/q/ - Quest

ADVENTURE!

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File: 1394647878968.jpg (14.56 KB, 258x195, Starting out.jpg, IO Exif Google TinEye)

535277

When the ships came back and spread their tale, many could hardly believe the news. A whole new continent, completely undiscovered until now!

Many saw opportunity in this new land; whoever staked their claim first and held on to it would grow their assets uninhibited by prior claims; those bold enough to risk the dangers stood to make a fortune! However, claims alone would not be enough to turn a profit; ponies must be sent to harvest resources and build empires. For this purpose, innumerable contributors have decided to fund attempts to colonize this new world. Across the civilized world, the call went out for ponies willing to leave everything behind and start a new life in an unknown land.

Now, after three months at sea, your ship finally arrived last night, dropping anchor just off the strange new land you will now call home. The crew is bustling about this morning, bringing up supplies and preparing the landing boats for the trip to the shore. Excited chatter fills the air, as your fellow settlers crowd the rails in an attempt to get a better look.

While you wait, you are free to explore the ship, talk with some of the other settlers, seek someplace quiet to wait, or something else.

535278

>>535277
Observe the land from the deck. Look at the wildlife, see what I can gather and recognize.

Roll #1 5 = 5

535279

Perch on top of the mast, staring almost annoyed at the land.
Bah.
Fly down and into the bunks, gather my stuff and get it ready to leave.
Where is that damn pussy?

535280

I think it is time to visit the captain of the flagship, or a similar person who is in charge of the fleet that got us here.

535281

>>535277
Look at the land
Any smoke in the distance?

How is my stay in this ship? Is it tolerable or are the ponies like their usual selves(annoying).

Also anyone I've become accustomed with in this dingy fleet while in the sea?
'1d10'

Roll #1 2 = 2

535282

>>535280
Put my glasses right an my suit on order.
I get on deck to overlook the new land and my fellow travelers.

535283

>>535280
"Hello miss Magistre, what a fine day today, isn't it?"

535284

>>535278
You see a lot of trees, noting that they are impressively large for growing in a location so close to salt water. In fact, the forest goes on so long that you can't really make out any other features. If there are any animals in the forest, you can't see them.
>>535279
Your stuff is ready to go, and your pussy remains where it's always been. Your cat, however, is nowhere to be seen.
>>535280
No fleet; the sponsors didn't see the need for multiple ships when the one was more than enough. If you wish to speak to the captain, he is currently overseeing the loading of supplies.
>>535281
On the way over, you discovered that you easily become seasick and spend most of the journey with a splitting headache and aching stomach. As such, you didn't really socialize that much. That one buffalo was nice though; she gave you some herbs that helped ease your stomach. Despite strangely being the same size as a pony, she at least seemed tolerable.
>>535282
Most of the other travelers are crowded against the railing, looking at the settlement.

535285

>>535284
Groan and knock on the wood.
Of the planks.
"Marleeené!
Time to go!"

535286

>>535284
Buffalo's are at least not that chatty when they help one another. Besides these equines do stare a lot.

Are we at the settlement? How does it look like?
"So this is the place eh?" I smile at the female buffalo that helped me recover.

535287

>>535283
Nod.
"A fine day indeed? I hope you are as excited as I am!"

>>535284
He is not too busy, is he?
Trot up to him!

535288

>>535284
No birds even? Seagulls?

Roll #1 6 = 6

535289

>>535284
Ah young folk, so eager to explore new lands.
So reckless.

>>535287
"Ah so much work to be done. I hope I can get some hunting done in the meantime. That always some energy in the old bones."

535290

>>535289
"If I can be honest with you, I am a teeny tiny bit nervous about taking office!"
Let out a breath, then put a wide smile up.
"Let's hope it will go without a hitch!"

535291

>>535290
"Some advice from an old pony, whatever happens, always look like you intended it to happen."

535292

>>535291
"Or blame it on paperwork."
Chuckle.

535293

>>535292
I chuckle.
"A valid alternative. Might I ask, we will soon start building the town, yes?"

535294

>>535293
Nod.
"Of course. We will set up shop, so to say, as fast as we can. Shelter is of the utmost importance!"

535295

>>535285
No response.
>>535286
You're currently on a ship anchored just offshore from the settlement.
Giving a questioning hum, she looks up from packing her things and smiles when she realizes it's you addressing her. "That's what they say! I'm sure you'll be glad to get your paws on solid ground again." Her voice is quiet but confident.
>>535288
Now that you look, you notice seagulls flying around. Some decided to hitchhike along with the ship, so you were so used to them it took you a moment to notice them. However, the forests beyond the beach have no birds flying around whatsoever.
>>535287
"Evening, ma'am," he greets you with a tilt of his captain's hat. "Eager to get to your new colony?"

535296

>>535295
"You could say that, yes! How long do you think will it take to get the supplies to the shore and estabilish the fundamental buildings?"

535297

>>535295
Nature won't show us her cards yet, it seems.
Oh well. What about the other settlers?

Roll #1 3 = 3

535298

>>535295
"Very much so." I then offer a hand.
"Need any help carrying those?"

535299

>>535295
Groan and go towards my bunk. Look at the shadow of the bed itself.
Commune.
'1d10+2'

Roll #1 5 + 2 = 7

535300

>>535294
"Well, miss these old bones aren't what they used to be. I would need some volunteers to help me build my shop."

535301

>>535300
"I am sure the builders will give you their assistance, should you ask."

535302

>>535296
"We should be ready to shove off momentarily, ma'am. The initial buildings are already set up by the settlers who got here before us, just look over there." He points in a direction towards the shore.
>>535297
You notice the Mayor Magistre speaking to the captain and a gentlemanly stallion who appears to be getting on in years. The rest of the settlers seem to be crowded against the railing looking at the colony.
>>535298
She blinks, then gives you a grateful smile. "I appreciate the offer, but… Well, actually, these-" she gestures at a decently-sized box "-are rather delicate, and your paws are more dextrous than hooves. If you wouldn't mind… Goodness, I've never even asked your name!"
>>535299
The shadow trembles and shudders, waking with a groan. Eyes that are not eyes peer at you, and sends you sensations of irritation and curiosity.

535303

>>535301
"I will be sure to ask."

>>535302
Who's a builder?

535304

>>535302
Ah yes, the outwordly dread.
A stare almost as cold as manehatten's night during a rainstorm.

Seen my cat?

535305

>>535302
Look over there! What does the settlement look like in it's current state?

535306

>>535302
"Just returning the favor after you help me in that dreadful voyage. Besides, there is nothing bad in gaining a friend in this new land." I nod at her as I began to carry her stuff and follow her… to whereever she goes.
"My name is Askeladd, as for you Miss… ?"

535307

>>535302
I shouldn't bother them.
Let's just look at the existing settlement.

Roll #1 6 = 6

535308

>>535303
Some of the colonists on the boat have skills that could be used in construction, but most of the colonists that would be responsible for that arrived weeks before you. Maybe you can ask around when you get to the settlement.
>>535307
>>535305
It's not far from the shore, and you can see ponies moving around on a wooden palisade that surrounds the town. Only one building pokes above the wall, the belltower of what you assume must be the Courthouse.
There's several fields already cleared of trees nearby, though they are still filled with stumps, bushes, and tall grasses. Clearly there is still more work to be done before the land can be farmed properly.
>>535306
"Sweetherb. It is nice to know you, mister Askeladd. You are right, it is… good to have friends. Especially when venturing into the unknown." You both emerge on deck.
>>535304
The shadow projects indifference, but sends you the feel of soft fur. The sens is associated with a sense of departure directed towards the door.

535309

>>535308
Right then.

>>535307
"Excuse me, miss?"

535310

>>535308
We can always eat grass… if it's edible around here at least.
So much to find out…

>>535309
Look at him.
"Yes."

535311

>>535308
Point at the tower.
"I assume that is the building I will work in?"

535312

>>535308
"Sweetherb is it? Thats a good name."
Look around, what does the settlement look like?

"I think there should be a tavern or an Inn of some sort here where the newcomers can stay for awhile, unless you know someone here perhaps I can help you deliver this box."

535313

>>535310
"My dear, I'm sorry to disturb you, but I wanted to ask if you could help me with my luggage. These old legs aren't what they used to be. I'd be happy to give you a discount in my shop once it's set up, for you help, miss…? Oh dear, it seems I do now know your name."

535314

>>535312
"Oh, those are just some medical tools of mine."
It's not far from the shore, and you can see ponies moving around on a wooden palisade that surrounds the town. Only one building pokes above the wall, the belltower of what you assume must be the Courthouse.
There's several fields already cleared of trees nearby, though they are still filled with stumps, bushes, and tall grasses. Clearly there is still more work to be done before the land can be farmed properly.
>>535311
"So do I. You'll have to ask when we get there."

535315

>>535314
"If you don't mind me asking, how long will the ship stay?"

535316

>>535315
"We'll stay for today to finish unloading and let the investor's representatives take an initial apraissal of the colony, then set sail for home tomorrow. Don't have the food stores to stay any longer, unfortunately."

535317

>>535314
"Hmmm how about we go to that courthouse, perhaps they can help us get our bearings."

535318

>>535313
Stare at his legs for a moment, then back at him with a nod.
"Okay, sir. My name is Ambrosia."

535319

>>535318
"Pleasure to meet you, Ambrosia. I'm Figworth Barrelton, at your service."

535320

>>535316
"I see. I don't suppose we will see each other again anytime soon in that case."

535321

>>535319
"What do you… do?"

535322

>>535308
Wink at it andtake off, for the door.

535323

>>535321
"Why, I will serve here as an innkeeper. Making sure the town is well supplied with drink and food. Once it's set up, you'll always be welcome.
And what is your profession, miss Ambrosia? What brings you to this corner of the world?"

535324

>>535323
"I don't drink anything other than water, sir. I'm a herbalist."

535325

>>535324
"Then I'm sure you'll enjoy the salads. A herbalist? A very important responsibility, this community will surely need your potions and herbs when times are tough."

535326

>>535317
"That seems like a good place to start when we land." Remember, you're currently on a ship anchored just offshore from the colony.
>>535322
You get some grudging appreciation as the shadow returns to its slumber. Roll to try and find Marlene'.
>>535320
"'Fraid so, ma'am. I'll say, you're not exactly what I expected from a mayor. When the crew talked you into their little marksmanship competition last month, I wasn't expecting you to end up in the finals." You remember getting pressured into a shooting competition and aquiesced mostly out of boredom, making it into the final five before getting knocked out of the competition.

535327

>>535325
"Yes. I hope to learn all about the strange plants and wildlife in this land.



I like salad."

535328

>>535327
"I'm sure you will enjoy my trotantine recipe, it's a special secret. Shall we go to the town, miss Ambrosia?"

535329

>>535326
Smile.
"When bureacracy fails, I bring out the bullets!"
Chuckle.
"Jokes aside, it is mostly a hobby that I have picked up. I hope I won't have to use my pistol to solve whatever problems that may arise."

535330

>>535328
I nod.
"Okay."
Are your bags with you?

535331

>>535327
>>535325
>>535322
>>535320
>>535317
The captain turns to the crowd and takes a deep breath. "ALRIGHT EVERYPONY, LET'S START LOADING UP! TEN PONIES TO A BOAT! KEEP IT ORDERLY SO WE CAN GET YOU ASHORE FASTER!"
Whenever you're ready, we can head to the shore.
>>535329
"Glad to hear it, ma'am. I think you're exactly the kind of leader this colony's going to need."

535332

>>535330
Yes, it's a wooden coffer.

535333

>>535332
>>535331
Pick up his luggage and make sure i have my own, then be ready to get loaded.

535334

>>535326
Have we already landed? If so go off-board and see if we can go to the Courthouse

If not, stay put and observe the passengers aboard.

535335

>>535333
>>535332
Load up.
"My dear, these small boats are tightly packed."

535336

>>535331
"I'm grateful for your confidence in me!"
Smile, and levitate whatever luggage I have over.
"If you don't mind, I would like to be on one of the first boats. I can imagine that there is a lot of work to be done!"

535337

>>535334
>>535331
Well Just stay put I guess.

I then look at SweetHerb.
"Ready to go to shore or do you want to stay put M'adam?"

535338

>>535336
"Of course, ma'am. Right this way."
>>535335
"Course they are," a crewpony comments. "We've got to carry the supplies along with all of you."
>>535333
You are all in the same boat, along with a few crewponies for rowing. There's a cat curled up on the prow, lazily flicking her tail back and forth and regarding you with a cool disinterest.
You are soon joined by a Diamond Dog and… She must be a buffalo, but for some reason she's the same size as a pony, if a bit… bulky.

>>535337
She smiles up at you. "No sense waiting, is there?" She leads you onto one of the boats waiting to leave.
>>535337
She smiles brightly up at you.

535340

>>535338
Enter the boat.
Smile!
"I hope everyone is having a fine day so far?"

535341

>>535338
… I don't think I've ever seen a buffalo. Or a diamond dog for that matter.
Stare at them uneasily.

535342

>>535338
"I agree, I just want to let this feet of mine feel something made of soil after all these months at sea."
Follow her and go to the boat.

535345

>>535326
[1d10]
>>535331
Boats boats boats.
Even tinier boats.

Roll #1 6 = 6

535351

>>535338
I sit down.
"Oh dear, do these boats always rock like this?"

535364

>>535341
The buffalo smiles gently but other than that lets you keep your distance. You feel a sudden weight on your neck, tiny claws gripping tightly as the cat from the prow climbs on top of your head. She then proceeds to curl up on top of your mane, letting loose a large yawn.
>>535342
There's a pegasus eyeing the two of you uneasily. A cat has apparently decided her head is more comfortable than the boat's wooden prow and curled up in her mane.
"Do you think you might need some more of those herbs?" Sweetherb asks. The boat is rocking rather jerkily.
>>535340
"Indeed we are," the buffalo replies, giving you a nod. "You're the mayor, right? I'm Sweetherb, this is Askeladd. I'm looking to be the town doctor."
>>535351
The diamond dog looks a little queasy as you bring up the subject.
>>535345
As you come up on deck, you find everypony getting ready to board the boats. Eventually, you find her; curled up in some pegasus' mane and without a care in the world.

535369

>>535364
Offer my hoof.
"Indeed! My name is Magistre! I am glad to make your acquaintance!"

535370

>>535364
Frown and lift the cat off the poor guy.
"I'm sorry for that."

535373

>>535364
"I'll be okay as long as we get to land, besides maybe there are others who might need your help and a dog like me aint that selfish to get all those herbs."

I then eye for a moment the two pegasus that stares to both of us, what the hell is their problem?

535376

>>535364
I look to Sweetherb.
"Ah, pleasure to meet you, doctor. I assume you work together with miss Ambrosia?"

535377

>>535364
"Cat… Where did you come from?"
Animal mastery to understand it?

Roll #1 8 = 8

535398

>>535369
"The pleasure is mine." She smiles and shakes your hoof, her grip very firm and solid.
>>535373
One is a small light-yellow mare. Judging by the way her eyes are darting around, she's very nervous. The other one is more focused on the cat.
>>535376
"Ambrosia? Who's that? I wasn't aware there was another doctor in the colony."
>>535370
Marlene yowls and shoots you a stinkeye that would make flowers wilt.
>>535377
As >>535370 comes and lifts her, the cat is clearly unhappy with the development.
Fuck you, I was just getting comfortable, bitch!

535404

>>535398
"I would love to take the time and get to know everyone personally, but I am afraid that won't be possible, not at first anyway. This is my first time setting up a new colony!"

535405

>>535398
>>535370
"It's… okay."

>>535398
"I'm not a doctor."

535407

>>535398
Bah leave them be and just stay close to Sweetherb.

535420

>>535398
Squeeze her tight. A bit too tight. Then let her go.
>>535405
"She can be a real pain at times!"

535424

>>535405
>>535398
"My apologies, herbalists are often associated with doctors, so I assumed you knew each other."

535429

>>535424
Shake my head.
"I never met a buffalo."

>>535420
"She does have sharp nails, but it's okay."

535435

>>535429
"The damn pest.
Allow me to make it up to you, once we are ashore."

535436

>>535435
Cock my head to the side in puzzlement
"What do you mean?"

535437

>>535404
"We're all going to be new to this. I'd be more surprised if you said you'd done this before."
>>535405
Wow, tense much? You must be a doormat; no wonder you were so comfortable- she squeaks as >>535420, then adopts a sullen expression. Fine, MOM. Bet you'd lighten up if you just let yourself get laid already.
Sweetherb smiles and offers you her hoof. "Is that so? Pray tell, what do you do?"
>>535407
Not much room to move around on this boat. You end up just bumping into the yellow pegasus. She eeps and looks up at you, her eyes wide as she gives you an uneasy smile. "H-hi there! Hi. Um… how are you?"
>>535420
she squeaks, then adopts a sullen expression and curls up on the boat's prow.
>>535424
"I see. A Herbalist! I believe we'll be doing a lot of business then!"
#are we ready to land?

535441

>>535436
"A coffee. A warm meal. Something for your mane."
>>535437
Totes.

535443

>>535437
#Ready!

535444

>>535437
I look at her a bit irritated, why is she so jumpy?
"Besides having a splitting head-ache awhile ago that will return if we dont make it to shore in time I am fine as it is."

I then tilt my head.
"How about 'you? Are you fine?"

Is she injured or something?
'1d10'

Readu

Roll #1 8 = 8

535448

>>535437
Ready to land.
"I hope so too, doctor. I won't disappoint."

>>535441
"… That sounds nice."

535453

>>535448
Smile at her and extend a talon.
"Julià."

535455

>>535441
>>535443
>>535444
>>535448
After a short, if bumpy trip, the boats beach on the shore. There's a party waiting for you all on the shore. The crew immediately begins unloading supplies.
As you step off the boat, you are suddenly assaulted with a sensation of… strangeness. Like you'd just put on a jacket that didn't fit quite right. Beyond that, there's a… primacy, a sense of old things awaking from a deep slumber. Roll to see how you are affected.

>>535444
She's not injured, but you notice that she's deliberately avoiding looking at the water. Her whole body is tense and leaning away from the side of the boat, her wings twitching now and then.
"Yes! Shore. Looking forward to being on land again, is all! Just fine, is all! Ah… I like growing things, do you like growing things?"

535458

>>535455
'1d10'

Roll #1 1 = 1

535461

>>535455
Reminds me of that time in the manehatten sewers.
'1d10'

Roll #1 7 = 7

535470

>>535455
"Well at least there is something in common to both of us." I hold my vision steady so not to puke.

"As for growing, growing what? Are you a Care-taker or something?"

535477

>>535455
Oh dear!

Roll #1 10 = 10

535478

>>535470
>roll
Whoops
'1d10'

Roll #1 6 = 6

535481

>>535453
Stare at the talon for a moment. Then shake it.
"Ambrosia."

>>535455
[1d10]

Roll #1 9 = 9

535492

>>535481
"Gotcha."

535514

>>535477
While certainly… interesting, the sensation fades almost immediately. You take a deep breath and smile; somehow, this place already feels like home.
>>535481
>>535461
>>535478
The sensation passes quickly, though a lingering sensation remains in the back of your mind, like a scent you just can't place.
A crystal stallion in Guard armor chuckles as he approaches you from the shore party. "Don't worry, that happens to everyone when they first get here. Not that we understand what it is, but it doesn't really last. Welcome to the colony." He looks like he's going to say more, but-
>>535458
You fall to your knees as the sensation overwhelms you, a pressure mounting on the inside of your skull until something awakes.
You… you feel alive, like you haven't felt since you were a young stallion. The urge to mount something, the urge to kill something, they are overwhelming-
something is approaching you, something with a shiny coat and feathery things on his back- Challenger! Rival! An enemy come to steal your mares! Your breathing deepens; the Thief makes meaningless noises at you, but you see your opportunity! He's open for attack! Defend your Herd and Drive the Interloper away! Crush his bones and tear out his neck with your teeth!

535518

>>535514
"Well that is a brief introduction." I look at Sweet and to the yellow pegasus before I look at the spasming pony a bit worried.

535522

>>535514
Okay, take a sidestep here.

535523

>>535514
Supress it.
Think of my training '1d10'

Roll #1 7 = 7

535533

>>535514
What an intruiging land!
"This certainly feels different!"
To the guard.
"Good day, Mister…?"

535548

>>535523
There's an itching at the back of your mind, a feeling that something's not right…
It makes you angry. With a primal roar, you throw yourself at the Intruder. He cries out as you crash into him, both of you tumbling to the ground as you rain your hooves against him. But something hard and slippery covers him; your hooves are not crushing and breaking like they should!
>>535522
>>535523
>>535533
Further conversation is cut off as Figworth gives a primal roar and tackles the stallion, raining blows down on him that would shatter bones if not for his armor. Several surprised shouts come from the surrounding ponies at this sudden attack, a few of whom begin to run towards the two stallions.

Roll #1 9 = 9

535551

>>535548
Catpile on the guy!
'1d10'
I've broken one bar brawl too many to stand idly by and watch this!

Roll #1 2 = 2

535553

>>535548
"Figworth, I insist that you stop this madness at once!"
AWIYE

Roll #1 5 + 2 = 7

535554

>>535548
What the fuck!?
Slam this pony and hold him/her down.
'1d10+2'

Roll #1 10 + 2 = 12

535575

>>535548
The stallion doesn't stay down for long, though. With an expert grapple he slips out from underneath the raging Figsworth, who snarls and whirls on him-
>>535554
Only to get tackled and Slammed hard into the ground, his head smashing into a crate with a wince-inducing crack that sends vibrations through your paws. You maintain your grip and keep him down, just in case.
>>535553
If he hears you, he doesn't respond.
>>535523
There's a roar, a rushing sensation…
You're on the ground. Your head feels like it just got put through a meat grinder. A rather large Diamond Dog is holding you down very firmly, making it hard to breathe. There's a crystal stallion off to the side breathing heavily, watching you warily. In fact, most of the beach is eyeing you cautiously.

535578

>>535575
That was some stronk heresy.
"W-what happened?"

535580

>>535575
>>535578
Frown.
"You attacked our welcoming committee, I'm afraid."

535584

>>535578
"I'm what happened thats what." I look at him sternly.

"Also what she said." I point at the mare.>>535580

535585

>>535578
"You went rogue."

535587

>>535575
>>535580
>>535578
>>535584
>>535585
"Guys, this is twilight zone stuff.
I mean, look at him. He's just an old pony, why would he go mad like that?"

535588

>>535587
Shake my head.
"He didn't go mad, I am sure there is a reasonable explanation for this little incident."

535590

>>535587
Give her a dumb stare.
"What?"

535592

>>535584
>>535585
>>535587
Rub my head.
"Oh-oh dear. I must apologize. I am not quite sure what came over me."

535595

>>535590
"Y'know, the show."

535596

>>535578
>>535580
"We aren't going to hold that against you. Twitchy had a similar reaction when we first got here, but… other than that, you're the only one to react like that. Luckily, it seems a good knock to the head is all that's needed to set things right." Sweetherb approaches you cautiously, some bandages and disinfectants held ready. You feel something warm and sticky run down your neck.
>>535587
"Not sure. Only one other pony reacted like that. Guess he just got unlucky."

535600

>>535596
"Thank you. I'm fine.
Twitchy? Who is that?"

535601

>>535587
>>535588
"Perhaps allergic reaction to certain pheromones in the air from exotic plants."

535604

>>535595
"……… "


>>535596
>>535595
>>535588
I look at the others.
"Should I free him?"

535610

>>535596
"Curious and curiouser.
Allow me to introduce myself, my name is Julià, former private investigator.
I'd like to talk with this Twitchy."

535612

>>535604
Nod.
"You might let him go, he appears to be lucid."

>>535596
"Now, my apologies about that little incident. Let's get back to where we were!"

535626

>>535600
"No, you're not fine," Sweetherb says in a tone that brooks no argument, "you've got a rather impressive cut on your head. You'll be lucky if you don't need stitches."
The stallion approaches once he sees you're thinking straight. "Twitchy's our bean counter; scrawny little pegasus scared of his own shadow. When he got here, he reacted pretty much like you just did. Busted somepony's leg before somepony managed to knock the sense back into him. Stones seems to think it's something about a bad reaction to the land's ambient magic or something."
>>535610
"Ah, where are my manners? I'm Cloud Cutter, Guard Captain of the colony. If you're going to come talk to Twitchy, why don't you help carry some supplies along the way? He'll be taking inventory at the storehouse."
>>535612
"Of course, no harm done. You must be Mayor Magistre. Welcome to the colony. Your secretary would have come, but she's busy in the courthouse at the moment."

535629

>>535626
"Ambient magic? That's quite strong for some ambient magic."
I thank Sweetherb

535634

>>535626
"Indeed."
Nod.
"I see! She is probably working on making my job easier as we speak, so I cannot judge her for that, can I? I'm sure there is a lot to be done, so I should meet up with her right away."

535637

>>535626
Nod.
"Gotta start somewhere."
Look at the old pony, but then go for some crates.

535638

>>535629
"Or pheromones."

535642

>>535638
I snicker.
"Yes, pheromones. Those are definitely some of the strongest pheromones I've ever had then."

535643

>>535612
"Hmmm…"
I let the pony go as I dust myself.

>>535626
I grit my teeth at Sweetherb.
"Well first injury of the day, also I might have tackled him a bit too strong."

535646

>>535642
"Nature can be strong."

535647

>>535643
"You were just doing your job. Try to pay mind not to be so rough on our residents next time, that's all!"
Smile.

535648

>>535643
"It is no problem. I'm grateful you stopped me before I unwillingly harmed somepony, mister?"

535650

>>535646
"Indeed it can. Often underestimated."

535652

>>535647
Stare blankly at her.
"What job? I dont have a job yet."

>>535648
Help him up while staring at him a bit with suspicion.
"….. Askeladd."

535662

>>535652
"Oh… I assumed you were a fighter, from the way you defused this current situation. My apologies."

535663

>>535629
>>535638
"Whatever it is, it's effect is usually minor. This is very unusual."
>>535643
"Maybe, but he wasn't thinking straight," she soothes while bandaging him up. "you acted fast and got things under control quickly. If you hadn't things might have gotten much worse."
The yellow pegasus is hovering nearby. "Wow, you're really strong! You hit him like he didn't weigh anything!"

535667

>>535662
I close my arms.
"I… served back then, but that was some time ago."
"So yes you are correct, I am a fighter.And who might you be?" I raise an eyebrow.

>>535663
I smile to SweetHerb.
"Thanks for understanding."

I then look at the pegasus.
"I did my best….. and your name?"

535668

>>535663
"I must be getting old."

>>535652
"Thank you, Askeladd. You're a good man."

535669

>>535650
Flap down to his side.
"Hey, mind a few questions?"

535670

>>535667
"I am Mayor Magistre."

535671

>>535669
"Not at all, if you'll give me the pleasure of doing the same, miss."

535672

>>535668
"….. No problem, Mister….."


>>535670
I scratch my head.
"Mayor is your first name?"

535673

>>535671
Pass a paw through my headfeathers, smiling slightly.
"Well I'm not the one who just went berserk right after leaving the boat, mister…"

535674

>>535672
Chuckle and shake my head.
"No, I am the Mayor of this settlement."

535675

>>535670
"Are you our leader?"

535677

>>535675
"In a manner of speaking, yes."

535678

>>535674
"Oh, so you are appointed to lead this town? It is a pleasure to meet you." I bow down a bit.

535681

>>535678
"Oh, please, no need to bow to me! I am please to meet you too!"

535682

>>535672
"Barrelton, Figworth Barrelton. Future innkeeper. Be sure to drop by, you'll get a pint on the house."

>>535673
"Figworth Barrelton. Innkeeper. Well, I'd be happy to help you in any way I can. I'd like to know what happened to me."

535685

>>535682
"Well, let's start by the basic facts.
Can you tell me where it hurts?"
Motion at his face.

535692

>>535685
"The place with the giant cut feels quite painful."

535693

>>535692
"Noted.
And before your head was smashed into the ground?"
Start noting all of this down.

535694

>>535677
"What do you wish of us?"

535695

>>535693
"I felt quite peculiar. Some kind of strange rage boiled up inside me and then I was face down in the ground."

535696

>>535695
"Quite the show. You looked almost possessed."

535697

>>535696
"Did I? My goodness! I shall be praying extra long tonight."

535698

>>535697
Look kinda surprised.
"Religious stallion?"

535699

>>535698
"Oh..I know that you youngsters are less so, but I grew up in the time when everypony went to church every sunset and every time the moon rose. I don't know much about damons and witches, but I know when things like this happen, you better start praying."

535700

>>535699
"What a nice thought. Maybe I will join you.
Anything else you remember?"

535701

>>535699
Cock my head at him.
"To…?"

535702

>>535700
I think.
"No, I'm afraid not, miss Julia."

>>535701
"Celestia and Luna of course."

535703

>>535702
"Oh. Okay."

535704

>>535702
"Thanks for your help. And don't lose your head."
Smirk and make a little gun-like motion with my talon, snapping my tongue to make a clicking sound.
>>535703
"I take you are not too religious either?"

535705

>>535694
"Let's just settle in first. I'm sure I'll get a more clear view of the workings of this settlement once I get to the Courthouse."

535706

>>535704
"I am one of nature."

>>535705
I nod.
"Yes miss."

535707

>>535704
"Miss Julia, if you could keep me up to date on what you find, I'd be very grateful."

535708

>>535706
"Mh."
Note that down aswell.
>>535707
"Look at that, already found a client."
Snicker.
"Of course mister Figworth. If I ever solve this, which I highly doubt, I'm gonna inform you."

535720

>>535682
"Well that is something that may rekindle someone's trust. I'll sure try to see if I can drop by, after I find a place to stay that is."


>>535681
"I am pleased to meet you too."

"So this place looks quiet for now, but if you need extra arms, or another blacksmith then I'll be here."

535721

>>535720
"That is good to know!
Should any of you need any help, I will be at the Courthouse!"

535722

>>535667
Captain Cloud Cutter approaches you. "Actually, if you're interested I have a job offer for you. See, aside from myself and about five others, we don't have many settlers with combat experience. We've seen some dangerous-looking creatures around and there are rumors of raiders looking to loot unsuspecting colonies. If you were willing to join, we could really use your help."
>>535706
A yellow pegasus mare approaches you. "Another nature lover, huh? I'm Wheat Fields. Nice to meet you!"
>>535707
>>535705
>>535708
The captain turns to the group. "Well, now that that's cleared up, let's get these supplies moved behind the walls, shall we?"

535723

>>535720
"Anytime."

>>535708
"I appreciate that miss Julia. You're always welcome at my inn."

535724

>>535722
Nod.
"If you could lead the way to the Courthouse I would be grateful."

535725

>>535722
Cock my head.
"My name is Ambrosia. Herbalist."

535726

>>535722
Nod and pick my stuff up again.
Be sure that pest's not running away.
And help move the stuff.
>>535723
"Then stock strong stuff."
Smirk.

535727

>>535721
"I will see if I can visit sometimes, all of us need to help each other now that we are far away from the homeland."

>>535722
I look at them for a moment.
"I actually want to settle in, perhaps be part of this town as one of the smiths, but I have seen war in the past and I am of assistance if you need an extra arms."

535728

>>535727
"This is our new home, we better get used to it!"

535730

>>535726
"Is there any other?"

535731

>>535730
Wave off with a talon and chuckle.

535736

>>535725
"Nice. I'm more of a food-grower myself. Hoping to get myself a nice little plot of farmland all to myself."
>>535727
"We have a town smith already, but I'm sure she'll appreciate the help. We're not asking that you give up on your business or that you can't settle in. We just need po- people who can chase off the beasts that get too close." He looks away for a moment, a slight tint coming to his cheeks. "I'm… hoping to start a farm of my own, actually. Nothing fancy, just… something to call my own."

>>535724
>>535726
As you all enter the town, you're struck by how empty it is. Aside from the Townhouse, the Armory, the Storehouse, and a few other buildings, there's not much built. Tents are set up everywhere, and the refuse from constructing what has been built is still scattered around.

535741

>>535736
Nice. plenty of space to build my own place.
"The pulsing heart of the new world."

535743

>>535736
"I've not met many other nature pegasi before… What do you wish to farm?"

535744

>>535736
Is the inn already built?

535745

>>535736
"Looks like there is a lot of work that has to be done! Now, if all of you would excuse me!"
Let's head over to the Townhouse!

535750

>>535736
I bite my lips with a bit of annoyance, before closing my arms and breath out in defeat.
"Well alright I can help, if this town need someone to watch their butts I can do that."

535751

>>535744
For a certain quality of built. It's a small shack with a bar right now, set up against the Townhouse. It's not the best construction, but it's a start.
>>535743
"Wheat, mostly. Maybe some barley or peanuts. I might even try growing corn!"
>>535741
Marlene yawns and flicks her tail, clearly unimpressed.
>>535745
As you enter the Townhouse, you find a well-dressed jenny arranging a desk. She looks up as you enter and smiles. "You must be one of the new arrivals. Welcome to the colony! How can I help you?"

535752

>>535750
He breathes a sigh of relief. "Glad to hear it. For now, you can go set up at the forge; it's on the east end of town. Tell Crookear I sent you, she'll warm right up."

535753

>>535751
Does it have the "Deserts Eye Inn" sign yet?
What kind of environment are we inn anyway?
Desert, forest?

535754

>>535751
I nod.
"I could help if you wished.Nature feels different here, might have difficulties growing foreign crops."

535755

>>535751
She still doesn't understand irony.
So.
"Where do we drop this?"

535756

>>535751
Nod at her.
"Indeed I am, good day. My name is Magistre, and I am here to start my work!"

535768

>>535752
"Crookear, got it." I nod at him and stop.

"And your name?"

535790

>>535753
Forest, definitely. It doesn't have a sign, and it certainly can't be called an "inn" yet. However, do find a note from your assistant, explaining that he's out on a scouting trip and won't be back until the evening.
>>535754
"Really?" Her eyes shine as she gives you a brilliant smile. "Thanks! I could probably show you some tricks I know on how to make soil more fertile."
>>535755
He points you across town to a large building that various ponies are carrying boxes into.
>>535768
"Captain Cloud Cutter. Pleasure to have you aboard." He heads off to continue overseeing the unloading of the ship.
>>535756
She immediately stands up straighter. "Miss Magistre! Of course! I am Geneva, your secretary. Would you like me to show you to your office?"

535796

>>535790
Chop chop.

535801

>>535790
Smile.
Mind Reader, try to find out what she thinks of me.
'1d10'
"That would be great, yes! I'm afraid I will need your help to get settled in and started at first."

Roll #1 10 = 10

535805

>>535790
"Hmmmm… alright I'll take that in mind."

I then haul my belongings and head to the smith shop in town.

535808

>>535790
"That would be kind. I just wish to help however I can."

535809

>>535790
Good.
But a name is important.
Make a sign with "Food, bed and drinks"
Paint an eye underneath it.
Walk to Ambrosia.

>>535754
"Thank you, miss Ambrosia, I'll take the coffer myself now."

535811

>>535809
Give him the luggage.
"Okay. My pleasure."

535813

>>535811
"Don't be a stranger. You'll get a discount anytime you come by."

>>535790
Get in the inn and unpack the booze from my coffer. Not the Inquisitorial stuff from the hidden compartment.

535817

>>535801
Her face betrays nothing. "Right this way." As she's leading you away, however, you activate your mind-reading spell.
Crap, she's here ALREADY? I haven't even had the chance to finish organizing my desk so it's not a mess? Oh crap, I haven't even cleaned up HER desk! Wait, her desk is empty right now… She looks so official, is she going to be mean? I hope she's not mean. Wait, she could be ogling my flank right now! Oh Celestia, please don't have her make advances on me like my last boss! Could I ask her to- No, she'd just fire me! Oh no, I can't lose this job, I can't! Oh dear, oh dear, what am I going to DO?

535824

>>535817
Oh my, is she nervous or what!
Clear my throat. Let's calm her down!
"I hope you don't mind, my mane must be a mess! I am both excited and nervous about this opportunity, but I want to do my best! I am merely a mare, we will have to work together to the best of our abilities to make everything run smooth!"
Smile at her warmly.
"I hope I can count on you, Geneva."

535831

PAUSE

536524

>>535805
The forge was clearly built somewhat hastily, but the construction should hold barring any major disasters. As you approach you can hear the familiar sound of hammering coming from within.
>>535813
Sign is up and booze is unpacked. It’s nothing impressive, but it’s a start. You’ll probably need to eventually get a distillery of some sort set up, but for now you should be fine. As you’re unpacking, a paper falls out. It’s your list of the notable magic-users in town.
>>535796
As you approach with the boxes, you can see that things are being directed by a wiry cream-colored pesasus stallion, who continuously flits about to inspect things before checking his clipboard, muttering to himself the whole time. His movements are jerky, pausing constantly to adjust the round spectacles clinging to his nose. You have to wonder how they manage to stay on.
>>535808
She giggles and throws a hoof around your shoulders. “I like you; you’re pretty, calm, and easy to talk to! Say, want to go check out the fields later? I want to see what kinds of soil we’re going to be working with!”
>>535824
Wha- Aw hell, Geneva, you’re slipping! Stop worrying so much and just go with it! At least she’s being polite, that’s a good sign.
She returns the smile, albeit nervously. “Of course, ma’m. Sorry if I’m not exactly at my best right now; things have been a bit hectic.” She leads you past a small desk covered with various papers into a decently-sized room, a single large desk occupying most of the center of the room. In the back corners, you can see two modest beds have been set up; one of them looks like it’s been seeing some use recently.

536526

>>536524
Just another mystery.
Clear my throat, trying to catch his attentio.

536543

>>536524
"I assume this is my office then? Oh, and don't worry, I don't believe any undertaking similar to this would ever go without some trouble."

536546

>>536524
Excited I go there.

536551

>>536524
Julia was on that list right?

536553

>>536524
"Of course. I am curious too. I feel this land will have many foreign things to me."

536565

536595

>>536546
As you enter, you get hit with a nostalgic blast of heated air. As you look around, your eyes immediately light upon the only other being in the forge at the same time as she notices you. After a few more blows, she dumps whatever she was working on into the slack tub and sets the hammer and tongs aside before turning to face you, revealing a surprisingly-thin female Diamond Dog.
“Hey there! Haven’t seen you around before; you one of the new arrivals?”
>>536526
He looks up, glances at the boxes you're carrying, then writes something on his clipboard. "Yes, yes, put those over there, please. Stack right side up, in front of the salted carrots, come on!" He waves a hoof at some crates in a corner, then darts off again.
>>536551
Indeed she was. Something about communication with some form of spirits; the report was vague, but the Inquisition's investigation had ruled her unheretical, though it was noted that perhaps you should keep an eye on her. There are several other names on the list, mostly unicorns with nothing really noteworthy about them. In fact, only a few names stand out on the list.
>>536553
"Sweet! I'm gonna try to figure out where we're supposed to go, want to come with?"
>>536543
"Indeed it is, miss Magistre." Geneva's smile falls into an irritated scowl as a new voice speaks up. A sharply-dressed unicorn makes his way from the corner of the room to your desk, before turning to face you, his expression disinterested. You recognize him as String Bean, the representative of several investors who will be heading back on the ship to give a report on the colony's condition. "However, there are some things we must discuss."

536599

>>536595
Put the box where he told me and stop a second to take a look around.
"Name's Julià."

536601

>>536595
Which are?

536602

>>536595
"Yes, I am curious where to set up my garden as well."

536605

>>536595
Nod.
"Go ahead."

536613

>>536599
The storehouse is stacked high with boxes everywhere you look. These food supplies should be enough to last the colony about six months if you're careful. The pegasus waves dismissively at you. "Yes, very nice, now please clear the way, you're obstructing movement."
>>536602
"don't worry, I'm sure we'll find a nice place to start growing stuff in no time!" The two of you wander around for a bit before finding where the other colonists seem to be gathering. You get in line between a dark-black Unicorn stallion and a middle-aged Goat mare.
>>536605
Though your mind-reading spell has worn off, it's clear that Geneva does not like this guy, barely managing to contain her scowl as he gives both of you a tight-lipped grin.
"You see, I am in a somewhat unsavory position of having to explain to my employers just how their investment is going to be profitable. To that end, I would like to know which direction you intend to take this colony."

536615

536619

>>536613
"As you might imagine, it is far too early to be able to determine such a matter. Of course, if we find mineral riches or some other, abundant resources, ships will be able to transport them back to the mainland. I feel that the first matter to be taken care of is securing the colony, charting the nearby lands and making contact with any people we might come across."

536620

>>536595
I nod at this and lay my things to the side.
"New and tired, I thought I will be the first Smith here but looks like someone has a brighter head than mine and saw the opportunity to come here earlier eh?" I grin at her.

"My name is Askeladd and the guards told me to come here if you need help." I offer my paws to her.

536622

>>536613
"Wait, just a question! I'm looking for Twitchy, could you point me to him?"

536628

>>536613
Then patiently and obediently wait my turn.

536629

>>536601
First is Mayor Magistre herself; a mind-reader of considerable skill. Though cooperating with the Inquisition, her talents could be dangerous if she became corrupted.
Sticksen Stones is the appointed mage for the colony; a bit of an oddball and a graduate from Mage Academy, she has access to some impressively destructive spells.
a stallion named Amor also catches your eye, not so much for his magical records as for his lack thereof. The files seem a bit too sparse on his abilities.
Then there's Celery Stalk. A professor in Mage Academy at one point, his intellect was considered one of the prize possessions of the college, with several ground-breaking papers of his on the nature of Love magic being adopted into the academy's lessons. His presence here is… unexpected.

536633

>>536629
Interesting.
I'll overlook this later.
Time to get this in order.
Put the drinks cold '1d10'

Roll #1 10 = 10

536634

536636

>>536620
"Yup, came over with my dad! Still, I'm glad to have another smith around to help lighten the workload." She smiles up at you; you’re a full head taller than her, and you can’t see the bulky muscles you’d expect on a smith of any worth. “I’m Crookear, pleased ta-meetcha, Askeladd!” She eagerly thrusts a paw out to accept the handshake.
Roll.
>>536622
He sighs and rubs his brow. "I'm Twitchy, nice to meet you, yeah great, can this wait till later? I'm very busy right now."
>>536628
The stallion attempts to open a conversation with the goat. "So, what brings you to the new world? Hoping to grab some land for a farm?"
>>536619
"I appreciate that, but I need answers to more immediate concerns." Turning his back on you, he walks over to the window and starts looking at something you can't see. "The trees here seem to grow very large; ponies back home would pay handsomely for this timber. A few shiploads worth would more than cover the costs of investing in this colony. Yet some seem to disagree with this method of repayment."
"We need that wood!" Geneva snaps at him. "Most of the ponies here are sleeping in tents right now! Maybe once we've got roofs over our heads, we can start harvesting trees for you, but right now we need them!"

536637

>>536636
"Give me a place and a time sugar."

536641

>>536636
"I have to agree with Miss Geneva on this matter. Without proper shelter, the colony will be subject to the weather's whims. Houses to shelter ponies are needed. This is not a short term investment. Taking that wood now would never pay of as well as what could possibly come in the future, once everything is up and running."

536642

>>536633
It's still early spring, but the area seems to be in a small heat wave. Your expertly cooled drinks are perfect for fighting the heat. Ponies start to gather around the bar.
>>536637
"Tomorrow, eight in the morning- no, Inventorying seeds then; maybe noon- no, catalogueing food stores- Later tonight, once all the supplies are stored and catalogued, say around eight? Yes, eight should work, glad we had this talk, move along now." With that, he's off again.

536643

>>536636
I'm not a very talky pony.
Just wait my turn and stick close to my fellow nature pony.

536644

>>536642
"I will wait for you over dinner then."
Flap off, back to… Well, I need to learn what I'm supposed to do.
That guard from before.

536645

>>536629
"Come in, come in. Special offer for our opening. Drinks at only half price."
Ask names and try to get to know them.

536646

>>536636
'1d10'

Roll #1 2 = 2

536649

>>536641
Geneva seems surprised but happy at your support. Bean hums to himself. "Hmn, yes, you have a point. However, there's also the matter of food. While the supplies just brought in should last for six months, our ship will not return until eight months from now. In the meantime, you will need to find ways to gather enough to sustain yourselves until we return."
>>536643
They chat for a while; the goat is here because apparently her husband is one of the colony's guards, the unicorn seems to be looking to start a family of his own. Eventually, you get to where they're assigning places and are directed to the tent you'll be staying in until homes can be built. It seems you'll be sharing your tent with your nature friend and two other ponies.

536652

>>536649
"I see. I shall make it a priority to cultivate crops as soon as possible then, and possibly find food sources nearby as well."

536654

>>536645
They eagerly come in, and you start to make a decent profit. They all seem eager to talk, most looking forward to starting a new life here.
>>536644
He looks up as you approach. "Can I help you, ma'am?"
>>536646
You swear you can hear bones crack as your paw gets crushed in a vise-like grip. You realize too late that her muscles are toned to a ridiculous level, hence how she's able to work a smithy. Seeing your pained expression, she quickly releases her grip, paws flying to her mouth. "Sorry!"

536655

>>536649
I hope they don't snore…

536657

>>536654
Land to his side.
"So, beside moving the stuff and sorting things out, where are we supposed to go for accomodations?"

536660

>>536654
Any interesting folks among them?

536666

>>536652
"Mhm." He doesn't seem to acknowledge your response as he turns from the window and approaches you. "Would you mind coming with me? I believe I should show you something."
>>536655
Wheat Fields mirrors your thoughts, only she says them aloud. She gives you an appraising eye. "You don't look like a snorer…"
>>536657
He gestures towards a desk where several of the other settlers seem to have gathered.
>>536660
A zebra in armor and a mace at his side comes up and orders a drink. He's middle-aged, bearing several scars from past battles and, more interestingly, the symbol of Celestia. He keeps scanning the crowd hopefully before returning to his drink.

536668

>>536666
Nod.
Turn to Geneva.
"My apologies, I shall be back momentarily."
Back to Bean.
"Lead the way."

536669

>>536666
I cock my head.
"Do I?"

536670

>>536666
"Hello sir. How are you today?" I say while cleaning a glass.

536671

>>536666
Give him a little salute.
"Stay sharp pal.
You are a lifesaver."
Off to the desk!

536678

>>536668
"Actually," Geneva interjects, "Ah believe I will come with you." She glares pointedly at String Bean, who regards her indifferently.
>>536669
She shrugs. "How am I supposed to know? It's not like we've slept together before!"
>>536670
"Good," he grunts while sipping his drink. "Hoping to see my wife soon. She arrived on the ship today; pretty little goat with her mane in a braid. Have you seen her?" He seems eager to find her.
>>536671
Most of the crowd has already been assigned quarters, so the wait is minimal. Soon you're assigned a tent that you'll be sharing with three other ponies and told where you can find it.

536679

>>536678
"Do you snore?"

536681

>>536678
"Oh, do come along then!"

536682

>>536678
I hope they are nice mares.
Ask whoever is assigning said tents:
"So, let me throw an hipotetical question at you.
Would this place need a detective?"
Try to shine him my fairiest smile.
'1d10'

Roll #1 8 = 8

536689

>>536679
"No!" She scrunches. "I'm bored. Let's go check out that soil!"
>>536681
She pauses, as if she'd expected you to argue, then nods and follows you. String Bean leads you out of the courthouse and begins making his way towards the gates.
>>536682
A griffon returns your smile and turns away from the remaining settlers for a moment. "Well, I'm not sure about stuff like robberies or break-ins, but there's definitely a lot of mysteries that could use solving! Ponies say they see ponies in the woods, but when they turn around they're gone; figuring out which areas are safe and which are dangerous. Someone even said they found some kind of building out there on a scouting trip! Can you imagine?"

536691

>>536689
"Uh.
Not my usual kind of jobs but…
Scouting, you say?
Where do I sign up?"

536694

>>536689
"Will you tell me what this is about, or do you plan to keep me in suspense until we get there?"

536698

>>536689
I nod obediently.
"Yes, let us. I am curious."

536699

>>536678
Have I? '1d10

536700

>>536699
'1d10'

Roll #1 10 = 10

536701

>>536691
"The scouting party should return sometime this afternoon, you can ask them if you can join! Sorry if it's not the kind of work you're used to, but we don't have much crime here."
The mare next to him snorts. "Give it time, sug. You'll start getting cases soon enough." You see >>536694 being led towards the gates by a unicorn.
>>536694
"I intend to show you the fields you will be working with, so you better understand my position."
Geneva sidles up against you and whispers in your ear. "Watch yourself around him. He has a knack for making anything sound reasonable, whether it is or not."
>>536698
Seems several other ponies have the same idea, heading out the gates to inspect the fields just outside the town.
>>536700
You immediately recall a female goat you met during the voyage over; she was in her early fifties, and was pleasant conversation, even letting meditate with her. She'd talked about a husband serving as a God Fist who had left on an earlier ship to make sure the colony was defended. In fact, you see her right now, approaching the bar.

536703

>>536701
"I see."
Smile.
"Don't worry, I have a good head on my shoulders."

536705

>>536701
"I…"
Turn around to watch the mayor trot.
"-understand. Excuse me a moment."
Flap over there.
>>536703
And land down here.
"Lady Mayor, Magistre, was it?"

536707

>>536705
Nod.
"Indeed. Good day!"

536711

>>536707
"Busy?"

536714

>>536701
Well get to it!
Plants, weeds, the soil, everything! Inspect it all!
Do some test runs to see if anything can be grown with Miracle Grow here. like a dandelion or something

Roll #1 10 = 10

536716

>>536701
I nod "Is that her?"

536717

>>536703
"Glad to hear it." Several other ponies are coming out to inspect the fields; most of them are probably looking to be farmers, considering the way they're attempting to inspect the soil.
>>536705
As you leave, you can hear the mare and griffon start arguing about whether a climb in crime rate is inevitable.

You have all left the walls of the town and entered the fields.(Except Askeladd) Created by cutting down trees to build the town, stumps are still everywhere, as are several bushes and some thorny brambles. The clearing stretches quite some distance from the walls before reaching the edge of the forest.

536721

>>536711
"A bit. Is something the matter?"

>>536717
Take a good long look of it.
This will take some work for sure.

536723

>>536721
Wave off a paw.
"Mind if I join the tour?"

536724

>>536723
"Oh, feel free to!"

536725

>>536724
"Great!"

536728

>>536725
"You must be…"
Mind Reader to see if I can catch her name.

Roll #1 1 = 1

536729

>>536728
'1d10' to hide surprise.

Roll #1 1 = 1

536730

>>536714
As if eager to be found, finding different plants comes one after the other. Many species you recognize, some you don't. They are all impressively large. You even manage to find some rare herbs used in your more complicated potions and store them away for later.
>>536716
As he sees her, a wide smile breaks out on his face. Rising from his seat, he half-runs, half-jumps to her, wrapping her in his embrace and cutting off her surprised squeak with a passionate kiss. At first she tenses, but as she recognizes him she relaxes, eyes fluttering as she wraps her hooves around him.
>>536721
"As you can see, there are still stumps everywhere. The reason is simple: these trees have unusually strong roots. Digging them up will be a headache and a half."

536731

>>536730
How fertile does the soil look? What is the climate of this place anyway?

Roll #1 7 = 7

536732

>>536730
Ah young love.
It warms an old mans heart.

536745

>>536636
>>536654
"Ouch! Now that is a grip there." I grin and nod at her as I righted my hand.
"So, the guards appointed me here to help you in smithing if I ma not doing guard duty that is. Anything I can help you ?"

536746

>>536732
Well, more like middle-aged love. Eventually, the kiss breaks, giving the goat an opportunity to nuzzle under his chin. "I've missed you, Zephyr."
"And I you, Cheva."
>>536731
The soil seems extremely fertile, perfect for growing herbs for your potions. Which is strange considering how close you are to the ocean. Wheat Fields is more interested in the stumps. "Check these out, these root systems must stretch ridiculously far! They're going to be a real pain to dig up, I'll tell you that now."
>>536728
You jump as Bean speaks up, and the spell backfires, laying your mind wide open for her.
>>536729
Suddenly, you know every thought that's going through Magistre's head; her worries about running the colony, irritation towards the unicorn leading her around, uncertainty towards the jenny… Oh, and the fact that she just tried to read your f#$king mind!
Your startled shriek echoes both in the mind-space and through the field, turning all eyes toward you.

536747

>>536746
Look around, feigning embarassement.
"I… thought I saw a rat."
Stare at the Mayor.

536748

>>536746
>>536730
Quickly clear my throat.
"Oh, um, ah yes, the roots. They will be taken care of. Nothing that couldn't be taken care of."

>>536747
Well shit, this wasn't supposed to happen!
"…you were saying your name was?"

536750

>>536748
Recompose myself.
"Julià.
Private investigator."

536751

>>536746
I nod.
"Yes… but when they are gone you will have good fertile soil."

536752

>>536746
Make mental note of that.

536754

>>536746
I nod.
"Yes… but when they are gone you will have good fertile soil."

536755

>>536750
"I see. I am sure that your services will be highly useful for the colony."
Give her an awkward smile.

536757

>>536755
Smirk.
"So am I."

536758

536759

>>536757
Lower my voice and lean closer.
"Let us keep this between ourselves, shall we?"

536761

>>536759
Keep walking as if nothing happened.
"We shall."

536765

>>536761
"Much appreciated."

536767

>>536745
Her cheeks are red, and she starts rubbing her paws nervously. "I'm really, really sorry about that, I'm usually better at controlling that!"
>>536748
Several pairs of eyes linger, but eventually they return to exploring the fields. String Bean looks very miffed. "As I was saying, the work required to clear these fiends is too great to justify trying to make all the land stripped of trees harvestable. Even if you did focus on getting crops planted, it would be impossible to get enough crops growing to sustain the colony the three months between when your stores will run out and the ships arrive. Not to mention you wouldn't have anything to send back. And that would not go over well with the investors."
>>536751
Yeah, it sure will. Man, look at the size of this stuff! I've never seen rasberry bushes this big!"
>>536752
The middle-aged couple's relationship has been noted.

536771

>>536767
"What are you implying?"

536772

>>536767
"What do you think we should focus on growing here first, Wheat Fields?"

536774

>>536767
Yawn a bit and slow down, letting the others go ahead.
Where would the scouting party possibly return from…

536778

>>536767
Well, I don't want to disturb them, I'll ask him about his work later.

536785

>>536771
His horn ignites, and a bush nearby rustles as he pull something from it. "Even if you devote all your effort to crops now, you'd at best remain self-sustaining, and would not have anything left for winter. On the other hand, look at these." He floats the things from the bush to you; several raspberries twice the size of any you've seen before. "The already-present food-producing plants provide far more food than what you'll be able to grow. If you focus on foraging with some minimal development of a pittance of land for farming, you should not only be able to collect enough food to survive, but also be able to harvest more trees to send back."
>>536772
"I don't know, why not try them all?" She laughs and does a little twirl. "Man, this is awesome!"
>>536774
You don't see any sign of ponies returning anywhere.
All of you, roll a d10.
>>536778
Cheva gives him a sultry grin, then with a movement faster than you can track, she has his hoof locked behind his back and his knees buckled. Leaning up and whispering something in his ear, she giggles as his eyes widen, then shrieks happily as he grabs her and goes tearing off to who-knows-where. Their departure is met with several good-natured whistles and catcalls from the crowd.

536786

>>536785
'1d10'
I feel a bad moon rising.

Roll #1 1 = 1

536788

>>536785
Well okay.
Keep cleaning those glasses.
Anyone else interesting?
Maybe that Celery fella?

536789

>>536785
"…You just gave me a good idea. We could cultivate most of this land for the regular crops, and reserve the rest for these bushes. If we can cultivate them, I am sure it would give us more than enough food."

536790

>>536767
I began inspecting the forge.
"Oh dont be, I am a smith myself so I am used to stuff like that."
Not really.
"So tell me, what are you making right now? I take it the settlers has a need for axes or saw blades I take it? If not perhaps Scythes or farming plows I take it?"

536791

>>536785
"They require different amounts of water and time to grow… would make it harder on us to grow many types at the same time."

536792

>>536785
'1d10'

Roll #1 3 = 3

536793

>>536785
[1d10]

Roll #1 9 = 9

536794

>>536785

Roll #1 3 = 3

536795

>>536786
Other than various conversations and other noises from the settlers, it's completely quiet, giving you no reprieve from the thoughts reeling through your head at knowing the Mayor tried to read your mind. You also realize that some of the things you saw in her head were of a… 'private' nature. Attempting to not think about them only makes it worse.
Roll again, this time with a -1 penalty.
>>536788
Not really, just your average settlers here for a drink.
>>536789
>>536794
He seems to think about this for a moment. "I admit, the idea is intriguing. However, what do the investors stand to gain from this?"
You can't help but notice how quiet it is. Much more pleasant than the hustle and bustle of Canterlot.
>>536790
While the building is roughshod, the forge itself is one that any smith would feel proud of.
"Axe heads are the order of the day for now. Nails and brackets are also in high demand."
>>536793
While Wheat Fields continues to gush about what she's going to grow, you can't help but feel a sense of dread, like something's not quite right… and then it hits you. Everything's quiet. There aren't any bird calls or any sounds coming from the forest.
Even the seagulls have fallen silent.
The realization hits that when the woods go silent, it's usually caused by one thing…
Suddenly, you are very nervous about your proximity to the woods.

Everyone in the fields, roll again. You are still able to take actions as normal.

536796

>>536795
'1d10-1'
I've seen plenty of private, heck, I'm a private detective!
Let's find a place to sit.

Roll #1 9 - 1 = 8

536797

>>536795
Good thing I was taught to only fear one thing.
"… It is very quiet."
Perk my ears.
Unsheathe my sword.
"Very quiet."

536798

>>536795
Quiet is perfect for some outdoor reading, or doing paperwork.
"As I have stated before, once the surrounding areas have been charted, we can assess the resources. I am sure that there are plenty of them, but the more we are allowed on the growth of the colony at first, the more that will pay later. A bigger settlement means more ponypower to harvest whatever we find."

536799

>>536796
>>536798
Look at them uneasily, sword still drawn.

536800

>>536799
"…is something the matter?"

536801

>>536800
"Birds are quiet. That means nearby predator. Dangerous predator."

536802

>>536795
[1d10]

Roll #1 7 = 7

536803

>>536795
>

>>536801
Raise a brow and shifts my weight.
"Are you sure of this?"

Roll #1 8 = 8

536804

>>536803
I nod.

536805

>>536795
Where is Stout Keg? My assistant?

536806

>>536804
"That is concerning…"
Are there any guards around?

536807

>>536806
"Yes."

536808

>>536795
"Well if you want some help now I am free to sharpen those axe heads for you if you want." I smile.

536809

>>536797
>>536802
Wheat Fields grows quiet at this. "Ambrosia..?" she asks hesitantly as she flies behind you. "What do you see?"
Any response you could come up with vanishes as the brush rustles, barely giving you enough warning to sidestep as branches and bark tear through the space you occupied mere moments ago. You find yourself facing down a very large timberwolf. He growls and adopts a crouched stance and begins to circle you.
>>536796
As you find a stump to sit on, some of the brush explodes towards you. Acting on instinct, you kick your legs out, throwing it over your head as you roll off the stump. Regaining your feet, you find yourself facing a very angry timberwolf with a scar across his eye.
>>536798
Ambrosia's behavior put you on your guard, so when a timberwolf lunges from the woods you are able to duck under it with ease. Upset at it's failure, it turns its attention to Geneva, lunging at her with open jaws.
>>536805
Out on a scouting trip, according to the note he left you.
Your ears perk at the sound of screaming coming from the fields. Several other ponies notice as well and fall quiet.
>>536808
She smiles and opens her mouth to say something, then freezes as you both begin to hear screaming from the fields.

The other settlers in the fields are in a panic at the unexpected ambush. Two of them weren't fast enough, their screams tearing through the air as timberwolves swarm them. One timberwolf bigger than the rest tilts his head back and howls.

Alpha Timberwolf: 18/8 hits remaining Strange Timberwolf: 8/3 hits remaining
Large Timberwolf: 10/4 hits remaining Strange Timberwolf: 8/3 hits remaining
Limping Timberwolf: 6/2 hits remaining Strange Timberwolf: 8/3 hits remaining
Scarred Timberwolf: 8/3 hits remaining Strange Timberwolf: 8/3 hits remaining

Settler #1: Helpless/4 hits remaining Settler #2: 2/5 hits remaining

Ambrosia: 5/5 hits remaining
Magistre: 5/5 hits remaining
Julia: 5/5 hits remaining

As the screams reach the town, the bell begins to clang the alarm. Reinforcements will arrive shortly.

536810

>>536809
"Whoa there son!"
Fly up, out of reach.
Fuck, gotta keep the others safe.
Dive down, trying to pick one of the wolves as if he was a prey.
'1d10+1'

Roll #1 6 + 1 = 7

536811

>>536809
Grab my hunting rifle.
"Folks, seems like somepony needs help." KERCHACK
This old guy has some teeth.
Lock my coffer.
And run to the fields.
What's going on.

536812

>>536809
Draw my pistol with TK and aim at the Timberwolves head, then fire!
Don't let it get to Geneva!

Roll #1 7 = 7

536813

>>536809
"What the hell?"
Get my sword ready and run to the field!
Sentried Sharpen

536814

>>536809
Head straight for the alpha circling me. Don't even flinch and try to hit it with my runed sword.

Roll #1 5 = 5

536815

>>536810
The timberwolf yelps as you crash into him spraying sap from several cuts in his back. Backing away, he and two others begin circling you.
>>536811
You're a lot faster than the rest, who have to go back to their tents or the armory to retrieve their weapons. You find several timberwolves attacking the colonists; two of the colonists are trapped and getting swarmed by timberwolves.
>>536812
Your shot blasts bark off the top of it's head, snapping its head to the side as the jaws miss her by inches. In a moment of panic, she headbutts the timberwolf, sending them both reeling and clutching their heads.
>>536813
Crookear joins you, carrying a surprisingly-modest longsword. Your sword is sharpened and ready to go as you find a pack of timberwolves attacking the colonists. Two colonists are already pinned.
>>536814
He dodges faster than any wolf you've seen before, managing to land a powerful bite on your shoulder.

Another settler screams as she gets caught by the timberwolves, the others cries growing louder as the wolves tear into them.

Alpha Timberwolf: 18/8 hits remaining Strange Timberwolf: 6/3 hits remaining
Large Timberwolf: 10/4 hits remaining Strange Timberwolf: 3/3 hits remaining #+1 to all rolls against this creature next turn
Limping Timberwolf: 6/2 hits remaining Strange Timberwolf: 8/3 hits remaining
Scarred Timberwolf: 8/3 hits remaining Strange Timberwolf: 8/3 hits remaining


Settler #1: Helpless/3 hits remaining Settler #2: helpless/4 hits remaining
Settler #3: helpless/4 hits remaining

Ambrosia: 3/5 hits remaining
Magistre: 5/5 hits remaining
Julia: 5/5 hits remaining
Askeladd: 7/5 hits remaining
Figworth: 5/5 hits remaining

You see a distant form fly up from the town, pause, then take off higher into the sky.
Captain Cloud Cutter arrives in: 3 turns

536816

>>536815
Lunge and stab the ones who are pinning the colonist!
Slam
'1d10+3'

Roll #1 3 + 3 = 6

536817

>>536815
Circling a flier is not a smart thing to do. Flap my wings and stride over the one wolf with the scar.
Lifestream its energy towards settler #1
'1d10'

Roll #1 4 = 4

536818

>>536815
BAM BAM on that wolf '1d10'

Roll #1 3 = 3

536819

>>536815
Reload and shoot the same timberwolf again, protect my secretary!
"Miss Geneva, get to cover!"

Roll #1 1 = 1

536820

>>536815
Swing my sword at it again!

Roll #1 9 = 9

536821

>>536816
You knock one of them of and have succeeded in diverting their attention. Crookear goes after one as well.
>>536817
you don't have lifestream. One of them gets a lucky lunge and scores a hit on you.
>>536818
Which wolf? unable to settle on a single target, your shot goes wide, allowing one to get close and claw you!
>>536819
In your haste to reload, you accidentally use too much gunpowder. the resulting explosion knocks you on your back. You look up to see a very large timberwolf growling down at you.
>>536820
This time you strike true, making him recoil and snarl at you.

Alpha Timberwolf: 15/8 hits remaining Strange Timberwolf: 6/3 hits remaining
Large Timberwolf: 10/4 hits remaining Strange Timberwolf: 3/3 hits remaining
Limping Timberwolf: 5/2 hits remaining Strange Timberwolf: 8/3 hits remaining
Scarred Timberwolf: 8/3 hits remaining Strange Timberwolf: 8/3 hits remaining

Settler #1: Helpless/3 hits remaining Settler #2: helpless/3 hits remaining
Settler #3: helpless/3 hits remaining

Captain Cloud Cutter arrives in: 2 turns

536822

>>536821
Ambrosia: 3/5 hits remaining
Magistre: helpless/5 hits remaining
Julia: 3/5 hits remaining
Askeladd: 7/5 hits remaining
Figworth: 2/5 hits remaining

536823

>>536821
Another!

Roll #1 2 = 2

536824

>>536821
THAT ONE '1d10'

Roll #1 1 = 1

536825

>>536821
Continue charging them and smashing them using my sword, deflecting, parrying and dodging their attacks from all directions. Put these beast down and protect the villlagers
Slam
'1d10+3'

Roll #1 6 + 3 = 9

536826

>>536821
Whoops.
Bash him from the above then!
Earthen Strike!
"Run, you fools!"
'1d10'

Roll #1 8 = 8

536827

>>536821
I'd roll aside but I don't want this skirt to get dirty!
Jump back up to my hooves quick!

Roll #1 7 = 7

536828

>>536825
Take note I am attacking one of those timberwolves who are pinning the settlers in hope they let them go.

536829

>>536823
He intercepts your charge and slams you into the ground, knocking the wind out of you. His jaws are about to close around your neck when a yellow blur slams into him. "Leave her alone, you meany!"
>>536824
It's already in too close, knocking your rifle aside and knocking you to the ground. Fangs sink deep into your leg, leaving a bloody gash that redefines how you know pain.
>>536825
Your strikes leave the wolf staggering, his packmates closing between you and him. Crookear cracks one of them in the head for their trouble.
>>536826
Earth hard as granite surrounds your fist as you slam down on top of one, splintering it from nose to tail.
>>536827
You get up in time to see Geneva buck the timberwolf in the shins. She throws you your pistol, already reloaded, and gives you a nod.

lpha Timberwolf: 15/8 hits remaining Strange Timberwolf: 6/3 hits remaining
Large Timberwolf: 8/4 hits remaining Strange Timberwolf: 3/3 hits remaining
Limping Timberwolf: 1/2 hits remaining Strange Timberwolf: 5/3 hits remaining
Scarred Timberwolf: 8/3 hits remaining Strange Timberwolf: helpless/3 hits remaining

One of the settlers manages to pull himself up, but he's hurt bad. Another is still down, but is no longer being harrassed by wolves, as they are focusing on Julia now. The last ones cries slowly grow weaker as the wolves start to drag him towards the forest.

Settler #1: 3/3 hits remaining Settler #2: helpless/3 hits remaining
Settler #3: helpless/2 hits remaining

Ambrosia: helpless/5 hits remaining
Magistre: 5/4 hits remaining
Julia: 3/5 hits remaining
Askeladd: 7/5 hits remaining
Figworth: Helpless/4 hits remaining

HELP ARRIVES NEXT TURN

536830

>>536829
Get up…

Roll #1 9 = 9

536831

>>536829
"Oh dear, the old bones…"
Get up. '1d10'

Roll #1 1 = 1

536832

>>536829
Fly down and help figworth up.
"Hold on old man!"

Roll #1 2 = 2

536833

>>536829
"Much appreciated!"
Discharge it at the timberdoggy right away!

Roll #1 2 = 2

536834

>>536830
You get up just in time to see the Alpha catch Wheat Field's leg in his jaws, whipping his head and slamming her into a tree. Her whole body spasms, then goes limp.
>>536831
Your old bones are more brittle than you thought, allowing the wolves to tear into you without mercy.
>>536832
You almost reach him before you're tackled from behind. you can hear jaws snapping as it tries to get a grip on your neck.
>>536833
Another one crashes into your side, sending your shot wild.

With a roar, the rest of the settlement arrives on the scene, armed to the teeth. Seeing this, the Alpha gives a howl that is echoed by the rest as they begin to back away.

Alpha Timberwolf: 15/8 hits remaining Strange Timberwolf: 6/3 hits remaining
Large Timberwolf: 8/4 hits remaining Strange Timberwolf: 3/3 hits remaining
Limping Timberwolf: 1/2 hits remaining Strange Timberwolf: 5/3 hits remaining
Scarred Timberwolf: 8/3 hits remaining Strange Timberwolf: 8/2 hits remaining

One settler has stopped struggling altogether, the other's movements are feeble and inneffective as they are picked up by the timberwolves.

Settler #1: 3/3 hits remaining Settler #2: helpless/2 hits remaining
Settler #3: helpless/1 hits remaining

Ambrosia: 5/4 hits remaining
Magistre: 1/4 hits remaining
Julia: Helpless/5 hits remaining
Askeladd: 7/5 hits remaining
Figworth: Helpless/2 hits remaining

#
The wolves turn to the forest and begin to leave with their prey.

536835

>>536834
Stand up, quick!

Roll #1 6 = 6

536836

>>536834
Natural Remedy on settler 3.

Roll #1 4 + 2 = 6

536837

>>536834
Oh dear, get them off me '1d10'

Roll #1 3 = 3

536838

>>536834
"GUARDS! STOP THEM! DO NOT LET THEM TAKE ANYPONY!"
Shoot the on that is trying to abduct a settler!

Roll #1 1 = 1

536839

>>536835
You're able to get up as the wolves vanish back into the forest.
>>536836
You manage to fish the right potion out of your pack and throw it at the settler, exploding in a cloud of green dust. Coughing, he comes back to life and starts struggling against the wolves.
Out of the corner of your eye, you see the Alpha struggling to drag Wheat into the forest. She's fighting with all she's got, but she's losing.
>>536837
They're gone, but not before one last parting blow splits your stomach wide open. You should probably avoid moving as much as possible.
>>536838
Your shot hits the settler Ambrosia just healed, sending him into shock.

As the rest of the settlers arrive the wolves turn tail and return to the forest.

Alpha Timberwolf: 15/8 hits remaining Strange Timberwolf: 6/3 Gone
Large Timberwolf: Gone Strange Timberwolf: 3/3 hits remaining
Limping Timberwolf: 1/2 hits remaining Strange Timberwolf: 5/3 hits remaining
Scarred Timberwolf: Gone Strange Timberwolf: Gone

Settler #1: 3/3 hits remaining Settler #2: Gone
Settler #3: helpless/1 hits remaining Wheat Fields: Helpless/2 hits remaining

Ambrosia: 5/4 hits remaining
Magistre: 1/4 hits remaining
Julia: 5/4 hits remaining
Askeladd: 7/5 hits remaining
Figworth: Helpless/1 hits remaining

#The wolves are almost completely gone.

536840

>>536839
That's not good. Better help her too.
Attack the alpha. Slash and stab.

Roll #1 8 = 8

536841

>>536839
Fly up and follow the wolves carrying farmers!

Roll #1 8 = 8

536842

>>536839
Maybe I should.

536843

>>536839
"Circle around, do NOT let them get away!"
Damnit, calm down when I aim!
Hit the wolves this time!

Roll #1 6 = 6

536844

>>536840
You hit him in the jaw hard enough to send shards of wood spraying everywhere, forcing him to drop Wheat Fields. He gives you a long look before turning and vanishing after his pack.
>>536841
The branches and thorny vines make navigating though the forest difficult, but you manage to catch up to the wolf carrying one of the settlers. Act fast before you lose them for good.
>>536843
Your shot barely nicks the wolf carrying one of the settlers, but it's enough to stagger him as he dissappears into the forest. Maybe someone can catch him before he gets away?
>>536842
It's a strange sensation, watching what you assume was your breakfast making it's way through your intestines. Luckily, they seem to have missed rupturing anything, though the way it's sloshing about is decidedly unsettling.
Sweetherb rushed to your side, gasping as she sees the extent of the damage. "Stars above! All right, I need you to take deep breaths and hold very still."

536845

>>536844
Again, dive down, divebombing into the wolf's head, to break it apart and carry the settler with me.

Roll #1 5 + 1 = 6

536846

>>536844
Go after them. This pony was taught to protect at all cost. Try to use my wings.

Roll #1 2 = 2

536847

>>536844
"Guards! Pursue the wolves, rescue the ponies!"
I'm not an action mare, but I'd be a terrible leader if I didn't risk my neck for my ponies
Run towards the forest, try to catch up with the wolves!

Roll #1 10 = 10

536848

>>536845
You hit him hard enough to make him drop the settler, though it's doubtful you did any real damage to him. He bares his teeth at you and snarls as he crouches aggressively over his prize.
>>536846
As you spread your wings, the injury to your shoulder makes itself known, sending you crashing to the ground in spasms.
>>536847
Letting loose a roar that would make and Ursa Major quake in fear, you tear through the woods after the timberwolf, catching up with him, then overtaking him and slamming him into a tree. The timberwolf takes one look at you and decides it's not worth the trouble, dissappearing into the forest with his tail between his legs. The settler, though unable to move, is still awake, and is staring at you wide-eyed. He's probably going to remember that.

536849

>>536848
"I'd run if I were you!"
Weather control.
I need thunder, I need lightning. I need to charge it up.

Roll #1 10 = 10

536850

>>536848
Get up and fight through it. I can handle pain. I was trained to.
Can't let the mayor down… find her.

Roll #1 9 = 9

536851

>>536844
Let the doc do his job.

536852

>>536848
Holster my pistol.
"Could you walk with my help?"

536853

>>536849
Your eyes turn a blinding shade of white, energy crackling around your claws as you call upon this world's forces of nature. Storm clouds cast the world into shadow as far as the eye can see, bolts of lightning fill the skies and illuminate your visage. Right now, you are the spitting image of Gorth, the Griffonic God of Storms- minus the hammer.
The timberwolf runs like Cerberus himself is giving chase, yelping and baying like a frightened pup.
Too bad the settler was unconcious and missed the show.
>>536850
You find her standing over one of the settlers, her hair unkempt and covered in scratches and cuts from her mad dash through the woods. Her chest heaves with every breath, and as you approach she turns to face you, her eyes burning with an intensity that almost stops you in your tracks. Then in an instant it's gone, and the Mayor is once again normal, if a bit banged up.
>>536851
She avoids the stomach wound for now, choosing to focus on the gash in your leg. "First you go crazy on us, then you get you're head busted open, now you're lying here with your stomach torn open, and it's still not sunset yet!" She remarks grimly. "You're going to be a trouble patient, aren't you?"

536854

>>536853
I grimace.
"My previous doctor always said I….agh…was a wild one."

536855

>>536853
Thanks Gorth he missed it.
Now put him over my shoulder and fly back.

536856

>>536852
He stares at you for a moment, struggling to get his mouth to work right, then blinks and gives you a dazed look as he finally forces the words out.
"…You…shot me…"

536857

>>536853
"… Mayor. Are you okay?"
Natural Remedy on the settler?

Roll #1 7 + 2 = 9

536858

>>536856
"I apologize for that. I can assure you that I was aiming for the timberwolf, to try and make it let you go."

>>536857
"Fine, I am fine, yes. Tend to the wounded first."

536859

>>536858
"I am sorry. I should have been quicker to warn everyone."

536860

>>536859
"It's not your fault. We were all caught by surprise.
I just hope we didn't lose anypony."

536861

>>536857
Grabbing an unfinished potion, you mix one of the herbs you harvested earlier into it, then have the settler drink it. After a moment he begins to glow green as his hide begins to stitch itself back together, becoming much more coherent.
Unfortunately, you don't know any potions strong enough to bring back his missing leg.
>>536858
As Ambrosia's potion takes effect, he shakes his head and blinks, then gives you an awed look. "You came after me. You could have just let them go, but you came back for me." He grunts in pain, tensing up as the gunshot wound begins to close until the round pops out. "Strange day today." He looks up and furrows his brow. "Didn't know we scheduled rain today." You realize that everything's suddenly gotten a lot darker, and that the sky is filled with stormclouds.
>>536855
Several settlers rush to help you as you emerge from the woods, laying him down gently next to Figworth and start putting pressure on his injuries. As you sit down on a stump and rest, you are approached by Captain Cloud Cutter. "Would you mind explaining what the HELL just happened here?!"

536862

>>536861
"Wolves?"

536863

>>536861
Pick him up then, he needs to be carried.
"You must see the doctor."

536864

>>536861
"What kind of mayor would I be if I didn't try my best to keep my people safe?"
Frown.

>>536863
"The weather is not…self controlling here, is it?"

536865

>>536864
"Did we get all of 'em back?"

536866

>>536864
Look at her and cock my head.
"I do not know that yet."

536867

>>536866
"Let's hope not."

>>536865
Frown.
"I'm not sure… we must regroup."

536868

>>536867
"Well, I saved one, you saved one…
How many were taken?"

536869

>>536868
"Two settlers."

536870

>>536869
Let out a sigh of relief.
"We are good then."

536871

>>536868
>>536869
I sigh as well.
"Thank heavens…"

536872

>>536854
She just shakes her head and returns to her work. The sky fills with storm clouds, though it doesn't quite click for several minutes. The adrenaline must be wearing off. You see Julia emerge from the woods carrying one of the settlers, who is promptly laid out next to you.
>>536863
"Yes, good idea," he murmurs, slumping against you. As you emerge from the woods, you are quickly led to another injured settler and, to your shock, Figworth, whose stomach is split wide open.
>>536864
"Thank you. I owe you… owe you one. Still shot me, though." He chuckes, then winces and clutches his chest.
As you emerge from the woods, almost every eye in the field turns to you. As Ambrosia carries the settler to the doctors, you find yourself the center of the colonies rather silent attention.

536873

>>536872
Who is it?

536874

>>536872
… Where is the doctor? What about Wheat Fields?
Natural remedy on the other injured settler.

>>536873
"You are very hurt."

Roll #1 8 + 2 = 10

536875

>>536872
I guess Cutter doesn't answer then?
Just follow the Mayor.

536876

>>536872
"You don't owe me anything, don't be ridiculuous."

Clear my throat once we arrive.
"I am very sorry for what just happened, everyone. I will make sure that such an incident could never happen again."

536877

>>536874
I cough.
"Oh, don't worry, I'll be fine."

536878

>>536873
Nopony you recognize. Whoever he is, he's missing a leg and a few chunks of meat.
>>536874
Sweetherb is currently tending to Figworth. In the chaos, it's likely you were the only one who saw where Wheat Fields fell. The other settler sighs as your concoction knits most of his flesh back together, his chest beginning to rise and fall at a steady rate.
>>536875
Sorry about that.
Cutter fumes for a few minutes. "Wolves? is that all it was? Where the Fuck did they come from, and what the hell were they trying to do? Wolves don't attack large groups of ponies like that! Stragglers, sure, but that many ponies in one place?" His breathing is coming short and rapid.
>>536876
The crowd remains silent. Geneva approaches you slowly, looking you up and down. "Damn," she finally says, "You're one scary mare when you're angry."

536879

>>536878
"I do not take threats to the community that is under my supervision lightly."

536880

>>536878
Oh dear.
"Doctor, did you know I grew up in Manehattan?
Ah it was a very different place back then…much simpler…"

536881

>>536878
"Hey big guy, hold your ponies here.
They were wolves, they were many, they blindsided us.
Not much we could do."

536882

>>536878
Oh.
Look for Wheat Fields then!

536883

>>536879
She shakes her head and smiles. "That was crazy what you did. If the people didn't trust you to lead them before, they sure do now."
You notice your pistol lying where you dropped it when you went charging into the woods. Now that you think about it that probably wasn't the best decision.
>>536880
"That's good, keep talking, I need you to stay awake, okay?" She's working on closing your stomach now; it's very slow going.
>>536881
"Look, I'm not blaming you, I just…" Giving a cry of frustration, he kicks a stump, sending splinters flying. "DAMNIT! How the FUCK did we miss this?"
>>536882
When you find her, she's finally starting to stir. "Hey Ambs," she croaks weakly, "you dead too?" Her wing and two of her legs are broken, and the irregular lumps in her chest lead you to surmise she has several broken ribs.

536884

>>536883
Natural Remedy?
"No. Sorry Wheat Fields.
… The other settlers are alive too."

Roll #1 1 + 2 = 3

536885

>>536883
"Maybe you need a few more eyes."

536886

>>536883
I have telekinesis. Mind bullets!
… It was a bit of a rush.
"I did not do this to prove myself, I did it to save the life of a pony. Let's get the wounded back inside now, however. We cannot risk staying out here in the open any longer."

536887

>>536883
"It was mostly fields you know, so many fields. Hard to believe nowadays. Me and the other colts played out on the streets in the center of Manehattan. Streets were much less crowded then they are now. We could play with the ball, of course they didn't call them ball back then, it was a trop. That's what they called them, throw the trop. They stopped doing that when the flood came in manehattan, we had to all walk on the…"
Ramble ramble.

536888

>>536884
"Really? Fuck… that means I'm stuck like this." She tries to laugh, but instead starts coughing violently. You fumble with your potion kit and accidentally drop a sneeze-inducing potion, covering both Wheat Fields and yourself. You both start sneezing uncontrollably, each sneeze sending her clutching her chest in agony.
>>536885
"Not just that, we need to be ready for them when they come back. From now on, nopony leaves the walls without an armed escort. We need to start training ponies how to fight so we can raise a militia if need be."
>>536887
Done. Your stomach is all stitched up. You find yourself drifting off as several strong legs pick you up and carry you inside the walls.
>>536886
"That's why they'll trust you. I agree, let's get everyone inside." Within a few minutes the whole colony is back inside the walls, the gates swinging shut on a much more solemn town.

PAUSE

536889

>>536888
Why do I even have a potion like that!
Fix it!

Roll #1 10 + 2 = 12

536890

>>536888
"You have fun with that."
Stand up.
"Now, if you don't mind, I'm gonna get checked."

536891

>>536889
It was intended as something to throw at the bad guys so you could get away! Luckily, you have an antidote handy just in case of situations like this. In fact, it seems to have the added side effect of being a painkiller, since her breathing grows significantly easier than before.

536892

>>536891
Carefully pick her up and bring her to the doctor.
"You will be fine, Wheat Fields. No worries."

536893

>>536892
You bring her inside the town, the gates sliding shut behind you. As you take Wheat to the Townhouse which has been turned into a temporary hospital, you note that there are significantly more sentries posted on the wall, though most of them clearly don't know what they're doing.
When Sweetherb sees Wheat Fields, she heaves a huge sigh of relief. "Oh thank goodness!"

536894

>>536893
"I am here to help, doctor."

536895

>>536894
"And I'm glad for that. This mare shouldn't be so difficult; it looks bad, but broken bones are considerably easier to fix than missing legs. She's probably going to be recovering for the next few months, though. Now, here's what I need you to do…"
#pause for real

537747

The town is in utter pandemonium in the aftermath of the attack, with everypony trying to find their friends and family, trying to figure out what exactly just happened. The walls are lined with armed townsponies whose eyes flick about nervously, searching the woods for any sign of movement. The once-sunny day is now overcast with rumbling storm clouds, a perfect mirror to the shift in attitude over the course of the last few hours.
Ambrosia
Some of the lower rooms in the Townhouse have been converted into a makeshift hospital, where the injured colonists are being cared for. Sweetherb is moving from patient to patient, doing what she can before moving on. All five injured ponies are stable, but their injuries will be slow to heal. You are currently watching over Wheat Fields, her leg and wing in casts. She's breathing, but is no longer awake.
Figworth
You are lying in bed in the makeshift hospital. Your stomach is sewn shut, but moving is still probably a bad idea. Everything hurts, even with the mild sedatives Sweetherb gave you. At least you no longer feel the urge to chew off your own leg.
Magistre
Your office has exploded into a shouting match between a furious Captain Cloud Cutter, an irritated String Bean, a frightened-looking pegasus stallion thin as a rail, and some haughty unicorn in Mage Academy robes. Geneva is busy trying to keep the populace calm and away from the office, so you have to deal with this yourself.
Julia
You are currently checking the walls for any potential breaches or weak spots at Cloud Cutter's request. You hear shouting along the walls, then hear the gates being opened.
Askeladd
You and Crookear are currently in the forge, working on making additional weapons for the town. Crookear turns to you with a worried expression. "What the heck was all that? Were we seriously just attacked by timberwolves?"

537752

>>537747
Enter my office.
"Everyone quiet down this instant, that is an order. And order I will make now. You will all have your chance to speak, but this yelling is counterproductive."
Sit down at my desk.

537753

>>537747
Did they receive painkillers of sort?
"Doctor. Do you require any additional medicine?"

537755

>>537747
I nod at Crookear.
"They attacked some of the ponies in this town and almost got dragged if not for us and the mayor. What we need is more weapons and some sort of wall to keep those beasts out of here.

537766

>>537752
It takes a minute, but you finally get everyone to quiet down. The first to speak is Captain Cloud Cutter. "I don't think I need to tell you that we can't let this happen again."
>>537753
Some mild sedatives, but it appears that Sweetherb is having to focus on keeping them stable at the moment. Luckily, two others beside Wheat are unconscious, and the third settler's injuries aren't as extensive as the others. He's still in quite a bit of pain, but is trying to hide it.
>>537755
"Well, we've got a wall already, so there's that. The ponies attacked were out in the fields at the time. Still, I've never heard of timberwolves just… attacking a large group like that before." She turns back to the forge. "We don't have much ore to spare, so we'll have to be smart in how we use it so we can make enough. I'm more used to making tools and stuff for construction and the like, not weapons. Got any ideas?"

537770

>>537766
Okay.
Try to miracle grow some opium poppy.

Roll #1 3 = 3

537771

>>537766
No shit, Sherclop.
"I am aware. Needless to say, I have already started planning how to avoid such incidents in the future. I will discuss the details with everyone involved once the plans are more coherent."

537773

>>537766
I began to fashion spear heads.
"Why not make spears insteads of swords. Its light on ore and as for the shaft there is enough wood for us here to to equip everyone.

537779

>>537770
Wood floors are not very conducive to the growing of flowers.
>>537771
"While I respect your foresight, madame mayor, I am the Captain of the Guard, and as such am your advisor on matters of the colony's protection. Our first task should be clearing the forest around the town to give us a buffer zone so we can see things like a feral wolf pack coming."
>>537773
She nods and begins hammering as well; rolling to see how she does. '1d10'
"You were pretty impressive out there. I guess you're no stranger to fighting, right?"
Roll to see how you're doing.

Roll #1 4 = 4

537781

>>537779
She's got the general shape down, but even you would have trouble wielding a spear shaft big enough for that spearhead.

537783

>>537779
No.
Let's go outside then. Try again there. Hopefully mother nature wishes to answer to my wishes today

Roll #1 5 = 5

537788

>>537779
Nod.
"Exactly. That was my idea as well. Get a clear line of sight, and erect guard towers at strategical locations of the wall. I assume all of your guards can be employed on a moment's notice should an attack on us commence?"

537790

>>537779
I kept quiet and just hammer away.
'1d10'

Roll #1 1 = 1

537795

>>537783
You grow a very pretty batch of tulips, but those settlers might not be able to appreciate this tasty snack until later.
>>537788
"Of course, but we've only got six trained professionals to call upon. We need to start training the rest of the townsponies how to defend themselves, establish a militia-"
"You thick-headed imbecile!" the wiry pegasus interupts him. "We're already going to have trouble producing enough to last us until the next ship arrives, and you want to distract workers by teaching them to swing swords about like idiots?"
"While I agree with clearing the forest around town," String Bean speaks up, "I must ask how you intend to store enough lumber to start making payments towards your debt if you're using it all building pointless towers. The walls are clearly sufficient to keep out the wild beasts already; they waited until we were out in the fields to attack."
>>537790
Your hand is still aching from that handshake earlier, and you accidentally drop a hot piece of iron on your foot.

537801

>>537747
Flock over there, flying above the gates to see what's happening.

537803

>>537795
Not very useful, no.
Maybe I can find some herbs then?

Roll #1 9 = 9

537805

>>537795
"The food situation will be taken care of. I am sure we will be able to solve it, but teaching the townsponies to know how to defend themselves is important nevertheless."
To Bean.
"Mister Bean, there might be other beasts lurking out there, not just timberwolves. If the colony perishes, you won't get any sort of payment. I'm sure as a very clever businesspony, you can see how that is not profitable."

537814

>>537801
A few guards jump at your sudden appearance and point their crossbows at you, but relax when they see you're one of them and return to watching the woods. You can see a small group of ponies entering the gates from the woods.
>>537803
Some searching for a while, you find some naturally-growing poppies right behind the Townhouse. This should be more than enough for the injured settlers.
>>537805
"I sincerely doubt there are wild beasts out there that can beat a group of archers stationed on a wall too high for them to climb," Bean scoffs.
"I didn't think we'd have timberwolves attacking us out of the blue either, and look what happened!" Cutter snaps back. "And as for 'wasting time,' they'll actually be doing something productive while they wait in town, because there is no way in Tartarus I'm sending anypony out of these walls without an armed escort from here on out!"
"Armed escort? That sounds like an incredibly strong blow to our productivity."

537816

>>537814
Flap down there.
"The explorers I assume."

537817

>>537814
"Losing workers is even more unproductive. A few guards stationed with the ones working the fields is more than reasonable."
To Bean.
"I will not take any chances."

537818

>>537814
Now I just need to harvest them and grind them up into proper opium.

Roll #1 8 = 8

537825

>>537816
One of the ponies looks up and nods. "Yup. Just got back from mapping out some of the land 'round here, finding the best paths between the town and that river. Did something happen while we were gone? Seems to be a lot more ponies on the wall. Everypony's seems tense, too."
>>537817
Bean scowls for just a fraction of a second before returning to his standard indifference. "I suppose I have no choice but to trust your judgement, then."
"Wait just a minute," The wiry pegasus speaks up, adjusting the glasses perched on his nose, "if all the wood's getting used for these towers, how are we supposed to build houses? Right now, everypony's sleeping in tents! The last thing we need is an outbreak of hypothermia if we get a long period of heavy rain!"
>>537818
You grind it up into that special white powder. You a professional drug-maker, yo.

537829

>>537825
Let's go back inside and offer this to those who need it then.

537831

>>537825
"Wolves attacked and almost got away with two of us."

537832

>>537825
Put a hoof to my temple.
"A few very basic towers should not make a huge difference. They will not be to withstand a siege, they will be to give the guards some much needed vantage. The houses should, and will still be built."

537838

>>537829
Sweetherb gives you a glance as you come back in, then does a double-take when she sees what you're carrying. "Is that… is that what I think it is? Ambrosia, where did you get that?"
>>537832
"And what about the land we do get clear-cut? If all our attention is getting focused on cutting down trees, we'll never be able to collect enough food to last us until the next ship. If you wait to long, the planting season will end before we even have land to plant!"
"How are we supposed to keep an eye on that many ponies at once?" Cloud Cutter barks. "We're spread thin as it is, and having so many ponies in two different places would push my guards to the breaking point!"
>>537831
His eyes widen at this. "What? Why did they wander into the forest on their own? We've all been told not to venture into the forest without a group until we know what's in there. Who was it that got injured?"
There were actually five settlers injured; Wheat Fields, Figworth, and three others. They're all being cared for at the Townhouse right now.

537840

>>537838
Stare at her.
"I made it."

537842

>>537838
"This will not be easy, I am aware."
To the pegasus.
"Half the workforce should work on the food while the other works on the woods. The guards should be able to oversee both, while the city will be guarded by a patrol, since we cannot afford to station guards everywhere while the workers are protected.
Have you considered turning to the local flora, by the way? Those berry bushes could be cultivated."

537846

>>537838
"You are fraintending.
They attacked the village."

537853

>>537840
She cautiously sniffs a little, her brows furrowing as she steps back. "This is opium, Ambrosia. Do you…" she sighs and shakes her head. "I suppose I should really be thanking you; some strong anesthetics are just what we need right now. I just… you know how dangerous this stuff can be, right?"
>>537842
Cloud Cutter explodes at this. "We just got torn apart by something from those woods, and you want to send groups of ponies IN?! With no idea where or what they'll find, just 'search for berries and hope you don't die?' How the fuck am I supposed to keep these ponies safe if you try to send them off to their deaths?!"
Once again, the room explodes into one giant shouting match.
>>537846
"What?! Why would… what kind of wolves were these, if they attacked us openly?" Someone from the back of the group pushes his way forward, his eyes wide. "There was a middle-aged stallion on the boat that just arrived today," he blurts at you, then gives a decent description of Figworth. "Have you seen him? Do you know if he's all right?"

537854

>>537853
"Uh… The old man? No, I haven't actually."

537858

>>537747
Oh dear, that was quite something.
Time to be the old man.
"Hello…hello?"

537861

>>537853
"Yes. It's very addictive. Must take care with proper dosage."

537864

>>537853
Bang on the table with my hoof.
"Do I need to throw somepony out of this room?!"
Groan.
"The berry bushes were still present on the fields, from what I recall. Extract seeds from those, as well as any that the deforestation workers find along their way. I did not mean to send ponies in the woods by themselves."

537867

>>537854
"So you've seen him, but don't know where he is?" The stallion's expression is pleading; you observe that he's barely old enough to have lost that gangly teenage look.
You did see Figworth when you brought that settler back. You saw that his stomach had been split wide open and his leg torn up pretty badly. You also know he's being treated in the townhouse right now. Unless, of course, you're feigning ignorance for the kid's sake.
>>537861
She sighs and smiles, though it's a bit tighter than an honest smile would be. "Right, I… you are a professional after all, I should have known you'd know. It's just… I'm always nervous around narcotics, since my…" Her mouth hangs open for a moment, then she sighs and hangs her head. "Sorry, let my personal bias leak in for a moment there. Let's get this divided properly and distributed to these poor-" She is distracted as >>537858 groans and appears to be regaining conciousness.
>>537858
Sweetherb approaches your bed. "Hey there, troublepony. How are you holding up?"
>>537864
You are completely ignored by the other occupants in the room, the volume rising until the doors slam open and Geneva charges in. "AULL RAIGHT, EVE'YPONY OUT!" Ignoring their squaks and bellows of protest, she bodily pushes them all out the door and slams it shut, muffling their indignant shouting.
She slumps against the door and sighs. "So'wy, Ma'um - *ahem* sorry, ma'am. I heard things start to get crazy in here and figured I needed to stop it before they got out of control."

537869

>>537867
"Hello there miss, where am I?"

537870

>>537867
"You his kid or something?"

537874

>>537867
>>537869
Look at him silently.

537885

>>537874
"Hello nurse, how are you today?"

537886

>>537867
Sigh and clench my head.
"It already did."

537889

>>537870
"His apprentice, actually. I came ahead of him to help start setting things up… So he's here? Do you think he might be back at our bar right now?"
>>537869
"You're in Town Hall right now, honey. You had us scared for a while there. You're going to be in that bed for a while, I can tell you that now."
>>537874
He's in bad shape. Sweetherb managed to sew him shut, but the ugly pattern of stitchwork stretches from just under his ribs on the right all the way down to his left thigh. His hoof is encased in bandages, a few spots of pink already leaking through.
>>537886
"Give them a little slack, they just got an emergency dumped in their lap just as everything got started." She puts an understanding hoof on your shoulder. "Don't make them any easier to deal with, though."

537891

>>537889
Go closer to him, putting a paw on his shoulder.
"You might want to go check the townhouse.."

537892

>>537889
"Town Hall? Why am I here?"
I rub my ead and look around.
"What are all these beds doing here? This doesn't look like Manehattan City hall at all!"

537894

>>537889
"As if it wasn't as big of an emergency for me as it was for them!"

537901

>>537885
"Good. You are not good. How much pain?"

537904

>>537901
"Oh nurse, I feel great. Better than ever. But tell me, in what hospital am I? Manehattan General?"

537906

>>537904
"The town hall."

537907

>>537906
I shake my head.
"No, no, this isn't town hall. I've been in town hall many times. To ask for permits for my bar you see. This doesn't look anything like it."

537910

>>537907
"It is the town hall."

537912

>>537891
He goes pale at this, shrugging off your paw and sprinting towards the townhouse. "Poor kid," one of the others mutters, then turns to you. "How bad is it?"
>>537892
Sweetherb frowns, then turns you to face her. "Figworth, look at me. Do you know who I am? What is the last thing you remember?"
>>537894
"Shh, none of that now," she shushes you, guiding you over to the unused bed. "What you're gonna do now is lay that head of yours down, forget all these decisions and loudmouths with no politeness, and just let yourself rest for a while."

537913

>>537912
"Dead."

537914

>>537910
"Well, if you say so nurse. I believe you."

>>537912
I scratch my chin.
"You're doctor Sweetherb, we met on the boat to Manehattan."

>>537913
I turn to Ambrosia.
"That's right, we met there too, nurse Ambrosia. Good to see you again."

537915

>>537912
Shake my head.
"Oh nonononon, I cannot sleep, not now! There is so much to be taken care of!"

537916

>>537914
Cock my head and look at him strangely.
"I am not a nurse."

537921

>>537916
I look confused at you.

537923

>>537913
The whole group goes silent and bow their heads respectfully, those wearing hats removing them.
"Dear Celestia… kid's gonna be crushed."
>>537914
She frowns. "I'm afraid that head injury must be acting up."
>>537916
"Miss Ambrosia, would you mind helping me change the bandages on his head?"
>>537915
"Oh no, I know that look in your eyes. You done run through the woods like a madmare, faced down a pack a feral animals right after dealing with those timberwolves, and your hooves're shakin' like a saplin' in da wind." Despite your protests, she gets you to the bed and pushes you down. "Now ya gon' just lie down fo' a spell, take a nice, short nap, an' wake up rested an' ready fo' all those big plans."

537925

>>537921
Look confused right back at you!

>>537923
"Okay, I will help."

537926

>>537923
>>537925
I'm confused as they replace my head bandages.

537928

>>537923
"Not unless a miracle happens…
I should go check."
Off to the townshall.

537930

>>537923
Protest!
"But the plans! I arrived and didn't even get to the paperwork!"

537950

>>537930
"Jes' leave all dat ta me, sweetie. Ah can take care o' thangs for a while." A firm hoof pressing against your chest pushes you down onto the bed, holding you down as she pulls the blankets up over you. "Now 'ay back, reelax, an' don' think 'bout nuthin' at all 'cept that nice, soft pillow 'neath your head."
>>537925
Roll to see how well you do.
>>537926
As they're changing the bandages, the door bursts open and a colt barges in, looking around wildly. When he sees you, he lets out an anguished cry and sprints over to your bed.
>>537928
Arrive in time to see him collapse in front of Figworth's bed, clutching desperately at Figworth's hoof.
"Figworth? Figsy, can you hear me? Please be okay!"

537954

>>537950
How well off does he look?

537955

>>537950
I look at him curiously.
"Do I know you?"

537958

>>537950
[1d10]
I'm a capable pone

Roll #1 4 = 4

537966

>>537950
"How could I do that… what will everypony think, that I just came here to sleep!"

537971

>>537958
You slip up a couple of times, but Sweetherb is able to pick up your slack. She looks worried at Figworth's behavior. "He seems delusional right now; I don't think we can afford to risk giving him narcotics right now. Would you mind giving the others their doses while I take of him?"
>>537954
He's awake, but clearly in bad shape. The stitching across his belly is still red and swollen, his arm is swathed thickly in bandages, and Ambrosia and Sweetherb are busy changing bandages on his head.
>>537966
"Hushabye, child," she croons softly, tucking the blankets up around your chin and stroking your mane. "Ev'ethang gon' be jes' fine."
You must admit, this pillow is rather soft… and running through the woods did leave you rather exhausted… maybe a quick nap isn't such a bad idea after all?…
>>537955
Stout Keg recoils as if struck, a disbelieving hoof clinging to your leg. "Figsy?" he asks softly, pleadingly, his eyes shining as he fights back tears. "Figsy, it's me, Stout Keg. You know, the one you were going to start a bar with? The one you talked with for hours on end about how we were going to start a new life for ourselves here? The one… the one you…" His grip tightens. "…don't you remember?" He pleads desperately.

537973

>>537971
"Just… twenty minutes, no more, okay?"
Close my eyes….

537974

>>537971
"I will just— Leave you two alone, yeah."
Step out.
Back to the explorers.

537977

>>537971
"Okay."
Let's go over the others and give them their respective doses. Not too much, of course.

537978

>>537971
I think.
"Aaaaah. Stout. I remember. We were going to open a bar in Manehattan. See, I knew I was in Manehattan. These mares have been trying to pull a prank on me. Good one ladies."
I laugh.

537980

>>537973
"Tha's right, child. Jes' let it all go…" Geneva's voice gradually fades away, as does the rest of the world as you finally succumb to your exhaustion. Roll for the quality of your sleep.
>>537974
They all look up as you approach. "Well?" one asks cautiously. "How's he taking the news?"
>>537977
The two unconcious ponies are easy to dose. The third settler looks up tiredly as you appoach, then glances at the opium. "Will that help the pain?"
>>537978
He hangs his head and takes a choking gasp of air, then looks back up, slightly more composed. "We're not in Manehattan, Figs. We're in the new world, remember? I got a little bar set up already. It's not much, but its a start. Come on, you remember this, don't you? You were running around in a tizzy for months planning this. You turned your office into a giant pile of papers that I had to figure out how to organize, remember?"

537982

>>537980
Shake my head.
"This is not the day.
The old man is alive.
He's just badly hurt."

537983

>>537980
I nod slowly.
"Opium is narcotic. Will ease the pain and help sleeping. Small dose only."

537984

>>537980
[cute sleep noises]

Roll #1 9 = 9

537987

>>537980
"Yes, I put so much work into this, we both did. That is why we need to get started. Manehattan Inn, I'll call it. Come on Stout. We're wasting time here."

537989

>>537983
He nods and lets you administer the dose. "Thank you."
As you approach Wheat Fields, you find her awake and watching you. "Hey gorgeous. Come here often?"
>>537982
there are several sighs of relief all around. "Well, glad he's going to be all right," he breathes, giving a grim chuckle. "What a welcome back for the kid, huh? Guess he'll need some time off to take care of things. Means we'll be down a scout."
>>537984
You're an adorable mayor mare, your sleep restful and filled with images of a prosperous town, happy citizens laughing and playing, and smiling stallions doing wonderfully naughty things for you, then with you, then to you… so eager and unwilling to wait their turn, until you have to struggle to keep up with so many at once…
You wake with a satisfied grin on your face, feeling rejuvenated and refreshed, the headache and dull ache in your limbs completely gone. You note that it's still daytime, so you can get back to work and get things done. You should thank Geneva; you really did need that nap.
>>537987
Sweetherb steps in and places a hoof on Keg's shoulder. "Sir? I know this is a difficult time right now, but I think you need to leave now so I can do my job. I'll be sure to let you know when he's ready for visitors."

537990

>>537989
"No, I only arrived here today. I have opium for pain if you wish."

537991

>>537989
I hug Stout and slip him a note in his pocket saying I'm okay and he should come back tomorrow.
"My dear boy, take good care of the bar for me, I'll be back soon."

537993

>>537989
Those were some weird dreams…
However, no time to dwell on that!
Jump out of the bed!
Is she around?

537994

>>537989
"Not anymore you are not.
Julià, at your service."
Smirk and do a little bow.

537998

>>537990
"Lay it on me then. Heh. I'd say you could lay on me too, but… with my ribs like this, that wouldn't be nearly as fun as it usually is." She seems a little delirious, slightly slurring her words and giggling for no reason.
>>537991
Sweetherb firmly pushes you back down. "Please don't agitate your stitches, sir." Keg looks puzzled as he pats his pocket, then nods and turn for the door. "I'll do that, Figs. Get well soon."
>>537993
Your office is empty, save for your desk and the beds. You note that your desk is actually a very good size for some of the stuff from those dreams. Maybe you could find some stallions around town willing to try it out?
>>537994
He quirks an eyebrow and smirks. "Oh really now? You sure you've got what it takes, little lady? 'Cause this job ain't no walk in the park, not by a long shot."

538000

>>537998
It's like she's drunk.
"You will get better soon, Wheat Fields."
Give her some opium then.

538001

>>537998
Smirk and give him the sassy black lady head shake.
"Faced off eight of 'em wolves and survived.
And saved one of the settlers while doing that.
Is it enough for you?"

538003

>>537998
No, damn it!
Get your mind out of the gutter, Magistre!
Sit down and let's look for some paperwork.
I'm sure Geneva left me some.

538005

>>538001
He blinks, then gives you a smirk. "Well, I'd be a fool to say no to that, now wouldn't I?" He shakes your paw. "Welcome to the group, lady! Hope you don't get eaten on your first time out."
>>538000
The giggles intensify when you give her the opium. "Hey," she slurrs, "Hey, hey, Amby? I'mma call you Amby, 'kay Ambs? Hey, wanna know a secret?" She motions for you to lean in close.
>>538003
Yup, there's plenty of paperwork here. Enough to keep you occupied for a while. It's all neatly organized and grouped for convenience; Geneva really knows what she's doing. Still, isn't the desk still missing something?

538007

>>538005
"Hope whatever tries to eat me tastes good."
Lick my lips.

538008

>>538005
Cock my head, but lean closer anyway.
"What secret?"

538009

>>537998
Ah time to lay down.
"Miss sweetherb, I must say, I haven't seen many Buffalo's in Manehattan yet."

538013

>>538008
She pulls you in close, closer, so close her breath is tickling your ear… "You got a nice flank," she whispers, fighting back another giggle, "an' when I… when I get outta here… *giggle* I'mma ride that flank… gonna ride it allllll over town~"
She collapses in a fit of giggles, apparently deciding that the edges of her sheets are now far more interesting than you.
>>538009
"Just relax, dear. Don't strain yourself." She returns to her work as Keg goes out the door, dissappearing from view.

#PAUSE

538015

>>538005
Oh!
Of course!
In all this hurry and stress I almost forgot!
Smile and put my nameplate on it!

538017

>>538013
"… Okay."
Just… give her her space.

543685

After several days, things have finally started to calm down around the town. Training rotations have started for the militia, and the colonists stand ready to get to work making this semblance of a home something solid and real.

FIRST MONTH BEGINS

80 Settlers remain

543686

Time to open ye olde inn again.
Is it worked out more already?

543687

>>543685
Time for a field-visit.
I want to personally see how the workers are doing.

543688

>>543685
So, did I actually make it into the explorers?

543689

>>543685
I need to start looking into growing stuff further and getting to work on some basic recipes…

543690

>>543686
You've been bedridden for the past several days, so you're not sure. Today's the first day you've been mobile since the attack.
>>543688
Yes, you did. It looks like they're actually organizing an expedition right now.
>>543689
Considering your assistance with the injured, Sweetherb got a nice little plot of land inside the town walls set aside for you to grow your herbs in, in return for you helping supply her with medicines that are in short supply.
>>543687
Right now, they're preparing to head out. Would you like to decide what work to have them focus on?

543691

>>543690
Let's get there then.

543692

>>543690
I do believe I split work up last time.

543693

>>543690
So. Flap over to the boss
-who's the boss anyway-
and take a loot.

543694

>>543690
Nice.
I need seeds though, I can't just rely on my miracle grow all the time. And who knows what kind of unknown plants this land has…
What does Sweetherb want?

543695

543696

>>543691
With Keg's assistance, you make your way to the inn. It looks somewhat sturdier than last time, but you won't be able to make significant improvements to the structure until more materials like lumber are available.
"So," Keg begins cautiously, "how are you feeling?"
>>543693
Some pegasus stallion in a floppy-brimmed hat seems to be in charge. He turns as you aproach, flashing a cheeky grin. "'ello there! You must be the new lass they were telling me aboot!"
>>543694
There's a list of things that she wants, though she understands that you're not a miracle-worker. She provided you with seeds for several of the plants on the list, and you could probably transport some of those poppies from behind the courthouse into your new herb garden.
>>543695
Cool yer jets, boyo.

543697

>>543696
Smirk at him.
"Just got in on the action."

543698

>>543692
Indeed you did. The majority are headed out to work on clearing the immediate area around the town, while the remainder are going to haul the lumber back to help construct the settlement's homes and defenses.

543699

>>543696
I think I'll get to work on that then.
Little does she know that I am a miracle worker.

Roll #1 5 = 5

543700

>>543698
I trust there are guards defending the workers, as I ordered?

543701

>>543696
Ignore that question.
"We need to make sure we have a secure place in the inn as fast as possible. There is something malignant in these lands and it seeks to invade this town."

543702

>>543697
"Glad to have ye with us! Now, tell me lass, what exactly can ye do? Are ye a fast flyer? A tracker? Or an airhead with a lucky streak?"
>>543699
Maybe you should have weeded first. Sunflowers are nice, but not exactly what you were going for.
>>543700
Of course. Captain Cutter is personally leading their escort. You also notice that most of the ponies are now armed.
"Evening Magistre," the captain greets you, "Coming out with us today?"
>>543701
He pauses at that, then nods. "I've done my best to establish your cover story. Having heard of you before meeting you will go a great ways toward validating it."

543703

>>543702
"Let's say I'm good at guessing.
I used to be a private investigator, before coming here."

543704

>>543702
That's the inn cover story right

543705

>>543702
"For a while, certainly. I want to oversee that everything is going by the book."

543706

>>543702
Uh… right
Weed out the soil first and get rid of the sunflowers too.

Roll #1 7 = 7

543707

>>543703
He smiles at that. "Good, that means ye know how to trust yer instincts. On this job, ye've got to listen to yer gut; it'll save yer life." He leans in.
"Now, how do ye feel about going on yer first expedition today?"
>>543704
yes
"I've also been keeping an eye out for anything out of the ordinary, like you asked." He grunts as you reach the bar, settling you in behind the counter. "I wish this place was more private, but until we get more wood it was the best I could do."
>>543706
There you go, now it's coming back to you! The grounds cleared and ready to be planted.
A stallion notices your work and trots over, watching silently as you prepare the earth.
>>543705
"Alright, we'll be headed out in a moment. Anything you want to know before we get started?"

543708

>>543707
Lean forwards aswell, locking eyes with him with a grin.
"Like I've been waiting a long time for it."

543709

>>543707
"It will have to do."
I look out of the window towards the forest.
I turn to him.
"Who are the ponies chopping wood?"

543710

>>543707
Grow some of the stuff she asked me to it'll be a start. I can use the seeds from that to grow even more!
Don't pay the stallion any mind

Roll #1 2 = 2

543711

>>543708
After a moment, he barks a laugh and slaps you on the back. "Terrific! You'll make an explorer yet!
Now, there's three areas we're going to be investigating, the swamps to the south, the river to the west, and the ruins to the southeast."
>>543710
You pay him no mind. You are oblivious to his presence. In fact, you are so oblivious to his presence that you grow a patch of grass that goes up to your chest.
After a moment, you hear him speak. "Growing something?"
>>543709
He looks out the window, then deadpans a little. "There's a little less than fifty ponies out there chopping wood, Figsworth. Could you be a bit more specific?"

543712

>>543711
Turn to look at him.
"Yes."
Look back at the grass
"I do not need grass"

543713

>>543711
"Grand.
What am I looking for?"

543714

>>543711
"Fifty. My dear…. Do you happen to know who's in charge?"

543715

543716

>>543714
"Um… up until your ship came in, there wasn't really any one pony in charge; Captain Cloud Cutter probably came closest, though miss Geneva was definitely a close second. The same boat that brought you brought the town's new mayor, Miss Magistre. It seems she's done a pretty good job of taking charge, by the way she's gotten everypony moving."
>>543712
You notice the grass seems to be slowly reaching towards you, a few blades already slowly wrapping themselves around your leg.
"Grass grows everywhere. It makes sense that you wouldn't need it." He pauses for a moment. "What's your name?"

543717

>>543716
Observe the grass carefully. That's not usual. Respond back to the stallion though
"My name is Ambrosia, sir."

Roll #1 6 = 6

543718

543719

>>543713
"Well, mostly we're trying to figure out just what's out there, so we don't get caught unawares again. There's also been sightings of other ponies in the woods, potentially natives. If we find sign of them, we'll know we're not alone.
The ruins… Those we want to know just what they are. They seem to have been abandoned for a long time, but maybe whoever used to live there left some clues about what to expect in this land."
>>543717
"Ambrosia," he repeats thoughtfully. "I'm…" He hums for a bit. "Amor. My name is Amor." With that, he goes silent again.
Meanwhile, the grass has continued to wrap itself around your legs. It tickles, brushing loosely against your coat in a delicate spiral. Perhaps it's a predatory grass that feeds on bugs?

543720

>>543719
"Seems cool.
Who am I heading out with?"

543721

>>543720
He waves at the rest of the group. "Take your pick. Well, unless they're already paired, but most of them are free."
What are you looking for in an exploration partner?

543722

>>543719
"Okay, Amor. It is nice to meet you."
Yes, that could be it. Interesting species. Requires further study. I can keep it there for now, it can help protect my garden against bugs if that's really what it kills.
Remove my hoof and try growing something again.

Roll #1 1 = 1

543723

>>543721
Someone with magic, possibly.
Who can keep his own in a fight, since I'm mostly useless for that.

543724

>>543716
"I'll need to talk to her soon then."
Is the inn already open?

543725

>>543723
There's one unicorn off by himself. He looks a little thin, but considering the axe hung from his belt and scars on his neck he knows how to take care of himself.
"Oh, before I forget…" The Expedition Head speaks up, reaching into his bag. "I've got a little something for ye. Every explorer needs one."
>>543724
It's been closed while Keg brought you back, but you can begin serving drinks if you like.
>>543722
Stepping over the grass to reach a clear patch, you begin pumping the growth magic through your hooves before fully disconnecting from the grass, a tugging sensation your only warning before you fall flat on your face, sticking your rump high in the air. As you look back you see that your hooves are still wrapped in the grass, which you must have caused to grow significantly in size. Several tendrils are now wrapping themselves around your back legs as well.
The stallion is staring, his cheeks starting to go pink. "Um… Do you need help?"

543726

>>543725
"Pincers?"

543727

>>543725
Yes, the inn must run, but wait just a sec.
"That will be for later today then. I trust my chest is safe for now?"

543728

>>543725
"… Maybe."
Try to unwrap my hooves.

Roll #1 2 = 2

543729

>>543726
He looks at you as if you've sprouted a spare head. "The 'ell is a pincer?" Pride defines his expression as he pulls something from the bag and hands it to you. "No, this… is a compass." Pausing, he reaches back into the bag and hands you something else. "and a pistol. Always need a pistol."
>>543727
He nods. "Yes. I made sure of it first thing when I got back from making sure you were all right." He sits down and wipes his brow. "What happened out there? I know the general story, but… I'd like to hear what you saw."
>>543728
You realize that their grip only seems light; now that you're struggling, you realize that their grip is actually quite strong. Your legs are now fully ensnared in whatever this plant is, tendrils extracting a startled eep from you as the tickling sensation spreads to your inner thighs. You realize there is a slight pushing sensation against the inside of your legs.
The stallions face is crimson now, turned to the side as if attempting to look away, but his eyes seem to be rebelling. "W-what kind of plant is that?"

543730

>>543729
Pick up the piece and inspect it.
Which kind of gun is it?

543731

>>543729
Uh…
"… I don't know."
Me? Getting startled? Never.
Sorry plant, but survival of the fittest counts here.
Use my wing to unsheathe my sword, then cut the plant up with it.

Roll #1 6 = 6

543732

>>543729
"A large pack of Timberwolves, very aggressive."
I look back towards the forest.
"It is too soon to determine if anything more was at work. But there is something with this place. I've felt it strongly since I first set hoof here. Until we can determine the source, everything and everypony is suspect."

543733

>>543730
It's a decent piece, typical for the time period. Only one shot at a time, but quick to reload on the fly and not too heavy.
The compass is a quality design, built to take a beating and still work. These probably don't come cheap.
>>543731
You manage to cut yourself most of the way free before the remaining blades of grass get the message and let go, leaving a distracting tingle behind. If they'd had time to go just a little bit higher…
The stallion helps pull you to your feet, then examines the remaining grass as it reaches for his face. "Why do you think it does that?"
>>543732
"I know, everypony's felt it." He looks away for a moment. "It's frightening, but… well, what if it's nothing? I mean, the Everfree's a scary place, but that doesn't mean there's evil magic responsible for that."

543734

>>543733
"… I do not know. Unknown plant to me. Requires further observation."

Roll #1 6 = 6

543735

>>543733
Well now.
"Thanks, boss.
I won't lose them."
Snicker.
Flap over to the unicorn.
"You got a date, handsome?"

543736

>>543733
"Hope for the best, prepare for the worst."

543737

>>543735
He starts, then relaxes a little as he eyes you up. "Maybe I don't. You wanting to fix that?"
>>543734
what's the roll for?
"Must be native to this land. Interesting reaction to growth magic. Wouldn't mind studying it myself." He looks back to you. "Sorry about not stepping in earlier. It's just… well…" He blushes. "I was… at a loss as to what to do."
>>543736
"Indeed. Maybe this is why that big Mage Academy fellow came here, to study this ambient magic?"

543738

>>543737
"Maybe.
But I'm a proper girl.
Dinner and movie first, with a side of let's go to the forest."

543739

>>543737
I look at him directly for the first time.
"…that is certainly a possibility, another one to add to my list."

543740

>>543737
Nothing, just forgot to clear the email field
"Okay. It is fine. Are you a herbalist too?"

545854

The working party sets out and begins clearing the treelines along the southwestern border of the town. A few guards and some armed settlers stand watch between the workers and the forest interior, scanning for any sign of danger.
MAGISTRE
You are currently with the working parties, overseeing the clearing of the forest. Geneva is there with you, as is Captain Cloud Cutter.
FIGWORTH
Considering your injuries, you have been considered excempt from work duty outside the walls. However, considering your experience with a rifle, you have been asked to perform watch duty on the walls while the workers are out.
JULIA
You have acquired a new exploration companion!
You have three possible destinations for your first exploration run. Do you want to explore:
-the river to the east?
-The swamplands to the southeast?
-the ruins to the southwest?
Or would you like to choose a different destination?
ASKELADD
You can either be training the new militia, or standing guard over the workers as they clear the forest. Which would you prefer?
AMBROSIA
You are currently working on a garden for medicinal herbs. There is a black unicorn stallion there with you, examining the strange grass you accidentally grew.
>>543740
"No, not… by profession. Just a hobby. I'm actually something of a relationship counselor. I figured my skills would be needed, with so many strangers being forced to rely on each other."

545861

>>545854
Let's explore and map out the river.
"So, what's your name?"

545867

>>545854
Tilt my head and stare at him.
"… A relationship counselor?"

545868

>>545854
"I believe everything is going well?"

545870

>>545854
Standing guard! ALOLOLO!!!
Or maybe not alololo but more on keeping watch of the horizon and sniffing the air for threats and such, keeping an eye of these ponies as they do their work.
'1d10'

Roll #1 1 = 1

545895

>>545861
The journey will take a while, perhaps even a few days. There will probably be encounters along the way, so make sure you're prepared before you leave.
"Name's Boon. Hope you don't mind if I ain't the most forthcoming."
>>545868
Geneva nods. "Indeed it is, miss Magistre. At this rate, we should have the forest pushed back a reasonable distance from the town in just a week's time! All this lumber will go a long ways towards getting some more buildings erected, too."
You notice one of the guards, a towering diamond dog with muscle to spare, is currently watching the workers with a very keen interest.
>>545870
Oh, yes, you are a great guard, did this all the time in the army! Nothing's getting past you, not even the heady smell of sweat and exertion!
You ears pick up every little grunt and gasp of those mares as they chop at those trees, your eyes catching every twitch and strain as they use every muscle in those taught, sweaty legs, spread to give them better leverage. You don't miss how they constantly flick their tales in an attempt to cool themselves off…
Guard duty is the best!

545897

>>545867
He nods solemnly. "Yes. By relationship, I mean any interaction between two individuals; in other words, I am probably going to find most of my work in conflict resolution. Though of course once breeding begins, I suspect I will be hard-pressed to keep any number of newly-formed bonds from falling apart."

545900

>>545895
Roll my eyes at that … that's males for you.
Turn to Geneva with a smile.
"Splendid news. Should any matter arise, notify me at once."

545902

>>545897
Tilt my head even further and stare at him silently for a while.
Eventually, I just nod slowly.
"… Okay."

545904

>>545895
Guard duty is indeed the best ahhhh…. I rest and relax……

….
Wait am I relaxing too much or not?
I stand up again and walk as I survey the environement for any distrubances.
'1d10'

Roll #1 2 = 2

545907

>>545900
Cloud Cutter steps in, looking rather… nervous?
"Well, there is one matter that needs to be discussed. It's not exactly…pressing, but it would be better to try and have something in place when it does."
>>545902
He returns your expressionless stare with just as little emotion as you. As you turn back to the garden, he speaks up again.
"Would you mind if I… helped you for a bit? Gardening is somewhat therapeutic for me."
>>545904
No, you're not relaxing too much. In fact, you're sure the mares are putting just a little too much effort into their swings as you pass, each tail flick lasting just a little too long… It could all be in your head, but either way it's quite the show.
If this keeps up for much longer, you're going to have a very… pressing distraction to take care of.

545908

>>545907
Interesting…
Mind Reader. '1d10'
"Go on."

Roll #1 2 = 2

545910

>>545907
Shake my head slowly, not taking my eyes off him.
"I would not mind."

545914

>>545907
I take out my handkercheif and began to wipe the sweat forming upon my brows… okay this is too much distraction and began to truly relax as I approach one of them.
"Fine day is it not?"

545916

>>545908
Nope, the good Captain's obviously had training to resist mind magic. In fact, he responds to your probing with an attack that catches you off guard, almost penetrating into your mind before you manage to hastily cut the connection.
Back in the real world, he scowls and gives a quick sweep of the area, then shakes his head.
"Well, eighty settlers is definitely a start as far as a work force goes, but… well, some of the mares may be interested in… children."
>>545910
This guy's as good at staring as you are. With a single cursory nod, he steps up to help with the gardening. Rolling to see how he does. '1d10'
>>545914
You approach a mare who seems to have somehow separated from the rest of the group, the trees between obscuring your view from most of the group.
She gives a particularly loud grunt as she slams the axe home in the tree, her hips shooting into the air to counterbalance the weight. Panting heavily, she releases the axe and turns to face you, the work having brought a slight blush to her cheeks from the intensive workout.
"Y…yes, it is very nice out, sir. Very nice out indeed…"

Roll #1 6 = 6

545917

>>545910
>>545916
Well, he's no master, but he's certainly no slouch either. He knows what to do, and he does it well.

545918

>>545916
Raise an eyebrow.
"Already? I have to admit, I cannot advise that just yet. Pregnant mares cannot work, and we must estabilish a stable hoofing on this land first."

545920

>>545916
>>545917
Okay.
I will do my own work as well. Need to grow these ingredients for the doctor with miracle grow first. I need to make a more permanent garden too…

Roll #1 10 = 10

545923

>>545916
I put my paw on a tree and relax.
"I reckon that wasting such a fine day like this toiling and cutting down tree's is such a shame. How about you and I get to know each other more eh?"

545927

>>545918
"As I said, it's not… pressing, per say. Nopony's going to try for kids until they at least have a roof over their heads. Actually, the problem is that… even with all the mares wanting children, there's been talk that it might not be… enough."
>>545920
With him doing all the initial work, you're free to focus on the plant life itself. Within moments, the once-empty patch of land is filled with every type of herb you could ever need. This should easily be enough to provide for all Sweetherb's medicinal needs and still have enough surplus to give your own business a significant base.
As you're finishing, your hoof brushes against his. Both of you freeze at the unexpected contact. Turning to look at each other, you find him regarding you with the same expressionless mask as usual.
"Sorry," he finally says, his voice monotone. He doesn't move his hoof, though.
>>545923
Her eyes widen, her tail beginning to flick incessantly. She opens her mouth, though it takes her a few minutes to find the words.
"I… yes. I think I'd like that… very much." Her eyes run up and down your body.
"Very much," she mutters. Strange that she still has that blush, since she's not working right now.

545930

>>545927
Frown.
"I am aware that our numbers are limited as of now, but I am sure that more settlers will arrive as soon as the ships come back."

545932

>>545895
"Oh, I'm not your kind?"
Pout a bit.
Let's get healing items, food and water, bandages, rope and tools, sleepsacks…
Anything else?

545933

>>545927
Look at his hoof, then back at him. I'm sure not going move a muscle.

545936

>>545927
"Perhaps this place can do. Most of them cant see us and a bit of privacy is not too shabby."I smile and relax.
"My name is Askeladd and you?"

545942

>>545930
"True, but each ship is only able to carry enough supplies to bring about thirty settlers at a time, less if they want supplies for the colony as well. Our purpose is to make this new land part of Equestria, and well… that means we need to be able to populate it.
I'm not saying it's something that requires immediate attention, but… well, it's something for you to be aware of."
>>545932
Boon's got his coonskin cap (weird), a rifle that looks like it could get some serious range, his axe, and his own pack of necessities. You're good to go whenever you're ready.
"Maybe you are, maybe you aren't. I ain't judging till I've seen you in action." He shoot you a grin, and you notice that he's surprisingly still got all his teeth. They look healthy, too! "Though I admit I've got high hopes for you."
>>545933
You stare at each other for several minutes, neither of you moving a muscle. You notice he seems to be having trouble breathing right as he finally pulls his hoof back.
"Sorry," he says again, a hint of worry leaking into his voice.
>>545936
You find a comfortable patch of ground to sit on while leaning against a tree, conveniently putting the tree between you and the rest of the group. Settling in, you look up to catch her staring at a particular area of your anatomy before she jerks her eyes back to your face.
"P-privacy is… nice. Very nice." Slowly, hesitantly she approaches you, as if too heavy a hooffall will scare you off.
"Stream… m-my name is Soft Stream."
The way she's looking at you seems almost… hungry, in a way.

545947

>>545942
"Are you okay?"

545952

>>545947
"Yes, I… don't know what came over me." Amor shakes his head and seems to pull himself together.
"So, I guess I'll see you around? Maybe… we can do this again sometime?"

545953

>>545942
Grim, for a pony, to wear an animal's skin.
"Not gonna lie here, pal.
I might just like you.
Let's hit the road."

545955

>>545952
I nod slowly.
"Okay. Thank you for the help."

545956

>>545942
I slowly inch my hands to her mane and began to stroke it softly.
"Soft stream… that is very nice name for a nice mare like you. So why have you come here Soft stream?"

545958

>>545942
Sigh and nod.
"Yes, yes, I will adress this issue in due time. For now we should focus at matters at hoof."

545973

>>545953
And so the two of you head out, with Boon leading the way and showing you how to slip through the forest carefully and quietly.
Roll 1d20 for first encounter along the way.
>>545955
Amor smiles and nods, then turns and leaves without another word.
That strange grass from earlier is now in one corner of the garden. It still brushes against you whenever you pass, but seems to know better than to try and grab you again. Do you let it keep growing, Give it some care to make sure it's still healthy, or dig it up and get rid of it?
>>545958
He looks relieved at the opportunity to change the subject.
"Yes, well, the most pressing concern is what to do with all this lumber. We have enough to build the palisades up so we have a little better protection, but we wouldn't have enough left over to build any really worthwhile shelter other than what we already have. I still think defending ourselves is important, but we need to get ponies out of tents before some big rainstorm gives us all pneumonia."
>>545956
She cranes into your touch, exposing her neck to you as she coos and shivers in your grip. She steps even closer, her hoof brushing the inside of your thighs hesitantly, drawing your attention to an almost-painful pressure. You should probably get rid of whatever's obstructing that… if you're willing to deal with the consequences.
This means sex.

545974

>>545973
'1d20'
So many tricks I'm learning!

Roll #1 13 = 13

545976

>>545973
"The houses come first, but be sure to save up for at least two lookout towers at the critical corners of the settlement. We can always harvest additional lumber later."

545981

>>545973
It's weird…
But nature is nature and a plant is a plant, I should keep it and learn more from it.
It's not going to die, is it? Inspect it again.

Roll #1 4 = 4

545991

>>545973
LEWD
Just glance to the workers and make sure they are safe and sound.
Not hesitating any further I began to lick her cheeks and then slowly down to her neck and with that I began to remove my armor and slowly unsheathe and expose myself to her without saying a word, seeing at how she will react to me.

546011

>>545976
They both nod enthusiastically; apparently they had the same idea, but needed for you to make the actual decision.
The workers look happy at the prospect of having an actual roof over their heads, returning to their work with gusto.
>>545981
It seems a bit sickly, though that might just be because you roughed it up quite a bit.
You fail to notice anything unique about it at this time.
>>545991
Still working, still safe. They're not moving toward you, so you can take all the time you want.
She gasps at the first touch of your tongue to her cheek, then groans and presses against you as her eyelids flutter, only to shoot open again as her hoof meets the new obstruction.
Glancing downward, she stares for several moments, shivering in your grip, and begins to knead your shoulders as she arcs her back and whimpers.
She is absolute putty in your paws. Do anything you want with her; she'll probably enjoy whatever you come up with.
This is your cue to roll.
>>545974
I need a moment to put this together. Excuse me.

546015

>>545974
The first several hours of your journey are uneventful, with Boon leading the way. Eventually the trees all begin to blur together.
Finally, the monotony is broken as you come to an area where the brush grows so thick on either side, you have no choice but to forge on straight ahead. Roll for perception.

546016

>>546011
Smile at them.
"Every house built must come with a small party, as you all know, so keep that in mind as you work!"
Maybe that will boost their morale somewhat.
Look at Geneva.
"What is next on today's schedule?"

546017

>>546011
Can I do the same as before and make it stronger again?

Roll #1 6 = 6

546019

>>546015
"We should try flying, next time."
'1d10'

Roll #1 6 = 6

546025

>>546011
Let them do their thing, I have work to do here.
Lets just call it part of my tip.
Seeing her at my mercy, I slowly push her down on the soft soil and take my place on top of her while panting, barely able to contain my excitement.
Unable to contain myself anymore, I began to mount this slutty mare with all the intention to tie us together.
'5d10'

Roll #1 9, 1, 10, 4, 6 = 30

546033

>>546017
You repair the damage you did to it, and it immediately perks up, stroking your head in seeming appreciation.
You notice that it's not actually grass, but one large interconnected plant with grass-like leaves that stretch up from the base. It looks very healthy now.
>>546019
You see something long and sinuous dissappear into the brush as you continue on in.
"One, I don't have wings, and two, flying through a forest is a recipe for disaster. I don't know how many fellers I've known to bust their noggins trying it."
>>546025
She gasps in surprise as she lands on the ground, then bites her lip as you get started, wrapping her legs around you while smiling up at you. '5d10+1' because horny mare
>>546016
"Well, we need to discuss naming the town. We can't just keep calling it "the town," now can we?"

Roll #1 3, 10, 3, 7, 10 + 1 = 34

546035

>>546033
Roll my eyes.
"One, I could carry you, two, we would fly above the tr-"
Turn around quickly.
"Did you see that?"

546040

>>546033
It looks like it's really intelligent… if I could speak to plants as well as animals…
Leave it for now then, if it's healthy again.
Where is the doctor?

Roll #1 1 = 1

546044

>>546033
Scrunch.
"True. I don't suppose calling a vote on it would lead to much either…"

546047

>>546033
Just lay on top of her and cuddle her softly. Dont forget to lick her cheeks while we are at it.
"This may take awhile, both of us are stuck." I grin.

546059

>>546035
He looks around, puzzled.
"See what?"
You eventually come out into a break from the constant brush, allowing you to once more move between the trees. you notice the area is completely ringed in by thorny brush, aside from the way you came in and a small entrance on the other side.
>>546040
You can't find her in the clinic, so maybe she went to the storehouse for supplies? You search around for a while, before you finally find…

That is not Sweetherb. That is a middle-aged female goat.
That's not Sweetherb either. That is a middle-aged zebra. It is rather obvious that he is a male. In fact, you don't think you've ever heard of anypony doing… that before.
Luckily they haven't noticed you. Yet.
>>546044
"Actually, that isn't such a bad idea. Have a poll for some potential names, then put it to a vote which one we choose!"
Roll 1d6.
>>546047
>64/100
Nothing particularly mind-blowing for you, but very enjoyable all the same, particularly the way the intensity of her finish sent her eyes rolling as she shook like a tuning fork in your grasp.
She pants heavily as you like her cheeks, smiling as she turns her head and pulls you in for a kiss.
"I…don't mind… spending more… time with you. Oh wow. That was…"
She is interrupted by a loud wolf-whistle. While you were very careful to keep yourself hidden from the working group, you were in full view of the wall the whole time. A handful of the sentries are wolf-whistling and throwing catcalls your way.
Seems they appreciated the show.

546063

>>546059
Maybe she's busy.
Nevermind then…
I will go outside and start a search for foreign plants instead.

Roll #1 10 = 10

546065

>>546059
'1d6'
"That sounds democratic."

Roll #1 5 = 5

546066

>>546059
"Things. Moving at the edge of my vision."
Take the gun out and cock it.
Let's head for the small entrance.

546072

>>546063
The guards look at you a little funny as you head out into the woods on your own, but you pay them no mind. Something seems to be calling to you…
and then, you find it. A lone beam of sunlight falls on what has to be the most beautiful flower in existence.
A simple blue petal reaches up to the sun from a thick green stalk, shimmering with an almost otherworldly beauty in the the light.
>>546066
As you step into the area, you hear a slithering sound. Roll to avoid.
>>546065
That roll will come into play later.
"Considering the fact that we're all working to make this town a reality, it's only fair that we give everypony a chance to have a say in what we name it."
She gives you a grin. "And don't worry, I'll be sorting through to avoid any… distasteful submissions."

546073

>>546072
'1d10' Fly up!

Roll #1 10 = 10

546075

>>546072
It's a very pretty flower.



Thanks nature.
What kind of flower could it be though? Approach it and inspect it more closely.

Roll #1 4 = 4

546078

>>546072
"Thank you. It would be unfortunate if the settlement was named anything that might prove funny for some but not for others, wouldn't it?"

546082

>>546073
With almost supernatural speed, you're in the air, just in time to avoid the tentacles lunging for your legs. More go after you, but you somehow manage to dodge them and fly above their reach, at least for now.
Unfortunately, now you're stuck. The canopy is far too thick for you to fly any higher without breaking a wing, and you're caged in from all sides. The only way out… is through the now-writhing mass of tentacles below.
>>546075
You find yourself too lost in the way it's petals shimmer to make any real observations about it, though you definitely know you want it.
In fact, you feel the strange urge to taste it…
Maybe just a nibble? You don't even have to swallow.
>>546078
"Indeed. I can imagine the names the more juvenile will immediately come up with."
She turns as you hear whooping and catcalls from the town walls. "Speaking of juvenile…"

546086

>>546082
Look at them in horror.
"Boon!
What are these things?!"

546088

>>546082
I'm not sure about that…
But I guess if my gut is telling me to… try it.

Roll #1 8 = 8

546090

>>546082
Perk my ears and look over.
What's going on?

546098

>>546086
You are answered by a panicked yell as you see Boon getting dragged into the area, vines restraining all four of his legs as he looks around frantically.
"I don't know, but get me outta here!"
>>546090
You can't tell from here, but it sounds like they must have caught someone in the middle of an inappropriate act or something.
"This is why we need to start training ponies in the militia," Cloud Cutter sighs, shaking his head. "We don't need them pulling that sort of stunt while on guard duty."
>>546088
You hesitantly try a leaf… and as the taste explodes through your brain, you scarf the whole thing down, stem to stamen. It's almost as if you weren't in control of your own actions.
As you stand there afterwards, you feel a strange heat in your stomach that slowly begins spreading outward.

546099

>>546098
"On that!"
Shoot the vines around his legs, but not too close to him.
I'm not a marksgriff just yet!
'1d10'

Roll #1 10 = 10

546101

>>546098
… wow.
Look myself over.
Did I make a mistake?

Roll #1 3 = 3

546102

>>546098
Sigh.
"I will take care of it. Please just make sure that all of the workers out here are safe."
Let's head over and check out what's what.

546111

>>546099
With a superb show of marksmanship, you hit every vine holding him. To your shock, the vines appear unharmed by your fire, though they do drop Boon, who immediately leaps to his feet and runs for the exit.
>>546102
You find Askeladd and one of the colonist mares as the center of attention from the wall.
You also see why, considering that the diamond dog is still… tied to the mare, who is currently blushing scarlet.
>>546101
Maybe so, considering that suddenly every muscle in your body is now on fire. You drop to the ground in pain, involuntary tears forcing their way out of your eyes as it feels like your body is trying to explode out of your skin. Your wings convulse as they twist and jerk with teeth-grinding cracks, Pain, pain, pain…
and as suddenly as it starts, the pain recedes. Your skin feels… tighter, somehow. Your muscles stronger. In fact, you feel better than you've ever felt before. Even your wings, always neglected, feel strong and natural. Looks like Nature decided to give you a gift after all.
+1 to maximum hits/wounds, bringing you to 6/6.

546113

>>546111
"Runrunrun!"
After him, divebomb for the exit.
'1d10+1'

Roll #1 1 + 1 = 2

546114

>>546111
Clear my throat, and turn to the ponies on the wall.
"I do believe you have other, more important jobs to do, do you not?"
Be stern!

546118

>>546111
… Oh! Based mother nature
Too bad there's nothing left of the flower… really wonder what kind it was.
Interesting though.
Such wild potency…
Must keep investigating and finding new species.

Roll #1 4 = 4

546124

>>546114
The jeering immediately falls silent as they all look away and do their best to look like they have somewhere important to be, returning to their posts.
The mare is still blushing crimson. "T-thanks… S-sorry about that, I… guess we should have been more careful…"
>>546113
With a fierce warcry, you dive headlong into the mass of vines. It goes about as well as you'd expect.
The first vine grabs your leg; at the speed you were going, you can't stop yourself from arcing downward and cracking your head on the ground. In this dazed state, you aren't able to offer any resistance as the tentacles swarm around you and pick you up off the ground.
By the time you come back to your senses, all four legs and both your wings are firmly restrained and spread, leaving you unable to do anything but wiggle.
Boon doesn't seem to have fared any better getting dragged back into the area by a vine that managed to catch his leg. You can't do anything but watch as his struggles fail to save him from ending up in exactly the same position as you.
You notice vines are starting to slide up your inner thighs, while another hovers right in front of your face.
>>546118
Sadly, further exploration yields little that you haven't already seen.

546126

>>546124
Oh well… back to the settlement.
Uh… how is my injured friend doing?

Roll #1 5 = 5

546127

>>546124
"I see no problem with getting intimate with people who you like, but I will not tolerate ponies doing it on the job instead of working. May this be a warning."

546128

>>546124
"USE THAT DAMN HORN OF YOURS ALREADY!"
Wiggle?
Fuck that.
Tear into the plant with beak and talons.
'1d10'

Roll #1 8 = 8

546140

>>546126
You mean Wheat Fields? When you enter the clinic, she's sitting up and looking around, so that's a good sign.
Sweetherb smiles as you enter. "So, any luck with that garden of yours?"
>>546127
"S-sorry," she apologizes, looking thoroughly chastises and ashamed. "I just… there was this flower… and then I just… couldn't stop… and the urge was…"
She'd be the perfect image of contriteness right now, if not for the massive diamond dog dong currently splitting her open like a ripe watermelon. Judging by the bulge in her belly, she's going to be stuck like that for a while too.
>>546128
The vines squish easily under your claws and beak, shuddering as… they… fail to suffer any damage whatsoever. However, you seem to have set something off, considering the fact that a vine is now forcing it's way down your throat, while more are forcing their way inside… other orifices.
Roll 15d10 to see how well you take this unspeakable violation.

546142

>>546140
Stop and look at Sweetherb.
"Yes. It is done."

546147

>>546140
That's gonna ruin my makeup.
'15d10'

Roll #1 9, 6, 7, 7, 5, 2, 8, 3, 7, 4, 2, 7, 9, 4, 3 = 83

546154

>>546140
Facehoof.
"What plant? If you can identify it we can issue a warning to the other workers."

546161

>>546142
"Wonderful! And must I say you look positively glowing right now. Maybe I should help with that garden if it has that effect. Oh, listen to me ramble, you're probably here to see your friend. Go on then, she's been asking for you!"
She seems very happy knowing she's got a steady supply of medicine for her clinic.
Wheat Fields brightens as you approach. "Hey there, Amby! Whoa, have you been working out? How long was I out for?"
>>546147
Your makeup's not the only thing it ruins. The ordeal just seems to go on, and on, and on, as vine after vine pumps… something into your throat, and your… body, and onto you…
Out of the corner of your eye, you barely register Boon's figure, all five legs restrained as he recieves similar treatment, though the image fades as everything becomes a blur…
You wake up outside the clearing, sore in ways you didn't know were possible and covered in something sticky and slimy.
Unable to find the energy to rise, you simply turn your head to see Boon, who looks similarly exhausted and covered in whatever that stuff was. As he meets your gaze, his mouth opens- wider than you remember it being able to- and hanging open as he struggles to force the words out.
"…We…never speak…of this…again…"
>>546154
Before she can answer, there's a commotion back with the rest of the group.

546163

>>546161
How long has she been out for?
"Nature provides. Are you okay, Wheat Fields?"

546164

>>546161
"…"
I'm not sure I can process what's happened right now.
Holy.
Mother.
Of fuck.
Stare at Boon with the same expression of surprise and pain I had a second ago.

546165

>>546161
What is it this time?

546171

>>546163
Just a few days, not too long, all things considered. It's surprising that she's sitting up so soon.
"Well, I'm certainly doing better! Though I can't wait to get my wing and legs out of these stupid casts. Guess that's what I get for going after something twice my size, huh?"
>>546164
He seems to be having trouble understanding what just happened too, considering the fact that he just passed out.
Both of you are in desperate need of a bath, once you have the energy to start moving again.

546173

>>546171
"You did well. Trying to… help me. Thank you for that. I am forever in your debt."
Bow my head in submission.

546174

>>546171
I need to puke aswell.
Forgive me.
'1d10' to puke out that shit the plant pumped into me.

Roll #1 10 = 10

546180

>>546173
You stumble a little as she pulls you into a tight hug. "Don't mention it, Amby! After all, I couldn't let that big mean wolfy eat my second friend! You just don't do that!"
Considering the fact that she has several broken ribs, this hug must be putting her in excruciating pain.
>>546174
That comes easily enough, with your newly-stretched larynx. Even so, it just seems to go on and on before you finally finish purging the last of it. You're going to be feeling this for days to come.

546182

546183

>>546180
Drag myself to my paws and slap Boon awake.

546184

>>546180
Let her hug me, not daring to hug back in fear of hurting her.
"How much pain are you in?"

546190

>>546183
Eventually, you both manage to stagger to your feet, and after taking care of… other functions… you both manage to stagger along your way.
Now you have an additional motivation to find that river; there is no way in Tartarus you're going back to town without washing this stuff off of you first.
>>546184
"Well, my leg and wing still ache, but other than that, I'm okey-dokey!"
It doesn't matter that your not hugging her back. the amount of force she's putting into the hug should have her convulsing in agony right now.
>>546182
Pausing next post. Like I said, I want Lemon for what's about to happen.

546192

>>546190
Maybe she's got painkillers of sorts…
"Okay. I have found several interesting new plants already. I hope we can find more when you get better."

546194

>>546190
"C'mon pal.
We gotta get this stuff off our body and then torch the fucking forest."
Keep my gun ready at all times and keep walking, carefully eyeng every shadow of these woods.

546200

>>546192
"Really? Awesome! You've got to tell me all about them!"
As she hugs you even closer, you realize that her ribcage feels smooth and solid. Those busted ribs should be shifting and poking you.
There's no way her ribs healed that fast, with or without magic. Yet the fact remains that as she continues to jabber on, oblivious to your hoof prodding her ribs, you can't find anything to indicate that her ribs were ever broken.
>>546194
Most of that was probably unitelligible, but he nods absently and leans against you as you both stagger through the woods, your back legs uncomfortably numb.
>>546182
Uh oh. Looks like the foresting group is under attack from some of the local wildlife. Thankfully, the armed settlers are managing to hold them back from getting to the workers, but you're going to need to step in to drive them off for good!
#Pause

546203

>>546200
If he nodded it means he can hear me.
Let's hope there's nobody out there and make our way to that damn river.

546205

>>546200
"… Wheat Fields. Your ribs are healed."

546211

>>546205
"Huh?" She gives you a confused look, then starts examining her ribs. Yup, good as new. "Wowwie! That's awesome! Maybe I can get out of here sooner!"
Sweetherb rushes over wide-eyed, confirming what you already know.
"But… that's not possible…"
>>546203
That encounter is finished. Roll 1d20 for the next encounter.

546212

>>546211
Don't you mean 1d19, as to avoid that again?
'1d20'

Roll #1 6 = 6

546215

>>546211
"Did Wheat Fields eat anything special? Like flowers?"

546216

>>546212
Do not question the Great Generator, mortal. If it declares you shall face the tentacles again, you shall face them again.
Luckily, whatever gods are watching over you have had their fun, and you continue unviolated for an hour or so.
Eventually, you come to a large, open field. The grass stretches about knee-high in this well-lit break in the forest.
>>546215
"No, nothing I haven't fed the other patients-" falling silent, she goes and checks on the others. Sure enough, all three of them have recovered from their injuries far more than they should have been able to in such a sort span of time.

546217

>>546216
Share a look with Boon.
Has he recovered the ability to talk yet?

546218

>>546216
"… I do not understand."

546219

>>546217
If he has, he hasn't used it. In fact he refuses to meet your gaze, finding his hooves far more interesting to look at.
>>546218
"…N-neither do I." Sweetherb begins to pace frantically.
"T-this isn't possible. It's not possible! Did… did I maybe give the wrong medicine? No, I checked and double-checked, every time. Maybe I gave them too much medicine? No, that doesn't explain it either. I-I don't understand. I don't understand!"
You feel Wheat Fields grab your shoulder. "Maybe you should try to calm her down?"

546220

>>546219
Yeah well no shit, I've been through that aswell.
Because of him, especially.
Fuck I even gave him a chance to run and he didn't take it.
Let's start walking through the field.
Watch my steps.

546221

>>546219
"Okay."
Walk up to Sweetherb.
"Wheat Fields asks you to calm down."

546222

>>546220
In case you forgot, he did run. Just not fast enough.
You proceed across the field carefully, each step sinking slightly into the soft earth. This might be a great place to farm, assuming nothing tries to jump out and eat you.
Boon follows a few steps behind you, being just as careful where he puts his hooves.
>>546221
If she hears you, she doesn't respond, continuing to mutter to herself as she rummages through her supply of medicine.
…What, did you honestly expect that to work?

546223

>>546222
He didn't manage to.
Fucking worthless.
Take note of this place on the map.

546224

>>546222
I'm the most socially inept pony around.
Just… look at her go.
Then return to Wheat Fields.
"She is distressed."

546225

>>546223
Noted. They'll probably be ecstatic that there's land ready for farming so close to the town.
Finally making it across the field, the two of you continue along the way.
Roll 1d20 one last time. See what the gods have in store for you.
>>546224
"Well, no duh!" She gives you a frustrated look, then sighs as Sweetherb continues to ramble and titter about.
After a moment her face brightens. "Hey, maybe my leg is fixed too!" Before you can stop her, she raise her leg cast and slams it down on the rail next to her bed with a metallic clang that echoes through the room.
She blinks once, her expression falling, before slowly falling backwards back into her bed.
"Not fixed," she manages to groan. "Not fixed at all. Oooooooooooooooooh…"

546226

>>546225
"Sorry, Wheat Fields."
Walk back over to Sweetherb.
"Wheat Fields is wounded again. Her leg is not healed."

546227

>>546225
'1d20'
I bet they will love plot number 13 aswell…

Roll #1 7 = 7

546228

So what's all this about me guarding the place?

546229

>>546226
Apparently her patient injuring herself was enough to snap Sweetherb out of her stupor. She's currently chewing Wheat out about how stupid it was for her to do that, while Wheat just lies there and groans, apparently not hearing a word she's saying.
>>546227
You stumble across a very beautiful blue flower, finding something about the way the light dances around it quite mesmerizing.
For the first time in a while, Boon speaks up.
"You doing okay, kid?"
>>546228
You were assigned watch duty earlier, and as a result are up on the walls watching the forest team work. At some point, you get a show as Askeladd gives a mare the knot in what they thought was privacy, but if you jump straight to there I'll have to pause you.

546230

>>546229
I'll never understand other ponies…
Just obediently wait for them to stop raging.

546231

>>546229
I'm not about to interrupt.
Make note of it in my files but I won't interrupt.
Anypony else guarding here?

546232

>>546229
Look back at him, staring into his eyes in anger.

546233

>>546231
There's actually a bit of a crowd gathering to watch.
But that's ALL IN THE FUTURE!

Right now, you're sitting back in the bar, watching the ponies as they go by.
Because If you're on the wall, you'll be involved in combat, and I'm saving that until Lemon can be here.
>>546230
Eventually, Sweetherb manages to cool down. Or she just runs out of air, take your pick.
"Sorry about that. I just… I don't know what happened. There's absolutely no explanation for this!"
>>546232
He can't hold his gaze for long before he looks away.
"I'm sorry, okay?" He says quietly. "If I'd known that was there… If I'd known those things even existed… I'd…"

546234

>>546233
Doesn't that mage come by once in a while to drink?
The Academy one.

546235

>>546233
"Worked in that dinner and movie first like I asked you?"
Tsk.

546236

>>546233
"I am sorry I am not a doctor like you. I should leave you alone so you can investigate this further."
Look at Wheat fields, then back at the doctor.
"Will return later if needed."

546237

>>546234
You mean Celery Stalk? Yes, he's actually over there right now.
>>546235
He shakes his head. "I shoulda pulled you out of there, kid. Right now, my job's to show you the ropes and keep you from getting killed, and then I just…" he sighs again. "…That's a very beautiful flower right there."
>>546236
Before you can leave, Wheat Fields calls out to you, her voice reserved for… the first time since you've known her, actually.
"Hey, Amby? Thanks for stopping by to see me. I liked talking to you."

546238

>>546237
"And then we go and get raped by a plant in the middle of the forest on the first day out.
Nice fucking job you do."
Take out my gun an shoot at the plant.
Unload the whole drum on it.
Move on.

546239

>>546237
Very cool. Go trot to him.
"Hello sir. I hope the service is to your liking?"
Is he alone?

546240

>>546237
"I am happy you like talking with me. I will visit more often if you wish me to."

546241

>>546238
Congratulations, you just killed a beautiful, harmless flower so dead that it exploded twice.
Unfortunately, all that noise just drew the attention of the forest's residents. Roll 1d6.
>>546239
At the moment, yes.
"Indeed. I'm glad to see somepony around here so skilled at making drinks. To be honest, I was expecting to have to survive on swill for the first several months here." He grimaces. "I was not looking forward to the idea."
>>546240
She smiles. "Please? It gets really boring just laying here all day."

546242

>>546241
'1d6'
There's nothing beautiful in vegetation of any kind.

Roll #1 5 = 5

546243

>>546241
Wipe the table.
"I've learned that proper food and drink are as important to morale as pretty mares in towns.
If it does not disturb you, would you mind if I sat down as well for a few minutes. I'm trying to get to know the ponies who are soon to be my regular customers."

546244

>>546241
I nod.
"I will come very often then for you."
… maybe I could another one of those flowers and give it to her to make her feel better… I bet she would be really happy about that.

546245

>>546243
He looks at you for a moment, then shrugs.
"Sure, why not? I could always use some intelligent conversation."
>>546244
She looks ready to jump out of her bed with glee, if Sweetherb wasn't firmly holding her down. "See you soon, Amby!" She calls after you.
Where to next?
>>546242
"Damnit girl, why'd you go and do that?"
Five snarling squirrels leap out of the woodwork and start circling you. Boon swears and pulls out his rifle.
Giant Squirrel 1: 5/3 hits/wounds
Giant Squirrel 1: 5/3 hits/wounds
Giant Squirrel 1: 5/3 hits/wounds
Giant Squirrel 1: 5/3 hits/wounds
Giant Squirrel 1: 5/3 hits/wounds

Julia: 5/5 hits/wounds
Boon: 5/5 hits/wounds

546246

>>546245
Answer with rage-filled eyes.
"Because fuck plants from here and until I'm alive!"
And almost casually SMASH one of the fucking squirrels interrupting us.
'1d10' Earthen Strike.

Roll #1 3 = 3

546247

>>546245
Outside. I must investigate further. Why do ribs heal on their own at impossible speed but legs don't?
Nature must be involved somehow.I will walk around the village and look for other strange occurrences.

546248

>>546245
"My name is Figworth Barrelton, from Manehattan. And you are?"

546249

'1d10+1'

Roll #1 4 + 1 = 5

546250

>>546248
"Celery Stalk, of Canterlot fame. I've never actually been to Manehatten. Is it as dirty as they say it is?"
>>546246
>>546249
Your blind rage makes you miss by a mile, leaving you open to get tackled by one, it's buck teeth knashing at you as it tries to bite your throat. Buck takes aim and fires at the squirrel, but his aim gets thrown off as another swipes at him.
Giant Squirrel 1: 5/3 hits/wounds
Giant Squirrel 2: 5/3 hits/wounds
Giant Squirrel 3: 5/3 hits/wounds
Giant Squirrel 4: 5/3 hits/wounds
Giant Squirrel 5: 5/3 hits/wounds

Julia: Helpless/5 hits/wounds
Boon: 4/5 hits/wounds

546251

>>546250
Get up already.
I'm not a fighter, not by a mile.
"Let's get the hell outta here!"

Roll #1 6 = 6

546252

>>546250
"Dirtier. Especially where I had my old job. Mr Stalk….ah, now I remember your name, I heard there was a great mage among us from the capital. An honor to meet you, sir."

546253

>>546250
'1d10+1'

Roll #1 8 + 1 = 9

546254

>>546252
He jumps at that, then sighs. "I suppose word was bound to get out eventually. I just hope you don't go spreading it around to everyone that I'm from the academy; it's very hard to work when you're constantly getting pestered by ponies wanting help from "the great wizard" with problems they should be able to solve on their own."
>>546251
>>546253
"No arguments here!"
You're back up and ready to run. Boon fires again, this time knocking one of the squirrels down. You really aren't questioning the fact that you're fighting giant squirrels?


Giant Squirrel 1: Helpless/2 hits/wounds
Giant Squirrel 2: 5/3 hits/wounds
Giant Squirrel 3: 5/3 hits/wounds
Giant Squirrel 4: 5/3 hits/wounds
Giant Squirrel 5: 5/3 hits/wounds

Julia: 5/4 hits/wounds
Boon: 4/5 hits/wounds

546255

>>546254
Run first, questions later.

Roll #1 8 = 8

546256

>>546254
'1d10+1'

Roll #1 7 + 1 = 8

546257

>>546254
"I understand. Consider my lips sealed.
What brings you all the way to this place?"

546258

>>546255
>>546256
You're both running and firing over your shoulders, with Boon finishing off one and you staggering another. Up ahead, you can begin to see the telltale glint of the river, but it'll be a while before you get there.
Feel free to take actions while you run.
>>546257
He looks away for a moment. "Peace and quiet in which to conduct my research." Roll to see what your bullshit detector says.

Giant Squirrel 1: Dead
Giant Squirrel 2: 5/3 hits/wounds
Giant Squirrel 3: 5/3 hits/wounds
Giant Squirrel 4: 1/3 hits/wounds
Giant Squirrel 5: 5/3 hits/wounds

Julia: 5/4 hits/wounds
Boon: 4/5 hits/wounds

546259

>>546258
Dingding '1d10'

Roll #1 8 = 8

546260

>>546258
Unload my six shooter once more behind my back.
"This. Fucking. Place.
And was it too much to ask not to be raped on day one?!
I left manehatten just for the fucking tirekian cults, goddamnit!"

Roll #1 7 = 7

546261

>>546258
'1d10+1'

Roll #1 8 + 1 = 9

546262

>>546259
He's telling the truth, you can tell that much. Thing is, you can also tell that he's not telling you the WHOLE truth. The peace and quiet are probably just a bonus to whatever his real motivation is.
>>546260
>>546261
"What? Don't tell me I got touched places no stallion should be touched because I paired with a fucking Tirekian!"
Blam, blam. Two more hit the ground. One of them doesn't look to be in any condition to keep chasing you.
The water's closer now. Just a little farther, and you'll be home-free. Hopefully.

Giant Squirrel 1: Dead
Giant Squirrel 2: Helpless/2 hits/wounds
Giant Squirrel 3: 5/3 hits/wounds
Giant Squirrel 4: Helpless/1 hits/wounds
Giant Squirrel 5: 5/3 hits/wounds

Julia: 5/4 hits/wounds
Boon: 4/5 hits/wounds

546263

>>546262
'1d10+1'

Roll #1 5 + 1 = 6

546264

>>546262
"You fuckwit, I investigated in manehatten!"
Turn around and fire a few more shots before rushing away.

Roll #1 2 = 2

546265

>>546262
HMMMMMM.
"Hopefully in a few months things will grow quiet then. It's been busy as heck since I came here."

546266

>>546263
>>546264
Boon's rifle cracks again, crippling another squirrel, leaving only two able to keep chasing you. One of them manages to gouge a couple scratches in you before you take off again.
It's so close, you can almost feel it! Just a little further!
>>546265
"Indeed. That thing with those wolves put everyone in a tizzy, made it very hard to work." He talks about it like the whole thing was an annoyance.
A black unicorn stallion runs up towards Celery Stalk, then slows as he spots you, approaching far more warily. Roll to see if you spot anything unusual about him.

Giant Squirrel 1: Dead
Giant Squirrel 2: Critical/1 hits/wounds
Giant Squirrel 3: 5/3 hits/wounds
Giant Squirrel 4: Critical/1 hits/wounds
Giant Squirrel 5: 5/3 hits/wounds

Julia: 1/4 hits/wounds
Boon: 4/5 hits/wounds

546267

>>546266
Focus on the flying. Dive for the river!

Roll #1 8 + 1 = 9

546268

>>546266
Spotting '1d10'

Roll #1 4 = 4

546269

>>546266
'1d10+1'

Roll #1 1 + 1 = 2

546270

>>546269
GODDAMNIT BOON

Roll #1 3 + 1 = 4

546271

>>546267
It's just out of reach! Thinking fast, you grab a particularly thick branch on your way down, drawing it taught before letting go. It cracks one of the squirrels in the head, dazing him.
You hear Boon utter a stream of Expletives as he gets tackled by the other squirrel.
You're on the shore now, but
>>546270
you turn back to try to help Boon and get blindsided by a no-longer dazed and very angry squirrel.
Giant Squirrel 1: Dead
Giant Squirrel 2: Critical/1 hits/wounds
Giant Squirrel 3: 1/3 hits/wounds
Giant Squirrel 4: Critical/1 hits/wounds
Giant Squirrel 5: 5/3 hits/wounds

Julia: Helpless/4 hits/wounds
Boon: Helpless/5 hits/wounds

546272

>>546271
We should both get up already.
Motherfuckers gonna pay.

Roll #1 2 = 2

546273

>>546268
Aside from being nervous about you, he's a perfectly normal stallion. Maybe he's just antisocial?
"Ah, Amor!" Stalk exclaims as he notices the newcomer. "It's about time you showed up! This is one of my assistants. Say hello to the nice bartender, Amor."
The stallion bows respectfully. "Hello, sir."

546274

>>546271
You forgot me.
>>546268

546275

>>546271
'1d10'

Roll #1 1 = 1

546276

>>546273
"Pleasure to meet you, Amor."

546277

>>546272
>>546275
These squirrels are stronger than they look. Boon yells as the one on him gets a particularly lucky shot on him.

>>546276
"Amor's a faithful fellow, does a decent job of doing what he's told. Speaking of which, weren't you supposed to be giving me your report, boy?" Stalk seems to have completely dismissed you.

546278

>>546277

Giant Squirrel 1: Dead
Giant Squirrel 2: Critical/1 hits/wounds
Giant Squirrel 3: 1/3 hits/wounds
Giant Squirrel 4: Critical/1 hits/wounds
Giant Squirrel 5: 5/3 hits/wounds

Julia: Helpless/3 hits/wounds
Boon: Helpless/3 hits/wounds

546279

>>546277
Claw at it and dig my talons deep, using that to stand back up.

Roll #1 6 = 6

546280

>>546278
'1d10'

Roll #1 5 = 5

546281

>>546277
He didn't tell me to go away. Explicitly.

546282

>>546279
>>546280
It chitters angrily at you as you pull yourself to your feet. Boon manages to keep his at bay, but can't quite throw him off.
>>546281
No, he didn't at that.
Amor pauses, glancing at you, then starts talking when Stalk clears his throat. "Um, yes. The experiment was carried out exactly as instructed, exposing the subject to the control group, consisting of an individual disinclined to emotional responses. After administering the dose, the subject approached said individual and attempted small talk and mutually beneficial activities. Subject…" He looks down at his hooves for a moment. "…Subject reports control group eliciting emotional response."

546283

Giant Squirrel 1: Dead
Giant Squirrel 2: Critical/1 hits/wounds
Giant Squirrel 3: 1/3 hits/wounds
Giant Squirrel 4: Critical/1 hits/wounds
Giant Squirrel 5: 5/3 hits/wounds

Julia: 5/3 hits/wounds
Boon: Helpless/3 hits/wounds

546284

>>546282
Fuck the squirrel hitting on Boon over with a rock-hard talon.
Earthen Smash!

Roll #1 8 = 8

546285

>>546282
Say nothing. Drink from my beer.

546286

>>546283
'1d10'

Roll #1 4 = 4

546287

>>546284
>>546286
All that anger and stress from this horrible excuse for a day gets concentrated into one single fist of fury to the squirrel's face, sending it flying back into a tree, where it falls to the ground twitching.
Boon tries to get up, then grimaces and grabs his side where it got a lucky hit on him swearing and cursing fit to burst.
>>546285
"Are you sure?" Stalk presses. "The control group managed to create an emotional response within the subject?"
Amor begins to fidget. "That is correct, sir."
"How intense was the reaction?"
"…It was the control group test, sir. We do not have sufficient data to make a comparison."
"Bah!" Stalk waves a hoof dismissively. "You say it's already working when it shouldn't, and then you can't tell me how well it worked? Away with you!"
Amor gives you one glance before bolting like the hounds of Tartarus are after him.

546288

Giant Squirrel 1: Dead
Giant Squirrel 2: Critical/1 hits/wounds
Giant Squirrel 3: 1/3 hits/wounds
Giant Squirrel 4: Critical/1 hits/wounds
Giant Squirrel 5: Critical/1 hits/wounds

Julia: 5/3 hits/wounds
Boon: Helpless/2 hits/wounds DANGER

546289

>>546287
"Where were we?"

546290

>>546287
Stand in front of Boon, stopping the remaining squirrel from reaching him, and unload my gun onto it.

Roll #1 2 = 2

546291

>>546288
'1d10'

Roll #1 7 = 7

546292

>>546289
He starts, then settles down as he remembers he was just talking to you.
"I believe that is my line. However, if I recall correctly, we were discussing the strange magical presence in this land?"
>>546290
Despite being injured, the squirrel hits you hard enough to stagger you. However, it buys Boon enough time to get to his feet and reload his rifle.

546293

Giant Squirrel 1: Dead
Giant Squirrel 2: Critical/1 hits/wounds
Giant Squirrel 3: 1/3 hits/wounds
Giant Squirrel 4: Critical/1 hits/wounds
Giant Squirrel 5: Critical/1 hits/wounds

Julia: 1/3 hits/wounds
Boon: 5/2 hits/wounds DANGER

546294

>>546292
Shriekat the squirrel and EARTHEN STRIKE MOTHERFUCKER him right on the throat!

Roll #1 10 = 10

546295

>>546292
"…yes, actually. You were going to give your expert analysis on it."

546296

>>546294
Roaring all your fury and spite in his face, you put all that rage into a single blow, splatting the squirrel into a red paste. As you stand there panting, you turn to see Boon slowly lower his rifle as he stares at you with wide eyes.
After a moment, he looks away and jerks his head towards the three still alive. "What do we do with them?"

546297

>>546296
"…What do we have to?
It's the middle of nowhere. They will just be eaten by something else."
Glance at him, as I reload my gun.
"You injuried?"

546298

>>546295
"I was? Well, let me see… It's quite similar to the magical field natural to Equestria, yet it seems almost fundamentally different. Upon closer inspection, I am inclined to draw parallels in the structure to those commonly found in healing and bolsterative magics, though their purpose, if any, is lost to me. In any case, while interesting in it's own right, the inherent magic here is not the focus of my studies." He glances at the sun. "Which I really should be getting back to. Thank you for the chat, mister Figton. I look forward to meeting again."
>>546297
He's in pretty rough shape, covered in scratches from the Squirrel's claws. Some of them look pretty deep. You also notice that he seems to be limping with one leg.
"Dunno. Just doesn't seem right leaving them like that."
At your inquiry as to his condition, he winces and looks away. "I'll be fine. What about you? They got a couple good hits in on you."

546299

>>546298
"Always welcome sir. It makes me glad to have somepony as smart as you in town."

546300

>>546298
"I've my pussy full of god knows what, scratches are the last of my problems right now. Let's get to that river, I need a bath.
And so do you."

546301

>>546299
He gives you a cursory nod, then leaves in the same direction as Amor.
>>546300
"Agreed. You ain't the only one to get pumped full of something awful today."

546302

>>546301
Going to pause for now.

546303

>>546301
Nod and start heading for the river.
I want to get on with that bath.
"Has it ever happened before?"

546304

>>546303
"If it had, it wouldn't have happened a second time." He sighs and shakes his head. "Never expected to get attacked by giant squirrels, either. This place is jest stuffed full of unpleasantness."

546305

>>546304
"I thought giant squirrels were the norm here."

546306

>>546305
"Never seen them before. Usually, we don't find much of anything out in the woods. Guess that just because we ain't found it don't mean it ain't there."

546307

>>546306
"Fuck, great bunch of explorers you guys are."
You know what, I want to do something.
Commune with the shadow of one of the dead critters.
Try to focus on their hiding place, their colony.
'1d10'

Roll #1 9 = 9

546308

546309

>>546307
>>546308
The shadow comes awake with a growl. At your question, it shows you the sensation of sliding over the ground and trees, giving you a pretty good mental map to where the squirrels live. Apparently these five lived on their own together, so you could go there without worrying about meeting more.
Boon eyes you warily as you do this. "Just what are you up to over there?"

546310

>>546309
"Asking questions, the manehatten way."

546311

>>546310
"Last I checked, the dead don't talk. You a necromancer?"

546312

>>546311
"Not the kind that works with the dead, no."
Try to get a mental rundown of what's in their lair.

546313

>>546312
He looks intently at you for a minute, then nods to himself. "Alright then."
They seem to have a lot of nuts stored up, plus a couple shiny yellow things. You can't see what they are clearly, but they look like they might be valuable. Other than that, just a lot of squirrel junk.

You notice Boon eying one of the squirrels strangely.

546314

>>546313
Right. Drop the link with the shadow and trot over to Boon.
"What's up with that one?"

546315

>>546314
Boon remains silent for a moment.
"…Nothing. Just seems wrong to just kill them and leave them like that.
…And I'm getting a little hungry…"

546316

>>546315
"You are not gonna tell me ponies eat meat here, are you?"
Raise a brow at him.

546317

>>546316
"…Not all of them. Then again, I did grow up in Griffonia for a while, so I just sort of… picked up the taste for it."
He gives you a sideways glance.
"Don't tell me you're going to get all squeamish about it, especially after what we just went through."

546318

>>546317
"Ah!"
Let out a fat laugh.
"No way man, let's get one and cook it over."

546319

>>546318
He gives you a somewhat relieved smile and pulls out his knife. Before long the two of you are roasting sticks of squirrelmeat over a small fire.

546320

>>546319
"…What's life been like for you so far, Boon?
Here in this place I mean. Not back home."

546321

>>546320
He gives a short laugh.
"Well, up until today it was great! Had a few run-ins with predators, but they were the big kind, like the ones back in the home countries. I know how to deal with those ones; make it clear you're not prey by refusing to run, but refuse to be a rival by not responding to their bluster, and they figure you ain't worth their time and wander off."

546322

>>546321
"You showed'em."
Smirk at him and bite down on the squirrel.

546323

>>546322
"Well, I knew that if things went south, I could count on Bessie here." He pats his rifle proudly. "She aint' the fanciest gal, but she's never let me down. Saved my life more than once back home."

546324

>>546323
"Ranger?
Hunter?"

546325

>>546324
He shrugs. "Little bit of both, I suppose. Just loved being out in the wild unknown; couldn't stand staying in one place. And you know, when most of the world's already mapped out and divvied up, the "wild unknown" just ain't all that unknown, you know?"

546326

>>546325
"You should have seen the sewers back home.
That's one hell of an unknown, no matter how mapped out they might be."

546958

Approach the mayor if I can. Bow my head slightly.
"Mayor."

546959

>>546958
Nod back.
"Good day, Miss… ?"

546960

>>546959
Keep my head low.
"My name is Ambrosia, mayor. I am the herbalist working with doctor Sweetherb."

546961

>>546960
"Please, please, there is no need to bow, I am not a Princess."
Chuckle, then nod.
"Is work going smoothly?"

546962

>>546961
Rise my head.
"The doctor instructed me to grow ingredients for medicine, I have set up a garden for this. Medical supplies will not be an issue. Patients are recovering faster than expected. Too fast maybe."

546963

>>546962
I smile more genuinly.
"That is splendid news! If medicine is provided that is one less issue that we have to deal with! And there is no such thing as too fast recovery, we need the help of each and every single pony here!"

546964

>>546963
I tilt my head slightly.
"Rate of patient recovery is an anomaly. Doctor Sweetherb says it is impossible, but Wheat Fields broken ribs have mended. Her leg has not mended at all. Both injuries should be recovering at the same rate, but did not."

546965

>>546964
"Hmmm… I shall consult with our resident mage. Maybe there is something in the air here that distrupts the magic?"

546966

>>546965
"I do not know, mayor. Sorry. I did find new plantlife in the area already. They are… magically potent."

546967

>>546966
Raise a brow.
"Do tell. Good for medicinal purposes?"

546968

>>546967
"Uncertain, more investigation is, required. One made me feel stronger after eating it, I can confirm already. Very pretty flower. Very alluring."

546969

>>546968
"Hmm…. no side effects? Would you mind bringing a sample to me? If it is safe, it would be a certain boon to grow and distribute to the people."

546970

>>546969
Lower my head again.
"… No sample. Will need to find a new specimen."

546971

>>546970
"Oh… I see. I am sure if you describe it one of our explorers can get you a sample."

546972

>>546971
I nod.
"Yes. Hope to find out more about flower."

546973

>>546972
"Is your garden space adequete?"

546974

>>546973
"For now, yes. Growing many things, from eucalyptus to opium poppy."

546975

>>546974
Wince.
"Opium poppy? For medicine, I assume?"

546976

>>546975
I nod slowly.
"Yes."

546977

>>546976
Clear my throat.
"Make sure to only grow the minimal required amount and not anymore, if you could."

546978

>>546977
I nod again.
"Yes mayor. I will."

546979

>>546978
"Thank you. I am afraid that certain… addictions would hold back the efficiency of the workforce."

546980

>>546979
"I am not addicted, mayor."

546981

>>546980
"Oh nononono, that is not what I meant! I just don't want anypony to get addicted!"

546982

>>546981
"It is for medical use, mayor."

546983

>>546982
Nod.
"Good. You are in charge of making sure it stays that way."

546984

>>546983
"… I am in charge?"

546985

>>546984
Nod.
"Yes, of making sure that your poppies only serve medicinal purposes."

546986

>>546985
"… Okay. I will not disappoint, thank you mayor."

546987

>>546986
Smile.
"I am sure you won't!"

546988

>>546987
Just stare at her silently, waiting for her to either dismiss me or inquire further

546989

>>546988
Shift my weight around uneasily.
"Is something else the matter?"

546990

>>546989
Shake my head
"No mayor. Do you wish something?"

546994

>>546990
"I think you informed me of your activites quite well."

548290

I think we were having dinner.

548294

>>548290
Yup, just finishing up one of the giant squirrels. The three you refused to finish off have finally bled out after writhing and suffering for much longer than they needed to.
Wiping his mouth, Boon sighs and tosses some of the bones away. "We should probably wash up before heading back. Don't want to go back covered in… whatever this stuff is."

548302

>>548294
"You tell me…"
Groan.
"Still not the worst I've seen, don't doubt it."

548305

>>548302
"If that's the case, ye must have seen some doozies in yer time." Boon sets Bessie, his cap, and all his supplies aside, then wades into the river a little ways.
"Wouldn't think it to look at you, though."

548309

>>548305
"Manehatten is a filthy place."

548313

>>548309
"So I hear."
He turns from his scrubbing and arcs an eyebrow at you.
"Coming in, or ya just gonna stand there?"

548316

>>548313
Sigh and step in, closing my eyes.
Scrub scrub.
'1d10'

Roll #1 4 = 4

548319

>>548316
This gunk is really slippery. Getting it out is a real pain, and you're not making much headway.
"So," Boon begins, scrubbing away at one of his legs, "what are we gonna tell them when we get back?"

548323

>>548319
"I don't know about you, but I will tell them I want a raise."
Try preening.
'1d10'
"Can you help me with my back?"

Roll #1 3 = 3

548327

>>548323
Not much better. a few feather come out, and now you can taste the stuff again.
He pauses for a moment. "Sure thing. Though… when I'm done, ya return the favor, all right?"
He steps up behind you, then hesitates, looking rather uncertain.

548331

>>548327
Groan.
"How bad?"

548336

>>548331
"Not any worse than anywhere else. I just… I hear that place is… sensitive fer winged folk."
He starts hesistantly scrubbing at your lower back, below the wings. His touch is soft enough that he's not really making much headway.

548344

>>548336
Groan and facehoof.
"Let's admit it, you've seen enough of me that a back massage won't be a problem, however erotic it might be."

548345

>>548344
"…Alright then. As long as yer okay with it."
He moves his scrubbing up to the base of your back, right where the wings and neck meet. As it so happens, this actually is a sensitive area for winged creatures.
"You gonna keep washing yerself, or am I doing all the work?"

548347

>>548345
Purr a bit.
"But you were doing so fine…"
Start scrubbing once more.
'1d10'

Roll #1 2 = 2

548354

>>548347
He blushes a bit even as his strokes grow more confident, and you start finding it very hard to concentrate on cleaning yourself.
"W-well, I don't mind helping ye out. But in this kind of work, we both got to share the load, pull the same weight. Suffer the same hardships…
enjoy the same rewards."
Seeing how he's doing. '1d10'

Roll #1 7 = 7

548358

>>548354
"That sounds veeery familiar…"
It's just so nice after all this hiking through the jungle and huge rats and stuff…
But yeah, focus.
'1d10'

Roll #1 9 = 9

548365

>>548358
Looks like he got most of the gunk off the base area and moves back to the middle of your back, giving you a chance to catch your breath and comb most of the goop off your front legs and chest.
"Does it? Because seems ye been saving my hide more often than the other way around, on our first trip out no less. Ye gotta let me do something, else I just feel… rather ineffective."
'1d10'

Roll #1 1 = 1

548371

>>548358
>>548365
This goop is very slippery. His concentration slips, just for a moment, and his hoof shoots away from where he was scrubbing…
and ends up between your legs.
Boon freezes, his face going white.

548374

>>548371
Groan and give him a flat, annoyed stare.
"Really?"

548378

>>548374
His hoof shoots away like it was on fire, stepping back.
"S-sorry… it was just… this stuff slippery, and… that weren't my intention!"
Flustered, he turns away and starts scrubbing at himself again. '1d10'

Roll #1 8 = 8

548381

>>548378
Chuckle and stand up.
I'm finally clean, right?
Start helping his back.
"I know, you dummie.
After what we went through being bothered for that is just stupid."
'1d10'

Roll #1 5 = 5

548390

>>548381
There's still some stickiness on your back that you can't quite reach.
"What we went through is all the more reason I shoulda known better. I've no right to go touchin' ye where ye don't want te be touched. More so when ye been abused that same day like we was." He's as clean as he can get himself, but his mane and back are still filthy since he can't reach.

548394

>>548390
"Lay down on the water, your hair's a mess."
Finish scrubbing that.

Roll #1 9 = 9

548405

>>548394
He does as you say, his breath catching in his throat as you get to work. Your claws make combing through his tangled locks a breeze, leaving them free of goo and knots.
"Didn't think… ye had it in ye -ooh, that's- ta do this explorer shindig… aah, w-watch it… Guess I put all four hooves in my mouth with that, didn't I? Ye… w-went and… showed me up…"
Guess pony manes are sensitive too.

548412

>>548405
"Look, I…"
Sigh and just stroke his mane once I'm done cleaning him.
"I'm not faulting you.
Really.
Not anymore, at least.
We both fell for it."

548419

>>548412
"I shouldn't'a fallen for it. Even if I've never seen one before…
I'm the one supposed to be in charge, watching out for ye. Then when we encounter danger, I'm the one what gets caught… then ye save my hide."
He snorts. "And then I spend too long worryin' about gettin' ye out that I don't run fast enough, get caught anyway.
Glad ye don't blame me… Don't mean I don't blame myself."
He's clean, but he's not moving away either, letting you stroke his mane. He must not get it cut very often, with how long it's growing.

548433

>>548419
Lie down in the stream next to him.
Say nothing, just remain here, thinking this day over and letting water flow around me.

548443

>>548433
The water's very chilly, carrying the last melted snows of winter out into the sea. You find yourself leaning against Boon for warmth.
He doesn't react at first, then shifts into a position where you can more comfortably lean on each other.

548448

>>548443
"So… Does this mean I passed?"

548459

>>548448
He starts chuckling, trying to contain it and failing. The longer he goes, the louder he gets, until the whole stream is echoing with his booming laugh.
You feel him slowly start to relax, the tension he's been carrying all day slowly melting away into the flowing river.

548463

>>548459
Smile a bit and pull myself up.
"Let's get out of here, uh?"

548470

>>548463
"Yeah, we should probably be going." He helps you up, wincing and folding up his foreleg as he pulls himself up.
You both walk out of the river and try to dry yourselves off. Roll. '1d10'

Roll #1 6 = 6

548473

>>548470
'1d10'
"Let's try to avoid that place this time."

Roll #1 5 = 5

548482

>>548473
"No arguments there." He's pretty dry, though his mane is still hanging limp as he gears back up.
You're passably dry, though still a little wet. You notice the destroyed remains of the flower from earlier as you pack up. Maybe you could take it back to that alcemist pony in town? She might like to have it.
You also remember that those squirrel's home was along the way back, if you want to stop by.

548487

>>548482
I was just about to suggest that.
And yeah, pick up the mangled flower.
"I was so silly.
Just wanted to destroy something beautiful, I guess."

548491

>>548487
"Ye were angry and in pain, and took it out on something like what hurt ye."
He goes quiet for a minute.
"Did it… take yer maidenhood? If'n ye don't mind the askin'."

548494

>>548491
Give him another flat stare.

548503

>>548494
He blushes, but doesn't look away.
"Ain't no shame in waiting fer the right one to come along.
Jes'… I feel bad enough about it already. If ye lost that… then it's on my head fer failing ye."
You both start moving through the woods back towards the town. The squirrel home is just a small detour; you'll have to lead the way if you want to stop by.

548512

>>548503
"Boon, look, drop this already.
You said it earlier.
Let's never talk of it again, okay?"
Take the lead.
"This way."

548519

>>548512
"Right." He raises an eyebrow as you head a little off course, but stays quiet and follows you.
For a while everything is quiet.
"We can't just let somepony else stumble into that," he finally says. "At the same time, I don't want the stigma of… what happened to us. So, what do we tell them when we get back?"

548524

>>548519
"I'm gonna tell the truth.
Can just say I got lost if you don't want your name on this whole story."

548534

>>548524
"…Nah. I ain't one to shirk my share of the load. If ye want to give them the truth… Well, we'll give them the truth. All of it."
You arrive at the squirrel home; you can see the hollowed-out holes in the trees up above.

548539

>>548534
Shinies I heard?
Check inside.
"…Thanks.
I appreciate it."

548544

>>548539
He gives you a nervous smile. "Well, we're partners now. Stick together and share what comes, good or bad, right?"
Roll for loot quality.

548545

>>548544
'1d10'
Smile back.
"Right."

Roll #1 8 = 8

548556

>>548545
"So, ah… Whatcha doing there?"
You were right about there being shiny things here. You can't help but wonder why squirrels had…

The heck is this stuff? Some of it's yellow and some of it's gray… it's some sort of metal? It's very artistically decorated, whatever it is.
Two of them don't seem to do anything other than look pretty, so you stick them in your bag. Maybe you can sell them?
The last thing though… It's rectangular, vaguely… seems to have a handle of some kind…
there's a series of gems studded through it, but the most prominent is a red ruby right behind the handle. It seems to be… glowing?

548560

>>548556
Show it to Boon.
"This."

548565

>>548560
He eyes it quizzically. "I never seen anything like that in my life. looks like… some sort of crossbow?" He gives you a puzzled look.
"How'd you know you'd find it here?"
He probably didn't see you put the other things in your bag.

548569

>>548565
"I told you. Interrogations, manehatten style."
Smirk.
"Got darts?"

548574

>>548569
He looks at you strangely. "Yer just full of surprises." Then he smiles. "Can't wait to see more of them."
He reaches in his pouch and pulls out three short crossbow bolts. "Ain't much, but… Maybe you can test it out? It'll need a string, though. Arms, too. This must just be the base, near as I can figure."

548582

>>548574
"Ah, crap.
Maybe we can build something once we're back in town.
Let's get going, uh?"
While we walk, start talking again, not looking at him in particular.
"So…
Where do you live right now?"

548588

>>548582
What do you do with the thing? Maybe you should inspect it more closely?
"In a tent, like most everyone else. Tentmates are all explorers too, so usually have it all to myself.
…If ye need a place, we've got room for one more."

548589

>>548588
Sure, do that.
'1d10'
"Nah, I'm in a tent too, with a mare…
Haven't really chatted with her yet."

Roll #1 4 = 4

548602

>>548589
You can kinda see how Boon would see it as a crossbow base, since you're not sure what else it could be…
As you're inspecting it, your claw brushes the ruby in the back. With a hiss and series of clicks, the thing jumps as several parts in it shift, a metal protrusion poking out the bottom.
Instinctively tightening your grip, you squeeze this metal thing… there's a flash of light, and the ground in front of you explodes.
Boon jumps back, eyes wide.
"The Fuck was that?!"

548617

>>548602
Stare at it beak wide open, still gripping it.
Meet Boon's eyes, without moving a muscle.

548622

>>548617
He's looking between it, the scortched patch on the ground, then back at you.
"I… did you do that?"

548628

>>548622
"Not me!
The rod!"

548630

>>548628
"Well, it wasn't doing it before, so you must have done something!"

548633

>>548630
"Let's…"
Turn away from him, just in case.
Squeeze the metal… Thing! again.

548655

>>548633
Now that you're focusing, you realize the grip actually fits in your claws rather well. Turning away from Boon, you hold it in the way that seems right, take a deep breath, and squeeze.
A small red bolt flashes out the front, zipping through the forest faster than you can follow before hitting a tree, leaving a small scorch mark on the wood in an explosion of bark and wood chips.
Weapon acquired: Promordian Small Bolter. Ranged. On successful hit, deals an additional 1 hit of damage automatically.

548662

>>548655
Still stare at it.
"Holy.
Shit."
TIME TO TAKE REVENGE ON THE PLANT!
"Check this out!
It's like a gun, but just that much more powerful!"

548663

I'm here, how can I help?

548665

>>548662
Boon looks at it with new appreciation. "Well don't that beat all. Never seen a gun like that before! Who even makes those?"

548666

>>548665
"Giant carnivore squirrels?"

548667

>>548666
It's him giving you a flat look this time.
"I highly doubt they have the brains for that. Prob'ly just scavenged it from somewhere.
…do ye know how to turn it back off?"

548668

>>548667
"…Stay back."
Press the ruby again.

548669

>>548668
The gem's glow dims, and the weapon folds back up into the same way you found it.
Boon gives a sigh of relief. "Yer one dangerous gal to be around, ye know that?"

548670

>>548669
Smirk.
"You ai'nt seen nothing yet!"
Settle the weapon down.
Commune with it.
'1d10+2'

Roll #1 10 + 2 = 12

548671

>>548670
With its shadow, I meant.

548672

>>548670
This time, the shadow has a face, shooting you a grin as you call it up.
Hey, pretty lady. Like your new toy?
>>548663
Well, you just investigated the Mage Academy guy… What next?

548673

Boo
I just spoke to the mayor, aren't I brave?

548674

>>548673
Yup, you ain't afraid to tell the Mare you're growing drugs in your garden!
You can hear hammering in the nearby forge.

548675

>>548672
"Whoa!"
Take a step back.
And you are?

548676

>>548674
Forges are where smiths live… I've met a few of those.
Peek inside

548677

>>548672
The mayor isn't here.
Maybe Julia.

548679

>>548675
Boon looks up, worried. "Something wrong?" He doesn't seem to hear the shadow.
Shadow of the blaster of the one and only Digaronto the Ambitious! Course, he was a coward who never used this thing but once. Horrible shot, too. Eh, forget him, he's been dead a couple hundred years. Maybe a couple thousand? I'm much more interested in you; been a while since somepony knew the Arts well enough for a conversation.
>>548676
There's a female diamond dog hammering at what seems to be an attempt at a spearhead. Dropping it in a thing of water, she turns and spots you.
A big grin shoots onto her face as she waves.
"Hey there! I haven't seen you around before! What can I do for you?"
>>548677
Out on a Scouting trip, unless this is before then. That's up to her.

548680

>>548679
Eh…if she's still on the trip, no sweat.
Hmmm.
Who else was on my list?

548682

>>548677
Sure, this can totally be before.
I should be hanging around your pub anyway.
"Hey old man."
>>548679
"N-nothing."
Pokerface.
'1d10'

You are… A pony? Griffon? Old and ancient inhabitant of these lands?

Roll #1 3 = 3

548684

>>548682
I look up, in confusion for a second.
"Hello….have we met before?"

548685

>>548684
"Uh…
At the docks, remember?"

548686

>>548679
Stare at the strange creature. I've never seen one from so close before, only at a distance. Those are some sharp teeth.
"… Hello. What can you do for me?"

548687

>>548685
Slowly blink.
"……"
Then my eyes widen in recognition.
"Aaah, yes, of course, miss Julia. I'm sorry."
Scratch my neck in embarrassment "It seems the incident with the wolves has roughed me up a bit."

548688

>>548687
"You did seem bad off, but at least your guts are not spilled all over."
Smirk.
"How's this place been treating you?"

548689

>>548680
Sticksen Stones, the colony's official mage, might be a good choice. She's a bit of an oddball, but she graduated Mage Academy, so she must be competent.
>>548682
He sees right through you and frowns. "What's going on, Julia?"
The shadow goes quiet for a minute. …I don't remember. Like I said, it's been a while, and without anyone to talk to, I sort of just learned to… hibernate, I guess. Guess it was easier just forgetting things, you know? Anyway, what's your name? I'd like to know if I'm gonna be stuck with you for a while.
>>548686
She's actually… smaller than you expected. Still much taller than you, but thin and toned where most diamond dogs are supposed to be bulky.
"Well, if you need something made from metal, from tools to tacknails, I'm your gal!" she grins sheepishly as she pulls a clearly-incorrect spearhead from the water. "Though I'm not so good with weapons, it seems."

548690

>>548689
Julià.
I… I am Julià.

Drop the link and clench the weapon close.
"Nothing. Honest.
Now let's get back to town, okay?"

548692

>>548689
Maybe she's less bulky because she's a mare.
Or the diamond dog equivalent of a mare, which is not a word I'm allowed to say.
"Okay. If you need medicine or medical aid, I am your pony."

548695

>>548690
How the fuck do I do that?
Boon holds out a hoof and stops you, staring at you with a frown. "Don't lie to me, gal. Something's bothering you, and I'll be damned if you have to deal with it alone. Now tell me."
Who's your friend? He's not gonna freak out if you introduce us, right? You two banged yet? Who am I kidding, of course you haven't; you don't hate each other yet!

548698

>>548692
"Really? I thought that was that cute little buffalo gal, I think her name's Sweetherb? Friendly one, though I don't know why she's smaller than other buffalo. Maybe she's really young?"

548700

>>548695
Do what? I pressed s instead of i, my bad.
"Whoa pal, back the fuck off there!"
Flare my wings and raise my voice.

548701

>>548689
Good, should I go meet her, or wait till she gets a drink here?

>>548688
I smile.
"Except for the wolves, I'm doing fine. These ponies need food and drink to work and I provide it for them. I hope they're safe working near the forest. I'm telling ya, miss, those wolves reminded me of the rats in the Manehattan sewers, you wouldn't believe how big those got. If I were a bit younger I'd have been more than a match for them."

548702

>>548701
"Wait wait wait a minute, you were from Manehatten?"

548703

>>548698
Buffalo are unusual anyway. So many strange species I'm not used to seeing in this colony. Is she young? She must be smart at least.
"I am a herbalist. I know basic healing. I make medicine for doctor Sweetherb."

548705

>>548700
That little dash over the 'a,' I don't know how to do that.
He blinks and steps back, raising a hoof defensively and wincing.
"…I watched you get hurt earlier, and there weren't nothing I could do to stop it. Now I see you hurting again.
Please. Tell me how I can help you."
Oh, you have been boinking each other! What, he always finish early then whine about you getting cold feet?
>>548703
Young, yes. If she were a pony, you'd say she was in her early twenties.
"Oh, that makes sense! What's your name, sweetheart? I'm Crookear." She holds out a paw for you to shake, smiling ear to ear.

548706

>>548702
I nod.
"I worked in a bar in the harbor there for many years."
I chuckle.
"This place seems very calm compared to that."

548709

>>548705
"My name is Ambrosia, smith Crookear."
Carefully extend my own hoof and wait.

548711

>>548705
Eh no idea about the alt+numpad combo, I just have it by default in the italian keyboard.
"Fuck, just give me a second, you and him alike!
Back off, this is nothing, okay?"
This nigga in a box!

548714

>>548701
Actually, here she comes now.
"… could have sworn I had some elderberries… hello there bar-stallion, you Figworth, cause I wanna talk to Figworth, you know, the one who went crazy on the beach, I wanna talk to him, so where's Figworth?"
She talks really fast, constantly looking between you, her saddlebags, the book she has open, and the notepad she's scribbling on.
>>548709
She smiles and shakes your hoof. "Glad to meet ya, Ambrosia!"
…You realize she has a Very firm grip.
Roll.
>>548711
Boon blinks, then glowers at the blaster. "You and 'him?'
…That thing's talking to you, ain't it? That's why yer acting all jumpy."
Ooh, he's onto us. Quick, slit his throat before he goes back and raises a witch-hunt! The shadow cackles darkly.

548716

>>548714
Pain is temporary.

Roll #1 5 = 5

548717

>>548714
Groan and drop the weapon for a moment.
Maybe this way I won't hear him anymore.
"Yes, I tried communing with the thing and turns out it's possessed."

548720

>>548706
"Heck you can say that twice.
Pour me one. Something light."

548721

>>548716
Ow. That is one hell of a grip. Crookear's expression falls, and she lets go, jerking her hand back to cover her face.
"Sorry! Sorry! I try not to, but I just keep doing that! I'm sorry!"
Your hoof is still throbbing a little.

548722

>>548714
"Yes, miss, that's who I am."

>>548720
"Some wine perhaps?"

548723

>>548722
Nod my head impressed.
"You sure know how to impress."

548724

>>548721
Inspect my hoof.
"It throbs."

548725

>>548723
"Comes with the years. I take it you're from Manehattan yourself?"
Pour some wine.

548726

>>548725
Take the glass and rock it a bit in my talons.
"Mh-mh.
From the center of town, actually.
Tall buildings of bricks, smoke rising from the sewers, dim yellow lights on the road at night, cars huffing and whining all around…
Manehatten alright."

548730

>>548726
"The center of town? I always disliked it. It seemed so fake to me. Like everypony was pretending it to be the shining example of culture, while ignoring the filth barely hidden."

548732

>>548730
"Barely's just the word I'd have used."

548745

>>548717
You can still sense him, but he's smart enough to keep quiet.
"So… you can talk to stuff?" Boon goes quiet for a moment, chewing his lip as he thinks, his grip on bessie tight.
Finally, he nods. "I… suppose that kinda makes sense now. It's how ye found that thing in the first place, by… 'talking' to that dead squirrel." He shakes his head.
"I imagine this ain't the sort of thing ye want going around fer any and all ta hear."
>>548722
"Great, good, wonderful. Now, I'd like to take some notes. Could you please describe exactly what happened in detail? What did you taste? Any strange voices or promises of limitless power? Maybe a sensation of being watched?"

548747

>>548724
"I didn't break anything, did I? I always forget my own strength and do that. Are you mad at me?"
She shrinks back, her tail between her legs as she looks at you with her ears laid back and eyes glimmering.

548748

>>548745
Scratch my chin.
"Mostly a feeling of limitless power."

548750

>>548745
"Yeah, I'd really appreciate if you could keep your mouth shut about that one.
But it came hella useful as a detective."
Sit down.
"And here I am, a world away from that cesspit of manehatten, hoping to get away from all this shit and instead what?
Troubles finds me!
And not just a fucking plant or a dead guy from a billion years ago, no!
You know that the mayor reads minds?
Well I had the fucking pleasure to learn it last week! The whore!"

548754

>>548748
"Promises of limitless power, or possession of limitless power? Any strange voices or figures that nopony else could see or hear? Any visions of fire or darkness, perhaps accompanied by deep-throated laughter? Have you noticed any strange bodily mutations, such as scales or extra limbs?"
>>548750
"…She what?" Boon sits down heavily, wiping his brow.
"So that's why ye were good as a detective.
…Don't worry, I'm going to keep this to myself. Yer my partner, an' more importantly, yer a good person; from what I seen, at least. Don't see any reason to judge ye just because ye can talk to stuff."

548756

>>548732
"It was quite a unique place."

>>548754
"Excuse me, why are you asking me these questions?"

548757

>>548754
"She is.
And you can bet your a-"
No, find another expression.
"You can bet your month's pay that's not all she can do."

548759

>>548756
"Quite a unique shithole.
What was having a bar there like?"

548770

>>548759
"Ah, where do I start? Perhaps I could tell a story? That would illustrate it well."

548773

>>548770
"Stories from an old wise stallion.
I always loved those."
Drink some of the wine.

548792

>>548773
"Some years ago, when I was a younger stallion, we had a regular set of customers. They were a bunch of rugged sailors, told us they had a ship and traveled the coast from Manehattan to Fillydelphia.
They seemed like a nice bunch. Always paid their bills on time, always tipped generously.
One of our waitresses, a bright young mare, liked them especially. For months things went flawlessly. And then one day they stormed in, grabbed her and ran out."

548793

>>548792
Raise a brow and stop drinkin, looking at him as if expecting more.

548794

>>548793
Look at you with a grave expression.
"We told the police.
Many days later they found her in the sewers…"
I dry my eyes with a hoofkerchief.
"Poor girl, I can't image what her last moments must have been like. I think about it still sometimes. Her birthday just passed a few months ago."
Put my hoofkerchief away.
"Filth, barely hidden, we had the occasional brawls, I could handle those. But those kinds of stories where all too familiar in that town."

548795

>>548794
Put the drink down.
"I think I'm not thirsty anymore."

548796

>>548795
"I'm sorry, I didn't want to disturb you…"

548797

>>548757
"…Well, that's certainly good to know." He sighs and shakes his head.
"This place just gets crazier and crazier.
…You know what I say? I say we don't judge a trail by its depth just yet. Give her some time, keep an eye on her, but… keep an open mind.
After all, I'm sure some would call ye a hairy-tick and cart ye off to the Inquisition. Ye don't deserve that, yet some would do it all the same."
>>548756
"Symptoms of Demonic Possession and/or malevolent Spirits: Both induce hallucinations, hearing voices, promises of power, urges to shed blood, fear of water, and a taste for rasberry and pickle milkshakes.
Airborne drugs also possible cause; unlikely though, since only one affected. Perhaps poison dart? Any strange bleeding or numbness in the past few days?"
She scribbles some notes in her book, dipping her quill in her drink while taking a sip of her ink.
She grimaces. "Hate coffee, always so bitter. Why do I always order it?"

548798

>>548797
"I got attacked pretty badly by those wolves…"

548799

>>548796
"Nah, it's just…
Bad memories of my past job."
>>548797
Sigh.
"Let's get back to town.
I need a real shower, and a goddamn bed."

548800

>>548799
"Well, whatever it was, I hope we can make this place better than Manehattan."

548801

>>548800
"It was…
About all the cases I couldn't solve.
All the girls that ended up like your waitress."

548802

>>548798
Starts scribbling furiously, checks her work, frowns, dips the quill in her ink and starts scribbling on her notepad.
"Adverse reaction of wildlife towards you. Interesting; possible correlation. Perhaps negative reaction between your natural magic field and ambient magic of this land. Raises question of exact nature of magic in this land; tell me, do you get the taste of mangoes at odd times? Wake up with the uncontrollable urge to procreate? aggressiveness towards other stallions? Urges to establish dominance over other stallions through procreation with them? Is such desire unusual or counter to your sexual preference? Any unusual smells or longing for strange food combinations? Wait, that's pregnancy."
>>548799
"I agree. Today's been a long day for both of us."
All right, I can see you're tired, so I'll vamoose. Just give me a ring when you want me, babe! The shadow fades, then falls silent once more.
You both walk on in silence for several minutes.
More than once you notice Boon turn to you, open his mouth to ask something, pause, then wilt back again.

548803

>>548802
"Speak already, you are killing me."

548804

>>548803
"…If you can talk to things… well, I hate to ask, cause I know it sounds silly, but…
…Could you maybe… talk to Bessie? Tell me what she says?"
This is by far the most vulnerable you've ever seen Boon; considering you saw him getting railed by rape-tentacles, that's saying something. He's watching you intently, his expression shifting between fear, apprehension, shame, and a tiny glimmer of hope.

548805

>>548804
"…"
Extend a talon.

548806

>>548801
"Perhaps it would be better to think about all the mares you did save."

>>548802
"Now that you mention it, I did had a curious dream lately in which my teeth fell out."

548807

>>548805
With no small amount of hesitation, he gingerly hands the rifle over surprising care.
Bessie's heavy in your claws, her barrel scarred and dented in countless places, yet there's a strange familiarity to her weight and balance, like she belongs.

548808

>>548806
She scrunches intently, her tongue poking out as she scribbles furiously at her board.
"Excellent, excellent, believe I may have a lead on cause! Need more research, more correlations, tests! Must run tests! Need samples, clean environment, sufficient snacks to maintain consciousness for duration of procedure…"
She wanders off still rambling to herself.

548809

>>548806
Chuckle.
"There was this girl.
Got in troubles with her boyfriend.
Some low-ranking mafia guy. We served him good."
Smirk.
>>548807
"What do you want to know?"
Time to COMMUNE!
But with the shadow.
'1d10+2'

Roll #1 1 + 2 = 3

548810

>>548809
"Glad to hear it! We need more girls like you."

548811

>>548808
Well, at least she tries.

548812

>>548810
Giggle and omb a talon through my feathers, taking the wine in the other once more.
"That got me in this trouble to begin with."

548813

>>548809
Boon opens his mouth… and a bone-chilling shriek rips through the air.
You get the wind knocked out of you as you get slammed into a tree. Bessie's shadow shrieks again, growing in size and darkening as she takes some semblance of a form, two limbs lined with sharp blades of pure black hanging from the roiling mass of darkness.
Two red eyes appear, then focus on you. You feel all it's anger and rage coalesce into a single, burning purpose; even if it can't form the right words for it, you understand the intent all too well.
GET AWAY FROM MY MASTER!

Bessie's Shadow: 12/1 hits/wounds

Julia: 5/5 hits/wounds

548814

>>548813
"Boon!
Catch!"
Throw him the rifle and pull out my weapon instead, pressing on the ruby.
Light up the night!
'1d10'

Roll #1 3 = 3

548815

>>548814
Your first shot goes wide, blasting a chunk out of one of the trees. Snarling, the shadow swipes and scores a hit.
Boon barely acknowledges you, catching Bessie by reflex as he stares openmouthed at the howling shadow. His expression is that of a child who does not understand why they are being scolded.

Bessie's Shadow: 12/1 hits/wounds

Julia: 2/5 hits/wounds
Boon: 5/5 hits/wounds

548816

>>548815
"BOON!"
No time to talk!
Get in close and personal.
Earthen Strike!
'1d10'

Roll #1 1 = 1

548817

>>548816
Your attention falters for just a moment, and you get slammed into the ground hard. The shadow raises her claws for the final blow…
Suddenly Boon is between the two of you, shielding you with his body as tears run down his cheeks.
"Bessie, please! Stop this! If you're angry blame me!"

Bessie's Shadow: 12/1 hits/wounds

Julia: Helpless/3 hits/wounds
Boon: 5/5 hits/wounds

548818

>>548817
Goddamn rednecks..
Stand up!

Roll #1 1 = 1

548819

>>548818
You've had a rough day, and as you strain to get back up, you pull something you shouldn't have. Every inch of your body ignites with pain as every injury makes itself known at once. You are now unable to roll to recover from helplessness.
"Bessie… Please… don't do this…"
The shadow raises it's claws for the killing blow.

Bessie's Shadow: 12/1 hits/wounds

Julia: Helpless/1 hits/wounds
Boon: 5/5 hits/wounds

548820

>>548819
Guess that's it.
"Hey Boon…
S'not your fault."
Smile at him before I go.

548821

>>548820
Boon stays between you and the shadow staring up at the shadow with a pleading expression.
"Please, don't do this. I… I can't let you do this, Bessie."
The shadow comes right up to him, it's claws inches from his neck.
To his credit, he only shakes a little bit before managing to steel himself. "I'm not moving."
The shadow growls and leans in close, a thousand different weapons forming from the roiling cloud that makes up it's body.
"I've never let you take a life what don't deserve it before. Ain't intending to start now."
The shadow roars in anger and presses even closer, draws it's claws back…

Bessie's Shadow: 12/1 hits/wounds

Julia: Helpless/1 hits/wounds
Boon: 5/5 hits/wounds

548822

>>548821
Ain't got no more breath to cry, just look at them.

548824

>>548822
The shadow looks from you, to him, then back again. You feel something change inside it, the anger and jealousy giving way to… Regret?
the roiling mass begins to shrink, but doesn't dissipate completely, dancing back and forth at Boon's feet.
Once again you get flooded with emotions and images, only instead of anger, this time it's pure, unbridled terror. As you watch the once dangerous shadow stare into your eyes, you find yourself almost overwhelmed by the pleading desire.
Don't take him away from me. Don't make him abandon me again.

548825

>>548824
Breathe heavily, and give it a faint nod.

548826

>>548825
Boon is breathing heavily, hugging his rifle as though his life depended on it, watching the shadow with wide eyes as she hugs his leg tightly.
"What… Why did she do that? What did I do to make her this angry?"

548827

>>548826
"You, nothing."

548828

>>548827
"Then… why was she so angry? I'd… never have thought she'd be like… that."

548829

>>548828
"She's your girl."
Smile.

548832

>>548829
He thinks this over for a minute. "She was… jealous? Thought that just because… That if I was attracted to somepony that I'd… abandon her or something? Or am I just a crazy gun nut?"
Bessie sends you more desires.
Tell him.
You see…
You see all the adventures the two have been on, the loving care with which Boon took her from the busted hunk of rust in the trash and returned her to her former glory, even better than before… the care he took to keep her in good condition… the battles they fought, the time's she'd saved his life by taking a blow for him…
Tell him.
Don't let him let me go.

548834

>>548832
"…She loves you, Boon.
You are her everything. And all you did, all you saw, she treasures it so much, it defies my understanding…"

548841

>>548834
He tries to blink back his tears, giving a single muffled sob as he nuzzles the rifle, his mouth turned up in the biggest smile you've ever seen.
"I love her too, Julia. I saved her once, but ever since it's been her saving me… I know it sounds like I've gone crazy, loving a gun, but it's true. It ain't romantic love or family love… I don't know what it is, but… I know for sure I love her.
…Could you tell her that? That… Someday I'm gonna find a girl to settle down with, maybe have a child or two… Grow old with them… hang up my cap, and settle down…
But never, not till my dying day, am I ever gonna give her up. Could you tell her that?"
The explosion of emotion from the shadow almost overwhelms you as you watch her coo and nuzzle his leg, slowly fading back into her normal form as the gun's shadow. Before she goes, she sends you something so overwhelming, it takes you a moment to realize what it is.
Gratitude.

548844

>>548841
End up curling on the ground, tears of joy running down my eyes.
"She… She knows."

548847

>>548844
You feel Boon help you to you're feet…
and then his hooves are wrapped around you, hugging you close as he fights back tears.
"T…Thank you… thank you… so much… I…"

548851

>>548847
"Shh."
Pat the back of his head, hugging him both out of need to stand and of need to sort out my emotions right now.

548856

>>548851
He's more than happy to stay there.
You both stay like this for who knows how long, crying through the intensity of your emotions until no tears are left.
Finally, much, much later, you feel his grip slacken as he pulls back.
His face is soaked with tears, but his mouth is frozen in a smile of pure joy as he tries to work the words out.
"I… I can't repay, this. It's far too big for me to just… you need anything, anytime, come to me. Anything at all. I…Thank you, for letting me… for letting us…"
He chokes back one last sob, then pats your shoulder.
"Whenever you need me, I'm yours."

548862

>>548856
Just take a big breat, rest a talon around his neck to keep myself upright, and nod to him, slowly.
In a soft, low voice, whisper while resting my head against his neck.
"Let's go home now."

548865

>>548862
"Yes, that's… a mighty fine idea."
You spend the rest of the walk back leaned against each other, feeling…something.
The details are for you alone to know, but the undeniable truth is that a bond has been formed between both of you, the kind that is not easy or likely to be broken.

549038

550731

The colony's workforce is under attack! Screams ring out as boars appear out of the woods.
This time, however, the settlers were prepared. Militia are holding the monsters back as the workers run for the gates. However, they probably aren't going to last long!
JULIA
The town gates have just come into view when you hear screaming and see the colonists under attack.
"Oh, that's just perfect," Boon groans as he readies Bessie.
FIGWORTH
You are on the wall when the attack happens. You have your rifle, so you can make ranged attacks from here. Since you are out of melee range, only critfails will incur counterattack damage.
MAGISTRE AND AMBROSIA
You are out with the workcrews when the attack happens. Defend yourselves!
ASKELADD
You hear the screaming and reach for your weapon when you realize you are still tied to the mare. Before you can say anything, she wraps her hooves behind your neck and hugs herself close, blushing as you awkwardly stumble into battle!
AND FINALLY
JUSTICIA
You're one of the stationed guards when the attack happens, so you're right in the thick of it. First action is automatic.
Stand by for battle stats.

550735

>>550731
Scrawny Boar: 9/3 hits/wounds
Starved Boar: 9/3 hits/wounds
Hungry Boar: 9/3 hits/wounds
Scraggly Boar: 9/3 hits/wounds
Thin Boar: 9/3 hits/wounds
Sickly Boar: 9/3 hits/wounds

Makeshift Militia #1: 5/5 hits/wounds
Makeshift Militia #2: 5/5 hits/wounds
Makeshift Militia #3: 5/5 hits/wounds
Makeshift Militia #4: 5/5 hits/wounds
Makeshift Militia #5: 5/5 hits/wounds

Julia: 5/5 hits/wounds
>Boon: 5/5 hits/wounds
Magistre: 5/5 hits/wounds
Askeladd: 5/5 hits/wounds
Ambrosia: 6/6 hits/wounds
Figworth: 5/5 hits/wounds
Justicia: 5/5 hits/wounds

550742

>>550731
Good thing I have my trusty pistol!
Shoot at the thin boar!
'1d10'

Roll #1 9 = 9

550749

>>550731
"Hey, it could be worse.
We could still be covered in plant spunk."
Smirk and rush ahead, find a vantage spot, like a tree.
'1d10'

Roll #1 1 = 1

550751

>>550735
>>550731
Nature pls
Stare intently at one of the boars
"Why are you assaulting, boar? You should leave us in peace, there is no reason for you to be here."
Animal mastery

Roll #1 2 = 2

550758

>>550731
>>550735
Beasts of the forest! Unsheathe my sword.
"To arms!"
Charge at one of the smaller and faster ones I can sense. Slice-and-dice.

Roll #1 10 = 10

550761

>>550735
>>550731
Ah oh god oh god!
Ah fuck! Lets do this!!

>>550735
Sentried Sharpen my weapon!!

550765

'5d10' '1d10+2'

Roll #1 4, 8, 2, 3, 10 = 27 / Roll #2 9 + 2 = 11

550768

>>550735
Time for shooting '1d10'

Roll #1 10 = 10

550769

550776

>>550768
the boar

550779

>>550742
As he sees you take aim, the militiapony struggling with the boar yelps and dives out of the way, giving you a clear shot. The boar staggers as the bullet hits.
>>550749
You rush straight into a boar's charge. Bad news is your head hurts. Good news is that you've just made friends with really pretty star-birds. pretty…
>>550751
FOOD!
Your hesitation gives the boar the chance to sink his tusks in deep.
>>550758
You sink your blade deep in the Scrawny Boar's neck. It squeals like a stuck pig as it's lifeblood pours onto the ground.
>>550761
It's sharpened, and so are your senses as adrenaline and endorphins are pumped through your system. +1 to weapon rolls for the duration of the battle.
>>550768
Your rifle cracks at the same time as Boon, your simultaneous shots dropping one of the boars. One down.

The militia are clearly losing ground. They're untrained and poorly equipped, and these boars are viscious.

Scrawny Boar: 4/3 hits/wounds Starved Boar: 9/3 hits/wounds
Hungry Boar: 7/3 hits/wounds Scraggly Boar: 4/3 hits/wounds
Thin Boar: 5/3 hits/wounds Sickly Boar: Dead

Makeshift Militia #1: 2/5 hits/wounds
Makeshift Militia #2: 5/5 hits/wounds
Makeshift Militia #3: Helpless/4 hits/wounds
Makeshift Militia #4: 1/5 hits/wounds
Makeshift Militia #5: 5/5 hits/wounds
Julia: Helpless/5 hits/wounds
>Boon: 5/5 hits/wounds
Magistre: 5/5 hits/wounds
Askeladd: 5/5 hits/wounds
Ambrosia: 2/6 hits/wounds
Figworth: 5/5 hits/wounds
Justicia: 5/5 hits/wounds

550781

>>550779
Touch pretty!
Or, you know, get up.
'1d10'

Roll #1 6 = 6

550782

>>550779
That's not funny!
Shoot at the boar again!
'1d10'

Roll #1 6 = 6

550783

>>550779
Marksman Shot '1d10'

Roll #1 8 = 8

550784

>>550783
on the thin boar

550785

>>550779
Pull out and stab it again! Find the heart!

Roll #1 1 = 1

550786

>>550779
"Hold on Soft Stream, dont let go!"
Go after the Scrawny boar, my dignity hanging in the balance both methaporically and literally.
Slam
'1d10+3'

Roll #1 7 + 3 = 10

550787

>>550779
Alright listen here you little shit
Fine
Shank him with my sword.

Rol