>Ponyville seems to be a hotbed of excitement these days. Between the dragons roosting in the mountains, horrid monsters wandering out from the Everfree Forest, ancient ruins discovered deep in the earth, and the ever-presenting of all-out war between the Equestrians and the Gryphons, it seems like everypony looking for fame or fortune is flocking to this town.
>It is an age of knights, adventurers, dark magics, and destined heroes.
>You are none of these things.
>Your name is Pot Luck, and you just want to run your inn and tavern, the Sword and Board.
>You're outing to the mines with Tex, Diamond, and Cutie Swirl took an interesting turn when you stumbled upon an old Crystal Empire ruin. Within it, you found clues to the final days of the Empire...and a sweet ass sword!
>You also found a big crystal inside the remains of a crystalized pony. You've given it to Spectral Prism to study further.
>Lastly, you met with Silver Ingot to let her study and work on the sword you found with the hopes of reforging it into something more practical. She tells you it'll be ready in six days.
Inn floorplan: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1fouKOvZLar5QZ4zOwmvnXA1hcPZ5UIBXNuy8RN0oFME/edit?usp=sharing
List of Supplies and Upgrades: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1V--UewucWq-klJcnPumQzFhbhvzOHngW6zQM9e-NXfE/edit?usp=sharing
Special thanks as always to our artist.
>You're business with the blacksmith is finished, and you're back on the streets of Ponyville. It's getting close to the tail-end of the lunch hour crowd so there's no immediate need to return to the inn.
What do you do now?
Track down August and see how she looks in her new dress.
Then I second heading to the adventurer's guild, to check for more scraps of ebonite, maybe they've got some odd bits of armor or weps they haven't identified as such, after all, it's said to be easy to work into other things. We're going to need some once Wispy finds out she got shafted. Maybe we can offer Celestia something for one of the twelve swords Canterlot's holding.
>You remember telling Tex that you were going to meet up with him later at Satin Sash's shop. It's a quick trot over, wherein you find your minotaur friend pacing back and forth across the shop floor, but no sign of the tailor or August.
"Everything okay?" you ask as you join your friend.
>"Just five more minutes he keeps saying," Tex replies, sounding impatient. "He's said that, like, ten times in the past half-hour!"
"He's probably just busy putting on the final touches. Let the pony do his job."
>"I'm trying! I just don't like standing around waiting like this," Tex continues fuming. "How as the blacksmith anyways? What'd she have to say?"
"Apparently the stuff that sword is made out of is like...super magic metal crystal stuff. She's going to try and make it into a more balanced sword."
>"Just try not to hurt yourself with it."
"Well I might give it to Sundance or something."
>"Does she even use a sword? Don't think I've ever seen her carry one."
"I... um, that's a good question."
>Worse case scenario, you can find somepony who can make use of the sword if Sundance can't. Or you could learn how to wield it yourself - would make sense considering the constant threats that like to hang around you and your inn.
>Your attention gets turn away by the sound of hoofsteps. Stepping out from a backroom was none other than August, now adorned in a flowing gown of emerald greens and flowery trimmings. She smiles nervously to you and Tex.
Smile and golf-clap politely. Compliment August and Satin on what sounds like a very good outcome. Hang with them a ways when they head outdoors, I'm curious to see what the townsponies think of her, all decked out.
I agree, if Sundance doesn't want the sword, well, it's no rapier, but Pot does need one. If she says no, let's learn to swing it ourselves. Hit up Azura, she can be our Trained Professional to give us pointers.
She obviously loves swords, so if we're going the d&d route, fighter.
But what we're really speccing her for is self defense in any situation. She's not just a pony after all, she's a changeling, and if found out is in big trouble anywhere.
So we teach her to kick total ass with sword and maybe shield if available, just for self defense. What she really is, of course, is our adopted daughter and delivery-waitress.
Adventuring would be something for after we're gone- Or otherwise incapacitated, and she needed other income.
"My goodness, August, never have I seen a more radiant-looking young lass in my days," you compliment your friend, giving a nice polite clap to accompany your words. "Perhaps we should be giving you the sword instead because you'll need it to fend off all the colts in town now."
>Her smile widens, a crimson tint running across her face.
>"Oh stop, you," she replies, playfully trying to wave you off. "I bet you say that to all the ladies."
"Please, August, take the compliment as it is. You deserve it," you insist.
>Thankfully, you don't need to convince your friend any further. She glances over to the nearby mirror and does a few spins to check the dress at all angles. Much to your relief, she seems to be genuinely content with how it looks.
>"Dare I say, she even looks better than you in a dress," Satin chuckles, giving you a teasing nudge with his hoof. "Of course, I am a miracle worker, so should it really be any surprise?"
>Satin then glances over to Tex and begins looking the minotaur up and down, smirking all the while.
>"Now as for you, my tall and wide friend, we could--"
>"Oh no. One Longhorn is enough for one day," Tex quickly replies.
>A pity - you would've liked to have seen what Satin could do with Tex.
>The three of you head back out into the streets. It doesn't take long for August to get a few ponies turning their heads in her direction. Your friend is practically aglow with pride and confidence.
What's next on the agenda? Input action.
Head over to the adventurer's guild, ask to rummage their scrap metal weapons and armor chests. Look for any random bits of ebonite that may have ended up there.
Surely some adventurers know of the stuff but it's so old and rare that probably not all do- And since they're always raiding old dungeons and other ancient sites we might luck out on the odd, small bit. It's worth a look.
...Or Tex, though I'm giving up hope. He seems uninterested. Still got my hopes up for Diamond though. Cutie has a certain following also, can't complain there either- And of course there are those who'd like to see us with Sundance or Azzy, too. I think it would be a long discussion over who to waifu/husbando, ultimately.
"Listen, why don't you two come by the inn later tonight? We're already doing a little celebration for our success mining expedition, and I think everypony would just love to see you in your new little outfit."
>"That sounds like a lovely idea - and I'll get a chance to hear all about what you boys did today," August nods in agreement.
>You bid the siblings farewell for now as you decide to head on over to the adventurer's guild next. It's a long shot, but you figure that perhaps some of the other journeys into lost ruins or dungeons might've turned up something of value. Maybe somepony else found some ebonite.
>The guild hall is it's usual mill of activity with various adventurer's mingling, networking, checking job boards, and getting their gear ready for their next job.
>"Afternoon Mister Pot, what brings you out here?" you hear a familiar voice calling out. It's Neil, the sphynx.
"I should be asking you similar," you reply.
>"I have decided to ply my feline trades in your 'adventuring guild,'" Neil answers. "A bit heavy on the testosterone if you ask me, but one cannot argue with the bits ripe for the taking."
"I'm here to see about checking the ol' loot stores to see if there's anything worth buying. Done any jobs for the guild yet?"
>"Nothing serious so far," the sphynx muses as he worms between your legs and then hops up onto your back. "I did clear a few basements of rats. It was quite delicious."
"You know, if you're getting bits, I've got some stocks of fresh meat at the inn," you reply with a playful grin. "Good place to spend those bits."
>"And some more of that chowder, eh?" Neil says, chuckling as he strokes his whiskers. "Oh, you do make a most tempting offer, my yellow-pelted friend. I shall consider it, though there are only so many bits to go around right now - I must play it conservatively."
"Consider it an open offer then," you say before heading towards the store rooms. "I'm going to go do a little shopping - you interested in joining in?"
>"Sure. Why not - it might be fun."
>Your sphynx comrade rests upon your back as you trot off into the basement levels, where rows upon rows of old and forgotten wares lay in wait like a treasure trove of odds and ends.
>"So what exactly are you looking for?"
"It's a, um... black material. Kind of looks like a crystal mixed with the night sky."
>Neil gives you an odd look but shrugs his shoulders and leaps off to search for this supposed material. At least he's not asking too many questions. You walk down some of the aisles, wondering where you could even consider getting started with this hunt.
>You try a box at random and tip it open.
"Why do I keep finding boxes full of dicks?!"
I love how this place is so full of random stuff. There must have once been a great society which used dicks as currency and they keep being brought back with the rest of the treasure. Perhaps it was called the Dildonian Empire.
Keep hunting through the junk, especially anything to do with old, scrap metal. The ebonite is unlikely to have itself become damaged, but any that was made into less useful or difficult to identify forms over time was more likely to be overlooked by the adventurers as useful. Things like lamps, mugs, belt buckles- Any of those might have been made of the stuff but improperly identified as such.
Even so, it might be worth taking one. It might make a good gift or something.
>A [insert species here] dick?! Just what I was looking for!
Maybe Sugar could use one, she did mention not having time to do much 'hoo-yah' , or maybe Prism, since he practically stays inside all the time...
"Seriously? Do these people raid, like, ruins full of dicks? Was there some kind of dick-based society that used dick-currency in their dick banks to buy dick-candles with which to worship their dick gods?"
>"Perhaps the gods are just trying to send you a message?" Neil says, peering over your shoulder, smirking all the while. "Any of your friends in need of a dicking?"
"I'm not getting my friends a second-hoof dick - who knows where they've been."
>You split ways again and continue your search. Sadly, it seems like much of the 'store room' is full of garbage rather than loot. You find, among other things, bins full of clothes (some used, some still bloodied from their previous owners), metal toys and trinkets for children, a lot of broken pottery, various bones from animals you don't even recognize, and quite a lot of rocks that some less scrupulous adventurers probably passed off as 'loot.'
>"How about this? It is black and crystaly," Neil suggests, holding up some jewelry. It's made of a black material with a red crystal in the center, depecting wings and a unicorn. But while it had 'black' and 'crystal,' it definitely wasn't the material you were looking for.
"Toss it back. It's just some pendant," you reply.
>"Looks pretty crummy anyways," Neil says with a shrug before tossing it over his shoulder back into its bin.
>In another bin, you find a weird book that seems to be made of a leathery material with a horrified face molded into its surface. Pinned to the cover is a script of paper with the words 'Klaatu verata nikto' written on it.
"What a weird-looking book," you mutter to yourself, tossing it back into its bin.
You don't seem to be having much luck. Input action?
(laughing about the amulet, and the book... Klaatu.. Varada... Necktie?)
Our action depends on the time remaining, I guess. We know Celestia has at least 12 of those swords and possibly other artifacts, and that, as an Element, we probably hold some sway with her. So if time grows short, we'll just chalk her up as a Plan B source of Ebonite, and return to the inn. If we've got time though, more digging!
Well if some alien comes to destroy the planet, we know where to go now.
This can't be the only room can it? I don't think we should leave empty handed. Lets take another look at those dicks. Or ask for help.
Just hope Azura doesn't walk in again.
Socks, a dress, a nigh-impervious black dildo, who knows what conclusions she could come to?
Are we practicing to seduce someone? Is Pot's rectum actually an inhospitable wasteland only ebonite can withstand?
>You soon get the impression that you're not going to find what you're looking for here - or anything resembling useful. It seems this is less a room of loot and more just a garbage repository. Just went to show much the adventurers really cared about their 'guild,' or at least the ponies running it.
"Well this is turning out to be a waste of time," you sigh to yourself.
>At least Neil seems to be doing okay, as you note the sphynx frollicking about the room, chasing a ball of yarn that he must've found in one of the bins.
>"Mister Luck, what a pleasant surprise!" another voice calls out.
>You spot one of the Hearts trotting into the room, carrying with him one of the many loot bins that the room stores.
>"Find anything useful?" he asks, noting the other open bins about the room.
"Not unless I'm in the market for another box of dicks."
>"More dicks? That's great! Er--I mean, that's horrid. And most unusual," Heart replies. "Um... just so I can ensure that they are properly disposed of, which box might this be?"
>You gesture off to the bin in question.
>"So what exactly were you looking for?" Heart asks, trading out the box he was carrying for the one you pointed out.
Seek Heart's assistance or move on?
> just so I can ensure that they are properly disposed of
A phallic collector is he? I bet he's got a varied collection in his room. A veritable cornucockia
Then ask his opinion of it as dildo material.
Could we identify which Heart this is too?
Come on, this is our chance
Sure, let's ask him for help. He knows the place better, after all.
And with all those dicks, Heart probably has enough to open his own sex store.(or the brothers get into some really kinky shit)
>Oh gosh, which Heart is this again? You find yourself straining to remember. You are in the guild hall so the most likely choice is...
"Well... Valiant Heart," you begin, cautiously and mindful of his reaction. When he doesn't flinch at a misspoken name, you sigh silently to yourself. "I was seeing if you had any black crystal-like material - it's called ebonite and--"
>"Ebonite?! Good heavens, why would you want any of that?" Valiant replies, almost dropping his box in the process. "Don't you know how dangerous that stuff is?"
>You blink in confusion for a few moments.
>"Ebonite is catastrophically explosive," Valiant explains. "I mean, it's not explosive in the traditional sense, it the material is very attractive to magical energies. Cause it's part crystal, ebonite holds onto magic very well, but it grows increasingly unstable the more it absorbs. And if it gets too much then... well, let's just say there's a big ol' crater out to the far north that explains the rest of that cautionary tale. I assure you, if there was any of that horrid stuff in my guild, I'd have it confiscated and shipped to Canterlot as per Military Directive 175-A."
>The royal guard pauses for a second, stroking his moustache in a moment of thought.
>"Or was it 175-B..." he murmurs under his breath. "Anyways, why are you so suddenly interested in ebonite?"
"Oh I need some for a project. Nothing dangerous, I assure you. It has some properties that I can exploit to benefit my innkeeping business."
Which is true enough, considering what we'll be doing with it- Defending ourselves and staff.
We'll have to keep in mind the note about not blocking too many spells with the things though. Important safety tip, thank him for the advise.
Obviously not. That said, unless bombarded with a really fantastic amount of magic, I'm sure it's the best damn sword material in all of Equestria. No doubt the magic charge dissipates over time or it all would have exploded by now.
So don't worry about the stuff blowing up or being unstable, especially now that we're explicitly aware of the single, very particular, circumstances in which this stuff can become unsafe and can avoid it.
Ordinary iron can explode violently if exposed to high temperature and oxygen. This stuff's no worse. Just don't put it under the very particular cirumstances described and it'll be fine.
Geez you people. Anybody here ever use a propane grill? Seriously? Some things CAN explode, but ARE worth the risk.
She's young-ISH but not a kid, or we'd be criminally negligent sending her on deliveries to begin with. She's a changeling in constant danger of being unmasked, she needs a good effective defense even against an armored opponent, which this sword would be.
Once Azzy's had the chance to show us how to use these things we'll be fine with them.
It's quite likely though, if Valiant Heart truely does dispose of the stuff whenever it's found, that we're barking up the wrong tree. However if I had to bet... He might well have a secret stash he's not letting on about, or perhaps hasn't discovered all of it in the guild's supplies. It's obvious he hasn't cataloged all of it.
It might be worth asking how much ebonite was involved too.
Definitely not play with, but I'm sure Wispy is going to get supervision if she's getting some as a weapon. Its safe enough to be used as a weapon by unicorns after all.
ENCHANTED STRAP-ON. Sundance's ebonite longsword shall now be a ebonite strap-on. See how Heart likes the idea of that!
Against armored opponents? I think not!
I know what it is, it's the time of day. The europeans are up. Even a spoon's too dangerous these days, am I right? Get a life bin that knife?
She's a changeling in constant danger anywhere she goes. She needs a serious weapon, something that can even the odds versus a dangerous opponent. Something we can provide. Not doing so is viciously irresponsible.
>You hesitate for a moment to give an answer. Mentioning the sword you picked up earlier today might not have the best result if this '175-A' thing is as unsettling as it sounds. You wouldn't want your newly acquired sword confiscated.
>But that means coming up with a valid excuse. Your brain frantically scrambles for a response, and you wind up blurting out the first thing that pops to mind.
>"I beg your pardon."
>"It sounded like you said--"
"Just shopping around and, oh hey! Look at the time, I gotta run!"
>You hastily gallop for the exit, figuring the best way to deal with questions that you don't want to answer is to just not be in the same room.
>Once out in the street, you finally breath a sigh of relief.
>Well that outing turned out to be a bust, but at least now you know that you're fancy new sword is also potentially 'catastrophically explosive.' As if swords aren't dangerous enough already.
>"It sounded like you said--"
It sounded like you said you were happy to have more dicks but you don't see me asking questions do you?
We should go see if Prism is available. Silver will need time to forge the weapons and if anyone would know exactly how much magic could blow up ebonite, he'd know.
Head back to the inn, we have a business to run, and the guild trip was a bust.
We already had those answered. We know Ebonite can withstand well over one direct, full-power kill-blast from a powerful mage (Recording in ancient chamber, Sombra's armor) and not explode. We now also know that if it gets alot more than that, it will. That's all we really need to know.
Silver's an absolute expert on all things Ebonite. She knows and considered it so low-risk as not even to mention it.
>It was a longshot anyways, you remind yourself, so you don't feel too discouraged to come out of it empty-hoofed. It's time to head back to the inn anyways and see how they survived the day so far without you.
>It's always a relief to come back to inn to find it still standing in one piece. You can never be too sure when you've got a former fire demon running the kitchen after all.
"Oh honey, I'm hoooooome!" you call upon entering.
>"Papa Pot!" Wispy's squeals in delight as she charges over and jumps into your awaiting hooves. "Didya have fun? Did you get to see any diamond dogs?"
"Only a few, and they ran away the moment they saw us."
>"Probably out of pity," Ember quips from the kitchen door. "Can I have a word with you in the kitchen?"
>Curious as to Ember's request, you set Wispy down and head into the kitchen.
"Is something the matter?" you ask soon after stepping into the kitchen.
>"Listen, this is going to be hard for me to say, cause I don't use these words very often but I... um, I need..." she pauses for a moment, frowning and grumbling for a second. "I neeeurgggeee...I neeeedggggaa... I need..." You can see her frustration growing as she tries to get the right words out. "I need some huurrr... heeuiiii... haaaall..."
>"Yeah that's the word."
"Help with what?"
>"This!" Ember shouts, gesturing the kitchen around her. "I'm glad you're having fun and all that, but you can't keep running off and leaving me to deal with this shit show by myself!"
"OK I'll look into getting more kitchen staff for when I'm away. I'm sorry I was away today, there were just too many things that will help us in the long run, that I needed to attend to. I'll get some part-time help as soon as I can. Did anything go unusually wrong while I was out?"
"Okay, I'll look into getting more kitchen staff to handle the lunch time crowds for when I'm away," you reassure your cantankerous employee. "I'm sorry about today - I would've gotten home sooner but things kind of got out of hoof in the mines today."
>"Too much time spent playing 'hide the pickaxe' with your friends?"
"Cute," you sigh. "Listen, what particular sort of help do you need during lunch?"
>"A waiter mostly - somepony to deal with the customers face to face so I don't have to."
"Couldn't be all that bad; I haven't come back to a swarm of guards or pitchfork-wielding townsfolk."
>"Just hire some extra help before I burn this place down and everyone in it."
"Okay, okay. No need to be so dramatic about it," you reply, giving demon-pony a poke on the nose to help ease the tension.
>She didn't take too kindly to it, and snap her teeth at your hoof.
Any business to tend to and/or daughters to spend time with, or just carry on until the dinner crowds arrive?
Yeah this "Ember I'm glad that you are actually so skill under pressure even under tough situations you don't want to be inn. More work on your cooking and management skills and you will be a true force to be reckoned with in the kitchen"
"For what it's worth, I'm glad to see you're managing to tolerate us puny mortals and keeping your homicidal urges in check."
>"Yeah yeah... just be aware when I do get all my powers back, I'll consider not incinerating you first," Ember replies, flashing a quick playful smirk at you before trudging back to the kitchen to tidy things up.
"And they call me generous."
>You check back up stairs to see if Sundance is in. As luck would have it, she's in her room, still resting, with an open book and the two round gemstones sitting on the nearby table.
"How's the war wound treating you?"
>"Still stiff. It'll probably leave another scar."
"Dudes dig scars."
>You figure there's no reason to beat around the bush, so you just stick to a straight-forward approach.
"I've never seen you carrying around a sword - do you, like, not adventure with a weapon or something?"
>"I prefer my hooves," Sundance answers, turning a page in the book she's reading. "I've got some enchanted gauntlets I use when I need the extra kick, otherwise it's just bare hooves. It's more... intimate."
If she doesn't really want it then she's only accepting because of the thing's rarity.
It's like giving a guy who's really into trucks a Ferrari. He'll accept it so he can sell it to buy trucks.
I'm just saying we might get more use out of this Ferrari.
Why is Sundance so fucking edgy? Like seriously?
>I do not use weapons, I only strangle ponies to death with my bare hooves because it's more intimate
What the fuck do you people see in her? She's a cringefest
"So...if I hypothetically got into my possession a sword made of ebonite, you wouldn't have any interest in it?"
>The mentioning of ebonite catches the pegasus' attention. Seems like everyone else has heard about this stuff except you, though given her interest in Crystal Empire history, it's not unexpected.
>"Ebonite?" she repeats, sounding a bit skeptical. "Like actual 'from the Empire' ebonite? How'd you manage that?"
"We found some old ruins in the mines today - the sword was among the spoils of our discovery. I've got Silver Ingot working on reforging it into something more refined. Would you be interested in it?"
>"Maybe. I'm not sure," Sundance replies. "Been a while since I've used a sword. You're not thinking of giving it to me, are you?"
"Would that be a problem?"
>"Priceless ancient sword? And you'd just give it away? Pot Luck, a sword like is deserving of more respect than giving it away like you would a musical instrument."
"So you wouldn't use it?"
>Sundance frowns and then sighs. Even through the mask, you can tell she's rolling her eyes at you.
>"If you really want me to use it, I will BORROW it from time to time. But it's your sword, and it's your responsibility to make it's legacy."
>You trot on in and take a seat near the pegasus, cautious as to her response, but she doesn't seem bothered by your presence.
"Prefer your hooves, huh?"
>"Every warrior has their preference for their own reasons. I like my hooves because it helps me feel more connected to the fight. Makes them... personal, if that makes any sense."
I dunno. Maybe it's just that I don't have a warrior's stomach, but wouldn't you want the fight to be impersonal? So you don't feel as bad after knocking somepony's brain out of their skull?
Or, even better, so that you have a better chance of not getting your own guts spilled.
Of course, I'll defer to your judgement, seeing as you have more experience in this area that I'd ever care to have.
OK good, so she'll use it in a pinch. I'm thirding the requests to see if she'll train us and Wispy.
I also think we should change the small weapon to a dagger so Wispy has a good carry piece, if we run to Silver's after hours tonight I'm sure she hasn't started actually forging the new pieces quite yet. Probably still planning. Since Sundance doesn't want the sword, it falls to us. The spear is an unwieldy thing for Wispy so it should be a dagger instead.
I agree more here. Plus what Sundance said.
>"Priceless ancient sword? And you'd just give it away? Pot Luck, a sword like is deserving of more respect than giving it away like you would a musical instrument."
Who happens to be the same guy that said "No we do NOT give Awesome Magic Sword away for free to the assholey "cute" blacksmith!", too! We wouldn't even HAVE the thing if I hadn't said something then. All this sudden "Don't trust Wispy with pointy objects, she's too cute and tender!" shit is making me dyspeptic, she's the most endangered of us all.
A weapon like a sword can be used very defensively.
And usually the best way to stop someone from doing you arm is to do them harm.
Facts of life.
I vote for sword lessons for both Pot and Wispy. And I think Pot should get some kind of weapon.
Okay, so we're asking for lessons.
Anyone want to tell Silver to forge it into something else, so we can use it with our shield? Sundance isn't going to be using it permanently anyway, so I think a longsword isn't the best thing for . Maybe back to the shortsword/rapier/dagger combo?
Speaking as the guy who tried to get everyone to vote for that, I think that ship's sailed, what with all the polling results. Though the new data does present, well, new data. But folks have gone militant now. I still beg of them to at least make the spear a dagger, though.
Regardless if folks want to re-vote, I'd go for it.
"It makes... some sense, I think. I guess I just don't understand why you wouldn't want it to remain impersonal."
>"Well you are just an innkeeper - chances are you might never understand. I hope you never do. Every warrior approaches fighting in their own way. Take Azura for instance; she fights because it's a means to an end. She obsesses over power, so she fights to get more, and fighting is the best way to demonstrate what power she has."
"You sound a bit disapporving of that."
>"It's ambitious, but it can be self-destructive, too. She plays her cards right, though, she can probably get stronger than the rest of us."
"Do you think you might be able to teach Wispy or I how to use a sword properly? I'd rather not have to hide behind a shield all the time. Not that it hasn't worked decently for me so far."
>Sundance pauses and glances to you, giving you a scrutinizing and pensive look.
>"If it's just for protection, sure. I can do that. You don't mind a bit of bruising, do you?"
"I think I can manage," you chuckle nervously. "Just be gentle on our first time."
>How bad could training get?
>You then turn your attention to the two gemstones on the nearby counter.
"Did you get Prism to look at those?"
>"I did. He's fairly confident these are dormant elements, but he can't be sure until they're reacting to somepony."
"Guess we'll need to start poking ponies with rocks."
>"According to Prism, they're more likely to react when said pony is demonstrating the necessary trait. It might be prudent for you keep them with you then, since you seem to interact with ponies more than me."
How big are these gems? If we can keep them in a saddlebag without taking up a bunch of space sure. Otherwise we might want to put them on a shelf in the kitchen or something. Easily view-able if something is happening.
As I recall that conversation looked like two guys arguing with two guys. Innkeeper might have been keeping score of who was who via IPs. The odd bit, I thought, was how one set of two guys managed to get 7 votes.
Perhaps it was the 'silent majority' in action.
There were two guys arguing against two guys, and a bunch of vote replies that didn't seem to participate in the argument. So they were silent in that they didn't participate in the argument, but they did give their replies.
I wouldn't mind a re-vote. Some people weren't here yesterday, and hopefully some of the reasonable discussion from CYOAG has leaked over. I think this time can be different.
Prism would be a good place to start for magic, though they should have reacted to him already. Unless physical contact us needed.
We could also poke Sugar while she's cracking a joke, or Diamond when he's with his brother.
Or we can take the whole bag and start rubbing it against ponies when they do things
"Sure, I can do that. I guess I could put them in a clear bottle and wear that with my pendant so I can see them flash, if they react to somepony. I'll figure out something. I appreciate you letting me hold onto these."
The old captchas just went full retard and I couldn't post for a while and lost what I'd typed.
I was saying that I'd recommend a mace for Pot as it compliments his race and lack of skill needed for a sword.
It's shorter than a sword which is both good for storage under the bar and bad as it makes it harder to use for blocking.
I imagine that, when holding a sword that cleaves right through shields, other swords and armor, that one needs only minimal training to become effective with it.
The other dude would be all "thrust! parry! twirl!" and you'd just be "slash!"- Job done.
Sliding it across a steel anvil left a 1" cleft through it. I imagine it IS that powerful, and that's why it IS gov't controlled. We need to always be wary who we show these things to, using it only as necessary.
In fact it occurred to me to ask Silver to, well, silver plate the things, so they'd look like conventional weapons- Except that that would, by dint of concealing the true nature of these weapons, paradoxically make them far more dangerous then they would be as obvious pieces of ebonite.
Now that I think about that, that's really weird.
Anvils are surface hardened on the very top, but under that thin hard layer is very soft steel.
If it went through the top the sword should have gone through the rest.
"I guess I could like... carry them around or something," you ponder to yourself, rubbing your chin in thought.
>They aren't very large or heavy, but they're also not something you can just tuck into a back pocket. This would be a lot easier if you knew which element was which, as that would at least narrow the field down a bit. As it stands, you gotta figure out who might be laughter, honesty, loyalty, kindness, and magic but only having two of the five remaining elements.
>You hope that there is some fate or destiny mumbo-jumbo to this because then you could comfort yourself with the knowledge that the answers will become obvious when the time is right.
"Maybe I'll keep them in a jar near the bar, so I can keep them close by without attracting too much attention."
>"Just try not to lose them," Sundance quips. "Before he got dragged away by that baker, Prism said he was going to look into getting access to his old resources back in Canterlot - he said the libraries there could have more information."
"Do you think a sword is a good choice for me?"
>"For personal defense? It'll suffice - an axe or a mace might've been better since they don't need as much training. But we've got time to teach you how to use a sword properly. Ideally, I'd get you one of those new-fangled guns from the Gryphon Empire. Very easy to use and it'll make any trouble-make think twice about what they're doing."
"No, no, since a good sword has more or less fallen into my hooves, I'll stick with it. They seem to be the standard equipment for most adventurer types anyhow, to whom I cater. I might look into that later, though."
If we're thinking realistically, and assuming the guns aren't rifles or magic, then the gun itself should be pretty cheap. Cheaper than a sword or armor.
Powder will be where the gun gets expensive.
I think we're starting to obsess on our weapons options. And this coming from one of the more strident anons on the topic. We've got one great sword and one... Fucking stupid spear... Coming. Those should hold us for a week at least.
Let's have Sundance train us, as it's just plain a good idea.
Then we can worry about buying new guns and whatever if we find ourselves still lacking in firepower.
>You recall seeing a gun in the hooves of Sunlight Meadows, and how easily it took down a spider. Granted, she likely has access to the fancier technologies, but it was impressive nonetheless.
"So, where could one hypothetically acquire one of these guns?"
>"Legally - pretty much impossible outside the Gryphon Empire. It's the Empire's one ace card it has to match against Equestria's magic so they're keen to keep it's secrets to themselves."
"And the not so legal ways?"
>"Manehattan black market, maybe," she answers with an uncertain shrug of her good shoulder. "But you'd have to be prepared to pay out the nose for a shoddy imitation. Honestly, it'd probably be cheaper and easier to find a way to just build one here in Ponyville."
>In other words, not a realistic option, at least right now. No wonder it was under the 'ideally' category.
"Well, that was a lovely chat. I think I'll see about finding these things a new home," you announce as you get up and grab the two dormant elements. "Maybe I can give them to Yorick and put them all over the bar."
"It's a skull I found in the oven."
"Ew? From you?"
>"Hey, I might cut somepony's head off in a fight but I don't keep it as a souvenir."
>You roll your eyes and head back downstairs.
Any further business to attend to?
I guess we need to inform Wispy that Sundance is going to give us some weapons training periodically over the next few days, and then we should assist in the running of the kitchen/dining area.
"Hey Ember, have you seen Airy around?"
>"She went out with Azura to go suck dick... or fight something. I forget which. You can never really tell with her."
"Out adventuring - got'cha."
>You figure you can give the news when those two get back.
>You find Wispy out in the backyard, swinging her training sword around in a pretend fight against imaginary monsters. You sit back and watch for a little while Wispy prances about the backyard, swinging and parrying and taunting the monsters that are apparently swarming her.
>"Take this... and this! Ha-ha! Too fast for you!"
>When she notices you off to the side, she gallops over to you, aiming her sword at you.
>"What ho! Does a new challenger approach the invincible Wispy Winds?"
"Oh no, I know I'm no match for your fearsome prowess," you chuckle as you throw up your hooves. "Say Wispy, what do you say to the idea of getting a little sword training from Sundance?"
>Wispy's jaw hits the floor, along with her sword, as she stares at you in amazement and disbelief. You give her little filly mind a few seconds to process the news
>"OHMYGOSHOHMYGOSHOHMYGOSHOHMYGOSHOHMYGOSHOHMYGOSH!" Wispy starts rambling as she runs in frantic, excited circles. "I'm gonna learn how to sword stuff from Sundance! I'm going to get to be the best swordfighter in all of Equestria!"
>She promptly latches onto your leg, squeezing with her love-powered vice-like grip.
Well, I'd rather her not go spreading phrases around that could be taken as Sundance making claims about herself that she can't back up. Imagine if that rumor spread and some uppity expert swordsman came along to challenge her and wouldn't take no for an answer.
Sorry for delays. Work and such.
>You give Wispy a big ol' hug. You've been spoiling this filly rotten since she's arrived, but you figure she deserves some happiness in her life. Besides, it's not like sword training or working at the inn is a walk in the park.
>You reckon a few days of training will probably change her tune a bit, but for now you don't want to dampen the filly's enthusiasm.
>You spend the next few hours playing with Wispy in the backyard, mostly taking the role of damsel in distress while swordmaster Wispy mounts daring rescues against impossible odds.
>As the evening hour draws in, you and Wispy return to the kitchen to begin the preparations for the next wave of customers. With Ember growing more and more comfortable in the kitchen, or at least handling the standard entrees, you figure you can devote more time up front at the bar - maintaining a more visible presence for your patrons.
>Plus it gives more time to chat up the pretty mares and stallions that come in.
>One by one, you see many of your friends and familiar faces make their way in. White Wine and Honey Belle seem to be having another girl's night out for themselves, though you catch Wine smiling and winking to you on occasion.
>Azura and Airy return as well, though judging by their singed manes and feathers and dour demeanour, things didn't go so swimmingly on their outings.
>And eventually your fellow miners arrive with Diamond insisting that you bring out the strongest bottle of rotgut you've got in stock to celebrate.
Bring out the rotgut right quick but make sure we check on our two returning singed mares before getting caught into anything. Getting the miners drinking quick will result in a nice boon to our funds for the night.
Crack out the rotgut for the miners, give Diamond a high-five and a butt-slap, then head over to the ladies. "Ah, I see you two are seated in the Smoking Section tonight, how delightful. For dinner this eve, we have the smoked salmon, blackened asparagus, flame-broiled hayburgers, and of course, alfalfa sprout flambe'. Our drink specials tonight are Fireball, Hot Damn and Blue Angels. What'll it be?"
"Diamond, so good to see you've made it!" you greet your friend in a jubilant fashion, giving him a little hip check in the flank. "I present to you a bottle of my finest, worst, and strongest rotgut in stock. Guaranteed to leave your hooves numb or your money back."
>You set the bottle of disturbingly dark liquor on the table, much to the delight of Diamond and Tex. Cutie Swirl, on the other hoof, looks at the bottle with obvious trepidation in his eyes, as though the bottle itself would come alive and attack him at any moment. You get the feeling that somepony is going to be carrying a semi-conscious pegasus home later tonight.
>You leave the miners to get started on their celebration while you stop over by Belle and Wine's table.
"Good evening ladies," you greet the pair with a charming grin. "I see you both are sitting in the 'smoking' section tonight. Our specials tonight include the smoked salmon, blackened asparagus, flame-broiled lentil-burgers, and the alfalfa sprout flambe."
>"Lot of heat in that menu," Belle replies. "Kitchen on fire?"
"No, just the chef. Might I get you fine ladies something to drink to start?"
"But of course."
>"You seem to be pretty cheerful today - get laid again?" Belle remarks.
>"Belle!" Wine scoffs, giving her companion a playful smack.
"Luck of a different variety, actually. Though your company is always welcomed, Miss Wine."
>It's hard not to notice the two adventurers sitting at the bar, not only because of their smoldering appearance but the lack of conversation from the two normally talkative individuals.
"Have a round on the house," you say as you drop a pair of mead-filled mugs in front of them. "You two look good, though. Have you done something with your manes?"
>Azura and Airy just glance to each other for a second, neither of whom were looking very amused.
>"Airy, could you smack him for me? My hoof is still sore."
"Hey, wait I was just--!"
>The slap itself wasn't so bad, even if it did interrupt you, but the gryphon's talons left some red scratch marks on your cheek.
"What's got you two in such a sour mood?" you grumble.
>"Things went wrong," Azura answers.
>"It was all her fault, too. She set off the alarm."
>"Only because I was trying to stop you from setting it off first. I was at least trying to stop it. Plus, you fell into that trap."
>"If it was easy to see, it wouldn't be called a trap!"
>"You could've jumped or, like, teleported!"
>"Just because I'm a unicorn doesn't mean I can teleport. That's a complicated spell."
>"Prism seems to never have trouble with it."
>"Well eeeexcuuuuuse me for not being Prism! Why don't you drag him out next time you want to go raid an old castle."
>You sigh quietly to yourself as you watch the two break down into bickering and arguing. It might be a good idea to just let them continue at it so long as it stays only verbal.
>Right ladies, I'll just leave you two to it.
No reason to break things up if they're just arguing. Besides, it might be good for them to work out their issues first.
Or we could say
>Get a room you two.
Because this is all just some unresolved sexual tension, isn't it?
"Normally this would be the point where I'd shout 'get a room,' but I worry that this might just be that room," you remark, snapping the two bickering adventurers' attention back to you.
>Azura then conjures up some magic and a small snowball appears above your head, then released for gravity to finish the job.
"Okay, time for plan B. We shall resolve this dispute with the sacred and ancient tradition of the innkeepers: drinking contest."
>You slide the mugs forward.
>"Must all your suggestions be so childish?" Azura replies.
>"Aw, afraid you'll lose?" Airy teases.
>"Like I would ever lose at anything to a tramp like you." The unicorn scoffs in a hauty fashion before taking her mug to start chugging it back.
>"Oh, now it's on! I drank wine like it was water back home!"
>You smile inwardly as the two descend into their mead-fueled contest. You leave a pouring vassal of mead for them to use as you trust them enough to leave it unattended.
>Besides, you don't want to miss on the celebrations with Diamond and the others. You quickly drop into a seat alongside the well-dressed August.
"Hey there pretty lady, did I miss out on all the fun yet?"
>"Goodness, no. Diamond is trying to get Cutie to take a shot with him."
"Hey August I talked to Neil before and his been working at the guild and clearing out infested places, his even been saving his bits for the future. I'm happy that things are working out"
"Come on, Cutie. You've had a drink before, you can manage another."
>"But it smells like something died and then got bottled up," Cutie replies, sniffing at the drink again and wrinkling his nose in protest. "And then they took that stuff, made someone drink it and then they died from it, and then bottled that up."
"Don't be so melodramatic," you scoff as you take the bottle and help yourself to a whiff.
>It smells like the decaying ruins of the city of the dead rose up, reached into your nostrils, and unleashed their unholy fury upon your olfactory nerves.
"Oh sweet golden throne of Canterlot! How do people actually drink this?" you yelp while recoiling away.
>"Clearly with a lot more balls than you two," Diamond taunts. He grabs the bottle from you and takes a mouthful directly from it. It doesn't look like it even phases him as he sets the bottle down and lets out a boisterous and triumphant laugh.
>"Oh! Before I forget," August speaks up as she reaches into her belongins and sets something down on the table. It looks like a horn, except adorned with some brass fittings and caps on both ends. "I just wanted to give you this as thanks for everything you've done to help out the ranch."
"Well I'm touched, thank you," you reply, picking it up. "Not to sound rude or ignorant though, but what is it exactly?"
>August just giggles back.
>"It's a drinking vessal, silly," she answers. "A magic one, in fact. The pony who sold it claimed it as 'bottomless' but it's not, actually. Still, it holds a lot more than it looks like it should."
The drinking vessel sounds pretty cool, let's see how much it takes to fill it up? Of something decent this time, I vote we bust out something non-lethal for Cutie and ourselves.
"Okay Cutie - you and I do one shot of this stuff together, then you don't have to touch any more of it. We gotta celebrate as a team."
>"Well, o-okay, if we're doing it together," Cutie nods reluctantly.
>You figure this is the safest way to get this over and done with, otherwise you'll never hear the end of it from Diamond. You carefully pour out as little as you think you can get away with without looking like you're skimping.
>Cutie sighs and raises his glass too. "Cheer... I hope."
>Like ripping off a band-aid, you figure it's best to just get it over with quickly. You plug your nose and throw the rotgut down the hatch.
>What follows could be best described as two ponies have a cough-induced seizure as the two of you flail about the floor, red-faced and gasping for air, whilst everyone else at the table just watches while trying their hardest not to laugh.
>They laugh pretty damn hard.
"Gah...I shink sumshing jesh shat in mah mouf and died," you groan weakly.
>"Drama queen," Diamond chuckles under his breath.
>You're gradually helped back into your seat, though you have to keep one hoof on the table to keep yourself steady.
>It's time to enjoy yourself and the celebration. With Diamond, Cutie, Tex, and August all around the table, who shall you strike up the conversation with?
Try to shake off the ill effects of the semi-poisonous drink, then ask Diamond if he found anything else cool in the mines after we left.
"SO Diamond, how'd the rest of the mining go?" you ask your friend, taking care to minimize the number of sylables used as the taste of death still coated your tongue.
>"Well after all the excitement of the morning, I decided to make the rest of the day more relaxing. I headed to the quieter mines and spent the rest of it digging up mostly coal. Without and Cutie's lucky butts, I figured why bother?"
>"My butts not that lucky, I got stuck in a hole," Cutie replies.
"True, but if your butt hadn't stopped you when it did, who knows how far you might've fallen in. If anything, your butt saved your life."
>"Can we please stop talking about my butt?"
"Nonsense. You should flaunt that booty of yours more. Maybe make it into a sign to hang over your bakery - Cutie's Hot and Delicious Buns."
>"Poooot!" Cutie whines, hiding his ever-reddening face behind his hooves.
>After a bit more chatter and a few rounds of playful teasing, you excuse yourself to go do another walkabout of the inn. You check in on Azura and Airy, but they appear to still be in the midst of their drinking competition without no end in immediate sight.
>You're even surprised a bit when you see Sundance taking a seat at the bar.
"Well look who finally decided to join us," you remark with a wink.
>"What can I say, an intolerable idiot keeps telling me to stop hiding away all the time," Sundance replies with a half-shrug, then smirks a bit. "I promise I won't slam anypony's heads into any tables if that makes a difference."
>Before you can say anything, though, Prism suddenly bursts in and slams a familiar crystal on the counter.
>"It's ALIVE!" he exclaims.
"Well I'm certainly glad to see you back up and around, Sundance.
Hiya, Prism! So I see you finished analyzing this thing? Alive, eh? Can we communicate with it? Is it, like, Sombra's daughter's soul trapped in crystal? Or some other kind of life?"
"What's alive? That metal golem thingie?"
>"Did you build yourself a marefriend?" Sundance remarks. "I thought you learned your lesson after the last time."
>"First off, that wasn't a marefriend. It was a companion who HAPPENED to have female personality characteristics," Prism snaps back. "Secondly, how was I supposed to she'd go homicidal? It was all just 'sunshines and rainbows' and then in a snap it was 'I'm going to bake your organs into a muffin.' Nopony could've predicted that happening."
>"Other than everyone who told you that it was be a bad idea."
>"For completely different reasons!"
"So back to the matter at hoof," you interject, "but what is this about 'it's alive'? Did you find something."
>"Oh right, the whole big news thing," Prism says as he shoves the crystal to the center of the countertop. "This is alive!"
>You and Sundance stare at it for a few seconds then back at Prism.
"It's just a crystal," you remark.
>"Yeah. It looks pretty inactive."
>"True, it doesn't look like much," Prism nods in agreement. "But I have studied this crystal, and it's displaying all the energy patterns of a living creature. I mean, I knew the Crystal Empire could do some pretty snazzy things with their crystals, but giving birth to new life? This is incredible!"
>Just then, Diamond stumbles over, having apparently overheard part of the conversation. "Birth to new life, eh? Well congratulations, daddy! Have a drink!"
>He shoves the rotgut bottle into Prism’s grasp.
>”Capital idea!” Prism replies, raising the bottle up.
>You try to stop him, but it’s too late. The bottle goes up and the hootch goes down. As he finishes his mouthful, Prism’s expression goes blank, and then he promptly collapses to the ground.
>”Good job, Diamond, you just killed Prism,” Sundance remarks. She gives the unicorn a couple nudges with her hoof, eliciting a weak groan and murmurs about the ‘taste of death.’ “Yup, he's definitely dead. Dibs on his mansion.”
>You figure Prism will be functional again in a few minutes once the initial shock of his drink wears off. In the meantime, you pick up the strange 'living' crystal and take a closer look at it.
>Looks like every other crystal you saw down in the ruins, with the slight exception that it wasn't as badly damaged as some of the others. You could feel a warmth from it in your hooves, though you don't know if that's meaningful in any way.
"Maybe it's like... an egg, or something?" you ponder, still examining it from all angles.
>You tap on its surface a couple of times to see if that prompts any response.
"Maybe it just needs some encouragement. Who's da cutest widdle cwystal? Yes you are, oh yes you are!"
>"Maybe you should try nursing it," Sundance comments.
"Except I'm not a m--oh, I see what you did there."
>You wag a disapproving hoof at your friend.
>Just then, you see Prism's hooves grasp hold of the counter, and a few moments later a shakey unicorn pulls himself up and onto a barstool.
>"By the stars of my ancestors, I think something just defecated in my larnyx before expiring," he groans whilst still gasping for breath.
"Just breath through the pain, Prism. Anyways, how does this crystal life form thingamajig work anyways?"
>"I... don't quite know yet," Prism admits. "I mean, I am certain there's life IN THERE, but I'm not certain how to translate that to OUT HERE. And before you suggest it Sundance, we are not taking a hammer to it."
Maybe heat and friction?
Strap it to your dick and fuck White Wine raw?
"Hey my sweet gem, everyone here wants to you to come out and play so we can be your friend. We promise to love and take care of you and make your life filled with smiles and love and wispy could use a sibling"
>Finish with a powerful love hug between us and wispy with it in the middle
"So...what do we know about these Crystal Empire relics?"
>"Well in the simplest terms, these specialized crystals were able to function like giant magic sponges. They're able to absorb tremendous amounts of magical energy, and with the proper incantations and rituals, then can be designed to release those energies in certain fashions - such as emitting light, radiating heat, teleporting individuals between fixed locations, or bringing life to their mechanical constructs. I mean, what we know mostly comes from recovered texts and examining broken remains - we've never found a complex crystal intact enough to really examine. And--Pot are you paying attention?"
"Hehehe...it makes me feel all warm and tingly," you chuckle, hugging the crystal up against your chest. You may have gotten a little distracted by it. "Don't worry little crystal, we'll keep you warm and safe and find you a good forever home."
>"Please stop fondling the crystal," Sundance groans.
"You can't deny our love," you reply and then blow a quick raspberry.
>"Give it here," Prism sighs, using his magic to pry the crystal from your grasp. He sets it down on the counter next to him, keeping a hoof over for safety.
>"You think it might work if you put it a golem?" Sundance asks.
>"Potentially. The only rebuilt examples of those frames are all in Canterlot though."
"There was one down in the mines, remember?"
>"Wedged about three-inches deep in solid rock. That might take a while to get out. I'm going to see about extracting it, but it's a bit of a mess if you ask me."
"Guess this thingie remains a mystery for now," you sigh to yourself.
>"Still, I think it's good reason to celebrate. It's a discovery for the ages," Prism says. "Bring me a drink, barkeep - something better than the rotgut this time."
>You bring Prism some wine for a more low-key beverage, lest you be forced to deal with dragging yet another pony home in the middle of the night.
>You return to your duties as innkeeper, making sure that Ember is completing her orders in a timely fashion and keeping an eye on Wispy as she shuffles orders about the main hall.
>Though you lost track of the drinking contest, you can guess how things went when you notice Airy standing on one of the tables playing drunken tunes on her lute, whilst Azura lay face-down on the counter. No doubt somepony is going to be complaining about hang-overs in the morning.
>"Heeeeey Poooooot!" a slurring but amorous voice whispers into your ear before you feel the weight of White Wine draping her hoof across your shoulder. "How's my favourite innkeeper doing? Heard you and Cutie had some fun times in the mines."
>She giggles almost uncontrolably, putting more weight against you.
"It was... good," you reply, groaning under the shifting weight. "Wine, are you drunk?"
>"What? Nooooo! Nononononono," the red-faced mare insists. "Well, okay, maybe a bit. Hey Pot, I was thinkin', I should totally start, like, my own cheese business. Cause... cause everypony loves wine and cheese, right?"
"Do you even know anything about making wine?"
>"Oh how hard could it be? The cows do it all the time."
"I think you've had enough to drink."
>"Hey! You are not my dad. You can't tell me what to do!" Wine snaps back, poking you in the chest with her hoof. Or at least she tries to, as she winds up missing a poke and promptly falls to the floor. "Pooooot...lil' help please..."
>>"Do you even know anything about making wine?"
>>"Oh how hard could it be? The cows do it all the time."
What kind of wine are these cows selling?
I'd take her to bed but it's to early in the night. Help her up with a "I need to watch how slippery this floor is huh?" See if we can get her into a seat at a table since she undoubtedly doesn't want to go home.
Set her down and see if August is nearby. Maybe they can discuss Wine's cheese plans.
It would be cool to have the inn host a wine and cheese tasting, and as we're friends with both this could help all our businesses.
"Bit early in the night to be falling for me," you chuckle as you offer your hoof.
>"Ha ha... mister funny pony," Wine replies. Once she's back up, though, she throws her hooves around you once again, resting her weight upon you and nestling her muzzle into your shoulder. "Mmm... you smell nice Pot. Like... dinner."
"That would be the Eau Du Chef. Now come on, Wine, I think it's time to get you home before you kill yourself with a hangover."
>"You can always take me home," she giggles, running a hoof along your chest. "Especially since we're already here."
>Definitely way too drunk at this point. Still, you could just toss her into one of the guest bedrooms or even your own and let the mare sleep this off, or you could find a way to get her back to her own home.
What shall you do?
Sure, toss her in our bed. And get her some water, prevents the hangover.
If we play it right we could have some fun tonight, then go to bed and cuddle with Wine, and have even more fun when we wake up.
"Come on, Wine, let's go see Belle."
>Wine doesn't seem to protest your actions, but she doesn't do anything to help it along either, resulting in you practically dragging Wine across the main hall until you arrive at Belle's table.
>Despite her spotting your approach very early on, she didn't seem to bother getting up to help. In fact, Belle looks rather amused by the scene.
>"Well if it isn't the knight in shining armour," she chuckles. "Discovering the finer parts of being Wine's friend, are you?"
"I do believe the fair maiden needs a bed to sleep away the drink," you reply in a mocking knightly tone.
>Belle lets out a groan and rolls her eyes. "Can't you just toss her into yours? It's my night off... can't I enjoy it without having to babysit her?"
"I suppose Wine wouldn't want to ruin your evening any more than I would."
>With that, you begin the arduous process of dragging Wine back towards the kitchen. She drunkenly waves farewell to Belle in the process.
>After quite a bit of grunting and groaning, and trying your best to ignore the mare's groping hooves. By the end, you're forced to somewhat unceremoniously drop her into your bed. At least she finds it fun, as she laughs and giggles before rolling onto her side.
"Okay, Wine. You can sleep it off here. If you need anything, Ember's just outside in the kitchen."
>As you turn to head back, you feel a tug on your tail.
>"Poooot, come stay with meeeeeeee," Wine whines, tugging incessently on you. "I don't want to be all alone..."
>She pouts her lips and gives you pleading eyes.
Walk back over to her, pull her against you in a hug to your chest. Then tell her that you need to finish running your business or Diamond might destroy the lobby. Then give her a kiss on the head and tell her you'll be back in a little bit for all the cuddles.
>It's hard to turn down a pretty mare asking for your company.
"Just for a little while, okay? I still have work to do."
>You sit on the edge of the bed, whereupon Wine quickly shuffles closer to you, resting her head upon your lap. She smiles warmly and closes her eyes, seemingly content in the warmth of your embrace. You gently run your hoof through her mane, and she purrs in response.
>"Tell me a story, Pot," she murmurs quietly.
"What sort of story?"
>"Any. Just talk to me, please."
"Okay, um... " you pause for a second to mull over the possibilities. "All right, so this one time back in Manehattan, my brother and I were out in the park. We didn't have a lot growing up, but mum managed to save up enough and got me a kite for my birthday. I was out having fun with my new kite while Golden just watched over me. Unfortunately, there came a sudden gust of wind and my kite got blown into some of the nearby trees. My brother spent hours trying to climb the tree to get it out. He almost fell out of it a few times, too. Eventually, we managed to find a couple of young pegasus and asked if they could fly up and get it. Well, they did...but then they decided to keep the kite for themselves. Hard to catch a pegasus flying a kite when they're both twenty feet above the ground. I didn't want to lose my kite, and Golden didn't like getting swindled, so we came up with this plan. We ran home and got some old scraps and we made ourselves this huge, awesome-looking kite. It couldn't fly worth a damn but it looked brilliant. Golden climbed into a tree and wedged it into the branches to make it 'stuck,' and then we put on this whole show of crying and wailing about my 'new and more awesomer kite' getting stuck. Those kids took the bait and dropped my old kite to try and steal the new one. Golden then grabbed my kite and we ran like the dickens as those two idiots chased after us. It was pretty hilarious to see how angry they were."
>You chuckle quietly to yourself, lost in your nostalgia, before glancing down.
>White Wine is dead asleep, snoring a bit and drooling a bit all over your crotch.
"Lovely," you sigh quietly.
>You carefully ease Wine's head up and then slip out from under her. She manages to stay sound asleep, but when you try to take a step away...you feel a tug again.
>She's holding onto your tail again, resting her head against it like a pillow, but all while still sound asleep.
>With the slumbering mare clearly making a pillow of your tail, there's only one course of action - you must gnaw your own tail off!
>Or just find a way to make her let go. Worse case scenario, you wind up waking her up, but if you can manage to do so without that then all the better.
>You grab your pillow with one hoof and take a bunch of straw with your mouth.
>Then gingerly as ever, you bring your muzzle close to hers and you tickle her nose with the loose pieces of straw. She wrinkles her nose and makes a few murmurs, but she's still holding firm.
>You take a second stab at it, using a bit more force to really irritate her snout. This time, your gambit bears fruit as she lets go and bats at her nose with her hoof. In that brief instant, you pull your tail free and replace it with the pillow. Seemingly oblivious, White Wine wraps her hooves around the pillow and resumes her blissful slumber.
>You breath a quiet sigh of relief and head back to the main hall.
>Back in the main hall, Diamond seems to be getting the party up to full speed with Airy providing the music. The happy-go-lucky stallion is in the middle of the hall, spinning in circles with Cutie Swirl held at the end of his hooves.
>"Diiiiiiiiiiamoooooooooond! Please stop sppiiiiiiiiiinnnnninnnnnnnnnng!" the pegasus wails as he's twirled around and around and around.
>Now either Diamond let go or the pegasus lost his grip, but either way, all of sudden the two ponies part ways and Cutie Swirl is flung across the room and straight towards you!
Dive forward and heroically catch the airborne baker!
Provided you're successful, "Cutie, you keep forgetting that you've got wings." To Diamond, "I don't recall asking you to throw me the buns!"
>You don't have much time to react as the hapless pegasus comes hurtling towards you. Dive out of the way, or try to catch him?
>You opt for the selfless route and throw your hooves wide open and try to brace for the impact. All those preparations don't help much, though, as the force of the impact still winds up knocking you to the ground. At least Cutie's landing was softened by your face.
>When your senses come to, you find your face buried in something soft and warm with your vision obscurred by lots of hair.
>It takes your brain a few seconds to realize that Cutie struck butt-first and you're both now sprawled across the ground with his tail still draped over your eyes.
"Cutie, how many times is this going to happen before you realize you can fly?"
>"Ah-heh-heh...um, oppsies?" Cutie chuckles nervously. You suspect his face is bright red at the same time. He flutters his wings and tries to lift off, but seems to lose his lift and flounders back to the ground, atop of you no less. "Wait... wait, I can do this. I'm still cool to fly."
"How much have you been drinking, Cutie?"
>"Jess a lil'," he replies. Eventually he staggers back to his hooves and stumbles back to his chair where August is holding in a laughing fit.
"Diamond," you grumble as you get up as well. "Two ponies have been injured by your carelessness - I demand you get over and kiss these boo-boos better!"
>"Yeah, you'd like that, wouldn't ya?"
>The tavern erupts in a roar of laughter while you stumble back to your bar. Now you could use a rest, deciding to plop your keister on a nearby stool. At least with everypony partying, you're alone with your thoughts for a moment.
>"Where am I..." a voice suddenly chimes.
>You glance around for a second, seeing nobody sitting at the bar presently, except for the chunk of crystal, which is glowing a bit brighter than usual.
>"Is anyone out there?"
Grab the crystal close so that it's less obvious that you're having a conversation with it.
"Yes, many are here. You are in a tavern, and I'm the innkeeper. I rescued your crystal after seeing your frozen memory of Sombra's attack. Is there anything I can do for you?"
This doesn't seem to be an atmosphere conducive to furthering scientific knowledge. They'll end up using the crystal as a beer-pong ball. For now, just think of ourselves as it's only friend, and see what it needs, if anything.
>"Yeah, you'd like that, wouldn't ya?"
Yes. But since Diamond isn't right now, we just have to get him more drunk!
Is prism still sober enough? He'll want to be around to hear his baby's first words
>You stare blankly at the crystal for a few seconds. Now you aren't drunk and you're fairly confident that you didn't suffer any severe head trauma when Cutie's butt hit you in the face, but that only leaves the unsettling conclusion that the glowing mineral just started talking.
>You look around to see if anypony else heard the voice, but everyone else seems to be too busy in their own activities to pay heed. Even Prism, whom you're certain would love to hear this appears to be in the middle of an intense diatribe with an unconscious Azura.
>Maybe you're just hearing things. You reach out carefully and give the crystal a firm tap.
>"GAH! Who did that?"
>Okay, definitely seems to be coming from the crystal.
"Name's Pot Luck. Who are you?"
>"I... I don't know. I feel... I feel weird. Where am I?"
"You're in my tavern. It's called the Sword and Board."
>"I don't... I don't understand." The voice begins sounding a bit more panicked. "What's going on? Why is there nothing here? What's happening?!"
>You then begin hearing a subtle rattling noise, which you soon begin to feel in your hooves. And that's when you notice the bottles stacked behind you are all shaking.
Is panicking and breaking my alcohol going to solve your problem? Calm down, you're in a Crystal Empire crystal. You don't very well have eyes to see anything. Take a few deep non-breaths and test out the limits of your senses.
>Oh this is bad. Nopony else in the tavern seems to notice anything so it must be localized. Still, you can't very well have your bar shaking itself apart.
"Oh sh--please stop. It's okay. It's all perfectly fine. Just... just calm down a bit, okay? Just take a nice, deep breath and--"
>"Breath? Oh jeweled-spackled ancestor, I can't breath! I CAN'T BREATH! Oh god I can't--!"
>You tremors intensify and a quick peak over your shoulder reveals several liquor bottles rattling their way closer to the edge. You dive just as one of the bottles tips over, narrowly catching it your mouth. But then a second one falls, and then a third, and you're soon frantically juggling bottles between your hooves and mouths as you try to protect your stock.
>You realize you've got to stop this before you run out of room to hold things.
"It's okay! It's okay! Please stop panicking!" you yelp, doing the first thing that comes to mind and grabbing the crystal with your free hoof.
>You nestle between your hoof and body while still balancing several bottles in the other.
"You're safe! You're fine! Nothing's gonna hurt you! I... um, please stop. Uhhhh, rock-a-by-crystal, in the cloud tops; when the wind blows, the cradle will rock; when the cloud breaks, the cradle will fall; and down will come crystal, cradle and all!"
>By some miracle, the tremors subside until eventually all seems to be calm.
>"Pot, what are you doing?" asks Belle, standing on the opposite side of the bar and giving you a puzzled look.
>You decide to act as calm and collected as possible, keeping a straight-face as you carefully start putting bottles back onto the counter.
"What? Can't a stallion practise doing lullabies?"
>"Usually ponies practise that with a bag of grain," Belle replies, still giving you a skeptical look. "And isn't Wispy a little old for lullabies?"
"Nonsense. Everypony knows that little fillies never grow up. They stay young and innocent and adorable forever."
>Belle slowly begins to back away.
>"I'm going to go do... other stuff now..."
>Belle returns to her table and you're finally able to breath a sigh of relief. Of course, now you're also a bit excited about the news so you rush over to find Prism.
"Hey! Hey Prism! Guess what!" you call out, nudging the unicorn's shoulder and ushering him away from his current conversation (which was still with the drunkenly unconscious Azura)
>"Something wrong Pot?"
"The crystal starting talking to me!"
"Yeah! It was all, like, confused and stuff and then it started having a panic attack so I had to calm it down."
>Prism looks at the crystal then back to you. "It doesn't... seem to be doing anything."
"It's probably just a bit scared to say anything. Come on little crystal, say hi to Pot's friend - Prism."
>"Are you sure you didn't just overhear somepony else?" Prism asks. "Maybe partaken a bit too much in the celebration?"
"Come on, don't hang up on me now," you plea, shaking the crystal a little bit.
"Come on, Prism. We dealt with a talking cask of mead not even a week ago - a talking crystal is hardly the strangest thing to happen in this town."
>"Apologies, Pot, I didn't intend to imply what you said was impossible. Why I recall having a lovely debate with an enchanted pomegranate once. He was rather foul-mouthed, might I add."
>You both examine the crystal again; the light isn't as intense anymore and it feels cold in your hooves.
>You decide to give it a little shake again.
"Huh, maybe that lullaby worked better than I thought."
"It was panicking - it was the first thing that came to mind."
>"Must be asleep... I guess? A crystal wouldn't really need to sleep, at least not in the conventional sense."
>You ponder how you could wake it up. An idea does come to mind of a method your sister used to employ as a filly to wake up her siblings. You press your lips up against the crystal and blow a mighty raspberry against it.
>"AGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH!" the crystal shrieks.
>"GAHHHHHHHHHHH!" Prism yelps in response.
>"What in the nine stratas of heaven was that?!"
"See! I told you it can talk!"
>"Who are you calling an 'it?'"
"Um... you? Sorry I just... I'm not sure what to refer to you as."
>"That's... that's good question. What am I exactly?"
>"You're a crystal," Prism answers.
"Well it's not about what's on the outside, it's how you feel on the inside."
>"I feel... I'm not sure what I feel. You're the ones who can see. Am I a boy crystal or a girl crystal?"
>You're honestly not sure how to answer that, or if there even is a proper answer. But the crystal is definitely expecting one.
If it's the pony and regains it's memory, that could cause a bit of an identity crisis. The memory issue is rather disturbing because a live example of a crystal pony would have been of great scientific interest to Prism.
If it's truely lost it's memories, well, I suppose it can be necklace-waifu, or as you correctly point out, necklace-husbando. Or a bracelet perhaps. As Sombra's daughter, it's technically royalty, if from a defunct lineage.
>Girl crystal? Boy crystal? This is way beyond your level of experience. You look to Prism, giving him some pleading eyes as you could desperately use some help.
"What do you think?"
>"How should I know?" Prism says with a shrug. "It's not like it has a crystal penis carved anywhere on it."
>"I would certainly hope not," the crystal remarks.
"Well, you came out of a mare--"
>"So did you once upon a time."
"That's not what I meant," you groan. "Well, do you feel more like a girl or more like a boy?"
>"How do either of those feel?"
>"Well, do you have an overwhelming urge to nag and buy shoes?" Prism suggests.
>"No, but I do feel an urge to smack you upside the head now."
"Definitely a girl," you give Prism a quick nod. "Guess you need a proper name, too, then. You said you don't recall it, correct?"
>"Um, yes. And that will not do. I can't just go around being called 'you there in the rock.' Just... just come up with something. As long as it's tasteful."
Agreed! Also check'em.
If new life, then gender depends on either how it's voice sounds or, since it's curious and has a concept of the subject, what it 'feels' that it is. Or chooses to.
That said, if it's royalty, and it were to be set in a crown... Would that make it the Crown Prince of Equestria?
>This is more complicated than it looks. How do parents do this? To be fair, you've had all of ten minutes to prepare for this, so you're pulling answers from wherever your addled mind can grasp them.
"Let's see, you're a sort of crystal... and you're really, um, purplish. How about... Julia... Julia Amethyst?"
>"Julia?" the crystal repeats. "Oh, I get it. That's a pun. I like it. Henceforth, I shall be Julia Amethyst!"
"Can I call you Julie?"
>"...very well. I will allow that. But only you. I am still annoyed at the other one for the nagging and shopping remark."
"So Julie, do you... remember anything at all?"
>"I don't think so. I mean, I'm not sure. Everything feels rather... hazy. Like, a fog."
>It seems you've got yourself a talking crystal named Julia. You wish you could say this is the weirdest thing to happen to you this week. Your inn seems to be turning into a repository for odds and ends.
Start a conversation with Julie. Introduce her to our friends?
Not sure if we should keep her though. There isn't much she would do in our Inn other than talk to others. Could she jump between gems? We could set her up as an alarm system. Or our receptionist.
Would be better if Prism could build her a body though..
"Julia you might not know who you are but you are more then welcome to stay here, I promise to help you in anyway and look after you if its needed. Even if you are in a crystal I will be there for you so if you need something don't hesitate to ask"
We've already established that crystal empire golems were crystal operated, and that this crystal has the power to manipulate matter in a local area (The shaking)...
Is Prism a bad enough dude to build her a mecha-body?
PS: Imagine her as the needed kitchen help, able to flame-fry things with her fire-breath, able to take things out of the oven without mitts!
Ah yes... We should speak to him about that as well! The more features the better!
"Well Julie, you're welcome to stay at the inn with me for as long as it takes to get you back on your metaphorical hooves."
>"You're not just going to stick me on a shelf so I can balance the feng shui of the room, are you?"
"I was... I was thinking maybe on a counter near the bar. So you could talk to some ponies from time to time."
>"I guess I can't exactly do much to stop you if you did..."
"You could start shaking things again if I do something wrong."
"Yeah. You made the whole bar shake."
>"Oh. Um, terribly sorry about that. Didn't know I could do that. Wonder what else I can do from here."
"Let's leave that for another day, maybe," you suggest, not wanting something else to be shaken, or worse, by accident. "How about I show you around to some of my friends?"
>"I think I'd like that. Just be careful not to drop me."
Who do you want to introduce Julia to first?
"Come on, Julie, I'm going to introduce you to Wispy!"
>You figure to do this in a more private setting so you call for your daughter to join you in the kitchen.
>"What is it, papa?" Wispy asks after bounding into the kitchen.
"I want to introduce you to somepony we found in the mines," you explain as you hold out Julia. "This is Julia."
>"It's Wispy, correct? Could you describe her to me?" Julia asks.
"Oh, well, she's an little adorable pegasus with the most beautiful smile, and a cute mane that's all whisked back."
>"Poooot~ You're embarrassing me," Wispy giggles, blushing a little from all the compliments.
>"Well, she sounds adorable," Julia remarks.
"Julia's going to be staying at the inn for a little while."
>"Oooo~ Does this mean I get a sister?" Wispy asks, trotting up to the crystal and resting her hooves on it to get a better look at it.
>"Sisters, huh? That could be an entertaining joint venture," the crystal replies. "Though I refuse to yield to the role of 'little' sister in this arrangement."
>"That's okay, I always wanted a new big sister!"
>"Excellent! Let it be known that an accord has been struck! Our enemies shall rue the day they crossed us!"
>"I don't really have any enemies, though."
>"Neither do I," Julia chuckles. "But if you're as cute as you sound, I'm sure you'll make a few jealous rivals. Then the ruing can commence."
>You begin to wonder if you might live to regret bringing these two together. You're a bit outnumbered now.
Anypony else you want Julia to meet?
We should make her sound cute and lovely when describing ember. "She has a gentle warm glow about her with a lovely tanned skin tone. She might sound a bit harsh but shes truly a good girl and a great cook."
Why are so many intent on adopting Julie(as a daughter)? She came from that crystallised mare in the ruins right? For all we know she could be older than Pot. And technically, she really is.
As always, when a quest goes excessively Mr. Dad I become violently ill. In this case the crystal pony spirit needs what Wispy and Ember did, though. A purpose, a home and in this case a whole actual body. The "daughter" thing I can live entirely without, I'm hoping for friend/employee.
Plus if her body's awesome enough she'll double as a decorative statue when she's not busy.
Well it'd sure beat wearing her around as some sort of Siri iPhone thing.
We just need to revive Prism, have him get his ass down that hole, figure out what makes those golems tick, and pay him to make a cool one for Julia.
OK remember all the times in Alchemy CYOA when Our Hero spends half the quest buying textbooks and shopping for pencils for Swirl, instead of blowing shit up? That's "Excessively Mr. Dad". Be a real shame if she accidentally ate the Igneous Drano-us!
Wispy fits and plays the part of a mature character for the most part here, other than the occasional hug, so she's less barf-inducing. But if this becomes a huge daycare instead of a barbarous adventure-inn, I'd have to "check out" for good, as it were.
Yeah I get the same vibe. Aware of it or not, she's probably related to Sombra, and as such might have some tendancy toward being an alpha.
I'm pretty sure she's just being nice to Wispy, being her honorary sister. I just wanted to point up the potential dangers in focussing too much on the "childcare aspects" as they're not fun nor interesting to read about for many of us chan wizards.
Well it's a group story so the mob rules, but for my part I wouldn't be too offended at buying her some adventurer books at all... I just can't take it when child-care starts taking over, say, one third of our time. It's like when there's too much booping. It becomes annoying rather than fun.
"Okay, you'll need to let your little sister get back to work," you say as you gesture Wispy away.
>"Just for reference, just because I am now in the bonds of sisterhood with Wispy, I have no intention of referring to you with any sort of patriarchial title."
"I'm quite content if you just consider me a friend."
>"Considering you are only one of three individuals I know, friend would be an appropriate title. You also make a good 'steed' - now carry me to someone else to meet."
"How about Ember?"
>"Sounds promising. Describe this pony to me."
"Well, she's got a gentle warm glow to her and lovely dark tones to her body. Dare I even say, she's a bit smoking. Bit of a fire in her, but she's actually quite nice and not a bad cook."
>"If you keep complimenting me like that, I'm going to have to hit you with the meat tenderizer," Ember calls out from the other side of the kitchen.
>"Ooo, I like the sound of her," Julia remarks.
"Ember, I'd like you to meet Julia," you say as you hold the crystal out.
>"Hrm, talking gemstone. Haven't seen something like that in a while," Ember quips, eyeing the stone curiously.
>"You've seen something like me before?"
>"Not exactly. In Tartarus, we could trap a pony's soul in any sort of inanimate object. Heh... I remember once putting some poor shmuch's soul inside a plunger. That was hilarious for a while."
>"Tartarus? Isn't that the realm of demons?"
>"Among other things," Ember nods.
>"You have a demon working as your chef?"
"It's a long story, but yes."
>"And here I was worried I'd be the odd one out," Julia quips.
Anyways, it's late, the thread is well past 500, so we'll call it a night here. I'll probably just skip along to the next morning to start the next thread off since random introductions will probably get a bit tedious.
And so Pot Luck starts his adventure through tartas to find this magical talking plunger because he sure as shit wasn't going to clean that mess Diamond left after he drank the whole bottle of puke.