Your sense of smell is the first to return.
your throat is dry…
your head is pounding with each heartbeat as you feel the blood running to your head.
you fell dried mud in your hooves and stomach
you start hearing the constant cackling of fire, something was burning
finally you regain your sight, opening your eyes as darkness are replaced by a strong orange blur mixed with red
as your vision stabilizes, you can see trees burning all around you
your mind is not completely awake, you can't remember anything
but your instincs shout in your mind
you have to get out of here
'1d10' run away from the firesRoll #1 8 = 8
Your hooves get you up and running before you even start thinking what's going on.
As you run, your mind and memories start coming back, but you should worry more about the fire all around you
You feel your bag shaking besides you as you run. You have to squint your eyes as the smoke makes them teary and hard for you to breathe…
Thankfully, you eventually make it out of the forest fire reach, the maze of Flaming trees becoming thinner as you advance…
Was there always a forest outside of the academy?
Look for some water.
There's no source of water nearby… But as you search, you find a building, looks like a simple, old fashioned house, like the ones made of red bricks, forming slightly flawed walls with no paint to cover them, smoke was rising from the chimney, showing that there was somepony home. In front of the house there was a road that split in two directions, ahead of you, and towards you, which faded away as it neared the edge of the forest, looking ahead, you could see what looks like a town in the distance…
I blink and look a bit confused at the new surroundings, I don't seem too badly burned, but I could probably stop and ask for help before I get too lost.
Knock on the door of the house.
You could hear a faint noise from inside, which stopped once you knocked, then turned into the sound of hooves approaching and stopping at the door.
You hear a mechanical sound of a lock being unlocked, followed by the opening of the door, revealing an old, white bearded earth pony. His coat was of a dark brown and it's mane of a pale blonde, which certainly used to be brighter before he was graced by age.
He just looks at you for a moment before his eyes travel down to your clothing and bag, scanning them for a moment before his calm expression changes to a slightly more alarmed one when he sees your sword staff
"Excuse me.. I'm a little lost. I was in a fire and.. What town is that up the road?"
"Ashenfort…" he breathes out
"Citrine… Come here…" he calls out a little louder to someone else
"What Fire are you talking about? And what's with that weird clothing? Are you an outsider?"
"Outsider? Well I've never been called that. I'm from Canterlot, do you know where that is?"
"Canterlot?! I never heard of that place." he says, constantly glancing at your sword
Rig after he spoke, a wine red mare joined besides him, she was looking just as old as the stallion, and had the same reaction, stare at you and your equipment and have a look of worry.
"Dear… Who is this?" She asks, leaning against him defensively
"A mare that claims to be from a place called Canterlot, said she just came from a…"
"FIRE!" Suddenly chimed in the young voice of a colt from inside, probably saw it through a window
"Father there is fire in the forest!" he spoke again before the stallion ran back into the house
"What?!" he pushes you aside as he ran past the door, turning to the path where you came from,mouth gaping open at the sight of the huge black cloud of smoke rising quickly, not far away from here
"Citrine! Go to the town an warn the town! Take Star Trail with you." he shouts to the mare, who ran inside quickly as he turned to you
"And you. What happened over there?… Did you started that?" His tone shifts to an agressive one
I step back. "What me? No! I couldn't start a fire that big if I tried! Trust me, my teachers nearly failed me in elements because of it." I say a bit embarrassed. "If you're worried about this, I have to hold onto it, I still haven't made the final payments on it.. so it belongs to the school technically.." gesture to the strange sword
He just squints and gives you an confused and mildly angry look "Elements? Final payment? What in the Tartarus are you talking about?" As he speaks, you can see the mare running to the city, along with a gray colt that constantly glances back at you before both disappear in the distance
I frown. "Yea, about 300 more crowns left to pay, but that's better than most of my class, really! Some of them still owe the full 750."
"Okay listen outsider, I don't know what you're talking about, but you're coming with me to the town. Now explain to me exactly what were you doing in the fire." he trots towards the town, but not at full speed so you can catch up
Uh, guess I'll follow him for now.
"I was trying to escape
the fire. It was everywhere, and.. I'm not sure how I got so far away from canterlot, is there maybe a bus in town?"
"What's a bus?" he turned to you as you two ran
Approaching the edge of the town showed that there was already some commotion going on, a few ponies standing outside, wearing some really out of fashion clothing… Their houses were also Similar to the one you just visited. Are ponies around this place really so old fashioned?
"Citrine! Did you warn the Jarl?" he shouts as he sees the wine red mare in the distance
"I did! He is coming immediately with the guards! Dear, what are we going to do? All the animals in the forest…" you can see there were not only ponies but a lot of gryphons as well around here… Everyone was looking worried, and as you approached, they all turn to you, giving you the same look as if you had a watermelon hanging around your neck
"Um.. What is everyone staring at?"
I start to get really anxious all the sudden and look around at for signs in the street.
There were… No signs in the street…
"What is that she's wearing?"
"Is that a sword?"
"what a weird bag"
"Where is she from?"
These questions and many more are whispered back and forth among the ponies and gryphons as no one talked to you directly
You can see a red earth pony with a pink mane approaching, along with two gryphon guards besides him, their armor was covered in lines in the metal, showing how often used it was. They were both carrying long lances and an open helmet, the one on the right of the Jarl was white, and the other, dark brown
"I cannot believe it! There really is a fire in the forests!" he holds his head with his hooves
"this is terrible! Awful! Disastrous! This is-" His eyes set on you as he freezes for a moment
"who… Who are you? I have never seen you before in town, and by the clothing, you look like you might be from far far away…"
"Yea.. I don't suppose you've ever heard of Canterlot? Or know where that might be from here?" I say in a desperate uncertain tone.
"I never heard of such place… Anyone know of Canterlot?" he turns to ask the crowd…
No one answers…
He turns to you with a look of suspicion
"What is your name, madam"
I groan my skin growing a dull washed out yellow. "Really?
Am I at least in Equestria? Oh. and Call me Molinya."
"At least you know Equestria, so you are not completely insane… That is good I suppose…"
He turned to his white guard
"When was the next carriage supposed to arrive?"
The gryphon whispers back
"Hmn… I see, that is quite unfortunate.. Very Well, Molinya, I have another few questions… What were you doing in the forest? Citrine has told me that you came from there, trying to escape the fire… I assume?" he raises an eyebrow in suspicion. You can see ponies and gryphons are still fretting a bit
"What are we going to do momma? If the animals die, what will we hunt to eat?" you hear a loud gryphon child talking to her mother
"I… I don't know sweetie… Hush, it will be alright… It was probably the work of a vengeful spirit, or a witch… Besides, the animals will run away, if any rabbit comes by, we'll catch it… Though that will not last us long… I'm certain the yarl will think of something"
"Yea.. That's right.." Either these ponies are really authentic in their old-timey act or I'm going to wish I spent a lot more time paying attention in history class..
"Uh.. is there anyplace I could stay for a night until I sort things out?"
"you could sleep in the Inn, of course… I do not know if you have that where you are from but you pay for a warm bed for one night… I assume you have the money, yes?… "
"Inns, yea we had those.." I search my bag to see if I had anything that might qualify as money.
You bought some money for lunch… And only now your stomach reminds you of just how hungry you were, thirsty too…
You have 15 bits
I sigh. "Only a little, I was in a hurry and this morning.."
"in a rush for what? Err, come with me, we can talk at the Inn… I see it is about to rain… At least the fire won't spread much…" the Jarl motions for you to follow him as he takes you to a building wider than most…
I sigh and can't help but smile to myself for getting him to drop the money issue as I follow him to the wide building.
When you arrive, he opens the door for you like a gentlecolt. And as you head inside, you see a well decorated Inn, the head of a bear in the wall atop of a large fireplace besides a bar counter, there was a gryphon there, sharpening a knife. He turns to you and smiles softly, revealing his blind left eye
"Afternoon Yarl, who Is the lass?"
"An outsider it seems, said she came from Canterlot, but not a single soul heard of that place…"
"I see… My name is Garruk, this is my place for a drink, a warm meal, and a comfortable bed, which of the three will you be having, lass?"
I blink and hazard asking since there isn't a sign anywhere.
"Uh, how much for a meal and a bed?"
"Meal is five pieces of bronze. Bed is one silver" he spits on a pot and goes back to sharpening the knife.
"Tonight we got fried tuna for the meat eaters, and steamed carrot with pumpkin seeds for the ponies…"
"Oh.. would this work?" show him three bits.
He looks at it
"what the…" he takes just one bit
"I never saw a gold piece like this one…" he says as he takes a good look at it
"it is actually twice the size of a gold piece Garruk" says the mayor
"Well just you look at that… Miss, I say your outsider money here is worth two pieces of gold each… How much you got with ya?" Garruk says, slightly surprised
"Oooh, really?" I chuckle and open my mouth to say how many but think back on what my mother told me about saying how much money I have. "Uh, just a few.. Maybe you can make change for me, minus the price of a night and a meal?" Give him just one of the bits.
"Ah, with pleasure, ma'am" he speaks softly, giving back to you 5 pieces of silver
Then he turns and shouts
"GARZHA! GET IN HERE, WE HAVE BUSINESS!" His voice suddenly booms like thunder
"I'm coming, I'm coming, you do not have to shout, father…" down the stairs on the left of the counter comes a black gryphon, unlike her father who was bulky and tough, she looked more sleek and thin, with a fair bit of muscle and fluffyness in her feathers
"I am here father, what is it" She had the same accent as he did, but it was much more noticeable in her
"We have a costumer, get me tonight's special and our best wine for her. She's an outsider, so let's treat her that best we can. I want to cause a good impression you know?" he turns to you with a smile
"After all, more patrons are always welcome, even the ones from outside"
Garzha groans and opens a few cabinets, getting the carrots, the spices and a pan
I blush a bit, I wonder what my mother would say about me drinking real wine, but its too late to unorder it.
"Oh, Thanks! I've never had wine before so this will be a real treat!"
Turn toward my escort and ask "Should we wait at a table? Maybe I can hear more about your town?"
"Well of course, now first things first, my name is Whitestrokes, I am the yarl of this place, and as the yarl I-"
"YARL! quick! Your son is having a fight with the Butcher's daughter!" a gryphon soldier storms in through the door
"What?! I was about to… Augh… Please forgive me Molinya, we will have to save this conversation for later…" he gets up and dashes with the guard
"Oh goodness! The Yarl's son engaging in hoofcuffs with the Butcher's daughter? I have to see that! Garzha, you stay here and get the food ready, I will be back in a minute" he runs through the door as well
Garzha just groans as she goes back to slicing the carrots
A hooffight? I'll pass. Instead I'll sneak into the kitchen and see what Garzha is doing.
She is too busy slicing onions into a bowl along with the carrots, wiping tears from her eyes as a pan of water steams over the fire
"Soo.. how long have you been cooking here?"
"ACK" She jumps, knocking over the bowl and spilling all the carrots and onion on the floor
"Ah God dammit…" She curses before turning to you
"I.. I'm sorry Miss… Let me get that… So clumsy…" She wipes her teary eyes and starts picking up the mess
"… I work here with my father since I was able to hold a bow in my claws and put the. the on a table… He taught me how to cook for our customers and All…"
I frown. "Hey relax, I am just over here.. because you seem kinda close to my age. Keep it a secret, but I don't really want to spent the night talking to some old fossil."
"You called my dad an old what? Ah I don't care, whatever it is I'm sure it fits him…" She throws all the dirty food into the fire
"Um… Yeah I suppose we are close in age… My name is Garzha, miss.." She gets another few carrots from a cabinet and starts again
"could you please not tell my father that I dropped the food? That'll be 10 paddlings at least…"
"Don't tell him about the fossil remark and we'll be even." I wink at her. "Tell me, why aren't you using magic to cook faster?"
Garzha smiles a little at your comment, but that smile quickly fades as you mention magic
"M… Magic? I'm not… I'm not a witch!" She backs away a, rubbing her talon
"Oh.. I see that now. I'm sorry, but don't feel bad, lots of gryphons can't do it." Look at her talon.
She seemed a bit shy out of the sudden, on close examination, you can see her arms both have quite a lot of bruises and a few deep cuts that became nasty scars…
"No… No gryphon can do magic.. Only witches…"
I frown. "So.. Are there no 'witches' here at all? What are you scared of?"
"Of course there are no witches around here, they're hanged on the spot if we see one" She gives you a confused look
"What in the bloody hell is up with the place where you are from anyways?"
I look totally shocked and rub my neck gently.
"W-what?! Um.. So, if someone did magic you'd have to hang them?"
''Well of course! Magic is a dangerous dark art only practised by witches and wizards who use it for their evil intents! They do all sort of terrible things, they can set fire to a house just by staring at it, their mad laughter can make ponies deaf, and they can summon terrible mutated beasts to do their maleficent bindings!''
I can't help but giggle at her speech.
"Okay Okay, so now I know. Say, I'm a little embarrassed about this, but I don't know how to drink wine.. Maybe you could show me after you're done cooking?"
She keeps her disaproving, weirded out look
''uh…Of course…Though I do not know what you mean…it is just…wine, so you just…you know…drink it?''
"Hmm." I sort of recall that wine was used as a beverage instead of water back in the olden days.
"I mean, uh.. we didn't really have wine, just to celebrate, and.. I was too busy to celebrate, and I heard.. that wine makes you feel funny."
''If by funny you mean drunk, then yes, it does that if you drink too much, but don't worry, our wine is so terrible and watered down you would need a barrel of it just to start feeling it''
I snicker and lean against the wall.
"You really don't like working here huh?"
She sighs, finishing up your meal as your conversation went on
''No…Father wants me to stay with him so he doesn't have to do all the work…I wanted to work healing soldiers on the battlefield…Like my mother…'' She looks at the wall, atop of the fireplace. there was a medium sized portait of three gryphons, you could see a young, child Garzha, her father, Garruk, looking young and more dashing, and a female gryphon, awfully similar to Garzha, the only difference was in her eye color, green like her father's
"A healer? That sounds nice.. are there a lot of wars?" Make my way over to the proper seats since my meal is ready.
She takes your bowl of steamed carrot and seed soup to your table, and sets a bottle of wine along with a small glass as well
''There are a few conflicts for territory and guards dealing with trouble makers…and the occasional witch too…that is more than enough for a medical force to be needed among them…'' She sighs as she sits accross from you in the table ''I just wish My father would let me go already…'' she idly runs a talon through the lines in the wood of the table
I find myself hungry and give the food my main attention eating like 'a diamond dog'.
"Hey, how to do you heal.. without you know.. magic."
''Why do you always keep talking about magic?!'' She turns to you
''Isn't it obvious? We use bandages, medicines and Alchemy of course! Do you not have that where you are from too?''
"Oh! Right! We have those too. I'm just curious, do you already know how to heal? Are you wanting to leave because of a boy?~ You can tell me I promise to keep it secret."
I try the wine to wash down the bland meal of carrots and seeds.
This wine tastes like grape juice…It's really weak…
''No…it's not because of a boy…my father scares away any male who tries to get funny with me…sure, sometimes it's actually nice but…'' She breathes in, and then out
''It's gotten to the point where I really have nor friends anymore…'' She starts polishing the counter with a piece of ragged cloth as she speaks
I stir around the soup a bit.
"…So.. I'm guessing you can't just run away."
She shakes her head
''No…Besides I don't have anything of my own…and just a few pieces of bronze that a few patrons left as tips but it is barely enough for a week…'' She slumps over the counter
''Sometimes I actually wish I had magic…I see why witches choose that path, really…it seems like such an easier life…compared to how unfair the world is…''
My eyes light up and I finish up my meal in a hurry.
"Hey, wanna come up to my room, I mean, I don't know where it is and I wanna show you something fun!"
She glances up at you
''eerm…I…I don't know…My father could arrive at any minute…And he would get suspicious of me if he found me in the room with one of our patrons…even if the patron was a mare…Your room can be the 3rd one thouhg…'' She opens one of the cabinets and picks one of the keys inside it. ''Here you go miss…'' She hands the key to you
I frown and accept the key.
"Aw.. Well okay then. I just thought it might cheer you up."
She fiddles with her talons for a bit, glancing at the door
''Well…Maybe a little look won't hurt…if we're quick…''
"Great!" Drag her up to the third room and shut us inside before anything can happen.
You promptly drag her by the arm as you rush upstairs.
inside the room you see it's actually…a rather small place… TO the point where this ''Room'' could easily be considered a Broom closet.
The place was pretty featureless too, only a single bed and a door, nothing more, making the room more bland than a bread sandwhich with another bread in the middle…
''So…W…what was that you wanted to show me?…''
I giggle a bit despite the tiny space and look for some unlit candles, which are probably around her.
"Its a secret okay? Just promise not to freak out?"
She gulps and sits down in the bed
''O..kay…'' She leans slightly closer to you
I give her a calm smile and wave my hoof dramatically, lighting all the unlit candles, and slowly making them change color so the room almost looks like a disco party.
Her golden eyes wideen in surprise, the whole room was quickly lit by the flick of your hoof. Gasha is even more surprised as the flames change to all the colors of the rainbow
''Y-you're…'' She approaches the candles, raising a claw above the fire to feel it's heat, proving herself that it was indeed very real
''You're a witch…''
"No silly, I'm just a student. You can't get a title like 'Witch' Until you graduate, and my job was going to be 'Black Mage' not witch.. I didn't test well with the animals."
She slowly backs up from you
''S-so you're not…Not going to turn me into anything? Or try to test a spell on me are ya? I-I mean I'm not scared!'' She gets a little tense, her fur visibly standing up a little
Shake my head slowly, looking a bit worried.
"No way! I can't do anything like that in the first place, and wouldn't do it to my first friend here! You.. don't like this trick? Its the best at parties, althou.. we don't really have music.."
she sighs and seems to relax a little
''I…Well…Waaait a minute, and what if you're just luring me into getting comfortable around you?'' She tenses up again
''I was told you can't trust witches, so why should I really believe in you?''
I shrug and make the candles normal flames. "I was once told never to trust gryphons because they only care about gold and can eat you."
''Well…That is sorta true with some…But two decades ago the gryphon kingdom signed a treaty with the ponies…And we managed to come to an agreement, and since then our people have been living together…although there are still some issues with racism…Well…M-maybe I'll trust you…but you have to do something for me then…''
"Hey, we're totally friends now. Of course I'll do something for you, what is it?"
''I-I'm not your friend yet! not until you prove to me that I can trust you…I just…well…It's kinda embarassing but…W-what do you know about invisibilty?''
I frown and my skin gets really dark. luck roll to recall something about invisibility '1d10'
"Oh.. Hmm ..invisibility is not a good way to sneak in the quiz answers from last hours' class.."Roll #1 4 = 4
''Err…I-I'm sorry…''She mutters
You remember something about the concepts of the various spells and enchantments you could perform for the effect of invisibility to be achieved…but halfway through the class you fell asleep from staying up the night before, shame on you!
Although after you were awaken by the teacher in a rather embarassing way in the end of the class, you remember him giving you a book telling you to read it, and that he was expecting a 20 page essay about the story of the study of invisibility and it's foundations…quite a harsh punishment, but at least you know you have the book with you in your bag, recalling that you never really stopped to check what else you had brought in it
"Right, uh..I had a lesson on it.. but I never really did the spell before. What do you want to do with invisibility?"
Fish through my bag for the book and start looking through it.
You not only find the book you were given, but also a few others as well
You find 4 books in total, two about your favorite schools of magic and the last one being… An old magic tome?… You must have forgotten that in your bag after the class… But this one is looking to be in a rather badly preserved state… You can't even recognize the runes on the cover
"Books? So… You're really a student? Is there really a school of magic where you came from?">you got. Spell tome: Arcane Arts >you got. Spell tome: Binding & Bonding >you got. Spell tome: Unseen and Untouched >you got. Unknown old Tome
I blink at the old book, investigating it for a name in the cover.
"That's just what I've been saying this whole time! Do you gyphons not have school here?" I say with an eye roll. "I wonder if someone slipped this into my bag by mistake.."
It could be that most certainly..
"Well… We do but they are for the rich folks who can afford it… My dad probably could send me to one but he doesn't want to work alone…"
This book looks older than your mother… It's cover was covered in dust and the color of it has mostly faded away. No words could be found in either sides of the cover, just runes that you remember seeing somewhere in your memories.(roll 1d10 to see if you can remember.)
"Can't he hire on somepony or somegryphon to help cook?"Roll #1 8 = 8
Yep, you remember runes just like those around the murals of a temple where you went to on a field trip of the Academy, you remember this book was a one of a kind book that was available in the library… The trip was awfully boring bit you remember the comments of the teacher about the place.
The temple was estimated to be over 20,000 years old, but the last traces of life showed that it was still populated around 400 or so years ago
Apparently it was ruled by what magical researchers theorized to be "The Primal Unicorns" according to a few depictions found on the walls. But you don't remember anything that the teacher said about them…
"Yea, this stuff is way advanced. Oooh, I wonder if it belonged to that cute upperclassman, I just know
he was looking at me in the hall, and during lunch too. He must be shy! Gosh, I can't wait to get back and have him ask me about it." I giggle with delight.
"Oh, right, but this is the book we want for you." I crack open the illusions book and look for the page on invisibility.
You remember it well
Pg.166, Ethereal aspects
This covers a lot of stuff, altering the shape of small objects to make them look bigger(but only look, for they retain their weight), an easy mirror spell, which makes any surface reflective, along with it's more advanced variation that can make mirrors appear in thin air
Oh there it is! Invisibility!
It's all pretty regular stuff, normally you would need a Catalyst to perform this spell, but there are alternative ways through alchemy if you don't have one with you.
You easily memorize the spell as Gatsha reads it over your shoulder "So uh… Did you find it?" She Fidgets with her claws a little
"Ahuh. Its here with all the other illusions to make objects look different.. Now you didn't tell me what you need me to do with it, so…?" I look at her expectantly.
"uh… Well it's… It's a secret so you better not tell anyone! Or I'll get you hanged you hear!?…
… I… Need to steal something.. Well, technically not stealing… " She fixes her head feathers
I nod and make a cross on my chest with my hoof.
"I promise not to tell. Now what's the plan here? Are you going to make the thing invisible?"
"No, no.. I'll get invisible, get in the place, take back what was taken from me, and put it somewhere safe… If you can do that for me then… Well… I'll trust you completely then…"
"Oooh, I get it! I can do it. Just don't fall into paint or flour or something like that."
"So… You'll really gonna do it? Not even try to make me sign a contract with my blood or something?" She asks, a bit of insecurity still lingering in her as she gives you an uncertain look…
I blink and giggle at her. "well.. I guess if you want to we can write a contract. It could be fun."
She scrunches a little
"Y-you're not… Not gonna like, want my soul for it… Right?"
"Nah, I can't use your soul. I told you I mostly do elemental magic. I'll just make it a promise you won't tell about my magic and.. help me get put of trouble once. Like friends!"
I start writing up a contract on paper in my best looking 'bubble' writing. It says that I will help her with invisibility until she retrieves her chosen items safely, and she will keep my secret and help me one time when I am in distress.
"..uh like this! He he, we can even color in the letters! See. This is fun!"
She looks at the writing, seemingly worried, but she cracked a little smile from your excitement
"Well… A witch doesn't break contracts… right?" She plucks off one of her feathers and looks around for some ink… But there was none…
"Oh I know! My mother taught me something really nice, want to see?" She picked up a lemon, squeezed it into a cup and dipped her feather in, then started writing on the paper… But nothing showed up
"She taught me how to make secret messages, her grandfather taught her that. She picked up the paper, the part where she signed seemed to be in blank. But as she held it up against the light… You could see it… Letters were visible, and the name Garzha
I clap my hooves excitedly "ooh! You've got fun tricks too! I'll sign it that way too." And with shimmering fur I grabbed the feather and signed 'Molinya' in lemon juice. "There! So when should I make you invisible?"
"Oh… Um… Well how about this."
She looks out the window, the sun was starting to set in the horizon
"You're sleeping here tonight, right? How about… I come to your room by midnight, or something… And we get out through the window, and we go get this thing, and come back without no one seeing us? Think you'll have everything ready until then?"
I nod with a huge grin. "Yep. You can use a secret knock to feel even more sneaky! Well use.. two light and two hard. No one will know it."
"Two light, two hard, got it" She nods
"Oh! Right right I almost forgot! We have to go back down before my father arrives! You did not even finish your food!"
She slaps her forehead
"By the gods, I actually didn't even MAKE the food!" Come on!" She pulls your arm to drag you back down
I let her lead my shining pony self downstairs grinning like a dumb pony. "Sure. And you didn't eat either."
She pauses for a moment and you can even hear her grumbling stomach as she poker faces
"Aaughh… " She places you back into your seat and sets up the table really nicely as she literally jumps over the counter and starts working on food at insanely fast speeds.
You could get a pretty nice amusement from watching her struggle with work so much like that
Poor thing, having to do all that without magic! The horror!
I'll stay out of her way and just wait for a good dinner.
She even managed to burn her talon at one point, getting a little squawk out of her. But eventually, the dish was all nicely set up before you, as well as a glass filled to the brim With wine.
She slumped on the kitchen counter once she managed to serve your food in time. Sighing as she looked up at you "Phew… Please enjoy the food miss, and thank you for your business… Sorry my father always makes me say that, it's kind of an habit now…"
"Its alright. I think its a kind of cute." I sip the wine and the dish of carrot stew.
"You should sit down. That looked exhausting!"
"T-that wasn't cute, that makes me look like a mindless subordinate!" She grumbles
"Well… Yes, maybe I-" however she was cut off as the door opens behind you
"Garzha, I'm back and woooo dear you won't believe what happened back there" he shakes his head as he takes his place behind the counter, looking at you and your plate before nodding with a satisfied grin "And I see you managed to serve our client all on your own, good! I hope that you enjoy my daughter's cooking… Even though it is nothing compared to mine yet, Garzha still has a lot to learn in the kitchen"
"Oh. After nearly- Uh, after a long day on the road everything tastes better." Yea, that's what that character in that olden times cartoon said at inns, I bet it will work here. I better be sure to add that trademark grin in too.
"So. What happened back there?"
"Oh a buncha ruckus and some folks being accused of being witches, but the issue was solved, thankfully. We don't want any of those foul enchantress around our town. We like the piece around here you know?"
I frown and drink the wine slowly as I take in how serious it is.
"Accused of being witches? Who?"
"Three mares. But I know they can't be witches because I saw them finding and bringing a witch to justice months ago. They are nice and decent, hard working mares, so there is no possible way they are witches, and being respected around the town makes it easier for ponies to listen to ya too"
"They arrested a witch? How did they do that?"
"I ain't got no idea, but I imagine they used a really well thought trap to get the witch! Don't tell anyone about this but I think those three are maybe retired witch hunters…"
"Really? Are witch hunters common around this area?"
He nods while Garzha just looks at you two with a worried look "one or two of those guys Wander around these parts sometimes every few weeks or so, so yeah, they kinda are… Why ya ask?"
"Hmm because back in Equestria.. we didn't have witch hunters.. What do witches do that they need to be hunted?"
''Well for one they are witches!'' He opens his beak and makes an odd mix of a squawk and a laugh, typical of gryphons
''Everyone knows Witches are a danger to any pony, gryphon, donkey, anything! They are foul ponies who sold their beings to dark arts, evil magic! They can do all sorts of terrible things to poor simple folks like us! Call endless plagues of bugs and vermin, destroy our crops with a powerful blizzard, set fire to our houses, make our children ill and even afflict our nights of well deserved rest with scarring nightmares!'' He raises his claws in the air towards you, standing on his rear legs as if he was trying to look like a monster
''I once saw a witch when I was out hunting myself!'' He smiles proudly
''Ugh…Not that again, father…'' Garzha pinches the bridge of her beak
''Garzha why don't you do your father a favor and go buy us some more onions and leek? I'm feeling like soup tonight, And tell Crops that I'll pay him later!'' He reaches behind Garzha's head and plucks one of the feathers of her carefully prinned feathers, and gives her a light slap in the back of her head
''Ow! Fine…Hmnph…'' She heads out of the door, giving you one glance of worry before closing it, leaving you alone with the loud gryphon, who heads back to the counter and starts cleaning some wooden cups
''That lousy girl…Didn't even finished the cleaning, and I have to pratically beg her to do a favor for her poor old father'' He grumbles
My poor hooves are shaking as I sip the watered down wine. If that's what ponies here think of magic.. Its amazing that any mages even exist..
"She seems like a nice kid.."
"…uh so.. how did you recognize the witch you saw?"
''Oh you bet your cute muzzle I did, I'm never going to forget seeing her…Her mane was red like blood, and her eyes were like the eyes of an eagle! I wouldn't be surprised if she stole the eyes of some poor gryphon and changed it with her own…She walked around wearing a robe dark as the night…It was almost like an apparition of death before my eyes…And the worst was her familiar…Damn all the witches and their summoning of demons! They call those damn creatures from dark realms to do their malevolent biddings! And she had not only one with her, but two! They were like two snakes of blood, hissing and swimming in the air around her, when one of them spotted me with their glowing eyes, I flew as far away from there as I possibly could, only stopping when I couldn't flap my wings another single time anymore. I'm glad she didn't had any wings or did not cast a spell on my fast enough or else I'm sure that would have been my end…''
By the end of his ramblings, he was breathing slightly faster than normal and his eyes showed a fair amount of panic, you could tell he was certainly not lying and that the experience was truly scarring for the poor gryphon
"Ah.. R-really? And what happened to the witch? Did you send hunters after her?" holy shit, I use familiars too. I better not let anyone see them.
The gryphon scratches his beak
"No idea. I never saw that cursed hag again and I am thankful every day for it. Of course I sent hunters after her but they never found any signs of her anywhere. If there's something these witches are good at, it's hiding, only witches can find other witches. That's why the mayor had a plan about that. He's trying to capture a witch and use her to find the others. And one by one we take them to justice for their foul acts!"
He slams his clenched talon in the table, letting out a deep laugh "Oh those witches won't see what's coming for them! But don't tell anyone around, the hags are clever and they can blend in easily around here…"
Roll #1 3 = 3
My crystalline fur goes pale and dull, my ears laying back and shuttering going down my spine.
I shakily drink the last of the water'ed down wine, not even tasting it.
"I.. I.. I think I've heard enough.. um.. I'm tired.. Thanks for t-the story.."
"Yeah you look pretty tired missy. You're looking all pale and shaking too…" he clicks his beak in thought "Were those veggies spoiled already? I should check…" he mutters before shaking his head
"Bah, or maybe the story scared the colors of ya fancy shiny coat eh missy? He elbows you a bit on the side, it was a bit painful…
"But if ya gonna get some sleep, I wish you good night, hope you don't get any nightmares, guwahaahaha!" he laughs loudly as you go to your room, it was small and cramped still… But at least you had some time alone, finally.
Your body is finally able to fully relax now that you know you are in a safe place with a locked door and Windows with no one to disturb you…Hopefully…
I worriedly pace around the tiny room and think back to the familiars I learned to summon.. I should try.. I should try to summon one, the snake spirit. That one is wise and cunning right?
'1d10'Roll #1 1 = 1
Well you don't remember anyone describing the Moss Serpent as wise or cunning, but you didn't Call it very often…
When you try to say the incantation to call it you end up biting your tongue, Ow…
But as you try it again, assuming you will, you manage to call it successfully
A misty green hole of swirling energy, similar to a whirlpool on water appears from the wall and out of it a small head slides out followed by a long limbless body.
The Moss Serpent slowly floats and dances in the air around you. It's face had no features except for a little slit on its forehead where it's only closed eye is. It circles you a few times before stopping while facing you. It's whole body was long, very long, enough to circle you tree times, letting you see the faint patch of emerald green Moss on its back as well as its slightly grayish green underbelly.
It's presence feels unsettling, even knowing it came to serve you, perhaps due to how big it was or by the absolute silence of the room as it has not made any noise until your mind is finally touched by it.
"Have you called me?… " It's voice is like that of a child whispering, showing no emotion as you feel a slight tug on your forehead from the mental link
I sigh smiling wearily at it. Trying to speak to it through the link.
"Yes.. I.. do you know where we are right now? Its not home at all, there ponies and gryphons who think all magic is evil and.. I'm just not sure how I can survive in this place.. Moss Snake. I want your advice!
It silently stares at you, although with its eye closed, but you still feel that it can see you. It takes a few seconds of silence before it answers >"We are in the year of 167 after the fall of Velvet Misssst, who was also known as the Witch Queen.>"It is the fourth day of spring and the sun will set In lessssssss than an hour…"
It speaks in slow and clear tone as it begins to circle you again, however much closer, it's body felt like touching a Moss infested tree as it occasionally brushes against yours >"Is there something troubling my Masssster?…"
I pet the back of the snake, urging it onto my lap.
"Yes, I've heard that witches are hunted, and that.. what I do.. magic at all really, counts as being a witch. Its all lumped together, not in different schools or anything. They'd see me as a criminal just for having you..
The snake curls most of its body on top of you, It felt oddly calming now instead of just odd to have the green familiar around as it shows signs of comfort >"My Masssster is speaking in a way I cannot understand her… It has always been this way ever since the fall of the Queen… She was killed for he crimesssss and her followers scattered and we're hunted for ages. The practice of magic was abolished and became punished with a lifetime of prison…">"But my Masssster certainly must know that, she is a follower of the Queen as well…"
I shutter and shake my head.
"No.. Moss Snake.. Magic.. er, witchcraft, has become a refined art where I come from.. one that we study hard, and use in everyday life. Queen? I think.. I remember.. an old story about a queen, or was it a king.. before the two princesses united equestria? I wasn't a very good student I guess.. This is all so confusing..
To your surprise and scare, the snake opened it's single eye to stare at you, it was white with a bright red pupil that you felt glaring at your very being.>''My Master is quite unusual…I have never heard of a story of two princesses…Nor this place you call… Equessssstria.'' The snake slightly tilts it's head, but it's eye remains focused on yours, making you feel like you were staring at an open wound, ever flowing with fresh blood
I squint at the eye, unwilling to back down from my own familiar!
"You'll see.. You'll remember someday.. About Celestia and Luna.. I'm sure you must have seen them before, they sometimes visit graduations and stuff if we do really really well.. good photos for the wall, and the paper..
I sigh and lean back onto the bed with Moss Snake. "I made a deal with one of the gryphons here, to help her become invisible for a while, she'll be around sometime to do that.. I should.. get some rest for the spell.
''Then rest my Master must… For I will watch over you and protect you in your most vulnerable time… But is my Master certain that she can trust this gryphon?'' the snake lays in a circle with you in bed, it's head laying snuggly on your chest as it's eye closes
"Hmm I think so.. she's a bit like me, a kid, and ponies don't seem to treat her well.
" I giggle snuggling up to the mossy familiar.
"Plus we made a totally awesome contract. She's gotta keep her promise!
>>642506>''Ponies…They fear my Master, they fear me…''
The serpent doesn't complain as you snuggle up to it as it simply raises it's head to you >''Why does my massssster enjoys close contact like this I wonder…No Master before hassss…''
"Because you are very soft.. Like a stuffed animal or pillow..
" I giggle again.
"I'm Molinya. I'll think of a name for you too in time.
" Then I sigh closing my eyes for a nap before the mission. "Time.. yea.. that is our problem alright..
>>642508>''A name…Yesss…It has been so long since I had a name…'' Your eyelids feel heavy as your body sinks in the mattress of the bed, bends forming on the bedsheets under your form as the serpent watches you.>''I hope my master will have a good resssst…'' it says as you feel your mind drifting off and your counciousness fades away as sleep takes you…
There is fire everywhereYou cannot move your head, your body, nothing…You can only watch as a storm of orange and red surrounds youBut little lights appear, lights of green, blue, purple, white, and all other imaginable colorsThey surround you, circle youWhat do they want? you don't know, but they want something…And in the back of your head, you feel…You feel…You..feel…
You feel rumbling in your tummy as you feel yourself awake, laying in bed, your mind still hazy and your body still lazy…That last meal wasn't really all that filling so it didn't took long for hunger to settle back again…
I yawn and stretch, is there a clock I can check the time on?
"Guess I can't get this morning out of my head.."
No clocks anywhere ever since you gotten here…>''She slept for 7 hours and 23 minutes…What has happened this morning to my master?…'' the serpent leans close, a hint of curiosity on it's voice, perhaps?
"Oh, good morning. I guess you were bored all night, huh? Geez, how uncool of me.
" I rub my head.
"Oh, you asked about this morning.. This morning.. I was at school.. and then.. I was in the woods and everything was burning..
" I shutter.
I gasp and roll out of bed.
"Gah! That must have been her! I wonder why she didn't knock?
Hurry to open the door and look.
You don't see a single soul present in the corridor…There are 3 pairs of doors ahead of you, each on either side of the walls that surround you before the corridor ends in a stairway to the ground level, you notice that all doors are closed, except for the last one in the right, which was open just a little…
The dead silence also makes you realize how much of a noise you are making as the wood creaks under you…Maybe you should have taken those extra classes for muffle spells…
I should have studied lots of things..
Oh well. I'll just sneak over to the cracked open door anyway.
"don't let anyone see you Moore.. Mist.. Mushu.. Mossy.. uh, I'll try a few more names after I check this out door..
'1d10'Roll #1 7 = 7
>>642761>''As my master wishes…''
Your familiar dives in the floor, passing through the wood like a ghost, without making a sound.
as your head poke through the door, you see the bed is empty, but right besides the doorway, a black gryphon is sitting against the wall, it's eyes closed as it snores softly, that is definetly Garzha
Gently poke her awake.
"hey. Hey. Garzha. Hey.
''Hmn?..Uh…No father… I didn't eat the caramels…'' She sleeptalks and snores a little until your poking stirs her awake ''H-huh?…Wha…Oh…M-molinya?What took you so long?…''
"S-sorry. I wasn't feeling well after that story so I went to bed.. and I forgot to set an alarm.. well there wasn't an alarm clock to set anyway.. but I thought you'd knock! You could have knocked!" I slide into her room.
"So.. do we uh.. still have time? Should we try tomorrow?"
"Story?… What story?… Oh… Did my father started bothering you with those witch tales of his? Don't bother, I doubt he really ever saw a witch. He just tells that to get more costumers or something… Besides, you ARE a witch! What are you so scared of anyways?" She scratches the side of her beak as she groggily gets up
"And yes. We still have the time… Actually this might just be the best time to do it…, are you ready for it though? I imagine you would be after your loooong nap" She playfully punches your shoulder… A little bit too playfully though, because it hurts you a little
"Besides, we'll just steal a little thing… Well… Not even steal really, we're just taking back something, right?" She turns to you with a smile
"What your dad described as a witch.. that's a lot like what I can do.. and he said there are two witch hunters around town.." The crystal pony shutters.
"Anyway, lets hurry and do this.. should I cast the spell right now?"
She Looks a bit more worried
''Really? Oh heavens…Those are not good news…'' She rubs her feathery neck, staring at the wooden floor, as if in thought
''I did not knew about the witch hunters, however…what did he tell you?''
''Oh, and yes, let us hurry, over here'' She motions for you to follow her to the window, which she opens up just a crack to peek outside
''Hmn…no one is awake it seems, yes, it is a good time to go, follow me'' She opens the window fully and jumps off, gliding in circles to the ground. It is not a big fall, her room is on the third floor, but you could still easily get hurt if you jumped from the window.
She lands gracefully and without making a sound, it is quite a nice sight to see her descending through the air as the moonlight illuminates the black feathers of her wings and body, it is almost entrancing, in a way
After landing, she looks up at you expectantly, as if pondering how would you go down from here
I pout at her.
I will just take the easy way out and motion for the mossy snake to come here, smiling at it as I talk to it telepathically. "Hey, Fuzzy thing, think you can help me get down to there?
She tilts her head in confusion, staring back at you
Moments after you project your voice in your mind, you see the little head of the serpent poking from under the floor as it phased through the old wood ''My master has called me…My master needs assistance to get down I see…''
you feel the slight pressure on your forehead as it's voice echoed in your mind like a thought that you did not think
It floats in the air around you as the rest of it's long body comes into view, it then pokes it's head out of the window ''My master should embrace my neck and hold firmly to not fall…''
It gently turns it's head to 'face' you, it's single eye still closed
I smile confidently, my yellow crystal body shimmering gently.
Then grab onto the neck of the snake. Whispering to it in my mind "I knew you could do it. Thanks Ferny."
I wonder if this counts as passing the test of if I can do useful magic.. I suppose she was expecting me to use a broomstick.. Is that even a trick I could do.. could be good for scaring off ponies later..
>>645839''Ferny…Is that is how my Master will call me from now?
It's voice mutters as it gracefully descends the air in circles, in a similar way that Garzha did while the aforementioned stared in awe at the sight of you two. Her eyes wide, glistening in the moonlight ''Aah…A familiar…'' At the sound of her voice, Ferny swiftly turned it's head to face her for a brief moment as you two descented, which made her shut her beak and tense up slightly as a few of her feathers stood up a little, must be a gryphon thing…
After a few more uneventful seconds, you two reach the surface
"Well.. you are green and bushy like a Fern.
" I giggle a bit and quickly 'think' at it as I let go. "Unless you don't like it, then I'll pick something else.
Addressing Garzha again I smile "So you know a bit about magic already? Did you know a Witch?"
>>645841''It is a curiousssss name, and the first I have ever received…If it is of my Master's liking, then I like it as well…
Ferny hissess in your mind
She shakes her head as you land, taking a step back as she seems a tad uncomfortable with Ferny around…
''No…It's just…My dad told me about familiars and all…Uh…It's sort of a surprise…I-it doesn't bite, right?''
I joyfully pet the moss snake. "Your first name? How special! I'm glad you like it then.
"Don't worry, I won't have him bite you, Ferny's here to help me do magic, not that I need help with the spell, but to make sure nothing goes wrong, you know?"
You feel a small hum
echoing in your mind as you pet it
''Uuh…Ferny? that thing has a name?'' Garzha asks, weirded out.
''I didn't know you Witches kept familiars like that…like…pets…''''The gryphon seems confused… She is an ally, but not a witch like my master is?''
"Mmm Well, I guess that we didn't, back in school, we just summoned them for practice or when we needed to cast something powerful for a test.. I need see some older mages that always had one out.." I reply thoughtfully to Garzha. "I'm going to need Ferny's help a lot, so it would be pretty rude not to not call him a name."
"I told you, she's my friend. The one we have a contract with. We totally bonded right away. Instant BFFs, I can tell.
" I giggle.
, lets get closer to your target." I causally stride past her nudging her a bit. "This is gonna be so fun."
>>646250 "A Witch making a contract with common folk… Unheard of, since the fall of The Queen…"
"Fun? Uh… Not the word that I had in mind…" She says as she quickly walks past you
"Alright so… We just have to break in, get the thing, and get out, and no one can see us, alright? Do you.. Uh… Have that invisibility spell ready?" She walks close to the walls of the houses as you two walk
"Really? Why not? Is it bad to make contracts with them? What happened to the Queen?
"Oh yea. I'm totally ready." I just have to roll a d10? '1d10'Roll #1 10 = 10
The chilly night air and the thought of the adventure you will have tonight is so exciting! So much that you feel a surge of inspiration hitting you as you cast your spell as Garzha's form wavers and blurs as if you were changing her very existence for a bit until finally her form becomes ethereal, like a ghost under the moonlight
She looks down at her talons with curiosity ''I don't…Look any different…'' She raises her wings and looks at them ''Does it not work on gryphons?''
You are reminded that the ones affected by invisibility spells can see themselves, it just alters the way the world sees them, but not how they see themselves
You also notice that her voice was barely audible to you, that spell worked wonders indeed
I look shocked and cross my hooves sitting down in the dirt.
"You are doubting me now
? It worked. You can just see yourself. You like a shadowy blur to me, and
You're so quiet I can barely hear you."
She blinks a bit, looking down at her own claws ''Oooh…Oooooh so That's how it works…Amazing…'' Her pupils dilate a little as she folds her wings again.
She sort of awkwardly stands in place for a moment before she snaps back at attention ''Oh right! Let's go!'' She sounds like she shouted, but again, it comes out as a whisper for you. She starts heading to the west of the town, occasionally glancing back at you as you follow
The layout of the town is rather simple and Garzha makes sure to explain it to you on the way.
The Town square was set on the center of the town, it was a big patch of free space and in the middle there was a copper statue of a pony that Garzha tells you to be the founder of the town, a Mare called Firestone, and by how Garzha went out of her way to describe her to you, she was a pure BADDASS for single-handely building her own mine site on the mountain shortly after her discovery, spending almost a month mining after bravely driving off the giant cave spiders that lurked there, and then returning to her home town with bags full of precious ore, using her newfound money and influence to hire a caravan of ponies back to the mountain, where they built a new city. The city of Firestone!
After the brief story class she explains to you the rest of the town with considerably less interest.
The dark green rectangles were houses of the common folk, and the green spot on east of town was the house of a retired warrior, his wife and his children
The bright blue prism was the town hall, where the Jarl was
In the middle, in the big bright green rectangle, was the town square, and The statue of Firestone
To the west of the town was the mountain, and the workshop (gray square) where the miners went to grab their tools and go on their mining business every day
The little brown square was the guard barracks
And finally, the purple circle and square were both of the town market areas, Garzha couldn't tell why they were both on each edges of the town, that is something you could ask the jarl, maybe…
the 'x' is you and Garzha, and the black circle is where The town famous hunter, Night Storm lives, and also the place you will be going inside to fetch her personal item…
It is a nice stroll in the night town that you two share, the only sound interrupting the crickets was the faint whispering of Garzha's voice as she lead you to your objective
''Phew…Alright I think that's about it regarding the town, did you get everything?''
"…I think so.." I glance with worry at the hunter's house, can I notice anything special about it right away?
"This hunter.. its just like.. an animal hunter r-right?"
There's… Nothing about that house that ISN'T special.
For starters, he has a huge skull of some strange, crocodile-like monster decorating the ceiling, and two odd, black antlers with green tips on the front door.
"I know what you are thinking… And yes, he is very… Uhh… Extravagant…" Garzha whispers to you as she turns to analyze the house
It's a two floor house with Windows on the first and second floors, it is also made solely of wood like most buildings in this town, but a close look shows that it is rather old, as the wood shows sighs of rot in some places… No doubt a rather old house…
"S-so… It's in here… But everything is locked of course… So uum… Any plans?"
Ferny slithers silently through the air around you, patiently waiting…
"W-what? I thought you being invisible was
the plan!" I say in a strained whisper almost panicking.
"Uh.. can't you open a window?"
''Oh oh yeah I can do that!'' She perks up
''Erm, Sorry I'm kinda…Kinda nervous…I mean I have never done something so serious like this…'' She reaches for the little bag she brought along, covered with black scales, no doubt made from the skin of some big lizard, and pulls out two strange pieces of thin metal
''Alright…I should be able to open the front door, get in…And…Look for the thing…Uh…Are you going to…Stay here?''
She fidgets with the metal bits on her hand
''I can go in there alone if you want…You could…You know stay and cover my back or something…''
"This wasn't in the contract.." I frown. "But you're my friend so, I'll go with you."
Can I automatically cast the 'invisibility' spell on myself too?
She looks down with guilt as you mention the contract
''W-well I..'' But raises her head and smiles ''Really?…Well…I don't…Thanks!''
She seemed to have cheered up a bit, holding each piece of metal in her claws as she started to move them inside the lock of the door carefully
Those are lockpicks
Yes you can, though it won't be as good as the one you cast on Garzha
I would like to automatically cast it still, since I plan on staying back.
"Alright, you still haven't told me what we're looking for Garzha"
You quickly cast the same spell over you.>+2 to any sneaky sneaky rolls
Garzha suddenly looks uneasy as you question her
''Uuh…Well…It's just a gift I got from someone….I-I mean it IS important but…Um…'' She looks away, scratching her cheek with a talon
I pout at her, actually stopping short of the door.
"Garzha. Did you lie to me? Are you just trying to steal something? Why won't you tell me what it is?"
She freezes while holding the lockpicks against the door's keyhole, facing away from you
She sighs, and lowers her head
''…Fine… I lied…'' She mutters in a very somber tone. you could imagine how hard it was for her to admit those wordsFerny
I scowl at her, if Ferny doesn't like this then neither do I.
"I can't believe this, we were going to be besties."
"You know what. Whatever. Just lead the way to this thing that's sooo important."
"H…hey now you listen! I-" She gets angry and was about to give you a piece of her mind, but Ferny suddenly opened his single eye and suddenly leaning in Garzha's face, immediately silencing her as she stares at that single, blood red orb
"I-I… Um… Y-you don't… Understand.. Alright?…" She looks away from you both, twisting one of her feathers between the fingers of her claws
"Maybe I could if you'd explain it." I get a growling tone in my voice.
"Buuut no, you want to lie to me because I'm a witch. I see how it is."
"you wouldn't have helped me if I told you the truth… I was… I was going to steal from him, the hunter… Valuables, gold… Anything good so I could run… Run away from this stupid town, from father… Every day is just the same thing… Make food, clean, deal with customers… The only thing that would keep me going was thinking about how my mother would return home… But things have been getting bad and… She's been getting too busy to even write letters to us… It's been so long… I just wanted…" She slumps down on her rear legs
"I just want to leave…"
Ferny closes it's eye
I get all teary eyes and sniffle a little at her story.
"Aw.. Garzha.. We can still be besties.. if you promise not to lie to me anymore."
She raises her head to face you for a moment, then faces the ground again
"I'm sorry for lying… It's just… Only a miracle would get me out of here… And then you showed up… And I just had to grasp the chance… A Witch would never help normal folk like me… And yet you were being so nice… I was scared of telling the truth…"
I scratch my head a bit and look at Ferny for a moment.
"Is that true? Do witches not help anyone but other witches?
>>648338 I have never witnessed such a thing… I only know of witches going under disguises to make contracts with ponies, making promises of help, but those deals always ended up badly for those who dared to sign the contract… No witch ever truly desired to actually help a pony, or gryphon…
he replies, circling you in the air
"That's not right.. Everyone should help each other..
"Garzha, how about if I help you out with this, you travel with me? We can leave together and no one will be the wiser of us."
She looks back up at you
"Yea.. you can be like.. my apprentice or.. my tour guide. This world is a lot different than what I know.."
"..and then we'll become best friends naturally like.. from traveling.. like in books."
She sniffs and wipes her tearful eyes
''I-I…'' She seems unsure of what to say… Until she looks up at you with a tiny smile ''Yes…Y-yes I'll go…With you…Molinya…'' She sniffles again
''But uh…An apprentice might be…complicated..I never…I don't know how to cast magic…And uh…''
she scratches her neck
''I kinda never left this town…ever…''
"Yea well.. If you totally suck at magic then you can be my personal chef." I nudge her with a hoof and then look worriedly up. "We can maybe talk about it when we aren't standing in the doorway of a hunter…"
"Oh… Yeah… Let's go to, uh… Where do we go now then? W-when are we leaving this place? What should I bring from home?…"
She stops when you two hear a slight creaking noise from inside the house
"You know what, you tell me later let's go!"
She starts pushing you away from the house, heading back the way you came
"…but you didn't even take anything.." I complain vaguely as we leave.
''Oh…Uh…Umm…Should we? I mean we totally could… He always claims how he has a bunch of weird relics, and even something he got froma w-'' she fliches
''From…A witch…'' Garzha looks at you with a worried gaze''A relic from a witch…''
Ferny comments idly, his head tilting towards you
"Maybe its something that can get me back home! We have to look at it.
" I reply to Ferny and a smile grows on my face.
"Yea. That sounds like something a witch and her new apprentice need. Lets grab it." I whisper back to the worried gryphon.
''Yeah…Yeah! We shouldn't let this cool spell go to waste right?'' Garzha whispers back, now looking a bit more motivated. Perhaps because she is free of the guilt of lying
She doesn't seem to feel so guilty about breaking in and stealing though…
With the lockpicks, she took a minute or two to unlock the door
''Aaand…'' *Click* ''There we go. Ready?'' She turns to you with a smile
"What do you think this spell lasts forever? Lets go!" I try to look annoyed but can't help but smile at her sudden peppy attitude.
''Ah, right! let's g-'' She stops ''Let's go…'' She speaks again in a lower tone, even though her voice wasn't even sounding loud in the first place…
Once inside, you can see that everything. Every corner of the house was filled with stuff. Skins of animals, trophies of shining gold, medals…
On the walls, on stands and shelves. The hunter had a huge display of prizes that he took pride on showing.
''Uh…Yeah…The house reflects his personality…'' Garzha snickers
''So…what should we take? everything?!'' She says, hungrily eyeing the medals made of gold and silver with a glimmer in her eye
"Right, be careful for traps.."
'1d10' look for traps myself.Roll #1 3 = 3
''Y-yeah, don't worry I will…So…you wanna look out for that book?''
You don't notice any traps…but then again…it's dark…and your eyes might deceive you…
I was never the best at sneaking..
I'll just keep an eye out for anything magical looking..
Garzha picks up a silver circular pendant with a shiny ruby at the center and puts it around her neck, looking at you with a silly grin as she fakes a pose in front of the window, watching her faint reflection.
You didn't seem to find anything on the living room…Maybe the other rooms should have what you are looking for?
there is a door directly to your right, and a stairway leading up as well. around you are the various heads of animals, skins, and medals and prizes on display in shelves and stands… Garzha is staring out the window, then glances at you ''Found anything yet?'' She hushes to you
"Nothing in this room seems magical.."
I comment a bit unnerved by the animal trophies, but manage to smile at her. "That necklace is pretty at least!"
Try the stairs.
upstairs, it's a pretty featureless corridor with a dead end and two doors on the left wall and two windows on your right…
you can hear faint sound of snoring…
Garzha is right behind you, silent. she turns to you and nod
I signal Garzha to check the first door, and I'll check the second.
She nods without a word and heads to the first door while you head to the second one.
Opening it shows the bedroom. Directly in front of you is a bed, and on top of it lays a dark blue stallion with a nasty scar over his face, no doubt that he is The Hunter. Thankfully for you he is asleep in his bed, but even in slumber, you can feel rather uneasy being in the same room as him. Like finding a sleeping deadly predator in the bedroom…
To your immediate left you can see a large bookshelf with a few books of different collors, red, blue, pink, and a single, sickish green book, the color of the cover reminds you of Ferny's coat.
Next to the bookshelf, you see a closed wardrobe. It's close to the only window in this room, the agape hole in the wall allowing the faint moonlight to dimly illuminate the room
to your right it's a longer, closed wardrobe, a tad different from the one near the bookshelf…
You are standing in the doorstep
I frown puzzled at this, could the artifact be a book?
Could it be in the closet?
Maybe I should check here last. Lets back track to the first room and see if Garzha had any luck.
She is standing in the hallway with a puzzled look
She turns to you and shrugs ''It's just the bathroom''
…That kind of broke the serious mood, but at least one less place to search for, unless you want to look in the bathroom?
''So what you found?'' She mutters to you
"..its.." I whisper shakily to her. "his bedroom, and he's there, sleeping."
her eyes widen a bit ''Ooh shoot…uuh, did you find anything good while in there?'' She walks up to the door and goes to take a peek inside the room, before quickly retreating ''Oh sweet mother…''
"I'm too scared to go in.. I want to check that closet.. but.."
''B-but?…I mean yes…He does looks like he could kill us the second he gets up…B-but we'll be fine right? we don't even make noise because of your spell!…'' Garzha seems to share your uncertainty
"R-right.. lets go look then.." Okay I'm gonna. open the closet door.
To big closet to the right on the room, or the smaller one besides the bookshelf on the left?
The 'wardrobe' on the right
Opening it shows that it's not a wardrobe at all!
It's a big closet filled with all sorts of hunter stuff!
Bows, arrows, traps, knifes, really big knifes, ropes and nets, as well as a few things you can't quite recognize at first, but you are pretty sure they are very dangerous…
''Wow…'' Garzha mutters and stares, seeming fascinated by all the apparels and weapons
I frown at it leaving her to take her pick. I have my staff-sword and don't need this stuff..
Look at the closet by the bookshelf.
now this is his actual wardrobe
it's filled with all of the clothing you'd expect, plus some hard leather garments for protection…You feel like these could stop an arrow even…
You also find a pair of saddlebags in there. opening it shows that it holds a fair amount of gold, strange medicines you can't quite recognize, a book full of hunt notes, bandages, a small pocket knife, a strange whistle, some paint and an old loaf of bread''These things might be useful…Will my Master take them?
you hear Ferny's indiferent voice in your mind
"Yes.. its useful but.. its not.. Magical
" I scratch my head and take the saddlebags and a set of pony armor.
"Maybe it was just a rumor after all.
>>651203''Perhaps…But at least this was not a waste of my Master's time…''
The leather vest suits you snuggly. you could also cover yourself with a robe to hide the vest…
The saddlebags feel a bit heavy, but you're already used to it, this is NOTHING compared to those heavy books you had to carry to class every
Garzha was stuffing things in her own bags as well, you can see she had a grin on her face…Seems like her greed is stronger than her fear…
I don't know why they wouldn't let us have enchanted endless bags, who cares if one time
it messed up one spell
and someone lost a leg, I mean they grew it back for the kid, geez, what a pain.
I signal for us to leave and quietly exist to the hall.
Garzha nods, carefully olding her bag close so it doesn't make noise, walking downstairs with you.
you two are on the first level again, as seen in >>649034
''S-so…Now what?'' Garzha pipes up to you
"Hmm I guess we should go. I don't see anything that looks magical anyway."
''Yes…Me neither..I'm sorry for having wasted your time with this whole ordeal…I suppose he was really just boasting and lying to look like a hero… But I should have known better: No one can defeat a witch alone…Not even a veteran hunter…''
Garzha leaves with you through the door. She glances back at the building and tightens her grip on the stolen apparel, letting out a sigh
You're back to the cold outside. Everyone should be asleep except for the roaming guards, but they should be easy to avoid
I'll walk back in silence, too cold and tired to keep talking.
The way back to the inn is uneventful and silent, the only sounds being the faint clicking coming from Garzha's bag, filled with things she had stolen.
Ferny feels your fatigue and floats slightly closer to you ''Our Master…Is she sad?''
You turn around a corner and see the inn in front of you
I softly scrape the ground "I'm not really comfortable with all this.. stealing and running.. it feels wrong.
For a few seconds Ferny is silent, as if thinking of what to say
''My master have not stolen anything. Only she did'' He turns to Garzha ''What my Master intended on stealing, it was said that it was stolen before…So why feel uncorfortable? is it wrong to steal from a thief?''
You and Garzha walk up to the side of the house, below the window to Garzha's room. She turns to you and adjusts her bag ''Uh…Would you like me to carry you up there?…''
"I guess you have a point, thou I did actually take some of the gear.. but that's just because I need it for traveling.
" I sigh.
"Yea, I can't fly so.. just don't tickle me!"
>>652573''Then I believe my master will have a better use for it than the hunter''
The black gryphon rolls her eyes with a grin and flaps her wings, taking off as she flies upwards, carrying your bag and hers and flinging them over the window. You hear a gentle thud from the bags hitting the ground before she descends and very gently picks you up, grunting as she carries you to the window
Maybe if she wasn't carrying so much loot she would have an easier time.
Still I hop inside quietly.
"Soo.. where are we gonna go?"
She sits down and sighs, relaxing as she leans against the side of her bed
''Funny…I was just about to ask you that…Hold on, let me get my father's map…'' She silently rushes out of the door and returns a minute after carrying a piece of rolled up paper. She sits down and unfolds it in front of you, it says ''Map of Equestria''
Immediately upon setting your eyes on it, however, you recognize that it looks exactly like the Map of the Old Equestria that you saw every day attached to a wall of the library.
''We're here, in Ashenfort…The closest town would be pinecrest…but we would have to cross this place…Dalewood…Or we could go to a big city like Arindale…It's closer to Sundol, the second biggest city of Equestria…What you think?…'' She points at the locations in the map before turning to you
"What's dalewood? Is it dangerous?"
''It's this forest, right to the east of where we are, right here see? this green mass…I can't call it dangerous because everyone knows that you'll be safe if you stick to the trail…But things might get ugly if you wander around out of it… It's a big forest, only second to the Forest of Unity, this one right here near Thorncrest and Thornward…''
"Hmm well if we need to hide a forest might be best. What about the path to Arindale? What's it like? "
''It's…Not exactly safe…You see the jarl of Arindale issued an order to have some groups of guards to patrol the way from Arindale to Sundol, Ashenfort and Ironridge because there were always bandits lurking around waiting to attack and steal from the caravans… It worked and there was no more bandit attacks again…But now the problem is that the guards sometimes like to take what they want from anyone that passes by…Taking food from traders, Gold from adventures…And if you are trying to sell any drinks, well… May the gods have mercy on you…'' She gives you a worried look
''And I don't even want to think of what they would do to two traveling ladies like us…''
I nod slowly.
"Alright. We'll take the forest path. If we get into trouble I can use magic, and it will come off as a crazy rumor of a witch in the woods, if we were on the road and I tried to use magic… particularly on a guard.. it might not go well for us in the end."
She rubs her neck ''Yes…What you plan to find in Pinecrest though?…It's a small town of only earth ponies…it's pretty calm and quiet, and it is right besides a small forest of indians, but they live in peace wit the earth ponies.''
I stare at the Garzha for a long minute before answering her.
"A way home."
She returns your gaze, a look of worry at first, as if she said something she shouldn't
''You…You cannot find your way back to your home?''
"No one has even heard of my home, and the maps I've seen look.." Suddenly I hesitate.
"..I must have been teleported, very far
The looks at you as if you were crazy
''Very far?…Are you from beyond Equestria? What was the name of your home?'' She whispers, folding the map
Look at her map with a frown, is the crystal empire on here?
She grumbles and unfolds it for you right after she just folded it!
You don't see anything of the Crystal Empire…That's very strange…
"Well, my grandma's house is north of equestria, in a mountain town, called Crystal Springs, because of the hot springs. Its part of the Crystal Empire, do you know it?"
''Hmmn…Up north…Must be far beyond the Forest of Unity then!'' She speaks a little too loudly with excitement and flinches, lowering her voice
''Erm…So…How did you get 'Teleported' from there to here?''
"Uh.. there was an explosion and then the fire.. all the fire.."
I start shivering putting my hooves over my head, my crystal yellow fur dulling in color to almost grey.
''W-what are you doing?'' She slowly backs away from you
You feel brief flashes of memories coming and going back and forth in your mind, so fast that you can barely understand the context of some, but the words echo and in your mind
You see the Academy
in the distance…
The unmistakeable old face of Miss Nova
, your Astrology teacher…
A visit to the library…You were looking for… A book?
There were some ponies in a big table…Doing some sort of big experiment…Then a bright light…
''Hey, hey Molinya!''
You're suddenly broken off your little trance by Garzha, who was shaking your head with a claw, worry showing in her face
"A lot of ponies were doing a spell together.. I think Miss Nova was there.. or maybe she sent me there to get something.." I shuffle through my bag looking at the book I don't remember owning. "Maybe this is a library book?"
''A-a lot of ponies together?…Like a group of witches doing a big spell? Is this Miss Nova your leader? The wtich leader?…''
She asks while you open your bag, fetching that book with no title on it's pearl cover. It had a very elaborate image painted into it. A star inside a circle with runes and all sorts of old symbols you never seen before… It sort of reminded you of a clock in a way… It's pages had a fair tone of yellow to them, showing that this tome had quite a respectable age
You're suddenly aware of a strange feeling in your gut as you held this book…
"A leader… Well, I guess a teacher is sort of like that."
I open the book with shaking hooves, almost in a panic.
you open it at a ramdom page, but as if it was fate's work, you felt
that it was the right page
you see both pages written in a language you can't understand, but yet they feel sort of familiar…You've seen these symbols before in a class… But it was in such a boooooring class with Ezilio, the runes and glyphs teacher. He was a nice guy but he was absurdly monotonous in class. You had to make efforts to not fall asleep in his lectures… Now would be a great time to have him around…You can roll to recall about these symbols. The better you roll, the more you'll remember
'1d10' "..Please let sleep learning be a real thing."Roll #1 9 = 9
Perhaps it is and your teachers were wrong all along!
You remember that you had a lesson with Ezilio on the same day your parents sent you a new rain coat over the mail.
He taught you that some of these glyphs can actually be related to some letters in our alphabet. Like how this first symbol that looks like an arrow with a circle under it is a 'Tý' But is pronounced 'tai'.
There is also this upside down trident with dots on either side can be interpreted as either the sound of humming and 'mah' or 'meh'
"Tai-mah?" I try saying it at the book, as if it might reveal some secret on the page before me.
"Tai-mAH" I say louder at the book.
The book is silent
Garzha keeps giving you the 'Gurl, you crayze?' look
''Uuh…Are you…Saying a chant?''
"I thought I remembered.."
Shake my head putting the book away. "I guess I need help. Maybe I'll find some one who knows how to read this book if we keep traveling."
Garzha nods ''You couldn't understand it?…''
She snorts and giggles, poking your shoulder
''Some witch you are…''
''Do you wanna get going right now during the night?…It would be for the best, but we don't have much time until the sunrise, and the folks here start working reaaaally early''
"Hey, I told you I was only a student
, didn't I?" I scrunch at her and then nod. "Yea we should go, I'll just try again after we get a bit away from here, maybe when we stop for lunch."
''Oh right…uuh… You DO have money with you, right? We might have to take some stuff from the kitchen too if we're leaving…'' She gets up and slowly opens the creaking door to the hallway
"Yea, I mean as long as no one stole it.." check my coin purse softly muttering the runes "Tai.. Tai Meh.. Meh?"
Your purse contains 3 kinds of currency
you have 14 bits from back home, which here are worth 5 silver pieces each
You also have 50 gold pieces(Most of them stolen from the hunter!) and 5 silver pieces
You remember from your hisrtory lessons that a gold piece is worth 10 silver pieces and a silver piece is worth 10 bronze pieces… Strange how complex this currency is compared to the currency back home…
As Garzha motions for you to follow her, she shushes you ''Stop muttering, you might wake up my father''
Easy enough to understand at least!
I put a hoof over my mouth and nod at her as we sneak towards the kitchen.
You both silently sneak your way downstair. The fading moolight casts eerie spooky shadows over the kitchen
''Alright'' Garzha whispers to you
''We just need to get the food and we can leave once and for all…My father hanged his old traveler bag somewhere around here too, it has things that we can use…Mother insisted he threw that old ragged thing away but he never did. I guess that for once, I'm thankful he's so stubborn''
There's a really big bag inside a cabinet, Garzha picks it up and starts picking food to take along ''You like potatoes right? because that's most of what we will be having for a while…''
"They're a little plain, but a few spices should help with that.."
'1d10' look around for something to carry water in.Roll #1 5 = 5
''Don't worry, my dad got a canteen in here…well there's two but this one has a hole in it so it's trash…''
Garzha groans as she opens the cabinet with meats. it's covered in salt ''It will be hard to take the meat around… You don't know any spells to make meat do you?''
I frown almost in disgust.
"Gazha, girl, you realize I'm pony? Ponies don't even eat meat."
''It's not for you, it's for me!'' She grunts and picks a fat, kinda bloody and cold slimy slab of meat, wraps it in a cloth sprinkled with salt and wraps it up before shoving it in the bag
"Yea, but anyway, I don't know any cooking spells."
"Unless starting fires is cooking."
''Good enough for me…I think that's everything…'' She looks out the window before turning to you
''Ready to go?''
"I think so.. books, money, water, food, map.." I focus hard to think of anything I might have forgotten.
"Maybe a pocket knife? I saw on a survival show how you can use them to open cans and peel bark off to eat and even start fires with it if your magic isn't working."
''Didn't you stole a knife from the hunter? I know I did''
A quick inventory check shows that indeed you have the Hunter's Knife with you
"Oh, I suppose I did. Well, that should do it then."
Check the hallway for her dad.
You can actually hear that old gryphon snoring from the kitchen!
She sighs and opens the door, walking out along with you into the sleeping town. The sky above you has a strong tint of dark purple, but you can see light shades of blue in the horizon…It will be morning by the time you left
You both walk until the muddy floor starts to become greener with grass as you walk up a hill
Garzha stops once you reach the top, turning to stare at the small gathering of buildings that you both left behind, and the home that she is leaving
For a moment, you feel like a protagonist in an adventure book…
''Let's get going'' She mutters, breaking the silence, adjusting the heavy bag on her back as she turns back towards the trail
I quietly wonder if I should attempt a spell to make that lighter, maybe its not as heavy as it looks?
Wouldn't be a bad idea. But do you know a spell to do that?
The trek is slightly tedious, but peaceful, giving you time to think and recap about all that happened to you in the past few hours as the sun starts to rise and slowly heat up the cold dawn…
You woke up in a burning forest with no memory of how you got there, found a small town, befriended the daughter of the inn owner, stole from a hunter and left the town with your new friend.
In a way, this feels like the start of a great adventure, and that thought fills you with determination!
…It doesn't seem that Garzha shares the feeling, however, as she has barely spoken during the last two hours you two have been walking. Only walking ahead of you, looking foward and occasionaly grunting from the weight
Without warning, she stops, carefully dropping the bags she is carrying before taking off into the air. You watch as she ascends like a black shadow in the sky, her form casting her actual shadow in the ground below
She does two circles in the air before she starts descending, returning to the ground with a graceful landing and a sigh. The black gryphon turns to you, and you can see the fatigue in her eyes
''We are not too far away from the edge of the forest. We should arrive by the middle of the afternoon'' she pants out, retaking the bags, waiting for you before continuing the walk
I suddenly realize those are
as heavy as they look. Trot up to her and cough a little.
"Hey, I can carry some of those, its stuff to help both of us out after all."
''Are you sure? you kind of look…Well, uh… Not fit
for carrying things? I-I mean no offense of course, uh…Why would you even need to be fit when you are a witch right? haha…heh…'' She clicks her beak occasionaly as she speaks… You can regognize a flustrered gryphon when you see one and right now Garzha looked just like the ones you saw trying to hit on other gryphons. Beak cliking, he claws scratching the ground slightly and her wings were a bit poofed out
''You…Don't have to worry, alright? We will have a break soon, just a few hours, it's nothing, really!''
You see her chest feathers getting a biiiiit more poofy as she turns around and starts to walk ahead
"Uh, well if you're sure but.." Blush suddenly at her reaction, why is she so flustered and cute at the idea of carrying everything. Dosh she like.. No way! But I am a witch,
Grab a rock and test out a spell to make things lighter on it, wind + illusion? '1d10'Roll #1 6 = 6
Perhaps she is just prideful…Or maybe it might be something else…
As you walk, you pick up a nice, smooth little rock, with a twirl of your runic staff/sword, you work your magic, literally.
You feel your hoof cool a little from the breeze as the wind focus around the rock, drawn by your command…But the rock barely lifts out of your hoof…
You feel reminded of one of the lectures of Miss Garuga, the old gryphon lady that was responsible for teaching the fundaments of elemental magic>''…And do not forget dears, the four elements of nature interact in unique ways to eachother. Some are obvious, like how water puts out fire , thus most would assume that in a way water is 'stronger' than the fire, correct?''>''Well that is neither right nor wrong. When two elements of similar power collide, in most situations they can both nullify eachother.''
You see images of the elder white gryphon scribbling in a blackboard in the back of your head as your mind focuses
>''Let's take for example, when a weak spell of water bullet hits a basic fireball. Both of them are nullified and become steam! This is part of our studies of 'Secondary and Terciary effects from magical reactions' which we will be covering next week, so take notes!''>''So, that is what happens when spells of similar power collide, yes? But what happens when a stronger spell is put against a weaker one? obviously the stronger one will have a bigger effect or even subdue the weaker spell. A weak gust cannot move a boulder shield, but a tornado can spin it through the air like a ragdol easily! did you all get that?…Molynia are you passing notes in my class?!''
The little memory is flushed back into your mind as quickly as it came… You have a feeling that your weak breeze won't do much to the rock
You are also reminded about the fundamentals of Illusion. You could make the rock look different in size and even in shape if you tried…Maybe even make it look
like it is floating, but Illusion does not affect the mass and weight of the object…That is the Space magic department. Which you have no experience in
''Are you coming?…Uuh…Y-you are not tired are you? Do you want to take that break right now? I mean we could if you want to
"Hmm, Nope! Lets go to the forest before you
get tired." I giggle and rush ahead of her.
''H-hey wait up!'' You hear her chirp as you bolt past her
A few more hours pass by, and they are not the most pleasant… As the afternoon comes closer, the heat only gets more intense, and you definetly feel it, because there are no parasol or shades to help…
You feel yourself sweating a little, but this is still ways better than the time you had a field trip in the desert. You can swear you STILL have burn marks under your fur and some singed hair from that…
At least it's close to coming to and end, as Garzha breaks the silence tells you that the forest is close. Not that you couldn't see the signs yourself. The grass started looking greener and sprinkled with leaves from trees, which appeared more and more oftenly on your way.
Just ahead of you is a gathering of green and brown tall trees, weaved together for miles. The branches and leaves blocking the sunlight, casting a slightly eerie shadow inside it's perimeter
''finally…huff…Now I understand why my father was so tired the first time we made a trip here…'' Garzha walks up to a tree, dropping the bags and slumping against the trunk with a heavy sigh as she panted for air, her chest heaving up and down. It was not everyday you saw a gryphon sweating like that…
''Let's take a break now…I'm tired and hungry…And I don't doubt you share the feeling?'' She turns to you with a tired gaze
"Its a lot farther than it looks on the map. Lets rest under a tree and eat something."
A nice shady tree.
And twirl my staff-sword a bit to make a light breeze around us to cool us off better.
''Well This country is pretty big, so no surprises…Besides we were traveling on foot. If we both could fly and didn't had to carry so much we would have arrived in half the time…'' She takes a deep breath and relaxes. The breeze you cast sure helps
''Alright, now we have to decide if we want to cross the forest while it is still day or wait until the night to do so…I uh…Don't know exactly what kind of things there are in here…My father said he saw Timberwolves once when he came here with the Hunter though…''
"Timberwolves huh.. Well, then just to be safe.." I'll call out the Oak Born Scorpion.
Garzha watches as you focus on your magic. Your staff glows with magic as a rift in the world is opened, like the ground was a cloth being ripped apart, revealing a dark green opening, from which you see a rather big scorpion, it's shell, pincers and tail all made completely of wood with a few blotches of green sap leaking from them in small globs that faded away as soon as they hit the ground. As it moves, it makes a rather loud sound, compared to the complete silence that was Ferny slithering through the air…''I aswer to your call, my Master''
You feel the pressure on the tip of your forehead as it's voice rings into your mind like a projected thought. The scorpion stands in front of you, motionless, waiting for it's orders while the rift it crawled from closes
Garzha just watches, eyes wide in silent awe
I stand in a wide stance and point toward the forest. "Onward then!"
"Just follow me for now, also you can call me Molinya!
She heaves and picks up her bags, huffing as the weight returns to her back. She gives the scorpion a weird glance before she marches towards the forest''I understand, Master''
It does a little nod and follows you. It's many legs skittering along in a weirdly cute way
"O-oh, did you want a longer break?" Stop just short of the forest. "You did look pretty tired.."
''Oh no no I will be fine, really…I do need the exercise haha…I have been only working on the inn so long… I have not been doing enough exercises! Oof…Lets…Let us keep going''
She keeps on walking ahead, though she seemed a bit sluggish compared to earlier today
"Alright.. we'll make camp whenever it starts to get dark."
Keep a slow canter up as we go into the woods.
As you pass the first trees, you feel the heat from the sunlight easing up on your poor neck and sides. the trees do a good job covering up the light…Maybe too much of a good job as you feel yourself getting a bit uneasy… And the silence from Garzha and the Scorpion familiar doesn't help much…
Roll a 1d10, a 1d3 and a 1d4
'1d10' '1d3' '1d4'Roll #1 10 = 10
/ Roll #2 1 = 1
/ Roll #3 3 = 3
All three of your cross the forest in a mutually uncornfortable silence. The only forest that you have ever been to before was the one artificially created as a test field for students in self defense and pratical studies…And even then you always had a couple of ponies along to make noise and make you feel safer… But now it is only you, the scorpion and Garzha alone in this place
You lose track of how long you have been walking, but it feels like at least one hour has gone by. You can hear Garzha's heavy breathing and see a few wet spots on the floor as she leaves behind a barely noticeable trail of sweat… You feel something churning in your gut, a bad feeling of worry for the gryphon and worry for yourself…
Time keeps passing, you continue through the trail, still feeling the creeping gaze of the forest in the back of your head…But nothing happens
That is until Garzha trips and falls over, cursing as the weight of the bags fall along with her. You hear a pained swear from the fallen gryphon
I hurry to her side and help her stand.
"Hey, this is far enough, don't you think? We can rest here."
Did that branch just move…?
She struggles out of the straps of the bags and rubs her shoulder ''Yes…Of course…I'm sorry I'm not the muscle boulder like my dad was, heh…'' She chuckles, stretching a little
''Well, since we are stopping, we should light a fire, I really need to eat something'' She rubs her stomach as you her a loud growl
She grabs one of her bags and starts digging for things
"Don't push yourself so hard Garzha. I learned going through the desert that journeys are about making to the end, not getting there as fast as possible. Even if you have to take uncool breaks now and then, its better for you."
She pulls out a knife from her bag, wincing
''Hmmn…You sound just like my mother…'' Shaking her head, she picks a stone and starts to sharpen the knife, you see her lion leg is bleeding a little bit, barely noticeable with her black fur…
She notices you staring and winces again ''I…Don't suppose you know any healing witch spells?''
"N-no.. I didn't know you got cut, um, did we bring bandages? I think we did.. Just sit still!"
Rummage through the bags for something to wrap the leg in.
Indeed you brought bandages. there are some inside the Hunter's bag
''Well that's just as good I suppose… Not even witches can do everything, huh?'' She looks at you with a pained smile
"Yea.. Usually you specialize into just a few types of magic, even the pro tournament mages couldn't cast every spell out there, there are just too many."
Wrap up the injured leg.
''Well I-! H-hey you don't need to do that, I can wrap myself up!'' She withdraws a bit away from you, feathers poofy again as she gives you a flustered look
"Oh.. I just thought.. Okay. I'll let you do it." I give her the bandages and kind of look around, I can't shake this spooky feeling.
"Hey, Scorpion, if you see something let me know.
She takes the bandages, refusing to make eye contact as she starts wrapping up herself''Yes Master''
His voice rings in your mind. It is a slow, breathy voice, almost as if it was struggling to speak, even if it's just mentally… He starts scuttering around in the trees
''Erm…Hey do you know how to light fires? You can make fire out of the air, right?'' Garzha calls out with her leg wrapped, now holding a gross slab of salted meat in her claw
"Yea. I can do that." I smile gently.
"Guess we need to build a campfire."
'1d10' look around for a few large branches.Roll #1 8 = 8
You find many branches just laying around, and the trees aren't that high, so you could cut some branches down if you really needed.
You put them in a nice pile surrounded by some rocks while Garzha makes a hole in the meat ''Oh you actually can make a decent campfire…Uh…I mean I thought witches wouldn't need that kind of thing… Although I heard some witches live in forests and swamps…hmn…'' She chops up the meat
''Molinya, where did you used to live? Did you live with other witches or just on your own?'' She start small chat, looking at you with curiosity
…It's going to get dark soon
"Well, I went to a school with other ma- witches, and we learned all kinds of things, but I think I learned to camp from my family before any of that.."
Let a flame dance over my hoof and then just before it touches the fire, make it look like water about to splash it. Add in a shocked expression with my other hoof and a gasp.
She leans closer as you spark a fire. You see the reflection of the bright orange light dance in her irises
''A school for witches…That sounds so…Unreal…'' She mutters, making a little barbecue with the fire…It looks kind of gross, but also reminds you that you are also feeling rather hungry…All this tension probally made you forget about the hunger for a bit
"Oh, It was great, but kind of normal, I mean nearly everyone could use at least basic spells. Just need a good wand or staff.. I mean.. there are ponies and gryphons that couldn't use it, even with amplifiers nearby, but.." Shake my head.
"I'm sure you won't have any trouble. Once we are far enough away, I'll try showing you how to cast an illusion!"
''W-what?!'' She squawks in surprise, dropping the meat into the fire ''Ah Damned-ugh'' Groaning she quickly picks the stick back up, managing to save the precious meat, blowing on it to coll it down
''I'm sorry but…Me? C-casting magic? Like a…L-like a witch? That sounds to me like a completely insane, far-fetched Idea…''
The jet black gryphon takes a bite of one bit of meat, chewing with a happy sigh as her beak curls into a smile
''Me, a witch…heh''
I giggle at her. "You said you wanted to be my apprentice. Don't you want to try and learn magic then?"
I'll munch on my old bread, its better than nothing!
It's awfully dry…
''Well…But I don't even know anything about it…It's something completely foreign to me…''
The sun is almost fully set as the darkness intensifies
"Well.." Scoot over so the light of the fire helps illuminate my books, pick the elements book up and check the page on wind. "Maybe you can try a wind spell, you already know about how wind works right?"
''Sssssort of?'' She flaps her wings a bit and scoots closer to your side, leaning over to look at the pages as well
the index on wind shows a few chapters, like concept, movement, ways to manipulate the wind, the best catalysts for casting wind spells, spells going from the simplest casting of a gust to more complex things like Conjuring a wind sword, levitation and wind shields. There is also mention to even the higher level spells like summoning an actual tornado(Or even taking control of one!) and a blast of wind sharp enough to cut metal…But these super high level spells are not included in this book, only in books specialized in wind magics have them
Garzha seems as confused as ever as she looks over the page however…
What about Wind would you like to know?
"Lets start you off with the basics, you need a catalyst it says here.. [read off the best catalysts for wind magic] …and of course its better if you make the catalyst yourself! More fun too." I smile. "Then we can try a little gust of wind."
How to make a nice wind catalyst and the best place to cast a wind spell will do for now.
The catalysts for wind are among the easisest to create and find materials off if you are looking for something very basic. But there are still some very rare ones that make for potent catalyst…
For a simple, basic catalyst, a few things can be used, these include:
-The primary feathers of large birds, the more varied, the better. The best feathers belong to rare and fast birds. The two best ones are hummingbird feathers and phonixes feathers(Which also work wonders if you want a catalyst for both fire and wind)
-Hollowed out bones, stones and even wood works well for a base of the catalyst if you want to make a staff or a wand, but wood works the best out of the tree. A very powerful, well conductive source is wood from a Whitebell tree, a rare kind that takes a lot of care to grow properly, so it is rare to see it in the wild
-Pure silken Cloth works well for a small additional boost in power
-Anything drenched in the extract of an eagle eye will increase the potency of the catalyst
-the scales of a dragon wing, even if hard to obtain, were essential in the creation of the most powerful wind artifacts
-finally, there is a big part about the best kind of catalyst for wind magic: Musical instruments. Especially flutes and the like. Even a small flute carved from rotten wood can conduce weak spells with very little trouble
And at the end of the chapter, there is a small paragraph explaining to NEVER overload a catalyst with too much. You can possibly make a single catalyst of all the things previously listed, but it would be impratical due to the overwhelming power it would wield, and the results can be deadly to the user…
As you go into the chapter for the best places to cast wind spells…Why you seem to be in luck, forests full of trees are among the best places for that, only seconded by high moutains!
It takes you a good while until you finish both chapters, but you feel like you learned a bit more about wind yourself as well…
"This is prefect for us actually! We can practice right here in the forest, and we can find most of these materials right here!" I glow excitedly, "So, do you want to have a flute or a staff or maybe a wand?"
''Uuh…I can't play instruments…maybe a wand? that would be easy to hide…But a staff could be interesting…What do you suggest?''
She fidgets a little, already having finished her food
''Uuh…What materials do you actually need though?''
"Well, just some wood and feathers of different birds would work."
Then kind of notice her meat. "We could use a bone if you hollow it out. Uh, bones aren't really my thing, but maybe you think they're cool?"
"The more powerful stuff like silk, eagle eyes, dragon scales and pheonix feathers might not be possible.. but you don't need a super strong one to start out!"
She cringes a bit as you mention the eagle eyes 'Uuh…Yes I would rather start…from the simple, lowest level…So, bones, feathers and wood?That sounds easy enough…There's a lot of trees here… Do you know how to carve?''
"..Not really, I mean I never really had too. I have this. " Point to my sword-staff. "But yea, you're supposed to get one from a tree, and use feathers from different kinds of birds, like as many as possible, and the faster the bird the better."
Yawn a bit. "But I can't look for feathers in the dark, lets start in the morning?"
''Oh…Just my feathers aren't good enough?…'' She asks before your yawn passes up to her
''Well…A-alright, we will look for that in the mornin-Oh DAMN it!'' She slaps her forehead
''We didn't bring anything to camp outside!''
"Huh, oh right.." I look around us. "We don't have a tent or anything in case it rains."
''Uuugh'' She runs a claws on her head ''I'm really sorry, I should have remembered that…If we are lucky it won't rain today…But I guess I already know what we are going to buy once we get to Pinecrest… Just what are we going to do now…Sleep on the ground?''
"Yea, did we bring blankets?"
''Well…Uh…We have spare clothes…We can use that as blankets I suppose?'' She pulls out a caot designed for gryphons from her back ''This one is big enough for you to use as a blanket at least…''
I laugh at us.
"We are pretty bad at this huh?"
"Dumb city fillies even."
She snorts and laughs as well
''Yes we are…By the gods I must have gone insane…Left my home to run away in a forest with a witch…Ehehe…hahaha…pfhaaaaahaaahahaha!'' The gryphon lays back on the muddy, leaf-covered floor, laughing her feathers off
Girl's crazy yo
This is a crazy situation.
I pull her jacket over myself as a blanket and giggle myself to sleep.
"Scorpion, keep watch over us while we sleep.
" I silently command the wooden bug.
>>660046''Of course, my master. I will guard your slumber with my last breath''
Garzha shakes her head and lays down nearby, curling up around herself
''Good night Molinya…''
That night, you had a peaceful, dreamless slumber, blissfully unaware of your familiar patrolling both you and Garzha while you slept and how it scared off any bugs or critters that tried crawling on either of you
When you wake up, you feel surprisingly well rested for having to sleep on the forest floor…
Garzha's coat kept your body warm, but didn't protect your face from the chilly morning winds, which woke you up
As you look around, you see the Oak Scorpion still patrolling the area… It doesn't look like he took any breaks while you slept
You also spot Garzha snoring nearby, her body and wings curled up like a black poofy ball
Yawn and stretch.
Going over to the Oak Bug.
"Morning, did you see anything last night?
''Seventeen ants, three centipedes, three geckos, one beetle and a snake, Master. I eliminated and consumed them all
'' it's voice rings in your mind. As you look down you see some tiny spots of blood, red and green, scattered around…Ew
"Oh. Good job, you must be tired after all that. Why don't you rest.
" I offer petting its barky back.
''I only did my duty protecting my Master and her friend.
'' it bows it's head as you pet it, its rough like the surface of a tree ''And I thank you for your kindness. AS you wish I will stay put
'' And he does so. Standing still like a statue
Garzha is still asleep like a lazy gryphon
"Oh.. Are the other Witches you've met not kind?
" I tilt my head picking a few leaves are dirt out of my mane, did we bring stuff for breakfast?
''All my Masters were kind for allowing me to serve them… But my Master is the first one to give me orders to rest
A quick check on your bag shows just half of a old bread. Garzha was the one that was carrying most of the food with her. You see her bag is just besides her sleeping form
"Oh! I guess they would just dismiss you, I could do that if you'd rather.. I'm actually not sure how taxing manifesting here is for you.
Check her bag, I remember she had a pan, I could start a little fire and fry up something..
It remains silent for a moment, moving it's head to stare up at you ''Being summoned in this form barely tires me, if that is what my Master is concerned about. When I was called, my bond with this world remained stable, and that allows me to stay for many hours as long as I keep this form
'' It nods, clicking it's pincers
You indeed see a pan and a pot hanging out of the side of her bag. The sticks from last night's fire were a bit burned off but you still manage to easily start a fire
Now what to cook for breakfast…
"Aright! Thanks for explaining.
" I think cheerfully at it.
She packed so much stuff, I bet there is something tasty. '1d20' rolling breakfast luckRoll #1 5 = 5
It bows again and resumes it's statue-like posture
As snoop around in Garzha's bag, you find lots and lots of potatoes, carrots, two cabbages and some onions. She really thought about you!
With some water and some of the salt in that bag, you could make a nice morning soup if you use the pan…Or you could fry something..Choices choices
Your stomach grumbles to remind you to hurry up!
I will fry up some of the carrots and potatoes, then a cabbage leaf can be used to wrap them up, its almost like a burrito.
You give yourself a pat in the back from your cleverness
You take a few minutes to prepare everything. While you carefully fry the veggies, you see Garzha groan and move a bit, no doubt awakened by the sound and the rich, salty smell of the carrots and potatoes
She gets up and stretches in a very cat-like manner, opening her beak wide for a yawn
''Uaaaagh…Good Morning…'' She rubs her before dragging herself close to you, a smile forming in her beak as she gives you a tired smile ''Hmmn that smells good…''
"I'm thinking of calling it a veggorito, you want one Gaz?"
''That sounds like a word of curse for me'' grinning, she takes a seat besides you, watching the pot ''Well, I don't eat vegetables very often…But I have not packed a lot of meat so…''
She yawns again ''Well…About that uh…Magic catalyst…''
"Breakfast first! You can pick out a perfect catalyst on an empty stomach." I declare with a smile.
She rolls her eyes, smiling as well
''Fine fine, give me one of those things then, let's see if I can stomach it''
Carefully slide the fried veggies into the cabbage leaves, sliding one to Garzha and keeping one for myself, my fur shimmering in joy at the scent barely waiting for her to grab hers before biting into mine.
It takes a lot of self control from you to not devour this immediately, and you can even see Garzha's almost predatory stare of hunger as you hand her veggorito
You finnally go in to take a bite out of it… But then
''Master! I sense something
'' you hear the scorpion's voice ring in your mind. As you look up, you see a few bushes among the trees shaking! Something's there!
"Wha! Come over here to me!
" I reply and put a hoof on my sword.
"Garzy, above us!"
She jumps back and is about to take off…Until you both see what comes out of the bushes is… A kind of rabbit creature…It has a big white fluffy pom pom almost as big as it's cream colored body and two feather-like 'ears' sticking out of it's head. It looks at you both with it's wide, beady red eyes.
''…It's just a Dreamhare, Molinya…'' She deadpans ''Probally just got attracted to the smell''
I blush embarrassed. "Oh. Well, I guess you can make jokes about rabbit food now."
Check the notes of the hunter just to be sure Dreamhares aren't a sign of danger.
She huffs ''Can't believe I almost dropped breakfast because of this…It just wanted a piece of our food. We should scare it off before more decide to show up'' She munches on her veggie burrito
''Hmn! Hey this isn't half bad''>>664282
You scroll through some of the pages. For your convinience, the Hunter kept his notes in alphabetic order, so you easily find a page about dreamhares. It has a small, crude drawing of the creature with some highlights to it's body parts
There is also a whole page covered with words, like a field diary
>Nov.19, spring>Dreamhares. Small and adorable little rabbit-like critters that live in forests or plains. At first they seem harmless and cute, but one day as I was setting traps for Mosscrabs, I spotted one of them trying to fetch some fruits out of a tree. Of course it was too little to do so, but as I watched, I saw an amazing revelation. the symbol on it's head, which I previously thought to be just some kind of birthmark for their kind, began to glow white. And suddenly the branches began to shake and eventually drop the fruit. The dreamhare took them and hopped away as it dawned upon me that these creatures…No these MONSTERS could be related to witches…I will be on watch for more of these little things…
There are some other small notes regarding the uses for it as hunt. They are not good for their meat as they are far too small and bony, plus the hassle of actually catching one makes it barely worth the time unless you really have no other option, among some other notes in case you are interested in reading them
"It says in this journal that Dreamhares can use magic, maybe this is a sign of good luck for you!"
She chokes on her food
''*Coughcough* Wait…What?! that thing?!'' She points a finger at it as it bounces closer with curiosity
"Yea, he saw one using magic to get fruits, with the symbol on its head."
I offer the hare a bit of my food.
''D-does that means it's dangerous?'' She backs away as the bunny slowly approaches, eyes drawn to the fried, hot vegetables. it's little nose wiggles as it smells the scent, coming closer…Closer and closer…
"It means its got magic inside of it.." I keep holding my offering of fried veggie pieces out. "..It might make a good familiar if it were younger.. but as it is full grown.."
''What…Are you going to do with it then?…Are you going to kill it and eat it's magic?''
The bunny finally comes close enough to open it's mouth and nibble on the cabbage leaf, then leaning even closer to get the carrot bits, munching happily…So cute
Keep my voice down. "Kill it huh.. Well.. there actually couldn't be a better choice for bones than bones of a creature this magical, and we do need a nice base for your wand." bring my other hoof to its back slowly to grab its neck.
"What do you think Garzha?"
It leans against your hoof, cluelessly mistaking your intentions for pettings as it closes it's eyes happily. It lets out a cute noise that sounds almost like a bird chirp
''Uh…Alright…But careful it doesn't use magic on you…'' She slowly circles around it, reaching for her bag
Firmly grab it, letting my now empty food hoof rub its head to keep it relaxed. My breath quickening and my shine going down.
As you keep it distracted, Garzha opens the bag, making as little noise as possible, and pulling out a small dagger. her gaze shifts between you and the bunny as the air grows tenser
I wonder if she's done this before.. I mean I've seen it done once, but.. Keep it still for her biting my lip when she gets close.
It all happens so quickly
She pulls your hoof out of the way, then grabs the head of the bunny with the same claw before she brings the knife to it's belly before it can even try to get away.
The whine that it lets out filled the air and your heart with dread as the knife plunges it's stomach. It shakes wildly for a second before Garzha twists the blade, and it falls limp
The gryphoness exhales the breath she was holding ''There…'' She mutters, lowering the corpse to the ground
It feels kind of cold out of the sudden
"..Um." I look away from it, then back, then away again to my bag, looking at the book for the section on wind magic again, I think there was a little diagram about the wands..
As you flip te book back to the 'catalyst base' section. Hollowed out bones work nicely, but not as much as the ones made of wood if you want a wind catalyst. There is also a reminder that the base must be made of only one material. NEVER try to mix wood with bone for a base or else the spells cast will go haywire
Glancing at the bunny again, you see that it is pretty tiny. the biggest bones are most likely in the legs…
''So…Uh…Should I?'' She motions to the bunny, knife still in her claw
"Right, um, you should use a leg bone since that's the biggest one, should be easiest to hollow out."
''Alright…'' She carefully picks it up and starts working on getting the organs out ''Uuh…Can you fetch me the pan over there?…Also Is there anything I shouldn't throw away?…I don't know if you'll use any of these things for spells or potions or hexes…''
Put the pan under her hooves.
"I'm not much for brewing things, but I'll look over the book to be sure.."
I doubt that elements or illusions need bunny guts, but the ty-me book.. flip through its old pages
As you open the ancient book, you see the hard to decipher glyphs. Something tells you that you won't find anything of use with this book for now…
You do remember however from your alchemy classes, that beast hearts can be used for a crude, but very effective love potion… along with some other ingredients…If only you had your book of potions and the proper tools with you…
..But I don't really want to carry around a bunny heart until I find that stuff..
"Ehem, we don't need that stuff for anything we'll be casting. We don't have any potion making tools anyway."
''Alright…I guess I'll just leave it here for some animal to eat…'' She says as she carefully separates the meat from the bones and organs. Ripping off a slab of flesh from the thighs, she brings it to her beak and eats it!
''Hmn…Chewy…But not bad'' She mutters while cleaning the leg bones. They are small, slightly bigger than a pen and a bit curved
I actually, smile, knowing the bunny won't go to waste.
"Better than veggoritos I bet."
''Hey, my dad taught me to never let things go to waste…'' She finishes cleaning, scanning the bone for any flaws ''Don't you even think of trying to get mine though, I'm still gonna finish that''
Shw shows you the cleaned bone ''Alright, does this looks good?''
Gently pick up the bone examining its weight and hollow-ness.
It is very light, but unlike the bones of birds it is not hollow, so that will have to be done manually. At least it is not very heavy and it feels small enough for easy transportation. By your judgement this should do for a fine wand
"I can almost feel the magic already!" I declare with a proud grin. "It just needs to be hollowed out."
She smiles ''Oooh this is exciting!'' She picks up the bone and quickly uses her knife and sharp talons to make the bone hollow. It takes a while but the end result is quite nice
''Okay…We got the base…Now what?''
"We go feather hunting." I shine with pride at her. "The day is still young after all."
''Yes…It is a few hours before the afternoon…'' She looks up at the sun behind the trees with a smile
''Though what are we going to do with the rest of the dreamhare now?…'' She points at the sliced corpse of what once was a bunny
I look at the Dreamhare touching its fluffy fur, and long ears and the symbol on its head.
It is dreadfully cold to the touch
Although it doesn't actually seem to have ears, you run your hoof through the feathers on it's head
''Wait…Could'nt we use these feathers isntead?'' Garzha speaks up
"Yes, actually. I think you can use these."
Carefully pluck the two feathers and give them to Garzha.
''Uuh…O-okay how do I do this? should I tie them around the wand or?…ugh Sorry I just don't really have any idea…'' She chuckles nervously as she hold the feathers and the bone
"Well, I think the book showed tying it, but lets look again." Scoot close to her with the wand making pages, skimming for the section about feathers and assembly.
According to the book, it should work as long as the feathers and bone are attached with a firm bond, Either conventional or magical
As you pass the info to Garzha, she leans closer to the book, then looks at the items on her claws ''Huh…Do you think just tying it up should work? I honestly expected something more…Epic''
"…I guess it doesn't feel as magical to just glue it or tie it, but.. its probably easier to take care of."
''Guess that'll have to be it then…Hmn…I think I'll just tear a strip of cloth to tie it up…It's not silk but should work right?'' She says as she picks up one of her coats and a knife ''So, just need to tie these up and I can already start casting?'' She asks excitedly
"Lets see.. Base, amplifiers.. Yep! Just make sure its tight so it won't come loose, I'll find a good starter spell for you." I giggle with excitement and look for a light breeze spell.
there are quite a few easy ones for begginners, but a light breeze should be the most appropriate. Casting wind spells is all about motion most of the times, and in this case, a simple twirl of the catalyst should be enough for a zephyr
Garzha ties the feathers up firmly to the bone. the end result looks poor and outright silly, but it'll do
''A-alright…Done…So what spell are we going to try?''
"The most basic of wind spells, creating a breeze or zephyr. Wind is about movement, try twirling your wand like this."
I flick my sword into a staff to demontrate, twirling it in the air.
''Uuh…Alright'' she tries to copy your movements, but does it so roughly that the wand slips out of her grasp and is thrown away
She curses as she picks it back up and rushes back to your side, clearing her throat ''Okay, firmly grasp it…And now hup!'' she twirls the wand again, and you feel a breeze from behind you that chills you and makes Garzha jump foward ''Woah woah! T-that was it?! Was that it? Did I do that?!'' she trembles
"Yes! You're doing it!" I clap excitedly and hold up a leaf. "Here, try to blow it out of my hoof."
''Ookay…Here goes, don't blame me if I blow you away, ehehe''
She waves her wand aaaaaand
Garzha holds her position for a few seconds ''uuh…''
She tries a second time, this time you see the leaf shake a little bit, but not even close enough to get it off your hoof, which makes her excited as she prepares to go again
She tries a third time, and you feel just a slight breeze again, but the lead is still in your hoof
''ugh…this is harder than I thought…'' she says, looking at her wand
"Its okay, you're still getting the spell to work! You're doing great. We can try.. hmm another spell, if you think you have that one down."
''Oh no no it's alright…If we stay in here trying magic lessons we might take all day until I do something actually good…Heh…A-at least I already know I CAN do magic…Come on'' She stretches ''I think I should have some lessons before I keep swinging this thing around.''
"Right, we should move further into the forest if we want to get thought before winter." I giggle. "And the books aren't going anywhere."
''Yes…How about we try this again…Tonight?'' She says as she starts to pack up, dumping the remains of the bunny near the fire
''So…What was the other spell you had in mind? just out of curiosity you know?''
"You'll see tonight." I giggle at her. "Don't worry, eventually you'll know all the wind spells in the book, and then we'll have to worry about getting you a new book!"
And so, after a few minutes of packing up, coupled with some wind elemental exposition for Garzha, your shady gryphon friend and partner-in-crime, you two are ready to resume your trek
You have been surrounded by trees ever since you entered the wildwood between Ashenford and Pinecrest, the latter being your next destination in your quest to find 'A way home'
You feel Garzha's gaze on you since you started strapping your bags to your back, and glancing back earns you a quick awkward smile from her before she turns away W-well, back to the trail… We're lucky that only that little bunny met us here. Come on
She walks on ahead, lugging the larger bag with all of her (mostly) stolen items as she leads you back to the trail where you resume your walk
It also comes to your attention that there has been very little to no wind blowing naturally through the trees in this forest. Something you noticed after the end of Garzha's little lesson.
Perhaps it has to do with the geography, I think that places away from mountains don't have much wind.
Check the map for mountains actually.
'1d10' roll test
Roll #1 7 = 7
Indeed, according to the map, there is a mountain range to the west of Ashenfort… But then again, the ocean it doesn't seem large enough to completely block the wind… HmmnPlanning out our next destination, are you?
Garzha speaks up jokingly, breaking your focus on the matter
"Oh.. I'm just trying to get familiar with the area." I reply and put away the map for now.
"Its not like I remember from home after all."
She turns back to face the road Well… You'll find a way I'm sure… You're a witch after all. What Can't you do?
She glances back, the line of her beak curled in a little cheerful smile
"Remember to pack proper tents It seems." I chuckle and keep us going.
She rolls her eyes as you two keep walking along the path.
Now that you look down at it, you notice it is absolutely devoid of leaves, bugs, branches or anything that isn't dirt. Even though the trees are just 3 feet away from the path. In fact the branches even reach out above you as their leaves blocks the sunlight, but none seems to have ever fallen into the path, plus all the trees are all in an exact distance away from the path, almost as if they were moved by something…Or by themselves.
It has been like that ever since you stepped in the path too, but Garzha doesn't seem to notice
Okay. This is
strange. Stop and move the dirt around rocks around looking for signs of a spell cast here '1d10'Roll #1 4 = 4
You move the dirt and the rocks on the path around, but nothing seems to change or be out of ordinary as your closely examine the ground. You simply stare at the dirt… And you feel it staring back, dirtily
You also feel the slightest urge to sneeze…Hmn?
Garzha stops and turns around, eyeing you curiously, then looking around before approaching you cautiously What are you…?
"I thought.. I thought I noticed something here.."
Take a step forward, grab a few leaves from the side of the road, and drop them one by one onto the dirt path.
Garzha tilts her head, watching you do so
The leaves flutter harmlessly to the ground below
And they remain there…
…Wait, what is that…
You hear Garzha's smoky voice breaks your concentration again, and out of the corner of your eye, you notice the dirt and the rocks are shaking a bit…Then they start moving, very slowly, towards their original positions almost a minute ago.
Garzha silently takes a step back, staring at you with curiosity Did… you do that? Molinya?
Shake my head. "No.. There is some other magic at work here."
She stands at attention and sticks closer to you, looking around suspiciously You mean there is another witch at this forest?…
her voice comes out in a hushed whisper…All witches are allies with eachoter though, right? if we tell the witch we are witches too, we can avoid any trouble… Right?
"Uh.." Reply back in a hushed tone.
"I'm not really sure if that's how it works here, I'm not really from.. this place. Remember?"
Her face twists into a worried cringeW-what kind of magic is it then? Did someone put up a labyrinth in this forest or cursed the path?
Shrug. "It doesn't look harmful, just keeping the path clear. Maybe the witch lives nearby and got tired of tripping on rocks?"
She raised a claw to scratch her head feathers You sure?… I never heard of a witch here… Or she might have moved recently…
She adjusts the bag over her shoulders Still, I thought you could dispell or track the source of the spell or detect it…
Now that she pointed that out, magical detection IS a school in Soul magic, which you have some training on…
"Psh, of course I could. I just didn't want to bother if you weren't interested. I mean, meeting other
witches, that could be real boring for you."
I keep talking while trying to recall the exact spell I'd need here.
She nods, buying your every word like a child listening to it's motherOoh, I'm sorry, you know that I have no clue how your witch society works… Or if there even is one
You do remember there was a rather simple and easy method of detecting magic that you learned on your first year. In fact, you remembered being commended for being the first in the class to 'See' the traces of magic in the room
Of course, there was much more to the study than just knowing there was magic there. There were lessons about precisely finding the source, sensing the magic from afar, and even discerning what kind of magic it was (elemental, space/time.) and…So… are we going to keep going?
Oh right! the method! Garzha snaps you out of your memories as you recall it again, and your mind wanders…Normally, traces of magic cannot be seen by our eyes how we see smoke in the air, no…
Proffesor Plum's voice rings in your mindhowever, those with a magical talent, even untapped, may see traces of magical energies released in the air with something we've come to call as the Mind's eye. When you have learned to open and master your Mind's eye, you will be able to detect and even track the source of any spells that have been cast around you, or even away from you, it all depends on your aptitude. Now, this is not a technique that any wizard below the level of an adept is expected to know, however, you can still open your Mind's eye if you close the others. Let us try. Now, everyone close your eyes… Imagine the world around you… Imagine this classroom, focus on the details you saw before you closed your eyes… My table, the chairs, the chalkboard… Can you feel it all forming in the darkness? Good, now focus on it. I have cast a spell somewhere in this room… Can you see it? Is it in the air? In the walls? Around myself?I see it I see it! It is in the chalkboard, Proffesor Plum!Yes! Well done Molynia, and so fast too.Wow, she already found it?I didn't see anything…''I expect great things from you, Molynia Glass
You return back to the real world from your little flashback moment… With Garzha's face awfully close to yours
"I think I should give it a try. If the witch here is better than me, well.. then we won't find anything."
"Oooh, you can try too actually, you need to close your eyes, and see with another sense, we called it the Mind's eye. You should be able to see the magical spells that have been cast around you or away from you."
I explain roughly, sitting down on the road and closing my eyes to focus on tracking it.
It doesn't take you long to find it, as Garzha sits down along with you, mimicking your movements as she too tries closing her eyes, though a glance at her shows that she was very confused
However, for you, it doesn't take even 3 seconds for the traces of magic to begin appearing.You could proudly assume it would be thanks to your skill, but maybe it also has to do with the fact that… This trace of magic is HUGE! Not only it surrounds you and Garzha, but also the whole extension of the path and more. Like you were inside a great wall that crossed the forest…!
That is what must be then! A wall that is keeping the leaves away… And perhaps even more than just that…
"Its like a road of magic, more than a trace! Come on lets follow it."
Get up and rush down the path, only stopping to try to find where the spells comes from.
You break into a gallop along the path, with Garzha following right behind you… Although she has trouble to keep up at first(Her bag is bigger after all)
You keep going… And going… Until you get a bit too tired to keep running, deciding to maintain a healthy jog instead, with a panting gryphon behind you, taking a break once in a while to use your Mind's eye and keep track of the magic roadHow…
wheeze How is it possible…
gasp That someone can cast a spell that… goes this far?! Even for a witch that is ridiculous!
the inky gryphon complains behind you
I look back at her, panting but faintly glowing with excitement.
"I don't know, but whoever it is, they might. They might be strong enough to get me home. I have to find them."
She huffs, adjusts her bag again and stretches, giving you a daring smirk Alright, this is awfully tiring, but I still feel so alive from this… The clean air of this forest is really revigorating!
She catches up and jogs besides you on the little dirt road
Her bright smile slowly dims, however This one is certainly strong… But what if it is not amicable?
"…" I stop to frown at the idea.
"Well, then I have my companions, we'll be able to run away if thing go badly."
I gaze at the road. "It doesn't look like we're actually getting closer thou.. maybe this isn't a road leading to them, but a circle around their place?"
Garzha also stops and stares at you before she looks down and ponders at your wordsWait here…
She says as she gently lays he bags down… stretches and flaps her long, pitch black wings and takes off with a jump!
You see her rising in the air,and carefully adjusting herself mid-air to pass through the branches and leaves
You have a hard time to see her after that, as the leaves block most of the sky
After a few seconds, she descends, her beak curled into a big smile Actually, we are almost out of the forest! I could even see pinecrest from there!
"could the witch.. live in Pinecrest?" I ponder with a surprised expression.
The black gryphon heaves her heavy bag with a huff ''It could be… Though why would she put a spell in this road? Does it do anything more? And how long has it been here?''
Looking up at the trees, she glowers ''I apologize, it is just that… A witch so powerful living in Pinecre-'' She gasps ''That must mean the ponies living there could be in danger!''
"I don't think that's right.." I frown at the idea. "It must be someone who uses this road a lot."
''Forest Witch that just moved in then?'' Garzha suggests, strolling ahead
''Did you tried to find the source too? I would be at peace if I knew this Witch was not stalking and watching us since we stepped in her spell…''
You can roll a d10+1 if you'd like to try tracking the source
"Right. Just be quiet and let the pro witch do this." Sit next to the path and meditate on the source.
'1d10+1' tracking.Roll #1 5 + 1 = 6
The dusky gryphon watches as you fixate your mind on the spell
You can't seem to feel the source anywhere around you, which could be good, since it means the caster isn't in this forest. But you feel something more now that your mind is not distracted by the spell itself, something strange… It is like a warm existence in your mind, you can feel it rests far away from where you are. You feel it gently touch your thoughts in a similar way the familiars do when they speak to you. It feels almost inviting…
But before you could go any further, it vanishes, leaving a last ripple in your mind before the silence takes over
Shake my head. I can't let myself get caught up in mind traps.
"Whoever it is, they aren't close by at all."
"Let's keep moving before it gets dark."
Garzha breathes a sigh of relief ''No need to tell me twice. let's go''
It takes less than an hour until you pass by the last tree at the edge of the forest. Looking back, you feel a bit lucky that things went so smoothly while in there
''Pinecrest is just ahead'' The gryphon speaks up, excitedly picking up the pace as she struts ahead of you ''This will be the first time I will be here without my father, free to go where I-err… Where We
You can see it just ahead of you; small simple houses lit by the late afternoon sun. Pinecrest is now just a few minutes on foot away
''Oh, I should tell you, Pinecrest is a village full of earth ponies. Well, Ashenfort was too, but I this town is inhabited only
by earth ponies. No unicorns, gryphons or donkeys. Though My father told me that occasionally, the deer that dwell in the Pinecrest Woods, would visit the town for many reasons.''
She contemplates ''I never actually saw one, but he said that some gryphons, mostly the less civilized ones, ate deer! Can you believe that?''
"I remember that feeling, on my first weekend trip from school. I went with a bunch of mare from the hoof ball team, we went crazy shopping at the mall." I reminisce about the old days, in the future, barely nodding at her explanation.
"So, we're gonna have to get any clothes you buy custom fit then? For your wings?" I suggest with a smile.
It is pretty hard to tell if Garzha is blushing under those dark feathers, but she seems a bit flustered ''What is wrong with that? Ponies barely wear clothes either. Maybe that is why everyone back in Ashenfort thought you were so strange. With that curious choice of clothing and that weapon!'' She exclaims, pointing at you with a claw
"Huh.." I frown suddenly, and touch my outfit in distress.
"Is it not good? What do they wear here?"
''Some things a bit less… Colorful. But you could just say you are an outsider from uh… Beyond Thorncrest. We are almost there, so don't act suspicious''
Garzha turns foward as you approach the edge of the town. It has no gates blocking the houses, but you do see a tall watchtower where a lazy guard is napping. As you walk further, entering the town, you feel an almost overwhelming feeling of dullness. This place was cold, grey and calm. The kind of place that you can tell nothing exciting almost ever happens. You pass by a faint blue mare, grey mane done in a bun, pulling a cart where 3 noisy fillies play. The obvious stress that aged her face is clear as she glances at you, snorts and goes on her way. The fillies lean against the edge of the cart and make faces at you as their mother pulls them away
''Yep…Good old Pinecrest'' Garzha sighs, walking ahead ''Follow me''
As the gryphon guides you, you both pass by houses and other small buildings, some were built with bricks, and others with wood, where the more Unpriviledged
ponies lived, as Garzha informs you
Most houses, you notice, also had small crops, no doubt a village of humble farmers and builders
''There we are. The Silver Crop'' Garzha stops just ahead of a construction slightly bigger than others ''This is the inn me and my father stayed the night. It's a wonder that it is still up'' She knocks on the door with the knuckle of her talon
I try to copy the scowls of the local ponies, to fit in better.
"They seem grumpy."
'1d10'Roll #1 6 = 6
You remember when Mister Plum used to give the class a big homework before every weekend and pull out a nice grumpface
''Everyone here in this place is. Why wouldn't they be? They have to wake up early every morning to work on crops and plant their own food, and only sometimes, when the harvest is good, trade some of it for a small bit of money.'' She leans against the door
''Wake up, work, eat and sleep. That is their routine, their life, every day. It is rare for outsiders to come here for a visit, and even more rare for a pony from here to manage to move out''
Glaring at the dirty ground, she backs off the door as she hears hoofsteps coming closer ''Sad place, I would not mind helping but we have to think of ourselves first.''
A young brown earth stallion with a black mane opens up the door, barely looking at Garzha ''Good afternoon, welcome to the Silver Crop, how can I help you, ma'am'' He speaks up and you swear he sounds much older and dull than somepony his age should be
''Dinner for two, please, give us the daily special, eh?''
''Bread, butter and milk with coffe. Is all we have''
''Of course, a table for two then''
The young stallion leads you two inside. The place could even be comfy if it wasn't so cold. There was a stairway leading to the second floor, to your left, the kitchen behind the counter, and to the right, a small gathering of three round tables
Once you're seated, the stallion leaves ''Mother, two dinners''
Garzha slumps on her seat and sighs, dropping the bag besides her ''Lovely place, wouldn't you agree?'' She grins at you
"I think its great! A lot different than back home, but real rich foods. And you say they grow it all here? That's pretty cool."
I smile settling in at the table and then remember to act grumpy like the other ponies. "Uh, I mean, its a place."
She laughs, resting her head on a claw ''You are terrible at this did you know that?''
arrive quickly at least, a plate with two halves of a bread and a mug with coffe and milk for each of you.
''Enjoy your meal''
"Uh, its just bread? Okay then. Better than berries."
I eat up and drink the milk, what kid drinks coffee seriously!
The bread is a bit old, but at least the butter brings the slightest bit of flavor. The milk with coffe is slightly bitter, but not unbearably so
You also see Garzha do something weird. She takes one of the halves of the bread and dunks it in the mug, then eats it!
''So, Miss Molinya'' *crunch* ''Whuff ish thu phlan?''
I look almost appalled by her behavior, and the bitter drink.
"Uh, well we need to get a tent for traveling for one."
Then tentatively copy her with my own bread.
Eating the bread in the secret Garzha way has proven to not only be more fun, but also softens up the bread and gives it a nice bitter and sweet flavor. not bad
''Tents? Uh, we should try the trader. It is the only place in the town where we can buy something that isn't vegetables or fruit'' She finishes her plate
Soon after you finish yours, the same stallion comes and hands Garzha a paper ''The check, Ma'am. Would you like to stay the ni-'' He is interrupted as Garzha squawks, glaring at the paper with eyes wide
''Ten pieces of gold for that?! What kind of place you think you are to charge that high?!''
''We need to survive somehow Ma'am. Are you going to stay the night?'' He repeats himself, only slightly bothered
''No, thank you. Here's your st-uh…'' She reaches for her bag, and seems to remember something ''Molinya… You have our money, I forgot…''
"Right, you said it was ten of these?" I show garza a coin that her dad gave me as change, and then give over ten of them.
''Yes, those.'' She grunts, glaring at the stallion as he takes the bits
''Oh we will, of course. Come on Molinya, we're leaving'' Garzha rudely gets up from the table and walks out the door ahead of you. Once you're both outside, she huffs ''Ten. Ten gold pieces! Can you believe that? Ugh, I don't even want to to imagine what the trader will charge for the tents…''
She grumbles, leading you around the town once more
"Is it that much of a rip off? I'm not familiar with your economy… But we might need more at this rate, or more change which you said was suspicious!"
I look over my money.
''Hmph, and the clever guy thought it would be great to tell me the prices after we ate. Greedy bastards…''
You make a pocket check. You have 40 gold and 5 silver. You remember that 1 gold is worth 10 silver pieces, and 1 silver was worth 10 copper
You also have 14 bits from your home, which you were told by Garruk, Garzha's father, were worth 2 pieces of gold each
''Trader is just ahead. You're planning on getting something nice huh?'' She glances back and smiles, seeing you fumble with your money
"I was just checking to make sure! I don't have my bank to withdraw from here, gotta use my money managment skills. At 10 gold a meal, we have only 6 meals worth left."
Garzha rolls her eyes ''Expensive meals you mean. Not even my father would charge that much for bread. That was barely a breakfast!''
She leads you around the city, stopping once to ask for directions from a stallion carrying a bunch of raddishes
''There it is.'' She points to a house with a small wood sign in the front with 'trader' careved into it
''Let us get inside and get that tent before this ghost city sucks the life out of us eh?'' Smirking, she bumps you with a shoulder before strutting to the door
"Hmm." I ponder her sediment about prices, everything was just a certain price standard back home, I think it was because of the government regulating it, buuutt
I didn't pay much attention to history.
"I'll lead this time. What's a fair price for tents so I know." I smile at her.
''Oh.'' She pauses in front of the door, smiles and opens it for you ''Go ahead then, Master Molinya
You can see the inside of the shop. It's very simple and cozy, if only the lack of color and the smell of dust didn't ruin it
Just ahead you see a small counter with a green mare. She seems a bit more expressive than the rest of the town, a lot of worry showing in her face… She also seems to be talking to a strange, smaller pony with a very short tail… Wait no, that's a deer, light brown fur with white underbelly and tail
''And if you see either of them, just pretend you don't know anything, do whatever you can to not annoy her and come to me once you're safe''
The deer glances at you. From the voice you can assume it's a female
''And don't forget that-'' She freezes, eyes fixated on you ''T-that… T-That's HER!'' Shouting, the doe points her cloven hoof at you in panic, Garzha rushes in, confused, causing the doe to scream even louder, and the mare behind the counter to faint
''AND HER SUBORDINATE TOO!''
''Well…'' She ponders ''I remember my dad bought us a tent for a hunting trip one day. Said he bargained one for just twenty silvers… It had a hole but Mother patched it up…''
I blink in confusion.
"I'm sorry, are you mistaking me for someone else?"
When the deer keeps screaming I rush in front of Garzha. "Wait! She's not a mean predator! Its not like that friend deer!"
''D-don't try to fool me! Strange weapon, many bags and A Gryphon as dark as a shadow! I-I… I will end your reign of terror right here, Witch.''
She lowers her head, ready to charge ''You will not disrupt the peace of this humble village! You will not!''
Garzha's face is pure horror as realization hits her hits her ''She knows… Molinya!''
"Oh, you caught us. Two little girls walking alone are surely terrifying witches. And this is a relic from up north." I point towards north. "Past the mountains, where normal iron would freeze, we use crystals instead. Its for keeping wolves from eating me."
''P-past the mountains?'' She blinks, hesitant, but shakes her head ''S-stop trying to fool me! I don't know what you are talking about but I know it is a lie! Witches always lie! Take this!''
She jumps and starts charging towards you!
Let her hit me, since I'm not a witch after all.
You remain still as the doe comes running at you, but Garzha leans foward to try and stop her, but just as the doe was about to hit her, she jumps over both of you and through the door, landing outside and running away ''Hahah! You fools, I know I stand no chance against a witch! Now I will warn the elder about you and he will end you!''
She turns a corner and disappears
''Why that little…'' Garzha starts ''She went towards the woods. If only I grabbed her leg I-*gasp* Molinya, she knows about you, About us! And she was telling that mare too… And probally told half of the town at this point as well… Oh gods no''
"…They aren't really going to believe that right?"
''Molinya, that mare just fainted. She FAINTED! Of course she knows! Oh curses how did she even know? She even knew what we looked like but how? You have never been here, right? And when I came to this place I never saw any deer… Then how'' She puts a claw on her head, looking distressed
''What are we gonna do now…''
"…Well, the only thing I can think of is the dirt path we were looking at. She must have seen us looking at her spell. So she's a witch too."
Look around the store for the tent we need and any other supplies I can see that we're missing..
"We should get what we can and move on."
She looks back at the store ''Well… You're right on that, at least this time we won't have to pay''
she opens her bag, a look of worry in her face
Looking around you see all kinds of things you'd find in a trader shop. many camping supplies, foods, clothes, skins of animals, jewerly and even weapons
You pick up what you'll need for a tent, a small box of rations and blankets, all the other things you might need you already have, thanks to the Hunter
You also see Garzha fumble around behind the counter and some metallic noises
''A-alright where are we going to go next?''
"To the next town over. Through the woods. Hopefully we'll get some clues at to.. I mean, hopefully we can get away before they put posters up."
''You mean towards Arindale? That might be a bit dangerous…''
"Right. What about River view?"
''It is uh… A bit far, but we can reach it'' She puts a claw to her beak ''I actually always wanted to see it. It's a city of fishers, very lively too, I heard'' She starts packing up in a rush
Help her get everything settled onto the packs and leave the store, toward the smaller woods.
"Okay, you're not gonna like this idea. But. I think we should go after that doe. We wanted to find the source of the magic right?"
You see her worry grow
''Well I…Y-yeees? But she went to tell the deers all about us… I don't really know much about them deers, No one really does… They just keep to themselves in the woods… Lurking there''
She looks back at you ''What if they try to kill us on sight?''
"Then I'll never know if they have the magic I'm looking for.. and I might never get home! That would be bad!" I grab her shoulders "Really bad Garzha, because my home was in trouble. I remember.. parts of it.. a big fire.. I have to go back!"
She looks away ''Alright alright fine… We will go…'' She gently pushes you off, mumbling ''You better know some spell to revive us''
You don't. That's necromancy
''What are you gonna do if they know the magic though? Steal it?''
"…If it comes to that, but maybe they will trade once they understand."
I frown and trot briskly toward the woods.
''You're too optimistic…'' The gryphon mutters as she paces ahead ''Come on, before we get captured by guards''
After almost an hour of hurried walking, you arrive at the edge of the forest. Garzha pauses right besides you for a moment ''Keep your eyes open. We don't know what trap they might have made for us…''
She walks ahead
'1d10' keep watch as we go into the woods.Roll #1 5 = 5
You are actually not even sure where to look at as you pass by the trees, but you have a good feeling as you go. Compared to the town, this forest has a lot more colors and life to it. You hear birds chirping and even a little squirrel running past you and up to a tree. Garzha looks a bit more relaxed as well
After a few minutes of walking, the inky gryphon stops ''Look'' She points to what looks like a very simple wooden construction on top on a big tree, it's pretty much a treehouse. There is a deer by the window too, it watches you silently for a moment before picking some kind of horn and blowing it. The loud noise spreads through the forest, and keeps echoing as the deer puts it down and goes back to staring at you, wordlessly
Wave at the deer and call out to it.
"Hello! Can I talk to you for a minute? That's a very nice horn by the way, did you make it yourself?"
It seems surprised, Garzha too, but it leans closer to the window, perking it's ears
''What do you want, Witch?''
Deep voice. Definetly male
"I want to talk to your mage. Can I meet them please?" Step closer to his tower.
"I don't mean any harm, I promise."
''The Elder is waiting for you and the gryphon in the village'' He scowls ''And don't even think about casting any of your spells, that goes for both of you''
He points a hoof to your northwest of you ''THe village is that way''
"I'll be on my best behavior." I wink at him and trot toward his village.
"See, that wasn't too hard."
She nods ''True… That could have been worse, but you heard him. They are expecting us…''
She turns to the deer as you walk ''And I have a name
'' before turning back to you
"Then they aren't going to attack us on sight, see, things are going great already." I pat her on the back. "And what matters is we know the truth. You're my friend, my equal, even if you are my apprentice in terms of magic."
Her tongue pokes out of her beak ''Not for long I bet. If I had time I would be a better witch than you in a week'' she moves her claw to pinch your ear ''And all this time I thought it took years of training to become one.'' she says in a mocking tone as you pass by more trees
Roll my eyes.
"A bird makes a single breeze and suddenly she's the high witch of the forest."
You see her beak curling into a grin ''Just admit it, I'm a natural, much more than you even'' She picks her bone wand and waves it around ''You know sometimes I even thought that I could make a great witch when I was a kid. Doing whatever I wanted with my powers… HAH!'' She lunges foward with her wand…
And nothing happens
I face hoof.
"Don't you listen? They said not to use magic here, probably because they are already using a lot of magic to keep this forest so green."
She straightens up, neck and face feathers poofed in embarassment ''R-right, I knew that! I was only pretending to cast, goodness, you think I am stupid?''
She puts away her wand and clears her throat, reverting back to serious Garzha again
Doesn't take long until you see a clearing ahead, it must be the village no doubt
No where to go but forward.
, you are pretty good." I giggle at her.
She smiles with confidence ''O-of course I am, and soon I will be even greater, heh…''
As you pass by some more trees, you see it. A big gathering of simple wooden houses and shacks among the trees, either on the ground or built on the branches, connected by bridges and stairs. It is quite the sight, but something is lacking… There are no deer anywhere running around or prancing or little kid deers playing. It is deserted, making the cheerful place just a bit omnious
Before you take another step however…
''There you are'' You hear a raspy, mature voice and see a tall buck approach you. He is a male, and is quite tall, even more than Garzha and wears some kind of tunic ''Come, the Elder waits'' he says, looking down at both you and Garzha