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[Manehattan] Dungeons, Ponies, Magic and Dragons [CLOSED!]


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The big city. He couldn't really say that he had ever dreamed about it, mostly because he wasn't really aware that a place like this existed. But now that he was here, Drifting Veil knew it was the place for him. Maybe not right now, but it was something to be considered for the future.

It had all started a few weeks ago. The blue-maned stallion had received a very generous offer from a Manehattan production group, and it was one of those great opportunities to add something spectacular to his résumé. So he gladly accepted. For the next six months, he would live and work in Manehattan, working on one of the biggest productions he had ever seen.

So he packed his stuff and traveled to the big city. The company had provided him with a small apartment, and he earned enough to maintain a modest lifestyle here. It didn't take him long, though, to realize that he had nothing to do with his free time. Aside from the fact that he didn't know anyone here, the entertainment offerings of Manehattan were very unlike what the unicorn was used to.

He did all the things he had planned on doing, like seeing a few of those long-running musical productions, and visiting all the big museum, he mostly sat there alone, in his apartment, looking at the piles of books he had brought with him. And suddenly it hit him. He hatched a plan. He would open a pen&paper RPG group, like back in college. After all, hadn't he made great friends through the game? Well, no, but it sure passed the time, and everyone involved had had fun. Most of the time. Didn't matter, it was worth a try.

Currently he sat in his apartment anxiously, awaiting the arrival of his new RP group. He had ultimately decided to just put up an ad on the city hall's blackboard. Drifting Veil had always been very open, but this really was one step beyond. However, he had made up his mind as soon as he had written the ad. He didn't expect a lot of response, but whoever would ring on his door tonight would be one of his new players.

On the table in front of him, he had placed all the books and dice they would need, and on one end, behind a screen made from cheap cardboard, were his notes and plans and lists he had already prepared for their first campaign. The unicorn had even prepared some hoofmade lemonade, probably more then they could drink, depending on how many would actually come, and his closet was stacked with snack food. He was positively giddy to start, after spending the last couple of evenings collecting all the information he needed to put it all together. However, they would have to roll characters first, of course.

Now it was just a question of waiting for them to actually arrive.

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Vivid Flair couldn't help but feel a touch out of place as she trotted quietly toward the door of some complete stranger she had never met. She gave a sigh and asked herself just what it was that she was doing there. Here she was, Manehattan's solemn white knight, answering a call not for justice but for partners with which to play some inconsequential game. As the sharp eyed hippogriff mare pondered whether or not she should truly go through with such ridiculousness, she reflected on just how she had been lead here.

Vivid's life was by no means normal. She was a prodigal mind born to a Destrier knight and one of Beakbreak's best metal workers; she had come to Manehattan to learn, and in the process she had adopted it as her home. She had found employ heading the engineering team at the Manehattan branch laboratory of Northern Storm Industries, a sizable machine tech company headquartered in Stalliongrad. This job was only a means to her true calling, however, for by night, the hippogriff, using a suit and set of tools she had designed with her knowledge and resources, served and protected the ponies of Manehattan from all that might threaten them, as the vigilante guardian known as The Noble Flare. Even in a life so frequently unusual, being here still felt off to her.

Because of the the strange ways the hippogriff chose to live her life, she was not particularly close to many. She didn't have time for relationships with a city to protect, and letting people in just gave the enemy targets anyway. Still, "anti social" behavior sometimes gets noticed by corporate bosses who couldn't hope to understand this, which is something that can lead to "gentle" pushes to be more candid and communicative with others. When this happens, it can lead even the most reticent of vigilante protectors to worry for her day job and look for something more social to do with her time. When a bookish engineer she worked with had shown her the ad for this "Pen and Paper Role Playing Group" posted at city hall she had begrudgingly agreed to try it out as a means to solve this particular problem.

Unfortunately for Vivid, her co-worker had cancelled plans to attend with her at the last minute due to other arrangements. The hippogriff had been unsure about whether she should still go at first. After thinking about it for a while, she had made the flight across town. She had already locked the event into her mental schedule, and for Vivid it was surprisingly difficult to back out of things she had already committed to in her head. She had decided to go for it, and yet as she stared the door down, she still wasn't very sure. This was something she knew nothing about. Would they even want her to participate with her total lack of knowledge?

Vivid gulped and steeled her nerves. The Noble Flare had faced things far more troubling than the fear of rejection. She was here. There was no other logical action but to follow through with her plan. A true knight, a true champion, always saw things through to the end. Finding all of her bottomless courage the hippogriff finally reached out and gave a resounding knock at the apartment door, alerting whoever may be inside of her presence.

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Silver Flash was quite eager. She'd already *tried* all the groups at the local games shop, and while she kept up an appearance at one of the games ... none of them were really satisfying. All the good games already were full up! And the remaining ones were all little more than wargames, arguing about whether or not the figure on the map had partial or slight cover against this other figure for half an hour, or whether the archer should get any bonus from the wind at his back and greater height ... groansville!

But this group hadn't posted to the games shop, which was weird! They'd posted in city hall, of all places! She was lucky she'd even found it! Now *that* was intriguing, and she could only hope it boded well! She wondered if any of them would recognize her. A few weeks ago, it'd have been a definite no - what geek would possibly recognize her from any of those romances she kept playing in? Singing on and on about love and loss and stuff. And the entire theatre world knew she was 'odd' in playing these foal's games ... not to mention anyone who paid attention to the interviews she'd done ... but now that she was playing Daring Do in the next big play, nerds of all shades would probably recognize her. Well, all she could hope would be that they treated her like just anther player.

She heaved up the steps under the weight of two very, very full saddlebags, glad to finally reach the top floor. Whew! But hauling heavy stuff up stairs was a lot easier than keeping one's balance trying to carry it *down* stairs from the pegasus entrance! Her hair, striped in various soft shades of sky-blue, was pulled back into a ponytail for the night, and her white coat with its camera-flash cutie mark was partly obscured by the saddle bags, marked with the same image. An alfalfa pizza with a "The Abyss" sized cup of soda was balanced on her back between them. Gotta make a good first impression! She started counting apartment door numbers... oh hey! There was already someone here! And it was a hippogriff!

"Hi!" Silver Flash cried excitedly. "You ready for a fun-filled and exciting night of protecting the weak and innocent from the foul evils of superstitious and cowardly crooks?"

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His parents made him go.

Well, not really, but they encouraged it. "You spend too much time in your studio" they keep saying. Well a job's a job, right? He had spotted the advertisement and brought it home with him, thinking about it. Tabletop games? Pen&Paper group? Well, it did sound like fun... and it might be a good way to meet a few new friends at least. He only had a few ponies he could say he was acquainted with, though that was mostly due to his workaholic attitude toward his comics.

Either way, Sketch did find it interesting at the very least. He had never tried anything like this before, but he was always intrigued by it. Even better was he lived only a few blocks away! Locking his studio door behind him, he supposed he could work on the next Rex Stallion strip later. He still had time to finish it. Who knows? Maybe this 'tabletop' thing will give him some ideas for future issues!

Down the street he walked until he found the apartment noted on the advert. The paper floating in front of him, he kept double taking at the door. He was nervous. These ponies were likely going to be complete strangers! And he was new at this! What if he slowed the game down? What if he was just plain terrible at it? Eventually he swallowed his worry and ventured inside. Up some stair, stairs, stairs and more stairs, he finally reached where he was supposed to go, door number and all. Taking a deep breath, he opened the door and poked his head inside. It seems there were others already here! Was he late? He hoped not... Stepping inside, he closed the door behind him, keeping his distance for now. "Uh... I-Is this the uh... Pen and Paper thing...?"

Of course part of him knew this was just nerves. This wasn't going to be so bad... These ponies... or ponies and hippogriff rather, seemed like decent folk. For now, he awaited an answer to his great and powerful question, and hoped to Celestia he didn't just waltz into the wrong apartment. Oh goodness, that would devastate him.

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It was a lifestyle change for Sugar Rush. All things were going great. Rush and his twin brother Crash had settled and bought a plot of land on Gallaopocous Island, an area that would prove great for the growing and harvesting of sugar cane and sugar beets. They were currently non-regrettably in debt, but that was ok, because they had both found out what they were to do. Grow sugar. Lots of sugar. And even in the early stages, selling sugar was proving to be one of the most lucrative business in all of Equestria. Who would have thought?

But, with new lifestyle changes, comes a series of farewells and good-byes. Which was sad, but also fortunate at the same time. For if the commencement had never came upon Sugar Rush and his brother, they would have never found their calling, their purpose, not to mention their cutie marks. They were regular earth ponies kicked out of their nests by their parents. 'Time to be a grown pony now' they said, not really giving more information on where to go, or what to do. Was it fate that brought the brothers to their current status? Or was their landing a stroke of evil luck that mother Equestria granted the two green pony twins.

Regardless, Sugar Rush needed to do some traveling before he got his hooves deep into the fertile tropical soil. He needed to travel to where his folks ended up, in Manehatten, to visit them and share the good news. Unfortunately, his brother could not go with him. He would have to visit another time when Rush was able to watch the farm. A trip to Manehatten was not a short trek.

And here he was, the big city. Sugar had never been here before, and it excited him. Being a strong independent farm pony, the lack of wide open ranges took some getting used to. However, the hustle and bustle of the city was up to Sugar Rush's speed. It a few strange ways, Manehatten was more of a home than any farmland ever had been to him before. Being able to talk to somepony different every 5 seconds--it was like a social pony's dream come true.

Until of course, the ponies you're talking to lift their noses at you and ignore you. A rogue? I'm not a rogue. My name is Rush. Two rushes weren't friends with each other, apparently. He just wore his huge smile like he always did. And even then, it was only an hour with his folks, his relatives that brought him up, before they shooed him away for the night. Certainly, he wasn't talking to much, they were just tired. Yeah. Too tired to stay up, my folks love me. Sugar seemed to notice that though the rumors were true that the city never sleeps. it didn't mean that the ponies themselves didn't. There was plenty of slumber to be had. Either that, or Sugar Rush's folks found him annoying. Nah, can't be that.

So Sugar had to do something with his extra time in Manehatten. He was here in town visiting for a while, he might as well make some small evening traditions. Maybe even make some new friends from across Equestria. A good farm pony has extensive connections with their customers right? Sugar Rush spotted a flier for a pen and paper role play game. Sugar Rush held his already cheesy grin even wider. "Role play? Well that just sounds like an amazing good fun time, don' it?" Sugar Rush interjected at a random pony who had the unfortunate luck to be in Sugar Rush's attention radius at the moment of his reading. They would just walk away. "Yeah, I know, it's a good idea!"

Sugar Rush sped to the location of the get together. He wasn't really sure what to expect, but he figured it would be fun if rolling and playing had something to do with it. He was about to knock when he realized he was hours ahead of schedule. It would be rude to come this early, he thought. So he went back to his hotel room that his folks made him get during his stay. He grabbed a bunch of sugar cane he brought from Gallopocous and packed it in a saddlebag. Maybe he could share with his new rolling buddies the sweetness of a reed of cane. As he headed back to the role play location, he chewed on a piece of sugar cane, smiling gleefully while he did it. Life was good. The sugar cane was sweet, he was about to meet new friends, the city had just the right energy level for him, and best of all, he was about to do an activity in which... Wait. What are we doing again? Sugar Rush couldn't remember what it even was. He just knew that it sounded like fun.

Sugar Rush busted into the door, the other four already in attendance. "Hay guys! HimynameisSugarRushwhatsyours? Sowere'playingagame ofsomesort? Ilovegames!Especiallytheoneswhereyouwincandy. Candyhassugarinit,andIlovesugar. DidIalreadytellyoumynameisSugarRush? YoucancalledmeSugarorRushorSugarRush. Anyponywantssomesugarcane?" Sugar Rush spotted the hippogriff and gasped. "Ohmygosh,ahippogriff? I'venevermetahippogriffbefore. What'syourname? MynameisSugarRush. Ohwait!Isaidthatalready." Sugar Rush sat down in a chair aroud a table and started bouncing up and down involuntarily. "Sowhatdowedofirst?What? Whatdowedofirst? Huh?Huh?Huh?Huh?"


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Much to Drifting Veil's surprise, after several minutes of waiting and wondering if anypony was going to show up, all of the sudden his apartment was full of visitors. He had barely opened the door after a first hesitant knock, and not only three ponies but also a Hippogriff pushed inside, filling up the small corridor leading into the main room. The light grey stallion gulped heavily. Actually, he wasn't a stranger to that kind of situation, but it was the first time it happened in such a private environment.

The unicorn had grown up in Germaney, and spend a lot of his life organizing plays in local theatres. And every time a new troupe came into town, and every time they put together a new play with the community, there was that fateful first meeting of the crew, ponies who had never met in their lives in many cases. And usually, he had functioned as the... catalyst, so to speak, to get them all together, and function as a team. However, two very important details were quite different here. First of all, this was the first time he was in charge, and second, he had never seen a Hippogriff up close before.

He know of course that the existed. Of course. He had read about them. He had even seen some of them in the sky during his time in the big city. But to a small town colt like him, they never stopped being a novelty. Nonetheless he smiled, if a little nervously.

"W-welcome!" He exclaimed a little more loudly then was really necessary, then continued: "Yes, you are at ze right place. Please, come in, and make yourself comfortable." He pointed behind him to the combined kitchen and living room, which featured a table and comfortable seats, aside from a ridiculous amount of paper and snacks.

Giving the excited, yellow earth pony a quick, slightly strained look, he continued with a smile: "P-please slow down a little. I can barely understand a word zat you are saying..." He nodded to the other two ponies, and noticed, with a certain amount of concern, the more then full saddle bags on the back of the pegasus. He hoped sincerely that she wasn't one of those ponies. Not that the light grey unicorn couldn't handle that, but he would have to keep an eye on that, certainly.

He sighed, then broke into a wide grin: "I should introduce myself. The name is Drifting Veil, I'm a stage designer hailing from Germaney, and I put up ze ad in city hall." Then, after a little giggle, he said something his old dungeon master had said the first time he had met him: "I believe you will find me to be a stern but fair dungeon master."

Looking into the round, he took a moment to get a closer look at the white unicorn stallion, who had melded into the background a little, which he could be forgiven for, considering the excitably earth pony's explosive personality. He gave him a short nod, then looked to his right, only to see the sharp beak and brown feathering of the Hippogriff in his home.

"Would you like to go next....?" Drifting Veil smiled encouragingly and then, looking at the creature. And after a moment's hesitation, he ventured a guess: "...Miss?"

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"Hi! You ready for a fun-filled and exciting night of protecting the weak and innocent from the foul evils of superstitious and cowardly crooks?"

A pegasus mare arrived promptly after Vivid did, saying these words with clear enthusiasm. Even in the her coat and with her mane drawn back, she didn't really look like the sort Vivd would expect to be drawn to this kind of game. All the same, she carried herself and spoke like the most fervent of fans. It was kind of alarming. The words she spoke made her chuckle though. Those were the sorts of things the Noble Flare did nightly! This was just a game. She wasn't really expecting much from it.

"Hmm? We'll have to see..." she said in a low, furtive manner right as the door was opened and they were shown in.

Two more ponies arrived shortly after that. The first was a stallion who looked more like the sort she'd expect to show up to this kind of thing. He wore glasses and spoke rather nervously. His words also seemed to indicate he was new to the game, however. The last to arrive was... interesting. This stallion was, excitable. Vivid couldn't tell if the excitement was for the game or just a natural trait for this pony, but it was certainly alarming. She just stared as the words spilled out of him endlessly, completely stunned. She honestly hoped he wasn't going to stay like this...

Once everyone was inside and gathered together, the host proceeded to give his introduction. Vivid studied this final pony. Like the other unicorn stallion, he also looks like the sort Vivid might have associated with this sort of event. He proceeded to tell how he was from Germaney, and Vivid did pick up on a slight accent that proved it. Apparently he designed stages for theaters or something. Vivid didn't know much about the arts (aside from her mother's art of metal working), so this didn't really mean much to her. She had honestly thought all stages had pretty much the same design: flat and open, so the ponies could stand atop them. He also said he was going to be the "Dungeon Master". Vivid didn't quite know what this meant either.

"Would you like to go next....? Miss?"

When the pony turned to her to speak, she gave a nod and looked at the group. "Vivid. Vivid Flair. Research engineer attached to NSI's Manehattan lab," she said terse and reticent as one might expect from a mare ever guarding a secret identity.

"Your game has me curious, but I'll freely admit now I'm entirely unfamiliar with the procedural protocol," she finished brusquely before giving another nod to indicate that was the extent of the introduction she was going to give. Her eyes went to the other mare, who had arrived immediately after her; logic dictated she was next to give her introduction.

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Silver Flash was surprised ... folks *never* showed up all on time like this! This was a good omen! Though ...

"Wow, there," she said to Sugar Rush, clasping a hoof onto his shoulder. "You need to take some of that energy and enthusiasm and lend it to these other two! Not sure exactly what you just said, I'm afraid, you'll have to cool it down!"

She strode inside and slide the Big Gulp off onto one end of the table, and the alfalfa pizza off to the middle of it, then hefted her heavy bags off onto the floor with a sigh of relief. "Hi! Nice to meet you, everypony! I'm Silver Flash, I ... work in theatre, and I'm really looking forward to this game! :)" She nosed into her saddle bags and started to pull out books - the Player Guidebook, the Game Editor's Guidebook, the Beastie Book, all the splat books for all the various races and classes, the Terrific Tome of Taking Names, the Mentalist Expansion, all of the region books... plus, folders full of character sheets and record sheets and inventory sheets and spell sheets... "I've got some great ideas for characters, and don't worry! I can help anypony who's not used to the game, I've been playing for *years*! Do you allow custom spells and feats?"

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Sketch took the seat he was invited to and fixed his glasses, looking to each pony as they introduced themselves. He seemed to reel away from Sugar Rush a bit, though probably understandably so. So there was Sugar Rush, of course, and there was the mare who said she'd been playing before, Silver Flash... Then the Engineer Vivid Flair... And their Game Master, Drifting Veil! H hadn't met too many ponies from Germaney, so this was going to be interesting at least.

Uh oh, but then it was his turn! After a horrible moment of hesitation, the artist spoke up. "I'm Sketch Troy... Uh, I draw comic books here in Manehattan. I've never played a game like this before, but it seems like fun... So... Bear with the new guy?" he finished his little intro, wearing an innocent smile. Though he shouldn't be too bad off. If there was anything he was good at, it was making up characters.

Actually... What sort of characters would he be limited to? Were there certain classes he'd only be able to pick for certain things? How would stats work? How did combat work? Oh, he had so many questions... Probably best to leave it to the vet and ask Silver for assistance once the game starts to get up-and-running.

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[colour=#666600]Sugar Rush responded to the reactions to his nature very obliviously. He acted like a naturally ego-centric colt foal would. Of course, Sugar Rush was an adult now. [/colour][colour=#800080] "Yeahyeahyeah, bearwiththenewguy." [/colour][colour=#666600] Sugar Rush jumped in his seat. [/colour][colour=#800080]"I'mSugarRush, andIhaveneverroleplayedbefore. Isitlikebowling? Yaknow, whenyourolltheball allthewaydownthealley."[/colour][colour=#666600] Sugar jumped up. [/colour][colour=#800080]"STRIKE! hehehehehehehe."[/colour]

[colour=#666600]When Sugar Rush landed his hooves, he saw everyone staring at him, coughing to the side in reflection of his zany attitude. Obviously Sugar was wound up, and he knew it. But now was time for him to calm the buck down. [/colour][colour=#800080] "Oh, sorry."[/colour][colour=#666600] Sugar Rush fidgeted and twitched all of his body parts. He couldn't help but move. He strained to control his body and talk as slow as he could. [/colour][colour=#800080]"Ihave. Thisthing with sugar. I have rushes."[/colour][colour=#666600] Sugar set his saddle bag on the table and pulled out reeds of sugar cane. [/colour][colour=#800080]"Anyponywantsome? Its delicious sugar cane! Don't worry, it's safe a fresh straight from the Island of Gallopocous."[/colour]

[colour=#666600]Sugar also had a question. Her turned to Drifting, [/colour][colour=#800080]"So what does a dingy master do?"[/colour]


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With a small sigh of relief, the light grey unicorn sat down on his end of the table. He hadn't been entirely sure about the Hippogriff's gender, and thankfully, he had guessed correctly. This could have been potentially really uncomfortable. Vivid Flair, research engineer, and absolutely unfamiliar with roleplaying games. The stallion had expected that much.

Next was a white pegasus called Silver Flash, who, though not looking the part, seemed to be really into pen&paper roleplaying games. Really into pen&paper roleplaying games. This kind of worried Drifting Veil. It had been a while since he last led a game of DPM&D, and he struggled not to have his expression derail when the mare mentioned the use of "custom spells and feats". Not to mention, she had brought a pile of books dangerously close to matching his own, though fortunately, some of them seemed to be copies of the same books, which was always handy, especially when you needed to look something up. In between all of that, the unicorn stallion barely noticed that she mentioned working in theatre in a slightly odd manner.

Then there was Sketch Troy, a local comic book artist. Another blissfully unaware newcomer to the world of DPM&D. Drifting Veil sighed quietly. If he was completely honest to himself, he was kind of what he had pictures when he put up the ad. He seemed motivated enough.

Speaking of motivated, last but certainly not least, there was Sugar Rush. The grey unicorn sincerely hoped that those sugar rushes wouldn't be too frequent. He had something about him that made it difficult to stay focused. Bowling... "Not quite like zat, not like bowling. It's more like we play characters in ze fictitious past of Equestria. Maybe zat's a good place to start."

"Zis is going to be our setting." And with that, he levitated a limited edition cloth map into the centre of the table. On first glance, it resembled a map of Equestria, but upon closer examination, it became very apparent that not only many of the bigger cities were missing, but there were also far more forests on it. Most of the names were the same, though. "Imagine ze realm of Equestria, 500 years in ze past. Ze land is under ze benevolent rule of Princess Celestia, who keeps her subjects in safety from ze lands beyond ze ocean. But not all is well, because in ze north, ze gates to Tartarus haf opened, and monsters big and small haf poured into ze land, threatening zose who venture into ze wild."

"While ze royal guard tries to keep ze situation under controll, it's ze age of adventurers and treasure hunters and heroes, who seek zeir fortune in ze unknown." He motioned in direction of his newfound players. "Zat's where you come into play." He said with a chuckle. Pointing to the pile of papers and small notebooks, he continued. "I haf written a campaign for us to play. You will become figures in ze story, and I will bring ze story to live, with help of our collective imagination." He gave a worried smile. "It might sound a little weird, but it's really fun once you get ze hang of it."

Drifting Veil made a unneccessarily dramatic gesture and a couple of his books flung open and landed softly on top of the map. It opened on the character creation section. "Now, first we have to make characters for ze lot of you." He turned to Silver with a slightly worried smile. "It might seem a little, say, restrictive. But I'd prefer if we could stay with I'm already familiar with if it's all ze same to you."

And so he laid out to them the classes and races available in the core rulebook. It was more then enough to choose from for a newcomer. He began to explain them in broad strokes. There were the Clerics, holy ponies who devote their lives to the elements of harmony, drawing power from them to cause miracles. There were Warriors, fierce fighters who led their companions into battle, either protecting them with heavy armour, or cutting down foes with his weapon expertise, and Thieves, creatures of the night, who prowled in the dark to wait for the right moment to strike, and experts in dealing with locks and traps. Mighty Wizards, wielding elemental magic, or twisting their enemies senses with their will, and mysterious Druids, protectors of nature, who fend of those who threaten their woods with primal magic and animal companions. And of course there were Paladins, who honour one of the elements of harmony above all others, and fight for those who can't fight for themselves, and the Rangers, expert hunters and scouts, who knew how to move through the wild unnoticed and skilled in ranged weaponry. And last, the secretive Hex Blades, who used weapons and magic granted to them by otherworldly powers.

"Keep in mind zat your class limits your race selection, but we should agree on ze classes first." He clapped his fronthooves together. "While you look for something that interests you, would someone like some lemonade? I made it myself.." he used his magic to float a big glass container filled with yellow liquid, which was, judging by the glinting crystals on the bottom, was positively saturated with sugar. He poured several glasses preemptively, not even waiting for an answer, then sat back down, awaiting whatever question might come up.

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Vivid nodded in turn as each of the other players gave their introductions. Silver Star went first revealing herself to be experienced in the game and, like Drifting Veil, having a job in theatre. Following her was Sketch Troy, a comic artist who, like Vivid herself, was new to the game. Finally there was the overexcited stallion aptly named Sugar Rush, who seemed more lost than anyone as his speech pattern fluctuated and he pulled out some sugar cane. An interesting group to say the least.

Drifting Veil proceeded to then explain the basics of the game. By her stark, serious demeanor and scientifically oriented career one might assume that Vivid was lacking in the sort of imagination needed for this kind of game. This was anything but the truth, however. No, the hippogriff mare's mind was actually more actively engaged in the fantastic than most ponies you'd find. Fueled by the riveting tales her Destrier father divulged to her as a youth, her mind was practically fueled on high adventure. Her choice to dress up as the Noble Flare by night and fly from rooftop to rooftop as Manehattan's White Knight was her personal way of living it all out.

While Vivid did still have doubts about this game being interesting, the basic ideas appealed to her. Valiant heroes engaged in fierce battle with the fiends of Tartarus to decide the destiny of Equestria? Hearing about it did make her somewhat eager and interested. She gave a few steady nods as Drifting Veil laid out the rule book. She didn't need to look at it. Her mind was already set.

"Hm. Amusing," she said, still trying to actively restrain some of her excitement. "I shall play the part of a valiant and honorable knight! A proud griffonness intent to bring justice to her adopted homeland on the back of her unswerving blade!" she eventually declared, rather boldly.

Wondering if she hadn't said something kind of silly, Vivid quickly grabbed a glass of lemonade as a distractor. "My thanks," she said before drinking some of it. She pulled back slightly. Gah, this stuff was sweet...

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Silver Flash smiled silently to herself. No one seemed to have recognized her name - news of her being the lead in the first ever Daring Do play hadn't gotten to these others, yet. Good, then it'd just be about the game, and adventure.

"Awww," she sighed. "No custom feats? Ah well. Maybe once we've gotten into it a bit, you'll change your mind." The great beauty of stage and song gave him a wink and a stunning smile, then turned back to the table. "Right, then," she said, and nodded to Vivid. "We've got the warrior of the group! Now, a standard, balanced adventure group includes the knowledgeable caster, the clever rogue, and the wise adherent to the elements of harmony. I'm amenable to being the rogue - I have a great idea for using some of the feats from the Trickster book to shift the tide of battle, plus I'm rather knowledgable..." she giave a little smirk, "With the techniques of getting past traps in ancient tombs. But I'm willing to play any of the others, too! I've played them all, and the new folks should get a chance to play the ones that inspire them!"

She took a deep drink of the lemonade before her, let out an 'aahhhhh' in appreciation of it being just as sweet as she liked it, then proceeded to start emptying out the *other* saddlebag of all its books - Hidden Arcana, Holts and Homes, Planes of Power, all four volumes of the Tome Magicka, the Trapfinder's Handbook, all six Elemental Splatbooks, the Diary of Elm Riser the Wizard, the Wilderness Wildebook, and many other slender gamebooks, finishing it up with a nice big dice bag that had a lovely clacky noise as it jostled onto the table. She dragged her "The Abyss" uber-cup of soda over next to her, and popped open the pizza box for a slice of the alfalfa pizza. "I hope non-ponies like alfalfa too!" she said, "Sorry, I didn't realize you would be here!"

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The more he listened to their Master lay out the setting, the more excited he seemed to get. He could so come up with an awesome character for this! In fact having restricted classes would narrow down his ideas, which were flooding into his head. A dashing rogue, hiding in the shadows? A strong knight, giving a hardy laugh in the face of danger? The wise wizard, holding the power of Gods in his hooves? So many interesting possibilities... But he also had to remember, he was new at this! Even if he came up with a character he thought was neat, it might end up being a pain to play! He still had to get used to all the rules and how each class worked and such. He was tempted to ask which one would be suitable for a beginner... buuuut... He kept the question to himself.

[colour=#ffa500]"I, uhhh... I guess I'll stick with what's familiar and go with a Unicorn Wizard?"[/colour] So he had the race figured out... Now as for the class... he saw immediately what he wanted to be. [colour=#ffa500]"I think I'll take the Warpriest! That sounds pretty cool!"[/colour] he seemed to be getting more and more excited about the game as the character was fleshed out before him... he even started coming up with a back-story for him warpriest! How exciting! A smile finally appeared on the artist's face as ideas churned in his noggin.

But, soon he cleared his throat, realizing he should probably ask how to proceed from there before jumping too far into his machinations. [colour=#ffa500]"Anyway, yeah... Unicorn Warpriest... What do I do now...?"[/colour]

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  • 2 weeks later...


[colour=#666600]Sugar Rush had sustained himself for long enough. His body temperature lowered and his legs stopped shaking. He took a deep calm breathe as he listened to what classes of characters were in the options. [/colour][colour=#800080] "Ooo! A drude, that sounds cool! A drood, er, a druded, drewdit? Druit? Drew it!"[/colour][colour=#666600] Sugar Rush picked up a nearby pencil and drew on a blank piece of paper his random out loud thoughts. He wrote a few scribbles and dropped the pencil [/colour][colour=#800080]"There! I drew it!"[/colour]


[colour=#666600]Sugar didn't know what he was doing. He wasn't sure if making a random drawing was part of process. But at least he knew what he wanted. He wanted to be a druid. [/colour][colour=#800080] "Aw, lemonade. Awesome!"[/colour][colour=#666600] Sugar grabbed a glass and set it on his side of the table. Then he grabbed out of his saddlebag a large jar that said 'sugar' on it. He then started putting extra sugar into his glass of lemonade by the spoonfuls. As he scooped spoonful after spoonful, he carefully studied the books that Drifting had set out. He really didn't know what he was doing, but he figured if he applied himself a little at first he would get it eventually. You have to start somewhere!

After about eight spoonfuls of extra sugar dumped into the glass, Sugar closed the jar and put in back in his bag. He leaned forward to sip his sugary drink. But before his lips could touch the straw, he saw a box of pizza flip open. [/colour][colour=#800080]"Pizza!? Awesome!"[/colour][colour=#666600] Sugar Rush leaned over the entirety of the table and grabbed a slice. Pulling it back to his side, he left melted cheese that strung the distance between him and the pizza box. He chewed happily on his slice without using his hooves.[/colour]


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Silver Flash frowned in a thoughtful manner. [colour=#808080]"Hrmmmmm... two harmonic spellcasters, no arcane spellcaster or rogue yet ... though if the cleric takes the magic sphere, then there can be a bit of arcane casting through items ... "[/colour] She sighs, tapping her hoof on the table, then her face brightens. [colour=#808080]"Ah, of course! The Crafty Rogue! I'll take a rogue, pump up the Use Magic Item skill, and when I'm high enough, I'll grab the Master Craftsman feat so I can build stuff for us all! Then I can still use all the battle techniques I was wanting to try out ... but straight up rogue or a rogue/fighter multiclass? Those extra feats would be handy ... Are we using standard multiclassing, or gestalt standard 2 multiclassing? Course, if we're using gestalt, I'll be falling behind everyone else cause of my slower hit-dice progression, but I think I can handle that ..."[/colour]

Without waiting for an answer, Silver Flash opened up a folder to reveal character sheets - sliding one over to Vivid, another to Sketch, yet another to Sugar Rush. She leaned towards Sketch, who'd asked the question. Since she seemed to be the only other experienced player here, might as well take a little heat off of the gamemaster! [colour=#808080]"You need to figure out who they are - here, first put Unicorn there ... and Cleric, right there ..." [/colour]she said to Sketch. [colour=#808080] "'Cleric' is your class, and "Unicorn' is your race ... you're not *technically* a unicorn wizard, cause wizard is another class. You can specialize later into some prestige classes if you want to go the whole warpriest route, but this is like prepwork for that. Right, now, there's six different spheres for clerics ... you need to pick two of them. Honesty, Loyalty, Kindness, Laughter, Generosity, and Magic. Kindness has all the healing spells, so I'd really suggest taking that, cuz it'll really help ... and if you wanna go a warpriest route, then there's always the need for healers on the front lines. Other than that, you might wanna go magic - cause that'll get you a little bit of that 'wizard' oomph that you kinda implied you wanted. If you do that you can use magic items as if you were a wizard half your caster level, and a feat later which bumps iot up to same caster level as your cleric, which is *way* useful!"[/colour]

She paused for breath ... [colour=#808080]"But really, um ... that's all just numbers and labels. What you *really* need to figure out, first, *who* your cleric is. Cause these choices depend on that. *Why* is he a cleric? Was he poor or rich, growing up? What led him to the monastary? Who were his parents? And, of course, you need to come up with a cutie mark story for him. The character determines the numbers... so you can't put down any numbers till you figure out who you're making."[/colour] She grins broadly.

[colour=#808080]"For instance... my Rogue is ... hmmm... Snicker Snack the Tinkerer! Born to a family of pegasus smiths who worked on maintaining the magic weather machinery, she was expected to take up the family business ... but as much as she loved working on magical devices, she just didn't find it fascinating enough ..." [/colour] Silver Flash's imagination started seizing hold of the idea, fleshing it out, bringing together the pieces in her head ...


The young Snicker Snack was nestled in under the cloud generator - her small size letting her slip in where a more skilled adult wouldn't be able to, letting her repair the device in situ, meaning less downtime for the busy pegasi of the Cloud Factory. As much as everyone was counting on her, it just seemed ... blah, to her. There was so much that could be done with her skills, but she was looking forward at an eternity of just fixing the same machine over and over and over again! Like, at LEAST five years! That was worse than eternity! That was FOREVER! The oil dripped from the machine onto her oversized goggles, dribbling off onto her dark purple, almost-black cheek, and into the red and orange streaked of her mane, but she didn't care.

Why did this engine keep breaking, anyway? All these little cogs just kept disappearing ... except there was still half-a-cog here. It looked like something had taken a bite of the other half, but that was just silly-

A quiet scampering noise caught Snicker Snack's attention, and she froze in terror, her imagination running rampant with her. What could eat metal? She squeaked and tried to wriggle out, but it was hard going - it was a snug fit, which was why she was the one in here. It was a monster! some sorta ... something that'd eat her, and they'd never find out what happened to her!

A lizard scampered up into her line of site, carrying a cog in its little front hands, standing on the clouds as if the clouds were solid. Awwwww, he was cute! [colour=#a52a2a]"Hey there, little guy,"[/colour] Snicker Snack said in relief. It wasn't scary at all! The lizard opened up its jaws wide, showing big old sharp teeth, and bit the cog in half in one bite, swallowing in an instant. Then it hissed, and wings flapped out between its front and hind legs, and fins sprayed to either side of its head, the flying lizard looking three times as big as it had before, and infinitely scarier to the little foal.

[colour=#a52a2a]"AAHHHHH!"[/colour] cried Snicker Snack, terrified, and instinctively swung her wrench at the little beast! To her surprise, it connected! She beat at the little bitty lizard time and time again, till it was battered and unconscious, then grabbed the battered lizard and wriggled and wriggled till she got out from under the cloud engine, panting heavily, her eyes wide and terrified. She dropped it to the clouds, and the unconscious lizard looked ... a LOT smaller than she thought it had been when it was only a couple feet from her trapped face.

[colour=#0000cd]"Snicker!"[/colour] cried her mother, and she looked to her mother, wondering what was wrong, but her mother was smiling, and so was her father, and she followed her gaze to her flank, where the previously blank flank was instead marked with a wrench with the sun behind it.

Snicker was panting, her heart was racing, and she was feeling jumpy and scared .... but she felt ALIVE, and that had been EXCITING! She wanted more excitement!


[colour=#808080]"And that's how Snicker Snack got her cutie mark!"[/colour] Silver Flash exclaimed excitedly, standing on her chair and brandishing a rulebook in one front hoof, which she had been using for the wrench in her rendition of Snicker Snack's tale. She realized what she was doing and grinned sheepishly, sitting down again. [colour=#808080] "And so after that, she started researching about far-away lands and creatures, and making new and interesting devices that would let her explore them!"[/colour]

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Drifting Veil had been sitting there and listened in awe as white pegasus mare just rattled down a fairly comprehensive backstory for her own character, wondering if she had made it up on the spot, or planned it beforehoof. He had to quietly gulp when she mentioned advanced item creation feats. Magical artefacts were one of those things you needed to be careful with, especially as a dungeon master. But he decided not to mention anything. The way she talked, she knew what she was doing, and keeping an eye on it should be enough. One thing he had to interject, though, was: [colour=#00ff00]"Yes, I vanted to go by Gestalt rules. They make multiclassing less of a neigh-brainer."[/colour] He chuckled.

Well, Sketch seemed to be in good hoofs, so the light grey stallion shifted his attention to Vivid Flair and Sugar Rush, who were probably a little overwhelmed by the sheer amount of data in front of them. He first turned his attention to the Hippogriff mare, who already had a surprisingly concise idea of what she wanted to play. But it already came with one problem out of the gate. And he was a little weary to actually address it, but it couldn't be helped. He cleared his throat.

[colour=#00ff00]"Now, Miss Vivid Flair, from what you describe, I zink a fighter would be best suited as class. Zey are honourable warriors following zeir own values and principles."[/colour] He gulped heavily, levitating one of core books to the mare and opening it on the section on fighters. [colour=#00ff00]"As far as Hippogriffs go, I'm afraid ze book hasn't been written wiz.. uhh... your kind in mind. Ve could of course take ze bulkier of ze two pegasus races and just say you are a Hippogriff for the purpose of roleplay and interaction.. "[/colour] His voice trailed off. It was remarkably difficult for him to interpret her expression. And her talons were remarkably sharp. She made him a little nervous, in fact. [colour=#00ff00]"If zat's alright wiz you.. I zink you already have a great idea of what your character's background story should be like."[/colour] He continued, hoping not to have to deal with too many questions on the 'race issue' (and even more hoping that Silver Flash just didn't have the rules available to play monster races as characters). [colour=#00ff00]"Flesh it out a little more, maybe take some quick notes, and zink up what your characters goals are. And of course you need a name, too."[/colour]

He turned to Sugar Rush, he was still just as unsteady as before. But he had taken to the books, and was figuratively devouring the section on druids. Though, seeing how he was devouring his slice of pizza at the same time, the light grew stallion was a little concerned about his books already.

[colour=#00ff00]"Ah, I see you found ze right section already." [/colour]He grinned. [colour=#00ff00]"Vell, you fill find zat you have ze choice between a forest unicorn and a zebra as far as races go. Zat choice should be reflected in your background story. Vat I said to Vivid applies to you as well. If you haf any questions about forest unicorns or zebras, feel free to ask."[/colour]

He leaned back, looking into his own notes. Then he remembered something. [colour=#00ff00]"Oh, and zat applies to all of you, ze campaign starts in ze Heartland. Make sure you know how and why your character is zere."[/colour]

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Vivid listened as the conversation continued on, each of the ponies deciding upon their class. Sketch wanted to be a wizard or priest or some manner of combination, it seemed, while Sugar Rush chose the part of a druid. Silver Flash evidently was to be a rogue, Vivid could discern from the mess of words that came from here. She was partly confused, but the story of Snicker Snack at the least was compelling to hear. Her excitement was readily building as they talked more about their own characters. One little thing stuck out to her in it all, however, and it wasn't the subject of species.

[colour=#333300]"'Fighter' is hardly a title of distinction. Any common brute or knave can be called a fighter! No, I am a bold and fearless knight: instilled with the greatest of noble virtues, my life is in service to my Princess! With my mighty blade--fueled by the true blazing embers of justice, honor, valor and resolve--at the ready, I ride into battle intent to let loose the righteous fury of my liege upon any who dare to call themselves her enemies! I am a humble servant of Equestria, of Celestia, and of the knightly order, living and dying by the sword at my side!" [/colour]Vivid displayed boundless enthusiasm in her speech, becoming the most animated she had been yet, even ending with a proud, knightly pose. Through it all, she was lost, completely back in her youth, hearing the exciting tales divulged to her by her father.

When the little rant had ended, the hippogriff sat back down, gave a cough and adjusted her glasses. [colour=#333300]"Ahem. I mean, er..."[/colour] she looked around, not sure how to follow her own over-zealous self for a minute. "[colour=#333300]I suppose if the procedural protocol to this game of yours is bound by semantics, what the titles are is irrelevant. The same goes for species. You can mark me down as a pegasus. I don't truly mind..." [/colour]

[colour=#333300]"But for the sake of the game's narrative, I shall be a knight and a hippogriff if this is allowed,"[/colour] she spoke giving a mild nod.

[colour=#333300]"Her name shall be Regalia Banneret. The result of an encounter between star-crossed lovers, her mother Gwendolyn was a griffon princess, renowned across the land for her beauty and charm; her father was Silver Lance, a simple yet impassioned pegasus soldier hired by the griffon kingdom as a mercenary. Upon Regalia's birth, the griffon king was most displeased to learn the truth; the mercenary pegasus was executed for his transgressions upon the princess' virtue, while the princess herself was exiled from the kingdom along with her new born daughter, never allowed to return again,"[/colour] Vivid begun her story in earnest almost immediately, leaning back on a character from schoolyard fantasies for inspiration.

[colour=#333300]"As the two made it to Equestria, they quickly fell upon hard times. They were strangers, outcasts, in a new and foreign land, with nothing to their names and nopony who knew them. Gwendolyn tried her best to support her daughter, but opportunities for the exiled princess were few. Eventually the pair ended up in Canterlot, sure that proximity to the Equestrian Princess would bring refuge. Things began to turn around; Gwendolyn, with her exotic charm, made ends meet as a street dancer. That was until she happened to capture the attention of the Baron Imperious, a vile and unscrupulous unicorn..."[/colour]


[colour=#00cccc]"You'll give me back my mother at once!" [/colour]the young Regalia boldly called as she stared down a burly pegasus in full armor guarding the gates of Manor Imperious. Her mother had been taken from her and it was into the Baron's slimy hooves that the trail lead. She was small, she was young and she was hopeless, but for her mother she was determined to overcome the odds.

[colour=#0000ff]"Or what?"[/colour] the guard challenged, giving a resounding laugh. "[colour=#0000ff]That your mother should catch the eye of a stallion of such fine taste as the Baron, you should be proud!"[/colour] The guard smiled. [colour=#0000ff]"He'll take good care of her, you can count on it!"[/colour]

Regalia growled and then jumped upward, scratching the guard deep across where his helmet exposed his face. [colour=#00cccc]"You'll not speak of my mother thusly! Your Baron shall release her at once!" [/colour]

[colour=#0000ff]"You detestable little urchin!"[/colour] the stallion shouted, raising his armored hoof in anger, preparing to slam it into the defenseless filly. Vivid tried to fall back, but the hoof moved fast. She closed her eyes as she became increasingly certain the armored hoof would meet her. Instead all that came was the sound of clanging steel.

[colour=#800080]"Is this the sort of stallion the good Baron employs? One who would do harm to a defenseless child?"[/colour] a strong, confident voice sounded nearby. Regalia opened her eyes to find standing at her side a debonair pegasus stallion in white armor, brandishing a sterling sword.

[colour=#0000ff]"Don't interfere, knight! This isn't your battle!"[/colour] the guard said, gritting his teeth.

[colour=#800080]"That you would call this a battle reveals your character,"[/colour] the knightly pegasus retorted, prompting the guard to charge at him. The knight effortlessly unbalanced him and tossed him aside with his sword before smashing it into the back of his helmet knocking the stallion out.

[colour=#00cccc]"Thank you, sir..."[/colour] Regalia said, stunned as she stepped forward. [colour=#00cccc]"But..."[/colour]

[colour=#800080]"You have business with the Baron,"[/colour] he started knowingly with a nod.

[colour=#00cccc]"He kidnapped my mother," [/colour]she said in a low voice.

[colour=#800080]"Then my sword is yours,"[/colour] the knight said as he smashed the lock on the gate. [colour=#800080]"For justice and for honor, I, Sir Gallant Steel of Celestia's Knights, shall free your mother from the Baron's foul clutches! Let's waste no time!"[/colour]

Regalia remained stunned as the stallion ran ahead. Slowly a smile was formed. [colour=#00cccc]"Thank you so very much!"[/colour] she started cheerfully as she ran after him and into the manor.

More guards came to challenge Gallant, but he dispatched each of them easily, one after the other with his amazing strength and skill. Regalia was awed and inspired watching his feats. It was incredible. No one could touch him, and soon no pony was standing between him and the foul Baron Imperious himself. The two stallions faced each other down, eyes burning as they raised their swords.

[colour=#00ff00]"You have a lot of nerve invading my home, knight!"[/colour] the Baron started with a frown.

[colour=#800080]"Your foul deeds have gone unpunished long enough,"[/colour] Gallant replied. [colour=#800080]"You shall unhoof this poor child's mother and be made to pay for all your other crimes! That is the will of the Princess!"[/colour]

[colour=#00ff00]"Don't pretend to speak for Celestia! You are but a fool knight!" [/colour]Imperious called out angrily, and soon the two's swords had met.

Gallant was a masterful fighter, but the Baron was well learnt in the art of swordplay, having the best training money could buy. As Regalia watched, hidden nearby, the fight between the pegasus and the unicorn quickly seemed to reach a deadlock. The hippogriff wasn't sure what would happen, when suddenly Imperious' blade was thrown back by the knight who drew closer to the kneeling Baron. Regalia was sure he had won, when suddenly, using his magic, Imperious pulled a dagger from under his coat using his magic and stabbed it into an opening in the front of Gallant's plate armor, wounding him. The deceitful Baron then seized the opportunity and lunged at his opponent, throwing him forcefully back, his sword escaping his grip and flying toward Regalia.

As it landed at her hooves with a clang, she knew what she had to do. She didn't wait and instant. Grabbing the heavy sword in her talons, she took to her wings and left her hiding spot. She soared right at the foul Baron, catching him off guard. Imperious hadn't time to defend himself from the blow that came, and it was enough to bring him down. As Regalia stood proud over what she, at such a young age had accomplished, she smiled. Upon her flank an upright broadsword emanating the whitest of light did appear.

[colour=#800080]"A knightly feat and a knightly mark," [/colour]a voice came. Regalia turned to find that Gallant, despite his wounds, had regained himself. "[colour=#800080]What is your name, young one? Tell me?"[/colour]

[colour=#00cccc]"Regalia Banneret,"[/colour] the young hippogriff started, beaming brightly.

[colour=#800080]"Well, Regalia,"[/colour] the knight said nodding, [colour=#800080]"I do believe you would make the finest squire."[/colour]


[colour=#333300]"Following that, she was tearfully reunited with her mother. With her mother's permission, she took the knight's offer of course, and became a squire in service to the knightly order. Many years passed and in time she was a celebrated knight of Equestria, traveling the lands with sword at her side, ever following the call of justice! She is sword to protect, Equestria, the princess and all good and innocent ponies everywhere!" [/colour]Vivid concluded her long story with enthusiasm. She stared out at the others, realizing how long she had been talking. She was wondering if she was over doing this. Though considering she was a mare who routinely dressed up in a mask and costume to protect her city, she probably wasn't the best at judging when things went a little over the top.

((ooc: wow, this post was seriously long... :P Sorry... might have been a little excessive in portraying Vivid's excessiveness... :D))

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Sketch was pretty good at coming up with backgrounds for characters. It was the most exciting part, after all! As for his little cleric... Maybe he'd go with a 'rags to enlightenment' sort of story. That's always nice, right?[colour=#ff8c00] "I think my cleric will be called Solumn Vow, of The Order of the Sun. A healer, primarily, though he wasn't always like that. As a colt, he was down on his luck, his family forced to panhandle and try to fend for themselves, and he had always been a bit bitter about his situation-"[/colour]


He was embarrassed. Utterly embarrassed and enraged. His family, forced to beg and live off the streets. Disgraceful! He looked around him at all the others. They knew wealth, be it little or small, and so few of them were willing to share it. He was no good at stealing, he had tried! He felt sick trying to beg, so he was no good at that either. All he could do was smolder and resent.

A small white unicorn sat on the street corner in his potato sack shirt, his manged golden mane unkempt and filthy, like the rest of his coat and tail. His eyes stared from under a mess of locks, amber locks a 'bright as a rising dawn', as his mother always said. While his parents were optimistic about their situation, he couldn't stand it. He hated being poor, looked down upon, mocked, pitied... He was told that one day they will have a fine living, and they can live happily, but he knows how it is. All the greed... No pony will give alms, no pony will hire a dirty bum off the street... Was this to be his fate?

[colour=#daa520]"No! ENOUGH!"[/colour] he cried out one day, overcome with grief and anger. Only a few paused to consider his outburst, but went on about their business as usual. He went on anyway. The world had wronged him, and he was going to make sure everypony knew it, darn it! [colour=#daa520]"Am I not worthy?! Am I so useless because of my status?! Nay! You are all fools! Biggots! You who cannot see past class and wealth! You know nothing of life, only work! Only money!"[/colour] The only one who had bothered to listen to the whole thing happened to be a priest, donned in a clean white robe with various designs and symbols, a sun staff strapped to his back. He just sat there, smiling and listening. When Solumn seemed to be finished, the old uniform spoke up. [colour=#808080]"So much hate for one so small... Yet I feel you don't truly know what it is you are angry at".[/colour] Solumn too offense to this, scoffing at the old minister. [colour=#808080]"PAH! My family must live off charity, and these ponies both refuse to give such charity, AND refuse to see just how wrong it is! No pony should have to live like this!"[/colour]

"But as you said before, little one, all they care for is money. Tell me... Is that so different from yourself? Demanding to know why they will not share their wealth with the misfortunate?"

[colour=#daa520]"You... You DARE compare their situation to mine?! I have nothing!"[/colour]

The priest only seemed to smile more, shaking his head. [colour=#808080]"No, child, you have something. One could say you have everything" [/colour]The young unicorn was baffled by this. What a foolish thing to say! But the priest went on.[colour=#808080] " Possessions are fleeting. Wealth corrupts. Employment distracts. To have everything, one could say, is to have nothing. Yet to have nothing is to have everything. For you have life, child. Life and spirit. Regardless of how bad things may seem, regardless of those who see you as lesser, you must know in your heart that you are greater. You are free of possessions, free of distraction, and free of corruption. You, child, have everything. With faith, you can live happily..."[/colour]

[colour=#daa520]"Faith...?"[/colour] He did desire happiness... And there was sense to what this old stallion was saying.[colour=#808080] "Yes, faith. Every day is a blessing to everypony, big and small, rich and poor. Faith can build, and faith can destroy. We are asked to be kind, we are asked to be generous, and we are asked to bring good will." [/colour]Suddenly, a noseboop! This caught Solumn off-guard, and actually made him giggle. This stranger had given him something nopony every had before with his strange words. Hope! He realized that he should appreciate what he has, and not lament over what he doesn't have. He should not ask others to give to him, but he should seek to give himself to others. Generosity and kindness was a two way street. It had been a short time after the cleric had left that he came to this realization, and that earned him his cutie mark! It was the outline of a rising sun over a small hill, reminding him that every day was bright and glorious, no matter how big or how small the obstacle.


[colour=#ff8c00]"A few years down the road, he joined the clergy. As a member of The Order of the Sun, he hoped to spread joy and hope to others, as well as teach ponies to be kind to one another, much like that old stallion did for him when he was young."[/colour] A solid story... Right? That was just off the top of his head, so there were probably minor things wrong with it, but nothing that couldn't be tweaked. This was the creation process after all!

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[colour=#666600]Sugar Rush sat there as he patiently listened to all of the background stories. It seemed like all of these ponies, and hippogriff, had come up with their stories days before they arrived. Which put Sugar Rush in a bit of a spot. However, Sugar was not totally uncomfortable when on the spotlight.

Sugar stared. And then looked up. [/colour][colour=#800080] "Oh. Is it my turn?"[/colour][colour=#666600] Sugar's ears folded back as his embarrassment along with a lack of preparation was being witnessed around the table. But of course, we would continue on as normal. [/colour][colour=#800080]"Yes. So, here's my character."[/colour][colour=#666600] Sugar lowered his head to the table and grinned evilly.


[colour=#000080]About a year ago, a forest zebra named...[/colour]


[colour=#800080]"Uh..."[/colour][colour=#666600] Sugar couldn't think of a name. So he just said the first thing that came to his mind.


[colour=#000080]Alfalfa! Yes, Alfalfa was his name. And he was the best zebra in the lands. He was so great that people came to worship him whenever he would let them. But he would get bored of this and so he would go on camping trips with his pet bird, no bluebird, no falcon, no eagle. Yes! Pet eagle. And he would ride his bird all around Equestria running errands and saving the world from bad stuff like stormy weather and broken chairs.

But when he got older and stronger, he gained the ability to wield magic. And a horn popped out of his head and he became a forest unicorn zebra, or "forest unibra" as they called it, and he was able to solve all of his normal wielding from inside his own home. But then one day, an evil snake crawled into his home and tried to bite him, but he used his magic to throw away the snake and get rid of it. All of the mares around were so thankful and he was so proud and then he got his cutie mark.

The End.[/colour]


Sugar smiled and waited for an applause, but none was to be had. And then he facehooved. [/colour][colour=#800080] "I'm sorry, I'm sorry. I forgot to tell you his cutie mark. It's a chocolate bar because he likes chocolate."[/colour][colour=#666600] Sugar smiled and waited. Still nothing. He nervously chuckled and looked around keeping his head still. [/colour][colour=#800080] "Isn't. Isn't that a g-great story? Heh heh. Heh."[/colour]


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Silver Flash's eye twitched a couple times ...[colour=#808080] "Ah ... right. That's ... a good start, Sugar Rush ... "[/colour] she said weakly. She shared a quick glance that spoke volumes with Drifting, and shifted closer over to Sugar Rush. [colour=#808080]"Tell ya what, DM! You take care of these two, they seem to have gotten the feel for things! I'll work with this guy!"[/colour]

She put her hoof lightly on Sugar Rush's shoulder. [colour=#808080]"OK, now, good story idea, but you're describing something pretty awesome, that's for higher level stuff. You're making someone who's just *starting* to adventure! What we're going to do together is make the adventures, as a group ... so you need to have someone who's just now beginning to do stuff, and not famous *yet*."[/colour]

[colour=#808080]"Additionally ... there aren't any zebracorns. You can make a zebra, or a unicorn, but not both. With a chocolate cutie mark, you should probably go with the unicorn. But if you want, you can totally have him raised by zebras, and painted up with a buncha tribal stripes! The idea of having an eagle pet is *awesome*, you should totally run with that! It can't be giant, yet, but you can make it big enough to ride, later on! That'll be a good goal and a plot hook, which is great!"[/colour]

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Drifting Veil nodded and smiled, and turned to Vivid Flair and Sketch, who indeed were ready to get to the next step, and the step that usually was a little more complicated then the matter of coming up with a background story. Now, they'd be faced with the task of condensing their character into an array of numbers and statistics.

He cleared his throat, and turned to hippogriff and unicorn. [colour=#00ff00]"So!"[/colour] He began, handing out empty character sheets [colour=#00ff00]"Zese are character sheets. We will use zem to keep track of our character's stats. I know it looks like a lot at first, but ve will go zrough it one step at a time." [/colour]He smiled friendly, even though he knew that it probably looked a little daunting to a newcomer.


[colour=#00ff00]"On ze first page, you put in basic character informations. I zink the top is mostly self explanatory, so I'll just explain ze ability scores and ze corresponding skills."[/colour] He pointed to the box below. [colour=#00ff00]"Zere are 6 ability scores, each of zem having between one and the skills associated with zem. Ze ability scores are Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom und Charisma. Zey range from 1 to 12, wiz 5 being ze average for a pony. Every point above 5 gives you a +1 bonus ven making a skill check associated to it, and -1 for each rank below 5. It also limits how many ranks in ze associated skills you can haf, and ze first zree are important for fighting wiz weapons as well. Now, since you are new to zis, ve will go wiz presets for ability scores. You have the choice between balanced scores (8;7;7;6;5;5), specialist scores (9;7;6;5;5;4) or dual specialist scores (8;8;6;5;5;4), to be distributed in whichever way you like."[/colour] He glanced over to the white pegasus mare, and added: [colour=#00ff00]"I hope zat's alright wiz you, too."[/colour]

The grey unicorn turned back to Vivid Flair and Sketch. [colour=#00ff00]"Now, vat you want to keep in mind is vat abilities are ze most relevant to your class. Vivid Flair, as a fighter, ze most important abilities are Strength, Dexterity and Constitution, since zose are important for close combat. Strength allows you to deal more damage, agility vil allow you to dodge and hit your enemies more easily, and constitution vil make you more durable and recover quicker. Now, vat you should keep in mind is zat heavier armour limits how much dexterity bonus you can haf. And even zough you can't buy plate armor at ze beginning, it's somezing to keep in mind."[/colour]

He turned to Sketch. [colour=#00ff00]"For you, Wisdom iz ze most important stat, since you need it for your priest specific actions. Other zen zat, priests usually fight in ze first row, so good combat stats are a plus."[/colour] He leaned over to Silver Flash and Sugar Rush. [colour=#00ff00]"Druid's most important ability score iz wisdom as well, and if you go wiz a forest unicorn, you get ze bow weapon feat as part of your racial bonuses, and ranged combat mostly uses dexterity."[/colour] He considered commenting on rogues and then thought better of it. Silver Flash probably already had it all figured out in her head.

[colour=#00ff00]"Anyway, next, you haf to destribute skill points. How many you get depends on your class und your intelligence modifier. Vivid Flair, since you play a figher, you get 6 points plus two times your intelligence modifier, to be destributed as you see fit. Ze class skills of ze fighter are Athletics, Diplomacy, Endurance, Heal, and Intimidate. I suggest you mark zree of zose as trained, since you get an automatic bonus of zree on checks on zem. Also, your skill rank can't be higher zen the correlated ability score, and every point above 4 costs two skill points."[/colour]

He glanced over to the pegasus and the earth pony yet again. He hadn't paid attention to them, but Silver Flash seemed experienced enough to handle Sugar Rush. [colour=#00ff00]"Sketch, you are a priest, and zerefore get 6 points plus twice your inteligence modifier. Your class skills are Arcana, Diplomacy, Endurance, Heal and History. You chose History and zree ozers of zose as trained"[/colour]

The class skills for Rouges are Acrobatics, Arcana, Athletics, Craft, Diplomacy, Intimidate, Perception, Stealth, Streetwise and Thievery. You get to choose Stealth, Thievery and 4 others as trained. You get 12 points plus twice your intelligence modifier.

The class skills for Druids are Arcana, Atheletics, Diplomacy, Endurance, Heal, History, Nature, Perception. You get Nature plus 3 others as trained. You get 8 plus your intelligence modifier.


[colour=#00ff00]"Now, ze second page mostly consists out of values zat are determined by your ability scores, and later your weapons and armor, and your special powers. Your initiative iz five plus your Dexterity modifier, plus racial or feat bonuses. Pegasi get natural bonus of one on zat. Your speed is determined by your race. It's 6 for pegasi, and 5 for ze other races, since none of you is playing a hill pony. All your defences start with 5. You get your dexterity modifier as bonus to zat if you wear light armor or no armor. Ozerwise you get the bonus of your armour and your shield. Add your Strength or Constitution modifier as bonus on Fortitude, whichever is higher. For Reflex it's either Dexterity or Intelligence, and if you haf a shield, you add its bonus as well. For will, it's either Wisdom or Charisma."[/colour] He inhaled sharply, then continued: [colour=#00ff00]"Druids get a plus two to Fortitude, so do fighters. Rogues get plus two to Reflex, and priest get plus two to Will. We can fill in powers and weapons after you haf chosen them."[/colour]

There is a lot of possible weapons and powers for all of the classes, so I'd suggest you just do that in person with me on Skype or in the still open PM. In character, you are searching them out of the books.


[colour=#00ff00]"Now, on ze last page, you haf your feats and your inventory."[/colour] He continued. [colour=#00ff00]"You get 100 bits each, and zere is a list of common items you can buy before ze adventure starts. The unused value may be kept as bits. Sugar Rush, as a druid, you come from outside ze civilisation, and zerefore don't have bits, but you get to choose fitting equipment in ze same value. Keep in mind, zough, zat, unlike ze ozers, you can't keep ze remaining value as bits."[/colour]

[colour=#00ff00]"Now, each of you gets one feat at character generation. Zere is a list in the books of available feats. Some of zem have prequsites, some of zem don't. Unicorns automatically have Minor Magic: Telekinesis and Minor Magic: Light. Forest Unicorns additional have Weapon Focus: Bows, while City Unicorns have additionally Minor Magic: Teleportation. Pegasi start with ze Flight, und nozing else, since it's so versitile. As a fighter, you get an extra feat at startup."[/colour]

He leaned back, and finally helped himself to a piece of pizza. Those were the basics, now they just had to look up the different feats and items and their values, which shouldn't take too long.

Again, feats and inventory is too much to just list it here. Skype group or PM, I'm usually available. And I'm sure Bramble has a word or two to say about that. :razz:

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[colour=#000000]Sugar Rush hung his head under the knowledge of Silver who was nice enough to help him with his character. But she did have some negative pointers.[/colour] [colour=#800080]"Really? Well, OK. I guess I can be a forest unicorn, if it allows me to do some awesome kick moves or something. And yeah, he was raised by a zebra family and has tribal marks all over his body. Which is black. He is black and has red paint on his body in the shape of triangles."[/colour] [colour=#000000]Rush smiled when she responded positively about the eagle.[/colour] [colour=#800080]"Really!? Cool, yeah, yeah, I fly, I mean, he flies on an eagle. On days off or something. And the eagles name will be Sprout."[/colour]

[colour=#000000]It was a bit difficult. Sugar Rush was trying to listen to Silver and Drifting at the same time. Hopefully he wouldn't get confused. As he listened, he started filling out the papers that was passed to him. [/colour] [colour=#800080]"Ok, I think I'm doing this right. Am I doing this right?"[/colour] [colour=#000000]Sugar had Silver give a look at his paper for judgment. Meanwhile, he was starting to get a bit confused about what his character was capable of doing.[/colour] [colour=#800080]"He's a fighter so I gave him nine in athletics. Does that mean I give him fourteen points somewhere because of intelligence plus? I don't understand. And what's my class? I don't know what class I am. He is, I mean."[/colour]


[colour=#000000]On the second page, Sugar Rush was completely at a loss. He had no one idea what Drifting was talking about anymore. He gave it a good effort, but his understanding steam had just run out. As Drifting started talking about the third page, Sugar decided to go ahead and fill in the obvious. He put his name and race in their boxes. And in class, he put his elementary school teachers name. He did this on instinct, as he had done it maybe fifty times before. And in the notes box, he wrote down 'eagle'. At the bottom, Sugar decided to give his character a base starting value of 7,000,000 bits. But just as he finished drawing it, Drifting gave him the bad news that his druid would not have an bits on him to start. Sugar raised his voice as he lost control of his pencil and jerked out of his chair.[/colour] [colour=#800080]"What!? That's not fair! Why can't I have some?"[/colour]

[colour=#000000]After a few violent exhales, Sugar decided that he was going to go ahead and get the equivalent to what 7,000,000 bits might be worth: A bag with 7,000,000 bits.[/colour]




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Silver Flash took in a breath, then let it out slowly. She hadn't seen a player like this since she last played with some foals! Which was a while ago. It made her somewhat reminiscent. [colour=#808080]"OK, hold on there, cutie. Hooooold on."[/colour] She laughed softly. [colour=#808080] "Your brain gallops along 24/7, doesn't it? Forget the numbers for a moment..."[/colour] She reached out with one hoof and flipped over Sugar Rush's character sheet, so it was just three blank pieces of paper. [colour=#808080]"Now, I love the look for your character. Very dramatic, very dashing. You've got the feel for that, that's for sure. Your eagle is going to be normal size at the start, though. Remember our goal here - you're making a *starting* hero, who hasn't done anything heroic yet. He's not rich, yet, he's not powerful, yet - what he has is *potential*. He's a blank sheet, just like these."[/colour] She gestured at the empty backs of the character sheets. [colour=#808080]"We're all going to make their stories, right here, as we play the game over the next few months. And as we play the game, you'll get more bits, more power, and more awesomeness. But awesome heroes come from humble beginnings ... so let's take this one step at a time."[/colour]

She flipped the first sheet numbers-side up, and erased most of the markings on it. [colour=#808080]"Now, you know that in the stories, heroes come in different types, they have different roles. The wise and intelligent unicorn wizard, the stoic and heroic earth fighter, the quick and dashing pegasus rogue ... in the game, these roles are called 'classes' of heroes. for you, your class is 'Druid'. Druid is the type of unicorn wizard that specializes in plants and animals. Like your eagle."[/colour] Silver flash pondered showing him the spell list, and that he had a long way to go before reaching fifth-level spells and Animal Growth, but figured that might overstimulate him for now. [colour=#808080]"Later, we'll help you pick your spells ... but for now, go ahead and fill in 'class' there. Other than that, everything here is good."[/colour]

[colour=#808080]"Now, down here, we have numbers. I'd recommend going with the general spread - they don't have a 9, but they do have a better spread, and you can always raise your abilities later. But if you really want to have higher stats here and lower elsewhere, then I'd recommend going double-specialist, because you're not just a druid - you want to be a brawler druid. Which will work *great* when you get the ability to turn into bears and stuff. But you need two high stts for that to work - Strength, for your fighting, and Wisdom, for your spells. You *really* need a high wisdom for your spells. So put your two highest in those. After that, you need a secondary combat ... constitution gives you more hit points - basically, in awesomeness terms, so you can have three arrows and a sword sticking out of you, and still be coming on with a wild look in your eyes. Dexterity lets you dodge better - in awesomeness terms, you lean out of the way of the arrows as they come in, and twist around the sword, and keep on coming."[/colour]

She pondered, briefly, suggesting that he multiclass into barbarian/druid ... oh, man, a raging bear ... that would be so cool! But that might be a bit too complex for the new player. Single-class for now.

[colour=#808080]"The important two are strength and wisdom - these other four, just fill in as you need them. They'll just customize your druid's concept. Intelligence would be useful for you to have better skills ... charisma ..."[/colour] She eyed Sugar Rush thoughtfully. [colour=#808080]"Usually I don't suggest this, but for you, I think you should make Charisma your dump stat. Er ... I mean, putting your lowest score in Charisma might be best. You're adorable, but let's assume your Druid's going to be just as hyper as you. Hard to convince ponies of stuff when your mouth is a mile down the road from the rest of you."[/colour]

She sat with him while he filled those six in, not letting him fill in anything else, till he got those right.

[colour=#808080]"Now just to remind you - each of these skills give a 'bonus' to other things you do. If he tells you to roll something plus your ... strength modifier, for example, you don't add ALL the dots here. You add the dots minus five... so to the right of each ability, I recommend adding your modifier bonus, just to remind yourself of that."[/colour] And she patiently worked through the first several mistakes till he got that right.

[colour=#808080]"OK, now ... skills. Those are all these other circles. And I'm going to suggest that right here, to the left of the skill name, you put a little *check* for what skills a druid is good at. That means:"[/colour] She moved her hoof down the sheet, waiting for Sugar to make the check at each place. [colour=#808080]"Athletics, Endurance, Arcana, History, Heal, Nature, Perception, Diplomacy. The reason they're each underneath an ability is because the abilities add to the skills ... as you can see, your Wisdom helps with all these three skills that you've got as class skills."[/colour]

[colour=#808080]"Now, you will be *especially* good at 4 of these skills. One of those will be nature - because you're a druid. So turn that check into an x by putting a slash across it. Now, choose three other checks to turn into x's, for the skills you're *really* good at. Normally, I'd recommend Arcana, because you're a caster, but I'm going to have Arcana maxed out for the party ... so you won't need it as much. If you don't take Arcana, then your magic will be more, 'I don't need to read books to understand nature ... I am in tune with the mother natural, and she reveals her secrets to me!' You might want athletics if you're going to be a warrior-druid, though. And it never hurts to have more Heal specialists in the group. You can pick *any* three you want, and that's, again, part of your personality. I'd just recommend heal and athletics"[/colour] She waits, helping him get through those, too.

She lets out a deep sigh. [colour=#808080] "Whew. OK, now ... you take 8 dots .. plus your intelligence modifier, the little plus here ... and you fill in that many skills. That's your dots of skill points... start off by putting one dot in all the ones you think you *have* to have ... then fill in above that for the skills you want to be best at."[/colour]

She suspected Sugar Rush would want *all* the skills, so she patiently worked with him to get a nice, beginning character concept ... which skills suited his character, which didn't... listening for a little to his flights of fancy, then turning him back to the sheet with a reminder of poor, cold reality ...[colour=#808080] "Beginning hero, remember. You're not awesome *yet*. You *will* become more awesome over time."[/colour]

Finally, the first page was done.

She flipped over the second page. [colour=#808080]"OK, this one's a bit easier. Name, Alfalfa. Unicorn Pony. Druid. Add this and this here... this is five ... and we'll figure out the rest later, after you get your gear."[/colour]

She flipped over the third page, erased the stuff at the top. [colour=#808080]"Name, Alfalfa. Unicorn Pony. Druid. Now, here's where we are going to pause - because here you pick a feat. There are ... a LOT of choices. Experienced players would go hunting through them all, but you don't know what most of them mean, and it'd take you a couple hours to read them all. So ... I'll help you. But you tell me: You want to be a warrior druid with an eagle pet. Which part is most important to you? Warrior? Spells? Surviving in the wild? Or your Eagle? And once you figure that out ... what is your *shtick?* What stands out for you, as an awesome hero? Do you destroy everything with a single blow? Do you survive anything that gets thrown at you? Are you a really good healer, or are you good at summoning animals to fight for you? Or is your shtick that you do everything with your Eagle? Do you use your magic to make yourself more powerful when you fight? Or is it something else I haven't even thought of? When the bards speak of your hero in a thousand years, what will they say about him? What made him different from all the other really awesome heroes?"[/colour]

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  • 3 weeks later...


[colour=#000000]As Silver undid everything Sugar did, it was a little discouraging to him. Obviously he wasn't doing it right. Fortunately, though, Silver Flash was willing to give Sugar as much as he wanted in his character, all while calling him cute while she did it. Sugar's ears perked at her sweet kind voice of instruction as he willing let her hoof guide his in marking his paper. At first he could understand what she was getting at. But after a while, he just started filling in bubbles as she instructed. He didn't know what he was doing, he just had to trust her for now.

When they got to something about two classes, Silver stopped and implied Sugar wouldn't be ready for that. [/colour][colour=#800080] "But...,"[/colour][colour=#000000] Silver insisted that he keep it basic and understandable and then asked him what his overall profile would be. All these filling in circles and writing down boring stuff, and when they get the part where he can do what he wants, he felt limited. [/colour][colour=#800080] "Um."[/colour][colour=#000000] He just continued to do what she said. She even called him adorable. Sugar smiled a little and even gave into a slight blush. He then stood up a little to move his chair a little closer to hers. She was a little older than him, but it wasn't enough for Sugar to think it would ever be a problem. For somepony who is easily hyped, she sure was doing a good job taming him--for now.

At the coming of the third sheet, Sugar listen carefully to Silver, but then quickly lost what she was saying. All he could hear was blabs. [/colour][colour=#d3d3d3] [/colour][colour=#808080]"Which blab is most important to blab? Warblab? Blabells? Surviving blab the blab? Or your blab? And blab you blab blab blab ... what is blab *blab?*" [/colour][colour=#000000] As she talked, Sugar grabbed his trusty crayon and started drawing his character in the lower left corner. A skewed drawing at best, a green unicorn with red triangle marks. [/colour][colour=#808080]"Or is blab something blab I blab blab thought of? When the blab blab of your hero in blab thousand blabs, what will they blab blab blab? What made blab different from blab the,"[/colour]

[colour=#800080]"Look."[/colour][colour=#000000] Sugar Rush set his crayon down. [/colour][colour=#800080]"I just want him to have an eagle companion and shoot arrows a lot. I can't really understand all those magic balancing and whatsits you're talkin' about. I'd rather just keep him simple and deadly."[/colour][colour=#000000] Sugar smiled and looked at Silver confidently. He then reached in his bag, pulled out a reed of sugar cane, and began chewing on it.[/colour]





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