As you all crossed into the inner field in front of the tower, what was once a peaceful meadow was now a desolate plain of dead land and lifeless trees. The area itself had been evidently ravaged, as boulders ripped from the very mountainous region around the meadow were blown away, as if by a magical force that wished to display its strength. Even further ahead, the black castle-like tower stood, above a moat of lava, with a black drawbridge, wide and long, being the only way to get inside it’s gigantic doors. It was odd, there wasn’t a drawbridge like that in ‘Ocarina of Time’. So at this point, you knew for sure this was its own Hyrule. The tower itself had three spires in a triangle formation on each side, with a huge spiraling tower in the center going straight up. The castle part itself was menacing, with outer spikes everywhere, jet black in their coloring.
“Yuk! That’s Ganon’s Tower? Ew, so not royal material. I wouldn’t even spend a single bit to buy it if it was on sale. Who designed this place? A goat?” Moonlight said, finding the entire sight more than grotesque in her upper class way of thinking.
“I think that’s the point though. This isn’t supposed to be royal, it’s meant to look scary.” Garbuncle said as he stopped his trek, narrowing his eyes as he gave the tower a look over. “Weird though, no guards or nothing. What gives? You didn’t make it too easy for us, right?” He said as he looked over to Wuz.
“Oh, I’m sure there’s some sort of guard or monster waiting for us to approach.” Wuz said, bow at the ready.
“Yeah, probably. In fact, I bet the moment we approach that bridge, some big dude or big monster is gonna come through the front door. Question is, do we fight it? Or do we run?” You ask, brandishing your axe for a moment as you rub your hoof along the edge. “Because, man, it’s kind of embarrassing to have gotten chased around by Bokoblins. I wanna break something, something tough”
“Yeah! Me too! Oh…” Moonlight’s ears folded as she looked to the group apologetically “Sorry about that, by the way. I was pretty sure I’d be able to convince them to let us through. They looked pretty stupid to me, and I have a high charisma stat. I just don’t know what happened.”
“Bah, don’t sweat it Moonlight, it happens. You probably just got a bad roll, that’s all. None of us are mad about it, really, we all have our moments. Like when Conan made that jump earlier!” Garbuncle points out, making everyone but you have a small giggle about it.
“Oh right, that was pretty silly. Why did you try to make a jump like that, Conan?” Moonlight asked you, curious as to why you’d try to impress everyone with a mighty leap… Only to fail miserably.
“Uhh… I just wanted to get up high to… er, survey the area.” You say, making a false grin at Moonlight and hoping she buys it.
“Oh, that would have been a smart plan if you got up there. You’re so smart” Moonlight says, impressed by your thinking enough to give you a cute pat on the head.
“I’ll… Let you have that one, Conan. Ahrm, in any case, if we are to fight, then let us get things rolling, shall we? If we stand around for too long, then those in town might think to check near the tower.” Wuz, feeling generous enough to let you have your lie, says, wanting to move things along as even he was getting anxious about the silence in the area and the fact they were already noticed from before.
“I’m with the Captain. Let’s just get to the doors before something pops- Oh… Never mind, something is coming through em’. Huh, well, at least we know Ganon was waiting for us. Ah well.” Garbuncle, noticing the doors were already starting to open, rushes to the start of the bridge and prepares his staff. “Ok everypony, battle time! If we keep em on the bridge, me and Captain Wuz can just blast em. Conan, Moonlight, you guys handle whoever gets close, o-... Wait. It’s just… One knight guy?” Indeed, Garbuncle was befuddled as a rather large quadruped knight started to step forth through the doors in a rather sluggish fashion. It was donned in so much armor that it made it appear larger than what it could be, it was about the size of a taller and very muscular stallion; it’s hind legs seemed to be equipped with bladed axes for very gruesome bucks. But as imposing as it was, it really was slow, very slow. The weirdest part was that it wasn’t a paper figurine.
“That’s it? One dude? Geez, this isn’t even beginner tier. C’mon, I could blow that guy up in my sleep” Garbuncle complained, expecting a bigger challenge than some lumbering knight. “What gives, Wuz? It doesn’t even look like it’s part of the game”
“No idea, actually. I know the adventure has taken some life of its own as per my design. But that’s uh… Rather pathetic and odd.” Wuz was a little stunned himself at what he was seeing, then shrugged with a chuckle. “Ah well, it just means I won’t need to waste any arrows. Calm yourself friends, I’ll handle this with my regular iron blade. “ Wuz just calmly walks over to the armored horse and knocks on it’s helmet, getting no response from it other than it’s continuing movement. “Hello there, let me just say that I find it rather drole that you don’t seem to get the point of being an imposing guard. But don’t worry, I’ll fix that rather soon. Hyah!” Wuz thrusts his knife into the armor of the knight, but it simply bounces off and out of his hand, causing it to fall away from the bridge and into the lava below. “Hmm… I guess he really didn’t get the point. Garbuncle, his defense is very high, would you mind ca-” But in a flash, the armored horse moves swiftly to the front of Wuz, and bucks him so hard that the axes don’t even get a chance to penetrate him, but the hit itself was enough to send him flying back past the group and into a boulder, causing it to shatter. And worse still, he just laid there, unmoving.
“Discord!” You yell out, actually fucking worried that the guy was hurt. Holy shit, was that a critical?! “Holy crap!” You yell out as you rush up to him, and check if he’s ok. “Yo, are you hurt?! I didn’t think you could take a hit that hard. Geez, he sent you flying!”
Wuz just looks at you with a dizzy look, raising a talon, and says “Mommy, I don’t want to go to school today, it’s still on fire from when I set it ablaze yesterday and I don’t want to ruin my perfect skin. You know what heat does to it.” before plopping down onto the ground, knocked out.
“Ohhhh crap.” He physically took that hit, and given he was in character, it actually seemed to hit him that hard without any of his usual chaos magic to dampen the blow. That bastard, how dare he slap Discord like that?! Well, it was an impressive slap, but you still won’t let it through. You ready your axe, turn around, and start rushing towards the bridge and towards the armored knight. Who, at this point, had to be a ponified Iron Knuckle. Oh yes, he'd taste your unbridled rage. “TAKE THIS! YOU ASSHOLE!” You yell out as you jump up, ready to drop your axe on its face. “HYYAAAA! THIS IS FOR CAPTAIN WUZ!”
You bring your axe down successfully on the armored menace, but it only cleaves a little more than halfway through the dense metal. “Ah, crap…” You mutter as you now try to remove the axe from it’s helmet before it made a move. Alas, you fail to remove it as the armored menace raises its head quickly to throw you up, then quickly turns to buck your body right towards Wuz in a similar fashion to his defeat. You land right beside him, twitching. “O-gh, g-guys… That thing… is tough.”. Luckily, or unluckily, you were a barbarian, and so you still had enough in you to stand up. Did you want to, though? That hit was really hard.
“Oh man, that thing is fast when it wants to be! Ok, Moonlight, it’s just you and me now. You’re a thief class, right? Do you have any explosives on you?” Garbuncle asked as he readied his staff.
“I got some bombs of my own, but shouldn’t we check on Wuz and Conan? I-I don’t think we can beat that thing by ourselves!” Moonlight said as she took a step back, the Iron Knuckle had already stepped three quarters of the way through the bridge, and didn’t look like it’d slow down.
“We can’t turn our back on it. Look, sometimes this is just how battles turn out. But we still have a chance, see?” Garbuncle points with his claw towards the axe sticking from the Iron Knuckle’s helmet. “Conan cracked its armor. I’m gonna try a freezing spell to slow that guy down, all you gotta do is rush in and slam a bomb right in that crack, ok? Once its helmet is gone, we’ll have a better chance of taking it out.”
“But what if I mess up?! I-I don’t think I could do it… Not after what happened in town.” Moonlight said, feeling a despair from her prior screw up that nearly ended the adventure prematurely.
“We told you not to worry about it! C’mon, so what if you messed up that part? You still got us into town with some really amazing rolls. Even if we get some bad rolls now, as long as it doesn’t get close, we can still try again. Just trust in yourself, ok? We need you! Conan needs you… Er…” And that’s when he realized he could just say just a few other words that would probably give her the courage she needs. “I mean, Anon needs your help. So please, let’s take this guy out together, alright? We can do this! We can totally take this guy!”
“Anon? Ngh…” Moonlight looks back at you, she could see you barely getting up, and trying to get back to the fight. You looked so helpless now, like she did when you saved her. She hated it, she hated seeing you so weak and helpless, to know that you lost to something like this. No, she wouldn’t have it, not like this. She looked back at the Iron Knuckle, with determination filling her heart, and gave it a readied stare. “Ok… You’re right. This guy hurt my Anon, and I swear, I’ll make him pay! YOU HEAR ME?! YOU’RE GONNA PAY! AND I DON’T MEAN IN BITS! BUT I’LL MAKE THAT HAPPEN TOO BECAUSE DOCTORS ARE EXPENSIVE! NOW GET READY, TIN HEAD!”
“That’s it! Alright, here we go! Take this, metal face! Freeze Blast!” Garbuncle readies his staff, holding it forward as it glows a bright blue. In a flash, a shining blue bolt comes out of the orb at the end of the staff, hitting the Iron Knuckle directly as the magic courses through its joints. While not totally immobile, the Iron Knuckle was now slowed to that of molasses, its legs stuck with ice that spread from it’s hooves down to the floor below. “Ok, Moonlight, go for the crack!”
“Here I go! TAKE THIS!” Moonlight rushes forward, and throws her bombs towards the helmet of the Iron Knuckle. But her aim was so off, they fly backwards from her hoof and blow up in Garbuncle’s face, sending him flying back so far that he crashes into you, finally bringing you both down for the count as you both roll into Captain Wuz. “...O-oh no… SORRY!”
The Iron Knuckle however, cared not for any of this, but even with its dedication to move forward, Garbuncle’s ice spell still managed to keep it in place as it tried it’s best to break from its icy bindings.
“Ngh… I can’t… You hurt Anon. I... messed up. But if I don’t do anything, Anon will… He’ll. NO! I WON’T FAIL MY ANON!” Moonlight brandishes her dagger, and flies high up “HERE I COME! EAT THIS!” And like a bomb, she starts to drop towards the Iron Knuckle, knife held out in front of her for a dive strike, holding you in her thoughts to keep her powering on through. Amazingly, she successfully stabs through the crack as she jumps back. The helmet now had an axe and a dagger sticking out of it as the helmet itself looked as if it’d shatter at this point.
The Iron Knuckle now was moving more angrily, and once again attempted to free itself. But it just wouldn’t budge.
This was it, Moonlight’s time to shine, to be your rescuer. She takes out another bomb, and looks at it with hopeful eyes. She brings it to her mouth, and gives it a kiss. “For you, Anon.” And with that, she throws it towards the helmet of the immobilized knight. Unfortunately, her bomb flies off her hoof once again, and towards the entire group, causing them all to blow upwards, and then fall down on top of themselves, all of them groaning in pain.
The Iron Knuckle was now really struggling, and while beginning to finally crack the ice, was still unable to free itself.
“THIS STUPID GAME! THOSE STUPID BOMBS! THIS STUPID KNIGHT! YOU HEAR ME! YOU MADE ME BOMB MY SPECIAL SOMEPONY! I’M GOING TO SUE YOU! YOU HEAR ME! I’M GONNA SUE YOU WITH MY FACE! KNOW MY NAME! FOR I AM DIAMOND TIARA, YOUR WORST NIGHTMARE! REEEEE!” Moonlight, in a rage and screaming like a bat out of Tartarus, flew up and just bashed her face right on the helmet. Or she would have, had she not missed her mark and slapped her face right on the ground, causing her to become dazed. “U-Ungh… Ugh… Ngh… W-why do I… feel a connection to Anon right now? I-is this love? or something else?”
The Iron Knuckle, with a mighty kick, finally breaks out of the ice. It turns its attention to the fallen Thief Princess, and prepares to finish her off. To bring victory for his piggish master.
“Ngh… Spike, Spike…” But no response, he wasn’t answering to your call. “D-dammit, there goes a… Heal… Ngh.” You slowly reach to your belt, and remove a single throwing axe, and with blurry vision, attempt to hit the Iron Knuckle to grab its attention. It was a long shot, but if you hit, it’d give Moonlight one last shot to do some damage. “Fly true, little axe.” And so you throw it as hard as you can. You had hoped for a critical roll, maybe enough to destroy the helmet, but alas, you only hit the ass part of the armor, causing the Iron Knuckle to only look away for a moment… Moonlight’s last moment. “DIAMOND! NGH… TRY ONE MORE TIME WITH THE BOMB! YOU CAN DO IT! I BELIEVE IN YOU!”
But could she? She was scared now, she just couldn’t hit the damn thing despite it being so slow. She turned to her back, laying on the ground as she looked up at the menacing knight. She removed yet another bomb, as it turns out, her last bomb. If this didn’t work, they’d all be doomed. “Please… Please work. I promise, Anon, it'll work. Hyah!” And she throws it… And misses. Not a critical miss, but it just flies off the side of the bridge. “O-oh no…”
The Iron Knuckle, unphased, raises its upper body up, and brings it’s hooves down towards Moonlight. Luckily, it didn’t seem to be too accurate a slam as she’s able easily evade it with a roll. But even then, her morale was down. She had no more bombs left, and one good hit would most likely do her in. Essentially, if that Iron Knuckle could get a good enough roll, the adventure would be over. All she had left were throwing knives. She took them out to use them as melee weapons, but in her scared state, the Iron Knuckle found the time to attack yet again. Luckily, Moonlight was quick, and once again evaded the attack, but only out of fear of being hit.
“Please, I just need to break that helmet… So please, if anypony can hear me, just letting you know that I’ll pay you a ton of bits if you make this happen, k? K… H-here I go...” And with that, Moonlight dives right for the helmet, attempting to strike her knives through the cracks to try to shatter the helmet. Unfortunately, they hit an undamaged part of the helmet, the blades snapping in half on impact. “WHAT? I SAID I’D PAY YOU! FORGET THIS! I’M JUST GONNA POUND ON IT UNTIL IT’S DESTROYED! I WON’T LOSE! I HATE LOSING! ARGH, I NEVER LOSE! NGH! YOU MADE ME BREAK MY PROMISE TO ANON! G-GGRRAAGGGH!” Indeed, an old flame had reignited and burst through the heart of the young princess, filling her with a fury and hatred she had not felt in a long time. Sending her in a final desperate bid to win through a berserk rage “I ALWAYS… ALWAYS… ALWAYS GET WHAT I WANT! DO YOU HEAR ME?! ALLLWWAAAYYSS!”
The Iron Knuckle, unimpressed, simply tries to smash its head towards Moonlight. But she was still quite evasive, and with her renewed vigor, was even harder to hit than before.
Moonlight angrily latches herself onto the helmet of the Iron Knuckle, and smashes her head onto the helmet. She actually successfully lands a hit, causing it to crack even further. Perhaps… with one more hit. “STUPID THING! JUST GO DOWN ALREADY!”
But it paid her no heed, and tries to bring its head down to the ground to smash the latched thief into a pancake. But like an annoying bug, Moonlight easily scurries along the helmet to avoid coming into contact with the ground.
“EAT THIS! I’M TIRED OF YOU! YOU UGLY IDIOT! YOU’RE THE WORST THING EVER! AND I WILL NEVER EVER BOW TO YOU! GRRRAGH!” And she brings her face down upon the helmet again. And somehow, in some way, the blow was strong this time. So strong, it finally shattered the helmet of the Iron Knuckle, causing it to suddenly stop, and fall over, unmoving.
“W-woah!” Moonlight cries out as she falls along with it, losing her grip and rolling onto the ground and onto her belly. “N-ngh… Ugh, stupid thing. Why did you have to… Hm?” When she looked over, she could see the shards of the helmet on the ground, as well as her dagger resting by your axe, near the front of her. When she looked further, she could see that the Iron Knuckle had finally fallen. Her eyes went wide, she… She actually did it! “OH MY GOSH! I DID IT! I DID IT! WOOO!” She suddenly jumped up, excited and ecstatic, amazed that she actually managed to take down such a monster. “WOO! I DID IT! DID YOU GUYS SEE THAT?! I DID… Oh…” When she looked back, she could see you were all still on the ground, utterly defeated. “U-um, D-don’t worry guys… Coming to help!” And so she trotted off towards you all, to try to bring you all back up.
Ugh, sure you all won. But this had to be the most humiliating way to win... Ever.