Rant of Valakut: Magic Ponies: Gathering Friendship (Ep1, Part 3) Ben Iverach-Brereton September 24, 2018 Rants of Valakut, Uncategorized Last time on Magic Ponies…. Woodvine was able to treat Lightning Dart’s symptoms, but she fears her illness may have been caused by the dreaded Fillyrexians! They are a sinister group of beings from across the planes who transform any pony near them into Nightmares! Now, the group must venture into the dark swamp to stop the threat from spreading across all of Mareodin…. The Scare of Mareodin – part 3 Narrator And now, the conclusion. SCENE 3 Lightning Dart, Spirit Shield and Woodvine are standing next to each other, decked out in adventuring gear. Stormsurge is floating in the river beside them, similarly dressed. They are all facing ahead and all look nervous. The view pans over in front of the group. The ponies are standing just outside of the dark swamp. The river disappears into the dark treeline. Lightning Dart It was right near here. Stormsurge This was where you got sick? Lightning Dart nods. Woodvine Yisan, Thriss! That is an ominous sight. Spirit Shield We should probably go in, shouldn’t we? Lightning Dart We don’t have to…. Spirit Shield Don’t we, though? If you get sick again we could all be at risk. Stormsurge Spirit Shield is right. We need to find out exactly what happened to you. Spirit Shield If it is Fillyrexians we need to warn the others. Woodvine We have come this far, should we not proceed? Spirit Shield Right. We’ll all go together. On three, ok? Ready? One…. Two…. Spirit Shield takes a look around at the group. They look back with nervous determination. Spirit Shield Three! The ponies charge ahead and run into the dark swamp. Stormsurge is swimming right beside them. The view cuts to inside the swamp. It is very dark, with small patches of light shining in from above. There is a buzz of insects and the squelch of soft, watery earth under the ponies’ hooves as they come galloping into frame. Lightning Dart It’s so dark in here. Spirit Shield I’ll light my lantern. Spirit Shield strikes a match and lights a lantern hanging from a pole in her backpack. A yellow-orange light illuminates the immediate area. The swamp is made up of twisted, oddly shaped trees and colourful fungi. Small insects, snakes and frogs are moving slowly away from the light. Stormsurge My books didn’t say anything about the smell. Woodvine It is the smell of decay. Stormsurge The water is thick here, too. Lightning Dart Can we turn back yet? Spirit Shield Not yet, Dart. We only just got here. Woodvine We should not linger. Our wards will only last so long. Lightning Dart What are we even looking for? Stormsurge Signs of Fillyrexians, for one thing. A soft, timid voice comes from the darkness ahead. The ponies jump back, startled. Plague Wind You won’t find any Fillyrexians here. The group moves closer to each other and looks about nervously. The voice from the darkness continues. There is a note of bitterness in her words. Plague Wind I remember hearing those stories when I was little. “The Fillyrexians cursed this place.” “Stay away from the evil dark swamp!” “All ponies from the dark swamp are evil.” Spirit Shield looks around trying to find the source of the voice. Spirit Shield Well… aren’t you? Plague Wind suddenly appears in front of Spirit Shield. Her face is illuminated by the lantern, while the rest of her is still cast in shadow. Spirit Shield and the other ponies gasp in surprise. Plague Wind You know, it’s things like that that make me really upset. Everyone just assumes that it’s all doom and gloom in the swamp. You’re all so afraid of this place. Surgemare It’s not the nicest place, to be sure. Plague Wind steps fully into the light and gestures around her. Plague Wind But that’s where you’re wrong! It’s so neat in here. Just look at all the unique plants and animals! Woodvine It smells of rot. A series of tight shots cut from item to item as Plague Wind points out each one. Plague Wind It’s not rot, it’s new life. Look here! This fungus only grows in this swamp. And these snakes? They’re all but extinct everywhere else on the plane. These beetles feed on the old, dead trees, which helps make room for the new ones to grow! Lightning Dart Ok, sure, that’s great and all, but if you aren’t evil why did you make me sick? Plague Wind looks down at her hooves, upset. Plague Wind Oh… that. Spirit Shield Yeah, that! You’re turning Lightning Dart into an evil Fillyrexian, like you! Plague Wind begins trembling. Tears begin streaming down her face. Plague Wind I didn’t! I’m not –! Spirit Shield Are to! My friend came here this morning and nearly died! Now she’s infected, and we’re all going to turn into horrible monsters because of you! Plague Wind is sobbing. Plague Wind I knew this would happen! You’re all so mean! I thought it would be nice to meet new ponies, but you just jump to conclusions. Just because I live in the swamp you think I’m trying to hurt you. You know what? I AM a Nightmare, but that doesn’t make me evil. I’m not some horrible Fillyrexian here to take over the plane. I’m just… I just… I just wanted to be your friend! Plague Wind gallops off into the swamp, crying. Spirit Shield looks around at the group, stunned. Spirit Shield I… I didn’t… I wasn’t…. Lightning Dart rolls her eyes. Lightning Dart Way to go, Spirit Shield. You made her cry! Now she won’t tell us why I got sick. Woodvine Your approach did lack tact. Spirit Shield bows her head apologetically. Spirit Shield Do you think she was telling the truth? Lightning Dart Maybe? Either way she’s our best bet at getting to the bottom of all this. Woodvine It will be difficult to find her in this terrain. Stormsurge According to the map I looked at earlier, the river curves up ahead. She can’t have gone far. We could probably catch up with her. Lightning Dart Let’s go, then! Lightning Dart, Woodvine and Stormsurge start off in the same direction as Plague Wind, but Spirit Shield hasn’t moved. Lightning Dart stops and turns around. Lightning Dart Aren’t you coming, Spirit Shield? Spirit Shield digs at the moss on the ground with her hoof. Spirit Shield I screwed up, didn’t I? I just assumed she was evil and didn’t give her a chance to explain herself. I always try to be so nice and understanding, but now…. Lightning Dart So you made a mistake. The important thing is that you don’t give up because of it. Now come on. You can apologize when we catch up to her. Spirit Shield smiles half-heartedly. Spirit Shield Yeah. Ok. Lightning Dart and Spirit Shield gallop off after the others. SCENE 4 The scene opens to Plague Wind alone near the riverbank. She is curled up in a ball sobbing. Stormsurge pops up behind her from the river. Stormsurge Please don’t cry. Plague Wind is startled and jumps back. Plague Wind Ack! Stormsurge We didn’t mean to upset you. Woodvine, Lightning Dart and Spirit Shield appear on the other side of Plague Wind. Plague Wind turns to run away. Lightning Dart No, wait! Please. Plague Wind You’re just going to yell at me again. Spirit Shield That’s not –! …I won’t. I promise. Woodvine We would like your help. Plague Wind wipes away her tears and looks up, confused. Plague Wind You… you do? Woodvine We still do not know what happened to our friend this morning. Plague Wind I didn’t make her sick. Lightning Dart We believe you. Plague Wind You do? Stormsurge Yes, we do. But we need to know why Lightning Dart fell ill, so it doesn’t happen again. Plague Wind sniffs and wipes her nose. Plague Wind She… I saw her run into a patch of puff plants. A lot of ponies react really badly to them. A basic poultice is usually enough to make them feel better. Spirit Shield Why didn’t you help her? The other ponies give Spirit Shield a stern look and Spirit Shield backs off sheepishly. Plague Wind I was going to, but I was scared. Most ponies I’ve met make fun of me, so I tend to avoid them. I… I don’t do well talking to new people. Stormsurge But you talked to us when we first arrived in the swamp. Plague Wind That was… different. I was still in the swamp. I feel safe in there. I would have had to go out into the sun to help your friend. It’s… I’m more comfortable in the dark. Woodvine I understand how you feel. I spend most of my time alone with my plants. It is… calming. Plague Wind Exactly! And… and besides, you were talking about Fillyrexians, and that always riles me up. You know, there have never actually been Fillyrexians on Mareodin. Ever. Everypony just assumes this swamp is here because of them, but it’s not. This isn’t some corrupted forest, it’s just… swampland. Woodvine But it is so dark…. Plague Wind Well, yeah, because the mountain casts a big shadow over it most of the day. Plus, we’re in a low point in the valley, so the water doesn’t drain away much. It’s not evil, it’s just the way swamps work. Stormsurge There wasn’t anything about that in my books. Plague Wind There wouldn’t be. I don’t know the last time a river pony ever came this far into the swamp. Stormsurge I’m sure I could look it up. Plague Wind chuckles. She looks a lot happier and more comfortable with the group. Plague Wind That’s ok. Spirit Shield She’s like that all the time. Plague Wind gives Spirit Shield an uncertain look. Spirit Shield Look, I’m sorry about how I acted before. I… I’m Spirit Shield. It’s nice to meet you. Plague Wind …I’m Plague Wind. The other ponies exchange a look of uncertainty. Plague Wind It’s a family name. Lightning Dart Well, Plague Wind, I’m Lightning Dart. This is Stormsurge, and Woodvine. Woodvine You are very knowledgeable about the plants here. I would be interested in discussing them with you. Stormsurge And I’d love to see more of your rivers. The maps I have of this area are probably really out of date. Lightning Dart What do you say, Plague Wind? Could you show us around? Plague Wind Sure. Just don’t go stepping in any more puff plants! The ponies all laugh and head off into the swamp together. Spirit Shield Say, Plague Wind, do you like costume parties? Fade to black. End credits There you have it, the end of the first episode of Magic Ponies: Gathering Friendship. I hope you enjoyed this sneak peek at the new cartoon. Which pony was your favourite? Next time on Rants of Valakut we’ll be planestrotting away from Mareodin to do some deck tweaking in Modern, so I hope you join us then. In the meantime, I hope you meet some new people and make some new friends! 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