Chapter XIII: A Terrible Storm Gathers1030 posts and 4 image replies omitted. Click reply to view.
Princessland has, if nothing else, plenty of buildings. Perhaps some description is in order. The larder is hosted out of the great dining hall, which could easily host 1,000 guests at once. The diningware is polished stone, and modest drapes add some color to the grey tones of the stone walls in this chamber. Long wooden tables in the light tones of banana palm seem more ornamental than sturdy, but the long, stalwart yew benches at their feet are terraced with steel rings on which to hook chains.
To find your way around Princessland, it is ironically probably not best to turn to the Office of Holy Information, which in this case is information in a more general sense, and rather consult the local priesthood. You might try the secretaries at the Office of the Abbot, or for a less formal session, consult the groundskeeper at his house apart.
Grey told you that chasing graves seems crazy. Now that breakfast is settled, you have nothing but the road ahead of you… do you want to ask anyone to come with you besides Sitar?
Maybe the other mercenaries, like George or Emrille, or even Lacy might come. On the other hand, they might have their own business.
Another day, another posh suite. If nothing else, the Belle family is well off. Lilly may want help - or perhaps you could follow up on that lead with Bran. Apparently Selena and her daughters got in last night. Or maybe George has interesting stuff going on. Plenty to investigate.
Since this is an area for more common ponies to have an audience with the Majordomo, there aren't announcements going on - though there is quite a line to speak with this lord.
Some of the more finely dressed ponies are headed down various hallways, but you're pointed to the stairs up.
Go where we're pointed to like a good pony!
"No self-respecting warrior of any kind would fight for someone totally worthless just because they have money. Even if they weren't strong, if they were wise or swift. This is the way the world has always been. To work for someone you cannot respect for money alone… not even a sword is so mindless. Enough talk - I grow weary of you.
After day 1, you arrive in Hamburgerburg. It is a squat and ugly town, but it has legendary gunsmiths. Move on to Bokis Cargo?
One of them looks you over. "You're a little doughy though, Princess…"
"Okay, we'll meet you there."
They jump back in the water.
Well, I'd buy a new gun but I don't really want to waste time since we do
have limited amounts of it. So move on.
"I was tired anyway.
Try to get some sleep, to help me heal up. '1d10'Roll #1 10 = 10
I'll scrunch at that comment.
I'm not doughy, I'm stout
Grumping to myself, I'll look once, twice, to make sure no one's coming and then break through the window.
This room seems to be made out of fine carpets. Floor, walls, ceiling. It's all carpeted. You wonder if it gets hot.
There are a number of very large… blobs here. A guard directs you to sit on one and wait.
"They're big pillows!" Aira remarks cheerfully. It seems they also have strange vases with tubes attached, and also bowls with what you assume are refreshments inside.
Guard: "Welcome yourselves to hookah while you wait for the Grand Vizier to see you."
"A hookah?" look to Aria…
Your ship pulls into a harbor full of expectant tribal ponies. This place is primitive in every meaning of the word: bamboo structures everywhere you look, bone jewelry, and little clothing other than that made from leaves. Nonetheless, the locals seem happy to see you as they mob your ship.
One of the crewmen comments: "I wouldn't worry about your saddlebags - they're savages but they're not thieves. Oh, they might want to touch your mane or something, but they won't steal. It's not in their nature."
A crowd of the tribals is forming around the ship - making it hard to move away. At their head is a tribal pony with a bone nose piercing, decked out in a robe made entirely of beads. He holds up a staff and gargles something in his unknown foreign tongue.
The ship starts unloading some crates.
The staff-wielding pony is now waving it about, shrieking in his foreign language. Cheers go out through the crowd and they begin to grab the crates being unloaded from the ship.
"Right. Just don't tell them we aren't angels if you find one who CAN speak Equestrian. Because we are. That's the official position on the matter, so don't contradict it."
You feel really drained when you wake up. You spent yesterday without food, but the smell of coconut in front of your face is enough to make your eyes bolt open. One half a coconut…
You don't see the ninja anywhere. Maybe off getting more food? Delivering the ransom note? If only you knew what time it was… Now would be the perfect time to move, but you have no idea if you're about to shrink or not.>>671288
Smash the unlocked window? Y/N
Well, shit, if it's unlocked then I can just go through it. Quiet is key.
Aria scratches her head. "I heard of it. It's like cigars I think. I'll try it."
She haphazardly sticks the tube in her mouth.
"I guess I inhale?"
"Maybe? Be careful…"
That's useless at my size, don't even bother trying to eat it.
Try standing instead.
"What do these ponies trade?"
You hoist your stout curves over the windowsill and, butt hanging out the other side due to the weight of your tail, squirm a bit until you get out the other side. Princess stealth! Looks like noone's in here.
The drydock is something like you've never seen before. Very modern - all smoothed stone, fancy wooden framework to hold up the ship. No ramp though… how do you get it down? You're on eye level with the deck, because the area where the ship is held up by a framework is set about 10 feet down. The other half of the room, by the sea doors, is another 10. There's the water level - how do they get it down that sheer drop? It doesn't make sense!
There's gotta be some kind of mechanism. Can I reach any of the platforms from the window, or do I have to jump?
She coughs a bit, but, after a moment, gives a thoughtful look.
"It's like inhaling sea breeze, but like… fruity? Hard to describe.">>671297
"Only one currency in Bokis Cargo - raw coal. But they're mostly a barter economy anyway.">>671299
There are a series of ladders about between the levels - you can handle these with your hooves. Roll Dungeon.
You are feeling well enough to stand, but you're still dizzy from not eating. You need nutrition pronto.
'1d10'Roll #1 8 = 8
If there's another one, I pick up one of the tubes, put it in my mouth and slowly inhale.
You notice that on each of the lowered levels there are strange openings in the walls. What did they mean by this? They look too small for any pony to fit in - a series of them about as large as a hoof.>>671303
Several tubes come out of a single hookah device.
It causes you to cough a bit too – but she's right. There's a light, fruity flavor. Like punch.
"Weird, but it's not unpleasant! I wonder if they have apple flavor…" Take another hit from the
Maybe they're like the drains that were in the Lunar temple? Pumps water in and out. Just need to find the controls. First I've got to get that door open, though.
"And what do we give in return?"
Nah, what I need is to reach my stuff.
'1d10' reach through the barsRoll #1 1 = 1
You don't cough this time, adjusting to the vapor. It's nice - definitely a way to cool off.
Aira is looking in one of the jars. "What is this stuff? It's… cold. It's… hey, this is like snow. What? How could they get snow here? It's so hot!">>671306
There are some chains hanging from the ceiling that seem suspicious.>>671308
Just as you're reaching, stretching, trying to get through the bars, you suddenly hear an audible POP! and you find yourself in a heap. Shaking yourself and rubbing your smacked head, your right yourself. You appear to be… sitting inside the coconut you wrote off before. You're tiny again. But free!>>671307
"They like manufactured goods, mostly. Clothes, metalwork, ceramics. I can sell you some pots you can trade if you like."
I wish they labeled these things!
Experimentally tug one.
"Magic?" Take a look at the jars themselves.
NOW this is a proper amount of food. Feast on the coconut until I'm full.
"… Give me a moment here."
Turn to my companions.
"Do we need these ponies to help us with anything at all, you think?"
They seem mundane enough. Good insulators of heat, at least.
A servant opens the great doors: "The Grand Vizier is ready for the Springleafs.">>671310
While you hold it down, water begins to slowly rise in the lowest portion of the room.>>671312
You eat, and eat, and eat, until your tiny little breezie stomach is full. Relieved, you collapse on your back inside the shell. Suddenly, with an ear-splintering crack, the world goes dark!
Feeling above you, it seems another half of the coconut has closed upon you. You're trapped, tiny, inside a coconut shell. You hear a muffled voice from outside your delicious prison: "You really were a fae… how did you get so big? Well… you're going to be much easier to carry around like this!
"They might know about any wrecks around here. Information could be useful."
"I've got nothing."
Jump up! Then put the hookah tube down.
Check if my clothing is still in order.
Take a deep breath.
Then see if the girls are ready too, before trotting in.
Let it go, then wrap it around itself to make a reminder to myself that it's the one for raising the water. A simple loop with the end tucked through it should do. We'll try the next one after that.
"Right. Good thinking."
Turn to the crewpony.
"Yeah I'll buy some pots. I need to win their favor for the sake of information gathering."
"I knew you were there. I don't suppose you have any fresh water? That fruit made really thirsty.
" I call out to her.
The guard stops you at the door. "Take a left after passing through the doors, and cooperate with the attendants."
Following the instructions, you head left into small side room. There are several waiting mares in robes here. Wordlessly, they begin to strip you - starting with bags and freely hanging weapons, then on to clothes.>>671316
The other one makes the water level go down, it seems.>>671317
"Pots are 10 bits a piece - we have as many as you could want.">>671318
Silence for a moment. Suddenly you feel yourself being tossed around, rolling inside the coconut. It's really hard to tell what's going on out there. You hear: "Get down.
" You take the advice just a moment before a needle as big as your eye plunges through the top! Now there is a hole in the top of the coconut through which light can filter. The light doesn't last long, as it is suddenly replaced by darkness, and the tiny room you're inside starts filling up until you're in water up to your waist.
Well, this is enough food and water to last for a long time.
Wait a minute. I'm not sure if this is right….but I figure they don't know my language.
Good to know. But I've got to find a way to open that door before anyone thinks to check on the boat. Looking at the door, can I see any way to open it from up here, or is there just a latch on the ground floor that I need to throw to get this thing open?
I scream inside the coconut, suddenly very afraid as my wings and body get soaked, only calming down when the water stops moving around entirely, panting in distress.
Once you are nude, each of you are thoroughly patted for weapons. Aira looks kind of embarrassed about it.
Finally, they pat down all of your clothing, then return it to you. That's the closest thing you've had to action in more than a decade!>>671321
There's a big door bar. That oughta do it.>>671322
An eye looms over the pinpoint hole above you. "There's no light to see in there. Is it too deep?"
You get the sinking feeling that if you say yes, she's going to turn the coconut upside down and let some out.
Understandable. The Vizier must have many enemies.
I put on my clothes again. "Security here sure is tight!" I make a nervous joke.
Ugh. I guess I'll fill up the water level until it's high enough for me to both open the door and get back to this platform.
"No.. Its fine..
" I reply to her looming eye. "Thanks.. Miss Ninja.
Try scooping up a little of the water with my hooves and drinking.
"I'll just buy like… three of them."
Aira just blushes.
Aria remarks: "It's kind of hard to believe that this Jolly Roger was a friend of this Vizier.">>671325
You could take the ladder down, open it, and take the ladder up. But your method works too – you raise the water all the way to level with the second tier (base of the ship) and dive underwater to open the sea brace.
The water, which is now level with the sea, equalizes in pressure and the doors gently swing open.>>671326
"I only wish all my ransoms could be fit inside my satchel so easily.
Water… it's still fresh and delicious. You gulp it down quickly.>>671327
"Three it is. Good luck on your trip."Pause
My plan all along. Things get lighter underwater, after all.
"Is this what you do all the time? Taking ponies for ransom?
" I question back at her.
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always had a knack for getting on ponies' good side."