• Published 29th Apr 2014
  • 1,545 Views, 150 Comments

Pathfinder Ponies - terrycloth

Twilight Sparkle. Rainbow Dash. Fluttershy. Applejack. Pinkie Pie. Rarity. Sure, these names mean nothing to you now, but once these fledgling warriors join the Pathfinder Guild and become Adventurers, their destiny awaits!

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Walk in the Park

Thanks to the party befriending the belligerent orc, the crowd was satisfied and left them alone for the rest of the night. In the morning, the Pathfinder Guild representative found their campsite and handed them the paperwork to register as a candidate team.

“Or two teams, if you’d rather. The standard team size is three to six.”

“I think having all of us on one team should maximize the odds of success,” Twilight remarked, as she took the forms and handed out the characteristic sheets to the others to let them copy over their information from the certificates they’d received when they’d completed their training.

“It might maximize your personal odds of success, but with two teams you’d have a better chance of at least one getting through,” the representative replied. “We’d really prefer for at least one team of fae to qualify. Assuming you can all pass the Trial of Wits and the Trial of Loyalty, we could put the two fae teams up against each other for the Trial of Strength, and ensure that one team became full-fledged adventurers.”

“And that the other team lost,” Rarity noted. “I think we’d prefer the all or nothing approach. After all, we’re all dear friends now, and if we accidentally hurt the other team it would be just awful!”

Twilight Sparkle nodded confidently. “I’m sure if we stick together and support each other, there’s no trial we can’t face!”

The first trial they had to face was reaching the small wilderness outpost where the test itself would be administered. Each team was given a different time of departure and a set path to take through the forest that ensured that none of them would meet, barring cheating on somepony’s part, but that didn’t mean that the forest itself was without its dangers. There was no guarantee that a team of trainees would even reach the first test before being eliminated by the creatures of the forest.

“I think that guild rep kind of oversold it,” Rainbow Dash remarked, soaring lazily back and forth above the party’s heads. “This isn’t some wild, wilderness forest – it’s just the same old White Tail woods that we grew up with.”

Pinkie Pie giggled. “You could almost say that this is a—“

“Don’t you dare,” Twilight interrupted, drawing her flail.

Pinkie Pie paused, then whispered loudly in Dash’s ear, on her next pass, “Walk in the park.”

Twilight stopped short, and turned around to face the others. She’d been in the lead, so they all bunched up before her as she blocked the path. “Okay, I didn’t want it to come to this, but this is not the sort of party where we pin tails on donkeys and blow up balloons.”

“Speak for yourself,” Pinkie Pie said, smiling sweetly. “I plan to blow up everything that crosses my path.”

“What I mean is that it’s essential that we maintain strict military discipline. You ignored my direct order –“

“Who said you’re in charge?” Rainbow Dash asked, pushing Pinkie Pie aside as she landed right in the unicorn’s face.

Twilight Sparkle narrowed her eyes. “Are we really going to do this? Because I’m fairly confident that, barring some obscene luck on your part, I could take all of you on without breaking a sweat.” She paused. “Except for Pinkie Pie, assuming she was willing to let the rest of you become collateral damage.” She spun her flail around in midair for emphasis. “One swing, one kill – while the rest of you would be lucky to do anything but scratch the paint on my armor.”

“You painted your armor?” Fluttershy asked.

“Well… no. It’s a figure of speech.”

“I was going to say, it looks quite drab,” Rarity put in. “Perhaps after the test, we can find some quality shellacs? Or have Pinkie Dearest mix something up?”

Twilight shook her head. “That’s not important! The important thing is that you acknowledge that a group of warriors needs a leader!”

“Right!” Rainbow Dash said. “And I think everyone can agree—“

But before she could finish making her challenge, the griffon was interrupted by a series of loud, haunting howls, coming from all directions. As the suddenly frightened warriors ceased their petty argument and stood back to back, a pack of four large wolves emerged from the underbrush!

“Ha!” Rainbow Dash shouted, leaping at the nearest wolf and slamming its jaw shut with a closed-talon punch. “Stunning fist!” The cur whined, but didn’t seem particularly stunned.

“You don’t actually have to shout the names your attacks,” Twilight remarked, slamming her flail forcefully into the ground next to another wolf, as it nimbly dodged out of reach. “Oh, come on, stand still!”

There was a hissing sound in her ear as an arrow shot past, missing both her and her opponent. Out of the corner of her eye, Twilight could see Fluttershy holding a small crossbow in her teeth. “Shorry,” she said, flying higher into the air.

Pinkie Pie soon fluttered up to join her, tossing a small vial with her teeth that exploded as it bounced off the ground to land right between a third wolf’s legs. Scorched and spooked, that wolf too remained resolute, growling in rage as it continued its approach. “A wild animal who isn’t afraid of bombs? What is this dark magic?”

“Well, even if they don’t fear your bombs, they shall learn to FEAR ME,” Rarity replied, momentarily glowing black all over her body as her eyes turned into red coals. The last wolf, which had been stalking what looked like the easiest prey, took off yelping, its tail between its legs.

But before Rarity could gloat, Pinkie’s wolf, denied revenge against the aerial pegasus, was on her, teeth locked around the zebra’s throat, dragging her to the ground as she screamed in pain from the huge fangs savaging her. Rainbow Dash also went down, although her own claws braced against the predator’s legs and kept the situation from being quite as one sided.

Twilight easily shook off the last wolf’s feeble attempt to harm her, and narrowed her eyes, determined not to let it dodge her next swing… only for Applejack, forgotten by everypony, to appear from out of the underbrush just behind her target. There was a flash of claws, snapping teeth, and then the wolf’s shuddering body was lowered to the ground to twitch and bleed out its last, the light already fading from its staring eyes.

“Get. Off!” Rainbow Dash shouted, struggling with her wolf but finding herself unable to land a blow. With barely a glance, Twilight sent her flail spinning towards the griffon, caving in the side of the wolf’s head. There was an explosion behind them from another of Pinkie Pie’s bombs, and then…

“Ooopsie,” Pinkie Pie said, forehooves covering her mouth in alarm as she looked at her handiwork.

“Oh no oh no oh no!” Fluttershy cried, flying towards the crater where the wolf’s charred corpse rested atop the equally unmoving form of their zebra companion. “Please don’t be dead!” she squeaked, as she channeled healing energy into her unconscious friend.

“Oh… my…” Rarity croaked, her eyes fluttering open as the others clustered around. “I suppose I need to be more careful where I stand when danger approaches. I thought I was right in the middle of the group, and then the next thing you know –“

“Everypony but you can fly,” Applejack said. “You and Twilight. Maybe the two of you should stick together, instead of everypony rushing off to do their own thing.”

“I’m the strongest fighter!” Twilight protested. “You can’t put me on babysitting duty. I was trained to be on the front line of battle!”

“It has to be a front line fighter, if they’re gonna keep our little Rarity safe,” Applejack said. “That means you or Rainbow Dash, and good luck getting her to stand still for ten seconds.”

“Hey! I’ll have you know that in the monastery I trained in, we had to stand still for ten hours.”

“And now we know why you left to live the life of an adventurer,” Rarity said, with a chuckle.

At any rate, after using up the rest of Fluttershy’s magic healing Rarity and Rainbow Dash to the point where a light breeze wouldn’t cause them to fall over, the party continued down the path, Rainbow spreading her colorful wings proudly as she took point, while a grumbling Twilight followed on rear guard duty, sticking close to the wizard.

“So I suppose that means that Applejack’s in charge?” Pinkie Pie said, prancing next to Fluttershy without a care in the world. Applejack was nowhere to be seen – ‘scouting ahead’, as she put it.

“Well, I hate to admit it, but her tactics are sound,” Twilight replied. “She and Rainbow Dash are both fairly poor fighters, so letting them cooperate with each other to harry a single enemy’s flanks is likely to lead to less embarrassing results. It’s worth trying this formation, at least.” She paused. “What I’m more concerned about is that crossbow Fluttershy was sporting. How exactly do you load that thing?”

“Um…” Fluttershy said, struggling with just that task as she hovered just off the ground. “The man in the weapon shop loaded it for me. He said it was one that ponies could use because it only took one ‘hand’, and we can use our mouths. But— oh dear.”

“Here, let me,” Twilight said, her horn glowing pink, with a similar aura appearing around the crossbow and a replacement bolt from the flutterpony’s quiver. “A crossbow like this can be fired with one hand – or one mouth, I suppose – but it takes two to load. One to work the bolt, the other to brace the frame.” With a click, the new bolt locked in place, ready to go. “I can load it for you between battles, so it shouldn’t be a total waste.”

“Maybe she could strap it to her leg?” Pinkie Pie suggested.

“I’ve heard of crossbows that are meant to be used that way,” Twilight mused, “but they’re much smaller. Strapping a crossbow like this to a pony’s leg would mean they wouldn’t be able to walk.”

“Oh, well that’s okay,” Fluttershy said. “I can’t walk anyway. It’s my, um, my curse. As an oracle. I was cursed.” She paused. “I can’t really walk, so I have to fly everywhere.” She paused again. “I’m a very good flyer. I can hover and everything.”

“So let me get this straight,” Pinkie Pie said, scrunching up her face. “Your curse as an oracle – the burden you accepted in exchange for your power – is something that doesn’t affect you in any way whatsoever? That is sooooo –“

“Pinkie,” Twilight warned.

Pinkie Pie stopped. Briefly. Then started to quiver. “Thatissolame!” she squeaked, then flew up into the air before Twilight could react.

Rarity put a calming hoof on the fuming fighter’s shoulder. “It’s probably best just to let her have her fun.”

Twilight sighed. “Don’t you mean, let her have her pun?”

Everypony in the party winced. Pinkie Pie, floating down to rejoin them, shook her head. “Maybe you should leave it to the professionals.”