/q/ - Quest


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File: 1380406380735.png (344.39 KB, 721x466, Northlands OP.png, IO Google TinEye)


This is the story of the beginning of the end of the beginning of the final part



I need to find that mare… Sunrise was her name. Damnit, I won't give up so easily. I didn't give up on my deathbed, I won't give up now.


I need to visit Windy Valley in Ironfoe… That old kingdom where it all began.


High Queen To Be Sunrise
Once the daughter of a merchant from Wintersgrasp. Now well on her way to ruling the entire north…
You see her looking out one of the palace windows overlooking the city below.
It sure has been a while since you were here.
The heat is still the same it was when you first came here over two decades ago… Smells the same too.
Windy works with Golden Oats, so the golemworks would be your best bet


At least I wont be fighting kingsguards and a deranged shadow assassin this time.
Let's see if Windy Valley is in for work today.


Approach her, but keep some distance, then clear my throat.


She's leaning by a wall, taking a breather.
She turns and upon seeing you, does her best to hide her surprised disgust '1d10'

Roll #1 1 = 1




Take a deep breath and stride over.
"Well, are you not going to bow before a Queen?"


I frown and lower my head.
"I didn't mean to surprise you."


"No no, please. It's fine. I was just distracted by my thoughts is all.
H-how can I help, sir?"
Her eyes snap open and ears flip up in surprise. She then quickly spins around in place and tries to do a gracious bow '1d10'

Roll #1 8 = 8


"Your highness queen Venia. To what do I owe this honor?"


I laugh and walk up to her for a good hug.
"I'm just messing with you, Windy. It's good to see you again! You look great!"


"Having a spine helps with that.
Having a job so I can afford to eat does the rest. So, to what do I owe this visit?"


I sigh.
Here goes.
"I came here with a plead."


"You know I'd happily take you in back in Wintergrasp palace if you were to have nowhere to go."
Sit down and look around.
"But it's great to see you doing something as amazing as golemcrafting. I'm very happy things are working out for you. On that note… I was wondering how things are between you and Crescent."


Can you please explain in a little more detail?"
"He's a great guy. Brave, dedicated… and he can take a joke, unlike most I've met. Top shelf material, really."


"Mmmm… I bet. How does he perform?"
I give her a sly wink.


"I plead that you talk Liviana out of the marriage."


"Surprisingly well under pressure. Even though he's more than a little shy."
"…for what purpose? She has seemed quite happy with the idea over the past months…"


"So… do you love him then? Enough to consider him a keeper?"


"Well he certainly does have all the qualities of one~"
She goes a little dreamy in the eyes


"… Any marriage plans? Or family plans?"


"Because she wants to do it to make up for something she can't control. She wants to prove that she is as good as her sisters, when she is better at them already, no matter who say what.
And because… because I've been deep in love with her ever since I woke up and saw her smiling at me beside the bed after I was cured."


"Hm? Wha-
…not really… no? Why?"
The High Queen opens her mouth to answer but then closes it and thinks deeply

Roll #1 9 = 9


"…that's so romantic…
Have you told her about this?"


"Why not?"
Poke her chest with a hoof.
"You have to do these kind of things while you're young, Windy! I didn't, and I still regret it to this day!"


"That she made me believe in angels? No. That I am in love with her? Yes."
I sigh.
"But she said it is too late to change her mind. And that she has to do it, for Trotantium."


"You know… it all felt so easy and certain when it was just all playful groping and jokes…
But when you stand at the brink of commitment like this… it all becomes really… scary"
"That's a load of horseapples. Are you saying she's been dishonest about her feelings to me?
Why I should go get here right now!"


I shake my head.
"No, she admitted that she… that she grew close with you. She was never a dishonest pony."


"Now I'm just getting confused… I didn't want her to marry just out of duty! Nopony should do that. That's just… silly. Marriage is about love. And… I've tried to show her that love for the past year now."


"Oh yes, definitely. That's… really the biggest reason why it took Anvil and I so long to move on to the next step."
I smile sadly.
"We were so afraid of stepping into the darkness that we postponed it year after year. It's a big commitment… but not one you can run away from forever, or you'll just regret it when you grow older."


"Yeah gee, thanks mom.
…can I ask something way too personal?"


"So are you in love with her too?"


I smirk.


"Just how many guys did you have before that king? And be honest."
…as much as I can… with someone who isn't my beloved Frostmourn…"


"…what was it about marriage then?"


I laugh heartily.
"Oh dear… I wish I could give you a more exciting answer than 'None', but I can't. Unless you count childhood crushes, of course."


"Donrick… have you ever felt like you were a burden to someone? Like… you should be doing more for the greater good? Contributing harder even if nobody ever brought it up?"
She gives you a blank look
"True love at first sight and you get a happy ending as a queen? …and main character of some saucy stories…
Talk about living a blessed life.
But… Crescent is the first to ever let me get close enough… to ever… really seem to care…"


I blink.
"Saucy stories? Hold on right there!"


"No. I did not. But I know someone who has. Liviana."


"It's just some stupid story I heard some guards telling. Supposedly based off a true story one of their friends friends heard from a guy he met who knows a guy whose friend works in Wintersgrasp who overheard from someone who is related to someone whose friend works at the palace that you could suck a bowling ball through a garden hose and keep smiling the whole way through."
"I often felt like that too. Frostmourn… my beloved king… and soon to be husband… has always done so much for everyone. For his family. For his friends. For the whole North.
While I've accomplished little to nothing. I just… did not feel like he should…. waste his choice of queen on someone like me. I'm just not a good political candidate. I'm no show piece, aristocrat, intellectual, great strategist or silver tongued politician. I'm just… me.
But… Liviana… is so much more. So if I were to love her… and… she was to love me… and we were to both love Frosty…
I tried to finally stand up on my own and do something to aid the north. To try and create not only a happy marriage but a mighty alliance. To make the most of everything. For the sake of everyone. I…
…I was stupid, wasn't I?"


I blush and look away.
"… You shouldn't listen to gossip like that."


"Before you say anything more, just answer me this one thing… does King Frostmourn love you? Truly?"


"Oh c'mon it's hilarious.
Like how they also say that stone cold captain of the Sunlights was a total screamer in bed."
"I have always felt he does. For almost ten years now…"


I shake my head with a frown.
"Her name was Radiant, Windy. You would do well to remember that. But we're getting off-track here! I… Anvil and I only go together a small decade after we first met… It took some courage from my side to actually get close to him…"


"…so what the heck did you do for a damn decade?"


"Then you might not be a politician, a strategist, a smith, a mage, a warrior, none of those.
But you mean a lot to someone. More than a lot. Isn't that enough for you to be happy? Knowing that someone gets happier just from thinking about you?"
I sigh.
"That thought… or hope… was that kept me going and helped me ignore the looks I get all the time, the screams and yelps my looks generate…because I knew that the pony who matters to me doesn't mind."


"Stuck around Wintergrasp with Mom… We figured it was as good of a place as any to spend some time recovering after my father's death. I went hunting with Anvil a few times and just tried to help wherever I could. … Not that I posses any artisan skills like yours, but still. The old king was grateful enough to us for returning his wife to him."


"It was enough for me… until I realized that one day soon I would be expected to sit on the throne of an empire. And if all I can contribute to that empire is happiness to one pony… what kind of a queen am I?"
"I've heard all sorts of stories about that business… Not sure what to make of all of them to be honest. I mean she's the queen of Ironfoe. Wife of Deep Rock. Still is.
Some say you were just raiders sent here to kidnap her."


"In Trotantium, Empresses were loved for being Empresses. They inspired the trotantines just by existing. If you support King Frostmourn, don't you think they'll know who the one pony is who keeps their leader happy? And won't they love you for it?"


"I'm sure there are ponies here in Ironfoe who despise me… but that's just the way it went. I wont try to make it sound any prettier than it was in reality. I was by all means a mercenary. As was my mother. We were hired to retrieve the sword of the fallen king and return Goldenblood's wife. We fought and killed Ironfoe guards to achieve this. I'm not particularly proud of that fact… but that's simply how thing worked within my family. I still have aunts, cousins, nephews roaming around the world as adventurers, merchants, sellswords, bandits, pilgrims and who knows what else. I don't know them and they probably don't know me. But I just got lucky, I managed to transcend the life of a simple cutthroat and become a part in history."


"I just… wanted to know I did something real for… my people. Something …tangible."
"Must feel pretty crazy looking back at those times, huh? Things really have gotten different since then."


"It's like a different life. I don't doubt for a second you feel the same about your days in Equestria. You've been through… quite a lot."


"I was just a kid back then.
…then… I suppose you were too.
We seem to have quite a lot in common, don't we?"


"I know that affection is tangible. It must be if it can hurt, isn't it?"


"We do. You always reminded me of me. Why do you think I visited you so often?"
I smile.
"You don't have a mother here nagging at your ears and keeping you in line like I did. So I guess I kind of decided to take that role myself."


"I appreciate your efforts to cheer me up, I really do.
…It's just that… had I been the one… who united empires… I would finally have felt like a worthy wife to one who created empires."
"Every mare eventually turns into their mother, or so they say. Then, they also say I grope every stallion who passes by."


I chuckle.
"I wonder where they got that wild rumor from…"


"Makes you wonder how much truth is in the other stories bored guards share around…"


"Do you really want to know?"


I frown, and gulp.
"I understand… I'm sorry that I wasted your time then, Your Highness."


"Kinda. About some of them.
Others… less so."
"Oh no, no, far from it. It was an… insightful and surprisingly heartfelt take on the situation.
…But what would you have me do? Tell Liviana my sincere efforts to help us all love one another should be forgotten?
…I need to talk to her. Maybe we both do. I need to know the truth about her feelings."


I just give her a deadpan look.
"… So! About that marriage!"


"If you insist… though I already said my goodbyes to her."


"…truth for truth?"
"Well if you're not even going to try, why the heck did you come talk to me? What did you hope I'd do? Have her thrown out of Wintersgrasp and tell my armies to chase her until she ran into you wherever you had wandered to by then?"


I sigh.
"Fine then. What do you want to know exactly, for crying out loud."


"I was… selfish and foolish. Of course I'd never want something like that to happen to her.

Maybe I'm still selfish and foolish, and that is why I came here to talk to you."


She leans in closer and whispers in your ear
"…what's a garden hose?"
"Talking things out seems healthier than letting them gnaw at you, no?
…you haven't made many friends outside of her, have you?"


"I have no idea, Windy."


I snort.
"Just look at me. Sometimes I wonder why someone as beautiful as her even decided to befriend me."


"Well, now I feel less dumb.
Maybe it's a euphemism of some kind.
So yeah, wedding. I… really don't know. Yes he is sweet and brave and so incredibly cute when he goes all red in the face but…
…I guess I'm a little scared about… you know… commitment."
"Looks aren't everything, you know."


"You shouldn't be. The one thing you should be scared of is time. Because Gods know how little of it we have on this world. How old are you, Windy?"


"Ok now I get to feel really stupid, because I sorta lost count when I was being a mine slave.
…I think I'm… twenty…ish?"


"I know. But looking liked the failed experiment of an oddomane necromancer is something."


"I take it that can't exactly be… you know… healed, can it?"


I smile sadly at her.
"Don't feel stupid. What happened was not your fault. And well, twenty is young. You still have time, I suppose. Time to grow closer to him and get a clearer idea of whether or not he's the stallion you want to be bonded with for life."


"So how exactly do you do it?"


"… What do you mean? To commit?"


"This is what being healed looks like."


`"To create that lasting closeness with someone. To brighten their every day by simply existing. Being there for them, day and night, tending to their needs as an equal, out of mutual love and respect not servitude and repayment?
How do I please him? Make him feel loved? Ask him to be the same for me without feeling selfish? How… how do I relationship properly?"
…have you tried regenerative magic?"


"Yes… what the most advanced healing magic was, at least."


"I admit I have no real knowledge of Trotantine magic… all I know is our magic allowed the healing of necrotic wounds and a severed spine.
But then… if someone really loves you… surely your looks should not be an issue?
And… blind mares need love too?"


I chuckle slightly.
"I tend not to worry too much about all those things. I always just… put my trust into him. I was always honest with him, even about things that I knew could destroy our relationship… I care for him, look after his needs, leave him alone when he has no need for me being around and be right behind him when he does."


"Only one pony ever disregarded anything and everything about my condition.

…and no, I don't know any blind mares, thank you."


"…and right under him when he needs that kind of attention?"
"Are you sure you haven't just… pushed others away because you had your eyes on her alone? Taken their initial shock as a sign of disgust and offense, and never given them a deeper chance?"


"… Yes Windy. I think a lot of couples do that kind of stuff."


"I grew up in a palace full of snobbish royal ponies as a disfigured donkey smith from the country.
I wasn't exactly popular no matter how you put it. But I didn't mind them, as long as I had at least one friend."


She looks around a blushes a bit
"…got any tips?"
"Have you ever tried… talking to somepony here in the north?"


"I did. And people here are more friendly. And I made some… I don't know if they would call me friends. I've met people."


"Listen… Windy. This is hardly the place to discuss that stuff. Why don't we meet somewhere more private at a later date? Maybe we could even make it a weekly occasion. I have too much time on my hooves anyway and very little to do while I… well…"
Point at my belly
"Wait for that to happen."


"Do you think you could give them a chance to see the real you, under all that… that? Try to meet someone new… try to… fall in love again?"
"…how is that anyway? It looks like it'd feel weird."


"I've known her since we were young. I doubt I could just magically forget about her."


"It isn't about forgetting. It's about moving on.
I think… Frostmourn could speak volumes about that."


"It's definitely quite the experience. Just you wait until I start experiencing serious mood swings. A pissy Venia is a bigger threat to the ponies of the North than even Equestria."
I chuckle.


"So… when should we meet again?
Could you spare a little time for me later tonight?"


"…you know how stubborn donkeys get."


"Sure thing. With those portals around, moving from here to there wont be too much of an issue, luckily."
I smile.
"Just swing by later today again if you've got the time, okay? We can share a nice cup of tea and talk in peace."


"I'm sure there is more strength in your heart than stubbornness in your head."
And… thanks for everything so far."


Ruffle her mane softly with a hoof.
"Don't. It's the least a mare can do. Now, I wont keep you from work any longer or Golden Oats might get angry. Later, Windy!"
Welp, there we go. No marriage plans, but at least I know how she feels.
I guess I could go poke Sunrise about becoming a babbymachine if you're up to it.


And then I was available.


"The strenght in my heart I draw from her."


Windy seeks you out at the end of her work day
"Crescent, we need to talk."
Though she'll make good on that "later tonight" very soon.
"You don't know that until you've tried getting along without her."


Oh I'm sure. But the High Queen!


"We do?"
I'll take my helmet off.
"Here in the hallway, or would you rather somewhere more comfortable?"


Available in Wintersgrasp.
"…more comfortable is fine. But we are a little short on time. Queen Venia is expecting us later."


"What would you say if I told you to try getting along without Frostmourn?"


I'm sure she wont mind me coming for a visit. Find that mare.


I'll raise an eyebrow.
"Expecting… us?"
I'll motion her into a nearby room.
"So, what's the matter? You seem worried."


"After my repeated failures to live up to what I imagine a queen should be… I've somewhat made peace with that option.
I would… go back to my roots. Return to the family business. Try to maybe… boost sales with my past as once-queen-consort…
Make them most out of it. But live on. Because I know that's what he'd want me to do, rather than to curl up a die of self-pity."
"Venia! How nice to see you again!"


"Should I just go back to Draken then? Work the smithy of my father? And… that's it then, I guess."


"My Queen."
Bow my head slightly with a smile.
"I hope you're feeling well today."


I'll think that over for a moment, making sure I heard that right. Then blush a shade approaching pure red.
"Did… did you just… I mean, I think you would, yes."
I'll sit down a little harder than I intend.
"I didn't want to push you into thinking about that unless you wanted to go for it."
I'll shuffle my front hooves a moment.


"Oh quit it Your Highness Queen Consort To Viceroy Unyielding Anvil of Wintersgrap Cousin of High King of the United Northlands Frostmourn My Blue Hued Gooschmoo… Venia."
"…seems like it would be a whole lot easier to just, you know, get a job in Ironfoe or something? They have tons of skilled smiths there."
"There were… external forces acting to bring about these thoughts in me, to be perfectly honest."
She gives an awkward grin


"I'm not sure I could handle it well."


I chuckle and walk up to her for a hug.
"I could never remember my full title. How are you Sunrise? Not stressing too much about the wedding looming on the horizon?"


"Who could have… is this what we're seeing Queen Venia about?"
I'll think a minute, then wonder under my breath.
"How did she know what I was thinking about?"


"How do you know if you haven't tried?"
"Who? Me? Over trying to live up to the title of queen when my king is the creator of empires? Over the fact that I may have managed to create the foundation of a unison of the North and Trotantium?
Haaa hahahaha YES."
"Maybe she asked that court priest of theirs. Rumor has it he's psychic.
…or, you know, she saw how we act around eachother.
Is it ok if I ask you a dumb question?"


"Only dumb questions are the ones that aren't asked. Go ahead."


"You don't need to hold your hoof into the fire to know it will burn you."


"You poor thing. Before soon you'll have a bunch of little Frostmourns and Sunrises running around as well to worry about. Wont that be a sight to behold…"
I smile


"What's a garden hose?"
"Well… someone had to, at some point."
She visibly cringes at the thought, glances at your belly and cringer harder, tucker her tail between her legs.


"Is… something wrong?"


I'll blink.
That wasn't anything like what I was expecting.
"Uhm. Well, it's a hose. For a garden. Like the hoses used to move water in the forges, only used in the garden."
I'll look at her curiously.
"What brought that on?"


"A story I heard. But I really had no clue if it was a real thing or an euphemism for something.
Now I feel a lot smarter!"
The idea of… kids… kinda… creeps me out. A lot.


"So… will you still talk to her?"


"But… why? How?"


"Will you?"
"I dunno. Squeezing a living, kicking thing out of your privates doesn't really sound like… fun."


"All together?"


I'll cough lightly.
"Well, it's kind of a, ahem, rude euphemism that- where did you even hear someone use that?"


"Shall I get Frostmourn?"
"Listened in on some guards when I was bored."


"Well, that's what being a mare is about, isn't it? Like it or not… you're going to be the source of Frostmourn's heir. It's just a natural thing, you know! And that living, kicking thing will be your legacy, Sunrise. Your continuation into this world. As will the children of your children, and their children, and so on! Isn't that great?"


I frown.
"I don't think he likes the idea of not marrying Liviana."


She shuffles around a bit and glances at her flank
"It just sounds so… eugh…"
"I think this is Liviana's choice and nopony else's."


"…fine, get him then."


"That'd explain it. Well, you don't have to worry about it, I guess."
I'll scratch the back of my neck.
"Was… that all you needed before we went to visit Queen Venia?"


"Sunrise, you're a grown, adult mare. A lot of mares of your age go through pregnancy. And you especially, as wife of the High King, will need to go through it as well. I wont say it wont hurt, but dammit, why let a bit of pain scare you off?"


And so they all gather.
Sunrise, Frostmourn, Liviana and Donrick.
This is the defining moment that will decide the fate of hearts and empires. The conclusion of years of work.
"Liviana… there is something we all need to know."
"Pretty much. Remember to wear something comfy~"
"Because I don't like pain down there ok!?"


"You think I do? I've been shot, stabbed, crushed, hit, smashed, slashed and who knows what else. Pain is never fun."


"Is something wrong?"


I'll let Sunrise talk.


I'll shake my head a little, and smile.
"You are such an odd mare."
Giving her a small kiss before she goes, I'll put my helmet back on, and escort Windy out of the room before she goes off to do whatever.
Then I head to my own room to find something that isn't my armor that I feel comfortable in.


"…once again it shows that I really haven't got much to speak for, huh?
I just… that's like the one thing that still creeps me out even at a mention."
"I don't believe in marriage without love."
You pick out some neat looking and suitably official clothes. A bit of an intentional loose fit to make them comfortable to wear at any time.
And soon you make your way to Wintersgrasp with Windy in tow.
"Venia! We're here!"


"That we are."


I sigh and put a hoof around her.
"How does Frostmourn feel about this?"

I'll assume this is after Sunrise and I spoke?
"Good! Come, come, let's head over to the solar so we can talk in peace."


I nod slowly.
"Yes, you mentioned that before… I think nearly a year ago now."


I'll nod, and walk in with Windy.


Keep watching.


"He knows…"
"Yes. Lets. Come along, dear~"
"And it still stands.
Now the time of truth has come. Over the past year I have done all I could to ensure the fire of mutual love burned within all three of us. That whatever we may do, we would do it out of our honest feelings. The nights spent under the stars, the days spent wandering the sights of the north, the hours spend telling stories under a warm blanket, the shared dreams and hopes…
…I don't want you to marry out of duty. Only out of love."


"And… does he want kids?"


I'll probably have prepared some tea for this.
"Please, sit down. How are you, Crescent?"


"I'm well, Venia. The trip I took up north could have gone better, but as it is it went as well as it could have."


"Not until he has united the north. He fears he would not have time for them."
"So when do we start with the training?"


I'll look at Windy a little curiously.


I sigh.
"… I should have expected so much from him. Dammit Frostmourn…"


I look confused between the two of them.
"… Training?"


"Yes training. That's why we're here, right? So Venia can teach us the ins and outs of being good to one another!"
"It sounded very reasonable to me…"


I'll look confused.
"What do you mean?"


"Windy please, I'm not a counselor. … I'm probably not even a suitable adviser considering the things I've messed up in the past…"
I sigh again.
"Okay… you're young, it's true. Maybe I'm pushing for this a little too hard… or maybe I'm just afraid you'll make the same mistake Anvil and I made."


"Why don't you lay down and let me show you~?"
"Well I'm sure you can give me at least some pointers, right? You said you had experience!"
"…will you be there for me when the time comes?"


I'll shoot a look between Venia and Windy.
"Windy, this is hardly the place for… that."


"Your Grace-… Sunrise, Frostmourn, there are several things I love. I love my country, and am willing to go through great lengths to keep it safe. It's… one of the things I've always solemnly believed in."
I look over to Donrick.
"Donrick, too, is someone I love. I… I've always been a bit of an outcast, even in the family I belong to by blood. In Donrick I found someone I could confide in, and even though we're not bound by blood… to me he's nothing less than family."
I look back at the royal couple.
"And you two… you two have shown the same kindness he always has. At first I didn't feel anything particularly for either of you aside from gratitude… but your efforts have been charming. Charming enough to create… stirrings at first, which grew into actual feelings. Feelings of love, care and admiration."
I pause and bite my lower lip for a moment as I glance over at Donrick again.
"So honestly? Can I call a marriage for the sake of my homeland which I love, a marriage of duty? A marriage with two ponies I have feelings for, as strange as that may have sounded at first, a marriage of duty? If there is one emotion that has triumphed over all the others, it's conviction. Conviction that this is the right choice. Not just for myself… but for the place I love and the ponies that inhabit it. I want this."


"Windy! Just what are you thinking? I thought we were just going to chat about things!"
"Of course I will be. For as long as I live, I will be here to support you. All of you. To the end of my days, you hear me?"




I look away.
"I understand.
I'll leave you two your business then. I will stay around in Ironfoe if anyone needs my skills. Good day."
Stand up, and leave back to my room where I left Chell.


"Well… this is a thing, right?
I thought we could talk about anything!"
"Then I suppose… I could… give it a try. When the north stands united. And Frostmourn is ready."
Sunrise leaps to embrace you, and Frostmourn soon joins the hug as well.
"We're so glad you feel that way~"
She deploys the brushie


"Well, talking is one thing, but… but actually doing is something else entirely!"
I'll be blushing terribly.


"Fuck the brush. Go and find me the hardest booze they have around here, and bring me as much of it as you can. Now."


She walks out of the room
"Well, experience is always better than theory, right?"


Slump down beside the bed, and stare at the door.


She soon returns with what seems to be a barrel of violently bubbling liquid glowing a piercing icy blue.


"Chell, make a draft of a steel ear. Then go find the library of these people, and get everything you can on anathomy. Until I wake up, start studying them….now leave me to be by myself."

Start drinking that whatever it is. As much of it as I can.

Roll #1 7 = 7


I'll be quiet a moment, and then speak in a somewhat small voice.
"Was it really… so bad?"


She then leaves again, this time for the library. With… something of a curious spring in her step.
I just… thought I could… you know, learn to be better. We both could. And then we could get married and be happy and live together forever and ever and never worry about anything ever again!


And I didn't even start drinking yet.
Maybe I am just going mad.
Drink already!


Usually, strong spirits burn.
This doesn't. It loops back to freezing. Then starts burning.
After the first gulp you are no longer sure if time is moving.


If it doesn't, I can just drink more.

Roll #1 3 = 3


I'll blink a few times.
"But… but that's only half of it."
I'll think quickly.
"Wait, marriage? Is this a proposal? Because if it is, you beat me to it."


After a second drink you are no longer entirely sure if physical objects are actually objects at all or just really really small dots held together by magic making the shape of things.
And you are fairly convinced you have thought of at least six new colours.
She looks around in mild panic
"This was a really stupid plan wasn't it what do you mean beat you to it were you planning to propose to me!?"


I could use this really really small dot later…
Oh well.
No time now
Drink until the pain goes away.

Roll #1 3 = 3


I'll nod.
"Yes! I was going to wait until I'd finished the engagement token, but, well, time and mares wait for no stallion, it seems."
I'll blush slightly, and look rather sheepish.
I'll clear my throat, and still blushing, speak.
"Lady Windy Valley, would you do me the honor of becoming my wife?"


You politely ask Pain to go away.
He seems a bit shocked but apologizes and leaves the room.
Passion, Joy, Sorrow and Tears keep telling you to fight, fight for the person you believe in.
And a worn old priest tells you to obey him, or defy him.


She's shaking now


I'll break into a grin.
"Good. That's… that's more than good, that's great."
I'll chuckle.
"And I'd do this in front of all of Ironfoe, for you."
Draw her into a hug.


[shaking intensifies]


"Fuck fighting. Fuck pretending I'm anything else than a smith… fuck not swearing…."
Take another drink.

"No, wait…
I'm not just a smith… I'm a tinkerer… and if something is broken, I fix it… and I'll fix this too."

Roll #1 2 = 2


The fundamental structure of the universe is breaking down. Color is not real. It is your mind interpreting light bouncing off imperfections on surface materials. North and south are arbitrary. The sun is just a star that's really close.
But even among all this, you are standing here as true as you were born on this earth. Not one day, one moment you have lived has been wasted. So go, if you come up against a hurdle, find a path that you believe in.


"You know, you keep shaking like that, and I'll get the impression this took you completely by surprise."
I'll hug a little tighter.
"I thought I was pretty transparent."


"It doesn't matter how prepared I was… or how much I expected it, anticipated it, or hoped for it…
…the feeling is no less overwhelming…"


Stop that, voice. That sappy crap is what brought me here in the first place….

No more. No more of that.

More drinks instead.

Roll #1 2 = 2


I'll smile.
"Tell me about it."
Hug her tightly.


I don't mind that everything is a lie…
So long as you love me forever.
There is nothing left of reality as you know it. You stare at the gears and surges beyond the veil of the visible universe. A machine that runs all that is. That builds what will be and dismantles what was. A great clockwork beast walking down a road it builds before itself and takes apart where it has passed, all the while rotating all the stars and planers within that tiny sphere called the universe it carries on its back.


She eventually stops shuddering and just presses herself against you
"We'll have… time to learn this stuff. I'm sure of it~"


"All the time in the world."
I'll close my eyes a moment and rest my forehead against hers, with our horns touching.
"Is there anyone in particular you want invited to the wedding? Friends, family, anyone?"


Take another drink, and let's explore this machine. Every machine is the same. Every single one. And we are machines too, just very mushy, stupid, feeling-driven, though very carefully crafted machines.

If this is the core and mother of all machines, then let's find the heart. There is something I need to know about how it works.

Roll #1 9 = 9


You find it. It is a strange device of brass and crystal that softly pulses and rotates, touching parts inside the heart chamber, sending out pulses across the entire structure.
"Can we just… hold off on that for a little bit still?
I need to… plan… stuff…"


"Of course. I still need to make the seal to make it official, and I'd need to draft up my own invitations…"
I'll nod absently.
"Just tell me when you've got a date that looks right, okay?"


Stop drinking now.
Appraise it.
Look for what part are absolutely necessary for it to beat… and look for what is useless rubbish that ruins the balance of the whole machinery by adding details noone cares about!

Roll #1 6 = 6


"Could we just… do… this thing some more first? Ok?"
This can go… and so can this. And this. And all of these… and a lot of that… And the rest of it.
All it needs to function is hope


"The hugging? Dating? Of course."


She sends out a little pulse of magic into your horn and smiles


And I'll respond in kind. This oddly feels more… intimate than kissing.


I must have read it wrong.
If hearts ran on hope I would have collapsed dead right in the middle of that 'heartfelt' little speech
Appraise again.
The brass is the beating and functioning, could the crystal be the weed I aim to root?

Roll #1 10 = 10


Yet here you are, amidst the secrets of the universe itself. How could you have come here, were it not for hope?
You reach into the heart and dislodge the crystal. Though the brass stops moving, you realize you can still move it with your hoof. Control it. Tell it what to do.
You place the crystal back in, and it resumes moving on its own. Perhaps less efficiently, but more effortlessly.
But something still holds it back… somewhere.
You follow the movements of the brass. A shuddering impulse sent across infinite expanses, vibrating with perfect harmony, until…
An old, rusted part. Clearly not even from this machine, but from something entirely else. Old and obsolete, unfit for its place, slowing everything down.


Determination. Stubborness. That's what kept me going. Now I know.

Remove that part and inspect it closer.
So the crystal is needed… but you, you my friend, seem to be the problem I'm looking for. The problem I aim to fix.


With this old, broken part removed, the machine stops.
It needs to be replaced.
It also tingles.


Jury rig the machine to work without it.

Roll #1 9 + 2 = 11


"Well, Windy, much as I'd love to stay with you here, I believe the Queen would like her sitting room back."
I'll smile at her softly, vaguely hoping that that little horn exchange can carry over my love.


You rig a chain out of some remaining bits of your mane and use it to link the pieces.
The machine spurs itself into all new speeds, knocking you over violently.
As you wake up, it is morning.
Chell is still reading
"Maybe we could go back to your place…"


"That wasn't normal booze, Chell…"
Clutch my head and sit up.


"Sounds like a plan to me."
I'll politely excuse us from Venia's chambers, and then we'll warp back to Ironfoe, then to our rooms, and finally cuddle.


And it was cute


Damn straight it was. Thanks for running.


"I'll let it slip because it worked out….
What did I tell you before I started drinking?"




"… what were your findings?"
Let's drag myself to the table to see what the ear she planned looks like. I had half an ear for someone long enough. It's an easy fix I can do in half an hour.


The only design that is not crossed out or crumpled up features a steel ear that mounts on the existing ear with a series of claps and a spring to allow for natural-ish movement.
Among the discarded designs you find references to "cerebral displacement anchor", "double-edged self-sharpening system" and "cute little tuft on the tip"


I glance at Chell.
"You usually don't need to try more than two times to get it right. Don't tell me I need to fix you too."

Okay, craft it, right here, right now.

Roll #1 10 + 2 = 12


You pull out your tools and start working. This should not take long… soon enough you will hear with both ears once more.



"Crescent doesn't seem all that convinced about this either, Windy. Doesn't this seem counter-productive to you?"
I smile.
"That's my girl."


I watch him leave with sad eyes.
I'll have to speak to him once he's calmed down…

"I- Yes, I am too. Thank you… for all this."


A tale of donkeys and transponeism


So I believe I just crafted a really good ear replacement.
A really really good one.


It sure feels odd to hear with both sides of your head again…
And your new ear could leave a nasty cut with a good swish.


Make sure it's fixed right.
Then look over those plans of Chell again.
"What exactly are these?"
What's with the tuft thing, Chell?




I snort.
"Who would I do either of those for…"




"And this?"
Hold up the anchor-plan thing.
"This barely looks like an ear design."




"Overcomplicated. I could see why you'd scrap it."
"I need more booze."




"I need real booze. That didn't dull my senses at all."




"It's not like things can get worse."
Start planning as I speak.
Let's try a sketch of a mechanical heart like what I saw after I jury rigged it.

Roll #1 3 = 3




Groan annoyedly.
"Yes, Chell, I know, do better then."
Crumple the plans and try again.
I was sharp, come on, I can do it again.

Roll #1 5 = 5


She places a cold metal hoof on your cheek
She then begins following your motions, nudging the quill as she sees you make a mistake, slowly helping you draw what seems to be an intimately detailed diagram of her own heart


Look at her with a raised eye.
"That's your core, Chell."




"I don't have another of that crystal. I need plans for a mechanical heart."


She takes anew paper and starts drawing again, replacing the crystal with pieces of machinery, and, somewhat worryingly, organic parts.


Point at the organics.
"And these? These don't seem to be machinery."




"A power source…
I guess there is no way around that with just the mechanics."
Eye her up.
"Good point Chell. I don't even know how I missed that in my own plans."




"You think you can do it?"




Start crafting the mechanical parts by the plan.
"And in practice?"

Roll #1 8 + 2 = 10



This device was born from your own soul. From places so deeply rooted in your mind there is no room for error, only clarity.
…born from your… soul…
You remember something Narpa, master smith of Ironfoe once talked about. But a thought at the time - binding one's own soul to metal, fusing it forever to that creation to grant it immeasurable power…


"It's for me, Chell."

The heart is the center of creation. You can't create without putting your heart to it. You can't create with a broken heart… But make an unbreakable heart and put your soul into it…

Nobody really cared, well why would they?
… well, what the hell! This is how it was meant to be. Yes, thank you Narpa. You did teach me something invaluable after all.




"It will in time."
Okay, now that I have all the mechanic parts, I'll just need to apply them and take out everything that isn't needed. But first, I'll have to pay a visit to Narpa with them.
"Study these plans, and compare it to the anatomy you learned about hearts. Make a plan for a life-sustaining device and prepare for making an operation."

Off to Narpa.



Narpa is available for a few minutes before bed


Shrug off that smartass comment from Chell.

"Narpa, I must bother you before you do anything else."


"This had best be important. What do you need?"


"The know-how of soul forging."


He looks deeply surprised
"I had all but given up on that wild fantasy. I thought there might be a solution to it in creative application of golemcrafting principles and necromancy, but so far I've yet to find the final solution.
…why do you bring this up?"


"I need it for something very special. Only Soul forging can make it whole and complete. And I will not rest until I manage to do it."

Show him the parts.


"…what the hell is this thing…?"


"Parts for a mechanical heart."


"This clockwork madness? How does it even pump blood?"


"By using natural resources."


"Son are you dumb or something? Do you even know how a heart works?
This looks more like an engine or somesuch.
A heart's like this sack that pumps blood in and out. I see no sacks here."


Sigh and point out the heart.
"I don't need it to be a meaty sack to be able to pump. It can do it all mechanically with a kickstart from the arteries. That way the beating will be much more stable and better calculated, not to mention more effective."


point out the parts*


"I suppose I should not pry. Genius is often mistaken for madness…
…come with me, then. We have much to discuss"



The imperial wedding is so close you can practically smell it.
This is your last chance to do pre-wedding things.

Northscrown, capital of the United North and symbol of Frostmourn's success has been finished. Perched upon a massive icy cliff on the World's Crown mountains, the immense crystal spire and surrounding city radiate with power and light. Its gleaming streets of stone and structures of crystal carefully arranged to form a single city-sized Pylon Catalyst.
And beneath the city, inside the ice of the great cliff, sleeps Frostmourn's undead dragon, taken from the Underkingdom long ago.
The capital is populated by some of the most skilled, wealthy and powerful individuals of the north, who sought to move there to seek better living and working conditions, some solitude and fresh air, or simply a boost in social status.
It also features the seat of the High King himself, and boasts enough space for all his closest friends and followers to reside at will.

Mass Teleportation Networks now link all major cities, and research into Portable Teleporters has resulted in the creation of a Recall Stone that can, when used, return the user to its home location. Though still experimental, a few are available.

The Dark Academy is complete, and slated to start courses soon.
Mage King Longshanks has also officially named Captain Highhorn his primary assistant, a title that usually carries the implication of its bearer being marked as the next Mage King.

TIARA has returned to Timberjaw, which is now undergoing talks of reforming their country in many ways following the civil war.


I'm not sure how I feel about being able to smell it, that carries some implications with it.
Am I ready though? I'll need suitable clothing and whatnot!


Time to check on the groom!


Has King Frostmourn requested anything of me before this happens?


The north is your oyster.
And maybe Trotantium sent something over too? Would be quite barbaric of them to ignore the wedding…
He wanted to be sure the North was stable, that the Viceroys are invited, and that Rosefall also receives an invitation.
He is in his throne room, alone for once, staring out the massive windows overlooking his empire, deep in thought.


Indeed, he is flashing back to #when he met Prima again for the first time in years…


Whistle a cheerful tune from behind and approach.


Make sure my mane and everything is right.
It's been so long since we last met!…

Okay, contain yourself Prima.
Act calm.
Like a lady.
Go and visit to where he must be waiting for me.


Maybe… though I'm sure somepony will inform me if that happens. I'll go see how my soon-to-be spouses are doing.


Did I already give the crystal?
I could give it during the wedding….
Make sure everypony sees it.


"Ah, old friend. Take a look at this."
He nods at the window.
You open the door and run right into him.
…he's grown since last time. No longer a twig of a prince, he is now tall and muscular, with a flowing mane and finely sculpted stone armor adorned with glowing runes.
Frostmourn is probably in his throne room.
Sunrise is likely to be in the royal bedchambers.
Have you checked your mail recently? Or asked imperial adviser Verne?
You still have the crystal, and have so far kept it a secret. It is in your quarters, safely tucked away.


Walk up to him, sitting at his side, and look down.


Oh man. I can't fucking wait.
It was agony to keep silent for so long about the purpose of my journey.
Get my clothing ready with Waveform.
"I still don't get why I have to wear a tie."


I may not have done so, no. I'll visit Verne then. I assume he's stalking the palace somewhere?


Okay, screw that ladylike thing, jump to give him a hug!


Any reports of suspicious activity with chances of Equestria's involement?

Write a letter to Rosefall that they are invited to attend the wedding of High King Frostmourn of the Greater Northlands and witness his Majesty's union with the noble Liviana of Trotantium, in blissful eternal union gazed upon by the heavens as their wellbeing and hearts are sacrificed to further the interests of masses and the ideals of true love are broken forever


Roll #1 6 = 6


You can see the entire north. All of it.
From the fields of Wintersgrasp to the gleaming hills of Rockeye. From the high cities of Timberjaw to the spiraling peaks of Stormheart.
"…we did it."
"I'd say it's tradition but… technically this is the first ever wedding in Northscrown. So… we're setting traditions here."
Almost certainly. Usually he is in his study.
Careful not to bash yourself on the armor
"Prima! Haaa, it's been… quite a while. I see death didn't change you much."
Speaking of the Trotantite, there was some… shipment labeled for her earlier. You should probably tell her about it.
As for Equestria, all is almost suspiciously quiet, save for those curious events in Rosefall, where they had fairs and grand markets without ever moving any goods in or out…


Head over then, knock on the door.
"Lord Verne?"


I still need to travel the world looking for suitable teachers and formalize the course schedule. And talk about legitimization: shedding the name and going public – or at least, existing in public knowledge.

There's also the matter of my own research to take underway now that I have a workshop and resources.


It's the first time I actually get to see it…
With a breathless expression, gaze in stupor out of the window.
"It was your destiny, wasn't it?"


"We're setting a lot of new traditions today it seems."


"…what are you referring to? The two queens?"
"It's a beginning towards that. There is still work to be done…"
Who knows, perhaps events soon enough will offer a grand opportunity for just that.


Look him over.
"You changed a lot though! Frostmourn, you look so much more…."
Sexy, sexy, sexy, handsome, strong so many words I could use I don't even know what to say!


"For starters."


I could probably write the rest of the letter now, but it's making my head a hurt in a way nothing else does for some reason. I'll do it later.

Can I inspect the shipment?


Also, any rumours of smugglers with Rosefall?


"We are getting there.
And now you are gonnahave somepony to share this view with."


"Adult? I suppose I do. I know I feel different these days, at least. Being High King and all has… changed me quite a bit, I suppose."
"You're not considering taking a third wheel yourself, are you?"
You have a visitor >>490320
"I did promise her we'd get married on the balconies of this castle… That was, of course, long ago but… still. It feels live for things to come full circle like this."


"Maybe we should give it a try~" I say teasingly.


"Please come in."

Take out that bottle of wine I have reserved.


"Thank you. I hope I'm not interrupting anything important."


"What kind of king would not make good of his promises?"


"You still look handsome… And High King! I remember when you were still just a Prince!
I guess I did miss out on a thing or two."


Smile a little.

"I always have time to give assistance to those who need it. It is my duty as Advisor to the King to serve. First, please do not address me as Lord. I am no Lord, I am an Advisor. Now, what do you need?"

Roll #1 2 + 2 = 4


Sit down.
"I was wondering if you have received any mail or packages from my homeland."


"I did, in fact. Just out of curiosity, what is it?"

What's the package like? Small? wrapped in what? Description please


"Maybe I should. Surely some extra meat in bed would do us both good~"
"A merciful one, in some cases.
But is that why you came here?"
"Yet in doing so you made all this possible. With your death by the order of Equestria, I knew the North would not stand divided in the face of the south.
So for the past many years I have toiled to unite us all under one flag. Next… after we are ready, we march for Rosefall."


it's more like an entire caravan


I smile.


"Hehe…funny." I say dryly.
And continue focussing on getting that tie right '1d10'

Roll #1 1 = 1


"Well, I just remembered that a certain somepony had a lot of fear and doubts before his wedding, so I know it's my duty to give back the favor you did him all those years ago."
Sit down with a smile.
"I'm here for you."



"Why, very lavish ones, considering the sheer volume. What are they for, the wedding?"


Swoon even harder.
"So you did this all because of me?
And Rosefall? I… I haven't been home there in ages!"


"Not really, I've been expecting them for quite a bit. They are gifts for the viceroys, the High King and well… probably his queens as well."


You manage to tie yourself up with it
Waveform giggles
"Oh my~ is this the time for those sorts of games, though?"
"Either I'm taking this disgustingly calmly, or I'm so far into terror I can't tell any more.
It just feels like I'm… simply formalizing what was true years ago."
"Neither had your father by the looks of things. He had some secret estate in the mountains."


"These stupid things. I never got used to them."
Untie myself '1d10'

Roll #1 1 = 1


My smile fades a bit.


Uh… right, the wedding. My first ever wedding.
I'm really not sure what to do here.



Look away for a little.

"The High King is a charming pony, is he not? Strong in mind and will, devoted to his cause, yet retains the touch of an individual pony who can love one personally. What do you think of him?"


You are stuck in an extremely compromising position.
Waveform slowly walks up and starts poking around
"Well… if you insist~"
"I'll tell you the whole story some day. But he escaped the assassins that killed you, and went on to live in his estate, where he made a living by selling slaves. One of them joined us. The others went into business for themselves.
…have you ever heard of anyone named 'Whisper'?"
Are there any you'd like to talk to?




"I think… he cares for his country very much. Something I can definitely relate to. What he has done to the North is a great thing to be sure, not unlike how my ancestors united Trotantium centuries ago. Although it has to be said that the High King has done it with considerably less bloodshedding."


I take some time to process that.
"So that's why I never found him down there…"
Shake my head.


Nod slowly.
"Happened to me too.
Th fear was different.
Fear something might ruin the moment.
Fear our memory would be a bad one.
See it like…
The ultimate gift.
Shouting to the world your love for her."


I'm a bit out of loop, so I can't think of anything. I can just wait it out until the wedding and Rosefall though, to speed things up


She leans down and kisses you, breathing out into your mouth
"Here, have some of mine~
Now should I let you loose, or?"
"…perhaps we should talk of nicer things?
How was… Tambelon?"
"For them both, old friend."
Just say if you want anything.


"I guess we have a little time before I choke to death~"
Kissu kissu '1d10+2'
I didn't know she was into this stuff.
But I should have been able to guess that really.

Roll #1 9 + 2 = 11


"Right. Still can't believe you are getting married to two mares before me!"


"He has. He is wise in this regard. In his.. or rather our conquest of the North, we calculated and thought through every step we could take until I we found one that served our interests the best, then followed through. It was no coincidence of stroke of fortune, I daresay it was nothing save our sheer ability put together. His ability to lead and devotion channeled the best out of all of use to create what we have today. I for one, am incredibly proud."

Rolling to hide discomfort

"But, I was asking about what you thought of him.. personally. This is a wedding. You are going to be bound to him."

Roll #1 5 + 2 = 7


"It wasn't the nicest of places…
But I managed well, by holding onto the thought of Kilana and you."


Even if I had picked up on it, I wouldn't have mentioned it so…
"He's a very nice stallion. I've grown… close to both him and Sunrise in the past year."


"I suppose I'll let you tie me up later if you behave yourself. Fair's fair after all~"
Her hooves really do like exploring, don't they…
"Did you ever ask Peach about that, anyway?"
"Yes, as I understood the escape with Kilana was rather… hectic. Did she fill you in on the state of the world these days?"


"She told me what happened in the past few years while I was gone vaguely."


Oh my, she is frisky today. I wouldn't want to stop her.


"That is good to hear. I would accept no less."

"Love is a very precious and beautiful thing. You have seen my wife, Venus, have you not? She is my guard. By day she guards me from the troubles of the world, and by night she heals the troubles of the soul that slip through. Without her, I would be nothing. She is someone I would give the very stars to, if I could, and it would go nowhere near how much I would want to give to her. I would indebted to several lifetimes of servitude to her for what she has done for me, were I not certain I do the same for her. Do you understand? As a friend of.. Frostmourn, I do not wish to strip him of this pleasure, as our duties has stripped us of many others. I believe I have taken- I believe enough has been taken from him. Do you understand?"


I look a little surprised.
"The very reason I'm here in the North was originally to seek friendship. I eventually found more than just that, but even so you can count on me to support him and anypony else who needs it. I'm really no longer a priestess at this point, but I still keep to the notion that I'm here to help and protect others."


"Then you know all the north, save for Rosefall, Hardflank and Snowborder now march under the banner of the United North?"
"Just sit back and remember, the safe word is hevonjouhilattialuuta~"
She then puts an apple in your mouth and gets busy.
Roll for good times. '5d10'

Roll #1 4, 8, 7, 3, 4 = 26


I nod.
"Yes, she told me as much."


I sometimes wish I could remember that safe word. '5d10'

Roll #1 8, 1, 1, 6, 8 = 24


"I speak very personally now."

"Please care for him. That is the most I can ask of you. I.. cannot ask you to love. But if you do, then I am grateful beyond words."


"I do, of course I do."


"Thank you. Now, is there anything else you need? If not, I shall go inspect your delivery with you."


"That will be all."


I should speak with Valerianna, try to go to her home.


"Then if you will inspect your things now, I will go with you."


"Sure, let's go see these gifts then."

To the gifts!


Let's go.


"Good. Good.
So, what did you plan to do with your newfound gift of life? Back to school?"
She eases you into it, with a careful, easy touch.
But she quickly gets bored of that and gores right to the rough play, leaving you kicking and tearing up as she disregards all inhibition or basic rules of mutual enjoyment and just goes right at it, enjoying every muffled scream and paned struggle.
But this changes when she turns back and sees your face, and your expression of pain and terror. She eases up, and almost apologetically tends to the bruises she left, caring for your needs and disregarding her own, easing you to a gentle, pleasant end before yanking on the tie and letting you loose
"Sorry… got kinda carried away, didn't I?"
She is probably at the Rockeye palace with Highhorn at this hour.
The gift wagons, all dozen of them, are in the storage areas near the secondary teleportation bay.
A few of the guards that came with them are milling about, somewhat annoyed.
Upon seeing you, they come to meet up, speaking in greek
"Greetings of the Empress, Liviana. We fought everything from import tax collectors to roadside bandits to get these to you through Snowborder."


Alright, use the teleporter, try to go into rockeye.


Just lay back for a second.
In retrospect, how enjoyable was that? '1d10'

Roll #1 1 = 1


Do I understand that?
I should be able to pick up most of that, at least.


Wave a hoof around.
"It would feel like waste to do that now that I'm finally alive again!"


"Oh… yes, Snowborder is a bit of an issue. I'm sorry to hear your trip was so troublesome. The united north doesn't spread that far just yet. Nopony on your side died did they?"


I just nod…


You may need to change "lay on back" to "curl up on side". She got kinda wild there.
You know the way by hear by now. And the palace guards are most familiar with you, even if you haven't visited since… well… that.
Inside the office, Valeriana is sleeping. Highhorn must have gone somewhere for a moment.
Something about taxes, criminals of the road, and greeting the female emperor
"So, what's the plan then?"
"Oh come on you big baby, I didn't rough you up that bad!"
"None of us, plenty of them. The wounded were allowed to rest back at Timberjaw. The rest of us came all the way here.
…not that it took long. These… teleporting networks are quite something."


Rolling for Greek proficiency

Roll #1 10 + 2 = 12


I guess I'm silent for a long pause.
"…we'll have to talk about this….later."


Guess that study time paid off.

>"They are, are they not? We of the North are very proud of them."


"Will do soon enough.
Had some other things to deal with first.
Work mostly.
I've been working on getting to know the leaders of the other forces."


I smile.
"They certainly save us a lot of time getting around. Good to hear you made it through without any serious casualties though. How fares my sister?"

I look at him in surprise as he speaks Greek.


Slide up to his side and play with my mane.
"I've only got some ideas so far."


"I am required to have many skills and talents to be where I am. I would expect no less of myself if I am to be Advisor."

Smile back at her.


Sigh softly, and try to find a blanket to put on her. '1d10+1'

Roll #1 9 + 1 = 10


You're practically a native by now.
He looks impressed
"You're the first here who actually speaks greek. And quite well, I might add."
She tries to pull you up
"Oh get a grip. Here. I'll let you take a free shot at me to make it fair~"
"Planning your own little court of blades, are you?"
"I'd rather not bring politics to this place. But the empire still stands.
And they did seem very proud… if somewhat surprised… of your remarkable success here."

"Such as?"
"You know I can see you just fine…"

Roll #1 4 = 4


What is that roll for?


"First thing first, meeting with you again~"


Her attempt to uncurl you a pull you up
"Well, here I am?"


I snicker slightly.
"I'm sure they were."


>"Yes, my vocation as the High King's Advisor requires me to learn many skills. I bid you welcome to the Greater Northlands."


Stare at her. "You know why I came here then?"


"Amongst other things."
"But no time for that now!
I'm gonna work for the title of dad of all times, and only for that!"
Give him a huge smile.


"I'll spare you all the details, but they did find it somewhat amusing that you are becoming 'empress' first out of any."
"That explains much. We come with some gifts from Trotantium to commemorate the wedding."


I'll get up myself.
Look at her for a second.
I've never been one for talking…
Give her a right hoof right in the liver. '1d10'
That shouldn't leave marks.

Roll #1 3 = 3


"And here I am too."


>"Care to give a summary of the highlights?"


"Well then, let's hear it about these gifts."


"Either to apologize, kill me, or both."
She keeps her eyes shut and snuggles a bit with the blanket.
"…Harvest, right? Fall Harvest?"
She reels a bit and bites her lip
"Try again. That was barely a hit!"
"Well, if you wish I can always bring you up to date on more things. Ask away."
I have a full inventory somewhere, but in short it contains various kinds of expensive foods like truffles, olives, oils, spices, honey, wines, jewelry, ornate weapons, dyes, ivory, silk, linen, clothing, statuettes and various this and that made of the finest materials we have.
We wish you much fortune.


Frown at her "Did you get your shadow back?"


Grin even more.
"You should see her! She's no bigger than my head!"


Fuck she's taunting me like this?
Fuck it, she asked for it '1d10'

Roll #1 7 = 7


>"Does Trotantium conduct trade with anywhere else in the region? Say, Equestria? I wonder if your crafts are made with raw materials gathered from other places."


"Now let's not talk about this again."


"Oh, I don't even know, just tell me more about yourself! I've been dying to just hear your voice again!….. okay, that wasn't the best choice of words, but still!"


"Very nice, thank you."


"It's the one right behind you. It was quite an effort to bind it back to myself. An effort I do not with to undergo again."
"You always did have a big head…"
She lets out a long cough
"G-good enough…"
"Of course we trade with Equestria. To a degree. I was certain Liviana would have spoken of this."
"Mind the dragon. It can be a bit grumpy."
"I nearly lost another leg to my duel with Ebonreth of Eaglecrest and have devoted a lot of time to improving my golem leg and armor.
As for myself… I guess I haven't given a lot of time for myself as a person. There has always been so much to do…"


"Oh! You brought one of the dragons along? How young is it?"


Turn away and try to get my tie right this time.
Don't talk to her.


>"Of course. Anywhere else? Say.. Rosefall?"


"Let's hope she gets that from me, then."
Put a hoof on his shoulder, growing slightly more serious, with a malenchonic smile.
"I owe it all to you.
And to the north you created."


"Aww, poor you… but I'm sure you'll have at least some time after you united the whole of the North!"


"You won't have to. Not because of me at least."


She comes to gently help you
"…you're mad at me aren't you?"
"Very. We wanted to send one that could still easily pick up Norse alongside Greek."
"No. Isn't it landlocked anyway, like the rest of the North?"
"And I owe countless other things to you, old friend…"
"Indeed. Perhaps even time to finally make an heir for myself…"
"That best be a promise. Because it would be less a hassle to just kill the thief than try to repair the shadow."


Nod. "It is. I want to make things right between us.. if that's even possible."


Lift that hoof and playfully punch him.
"Don't get too touchy now, uh?"
Look outside.
"I will take up residence here.
The whole 'protection' thing wouldn't work too well if I had to run down a few teleporters each time.
I bet the girls will like it."


"You crossed a line. You think I'd just let that slide like that?"


I grin.
Be sure to be very close.
"A strong, clever, good looking unicorn heir?"


>"It is. Pardon me, satisfying curiosity on how far the Trotantine sphere extends."


"Good. Its gender? Does it have a name?"


"Well then you clearly have some kind of idea on how to make them right. Lets hear it."
"I had hoped to hear that. This place was created to house those closest to me, after all."
He puts a his hoof on yours with a dumb grin
"I thought you were fine with it! That's the entire point of safe words, isn't it?"
"An heir born of love, above all."
"Male. We left the naming to you and your Emperor."
"Suffice to say it has not extended north of Snowborder until now."


"Oh yes, of much much love!"


"Right… I'll remember that. Now I don't know what your further instructions were… will you leave for Trotantium again?"


"I hope you like big families!"
What's in this room anyway?
"What are the plans?
For the wedding, I mean."


"I would expect nothing less from my wives."
"Once we are no longer needed here."
Massive windows, three thrones, and enough space to host a lot of guards and guests.
Also the banners of all the Northlands, and the United North.
"I have invited more or less everyone who has had some meaning in our lives or in the creation of the United North. I expect the festivities to last somewhere between three and seven days."


"What does that word you always use even mean?"


"No.. I don't know.. but.." put my old staff down on the desk next to her, the one I made myself all those years ago.. "this is the one thing that had the most value to me over the years.. keep it, give it back to me when you feel you can trust me again."


"Excuse me?!"


"Well, I hope my sister wont mind you staying here for a while then. I'm sure she wont though."


"Finding a gift will be a nightmare."


"Horse hair floor brush, I think. It's some old norse dialect my granny used at times."
"Is this truly how you wish it to be? Ransoming my trust?"
"I'm getting married in some time, once Northscrown, my capital, is ready. I hope that you will attend, as well. After all, your role was pivotal in the creation of our new north."
"We were instructed to stay as long as it was needed."
"There is only one gift I truly desire. That all those who were instrumental in the creation of this new empire will attend, so that they can see what we all accomplished together."


"I'll make sure you have somewhere to bunk for the coming days then. You are dismissed for now."
Let's see if I can find this dragon in this mess.


"Good thing we are all still here."
Look at the thrones.
Yeah, but somepony is missing…
"What of the future queens?
How are they doing?"


I look taken aback.
"Well I wouldn't want to miss my own marriage, even if you could have proposed more romantically!"


"I don't know how else I can possibly show you I'm serious about making this right again.. You mean a lot to me, and I don't know if my words are enough of a promise."


Sorry DM but I need2bed for now


One of the others is feeding it as you approach
It's not exactly a hatchling, but still quite small.
A sharp azure in color, with bright amber eyes and nubby horns.
"Well when I last saw them. eagerly preparing and all."
He smiles a bit
"Prima… times have moved on since you last walked this world.
I'm getting married to Sunrise, who has been at my side all these years. And Liviana of Trotantium, to ensure a lasting kinship between our empires.
You should meet them both."
"It is not words or possessions that define the value of a pony, but deeds.
I will not live long enough for it to make sense to hold deep grudges any more. Not when I'm not even living my own lifetime, but that of dea Highhorn's."
Sleep well, friend.


I keep working on my tie.


I should go see Frostmourn about this. I'm sure he'll be at least somewhat interested. Not that this is anything compared to that… horrible thing buried beneath us.


I start to stammer with a heartbroken expresion.
No tears, no tears!
"B-But… I…"

Roll #1 7 = 7


Ah fuck it. Where is Mistral?


"It will be sad to lose you so soon.. and I must know something.."
"When pumpkin died.. why didn't you ask me to revive me?"


*to revive him


"Damn, I bet Sunrise and Bearing are getting their hairs in a bunch over this…"
Scratch my head.


"…come again?"
Well, at least that one is dead.
"I dearly hope this is not a surprise to you. It has been yours, Prima. I want to be perfectly honest with you."
"Because he is my son."
"I've given them their space on the issue. Best not try to micromanage."


"It's your safeword for tonight. Better remember it, you might need it."




Is that really so much better? It's a bit creepy.
Let's go see my future husband then.


She looks equally worried and excited
There we go. The tie is done.
He and Pumpkin are in the throne room


"Frostmourn… Pumpkin."


"And you think he wanted you to die for him? When this whole thing could have been o voided if you simply asked me to use the spell you taught me?! Do you think that he means nothing to me?!"
look away from her
"What did you even train me for if you won't let me help.."


"I-It is a surprise I… Who? And two wives? And neither of them is me?"


I will go get some security up for your wedding in the meanwhile.
If you want, we can go for a drink later."

Off to work!


Good. Look her over. Does she look ready?


"Ah, Liviana. Magnificent to have you here."
"So that you can save lives that are as important to you as he is to me. And as I am to Highhorn."
"Prima… you've been gone for years. Time has moved on, and so have I."
You slip past Liviana and head out to the palace interior
Given how she's raising her tail…
Oh, wait, the outfit.
It's… decent. Could use some jewelry to accent it.


I smile.
"A caravan came in from home today."



"Where's the jewelry? We're in the inner circle of Frostmourn. We have to look like it."


No wait.
I had missed Liviana's entrance!
Bow to her.
"Always wonderful to see you."


"But you were one of the two things that kept me going through that horrible, horrible time in Tambleon!
How could I have moved on?"


I smile.
"The same goes for you, Pumpkin. I hope you're faring well."


In her room at the palace, making some plans for the wedding.
"A caravan? Do tell."
"Well, in life such things may be easier than in death?"


"Just spent one or two sleepless nights these last few weeks."


Stay silent for a bit, then speak up again.
"What about Rosefall? I'm from there! You know, if you'd married me too I'm sure they'd be easily convinced!"


give her a determined look with a nod.
"I will save them. All of them, that means you too teacher. "
add in
"..and anyone important enough to you, I will save.. So that means Highhorn too."


"Gifts from home… foodwares, luxury products, clothing, weaponry. All delicately prepared back home, no doubt. There's also a small dragon part of the cargo."

"How come?"


"Prima please.
I understand how you feel, but I can't simply parry my way into rulership of every northland. Trotantium was different. It's an empire far away, and such an opportunity will not renew itself."
"…a dragon?"


Blink and echo Frostmourn.
"…a dragon?"


"Yes, a young male. I told you about how dragons are used back in Trotantium, didn't I?"



"I'm not a big fan of the stuff, really… it makes me feel like a target."
"You mentioned it, I believe. Not very in depth though."


"Well yes but still, they are just myths here in the north."


"I don't like those things either. But we're going to be amongst royalty and Alaran knows what else. You'll feel even more like a target without them in these circles."


"Well… dragons are often hatched in special facilities where they are brought up and trained for various purposes. Some are used to help in the metalforging business, others are used to communicate between long distances or to fight in the grand imperial army. They're very useful."

"Right… that's a shame."


"Speaking of Alaran, did you plan to wear the feather?
…and what of the Heart?"


"Intriguing. Perhaps they could send some eggs over so we could begin breeding our own?"


"You could to at least Rosefall…"


"I'm not sure how well dragons will do here.
It's frozing here after all. Far different from Trotantium."


"Well, it's not that they are rare, but they aren't exactly common either. Dragons are no easy creatures to raise, you see, they can be extremely dangerous. They are very intelligent though, so they can certainly be reasoned with if raised well. I'll try to persuade my sister to ship over some eggs and dragon tamers to help out."


I get out the feather.
"Seems only fitting to wear it.
And the Heart, it will make a fine gift to the newly wed groom."
Hold her close.
"And that's our ticket to fame. Smouldering and Waveform, our names will live on forever after today."


"I doubt Sunrise and Liviana would see it that way."
"A few generations of breeding can do wonders. Besides. Not like a dead dragon is a wasted dragon."
He nods towards the floor
"No hurry. It was merely a thought so far."
"You're a genius… That's a perfect way to get most out of the heart!"


"I'm sure they are reasonable!"


"Oh don't worry, they are hardy creatures. They are native to the Shudderpeaks, a cold mountain range in the northern part of the Empire."

"Hopefully she'll be generous enough to make it more than just an idea."


Wince at the idea.
"You and Kilana should share bedtime stories…"
Bow again.
"Now, I have to leave. For real this time."

Bow to liviana too.
"My regards, princess.
Me and my wife are looking forward to the wedding."



Give her a little kiss.
"Now let's get this show on the road. We've got something to celebrate~"


"You really should go meet them. Catch up on things."
"We'll see, in time."
"Just remember… it's not saving, if they do not wish to be saved."
off to where?
"You do realize this was just a dress rehearsal right?"


"Right. … Are you nervous for what's coming?"


And then things happened. I was helping Windy pick out a dress, maybe.


stay silent for a long moment
"..are you saying you want to die?"


I was waiting to be dismissed by the royals, but looks like they value me enough to let me go as I please.
Off to organize my personal wedding gift.
Off to the Northblade headquarters.
Never seen the place after the timberjaw guys fixed it.




I sniffle a bit and look at the ground.
"I see…"


"Somewhat. But mostly because I wonder what life will be like now that my mission is almost at its end."
"I really hope we'll be going to more places where I can wear this later… I'm not exactly swimming in money."
Did you have it moved to Northscrown, or kept it in the Underkingdom?
"Please don't tell me you forgot the wedding itself isn't until tomorrow."
He puts an armored hoof around you
"Just remember, Prima. You were among the most important things that lead to the creation of the United North. Even if you may not become my wife… you are a hero in my eyes."





Is there a place secrete enough in Northscrown?


I awkwardly dig at the ground with a hoof.
"Well… I imagine you'll be working on building a family, no?"


Look up at him.
"I-I am? So… can I stay around too?"


She snickers
"Pfff, no.
Who would ever desire death?
Well, aside from me, in darker hours of my life.
But these are not dark times. Let me live out my days with my new husband and then we can talk about living on further still."
"You're hopeless at times, you know?"
There is if you asked Frostmourn to have one build. Perhaps in the ice around the dragon.
"…you're talking of children, aren't you?"
"Of course you can."


Nod slowly.
"I take it you'll want some between the two of us as well… right?"


"Well, I think between the two of us it won't hit too hard…"
I'll smile a little at her.
"Besides, you wear it very well."


"Thank you…

I don't really know what to do with my life though, even though I'm so happy to have it again?"


"….it was a repitition? FUCK."


Sure. Let's have our little secret club here.
Things I might need in it are:
-Weapon Range
-Library with prohibited text and stuff
-Magic Labs to research improvements on current techs
-Special gardens to grow elements for poisons
-A direct entrance to the Underkingdom
-A one-way teleport relay to all the other relays. I'd probably get Nylis to work the details of that one out.


"…is that something you want?"
"Should we just rent it?"
"Well, I'll be sure to see enough money given to you to make up for the property you lost and/or failed to inherit from your father.
I'm sure we can find work for you.
And you might be very valuable in the coming move on Rosefall"
"I doubt I would have been roughhousing you if we were needed today. Tomorrow at high noon, they said."
There is a basement floor accessible via a hidden door that leads to your blade cave.
One of the blades drops in as you enter.
"Lord Swansong. We intercepted a suspicious package from Equestria."


Raise a brow.
"What's its story?"


"So you're telling me I got into this suit all for nothing?"


sigh a bit relived.
"I am glad you have not decided immediately to have me suffer a lonely eternity."
pick back up my staff and give her a kiss on cheek.
"Thank you."


"…I'll do my best to make them join you, Frostmourn.
You know how I am with words."


"Well… I can't say I'm too thrilled about the idea, but it'd be selfish to outright deny you if you want to… make children."


I'll consider a moment.
How's the price of it?


"Intercepted it from some couriers. It is signed 'Radiant Isabella Goldentail Dawn'"
"Well at least we know it fits now."
"I'm too old to hate kids for being dumb kids.
So long as they learn something from it, like I didn't."
"And as I recall, you knew King Iswandir."
"…In time, perhaps. Not before the North stands united…"
Absurd for something you'd only use once.


My heart will sink in my chest.
"Who's the recipient?"


I nod.
"I did, yes. We were on good terms."


I nod.
"Right. Hah, this is a bit awkward isn't it? Oh! Before I forget, the guards accompanying the caravan… would it be an issue if they stayed here for a while? They had some… trouble in Snowborder. Some of them are wounded."


Well, the same could be said of wedding dresses… And it's probably well out of my range, even with my salary.
"We might have to rent it… Though when it comes to our wedding, I'll make certain to get you a beautiful dress."
I'll smile.


"Well, maybe better, we still have business to attend to~"


"The High King, my lord."
"Well, you can see him again at the wedding. Catch up a little. Put in a good word for us all."
"The palace is open to all who need it."
He looks into your eyes with a smile
"And lets try not to be too awkward, ok? After all, we're expected to share the rest of our lives together."
"If you insist, you big ironclad softy~"
"…uh… what was the word again?"


"Very well.
Time to open it, I guess."


"Mistral. What will you wear for the wedding? Something pretty?"


I nod.
"I will… for you….

I'll just need something nice to wear…"


Say very fast "Honorificabilitudinitatibus"
Then grab her by the tail with a devilish grin.
"Time to go home~"


"rest well."
With that I will leave.


"Right, I know. I guess I'm just a little nervous about the wedding."


"I do."
I'll chuckle a little.
"Now, let's get this squared away."


They take you to the package.
Inside is… a rather tasteful sun ornament, with a small lantern inside to make it emit light and warmth.
"I have some dressed out aside for special days. I'll pick one of those."
"The North is open for you. Or if you wish to look at your father's old stuff, Mistral has the remainder of his estate's things."
"Uh… o-ok?"
And so you go
"I'll see you at the wedding."
"Why not come sit down for a moment. Calm yourself at my side?"
"Anything else we still need to take care of?"


Where are we anyway?
Smile a bit and sit down next to him.


And we did such things that night~
Going to wait here until the wedding next month


Start walking circles around the freshly opened package.
Appraise said item.

Roll #1 9 = 9


"Oh right… I've yet to meet Mistral too."


"… I don't know what to wear."


I'll think a moment.
"A wedding gift for the High King and his queens, maybe?"


The Northscrown throne room.
It has a view over the entire Northlands.
Did she like being the receiving end? '1d10'
It's very tasteful and finely crafted. There are no signs of it being tampered with to make it into a bomb or anything. This looks like a honest, well meaning gift.
"You should. As I understand… you two are sisters."
"You could borrow one of mine?"
"…should we? I mean I don't know how royalty works but isn't an imperial level gift a little outside our… range?"

Roll #1 1 = 1


"It's… such a nice view from up here. Everything looks so much smaller."


"Repackage it."
Turn around.
"Who delivered it?"


I blink.
"I can?"


"Father never told me I had a sibling…"


"Well, we can always ask what lord Swansong will be doing. His finances can't be too much greater than our own."


I guess we both like not being on the receiving end.
Fair is fair!


"And you get to share it all with me now."
"An equestrian courier. Too young and inexperienced to be a Lordblade."
"Of course you can!"
"There may have been much he never told you. Or her…"
"Ok, that was… kinda… awful. Like, really.
I can't believe you tried to shove that straw up there."
"Maybe we should stop worrying about money and just get something from the heart?"


"I wish life was simple again."


"… I think it's easy to lose yourself in the bigger picture up here though. You can't forget about the smaller details too."


"It's fine. Put it aside for the wedding, but don't mix it with the others.
We will deliver it to the king after taking the due precautions…
Is the courier still here?"


"Which one, Mistral? I'm not… good at fashion."


"But I thought you were fine with it! That's the entire point of safe words, isn't it?"
I say.


"That sounds just sappy enough to work."
I'll smile nuzzle up to Windy.
"So, what shall we get them?"


"Just be glad you don't have an empire to rule, then."
"My whole life I have been at the front lines of out political ventures. I did not intend to stop just because I have a nice throne now."
"Yes. We have him sedated."
"We could wear something matching."
"…if we ever try this again the safe word is gonna be apple…"
"What do you think might best represent us to him? Iron and marble?"


Take a bite of an apple that is doubtlessly laying around here.
"I completely agree."
Then turn to her and give her a kiss. '1d10+2'

Roll #1 10 + 2 = 12


"Good… I'm glad to hear that. Is Sunrise busy someplace else?"


"Perhaps. But in what form?"


"… I''d help if I could!"


"Poor kid."
Write up a single piece of paper.
Actually, write many.
And scrap all of them.
Then, with a sigh, go back to the blades.
"Just make sure he goes back the way he came."


"You can pick something for me. You are better at… stuff than I am."
When is the wedding anyway?


And it makes up for all the horrible things
Because you are still you~
"I believe she was still working on her outfit and visiting old friends."
"I could make a statue?"
"Perhaps time will show a job for you"
"He will wake up in a nice inn near where we found him. He will be told he won a free room for the night in a contest."
For you, tomorrow


"Hm. Well then, it's just you, me and an empty throne room for now."


"Good job, blades of the north."
Dismiss them.
Let's leave this all behind for a moment.
Go find my best ponies.


Right. Mistral has this shit in the bag, so no need to worry about that.
"… a gift. Doesn't the high king require a gift?"


"Once I settled in to being alive again, I hope."


You goddamn right.
I play these mares like jojos.


"We could make a two-part piece, maybe? Two pieces forming a whole…"
I'll think a little harder.
"This is quite a puzzler."


"Care to shed light on your thoughts?"
It might take a while to get them all in one place. Want to go after them one by one?
"I wish that happens soon, Prima.
It's good to have you back."
"It's times like these that make me never wonder why I still love you."
"Marble statue with iron armor?"


"Maybe, maybe."
I'll think a little.
"How hard would it be to make a small golem? A guard for their inevitable children?"


I turn to look at him.
"I uh… nothing. Nothing at all. Just phantasms."


It will work best.


I should go to a dog breeder, surely we have something like that.


"Not impossible, but I'd be pressed for time."
Care for a hug?"
Waymarker, Former Equestrian Lordblade
Vintage Year, Master of Ironfoe's Spies
Careless Whisper, promising Eaglecrest Cadet
Valeriana Swansong, Mother and former assassin
Whisperwind, Long lost assassin brother in need of finding
There are a couple in the north


"It's good to be back."
I groan, and wave with my hoof.
"You can't believe how hard it was to be pretty down there."


I smile and lean in for a hug.
"That will make me feel much better."

Roll #1 6 = 6


Waymarker will be the first.
"We received a courier from Equestria."


good, talk to one of them "I need puppy, a breed that makes a good guard dog, loyal, strong, the sort of dog you'd trust with you life."


"Even if we worked together?"


"Well, now that's all behind you. Things can only get better once you've already seen Tambelon on the inside, right?"
"Welcome home to the North, dear."
Kissu~ '1d10+2'
He is at the bladecave
"Yes, so I heard. Bearing gifts, they say."
"Sounds like you need a Northern Wolfward, ma'am. Bred to fend off packs of wolves each bigger than it by herder and farmer ponies of the mountain passes"
"Golemcrafting is a fine art you know, even when making full golems and not hollow ones.
But I think I might manage."

Roll #1 2 + 2 = 4


"Sounds perfect, do you have any puppies now, or available soon?"


"Oh, of course.
I'll have all the colours of a rainbow in my room after all that greyness."


"What do you need me to make for it?"


That's not a very good kissu. Then, I'm not an expert on the subject.

Roll #1 7 + 2 = 9


"For the High King's wedding no less.
But that's not the reason I'm here.
How is your recovery going?"


"A new litter should be coming any day now. If you want, you can see the mother-to-be."
"I'll see you get one of the rooms with prismatic windows in Northscrown, then."
"The armor and weapons."
"I guess I am a little nervous.
You seem perfectly able, though~"
"I yearn for action. This inactivity is repressive."


I'll nod.
"Should I try for a smaller scale of the Northern Regalia, or just go for something less ostentatious?"


Smile "I do have a moment to spare."


"With a nice view?"
I perk up.


"Whatever that big strong heart of yours feels is best."
The pet shop owner takes you to the back, where he shows you a large fluffy bitch resting near a fire.
"Would you prefer a view over the land or the sea?"


I blush and look away.
"If you say so."


I'll give her a small kiss.
"We'll probably need to start right away, if we're to get the proper measurements ready in time for the wedding…"


I slowly try to pet her. "she's beautiful."


"The land!"


"Which is the one reason I'm here.
Expert blades for expert actions.
It kinda diffrs from how we do things, yes, but through time I've found, friends are what makes the difference between life and death."


"No need to be like that around me my love~ as cute as it does make you."
"Quite. Back to Ironfoe, then?"
She's very soft
"One of the finest I've had. Purebreed too. Fierce to anyone she saw as a threat."
"I shall make it so."
"Who needs to die, my lord?"


"According to what I've heard?
Half of Rosefall."
"It's a job too big for only one blade."


"So it would seem. Let's not forget your dress before we go."


"Thank you thank you thank you!"
Jump to hug him again!

Roll #1 8 = 8


Nod slowly. "Lets hope all of that gets passed on then." pay him enough for one pup. "When should I come back for the little one?"


"This is all so crazy… I never expected I'd be sitting here when I arrived her over a year ago."


"The very definition of a polished turd that place. So very neat and proper on the surface, but dig even an inch deeper and it's all terrible things everywhere."
And so you went
You drape yourself over his stoic armor
"You're very welcome. And welcome back."
"A few weeks time. I'll reserve the top of the litter for you."
"Perhaps it was your destiny."


Glance back at my flank.
"… I'm not sure about that."


"See you then." with this I depart and go find the hollow prince.


"Happy to see we agree.
I will gather the other blades."
Who's the closest one of the others?
Vintage Year or Careless Whispet?


And so we did.
While Windy puts away her dress and gets to work on designing the mini-golem, I'll start thinking about arms and armor for it. I've always been rubbish at the making of these things, but if ever there was a time to get past that, it's now.
So, sketching up the designs… this plate might go there, and the weapon… what weapon? An axe seems a bit obvious… let's start sketching a bit. See what sticks. '1d10'

Roll #1 1 = 1


"Can we meet again sometime? I'd just like to hear about the things you did in more detail… just the two of us?"


"Perhaps in the north, the High Queen's crown is black?"
He remains in the depths of the underkingdom, but the way is well known to you by now.
The dead serve, Underqueen.
They are both in Ironfoe
You end up drawing mares in chainmail bikinis
"I'm sure I can find time for you as I do for all my friends."


"Of course. Things went surprisingly well on the surface. Are things the same here?"


"Thank you… it really means a lot to me."
….damnit, I'm Prima Donna, I can do it.
Give him a kissu. On his cheek.
Totally platonic.


Windy Valley is, of course, the model. I'll have to put those away for later.
Now. Golem armor. And weapons. Sketch sketch sketch. '1d10'

Roll #1 3 = 3


I chuckle.
"I don't know, a black crown sounds… macabre, doesn't it?"


Let's hop there then!
Off to Vintage Year!


Nothing out of the ordinary has happened.
He looks a bit surprised but shrugs it off
"I live to see those around me made happy."
Wow you can't even tell what's what in this pile of scribbles…
"Gleaming obsidian polished to a mirror sheen, with streaks of jade and amethyst and a fine base of white gold dotted with diamonds. As the glittering snow of the north, and the dark sky lit by the northern lights."
"Lord Swansong. I take it you heard about the Equestrian Courier and Trotantine Caravan?"


Well, I never thought it'd be easy.
Keep working. '1d10'

Roll #1 8 = 8


"Well when you put it like that… heh. I suppose even a black crown can be made pretty."


"Got a look at both.
Some fine craftmanship from the equestrians."
Start pacing slowly.
"How are the recruits shaping up?"


Nod "Good, then I was not deceived. I require a bit of assistance, two of my kingdom who are able to hunt well."


"As long as you are happy… I'm happy too…"

One of these days, Frostmourn…


Iteration is the key to mastery. This design looks good. Rather ornate, but this is more ceremonial than functional anyway.
"See? There is no need to have such a grim outlook on things."
He playfully slaps your flank with his tail.
"Found a good one in Eaglecrest. Goes by Careless Whisper. Shows remarkable potential."
What needs to be hunted?
"Glad to hear it. Mistral has taken up residence in Wintersgrasp for now, but she'll be moving to Northscrown soon."


"As in?"


"I guess I shouldn't settle down too much here then if I'll move there soon."


"I require parts for special gift. I am going to make a an unliving chess set. The parts do not need to be large, but they do need to be clever enough to provide a challenge. "
after explaining that
"..We shall not hunt any living ponies, but perhaps clever animals, such as foxes."


"Ah! Hey!"
Give that slap back!

Roll #1 1 = 1


It needs both, though. Form, function, and durability! Maybe if I ditch that gilding there, this swirl here… '1d10'

Roll #1 5 = 5



"He picks up skills at an amazing rate. Quiet as a mouse too."
"I'll have a room set aside for you at Northscrown. For the time being, consider this place a temporary solution rather than home."
I can awaken the constructs in the abomination halls.
You attempt to add flair to your slap with an elegant twirl ends with you slipping and falling face first onto his lap.
"Hey now!
Are you ok?"
That makes it a bit… bland.
But these offer a good guideline to perfection. Just to something inbetween
"I'm not sure…
I'm not really good with gifts."


Disguise as an anonymous pony.
"Let's go see then, shall we?
Say I'm a new recruit."

Roll #1 5 = 5


"That will do. Bring them to me when they are ready. Two should be enough for this. "


I snort and snicker.
"That didn't go exactly as planned. Oh dear."
Get back onto my hooves.


"We can ask. Is that acceptable?


"Home is where the heart is… I learned that from Kila."


"As you wish.
A lean pony with a highly simplified spy outfit drops into sight
He lifts a bony hand a deep roar echoes through the deeps
They are awake.
"Well, I didn't mind~
So, black crown then?"
"…I actually have no idea."
"Well, I'll be living in Northscrown. If that helps at all."


"A black crown… sure. It's fitting."


Roll my eyes.
"Gee, you made me use the make up for nothing!"
Appraise the newcomer.
"What's your story?"

Roll #1 2 = 2


I scrunch.
"I will go ask the high queen then. She must know."
Where is the high queen?


"Then that will be home for me."


Nod. "Now the next issue, what is the status on the number of undead that able to battle, and how many do we have the means to make?"


"Promise not to be offended by it?"
His face tells you absolutely nothing of his intentions, but his cold blue eyes look right into your soul
"A blade needs to story. Only a purpose."
In Wintersgrasp, visiting Venia
Given a source of power, I could return untold thousands to your service. But for now, we have no standing armies.


I'm a Northern Light, and before that a Black Crest of Ironfoe. Perfection and duty is our job description. '1d10'

Roll #1 9 = 9


There we go. Third time's the charm as they say.
This will do well.


Aren't we in Wintergrasp too? It's nice and nature-y.
Find her so I can bother her about what to give her future husband.


"What? No, it's fine. It's just a cutie mark."


You find her in the halls
"…a gift? Hm, that's a good question. I'd suggest something personal and unique."


The hard part's going to be the making it. Once I get the measurements from Windy, I can get to work.


"Alright, we will need one. Should the Equestrians decide to march on our lands, I want to be able to show them how foolish a mistake they have made."

"What kind of power source would you require? Can this not be assembled over time?
We do not need an army today after all."


"Does he like flowers?"


"Your expertise?"


"Yeah… just a… cutie mark."
You reconvene and she gives you the rough measurements.
…she's going all out. This thing is nearly life-size.
The former king made some research into fueling magic with Soulmass. The results of that research can be seen in the Lake of Souls.
Were that research to be completed, I could extend your will to any number of undead required.

"If they can last. He doesn't like impermanent things that much."
"Long range combat. Mental fortitude."


"Show me."
I should be carrying my prototype gun.
Hoof it to him.


"… Did I say something wrong?"


"Interesting.. could you have this research assembled for me by the time I return from hunting?"


"An evergreen then."
Can I think of a special, rare, evergreen plant that I could Miracle Grow?

Roll #1 7 = 7


"You're pulling out all the stops, Windy."
I'll show her my designs.
"Do you think this would fit? Or should I change a few things so that the golem moves more naturally?"


"Give me a target."
"No. No.
I just, got a little lost in thought for a moment."
With a bit of magic, you could potentially create an immortal flower.
"Remove the knee guards. Those tend to be problematic for golems. Otherwise, it looks great."


Throw a coin in the air without warning him.

Roll #1 9 = 9


That's pretty cool… but I'd need some help with that. Hmmm… maybe I can check out the library and see if there's a book that can help me.
How are my reading skills nowadays? I may need help… [1d10]

Roll #1 1 = 1


"Alright. I'll make a note of that. Now…"
I'll look at Windy as seriously as possible.
"What will we power it with? A bit of ourselves? Using normal golem stock seems a bit impersonal."


"Over… your cutie mark?"


He keeps his eyes fixed on you, and fires in an entirely different direction.
You hear a few distant pinging sounds.
You are entirely illiterate.
She looks dumbfounded
"I'd rather not remove the part of me that remembers how walking works.
No.. normal golem stock will do fine."
He sighs deeply


Keep one eye on him, another one on the coin.


smile "Excellent. I am most pleased with you My Prince."
go to the abomination hall and collect those two undead I requested.


"Wait, you mean it doesn't just take a little piece, it takes the whole part of you that deals with that body part?"


Great, I'll need to recruit Mistral again then. Nice and embarrassing…
"Mistral, I need help."


When the coin lands, it has two holes in it.
He has still not changed expressions
They are massive best of strained flesh and tortured bone, slavering monsters that make Codar seem civilized and reasonable.
"More or less. That's how the understanding of function is retained."
"Certainly. What do you need?"


"Do you… want to talk about it?"


"I need a book for reference but I can't read."


"Good enough.
Your name?"


"I still carry hope. Perhaps uniting the entire North is my destiny…"
"Well, let me help then. What are we looking for?"
"Careless Whisper."


"Has anyone taken a blank piece of soul, and tried to teach it how to run the whole thing? Or is that just too crazy?"
I'll shake my head.
"Regular golem stock it is, then."
I'll consider a moment.
"If I could get some of the drakesteel from Donrick then we could really be making something fancy. Though I doubt they'd bring a dragon all the way up here just to make a wedding present."


"You worry about that, and I'll start on the golem itself."


"Choose a codename. I'm gathering exceptional blades for an exceptional mission."
Look at Vintage.
"You are coming too."


"I need help growing a immortal flower."


I'll chuckle a little.
"I do hope Mastersmith Narpa will let me be in the forges long enough to get this finished."


"You're well on your way there already… I'm sure that must be it."
I smile slightly.
"Do you know what kind of cutie marks the empresses back home have?"


"As you will, my lord"
"As you will, my lord"
"Interesting. Perhaps we should ask a necromancer?"
She is already chipping away at her marble
"That's nice dear."


I'll chuckle.
"I'll let you get to work, dear heart."
And then it's off to the forges, design in tow.


"Their number in Romane numerals with the imperial crown perched on top of it, yes. That's when they receive their second name as well. … Boring, isn't it? Hardly unique at all, really."


"Meet with Waymarker in the new base, under Northscrown.

Now, one thing to do.
Talk with mother.


"… Kilana? Or Valeriana. Two necromancers."


Do you wish to RP this out, or?
"Do they at least get unique crowns?"
She is in Rockeye
Her shadows never leave your side
"Kilana might be perfect."


Sit down in an empty room, with a shadow.
"Mother, I want to do one last thing before uniting the north.
I can't ask you to join us. You have served your time, spilled your blood for us.
But I want to unite our family, finding my lost brother."


I shake my head.
"No… the very same crown I bear on my flank. Just not in black."


"Where is Kilana?"


Crescent's not going to settle for less than perfect on this. He'll melt it down as many times as it takes until it comes out fit for a High King.


"Well boy, you're a grown stallion now, so I can hardly stop you now can I?"
"How boring.
Aren't you glad you were saved from such a terrible fate?"
"…probably in Northscrown? I think?"
Sleepless nights of work are terrible for one's health, but important for their works.
At the end of the long road, the High King's new golem is ready at last, its tired creators sleeping on top of eachother in the warmth of the forge.


"Anything you can remember, from back then?"


I shrug.
"I just… don't really see it as something important. My mark signifies what I was born as… not who I am today."


Andelia isn't here, is she?


Both covered in soot and marble dust and exhaustion… and feeling complete.



"Odds are he is in the towns surrounding Canterlot."
"I guess the whole mark thing just sorta haunts me. It's dumb, I know."
And warm~

Prepare for pause


we can do it next time, I'll go to bed soon



"That's a lot of towns."


"I wouldn't call it dumb… it's just that my mark happens to be a little unpleasant."


"It's been twenty years. My memory is not exactly fresh. I'd need to see the place to remember it."
"At least yours exists."


Give him a kiss on the cheek.
"You'll get yours too. Just you wait. It'll be something better than just a black crown."


"I can't ask you that much.
Looks like this is something I will have to do on my own, then."


"You know what else is better than just a black crown?"
"Headed to Equestria then, are you?"


"A… golden crown?"


"Yes. Not now. Not with Fall here already.
But one day."


"Everything else about you~"
"I can send a shadow with you."


"Missing home?"


I giggle embarrassedly.


After a while, I suppose we'll wake up.
"Good morning, beautiful."


"No. But I've invested too much into you to send you off alone."
He puts a hoof around you
"I can hardly wait to share the north with you"
She snuggles closer
"Ten more minutes… you big lug…"


"I have Peaches covering my back, you know.
But I'd love to go with one shadow too, if it made you sleep safer."


"You get five, dear heart."
I'll nuzzle her gently, and then chuckle as I've left a bit of soot on her.
"Seems we could both do for a bath…"


I grin.
"I'm happy you see things this way as well then!"


"It will make me consider sleeping at least now and then."
"I'll settle on five if you promise to wash me…"
"You know… while up here, we can see the whole north, but none of them can see us, no matter what we do~"


Kiss the shadow's forehead.
"Not going anywhere just yet, uh?"

Okay, I'm good now.
Off to see my girls.
They should be here in Ironfoe after all.


…why would they be in Ironfoe?


"Well, I was going to suggest sharing the bath anyway, but if you insist…"
After we cuddle for a few minutes more than just five, it's off to the baths.


Because I had started living in Ironfoe since Golden Oats lives here and I had the whole rehab thing to go through?


"Now what are you implying, my King?"


She dives right in
"You know what I love about Ironfoe? The abundance of warm water~"
You'd think they moved to Northscrown when it was finished.
"That we go up to the roof and you give me a little something special in front of the whole north without anyone ever knowing~?"
He has a joking tone in his voice


Sure, that's what I was going for anyway.
So. Time to go back home!


"It's a bit nippy outside, are you sure about this?"


"We can bring a blanket~"
They are waiting for you


I'll slip in after her.
"Indeed. Once everything's settled, and maybe when I retire, we could set up a small bath house."
I'll sigh as I soak for a moment.
"You know, I think that armor is the first successful forging I've ever actually done."


"Make that two blankets. I'd hate for my tail to freeze off or something."


"That sounds like a nice plan~"
"That's a deal then~"
He gets up to go pick up some blankets from storage


What is this place like anyway?


You have a series of rooms set aside for you in the palace upper spires, overlooking the capital city (and with easy access to the parts that contain the door to the Bladecave)


Follow suit then.


"I believe I owed you a scrubbing, Windy."


Soon enough you are at the top of Northscrown's highest spire. The air up here is freezing, and very thin. But Frostmourn seems happier than ever as he gazes out across the world below
The rolls onto her back
"Go right ahead."


What is the capital like?


An entire city built with mathematical precision to form a single massive catalytic rune array. It sits on a massive cliff of ice containing the undead dragon.
All the buildings are made form carefully selected kinds of stone and crystal.


With good reason, no doubt.
"Like standing on the roof of the world…"


I'll lather her up.
"So, when we get to that point… is there anyone you'd like to invite to our wedding? Family, maybe?"


Stare out of the window, talking to myself.
"If only the guys from the orphanage could see this now…
If only Medve could."


"This is the highest point in the entire north…"
"As you may remember, my family is in Equestria, and probably thinks I'm dead."
The entire city shimmers in the sunlight


"Then it would be quite the surprise for them if they were to find out you're not only alive, but getting married."
I'll rub in the shampoo wordlessly for a bit.
"So… where did you grow up, by the way? I can't believe I've never thought to ask."


"Hey Peach, is this what you imagined your life to be like?"


"And you've conquered it. … How does it make you feel?"


"..not in the least…"
"It was a small town near Canterlot, the Equestrian capital."


I'll nod.
"Do you recall the name?"


Lean against him.


Smirk and walk away, towards Bearing's room.
"How is my two pieces of sky doing?"


He breathes in raggedly, closing his eyes
"Enjoying an afternoon nap."


I smile.
"Can't blame you for that."


I'll keep scrubbing her up, rinsing here and there, cleaning her of the marble dust.
"Sounds peaceful. What convinced you to leave?"


"Well now. Then we can actually rest, uh?"
Smile and slide beside her, kissing her cheek, and then whispering in her ear.
"I'm so proud of you.
For everything, ever since the first day we met.
For every night you waited as I was outside without telling you and every time you patched my wounds afterwards…
I love you."


He keeps his eyes closed, allowing the thin wind to brush against his body
"So this is what it feels like to be at the top of the world…"
"I got sick of arguing with my dad. I wanted to see the world. Go on adventures.
…then I got grabbed by undead diamond dogs, and chained up to zombie slave miners to work myself to death.
…then I had my spine broken… and… well… now I'm here."
"I love you too, partner. Always have."


I… I was talking to Bearing…
Whatever, it's not important and you are sleepy.


"Tell me… did you ever think you'd see the day?"


"Yes, you are. Here where you're being tenderly scrubbed clean by a stallion who loves you. Even if the middle was rough, it ended well, don't you think?"
Give her one more rinse. That should do it.


"They has not come yet. This is just a milestone among others.
But so far… it's by far the best one."
"Couldn't have said it better myself. Now scoot over so I can return the favor."



At some point before the wedding I'll try to find Donrick.


You find me in my room.
I look slightly different. I have a metal ear instead of the missing one and two rivets on my forehead.


"… Donny?"


I glance up from whatever I am working on.


"Am I coming in at a bad time?"


Stand up to face her.


"Right… how are you feeling? I see you fixed your ear."


"I did. My hearing is back to normal. It works perfectly."


"Oh! That great to hear. You should have fixed that sooner!"


"Yes. I should have."


"Well I'm glad it worked out."


Speak with a nonchalant expression.
"Yes. It is positive. I have done a lot of work."


"The uh… caravan with gifts arrived today, you know. Lot's of interesting stuff in there."




"You know, the typical kind of stuff they send to impress others. All expensive luxury products and whatnot. And a small dragon too!"


"For a forge or messages?"


"No idea, I haven't really checked on the little guy. He's with the guards that came along with the trip. Turns out they had to fight their way through Snowborder. I'm inclined to keep them here until things are a bit safer."


"Do they need their weapons or armor repaired?"


"I'm not sure, maybe."


"I'll ask them myself then."


"There was another reason why I'm here. I um… wanted to invite you to the imperial wedding. I know you're probably upset about this but you're still my closest friend, so I can't not invite you."


I nod without blinking.
"I will be there. It is important to you."


I smile at him.
"T-Thank you."


"It would be selfish of me not to be present. No need to thank me."


I move forward and offer to hug him.


I glance at her, then after a few seconds monotonely return the hug.


I step back as the hug ends.
"Well… I suppose I should let you get back to work."


Perception check '1d10'

Roll #1 1 = 1


"If you wish to leave."


"Do you want me to? Because I'll understand if you'd rather not see me here right now."


"I have no problems with you being here."


"If you say so then."


"You know I never had a problem with you."


"I figured you may have wanted some alone time."


"I will have plenty of that, won't I?"


"Well, that depends on you, doesn't it? I'm not going anywhere."


"Neither am I."


"Then you'll know where to find you and I'll know where to find you."


"As long as neither you or I will be too busy."


"I'm sure we'll be able to find time."


"My next creation will no doubt consume a lot of mine."


"Oh? Big project ahead of you?"


"Yes. Possibly a bigger undertaking than creating Chell was."


I look surprised at that.
"That sounds… big then. What is it?"


Stay nonchalant.
"An upgrade."


"For Chell?"


"For me."


"… What kind of upgrade?"


"A complete overhaul."


"Care to share some details? This sounds serious."


"I'm aiming to get rid of my most flawed parts."


"Uh… those being?"


"My body."


I frown slightly.
"So how will you change that?"


"I'll construct a new one."


"… You're joking right?"



"But… why? Isn't that a bit extreme?"


"I will be more efficient."


"You need to be more efficient?"


"Yes. A lot of my time is wasted, and this body is easily damaged but hard to repair."


"And… don't you think Mother Nature had a reason to make your body like this?"


"Mother Nature was obviously wrong then."


"That's a bold statement to make…"


"My theory has been already proven right. I managed to do better."


"But this is more than just that… such an overhaul, do you really think it is worth it? To lose who you are to become 'better'?"


"I will lose nothing of who I am. It is all in here."
Place a hoof on my chest.


I sigh.
"Very well, I see I wont be able to sway you off this path. It's your choice to make."


"Yes, it is past planning phase already. I even worked together with Master Narpa."


"Whatever makes you happy, Donrick."


I give a distant look.
"Yes… happy."


I bite my lower lip and look around awkwardly


"Is something wrong?"


"No no… nothing at all."


"You seemed distressed."


"It's just nerves."


At some point before the wedding, I'll have tried to track down Pumpkin.


"Oh, yes, the nervous system. It's not as complex as one might believe it is."


I'm a high roller right now.
Moved to Northscrown, in a bunch of rooms overlooking the city itself.
I'll go for the door and be slightly surprised.
Please, come in."


"I did study some medicine, but that's besides the point."


"You're a hard pony to find, lord Swansong."
I'll enter, and remove my helmet.
"You've certainly got a nice place. The view is rather breathtaking."


"If I weren't, I'd never have time for my girls."
"Please, sit somewhere."


"As did Chell. The body is really just a mushy mechanism with a lot of useless parts."


I'll… stand near one of the tables.
"I've… got a bit of an odd question."


"Is it? Like what?"


"Is this about that incident with Windy?
I swear, that was so long ago, and she enjoyed it!"

Raise a brow and smile.
"Now, odd sounds interesting."


I motion at the table, to some of the older plans.
"Look at that heart. It is much more efficient than a regular one, uses less energy, and doesn't have any muscle tissue, so the risk of heart attacks is non existent."


My eyes widen slightly.
"But it's not you."


"Yes, the initial plan wasn't perfect, as Chell pointed out, I needed a power source. So the arteries are still original."


"Aren't you attached to your body at all? I can't imagine cold metal could ever live up to the feeling of living flesh and blood."


"To this body? No. In fact, the heart constructed by those plans is in me already."




"Chell did the surgery."
Show the top of my chest scar with a hoof.


"Donny, that's crazy! What if something had happened!?"


"The surgery had an above ninety percent predicted succes rate."


"I can't believe you. This… recklessness!"


"I made every precaution, and it paid off. It was a huge succes."


I just let out a deep sigh and look at him sadly for a while.
"Well… it's your choice."


"We all have our choices, do we not?"


I'll shuffle a little.
"It's about… well, first a bit of context. Lady Windy Valley and myself are currently engaged. The question I've in mind is… well, how to go about the wedding. We've not picked a date yet, and there's a bit of an idea for a wedding gift to her from myself lingering in the back of my head, but I thought I'd get a second opinion on it."


"Well the biggest thing is, never forget the rings."


I'll nod.
"I'll be making them myself, so there's no worry of that."


"What is it then?
Ask away."


"Well, this relates to that half-idea I've in my head. I want to invite her parents to the ceremony…"
I'll pause for a moment.
"…unfortunately they are almost literally in the heart of Equestria. A town near the capitol called Poneford."
I'll scratch the back of my neck.
"I'm mostly wondering how absurd an idea it would be to get leave to track them down."


Sigh for a moment.
How deep into it?"


"Right near the capitol city of Canterlot."


"When is the wedding fated for?"


"We haven't set a date just yet, since we've both been preparing the gift for the High King at his wedding. And Windy wants to take it a bit slow, so I'm not going to rush her into it."


"You'd have to take into account the time to reach the capitol, and traversing Snowboarder might be a problem, nowadays…"


"Aren't there other ways into Equestria then Snowborder? It might take longer, but a ship from Rosefall might make it."


"Again, times are key.
And I doubt rosefall spies don't know about your position within the High King's court yet.
We are not exactly invisible to them."


I'll look at him a little oddly.
"I'm just well-trained guard, lord Swansong. If I go missing there are at least a dozen others who can fill my position."
I'll scratch my nose.
"Though I prefer I not go missing, since that would make lady Valley sad."


Turn around and start pacing around the room.
"Personally assigned by King Deep Rock of Ironfoe to watch over his son, High King Frostmourn of the United Northlands.
Admitted into said King's inner circle, knowledgeable with all those who frequent it, yet secretive enough to be well known by only one other pony.
Your lady.
No Crescent, I think you'd be some lordblade's happiest day.
Kidnap you, keep lady Valley under threats of your death to get her to cooperate, and replace you with someone that looks just close enough."
Turn around.
"Or am I just worrying too much?"


"Likely worrying too much, since mage Smouldering has an uncanny knack for discovering the truth, as does mage Domain. And with the mind mages in the King's employ, any plant should be discovered rather easily, either from their thoughts or lack of detected thought, since scry-proofing that I've never had done before would be a bit suspicious, don't you think?"
I'll nod, though.
"It is a worry, I suppose, one that the High King's friend would have. But a noblepony such as yourself should simply trust the protection the king has, both seen and unseen."


"I'm worried more about losing you that I am about finding more spies in my backyard, Crescent."


"If it comes down to it I would give my life, and then some, to keep the High King safe. Lordblade or no, if something tries to take me it won't be quietly."
I'll wave a hoof dismissively.
"But we're getting off track. If I plan on going that deep into the heart of Equestria, I'm going to need to learn to mask my accent."


"Why not just send a letter?"


"Because that's… well, do you honestly expect a letter to make it through snowborder any better?"
I'll shuffle a little.
"Besides, usually the groom introduces himself to his wife's family at least once. And they'd probably like to know that their daughter is still alive."


"Actually, I do."
"What if I told you I might have a way to make sure a letter makes it to its destination unharmed, sure as snow?"


"Then I'd think you're pulling my leg. Half the things that go through Snowborder are probably opened, pilfered of anything of value, and then sent on their merry way. You'd have to eat the letter to get them from opening it, and at that point you may as well have gone in pony."


"You trust me so little, Crescent.
And if I must be fair, faith gave us a hoof here."


"Oh? How so?"


Smirk coily.
"A gentlestallion never revelas what he does in the secrecy of his home, does he now?
Let's just say that if you want to simply send them a mail, it's already a done deal."


"And if I wanted to hoof-deliver it to them myself, would such a transport service still be considered a 'done deal'? I appreciate what you're offering, though I'm not quite sure how you'd pull it off, but I just feel that Windy Valley's parents should meet the one their daughter chose to marry."


"It's not about the method, but about the pony.
Someone who owes me a favor is in town, and able to move easily through borders.
It'd not be a problem for him to deliver a single message."


"So long as he is able to return a response, I suppose that would be for the best. His destination is Poneford, near Canterlot. I'll have the letter written by tomorrow evening."
I'll look a little uncomfortable.
"I can only hope they don't react too badly after finding out that their daughter, who they probably thought was dead, is being whisked away from them again by some Northerner."


I'm going to find Kilana.
Somehow. Somewhere. Don't know where she hangs out.


Lets say I'm back in my old room at wintergrasp, for familiarity "Hello Ambrosia. How are you doing?"


"Good, Kilana."
Stare at her for a moment before advancing.
"I need help. Please."


Smile warmly at you, I have most of my gear off at the moment so I don't look as intimidating. "Of course, please come in. What can I do for you?"


"Frosty needs a gift."


"Yes, it is appropriate to give gifts for weddings. Do you need advice on what he likes? "


Shake my head slowly.


Sit down "Then you already have something in mind? Is it hard to get?"


Shake my head slowly again.
"No. Or yes. I need your help for it. I want to grow a flower and make it immortal. Just not sure how."


My eyes widen "An immortal flower? Well, that's interesting. Fascinating really. I don't often think about it, but plants live and die like anything else."
then nod
"Well, you came to the right pony, I don't know anything about growing flowers, but prolonging something's existence I do know. Are you growing it from a seed?"


"I know spells to grow plants instantly. But they are alive. Not immortal."


"Oh, really? Well, if its a spell.." I grab some paper and think for a moment writing some notes. '1d10'

Roll #1 6 = 6


I'd read along, but I'm near illiterate. So instead I'll just wait patiently.


I smile after a few moments.
"The nature of your spell is summoning, right?"
point at a small diagram which shows how types of magic interact.
"If I'm correct it may be compatible with the spell used to animate the dead."


"Okay. Should I cast?"


Nod "on the count of three."
"one.. two…"
'1d10' Her hoof glows as she casts her part of the spell.

Roll #1 8 = 8


Try to Miracle Grow a Heart's Desire.

Roll #1 5 = 5


Scrunch and try again.

Roll #1 7 = 7


The flower bursts into view, slowly, jerkily growing into its full mature size over a span of seconds.
Its petals unfold in a series of violent spasms and it finally stands upright, freezing in place and sitting still, entirely unmoving.
It is a beautiful Heart's Desire.
But entirely monochrome. A ghostly, translucent white.


I stare at it for a moment.
"… Thank you, Kilana."


I blink at the lovely flower and smile at Ambrosia "Of course, if you ever need anything don't hesitate to ask.
..it is what you wanted right? You don't look entirely happy."


I poke it with a hoof.
"No, it's good. It feels strange, but it works."


Smile again. "Alright, is there anything else you wanted to ask?"


"The message back might be a problem indeed…"


"No Kilana. Nothing. I have a gift for Frosty now, thank you again."


Nod at this. "Alright. See you at the wedding."


Pick up the plant with one of my wings and bow slightly before her, then walk out.


"Then perhaps I should deliver it myself?"
I'll think a moment.
"Perhaps travel with lady Valley, reunite her with her family…. though that would ruin the surprise. Hmm."


"Boy, Equestria sure looks like an interesting and exotic place…
I should take a vacantion there.
Maybe we could help each other…"


"Well, a small travel group is less suspicious, don't you think?"
I'll cock my head slightly.
"Though why do you want to go to Equestria? Surely not to follow lady Goldentail."


"Her of all things? Oh no.
I just have a promise to keep."


"Good enough for me, I suppose. When do you plan on departing?"


"After the royal wedding."


I'll nod.
"Seems a sound plan. I take it traveling in full gear would be a rather bad idea, so I should travel light. I'll see if I can't request the time to make the trip. I can likely pass it off as being your 'escort,' though we'd have to come back at the same time for that to work."


Look at him shocked.
"Oh my, were you thinking about actually leaving me alone?
My poor daughter might lose her father so soon because of you!"


I'll roll my eyes.
"Somehow I doubt that will be as much of a possibility as you think. But if we're headed to the same place, more or less, then I'll keep you from dying of loneliness."


"That's the spirit!"
Spring up and pat him on the back.
"It's gonna be great! A true adventure, like in story books!"


"As I remember, most of those adventures involved a great deal of hardship for the ones involved."


"What's life without a little spice?"


"Bland, I suppose. But we should be so lucky that the trip is uneventful."


"I… Have a few arrangements to do, before the trip.
And of course there is the matter of the royal wedding."
Point to the couch.
"But tell me about your lady."


"Windy? To my knowledge you and your companions met her first, in the undermines. And Lady Nylis is the one who regrew her spine."
I'll smile slightly.
"She's a wonderful stoneworker, though. A true artisan. And far better than I deserve."


"Now, can I make a confession, Crescent?"


I'll motion for him to continue.


Sigh, lower my head, but then raise it and smile.
"I find Windy Valley lovely.
And you better not mess it up, either, or I'm going to slap you around until you come back to your senses!"


I'll look at him curiously.
"Why on Earth would I ruin this? Windy Valley is one of the best things that have happened to me in my life."


"I almost blew it with Bearing, and all because of a misunderstanding!"


I'll be quiet a moment.
"Your associate, miss Peaches?"


"What? Oh no.
It was years before that.
A spell cast by Queen Venia actually.
Very complex and hard to use, a spell meant to make any pony fly in the sky.
Wings of light as beautiful as those of a butterfly.
Bearing saw me and her and Prima test the spell, and she believed I had lost interested in her."
"I had troubles getting out of that one!"


"Why would false wings draw you away from her? Was she not engaged to you at the time?"


"We were seeing each other.
Bear in mind, this was so long ago.
Barely teenagers.
She thought I didn't love her anymore. Flying, it had always been her greatest dream."


"So couldn't you just take her flying as well? If Queen Venia could pass the flight spell to another mage to lessen the burden, then she could have joined you in the sky."


Roll my eyes.
"But I did, of course.
She just saw it happen right there, and panicked.
Went running and crying for her room."


"Oh. I suppose it would be a shock, especially if it was never brought up before."


"It was supposed to be a surprise."
Look out of the large crystal window.
"And look were we are now…"


"Indeed. Married, and about to attend the marriage of the High King. I'm sure you never saw this happening back then."


How much far back?
I knew the moment I got Frosty to be my best stallion that I'd be sitting at his wedding."


"At that moment, when you followed your wife-to-be into that room."


I thought my life would have been a whole lot darker.
But there she was…"
Look with a malenchonic smile towards the bedroom.


"Amazing how things can change in an instant, isn't it?"


"Hey, we built this.
Took us years to do it.
Not exactly an instant."


"Ah, but if you hadn't gone after your wife then, who knows where you'd be now? A future is built on thousands and hundreds of 'instants.'"


Keep staring out of the window.
Yeah. I might even have given up.
"I make it a point to remind her how much I love her each day."


"I will make certain Windy Valley knows just how much I care for her as well…"


"Then it's settled.
I will see when it's the best time to leave."


I'll pause a moment.
"So… what are you getting the king for his wedding gift?"


"It's a secret~"


"Then I suppose I won't tell what Windy and I have prepared either."
I'll put my helmet back on.
"It's past time I've returned to my duties, lord Swansong. Thank you for your time."


"Sure. Have fun, Crescent."
Lead him to the door and part ways.


Faff enabled


I should go show my fucked up, undead flower to Mistral. I'm sure she'll be delighted.


I have so much to do. But for now… it can wait. There is something I yet make time for. Philosophy on Tuesdays.

I should meet with Frostmourn for tea. I have other things on my mind as well that I need to get in order before I can finally get to experimentation and administrative issues.


"Did it work?"
The High King is, as usual, available in his throne room.
He does love the view there.



Show her the flower.
"Yes, Mistral. Is it nice for Frosty?"


"It is, once again, time for tea, Your Highness. It does seem eons have passed since I've been availed upon to make a Tuesday date with any success, but we've all been busy as of late. Much preys upon my mind, and I look forward to having out with it. Do you know if Lord Foglight and Her Grace, Lady Venia will be joining us?"

We could timesplit if you want to talk privately, or you're free to join us for tea.


I think private chat would be better. You can pick where.


Wherever I'm freeloading until our estate's construction goes underway. Presumably the noble apartments of Castle Wintersgrasp.


She examines it closely
"What a remarkable plant. Is it albino?"
"That I do not know, Id. But let us make the best of this, with or without company."


I poke it with a hoof and stare at it for a moment
"It's a Heart's Desire. But not alive. Undead?"


Approach your room with a knock on the door.


Of course I'm available.

Slow and only for a while, but available nonetheless.


"How very curious. I didn't know you knew how to do that."


In that case, fill some cups. "I do have a few topics of my own for discussion, but in acknowledgement of senior rank, do you have an opening topic of discussion?"


"I don't. Kilana helped me, we joined spells together."


"Ah – just a moment. Let me extricate myself…

Right, coming, coming."

A few locks flipped open, then the door itself turned in. "Oh… Kilana. I didn't expect you."


Smile slightly.
"I do actually. I was wondering whether the two of you are planning on finally getting some kids."


Look down and move my hooves a bit. "I can go.. If you don't want to see me.."


Frostmourn raises a brow, looks at Id, and then confusedly looks back at Venia
"…I'm not… entirely sure that's how it works. I think you need a mare in there somewhere too."


"Fascinating. So… is the flower symbolic of something?"


"Ah, no, I didn't mean it like that… I've always said, words are so… weak in terms of communicating. They never quite carry the exact meaning perfectly. Come in, please."

Chuckle bemusedly. "Yes, the High King is quite right. For instance, I remain a bachelor, for now anyway."


I cock my head.
"Is it? Maybe. Heart's desire is a pretty flower and I like it, even when it's… white like this."


I come inside and close the door behind me.


"No no, don't play stupid, you know what I mean!"


"White as the snow of the north. I'm sure he'll love it."


I smile a little.
"Okay. That's good then. I look forward to the wedding."


Take her coat, if she has one, and put it on the rack. "So… your trip was enlightening, or…?"

"I haven't the foggiest what you mean," smiling. "Still, though, I do not intend to father a bastard if that's what you're inquiring. Certainly someday, but… you'll have some advance warning, since I'll get married first."


"As do I. Such a big event… probably the grandest ever held in the North."
"And when did you plan on asking her?"


"That's awfully public!"


"Please. It's only the three of us here."


I grin widely.


"Perhaps at the wedding. As I understand it, the view from the castle is breathtaking."


"Is it?"


"Well.. yea.. I spoke to Pumpkin, and Frosty and.. I needed to speak with you as well.. to apologize really. "




"It sure is, you can see most of the north from up there!"


Sigh deeply. "Because.. Id.. I shouldn't have killed him.. Shouldn't have tried to hide it from you.."
tap my head. "here.. you can take a look at what happened.."


"So I've understood. There will be many important guests."


Mind read her to see what's on her mind.

"How pleasant. Have you been faring well cooped up in your own palace?"


"Maybe Radiant will be there again too. That would be nice."


"I… doubt that…"


show you everything that happened, Talking with pumpkin, going to save prima, confessing to frostmourn, naik's haunting final words to me, talking to valerianna, flying with pumpkin.




"The last months were hard… even moving around the palace was hard sometimes."


"She and Frostmourn seemed less than friendly when she left."


Can you fill me in on some of that for real? Specifically, Prime and Naik.

I can understand that.


Yes I said that it should be in quotes.


"I remember, Mistral. I don't understand why. But maybe they will make peace with each other?"


I can't give many details on Prima's rescue because I don't know them, but she used Naik's soul to jump into tambelon and grab her, she now exists as a teenager.
Kilana killed naik in her room, his last words her about how beautiful her eyes were.


Kilana, I can forgive anything you can do to me – even hiding things like this, but just please… remember our dreams. We want a world in which necromancers are feared by no one. Where it's normal and accepted… how do you think the public would react if they ever found out about this? Regardless of any reasons behind it, they would only see it as a murder…


…do you believe the world is evil Id?


[Amused] This sounds like something from one of my philosophy sessions. No… I think the world is essentially good. If it was evil, we would not by nature recoil at the bad and embrace the good.


I smile
Then.. will you help me see it? The good?


Of course, love.


Smile even more blushing slightly.
You know.. Frosty spoiled the surprise.. and I don't know if you even still want that, to be with me for eternity.. but IF you do. The answer is yes.


Give a little bit of an annoyed look.

I hope he has a better sense of secrecy with national secrets than he does with marriage proposals. This is hardly a picturesque moment.

Press my nose up against hers.


Chuckle and return your nuzzle.
Lets go out somewhere, just the two of us, a real date, best place we can find.


We're already in a palace. Where do you want to go? The garden?


No.. I think I want some food, I haven't really slowed down to eat properly.



I'm sure your friend below would say, 'The dead do not eat'. Should we order something from the kitchens, or go somewhere?


"Up to you."


"I'll have them send something up."


Come closer to you, sighing happily and embrace you in a hug.
"I love you Id.."


Return it, and slowly hug-walk over to the bed where we can sit side by side. "I love you too."


Sit next to you staring at you for a long time.
my thoughts are something like
oh god, he actually forgives me, love, real love, do i deserve this, OH GODS what if he wants children, I'm no mother! No wait, just calm down, enjoy this.. he is really strong for a mind mage isn't he.. and.. lovelovelove


Give another little comforting kiss, then cuddle up until our food arrives.


rolling for cuddles '1d10'

Roll #1 7 = 7


They're above average, looks like.

Soon, there is a knock at the door, and I get up and return with pumpkin pie and watermelon.


Even queens need a day off now and then, so Venia had set some time aside to meet Valeriana at Wintersgrasp.


Oh wonderful, just like old times!
"Valy! So glad you could make it."


Day… off? Come again?


"It's good to get out of the house for a while, I'll admit. Office work and military drills are not really what I'm best at."
Must be some queen thing. Maybe you could look it up in a dictionary.


"Military drills? On who?"


"Highhorn runs a few on the Mage Guard every now and then to keep them alert and in shape. The other day we got creative and had a few of my shadows actually attack them mid-training. It had… mixed reception."


I smile slightly.
"I can't imagine why. It's good to hear that you're not allowing them to slack off though. In all fairness, I could probably use some drilling too with all this lazing around I've been doing. I'd rather not be seen as a weakling."


"Motherhood makes for the best of training. I should know."


"But it doesn't keep my combat skills sharp. The last time I fought was… against those slavers? It's been too long since I last got to skullbashing, dammit!"


"You'd think creating life would dissuade one from the pursuit of ending it. Then, I know first hand that's probably the opposite of reality.
But don't repeat my mistakes, Venia. That little princess is the most important thing you have right now"


"Most definitely so, yes. I just hope that by the time she's old enough to learn how to fight herself, I wont be too rusty to teach her myself."


"Don't you have an entire military at your command now? Hell, make it a bonding experience. A family that drills together, kills together… or something"


I laugh.
"That's very poetic of you, I think Unyielding would like that."


"I blame all the spare time. With the age-old threat of Eaglecrest gone, life in Rockeye is nothing like it has been up to now."


"At least the ponies of Rockeye don't have to worry about a demonic pony beating his way through a mountain to kill them. Can you imagine what would have happened to Rockeye if Eaglecrest had their way with them?"


I should.

My home should now be home to a decent collection of books. Let's go look at my dictionary.


[Day off: a day when usual duties are forsaken and replaced with leisure activities to reinvigorate the mind and body ensure better performance of duties and greater mental health in the future]
I've had time to read up on their history and speak with their scholars. The fear of Eaglecrest is what fueled many inventions in Rockeye, for they knew that one for one, they could not win that war.


"Hm. Fear is certainly a good way to push for progress. Fear of Equestria is what made… well… all this possible after all. The United North, I mean. Without a common threat to rally against, I don't think it would have been possible."


>usual duties are forsaken
What is this

>to reinvigorate the mind and body


>ensure better performance of duties and greater mental health in the future


Oh yes, I do insist on that last part. I probably should take one, too!

Bah. It really has been too long since I took one, have I?

I should take Venus round town and look for some luxuries to purchase. I think. Maybe she would like a new sword. I could do with a new book.


"Which is why I worry my new home may hit a slump soon."
She's probably around if you call for her.


"Well… you can't keep innovating forever, can you? I'm sure one day another threat will arise. It's inevitable, really."


"Thank you for the calming sentiment your highness."


"Venus? Want to go for a walk about town? I was thinking of getting a new book. And you, how about a new or renewed blade?"


I smirk.
"You know me, always worrying about one thing or another. In any case, the North hasn't even been united yet, so there's much work that needs to be done there."


She pokes her head out from around a corner
"I'm sure the armorer can manage my weapons, but if you want company, sure, I'll keep you safe from any would-be assassins~"
"And how. What little I've been able to find out about Rosefall does not bode well, and as you may know, the situation in Hardflank has not gotten any better in ages."


"Hmm… those things are in the hooves of the others now. I can only watch from the sidelines and pray that things will work out for us all. I trust Frostmourn will make the right choices in the coming months."


"I'll always be safe as long as I'm with you. Now, let's go, hmm?"

Go out to the markets. Let's look at books first. Maybe we'll have ideas for swords, if no other information.


"Well then. How did you plan to raise the princess of Wintersgrasp?"
The markets of Northscrown are as opulent as they come. As most of the wealthiest and most powerful of the north moved here, the most high class merchants followed, trying to secure a spot in this community of the wealthy and powerful.


Wealthy and powerful…

Well, if they can earn it.

'1d10' to find a nice book stand.

Roll #1 10 = 10


Hot damn. These guys must have moved here from Rockeye, given the ridiculous selection of reading material they have on every imaginable topic.


"I'm inclined to say the same way my parents raised me but the situation is quite different. I don't have the administrative skills Anvil possesses… but I can teach her some of my own values and magical knowledge. She must know how to handle herself in a fight at least! And how to survive in the wilderness… hmmm…"


"So you'd be raising a child more than an heir?"


It's been a while.

Find a nice romance novel


Roll #1 3 = 3


So, what was I doing last time? Assembling a team, I think?


"Valeriana, look at me. I'm not even a proper queen myself. How can I raise somepony to be something that I myself am not very good at being? I was taught how to set bandits on fire and how to skin bears, not how to administer a kingdom and proper royal etiquette."


These are all quite… graphic.
Indeed. You had just evaluated Careless Whisper.
"You'd be amazed how things can work out."


"I will have one of those built for you.
Or two, if you even manage to use them."


"You're a better lady than I am, at least."


"Quality over quantity my lord. I have no need for multiples, if I can do more with one than an army could with all theirs."
"That's a laugh. I was a street girl elevated to high society, too scared to even look at anyone, let alone speak. They took it for refinement…"


Nod slowly.
"Tell me about yourself, Whisper.
What's led you into the blades?"


"Still, you managed! Frankly, I'm a little glad I wont be going to Rosefall for just that reason."


"I was overqualified for my position as an Elite Cadet. After one of out show matches, I was approached by your blades, and asked if I wished to join."
Vintage year smiles
"He said yes, provided we could carry him here. Admittedly he put up a decent fight."
"You grow to accept new roles in life. I've had to do it so many times it's second nature by now…"


"Ponies like you are a rare sight.
Say, you have any family?"


"After all this time… I still feel like an outsider sometimes. It's strange. As for my role as a queen, I still haven't gotten used to ponies bowing for me. It makes me feel very uneasy."


"A blade has no family, only a lord and a mission."
"Try embracing it for once. Cut loose a bit. Enjoy being royalty."


Let's try again.


Roll #1 4 = 4


"I see.
Pick a name, I can't call you Whisper in battle.
Something symbolic."
Turn to Vintage.
"You too. And meet up with the rest of the team in Northscrown."


"I try but… I can't help but feel guilty at times. I'm sitting here in this cozy palace growing fat and lazy while there's still so much work left undone out there. Having a child to look after though… it helps. Little Aurora has given me a fresh goal to focus on."


There are outright lewd… Are you sure this is the right section of the book shop?
Vintage looks confused
"…you… want me to pick a new name?"
"Well my little boy grew up and took my place as master of blades. So I guess I can retire from this child raising thing for now."



"Come on, Venus, want to help?"


Roll #1 1 = 1 / Roll #2 6 = 6


"We are blades. On the field, all of us is unknown.
A name has not been needed so far since we work alone. But imagine when there's gonna be five or more of us at once.
I for one don't want my real name to be thrown around while we fight."


"Well… unless you want to continue, of course."


You pick out a random book as she trots over
Venus raises an interested brow as she looks at the one you pulled out: [Advanced Erotica of the Far East]
"As you will, my lord"
"Aren't I getting a little old for that?"


"You're not that much older than I am. Are you saying I'm old too?"


"Of course I am you withered old crone"


Leave now. Who else is on the list?


"Don't say that! I'm in the prime of my life! … Sort of."


Well these are your most known and trusted guys. Of course, you can go seeking out others from your less touched upon branches, like Timberjaw.
She laughs
"Oh you poor girl. Are you really feeling that old already?"


Sigh and actually look for the romance section before looking again.

"It has to be here, something about.. about a pegasus who loved flying and the pony who couldn't fly just as much"


Roll #1 8 = 8


"I told you, I'm getting rusty from all this lazing around."
Run a hoof over my flank.
"Before you know it, I'll have a fat ass and a belly even without expecting child!"


I have never been there myself yet!
What's the way to reach it? And how is the capital?


[The swan in the orchard - By: Lime Skin Pump]
"Just like your king~
I bet you'd be adorable together"
Teleport networks are available.
The capital is busier than ever before, as a lot of talk over creating an entirely new government are causing a lot of action


"Hey now, we're working on getting rid on that extra bodymass of his!"


Oh yes, this should be it.

I need to leave. Night.


I think I will keep myself on the outer fringes of town for now.
What "elite" forces do they have?
I've heard Timberjaw has the best inventors…


"Not with tea cakes like these. How much butter and honey go into them? They're great!"
They have the royal guard, and some Lordblade affiliates were captured earlier during the civil war.


Disregard them for now.
I'm actually interested in something else.
Where are the royal workshops? Or indeed, any kind of w-
You know what?
I should just go ask around an inn.


"I don't know, you'd have to ask Corn Pone, I think he made these. And you know how Anvil is, he just loves these kind of things…"


Fine places these Timberjaw inns. Well insulated, spacious without any supporting pillars or extra walls, and overall large and sturdy. It puts the mind at ease, really.
"And with good reason. Wintersgrasp cooking always was a damn art form."


"I wish Anvil would appreciate art a bit less in that case. Dammit, just thinking about it upsets me! He needs to lose weight!"


An inn with no pillars? What has the world come to…
Order a drink.
"Your specialty."
And sit at the counter.


Continuing our philosophy chat from last time.

"In any case, don't you think the name 'Northlands' is a curious nomenclature? It's an Equestria-centric worldview, and as far as I can tell, we're at odds with them."

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