• Published 24th Sep 2016
  • 1,848 Views, 100 Comments

Ogres and Oubliettes: Roll The Dice - Bucking Nonsense

In a world where evil reigns supreme, a small band of warriors stands tall against the darkness. This is... Ogres & Oubliettes. For realsies

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"You really cannot be serious..."

Bad Penny, the copper-coated, golden-maned pegasus who ran the criminal underworld of Spiketopia, glared at what had to be the most pathetic attempt upon her life that she had ever seen. In front of her was obviously a pony, hiding under a blanket in the middle of her bedroom, with a sign hanging around the neck that said, "Definitely not an assassin." Just underneath it was a second sign that said, "Seriously, don't look."

However this idiot had gotten into her lavishly furnished villa, past all of her guards, locks, and traps, was beyond her, but whoever this idiot was, he or she was in for a nasty surprise: Penny hadn't gotten to the top of the bottom of society just because she had a pretty face. Even without any weapons or backup, she could, and had more than once in the past, killed ponies with her bare hooves, tail, and even once crushed a stallion's head between her thighs. She wouldn't have to call for back-up for this: She'd disable this dimwit, and then torture the identity of who sent him or her here, and then maybe spend a couple more hours having further fun before finishing the dolt off.

"I'm not an idiot," Bad Penny stated, bluntly. "I know that there's a pony under that blanket."

"No, there isn't," the blanket promptly replied.

Giving a sigh, Penny asked, "If there isn't, then who just said that?"

"I'm a magical talking blanket," the 'blanket' responded, after a moment's thought.

That answer was so patently moronic that Bad Penny actually needed a few seconds to consider her respone. As she did, the pony underneath shifted slightly.

After a few more seconds, the 'blanket' added, "Would you believe that I'm also a magical, wish-granting blanket? Just close your eyes, count to ten, and I'll grant any wish you want."

Bad Penny finally lost her patience, and decided, 'Rut this, I'm not going to waste any more time with this stupidity.' Grabbing a corner of the blanket, she pulled it off, knocking the signs loose in the process, to reveal...

A crude mannequin in the shape of a pony had been underneath the blanket, with another sign hanging around its neck that said, "Isn't it sad how nopony trusts anypony anymore?" A second sign hung underneath it that said, "Oh, and also: Blanket Monster."

An expression of confusion on her face, Bad Penny asked to nopony in particular, "Blanket Monster?"

A shadow fell over her, and she turned to see that the blanket that she had tossed aside had risen up, claw-tipped fingers emerging from the corners and edges, and she could also see that the underside was lined with hundreds of razor sharp, shark-like teeth, with a half-dozen cat-slitted eyes staring hungrily at her.

"Oh," she said, weakly. "Blanket monster..."


In the hallway outside the room, Absurd Calamity, Abby to her friends, called over her shoulder, "Be sure to leave the head intact, Sweetums, I need it for the bount-eeeeeey!"

There was a distinct sound of someone spitting something out that landed with a muffled thud, like a head hitting a pillow rather hard. Well, at least he'd spit it out on something soft.

The black-coated, silver-maned unicorn inspected the bottom of her hoof while her summons continued his work. She often wondered why it was that nopony really invested much effort into studying the fine art of conjuration. There were so many fascinating magical creatures in the world, a being for every occasion. And for a pony like herself, who worked for the guild's bounty-hunting division, a creature like a blanket monster made for the perfect assistant on missions like this. Had she felt like waiting, she could have simply had Sweetums replace Bad Penny's real blanket, and done the job after the criminal scum had drifted off to sleep, but...

Well, any ol' wizard could kill a pony with magic, if they were powerful enough. It was the mark of a consummate professional and artiste like herself to be able to do so with style.

And besides, she'd gotten a good giggle out of it all, both in the planning and the execution. And really, if you can't find joy in your chosen vocation, then really, what was the point?

"All done!" Sweetums called out from the room behind her.

"Thanks, lovey-love," Abby said, in a silvery voice. She walked in, and confirmed that the blanket monster had, indeed, consumed all but the target's head, leaving not even a drop of blood of his prey, and the head was sufficiently intact for claiming the bounty on this wanted criminal. "I'll be sending you back now. See you later!"

As Sweetums faded away, he said, "Any time! Thanks for the munchy-crunchies!"

A solid five thousand bits, easily the biggest bounty that she'd ever gone after. Absurd Calamity simply couldn't believe her good fortune. A single tip had panned out, letting her find the location of the single most wanted mare in the city. All it had taken after confirming her location was a few simple teleportation spells to get all the pieces in place, a sound-muffling spell to keep anypony from hearing her or Bad Penny, if she managed to get a scream out before the end, a mid-level summons to get Sweetums into the room, a few minutes to let events unfold, and then a final teleportation spell to exit without having to try and get past Bad Penny's guards, and she was scot-free, with Bad Penny's head stored in a pocket of holding so that Abby could walk down the streets without having to hold a severed head. Easy-peasey, hot-grilled-cheesey.

She practically danced as she cheerily made her way down the streets of Spiketopia. Being skilled at magic was practically a license to mint bits, if you simply had the imagination for it, something that for some reason was in short supply for most magic users. Well, bad cess to them for being a dull and dreary lot. Abbie had heaps of imagination, and if anypony thought ill of her for being willing to kill a pony for a bounty, they could take a look at Bad Penny's rap sheet (It stretched from floor to ceiling, thrice, and more than half of that was murder, conspiracy to commit murder, attempting to somehow invent super-, or perhaps even turbo-murder, and a number of crimes that paled in comparison to all the murder that was on that list) and they'd see that Abby was perfectly justified in taking advantage of the 'Dead' on that Dead or Alive bounty. Besides, more than a few ponies, more altruistic (Read: Moronic) than her had tried to take the incredibly dangerous Bad Penny alive, and had ended up adding another entry to that long list of murders.

All Abby would need to do now was turn in her bounty, and then she could spend the day at the spa, as a treat for such a fine day's work.

As she entered the guild, she noted that there was a bit of a line leading up to the clerk's desk. Right, it was the last day of the week, so most adventurers were turning in the bounties that they'd gotten this week (Some preferred to do it daily, but most preferred to just drop off a week's worth in one visit, so they didn't have to come in every day). A pity, that, but patience was a virtue, especially for a bounty hunter. However, there was a slight wrinkle: The back of the line was occupied by... blech, The Ratter, carrying a stinking load of giant rat tails.

Now, don't get Abby wrong, she didn't mind that The Ratter hunted giant rats. They were monsters, of course, and there was nothing wrong with collecting a bounty on them, but...

Well, The Ratter was so... dull about it. She was so staid, so stoic. All work, no play. Her entire life revolved around hunting rats, there was nothing else to her, really. She was so one-dimensional. She practically exuded a field of boredom around herself, making boring things even more boring just by being in the room. When Abby worked, she had style, panache, flair. And when she wasn't out working, Abby was hanging out with friends. She spent her bits on clothes, spell books, jewelry, trinkets, and sundries. She was more than just somepony who went out and killed stuff. She had a life outside of her work.

Well, at least the adventurer in front of her, a large biped in full plate, seemed fun.

"So there I was," the saurian figure said, relating a story. "In the middle of the woods, tracking down the Ghouls of Gastrolithia, in the middle of winter, trying to shake off a pack of wargs and another pack of worgs who thought I'd make good prey. Well, I thought to myself, ghouls will come out to eat any dead thing that they scent, even monsters. So, why not just use one problem to solve another, and kill them for bait?"

Surprisingly, The Ratter seemed to be listening attentively to the tale, in spite of the fact that, so far, rats had in no way been involved.

"So," the warrior continued, "I spotted a nice, thick tree that I could put my back against, so that I wouldn't have to worry about a feral canine trying to chew on the back of my head. An annoyance, of course, given that I was wearing my helmet, but hey, who needs that kind of a distraction? The wargs and worgs started to close in, although there was some friction between the two packs, a bit of growling and snapping, but they seemed willing to hold off on any fighting over my meat until they'd dealt with me. Pretty smart, wargs and worgs, in spite of what some might say. But then, there was a surprising sound, the sound of wood cracking, and I looked up to see a face form in the wood above me. It seemed that I had accidentally set my back against the trunk of an ent. Ents are, of course, foul-tempered and violent, even at the best of times, but when winter rolls around, they are downright unfriendly to anyone who wakes them up. Some would think that this was a stroke of bad luck. However, I've always felt that, when life gave me lemons, it was because I was supposed to make lemonade, no matter how evil the lemons might have been. It was a cold winter, and you know what? I'd need a fire to dispose of the ghouls when I was done with them, anyhow, so I figured, why not use this problem to deal with that one, too? After all, ent or not, the wood should burn fine, regardless..."

Author's Note:

Don't worry, we'll hear more of the story in the next chapter.

The title of this chapter is one of the two catchphrases of Oinkbane, were-boar assassin. Why were-boar? Because awesome, that's why. I'd like to think that he'd be proud of this setup.

As for blanket monsters? I remember reading a manga that had a life-sucking monster that disguised itself as a bedroll. Seemed crazy, and kinda awesome, so I built on that. Aren't homebrews fun?