TS_PUNK

Dungeons of Dazzle

Mar 14th, 2016
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  1. >Sunset invited you to a hangout on a Friday night
  2. >was it a date?
  3. >most likely not
  4. >you question the location of where you were meeting her
  5. >it was at a campsite 50 miles away from town
  6. >you were very cautious the moment you arrived
  7. >you parked your car and stepped out
  8. >you suddenly notice something was behind you
  9. >you turn around and preparing to fight only to see it was Sunset
  10. >"Hey Anon! You made it!" she said
  11. "Oh, hey Sunset."
  12. >wait a second
  13. "You look... festive."
  14. >she looks like she's part of some video game
  15. >she chuckles
  16. >"Haha of course, if I'm going to be a warrior I have to at least look the part."
  17. >huh?
  18. "Warrior?"
  19. >"Oh wait, I didn't tell you?"
  20. "Tell me what?"
  21. >"Oh geez, I can't believe I didn't tell you.."
  22. >she sighs
  23. >"This is my character for the game I'm playing."
  24. "Game?"
  25. >"Dungeons and Dragonborns?"
  26. "That really complicated board game??"
  27. >she scoffs
  28. >"It's only complicated if you don't read the rules."
  29. >okay this is getting weird
  30. "Okay then, why did you ask me to come here?"
  31. >"We need a warrior in our group and Twilight got the flu a few days ago."
  32. >she puts her hands together in a pleading manner
  33. >"You're the only person I know who has a close interest to this kind of stuff."
  34. "I study mythology.. How does that count?"
  35. >"Please! Just for tonight be our warrior!"
  36. >you hear voices from afar
  37. >there were two shadowy figures walking towards you and Sunset
  38. >the street lights revealed who they were
  39. >they were two girls
  40. >one of them had magenta ponytail with green streaks, freckled cheeks and... quite a bust.
  41. >you also notice she has a bow and a quiver filled with arrows
  42. >the other girl had light blue hair with dark blue streaks, a witch hat and... quite a bust
  43. >you can safely say they are part of Sunset's game as well
  44. >"Who's this?" asked the blue haired mage
  45. >"This is Anon, he will be our warrior for tonight." said Sunset
  46. >"I hope he knows how to play." said the archer
  47. "I don't actually."
  48. >"Well, we're screwed."
  49. >"Aw c'mon Sour, don't be like that." said Sunset, "He's a quick learner and you never know."
  50. >she nudges your arm with her elbow
  51. >"He might be very useful to us."
  52. >"What class is he in?"
  53. >"Let's make him a bard!" yelled the blue hair
  54. >"I think he's better off with something simple like a fighter." said Sunset
  55. >"I think we should have something like a cleric." said the archer named Sour, "Because it's not like we need someone to HEAL US!"
  56. >"How about we let Anon decide?"
  57. >they all look to you
  58. >and it seems you don't have the option of leaving them and going home
  59. >you don't really know how the game works but you have three choices:
  60. Bard, Fighter, Cleric.
  61. >you thought hard on which class you should be
  62. >a bard is your least favorite choice
  63. >you probably don't want to have them hear you sing Take On Me the whole night..
  64. >a fighter is good however..
  65. >in most role playing games, a healer is needed and judging from the discussion, it looks like they need one
  66. >also unlikely that Twilight was a cleric in their group
  67. >it's a risky choice though
  68. >you aren't sure if you'll be a weak or strong cleric
  69. >considering you just started you are most likely a weak one
  70. >though you should be fine if these three are in your group
  71. >you hope..
  72. >...
  73. >you'll just have to see when they set you up
  74. "I'm going with Cleric."
  75. >"Good choice.." said Sour, "Just don't die on us or we'll leave you in the dust."
  76. >rude..
  77. >"Okay Anon, let's head into the camp grounds." said Sunset
  78. >you all started walkin towards the campsite
  79. >as you were walking, Sunset asked you something
  80. >"Anon, could you put your hand out?"
  81. "Uh sure?"
  82. >you put your hand up and she gives you this strange clear red rock
  83. "Um, what is this?"
  84. >"That is your Die. Everyone has to have one to play. What you have is a D20."
  85. "D20?"
  86. >"20 sided dice."
  87. "..So this is dice?"
  88. >you examine the die, you notice it's strange shape and that it has more sides than a standard 6 sided one
  89. >what is even more strange is that it has no numbers on it
  90. >you were about to ask a question when you felt like something passed through you
  91. >it was like you walked into a layer of jelly or something
  92. >you turned around to figure out what happened
  93. >...
  94. >strange everything is fine.
  95. >"Hey, Anon! Hurry up!"
  96. >you turn around to seeSunset and her group was quite a distance away from you
  97. >you shake off the suspicion and quickly moved to the camp site
  98. >you all made it to the camp grounds
  99. >there are a huge number of people here
  100. >you recognize a few of them
  101. >they go to Canterlot High
  102. >that's a surprise
  103. >you hear a loud voice coming from the stage
  104. >wow, that's quite a large stage
  105. >a man with messy hair and a small curvy beard was on the stage along with someone who's entire head was covered in their hoodie
  106. >"Ladies and gentlemen, I am pleased to see you all at our 456th annual Dungeons and Dragonborn meeting!"
  107. >everyone cheers
  108. >"Now then, I assume you all know the rules so I thankfully won't have to deal with all the boring stuff."
  109. >you raise your hand in protest
  110. >but it was no use
  111. >you were way in the rear end of this huge crowd
  112. >no chance of him answering your questions
  113. >Sunset's hand goes on your shoulder
  114. >"Don't worry, I'll fill you in what you need to know."
  115. >well be glad you got someone like Sunset
  116. >"Now then, I would like to introduce this game's dungeon lord!"
  117. "Dungeon lord?"
  118. >"The person who will make the rules, the setting and the challenges. What's more is that if we manage to complete those challenges, we face the dungeon lord for a chance to be one in the next game."
  119. "Sounds.. fun."
  120. >you notice the hooded figure walking forward
  121. >you assume that is the Dungeon Lord
  122. >they take off the hood and reveal a girl with... very large and poofy hair
  123. >"Say hello to tonight's DL, Adagio Dazzle!"
  124. >the one called Adagio gave a grin
  125. >a sinister like grin
  126. "She must be very into this game."
  127. >"Uh, yeah.." said the blue haired one, "She's.. really likes to play, hahaha.."
  128. >why is she laughing like that?
  129. >you look back at the stage
  130. >you assume since Adagio is Dungeon Lord, not the fact she's very experienced, means this isn't going to be a cakewalk
  131. >you wonder how you got yourself dragged into this
  132. >suddenly the a flash of green engulfs Adagio
  133. >the light fades and reveals her with some sort of armor with a cape th- no, wait that's still her hair
  134. >she laughs evilly
  135. "Wow, nice special effects."
  136. >the people in front of you turned and looked at you as if you said something stupid
  137. >"Oh look, it's a normie." one of them said, "He isn't gonna last long."
  138. "What are they talking about?"
  139. "...You didn't tell him did you, Sunset?" said Sour
  140. >Sunset gave a surprised look as if she just remembered something important and smacks her forehead
  141. >"Oh darn it, I did." she said in a frustrated tone, "Anon, I forgot to mention that thi-"
  142. >Suddenly the green light explodes and engulfs everyone
  143. >you felt a force lifting you off the ground and kept you floating
  144. >you could see nothing but green
  145. >you were getting dizzy
  146. >you were hearing voices calling out to you
  147. >you feel like you made a mistake coming here
  148. >...
  149. >you open your eyes
  150. >you manage to sit yourself up
  151. >"Oh thank goodness!" said a female voice
  152. >you orient your head forward finding Sunset kneeling in front of you with Sour and the blue haired girl standing behind her
  153. >"Are you alright?" asked Sunset
  154. "Y-yeah, I'm fine."
  155. >you looked around and find the entire place was cleared up
  156. >in fact it was so cleared up that even the stage was gone
  157. >weird
  158. "You all saw what happened right?"
  159. >"What exactly?"
  160. "The green light? The special effects on Adagio? Isn't that a bit much for a simple game?"
  161. >the three look at each other nervously
  162. >"Anon, it's my fault for not telling you."
  163. >"Of course it is." said Sour
  164. >Sunset looks at her, unamused
  165. >"I'm sorry." Sour said in a sweet tone, "If only we told you earlier, you wouldn't have been so confused."
  166. >"Anon, listen." said Sunset, "This may be a game but the way things are played here are different. Very different."
  167. >you stand up and dust off your pants
  168. "What do you mean by different?"
  169. >"We have been transported to another place where magic and monsters are real. We are able to cast spells and explore dungeons in this place. The only rule is that there has to be a Dungeon Lord that controls it all. The monsters, the structure of our surroundings. Pretty much the Dungeon Lord has control over everything but the players."
  170. "If that's the case why do we need to fight the Dungeon Lord? Wouldn't it be an unfair fight?"
  171. >"The Dungeon Lord just makes challenges to see who is worthy to face them. If a person or group succeeds, they get to face the Dungeon Lord in battle."
  172. >...
  173. "Okay, I think I've had enough. You girls have fun with your fantasy game. I'm going home."
  174. >"But you can't go home." said the blue hair
  175. >"Sonata is right, Anon." said Sunset, "You can't just-"
  176. "No, I can."
  177. >you point to the road behind you
  178. "That's the same path we took to get here. Logic only means that is the exit. I'm leaving."
  179. >you turn around and started walking
  180. >you ignored the words of the girls behind you trying to convince you that this was actually happening
  181. >but you kept moving
  182. >the talk started to become annoying so you turn around and started yelling
  183. "Listen, unless there is proof that we are in some magical realm, I am not believing this hoo-ha for even a second!"
  184. >you turned around back and suddenly something lands in front of you
  185. >the landing gave a small earthquake causing you to lose you balance and fall on your rear
  186. >you looked up
  187. >you were speechless in what was in front of you
  188. >a giant dark bear
  189. >...with insect wings and a stinger tail
  190. >a bear with insect body parts?
  191. >how's that even possible?
  192. >no time to think because one of its claws was coming right at you
  193. >you tried to move out of the way until you saw an arrow swiftly pass above you and on the bug bear's shoulder
  194. >it moved back as it was roaring in pain
  195. >the blue haired girl who you was called Sonata picked you up and moved back to the group as the bug bear was occupied with the arrow on its shoulder
  196. >"Are you okay?" asked Sunset
  197. "I think so.."
  198. >"So you believe us now?" said Sour in a sarcastic tone
  199. >you slowly nod
  200. >you manage to get yourself up and watch as the girls move in for battle
  201. >the arrow was broken off the the bear bug's shoulder
  202. >it was roaring in anger at them
  203. >Sonata speaks some strange words and fire started to shoot out of her staff
  204. >the bear bug or.. bug bear..
  205. >whichever, started to move away and tried to move around the fire
  206. >it started to fly up and Sour started shooting arrows at it but missed every shot
  207. >"HOLD STILL!!" she yelled while firing
  208. >but the bug bear has shown it was much faster in the air than on the ground easily dodging Sour's arrows
  209. >Sunset moved forward and said "Stand back."
  210. >she started spinning around while holding her what you assume is her weapon
  211. >it had a green diamond surrounded by blades
  212. >you can assume it's some sort of axe
  213. >...huh, you never expected her to have a weapon like that
  214. >Sunset kept swinging the weapon along with her rotations and suddenly let go of it
  215. >the axe(?) flung towards the bug bear and made a direct hit
  216. >the bear bug fell to the ground
  217. >the girls moved closer to see if it was dead or not
  218. >Sonata squats down and pokes the bear with her staff
  219. >no response
  220. >it's dead
  221. >wow, that's one powerful axe Sunset has
  222. >or was it her strength?
  223. >suddenly the bug bear started dissolving into thin air and the girls' weapons started glowing
  224. "Why are your weapons glowing?"
  225. >"In a way, it means we are leveling up." said Sunset, "Our abilities and weapons improve after a fight but how much is decided by the dice. It does a roll and what number it lands on is how much is added to our stats."
  226. "...Wouldn't that be unfair?"
  227. >"Not really." said Sonata
  228. >"See, based on which class we choose, our dice will change to have more or less sides to balance the fighters." said Sunset, "Like mine, for a example is a 6 sided die because I chose barbarian-"
  229. "You chose barbarian? Doesn't really sound like you."
  230. >"I figured I'd do something different at least once. For some reason, I like swinging this axe around."
  231. >no kidding..
  232. >"Anyways, the lowest sides go to classes like fighters and barbarians because they have high stats in strength and defense where its the opposite with clerics."
  233. "Oh."
  234. >wait you chose cleric
  235. >so it was a good decision in the end?
  236. >"However, if you want to increase your stats in certain areas such as strength and defense, you need to engage in battle and not just be part of the group." said Sunset
  237. >"No EXP shares here." said Sonata
  238. "But wait, didn't Sour suggest Cleric?"
  239. >"I was only helping someone who is new to this." said Sour, "Then again, I don't expect much from a newbie."
  240. >...
  241. >your patience with Sour started to annoy you
  242. >but you let it slide
  243. >for now
  244. >"By the way." said Sonata, "Why aren't you dressed up?"
  245. "Huh?"
  246. >she points to your clothes
  247. >"If you are gonna play the game, you have to look the part."
  248. "Well sorry, I don't make costumes because I don't attend to these types of things."
  249. >"Ugh, just grab your die and activate it." said Sour
  250. >your die?
  251. >oh right, the one Sunset gave you
  252. >you take it out of your pocket
  253. >you were surprised that it fit so well for its size
  254. >it's like a blocky baseball
  255. >you look around to find the switch until Sour sighed and said
  256. >"Squeeze it.."
  257. >squeeze?
  258. >you did and the die started glowing
  259. >oh
  260. >in the glowing die you noticed images of warriors on each side
  261. >you moved it around to find the cleric
  262. >finding it, you touched the image and the die started to flash a very bright light
  263. >so bright it was blinding.. Ow..
  264. >the light faded and the die fell on the ground
  265. >next thing you knew, you found you had a staff in your hand and you wearing a white robe
  266. >your mind is still trying to comprehend this but it stopped after hearing "Congrats!" from a happy Sonata
  267. >Sunset smiled and said, "Welcome to our group, Anon the Cleric."
  268. >"I hope we can find a better name than that later on.. It's so generic." said Sour
  269. >"Sour, be nice. We have to keep moving. We have a time limit finding the Dungeon Lord."
  270. "Time Limit?"
  271. >"We have less than 24 hours to make it to the Dungeon Lord's lair."
  272. "What happens if we don't make it?"
  273. >"Those that lose all their health are kicked out of the game and are unable to play until next month. They have to watch from the campsite in order to see how far everyone goes."
  274. >"Not to mention if no one makes it or if the time runs out, Adagio will be Dungeon Lord again next month." said Sonata
  275. >And she's been for the last 5 months.." said Sour, "It's starting to annoy me.."
  276. >5 months eh?
  277. >sounds like this Adagio really likes giving a challenge
  278. >...
  279. >this might actually be fun
  280. [SWITCH]
  281. >sitting on the throne, you watched from your crystal ball as players handle your first wave of challenges
  282. >a group of children fell victim to the Timberwolves
  283. "Such a shame. Those poor little children.. taken away so soon."
  284. >from how they were eliminated, you can tell they will have nightmares for the next few nights
  285. >you smiled at the thought and laughed
  286. >you switched the view of the ball to see how the other players fared
  287. >it seems the children were the only ones that suffered
  288. >damn
  289. >you must be getting soft
  290. >looks like you'll have to increase the difficulty on the next challenge
  291. >your crystal ball stops at a certain group
  292. >oh look, it's Sonata's group
  293. >and it seems they have a newbie
  294. >you watch him trying to figure out how to activate the until the archer next to him said "Squeeze it"
  295. >a burst of light engulfs him and fades to reveal the newbie wearing cleric clothes
  296. "Oh, Cleric? I hope he lasts longer than your last parter, eh Sonata?"
  297. >"How far are they?" said a voice behind you
  298. "Be patient, Barbaria."
  299. >"Ugh, you know I hate being called that."
  300. "Well, it's not my fault you chose to be a barbarian."
  301. >"I know.." she mumbled
  302. "Our little mice are about to reach my next challenge. Why don't you join me as we revel in their impending doom?"
  303. >"No thanks. I'd rather be part of the action."
  304. "Suit yourself."
  305. >Aria leaves the throne room as you continue looking at the crystal ball as Sonata's group moved forward
  306. >you have a feeling you are going to have a good time
  307. [SWITCH]
  308. >you continued walking with Sunset, Sour and Sonata
  309. >you know when you think about it, Sunset is the only person you know out of these three
  310. >since you are stuck with them for the next 23+ hours, you might as well get to know them
  311. >you decide to ask a question
  312. "So Sunset, you know Sour and Sonata?"
  313. >"Yup, I've met them a long time back though it was from separate occasions." said Sunset
  314. "What do you mean?"
  315. >"I met Sonata from Battle of the Bands and Sour from the Friendship Games. Back then, we used to be enemies but we seem to get along pretty well."
  316. >huh, so she knows them from Canterlot High events?
  317. >wasn't that a year ago?
  318. >"Being honest, having you around is quite fun." said Sour, "If only I could say the same for our cleric.."
  319. >"Sour, be nice."
  320. "They didn't go to the same school as us, did they? Because if they did, I'd recognize them."
  321. >"Nope, they both went to Crystal Prep."
  322. "Oh, so these two are rich?"
  323. >"Not exactly."
  324. "What do you mean?"
  325. >"Sour got in because she's really smart. Nothing but straight A's in her senior year."
  326. >Sour let's out a "Hmph" with a smile then looks at Sonata and points at her
  327. >"This one, however, only got in because she lives with one of the teachers." Sour said bitterly
  328. >"Hey, it's not my fault he adopted us." Sonata said with pout, "He's a really nice guy."
  329. >"Yeah, too nice."
  330. >"Hey, y-!"
  331. >"Enough girls, we can't waste anymore time."
  332. >"Yeah well she-!!"
  333. >"Hey, I see something!" yelled Sonata
  334. >Sour sighs and looks away as Sonata points north in what looks like a wooden arch
  335. >"It's a gate!" said a happy Sonata, "That means it's our next challenge!"
  336. >"Whatever.." said Sour
  337. >"Be careful Sonata, there may be a gatekeeper nearby." said Sunset
  338. >"Charge!" yelled Sonata as she ran to the gate
  339. >you and the rest just walked behind her
  340. >while you were walking, Sunset was talking to Sour
  341. >"Seriously, Sour. Try and be a little nicer to Anon. You never know, he may be of some use to us."
  342. >"Yeah, I bet it he would be useful!" said Sour, "As a meat shield."
  343. >okay you've had enough
  344. >you walk closer to Sour and stopped in front of her
  345. "Hey, I might be new to this but don't think I'm some sort of pushover. I'm a cleric, which was YOUR suggestion. Maybe I can help you with my healing abilities? You know when you're in danger?"
  346. >she looks at you in a deadpan manner
  347. >she then smiles and pats your head
  348. >"Aw, that's very considerate of you. But even if it was my suggestion to be a cleric, you forget you just started and that means your healing powers can only fix at least... 10% of health. Well for lower level people like you, it's more but to higher people like me, Sonata and Shimmer players who have been here longer than you have, it's going to take a lot more than that. A lot."
  349. >she pats your head again
  350. >"But don't worry, you'll get there... in a couple of years maybe."
  351. >she turns and continues walking
  352. >...
  353. >you were speechless
  354. "D-does she always speak like this?"
  355. >"Yup." said Sunset, "I've been trying to have her speak in a more calm manner as of late but it doesn't seem to be working. It's like she chose one side of her personality and shoved of the other."
  356. "...I would've preferred if she spoke in the nicer tones."
  357. >"Aw, I'm sorry I upset you with my way of speaking." Sour said a few feet away and then points at you, "Just be glad you're friends with Sunset or else I would shot you dead in the eye."
  358. >note to self: never heal Sour in the future
  359. >ever
  360. >Sour continues walking until Sonata comes running past her and towards you and Sunset with her hands up in the air
  361. >"RUN AWAAAAAYYY!!" she yells
  362. >she stops and hides behind Sunset
  363. >you all turn to the gate and notice someone..
  364. >or something in front of the gate
  365. >you feel like you had to check despite the possible risk of getting killed early in the game
  366. >you moved closer to see what it was and the rest followed behind you
  367. >"Be careful!" Sonata whispers loudly
  368. >you were a few feet away from the gate and you had a good look at the thing in front of you
  369. >it was a 7-foot tall skeleton wearing dark heavy armor with the skull on fire
  370. >but the fire was green and the only parts with no armor on was the head and arms
  371. >"Careful Anon! That's a gatekeeper!" said Sunset
  372. >she moves her hand back and forth
  373. >"Quick, get back here!"
  374. >you should follow Sunset yet for some reason you ignored it and walked closer to the gatekeeper
  375. >it notices your presence
  376. >"State your business." said the gatekeeper in a deep loud echoing voice
  377. "We are here to pass this dungeon so we may reach the Dungeon Lord."
  378. >"You think you can defeat the Dungeon Lord?"
  379. "I believe we can try."
  380. >it gives you a stern look
  381. >"Know this human, many trials lie ahead once you enter the gate and I will eliminate those who try and turn back. If you feel like you aren't up for the challenge, turn back now."
  382. >you turn to Sunset
  383. "Is this the only way to make it to the Dungeon Lord?"
  384. >Sunset pulls out a map
  385. >Sour and Sonata join on looking for alternative routes
  386. >"No." they said
  387. >looks like you have to go in
  388. >not much of a choice
  389. >even if you turn back, you'd have to wait another 22 and a half hours to go back home
  390. >or you could have Sour kill you and it'll all be over
  391. >...
  392. >but what good will that do?
  393. >just confirm what all those people said about you prior to the game starting?
  394. >you going to go back on your word saying you can be useful despite being a newbie?
  395. >looks like you really have no choice
  396. >you turn to the gatekeeper
  397. "We accept the challenges ahead."
  398. >"Then prove yourself." said the gatekeeper as it takes its sword out of its back
  399. >oh crap..
  400. >"Well that didn't last long." said Sonata, "I thought he'd stay with us."
  401. >think Anon think
  402. >...
  403. >you raise your hand up
  404. "Is it possible to enter the gates without physical conflict?
  405. >"What is this?" asked the gatekeeper
  406. "We wish to enter the gates without problem. It would be unfair to take on the challenges with a disadvantage upon arrival
  407. >"Have you not agreed to accepting the challenges?" asked the gatekeeper
  408. "I did but I only agreed to the challenges ahead not the challenge of facing you in battle."
  409. >the gatekeeper just looked at you
  410. >and starts laughing
  411. >"You have quite the mouth, human" said the gatekeeper with a smile, "I shall humor you by granting your request but only if you defeat me in a roll."
  412. "A roll?"
  413. >...
  414. >"You do not know what a roll is?"
  415. "I do not."
  416. >"Hmm, it would leave a bad taste for me to defeat a human who knows nothing. It is dishonorable."
  417. >the gatekeeper gets a pair of dice
  418. >you notice they both have ten sides
  419. >"We both roll these dice and whoever has the highest roll shall be the victor."
  420. "Seems simple."
  421. >"However, you must choose a number and one of your abilities as a payment."
  422. "...Excuse me?"
  423. >"Your abilities and attributes have numbers that increase with every battle. There is no difference with this. Choose and the number will be added on your roll. If you succeed, you will gain twice, maybe three times, the increase on your chosen ability."
  424. >"But if you lose, your chosen ability or attribute will be reduced based on the roll you made." said Sunset, "If you chose something like your attack power and lose, you'd be powerless. It would take almost forever to regain your original stats."
  425. >"Or you could restart and chose a new class next month." said Sonata
  426. >"This is why people prefer battles instead of rolls." said Sour, "It's too risky."
  427. "Then I'm taking that risk."
  428. >"What?!" all three said
  429. "Gatekeeper, I wager my healing ability."
  430. >"Are you sure, human?" asked the gatekeeper
  431. >you nod
  432. >"Very well then. Prepare the dice!"
  433. >you checked your staff and found your healing ability was a 5
  434. >that doesn't sound bad
  435. >then again it's probably not bad for a beginner
  436. >so the five will be added to whatever number you roll
  437. >wait what will the gatekeeper wager?
  438. "Wait a second, what are you wagering?"
  439. >"Nothing."
  440. "Pardon?"
  441. >"I have the choice not to wager anything. Unlike you human, gatekeepers do not have to wager."
  442. >makes sense.. sort of
  443. >considering winning would mean going to the gate without his opposition so it makes sense
  444. >sort of
  445. >you were preparing the die you took out of your staff
  446. >the gatekeeper was ready as well
  447. >"BEGIN!"
  448. >you both threw your dice at each other
  449. >the dice collided and fell on the ground
  450. >the gatekeeper's dice had an 8 and a 9
  451. >17
  452. >you looked at your dice
  453. >13
  454. >dang
  455. >"Anon, you did it!"
  456. >what?
  457. >OH.
  458. >Right.
  459. >the added 5 points
  460. >then that means you got 18
  461. >...
  462. >a bit close there
  463. >the gatekeeper growls
  464. >"I have been defeated. You may pass."
  465. >your die begins to glow
  466. >the 5 begins to shift numbers and stops at 14
  467. >huh
  468. "My healing ability increased to 14."
  469. >"That's not bad actually." said Sunset, "That means you can heal more than 10% of our total health now."
  470. >that's good, right?
  471. >you look at Sour
  472. >she notices
  473. >"Congratulations." she said with a smile, "Keep it up and maybe you'll be of actual use."
  474. >...
  475. >you turn to the gatekeeper
  476. >it steps aside and you can see the wooden gates open
  477. >"You and your friends can pass through the gate."
  478. "Thank you."
  479. >you and the rest of the group walked past the gatekeeper
  480. >as she was walking Sonata looks at the gatekeeper and asks, "What are you gonna do now?"
  481. >"I shall continue to guard this gate. Waiting for new warriors to challenge until the end of the game."
  482. >passing through the gate, you find that there was no dungeon on the other side
  483. >it was the rest of the forest
  484. >you feel like you've almost wasted time
  485. >...
  486.  
  487. >well, almost since you just leveled up
  488. >well in a way you feel like you did
  489. >the gate begins to close but not after hearing the the gatekeeper chuckle and say
  490. >"I shall see you real soon."
  491. >...
  492. >oh geez..
  493. >Sonata starts pulling you by the arm
  494. >"C'mon!" she says, "Don't fall behind!"
  495. >you notice that Sunset and Sour were quite a distance away from you
  496. >you continue being pulled forward as you go deeper into the forest
  497. >23 hours remain until the game is over
  498. [SWITCH]
  499.  
  500. >so he passed the gatekeeper with the roll, eh?
  501. >you should've put in a more bloodthirsty one
  502. >he would've been forced into battle that way
  503. >oh seeing him cry in despair as he deals with the chaos he brought himself into
  504. >it would've been.. to DIE for
  505. >"Are you seriously doing a monologue?" said Aria, "Because that last sentence was not needed."
  506. >you turn your head to her
  507. "Nobody said you HAD to listen and besides, I'M the Dungeon Lord and this is MY monologue so I get to say it the way I want to. If you have a problem, shoo."
  508. >"Ugh, then can I go and fight some people already? It's getting boring in this castle."
  509. "Not yet, Barbaria. No one has reached the second challenge yet. You will strike when when the time is right but for now be a good soldier and stay in the castle."
  510. >"Fine, wake me up when you need me. I'll be in upstairs bedroom chamber."
  511. >Aria started walking but stopped to say, "Oh right, 'Dad' called."
  512. "Why is he calling and why do you have your phone? Phones are forbidden in the game realm!"
  513. >"I know but I just got a voicemail from him."
  514. "Ugh, what did he say?"
  515. >"He said have fun and make sure to keep Sonata and Aria out of trouble."
  516. "What am I your keeper?"
  517. >"You ARE the Dungeon Lord so technically, yes."
  518. >you sigh
  519. "Whatever, just turn off your phone and don't use it again."
  520. >"Got it." Aria said waving her hand as she leaves
  521. >you turn back to the crystal ball as you continue watching the players attempt to make it to your castle
  522. [SWITCH]
  523.  
  524. >you continued walking in what felt like forever
  525. >you check your timer
  526. >23 hours and 40 minutes remain
  527. >wat
  528. >you suddenly feel exhausted
  529. "Hey, is it okay we take a breather?"
  530. >"Why, what's wrong?" asked Sunset
  531. "I don't really know. I feel a little dizzy."
  532. >the girls looked at each other for a moment and nodded
  533. >"Okay, Anon. We can rest here. Sonata, can you make us a fire?"
  534. >"Okay!" she said with excitement
  535. >Sonata took off her hat and grabbed some sticks out of it
  536. >...why does she have sticks in her hat?
  537. >she puts them on the ground in a pile and points her staff at it
  538. >she speaks a few words and
  539. >BOOM!
  540. "HOLY-?!"
  541. >a huge burst a fire just came out of the staff without warning
  542. >luckily you and others moved out of the way to avoid any burns
  543. >the only person who didn't move was Sonata
  544. >she just stood there as the fire expanded all over the wooden sticks
  545. >after the staff was done shooting the flames, Sonata looks at you and the others
  546. >"Fire's ready!" she said with a smile
  547. >"Thanks Sonata!" said Sunset
  548. >...
  549. >you begin to question the relationship between these three
  550. >everyone sat around the camp fire
  551. >it was nice taking a breather
  552. >maybe you can finally put together what you know
  553. >however you noticed that no one was communicating with each other
  554. >they were in a team yet they don't speak to each other while resting?
  555. >maybe this is a good time to know them better
  556. >launching icebreaker.exe
  557. "So you all graduated from high school?"
  558. >"Not me." said Sonata, "I'm in my last year."
  559. >"You mean senior year?"
  560. >she nods
  561. >okay then
  562. >you remember something about her
  563. "I recall that you were adopted by one of the teachers from Crystal Prep."
  564. >"Yup! It felt like it happened yesterday."
  565. >"That's because you tell us the story at least once a week." said Sour, "I'd be lying if I said I wasn't sick of hearing it."
  566. >"Well too bad, Anon is getting a story so.."
  567. >Sonata sticks her tongue out and raspberries at Sour
  568. >"Now then, it was cold and snowy that day.."
  569. >"Blah blah blah." Said Sour interrupting, "You were homeless, your then-Dad saw you and your friends singing in the park, let you in his house, bought clothes, cooked food, eventually adopted you and with help from Dean Cadence you got enrolled in our school. The end."
  570. >"Hey, I wanted to say those things.."
  571. >Sonata was very displeased
  572. >"I'm sorry but we are at a time limit here, remember?"
  573. "So I'm guessing that's the abridged version of it?"
  574. >"Actually, my version of the story has more details in it like how he found out that we use-Mphpohphh.."
  575. >Sunset covered Sonata's mouth before she said anything else
  576. >"Now, now Sonata." said Sunset, "Let's not drag the story. We ARE at a time limit."
  577. >Sonata looks down in disappointment and let's out what you assume is an "Okay" since her mouth is still covered by Sunset's hand which eventually got off
  578. >you raise an eyebrow
  579. >you are curious what Sonata was about to say before the interference
  580. >from what you remember she sees to know the Dungeon Lord, Adagio
  581. >is Sonata related to her in some way?
  582. "Is it just you or do you have any sisters?"
  583. >"Oh, yeah I do!" Sonata says happily, "I have Aria and Ad-aphmm."
  584. >Sunset covered her mouth again
  585. >hmm
  586. >perhaps you'll leave the questions for later
  587. >when Sonata is alone
  588. >but judging the way Sunset and Sour are looking at you, that isn't gonna be easy
  589. >better ask something else
  590. "So tell me, why did you choose these classes? You like using the bow?"
  591. >"Actually, I used to be in the archery club. I was the best out of everyone. I never missed a shot. Hey, you should try it out sometime, it's a good stress reliever."
  592. >hearing that from Sour makes you think otherwise..
  593. >Sour smiles softly
  594. >"But holding a bow and arrow again felt really nostalgic. Glad to see I haven't missed a step."
  595. >yeah except that moment with the bug bear where you were yelling at it after missing every shot..
  596. >yet seeing her like this, you can tell she's happy
  597. >you look at Sonata, waiting for an answer
  598. >"I like magic." Said Sonata
  599. >...
  600. >...
  601. "That's it?"
  602. >she nods
  603. >"Yup! Magic is something that's been a part of me for like.. ever.
  604. "You like magic?"
  605. >"Uh-huh. But I like Equestrian magic the most."
  606. "...Excuse me?"
  607. >"I think we're done resting now." said Sunset standing up, "Don't you think so, Sour?"
  608. >she nods
  609. >"Let's hurry." said Sour, "The other players may have already reached the next area."
  610. >that was quick
  611. >you can tell they are hiding something
  612. >Sour and Sunset don't seem like the ones who will talk about
  613. >Sonata looks like she's the only one you can get the answers from
  614. >you just need to find the right moment to get her to talk
  615. >you all got up and continued walking through the forest
  616. >"I've been wondering: you went to Canterlot High and yet I've never seen you at the Friendship Games" said Sour, "What happened, too wimpy to play?"
  617. "Actually I used to go to Canterlot High. I was Sunset's friend for a year before I moved away."
  618. >"Moved away?" asked Sonata, "Where?"
  619. "Manattan."
  620. >"Oh wow.. where's that?"
  621. >"Sunset, I didn't know you knew a big city kid." Said Sour
  622. >"I was only with him for a year." said Sunset, "We were just study buddies."
  623. >huh
  624. >when you think about it, she's right
  625. >"We studied together at the library and sometimes at the laboratory. If it wasn't for him, I actually would've not gotten the house I live in right now."
  626. "Wait, you still live in that place?"
  627. >"Of course."
  628. "You still do research and experiments at the laboratory?"
  629. >"Yup."
  630. >you chuckle
  631. >she hasn't changed one bit
  632. >"Anyway, when I found out he came back, I wanted to catch up with him but I haven't been able to contact him for a while."
  633. "Be glad I still have the same e-mail address or I wouldn't have gotten your number."
  634. >you smile as you listen to Sunset talk about the old days
  635. >you started to remember a few things
  636. >it was interesting how you first met Sunset
  637. >actually it was more weird
  638. >she was like she came from another dimension or something
  639. >she looked like regular teenager but didn't know how to act like one
  640. >it was rather.. interesting
  641. >you also remembered she was pretty anti-social
  642. >though from what you are seeing now, she's been doing much better
  643. >you are glad to see that
  644. >you also notice Sonata has been looking at you the whole time
  645. >those wide child-like eyes
  646. >it's getting quite creepy
  647. >...
  648. "Can I help you?"
  649. >she just continued looking at you
  650. >...
  651. >"So are you in college?" asked Sour
  652. "Yeah, but I'm taking the summer off so I can finally relax. I wanted to come back just to say hi to some old friends but found out everyone I knew left town after they graduated."
  653. >"I didn't leave town." said Sunset
  654. "Well that's one at least."
  655. >you both chuckle
  656. "What about you Sour? Are you in college?"
  657. >"Why yes, a university. A very prestigious one too."
  658. "I assume you still do archery there."
  659. >"Pffff, as if.." she says bitterly, "The archery club disbanded a year before I even arrived. When I found out, I was too late."
  660. "You mean you didn't check after you graduated?"
  661. >"Oh I'm sorry. I was busy keeping my perfect record intact."
  662. >"But wait." said Sonata, "What about that time you were staying at that prison because they- MPH!"
  663. >Sour quickly covers Sonata's mouth with her hands and scrunches her face
  664. >"He does NOT need to know that nor should you mention it EVER AGAIN! Got it?!"
  665. >after a long pause, Sonata nods
  666. >"Besides, it wasn't a prison. It was a mental hospital." Said Sunset
  667. >Sour turns to her
  668. >"WILL YOU STOP?!"
  669. >what a lovely combination these three are..
  670. >so Sour was admitted to a mental facility for a while huh
  671. >judging from her attitude, it's almost not surprising
  672. >best not make it worse by bringing it up
  673. "So I can assume you come here to fix that archer itch?"
  674. >"You could say that. I mean, it's not like I miss doing this."
  675. >you admire her honesty
  676. >well some of it
  677. >you can see you've walked quite a distance but still no exit in sight
  678. >you decide to speak to Sonata since she's been staring out for a while
  679. "So Sonata, got any plans after you graduate?"
  680. >...
  681. >Sonata was looking at the ground, walking while trying to think of an answer
  682. > after a long pause, she brings her head up and says "Not really."
  683. "Excuse me?"
  684. >"From what I've been hearing from other people, college sounds like it's very complicated and you need a lot of money."
  685. >...she's not wrong
  686. "So are you planning on doing anything after high school?"
  687. >"I don't know really. I was planning to be a teacher like Dad."
  688. "But you need to go to college to do that."
  689. >"Yeah.." Sonata says, closing her eyes,"After finding that being a teacher is too much work, I decided to do something that actually is fun. Something more like me."
  690. "..Which is?"
  691. >"I think I'll be a singer."
  692. "You sing?"
  693. >she opens her eyes and looks at you with delight
  694. >"I sing all the time! If you were a bard, we totally could've sang some great songs!"
  695. >you notice Sunset's face of doubt and fear
  696. >almost as if she knows what Sonata does when she sings
  697. >"Though I don't really like singing by myself." she said in melancholic manner, "I like to sing with the girls."
  698. "Sour and Sunset?"
  699. >"No, Aria and Ad-"
  700. >"HER SISTERS!" yelled Sunset, "She likes to sing with her sisters!"
  701. >okay that's getting annoying
  702. >so Sonata has two sisters and they all can sing
  703. >well based from what you are told
  704. >and you can also assume the AD is probably Adagio
  705. >though you can't be too sure
  706. >Sonata seems to love her sisters so if Adagio is the dungeon lord why isn't she with her?
  707. >and who is this Aria?
  708. >if she's also Sonata's sister, there's a chance you might meet her here
  709. >slim chance but a chance nonetheless
  710. >maybe you can get answers from her as well
  711. >"Something isn't right." said Sour, "We should be reaching the exit by now but we don't see nothing but trees, trees and more trees!"
  712. >you all stop and look around
  713. >"Hey you're right. Have we been going in circles?" asked Sunset
  714. >"But we only moved forward." said Sonata, "Going in circles would've meant we turned left or right many times."
  715. >"Thanks Captain Obvious.." said Sour
  716. >you suddenly hear laughter
  717. >a sinister type of laughter Z
  718. >"Well, well. It took you long enough." Said a female voice, "So sad this little story time of yours had be broken up but now!"
  719. >a sudden explosion of smoke
  720. >you see a shadowy figure within the smoke cloud
  721. >"Prepare yourself for you are about to to face the GREAT AND POWER-!!"
  722. >"Hi Trixie!" yelled a waving Sonata
  723. >"Must you do that Sonata?!"
  724. >wat
  725. >out of the cloud came an angry blue girl with a huge wizard hat and robe
  726. >from the attire you can assume she's a mage
  727. >"Did we not agree that the Great and Powerful Trixie shall do her epic introduction without interruption?" said Trixie with some flamboyant gestures
  728. >"Aww, but we haven't seen each other in a while!" said Sonata who proceeds to hug Trixie
  729. "Um, pardon us but can someone explain what is going on?"
  730. >"This is Trixie, one of our old classmates remember?" said Sunset
  731. "No, I don't actually.."
  732. >"Ugh, how dare you say that you do not know who Trixie is?" said Trixie, "Anyone who has been part of these games obviously knows who Trixie is."
  733. "Well bad news, I'm new and I've never heard of you."
  734. >Trixie scoffs at you and turns her head away
  735. >"Trixie will not be offended by a newbie."
  736. "So why are you here? Come to fight us?"
  737. >"Why would the Great and Powerful Trixie fight such an unfair fight?"
  738. "Excuse me?"
  739. >"Newbie, if you use your eyes you can plainly see that Trixie is alone."
  740. >right now you just see Sonata still hugging Trixie as she continues talking
  741. >"A four on one is not fair especially when there is a Cleric among the group."
  742. >"But I thought you were one of the bosses?" said Sunset, "You can easily take us on even with Anon's healing."
  743. >"That would be true but Trixie is no longer a servant of the Dungeon Lord. Trixie has become bored of squashing little mice. Trixie wishes for a real challenge!"
  744. >"Don't you have a group with you?" asked Sour
  745. >"Yes, but they died as soon as we came in this realm.. Trixie was most disappointed with them."
  746. >"So why exactly are you here?" asked Sunset
  747. >"Trixie wishes to join your group. Trixie was trying to get your attention but you all were caught up in your prattle. Thus Trixie had to cast an illusion to catch your attention."
  748. "Wait, so you're meaning to tell us that you placed us in a trap just so you can join the group?"
  749. >"Trixie's plans are fool proof." she said with her head up and hand on her chest
  750. "And why should we-?"
  751. >"You can join us." said Sunset
  752. >...
  753. "Why?"
  754. >"Gee Anon, you have to be a bit more trusting." said Sour, "Because even a monkey like you would know an opportunity when you see one."
  755. >"Trixie used to be one of the most powerful bosses in the realm." said Sunset, "If she joins us, we will have a better chance to make it to the Dungeon Lord."
  756. >"Alas, Trixie does not know the Dungeon Lord's whereabouts." said Trixie
  757. >makes sense she is one of the players now
  758. "Alright, you ca-"
  759. >"And who said you were in charge?" asked Sour
  760. "Uh.."
  761. >Sunset looks at Sonata
  762. >"Sonata?"
  763. "Wait SHE'S the leader?"
  764. >Sonata, Sunet and Sour nod
  765. >Sonata hugs Trixie tighter and says "She can join us, the more the magical!"
  766. >don't you mean merrier?
  767. >"The Great and Powerful Trixie is pleased to be part of your group. Now if you could please let go of Trixie. We are wasting valuable time."
  768. >oh snap
  769. >you look at your timer
  770. "We have 21 hours left."
  771. >"We were walking for that long?" said Sunset
  772. >"Everyone including Trixie was caught up in your every day life stories." said Trixie, "It was quite pleasing to listen to."
  773. >you start walking
  774. "Yeah yeah, how about we keep moving."
  775. >"Um, Anon?" Asked Sunset
  776. "Yeah?"
  777. >"The exit is that way."
  778. >she points to the open area a few feet behind her
  779. >...
  780. >oh
  781. >you quickly turn around and moved forward, not saying a word
  782.  
  783. [SWITCH]
  784. >you are Dad-Anon
  785. >sitting by yourself in the living room couch
  786. >sure is quiet tonight
  787. >looking out the window
  788. >it's dark out
  789. >you can see the the lights show certain parts of the park where you first met the Dazzlings
  790. >you wonder how they are doing at their game
  791. >probably fine considering they are regulars there
  792. >they've been attending every month for more than a year already
  793. >and it's a good thing it doesn't affect their studies either
  794. >well, Sonata's case is a little different..
  795. >it's strange though
  796. >Adagio didn't like the game when she first went but from Aria and Sonata told you after a few games, she became the...
  797. >Dungeon Master?
  798. >Ruler?
  799. >Keeper?
  800. >or was it Lord?
  801. >regardless, she now makes the rules because of that role
  802. >...
  803. >you laugh mainly because you think it fits her very well
  804. >she is quite the dominant and manipulative type
  805. >it's probably a good thing she has a role like that
  806. >not to mention Aria and Sonata keep telling you that they had so much fun in their events, you really couldn't say no
  807. >people should take a break from their reality once in a while and just enjoy life
  808. >but for some reason, you can't help but think there is something else
  809. >something that Adagio likes that makes hercome back every month
  810. >but what could it be?
  811. >is it because of the power she has as the rule maker?
  812. >or is it something greater
  813. >perhaps something related to the world they came from
  814. >...
  815. >maybe you should head over there to check
  816. >oh wait, you made a promise to Sonata saying you won't interfere with the game
  817. >...
  818. >you sigh
  819. "I really hope it's just a game."
  820. >you continue looking at the night sky
  821. >worried about the girls
  822. >...
  823.  
  824. [Switch]
  825. >you sit on your throne as you watch the players dwindle in numbers and you laughing in delight
  826. "Hahahahaha!"
  827. >"You know you don't have to monologue on /everything/." said Aria
  828. "Silence Barbaria. As Dungeon Lord, I find it very satisfying that my traps and minions are destroying everything. Soon, there will be no players left to oppose me."
  829. >"So does this mean I'm gonna sit here and do nothing? Again?!"
  830. "Don't tell me you aren't enjoying being the Dungeon Lord's right hand?"
  831. >"No, I'm tired of doing nothing when I could be out there wrecking things."
  832. >you sigh
  833. "Oh Barbaria, even if you could, the rules won't really allow you to fight the way you want. Player against Player has very strict rules when it comes to physical combat."
  834. >"Well you're the Dungeon Lord, can't you change the rules a bit to be more physical?"said Aria as she puts her hands up in the air, "Heck, why not just change the game altogether? It's been five months and these numbers still give me a headache."
  835. "Hmm.."
  836. >you ponder
  837. >"Adagio, inner voice." said Aria
  838. >Anyway, changing the game rules sounds tempting
  839. >you did like being Dungeon Lord but what fun is it when you need to do all these rolls and number crunching? There are kids here! How do they even know how these work?!
  840. >you sit deeply in your chair as you wonder how to change the game
  841. >an idea popped in your head
  842. "Oh Barbaria~?"
  843. >"Yes?" said an annoyed Aria
  844. "I think it's time that we changed the rules. For the better."
  845. >Aria grins
  846. >you both laugh maniacally
  847. "MUWAHAHAHAHAHA!!"
  848. >"Seriously. Stop with the monologues. They ruin the mood."
  849. [SWITCH]
  850. >you finally made it out of the forest and can see the night sky clearly
  851. >you walked forward and suddenly notice somethjng from afar
  852. >a very ominous looking castle
  853. >your group sees it as well
  854. >"Wow, we found the Dungeon Lord's lair already?" said Sunset, "That's a lot quicker than last time. Good thing the Dungeon Lord doesn't change the castle appearance."
  855. >"At least we found it." said Sour, "All we need to do now is move forward."
  856. >"I don't think it's gonna be that easy." said Sonata
  857. >huh
  858. >...oh
  859. >she's right
  860. >you notice that the land the castle is on is surrounded by water
  861. >you look around to see if there are any connecting parts of land
  862. >it's no use
  863. >oh geez
  864. "Looks like the only way to the castle is with a boat."
  865. >"But who knows how long we will even find one?" said Trixie
  866. >"Maybe there's a beach nearby that has one?" said Sonata
  867. "Can't we just make one out of the trees here?"
  868. >"Sadly none of us have a Craft skill." said Sunset
  869. "We need a skill to build something like a boat?"
  870. >Trixie did a spit take
  871. >"What is this tomfoolery Trixie is hearing?" said Trixie, "Does he not know the rules?"
  872. >"Nope, he's a newbie." said Sour
  873. >Trixie gave off a stern look on her face
  874. >you can she's saying"No wonder" in her head
  875. >"Listen you, we need skills in order to do certain things." said Trixie pointing at you, "Those are the rules and they are fina-"
  876. >suddenly you hear an explosion and the sky turned orange
  877. >a huge beam of light shot out of the castle
  878. >you heard a booming voice
  879. >"MUWAHAHAHAHAHA!!"
  880. >...she's really enjoying being the boss.
  881. >"To all survivors, I commend you for making it this far. For too long, you have all followed these complicated rules BUT NOW IT IS TIME FOR A CHANGE!"
  882. >oh boy
  883. >this doesn't sound good
  884. >...
  885. >"First of all, if players want to fight each other then they can! No restrictions! Even if it's someone in your group."
  886. >you suddenly thought about Sour
  887. >...
  888. "I will also mention that the Rolls are gone! No more play of the dice. Everyone has to fight in order to increase their power. No shortcuts!"
  889. >...well that sucks
  890. >"Furthermore, the time has been reduced to 12 hours!"
  891. >...
  892. >you can't be serious
  893. >"All players much pass the waters in order to reach my lair. So I suggest finding a good boat and just to give you all a little nudge, I will mark where every boat is located."
  894. >you see beacons of orange light appear from afar
  895. >you assume those are the boat locations
  896. >"C'mon Anon!" yelled Sunset
  897. >you turn your head to see Sunset and the rest run off to the nearest beacon which was on the west side end of the forest
  898. >you started to run and eventually caught up with the group
  899. >as you ran, the Dungeon Lord's voice let out one more message
  900. >"And be sure that it's a sturdy boat because you never know what may lurk underneath."
  901. >you suddenly hear a loud roar
  902. >that doesn't sound good
  903. >you hear the evil laugh once more before the voice along with the orange sky faded
  904. >you suddenly feel like this is a waste of time
  905. >it looks hopeless
  906. >but it looks like you can't give up
  907. >not yet
  908. >Sunset and the rest are counting on you
  909. >even as a low level Cleric, you still have some use to them
  910. >you continued running toward the beacon
  911. >hoping that the boat is in good condition
  912. >...
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