"My fellow equines!"
"...My fellow sophants!" Twilight reiterated, giving Spike a brief apologetic smile. "Today is a day for destiny to decide its determination! Declare amongst yourselves, my fellow sophants, the purpose for which you have been brought forth, for it is that purpose that will lead us forward!"
"...The hay is goin' on Twi?"
Twilight rolled her eyes. "We're going on another epic adventure quest thing, AJ. Try to keep up."
"Um." Fluttershy rose a hoof. "Is it possible for me to opt out?"
"I mean... yes, but.... this is a group thing, you know?"
"The Grrrreat and Powerful Trrrrrixie wishes to make it known that while she finds her summons to be entirely within the realm of reason, the reason for her relation to this route has yet to reveal itself!"
For a moment, everyone present stared at the blue unicorn.
"I'm kind of confused too," Maud added. "I don't know why I'm here."
"You're Starlight's friends," Twilight explained. "And since she's coming on this quest with us--"
"News to me," Starlight muttered.
"--I figured she'd like to bring her friends along."
The unicorn looked at Trixie and Maud, before shrugging. "Yeah, okay, I mean I guess that's fair."
"Right, so.... what is this quest, exactly?" Rainbow grumbled from her perch on the root chandelier.
"I'm glad you asked, noble pegasus! Today, we seek out and seek for that which is sought by all who seek it! Today, we quest.... FOR GLORY!"
"...Like, the abstract concept of renown or honor won by achievements," Pinkie Pie inquired, "or is there an actual object or pony called 'Glory' that we're looking for here?"
Rarity sighed. "Darling, did you have another week-long reading binge?"
"Okay, first of all, that was only one time," Twilight defended. "Secondly, that was just to ensure I had a full grasp of Ogres and Oubliettes before I designed a character!"
"Twilight, I already told you, a lot of those were just expansions or third-party additions." Spike crossed his arms. "We just went with what was in the core rulebook in the end anyway."
"Thirdly, no, I did NOT have another week-long reading binge."
Maud leveled her usual flat look on the alicorn. "Four days."
"It was four days."
"...Okay, yes. Four days. I'm not even going to ask how you knew that--"
"I noticed your tree getting annoyed and asked it what was going on."
Twilight paused. "...You can talk to my palace?"
"It's magic crystal. It practically shouts."
"Yeah, Twi, this girl is screaming all the time." Pinkie shrugged. "Usually about one unicorn or another putting holes in various places?"
"The Grrrreat and Powerful Trrrrrrrrrixie has no idea to what you could possibly be referring to."
Applejack glanced at Pinkie. "Didn't you bounce through a wall once? Ya know, when Shinin' Armor dropped by to chat with Twi bout his new kid?"
"Well, yeeees, but I made up for it by backing rock-cakes and burying them around the palace roots." Pinkie laughed awkwardly. "Things were kind of tense between me and the palace then, buuuut they got resolved."
"You know," Starlight mused, "speaking as somebody who might perhaps be responsible for some of the damages, I would really like to learn how to speak to this magical tree place so I could properly ask it about... some of the stuff that goes on in here. Because honestly, this place is kind of confusing."
"Ooo! I think Maud and I can teach you!" Pinkie jumped out of her chair. "Why don't we start right now?"
"EXCUSE ME," Twilight stated loudly in what was definitely not a shout, "BUT! I brought us all together so that we could go on a quest for glory. And while I will admit to also being curious to learn how to talk to my home, I feel such an effort could be put aside until said quest has been completed."
Pinkie shrugged. "I can multitask."
"Um, about this quest thing?" Fluttershy flicked her wings nervously. "I sort of think... I know this is kind of stereotypical of me, the whole 'shy' thing, but I'm perfectly fine not having glory. Or, you know, personal glory. I'm okay with glory as part of a group, you know, but.... glory comes with attention and I have severe issues with the concept of ponies, um... paying attention to me. And, you know, glory comes in its own time?"
"Yeah, Ah'm sort of with Shy on this," Applejack agreed. "Like, sure, savin' tha world, Ah can get behind that. But there's also tha fact Ah have a farm ta tend to. Ah mean Ah know it's not as demandin' as some of you all's jobs, but ya'll gotta understand it can get complicated right quick without warnin'."
"You know, something about what you just said bothers me."
"Rarity, Ah'm just saying--"
"No no no, I agree with the content of your statement completely, it's just..." Rarity rolled a hoof. "What is the difference between 'you all' and 'ya'll' here?"
"Oh, see, 'you all' uses all in its pluralization form, where 'ya'll' is more 'bout emphasis. Like, 'are ya'll hungry' means 'are you very hungry,' not 'is everyone in this room hungry.' Ah get how it can be a mite confusin' but--"
"Okay, so talk of dialect aside," Twilight interjected, "that's Fluttershy and Applejack opting out of the quest for glory?"
The two mares nodded.
"So, we've still got Rainbow, Pinkie, Rarity, and--"
"Actually," Rainbow mused, "I kinda think I'm going to sit this one out too."
"What? But I thought you loved glory!"
"Well, yeah. But I'm a Wonderbolt, and a saviour of Equestria, and... look, basically, I don't need to go on a quest for glory. I can just sort of wait for it to get scheduled in."
"But you're the bearer of loyalty!" Twilight pointed out.
"Look, Twi. You want me to save the world, fine. You want me to win a competition, great. You want me to show off, I kind of do that all the time. I'm just saying, this whole quest for glory thing sounds redundant."
"The Grrrreat and Powerful Trrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrixie will not protest to seeking out fame and fortune!"
"How did you stretch your rs like that?" Spike asked.
"Twilight," Rarity interjected, "I'm terribly sorry darling, but... I sort of feel as if this is sort of not exactly how questing is supposed to go. One cannot quest for glory. It's an impossible task. One can quest for achievement, from which comes glory, but without a sufficiently glorious goal, a quest for glory is doomed to failure from the start."
"...Hrm." Twilight sighed. "I don't know. I just..."
"Are you feeling ignored?" Fluttershy asked gently.
"...maybe a little," Twilight admitted.
"We can have a nice little party here and now and everyone can hug you, okay?"
Trixie sighed as the bearers filed out. "So... no quest for glory then?"
"Doesn't look like it," Starlight agreed.
"Hrmpf. So this was a complete waste of time."
"We learned that looking for glory is not inherently glorious."
"You might have learned that. All I learned is not to trust Sparkle's summons to be inherently important."
"Hey, while you're all here," Spike interjected, "you want to try some Ogres and Oubliettes?"
Maud shrugged. "I have a crystal pony from a third party source I made a while back. Her name is Obsidian."
Starlight and Trixie shared a look. After a moment, they shrugged,
"Alright, sure, we're in."
"The Grrrreat and Powerful Trrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrixie shall be playing as herself, of course..."