Session 86.0 Kendell2
"So while you have come to this town to vanquish Losvir Di Gemuth, you don't know where to find him," Shining Armor explained in his 'Overseer voice'. "You're think it would be as simple as tracking the smog back to the source, but it's already spread and formed a choking cloud layer. Thus tracking it back isn't so easy. What do you do?"
"Obviously, we should just ask the locals, since they'd have seen the smog start spreading," said Bright Eyes.
"Aww, really? I was hoping we'd just rush the dungeon already," said Patch.
"There's nothing stopping us from doing that...except that knowing Shining Armor when it comes to gaming balance, if we go straight for the final dungeon we're getting curbstomped," Rainbow Dash replied.
"Question is where we should go to check..." Starlight said. "...Oh, right, D&D...I look around the town for where we should go to investigate."
"Do a Perception check," Shining replied.
One dice roll and calculation later.
"You see a tavern, a library, a town hall, and a shop," said Shining.
"Well obviously the library would have the most information," said Twilight, Bright Eyes nodded.
"But wouldn't the town hall be where the mayor would be and where we could find out what we need?" Starlight replied.
"But a shop would be where the adventurers and such go," Rarity pointed out. "So therefore we should go there."
"But those places are boring! Let's go to the tavern, that's where all the action happens in this kind of things!" said Patch, Rainbow giving agreement.
"...You're splitting us up into more manageable groups, aren't ya?" asked Applejack bluntly.
"Maybe," Shining Armor replied with a smirk.
So the group decided to split up:
Twilight, Glimmer, Bright Eyes, and Sweetheart went to the Library.
Starlight, Applejack, and Clover went to the town hall.
Rarity, Bon Bon, and Fluttershy went to the shop.
And Patch, Rainbow Dash, Melody, and Pinkie Pie went to the tavern.
"Okay, so what are we looking at in townhall?" asked Applejack.
*One observation check later*
"You see a couple ponies, but the place looks run down and somewhat dirty," said Shining Armor.
"I ask the nearest pony where's the mayor," Starlight explained.
"He looks at you, seeming nervous," Shining said, after the proper roll."He replies 'In the dragon's gullet.'"
Session 86.1 Ardashir
Nightmare Night was getting closer, and it affected the games being played by the Student Six. They'd gone home over the summer, some of them, and now were back in Ponyville to get ready for another year of friendship education.
Which had also given Spike and Shining Armor that extra time to come up with some surprises for them.
"Huh? CHILL?" Gallus rolled his eyes at the box art, displaying ponies dressed in fashions a century out of date (the time of Blueblood's grandmother, Duchess Victory) on a lonesome road filled with fear and dread, and not noticing a frightful fiend that close behind them tread. He looked at a smiling Shining Armor at the head of the table. "Yeesh, another dopey 'scary' game? You're honestly trying ta sell us on this after last year?"
"I kind of agree," Ocellus said, still quiet but not quite as shy as last year. "I mean, we met all those monsters and villains and handled them."
"Well, you could help cleaning the library shelves," Shiny said innocently. "Headmistress Twilight would probably be delighted to have someone help her refile fifty books on algebra."
"Maybe the game won't be so bad," Smolder hurriedly said, her friends nodding. "What's it about, anyhow?"
"A-hem!" Shiny took a deep breath and spoke in his most pompous voice, "This game is something new. You youngsters are the latest inductees to a secret society, SAVE -- the Societas Argentei Via Aeterna, Eternal Society of the Silver Way -- that defends ordinary ponies and other creatures from monsters most beings refuse to admit exist --"
"Oh, oh!" Silverstream waved one claw. Beside her Yona grabbed her drink, buttered Yak tea, to make sure it didn't fall over. "You mean like how nopony believed in Nightmare Moon or King Sombra or Changelings or Tirek, even though they were all real and knowing they existed might have saved everyone a lot of misery?"
"Er, yes, something like that," Shiny pinned one ear back before going on with, "You all encountered some of these creatures and survived. Ghouls and ghosts, wolfponies and vampires, things even more horrible. You were recruited to SAVE because of that and you all swore to defend the innocent from going through what you did."
"If I met stuff like that I'd probably tell everygriff what ta look out for," Gallus grumbled. He ignored Shiny's frown as he said, "Yeesh, what kinda jerk learns about dangerous monsters and then keeps it a big secret?"
"Yona want to know how does game start?" The Yak looked at the map set out before them, showing what looked like a small rocky island. "And what makes it different?"
Even as she spoke the map began to glow, sparking. Shiny grinned evilly at them from the suddenly darkening room.
"Hey!" Smolder scratched at the floor, found it giving way under her claws like smoke. "What gives?!?"
"You'll all be going to an island off the coast of the Taurus Peninsula," they heard Shiny's voice say. "And as for what makes this different -- this game is done like the enchanted comics. Let's see how smart YOU are when it comes to hunting vampires!"
"VAMPIRES?" Six voices whinnied, chittered, shrieked, and snarled before their owners vanished into someplace else -- and reappeared in suitable attire on a rocky coastline.
"Vampires?" Sandbar said, the first to regain his equilibrium. He lowered his head and sighed relief. "Phew! Vampires, everyone knows how to handle them, right?"
"Yeah," Smolder said, seemingly undisturbed by the lady's traveling dress she wore. She waved one claw. "I mean, how tough are vampires, right?"
Shiny, who could hear what they were saying at the table back in 'reality', just smiled.
"Wait until they find out the first big lesson. Not all vampires are alike!"
(OOC: For those interested, this is basically a Victorian era game of CHILL, an old school tabletop horror rpg. And Macedonian Vampires in that game are very different from the usual kind.)
Session 86.2 Ardashir
"So!" Gallus yelled at Smolder. They, Ocellus, and Silverstream were flying at top speed, half carrying and half dragging Yona and Sandbar. Behind them a flock of thestrals turned vrykolakas flew in hot pursuit, fangs bared and snarling. "How tough are vampires, huh?"
"Bite me!" Smolder snapped back.
"They'll do it for me!" Gallus flew even faster.
One of their pursuers almost sank their fangs into Smolder's tail. She turned on her back and breathed fire. The vrykolaka squealed and dropped, collapsing into ashes. Which left only a dozen or so in pursuit.
"Right ahead!" Silverstream panted out the words. "There's -- a stream -- right ahead! Running water!"
The Student Six put on one final burst of speed. They heard the angry snarls of the vrykolakas, swore they could feel the claws snatching at their tails -- and they were over the stream.
"Yaah!" Smolder hovered just out of their reach over the stream. A dozen of the beasts faced them, crimson eyes aglow and fangs bared. She spewed fire at the nearest one. It dodged with a panicked hiss and flew back together with the others. They watched from a safe distance, snarling and licking their fangs.
"Why don't they try and head downstream to come around?" Sandbar gasped out. His sides heaved. Blood trickled from small cuts where he'd been clawed at by the vrykolakas. "And aren't these adventures suppose to be less, er..."
"Less of a nightmare?" Gallus said, some of his usual snark coming back. "And they're too hungry ta try anything clever, remember? Remember that village?"
They all shuddered. They'd found the village on the first day, quickly won the locals' confidence with promises of destroying the vampony, singular, they expected to face. They then herded them into the local temple where they got the priest to bless the iron they bore and headed out for the vrykolaka.
They found it in the graveyard and were able to kill it, catching the creature shortly before the sun went down. It rose in the darkness of its crypt and attacked, but some reflected sunlight courtesy of the mirror Yona dragged along reduced it to ashes. Feeling a bit cheated they headed back for the town.
And walked into a nightmare. There was a whole flock of vamponies here, not just one; and somehow they had torn the temple down.
"But it's sacred, they can't touch it," Sandbar had said, stunned as they saw the devastation. "How did they destroy it?"
However they did it, the few surviving villagers staggered away from the ruin and into the waiting fangs of the vrykolakas. The Student Six arrived in time to see the vrykolakas finishing the last of them. Morning had been close enough to drive them off, and the Student Six saw to the blood-drained ones before setting the rest aside as they prepared to finish the rest of the vamponies.
They did so on a small island in the middle of a stream running through the town, which was all that saved them. For that night all the dead villagers they hadn't burned courtesy of Smolder rose as vrykolakas and tried to attack them.
"Since when do vamponies turn anyone they kill into vampires?!?" Gallus yelled.
"Since now!" Silverstream yelled back. She and Ocellus worked out a trick of turning into their sea pony forms, luring one of the vrykolakas close, and suddenly pulling them into the running water. They seemed to melt in moments. None of the other hungry vamponies either noticed or cared what befell their flockmates, and only with sunrise did their attackers flee.
Yona brought them back to the present.
"Uh, Yona wants to know, what ugly bat-pony monsters doing?"
The Yak pointed at the flock, gathered away from the broad and deep stream and staring at it intently.
Sandbar noticed it first, dancing from one hoof to the other. "Earthquake!"
"Huh? What?" Smolder gave him a disbelieving look. "Vamponies can't make earthquakes!"
"These ones can," Ocellus groaned. "Now we know how they wrecked that temple!"
A moment later the earth shook and heaved. They fought to stand upright as the ground cracked right across the streambed. The water drained into the thirsty earth, leaving a fine dry patch for the vrykolakas to cross over.
Leering and licking their fangs, they did so.
"Ahhh!" Ocellus took off flying as one almost got her. "These adventures are supposed to have safety limits! This is worse than a horror movie! What is Mister Shining Armor thinking of?"
Back in the real world, the being in the form of Shining Armor smirked evilly to hear those words.
"I know what I'm thinking of," they hissed as the form of Shining Armor melted away to reveal that of a Changeling Princess. Imago said, "Of how easy it was to get rid of those safety limits. And how I'll be doing better than Mom ever did when I get rid of all of you! That'll teach those stupid ponies!"
Her wicked laughter filled the room as they terrifying story went on.
Session 86.3 Kendell2
"Wow...your censorship and copyright laws are a lot more lax than ours...a lot more reasonable too..." said Bright Eyes, having been looking at some books Twilight had (because Twilight was Twilight and always had books no matter where she was).
"Yeah...we have Discord to thank for that," Rainbow Dash begrudgingly admitted.
"It turns out in a universe where gods of concepts are things that exist, it's possible for copyright law and censorship to become a malevolent god and try to take over the world," Twilight explained. "Discord was on 'take out the upstart supervillain' patrol at the time..."
A giant black square with a massive hammer looking like a gavel floated. "Fear me! I am the newly born god of Censorship and Copyright! I will conquer the world and make everything perfect, acceptable, and not infringing on any intellectual properties!"
"By who's standards?!" asked 8-Bit, looking up at it.
"By mine! For you equines are too foolish to know what's best for you!" announced the cube, glowing and beginning to spread an energy that converted everything into socially acceptable grey, boring blobs.
"Not if I can help it!" Discord appeared before it dressed in Captain Goodguy's outfit.
"Ha! You cannot defeat me! Only family friendly actions are possible in my presence!" yelled the evil god.
"Oh really?" asked Discord.
= Theme Song - Batman 1960s =
Discord launched at the giant cube and punched it...but before any contact could be showed, a huge comic book POW! splash obscured the entire view of both combatants, after which the cube flew backwards with a scream.
"No! How did you know you could hit me so long as it was comically obscured by a comic book splash?!" asked the cube in disbelief.
"Because Batmare 1960s and Big Bad Beetleborgs are classic television!" Discord announced. "And because I did so for comedic effect it's a homage and perfectly legal!"
Discord dodged several beams and gave it a comic splashed obscured beating before he produced a laser sword.
"Ha! Use that and I can sue you!" the evil god yelled.
Discord merely slashed it, but the only sound was a chicken clucking as it yelled. "This is my royalty free blade! Anything connecting it to THAT weapon has been removed! It is completely legal!"
"No! Legal loopholes! My only weakness!" yelled the cube as it was attacked.
*One battle later*
"Ha! You can't kill me! Killing isn't family friendly!" yelled the cub, despite being cracked.
"Ha! But you have forgotten one thing! You are aren't a human, pony, and or animal and have no blood! Therefore you can be 'destroyed' without any qualms!" Discord yelled, pointing dramatically.
"...You wouldn't hit a cube with glasses on, would you?" asked the cube, suddenly wearing a pair of glasses.
"Ha! Tricked you into ripping off Loony Tunes!" Discord exclaimed. "You know how copyright happy big corporations are!"
"...NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" the cube screamed, before flicking like a fading TV image before a giant 'Taken Down for copyright claim' image appeared on its 'face' and it exploded in a chain reaction explosion.
"And once again, the day is saved, thanks to DISCORD!" Discord announced dramatically.
"...That actually happened?" asked Bright Eyes in disbelief.
"Yep," Shining Armor replied. "I filed the paperwork."
"...Your world is insane..."
"I prefer epic," replied Rainbow Dash.
Session 86.4 Mtangalion
President Sombra leaned back in his throne-like leather office chair, steepling his fingers. “So, you have a new idea for World of Horsecraft?”
Tirek grinned darkly. “Indeed, I do. It’s called… Crystal Coins.”
Sombra furrowed his brow. “Crystal Coins? The game is already full of marks and tokens and seals. What will these Crystal Coins do?”
“They will create and monetize all new avenues of exchange, and ascribe a real-world value to the players’ in-game assets!” boomed Tirek. When Sombra continued to stare blankly, Tirek added, “They’re going to make us a great deal of money.”
“Ah! I do like making more money! But how are they going to do that?”
“It’s quite simple,” purred Tirek, placing a quarter-bit coin on Sombra’s desk for a prop. “Players who desire additional gold will spend twenty bits to purchase a Crystal Coin in game.” He slid the coin across the desk. “Players with large amounts of gold can buy a Crystal Coin in the game, at a predetermined exchange rate, and redeem it for a month of game subscription time.” He dropped the coin into Sombra’s “piggy bank,” which resembled a red dragon with gold fins. “The normal price of a subscription is fifteen bits. “We’ll be making an extra five bits with each transaction!”
Sombra blinked several times. “Okay… even though you just explained all that to me in simple words, I’m still kind of confused.”
“Not to worry. The players will be equally confused.”
“Well, alright then!” Sombra hesitated. “But won’t players say that buying gold with bits is pay-to-win, and complain that it devalues accomplishments made with effort within the game?”
Tirek snorted. “Bah, World of Horsecraft is a video game! I’m certain people have more important things to be outraged about.”
Scootaloo grinned, practically bouncing with excitement. “This is it, girls! We finally got the last achievement for the meta, so we can summon…” A mount appeared beneath her World of Horsecraft character in a great puff of smoke, lifting her up. “... These sweet Gem Phoenix mounts!” The very shiny giant bird shrieked triumphantly, then allowed Scootaloo to take the reins and scratch its neck.
But then the ground started shaking, like an Ursa Major was stomping towards them! “Those mounts are okay, I guess,” said Diamond Tiara, leader of the (Crazy Rich Ponies) guild. She grinned smugly down at them from atop a full-grown dragon, which wore a harness with seats for herself and three other ponies. “But do your mounts come with mobile mailbox and auction house NPCs, like mine does?”
“What!” exclaimed Sweetie Belle. “You didn’t just… those things are worth five million gold!” She shook her head, turning away. “Just ignore her, girls. Real heroes don’t save Equestria by waving their wallets around… Apple Bloom! What are you doing!?”
Apple Bloom was talking to the auctioneer on Diamond’s mount. “Oh, sorry! All my weapon enchants sold and Ah kinda needed to post some more.”
Session 86.5 Ardashir (With additions by Alex Warlorn)
"I can't believe this is actually working," Gallus said, flapping his wings at the water-filled trench between the Student Six and the remaining vrykolakas. As the breeze from his wings hit the water, it caused it to ripple and flow gently back and forth. He shuddered as the hunger-crazed vampires glared at him, unable to cross the running water. "Guys? I'm getting a little tired here!"
"Wimp," Smolder panted from behind him. A woozy Ocellus and Silverstream stood nearby, their wings hanging as limp as hers. Smolder gasped out, "We kept it up for hours, so you can too." She coughed experimentally, and nothing came out but hot air. She wheezed her words. "I... didn't think... a dragon's fire could... run out! I musta roasted dozens of those things."
"I HAVE been keeping it up for hours!" Gallus glanced out of the cave they were backed into. The horizon looked to be the same dull gray it'd been for what felt like days now. "Yeesh, what kind of game IS this? Is Shining Armor trying ta kill us?"
"We almost safe," Yona stood ready to charge if need be. She snorted defiance at the undead monsters. "Game has to be over soon, right?"
"It'll be over soon," Sandbar gulped at the sight of the vrykolakas. "One way or another."
Imago snarled down at the game. "What's taking those vrykolakas so long? They should have gotten those brats long ago!" Normally that would simply hurl them back into the real world, rattled but unharmed, but she felt sure that with the brute force modifications she'd made to the spells ensuring the safety of the players, they'd end up monster chow.
"Oh, come on!" Imago glanced outside at the setting sun. "Those monsters are as dumb as Vordul and my fat grub of a sister!" She picked up the board and shook it furiously. "Hurry up and kill them already!"
She gulped when someone spoke behind her.
"Kill who already?"
Imago turned with a chitter-snarl, magic lighting up her horn. She'd dispose of whatever stupid pony was meddling and then...
Imago froze. Facing her was Princess Celestia; and behind Celestia the reason for her visit. Queen Novo, Prince Rutherford, Ember, some old buzzard of a griffon with a fez, that backstabbing freak Thorax. And all of them looking right at her with very unhappy expressions on their faces.
"Princess Imago, isn't it?" Celestia trotted closer, her voice cool and real anger in her eyes. Imago backed away, looking for an escape route. "I came here to meet my fellow rulers so we could see how the school and its students were doing. Instead we find the 'Student Six' missing and you of all creatures gloating over a game and --" Celestia looked at the game. Her eyes narrowed and a spell played along her horn.
"Hold her!" Celestia snapped. She hurled herself forward and vanished into the game board. As soon as she did Imago sneered and started for the door.
"Where do you think YOU are going?" Novo said. Ember added in her own opinion.
"Yeah, where's Smolder and the rest of the students?"
"Beats me," Imago sneered. "Real Changelings don't care what happens to dead cattle." They flinched and Imago exulted in the sudden wave of dread that rolled against her senses. She drew herself up and spoke as she imagined her mother would.
"Now move aside from the path of your superior, vermin, or I'll destroy you! Got it?"
In the game.
"Guys... I got.. nothin' left!" Gallus collapsed with a gasp. His wings felt like lumps of lead. The score of vrykolakas stared at the water as one last ripple traveled along it.
"Guess this is it," Silverstream drew herself up, baring her talons. "But I'm going down fighting!" Beside her the exhausted Ocellus transformed into the best form she could manage, a pink-striped blue tiger. Sandbar snorted, rearing and boxing with his forehooves; Smolder bared draconic fangs and claws; Yona tossed her horns. None of them held any delusions how this would end.
The vrykolakas hissed as the last ripple stopped and flung themselves over the water-filled trench.
And the dawn itself came down into the tomb. The undead gave one thin collective wail before they collapsed into piles of ash that writhed for a second before they blew away.
"Children," Celestia Solaria Invicta said to them, bowing her head in respect. "I trust you have played enough games for one day. It's time to be going." Her wings spread out over them, the light in the chamber intensified, and with a flash they were gone.
"Children, your rulers," Celestia said as they reappeared in the school. The exhausted students staggered to their relieved leaders. "My fellow rulers, your very brave and tired young subjects."
Imago spat in anger from where she lay pinhned under Thorax's claw. She gulped anew when Celestia and the others turned their gaze on her.
"And now, what to do with you?"
Session 86.6 Alex Warlorn
"See dears? That's what failing mommy looks like, don't do that," Chrysalis gestured at the screen, enlarging the scene of the crystal behind it (Chrysalis having broken the transmitter crystal ball into pieces and given to her minions and spies).
"Yes mommy!" The baby grubs all echoed.
"So uh," Locust asked. "I presume my queen, that you're going to just leave Imago to rot for having failed you again? In particular now that you have so many 'spares?'" 'General' Locust gestured at the brood of newborn changelings grubs from stock such as Wind Rider.
Queen Chrysalis gave him the most powerful of 'you are so stupid' looks. "Why? So she can betray me too? Get in comfy with Thorax, and get in line to the throne without having to topple me? A scheme I would be proud of her for. But not happening. Time to rescue my baby."
"But HOW my queen? We don't exactly have the numbers... of combat ready changelings... "
"Meh. Last time I was in that damn castle I got in and out without ever realizing I was ever there. I haven't lost my touch."
"LOOK OUT! It's Chrysalis!" Shouted a royal guard.
A green eye Cadence shouted as she fled from her auntie's own guards, "No! It's me! It's Cadence!"
"You won't fool me again!" Shining Armor shouted trapped the green eyes Cadence in a rather uncomfortable force field bubble.
'Those low level cosmetic spells works ever time,' 'Shutter Bug' thought with a smile.
"Hello sir, I'm here to have an interview with the prisoner..."
"HELP! I'm being held hostage!"
"Here's a 'History of Most Evil Magical Tyrants' you wanted as an apology for being used in Princess Imago's escape Miss Shutter Bug."
"Oh thank you!"
"NOW WRITE ON THAT BOARD 1000 times, 'Always have an escape route planned!' " Chrysalis said, back at the miserable castle ruins the 'swarm in exile' called home.
"... Yes mother."
Session 86.7 Kendell2
"Alright, everypony ready for Nightmare Night?" asked Twilight, the group getting ready.
"Ready," said Spike, looking at one of the Enchanted Comics to make sure his Humdrum costume was perfect. He then blinked, noticing it vibrating. "Uh, Twilight?"
"Yes?" Twilight asked, looking over to him and blinking as he dropped the now glowing comic. "We can't do an Enchanted Comic right now!"
"I didn't do anything!" Spike replied.
Applejack blinked. "Wait, didn't Chrysalis's psycho daughter mess with some Enchanted Comics?!"
Suddenly the Enchanted Comic exploded, Twilight pulled Spike away.
When the smoke cleared, the group heard familiar insane laughter.
"Haha! Hello again, Power Ponies!" cackled the Maneiac, looming over them with her hair holding her.
"...So, turns out messing with the safety features can make a supervillain come to life, who knew?" asked Rainbow Dash, eyes wide.
"Now you'll have to excuse me, I have to conquer..." said Maneiac, looking out the window. "Hmm...where are we?"
"Ponyville..." Fluttershy politely answered.
"Ponyville! MWHAHAHAHA!" she cackled, climbing out the window and jumping onto a nearby house.
"...Well, Nightmare Night just got more eventful..." Starlight commented.
"So, you boobytrapped an Enchanted Comic to unleash a supervillain on the real world," Chrysalis said, watching via magic crystal ball.
"Yeah, that is exactly what I wanted to happen! Hahahaha!" Imago replied, eyes darting. "...Am I still grounded?"
OOC: Little Nightmare Night arc. This is meant to be played for laughs, not drama, have a ball with what unleashing the Maneiac (still acting in 'game master' mode) on Ponyville during Nightmare Night.
Session 86.8 Alex Warlorn and Kendell2
"Shouldn't we be worried?"
"Naw. This isn't like the Book Worm spawning fictional beings into reality. If they could create an army of elite royal guards out of nothing, it wouldn't be used to create LARP pocket realities. She'll just follow her programming to follow the narrative, but she'll also without anything to sustain her existence, simply dissolve. Like how all those donuts Pinkie Pie took from Maretropolis dissolved into nothing."
"I was curious about that."
Rarity asked, "But doesn't that mean until she dissolves, she'll be a supervillain capable of throwing carts with her hair acting like one in Ponyville not realizing she's around NORMAL ponies?"
"Maybe she'll get confused and shut down, that enchanted comic WAS empty of anyone but us, Maniac, and her goons, and apparently a shop NPC or two."
"You forget one thing, darling: Imago messed with the programming. It's hard to tell WHAT that budding little psychopath may have changed."
"Guys! She's a glorified illusion spell! What's the worst she can do?"
A cart crashes through the wall.
"Power Ponies! Come out and play!"
Spike asked, "Am I the only one who remembers Royal Changelings are Demi-Gods?"
"Shouldn't she be attacking us? Or at least trying to kidnap Spike since he's dressed up like Humdrum? Since we're her 'primary targets'?"
"Thanks for reminding me!" Hair reached through the window and grabbed Spike who screamed as he was dragged through.
Rarity glared at Twilight.
Rainbow Dash shouted, "QUICK! THINK! What are some comic book stuff we can use against her?!"
Session 86.9 Mtangalion
At the far end of her family’s junkyard, Gilda climbed out of her truck, shiny new dog collar in hand. “There you are!”
The mangy junkyard dog, brick red with a pale underbelly and a brighter gold scruff and tail, growled mildly at Gilda, then scratched his no-doubt flea-ridden ears with a hind paw.
Gilda smirked. “You don’t know what a sweet deal you’re getting, mutt.” She approached slowly, collar and leash in one hand and dog treats in the other. “I didn’t exactly plan on becoming your registered owner, but when I do that, I do it right. C’mere, boy…”
The dog’s eyes widened. “I’m not wearing some lame collar like that!”
Gilda fell over backwards. “Bucking Tartarus!!”
Sunset Shimmer wasn’t writing in the magical journal fast enough to suit Gilda, so she grabbed the journal and did it herself. “Are you sure you’ve got the right Garble over there?!” she bellowed, scribbling furiously. “Cause the Garble over here never stops flapping his yap!”
Sunset gave her a flat stare. “It’s a book. I don’t think shouting at it will help.”
Gilda blinked. “Good point. I’ll write in all caps.”
In her fenced backyard, bright and early the next morning, Gilda sipped scalding hot coffee from a thermos. “Okay, class, listen up!”
Her “class” numbered just two. Ember was bright and eager, hanging on mistress’ every word and practically bouncing in place. Garble sat beside her grumpily, freshly washed and brushed and de-pested, thanks to an intervention from Fluttershy, AND he wore the ‘lame’ collar. “Eh, whatever.”
Gilda ignored that. “This ought to be super-easy, since I’ve been ‘blessed’ with dogs that actually understand what I’m saying.” She smacked a rolled-up newspaper into the palm of one hand. “There’s two kinds of puppers around here. Good boys and girls… and bad dogs!” She grinned at Garble, as if daring him to put a paw out of line. “And believe me, you don’t want to be a bad dog.”
Garble sat back and folded his forepaws across his chest. “Stupid mistress. Garble isn’t just good boy, he’s the best boy!”
Gilda pointed the newspaper at Garble. “Big talk, mister, but can you back it up? Rule number one, good boys don’t poop inside the house, or else!”
Gilda pointed at the muddy tracks on the carpet. “Good boys wipe their paws before they come in!”
Gilda smacked her face with her palm. “Good boys don’t shed all over my bed!”
Gilda sighed. “Good boys don’t taunt Torch if they know what’s good for ‘em.”
Gilda clenched her fist, waving a receipt. “Good boys do not take mistress’ credit card and buy level-boosts from the World of Horsecraft shop!!”
Garble and Ember were both pawing at their tablet computers, guiding their diamond wolf adventurers through a new Ascension expansion dungeon. “What, really?” said Garble. “On Internet, no one knows we’re dogs?”
Ember nodded enthusiastically. “That’s what Spike said. I don’t really get it, though.”
Garble scratched his ears. “Huh. Hey, want to make puppies?”
Ember bonked him in the face with a pillow.
Session 86.10 Alex Warlorn
"What do ya mean ya ain't gonna turn us into our costumes?!" Apple Bloom asked agitated, dressed up as an Alicorn Princess.
"We were kinda banking on it," Sweetie Belle said, dressed up as a 'classic' changeling queen with a white carapace.
"Tell me about it," Scootaloo said dressed up as Firefly The First.
"EXACTLY!" Discord exasperated. "Everypony now EXPECTS ME to do it! It's no fun anymore! There's no surprise! No shock! They just accept it's going to happen! It's not fun anymore!"
"MWAAAHAH!" Laughed the Mane-iac evilly.
The CMC glared at Discord.
"I SWEAR it wasn't me!"
Session 86.11 Kendell2
"So, where's the vice mayor?" asked Starlight.
A roll later.
"In the basement, terrified and waiting for the end," said Shining through the NPC.
"Well let's go talk tah him," Applejack replied.
"You'll have to find a way in, he locked the door behind him and has the only key with him."
"So, we're in a tavern," said Rainbow Dash. "How do we go about this?"
"How about we sing a song to lighten the mood?" Melody asked.
"Aww, that's boring..." Patch replied with a groan.
"Oh, and what's your idea?" asked Melody.
*Five minutes later*
"Your idea was to start a bar room brawl to beat it out of them?" asked Melody as Rainbow and Patch fought nearly everyone in the tavern, herself and Pinkie just singing on stage and talking to the few tavern goers who weren't combative.
"No! My idea was to pickpocket a map out of one of their pockets!...I'm a Chaotic Good Rogue! It's kinda my thing!" Patch replied, though clearly having fun. "Rainbow's idea was the ballroom brawl."
"I'm a Chaotic Good Barbarian! It's kinda MY thing!" Rainbow replied, seeming happy to have someone else in a play session willing to go Leeroy Jenkins into a brawl.
"...For the record, if Ah were in their part of the party, then Ah'd have stopped that," Applejack stated.
"And I'd normally stop Patch," Starlight replied.
"Uh, Twiley? Is your group gonna do anything?" asked Shining. "Other than look at every book in the library?"
"Oop! Sorry!" Twilight and Bright Eyes replied at the same time.
Session 86.12 Ardashir
Outside, panicky ponies fled in all directions as the Mane-iac snatched up yet another cart and hurled it through the side of the castle. She ignored Spike's desperate attempts at breaking free as she called mockingly, "Power Ponies! Come out and plaa-ayy!" She gave Spike a crushing squeeze that left him turning more colors than usual. "Or I'll destroy Humdrum!"
"Lemme go, ya crazy supervillain!" Spike fought against the Mane-iac's grip. Her mane might just be hair, but it felt like a steel cable around him. "They're not the Power Ponies! This is real life, not a comic book!"
He gulped as she swung on him with a sneer.
"I know it's real life, Humdrum!" She shook him and laughed. "You're as helpless and useless as ever!" Ignoring Spike's complaints, she looked about. "Bah, a master villain like me needs some underlings. Are there any unemployed thugs with a knowledge of basic mane care around?"
"She's talkin' about you, Miss Prissy Pants!"
"Don't you dare push me out there, you brainless blonde thug!"
Mane-iac and Spike both looked to see half a dozen mares come rolling out from behind one of the food stands in whinnying and hoof-boxing ball. "I hate you meany-pant jerks!... Yeah, well, we don't like you either frizz-top!... That was my cider, you losers!... For pete's sake, STOP FIGHTING! You dummies ruined everything last time like this!"
"Huh?" Spike blinked at a very unfamiliar sight. "Rarity? Applejack? Twilight? How did you guys get out here?" The mares glared at him, looking disheveled and messy. "And, uh, why are you fighting?"
"We were always out here," Applejack said. Her face held a cold sneer as she said, "An' we're fighting over who hates ya more, ya nasty little lizard!"
"Wh-what?" Spike blinked back tears. "What are you talking about?"
"Ha-hahaha!" Mane-iac shook him as she laughed madly. "Maybe they finally figured out how much of a useless load you are, Humdrum."
"Yeah, that's right!" The new Twilight stepped forward, a wicked gleam in her eyes. "We used to us, work for another supervillain but when she lost we left and we've been hiding out on the edge of town for a few weeks," she waved one hoof off towards what Spike vaguely recalled was an old abandoned house that recently got a reputation for being haunted. Twilight looked back at the Mane-iac and Spike before saying, "But if you want to get rid of the Mane Six -- I mean Power Ponies?"
"We're just dying to help."
(OOC: I hope including the Mean Six who were living in the old abandoned house won't make things too difficult. If so, then ignore this.)
Session 86.13 Ardashir
"Okay, so what are we gonna do about the Mane-iac?" Dash asked her friends.
"Ask her nicely if she wants to give up?" Fluttershy said in her soft voice.
"Ah don't think that's gonna work, darlin'," Applejack pointed outside. The Mane-iac was facing a pair of Royal Guard reservists, one of them Silver Spoon's father, in their hastily-donned armor.
"For the last time, whoever you are, drop that dragon and raise your, ah, mane!" One of them demanded.
"Raise my mane?" The Mane-iac laughed madly. "Gladly!" Twin green tendrils lashed out and snatched both guardsponies into the air. Before they could move, she clonked their heads together and hurled their semiconscious forms into a pile of pumpkins.
Rarity gulped. "Perhaps, darlings, we could ask for some help? Where are Starlight and Trixie? Or Discord, for that matter?"
"Uh, well," Fluttershy said, "Discord told me earlier that he was going to drop in to check Ponyville out, but then he was going to visit some old friends and 'show them the spirit of Nightmare Night'. He didn't say who."
Many miles away, at the foot of Mount Epona, a towering and very demonic-looking Discord cackled with glee as he held both his claws over a pit of fire. Wailing ghosts and demons flew about his horrid form. Nearby a battered record player played Night on Bald Mountain.
"Now dance!, Dance, my hideous pets!" He shook his hands, trying to dislodge the desperate beings that clung to them. "Oh, don't you wish you could still fly?"
"I'LL KILL THAT DRACONEQUUS FOR THIS!" Chrysalis snarled, currently in the form of a gorgeous unicorn. She gripped Discord's claw with the strength born of terror. "Not least for trapping me in the form of a hideous cattle!"
"Stop your yelling!" Adagio Dazzle yelled over to her. She and Aria and Sonata were currently in the form of a three-headed chimera. Over their heads, a shining silvery ball glowed as an electronic version of Sabbat Night Fever played, and they danced uncontrollably to it. "At least you don't have to listen to the worst genre of music ever made all night long!"
"Ah, it's not so bad," Aria said, currently the snake part of a chimera, her serpentine form writhing to the music.
"Well, darlings, what about Starlight Glimmer and Trixie?"
Twilight shook her head.
"They took the Student Six to see some new horror movie at the Ponyville Theater."
Rarity shuddered. "Not another griffon movie! Tempest told me Grbber had nightmares for weeks!"
"No, this is a Changeling movie."
On the screen at the theater, a pair of entranced Changelings stared helplessly at the light before them. Behind them their fellow cried out in terror.
"No, Love Bug, Dung Beetle! Don't go into the light! NOOO!" As the Changeling screamed in terror, light flared and two Changelings shrieked their last.
"I love the 'Zapper' franchise!" Ocellus cheered, keeping her claws over her eyes at the same time. "I mean, I guess I would if I ever dared to watch it."
Beside her Starlight glared. "For this I gave up a costume party in the Crystal Empire with Sunburst."
Session 86.14 Mtangalion
Rainbow Dash snorted, watching the Mane-iac tearing her way through a row of Nightmare Night market stalls, laughing all the way. “Well, since the real Power Ponies aren’t here to stop her…”
Twilight sighed. “Call me crazy, but…”
“You’re crazy!” shouted Pinkie Pie. She munched from a bag of caramel popcorn, chewing noisy.
“But bringing more fictional characters into the real world would be the exact opposite of getting this situation under control!”
“In that case,” said Rainbow dramatically, “we have just one chance…” She flew over to Rarity. “Hey, do you still have…” She whispered the rest.
Rarity blinked. “Second closet on the left, blue trunk in the back.” Rainbow zoomed away, leaving Rarity talking to a fading rainbow trail. “Try not to rip the fabric!”
“Bwahaha!” cackled the Mane-iac, dumping two more buckets full of Nightmare Night candy into her bag of loot. “Your valuables are hair today, gone tomorrow, Ponyville! For there is nopony who can stop me!”
Suddenly, an explosion of purple smoke filled the end of the square. “That’s where you’re wrong, Mane-iac! You thought that you could leave Maretropolis and do whatever you pleased, but Ponyville has a Champion of Justice too!”
The Mane-iac hissed, tossing Spike aside and drawing her hair-tentacles into a thorny defense around herself. “Who dares?!”
“I am the rain that booms in the night!” shouted the voice within the purple smoke. “I am the split ends that ruin your Gala!”
Mane-iac whipped her mane and fired a barrage of hair needles into the cloud. “Hah! Sorry to cut you short, hero, but that introduction was so long, it was going gray!”
“Hah, you fell for it!”
“Huh!?” Suddenly, the Mane-iac was shocked by a thundercloud directly over her head, almost invisible in the dark. “Gah! Show yourself!”
Rainbow Dash slowly descended from the thundercloud, wearing a purple costume with a wide-brimmed hat and a cape that flapped dramatically in the breeze she’d summoned herself. “Back by popular demand, in a special one night only appearance!” Rainbow pointed a forehoof at her. “You face… Mare Do Well! Let’s get dangerously awesome!”
Session 86.15 Alex Warlorn
It was just another happy day in Ponyville, which meant something HAD TO go wrong. In this case, Twilight Sparkle heard vile insults being thrown at each other, along with fists flying... Coming from the cutie mark map room, Princess Twilight ran... to find Button Mash and Spike duking it out, Earth Pony strength and dragon strength being tested, as both have black eyes.
"YOU TAKE THAT BACK JERK!"
Spike tried to burn Button Mash, but the foal locked Spike's muzzle closed with his front legs, and began punching Spike in the gut with his REAR LEGS!
"Stop this right now!" Princess Twilight boomed, and pulled the two apart with her magic. "Now what is going on around here!"
"Spike is an idiot!"
"No Button Mash is an idiot!"
"Nobody is an idiot here until I say so, so WHY do you think the other is an idiot!"
"Spike thinks Ogre-Born should be an off-shoot of Ogres created to serve ogres who broke free! That's stupid! The rules are clearly set for your player character becoming an Ogre-Born!"
"Button Mash thinks Ogre-Born should be ponies, griffins, etc, who choose to become Ogre-Born transforming themselves for the sake of the good ogres fighting the evil ogres! That's stupid! Those rules are out dated!"
"There's nothing official saying those rules are rejected!"
"It's common sense moron!"
"It's common sense that my origin was first, and yours was invented during Ogres and Oubliettes' moron age! You're just going with it because you don't wanna admit those new splat books suck!"
"THEY DO NOT!!" Spike tried to breath fire again.
Twilight Sparkle sighed. This was gonna be a long day.
Session 86.16 whitebearboy
(Continued from Section 84.3)
"Aww, Toriel is so kind, she's acting like a mother to this lost child she just met." Fluttershy said in an affectionate tone as she made her character follow the goat-like woman who had saved her from Flowey through the Ruins. "She has a training dummy, but she says I'm supposed to practice talking to it instead of fighting it. You were right Rainbow Dash, this is EXACTLY my kind of game!" the kind-hearted girl said as she chose ACT on the combat screen with the Dummy and selected the TALK option. The Dummy couldn't actually talk back, but she felt proud when she successfully spared her first monster.
As she went farther into the Ruins and met a monster who resembled a frog and some more that resembled shy moth-fairy creatures, she suddenly had an unsettling thought. "R-Rainbow Dash, I want a spoiler, is Toriel actually as nice as she's acting now, or is she gonna turn out to be mean and scary like that Flower?" Fluttershy asked her oldest friend nervously. "Oh, she's definitely nice, most of the fanbase thinks the kid should be adopted by her permanently after the game, but that's a long ways off from where you are now." Rainbow Dash answered. "Ok, that's great to hear." said Fluttershy confidently as she continued playing. When her character went to sleep in Toriel's house and woke up to find a piece of pie on a plate waiting for them, the yellow-skinned teenager looked like she was going to melt with adoration "Toriel seems like...like everything a mother should be, I hope I'm just like her when I'm older and have a child of my own."
Rainbow Dash went to grab a quick snack while Fluttershy was playing Underlegend, and when she came back Fluttershy looked upset. "What's wrong, Flutters? Did you get stuck?" Rainbow asked, concerned. "T-Toriel said that the six children who fell down before me all left the Ruins and were k-killed. That is so sad!" Fluttershy told her friend as a tear ran down her cheek. "And now she's making me fight her to prove I'm strong enough to survive, and I keep using the TALK option, but nothing changes! What do I do, I can't kill her!" Fluttershy started sobbing.
Session 86.17 Grogar-the-Oneser
"Remember the froggit advice." Rainbow Dash advice.
"I am trying to save Toriel life and you want to talk in riddles!" Fluttershy cried.
"I'm not talking riddles, I'm talking about the Froggit advice, you know... about saving." Rainbow Dash stressed the last word.
Session 86.18 Grogar-the-Oneser
Spoiler for the latest comic.
In Princess Eris Castle, where every multiverse variants of villains were having a good time.
"Wait, you didn't take Shining Armor place?" A rather regal looking Chrysalis questioned.
"Err... no?" Chrysalis muttered "Should I?"
"Oh I don't know, considering the fact she the Alicorn of Love, and we feed on love, making her obsess with us and give us enough love to fight both alicorn sister and the element bearers singlehanded... yeah I say you messed up." The regal Chrysalis snarked.
"Eh I made the same mistake." Another Chrysalis stated, "But I was smart my second time, I replaced them all with my changeling, and dump their bodies in a swamp."
"You uh..." At this Chrysalis gulped "killed them?"
"Of course I did, leaving my captive alive the first time spectacularly failed on me... I spared the alicorns though, raising sun and moon require to much work even for the new mortal queen of the world." The third Chrysalis laughed.
"Right... And umm, what happen to the Chrysalis who failed three times."
"We kick there asses." The regal Chrysalis stated.
"Especially if they used that stupid tree plot, granted it enforce that lie about us being born evil from trees, but those tree clones are supposedly VERY annoying." The third Chrysalis stated.
Session 86.19 Grogar-the-Oneser
"WHAT DO YOU MEAN I'M NOT INVITED!? I AM HER COUSIN!" Discord (Not the ponies and dragon one) snapped.
"Sorry sir, she was quite specific, no Discord's." The guard stated rather bored.
"WHY NOT!?" Discord snapped.
"Besides most discord being reformed by a cowardly pegasus, she finds your stance on Chaos to be childish." The guard stated.
"Well at least my chaos isn't some deranged form of busi-" Discord did a double take. "Is that my ex-wife!?"
"How the devil did she get in!?"
"Eris think your wife is smart for finally dumping that mismatch buffoon." The guard stated.
"... Well that it's she definitely not invited to my next birthday party." Discord grumbled as he poofed away.
Session 86.20 Ardashir
(OOC:Continuing from 86.14)
"Mare-do-Well?" The Mane-iac blinked in confusion. "Never heard of you. What are you supposed to be? Some sort of sidekick of Mistress Mare-velous?" And evil smile went on her face. "Because if so, let's see if you enjoy being tied up like she does!"
"Hah!" Mare-do-Well/Dash dodged aside from a net flying at her. "You'll have to do better if you expect to catch me with that hair net." She flew back to the small thunderstorm and gave it a kick. Water poured down on the telling Mane-iac. "How about a wash before we trim?"
Another kick sent a lighting bolt flying at the Mane-iac's crowning green glory. She whinnied, snatched and hurled Spike into the way with her mane. He lit up like a Hearth's Warming Tree. Mare-do-Well winced.
"Oops! Sorry, Spike -- I mean, Humdrum!"
"It wouldn't be a holiday without me getting humiliated, would it?" The semiconscious Spike groaned.
Within the Friendship Palace Twilight and the rest watched while trying to come up with another plan.
"Ugh, those puns!" Twilight shuddered. "I don't think I've ever heard Modern Ponish be so badly abused! But at least Dash is keeping the Mane-iac busy."
"And at least Starlight and Trixie are keeping the Student Six safe at the theater," Fluttershy looked out another window at the theater, far away from the fight. "Oh, but I hope the movies aren't too scary."
In the theater, costumed ponies were laughing at the screen as the dragon horror movie ended. Smolder just huffed in her seat.
"Everydragon was singing and happy and dancing at the end like a bunch of ponies," she groused, arms folded. With a shudder, she added, "An' all the dragons got mind-controlled into giving their hoards away. Ponies got no idea what real horror is!"
"Huh," Applejack said as she watched the battle. "Where were those Changelings or Diamond Wolves or whatever the hay they were that were with the Mane-iac? They just up and vanished."
"Actually, they didn't," a familiar-unfamiliar voice softly sneered behind them.
The rest of the Mane Six turned to see -- themselves, standing behind them. But with faces alight with cruelty.
"Oh, wonderful," Rarity groaned. "More of Alisa's tricks? Dear, that is the worst costume of me you ever wore," she pinched a handful of other-Rarity's coat in her magical grip. As her 'twin' spluttered, Rarity said, "It looks like it's about to fall apart, and your acting is so wooden I half expect to see termites crawling on you. I --"
"MINE!" Other-Rarity yelled, leaping on Rarity and snatching at her costume. "Your boutique! Your costume! Your everything! I WANT IT ALL!"
"And we'll get it all," the evil Twilight closed in on Princess Twilight. "This game's over, now we --"
Unnoticed by her, Pinkie Pie tossed a small pie that curved in mid-air and smacked into her twin's face from the side. Grumpy Pie gave a neigh and jumped on the pony nearest her. "HEY! THAT'S NOT FUNNY!"
"Huh! OW! Ya big dummy!" Liarjack scuffled with Pinkie. "Ah didn't do it! An' for once Ah'm tellin' the truth!"
"Like I believe you!"
"Hah!" Fluttercruel cheered. "Kick each other's flanks! Rotten mud ponies --" A misaimed kick by Liarjack missed Grumpy Pie completely to connect solidly with Fluttercruel's jaw. She smashed back into Traitor Dash, at which pony both pegasi leaped into the fight. In another moment the Mean Six were rolling on the floor in a battling ball and calling each other all sort of horrible and perfectly accurate names, with Traitor Sparkle lashing them with a magic-summoned horsewhip. Which did nothing but to make them all angrier than ever.
"Fools!" Evil Twilight yelled as she brought the whip down, bringing meaty smacks and angry neighs from the fighters. "Are you idiots going to ruin everything again?!?"
"Girls? The rest of you help Dash." Princess Twilight shook her head as her confused friends looked away. She kept an eye on the dustball of equine violence happening in the room. "I'll deal with this mess." She cringed as she heard more comments from the battle outside.
"I won't let you stirrup any more trouble, Mane-iac! Your hair-raising is over!"
"Bah! I'll give you the worst split ends of your life -- from head to tail!"
Twilight just shook her head. "Maybe someday I'll have a normal day in this town?"
Session 86.21 Mtangalion
Princess Twilight Sparkle was just about to take a relaxing sip of tea and enjoy herself doing the school’s morning paperwork, when a certain elderly and balding griffon barged into her office.
“This is an outrage!” squawked Grampa Gruff, waving a GameColt game crystal at her. “Some pony made a video game thing in which a griffon, a diamond dog, and one of those Aba-whatever cat people grow huge and stomp all over pony cities! It’s perpetuating stereotypes, that’s what it is!”
Twilight put down the tea, carefully. “And, you’re coming to me with this, because…”
Grampa Gruff folded his wings and forelimbs crossly. “Video games are new-fangled, so I don’t like them just on general principle! Also, you’re the Princess of Gaming. Says so right on your door.”
Twilight leaned past Gruff, taking a look for herself. “I didn’t hang that sign there…”
Just around the corner, Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie giggled.
Then three students showed up, looking over Grampa Gruff’s shoulders, then slipping into the office beside him. One of the new Abyssinian students shrugged, paws in his coat pockets. “Huh. Truly, I am not sure how to feel about this. It’s depicting predators as monsters, true…”
Scruff the diamond dog pup wagged his tail. “But predators are biggest and strongest and doing whatever they want, just like they should!”
Gallus smirked, smacking his fisted claws into a palm. “That would be super awesome! If it wasn’t just a game...”
Twilight’s face twitched. “I’m starting to regret that open door policy.”
While the students debated this, Discord quietly teleported in beside Twilight, leering and raising his fingers to snap…
Without missing a beat, Twilight said, “Oh gosh, I wonder what will happen next? Will Discord turn the students into real giants, because they didn’t expect that? That’s what I’d expect!”
Discord fell over, then got up again, dusting himself off. “One of these days,” he snapped, shaking a claw at Twilight, “I’ll do exactly what ponies expect, because they didn’t expect me to do the thing they did expect me to do! But not today.”
Discord summoned another GameColt game box and floated it over to the students. “Hey kids, look what old Discord just happened to have lying around. A game where a unicorn, a pegasus, and an earth pony grow into giants and rampage all across Equus, forcing everycreature to be friends just like ponies!”
Gallus shuddered. “That… that’s so scary…”
Scruff shook himself too. “It might be best Nightmare Night game ever! Let’s try it out!”
Meanwhile, near Mount Aris, the latest argument between the seaponies and the merponies was interrupted when two colossal sea-green hooves stomped into the ocean shallows with tsunami-making force. “Come on, guys,” declared Sandbar, big as the mountain, with hypnotic swirls in his eyes. “The ocean is like… the ocean! As in plenty of room for everycreature! You should share… that’d be the Generous thing to do!”