Dragon's Feud

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Re: Dragon's Feud

Post  jaguargamma on Tue Aug 22, 2017 11:24 pm

Okay, so maybe what the zebra was talking about was relevant after all.

"Right now," Chassis says, "everypony she or any of us can trust all have their hooves full with their own jobs. So this one would fall to us."

She mulls over it a second, briefly glancing to Mossburg. Mossburg, in turn, is glancing toward the front door, maintaining line-of-sight with it as ordered.

"Which is what the spies want," she finally says. "They want us there with Mossburg."

Mossburg's ear perk as he shoots Chassis a look. Chassis ignores it, as the snickerdoodles from both the tray and the box Chassis picked up earlier arrange themselves into a house-shaped formation. Another group of cookies arrange into a pony shape inside the "house".

"Mossburg," Chassis goes on, "has issues in his AI that make him turn violent when he's kept indoors or confined."

The cookie pony crashes through the wall of the cookie house. The cookie house collapses.

"Except for Stripes, we all saw that yesterday. Well, the spies know that too, because he had an episode a couple days before that destroyed the Apples' barn, and word travels fast in towns like Ponyville."

Two more cookie ponies whisper silently, casting occasional glances to the first.

"If I were a spy tasked with creating a diversion, Mossburg would be the first thing I'd think of, and the easiest to set up in theory."

One of the cookie ponies falls away, and a cookie Town Hall forms in its place, the pan assuming the role of an open door. The first cookie pony wanders into the cookie Town Hall, and the second "slams" the pan door behind him. The first cookie pony trembles, then thrashes around, destroying the cookie Town Hall.

The cookie pony stands there a moment, then disappears into a pile of snickerdoodles. The cookies rearrange into a rough layout of the ground floor of Town Hall. White icing for doors, no icing for walls.

"So let's assume this is a trap. In order for the spies to spring it, they'd have to be at the doors."

The white-iced cookies do a quick dance in place for emphasis.

"I say that instead of us all going at once...

Eight cookies with pink icing arrange in formation outside one of the doors.

"...let's split into smaller groups and go in a few at a time."

Three cookies split off and go "through" the doors.

"Look at the map, look for clues, talk to the staff, leave."

The three cookies circle around, then go back out the doors. Three more cookies do the same.

"When it's just down to me and Mossburg, we'll all hit up one of the nearby diners for supper."

All seven pink cookies group together outside the "building".

"That should put the rest of us in place to ambush the spies when Mossburg and I go in."

The last two pink cookies go into the door. Cookies with baby blue icing then move in behind them, and the white door cookies "close" by flipping themselves icing-side-down. The pink cookies outside then mobilize and surround the blue ones at the nearest door.

"Just like that. Thoughts?"
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Re: Dragon's Feud

Post  Espresso on Wed Aug 23, 2017 11:00 pm

"Yes," Atlas raises his hand. He hesitates for a moment. "...you gotta run that by me again, I was distracted by the flying cookies."
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Re: Dragon's Feud

Post  jaguargamma on Thu Aug 24, 2017 12:10 am

Chassis rolls her eyes and silently admits the cookie show was a bit much.

"All the maps in town are gone except the one in Town Hall. Twilight's headquartered there, and so is Rainbow Dash with our offensive force...which makes it a valuable target. We have a 3500-pound claustrophobic robot with a reputation for obliterating entire buildings when he panics. If we take Mossburg into that building, those spies will bar the doors behind him, triggering an episode. Destroy Town Hall, throw our coordination efforts into disarray, then go spring the dragon and Diamond Dogs while the town's attention is on us.

"To counter that triple play, I say we split up and go in a few at a time to look around, instead of all at once. That way, if the spies do spring the trap, most of the team is outside to catch them in the act and get the doors back open."
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Re: Dragon's Feud

Post  Espresso on Thu Aug 24, 2017 12:14 am

"That's great 'n' all, but..." Atlas scratches his head. "Well, I'm not the smartest cookie in the bakery, but isn't there a good possibility the spies just won't spring the trap at all?"
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Re: Dragon's Feud

Post  jaguargamma on Thu Aug 24, 2017 12:51 am

"There is, but I'm not willing to take the chance."
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Re: Dragon's Feud

Post  AleneShazam on Thu Aug 24, 2017 1:08 am

Plan makes no sense, Peony grumbles, kicking the bottle. She paces around a little more before continuing. Plan relies on spies knowing about robot being in town hall. And spies have time beforehand to make evil plan. Plan will only work if news about robot being in town hall is forecast, but then the plan bad, too obvious. Also, spy not know if robot go crazy every time, unless engineer pony advertise that too - but again, too obvious. The plan rely on too many unknowns.

Peony makes a series of aggressive but vague gestures. If I spy, I rely on more reliable plan. Like sabotaging tree to explode. Or global warming. Something that guarantee victory. Not overly complex rube-goldberg machine plan. Peony very good at revenge, she knows best.
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Re: Dragon's Feud

Post  Senshuken on Thu Aug 24, 2017 1:29 am

Kabra'za couldn't help but nod along with the suggestion of the delightfully wicked Peony. "The little ball of small dog like fury is correct. Why use an overly complex plan when a simple one will do? Honestly, just setting the building on fire would be enough; If the flames themselves didn't ruin the map, the knee jerk reaction of pouring water over the building almost certainly will... Provided of course that Princess Twilight hasn't cast some spells on the map to prevent fire and water damage in advance out of paranoia. "
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Re: Dragon's Feud

Post  Dusk Raven on Thu Aug 24, 2017 3:00 am

Cherry nods alone, taking a snickerdoodle from the pile. "I agree, the plan relies on too many variables, including an assumption of what the spies' goals are. I'm not ruling it out, but I think first we should visit the town hall and take a look at that map and how it's defended. For all we know, the reason it hasn't been destroyed is because it's too heavily guarded for a spy to destroy it without outing themselves." She then took a bite of cooking, frowning as she chewed - though not because of the taste. After swallowing down the cookie, she continued, "Of course, we also don't know why the spies have turned on us, or what lengths they'll go too. If they're just ordinary townsponies, they won't be likely to take big risks, but the dogs might have some kind of blackmail on them, or something else that would make them desperate..."

She glances to the side at the zebra. "Also, it's not paranoia if it's justified, which it seems to be."
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Re: Dragon's Feud

Post  jaguargamma on Thu Aug 24, 2017 1:45 pm

"Exactly. We're not talking about professional hitponies here."

Chassis thinks a moment.

"The dogs said these spies were captured and recruited as part of their Alpha's 'smart plan' to sabotage us. That tells me they're targeting something critical to those plans. The dogs also said their Alpha won't even talk their spies until their job is done. That was days ago, before Mossburg was even a factor. So they'd be after something or somepony that looked important before the siege. And the most important pony in Ponyville at that time according to Diamond Dog logic was..."

The icing on one of the cookies inside the cookie Town Hall map changes to an imprint of Twilight Sparkle's Cutie Mark.

"...the pony with the biggest, shiniest house. Pinkie, did you notice anything weird about the floor in Town Hall when you were there?"
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Re: Dragon's Feud

Post  A1C Bronymous on Sat Aug 26, 2017 4:51 pm

Pinkie just has her head tilted the whole time, clearly having trouble what Chassis is proposing as well. "...nnnope. They were all as floory as usual and right where you'd expect them to be."
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Re: Dragon's Feud

Post  jaguargamma on Sat Aug 26, 2017 6:05 pm

Chassis cups her hooves together in contemplation. Mossburg, meanwhile, dismisses himself from the table and goes outside, thinking nothing of clipping the door frame again.

"Okay. We should have somepony go take a closer look, just to make sure there isn't a Diamond Dog pit trap or ambush hidden under the floor boards."

Chassis breaks into a grin again.

"If there isn't, then we can leave you there to turn the spies' ambush into a surprise party for Twilight. Get more ponies watching her, make it harder for the spies to find an opening. Plus, she's taking the thing with Spike really hard, so she could use the morale boost."
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Re: Dragon's Feud

Post  Senshuken on Sun Aug 27, 2017 12:08 am

"...Alternatively, we could just make a list of the ponies who were outside of Ponyville shortly before this whole situation started and thus the most likely suspects of being abducted by the dogs in the place. Not saying that it'll be easy or anything, but it will at least narrow the list down."
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Re: Dragon's Feud

Post  Espresso on Sun Aug 27, 2017 1:03 am

"Why not both?" Atlas raises his hand. "We make the list, and that makes it easier to keep an eye out during the party. If any of the spies decide to gatecrash, we know who to look out for."
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Re: Dragon's Feud

Post  jaguargamma on Sun Aug 27, 2017 2:29 am

"That might not be necessary."

Chassis leans forward.

"If we throw a party, at least one spy will be there. So we get this party going, and then we get our...friendlier faces..."

She gestures with her horn to Pinkie, then Atlas.

"...to get the other ponies talking. Giving speeches about their friendships with Twilight and each other, reminiscing about past adventures, toasting the guest of honor. Anything that makes Twilight Sparkle feel like the most appreciated pony in Equestria. If we play it right, the spy will out themselves as a traitor one way or another, with dozens of Twilight-loyal ponies surrounding them."

Chassis's demeanor softens. "I lost my home too, after Metropolis of Paragons ended. Saw my life's work put in a box to rot, and all of my friends and coworkers from the show scatter to the winds looking for new work. I've been where Twilight is emotionally for a few years now. She needs this, spy or no spy."




Once outside, Mossburg takes his usual post by the wagon.

All maps in this location are gone.

We heard. Will the remaining map suit our needs?

Unlikely. Map area limited to region around Ponyville.

Acknowledged. I will see if navigational assistance can be provided from our location.

Reiterating objection to hiding our existence. It is clearly harming Chassis.

Objection noted and reason sustained. The deception is regrettable, but must continue until the time decided upon by the Consensus. We will attempt to expedite our efforts in the meantime.

Mossburg returns to reality a half-second from when the conversation started, his ears already flattening in disgruntlement.
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Re: Dragon's Feud

Post  Senshuken on Mon Aug 28, 2017 3:34 pm

"Chassis, your logic is flawed. There is no way to ensure that any of the spies will be there by accident without inviting just about everyone in Ponyville to join in... which isn't exactly something we should be doing at the moment under the circumstances without causing a great deal of problems down the line; Life being a song and dance has a price after all. Besides, a herd that large, it would be all the harder to guilt one of them into giving themselves up." The idea itself was flawed, that much was clear... but it could be worked on easily enough into something very workable.

The zebra seemed to ponder the situation for a moment before admitting "I can see the merit of such a thing through, it just needs some preparation and a somewhat... refined guest list of likely suspects in order to improve the odds of success. In fact... yes, that might just work..." A wicked little grin appeared on Kabra'za face as he decided to suggest an addition to the plan "There is a potion that I know how to brew that might be of some use to us. Mixed in with some kind of food or beverage, if anyone who has a dark secret weighing heavily on their mind samples it they will be more... willing to confess what it is and get it off their chest. Honesty is the best policy after all..." the sly grin that appeared on his face as he said that would have looked right at home on a snake that was selling snake oil tonic to mice.

Turning his attention to Pinkie Pie (Whom seemed to have been rather quiet during this whole exchange), he offered her a playful grin as he asked "Miss Pie, I've heard rumors about you... and not just about your talents as a baker or your natural beauty. Would you be able to put your party planning talents to use in helping us not only set up this party, but narrow down the guest list to include some... guests of honor?"
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Re: Dragon's Feud

Post  jaguargamma on Wed Sep 06, 2017 1:50 am

"Seriously? We're talking about pony spies working for the Diamond Dogs, and I just said Twilight was a priority target for the Diamond Dogs on account of her being this town's 'alpha'. If she shows up at this party, so will at least one spy to keep an eye on her. It's a classic spy trope. And I seldom plan things without a backup."

Her horn flashes, and a tray-looking thing floats through the front door and into the bakery, the whole time floating a few inches from the ground. Upon reaching Chassis' side, it drops to the floor like a magnet, and then scissor-folds out into a mechanical drawing board. Within seconds, the board populates with stick figures of Pinkie, Twilight, the team, and about a dozen ponies in party hats.

"These spies are ponies being ordered to betray a princess and their fellow ponies," she says. "I'll wager that they already feel bad about it, but not as bad as they feel about whatever this Diamond Dog Alpha threatened to do if they didn't. Which is why we make use of something scarier than a Diamond Dog."

A stick Helmaroc appears perched in the rafters, watching over a jar containing a little stick Peony.

"We have an angry psychic breezy. Use the friendship to stir up the spy's guilt, and then let the breezy do her thing to make them break."

A series of rays emanate from Stick Peony's jar to one of the stick ponies. The stick pony's happy face is replaced by a crying sad face, complete with streams of tears gushing from the eyes.

"Then we just step back and let Twilight do her 'Princess of Friendship' thing to bring them back around. The only thing I didn't have a solution for yet was making sure the pony we broke was the spy, and not an innocent party-goer. Which I think your ideas might actually help with, Stripes."
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Re: Dragon's Feud

Post  AleneShazam on Wed Sep 06, 2017 2:05 am

Peony SMASH!

Peony kicks the glass of her jar excitedly, then bursting out into breezie swear words from the pain of stubbing her leg.

~...She likes the revised plan.~ Helmaroc translates.
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Re: Dragon's Feud

Post  A1C Bronymous on Wed Sep 06, 2017 3:25 pm

Pinkie follows along, watching the little figures and scratching her chin. "Wait wait wait. Are you asking me to use a party for purposes other than to make ponies happy? To use it to try and isolate a few ponies, expose them in front of everyone and ruin everypony's day? That sounds awful!" Pinkie seems entirely shocked at the suggestion. "When I became Ponyville's Premier Pink Party Pony, I promised to perfect and practice my Party Planning Prowess purely for..." She pauses, trying to come up with another P word, then shrugs. "...for good! I know its to stop mean ponies who are spying on us, but it doesn't seem right..." You all can tell she's really on the fence about this, it will take a little more convincing...
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Re: Dragon's Feud

Post  jaguargamma on Wed Sep 06, 2017 6:11 pm

"I know it doesn't," says Chassis. "That's why I want to try the friendship angle first and encourage the spies to come forward on their own. The Peony option is in case it looks like they'll make a move on Twilight or pick a fight with us instead."

Actions:
Persuasion Check
Roll: 10+5=15
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Re: Dragon's Feud

Post  Senshuken on Thu Sep 07, 2017 11:20 pm

For a moment, Kabra'za looked at Ponyville's pink, perfectionist party pony and listened to what she had to say... before deciding to try a new angle that might appeal to her a lot more. "Ms Pie, the point of your parties is for everypony to have a good time and be happy, right?" He baited, giving her a moment to confirm or deny it before her continued. "Well right now, there are ponies out in Ponyville who are being hounded by a guilty conscience. Day and night they have to put on a fake smile and struggle with the fear of their friends discovering that they were planning on betraying them. Won't those poor ponies feel so much better if they stopped trying to keep such a horrible secret and came forwards on their own before they do something that they can't be forgiven for?"

Dice rolls:
Persuasion 15+12=27


Last edited by Senshuken on Fri Sep 08, 2017 12:29 am; edited 2 times in total
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Re: Dragon's Feud

Post  AleneShazam on Thu Sep 07, 2017 11:40 pm

"DO IT!" Peony squeaks, doing a weird gesture. "Don't let your dreams be dreams! Just- DO IT!"

Memes:
Persuasion: 15+18=33
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Re: Dragon's Feud

Post  A1C Bronymous on Wed Sep 13, 2017 1:45 pm

Pinkie grimaces at Chassis. "Oh gee, that's not very high." After Kabra'za, "Ooooh, that's a much better number..." And finally, as Peony screams her incoherent inspiration, Pinkie bursts into laughter. "That one will work!" She cries out between snorts and giggles. "Ok, you win. These spies need to be reminded that they're our friends, and the best way to remind anyone of that is with a party!" She circles around the big table, pacing. "But it can't be a big super obvious 'Stop Being Spies Party', that didn't work at all last time, soooo..." She rummages in a cupboard and pulls out a large, heavy scrapbook, opening it onto a table. "But we're already planning this 'We Captured a Dragon Party', so maybe that will work. The spies would be interested in that, for sure. I was gonna invite the dragon too, but Twilight said it wasn't a good idea." She examines her plans for the party. "Its tomorrow, and its a big picnic out in Sweet Apple Orchard. Do you think you can be ready for your plan by then?"
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Re: Dragon's Feud

Post  jaguargamma on Wed Sep 13, 2017 2:55 pm

Chassis blinks at Pinkie's responses to the group's efforts to persuade her. Nopony said anything about numbers.

But...she's going along with the idea...so...okay?

"Uh...yeah. I think so."

Seriously, Twilight, where do you find friends like this?!
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Re: Dragon's Feud

Post  Senshuken on Wed Sep 13, 2017 11:04 pm

Kabra'za wasn't so much interested in the whole numbers thing as he was about something else. "You're had a 'Don't be spies' party before? What's the story behind that one?"
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Re: Dragon's Feud

Post  A1C Bronymous on Fri Sep 15, 2017 1:03 am

"Don't worry about it. Top Secret." Pinkie replies slyly.
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