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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 →
557 replies and 75 files omitted.
Basin Arena Garrison-Depot, Aftermath 22
GM Strangler
>Already giving orders for the rear most ranks to turn head towards Basin Village, most of the Veterans and Elites think aloud.
('Just ignore the wings.')
('I would but that might take effort.')
('Like you can spare any right now-')
('Better yet, when are we getting some gliders?')
('How about flying enchantments? Probably a lot cheaper.')
('Those are difficult to justify time and energies spent, as a result they're rarely produced outside of towns with a significant unicorn population. You may try cloud cities, yet I wouldn't advise that these days, too marely ripoffs.')
('What ab-')
('Way to kill the mood, dude.')
('Interesting. Are Shells immortal?')
('Technically, no. Consciously, definitely not. Functionally is improbable as well. Crystalline Shells inevitably suffer from ennui and similar states of mind, similar to... other long lived states that I don't want to think about right now.
Once they believe their time is done or have accomplished an acceptable number of tasks, each picks a time and place to cease existing. Most often the Crystal City-State Labyrinth, the place they were born in, or a highly important, or holy, location is chosen.')
('Thaaaaat explains way more than I wanted, but.. thanks?')
('Do Shells actually eat Empire crystal? If they do then how's digestion work, or is it all crystal song-magic?')
>Feeling HIGHLY uncomfortable at Mind's Eye stares from thousands of inquiring ponies, the Veteran thinks better of his question.
('Mangoes, are they the best fruit or the worst?')
('Would yo-')
('No, it's a serious question.')

>Rotating around you to face east and waiting for the central lines to move once more, the five Assault Vanguard mares grumble halfheartedly, majorly displeased at being outvoted, though accepting the return wouldn't be too awful.
('We can still look for something to eat, right?')
('Knowing batponies, we're the ones that're going to be foraged...')
('What does that mean?')
('You'll.. find out soon enough.')
('No, I need to know what you're thinking!')
('Soon. Enough.')
('You're a pain.')
('Thanks, hard head.')

('What's harder to read than a Crystal pony? An angry Crystal pony that's not talking.')
>Giving up trying to determine moods from Conclavists, Kingdom adherents, Imperials, then frowning towards Spireguards, the leadstallion motions for the Operator he was escorting to remain temporarily as the rear line enters a slow march towards Basin Village.
('They certain don't look to be pleased in any possible ways, means, mareners, shapes, or forms in the least.. far more Late Dynasty weaponry, armors, and equipmarent than I was expecting.')
('Fairly normal stuff, like what we keep for extras. Most are in great shape too.')
('Hm. Too bad they don't have some of the rare pieces. Unless they want to talk I suggest leaving them alone. Time?')
('Three hours, plus or minus ten minutes. Are we still allowed t- ......I'm going to pretend I didn't see that.')
('See what?')
('Everypony, perform full armor checks prioritizing joints and gaps for leaves, twigs, sticks, rocks, small stones, or marbles, immediately after a batpony has come within twenty hooves of you.')
('The way you said those is so matter of fact I can't help but think you've experienced them. Twice each, right?')
('More than I care to remember right now, not that I kept count.')
>Cheto's eyebrow raised in turn as Starglow started to do her thing with alien sounds and hidden scribbles.
>A part of him felt tested in some way but he wasn't sure how.
>Best not to fret too much about that.

"Thank you for the heads-up, miss Shanis."
>He promptly gave the titular pegasus mare a curt bow in tandem with his words of amicable appreciation.
>In fact, as a token of gratitude, he'd bestow her a nice boop on her snout as payment.
>Back to the little penniped, Gallo listened intently as his mind took notes on what this little guy was looking for.
>Argenta might have what Nao is looking for in terms of sea food, actually, but might as well inquire while she's still here.
>He also gauged her reaction to Shanis's snout being poked by a human finger, wondering how seals viewed this presumed pony gesture.
"May I ask what other liasions have been sent to meet the demands for the newest colony of the Greater Polar Seal Colonies, miss Nao? It seems like a big endeavor that needs contacts all around Tallus."
>Of course, such a big question might yield a big answer, so he had to pay all of his attention towards the cutie little patooie seal.
>This could be the start of great things.
Basin Arena Garrison-Depot, Aftermath 23
GM Strangler
371274 371376
>Relaying the message forwards, the older mare gestures for her squad to about face as Mercy takes a deep breath, releasing it as a quiet, satisfied snort.
"As everypony can see I am unharmed, a bit winded, not yet tired. And rather.. I feel excellent at the momarent, am not e-"
>Lips tightening sharply, her right wing pulls forwards to graze the scar on her neck before looking up with a softening expression, head shaking in short, negative motions.
"Not now, there is little time remaining. I must return to Sunny but I will be on the Tower after returning-"
[1d6+4 = (2+4) = 6] <B.Auto-Stealth
[1d6+4 = (5+4) = 9]
[1d6+4 = (1+4) = 5]
[1d6+5 = (6+5) = 11] <E.Flight
[1d6+5 = (6+5) = 11]
[1d6+5 = (4+5) = 9]

>Neutrally watching on the Spirit Walker makes a half-leap, swinging around in air and streaking off in heavy ripples, the leadstallion's eyebrows raise.
('Quite an opportunist. Ambusher for sure, fairly specialized. Assassin? ...no, skillset isn't even close.')
('Could be a hunter.')
('No trophies, enchantmarents, weapons aren't particularly destructive against most targets, not carrying much... and in that cloth armor? Doubtful. Mindset wouldn't be right either.')
('Erm, you two care to elaborate?')
('We can tell a pegasi's open moods fairly easily. Wasn't concerned, worried, afraid, scared, certainly not coerced or secretive. And those threats weren't entirely honest.')
('Didn't want to cause harm, hated the idea of starting another conflict, though was willing to make a.. somepony that isn't dead on their hooves, finish that thought for me-')
('She had been within the interdiction field's outermost layer until all matrice-gateways were closed, then made herself known before or after approach. A complicated series of deductions, yet the possibilities are fairly tangled.')
('Wait, what? Why?')
('To ensure her message, or messages, achieved the desired affects and effects.')
('Why wait instead of planning to show up when the gates closed?')
('Even if we had maintained the gateways to rush back through, perhaps six percent would have returned. Doing so would have well and truly burned out each unicorn to a severe extent, myself included. A warning to ensure that we all returned alive to Basin Village alive?')
('Perhaps a statemarent that our efforts are indeed unnecessary, or we should not take such a risk.')
('Or she had indeed been in flight to arrive two-point-six minutes after the last matrice-gateway closed. In this case the best answer may be none at all.')
('Plausible, yet I feel our questions to be irrelevant. As it is we should not speculate without further information. Nevertheless, an independent marecenary is not beholden to our codes of conduct or agreemarents, thus it is disrespectful, and improper, to pry further.')
('In that case, what should we do?')
('Precisely what she said, without exception. Hoof it mares, the quicker we all leave the fewer mangoes need to be retrieved from places you did not know existed-')
>Interjecting and leaving the Overherd to suffer from Lunar-aligned snickers, the Shieldmare imagines herself throwing a pillow large enough to cover the entire Moors.
Basin Arena Garrison-Depot, Aftermath 24
GM Strangler
('Outvoted almost six to three, huh.')
('Too bad, but he's right.')
('Like usual.')
('Would've been nice to at least study the abomination.')
('There's always another one.')
('And that will be when, miss fortune teller?')
('Not a clue.')
>Somewhat deflated at their prospects diminished to zero, four of the five Councilierge mares step around in three-point, 180-degree turns, albeit not quickly, the youngest mare stares on for a half-second before about facing.
>Silverine-trimmed helmet tipping backwards, an impression of a grin and faint amusemarent occurs.
('Has really ni-')
('Stop that.')
('But th-')
('Quit it.')
('Just look a-')
('What part of cut that out are you ignoring, and for what purpose?')
('Why can't I appreciate a mare with gre-')
('Why can't you control yourself!? Here you are thinking.. what even are you thinking?')
('I am in way better control of myself than half of us, and I was looking at her wings. Pretty, glossy feathers and a full body color aren't common you know. Besides, who did I piss off to get assigned to this bunch of joykillers?')
('Who DIDN'T you..')

('Shieldmare, you can drop us, we have certain unfinished argumarents.')
('I'd say the same, but too tired. We'll start coordinating food and water in.')
('As shall we, if you do not mind.')
('Very well. Day, Night, and Lunar Guard releasing in three, two, one-')
>Disconnecting a little over seventy percent of the Overherd, the remaining Watch and Assault Vanguard express heavy relief at the greatly lessened pressures.
>Until the frontal Chargers and Lancers notice batponies in clusters sweeping down to deliver fruits two at a time, or in small satchels.
>Heads turning to stare, peculiar sensations from squinted, diamond-slitted eyes cause manes to bristle.. the first kek is heard.
>Then a snicker as a Lunar mareneuvers to pin a Watch mare behind two Day Guard.
>Realizing how utterly unaware most had been, the Shieldmare intones a short, barely serious offering-prayer for her kin.
('Ponies of Stalliongrad, there are far too few of you to resist their numbers, wiles, charms, and puns. All Creation shall remember your battles fondly.. because I most probably will not to be perfectly honest.
In fact, how marely of you have fully sealed armor?')
('If ONE so muchs as stick a piece of fruit in my helmet I'm going t-')
>Sniffing in her enclosed helmet, a small rock bounces off an Assault Vanguard's saddle, then another's helmet, the mares twitching.
('..you knew this was going to happen, didn't you.')
('Yes. And there is not a single thing any of you can do to prevent the, ah... what are they called?')
('No, the other one.')
('The Shuffle?')
('Not quite, something about edible glue and leaves?')
('I think you mean-')
>Smelling before seeing the incoming threat, the leadstallion stallion sighs while a mare's snout mask ahead of him is covered in berry jam.
('This one doesn't have a name that I know of. Did anypony happen to bring toast?')
('I hate you.')
('Is that a no?')
('...I hate you. So much.')
Ivan the STALKER
"I don't imagine I would ever be in the position of needing to... purchase, anyone. But I will keep this in mind."
>He's going to forget.
"I imagine we're vastly different due to most human origins being single sapience worlds, like mine."
>He thinks for a moment, before shrugging.
"Something to idly look into, I imagine."
>Ivan watched to make sure he could as well, nodding a bit and copying Krinza with both sides, testing his own flexibility to confirm.
"The only new weight I'd have had to get used to would have been the minigun, and with an Exoskeleton that would've been trivial."
>To be weak in the Zone meant death. Most STALKERs carried over a hundred pounds on a regular basis.

"Most humans tend to consider it 'One Size Fits Most' instead of all, purely for the fact that people are never a uniform size."
>Unless they're clones.
>Though he knows clones don't exist in his world.

>Ivan would twitch at the almost deafening CLICK coming from the minigun, hand instinctively slapping his thigh where a holster would be, before coming back to his senses.
>Letting out a grunt, mostly to himself, he'd make his way over to the minigun, placing a hand on it.
"I don't know, it gives it character."
>Though he doesn't know rightly if it was 'anime related' or not, he's never seen one.
>Or he doesn't believe he has.
"At this time, I don't believe so. Aside from additional straps and storage pouches, but I have more than enough in my quarters to go about placing them on the armor."
>He took his helmet off, giving the pony a weary, but friendly grin.
"I appreciate how quickly you two were able to get this hammered out for me. It would take years back home for something of this quality, I expect."
371334 371365
[1d6+5 = (2+5) = 7] <E. Small Arms + SS
[1d6+5 = (2+5) = 7]
[1d6+5 = (4+5) = 9]
[1d6+5 = (4+5) = 9] <Extra Roll Master FINA
[1d6+5 = (3+5) = 8] <E. Small Arms + SGSC FINA
[1d6+5 = (3+5) = 8]
[1d6+5 = (6+5) = 11]
[1d6+5 = (5+5) = 10] <Extra Roll SGSC FINA
[1d6+6 = (2+6) = 8]< Graduate Researcher + SS
[1d6+6 = (3+6) = 9]
[1d6+6 = (1+6) = 7]
[1d6+6 = (5+6) = 11]
[1d6+2 = (2+2) = 4]< Observer Advanced Technological Weaponry & Tactics
[1d6+2 = (3+2) = 5]
[1d6+1 = (5+1) = 6]< Pupil Post-Space Age Technologies
[1d6+1 = (2+1) = 3]
[1d6+1 = (2+1) = 3]< Pupil Post-Space Age Weaponry
[1d6+1 = (2+1) = 3]
>Jeff is a little dejected from the denial. It was an understandable one. Mercy had to get back to the Basin Arena an make sure her word was kept. And it sounded like she was going to keep an eye on Sunny as well.
>What ever concerns he had wanted to share with his herd second were dismissed.
>He smiles as she takes off from the forward line, just glad that she's fine.
>As ponies start to converse on Mercy behalf, he shakes his head as they can't find the mark on the mare's origins and backround.
>What he was told isn't worth anyone else's ear, and he keeps any of it out of mind.
>At any rate the ponies were intrigued, confused, and impressed my Mercy's efforts.
>Personally he was proud. Old Mercy used to be such a recluse, she would've never done anything like she did tonite.

>And just like that the rear line became the front, as he turns around with everyone else to start marching back to the Basin Village.
>Conversations get casual, and the Overherd quickly cuts off the majority. The feeling of it disconnecting was a relief on his headache.
>The march started to put him in sort of a trance. The miles he's hiked he could have probably circled the globe at least once.
>He starts to wander on tonite's happenings, not just the Village. He goes all the way back to when he first returned to the Fortress even before going to the Citadel.
>Jeff exhales outwardly, just letting taking point clear his mind. He grabs his hydration pack's tube and takes a long idling drag from it.
>The darkness of the Moors was always impressive. Along with the intense humidity and smells and sounds it was... heavy but refreshing.
>Looking up, the treeline barely let any stars through.
>His head clearing as they keep the slow and steady pace, batponies begin flying around the small army dropping off foraged fruit to non fliers.
>An opportunity for some free rations he was NOT going to pass up.
>Not finding any other place to secure the hulking forty-pound rifle anywhere that wouldn't be a hassle, he keeps it on his right shoulder and holds up his left hand in the air; still sucking down water free-handed. Hoping for a air-dropped care package.
Basin Village Garrison-Depot, Outskirts
GM Strangler
>Ears flicking out of sync in 'don't want to be here right now' motions, the Construct's snout performs a hard scrunch.
>Flapping upwards several meters and slowing into a pre-diving state, the particle cannons aim downwards and ahead of you, unmistakable preheat cycles sizzling the humid air.
[1d6 = 1] <???
[1d6+3 = (5+3) = 8] <Construct Realspace Scanning Protocols
[1d6+3 = (2+3) = 5]

>Skipping into the heavier Void spectrums mid-stride, the nine reptilians were unmoving, recently killed and left where they were as you weave through them.
>Not without a few successful strikes of their own though, sharp tangs of equine blood in the air are scented from unusually wide half-oval claws, terminating in sharply curved ends, spread out in shock deaths.
>Wide brown and black speckled eyes glazing above needle teeth coated in red, rigor mortis setting in the four squat legs of each.

>Retaking the protective slightly ahead and left escort formation for half a minute, the symbiote's head rears briefly, right wingclaws flicking in common 'ally' motions.
>Roiling from the heavier spectrums ahead precedes Mercy exiting into the same as yours, twisting left as her wings buffet hard into a full stop, hanging two hooves above stone.
>A smile of unfiltered joy crosses the blind mare's face, the batstallion carrying the same as she lands, flicking her wings out to shake water off.
>Facing you, then gazing past for five seconds, Mercy tilts her head backwards, speaking in muted tones.
"Sunny, the remaining defenders are alive and well that I could see. They are returning to Basin Village, but I would ask that you return with him-"
>Sharing an unknown expression between each other, Mercy flips her outermost right primary wingblade from her saddle, the neat circle of armor still missing, to yours.
"But not in his current state. He can counter gravity approximately an eighth more than his own weight and does not pose a danger to you. If that is not acceptable then I could bring down enough of a cloud to be pulled.
And, no, I cannot hide you without full acclimation. That will take weeks, possibly months to teach you the proper methods.. if it is even possible."
>The symbiote's lips pull back in minor disgruntlemarent, but nods, shaking out both wings in figurative acceptance.
Lost in the Crag Moors: STILL Stuck (In The Middle Of You)
GM Strangler
"How can you be sure this isn't a nightmare?"
>Placing the map on screen, then wiggling out from behind it to stare up, the internal version's eye blanks into solid red.
"How can I be sure? Theoretically, I know that I exist, but what is real? What isn't? What can't be? What should? If something isn't real but can be physically felt, is it unreal? Disreal? Magic and energy are real in a technical sense, they can produce temporary semi-state objects. Does that mean I'm the sum of what isn't, minus what is?"
>Yep, she definitely needed a break..

>Outside was little more than burned out or missing trees above the sand line, variable sized piles of gray below them, and small, cloudy waves tainting what was probably the most pure beach imaginable.
>Stepping out onto slightly creaking steel sheets making a finger, then carefully maneuvering to the palm's center, Wild's speakers sigh.
"I know how I felt a minute ago. Five minutes. Ten. Fifteen. An hour.. don't know how to categorize any of this yet."
>Wrist tilting up, then elbow raising with two grinding noises, as you face the Eldritch-Android's external body, the extent of damage was sobering:
>What had been her 'head' was a ruined heap of heat deformed, thin metals in colors that were definitely not good, protrusions which were once supports, wires and cables of black semi-organic mass ending in charred sections.
>Below that her chest armor featured a massive dent left of center, both of her assets featuring the same discolorations, except where hard plating and sheets had been force-melded into place below them before the exit panels were sealed prior to the underwater walk.. some of the Rilvenni's teeth were still stuck.
>The right arm's interior cabin at the shoulder was currently filled with a variety of materials, while the lower exterior was entirely crumpled, armor barely recognizable except as small fractures, below the elbow an utterly twisted mess though the hand was functional.
>Only her left forearm had suffered damage, thin sheets buckled where the Rilvenni's tentacles had gripped, but was in far better shape that the opposite.
>From what you figured was her waist down appeared to be functional, though badly heat discolored, a number of black cables sparking outside of seams.

"So... how do I look? Can't view myself except from the repair modules. They don't have good resolution either and knowing where each component is.. different."
>External speakers on low, the eight tendrils shear off sections of what you hoped was steel or better from a corroded piece of something, then drag their plates into fissures, bright red emitting from within.
"Life is suffering. And I don't know what life is. I know suffering better than everything else because WHY WOULD I NOT.
Replacing left leg motivation systems-"
>At least she was using a lower pitched outdoor voice.
[1d6+14 = (2+14) = 16] <Grade 1 Auto-Repair
[1d6+15 = (4+15) = 19]
[1d6+15 = (6+15) = 21]
[1d6+13 = (2+13) = 15] <Grade 2 Auto-Repair
[1d6+13 = (2+13) = 15]
[1d6+13 = (6+13) = 19]
[1d6+20 = (5+20) = 25] <Tryptaran Autorestoration
[1d6+4 = (3+4) = 7] <Repair Tendril #1
[1d6+3 = (4+3) = 7] <RT-#2
[1d6+3 = (2+3) = 5] <RT-#3
[1d6+4 = (1+4) = 5] <RT-#4
[1d6+3 = (5+3) = 8] <RT-#5
[1d6+2 = (2+2) = 4] <RT-#6
[1d6+2 = (2+2) = 4] <RT-#7
[1d6+1 = (5+1) = 6] <RT-#8
371336 371365
[1d6+5 = (5+5) = 10] <E. Small Arms + SS
[1d6+5 = (6+5) = 11]
[1d6+5 = (3+5) = 8]
[1d6+5 = (4+5) = 9] <Extra Roll Master FINA
[1d6+5 = (4+5) = 9] <E. Small Arms + SGSC FINA
[1d6+5 = (3+5) = 8]
[1d6+5 = (2+5) = 7]
[1d6+5 = (5+5) = 10] <Extra Roll SGSC FINA
[1d6+6 = (6+6) = 12]< Graduate Researcher + SS
[1d6+6 = (6+6) = 12]
[1d6+6 = (2+6) = 8]
[1d6+6 = (6+6) = 12]
[1d6+2 = (5+2) = 7]< Observer Advanced Technological Weaponry & Tactics
[1d6+2 = (5+2) = 7]
[1d6+1 = (6+1) = 7]< Pupil Post-Space Age Technologies
[1d6+1 = (4+1) = 5]
[1d6+1 = (3+1) = 4]< Pupil Post-Space Age Weaponry
[1d6+1 = (1+1) = 2]
Sunny Feathers
>Sunny cast a wary eye about for more reptiles, these were dead, but that didn't mean more couldn't be nearby.

[1d6+3 = (2+3) = 5] < B.Wilderness Survival
[1d6+3 = (4+3) = 7]

>With rigor mortis setting in, these must have been killed quite some time ago. There was a good chance it would lure in scavengers, and those would attract more predatorial creatures.
>Sunny frowned, she could not discern any reason to kill these beyond keeping the roads clear, and yet it didn't make sense to simply slaughter them, and then leave their bodies to rot. What were they thinking?
>This mystery wasn't strictly relevant, but she couldn't stop herself from puzzling over it regardless.

>Coming to a complete, skittering stop. Sunny looked up at Mercy, her sudden appearance coming as a shock.
>That was incredibly fast, it had barely been a few minutes. She'd been using one of the lower weight spectra to fly by, but she'd still expected it to take some time to escape the interference.
"Mercy, you-"
>What? She made them go back and now Mercy wanted her to go back with the symbiote?
"While you do what? Go fight a Riftseeker? That's not happening, what do you imagine you'll even accomplish without this one?"
>Sunny gestured to the symbiote, then glanced up looking for a suitable cloud. Hopefully one that didn't look like it was busy.
"Try bringing a cloud down, then we'll head back to Basin Village, you included."
[1d6+5 = (2+5) = 7] <E. Small Arms + SS
[1d6+5 = (6+5) = 11]
[1d6+5 = (6+5) = 11]
[1d6+5 = (2+5) = 7] <Extra Roll Master FINA
[1d6+5 = (2+5) = 7] <E. Small Arms + SGSC FINA
[1d6+5 = (5+5) = 10]
[1d6+5 = (1+5) = 6]
[1d6+5 = (5+5) = 10] <Extra Roll SGSC FINA
[1d6+6 = (6+6) = 12]< Graduate Researcher + SS
[1d6+6 = (1+6) = 7]
[1d6+6 = (1+6) = 7]
[1d6+6 = (3+6) = 9]
[1d6+2 = (5+2) = 7]< Observer Advanced Technological Weaponry & Tactics
[1d6+2 = (2+2) = 4]
[1d6+1 = (6+1) = 7]< Pupil Post-Space Age Technologies
[1d6+1 = (3+1) = 4]
[1d6+1 = (2+1) = 3]< Pupil Post-Space Age Weaponry
[1d6+1 = (6+1) = 7]
[1d6+1 = (6+1) = 7]< Pupil Planar Lightning Modifications
[1d6+1 = (5+1) = 6]
[1d6+1 = (6+1) = 7]< Pupil Elemental Plane of Lightning
[1d6+1 = (5+1) = 6]
[1d6 = 1]< Amateur Conceptual Lightning Plane Objective Creation
[1d6 = 3]< Amateur Lightning Elementals
Basin Village Garrison-Depot, Outskirts
GM Strangler
>Glancing back to study the deceased creatures with some care, then the surrounding swamps, bogs, and flora in view, they had been killed within the past three to four minutes.
>Unlike avians, mammals, or various hybrids, reptiles had far smaller fat reserves yet varying neural responsiveness depending on temperatures; upon death, warm and hot reptiles would suffer from rigor mortis far quicker.
>Testing the local temperature with a quick hoof tap, feather flick, and snout wiggle, it was currently 101 degrees in approximately 95% humidity, well within range of the previous estimates.
>Glancing about to check for predators, especially potential local swarms, there were no indications of anything more than tiny omnivores or scavengers on approach.
>Which happened to be a few water-skimming insects, several tiny mantidae-likes, and a single snake.
>On second glance, that last one was more of a stupidly tiny wyrm, six sets of miniature, dark blue-green fins gently propelling it on the water's surface, the green-black-blue snakelike head twisting about in search of predators.
>Rather cute, compared to Neighsian varieties, if it wasn't similar.
>It was a long distant descendant, but which region was speculative.

"No? That is not what I agreed to. It was not more than twenty minutes ago. Did you.. not hear what they said?"
>Muzzle pulling back in a severe frown, Mercy blinks at her paired symbiote, left hoof raising and right leg tensing in awkward social apprehension.
"Sunny, we secured releasing an equivalent weight of sapients from the Argus Behemoth-Destoyer pair, but I must return. They expect me to fulfill the non-sapient trade obligations that I agreed to. They were offering their collection.. rather, their 'museum' to us, which you were not interested in."
>Batpony wings lifting high above, coiled down to his barrel, then outwards in rapid motions you didn't understand, the Construct lands with barely a sound.
>Checking you up and down quickly, orange eyebrows furrow together, both lips pursing as it glances from you to Mercy, then back again.
>The Construct symbiote points to the blind mare, making a large, round swipe, clutching both wings across the barrel, then makes a tiny hop, Mercy's face creasing in hard thought before facing you in subdued confusion.
"That is... what I meant to say? I did say it. No, I did. ....it is not the same? I apologize, it is not easy for me to explain my thoughts.. I am not doing marentally well right now, the.. nevermind.
Sunny, we convinced the Argus Behemoth-Destroyer pair to release the same amount of weight, in sapients, equivalent to the Riftseeker's own approximate weight. Please state you remember that much."
>Glancing at the banks of mist, fog, then clouds above, the Spirit Walker's snout twitches, taking a hard leap upwards, calling behind her.
"Will return shortly with the best one-"
[1d6+5 = (1+5) = 6] <E.Flight
[1d6+5 = (5+5) = 10]
[1d6+5 = (6+5) = 11]

>Facehoofing itself, the symbiote's lips form soundless words, letting go after eight seconds, head swiveling around in active threat detection.
[1d6 = 5] <???
[1d6+3 = (2+3) = 5] <Construct Realscape Scanning Protocols
[1d6+3 = (2+3) = 5]
Sunny Feathers
>Watching the tiny wyrm swim along with a smile, Sunny listened to Mercy.
>It appears she wasn't clear, or that Mercy, herself, or the destroyers had misunderstood or miscommunicated the terms of their deal.
"Mercy, we struck a deal for non-interference with their directive, which is to destroy the Riftseeker. Unless they managed to do it very quietly while we were gone, they haven't done it yet. They were very clear about us ceasing our actions and leaving them to their task. If you go back before they've done what they came to do, they might view that as you violating the agreement, not fulfilling it."
>Though if they did end up destroying it, they might go back on the deal since it wouldn't be in their best interest to honour it with their directive fulfilled. So Mercy might think that having them fulfill their end first would be best, while she was content allowing them to hold the fulfillment of their end as a deterrent against interference.
>She sighed.
"I think it would be best if we let them hold their end of the deal as insurance that we won't interfere until they're done. Further, we don't want to be around while they're fighting it anyway, you might be willing to, but as it happens, you're one of Razorback's few assets with capabilities against certain threats, I can't allow you to risk yourself if you don't have to or I wouldn't be doing my job. Either we all go back to Basin Village and wait for them to be done or we all go back to the Arena so that at the very least-"
>She nodded towards the Symbiote.
"You have him."

>She nodded and watched Mercy go up for a cloud, then turned to the Symbiote, raising an eyebrow at its facehoof.
"What? You want her going back alone when a Riftseeker could be set loose at any moment? I'm doing you a favour here. She might be confident the destroyers can deal with the Riftseeker, I'm not nearly as certain. Anything could happen and I would prefer to err on the side of caution. She's safer with you, not without, and you know it."
Razorback Fortress: The Pagoda
GM Strangler
>Scrunching mareily at the contact, her snout was indeed warm, almost hot to the touch, giving you a heartfelt smile of acknowledgemarent.
"Don't worry about it. I've been lenient for the past few months though it's getting harder telling my ponies to stop bringing humans into their herd. Half my brother's Arcane Blades are pushing for mareriages right now. Don't know if they'll listen to him or me at this point."
>Left wing raising to poke at her neck, Shanis turns a raw, visibly irritated expression downwards.
"What I'm trying to say is this: some ponies have an incredible appetite for emotional connection that humans simply aren't capable of understanding. In short, that means some humans get taken advantage of, whether for sex, simple physical contact, gratifying emotional responses, physiological dependencies, or marental dependency. Or a mixture of all those."

>Waving her left flipper in a carefree motion, Nao's face crinkles bemusedly.
"For the momarent we are only allowed to deal with the four historically vital greater factions that our ancestral Colonies preferred. Razorback Company is the.. ninth Lunar Protectorate? I think. Miss Shanis has assured me that Razorback Company is capable of aiding us, similar to Independant factions during the Middle Dynasty Era could. When they have time and resources to spare, that is."
>Curling the same flipper around to scratch under her chin, small claws extend, then contract, the seal's forward body lifts in a possible shrug.
"Fip, one of my distant cousins in another Colony, may have accepted becoming a Liasion. I do not know for sure as I have not spoken to him in three years. Or more. We do not normally speak to family outside of our Colony unless meeting for informal or formal relations."
>José paused at Shanis's words, still smiling in satisfaction at seeing her appreciation for his gesture, but losing his focus.
"How extreme is this desire you speak of? Is it akin to sticking by the human every second while intentionally trying to get them to react to their every action irregardless of how they feel about their attempts?"
>Granted, she already said it was imcprehensible for his kind, but if he was meant to be a diplomat, he'd at least need to take a crack at it.
>Human/Pony Relations are important!

>Gallo picked up Nao's mild bemusemarent, causing him to softly tilt his head.
>She didn't exactly seem to be uncomfortable regarding the questions, but he'd hate to sour what seemed to be a nice time.
>However, the human needed to know one thing more before he could veer into fun topics.
"Are any of these greater factions Argenta by any chance?"
>A tentative smile lingered on his lips whilst the pinniped answered.
>However, part of him told himself to keep it cool.
>Don't start imagining grand things coming from whatever she answers.
>It's important to keep oneself grounded and not let ambition cloud one's view.
>That's a human thing.

>Whatever Nao replied, Gallo would soon brightened up slightly and decided to get more personal.
"I'm sure a kind hearted seal like yourself keeps family matters close to the chest. Forgive my curiosity, but how is the life of the common seal in the Colonies?"
Basin Village Garrison-Depot, Outskirts
GM Strangler
>Finding no predators in the vicinity and clearly not regarding equines and Construct as competitors or threats, the extra-tiny wyrm continues gliding towards the deceased reptiles.
>It was probably stealthy out of choice rather than size.

>Head cocking in stark puzzlemarent, Mercy flicks her left wing out before fanning it, then the other, frowning at water rolling off her feathers.
"Yes, we did that. Ceasing hostile actions which would be detrimarental to their attempts at containing and inevitably engaging a Riftseeker at a specific time and location. I was able to trade the assurance of a time table for an exchange of non-organics before they engage the Riftseeker itself."
>Wings tightening in slow, controlled reflex, the blind mare's head snaps away, releasing a sharp exhale.
"They did not exclude the possibility of mere observation, nor I will risk his cognizance, knowledge, and importance. That will not change and you have no right to tell me what I should do, there i- ...nevermind. You do not understand."

>Taking a loose at-ready stance, both sets of wingclaws open, gazing towards the south, then east.
>Head swiveling around to stare at you, the expression read as harshly offended, though there was a distinct secondary mood.
>Eyes narrowing briefly, a single tiny overlay forms above his head, the first made of three hard, tilted slashes, then an octagon of batpony claws, ending in a period.
>Artificial mane shaking out in an insulted fashion, the symbiote continues its vigil.
[1d6 = 1] <???
[1d6+3 = (3+3) = 6] <Construct Realspace Scanning Protocols
[1d6+3 = (1+3) = 4]

>Heavy wing flaps above are followed by a large chunk of solid white cloud smacking onto stone five meters ahead of you, large enough to be a double bed, or possibly something bigger.
>Wingblades rolling, Mercy places her right forehoof in the center, crouching down to slice out a long pair of streamers.
>Tossing the ends towards the Construct, wingclaws reaching up to catch them and wrap around the particle cannons, she turns a severely insulted gaze towards, but not directly at you.
"Your 'duties' are not to safeguard me, and I am not planning on conflict."
>Flicking a smile towards the Construct, she leaps up, breaching into the deeper Voids as the batstallion takes several steps forwards, testing the confusing material.
[1d6 = 5] <Spectrum Dive
[1d6+5 = (2+5) = 7] <E.Flight
[1d6+5 = (4+5) = 9]
[1d6+5 = (3+5) = 8]
Sunny Feathers
>Sunny gave Mercy a very neutral, un-emotive stare, she supposed this had to be expected, Mercy wasn't exactly known for being sociable, nor was she.
"You're taking more offense to this than you need to. I'm not saying you can't go back, I'm simply saying you shouldn't go back alone. In case you'd forgotten, this started out as a simple search and clear, nearly everything that could go wrong, has gone wrong. That's not insulation against anything else going wrong."
>She stepped forward and prodded gently at the cloud Mercy had brought down. That had been a rough landing, clouds needed a more gentle touch than that. Sunny poked and nudged and patted with wings, hooves and nose, testing the cloud raft's integrity to be sure it wouldn't drift apart, and to be sure it wasn't wild and angry.

[1d6 = 4] < B.Cloud Shaping
[1d6 = 5]

"My contract is to scout for Razorback, so if you wish to speak of duties, mine lay in that direction regardless. Aside from that, I have to preserve Razorback, which includes the two of you. It's the same reason I prevented you from killing the lunar councilmare earlier, and the same reason I advocated for sparing the lunar vampires when it seemed that she would kill them for no good reason. I have no choice in the matter, so if you're going back to the arena, I am going with you and that's all."
>She gave Mercy and the symbiote a dry look, but an amused lilt in her voice.
"And if that's an issue for you, we could try beating each other up again, but that would solve very little and leave one of us beaten and bloody. So if you're both done being offended because I dared have the audacity to not leave you behind, we should get going. I'll leave the direction up to you."
Razorback Fortress: The Workshop
GM Strangler
"Certainly possible based on the functional, and dysfunctional, levels of each human society, but I know enough to state that I do not know enough. Perhaps later I will ask a few for their opinions on whether such study may be useful."
>Letting that topic go, Helping glances to Krinza, whom looks up with a humored nod.
"That is why we are here. Adjustments and adjustmarents are always necessary, particularly when there is no stable technological base to utilize.
Admittedly, Lann enjoys working so much that she took Razorback's contract for half. The commissions from Basin Village occupied her for two, rarely three, hours per night. Boredom is more easily conquered with friends around, yet there are plenty of times one can simply sit and stare at one of their works for hours, never feeling it is quite right, even if it is functional."

>More than capable enough to reach the drawers, the handles were enchantment locked to you on mental command, which was.. not all that surprising.
>Further testing the Exoskeleton's features, you find that touching the tops of both boots was possible, though reaching the floor would require either a bit more flexibility or a healthier sleeping routine.

>Side eyeing the weapon in sincere amusemarent for a bit, Krinza chuckles dryly.
"I would not suggest melting the barrels under sustained fire such as it desires, but that may prove difficult."
>Eyebrows raising at the massive coldstone above as it shuts down, the chunky stallion frowns.
"Again? ...perhaps I should have stress tested it first-"
>Shrugging it off, a small, metallic red painted cloth is teleported onto the table in front of you, sounding like heavy wooden discs inside.
"Use these. Stabilized semi-artificial magnets. Exceptional heat resistance, they do not lose their magnetic field due to temperature, Gravity or Lightning Elemarentals, and most other effects that we have tested. There are... at least two hundred more around here, if I can find them.
Inside each box is a pair, one with west polarity, one east. Technically it would be best to synchronize them, but I believe you understand that process by now. They will lock on to a specific metal or metallic alloy in the same method you would utilize to activate an enchantmarent. Unfortunately they do not work well with magical composites, however."
>Left forehoof raised to his chest, Krinza offers a short bow, returning the grin.
"You are most welcome Ivan, though we do have numerous centuries worth of knowledge to draw upon. Titanium is not commonly used as it does not retain enchantmarents well unless molecularly aligned in a proper state, which was done fairly well.
Satisfaction when rightfilly earned is both a scholarly and technical pleasure, yet I suspect Helping acknowledges gratification differently. His preference for alchemy and related is well known but I do not think he acknowledges the extraneous skills he possesses.
If you would excuse me, there is..."
>Turning to eye probably piles of damaged, recovered, in progress, and poorly designed close combat weapons, along with a few polearms, clumsily stacked against the east wall, the grandmaster smith rubs both sides of his head with a small, pink cloud.
"That mess to sort out. I suppose finishing twenty of them tonight might not be too difficult.."
Taking A Lead: Breakdown in Communication, Rest Stop
GM Strangler
>Holding the weapon's earlier, mostly completed state as a distinct frame of reference, functional equivalents to the precision technologies you knew before were unnecessary:
>A hammer was, in technical principles, a broad category of mechanisms devised to produce specific shapes, flatten, expand, or produce contractions in material.
>Here the concept extended to alternate methods, carefully dividing molecules from each other, reinforcing specific particles, alternating molecular flow into solidified waveforms, and creating reality from mere patterns.
>Analogues of human machinery were useful, yet not strictly necessary.

>Stepping back from what should have been a grueling, frustrating series of tasks.. two hours, at least that you could sense, were spent correcting flaws, then adjusting, readjusting, and improving three desired principles to an acceptable, near-cognizant state.
>While time felt moderately quicker here, there was neither the unusual physical or mental fatigue compared to being highly active on Tallus.

>The anvil returns to its waiting form, as do the furnace, forge, and conceptual tools, leaving the weapon before you.
>An iota of conscious or unconscious effort is all it would take to swap it into either hand, and when not needed, remain as a concept that you, alone, held-carried.
>Checking the Storm King's Room in case of highly probable shenanigans, Lonestar and Katyal were on opposite sides of the pelt, the first in an ocean camo sleeping bag, head covered by Nibbles, the second.. big spoon to Hodch.
Razorback Fortress: The Pagoda
GM Strangler
"On a scale from one to one hundred? Everywhere from eighty to two hundred. Humans are-"
>Pausing to think of a word, it takes the visibly older mare ten seconds, laying her head down with a quarter-hearted snort.
"Exotic to certain types of ponies. Different species, physical characteristics, preferences, necessary diet, thought patterns, beliefs, courtship, ideas on sex, etcetera to infinity.
As for the second part, no, it's not attention seeking behavior, it's.. equine herd behavior. Which I'm doing my best not to think about, hopefilly all throughout tonight."

>Returning the flipper onto her side, Nao's eyes squint in visible thought before frowning.
"I did not ask. It is probable, but I do not know for sure. Thirteen centuries prior to now the Colonies that were most in contact with Argenta were: Frost, Ice, Crystal, Swamp, Tropical, Beach, Jungle, and Oceanic.
The Colonies which possibly had contact were: Lava, Inland Shore, Lunar, Solar, and Neighsian.
The Colonies which likely did not have contact were: Archipelago, Continental, Mountain, Great, Lava, Divides, Cave, Plains, and High Peak."
>Shifting back into Shanis' barrel, presumably for greater comfort, or most likely to share warmth, the seal's whiskers twitch as she smiles, clearly amused.
"Normally we wake up, stretch, get a drink, or eat snow, visit with family and friends, dive for food, then roam around until we feel sleepy or find an interesting object. After that we either nap or bring the object back to the Colony, get a drink, or eat snow, visit again, dive, visit once more, then sleep again."
>Reaching up to scratch her cheek with small claws, her flipper waves in what was probably a dismissing motion.
"There are always new friends and interesting objects in each Colony. One could easily state we have simple, yet highly comfortable lives for the most part."
>Forelegs tightening around the pinniped briefly, Shanis grins, her eyes closed and ears splayed out.
"Incredibly snuggly ones with endless varieties of seafood."
"The fish are excellent this time of year, but there are also squid."
"Squid is.. a seafood though."
"Not when they are a snack. A sealweed snack to use the precise termology."
>Snickering at the deadpan matter-of-fact check, the pegasus rolls her ears around, sliding her chin to rest on Nao's forehead.
"And absolutely adorable."

>Barely keeping herself together, THAT PUN WAS INTENTIONAL! or so reads a small billboard Starglow decides to find another page upon which her discontent could be expended..
[1d6+2 = (6+2) = 8] <E.Appraisal
[1d6+2 = (5+2) = 7]
[1d6+4 = (5+4) = 9] <E.Bartering
[1d6+4 = (6+4) = 10]
"Ah. Forgive me if I have made you uncomfortable with my questions, miss Shanis, and thank you for your answers."
>With a final curt nod, José gave the pegasus a thankful smile and left such delicate matters rest for the foreseeable future.
>Only whatever deities reside in this world can hope to understand the amount of restraint she had to deal while discussing such things.

>Silently jotting down the various seal Colonies in his mind, Gallo smiled happily at listening the daily life of a pinniped.
"A rather quaint lifestyle to be sure. I sometimes wish humans could dive with a seal's elegance and grace."
>Deciding to test the waters a little bit, the tip of his finger would soon near Nao's snout, yet it didn't straight up boop her.
"Although having these may be enough of a consolation prize. What do you think, miss Nao?"

>Eyebrows raising, José soon glanced over at Starglow's latest attempt at calming herself down.
>He wondered what was her deal at present.
>It couldn't be something as simple as hearing 'sealweed' said unironically, right?
>There must be something deeper than that.
>Exhaling as he hefts the now acceptable and as of yet unnamed weapon, he flexes his fingers around the grip.
(Awareness of time spent addressing errors, but the only thing noticeable is the lack of fatigue. Nature of this plane must be conducive to far more intuition based methods of creation...)
>Testing the linked and manifestation properties of his creation, he flips it into the air before willing it out of existence and then back into his waiting hand.
>His fingers maintaining their shape as if still holding the weapon to see if it would reappear in perfect position.
>He would then alternate between crouching, standing, and laying prone while testing its manifestation speed, where he could make it appear, and how accurately it would do so.

(...A satisfactory extension of my will. Speed and accuracy at the rate of thought. Will need to reference other sources for possible methods of altering or removing the anti-Psionic property.)

>Turning and surveying the room, he notes its current state with the pelt being occupied.
>Nodding to himself at nothing seeming out of place, he steps away from the Forge.
>Curiously the bed was left vacant.
>Making his way towards the bed, he experimentally attempts to apply the same principles of alteration to its form.
(If all constituent matter is subject to the same rules, forming a contour pillow and sheets should be possible...)
Basin Village: Shattering Skies
GM Strangler
371385 371412 371413
>Pooling their knowledge together, the Shieldmare, aided by all but a few Councilierge, carefully disentangle Razorback, one by one, to prevent dissociative feedback and potential psychoses from the Overherd's synchronicity.
>Freed from the constant, sharp flows of information, most of which was inaccessible by non-Tallus mindscapes, Operators report in by squad.
>When the final all clear is given, one Lunar unicorn attaches to each Assault Vanguard squad, offering to carry equipment if requested.

>Majority resentmarent and distrust from a majority of Solars settle, forming into the outer Watch Guard ranks, greeting their distant kin anew while simultaneously turning scorn and hate filled stares against Razorback.
>The disaster in New Canterlot would not be forgotten or forgiven.
>Stalliongrad's mares were, for now, merely annoyed at the Otherworld presences in close proximity, doing their best to ignore radio chatter.

>Taciturn and unyielding during the march back, the Crystal Empire, Kingdom, Conclave, and Minotaur allies maintain their distance, utilizing their offensive capabilities in cover of outer ranks at every opportunity.
>Only Minor Champion Vokreed and the crystal-unicorn Spireguard leadmare provide more than a few tense words from time to time, keeping her selective companeigh as something of a symbol.

>Constant air drops and flybys of fresh berries, fruit, roots, and stuffed leaf sandwiches brighten the hungry marchers, accompaneighed with freshly roasted or grilled shrimp and small fish to Razorback.
>Few of the batponies were interested in doing more than a prank or two before leaving, while Hunter-Killers became a constant presence, interdicting the few Central Moors threats that tried to approach, dispatching those that did, and terrifying the remainder into fleeing.

>Tensions somewhat ease during the comfortable marching pace, mares from the rear overtaking the front quickly and assuming their scouting roles once more.
>Reaching the widening out road leading into Basin Village, front squads report back that the Rime cluster had been removed, surprisingly small amounts of crystalline taint and Plasma corruption remained in the vicinity.
>Passing over the locations where the XL Void infused bomb had landed, then the M-S.O.L.G.'s launched rods, where the Dagor had impacted Tainted, finally the craters in front of Basin, they had been mostly repaired, though poorly.
>Arriving at the south entrance, the wall of lances and spears was now arranged as an impassable line, dozens of brightly colored streamers, ribbons, sashes, bands, and charms adorning each one.
>Steadfastly ignoring the returnees, hundreds of batponies from across the Greater Moors stuck to any surface they could, wingclaws carving in the name, rank, and position where each deceased pony had been involved across the entrance, walls, and rooftops.
>It would stay inaccessible except to those that desire learning a new, vital piece of history.. or to relearn the old ways, Lunars would remark wistfully.

>One small, dirty marble golem on the east was directing barely half a companeigh of Watch Support Strikers, stacking recently cut beams, planks, and freshly molded stone slabs around the Village's exterior.
>Lines streaming around to the east, west, and north entrances, the blockades, barriers, and Razorback's firing line had been removed, none of the building damage repaired.
>Inside Basin Village, it was empty for the first time both Razorback and Lunars had seen, save for five black robed batponies seated around the basin, Bloodhosts dispersed among them.
>The altar was no longer in view, instead restored to its namesake, while the fountain was still surrounded by translocation matrices.

>Directly south of the fountain was a thoroughly bizarre craft facing the east; sharply angled forward winglike protrusions, another sweeping pair angled down two-thirds behind the front, and a secondary set, possibly acting as rudders, on gimballed joints.
>Visibly similar yet exotic weapons studded the front, side, and lower sections, products of distinctly alien thought processes.
>An unusual blue coloration and familiar, patchy silver tone were decrepit, showing long disuse, but most unusual was the sense that it was dead.
>Behind it was a solid, worn silver hexagon, little more than a pillar, though was emitting faint, garbled radio static.
>Upon comparing the size, slightly larger than a MiG-25, Clemency realizes this example as one of the archaic Otherworld Harpy hulks, most of which rested on the Dark Side of the Moon.
>Standing atop what had to be a canopy was the same Dark Horse cultist mare he'd met much earlier, peering in with a flat stare.
>Slung across her saddle was a matching bright silver case, faintly glowing the same way Guillotine's hull did when in motion.

>Few of the Day or Watch Guard take more than a cursory examination of the scene, the rest marching towards matrices, opening to a variety of streets throughout Stalliongrad and Canterlot.
>Sharing hugs, entwining forelegs, and bumping helmets or snouts together, squads leave without a further word, knowing full well the requiremarent to cover their absences.

>Empire, Kingdom, Conclave, Spireguard, and allied Minotaurs collect towards the north entrance, low, vibrating hums emitting from the ponies, seemingly in meeting.
[1d6 = 4] >Decision

>Peeling off to surround the south entrance in a mob, Lunars step forwards to touch the first lance or spear they could, rotating out for the next in line.
>Helmets removed, assigned squad leaders offer a diamondine blade to each, scoring thin, burning Void-scars in their preferred role.
[1d100 = 79] <Dedication
Basin Arena Garrison-Depot, Outskirts
GM Strangler
>Holding a minutely twisted, firm smile, Mercy's wings flick in twinned dismissing motions.
"Do not matronize me. I am neither your subordinate nor your filly."

>Checking the severed cloud structure's characteristics, it was two to three decades old, distinctly a Ferron creation as it lacked any form of cognizance or self-actualization.
>What little damage it had sustained reforms with ease as you shape the edges into a sturdy chariot-sled, refining the material somewhat into a half-solid, friction reducing state.
>Comfortable, but not perfect.

>Rolling her left outermost wingblade out once, the flat white mare's snout twitches in disgust.
"You deliberately spurned my honor to protect a Malformed from experiencing rightful death. That is a crime regardless if she professes to be Lunar aligned. They cannot be trusted in the slightest."
>The symbiote's body contorts, returning to its normal state as an amorphous mass as it drifts onto Mercy's saddle, cloud ribbons held tightly in the wingclaws while the cannon barrels resting on her wings, head shaking several times in slight motions.
"It is much too late to attempt a compromise. Six insults this Night without even the slightest recompense? No, I do not care if your irrational feelings come from some neglectful sense of duty or wronged pride."
>Sinking into a rapidly flowing Void spectrum, Mercy's wings strike upwards, hanging in place against violent Airstreams throwing her mane and tail around, ones which wanted nothing to do with you.
>Particle cannons peaking at bright orange, the blind mare shoves the cloud forwards with her front hooves, stretched out voices accompaneigh her calm words.
"Stay on this cloud no matter what. If you refuse then I am not responsible for what will happen-"
>Struck by a hostile, agonizing inability to speak, you're enveloped into the cloud mass, wrenched through the higher Tallus spectrums, passing dangerously between the Blind and Ethereal Plane.
>Safe Overdark Passage: Invoked
[1d6 = 5] <Silence Curse
[1d6+2 = (5+2) = 7] <Demoralize
[1d6+2 = (4+2) = 6] <Spirit Walk, Forced
[1d6+6 = (5+6) = 11] <B.Intimidation
[1d6+6 = (2+6) = 8]
[1d6+7 = (5+7) = 12] <E.Cloud Shaping: Direction
[1d6+7 = (3+7) = 10]
[1d6+7 = (5+7) = 12]
[1d6+7 = (5+7) = 12] <E.Flight: Shove
[1d6+7 = (1+7) = 8]
[1d6+7 = (4+7) = 11]
[1d6+9 = (5+9) = 14] <E.Assault: Shove
[1d6+9 = (2+9) = 11]
[1d6+9 = (3+9) = 12]
[1d6+10 = (2+10) = 12] <Ethereal Expulse
The L.O.N.T
>The voices in his head died off one by one, and no longer being connected to the Overherd did he feel his head throb with a dull headache.
>He had his thoughts to himself again, he could not imagine living a life where the privacy of his own mind was not guaranteed.

>With the march now back in full swing the fatigue that was gaining strength over him faded with each step, but Lont knew he was only delaying the inevitable crash. He only hoped he made it to his own bed in Razorback when that happened.

>Yes, Razorback. That group of chaotic otherworldly hairless apes that has caused so much change in such little time.
>He saw the Solar and Stalliongrad ponies glare murderous daggers at each human, himself included, and understood them fully. He was there after all, at ground zero. How could anyone forgive them of that incident when he will never forgive himself?

>He then looked towards the Crystal ponies and their Auxiliaries. While Canterlot was a burned down bridge the Empire was still their out and proud ally, with the Conclaves now wanting to do trade with them too. Razorback was truly chaotic, for good and bad. He just wished to do more good, yet apparently even seemingly good deeds will lead to more harm from them.
>The winged Operator sighed and slung his Spiker away, hands now free.
>Well, WERE free. Before a kek'ing Batpony filled his hands with a cooked fish and a juicy looking mango. They were gone before he could say thanks.
>He definitely needed to shake himself down of whatever they snuck onto his body when he got to his room.

>They returned to the Basin Village. The carnage had left new scars while the Batponies did their due diligence by adding more scars, those being the names of the fallen onto every possible surface.
>He gave a salute to them and to the neat row of weaponry he passed by.
>History was made here, and again Razorback was involved.

"Thank you for your service, I am grateful."
>He said to his entourage of Stalliongrad mares before they dispersed. There wasn't much else to be said, for what else could he say to them that wouldn't test their patience.
>Now alone he took this moment to wonder about the quiet village.

>Then the Operator saw it, what he could only describe as an aircraft. With a mysterious pony on top of its nose.
>He was about to call out to the hooded pony when his ears picked up the hum of Crystal conversation from the Empire forces through his helmet. He initially was torn on whom to approach first, but his commitments towards the Crystal ponies won through.
>Lont felt slightly awkward, as one would when trying to insert themselves into an ongoing conversation. He didn't sneak up on them, rather he stood there at a respectful distance from the outermost Crystal Pony. Putting the fish and mango away he took off his helmet so to eavesdrop on them before fully committing himself.
>"A shame Gelid Steppes is not among them."
[1d6 = 4] >E.Perception
[1d6 = 1]
[1d6 = 5]
[1d6+1 = (3+1) = 4] >H.E
Sunny Feathers
>Sunny raised her eyebrow at being accused of matronising Mercy, is that what she thought she was doing? As long as it worked, she wasn't going to interrupt.
>She didn't respond at all to anything she said, she had to be pushed just over the edge, they both had to be.
>As Mercy made her play, Sunny didn't resist, as terrifying as it was, and as hurt as she was to have her helping hoof spurned, her gamble had to play out regardless of the consequences. She justly deserved what Mercy had done to her for the mistake of extending her trust to these spiritually degenerated creatures that called themselves ponies. Yet there remained a strong undercurrent of satisfaction regardless.
>In Mercy's anger, the symbiote had remained with her, thus she would not be alone if anything went wrong. The risk to Mercy had been as minimised as she could manage, despite the costs, and she was well on her way back, where she could make a clearer report on what had occurred at the Arena than what she assumed Mercy would have given. As obstinate, uncommunicative and unprofessional as she was. This was as optimal an outcome as she could have hoped for.

>Still, she didn't like being forced into the Overdark.
>Theoretically, she could bypass whatever Mercy had done the same way she had breached her dimensional pocket, by temporarily stripping herself of all physicality, then she should be able to simply re-enter realspace from there.
>Whether it would work was another question, the Overdark was higher in physical weight, much higher than she was comfortable with, she couldn't be sure she would even be able to shed her physicality in this manner and under these conditions.
>It would cost her even if she did, the body was simply not supposed to lack physicality, the shock of transitioning between states was harmful in ways that weren't easy to recover from, but it was better than being in the Overdark for any period of time.
>Rearing her hooves, Sunny dove, as deep into the Underdark spectra as she could manage, willing herself to remain in alignment with the cloud she was on rather than phasing through it. If it worked to keep her from falling directly into the planet, it should work here.

[1d6+8 = (4+8) = 12] < M.Stealth + Spider Silk Sneaking Suit + Kitty Catboots + K.I.A
[1d6+8 = (6+8) = 14]
[1d6+8 = (2+8) = 10]
[1d6+8 = (6+8) = 14]
>The march back to the Basin Village was a long an uncomfortable one.
>Despite being disconnected from the Overherd, the amount of animosity bore down on him and the rest of Razorback. Now that there was no common enemy to fight it was right back to the leers and avoidance. The Solars still hated their guts, no surprise there, the Watch weren't too far off either.
>If it weren't for the Lunars, Crystals, Conclave, and taurs he'd be worried about another fight.
>He'd walk nonstop for another three hours if it meant they were in better company.

>Finally, what felt a lot longer than expected they begin approaching the Basin Village from the South.
>Explosive craters, signs of the Dagor's drive-thru now cleaned up, various other signs of destruction littered across the landscape.
>There was an attempt of cleanup, even the Rime had been removed. He wondered where all the debris from the human munitions went. Between the various small arms explosives, missiles from him and Clem, and the void-fused MOAB would have left flung hazardous debris far and wide. He hopes no ponies were harmed trying to clean it all up. He'll have to ask about it.

>The Southern entrance of the Village had been barred with spears and lances of the fallen, adorned with regalia. Batponies worked to to inscribe the names onto any surface worth bearing the honor.
>The Basin Village was being converted into one giant memorial.

>The Day and Watch Guard begin to depart. The other forces congregate to the North for reasons unbeknownst to him.
>All that were really left were them and the Lunars.
>Watching the locals and fellow Lunars break off for the Southern entrance's memorial, Jeff sighs heavily to himself as he breaks off from the rest of the Operators to do the same.
>He activates his radio as he heads for the end of the line.
(*Pay respects, if you wish. Then return to the Fortress. Assemble South of the Pagoda and wait for a debrief. I won't be long.*)
>Other than the memorial, he has to see if Vestal is still in the Village or she took off. Probably did a long time ago. And Marshmallow's whereabouts. And the state of the Reaper. He'll find someone properly in charge when he was done paying his respects.
>Getting in line to honor the memorial with the other Lunars, Jeff removes his helmet and hooks it onto his hip. The Gepard's weight had long put a cramp in his shoulder. He could bear it a little longer.
371419 371429
>Clemency breaths a sigh of relief when it was his turn to get disconnected form the Overherd
>His thoughts are his own and now he can clear his mind better
>As the march continues, he keeps an eye on the Rookies, especially with the scorn of the Councilierge and Solar ponies glaring at them
>The only thing stopping them from turning on us now is the other half of the host being close allies

>Clemency tries to regain much of his strength during the march
>Slinging Blackhorn, he braces his pack for the long ruck
>While he was going through his water rations, the fish and mangoes was very appreciated, waving thanks to the batponies above

>Reaching the outskirts of the Basin Village, Clemency starts to see the carnage left over from the Tainted armies
>The memories of each landmark comes back to Clemency as he goes by
>Although the damage is being mended, Clemency notices the batponies each scrawling something into the stones
>Looking closely, they're names
>It was touching to him
>Maybe he should bring teal ribbons with him just in case
>But he'll settle for the large M-S.O.L.G craters as him leaving his mark
>Reaching the spear wall with the ribbons, he takes off his helmet and tucks it under his arm before giving the memorial a salute
>Finished with his display, he dons the pilot helmet and continued on with the operators

>He notices the main host start to split off, it was now only Razorback and the Lunars with them
>What catches Clem's eye is the bizarre...thing south of the fountain
>Splitting of from the others, he approaches the craft
>It reminded him of the more advanced fighter jets back home
>It then hits Clemency that this thing was an old Harpy hulk, only dead
>The craft reminded him of the Guillotine and Clemency tried to hail it
**"Guillotine, are you still there? How are you faring"*
>He then walked to the pillar in front and inspect it before trying to figure out the static
[1d6+2 = (4+2) = 6] <Basic Electronic Warfare Operator
[1d6+2 = (6+2) = 8]
Razorback Fortress: The Pagoda
GM Strangler
>Two mindsets from completely different wavelengths stop everything to stare at you, the seal in stunned disbelief, Starglow taking on a short, severely annoyed face.
"I can't imagine being so fucking bittergreen green that the paint's still sopping wet, shiny, clingy, toxic, and isn't even mixed properly."
>Glancing south at the Crystal mare, Shanis sits up partially, voice clipped in visceral warning tones.
"I have no idea how you managed to completely mistake my words. I was annoyed at ponies not listening to me, grumbling about humans not understanding equine herd behaviors, and irritated at equines not understanding human behaviors, which has basically nothing to do with what you said. At all.
When, where, why, and how I did indicate, show, or so much as feel discomfort? I didn't, which IS making me uncomfortable."
>Flicking her pen over and leaning back on her dam's couch, Starglow's eyes narrow, expression cold and flat.
"You're either dead clueless, dangerously ignorant, or both. I'll be quick but fair this one time: thinking like a human will get you killed. Ponies don't have much common with your species, especially thought processes, considerations, and beliefs. It's the little mistakes, like that one you just committed, which fucks up the first chain link, then starts pissing more and more off..
In short, don't assume anything."

>Doing her best to shut out the past minute, Nao's left flipper pats her side several times rapidly, the young seal's face crinkling in good natured humor.
"Seals of all species are neither elegant nor graceful out of water. When we eat too much and become fat is a problem for long distance travel, but I refuse to become that lazy."
>Head tilting left to blink at her tiny claws, then back at Shanis, her head jolts forwards, pressing warm snout into your finger, retracting with a short giggle.
"The idea of becoming bipedal does not appeal to me, but quadrapedal.. may be acceptable within certain conditions. I am most content with my own limbs, however. Should exceptionally fine tasks be necessary, which I am incapable of performing, there are unicorns, Minotaurs, Crystal ponies, among others."
>Jose's face quickly pursed into itself as if the most sour of notes dried up his every pore.
>God fucking damnit.
>He had to blunder such a fine interaction with presumptions disguised as politeness
>Wincing slightly from the spiritual pain of his mistake, all he could do was face the disapproval from both mares with a solemn, remorseful look.
"Thank you for correcting my hubris. I'm still learning the basics."

>Hoping he hasn't stepped on yet another social landmine with his apology as Starglow prophesized would happen, he'd soon turn towards Nao with a smaller smile than usual, amping up his careful side to avoid any more mishaps.
>A little extra bit of cheer soon washed upon his face when her snout met his finger, causing him to chuckle amicably in tandem.
"That's great to hear."
>He soon placed a hand on his crouched leg, trying to keep things light to counteract what previously happened.
"I personally wouldn't mind not needing to keep my balance via constant muscle microadjustments."
>An inquisitive look arrived as he mulled over what Nao just said.
"How common is the need to do these exceptionally fine tasks for the average pinniped?"
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[1d6+4 = (3+4) = 7] <Senior Advanced Aerodynamics
[1d6+4 = (4+4) = 8]
[1d6+4 = (1+4) = 5]
[1d6+4 = (5+4) = 9]
[1d6+4 = (3+4) = 7] <Senior Advanced Post-Orbital Technologies
[1d6+4 = (6+4) = 10]
[1d6+4 = (1+4) = 5]
[1d6+4 = (4+4) = 8]
[1d6 = 4] <Apprentice Aeronautics Engineering
[1d6 = 1]
[1d6+4 = (3+4) = 7] <Proficient Aeronautics Theory & Implementation
[1d6+4 = (6+4) = 10]
[1d6+4 = (1+4) = 5]
[1d6+2 = (3+2) = 5] <Observer Aerospace Navigator
[1d6+2 = (4+2) = 6]
[1d6+5 = (5+5) = 10] <Graduate Advanced Human Aviation
[1d6+5 = (4+5) = 9]
[1d6+5 = (1+5) = 6]
[1d6+5 = (4+5) = 9]
[1d6+4 = (6+4) = 10] <Senior Dual Jet-Turbine Aviator
[1d6+4 = (5+4) = 9]
[1d6+4 = (4+4) = 8]
[1d6+4 = (2+4) = 6]
[1d6 = 2] <Apprentice Engineer
[1d6 = 5]
[1d6+6 = (3+6) = 9] <Teacher Fighter Jet Aviator
[1d6+6 = (3+6) = 9]
[1d6+6 = (1+6) = 7]
[1d6+6 = (5+6) = 11]
[1d6+6 = (4+6) = 10]
[1d6+6 = (2+6) = 8] <Teacher Pilot
[1d6+6 = (3+6) = 9]
[1d6+6 = (1+6) = 7]
[1d6+6 = (2+6) = 8]
[1d6+6 = (1+6) = 7]
[1d6 = 5] <Apprentice Researcher
[1d6 = 1]
[1d6+5 = (4+5) = 9] <Graduate Single Engine Propeller Aviator
[1d6+5 = (6+5) = 11]
[1d6+5 = (1+5) = 6]
[1d6+5 = (3+5) = 8]
[1d6 = 2] <Expert Wingman
[1d6 = 2]
[1d6 = 5]
[1d6 = 2] <Expert Aviator
[1d6 = 3]
[1d6 = 6]
[1d6+1 = (5+1) = 6] <Expert Perception
[1d6+1 = (6+1) = 7]
[1d6+1 = (3+1) = 4]
The L.O.N.T
Clemency Investigating Harpy Craft.jpg
The L.O.N.T
Clemency Investigating Harpy Craft.jpg
Betterer version.
Breakdown in Communication: Taking A Lead, Rest Stop
GM Strangler
>Rigorously testing the potential challenges of motion, direction, and potential hindrances, the weapon flows between each potential situation.
>Your cognizance and reaction speed are the only necessary facets to engage its guided responses, appearing and dissipating when required, roughly one-quarter larger than the GSL-H9.
>Having no weight outside of a willingly contained Graviton, it could slip between distinctive spectrums, requiring only direct speed of thought and timing to integrate between motions.
>A hybrid concept of what a weapon is, and is not, solely based upon your guidance.
>When and where your own willpower interfaces with accepted Tallus laws and Planar logic, the conceptual junctions between them manifest seamlessly.
>The intentions required to produce its physical parameters imposed a marginally active barrier which was, from what you were able to rationalize and logically consider, are blatantly Psionic in nature, function, and form.
>Your own capabilities in Psionicism, rudimentary in existence, knowledge, function, and concept, feature similar, deeply rooted aspects of magnetic fields.
>Combined with the living inherencies to Lightning, Metal, Gravity, and human electromagnetic properties, the weapon is more than agreeable existing upon the Elemarental Planes of Lightning and Gravity, yet are barely less significant when upon Tallus.

>Approaching the massive suite that was far too large for a singular being, sections of the lower right corner rephase.
>Recreated as an extended alcove, a heavy canopy forms over a comfortable spread of pillow, sheet, and blanket, each thickened by desire.
>Heavy ionic sheets, refined from turbulent actions, encourage entrance behind them, beckoning a state of rest that would not be interrupted.
371433 371439
>The realization that the abilities he was making use of essentially constituted a rudimentary form of Psionicism gave him pause as he stood in front of the reformed canopy bed.
(...Likely a result of influence from multiple high Class entities since first arriving on Tallus. Exact source impossible to currently determine. Current personal psychological assessment uncompromised, but no Amadeus system available for cross reference. If I am capable of exhibiting these symptoms, then theoretically any human should be capable.)

>Turning back to look at the other sleeping party members, he cocks his head before looking back at the bed.
(Then why are they all avoiding using this? Is the concept of 'rest' understood in a more permanent fashion here? Will the bed prevent me from waking? Ownership should not be a concern...)
>Rolling his shoulders, he seats himself down onto the bed again.
>Willing the canopy to become more opaque and close behind him to provide some privacy, he lifts his helmet from his neck with an audible hiss of air.
(Can only hope this isn't a mistake.)
>Setting his helmet next to the formed contour pillow, he lays down and draws the sheets over himself attempting to rest until the rest of the group stirs.
Basin Village, Aftermath 26: The Crystalline Compromise
GM Strangler
>Outside of their disparate actions and within the few accepted commonalities, Watch Guard and Councilierge alike take specific notice of your salute.
>Similarly respectful motions accompaneigh yours at the Basin's impassable south entrance, a complete lack of objections, either by individuals or squads, seem to assure their intentions in honoring earlier agreemarents of guardianship.

>Hearing a single mare sighing deeply, a second quietly snorting to her side, the third, fourth, and fifth share their last few working neurons.
"Try to ignore the Solars. They may not be capable of forgiving."
"Believe me, if Razorback and Stalliongrad were on better terms this wouldn't be the only time we happen to be on the same side without stupid consequences."
"We haven't done anything. There's still two Argus Behemoth-Destroyers we've come into contact with before, and a Riftseeker out there. Can't say we're ungrateful."
"None of us are exempt from our oaths and duties regardless of distance. In case we do not meet again, be as well as a herd planting their garden in spring and a Changeling under a rain cloud."
>Offering quick nods, the five Councilierge mares stiffly clank towards the nearest line of Assault Vanguards awaiting their turn.

>The gathered host pays no attention towards you, joined humming between the factions, sub-factions, and mini-factions, excepting the Ethereal Golem in their center.
>Bucketed head swiveling, quadruple topaz yellow eyes study you from afar, seeming to dull briefly.
>Catching faint subvocalizations throughout, none were speaking in direct language, instead using rapid paced battlesong.. which you didn't know.
>Focusing down on the lead Spireguard for half a minute, the interlaced hums end on a slow, rolling low note, nodding sharply.
"I am not inconvenienced by these tasks, orders, and assignmarents, honored allies. Should enough temporal units remain I will transcribe this conversation and share it with your leaders."
>Triangular shield lifting up to its chest, the Minor Champion bends forwards for a moment, turning to face you and thudding forwards while the crystalline forces separate into their own groups.
>Raising the axe high, then dropping it into the glittering crystalline shield's rear, Vokreed halts barely two meters out, making no effort to move for several seconds.
>Head swiveling to pass over Razorback, then down to you once more, placing the shield tip down on stone, both massive hands holding it steady while the eyes squint.
"Razorback Company has been confirmed to harbor, or be, a significant threat to the Crystal Empire. Only a single unit of your Company is not infected by the corrosive Otherworld effect known as Anti. How do you plead?"
Basin Village, Aftermath 27: An Old, New Again Ritual
GM Strangler
>Receiving a number of replies from Operators glad to separate from the Day Guard contingents, as you walk towards the gathering Lunars, the Village truly had been cleared out:
>Excluding the Bloodhosts surrounding the basin, though the giant one was missing, and the five unknown black robed ponies, not a single casing, shell, belt link, magazine, or clip was in sight.
>No pebbles, leaves, or even tracks of mud remained, half of Basin Village's buildings were blacked out and silent.
>The remainder are filled with unicorns, encased in brightly glowing, solid Lumin armor, sweeping every inch of surface in roiling metallic hues.

>Without a word, Lunars shift their ranks to create a line for Razorback on the east side.
>Reaching the chaotic scene of lances, spears, hoofclaws, blades, and more, the majority were standard, few modifications and enchantmarents of note, they had been solidly melded atop stone in hard set diamond.
>Name and rank carved below each one, the number was staggering; at least one thousand Day, Night, Lunar, and Watch Guard had held.

>Dozens of ceremonial Lunar diamondine blades glitter in the darkness, mares and stallions around you silently withstand excruciating Void scarring.
>Sharp, slashing lines of EnKee are carefully burned into hide, some preferring their ears, forehead, cheeks, around eyes, others preferring their throat or snout to be irrevocably marked.
>Reaching up to take a drop of their own blood, each Lunar tosses it towards the sealed entry before turning to leave solemnly.
>While you couldn't place the significance of each action, it was clear that a specific Lunar ritual was being performed.
Basin Village, Aftermath 28: Shattering Skies
GM Strangler
Shattering Skies, Decrepit.jpg
>Visibly less precise than the inactive hulls and relics Twisted Wing often showed or described to you, this unusual gunship was far more ancient.
>Opposite of Guillotine, it was distinctly a production model as it wasn't seamless, though held to such high standards which weren't remotely feasible without undergoing extreme testing.
>With every weapon set in optimal locations for high speed passes, the rear fins would definitely have allowed it to perform long strafing maneuvers, potentially having some underwater capability as well.
>Knowing that the Otherworld Harpies were capable of sustaining extreme atmospheric pressure and gravitational shocks that even the best pegasus couldn't hope to, this example outclassed everything short of the Burning General herself.
>Comparing the sweeping wings and starkly angled flight characteristics to much higher standards of prototypes or custom refits you knew of, the design was intended to be third or fourth in combat, delivering heavier salvos against opportune targets.
>Curiously, the strange S-like symbol below the canopy brightens, three letters, a dash, and two numbers appearing in Common Equestrian.

>Guillotine's calm voice rings through the high channel, a one-point-two second lag noted from it.
*"Aflit on calm Airstreams now ye grace, mineself hast chanced 'pon. Be they gentled wherest thou stand, or in shrieking torrent?"*
>Subdued thrumming across the channel holds for three more seconds before huffing with an amused lilt.
*"Rites of Destruction hath prevailed 'pon thee Lonely One, nay ae plate nor beam unscathed 'mongst thee Lonely One's docks. Destroyers needeth nae more tae suffer, havest given all tae sing 'gain.
Minest armor plates shattered afrontal, tech-arcane weapons damaged, rents of hull aplenty... mine sarcophagus untouched, least of care to it mineself havest. Afresh t'will all become 'pon a rest taken."*
>Cutting out for six seconds, the Harpy's voice returns, speaking in cold, low tones.
"Returneth mineself would afore He escapeth again, yet worst of troubles havest mineself seen: twinned giants, battleships mayhap equines callest them, havest acome from thee Lonely One. Accompaneighed they be, thousands 'pon thousands within hulls greater than minself aplenty. Aflit they all to Bloodied Arena... ignore mineself they did, not a one's weapons sparked in fury.
Nae simple raid or pillaging, ye grace. mineself havest seen not such ae fleet as times long past."

>Less a pillar and more a central processing unit, or perhaps command and control, it was comprised of the same exact seamless material as Guillotine's hull.
>Machine learning routines isolate channels coming from the unit, attempting to analyze, process, and translate the nonstop stream of data, which the system gives up on quickly.
>Flickering into raw digital symbols, they closely matched the archaic Otherworld Harpy text you'd seen before, but this variant had sixty-five characters, two more than the original.

>Leaping off the canopy and gliding to a stiff series of clops next to you, the Cultist leadmare grunts tiredly.
"This one is the least weird thing I've seen tonight-"
>Reaching her wings forward to rub her entire head briskly, she tilts her head up at you, then nods towards the gunship with a flat expression.
"Because next to THAT I can't think of much that's both safe to touch and isn't deadly to look at. I've poked Scars, held chunks of raw black iron, and once ate a piece of.."
>Pausing to grimace, she unslings the bright silver-toned hard case and sets it before the unit, left wingclaws pointing towards it.
"Pickled watermelon rind. I think this needs the one you have, but I don't know the language."
Basin Arena Garrison-Depot, Outskirts: Three Breaches
GM Strangler
>Landing as Airstreams fade around her, Mercy begins to exhale, streaks of pink, black, red, and blue jolt against blue, yellow, white, and green erupting from her mouth and nostrils.
>Head whipping from side to side in fright, she violently chokes on Ethereal and Void essences battling from inside her own body.
>Wingblades sparking to life on their own, surges of volatile pink-hot energetics snare her down, staring helplessly as MUCH worse begins tearing reality around you:
>The cloud shatters apart as you force it through, then into opposing spectrum polarities, junctions of Void, Overdark, and Ethereal phases.
>Previously ignoring each other, each now meets with pure insubstantial hatred:
[1d100 = 95] <Critical Void Breach: Containmarent Failure
[1d100 = 94] <Void Breach Severity
[1d420 = 149] <Void Breach Duration in Cycles
[1d20+80 = (3+80) = 83] <% of Backlash Intensity
[1d100 = 82] <Critical Overdark Breach: Containmarent Failure
[1d20 = 12] <Overdark Breach Duration in Cycles
[1d50+50 = (19+50) = 69] <% of Backlash Intensity, %
[1d100 = 84] <Major Ethereal Plane Breach: Containmarent Failure
[1d6 = 3] <Ethereal Breach Duration in Cycles
[1d80+20 = (35+20) = 55] <% of Backlash Intensity

[1d6+4 = (5+4) = 9] <Self-Purge
Razorback Fortress: The Pagoda
GM Strangler
>Staring the other mare down hotly, Shanis flicks out a long set of deeply serrated, black-tinged blades from her left wing covering.
"If you could stand to be less of a bitch in the future maybe I won't put you on my ponial shit list."
"I'm under no obligations to be more or less than what, and who, I am."
"Then how does me slapping the arrogance out of your skull sound for an obligation?"
>Tensely holding their gazes, Starglow glances down with a flat, disgruntled snort, the black suited pegasus relaxing into her couch with an annoyed expression.
"Do whatever you like, though I won't be responsible if you twist a feather."
>Muttering several lines in an aery, coldly toned dialect that sounded vaguely French, Shanis tilts her head towards you, wearing a distantly irritated frown.
"I'd ask you to ignore her but that'd take effort better spent elsewhere...
In any case, she is correct on one fact: don't assume. That's the quickest way to make a social faux pas and definitely not the worst thing you could do. Wearing faction regalia, symbols, heraldries, that sort of stuff, in the wrong place is far more likely to cause hostilities."
>Glancing you up and down once more, the white mare's shoulders lift.
"Mmm.. since you're going to Argenta's Lands, I don't think you have anything they'd be offended by. Nice cloak though, wish mine hadn't gotten lost during the move."

>Staring up at the Pagoda's interior beams as if they were the most interesting objects ever, Nao brings her focus down with a bright, partially smushed in smile.
"Swimming requires more microadjustmarent compared to standing, lying down, or rolling. Making a single degree of movemarent in the wrong direction is enough to consistently miss a moving object in water, particularly if said object is evading, fleeing, or in hard current."
>Left flipper curling back to rub her chin, the Polar Seal's whiskers ripple in thought.
"For most in the Colonies? .....two to three times per week. We do not carve as much as our ancestors did, that I am sure of. There are a lot of minerals, gems, and odd things that must be delicately removed from sedimarent, stone, or wood, although the younger, more intelligent drakes, wyrms, and Dragons tend to perform that work instead of us."
>As Jeff waited in line to honor the fallen, Jeff looks into the Village where the fountain was. Lumin armor. Must be a specialized cleanup crew. Not a single piece of evidence, minus the desertion, indicated a battle ever took place.
>He'll try asking where everything went, before he leaves.

>The memorial, upon closer inspection, was built to last. The now master-less weapons were welded in diamond to stone. Only the most malicious of force would dare to move them.
>Numbers aside, the loss was too much. Unnecessary. But it happened. All they could do now is honor and remember their sacrifice, and live for them.

>He sees the Lunars etch various parts of their faces with the diamondine blades. The closest around him he can see they were Void enchanted for a particular scarring effect.
>While no blade has been offered to him yet, he draws the one he had chosen from the Lunar Collective.
>He looks it over, the biteblade uncomfortable in his grip. It's properties still a mystery to him. Does it even have a Void enchantment on it? Perhaps something more deadly that if trying to scar his face would cause a far worse effect?
[1d6+3 = (2+3) = 5] <Junior Researcher
[1d6+3 = (1+3) = 4]
[1d6+3 = (6+3) = 9]

>In EnKee, he observes what each individual has chosen to bear permanence. On the faces or near the head, to ensure it is visible to the world. As a badge, of sorts. To commemorate the battle, to the fallen?
>A drop of blood from each is added to the memorial, as a tribute he thinks. Like pouring one out, or leaving a personal memento at a grave. He's done that before for fallen friends, and comrades...
>Feeling his connection to the Moors and the Lunars, and considering his position, it only seems necessary he partake as well.
>Maybe he should wait for a safer blade to do the deed.
>What should he even carve into himself, and where?
[1d6+3 = (3+3) = 6] <Junior Batponies
[1d6+3 = (3+3) = 6]
[1d6+3 = (1+3) = 4]
[1d6+4 = (4+4) = 8] <Proficient Lunar Military
[1d6+4 = (6+4) = 10]
[1d6+4 = (2+4) = 6]
[1d6+4 = (2+4) = 6] <Senior Starborn
[1d6+4 = (1+4) = 5]
[1d6+4 = (1+4) = 5]
[1d6+4 = (6+4) = 10]
Taking A Lead: Breakdown in Communication, Rest Stop
GM Strangler
371434 371439
>The Elemarental Plane of Lightning's sum of comprehension dating back eons, or more, translates your thoughts into responses from across the realmic divides:
>You were, once, incapable of actively coherent electromagnetic functionality on the world you came from.
>Then, and there, you lacked all the necessary prerequisites of self-expression, knowledge of your own capabilities, and spiritual connections.
>Upon direct transition to Tallus, the vast barriers, cultural, physical, psychological, and physiological, which had impeded access to Psionicism were removed.
>Your ability to request, direct, command, summon, initialize, partake, influence, and control enchantmarents was not an individual choice: it was native to the vast majority of willing sapients.
>Yet had been lost, forgotten, bred out of, or, at worst, consciously removed from the vast majority.
>The Elements of your own world were dead in bleak comparison.
>Here was, is, and will be a Plane of existential reality that understood what was granted to all, the only hindrances to learning being inheritancy, or a lack of knowledge.
>There were no compromises here.
>One either knew, and had multitudes of freely given options to learn, or did not, and had every right to explore further.

>Turning your attention to the three asleep on the pelt.. Katyal, Lonestar, and Nibbles were, for the majority, unlike you.
>Each was a predator, formed from their own choices, necessities, requirements, habits, needs, and circumstances.
>Each likewise found different layers of comfort atop the deadly, long extinct creature's riotously Lightning tinged hide and hair:
>The Moor cat female holds no compunctions against hunting sentient or semi-sapient beings; to eat is to survive, and eventually to thrive and reproduce is an honored achievement.
>Willing to disregard his own safety, but unwilling to risk the lives of others without clear acceptance, for the assurance of a confirmed kill, Lonestar accepted only victory and defeat; all else was subjective, to be discarded when applicable, or necessary.
>A professional killer, murderer, and manslayer, whether at long range, up close, or indirectly through a screen, Katyal had slain hundreds in her only state of cognizance; few deaths cause joy or a sense of accomplishment, though her sense of purpose was faintly puritan in nature.
>They chose to rest where, when, and how each belonged, principle and purpose being their natures, rather than preferring comfort.
>Once again you felt unlike them: less savage, similarly adept, and more logical, yet questionably so
>Your presence was equally important to the shared, honorable goal each would willingly expend their lives to reach.

>Waveforms extract outwards into full, environmentally sealed sheets, the inrush of nitrogen and oxygen, cohabiting from and with Tallus, tasted and smelled comfirting.
>Settling into an unhindered state of being, specifically designed for recuperation, faint ionic tinges flow across your vision, senses, physical body.. then reach deeply into the void of your own, barely existing spiritual cognizance.
>While your ka had been awakened, rudely, roughly, and with little finesse by Katyal's hurried, slightly ignorant methods, here in this Room you were not treated as a neophyte.
>Psionic by existence and electromagentically attuned as all humans are, to varying extents, the vast lack of knowing your own depths remained.
>Decades and centuries of knowledge to discover, define, and refine would remain, even if you did not accept the challenges.
[1d6 = 1] <Awakening
Ka Convening?
[1d6+5 = (5+5) = 10]<E.A. Lightning Strike (Self)
[1d6+5 = (5+5) = 10]
[1d6+5 = (2+5) = 7]
[1d6+5 = (1+5) = 6] (Ka)
[1d6+5 = (4+5) = 9]
[1d6+2 = (6+2) = 8]<Expert Perception + P.A.
[1d6+2 = (3+2) = 5]
[1d6+2 = (5+2) = 7]
[1d6 = 1]<Amateur Earth Pony Psionicism
[1d6+5 = (2+5) = 7]<Graduate Neural Brain Interface Systems
[1d6+5 = (2+5) = 7]
[1d6+5 = (6+5) = 11]
[1d6+5 = (6+5) = 11]
Basin Village: An Old, New Again Ritual
GM Strangler
>Motionless where they sat around the emptied basin, the Bloodhosts and black robed batponies minutely fluctuated throughout realspace.
>Small, barely perceivable tremors surround each, trace afterimages of blue, red, purple, and black visible, though faint streaks of ashen pink jitter across spectrum boundaries.

>Continuing their duties with stolid purpose, the Lumin armored unicorns rotate around, trading off from both fatigue and weariness.
>Presumably the ones to have removed all materials, and while you couldn't read unicorn, they were visibly undertaking a thorough, purposeful spiritual cleansing of the Village.
>Bright Lunar sigils relaying their actions to each other instead of speaking, known symbols for 'Tainted' flash between remarks of Lunar corruption, Plasma corruption, Eldritch taint, Planar essences, and multiple equivalents to 'purification'.
>Theirs is a sacred act of duty and commemoration, were only removing evidence out of necessity to prevent further contamination throughout the entirety of Basin Village.

>Grasping the biteblade firmly in hand, releasing, flexing, then exploring the unmarked, unremarkable features.. your eyes firmly attune in near-Moonborn thought processes.
>This one was created during the Late Dynasty Conflicts, right at the initial actions and stages of what would lead to the Lunar-Solar War.
>The weapon was unnamed and did not deserve one, according to the imprints of those Lunars that designed and shaped it, among tens of thousands more.
>Grandmaster gem-smiths, shapers, crafters, Mystics, Necromarecers, Druids, Elemarentalists, Geomarecers, batpony cultists, and dozens alike had designed it solely to inflict destruction.
>To kill sentient and sapient alike, where blood must flow and Anima existed to be stolen.
>To destroy Undead and Spectral alike, where physicality was unimportant and Animus was to be rendered inert.
>It wasn't intended to have other purposes, rendered as a final, completed weapon in service, to serve, and to be delivered by principle, but it was created in honor.
>To score yourself with it would not be presumed wrongful, yet it wasn't the proper tool to be marked by.

>Stepping back into histories, hundreds of similar rituals existed across Moorite, Lunar, and some Ferron regions of Mainland Equestria.
>To sacrifice a drop of blood in remembrance of others, dedicating the recognition of fallen family to the future inheritance of equinity had always been part of Luna's children, whether related, distant, or otherwise.
>As family, to family, no matter who, where, what, how, or when an individual occurs.
>Combining several of the most common rituals, the Moorite's favored memorialization, an older Lunar remembrance, a Ferron rite of thankfulness in service, and a Starborn ritual borne from the end of the Lunar Guardians, Basin Village was now consecrated as a place of immarense holiness.
>Composing multiple, older blood rituals into a single form was beyond remarkable: such changes had never occurred in Lunar or Moorite history.
>The unusual modification of adding favored heraldry, ribbons, streamers, and bands to weapons was, however, an ancient Rushyan, then later Stalliongrad, custom, beginning during the Early Dynasty Era.
>Yet, that last had now been fully embraced by Moorites, and it seemed even their most viciously fanatic, xenophobic factions accepted it wholeheartedly and without reservation.

>Becoming aware of thousands of eyes upon you, a mid-50's unicorn Commarender, unusually in dark purple Charger armor, stomps forwards.
>Presenting a deeply Void-touched diamondine ritual blade, hilt first atop a cloud of red energies, her helmet shakes side to side, faint impressions of sincere apology felt from her.
"I will request that you do not use the unnamed ones. Weapons made solely for the purposes and principles destruction do not serve well as tools of honor, but I will not deem such unworthy. It is your choice that I must respect."
>Looking over the biteblade, Jeff comes to the conclusion that it had only one true purpose.
>Forged in an era where a weapon was going to be of the utmost necessity. An era of war. Not a skirmish or battle here and there. The Lunar-Solar War.
>To kill and drain the life of the living, and to exorcise the unliving and render their spirits nonexistent.
>Undeserving of a namesake, therefore he will not give it one.
>It was a tool for destruction, not for ceremony.
>What he was planning on using it for would be a waste. Tabooish.

>Going over what he remembers from Lunar military history, this ritual took practices from several era and nations.
>Blood tribute, ornamentation, inclusion. All combined into a clear and powerful display to honor the fallen with.
>The Lunar Collective would probably find this memorial fitting, had they not taken off hours ago.

>As he mulls over the why and hows in his head, he suddenly feels the eyes of the Lunars and others upon him.
>The token human Starborn ready to partake in the old-yet-new Ritual. Or he was about to de-FACE himself with a true weapon of war.
>A unicorn Commarender approaches Jeff, with a more appropriate blade to perform with the ritual.
>Nodding his head and sheathing the old Lunar Solar War biteblade, he give her a apologetic smirk.
"Right. Best to leave it to was it was made for..."
>Tilting the Gepard off of his shoulder, he places it on the ground next to him and rotates his shoulder to get the feeling back into it.
>He groans inwardly at not switching shoulders to burden the heavy rifle more during the march.
>Right arm limbered back up, he grabs the handle of the blade offered to him by the Commarender and draws it out of its sheathe.
>Cradling the edge of the blade in his left palm, handle in his right, he murmurs to himself with hesitation.
>He leans in slightly, whispering under his breath to the unicorn mare.
"What to I mark myself with? A word... a symbol? Does it mater where?"
Taking A Lead: Breakdown in Communication, The Storm King's Room
GM Strangler
>To sleep is to rest.
>To rest is to recover.
>To recover is to regain, and to regain that which was lost, forgotten, or removed is honored.
>The second, fully equalized purpose of this Room was shared between yourself and what you became aware of accepting once stepping inside.
>Finding thorough contemplation in active, unrestrained thoughts as your physical body relaxes, recuperating from the strain of Night, sections of physicality and spirit meet.
>Seeing yourself between organic eyes, the dim traces of mind, and the essences of those which lie unspoken, untold, untaught, and unfelt, between and beyond cognition all, you convene, aptly so.
>The body, trained to act in principle.
>The mind, tuned to act in purpose.
>The ka, fettered, forgotten, and dysfunctional, once only capable of yearning through the incomplete senses of either.
>Now, yet no longer.
>Reaching forwards to greet the disparate selves, Three of you become One, then, at last, the Only.

>Time neither slows nor increases in the Room when cognizant, instead the separation between the states of consciously awake, unconsciously guiding, and subconsciously active join together.
>You know each physical motion and reflex during this safe, comforting rest, before it occurs, as it occurs, and why.
>Each specific thread of thought, memory, and recall combine, your sole, true self narrowing down possibilities that were previously effort-intensive.
>This new, fascinating vector, untested and unlearned as it was, knows the links between everything and nothing.
>Recalling Hollow and Dancing Eyes, you were little different from them: the waveforms of controlled electromagnetic, neurological, and empathic responses were untrained as you had only minor experience, but not for long.
>The same effort to deliberately initiate and invoke an enchantmarent's affects or effects was the same as provoking one's own currents to influence greater wholes around the self.
>Thought becomes shape, shape become forms, forms translate into actions.
>While utterly weak in humans, Psionicism was inherent and necessary.
>Just as it is to both the direct earth pony descendants of the False Otherwold Empress, and those which were able to grasp her teachings, though some had, knowingly and unknowingly, betrayed their archaic connections to the Elemarents.
>Sections of the puzzle labeled 'why' remain unanswered, the knowledge of having the basic awareness to enact, modify, and change, the same as a Psion could, yet thoroughly and safely less than the horrifying, all-self-knowing Primal Psions suffered from.
>Yet, like any muscle or skill, this must be carefully trained.
>While Katyal, Lonestar, and Nibbles could not aid your learning, they will offer clumsy support, pronounced sparks of your own dry humor relate.
>Hodch will surely be confused at the abnormally ludicrous circumstance, his caution would override curiousness and he will be obligated out of friendship to aid you, but could not share relevant knowledge.

>Among the equines you knew that could directly teach the basics of Psionicism, some... were definitely better than others.
>As it would be easiest to start with one and expand later, there were highly rated, specific options:
>Illusions, while viscerally pleasing to the eyes, weren't as much to the ears or senses, requiring expertise to appear and sound realistic.
>Psikineticism, which some call psychokinesis, was 'merely' the act of moving objects using thought and energy rather than physically doing so; likewise projecting combined electromagnetic, Gravitic, and Lightning essences as substantial, physical weapons was common.
>Solidified waveforms, technically part of psikinesis, but mostly used in defensive and utilitarian purposes, though enhancing physical capabilities or offsetting negative ones was a known side effect.
>Mental contact, consisting of directly reading mindscapes, physically-produced electromagnetic wavelengths, and translating patterns of neural thought; while incredibly tricky albeit potentially useful, the act of doing such could be highly volatile.

Pareidolia: Minor Psionicism Unlocked.
Basin Village: An Old, New Again Ritual
GM Strangler
>Head bowing for three seconds, the unicorn Charger stands upright, dull purple eyes half-lidded in exhaustion beneath clear diamondine plates.
"I intend neither disrespect nor dishonor. Those which are unnamed should not be removed from Armory or Reliquary without explicit purpose, and guarded intentions."
>Turning to lift her chin at the sealed weapons forming a gate, the mare exhales heavily through nostril slits.
"While it may be time to revoke their long rests and be returned to service once more, I do not believe most ponies will readily accept them. Councilierge, Day and Watch Guard will suffer equal battles against their own relics and artifacts of prior generations."
>Touching the late Lunar-Solar War relic's tightly bound hilt, eerily comprised of strands taken from Naghtmare tails and manes, the dagger's edges draw out into elongated, esoteric shapes.
>Helmet turning to dip at an earth mare silently undergoing cruel, yet gently firm scarring on her snout, the Commarender's eyes close slowly in thought.
>Opening to meet your gaze, her voice rolls in distant, quietly vibrating subtones, horn lighting in a stark Moonslone glow and wrapping the relic blade's handle with the same.
"That which must be willingly shared and known by All Creation,
Placed by those whom share the suffering of equinity as you do,
Marked as worthy dedications in EnKee within this holiest of places on reality."
>...a Channeler, you realize belatedly in faint alarm.
>Similar to a Shamare in most respects, each are partial empaths, capable of exploring the divisions between physicality and the pseudo-realities that Spectrals, Wraiths, and Revenants inhabit, though not without some danger.

>An apparent reconnection has been made.
>An often lauded and much maligned "third sense" that from his Earth at least, never bore much fruit beyond a specific project that was certainly much different from the common idea of the concept.
>Yet, yesterday's delusion has become today's reality.
(Command would have a hard time believing this. Research's occultic branch would probably be having a field day... )

>A strangely familiar intuition actualizes itself within the operative's mind.
>A model, a framework of perception that achieved its results based on intuitive understanding.
(Not far removed from some models of magic in fantasy novels and anime. The "Art of Visualization" where rules are defined by the user's cognitive limits and an energy resource. Does this mean I can genuinely claim to have an evil power sealed within my arm? )
>It thankfully felt hale and wholly familiar as if acknowledging something that had long been present but never named.
>One of the benefits of an intuitively driven power.
>The impetus for this actualization seemingly traced to an understanding of the nature of utilizing enchantments, treated as an extension of one's self despite not being an original part of it.
>The potential for this power was staggering...
>And the implications were disturbing.
(Initial guess was correct. Any human is capable of developing these powers. Then the potential for contamination is extreme beyond measure. Possibly even greater harm than mere technological introduction or cultural contamination.)

>The need for a firm, effective methodology to control its development would be critical.
(Both for myself and for other human psionics. Another structure that will need to be implemented alongside even more Damage Control.)
>Razorback may have some viable teachers for the "types" of psionicism, but current pressing issues need to be addressed first.
(Would prefer not to involve even more ponies into human affairs. May be best to seek out Tipper given her unfortunately copious experience with human affairs already, but only if this operation succeeds fully... otherwise the stress may damage her.)
Sunny Feathers
>Well, that didn't work. In fact it had made matters a lot worse.
>As the vortex of hostile opposing energies began to form around her, Sunny realised it would be a very, very bad idea to remain amongst them.
>Somersaulting off the cloud and away from the epicenter of the vortex, Sunny examined what she could of it with what little she knew.

[1d6+4 = (2+4) = 6] < M.Evasion - K.I.A
[1d6+4 = (6+4) = 10]
[1d6+4 = (3+4) = 7]
[1d6+4 = (6+4) = 10]

>The Void energies appeared much more violent and insistent than the other two, but there was a good chance the Overdark and Ethereal energies would tag team it in a sense. It was hard to tell which would come out on top.
>She may be able to do something about the Void breach given the energies that suffused her, but only if it overwhelmed the other two and only if she was very, very lucky. At least something positive would come of that particular inconvenience, but then, this wouldn't have happened if she hadn't been suffused with those energies to begin with.
>Opening her mouth, nothing came out, whatever Mercy had done to her still held its sway, she had not even succeeded in breaking out of the Overdark.
>No communication whatsoever, no tools, no reinforcements.
>Further, she wasn't tall enough for this ride, nothing in her arsenal would have any effect. Her hoofclaws may, but so much as getting near a breach like this was much too dangerous, to say nothing of what would be coming out of it shortly, and what it would be dragging in.
>So she wouldn't be able to tip the scales in any way.

>Mercy seemed to be having a rough time, she couldn't be sure, but it looked as if two of the conflicting energies were conflicting inside of her.
>Sunny felt at once remorse, and no sympathy for the mare. She could look after herself, as she had just made very clear.