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#Operators in Equestria: The Dark Horse Arrives
GM Strangler
>If you would like to join, make a sensible loadout here at:
>And if you want to bring in something special or anything not on the list, ask to shop it in.

>When you're done, read over the Operator's Handbook:

>Or the Hoofbook if you wanna be a pony:

>Then drop a post here.

>Fortress Map:

>Overall Pastebin:

>Bulletin Board:

>Previous Thread:
>>279343 →
111 replies and 22 files omitted.
>The mixture between seeing how accomplished the guardsmare felt plus the memories of her beginnings in the school caused Booboo to lighten up her step and brighten up her smile.
>It wavered a little when she passed the usual student boundary.
>It got muted even further now that she was amidst this cold, dark hallway
>Who would want to live in such a scary place?

>The guardsmare's talk caused her to briefly break out of the spooks, blinking out of her stupor before giving her a sheepish smile and droopy ears.
>If she wasn't bothered by it, then it must be fine, right?
>She hoped this wasn't part of the test...

>Kissy's eyes widened at the sight of the dean right in front of the finely crafted, giant doors, her heart skipping a beat from anxiety by all the fanfare she was being subjected.
>And to think she hasn't really started yet...
>The unicorn mare gulped softly before giving out a swift exhale, putting on a determined look, puffing up her chest and giving University Dean a resounding nod.

>Keep your hooves steady and horn ready. Now's the time to put your skills for the betterment of ponykind!
>Hold yourself together!
>You can do it!
Canterlot University; Golden Horn And Aquarian Field
The GM L.O.N.T

>Dean Golden Horn smiled proudly at you, his ears rotating underneath his hat.
"Very good! You have come a long way Ms.Booboo since your first year here, I am sure you won't disappoint us."
>With that the Dean stepped aside as his horn lit up with his own magic, a thud came from the large doors then a resounding creaking noise filled the area. The noise went through your whole body and the spooky corridor. The Guardmare scrunched her snoot while her ears flattened against her skull.
>She shouted over the doors slowly opening.
>Golden Horn shouted back as he faced the doors.
>The doors finally came to a stop against the rough stone walls, the noise immediately dying down to manageable levels.
"No need to shout, Guardmare."
>Chastised the Dean, though you saw a wry grin behind his moustache. Aquarian simply scrunched harder at him before taking up position to guard the hallway you came from.
"Good luck Ms.Booboo."

"This way."
>You followed the Dean through the now open doors, beyond it was a circular chamber that must of been 50 square metres in circumference. Instead of the gloomy stonework of the hallway you trotted through previously it was comprised of polished black marble, both the floor and curved wall. The air was cool, not as cold as before yet it was not as warm back in the University proper. The lighting for the chamber came from hundreds of small glowstones that filled the dome ceiling, with a massive one in the very centre shaped as a stylized sun. You realize they were placed exactly like the stars over Canterlot during the night sky, you could even tell the constellations from them.
>And there, in the centre of the chamber floor was a Translocation Matrice, you sensed it was rippling with energy already. Waiting for you.
"Step onto the Matrice and you will be translocated to the exam, as soon as you step a hoof off of the Matrice your hour begins."
>The Dean got close to you and booped your snoot with the rim of his hat.
"If you dally too long on it however we will start the countdown anyway, so don't be smart with us. Now, up up!"
>Kissy shut her eyes and drooped her ears from the unbearable scraping of door against rough terrain.
>Her snout scrunched soon after and lowered her head down to withstand such grating soundscape in front of her.
>She hoped she didn't have to face such doors in the future.

>Breathing out a weary exhale, her still scrunched snout aimed back at the front along with a determined glare and a puffed up chest.
>As soon as the dean presented the portal, her heart sped up its beating from the imminent trial ahead.
>It'll be fine.
>It'll be fine!
>She's been here for this long. She must be ready for what's ahead!
>She soon crossed her eyes at the little indirect poke to her snout, causing her to exhale a little in relief and relax a little.
>In turn, the mare smiled appreciatively and booped her dean as a little thank you before walking onto the Translocation Matrice to begin her exam.
Canterlot University; Exam Time!
The GM L.O.N.T

>Dean Golden Horn snorted bemusedly before stepping back.
"And remember, we will be watching so you will not be in ANY deathly danger."
>He assured, stroking his moustache again.

>You have used Translocation Matrices before, they're all over Canterlot for Celestia sake! Apart from the environment this one was no different; a sense of vertigo, a flashing tunnel of colours, weightlessness and done!
>You didn't even have wobbly legs syndrome, as you lost that in your second year here at the University.

>Blinking you saw the chamber before you was an exact copy of the previous one. If it were not for the lacking presence of the Dean you would of thought you did not go anywhere at all.
>And like the other chamber there were a set of double doors, that were thankfully wide open already.
>Peering through them you saw a chamber, it was as illuminated as the one you were standing in, dimly.
>You could not see anything further beyond it from where you were.

A Curious Inquest Part 2

>>351921 →

>Quickly realizing that he was about to receive a flood of potentially useful information, and not trusting to his human (or daemonic) mind to retain it all, Indurian scrabbles about the room in search of his pack
>From its depths he pulls a lightly used, leather-bound book - his personal journal
"Uh, my lady, forgive me, I must take your words down somewhere. Blast it, the quills are always at the bottom..."
>Rooting around for another moment he returns with a battered-looking feather quill and a small vial of aging ink, and begins to transcribe her every word into his book
>As she finishes her explanations, the knight nods with an appreciative smile
"Verily, thou art a well of information! I must say, I've understood very little of the whole, but -"
>He jabs a finger into the spine of the book
"-I've taken it all down, in hopes that one with better understanding may take note!"
>He scratches his chin thoughtfully, glancing over his notes again, and without looking up from them asks:
"I had no idea that constructs had such human things as blood and sex. Do these strange beings... reproduce, then?"
>He reads furhter
"And, you said something about a, 'Ka.' Praytell, my lady, what is a Ka?"
>He adds:
"Also, if I may say so, what we found seemed... almost completely abandoned. I would not think that this URA is coming back - rather it seems to me most likely that my companions and I simply found ourselves in one of their ruins, and perhaps that monstrous construct has simply been lying in wait. Though, I may still alert this Tanisvine Enclave if thou think it prudent."
>He then gives the ghost mare a curious look
"As a final inquest, I would like to take down the message ye carry for Sir Thrill - someone ought to pass it along, after all."
>Kissy was admittedly a little fidgety as she stepped off the matrice.
>Recounting the facts, the mare knew that:
- She had an hour (60:00) to finish this 'exam'
- There was enough danger to potentially kill her if there wasn't any ponesonnel on standby to save her
- This was supposed to be a sort of practical test to make use of her casting skills as well as grueling physical activity (at least from what the professor said before coming here)
>Knowing this, danger was ahoof and she needed to balance both speed and caution in order to avoid falling into any pitfalls or run straight to dangerous creatures.

>With a muted, slightly shaky sigh, Booboo braved the incoming trial by first trying to sneakily walk forth towards the hallway in front of her with a wary step and a scrutinous gaze.
>Running head on blindly is a major cause for boobooes after all.
>Besides, she had time to analyze the situation.
[1d6 = 3]
[1d6 = 5]<Basic Stealth:Sneeki Beeki like
[1d6 = 4]
[1d6 = 6]
[1d6 = 2]
[1d6 = 5]<Master Perception: Spotting for traps and/or scary creatures lurking about
Canterlot University; Exam Time!
The GM L.O.N.T

>Taking your first step off the Matrice you immediately heard a bell chime from overheard, you could not see a bell but you certainly heard it echo in the Translocation Chamber and beyond.
>Passing the double doors, you saw they too were made from Diamondine and brass. Further still the hall that connected the chamber you just exited from to the one you were going to was the same as that spooky corridor you were escorted down by Aquarian Field.
>Even had the candles, which explained the dimness. Not as cold nor odd smiling shadows however, so that was a plus.

>You felt the welcome sensation of the Underdark sweeping over you, as if you were wadding into the waters of Lake Canterlot until you were fully submerged. Looking over your body you saw it was entirely invisible apart from a slight shimmer where your body outline was.

>Stopping at the threshold of the new chamber you observed several things of note.
>The first being, right in front of you in the very centre of the room was a pile of discarded armour. From where you were standing it did not appear rusty or abused, there was no corpse or bones between the bright white metal thankfully. It also appeared it belonged to a non-pony oddly enough.
>Secondly directly above it embedded in the ceiling was a large polished orb, you knew immediately it was a Scrying Orb, this was how you were being observed by the University it seems.
>Thirdly there were three doors in this room, and two of them were clearly locked. They both were barred shut with comically large locks ensuring they could not budge open. The only one that was unlocked but closed was the door directly facing you. And although the door was not locked there did appear to be something on its surface, squinting you could discern...Coloured shapes?
>Apart from these this room was slightly larger than the Translocation Chamber, the material was smoothed granite and large pony sized blocks that made up its walls and ceiling.

>It's easy to tell that she's being discouraged from brute forcing through anything if all these high quality construction materials are any indication.
>The bell, however, puzzled her slightly.
>Maybe the deans were expecting some students to go invisible?
>It is what she's doing right now, after all.

>Booboo felt a sense of dread at the empty armor just sitting there, wondering why a suspicious looking armor was idly left in the middle of a room.
>Maybe it was meant to be animated by magic from a possible trigger?
>She had to be careful around it unless she wanted to try her luck with it.
>For now, she needs to explore the three doors to see if they held any clues on what they held.
>The colored shapes's meaning on their lonesome did not sink in at first glance, so she prioritizes walking along the edges of the room to avoid the armor and inspect it more thoroughly.
[1d6 = 1]
[1d6 = 6]
[1d6 = 6]
[1d6 = 5]<Master Perception: Inspect door more closely

>If no red flags flared up in her mind as a consequence of opening the door, Booboo would do so to see what it contained.
>Hopefully it's not about dropping large shapes on top of her.
Canterlot University; Exam Time!
The GM L.O.N.T

>You carefully made your way along the wall of the room, one eye on the armour at all times. It did not move an inch, for now at least it was an inanimate object to you.
>Passing one of the locked doors you saw it was indeed a big lock, as big as your head even, and made from some type of Minotaur supplied steel. It was obvious brute force was not going to break the the locks, a key will be needed...

>By walking along the walls of the chamber it took you much longer than simply crossing through the centre, but that meant getting close to the suspicious armour and you were not a fan of that idea.
>Standing before the door you inspected the coloured shapes.
>There were three boxes; the first was a red box with a triangle, the second was a blue box with a pentagon and the last was empty. No colour or shape, there were however a plus(+) and equal(=) sign signifying it was an equation of some sort.
>Below them was a plaque asking: "What am I?" in Canterlotian.
>Well, time to put those years of academia into practice.

Razorback Fortress: The Workshop
GM Strangler
>Creating several images of a similar heavy set of armor clunking into or barely around obstacles, Krinza turns a bemused smile in your direction.
"I would not advise remaining in it for longer than six hours at a time until the crystalline pseudo-muscles have been fully and finely tuned. The best property of well fitting armor is how quickly one can remove and enter it after all."
>Stretching out an overlapping sheet of molten steel, Helping Hoof snorts in disagreemarent.
"So far as the five of us could bother with that original one it was little more than speculative garbage."
[1d6+5 = (4+5) = 9] <E.Crafting
[1d6+5 = (6+5) = 11]
[1d6+5 = (4+5) = 9]
[1d6+5 = (6+5) = 11] <E.Enchanting
[1d6+5 = (2+5) = 7]
[1d6+5 = (5+5) = 10]
[1d6+5 = (5+5) = 10] <E.Smith
[1d6+5 = (1+5) = 6]
[1d6+5 = (6+5) = 11]
[1d6+6 = (5+6) = 11] <E.Research
[1d6+6 = (5+6) = 11]
[1d6+6 = (4+6) = 10]
[1d6+8 = (3+8) = 11] <Eidetic Fundamentals
"To a small point, yes. Do remember such a design was created by humans with far different standards than we have. Economical, technological, material, and strategy wise the original is better. In the sole interests of protection, comfort, adaptability, viability, including improvement potential, our final design is distinctly superior."
>The straw-maned unicorn wasn't entirely convinced, though offered a grudging nod of acceptance.
>Krinza's eyes flick down at the notepad, reading across it several times while he speaks.
"Half an hour at worst. I have studied enough of Spiral's notes to understand some of his prototype designs for additions and complements to ranged weaponry. He had plans for a gravity-controlled, that is to say, a contained Force elemarental, recoil dampening system which was semi-modular in nature. He did not begin trials on the idea that I am aware of nor I do not have the knowledge to replicate his methods. Worse yet I do not believe such a property would function on that weapon with an extreme overhaul of the frame, one which I am loathe to attempt. With some refining I should be able to adapt the idea to smaller weapons."
>Stretching out a series of small L-shaped brackets, Helping Hoof gives the notepad a technical survey before adding his own scribbles to the surface diagram.
"Then I will focus on sequenced cushioning layers interspersed by flexible titanium alloy sheets to absorb shock. I am not confident in devising a single shock-absorbing hydraulic system without using a liquid medium."
>Setting the first page aside to work on another, the chunky yellow smith's expression partially sours.
"Considering the weight and recoil of that version, with Hollow's not inconsiderable modifications, adding an additional ten to twenty pounds might increase stability and allow for more flatter velocity."
"That assumes the exoskeleton's systems are capable of recorrecting a firing trajectory based on recoil or kickback similar to the concept of self-reloading crossbows."
"True. I will experimarent with the idea, although the consciousness inhabiting the weapon is bizarre. And intense. Ivan, I will let you know when we are finished."
[1d6+6 = (3+6) = 9] <M.Research
[1d6+6 = (4+6) = 10]
[1d6+6 = (5+6) = 11]
[1d6+6 = (2+6) = 8]
>Completed Projects:
[1d6+10 = (6+10) = 16] <Scaling
>Kissy figured that the final shape would essentially be a combination of both the triangle and pentagon if her hunch was right.
>After all, when one applies addition between two numbers, they are combined into a new number unless it was meant to be a variable or expression.
>Going by that route, she'd essentially be adding the triangle's sides inside the pentagon.
>The meaning of such result, however, didn't quite make sense on its own
>She must continue exploring before reaching any conclusions.

>With a wary glance back at the oddly unequine armor set, Booboo would try to find whatever door handle this entrance had and try to open it with it.
>Caution is all well and good, but she needed to make consistent progress if she wanted to make it in time.
Canterlot University; Exam Time!
The GM L.O.N.T

>It was the best guess you could figure out from your observation, but just staring at it all day sadly did not achieve any results.
>Examining the door there appeared to be no hoofle for you, or for anypony to use. Even if there was the door was so large and heavy it would not move an inch with a simple door hoofle on it.
>You figured it would only open up when the puzzle on its surface was completed.

>The quick glance back at the armour showed it was still armour, untouched or moving. The only other thing in the entire room you have not investigated.
>Kissy's small little scrunched made it clear that she didn't enjoy having to come close to that ominous arrangement of metal plates.
>But if this door really had nothing else to it, she must have to get closer
>With a slightly nervous exhale through her nostrils, the unicorn mare tentatively walked towards the armor, always ready to flee to a safe distance if it did anything suspicious.
>She needed to figure out how it related to the figure behind her before her hour passes and she fails the test!
[1d6 = 1]
[1d6 = 2]
[1d6 = 1]
[1d6 = 4]<Master Perception: Armor surveillance 24/7
Canterlot University; Exam Time!
The GM L.O.N.T

>Scrunch all you want, it did not help your nerves.
>Clopping slowly towards the armour, you perceived you were still within the veil of the Underdark which thankfully meant your hooves made very little sound.

>Approaching the set of armour but staying at a safe distance of a few metres you were certain it was not, in fact, meant for a pony. If you had to wager it probably belonged to a Diamond Dog. Since there were no remains with the armour you could not be certain.
>What was apparent was the short sword laid next to it. It too made from the same white metal material. Though since you were closer now you saw there was golden filigree running along the edges of each discarded plate and the pommel of the sword.
>The helmet was some kind of bascinet, probably to help protect the snout of the theoretical Diamond Dog that once wore it.

>Then you spotted something. There appeared to be something within the closed helmet.

>Gulping softly, Booboo debated on whether it was best to either approach it and touch it herself or use her magic.
>A part of her figured that if she were to interact with the armor magically, it might actually trigger the armor into animation.
>A mere hunch, admittedly
>Alternatively, she could risk being caught by surprise and manually tilt the helmet to reveal its secret.
>Both could lead to a fight she wasn't sure how to deal with.
>With a shaky inhale, Booboo first tried to circle around the armor to try and get a better angle on the helmet's insides.
>It may cause whatever possible magic programmed into the armor to be dispelled.
>She hoped this test didn't have too many rooms like this...
Canterlot University; Exam Time!
The GM L.O.N.T

>Circling the suit of armour like a filly interrogating a mango for its secrets, you sadly could not see any further details of what laid within the closed helmet.
>Whoever made this was certainly an evil genius.
>You do not recall anything for you to hoofle and poke the helmet with from the previous chamber, you were either going to have to touch it with magic or physically.
>Thankfully it was pristine, like it came straight from one of the many Museums in the city. So you wouldn't get your hooves dirty from poking at it.

>With a shaky sigh, Kissy would promptly decide that getting closer to the armor and reveal the helmet's secrets with her hooves may be the intended option
>It might be due to the pressure that she's reaching so hard, but risking it this way seemed to be the right call.
>In any case, she'd keep her horn ready to react if the armor started to animate itself.
>Particularly to expose whatever the helmet held inside and shoot a bolt at it.
>Hopefully it doesn't come to that...
Ivan the STALKER
"Mm, it'll take me a bit to get used to an exoskeleton that isn't a long pain in the ass to get in and out of."
>In other words he'll ignore the advice for a while until it tries killing him or something.
"Hey, its my planet's first proper attempt at a powered exoskeleton that didn't accidentally fold the user in half."
>He was not offended at the old suit being called garbage, however.
>He wouldn't be put off by the idea of a bunch of ponies being better designers than the humans back home.
>Mainly because human designed gear got him killed.

"Shit, only half an hour?"
>He paused for a moment.
"Right. Magic. Still not really used to armor and gunsmiths being able to use magic, something like this would take a day at minimum in the Zone."
>He took a glance over what the two were doing.

"It'll certainly be an option once we figure out how well the exoskeleton handles a belt-dump from the minigun."
>Carrying it around was one thing, holding down the trigger to empty a belt or three is another.
>Stress tests were going to be the objective of the next few days.
Razorback Fortress: The Pagoda
GM Strangler
>Releasing the energies off his horn, Hodch leans forwards to examine the sphere while a clawed arm stretches out to high five your gloved hand before returning.
>Stopping everything, Hodch, Dul, and Lonestar's unseen but felt face from up front all stare in awe, and a bit of shock, at the situation.
"Dul confuse. Is move? Is live?"
*"...Ah ain't gonna sleep anytime soon."*
>Squinting at Hodch's amusing situation, Katyal folds arms across her chest with a mock-derogatory sniff.
"You're the one I least expected to be confused by movable or moving enchantments. Nearly all psionic variants and a whole lot of older styles were made to be swapped in or out on command. Reminds me of a record in the Bronze Guard archives from about five years before I arrived.
Bunch of mares were telling everypony in a small town for years there was a Purrsian stuck inside an oasis, as in physically able to move around under water. Bronze Duke showed up and surprise surprise, they were telling the truth. He'd been killed while asleep and soulbound to the area, similar to how Revenants are forced to stick around.
One of the big name Mystics freed him so he shared a whole lot of information on the region, events, years, names, everything. He was so happy that he recreated all the psionic enchantments used throughout his peoples' history, Even showed how to make 'em. It's great stuff, nearly as good as Stalliongrad varieties. All but one of Folu's Mareguards have one now. Of course, he was released once the Bronze Guard was able to locate the funeral pyramid for his clan.
I've got the whole report on my laptop, it's a wild read."
>Ears splaying apart in slight embarrassmarent, the Nightblade clears his throat and motions at the wooden figure.
"I was more confused at it being incredibly easy. And yes, I have transferred psionic enchantmarents but they've never been THAT simple."
"Maybe Neighsians are better at making them. Dunno a whole lot but I can tell you a lot of their lineages still have earth sorcery and related stuff. Same situation with Saddle Arabians, but there's only a few gems located each year with mystic effects, unlike the Dragonspines or Crystal Empire which has loads. Those are all traded to Neighpon."
"That would explain why their gem-smiths are considered the best outside the few Dusk Striders. Lunars historically have had limited contact with Neighsia outside of trade, but now we have none."

>'Shiibo' nods, displaying the staff's visibly diseased black and brown bark in detail, the striations underneath twisted in unnatural patterns that would be excruciating to a sapient living being.
>Compared to an image of Lonestar's bat showing it to be vibrantly alive and colorful, faint traces of energies rippling across the metallic bark.
'Cursed would be an improvement, but no sir, the exact opposite: it's a living artifact with some semi-religious connotations in a critical state from being corrupted, tainted, or both, by the most degenerate human example of Razorback. It's being endlessly tortured, unable to die or potentially escape. Do you agree?'
"Of course I do, that's the entire reason I warned you. There's some internal data on how Druids think sir, they'd be sincerely grateful at reviewing a venerable object being released from a horrific state. Record the purification in extreme detail, that will definitely make them more willing to neighgotiate. ..this will also be incredibly useful to show Spiral that you've been highly considerate. It'd appeal to his ponial instincts, especially naturalist inclinations. By the way, 100% of my data has been transferred, yes?"

"Believe me when I say I'm not angry at you or Razorback. They're only prohibited because there's five examples left, and two of those may never be fully restored. Those thousand times bucking cursed Solar priestesses spent years before and after the Lunar-Solar War destroying everything they could from the Lunars. In return for that treachery Princess Celestia executed them all herself. If I had the authority to I'd demarend this stay with Razorback, but Councilmaster Two-Stripes is notoriously fickle. He does not like relics in service without a, quote, 'extremely specific time table for use'."
>Grimly pleased at the consent, Hodch's horn alights in sharp red flux and floats the diseased staff in front of him.
"No disagreemarent from me in the slightest. If we do find Spiral with his mind or minds intact he'd at least be relieved knowing this is one less fuck up."
>Hodch sets to work pulling the dragon heads holding each pendant apart with slight pressure, straining the oak's blatantly tainted nature with a bitterly reverential expression.
[1d6+9 = (6+9) = 15] <GM.Mysticism
[1d6+9 = (3+9) = 12]
[1d6+9 = (4+9) = 13]
[1d6+9 = (6+9) = 15]

>Accepting the judgement, the First Responder points to a desert camo plastic coated, half-sized duffel bag filled with canisters, vials, and hard cases.
"Sounds good. If you need anything of mine say the word, brought all my explosives and a full bag of alchemicals that'd make traveling doctors jealous. Even got one Equestrians don't use called Medusa's Scales, works pretty good against most everything but tastes like boiled snake scales."
>Dul tears her dumbfounded gaze from Katyal's chest to her face, ears flicking excitedly.
"Dul knows Maediusas, they from Dul Vortex! Maediusas good friends, sing, teach lots nice songs with Sirens. ...Dul ask thing of you?"
"Why teats high on chest?"
>Giving a mildly humored 'this again?' look, Katyal spreads her hands apart politely, then imitates a baby cradling motion.
"If I had a gem for every time that question came up.. that's where they're supposed to be. The humans of my world evolved from the minor gorillas. They carried their foals with arms held like this, see?"
"Dul say yes."
"That makes it easier to keep our foals safe and nurse young until they're old enough to walk on their own.."
"Oh. Dul know why now. That smart!"
"Yeeaaah.. mostly. Except for the back aches."
[1d6 = 5] <Vortex Adapt: Tallus
Canterlot University; Exam Time!
The GM L.O.N.T

>With a shaky hoof, short breath and rapid heartbeats filling your hearing you tentatively move your hoof closer.
>And closer.
>You were fully leaning over the armour now. It still seemed to be behaving and not move on its own accord.
>The tip of your hoof touched the helmet! A *TING* sound came from the contact, louder than you expected or liked.
>Nothing happened still. Since the armour hasn't stabbed you yet you become bolder and push harder until the helmet rolls onto its side.
>This filled the entire chamber with its clatter of metal rolling back and forth on the hard ground.
>You could of sworn your heart stopped.
>Thankfully, again, nothing happened.

>Now with the helmet out of the way you saw what was hidden beneath...
>It was a boxset of colouring chalk for fillies and colts, it even had a smiling pony on its face giving you a perpetual wink.
>There were the primary and secondary colours along with black, white and grey chalk sticks. An artistic foals dream gift no doubt!
>Truly, the University Spared No Expense for this final exam...

>Pareidolia stares at where the noodle-like dragon had reached out to touch his glove before slowly setting his hand down.
"Must be how it achieves its shielding effect."
>He remains silent as Katyal expounds on the Mysticism prevalent in Saddle Arabia.
(Something Silver attempted to impart to Earth ponies. Seems its alive and well in other regions of the world. Can't recall if other regions had contact with her.)

>Nodding at Shiibo and 'Tipper's' assents, he turns his visor towards the staff to ensure proper footage is captured.
"Understood. And 'Tipper', standard contingency protocols apply. If I do not return within 72 hours and relevant acting leadership in Razorback hasn't been informed or taken action, then you are cleared for independent action to rectify the situation. If I'm determined KIA, archival and encryption of all data should be prepared as packages for potential future Committee operatives. Unlikely, but at least our quantum key distribution will ensure complete secrecy. Relevant QKD and OTP analogues were assigned on Earth."

>Eyes flicking over towards Dul continuing to adapt to her new circumstances, he reorients them as her child-like train of thought makes itself known.
(Attitude should ease tensions in squad composition.)
>For a brief moment, Kissy stopped thinking.
>A chalk box was the secret item that hid underneath the oppressing helmet.
>Betrayal and subversion in a neat package.
>Mocked and ridiculed for her caution.
>Utter devastation...

>Thankfully, she swiftly got over it once she remembered she was on a timed test.
>With drooped ears and an embarrassed yet annoyed snort, she proceeded to gently push the box with her hoof towards the lockless door.
>She'd rather not accidentally trigger the armor to animate now that she had the tools to answer the equation.
>Only when she was at the door would she gather the courage to magically pick up some chalk and draw in the grey answer square a pentagon with a triangle in it to see if she properly understood the puzzle.
>Hopefully the next room wouldn't be as daunting as this one...

>She shudders thinking about the evil traps laying dormant ahead.
Canterlot University; Exam Time!
The GM L.O.N.T

>Although it took longer than you wanted and was louder than you would of liked, you eventually hoofed the box of chalk right in front of the door with the puzzle.
>Your time ponually moving the boxset meant you had the opportunity to evaluate the box and come to the conclusion it was one of the more cheaper products sold in Canterlot. Not even the high quality chalk Professors use during their lectures, the nerve!

>Picking at random, you pulled out the white chalk stick, it firmly within your magical grasp.
>Your ears were on high alert and were constantly rotating back and forth listening if the armour would get up, and as you pressed the chalk against the blank box no noise came from the pile of metal behind you.
>The familiar noise of chalk scrapping against chalkboard fills the air around you, evidently the blank space was made from the same material the University uses for their boards.
>Ever so financially prudent, they are.

>You completed the task, a perfect triangle within a precisely drawn pentagon. And without the use of a ruler! Professor Bobbing Apples would be so proud of you if she was here to see it.
>Taking a tentative step back, breath held, you waited.
>And waited.
>agonisingly long seconds pass and nothing happens.
>You slowly exhale as you realize that maybe you did something wrong, or misinterpreted the puzzle somehow.

>Kissy's snout scrunched increasingly harder as the seconds ticked by.
>That didn't seem to work as well as she thought.
>However, the mare quickly realized that from how she drew it, it wasn't a true combination, but merely inserting one shape inside another.
>Now less worried about the armor behind her, she'd scrub the triangle off the answer panel and instead drew the would-be missing two triangle lines from the bottom two points to the pentagon's top.
>Caution was starting to become increasingly difficult to keep up if she was gonna be stumped on the first question of the test.
Canterlot University; Exam Time!
The GM L.O.N.T

>Your snoot was beginning to hurt from all the scrunching you were doing, to heck the with the pain!

>Frustration rising you dabbed your hoof with your tongue, making it wet enough to wipe away the wrong chalk lines to make the supposedly correct symbol.
>Correcting your mistake you waited again.
>No movement from the armour behind you still.
>And again, nothing happened.
>It appears you corrected your mistake with another mistake. HORSE APPLES!

>This was truly a painfully perplexing puzzle that put pressure on your pony posterior.

>By this point, Kissy started to idly rub her pained snout with a hoof from all the scrunching.
>Yet, she took a deep breath to try and calm herself down.
>It seems she has missed something else from the equation.
>But it can't be right.
>The shape must be correct: It's the combination between the triangle and the pentagon's lines.
>It can't be an octagon since it'd deform too much from the two original shapes.
>Think, Booboo, think!

>After rubbing her snout in thought, an idea struck.
>Her answer panel was grey while the other two had clear, striking colors.
>It was meant to stand out to the one trying to do the puzzle, otherwise they wouldn't have painted it.
>It must mean that the equation is also asking the combination between red and blue!
>Now foregoing any semblance of vigilance towards the amror, Kissy quickly pulled out the guaranteed purple chalk in the box and started to meticulously paint the answer panel's background.
>Please, let this addition work!
Canterlot University; Exam Time!
The GM L.O.N.T

>Gently placing the white chalk down next to the boxset then pulling out a purple piece you begin to fill in square.
>The sound of the continueous scraping of chalk on board was painful to your ears, pressing them against your skull helped but it made you squint in discomfort nevertheless.
>By the time you had finished filling in the whole square with the powdery purple substance all you were left with was a nub, a small piece of purple chalk levitating in the air due to your magic.
>You didn't hold your breath this time, instead you were breathing through your nostrils waiting for nothing to happen.


>Something did happen.
>The square, now filled in with what you guessed was the right colour flashed with a burst of magic, so did the text underneath the trio of colours also. You sensed the magic radiating off the puzzle like a blast of heat, as if somepony opened up a furnace in front of you.
>Blinking away the afterimage you saw nothing visually changed, however upon tapping your hoof against the coloured in square you observed it was no longer covered in a thin layer of purple chalk nor was it made from chalkboard. It was as if you were touching smooth tile that happened to be purple coloured.
>This process had also wiped away your white chalk symbol, leaving it completely blank again, this time instead of being blank it was a secondary hue...

>Below the three colours, inside the box that contained the Canterlotian words "What am I?" was also now different. There was a singular Canterlotian word, "Purple" and a bunch of dashes where something else should be. A blank space inviting you to answer it correctly.
>Progress has been achieved, yet the door was still closed.

>Kissy watched on in dumbfounded wonder as the first half of the answer was confirmed to be true.
>Unfortunately, it also showed her previous answer was wrong, which caused her snout to scrunch harshly against her face, rubbing it to relieve some of the pain and mild frustration.
>It would seem she may have been misinformed on the equation's meaning, but now she knew for the next series of puzzles that some fanfare would happen if she got it right.
>Why would they hide the chalk underneath the helmet of a full set of armor?
>She still didn't understand that part.

>Regardless, the mare would proceed to pull out the white chalk and draw an octagon since the only other way to interpet the equation is the addition of all the lines.
>Otherwise, she may be at a complete loss...
Canterlot University; First Puzzle Completed!
The GM L.O.N.T

>You felt you'd need somepony to attend to your snoot after all was said and done with the amount of scrunch action it has been getting.
>Too much scrunch is bad for a ponies health, you remember one of the University Nurses telling you.

>Dropping the pathetic nub that was the remainder of the purple chalk stick in favour of the white chalk again, you drew an octagon onto the purple square. Despite its surface being smooth the chalk took hold onto it without any issue. Didn't even make an annoying sound as a bonus.
>As soon as you levitated the chalk away another burst of magic happened.
>Blinking you saw the octagon was now sealed into the square, and right under it the text now read, "Purple Octagon".
>It was complete, finished. And so you heard a faint thud come from within the massive door.
>The puzzle that had been latched onto the doors' surface unceremoniously fell to the floor, clattering and breaking into pieces. Thankfully they were big enough to avoid and not cause any harm to your frogs.
>The door began to move on its own accord, you sensed no magic, so there must be a hidden mechanism that was opening it.
>And as it was opening it filled the chamber with the vibrations of its creaky hinges, somepony really needed to add some oil to them!
>Then again that might eat into the Universities' budget.

>Even before the door had fully come to a halt against the side of the chamber beyond you saw a large steel key sat on the floor at the next rooms threshold. You didn't need a degree to understand this was used to open one of the locked doors behind you.

>The door had stopped, yet the noise hasn't. Peering into the chamber beyond you saw why.
>And the blood promptly left your face, and perhaps even your body.
>Maybe your heart actually stopped this time.
>The room was as tall as the rest of the chambers you went through yet this one was longer than all three combined. Running the length of the chamber in its centre was a narrow walkway being suspended by what you could tell was nothing but empty air, and below it was a seemingly bottomless pit that also ran the length of the whole chamber.
>Then there were the four swinging serrated pendulums that had a mirror finish to their blades, the swoosh of them going back and forth was one of the sounds that filled your head with dread. You observed they all swung in such a synchronized pattern that it was impossible for you to pass them.
>After them there were massive pillars that slammed into each other, each time they made contact it was a thundercrack. Easily being the loudest source of bone shaking noise coming from this life threatening room.
>They too were set up in such a way nopony could pass by without turning into a red smeared pancake.
>What was at the end of this death trap of a gauntlet? You could only catch glimpses of it but it appeared to be a plinth, no doubt something had to be laid upon it.
>So this is where the budget it.

>With the amount of ruckus cascading from the chamber in front of you, you nearly missed the sound of metal rattling from behind you.
>Glancing back you witnessed the pile of inanimate armour had finally come to life, it now standing upright with its sword in a ready-to-strike position. Although there was nopony within the suit of armour you did perceive a slight shimmer encompassing the whole set. Like the now destroyed puzzle it exuded magic.
>With no meat or bone operating it, its movements were unnaturally smooth. The bascinet helmet turned left then right, as if it was looking for you with eyes it no longer had.
[1d6 = 6] >Basic Perception
[1d6 = 6]

Razorback Enclave
GM Strangler
>Stepping through the gateway after Naliyna's thudding hoofboots, the Enclave was starting to become a real facility, setting the stack of crystal plates north from the stone.
"Hmph. I'll forgive Hodch this time, but the next.. he'd better start worrying."
>Kicking each leg out for a brief armor shake, the helmet turns back, a vaguely humorous squint visible through the faceplate.
"Been ready, just didn't know it until now. First time in two decades I feel in control and comfortable enough to take on an Argus Destroyer."
>Bubbling into view around you, a suite of short, glassy teardrops extend off the stone in a ring, minute starbursts of black-red energy coalescing inside each.
"Keep primed and make sure the stone is safe for exfil. Bubba, we have zero idea who, what, or where a possible leak could be so open fire on anything that makes a hostile move no matter how friendly it might have been in the past. If a hostile reaches ten meters ditch away from me and deploy explosives, this armor should hold against four to five hits."

>A short distance south was an overflowing series of short, low tables, ten mares in basic unadorned robes, marking them as Cult of the Dark Horse adherents, were browsing through stacks of tomes and books with unicorn levels of caution.
>The stupidly crammed saddlepack of each was partially scattered around, reference materials and guides for the most part.
>Across the Enclave's southern section were far more Starborn Lorekeepers than previously known, numbering at least two hundred and interspersed by thirty or more Crystal Empire Keepers.
>A curious section of older, darkly colored unicorns from Luna's Villages were arguing amongst each other in the stacks of safes and chests recovered from the Solar Enforcer Armory.
>Surrounded by piles of traditionally Solar materials with small amounts of crystallines, it seemed they'd been running into severe problems as nothing looked even remotely whole or complete.

>Doing her best impression of a statue to survey the Enclave, a short click is emitted from the helmet as she plods straight south, stopping next to the Dark Horse Cultists to speak in a low flat tone.
"No chatter out. Where's Amethyst Frost-Rose?"
>Receiving one confused head tilt, the remainder still as three dull red claws point south.
"Thanks. Stick to it for now. Ignore the K-Meson weapons, Remnant is covering us."
>Making a slight nodding motion forwards, Naliyna continues on her original course, head sweeping side to side in randomly timed surveying patterns.
[1d6+4 = (2+4) = 6] <E.Perception
[1d6+4 = (3+4) = 7]
[1d6+4 = (1+4) = 5]
Lost in the Crag Moors: STILL Stuck (In The Middle Of You)
GM Strangler
"If you don't feel comfortable using a disc then save it. Silver ones don't degrade over time like the bronzes used to."
>Anonymous slouches back into the gateway, his tone a contradictory mix of hopeful and dismayed.
"It's dead and she can repair. A win under shitty conditions is still a win especially with you being mostly unharmed. I can't figure out much on your.. daughter's conditions, or capabilities, most everything that's classified as near-Eldritch is way beyond my abilities to comprehend, let alone try to."
>Snerking at your appraisal of the heavy, smooth skinned fruit, Anon's left hand lifts, palm upwards in a conciliatory gesture.
"Too bad I can't send a few bombs to your world and take care of those idiots. Yeah, they're tropical to the T. Still, half of Razorback likes mangoes better than most fruits, partially due to batpony influences, partially from taste alone, partly from ease of acquisition. They also keep fairly well. As for me I barely need to eat but I like them too."

>Returning to the left screen, mini-Wild stares at you critically with her lone mechanical eye before taking down the map and schematic, then flopping off the side.
"If you say so."
>That faint note of petulance was eerily similar to your own.
"I've isolated the damage to my main data nodes. Only three have suffered damage, the rest I can't directly access. Until my repair systems are recovered I'm leaving them alone for now."
[1d6+3 = (2+3) = 5] <Sensory Node #3: Conversion Ratio
[1d6+4 = (5+4) = 9] <Arcanum Sensors Array
[1d6+8 = (6+8) = 14] <Grade 1 Auto-Repair
[1d6+8 = (4+8) = 12]
[1d6+6 = (1+6) = 7] <Grade 2 Auto-Repair
[1d6+1 = (6+1) = 7] <Repair Tendril #1: Scavenging Protocols
[1d6+1 = (5+1) = 6] <Repair Tendril #2
[1d6+1 = (2+1) = 3] <Repair Tendril #3
[1d6+1 = (6+1) = 7] <Repair Tendril #4
[1d6+1 = (2+1) = 3] <Repair Tendril #5
[1d6+1 = (6+1) = 7] <Repair Tendril #6
[1d6+1 = (3+1) = 4] <Repair Tendril #7
[1d6+1 = (6+1) = 7] <Repair Tendril #8

>The armor was a fascinating blend of flexible blue strands woven into a full body suit, one that looked to be the right size and fit, covered by smaller overlapping plates of the same metal across the regions that rarely needed to flex.
>It was a somewhat complex protective style that you'd seen a number of Tartarus Isle marecenaries use, appreciated for ease of movemarent and lighter weight.
>The only question remaining was how tight it would be.

>Reaching up to tap his smartphone, Anonymous frowns behind the mask.
"I've only got five miles of range with this but-"
>Leaning out to peer to the right, he stares off into the distance for a quarter minute, then left briefly, returning to his seated position and giving the portal a brisk tap.
"Nothing I can see outside a bunch of heavy rain clouds. Unfortunately these gateways aren't unlimited, they tend to overstress if I keep one open longer than five minutes. Need anything else before I go?"
>If it weren't for Kissy's naturally calm and gentle temperament, she would've bolted away from the ominous armor, squealing all the way.
>Of course the armor set would wake up when she had the option to run somewhere.
>Why did she not figure it out before?
>With a steadying breath to try and remain calm, she considered her options:
- Pick up the key and try it out on one of the room's lockpads, risking getting sliced & diced by the animated armor set
- Try to somehow pass through at least half of the deadly obstacle, bait the ominous hunk of metal into it and maybe its magic will be disrupted enough not to pursue her any further
- Fight the armor set with her spell repertoire.

>Granted, there were many more little choices to review, but those seemed like the viable options.
>She wouldn't think to simply lie still and see if it's friendly when there's a time limit on her mind and no clue how long will the next series of puzzles take.
>Booboo hopes it won't mind....

>With an increasing sense of dread, Kissy would first store the used chalk back into the box, pick it up as well as the key with her magic and slowly tiptoe her way towards one of the locked doors.
>However, if it became obvious the armor has spotted her, such as menacingly approaching her, she'd instead make a run for the death gauntlet with a hopefully viable plan in mind.
>May her spells be able to keep the blades at bay...
[1d6 = 2]
[1d6 = 2]<Basic Stealth: Oh Celestia, oh haystacks
[1d6 = 3]
[1d6 = 1]
[1d6 = 5]
[1d6 = 4]<Master Perception: Death trap & door lock inspection on the move
Canterlot University; Time to Move on

>Key and box of chalk held firmly in your magical grasp you began tip-hoof to one of the locked doors, as you did so you quickly inspected the key and noticed it was made from the same material as both locks. Meaning it could be used on either one of them.

>It became quite obvious to you the armour set had seen you through the Underdark since the helmet was tracking your movement to the door you chose, then a heartbeat later it began sluggishly clinked towards you. There were no limbs to make it propel forward at you nor one to raise its blade in a ready position yet it was able to do so nonetheless. The separate pieces of white metal bobbed and floated in the air simulating movement, there was no weight behind giving it the appearance of leaves swirling in the wind, that didn't mean you were eager to find out how hard it could hit you.

>Seeing the armour sees you and has seized the opportunity to cease your existence made you fumble your attempt to get back into the promised safety of the Underdark, rather you felt the submerged sensation being yanked away from you like a bed duvet.
>Coming to the conclusion there was no other choice for you, you ran into the unlocked gauntlet room. Galloping across the suspended narrow bridge, getting closer to the first obstacle before you; the swinging blades.
>Fully inside the new chamber you could no longer hear the clattering of metal from the chasing armour set, but the fur standing up right along your back told you it was still after your tail.

>Stopping as close as you were comfortable with in front of the blades, which was about 5 metres, you once again saw there was no one way for you to pass by as they were synchronized perfectly to prevent anypony from going forward without getting sliced in two.

>Behind you the Diamond Dog armour continued its pursuit, in mere moments it will be within range to whack you with its still very sharp sword.

>Whorse manure, this was bad.
>Even with the prospect that she won't really be killed during this exam, it didn't alleviate the fact she was going to be sliced into bits!
>The silver lining in all of this is that it seemed slow on the approach, yet a nasty feeling of doubt still gripped the mare's heart.
>Slipping out of the Underdark soon after didn't help her morale either.
>There's no time like the present...

>With a steadying breath and a sharpened gaze, Kissy was ready to enact her hopefully successful plan against the swinging blades.
>Powering up her horn to a sizable amount, she casted the spell that may actually save her hide from the inanimate threat.
>She directed the spell to try and hold the blades for long enough to let her through.
[1d6 = 5]
[1d6 = 6]
[1d6 = 1]
[1d6 = 1]<Master Casting: Hold Spell (pls work)

>If it worked enough to make it even slightly more plausible to pass through, Booboo wouldn't waste the opportunity to sprint through the tiniest of openings if it meant getting away from this daunting foe.
[1d6 = 3]
[1d6 = 3]
[1d6 = 6]<Expert Speed: Nigerundaiyo
Razorback Fortress: The Hangar
GM Strangler
>Realspace surrounding the Auspex twitches sourly as a series of warped musical notes are produced, a nano-chord of annoyance from the ancient Necron artifact poorly translates into Binary as: 'cease strumming THIS unit in THAT location'.
>Triple datalinks of swears, insults, and diagrams of bodily parts that couldn't possibly be jammed inside intended locations flood the local netspace in retaliation, Witch-Two calming first.
'Mallia. Enter the Hangar, remove the unit from your arm, locate the closest solid metal surface, throw unit at maximum velocity. Should that not work, acquire a hammer and play HOW FAR CAN THIS HEAP OF GROXSHIT TRAVEL.'
>A small amount of data grudgingly skips across the Auspex's datalocked band: a confused tangle of names, species, and ages, approximate a ball of string that would take weeks to unravel from a battleship's central datacore.

'Both and more, Mallia. There have been no further arrivals of Nanite Age humans on Tallus save the original one. I have estimated 40-50 would have arrived during this time. Flash estimated the basic tech level to start at the Age of Technology, ending at the Age of Strife's apex. The Xenotechnologist Machine-Spirit has multiple proven theories that the complete loss of a gestalt will forcefully lock out more from being transferred into this omniverse. It is unknown how many could be in perpetual stasis locked outside their Noosphere. Or worse, destroyed.'
'first, last, and only nanite age operator. we WERE researching solutions with Spiral. since hes left you can guess what weve found'
'Fuck and all. We have zero information on Spiral's whereabouts. That alone reduced production output and research efficiency by >95%. Adding to the total strain, Inquisitor Flash experiences manic depressive episodes at an average of 19 times each week. Her degradation is increasing at a rate of 3%.'
'the 3/4 of us arent enough to keep her stable. horse pun mostly intended.'
'We are not three-fourths.'
'might as well be at this point!'

>Noting an amused refrain from the Xenotechnologist, it follows with a blatantly prayerful message:
'Tempestus Scion Chisan Nas walks by the Holy Plasmatic Light of a Solar Empress. It is the desire of our Inquisitor to see him fit with the best wargear of Her Sisters, the Blessed Poneissiah Princess Miyamori Cadenza first and foremost.'
'can you stop with the praises and help out for once? you can ogle that crazy shit later but weve got fifty thousand files to translate and format while yo'
'Yes, Tox-11. I shall aid your filing efforts.'

'Be careful with those words Mallia, batponies love their puns especially since they DO hang around. They have the ability to walk on most solid materials in three dimensions.'
>Entering the tunnel-covered stairs leading upwards, there was a handrail on either side, Admiral Dranaki spares a quarter-node of her processing to respond.
'Mostly correct, Mallia. New Canterlot is currently an Intermediate Military Meritocratic Monarchy ruled by Princess Celestia as the sole monarch of the Solar faction, she is not a regent. Five decades after the Lunar-Solar War ended her sister Princess Luna, under an alter-ego termed 'the Nightmare', joined as the nocturnal monarch. They shared a Limited Republic-Meritocratic Diarchy with some limited noble and royal privileges allowed. Canterlot is still rather destabilized and humans are highly distrusted.'
'ive searched all the local networks and our datacaches, Underprincess Prima Aurdestin isnt in a single database we have access to. shes not listed in Canterlot either, shed be in the Gold Court records. if shes directly related to Solarflanks then its likely Aurdestin is from an Equestria friendly country. problem is Celestia has had the most foals out of the four alicorns, theyre spread over a large chunk of the world and most countries refuse contact with Razorback'
'Could ask Chisan to send a let'
'I apologize, though circumstances are quite sour right now.'
'last Razorback needs to deal with is HIM flirting with every human female here. including you'
'That would be amusing. And yes Mallia, I am sincerely hoping one will function as a power core at the least.'
'Constructs arent exactly Abominable Intelligence. high dimension beings, maybe a pseudo-hivemind that increases in proximity. little direct information. Flash cant stay in the library long otherwise she freaks out. wed like to study their tech, when we have functional platforms that is'
'Relax a bit. The lathe arrived and it will only take a short amount of time to begin production.'
'IF it works'

>Parsing through the microlinks by the time you reach the top stair, turning left into the Hangar proper was a step directly into an M3 pictcording:
>A wide open service platform, perfectly level of course, dedicated solely for the storage and maintenance of an aerial asset.
>To your right were rows of work tables covered in archaic yet familiar tools: grinders, plasma cutters, multiple welding machines, one small and large metal lathe, an incredibly simple electronic service cart, hundreds of common hand tools covering the walls and most spaces between the rest.
>Straight ahead were ammunition racks, the most prominent one holding ammunition belts, mostly empty, another set for missiles comparable to the sizes Dreadnoughts used, and last rolling racks for weapon pod cylinders.

>Raindrop Raspberry was sitting with her back against a bright red metal tool chest in the center, out of her armor once more and looking a bit scraggly.
>In front of her was a spread out dark brown blanket, a two-tiered covered wooden tray in the center, eight colored bottles on top, and a large sitting cushion left of it.
>Head swiveling left to offer a welcoming smile, the mare tosses a short wing wave in your direction, then motions at the cushion across from her.
"Neatest place here I think, reminds me of the pegasi towers at the old Keep. Come on, take a seat."
Canterlot University; Time to Run

>No time like the present indeed.
>You felt your horn warm up as it gathered the innate magic from the surrounding atmosphere to coalesce around it as an aura of gentle green. You felt the metal band of the Horn Ring slightly vibrate due to this, and unbeknownst to you the ruby in the centre of the ring shined brightly with magic.
>You recalled Steel Mane teaching you all on the Hold spell, and how he went on a tirade about how useful it was and how he had to fight tooth and hoof to get the University to sign off on him teaching you how to cast it.
>Hopefully it will come in hoofy.

>Wincing in concentration, legs locked in place and aiming your horn for the swinging pendulum blade right in front of you, you released the spell with a grunt as the dangerous contraption swung clear out of your way.
>The concentrated magic bolted from your horn towards the polished blade, splashing against it. There, transparent ghostly chains materialized. Wrapping across the whole blade, climbing up the pendulum shaft and disappearing into the ceiling where you heard...not-so-pleasant sounds of heavy things breaking.

>Your legs were galloping before you registered you were moving right towards the untouched swinging blade. You vaguely felt something swipe at your tail as you ran forward.
>Not wasting time to look behind you to see what that was, as you guessed it was the still pursuing Diamond Dog armour, you passed by the second blade. It narrowly missing you.
>Skidding to a halt you turned around, chest heaving.
>You saw the pendulum got some of your tail, as strands of it whisked in the kicked up current of the massive blade passing by.
>There you saw the armour had just passed where you were just standing. Any moment longer and it would of been on top of you.
>Of course it was still giving chase.

>A second later the chains that were holding the pendulum sparkled in magical disintegration, disappearing and letting go of the blade. You heard another heavy *THUNK* reverberate from the ceiling.
>It swung back and forth however you noticed immediately there was less power to it. The damn thing was coming to a halt!
>There was still enough momentum though for it to be a dangerous obstacle for the next few minutes. Enough time for the armour to walk right into it.
>When it eventually gets there.

>Currently, you were now between two sets of swinging blades, so your plan was a success and you have made progress.
>Such that it is, in your current predicament.

>Now in a state of relative security, Kissy sat down and inspected her oh so grievously wounded tail with a small, mournful pout.
>And she combed it so nicely, too.
>Now it's going to be all uneven!

>Softly inhaling out of her pain, she once again considered her options:.
- She was currently 'stuck' between two sets of deadly swinging blades
- The armor.will either be smashed off the bridge, stop in its tracks at the last moment or sliced in half.
- One of the blades was out of commission but still swinging
- She may have severely deviated from the planned outcome of the test

>...she was probably going to be in some trouble when this is over...
>For now, she needed to ensure that armor set won't bother her anymore and secure a way back into the actual puzzle rooms she's meant to solve.
>While she had the time, Kissy would attempt to inspect these swinging blades closely as they swung from side to side.
>She had to know if their swinging arcs could be manipulated into crossing eachother while they still had the energy to do some damage.
[1d6 = 4]<Master Percetion: Can swings swing elsewhere?
[1d6 = 4]
[1d6 = 5]
[1d6 = 6]

>Whatever the result was, she'd wait to see the result from the blades potentially smashing against the armor.
>Otherwise, she may need to gently coax the stubborn pursuer into the blades.
Razorback Fortress: The Workshop
GM Strangler
>Horn lighting, Krinza displays a 3D model of the exoarmor, focusing on the shoulder clasp and locking system, then compares it to several similar variants of much heavier pony styled versions.
"Naliyna showed us numerous examples of Crystal Conclave designs that we partially modeled this one off of, mostly for ease of access or exit and to maximize protection. It is quite curious they use what are called exoframes, quite similar yet far more advanced than we can reasonably put to use outside of individual examples. Then again they did have four thousand years to perfect such equipmarent for reasonable standards. For reference it takes six months to produce one Heavy Siegemare unit at a cost of roughly three thousand hours, and a rigorous selection process that ends with ninety percent of the original materials being sidelined for less strict projects. Your planet's engineers did well in consideration."
>Floating a stack of mixed soft white, yellow, and clear material bars from under a nearby table, natural rubbers or similar, Helping Hoof turns his ears sideways in minutely derisive motions.
"If that was a common problem the designers should have spent longer preventing such a glaring flaw."
>Releasing the diagram, measured humor takes over Krinza's tone as he shows a reinforced, partially modified M134 frame with a central carrying handle, revised forward grip, and an armored rear grip with a heavier trigger.
"About that, yes. These should be considerable improvements as I am highly concerned that the weapon itself could be damaged. To be fair our use of magic and native materials is not perfect by any degree either, nor is human technology the best one can get. The Crystal Empire's exoframe systems are likewise as limited in scale and production. Changeling bio-armor is equally as tricky to deal with, but at least they can shed and regrow as necessary."
"It could at least have been desi-"
"Helping, compromises must always be made regardless of species. The entire design is not garbage for what it provides: exceptional protection for a single user, at cost of course. Compare it to the system Erakoi has: far more component and electronic complexity that must be intensively micro-managed. It is a constant source of misery for him to keep in functional shape. It is also bio.. controlled. It suffers from the same issues that we all debated, AND just as quickly shelved if you recall. The pursuit of perfection is commendable and commarendable, but to achieve that is a frivolous expense of time, motivation, energy, and materials. Do the best one can with what one has access to, that is the best case scenario. Now then-"
>Lifting the weapon above his anvil, the frame's externals are rapidly disassembled, carefully pulling the armored power crystal cover off until little remained whole, other than the barrels and drive unit.
>Briskly pulling out multiple sheets of hot-formed titanium alloy, Krinza rolls them into a half-hollow additional central carrying handle over the M134's middle.
>Pressure fitting the front end into a solid connection, checking it for length against the forward carrying handle, another set of sheets are made into a large T-bracket with a U-connection at the rear.
>Setting each piece briefly on the original frame to ensure they fit, the first two are solidly melded together and left to cool in a small bubble of vacuum.
>Pressure forming a small chunk into an armored handguard, then another for an external barrel shroud, the two are compared several times to ensure proper fit, then set aside as well to cool.
>Tearing apart the original trigger, a steel-tungsten composite copy is made with little more than a few afterthoughts, checked twice to ensure exacting tolerances to the original.
[1d6+6 = (1+6) = 7] <M.Elemental Chemistry
[1d6+6 = (2+6) = 8]
[1d6+6 = (2+6) = 8]
[1d6+6 = (2+6) = 8] <M.Research
[1d6+6 = (4+6) = 10]
[1d6+6 = (6+6) = 12]
[1d6+6 = (1+6) = 7]
[1d6+10 = (4+10) = 14] <GM.Enchanter
[1d6+10 = (2+10) = 12]
[1d6+10 = (4+10) = 14]
[1d6+10 = (1+10) = 11]
[1d6+11 = (4+11) = 15] <GM.Crafter
[1d6+11 = (6+11) = 17]
[1d6+11 = (6+11) = 17]
[1d6+11 = (1+11) = 12]
[1d6+11 = (5+11) = 16] <GM.Smith
[1d6+11 = (6+11) = 17]
[1d6+11 = (5+11) = 16]
[1d6+11 = (4+11) = 15]
[1d6+15 = (3+15) = 18] <Runic Anvil
[1d6+11 = (2+11) = 13] <Runic Engraving Blade
[1d6+12 = (2+12) = 14] <Runic Hammer
>Completed Projects:
[1d6+10 = (1+10) = 11] <Human Alloys
[1d6+10 = (3+10) = 13] <Human Composites
[1d6+10 = (3+10) = 13] <Scaling
>Thoroughly unbothered by the air-twisting heat, Krinza chuckles over the furnace's internal crackling.
"Naliyna tested it enough to state it was able to pick up three hundred pounds with little strain, which should be nearly equal to the force of that weapon's recoil. Five hundred with moderate energy expenditure was 'fairly good' according to her, though she chose not to 'uptune' the pseudo-muscle systems until enough data was collected. A work in progress that might take weeks to master, if you will."

>Curtailed by the grandmaster smith's placid rationale, Helping Hoof stares up at the massive coldstone overhead now expelling air downwards, then sets three of the clear soft material bricks next to the furnace.
>Skimming a set of formed braces in the air, five sheets of the more common titanium alloy are set in place, rolling the corners upwards and carefully melding the ensemble together once specific dimensions are met.
[1d6+5 = (6+5) = 11] <E.Crafting
[1d6+5 = (5+5) = 10]
[1d6+5 = (5+5) = 10]
[1d6+5 = (1+5) = 6] <E.Enchanting
[1d6+5 = (1+5) = 6]
[1d6+5 = (6+5) = 11]
[1d6+5 = (2+5) = 7] <E.Smith
[1d6+5 = (2+5) = 7]
[1d6+5 = (1+5) = 6]
[1d6+6 = (3+6) = 9] <E.Research
[1d6+6 = (5+6) = 11]
[1d6+6 = (6+6) = 12]
[1d6+8 = (2+8) = 10] <Eidetic Fundamentals
Ivan the STALKER
"Meanwhile we had around... 500 years with plate armor, then tossed it to the side for a while. Plate carriers are kinda 'new' when compared to armor technology back home, and with the Zone we're kinda thrown for a loop in protection."
>Ivan just shook his head and thumped at his armored chest with a hand.
"Something like this would've taken decades to even try to match with our metals."
>The technological rate of these ponies honestly impressed the STALKER.

>"I can only imagine how fucking helpful Krinza would've been in the Swamps with our gear."
>Letting out a hum, Ivan looked down to focus on anything except the train of thought that he knew he would go down, choosing to empty and refill a dragunov magazine until he could suppress those memories.
>Once able to refocus on the two, he put it away in a pouch for another time.
>Watching them at work was almost hypnotic to the STALKER, a relaxing sight even if he wasn't able to help.
>Pulling up a chair, he sat in it gently to watch.

"And understandable, all we have to emulate this would be hydraulic systems. Horribly inefficient compared to artificial musculature, but its something."
>He thought for a moment, before looking at the two.
"Music's not something either of you oppose, aye? Helps me... Forget."
Razorback Fortress: The Pagoda
GM Strangler
>Imitating the motion with a flex of his hoof, Hodch tone was matter-of-fact while Katyal reaches over for her PDW to give it a quizzical inspection from the rear.
"This may not be entirely similar but there's a number of workable examples of how that may function in Lunar Guardian records. They're called 'guide' enchantmarents, having a semi-sentience or micro-sentience that allows them to identify weaknesses or correct one's aim. Most often used for weapons, of course. There's an entire series that details Lunar shields used by allied minotaurs that had much the same except to more accurately and quickly defend against weaponry."
"Just to play mare's advocate, could that one take control of his body?"
"No, enchantmarents of that type are either relics that are no longer produced, even by Nightmare. There are some Planar varieties, and some.. best left unsaid."
"Yeah, nah, Eldritch pests are the one thing I ain't set up to deal with."
"Believe me, even the Lunars hate and fear Eldritch nonsense with equal passions. Overall, unless the individual wills such a guide enchantmarent is passive-reactive in that they produce minor bodily shifts. The few I am aware of which will directly protect or strike at will are unique, and on a short list."
*"That's.. good ta hear. What 'bout them razorvine thangs ya got back there lil'miss? Ain't seen 'em ever be used afore."*
>At the question, Dul rolls each triple-strand out in circular patterns with a pleased look.
"Riftdrowners great friends! They do things Dul think. They not think but Riftdrowners make Dul safe if bad hurts. Or if Dul not think any."
*"So they protect ya if yer real hurt or.. not awake?"*
"That right! Dul sorry, not know lots human words yet but Dul learning."
*"Ah s'pose th'lady there can teach ya some on th'way, if ya'd be so kind?"*
"...she's too cute to learn ninety percent what I know, but sure."
[1d6 = 6] <Vortex Adapt: Tallus

>Receiving an affirmative on screen, 'Tipper' emits a minorly disgruntled note, 'Shiibo' making her own encrypted copy of the recording.
"Orders accepted and under processing. Nothing for it then, I'll do what I can from here in the event of worst case scenarios. I've estimated a maximum twenty mile radius from the comm array using standard wavelengths, and the.. what did you call them?"
'Gravitational-geodesic communication links.'
"That system, yes. It's been mostly offline since Spiral left. Most high priority Fortress channels use it but there's enough interference you'll be out of contact past fifty miles. I.. hm. Sir, the previous template was highly irrational and paranoid, multiple severe psychoses being the least of those problems. Requesting permission to initiate psychological stabilizing aid for Miss Velasi Aguina on account of her unusual knowledge. Images and recordings across Razorback's open networks show her as highly isolated. It wouldn't hurt to help her, and she might have vital information on certain factions that Razorback doesn't have access to."

>Forcing the dragon heads apart in small stages, flakes of diseased bark scatter off, caught below on a flat plate of dull green energies above the floor.
>Removing each pendant in sequence, the black one is micro-teleported to land in front of you, the red and gray set in front of Katyal.
>Drifting the tiny pieces back into line with the staff, Hodch takes a deep breath, letting it out in slow, measured exhales.
"This would've been much easier if all the damned Lunar Druids hadn't marched off to Luna knows where. Wish I'd been born half a millennia earlier-"
>Stretching his burn scarred forelegs out wide, the deep purple stallion's eyes close, speaking a gentle series of entreating phrases in archaic unicorn.
>Realspace folds around the staff in calmly swirling green-blue patterns, bending the tips towards the center to make a full circle.
>Intoning a brittle word, the diseased branch snaps apart, leaving behind tiny flecks of dull, blackened mythril.
>A trembling, minute shriek starts-ends, replaced by a short, forest scented breeze drifting through the Overlander's interior.
>After the silence and dissipating traces was an imprint of forgiving.

>Dul bows her head deeply, the Riftdrowner vines coiling across her sides as she settles into an equine submission pose.
"Dul feel you hurts. Dul know. You no hurt now. You free."
>Katyal places her PDW down quietly, curiously making an ankh sign over her chest with the left hand, the right lifting to hold her throat, eyes watering while speaking in shaky Saddle Arabian.
*"...ain't nothin' right ever cagin' somethin'. Forest Gods, let'em wander rightly."*

>Pushing himself up to stand tiredly, Hodch eyes the tainted mythril flakes in sincere revulsion before twitching his head, collecting them into a small sphere and depositing the remains into a small pocket dimension the same color as his coat.
>About facing right and stepping towards Katyal, he drops down right next to her, foreleg lifting before she twists around to give him a deep hug.

>'Shiibo' begins to speak, then stops, folding her arms in dismay at the odd sight.
'....communication channels with the OL-3's weaponry are unlocked and accessible. We are ready to leave at any time sir.'
"Eh, I've got two of them. A PTRS would absolutely be beneficial out here. An anti-tank rifle would punch through something my mosin would not."
>I'd take one out of my pocket, but idly run my thumb over it and glance around the cockpit.
"Would probably be a good idea to wait until I'm out of Wild, though."
>I wouldn't want something to go wrong and have it turned into a fixed gun inside her.
"I'm pretty sure there's a display in here somewhere that just says 'pain'."
>It wouldn't surprise me.

>Staring back at the mini-Wild, almost glaring in response.
"I do say so."
>Looking at the screen in bemusement, I shake my head a little.
"If your repair systems finally decide to behave, that is."

>Sitting back, I take a moment to think, before shaking my head.
"Have a map of any nearby ore deposits, or abandoned metal wrecks? Wild'll be able to use the extra resources."
Canterlot University; Time For Chaos
The GM L.O.N.T

>Your tail was a true thing of beauty, the envy of all the other mares in your class. Silky and combed with small amount of oil your mother got you last month to ensure every strand of hair was straight, not a single frayed hair sticking out.

>Your pretty pony eyes followed the massive girthy shafts of the swinging pendulums all the way up to the ceiling, there they were attached to the stonework by a large semi-circle gear guard. From the noises you heard moments ago when you Held the one blade you knew the mechanics of pendulum went deep into the roof. Maybe even covering the whole length of this chamber. You quickly surmised that although you could temporarily halt the swings of the giant blades you could not alter their path. There was just too much weight and machinery to do so.

>Speaking of which, turning around you witnessed the most annoying thing. The damn armour had stopped in its tracks!
>It was just blankly staring at you as the broken pendulum swung with slower and less powerful swings.
>Eventually it will come to a full stop and will act like a barrier, a wall of mirror finished metal separating you and your pursuer.

>Keeping the mythril staff firmly in his field of vision, he silently mulls over 'Tipper's proposal as the dying branch is finally put to rest.
>Feeling the parting wave of forgiveness waft from the remains, he remains seated as he clenches his gloved hands together between his knees. His voice sounds solely inside his helmet to be capture in the recording.
"May you never need to forgive a human again."
(Filth is out of reach. Accountability not possible. Need to limit human exposure before these types proliferate further. Nothing should need to forgive a human.)
>Muttering to end the recording, he spares a sidelong glance at Hodch and Katyal in an apparent reconciliation before looking forward towards the opposite wall.
"I made the mistake of choosing Spiral as the initial template. Apparently it was too similar to the original, ill advised according to Anonymous. And on Inquisitor Flash, 'Tipper' you're cleared to render any aid that doesn't put undue risk on yourself. Just make it clear you're one of my assets and she shouldn't react with overt hostility. I first encountered her in Krinza's workshop and provided information on a clone that had accessed Harlon's mansion."
>As he states this, he taps the camera projector module on the side of his helmet and verbally brings up photographs of the maps Spiral had requested. Projected onto the OL-3's interior wall, he starts assessing it while pulling up the notes and documents that had been left in Spiral's mailbox with the detector tablet.
>He gives a curt nod to Shiibo before speaking towards the forward compartment.
"Weapon systems have been accessed. Your status?"
Sand Cutter
GM Strangler
>Serious faced once more, Sand tilts her ears down in a distinctly respectful motion.
"Oft seen that is, one of marely ancient powers that lie in batpony lines. More they have silent. Little is shown afore those not felt as kin. A grand battlefield Basin Village was afore Sun-and-Moon War. The Tower holds it sacred yet batponies care not for such, to sport and play they be."
>Blinking at the conversation, the history, names, and meaning weren't known to her, letting the two speak uninterrupted.

>Making an 'oh horsefeathers' face of terror, the red mare preemptively sets her head down and firmly covers both ears with hooves.
>Flinching at the first outburst, nodding a fraction at the second, straining to shove her consciousness elsewhere at the third, then grimacing at the final one, Sand Cutter takes her hooves off once the volume descends to a reasonable level.
>Sitting back up with ringing ears, the Lady Knight tips her head to the right with a pained frown.
"War Lord, act not in haste I ask. An open search will alert traitors within Razorback's ranks, or those among their allies and friends. Some Rogues still be held in favor amongst them. To caution actions must be. Should time per.. par.. ..allow, search for it I shall."

>Brightening at the touch, Sand Cutter dips her head in an honored motion.
"To the sky and stone, War Lord."
>Stifling a yawn as Ri`Vahz leaves, the mare's ears flick in contemplation, blinking from Budieca to the fire.
>Testing her stiff hind legs and wincing at the responses, she shakes her head once before lying down on her left side fully to stretch out.
"Stairs would kill I fear, pushed my body to limits inc.. stupidly I have. Sleep here I must, comfortable it is by hearth and home."
>This test was no joke!
>Now without the fear and panic of having an ominous set of walking armor breathing on her neck, she finally had some time to think.
>And now that she thought about it, she may have been a little hasty for running away and into the death gauntlet
>For example: How is she going to even get out of here to complete the puzzles ahead?
>What was the real purpose of this armor? Was it really an incentive to hurry up?
>Will the armor be important for future tests?
>It's a good thing she wasn't interested in fighting, because this was incredibly embarrassing.

>With a lofty sigh, she soon scoured her mind for her magic tools to enact a proper plan to stop being harrassed.
>Her horn soon lit up with her usual gentle green aura to cast an Air Wave against the armor towards the seeming bottomless pit next to the bridge to knock it off her path back to the puzzle rooms.
[1d6 = 4]<Master Casting: Wave (Air)
[1d6 = 2]
[1d6 = 1]
[1d6 = 3]
Mallia Castella
>Mallia reacts a bit poorly to Realspace distorting on her forearm, immediately being brought back to her first and last bad experience with Chaos Psykers for a split-second, causing her to stop mid-rise along the stairs to the hangar, her hand gripping tightly onto the handrail for a second and going statuesque.
>... Then she relaxes as she receives the Necron machine's complaint, followed by an explosion of insults and epithets broadcasted live through the mental frequencies she was in.

>Closing her eyes for a moment and drawing in a breath, she eases her nerves and forces them to relax; then continues up the stairs as if nothing had happened.

>As they weren't quite up there yet, still walking up the last few steps, her Enginseer training and habits, maybe even a bit of naivète, compels her to attempt to enact a low-level interface with the artefact and send it a simple query in her Martian Binary. Attempting to diagnose and hopefully find a more elegant solution.

(Query: What about that area is causing your belligerence? This action should be routine for a machine so impressive. Enlighten me.)
(Discharge your verbal and emotional vitriol upon this servant of the Omnissiah from your system if necessary. Unless the unit prefers percussive methods of troubleshooting, retry the exloading process of high-priority scan results.)
>Then, she mentally braces herself for the vitriol of Necron tech' which was already angry. At the same time, being available to manually seek out the problem and fix it without tossing it, if the Necron Artefact permitted it; just in case it was as easy as performing a reboot.
[1d6 = 4]<E. Negotiation
[1d6 = 6]
[1d6 = 1]
[1d6+3 = (4+3) = 7]<M. Tech-Use + Machine Link + Auspex Link
[1d6+3 = (4+3) = 7]
[1d6+3 = (2+3) = 5]
[1d6+3 = (1+3) = 4]

>But there were other things to remark about as well. Witch-Two's response to her other questions draws a concerned binary remark from the Enginseer.
(There seems to be a huge dependency on a single individual from what I've been hearing. Tech', research, planning, future-proofing... Are there any contingencies?)

>She is then subsequently a bit taken aback by the next transmission by the Xenotechnologist. Mainly because it had used 'Poneissiah' and 'Cadenza' in the same sentence.
>She had JUST heard that name from the Rune Knight--whom she was going to send a letter.
(... Wait...)
>She pauses for a couple of nano-cycles.
(... Nevermind. Witch-Two still has to brief me on that...)
>Processing the rest of the transmissions from the quartet, she ends up being a bit of a background presence as she processes all that she had just received. The more she received the more questions she wanted to ask. She ends up simply storing what she receives, for now.

(I guess Chisan must've lied to me to get me riled up to shoot the one that got loose INSIDE Razorback Fortress with my M36 Lasgun.)
>Mallia returns to being active in their Link. Her empathic link transmits no bitterness, but there are traces of mild disappointment and some additional confusion. There might've been more to say, but she puts it on hold as she reached the top of the stairs.

>She slowed her steps, eyes still darting from wild thoughts whirling in her mind. But, upon crossing the threshold into the hangar proper, she manages to snap out of the metaphorical clouds and stops a couple of steps past the door. Her free hand went onto her flank as the other still held onto the box with the flowers.
>Her eyes visibly skim over the tools, the whole environment, the ammo and ordinance racks...
>Mallia's eyes shined with wild awe. Despite everything being somewhat technological inferior to what she knows.

>She also, more low-key, glances for a reasonably reinforced place to throw the Auspex at. Somewhere where it won't leave much of a dent.

>Then, of course, she does a double take as she spots Raindrop Raspberry. Immediately Mallia smiles radiantly with a glad, relieved look in her eyes, promptly taking long, eager steps to get to the Knight.
>She uses her mechadendrite to make a small wave herself before it returns to her back.
>Then, just as she's moving to approach, she looks into the cardboard box and opens the top...
>Mallia glanced over the dimly glowing flowers, looking for one that she felt most appropriate: A glowing red flower, preferably. and slows down as she carefully takes it by the stem and fishes it out into view!

"I know you said you were supposed to be taking of me, buuut~ I had an opportunity and so I plucked it..."
"Like this flower. For you!"
>She beamed with a certain sweetness, stopping near Raindrop and taking a knee down to be at their height. Holding out the flower to the knight.
>And also glancing down briefly as she sets the little box down near the brown blanket.
"Sorry for keeping you waiting."
>She says, with a mildly nervous tinge to her words as her smile becomes briefly lopsided as her eyes returned to Raindrop's. Letting the pegasus take or eat the flower before she'd sit on the cushion.
Canterlot University; Blowing Hot Air
The GM L.O.N.T

>Once again your horn lit up with gathered magic, this time however when you released the built up energy an explosion consisting of small multi-coloured sparkles filled the atmosphere all around you.

>You sensed the magic was still in the air when said air began to gently rise in activity, from a breeze too a whistling swell that messed up your mane. Horse Apples!
>The wave of air blasted against the armour and slowing pendulum, while the latter was not at all affected by this due to its mass the plate metal of the Diamond Dog armour fluttered and cluttered. It no longer had the familiar bipedal shape of a Diamond Dog, now it was a floating assorted jumble.
>It did not however fall into the blackness below as hoped, rather it was pushed back further by a dozen hooves.
>You could tell it was trying to reassemble itself back to its proper shape.

>Not only did her mane get messed up thanks to that Wave spell, she didn't even manage to push that stubborn armor off the bridge!
>Regardless, she had to move and fast while it was still recovering!
>With a mighty puff of her chest, she'd cast her hold spell once more against the intact swinging blade to further widen her opening back into the puzzle rooms
[1d6 = 2]<Master Casting: Hold spell
[1d6 = 1]
[1d6 = 2]
[1d6 = 3]

>Following that, she'd make a mad dash past the thankfully slower obstacle and see if she could reach the armor before it recovered proper.
>Maybe she can try to disleg it!
>See if it was actually going to play nice or not!
>Brush her mane back to its previous splendor!
[1d6 = 4]<Expert Speed: Sick and tired of your clanking, clanker
[1d6 = 4]
[1d6 = 2]
Canterlot University; Oops
The GM L.O.N.T

>You performed the spell again just like before, yet you noticed it had less power to it, much less. The magical chains that bound the pendulum blade were barely visible, might as well of been made from thin air.
>Your horn was feeling warmer too, you knew what this meant. Professor Steel Mane would tell stories between his lectures of Unicorns who cast too much magic in such a short span of time, he would purposely go into disgusting detail of what happened to hammer home the point of not overdoing it.
>The lucky ponies only got scorch marks or hairline fractures, the unlucky ones... While the results were all devastating, depending on the type of spell they were casting at the time the range of damage was quite broad. Horns exploding leaving an open wound in your head, melting off like like a candle, shooting off into the distance like a firework and worse.
>Which is why you were wearing the issued Horn Ring, though even this only prolonged the use of magic, not preventing a catastrophic fate.

>Speaking of which!
>The blade broke free from its magical binds, they were so weak they did not even cause any mechanical issues further up hidden in the ceiling. They were only held in place for 1 or 2 seconds.
>A Lack of adrenaline, the wind or a horribly placed pebble, whatever it was, you were slow. Much too slow to make it past the now free pendulum swinging right towards you with a vengeance.
>You felt your heart stop when you registered you were directly in its path mid gallop. It was faster than you.
>The world went black and white, you developed tunnel vision. Solely focused on the blade, it was horror made manifest as you witnessed it got closer.
>It was like a nightmare, it was faster while you moved at a snails pace. Unlike a terrible dream, you weren't going to wake up from this...

>The sensation you felt next was not pain, nor the intrusive feeling cold metal cleaving into your warm body.
>Instead you felt the familiar sense of vertigo and weightlessness.
>You breathed in deeply, fresh air rushing into your sore throat and lungs reinvigorating your limbs to move. You must have been screaming bloody murder to be this sore.
>Not as sore as your hooves, legs, chest and chin. Which all throated dully with pain.
>Dizzily looking around, It took a while to get your baring's. but you slowly realized where you were.
>At the beginning again!
>And not dead.
>Getting up off the floor you checked yourself over and saw a cut right on your side where your ribs ended, it was bright red and wept a steady trickle of blood. 89/90HP
>Upon seeing this you remembered what was said to you before. The University would not allow you to die.
>Not preventing you from getting injured thus avoiding consequence was not within their forte, apparently.

>Right in the centre of the chamber before you was the Diamond Dog armour set, this time fully activated and guarding over the large key.
>Along with the chalk boxset!
>It was staring you down with its non-existent eyes, waiting for you to enter the room proper.

Basin Village: The Lost Legions, Post #1/4
GM Strangler
353974 353988

PRIMAL LEADERSHIP: all Razorback (Initiating), Lunar/Second Dynasty/Solar (When Needs Must), Watch Guard (Desperate Allies), and Ruling Councilierge Vestal Gardenia (Near-Hostile) must now add +3 to all rolls.
ALL penalties from Operational Fatigue are negated for 8 turns.

('Eight minutes thirty seconds until Shattering Skies enters atmosphere.')
('It's astounding a single batpony can pull that damned much weight off the Dark Side of Moon.')
('And you were the one telling me there are advantages to non-military tactics?')
('I've been mane deep in rivers of bodies and blood not even the Lunar-Solar War's worst battles gave, or don't you know the slaughters at Kenfield Pass? When was the last time Tallus witnessed blood magic like this, General?')
('You don't know how batponies are sacred and holy to the Tower Guard, do you? Before those fucking battleship landers arrive I'll do the honor of showing why!')

>Massive Spectral lances cross the paths of far more numerous minute psionic variants, unable to interact or deflect each other, the Watch General's subuded anger rising as the unstoppable projectiles slam down into 240 Lancer Guards, collapsing dead on stonework at the entrance to Basin Village, the remainder fizzling onto armors and causing no further harm.
>Counter-salvos from the Hail of Glory and Battered Shores crash across realspace, the archaic Otherworld Harpy vessel finally reaching near-optimal combat deployment while the Germaneighan copy's monstrous arcane weapons strike deep through the hosts of charging Assault Divisions, its secondary weapons flaming out after their initial bursts.
>Shattering existence in the central Assault Division charges, an entire, whole cluster of Rime crystals flash-freeze 80 of the Lunar and 54 Solar Tainted Assault Division numbers, solidly encased yet still existing.
>The frontal line coalesces into 61 Lunar Assault Tainted rushing forwards unimpeded, the remaining 21 Solar Tainted now splitting off west around Basin Village.
>Frontal three ranks of Lunar Complete Tainted physically withering under Guillotine's tech-arcane weapons fire, scorched ozone fills the Basin's upper levels at the same time deploying minor tinnitus to every pony in range.
>Focused human weapons fire across the Assault Division ranks adds to the mayhem, a rising cacophony of barely warmed up automatics adding to a crescendo of rifles, shotguns, and even rovolvers, the further additions of launched grenades, rockets and missiles crashing into the unstopping Complete Tainted.
>The Lost Legions: 62,714 Morale of 285,678

('DAMN EVERYTHING! Individual destruction's not possible now! STRIKERS! Target the Support Divisions and disrupt their cursed lances! RAZORBACK! Headhunting's useless, deploy every weapon you have for your own sakes, you can't fucking miss at this range!')
[1d6+15 = (1+15) = 16] <Second Dynasty Support Strikers: Psionic Ripple Bombardmarent x 400 total
[1d6+17 = (3+17) = 20] <Support Striker Companeighs: Psionic Ripple Bombardmarent x 6,850 total
[1d6+17 = (5+17) = 22] <Watch Guard Support Striker Battalions: Psionic Ripple Bombardmarent x 2,000 total
>Screaming out a wordless challenge over intensified volleys of human weaponry, Bren, her crew, Krinza, and the unicorns from Luna's Villages deliver their next volley of Void lances without preparing against backlash.
[1d6+17 = (6+17) = 23] <Razorback Rookie Squads, 7 total
[1d6+21 = (4+21) = 25] <Razorback Veteran Squads, 10 total
[1d6+25 = (3+25) = 28] <Razorback Mercenary Squads, 11 total
[1d6+29 = (6+29) = 35] <Razorback Elite Squads, 8 total
[1d6+31 = (6+31) = 37] <Razorback Marefriends, 20 total
[1d6+25 = (6+25) = 31] <Razorback Stalliongriends, 10 Total

Lunar Guardian Assault Divisions, 8 Generals remaining @ 15 Speed, 110M south of Basin Village
Solar Guardian Assault Divisions, 2 Generals remaining @13 Speed, 170M south of Basin Village
Lunar Guardian Airstrike Division, 1 Captain remaining @ 16 Speed, 20M west of Basin Village
Solar Guardian Airstrike Division, 1 Captain remaining @ 13 Speed, 110M east of Basin Village
Solar Guardian Support Divisions, 4 Captains remaining @ 11 Speed, 340M south of Basin Village
[1d6+20 = (5+20) = 25] <Solar Guardian Support Divisions: Spectral Lances

[1d6+80 = (5+80) = 85] >Solar Guardian Airstrike Division
('Hail of Glory reporting excellent damage from last salvo, under direct assault now. These.. Tainted pegasi are slowed down but they're fragging my hull at a slow pace. Offensive abilities unknown, presumed long range enchantments. My scanning systems are long destroyed, no data on how to restore them. Ignoring until they halfway reach my sarcophagus. Altering target to Support Divisions.. weapons in range on good vectors, firing now-')
[1d6+9 = (6+9) = 15] <C-State Logic Repair Matrix
[1d6+5 = (2+5) = 7] <Accuracy Calculations
[1d6+5 = (1+5) = 6] <Optimal Range Vectors
[1d6+2 = (2+2) = 4] <Damaged Repair Systems
[1d6+2 = (2+2) = 4]
[1d6+6 = (5+6) = 11] <System 3 Repairs
[1d6+5 = (3+5) = 8] <System 5 Repairs
[1d6+16 = (1+16) = 17] <Main Tech-Arcane Armaments
[1d6+10 = (5+10) = 15] <Secondary Tech-Arcane Armaments
[1d6+9 = (5+9) = 14] <Tertiary Tech-Arcane Armaments
[1d6+15 = (5+15) = 20] <Point Defense Systems
[1d6+4 = (4+4) = 8] <Stabilizing Thrusters
[1d6+4 = (3+4) = 7] <Weapon Stabilizers

('Battered Shores now rotating crew out, three reserves on each station and Medics are stabilizing injured. Secondaries are down for restoration, risking a primary weapon array overload-')
[1d6+8 = (6+8) = 14] <Astral Medic Treatmarent
[1d6+5 = (6+5) = 11] <Accuracy
[1d6+3 = (6+3) = 9] <Optimal Range Calculations
[1d6+25 = (3+25) = 28] <Main Arcane Armamarents: Overload
[1d6+3 = (5+3) = 8] <Secondary Arcane Armamarent Repairs
[1d6+5 = (2+5) = 7] <Second Arcane Armamarent Preparations
[1d6+6 = (2+6) = 8] <Tertiary Arcane Armamarents
[1d6+9 = (5+9) = 14] <Point Arcane Defense Systems Preheat
Basin Village: The Lost Legions, Post #2/4
GM Strangler
353974 353988

('The Green Herd have rarely been called upon during this century. Perhaps their next attempt will fare better.')
>Impassionately dismissed by the Watch Guard General, a section of fifty Veteran Lunar unicorns in the north end of Basin Village are felt preparing a dual translocation for you and Mercy.
('Is that why you are shouting?')
("Yes, you dumbass!')
>Snickering aloud, the unarmored teal Primal Psion turns from her station at Razorback's east end barricade, throwing a crisp salute at you with an amusedly burning squint.
"Shut that transmitter down fast enough and not a single pony here will fail to know your actions!"
('I'll even forgive you for getting Skullcracker's entire mansion drunk with half of us and our entourages there, Miss Feathers!')
>Belatedly realizing The Target that night wasn't THE Target, it was supposed to be The OTHER Target, a snap-twist of reality wrenches you from Razorback's barricade to a focal point in the sky-
>High above an imposingly tall, black Pegasi Arena, the open landing pad atop was swarmed by paired orange spheres, multiple dozens of pegasi and earth pony sized models, though you couldn't tell the distance from here down easily.
[1d6 = 4] <Angle
[1d6 = 1] <Delay
[1d6 = 4] <Height
[1d6 = 2] <Lunar Unicorn Platune: Recovery Time
[1d6 = 6] <Rotation
[1d6 = 6] <Vector

>The Constructs were under assault by thousands/b] of Nightclaw armored Moor cats, ranging from common to half-Acroline sized, and several that would have little trouble shredding an earth pony, the Lunar-aligned felines waging this battle had been for quite some time judging by the numbers of dead heaped over ripped apart Rift spheres.
>On the east side close to the diving deck was a dimly familiar Moor cat standing alone, directing the ceaseless waves of enraged kanpri-coated fangs, claws, and batcat wings with short motions of wings and paws.
[1d6+4 = (6+4) = 10] <Heroine of the Moors, Rakingbay AKA 'Nibbles': Tactical Decimation
[1d6+15 = (5+15) = 20] <Minor Moor Cat Divisions
[1d6+23 = (5+23) = 28] <Lesser Moor Cat Divisions
[1d6+19 = (5+19) = 24] <Moor Cat Divisions
[1d6+15 = (6+15) = 21] <Major Moor Cat Divisions
[1d6+9 = (1+9) = 10] <Greater Moor Cat Divisions
[1d6+15 = (1+15) = 16] <Construct Repair Minoris Models
[1d6+14 = (3+14) = 17] <Construct Repair Standard Models
[1d6+9 = (6+9) = 15] <Construct Minoris Scout Models
[1d6+11 = (2+11) = 13] <Construct Standard Scout Models
>Near the Pegasi Arena's center and well out of the fray, by far the largest pair of Constructs were directing the Rift's siege forces:
>Between 30 to 40M tall, the entire surface of each was studded in weapon blisters, rocket, missile, and mine launcher pods, cylindrical barrels, and bizarre lightning bolt-like arrays covering each quadrant of their hulls.
[1d6+10 = (3+10) = 13] <Planetary Invasion Argus Behemoth-Destroyer Pair: ?????

>Partially shielded in the Pegasi Arena's center, a single heavily damaged, bright orange model that towered over its untouched protectors, the unit's blisters of unusual construction equipment desperately nanolathing a massive circular gateway that seemed to be partially completed.
[1d6 = 4] <Gateway Progress
[b]>Large Rift Gate: 23% Complete

[1d6 = 6] <Construct Force Number
[1d6 = 5] <Construct Force Size

>Immarense armor-shredding thuds herald the arrival of massive spike-laden Riftdrowner segments arriving in sets of three, crushing through a quartet of arriving Dominator Construct pairs and wrapping around the gateway to strangle it.
[1d6+50 = (2+50) = 52] <Grand Riftdrowner Sections

>Wings snapping out and legs tucked into a wide gliding stance, Mercy ignores the frantic combat below to marentally direct you towards the northwest Pegasi Arena corner, a brightly gleaming steel box covered in small red, green, yellow, and white lights partially seen from an overhang.
('Spiral's comm array needs to be shut it down in this order: yellow, red, white, green. I'll shred the gateway-')
>Rolling halfway left and out, the Spirit Walker descends in an afterimage of bloodstained pink blurs, air cracking ahead of her as both cannons loose their roiling orange payloads.
[1d6+4 = (3+4) = 7] <B.Pegasi Heavy Weapons: Construct Particle Whips
[1d6+4 = (6+4) = 10]
[1d6+4 = (2+4) = 6] <B.Auto-Ambush
[1d6+4 = (4+4) = 8]
[1d6+5 = (5+5) = 10] <E.Dive
[1d6+5 = (3+5) = 8]
[1d6+5 = (4+5) = 9]
[1d6+5 = (4+5) = 9] <B.Auto-Stealth
[1d6+5 = (4+5) = 9]
Basin Village: The Lost Legions, Post #3/4
GM Strangler
353974 353988 355345
"Fuck off!"
"Shut up and keep shooting!"
"Eat an Ethereal's dick if you're that comfortable with them!"
('RAZORBACK! Keep your figurative pants on or I will going to make sure every last human survivor is Moon-Cursed at the end of this!')
>Receiving several middle fingers before Vestal's eerie threat directs their attention back onto the Complete Tainted, it was clear a large chunk of Razorback was as thoroughly disgusted as they were riled up.

>Briefly aware something was wrong, a minuscule trace of psionic imprints, directly copied from you, cover the surface, fracturing apart in a haze of tiny white flakes.
('Borrow a pen next time. They are mightier than the sword at times according to Sharpened Words!')
>In the thermal overlay a number of Complete Tainted forms towards the rear stop, the normally hot Moors temperature around them turning black in far below zero conditions.
>Picking out a slightly larger Assault Division earth pony in the front rank, it looked to be a clone as the rest save for a few slight differences in armor style, the pseudo-kanpri plates shifting-
>And is immediately replaced by a smaller Tainted in standard Lunar Guardian assault armor.
>Feeling the deep impacts of heavy slugs exit the Spiker's barrel into the Tainted bearing down closer, the Watch General's Mind's Eye twitches in pain.
>The Lost Legions: 62,564 of 285,678 Morale.

"They will for now-"
>Angrily picking the object up and placing it atop the Razorback barricade, Emerald reaches down to pull her old, poorly maintained Tokarev TT-33 out and point it up at the Complete Tainted.
"Do your fucking job unless you'd all prefer dying with me!"
[1d6+1 = (1+1) = 2] <Coercion

('Keep it above one thousand meters, Tainted will ignore any object that is not directly assaulting them.')
>The Reaper's flight path visibly slows on screen as you set coordinates for maximum splash potential in the Support Division ranks, adjusting for their speed and intended route.
>On screen indications of five releases cause the drone to dip before settling into a hard left, passing well over Basin Village at 150MPH.
>Mistiming their chutes the Paveways strike first, number one landing partially east and south from the charging Support Divisions, number two crashing down wide to the west, shrapnel scattering into their ranks with poor effect.
The Lost Legions: 59,639 of 285,678 Morale.

>Far better aimed, the first JDAM lands dead center in a Solar Support Division Tainted, the second impacting sideways into another while the third finds a mark, triple detonations shearing through the massive forms with little hindrance.
The Lost Legions: 46,049 of 285,678 Morale.

>Lancers separating enough to let you move through their square formations, as you pass by the Councilierge standing post on the east end of Razorback's barricade her head tilts right in thought.
('Hmmm... I accept. At a time of my choosing you will duel Emerald in a complete free-for-all, but not to the death. The objective will be to achieve a clean victory. Should you win, your mate and you will have me for a night. Should you lose, Emerald will keep her agreemarent as per usual.')
('Emerald my dear, the next time you think about seducing a pony other than me? ...be more careful what you promise, and never let an earth pony down.')

>Turning her attention back onto the utterly single-focused Tainted, Vestal Gardenia raises her right foreleg with a merry marey grin, taking over the long ranged combatants from the Watch General.
"UNICORNS! Show your ancestors the might of modern lineages and renew the oaths of Evalesdraught's sacrifice! Open every sleeping jaw of at the Tainted and LET THEM HAVE THE FANGS!"
>Tearing apart arcane subrealities of the Moors in layers until the deepest sections of Void spectrums are exposed to realspace, thousands of lances, bolts, and coalesced streaks of concepts loose themselves at the 61 Lunar Guardian Assault Division Tainted, clusters of pseudo-creatures arcing up and high towards the Solar Guardian Support formation.
[1d6+15 = (4+15) = 19] <Day Guard Ranged Support Battalion x 1,200 total
[1d6+14 = (3+14) = 17] <Germaneighan Mage Bombardmarent Cluster x 50 total
[1d6+9 = (5+9) = 14] <Night Guard Combat Support Division x 400 total
Basin Village: The Lost Legions, Post #4/4
GM Strangler
353974 353988 354707
>Weapon streaks blurring out the metallic silver Destroyer's hull in the visor displays, the Otherworld Harpy's voice speaks with a sharply amused 'chirr' sound.
*"Rites of Destruction rage forth within Thee Lonely One grace, busied a time He shall be as Klavists shalt not suffer a beam nor plate tae be left whole!"*
>Snaprolling 180 degrees over to aim her flat top deck's point defense systems down at the moving Lunar Assault Divisions, a second freakish hail of tech-arcane weapons fire illuminates Basin Village for miles.
>'Guillotine', Pristine War Destroyer/Assault Breacher: 2,471/3,000 Armor
[1d6+23 = (2+23) = 25] <Primary Pulsar Array
[1d6+24 = (6+24) = 30] <Twin Molecular-Disruption Lances
[1d6+17 = (5+17) = 22] <Mass-Plasma Driver Array
[1d6+16 = (2+16) = 18] <Secondary Tech-Arcane Weaponry
[1d6+19 = (5+19) = 24] <Tertiary Tech-Arcane Weaponry
[1d6+14 = (1+14) = 15] <Tech-Arcane Point Defense Systems
[1d6+6 = (1+6) = 7] <Accuracy Calculations
[1d6+8 = (6+8) = 14] <Assault Vector Settings
[1d6+6 = (2+6) = 8] <Optimal Range Settings
[1d6+6 = (3+6) = 9] <Otherworld Harpy Anti-Ground Tactics
[1d6+6 = (1+6) = 7] <Stabilizing Realspace Thrusters
[1d6+15 = (4+15) = 19] <Pristine Tech-Arcane Repair Systems

>Hearing a saucy kek amid distant explosion clusters east, a batmare that couldn't be more than fifteen snicker-kees.
('Not good! Lunar Guardians are too damned fast and we're not fully catching 'em-)
>Trailing off with an angry snort, a final detonation confirms Destroyer Battalion 1's complete sacrifice.
The Lost Legions: 43,049 of 285,678 Morale
>Older this time, though not by much, a rough toned Deep Moors batpony stallion mutters through the Overherd across entire lines of Destroyers making one last pun.
('Can't tear these ones apart, too solid! I'm the last one alive on this side but there's gonna be a lot of ghosts here quick including me-')
The Lost Legions: 24,049 of 285,678 Morale

>Seemingly ignored for now, the Solar Guardian Support Division's lances were angled much higher than the Kiowa, their distance from Basin Village well within optimal weapon ranges.
>Releasing a second round of Hydra 70 rockets into the Complete Tainted unicorns followed by heavy machinegun chatter, as you angle the helo down at the 134 frozen Lunar and Solar Guardian Assault Divisions, hundreds of tiny ripples underneath them begin shaking apart the flash-frozen swamp water.
>Catching sight of familiar ornate armor markings and comparing them with the internal viewscreen displays, six Lunar and three Solar Guardian Generals were denoted as immobile enemy VIP's, and they were not happy to see you.
The Lost Legions: 22,664 of 285,678 Morale
[1d6 = 1] <?????

>A streak of white-blue-red-yellow-orange-green erupts from Basin Village's central translocation matrice, an earth pony mare composed of energies disturbingly similar to Anti; in response the entire Overherd bends away from the cursed form.
('I am High-General Broken Hoof of the Second Dynasty, corrupted by the Otherworld Bane weapons delivered by Stalliongrad's Impure Sisters to my dam Safflower Trot! All whom hear my words know this: tonight I take my first and my last breaths! No longer will I be locked away from this, my home world! Now make a path that I may die with a few shreds of honor intact!')
[1d6 = 5] <Time Remaining
Sunny Feathers
353988 354707
>Still tired of the entirely too happy Support Striker General, Sunny replied, barely managing to conceal her disgust just as the unicorns translocated her.
('Perhaps focus on winning the battle first before celebrating it as great.')
>She cast a sidelong glance at the primal psion saluting her for... Whatever reason.
('You must have me confused for somepony else. That's a very common name.')
>She didn't, and it wasn't, but she wasn't going to admit that.

>Then, she was flailing in mid-air.
>Oh, come on!

[1d6+6 = (5+6) = 11] < M. Reaction Speed
[1d6+6 = (1+6) = 7]
[1d6+6 = (1+6) = 7]
[1d6+6 = (1+6) = 7]

>Sunny felt gravity reasserting itself as she began to drop from what she guessed was forty meters in the air, snapping her wings open after turning her head, eyes, ears and nose in every direction she could to reorient herself.
>She couldn't fly, but she could glide, if one would call what she did gliding. First letting herself fall, then quickly angling up her descent, Sunny touched back down on the ground and made a beeline for the relay.
>Yellow, red, white, green. She eyeballed the relay as she approached, decidedly avoiding any contact with the constructs, allowing the Lunar Felines and now Mercy to draw their ire so she could do what she needed to do.

[1d6+3 = (1+3) = 4] < B. Perception
[1d6+3 = (4+3) = 7]

>Sunny spared a thought for the fallen felines.
>This was a mess, and if Mercy couldn't take down the gateway soon, it would get worse.




>She directed a thought back to the village defense, they should know what's happening if they didn't already.
('Construct forces already present at the arena and engaged with Lunar feline units. One construction unit, one Argus Behemoth-Destroyer pair, and assorted repair and scout models. Gateway construction in progress, approximately twenty percent complete.')
The L.O.N.T
when you pun.jpg
Master Aligned Valor: +8 for 1 turns to combat, +1 to movement
Master M.o.S: +2 for 2 turns to combat, adds two extra rolls for combat

>Lont acknowledged the Generals' orders to Fire-At-Will by patting down his pouches to check where he put the rest of his Livermorium ammo, he had some more on him for sure. Would it be enough? He did not know. He would resort to using buckshot or even his revolver.
>"At least its chambered in Lightning and Void elements."
>By the time he'd need his side arm the Tainted would be on top of them all, so he would definitely be in range.

>He did not respond to the other Operators, he merely released a steady exhale from his nostrils as he glared down the Tainted as the Wish Disc broke apart into flakes of frost.
('Duly noted. Should I assume its the Overherds' doing that you know what Wish Discs are and how they are used?')
>He thought aloud as he watched as the Tainted before him were instantly frozen solid by Rime. Will be a hassle to deal with after this was over but he was content with them being an obstacle for the other giant undead masses.
>Witnessing them all being frozen solid It reminded him of his interaction with Shining Armour and how badly things would of been if the stallion did not give him a friendly warning of his innate condition. He would not be here that is for sure, and missing an arm.

>Spotting the smaller Lunar Tainted emerging, the winged Operator hefted his Spiker back into place and took careful aim.
>Although they were not the type of giants he was used to fighting, and aiming for vital spots like joints was apparently pointless, he could not ignore his training.
"Should of followed the example set by your peers, and cool off!"
[1d6+3 = (2+3) = 5] >U.Punmancy +P.L

[1d6+3 = (5+3) = 8] >E.Perception +P.L
[1d6+3 = (5+3) = 8]
[1d6+6 = (4+6) = 10] >Thermal
[1d6+4 = (5+4) = 9]

[1d6+7 = (6+7) = 13] >E.Combat Shotgun +P.L
[1d6+7 = (5+7) = 12]
[1d6+7 = (4+7) = 11]

>Lont turned looked back, wings fluttering and spasming at Broken Hoofs entrance. A chill ran up his spine and it was not from the Rime, a familiar tinge of dread sat in the pit of his stomach. He was reminded of the man made monsters that were Psion Mech Suits back on Ferrundus, and how after all these years and on a different world in a wholly separate reality he could still feel their otherworldly touch on his mind.
>Broken Hoof however was different, enough for disbelief to turn into admiration at her conviction. What was one more honourable death this night?
('Good luck, die well.')
>He would of gladly fought against his fears to give her a final snoot boop instead of some grim farewell, yet it was all he could do for now.

>He was taken aback. The Constructs were already here? Yes not in full force, but here, now. How the hell did no one notice, and fighting felines? Moor Cats?
>His wings burst out to their full length with pinions spread apart, the subsequent pain pulsing across his back brought him to his senses.
>Lont hoped the Ethereal and Empire units would arrive soon.
"What a night."
Bubba the Second
>As Bubba followed behind her, he gripped his rifle righter and walked straighter, taking a moment as the two went to affix bayonet.
"Everything's loaded and off of safe. I'm not planning on hesitating here."
>For the first time in a long while, Bubba was truly calm.
>Briefly patting his holster, he'd be reassured that everything was in place as the two appeared into the Enclave.

>Taking a look around as he let her take the lead, Bubba would take in what he could.
>Nodding, he'd resume following after her.
[1d6 = 3] >M. Perception
[1d6 = 3]
[1d6 = 3]
[1d6 = 5]
>Kissy's previous fright at the imminence of her death caused her eyes to shrink into pinpricks.
>How could the-

>y let this...
>So there's some sort of respawning anchor of some kind to keep her from actually dying
>No wonder they put that large gauntlet at the end.
>Speaking of: How is a single unicorn trainee supposed to beat this thing in the first place with seven spells?
>Booboo must be missing something!
>Did she enroll in the military branch by accident?!
>Has she failed the test already?!
>She's a healer, for Celestia's sake!

>Before she lost her cool any further, Kissy took a couple of steadying, deep breaths.
>Clearly, the pressure from both metaphorically dying and teetering closer to failing this final exam was getting to her.
>She didn't even get any actual medicine classes, come to think of it.
>Quickly shaking off such random tangents, the unicorn opted to simply step into the room and see if it actually tried to slice at her.
>No more panicking.
>No more danger
>Now it's time to properly understand the rules of the test.
Canterlot University Go Again
The GM L.O.N.T

>After taking the time to have a needed breather, you were no longer disorientated by your near-immediate death experience with a giant blade.

>Upon taking a single hoof into the chamber proper the set of armour grew more animated, no longer just floating there in the air it now clumsily marched towards you. Its rattling steps filling the entire chamber like before, as it marched towards you it left behind the key unguarded.
>And the chalk too.

>Watching the pile of shiny scrap come closer you remember that the Horn Ring you wore extended your casting potential, without it you would not be able to cast as many spells. The University must be expecting you to use so many spells within the confines of this test, or less.
>You also realize you have not cast any spells against the Diamond Dog armour yet, curiously enough.

354594 355009
>Kissy recalled trying to use the Wave spell on it, which didn't really do much to it aside from stunning it a bit.
>Certainly not enough to actually take it down for good
>As far as she knew, she didn't have any sort of magic tools to dispel whatever is animating the guard.
>Come to think of it, she hasn't even seen if it'd try to swing at her in the first place.
>Regardless, she'd try to cast a simple water Bolt spell in the hopes the moisture can rust up the armor pieces
[1d6}<Master Casting: Water Bolt
[1d6 = 6]
[1d6 = 3]

[1d6 = 4]<Master Casting: Water Bolt (pls brain)
[1d6 = 1]
>Clemency watches the Guillotine as it rolls to fire its point defense systems, still in awe of the immense firepower it's unleashing
>It reminded Clem of the superweapons back home, only instead of bristling with AA guns, its bristling with energy weapons
>"Ornate armor...there they are."
>Banking and turning the helo around, Clemency began angling the aircraft and aims the Hellfires as best as he could
*"Jeff, I spot nine generals in the rime. 3 Solar, 6 Lunar. Aiming Hellfires for the Solar Generals."*
>Reckoned as best as he can, Clemency fires off two Hellfires at two of of the frozen Solar Generals
>He didn't even bother with the machine guns as he turns away after seeing the missiles splash

[1d6+13 = (4+13) = 17] <AGM-114 Hellfire
[1d6+13 = (5+13) = 18]

>He instinctually gasped as he saw the streak of light coming from the matrice
>It reminded him of the M.S.O.L.G's TLS, only in reverse
>And he purposefully gasped when he saw the Overherd bend away form it and the defense lines try to part for the being
>At least he's up here, Clem thought to himself

>His thoughts were soon interrupted by Sunny's report
>Constructs where finally in the area
>And they're constructing a gateway
>As much as he wants to head towards them and launch Hellfires at the thing, Clemency decides against it
>Things might hijack his helo, missiles...
>Hell, even his helmet
>Instead, Clemency preps another strafing run onto the frozen generals if they are still there
Canterlot University Go Again
The GM L.O.N.T

>Again you felt the same sensation as before with the other spells you've cast, however this time the gathered swirling magic around your horn had a moist disposition to it. Coincidently the air around you became quite dry, so too did your mouth as you aimed for the walking armour.
>When you were up close to the Diamond Dog plate you saw it was of high quality white metal with gold filigree around its edges, it wouldn't rust after a singular bolt of water. striping the gold off maybe, but no rusting, especially unsalted water.
>By the time you were about to fire off the Bolt of water the armour was still marching right towards you, sword raised and ready to strike you.
>though you estimated it would of taken 30 seconds to reach you from its start position at the centre of the chamber.

>With an audible **SPLOOSH** the bolt of watery magic shot off towards the encroaching armour.
>A heartbeat later it hit right on chest plate with a reverberating sound as if somepony hit a musical instrument, the impact sent water showering in all directions even tiny droplets peppering your snout.
>The force of the spell sent it skidding by several hooves backwards, its Diamond Dog form losing cohesion for a moment. 11/??HP
>From this distance you could see there was no dent made to it, not even the filigree was disturbed... With no meat or bone moving the metal suit, therefore no mass behind it, it was quite easy to push it about with the right spells you observed.
>Regaining its composure it once again stomped towards you, this time its armour glistening wet.

Bren's Cabin: The Dead Do Not Sleep
GM Strangler
>Puffing her cheeks out and giving a short 'I'll wait' motion, Lime Ruby's eyes flicker in humor.
"I know the feeling, my ink sticks would be inside cooking pans since they broke easy or they'd get lost among bottles. Could never remember where they were at the best of times. I bet my saddlepack's still stuck on a Ringed Inland Sea shelf somewhere. Unless somepony found it but I doubt that's happened."

"Might want to have some copies made. The Library here is good size but I doubt it has the full Crystal Kingdom Era series on the Rift Plane and Constructs. Or the translations. Getting some Conclave Knights or a Kingdom Warden squadrun would be a great start, one in four is always a Lorekeeper."
>Sitting back to rub her snout, she lifts her shoulders halfway, then stops, giving a partially confused look.
"It's not exactly blood. Does it act like how we think blood works? To a certain point, yes. But also no? Few centuries ago I watched a Starblazer Behemoth that was ripped in half after its pair was separated thawing, figured I'd watch it. The blood was used to rebuild portions of it's hull, internal parts, pieces, and weapons. Smallest piece I could see took a minute, cluster pod was twenty minutes, entire hull was around fifty hours. Then again those ones are about a quarter the size of this house.
Complexity increases time of course, and it was still partially forzen, but what's really bizarre is the fact it's blood could become anything, almost at will. It also stores physical heat so they can function normally in extreme cold. Except for being around Rime deposits of course. As for reproduction-"
>Pursing her lips with a thoughtful tone, Lime frowns down at the bed.
"Possibly? Don't quote me on that yet. During the Conclave Era there were a lot of counter-invasions into the Rift Plane. Problem was and still is Crystal ponies can't understand most of what's in there, same with unicorns and psions. Lots of reports stated infiltrators watched pairs being constructed by pairs of machines so huge they couldn't figure out where the sides, top, or bottom are
There's an Assault-Raid-Crusade force that live in Ice Floe Fort year round, mostly Killknights. They're dangerous to be around since their bodies emit huge amounts of Rime, it's basically like Eldritch ice. Rest are Crystalline Shells, some Crystal Revenants, a few Elemarental Plane of Ice allies, but no Ethereals. Some of them are sure to know more but that's not exactly an easy place to access."
>Shifting to a more reasonable seated position, Lime Ruby presses her front hooves together with a subdued grin.
"Ka is the more correct way of saying 'soul'. In other words, ka is everything that isn't the physical body. What isn't physical gets condensed into a single mostly-non-physical existence. Memory, consciousness, skills, talents, my senses, basically the concept of 'me' as a whole.
I can't use Crystal Runes to interact with Tallus the same way as I could when alive but instead I can deal with Spectrals, or Planar, Eldritch, and Void beings on equal ground. Makes my job a lot easier."
>Unmoving for a bit to process the information, the mare's ears flick up before shaking her head.
"Part of me doubts it'd be truly abandoned. Sounds like that's one of numerous isolated locations. You'd never build an experimarent lab or research center next to another one, they'd be spread out. Or indirectly connected. Did you find any notes on what they were studying there?
As for the URA itself you'd have better luck asking around, haven't been in that region since access was revoked. Still.. that amount of power is infectious. Not even Crystal ponies are immune to the idea of using Rift technology since it doesn't degrade or fall apart with age. Immune to Tallus entropy too. Weapons, armors, parts, pieces, can all be swapped back and forth without much problem."
>Rolling her eyes in the first touch of irritation you'd seen so far, she slumps forwards with a grating sigh.
"Already gave it to him but he said I don't exist, called me a hallucination. Went and talked to his mare instead, she'll hopefully sort it out."
>Smirking at the General's suggestion, Jeff continues observing the battlefield through the Reaper's camera.
('It's four thousand up and out, I'd like to see them try and hit a target three and a half miles away moving at one-fifty an hour. I can also provide a pegasi-eye view of the battlefield with it, if it would help you coordinate our forces. Hi definition, thermal, infrared; I can count the spirals on a unicorn's horn from two miles out with this.')
>As the bombs land he mentally comments on the Paveway's poor timing on his part, but the JDAMs were on point. That one Tainted had no idea...
"Hoo hoo. Those JDAM's hit pretty jay-dam good!"
>He sighs to himself as he hauls ass through the crowds of ponies and Razorback members.
>The puns just weren't hitting the same like usual, for him.

>Settled into his frther back and fortified position, he keeps tabs on the drone's visuals and flight while Vestal chimes in.
>... wait, he was just only trying to get her back on track of the battle?
>Did he just unintentionally make a pass at her? Being a Mortal Foe, noneless.
>And she ACCEPTED?
>AND he has to now fight Emerald at some point to lay claim on her?
>He's either VERY convincing, or maybe she's a little desperate?
>Jeff takes a hot second to unpack that can of worms he opened on himself.
>Seeing that the Reaper hasn't within strike angle yet, he decides to take the few precious moments to reload the MK32.
>Might as well try and play this off coolly.
('Oh! I had not realized you were already spoken for, Vestal.')
>Pulling the grenade launcher out of the duffle, he swings open the back plate and hold fingers onto the two unfired forty-mikes and kicks out the four empty canisters with the unloading lever.
('Gotta honor a duel, tho! Emerald's got her work cut out for her then, if she has to one-vee-one me!')
>He charges the cylinder spring back four clicks and loads it back up with HE rounds from the bag.
>With a freshly loaded Milkor, Jeff closes the back plate back up safeties it and sets it back into the duffle.

>Getting a contact from Clemency, Jeff looks down into the Reaper's camera and pans it into the deposit of Rime with frozen Tainted in it.
>By now it should have come around for a better strike angle.
('The gilded ones right? Copy that. I've spotted them earlier. The Rime's kept them from shifting around. I'll Go for the Lunar Generals, work my way out to in on them.')
>Zooming in tight on the Rime deposit, Jeff begins scanning the frozen lot for Lunar General Tainteds as he begins bringing online four of the Hellfires and switches the drone's camera over to the laser designator.
>He begins scanning the Rime for his intended targets, as he gets a laser lock for his first Hellfire.
>Spreading four missiles over four Generals should give him a good baseline how effective they could be.
[1d6+8 = (3+8) = 11] <UHD Aperture Camera
[1d6+6 = (3+6) = 9] <M.Scouting
[1d6+6 = (6+6) = 12]
[1d6+6 = (5+6) = 11]
[1d6+5 = (4+5) = 9] <Observer Tactician
[1d6+5 = (2+5) = 7]

>Settling for whichever Lunar Generals he can PID, Jeff arms his first Hellfire and launches it.
('All ally fliers in the AO, be advised! Friendly missiles incoming overhead from the North!')
>He only waits long enough for each missile to impact its intended target, before locking onto the next one. Damage assessment can be taken after he finishes firing.
>Lunar Guardian Assault General #1
[1d6+13 = (1+13) = 14] <AGM-114 Hellfire Missile
[1d6+13 = (3+13) = 16]

>Lunar Guardian Assault General #2
[1d6+13 = (1+13) = 14] <AGM-114 Hellfire Missile
[1d6+13 = (4+13) = 17]

>Lunar Guardian Assault General #3
[1d6+13 = (1+13) = 14] <AGM-114 Hellfire Missile
[1d6+13 = (1+13) = 14]

>Lunar Guardian Assault General #4
[1d6+13 = (2+13) = 15] <AGM-114 Hellfire Missile
[1d6+13 = (6+13) = 19]

>Jeff's focus is disturbed momentarily by the Anti-like energies of Broken Hoof's arrival.
>So she's going all-out as well.
>He's never seen her do anything other than help oversee the wall guards, for the most part, so actual fighting would be interesting.
>This armor was really starting to get on Booboo's nerves.
>While she figured it was meant to use up spells to shoo it off by now, the pressure against her sole being really irked her to no end.
>Although she would be willing to do what it took to save lives, she'd at least hoped there'd be somepony keeping threats like these at bay.
>Ugh, now she started feeling as if she didn't learn anything at all.
>She should've gone to med school...

>With a weary sigh, Kissy soon galloped off one of the doors as she baited the armor to come to her.
>Making sure neither the key nor the crayon set was in the ensuing blast, she'd ready another Air Wave spell to push it to the room's corner and keep it there.
[1d6 = 3]<Master Casting: Air Wave
[1d6 = 4]
[1d6 = 6]
[1d6 = 1]

>Following that, she'd get close enough to swoop both items previously being guarded by the armor and rushed to unlock one of the doors opposite of the armor with the key given.
>By this point, she wasn't too keen on really passing this test.
>Dying tends to be a rather poor show of aptitude, after all.
Canterlot University, Things Are Heating Up
The L.O.N.T

>The Armour, in its predictable nature changed its trajectory as soon as started galloping away from the spot you where standing in at the mouth of the corridor. Its empty helmet tracking where you went and the rest of its "body" moving at its slow cumbersome pace.

>You felt your horn heat up as you cast the spell, and when unleashing the blast of condensed air towards the Set you felt a pulse of uncomfortable heat come from the tip of your horn down to its base. It thankfully did not hurt but worryingly it was not abate either...
>Hearing the annoyingly familiar sound of metallic clatter filling the chamber, you knew you hit the Armour without looking. Stealing a glace back at it you saw your plan worked! It had been pushed back deep to one corner, the furthest distance yet between you and it so far. Although it appeared all jostled it was sadly not reduced to a pile of scrap. 8/??HP
>Was now dry, so there was that.

>Now that your stalker has been blown away to a safe distance and with both box of chalk and key held firmly in your magical grip you make your way to the closet locked door, and with no hesitation shove the key in. It fit perfectly.
>You sensed a surge of magic come from the lock as it moved by its own accord, unlocking itself and falling to the floor with a loud bang that rang across the chamber. Then, a flash of light came from the door as if an invisible barrier was dispelled.
>It began slowly grind its way open like previous doors.
>And just like before it made your teeth rattle in your skull as it yawned open.

>Once your world was no longer vibrating due to the massive door coming to a stop against the wall, you trotted past the threshold into the corridor that connected the main chamber to this new one you unlocked, chalk trailing behind in your telekinetic grasp.
>With a preliminarily stare from where you were you gathered this new room had the same height as every other chamber you've been in so far, and perhaps was smaller than the chamber you just left.
>Oh also the blazing wall of fire.
>It must of been three ponies and you could not see a darn thing behind it, even from where you were at you could feel its heat, no doubt getting hotter as you got closer.
>Despite this however you did spot there was a scroll sitting on a podium before the burning barrier, unaffected by the flame.

>Booboo breathed out a little sigh of relief as the doors finally opened after their incessant scraping, only to stare in disbelief at the wall of fire in front of her.
>However, she didn't falter as she quickly picked up the scroll with her telekinesis and read its contents.
>Surely this must mean there's a puzzle to be solved!
Dead as fuck comp
GM Strangler
356186 356212 356216
Lost both SSD's yesterday morning, had minor heart attack due to that bullshit, 100+ painful heart arrythmya instances. Getting checked in shortly but ordered replacements. See you horsefuckers shortly.

I hate niggers and shitty days.
356191 356249
There's your problem right there. Always have shit you can't bear to lose and write to frequently on HDD. SSDs are a stupid fucking meme with a 50 times shorter lifespan for writing data and you cannot recover it at all once lost. The time you save in loading data reading and loading is instantly lost when it takes longer to write to the bloody things, and increased further when it inevitably craps out and you have to replace everything.
I don't think it takes longer to write on SSDs. Unless you got a buffer-less piece of trash
It's true tho. I'd take a larger HDD over a smaller, but faster SSD everyday of the week. Plus there are some large HDDs with large buffers. Those make for great boot-drives as well.
oh shit, get well soon man! >>356179
>heart attack
Are you a big guy?
I thought he was kidding.
GM Strangler
Only had OS on it, all else is safe.

Trying, still under observation. MRI were not good looking, dozen plus micro scars on 1st, 4th heart walls, 5 medium on 3rd, tiny one on 2nd. Arrythmya rare now but hurt when they do occur. Stress kills. Will check back in 3 days, might get laptop sent here.
GM Strangler
356253 356257
Not big enough. Was walking outside, chest seized, could barely force breathing, nowhere to go except straight down on gravel. Lucky a buddy was there, otherwise who fucking knows.
U vaxxed?
Seriously tho. Hope you get better soon. May God help you stick around.
fuckin' yeesh. dunno what else to say other than you'll get better soon, and i know you will because i believe so.
When anon isn't a big guy 4u
I never got these threads or knew what they were about, but get well soon, Anon.
GM Strangler
356496 356503
Fuck no, never will be. Epona is watching my ass with intense disgust.

Getting a little better each day, but still having random heart flutters/murmurs. They HURT like a sledgehammer to my fucking chest plate. Won't get let out for at least another week but at least a buddy brought my laptop, shitty as it is.

An old school d6 text based RPG. We started in middle 2012!
The Tainted by Fabcob.jpg
Good to see you're too angry to die Mav.

And just in time for this commission to be done. An...interpretation of current events.
Glad to hear you’re resting up and getting better, mang. Expected nothing less from you.
I understand the hurdles you’re probably having to go through before you can get a clean bill and a discharge, so focus on doing what you have to do to heal up.
GM Strangler
More depressed than angry at this stage. I've lost YEARS to personal health shit than I should ever have. And, by Epona that is so fucking close to what I envisioned. When I have the chance to do so, I'll make topo map on fucking paper if I have to. The foreground and background does NOT do enough justice to how much care went into the description of Basin Village.

Trying to and rediscovering the limits of a single human's resilience are paired yet problems. I don't know how to explain how much having random heart arrhythmia hurts at odd, unknowable, frankly fucking terrifying times. I wake up and feel exactly as if I'm collapsing again only to see the vitals monitor record a 'slight' change in oxygen records on said monitor.

The only probability I've gotten so far is a somewhat plausible factor that majorly increased nitrate exposure due to how deep the local well was, and the intense amount of small plot 'farmlarnd' had been, MIGHT have been contributing to the number of heart attacks I've had. Asked said buddy that brought me this laptop to check the well water, ground water, and free flowing water nitrate levels, he'll have results back in 4-5 days IF the testing lab doesn't take weekends. If the problems I've had ARE related to excessive nitrate exposure, then a series (3 at minimum?) of high density filters will remove that problem

For right now, much as I fucking hate city water, the daily number of heart arrhythmia incidences have deceased by 10% per day from 50 down to 6. Those still hurt badly. I haven't been this close to meeting the Grim fucking Reaper since 2003. And that scares me more than anything else.
Good to know you like it!

And better knowing you're not done and out yet, mang
GM Strangler
356619 357004
Main doctor came in a bit ago, the bad news: I have semi-persistent atrial fibrillation originally caused by a moderate heart attack and numerous minor ones over the past 6 years. Wasn't caused by a clot (plaque or blood), extreme stress compounded by a minor in alcoholism, a lack of sleep, possible hereditary issues, and a partial imbalance in magnesium levels caused the left atria (upper chamber) and ventricle (lower chamber) to fluctuate without warning. The random 'sledgehammer' heart beat is when the left ventricle fails to contract and expel blood while the atria forces a higher volume in and through. So far there's no evidence of blood pooling or clotting being caused, but the random irregularities don't rule that out.

Good news: no fainting, dizziness, fatigue, memory loss, etc. Slight amount of tightness in chest was due to severe muscle cramping. Lung complications are being checked on MRI, getting another one of those to test for other possible troubles tomorrow.

The fucking monitors are currently being drowned out by ear plugs, and hospital 'food' is... beyond awful.
Jeez, that is a lot of bad news right there. AND terrible food.

You're not dead yet so that is a positive.
GM Strangler
357000 357002 357004 357067 357115
Fuck hospitals and their "food". The bad news has gotten MUCH better: the semi-persistent atrial fibrillation has been mostly cancelled out. An extremely selective diet combined with extensive physical therapy, AKA: specific exercises designed to reduce AND lessen the lasting problems of a heart attack, have... actually done quite well. I've been downgraded from semi-persistent to minorly irregular (1-5 unusual heart rhythms per day) atrial fibrillation. Have lost ANOTHER 6 pounds, am not diabetic in the slightest, no bizarre/unusual/strange arrhythmias, but now I have to stay on a strict diet with equally strict exercises each day. Fucking sucks but I would rather not die.

Comp is done, no more SSD shit, also have a second backup and my external is 100% solid. No data was lost, everything #OiE related is safe. I should be back home from the 6th to 8th, depending on how well the therapist ascertains my physical state. All signs so far are good.
357067 357123
Don't jinx it
What are these heart exercises?
You didn't take the lethal injection. Right?
>got trips on informing us on the good news

now you can't die or else you'll be a massive faggot

the trips protect against any jinxes, also GG on the 7k post
Bubba the Second
Don't you dare fuckin die before me you faget.

But good to see that you're doing well on recovery, now fucking take it easy.
GM Strangler
357126 357146 357545
Don't make a tempting offer~

Medium to high intensity, moderate impact cardio. Basically metered speed exercises.

FUCK no. Never have, never will. Got done watching 'Died Suddenly', real sickening. It's on rumble, unfortunately.

Can't be a faggot if you like mares more.

If I'm not active enough taking it easy might kill me. We've lived this long, I ain't leaving now.
>FUCK no. Never have, never will.
Bubba the 2nd
Take it easy in a sense of not giving yourself the die
any updates?
GM Strangler
357797 357851 357857 357927
Less die, got it.

Got held another week and a half due to a 'false' heart attack that turned out to be a paroxysmal muscular spasm, am wearing a heart rate monitor now. Should be home late this week or next.
Told you not to jinx it.
be safe man
Nurse Redheart - winking.png
Be well fren.
Bubba the Second
Why are you like this