Token Evil IC

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Re: Token Evil IC

Post  AleneShazam on Fri 24 Mar - 23:20

Oh, I assure you I am a dragon, little puppy. The vault guardian runs her free claw - the one not supporting the party - through the piles of gold she's lounging on. Well. Once upon a time, anyway, She raises the claw up to her snout and inspects the gem-encrusted talons on the claws.

At Brightheart's compliment, she beams (as much as a treasure dragon can anyway), and leans in closer to the party. Well, aren't you just the biggest charmer, you, she coos, and in a terrifying gesture, reaches out with a giant claw almost Brightheart's size at the tip and gently (by dragon standards) pokes the unicorn on the muzzle. Brightheart's armor barely prevents her taking his head off completely. Even if you smell like corpses and that silly princess' magic.

It's at this point that the party notices something very odd - treasure covers over where the dragon's eyes should be. She's blind, they realize, having no eyes to see with.

Rearing up to an even more impressive height, towering far above the group, she smiles and puts a claw on her chest. Not many creatures know me anymore, but you little darlings can call me Matriarch. I own this hoard, which as I understand it, you all want something out of?

There's suddenly a dangerous glint in her smile, though not so much malicious as threatening.




Broken can hear Matriarch's half of the conversation through the vault doors, though not the party's words. As he settles down to recuperate, the nightmare chuckles in his mind. "Ah, you big baby. Don't you go throwing temper tantrums now." A small amount of nightmare magic suffuses Broken's body, speeding up the recovery process somewhat.

(Perception prompt)




Recon emerges into a veritable battlefield. Argent appears to have been faster than Recon, and is surrounded by a crowd of changelings, though impressively he appears to be holding his own, fending off the drones with both martial arts and magical attacks but not really gaining much ground either. Other guards are positioned around the courtyard in a defensive perimeter, keeping the changelings corralled inside the yard and fending off any that emerge from outside. Finally, most notably, an unfamiliar changeling stands at the center, physically no different from the other drones but with a tangle of thread-like green lights emitting from its horn that point towards the other drones, though the light fades after some distance. This changeling in fact is staring down Princess Celestia herself, who is standing stone-faced on a balcony overlooking the changelings. Tender is to the side behind her, looking uncomfortably at the changeling army battling away below.

"What is the meaning of this?" The frigid fury is apparent in Celestia's tone of voice, and her horn is glowing brightly in preparation of unleashing powerful magic.

"Your tyranny is over, Sun Queen," The apparent lead changeling speaks with a strange candence in its androgynous voice, like hundreds and hundreds are speaking at the same time - matching the royal canterlot voice in volume. "Equinity stagnates under your rule. The coalition declares open war! The Solar Tyrant must die!"

There is a roar from the changelings, and with a surge of fresh changelings coming from the outside, breaks through the guards' defensive perimeter, turning what was supposed to be a trap into a free-for-all melee.


Last edited by AleneShazam on Sat 25 Mar - 1:50; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Token Evil IC

Post  Senshuken on Fri 24 Mar - 23:57

Broken rolled his eyes a little, playfully chuckling as he answered playfully "Well if anyone here knows what a temper tantrum looks like..." Before focusing his attention on the area around him.

Dice Roll:
Perception: 10+11=21


Last edited by Senshuken on Sat 25 Mar - 0:01; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Token Evil IC

Post  jaguargamma on Sat 25 Mar - 0:00

Once mayhem erupts, Recon puts her disguise function through its paces, constantly switching between Royal Guard to changeling to Royal Guard to other Royal Guard, until finally she emerges from the hairball directly behind the changeling yelling challenges up at Celestia.

Round two.

Recon creeps up behind the changeling, then rears up on her hind legs and draws back with a foreleg, a hidden spike extending from its hoof and her eyes focusing on the base of the changeling's skull.

Actions:
Stab
Target: Changeling
Roll: 9

Status:
Hit Points: 26
Energy: 6
Condition: Okay, but hoping this guy goes down quick.
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Re: Token Evil IC

Post  AleneShazam on Sat 25 Mar - 0:41

Without any warning, just as Recon rears up, she is dogpiled by a swarm of angry hissing changelings, shocked out of her disguise and lying stunned on the ground.

The lead changeling doesn't even react to this, simply continuing to call out. "You see, Celestia? Your false changeling has faltered. Your Guard is breaking. Your people are restless, and while you face us here, your city is under assault on three fronts. And yet you still cling to the pretense of leadership?!"

A beam of pure sunlight streaks through the air, blasting into the pile with pin-point precision and freeing Recon from the dogpile. Celestia glares at the lead changeling, her horn smoking from the spell. "All guards, ring formation! Force them together!" She calls out, ignoring the taunts of the changeling. Her horn then starts to glow again, apparently charging up a spell much more powerful than the sunlight beam she conjured up previously...

The guards spring into action, and Recon starts to recover from the attack, though her head is still swimming. Looking around, she sees that no changelings are focusing on her in particular, and she can just as easily slip away from the fight as join in.




Broken notices, out of the corner of his eyes, a small hunched over figure skitter around in the shadows, inching towards the vault. It looks like Krix, in terms of size and build, but rather than purely lizardlike the little creature looks more like a reptilian wingless bat, with an ugly squashed face and long bony fingers, stubby legs, and a thin, worm-like tail dragging behind it.
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Re: Token Evil IC

Post  jaguargamma on Sat 25 Mar - 8:44

Recon gets to her hooves, shoots the big-mouthed changeling one last glare, and then slips away. And then switches to a pegasus disguise and flies back to find a perch on the palace behind Celestia that offered the best view of the courtyard.
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Re: Token Evil IC

Post  A1C Bronymous on Wed 29 Mar - 10:47

The jackals look around the room, still squinting in the light. "I don't even get why you'd want a hoard like this. You can't even eat all of this..." "...Oh wait, do you eat treasure? Dragons eat gems, but what about gold and stuff? Do you eat all this stuff?" "Is that why you look like that? Did you eat so much you turned into it?" "They do say 'you are what you eat' but I didn't think that could literally happen."


Twins are ready to provide assists, but first
Perception check, looking for anything that stands out in the hoard. 3+17=20 (Derp=natural 1)
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Re: Token Evil IC

Post  AleneShazam on Sat 1 Apr - 22:31

The twins notice something out of the corner of their eyes, a glittering that they just can't get their eyes off of. Without really realizing it, they start inching towards the glittering, filled with an irresistible urge to throw themselves off the claw and into the pile of gold.

(Everyone else in the room roll perception. Hallows and Gallows roll either endurance or persuasion.)
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Re: Token Evil IC

Post  Senshuken on Mon 3 Apr - 4:03

While he would never acknowledge it aloud, Broken found the feeling of the dark magic coursing through him more effective then any pain killer he had ever taken over the years. It felt really good to be able to walk and move around without pain, almost as if he was a normal pony.However as he saw what appeared to be some kind of impish little pest that seemed to be taking advantage of the lack of guards on the vault to take a ran for it by itself, he couldn't help but be reminded of the fact that he wasn't a normal pony... he was better then that.

"You are aware that we're too late, right? Some bloody changelings already swept through and napped the thing." Broken explained, deciding to see if he could do his team a favor and possibly turn whatever team he suspected this rat like vermin was scouting for against the changelings... or at least, make them more actively hunt them down.

Dice Rolls:

Convince Rat-Imp that treasure is already gone. Persuasion: 3,+19=22
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Re: Token Evil IC

Post  Espresso on Mon 3 Apr - 22:49

The twins' words spark an idea in Iota's mind. Working quickly, it cobbles together a rudimentary scanning spell to inspect the dragon in front of it. The idea that the magnificent draconic creature in front of it could be a construct like itself was exciting, and it gave Iota some inkling of the future in front of it if it managed to win that wish from Discord.

Arcana: 6 + 11 (Skill) + 5 (FK Identifying magic) = 22
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Re: Token Evil IC

Post  Faege on Tue 4 Apr - 10:33

"Now, now, it's not polite to ask a lady about her diet..." Brightheart scolds the twins lightheartedly, before turning back to the Matriarch. "Yes... I must admit that we have been asked to retrieve an item from your hoard - but of course we are prepared to offer compensation."

Mystery Perception:
11+10 (Skill) = 21

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Re: Token Evil IC

Post  AleneShazam on Fri 7 Apr - 3:13

"Haz it been?" The imp's voice is high and screechy, grating on the ears and sounding like it's not too familiar with Equestrian. "Bugger. Bugger, bugger- the boss iz gonna flip..."

It scuttles around for a moment before turning to Broken. "Pony, how long ago wuz the changelingz here? Minutez? Hourz? Dayz?!"

It looks more and more frantic as it speaks, white-less blood red eyes widening and pointy dagger-like teeth bared.




It's immediately obvious that whatever Celestia is charging up, she can't unleash with the guards in the way. The guards seem to fare surprisingly well, and despite far better coordination on the changeling's end the guards have the advantage in numbers and arms, and begin to force the changelings together. The changelings get pushed into a circle, and it starts to look as though Celestia's spell might just get all of them at once--

Then the castle comes to life. Incoherent blobs of masonry peel off the walls, sprout mouthfuls of teeth, grow bat-like wings and start divebombing the battle, swallowing both changelings and guards indiscriminately. These, Recon recognizes, are the true form of mimics, blobs of mimicry-capable... things with a ravenous hunger. Celestia wrinkles her brow, and after a moment, dispels her mega-spell, opting to start blasting mimics out of the sky with more spears of sunlight.

It's when a mimic flies right in front of Recon and Celestia blasts it into oblivion - narrowly missing Recon - that you feel like it might be wise to seek shelter.

(perception prompt)
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Re: Token Evil IC

Post  Senshuken on Fri 7 Apr - 3:27

Broken shrugged a little at the question, deciding to be 'helpful' "Not sure. Wasn't exactly looking at a clock at the time. Wasn't too long ago at any rate... and I know for a fact that a few of them were engaging Celestia in the throne room to distract her with some 'super weapon' designed to combat her. Maybe if you jump 'em you might be able to find out where the others have gone. "
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Re: Token Evil IC

Post  jaguargamma on Fri 7 Apr - 14:33

Recon ducks as Celestia's beam zings over her head.

Taking that as my cue to relocate. Perhaps I can use this distraction to get back to..."

A thought suddenly breaks through her mind.

No, not a thought. An image of Princess Celestia's silhouette sears Queen Imaga's mind, while her voice echoes through it. All thoughts of abandoning the Princess during battle disappear immediately and refuse to conjure, despite Imaga's best efforts.

Recon's teeth grit.

This was the loyalty-enforcement brand that Celestia's stooges had burned into the changeling queen's soul before trapping it in this wretched shell. It had been simmering in the back of Imaga's mind since the meeting with Discord, but Imaga staying in character as a double-agent working for Celestia had kept it in check while she played both sides. Now that Celestia was in clear and presence danger, this asinine little security feature wasn't going to accept the double-agent excuse. Recon had to somehow stay involved in the fight until the Princess was out of danger...or at least until the latter explicitly dismissed the former.

Recon finds something solid to hide behind and surveys the scene. Celestia's clearly holding her own, but there has to be something Recon can do to contribute, even if only to get this stupid loyalty brand to let her leave.

Actions:
Perception Check: 13+10=23
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Re: Token Evil IC

Post  Paper Shadow on Sun 9 Apr - 15:43

"I bet it is Celestia's fault the Matriarch's like this now," comments Krix, "Permanent imprisonment in a new form. Just like Discord, yes?"

(Perception: 9 (Roll) + 11 (Skill) = 20)

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Re: Token Evil IC

Post  AleneShazam on Sun 9 Apr - 18:47

Vault Team:
The twins just barely stop themselves at the edge of the claw and don't hurl themselves to certain doom. The party notices this greed-fueled near-suicide.

Mmmm. The great treasure dragon eyes the jackals carefully, before lifting the claw even higher so that death would be certain if any of the party do throw themselves off the edge. Unfortunately I cannot blame that silly princess for my current predicament. The greedy little pups are right, in a way. I ate and grew and ate and grew, until my fire within simply grew too bright and fused the treasure to my hide. I can scarcely live without it now... A foolish old lady, without brood or legend, trapped beneath a mountain. She sighs, almost regretfully.

Iota's scan confirms this claim - she is biological underneath her thick layer of treasure, which appears to have fused with her scales to form an inorganic skin.

Ah, but compensation - now you're speaking my language. The Matriarch grins toothily, leaning in so the group so they can all feel the incredible heat radiating off of her maw, like the hot wind coming from a furnace. Let us discuss the terms of the trade. You require the jewels of the royal family, do you not? I expect a two-fold payment at least, nothing less, you know.

Broken:
"Gnnnnnn..." The imp whines in consternation, apparently unable to comprehend the scale of the words said to it by Broken. Finally it claps its hands, and points at Broken. "Pony! You come with me, explain to the boss! No argumentz!"

It scuttles towards the exit, and stops when it realizes Broken is not following. "Come onnn, I'm gonna get in trouble with the boss!"

Recon:
Aside from flat out joining the fight, Recon thinks she might be able to do some sort of magic to interfere with the changeling's hive-mind structure. Not being an expert in magic, she is unsure of how effective that might be, but being a changeling which is an innately psionically receptive race, she would at least have a good shot of intruding into their network.


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Re: Token Evil IC

Post  jaguargamma on Sun 9 Apr - 20:44

Recon runs through her options and decides what needs to happen.

These changelings, as incompetent as they are, still had an advantage in their hive mind. Recon's not sure if her spirit could connect with it without its original changeling body, but it's worth a try for a reprieve from the loyalty brand screaming in her head.

Recon isn't a dedicated magic user, though, and her body's magic generator's still weakened from her last run-in with the changelings.

I need a boost to do this. Celestia is right over there, still at full power.

Recon blinks, and suddenly she's right beside the Princess watching a sun-fried mimic hit the balcony in a squishy mess.

"The changelings have a hive mind," Recon states as her wings retract, her horn extends, and her disguise shuts off. "If you can give me a jump-start, I'll see what I can do to disrupt it."


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Re: Token Evil IC

Post  A1C Bronymous on Sun 9 Apr - 20:58

The twins catch themselves, and shyly creep back from the edge. "You fused the treasure to yourself? Didn't that hurt?" "What kind of two-fold payment? We don't really have anything..."
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Re: Token Evil IC

Post  Senshuken on Tue 11 Apr - 9:32

For a moment, Broken considered just blowing the small imp off completely without another word... before a wicked looking grin appeared on his face as a nasty little idea came to him. " Why? After all, you were the one who figured out that the nasty bug ponies have the jewels and you were the one who figured out that there were bug ponies are using magic to pretend to be guard ponies all over the castle... bug ponies to be captured and beaten black and blue until they talk. Bug ponies clearly weren't as smart as you are!" It was almost painful to have to dumb his words down for the little bugger to understand, but the ego stroking was required in order to try and turn the imp into a willing pawn; Small minds tended to be petty minds and the possibility of being rewarded for foiling the plans of the stupid 'bug ponies' would hopefully be enough for the bloody imp to forget where he got his information from.

Just to be sure through... "Just recovering from a beating the damn bugs gave me. How about if you dart ahead to tell the boss and I'll catch up later so we can both get the reward?" A petty mind could also be greedy minds; The sheer joy of screwing over a hapless pony would hopefully help convince the imp to do what he wanted.

Actions and Dice Rolls:

Untraceable (5) – At Will
You are a slippery character. Your features and identity blur in the minds of others, making you very hard to pin down. Whenever you like, you can choose a creature that you can see. For the next month, that creature finds it nearly impossible to describe your appearance to others or remember what your name is. They still remember all your actions and will recognize you if they see you again, but can’t seem to give a description of you to anyone that might ask.

Persuasion: 6+19=25
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Re: Token Evil IC

Post  Faege on Tue 11 Apr - 10:22

"Compensation... such as dragon eggs, perhaps?" Brightheart happens on an idea after listening to the dragon's speech. "What better way is there to leave a legacy?"

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Re: Token Evil IC

Post  AleneShazam on Wed 12 Apr - 5:28

Recon
For a moment Recon thinks Celestia is going to blast her as she wheels around, horn ablaze. She would be right. A burst of sunlight energy hits Recon on the full, and it's almost like getting hit by a sledgehammer, except the hammer is also laced with a pound of adrenaline and stimulants. As soon as the initial impact passes, Recon feels like a sun. Literally. Her body radiates heat from the excess of solar magic bleeding from her system, causing her to glow red like embers. It does not harm her initially, but she notices the ground beneath her hooves start turning to slag, and Tender who was hiding behind Celestia immediately backs up a few more paces, shielding her face.

"Take it and go!" Recon has possibly never seen Celestia quite this aggravated before.

You have a +20 to your next arcana check, but a -5 to arcana after that until you take an extended rest because you've literally been burnt out as a sun.

Broken

"Reward?" The imp stares at Broken, uttering the word like it is a completely alien concept. "I... figure thingz out?"

It stares at Broken for a few more seconds, before shaking its head. "No, no- Pony comez with me, explain to the boss. Impz can't explain. Impz follow orderz."

It scuttles back and starts pushing on Broken.
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Re: Token Evil IC

Post  jaguargamma on Wed 12 Apr - 14:46

Recon looks over the now-slag railing and spots her target: the one little changeling that had been blustering at Celestia just moments before.

"You'll do."

She shifts back into Pegasus Mode, jumps the railing, and lands in front of the changeling in the courtyard. As she shifts back into unicorn mode, her legs extend so she can tower over the changeling while her gaze locks onto his eyes, ignoring any attempts to divert them from the sunlight radiating off her.

"Your mission has failed, drone," she spits, her metallic voice further distorted by the massive power boost. "You chased me out here thinking I had the item you came here for. I do not; last I knew, it was still in the vault. So many minds connected as one, and yet you allowed a ghost in a half-broken machine to dupe you into abandoning your objective."

Recon lights her horn and reaches out to the changeling's mind, intending to use him as a proxy to invade the changelings' hive mind.

Actions:
Arcana Check: 11+7+20=38
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Re: Token Evil IC

Post  AleneShazam on Sun 16 Apr - 11:44

Team Vault
Dragon eggs. Matriarch leans forward, very, very close. Her gold-coated nostrils flare. You had my interest, but now you have my attention. Now... You seek the royal gem. This gem.

The Matriarch opens her mouth, sticking out her tongue. Embedded in the tip of her tongue is a massive gem, almost the size of a watermelon, gleaming with a million shards of rainbow color.

Slipping her tongue back into her mouth, the Matriarch lounges back lazily. Fetch me dragon eggs. Three, all of them alive. I'll take no infertile stones. Satisfy my request, and I'll rip the gem from my tongue.

She gives the party another crooked, toothy grin.

Recon

The wish is but a convenience, The changeling hisses, even as its knees buckle under the mental pressure of Recon empowered with Celestia's sun itself. The solar tyrant is our true target. It is you who has been tricked!

And then Recon is through, entering into the hivemind. It is somewhat familiar - it appears to be built atop the natural hivemind that belongs to changelings, but rather than limiting communication to queen to drone only, it allows all drones to communicate freely, to act in unity without being robbed of independence. In some sense, it really is an ideal social structure. Unfortunately, you don't care about that, and proceed to attempt to tear it all down.

But the changelings aren't just going to stand and watch. The combined mental fortitude of a hundred thousand drones slams into Recon's mental representation like a stone wall, and even Recon's solar-boosted charge is stopped in its tracks.

Roll Persuasion. It's time to have a BEAM MIND STRUGGLE. Also, roll perception to notice something outside of the brain battle.
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Re: Token Evil IC

Post  jaguargamma on Sun 16 Apr - 13:34

Recon's eyes glow brighter as she hisses back, "No. I haven't."

With that, she conjures a single, simple thought of disloyalty to Celestia, and opens her mind long enough for the changelings to see the mental Celestia purge the thought with sunfire.

"Loyalty-enforcement soul branding. She orders, I obey."

As she pushes back, she also pushes memories of her own attempt at invading Celestia's palace toward the hive mind. Of her infiltrating the Changeling Detection Unit as one of its best operatives (the same one she was using when she met these changelings as Recon, even!), and then using the position to "arrest" her own swarm and smuggle them past Celestia's defenses. Of going to bed the night before she was to spring the swarm from the dungeon and sack the entire palace at once. Of waking up in a prototype anti-changeling weapon and forced to be unquestionably loyal to Princess Celestia. Of finding plans to use the changelings in the dungeon to make other such weapons in the director's office, right next to a commission check signed by Princess Celestia herself.

Actions:
Persuasion Check: 10+7=17

Perception Check: 6+10=16


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Re: Token Evil IC

Post  Paper Shadow on Sun 16 Apr - 20:49

It took up to the moment the Matriarch spoke about fetching the eggs that Krix could wipe away the silent look of pure disgust, spite, and envy he had pinned on Brightheart since he mentioned dragon eggs. This was replaced with a bit of bashful embarrassment and the mumbled "Oh, right. Getting already existing eggs. Yes, that's what pony meant, that's what we all thought."

Krix lets out a loud stammer towards the group before anyone could register his murmurs. "How are we going to find dragon eggs before the others get here?" he screeches to his group, claws clacking carelessly, meanwhile already pondering of where to find dragon eggs in the first place...

(Streetwise Check: 8 (Roll) + 11 (Skill) + 1 (H&G Grandeur (and maybe +1 from Party Everyday as well? I can't find where they used it if they have)) = 20)

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Re: Token Evil IC

Post  Faege on Mon 17 Apr - 4:03

"I have heard this- the royal court has a store of dragon eggs for testing and experimentation held in the magus wing." Brightheart explains. "With the chaos abound in this city, the royal mages might be distracted, making a break-in easy. If not, well... a little roughhousing never hurt anyone. And-"

Remembering Krix's reaction to dragons in previous encounters, he adds with a smile, hidden by his helmet, "-why, would this not constitute liberating dragon eggs from the selfish clutches of the ponies? A heroic pursuit that would surely earn the respect of other dragons!"

(Info about the magus wing was obtained with a preemtive roll made when Brightheart suggested the egg idea)

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Re: Token Evil IC

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