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Trixie the Greatest

Dungeons, Dragons, and Ponies (Chapter 2 Update)

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DUNGEONS,DRAGONS, AND PONIES

 

 

CHAPTER ONE: CITY IN TROUBLE

 

Equestria, land of peace and friendship, ruled by the benevolent Alicorn princesses Celestia and Luna. For a millenia, this land progressed under the watchul eyes of said princesses. One fateful day, monsters raised against ponykind, invading settlements and even large cities. Although resistance from ponies was great, the attacks increased. No one could explain how primitive beings suddenly had the ability to gather in masses and strike, but they knew that something had to be done to keep them under control. This is a tale of four brave warriors travelling from distant lands into the heart of the maelstrom, should they fail their quest, then there is no telling what the fate of Equestria will be...

The warm sun caressed the forest. Three figures walked through it, taking it as a shortcut to the city they were trying to reach. One of them, an orange earth pony fighter in armor, was in the lead, followed closely by a purple unicorn elf dressed in bright green clothing suited for this type of terrain and in the back, a shy cleric pegasus, her yellow coat in contrast with her pink mane and tail. All of them had their weapons held on their belts, saddlebags filled with bits and essential supplies on their flanks. The fighter took a fresh gulp of forest air and exhaled in bliss.

 

"Ah love forests sometimes. However nothin' beats a warm meal an' a hot bath in the city. It is to die for."

 

"Please don't say things like that." The pegasus said, blowing a flock of pink mane from her face. The fighter chuckled and hummed a tune while walking. The unicorn took out a scroll from her saddle bag and levitated it in front of her unfolding it using her magic. She was wearing a smile while inspecting it, then rolled it back and set it inside her bags anew.

 

"If we hurry we might get a chance to converse with the locals about some quests to keeps us busy for the next couple of days. This is so exciting! It's not everyday I get to visit cities myself."

 

"Heh, well, you sure have been one to think a city is the most important thing in the world, Twilight." The fighter said coyly. "Then again, I thought goin' thru this forest might've been a familiar thing for ya, with you being from one an' all..."

 

"Yeah...what makes you think I would enjoy every forest just because I come from one, Applejack?" Twilight said a bit annoyed. The pegasus sighed and hoped they would not get into one of their usual conflicts the way they had ever since they encountered the unicorn elf that fateful day during their travels. A sudden rustle from the bushes near got her attention. She blinked and took no heed from it at first, but then the rustle grew more and she decided to break from the group to investigate. Applejack took notice of this and stopped looking at the cleric.

 

"Fluttershy where in tarnation are you goin'?"

 

"Oh, I have to know what that noise is, you never know if there's someone in need of help..."

Applejack rolled her eyes and thought that she maybe heard some kind of land creature tangled in the bush or something. She had known Fluttershy the longest of times and knew of her kindness, not only for ponyfolk, but also for animals she tended to when they needed. She and Twilight decided to stop and let the pegasus let her hunger for curiosity be satisfied. In the meantime they both checked their saddlebags to see if they had enough provisions should they decide to visit the city's shoppes to restock. The cleric nosed around the bushes, trying to find the source of its rustling. She was about to give up looking when something jumped at her. With a small scream she retialiated, but the unknown assailant was on her back, trying to wrestle her to the ground. Soon after, two more small creatures appeared from the bushes, both armed with tiny swords and wooden shields. Her companions heard her cry and hurried to her as Fluttershy was now sorrounded by a trio of kobolds. The one on her back straddled and using her mane as reins mockingly turning her head around as the cleric tried to buck him off. The other two laughing and trying to poke her with the end of their small weapons. Twilight and Applejack drew their blades and charged.

 

"Let'er go you filthy scum!" Applejack screamed ramming on of the creatures with her shoulder. Twilight raised the hilt of her blade at the other, trying to hit his head, but the kobold was fast for her attack and deflected it with its wooden shield, sending him back a few feet. The monsters snarled and charged back at them, leaving their friend alone with the still struggling pegasus. If anything, the ponies had the upper hand with their size advantage and their larger blades, but the kobolds were unusually resilient, not giving up despite their size difference. Even Applejack who has fought an owlbear by herself was having a bit of difficulty with one smaller foe. Twilight did her best not to bring down the kobold she was facing, wanting instead to knock him out. She always thought respect for the living was important, even if said living things would try to kill her. And as af this was of any circumstance, the kobold she was facing had now a murderous look on his eyes, snarling and striking with force no matter how small his blade was against her middle-ranged sword. In the meantime, Fluttershy managed to buck off the offending creature, sending it spinning on the floor. She shook her head and managed to grab her mace as the kobold reached for his own weapon. They soon clashed and joined the fight properly. Applejack gave a swift and strong hit at her opponent's shield and shattered it, leaving an awe struck kobold running away as soon as his means of defense were destroyed. Twilight jumped back, dodging the stabbing motions of the kobold. She took the chance as one strike missed her chest and deflected it with her blade, knocking it off from the tiny hand of the creature. The kobold gasped and hid under its tiny shield, to which Twilight then turned and gave a strong buck with her hind legs, sending him flying to the ground. The kobold defeated, ran away as well, leaving only one more to deal with. Fluttershy was swinging wildly at her own opponent, but the kobold just kept shielding each blow, trying as well to strike back at her. When he noticed that he was the only one left, along with the glare the other two ponies were now on him alone, he gulped and ran away from the cleric, dropping his weapon and shield in a panicked frenzy. Fluttershy kept swinging with her eyes closed, shouting to the now fleeting crerature to stay back. Applejack walked towards her, sheathing her sword in the process.

 

"Whoa Fluttershy, calm yer fightin' instincts girl! They are gone now."

 

The cleric stopped swinging once she realized she wasn't hitting anything anymore along with her friend's voice. She opened her eyes and blushed, hiding her face under her mane as she put her mace back in place.

 

"Um...can we go now please?"

 

Twilight and Applejack both let out a laugh. They encouraged her friend to continue their journey and soon they were what they believed was the edge of the forest. Twilight double checked the map to ensure that they would make it to the city in time. Applejack moved her head cracking her neck and gave out a sigh. Fluttershy kept looking sideways in case another creature like the ones they faced a while ago would make a jump on her again. Suddenly their ears perked at the sound of someone moaning within the trees. Fluttershy looked towards the direction of the sound, but this time she stood her place rather than blindly going to inspect. Twilight tried to figure out if this was coming from a pony or a creature, but when she heard it again she could actually make out words, even though they were prolonged with the sound of the voice rather than making any kind of language spoken. Applejack looked at her companions for suggestions and the other two nodded in turn.

 

"Alright, this time we all go togheter to see what's that about..."

 

They chanced straying from the trail into the side of the forest, and investigated to find the source of the noise. It wasn't long until Fluttershy noticed a pony soldier on his side, a kobold laughing and poking him with the end of his blade. The fiend got knocked by a magic missile shot by Twilight and was sent rolling away to a waiting rock, which he smacked his head and was left unconsious. The trio hurriedly approached the moaning soldier and knelt besides him. Fluttershy took out a canteen and offered water to the pony. After a few gulps, he started coughing and tried to lift his head to see his saviors.

 

"Don't strain yourself..." Fluttershy said in a concerned tone. She held his head on her hooves and let the pony rest again on the ground. However, the soldier tried to talk to them with his eyes full of fear.

 

"Monsters...invading the city...please help us..."

 

Applejack and Twilight both looked at each other. They realized what they faced earlier was probably a faction of what was invading the city. Fluttershy tended to the wounds of the soldier as he gave more information about the situation. Soon, he was left behind at his request, stating that he would try to recover by himself as long as he was relieved some help was underway. They got back on the trail and soon reached the city. They noticed clouds of smoke on several spots from their standing point, and heard small cries of help. They all hurried towards it, their weapons drawn again expecting a fight soon. When they reached the skirts of the citadel, they noticed a group of fleeing civilians, all screaming for help as they ran towards them. The trio stopped abrubtly and tried not to get in their way, moving aside as each pony frantically ran for their lives.

 

"Excuse me, hey watch it! What're you runnin' from? Hey!"

 

Applejack futily tried to get their attention but it seemed the ponies were more concerned in running away rather than stopping to give in formation about what they would encounter in the city. Closing her eyes and trying not to get it to her, Applejack motioned her companions to go further into the city. If anything, they found that this part of the city they were on was eerily quiet after the outburst they just seen. Fluttershy felt more uncomfortable than the time she spent walking in the forest, eyes nervously looking around for any monster it might face her. Twilight let her horn glow in an attempt to locate anyone that may be around in need of help. Applejack had her blade steady, a look of determination in her eyes. She was walking past an inn when Twilight stopped and neared the door of the building.

 

She pressed her ear on it, and heard muffled speech from within. Fluttershy stopped just behind her, a look of worry edged on her face.

 

"Psst, Applejack! I think there might be civilians hiding in here..."

 

Applejack turned to face the unicorn and neared the door. Looking at her companions she opened it slowly, then took a peek inside. She could not see anyone but did hear the sound of hoarse laughter nearby, along with some whimpers that came from behind a counter. She motioned to the other two to follow her lead inside. They walked silently in the inn and looked around. There were tables trashed everywhere, with bottles of empty liquor on the floor and a few scraps of food along with them. Twilight looked at the corner to notice a trio of gnolls feasting on large ammounts of food and downing bottles of liquor as if it were water. She was about to notify Applejack when one of said gnolls looked up at her, ears perked and a snarl coming from his snout, alerting the others of their presence. They all got up their seats, large axes in their hands and turned to the ponies. Applejack, aware of the situation, gave an annoyed sigh.

 

"Horseapples, just when I thought things were goin' to get easy..."

 

The trio braced themselves as the gnolls charged them, axes swinging dangerously at their bodies while their blades countered attacks from the canine-like beings. Applejack had it a bit easier this time, since the opponent she was facing was taller than the last, and she could swing her blade at the shaft of the axe to try and knock it away from the gnoll she was facing. Fluttershy squeaked as her mace deflected the axe everytime it swung towards her neck. Twilight dodged most of the strikes, apting to get the gnoll in a weakspot to inmobilize him and hoping she would not have to bring him down permanently. Applejack scowled at her, trying to let her know not every creature was as nice as she was, especially when said creatures didn't mind killing unlike her friend. The fighter dodged a hit on her own, and with a free hoof, uppercuted the gnoll straight in the jaw. The gnoll was knocked a few feet back, rubbing his chin as Applejack took this to her advantage and charged him. She pushed the gnoll through a window and he landed on his back outside, knocked out as his head hit the hard, stony ground. Fluttershy got pushed back as the gnoll kept striking at her with fury. She flapped her wings and got herself lifted in the air above him. Before the gnoll could bring his axe to slash her in mid-air, Fluttershy brought down her mace on his skull, knocking him outcold. She gave a quick apology to the fallen gnoll before going to aid Twilight with the last of the bunch. Twilight however, sheathed her sword, much to Fluttershy's horror and then the purple pony's horn glowed, her arms stretched to the gnoll. The gnoll stopped abrubtly, head tilted to one side, curious as to what the pony was attempting to do.

 

"Polymorph others!"

 

A small cloud enveloped the gnoll and with a whomp! it was trasnformed into a small fox, falling to the ground in all fours and looking around bewildered. Noticing the much larger pony and the fact that he could no longer hold his weapon among other things, he scampered off quickly towards the exit. Fluttershy squealed at the sight of the now cute gnoll turned fox and then raised her mace behind her, hitting the face of the other gnoll who was trying to get up out of his stupor. The gnoll fell back again, his face contorted in a pained expression while stars hovered above his head. The gnoll outside peeked his head through the window and found he was now alone, knowing he had little chance on taking on all three, especially after seeing what they did to his friends, decided to make a run for it himself, cursing the ponies along the way. Twilight closed her eyes, thankful they survived another encounter and walked towards the sounds of ponies behind the counter. She found two adults and a small filly, tied up and their eyes full of fear on them, looking up at her. Twilight untied them and cut off some of the rope using her dagger, letting them up. The grateful victims bowed their heads at her and gave a quick explanation of what was going on. Applejack was the first to speak after what they heard.

 

"Any idea if there's more of you bein' held by these fiends?"

 

"As a matter of fact..." the older of the group spoke, "When we tried to hide here, we heard pleads for help near the bridge connecting to the canal. You may find more prisoners there, but I also noticed a big ogre commanding a few kobolds, he might be the leader of the group attacking the city."

The trio exited the inn and headed towards the location the other ponies gave them. Sure enough, as they neared the stone bridge, there were a small group of ponies tied up on the floor. They also noticed a few kobolds and a larger opponent, the ogre the male pony talked about. He stood high, tapping an equally large wooden club on his hands, laughing as the ponies whimpered for their well being. Just as before, the kobolds were amusing themselves by poking them with their sharp blades. Twilight was now seeing red at the sight to the point smoke was coming out of her body. Applejack quickly tapped on her shoulder, trying to calm her down. Twilight blinked and allowed to calm herself as Fluttershy felt relieved she wasn't going to turn into a fireball whenever she got incredibly upset. Applejack pointed at the enemy and led her companions to meet them in another unavoidable battle. The sound of hoofs on the hard floor got the attention of the ponies and the monsters alike, both looking at the heroes approaching them. The ogre gave out a hearthy laugh, swinging his club in the air in anticipation.

 

"Haw, lookit the brave ones...about time there was some sort of entertainment..."

 

The kobolds let out a cry and charged the ponies, while the ogre looked in amusement. Applejack, trying to evade the smaller beasts, ran a circle around them, a cloud of dirt enveloping the confused bunch while Twilight and Flutteershy clashed with them. The ogre looked down at the fighter and smirked, getting ready to confront what he assumed was the leader of the foolish trio. He swinged his club at her, missing as Applejack jumped to the side and countered with her blade. She found out that her sword was stuck at the tip of the wooden club, and tried to get herself free from it. The ogre however, found it comical and started swinging his weapon around along with the startled pony. Applejack kept cursing each time she was brought in the air until her blade got free, sending her down with an 'oof' from her mouth. She tipped her helmet up from view and glared at the laughing ogre, who apparently didn't think of her as a threat. Fuming, Applejack got up again and charged anew. She swung at the ogre trying to get his legs, which were the only target she could reach. The ogre countered each blow with one of his own, however Applejack was now careful not to strike as hard as she did before, not chancing another time for the ogre to get her in the air again.

 

 

The ogre brought down his club on her, but she moved aside, hearing the sound of wood hitting stone. She thought that with that, his club might've splintered, but found out the weapon was as sturdy as it was before he brought it down, realizing how durable it was. She gritted her teeth and took a mental note on not getting hit by it, even if she was wearing armor she would not know if it could absorb the hit of such an opponent. Hearing a scream from Fluttershy behind her, Applejack got distracted and looked behind, allowing the ogre to have a free hit. He swung a fist at her, hitting her on the head and sending her rolling on the floor knocking her out and a dented helmet falling from her head. Applejack laid still. Twilight took notice of this, and turned her head to Fluttershy, who had a couple of kobolds pushing her near the edge of the bridge. However, as soon as she seemed lost to the kobolds, Fluttershy gave herself a boost of confidence and swung madly at them both, mace clashing with their shields and cries of surprise from the fiends as they now were the ones retreating. Twilight paid attention to her opponent and with a skillful flick of her elven sword, knocked the weapon out of the kobold facing her. The monster cowered behind his shield as Twilight ran past him, setting her sights on the ogre who, for some reason, refused to even take notice of her or Fluttershy and was looking in amusement at her knocked out friend. Glaring, Twilight's horn shone anew, preparing a spell. She lifted her glowing hooves as she got ready, and aimed at the overconfident ogre.

 

"Lightning bolt!"

 

A stream of lumincent energy struck the ogre, letting out a scream of surprise and pain. His body spasmed wildly as Twilight drained her rage with the bolt on him. A few seconds later, the ogre fell on his knees, dropping his weapon and clutching his chest in agony. He let out a moan of pain for a few moments before lifting his head, glaring at the unicorn who struck him. Twilight hesitated, thinking this would be more than enough to stop him.

 

"S-stand down! Don't make me do that again! I will!"

 

The ogre however was now trying to get up, his face having a look of anger instead of amusement. He reached for his club as well.

 

"That. Hurt. No more Mr. nice ogre for you..."

 

Twilight swallowed and tried to conjure another bolt or anything with her horn. As soon as she was preparing a spell, the orge was assaulted on his back by a recovered, yet dizzy Applejack, holding him with her lower legs wrapped around the ogre's chest. The ogre tried to shake off the pony, reaching with his free hand at her mane, but Applejack proved resiliant, not letting go as she reached for her blade with her front hooves. Twilight's eyes widened as she realized what her friend was about to do.

"Applejack!" she cried, but Applejack ignored her concerned call, raising the blade high and then bringing it down hard on the exposed neck of the ogre. She drove it almost halfway in his body as the larger foe raised his head with his mouth open in a silent scream. His eyes watered by the pain, he took a few steps closer to Twilight, while Applejack was still holding the blade deep in his back.

 

"That...wasn't cool..." he said, falling on his face as Applejack jumped off. Twilight's mouth fell agape at the sight, blinking as Applejack was trying to pry her sword loose from the now fallen ogre. She then realized they were the only ones out of the conflict as she turned to check on Fluttershy. Fluttershy however, was panting, clutching her mace and glaring at the couple of kobolds running away in the distance. Twilight gave a small grin at the courage the cleric showed and then walked towards Applejack. She tried to speak to her, but Applejack raised a hoof while holding the sword with the other.

 

"Save it. It's either kill or get killed, and I highly doubt this here orge was going to give us a chance simply cuz you saw him laughing all the time while fighin' me. Ah'm not proud of doin' this mahself, but what the hay you wanted to do? Turn him into another cute critter?"

 

Twilight scowled but said nothing. She doubted she could do another spell like that after spending a fraction of her energy with recent encounters. In fact, she wasn't sure if another lighting bolt would keep the ogre at bay, or at least, sent him to the ground without as much as a burned chest. Still, she didn't exactly wanted this result, but she shrugged and helped Applejack getting her sword out. Fluttershy turned away as the sickening sound of flesh was heard when the sword finally pulled out. Instead, she walked towards the tied ponies, who were also looking at the scene with unblinking eyes. They soon were cheering as their bonds were cut and some of them even hugged the heroic trio. One of the ponies, a green mare unicorn with golden eyes gave Twilight a magical ring as a sign of gratitude. She notioned her to put in on her horn, stating that it had a magical effect on weapons, and that it would affect everyone near her when she did. A faint glow enveloped their weapons indeed, as Fluttershy let out a gasp and commented that she could feel the increase of power on her mace.

Twilight turned to the pony who gave them the item.

 

"Thanks...er..."

 

"Lyra," the unicorn replied. "Thank you so much for saving us, you are welcome to stay in our city for as long as you like!"

 

The one called Lyra then turned and walked alongside another earth pony mare, cream coat and two colored mane and tail, purple and pink. Twilight heard the name of her friend as being Bon Bon.

Moments later, a royal guard was talking to the trio expressing his thanks for defeating the leader of the raiding monsters. He explained that the royal army as fighting off most of the beasts in main parts of the city, but they could not cover some of the sectors like the one the trio defended.

 

"Again, thank you for doing this, you could've just walk away without lending a hoof, pretty honorable for you to do this," the guard said.

 

"Shucks, worth nothin', we could not be idly by and let these scoundrels hurt anypony."

"I agree." Fluttershy said, although she kept hiding behind Applejack as she addressed the guard. Twilight, still contemplating her new item, took a moment to ask the guard about what happened and why all of the sudden this city was under siege.

 

"I am not sure, really," the guard stated "All I know is that we are not the only ones under attack, we recieved messages of other cities under similar circumstances around the country, although we thought ours would never be under attack, of course look what happened because of our naive expectations."

 

"Any chance as to who might get an idea of this sudden attacks?" Twilight asked, trying to get as much info as to what she was excitedly hoping to be a new quest. The guard looked to the side and then stared back at her.

 

"I suppose you could inquire her highness, Princess Celestia about such information, since I heard the capital was among the first defended when the raids began. However, I suggest you take time to get ready since the road leading there is long and much dangerous than before. I am sure you had trouble when you were reaching our city."

 

To this the trio nodded in unison. They thanked the guard and were on their way, but they stopped when he called to them.

 

"Wait...before you go to the capital...I have a request to make."

 

Applejack looked behind her and waited for him to continue. The guard cleared his throat and began to speak.

 

"There is a fort to the westernmost side of here, I assume the monsters first passed through there before reaching our city. In fact, we did indeed recieved a distressed message of them being outnumbered, but we could not sent reinforcements while we were defending ourselves. We are affraid if there are any survivors by now, so I must ask...will you travel there first and make sure at least some of them survived?"

 

His eyes were imploring them for help. Applejack looked down, wanting to get things over with, but not wanting to say no for an answer. They all huddled and spoke among themselves on this. After a few nods from both Fluttershy and Twilight, Applejack turned to the guard with a determined look on her face.

 

"We will do what we can, sir."

 

"Thank you! I will make sure you get a discount in an inn should you take a small rest."

 

This made Applejack smile. They went to the nearest inn, one that was not thrashed, and decided to have a meal and a room to recollect their energy. As promised, said pampering came to almost no cost at all, the innkeeper also hearing of their heroic exploits. There was a knock on the door and when Twilight opened it, there was a cheerful looking white coated mare, holding a tray of drinks. She stated it was on the house and bowed to them, walking back to the hallway. Twilight entered the room again and they all shared the bottle with glasses filled to the brim. They all cheered and drank the contents, tasting the sweet taste of berries with a kick of alcohol in it. Applejack sighed contently.

 

"Ah tell ya, bein' a hero sure pays off."

 

Soon after, the ponies went straight to a shop and bought a batch of healing potions, some daggers, hammers, oil, and a quiver of arrows for Twilight. Like in the inn, the shopkeeper gave a small discount of his own, stating that one of the ponies they saved was his daughter. The trio exited the shop and headed towards the exit of the city, it was getting dark when they did so, but they figured out they would reach said fort before the sun was completely out. Twilight recommended taking a break should nightfall come, suggesting daybreak to continue to the forth. The others nodded, and were on their way, wondering what they would find on their new assigned mission...

 

Edited by Warpony
  • Brohoof 1

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YEAHH! Dungeons and dragons and PONIES!! In my opinion(even though I'm no expert) it is pretty good but there are some spelling mistakes here and there.

Also, at some parts it's hard to tell who you are writing about.

Nothing you can't fix though :)

I will now wait for the next chapter :D 

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(Thank you for the tips and you liking the story thus far.  I have tried to write Chapter 3 for a long while now but this comment you posted has given me more inspiration to finish it.  Here is Chapter 2 and I do hope you like it as well.  Critique is also encouraged and appreciated.)

 

CHAPTER TWO- AN AXE AND A SCORE TO SETTLE

 

The trio got to the fort by the time the sun set in the distance. The night brought the eerie atmosphere around the stronghold, especially since there seemed no one around to guard the gates or the top side. The heroines thought that the worst had already happened here, and hoped they could find any survivors inside. Applejack view the fort in a pensive mood, her body rigid and her mouth clenched. Twilight looked at her and shared the same thoughts about their situation.

 

"Come on ya'll." the fighter said, walking towards the opened gate as the other two followed. Fluttershy managed to move along, even if her instincts kept screaming to stop her and turn back.

 

As soon as they were inside, they noticed bodies of both ponies and monsters, each looking a lot gruesome than the last. A big fight happened here, and the guards seemed to put everything they got to defend themselves, as well as to try and stop the raiding beasts from reaching the city behind. Not wanting to dwell among the dead, the trio approached a door that led to the inside of the fort. Applejack held up a hoof and motioned the rest to stop while she examined the door. She looked at Twilight and she nodded in turn, then Applejack opened the door slowly, the darkness inside made things worse than what they saw outside. They all entered one by one, trying not to get much attention in case monsters were nearby. Fluttershy lighted a torch to make things easier to see. She held it up and looked around as did the rest. The room seemed empty altogether, but then they noticed a lump on the far side of the floor. Fluttershy walked near it to take a closer look and gasped. In the shadows there was another guard, but unlike the unfortunate souls outside, he seemed to still be breathing. The ponies gathered around him and offered as much help as they could. Applejack was the first to speak.

 

"You alright? You know of any survivors here?"

 

The guard coughed harshly but managed to utteer some words. Fluttershy lowered her head to listen properly at what he was saying. The guard whispered to her ear, finding it easier to do so than to actually speak outloud. After a few words, she raised her head and looked at her friends.

 

"He says that there might be more soldiers upstairs in need of help, but he hasn't heard anything since he managed to escape certain death. He also said not to worry about him and to aid the others..."

 

They all frowned at this but decided to do as told. Fluttershy stopped the bleeding from one of his wounds tying it tightly with bandages, then followed the rest upstairs. Another empty room awaited them once they came out of the stairs. Nothing out of the ordinary seemed to happened there. Just when they decided to move forward, they heard steps coming closer from the sole exit. As the shapes became clearer, they noticed that it was a group of gnolls carrying not only axes, but also bows and arrows. They seemed to be chatting among themselves in a way that suggested amusement, the trio guessed these creatures were responsible to what happened here and decided to stay to see if they could find anything else they could do in case they found any survivors. As soon as they entered completely, they looked at the ponies and howled, bearing their teeth and raising their weapons to meet them in battle.

 

"Sigh, why do these guys keep showin' up?" Applejack sighed as she drew her sword at the ready. Twilight Sparkle and Fluttershy followed suit, although the latter wished she didn't had to fight in a dark room like this, especially since she had to lower the torch to the side. One of the gnolls prepared an arrow and pointed at Applejack, but was stricken in the leg by an arrow from Twilight, who held her own bow with her magic before the fiend could react. The gnoll fell to the side clutching his leg and cursing her in his native tongue. The rest charged forward, raising their long axes and meeting them with swords and a mace. Although it was difficult to see, neither side gave up entirely on their fight.

 

Applejack dodged, deflected a few blows, and even managed to sock a hoof on the gnoll's stomach, driving him behind a few steps before it charged at her again. Fluttershy kept herself out of the way, hovering around her opponent as he kept growling in annoyance, trying to strike her down with a few slashes in the air. She trid to go high and bring down her mace on his head as she did with the last gnoll she fought, but the beast blocked the attack and pushed her down to the ground. Landing on her back, Fluttershy looked as the gnoll approached her, axe high in the air and getting ready to strike her down. She yelped and brought up her mace under him, hitting him in a very tender area. The gnoll yiped and his eyes bulged out, dropping the axe and covering his hurt genitals, falling on his knees whimpering miserably. Fluttershy didn't wait for another chance and swung her mace at his head, sending the gnoll flying to the wall and crashing besides it. Twilight tried her best to defend herself wit her small blade against the bigger axe, as much as she wanted, she could not knock it out from the gnoll's paws. She noticed that this axe had a pike in the end, and got an idea if this creature ever wanted to try and impale her with it. As if reading her mind, the gnoll backed up a bit and decided to poke her with the pike on his axe. Twilight moved aside and caught the shaft with her right arm, locking it and pulling the gnoll towards her waiting hoof. She struck at the right eye of the gnoll, sending him backwards as he let go of his weapon to cover his face. Twilight then rushed at him with her blade in hoof and sliced at the gnoll's backside of his legs, bringing him down with a non-lethal blow. The creatuer now was holding his injured legs as he whimpered loudly. Twilight smacked him over the face with the hilt of her sword, rending him unconscious.

 

Applejack kept helding up on her own against one of the remaining gnolls. While her companions were a bit merciful with their enemies, Applejack was thought to use her blade to the finish when challenged, and today was going to be no different. She raised her sword to pull one of the arked sides of the axe to the side, and then pushed her weapon deep into the gnoll's chest. A look of agony was all the canine expressed before falling down with his last breath of life. She turned to the gnoll with the bow and arrows, but the creature held up his paws offering his surrender. Applejack towards him with a glare in her eye, making the gnoll feel smaller all of the sudden.

 

"Tell me, are there any pony survivors left behind?"

 

The gnoll quickly nodded and pointed towards the place they just came from. The ponies marched towards the arched exit, ignoring the whimpers from the arrow-stricken gnoll. Only Fluttershy stopped briefly to look at him, but said nothing and followed her friends inside. Once inside the next room, there were torches ignited to make things easier to see. Sure enough, there were a couple of guards on the floor, leaning their back to the wall as a third unwounded guard tend to them. He turned his head to expect more of those gnolls, but a look of relief washed over his face when he noticed the ponies. He walked up to them with a happy demeanor. Twilight stated how she was grateful to see more of them alive and asked him what had happened the time they were attacked.

 

"The monsters retreated when they found nothing more to plunder, or guards to hurt. I was one of the lucky ones to escape such fate, although when those last gnolls came to this chamber, they picked us clean and then showed "mercy" when they knocked us a few times before leaving. Good thing you showed up, I heard the commotion but could not leave my friends behind."

 

"It's alright, we are glad you are OK at least...you said there are more guards around?"

 

"Yes," the guard said to Twilight, "in fact, one of the monsters who refused to leave is fighting with another pony who came to help us, along with her griffin friend. Some of us decided to help along, but I haven't found out just how things ended up there."

 

Applejack spoke next, "well point us to the right direction to lend them a hoof at least."

 

The guard pointed at the stairs behind an exit parallel to another exit that was besides it. The trio climbed the stairs up to the next level of the fort. Once at the top of the structure, they heard faint screams and colorful cursing on the oiutside of the tower they were standing on. Curiosity enveloped their minds as they neared the exit of the tower. On the distance, there was a cyan coated pegasus, brandishing an axe over what appeared to be two overgrown panthers. On one side there was a griffin, clutching her chest as she watched the fight between pony and creature ensue. They heard a moan on their side and noticed yet another guard, clutching his head with his hoofs. Fluttershy knelt beside him and asked what happened.

 

"That beast...it refused to leave us alone even when its friends left us...that barbarian and her fighter griffin friend showed up in time to defend us when we were rendered useless against that fiend. However that thing is proving hard even to that skilled fighter, you should help her!"

 

They all started leaving when the soldier clutched Fluttershy's shirt, trying to get her attention.

"I must say this...why should two creatures cast but one shadow? Strike at the one with said shadow, its using an image of itself to confuse the barbarian!"

 

Fluttershy nodded and joined her friends to fight the beast. As they got closer, they noticed that what it appeared to be a panther of sorts, was in fact, a displacer beast. Using its whip like tentacles to strike at the cyan pegasus whenever she failed to swing a hit on it. The barbarian let out a cry of rage and swung at the head of the beast, which unfortunately it sliced right through it without any sign of damage. The pegasus sighed and then got slammed to the small wall that prevented her from falling down the ground. She immediately got up and charged again, her rainbow-colored mane covering one of her eyes. She stopped abruptly when she heard screams nearby. Turning her head around, she noticed three ponies galloping towards her, weapons drawn and at the ready.

 

"What? What are you doing here?" she asked in an annoyed tone "Stay back! I am personally handling this bastard!"

 

No sooner did she said this than the displacer beast struck her again, sending her rolling away.

 

"Yeah, you clearly don't need our help at all!" Applejack screamed, swinging at the creature with her sword. The displacer beast dodged swiftly, tentacles snapping at the new enemy. Twilight pushed the fighter out of the way, even if it meant that she now was struck and sent backwards by the powerful strikes the beast given her. Fluttershy tossed a hammer to the creature that casted the shadow. The beast looked up before being struck on the head by said hammer. It stumbled around trying to shake its head to clear its mind. Applejack swung again and this time, it caught the beast on its shoulder, leaving a gash as the creature hissed in pain. It soon jumped out of the way and tried to confuse the group by splitting into more images of itself. This time, Twilight joined and shot an arrow past the illusions at the real beast, hitting it on its side. The beast, moer confused than hurt, tried to hit anyone on its way, but since they now saw through its ruse, ended up hitting nothing but the ground, snarling at the sheer number of opponents it now was facing. The ponies circled her slowly, trying to intimidate the beast into surrendering. Then, a cry was heard behind the beast as a shadow was cast over it, it looked up just in time to see an axe buried into its skull. The displacer beast looked up crosseyed before falling to its side, dead. The cyan barbarian jumped to the sky and pumped one hoof in the air, hollering in victory.

 

"Whoo, YEAH! Take THAT you miserable pile of-"

 

Twilight cleared her throat, which stopped the pegasus from saying another colorful explamation. The pegasus landed besides the displacer beast's body and pulled her axe out with ease, much to the discomfort from Fluttershy. She then walked oveer to her wounded friend, the griffin Applejack and the rest noticed before they came to their aid. She knelt beside her and rested a hoof on her shoulder. The griffin smiled at her.

 

"Looks like you finally got that thing..." the griffin said.

 

"Yeah, I told you I would get it someday...heh, even if I had to get help in doing so."

"Speaking of our newfound allies, take a look at them, they seem to want to talk to you..."

The cyan pegasus got up from her injured friend and looked at the trio of ponies nearing them. One of them, the cleric, hurriedly approached the griffin and knelt besides her, examining her injuries while her hooves were envelpoed in a yellow glow. The fighter approached her and raised a hoof to meet the barbarian.

 

"Sure seems you gave it what it was gettin'. Name's Applejack, to my side there's Twilight Sparkle, and the one trying to cure your pardner is names Fluttershy..."

 

"Thanks, name's Rainbow Dash!" She said when she bumped Applejack's hoof with her own. Applejack blinked, not expecting this sort of greeting but said none of it. "My friend there is named Gilda."

 

Gilda nodded to the rest of the ponies while Fluttershy kept mending broken ribs and a few bruises. The soft clop of hoofs on stone behind them alerted them to see the guard left behind approaching with a smile of his own. He expressed his thanks to all of them, stating that they will be rewarded with food and board since the night would prove much too dangerous to go back to the city or elsewhere. Applejack nodded at this.

 

"Seems better than sleepin' on the ground outside..."

 

"Well," Twilight began, "At least we should send some sort of report back at the city, letting them know the fort has been secured."

 

At this the guard turned and whistled. A few seconds later, a female grey pegasus with blonde mane and tail, covered in a hard leather vest, landed near the bunch. At close, the ponies noted that her eyes were looking sideways, something they raised their own eyes at. The pegasus however, didn't seem to notice and waited patiently for the guard to write a scroll and rolled up so he could give it to her. The mare grasped it in her mouth and set it inside her saddlebags, then saluted and flew away towards the city. Twilight couldn't imagine how this mare would be able to see where she was going, but decided not to ask such questions, just hoped she would not find trouble in her way there.

 

"Oh, Ditzy Doo's the best messenger we got," the guard said, as if reading her mind, "She was the one who notified the city of our attack."

 

Minutes later, the group were inside the guards' quarters, which were occupied by a few wounded guards themselves. Each pony was on bed except Fluttershy, who was kneeling besides her bed deep in prayer. Applejack looked at her with a soft smile on her face. Twilight was using her horn to gain more light than what the torches were giving to check on her map. The guard stated that the road to the capital from where they were currently situated was highly dangerous, but there was a way to go around it without finding much trouble on the way. A boat that crossed a river going directly to the capital's limits. Twilight calculated the time they would take them to go to said boat without having to wait for another one should they miss their ride. Satisfied with finding time to do this, she rolled the map up and set it inside her bags besides heer bed. Rainbow Dash in the meantime, was explaining to Applejack about the reason why they followed the displacer beast from their own home while her friend Gilda was sleeping soundly without any signs of her wounds bothering her thanks to Fluttershy's intervention.

 

"Yeah, that thing was among the beasts that attacked our village days ago," the barbarian explained, "me and Gilda both decided to follow them and teach t hem a lesson for raising our home to the point that most of our people were left without homes. Heh, well, I couldn't have done it without you, guys. Thanks again for the help."

"Our pleasure, friend. Where will you go now that you accomplished your mission?"

 

At this, Rainbow Dash looked down. She felt that her work was done and should go back to her home to help them rebuild, plus there was the matter of Gilda to aid her back there as well. On the other hoof, she wanted to know what was happening since said attacks were now everywhere as she heard the guards say when she confronted the displacer beast. Now she had a chance to make things right and she could accompany this group in order to get to the bottom of it all. But what about Gilda...

 

"Dash..."

 

Rainbow Dash turned her head to her friend, who was now looking at her as if she was listening to the conversation all along.

"I think you should help these ponies on their quest."

 

"What? What about you?"

 

"I will be fine," the griffin said, getting into a sitted position without much pain as she was before. "I will stay here and recover until I am well enough to travel back home."

 

The pegasus hesitated. She furrowed her brow to think this through for a minute and then nodded to her friend.

"Alright, I will do it...but if I find out you die during your trip back home, I will personally go to the afterlife and kick your feathers."

 

At this the griffin chuckled, although doing so made her wince. Rainbow Dash got from her bed and went to embrace Gilda in a careful hug, which the griffin returned in kind. She then hopped back to bed and smiled at Applejack.

"Looks like you got yourselves another friend in your quest!"

 

"Heh, we wouldn't mind if you tagged along, Rainbow."

 

At this, the ponies and griffin went to sleep. All but Fluttershy who looked up the stony ceiling wondering what was going to happen on their way to the capital. She prayed to the gods about a safe journey and prayed hard she did. She glanced over at Twilight who by now was under a deep slumber, then looked up gain.

 

"Guess we will have to find out after all..."

 

The cleric pegasus closed her eyes and let sleep take over for the rest of the night.

 

CONTINUED IN CHAPTER THREE: THE PRINCESS IN THE CAPITAL

Edited by Warpony

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Yay! chapter two! Keep up the good work :D

I'm flattered that my reply have inspired you to continue writing, I didn't know that my simple advice would be this important. Glad to be of service :)

 

Also, something I noticed is that you sometimes write arm (like here "Twilight moved aside and caught the shaft with her right arm"). I'm just saying that it sounds a little weird since ponies don't have arms(obviously). I advice you to look up what that part of a horse body is called(sadly I don't know what it's called) and use that instead. Other than that I don't have anything else to say than keep on writing.

 

I will be waiting for the next part :)

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