May 4, 2019
Part of the group is in Autumn’s backyard and the other part is in Moist Eyesocket.
In Brindlebury: Prow Lee stomps over for more marshmallows, there is a note on his back that says ‘Don’t tell Prow Lee about the organ.’ Bone snags it and asks ‘What organ?’ and hands it to Joneigh, who nods.
In Moist Eyesockets a note appears wrapped about Sunny’s mimosa… it is sheet music entitled “Unchained Oblivion.” Sunny asks Maize about it. There is also a note on a cocktail napkin ‘Don’t tell Joneigh you have this.’ Sunny mumbles that she doesn’t like to keep things from his friends. ‘You assume they are your friends.’ She crumples the note and tosses it in a corner.
Back in Brindlbury, Prow Lee asks (after hearing Bone’s question about the note) if there is an organ in a haunted house here? When one of the pony’s asks doesn’t every town have one, ZeroFail observes, “The good ones do!” Prow Lee goes on about his trap and how Joneigh has really bad folk coming for her. His trap won’t slow them down much. Zero Fail explains about the zomponies and water… and bath water of Alicorns being a strong solvent. Bone asks about zomponies. Prow Lee says that they are looking for Joneigh specifically… an assistant libriarian with the Windsmouth look. “Oh.” Zero Fail suggests that they are looking for the books they are now carrying. He asks if she has any other book that the bad ponies might be after. “Oh no, my books are just research books.”
Shucks, Bone & Joneigh are going off to warn the McCorn cousins that bad ponies may be coming to Brindlebury after the group, etc. Egg White will take Zero Fail & Prow Lee to tell the constable and show them the pit, or whatever they want to see. The former run into HurryUp’s mom. She asks Joneigh about her trip to Canterlot. “It was scenic. How have you been?” She says it has been quiet, HurryUp left then a bunch of the cousins also left (Grass brothers, Hayseed brothers, etc). So, they warn her and follow Shucks to his cousins’ farm. Shucks warns Mrs. Wately and Bone asks if Joneigh has read anything about any zompony infestations. She says yes, while researching in Canterlot.
Once they have notified everyone, they regroup to see if Prow Lee or Zero Fail know a way to get the ‘band back together’. Joneigh pulls out her calling card and chatted with Autumn about wanting to join them. Prow Lee steps into Joneigh’s line of sight and holds up one finger. Joneigh pauses the call and asks “Yesss?” “Are they in Moist Eyesocke?” “yes, for breakfast” “we can be there in eight hours”, Jonigh relays that… and Aura asks whose voice that was… Joneigh says that should be a surprise.
Prow Lee pulls out a obsidian key with a skull on it and a vrooming noise is heard and a black stretch stagecoach zooms up. Prow Lee opens a rear door “Ladies…”. The group gets in, Prow Lee settles in the front, puts the key in … something… and they go off quite fast. Zero Fail pulls out a picnic basket and tea kettle from a satchel and stuff floats about him as he makes tea. “Oh good, I think tea is a good idea.”
The scenery is going by REALLY fast. Some swerves cause loud screams from outside the coach. Prow Lee seems to be enjoying the havoc his ride is causing.
Back at Moist Eyesocket Autumn tells the group that the rest of their party is heading this way. The door to the market and at the same time the front door to the bar open. A liveried pegasus comes in the front door, a goat fairy dressed similarly flitters in from the Market. They both say “Delivery for Ms. Green, sign here please.” Maise opens the envelopes as the delivery folk await answers. She starts laughing and laughing.
Jimmy asks, “What is it Maisey?”
Maize answers, “Job offers.” She tells the pegasus “Tell them I don’t do that anymore.” “Write it here, please,” and flies off. She tells the fairy “Tell them they are on thier own.” “Write it here, please,” and flies back to the market.
She goes back to making the next round of drinks. “Oh, I should have reminded them that the bar is neutral territory.” “Why would they need to be reminded?” “I meant those who sent the messages, not the messengers.”
“How long are you all planning on staying? A room was metioned?” Flame answers that they are expecting friends, and were there rooms here? “Yes, there are rooms upstairs.” “Do you mean Grass & McCorns? They should take 5-6 days to get here.” “No, it sounds like Joneigh has others with her that will be a surprise.” Autumn asks about other inns or rooms. Maize explains, but Autumn would rather stay above the bar.
Maize leans close to Sunny “Of course, I have keys to all the rooms.”
Aurora orders a room for herself. Autumn & Flame get a room. Aurora mentions that it is hard to get used to there being more than one of Autumn. Choosey says “Family trait.” Then he asks if it would be ok if he gave Autumn all the birthday gifts he has accumulated over the years, as he is her sort-of-godfather. “How long have you known about us and why did you not say anything? We have been orphans for a long time.” “We didn’t know about their deaths till recently and HE thought we should remain afar.” “Are you the hugging type of pony?” She just nods. Autumn and Flame get a Chewbacca type hug.
Maize reappears with register and says “And he doesn’t seem as intimidating after one of those, does he?”
When Aurora gets to her room there is something on the bed with a ribbon and a card. She reads the card “I hope you enjoy this, signed the Dark Stallion.” Aurora uses a field to open the gift, its and illustrated book! There is a picture of Sunny & Borealis on the cover with strategically placed black bars over things. Wow. She puts it in the nightstand, goes to lock the door, as someone knocks.
Maize is outside with a tray and a drink. “Nightcap?”
Aurora takes the tray with a field and then locks the door and goes to take a nap. She dreams about having wings. Meanwhile, Autumn makes notes before going to sleep, but Flame goes right to sleep.
In the magic stagecoach, a cup of tea floats to Joneigh, and a jar of sugar cubes floats out of the picnic basket. ZeroFail askes, “Sugar?” “No, but a dollop of cream please.” Thermos of cold cream floats over and pours itself. Bone has a bit of both. The coach has taken to the train tracks, when it comes to a train it sort of flies over it.
Bone & Joneigh smell smoke and they look to see Prow Lee is smoking something that looks like a joint… it is catnap. Zero Fail opens a window and says to Prow Lee “Should you really be doing that while you’re driving!?” “Best time.”
Back in Rotten Hoof HurryUp gets a room and takes a nap, she drinks the nightcap, as does Jimmy in his room. They both have an extremely sound sleep. The others, who didn’t drink the nightcap, wake to odd sounds outside. It is a strangely shapped zeppelin, in the cockpit are Choosey, Grand and Aurora’s Great-great Uncle.
A while later there is a weird roaring and when they all look out, there is a long coach pulling up and a strange being steps out – looks like a cat walking upright. Then the rest of their group, with a pegasus they don’t recognize pile out of the vehicle. Aurora heads downstairs. Joneigh & Bone come inside and Joneigh is surprised how cold it is inside, delighted, but surprised. The bartender asks what they will have. “Nice to see you, Aurora.” She is glad to see Joneigh as well, inquires after her conveyence. Prow Lee follows them inside and Aurora asks if he is the surprise. Joneigh explains that she didn’t think it was her place to announce them ahead of time. He accepts a drink. They introduce themselves. “Is Prow Lee your real name?” “Yes, it is his real name,” the pegasus says.
Prow Lee explains that “Evil ponies including several with moth wings, others in service to the forces of darkness, came over your friend and destroy ZeroFail’s bookshop in the process."
ZeroFail notes, “Thanks to Mr McKorn here, most of the books were saved.”
“Maizey!,” squeals Shucks.
Joneigh greets Autumn and thanks her for the loan of Bone”. The sisters all touch forehads. Maize brings drinks. “I have a suspicion that there will be a three-sister booth opening up soon.”
Joneigh and Bone and Shucks try to tell them their adventures. Aurora asks Prow Lee how they got there so fast. The whole party that has just arrived turn as one and point at the magical mystery coach. Aurora goes out and tries to cast spells and do some magical testing at it. Prow Lee comes out to where she is doing this. When Prow Lee walks up, he has the same brash/stealthy aura as the coach. “Tell me all about it!!” Aura glees at Prow Lee. “Three thousand years, one owner.”
“How many miles, three thousand years, what?”
Prowl Lee thinks for a moment, then answers, “48,536,022”.
“How does it work?” “You aim it where you want to go and you step on the accelerator and steer with that wheel thingie.”
“Where did you get it?”
“I visualized it out of the Big Empty.”
Aurora indicates that she doesn’t understand what he is talking about, and why he seems to think that everyone will understand him.
Prowl Lee expresses surprise that an inhabitant of Brindlebury doesn’t know about the Oblivion and other cosmic being. They discuss the pit and that she hadn’t been to the bottom. Aurora hazards a guess that the by the Empty Prowl Lee is referring to the realm of the Dark Stallion.
“The Empty was the domain of the Oblivion, not the Dark Stallion. The Dark Stallion’s domain is the Chaos.”
They speak about the Deathless and how much of this did Aurora knows. Aurora recites the standard history about the regal sisters who brought harmony to the land, but how the younger sister became angry that nopony wanted to be active during the night, her realm, and how she refused to let dawn occur until Celestia was forced to banish her sister to the moon.
Then Prow Lee explains how it really happened. “The Solar Queen and the Lunar Queen were each, secretly, having an affair with the King of Shadows, who was promising each of them that they would rule over Equestria together. When the sisters finally discovered his two-timing, they ganged up on him to bind him the way other Deathless had been bound. Then, still angry at her sister, Celestia turned on the Lunar Queen in a jealous rage and bound her.”
Aurora has to stop and think about this. Prow Lee suggests that Aurora check with Joneigh about this… she has a board with yarn and stuff and can really explain it.
“Ok, lets go talk to her… but… ride later?”
Aurora goes to Joneigh and asks, “Show me this board, tell me about these people!”
They decide to go to Aurora’s room to set up the board and Joneigh schools them all in the Deathless. She specifically mentions that the Earthbreaker has been pretending to be an ordinary Earth Pony here in Rotten Hoff, along with his friend, the manticore Choosey.
“Oh Choosey the greatest copilot in Equestria.” say Prowl Lee. At the same time ZeroFail said, “Formerly known as General ChosenVelvet.” Then both finish, “Once in service to another of the Deathless, just like us.”
Autumn & Flame say “He gives really good hugs.”
Joneigh, Shucks, and Prowl Lee explain about the library and the attack on the Librarian. “Besides she can’t die…won’t die!” says Prowl Lee.
ZeroFail elaborates: “It is possible that she vowed, unwittingly in the presence of a very powerful magical artifact, that she would stay on until she got all the overdue books back. Which is partly why I won’t take them back.”
There is some discussion about books that shouldn’t be read. Joneigh says “Like the one we found THAT SHOULD NOT BE READ.”
Autumn asks about the book that was opened then relocked and like that. “Yes, we didn’t open it, we aren’t that stupid.”
“That is why I trust her with half these books.” says ZeroFail in a quiet aside to Prowl Lee.
Joneigh looks flustered and then smiles hugely.
Prowl Lee reacts to a comment one of the others makes about the Dark Stallion. Joneigh says that we have had lots of communication with the Dark Stallion. HurryUp says she can hook Prow Lee up with his boss. There are a flurry of sticky notes after that. One that most everyone sees says, “Until you hookup with, you can’t hook anyone else up with me.” HurryUp has suddenly gone quiet and thoughtful “Hmmm. Hmm. Mhm.”
ZeroFail, trying to get the conversation back to something useful, says, “Some agents of the Deathless are after your friend Joneigh, but we’re not entirely sure which of several reasons is why they want her.”
“I thought you still worked for one of them?”
ZeroFail explains, “I am still loyal to my Queen, but she has been in hiding for fourteen hundred years, and I haven’t heard from her for quite some time.”
A note appears on Aurora’s horn from the Dark Stallion. Aurora growls, “Will you stop that!” There is a knock on the door and there a bunch of penguin servers with food and drink, and an envelope addressed to Aurora. Inside is a note which says, “Is this more appropriate?”
There is more banter about communication. Then a mariachi band (of penguins) magically appears in the corner. The singer’s lyrics seem to be answering some of Aurora’s comments to the Dark Stallion. “Now what? Singing is better??” Aurora is frustrated by this way of communication and almost dares the Dark Stallion to appear. The others warn that this is a bad idea, do – not – invite – him – here!
And there is another knock at the door… telegram for the whole group. “You are sitting at the nexus of 6 very powerful artifacts that many evil ponies are trying to obtain. One of those evil ponies wants to kill Joneigh, for reasons. I think you should be focusing on that and not my methods of communication.”
Aurora looks out the window for assassins. Joneigh has gone quiet and is lurking behind HurryUp. “And the evil one has zomponies.” Autumn asks, “Who is trying to kill Joneigh?”
Prow Lee explains, “There is an evil unicorn mage who figured out how to bring herself back after she died.”
ZeroFail interjects, “At different times she has been aligned with agents of the Lunar Queen, the Oblivion, or the King of Shadows.”
Prowl Lee continues, “She is currently working with several Windsmouth ponies who are in a faction aligned against the Solar Queen. Those are the moth-winged pegasus ponies who attacked the bookshop.”
Several members of the party asked, “Why does she want to kill Joneigh?”
“I’m not sure,” Prowl Lee says. “I intercepted some of their coded messages, but I don’t read minds. The most likely reasons are because of her connections with and knowledge of some of the previous mystical happenings at Windsmouth and Smoky Mountain. Or because of knowledge she has obtained from books she claims are just research. Or because of her specific bloodline and a prophecy about how it is tied to the release of the chained oblivion—”
ZeroFail interjects, “Or it is also possible the Undying Mage doesn’t want to kill her, she just wants to access a mind that has read all of the forbidden books.”
Autumn comments, “That doesn’t sound any better.”
Prowl Lee looks suspiciously at ZeroFail, “Are you thinking of sacrificing yourself, since you have read all of the forbidden books, as well?”
ZeroFail tries to look shocked at the suggestion, and totally fails.
Autumn asked, “But you are going to help keep her safe?"
Prow Lee says “That’s why I have been intervening!”
Bone asked, “Are you actually helping, or is the real reason you’re doing it that helping her thwarts them?”
“Well that’s a bonus!” He explains that if the evil ponies kill Joneigh or get possession of the forbidden books, then some other really bad things would happen to Equestria as a whole. “And I like a world where you ponies keep inventing wonderful things, such as interesting beverages and good music and so on.”
Aurora asked, “So you are really that old?”
ZeroFail says “yes, we really are that old, and so is that manticore you were talking about earlier.”
Aurora gets up in ZeroFail’s face, looking closely at his eyes and skin and the feathers on his wings, trying to find signs of his advanced age.
Autumn mutters to Aurora about this is one of those times you are being rude without knowing … now is it.
Zero Fail repeats “They may not want her dead, but may just want someone who has had access to all the books.”
Autumn asks if the Undying Mage is one of the deathless.
“No,” ZeroFail explains.
Prowl Lee adds, “The Undying Mage is not a Deathless, yet.”
There is talk about him and the zomponies that attacked the bookstore and the office.
“It is just somebody bad. There is always somebody bad.” sighs Joneigh.
There are no assassins comig up the road. It is suggested that they warn Maize about what may be after them. The group discusses plans and where to go next… to remain safe.
HurryUp mutters “I wonder how I could become a Deathless.” A note appears on her muzzle. “Oh baby let me show you the ways.” “Now I know what our talk will be about!”
There is more discussion about where to go, how to get the drop on those that are coming after Joneigh, or what to do next. Bone looks at Zero Fail and Joneigh and suggests that they are the most likely targets, perhaps they should decide where they should go. More ambiguous discussion. Suggestions of which terrain would be better for traps and battle. If Prow Lee would be willing to take ALL of them back to Brindlebury.
The big coach starts braking several miles outside of town and does the 180 right handed drift to stop just in front of Garnish Towers. There are bonfires in the town square and there are two zompony bodies in the flames. Most of the townfolk are there celebratig the battle. One apologizes to Autumn for her garden. She says that as long as Moonbeam is ok, her garden can be regrown.
Several of the bad ponies that showed up were wonded but have left. Pegasuses with weird wings and that ugly peg-legged unicorn missing an eye was run out of town.
Prow Lee sidles up to Joneigh and asks if they are setting up the trap in the swamp or in the haunted house with the haunted organ.
Joneigh asks among her friends (careful to make sure that Prowl Lee and ZeroFail don’t hear) whether they should inform Celestia of the problem. Aurora volunteers to send a note to update Celestia and let her know what may happen in Brindlebury.
Jimmy was gonna go all A-Team on them once the trap was tripped. Then there is discussion about what kind of traps to be set; Jimmy & HurryUp team up for this. She starts rummaging in her tail and Jimmy digs through his toolchest. She comes up with Celestia’s Bath Water in a seltzer bottle.
Autumn goes through her bag for metal objects.
Almost immediately after she sends a message to Celestia, Aurora gets an answer back… a scroll and a small bottle that says ‘Drink me’, the scroll (which has Celestia’s seal) says “We need to talk.” Aurora drinks the potion and immediately falls unconscious.
Hobb finds her “Aurora, Aurora wake up, what’s wrong with you?” He finds the scroll and bottle.
Sunny hears Hobb’s distress and comes hurrying into the room, too, with Borealis following. Aurora is breathing, but both her heart rate and breathing are very shallow. Sunny tries various magics to heal or awaken Aurora to no avail.
Aurora, meanwhile finds herself in a room in what she assumes is in the castle, at Canterlot. Aurora know she is in a dream, and she can see the Princess’s silhouette is on a curtain in front of a balcony.
Aurora has a discussion with the princess, who quickly reveals herself to be the Mare in the Moon, and not Celestia. The Mare in the Moon (or the Lunar Queen) explains that Celestia actually wants the evil ponies to succeed in their quest against Joneigh, and that if Aurora wants to protect her friend, she will have to go against the plans of Celestia.
Aurora is very skeptical, and askes the Lunar Queen to offer proof. The Lunar Queen shows Aurora a vision of Celestia talking to her secretary, speaking of Aurora as nothing more than a potential brood mare for bloodlines that she wishes to preserve. The Celestia in the vision also talks about taking care of the problem of Joneigh (without being very specific about what the problem is), but also insisting that the Mares In Black must figure how Joneigh has eluded Celestia’s scrying. There is also a reference to not needing to “eliminate” some problem ponies because their brains have already been extracted.
Aurora knows this vision may be an illusion, but tries to remember subtle details she may be able to verify later. She challenges the Lunar Queen about why she should be believed, so the Lunar Queen explains that the Oblivion didn’t just become addicted to consuming the souls of mortal ponies, he also figured out how to consume other Deathless. “There used to be thirteen Deathless, but Destiny was killed and eaten by the Oblivion, which is why Fate needs so much help.” She claimed that Celestia has become arrogant and delusional after eight centuries without peers to interact with, and falsely believe she can control the Oblivion if the Undying Mage unbinds him. “She intends to kill all of us, and permanently assume our powers,” she says.
Aurora is still skeptical, and suggest three things that might bring her to believe the Lunar Queen. “Tell me the names of the forbidden books that the Undying Mage wants to take from my friend. Tell me the name of a pony I have not yet met but will. And give me the means to contact you again when I need to.”
The Lunar Queen lists off the books: “Deathless Mysteries, Tales from Drowned Wood, The Infernal Manuscript, Anatomy of Rock, The Encyclopedia of Nothing, History of Storm, and Where the Death Less Are,” Then she says, “A pony you have not met but will soon is RavenShadow.”
Aurora asks, “And how do I contact you?”
The Mare in the Moon smirks, and a beam of black energy shoots from her horn to engulf Aurora’s. And a spell for Communing with the Mare of Night is emblazoned on Aurora’s brain.
Before Aurora can react, she hears a sound like a large piece of fabric being torn. She turns to look, and sees a silvery rip in the fabric of reality itself. The rip widens into a large glowing gap, and a bean of white unicorn magic shoots out of the gap and hits the Mare in the Moon, knocking her away from Aurora. Egg White comes through the gap, his magic countering the dark blast so magic that the Lunar Queen sends at him.
“Mortal fool!” the Lunar Queen snarls, “How dare you challenge me!”
Egg White charges into the room, blasts of magic from his horn countering the Lunar Queen’s attacks and striking at her. “I’m just here for my friend,” he says. As soon as he is between Aurora and the Lunar Queen, he kicks with one hind leg, shoving Aurora through the rift.
Aurora wakes and Hobb is there, so is Sunny and Borealis all gathered around her looking concerned. She sees that Egg White is behind them, laying unconscious on the floor. Auroraa says “Get off, help him! He was there!”
She hurries to Egg White’s side. The other three explain (talking over each other) how Sunny’s healing magic didn’t seem to be helping Aurora, then Egg White arrive and he surrounded her body in his magic, and Sunny could see that it was helping her body, but none of them realized that Eqq White had collapsed, because his magic continued to surround her. Aurora realizes that she is still engulfed in a white magical glow coming from Egg White’s horn.
Egg White;s eyes flutter. He wakes and says “Oh! Are you all right?”
Aurora asks, “Are you all right?”
“I came in and realized that the Nightmare in the Moon had you, so I just had to help.” he explained.
“How did you know how to do that?”
Egg White climbed to his hooves then tilted his head as he looked at her. “They hide that information in books.”
Aurora replies, “I read books!”
“Not the right kind, I think,” Egg White replies.
Aurora realizes she may have to read some different books.
Some questions I noticed in the chat that happened while I was away.
Maize The name that the pony known as Maize was given by her parents was MaizeGreen McKorn. She is the eldest child of the older brother of Jimmy’s father. So she is a cousin to Jimmy, Shucks, and a bunch of other McKorns that the player ponies know. She is a few years older than Jimmy and Shucks. She was a teenager when they were small foals who needed babysitting, and yes, she babysat them frequently. She left Neighbraska shortly after finishing the schooling available at the village school, having signed some kind of job in the military, but the family lost contact with her shortly thereafter.
For a number of years she worked as a freelance troubleshooter/assassin, going by the name of SlaysClean. It was during this stage that she and Borealis were lovers, and also that she defeated (and nearly killed) Sunny when Sunny’s platoon tried to capture her.
Since retiring, she has taken on the identity of Maize E. Green, and is currently the Sheriff of Rotten Hoof, Neighvada, as well as being employed as a bartender in the same community.
While there are warrants out for the arrest of the notorious assassin Slay Clean, so far as the players know, they are the only ponies who realize that Slays Clean is the same pony as MaizeGreen McKorn and Maize E Green.
Bait’s Inn because the players have suggested it, there is a pop-up porn book about this inn in the town of Rotten Hoff. The gamemaster suspects this book was produced before old Mrs. Bait’s died and her psychopathic son started murdering ponies.
McKorns Jimmy and Shucks are just two of a large collection of cousins who moved to Brindlebury after their Great-Uncle Grits had purchased a number of farms by paying years of back-taxes when the owners and all heirs had died out. Jimmy, Shucks, Creamed, Waks, Muffin, Canned E. and Kettle McKorn have lived in Brindlebury for many years, but are not natives. They have significantly revitalized the agricultural output of Brindlebury over the last decade. Subsequently, Shuck’s younger sisters (who are twins) Summer and Autumn McKorn had taken over the beauty salon after the previous owner passed away. Great-Uncle Grits, a semi-retired barrister, lives in the seventh of the abandoned farms, which the McKorn cousins cultivate along with their own (which are all technically owned by the Great-uncle, though his living trust leaves each of them as heirs).
There are a lot of other McKorns, some owning or running farms back in Neighbraska. Jimmy’s evil twin, Cornsilk, used to be an agent of the Mares In Black, but has been ordered (by Princess Celestia) to help on his parents’ farm until his mother, Candy McKorn, says that he has mad amends.
Borealis and Sunny Book an illustrated book of the “Tijuana Wank Book” style was released by the Bargain Fairy after a night in the Bargain Basement. Because of the fairy magic, the book was available in every sex and porn shop throughout Equestria the day before it was actually created, so it’s all over.