Fallout is Dragons

Glaurung's Spire
Session 3

Recap by Great Dinn

Javolt has spent the vast majority of the night before setting up his laboratory, tinkering, preparing, and altering his own particular body parts. Following that, he begins experimenting and examining in order to determine the particulars of the Gunsmith’s Curse, and has discovered that the vast majority of the problems between the guns aren’t similar. For some, the triggers are failing to line up properly with the hammer, for others, the barrels have warped and twisted, preventing the bullet from firing, and yet others have simply rusted or fallen apart unnaturally.

As a result, Doctor Javolt has come to the conclusion that he should look into energy weapons, and asks both Sarge and Thunderspear if they’ve ever seen any energy weapons in use in the Maw. Sarge answers that he’s only ever fired one of them, and everything past that is classified. Thunderspear responds that he’s seen energy weapons used, but they wear out just as quickly. Javolt decides that the town should build a Tesla coil, and asks if Thunderspear would mind. He states that it would be a bad idea, and asks if Javolt would also consider taking down the blueprints he’s placed around town, seeing as he’s dealing with the raiders today, and it might send the wrong impression.

Meanwhile, the rest of the party sits in their newfound home, and plans their next move. Arguing ensues concerning whether they should pursue the dragon’s treasure to the northeast, or head for the Black Lotus Travelling Company in the southwest. It’s interrupted by Thunderspear and Doctor Javolt arriving. Thunderspear asks the group to follow him, while Doctor Javolt picks up Flotsam and carries her to the general store for the closest approximation to ice cream.

The group looks around Blue Moon’s cabin, finding a cache of 120 caps to split between the six of them, which is used for purchasing basic supplies. Thunderspear, as the purchases are being finalized, tells the group some more information about the area around them, remembering details that he’d forgotten. Back in his prospecting days, he had a partner with a Pipbuck and subsequently has a map of the nearby area, as well as a map of the Maw.

The Maps:
Of the area around Gold Rush: http://i.imgur.com/Kg7SadB.png
Basic map of the Maw: http://i.imgur.com/l5xmEg3.png

With their newfound maps, the party lays out a travel plan, pointing out particular locations between Gold Rush and Glaurung’s Spire that could prove interesting in one way or another. With the heavy key in tow, and the knowledge that, at some point they do need to try and locate the Black Lotus Travelling Company, they decide that they’ll only stop at the Dragonstone between Glaurung’s Spire and Gold Rush, despite the temptations of the Abandoned Parking Lot, and the Boneyard Cave. Before they leave, the group asks Thunderspear about the curses, which he has written down, as well as the Dragonstones, and the Cult of Tiamat that worships the stones.

The Curses are:
Universal
The Gunsmith’s Curse – “Always bring a knife to the Maw, because your guns will fail.”
Region-Specific
The Fool’s Gold Curse – “Always double-check your loot, because it will be fake.”
The Backstab Curse – “Always keep an eye on your so-called friends, because they will betray you.”
The Voodoo Curse – “Always be careful with your magic, because it will behave unpredictably.”
The Blood Curse – “Always strike first, because you won’t get another chance.”
The Zombie Curse – “Always assume it’s not down for good, because it’s not.”
The Machine Curse – “Always be wary of technology, because it will turn against you.”

The party gather their supplies, and Xencarn sneaks four books into his bags to take with them, one about the Ministry Mare of Morale, one about the Ministry Mare of Arcane Sciences, and two with a focus on magic.

An hour of travel later, the six arrive at a giant silver stone emerging from the wasteland, appearing to any passersby as the scale of a great dragon, fallen to the earth. Strange etchings and writings cover the glittering object, Draconic language, and Xencarn uses some of the knowledge he’s accrued from his studies to translate. The translation is a dark description, the final words of the dragons as they lay their curses on the whole of the Maw. It quickly becomes apparent from the magic emanating from the stone that it is connected to all of the others, though not a source of any curse.

Curiosity not nearly satisfied by Xencarn’s translation, Tempered Steel taps the stone, first with his finger, then with his hammer, making harder and harder attacks against the monolithic object. It rings, louder, and louder, resonating far longer than any of the hits should. And then it begins to glow. Thinking logically, the rest of the party takes cover as best they can, be it by air, by rock, or by meat-shield, and Firelight yells at Tempered Steel to stop messing with the giant scary magical artifact. The glowing and ringing reaches a peak, and Tempered Steel decides to touch the stone again, with his bare hand. The writing on the stone shift underneath his palm, and when it seems that the stone won’t be exploding, Xencarn emerges from cover and translates. The new translation states specifically that they will meet their end by gold and greed.

Powder Keg speaks up, and suggests touching the stone and the key together, since they seem to be connected to Glaurung’s hoard, and as the heavy key reaches the Dragonstone, it too begins to glow, brighter and brighter until a burst of light shoots out from the key, a blinding green beam that heads directly to the Spire, holding until the key is removed from the stone.

Recalling that the map shows a Raider Encampment near the Spire, the party quickly decides that they should reach the tower before the enormous signal they just launched at the spire attracts too much attention. Their journey through the sandy wastes buffets them with wind and debris as they pass near the Boneyard Cave, and can just see in the opposite direction the billboards of the Abandoned Parking Lot. Doctor Javolt is tempted to explore the cave as they are so close, but when he sees the cave and a distinct lack of bones, he realizes that it clearly must have been named after somepony named Boneyard.

When they arrive at the tower, however, they find they’re a bit late as a group of Four Horses Raiders have already started exploring the strange tower, 2 in the green paint of Pestilence, and 3 in the red paint of War. Powder Keg huddles the group together, and lays out a quick battle plan. He’s gonna make another Distractogon. A few moments later a rocket powered flying disco ball emitting a laser light show and playing a grainy version of Sunshine, Lollipops, and Rainbows zooms past the Raiders, and setting up a surprise attack for our “heroes.”

Powder Keg starts the attack with a series of firebombs, searing flame and shrapnel peppering the raiders, while Firelight uses a combination of magic and blessings to empower the party with Celestia’s Light. Flotsam meanwhile launches her own explosive at the nearest War Raider, lacerating the pony with nails and debris. Our favorite Necromancer Zebra goes for a more hooves on approach than his comrades, and rushes the nearest Pestilence pony, bashing skulls, and placing a small curse in preparation for future attacks. Tempered Steel decides that, now that the raiders are beginning to realize what’s happening, he should make a nice distraction to prevent the rest of the group from being attacked. He yells at the top of his lungs, then picks up the Pestilence pony with what he assumes is the freshest paint, and tosses him down the cliffside. Our good Doctor begins to scheme again, attempting to come up with another ingenious and deadly plan, but unfortunately, nothing comes to mind.

The Distractogon long gone, and the Raiders now at full attention, the fight begins in earnest. Powder Keg pulls out his favorite weapon, and straps the brick of C4 to the most injured War pony. The explosion rocks the cliffside, damaging three ponies, two of which are near crippled by the blast. Powder smiles, “I love the smell of raider blood.” Firelight pulls out his sword and charges Powder’s last target, a blazing wound opening along his chest. Xencarn’s previous target uses his magic to heal what damage he can in the near dead War-rior, the fire puttering out as that unicorn unleashes a bolt of lightning that strikes Firelight, but fails to penetrate his magical blessing. Flotsam pulls out a small group of grenades, and spins as fast as she can in mid-air, launching the explosives in a wide arc that strikes all four of the remaining raiders, and ending the life of the burned War pony. One of his allies charges up their magic, and unleashes a burst of lightning that strikes Tempered Steel, charring the minotaur, then changing course and damaging Powder Keg, before finally being halted by Doctor Javolt, who’s cape and claw manage to ground the electricity with no damage to the Donkey Scientist. Xencarn headbutts the Pestilence healer once more, then unleashes the full force of his curse. A billowing wave of darkness envelops the unicorn healer, before growing even larger and consuming the Unicorn that just damaged Xencarn’s allies. When the magical cloud dissappears, the Pestilence unicorn is dead, a horrified look on the husk that was once its body, and the War unicorn is barely standing. Spent of his magic for the moment, Xencarn draws his scythe, and prepares for the next attack.

What he doesn’t expect is for the final War pony to unleash a less direct magic on the party. A red glow wraps around Powder Keg’s head, and warps his vision, turning his allies into viscera covered raiders surrounding him. He strikes at the group, lashing out with another explosive that strikes Xencarn, Tempered Steel, and Firelight. Before he can really do anything, Tempered Steel notices that the pony he threw off the cliff earlier has finally returned, and the minotaur decides to prevent another death. He holds his hammer tightly, and stares down the green-painted pony, growling “Do you still wanna fight this fight? The only thing left for you here is death.” The pony immediately turns around and runs off, away from the group…straight to the Raider Base. Understanding the severity of the situation, Doctor Javolt leaves the remaining War ponies to the others and chases down the runner. It takes a few moments of adjustment, and then launches his claw at the pony’s leg. It just barely misses at first, but then lashes out one final stretch, and clamps around a hind hoof, tripping the raider, and then locking him in place.

The magic having faded, Powder Keg decides to show just how pissed off he is by that kind of manipulation. He uses his magic to pull a series of parts from his packs, and assembles a small weapon in front of him. He places the launching weapon into his hooves, and then pulls a balefire egg from his saddle bag. He places it into the launcher, and fires it at the Raiders. A blinding flash of energy, light, and radiation strikes them, and Firelight follows it up with a brilliant blast of magic fire that passes through Xencarn, Powder Keg, Tempered Steel, and both Raiders. Firelight’s allies feel their wounds sealing, while his enemies burst into flame, one dropping to his knees and charring to a deep black. Flotsam and Xencarn strike at the remaining Raider, tossing a grenade and a blast of shredding magic wind to fell the final foe. With the multitude of wounds taken over the course of the battle, the last raider collapses in a heap, leaving the party victorious.

The fight finished, Powder Keg immediately rushes for the Javolt and the pony that escaped, trusting neither party to keep things sane and civilized, which results in the explosive unicorn tackling the already captured Raider pony while Javolt is collecting various samples. The good doctor attempts to shove Powder Keg off of his new test subject, but despite his efforts, neither party’s agenda is satisfied. As the rest of the group nears, an argument breaks out over what to do with the Raider, both belittling the unicorn’s life choices, as well as attempting to get him to, in some way reform. Xencarn begins the ritual for summoning a zombie, hoping to scare information from the raider, while the fighting grows worse and worse until Guts, the captured raider, attempts to escape via magic, only to have his horn cut into by Powder Keg using one of Javolt’s bone saws. The zombie done, Xencarn makes a few dark statements about what might happen to Guts that is far worse than death, while Flotsam warns Craggy, who has emerged from his hidey-hole in her saddlebags, that he shouldn’t attempt to eat the undead.

Just as it seems that Guts is about to crack, the question is raised about why he’s even with the raiders, and he responds with a question as to why he should tell anything to a group that just killed the ponies he was in a group with, ponies who were something like brothers, and this sets Powder Keg off. In a flash, he has the bone saw to Guts’ throat, but a quick hoof from Javolt pulls the improvised weapon away for “improper usage,” and Tempered Steel and Firelight pull the unicorn away from their prisoner. Xencarn sees that Guts has been damaged by the sudden scare for him to get the absolute truth, and he sits down in front of the unicorn prisoner to ask three questions, with Firelight making a deal that if Guts answers, they’ll let him go. If he doesn’t, they’ll kill him right then and there. Guts decides to answer the three questions.

1st question: Are any other raiders coming? Not now, but they’ll see the damage caused by the fight, and they’ll certainly be interested in why their scouting party didn’t come back.

2nd question: Why are they interested in the tower? Dragon’s treasure.There really doesn’t need to be another reason.

3rd question: Where can we find your leaders? They have meetings where they convene at Apocalypse, but for the vast majority of the time, they travel the Maw advising all of their subgroups, and organizing raids and agreements.

Once the questions are finished, the group enjoys a few moments of silence as Javolt pulls out a scroll containing a list of potential experiments. The ponies in favor of preventing long-term damage state that the deal didn’t specify when they’d let him go, but the decision is overpowered by the others, who agree to let Guts be on his way. Tempered Steel takes a moment to suggest that Guts go to Gold Rush, attempt to start a new life, a clean one. Javolt even offers Feldspar as a new name, and with those words said, Guts heads off into the waste, headed towards the town.

Their experience with the raiders complete, Tempered Steel pulls out the key, and aims it towards the tower, adjusting both his position and the keys position, waving it around like a lunatic until he finds a point of light emitting from both the key and the spire. The party approaches slowly, wary of tricks and traps. The others once again find cover as Tempered Steel approaches the light, finally touching the key and a flat slab of stone along the spire. The edifice drops into the ground, revealing a dark staircase, the only source of light coming from small windows that line the tower. Xencarn sends his zombie in first, and the rest of the group follows, with Tempered Steel holding the key up high as an additional source of light.

As they climb the stairwell, they see pictograms, and paintings lining the walls. Images of great dragons feasting on small ponies, two alicorns, one white and one blue defending those ponies, forcing the dragons back with beams of magic and a powerful presence. Powder recognizes the alicorns as Princess Celestia and Princess Luna, and at the mention of her name, Xencarn speaks of Nightmare Moon. Doctor Javolt fails to care, Firelight doesn’t speak up, and Tempered Steel has no idea what they’re talking about, so Flotsam explains, asking Xencarn if he really believes Luna was Nightmare Moon when the war happened. Before a metaphysical debate can begin about deities that no longer exist, Powder Keg forces the group to continue, following the staircase as more pictures appear of dragons and ponies interacting, and a group of dragons sitting across from the princesses. Then the murals stop for quite some time. near the top of the stairs, next to a door, the final mural appears.

It’s a crudely, hastily drawn explosion.

The door opens into a large landing, approximately 6 yards in diameter, and lying in the center is a giant keyhole. The group hesitates, trying to figure out an appropriate course of action until Tempered Steel slams the key in, and the platform drops. It’s an elevator of some kind. The group makes various judgments on Tempered Steel’s somewhat rash action, but Flotsam thankfully points out to the minotaur that “I’m gonna withhold judgement until we’re dead.”

However, as the elevator descends, a trickle of gold coins begins to pour from the walls. Then a stream. Then a river. Then a flood. It pelts the prospectors, and fills the floor, and seeing the potential danger, Flotsam flies back up the elevator shaft while Firelight quickly raises a magical shield to protect the group, holding the gold in place around them, but leaving them somewhat trapped in the meantime.

The elevator continues to descend, and Tempered Steel becomes blinded by the sheer amount of gold, unable to see anything beyond the riches that are slowly beginning to crush the group to death. Xencarn offers some knowledge to Firelight, taking advantage of his experience with magic, hoping to improve any flaws in the shield, but Powder Keg catches a mistake, which Xencarn quickly corrects, preventing massive damage to the magical structure. Powder Keg too throws his magic behind the shield, hoping to keep it sturdy and safe until the group can find an escape. Then, miraculously, the golden hail slows, and ceases, as the group spies a section of the spire not made of stone, but of glass. They quickly smash through it, dropping the shield and letting the gold coins pour into the cavern system beyond the glass. Further down the tunnels, they can see a golden city, filled with statues of dragons in regal poses, a hoard fit for a mighty dragon.

Now safe, Tempered Steel tests the key again, turning it in the other direction and raising the platform, ever so slightly. Satisfied that the stone column they rode down can take them back up, he returns to the cave level, and attempts to remove the key, only to find it stuck. Satisfied that, at least they can come out the way they came, the group delves into the cave system. Powder Keg lags behind, picking up a paltry ten gold coins.

And as he holds them, he finds that he very much doesn’t want any of the others to have his gold.

Dear Princess Newbiespud,

Today I learned that Powder Keg is seriously messed up. No really. He scared the bejeebus out of me. It makes me so excited for backstory time, and also, very, very, very terrified. You picked some excellent players.

Your Faithful Student,

Great Dinn

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Gold Rush
Session 2

Recap by Great Dinn

“And that my dear filly, is where fowls come from.” Says Javolt to Flotsam as they enter the town of Gold Rush. Gold Rush is a shanty town, mostly sheet metal and tents, and a few small buildings. There are only three gates, two in the front, one in the back.

Powder Keg attempts to begin a glorious quest for alcohol, only to be halted by Doctor Javolt, who asks “If not minion, would you prefer unpaid intern?” Powder Keg proceeds to punch him in the face, breaking the Doctor’s goggles, sending the doctor flying, and causing a conversation to ensue concerning the status of Doctor Javolt’s relationship to the group. .Firelight decides to hold Doctor Javolt back, and have a conversation with him, while the rest of the group enters Gold Rush proper. After a few blunt words, it finally, FINALLY occurs to Javolt that minions isn’t the best term for the rest of the party members. He upgrades them to Junior Professors. It’s better than nothing.

Meanwhile, the rest of the party enters Gold Rush, a small town of maybe 20 to 30 ponies total. Posters hang around the side of the buildings, covered in pony’s faces, akin to the election posters of pre-waste days. The posters say things like “Sarge, Fight the Raiders,” “Blue Moon, Find the Treasure, Once and for All,” “Thunderspear, Protect Our Town and its Ponies,” “Sharper, Making the Town More Efficient,” and “Sooty, Runnin’ because I can.”

Flotsam notices a Steel Ranger wearing the Applejack’s Ranger logo, and waves him down, asking who the ponies in the poster are. The Ranger asks if they’re a new caravan, and the group comes to find that the city trades food and supplies grown within with the Four Horses Raiders (out of necessity) which ensures Powder Keg wants nothing more than to leave. Xencarn reveals his heritage to a small amount of surprise, and asks if the town would be persuaded to part with anything in exchange for the removal of the Raiders. The Ranger informs them that they wouldn’t be the first who’s tried, but that the group should stay around until at least after the election, since the former mayor died, and the Four Horses are considering reneging on their deal with the town, given the previous mayor was the one who brokered the deal. Xencarn, seeing an opportunity, asks if the mayor was buried nearby, and if they would have the information about the deal.

Before a good response can be made, Trip (the Applejack’s ranger) is cut off by Sarge (from the poster) who begins to converse with the group concerning their own situation. Flotsam presents the group as Dragon Mawlers Inc. and, Sarge and Powder Keg come to something of an understanding concerning the situation of the Raiders, and the potential way to deal with it, but are stopped by the equally pressing matter of defense of the town. They come back to the subject of “paying respects” to the mayor, and figuring out what the deal was, and possibly where the individuals leading the Four Horses are located. After Flotsam openly reveals Xencarn as a necromancer, the less innocent members of the group manage to convince Sarge and Trip that Xencarn is merely a detective. A very good detective. The Rangers miraculously believe the party, so Sarge tells them where the body and the mayor’s old office are located so the group can check for clues.

The group splits up to investigate both, with Flotsam, Doctor Javolt, and Tempered Steel deciding to bother a nearby filly, one pointed out by Sarge as Short Circuit, who is busy working on the battery power for the town. Not much success is made with the conversation, short of a revelation that none of the caravans have come back from attempting to kill the Four Horses, and that the filly has a shotgun. They wisely decide to move onto the Mayor’s office.

Meanwhile, Xencarn, Powder Keg, and Firelight go to exhume a body. They arrive at a graveyard, laden with bare-bones graves, for lack of a better term, and proceed to locate the Mayor’s Grave, which is thankfully marked “Mayor.”. Powder Keg locates a shovel, and digs up the body, which is near frozen solid. Xencarn begins the ritual to speak with the mayor’s corpse, and while that occurs, Powder Keg notices a blue unicorn staring at the trio from the gate. It doesn’t take much for Powder to realize that the unicorn saw everything, and that it would be best to try and dissuade the unicorn from doing anything brash or stupid. He calls out to the unicorn, but the blue pony disappears behind the gate to town. Fortunately for the trio, a few moments later the unicorn returns, and approaches the group, somewhat nervously, but amicably.

Powder and the Unicorn, who identifies himself as Blue Moon, begin to talk while Xencarn continues his ritual. Surprisingly, Blue Moon isn’t that disturbed by Xencarn’s magic, as he is an avid studier of magic himself, and is more than interested in examining a form of magic so foreign to any he’s seen or read about. Idle chat occurs for a few more minutes concerning the town, Blue Moon’s running for mayor, and Blue Moon’s campaign poster, but eventually, the ritual is complete, and Blue Moon heads back into town.

The Mayor, recovering from his little case of death, babbles for a few moments about the bizarre nature of returning to a state of consciousness, his memory a fuzzy blur of the events leading up to his demise. Despite being able to use his necromantic powers to force the mayor to answer one question, he’s surprisingly chatty, and explains to the trio what sort of things occurred in Gold Rush not too long ago. The deal is explained, Gold Rush grows plenty of crops, and sends a large amount to the raiders, probably Famine’s gang, in exchange for not getting blown to Tartartus. When the topic of his murder is brought up from that, the Mayor tells the group that the Raiders are terrible at magic, and that it would’ve been nearly impossible to reach the mayor in the middle of town, kill him, and sneak out without being noticed by the watch. And then the mayor remembers who did it.

But Blue Moon has already gotten far away from the trio.

Back in town, Flotsam, Tempered Steel, and Doctor Javolt are busy examining the Mayor’s Old Office, finding nothing particularly noteworthy. Before they can do any thorough examination though, they hear the yelling of some nutjob outside the building, and open the door to find Blue Moon riling up the townsfolk with talk of how the newcomers are raider spies, and necromancers, how they defiled the mayor’s body, and even as he speaks, are preparing to overthrow the town. Tempered Steel, and Flotsam make an attempt at showing the town they don’t mean any harm, and that they just want to help Gold Rush figure out what happened to the old mayor, but Blue Moon strikes back with claims that they’re lying to lull Gold Rush into a false sense of security. Doctor Javolt scoffs, and speaks to the town about the quality of his “Junior Professors” and that the necromancers in his “employ” are only the best, and would never do anything to harm future test subjects, which goes about as well as can be expected. The Steel Rangers in town decide to go the graveyard and check things out for themselves.

Thinking fast, Tempered Steel picks up Flotsam, and tosses the pegasus filly in a long arc over the crowd, while she uses her wingpower to bring herself to a not-so-graceful stop in front of the Steel Rangers, blocking off their path out of town. She gives an impassioned speech, pleading with Sarge and Trip to believe that they don’t mean any harm, even if they are performing necromancy. There’s a moment of hesitation, and then Sarge calls the Steel Rangers off. They’ll wait for word straight from the horses mouth.

Realizing that Blue Moon is likely going to raise a ruckus about the situation, Powder Keg, Xencarn, and Firelight retrieve the Mayor’s body, and bring him into town, so he can tell the truth himself. The town reacts about as well as can be expected with the frozen corpse of their mayor speaking to them due to the powers of Zebra necromancy, but no mob forms to hang the party immediately, so they all have time to explain their case. They decide to prove to the townsfolk that, despite Blue Moon’s claims, the Mayor isn’t under Xencarn’s thrall, by having the mayor say something that only the mayor and townsfolk might know. The mayor proves his freedom of mind by recalling the night of the murder, and the conversation he had with Sarge, mere minutes before the mayor’s untimely demise. Sarge hesitates for a few moments, then calls the Rangers to keep any townsfolk off of the party. Blue Moon gets nervous, so Tempered Steel and Powder Keg move closer, intending to catch the unicorn should he try to run. Javolt meanwhile, busies himself by looking for a bottle of alcohol of some kind. The Mayor realizes and reveals that Blue Moon killed him to get the “Key to the City,” a large golden key that’s actually to something else, probably the treasure that the campaign poster refers to. Blue Moon makes a few more negative claims that are shot down by more rational members of the party and crowd, and feeling the magic supporting his form fade, the Mayor gives a final speech to the town, telling them to find the truth.

Blue Moon panics, and tries to flee, but is hit by a bottle thrown by Javolt, then tackled by both Tempered Steel, and Powder Keg. Once the unicorn has been subdued, Tempered Steel takes the body back to the cemetery to bury it, while Xencarn goes with Trip to Blue Moon’s home in order to find the key, as proof that Blue Moon is responsible. Despite the large collection of magic books catching Xencarn’s eye, it becomes obvious that the key is hidden within the locked chest at the foot of Blue Moon’s bed. However, after it’s been forced open by local fixits Hammer and Nail, the inside appears completely empty, at least, to those who don’t have as much magical talent as Xencarn. It takes a few minutes of research, mostly finding the right book with the right bookmark, but Xencarn discovers the enchantment within the lockbox, and dispels it, revealing a giant golden key. Trip goes to fetch the guilty party.

Blue Moon, the rest of the party, and many townsponies arrive at Blue Moon’s home, where Xencarn reveals the key. It’s agreed by all that Blue Moon is guilty, but he still refuses to confess. until, of course, Xencarn reveals he has a spell that can help with that, provided Blue Moon is made helpless. Tempered Steel grabs Blue Moon by the tail, and lifts him into the air, intending to help Xencarn cast his spell, but with quick thinking and a flash of magic, Blue Moon cuts his tail, and lands on the ground, intending to flee. Powder Keg beats him to the punch, with a solid hook to the jaw, which knocks Blue Moon into the wall. Before anyone can react, Blue Moon rises, and summons his magic, preparing something. A horrible noise comes from Flotsam, and her bag opens as Craggy flings itself at Blue Moon, clamping down hard on the pony’s muzzle. Distracted by the stony fangs of the baby cragodile, Blue Moon is quickly taken down. The party surrounds Blue Moon, takes a few more hits on the unruly unicorn, and then Tempered Steel sets his hoof on Blue Moon’s neck, pinning him to the floor. Javolt scrapes off a sampling of Blue Moon’s horn, and Xencarn sits down in front of Blue Moon to begin asking his questions.

What does the key open? Despite initial protests, Blue Moon reveals that the key is possibly the key to a dragon’s treasure, Glaurung.

Did he work alone? Yet again more protesting, but Blue Moon reveals that all he did with the raiders was ask them to up their raiding parties in the nearby area without entering town. No actual partnership was made with anyone.

Where is the treasure? A few moments of silence, and Blue Moon finally relents, telling the group that the treasure most likely lies to the northeast, though he doesn’t have an exact location pinned down.

Satisfied, Xencarn’s spell ends, and Blue Moon is partially released. The group begins to argue about what to do with him now, several clamboring for his execution, Flotsam suggesting they let the town decide since he’s their criminal, Firelight suggesting a less violent punishment, and many disagreements being reached, until finally the town votes to have him killed. Powder Keg ties a rope to Blue Moon’s neck, and leads him out of town, followed closely by Firelight and Doctor Javolt, one who wishes to possibly convince Powder Keg to show mercy, and the other who merely wishes to collect the pieces for study.

Outside of the town, Firelight makes his claim, and manages, for a few seconds to talk with Powder Keg. This does not prevent him from unpinning a grenade, and forcing it into Blue Moon’s mouth. Or rather, attempting to. With the distraction caused by Firelight, Powder Keg, and Javolt’s conversation, Blue Moon used his telekinesis to grab hold of the grenade, and force it back onto Powder Keg. Javolt grabs Blue Moon by the neck with his claw, attempting to choke the unicorn, while Firelight uses his magic to launch the grenade up, but not in nearly enough time to prevent the explosion from hitting all four of them.

Bright flashing light, unbearable noise, searing pain and bleeding wounds, Powder Keg recovers fastest, but not in enough time to catch Blue Moon as the unicorn rushes off into the wastes. Not one to give up the fight so easily, Powder pursues the pony. The two match for speed, Powder steadily gaining, Firelight catching up to try and stop Powder, but it soon becomes clear that none of them are going to catch the other, so Powder Keg does something drastic. He reaches into his bag with the fastest telekinesis he can muster, and magics his collection of C4 forward, strapping it to the back of the fleeing criminal. Before Blue Moon can even react, Powder Keg triggers the detonator.

Blue Moon splits in two, front hooves skittering against the dirt and gravel as they fall to the ground, and his back legs land some twenty yards away with a sickening plop, and a slow pooling of viscera and blood. Doctor Javolt attempts to saw Blue Moon’s head from his neck, but the idea is put down by the two slightly more rational members of the party. “Hooves down, the worst execution I’ve ever been a part of.” Powder says, only half-jokingly, as the battered trio returns to town.

The dirty deed done, the party reunites, and attempts to figure out what to do next. The grateful town, spoken for by Sarge, tells the party that they’re welcome to stay, especially since Blue Moon’s house just became available, and that the group can, as a whole, have a vote in who becomes the next mayor of the town. The party decides to wait for that decision until later that night, and splits off into groups again. Flotsam, Powder, Firelight, and Xencarn head out to bury what’s left of Blue Moon, Flotsam mostly to check out what kind of damage Powder’s explosive’s caused, and Xencarn to read burial rites. Doctor Javolt meanwhile, decides to look for a laboratory, while Tempered Steel gets momentarily distracted, and fails to remember the trouble that Javolt causes.

Javolt winds up in the medic tent, run by the Griffon named Ivy. Despite the initial, very hooves on inspection of her talons, and bizarre questioning, Ivy manages to put up with the doctor for his ramblings, until he mentions that the tent is to be his new lab. She quickly points out that the lab would be a problem for any patients she has, and that there’s a much better option available with town hall, which has almost no visitors, and is rarely used. She has to repeat this point multiple times, but it eventually gets through, and Javolt leaves, just in time to run into Tempered Steel who has realized his own folly in leaving the Doctor alone, and attempts to stop whatever crazy scheme he has begun. Javolt ignores whatever nonsense that Steel begins talking about, and pushes him into Ivy’s tent, because she clearly wanted to give the minotaur an “examination,” and it’s rude to keep a lady waiting. By the time Steel gets out of the tent, Javolt has already left for town hall.

Tempered Steel catches the good Doctor in the lobby, and holds him up in the so they can talk face to face. A very serious discussion is had concerning whatever actions Doctor Javolt is planning, and what consequences will be occurring should the doctor get kicked out of town for his actions. Despite this, the Doctor presents his own points, albeit a bit more tangentially than Steel’s, which show that without a lab, the Doctor would likely be MORE dangerous for the group’s welfare. They agree to let him have the lab in town hall, Ivy having already started spreading word about the doctor’s plan to the town, and Doctor Javolt clamps his claw hand around Steel’s horn, attempting to pull him along to meet Ivy for that examination. He still refuses to let go when Steel puts the donkey scientist down. It takes a few seconds, but finally Steel gets the idea that the doctor isn’t letting go anytime soon, and is “dragged” off and out of town hall.

The party meets up later, and decides to learn more about the candidates they’re voting for. Trip offers his knowledge about the ones he can, and makes a few comments on his own opinions of the potentials.

The two big candidates are Sarge, and Thunder Spear. Sarge is a Steel Ranger, and a bit more gung ho about dealing with the raiders. He may keep the deal that was previously established, but it’s clear that he wants as little to do with the raiders as possible.

Thunder Spear meanwhile, is a former prospector, older but no less of a badass than he was in his youth. His son, Scarlet Shawl, is the one responsible for growing most of the town’s crops. Thunder Spear’s biggest goal is to keep ponies from dying, in any way shape or form, regardless of what has to be done.

The other, less likely candidates are Sooty, Trip, Hammer, Nail, and Sharper. Sooty is the town’s “bartender” and owner of the general store. He’s only running because he can. Trip is technically a candidate, but he doesn’t think he’s going to be getting many, if any votes. Hammer is a supervisor, a fixer-upper, a pony who “runs things” around town. Mostly though, he doesn’t do any kind of work. His little buddy Nail, however, is a quiet type who gets things done. If something needs doing, especially at the behest of Hammer, Nail will have it done. Minimal amounts of grumbling, sarcasm, and ire, free of charge. Sharper, the final other candidate, is the town’s therapist. She specializes in dealing with caravans that pass through Gold Rush, team optimizations, and ironing out any kinks between party members, her Whet Stone, and Knife cutie mark showing how she sharpens skills and bonds between teams. And possibly that she’s also a good cook.

The team argues for a few minutes, before deciding to talk with the candidates themselves. They head out to see Thunder Spear first. The party chats with the older pony for a little while, asking about his experiences in the wasteland, in Dragon’s Maw what kinds of things to expect, what other towns there are, if he ever got treasure, what his campaign platform is, etc.

He explains that there are two other towns in Dragon’s Maw; Ribcage, and one other that he can’t remember the name of at the moment. He did find treasure, but he sold the last of it recently, a large purple gem. He warns them about the usual problems in Dragon’s Maw: the heat, the need for rations, the raiders, particularly the Four Horses, who have lately been learning more and more magic from somepony, the seven curses etc. When asked about those, he explains that he can only remember a few. The Gunsmith’s Curse, which affects the entirety of Dragon’s Maw, the Fool’s Gold curse, which only seems to be effective around Glaurung’s cave, the Watch Your Friends (Enemies Closer) curse, The Magic Mayhem curse, and the Secrets and Lies curse (which might be the same as the Watch Your Friends curse, but he isn’t sure).

The last question is brought up by Tempered Steel, who asks if the Black Lotus Travelling Company has been through recently, to which Thunder Spear nods, informing the party that they went southwest, looking for something. The party thanks Thunder Spear for all his information, and then head off to meet the other candidates.

That night, the party argue, Powder and Tempered Steel fervently holding onto the vote for Sarge, Flotsam flipping between Sarge and Thunder Spear, Xencarn eager to vote for anyone else despite liking Sarge, and Firelight holding for Thunder Spear. Javolt abstains, because politis bore him. It takes some time, and a lot of bickering, but the group finally relents to voting Thunder Spear. They all head off to the new home of Dragon Mawler’s Inc, and hit the hay, ready for a new day, and a new adventure, each having gained from their experiences thus far.

It is uncertain, however, if they’ll be ready for what’s to come.

Dear Princess Newbiespud,

Today I learned that, necromancy is a lot like jaywalking. It’s not TECHNICALLY illegal, but it is frowned upon. I also learned that pets can be just as effective as a distraction as they can an argument starter, and that I really need to finish these notes the same night I start them, or I take WAAAAY too long to finish them.

Your Faithful Student,

Great Dinn

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Flametongue Pass
Session 1

Recap by Great Dinn

This session features Special Guest: Lyntermas! Running combat for Firelight.

Powder Keg wakes up in an alley way, hungover, and only vaguely aware of what happened last night. The slow thought process is interrupted by a cybernetic Donkey who walks up to unicorn, claims that Powder Keg is now the minion of Doctor Javolt, and that the two have to go buy supplies. Despite the fact that Powder Keg argues against this sudden action, Javolt ignores him, and drags the unicorn down the road with his mechanical claw.

The party members in the Last Stop Inn are woken up by the knocking of the town guards reminding them that they need to remove themselves from Flametongue posthaste. The two ponies, Minotaur, and zebra decide to make one stop before heading out, and direct themselves to the general store of Sellout.

Javolt and Powder Keg pass by the remains of the bar, lone worker glaring at Powder Keg who remains unaware of his involvement, until they too arrive at the general store, where Powder Keg manages to break free from the mechanical menaces grasp, and attempts to leave, only to be stopped by the arrival of the rest of the party, and a contingent of armed guards. A friendly little argument takes place concerning the goings on of last night, the state of the bar, the company that Powder Keg now keeps, and the reason that the guards might be following both groups.

3 house cats, a tesla coil, an exploded warehouse, and a lot of algae. These are the items involved in the accident that put Doctor Javolt in the same boat as the rest of the group, the creatures he now considers minions.

Thanks to the “accident” of last night, prices at Sellout’s Blowout Bargains are inflated. Despite Tempered Steel’s promise of reward, Sellout doesn’t care, because no one’s come back with Dragon’s Treasure in about 8 years. Even Flotsam’s biggest cutest eyes fail to lower prices. Nor does the maddened laughter of Doctor Javolt, who is quickly pulled away and slapped by Tempered Steel before the guards very nearly open fire on the party. The group makes some purchases for the road, argues a bit more, and then departs, after the careful nudging of a guard and his loaded, cocked gun.

With all their money gone, the party leaves Flametongue, trying to get far away from the good doctor, who insists on “Leading” despite the party’s insistence otherwise. Powder Keg, meanwhile, asks for a reintroduction to the group, because as we all know, the consumption of alcohol is wrong, and leads to situations we may not recollect that probably should be. (See Session 0) The party arrives at the gates to Flametongue Pass, and the steel edifice opens, crossing the threshold from the relative normalcy of the wasteland, to the danger lurking in the crevices of Dragon’s Maw. The path ahead is full of hiding places, twisted rocks spiraling upwards into the sky, cliff faces crumbling, stones dropping from high peaks into dark chasms, the wind whistling a haunting dirge through the pass.

The party divides themselves for protection against surprise attacks, Tempered Steel and Xencarn in back, Powder Keg and Firelight in front, and Doctor Javolt and Flotsam in center. Yet another argument ensues concerning the Doctor’s naming patterns, with the result that a grenade with “Doctor Gevalt” written on it has been made, and a threat hangs in the air should the word “minion” be used again. The Doctor asks what reason the group is venturing into the Maw, but only Xencarn responds, claiming that he wants knowledge, books, and dragon bones. The rest remain strangely silent.

The group encounters a cliff face, with a downward slope, dragon bones piercing out of the side and top, large, ominous, and partially buried by stone and sand.. Powder Keg picks up a small dragon’s tooth and Xencarn picks up three small dragon wing bones for his collection, while Doctor Javolt brings out a series of levitation pads in order to slide down the cliff.

The party makes their way across the platforms and down the cliff, jumping from platform to platform, but Flotsam misses the first levitation pad, and begins to fall down the cliff face at alarming speeds. It’s only thanks to the quick work of Powder Keg and his magic that Flotsam makes it to the next pad safely, and reaches the bottom unharmed. For having saved his “Research Assistant” Javolt upgrades Powder Keg’s status from Minion to Security Guard. Xencarn spies another pile of bones, smaller, more pony-like and examines them, looking for full skeletons to serve as potential minions, as well as for observations on how the ponies died, but most are too old, brittle, and damaged to be of any use. Tempered Steel examines the bones that Xencarn leaves behind, and finds five caps that were missed by previous scavengers, hidden beneath the bleached skull of an otherwise picked clean pony. Xencarn’s scavenging does not go unnoticed by the others, but they come to an agreement that they won’t interfere in each other’s business, at least for the moment. They will however, be keeping an eye on him.

Flotsam, still wary and perceptive from the encounters yesterday, notices a rock that has changed position. She calls to the others, pointing out the “Rock Monster.” Tempered Steel picks up a different rock, but before he can give it a toss, Powder Keg decides to perform a test using one of his grenades. The grenade bounces off the back of the rock, lands, and then explodes, as the Cragodile unrolls itself from its “camouflaged” form.

“If this thing kills us, I’m going to kill you in the afterlife too.” Tempered Steel says, before he rushes forward, and strikes at the Cragodile with a swing from his hammer. Before the Cragodile can recover from the ferocious blow to the jaw, Powder Keg plants C4 around the beast, and lets loose, shrapnel and fire blistering its rocky hide. The Cragodile roars in pain, a shrieking bellow that hits Powder Keg, Xencarn, and Tempered Steel, dazing the three of them before it charges at Powder Keg, ramming into the unicorn and then lunging at Doctor Javolt, snapping at the donkey with its craggy teeth. Xencarn reaches into his bag, fumbling through the rubbish in his dazed state to pull out his Necroscythe, which unfolds with a tripping flourish and gives Xencarn the time needed to snap out of his daze. Doctor Javolt begins running ideas through his head, manic thoughts crashing into one another, brilliant flashes of insight consumed by madness, until even his daze dissipates. The beginnings of a plan of attack grow in his mind. Firelight notices the damage that has been taken by Doctor Javolt, and attempts to heal the good doctor, to great success, magic light wrapping around the wounds opened by the beast’s stony bite and sealing them shut, at least temporarily. Flotsam rushes around the Cragodile unseen, and slips a mine in front of Tempered Steel, hoping that her ally can convince the Cragodile to rush into it in a blind fury.

Tempered Steel attempts to grab the Cragodiles attention with another fierce hammer blow, this one clipping the monster’s tail, while Powder Keg rushes at the Cragodile’s face, and gives it a quick buck to the jaw, dealing it a minor blow. The Cragodile lets out a wounded cry, that doesn’t seem to do anything, until the smaller rocks in the area begin to move, revealing four baby Cragodiles that lash out at the party. Tempered Steel is attacked by the baby he had earlier unknowingly picked up, but it triggers Flotsam’s mine, and before it can even lay a claw on the minotaur burst into a glorious display of meat chunks and stone. The other three baby Cragodiles manage to reach their targets, and bite Firelight, Xencarn, and Flotsam, clamping down and struggling to take down the larger prey. Firelight strikes back against the one clamped on his foreleg, knocking it out and tossing it aside. The Cragodile takes advantage of the distraction caused by its children and swings its tail, digging it into the ground, and launching boulders and rocks at the entire party. Firelight manages to catch one of the boulders with his magic, and sends it screaming back towards the Cragodile, visibly cracking the beast’s stony shell. Xencarn strikes at one of the minions, making a whirling dervish of necromantic magic that manages to catch both babies and their mother in its wake, draining the life out of the Cragodile babies. Doctor Javolt takes a moment to switch out a new weapon, and fires upon the Cragodile with a large beam of electricity, which stuns the monster, and causes the cracks to grow ever wider, smoke rising from the hidden flesh. Firelight pulls out his Old World Blade, and imbues with the energy of Fire, before striking at the Cragodile’s skull, forcing open a large gash that makes for a perfect target. Flotsam closes one eye, and focuses, before tossing a grenade into the gash. It lands, wedging itself into the opening and then explodes, blowing the Cragodile’s skull to pieces.

The group notices that the baby Cragodile that wasn’t blown up, or reaped of its soul, is unconscious, and after a few moments of pondering, decide to keep it, as a pet, for Flotsam. Because what better pet could there be for a demolitionist filly than an alligator made of stone? The group decides that the best way to take care of the baby Cragodile is to dissect its mother to learn what Cragodiles eat and need. They lack any sharp object to cut open the stone creature, so Tempered Steel busts out the hammer, and opens up the Cragodile’s digestive tract with a very strong blow to the abdomen. The group finds sulfur stone, and other minerals that the monster’s munched on, of which a gram of the sulfur is immediately harvested by Powder Keg for future bomb making. Xencarn gets an idea of how the Cragodile functions through careful biological examination, while Powder Keg tells the party that in order to get the baby Cragodile to accept them as its mother, they should rub the mother Cragodile’s outer shell stones on themselves to obtain its scent. Powder Keg asks Flotsam, who is anxiously waiting for the baby Cragodile to wake up, if she can take care of the creature, and Flotsam promises to love it, feed it, and walk it, cause they’re gonna do all that stuff anyway. Tempered Steel crushes some of the outer shell into a powder so that the scent can be reapplied later, and after that monstrous ordeal is finished, the party finally decides to move on.

The party walks along for quite some time through the pass, before they notice the body of a pony, laying by the side of the road. He’s alive, but barely, bleeding out, and weakly he waves the group over. The group gets close, and noticing his bloodied knife cutie mark, decide to be a little more cautious, assuming logically that he’s a raider. Flotsam ignores this caution after a few moments, and moves towards the pony to apply pressure to his wound. It does little to help, and was probably done a little more forcefully than she should have, judging by the coughing fit that ensues. The party notice his saddle bags say “Black Lotus Travelling Company”, and he makes a dying request that they deliver a letter for him. To Slick from Sharp Edge, Slick being the only pony that didn’t betray Sharp Edge from the travelling company. The Black Lotus group became obsessed with the power of the magical artifacts hidden in the Maw, obsessed with becoming all powerful through their usage. Sharpedge attempted to leave, deciding that the group was going insane, but they turned on him, attacked him, left him to die. He warns the group of a potential curse, making sure they know to keep an eye on their so called friends.

Sharpedge asks forgiveness from these total strangers for what he’s done in the past, begging that they take his letter to Slick, help his only real friend out, to give Sharpedge a chance at redemption. The group, somewhat reluctantly, takes the letter, and with his dying will accepted, Sharpedge’s breathing slows, and then stops. Flotsam begins to cry, before scooting away to find a place to dig the pony a grave. Tempered Steel takes the ex-raider’s saddlebags, and prevents the others from looting the body, while Powder Keg closes Sharpedge’s eyes. Xencarn recites a short Zebrican prayer for Sharpedge, translated:

“May your soul, rest among the dirt
Away from the cosmos, away from the stars
Away from the battles, away from the scars.
Your body will rest
Your mind will sleep
And those who loved you
Will weep”

The group takes their time to bury the body, and moves on. From various stories each individual party member has heard, they recall that a town called “Gold Rush” lies just beyond the pass, serving as the Flametongue of Dragon’s Maw, and Flotsam proves even more knowledgeable thanks to her Steel Ranger friend. She knows that the town has old prospectors, new prospectors, and an organized group of Raiders called the Four Horses Gang, itself divided into sub-gangs each ruled by an individual who cooperatively control the entire gang. Death, War, Pestilence, and Famine. Flotsam shares this information, during one of Powder Kegs many rants about personally killing raiders.

Doctor Javolt steps to the edge of the pass, and examines the scenery below. The valley is lit a burning orange by the setting sun; fiery sands, and wasteland as far as the eye can see. The only sign of civilization is a small shanty town at the bottom of the pass. Xencarn hides his face behind his cloak, and steps behind Tempered Steel, just in case. Down below, the party notices movement, some of which is focusing in their general direction, and they are clearly armed with primitive melee weapons. The group can mostly see face and body paint, red, black, green, and orange. Xencarn however can see that these are members of the Four Horses gang, according to Flotsam’s earlier description. The gang of fifteen ponies is only watching the pass, and doesn’t notice the group itself. It is agreed that directly attacking the raiders is a stupid idea, at least until they split up, so they come up with a new plan. Powder Keg decides to set up a distraction, namely the Distractogon, effectively a rocket propelled disco ball covered with glowing lights, spinning wildly, and playing the complete abridged works of George R. R. Mareton, as read by Morgan Freemane. Powder Keg launches the Distractogon towards the raiders, which leads to ten of them departing to salvage the strange device. So pleased with the success of the Distractogon, Tempered Steel lets out a ferocious “OH YEAH,” which immediately alerts the raiders to his presence.

Seeing the remaining five raiders, and deciding that flight is better than fight in this case, Powder Keg uses the last of his supplies to create the Scare-tron 2000, a wheeled box covered in spinning saw blades, lasers, and a seat for Doctor Javolt to ride in as he cackles maniacally, speeding down the path and towards the raiders with the (supposed) death-machine. The raiders take a moment to appreciate the gravity of the situation, the complex structure of their incoming doom, and then flee in mortal terror. Javolt congratulates the party on a job well done, and commands that his “minions” join him for dinner in town. This unfortunate choice of words leads to a series of events wherein Powder Keg shoves a pinned grenade into his mouth, Tempered Steel slaps him on the back of the head, and Javolt chokes on the grenade, only briefly. Unfortunately. The grenade is removed, unharmed, and no one dies, for the moment. This bout of slapstick finished, the group makes their way down the path, out of the pass, and arrives in the town of Gold Rush.

Dear Princess Newbiespud,

Today I learned that there are limits to what the DM might have available in the ways of information. This will not stop the party from attempting to discover that information by dissecting an adult golem, studying its physiology, and adopting its only non-exploded, non-soul devoured child. They named him Craggy. This decision will probably lead to regret.

Your Faithful Student,

Great Dinn

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Flametongue
Session 0

Recap by Great Dinn

Xencarn and Flotsam have been travelling together. They encounter an Earth Pony with a set of Saddle Bags labelled with a faded “-ing company.” He talks with the two about the various curses, mentioning the Gunsmith Curse, but also the Fool’s Gold Curse, wherein multiple forms of loot are in fact fake, or switched with fake loot. The two ignore him, and head down the road, laden with landmines. The earth pony attempts to shoot the two from a distance and take their loot, but Flotsam and Xencarn manage to scare him off with two summoned Zombie Mooks, Xen summons more after the battle for later use, including mine detection, while Flotsam disarms several landmines to keep. The two continue to Flametongue.

Firelight is in a room at the Last Stop, having come to the town a few days earlier and learned much about the town, including the way the mayor, Shady Deal runs things. His door is knocked upon by a pony named Opportunity, who asks Firelight to come with him and meet the caravan that he wants Firelight to accompany into Dragon’s Maw. At the bar, Firelight is accosted by the drunk ponies, who reluctantly accept him into the group.

Tempered Steel is slightly closer to town than Xen, he is accosted by 4 Raiders, the leader of which demands Rage from the minotaur. He roars, and they are terrified. Steel brings out his hammer, slams it into the dirt and says “I hereby accept the terms of your surrender.” Three Raiders flee, and the leader freaks out, but stays due to his need for Rage. He brings out a nailed bat for combat. The two begin to fight, (Steel has Who Da Minotaur, Tank Beats Everything, Justic Strike, Strike of Vengence, and Wield the Hammer) the Raider taking damage, and then pumping his neck full of the last of his RAGE in order to fight back. Steel takes 2 damage. Steel responds with a smash to the face and the Raider is bloodied. Steel attempts to run away, but doesn’t manage to completely escape the blast. The Raider dies, and Steel takes 16 damage. Steel is bloodied. Steel goes through the raider’s meager supplies (16 bottlecaps, and a bunch of empty syringes, which Steel smashes.) The remaining three raiders make comments to each other, moaning Rager’s loss. Steel notices them, and follows.

The raiders run past Xencarn and Flotsam, followed by Steel. “Xencarn, can we keep him?”

Tempered Steel notices them, stops his chase, they become friends, and arrive at Flametongue. The guards notice Steel’s wounds, state that the town doctor is busy, and that there is another doctor in the Inn. They arrive at the Inn, and the shocked receptionist sends Tempered Steel to Room 221, and Firelight. Xencarn and Flotsam attempt to rent a room, for 500 caps a night, but are forced to trade grenades for the room due to a lack of caps (and as a security deposit). They also receive a tab for food and alcohol. Meanwhile, Firelight’s room is knocked on by Steel. It isn’t until after they discuss the situation that led up to his injuries that Firelight opens the door all the way and Tempered Steel hunches over to get inside. Firelight asks for money, which is given, and uses some healing bandages. (Heal 34.) A day’s rest, and Steel will be good. Steel talks about the two he met, and brings Firelight to meet them.

Flotsam has fewer grenades than mines now. She and Xencarn decide to go into town to trade for more grenades (and books, which CAN in fact explode ponies if used properly). Steel meets up with the two of them, Firelight close behind, who is immediately questioned by Flotsam due to her natural curiosity. She casually brings up the zombies (and is immediately shut up by Xencarn), and the group is introduced to each other. They discuss the trip into Dragon’s Maw, and Firelight and Tempered Steel discover the filly’s proclivity for explosives. Steel and Firelight question a filly coming to Dragon’s Maw, as well as carrying a bunch of explosives, and in response, she reveals how she got her cutie mark, what her brother, father, and sister do, and then asks how Steel plans to defend himself without explosives. He responds that he has a hammer that shoots lightning, and before the conversation can progress, they are interrupted by the sounds of Xencarn’s and Flotsam’s stomachs rumbling, which leads them to the bar for food.

Powder Keg is sitting in the bar, drunk, when he notices the “caravan” from earlier, that Powder Keg recognizes as raiders/bandits. Powder Keg gets a brilliant idea. “Raaaaaagh.” Grenade. But he fumbles, due to using his hooves instead of his horn, and falls to the ground. The pin remains unpulled. The patrons scatter, the bartender freaks out, wondering what Powder Keg is doing, and then Powder Keg states that the raiders are raiders. Powder Keg threatens the group, they threaten him, and they begin to fight when the other group enters. Tempered Steel slams his hammer into the table, getting everyone’s attention, and asking what’s going on. Powder Keg explains, and then he and Tempered Steel get into an argument about being drunk, which is eventually interrupted by the four front most raiders screaming “SHUT UP, WHO ARE WE FIGHTING?”

Initiative Order (2 Raiders, Xencarn, Firelight, Flotsam, Tempered Steel, Powder Keg, 2 More Raiders)

The lead raider strikes against Powder Keg (5 Damage). The second raider goes for Tempered Steel (9 Damage). Xencarn pulls out his Necro Scythe, and uses Grievous Wound on the lead Raider (7 Damage to the Raider). Firelight uses “I Can Fix That” on Tempered Steel (6 points healed). Flotsam lobs a Nail Bomb (Knife in the Dark) at Raider 2 (6 Damage). Tempered Steel attacks Raider 2 with Invigorating Strike (5 damage) and gives 5 temp HP to Flotsam. Powder Keg pulls out some C4, and uses it on Raider 2. (Raider 2 dies, Raider 1 and 3 are bloodied, and takes a chunk out of the floor.) Raider 3 takes out Dash and injects it into himself, and goes for Flotsam, Firelight, and Xencarn. Tempered Steel takes the Damage for Flotsam (6 damage each). Raider 4 lobs a grenade but only manages to slightly hit Powder Keg (4 Damage). Raider 1 takes damage from the scythe (7), and attempts to flee, but is caught by Flametongue guards, and gunned down. Xencarn uses Death Cyclone on Raider 3, and hits Raider 4 as well (1 damage each). Firelight uses Burning Slash on Raider 3, after drawing his sword. (3 damage from slash, 2 ongoing). Flotsam aims for Raider 3 and Raider 4, using Explosions for All. She hits both (4 damage apiece). Tempered Steel refrains from attacking, due to personal beliefs. Powder Keg throws a Sticky Bomb at Raider 4. (7 Damage, now Bloodied and has a bomb on him.) Raider 3 is overcome with flames and dies. Raider 4 panics, and runs around the room, until he gets out of the room, scaring off the guards, until he explodes. Battle over.

The terrified bartender, and Opportunity are still alive. Powder Keg etches two scratches into his gun. Xen harvests body parts (minimal as most are exploded). Flotsam looks for unexploded bombs. Powder Keg sets three caps on the table and pays for his drink with “a little extra for the bar.” The Flametongue guards approach, guns drawn. A brown maned pony with a grumpy look enters in front of the guards, and asks “Who started it?” Everyone points to Powder Keg, who responds “They started it. By being raiders.” Opportunity verifies the claim. Firelight recognizes the mare as Shady Deal, who demands that the party leave the town by tomorrow morning. They aren’t allowed back unless they’re dead or have dragon treasure on them. They will need it to pay for all the damage. Flotsam puts all of the raiders looted bottlecaps on the bar. Powder Keg reveals his one-track mind for killing Raiders. Shady Deals tells them that they need a caravan name, before leaving. Powder Keg is introduced to the group, mentions that he’s marked his gun for the two raider deaths, and Flotsam checks the gun. She notices that the gun isn’t quite right, but can’t identify exactly what. Townsponies are watching the scene with interest and confusion. Tempered Steel mouths that Powder Keg is insane to the rest of the group. Flotsam nods cheerily, Xencarn shrugs, and Firelight nods while cleaning up. Flotsam thanks Tempered Steel for protecting her, and the introductions finish. Powder Keg states “I have some business to attend to” turns around, and throws up.

Tempered Steel has taken 15 Damage.
Flotsam has gained 5 temporary HP.
Powder Keg has taken 9 Damage, and will be sleeping off a hangover.
Xencarn has taken 6 Damage.
Firelight has taken 6 Damage.
Everyone is now in trouble with Shady Deals.
They’ll be sleeping this damage off though, so who cares!

“Dear Princess Newbiespud,

Today I learned that the party is insane, and Dally is hilarious. This is gonna be a fun ride.

Your Faithful Student,

Great Dinn”

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