The Dealer is an old Earth Pony buck who appears periodically throughout Blackjack's adventures in Hoofington and the wasteland, often to dispense cryptic symbolic comments and advice. He is normally only able to be seen and spoken to by Blackjack, giving the impression to others that Blackjack is talking to herself.
The Dealer is an enigmatic stallion who makes appearances throughout Blackjack's journey. He rarely talks about himself, and does his best to avoid questions about his identity. The Dealer had initially shown up in Blackjack's dreams, which helped cement the idea that he is a construct of her mind that personified the wasteland. He lets Blackjack believe he is simply a hallucination.
The Dealer often encourages and discourages certain courses of action by Blackjack. While He often encourages her when she's down on her luck or depressed, conversely, he also reminds her of her failures and hardships when she is distracted from them. He will frequently provide an alternate perspective on small details that Blackjack has witnessed yet not payed attention to, such as making her realize when she was drugged in stable 89, or having her use S.A.T.S simply to give herself time calm down and think in an emergency. The Dealer, like Spike, advises Blackjack to seek out a virtue and hang on to it.
The Dealer always shows up with a deck of playing cards. Though the cards always have some symbolic meaning when he deals them out. For example, he once showed her cards with her friends faces on them and at other times has shown her cards with Luna, Celestia, Gorgon, Deus, Goldenblood and many others.
He has shown a great contempt for Luna, Goldenblood and the Mane 6. He believes that if any one of them had simply resigned, the war would have ended on peaceful terms, and that their obsession with winning the war drove Equestria and the world at large into megaspell annihilation.
The Dealer also led Blackjack to believe he was the embodiment of the war and strife across the Wasteland, claiming that despite the war's end, the suffering caused by fighting and warfare continues to perpetuate him. He has shown concern over Blackjack's mental state and warned her not to use Trottenheimer's Folly since it would probably kill her.
During a particulary heated discussion on the Seahorse, the Dealer antogonizes Blackjack to the point of drawing her weapon, only for him to disappear and reveal she is pointing her gun at Glory. This later leads Glory to conclude that he is likely the result of Taint affecting Blackjack's mind. Following a later taint-purge by the Twilight Society, Blackjack is shocked to find the Dealer is still in her head, yet he claims there were plenty of empty places in her mind for him to hide, suggesting that he may be a result of the benign brain-damage that Silver Stripe was unable to correct during her surgery.
At one point, The Dealer simply vanished for a long period of time. Blackjack joked that The Dealer missed some prime moments to put her down, to which he pointed out she was already at her lowest. The Dealer is revealed to be tied to EC-1101 and Blackjack's Pipbuck when it was revealed that Psychoshy was having visions of him. He continued to deny Psychoshy access to Project Chimera. Despite the megaspell is inactive and encrypted, he is capable of utilizing EC-1101 to access individual systems one at a time.
When the Pipbuck returned to Blackjack, she could see the Dealer again. He lets her access Project Chimera, with the explicit instructions to destroy the facility afterwards. Afterwards, when Blackjack discovers yet another Memory Orb in the Fluttershy Medical Centre, The Dealer tells her to give up and stop chasing EC-1101. To go and live a happy life with her friends in a safer part of the wastelands.
After Blackjack suffers a mental breakdown due to her actions caused by sleep deprivation and separating herself from her friends, the Dealer slowly begins entrust her with information about his past and origins as the safety of EC-1101 depends on her trust. The Dealer is revealed to have been Goldenblood's former assistant Echo. Echo was a former member of Macintosh's Marauders, acting as their communications operative and was skilled with radios and radar equipment. However, following Stonewing's alleged death and Big Macintosh's heroic sacrifice, the Marauders eventually fell apart and the group decommissioned. Echo hated himself for doing nothing to keep his friends together, instead only observing the group's destruction from afar. He was eventually recruited by Goldenblood as his assistant in the Office of Interministry Affairs, though the Dealer comments it was likely out of pity. Around this time, EC-1101 was created. Goldenblood was terrified of the power EC-1101 could give to a single pony and so he had Echo's spirit bound to EC-1101 to ensure it could never be misused.
Consumed by contempt for pony civilization and a fear of his own death, Echo betrays Blackjack and joins Cognitum; in return, she returns him to his preserved body. At the Project Horizons launch facility on the Moon, Blackjack convinces Echo to help delay the Horizons launch and stop Cognitum; unfortunately, he's subsequently eaten by mechasprites, leaving only a pool of blood behind.
Even after Echo's death, however, the Dealer would appear to Blackjack one last time. It was revealed that there had been two entities appearing to her as the Dealer all along, one relatively belevelant (Echo) and a second more malevolent entity. This second entity taunted Blackjack on her failures, believing that, no matter what she did, the wasteland would ultimately persist.
If his card shuffling is any indication, The Dealer has some talent with card tricks.
The Dealer has the ability to cast a projection of himself. He can also grant Blackjack access to pre-war systems and projects like Steelpony and deny access to others like Psychoshy when she tried to access Project Chimera. He was capable of locking out the robotic forces from the Core trying to breach the Project Chimera labs as well.
His ability to project himself is not limited to optical illusions, he has also shown up in Blackjacks dreams. He has a wide range of knowledge regarding Equestria before the war, and has information on Goldenblood, but admits he only knew him as well as anypony else did. He is also capable of communicating with Blackjack while time is near-frozen from her perspective in S.A.T.S.
Appearances in Other Stories
Project Horizons - Speak
In Fallout Equestria: Project Hozirons - Speak The Dealer briefly appears to Threnody when she is exiting the makeshift freezer-prison in Fold. He appears to her in his skeletal form and shows her the cards depicting an inverted Jack of Clubs with Peculiar's eyes, Blackjack (as the Queen of Spades), Buzzsaw (as the King of Diamonds), Basalt Breaker (as the Queen of Diamonds) and herself (as the Queen of Hearts).
At first, Threnody thinks that the encounter is the result of spores in the dungeon or some sort of a mental attack, but she later learns about The Dealer from Blackjack, who previously thought that he died when Echo did. The Dealer then appears to Threnody again during the time that Basalt and the others prepare battle plans for the upcoming battle of the Fold. He explains to Threnody that Echo was just a persona that he used to keep Blackjack in the dark while he toyed with her. He also says that his wish is for the wasteland to continue and spread and that the Followers and the Heartmenders are doomed "until they can figure out what makes ponies go wrong in the first place."
The Dealer then appears for the third time several days after the Battle of the Fold while Threnody is alone in her hotel room. He tries make her question her decision about saving the town and then accuses her of being a liar and slaps her causing her to see images of pony suffering throughout the Wasteland. He then tells her that he is a spirit (known as Demon of Possibility by the deer, the Demon Murphy by buffalos, and the Spirit of Change by the zebras) and that when the war started, he and the other spirits made a bet whether the mortals were worth saving. He asked Threnody to try and guess which side he was on and made her pick between two cards; one of which showed Blackjack and the other showing a zebra ghoul (which Blackjack later theorised is the Legate). Threnody picked Blackjack because she felt as the card is hot and her choice seemed to fascinate The Dealer. Finally, he made a bet with Threnody that she won't be able to go a week without lying and promised to leave her and Blackjack alone if she managed to pull it off.
It is not yet known what the consequences of this bet were and whether or not Threnody won it, however she herself thinks that she's lost it because she lied to Slate and Sandalwood about being fine after finding out that she most likely won't be able to have foals.
Project Horizons - Homelands
In Homelands, the second Dealer was revealed to have been seen by Scotch Tape during the destruction of Maripony, and as a result, the Dealer took an interest in Scotch Tape. He starts to appear before her during her journey across the Zebra Empire, usually acting malevolently and mocking towards the filly as she tries to find out about the Eye of the World.
In one vision he gave her, he forced Scotch Tape to endure drowning in sand while he watched, his cheeks splitting open into a creepy unnatural grin.
Some zebra shamans can detect the Dealer's presence, calling her 'spirit touched'. His interference and contact has also paved the way for Scotch's own shaman abilities to manifest.
- The Dealer wears a leather duster and cowboy hat.
- P-21 has a similar hat.
- The Dealer's appearance has changed over the course of the story, typically appearing younger over time.
- In early chapters, The Dealer shows up as a skeletal/near skeletal Pony
- He had no knowledge of The Gardens of Equestria and was genuinely surprised to learn about it.
- His true identity is a closely guarded secret of his.
- Claims to be "nopony important"
- He survived the war as a spirit, trapped in EC-1101.
- He can only be perceived by those who are in physical contact with EC-1101 or the Pipbuck it is housed in; this is apparent when he appears and taunts Psycoshy when she holds it, and later when Scotch Tape sees him while using the broadcaster on Blackjacks leg.
- As of Chapter 74 Blackjack describes the Dealer's voice as the same as the song which she is listening to which is Johnny Cash's Hurt.
- The nature of the Dealer appearing only to Blackjack is similar to the Mysterious Stranger from Fallout, only that the Dealer is more talkative than the Mysterious Stranger is to the player (who doesn't talk period).