Once upon a time, in the magical land of Equestria...
Two sisters ruled together, supported by the bearers of the fabled Elements of Harmony. This is a legend everypony knows; it is one we tell our little foals as they learn their place in this world.
We do not speak of the Sundering, not until they are much older. That night that seemed to last forever, fifty years ago. The stars fell from the heavens, and strange magical storms wracked the land. Where these storms raged, the world twisted into a dark shadow of its former self. Where once dragons were greedy and quick to anger, they became inscrutible creatures of great power. Where the diamond dogs once cared for nothing but the acquisition of gems, now they skulk in the caverns underneath Equestria, waiting to avenge a terrible wrong. Where once the Everfree was mysterious but majestic, it now drips poison from its limbs and twists those foalish enough to enter unprotected.
Where once peace reigned, violence rules. A pony's closest friend is his blade.
But what happened during that long night?
Secrets of Silver (Group A)Edit
Chapter One: A Beautiful Day for a WeddingEdit
The day dawns bright and cheerful as you stir from a restful sleep. You've trekked all this way from your home to attend the wedding of your friend to their beloved. In these times, simple pleasures like this ring the truest; two hearts beating as one, blessed by Celestia. The townsponies of Ponyville have set up a fair for the event; there are mummers, jugglers, and clowns for the foals, and the Apple Family from the nearby Temple of Applejack have brought plenty of cool, crisp cider. There are small booths for merchants, and the Temple of Harmony has its doors open wide. There's even a recruiting station for the Equestrian Crusade, although only the Path of the Pealing Bell is present today.
In short, it's the kind of day that makes you forget your woes.
Chapter Two: Shapes in the NightEdit
The town of Ponyville is still reeling from the assault during the wedding of Redrose and Shining Star. The Ordinum Aurora hospital is filled with the wounded, and the Path of the Pealing Bell is working hard to soothe the heart of the shocked citizenry. The town council needs answers to provide closure, but answers are in short supply. The only surviving diamond dog is in custody and cooperating, but knows nothing beyond what he said to Dark Aether: his masters are building an army, and have taken control of the diamond dog tribe near Ponyville for some nefarious purpose. The disapperance of the ponies garbed in black from the stockade only deepens the mystery.
Now, three days later, ponies have started disappearing. Three victims over the last two nights: Golden Harvest, Scarlet Castle, and Dragonlily have all vanished from their homes near the Everfree. Perhaps this is the lead the heroes of Ponyville have been looking for?
Chapter Three: Welcome to the JungleEdit
After clearing out the diamond dog tunnels underneath Ponyville and discovering the Blight circle inhabiting an old tree house near the borders of the Everfree Forest outside the walls of Ponyville, the Heroes of Ponyville still haven't found the three missing ponies. Sugar Song has been taken in by the Ordinum Aurora chapter; when she learned that her sister had not been located, her brave facade crumbled. She's been crying ever since. The only clue the Heroes have is the ebon ring worn by the corpse-like leader of the Blight circle.
Now, the Argent Legion has another request of the Heroes: pegasus scouts have reported that there is a concerning event taking place at Broken Bough, a meadow in the heart of the Everfree. Somepony calling themself the Herald of the Eclipse has gathered other Tainted ponies to its banner, and seems to be heading towards civilization; towards Ponyville. The Argent Legion stands ready to defend Ponyville, but they'd rather head this invasion off before it arrives.
Do our Heroes have what it takes to stand before the Eclipse? How is the Herald linked to the Circle of Twisting Brambles? Where are the missing ponies from Ponyville? All shall be revealed at Broken Bough.
Chapter Four: Ridin' Many a MileEdit
The nightmare at Broken Bough has been resolved; the Herald of the Eclipse escaped, but its army seems to have been scattered to the wind; despite a couple incursions by Tainted ponies during the Heroes' venture into the Everfree, the promised hordes haven't appeared. The Argent Legion has reinforced Ponyville by pulling troops from Canterlot, and, should the Horde of the Eclipse arrive, they shall be ready.
However, there is a new problem facing the ponies of Ponyville: the nearby Temple of Applejack has had a fire destroy their storehouses that held the food for the poor of Ponyville and pilgrims to the Temple of Honesty, and the harvest is still two months away; their novitiates are traveling to Appleloosa to secure more supplies to last the rest of the summer. Blaze has requested that the Heroes accompany the Appleites' caravan to prevent any mishaps from befalling it during the week-long journey back to Ponyville.
What awaits them in the stark wastelands of the Topaz Desert?
Chapter Five: Hoofprints in the SandEdit
Part One: Cactus Apple BluesEdit
After interrupting a ritual performed by razortooth cultists of the Corpse God, the Heroes of Ponyville continue their trek through the Topaz Desert. The caravan will reach Appleloosa within the week, and the ride has been uneventful. The village of Cactus Apple is the final stop before the final leg of the journey, and the teamsters are enthusiastic about getting supplies and taking some time off the dusty trail. They tell tall tales of the village's generosity, and the fine-lookin' ponies waiting there; "Everythin's better in Apple Clan Territories," as the saying goes.
A nice, relaxing rest six days out of Appleloosa. Nothing to worry about, right?
Part Two: Worth Dying ForEdit
The town of Cactus Apple is empty, save for two ponies found in the Church of Applejack: Cactus Rose and her daughter Apple Fritter. After being attacked by faceless ponies who laughed slowly before being consumed in a conflagration upon being defeated. Where did they all go? Are these the "shadow ponies" Apple Fritter was so frightened by?
The Heroes of Ponyville leave Cactus Apple as they found it; mysteriously empty, protected by one lone watcher: the enigmatic Cactus Rose.
Skulking in Shadow (Group B)Edit
Chapter One: A Death in the FamilyEdit
The acrid air of Manehattan hangs about the buildings like a thick fog. The Sorores Mechanicum foundries belch smoke into the city around the Steelworks District. No one lives here but the poor and the forgotton; the unwanted and the infirm. Nopony here means anything but cheap labor and even cheaper thugs.
Which is why the discovery of the corpse of Alderpony Raspberry Cream is so newsworthy. Sure, he was in trouble with the Watch: he was indicted for trafficking in forbidden artifacts, (just ask those explorers at the Equestrian Geographic. And wasn't he tied to that Night Eternal cult?), but why was he in the Sticks at all?
Who wanted Raspberry Cream dead? And why is the name of a visiting pony from the Whitetail Wood in his calendar? Five unlikely adventurers will seek to uncover the truth behind this infamous deed; after all, even a criminal deserves justice.
Chapter Two: The Heat of Forged SteelEdit
Part One: Situation NormalEdit
Our heroes have foiled an attempted break-in at the Equestrian Geographic offices, but are no closer to deciphering the motives behind it. They have the unconscious form of the ringleader in custody, but have not been able to question him. What were they after? Who were they working for?
The only leads regarding the Alderpony's murder are a ceramic ring with strange writing on it, and a collection of files that hints at industrial sabotage plaguing the Sorores Mechanicum's new project, the Juggernaut armor. What do these mean?
And where has Flute been, anyway? What were the Argent Legion doing at the crime scene? With more questions than answers, the four regroup at Flora's room at the Rusted Buckle, an inn near the city gates.
Meanwhile, not too far away, a pony with a special plan ticks one box off on a doomsday scenario. Let the wicked of Manehatten tremble, for the bell soon tolls...
Part Two: All Messed UpEdit
The Sorores Mechanicum's factory is in disarray, and the automated defenses have been activated. The heroes struggle with both Argent Legionnaires and the strange, risen bodies of those that gave their lives in service to the Sisterhood.
Somewhere nearby, an ancient evil waits to be discovered. Somewhere nearby, a trio of ponies struggles for freedom before their time comes.
Chapter Three: Room For One MoreEdit
Flute has been found, although he's still weak. The Ordinum Aurora has him and the other ponies rescued from the Sorores Mechanicum factory in quarantine; the strange energies reported by the Argent Legion are unlike any seen in Equestria. They need answers, but none are forthcoming; the only ponies who may have had them either fell to Legion steel or still stalk the factory as slavering monsters.
The press has been oddly silent about the events within. Instead, the headline this morning is one of murder: another pony has been found, savagely killed. The victim, Red Brick, was a contractor with the Sisterhood and had ties to many of the alderponies; he and his crew was the go-to group for high-end construction.
How is this new death linked to Alderpony Cream's murder? What happened to Flute? The answers may lie with a mysterious figure seen at night, near the hospital.
Chapter Four: InterludeEdit
Our heroes investigate a mysterious happening to the west, and uncover an ancient evil.
Part One: Something Fell From AloftEdit
Murders, living dead, strange magic... it's all enough to make one spit their bit. As Flute recovers in the Ordinum Aurora hospital, his brother gets a message from Equestrian Geographic: return to Central immediately, we have a job for you in the wilderness.
It seems that the ponies of nearby Brushington, a village only three days' travel away, have reported that a star fell in the nearby woods five days ago. Wander is tasked with discovering what happened, and returning with material fit for print; the enquiring readers of EG want to know. It's time to gear up, and move out.
Part Two: The Impossible TombEdit
The crater of the fallen star has been discovered, and it cannot exist. Instead of a hole in the ground, there is a small desert with ancient ruins within. In the middle of the Whitetail Woods. Before the adventurers can explore these ruins, they have to deal with another group of ponies who have beaten them here.
What lies within the out-of-place ruins? How did they get here? What is going on? Clues to these question lie within...
Part Three: Shadows and SpiteEdit
The impossible ruins below the strange crater are host to dangerous creatures from beyond Equestria, things of flame, shadow, and hate. After defeating several of these fiends, the heroes find something they never expected: a powerful shadow demon who somehow knows their Argent Legion companion.
They evade this terror, but find the gates of Manehattan heavily guarded. What new threat has surfaced in their absence?
Chapter Five: Falling DownEdit
The past week has seen many changes in Manehattan. The city watch is everywhere, enforcing a curfew in each district. The once-thriving nightlife has disappeared. The citizens of Manehattan are all subdued. Starry Eyes, the Argent Legionnaire assigned to the group, has returned to her superiors to report on the events in Brushington.
The offices of Equestrian Geographic have been burned to the ground in what is being called a battle between two magi. The Argent Legion is investigating, but no answers are forthcoming. It's up to our heroes to uncover the truth.