Community Post #177 I dunno, I just like that old gif. And it's very appropriate now. So, if anyone did look at the poll and try to add themselves or their idea to it, it would turn out that they couldn't do much. I looked specifically for poll software that let you add new ideas to then later vote on. I could only find that one and it didn't do as I expected. Sorry, but we can push on. Instead, we'll jump in with a blank slate and add aspects and such as we go. Might make some changes to make this happen but for you guys, the system we'll use instead is this forum. Make sure to include a response, or part of a response here with [Roleplay] to make it obvious and you can make a response or submit an action for our character that way. The actions that get the most likes will be considered for the next part. Any questions? Post below. I guess we could get started and see where this ends up. Here we go. Community Tabletop Game The Royal Investigators 'Your First Day' The cloying cold of the flagstones seems almost pointlessly adorned with carpets and banners bearing the royal insignia. They appear to trap no heat down here: nothing is likely to. The unyielding stone this place sits upon is meant to be unpleasant. It's meant to be a place full of foreboding shadows, as if being dragged through Tartarus itself. The potted plant doing a lot of heavy lifting when it comes to uplifting the ambiance of the area as you descend to the cobblestone floor. There's a small area of benches, a few moth eaten magazines and what appears to be a notice board with a number of headlines framed. "Spooks of Saunter Hall Foiled: New Detective Wing Proves Self to Princess" "Gongoozler Stopped" "Interdimentional Rift Rendered Safe By Royal Investigators" "Royal Investigator: "It's OK, Acid Spitting Hell-Demon Was Lonely" Artist: hioshiru "Come on newbie, we got stuff to do." Said Cobalt, a Griffin you had been following before the newspapers caught your eye. Her dark feathers seemed to blend quite evenly into the gloom that the torches couldn't quite touch. Again, miserable place so not the easiest to feel 'homey' now it's being used to something else other than as a bin for people the royalty doesn't like. Whenever she looked back, it took a second and a moment of movement to not see a beak and eyes floating unsupported by a head in free space. "First day, so you have a long day of having things told to you, signing your name over and over and over then getting your first crappy assignment. Buuuut, you turned up at a pretty interesting time so, I think we flip the script a little, yeah?" She flashes you a sly smile: "Trust me, you'll like this. It's...It's not like anything else. And I should know! I mean, the Fire Salamanders I keep get me in trouble sometimes when they overheat but they only do that when I forget about them too long. An' you haven't lived till you tickle a timbre wolf's belly. And if your going to be buddying up with me, you'll get to see all the kooky critters I got down here. But this thing beats them all. It's gonna be great. Trust me!" As you walk through areas with cells that have been made into offices, functionally making the difference leg room and a desk, from what you can see peering inside each one you pass, you travel through the stone underbelly of the Royal Palace. It's general temperature has improved though the smell is not fluctuating randomly. There's smoke floating through the air; bright pink but smells of sulphur. It comes from one of the rooms you pass, the glimpse of strange things in jars. A few rotate to stare back then return to watching the soft, bubblegum-pink flashes that light the room. Another rumbles with a deep voice, something you can't help but overhear. "I DON'T WANT ANY. I'M NOT FEELING WELL." It echoes in whatever chamber holds it. "They where baked specially. Please try at least one?" "ARE THEY MADE BY TANGLE SNARE? TANGLE SNARE MAKES GOOD BUNS." "Yeah, she overheard you talking them up so much last week. She made a bunch for you." "I'LL TAKE A LIMESTONE AND BRAVE IT." You catch a pony in the distance hand off a basket to a massive claw that carries it up and out of sight. He then trots away merrily while the room he leaves gives off a strange crunching sound. It was as if someone was attempting to gargle and eat a pebble beach. Artist: Eliot Chacoco You approach and step inside a larger room. Bedited on all walls with shelves of books, ornate buttresses and pillars and creatures going about their work quietly. Cobalt keeps moving for the centre area, a place sat right under a strange skylight in the ceiling. It appeared to show a night sky despite you being pretty sure it was mid-morning when you got here. The swirling greens and blues of the supposed cosmos above you were then dusted with a sprinkling of tiny, twinkling stars that seem to sit somewhere between immediately and an eternity away from the glass. Even so, some seemed to rain and dance within the shimmering light. These stars suspended beyond the window above, hanging over the half-moons in the carpet. It was like a calming shrine to the night. Perhaps a fitting tribute to the Patron of the Investigators. "Welcome to the Midnight Room. This is where we keep records, books, research and sometimes take coffee breaks." Cobalt said. "Sort of a central place to do things down here. You'll get familiar the longer you stick around." For many here, they were reading. Or finding a book to then read. Or perhaps simply discussing what was read. But there were a few around that were orbiting or inspecting a glass sphere sitting on a pedestal. Inside the sphere, lit by something within the pedestal, was what looked like a squirrel. It was floating in the middle, as if suspended by the waist and was watching everything with it's huge, black eyes. The ordinarily adorable creature was clearly warped beyond all belief as it would watch ponies move and look at it. One would get close and it would desperately attempt to pounce, kicking fruitlessly against nothing and swipe viciously at the air. Teeth bared and a black, unpleasant ooze drooling from it's mouth and staining the sides of the otherwise pristine glass. The rabbid, squeaking snarling this thing made while it was attempting to move and do Celestia only knows what to the pony that got too close seemed equally alarming and comical. After all, it was doing this while floating in a big glass bubble. It wasn't hurting anyone. It then sat, defeated and angry. In a tiny voice, it babbled...something. "This is Subject 543. But I call him 'Doomy'. Don't get too close to the glass; he doesn't like it." Colbalt moves around the glass cage, watching the evil looking squirrel. She was actually smiling. "We found him out into the Everfree Forest a few days ago. This little guy chewed through a waggon of vegetables and was gnawing threw bunches of corn when we captured him. He managed to scratch up a few of the team that found him pretty bad. Frightened the hell of that nice couple, didn't you naughty furball, huh?" The baby-talking was accompanied with an affectionately mocking knock on the glass. 'Doomy' responded by spitting the black sludge against the side, swiping impotently in the air and squeaking something that seemed like words a little louder. There was a pony attempting to write it all down, a feathered quill grasped in unicorn magic; jotting down barely audible nonsense. Artist: Dusk The Batpack "Please refrain from disturbing the subject." The pony in the glasses, turtleneck and blazer said. "It spits more if you do. I don't want to keep cleaning it so often." "But he's talking more. You wanted that right?" Cobalt pouts. "Mm. But it's too fast to properly understand. Please leave the subject to calm down and return to it's state of ominous muttering. The more I have, the easier matching it to a language will be." The pony said flatly. "You met the newbie yet?" The pony writing looks up from his work, expression level and disinterested: "Good Morning. I am Fine Print. I am a researcher and field agent. Good to meet you." His voice was almost as drained of emotion as his face. He immediately returned to scribbling down the nonsense the squirrel was muttering. "Yeah. Well, Doomy here we thought was a Ratatosk; which is like this weird, super rare Squirrel thing that mutters horrible insults and rumours at you." Cobalt said, watching the squirrel. It regarded her with its large, black orbs and appeared to growl in it's throat. A half-drowned noise as the ebony sludge foamed in it's mouth. "But they haven't been seen in, like, centuries and Doomy here doesn't speak any language we know. And a Rataosk would bother to update it's knowledge so it can really put the boot in with whatever it says to you, right? No point throwing around the worst things you've ever heard but it's in something dead for thousands of years. So, know the theory is bad juju." "Actually negative spectrum emotional waves that appear to have manifested exaggerated and monstrous mutations within a specimen, possibly resulting from an entity comprised of harmful psionic energy. Perhaps an emotional gestalt entity, like a Tantabus or the like." Fine Print didn't even skip a beat as he continued to work. "So yeah, bad juju. We think there's something out there that might have turned more critters into things just like this. At least, we don't think we got the only one anyway. It's, like, magically bad or something?" Cobalt added inverted commas with her claws as she spoke, looking to Fine Print for help with the explanation there but he didn't regard her at all. Returning to you, she continued: "The other magic ponies we have don't like getting near this thing and it's more than just because he's so vicious. We think it's, like, an entity of pure evil or something. We even let the department's 'emotional energy scanner' get near and Doomy here just caused havoc like it has an aura of bad." Again, added inverted commas with her claws at 'emotional energy scanner'. She turns to Fine Print: "Speaking of: is the 'scanner' OK?" "He's sleeping off his experience in our office." Fine Print answered. "If he is conscious, I would imagine he wouldn't be doing anything vitally important. You may wish to ask him further on the experience." "Oh good. So yeah, Newbie. That's the plan: Figure out what made this thing and then stop it. Though it would help if we knew what it was." Code: What do you do? > OK, let's leave that there. Please put what you want the Newbie to be, and what to do next down below and we can see what happens next. We're going to try building the Newbie as we go, based on what the responses are like. If you like a response and what it to happen, hit the like button on the post. The ones with the most Likes will be considered. I will do my best to respond to anything posted (within reason) as best as I can. See you next time. And if anyone knows about some better polling software, let me know.