Dawn of Darkness, Part 1
IC date: Autumn 42, 1007 AC
OOC date: October 31, 2012
PCs: Brume, Dream-Daze, Hayseed, Rising-Chaos, Salty, Seaside-Sunset, Spearmint, Spindrift, Stormdancer, Thunnini
NPCs: Daffodil
GM: Applejack, Trixie, Fluttershy

It is a terrifying night in Horseshoe Harbor. The skies are cloudy but not overcast, allowing beams of moonlight to lance down and illuminate the town in intervals. The lanterns along all the streets are glowing an unearthly purple instead of their usual cheerful red and a late day fog rolled in from the ocean and suffused the streets with several inches of mist. Any grassy parts of town have been festooned with gravestorns carrying epitaphs like "Ill B. Back", "Reston Peace" and "I. M. Knotwell".

As if that wasn't bad enough, monsters fill the streets! Ghosts and witches and astronauts and Wonderbolts and Captain Equestria and… wait, those last few aren't monsters. What's going on?

Oh yeah! It's Nightmare Night! That explains /everything/.

Unless you're a seafilly who has never been landside for this holiday. A rather confused-looking Thunnini is making her way down the street in a slightly modified bucket. Actually, it's more like a small tub with improvised skids lashed to it, and she's moving along with the help of a stout pole, like a landbound gondalier. Not very fast going, but at least it's not as dizzying as rolling the tub from the boardwalk to the fountain… from the inside.

Two cheerful voices promptly greet Thunnini "Hello Citizen!" Two faces popping out suddenly in front of Thunnini - one white with a brightly colored mane of blues and greens; the other black with purplish hair and sparkles! Each of the pair wearing a cheesey looking horn and totally fake pegasi wings. "HELLO CITIZEN." Sunset yells /at/ Thunnini in a horrible attempt at the royal canterlot voice - prompting a elbow "Don't make me banish you." "Hey, not funny!" "It'd be like that time you forgot to get off the wagon." "You're the only pony off the wagon." "Why you!"

A ghost stalks the streets.

Well, it's ghostly. Phantom-ish. Probably alive, but also kind of spooky. Whoever it is is tall and thin, draped from head to hoof in a flowing black covering that reduces their drifting movements to mere suggestions of limbs against the billowing folds of fabric. The face, though, is a white porcelain mask of a pony- eyes empty and dark, expression blank, like some sort of dead opera mask. In dark enough light, it makes for a ghostly effect, the grey mask lurking int he shadows atop a shifting shadow, and even when the figure strides out into the glow of the streetlamps it seems to bring some of the darkness with it before melting into the shadows at the opposite side. Whoooooo could it be?

A good indication is the fact that Brume is hanging around with them. He, too, is dressed in black- black leggings that hug his thin legs and sculpted derierre, matched by a billowing black shirt of sorts with a deep, v-cut neckline that plunges from the collar down between his forelegs. His hair is done up in a black bandana, while a mask covers his eyes. At his side is belted a gleaming (and likely quite fake) rapier. Assorted sailory types give him a suspicious look as he and his silent associate wander through, because he is entirely the wrong kind of pirate for this town.

Hayseed has settled down on one side of the Square, looking quite content! And… surrounded by pumpkins! Okay, not quite. But mostly! In fact, she has a stall set up. Pumpkins and corn and squash and wheat! All sorts of goodies! Some of the pumpkins are carved, some are not. Some are for sale! It's a good night for pumpkins! Also candy. There is definitely a /large/ bowl of candy.

Hayseed herself is looking very cheery! Dressed in a dark cape and pointed hat, vines wrapping from her hooves up to her legs, little sprouts popping up wherever she sets hoof. Why, she's in her element! All she needs is a good harvest moon. Her cloak, in fact, is bordered with said moon emblems! Also sun emblems. The sun is the largest one, certainly. Old traditional marks of the Harvest seasons, if anypony were to recognize them, are woven all throughout her garb. She waves cheerily to passing ponies, and of course offers candy to all the foals! And some of the adults, because why not?

A statue of a pegasus trots through the streets, one stony wing wrapped around a sloshing bottle. A few splotches of blue on her back shows where Stormdancer missed some spots, however. The Royal Capsl- err, Canterlot shout causes her to gaaaaasp dramatically (not incidentally showing off some rather large fangs) and kowtow in the middle of the street. "The princesses are here!"

Rising-Chaos is having a great time. She is dressed up as a pretty pony princess, and is prancing through the streets with a big old smile plastered on her face. She's wearing a tiara, an expensive one which, despite showing some wear, shines in the light of the lanterns. Her dress isn't as fancy, and if fact looks rather plain. To her it's just as pretty though, having sewn it herself. Nghtmare Night is her favourite holiday of the year, everypony gets to show how creative they are! Though in deference to the fact that /actual/ zombies have shown up, she's strapped her machete to a belt underneath the dress.

Thunnini looks at all of the ponies in their odd garb and weird behaviors with a look that clearly says "older ponies are so -silly-." The candy does slightly catch her eye, though. As she poles her way towards Hayseed's stall, she asks "Why's everypony dressed so funny?"

In the background foals go from door to door down main street. A chorus of 'Nightmare Night! What a fright! Give us something sweet to bite!' can be heard after every knocked upon door opens.

Sadly, it seems one storefront has already been vandalized for daring to give out apples instead of candy. I mean, really. /Fruit/? On /Nightmare Night/? They probably already had apples for lunch today! At least, whoever unceremoniously TP'd that shop did.

Brume saunters along, a little jangle in his step- and he's not even wearing spurs or anything, but it's just too sauntery a saunter NOT to jangle when he moves. He's wearing a customary amused smile, looking this way and that, just taking in the sights. He deftly moves to avoid the gaggles of children that scamper by, while slowing to offer a wave to the adults who mind the storefronts. Everybody's having a good time! It's hard not to be swept up in the mood. His wandering is, of course, taking him in a vaguely Hayseed-ward direction. The pumpkins… they are calling to him.

The masked phantom that follows him continues to drift a few steps behind. While Brume has to avoid children, they go out of their way to avoid the phantom. The identity-concealing outfit doesn't really invite a very amiable response from observers, probably because its expressionless masked face doesn't really seem to acknowledge anybody. Honestly the wearer is probably better served by one of those spooky adult Nightmare Night parties in one of the bars, but here she is, spookin' it up for the kids, anyway.

Seaside chimes "Why it's Nightmare Night!" Sunset continues. "A holiday to dress up, and get free candy." "There's more to it than that!" "Why don't you explain it, then?" A moment of silence before Seaside agrees "A holday to dress-up, and get free candy." the pair beam at Thunnini before grabbing the mare's bucket and pushing her along the street towards Hayseed. "Clearly you're a fish out of water." "Seaside!"

Hayseed blinks and smiles down at Thunnini. "Hello!" She doesn't seem all that put off by the 'seapony' thing, though perhaps she just thinks it's another costume! "Why? Because it's Nightmare Night! You dress up, you get candy… you carve pumpkins!" She happily motions to her wares. Yay pumpkins! She does enjoy them so.

Rising-Chaos spies Hayseed's pumpkin stand. Candy, pumpkins, fun! Instantly she starts prancing over to inspect the merchandise. She arrives soon after the twins and Thunnini. She gives them a wave. "Happy Nightmare Night! Nice to see you around Thunnini." She gives them all a grin.

Overheard a chill wind blows clouds in front of the moon, casting darkness upon the town. Only the creepy green aura of the streetlamps and whatever light is streaming out of ponies' windows now colors the street.

Speaking of foals! There's so many of them out and about, it's really a wonder how they manage to hide when bad things happen. This small group's being led by none other than Daffodil! Whom couldn't even begin to pass up an opportunity to run around, in a costume, and get free candy. Even if there is a slight potential threat of still being eaten by undead things, the free candy is more than worth the risk! Somewhere he found a clown outfit. It was so anti-undead that it just fit.

Dream Daze is there too! And probably most of the Lemonade Brigade. Y'know, the ones that didn't end up whisked away to the land of Ice and Sadness. Dreamy's all dolled up in some purple pony tights, with a 'mask'. Superhero. Super Dreamy! Silent… But Deadly.

Stormdancer cracks open one eye, looking around- and has failed to get any of the kiddos to mob the princesses. Drat. But there's a (thicker part of the) crowd over by the pumpkins, so she trots over to join the herd. Albeit, trying to not be noticed by… let's say the pseudo-pirate! In the sudden gloom, she sets up behind him with spread wings, grinning wiiiiiide with those fake fangs, just -waiting- for him to turn around.

Seaside grins playfully at Pumpkin, as does her twin-sister 'Luna'. "We'll trade you this fish for some pumpkins." "Does Thunini even know what a pumpkin is?" Seaside points "Pump-kin." Then repeats "Pump-kin." prompting a firm bap from Sunset "She's not daft - don't talk to her like a foal." "Oh hey! Don't make me rise the sun on you!" "You can't rise the sun, but I can rise the moon." Sunset proceeding to turn away from Seaside and shake her flank "Why you!" trying to reach over Thunini to swat that rear.

Candy? Pumpkins? Landpony food! Thunnini grins. "This sounds like fun! What do you do with the carved pumpkins?" she asks, trying to get a better sense of what one does for Nightmare Night. She happens to notice Dreamy and the others, and waves at the assorted foals - or at least does the best she can while trying to stay out of the way of the twins.

As he notices Rising Chaos nearing the pumpkin stand, Brume hesitates in his approach, his little half-smile fading somewhat. He watches her from a distance for a pensive moment before turning back towards his companion.

"Spindrift, why don't yEEEEK!" His voice rises in a brief, shrill yelp, and he shrinks back, eyes wide behind his little domino mask, but he recovers in short order with a huff and reaches up to adjust the lapels of his shirt. (Is it still a shirt when a pony is wearing it?) "Well played, well played!" he offers with a smile. "And, might I add, a very flattering costume." He leans towards Stormdancer with an off-kilter smile and an upraised eyebrow. "Very flattering."

The Phantom, lurking nearby, stands there. Judging from the cant of its head, it may be listening and watching the pair, but it gives no indication- there is a hint of sea-green visible in the shadows past the masks's empty black eyes, though.

Somewhere outside of town Maelstrom's ears burn. Somepony is doing something very sexy right now and he's not around to witness it. He's sure of it.

Hayseed chuckles. "Display them, mostly. The innards are good for cooking! And you can then put a candle in and make them look all cool and spooky or pretty or whatever you want. And, of course, the leftovers are edible." Yum, pumpkin~

Star-Daze skips merrily along beside Dreamy. Her costume matches! Mostly. It's a bit less fancy. Definite 'sidekick' material. But she seems pleased! Spearmint is part of the group too, sticking near the middle, trying not to tread on anypony's hooves. He's a knight! With a sword and a celestial shield and everything. He looks pretty impressive! And a liiiittle awkward. What does a pony even do with a sword and shield?

Stormdancer clops her hooves briefly, her grin shifting from 'Pony-eating beastie' to 'Gleeful'. (Whether or not that's an improvement…) "Why, thankee thankee!" Quite unsubtly, she looks him over in return. And despite the lurking Phantom… "Hmm. You, too! I'm not the only pony here looking chiseled~."

The clouds drift away from the moon once more, shedding their light upon the town square… and upon some shambling forms down at the end of the street. Shambling, groaning, terrible-selling forms.

Sunset turns around to gloat at her sister but's short-lived as Seaside stuffs an ear of corn into the other mare's mouth. "You're so corny! Put a cob in it!" than plants her flank beside Thunini's bowl. "The nerve of some mares." But she's still smiling. Sunset is certainly fine with the turn of events; she notices Brume and looks his diretion - making eye-contact she proceeds to wiggle her eye-brows with that cob of corn still in her mouth.

The Dread Pirate Brume laughs at that comment. "Kind of you to notice!" he says, striking a flattering profile. A passing breeze ruffles the billowing sleeves of his shirt and teases the tassles of his bandana. "Sadly, the locals don't seem to recognize it. I guess my idea of a pirate is a bit too romantic for them. Ah, well, I…" He quiets as the clouds part, gazing past Stormdancer, and towards the apparent zombies down the way. With a cluck of his tongue, he flashes Storm a smile and Spindrift a little waggle of his eyebrows; she silently turns to gaze down the street towards the zombies. "What do you say, Spin?" asks Brume. "The real deal or townies who don't know the meaning of the term 'too soon?'" The Phantom does not answer, and merely watches.

The foal 'army' (they got a knight, that makes it an army right?) veer course to intercept Thunnini! With Dreamy and Daffy both hopping excitedly in front of the seapony. "Hey!" Daffy says, a bagful of candy hanging off his neck. "Are you here for the free sweets too? This is /so awesome/!

At least, until the undead things at the end of the street show up. Daffy stops in his tracks, looking over Thun's..bowl? And around one of the twins. "Uh-oh… If we're gonna get any more freebies,w e better do it fast."

Oooh, edible decorations! The fact that the innards have to be cooked makes Thunnini's smile waver slightly - how's a seafilly supposed to do that? - but that can wait; the pumpkin carving sound interesting!

As she looks around at the assorted ponies being silly, she happens to catch a glance of the odd forms at the end of the road. "Are those part of Nightmare Night, too? What are they, and what do they do?"

Sunset happens to be looking Brume's directions and sees the trotters first - Seaside is blissfully ignorant until a chill runs down her spine - prompting her to peek over Thunnini's bowl and eep in adorable unison with her sister. "Just costumes right?" Sealeastia asks her sister. "Has to be!" the mares trying to convince themselves of the best case scenario

Rising-Chaos looks over the pumpkins thoughtfully. She's starting to form an idea in her mind for some awesome pumpkin carvings. She chuckles a bit at the twin's antics, but is otherwise preoccupied. She looks up to inquire about buying one fine specimen when she hears Thunnini's question. She looks for herself, seeing the shambling forms. A sigh follows, can't even her favourite holiday go well. "Excuse me, how much for this one?" she asks, pointing at a large pumpkin.

Stormdancer looks over her back at the shambling forms, sticking her tongue out in their direction. "Interrupting a good flirt is what they are," she complains, tucking her wings back down. And more importantly, retrieving her bottle-o-something. Her danger sense is clearly off for the night.

The pair eep and look at Thunnini "you'll be okay here?" "Yeah, you'll be okay." "Just roll into the ocean if things get scary." "Or Use tail-whip!" the pair suddenly darting off to find safe-haven.

Surprise! The zombies are real zombies! This is actually not a surprise at all considering the Harbor has been under zombie assault for the last couple days. Somepony should have told those zombies to hold off for a night, though, it's just rude to interrupt prime trick-or-treating hours! They shamble ever-closer to the group. A few more that seem more agile than their brethren are staying back, sniffing the air with what remains of their noses… and then getting spooked by movement! When Seaside and Sunset make a break for it it draws the ire of the agile zombies who break away from the pack and sprint after her!

As if that wasn't enough, strange shadows flit overhead as well. Silhouetted against the moonlight it's hard to tell if they are zombie pegasi or something more sinister, but they're circling the town silently— not even the sound of beating wings reaches the street below.

The Phantom turns to face the zombies more fully, the splay of hooves at the base of its concealing drapery suggesting a solid stance. Behind her, Brume slips past to stand nearby and concentrates for a few moments, soon breaking into a little ditty. It's musical, but it's so archaic the lyrics are all but unintelligible: "o/‘ Ye fer the waithe’d lost a vae, and turs' de mondred swerven yae, Ha! O'er a tossed lorfen drae! Hup, hup, ho! o/`" Those who succesfully pass their Super Obscure Old Dialects check recognize the tune as a 1200 year old ballad from the area now known as Trottingham, about accidentally dropping your lover down a well.

But music is music, and it's enough to gather a magical charge. The Phantom directs it soon afterwards- there's a sudden burst of dirt and stones as the unseen bolt of concussive force blasts past one of the agile zombies pursuing the twins, missing. Spindrift whips around a moment later and hits with her next bolt, painting a nearby business with bursted zombie guts. That's what you GET for giving RAISINS out instead of something GOOD.

Brume coughs as he finishes a stanza and glances back over his shoulder. "Rising! Oh, Rising! Your assistance would be greatly appreciated!" he calls out. Spindrift glances back at hi, and he quickly tucks back into the music to build up another charge.

Faulty-Salty screeches suddenly, bolting from her hiding place in the nearest trash can as a zombie nips at her unsuspecting rear. The pony gallops and skids behind Brume, hunkering down with a little "mweh!" of fear.

Real zombies! It's enough to make various foals shriek and scatter, most of them likely heading back to the relative safety of their homes. Daffy, for what its worth, is holding his ground. Kind of. Actually he's more trying to pull Thunnini's 'bowl' along, so that she isn't sitting like a fish in a barrel for some zombie to lunch on. Dreamy is… Pointing. And gaping. And sending confusing images rapid-fire in a slight bit of panic. She has never exactly seen something dead before! Let alone /un/dead! …Well unless you count that ghost that one time… But that was /totally/ different!

Hayseed smiles over at Rising. "Two bits for the small, five for the medium, and ten for the real big ones back there…" she turns to point. And freezes. And stares! Those… those are some good costumes. …Those are /not/ costumes. Oh dear. She springs to her hooves, horn glowing.

Stormdancer eeps and flares her wings again as things kick off, sending her booze rolling down the street towards the horde. She flaps! And… gets a couple inches of air before plopping back down, what with the lack of primaries. And there's shrieking! And panic! And… she skitters back towards the Mysterious Couple that seem to be able to handle things. "Whatdowedowhatdowedowhatdowe-"

Thunnini helps pole the tub along, making it go a bit faster. She's still not quite sure what's going on with the zombies, but if all of the landponies are acting this way, then there's probably a reason. As a side benefit of Daffy pushing the tub, Thunnini's able to face backward while poling, and if any zombie gets close enough… well, it doesn't take much to use a quaterstaff.

There's a distinctive sensation of an impact just behind Stormdancer. When she turns around there are two pegasi with coats like stone standing there. Their teeth are the sharp fangs of meat eaters and their wings are like those of bats rather than birds.

"Hey there, cold stuff," one of the two gargoyles says to Stormdancer. "I didn't see you fly in with the others."

"Do you haunt here often?" the other asks with a leer, pupilless stone eyes staring straight through the poor mare.

As for the zombies? One of the ones chasing the twins is, indeed, exploded messily by the wave of force, but there are enough more chasing after the two would-be goddesses that they'll get plenty of exercise to work off the extra candy weight they've put on tonight. The other zombies seem content to continue shambling towards the group in the town square. A few start to go after the various foals screaming their way home but they seem confused by having so darn many delicious victims to choose from! It's like a smorgasbord of delicious pony meat!

Rising-Chaos quickly pulls the bits from a small pouch on the belt, depositing them on the counter. "Thank you," she trills, grabbing the pumpkin. She hears Brume calling for help, and spots Stormdancer right by him. "Stormdancer, come with me!" she commands. Her machete is drawn in a fluid motion and she heads towards the group of zombies advancing on the foals. She comes in swinging, hitting one hard in the neck hard. She dances back, tyring to draw the zombies to the center of the square, where they'll be easier to avoid. Green smoke whips to life around her blade, giving off an eerie glow, and making her the center of attention.

Salty squalls as Rising's blade bites into the gargoyle's neck, and she hunches down, trembling. The zombie who had taken a nibble before, groans and shambles closer, reaching for her tail again. Which means it's just about in prime bucking distance for Brume, if he so chooses.

Brume chooses to instead recoil, making the sort of face one makes when uncovering leftovers to find them supporting a new ecosystem. Luckily Spindrift whirls to face the nearby zombie and reaches out, blasting the dead thing back with a shot of magic. She wobbles a bit under her costume, evidently a bit dazed by channeling so much energy in short order, but she recovers quickly enough to glance at Brume. He's doing his best to compose himself, and also waggles his eyebrows at Salty in the meantime, at least until he catches Spinny giving him a look.

"And tonight, of all nights, you leave your strings at home. Improvise, would you?"

Brume sighs, nodding, and whirls away, heading towards a nearby pawn shop. With a solid kick he breaks the door open and disappears inside. Spindrift waits nearby, waving a hoof back at Salty, warding her in the direction of the fleeing foals- maybe she'll get the idea and take to running as well.

Stormdancer's pupils shrink to pinpricks as she looooooks back at the two. Being on the other side of the scare? Not as fun. Sharp teeth, bat wings- she's frozen stiff! A cunning response forms! "… Hi!" she squeaks. Then Chaos creates a distraction! And lacking any better ideas (or indeed, any thoughts at all besides 'TEETH'), she bolts off towards her employer with a trailing "Nicetomeetyouhavetohelpthebossnowbye!" … The Mysterious Couple can handle a couple of gargoyles, right?

Salty squeals and scampers in a circle away from the zombie, turning to look at it as she slows again and hides in /front/ of Brume. But then he points her to the foals and runs off. And she doesn't want to lose her cover! So she runs after him, skittering into the pawn shop and hiding under a table.

The foals just keep running! Well, most of them. The small group that Daffy's leading is a bit more focused, wheeling Thun's glass towards the fountain, probably with a bit of help from Dreamy, Star, and Spearmint. "There…" Daffy says when they're close enough, the sunny colt peeking at the seapony. "Now if those things get close enough, just jump into the fountain and try to stay safe!"

"Hey, watch where you're swinging that," the gargoyle that Rising struck with her sword says with a bat of his hooves. It made a nick in his neck! He's gonna have to go and get that plastered and it doesn't matter how much paint you put on a patch, you can always tell its there.

And while they're distracted by that dummy with the sword the cute girl they were putting the moves on escapes! "Aw, shoot," the non-sworded one says with a frown.

"It's your own fault," says nicked-neck. "'Do you haunt here often?' /Really?/ Has that /ever/ worked for you?"

Hey, has anyone gone to rescue that group of foals in the street? You know, the one with the superheroes and the knights? Because Rising-Chaos can only distract so many zombies with her antics and there are still a few heading straight for them!

Spearmint is indeed sticking around with the foals! Mostly because… he has no clue what's going on! He's so confused. "What? What is it? What's making all the weird sounds? Does somepony have a scary costume?"

Thunnini looks at the amount of water in the tub (enough to keep a seapony's skin comfortable) and then at the fountain and its massive quantities of water. She hops into the fountain, keeping ahold of her improvised quarterstaff, then starts swimming in a large circle, slowly building up an active spiral of current. She's not sure how much water pressure she can hit the zombies with, but it wouldn't hurt to have a geyser ready to go.

Stormdancer just keeps running, too. Pure luck has her pointed towards the zomponies shambling after the foals, blind panic turns off the brakes, and… she plows right into the rotters, flailing. It's a rescue! Of a sort. Technically.

There's a sickening *SPLORT* as Stormdancer impacts one of the zombies. It falls over directly into another zombie, which falls over in turn. Like a line of dominos a mass of zombies behind the first one fall over and flail their limbs ineffectually from the ground.

"Ah ha! Get ready, Spindrift, for a most righteous balla- aaghk!" Brume's voice echoes from inside the pawn shop as he trips over Salty in the dark and tumbles out of the door. She has gone and totally ruined his rad return to the scene of the action, as his stringbean legs tangle up beneath him and the old guitar strapped to his back hits the back of his head with a discordant twang. He spits out some gravel and surges upright to skitter over to Spindrift, settle down, wheel the guitar around, and wield it mightily.

If it were an electric guitar, this would be the perfect opportunity for a rad shred while zombies start to get blown up all around him. It's just acoustic, though, so he instead opts for something a bit of Foalamenco music (What does it have to do with foals? Nobody knows), briskly strumming out a lively chord.

Spindrift, who has been waiting patiently, steadies her stance once more, taking a moment to concentrate. The instrument-augmented music that Brume plays provides her with energy to channel once more- more than a mere voice can, it would seem- and rearing up onto her hind legs, she swings her front hooves like she were throwing baseballs, directing surges of power towards the zombies. Splat! goes a shambler. Pop! goes a trotter.

And all the while, she creeps backwards, working her way towards the crowd near the fountain. Brume scoots back as well, though it's tricky, scooting on your backside while strumming a guitar with your front legs. It's hard and nobody understands. How these land ponies manage is beyond him, but at least he's enjoying playing his tune, even if there's a hint of desperation in his eyes as he watches his companion direct the energies his music conjures.

Squeal! Salty is fallen over, and that spooks the critter enough to bolt outside— and fall flat on her face as /something/ slams down on her. Or, really, considering its incorporeal, ghostly sort of form, into her is more like it. The creature disappears, and Salty just lays flat, eyes squeezed shut. Not really moving. Merely a speedbump for the battle, at the moment!

Rising-Chaos darts back in and chops down against the neck of the monster, apparently a gargoyle. She lets loose with another heavy hit. It doesn't seem to put it down, so she shoulder charges it while it's off balance, to push it over. Without waiting to see how it went she rushes after Stormdancer. She rushes past her assistant, chopping down on to sever the neck of one of the horrifying undead monsters. She joins up with Stormdancer, her blade moving to track the nearest zombies. "Thanks for joining me."

Bam! Zoom! Straight to the moon! Or whatever Celestia-forsaken place these monsters came from! Spindrift and Brume's dual tech does a splendid job of popping off heads and rendering the zombies into non-threats. Looks like those foals will be safe tonight!

Nicked-neck, on the other hoof, is apparently not safe from Rising's continued assaults. "Ow, hey, watch it! You're gonna chip something!" he protests as he takes an awkward step away from the mad mare. "Bro, help me out here!"

The other gargoyle raises his hooves in surrender. "No way, bro. I always have to bail you out when you try to hook up with the crazy mares."

"You are the worst wingstallion ev—ack!" The gargoyle falls over when Rising shoulder checks him, landing with a crash of stone on stone upon the cobble road beneath him. Poor guy.

Essentially huddled around the fountain now, the group of foals are cheering on the destruction of zombie hordes! "Yea!" "Oooh look at the head on that one! It just exploded!"

…And Dreamy's huddled next to Spearmint. Her horn's glowing. The knight /asked/, so the littlest unicorn is passing him images of the zombies. And the resulting explosions of zombies. … Only in her images they're exploding into rainbows instead of blood and gore. Because ew, and she doesn't want to give any nightmares. Honestly she's going to have enough of her own after this!

Stormdancer shakes her head, staggering. And icks at the zombie goop on her coat, dancing back. "You've got the sharp bits, of course I'm here!" She looks about nervously, putting herself between the pack of foals and the remaining hordes. The last line of quivvering defense! Though with any luck, the unicorns will be enough to keep her from having to punt anypony. And glances back at the gargoyles. Well, they don't -seem- that bad…

Thunnini is still circling around in the fountain, the staff pointed in the direction of the zombies. She has a nice current built up, with a nice loop built into it so it spins around her before continuing around in the large circle she's swimming. Any zombie that gets close enough will likely regret it!

Spearmint gives a faint squeak. And gapes. Which looks kind of silly, as he has nothing really to gape /at/, visually. And then… reaches for his shield! And sword! Because he's a /knight/ and that's what they /do/ supposedly! He can bash a zombie in good! The sheild's real metal! The sword… may be metal but it is not sharp. But he can whack something with it, sure!

There's a sudden FLASH! of red light from the fallen Salty. As if the zombies and the gargoyles weren't enough, the mare gets up, with purpose. She looks at her hooves. Her rump (where a new bloody bouquet cutie mark has shown up). And then she grins, whites gone red and irises and pupils vamoosed. "Oh, yes!" she crows, leaping into the air and… floating? Soaring, sort of. "My body! My glorious, undecayed body!" A trail of ghostly energy follows her, and she shrieks with laughter — somewhat akin to the Salty some may know and loathe, but somehow even more off-kilter than usual.

How does a pony play a guitar, anyway? If you're Brume, you play it *fabulously.* He's soon all but lost in his music, seemingly in another town entirely as he closes his eyes and worries on belting out the sweetest Foalmenco serenade he can. That the old pawn shop guitar is a bit out of tune doesn't even stop him- he adjusts, so it's sort of a minor key, Zombie-approved version of a classic ballad of the romantic arts. He peeks an eye open every now and then to check where he's going, still supporting the retreat back towards the fountain.

Spindrift is focused on killing. The music may be for lovers, but right now, she is all fighter. Well, wizard. Something. Her mask has been pulled up and bounces about her head on its chinstrap, revealing a determined snarl and laser-focused eyes as she directs blast after blast at the incoming beasties. Two more shamblers erupt in meaty chunks of gore; worms go along for the ride, wondering whaaaat the heeeeeck just happened. An agile zombie that scampers out of the alleyway and capers towards the fountain with a gurgle finds itself abruptly anchored to the street by a wave of force, viscera spilling of their own momentum forward and out of the hole-riddled body.

And just when it seems like the crowds are starting to thin, and Spindrift is getting ready to collect Speed Bump Salty, she goes and gets possessed. Panting heavily, she scampers back away from Salty, having no idea what's going on but definitely realizing it is probably a bad idea to stick around and find out.

Brume's song trails off as he peeks an eye open and peers up at Salty, and then he blinks both eyes and glances about. He slings the guitar back onto his back and joins Spindrift in retreating to the fountain, and both insinuate themselves in the group there, letting the zombies gather at the far ends of the surrounding streets as they instead bide their time in anticipation of something worse.

Even zombies have some sense of self-preservation apparently. When Salty goes full on possessed they stop their assault. Some even begin to trundle back out of town. And those two gargoyles? No way THEY'RE sticking around this crazy town anymore. Shoot, that one is shouting in red text. You don't pick up chicks in towns where they talk in red text, that's just asking for trouble.

Rising-Chaos may not be the powerhouse Spin is, much to her dismay, but she's giving an accoutn of her own. Her machete moves in quick, deliberate strokes, lopping bits off of zombies with every swing. Mostly she's succeeded in keeping them back, not getting many opportunities to do mkore. When a window of opportunity does open though, she's quick to seize it, dashing in to cut off a head before scampering back. Salty's possession elicits a groan. "More? This isn't what I was hoping for at all." The zombies start falling back, giving her a chance to rest. After eyeing up the new enemy, she decides that she's ill equipped to fight something that scary. "Storm, we're leaving, now." She beats a hasty retreat, grabbing her pumpkin on the way.

The laughter echoes, and turns to a mad scream, as the mayor zooms off into the night, knocking over a stand or two from the breeze behind. Now for monsters.

Stormdancer is staring slack-jawed at (and then after) the mayor, backing up after Chaos. "S-sure, boss-" Who quickly outpaces the pegasus, leaving her standing by herself for a few moments before scampering off after she with the glowy machete. To safety! To shelter! To drink!

Thunnini carefully watches the assorted zombies and other spooks leave the area, but she's not lowering her guard. "Is Nightmare Night usually this crazy?" she asks the general crowd nearby.