After waking to Leifjka and Sweetie making you breakfast, and enjoying a meal with the two mares, you headed to the RGIA to check in with Cherry. She didn't have any particular cases for you yet, and you spent some time just chatting with her about how her work was going. Afterward, you went back home to grab Leafy before seeking out Cobalt. Unfortunately, due to the nature of whatever magic the Green Stallion used to put you back in your own realm, some slight time altering occurred and Cobalt was no longer in the house on the edge of town. Thinking quickly, you and Leafy went to the hotel room that had held some clues before. There you found Vernant guarding the door, refusing to let you pass since Cobalt was apparently in the midst of having a vision. Chatting with the grumpy pony revealed something odd: He was apparently a Griffon trapped inside a pony body. And very not pleased about it.
Time was drawing short, and as Cobalt came out of his vision, heading to the restroom with a loud amount of retching, you and Leafy went toward the field where Brynn was supposed to meet you. A brief reprieve was had as you and Leafy grabbed some sweets from a vendor on Inn Row.
Meeting Brynn at the field, he quickly sought to recruit you to his cause. But as you questioned exactly what he was doing and planning, a booming voice interrupted.
With a thunderous noise and a flash of light, the Green Stallion arrived in the field.
Announcing his intent to retrieve what Brynn had "stolen", and thanking you for your unwitting assistance, he began to stride forward with malicious intent written clearly on his face.
And so, the time to decide what to do, and perhaps what side you're on, draws nigh.
"It's in here somewhere!" Brynn hisses as he turns page after page in his book, eyes scanning words as fast as comprehension allows as he searches for some answer to the shining green stallion that marches slowly toward him.
"I'll buy you time," Harley says calmly, lowered stance and gritted teeth showing she's ready for a fight.
The air is heavy with tension as the Green Stallion continues to march forward, his smile widening as Harley stands resolutely against him.
"No, that's not it," Brynn whispers in frustration, turning yet another page.
"Nothing in that book will stop me, Brynn," the Green Stallion says confidently, "Even if it did you wouldn't have the time to do whatever gestures or drawings necessary to enact it. Come now. Be sensible and give up. With such a vast intellect, I could see to give you a place beside Morata Nalan here in my realm."
"Her name is Harley!" Brynn yells, "And I will free all of them from you, like I did with her!"
The Green Stallion's smile turns to an angry scowl as he barks, "You STOLE her you thief of a child! Eons did it take for me to master that talent, and you cheated your way to severing the connection! If you won't surrender and face due justice, then I will see fit to punish you here and now!"
He suddenly stops, taking up a fighting stance lower to the ground as he squares off against Harley.
But without a horn, what can he possibly do from a quarter of the way across the field?
Your thoughts are broken as Leifjka's voice enters your head.
>>596660 Well shit, I had liked the Green dude before but this isn't sounding good at all. I don't really trust either of them enough to want to help one or the other. Maybe ask Leafy if she knows what Brynn means at all by freeing them all?
>>596664 "I don't know either," Leafy responds mentally, "He says he's freed that other mare though. And Vernant mentioned something about it when you were talking to him. I think you'd have to talk to him about it, but I don't think now is the best time for that."
>>596663 >>596662 "I haven't done anything like that before," she replies, "But I can certainly try. Are you sure, though?"
>Have Leafy try to bind the Green Stallion >Grow something between them to obscure vision from each other >Nevermind
>>596665 Try to grow something DO NOT BIND HIM IN ANYWAY. We can't afford to take any goddamn sides yet. We need a way to interrupt them. Binding them all could work but it's still risky. Let's first see how this goes and hope it's not too late
Leifjka's eyes open, once again colored a burning royal purple as grass grows long enough to caress her coat and mane.
She suddenly draws a line in the air with her hoof, from right to left, voice rising as she lets out a cry of exertion.
The ground erupts in a violent shower of dirt and rocks, making you jump backwards in surprise as giant roots rip themselves free of their earthen tombs with a terrible thunder. They're huge and swollen, bigger around than any of the trees around the clearing. They writhe and squirm like giant tentacles, slowly wrapping themselves around one another into a veritable wall that quickly blocks view of the wide eyed Green Stallion.
Harley screams in surprise as she leaps backward, reactively grabbing Brynn to shield him from the rain of earthen debris as it falls around them.
Leafy lets out a long, slow breath, the color of her eyes returning to their contrasting golden hue. She smiles softly as she turns her head to look at you as the roots settle into their new position across the field, erupting from the right end and diving back underground on the left after making a wall the entire length of the field.
"Is that alright?" she asks, sweat starting to run down her cheeks even in the shade of the newly created wall.
>>596678 >>596679 >>596680 "I want to know what's going on!" you yell across the wall while walking toward the edge, "You haven't been completely honest with me, have you? Why are you collecting these spirits? What's at stake?"
"Oh, Puff. When did I ever lie to you?" he replies, voice far less angry sounding, but no less insistent, "I told you; Two are on my repossess list. You've met both already, but only this one has put himself within my reach this day." An agonizing pause leaves the field silent for a moment, until his voice returns sounding firmer than before.
"I will explain exactly what's at stake here. But only after I've collected that which belongs to the Harbinger and I."
"She doesn't belong to you, you monster!" Brynn screams, pushing Harley away from him as he scrambles back to his dropped book, "None of them do! I'll take them from you and destroy the Harbinger! All will be made right again!"
"The child doesn't know what he does, or what consequences stand against him should he continue. Perhaps if he talked to his childhood friend more, he would see things differently…."
"You leave Cobalt out of this!" Brynn yells defiantly, "He didn't know what he was doing when he interfered!"
"So out of touch. But do not worry. I will reunite the two of you in the other realm. All will be made clear before you join the ranks of those come before. After all; You're both quite exceptional in your own ways. Talents that can be put to use for what lies ahead." A loud rumble echoes from behind the wall, almost rhythmic.
"But for now, allow me to introduce one of my many subjects. An old warrior friend."
You reach the edge of the root-wall in time to look at the Green Stallion as he lifts his head and cries out in a booming voice:
The same thundering sound of paper tearing echoes in the field as a Minotaur suddenly appears beside the Green Stallion. One second he wasn't there, the next he was. Just like the Green Stallion's appearance.
The Minotaur bears armor painted gold, and bears a large, double sided weapon that it hefts in both hands. It's…an axe.
"Go," the Green Stallion says, stepping back as the Minotaur hefts the axe and swings at the root-wall with a mighty cry that sends shivers through your body.
>>596681 >7 It's a mighty swing, but the great roots hold as they take the brunt of the axe. But for all his strength, the mark left by the Minotaur is a shallow one. If his rate holds, he'll be there all day.
The Green Stallion scowls deeply.
The Minotaur hefts his axe, swinging yet again.
If there was ever a time to try and talk them out of it, now might be your only chance.
The Green Stallion's scowl deepens, before he suddenly staggers backwards, gritting his teeth and holding a hoof to his head.
"EERGH! No! NO! My time in this realm is limited and I have to act quickly! There is no time for discussion, no time to explain that every one he takes from me wakes her up a little more." He regains his footing, though he continues to grit his teeth. It's no longer a smile of confidence, or a sinister grin, but teeth clenched in anger and pain. He suddenly turns his head toward you. "Should I fail to reclaim her now, things will spiral even more. I cannot afford to show mercy! Forgive me, Leifjka and Puff."
Leifjka suddenly cries out from behind you, a loud wail as she falls to the ground, convulsing as she clutches her head. Eyes wide with terror, she raises a shaking hoof toward the wall, making a quick cutting motion with her hoof.
The wall right in front of the Minotaur suddenly withers, crumbling under the next axe swing. The Minotaur cleaves his way through the weakened wall, opening a path to the other side.
Where Brynn sits, scouring his book, and Harley stands beside him, a little less confident looking than before. >What do?
>>596691 ARE YOU SHITTING ME? Okay okay. So Leafy is out of the fight…
Okay we can either risk everything and tackle him or distract him a bit. he can't stay here too much.
On the other hand we could side with him. I mean I don't know about you guys but this shit is bigger than us. He is bigger than us. And he is pretty damn serious about this. Maybe he is in the right. Coblat had this visions for a while. And he was against Brynn.
>>596695 I don't think he want to kill him. He just wants Harley. He said sorry before forcing Leafy to take the wall down.
I honestly think we should maybe side with him. If we are worried about Brynn then let him get Harley. Tackle Brynn, get him away from this.
We honestly have no reason to not trust him. When we came here we weren't really on good terms with Brynn either. We've been helping Cobalt all this time. Till now green dude actually was nice with us.
>>596700 Goals we know nothing about. Again maybe he is the good guy. Brynn isn't the most mentally stable guy around here. Who knows what the fuck is going on in his head. Cobalt knows some shit. And he wanted to stop Brynn.
>>596699 Yes. I don't honestly feel good to do this but I think this is the right action. Brynn might hate us for this but look at our options >Do nothing Green Dude wins >Attack Green Dude, get him angry and stuff, get fucked over >Go against Brynn, win some time The odds are in the favor of Green guy
>>596702 That's why I say we take Brynn away from here. Let the fucker get Harley that's his main goal right now.
>>596704 You're not thinking ahead. He was the one that made the contract between us and Leafy. He has control over Leafy. We defeat him now he goes back to his plane. Then what? What stops him to fuck constantly with Leafy with his telepathy link to her. We are endangering everyone for something we don't understand
You've almost made up your mind to tackle the Minotaur or maybe grab Brynn when the Minotaur takes his first step through the wall.
There's a sudden yell from beyond the wall, followed by a surprised roar, followed immediately by the Minotaur falling back out from the wall's opening.
Even as you question what just happened, a stout blue pony leaps onto the Minotaur, stomping at his helmet as he screams obscenities. He leaps off the downed monster before an armored hand swings and misses.
Vernant lands further away from you as the Green Stallion looks on in surprise.
"I'm buying him time!" Vernant yells at you, "Hurry up and do something!"
The Minotaur rolls over and pushes himself off the ground, standing back on his hooves as a hand drags the axe up from the ground beside him. He readies the weapon in his hands and takes up a stance against Vernant.
The Green Stallion bolts behind him, making a break for the gap in the wall.
#Split second decision >Who will Leifjka target, and attempt to slow/trip/disable?
The Green Stallion darts through the hole in the wall with a menacing growl. In the brief moment you see them, his eyes appear to have changed, somehow.
The Minotaur swings his axe at Vernant, the force behind it making a pitched whine that you can hear from halfway across the field.
Vernant ducks it, the Minotaur only able to swing so low without hitting the ground, and strikes out at one of the Minotaur's legs with a wild sweeping kick. He hits the Minotaur in the joint of his leg, and while the Minotaur doesn't topple, he drops to a knee and the axe falls from his hands as he grunts in pain.
"Fought your damned kind before you were born!" Vernant screams, turning and kicking the Minotaur in the chest with both his back legs, sending the Minotaur onto his back with a loud clattering of armor again.
"Puff!" he yells, looking from his foe to you, "GO!"
An armored fist hits Vernant in the face, making him reel and stagger backwards as blood pours from his nose. >What do?
Vernant's words, or perhaps the sight of blood pouring from his nose, jars you out of your stupor. You make a snap decision: You have to get Brynn out of here.
Taking flight with a speed you didn't know you possessed, you fly over the split root-wall, quickly surveying the scene.
The Green Stallion and Harley meet head-on as you spot Brynn. The Green Stallion is bigger than her, but Harley shows the same ferocity as the night of the ritual. The two kick and dodge at one another, Harley never letting herself move from between Brynn and the Green Stallion. They trade hits, both grunting in pain but pressing after the other.
You spare no extra time to watch.
Diving almost recklessly, you swoop in and grab Brynn from the side, using momentum to snag him off the ground.
He yelps in surprise, holding onto his book as you struggle to stay airborne with all the extra weight. You clear the field and head toward the path you and Leifjka took to get here, taking Brynn out of immediate danger. At least, you hope so.
"Puff! No! Harley!"
Harley turns as Brynn yells for her, momentarily distracted.
>>596752 Before we do anything, ask Brynn what the page he found will do exactly. And if the minotaur isn't pressing us for time, ask him if what the hell is going on exactly. We have the upper hand, Brynn can't get back down there unless we let him go.
>>596752 >>596755 You set Brynn down, and the blue scholarly unicorn rushes to Harley, tossing the book to the ground as he nearly tackles her with his hug.
She returns the hug, squeezing him as they have a whispered conversation too soft to reach your ears. The twinkling of tears in Harley's eyes are apparent even from where you stand after landing.
Vernant rushes to the side of the Green Stallion, kicking him once in the side as he lies on the ground.
"That's for not fighting yourself, coward!"
>>596761 >>596762 Vernant rolls the Green Stallion onto his back, putting him face up as he breathes ragged breaths.
"Brynn," you say softly, getting his attention as you wander closer to him and Harley, "What does the page you found do? And why should I do it? What's going on here?"
"I already told you what I know," Brynn says, giving Harley one final squeeze before turning around and picking up his book. "This page," he says, flipping back to the page now dog-eared, "This page will allow you to free Leifjka from the Contract. She'll be able to stay here indefinitely. You'll lose your mental link with her, but she'll be free. And," he says with a slight grin, "We'll strip some of the power the Green Stallion wields in the process."
The voice makes everyone jump back from the Green Stallion, who begins to rise unnaturally from his face up position. His body floats, head rising above the rest as though dragging the limp body along with it, until he hovers just off the ground. His eyes snap open, the whites of his eyes suddenly showing an encroaching blackness that creeps from his cheeks toward the top.
"Puff," he says in a strangled voice, "Search….forest…..answers……truth….." he coughs, then wheezes in a deep breath as the blackness overtakes his eyes. The pupils, once green, turn a sick, dark red, and his mouth hangs open as a voice that is not his own flows through.
"You have declared war on the Harbinger this day," it says, voice deep but with a high pitched whine behind it that hurts your ears. "Know that you can not stand against me."
A limp hoof raises in your direction, making you take a step back.
A sickening crunch sounds from behind you, followed by a terrible wash of pain that nearly makes you collapse.
The others all cry out, Vernant rushing to your side as you gasp.
Feathers fall to the ground around you as you reactively try to flap your wings, only to have white hot pain flash through your entire back, making you cry out. Vernant holds you up as best he can while feathers fall all around you.
"Time is on my side. You will succumb to the inevitable, and serve my purpose. Just like this one."
The sound of tearing and thunder rings again, though it's muted in your ears as you struggle to focus. Harley and Brynn run to your side as well, and when you look up the Green Stallion is gone.
Bits of conversation hit your ears as you fight against the oncoming darkness.
>>596764 You awake to a blinding light, and raise a hoof to cover your eyes as you groan.
You try to move, but find yourself restrained. All limbs held splayed out, almost in a cartoonish fashion. Panic races through you as you begin to struggle, only to have a hoof rest itself on your side.
"Puff. Relax. You're safe."
You turn to see Vernant, of all folk, standing beside you. A surprisingly compassionate expression on his face as he tries to get you to relax. You look past him and see both Harley and Brynn splayed out in a pair of cushioned chairs, fast asleep.
"You're in the hospital," Vernant says, anticipating your question, "I don't know how to explain what happened. We told the medics you crashed or something. Don't try to move, the bones in your wings have to be stuck as they are if you ever want to fly again."
He sighs, lowering his hoof from your side and plopping into the seat closest to the bed.
"I'm sure you have a bunch of questions," he says softly, "Let's hear 'em."
>>596779 Yeah. And till we find in the forest what he was talking about fuck Brynn.
We are gonna take his book, we are gonna talk to Cobalt, we are going in the woods and only after we have all the information we punch him in his stupid ass face and then decide if we join him.
>>596780 No we didn't. We went to the field acting like a smartass towards him. We had no reason to trust Brynn, yet we allied with him. The fact that the green guy didn't forced Leafy against us when he can have complete control over her and said sorry for doing that should have been enough to tip us which side we should choose.
>>596778 >We fucked up., He succumbed to that influence because we prolonged the fight.
I'm pretty sure the Harbinger/the voice possessing the green man isn't the "her" that the green man was talking about: if the green man was really using the power of the spirits to keep the Harbinger in check, then the Harbinger should be happy about us taking away that power and freeing him.
>>596772 "Beats me," Vernant says, eyes narrowing, "We had him beat. He was out like a light from Harley. Then he just gets back up, says a few words, and your wings more or less exploded."
>>596769 "In order: 3 days. Who? Take a look to your left, she's been out of it just as long as you. Though she looks like she's starting to come around. Well they applied some kind of…stuff, and got a crew of unicorns doing magic to your wings. Or so I'm told. They wouldn't let us watch. You can probably check out after a day or so; Said your wings wouldn't be flyable for a good while but that's pretty much all that was wrong with you physically. Other than shock."
"Oh, and I wager some folk in town know you're in here. Big purple dragon came through and spotted you I think. Made a real ruckus. Thought I'd have to fight him, but eventually the staff here convinced him to come back tomorrow."
>>596770 >>596771 "I don't know much about the Harbinger," Vernant says with a sigh, "I got recruited, if you can call it that, by the Green Stallion when I….well, let's just say I messed up, okay? I agreed to join the ranks of whatever he wants to call his collection of beings from across time or space or whatever. Only ever talked about how it was helping deal with the Harbinger. And then other times that I was helping the Harbinger. Like he couldn't make up his mind or something. Sometimes I wonder if he knew what he was doing either."
>>596777 "Nope. Never talked about himself. Ever."
>>596781 Vernant cracks a smile, the first you've ever seen on him.
"Joke like that again and I'll make it be a real question. You got guts. Little indecisive, but I think deep down you can be a fighter. Maybe we can spar you into shape sometime." He laughs lightly, before laughs turn to more sighs, "Right. Well, now that you're awake, I think it's my turn to pass out. Want me to wake one of those two up first?"
>>596786 No because it's too late for that. But we aren't siding with Brynn either till we know what the fuck is going on and we aren't letting him do anything else till we get all the clues we can get.
>>596782 >The fact that the green guy didn't forced Leafy against us when he can have complete control over her and said sorry for doing that should have been enough to tip us which side we should choose.
That's actually not a bad point, but it could have just been that he thought he was doing what was right and didn't see a need to hurt us, even if what he's doing is ultimately wrong.
>>596788 He was desperate. He said at the start of the battle that there's no time and he has to act now Then at the end of the battle, we get evil voice, pour wings crushed and him saying that time is on his side.
>>596782 >We went to the field acting like a smartass towards him. We went to the field seeking information. We found his enemy willing to talk, we asked one question and then he showed up all "I HAVE COME AND I AM WRECKING YOUR SHIT".
We had a choice between protecting a living pony in our town, albeit one who had committed a crime, or letting him be taken by a supernatural threat. Fuck that guy, this is our town to protect, we're not going to let him get all vigilante justice up in here regardless of how powerful he is.
That said, yeah, we've made whatever the "Her" issue is worse, but that's his fault for never explaining the reason he needs the spirits properly to ANYONE.
>>596791 >but that's his fault for never explaining the reason he needs the spirits properly to ANYONE. To whom?
Brynn? He's a insane moron. Us? He said he didn't have time and was fucking desperate. Cobalt? Well gee, maybe that vision that had those creatures, INCLUDING A MINOTAUR, might have been some message. Maybe, jsut maybe that's why Cobalt was constantly trying to stop Brynn
>>596789 >>596794 "Right," Vernant replies, getting up and moving over to Harley.
"Waggeup," he mumbles, kicking her leg softly with his own.
Harley's eyes snap open and her body tenses, before relaxing as Vernant just waves back toward you with a hoof.
"He's awake. Said so earlier but you didn't wake up, so it's your turn to talk to him."
Harley sighs, suddenly yawning as she stretches and gets up from her chair. She tosses her messy mane back from her eyes with a quick motion of her head as Vernant briefly eyes the chair happily.
"All nice and warm for me," he mutters, turning and plopping backwards into the chair. Before Harley has reached the bedside Vernant is snoring away.
"Hello," Harley says softly, voice tired but sweet, "I don't believe we ever were properly introduced. You just showed up with Cobalt one night and that was that. I'm Harley. I wish we could've met under better circumstances."
>>596797 Ask her what she and Bryn knows about the Hrabringer and what Brynn is planning. Tell her to stick to the facts, no how horrible he is for enslaving or whatever else she thinks. Just the facts.
>>596793 >Brynn? Has he shown any signs of insanity, beyond what's inherently required to be willing to go against the Harbinger? The insane notes and whatever we found earlier were the scrawling of post-trance Cobalt. That said, fair enough not telling Brynn since Brynn's been avoiding him using Haley's skills. >Us? If he had any plans for involving us in this whole dispute, which I suspect he did since he/The Harbinger were waiting to piggyback on us to reach Brynn then he should have told us when we were making the contract, when he explicitly had time for a lengthy chat. Hell, he knew we were involved in it already from the scenario that got us entangled with Leafy: He had a chance to enlist us as allies right there but said not a damn thing >Cobalt You can't tell me any of that nonsense was a sensible way to communicate anything.
And more importantly, >EVERY SINGLE SPIRIT, LEAFY, HARLEY AND VERNANT INCLUDED Time? He's had centuries of opportunity to let them know what it is they're actually doing, and from what we've seen not a single one of them has anything but the vaguest of confused clues about the whole Harbinger deal.
We've tried to find stuff out, but WE haven't had the time or opportunities to, whereas he demonstrably has had centuries. Fuck letting him take a fellow pony on our watch when he's failed to give any sort of good reason for his actions.
"We owe you that much at the very least. Very well. Brynn would be better at explaining this but it's probably better he rests." She coughs gently, clearing her throat before continuing.
"As far as we have found out, based on warnings in the book Brynn carries around, the Harbinger seeks to somehow enter our realm and likely attempt to change or destroy the world. The book is vague, and in an old language that Brynn has been deciphering for years. It's not a complete story; Most of the book is a listing of beings like myself. That is, those who agreed to avoid some kind of fate through this Green Stallion's abilities. Agreeing somehow ties us to the Harbinger, and how much power is given or taken from it. The relation isn't clear in the book, and if Brynn knows he's been keeping it to himself. I've been with him since the beginning of all this, and I can safely say he doesn't know that relation exactly either. He's a smart pony; He has his hunches. But until we find proof in writing, it's a dangerous game to be playing."
"As far as we know those tied to the Green Stallion are able to be used by him. Either capable of being summoned, like the Minotaur you saw, or if they're already in realm he can force them to use their powers at his whim; Like he did with Leifjka. So far it seems like he has access to those powers, not the Harbinger. But the Harbinger has access to him, so the Harbinger can control them in a way. There's some kind of rule of give/take to all of this that isn't explained in the book. Brynn's been looking for more answers but hasn't had any luck finding them in any library."
"Brynn's plan as far as he's shared is to take all those strapped to the Green Stallion away from him, taking their powers from the Harbinger effectively, and hopefully rendering the Harbinger either powerless or weak enough to be faced by the collective abilities of those freed. It's a very risky plan, and I'm not certain he ever should have started on this path. But he freed me, allowed me to live as I saw fit again. I owe him much more than I can ever repay, and he has good intentions. I hope you can see that as well. But even if not, I know that I'll stand by him to the end." >Player choice of dialogue
>>596809 You said it yourself that the relationship between the Harbinger and those who agreed to be connected to him/her was unclear, so how can you be sure that severing this bind will actually weaken her?
>>596812 You turn your head to the left, spotting Leafy lying in the bed next to you. Her eyes are closed as she breathes rhythmically, sleeping quietly. As you watch, she turns onto her side, toward you, eyes fluttering open slowly. She smiles as she sees you. Before you can say anything, she closes her eyes again.
Maybe it's best to let her rest some more.
>>596813 "I'm not certain," Harley says apologetically, looking bothered by the mentioning of Cobalt, "They tried to talk it out a few times. But…Cobalt was always talking about terrible things happening while Brynn was talking about what still had to be done. Once or twice it just seemed like two brick walls trying to hold a conversation. They keep trying to reach an understanding, or they were trying. There's hope yet that one day they'll be on the same page. And maybe the same side."
>>596815 "Brynn says if it only made the Harbinger stronger, then the Green Stallion wouldn't be looking for us. Since he works for the Harbinger. Despite what you may think, this isn't the first time we've encountered him in some fashion."
>>596814 "Yes, I heard him say the forest. I'm sure Brynn would like to accompany you to find the truth, if you let him. But that's not for me to push for. If Brynn wants to go with you, that's between you and him."
"I entered under Contract with Brynn when he and Cobalt first summoned me. I was tethered to him through a mask, originally. He volunteered to put it on first, as far as I know, and thus he was the one I was tethered to."
"I was absolutely giddy. I'd been in the other realm for who even knows how long. To be truly alive again, to feel, to breathe the fresh air on an autumn evening; All wonderful sensations nearly forgotten but brought back because of those two. I couldn't be in the same place as Brynn, since we swapped places between the other realm and this one when he put on the mask. But with our mental link, we were able to share thoughts across the realms. Particularly when he slept in this one. Something about at least one member being asleep makes the mental link work better."
"I spent a lot of time with Cobalt. We attended a fair together, played pranks on several ponies, had a wonderful time the whole while. Brynn got a little jealous, but he and I had an intimate connection that Cobalt could never match. A few times, though, the trips to the other realm did something to Brynn. Time spent over there affected him strangely, and he started to go a bit…mad. Cobalt stepped in and helped him overcome those feelings, at the expense of myself being left alone for a while. I don't resent him for it. If anything, I'm glad he kept Brynn sane and happy."
"Eventually Brynn deciphered a way to get me into a proper body. A mannequin, at least. Like what Leifjka experienced when she crossed over. And that was good enough, for a time."
"But finally, we completed the Contract. I'm not allowed to speak of the goal he had in mind, nor would I want to ruin the moment we had when we accomplished it. Suffice to say, he renewed the Contract when prompted. The Green Stallion was pleased about it, though I couldn't tell you why. Not because that's a secret, but because I'm not sure. But with our mental link, we made a secret vow to find a way to keep me in this realm. Possibly forever."
"And in the end, he found a way. A special page in the book, with some kind of runic writing all over it, was used. It set me free of the Contract, but kept me here. We were together, without bonds, as two ponies. I can scarcely convey the joy I felt as I was able to hold Brynn in my hooves without the mental link, or any worries of the Contract, in me."
"Of course, that's when our troubles began as well. But you've seen the results of that already."
>>596821 "The other realm is a strange, mysterious place. I don't know what all exists there, to be honest. When I arrived with the Green Stallion, it was a white landscape that we stood in. There was nothing but the two of us. I thought he'd tricked me, but he explained and showed me how to craft the landscape into whatever I desired. It was amusing, at first. I remade my entire town, then destroyed it and made my old home. I destroyed that, too, and eventually settled into a newer home of my own design. One that was comfortable, but didn't have the sting of what I'd left behind in every panel."
"Brynn visited it when we swapped places, though he couldn't change it. I suppose only those who were taken from their time by the Green Stallion were permitted to play with the strange magicks that rule that realm."
"As far as I know or remember, the Green Stallion can do virtually anything he wishes in that realm. At least that's how it appeared. Beyond that, I'm uncertain if the Harbinger is within that realm, or in a third one never seen before."
"I just know that the Harbinger has a lengthy reach."
>>596823 Harley sighs, "You really are full of questions. Like the detective you are, I suppose."
"I was a bit of a prankster when I was in my own time. Pretty much the same, appearance-wise, as I am now. Y'know, brown body and browner mane. No wings or horn." >Recruitment
"He recruited me because I tricked enough folk that they thought I had powers. I fell sick one winter though. Was on my way out, so to speak, but I managed to trick death a few times. Or at least that's what they all say. Regardless, when I was about to pass, time kind of stopped, and this green stallion in a red cloak walked in the door and offered me another chance."
"I was young. I had so much more ahead of me; So many things I wanted to do, ponies to meet, children to have and raise…."
"I accepted." >Cobalt and Vernant
"Pretty much what they've probably already told you. Cobalt interrupted Brynn trying to bind Vernant to him through a Contract. Cobalt was considered the primary, and he made a Contract. Well, during one of the meetings the two had, Brynn convinced him to free Vernant. Problem was that Vernant was already in the form of Cobalt, they were basically splitting a body somehow, and he got stuck like that. I'm not sure there's a way to get Vernant back to his Griffon self. Which is unfortunate. I feel he'd have a much better attitude if we could change him back."
>>596824 "Yes. Until you do the same process Brynn and Cobalt did to free myself and Vernant, she's bound by the Contract to you. Which means that the Green Stallion, and the Harbinger, can figure out where you are without much issue."
A stab of fear runs through you, though Harley places a hoof on yours and smiles comfortingly.
"It's alright. Brynn thinks that the Green Stallion can only enter this realm in places the rituals have successfully occurred at. And he seems to have a time limit while here, so he probably won't be wandering around town looking for you."
>>596827 Well that's all the questions I have. Unless you guys have any other questions for her I say we ask her to leave and let us rest. Also can she leave a way to contact her and Brynn after we get out of the hospital and finish some business in town?
>>596831 "Ever feel like I was being used?" she ponders, looking at the ceiling for a moment. "No. I can't say I ever had that feeling before. Maybe I just wasn't thinking about it, but I never felt that way."
"And yes, I knew about the Harbinger. But in the same way you know that there are lands you can't see right now, out there somewhere. The Harbinger was just this far off thing. Never did I think it was dangerous, or even menacing. Only after I was freed did that become apparent."
"If that's all your questions, I'll let you get your rest. Do you want myself or Brynn to contact anyone to come watch over you? There was a dragon looking for you at one point, and I'm certain you have friends or family concerned about you."
>>596846 No. There's no need to involve them with her yet when we can easily get the message to her with the doctor, and we want her kept as out of this as possible without actually hiding stuff from her.
>>596853 >>596852 It's better this way. She didn't come yet, Brynn doesn't know about her…she's safe for now.
We have a lot of things to do. Get out of hospital, talk to Spike, see what to do with Sweetie and Cheery, try to hide the injuries from them for now and finally the forest and Brynn, but for the last thing I have a plan suggestion
>>596834 "Both locations are located in a different town, some distance away. We fled, both from Cobalt and from possible repercussion by the Harbinger and Green Stallion. You shouldn't have to worry about it unless you plan on traveling very long distances."
"As far as Brynn and I know, the Harbinger is merely called the Harbinger. Some of the references in the book reference the bringing of the end times, or of massive unfathomable change. Some are just carnage, or war. If only we'd been able to translate that before any of this happened."
"Then again, if he had, I would've never met him, Cobalt, or you."
"I'm having a hard time deciding which path is better, despite how selfish that sounds."
>>596844 "We asked the medical staff to keep your stay here as discreet as possible, unless your injuries were life threatening. We didn't want to bring attention to any of this. I'm sorry if that's not what you want, but it's what we felt was needed. The dragon finding you was a coincidence we couldn't avoid, apparently."
"I'll tell the medical staff to come visit you, since you're awake. You can choose who gets notified then."
Harley rises from her seat, stretching a bit before wandering over to Brynn and gently shaking him awake. He moves his glasses to rub at his tired eyes, blinking a good number of times before putting the glasses back on and looking at you. He smiles, a little, as Harley tells him it's time to go.
He gets up, stretching as well, before moving to the desk beside your bed and writing something on a notepad.
Leaning in before he leaves your side, he whispers: "Thank you."
With that, the pair leave. Only Vernant and Leifjka are the other ponies in the room for a time. At least until the medical staff arrive anyway. They wake Vernant, and he leaves the building looking a little less worse for wear than before.
The staff question you about who you are, what happened, and who is to be notified. An air of suspicion around them due to the strange requests by your "friends".
You have to run with the lie that you had a flying accident. Nopony would believe the truth anyway, you decide. They verify your identity, though you're pretty sure that one of the staff recognized you and it was more for formality than anything, and after checking your vitals and casts, determine you'll be able to walk out of the hospital in another days time. Your wings should be able to fold properly then without issue, though you're instructed you won't be flying for at least a week.
"Unless you want to re-break the worst wing related injury I've ever seen in my twenty plus year career," the doctor says sternly.
With all of that out of the way, they ask who you'd like to have notified of your status in the hospital.
"We won't tell them the extent of your injuries unless you want them to know ahead of time. Just that you're here and you request their presence." >Player choice
>>596854 >>596856 We're telling Sweetie. If the Harbinger was going to know about her, they already would since we've been with her after the summoning. And it's just a horrible thing to do from a trust perspective, to hide our troubles from her like that.
>>596857 Leave out the request presence, thing. Just that I'm well and… Can I have a pen an paper? I'll write up a letter.
Contents along the lines of >Sorry >Had an accident, am fine but this is the first I've been able to contact you >Will explain all when we're in private >We should be out of hospital tommorrow, but I know you can't wait until then, so I'll see you soon. >Love you, and sorry
>>596871 No. Again we send Spike to assure her we're okay. There are two reason I insisn on this First is that we won't have to lie about the accident and when we see her we can tell her the entire truth
Secondly and more importantly is because how we look. She comes over she sees us in the horrible shape we are now. At least hte next day she'll see we can walk and won't know how horrible we looked in the hospital. Think of what she'll think when she hears the real reason we're like that and think when will she be more worried when she sees us like a mummy or when she only sees the wings bandaged?
>>596857 >>596867 >>596868 "Miss Sweetie Belle. It's worth noting that Spike already knows of your presence here. We turned him away because he was causing a bit of a stir while you were unconscious. I'll make sure he knows you're awake as well since he was concerned for your welfare."
>>596869 "I'll make note that you're giving them a status update, not requesting their presence. This might not stop them from coming, though, and unless they're threatening your stability we won't turn loved ones away."
"Also, you are immobilized, sir. I respect your tenacity in wanting to write a letter, but strung up as you are that's not feasible. I'll convey your sentiments."
With that, the medical staff change the topic to describing your injury. And basically how every single bone in your wings shattered.
"The worst injury I've ever seen," the lead doctor says, though he smiles when talking about his and some other bone specialists handy work in putting you back together.
"Borderline miracle right there. It'll take time for your feathers to come back without magic treatment, though. I'll schedule you for a follow up after tomorrow's expected discharge. Unless you'd rather have them grow out naturally. Entirely up to you."
After patting themselves on the back well enough, they depart, leaving just you and Leifjka in the room.
Despite having been unconscious for the past 3 days, you feel surprisingly exhausted. Perhaps it's just all the new information settling into your head, or the healing process going on in your wings and back. Either way, you're beat.
You take another look at Leifjka, who snoozes in the bed beside you. Other than being asleep, she seems alright.
You feel a tiny twinge of regret at leaving her on the ground during the whole thing, but time had necessitated that you move quick. Up until Harley got a lucky hit, at least.
Then again, maybe it wasn't luck. Maybe it was fate.
Realizing you're thinking far too hard on this, you close your eyes and let sleep wash over you.
Tomorrow you'll leave the hospital, and get on the road to setting things right.
>>596873 before you leave I was wondering if we could get a more detailed description of Vernant dressed up in his helmet and maybe more back in that field he sounded pretty badass and maybe some one will draw him