My Little Pony: Magic Is Fiendish

Double the Trouble, Double the Fun!
Let's go steal a Princess!

9 October 2021

Choosie lands the Millenium Falcon in forest some distance out of Canterlot, and the ponies pick a meadow to allow Night Messenger to give birth.

Hurryup removes the stamp and it POOFS into Night Messenger, very bloated in the torso. He snaps hooves, Aurora & Autumn are suddenly in nurse costumes. He steps behind the screen and climbs into the stirrups. Blobby pops up and hands a doctor bag to Sunny… and puts two “holes” in the air which appear to be magical portals to somewhere else. One seems to lead to a deep forest somewhere. The other is just a featureless black abyss.

Sunny is baffled about the holes and birth. Night Messenger suggest she should determine how many babies he’s carrying. Sunngy rummages in the bag. Pulls out a magnifying glass… and can see Aura’s ribcage thru it, “OH! Ok.” Shes moves toward Night Messenger’s abdomen and sees 10K critters, only some of them resembling ponies in there. “They have to go home.” NM says and points at the holes in the air. There is some moaning and groaning. Blobby hands Hurryup Ann a script, which directs HurryUp to stand beside the bed, hold Night Messenger’s hoof, and remind him to breathe.

After a lot of screaming and moaning, babies spew forth from Night Messenger. Some look like dragons, some like goats with insect wings, antelope with bat wings, and more strange things. Half fly into the black hole, half into the light. HurryUp asks if the babies might come back and eat her or something, and Night Messenger says they shouldn’t… and when they get a little older many of them will be her minions.

“I never dreamed I’d have a hoard.” says Hurryup.

Night Messenger answers, “Think of it as and Anniversary present.”

Night Messenger asks Sunny, “Aren’t you supposed to give me something for the pain?”

“Are you in pain?”

“Argh, ack, eww, owie.” Autumn offers Sunny an herbal potion, she replied “I love you.”Jimmy produces a large hammer labeled “PainKiller.” While Sunny is administering the potion, Aurora levitates the hammer behind Night Messenger and baps him in the head.

Blobby pulls the holes/portals out of the air, rolls them up and puts them away. Blobby hands a note to Joneigh and one to Hurryup. HurryUp’s says to say the spell from the book in the garden of the castle in Canterlot. Joneigh’s gives her a book name and page number… of a book in her bag. Joneigh finds the page and holds it for Hurryup to read.

The ponies then discuss their next steps, as they need to steal a book (The Testament of Silver Eclipse) and HurryUp needs to transform Night Messenger into stone. Autumn splits so Flame can go with Hurryup, Night Meseenger, Joneigh, Sunny, Prow Lee, Blobby and Jimmy to the garden. Aurora, Autumn, Shucks, Silk, Uncle Huntfield, Earthbreaker, and Choosie gear up to go off on a book heist.

They first go find a decommisioned bookmobile and paint it in Canterlot colors (Joneigh gets very excited and they promise she can keep it when they are done). They all cram inside it to head to the palace. Joneigh gives her library keys to Autumn, who makes sure she has her library pass handy. They approach the city of Canterlot and there are guards posted. The guards ask their business and for their papers.

“These aren’t the Ponies you are looking for” says Huntfield. The guards give back the papers and tell them to move along.

Canterlot seems a bit more subdued than the last time they visited. Aurora is peeking out the back at the City. They head to the garden and the two groups split off to their respective targets. Huntsville taking the heist group through the hidden tunnels of the palace. The garden group sightsees around the maze looking at statues while they let the heist team get in place. Syncronize sundials!

Down in the tunnel, Choosie & Autumn motion for silence as they hear something up the tunnel… voices? One is Agent Ayyyyyy says Aura. Then there are hoofsteps coming toward them. Aura readies a soundproof spell and the group arranges with the guard dressed ones in front and continue forward. They meet, he looks over the group as he chats with the ponies disguised as guards (Huntfield, Borealis, Earthbreaker, Shucks, Silk); he puts his sunglasses on and points at Shucks and says he should put his on too. Then he walks on by, wishing them a good day.

Further on there is a guard who sees them. “State your business.” Earthbreaker starts to say “Prisoner transfer—” but Borealis interrupts and says, “No, that’s not the password!” Shucks, meanwhile, in is Cosplay voice says, “We are bringing books back from circulation, and our librarian needs to report to the Head Librian.” replies Borealis.

Both Aurora and Huntfield successfully read the mind of the guard for the password. They give the password to the guard, he wishes them good day and steps aside. The guard isn’t looking at Aurora … he is noticing Autumn’s flank.

Aurora moves tot he front and goes first; the library is this way.

Meanwhile out in the garden; they decide it is about time to start the distraction. Out of the maze walks Agent Ayyyyyyyy. Joneigh waves and says hi, then when he says its a nice day for a painting, pulls out a sketchbook and starts drawing NM who is up on a plinth posing. Flame busts out an easel to paint same. Someone in the castle sees Discord and calls out an alarm. Aaaay says, “Oh, nice distraction.” And ninja-vanishes. Joneigh turns her book to Hurryup and she starts reading the spell from it. The book starts to crackle with lightning, exciting Joneigh to no end. There is a flash of red light from the entrance to the maze. There is the sound of a collision, “What are you doing just standing here?” There is a lot of what and Discord is in the garden, to the maze! type arguing. Jimmy tries to seal the entrances from the maze to where they are… Flame assists and the plants move and shift to seal the entrances. Prow Lee’s claws come out and he readies for trouble. Jimmy asks if Discord could make all the guards look like Discord to each other. From another part of the maze: “Like the way you think, lad,” and snaps his fingers. “There he is.” Zap. Zap. Zap. “Officer down!!” Zap-zap-zap. Prow Lee and Joneigh see a formation of Pegasuses swooping in to where they are standing. Prow Lee says “Incoming!” Flame suggests to Jimmy they make a roof over the maze with branches from the hedges? Jimmy pulls out a rope to lasso him a pegasus. Hurryup continues the spell and Joneigh keeps the book steady for her. Prow Lee suggest Flame toss him up into the pegasuses and that Sunny create a wall of flame between Hurryup and the pegasuses. Jimmy lassos the lead pegasus and whirls her around into other Pegasuses. Sunny puts up the flames in the sky. Prow Lee is slashing at them. More pandemonium is heard from the maze!
Back inside the castle; the heist group are hearing the shouts of alarm from outside. “That sounds like the signal” says Aura. She asks what the title of the book they are looking for and someone says “The Testament of Silver Eclipse”. Autumn finds something on a shelf and ‘click’ and a door swings out and a trapdoor opens; Shucks bumps Silk and he falls into the hole. Someone reaches in and clicks another button and a platform with up/down buttons slides out. They find a big steel door at the bottom that Silk is trying to pick, but Autumn says she has a key… Then Aurora hears the Head Librarian say “Oh Princess, I didn’t know you’d come back to Canterlot!” Aura sushes everyone. She is there to put something somewhere safe. The put the key in and turn, ‘click’ and the trap door closes and when remove the key the door opens to the secret library space. Elderly earth pony there asking them to sign into the book. Then he does a double take at Huntsfield, “You’re back”. Hinnnery closes the book. He has a badge that says Record Keeper. “What is that you need, General?” He tells them the book name. There is an array of light bulbs of different colors above them and the red one is flashing – it is labeled ‘princess in the building’. He points at Autumn and rattles off a number, she cocks her head then nods and says alright, we should go there and then back up! They all follow her. Hinnery nods and says “Prince Sod” as Earthbreaker walks past. To the left of the book is an award that looks like a pair of scissors that are almost closed, with bits of silver like string that just got cut. On the other side is a round thing that is an opalescent sphere with non-heat fire coming off of it. The unicorns can feel the power of the Inevitable and Celestia coming off the two “awards” (periapts). Earthbreaker says “THAT one is supposed to be binding the Oblivian.” pointing at the scissors. He says he isn’t sure about the other one. Autumn pulls out the ‘Eye’ puts it on to look at the periapts. Aurora reaches out and touches the round one. They hear the steel door lock behind them somewhere. Autumn feels an urge to smite someone, then sees staticy stuff, then green outlines on things around her with descriptions. When she looks at the awards “The Final Scissors Snip” with a sort of death standing guard and “The Eternal Dawn” with Celestia in chains. Aurora hears “Is someone there?” [Gene to fill in whatever from bound Celestia] They ask how to unbind a pariapt and get “That is what the book is for”. Autumn offers a lead lined bag to carry all three things with them and looks to her dad. She grabs them and Aura hisses at them “We should escape now!” Earthbreaker says “Does that look like another elevator to you?” “If it isn’t I can make it into one,” says Aura. They use it. As they do, they can hear the steel door opening. Now they can hear Celestia talking to Hinnnery. [Gene to add details]
Back in the maze; pandemonium continues in the maze and above it. Hurryup casts the spell. The last line seems to be calling the life source of the subject into her. There is crackling energy like that from the book and pulls something from NM to Hurryup and he turns to stone. Hurryup completes her transformation and has wings! And she tosses black and indigo glitter everywhere. About then the heist group pops out of the maze tunnel into the pandemonium that is the maze. “Quick, to the bookmobile!” says Jimmy. Autumn says “Joneigh I can’t wait to show you what we found in the library!” Earthbreaker stomps and makes a direct path through the maze to the bookmobile. They Run… Hurryup Prancing and Giggling in a disturbing way. When people back home tell Hurryup that she’s changed; she is going to say “That’s what marriage does to you.”

Did Someone Say Heist?
Come with me to Canterlot…

Over and above everything else:

Some of us were less invested in the timeline than others. As one player pointed out, the time line isn’t really all that important.

The important bits are plot points, most of the time it is not important which things happened when.

25 September 2021

Major Milestone

Hurryup, Autumn, and Joneigh swallow the pearls at the same time. They glow and float up off the floor, there are flashing lights and dramatic music from somewhere. When the glow fades, it is a full-fledged Anime Transformation Sequence for each of the characters.

Hurryup Ann, formerly an Earth Pony, comes out of the glowing transformation sequence as a pony with a spiral unicorn horn coming out of her forehead, with hints on her body of other changes.

Joneigh exits her own transformation sequence with a lightning bolt shaped horn temporarily visible on her brow.

Autumn comes out of the transformation sequence with an antler-shaped horn temporarily visible above her forehead.

Some of the group notice that the stamp on the envelope (that the note from Shucks came in) is moving: it is Night Messenger looking all noble off to one side, but keeps glancing out of the stamp at us, then going back to the static noble pose. Autumn and Joneigh decide that now that the envelope is empty, they can give it to Hurryup so she can chat with her husband!

General Huntfield says, “Are you ready to join the rebellion?”

“Where is the rebellion going or what are they doing?”

They are going to trying to redo a heist outside Canterlot to get a book. Autumn asks how the making of the periapts happened with the Deathless, when they did that doesn’t it take something out of them. Earthbreaker says that he did have to give up a little power, but “you get used to it.” Autumn asks how many he made. Earthbreaker first says he only did it a few times. Choosie disagreed. After some back and fortth they figured Earthbreaker did it 4 times: The Chained Oblivion, The Inevitable (“But that one doesn’t count, because I sabotaged is so he could escape if it had worked” “It stiill took power.”), Firefrost, and the Deluge. The discussion causes Bone to appear to help Autumn understand and grok it. How can we undo a periapt?

There is a knock on the door to the MF: it is a kimono dragon bearing a black envelope with “Aurora” on it in silver ink. Aura takes it in a field from the dragon. It says Nightmare Moon was glad to get that bit of her back but they cannot take it back into themselves. They discuss how they can maybe help Celestia get back to ‘normal’ with some of this knowledge, somehow remind her how she used to be.

Autumn pulls out a trump card to call the Operator; she places the card where everyone can see it and the Operator says, “In order to make a call, please pick up the correct trump card.” Autumn and Aurora work on trying to make a trump card specifically to call the Operator. “You did it!” says Autumn. “Is this the party to whom I am speaking?” Autumn replies that she would like to know if she could be connected to all the Celestia periapts.

The Operator: “In theory, but I have concerns. The fragment that is in the periapt takes on the feeling that the original has at the time of the split. The Sun was very angry during the last couple of creations.”

Autumn asks the Operator for advice on who to talk to about this, if finding a periapt won’t work. During the first few imprisonments, Celestia appeared to still be happy and sane. But when she talked a bunch of the Deathless into trying to bind the Inevitable it was clear to the Operator that something was wrong with Celestia. “And it just kept getting worse.” The Operator then tries to connect the group to Focused Sun… hold music… then Focused Sun is on the line and sounds like Celestia. She says it has been long since she spoke to ponies.

Aura greets her and asks how she is. Autumn explains what is going on and what would make her feel more connected.

Focused Sun: “Tea, cakes, and… do you play cards?” We ask if she’d like to talk to the current iteration of herself. They explain what Celestia has been doing and what her behavior is like now. “That doesn’t sound like me at all.”

We tell her we’re trying to make it right and will be making a direct call to connect with her more and ask if she’d like anything in the desert. “Fairy cakes would be nice.” Everyone says goodbye and hang up.

Prow Lee moves his car into the cargo bay of the MF and they head to Canterlot to do the heist and to make a statue appear. Hurryup says, by the way, My husband has turned himself into this stamp because troops loyal to Celestia have taken over Brindlebury. He has reminded me that he is close to birthing our child. He also reminds me that I have one more thing to do on my list: to turn him into a statue in Canterlot. This makes joining up with the MF group a two-fer! But Night Messenger would like to give birth before he is transformed, please!

Chaos in Kelpietown
Every Oyster Has a Pearl

11 September 2021

Joneigh goes looking for the library and both Autumn and Aurora go along. They find an archway with a gate and lock, Joneigh unlocks it and goes in. A librarian appears when they enter and asks if he can help them. Joneigh asks about history books, Autumn wants to browse and Aura follows Joneigh for now; depending on how long her attention span for history lasts. The queen is taking Hurryup around and introducing her to kelpie notables; the queen inquires about Hurryup’s husband and Brindlebury. The Kelpie Queen says that rumor has it that months ago when the Mares In Black were reorganized that a new, hotshot agent had been put in charge of Brindlebury, and the Queen is surprised said agent hasn’t dealt with Night Messenger or Hurryup. Hurryup dissembles and continues weaving her lies upon lies.

Prow Lee, in disguise as a kelpie, swims up to Jimmy and says, “We may have a problem: when I got to the car, ”/characters/silk" class=“wiki-content-link”>Silk was gone.”

“It was locked.” Jimmy says to keep an eye on him and unless he is in some dire emergency, just let Jimmy know where he is.

Prow Lee leaves and comes back without his disguise, carrying the paperwork that Hurryup requested he bring to her.

Aura is looking for a book about communication magic—she wants to make trump cards—and manages to trip. Autumn is browsing for gardening, art stuff, storms/lightning, etc. Joneigh is putting a book away and thinks she sees Autumn walk by and turns to look, it is an Autumn shape almost mummified in kelp. She goes over and pokes her in the shoulder. “You are covered in seaweed.” Joneigh thinks the kelp is trying to kill her. Autumn tells it to stop, using her ability to commune with plants, and it does, floating off in a manner that suggests it is surprised she isn’t food. They decide they should check on Aurora; was there a crash over there? Aura has found a book and is engrossed in it and doesn’t notice that she is being wrapped in kelp and it is inside her bubble. She creates a smaller inside bubble and pushes out to squish the kelp between the two layers.

Joneigh and Autumn round a corner. Kronk’s cart is overturned and both crabs are tearing at a pile of moving seaweed on the floor. Autumn tells it to stop trying to eat that. The seaweed goes away or is squished. (It was trying to drown them).

Meanwhile the Attorney General is looking through the document and Jimmy and Sunny notice that every time they shake some seaweed off a hoof, more tries to wrap around another hoof. Prow Lee has been using his claws to cut seaweed off, and the three decide it is not random seaweed. Aura tells them what she was looking for so Joneigh listens, looks around a bit and pulls three more books on the subject from various shelves, seemingly at random. They head over to the genealogy section to look for info about Autumn’s family and overhear the librarians speculating:

“So are any of them drowned yet?”
“No they are all still alive.”
“None in the courtyard are dead either, they keep shaking the weed off.”

Autumn tells the seaweed in the library to go back to their kelp beds and go to sleep. They do in starling formation-like. They decide to check the courtyard, but they stop at the desk to check out the books they found. The librarians look a lot like guards… the librarian asks if they want to check out the books, Joneigh says yes and he checks them out while glaring at the guards. They thank him, take the books and go looking for the rest of the group.

The queen wants to take Hurryup off somewhere private to discuss the thing with pearl. All the earth ponies hear a high-pitched scream and the retreat of the seaweed now happens in the courtyard because Jimmy put his full weight on it. Hurryup notices but continues off with the queen.

Joneigh, Aurora, Autumn, and Kronk stride into the courtyard and see that Jimmy, Sunny, and Prow Lee are being surrounded by hundreds of kelpies. Joneigh calls out to those surrounded, asking if they are okay. Kelpies are working some kind of magic to dispel the breathing spell. Aurora offers a bomb in their midst. Joneigh uses her wings to swim in circles above them all to make a whirlpool. Jimmy is looking at the ground around him. All the guards’ harpoons have started glowing. The captain of the guard fails to stab Jimmy with his harpoon.

Aurora expands her bubble to a 60-meter bubble for all the group to retreat to. Groups of guards are heading toward each member of the group. Prow Lee has extended his claws and is heading toward kelpies and hurts a few. Sunny is heading toward Aura and preps a line of super heated water. A carp is heading toward Joneigh. Autumn is summoning kelp. Jimmy takes the captain’s harpoon away and stabs him with it.

Sunny zigs, zags, does gymnast moves, and nails the landing inside the volume Aura is prepping. Joneigh is defending against fish and continuing to make a whirlpool. The captain of the guard is trying to wrest away the spear from Jimmy. Aura is casting persuasive pebble to freak out the enemies and defending against magic being cast at her. Prow Lee continues to fuck up kelpies.

Kelpies are stabbing the bubble in Sunny’s area and she is shooting them with boiling water. Autumn is entangling guards with the weeds. Joneigh kicks one fish right into the open mouth of another fish. The captain of the guard tried to kick Jimmy in the head but missed as did two other guards that tried to jab him. Aura’s shiny, sparkly pebble has distracted at least three kelpies from what they were going to do. The guards poking at Aura’s bubble causes sparks. There are two kelpie guards who are now bleeding from Prow Lee’s strikes. Joneigh continues ‘flying’ and defending.

The captain of the guard still can’t hurt Jimmy. Nine of the guards have fallen for Aura’s “pebble” and are swimming away. Four are entangled in Autumn’s kelp. One is boiled. Those fighting Prow Lee and Jimmy are still in the fight and one more is still poking at the big bubble. Aura sends a message to Hurryup: “We need to go now; we’re being attacked here!” and defends her bubble against the guards. Sunny boils fish.

Autumn works with Jimmy in an effort to raise a large section of the floor to make the area they are on to become an island in the swamp. A fish swallows Joneigh. Prow Lee is cutting keplies to ribbons.

In another room, a holographic image of Aura appears before Hurryup to deliver her message. The Queen doesn’t notice and thinks she is doing voices and says, “Keep on doing… right there… keep on with that.”

The captain of the guard finally stabs Jimmy. Aura throws her “pony-ton torpedo” as far as she can while defending herself. Hurryup finishes what she is doing to the queen, bites the necklace off her neck and runs for the courtyard, using a wet cloud of ninja smoke to cover her escape!

Sunny kills a boiled kelpie. Autumn and Jimmy pour more magic into raising the floor. The fish trying to eat Joneigh is not doing well against the surprise lightning in his belly and he belches her out… and his color has changed as though he has been cooked from the inside out. The floor is raising and now cracks are forming and magma can be seen. The captain is damaged by the erupting steam. There are shrieks coming from the direction that the queen and Hurryup had gone, and the sounds are in Aura’s head because of her connection to Hurryup in message.

The boiled kelpie is now crispy. Aura feels the bubble moving because of Joneigh’s whirlpool. There are dark shapes in the water… sharks! A larger shape appears behind them! A disk with lights and Joneigh squeals, “Aliens! I always wanted to see aliens!”

Autumn looks up and sees Choosy and the Earthbreaker leaving a hatch and swimming down; they are attacking kelpies that were coming from another direction. Autumn is yelling something about dad coming to fight for her. Huntfield is blasting kelpies that are coming and waves to his great-grand-niece and she calls out: “I listened to you and learned from it!” The last kelpie trying to get through her bubble gets zapped by a unicorn shot from Borealis!

Jimmy is rushing to the bubble. Shucks is hanging from a ladder on the Millennium Falcon, calling encouragement. The queen stumbles out, hollering stuff about the necklace and what are you doing and, “Oh, no!” when she sees Borealis.

“Heard you could use some help, Sis!”

“Thanks, Bro.”

They all get up and into the dirigible. Silk is there urging folk up the ramp to close the hatch. Hurryup makes it into the ship and is laying on her side, belly swelling. Sunny puts some ipecac down her throat. Joneigh offers the Heimlich. Hurryup horks up the necklace.

Huntfield says, “You ate all three?” But now she can separate out the right one to swallow: Foolishness. She asks for water and a palate cleanser and explains about the contract and the ritual. Huntfield says all three have to be eaten at the same time by different ponies. Joneigh offers to help her friend by eating the Reason pearl and Autumn says she wouldn’t mind beefing up her Memory and offers to eat that pearl.

Prow Lee still really wants to know how Silk got out of the car. Silk explains how he talked to the car and let it know his friends needed backup.

Prow Lee: “You talked to my car?”

Silk: “You do all the time.”

There is now a new island in the middle of the lake. Shucks has a message from Egg White for Jimmy that a bunch of Celestia’s guards have invaded Brindlebury and Hobb has been relieved of duty. [Major milestone plus what the pearls do to change Autumn, Joneigh & Hurryup]

I Don't Like Spiders 'n' Snakes!
In an octopus's garden, with me.

14 August 2021

Heading toward the Kelpie Graveyard, across the swamp. Hurryup is leading with Aurora floating behind on a telekinetic disk with Kronk and the healed crab busboy. Joneigh is flying above her. Autumn is behind Aura, trying out her earth magic to dry out a bit of land temporarily to walk on less swampy stuff.

Joneigh and Autumn can hear a scream in the distance, “Murder, murder; help, murder.” Autumn says to the group that there is someone calling out about murder and help just ahead. They hurry to see what is going on. There are spiders, cranes, and an egg up where the screaming is coming from. Autumn asks if someone was calling for help… about a murder? Joneigh wonders if someone is looking for help with a murder?

A spider runs up to Autumn, saying, “They’re all murderers!” The spiders need help in defense. A crane on a nest points at a spider running away with an egg, saying, “Kidnappers who will probably murder my child.” Aura asks for explanations and points at a random bird. “You first!” The bird says the evil, eight-legged evil monsters keep stealing their eggs. Then she points at a random spider. “Now you!” The spider says they eat us and steal our silk for their nests.

Hurryup suggests they kill all the spiders. Aura thinks there is a trade deal that could be made. Autumn isn’t sure what is “right.” Joneigh decides to fly forward to scout for the Kelpie Graveyard to see if it is still where the monkeys said it would be. While she flies, she wonders if she can pray to The Verdict about Prow Lee’s curse.

Aurora tries to convince the spiders and cranes to come to some sort of compromise. A crane picks up her egg and takes it over to place at Aura’s feet “Thank you for saving us, Your Majesty!” Aura nods regally. “So, no more murders, right?” Aura asks. The spiders and cranes are going to celebrate by eating a bunch of insects together.

The ponies are glad for no more murders and move along in the direction Joneigh went.

Autumn thinks about pulling out a map, then decides instead to try to make an earth-magic path through the swamp to the area where Joneigh is hovering. There is a whomph where it stops against an unseen barrier. There is more of a lake here than swamp. Joneigh sees a vortex in the lake that goes down very far. Aura can move forward, but Autumn’s magic stops at the edge of the shore.

Aura calls out, “Hello, anybody here?” A squid pops out of the water and Aura yelps in surprise. Hurryup runs up to the edge of the water and says she knows the universal cephalopod language and waves her legs around. She asks if the squid knows where the Pearl of Foolishness might be located. It says it is probably hanging around the Kelpie Queen’s neck. Hurryup wants to know if the Queen is cute…. It says, “No offense, but you only have four legs.”

Autumn asks if the Kelpie Graveyard is down there, where the squid lives. It asks which down there she means. She explains that we want an audience with the Queen. It looks at her, searching for gills. “You do know that Kelpies’ main goal is to drown land-dwellers?” It says that the Queen is at the bottom of the vortex.

Autumn asks if Aurora can give the group gills. Aurora looks through her spells and doesn’t think so. Joneigh pulls out a book, flips immediately to the correct page and shows her the spell she needs.

Aura: “Can I copy that?”

Joneigh: “Sure.”

The squid waves at Hurryup, calls her a sister-cephalopod, and gives a warning about guards. “Good Luck! You’ll need it.”

The group Bubbles, Slides, or Flies down the vortex.

When the reach the bottom of the vortex, one of three undead fish on a spit calls out: “Halt, who goes there?”

“I do,” says Hurryup.

It wants to know who she is; she says, “Hurryup Ann Night Messenger.” The undead fish ask, “The ”/wikis/baltimare" class=“wiki-page-link”> Baltimare or the Pandemonium Night Messengers?" Autumn suggests the Brindlebury Night Messengers. Autumn introduces herself. Joneigh just says she is a librarian. Aurora agrees that Joneigh is a librarian of the highest order. Jimmy, just a farmer. Aurora gives her full name. Kronk and “other crab”. The undead fish recognize Aurora’s family name and ask if she is any relation to the Great Philanderer who left the Kelpie Queen at the altar? It appears for a few moments that being Borealis’s sister might be a problem, but Kronk intervenes (clicking his claws, which the undead fish seem to understand as speech) and the fish decide that with Kronk’s vouching, Aurora may proceed.

Suddenly, a white ferret swims down with a scroll for Joneigh. She reads it and makes a proclamation about Prow Lee. A desk, quill, ink, and paper appear just as suddenly and it writes out the proclamation and Joneigh hoofs it. Prow Lee pops out of Jimmy’s saddlebags, no longer a snake.

Autumn asks if a happy bundle was left in the wake of Borealis leaving the queen? The undead fish ignores the question and asks who might be in a romantic entanglement with the Evil One now? The fish suggests Joneigh, Autumn, Jimmy, and Kronk precede the group and follow it. One of the dead fish uses a tail fin to try to “fist bump” with Autumn and says, “Good luck, sisters!”

They are brought before a big fish. There is offer of refreshment. It is declined, politely. Big fish turns and leads them to a lantern fish “Sea Bed can be treacherous”. Another Big Fish comes and the two discuss and then one moves forward to give proper introductions, starting with Kronk. Then the Librarian. Then Autumn. Then Jimmy. Then Hurryup. Then Sunny. Then it mangles Aura’s name and she doesn’t respond. Then Prow Lee, the other lying, cheating philanderer.

The fish acting as majordomo looks at Aura and asks why she hasn’t moved, she explains that she hasn’t actually been called. He changes it to, “Aurora – great friend of Kronk,” and she moves forward.

There are lots of kelpies around, several Big Fish with ribbons or citations. When the queen appears, she is wearing a necklace with cowrie shells and three pearls—ivory, black, and pink. Before Joneigh reaches the queen, a Kelpie sidles up to her and says, “Just a slight bow, and say ma’am.” Joneigh gives her a sidelong look and says, “Read that in a book, yeah.”

The queen gives Kronk a gold, royal cocktail mixer set. Joneigh gets an eyeglass cleaning kit and a small key, marked “Royal Library.” Autumn gets a fancy trowel and a book titled The Octopus’s Garden. Jimmy is given the golden scythe. Hurryup says, “Hey, Queenie, I have a proposition for you!”

The queen: “We will discuss that later.”

Hurryup gets a book, So, You’ve Married a Chaos God.” Sunny gets a book, 5001 Ways to Curse Your Ex. Then the queen sees Prow Lee and motions for a dragon fish to approach; it swallows him whole. Joneigh swims over and does a Heimlich maneuver on the fish to get it to spit the cat out (she’s read how to do that in a book). The fish vomits Prow Lee out at Aura’s feet, whereupon Aurora gets her grooming kit out and combs the slime out of his fur.

The queen looks from Joneigh to Aurora to Prow Lee and says her gift to him will be to let him live. She gifts to Aurora a book: The Family Plot—How to Rid Yourself of Inconvenient Relatives. Aurora places it in her saddlebags without looking at it and thanks the queen.

The queen says stuff about “new friends,” then she talks to Hurryup about her proposal: she offers proof that Borealis has faced consequences for his philandering ways.

Hurryup sends Prow Lee off to find her copy of the trust for Borealis’ progeny.

King Larry and the Cragadile Tuple!
Just monkeying around!

7 August 2021

Aurora goes into the club, thanks Hurryup for holding her space and asks Kronk for her usual, then she makes space for herself at the table by shoving flamingos around a bit.

There is some back and forth with the flamingos. Autumn follows Aurora into the club. Hurryup tries to eat one of the flamingos. He responds by kicking her in the head and flaps away. Aura says she is disgusted with how they treat their help and then tells Kronk they are leaving. Hurryup follows the flamingo, intending to eat him. Autumn wants to make the mud as sticky and goopy as possible so the flamingos won’t be able to get their legs free. The flamingo Hurryup tried to eat picks up the seltzer bottle from Kronk’s cart and squirts Hurryup in the mouth, forcing her to back away. Another tries to flap backwards but is stuck in the mud.

Aurora scoops up her drink in a field, picks up Kronk and slides the injured crab toward Autumn. Jimmy and Prowl Lee (on Jimmy’s back) show up and menace the flamingos. “Hey, come back here with the busboy!” a flamingo shouts at Aura, as she follows Hurryup. Hurryup had decided that the flamingos are a distraction and she is determined to head toward the Pearl. Jimmy and Prowl Lee forestall the flamingo attack with their menace allowing the others to get away. One of the flamingos just flies away, muttering about his tea time. Before flying off the first flamingo says, “I am definitely filing a complaint!” The fourth flamingo falters from the menacing and after laying an actual egg, scrambles and falls off the table. Sunny works her medic magic on the crab and cures the busboy. Autumn invites him to come live with them.

The ponies move away south.

The swamp gets less sloppy, with more trees and ground less wet.

The ponies hear music, but now it is more drum-heavy. As they approach, they can now hear a bass being plucked and… is that a sax riff? Soon they see some stone ruins ahead. As they get closer, they can see there is a group of monkeys dancing to the music.

Aurora puts some gold coins in the tip jar and waits for them to finish. The group applauds politely, except Joneigh who cheers from the air. One of the musicians scampers up to Aurora and asks, “How do I announce you?” He runs back up and announces Aurora and the group and mangles her name. The big orangutan approves and asks for more wine. Jimmy is checking the stage for traps/trapdoors. He quietly informs Aura is standing over a bit of the stonework that WILL move is someone decides to move.

The MC (monkey of ceremonies) steps up and welcomes the group for King Larry (after being nudged by the king’s foot). The king asks what gift they had brought him. Aurora asks what he might want? Autumn offers a painting of a thunderstorm. The king nudges the MC and he runs over to retrieve the painting and bring it for the king to look at. The king loves the painting and wants to know the name of the artist, as he has only been introduced to Aurora. Autumn introduces herself. The king reaches out and drags a sycophant forward and pulls the chain off his neck. He places the chain around Autumn’s neck declares her the Artist Laureate of all monkeydom. He then demands a song for the new Artist Laureate.

While the music is playing, Hurryup steps up and asks about the Kelpie Graveyard. King Larry says now is a bad time to go there as this time of the month is when the entrance to the Kelpie Graveyard goes to the Underworld. Hurryup asks if he knows how long it stays there! The king does some figuring—three days! Hurryup ruminates that maybe they should wait for those days. “Oh, you want to stay?!” Autumn says she could do another painting.

The music ends and the king calls for feast to welcome their new friends. “Play the ‘set up feast’ music!” And monkeys are scurrying round setting up tables and stuff. He finishes his glass of wine, jumps off the throne, throws his arm around Autumn to escort her around to decide where to hang the painting. Then they go back to join others at the feast. Autumn wants to take some fruit she knows Joneigh will like to her, but also wants to take tea, so she asks if there is tea available. They tell her it would take a while to steep. So, she pulls out a pot and brazier and asks Sunny if she would light it. Suddenly, all the monkeys leap, jump, crawl over everything to see the fire up close.

“How did you do that?” asks the king.

Sunny answers that she has always been able to do that. The king reaches over to a monkey, grabs the chain off him and drops it over Sunny’s head. “I declare you our new Incendiary Laureate!” The king spears a kumquat and cooks it, then eats it. He next roasts a beetle, and more and more things.

Hurryup, meanwhile, sneaked around to see what she can lift while they are busy. A monkey drops down and sticks a rag in Hurryup’s face “Does this rag smell like chloroform?” “Chloroform tastes spicy,” says Hurryup as she eats the rag.

Back at the feast, Aurora is talking to Kronk about figuring a way to slip the monkeys a bunch of mickeys. Joeigh flies over to see if she can find Hurryup, who is on the ground, stoned, with some monkeys around her holding a makeshift net. Joneigh drops on the monkeys, knocking them over. There is now a jumble of monkeys in the net and six of them running off. She picks up Hurryup and flies up with her. Hurryup thinks that maybe that last thin mint was a mistake.

Joneigh tactfully aims Hurryup’s head at the table full of monkeys and food. Kronk scuttles up to Aurora with a little leaflet that says, “How to use chloroform on ponies.” Jimmy notices Joneigh and Hurryup “Hurryup at 10 o’clock and she is going to blow chunks!”

Autumn crawls under the table; Aurora puts a bubble round herself. Sunny has monkeys all over her (trying to find out how she does fire) and she bubbles them with her. Hurryup’s jaw unhinges and her eyes roll back in her head. Jimmy picks up a plank and uses it to shield himself. The king is still toasting stuff and doesn’t pay attention; other monkeys have figured something is up and are running away.

And then she blows!

Two cragadiles, a vulture, a spider, and maybe a frog with some slime are now scattered all over the table, all of them squirming and about half the size they used to be. The fire didn’t go out, the smoke smells really odd, but it is still aflame. Autumn thinks she is gonna need a new teapot.

“Battle music!” calls the king. The music starts and the runaway monkeys turn and come back. The music is enticing and the ponies have to exert their wills to not start dancing. Jimmy, Hurryup, Sunny and Autumn are all dancing. Aurora pretends to dance so she can pull a fast one later in the fight. Joneigh is in the air, readying her magic. Aurora dances her way to the band and starts destroying the instruments. Autumn is doing a STOMP spell when it fits to the music. Hurryup is vomiting and projectile pooping to the beat, while spinning. Joneigh starts firing lightning at the king. One of the reduced cragadiles has swallowed the king. Both cragadiles (including the one that ate the king), the fire and Hurryup fall through the trap door that opened during the earthquake that Autumn made. The music dies down.

Prow Lee found a latex covering for his tail and has caught Hurryup by the foot just before she falls through the trap door in front of the king’s throne, one of the cragadiles raises his head from the hole and he is wearing the crown. The monkeys call out, “The king is dead, long live the king!”

Kronk gives Aura a note, in Prow Lee’s handwriting: “I think you should all flee.” Aurora calls that its time to leave! Come along Artist, come along Flambeau!

The party exits, following Aura back to the trail to the Kelpie Graveyard.

Into the Swamp
...and into the Swamp ...and into the Swamp ...and into the Sultry Swamp

24 July 2021
Significant Milestone Achieved!

Two ferrets scamper up to Joneigh and the brown one hands her a teeny tiny note, she thanks him. [The periapts have to stay here, so the princesses don’t know.] Some of the goats and monkeys are following Joneigh around, some have gone to the basement and are wailing because the sacred wine is all gone. Jimmy leaves a book on the shrine and Autumn goes to look at the book’s title: The Laws and Customs of the Township of Brindlebury.

Autumn asks why he is giving her that? He figures she needs something new to read after all this time cooped up.

Aura only discovers random temple things in the other rooms off the main one, no loot. As they start to leave, the monkeys and the goats continue to follow Joneigh. Autumn warns her the goats and monkeys are likely going to keep following Joneigh unless Joneigh gives them a mission. So, Joneigh lands and turns to tell them that they need to go be accountable for their own actions. They look dejected, turn, and go back into the temple to be grown-ups.

As the ponies go back to the car, Autumn tries to send a message through the snow globe to the Three Sisters Fruff. “Good; you found the Eye. You will keep it safe until we can meet again.” She mumbles something about a graveyard and a pearl then asks where she should meet them next. There is some conversation and the sisters suggest that if the ponies are going with Hurryup, the Three Sisters would be seeing the group soon. The sisters also remind Autumn that she can use the Eye in an emergency, and even suggest she try it in advance to get the hang of it. Autumn thanks them for the advice and leaves the Eye wrapped up in her saddle bag.

They arrive at a meadow at the top of a waterfall and Prow Lee explains that he chose this place so they can remember where they parked.

The graveyard of the Kelpies moves around a bit and the swamp is bad for the car. Jimmy locks Silk in the car as his leg is not healed enough for him to accompany them.

The graveyard is located in the Swamp of Pyrexia. They start walking… and walking… and walking. They eventually get to a sign that says, “Swamp of Pyrexia / Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here”. As soon as Prow Lee steps into the swamp, he morphs into a snake (not voluntarily). [He was cursed by the Queen of the Kelpies centuries ago.]

It is hotter as soon as they step into the swamp. Autumn and Aurora are attempting to make a stone path, à la Ludo in Labyrinth, so the walkers don’t have to squelch.

Joneigh just takes flight.

The rock bridge Autumn and Aurora raised are actually giant cragadiles. One cragadile tries to twist around to bite Autumn and she reacts with Reactive Shot. It barely misses her, getting just a couple tail hairs. Joneigh swoops down to rescue Autumn and they fly forward. Hurryup ninja vanishes and stealth attacks to try to eat the cragadile. Jimmy grabs the cragadile’s tail and throws him away from the group. Sunny attempts to jump on the cragadile’s snout, but because Jimmy grabbed it she is tossed ass over teakettle. Aurora gets a nasty physical shock by failing to notice a second cragodile behind her.

Since there is fighting happening, more cragadiles start swimming toward the group. Aurora is blasting the cragadile that is biting her but can’t deal with three monsters at once and takes a serious injury to her front leg; the third cragadile snaps, but only gets her tail. Hurryup has bitten the cragadile, which lets go of Aurora to concentrate on this novel threat. Another is heading toward Jimmy who is dealing with the one he grabbed by paying homage to the classic “Puny God” scene from Avengers. Joneigh makes a whirlwind to grab up all the cragadiles, which pulls everyone up!

Aurora attempts to lasso a tree and pull herself out of the wind. Sunny is shooting at a flying cragadile. The only cragadile that gets anyone is the one Hurryup is eating; it nips her. Autumn has Bone appear, Sunny shoots at another flying cragadile, Aurora invokes one of her new stunts casts Excellent Prismatic Spray at the one Hurryup is eating, and Jimmy keeps bamming.

The cragadiles are losing scales and bits of rock from their hides as they get shot or kicked. Just before the last of the cragadiles disappears into Hurryup’s mouth, Aurora’s attack hits and it is dead as it goes into her newly capacious gullet.

Jimmy finishes off the cragadile he has been beating senseless and it is now, essentially, a pile of broken rocks. Hurryup keeps chomping, Sunny is shooting that cragadile, Bone is trying to call the cragadiles back down, Aura is shooting at the cragadile that is still in the air – not being eaten just now.

Jimmy tries to attack the one that Aurora is targeting by jumping up into the whirlwind and hitting it. Another dies as it is being eaten, being hit by Aura’s blast and Jimmy’s jump-and-whack! But it bites him as he is stomping it into the mud.

Aura tries to climb out of her tree, and since it hurts she levitates her way down and across the bog to where the rest of the ponies are landing. The vultures whine about not getting pony for lunch and so one of them heads down toward Hurryup, as Hurryup encourages it – then she swallows it. The other vulture squawks and flies away.

They can hear off in the distance a song – a familiar melody by three voices. Hurryup says, “I bet that is where we need to go!”

Sunny helps bandage Aurora up, “You should stay off this for a while.”

Jimmy asks if Aura wants cragadile skin saddlebags, so Hurryup puts the corpses of the other two crags into her mane of holding.

The ponies head for the music. They come to a sign that says, “Gnarly Bone Club – Members Only”. Kronk pipes up, gives Aurora a membership card, and steps back into obscurity. Hurryup is sneaking forward, having borrowed Aurora’s card. She finds that the land gives way to water. There is a table in the middle of a pond with flamingos around it; there is a crab clearing away bowls and another that is pouring wine. The flamingos are chatting.

Four Flamingoes – Swamp of Pyrexia

[Four flamingos are standing around a table in a swamp. Two crabs serving as the busboy and waiter are clearing dishes from the table and pouring wine into their glasses. Nearby a trio of frogs are softly singing a familiar melody.]

Aye, very passable, that, very passable bit of bouillabaisse

Nothing like a good glass of Château de Chasselas, eh, Josiah?

You’re right there, Obadiah

Who’d have thought thirty year ago we’d all be sittin’ here drinking Château de Chasselas, eh, Zakariah?

In them days we was glad to have the price of a cup o’ tea, isn’t that right, Ketziah?

A cup o’ cold tea

Without milk or sugar

Or tea

In a cracked cup, an’ all

Oh, we never had a cup. We used to have to drink out of a rolled up milkweed leaf!

The best we could manage was to suck on a piece of damp cloth

But you know, we were happy in those days, though we were poor

Because we were poor! My old Dad used to say to me, “Money doesn’t buy you happiness, son”

Aye, ’e was right

Aye, ’e was

I was happier then and I had nothin’. We used to live in this tiny old house with great big holes in the roof

[As FOURTH FLAMINGO is talking, the FIRST FLAMINGO, who has been eyeing the crab busboy scurrying around the table, suddenly plunges his beak into the center of the crab’s shell, piercing it through. He lifts his neck and opens his bill, tearing the crab’s shell apart and dropping the crab on the table. He munches down on some of the crab’s innards while the FOURTH and SECOND FLAMINGO talk. As he is munching, the FOURTH FLAMINGO plunges his beak in and yanks out more of the busboy’s body to munch on. The crab’s legs flail wildly, indicating it is still alive while it is being eaten.]

House! You were lucky to live in a house! We used to live in one room, all twenty-six of us, no furniture, ’alf the floor was missing, and we were all ’uddled together in one corner for fear of falling and only room to put one foot down each!

[HURRYUP ANN steps from folliage]

Excuse me, do any of you know how to get to the Kelpie Graveyard?

Who invited the pony?

[Whips out the membership card]

Oh! A member! Well that’s another story!

Not like in the old days when we could keep riff-raff out of the club!

I’m a Diversity Member!

[Clicks his beak and calls out]
“Waiter! Bring another glass of wine!

[Waiter brings another wine glass and fills it, trying not to look at the still wriggling busboy.]

Now, about that Kelpie Graveyard…

Do any of you remember where the Kelpie Graveyard moved last week?

[Points mostly south] Yeah, is about a mile that way, south and a little bit west! Moved there yesterday.

[Angrily] I know it moved yesterday, I was asking where it moved to last week! I was trying to give her false information!

Oh! Right! I’m totally mistaken, you’re right!
[Swivels around to point due north] It’s not south of us, but rather north. Two, three miles north!

[With heavy sarcasm] Definitely.

Thank you, kindly.

It’s quite a long ways north, lots of swamp and quicksand and the like. Difficult for a pony to cross, wouldn’t you say?

Quicksand, oh I remember nights drifting off to sleep to the sounds of something struggling and screaming in the neighbor’s quicksand! Its death throes were like a lullaby.

[looking around] Now where is that bus boy?

You et the bus boy, remember? [Bobs his head in the direction of the torn open crab on the table, legs still wiggling]

Mighty tasty he is, too!

[irritated] I know, I know! I meant a new one! Shouldn’t there be a new busboy?

Right. [claps his bill together producing a loud clacking sound] Busboy! Busboy! New busboy!

Busboy! New busboy!

[there is a sort of loud swooshing sound, and AURORA’s valet, KRONK, suddenly appears behind the SECOND FLAMINGO, complete with his drinks cart, looking very surprised.]

[cranes his head to look past the SECOND FLAMINGO] Ah, there he is, and look! It must be cocktail hour!

[sternly] Now, you really should not go stealing other ponies’ wait staff…

Aurora felt a a whoosh of magic and a strong pull just before Kronk appeared near the table.

Monkey Herders and Goat Ropers
The Resolution emerges.

3 July 2021
Autumn Gallery finds herself in the bottom of the pit. It isn’t completely dark in the pit. There is starlight and The Three Sisters Fluff are at the bottom. “Hello there.” One of the three goats said, “It is time for you to re-pay the favor.”

Autumn replied, “Well, that was coming due. I’m a little distracted right now, can you remind me of the small print on that again?” They seem to want her to recover one of the sister’s eyes. She wants it back in exactly the same condition as Autumn finds it. Autumn can use the eye to get herself out of dangerous situations, but it is not to be damaged further than it already is.

Autumn agrees and thanks them.

Joneigh, who had dove into the pit moments after Autumn fell in, grabs her and takes her back up to the surface. They conclude, after some discussion, that Autumn had fallen into a time bubble with the sisters.

Shucks says to Aurora Jane, “I thought you said there was no danger.”

Joneigh says “Let me see that diary, Aurora”.

Aurora had decoded her Aunt Artica’s shorthoof to say, “There is no danger in the meadow—just fluffy bunnies, fashionable ivy, and blooming clover.”

Joneigh reads the shorthoof as, “Nothing but danger in the meadow: including fangy bunnies, flesh-eating ivy, and burning clover.”

As if to prove the point, the ponies see a bumblebee approach a small clover blossom, only to be flash-fried and eaten when it gets too close. Hurryup asks about the flowers on the side of the temple because she is trying to find pearlescent blossoms. Sunny trots across the field to check it by magic, trying to avoid the clover as she does so. Sunny thinks the large white flowers do look kinda shiny and opalescent. Hurryup’s notes say she must eat all the blossoms covering the surface of the temple but avoid the seeds.

Hurryup starts eating blossoms and spitting out seeds. The seeds bounce around and don’t stop. It becomes clear they are propelling themselves to hop toward Sunny and Joneigh. Joneigh says, “Flesh-eating ivy!” and flies up. Sunny tries a short-range blast. Aurora stops trying to figure out if the harm to her cheek has disfigured her when she sees Sunny blasting and begins blasting at the increasing number of bouncing seeds.

Joneigh, Shucks and Autumn all hear the seeds scream as they are incinerated by Sunny.

Hurryup is continuing to eat flowers and spit and the seeds. If a bouncing seed lands close to a pony they start bouncing toward the pony. Autumn notices that there is only one plant and it wants to eat all the ponies. Aurora notices that every time Hurryup eats a blossom, her magic aura increases in power.

Joneigh works up some wind magic and sweeps up the seeds into a dust devil. She makes the whirlwind follow Hurryup to pick up the seeds as Hurryup spits them out.

Aura tells everyone about Hurryup’s earth pony magic getting stronger.

Sunny is trying to zap each of the missed seeds. The others notice that over by the car there is a weasel hanging from a tree having a discussion with Prowl Lee; they appear to be betting on the outcome.

Aura pulls a jar out of Autumn’s bag in one of her kinetic bubbles and catches a single seed. The seed bounces around angrily, trying to escape the jar. Various ponies use their magic to analyze the seed and plant, and agree with Autumn’s diagnosis that the parent plant wants to eat the ponies. Meanwhile, the seeds want to burrow into pony flesh, grow, and eat the pony from the inside out.

Autumn suggests that Sunny shoot at the plant.

Shucks, meanwhile, trots forward and whacks one of the seeds into a flaming clover with his trowel. “The clovers want to eat the seeds!” he declares.

Jimmy joins Shucks in batting seeds into clover flowers.

Prow Lee, meanwhile, is sauntering across the meadow.

The ivy tries to grab Hurryup, but she stomps on vine branches, and evades getting eaten. Hurryup gets to the top and the last flower is bigger than her head and hisses at her, she hisses back in Southern.

Prow Lee extends his claws and slashes at any vines trying to grab Hurryup from behind. Hurryup eats the last blossom and it screams.

The pyramid vibrates as the ivy turns brown, shrivels up, and dies.

Hurryup lets a huge buuuuuuurrrrrrrrp rip. The hiss and the burp show off her new fangs excellently. This startles the group some. The seeds are gone, except the seed that Aura has trapped. Joneigh checks out Hurryup and aura just looks like a more concentrated version of herself. Hurryup mentions that she had noticed that there were skeletons, but no skulls, of eaten ponies in the vines as she was eating blossoms.

The ponies approach the opening to the pyramid temple and see a partially broken pony statue and a pile of pony skulls. Aura doesn’t detect any traps when she checks and she enters first. Joneigh follows her.

They read the inscription on the pony statue: “Princess Judiciea the Blind.” Joneigh can see teeny tiny paw prints of a ferret or weasel that seems to visit often. They notice that amongst the pony skulls (including unicorn skulls) are also goat skulls.

Hurryup wonders where the wine cellar might be in this place. “Down?” suggest many of her companions.

They look around at all the walls made of ancient stone. There are bas relief carvings of ponies of all types frolicking with goats and monkeys and other less identifiable critters.

Aurora points out that they are being watched and Joneigh says there are things in the walls. When Aurora says to listen closely, Autumn puts her ear near a hole that seems to have been drilled into the eyes of the bas relief, and a small finger is stuck into her ear and wiggles. Autumn jumps back with a startled noise.

There is giggling behind the walls.

The ponies head toward the next opening in the far wall, into a bigger room. In the center of the room there is a unicorn sealed in amber upon a dais with braziers on either side and two in front. Of the two large braziers on either side of the trapped unicorn, one is filled with swirling blue liquid and the other has flame; the two in front are empty.

The ponies notice there is a line painted from the door to the unicorn, bisecting the room.

Aurora and Autumn look around for periapts. The flame brazier is a powerful magic device exuding Celestia’s aura while the swirly pool is similarly glowing with the Mare in the Moon’s aura. The unicorn in amber appears to be a deathless and is still alive. She looks just like the statue at the front door of the pyramid.

The ponies determine that the flame and pool are periapts.

Hurryup mentions that her cutie mark is going crazy (it is a protection spell). Joneigh checks out the amber and notices there isn’t as much dust in here but there is still some. It looks like other ponies have tried to get the unicorn out the amber by chipping, fire, other magic. On the pool side of the room are lots of monkey prints, the other side has goat prints; but only weasel prints in the area immediately next to the unicorn in amber.

Aurora asks Prow Lee about weasels, “How would I know weasels?” he asked.

“You were making a bet with one.”

“Oh that was Nisi; he isn’t a weasel, he just looks like one.”

The ponies ask who he is and why does he look like a weasel? Technically he is a white-furred ferret, Prowl Lee explains, and is a servant of The Verdict. (The other servant of The Verdict is Vide, who looks like a black ferret.)

Joneigh checks the fire periapt and it looks like someone has tried to move it before.

When Aurora makes a comment about not attracting the attention of any other Deathless, an envelope flutters out of the water to land in front of her. It’s from Nightmare Moon and claims she is right there in the room. (The periapts are basically little shards of a Deathless’s consciousness, or maybe more like a still-conscious snapshot of who they were at the time of creation.)

Meanwhile, the group notices that Hurryup is missing. “Damn it!” Hurryup has been searching for the wine cellar and found it, sneaking by everyone/thing in the room, probably shortly after they entered this big room.

Autumn reminds them Hurryup did want to find the wine cellar.

There are at least five ways out of this room, but hoof prints going toward only one.

“Oh, Prow Lee is gone too… looks like following Hurryup.” Autumn and Jimmy head toward that door and Joneigh follows.

Shucks has his trowel in hoof and is nervously prowling about and looking up and down the walls and when Sunny asks what he is doing, he answers, “We are surrounded by critters and I don’t know what they are. I don’t think they are friendly, I think they are like the bunnies!” Sunny lights up the room with her horn and can see the hundreds for teeny tiny monkeys hanging from the ceiling on their side of the room. A monkey larger than the others drops down and says that all ponies on this side of the room are their prisoners.

Aurora steps back to the goat side and says, “Nyahhhh!”

A goat appears with a strange contraption on its head with a big eyeball in it. “Who dares to take prisoners in our temple?”

Aurora starts jumping back and forth across the line dividing the chamber.

This gets the goats and monkeys angrily throwing insults back n forth.

Jimmy has casually followed Hurryup.

Autumn is losing patience with both the goats and monkeys, and decides to stomp to shake things up a bit.

A beam shoots out of the eyeball in the contraption and disintegrates a monkey (missing Aura and the big monkey). The monkeys fire a rain of crossbow bolts across the room, some lodging in Aura’s shield; they miss Sunny and Joneigh but Shucks is hit. Joneigh raises a wind to knock subsequent crossbow bolts aside.

A goat calls out, “Kill the pegasus!” Others say, “No! Kill the unicorn.”

The goats’ horns are glowing like a unicorn’s!

Joneigh continues with her windstorm.

Autumn asks Aurora to encase the biggest goat in a telekinetic bubble. Sunny shoots at the biggest monkey. Shucks says something(?) and then goes whoops and is rolling toward the goats. The goats are shooting with horns at unicorns; monkeys are shooting arrows.

The big monkey makes mystic gestures in the direction of the dais and braziers. The smaller brazier on the monkey side of the line suddenly fills with water which swirls around and starts exuding a fog that slowly creeps across the room. The goat with the extra eye fires a beam of magic at the small brazier on the goat side, and the brazier erupts in fire. The big monkey is yelling at Sunny about using fire, you evil pony. He gestures at Sunny, and a water spouts shoots from the brazier toward her, engulfing her in ice cold water. Meanwhile, small fireballs start flying from the brazier toward Aurora and Joneigh.

Aurora dodges two fireballs and uses a spell to erase the line down the room’s center.

Sunny tries to throw a piece of ceiling at the monkey, but completely misses. She then tries to shoot the goat and the goat blasts back—their attacks meet in the middle! The monkey was still yelling when suddenly it looks like he is holding his breath, like he forgot to breathe, thanks to Aura’s spell of respiratory neglect.

Joneigh’s wind knocks several small fireballs aside.

Shucks is surrounded by goats; no one has been watching him. More monkeys and goats are emerging from doors on either side of the room.

Joneigh hurls a huge lightning bolt at the amber and there is the thunder and a huge ringing like a bell from the amber.

Time freezes and Joneigh is suddenly floating in a golden space and there is the unicorn floating too. She cocks her head at Joneigh. “Wow, you are really good.” The unicorn asks what she was trying to do. Joneigh explains that she figured if she freed the unicorn it would stop the goats and monkeys from hurting her friends and put their attention to worshiping their deity.

The unicorn replies, "If I am free, that would summon Celestia.”

Joneigh: “Wouldn’t it bring Luna too?”

The Verdict: “She is trapped on the moon.”

Joneigh: “She has minions.”

The Verdict: “True.”

Joneigh asks The Verdict why Celestia seems to have sinister intent toward many inhabitants of Equestria.

The Verdict replies, “I believe she has lost her perspective. I already have put The Finder in the world, I guess you will have to be The Resolution.”

A gavel floats towards Joneigh and she takes it. It changes her cutie mark to add a gavel.

The Verdict says, “I’ll see if I can take care of the monkeys and goats without bringing Celestia here.” Multiple magical beams for various colors fire from her horn. Some envelope goats and monkeys in a glittering silver glow. Others gather all the shards of amber back and reconstruct the amber around the unicorn.

Time starts again. Aurora and Sunny perceive that the lightning bolt hit the amber exploded it into a billion pieces; the unicorn inside looks surprised, for just a moment, then her horn glows and the amber returns around her—by her power. Now the amber looks very polished and sparkly.

The monkeys and goats freeze in place and gasp—except the one that can’t breathe. Joneigh and Autumn go help a dazed and scorched Shucks out of the circle of goats. They pull him to the middle of the room where Sunny and Aurora are standing. The big monkey and lead goat are pushing spells at each other.

Joneigh uses her wings to boost a charge at the goat to try to head butt him. She hits his magic bubble and he bounces around some until the bubble disappears and he lands, dazed.

Sunny yells, “Look out!” as dozens of small monkeys in ninja costumes appear and swarm toward Joneigh. Joneigh whips around at the same moment and hit the ninja monkeys coming at her with wind. Sunny shoots fire at a group of the ninja monkeys.

Shucks yells, “Watch it!” and tackles the downed big goat as he tries to kick Autumn with a spike on his hoof.

The big monkey falls unconscious, succumbing to Aura’s spell, and immediately begins to breathe again.

After a brief struggle, there is a loud CRACK of bones breaking from the big goat and Shucks.

Sunny and Autumn continue to Shucks.

While all of that was going on above, Jimmy descended a lot of stairs following the sound of Prow Lee and Hurryup talking somewhere below him. He hears the thunderclap boom above just as he reaches the wine cellar.

Hurryup is laying on her back and Prow Lee is helping by pouring an open cask of wine into her mouth.

Jimmy asks, “Are ya ‘bout done?”

In between swallows, Hurryup gasps, “Not yet.”

“The others sound to be in trouble,” Jimmy observes.

Prow Lee says, “She finished the year’s worth a while back, now I’m just trying to find out how much she can hold.”

They head back up the stairs to the others.

They reach the temple chamber just as the CRACK sounded.

The goat has a broken neck and has died; Shucks has broken a foreleg. Shucks says the goat was playing possum and had a close-in weapon. As he unwraps his legs from around the goat, they see that his beard looks odd, there is a perfectly trimmed goatee underneath the false beard that Shucks usually sports.

It is SILK.

Autumn snatches away the beard and says, “How long have you been doing this? Is Shucks okay?”

Silk sputters and tries to fake being Shucks still… then drops the guise.

Jimmy meanwhile rolls Hurryup at the monkeys in the middle of the room, knocking them around like bowling pins. Hurryup says, “I found the cellar!” and gives an almighty hiccup.

Autumn turns away from Silk and works at getting the eye patch thing off the goat.

A small group of goats and monkeys surround Joneigh and begin bowing down to her. Joneigh is a little shaken from the headbutting. Aurora asks her what happened and notes that her cutie mark changed. Joneigh does the round-go-round trying to see her flank and says there was a fight and a surprise.

Aurora pushes for more detail and Joneigh suggests they talk later.

Jimmy comes over, looks at Silk, and raises one eyebrow. “Really, Silk?”

Silk says “The Extrapolator said that if you all came in your usual formation, some of you would die. There was an 80% chance that you would be one of the casualties, and I refuse to be the pony who tells Mom you’ve been killed.”

There is discussion about the disguise between them, including a pointed comment from Jimmy about the body spray that Silk wears which is completely incongruous with Shucks (there is an aside about the flower shampoo and conditioner Shucks uses because of his sisters, but how that is nothing like Silk’s cologne).

Autumn, Aura and Joneigh all interrupt the sibling bickering to ask, “What Extrapolator?”

Silk actually looks a bit contrite as he explains that it is a magical device that performs risk assessment—and he might have forgotten to turn his back in to the Mares in Black when he was discharged.

The monkeys who aren’t worshiping Joneigh suddenly realize what Hurryup said about the wine cellar and start hollering about “The booze! Oh, no! The booze!” and run down the stairs.

Aurora and Autumn look hard at Joneigh and her aura; she looks to be more of herself. But she also has that spark inside her that connects her to a Deathless.

Note: the next thing on Hurryup’s list: she needs to go to the kelpie graveyard, steal the Pearl of Foolishness, and swallow it. Joneigh says she has read about that: it is part of an enchanted necklace that belonged to the Queen of the Kelpies and helps with insight, self-awareness, and a sense of perspective.

Little Bunny FooFoo...
…Not in the FACE!

5 June 2021

Joneigh and Aura ask for a map of where Flower and Arctica had been in the Forest of Lecta. Arctica has to dig for a journal and then teaches Aurora and Joneigh her shorthoof. They come away with her journal full of maps and notes.

Aura takes the journal. Joneigh whispers to Aura, “Is Hurryup here?” Then she loudly asks Arctica, “Why do you think Hurryup would be looking for a map of Lecta?” Arctica explains that there are supposed to be a large amount of magic items, cursed items, and treasure related to various Deathless and other mythical beings that folk could be interested in. Joneigh asks, “Is there any rumor that there might be a periapt here?” Arctica answers, “Rumor!? There are at least two I have seen with my one eyes in the temple! On either side of a piece of amber in which a mystical pony is trapped.” Joneigh says, “Maybe that is it!”

They finish tea and leave. Aura suggests they should plan an expedition and Joneigh says they should meet up at the cottage to plan it. Joneigh heads to tell Autumn on her way to Jimmy’s temporary Acting Constable office.

Flower is just outside the hotel speaking with Mrs. Garnish. Flower is about to get on the coach to go home. Shucks: “Mom, you are going to miss your coach, come onnnnnnn.” Aura is going to go the clinic to see when Sunny will discharge Hobb (and to let Sunny know about meeting at the cottage).

Before Aurora Jane can leave, there is a knock at her door: it is her dad. He has a couple ponies with him, a lawyer and the lawyer’s fiancée—a lawyer who has no affiliation with any business her mother is involved in. Aura suggest they go to the bar to get acquainted. After the meeting with the lawyer, Aurora stops in to see Hobb and is told he needs a few more days of rest before he is ready to be back at work.

The next morning , Aurora is out on her morning run when she notices Egg White by a crane next to the Bottomless Pit with a cable that goes into the pit. He is wearing a headset with a microphone and that has a wire going to the crane. She greets him, gets the distinct impression Egg White would very much rather not be noticed right now, then continues on… only to double back quietly to spy on him. She sees his horn is glowing and the handle of the crane is winding up. He says into the microphone, “Yes, I can see you now.”

The crane keeps cranking up and eventually Jimmy is visible in a harness wearing a weird helmet that has smoke coming our of it. “We lost three crystals,” Jimmy says, apparently referring to the headset/mic on his head.

Jimmy asks, “Everything go okay up here?”

Egg White replies, “Miss Buckminster-Kimblewick was here, but I think she is gone now.” Egg White then helps Jimmy out of the gear.

Meanwhile, in the hiding place, Hurryup passes popcorn to Aura. Without batting an eyelash, Aurora takes a few morsels and continues to watch. Jimmy and Egg White head off to the farm. Aura wishes Hurryup a good morning and continues her run.

Later that week, Aurora stops in at Jimmy’s farm and asks what was going on at the pit, figuring he won’t lie right to her face. Jimmy says that he figured The Oblivion and the periapt of Celestia in the pit might have some insight on what is going on with Celestia. He says he thinks the whole wiping people’s memory is just wrong and coming in person for something from the house. The Celestia periapt was surprised the older Celestia is acting that way. Jimmy says that in answer, the Celestia periapt asked if Luna or Tempest had any opinion on that. He said no he hasn’t but will try their periapts next. Before moving on, Jimmy asked the Celestia periapt if she would help him cure whatever is ailing the living Celestia, and she indicated that she would.

Jimmy then asked the same general questions of the other periapts, and asked if they would have any idea why Celestia would act this way. Two thought someone had replaced Celestia; one claimed they wouldn’t even try to understand the motivation of other ponies; two others said there needs to be balance, and if the powers are out of balance, some may act out of character to create balance; one says Celestia is the weakest of the three royal sisters and therefor most likely to go bat-shit; one opines that perhaps Celestia has just gone wrong.

When Jimmy gets to The Operator’s periapt and asks for advice, the Operator says Celestia has been acting weird for 700 years—from which Jimmy concludes that the Operator’s periapts aren’t limited to memories from the time that were created. Jimmy shows The Operator his memory about what Celestia had been doing. The Operator says she thinks the problem started when Celestia discovered that Luna and herself were both sleeping with Sombra (The Vast Empty).

Jimmy commented, “Do you know how to solve the problem? Sounds like she just needs some friends!” The Operator indicates she doesn’t disagree with Jimmy, but also that she has been unable to reason with Celestia for centuries. Jimmy asks if he can figure out a solution, would The Operator assist? She replies immediately that will gladly do what she can.

When questioned by Jimmy, the Verdict talked about balance and power like others have mentioned. The Oblivion says that if they will free him that will cause others who think they are better than others to realize their error. After several back-and-forths, Jimmy asks, “Can you show me?” The Oblivion smoothly replied, “Oh, certainly.” The Oblivion then shared what he claimed was a memory of his trial. In it, all the other Deathless make ridiculous, transparently false statements about how they are simply jealous of how awesome the Oblivion is and that’s why they decided he needed to be bound.

As this “memory“ unwinds in Jimmy’s mind, three crystals in the mystic helmet Jimmy is wearing blow up, and a small alarm bell in the middle of the helmet starts ringing. “That wasn’t very neighborly of you," Jimmy says. "I’ll come back when you more amiable.”

Jimmy shares all of the details of these conversations with the players at the meeting organized by Joneigh and Autumn.

Aura is not convinced that the existence of several of these entities is necessary. Jimmy asks if isn’t that what she wants to become? There is a long back-and-forth about mystical beings, the nature of the Deathless, the relationship between Princesses and the other Deathless that does not come to a consensus.

Toward the end of the argument, when Aurora implies that she could become the Princess of Secrets, a note flutters down in front of her: “That position is already taken.” Aurora immediately asks, “What position is open?” Night Messenger declines to answer.

The group makes ready for the journey to the temple in the Forest of Lecta.

Hurryup calls for the car and Prow Lee asks, “Where do you wish to go Ma’am? Hurryup replies, “To the Forest of Lecta.” Prowl Lee points out, “That is a big place, where specifically?”

Joneigh interjects, “The Temple of the Ensnared Prophecy.”

Prowl Lee heaves a very heavy sigh. “If you want to go to the Lost Graveyard of the Kelpies, the car won’t go within three miles of there.” Under further questioning, Prowl Lee says, “Yes, to the temple. Anywhere else in the Forest of Lecta on your own hooves!”

The whole group piles into the car. Matthew has come with Autumn and Joneigh and Shucks is tagging along with Jimmy. Egg White makes a list of the group going so he can do holograms of them to confused the mystical scans that happen from time to time.

During the car ride, Autumn uses her trump card to call her dad. Autumn hears static then the Operator says, “A moment please, let me try another means.”

“Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh” comes across the connection, along with the sound of running hooves. Then there are crashing sounds and screams from other voices then Choosy’s roar, then Autumn hears a moment of quiet followed by, “I think that one is still moving!” Then there is gross splat sound. A few moments later, Autumn hears, “Hello, dear, how are you?”

Autumn explains the situation as she understand it, and then says Aura hasn’t heard from her great-uncle in response to several messages. So Autumn’s father checks with the general and then asks if she can’t ask him right now? Aurora explains about the need to know about breaking one of Celestia’s spells.

While this conversation goes on, Autumn has a vision of her father, Choosy, and General Huntfield in the middle of some kind of battle—surrounded by pony shaped bodies. Then the General Huntfield says, “Celestia problems, you say? It isn’t that hard to break her spells, you just have to be creative and determined.”

Earthbreaker agrees, saying, “Do it or don’t do it, there is no try.”

Autumn reminds Aura of how she tried some Earth pony magic and it worked.

Autumn asks her father and comrades where they are. They say, battlefield is the simple answer. She asks, “Do you need help?”

Earthbreaker exclaims, “Not that kind of battlefield.”

Autumn reminds him that it is a two-way card and he could call. Deflecting, he asks, “Have you been talking to my sister?” Autumn rejoins immediately, “Which one?” He asks as an aside to Choosy, “Do I have more than one sister? The Lady of the Harvest, Seed-sower.” Choosy replies with a screech that Autumn translates as, “Don’t play dumb.”

Meanwhile, inside the chariot, Prowl Lee informs Hurryup Ann: “We are here, Madam.”

Aurora steps out of the car first, of course. It is a lot warmer and humid in the Forest of Lecta than it had been at Brindlebury. Aurora’s mane and tail frizz out immediately. When Joneigh steps out her mane/tail go completely limp. Everyone else follows and they are standing looking at an Aztec-like step-pyramid temple with a red gem on top, it looks like an enormous ruby. There are bunnies all over the meadow between them and the temple.

They notice that Hurryup’s cutie mark is vibrating.

Joneigh asks if the vibrating cutie mark tickles at all.

“Not from my cutie mark, but my nipples are hurting.” Joneigh asks Sunny to check Hurryup’s nipple issue. Autumn asks, but it seems they are swollen and ready to feed.

Not wanting to dwell on that, the ponies look around. Aurora consults Aunt Arctica’s journal and says, “There is no danger around here until we get in the temple!” So she runs forward toward the temple… and three of the bunnies leap at her with gigantic fangs in their huge mouths. Aurora screams and runs away, but one on the bunnies latches onto the side of her face; the other two miss her.

Now the rest of the group can see the bunnies are watching Aurora; their eyes have turned red and their fangs have become visible. Aurora is hurt, and starts blasting.

Joneigh takes flight and readies a lightning spell.

Autumn and Shucks start stomping hard and the burrows open up and lots of bunnies get sucked into the ground.

Hurryup is hiding and sneaking, ninja-style.

Jimmy helps get the bunny off Aura, when she finally stands still instead of dancing in place. There is a gout of blood and Aura blasts the bunny right out of Jimmy’s hooves. Sunny starts blasting bunnies.

Aura says “Am I ugly, tell the truth, please!” Autumn stomps again, meaning to pull more of the bunnies into the ground, but instead falls into a hole she makes.

Two of the bunnies try to attack Sunny, but she dodges and instead the bunnies half swallow each other.

Joneigh is blasting bunnies from the sky.

Suddenly it is very, very quiet. Joneigh saw Autumn fall into the hole and dive bombs to grab her and lift her out.

My New House Was Burgled by a Horse Thief!
How low can she go?!

22 May 2021

Briney Bay pled guilty.

Gossamer Veil had updated her will two days before her death, Uncle Grits only needs to file so it can go into probate. Joneigh is mentioned all the contents of the first floor library go to the Brindlebury Library and everything else is left to Joneigh Olmstead.

Hearing about this, Joneigh sits right down and writes to Aunt Blue about Gossamer and the eggs in the basement. Then after the books are removed to the library, she has the house and greenhouse locked down/sealed. Aurora helps her get the greenhouse sealed and Autumn is doing her clerk thing for probate.

Sunny is busy with patients and Jimmy is being the Acting Constable while Hobb is recovering from the poisonous mushroom spores. In the main parlor of the house is a map in a fancy frame on the wall that has a label that reads, “The Forest of Lecta”. Joneigh remembers Hurryup looking for something about Lecta, so she sends her a note that there is a map hanging in the map room of the library.

A few days later, Joneigh gets a reply from Aunt Blue. Aunt Blue thinks that Gossamer is the granddaughter of Blue’s aunt Cordial Moonchaser, which makes Joneigh a relative of Gossamer, too.

The Selectponies are deliberating on what to do with Briny.

Meanwhile, Aurora goes home to freshen up and finds a pile of mail, including one those creepy black ones. “I could make him disappear,” is all it says. Since Aura could make that happen herself, so she burns the letter in disgust.

The Selectponies announce that the next day they will proclaim Briny Bay’s sentence; but after breakfast when Jimmy goes to check on him, he finds the prisoner dead. Jimmy contacts Sunny to take the body and starts the cleanup.

Next day, the Windsmouth ponies have collected the eggs.

A couple days later, Aura gets an alert that someone is trying to break her spells on the greenhouse. She teleports to the hatch atop the greenhouse. Princess Celestia is standing in the yard, her horn glowing, trying to break the spell on the door. “Oh good, that worked to summon you!” the Princess says. Aura mutters that she could’ve just come by her home, but asks aloud what she can do for her Princess.

Celestia says that she believes the previous owner was part of a cult trying to help the Mare in the Moon. Aura says that she understood it was quite the opposite. Aurora then warns the Princess that the greenhouse is locked due to the poison inside.

Elsewhere, Egg White is waking Jimmy. Jimmy comes galloping into the back yard. “Hello.” Celestia says she didn’t want to wake half the town. Jimmy explains that they are being careful about people wandering at night due to the recent troubles. He suggest that they adjourn to the Mane Salon, there is tea there and he knows where his sister hides the biscuits. They move to the salon and Jimmy makes tea and puts out biscuits.

Celestia asks Aurora, “So you have been getting many letters from my sister?” and then she says she wants Aura to forward all future letters to from Mare in the Moon to her. Aura says that she will take that into consideration. Celestia says she is sure that Aura would bring any unusual or disturbing news to her, anyway.

Then Aurora realizes Celestia is trying to probe her mind, and that there is an extra layer of defense around Aurora that feels like Egg White’s doing. Aurora tries to make it seem that that her shields aren’t as good… that what Egg White put up is the stronger.

Jimmy notices the Princess glaring for a moment in the direction of where Egg White is hiding. Jimmy offers her some more biscotti. There is some more banter, but she says she must get back to bring up the sun and before her guards notice she is gone.

After the Princess teleports away, Aurora tells Jimmy that Celestia was trying to get into the greenhouse, but the Princess also claimed that she was using that to summon her (Aura). They discuss how to be rid of the mushrooms. Aura goes to find the rest of the group to let them know something is up and Jimmy goes to the office to write up his report of attempted breaking and entering, even if it is a Princess.

When the gang gathers, Joneigh expresses concern that maybe Celestia had broken into the house before she started on the greenhouse after Autumn wonders that aloud… so they go over to look around and take Aurora and Matthew the raven with them. Jimmy and Egg White have been around and through the house investigating as a crime scene.

A totem like those in the basement around the eggs was taken from a bedroom. Joneigh’s search tells her someone was in the house, may have teleported into the parlor, went to the basement, searched the whole house till they noticed the greenhouse outside, presumably they teleported out by the greenhouse to continue the search; before Celestia set off the alarm.

Egg White approaches Aura and asks if she realizes that the Princess was trying to erase her memory. She asks if there is a way to protect against that. She’d pay him to teach her how to do that and thanks him for protecting her this evening. He agrees to teach her the counter spell.

Joneigh remembers and mentions that Hurryup (and she looks around, expecting her to step out of the shadows) was looking for a map that she had just found in this house and moved to the library with the books that were bequeathed. She wonders if the break-in, and Hurryup’s interest in a map of somewhere called Lecta, are related. Joneigh remembers that she’d read about Lecta—one of the places was in one of Flower MacKorn’s first murder mystery and another in one of the dangerous books that she is holding for Zero Fail. Zero Fail’s book indicates that the Deathless known as The Verdict (also known as: The Investigator or The Just Pronouncement) is a pony trapped in amber.

Aurora suggests that they ask her Aunt Arctica about Lecta and/or Flower. Arctica thinks that Flower is an interesting writer, she thinks it is too bad that she throws in so much autobiographical info into the books, making many think that is how writing books works. In also transpires that both Arctica and Flower had both traveled to Lecta. Arctica thinks that one time when she visited the ruins there was a missing cursed item, possibly taken away by Flower. The forest has many distractions, Cragadiles, Vampire Bats, Changelings, and of course the Tatzlwurms.

Aurora asks if Arctica has any tips on how to deal with any of those? Stay alert, zap, freeze and trap as needed.

Who Dun It?
Why does Aurora always look so guilty?

24 April 2021

Aura heads over to Shucks’s place and knocks on the door; she is looking for Flower MacKorn. A sleepy Summer opens the door and greets Aurora. She asks if Aunt Flower is there but Summer gets confused about Aunt Flower (her mom) and Aunt Flour. Summer goes to wake her mother. Aura tells her about Hobb and she wants to know what is going on and how she can help; this isn’t good for her. AF asks if he were poisoned; Aura shows her the note she got. Mumbling, AF goes to get her hat and notebook and they head out to see what they can find out. While she waits for AF, Aura notices that Hurryup has followed her from the clinic; she asks what Hurryup is doing over there. “Shhhh, I’m your backup. I was Hobb’s backup and now I’m yours,” she says. Shucks has woken and goes with them to the house (with the greenhouse behind it).

“I believe this is Gossamer Veil’s house.” says AF. They discuss that she was at the reading the other night and that she was at the Farriers’ Club when the first poisoning happened. They go round to the greenhouse and AF notes that the glass is covered with condensation. “So he opened the door over here, and you were standing behind him?” she says to a shadow who is Hurryup. Hurryup says yes and explains what happened. AF talks about how the owner must be immune or have protective gear. Then she notices a hatch on the roof of the greenhouse and asks Shucks to shine his light up there. The hatch seems to have more wear from use than the handle of the door, surmising that Gossamer must use the hatch. Aura marches up to the front door and knocks loudly.

A voice floats down from above, “Who’s there?” Aura tells GV that it is her, the others all chime in (except Hurryup). AF tells her that Hobb has been poisoned in your backyard. Aura asks what is back there. GV grows a variety of exotic mushrooms. Aura states it poisoned her boyfriend and she is upset by that. GV didn’t think they moved on their own; how would they attack him? Aura says she doesn’t think he even made it into the building. GV says she will be down in a moment, and then she is opening the door, wearing a veiled hat and cloak.

“I suppose I should put a lock on this door,” she says. AF asks how long she has been growing the mushrooms. They discuss the poison aspect of the mushrooms to some ponies. She motions them to stand back and goes inside the greenhouse. She says it is messy, then backs out saying “Oh, my. Do you think he went in because he saw the body in there?”

Aura says “The WHAT?! Who is it?” GV says that she doesn’t know him. Shucks puts a kerchief over AF’s muzzle before she goes in… and Aura puts a bubble around herself and peers over her shoulder. It is messy in there, and in the center is a moth pony laying in a pool of blood. “Its a Windsmouth pony,” says Aura. AF asks if Aura knows him. “No, I wonder if Jo—" she stops herself "—no I don’t,” answers Aura. AF says this is getting serious.

Aura proclaims, “So, this is the first actual murder?!” There’s a weed knife sticking out of the moth pony. Aura decides Hobb would look for clues, so she searches the greenhouse. AF thinks the moth pony came thru the hatch and picking mushrooms or growing their own and that some one came up behind and killed them.

“Since Hobb is incapacitated, who do we report this to?” asks AF. Someone suggests Egg White, who appears as if from nowhere. He explains how he got there, and says, “This does not look good. Does anyone know who would kill Gossamer Veil?” Whoosh, imposter pulls the disguise off. Aura says, “Shit!” and tries to zap the apparent imposter into a bubble. There is an earth pony trying to gallop out of the bubble. It is Captain Briny Bay, the father of the first victim. “Let me go, you have no right to restrain me!” he says. “I want my lawyer.” Aura suggests that she go put him in a cell; AF agrees. So they lock him up. It is sunrise. Aura asks Kronk for coffee, she’s been up all night.

At Autumn’s cottage there is a knock at the kitchen door. Autumn pauses in making tea and goes to open the door. Mountain Berry says he has a note for Joneigh from the Selectponies. MB says someone tried to kill Hobb. She stomps up the stairs to get Joneigh, teapot in hoof, gives her the news then turns and stomps down the stairs with the teapot. She asks MB if Aura is okay and is told she arrested someone and put them in jail.

Joneigh enters and says, “What?” Autumn asks MB to tell the whole story now and starts cooking. MB tells what he knows and offers the note to Joneigh.

Joneigh: “Do I have glasses on my face?”

Mountain Berry: “No, but atop your head!”

She shakes her head to drop them down and asks MB to put it on the table and reads it aloud. They are asking her to be stand-in constable while Hobb convalesces. Jimmy gets the same note. He puts a stake in the row he is hoeing to keep his place and heads to town. Joneigh eats and completes dressing (she was half in her pajamas) and asks Autumn to go with her to Town Hall.

They show up as the Selectponies discuss the ongoing need for a second constable. Jimmy gets there first and they talk about Hobb’s condition. “Who is acting constable?” he asks. “You are, since you showed up first,” they respond. Joneigh walks in, hears this and says, “Okay, off to work for me!” She turns and leaves.

“Okay, what are my duties and do I get a badge?” Jimmy asks. Myrtle Grass gives him a badge. Ice Jam suggests his first duty is to arrest Aurora, as she is the obvious suspect. Somepony says there is already someone in jail. Jimmy notes there is a lot of paperwork for him to go through. They squabble and opine for a while before realizing Jimmy is hanging around, listening. “What are you still doing here? You need to go get to work.”

When he gets to the jail, Aura is asleep at the desk with steaming coffee on the desk. Hurryup is napping in her favorite cell. Jimmy asks Aura what happened. She explains what happened at GV’s place. Shucks tells him about the leopard beetles in/around the greenhouse. Jimmy makes notes, then asks Briny if he wants to talk about it. “I’m waiting for my lawyer,” he says. About that time Uncle Grits shows up and Jimmy waives at the cell. While they are talking, Jimmy interviews AF about what happened. She explains in detail. There is dried blood on Briny’s hooves. Jimmy gets statements from anypony that hasn’t already given one. He talks to Grits and Briny, then goes to the crime scene to investigate for himself.

Stopping only for yellow caution tape he heads to GV’s house. On the way, he stops by Autumn’s office to ask if she will come do sketches of the scene for him. She joins him and works on sketches. Jimmy sends for Sunny to come look at/fetch the body. He looks about and decides to check the house for a diary and finds a candlestick shaped as four night-gaunts holding up the candle. There is a nice map on the wall. Upstairs in the bedroom is a second closet full of sex toys. Jimmy surmises that there was a relationship between the two ponies. He checks the diary for the day Balm was poisoned, besides it being gossip day. There is a note on the next day about Briny finding the thing in the basement and that he is upset about it. There is a note about something happening to Balm Bay. He goes to look for a greenhouse log. There is a note about the leopard beetles that keep infesting the Suydam mushrooms.

Jimmy decides to go to the basement… alone. Hurryup peeks out of hiding, “So do you want me to just go down to the basement with you or remain shadowing you?” He wants her to stay hidden as backup. There is a circle of statues of night-gaunts with eggs sitting in the center. He isn’t sure what the eggs are, as he hasn’t seen them before. He looks closer at the statues, they are very still, so he still assumes they are statues. Jimmy decides to open the basement windows to let more light in for his investigation. Jimmy uses his poking stick to poke at a statue. Then he heads back upstairs, thinking he should check with someone who knows more about eggs to ask what they might be.

Sunny is there now. “So, dead body.” Jimmy bags the murder weapon as Sunny sets out a stretcher and starts prepping the body for moving. Jimmy tries to figure out where the beetles have been getting into the greenhouse. This species nests in rotting tree trunks and there is one next door, which is Briny Bay’s place. Jimmy suspects he may have transferred them by accident. He asks Sunny to write up a report on her findings. Now he goes next door to check Briny’s place. He starts with mail, looking for overdue bills, etc. Egg White comes to look in the basement and gives Jimmy a report about the moth-pony eggs (they have a couple months before hatching) and that the statues are part of magic that protects them from outside. He suggests they get Shucks to look at the eggs.

Jimmy looks about for Briny’s diary. Each entry starts, “Ship’s log.“ The day after Balm was poisoned there is an entry about him forgetting that it took a lifetime to build up an immunity to Suydam mushrooms. He finds an insurance policy on Balm in the papers with the mail that Briny had purchased. There are mushrooms in the house in a room off the kitchen. He finishes at the house and goes back to the jail to talk to Briny with Grits there.

On the way, AF intercepts him to say she stopped by the post office to see what kind of mail Briny had been getting and was able to determine that Briny was having money problems. Then she shares all she has discovered about the whole investigation with Jimmy; she’d shared with Hobb, but now that Jimmy is acting constable, he needs to know. When interviewing Briny, he seems upset that Jimmy figured out about the money problems and the relationship with GV. Jimmy makes more notes and thinks he knows what has happened, he calls all the suspects to meet at the infirmary to make the big reveal.

Some little old lady sidles up to Aurora and suggests it would be easier if she just confessed, to which Aura responds with a hearty, “Fuck you!” using every shade of contempt she can muster. Jimmy does his Perry Mason/Hercule Poirot thing. (Gene can add stuff if he want to expand upon this scene.) AF helps him with the timelines and who did what when. Jimmy then asks if Briny has anything to say to these accusations. This triggers a rant from Briny about the babies (eggs) and some cult that opposes the Mare in the Moon. He makes racist comments about Windsmouth ponies and Joneigh takes a swing at him. Jimmy pulls him out of her swing range, saying, “Now, we don’t punch suspects.” Joneigh glares at Briny and pouts. Jimmy takes Briny back to his cell to await trial.


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