to think up a plan… when she eyes the cave from which Firm came. She points the doll in the direction of the cave, forcing Alexis to attack someone within. "Hey, minotaur: which little pony do you like more, hmm?"
[1d10+2] Maintain Voodoo Doll
[1d10] Alexis attacking Honey

Jacqueline starts hocking up another minion in her throat…
[1d10+1] Summoning Familiar
[1d10+1] While Rae raises the fallen monkey to make an undead minion (Raise Dead)

You try to focus on your magic, as does Perido, but the attacking zombies hound you and throw off your concentration. Perido is set upon by his zombies, though their attempts to bite at his crystalline skin is met with minimal success, and one manages to scratch you
>2/5 Honey
[1d10] Perido attempts to rise up against his zombie as the others in the small band of mages are set upon by zombies climbing up into the holes
[1d10] The zombie attacking you slashes out again

Roll #1 4 + 2 = 6 / Roll #2 10 = 10 / Roll #3 8 + 1 = 9 / Roll #4 8 + 1 = 9 / Roll #5 3 = 3 / Roll #6 1 = 1


Aether's relieved to find that she cast the right spell this time. "I mean, we've fought a lot of monsters and things these past few days…" she explains. She picks up the pieces of haunted house Anima and launches them at the spider.

>Telekinesis at spider-zombie


Roll #1 3 + 3 = 6


"You know, for one of them scholarly magic types y'all are real fuckin dumb. Act like I gotta pick one when all I gotta do is-" He lets out a unearthly guttural roar and charges all three witches.

[1d10+3]Cleave 3

"Y'all got any healers?" Honey asks Perido. "If you do this is gonna sound real fucking weird, but heal the dog if you want more help fighting these fucking zombies."

Honey's eyes shift between Perido, the witches, and Alexis. As Alexis moves to attack her again, she shouts, "Hey, fucking idiot, fight this shit! I know they're necrophiliacs or whatever, but I've seen you kill worse than their fat fucking feathery asses!"


Roll #1 4 + 3 = 7 / Roll #2 2 + 3 = 5



"Nnnno, that doesn't feel like an improvement," Cormeum says as if he's really considering it. "What about psychiatry? You definitely understand the subconscious."

[1d10+2] Ranged attack on Araig


>Anima stares at Sala for a moment. "You can do what you want," she gives a non-committal answer before giving her attention back to Mori.

>"Oh, no, no, no, no," Anima says with a laugh, bending over to get her head close to Mori's ear. Then, in practically a whisper. "YOU'RE the bitch."

>Spellbender [1d10]

Roll #1 6 + 2 = 8 / Roll #2 9 = 9


Alexis flies straight up to Honey, rearing back her fist with gritted teeth trying to resist it, before punching her in the stomach, knocking the wind out of her [-2W]

"I. Am. TRYING." she yells at Honey.
"Rrrragh!" she yells, looking back at the Witches.

"I am going to RUIN YOU." she yells from the cliff, kind of shrugging off just striking Honey with weeb-fu.

She vanishes again in a flash-step, immediately appearing among them again, before striking each Witch again with a flurry of precise strikes with her hooftips.

[1d10] Cleave 3

Roll #1 6 = 6


You ram your fist through them all, one at a time, Rae using her large clay more to block your blows but pummeling the crap out of Cruella in particular, a massive blow blunting her beak flat while she falls back dropping the Alexis Doll
"GGGRRGH! Great, a hero with common sense-!" Rae curses as she and Jacqueline try to withstand the barrage, quite bloodied by the exchange as they look down at Cruella who falls. "Uh-oh…"

Alexis manages to deal a devastating gut-punch against Honey, dropping her down to 2/3, but as Cruella is struck down by Firm, the control releases instantly, freeing her from their influence. She charges down and performs a series of precise strikes on each witch as they're left breathless by the blows.

After each blow is landed, small flowers appear on the tips of the Witches wherever they were struck, slowly spreading over their feathers as their eyes open wide with fear.
"N-no, wait-!"
"Not like this!"
"You don't know what you're doing!"

With a brief moment of slight body horror, each of the three witches mutate and swish around in the air until their bodies transmute, their bodies thinning and their heads bulbing while shrinking down into the form of a trio of small, pink roses that slowly fall along the night air while a torrent of black feathers fall with them.

As the zombies attack, Perido grunts as he tries to pull his off of him. "The… ocelot… can but WHY would we do that?!"
The ocelot in question shakes his head, running in fright from the zombie he fights as he quickly grabs at a crystal, rubbing it with his paws over Cerbi's body, "I-It can't get any worse than it already is right? I'm only gonna heal it a little though, we can't be too sure!"
[1d10] Heal
[1d10] The zombie attacking almost falls apart in the wake of the attack, but tries to make one last attack on her…

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


"I'm not just any 'monster' you've fought, I made you tremble with absolutely, unyielding terror! How do you just 'forget' THAT?!"

As the blaster bolt and the telekinetic thrown shrapnel hits Araig, he lets out a loud growl of pain, falling over onto his side from the tree as he's pinned by the various bits of shrapnel. "Grrggh, THERAPY!? I'm the stuff of nightmare, I feed only on fear! What possible gain could there come out of 'HELPING' these idiots, huh?!"
[1d10-1] Attempt to get up

The zombie he raises from the ground pulls up its head… and it's appearance is of a frantic Princess Sparkle, gasping for air as she looks at Aether expectantly. "A-Aether! HELP! He somehow managed to pull me to this world through the dream, I-I'm powerless!"

Sala grunts as she falls back down to the ground, unable to pick herself up while she watches you blast Mori point-blank with spectral, white energy from your remaining hand, Mori crying out as you see the unlife leave his eyes
His eye-sockets glow a piercing white before the glow moves along the rest of his body and into her hand. The sound of a 'breath' leaves the body, a Soul emerging from his corpse (Zombie Paladin, as was the last time he was defeated) as he drops down to the ground, blocked out of this corpse.

Sala blinks her eyes, looking at you with a uncertain expression that slowly forms up into a little grin.
Roll a perception check

Roll #1 4 - 1 = 3


Floating in the air, the three roses held in her hoof the ghost continues to fume with anger.

"I win! You were talking all that good shit a second ago, now you're a fucking scrunchy. You stupid priiiiiiiiiiiicks!" she howls into the night air.

"Fuck fucking fuck. Was it so hard to just let it go!? Miamore fucking Cadenza, I let you get away with everything! I just wanted you to leave us alone. But NO, you had to come here TO MY HOUSE, spewing your discount dawn of the dead bullshit and acting like I hadn't put myself out on a limb. AND FOR WHAT? Nothing! I still get what I want. You're going to live through this, and I'm going to make sure everypony knows it. Peace in our time you stupid stupid-"

After this she loses her composure, letting out another scream to the night sky overhead, hooves on her head, pressing the roses in one into her temple.


"I've had numerous terrifying experiences these past few days, and I'm not taking notes on them," Aether answers.

>The zombie he raises from the ground pulls up its head…

"M—Miss Sparkle?!" Aether shrieks, seeing an image of her mentor rising from the ground. Stunned, she takes a moment to try to figure out what to do.



"Honestly?" Cormeum responds with less sarcasm than before. "That's sort of what I'm getting at here. What are you getting out of this? Helping Revas? Helping witches? If you're forgettable to me, it's because you're just another mook. A minion who can't even keep a boss. Do something for yourself for a change. People say that helping others is very personally fulfilling. I can attest to it through experience. Then, once you're your own fulfilled person, maybe I'd remember you."

[1d10+2] ranged attack


"Oh, don't pay attention to his mind-games," Cormeum says in the same tone he might tell a dog not to eat its own poop.


>"Well that was… shit…" Anima grumbles as she bends over to pick her own arm up. "I miss being out of breath…"

>She turns to Sala. "You alright?" [1d10] perception

Roll #1 8 + 2 = 10 / Roll #2 8 = 8


"Stupid fuckin know-it-all witches. Kilt yer fuckin sister. Lucky I didn't kill y'all too." He shakes his head and looks around. "Yo!" he yells. "Y'all alright, Anima, or you need some help? If y'all're good I'm gonna mop up some fuckin rots!"

Honey screams in pain and drops to her knees,clutching her stomach. Tears well up in her eyes. She manages to chuckle through raspy breath. "That all you got?" she whispers to Alexis, squeezes her eyes shut, and groans. Slowly, she stands back up, catches her breath, and turns her attention back to the mages.

Honey clears her throat. "Alright, this is gonna sound crazy, but we're comrades in arms now so you gotta trust me on this. Me and Wolfie are on the same team. I just knew you wouldn't actually believe that since you were dead set on her being with the witch, which she isn't, so I kinda had to tell some half-truths. She helped us fight Maggie. She's actually super cool, pretty damn strong, and also has a voice that makes you wanna cream your panties."

She looks over at Cerbi. "You doing alright over there Wolfie? Sorry I couldn't hit you with a heal sooner. Our resident egghead isn't with us."

Firm gently rests a hand on Alexis's shoulder. "Some folks is ornery like that, kid. Even when you knock em around a bit they still think they're big shit." He nods. "Y'all did what you had to do. Ain't nothin wrong with that, y'hear?"


"But what if it *is* Ms. Sparkle? How would it know who Ms. Sparkle is?" she asks, frantic.


"Trying to have a fucking conversation you stupid fucking pile of forgotten leftovers." As the zombie attacks, Honey spins around and tries to buck it in the face.


Roll #1 5 = 5



"You really think this guy who can't even keep a minion job is as strong as Yggdrassil?"


Aether pauses for a second. "Oh, I suppose," she says coolly. She ignores the figure and continues her assault on the zombie spider zombie.

>Telekinesis at spider-zombie


Roll #1 1 + 3 = 4


Alexis stops as the hand is rested on her shoulder, looking down at the roses in her hoof.

"They're still alive, in these. I didn't kill them. I didn't want to kill them."


"I mean seems like you still feel pretty fucked up about turning 'em into flowers. Just want you to know that it's alright. Seems like lately y'all've been in the kinda mind where you need to hear that." He shrugs. "But maybe I'm readin it wrong. Ain't never been as good with this kinda shit as Honey."


"I'm not 'fucked up', I'm mad that after all the hard work I put in trying to give these people a fucking pass, they just throw it in my face and laugh at me. Everypony thought I was stupid for trying to be nice and-"

"They didn't even care. They kept laughing the whole time, acting like it was no big deal to do this. Like they thought I was stupid too."


"It ain't stupid not to wanna hurt folks, kid. Some folks just don't give you a choice." He gestures to the flowers. "Specially folks like that what think they're better than you, no matter how dumb or weak they actually are. Worst type. Probably coulda put all of 'em on their last legs -smash their smug little beaks in, break their wings, keep 'em from castin spells- and they still probably think they're better than you. Shit sucks, but that's they way it is sometimes." He looks down at Honey. "Anyway, guess it ain't my place to say nothin'. Sorry. Best get back to the fight."


"No, its fine. Just, go make sure Honey's okay." she says sounding defeated.


Sala looks up to you as you ask her if she's alright, and the ghostly fire-pony pulls herself up to her knees in a crotch, her smile slowly fading as she looks down at the grass. "N-no… I'm tired of fighting. Of not knowing if I'm ever gonna see my momma again…" she starts sniffling, the adrenaline of the situation starting to wear off. "I miss being out of breath too, I hate this…"

Out of the corner of your eye, you see a pair of brightly colored white balls, arcing towards both you and Sala. Sala hasn't noticed it yet, but you see one going for both you and her.

The ocelot manages to heal Cerbi's injuries a bit, the dog's eyes opening up wide with anger needing cathartic release, and she dives at the nearest zombie, sinking her teeth into it and tearing it to shreds with violent fervor while the rest of the mages try to deal with theirs.

[1d10+2] Death Blow
>The Zombie attacking Honey falls apart entirely as she spin-buck-kicks it to the face, forcing its head to go flying off as it drops a Tainted Zombie Soul onto the cave-floor. Soon, the other mages manage to pull through, littering the floor with the Souls.

The foul-smelling undead dog looks to you, shaking its head as it cracks its neck. She puts a paw on a nearby Soul from one of the Zombies, points to it before pointing it to her chest, and then throwing the Soul away, looking at you as though she is expecting you to understand.

Your laser blasts one of his limbs off, causing Araig to shout angrily as he looks to you, his eight undead eyes twitching. "Besides the opportunity to feast on the fear of whatever helpless fool I please? I'm getting the chance to turn into a Demon! No Tainted worth their Soul becomes anything notable unless they are one, and I was promised a way! Araig now is a name to be feared, but once I ascend I'll become a legend!"
[1d10-1] attempt to rise

Twilight shakes her head as she is ignored, angrily glaring as she's stuck in the mud, "Aether… I trusted you! I thought you would do whatever it took to please me?!"
Suddenly, she starts to sink into the ground, crying out as she's slowly drug beneath the mud.
"Don't let me die, Aether, please!"


Roll #1 3 + 2 = 5 / Roll #2 8 + 2 = 10 / Roll #3 7 + 2 = 9 / Roll #4 7 - 1 = 6


File: 1598754089997.jpg (1.19 MB, 2048x1365, fillydelphia_snow.jpg)

Previous thread: https://desuarchive.org/mlp/thread/35757510/#35762859


"She's one of the Twelve: the Earth Pony of the North. I mentioned earlier we had a holiday similar to Hearth's Warming, called Juletide? It has way too many similarities to yours to be coincidence, it involves her going out in a single night, delivering toys all across Tetra to good boys and girls…"
"To this day I have no idea *how* information about her got passed down to Equestria: I don't recall ever sending her here via the Bifrost, but somehow I think her story got intermingled with your Equestrian legends of your founding."


As you ask her why she gets to eat, she forces a swallow before taking another bite. "Because I'm special," she says before swallowing again, sticking out her tongue. "These REALLY did not come out great. Real answer is, I'm technically just working through your memory of the taste."


"Once again, that's a reference I haven't picked up on yet, but I think I'm getting the gist of it. All I'm saying is, I am willing to bet you had some good memories before you got so jaded. And I'd bet at least one of them were on Hearth's Warming. If they're strong enough, we'll be stopping on them when we're going through yours."


>*Shima says the title is applicable

The ghost steps over Yggdrasil, sitting down in front of the couch beneath her parents.

"You're seriously saying Santa* is real? You realize how insane that would sound if we weren't where we are, doing what we're doing? I thought she was based on some old Celestine saint?"

"I still don't get how this works. Why could the Ambition control everything in here, but the real simulation is so limited?"
>Anima stares at Alexis again. "You're so annoying," she mumbles awkwardly. She turns her head to look away.

"You're welcome."



>Anima glares at Ygdrassil. "It's a stupid, cheap manipulation in the movie and it's a stupid, cheap manipulation here."

>Anima puts her hoof to her chest and uses a mocking voice, "'Oh, you were happy once in your life, now don't you feel dumb?'"

>"No, I don't," she stomps her hoof. "You could pick a thousand more sad and angry moments in my life. What point does cherry picking it either way prove?"


"The most insane part from my perspective is how her story, her very NAME, is so prevalent in Equestria. When I first found out I reached out to her to find out what the deal was, but she's either really good at playing dumb or is as clueless as I am. It could also just be a coincidence but it'd be, like, a one in a billion chance of having so many details line up so perfectly."

As you compare her simulation to the Ambition, Yggdrasil answers, "I haven't gotten to the part of your memories detailing the Ambition so I'm not entirely sure what you're referring to, but it might have something to do with them having different goals." You hear your family laughing behind you, Zach having said something humorous in response to the movie as everyone enjoys your cookies

"I'm not sure. You're not exactly wrong, a few good memories don't always make up for all the horrible experiences someone goes through. But others forget they ever had happy moments to begin with." Yggdrasil says in a questioning tone, before putting forth a hoof on the rug of Alexis' living room floor, where you see a gray-blue flower start to grow out from the carpet. "We could try and find out?"



>"I'm not denying that I've ever been happy," Anima says stubbornly. "I'm denying that it matters."


Alexis looks behind her as she sees her family laughing at Zach, giving a soft smile.

"I guess it doesn't really matter. I'll be back to normal by tomorrow. Thanks by the way, for doing this. You didn't have to pick me, and for all the trouble we've had getting here I am really glad you did. Not just for the obvious reason either. I never would have imagined any of this was possible the last time I was sitting here. And now I'm in a resurrection-machine being told Santa is an alien." she pauses with a suddenly confused expression.

"When did my life get so weird?"
"What else would matter?" Alexis asks Anima innocently as the flower sprouts up from the rug.

"Wait, do we have to leave right now? I though we were going to finish the movie?" she asks suddenly.



>Anima shrugs. "You say that like anything HAS TO matter."


"It'd be really weird if *nothing* mattered."



>"Wow, it's almost like you JUST got finished talking about how weird the world is."


"Its just, if nothing matters that's mean we don't matter. That none of *this* mattered."



>"We're not looking at any of MY Hearths Warmings, are we?"


At this, Yggdrasil gives a long hard stare. "EVERY memory matters. Good or bad ones. Those memories are what make us who we are."

"You're welcome, but you don't have to thank me. Everything you've done so far, I'm practically just trading for services rendered." Yggdrasil says with small smile. "And you were such a unique case on Equestria, I just had to take it. Being the only 'ghost' around couldn't have been easy."

As you remark on how weird your life has been, Yggdrasil chuckles. "From my experiences, life only gets stranger."

Yggdrasil shakes her head at Alexis asking if they have to leave right now. "We can finish the movie with your family first. I'm actually finding this kind of interesting, there's nothing about red-nosed reindeer on Juletied on Tetra."



>"Yeah, I love movies about childhood bullying!" Anima jokes as Alexis insists they finish watching Rudolph.


"I don't get what you mean." she says.
"Don't downplay it. If you hadn't have found me I could have stayed dead forever. I lost everything and you gave it back to me. I haven't done anything worth that."

As Yggdrasil mentions being the only ghost, Alexis looks away at the TV, hooves in her lap.

"It really wasn't that bad. I learned to fly. I got to see what everypony does when nobody's around. I had my friend Bitter still. And I got to see more of the city then I ever did when I was alive."

"I had a pretty good death." she says wistfully, referring to her time dead.



>"I'm saying that the only reason we're here, looking at THIS, is because you have a skewed view of what matters."


"And what do you think matters Conan?"



>Anima gives Alexis a confused look. "I actually don't get that reference."


"The old Conan the Barbarian movies? This Yak asks Arnold what's the best thing about life and he gives this little speech about killing your enemies and stealing their mares or something."



>Anima cackles. "That's hilarious!"


"And? Is that what really matters?" she asks casually.



>Anima shrugs. "It's a start, I guess?" she answers in a noncommittal tone.


"I'm not judging I'm just curious. I never really 'got' what you stood for or didn't stand for or however you'd put it. Whats the endgame for you? Like, skip forward a year or two, you do whatever you're trying to what's that look like? No more Cormeum? No more superheroes? Taking over the world on a throne of skulls?"



>"I don't want to rule the world," Anima rolls her eyes. "I just want the world to suck less. There's too many awful people, and the people who claim to help don't actually solve the problem. Some do. I don't want to kill them."

>"When I'm done, there won't be any villains. And, there won't be any heroes who go soft on them."

>She pauses for a moment. "Doc… I'm on the fence about."


"Then why are you a villain? And why do you act so…you? Wouldn't it make more sense to be a vigilante?"


"Hadn't done anything? How many lives do you think you saved on Kachina's Island, or Rosemary Woods, or by stopping Coco Rico? You've done a lot just GETTING here. Resurrection isn't an easy thing for me to give, but I wouldn't say you haven't done anything to deserve it."

As you remark on having not had that bad a death, she smiles. "That's good to hear. I'm sure you have regrets, but I have known many who did not take their passing so gracefully. Understandable why many of them wouldn't want to look for silver linings, but it is… hard, to see people who lived good lives lose themselves to their own despair."

"I must have missed the first part of the movie, that's what this film is about?" She shrugs. "Hmm. I guess that would explain why he's been exiled to the frozen north. Do they ever explain WHY his nose glows or…?"

At Anima's assertion there won't be any villains, Yggdrasil snorts. "Unlikely. Your goal is admirable but there will always be villains in this world. The only thing that ever really changes is the filter through which villains are judged."



>"Turns out, heroes don't like murder," Anima shrugs. "Especially when you murder heroes."



>Anima shrugs. "Cancer?" is her answer as to why Rudolph's nose is red.


>"And, it's shit like that which makes me say nothing matters," she responds to the second thing.


"Yeah but you act like a psychopath, how does that work? That's the one thing I don't get, you say you don't like villains but you're the worst villain of all. Well maybe not THE worst, I don't know many villains."
"I failed both of those. Rutinoi and Coco didn't have to die but they did anyway. I don't know how many people I 'saved' but I've killed more then a few. I don't feel guilty about it, they were trying to kill us, but I'm still not happy about it."
"Oh no dying was awful. I meant that being dead wasn't that bad. In retrospect. If it wasn't in retrospect I'd be in the same boat."
"He has cancer." she jokes at the same time as Anima, before realizing and laughing.



>Anima also laughs about the same deer cancer joke.


>"Wooooow," Anima says with sarcastic hurt. "You don't see ME judging YOUR mental health!"

>She pauses for a moment. "Except for those times I called you a coward. But, that's not really the same, anyway."


"I'm still not judging, I just don't get it. You say you have all these good intentions then you try to eat me and say Conan was right. I don't get it."



>Anima's grin fades. "I'm not used to people pushing this hard through my obvious deflection…" she says with an awkward half-laugh.

>"Can we just… drop this?" she asks, all of her previous humor and confidence gone.


"If you want to. I didn't mean to get too personal. I was just thinking that, this is a miracle. This isn't *supposed* to happen. To me, this is what matters, being at home, watching a movie with friends and family. This is…normal. And I know we don't really agree on much but I figured no matter what we did later on, you should get some normal too. In between all the justice and revenge and everything. I didn't mean to pry or make you explain yourself." she says, still sitting back, hooves in her lap watching the movie.



>"I hate that word," Anima grumbles.


"Sorry. I didn't mean it like that."



>Anima just makes a grunt that is somewhere between understanding and disapproval.


"I was not trying to be nihilistic." She says, "What I mean is there will always be people who do evil no matter how hard you try to weed them out, just as there will always be hunger, or disasters, or strife. That does not mean fighting against them is pointless."

"I think you need to re-contextualize failure. If you failed, you wouldn't be here. At any rate, if you don't want to make it a tally of lives lost vs lives saved, I won't, but if you don't want me underselling your resurrection, you shouldn't undersell yourself."

"I more or less meant the same. Take it from me, there are very few who actually like the 'dying' part of death. I meant in regards of how to spend your time as a Psyche, more specifically."

As both girls comment on the character having cancer, Yggdrasil looks between both of you at once. "…I genuinely can't tell if you two are being serious with me or not right now. If so then, well… that's a depressing twist."



>Anima has a giggle fit at Yggdrasil's reaction to the cancer joke. "Iggy, you are the most fun combination of smart and stupid I could imagine."


"I want to undersell it. I don't like the idea of paying to come back anyway."
Alexis gives an awkward smile, before returning to watching the movie.

>assuming Timber doesn't re-initiate conversation I'm good to timeskip to end of movie.



>Time-skip, plz.


Yggdrasil turns towards you, her head turned to one side. "I prefer to think of myself as just being inquisitive. Also, 'Iggy'? Seriously?"

Yggdrasil offers a shrug. "If that's how you want to think of it, so be it. But I think you'll find that a hard sell to most of the people you've helped."

After sitting down with the memories of Alexis' family, you all watch towards the end of the movie, the credits wrapping up as Alexis' dad stands up from the couch, lifting up Zach into his arms and looking towards Alexis in particular, mentioning something about it getting late and how Holly Jolly tends to skip houses whose kids aren't asleep when she gets there.

Yggdrasil continues laying down on the carpet, nodding at the end of the movie. "Huh. So they only accept the outcast after he proves useful to their society? There being a winter fog so thick only his nose could see through was kind of convenient, but still pretty charming."



>"If you expect me to keep saying that long name…" Anima trails off. "I didn't really have an end to that sentence, but I'm not! Iggy is good!" she adds defensively.


Alexis watches the movie through to the end, a few segments a little off as she thinks she's forgetting how they go and her brain fills in the details, but only making the movie more entertaining on a rewatch. Not that it needed to be, her attention being fully absorbed in the movie, in the scene, in being home. When her dad tells her its getting late she almost gets up, before her younger self passes in front of her. For a split second completely forgetting it was only a dream, immediately giving a soft smile as she remembers it won't be too long before its real. As the couch clears from her dad getting up with her and her brother she takes his place on the couch, stretching out her hooves.

"Do we have to go through more memories? Can't we just spend all night in this one?"
"He starts selling meth in the sequel to pay for his chemotherapy." she comments about Rudolph having since buried her face in the arm of the couch, achieving peak couch potato.



>"I honestly think I'll get diabetes if I spend much more time here."


"And that is why tonight you're going to be visited by three ghoooosts. All of them me." she says, face still muffled in the couch.



>"You're a slight disorder of MY stomach," Anima replies with a grin.


"Can't hear you. Hearth's Warming." she muffles, not getting up.


"Long name? It's three syllables. 'Yig', 'dreh', 'sill'."

She purses her lips, "Hmm… guess it wouldn't be the first time I've been called 'Yggy'."

Yggdrasil looks up at you, shaking her head. "Nope. It's only holding up the process because you remember this night so strongly, but if you're going to bed soon, the memory is about to end. We have plenty more of your life to go through, so you have to just enjoy the stops while you can."

As you curl up on the couch, Yggdrasil sighs. "If it's any consolation, I feel really bad having to take you out of your comfy zone… we'll find you a nice big couch outside."

"Well then," she says to Anima, holding her hoof to the flower she had sprouted earlier out from the carpet. "Let's go for a change of scenery."

As Anima puts her hoof to it as well, the world shifts around you, the final passing glances of happy Hearth's Warmings gone by, Alexis gifted with one last look of her mother holding her hoof on her way to the fire-place to leave the cookies and milk out for Holly Jolly's arrival. Soon, the images of exceedingly fast flooding memories surrounds you both again, only this time, they are of Stormy Sky's past. Most of them flood by pretty quickly: shots of Stormy playing with her parents, and her siblings, going to school and getting into a fight with a particular colt… and stalking another when she's in her teens, hiding behind the corners when he looks back.

As they flash by a particularly warm Hearth's Warming memory, they see a shot of her playing a board game with her entire family, including mother, father, and two siblings, everyone looking pretty happy and enthralled with the game as Hearth's Warming music plays in the background. As this scene flashes by, Yggdrasil offers a small, smug look towards Anima.

Finally, the scene stops… in a rather cold, hard concrete hallway. Yggdrasil looks around as the scene changes, "Hmm. Found a strong memory for you, Sky. Wonder where we-"

She stops, looking at a series of cells on both sides of the hallway. "Oh."
You find yourself in a holding cell area, a jail. She takes a few steps forward, "Should be somewhere in your late teens, I think." Out of the corner of your eyes, you see one familiar figure walking down the hallway: Cormeum, appearing much younger, flanked on either side by security ponies, speaking unclearly to each other as they make for a certain cell.



>Anima seems supremely uncomfortable as they go through flashes of her memories. Particularly with the stalking parts.

>When it gets to the board game, Anima frowns. A small tear wells up in her eye. When Ygdrassil looks in her direction, Anima wipes her eyes and says, "Shut up."

>Anima's still wiping her eyes when she looks up and sees they're in jail. Before she even sees Cormeum, she knows where this is going. "Fucking hell," she grumbles. "Seriously?"

>She turns to see Cormeum coming down the hallway, knowing he'll be there. When she sees him, she makes a sound at the back of her throat that's something between a growl and a whimper.


>"If it's any consolation, I feel really bad having to take you out of your comfy zone… we'll find you a nice big couch outside."

Alexis throws a pillow in her face.

"Don't talk to me like I'm five." she says, pulling herself up off the couch as the scene shifts around her. The ghost growls in irritation as her stolen clothes dissolve, before noticing they're in a jail.
"Is this a…happy memory?" she asks Sky.



>Anima doesn't take her eyes off Cormeum, continuing to glare at him. "It… SHOULD have been…" she answers, contemplating the words as she said them.


Yggdrasil flinches as the pillow hits her face, before snorting. "I'm not. I just regret making you leave the couch. But now I think it's a fleeting feeling."

As they walk around the scene, Yggdrasil says to Alexis. "Strong memories don't necessarily mean happy ones." She turns towards Anima as her face begins welling up a bit even before they get to the scene, frowning.

"I'm sorry if this is difficult. Binding old memories to an entirely new body is an in-depth process, and ones like these that meant a lot take time to go through. We cannot skip past it."

Soon, Cormeum and the guard happen upon a certain cell, which the pony opens as you all follow through to see. Cormeum walks in to see a younger Stormy Sky laying on the cell's bed, looking exceedingly depressed before the superhero minotaur knocks on the wall of the cell.
>"What, ANOTHER transfer? What fucking difference does it make which room you put me in…" Stormy growls from her bed.
>"Well, I think you'll find this one a bit different than the others," Cormeum mentions as he steps in, "Miss Sky, I presume?"
>"That's me, what's it to-" Stormy pauses as she looks up, eyes widening as she gets a full look at her visitor. "Y-you… I know you! You were that hero who caught Toxic Sludge, I saw it on TV!"
>"Dr. Cormeum, at your service. I hope I wasn't interrupting anything, but I had heard about your peculiar case."
>"Holy shit, a real superhero… wait, what was that about my case?"
>"The unfortunate incident with that colt from your high-school."
>Stormy Sky grunts, turning back into her bed. "Right, I get it now. What I did was so awful they're putting me in real super-villain jail, is that it?"
>"Not quite. Technically you don't have to be in any sort of jail right now, I've taken care of your bail."
>"…what?" Stormy asks in a stunned surprise.



>Anima continues to glare at Cormeum as the scene plays out. It's a jarring juxtaposition. The two versions of herself are not so far apart in age, but the reaction to seeing him couldn't be further apart. Young Sky is excited to see a super hero like some kind of fangirl. But, the Anima of now has little but contempt in her eyes.

>Still, she can't help but crack a small smirk when she sees her young self respond to being told that her bail has been paid for.


Alexis stands by older Sky, watching the scene.



>"Yeah… sorry…" Sky says awkwardly to Alexis as they watch the scene. "I know it's no Hearth's Warming…"


Alexis snorts

"Did you really just apologize because you thought I was bored?"



>Anima shares the laugh. "More like uncomfortable… But, yeah, basically."


"You're fine. If anything I'm the one who should be apologizing. I really don't have any memories like this. Most of mine are happy and those that are bad are kind of mundane." she remarks watching young Sky and Cormeum through the bars.


The memory continues to play as Sky reels back from the shock of having her bail paid,
>"…what's the catch?"
>"You are familiar with my work?" Cormeum asks
>"I know your work involves kicking ass! I've seen you on Hooftube too, heroes are… fuck, they're just so cool."
>"Well, to be more specific, I'm a hero who performs research into abnormal magical phenomena, especially those governing life and death. From what I have read, your unusual effect you had on your classmate may be an entirely new field of study, and I would like to have your permission and assistance in studying it."
>"So…what, you want me to become your guinea pig?"
>"I want to help you understand your power, Miss Sky. So that something like this never happens again."
>"If you never want it to happen again, why not just toss me into Tartarus and be done with it?"
>"Because obviously, you're not a villain!"
>"You don't know WHAT I am."
>"Just please, consider the offer will you? I will not be putting you in a prison cell, I promise: you will have the freedom to come and go as you please, you will retain every right you are owed as a pony, and you will be privy to all of my findings. How does that sound?"

The question leads to a stand-off, Sky and Cormeum looking into each other for a few tense moments as she thinks over the offer, while Yggdrasil looks over as well. "So this is how you met. You seem a lot more enthralled with him back then than you do now, you looked ready to scream when he walked in. Guess we should count ourselves lucky we didn't have to watch the memory that led to your incarceration. It was… awkward."


*name fix



>"Hey, you still have time. I wasn't much older than you right there," Sky says, pointing to her young self in the memory.


>"It's amazing," Anima says, shaking her head as if she's impressed. "The way he lies and manipulates. It sounds so natural, so… right. He tells you what you want to hear. And, you don't see it until YEARS later."

>"Become his guinea pig is exactly what he wanted from me. Learn to control my powers, my flank! It was all about him. And, I was so excited to help every step of the way. He didn't even want me to be a hero at first. It was just about the research. *I* had to convince HIM to let me be his sidekick. So, what reason would he have to actually help me learn to control my power at first?"

>"He barely even told me anything about his research. Just enough to keep me on the right track and figuring out what I could do. And of COURSE I had the right to come and go. Who would ever say no to such an amazing offer?"

>At Yggdrasil's, there's a short pause, then Anima chuckles. "Kind of funny how apparently that memory wasn't important to me. I'm sure that'd piss him off to find out," she laughs some more.



*At Yggdrasil's comment


File: 1598774131072.jpg (52.89 KB, 1280x720, StandByMe.jpg)

"I meant living memories. I have tons of memories like this now." Alexis says thinking, before looking to Yggdrasil.

"Are we going to have to go through anything that's happened on Tetra, or just memories I had when I was alive?"

She continues watching the scene.


"I doubt we'll re-experience any Tetra memories. Had we waited a year or so to re-animate you, we may have, but one key component to making these memories so powerful they hold up the scan is time. Your mind needs time to decide how much these memories have an impact: regardless of whether anything on Tetra has left that strong of an impression in your memories, I don't think a couple of weeks is enough time to affect this process."

As you remark on the memory, Yggdrasil offers a very light snicker. "The subconscious is difficult to comprehend, and I've seen my fair share of them. May be you could have just gotten over that incident, whereas you clearly still have more than a few things left to work out with Cormeum."

"He sounds pretty genuine. Sure, I bet the researcher in him wanted to know everything there was about your life-draining magic, but if he didn't see you as a pony too, he could have just dissected you."

Oddly enough, just as Anima speaks of how she had to convince Cormeum to let her be a crime-fighter, the jail all around you suddenly shifts around once again, the series of memories flashing by your eyes once again, but only for a few moments before the memories stabilize once more, this time forming into a familiar research lab as Yggdrasil looks around. "We've leapt forward a bit, found another strong memory not long after that one. This may be a chain of them, memories connected by a common train of thoughts or feelings separated over months in real-time."

Nearby, you see Sky picking herself off of a chair, pulling off stuck-on scanners from her arm and chest and putting them aside. Cormeum looks over a few computer screens and plants (some drained completely of life, another looking unusually more vital) along with a vial of green goo he sets aside.
>"Congratulations, Stormy. I would say after this last round of tests, you seem to, more or less, have complete reliable control over your power. We've gone from simply sucking your test subjects dry to being able to give it back, place it in another entity, or even isolate and control it independent of a host! I could spend weeks going over this 'ectoplasm' alone…"
>"Great… so when do I get to do something with it?" Sky asks as she gets up out of the chair
>"Huh?" Cormeum responds
>"I have it under control now, right? So when do we get to test it out?"
>"Test it out…? What do you think we've been doing for the past several weeks?"
>"I mean out THERE."
>"Oh. Well, I am sure there are some practical applications for your power, but decent control or not I don't think it'd be smart to find them a job for them so soon."
>"Fuck 'jobs', you KNOW what I'm talking about! I have a real super-power now, when do I go out and help you take down some bad guys?"
At this Cormeum offers a sigh.
>"We've been over this. We aren't, YOU aren't! I'm not taking a teenage filly out to fight dangerous villains."




Side-session continuing the resurrection scene between 137 and 138!


"Take my advice: it's easier to just clone yourself. That's what all the Yggdrasil Spirits are, basically, and so far that's been working pretty well for me."


"Never with ponies, no. I have done it with animals and elementals, I know full well I'm capable of doing it for you two, but the number of true resurrections I've performed in the four thousand years I've been around could be counted on two sets of hands. I do NOT do this often, with good reason, and each experience is unique… with some exception but, we'll get to that when we get to it."

"Just relax. I know what I'm doing."

>Alexis & Anima

"You sure we're done?" Yggdrasil asks, "I thought you were going to take your new sidekick out on patrol, maybe clean up the streets?"

She nods towards the flower. "It's there whenever we're ready to leave."


"Because I think we *could* be friends. So I'll settle for you just thinking about it."
"So wait, you're saying doing this is different every time you try, so you don't even know why the memories being shown are the ones they are? Are you sure you know what you're doing?"


"They're different every time I try because everyone has different reasons for wanting to come back. There are common elements and I can see the general flow of things, but each psyche, each MEMORY, is unique, and paints a different picture that I don't have the whole view of yet."

As you ask if she's sure, she lowers her brow, the comment seemingly annoying her. "Yes. I've been at this for a while. I'm practically the only one who even *knows* how this is done."


"What does our reason for wanting to come back have to do with anything?"
"Sorry. Don't say 'the process is new to you too' then when performing surgery on my brain." she says when Yggdrasil seems annoyed.


"Concerning what you see while you're in here? A lot. What we're looking at is like a reflection of our perspectives, what we've seen and what it means. The reasons behind wanting to come back to life, whether it's out of love for your family, or wanting to see unfulfilled ambitions fulfilled, play into that too."

To the next comment, she clicks her tongue, pursing her lips. "Hmm… fair enough, can see how that comment may not be what you want to hear given the situation. I just mean to say it's never exactly the same, and this *is* the first time I've done it for a pony, but I have performed revivals before this. Successfully."



>"Hmm," Anima says, deep in thought. "That's kind of why I wanted to make a ghost. Someone who would be obedient to me. It'd make a better partner than Doc ever was…"


>Sky narrows her eyes at Alexis.


"So you DO know why *these* memories are being shown? Its something to do with our reasons for coming back. Like subconsciously?"

To Yggdrasil's claims of success Alexis looks nervous.

"You're making me nervous, and I wasn't nervous before, so lets just drop this. If you say you can do it, you can do it. Just, really concentrate okay?"
"What?" she asks when Sky starts staring her down.

[going to keep replying to Anima but assume I touch the flower at some point]



>Sky continues to glare for a moment. Then, her gaze lightens up with a sigh. "I don't feel like getting into a political argument," she says, sounding somewhat sarcastic.


"I'll take it." Alexis replies again with the same level of half-sarcasm, walking over to the flower still wearing Anima's cloak.

"Okay. Next memory." she says with an relaxing-exhale, touching the plant.


"I think I know what you mean, but the important thing is letting them retain a little autonomy. You can't just surround yourself with yes-men who won't know what to do unless they ask you every single time, my Spirits have the ability to take initiative and make judgement calls. It's just based on exactly what I would do if I were there."

Yggdrasil nods, "Something like that, yes, but even I can only understand so much of the subconscious. We'll learn more as we go along.

As you ask her to concentrate, she nods. "Relax. I am giving my entire focus to this one thing right now."

As Alexis touches the flower, the lair of Cormeum disappears in a new flood of memories of Alexis youth, picking up immediately from the touching Hearth's Warming scene as it shoots through more pictures of her youth, growing up through school, playing sports, and meeting her friends. Soon, the flow pauses, focusing in on a crowded convention center with countless ponies of various sizes and shapes (and costumes, SO many costumes) pacing along the floor with a spectacle of signs and anime/manga paraphernalia being sold everywhere.

Yggdrasil raises her eyebrow, "Okay, I don't think I've seen anything like this before. Some sort of marketplace?"

Nearby, Alexis and Anima can see the younger Earth pony: at the front of a booth with no line, a banner reading "Single Strike Stallion" above it with an Earth pony in a hoodie bearing the symbols 'SSS' across his chest signing a manga book for two fillies. One is clearly Alexis, dressed in a bright red samurai robe with a sheathed tin katana on her waist, a pair of dog-like ears on her mane. She is hiding half of her face behind a pamphlet as the other filly, one with a short-cut white mane and blue eyes wearing a traditional victorian suit with a diamond-checkered top-hat on top of her head, chatting it up with the Earth Pony signing the manga.
"So, my friend was wondering about your routine, is it exactly the same as in the comic?" the white-maned filly asks
"Pretty much," says the bald stallion. "100 sit-ups, 100 push-ups, 100 squats, and a 10k run. The hardest part is no rest-days, but that's what got me up to punching bad-guys. Still, don't kill yourself trying to do what I did, last thing I need is a lawsuit. If you need a break, just take a break. OH! And don't forget to turn off your air-conditioning, summer and winter. That saves money." He looks at Alexis, who offers a brief glimpse of a smile from behind the pamphlet.



>"But, I liked the first thing about yes men who do whatever I say."


>Sky looks around and realizes she's at a convention. She puts her hoof to her forehead. "You are such a dork," she sighs in exasperation.

>"And, seriously? Single Strike Stallion? He's SUCH a poser!"


The girl looks around as she appears in the crowded convention, trying to ignore the fact that she's again lost her stolen dream-clothes.

"Oh hey I remember this. This was the convention me and Bitter went to last year. Yeah, I went as Inuyasha and she went as somepony from that 'Jojo' manga. We did most of the panels, then we met the guy who inspired the Single-Strike anime." Alexis says, looking over at her past self hiding behind a pamplet.

>"He's SUCH a poser!"

"Don't tell that to past me. I couldn't even talk to him." she says as her memory-self crushes on the superhero and has her friend talk for her.

"And how is this any different from the last four memories of people in costume?"



>"You did NOT just compare these dorks playing pretend to actual super heroes!" Sky says, sounding a combination of annoyed and offended.



No idea why the named changed… Fucking mlpg.


"He IS a superhero." she objects

"I actually tried his work-out routine once. I probably could have finished it if my dad didn't keep turning the AC back on."



>"I thought you were saying that the people here aren't dorks because they're in costume like super heroes are."

>"Sure, Single Strike Stallion IS a hero. He's still a poser. His stories are SO exaggerated."


"I don't know anything about that. I just liked the anime and thought it was cool there was a real guy it was based on."

"The girl with the white hair over there is Bittersweet, she was my best friend back on Earth. She was also the only pony who could see me, after what happened, happened. Neither of us could figure that out."





"Before I died? I guess it'll be 'Is' again tomorrow."



>"Sounds like you two interacted after you died, though."

>Sky stares at Bittersweet for a bit. "Weird," she comments. "Why didn't SHE dress as Inuyasha. She's got the mane for it."


"Well, for awhile. Then she went off to college and I kind of stopped hanging around. By that point I could turn visible so I just started hanging out at Denny's after midnight. Stoners usually thought I was a crystal pony. That or I'd go online."

"I told her she should be Sesshomaru but she said something about her costume being 'best boy' and she already had the hat for it. I don't watch that show, I always thought the characters looked stupid."



>"The entire show looks stupid," Anima nods with a slight chuckle.

>"I guess I should feel insulted if you have this kind of shit taste in friends."


"That better be a joke." she remarks.

"Bitter is a little more into this stuff then I am, in terms of like the more obscure anime. She's not like REALLY into it like, well, that guy." she says looking to a random fat guy dressed as a sailor scout.



>"She likes Jojo," Anima shrugs. "That's all I need to know to judge her."


"They're worthless. Blind loyalty without autonomy will just mean more work for you sooner or later, cleaning up their messes when they come running to you lost. Trust me, you want someone who will call you out every once in a while."

"Huh…" Yggdrasil looks at your costume in particular. "Similar to what Tetrans wear in a place called 'Yamato' to the west of her. I keep finding parallels like this." As she looks on at Single Strike Stallion, and your nervousness, she can't help but chuckle. "Just not used to meeting famous ponies or, was it something else?"

Yggdrasil pauses, intrigued by that last comment. "She could see you?"

Single Strike Stallion waves at Alexis, offering her manga back to her once signed. "Uh, hey, Inuyasha? Want your book back?"
Alexis nervously takes it back once signed, seemingly trying to say something before everything around the convention starts to fall apart and shift again, Yggdrasil looking around. "I think this may be similar to what we experienced with Anima: a chain of memories blocking the process. We're already moving along…"

Suddenly, the trio are in the back of a car, a large *HONK* sounding from outside alongside a small yelp from the filly driving it: Alexis in the front seat behind the wheel, looking around nervously as her father (wearing an old fashioned vest, tie, and his square-glasses) looks towards her, "Calm down, Alexis, you're more than likely to meet a few jerks out on the open road. Just keep your hooves at three and nine, keep an eye on your speedometer… you're doing great."

"I know dad. I'm just a little nervous about driving your ca-"
>"Red-light, brake!"
"AAH!" Alexis says as she puts the hoof to the break, the car lurching violently to a stop as all passengers are flung forward, Yggdrasil grunting in particular as she hits her head on the back of the seat behind your father. Alexis' father, meanwhile, just laughs it off.
"Hah… ah, you'll get the hang of it. We'll do a few more slow trips around the block before anything serious."
Alexis sighs, leaning her head against the wheel. "This is going to be the death of me."
"Hey, don't say that, you're doing fine. Just keep practicing, eventually it all just clicks, like a fish out of water."
She lets out a sigh, recomposing herself as the light turns green. "…thanks, Dad."



>Anima lets out one emphatic "HAH!" at the 'death of me' comment.

>Afterwards, Sky looks around at the interior of the car. "How is this related to the last memory?"


Alexis looks at her for a second, eventually deciding Sky isn't seriously putting down her friend.

"I don't get the appeal either. But I don't know anything about the show except everypony is huge."
>"Just not used to meeting famous ponies or, was it something else?"

"It might have been something else. Nothing 'serious' but I thought he was cute."
>"She could see you?"

"Yeah, even when I was in the astral. Nopony could figure it out, but for weeks she was the only one who could see or hear me."
Alexis looks around as they're suddenly thrust into a new location.

"This is my dad's car." she says, looking out the window to realize they're back near her neighborhood, before hearing herself start talking.

>Anima lets out one emphatic "HAH!" at the 'death of me' comment.

Before Sky's interruption.

"That ISN'T funny." she says looking across Yggdrasil in the backseat to Sky.



>"You thought Triple-S is cute!? He's BALD!"


>"You can't tell me that you wouldn't have thought it was funny if I made some kind of comment like that to Doc in my flashback!"


"So what?" she asks about his being bald.
"Its not even the same thing, I was talking about crashing the car. I didn't crash a car, I died in a car crash. Would it be ironic if a robot fell on you?"



>"He's just so… dopey looking! Nothing like Captain Harmony!"


>"You're splitting hairs. A car killed you. It's funny," Sky deadpans.


"Captain Harmony looks like he's somebody's dad though."
"Have you ever been hit by a car? If you have, THEN you can say its funny." she complains.


"Well, he definitely wasn't bad-looking, he had a handsome face. Bald guys, though…"
As you explain Bitter's ability, Yggdrasil pauses, contemplating this. "…interesting."

Yggdrasil rubs her head as she pulls herself up from the seat, looking around as she flicks her ears. "…I'm not sure. Could be they aren't interconnected by anything other than proximity… this is the last year before her death, I think."

Yggdrasil rubs her head again, "I'm hoping the lessons payed off later…"

Just as Alexis gets driving again in the car, the scenes shift once more, pulling them out of the car as several scenes fly by their eyes in the sea of memories. Before they know it, they are dropped out again, only this time, into the open air, their hooves touching down on nothing as they watch the road and landscape race by. Yggdrasil looks around, trying to get her surroundings, as you look up and see a dark cloudy sky above, rays of moonlight shining through the clouds down on the road below.

The sound of a motorcycle fills your ears, and Alexis and Anima see a figure that the vision is 'focused' on as it moves along side them: a teenage colt pegasus about Alexis' age rides a motorbike at high speeds around the bends, Alexis (now wearing her trademark leather jacket for the first time in these memories) holding on tightly around his waist on the back-seat of the bike, both of them letting out cries of joy or exhilaration when they turn a bend or rev up the engine. The highway here is pretty much empty, only the two having the time of their lives on the motorcycle with their manes fluttering against the rushing winds can be seen.

Yggdrasil looks on at the motorcyclist and Alexis grabbing on to him, "Well, the road seems to be a common theme here… but I think that's not the important part of this particular memory." She smiles at Alexis, nodding towards the two on the motorcycle. "Friend of yours?"



>"I didn't mean getting hit by a car is funny. I meant the comment is funny because you got hit by a car."

>"Besides, don't pull that 'you don't know what it's like' shit on me! Are we really going to compare murder-dick sizes?"


>Sky looks at the new scene and looks back to Alexis. "Yep. I don't get your taste in guys."


File: 1599975274883.png (209.78 KB, 386x600, tumblr_otz1darfCs1w6abwto1….png)

"I'm not comparing bad life experiences, I'm saying deaths are like the Z-word. Only you can only say the joke if you are one."
Alexis looks down at herself with colt in the leather jacket racing through the road.

"I know tonight! That's my boyfriend, Moonlit. This is when he gave me my jacket, then drove me out of town in the middle of the night. We just drove around the backroads for hours listening to music and doing stuff. I don't think we made it home till three."

>To give a description since Shima didn't, Moonlit has a short black mane and silver eyes, wears a leather jacket and generally looks like a mix between every badboy ever and a likely school-shooter. Pic related is very vaguely similar, though toned down a bit.

"Well what kind of guys are YOU into?" she asks.



>"That's some hardcore gatekeeping," Sky rolls her eyes.


>"I don't know…" Sky says, looking supremely uncomfortable. Her face turns red slightly.

>"Definitely not tryhard 'bad boys' like that," she deflects.


Alexis laughs.

"That's kind of WHY I like him. He always acted like he was this cool, mysterious loner and yet he really, really wasn't. He's a soft-hearted dork. We had a lot of fun. Sneaking into movies, driving around town. He knew so many weird people all over the city, especially in these little hole in the wall restaurants and things like that. He gave me my jacket, got me into motercycles. He was sweet."

"But seriously, have you ever dated anypony?" Alexis asks, stopping herself short of saying 'willingly'



>Sky's face turns bright red. She stares at Alexis like a deer in headlights.

>"I-I like bulkier guys," she stammers, deflecting the question by answering the other question. She tries to act as conversational as possible. But, it's nothing but uncomfortable and awkward. "I guess that's why I'd go for Captain Harmony before Triple-S."


"I can't date bigger guys. They remind me too much of somepony's uncle. Like Firm? Firm doesn't do anything for me, neither did Pain. My ex before Moonlit was muscular but her wasn't 'huge'. Maybe its facial hair too, I just can't get anypony who looks like they're thirty. I guess to use another anime comparison, less Jojo more Tuxedo Mask, I guess?" she says, like she's uncertain how to word her own taste.



>Sky seems to relax as the conversation becomes more casual and away from the topic that obviously made her uncomfortable.

>"I don't know, I'm already pretty tall for a mare. So, I guess I just like them bigger. That guy I… tied up… was big enough to be a football player if he wasn't so awkward."

>"I guess… that was a part of what drew me to him. He was… vulnerable?"

>Sky puts her face in her hooves. "That made it sound so much worse."


"I mean, maybe not 'vulnerable', but that's kind of why I went out with Moonlit. He had kind of the broken-bird thing going on underneath the bad-boy exterior. Though I'd be lying if I said I didn't like the exterior too. Going out was always a thrill, like he'd take me somewhere exciting or to do something I've never done before."

"My ex before that was a football player, way more of the typical jock persona. He was a bit too…controlling? And besides sports we really didn't have anything in common so we broke it off. I still see him around since he's one of my friend's best friend so. That's not awkward at all."



>Sky stares at Alexis like she's speaking a different language.

>"Yeah, I have no frame of reference for any of that," she laughs awkwardly. "The closest to an awkward thing I've ever had with anyone was with Spectrum- Doc's ex. When they were going out, she felt like I was too close to Doc. I mean, of course I was! I was his sidekick!"

>"Actually, I guess it was kinda like being around Honey, now that I think about it."


Yggdrasil snickers as Anima comments on Alexis' taste in stallions. "Leave it to the 'bad girl' to never know the appeal of a 'bad boy'."

"I think he's cute. He has hair, which is a step up from the last guy. Kind of reminds me of Diez when he was younger…" she says for a moment, then stopping herself short as the slightest bits of blush appear on her face. "Uh, looks like you two are having fun. Wouldn't mind riding one of those motorcycles, especially out in the woods."

"I'd recommend Ajax to you but, you've already met him. Personally I don't have the patience for him," though she says in comment to her liking 'bulkier' guys, "Chrome Dome is pretty well built too, but I don't know what to do about the perpetual stick up his ass though. And again, bald."


"That sounds like a pretty big misunderstanding. You two seemed more…familial? In the memories. I've never really had to deal with the jealousy thing. I've only really had the two long-term relationships and neither of them were taken at the time."
"Whose Diex, one of the Twelve?"


>Anima may respond with sheet to previous post before next game

"He is the Pegasus of the South. He's the most notorious, long-lived pirate in Tetran history so, you know, has that 'bad-boy' charm too." She rubs the back of her neck. "Way, way back I kind of had a thing for him but, I grew out of it. He was nicer than he looked but he's one of those guys who can just never be satisfied with what they have."

At one moment, the vision no longer focuses on the motorcycle, which pulls away out of sight and into the distance as the entire memory fades into black, more memories flushing by quickly by as the scene changes. For a moment, it goes on longer than it did during the last few shifts, but the memories slow to a stop as all three of the ponies hear the noise of screeching tires along the asphalt, followed by the hard thunk of an impact echoing throughout the darkness as the memories stop coming in.

For a moment after the screeching tires fade, the darkness around slowly starts to give away: Yggdrasil, Anima, and Alexis find themselves seated in a row of wooden pews in a pristine white church, surrounded by other ponies dressed in fine clothes. Among them Alexis recognizes several friends, including Bitter trying to comfort the zebra Kam, gripping his hooves. Light shines in through stained glass windows lining the walls, the one at the front depicting a setting sun at the front of the Church, and in front of the alter is an open casket, containing Alexis' body (dressed in a beautiful black dress with a veil over her face). Her father, mother (who is presently crying), and two brothers sit in the front row, heads held down as a song plays throughout the church, everyone silently listening to the hymn.

Besides the three of you seated in the rows, you also witness Alexis' ghost, besides you as she looks on at the scene ahead, staring onward at the front as though in disbelief that this is happening. Yggdrasil has no comment for the moment, lowering her head as she looks on at the funeral's proceedings.





>"Hey, I was only half joking when I said I'd like to tie up Ajax," Anima laughs.


>Stormy looks around at the funeral with a sober expression. In particular, she spends a lot of time looking at Alexis's family.

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