Previous Session: http://mlpg.coluna_quest/616539.html /qt/ Thread: http://mlpg.co/qt/res/217221.html >Following Gold Heart, you meet back up with Thorn and have breakfast with them and Thorn's wife, Corona, at the embassy >Gold Heart explains to you more about dragon society and the relationship between ponies and dragons >The peace between the two races is important to Glaurumat's Mind, some magical object that keeps the city of Taloran afloat >Corona meets you at the citadel where the embassy is located and acts as Thorn and Gold Heart's home >During breakfast, Corona hints at a relationship between you and Gold Heart, but Gold Heart denies anything >Flustered by Corona's behavior, Gold Heart takes you to a courtyard where a statue of her father stands >Here, she explains her hatred for Pierce and how Pierce's father was responsible for her father's death, just as Gold Heart is responsible for the death of Pierce's father >It stabilized relations between dragons and ponies and Gold Heart was awarded a medal from Emperor Halberd as a sign of being "a true dragon among ponies" >Gold Heart takes you back to her room where a new set of clothes are waiting for you >Once changed, you and Gold Heart exchange a few words about learning the dragon language and she leans in to kiss you >You pull away, however, saying that your heart belongs to Luna >To clear up any misunderstandings, she tells you that the feeling was there and she acted upon it, but she has no romantic interest in you either >You both leave for Glaurumat's Mind to meet up with the princesses and the Elements of Harmony
Upon leaving the Citadel, Corona teases Gold Heart about where the two of you went, but Thorn cuts the tension by saying he already sent word that they would be arriving at the palace shortly and that Pierce should be expecting you. True to Thorn's word, you were expected but not by Pierce. Upon arrival, Celestia and Luna are standing at the entrance to the palace.
"Good morning, Princess Celestia and Princess Luna," Gold Heart greets them. "Where are Pierce and Emperor Halberd?"
"They're preparing Glaurumat's Skull for the forging of the chains," Celestia informs her.
"It appears that someone made quite the mess of things before our arrival," Luna says. "No significant damage was done to the Mind, but there is a possibility that it was merely a distraction."
"The Gate has been tampered with," Pierce sighs, stepping out of the palace and rubbing his scaly brow. "We don't know how, but those damned traitors have done something to it. My apologies, but it will be some time before we can have the Skull ready for you again."
Celestia smiles and says, "That's quite alright, Pierce. Tiamat isn't here yet. Please inform us when the preparations are complete."
"Until that time," Luna turns to you, "it has been much too long since I have visited Taloran and I would like to 'take in the sights', I think? What say you?"
Luna calls out your name to catch your attention. A day around Taloran with Princess Luna? Gold Heart and Thorn are already following Pierce into the palace, but Celestia seems intrigued by the proposition.
"I haven't been here in a while myself," says Celestia, "but I can act as a guide for you if you like."
Both princesses?! It almost seems too good to be true, but there's no way you'd let this chance slip by you now. At every pass you and Luna have been separated since your promise, it's about time you upheld it. But should Celestia come with you? After everything that happened with Gold Heart and what you told her, it'd be nice to get some of those feelings off of your chest and having Celestia around might put a real damper on the chances of that happening. Is now really the best time though? They do say there's no time like the present, and who knows, maybe if you can settle things with Celestia, she might even help you win Luna's heart. >Current Affection Levels:
Luna - Close Friends Lucent - Close Friends Gold Heart - Close Friends [LOCKED] Celestia - Low
You agree to let Celestia act as your guide and she gives you a smile.
"Very well then," Celestia says, stepping out towards the road. "Where shall we go first?"
"Does the Colosseum still hold competitions?" asks Luna, following her sister. "It would be such a disappointment to find one of my favorite sports has fallen out of favor."
Celestia pauses for a moment to think, placing a gold tipped hoof to her cheek.
"I believe it's still up and running," she replies, "but I was thinking something a bit calmer for the morning. Maybe a walk through the marketplace? We'll have to take at least a couple of guards with us wherever we go, so we won't be completely alone."
"Gaurds," Luna scoffs. "We have all the guard we need within our present company."
"Speaking of," Celestia says as she turns to you. "What would you like to do? Did you spot any places around Taloran you wanted to visit?"
Siding with one of the sisters would definitely be easier, but then there's the problem of having the other one be unhappy with the choice you've made. You remember seeing dragons taking ponies around the city, maybe there's some sort of guided tour you could take. As boring as that sounds, it would save you from choosing between the two of them.
>>618819 I think it is, but we'll be seeing it later when we actually get down to the business of reforging the chains. And it'll almost certainly be in Glauramut's skull where we've just been turned away from.
We don't actually know of any landmarks ourselves, right? I'll admit, finding out what wondrous things might be for sale in a magical floating dragon city *is* pretty tempting
>>618825 If its in the skull we can just wait and see it later.
I guess we should either go to the market or ask Luna what's going on in the arena though she might be more upset if we do not want to go there after we asked than if we just went for the market right away.
We are fully equipped again, right? Gold Heart gave us a new sword, shield and clothes. If we are missing anything else we could use that as a reason to pick the market
>>618825 Are we able to see Glauramut's mind before we go, or is it off limits? It's the biggest element of the city, and if we're sightseeing it'd be good to see it while we're not busy with our task later.
"Are we able to see Glauramut's mind before we go, or is it off limits? It's the biggest element of the city, and if we're sightseeing it'd be good to see it while we're not busy with our task later."
"I'm sorry," she says, "but if they're preparing the Skull for the forging of the chains it would be best for us to stay out of their way. We might cause more problems."
"We will see the Mind in time," Luna says your name. "Be patient."
Luna puts her hoof on your forearm, the cool silver covering it sending goosebumps over your skin. You could always just go against the Princesses wishes and sneak in, but that might lose you some major points in the way of patching things up with Celestia, and Luna might not appreciate being ditched again. Still, you really want to see the mind.
"If you're so curious about the Mind, we can go to the museum," Celestia suggests. "It has many archives and models for guests to enjoy. It's not the real thing, but it is something to consider."
"It is not the arena or the marketplace," Luna sighs, "but if my companion wishes it, then I will not deny him."
"Ah, no. I'm sure it would be interesting for me, but you two probably know it all already. I can wait. For now though, I'd love to see what sort of wonders are for sale in a place like this."
"Wonferful," Celestia says and continues walking into the city.
"History does not easily change," Luna comments, following her sister, "but even now, what was once available in the Taloran Market today may be lost tomorrow."
Coming into stride alongside Luna, you take in some more of the sights around the city. Things are a lot quieter near the palace. There's still just as many ponies and dragons about as anywhere else, but most of them just seem to be making their way from point A to point B or talking about some business or another. Not too many little ones running around. Even in such a serious environment, the architecture never manages to lose its extravagance. Exotic and unique flowers and trees still line the sidewalk, and waterways still flow freely beside them. Whether those are for show or actually serve a purpose, you don't know, but they look pretty nonetheless.
Celestia seems about as happy as ever and her smile seems genuine, a nice change from how you've seen her before. Luna, however, isn't frowning, but isn't smiling either. A cat couldn't show more indifference if it cared to. When she catches you looking at her, she gives you a small smile and there's a brief sparkle in her eyes.
"What has you so interested in the marketplace?" Luna inquires. "Surely you have a similar manner of commerce in your world."
>>618847 "Oh, yes, we certainly do. They are normally quite loud and busy, and everyone is trying to praise their wares as the best. I thought we should take the chance for such a lively experience before we have to head off for battle."
"Oh, yes, we certainly do. They are normally quite loud and busy, and everyone is trying to praise their wares as the best. I thought we should take the chance for such a lively experience before we have to head off for battle."
"With any luck," Luna says, looking ahead of her with a frown, "there won't be a battle. We will forge the chains, restrain Tiamat, and put her back in her prison where she belongs."
"If it was a battle you wanted," Celestia chimes in, "maybe we should have gone to the arena."
>>618847 We do, and that's why I want to see it; it's usually where the town is most lively and I've never been to a marketplace that didn't have something interesting that I hadn't seen before. There's such a variety of stuff happening there that they're always a good place to visit if you're wanting to see what a place is like.
"How does an arena fit into a place that is kept alive by harmony between its citizens anyway?"
"Between dragons and ponies, yes," Celestia answers. "But it's practically part of a dragon's nature to fight other dragons for control, or power, or wealth, or-"
"Or for the entertainments of tens of thousands in attendance," Luna shouts, grinning and stomping a hoof on the ground, "all waiting to see their favorite competitors claim glory through victory in the Colosseum."
"Or that," she says. "As long as the fighting isn't between dragons and ponies, Glaurumat's Mind won't falter."
As you get closer to Taloran Market, the streets are starting to feel a little crowded with how many ponies are coming through. Not just ponies either. Griffons, deer, dragons, minotaurs, and a plethora of other creatures make their way through the streets. There's no way you'd lose Celestia in all of this, but Luna might be a problem. You'll have to keep an on here while you're here to make sure you don't lose sight of her, but that shouldn't be a problem for you.
Voices and animal cries get louder the closer you approach. Stalls selling more local things are set up on the outer edge of the market, making them a little more accessible to folks who know the area, but the deeper you go, the stranger things you see. Was that a box of manticore kittens? They keep manticores as pets here?
Rare jewels, jewelry, pots, pans, paintings, furniture, carpets, food, drinks, games. This place had everything and more, fake and rigged or not.
"Please stay close to me," Luna shouts over the crowd. "I would prefer you didn't get lost."
"Taloran Market has everything you could imagine," Celestia tells you. "Is there anything specific you want to see if you can find?"
There's a lot of fantasy and lore from your world that you can think of. Maybe they have some of it here? Maybe a gift for Luna? Celestia, maybe? Something nice to help you two try and get a long, and something for Luna to try and charm her a bit? So much to do and you've got all the time in the world to do it.
>>618873 "I didn't know Taloran is so diverse. It seems like everything you could come up with lives here."
I can't think of any specific thing for either of them. Maybe we should just walk along the stands and see if they react to any of it. Maybe there are some barrettes is that the right word? those clips you can put in your hairaround - we could gift Luna one in the shape of a meteor, to remind her of us (and our clumsy entrance into their world)
You look around for some nice wood carvings. There's one crotchety old pony with a pet crow selling nothing but wooden bears, but aside from that, not much. A few stalls away from her is a young buck making a few small bird carvings. They look incredibly detailed as do most of his other wildlife carvings, almost lifelike with the paint on them. He does custom works as well, but they're rather expensive. Almost five-hundred bits and that's for a small one.
Another stall on the opposite side is selling hair care products which all seem (and smell) rather fishy, but they do have some nice accessories. Plenty of beautiful bows and ribbons, a few cheap but cute ones molded into different shapes or patterns. You see a few shooting star looking ones. Not exactly a meteor, but they're the same thing, right?
Come to think of it, you don't really have a lot of money, or any money at all. Just the gems that Baron made you find back in the caves. You're not sure how much they're worth here though. Maybe you can get them appraised somewhere.
While you're looking them over, you hear Celestia say, "Don't worry about paying for anything. I'll cover it. Just don't go for anything too expensive."
That's nice of her, but you'd still like to fund out how much these are worth. It might look bad if you get Luna a gift that Celestia paid for. Even worse if you get Celestia a gift that she practically paid for herself. Maybe Celestia can give you the bits for these? Or you could just ask one of the stall owners? Maybe Luna might know where you can get bits for these.
Celestia is currently looking at birdcages filled with all sorts of different feathered creatures, big and small, while Luna seems to be more interested in some of the weapons hung up and around various stalls.
>>618891 "I appreciate the offer, but I think I've got it covered." Show Celestia one of the gems. "One of these has to be worth a fair amount, right? You know if there's a place I could have it appraised?"
"I appreciate the offer, but I think I've got it covered," you say, the gems sparkling in your hand. "One of these has to be worth a fair amount, right? You know if there's a place I could have it appraised?"
"I'm afraid there isn't," Celestia says with a shake of her head. "There is an exchange at the embassy. We can go there later if you like, but for now, you'll have to try and barter for something with them. One of the stall owners would be more than happy to trade them for some bits I'd imagine."
Celestia raises her head and over yours and shouts out for Luna. The princess trots over and seems rather annoyed by something.
"What awful merchants," Luna scoffs. "They tried to tell me that one of their prized swords belonged to the legendary Fireball, when I know for a fact it was buried with him."
"I'm sorry, Luna," Celestia consoles her, "but perhaps you can help with our little money problem?"
Luna looks over your gems.
"Yes," Luna says and points you towards what appears to be a jeweler of sorts. "I believe that merchant will be of adequate service. From what I understand, he deals in such things."
The stall is covered in various jewelry, all encrusted with some gem or another. Bags of bits and other gems sit behind the diamond dog at the stand. He's currently inspecting a gold watch for another pony. You immediately recognize the diamond dog as Slim from the Appaloosan caves. Didn't Baron break his legs?
"I know that guy. He was one of the dogs from back in the caves. Guess this must be his day job."
Luna's eyes flash white and her voice takes on a dark and powerful tone.
"He shall pay for assaulting you," she booms, catching the attention of the market and Slim.
The diamond dog eyes both of you down, but doesn't seem too troubled by your presence. He goes back to inspecting the watch and everyone else goes back to shopping through the market. Luna charges her way through the crowd and right up to Slim's counter.
"Stand before this princess of Equestria and receive judgment for your misdeeds against my dearest friend!" she shouts, scaring away the other pony.
Slim raises an eyebrow as the pony runs away, looks at the watch, and pockets it.
"Who the what now?" the diamond dog says.
Luna's making quite the scene. It might be a good idea to calm her down. Plus, this Diamond Dog's legs are just fun if he can walk around pocketing watches like that. Something isn't right. But, if it is Slim, it might be pretty funny watching Luna let loose on him.
>>618933 Yeah, I was thinking the same. With 1500 we could probably afford something for both, seeing how the custom wood carvings where only 500 bits each.
This is a market though, right? We don't have to take his offer right away, we could try to bargain. After all we are already providing a good chunk of the material with the onyx. The emerald should be enough to pay for it or the garnet, I have no idea which is worth more.
"Or you take the onyx and place it into a pretty thing at the price of either the garnet or emerald. I'm already providing the onyx after all."
"Fine," he says, picking the stones back up. "Three hundred for Garnet or emerald. What pretty thing you want?"
There's a lot of different types of jewelry to choose from, but which one would Luna like? You could always just ask her, but then there's no surprise to it. Not that she isn't watching you do this already, but she doesn't know you're getting this for her. Could be fun.
Most of Slim's inventory actually is pretty diverse, in design if not in form. Rings, bangles, horseshoes, necklaces, brooches, tie clips, hair clips, and a few of them with preset gems hanging in the back behind him. There's a sign with a misspelled "special stock" hanging above those.
Luna already has quite a few accessories, so maybe something for her mane?
Hairbands, more clips, berets, combs. A lot of these are mostly used to keep other things tied together with ribbons or the hair itself. It all depends on the look you're going for, but you're not shopping for you.
"I've just had a lovely new roost sent to Philomena back in Canterlot," Celestia says, beaming with delight. "Her old one was getting stained with old ash."
After taking some time to look around Slim's shop, a few things catch your eye for the onyx to go into, and you can sort of see how they would look put together. >oval onyx surrounded by some silver bezel with wings to the left and right as barrette >a ring for the horn >a ring with the circlet cut open opposite to the onyx so you could put it over the wing-bone
Thanks to the Anon who suggested the items listed above and for the sketch of how a couple of those accessories might look.
"Philomena is my pheonix," Celestia explains. "A rare bird that dies every so often and is reborn form the ashes. It's been a while since she's had a new roost, so I'm sure she'll be very pleased when it arrives."
You point out a silver hairband for the onyx to be set into and Slim gets to work.
"What's going on here?" asks Celestia. "That kind of thing doesn't look like it would suit you."
Well, Celestia's spotted you buying Luna's gift. Luna herself seems to have been distracted by a small performance of perfectly trained rats performing cheap small scale circus tricks. There wouldn't be any harm in letting Celestia know about your gift to Luna, but should you keep it a secret with her and give it to Luna later, or waste no time and present it to her now?
>>621293 > "A rare bird that dies every so often and is reborn form the ashes. It's been a while since she's had a new roost, so I'm sure she'll be very pleased when it arrives."
I kinda wanna make a joke about it along the lines of >>618966 but I'm not sure how she'd react. We haven't really been super best friend with her so far
I say we give it to her later - right now Slim isn't done with it anyway. And if no better situation presents itself during the day that's fine too - can't be much "worse" than just 'Here's a gift' either.
"It's a gift for Luna," you tell Celestia, "but I don't really want her to know about it. I was hoping on surprising her later."
"However," she says, "I wouldn't wait too long. Once Glaurumat's Skull has been properly prepared again, Luna and I might be too busy for much interaction. But, a gift during that time might be a great way to lift her spirits."
"Here," Slim places the hairband and a bag onto the counter. "Shiny thing and bits. Get out of sight. We square."
You gather up the hairband and realize it might be a little big to carry around in your pocket, so you place the band inside the bit bag and tie it to your waist. Now, you just need to get Celestia a gift, but would there be any point in hiding it from her. If anything, mending the relationship between the two of you might be best to do as soon as possible. Surprising her with a gift might be more heartfelt, but asking her what she would like and openly patching things up now would hurry things along, at least you hope.
"Have you found anything to your liking?" Luna cays upon her approach, eyeing the newly acquired bag of bits.
"I was actually trying to find a gift for your sister," you say. "Thought it might help patch things up between us."
Celestia frowns a little and looks away from you and Luna. There's a soft sigh from her and she looks back at you.
"I wanted to discuss this with you later in private," Celestia says, "but if you are willing to discuss it so openly in front of Luna, then I will not object. I've told her as much about our little spat before we left the Badlands."
"Foolishness," Luna raises her head as she speaks. "Nothing more than misunderstandings on both your parts. I, too, had been meaning to get you both to treat each other more amicably, but if now is the time, then out with it. Both of you."
>>621307 I don't think it's a bad idea, so long as we phrase it carefully (what'd you think of my attempt in >>621309 ?), and any upset will be healed when we give her hers immediately after- >>621311 Ack we said it in front of Celestia? Dangit.
>>621316 >Apologize Maybe there's a small apology to be made for the fact that we can't expect her to trust us and that the other ponies have been maybe a bit quick to do so, but she's definitely been the person with the least confidence in us so far, and her "I place my sister's well being in your hands, so I must trust you" is nonsense, because that's not her choice to make, it's Luna's. For reference, her chain of "don't step out of line, buddy" begins here: http://mlpg.coluna_quest/596890.html#596931 and our boo-boo is here: http://mlpg.coluna_quest/596890.html#598289
>>621323 Kinda curious what exactly she told Luna about the discussion, given our upsetting statement was given in response to her thanking us for trusting her enough to give her our sweet loot cube, and she didn't seem to want Luna to know of that thing's significance, whatever it may be.
>>621342 It was maybe a bit harsh, but "Hopefully you'll come to trust me too" is several levels below >"My sister's happiness and the safety of Equestria are of the utmost importance to me," Celestia continues. "Disrupt either, and I will remove you from this country." >"There is much that I have to regret in my life," Celestia continues. "Please do not make me regret you."
I wonder if the guy who actually made the statement is around
You look to Luna, who seems very set in having the two of you settle things now that you've started it.
"Alright," you say. "Can we step somewhere more quiet for a moment then? I'd rather not have a discussion like this in a crowded marketplace."
"The only place we would have any privacy would be back in the palace," Celestia tells you. "I'd hate to cut our trip short, but perhaps it would be best."
You still haven't gotten Celestia a gift, but postponing that might be a better idea. You can always get something later. The whole point of the outing was to kill time before the room was prepared and you doubt it's ready so soon. Maybe going somewhere else? Some place one of them mentioned before? The thought of going there might put one of them in a better mood.
>>621365 I doubt the Colosseum will provide us with much more privacy.
I think we should just move out of the middle of the market square and discuss it somewhere close where we aren't surrounded by Dragons, Diamond Dogs, Ponies and so on on every side. We can still go to the Colosseum afterwards, I don't think talking this out will take too long.
"That doesn't seem very private," Celestia says. "The center of the market will no doubt be the busiest spot in town."
"I shall prevent any interruptions and the activity will provide cover for any outbursts," Luna states and strolls off into the crowds. "Come."
Celestia follows close behind her sister and you fall in behind her. It doesn't take you long to reach the center of the market and it's rather easy to spot. A large golden fountain with a small family of golden dragon statues are spouting gushing water out of open mouths. All around are entertainers of all sorts, pony or otherwise. Diamond Dog jugglers handling volatile and dangerous objects with expert ease, ponies singing songs, a griffin inviting people into games of chance to test their luck. Celestia takes a stand in front of the fountain and Luna nudges in front of her.
"Who will be the first to speak," Luna says, glaring at the two of you.
>>621404 "I'm sorry I lashed out the other day. I could have handled that with a lot more tact. You've only known me for three days and you've put a lot of faith in me by even letting me hang around. I should have recognized that."
>>621404 Look, I know what I said came out a bit harsh, and I know that it's unreasonable to expect you to trust a stranger like me after only a few days. It was just that the sudden warnings against acting out and threats of deportation hit me maybe harder than it should have since, after the rocky start, every other pony I've met has been almost unquestioningly accepting of me. I know as a ruler you've got to watch out for threats for everyone far more than most ponies. I'm sorry that I upset you, despite how I phrased it last time, I still do hope that I do manage to earn your trust like that in time. >>621406 Yikes, I thought it was less than a week, but I was thinking 5
"I'm sorry I lashed out the other day. I could have handled that with a lot more tact. You've only known me for three days and you've put a lot of faith in me by even letting me hang around. I should have recognized that."
"Sister?" Luna says, turning to Celestia.
"You are wrong," Celestia replies, hanging her head. "It only appeared that I put so much faith in you, but I haven't. There is so much I've hidden from you and then I was so bold to question the value of your faith in me after I threatened you."
Celestia approaches you, looks you in the eye and smiles.
"Since the beginning I have only ever wanted to be your friend," Celestia says, then frowns. "But at a time where the peace of Equestria was in danger, I saw everything as a threat and lashed out against you as well. You have done nothing but act kindly and loyally to my sister and I. You have been treated harshly and unfairly by the one of the ponies in Equestria who most responsible for acting gently and justly, and for that, I owe you an apology."
With a deep breath, Celestia lowers her head before you and says, "I'm sorry. I should have trusted you more and understood you were having problems adjusting to our world. Instead, I turned away from you to focus on my own problems, even going so far as to shove my sister's care onto you. I hope you can forgive me."
"All water under the bridge," you tell her, giving her a smile.
"What a joyous occasion," Luna flies between you, scooping the two of you up in a hug. "Surely, now you are both friends. My friend and my sister, finally together in harmony."
"Luna," Celestia says, leaning her head away from her sister, then sighing and nuzzling her cheek. "There's still a a ways to go from here. We'll need to survive sealing Tiamat before we can properly celebrate our new found friendship."
>>621453 If I know Luna, I don't think anything from the Colosseum going to top giving her something made from a gem that we personally won in battle That said, this feels like an odd time to go "Oh hey, I got you something". On the third hand, it'd still probably be appreciated regardless.
As Luna finally lets you go, you say ""It's still just midday, how about we use some of the time we have left to pay a visit to the Colosseum?"
"While I am eager to see the Colosseum," Luna says, turning to look at Celestia, "I'm more interested in what my sister is hiding from us."
Celestia's smile vanishes and takes a quick look around the market before leaning in to whisper to you both.
"Yes," she says. "While I do have things I need to tell you about, now is not the best time and would absolutely require the utmost privacy. It will have to wait until we return to the palace. Understood?"
There's a lot you need to ask Celestia about, but what could she possibly be hiding from Luna? You'd really like answers as soon as possible, but apparently what you need to talk about, Celestia doesn't think is safe enough to talk about in public. You could still try and find someplace more secluded, or you could try and enjoy yourselves right now. No sense in killing the start of what seems to be a great day.
>>621491 Alright, thanks for the session! We didn't get too much done this time, but at least we are on good terms with Celestia again! And once we went to the Colosseum and gave Luna her gift, we will also find out Celestia's secrets!
>>621491 That's fine, it was a good stopping point, and we've already run longer than last session. And I was weirdly invested in that whole argument, so I'm glad to have seen it come to a happy ending Thanks for the session!