A quick summary of events over the last year – the recovery efforts and how characters have developed.
Light Heart, you have events to answer: +Job offer +Education events for Red +Education events for Grey Worm +Mocking Wark is upset +Rosemary is distressed +You received a letter +Three random event(s) - Found mysterious item, encountered missionaries, strange encounter in the deep
>>536936 It looks identical to the old cabin in every way. Only the captain's cabin is different here. This ship uses the new concept of function over form, with sleek symmetrical designs uncommon to earlier ships.
Months later, the Darklantern is dredged successfully. Commodore Abilio takes it as his flagship. You are named first mate of the Sirocco under Captain Marsh. Face is promoted to second mate. Mellow Marsh names Ciddir third mate.
A new event has appeared. Your list:
+Education events for Red +Education events for Grey Worm +Mocking Wark is upset +Rosemary is distressed +You received a letter +Three random event(s) - Found mysterious item, encountered missionaries, strange encounter in the deep +Ciddir asks for advice
>>536944 "I continue to feel like an outsider. I do not think these ponies are familiar with deer… we have different customs. Do you think I will be able to be a competent leader? I think a major part of my promotion was a tradition of having a certain number of positions, and a literal lack of others to promote…"
>>536945 "The fleet houses a rich variety of different cultures, though less today than in the past. Even if your customs and traditions are different to many on this fleet, this should not impact your performance as long as you understand the need to adapt your behavior when the time calls for it. I admit I do not know much of your past and that my experience with deers is somewhat limited, but you must understand that the crowd the fleet attracts tends to require a different kind of approach than say dealing with a group of your own kind. Adaptation and flexibility are truly the keys to keep in mind." Pause for a moment, regarding him. "You are a smith, correct? If my memory serves me well, you joined us during our escapade to Reptil for this reason."
>>536948 "The island is called Alandril. The pony city of Reptil is on Alandril, a part of it, but inexplicably ponies refer to it as the city which is only a part of the island. I noticed the same thing when we visited Roads. The island itself doesn't even have a name – it's just the island that houses the city of Roads. The Island of Roads. The way your minds work confuses me, sometimes."
>>536949 I chuckle. "I suppose you do have a point there. Although is it not perfectly reasonable to specify the city itself? If I were to travel to say Canterlot and I informed you of this, would it not be vague of me to tell you that 'I will travel to Equestria'?"
>>536953 "That does sound intriguing. Mister Chip is a smith as well, you see. He joined the fleet a few weeks before I did and was promoted to third mate just as you were. Not to speak any ill will of him, but he is hardly a master speaker. Still, he performed his duties admirably and recently almost became commodore of the fleet. Why do you think this is?"
>>536955 "He did. But in truth, plenty of people like mister Chip. He is a competent engineer and smith, but also a fighter. And that is what it comes down to; competence. People respect competence. Respect breeds authority."
>>536965 "I do. I had hoped you would receive a promotion, as you most certainly deserve. But before you despair, you should remember that we are likely to add more ships to our roster in the future. I will certainly lobby for it if at all possible. I understand what you must be thinking, but I promise you that I have most certainly not forgotten about your needs. Had I been promoted to captain, you would have been my first choice for first mate."
>>536967 "So was the Darklantern, yet there it is sailing again. I cannot promise we will retrieve the Seaworthy, but there was also nothing I could do to stop the Seaworthy from sinking. I did not foresee the scale of destruction we would face."
>>536974 He gives a really awkward cough totally uncharacteristic of the Wark you know.
"Tha reason I was busy on my own business in Roads was on account of having found an alchemist with transformative potions. I was convincing him ta pack up and create a potion ta turn a pony into a donkey and an antidote… because I thought ya might be willing ta provide me with a pure donkey heir… then you could change back and ya need not raise it or even tell the child you're related if ya don't care to. It's a strange request given yer relationship wit Rosemary… but it's rare fer a Jack ta run into someone he likes and has good genes."
Because Abilio was saved you could accelerate the pregnancy significantly with his age magic if you choose to indulge him.
>>536975 "I… do not know what to say. I am flattered you think so highly of me." Recompose myself. "I suppose I should admit that my biggest worry here is my heart condition. It would make this plan a bit… risky."
>>537001 "Why, yes I did. But things have changed considerably since then. This may not be the ideal place or time for this… but in truth there are no such things as the ideal place and time. We both took the decision together, and if you wish to keep it then we will keep it."
>>537017 You have the following events to encounter. You can choose any order:
+Job offer +Topaz's mint recovered +Rusty Wrench wants to talk +Ciddir following you +Nurturing Heart seems lost +Four random events - Found mysterious item, old hand encountered (KM), chance encounter
>>537022 "But it is still the same work and well some of the same ships but as you said, with more holes in it." I frown upon hearing Smitts name. "I should've have repaired the ship where we are in, I have just left Smitts to be taken by the sea. "
>>537026 I nod at this. "I always liked him, he is a bit shady but the good thing about him is that he can tolerate almsot anyone, not to mention bringing us to the booty, healing the ships is also a big thing too. I just hope Abilio is a capable leader as him though."
"So how about you Rusty? Any plans?" I look at him as I help him repair parts of the ship.
>>537038 You're naked. Not that it's a big deal for ponies, but then one supposes you liked to be more covered than other ponies.
>>537036 "I lived with rough types all my life. I figured out pretty quicklike that the pony who sits back all passive and plays nice don't get no dinner. Ya gotta be forceful and show you're the boss! You can use that advice for free."
>>537040 "Right, I'm going to try to go over this quick so that we can get to your hearing, but basically sometimes somepony falls through the cracks. They don't really fit in one afterlife or the other, or more than one afterlife has a decent claim over their immortal soul. Most of the time we file a soul with no affiliations into oblivion, but those with too many affiliations need an arbitrator. And that's what a case is – we decide once and for all where you spend the rest of eternity."
>>537041 You have these events to deal with before Pirates 2:
+Job offer +Hamburgers join the fleet +Inheritance +Studies continue +Party never ends +Half forgotten dream +Four random events - chance encounter, chance encounter , salvage opportunity, fungal growth discovered
Emboldened by your talk, Red would continue to grow to love subterfuge and combine it with her brash nature.
Red became a Dark Knight.
+Education events for Grey Worm +Mocking Wark is aloof (optional) +Rosemary visits Abilio (optional) +You received a letter +Three random event - Found mysterious item, encountered missionaries, strange encounter in the deep
>>537046 "I'm afraid not. There are forces lobbying for your soul from many different domains – and besides, there's The Law to think about. Nothing more sacred in all time or space."
>>537048 With no coffers left, mercenaries are no longer an option.
>>537049 Grey always seems to be reading. She spends entire days seemingly absent as she sneaks off with a book and reads it cover to over. She could grow plump and craven – besides the fact that there are better talents in life to hone than reading. How do you want to handle this?
>>537050 "I don't think we have time before the hearing – but you'll see Fervored Freedom there."
>>537051 Lately you notice that Nurturing Heart has become less and less responsive. Her brain condition is probably worsening. If you don't treat her, she may go permanently catatonic – but if you do treat her there's a chance she'll be very upset when she realizes what you've done to her.
You find her laying listlessly in bed, drooling slightly. What do you do?
>>537053 "Well, the Celestials claim you chose to follow Celestia later in life, but the realm of Death has a decent claim that your soul belongs to Grogar. And even though you never showed worship toward Luna, there is one pony lobbying for you to go to a very special place that is very rare for ponies to go to… the realm created by Luna and Celestia to share their followers before their schism.
>>537054 You take her to Happy Puzzle since Rosemary is on bedrest.
"Hiya Chip! Oh… your marefriend doesn't look so good! What's the matter?"
>>537055 >>537055 I bow my head and and bite my lips. "Could you examine her for me Ms. Puzzle, Nurse Heart's head is knocked over a long time ago back then. I fear its effect is taking place and I have no one to turn too other than you. If you need anything I will try to do it every way I can."
"She was shot in the head back then when she was accused of being a pirate by the guards. If I had acted faster back then all of this would have not happened." I frown.
>>537068 "Yes, it's extremely rare. Actually, nopony has been admitted to that afterlife in literally hundreds of years… nearly seven hundred now – since the rise of nightmare and the two new realms were created. Ponies chose sides in their lives – sun or moon – and that's how they became split."
>>537070 >>537065 You wait outside the room for a long time, suddenly there's a scream from inside.
>>537071 Miss Heart Sorry for not contacting you sooner. Things got… complicated fast. I'm sorry to tell you that Stein… didn't make it. He was afflicted by some sort of necromancy from that white unicorn. I'm still traveling the world. I saved my motorcycle. This is kind of embarrassing to ask, but I never got my backpay and it would really help right now. When you reply, could you send my wages with it?
The time we had together was exciting, but I need to explore the interior now. I wish you good health.
>>537072 Burnside looks a little resistant to the idea, but Strom speaks again.
"With the loss of our friends, we're less an exclave and more individuals. I fear the time has come to become one with the whole, personally. Burnside is still mulling it over."
>>537077 "Well, it's good that you're telling me this, but in the hearing, let me do the talking. They won't like it if you phrase it like that at all. I'll try what I can to get you there, okay? But it won't be easy."
>>537078 Deadpan. "Yeah, because you haven't been with a pirate fleet before. Listen, I went over the same shit at first, when I joined. I tried to say that I'm a merc and not a fucking pirate. Then I accepted that I am, and now?" Run a hoof over my attire. "Merc Captain first, Second Mate now."
>>537073 I frown. Now that is a true shame to hear.
Miss Onik I hope this letter finds you in good health. It saddens me to hear of mister Stein's demise. He was a brilliant ram to be sure. I thank you for attempting to help him nonetheless. Rest assured that those responsible for this despicable mutiny are no longer of this world. Your wages will be sent along with this letter, I do hope whatever is troubling you will be resolved swiftly. Thank you for your service, if you were to ever search for work again then my cabin door will be open to you.
>>537082 >>537082 I smile back to her and try to control myself after laughing a bit too much. "Well its a long story but there are adventures here and there and we found an altar and I throw you in there plus all those pirating business. and now you are here."
I then give her a lighthearted smile, glad that she/he is back now after all. "Its been a long time since that meeting of ours back in Stonebriar remember. That last time where you are shot, I just could not leave you there specially with Little Miss Summers begging me to return you back to the living, that is why instead of leaving you I brought you here in the ship, most of it is because out of guilt for getting you involved in… everything."
I then bow my head humbly. "I am an intolerable pirate most of the time but now I ask you Ms. Heart to understand and I am here to apologize for my actions."
>>537087 She leads you out of the office, carrying her briefcase full of folders, into the hallway. This is the most generic, gray, boring hallway you've ever seen.
You take so many twists and turns you rapidly lose your way, but you suppose it doesn't matter. You'll never go back to that office, will you?
Eventually you arrive at a doublewide set of doors.
"This is it. Ready?"
>>537088 One day Strom tells you to come down into the hold. They're going to read Old Ben's will.
>>537089 He's been avoiding you lately – not even sleeping in your room anymore (with previous crowding, this bed seems almost empty with only two mares and two fillies). You can imagine he's really embarrassed.
Eventually you manage to spot him in the evening taking a breath of fresh air out by the prow of the Sirocco.
>>537090 "What – what?! An altar? You can… you can change me back, right?"
The room is big. It's not like a courtroom in the real world – instead, it's circular. There are a lot of ponies observing from the seats around the room. Manila leads you down the aisle into the inner area and indicates a seat next to her at one of the tables. There are a few other tables here, all arranged in a circle. You notice that there's no center "bench" for a judge. It's a big circle with no single ruler.
>>537098 "Aye. It was inappropriate ta ask of ye. I feel… embarrassed for even considering it. Sorry."
"No! I mean – I mean now, but I wasn't always! I was just a stallion who looked feminine – and he did this to me! I want to change back! I don't want to live like this, this is the worst thing imaginable for me. I spent my whole life being conscious about how feminine I looked! Fix me!"
HP looks mortified. "That doesn't sound fun at all! I can't fix that… how did you do that, Mister Chip?"
>>537100 Burnside notes: "If you can't use elemental magic, that weapon is less useful to you than a gun without bullets."
>>537101 I shake my head. "I understand. Kin is very important to you, I can relate with that to a degree. But… you must understand that my condition is also genetical. My niece in Dixie developed the exact same thing as you may or may not remember. That's not to say I myself never want children, but I believe you should be aware of this fact nonetheless."
>>537101 I look at Miss Puzzle then to Nurturing Heart before I bite my lips, looking sideways while scratching my head in embarassment. "Well……….. I had a little help from some altar dug out by me and the gang in an underground temple by those who worship Luna? Or whoever that moon pony thing is, I mean talk about fetishes those Lunites have it all if you ask me."
>>537104 You glance around the chamber. All of these ponies look very orderly – which is a nice way of saying boring. Statesmen. Bureaucrats. Judges. Even mercenaries. Those that value the letter of the law above all else.
Eventually things begin to quiet as well dressed ponies enter the main ring, taking seats at the tables. In all, there are four tables. One has a sun on it. One has a sun and a moon. One has a skull. And your table.
>>537105 "Ye don' need ta talk me out of it if ya feel uncomfortable. It was a stupid idea. I just… grew ta like ye a bit. It was unprofessional. But it wasn't cause ponies think yer pretty er that garbage. Er yer honeyed words. None of that matters ta me. Ya can fix up an ugly face. Ya can ignore blunt words. But… is it foolish fer a warrior ta be attracted ta mare with a brain in her skull? I wanted my kid to have a brain. Smarterin me maybe. I'm rambling like a bloody schoolfoal."
>>537108 Think silently for a moment. "… Perhaps we could attempt to find a suitable jenny for you first. If that does not work out, we could instead consider trying your plan. There is no time pressure, is there?"
>>537111 None of them look familiar. They're all pretty professional-looking, though. They must be representing each faction rather than actual members. It strikes you as quite detached. You're the only one here who isn't one of their legalists… these followers of the Spirit of the Law.
>>537121 I nod. "Could you… perhaps have the commodore take a look at them? I do not know whether he would know anything about alchemy, but perhaps he could ensure that the potion truly works. And perhaps even replicate it."
>>537120 >>537122 "Ah goddangit." I turn to Nurturing Heart. "There was a mutiny not a long time ago, some pirates betrayed us and sink some of the ship. As for the altar… I didnt know it got lost in the process."
– Stare at her perplexed for a moment, then blink a few times. "… Oh. I see! My apologies, I was unaware other ponies had been using my altar." Look at Chip, then back at her. "… Once we retrieve it, you are free to use it again."
"I can't live like this. I'm not a mare. I don't want to be a mare."
>>537128 "Well, there you have it. A speck on your rifle is not something you need to worry about in a battle – but why not ensure you DON'T need to worry about it at all during a battle by removing it? It just makes good sense."
>>537131 "Mi-… nurse, please calm down. It will not be forever. See it as a unique experience, I thought it was quite interesting to see the world through the eyes of a stallion for a while. You are a medical professional are you not?" – Rosemary next.
>>537131 I breath out and "Dont be like that, Stallion or not what matters is that you are here and alive. Besides it will take awhile to get the ol' altar but it will be retrieve so what I must say is patience."
>>537116 "Right, so we now begin the hearing for the eternal hearing of my client, Miss Seabreeze."
"Miss Felfire, then."
Some of the ponies trade glances at the name. The pony at the skull desk just grins wider. "Objection. Use her real name. It's the Law."
Manila grits her teeth but spits it out. "Miss Doom Destiny."
A lot of looks are shared about the room.
>>537132 "I just planned to remind you that you aren't getting out of your studies. You still have a lot to learn."
>>537133 >>537134 "I've spent my whole life with ponies treating me like a mare because I was a nurse. I don't want them to be right! I just… waaaaaah."
She runs off sobbing. You expect she'll be totally indisposed until you get that altar back.
End of event. Chip's remaining events:
+Job offer +Topaz's mint recovered +Ciddir following you +Four random events - Found mysterious item, old hand encountered (KM), chance encounter, salvage opportunity
>>537133 Once Rosemary is feeling up to it, you escort her to the commodore's chambers and knock. "Come in."
"Mister Abilio… I have news. I'm pregnant."
"Oh. Terribly sorry, Miss Heart."
"No uh… she's the mother."
The traditionalist Abilio blinks. "I… probably shouldn't ask."
"We wanted to know… how safe your age magic would be potentially for accelerating a pregnancy… I don't want to risk a miscarriage if we get into a battle."
Back in his element with theoretical questions of magic, Abilio thinks on it a moment. "I'd have to run the numbers. I can't do a change of rate… I simply don't know a spell. However… we could make appointments for me to altar the age of the fetus repeatedly. Move it along at each step, but slowly enough that your body can expand. Potentially, it could be done safely in maybe… a month? That's about ten times faster."
"I am merely observing your strange customs. You are also a smith like myself, but the way you work is different."
>>537138 Your council leans over and whispers, "That's your real name. Your birth name."
The Grogar representative stands up. "I think this case is cut and dry. For 99% of his soul's life, she worshiped Grogar. Grogar's power sustained her and she even spoke to him and received his blessing. She met the insistent poltergeist from opposing council as a result of his power. She was BORN INTO HER ROLE AS A SERVANT OF GROGAR, AS SIGNIFIED BY HER NAME. It has always been her destiny to be a soul of Grogar. This is simple. Send her to Grogar."
>>537139 Rosemary is already looking to you to see what yo uthink.
>>537145 "Hmmmm… you are quite right about that Miss Heart. Dont worry I'll try my best to talk to her into staying and being at peace with herself.
>>537147 "….. I smith the what?" I try to clear my head. "No you got me wrong, I am no necromancer or magician or whatever those things. Technically I am a ship-builder of sort. I repair the ship from its wooden and metal parts. I do have a bit of knowledge on forging steel and metal all thanks to Miss Blue Topaz, may the gods of the seas bless her soul." I bow a bit.
>>537158 "All of the materials you work with are dead. Dead wood, dead metal. It's not alive. It's like working with corpses."
>>537159 "Oh, Emrille. You're the only mare I could imagine who calls someone else 'dumb' while in the same breath complaining they had never thought to just learn more magic… as a mage. And you are, technically, a mage of sorts."
>>537160 "Don't panic. It's not some kind of fate or soul name. It's just your birth name. Your mother gave you that name because she intended to turn you into a lich to usher in a new age of darkness for the world. In fact – the reason why so many people care about this case is because you may be proof that ponies can CHOOSE to resist their nature and buck fate – to be good even when born to the worst situation."
>>537165 "Oh, well….. hmmm…" I think for a moment.
"Well now that you put it that way it kinda is, I do work with 'dead' material. So what about it?" "Just to be clear I dont use any magic, I mean if I got the materials I just heat metal and cut wood to make boats because that is how the basics of boat making works."
>>537168 Roll my eyes. "So what, my pistol lights up and zoom, I'll be in the fucking other side of the room? Although…" Poke him in the shoulder excitedly. "Shit, what if I was in a mexipony standoff, and then BAM! I teleport out of it and let them shoot each other to shit!"
>>537177 "Don't you understand? This is GOOD news – you were born to be a death harbinger – a dread lich. Instead, you converted and fell in love with a paladin – not just any paladin, one who believes in peace between the sisters!"
>>537178 There are clearly depicted islands on the map, but you have no idea where these are. You'll need a skilled navigator to look it over, or to compare it with good sea charts.
>>537176 "Bitch, don't you start dissing my hat too… Hmm… Oh, shit, uh, is there like some spell that could make me not use scopes at all? Y'know, like I'd do some magicky thing and then my eyes would focus onto something and I could shoot people in the head more accurately?!" Flap my wings excitedly.
>>537195 "A map in a bottle. Rather cliche, but it did intrigue me." Pull it out and unfurl it on a table or something. "Unfortunately there are no labels on there whatsoever. All I can tell is that it depicts some sort of archipelago. I was hoping that perhaps you could help me."
>>537197 She nods. "That's a common reaction to death. Many who pass into the realm of the eternal think they would have had more time… time to do the things that they always wanted to. We Law lovers are fortunate – we have all eternity to do what we love."
>>537206 "There was a brutal conflict in the Roadesian Bay. Very few survivors. Most of the city died. In fact, we're about to start the paperwork for it after you get processed. It's going to be a nightmare."
"Good afternoon, my child. I could not help but notice you are malnourished. The Abbot-Commander of this vessel has graciously decided to offer your starving crewmen food. The Lady of the Sun provides for all her children."
>>537208 It was a dream… of music. Something… from your past. How odd… You can almost still remember… but something about it was so Germane…
>>537209 "Like if you heat it too much, or if someone smashes it in battle."
>>537214 I wipe my brow. "Kind of but it is good money and besides it is good work. Not to mention that you can fashion many items in this way like nails, swords, armor, and statue's and wheels." I smile at him.
>>537223 "Tell her, tell her she was the best friend I could have ever hoped for. Tell her, I am the mare I am today thanks to her." Start tearing up a little, but still remain fixated into Folder's eyes. "And not to worry, because everything is gonna be just fine…"
>>537224 One day while checking the rigging on the ship to make sure the lines are secure, you blink.
Somehow the lines managed to tangle themselves into a huge knot– but they're taut with pressure of maybe one or two hundred pounds. How is that even possible?
You're about to question it when you hear a familiar voice.
"ADMIRING MY HANDIWORK ARE YOU I CAN'T BLAME YOU I AS DOING SO MYSELF DID YOU MISS ME SURELY YOU DID NOT THINK I WAS GONE?"
>>537226 She thinks on it. "Interesting. That may be useful for your case, too… I'll try, though."
>>537227 You give it a cursory look over. You don't have the skills for it… she taught Tony how to use it. Still, someone might learn to use it – maybe even you. Until then, it gathers dust over there…
>>537240 "Listen here you little shit, I survived too, and I took down the motherfucking dragon and his fleet. Now, why the fuck did you do this? I really hope you don't plan to leave this fucking mess as it is!"
>>537243 A recovery ship sails overhead, which spooks the octopus. It departs as quickly as it came.
+Mocking Wark visits Abilio (optional)
>>537462 You try taking notes for a time but you can't figure out what the pieces are for. You try gently moving the parts around, but something breaks off. Oops. Better leave this stuff to someone else.
+Job offer +Random: Found mysterious item, old hand encountered, chance encounter, salvage opportunity
>>537599 Mocking Wark left a sealed letter on your pillow.
>>537600 You sit bleakly through more arguments. Your council makes the argument that choice is important and that your conversion was not just the work of one pony but several, and it had more to do with your search for a new life and new fate than just an urge to be with one pony.
The Grogarian council keeps the same stance: your whole life was Grogarian, you spoke with Grogar directly, you were born to be Grogarian. You belong in the Mossy Fields.
The Celestial council takes an interesting argumentative route. He cites prior rulings that show that conversions at the end of life count Then it makes a procedural argument: it doesn't make sense to use an afterlife that hasn't been used in hundreds of years. Maintain the status quo. Order.
>>537602 The Commodore couldn't figure out if it'll work without wasting any. He referred me to a discretionary specialist the fleet has used before living in the farming community of Dawnwood, inland of the southern coast of Equestria. If you agree, I'd like to lobby to go there next. The trip will be brief.
"IF YOU DO NOT WANT ME TO REMAIN HERE I WILL NOT."
>>537608 The fleet moors in the south of Equestria so that you can Wark can travel up north to Dawnwood. It's a few miles up.
"We're looking for somepony named Theia Springleaf."
The sight before you reminds you somewhat of home. It's an old agrarian stronghold – large manors and fields, not much of a central town in comparison.
>>537607 The Esplanade council calls for a character witness. For the first time you see him clearly as he takes the floor at the center of the room – It's Fervored Freedom. He glances at you, but doesn't dwell. If anything, his gaze seems to avoid you.
>>537613 "Neh. Too far inland for me. An old sea jack."
How mysterious indeed. You wonder if that peacekeeping organization, the Fraternal Order of the Olive, is tampering with her mail.
>>537611 "I have been advised…" he begins, "To not even mention love as a reason. Too messy. Too hard to define or quantify. Too irrelevant to the Esplanade. Fine. I won't dwell on it. But love isn't purely romantic. I was always taught that the nature of the Sisters is to be forgiving and emphasize kindness – true unconditional love. What kind of forgiveness is it when you only forgive certain behavior? That's not really forgiveness, is it? That's saying you're going to forgive, but then practicing something totally conditional. It's never too late to come to the Sisters. That's what I was taught. And… maybe, just maybe, if ponies start believing in the good of both Celestia and Luna, maybe the gap between them can be repaired. Maybe that doesn't matter to you Law followers, but there are a lot of ponies that would matter to. And maybe it would be less paperwork for you or something if you had less fractional afterlife realms to deal with."
It's hard to judge how they took the speech. Someone in the audience speaks up. "According to procedural rules, the case in question may speak on her own behalf if she chooses."
>>537614 "THEY ARE TOO ORDERLY I THOUGHT YOU HAD COME TO RESPECT CHAOS."
>>537618 Another day of slow business, I sigh. I spot the pegasus and the donkey. "Hey there! Travelers I take it? Don't go out into the forest without one of Springleafs Healing potions! Will fix you right up from any trouble at a fair price!"
>>537618 "Quite. Though the fleet has had its own share of explosions over the course of time. I suppose the freedom is what I enjoy the most, even with all the danger involved that is what makes it especially worth it."
>>537620 "Good day miss. Not to worry, we are not planning on going to the forest quite yet. Rather, we are here to do business with one Theia Springleaf."
>>537615 "I would like to." Stand up. "And I really would hope to say my part and impress the whole lot of you and make you realize what a messed up situation this is, but it's probably not gonna happen. I never had it in me to give speeches and move crowds. Instead, I can only tell you about what I know. About the nature of a soul. I've seen many, in my travels, like the Grogarian representatives so stalwartly pointed out. Souls burn. They wither and grow old and never die. Souls live through the eyes of the ponies they live in, and as that pony grows, so do they. In my life I've wanted nothing more than to escape the vessel of my body, free my soul from this skin it was imprisoned in. But then I changed. I met ponies, ewes, dogs, griffons, many, many more, who taught me life is what we make of it. And by changing my life, I changed my destiny. If it wasn't so, the Celestial representatives wouldn't be here today -if day can this even be called, in the realm of Law- moving claims for my soul. But in truth, I tell you, my one reason to change, my one act of conversion, it was all born from the efforts of the paladin who so stalwatly watched over me through dark and through light. And in his beliefs, I adhere."
>>537642 There are a lot of smells in here… you can definitely tell it's a consumption potion… seems like it's something transformative…with permanency on it. No expiration time without a way to dispel it, like an antidote.
>>537643 "I ADVISED AGAINST IT SOME CHAOS ON THIS ORDERLY SHIP WILL BE GOOD LUCK."
>>537644 The deliberation is painstaking and takes longer than you expected, for a simple tally. It seems like nearly two hours before you're finally summoned back for a final judgment.
>>537645 Hmm, if there's enough, put a tiny drop of the stuff in a tube and run some experiments, adding a few reagents to determine the ingredients, perhaps if I can find out the ingredients I can find out what it's for! '1d10'
>>537640 While working I ask "Did you meet my mother before?"
>>537646 "This committee has found by a plurality decision under the bylaws of the Spirit of the Law a final resting place for this soul in question. This final decision may not be appealed by any authority short of the Spirit of the Law itself. Are you prepared for the reading?"
>>537647 "DO YOU DOUBT IT THERE WAS A TIME WHEN YOU EXPRESSED INTEREST IN DISCORDIANISM."
>>537650 Awfuckfuckfuckfuckyoustupidklutzcantyoudoanythingrightmomwouldbesodisappointed. Take a deep breath. Come on filly, focus, you can do this. You've got to do this… Try it again with another drop. '1d10'
>>537653 It's been said that ponies come into our lives for a reason, bringing something we must learn, and we are lead to those who help us most to grow if we let them. There is a certain security in the rulings of the Court of Law. It is a place devoid of good or evil, only law. A place where black and white truly exist, and emotions do not come into play. Perhaps to some that is a nightmare, but it provides a security in their decision. They cannot be written off as purely subjective. In a way, that might be the nightmare. Confronting the truth once and for all. Felfire got her ruling, and moved on to the afterlife. It was not the perfect fairy tale ending, but in time, she grew at peace with the decision. And in time, maybe to love it. Felfire lived a life defined by death. It seems only fitting, then, that her death would be so little defined by her life. Her death was meaningless. A pitiful end to a life of adventure… but not all can die as heroes. But there is hope for every fallen pony.
The faint sound of crickets filled the air. It was perpetually noontide. Felfire looked up from her position, reclining. It was warm – it was always warm. She had just lost her train of thought, but it didn't matter anymore. There, by the bridge, the edge of the domain. He couldn't visit the realm of Celestia often, but she was always pleased when he did.
>>537652 There are a lot of odd ingredients here. Looks Oddomane, inner continent. Hard to say… but it has some subjective ingredients, too. Stuff like Heart's Desire and Rainbow Dollop. Interesting. You're not familiar with this recipe, but you've learned a lot about it.
>>537662 "CHAOS THEORY HOLDS THAT EVERY ACTION HAS NOT ONE BUT MANY REACTIONS ONE WHO HAS OBSERVED ENOUGH CHAOS CAN PROVIDE THE RESPONSE THEY WISH THIS IS THE SAME METHOD BY WHICH I CAN ALTER FATES AND ALLOW FOR THE MODIFICATION OF SKILLSETS."
>>537656 "I see." I cough. "The potion seems to be of oddomane origin. A number of interesting ingredients such as Hearts Desire and Rainbow Dollop. I have to say I'm not that familiar with oddomane recipes. But I'm certain studying a book on oddomane alchemy would reveal the nature of this potion." I note down the effects and the ingredients I can determine and hoof it and the vial back to Light Heart. "I hope that will help, miss."
>>537669 >>537670 "Well, it is definitely transformative. I couldn't determine the exact transformation, but it could very well be a donkey. However, the potion seems to have a permanent element added to it. Once the transformation happens, whatever it is, there is no way to undo it."
>>537678 I smile. "Why, of course, if I had time, and money, to do proper research." I rub my shoulder. "And I haven't had either of those since…" I cough. "I'm sorry. Is there anything else you needed? I still have some nice potions."
>>537688 I cock my head. "If I may be honest, not so good miss. Ever since another alchemy family moved in here." I grumble "and became good friends with the mayor. we haven't had many customers. Me and mom resorted to traveling up and down the river to try to sell enough to live. Some days I can't even buy food after paying the ferry. You're lucky I was in Dawnwood today."
>>537703 I cock my head. "I'm afraid that is not quite what I meant. We happen to have a few ships at our disposal, you see. As I mentioned before, our previous potion maker has retired due to his age."
>>537710 Let's get Ciddir. I also want to rub something in. "Hey, I need to show something to you, like, some weird fungus shit growing on the ship…" Smirk. "And by the way, remember when you said we'd die if we fought the dragon?"
>>537710 I bow. "Well… I take that it comes with a bigger room, a bit higher wage, my own forge, choice of whom wench I want to stay in my crib and most likely one of the guys who are first to pick the spoils of our adventure aye?" I smile.
>>537749 It tastes extremely starchy. Like… eating starch, really. Other than that, well, it's bland but not bad tasting. You bet with spices or some shit it would liven up, like rice.
>>537750 In the evening you are wandering the halls of the Darklantern, looking for holes to patch, when you see someone moving around down in the hold.
>>537751 He nods. "Thank ye again. I know I told ya ya don have ta but… if ya want ta have a relationship with tha child, I'd be pleased fer it. But if it would be easier ta not… get involved, I won' hold it against ya."
>>537809 "Well, the Fancy was an old vessel. She has a good life. The Darklantern is obviously the superior vessel in terms of function. It's nice having a kitchen for one. And I've remodeled the first mate's room into a library with a staircase directly into my new chambers here. In all, I have learned to like it."
>>537810 I nod. "I must say I am glad to have the Darklantern back. She is quite unique, I don't believe I have ever heard or seen of a ship like it." Look around the room. What kind of decorations does he have set up? "I am also pleased to have you and some of the others returned to this world. It would not have felt quite the same without you all."
"You're so damn gullible. Still, I still have my poker face. They don't call me Diamond Luck because I make jewelry."
>>537815 The room is far from spartan. He has already put up his old bookcases and his odd necromantic artifacts, like his chess board… thing, some kind of scales, among others. There's a flesh tapestry hanging on one wall and much of the floor is chalked out with odd circles. The tables are covered in navigational and star charts.
"Well, pleased to be back, I should say. I felt indebted enough to not retire immediately, anyway."
>>537821 "First things first, we need to re-establish our base… dredge up what we can of our coffers and hire back a menial staff. It may take the rest of the year just to get back into working shape before we really consider our future."
>>537865 "At the moment we own three ships. A rather nasty mutiny has left us a bit short on that front. I serve on the Sirocco, which I can admit without exaggerating to be quite possibly the fastest ship in the world. Aside from that there is the Darklantern, a unique heavy frigate protected by iron plating, and the Hourglass, a Saddle-Arabian Dhow. If it pleases you, I can have you signed up on the Sirocco."
>>537887 "Well, if I ever find out which of them is responsible, I'll find their corpse just to stab it again for good measure. Anyway, dwelling on all this anger isn't good for the heart. Was that all?"
>>537890 "I left after the battle. It was too much!"
>>537893 "Yes. Always a pleasure talking to you, miss September. I am happy to have you back on the fleet."
>>537896 "I currently serve as first officer under captain Marsh on the Sirocco. The fleet is quite the unique place and I very much enjoy the sense of adventure it brings. Always new places to visit and explore… I very much enjoy it."
>>537917 "Nervous?" I chuckle. "I was excited when I left. Is it not comforting to know that you are about to spread your wings and take in the world rather than being confined to a town or two? This is opportunity, miss Springleaf."
>>537918 "How are you feeling today?" How far in is she? It might be wise to wait until she's had the child until I ask her approval of that thing, now that I think about it…
>>537959 >>537960 "That's fine by me. It's a pity, our old Commodore used to keep an amazing collection of herbs and plants, some alive, some plucked. I wonder if it could be salvaged… well, not to dwell on it."
>>537963 "Oh? What do you want to chat about? I'm guessing it has to do with the coup? That's all anyone seems to want to talk about lately. People asked why I sided with Smitts. Not a big shocker there, though, was it? He gave me a career. I slaved under Abilio outperforming his other subordinates time and time again, but I wasn't promoted – not a necromancer. Can't say I'm incredibly hyped about having him for a commodore, but we don't have many necromancers anymore. Just that weirdo that even Abilio doesn't like… and Felfire's back. Emrille brought her in from a recent excursion."
>>537967 "Do you mean the resurrectionist from Roads? … And miss Felfire is back? How… interesting." That smells like ratshit. "Still, I mostly wanted to congratulate you with your promotion to captain. After all this time I can imagine it must be quite pleasing to finally command your own ship."
>>537970 I nod. "It is very good to still have her under our reigns. A shame a lot of the old faces are not around anymore, but we must move on from that and begin anew." I smirk slightly. "I also remember you being quite surprised I sided with commodore Smitts."
>>537975 "Mostly to keep an eye on him, admittedly. I was intrigued from the moment I saw the portal to his illustrious mansion. I admit I hadn't expected the attempted coup to happen though. But believe me when I say that I will shed no tears for his demise. He was quite the insufferable snob."
>>537979 "Well, in the end he got what was coming for him if you ask me. Before I leave, we have a new member to add to the crew roster on the Sirocco. An alchemist at that, which may come in handy after mister Cross' retirement."
>>537985 "Selena Springleaf from Dawnwood. From what I gather her mother was a very experienced alchemist as well. She seemed to be having financial issues, so I decided to invite her in. It cannot hurt to have a pony who knows a thing or two about potions and magic."
>>537996 "Indeed. This is where you will be spending the majority of your time during your employment. The Darklantern is quite nice, but it is rather dark and enclosed if you ask me. The Sirocco is far more lit up."
>>537999 "Well, we do our best to keep it that way. Much more efficient in the event of battle, don't you agree? Now, normally crew tends to sleep together in hammocks, but as first officer I have the privilege of possessing a cabin. I and some of my associates use it to sleep in for added privacy. If you wish, you could sleep there as well. The choice is yours, miss Springleaf."
>>538002 "That's a very generous offer, miss Heart. But . I wouldn't want to cause you more trouble, especially after all you've already done and it might be a good way to get to learn the rest of the crew."
>>537999 >>538002 Just taking in a bout of fresh air here. Reminiscing that time when everyone was getting brutally murdered by mutineers and a dragon. "Well well, what do we have here? Rosy not good enough anymore for you, Light?"
>>538004 "It wouldn't be any trouble, if it were I would not be offering." I chuckle. "But feel free to decline if that is what you wish. My offer will remain open were you to change your mind however."
>>538006 "Ah. Tela. This is miss Springleaf, a new crewmember on the fleet."
>>538018 "Oh yeah, don't worry about that. It's some kind of magical effect from a potion I once drank. Thought it would fade away eventually, but I guess that hasn't happened yet. It's not so bad once you get used to it, I actually like it now."
>>538021 "Strange, Ive never seen that kind of reaction before. I'd love to have a sample of that potion." I look up. "Oh sorry, I keep rambling about potions. My name's Selena, alchemist and magician on my days off." Offer a hoof.
>>538020 "Nice to meet you, I didn't know there were this many mares aboard this fleet."
>>538029 I giggle. "Well I'll admit I did make a little in my off days. Perhaps I can brew some if I manage to find some hops. It would take a few weeks at least however. I found that magical acceleration of the process is no substitute for natural fermentation."
>>538028 "I see, I always figured fleets were huge chauvinistic sausagefests. Glad to see I was wrong."
>>538030 "Heh, of course not, why would I be?" Still clueless.
>>538036 "If you are referring to Landgrave's mansion, then I'm afraid I must say I do not agree with it being yours entirely. It is technically part of the fleet after all. With the amount of destruction he has sown, I believe it is only fair that we confiscate it to our common benefit."
>>538047 "It belongs to the fleet, not you. It is that simple. It was property of Landgrave, but seeing how he is now deceased after his untimely betrayal, it ought to belong to the commodore and by extension the entire fleet. That mansion is large enough to house the entire officer's corps. Do you truly believe you will hold on to it for even a single day once this is found out? Carry this over to the commodore the easy way, not the hard way."
>>538060 "Nah, it was here before I even joined as far as I know."
>>538061 I groan. "I want to know how it works, you monumental fucktard. That was my question. I know your thought process only consists of cunts, guns and gold, but I like to think about more than just that. Stop being such a goddamn embarrassment."
>>538072 "Miss Emrille, we have been working together for over a year now. We have aided one another time and time again over the course of our partnership. I am not attempting to take away your joy and pleasure, but even you must see that taking a mansion that belongs to the fleet is not going to work well. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but there was a reason Landgrave was hated by the majority of the fleet. Do not fall for that trap."
>>538082 I'll assume Selena has ran off as well, so I relax my posture after making sure no one is around and smirk. "Better buy her some flowers if you don't want to go on a dryspell again for a while. Unless you're just gunning for some aggressive hatesex. Good job in that case."
>>538094 "Hope you're right. With this whole fucking mutiny mess there's just so much shit for me to do that I wouldn't have the time to offer you a quickie if I wanted to. Half of my staff is gone or dead, Doc Peg is gone, Terrebonne is gone, Felfire is gone… we're going to be real busy replacing them all. From what I hear, Abilio hates the new resurrectionists guts too. Don't know how he managed to have Abilio hate him even though he's a necromancer too, but there you have it."
>>538100 Shake my head. "Tela would gut us both if we fucked, you know that, right?" Sigh. "I don't know, I like the changes. Smitts gone, Abilio as the Commodore, Second Mate of the Darklantern…" Smirk. "And I get to fucking shoot down a dragon and murder everyone working with him."
>>538103 "It was a good cleanup, just a shame a lot of good ponies had to die with it. And that we lost three fucking ships because of that moron Umlock. On the upside, if we acquire more ships I might get a shot at being captain. That'd be nice."
>>538115 "Not like it'd be my ship, we're still part of a fleet. Abilio is the commodore, he holds the strings and he can have them. Commodores have a tendency to die. A lot." I chuckle. "I just think captaining a ship would be a nice peak to my career as a pirate. My… zenith."
>>538125 "I had one once. Two if you count the one in Dixie. Both of them blew up, figures." Wave her off. "Anyway, better get back to work. Whip this fleet back into working order and all that good stuff. Toodles."
>>537986 "I'm afraid we have financial issues, too. And we're in no position to make any with our support corps in shambles. We're in an odd position: the Darklantern alone is intended to be crewed by hundreds. We're fortunate that we have the Hourglass to make port, I'm not sure that we can safely dock even with the Sirocco on this ghost crew. Or… hey, that's… that's not a bad idea, actually, now that I think of it."
>>538228 The inns here aren't comfortable. You got a bed, though, and that's more than you can say about the poor sods out in the stables. Your blade still commands some respect here. There's no doubt at all that the Secret Police have checked out your papers to ensure your right to carry a blade is legitimate. The Ode dynasty… your minor house was so irrelevant in the war that you never even came into direct conflict with them. Ever since they established their hegemony 80 years ago, they've maintained a perilous grip on Neighpon. In a way, it's a blessing you became unlanded. With the hostage system still alive and well, there's a chance you might be forced to spend all your days in the Forbidden City to keep your father in line.
>>538229 His door is open. Perhaps because with the shortage of crewmembers there's not many left to distrust.
>>538230 Not my life. I couldn't have beared the idea of staying in one golden cage forever, no matter how sweet the saké or how skillfull the geisha. The world is my oyster. Off I go. To the docs. My business with brother River is over.
>>538232 "As much as I hate to admit this, I actually did pick up a useful thing or two about necromancy in my time on the Fancy. Years ago we picked up a mermare statue off the coast of Novdogod that had curious properties of conjuring ghostly servants. Tallow wanted to use it for crew members, but Thatch died trying to break whatever protective hexes it has on it. It's cursed something fierce. If we even still have it… we'd need a specialist in hex breaking. Those only come in two flavors as far as I know. Inquisitors and Naturalists. The first will want to sink us… the second, our best bet is Neighpon."
>>538231 No less crowded than when you arrived. As the only place foreigners are allowed to dock and sell goods, it is overflowing with ships. Finding passage shouldn't be hard… after your papers clear.
>>538235 The customs house is the nicest in this merchant city. The roof is inlaid with real gold and there are lucky jade dragon statues across the lobby. The lines are quite long, and the workers at the desks already seem quite on edge – uncharacteristic.
>>538236 "No, no. I always have time for the crew. What's on your mind?"
>>538241 You see all the distinct signs of under careful watch of a supervisor… but they must always get that here at the customs house. To elicit this much fear… Secret Police must be doing an inspection today.
>>538242 He nods slowly. "Well, we'll call it even. You did dredge up my bones. Well – maybe not you specifically. I never asked."
>>538245 The Secret Police are the ultimate realization of the Shogunate's will. Rumored to be cobbled together from the remnants of ninja clans, ponies who give them trouble have a tendency to disappear and not reappear. They aren't like the city guard or the military.
You get in line. It's pretty long."
>>538244 It would not be long before the fleet turned toward Nagobana… dispatched in search of one who can break hexes.
Soon, you'd see that bustling city on the horizon as you pulled into port. So many ships… Stonebriar had nothing on this. A true locus of trade. All of neighpon's foreign trade focused to a single point.
>>538246 "You… have a lot more life left in you. Old unicorn like myself… my time is passing. My only regret is never having found a proper successor to my abilities."
>>538248 "Frankly? I don't know the limits of it. I only learned the spell briefly before you joined us – mastered it more recently still. I get the distinct impression that age magic is not the key to immortality."
>>538249 You could ask her. She's rooting around in her bag for stuff, waiting next to you.
>>538252 "Possibly. I hadn't even considered that angle. I was more interested in the fact that none of my subjects have acted more immature – well, bar one, who had brain damage – when reduced in age. I suspect that the brain is not affected by this particular spell. Reducing someone's age to infancy might cause death due to brain trauma, and brain death… well, what good is a young body with a dead brain? This is all hypothetical of course. I haven't had any volunteers to let me cut open their skull."
>>538255 "Uh, yeah. I'd pass on an examination like that too. Why would they act more immature though? I mean sure, your brain would shrink if you were brought back to the size of a foal, but your personality and memories aren't something physical are they?"
>>538260 "Me neither, but shrinking down a memory wouldn't really alter it either… I think. You know that creepy altar Light Heart has? Emmy told me she got changed into a stallion by it, but that didn't make her turn gay for stallions either."
>>538261 She thinks about it. "I won't know until we spend some time here!"
And when that, you disembark. It's a big city to search, but first you need to go through customs to be allowed to use ANY services – even an inn.
>>538262 "Mister Tree…" He runs his hooves rapidly through cards in a filing cabinet, "…yes, we fast-tracked your paperwork. There's only one bar on it. You're departing earlier than you anticipated when you crossed the checkpoint earlier. You requested two months – it's been a week. Why the sudden change?"
>>538263 Abilio shrugs. "Until we work with hard evidence, all we can do is speculate. A nod is as good as a wink to a blind pony."
>>538270 Everything. Literally. There are stalls for everything from metal to vegetables, and stalls exclusively for eggs.
"Yes, everyone goes through the great customs house here."
>>538271 Most of the familiar neighponese vessels are Junks – a slow, old design but one well suited to supporting large numbers of musketeers on deck. There are a variety of foreign ships, though. You're familiar with some and not with others.
>>538276 He bows. "Of course, samurai. The fastest ship is undoubtedly his honorable lordship's Sky Eater."
This is clearly a polite fiction. The Sky Eater is a prominent sight in the bay – a show of arms to merchants. You're not even sure if that heavy mass will even sail, but it's overflowing with gold and cannons.
>>538277 "Oh, there are many customs, but the most popular is oral tradition. Storytelling is very important. Or maybe you'd like to try the seafood! If you can stomach meat, you have to try the crab and seaweed wraps! Fried food is really popular, too… Oh, but enough food… ah, there's so much culture here alone! If only you could come to inner Neighpon… You'd see some amazing sights!"
>>538279 He points at a curious ship you don't recognize with squared sails – a LOT of them. In fact, you'd think there'd be diminishing returns of some sort. Maybe they're arranged in a special way… in any case, it is a very stately, simple design characterized by very light wood, maybe birch.
>>538282 He shrugs. "When it sailed into the harbor all of the others commented on its swiftness. I saw it too. I do not know about it for it is a foreign vessel and I do not have the papers to ride one, I would not have had a reason to ask. For a samurai securing such papers to leave Neighpon is probably a non issue."
>>538264 "I guess so. I've been getting more and more involved in magic training though. Not age magic or anything as advanced as that, but stuff like teleportation. Can't believe I never dabbled into it before."
>>538299 I shrug. "Honestly, I'm not a psychologist. I don't know if she'll ever improve or not. I sure don't know what I'm supposed to do about her behavior. But whatever, I'm just rambling about my own problems right now. I'll leave you be now. Thanks again."
>>538316 Not to me as the player, no. Is this something strictly neighponese or what? >>538315 Smile slightly. "I see. For me, it is not really a matter of where, Lady Heart. Anywhere in Equestria would be good."
>>538320 I should set up a lab and storage soon for alchemy if I want to do this properly. I'll talk to the captain about that later or perhaps Abilio would be better. But let's see this neighponese pone first.
>>538341 Chuckle softly. "Very mysterious, yes. A stranger could lose yourself in this very city if all alone on her own." >>538342 Look mildly surprised. "Attack? I did not take you for a seasoned fighter, Lady Heart."
>>538347 "As always, looks deceive. Even a gorgeous Lady could be dangerous, in the outside world." Take a deep breath of fresh air. "That's why I love the outside so much." >>538343 >>538348 >>538350 "They blossom and wither in a single week. One of the rarest things to ever leave Neighpon." Then, to Selena. "And I would be honored to show you the graces of this city."
>>538372 >>538371 These are some of the last leaves of the year… perhaps you'll visit again when they are fully in bloom. While it is a somber reminder of how time marches on, the path is truly gorgeous: it's like the red carpet has been rolled out.
>>538371 >>538372 Smile at them. "Most of our country's history has been written under blossoms just like those, be it at the sound of pens on parchment or the cutting motion of a katana, deciding in a single blow the destiny of thousands."
>>538421 There are stalls of all shapes and sizes filling the streets, because there isn't enough space in the shops. Not that any of them can sell to these foreigners who have not cleared customs yet.
>>538423 "Nothing in particular yet. I would like to hang on to my funds for the time being, but it would be interesting to see what there is to offer so that when we come back I may take a look at it again."
>>538425 This is a very tourist-trap area. Mostly overpriced jewelry and food in terms of gems and herbs. Potions being sold already made. There is a little stall with ingredients, but it only has some odds and ends. Mealworm, Arrowroot, Polypore Cap, Flax Seeds, Fennel Seeds, Fly Amantia Cap, Ginseng, Lavender, and Onion.
>>538426 By pure chance you run into her "looking" over a stall with sea charts.
>>538427 Your guests are keeping your eyes distracted. If you want to stop being distracted, you should get some "stress relief".
>>538431 You're just overwhelmed by the amount of stalls trying to catch your eye with flashing touristy stuff. Your better sensibilities tell you all the best deals go on behind closed doors in a government like this anyway.
>>538432 She cheerfully replies, "They're definitely oddballs, but likeable enough. But liking your client isn't necessary for a mercenary, it's just a perk!"
>>538447 "You're in the markets, there's plenty of food here too! Seriously though, I don't think we've really talked before and you're first mate now. So… my superior officer. And… Emmy's superior officer."
>>538434 How dare they sell crap like this. Hmmm. I'd love to take a look through the back streets, perhaps there's somepony there with exotic ingredients…but I don't know the language. Decisions, decisions. I'll ask Tela if she'll join me.
>>538444 Oh she's talking. I'll wait a moment then.
>>538462 "I don't think you can ever exist in a legitimate environment. I suspect that if we ever took privateering contracts that you would just shoot the civil servant who was supposed to pay us. And that would ruin the fleet's reputation. Have you thought about joining a different pirate fleet?"
>>538467 "Well, I was going to say you lack restraint and the capacity for politeness, but you just demonstrated that in three words, didn't you? It's the reason we didn't even want you off the ship in Dixie."
>>538468 "The first mate of the Darklantern, Cloudy Stripes."
>>538472 "Are you trying to make me feel indebted to you? I gave my life to save your marefriend and you didn't say thank you, you ungrateful foal. That's besides putting up with your insanity and mentoring you in spite of your total lack of growth. What this fleet needs is stability. I don't want another civil war on my hands, and Umlock was a loose cannon as well. After all, you've made two threats against me in this conversation alone."
>>538477 "Yes. It has always been a question in my mind of when you'll decide to try to kill everyone and flee with all of the money, because that's the only thing that matters to you. And now you're giving 'statements' to me? You cannot operate within the chain of command. How can you expect your subordinates to obey you when you refuse to listen to your superiors? Moreover, I am totally sure that if you were allowed to be involved in the dredging of our gold from the harbor's seafloor, you would take it all for yourself and start childishly yelling 'finders keepers'. So yes. You are an excellent markspony. But I'd rather have a competent markspony who will have my back than a master markspony who will shoot me in the back if someone offers her more gold."
>>538476 "As a filly, I always dreamed to see the world. The fancy ladies around me would speak of Canterlot, Germaneigh and Prance and other places that were entirely foreign to me. As it so happened, I also loved theater and whatnot. Sometimes actor groups would visit Dixie from Prance to perform, which was always exciting to me. As I grew older and I began to practice my talents, I realized that as an actress, voice control is very important. How was I to convincingly act as say an Equestrian if the Dixie drawl was still present in my voice? So I worked hard to control it entirely. I learned proper Prench and Germane, read so many different plays and acts… and when I was old enough, I finally had the proper experience and skill to sign up with one of these traveling groups of actors. It was… perfect. I could combine my talent for acting with my childhood dream to explore and see the world."
>>538491 "Quite conceivably. But whether or not you would doesn't really matter, because I KNOW you would operate outside the chain of command because you just did. It was the first thing you did, and the reason we're having this discussion. Nothing else matters because if you can't be part of the command structure you can't be a part of this fleet. You can go back to being a mercenary in our employ instead. I'll write you when we have enough gold to pay your retainer fee."
>>538501 "Well, the pay was good before, but now I'm sticking around because I like you! We bonded a lot! Otherwise I probably would have rejoined Goldenblood during the coup."
>>538502 There are eight fillies running around tending large pots in here.
>>538503 "This has nothing to do with the item in question and everything to do with how you're acting. Imagine tomorrow you walk out on deck and ask a swabbie to swab the deck, and he replies, 'You do it. That's not a request or a question, that's a statement.' I'm guessing you shoot him. So is that how I should treat you? Should I shoot you?"
>>538505 Snort. "Don't worry, you're late to the party. Remember this guy called Al-Jinn? He already thought me how to be an officer without shooting who's under me. Yeah, I can fucking learn, and not just from you, big fucking surprise, right?"
>>538506 You don't see any momma, but there's a cheeky looking stallion you'd guess is in his teens. He seems to be in charge here anyway.
>>538507 "Look, I'll make this simple. You say you can learn from other ponies? Go study under one who can teach you to be more sociable. Learn to be less of a liability. Statement, not an argument or request. If you can't manage it, you're back to being a mercenary. At least then I have an excuse when you start killing innocent civilians. Dismissed."
>>538540 She swings you down into the sewers and drags you along down the dry path outside of the muck. Soon, you're exciting the sewage route on the side of a hill. From here you can see the mainland of Neighpon, but that's not what she's here to show you. She leads you down the western side of the hill until she comes to a very shallow cave. "I hope they're still here… it has been a really long time!"
>>538562 Look at her unfazed for a second, but then let a tiny smile creep on my face, and chuckle silently. "Interesting. My traditionalist mind would never have thought of that, I'm afraid." >>538561 Then, relax and nod. "It is actually the most prominent religion in Neighpon. Elementalism. The belief we are all linked to the elements of harmony, and that one day those elements will arise to save the world against great threats."