Once upon a time, I rolled up the Exalted equivalent of a D&D ranger. He was the blond dude in the left-hand corner over here. And if you noticed the unicorn in the background of that image, you should know that this story is about her. Her name was Thuna. She was my familiar. She was also a black-hearted traitor, and it was entirely my fault.

Things hadn’t started out that way. Back at character gen she’d been a doe-eyed, innocent sparkle pony. It was only when we came into conflict with the Council of Black Unicorns that she changed. The Council were the big money behind the Burning Man-esque festival that our little band of deposed kings of the universe were investigating, and we assumed that they were a fancifully-named crime syndicate. It was only when they kidnapped poor Thuna that we learned the truth. They were literal evil unicorns, black as the Abyss and twice as mean. They spirited Thuna away to do gods knew what at their dark carnival, leaving behind only a snarky ransom note and a few sugar cubes.

At this point in the story, I’d like to clarify that Laurel was running this game. She was a horse girl as a kid. You do the math.

Any dang way, we did the only sensibly heroic thing and staged a rescue operation. By the time we made it through the evil unicorns’ opium den / whore house / illegal gambling operation, we were pretty well beat-up. We were also somewhat unobservant, because we stumbled right into the Council’s trap. The door of a soulsteel cage clanged shut behind us, and we could feel our essence begin to drain away.

“Hue hue hue,” came a familiar voice. “You foolth are twapped! Thoon all of your power will belong to the Counthil!”

Apologies for the dialect, but I want to be true to the character. Thuna lisped.

“Why?” cried my heartbroken Zenith. “Why would you do this?”

“For wuv of evil,” she whispered. And when she stepped into the light, I saw that my poor sparkle pony had become a piebald. They were corrupting her, and using our rapidly-draining essence to feed the change!

Thinking fast, I made the only play I could. It was a move that would live in infamy.

“But Thuna,” I said. “Wouldn’t it be more evil if you were to betray your allies on the Council of Black Unicorns?”

“Hmmm,” she mused, rubbing her hooves together. “Betwayal….”

I won’t belabor the story, but suffice it to say that appealing to Thuna’s new, worser nature did the trick. She released our circle from the trap, we punched a lot of unicorns, and everyone sang the Bad Horse song like jackasses. Happily ever after, right? Wrong.

The defeat of the Council was by no means the end of that campaign’s evil equine problem. Thuna was still a piebald, and I’d given her a thing for betrayal. My formerly useful unicorn companion had became something of a Catwoman figure, taking great delight in thwarting the group at every turn: “Hey guys? Where’s the MacGuffin? Why are we being driven out of town? How did the Death Lord find us again?”

In answer to each of these questions, a gleeful shout echoed across the face of Creation: “Betwayaaaaallll!!”

My circle-mates never forgave me.

So please learn from my mistake. If you decide to invite the forces of darkness into your life, be prepared for the consequences. Because evil will out, even if it’s an adorable sparkle pony.


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