/q/ - Quest


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446281[Last 50 Posts]

Your kingdom.
It could do with all sorts of attention, so best get to it.

CHAPTER 1 - A New King's Reign


Home sweet home, no matter how it changes. I suppose I had better take stock of what else Garret ignored during his reign. The military was always relatively self-reliant, so hopefully his supervision did not leave too much ignored. Some clan leaders may still have grievances though.

And while bellies may be filling up, that may just bring other problems to the surface. I should start holding court with other lords to see how their own houses fair.


"So, where do we begin, dear?"


"Charity begins at home, or so they say. Call a meeting with other clan lords, and start digging up what records we can from previous periods. If nothing pressing appears, we can focus on talks with Rosefall."


"Should I start writing letters then?"


"If you wish to do it yourself. We can always dictate now."


"Alright. Let us begin then."


Sound the burdhorn.


"how should I word the invitations?"


"A formal summons would be enough. Inform them that their new king requests their presence so he can inquire as to the state of their holdings so as to better rule our home."

"…you can quote that if you wish."


She starts writing
"And to which houses will I send these?"


"Whoever can make the trip. I remember the houses of Irontalon, Nightflight, Stonedown, Goldfeather, and Icebeak were prominent leaders when I left, but all will be welcome."


"So be it then. I will have the invitations sent out as soon as possible."


"Thank you, dear. What about our own holdings? Do you wish to take charge of their care?"


"I suppose that's the easy solution."


"It is, but I want to know what you think. They are just as much yours after all."


"Well I can't really think of any other easy and good solutions."


"Then I will decree it so, my love."


"Big words, hubby.
Now, what else was there?"


"What else, what else…have our garrisons scout out the portions of the Deep Roads that fall under our borders. I do not want to miss anything right underneath our own feet."


Did you speak about them with Frostmourn?"


"Not him exactly, but I was able to as about them with the cartographers. We have two exits within our own borders, one of which opens directly into perfectly defensible lands. I suppose we should consider that a blessing."


"Well those are old dog mines, so any strategic value they have is purely accidental…"


"Quite. It is an interesting contrast between us. I have to wonder why they felt the need to open up there though."


"Don't they speed up travel a lot?"


"Relatively? Not for us. We are still traveling the same amount of distance, but rough terrain never really bothered us. It is nice to not have to worry about bad weather though."


"I suppose the roads are nice to those who lack the gift of flight though."


"They would be, especially in our country. The ponies did an admirable job navigating them when they came here. I still love the mountains though."


"The mountains are lovely.
Perhaps we should try and repopulate them with prey some day."


"Import prey? Do you really think we could?"


"I don't see why not?
Surely it is better to have them thrive here than always have us fly far our for our hunts."


"I suppose you are right. It might be hard finding something that could thrive here with us though. And that we can't hunt out of sight again."


"You'll think of something. You're smart enough for that."


"I will do my best, though your flattery is most welcome."


She seals the last of the invitations
"Well, what other plans did you have?"


"Other than the military, I think that should be all we need to do for the moment. Other problems will surely arise, but we will cross that storm when we come to them."


"And what of Rosefall?"


"Extend a separate invitation to begin talks to them. I am curious about them, and we should begin building a foundation to work with."


"Should we send an ambassador?
Perhaps even visit in person?"


"A personal visit seems a bit presumptuous so early, and since we have had no contact before now, I am not sure if we have grounds to send an ambassador yet. Inquire them, and if they are open to it we shall do so."


"Perhaps we should include some sort of gift. As an apology for those of their number we ended up eating."


"A good idea. Though we may have to get creative…what artisans do we have in the kingdom?"


"Well sculptures were always popular. Not to mention functional. Though I doubt ponies see the benefit of easily available roosts.
I suppose we could send them some fancy weapons, but that may give the wrong idea.
What of a tapestry?"


"A tapestry…that would be a wonderful choice. We'll have to commission one, as I doubt we have any that would be appropriate."


"It should probably depict our goodwill towards them."


"Yes. It will be an adventure even finding an artist willing to make one."


"Surely you, as king, can ask whatever you wish for."


"Of course I could. I just wish for any gift we give to Rosefall to be of superior quality. We have to show our strength, after all."


"Then why not host a festival? Have a contest of gifts, promising to send the best ones out, and to reward those who made them?"


"…I wold have never thought of that. This is a splendid idea. It will promote awareness of our new foreign policy and may even encourage dissidents to come around with any luck. It will be a splendid show of Stormheart's accomplishments in many things. You are a visionary, my love."


"I do try my best to keep myself on your good side."


"Oh, you do not have to try to do that at all~"


"Well that's good to hear. Because I think we could have some fun later."


"Oh? Did Wintergrasp rekindle something?"


"Did they ever…"


"Well you shall have to share that with me…"


"What, not feeling up for it?
Well, I suppose duties come first."


I laugh.
"Oh, of course I am. I never forget my most important duty, love."


"I'll admit I'm still not looking forward to the eggs, but hey, might as well enjoy he time before that."


"I know you can handle it. From what I hear, it is even more difficult for ponies."


"I'm not really fond of thinking about it.
Pushing out a living, kicking thing"


"Yes…maybe you can ask Queen Venia about it when her time comes."


"Do you really want to know?"


"…not especially. I hear sometimes they even end up with two."


She looks visibly worried, and looks back at her catbutt
"…how does one even…"


"I do not know. Some even consider that a blessing for whatever reason. I find it a wonder they can even move when carrying something like that inside them."


She shakes her head
"Do you think it… moves inside them?"


"I do not know…I wonder if it is anything like storing food in your crop."


"…can we change topics…"


"Yes…this is probably not the best thing to talk about in our situation."
I extend a wing over her.
"I'm sorry, love. I know you must be nervous."


"It takes more than a few threats of passing an egg to unnerve me. I'm not about to shy away from something even my mother in law could do."
She gives you a playful swat with her wing


I nab it and start preening it.
"Hah, of course. You can do anything that old bird could. If only she could see us now."


"I'd rather she didn't see what I plan on doing next~"
And with that she sneaks a little grasp of the royal scepter


"Shall we retire for the evening then?~"


And so was called a grand gathering of the clans under the new king of Stormheart.

Nearly all clans sent at least a representative, and from the looks of it, they are all eating well once more.


I'm still here. Have we made any progress? Word from Rosefall?



Oh, well here we are. I assume I've welcomed them all. I'll take my position at the head.

"Friends, countrymen, brothers. It does me well to see you all gathered once again, and all looking so hearty. Now that we have all benefited from recent events, I have called this council to address any other concerns you may wish to bring to me."


"For one, we want to know your exact stance and relation to the pony emperor."
"He was the one who crowned you. How do you see that as a valid rise to power?"


"In truth, I do not. Any authority I gained was from overthrowing Garret. Frostmourn is far more useful as an ally than an enemy. If he wishes to think he has domain over all, that is his belief. From what I have seen, he is content to just let us rule ourselves while he busies himself with his own pet projects. Any decisions he makes regarding our land must go through me first, and I intend to keep you all as informed as I am."


"You only overthrew him with the aid of a pony, Blackmane. What makes you think we won't vote on this and select a proper king?"
"Please. Blackmane has done much good in a short time. He should be a fitting leader."
"He panders to the ponies and their needs to fight a war on the other side of the continent. Is that what a gryphon king should do?"


"Where were your votes when we were torn apart from within? Would you prefer I follow Garret's example and let you beat each other back into the stone ages?"
I fluff a bit.
"I admit, it was perhaps remiss of me to leave for Timberjaw so soon, but it was…illuminating. Like it or not, the horses have achieved far more than we have in the same amount of time."


"Like what?"


"Castle Timberjaw is built inside their mountains, for one."


"So they invented living in caves?"
A few snicker at that


I frown.
"Scoff if you must, but it is far grander than any of your current lodgings. And it pales in comparison to the war machines they had created. A massive, mobile castle with enough ordnance to raze much of the countryside was the most spectacular, but not the only thing I faced."


"Please, tell us more oh great king"


I lay back and cross my forelegs.
"You had best pray that is not a mockery. I see no reason to waste my breath explaining things to lords who refuse to listen."


"Pay him no mind Blackmane. He's young and eager to prove a point. Please. Go on."


I sniff.
"As I said, Timberjaw far outclasses us in the arts of construction and engineering. True, we never did excel in those, but their progress is staggering. Apparently the other nations each excel in their own areas as well, such as the mages of Rockeye or the fields of Wintergrasp. Our own martial pride and tradition is strong, but I should not have to remind you of how Eaglecrest treated us. We need to diversify. I am attempting to open talks with Rosefall at the moment, since apparently the pony emperor never saw fit to even appoint a new ambassador after their old one was assassinated."


There is a slight grumble among the lords
"Rosefall? To what end? What can they possibly offer us?"
"It's amazing if they greet us with anything short of open hostility."


"Yes, it would be. With luck we may secure more hunting ground, or perhaps anything they have left to trade. I would settle for information about what their relationship was like before that, or anything we can learn about Equestria. Besides, if this pony wishes to play emperor, he has to learn to deal with the consequences of mistakes."


"So you plan on using Rosefall against the pony emperor?"


"No, we came in too late in the game for that. I simply wish for an ally who he hasn't just put in his place yet."


"So, what? You'll ensure an easy ally for us, allowing for high leverage when we need to twist his… hoof?"


"Put simply, yes. I don't doubt we will have to do that eventually. I harbor many of the same doubts you do, but trust me when I say Garret would have simply let him do whatever he wished here."


The young lord nods but keeps quiet


"But enough foreign matters. What of your own houses? Has the food helped?"


"Food has helped much in returning morale and quality of life"
"Our hatchlings grow strong once more, and the latest generation should be of much greater health than their older siblings."
"Trade has also seen a spike inside the kingdom, as new meats are brought in, and sampled."


"Excellent. At least our future is assured for another generation. Have you all been informed of the Deep Roads as well?"


"Only by passing mention"
"Something about the Underkingdom being real."


"Yes, apparently it was. One thing we do not have to deal with now. Luckily we have only two exits in our borders. They should be an easy posting."


"We take it you already have them secured and cleared of pony forces?"


"You make it sound like an invasion. Regardless, yes. The entrances and tunnels in our borders will be patrolled by our own forces. House troops as well if they wish to volunteer."


"I'd gladly send mine to ensure ponies don't flood in from their dog-tunnels."


"Very well, but keep in mind they are guards. I will not stand for a diplomatic incident caused by overzealous acts of spite."


"They will keep the ponies away from our lands."


"Like it or not, ponies have come and gone already. We gain nothing by keeping the borders closed."


He shakes his head
"What next, should we builds roads for them too? Maybe take in some honeymooning tourists?"


"They already have roads thanks to the tunnel system, and I had to fight to keep them from building a teleporter in my court. While I think the borders should remain open, this country is not about to become a resort."


"What is the meaning of this? This is an outrage!"
"Is it? Can you not see how we would also benefit from them?"
"Shut it, you!"


"Part of a network set up between the capitals to allow easy transportation. While I understand the benefits, I believe it to be too big a risk. But please, share your thoughts."

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