Quintessent's Dream
IC date: Autumn 49
OOC date: November 7
Location: Dreamland
PCs: Quintessent-Rune Dream-Daze
NPCs: N/A
GM: Applejack

Late one night, in the workshop of a golemancer.

Is it Quintessent's workshop? Maybe. Maybe not. But it is a workshop. A dingy dungeon of a workshop, with hewn stone floors and walls, and thin slits of windows that let the barest bits of moonlight in, plastering stripes of faint light across the wooden tables that dot the room. Every table has a candle, flickering a pale blue flame, offering just enough illumination to show the shiny metalwork that rests on each surface. Limbs. Hands. Heads. Cables. Books opened to page after page of schematics and techniques.

Well, it must be Quintessent's workshop mustn't it?

After all, is it not her that's seated on that small stool by the far table fiddeling away with tracing the tiniest of runes on some little piece of the construct laid out upon every single surface on the table. Leaning down she puffed away the metal shavings before lovingly picking up the small rod and giving it an inspection before gently putting it asside on the table! Another work well done, another little part of her great work done.

Creak..!

A door opens, shining a batch of moonlight through the opening, down the stairwell that leads into the dingy workshop. A silhouette of a pony lurks in the light, pausing for a brief moment, then stepping down the stairs, hooves making light clicking sounds with each step.

When the figure reaches the last step, it pauses to again look around. Unmistakeably regal, this figure has a familiar feel to it. To her. Like a picture coming into focus, the figure gains details. Feminine charm, yet a cold and aloof attitude, an appropriately posh outfit of silk and velvet, black with dark red trim. A face with an expression that is both doting, yet cold and calculating at the same time.

Almost…motherly.

"Lady Rune. Have you finished our project yet? We are eagerly awaiting results. We asked for an army weeks ago and you have yet to deliver a single, solitary thing. A Lady should never keep others waiting you know…"

Quintessent-Rune sat up, half turning in her seat to peer at the mare: she did seem kinda familiar somehow, though things seemd out of place… Quintessent frowned for herself, then turned back towards her work, waving a hoof dissmisively. "I am affraid I do not know what you are talking about, I do not produce… armies. Merely that which I wish to do, as I always have."

Quintessent-Rune sat up, half turning in her seat to peer at the mare: she did seem kinda familiar somehow, though things seemd out of place… Quintessent frowned for herself, then turned back towards her work, waving a hoof dissmisively. "I am affraid I do not know what you are talking about, I do not produce… armies. Merely that which I wish to do, as I always have."

The figure's face adopts a frown. A patient, weary frown, mirroring the one Rune herself is wearing. She begins to wander, pacing from table to table, studying the piles of shiny parts and rune-etched bits strewn everywhere. "That was not the agreement… Do you not recall your duty to the family? We /need/ those…things." The last word, uttered with a sneer of disdain. Cold eyes focus again on Rune. "We can't raise our family's legacy higher without them. Everything, our entire /future/ rests on you building /us/ an army, dear child."

A sound from outside is rising. It sounds like things, clicking and clanking in the very distant parts of the horizon. The moonglow through the slitted windows is shifting too, from pale white colors, moving into blue shades, towards a purple color.

Purple moonlight continues to shift. It's turning green, working towards yellow. The noises from outside pick up. The clanking is very methodical. Like footsteps.

The figure's eyes seem to flash, reflecting the changing moonlight. "Why… Ever since you built /them/, dear daughter. You changed everything. You, and your desire to be…different. You just couldn't bear to be part of the family so you had to go and make a new future for us, didn't you?"

She doesn't seem to pleased about this. The motherly figure starts to step back towards the stairwell, the open door still casting that ever-changing light down into the dim workshop. It's orange now, seeming to outline the figure in a radiant aura of fiery glow.

"And now every royal family has a piece of your work… Every family except us. To whom you owe /everything/. Why did you arm them first..? Why did you betray blood before bits? That talent belongs to THIS family, not all the others!" A hoof is thrust towards the open door. "See what you've done! See for yourself the torment we go through! Maybe that will inspire you to finish your masterpiece…"

Quintessent-Rune scoffed. "My tallent belongs to ME, not you and not Father! And I might be of your blood, but what good have that ever done for me, so why should I be loyal? Besides, I've not armed anypony!"

Even as she spoke Quintessent's gaze drifted towards the door. After a moment, and a supicious glare at her mother, the young pony picked herself up and trotted briskly towards the door - the last few steps hesitant. Giving the older mare another glare she put a hoof on the doorframe, leaning forward - nervous of whatever she'd find in the glow beyond.

By the time hoofsteps have carried the young mare to the top of the stairs, the moonglow has turned a deep red. The moon has become a crimson sun, shining upon the scene stretched out from the workshop's entryway.

It's… The Harbor? Yes. Horseshoe Harbor. The docks of it anyway. The rhythmic clanking from earlier can now be identified.

Golems. Massive, two-story constructs of metal and stone, glowing with sigils and runes, each one with a single regal-looking pony flying a flag of their given family. There's several of them, looming out of the waters, making the tides surge and lift the docks with ominous wooden creaks. Oddly remniscent of a particular construct once used in a recent industrial fiasco…

Each golem has several cables leading away from them. Each cable is attached to a pony. The golem is controlling ponies? It sure seems that way! And many of those ponies look familiar too! Harbor residents! Ponies that were supposed to be living here! Each with a 'hat' and a cable. Each armed with some kind of odd stick.

Before Rune's eyes, two of the golems get close enough to 'joust'. All the ponies from one golem lower their sticks and begin charging at the other… The second golem catches on, rallying its own ponies to lower their sticks and brace! But it's a smidge too late, some of the ponies don't get their sticks drawn in time, causing several of them to get pushed, the impact making them break free of their cables and fly into the ocean! Splash! Splash! Where they promptly sink out of sight…

"You made those, dear daughter…" comes the voice of Mother from behind the young golemancer. With a sinister echo, even. "They rule the world now. You've changed the world. The future. But you left us behind… And now your family is just another bunch of slaves. Just like your friends."

Quintessent-Rune's mouth slowly drifted agape as she stared down at the spectacle of the harbour, a slow tremble building in her body. She blinked, then again, to rid herself of the tears starting to form. "No… No, no no nonononononoNO!" For a moment the young golemancer mare stood there, seeming unsure wether to break down and cry or… Was those familiar faces down there? "Rising, Spindrift, Steady, Gem…"

With a cry of the young mare bolted forward towards the nearest golems, and her friends. Her dear friends.

Something is laughing! That voice that belonged to Mother, though it's grown too deep and raspy to stay more than barely recognizable. It laughs, a laugh that echoes across the docks, mirroring the sound of more jousts as more golems begin bashing into each other, sending more and more of the Harbor ponies flying into the churning waters. Waters that have become a whirlpool, sucking any poor thing unlucky enough to wind up caught in it down like a sink drain.

The nearest golem hasn't found a jousting partner yet. But it does see the shape of Rune charging its way. It looms, larger than life, those very ponies Quintessent named caught by hats, armed with sticks, linked by cables to that horrific twisted beast of golem work! With Rune just rushing up to it, cable with a 'hat' attached to it rists to greet her, snaking through the air!

Watch out! comes a sound, like harshly whispered echo on a distant breeze. The small body that hurtles itself at the charging mare is a lot more substantial in its attempt to tackle Rune out of the way of the golem's trap!

Impacted by the flying body Quintessent misses a step, tumbling of to the side and over bits and bobs of ruble - tumbling head over tail and out of danger to lie there, more confused than anything else. "What…"

When the dust settles from the impact of flying filly and dashing mare, the 'tackling' pony is revealed to be a small blue unicorn filly! One that shakes her head as she, too, gets up from the rubble the pair tumbled into. She looks up at Rune with a concerned look, but doesn't get much time to do more than that, the golem that had just missed snatching up a new jousting toy having turned around to glare down at them with beady yellow-lit eyes.

All of the other 'jousting' ponies have surrounded the pair, sticks lowered. All of Rune's friends, with vacant expressions, ready to give her a sharp poke in the eye!

The little filly shrinks behind the golemancer mare. Ears flick back, but her horn's glowing. That echoy voice rises up again. Just a dream… it intones, Wake up and it goes away…

But some things have other ideas. 'Mother', though like her voice she can barely be recognized as such, appears atop the golem itself, as though she were its driver all along! But her shape is fuzzy. Twisted. Darkened. A shadow of its former self. "If you won't build my army, dear daughter, you will /be/ my army…" The golem's cable, with that shiny pony-controlling hat, begins to loom closer!

"…dream. Dream, dream… Just a dream!" Quintessent's head snapped from friend to friend to friend nervously, then landed at the little filly… She seemed familiar too, but not like that twisted image of Mother and her friends. Dream, just a dream, wake up… Wake up, wake up! Come on, Quintessent.

The golems rumbling as it steped closed made Quinty recoil, her hooves splash-…ing? Looking down she found herself standing in an indent in the ground, filled up to her hooves in water. Warm water. Lifting it revealed a myriad of blue-coloured tiles underneath… Her bathtub/bed? Yes!

Even as the dream fades and consciousness of reality returns to the water-bound pony, the echo of the dream lingers for a second or two longer. A rage-filled cry that fades away like an afterthought, and then is gone.