• Published 14th Mar 2019
  • 1,012 Views, 28 Comments

Grounded In Fantasy - Frocto

While Gamemastering a PnP RPG for his lady friends, Sunburst finds himself dealing with one disaster after another.

  • ...

Nyghthorne the Ravenblade

Sunburst sighed, adjusted his glasses and cracked the module. He soon felt his crankiness evaporating as he took in that ripe 'new book' scent.


“Our story begins in the peaceful hamlet of Tokyoats. While continuing their pilgrimage west, Moromane, Peach, Roku and Sakura have temporarily stopped off here to refuel and resupply. The peaceful atmosphere around the village, its shrines and statues to old gods, soothe your souls and bring you inner peace. You feel truly at home."

"Having assisted the local innkeeper with some bullies, you’ve been offered free rent and board for as long as you stay in town. That's where you all are now, by the way."

"But be on your guard! You hear stories of raiders in the hills lately, bandits and ne'er-do-wells who would seek to disrupt this community’s peaceful way of life."

Starlight looked eager. "Well, that's all Moromane needs to hear! I start breaking down some chairs and tables to make raw materials to board up the windows. We’re gonna have this place tighter than a drum when those bandits turn up.”

"Um! First off, nobody really uses chairs in Neighpon. Secondly, the Innkeeper would probably try to stop you."

"Will he now..." Trixie clopped her hooves together, rubbing them giddily, "Sunburst, I sneak up on the Innkeeper and strike him in the back with a Death Blow! That should teach him a lesson."

Sunburst gaped, "T-that would vaporize him for sure!"

Trixie nodded excitedly.

"And you'd be out of commission for 30 days! What about the rest of the adventure?"

"What better place to rest than an Inn!”

Twilight raised her hooves in gentle protest as Trixie began digging for dice in her wizard hat. "Or! Or we could just thank the Innkeeper for his hospitality! Like the Princess always says, better to extend the hoof of friendship than deliver the backhand of judgment."

Maud blinked slowly. "Well... Roku has a strong sense of ethics. He won’t let something like this take place right in front of him.”

“Oh thank goodness...” said Sunburst.

“... So he goes upstairs.”

“Oh, dammit!”


Trixie was soon rolling, while Starlight cheered her on. "Well would you look at that... I got a 17 to sneak up on the Innkeeper!"

Sunburst checked his notes. "Well... Uh... Just as you're about to exercise your Art of the Delayed Fist on the innkeeper, you hear a clamour from out in the streets. It distracts your attention long enough for him to run to the window, temporarily sparing himself. He calls for you all to come look."

“What a cheap trick!”

Twilight looked relieved. "Well, Sakura Petals will go to the window! What do I see?"

"Thankyou, Twilight. Looking out in the street, you see the village is beset by bandits on horseback, riding down the main street. The villagers, armed with little more than their farm tools, are totally ill-equipped to battle them off."

Starlight raised a brow. "Did you say bandits? I'm pretty sure the first encounter in this module is against the Tengu's demon minions..."

"Well, someone couldn’t keep her eyes off the module, so they're bandits now. Not a demon amongst them.”

"Starlight Glimmer will not forget this..."


A few minutes later, the group were putting the final touches on fighting a very decidedly non-demonic group of bandits.

"Alright, it's your turn, Trixie. What are you doing?"

"Trixie scans the crowd of bandits for the biggest, baddest one. Once she finds him... Kaplow!"

Twilight fussed. "Well... I'm still not sure about using your special ability on the first enemy you see, but... Alright, I'll try to help. Hmm... I got a 15 to locate their leader, Sunburst."

Sunburst conceded it. "Sakura Petals is able to identify the leader of the bandits."

"Roku will help," said Maud. "He uses his pickaxe to dig through any bandits between Trixie and the bandit leader... With a 20 - plus modifiers - I successfully excavate the back of another bandit’s head. ”

“I wish you’d stop referring to it like that...”

But Trixie didn’t seem satisfied. “That’s all well and good, but the one I really need protecting me is Moromane! Starlight, could he help Roku cut a path through the bandits for Peach?”

Sunburst looked over to Starlight. "Well? Your magic sword counts as unenchanted against human foes, but you can still damage them."

"Yes, yes, Sunburst, if only we were all so clever like you are." Starlight rolled her eyes. "Sure, I position myself between Peach and the bandits and start cutting a path through to the leader."

"Excellent..." purred Trixie. "Sunburst?

"Yes, Trixie?" He didn't like that tone in her voice.

"Once Moromane is in front of Peach, Peach charges up her Death Blow, and..."

"... Strikes Moromane in the back!"

"What?" gasped Starlight.

"I'm delivering my Death Blow to Moromane! Aimed so as to avoid any damage to that nice, nice sword, of course! That belongs to Trixie."

"But that’s my sword!”


“But why?"

“Isn’t it obvious? Once Peach uses her Death Blow, she's helpless for the rest of the month. That sword will give me a handy fallback."

"Sunburst! You're not going to allow this, are you?"

"... Sorry, Starlight, it's not like it's against the rules. If Trixie wants to backstab you, she can. Trixie, uh, you don't have any trouble landing your blow against a surprised opponent... Could you go ahead and... Hm, well..."

A vein was throbbing on Starlight's neck. "What?! What were you going to say?"

Sunburst squirmed under her gaze. "Well... Oni-Blooded gives Trixie an extra seven dice and she's already rolling 14... You gave Moromane the absolute minimum score in most of his physical stats to pay for your sword, so... at this point she's rolling more dice than you have Hit Points."

“Oh for pony’s sake!”

Trixie... didn't care. As a matter of fact, Trixie was already scooping up just about every dice on the table. "Ahaha, sorry! That sword is just too tasty to pass up! Trixie will remember your noble sacrifice, though!”

Sunburst swore the table creaked under the weight of the heap of dice landing. Twilight's hair shot up. Trixie spent 8 minutes counting the damage.

"Alright... Well, I can't argue with that roll. Peach turns her 'friend' into dust, making a crater in the ground in the process."

"Trixie claims the Ravenblade! Peach scoops it up and affixes it to her flank."

"Well... I don't know about all that. I'll say with the last of your post-Death Blow strength, you're able to snatch Nyghthorne and cradle it to your bosom. Maud, Twilight, that leaves you to finish off the bandits on your own."

"So, really, just Maud then," teased a smirking Trixie. Starlight continued fuming.

“Sure,” said Maud.

Trixie leaned back, putting her hooves behind her head with a satisfied sigh. "Don’t take too long now~”

... Half an hour later, the combat wrapped up. Roku had been reduced to a sliver of his Hit Points, while Sakura and Peach were largely untouched.

"That's the last of them. What do you do now?"

Maud looked to be thinking things over. "How's Peach doing?"

Sunburst nodded. "Your companion is semi-conscious, laying in the crater that was once Moromane. She's clutching the Ravenblade to her chest."

"Hm. Roku hefts his pickaxe...”

"What!" exclaimed Trixie.

“... And excavates the back of Peach's skull."

"What!" It was Sunburst’s turn to be shocked.

"Nice," exclaimed Starlight. "Exactly what she deserves."

"Well... Peach can’t fight back, of course. So go right ahead.”

“Okay. I keep hitting her until she dies. Or until it stops being ethical.”

“Oh, I don’t think you’re in any danger there...” muttered Twilight.

Trixie slapped her forehead. “Well, my Oni relatives won’t stand for this! Sunburst, I want all her friends and family on this guy’s ass from here on out!”

Sunburst looked at her blankly. “The... same ones you betrayed and decapitated, right?”

Trixie froze, mid hoof-raise, mouth hanging open. Then, she sank back into her chair. "Huh! Well, whatever, I know when I’m beat! I just... really wanted that sword!”

Maud coughed politely. "Once Roku has cleaned the blood from his pickaxe, he tells the villagers they’re safe now.”

"... Then I take the sword."