HORSE-PLAY
Introduction
Art Gallery

Campaign 1:
The Nightmare Ritual


Character Sheets
Session 1
Session 2
Session 3
Session 4

Campaign 2:
Fatebreaker


Character Sheets
Session 1
Session 2
Session 3

Fatebreaker: Session 1

Word Count: ~3.8k, Content Warnings: Blood, Death Mention, Mind Control




It's been three months since Gloria, Mwezi, and Sunsteel helped stop the Nightmare Ritual in Haybale Hollow, and about a month after Equestria's newest alicorn princess ascended... it's been quite the happening couple of months!! All of Equestria is celebrating a new, mythical alicorn. Haybale Hollow, the festive town it is, is hosting a traveling fair in the now renovated fairgrounds- fixed up just for the occasion!

Your team has decided to return to the fixed-up fair, now in the mid-day time. The bright sunshine, the local games and stalls, the bright smiling faces of the local ponies and the new faces of those who came to visit or work...It's a completly different scene.


OCCAM
Needless to say, Gloria is ecstatic. She's in her element! This is so much more fun than her gloomy home in the ol' tree, and she's got the two most perfect companions by her side! She's definitely going to perform her...as soon as they approve that permission, which is definitely happening soon! In any case, she's quick to dart back and forth to things that catch her eye.


IRIS
Sunsteel is uncharacteristically drowsy today. She's been hard at work training her skills since the whole incident with that nasty cult, and she hasn't quite figured out the balance between "training" and "sleep". Still though, she wouldn't miss a celebration like this for anything! So she's doing her best to keep pace behind Gloria (Mwezi floating helplessly behind her of course).


DAWN
Mwezi, at this point, was kind of fine with being carried around. Kirin magic felt different from unicorn magic, a not unpleasant warmth that invited her to fold her legs under herself and bury her snout in a book. The town was a sight to behold, certainly, but she had already seen enough of it! Still... She stretched and tucked the book into her saddlebag, waiting patiently for Sunsteel to set her down.


"You! You three!" A red unicorn waves excitedly at the group as they dart around. "The three heroes!! Come over here!"

She is standing beside a small tent-like booth. She is not a unicorn you recognize, not from Haybale Hollow at all.


OCCAM
"Ooh! Ooh, look! Word has spread!" Gloria hovers eagerly in midair, waiting for the two of them to follow...she doesn't like to get separated now, but she's gotta know what's happening! Sure, the last time they were approached it turned out to be a trap, but what are the odds of that happening again on a fine, sunny day like this one? Pretty low, that was for sure!


IRIS
Sunsteel quite literally shook the drowsiness off and headed in the direction of the unicorn, sunny smile on her face. She appreciated the recognition and wanted to put her best hoof forward for this potential new friend (said new friend also being kinda cute was just added encouragement). She hopped over and plopped Mwezi on the ground next to her, staring at the unicorn in awkward silence as she was still a little too out of it to remember that introducing herself is generally how social encounters are supposed to go.


DAWN
Mwezi was stunned. For once in her life, she was actually going to be the first among the trio to introduce herself. Dusting herself off she gave a curt nod to the friendly unicorn. "Oh! Hello. I'd hardly call us heroes but... thank you. My name is Mwezi and these are my friends, Sunsteel and Gloria. It's a pleasure to meet you... Sorry, what was your name?" Mwezi walked forward and presented a hoof for a shake.


"It's so nice to meet you, Mwezi, Sunsteel and Gloria! I am Starquake." She grins back and shakes Mwezi's hoof. Using her telekenesis, she shuffles a deck of cards far behind her. "Would you step into my tent, so that I may reveal to you your secret destiny?"


IRIS
"HELL YES?" Sunsteel jumped in place excitedly, looking quickly between Mwezi and Gloria to gauge their interest. If there was one thing Sunsteel liked almost as much as cute girls, it was SECRET DESTINIES!


OCCAM
"Great to meet you, Starquake!" Gloria continues to bob in the air, and her eyes grow bigger on hearing that. "Secret destiny? Yes yes yes! This is so exciting!" She glanced back to Sunsteel's face with her own wide, beaky grin! Could this day get any better?!


DAWN
Mwezi pulled back a little, crossing her walking stick across her chest. Her mouth was a tight line. "Personally, I think I'll be fine. I've had my fill of soothsaying back in Farasi." Realizing suddenly she was acting more than a little frigid, she relaxed her posture. "Still, it's quite nice to meet you Starquake."


IRIS
"Okay so Mwezi's destiny will remain a tantalizing mystery, which is just like her. But that's still two outta three! Let's hear it!" Sunsteel stamped her hooves in the grass. She couldn't wait to hear what this Starquake had to say about her and Gloria.


OCCAM
"Yeah, you are a tantalizing mystery," giggled Gloria to the zebra on the side.


Starquake, who you notice is actually a pretty young pony, looks a little hurt by Mwezi's comment. "The destiny I see for you three heroes... it's deeply connected. You three, are deeply connected..." She looks like something caught her eye for a moment, before shaking her head and looking back at Mwezi and the others. "I can't force this upon you." Starquake sighs- the kind of sigh that seemed mature for her age. "But... are you sure?"


IRIS
"Hmm... give us one sec, okay?" Sunsteel smiled cheerfully and then dragged Mwezi and Gloria into a huddle just a few inches away. She didn't even say anything to them, she just grabbed Mwezi's cheeks and put on the most affectionate pouty puppydog eyes she could muster.


OCCAM
Gloria's long eyelashes quivered...pleadingly? The best she could.


DAWN
Well. Girls were cute and Mwezi was really dreadfully gay so she had no choice; drastic measures had to be taken. She screwed her eyes shut and stuck her tongue out. "Nuh uh. Don't wanna."


Starquake turned her head away from the group, lowering it to the ground, politely trying to look like she couldn't hear them.


IRIS
Sunsteel huffed, puffing up blazing cheeks. If Mwezi was gonna refuse, she didn't need to be so damn cute about it!

"Ugh, fine." Sunsteel grumbled. "You can remain a tantalizing mystery! But I'm gonna discover your secret destiny one of these days one way or another."

Sunsteel turned to Gloria and bobbed her head back to Starquake. "C'mon Gloria! Let's go learn some MYSTERIOUS MYSTERIES!"


DAWN
"Wait hold on I lied; I do want to hear my fortune!" Mwezi couldn't stop herself from nearly latching onto Sunsteel but she could try and fight off the blush spreading across her muzzle as they parted.


OCCAM
Even Gloria couldn't refuse that kind of sweetness, so she sighed theatrically and turned to go, wiggling her wings on the way. But ah! Aha! "Aww, I knew you had an adventurous spirit!" she beamed, giving her a one-armed hug in return. "We're gonna discover the fabric of the universe! Or something!"


Starquake, who was still looking away when Glori and Mwezi's were dunked in front of her, jumps a little. "Ah!" She squeaks.

"I..." She giggles a little, "I guess you decided to hear what my cards have to say? Step inside... I prefer to have a little privacy for such strong destinies."

She uses her telekensis to lift the way into the small tent. It smelled like lavendar and... probably would be a little cozy with all four inside around the tea-table.


IRIS
Sunsteel carefully hops inside, dragging her partners along behind her. She wasn't great at being in cramped quarters, but she would make it work so she could hear about secret destinies and mysterious mysteries and whatnot. Frankly, after all that hooplah, Sunsteel was almost more excited to hear Mwezi's than to hear her own.


OCCAM
Gloria's not the best at sitting still, either, but she's not going to complain about any aspect of this experience and will try her best to not disrupt the, uh, ceremony or whatever Starquake might call it. She realizes she might be a tiny bit nervous about her own--is she ever going to be a big hit?--but then again, it was apparently tied to the others, so how bad could it possibly be with them by her side?


DAWN
Mwezi, on the other hoof, was quite content to finally get to sit in a nice, dark, quiet space for a moment. She scooted her chair against Sunsteels, leaning against the big fluffy kirin as Mwezi let herself get comfortable. The lavender was soothing, a nice blanket that shut out the otherwise pervasive smells of the campground.

"I did. I am apparently weaker to my companions charms than even I knew."


Starquake smirks a little and nods without comment. She lifts up the white cards behind her, spreading them out across the table in-front and flipping them over with magic. Both sides of the long cards are completely blank. They are so thin they are almost transparent, but not quite.

"My cards..." Starquake whispers. "They tell me the secret meaning of a pony's cutie mark." She closes her eyes. "However, they still had much to say about the three of you, even with no cutie marks. Your destinies... they are there, even without it shimmering on your flank."

She opens her eyes and smiles a little bashfully. "I'm sure that is... obvious to you all already, though. Ponies still have a lot to learn about our neighbors, I'm afraid...."


IRIS
Sunsteel had genuinely never noticed that her friends didn't have cutie marks, so she checked out their flanks to make sure, and then got a little distracted for a sec.


OCCAM
Now, these cards were something Gloria had heard of, but seeing them in person in this intimate environment just added to the air of mystery, and she was very intently listening--but oh! That was true, huh? Cutie marks were clearly taken for granted in pony country, but rather less so among other species. She briefly wondered whether having them would make Griffonstone happier or even grumpier, noticed Sunsteel watching her and playfully swished her tail over her own flank, while nodding. "Oh, well we're happy to be goodwill ambassadors!" she ventured, smiling. "Right?"


DAWN
Mwezi was focused largely on the cards in front of her and NOT the pretty kirin woman looking fondly at her rump. No, that was of no concern to her. The cards were gorgeous, clearly well-made and Mwezi could nearly feel the causal energy from where she was sitting... or perhaps she simply thought she could feel it. What was a feeling but a thought connected to a nerve? She blinked as Sunsteel spoke, clearing her muddled mind. "What? Oh, yes, absolutely. No doubt."


Starquake leans closer to the cards, focusing. "You have already faced danged together. Something terrible... stopped, because of you three."

She smiles faintly and continues in a less formal tone. "We don't all get to be as... famous as the Elements of Harmony, but that doesn't mean we don't do good in our own ways."

Starquake looks down again, concentrating and speaking with purpose. "But you're journey is far from over. Your next calling... it's growing nearer. It's so dire!" She looks a little concerned now. "A... great evil. A terrible evil... no..." Starquake sniffles, and a tear wells in her eyes. "...No..."

She sighs again, deeply, and continues in a strained sort of calmness "A terrible evil, it will never happen to all of Equestria... because you are destined to stop it. You three, together, are destined to stop her."


IRIS
"HELL YES!" Sunsteel clamored, slamming her hooves on the table. "Just point us in the right direction! Let's do this!"


OCCAM
Gloria preened herself only a little and for a moment there, remembering the excitement of saving everyone (whether or not they'd been asking for it at first) and beating the bad guy! And now she had another shot?! Yes! "YEAH!" she repeated, rising halfway out of her seat before remembering they were in the tent. "Her? Wait, you know who it is? We can beat her!"


DAWN
Mwezi nearly jumped out of her skin, urging Sunsteel back into her seat with an insistent foreleg across her chest. "Please, let's all calm down. Danger is not something we should rush into like it's a fair game... Can you tell us more?"


Starquake has trouble tearing her eyes away from the cards. She looks up at the trio, silently crying. "She is-"

But Starquake's words are interrupted by a horrifying, close, shrill and blood-curdling scream from outside the tent! "AAAAAH!!"

"HELP--AAAHHH!!" A deeper voice cries before breaking into a scream as well.

The tent you are within begins to shake and tighten, gripped together by a pale pink magical aura.


DAWN
Mwezi is immediately up and in arms, brandishing her walking stick as she turned to face the commotion spilling in from outside.

"I knew we shouldn't have done this I knew we shouldn't have done this I knew we shouldn't have done this... Sunsteel! Gloria! Are you two okay?"


OCCAM
Gloria was, in a second, throwing her wings up now, trying to reflexively shelter Sunsteel and Mwezi both and hold onto the table, the momentary panic she felt replaced by confusion and determination to do...something! Anything!

"F-fine, but what's going on? Is it safe to go out there?! Are we moving?!"


IRIS
Sunsteel's ears perked up and her blood started boiling. She wasn't entirely caught up on what was happening, but it was bad and instinct took over. She needed OUT of this tent, and picking everyone up and throwing them to safety (or at least presumed safety) would take too long. So, she took a deep breath and hoped for the best as charged into the wall of the tent, intent on tearing a hole through it.


Sunsteel: Body Trait (d8) = 2

???: Telekensis Talent (d6) = 6


The pink aura that grips the tent crashes into Sunsteel as she tries to break out through, bouncing her back into the tent.


Communal Chip Pile: 3 Body, 2 Mind, 2 Charm


The screaming has stopped now, but it's far from quiet. A sharp, bright pink stone rips through the tent right above and behind Starquake, who struggles to pick up her cards and turn around.

"No-no-no!" Starquake frets, her voice cracking. The tear in tent reveals a gray pony with a crystalline pink horn, angled oddly on her face and along a deep scar that runs through her eye, even. The tent shreds lift off, scattering the blank cards and revealing the gray pony's large feathered wings that twisted around the group. An Alicorn!

"There you are..." says the scarred alicorn in a sing-songy tone. "I was looking for you."


IRIS
Sunsteel is a little dazed from the panic and from being bounced off a wall, but she recognized a threat when she saw one, and she wasn't about to just stand there and gawk. No, this? This was a job for FIRE. So she took in a deep breath and shot a fireball up at the alicorn.


Sunsteel: Fire Control Talent (d8) = 3


OCCAM
W-what? WHAT? Gloria didn't even know thaaat much about ponies, but she did know there wasn't supposed to be an alicorn like THIS! Yeah...that would be the 'her'. Genius detective work there, Gloria. "Just get down!" But seeing they were occupied, she attempted to lunge over the table and pull Starquake to safety!


Gloria: Body Trait (D6) = 4

?Alicorn?: Force-Field Tlaent (d6) = 1


The alicorn's horn sparks, and the aura drops away from the tent and flickers in front of her as she tries to deflect the fireball. It fails, sizzling through and popping embers into the alicorn's eyes.

"AUGH!" She hisses and closes her eyes.


?Alicorn? looses 2 Stamina!


At that time, Gloria pulls Starquake over the table and onto the side with the three heroes.

The alicorn opens her eyes again and growls. "This is them, isn't it, Starquake? You told them they could stop me, didn't you?"

Starquake tries to push herself out of Gloria's talons, reaching back toward the alicorn. "Wh-what..." Starquake whispers.


IRIS
Sunteel stood in front of the other three and stared daggers at the alicorn. "Mwezi, do you have something explosive you can throw? Then I can focus on making a barrier to protect us from a counterattack?"


DAWN
"On it!" Mwezi hunted through her bag, pulling out a rather volatile mixture. Why she kept something like this in her saddlebag was a question for a zebra with more concern for the safety of others.

Giving the mixture a vigorous shake she pitched it at the alicorn assailant, hoping it would find its mark.


Mwezi: Body Trait (d8) = 3

?Alicorn?: Teleport Talent (d10) = 1


The alicorn takes a face-full of smelly potion.


?Alicorn? looses 2 Stamina!


"Enough!" She screams, sparks coming out of her crystal horn and igniting the potion with pink flame. The flame spreads across the fairgrounds quickly, illuminating the scattered ponies who lay limply across the ground.... the ponies groaned with pain.

"Kill the chosen heroes!" The alicorn screams with a sort of cold, pounding tone... and two of the ponies who seconds ago laid limply on the ground, where up and rushing toward Gloria, Mwezi, Sunsteel and Starquake.

A blue pegasus and a brown earth pony, coming in from opposite corners behind the trio.


OCCAM
This was the first time Gloria had taken her eyes off the, well, big dangerous scary pony to notice what was happening to all the other fair-goers. Oh for Boreas's sake! Couldn't this place have ONE day of peace?! She had to try to help stop this madness! Non-lethally, these poor civilians!

She might not have explosives or magic, but she could try to get herself into a commanding position and hopefully not get zapped down. "Watch her!" she called to the other two, gesturing to Starquake, who she quickly set down by them, and tried to do what she always did when combat broke out: fly up and assume command!

(Yeah, the alicorn could presumably fly, too, but...)


Gloria: Fly Talent (d8 + 1) = 4 + 1

?Blue Pegasus?: Fly Talent (d8) = 8


The blue pegasus follows after Gloria into the sky, breaking her flight path, and knocking her back down toward the ground with a crash.


Gloria looses 3 Stamina!

Communal Chip Pile: 3 Body, 2 Mind, 3 Charm


OCCAM
"GUH! Owww...not...good..."


IRIS
Sunsteel's eyes dart to the rushing ponies, toward Gloria struggling with the pegasus and Sunsteel grinded her teeth against each other. She quickly turned her attention back to the alicorn, trusting her friends to take care of the ponies on the ground. Also she wasn't sure if they were possessed or zombies or what, and she didn't know how to deal with a problem she couldn't set on fire. And the alicorn had so far proven that it could quite reliably be set on fire! So with that in mind, Sunsteel growled through gritted teeth before launching another fireball at the enemy.


Sunsteel: Fire Control Talent (d8) = 4

?Alicorn?: Body Trait (d8) = 3 + 3 Body Chips

Communal Chip Pile: 0 Body, 2 Mind, 3 Charm


The alicorn, noting that Gloria had been knocked away from Starquake, jumps over Sunsteel's fireball and toward the petrified Starquake. Before her hooves even landed, she slashed her horn across Starquake's side... and the star-symbol that once adorned the young red unicorn's flank was sliced in half.

Starquake screams, painfully howling and shaking, before a puff of smoke consumes her.. and she's gone.

"Finally!" The alicorn laughs.

She looks back over at Sunsteel, and the blank cards that are scattered around her. Some might even have little embers lapping at their corners. "I'm afraid Staraquake's predications are useless. You are not bound to stop me. The only thing bound to happen.... is that I will conquer Equestria! Hahahaha!"


DAWN
Mwezi is concerned with a great many things right now: the alicorn, the disappearcance of Starquake, the nature of their connection, and the attacking ponies. Right now, however, her primary concern was the cards. She rushed over, trying to scoop as many into her saddlebag as she could. These had to be important somehow, right?


OCCAM
"Starquake? Starquake!" Did she--was she--no way! NO! She wasn't letting THAT happen! Coughing and sputtering, Gloria rose to her feet, fury threatening to get the better of her, too, readying her talons to...to just knock OUT anyone who came near her other friends! Alicorn or the other...zombie-ponies alike!


IRIS
Sunsteel's eye twitched, and she could feel black flames licking her heart. Now was no time to spin outta control though, especially when her enemy had made a big mistake by putting her hooves on the ground.

Sunsteel figured if the enemy tried to fly away, a forcefield would be enough to stop them, so Sunsteel pooled magic in her horn and charged the alicorn with the intent to tackle them to the ground.


Sunsteel: Body Trait (d8) = 5

?Alicorn?: Teleport Talent (d10) = 4


The alicorn flickered a little, but stayed put. Sunsteel's body collided into her, throwing the alicorn to the ground.


?Alicorn? looses 1 Stamina!


"You... horrible... creature!!" The alicorn hisses, slashing at Sunsteel with her horn.


?Alicorn?: ??? Talent (d10) = 7

Sunsteel: Mind Trait (d4) = 1

Sunsteel looses 2 Stamina!

Sunsteel gains the COMMANDED quirk!


The alicorn shouts in the same horrible tone as the command before, "Attack the griffon!!"- a command to Sunsteel.


DAWN
Nope. Nope, that wasn't happening. Not if Mwezi could do anything about it.

She wheeled around, setting her hooves on either side of Sunsteels shoulders and looking deep into her frenzied eyes. Mwezi pressed her forehead against Sunsteel's and for the first time in a very long time found herself making a wish.

"Stop it. This isn't like you and you know it. You don't want to hurt your friends, you want to protect us, okay? And I want to protect you."


Mwezi: Charm Trait (d4) = 2 + 3 Charm Chips

Communal Chip Pile: 0 Body, 2 Mind, 0 Charm

Sunsteel: Charm Trait (d6) = 6


The pounding command in Sunsteel's head is all she can hear. Mwezi's words are drowned out by the painful, repeating "attack the griffon! attack the griffon! attack the griffon!"


OCCAM
"Sunsteel! I know you can fight this! Don't let her win this! I-I'll help!" Her wing hurt too much to try flying right this second, but she'd never been more serious about trying to use her Lively Song--it might sound weird to try and sing the fight out of someone, but it could help ward off the command, couldn't it?


Gloria: Lively Song Talent (d8) = 8

Mwezi gains the AWAKENED status! For the next three rolls, her charm dice is upgraded from a d4 to a d6!

?Alicorn?: Teleport Talent (d10) = 5


The Alicorn spits out some blood. Her horn is flickering again, and she disappears in a puff of smoke, laughing in a low chuckle.

Now all that remains is a burning fair grounds, a few scattered unconscious ponies, a posessed Sunsteel, blue pegasus, and brown earth pony, and an injured Gloria, and Mwezi with a few charred blank cards....