All was calm in Ponyville today, and at a glance there was nothing really exciting or notable going on, save for the stallion who was trying to pick up pieces of a broken grammar-phone that had been inexplicably strewn in the main street for some reason. No, this was a laid-back day, and not just in the town proper, but in Ponyville's most notable location, the Castle of Friendship. Granted, Princess Twilight herself was not here right now, but its hallowed halls did see a different pony in her place. Rarity. Though she was not alone here today, as she was sitting at the great cutie map beside two friends, Spike and Gabby. Now, seeing a unicorn, dragon and Griffon together like this might have seemed ludicrous and unlikely back in the day, but such was the testament of the work of Twilight and her friends that this gathering now seemed fairly mundane. Even more so when you consider that they were not involved with anything important or ground-breaking, but a simple game of Ogres and Oubliettes. It was Spike's favourite activity, and as such he looked more enthusiastic about it than anycreature there, especially when he took the dice and threw it. He eagerly awaited the sight of the numbers, and when they were revealed to him, he grinned widely.
"Yes! With a sudden bolt of light, the mighty wizard shoots forth great magic, striking the dragon square in the chest! The mighty beast falls, and the crowds cheer for the powerful mage who has saved them!"
He leapt onto the table, imitating the calls of an imagined crowd.
"Hooray! We're saved! All hail the brave, talented and incredibly handsome wizard!"
Casting knowing looks to one another, Gabby and Rarity couldn't help but snicker, causing an expected blush on Spike's part.
"Okay, maybe that was going a bit too far."
Rarity gave him a reassuring pat on the head, before promptly taking the dice for her own and having her next turn with it. She too focused on those rolling numbers, smiling when she finally saw what she'd been given.
"Ah, it appears that the humble merchant, Plainity, has managed to successfully pry the treasure from the locked chest the dragon was guarding. Surely, this will dazzle many of her clients once she's worked it into some fancy jewellery!"
She and Spike gave a quick high-five to each other, but Gabby had other things to consider, as she confusingly scratched the back of her head while staring at the game board.
"Er...Spike? Not to interrupt the game or anything, but isn't it kinda weird that you had some big dragon be the bad guy of this adventure since...well...you know?"
She gestured to him, and Spike instantly understood what she was getting at. But, contrary to what Gabby might have expected, he simply laughed at the matter, giving a quick shrug before explaining himself.
"Meh, it's fine. Even Smolder will tell you that we dragons make pretty good bad guys, especially the bigger and older ones."
He grimaced slightly.
"Besides, since one of those big ones tried to eat me once, I'm not really all that fussed about having them be a full-on monster in this story."
"You nearly got eaten by a dragon?!"
She zipped forward, bringing her face right up to his.
"Oh, you have to tell me about that later!"
Spike blushed, chuckling nervously.
"Oh, I will, but first..."
He raised his claw, opening it up and presenting her with the dice. Gabby squealed with delight, taking the dice and giving them an enthusiastic roll. All three pairs of eyes were on it, and they saw, to their amazement, that she'd managed to roll the highest possible number. Spike grinned, looking to his game book as he once more got into character.
"The crowd goes wild as they cheer on the young Griffon leader of the party, praising her for her bravery and skill when leading the troupe."
He smiled to his feathered friend.
"They offer their heroine a boon. What does she ask for?"
Happily clapping her claws together, Gabby suddenly realised that she had no idea what kind of reward to get for herself, and her eyes widened with obvious worry.
"Oh...oh no! What do I do? Do I turn it down and stick with the humble route? Do I ask for some supplies to help us on our journey after we're done in the town? Do I ask for the three of us to get medals?"
Spike chuckled, giving another quick shrug.
"Hey, like I said, you can have whatever you want. You got the top numbers, so the sky's the limit."
"Indeed, darling. Let your imagination run wild!"
Now, if there was one thing that could be said with certainty about Gabby, it's that she did indeed have a good imagination. She sat in silence for a time, pondering this choice, and then, slowly, she looked to the board with a wide smile growing on her face.
"...The young adventurer thanks the townspeople for their offer, and accepts it. For her reward, she chooses the ultimate prize, to be titled Queen of the land!"
But Gabby ignored her.
"They place upon her a sparkling crown, bestowing upon her great royal power, and she decrees that a new golden age has begun for them all! The age of Gabby the Great, benevolent and happy-go-lucky Queen of all that was, is and ever shall be!"
She leapt to the table, threw back her head and bellowed out a laugh.
The other two players stared at her for the longest time, with Rarity slowly chancing a glance to Spike, who merely shrugged his shoulders.
"Hey, she's got the numbers for it."
Clearing her throat, Rarity soon gained Gabby's attention.
"Um, Gabby? Darling? I appreciate your enthusiasm, but there is the little matter that being the ruler probably means you'll have to stay and, well, rule."
"Oh no! That means my character can't keep coming on adventures with you!"
She got back into her chair, looking to Spike with pleading eyes.
"Can I take back my choice and just ask for a tasty pie instead?"
Spike and Rarity smiled to one another, and the young dragon nodded to his Griffon friend soon after.
"You certainly can!"
As before, Gabby clapped her claws together, squealing with delight.
"Eeeeeeeeeee! Dibs on the apple one!"
The group laughed together, with Spike sighing afterwards.
"You know, if you like, you can take the game home with you. I bet a lot of your other Griffon friends back in Griffonstone would love to play something like this."
Gabby gasped with surprise.
"Really?! You mean it?"
Spike chuckled, gesturing to just behind himself, wherein it could be seen that there was a veritable mountain of different Ogres and Oubliettes games, all from different editions.
"Don't worry, I'm not gonna be lacking anytime soon."
Rarity smiled to him softly, patting him on the head.
"Oh, well aren't you just the sweetest little dragon in the world?"
A smug look came to him, and he puffed out his chest slightly.
"Well, I doubt you two would have been fighting over me if that wasn't the case."
The two females raised eyebrow to him, prompting him to immediately start sweating, before taking the dice and speaking more humbly.
Rarity gave him a playful punch in the side, gesturing to Gabby afterwards.
"How about we let her be the one in charge this time?"
Spike thought on that, then smiled, offering the book to Gabby. The young Griffon stared at it as if having been offered some precious treasure, before graciously accepting it, looking like she was about to burst with joy over it.
"This...is...the best game...EVER!!!"
Spike chuckled, leaning back into his chair.
"Hehe, preaching to the choir on that one, Gabby!"
Then she slumped her shoulders slightly.
"Though I do wish I was able to get a few more gems from that last fight."
Spike smirked to her.
"Still not over losing out on that diamond from that dragon that threatened Ponyville that one time?"
Rarity slammed her hoof on the table.
"I WAS THIS CLOSE!!!"