You feel terrible, your head pounding, you body.. you can hardly feel your body.. You look around and there are other ponies here, they all seem.. translucent.. the ground is dark, the grass is black, the flowers that grow don't seem correct. You eventually look up to what the other ponies are staring at, a pale pony with a dark cloak is standing on a hill nearby. His eyes are covered by the hood but he seems to have no issues seeing you. "Greeting spirits. I am here to guide you, answer any and all questions to the best of my ability, and help you adjust to the after life." A few of the other ponies nod slowly, a couple cry.
>>502953 You feel your chest a bit and find that your outfit has a hole in it, the edges of it frayed and burned. After focusing a moment you search yourself and find a rolling pin and an apron, well, the apron would cover up that hole.. and then you wouldn't be able to see through yourself. >>502955 You find it easier to float than stand, but you stand up and meet the cloaked pony. "Yes. Tambelon, the other side, underworld, spirit zone.. These are all names that ponies have used for this place."
>>502966 Huh, those aren't yours at all, They zap from you over to the confused earth pony mare asking questions. You look on the ground next to you and find a pendant the familiar swirls. Opening it up confirms for you that it is yours, your sweet Jenny's smile looking back at you. >>502968 "I'm sorry Miss Sweet Rolls." The hooded pony offers you a pale hoof. "I can see that you were not ready to die, but it happens to everypony." You see your favorite lucky apron and rolling pin appear next to you.
>>502978 "You don't just walk away from a wound like that Sigfried." The pale pony says to you. >>502979 The pale pony shakes his head. "I can not do that, only someone on the side of the living can bring you back there."
The youngest of the pony spirits here is crying, a foal no older eight, he is holding a blanket tightly.
>>502984 The pale pony sighs. "It is beyond my power. You are here unless somepony from the world of the living pulls you out, or you become reborn." >>502985 The pale pony just nods to you. "Then you should know that this place is safe." He gestudead_life to the left and right where in the distance you can see pillars with some strange writing on them. "Only spirits like you can enter here, there are older and stronger things in the underworld, while you should be careful, if anything happens you would end up back here."
>>502999 "Yes, strong spirits that have made themselves formidable, solid, or otherwise more monstrous, they seek to hasten their rebirth by stealing the light of others." He pauses. "But it is not all bad, some creatudead_life like it here, and will give some of the light of life to those whom they favor, and eventually the lights of life will fall to you naturally."
The foal seems to absorbed in his own sorrows. >>503001 The foal appears to be alone, he has a crack on his head as if he fell from a very high distance.
>>503015 The foal hugs you tightly and sobs into your apron. >>503016 The pale pony taps you on the shoulder and gestudead_life upwards. "Lights of life rain down, and float to the spirits of the dead. You can either catch it or you can obtain them from those who have it."
>>503033 "Its is not comfortable to have your light stolen, is why you should be careful when exploring the underworld, but some souls like to be here, and will give you a portion of their light for favors and such." >>503036 He sees your face filled with smiles and kindness and smiles up at you "I'm Boulder!"
A few of the other spirits here start to drift about, most of them seem to understand the gist of what's going on, that or they don't really care. You can see a few structudead_life here, stone buildings with slopping red roofs, they have thin papers with special symbols on them.
>>503042 "Thanks! I'm really strong." He replies. boldly. >>503044 "Messages, border patrol, or just a conversation, you have to ask them." The pale pony replies carefully making sure his hood doesn't slip backwards.
A pegasus mare sits nearby spacing out, a set of goggles materialized next to her, her wings seem to have been injured and there is a small crack on her skull. >>503056 "I'm sorry. But no. This is not a dream."
>>503059 "It only takes a second." The pale pony says sympathetically. >>503061 You trot your way over toward the house the young boy in tow. "Yea, what should I call you?" He asks. >>503063 The pale pony simply points past the pillars which line the area. you can see rolling hills, a few walls in the distance, but nothing much moving.
>>503068 "If you're not lucky enough to have someone on the living side to call you back, you can start working toward rebirth." The pony replies. looking around you see tall pillars which guard the area, symbols craved into them, you see stone houses with red slopping roofs decorated with slips of paper containing similar symbols. Beyond the pillars you see rolling hills, a few walls in the distance. "Be careful if you go beyond the pillars. There are strong things out there." >>503067 You take him into the neadead_lifet house, inside you find other spirits moving about, some chatting with each other, some sitting at tables playing cards, and some staring absently as if they aren't fully here.
>>503071 Hmm… the ones playing card… they must know a thing or two. "Come on, I need to ask some questions from those ponies, okay?" Walk over there. "Excuse me… we are new here, could you give us a few pieces of advice on what to do? I admit, I am a bit lost at the moment…"
>>503084 "We don't really need sleep." "Or rooms, but If you wanted you could make your own house, or floor just takes time." >>503085 You see the mare that was asking questions and the foal that was crying standing near the card table. >>503086 maybe they just want to relax
>>503090 They are playing cards, each pony is dealt two face down, and then several face up cards are dealt. "Seven Card Stud. Its a new game." A stallion spirit replies as he examines his cards. "Right I'm in." "I fold" "Stop folding each time!" The four ponies seem to be from totally different eras. A pegasus is wearing a blue overcoat with large gold buttons, a unicorn stallion is wearing a suit with frills on the front and sleeves, An earth pony is wearing a kind of cat mask and a pin-stripe shirt. And the last one, a unicorn, is wearing some bronze armor, and matching helmet. Intedead_lifetingly they seem a little more solid than most of the other spirits here.
>>503091 Your wings move, and you float up a bit, but you feel as if you don't need your wings for floating, as if they just make it easier.
>>503202 You hide your distaste extremely well. Boulder happy pets his blanket while you talk. "Well, bits don't mean anything here sweetheart." The unicorn in the armor says with a bit of snark in his tone. >>503203 "You want in?" The Pegasus asks. >>503209 "Its easy sweet heart, just match up the cards like your friend there says." >>503220 no, but the reaper did
>>503223 >>503227 The earth pony with mask smiles "Fdead_lifeh of the boat huh? I've been dying for some new faces to play with, I'll pay your ante for a round if you care to try your luck." "Otherwise you could try asking Miss Gretchen, probably the oldest one here, she sometimes has work." The pegasus adds. >>503225 "Suit yourself miss." "All in" "Fold" "fold" "fold" "Damn it." "You're too easy to read Arthur."
>>503254 >>503255 You float up the stairs and see an earth pony mare covered in what looks like woven flowers. She greets you warmly as you enter, "Hello spirits." Her voice is warm and real feeling, she seems to have a certain tone, a glow to her. Her room is filled with a truly random assortment of things, from fancy glasses and lamps to primitive looking weapons. There is a small cat spirit here. boulder runs over to it and begins to play with it, dangling some yarn from a nearby basket in front of the creature. >>503261 '4d12' The next set of cards is dealt face up. "We don't speak Germane, you simply hear it. Perks of being dead I suppose, no language barrier." "Arthur Dragonking, Monster hunter of the mighty unicorn clan." The unicorn in the armor introduces himself. "Yunic Letterborne, Prench artistocrat." The unicorn in the frilly suit says. "Dashing Flight, from the northern border." The pegasus with the blue overcoat says "Minx Deluxe." The masked earth pony says.
>>503276 '3d12' a third round is dealt. The unicorn shakes his head at you. Deluxe smirks "Bold move." "I'm folding" Dashing says. "stay." "stay" >>503274 >>503275 She nods understandingly. "I can offer you a bit of a head start, my deepest wish is to add to my collection here, but you don't look like you have anything you can part with.. What kind of skills do you have dears?"
>>503283 You do! Its a very nice shining badge too, just like the say it was new. "Ah, no good, I can't keep that once you leave. But if you're fast. Maybe you can catch a certain bug for me? A giant moth, its wings shimming like a sunset." >>503282 "A sweet roll? I have heard of this, but never seen one, what is it made from?"
>>503288 She pulls out a bird cage large enough to bit Boulder in. "This should fit the bug, or you can use a rope." >>503290 "I can get most of those things, but eggs are a problem. Only creatudead_life past the pillars can produce eggs."
>>503296 One last round of up cards '3d12' "What are you going to do Sigfried?" Aurthur asks.
>>503297 "Its is dangerous, that's why I stay here, with my pretty things." >>503298 "Its a large bug, fast too." She smiles. The cage is golden-looking and the latch opens easily for a pony, but a less intelligent creature would be stuck.
>>503301 "Well, first of all, leave the colums. Find a way to quickly be reborn. And see if she's still there for me…" Look at my cards. I could do this. But there are 3 aces on the field. And I don't really have any money to raise to begin with. "Stay."
>>503307 Arthur grunts in agreement. "Battling your way out, honorable, that's what my brothers did, I still go out and hunt but its not as easy without them." Yunic frowns "Barbarians everywhere!" Deluxe smiles. "I like you kid, I think you'll be going places." "Raise." "call" '2d12' roll for your last card and then give me the total. >>503306 >>503303 "Oh, the small birds aren't too far out, you can find some nesting to the west. The moth sometimes shows up there, you might get lucky. Remember he's the one with those darling sunset wings!"
>>503314 "There is a pony called Diamond Cut who has something I want, a pretty orb. I just know that my deadead_lifet meowster would love to play with it. Convince him to give it to me, and I'll give you a little light to work with.." >>503316 >>503317 Gretchen smiles slightly at you both. "Making friends already? It is safer in groups at least."
>>503323 She gives you a basket. "Here you go dear." >>503322 "Good luck then." >>503324 "Goodness.." Yunic replies. The two left in reveal their hands, an ace and a nine for Deluxe giving him a total of 17 and Yunic has a two and an eight for a total of 21
>>503333 You get an eerie chill as you pass the pillars the hills look intimidating, you can hear sounds of creatudead_life moving around, You see some tracks of a large cat, cats eat birds right? Maybe.. >>503337 "The next house over, and be cautious he's an awfully selfish man."
>>503324 >24 >>503367 Deluxe smirks and collects the little orbs of light from the table. "That was a good hoof Sigfried, come back and play again sometime." Deluxe says "Yea, someone has to give Delly here a run for his money!" Dashing remarks "If you fight as boldly as you play I'm looking forward to hearing tales of your battle." Arthur says. Yunic sort of grumbles. "Why can't we get anyone sophisticated.." >>503365 You follow the feline tracks, and keep getting that eerie feeling, like something is watching you. You locate a hill that has been carved into creating a cave.. >>503366 Boulder looks at you and nods while petting the purring cat "Okay. I will but.. You'll hurry back right?"
>>503369 You turn around quickly and see a tiger spirit, looking closer at the dug-out hill you can spot a few more tiger spirits inside, two of them are cubs and one of them is full grown. You can spot a turkey spirit in the cave being batted at by the the two cubs.
>>503370 You go upstairs and mid way you see the mare who was comforting the foal before.. that earth pony Sweet Rolls. >>503371 You go down the stairs and midway bump into that unicorn stallion from before, the one with the bullet wound..
>>503378 You move on and eventually find the trail of a large bird, following it you find the nesting site is more like a bunch of holes in the dirt, the eggs are plenty big, as are the birds, they have big puffy feathers, and long necks, A few of them bury their heads in the dirt when you come by.
>>503389 You go the next house, the only one here is an old looking stallion is sitting on a sofa carefully counting some jewels. "Who is it?!" he barks toward you. "This is not an open house, this is only for me!"
>>503393 [soft clucking] You back away and the ostrich and see it peck a few times at the ground, seems like its hungry. >>503395 You follow them, getting an eerie feeling when you leave the safety of the pillars, you see a hill that has been dug out by some kind of clawed animal.. The tracks briefly stop here before moving on, you feel like you're being watched.. >>503397 "My help.. of course you'd want that.. but help is not free, what is it you need?"
>>503399 "An orb.. you mean my crystal eye ball that was claimed from the crystal dragon spirit?" He holds it up for you and you can see that it is indeed a very pretty orb, a perfectly round crystal with a smaller blue crystal rolling around inside. >>503400 You see the mare up ahead near some large birds with fluffy feathers and long necks. >>503401 You could try to take an egg from one of the ostriches that is burying its head in the dirt.
>>503406 You quietly sneak over, and reach under the frightened bird, rolling the egg away from it and onto your back. The bird doesn't seem to have noticed. >>503408 Diamond Cuts rolls over the orb in his hooves. "And let me guess.. that crazy cat lady wants it?"
>>503414 "She has wanted this eye for a long time.." the stallion explains. "And for what! Her stupid cat?!" He scowls. "Its an insulting idea!" >>503415 >>503417 You start to head back, gong near that craved out hill you hear a low roar..
>>503419 >>503421 You see a tiger spirit behind you, it growls baring its teeth at you and looks ready to pounce. Nearby is another tiger spirit looking just as upset with you. 2 angry tiger spirits.
>>503424 He huffs. "I use it.. that doesn't matter! its mine! and its too valuable to be a cat-toy!" >>503428 You spot the two angry tigers, and the two tiger cubs inside the craved out cave beating up a turkey.
>>503429 "Isn't your time more valuable? She can bother you for all eternity, or you could just give it to her and spare yourself the headache. She will be happy, her cat will be happy, and you won't be bothered about it. You can have this nice house all for yourself."
>>503431 >>503432 >>503434 The two tigers seem to have other plans and launch toward you with their claws drawn. Roll to dodge and roll your actions.
2 tigers: 3/3
>>503430 Diamond ponders. "I don't think so. But.. I do hate leaving my house.. Somepony stole a pink diamond from me, part of a set it is! I need it back! if you get it back.. I'll give you the Crystal Eye.. How does that sound?"
>>503439 He holds up a black feather. "The thief left this. must have been a pegasus.." >>503437 You punch the tiger away with lightning fists and feel it tear into you but before it can do any real harm you feel it being pushed away from you.. >>503438 So focused on protecting the mare you forget about your own tiger and fall helpless as you see her being freed from the creature's grasp.
>>504781 The roaring tiger attacking you makes it difficult to focus but luckily it turns its attention to helping up its mate instead of attacking you. >>504782 You roll toward the tigers and get a back full of claws for you efforts.
>>504791 >>504792 You make a mad dash away from the tigers and toward the pillars, when you reach them you feel comfortable, safe. The houses with their slips of paper on the side, the reddish roofs and stone walls seem welcoming compared to the harsh hills.
>>504797 You fly up, well, more float up, and look at the skies, they are strange, the clouds seem to be made of magic instead of water. You spot a few moths flying south of your location. >>504799 "Yes.. I'll be waiting here." Diamond Cuts replies as you leave. The four stallions are still playing cards, the masked pony seems to be winning right now. "Hello little lady, did you come back to play?"
>>504808 A pegasus is wearing a blue overcoat with large gold buttons, a unicorn stallion is wearing a suit with frills on the front and sleeves, An earth pony is wearing a kind of cat mask and a pin-stripe shirt. And the last one, a unicorn, is wearing some bronze armor, and matching helmet.
"No? Well, what can I do for you then fair lady?" The unicorn in the frilly outfit says.
>>504814 "A black feathered pegasus.. Perhaps Selena? Yes, she hangs out near the east pillar, had a bad break up with that black and orange earth pony Cobblepot a while back.." >>504816 Of course you can! It just took a moment to get used to the air here! So much heavier than the real air, or maybe you are just lighter? Either way you are soon upon the flock of moths, the largest of them has wings that mimic a glorious sunset. >>504818 You find the mare talking to the four stallions playing poker. "Ah, have you returned from a hunt already Sigfried?" Arthur calls out to you.
>>504821 "Ah, very well then. With the size of that egg I imagine it was a chore to retrieve." >>504824 "She likes it over there, because stray cat spirits come by every so often." >>504822 You charge at it full force, it swirls and dodges, but you manage to keep pace, it is leading you past some tall rocks, roll once more.
>>504828 The moth is clever and fast, but you have been flying all your life. You easily maneuver the rocky area, and use it to your advantage to cut off the bug and trick it into flying right into your open cage! With a triumphant flip you close the cage tight. [Got: 1 sunset-winged moth] >>504829 Back to the ostriches? >>504830 Selena likes cats You move to the eastern pillar, full of markings that you were told keep you safe, and see a black pegasus with a yellow mane and blue eyes staring off into space.
>>504833 The moth doesn't answer you, flapping its wings slowly from with in the cage. You speed back to Gretchen's room with the Bug in tow. You see the mare, the little colt, and the cat all waiting here. "Oh, there you are, and there is the little guy! So pretty.. don't you agree meowster?" The cat purrs in dead_lifeponse, but this may be from Boulder petting it. >>504839 Just the one you saw Sky grab earlier. There are six other eggs here, all being nested by the large and timid birds. >>504835 "Yes dear?" The pegasus says with a smile
>>504842 You sneak over to one of the timid birds and roll an egg out from under it, the weight of the egg will make it a little more difficult to get by unnoticed from the tigers. >>504843 "I do know a thing or two about diamonds. But you need to be more specific, was it part of a set perhaps?" >>504845 "Indeed, and a day's pay is deserved for this!" she floats over an orb of light to you, you feel it hit you and something inside your feels alive, real, and in a way full.
>>504848 "Come back any time dear. Perhaps your friend will have those sweet rolls next time you are here." Gretchen smiles sweetly to you, her woven flower robe waving slightly as she moves to pick up the cage and admire her new pet. >>504849 The tigers see you approaching, and react defensively, circling around you preparing to pounce. >>504851 Selena sighs. "Kid, you're in over your head. That diamond is long gone."
>>504854 "It was a bad deal, love gone sour, the diamond you seek is probably long traded away by now, out of my claws." She flicks her hoof and small fake claws pop out. >>504855 You go back toward the ostriches and see him fleeing the tigers. >>504857 You speed away from the tigers as they pounce toward you, and spot Clear Sky on the path in front of you.
>>504864 "Well maybe..Maybe he'd tell you.. How about this: You go talk to old Cobblepot, and I'll stalk behind you, just in case things get.. hairy." >>504863 >>504861 You both hastily retreat from the tigers back to the safety of the pillars.
>>504868 "Probably in that ice mansion, little drama king he is, gonna be alone because he's so special.." She rolls her eyes. "I'll show you the way." She leads you past a hill and you see a large building with blue ice-like tiles as the roof and as some of the wall. A few bird spirits flock nearby here, dead_lifeting on the bird feeders in the lawn. >>504871 >>504872 You go back to Gretchen's room, she is wearing her unusual woven flower robe, and cooing over her new moth. "Yes.. you are so pretty, yes you are!" Her cat and the colt called boulder are napping in the corner on top of a pile of yarn and pillows, the yarn partly wrapped around them.
>>504875 "He built this for himself?" Walk towards the building, and looking at the bird spirits. I wonder if they are dead birds, or just spirits wanting to be birds… maybe the first, everything dies after all…everypony dies…
>>504878 "He had a little help from old friend.. but that friend isn't here anymore." Selena sneaks into the shadows and soon you can't see her, she whispers. "I'm gonna be right here, just do your thing." >>504879 >>504880 "I sent her to Diamond Cuts, that awful, selfish stallion who lives next door. "
>>504885 The house is much like the other houses, stone walls, paper with protective symbols on the outside, and red singles on the roof, you don't see any signs of the mare here. >>504886 You looks around carefully and see a set of hoof prints leading to and then away from this door, looks like she went back to the first house. >>504884 Your knock echos through the building you hear hoof steps and a cranky "Yes, Yes, I'm coming!" A chubby earth pony with an orange mane wearing a black and white suit and carrying an umbrella answers the door. "And who are you? The filly scouts here to sell cookies?"
>>504916 You take sky, and follow the trail back to the first house and find the four stallions are still playing their game. Trying to convince another spirit to join in. "Come on, why not? We can even play a different game." >>504919 "Jewelry, statues, great works of art.. nothing is too good for the Cobblepots!" He shows you around a little, the grandiose stairs, the statues on display made of ice or craved stone, they look like replicas of great works of art, there are paintings on the walls, and a few shells and pelts of creatudead_life. #pause
>>504927 You hear a soft sigh and a whisper in your ear "Girl, Cobblepot is an easy mark, just compliment his stuff, say he looks handsome in the suit, he'll be in your paw like a kitten on a saucer of milk." "Diamonds, a mare's best friend. I know that all too well… No. I won't be showing any diamonds today sweetheart." >>504956 "Well.. there was a very pretty mare, wearing a flight suit and goggles, she has been by here are least three times, I think she's sticking around.." The pegasus with the blue overcoat says winking at you. "I didn't catch her name thou, do you happen to know it?" The unicorn in the bronze armor smirks, the unicorn in the frilly suit looks intedead_lifeted, and the earth pony in the cat-like mask grins a bit.
>>505301 The pegasus sighs. and motions to himself "Dashing Flight, always happy to help a brave and pretty lady, I guess you're looking for that slightly chubby mare, the earth pony?" >>505304 Dashing looks a little disappointed. >>505303 "Well.. maybe.. It has been a while since I've given a proper tour.." He leads you up the stairs to a large statue of a stout earth pony in a suit, "This is my personal favorite. Handsome isn't he?" "hey, you're doing great." The whisper says again.
>>505310 >>505313 "She was looking for Selena, that black pegasus mare that was involved with that fat earth pony. We told her Selena usually hangs out near the east pillar, and she went right over there." >>505312 Cobblepot grins and leads you to a room with a long sofa, the wall is covered with paintings of similar stallions. "Well, now, I don't think I caught your name sweetheart."
>>505318 >>505321 "Good luck." You head to the east pillar, and see a few stray cat spirits wandering in and out of the border with out much care for it. One of the cats has a collar with a small jewel on it. >>505320 "Well Sweet Rolls, You said you liked diamonds right?" He pulls out a box and carefully opens it, you see a wonderful diamond necklace. "This belonged to my dear mother." He says dramatically. "Bless her heart, she always wanted it to go a good, kind hearted mare if I should meet one." The curiously the diamonds are different colors.
>>505325 The cat with the collar comes closer to you, rubbing against your hooves a little. "Meow?" >>505326 There are about a dozen cats here, seems like they are traveling as a group. >>505327 "..Yes, Where are my manners, sharing something like that now! We've only just met, let me get us some wine and the evening might be salvaged." He leaves to necklace on the table, it has a pink, yellow, and blue diamond on it.
>>505338 "meoow.." the cat licks your hoof and then paws at the ground where you see some tracks of a mare leading toward a hill. >>505339 Cobblepot spins around with a full wine glass for each of you. "Like an angel!" He decladead_life as he sets down your glass next to you.
>>505343 "I've got all the time in the world Sweet Rolls." He gently lifts the necklace and looks into your eyes. "You know I'd almost say that necklace was made for the way they reflect your in your eyes." >>505342 >>505344 You follow the tracks past a hill and you see a large building with blue ice-like tiles as the roof and as some of the wall. A few bird spirits flock nearby here, dead_lifeting on the bird feeders in the lawn. The tracks continue up to the door.
>>505349 He regards you suspiciously "Yes.. I knew a mare who also liked that one, The gem has a name, its called the Pink Panther." A knock from down stairs is heard. "Oh, more guests? I'll be right back, do help yourself to the wine.," He leaves the room. "Hey, you holding up okay? We can get you out a window." the whisper says. >>505347 >>505352 "Yes. Yes." You hear hoof steps and the door opens to reveal a large earth pony stallion, wearing a black and white suit, his mane is orange and he carries an umbrella. "Can I help you?"
>>505356 Selena appears and shakes her head at you. "We'll sort it out once we get you and that necklace out of here. Come on." She takes your hoof and urges you along to a balcony. >>505355 "Excuse me. I am a proud Cobblepot, and I am not a mare. I am certainly not Selena, how do you know her anyway?" #pause
>>505364 The black pegasus gives you a cat-like smile "No, but you're a spirit with a little effort, you can land with the grace of a real feline." The way down looks far from here.. and those birds suddenly don't look so friendly.. >>505363 "..I see.. I need to go check on something. Don't go anywhere!" Cobble pot rushes away from the door closing it but not locking it.
>>508636 >>508638 you can hear hoof steps on the stairs. >>508637 "Pretty much, Its a little harder for earth ponies, but you just focus on the feeling of falling, and you'll be able to see where you can slow it down. " Selena peaks back into the room while you pace. "Besides that I can swoop down and catch you." roll a perception check.
>>508640 You can't see very well in this darkness, Selena says something to you but you can't hear her over this loud cawing.. She seems to be urging you forward and stands next to you her wings extended and lowered, you can probably climb on. >>508641 You peak inside in time to see the tail of the proper pony wave quickly around the corner at the top of some fancy ice-railed stairs, you also notice the birds suddenly take flight and move to the back of the mansion.
>>508646 You climb on quickly and hold as tight as you can while the black pegasus jumps off the ledge, looking back you can see throu the dark cloud of feathers, the plump stallion cobblepot shaking his umbrella at you, and you feel yourself being.. pinched? Poked with something over and over, and the cawing is so loud. Whatever this is seems to be effecting Selena as well and she is struggling to make a smooth decline. >>508647 You walk around back and see the birds surrounding what looks to be a black pegasus carrying an earth pony mare that looks a lot like sweet rolls, The stallion Cobblepot is standing up on a balcony shouting something at them. You see Clear skies sail in just next to them, but above the birds. >>508648 You see the birds attacking a black pegasus mare, who is carrying Sweet Rolls on her back. The Stallion you just met is on the balcony shouting "Selena! You cat-napped my date and my jewels! I won't forgive you for this!"
>>508650 You brace yourself and find a moment to knock a few of the birds away from you, some of them glow with lightining which sounds about as loud as crackling thunder to you.. when you feel the touch of magic slowing you down. "Looks like we have company." Selena says to you, you can finally hear her now that the birds aren't so close. You land safely but the birds are still after you, and Selena looks as if she's ready to take off again.
>>508651 You punch the birds away from the two madead_life, the lightning making them back off and scatter a bit, a few of the smaller ones fall down. >>508652 You slow the fall of the black pegasus and the earth pony, as well as the birds, but fall short of reaching Clear skies or the balcony.
The black pegasus and the earth pony both make it safely to the ground, but the bird swarm is still after them. Cobblepot opens up his umbrella and begins to descend himself.
>>508655 "Couldn't agree more." Selena says as she hurries away in a slightly different direction than you doing some loops to distract the birds. >>508654 You throw a rock directly into the middle of the swarming birds breaking them up further and knocking a few down, they look a lot less swarm-like now. >>508656 You knock down two of the smaller birds.
>>508658 >>508659 You can not out run clear skies, but start heading back to the houses as fast as you can manage. Which is a brisk walk right now. At least the birds stop following you once you get over the hill. >>508660 "Your friend stole from me." Cobblepot says indignantly.
>>508663 >>508665 You can see the houses now. A black pegasus appears next to both of you before you get too close to them, she is smiling. "So, you managed to give feather brain the slip. Purrfect." >>508664 He stadead_life you down in return coming closer and tapping the umbrella on the ground. "I don't have time for this, I have to go catch a jewel thief."
>>508669 He walks toward the direction that sweet rolls and clear sky headed off in. "The same use as when they had before. A show of wealth, and power. And the ladies love them. As you can tell by the fact that she stole them" >>508670 She puts a wing over you guiding you to the left a bit, toward a shadowier part of the settlement, with more bushes and places to hide. "Nah, you did great. We got away clean, that's the important part." >>508671 "Just retrieving a little trinket that had been borrowed too long." She smiles.
>>508674 "But you don't know Selena, she's tricky to track down if you she doesn't want to be found." You pass the hill and can see the settlement. >>508675 "Of course I'm sure." She says as she slips behind a bush. "Even a kitten knows its own toys." >>508676 You see plenty of places to duck into to hide, and Selena points out a small trap door behind the bush. "Well, the real owner of that necklace is me, so I'll just pop the pink one out like so.." she removes the pink diamond and holds it out to you. "and take the necklace, unless you want another one? You did help a lot." The other two diamonds are blue and yellow.
>>508679 "Just stay here a moment hide behind something, I think I hear someone coming." To you she appears to vanish. you can make a stealth check to hide in the bushes >>508680 "Right, then its time for me to split, hide here until the coast is clear." She ducks down into the trap door with the necklace. you can also make a stealth check to hide in the bushes or you can follow her into the trap door
>>508682 "Ah, she is a wildfire that Selena, we were birds of a feather, flying together for a while, but when the rope was short and the cards were down she left with the loot." He sighs as you continue walking, you can see the houses now, perhaps your friends are nearby?
>>508692 "Or maybe her way to get my attention." the stallion looks around not seeing her and sighs. You spot your mare friend rushing toward one of the houses. >>508690 You shake and hurry as fast as you can to Diamond Cuts' house, if you were shaking any more you'd drop the diamond!
>>508707 >>508694 The both of you enter the house quickly there are various jewels on the fool and an older looking unicorn counting them who grumpily greets you with a "Hello? Who is it? More New Comers? Go next door I am busy, and expecting someone.."
>>508714 The went inside a house, you spot Clear Sky looking in your direction, past her you can see Sweet Rolls talking to somepony. >>508715 You see him right outside the door. >>508722 Diamond Cuts' eyes light up. "Yes! that is the one. The Pink Panther, The wonder of the southern mines. I am so glad to see it returned!" he takes the diamond into his hooves and begins to polish it carefully before he levitates up the curious crystal eye-ball with the colorful 'iris' that moves on its surface. "Here you are Miss. Your reward."
>>508794 >>508802 >>508799 You follow Sweet Rolls back into the main home and upstairs to where Miss Gretchen is, her room full of various shining objects, the foal and spirit cat are trying to untangle themselves from a pile of yard. Gretchen herself is fawning over a colorful moth in an ornante golden cage. "Oh, look at that, three ponies here to see me. What can do for you dearies?"
>>508814 eggs, you and clear skies both gathered eggs. >>508817 She seems delighted. "Oh, how wonderful! I just know Meowster is going to love this, such a precious creature.." She plucks the cat out of the yarn and sets it down next to the Crystal Eyeball, the cat's fur stands up and it arches it back and circles around the orb occasionally batting at it and making the iris move causing the cat to jump back before approaching it again. "Oh, look at it playing already!" The flower covered mare holds out a ball of light to you. "And this is for you."
>>508830 "If you're certain dear.." she trots over to the foal helping him untangle and pdead_lifesing the orb of light into his chest. "Whoa! I feel big and strong!" Boulder says cheerfully and bounces over to you with a huge. "It feels all warm and happy like carrot soup!"
>>508844 >>508840 "There is an oven down stairs. You just need to light it and you should be able to bake just about anything you want." She continues to watch her kitten mesmerized. >>508844 You stay strong and stoic in a way that the lad doesn't notice. "If you're going to bake can I go out and play? I bet there is something fun to do in yard!"
>>508852 She gives you an odd look. "Are you feeling fatigue dearies? How odd." >>508850 "Last time I looked there were some in the same room, but you could see if anyone knows any magic to help get you started, a spark or a flame perhaps.." Boulder smiles up at you with a nod. "Yea, I can do that! I'll clobber that dough!"
>>508865 >>508857 She nods. "If you get tired out in the wilds you'll feel fine if you stay a moment behind the pillars. But if you want to make a home like this, you can ask the diggers for help." She motions toward the north side. >>508866 You take Boulder downstairs and locate the kitchen area, there are a few spirits wandering aimlessly around here, but you locate a match box, it only has.. two matches left..
>>508875 After a bit of searching, and shooing away some rat-spirits, you find everything you need, oddly the mouse spirits didn't leave any dirt on the dishes, so you don't have to clean them. "I'm not supposed to use matches." Boulder says innocently.
>>508880 Nod as I prepare the equipment. What about the ingredients, are they all here too? "Playing with fire is very dangerous, colts and fillies shouldn't do it. I'm just afraid I won't be able to light up the oven!"
>>508882 "But I want to someday. I'm almost big enough!" You look in the cabinet, there is flower, sugar, whole wheat sticks, a vegatable oil, vanilla extract.. all the parts that can be grown are here, combined with your eggs that should do the trick.. Now you just have to get each stage right, first is mixing.. will you mix the dry ingredients and wet ones separately?
>>508901 Just put a little more muscle in, pretty soon its looking like actual dough and puffing up in the bowl. "Can I eat it yet?" he asks curiously bouncing up next to you to see over your shoulders.
>>508902 "Oh, if you'd eat it raw you would get a tummy ache!" Sprinkle flour over a board, put the dough on it, then give Boulder the rolling pin. "Boulder, would you be a dear and start working on this for me with your strong hoofsies?"
In the meantime, butter the inside of a mixing bowl.
>>508903 "Aw okay.. I just can't wait for it to get done." He hops up to the counter sort of half floating half standing on a chair and rolls the dough out for you, he is enthusiastic but doesn't really know about holding back, hopefully he gets it even enough for you '1d10-1' Watching him closely you butter the inside of the bowl for smooth removal of ingredients.
>>508905 >>508904 I give him a hug. "What a great work, Boulder, that seems perfect! I should ask for your help more when I'm making these!" Ruffle his mane a bit, then take the dough and then butter all of it's sides before putting it in the bowl… Hmm, let's cover it with a wet towel, that always works. "Now we will have to wait for it to rise though!"
>>508914 "Of course deary. Come back any time." >>508907 "Really?!" He beams with pride as you ruffle him and then checks his flank seeing it still blank he frowns. With the dough covered you are confident it will rise with in 1-3 hours posts >>508909 "Hey, Miss flier! how did you get your Cutie Mark?"
>>508915 Strike the air with my forehooves. "I always liked martial arts as a filly, so my parents signed me up for a course. Turns out I didn't just like it, I was good at it too! Good enough to warrant a cutie mark of my own at least!"
>>508922 "Yea! Maybe I can be a baker like you!" He seems excited at the idea. >>508921 "Whoa, that's really neat. I wish I could fly!" you note that he is hoovering above the ground now despite being an earth pony. >>508919 you go north of the settlement, and see an area lit by different color torches. There is a tiny stone building in the middle of these torches with a wooden door, and a switch to the right of the door. You can hear a fire from inside.
>>508944 He glances down confused and floats about a bit. "Huh. I guess wishing really works sometimes!" >>508951 You open up the oven to where the wood is, strike the match and quickly toss it in.. it seems like it worked! The fire roars warmly. >>508958 You flip the switch and a red light flickers on in the room and then is turned off shortly. An earth pony stallion with ruffled red hair, dark eyes, and a plain gray outfit answers the door. there is some coal dust on him, or perhaps ashes. "Greetings can I help you with something?"
>>508975 "Oh, come in then. I am Tanner, also called the Guide by the other two diggers." He lets you inside when you step inside there is a switch on the floor and stepping off this switch closes the door behind you. There are a few chests against the wall. three beds, lights on the wall near the ceiling, a red light with a switch next to it. a room to the right where you can hear fire roaring, and a room to the left where you can see 3 beds. "So how much do you know about crafting?"
>>508977 Boulder laughs a bit as you lift him up "I'll try to remember! And this is really fun." >>508976 After a moment of letting him enjoy his short flight you convince him to come help again, more sure of himself he carefully follows your instructions. '1d10+1'
>>509002 After a bit of practice he seems be able to do it, they are a bit lumpier than yours, but that just gives them character! he can fold into rolls at a quality of 4/10 >>509003 "Well, the first thing you need is materials, here's a pick axe and a shovel and an axe." she hands them to you. "You'll want to mine for ore or stone that you want to use, or cut down trees. The diggers are down in the hole just now but they can teach you refined methods of mining if you get on their good side." He begins a long explanation of how to craft various things, needing to make planks for a table, needing to have sticks and coal for torches..
>>509020 >she the guide is a he. >>509024 Boulder smiles at you as you slide them into the top of the oven, about in the center, the should cook nice and evenly there. "When can we eat them?!" He asks curiously.
#unpause >>509042 "Are you a hunter as well as a brew master? Do you have a weapon? If not you can craft one." >>509039 "That sounds like an really long time! What do I do until then?" Boulder looks bored.
>>510296 "What kind of weapon do you want to use? An axe would be nice for powerful slow attacks, a sword for faster strikes, bow and arrow are simple to craft and reliable ranged weapons, and a gun would be more powerful, but is a tad trickier to craft and is reliability depends on your skill." >>510297 "Hmm I like stories! Are riddles like stories?" He asks somewhat intedead_lifeted. >>510298 huh, good question, he never came to the kitchen at all..
>>510301 "I like stories about fast things, like airplanes and boats and trains!" He says excitedly. "Or the Wonderbolts! those are really good stories." >>510303 "Alright, to craft on of those, you'll need four iron bars, a diamond, a stick and a piece of glass." he shows you the pattern to make the gun with. "To fire it you'll need bullets, which are made of iron, and gunpowder." "You can also make it out of steel or a harder metal if you find one. Weapons made of better metal pack a bigger punch."
>>510308 There are a few wandering pony spirits out here, and there are some farmers tending wheat and corn nearby. >>510307 "The diamond is the hardest part of it, have to mine deep for those. If you're going down in the mines you'll want a compass so you can find your way back easier." He offers you a compass. >>510309 You become paler than a bleached sheet and feel like crying. "Oh, my moma used to read me a story about a little train that climbed up a mountain! She said it meant you can do anything if you try."
>>510311 An older looking earth pony, with what looks like saw marks on his skin replies "Indeed I did missy. I saw a fancy unicorn running up to the digger's place. Just a few moments ago." he points north where you see a house lined with torches. >>510312 "Much easier, you just need wood and string, and then you can reinforce with metal it to upgrade it. Arrows are easy enough too you can even use common stone and wood for them." He shows you the pattern for the bow, upgrading the bow, and the arrows.
>>510315 "Yep, just chop down a tree with that axe I gave you earlier. watch out for spiders, they have silk string but jump around a lot and can take you by surprise if you're not careful." Tanner smiles, seems like he really loves to give helpful advice. >>510317 its less of a a spring and more of a walk, but you go up there the small building has various colored torches, seems to be made of stone bricks and has a switch next to the wooden door. You can hear the sound of a fire from the inside as well as muffled speaking. >>510318 You break down and start to cry, loudly like a wailing cry, the slight echo make you confirm this is real which doesn't comfort you, you can't help but think of everything you've lost, everything you left behind. The cat spirit meows like a high pitched a howl along side you, as if its mourning with you.
>>510320 "Come back if you need more advice." Tanner says with a wave. You step on the wooden switch in front of the door and it opens.. to reveal Clear Sky standing there with her hoof about to knock. >>510321 Before you can knock the door flies open and you see Sigfried standing there. An earth pony stallion with ruffled red hair, dark eyes, and a plain gray outfit is inside the house, he gives you a friendly wave. >>510322 You manage to bring yourself to a slow sniffle the cat spirit rubbing against your legs in an attempt to comfort you. '1d10'
>>510328 You try to push the cat away and manage to get it off you but not before it manages to lick your hoof slightly. The black cat tilts its head at you and lays down a few feet away staring as you pull yourself together, you realize you need to hurry or the bread will be burned.
>>510335 You walk inside once you step off the wooden switch on the floor the door closes behind you, the earth pony stallion with ruffled red hair, dark eyes, and a plain gray outfit waves at you again. "Hello, can I help you with something?" >>510336 The cat meows at you in reply and licks its own paws. When you go back inside boulder is floating around the oven trying to peak inside.
>>510339 You pull open the oven and look at the rolls, They are perfectly golden brown, any later and they would be burnt! "It smells really good!" he says excitedly. >>510342 >>510341 You head further north making your way toward the pillars, you can spot some trees already, the ones inside the pillars don't look very tall, and are spread out in an orderly way as if they are younger, and intentionally planted. Outside the pillars the trees are tall and thickly gathered as if they naturally grew.
>>510347 You put on an oven mitt and pull out the tray with the buns on it. Whoa, they sure are warm! >>510346 >>510348 The now familiar feeling of leaving the safety of the pillars comes over you with an uneasy chill, the fodead_lifet here is somewhat dark, and you think you can hear things moving around you, the trail winds back and forth, you can start chopping on a random tree or select one carefully, some of them seem climbable as well.
>>510350 You pick up a few random stones from the ground, about 12~, and then start to chop on a tree. you think you hear something moving nearby '2d4' >>510351 "Really?! I did help a lot didn't I!" he seems proud of himself and eyes the particularly lumpy ones. >>510352 Diamond dogs and Gryphon have toes probably