51w, 6dSkyrim Equestria
Twilight's eyes shifted around slowly, and began to struggle open. Before they were fully open she realised that there was barely any light around her, but a simple dim orange glow piercing her side. Twilight expected the room to be near enough pitch black were it not for the light, which made it surprising as her eyes adjusted to a new pink colour directly in front of her. As her vision's blur cleared, she spotted a sight very common in Ponyville. Pinkie Pie's large grin and wide open eyes staring directly at Twilight. Except in this case she was millimetres from Twilight's nose, still frozen in her smile. Twilight finally opened her eyes in a state of shock, confusion and embarrassment.
"SUPRISE!" Pinkie shouted, somehow still able to keep herself balanced as Twilight suffered a minor heart attack and fell off the bed she once was laying on.
"Ah, Pinkie!" Twilight yelped in shock. "What's going on? Where am I? How-..." Twilight's thought train was suddenly delayed and scrapped as she thought back to the previous night. "Wait, Pinkie, is the library alright? What about Spike? I heard a gas leak! We ha-...". Twilight's thought train was once again interrupted, leaving angry passengers inside her head, as Pinkie fell off of the bed, (that was apparently cursed to make all its occupants fall) laughing. "Pinkie, this is serious! Somepony could be hurt! I heard a hissing noise!" Twilight said irritatedly.
"Haha, oh, Twilight, that wasn't REAL gas, it was sleeping gas!" Pinkie responded.
One of Twilight's lone eyebrows suddenly raised. "You used sleeping gas on me..." Twilight paused allowing Pinkie to nod. "...While I was going to sleep?". Pinkie nodded once again, still smiling. Twilight waited to see if Pinkie could figure out what was off in her plan.
"Well...?" Twilight questioned after a few seconds, hoping Pinkie hadn't lost track of the conversation.
"Well what?" Came Pinkie's cheerful response, unaware of Twilight's facehoofing.
"Why did you use sleeping gas on me while I was going to sleep?!"
"Well, duh! You would have woke up if we didn't use it! It kinda, maybe knocked you out a little as well..." Pinkie trailed off. "Just a teensy bit."
"Wait a minute, 'we'?" Twilight thankfully stopped before she heard Pinkie confess to making her unconscious.
"Oh right! I'm supposed to introduce you to them now!" Pinkie beamed happily.
"Who? And, again Pinkie, where are we?" Even Twilight's brain was struggling to make connections through Pinkie Pie's antics. Now that she had a better view of the room, it seemed very compact. The lone bed she once was lying on, a simple cupboard resting upon a stone floor and the only source of light, a candle were its only accompaniments. Directly behind Pinkie was the door out, leading into dimmer and danker areas. Pinkie's bright, poofy mane seemed out of place, contrasting the dark features of the room.
Pinkie's tone suddenly took a serious change, and began mimicking Flutterguy's voice; deep & mysterious. "Answers will come soon enough, Twilight." Twilight stepped back as she heard Pinkie's once high-pitched voice, one she grew to love, intimidate and scare her. "Oooh that was scary, huh? I always wanted to say that!" So much for that then, Pinkie was back to normal as she lead Twilight out of the small room.
Wherever Twilight was, the architecture of the narrow tunnels was both amazing and frightening. Perplexing images were carved into the walls, spreading throughout the cobblestone area, intersecting and leading into various rooms, depicting the unknown. Stories, prophecies? They seemed to have a pattern, yet as soon as they began to reveal their secrets, they lead into one of the other rooms that resembled Twilight's heart attack zone. The rooms were largely the same, some contained fireplaces and chairs- presumably a living room of sorts, some bedrooms, and even a kitchen-looking area, which strangely looked the most well kept and clean. The lighting was as low as Twilight's first experience with 'her' room, the only sources being candles, oil lanterns, torches or the occasional fireplace that kept the entire area warm despite the whole 'underground dungeon' vibe that was being given off. The air had a musty quality, Twilight could not imagine any upgrades had been made recently.
The maze soon ended as Pinkie continued down the tunnels slash corridors, Twilight following quietly behind, through no noise other than the splintering of wood from past fireplaces and little-to-no light except for the dim embers from near-death torches raining upon the hard stone ground. The pair reached a set of large, wooden double doors. They were easily the most polished things Twilight had seen in her short time here, and had laced patterns of shined, black waves, giving an illusion of being pushed against the door's sides.
"Ok, Twilight, it's time to meet everypony!" Pinkie said a tad over-dramatically, as if Twilight wouldn't be able to hear her while standing right beside.
Pinkie pushed the heavy-looking doors open with ease, and no creaking, and then quickly circled around the open door before Twilight could follow.
A cacophony of voices suddenly yelled out, "SUPRISE!", and if this was any indication of the last time Pinkie said that today, this would be bad. A flurry of white & brown circular shaped objects suddenly lept forward directly at Twilight, including one from the side- and she was frozen in fear, much like a deer on the receiving end of the 'Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000's' headlight's, and unable to move. Instead of her expected pain, she felt a cool, squishy substance run down her mane, snout, legs, and pretty much everywhere else that had been covered in this weird texture. It then hit her, if you'll pardon the pun, that she had been covered with a load of cream and apple pies, bits of brown crust falling out of her squinted eyes and onto the floor.
As if on cue, the herd of voices was once again raised, but this time in laughter at the dessert covered mare. She looked up to see a variety of, thankfully, familiar faces. Applejack & Rainbow Dash were supporting each other to keep themselves from falling over laughing, Zecora stifiling a laugh with her hoof, Spike rolling on the floor in circles, one of Rarity's friends- Fancypants, she remembered, chuckling to himself- and Pinkie Pie to her side, exploding with laughter, filling the room the loudest.
Twilight tried to stare them down angrily, but was clearly overcome by Pinkie laughing even harder, if that was possible.
Eventually the laughter died down, enough for Fancypants to introduce them. "Terribly sorry, Twilight, my dear, but Pinkie insisted that you get the same type of initiation as everyone else did." Twilight turned to glance at Pinkie Pie, who just finished wiping the tears out of her eyes. Twilight heard some regret in what Fancypants said, but heard distinct overtones of: You have to admit it was pretty funny!
Twilight failed at controlling her anger of the events leading up to this moment. "Can someone PLEASE tell me what is going on?! I've been knocked out, -She remembered! Pinkie thought- kidnapped, and now assaulted by pies!" Twilight's mind only just figured out what Fancypants said, it had been working dreadfully slow today. "Huh, initiation? Ugh, more questions."
Zecora took this chance to speak for Twilight's ongoing attacks, the striped zebra speaking as cryptically as ever. "For one to be accepted into our clan, being pelted with cream cakes is first our plan. Flour, apples and paint alike, with these tools are how we strike."
Twilight managed to look more confused.
Suddenly another pair of doors opened behind Twilight's attackers, and they all spun around accordingly as a trio of fillies entered the room. "Awh, we missed it didn't we?" Sweetie Bell asked no one in particular, the little, white unicorn beginning to pout.
"Ah told you we shouldn't a' tried a 'Cutie Mark Crusader Coal Miners' cutie mark before we got here, Scootaloo!" Applebloom remarked.
"Hey! I thought we could've dug into these tunnels in time! Besides, Sweetie suggested it!" Scootaloo countered, crossing her hooves in victory and looking away from the curly maned filly.
"Did not!" Came the inevitable, squeaky response from her that would create another argument.
"Did too!" And it begins...
"Girls! Please be quiet!" Sweetie's response was cut short by Twilight's hoof being jammed in her mouth.
"I'm sorry, but I need to know what's going on here." She glanced back towards Zecora. "Your clan?"
"Please, allow me to elaborate." Came Fancypants' polite voice as he brought a towel to Twilight. "We are a rather unique set of individuals dedicated to the balance of our social society."
"We throw pies at people!" Shouted Pinkie.
"Well, yes, ahem, I suppose that is a way we preserve the balance. But our goal is to make sure the fair citizens of Equestria are never denied a chance to reserve their dignity, in exchange for somepony else's, we simply make that exchange when asked."
"So you get revenge for those who request help after being wronged?" Twilight questioned as she gave the towel back to Fancypants.
Fancypants smiled, happy that for once someone was on the same page as him, rather than Pinkie's 'chuck pies, receive lulz'. "Exactly, and we want you you join us." Fancypants said as he scanned his hoof around the mismatched group. Multi-coloured ponies, and zebra, shattering the grim atmosphere.
"We know how good you are with magic, Twi, and we figured that would really help us, not havin' any unicorns." Applejack said, and then quickly turned to Fancypants & Sweetie Belle, who was just about to pull out her very large crying eyes. "No offense o'course! Twilight is the element of magic after all." Sweetie noticeably calmed after that, Fancypants seemed unaffected either way, not taking pride in magic capabilities as much as raw intelligence.
"What makes you think I would want to join anyway?" Twilight asked, interested in the group, perhaps their history, but not enough to join.
"Oh! I got this!" Rainbow said with a mischievous look in her eye. "Well, Twilight, how would you feel if I showed you this...". Rainbow reached for a book off of a shelf; it was covered in dust, but had clear symbols of ancient runes. The book's bindings were laced in a once shiny dark metal, now rusted and slightly misshaped. It seemed a miracle that the booked stayed together as Rainbow flipped through the pages. "Magical studies and recording's from Starswirl the Bearded's personal library, pre-historic magic, the essence of magic, arcane sources and some other really long words in here as well." Rainbow waited patiently for Twilight's response.
Twilight's pupils exploded into two stars. "H-How? Is that real? Really real? By Starswirl himself?" There it is. Rainbow thought, pleased with herself.
"I had it checked with a few of my associates." Fancypants confirmed. "Apparently it was lost in these tunnels by an explorer thousands of years ago. We found it as we moved in. It seems its purpose has only just now been brought to our attention, an incentive for you to join us."
"Just one contract Twilight, then its all yours. O'course if you decide that you enjoy working with us enough afterwords then that'd be fine." Applejack had a hint of knowing behind the statement. "We get paid for every contract, and carefully evaluate each target before we decide if there is a fair reason behind it."
"It's a doozy of a contract waiting!" Pinkie exclaimed.
Fancypants' incentive was working. Throughout the conversation her eyes were glued to the book. Just one contract. I could do that. But what if I get caught! I'm not athletic, I could bring down the entire group! We could all get imprisoned! What if Celestia catches me doing this? 'Princess' Student Caught Assaulting Ponies', that doesn't sound like a good news-line, for me or Celestia! Twilight's mind was still imprinted with the book, much like the Black Hoof's mark, everything she could learn from it literally in hoof's reach. She sighed.
"Fine. I'll do it, I can't promise an actual success though. And just this one time!"
"Then I officially welcome you to: The Black Hoof! Don't worry Twilight, we shall train you to become one of us, its surprisingly easy." Fancypants said as Pinkie, Applejack, Rainbow, Zecora, the CMC, and Spike cheered in their new arrival.
"Sorry about the whole kidnapping thing Twilight. I probably should have just asked you or something." Spike grinned sheepishly, rubbing the back of his neck.
"Don't worry Spike, I would have said no." Twilight said bluntly while smiling, giving Spike back his confidence.
All of a sudden, there came a large clashing and clattering of fallen objects from outside the door the Cutie Mark Crusaders had entered.
"Oh yeah, I forgot about our other member!" Said Pinkie cheerfully.
The clattering raised in volume as loud thuds were heard approaching. Twilight stared at the door, curious to see who could be behind such a destructive path.
Her questions were answered as a large section of the wall collapsed inwards towards Twilight to reveal a grey coated, pegasus mare, staring wall-eyed around the demolished surroundings. Twilight was visibly stunned, meanwhile the others were going to greet her as if nothing happened. It was clear this was a regular occurrence.
"Whoopsie daisy!" Derpy said slowly, and a reducing smile as she took in the impact her flight caused.
"Don't worry about that Derpy, we were just finishing initiating Twilight into our group!" Rainbow said to brighten up her old friend.
As if the day wasn't full of enough astonishments, Derpy then flung yet another pie directly at Twilight, presumably out of her saddlebags, hitting her square in the face. For somepony with eyes constantly drifting away from each other, she had a very good aim. A look of glee on her face, and a mission accomplished, she began walking up to Pinkie, leaving the others laughing as Twilight snatched the towel back off Fancypants, a scowl on her face- the direct opposite to Derpy's.
"Here you go Pinkie!" Derpy announced as she pulled out an assortment of letters sealed with a Black Hoof mark. "The new contracts are here!"
"Great work Derpy!" Pinkie then turned to Twilight. "Time to start training!"
"Already? I still have a few questions though!"
"We'll handle that as you go through the training, we have a deadline to meet!" Fancypants interrupted. "Follow me please."
Twilight began to follow Fancypants, only just now being able to take in her surroundings. This room was like many of the others except much larger. It was most likely the living and organising room for the Black Hoof. Very spacious, only a few scattered bookshelves and tables. A large fireplace in one corner and the usual amount of mixed torches and candles. It had been done up enough to feel modern, but still kept its 'underground dungeon' charm- if you could call that charm. The majority of cobblestone flooring had been covered in soft carpets, while the walls held framed pictures of art to newspaper clippings of what Twilight believed to be famous contracts the group underwent.
This is going to be one heck of an adventure...