No.671532[Last 50 Posts]
Slowly, gently, a tremor running through your body – you lean in. It feels so surreal. The air seems to be made of cotton - your whole body is numb, like a dream. You feel like you've been in the motion of leaning forward for several minutes when suddenly your sense of balance goes and you plant your face on the bed. Opening your eyes, you see you were a little too far to the side, and missed. At least your mouth didn't end up anywhere embarrassing. Strictures kisses your forehead as you lay there, red-faced.
Just when it seems the furnace is hot enough to make a decent bath, your door suddenly swings open, interrupting your moment. One of the Inquisitors you met earlier barges in out of the rain, shutting the storm out with a slam of the door.
"We've found the source."
Stricture, not missing a beat, replies: "That was fast."
"It's closer than we thought. Somewhere on the southern half of Dandelion Island."
You went into the military wing and into a basement store room - with nothing but some crates, a lit sconce, and a little bell. You rang the bell.
At first, nothing. Then, bricks in front of you rippling like water, a blue pony with a green mane sticks his head out through the apparently-not-solid wall. He has tired eyes.
"Make it quick. We're shorthoofed as it is."
Rather than respond to your statement directly, Aria makes for the door, and Aira is close behind. Right… nowhere to go but the audience chamber.
The room is perhaps not what you expected. Like the previous room, all of the walls here are carpeted. There are many designs, most in blues and purples, inlaid with cloth of gold. But besides this peculiarity, it more resembles a feasting hall than an audience chamber, not at all like the dome below where the Majordomo held court. There is one long feasting table covered in shining silverware and trays laden with foods from every corner of the world, and the room is decorated with brilliantly shined suits of ceremonial armor - from the ceiling hang interesting models - you recognize one right away as an armillary sphere. You stand perpendicular to the table, and none of the chairs on your side of the table are occupied. At the center of the table on the side opposite of you is a pony in opulent white robes, wearing a turban with a huge sapphire/ruby centerpiece and the largest feather you've ever seen - roc feather, if you had to guess. On either side of him there are a number of strange ponies, horses, and zebras. At the very end of the table on the far left, there's even a foal. Most of them have obscured faces - masks, shawls, hajibs.
The pony in white calls to you in Equestrian, though his Emirati accent is heavy. "Miss Roger and daughters! What a pleasant surprise. Join my table, you must be famished after your journey. You did not send word you were coming!"
"Shorthanded where, huh?"
Step through the wall, then!
You bash your nose into the wall. He tuts at you.
"It's not fluidite. I gather from your… appearance that you are not associated with the faculty nor government?"
Rub my muzzle.
"Fuck… no, I'm not. I'm looking for Bran."
This piques his interest and he raises a brow. "She's in the laboratory. Who should I say is at the door?"
Oh boy, I've never been good at these kinds of things…uh how do I do this?
Bow my head. "It is an honor to be your guest, honorable Vizier. Please forgive our unexpected arrival. Once we received your letter we wanted to travel here as fast as we could." Look at the table for an empty spot to sit down…
"…A friend of Abilio and Cloudy."
His mouth spits into a wide grin and he laughs without cause for dignity. The others at the table join him, though when he adds: "Well, two years isn't that
fast," you figure that the others are probably just laughing because he's laughing.
Actually, not everyone is laughing. The young pony isn't, and there are a couple of annoyed looking Zebras on the far right side who don't look in the mood to humor. Two seats from the Vizier on his left, there's a soldier who isn't laughing, but he has a good-natured smile. The soldier appears to be one of the only ones in the room without anything covering his face, and perhaps for good reason - well groomed and clean-shaven, he is quite handsome.
As for seats, you have your pick of the litter on this side of the table - eleven chairs to choose from, so you just default from the one across from the Vizier. It's not so weird, though, because the table is two meters across. Plenty of breathing room.>>671538
He seems bemused. "My, my - how cryptic. Well, I'll see what she says."
He withdraws his head. This is fucking stupid. Stupid wall.
Guess I got to fucking wait then.
"I knew it!"
Jump off bed in a hurry, gathering my things.
"Is everypony in your unit alright, spellseeker?"
Turn in the same hurry to Stricture. "We need to head there asap! And tell Wind about it!"
Smile "I'm afraid I only received your letter barely a few weeks ago. It had been seized by the Equestrian authorities…all of the letters Fa-my husband sent to me, in fact…"
After what feels like a fuckin eternity - and you ain't gettin any younger (yet) - the head reappears.
He looks apologetic. "She said she's never heard of them. And…" He seems a little confused. "That our cartography program is for no-eyes only, so you can't be let in. She told you to try orientation. Uh… sorry about this. She's normally very nice. I think it's these military projects. Anyway, like I said - gotta get back to it."
And he's gone again. You get the feeling if you smash down the walls that might get you in trouble.
Roll intelligence if you like (optional).
"A little muddy. You seemed like you were in a rush to know, though."
Stricture is busying himself with his armor. "Do you want to find Wind, or figure out a way across the water? I'll do the other.">>671543
He tuts dramatically. "How like Equestria. I am sorry to hear you have been treated so poorly, my goodwife, but I assure you that you will be treated as a guest in my court. Do you plan to stay long?"
It's probably a bad idea, yes.
Gotta think about this… I'm sure as fuck not going to go home now, after all of this.Roll #1 3 = 3
"That depends on…uh mister Vizier, I'd like to get to the purpose of our visit, I understand my husband is very ill and I'd like to see him if…if that's possible
." I say slightly quieter.
"I will get the crossing problem solved." Then to the spallcatcher "Do you have a map of Caballeria?"
There was DEFINITELY something weird about that statement. That guy didn't seem to know what she meant by cartography department…
No eyes… Cloudy was blind, and the ship's navigator. That can't be a coincidence. Is she trying to tell you something in code?
Ugh… why are you so STUPID? If you had just been a little smarter this would be so easy. It's so fucking FRUSTRATING when you run into these problems that you can't just SHOOT. This is why you hate being civilized!>>671547
He glances down his table, making eye contact with a few of the masks down on the left.
"There have been some… complications in two years. We did not expect you to come. But there will be time to discuss the matter later. It is not a matter which will change in the next few days. I should ask, though, have you heard from your good friend the Fullmaster?"
Fullmaster… that was Abilio's nickname. He knew your mother, Theia, somehow - that's the reason you joined the fleet. He seemed to go way back with her…>>671548
"I didn't want to get ours wet. But Dandelion island is close enough to see, if you walk out the West Gate and follow the First Road through the jungle, it'll get you to the other side of the island and you can see across the strait. I'd tell you to take a ship, but with this storm… On the other hand, the swim would be very difficult. You may need a creative solution."
"Yes indeed. Say, is it close enough to shoot something towards it?"
There was a reason I surrounded myself with people smarter than me…
So they can tell me what to shoot.
She definitely wanted to tell me something with that, she must know Cloudy then, but what the fuck did she mean by orientation?
Pace around the room.
Store them in my saddlebags for now and turn to Sitar.
"So how far are we from the general area where the ship sank?"
Glance down at the table for a second. That must mean…I was somewhat prepared for this possibility…glance at Aira and Aria. Then turn back to the Vizier.
"The Fullmaster? Uhm…I don't think so. I've seen somepony who looked a bit like him, but that was a coincidence."
"Not accurately. Well, you could with a cannon, actually. I'd say it's about an thirteen kilometer water gap, but that's just an estimate. A five kilometer swim would be considered 'very difficult' for an average pony. A longbow has an accurate range of about one fifth a kilometer."
She glances toward the window. "Of course, there are a lot of cannons on the ships here.">>671551
It has to be something… what were her cartographic tricks again? It must be hard as a blind pony who can't see to draw…
"We don't know where the ship sank, if you recall, but you told me that you read her ship was caught and sunk near the Reef of Ruin. That's northwest of here, several kilometers. The reef itself is very large though, and spans up and down the coast, and out to sea.">>671553
Aria is doing her best to appear like she doesn't care.
Aira actually does look genuinely distracted by all the fine art.
"No matter. We did not expect as much. Please – indulge yourself. Chile peppers are the Empire's favorite, do you like spicy food?"
I very rarely saw her work…
I know I have at least one time when I was shrunk to a filly.Roll #1 1 = 1
Don't cry now, just keep yourself together.
"I must say I've never tried these before…" Try one of them…
"So we have to somehow convey this to the locals… I guess we'll just have to draw it or something. It's a pretty long shot."
"Here's my plan. We shoot harpoons across the gap, linked to ropes, and use those to build an impromptu ferry with which to sneak across. I'm not sure of the logistics of shooting rope with cannons though…"
Your memories are obviously clouded by all those sweet, sweet milk feedings. Being a filly wasn't all
bad. Things were certainly easier back then.
But now you're at a dead end - literally and figuratively. There has to be some other way to figure out what she means, or something else you can do.
Obviously if she's using code she's not going to talk to you directly for some reason, so there has to be another way to contact her or figure out her clue.>>671556
It certainly helps take your mind off things, but it doesn't stop you from feeling like crying. The red fruit is slightly sweet but extremely spicy - so hot it makes you want to tear up.>>671557
George: "There's another problem, too. That reef is well known for many sunken ships. We could be diving after wrong ships for months.">>671558
"It… might work, if we can get the harpoon to launch right. Aim would probably be hard - we'd need a big target."
"The island can be seen from here, no? Guess it's time to go scout for a good entry point then."
I will need a spyglass.
I probably turn cartoon red for a second.
I cough and drink some water while a few tears flow.
"It might be slightly too hot for my tastes." I smile sheepishly.
"Mister Vizier, my daughters and I were wondering how you became friend with my husband?"
"Mmmm… that's how reefs usually work. Sitar, do you remember what the ship looked like? The hull color, flags, sails, masts, figurehead, that kind of stuff? Anything that would make it stand out?"
"It will be a three-hour walk to the far end of Greater Sister. Do you want to just meet there?">>671561
You are surprised to find that your flagon is filled with neither wine or water, but milk. The thick, creamy taste immediately quashes the spicy flavor and you feel relieved instantly.>>671562
"I am not intimately familiar with it, and it has been two decades. The wood was light - like birch, or something. Big sails."
Okay, all the teats and the marebutts at eye-level were nice…
Think, Emmy, think.
I obviously can't just ask her again like this, that was made clear.
"Ah, Mister Roger came to my court many years ago. He must have been very lucky, because he begged for a job in the court as a… retainer, and I was planning to put out a job opening later the same day. The coincidence seemed to be the hoof of fate itself, and so I hired him. It seems to have been a very fortuitous hire, he had solved many problems for me, before his chronic illness became too debilitating."
"It'd be useless to go there both, we need a ship to actually fire on the island. If you would care to assist me further, I could deal with the admiralty while you scout for a proper entry point?"
"That doesn't help terribly much, but it's something… It was being chased right?"
"We don't have leave to depart the city. The Highlord could call upon us at any moment to renew the hunt. Getting a ship may prove difficult for the same reason, unless the fleet is cancelled.">>671567
"You said it was sunk in battle by a pirate hunter, but that there was a melee first. Rule out all the ships cracked into big pieces - it had to be boardable."
"It could have cracked later on the reef on the way down, right?"
"It would be sinking much slower, it wouldn't tear apart like that."
"Did he ever speak about his illness? What it was or if he came heree to cure it?"
"I would much rather not call upon the highlord again…
Guess I will have to carry the cannon myself! Thanks for all your help. We will deal with this from now on." Of to the dock. I need a cannon.
Ah, fuck it.
I need a drink.
Leave the basement, but drop by the guy who told me how to find the basement first.
"I see you are eager for answers, but to speak of disease is not clean talk for the table. Please, there will be time for this later. Rest from your trip."
Most, but not all, of the other ponies have begun chatting amongst themselves in various languages, seemingly losing interest in you. At least the soldier seems sympathetic, and the kid in the swan mask seems to be listening still, although he's probably just bored out of his mind having no friends.
One of the ponies on the vizier's right - an Oddomane with a huge grey beard - rises. "We can continue our discussion later, after your guest has left for her chambers, Vizier."
"Please, there is no need to go, Chief Qadi."
"You have the answer you are to receive anyway. The word joust can wait for later.">>671570
There are certainly a lot of ships here - even if you can barely see through all the rain.
You could try the ship workshops, the port authority, or just board a ship at random. The smallest, most portable cannons would probably be on a small sloop.
You return to the recruiting desk. He cocks his head in interest. "Find what you were looking for?"
"Twenty years is also a fair amount of time, but I'm sure there's plenty older wrecks in there. Now birch wood… correct me if I'm wrong but birch is usually not used for ships because it doesn't have the durability of other wood types. It bends really well though, better than any other wood I know of, but that's generally not really useful for a ship. Pine is pretty light in color as well though… and if it was pine the wood would probably be pretty intact since it doesn't swell or shrink when exposed to water."
Drop my ears
"I apologize, as his wife I am just very concerned about him. I did not mean to be rude."
Start eating my food quietly. Why did I even come here?
"You could say that… still need a bit of orientation."
George seems impressed.
Sitar shrugs. "I'm not a carpenter. It was white wood. I don't think pine runs that light.">>671575
There's an awkward silence as you stew, so Aira interjects. "I really like your art! It's beautiful!"
"Oh, yes. You know, I gather it from all around the world. Some of these things they tell me have scientific meaning, but I appreciate them for their beauty."
"Your son is very well behaved, too!"
He chuckles. "That is not my son - my family is back in the Emirates. That is my youngest retainer, he has served me well. Ah - to introduce the others, to avoid further confusion. This is Captain Apple, my cousin. You met the Qadi and his attendant, these two stallions are ambassadors from Zebradar. Near the end of the table are my hoofmaidens. And the one with the exotic dress is my Arabian retainer, Albatross.">>671576
He chuckles. "I assume you're not enrolling, so you must mean you're lost? Well, for a pegasus like you, it would be easiest to fly up high to orient yourself, right? Be careful of the dome, though."
"Yeah… oh, and by the way. Don't suppose you have any cartographers around here? In one of the wings?"
"You should try the Corps of Engineering if you want a map. They're at the Royal Technical University - not here."
I cant just requisition a cannon like that. I can, but I don't want to.
Instead, go for the largest ship. Try to find the fleet commodore.
"Well fuck. Where the fuck is that?"
Your intuition tells you the ships are probably lacking in officers during a storm - probably no one but a few guards and engineers.
The Port Authority may have an Officers' Club, so you check it out, and it does. Glancing inside, you do see a lot of dressy ponies idling and sipping coffee.>>671581
"Still in the city. Down the street - look for the series of block-shaped buildings near the park."
"Pine can be pretty light… but if it was really pale wood then maybe it wasn't pine."Going to stop here for a bit.
Start leaving… but stop once I'm past the wooden door of the enterance.
Once it is closed, turn around.
"Hey, door, you're good at riddles, right? Bet you that you can't solve one I have."
"Pleasure to make your acquintance." I say as I force a little smile.
Ask some inservient about the ponies sitting there.
The door doesn't respond. What a shiteating fucking cunt. Or a construct. One of the two.>>671585
He frowns. "You seem tired. Perhaps a meal was a mistake - I shall arrange rooms for you, and you can retire immediately.">>671583
"Either way, the color is what matters." George points out.>>671586
"The officers are all on call in case the storm clears so the Vengeance Fleet can begin."
"Who's the pony in charge of the fleet?"
I'm gonna cheat the system, just you wait.
"I'm the daugher of a blind cartographer who can't speak directly to ask for help. How do I communicate?"
Looks like I fucked this up again…
"Yes. Thank you." I mumble. Now I look like a fool, and right in front of the twins. I wish the ground would open and swallow me whole.
"The Highlord says he will be taking direct command. But the real brains of the group here is Rear Admiral Floss. She's a tactical genius, and only in her twenties.">>671589
"Braille." The door creaks after what seems an eternity.
Hmm… Cloudy did have a lot of weird bumpy documents. Too bad this door doesn't know you don't know cunt about braille. >>671590
He clops his hooves, and the three handmaidens rise to guide you to your chambers. As you leave, the swan-mask kid watches you go.
Aira sighs with relief when you are in your chambers. "That was a little intimidating! And just look at the size of this room."
Aria grumbles. "Well, we didn't really learn anything, but what did they mean by complications? If he's dead, they should just say that."
Is it obvious who she is from a glance at the officer lounge?
You know enough about military symbols to recognize the two-star badge.
One thing I can try is to find a pony who does know shit about that.
Fly off, I need to find a place where I can get information about where to find a braille expert. There must be one in the capital!
'1d10' to investigateRoll #1 10 = 10
Thank that pony and approach the mare.
"Rear Admiral Floss? Maeda Tree of the inquisition. I'm here to discuss the storm that's keeping your ships in port."
You leave the upper city and head down into the lower city, where most of the craftsponies live. Soon, you do find a specialty bookshop with braille. Good thing it was a big city!>>671595
She glances up at you from her donut. Her eyes are piercing.
"Winds died down?"
"No, and they won't until the spellcaster responsible is stopped."
It IS the capital.
The big Canterlot.
And I still got some of my old instincts at least.
Enter the shop.
"Hey, good day."
"That's a new one. Big storm for a pony, though. Well, let's not mince words, then. What do you want?">>671598
There's an ancient mare at the counter. Older than even you!
"Bridge club isn't until tonight, dear. Unless, you're here for a book…?"
"A cannon. One capable of reliably shooting across thirteen kilometres of sea and plant an harpoon into solid rock."
"For some information, and all that… I'd bring Cloudy a book… but I've no idea where she ran off to."
"I take it to mean that he might not be daad but perhaps incapable to speak or move…"
My voice breaks a bit with those last words
"Harpoon gun… I've heard Hamburgerburg has some. There might be a way to improve the stability on a cannon by stuffing it, but you'd lose range. Take what you need, if you can end the storm - but return when you're done.">>671601
"That's just awful dear. Is she your daughter?">>671602
"Like a coma?"
"No, a mare I used to know… She was a blind cartographer, if you ever heard of such a thing."
Well, she probably doesn't know anything.
Still, I'll need a quick guide for braille.
"Unless death claims me, that's my plan. Is Hamburgerburg a ship on your fleet?"
Aria sighs. "Well, sucks for him."
Aira heads for her room.>>671607
"I have, up at the Mage Academy in the upper city. But her name wasn't Cloudy. I think her name is Esther.">>671608
"No, it's a place on a different continent. Famous for their gun designs. We don't have a cannon that shoots harpoons by design."
"Oh? How'd she look?"
"You'll forgive me if I'm unable to reach another continent and come back. Would somepony under your command know how to modify a cannon for the job, then?"
Does Aria stay here?
She chuckles. "Tired.">>671611
"It wasn't a suggestion to you, it was just thinking aloud. In any case, it's just speculation. Try the gunners. They'd know if it was possible better than I.">>671612
Yeah, she remains in the common room.
You have been allotted a series of chambers which has three bedrooms and a bathroom, plus a small common area.
"Thanks for your cooperation. I will be back."
Off I go, to one of the lightest and fastest ships.
"Heh, don't we all look tired though… say, how did Esther do her job while blind? Out of curiosity?"
Take off my robe and hat and look out the window.
"And now here we are, in a golden cage." I murmur. Turn to Aria "I'm not sure what I expected, it had been so long and judging by the letters his disease had gotten the better of him years ago."
Your compatriots join you inside. Hopefully the ship isn't damaged or too difficultly secured. It is up on those supports, but they don't seem TOO hard to disable.Rhanna
You agreed to ride to Dandelion Island and see what there is to see. It'll be a rough ride. Maybe in the mean time you should go around and learn some names.>>671614
That would likely be one of the small support vessels - a cutter or a sloop. They're off on their own portion of the harbor. In addition, there are two ship workshops - both with open doors. Likely doing repairs from the battle. It may be possible to bum a cannon there instead of robbing an active ship of one. The workmen may substitute for a gunner in terms of working out how your cannon could be modifier - an engineer is an engineer, right? You'll probably have to go to a workshop after to get the gun modifier regardless of your choice.
Let's take stock of the ship. See if everything's still there, and if we'd be able to just sail it out if necessary.
What a great idea! Let's head straight for that and look for the quartermaster.
THAT may pose a problem. You've elevated water up to the second tier, but the deck is level with the top tier, where you entered. You're not a pegasus - and there appear to be no ladders for easy entry.
A quick appraisal of the hull appears that it… is in a strange state, as usual. The wood is warped inward badly in several places, but it doesn't appear breached. Based on the charcoal marks the workponies made on the side, you're guessing they didn't know what to make of it.
You've got two choices, and the heavy rain isn't making deciding between them very easy since you basically can't tell one from the other. Left or right?
Right/LeftRoll #1 2 = 2
Or I could do something actually useful
I left the Heart of True Amber I got after the fight Against Anon in my rags, so I'll get back to to the sleeping quarters to get it
Well, chaos and all that.
There must be some mechanism to set the boat down. It's not either of the chains I pulled earlier, so let's look for where any support might be secured and if it's connected to anything.
The front door is closed, but the sea door is open, and you hear work going on inside through an open window. I'd be nice to have Stricture to help carry stuff, but finding Wind must be taking more time than expected.
You might try the door, or just call in through the window.>>671940
Even now the stone pulses warmly. You take great care to not touch anything else while you hold it, because your instincts are screaming to not do that.
Stupid dog instincts, you're always against science!>>671941
The supports are just that - supports. Wooden beams that hold up the ship on each side. There are eight total. Simply kicking them free seems like it might send the ship down faster than you'd like.
Even in this storm, that'd make way too much noise. Maybe I can raise the water level higher?
Heck I could even jump in through the window.
This is a lot of needless complications.
Maybe the instincts are right… But curiosity is the essence of discovery, I think
Since the trip will be long, I have more than enough time to properly study this thing like I should have before
I'll take 10 to appraise it
You pull the chain and the water slowly begins to rise to another tier. It'll pop free, then you just have to navigate the boat carefully ahead as you lower the water!
As the water rises, you get the feeling you're going to have to defend the ship, as you often get the feeling you'll have to stand by a point and defend it when something is happening slowly.
A member of the Celestial Inquisition leaps through the window!>>671944
Although it's a little undignified in your gear, you haphazardly leap through the window, stumbling a bit on your way in.
There are three seaponies here, skulking about and messing with the workshop mechanisms. No holy antiquarians to be seen.>>671945
That will use up your whole voyage time, then.
You spend a long time patiently testing it. It seems to emit a natural power - which you have heard described as electrical essence, which exists in nature in the form of lightning and sparks. Some scientists know how to harness this - perhaps some of the crew even. You discover after some perilous testing that a completed circuit to the ground will cause the power to come loose from the stone. It doesn't appear
to ever run out, but you can't be sure. Touching something while you are holding it completes the circuit to the ground, shocking you. You are not sure why your feet won't complete the circuit… if only you knew more about diamond dogs.
"Who's in charge here?"
Wait I know that voice.
"Maeda? What are you doing here?"
Marina's two escorts draw steel.
"Wait, wait! She traveled with us before!"
Glance over the two other seaponies and draw my own halberd.
"Explain yourself! What are you
doing here, skulking around like a thief, drawing your blades on me?"
Maybe some biology research should be done later, how do I expect to understand the world if I don't fully understand myself?
…no more time for that though, I'll take my old rags and try
to cover myself with them
"I'm here because our ship got impounded, and what crew was on it likely got imprisoned because they were too close to Princessland."
I'll have been holding down the chain that raises the water level this whole time.
"I'm just taking my ponies and my boat back. Surely you wouldn't think imprisoning innocent ponies, who were only in the wrong place at the wrong time, is a good thing?"
Why, when you've got this nice soaking wet bedsheet? It covers your whole body! You need to dry it out though.
Maybe you could get a nice potato sack or something…
I… Don't really feel properly covered with those
But I think I got an idea
I'll rip my old rags in two parts and tie one to my waist, and the other to my chest… Just like how I saw one of the older bitches do back home.
The sudden compulsion to cover yourself is a strange but undeniable sensation.
In either case, the rocking of the boat has been making you sick - this storm really is awful. But now the rocking has subsided. Perhaps you near Dandelion Island.
I can't deny, I was not made for the sea life. Maybe I really wouldn't have been a pirate after all… Heh, silly dreams
Before leaving though, this time I'll take a weapon with me
You hoist your crossbow, but it feels awkwardly small in your now large arms. You can't get into a comfortable position with it.
Stare at her in disbelief.
"It was you!?
All that chaos, all those dead, all those criminals loose and it was all because of you!?">>671956
Mirror Elixir. Slowly walk towards the supply barrels without letting my guard down.
'1d10+2'Roll #1 4 + 2 = 6
Maeda quaffs an unknown liquid. Suddenly her already strict demeanor becomes quite cold - her whole body covered in an unfeeling chrome sheen.
Marina's escorts nearly false start on the attack, but restrain themselves, looking to Marina for the order.
Hmm… I'll think of something later. Right now this is the best I can get. Maybe I'll get another one and use one in each hand… Yeah that'd be super cool
Just as you're about to go up, you realize… Itztli! He said he was getting off on that island, right? And you already left!! Will you ever even see him again? Looks like your chances of getting that cloak back are nil.
Maeda opens a couple of barrels up on the upper tier. You can't see what she's looking at from your angle.
I'll shake my head vigorously.
"No! Not entirely. I only wanted to find my father, who was being held by Redcoat in a cell deep in the prison. That was it! I didn't want anyone dead, and I most certainly didn't want to release any violent criminals! Do you think I could have expected
that insane wizard and his squid would show up?!"
I'll bite my lip.
"Maeda, you have to believe me. I did not want that to play out like it did. Your side isn't the only one that lost ponies to that magical rampage."
I'll let go of the chain.>>671960
Walking between the two of them, I'll give a quiet order.
"I'm going to try and reason with her. We traveled together. We helped each other. But… I want you two in the water and ready to spring in case this goes poorly. Only move if I'm attacked, and don't kill her."
Maybe one day I will, and I'll get the chance to rip the pompom tail off his butt for doing this to me
But I'll find a way, I'll fix this and go back to normal
The water level reaches the top tier. You're now face to face, and the ship floats free of its supports.
You hear the bell ringing up above… must be time to head out.
Also I forgot to get perception checks
"Don't get near that boat!">>671968
'1d10'Roll #1 3 = 3
And head out I will. And I'll take the Amber with me
'1d10'Roll #1 7 = 7
"Maeda, please, just talk
with me. This doesn't have to end badly!"
I've given you plenty of description already!
I just tossed a barrel of something onto the ship.
"The only way this doesn't end in blood is if you turn yourself in right now!
I can't leave a murderer swim free!"
'1d10'Roll #1 7 = 7
Maeda flings a barrel at the elevated aftcastle and coats the wheel in something white-gray and viscous - it has a terrible stench like tar.
That was the check.>>671977
"Then you should look to your own order, Maeda.">>671979
"I'm leaving. And I'm taking my ship with me."
Can I get to the deck if I build up speed and jump from the water? Or is there a net or something I could climb up?
Roll #1 6 = 6
While your seaponies were unable to manage a simple window or ladder, leaping free of the surface onto the Underseaboat is trivial for them.
You make the edge, and one pulls you aboard. Now closer, you can see that carpenter's putty is beginning to harden on the wheel.
One of the seaponies - the one who didn't help Marina up - yells, incensed - "The real killer is that wizard, and you don't even care about him! You're just looking for someone easy to blame, not the real villain!"
Try to jump onto the ship!
Wait a sec, next part of my reply depends on whether I make it or not.Roll #1 5 = 5
I'll thank Orion.
Shit shit shit.
But if I spin the wheel to try and knock it off, it'll get into the grooves and be impossible to clean out without taking it apart.
"I really hope those doors open out. We can water pouring out into the harbor."
You miss, slamming into the side of the vessel. Hoping to stay on, you jab your blade into it to hoist yourself. Roll 1d9999
'1d9999' didn't the die stop at 1000?Roll #1 36 = 36
You are propelled back from the ship as it deforms inward at the point of impact, in a rounded shape, as if hammered by a cannonball. It begins to rain inside the workshop, making it even harder to swim in here.
Meanwhile, the vessel is floating out the doors!>>671984
You shake free the bulk of the putty. The worst of it, at least. That'll be super annoying to clean up later.
Your two cohorts are already working some paddles, navigating free of the workshop.
"Alright, once we get to the harbor proper, Capricorn and I will open the harbor gates. Orion, I want you to keep the ship moving towards the exit. Don't stop for us, we'll just jump the wall onto the other side. I want you to dive as soon as possible, as well. Are we clear?"
"MARINA! WHO IS THE WIZARD?!"
I don't care if it's hard. Swim after that ship! FERVOR!
'1d10'Roll #1 4 = 4
That seems like it might be a bad idea. You don't have anything to case it in to avoid shocking yourself. Take it anyway?
Meanwhile, you glance through the hatch to see you've arrived in a place with VERY strange houses. Could this be the griffon settlement you heard of?
Can't I cover it with some piece of cloth or sheets?
"His name's Ornitrex, and he's an asshole."
That's the last thing I shout at Maeda as we leave her behind.
Not so fast you smelly fish, I have the power of the sun behind me!
In response to your question, the ninja gives your prison a hard shake, jostling you. Apparently she didn't like that question. Roll reflex.
"Anyway, this storm is awful. It's not normal. But now I can take you to them without losing track of you in the weather.">>671992
You experimentally touch something. It gives you a smaller shock, and the sheets set on fire. Argh! This is not a good lab testing environment!
You're paddling as fast as you can and they're getting away!>>671993
Now free of the workshop, you can see there's some sort of struggle going on in the streets - though the rain is making it very hard to tell who is fighting, and for what purpose. Only that there are a lot of them.
…Did I fail? Is this really all that my purpose can give me? The extent of my drive?
I might die. But I have to try.
One last mad dash, as long as the power of the Sun is behind me. Try to reach them.
'1d10'Roll #1 9 = 9
"That's right I had a lead-" and my sentence is cut off by choking on waterRoll #1 8 = 8
I just hope that it isn't Davy's crew, or anyone we know.
With a critical stroke, you fling yourself out of the water, roll onto the deck, and collapse in exhaustion, helpless.>>671994
Orion: "Should we tie her up? We may need a hostage to get through the gates."
Capricorn: "Or the inquisition might know something about the location of Ornitrex they're not telling! I'd rather end him for good myself.">>671998
An eye blocks out all light again - seemingly defeating the purpose of putting an eye there in the first place. "Hey, what was that? Speak up!"
Let's just assume all this is in Neighponese without greentext since no one else is around.
I guess I need a proper workplace in the future…
I'll still take the Amber with me, I'll hide it on the my cleavage
I just have to focus on not touching anything with my hands. That'll be simple
P URoll #1 8 = 8
It's not your turn
Keep it for when it will be.
This seems like a really, really bad idea! You head up to the main deck and regroup with the others. The griffon and MacMeal are already gone, probably in town somewhere, but the donkey, goat, and Flapjack are still here at the wheelhouse.
"Restrain her. We'll drop her off at the gate. And she wouldn't be asking us about the wizard if they knew about him."
Grimace a bit.
"And you might get your chance, Capricorn, by the end of it. He's going to come back eventually."
I cough away the water.
"The storm. I mapped it out, asked the brave mail pony about what he saw, its coming from Dandelion Island."
Wait, aren't they going out too?
I'll go talk with the donkey
"I thought everyone was heading out?"
(Critical) Orion restrains Maeda to the mast with superb knots with Capricorn's help.
Your universal success so far seems stymied by the fact that you can't escape the bay. Moreover, you haven't had the chance to check belowdecks for the ice box - but maybe you can ransom Maeda if it's not there.
Orion: "I'm not really going to be able to go anywhere and keep her restrained at the same time. These are nautical ropes, not prison chains.">>672002
Now that you have a chance to look about, you can see there's fighting in the harbor. The rain is making it hard to make out just who's fighting and for what purpose.
Nightmare cultists? More seaponies?>>672007
"What? That can't be right…"
You didn't roll reflex!>>672008
"MacMeal thought it best I care for the ship since I'm the specialist and the storm's on. And we didn't want you or Flapjack getting into trouble."
Right… did you forget already the donkey cares for the ship?
The goat announces: "And I was wanting to take another nap."
'1d10'Roll #1 2 = 2
You got jostled by the water. This is a little undignified! You wander if mom ever had to put up with this.
"Are those too your ponies?
More death, inside a city full of civilians?
That's a strong argument for peace you make."
No way! She had Dad to protect her. >>672009
"Its true! I was going to investigate when I met up with you, that's why I turned myself so huge."
"No… you're lying to me. I just came from there! This is a fae trick!"
She shakes you again. Reflex again.
I did forget, I had too much in my mind lately
Well that makes me feel a bit safer, so I'll leave the Amber where I hid it before
Heading our again, I nod at the donkey, "Please keep this ship safe, I'm gonna look for Mister McMeal"
Frown a little, and think.
"We've still got a little time before we get to the gates. For now, Orion, I want you to do a quick run-through to see what supplies are still onboard. Capricorn, you and I will remain topside for the time being."
Sigh a little.
"I'd hoped to have a bit more of our crew back before we got to this point.">>672012
I'll look a bit sadly at Maeda.
"No, they aren't mine. The only ponies I brought with me are the two you've already seen. You know I wouldn't lie to you about that, Maeda. I don't know who they are or who they follow. My plan was to be in, and out, without raising any alarm."
"And then you hopped in the window."
Shake my head.
"At any rate, I'm going to let you go once we get to the harbor gates. You have friends here, no doubt, and I don't want you losing any. Because, for some reason, I feel like I owe you at least that much, for having traveled together."
"Hold on now, part of my job was to keep you out of trouble! What kind of business are you planning on getting into in that city, little dog? This kind of stuff is why I bring my 'nocs to the crossroads."
"And fought for your homeland. Let's not forget that."
Roll my eyes.
"What was that about a wizard? Is he the same one causing this storm?"
'1d10' not like I have anywhere to go!Roll #1 6 = 6
"I'm not a little dog!… I was just gonna meet up with him… And hopefully find a way to get me to normal again… Did he say anything before he left?"
"Probably. Ornitrex has assaulted locations I've been at twice now. The first time was while I was helping Lilly get to Autumnsreach, and the second was here, at Princessland. I think he's some kind of chaos wizard, since he tends to boast about his choclateering."
I'll hold up a hoof to forestall further questions.
"Anyway, of the two times he's appeared, his octopus squid-thing leads the charge, disabling boats or drawing fire. Judging by the damage he did, he's no slouch in the firepower department on his own."
"It's my opinion that he's just trying to claim me as a bride or something due to my current position as daughter of the High Lunar Priestess. He's not very good at taking 'no' for an answer."
"Orion's busy, I'll look around below."
Capricorn heads under. You're approaching the gates, but nobody's firing on you.>>672019
A different kind of reflex takes hold of you. One closer to your… nature.
This time when you're jostled, your whole body glows, and even as the coconut shakes, the waters stay calm and you don't move. You've… heard about this before. Mom talked about it. Many breezies have an innate connection to magic, though not as strong as a unicorn's, much like how all breezies can glide, but not fly like a pegasus.
Unlocked Racial:Breezie Magic
: passive; You can cast spells three times a day, even without access to a catalyst.
You're sure with a little creativity and the right timing, you'll be okay!>>672020
"He said he wanted to get this over with, because Griffons always want money. Said they were greedy bastards, little dog. He really likes his fliff, I don't know what to tell you. It was just constant racism little dog. Absolutely inexcusable."
I'll nod as he leaves.
Look dead serious. "Very well. I know where he is.">>672022
Turn to look at Orion.
"You wanted to know, right?"
"Greedy huh?… Alright, fine I'll stay in the ship. He can deal with the dumb gryphons then…"
I'll turn around to angrily make my way back to my room, but I stop
"Erm… What was your name again, Mister Donkey?"
I do feel a little less annoyed now.
However, there is still a very angry ninja outside.
"Could you stop shaking this so much? I'm getting really dizzy in here."
Capricorn is a mare! She returns:
"Well, bad news is, we're at the gates and they're not open. Kidding - well, I mean that is true, but still. The real thing is that they took the ice box out. Provisions are still here, though - all the food. They dumped it out! It actually still looks good, it hasn't gone bad yet.">>672024
The one speaking, who just returned from below, speaks up: "Actually, that was me. Did she break you already! Wow… maybe she is a pretty good princess.">>672025
"Well my colleagues call me Professor Steve, little dog, but that's not what our relationship is about, okay little dog? Listen, you remind me a lot of myself when I was young. Then I grew a brain, a dick, and a heart
. You feel me little dog?"
He examines your puzzled expression. "Okay, okay. Maybe I'm going too fast here. What I'm saying is that you impressed me with your work on the pressure seals the other day. You take orders well, little dog. And I like that. You don't mess things up getting too creative. You've got potential.">>672026
The shaking stops. You hear some huffy, deep breaths.
"Okay, okay… no more shaking. But you have to tell me the truth."
"Oh shut up you have no idea what you're talking about. If you're here it's only thanks to me, so don't come assault my home and then act like I'm in the wrong. If it's true this is not your fault I have a deal for you."
"I just told you the truth! I could show you the map I marked when we get back. If you stick around after you're done, you know, negotiating for how many bits I'm worth."
Orion: "I don't see anyone in the gatehouses. Who are they fighting in the streets? I don't hear steel or gunfire. Why would they fight without arms?"
You literally never said she was either.
I'll put my hoof to my face and hiss slightly in annoyance.
"They would have taken that, wouldn't they. Food's good because the ice box freezes them until they're taken out. We'll have to cook all of that within the next day or so, since fish doesn't tend to keep well outside of cold things.">>672028
"Unless that deal is 'you get your ponies back and the ice box' it's probably going to be a hard sell."
"But as it isn't my fault, and I'm not assaulting your home, I'll hear you out. What are your terms?
"… Alright mister Steve… Um, thank you, Mister Steve. And my name is Rhanna but I guess you already know that"
Why am blushing…
"I'm gonna go to my room, if you need me… Uh, bye"
"Passage to where the wizard is. Me and my team kill him, and you go on your merry way, one evil wizard less in the world and your revenge satisfied."
Stare her down, waiting for an answer.
"What's that about ice boxes?"
"I can't do that, can't you see that? I can't FLY!"
It becomes apparent for the first time that the ninja is not a pegasus. You always kind of dreamed of meeting a pegasus ninja so you guess you just assumed. You're not sure what the significance of this is until she blurts out:
"I can't go turn you in for ransom because they'd just follow me back to my hideout. There's too much muddy sand here, I'd live prints!"
She scratches at her mask, pensively. "Do you think you could figure out where the storm was originating from? The location on Dandelion Island?"
It would've been centered, based on mailpony's estimation, near the southern coast.
"Hey, hey, don't get all formal on me. You can just call me Prof. Anyway, take it easy - I may have something for you in the days to come."
You shouldn't be getting excited from this, he's like sixty! All of the crew except Flapjack are!
To your room you go!
"You remember that box that I brought onboard the first time we set out together? It keeps food in it fresh until you take it out. Like it stops them from rotting at all."
I'll raise an eyebrow.
"And you know where that old fart is? I suppose it would be fun to show up unannounced on his
doorstep for a change…"
I'll think it over.
"Can you guarantee the lives and freedom of my crew, who are currently incarcerated, as well as the safety of Cumin, who was on the ship at its time of capture? Can you guarantee that, even if your superiors tell you to do otherwise?"
I should focus and try to just calm down… He did say some true things I guess
What is a dick though a flock of ducks? No, I don't think he raised ducks before
"I can only guarantee for Cumin, you, these two and your ship.
There's nothing I can do about all the others, despite what you might think I'm not some all powerful inquisitorial lord."
You've used context clues before, right? What do brain and heart have in common?
Its normal for a neighponese to be an earth pony.
"Yes, I could.. I mean I could a few minutes ago, right now I can't think, Its dark and my head hurts."
Orion comments again: "I think we should be making the gatehouses our problem. Capricorn, try and get the left one. If you could focus on steering, Princess?
That fighting is getting serious."
"Yeah, I was going to do that, but I think the gatehouse is made out of gingerbread."
You feel the coconut start to tremble but it gets gingerly set down on the floor and you hear loud stomping. It took some self restraint to not take that out on you!
"Okay… okay. I've got a compromise. What if you tell me what's causing the storm, and I go break it. Then when I get your ransom, we can split it, say… twenty eighty."
Part of your body? An organ?
What part is the dick then? Is there a body part I never heard about?… I need a biology book!
Pity there wasn't one in your stack. Oh well.
Want to skip ahead to MacMeal's return, or angst over your raging hormones some more?
"And I thank Luna for that, as I've already met one. Redcoat's insane, by the way.">>672041
"We've long overstayed our welcome."
"I'm afraid for the time being we'll have to decline your offer, Maeda. But I wouldn't be against working with you in the future, as equals instead of as part of a prisoner's bargain. We'll drop you at the gatehouse, unbound."
No, I need to find the answer. I must, now that my curiosity is tingling
Long since has attention passed away from you, Marina.
"We're getting close, get the gangplank."
"It wasn't that color when we came in, I remember!"
'1d10'Roll #1 2 = 2
Your curiosity is making you hot, and it's hard to focus!
Plus you don't have any biology books, so what could you do to learn about body parts?
"So long then, Marina.
If it's truly peace you want, I'd suggest you open your eyes to the evils of your own doing. I will pray wisdom come to you."
Guess I should ask the professor… N-no, I better not. He'll think I'm stupid for asking such a obvious thing
Someone else might know…
The goat went to take a nap, that only leaves Flapjack!
The gatehouse really is gingerbread!
"That's… that's impossible."
I'll shake my head.
"I'm not going to try ramming it, though, it could just be a coating. We need both of those doors open."
"Let me go back already, it's clear the city is under attack from Discordians!"
"No, no, we want to go INSIDE the gatehouse, to trigger a lever or something. The gate looks normalish."
He's so dumb though, he probably doesn't even know, but I guess I got nothing to lose.
Now where is that alpaca…
Ponies are approaching the gatehouse in Celestial scholar robes! Hostiles?>>672055
YOU never rolled percep
He's doodling on graph paper. Dumb alpaca, doesn't he know that's for SCIENCE not ART?
They are talking about gingerbread dockhouses and a discordian mage.
I use basic logic, take 6.
"Right. I don't know how I mixed that up.">>672055
"We'll let you off when we pull up to the gatehouse. Once you're on the dock, you'll be untied.">>672058
Only if they start casting spells.
Do you not want the benefits of a perception roll? It's not at all related to the obvious discordian attack
Orion: Should I put down the gangplank to the gatehouse? It's still gingerbread, and there are some robed ponies waiting for us there."
"Robed ponies?"Roll #1 4 = 4
Maybe he could be a graphic engineer…
Ah, brothers of the Order of the Oil. What are antiquarians doing at the gate? Perhaps repairs?
You see somepony waving at your ship from back at the workshop, but can't make them out anymore.
"I don't think they're combat capable, so we can leave Maeda with them."
I'll motion to Capricorn.
"I don't think we'll get trouble out of her, so could you untie Maeda? If trouble happens, she'll need to be able to respond quickly.">>672064
"Investigating the guardhouse. I think they're wondering how it turned into gingerbread."
"…Something's wrong. Be ready."
"Hmmmm yeah, Big Rhanna?">>672067
They set down the gangplank, and you're boarded by the ponies!>>672068>>672067
Cumin throws back his hood!
He clears his throat and, in his best attempt to sound bold and masculine (failing badly): "We've pulled the lever. Let's get out of here!"
The antiquarians were carrying your ice box… wait, they're two of the non-seaponies you brought with you as your crew you wrote off as dead!>>672068
Orion turns you loose. Free at last!
A complex range of emotions will play across my face.
Finally I'll just give up on expressing them and hug Cumin.
"Thank the stars you're all alright. But how did you get out here? How did you get through the battle?"
Well this was one hell of an infiltration.
Shows how rotten our ranks are.
Leave this ship and do so fast. Anypony staying here or are they all leaving with the boat?
"Are you calling me fat now?…"
I sit down besides him
"You want to stop the storm.. Then perhaps we can work something out. I do whatever I can to help you, we vanquish the storm, but in return you.." I pause considering her previous anger. "You agree to play a game with me."
He recoils a bit, pulling himself loose. "I - I mean, I really want to hug too but – uh, we have to get out, now. I promise
I'll explain, but we need to leave now
The figure who waved to you is charging up the edge of the harbor toward you… it's Stricture!>>672072
"Well I needed some way to talk about this you different from the normal you.">>672073
There's a thoughtful pause. "Do I have to agree before you'll tell me what game?"
"We were just about to do that."
I'll smile at him.
"Alright, ponies, to your stations! We've got an escape to pull off."
Charge at him and hug him.
"The attack! What's happening!?"
"Yes! But I promise it won't hurt you." I quickly and dramatically add.
"I swear it on the scared fae oath of games and deals."
"Hmph… Hey Flapjack, I have a question… But you have to promise you won't tell anyone!"
He takes a precious two seconds to give you a deep, warm, firm hug. It feels like bliss.
"It's a trick! It's mass hysteria! We're NOT under attack, STOP THEM!"
The nearby harbor's water turns to chocolate milk.>>672077
"Hmm… is that a real thing? I'm not sure… it sounds like something that might be real."
She pauses. "Okay. Fine, I agree. I promise I will play your game. But the storm, first. And not until the storm's source is gone.">>672075
With the gates open, your ship begins to dive. To the seas!
Cumin and the non-seaponies head belowdecks where it's safe without air.
Capricorn: "Sorry… I was distracted, princess. Did you get that wizard's location out of the paladin?"
"Mmmhmmm, sure. Whatsit?"
He doesn't even look up from his drawing!
Put a hoof on his chest stopping him.
"There's no way to catch them now. They are gone. That ship can dive underwater and sail beneath the storm. It's the one from my reports."
I have to stop myself from giggling.
"Understood. First, you'll need to get to Danelion island, the southern side."
I'll shake my head.
"She was tight-lipped about it. Her deal was that she wanted us to ferry a strike team of inquisitors to wherever it was, and then expect them to let us go on our merry way. I couldn't in good conscience take that fishy a deal. I mean, she probably believed it would go like she said, but I don't think she knows her superiors that well."
"And you heard her at the end. She still blames me for… well, everything that happened here."
Frown will get a little sadder.
"She's not really wrong, either. If I hadn't come to save my father, then none of this would have happened."
He sighs. "Well. The Highlord won't be happy about this. It's not our fault but it might be better to leave right away if you've arranged transport. I'd rather not be around when he's looking for someone to blame.">>672082
"Cross a little water, won't be too hard. Just… hm… okay, I'll."
There's some movement from outside of the coconut. "I'm running out of cloth here. Okay. Oh, and here. Duck."
You dive underwater, holding your breath, as several more holes appear in the top. They're each small, but together your field of view is much expanded now. You can see that she has attached more cloth to the places where the coconut was tied together to turn your prison into a necklace. You are now an accessory. Amulet of Kotone +2. You are a magical artifact, conferring +2 to the wearer on rolls to locate the source of a magic storm in Caballeria. Like most sentient jewelry, you don't confer this bonus if you are not appeased.
"Okay. First, to the Big Sis Island, I can cross more easily from there."
"Our fault!? The whole naval yard was completely undefended! I found myself three on one because by chance
I wandered in there!
And the order of the Oil just helped them too, do you realize how deep this corruption goes?"
"Cumin broke out… I guess he wasn't a total wimp after all. Perhaps you chose a worthy mate after all, Princess. Will you fertilize his clutch after the wedding?">>672084
The alpaca reddens, and nearly topples over.
"W-what? You don't know?"
"Anyway, none of this matters. We need to get that wizard. He's a discordian, a real one."
Bite my own hoof.If I can trust anything Marina said…
"Solid plan." I comment, in an attempt to appease her too, she's scary when she's grumpy.
"If I did I wouldn't be asking you, you dingus! Spit it out already!"
"All the ponies in the city were under some sort of mass hysteria to think there was a prison break. I was with Wind at the time and she had some kind of magic shell on her room. The guards thought they were suppressing a prison revolt of a couple thousand inmates. What did you think you saw the Order of the Oil doing? You were probably hallucinating too. Did you see the 'fighting'? Maeda, most of what you're seeing isn't real."
As if to punctuate his point, his hair turns into cotton candy.
"I think it works the other way around for land ponies."
I'll shake my head.
"A-anyway, we should keep a good eye out until we're well clear of Princessland. We'll make our way back to where we left Davy and the others. If they're still there, then we'll see about bringing everyone home."
I'll leave it unsaid that it's 'everyone left'.
Skip ahead for ADVENTURES?>>672090
"It's what makes me a boy!"
This is not a very transgender friendly quest, you suddenly realize.
Take a step back.
"And you? Are you real?"
This is silly. I had Mirror Elixir on, it'd have triggered itself if a spell had been cast on me!
"… What? What you mean it's what makes you a boy?"
"What if the storm won't abate without dealing with that wizard? We can't carry all of Davy's crew.">>672095
You didn't notice anything wrong until after you went helpless, you notice. And what you don't know is that Marina heard the rioting long before you.
"Yes! I'm real. You're real. What we have between us is real. Focus on this."
He gives you a deep, passionate kiss. Roll for trance break.
I need to get myself spellbreaker.Roll #1 9 = 9
"I know. But we have to figure out some way of either drawing him to me, or hunting him down ourselves."
I'll give a small laugh.
"Maybe we'll have gotten lucky and Cumin will have somehow found the map where they point out his location? Wouldn't that be convenient?"
"That's what makes boys different from girls! It's a body part!">>672094
You spend several hours seeing the world from scenic necklace coconut. It reminds you of your early school days in "the box". You can remember that fondly or badly as you choose.
Your coconut was covered to avoid dangerous accidental drowning, so you're not sure how she got across to Dandelion Island, but soon your coconut is uncovered and you can see a great field of dandelions, that would be much more cheerful if it wasn't currently a mudslide dominated by heavy rain.>>672098
Everything else fades away. The world is nothing but you sharing a perfect kiss on the edge of a harbor with a pony desperate to save you. There is a serene silence.
When you open your eyes, the strange sights and sounds are gone. The guards are still fighting phantoms in the streets.
"The whole city is in disarray. Let's put one in the win column so the Highlord will be in a good mood when this calms down."
Skip ahead to Dandelion Island? Assume your cannon plan works.
"You think the Inquisition really knew his exact location? What a selfrighteous bitch! Chasing US when they knew where he was all along?"
I'll tap the boat.
"Well, when your other boats can't go underwater to avoid the worst of a storm, you tend to not want to go sailing. I think that's why they were trying to make sense of this one."
"Anyway, I leave the helm to you for now. I've got to check in on Cumin. He owes me a long explanation on how and why they even got caught in the first place."
"Which one? You quadrupled look all the same, really"
There really is too much rain.
Keep staring out at the island.
'1d10' spot check to notice anythingRoll #1 7 = 7
You head below. Cumin is helping the other two ponies load your produce and fish into the ice box.>>672103
The ship's bell rings. Flapjack immediately sits up and announces: "THAT MEANS WE HAVE A CREW MEETING BYE."
And he runs off.>>672104
Far down the coast to the west, you see a large village by the sea, wait no, on the sea! It's floating! They're floating, with the same mechanisms that you saw on that ship the executives had. They said they learned the technique from here… catamaran, they called it!
This is the place? Wow, a whole floating village, and it's weathering the storm perfectly. It has unsinkable balance!
That doesn't seem to be the direction you need to go, though - the coconut turns skyward as ninja looks up. "I can see the eye of the storm, just like you promised. It's hanging right over the southern woods. I guess you were right.">>672105
Crossing was no picnic, but you're here - undeniably here. It took hours, but you've crossed Greater Sister and the water gap, onto Dandelion Island.
Pity - you just see forestry and a great cliff face. No dandelions at all.
The cliff face hosts several great waterfalls, which feed down into the river, which has its mouth here on the beach where you're catching your breath. You glance skyward. The eye of the storm is hanging not far from here… could it be the wizard? Celestia really needs a win right now, and you're just the couple to give it to her.
I'll pitch in.
"Well, it's certainly a relief to see you three safe."
"Wait! I still don't… Augh, stupid alpaca…"
I get up and follow him to this dumb crew meeting
Cumin gives a fervent nod, and clearing his throat, offers: "I can't believe you were there in the bay. The timing was perfect. I mean, he promised you would be, but I thought it was a trick. I had to do it though. I had to try anything."
The other ponies nod. One points out: "I thought I was going to die in there. I heard them say they didn't need us. We were going to be burned at the stake, I think."
C-couple? What came of Wind?
"Stricture. Whatever happens. Don't put me ahead of the mission. Ponies are dying right now because of this storm."
Wind assured Stricture that what she was doing was more important than even a wizard of this magnitude, and she would "let you take the easier job and deal with him".
She promised to tell you the secrets of her findings if you are successful!
MacMeal and the Griffon are back.
"Bad news. They've been trying to counteract the spell for weeks now - it's not theirs, and it's orders more powerful than any weather spell they've ever cast. All they know is that it's coming from the south end of the island."
The griffon adds: "They're superstitious about it. They think it's Mother Nature herself come back to remake the world. They won't go near it. Looks like it's up to us."
Then all the more reasons to be victorious!
On we press.
"You liar." mumble sheepishly, while we walk.
"You said you didn't know how to prench kiss."
I'll pause for a solid second.
"I am so sorry. Both of you."
Then, to Cumin.
"Who told you I'd be there? I didn't even know I'd be there. I was planning on hitting the cell blocks looking for you and the others before my plan was rapidly changed."
"Yes, the mage doing this must be there." I reply excitedly, even pressing against my peek holes.
Mother nature, reshaping the world. A bunch of nonsense. Only we can reshape the world
"Well let's not wait around then. And I have a request, Captain. I'm lacking a proper weapon" show him the crossbow "Think we could stop somewhere for me to find a better one?"
He turns red. "That's what a Prench kiss was? I mean, I just… I just did what felt right. I don't even remember what I did, I was so caught up in the moment, trying to get you back. I didn't want to lose you to that madness.">>672114
He looks at the other two before clearing his throat again awkwardly. He's really trying to keep his voice deep. Maybe he wants to impress you before the wedding. And before you ask you paranoid fish, yes, it's definitely him - no illusion or disguise. Nopony could possibly look that feminine but still be male but Cumin.
"There's… no way you're going to believe me. Okay. Listen. There was this rabbit – but he could talk. He said that he could cause some chaos
to let us escape.">>672115
"Okay… I may need to do some sneaking. So let's be quiet, alright?">>672116
"You want a gun? You look big enough to handle a shotgun now."
Chuckle a bit, walking silently.
Let's get prepared, Mirror Elixir, take six.
"A… a talking rabbit?"
I'll blink a few times.
"Little white rabbit, deep voice, talks in a shout all the time?"
"Hey, what're you laughing about now?"
Your eyes glaze over as you turn chrome. Looks like you're going to have to take on the sheer face of that cliff to take the fastest route to the eye. Or you could try the beach - a longer route.
Stricture points to the base of the waterfalls. "Looks like there's some kind of cave network around there, too. See how there's a low-flow of water out of it? That's not enough to be fed by the river, I'm guessing those caves connect to the top of the cliffs somehow.">>672119
"Yes – how did you know?"
''A shotgun… Well that could work better than this thing…''
"You want a rifle instead?"
''Oh, yes please!''
"The beach might be patrolled, and climbing the clifface is a huge risk. But inside the caves we might get lost…
I vote for climbing the cliff."
I will just sit in silence while she sneaks.
"Rifle it is."
With that, MacMeal leads you off the ship for an adventure to the south.>>672124
"Cliffs it is."
With that, Stricture leads you to the base of the cliff, to begin a strenuous journey.>>672125
"Quiet it is."
With that, the unnamed ninja carries you onward as she get slow to the ground, preparing to move through the dense foliage of the forest.
'1d10'Roll #1 1 = 1
'1d10'Roll #1 9 = 9
Finally, a more technologically advanced weapon, fitting for me
At least being big has it's advantages
"Because I've seen him before, back when I was helping Lilly get to Autumnsreach. He had been following a mare named Selena for a while, and was on board during the first leg of the trip, to New Earth. Then he disappeared."
I'll sit down.
"I mean, I knew he wasn't… natural, but able to cast spells? Chaos magic?"
Sigh in relief.
"I'm glad he got bored of us, then."
Continue picking up things to put into the cold box.
"Now all we need to do is go pick up everyone else and make sure things are in good shape. Maeda thinks that wizard I was talking to you about earlier, the one who caused that mess at the harbor, is the root of the storm. If she's not wrong, we should be able to follow their progress to the island after they launch their own ship, since they don't have this one."
I'll smile a bit.
"My father can fight, and I can fight. We can convince him to stop chasing me and leaving ruin in his wake. Hopefully."
"That sounds like a good plan. Once the storm is gone we can put the whole continent behind us."
Skip ahead to Dandelion Island? (Tracking Ornitrex)
"And I can finally talk with your family."
Yep, I'll skip ahead.
Ninja pone is crossing a clearing silently when you hear odd cheeping about you.
Ninja hushes you once again. "Ringtail bandits. Gotta be quiet."
She lays perfectly still, as strange, furry creatures that have long, ringed tails leap down from the trees and begin looking around. Even as they move their snouts inches from her face, she does not react.
Suddenly, one grabs your coconut and leaps back for the trees at high speed. Ninja leaps to her hooves and begins tearing a path through the 'bandits', but you're being carried away and bashed about at high speed!
Oh no - this wasn't the plan! You can't reason with an animal! Not very well anyway. Besides, who knows what these exotic animals EAT?!>>672129
On the first leg of your climb, you reach a ledge to catch a breather. From here you can see into the lower reaches of the caves. There are large apes below, many of which are sleeping in their nests. They look peaceful now, apes have legendary tempers - probably for the best you went for the climb.
You land a safe distance away on the east coast. This part of the island is littered with strange wind-mill like device, but much narrower – many no thicker than a tree. These things can't be grinding grain.
Orion comments: "No water that far in. I'm not sure we'd be much use."
You didn't roll adventure!
Let's hope nothing crazier wakes up as we go further up.
'1d10'Roll #1 8 = 8
"It's okay, Orion. The landponies and I will lead the charge here. I need you and the seaponies making sure the ship's available for getaway, in case things get hairy."
Should I roll adventure as well?
'1d10' kick the coconut trying to escapeRoll #1 6 = 6
You nearly lose your grip when some rocks come free, but Stricture pulls you close. "I've got you!"
The safe comfort of traveling in pairs reminds you of how easily you were disarmed on that ship by Marina's crew. Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves!
Roll adventure for the last leg.>>672137
When you're ready.
Curry adds: "I think this is going to be just me and Marina. This seems like a family affair - it's a dad's job to get rid of unwanted suitors."
how forgetful of me
'1d10'Roll #1 2 = 2
You kick the coconut and, surprised, the ring-tailed bandit drops your coconut! You're plummeting toward certain doom!
On the way out of town you're confronted by some Griffons.
"If you want through, you have to pay the toll. This is a toll road."
I'll cast a glance at Cumin.
"I… don't suppose you'd like to come to? Since you're the one I chose, he might give up if he sees that I have already made my choice."
How could I have been so blind to him until now?
'1d10'Roll #1 8 = 8
Cumin hesitates at first, but then nods. "Okay."
That one came out high pitched. Well, he's trying.
Roll adventure when you're ready.>>672144
What a difference a day makes. Twenty four little hours.
You quietly reach the summit passing some nesting Minor Rocs. Being very careful to move on quietly, you avoid confronting what would have surely been a very nasty encounter.
Roll once more for into the jungle.
''I don't see any toll signs…''
I'll give him a quick hug.
And now for adventure. '1d10'Roll #1 3 = 3
Not even one.
"In our culture, we mark toll roads with scent. You don't know it's a toll road because you are a dog. We do not judge you for this, we merely want the toll."
It's all about being…
'1d10'Roll #1 1 = 1
Okay. Try to grow the coconut into a tree.
'1d10' Miracle grow.Roll #1 2 = 2
He seems extra squirmy about being hugged lately! It must be the nerves.
As you trudge up between the many windmills, you're confronted by an angry looking sheep.
"Baaaack off. I caaaaan aaaaalready tell you're with the Coaaaatfields!"
From the distant hill, another sheet shouts, "I see you plotting with those outsiders, McRoyaaaaaal!"
''Actually, I'm very good at scents!''
Start sniffing, do I pick up any weird different smells?
Is it the nerves, though? A niggling doubt will worm its way in. What if it's because he's no longer likes me like he did?
"I don't want any trouble. I was just hoping we could pass through here."
(It only consumes a use if you succeed)
Your coconut is snatched out of the air in a flash of lightning as the ninja tackles it and starts running through the woods with your prison in one hoof. "I don't want no trabble!"
Guess you missed out on a chance to prove your worth, but at least you lived!
Roll adventure as you sprint away from these bandits.>>672149
You enter the depths of the jungle – leaves blotting out the sky. You suspect you're getting very close to the eye when you hear a muffled yell from Stricture.
He's… covered in a big leaf or something?
"Lunar Pony Trap!"
Carnivorous plant! Quick, nuke it with damage!>>672152
Smells like griffon feathers all over! That, and jungle smells. Fresh fruit, the sea, and sand!
Attack! Whack that weed!
'1d10'Roll #1 2 = 2
"Nice try Coatfield Spy! Yer trying to get aaaaaaround to see my prize winning windmills from the other side!"
"I see you over there McRoyaaal! Don't ignore me!"
"They're windmills? But they're so skinny. You can't possibly grind grain with skinny windmills like these."
Well, that's lucky at least.
'1d10'Roll #1 4 = 4
A glancing blow - it's smothering Stricture!>>672157
"You can't trick me Coaaaatfield! You're not getting through!"
"What are you taaaaalking about over there McRoyal?!"
''…I don't smell anything different, mister''
Aren't McMeal and the others with me?
"Okay then. Is there a road I can use to go past you and your neighbor?"
Mow it down!
'1d10'Roll #1 8 = 8
Soon, you notice there are no bandits following you. That's… that's GOOD, right?
'1d10' dunnoRoll #1 5 = 5
They cornered you alone, MacMeal and Gunny went on ahead. You wanna pay these guys off or fight or try to outrun them?
"Well you gotta pay no matter what you can smell.">>672162
With one last strike, you smash open the plant, and Stricture gets free with a gasp of relief. He helps you up after you collapse.
"That was a nasty plant. I've only ever HEARD of them."
Without even worrying about my own footing, look up at him.
"Are you hurt?"
"FINE, if you insist, SPY. I'll let you past if you can make your worth worthwhile. Just put a little charge into one of my churns."
He has several "butter" churns set over to the side that appear to be set into the cemented ground with no butter bucket. None of this makes sense!
Curry sighs. "This may be faster if we just do as he says."
Roll churn! Surely you have practice churning butter, cook pone.
I'm not sure. But we're going to find out. '1d10'Roll #1 9 = 9
''And why didn't those guys paid? The old Ram that went ahead? I am with them you know?''
You get the unnerving feeling that they stopped following you because the road ahead is dangerous.
This is reaffirmed when your carrier almost runs off the edge of a cliff into a deep gulch. Darnit, you missed another chance to show off by warning her!
"Okay… we're almost there. Better go back to sneaking… Do you think you'll know what's causing the storm when you see it?">>672166
He shakes his head. "No - I'm okay. Those things have to digest flesh for days or weeks. It was like getting licked. Licked, but wrapped up in sheets at the same time.">>672169
"Listen kid, you ask too many questions and we got a toll for that too!"
What a gross thing it must have been.
Truly, no pony would ever want to suffer through that!
Let's keep going.
Churn, churn, churn, churn! You spend several minutes at this, and after checking a gauge in the ground, the sheep seems satisfied. "Now begone with ye, into the forest – if you weren't lying that is. Aaaabout to prove yourself a liaaaar, are you?"
"Nope, we're going. Come on Marina, let's go."
''It's in my right to ask questions. Look, this is obviously a scam, excuse me, I have better things to do''
try to walk past them
Well, sheep are weird.
Anyway, onward to adventure. '1d10'Roll #1 10 = 10
I'll have to keep waiting for my time.
"Its possible. Of course it might just be really obvious, like a circle of ponies all casting it. "
>>672171Eye of the Storm
You arrive at a clearing in the forest. Here, at the base of a great tree, all the branches of the forest seem to have spontaneously curved themselves to make a clear path from jungle floor to sky.
No wizard, though. Instead, you see something quite unexpected. You and Stricture are looking down upon a clearing filled with deer, performing some kind of dance in a ring. Deer… it's extremely rare to see them at all, but there must be more than thirty! They're chanting in their strange tongue.>>672173
They don't even bother chasing you down! It was all intimidation tactics.
Pretty soon you catch up with the others, and you head into the jungle. Deeper, and deeper you creep through increasing foliage.Eye of the Storm
You arrive at a clearing in the forest. Here, at the base of a great tree, all the branches of the forest seem to have spontaneously curved themselves to make a clear path from jungle floor to sky.
No wizard, though. Instead, you see something quite unexpected. You, MacMeal, and Gunny are looking down upon a clearing filled with deer, performing some kind of dance in a ring. Deer… it's extremely rare to see them at all, but there must be more than thirty! They're chanting in their strange tongue.>>672175
"I wonder if you will be proven prophetic."
She leaps across the gap, and makes for a cliff. She holds out your coconut to see over the edge, and you observe…Eye of the Storm
You arrive at a clearing in the forest. Here, at the base of a great tree, all the branches of the forest seem to have spontaneously curved themselves to make a clear path from jungle floor to sky.
No wizard, though. Instead, you see something quite unexpected. You and the ninja are looking down upon a clearing filled with deer, performing some kind of dance in a ring. Deer… it's extremely rare to see them at all, but there must be more than thirty! They're chanting in their strange tongue.>>672174
You make perfect time through the jungle, blazing trails like old pros. Soon, you've pierced to the depths of the woods, and you come upon an extremely unusual sight.Eye of the Storm
You arrive at a clearing in the forest. Here, at the base of a great tree, all the branches of the forest seem to have spontaneously curved themselves to make a clear path from jungle floor to sky.
No wizard, though. Instead, you see something quite unexpected. You, Curry, and Cumin are looking down upon a clearing filled with deer, performing some kind of dance in a ring. Deer… it's extremely rare to see them at all, but there must be more than thirty! They're chanting in their strange tongue.
What the hell…
Stricture, do you know their language?"
"Deer? Why are… what are deer doing here?"
"Then you mean it wasn't the wizard?"
"No – it's. I mean, who would learn it? I've never even seen one, and I've been to Lubuck. I've seen the historical sites.">>672178
Curry looks perplexed. "Wait… the Inquisition led us to the wrong place?"
Cumin shrugs, lost.
"I think they thought it was the right place. Keep an eye out, though."
Maybe Ornitrex is using it as cover, so anyone looking for him will be thrown off."
I gasp inside my coconut.
"So many, can you try just taking one of them and asking how to stop this?"
"Okay let's think… Do we assume they are hostile? They are harming so many…"
"I'm going in."
Shiny and chrome, vault whatever cover I'm hiding behind and approach, weapon clearly sheathed, with a slow but confident gait.
"Inhabitants of Dandelion Island. Hear me!
They look weird
''What is going on there, Mister MacMeal?''
"Can deer talk??"
Hunker down once Maeda makes her presence known.>>672184
"If they turn violent, we should probably offer some cover for Maeda and her friend. Two against thirty is hardly fair."
"I've heard of this kind of thing – in Mothersgrove. I've known some ponies who went down that way and…">>672181>>672180>>672183
Suddenly, you see MAEDA TREE, chrome and shiny, yelling from one of the cliffs opposite you overlooking the clearing! It's so far and echoy and stormy you can't quite hear what she's saying, but it's definitely her!
What the hell is she doing here?
Suddenly, all of them stop moving at once, and turn their heads in the same direction.
Perhaps unnervingly, it's not toward you. They're all looking at some point in the woods.>>672181>>672180>>672183
The deer stopped all of a sudden - but it doesn't look like it was Maeda that caused it. They're looking into the woods somewhere. What… could have stopped them? They've surely been going for several days without stop, right?
"Yes! My fa- I mean, yes. I've heard they can. Try it." >>672186>>672187
"That pony over there, she's an inquisitor, ask her what she knows." I point out meada, then realize she can't see me. "The blue one."
Stand my ground then, stopping in place.
Dream Wine. Prepare for what's coming.Roll #1 1 = 1
''Maeda?! What is she…'' I draw my new toy (I do have it already, right?)
Also try to appraise the deers from here
'1d10+2'Roll #1 2 + 2 = 4
This is seldom good.
"Be ready. I think things are about to get messy."
You drink some spoiled wine, and start a bad, bad trip. Just imagine everything else from here as if you were on LSD. Add a lot of flying mushrooms and talking mouths to everything.>>672191>>672190>>672188
The storm begins to clear.
The deer sprint off, scattering in every direction.
The enormous tree at the edge of the clearing - easily a hundred meters around - suddenly bursts into flames and crashes to the ground. The jungle catches flame.
At the center of it, a figure rises from the smoke. "This storm has been very nasty. You hurt my pet. And now I'm going to hurt YOU in return.
Ornitrex, Adventurer-King is come. The imposing pegasus pony is wearing full velvet regal clothing, with crown and scepter. There is no doubt that he is immensely powerful.
Marina [▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓]>Curry [▓▓▓▓▓▓]>Cumin [▓▓▓▓▓▓]
Maeda [▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓]>Stricture [▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓]
Rhanna>Old Ram MacMeal [▓▓▓▓]>"Gunny" [▓▓▓▓]
Kotone Leaf [▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓]>Rogue Ninja [▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓]
Maeda starts HLP
Who? Do I know about this pony?
'1d10' knowledge checkRoll #1 6 = 6
"Well, I guess talking's out of the question."
I'll give Cumin the partner potion for a liquid link.
THIS IS GONNA BE SO MUCH FUN
'1d10'Roll #1 5 = 5
''Who the heck is that???''
'1d10+2' appraiseRoll #1 2 + 2 = 4
Could it be? In all that time you spent reading about adventurers, none was more illustrious than Ornitrex, the adventurer-king! Apparently he reached the pinnacle of skill in every area of adventuring: a master spellcaster (sorcerer), a brilliant engineer (mad scientist), and a perfect epicurean (chocolate-expert). He has the ultimate skills of every possible discipline, if the legends are true!
And he looks pissed. Your ninja carrier throws a barrage of shuriken!>>672195
He takes it and quaffs it. Linked!
Cumin attempts a dazzle on Ornitrex!
Curry fires off a boulder!>>672196
Stricture clears your head with a kiss!>>672197
Gunny and MacMeal begin firing off rounds into the thing!
Class: Adventurer-King / Mad Scientist / Sorceror / Chocolate Expert
Danger level: MaximumOrnitrex channels a spell and begins moving extremely quickly!
Ornitrex fires off a powerful bolt of magic into the air!
Marina [▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓]>Curry [▓▓▓▓▓▓]>Cumin [▓▓▓▓▓▓]
Maeda [▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓]>Stricture [▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓]
Rhanna>Old Ram MacMeal [▓▓▓▓]>"Gunny" [▓▓▓▓]
Kotone Leaf [▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓]>Rogue Ninja [▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓]
"Stricture! Toss me into the bolt!"
I'm still shiny, am I not?If I'm not, reapply. '1d10+2'If I am use the d10 to help him in getting launched into the bolt.Roll #1 8 + 2 = 10
Okay, I have no ranged option. This is going to be rough. At least I've got my dagger and spear.
So, thusly equipped, it's time I make my way down there.
Holy curd, this guy is fast
Can I still appraise him more? He looks so amaz-wait
Turn to Guny and MacMeal ''W-what are you doing?! Mister MacMeal this is dangerous, get out of here!''
'1d10+2' appraise?Roll #1 1 + 2 = 3
I suppose I'll try and hit him when he comes close. '1d10'Roll #1 2 = 2
"Hey, you have those vials from my bag? The little ones with the green labels?" The should be the shrinking potion, if she has them..
"If you do, coat your next shurikens in them, it might help."
'1d10+2' roll for effectiveness if she even brought them and can cut him with themRoll #1 2 + 2 = 4
You re-apply your magic reflection ability.
Stricture helps move you into position! Ornitrex bursts by from the shadows and slashes the two of you with extreme speed!>>672201
You fail your appraise!
"No can do skipper, we're taking him down!"
Gunny and MacMeal fire off more rounds, but…Ornitrex vanishes from sight, dodging the attacks!
After bursting free, he returns and slashes all three of you with his scepter-blade! You dodged his attack!>>672200>>672202Ornitrex bursts free from the shadows, striking at Curry for critical damage!
You glancingly strike with your spear!
Cumin helps Curry's wounds. Curry gets up from helplessness.>>672203
"I have your stuff! I'll try it!"
But he's not helpless - he proves it when he bursts by and slashes her up and cracks your coconut!
She whacks him in the leg in reply! Wait – she's okay! She dodged that blade by a hair's edge! So cool!
Marina [▓▓▓▓▓▓▓░░░]>Curry [▓▓▓▓░░]>Cumin [▓▓▓░░░]
Maeda [▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓░░]>Stricture [▓▓▓▓▓▓▓░░░]
Rhanna [▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓]>Old Ram MacMeal [▓░░░]>"Gunny" [▓▓░░]
Kotone Leaf [▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓] COCONUT-2>Rogue Ninja [▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓]
Revolve my drum into Distilled Life!
What about position? Run/jump facefirst into it!
'1d10'Roll #1 2 = 2
/ Roll #2 9 = 9
That's about the end of my ideas, not that I can fight in the first place.
I will stay away from the crack in the coconut, but wow, my sister looks like she's in trouble.
''Mister MacMeal you have to go! If you die here who's going to carry on with the rocket?! Please g-get out of here!'' I stand in front of the goat, raising my rifle
'1d10' gadget, shooting
'1d10+2' appraiseRoll #1 10 = 10
/ Roll #2 7 + 2 = 9
I'll lament the lack of a healer in all of this.
I need to figure out when I can hit him. He's bound to be coming around for another pass, so I'll ready an action to stab him when he gets close. '1d10'Roll #1 3 = 3
It's not falling that fast. You're in position, you can't make it move faster. You attack instead.
Your potions overcook!>>672206
There has to be something you can do. Maybe you could change the battle environment with a good Miracle Grow to turn things in ponies' favor. Just got to think of the right plant… (you can still take an action)
If that was an attack it's a crit!
Revolving drum ANOTHER Distilled Life '1d10'. And keep a defensive position, ready to counterattack as soon as the wizard is in my range!
'1d10'Roll #1 9 = 9
/ Roll #2 8 = 8
'1d10' If you say so.
Try earthen grasp to give the others a stairs of stone/dirt to useRoll #1 5 = 5
You build yourself a gadget! A critical success! This one will survive through one failure instead of breaking right away!
Ornitrex, Adventurer-King / Sorceror / Mad Scientist / Chocolate-Expert
Weaknesses: The power of friendship?
Desc: Ornitrex, the adventurer-king! Apparently he reached the pinnacle of skill in every area of adventuring: a master spellcaster (sorcerer), a brilliant engineer (mad scientist), and a perfect epicurean (chocolate-expert). He has the ultimate skills of every possible discipline, if the legends are true!
MacMeal and Gunny retreat, too hurt to continue!>>672208Ornitrex and Curry both transfigure into hulking fungus monsters and begin to wrestle for dominance!
Ornitrex marks Curry for death! It's a one-hit wonder, Curry is KO'd!
You glancingly strike at him! Cumin heals you with his light stone! The warm bathes you. In this moment, there is no place for words. He just nods – giving you the confidence to carry on!>>672211
You build a stone platform to strike. With a better position, your Ninja's next attack autocrits!
"Hey – you can still do magic in there? I thought I took your catalyst!"
A crushing blow!
Marina [▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓]>Cumin [▓▓▓░░░]
Maeda [▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓░░]>Stricture [▓▓▓▓▓▓▓░░░]
Rhanna [▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓]>Old Ram MacMeal [▓░░░]>"Gunny" [▓▓░░]
Kotone Leaf [▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓] COCONUT-2>Rogue Ninja [▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓]
Kotone Leaf [▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓] COCONUT-2
>Rogue Ninja [▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓]
"Everyone! Stand on the defensive! Don't show any openings! Those hurt give me a shout!"
I can only hope I do the same for him. Ornitrex is still up there, right? Hurl my spear at him. '1d10'Roll #1 7 = 7
I smile. thank goodness they listened
I focus and prepare to fire
'1d10+1' boomRoll #1 4 + 1 = 5
"I'm more talented than you knew!"
"Still, it would be nice if you returned my mane clip. It should fit into this hole.." I suggest.
'1d10' maybe he'll get distracted if a cocoa tree sprouted in front of him, miracle grow go!Roll #1 5 = 5
You don't get 2 actions per turn
Whoop, time to use that battery
I'd lost count of turns!Daddy could ;_;
Ornitrex hurls a stormbolt at Maeda, the first of which is reflected at him! She blocks some of the damage!
Ornitrex rains a flurry of homing magic on the party, cracking Kotone's coconut and hurting others!
Cumin heals himself! "Marina… he has to be getting weak! Finish him off!"
"Maeda!" Stricture calls out! He drinks a potion and empowers his weapon. "I'm through letting this wizard hurt people! I'm done letting him hurt you!"
Ninja: "You still okay in there, Kotone? That one got me pretty good."
Rhanna fires off an accurate shot!
Ninja throws shuriken!
Marina [▓▓▓▓▓▓▓░░░] POT
Maeda [▓░░░░░░░░░░] POT
Kotone Leaf [▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓] COCONUT-1
>Rogue Ninja [▓▓▓▓▓▓▓░░░]
The coco tree can't take root in this much fire!
"Don't do anything crazy! We have to stop the spell first! Be defensive!"
Drink my pot, reapply Mirror Elixir!
'1d10+2'Roll #1 9 + 2 = 11
"We'll do it together."
Take aim with my knife, and hurl it as strongly as I can. '1d10'Roll #1 2 = 2
This isn't good, Maeda nearly died there
We gotta take this guy down fast…
'1d10+2' appraise more, I'll only stop when I crit itRoll #1 10 + 1 = 11
/ Roll #2 6 + 2 = 8
"I'm perfectly fine, this coconut is very hardy."
'1d10' Try to slow him down with a sand/dirt trap. Earthen Grasp.Roll #1 10 = 10
You drink the elixir just in time to reflect a MONSTROUS orbital strike!
Stricture cleaves deep with his powerfully enchanted weapon for massive damage. "We'll make it through this!"Ornitrex is surrounded in holy light. With a few words of prayer, his wounds vanish!>>672225
You glancingly strike him!
Cumin heals you – you feel a rush of numbness sooth your burning limbs. "Keep it together! For your dad! For us!"
Even with his high pitched voice, he's staying motivated.>>672226
You gain no new information from the appraisal!
A dead-eye shot!>>672227
You fully immobilize the sorcerer, next turn he will not use any abilities as he frees himself!Ornitrex fires off an energy orb, cleaving across four of you!
Kotone's coconut burst open!
"Ne, Kotone-kun… you're not going to abandon us, will you? If you don't become strong… what warrior will ever respect you?
You equip all your gear!
Marina [▓▓▓▓▓▓▓░░░] POT>Cumin [▓▓▓▓░░]
Maeda [▓▓▓▓░░░░░░░] POT>Stricture [▓▓▓▓▓▓▓░░░]
Kotone Leaf [▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓]>Rogue Ninja [▓▓▓▓░░░░░░]
Revolving drum into Distill Life '1d10'
Pop dream Wine. '1d10'Roll #1 10 = 10
/ Roll #2 1 = 1
My bad you drank yours, I even added the health
Also drinking potion is instant anyway, you can't double instant. So it's a good thing you already drank it
"…I have no way to leave, Ninja-chan
'1d10' shoot the angry wizard with an arrow?Roll #1 3 = 3
It's High Noon bitch
'1d10+2' appraise again!Roll #1 7 + 1 = 8
/ Roll #2 9 + 2 = 11
I wonder, do inquisitors get state funerals?
And can you marry a pony in heaven?
I'll quaff the potion I seem to have acquired.
"Don't forget to heal yourself, Cumin! If you don't make it, then there's no real point to winning!"
And then I guess I'll just charge at Ornitrex and hit him with my tail. It should do some damage, since it's a big muscle. '1d10'Roll #1 8 = 8
Potions for yourself, Stricture, and Rhanna!
You're caught in a dream wine hangover! Stricture shakes you out of it with a warm, precious hug!>>672232
"Baka, it wasn't like I was respecting you for staying! Now you have to ruin it by pointing out that you can't escape the fire on your own!
Your shot is glancing, like your ninja's attack!>>672233
A full strike!>>672235
Would you drink an inquisitor potion? That's the choice you just said yes to!
Smack! Looks like all that weight you put on is good for something. W-wait, I mean…
Marina [▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓]>Cumin [▓▓▓▓░░]
Maeda [▓▓▓▓░░░░░░░] POT>Stricture [▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓] POT
Rhanna [▓▓▓▓░░░░░░] POT
Kotone Leaf [▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓]>Rogue Ninja [▓▓▓▓░░░░░░]Ornitrex wrestles free of the vines!
"Its not as if I was looking for an excuse to stay!
'1d10' I get all frustrated all the sudden and aim for the eyes of the wizardRoll #1 8 = 8
Drink the pot, fire up a new Mirror Elixir!
'1d10+2'And whisper a single "Love you." to Stricture.Roll #1 4 + 2 = 6
I trust Maeda. Even if she doesn't trust me.
And I attribute most of that to inertia. Yes. Inertia.
That knife has got to be around here somewhere, though. Pick it up if I can and attack him while he's still stuck. '1d10'Roll #1 9 = 9
Thank you nurse
I drink my potion and fire off again!
'1d10+1'Roll #1 1 + 1 = 2
You put on a chrome sheen again! Pity that Qi doesn't count as a spell effect.
Stab stab stab!
Cumin heals Rhanna.>>672240
You shoot wide, but you heal a bit, and Cumin heals you!>>672237
A direct hit!Ornitrex warps the world, everyone is helpless!
Ornitrex tumbles back up, striking Marina!
Marina [▓▓▓▓▓▓▓░░░] HLP>Cumin [▓▓▓▓░░] HLP
Maeda [▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓░░░] HLP>Stricture [▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓] POT HLP
Rhanna [▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓] HLP
Kotone Leaf [▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓] HLP>Rogue Ninja [▓▓▓▓░░░░░░] HLP
My world has a fixed point! Pull myself up, I must stand strong!
'1d10'Roll #1 8 = 8
Getting up. If successful, Lightning Grease allows for an additional action, which I'll use to uppercut that punkass. '2d10'Roll #1 1, 4 = 5
'1d10' try to get back upRoll #1 5 = 5
'1d10 get up up up!
'1d10' oopsRoll #1 1 = 1
Only Maeda gets up out of everyone!Ornitrex suppresses her, then barrages everyone!
Marina [▓▓▓▓░░░░░░] HLP>Cumin [▓░░░░░] HLP
Maeda [▓▓▓▓▓░░░░░░] HLP>Stricture [▓▓▓▓▓▓▓░░░] POT HLP
Rhanna [▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓░░░] HLP
Kotone Leaf [▓▓▓▓▓▓▓░░░] HLP>Rogue Ninja [▓░░░░░░░░░] HLPWhen all hope seemed lost, MacMeal came back!
MacMeal and Gunny have returned, and set up a mortar on the side of the hill. They launch a suppressing barrage onto Ornitrex to keep him busy.
"THIS. IS. MY. BOOMSTICK!"
I have to get to Cumin. He's in trouble.
Stand up. '1d10'Roll #1 6 = 6
A success. Hurry over to Cumin and help him stand up, thanks to Lightning Grease. '1d10'Roll #1 3 = 3
'1d10' this kind of hurts, I should get up so I can dodge thoseRoll #1 6 = 6
He succeeded, so you use that to glancing attack instead.
OH FOR FUCK'S SAKE!
Well if he's not suppressing, I'm not HLP!
Help Stricture up.
'1d10'Roll #1 2 = 2
Nah, I'll use Protect instead.
''Are you kidding me…''
As much as I wish, I can't really stay mad at that bastard Old Goat
'1d10' I can only get up and keep shootinRoll #1 4 = 4
'1d3' dice save me!Roll #1 1 = 1
Kotone, Maeda, Cumin, Rogue Ninja, and Marina got up!Ornitrex is filled with holy Fervor!
Ornitrex dominates Maeda's mind, and she strikes at Marina!
"Enough! Enough of this! You pests are swarming me! You want to steal my glory! Dance, puppets!"
Marina [▓▓▓▓░░░░░░]>Cumin [▓░░░░░]
Maeda [▓▓▓▓▓░░░░░░] TSFX>Stricture [▓▓▓▓▓▓▓░░░] POT HLP
Rhanna [▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓░░░] HLP
Kotone Leaf [▓▓▓▓▓▓▓░░░]>Rogue Ninja [▓░░░░░░░░░]
No fucking way!
I'm not letting another stallion dominate me, only Stricture can do that!
'1d10' break free.Roll #1 8 = 8
Also I had Mirror Elixir up!
Ow. Really wish we'd brought a cleric…
I can take him down, though. Even if I just have to outlast him. Shank Ornitrex again. '1d10'Roll #1 6 = 6
This is bad.
'1d10' Keep firing arrows at the Ornitrex for nowRoll #1 1 = 1
'1d10' Move, MOVERoll #1 1 = 1
Maeda breaks free!
Stricture helps up Rhanna!
The time is now - the opening is here! This is your final chance – finish him now, or face certain doom!
Sure. Let's finish it.
Strike, at the heart!
'1d10'Roll #1 9 = 9
All together. By our powers combined, we're going to kick his shit in. Knifing. '1d10'Roll #1 8 = 8
This isn't a DMquest!
It's in the rules!
When has Wf ever used unnatural/double criticals?
''Thank you, buddy'' I'm surprised the guy managed to help a big girl like me up
'1d10+1' Git shootinRoll #1 4 + 1 = 5
'1d10' when you only get one moment one chance to..Roll #1 8 = 8
The paladins charge in with their holy blades from the north. Their strikes are in perfect unison - ever aligned.
The inventors blast unholy fire and explosions from the south. Even as mortar fire rains down, Rhanna takes crucial shots from the ridge.
Marina strikes boldly forward with a stalwart blade in the east, protecting her betrothed as he revives Cumin with his magic. Her courage to defend those she cares for mirroring her devotion to protect her ponies.
And in the west, a ninja throws one last round of deadly shuriken before collapsing against a tree. "I was wrong, Kotone. You aren't weak.
–With one last terrible gasp - perhaps too dreadful for this world, Ornitrex explodes in a terrible blast of green fire, leaving behind the terrible aroma of chocolate truffles. In typical adventurer style, a pile of gold pours out of the sky where his body dissipated.
What a nightmare. At least most of the forestfire has burned itself out due to all the dampness from the rain.
And the sun is out. And Rhanna is like… a teenager now, what's with that? Why was Kotone being kept as jewelry, is she okay now that she's loose from the coconut? Why is Marina even here, didn't she leave? What was with those deer?
Questions that may haunt you if you don't ask for answers now.
"Okay, nobody run, we have healing here…"
Let's sit down and start brewing life potions, take six on them.
Anyone outright dead?>>672272
"And you, Marina."
I'm mostly just really tired. I'll scoop up a portion of the gold, and make my way back to Cumin and my father.
"Say, if anyone needs a ride back home… I think I've got room for you."
I'll cast a glance around. What a weird day.>>672274
Grimace a little.
"I imagine you'll want me out of your mane as soon as possible, so if you'd care to see to Cumin's wounds, I'll be on my way."
Doggie growth spurts.
"Don't leave, I'm going to ask my friend for medicine for you.
" I tell the ninja. >>672274
"Its a long story, Maeda, are you alright? You said you have healing magic? Can you use some on the pony over there?" I point out the ninja mare.
"No, you are the least mare I want to leave right now, because I need an explanation from you.">>672277
"Who's she, sellsword?"
''Well dang, that guy almost killed you two. Are you alright mister MacMeal?''>>672274
''Maeda? What are you doing all the way here? More inquisitorial stuff?''>>672276
I go for a hug, but I realize I have to kneel down for that ''I haven't seen you in a while!''
"You might say that. What happened to you?"
"Not at all. She'd be horribly offended if she could understand you."
I'll smile a little at seeing Kotone again.
"Well, this isn't how I expected we'd meet again, miss fairy.">>672278
That'll kill my smile fairly easily.
"I was worried you might say that. But no one's really in any condition to run, so I guess you've got u-">>672279
I'll squint at the dog picking me up.
"Rhanna? What on earth happened to you? You were smaller than me a few weeks ago!"
Curry: "Well, if he was the adventurer king, I guess that's adventurer checkmate."
Fucking dad jokes.
Cumin: "Yeah… let's get out of here as soon as we can. Do you think we even need to pick up Davy? He might have headed for Aquamarine as soon as the weather cleared."
"Marina. Sir Cumin. Let me make this extremely clear.
Cumin has to come back with us."
"Hey, Kotone-kun, I've lost a lot of blood. I want to know before I go, what was that game?
MAKING POTIONS HERE!
"Ha! You think we'd turn tail with those odds? We were just going back to get a bigger gun!"
He pats the mortar. "Looks like we saved the day, too. Not that I'm braggin', a'course."
''I uh… Some magical mishaps… I-I'm gonna fix this though!''>>672282
''Well, you know Itzhilithit? That stupid talking bunny? Well, he kinda messed me up like that… And yeah, it is as horrible as you imagine''
"Congratulations on your birthday Rhanna!" I declare to the teenage pup.>>672282
Marina!" I reply and burst into giggle as I bow to you.
"You really grew into your tools, kid."
Snicker a bit.
I worriedly hoover over her "Hey don't say that, we'll get to play, soon.
Cumin: "I really need to go be with my family, not sit in Princessland interrogation for a few weeks."
Big talk for such a frail, girly stallion!
"We should at least make the courtesy to check. If he's not there, then we just get home after he does.">>672284
Dangling, I'll look at Maeda.
"I was hoping to bring him to his father myself. I still need to meet with him, after all. Since Cumin and I are, well…"
I'll blush a bit.
"We're planning on marriage. I'd like his father's approval, at least.">>672288
"That rabbit's been all over, apparently.">>672289
You force some potion down her throat but she is a bit sickly pale. She'll need some time to recover, she's probably dazed from lightheadedness.
"Then I'm happy for you two. But he was already scheduled to go back to his family.
What his abduction
changes is the respect this whole colony will have in the eyes of Equestria.
You are condemning this place, Marina. Just let him go back via the normal ways and spare a lot of ponies a lot of suffering. Delay that marriage a week or two."
''Psh, yeah we couldn't have done that thanks to you Mister MacRam.'' Crouch in front of the gunni ''And you too, buddy. At least now I guess we made some more profit huh?''
No rolls for loot this time?>>672289
''Hey, hey It's not my birthday yet. I got messed up by magic, and I'll get to fix that''
I squint ''I actually barely noticed you were here too Miss Kotone. What are you doing here as well? Were you after the deer?''>>672290
''I don't think you can call me a kid anymore…'' I lift the rifle ''But in the subject of tools, you're correct.''
I look up ''And seems like that rain is finally done, I bet it was those stupid deer that were doing this for sure''>>672293
''Oh he'll stop being all over when I get my paws on him… What are you doing here though? And who's that guy?'' I point at Cumin
"She is fine. No touch now.
This was supposed to be green.>>672296
"Speaking of the deers…"
We need to find them and talk to them, this might be a problem.
Did she pass out on us?
It's a set amount of loot this time.>>672295
Stricture finally joins the group.
"Well – he's not totally exploded. I think this charred hoof and shreds of cape should be evidence enough that he's dead. Or at least… that somepony is dead. Or at least… that somepony is missing a leg, and they got burned badly."
She's just dazed, not passed out.
"All command will care about is that the storm is over- and speaking of, have you seen where the deers ran off to?"
Gunny is the griffon. He gives a hacking cough.
"I remember the old days, of Godric's Golden Era. I'm not so worried about money - I have something else that takes all my focus. That rocket."
''Shoot, you're right. They're just gonna start it again! They must be doing that right now too''>>672300
I take a few whiffs at the air. Can I try and track those damn deers?>>672303
''Me too pal. Don't worry, we're getting close, and what happened here is one step closer too''
"They moved in perfect synchronicity, yet in all different directions. It's like nothing I've ever seen. They acted like a hive, like ants - but even ants move independently, randomly. That was… otherworldly. Alien."
He pauses. "I've heard it said that deer act as the agents of Mother Nature. Never believed it before but… now? I'm not so sure."
"Hey, can you see? Look, there's the seapony princess I told you about. Isn't she cute?
" gesture toward Marina
The scent of ash, gunpowder, and magic is too overpowering.
I'll look between her and Cumin.
"I'd… be alright if it was you two specifically who brought him there, if I can't. I don't trust the rest of the Inquisition.">>672296
"We came wizard hunting. And he's my, uh."
I'll blush again and practically whisper.
"My special somepony."
"What came of your moon mission, by the way?">>672305
"It'd be a problem if they just started it up again.
We need to find out why.">>672308>>672307
Share a look with Stricture and Cumin.
"Think it could work?
Maybe if he asks for it himself…"
She smiles. "You're cute.
Then passes out. You're sure it was just the low blood talking! She didn't mean that OBVIOUSLY.
"Do you think there are any still left in the area? I mean, they've had a pretty decent head start…"
Cumin: "The inquisition won't understand. They kept telling me I was kidnapped, but I wasn't. It was a misunderstanding. That's all just going to feed the wrong story. Talking to my uncle sooner will fix all of this."
Stricture: "I don't know… It's true the inquisition DOES think he's a brainwashed kidnapping victim. So nobody's going to convince them otherwise, even if we bring him in. I don't know - this isn't my strong suit. I wish Lord Wind was here to help us solve this. She is so good at thinking of solutions."
"Your guess is as good as mine. This is the biggest island in the archipelago, though."
"Okay. I have a plan.
We will lie.
He was kidnapped by the chaos wizard, Marina helped us rescue him. Curry and the boat should not be mentioned, or our colleagues will grow wise."
''I don't have any doubt. But why would Mother Nature want to ruin everything with thie neverending rain? Deer can speak our language right? We should find one and get aswers from it''>>672307
''You were hunting for the wizard too huh''
I giggle ''Ehee, Are you gonna have little seapony kids together?''>>672309
''Well I came here because all that rain was in our way to our moon mission. But now that it is over… Kind of, we can continue. But first we'll deal with those deer'' Cock my gun ''So it ain't happening again''
"Hey hey hey! No hurting them, we need to understand what's going on first!"
"What if… what if you bring him to his uncle before
reporting his return to your superiors? I mean, you've got a portion of a pile of currently undocumented gold, a ship that can go underwater, and ponies to steer it…">>672313
"They could be anywhere, then. Especially if they don't want to be found.">>672314
"That works too.">>672315
Blush and whisper furiously.
"That kind of talk is for later! Not in public!
"If only there were an expert on theology here to tell us."
Gee, you wonder if any of the characters here is an expert on multiple religions. That sure would be convenient.
''Aw come on, I wasn't gonna hurt them too bad, just to scare them. That'll learn those pesky deer to not do it again''>>672317
''But I don't know when I'll get to talk to you again!''>>672318
''Wait I can think of someone…''
"But what about the first time he disappeared?">>672319
Stricture points out: "Naturalist theology - not our strongsuit."
Cumin: "Actually, I want to go back by my old home in Autumnsreach first. It's mostly on the way. It's really
"We will have to stick to the story for that. Changing your version would be stupid."
"Well, I was planning on inviting you to the wedding, once that gets ironed out.">>672321
"He was wounded during the returning of the alter that Lilly Belle was obliged to, and we took him home to treat his wounds."
Not a complete lie.>>672322
"I'm fine with it. I just hope they are, too."
''*gaaasp* a wedding?! That'd be gr…Well uh, when is it? I might be a bit busy in the next few days… you know, moon stuff…''
"That's the thing, I'm not sure yet. But it's going to take longer than the next few days to sort out."
I'll look at her curiously.
"And what are you planning to do with the moon?"
"If they're going to Hatfield, we might be able to make it. Hatfield is across Equestria and against the wind currents. We might be able to make our destinations and arrive in time."
"Okay, here's what we will do.
Me and Stricture need to find the deers.
You and Cumin, settle this down in your own hearts. See what you feel your obligations are to the ponies of this world, and what you can and cannot wait for.
If you decide to leave, at least remember to send me an invitation for the wedding."
"Anyone else wants to come?"
I'll smile widely at Maeda.
"I wouldn't dream of leaving you out of it. Just remember to invite us to yours."
Blush violently, looking in a quick panic at Stricture.
It's a recent thing!"
''Well I ain't doing nothing to it, just doing a little visit'' give the fish a double thumbs up ''I'm gonna be the first Dog to have stepped on the moon! Without magic!''>>672327
''I'll come… Can I come Mister MacMeal?''>>672328
"And I hope it's a long-lasting thing, too.">>672331
You know, I don't think you ever put me down.
"That's… well, I don't even know how you'd do that! I hope it works, and that you get back safely."
Stricture rubs his mane. "Was it so obvious? I mean, we were partners before and no one made jokes like that…"
Also get the wizard's remains, we need to show some proof if Cumin were to come back with us.
"We kissed mid battle, you silly!"
"Can't make a commitment to making it, but if the schedules align, I don't see why not."
"I thought they'd be distracted by the wizard fireballs!"
Stricture gets Cumin's signature too
"Marina always had two sets of eyes.">>672338
Smart stallion. He's a catch.
"I'm not joking at all.">>672335
Giggle slightly as well.
"You certainly did. Practically lit up like a lighthouse, too."
''Ah please, I can do anythign with science, and it's way more safe than magic! No need to worry, I'll be back and then everyone will praise me. I'll even get my own lab for sure!''>>672336
''Yesss. Sooo, can I join Maeda in the deer hunt?''
"Now THAT we have time for."Pause
"A wedding? You're getting married? You're both getting married? When?"
And redder I become.
"N-no way! Marina is getting too ahead of herself!"
"Ooh" I giggle a bit at you and then float closer with a grin.
"But you've found somepony you wouldn't mind marrying, that means."
Go quiet and serious, small smile on my face.
I think it is love.
Sure feels like what ponies say it is."
Then run those thoughts away.
"But forget about that, what are you doing here?"
"I was looking into the storm and.."
Get really close, floating over your ear. "I got kidnapped by that ninja.
The ninja that right now can't even move?
Not worth raising my weapons, but I do get uneasy.
That one yes! I rub the back of my head as I try to explain.
"I ran into her during the storm, and she was in a very bad mood. Nearly killed me actually."
"I will take her into custody then, and that will be a problem off your back."
"…If you're sure you can hold her. Otherwise it might be best to just let her bring me back home.." I reply worriedly.
"You would willingly let yourself fall into the hooves of your captor?"
"You saw her fight right? She's very stubborn, and if she got away from you then she'd just be upset with me."
"We can kill her right here…"
I shake my head.
"I don't want to kill her, she seems.." I frown.
"..unlucky? Like she's had a very difficult time."
"Are you feeling… Compassion for your captor? This is called Stockholm syndrome, sis."
, but I felt that way when I first met her actually, she was sleeping under a pier.."
"And that's where she kidnapped you?"
"Yes! She immediately attacked me, understandable since I was huge at the time, I must have looked frightening." I hesitate a moment and sigh continuing to talk.
"Once she figured out who I was she decided to kidnap me, and kept me in a cage until morning when I shrunk back. Then I was trapped in the coconut and wound up here."
"If you don't mind, she sounds more like a hobo than a ninja…"
"It is strange."
"But she seems to have the skills of a ninja."
"Again. I'm sure you'd be far safer with some real sellswords, rather than a kidnapping hobo.
Heck, you want to come with me?"
"With you? While you're working?" my voice is a surprised squeak.
Wince, thinking about it for a second.
"…It might not be the best idea, no. You'd surely end up in worse situations."
"I guessed as much." Nod understandingly.
"But we could go back to Princessland together, hire someone to protect you.
Didn't you want to see the world, rather than go right back home?"
"That's true and, Mom would probably tell me to just stay home if she found out about this.."
"She has to be quite the hoofful, uh?
"If you see father. Could you tell him-"
Wave away that thought.
"Nevermind. I don't even know what I want to tell him."
"I'm sure that's a conversation you want to have face to face. I'll merely tell him to look for you."
I'll just have been watching those two talk. I never knew they were sisters. Or that they had a sister. It'd be rude to interrupt a family moment, though, even if the questions rumbling around in my head are demanding to be asked.
"I mean… No. I don't want to see him. I just want him to know I exist. And mom exists. And that he's not needed any more."
Each sentence becomes a bit harsher and meaner, poking the air with one hooftip as it to place invisible periods on my words.
I look really confused.
"You don't want him to know about you? Are you sure you won't regret that?"
''Psst, Marina… Where are you going after this by the way?''
"I want him to, I just don't want him to show up! Can you imagine that? Missing all my life and then he just pops in.
My mother would die of a heart attack, for one!"
"I was thinking maybe stopping in New Gettysburg to pick up supplies, and then head to Autumnsreach with Cumin. Why do you ask?"
''Well… I was thinking of looking for you guys after I come back from the moon trip, I mean mission… You know, show what I gathered like some moon rocks… Since I know you worship it or something''
Clear my throat
"I don't understand, how else do expect to meet him?"
"That'd be wonderful! Aquamarine City should be on at least one map by then, I think."
Literally putting the Aquamarine City on a map is impractical for obvious reasons
Magical maps! Ones that track its movement.
…though that opens up its own kettle of problems.
"I.. Don't. Is it so strange?"
''Maybe when I get back, I'll get sponsored enough to buy my own submarine, if I don't just make my own because heh, you know me''
''…I'll just have to find a map that has Aquamarine on it…''
"Well, even if there isn't one, the first group that traveled to the moon without magic is sure to make some waves. We might end up finding you first!"
"..Compared to what you said last time, a little bit."
''Yeeaaaah, Maybe I'll even make more than one trip in the future, and bring you along!'' I pull you in a half hug ''Can you imagine, being the first fishpony to set foo-I mean hoov- I mean fins in the moon?''
"I was even angrier at him last time than I am now!"
I'll giggle a bit.
"I'm not sure I'd be able to go, but it certainly sounds exciting. And I do think it would be amazing, going up there."
''Yeah I know you'll probally be busy being the new Queen of the seas and all that business… But don't worry, I won't forget about you even after I'm rich and famous'' wink
"But then you seemed to determined to show him what an amazing inquisitor you became!"
"Maybe love is making you soft." I teasingly poke your chest.
"Well, there's no worry of that. You've got a really good memory."
"Or less angry."
Smile a bit.
"You are invited, by the way. When it happens. If it happens."
''Pssh… But how about you? What are you gonna be doing while I'm out besides the whole marriage and supplies things? What are you gonna be doing by Autumnsreach?''
"I'll be there, count on it, little sister
." I wink and make a pointing gesture at the sky.
"Cumin said he needed to visit his home there. So we're going to stop there on the way back. And then meet his family…"
"Uh?" Look up, wondering what she means.
''That's a good thing, right?''
"I certainly hope so."
Its a mystery, because she's not explaining it and nothing is up there.
''Well by the way you said it, kinda sounded like a bad thing. You scared they might not like you because you're half fish?''
"Amongst other things…"
Fidget a little.
"I just hope it goes well."
Fae are strange.
"Anyway. We should rejoin the others before they wonder what's up with us."
''But you're a princess! of course they're gonna like you. Ponies love princesess as far as I know''
"Alright." I will follow you back to the group.
"Hope we didn't keep you waiting."
"They like sun-themed princesses."
I'll give a little half-smile.
"It's probably just nerves. I mean, I hardly even know how to act like a proper lady. I'm just worried I'll mess up…">>672405
"Oh, not at all. I didn't know you two knew each other. I mean, what are the odds we both know the same fairy?"
"Some ponies are linked by a red thread of fate in this world."
''We're good. Just talking about our awesome future here''>>672406
''Oh come on. You are super nice, pretty, great swimmer and can cook one mean meal. Seriously, they're gonna love you. I'm more than 100% sure of it''
"And I only met you both recently. What a time to alive." I smile at you.
"So, when's this wedding of yours?"
W E D D I N G S
Stricture better watch out.
"So it seems.">>672408
"But I can't ballroom dance, don't know all the silverware, and really, really don't know how his family is going to react…">>672409
"I'm… not sure yet. I still need to get Cumin's family's approval. But you're going to be invited, for sure."
''Dancing is for dorks, and has absolutely no use besides making you sweat, and hey…It's okay to not know all the things, really, I mean look at me, I spent hours on engineering and other books and I still have little clue on how the rocket functions…''
I rub my arm ''And besides, does it really matters what they're gonna think of you? Does it matter all that much?''
"I see, but then you really are
a Seapony Princess?"
"I have a feeling, Marina, that there are more important things than those if you want to be a good princess."
"It looks nice. And yeah… Being presentable is part of being some kind of upper-crust pony. Or so I've heard.">>672413
"That's the title, anyway.">>672414
"I know that, but… I don't think I'm a good fit for those either. I mean, you've seen the mistakes I've made up to now. Back when we first met in Aquamarine City, on the way to New Earth, everything that's happened since…"
"I just have a lot of work I need to put into this so I don't get crushed under the responsibility. I owe it to my ponies to at least be able to take care of them."
"You mean you don't know anything about actually being a princess? Don't you have someone to teach you?"
"You think too much in terms of us and them. Not all equestrians are out to get you. Think about the greater good first."
''I have to agree with Maeda. You're kinda worrying too much about those small meaningless things, you know?''
"Well, I have a sister-in-law since about last week… But beyond her, I've never really had the opportunity to learn how to be ladylike.">>672417>>672418
My ears will droop a bit.
"I know. This is one of those things I need to work on. Changing how I think is going to be the hardest part."
Sigh, then perk back up.
"But at least I have a point of reference to work from, thanks to you all. You especially, Maeda. It'll take time, but I'm sure I can sort myself out. And Cumin will be there, too, helping."
"Will she be able to show you?"
"I'm sure she'd jump at the chance. There's not much in the way of high-class entertainment in Aquamarine City at the moment."
My tail will swish from side to side for a moment.
"Speaking of, I'd love it if you came to visit! When you've got time, of course."
"Good on you, and on all those under your rule.">>672418
"So run it by me once more. How did you grow so much?"
"Aquamarine City? Where is that?" I'm certain that I haven't heard about seapony cities
"Yes, I am curious too, what kind of spell did you say it was Rhanna?"
"Well, it's a recent thing, relatively speaking. It used to be a Discordian stronghold that, well… I guess the easiest way to explain it would be that it's a giant crab with a city inside. It moves around, and runs on steam. I think. My brother was working on figuring that out, in-between farming. But it's completely secured now, from shell to legs, so it's perfectly safe for ponies. Maeda helped make sure of that, actually.">>672422>>672424
"She mentioned a rabbit. A talking rabbit."
"He seems to be popping up a lot these days, actually."
Bow my head slightly at the mention.
"Talking rabbit you say?"
"Yeah. He had stowed away on our trip to New Earth, though I don't know how he got to Aquamarine City in the first place, then he disappeared for a while. It seems he's been going around spreading mischief."
"….Uh." I look around awkwardly trying to comprehend anything you just said.
"Is your brother a prince?"
"Wait, so you actually know this entity?"
"It's a recent thing. My mother is the High Priestess of the Lunar faith, and leader of Aquamarine City. That makes me and my brother nobles, though we weren't really raised as such.">>672429
"I know he exists, that's about it. Never really interacted with him. I thought he was Selena's pet."
"Wait what, you mean it actually talks, not just you talking to him?"
"Sounds like you have a lot of catching up to do. …you should make a habit of sounding sure of yourself, uncertainty is seen as weakness, and being seen as weak is very bad for a Princess."
My ears will droop again.
"Yeah, I've… kinda noticed I don't inspire much confidence in ponies."
"Now, I'm sure she will learn."
Nod ''Good, good. If you believe in yourself, you can do anything, that's what I always tell myself, except that I switch out 'you' for 'sciece' ''>>672424>>672422>>672426
''What Marina said. Okay so, there's this rabbit, his name is Itzhilityhithium or something, and he can talk for some reason, and it's really weird when he does. He looks like any regular cute bunny, but that's just a facade, he said he was touched by the chaos, the chaotic one, and then started… Doing his thing I guess? i'm not sure what he's trying to accomplish really, but he took a ride in the boat with me and MacRam's crew to drop off somewhere… But not before he tricked me, And This
is how I got big''
I take a breath
''He had this cape that he was carrying around, told me it had shapeshifting properties, and left it there for me, so OF COURSE I had to try it myself… I tried to turn into a pony but it didn't work, it just made me big, like this… Then Izhitilit came back, took the cape and left… Stupid weird bunny''
I get a frustrated scowl on my face and go right up to your eyes.
"Stop it. You can't talk down about yourself. You have to be your first believer, or no one else will want to follow you. Stop saying thing like 'I don't inspire much confidence' and 'I wasn't really raised that way', right this minute!"
Blink and slightly recoil at the fairy in my face.
"But it's true, at the moment. It's a fact. Which is why I was going to work on changing it. I have to know where I'm at before I can improve myself, don't I?"
Relax a little and smile at Kotone.
"But thank you for getting angry. I'm going to work hard so the next time we all meet, I'll be more fitting of my station."
I face hoof
"You just thanked me for scolding you? Hopeless
Then float back to the ground.
I'll look between the two of them, then scrunch.
That didn't sound very approving.
Bet you feel like an anime fan on prom night now.
I'm still going to be upset, arms folded and all.
Now to focus on your story again.
"Rhanna, some cape did this to you? Can you track down the rabbit to get it back?"
''Pff, I wish… He got off the ship when we were on the Ash ruins island, no idea where he's going''
"Well, watch out not to go crazy now that you have an adult's body."
"Maeda, can't you ask your inquisition friends to break this? Don't they specialize in dealing with wizardry?"
"What's she going to do, reach things on shelves that used to be out of range?"
I'll think for a minute.
"Oh wait you meant… yeah."
Blush a bit.>>672445
"Yeah don't go wild 'experimenting', Rhanna."
''Uuh… go crazy how? I have been feeling a bit weird I guess..''
"Yes, but knowing Rhanna I doubt she even wants that."
"Lots of hormones."
I cover my mouth to giggle too.
"Yea, be careful around boys now."
''Wait, what's the problem about boys now?!''
"Why do you think girls get married, Rhanna?"
"You know, just don't spend too much time alone with one."
Titter a little.
"Come on now, don't tease. She's been a puppy until just recently. She doesn't know how that all works."
I'll pause for a second, then look at Rhanna.>>672452
"I mean, you don't know how that all works, right?"
Great question, let's all stare at Rhanna.
''Because they really like someone?…''>>672454
''But why not?! Are they gonna run away? Flapjack did when I was talking to him…''>>672456>>672457
''How WHAT works?! COme on, stop hidding it from me, I hate that!''
"Oh this is priceless! Who wants to explain!?"
"Should we? I mean, she's still only a puppy. But, she's in an adult's body…"
"If we don't explain it, she's gonna run into some big troubles…"
I'll look between Maeda and Kotone.
"Should we all tell her? I mean, that way we won't leave anything out."
"I think Marina should, she's the oldest."
"Well if Marina glosses over anything, big sis here can fill her in!"
Snicker, lightly elbowing Kotone's side.
''Grr…Stop making fun of me! This isn't funny…''>>672463>>672462
''Alright, fine. What is it Marina, huh? And you better tell me what is a dick too, don't hide it from me''
I snicker back. "Sure thing." >>672465
I literally roll over in the air laughing at this
Oh my Princess.
"Okay. This is going to be… educational."
Squirm out of Rhanna's paws, pick up a stick, and clear some dirt.
"Rhanna, I'm going to explain everything."
And I will proceed to diagram the entirety of the process of making babies. Seaponies weren't exactly shy about it, after all, and Mom did explain how land ponies worked differently. It probably works the same for dogs as it does land ponies.
''I'm gonna swat you!''>>672467
''That's really gross, man…'' my face contorts with disgust ''So that's how babies are made? And that's how it works for everyone? ponies, dogs, gryphons?''
I'm redder than a rocket right now.>>672468
"Well marina lays eggs!"
''Wait, like birds do?… And the babies Come OUT of the…Oh gosh… I think I'm gonna be sick''
This makes me shut up pretty quickly.>>672468
That's the way it happens for Breezy too, of course there aren't really any Breezy around besides me..
Red as a beet, I'll nod.
"For the most part.">>672469
"I-I do not! I'm only half-seapony, so I take after my dad when it comes to how that works!"
''So that's why I should stay away from boys?… That still doesn't really explain why I feel so weird around them…''>>672472
''A-and what about the hormones? Are those the things making me feel all tingly and weird inside?''
"So since Rhanna might not know it…
H-how do dicks look like, exactly?"
Totally asking for Rhanna.
"That weird feeling around boys, that's why you should stay away from them, until you learn to deal with it.."
''But what IS it? And how do I deal with it!?''
"They're part of it. Usually that's your body telling you that it's ready to make babies, or so my mom said.">>672474
"It, uh. It depends on the species. Mom says dad's looked kinda like… uh."
"Stars above, I never realized how awkward that sort of conversation is until now. But it looked, according to her, like, uh."
I'll scribble in the dirt.
''W-wait I'm not ready! I am NOT ready to make babies, I don't want babies!''
"Where do they HIDE that thing!?"
"Uh." I blush intensely.
"Next time it happens. Spend some time in your room. Alone. And figure it out. Don't leave until the feeling is gone."
"But your body is. You just have to use your head instead of… of listening to your hormones.">>672480
I'll whisper in your ear.
"I hear it tucks itself in, like how a turtle goes into its shell.
''Alright… Do you know when are they gonna stop though? D-do you also feel the feelings near boy breezies too???''>>672482
''I-I'm good at that! But… uh, just a hipotesis… If I did ended up doing it with anyone that isn't a dog…Like, I dunno, an alpaca maybe? I'm j-just picking at random… Would the baby be a dog or an alpaca?'' I get really close, like really in your face as I ask this
"T-this one I know! Most equines can't have children with each other!"
''Most Equines? Which Equines???
And what about dogs, Maeda?! WHAT ABOUT DOGS!?''
"Uhm. Uh. I don't know? I mean, I think I only happened because seaponies and landponies aren't that
far apart from each other. But-">>672484
"Y-yeah, I think that it wouldn't be, uhm. a possibility. I mean, I've never heard of dog and pony having anything together, so a dog and alpaca probably wouldn't be able to… to reproduce either."
"N-no! You are safe, safe!"
Gasp a moment before regaining composure.
"But that doesn't mean it isn't a sin to have sex before marriage!"
I'll nod vehemently.
"It's better to wait, and find someone you love that you want to spend the rest of your life with."
''So that means there's a chance it wouldn't happen right?''>>672487
''I don't want to get married either! I don't want neither of those things! I'm never getting married and I'm never doing sex!''
"Good! Abstinence is the best contraceptive, Celestia approved!"
Shuffle a bit.
"And never say never, Rhanna. You're still young, so you never know what's going to happen. Maybe you'll meet someone who makes you happy from the bottom of your heart, and… and nature will take its course. But until then, I agree with Maeda. Abstinence."
"I-I never met a boy breezy before.. but I mean, I did feel that way around ponies before.." >>672489
"Yes! that's a good way to be sure. You're still too young to chance it."
Stick my tongue out ''Why would anyone even want to do that? It's so gross, I mean for pete's sake PEE COMES OUT OF THERE!''>>672491
''hmph…Alright… Uh, thank you for telling me what it was, Marina…''>>672492
''Really? What ponies?''
A change of subject!
"Yeah, Kotone, what ponies? Do tell!"
That's kinda hot.
"It just… It's temptation, that's what! Sins snaking their way through our mind!"
''Sins? What's sinful about doing that? I mean, I guess it's just so gross that gods hate it? But wait, no, that's how species reproduce, so why would that be a sin? I don't understand''
"Premarital sex is… well, it's not exactly encouraged. It tends to leave too many broken hearts and abandoned children. Which is bad."
"Uh, well.. there was a unicorn I took music lessons with, and he was really sweet, such a nice voice, and picked up instruments so easily! You should have heard him, that lovely yellow coat moving with each note.."
"It's because it leads to perdition and unrestrained behaviors which are the downfall of hard work and strict morals!"
Recite the line in a single breath, like a well-rehearsed sermon.
"Go on. What was his name? Are you still in touch with him?"
''Hmmn… Wait. I'm even more confused now. Why would someone abandon a baby if they would do sex EXACTLY for that reason?''>>672498
''Music?…Well if you like that, I guess. But where did you meet up with him? Are you gonna see him again? What did you do about the feelings when they came up? Are you gonna marry him???''>>672499
''But I thought all it did was lead to babies?''
"Well, yes. It's a sin to make love and purposefully try not to have a baby!"
"Sometimes it doesn't take, is the thing. Sex isn't a 100% success rate thing. Some ponies do it just for pleasure, and don't care if it does lead to babies or not."
Sit down, hands on my forehead, trying to comprehend this bullshit
''Wait, pleasure? What kind of sick being would have pleasure from doing something that is meant for the sole purpose of procreation?''
"Sunny Tones." I sigh at the memory. "No, he moved away to Princess Land, to be in an orchestra." >>672501
"W-what?! Marry him? N-no! I mean, marrying a pony? Can I really do that?" I start breathing heavily
"Well, uh. Mom said it felt good."
"She's kind of… blunt when it comes to things like that.">>672505
"Can't you write letters, though?"
And I'll nod at her question.
"I don't see why you couldn't. I mean, your mother did, didn't she?"
''Well… Marina married a normal pony, and she's a seapony… Hey, even better, Her mom was full seapony and her dad was a regular one. It could work for breezies too right? They're pretty much like a pony, just tiny''>>672506
''Alright, Marina where's your mom? I wanna talk to her, she had experience in it''
I look suspiciously at you.
"Wait, what do you know about my mother?"
"U-uh, but would a pony even like me that way? I'm so tiny.."
Shrug ''I dunno, maybe?''
"So I've heard.">>672508
"She's in Aquamarine City, if anywhere.">>672509
"You and Maeda are sisters, aren't you? I mean, I didn't want to be rude, but I overheard you two a little earlier. If you're sisters, then that means one of your parents had to be a normal-sized pony. And since you're different sizes, I just kinda assumed it was your dad that was the normal-sized one…"
Shuffle a bit.
"What's not to like? You're adorable."
"Well you know who had no problems…"
Snort a bit.>>672512
And then I will shut up.
She definitely wasn't supposed to hear that.
Snap my dingers ''Shoot… Now I'll neve-wait a minute… Ooh I'm so stupid, of course! Miss Selena! She had two babies, so in the matter of sex she's gotta be like a pro or something, a sex proffesional! That's who I need to ask about this''
"Do you know where she is? I haven't heard of her since we parted ways in New Earth…"
I frown at everyone and look away, for a good minute before talking.
"You know, that guy, Sunny I left him a love note, like the other mares were doing, to come meet on the roof, but when he saw me there, he just laughed at idea."
I'll look aghast.
Nah I don't want to deal with this.
"If you will excuse me."
Take up and leave, in a very calm manner.
"Maeda? Are you leaving?"
I'll take a half-step before stopping.
"If you're heading out, be safe, okay?"
"I'll wait for you girls to be done talking. Come find me when it's time."
''I… I don't… B-but she'd probally be easier to find than going to Aquamarine for sure, maybe I'll run into her and she can help me understand more''>>672516
''Just… Laughed? That's weird… But I mean, I guess I would laugh too… I mean how would you be able to even carry a baby filly in you, Kotone? You're like, this small and the smallest filly I've seen is like this big''
"Did… did I say something wrong?">>672521
"Maybe. I hope you find her."
"Yea.. he did..">>672521>>672518
"Yea, I'm going over there.. to do fae things.. don't follow me!"
'1d10' leave speedily to the nearest non-burnt flowerRoll #1 6 = 6
''Thanks Marina. Sometimes I just can't stand not knowing about something'' I pick you up in a big hug>>672523
''Oh, alright… Be safe, Kotone''
I'll hold up a hoof for a second, and then let it drop.
I did say something wrong. This is my fault. We were all having fun and then I made my assumption. That's got to be it.>>672524
Half-heartedly hug you back.
"You're smart, so not a lot's going to stump you for long."
''Yeah! I know, and I feel much better now that I know what this shenanigans are all about. Can't wait to fix this and not having to feel that until years later''
Wiggle a bit.
"Hey, we should probably make sure we're all ready to split up. Are your friends prepared for the trip?"
I gently put the fishy down
''Yeah I think so, I'll go check with them, be right back!''
"Take your time, there's no rush."
Once Rhanna runs off, I'll head over to Kotone.>>672523
"Hey, Kotone… are you…"
I'll stop talking for a second, then just sit down nearby.
"I'm here if you want to talk, or not."
Slowly the pink fairy pony pokes her head out from the petals of the flower.
"Hello.. Princess Marina."
I'll lie down next to her flower.
"You don't have to call me Princess, you know. Formality's for other ponies."
A small smile, then a look of concern.
"Are you… okay?"
I sniffle away my tears.
"Y-yea, that stuff was ages ago.. its nothing.."
"It's obviously not
nothing if it does this to you."
I'll tap my hoof on the ground.
"If that guy were here right now, I'd pop him one in the face for that."
"Yea, but.. even Rhanna can see, there is nothing to be done.. a pony won't ever love me."
I shake my head.
"Tell me about your wedding instead, what are you gonna wear?"
I'll dismiss the question.
"Now I get to call you silly, Kotone. Thinking a pony can't love you just because you're small? Why on earth would that be true? Your mom found someone who loved her for who she is and made you. What makes you think you'd be capable of less?"
Snort a little.
"And Rhanna's a puppy still, in her head anyway. All she can see is the surface of the water, so to speak."
"Yea.. but.. Marina, Nopony even knows about my Dad being an earth pony, aside from whoever heard you talking about it."
"So probably no one other than us, since I don't think Rhanna was listening that hard."
Shrug as best I can while lying down.
"But shouldn't that be a mark of encouragement? I mean, you know it's possible for a breezie and a big pony to fall in love. Any pony who doesn't look past the size issue probably isn't worth having anyway."
I'll tap my forehooves.
"I mean, I know we don't know each other that well outside of the two times we've met now, but I'd still be willing to give it a shot, were I a colt and you gave me a letter."
"…!" I suddenly blush and come out toward your hooves. "You'd make a fine Prince Marina."
Giggle a little.
"And you'd make a better princess."
Smile at her, and hold a hoof steady for her to land on.
In the stories, this how careless breezy get crushed..
Land on the fishy hoof doing a perfect mock curtsy. Giggling a bit.
"Why thank you, your Highness."
"You're very welcome, my lady."
Giggle as well.
"So, have you decided where you are going next? Traveling with Maeda?"
"I think that's the best idea, until I can find a proper bodyguard.. I seem to be ending up in all kinds of bad situations lately. But, I don't think she wants me along very long."
I'll nod slightly.
"She didn't seem to be in too pleasant a mood near the end of the conversation earlier, certainly… and I doubt she'd let you come with us to Autumnsreach."
I'll think a moment.
"What about that pony that was knocked out earlier? Do you think she might make a decent bodyguard, with a bit of work and maybe some good food? She seemed pretty skinny…"
I look over at the ninja's general location and then back to Marina.
"…Oh, about that.. Well, she doesn't want to work for me, I asked already. Also, she's holding me for ransom later."
I'll raise an eyebrow.
"Holding you for ransom? Isn't she unconscious and aren't you free? Ransom can really only be collected if you're, you know, not free."
I'll look at the ninja.
"Still, you don't sound too upset about that. The foalnapping thing."
"…It does seem that way, but she's way stronger than me and can just collect me again when she wakes up.. Maybe if I stick close to Maeda she won't be able to abduct me again and will give up on the idea.."
"We could always wake her up before we leave and convince her that taking you hostage is a bad idea. Surely she'd listen to reason when she's got nowhere to run, and it would be incredibly not-smart to do so.
"Are you sure that's safe?"
I'll mull it over for a second.
"…Prrrrobably not unless she's tied up."
"Still, it's an idea. Especially if you can convince her that working for you is better than the ransom in the long run. I mean, a lifetime of a steady wage is worth more than one big payout, right? She might change her mind on whether or not she wants to work with you."
I'll scrunch harder for a second.
"Though, the wisdom behind hiring somepony who tried to foalnap you and sell you back for ransom is… suspect at best."
Shrug slightly, so as to not dislodge Kotone from her perch.
"Ultimately, it'll boil down to what you want to do with her. I'm sure you'll make the right choice, whatever it is."
"W-well, maybe if you're there with me, It would be much harder for her to do something." I rub my fore-hooves a bit.
"Well, we can sort it out before we all leave, then. You, me, Maeda, the whole crew. I'm sure your sister would worry if there was a loose end running around, after all."
"Really? Thanks! I feel a lot safer knowing that." I breath a sigh of relief, and my tiny antenna wobble about as my wings move slowly in place.
"Oh, just keep the sister part between us for now, so it doesn't cause any trouble for Maeda or Myself."
I'll zip my lips with my free hoof.
"My lips are sealed."
You've got three ceramic pots to trade with - will this be enough to find the Reef of Ruin?
"Between getting in, customs, getting searched, and lunch, most of the day is gone already. I guess it was too much to hope for to get answers right away, but I don't think
this is a cage. They didn't say we can't leave, at least."
'3d10'Roll #1 10, 2, 3 = 15
You can keep any two of your choice as temporary pirate dice (expire at the end of the session).
10 and 3, of course.
"Right, we need to make a move here. Sitar, can you work your magic? What do you need?"
'3d10'Roll #1 5, 4, 9 = 18
Are you sure you remember how pirate dice work? A 2-die has a 50% chance of crit, I'm not sure that's an obvious choice.
Sitar: "The reef of ruin is huge - spanning the whole cape and reaching out to nearby islands. We need to know where to start, first."
Aria lets the silence settle over the room as you don't respond.
"Well, we can test that theory anyway."
She departs from your chambers.
I have no idea how they work. If lower is better, it's 2 and 3 for me.
"Yes but, is there anything else you need?"
I see her leave and turn back to the window. Nothing preventing me from flying is there? Let's give them wings a stretch. Fly off!
Lower isn't ALWAYS better.
You get to add the results of your die to your roll, but if the pirate die itself doesn't crit, your roll can't become a crit. Example: 2 + 1d10 (9) = 11 (noncrit success)
HOWEVER, if the pirate die crits, your roll becomes a crit no matter what. Example: 2 + 1d2 (2) = 4 (crit success!)
Low dice are high risk high reward
High dice are better for playing it safe
d1s are stored crits
You can't buff a critfail
"I tend to travel light. A graveyard could help, but I am otherwise prepared."
George points out: "We may want to find more permanent lodgings. Bokis Cargo is very close to the reef, so it would make a good base of operations if this ends up taking weeks.">>672620
The window has weird wicker cross-barring, but there's a sky terrace not far from your chambers where you can lift off and spread those wings easily.
The city seems to sprawl on forever in every direction but the sea - you've never seen a city so physically large. Even Canterlot is mostly build up rather than out.
Well now, in that case I'll take the 2 and 10.
Flap my wings.
I fly up to settle down on a cloud and look down to see all the tiny ponies going about their business, unaware of me being here.
This way I also get a better idea of the palace grounds.
You have to settle for a small runt of a cloud since all the best clouds are part of apartments or civil structures. It seems there is a thriving pegasus community living above the city - that must be kind of sad for the earth ponies, though.
Pegasi are best poni!
…wait, did I meet any unicorns yet?
Several of the ponies at the Vizier's table were unicorns, as was the Majordomo of the Palace – who you didn't meet, but saw from a distance.
One of the two guards who showed you the way to the palace was also a unicorn.
it doesn't take weeks. Should we just see if these tribal ponies would give us a roof over our heads?"
Hmmm, I would like to see this pegasi community, fly through the pegasi cloud town, are they also dressed as strict as down below?
"We could try with them, or the merchant enclave."
George: "Those are MSL traders, right?"
"In some ports where the trade is good, they'll make more permanent 'embassies' to facilitate trade. I'm guessing that black stone they trade here is valuable to the League somehow."
Even more strictly! They wear robes that cover their wings, which seems extremely cumbersome. You're glad no one expected you to do that.
"Would there be a post office round here by any chance?"
There are a number of turrets here - little bastions that might be used in the aerial defense of the city - but they protect a large number of apartment complexes that seem to house many, many pegasi. No markets up here - no formal ones, anyway.
"I doubt it, but you'd know better than me, right?"
Um, I guess there isn't?
Covering wings?!? That's madness!
If they expect this from pegasi I might decide not to stay after all!
I fly up again, this creeps me out. Flying over the palace seems like asking for trouble. I guess I'll just fly back to my room.
Not as far as you know. Poor tribal ponoes! How will they get their subscriptions to Hoity Toity Magazine?>>672636
You fly back into the palace, disgusted at the sight of ponies who do not sleep around before marriage. The very sight of virgins fills you with disgust!
The palatial apartments are quite nice, though, and you have free reign to roam about on this floor as you please, admiring the art and sculptures. You pass them by for now and make for your room. The girls are in their rooms - Aira's door is closed and Aria's is open.
Y-yeah! This sleeping around sure liberated me! I'm a stronk independent mare heh heh.
Knock at Aira's room.
"Oh – ! D-don't come in, I'm changing!"
I'll just trot over to Aria's and knock as well.
I doubt they're into haute couture.
Well, let's see if I can grab a tribal horse's attention.
Aria's door is open. She's cleaning her new gun, polishing it. Glancing up, she doesn't say anything, but raises her brows expectantly.>>672641
No problem with that - as you leave the ship, several congregate around you and one starts touching your tail. Another runs a hoof through your mane. They're saying something in their native language.
You're not alone though - your companions are getting the same treatment, even the creepy Sitar.
"How did the great escape go?"
Start looking around for secret holes in the wall or other things ponies could use to spy on us
'1d10'Roll #1 4 = 4
You don't notice anything obvious for spying. In fact, the carpet walls seem to insulate voices pretty strongly.
"Fine. I mean, I could get out, but then I realized I didn't actually have anywhere to go. I glanced at the market but remembered my money is here in the room. I've never been one for fountains or statues anyway."
"Wow, I should have probably washed up before this."
I probably shouldn't interrupt their actions though. I just wish they wouldn't just touch my tail like that!
Huh…I thought they would jump at the opportunity to spy on my daughters! Never mind. "Maybe we could go look around through the palace?"
George: "I learned from the crew that they have some sort of religious belief surrounding visitors. They think we're angels or something, bringing in goods that mortals can't make.">>672646
"What's there to see? Paintings I guess?"
"So I heard as well. Still… they haven't figured out pottery?"
Sigh and look at the one touching my mane.
"Hey, hey, speak Equestrian?"
She's not the brightest.
"Paintings, maybe we'll find a painting we're looking for
They babble at you in their foreign tongue.
"Maybe at their marketplace they will have some basic grasp of Equestrian.">>672649
"Okay, I guess."
She shrugs and gets up from the bed. "I don't think they want us taking weapons to other parts of the palace though."
"Why would we need weapons?" start trotting….uh go out and go
2. LeftRoll #1 1 = 1
A marketplace shouldn't be too hard to find right? Just follow the ponies carrying items.
"Well I was cleaning mine!"
Right it is. You trot through the palace apartments until you come to a staircase - up and down - or you could turn right and stay on this floor, or reverse.>>672652
Not hard at all - you can see it from here. A series of ramshackle bamboo stalls that look like they could collapse at any moment. Every one of the "merchants" has piles of black rock on their stall.
"You'll have plenty of time to clean guns later!"
Floor two - private chambers. This is the floor you met the Vizier on - it has many different feasting and discussion chambers, drawing rooms, and ballrooms. There's a large smoking lounge near where you descended the stairs. You can explore this level (albeit restricted), or head down to the ground level.
Go down to the floor, I might disturb the nice Vizier in his private chambers here.
The ground floor - this is where you came in. You exit the stairs into a huge dome chamber. It looks like the line has mostly been dispersed and there are just a few ponies left before the Majordomo now - besides his guard, of course.
We do not want to disturb the majordomo.
Hmmmm. Any exits from here besides the obvious way outside?
There are three exits besides the one to the city steps from this chamber - one to the left of the throne, one to the right, and one in back. The back route, however, is a huge door which is closed and barred, so you don't think you're headed that way.
Nono, I'm not going there!
Though I wonder what's in there…
Look at it as I go…
'1d2'Roll #1 1 = 1
Go around the stalls.
"Does anypony speak the language? Anypony at all?"
This great stone gate is wide enough to let a stampede of bulls through, and an eighth as tall as the great dome which makes up this room.
You head to the left side. This door leads out into the palace gardens, which are walled off from the city. You can see a tower made of gold at what you presume is the center of a hedge maze. There are several ponds, which host a multiplicity of water fowl.
"Yes! Yes. You buy?"
"Oh wow! How amazing!"
"Just plants, mom. We had more plants than this out in New Earth!"
"But look at them! The style, the panache!"
"Not right now! But I want a place to sleep in. For myself and my companions."
"Eeeh, artsy stuff isn't really my thing. I guess the gold tower is cool?">>672667
"Yes, yes. Try."
He places a mortar full of some ground up plant on the stalltop.
Look around to see if there's nopony here.
"I don't think we'll get much help here. If we want to find….mister Rodgers, we'll have to do it ourselves!"
The gardens are mostly filled with tourists - but no one seems to be intruding upon you.
"Really? It sounded like the Vizier might arrange something… But then our meal ended so abruptly…"
"He's stalling for time! And I want to know why!"
"Maybe he didn't want to talk about personal stuff in front of all those guests?"
Wave my hooves around to try and articulate my point.
"No, no, I need a room to sleep in. A sleeping room. A safe space."
She has a point.
"…what do you suggest then? We just wait till he comes to explain everything?"
"Yes! Sleeping! This – safe! Much safe. Good!"
"We could give him a day or two. We weren't going to bolt the city instantly anyway, right?"
Huh, I didn't expect this kind of attitude from her.
"Maybe you're right. Besides, you don't get to stay at a palace every day..right?"
"I don't need help falling asleep! I need a home. A house. A bed. A… um… um…"
Look around for a stick to draw a simple drawing of a house in the sand/dirt.
"Yeah, I figured we could at least mooch for a while. While we were in New Earth I started trying meat. I know it's not for everypony but there were these escargot balls in the third level - so good! Anyway, I bet they have loads of stuff like that here. You saw that feast table same as I did."
She shrugs. "But I have a backup plan, too! I asked one of the palace servants earlier if they could deliver mail to Mr. Roger and they said yes. So I'm going to see where it gets delivered if we're not introduced pretty soon. Hopefully it's not just another Roger, though…">>672678
He nods in what you think is uncertainty before pointing to a cave at the back of the village. Hmmm…
Give her a hug!
She blinks in surprise but doesn't break the hug. "What? I mean, it's not like I care, though. This is just for Aira. Like I'm said, I'm just here for the food."
Alright. A cave could maybe work!
Let's go check out this cave.
Let her go. "What will you send?"
The cave does seem to be quite populated, it seems like a complex series of tunnels has been excavated. Maybe there's a room for you in here?
Nopony seems to bother you as you wander around though.>>672683
"Well the contents don't really matter since it wouldn't be read until later anyway. But I don't know… we're here, come out already?"
"I wonder what he's doing." Trot a bit further. "And…don't you think it a bit odd that the first thing the Vizier asked of me is if I knew where Abilio was?"
"I don't know… what's so important about him anyway? You said he was your pirate captain, right? Maybe he was in Roger's will?"
"He was a captain, but he was or maybe is a very powerful mage as well. The most powerful I've ever met."
"Well there aren't pirates anymore, so lot of good it did him. I bet he's hoisting the flag on Treacherous Davy's Locker."
"Most likely, but who knows with wizards right?"
"Equestrian anypony? I need some directions!"
After the storm cleared, a sloop showed up on the shores to take you back to Princessland – Stricture thinks of everything. The Highlord was not pleased about the loss of Cumin, but that won't be spoken of at the victory feast tonight in your honor.
Meanwhile… Stricture prods you with a hoof. "Still awake? I can't blame you for being tired after a day like today. It seemed like it would be boring, then it ended up being more action packed than ever. Think you still have the energy to go hear about Lord Wind's investigation?">>672689
"Well, if a sultan or whatever can't find him, I'm guessing he's not exactly taking regular mail.">>672690
A tribal pony ushers you along to the back to roughly spherical rooms cut off each side of a hallway that you can only describe as looking like poorly secured prison cells: they've got chamberpots, bedrolls, and that's about it. The doors are bamboo 'bars' but lock from the inside, not that they would hold up against much brutal assault.
"Do you think he'd understand an abstract concept like paying in advance for multiple days?"
"He's not. I haven't heard from him in ages. Yet he's not the first who's been talking about Abilio lately.
In fact, at first I thought the letter that got me on my way to finding you and Aira came from him…"
Just as I was about to snuggle up into his coat, I'll sprint awake!
"How could I forget! Yes! We have to!"
"I thought you said you came because you got mail saying our ship sank?">>672693
"Well, we did solve a mystery and defeat a powerful sorcerer. Anyway, I bet Wind is still up to give us answers."
Head on over?
A prison? Well, guess we can't be picky.
"Yes, I like to stay and sleep. Do you like pots? Nice pots from beyond the great sea?"
"I'm so excited I can hardly stand in my boots!"
Sitar holds out one for him to examine and he takes it, and opens some doors for you.
"Guess that means he does.">>672696
"It's still muddy out, but it's so nice to be able to get from one building to another without needing to wash… Guess that's less excuses for you to sneak peaks while I'm bathing, though."
Burn red in face.
"You d-did it too!"
"I have no idea what you're talking about. I have been nothing but honorable!"
Stay here instead of going?
Aren't we going together? I want to listen to Wind!
"It's honorable though! We are committed to each other, aren't we?"
"Great! That's problem one solved!"
Tap my mouth with a hoof as I think for a moment.
"I wonder if these guys have a village elder of sorts. If anyone saw that ship go down and still remember it, they must be older by now."
"Yeah, but that was before, remember?"
You arrive at Wind's VIP chambers and knock. Wind is here, looking somewhat more rested.
She sighs - a little happy and a lot tired - "I should have known better than to stall by telling you to solve an unsolvable mystery. Of course you manage to do it in a few hours. Well, come in, then."
Stricture pats the couch - a luxury you don't have, but then notices the fireplace unlit and dutifully attends to your mutual master.
"Let's see… that was what, fourteen years ago now? Is that right?"
He got me there. "S-sorry…"
Finally, get to Wind's room.
"It wasn't as impossible as it might seem. You gave us the spark to figure it out!"
Does Stricture need help firing that up?
Make coffe if he doesn't.
"Something like that."
Coffee it is.
"Normally everything is in a general state of confidence, but this especially so. This is very serious stuff - investigation of the Church itself. Some misguided corruption, I think, and we're in just the right place to get some answers. So for this reason I need you to reaffirm your commitment to total secrecy."
Stricture nods. "I trust you implicitly. My word is my bond."
Wind looks to you.>>672705
"An elder may not be the wrong place to go, then. The only problem is the language barrier. And besides – a LOT of ships sink out there. How would they know the difference?"
My jaw already dropped at the part about Church corruption.
But truth be told, I did expect something like that. Only, I didn't figure it could be something we would fight against!
"I am your sword for life. My oath will forever be unbroken."
"It's likely not what you expect. In fact, the issue at hoof is not temporal at all."
"We know a rough date and that it was being chased and boarded, right?"
Ears flop side to side.
I don't dare to guess in fear of being right.
"That's true, I bet most ships that sink around here run aground of the reef. Maybe that IS a good lead.">>672710
"Stricture, I know you were educated formally on pre-Celestial theology and Celestial tolerance of minority religions in Equestria – but what about you, Maeda? Do you know the lore surrounding Mother and Spirit?"
"Only passingly, I'm afraid."
Offer her the coffee.
She accepts it.
"Only the fanatical Sunstone sect believe that Celestia created this world we live in - and they are merely crown-tolerated heretics. It is widely known that when this world came to be, it was created by Mother Nature
– an indifferent and disinterested deity of creation. Some worship her, though she likely cares not at all if she is still alive. But another Deity was present at creation. While the Mother created the world in its physical state, the Spirit created the law in his philosophical state. The Spirit poured its wisdom into the world and created the Natural Law that all sentient creatures know in their hearts. We know subconsciously the difference between right and wrong because of the natural understanding of order
given to us by the Spirit of Law. Like Mother Nature, however, the Spirit has been little heard from for a very long time. It is known that the Spirit's holy ghosts continue to clerk the afterlife, sorting souls, but…"
She glances again at a stack of records - on top there's a faded sketch of a pegasus with wings made of copper. "I believe something is wrong. There aren't enough clerks to carry out impartial judgments. I believe that many
cases have been manipulated. Someone is trying to fill the afterlife that Celestia has created with souls that do not belong there. For purposes even I remain quite uncertain about."Pause
Gunny has been taking more of those weird readings – he called them "barometrics" – while MacMeal carefully cleans and stows the mortar. After a period of careful review, Gunny nods.
"The weather isn't coming back. Yet, anyway. It may be best we get a move on sooner rather than later and get out of the continent. Since we're on Dandelion Island, we're not too far from Griffonstone lands anyway.">>672553
After the paladins leave, your ride arrives next. The Underseaboat… it's so good to have it back. It was painful to think you'd lost it.
With everyone back aboard, you finally have a moment to collect yourself or idly talk to anyone you care to while you deliver the fairy, Kotone, to her company lands.
Well, I think it's long overdue I had that talk with Cumin. How did he get captured, what happened, and so on.And why did he recoil so when I hugged him? :(
Cumin pretty quickly sequestered himself to his tiny "cubicle" he built out of crates around his cot with your help – so there's nowhere to flee when you corner him there. He's still wearing those pilfered Celestial robes, too.
He coughs. "Yes?"
''Are you sure? What if the deer start that rain again just as we're leaving?''
I'll look at the crates.
"May I, uh, may I come in?"
"Yeah. This isn't very private anyway. I mean, it keeps the eyes out but it's not exactly sound-tight and this is a tiny boat. No offense.">>672718
Gunny nods. "I'd be able to tell. Sensing wind changes is something griffons are well adapted for. Anyway, the local paladins said they would deal with the deer once backup arrives, so I reckon they'd get here first."
"None taken. It's not really a ship meant for passengers…"
I'll sit near the box 'doorway.'
"So… what happened? How did you get captured? I was worried, you know."
"By the time we knew they were onboard, it was already over. They handcuffed me to the staircase frame without my noticing. They were like Neighponese ninjas… The whole thing was a trap, Marina."
''Soo… Our job here is done, I guess'' hoist the rifle in my shoulder ''That wasn't too bad. This rifle thing is great, much better than the crossbow!''
"Aye. We're the only ones left, too. The others have already set sail. We have our own mission though…"
MacMeal: "Right, Skipper. Once we get to Novdogod, it's more than just that one part. They know more about diamond dogs and artifacts than anyone else - you can maybe get that magic reversed, learn more about yourself."
"Yeah. The Lord Inquisitor, Redcoat, was waiting in my father's cell. Last I saw of him, he was cackling about having my father put to death and myself ransomed, at best. I hope that octopus got him, but I don't think a collapsing prison is going to stop someone that crazy…"
Frown, then sigh.
"But I thought the ship was supposed to stay submerged until we came back. How did they get down here?"
"I don't know - I was belowdecks. I can't come up when the ship is below, remember?"
''Yeah… I'll try to not take too long to get this fixed though, Don't want to delay our mission. Let's get back to the ship then!'' I'll go right ahead of them
"I'm glad you're alright, though. They didn't hurt you or anything, did they? I mean, it doesn't look like they did, but… well, and it's only been a couple days, but…"
I'll let my questions die off. I'm babbling like some schoolfilly. Not that I'd know that, since the only schoolfillies I knew were ones that actually swam in groups.
You go get on the ship filled with only men to sail away for Novdogod. Maybe avoiding dicks is going to be harder than you thought.
You only wonder what excitement and revelations about your own identity, nature, and future await in Novdogod.>>672728
He simply shakes his head.
Shuffle my front hooves a bit.
"So you met that rabbit? Kind of weird, isn't he?"
I just have to use my head and not listen to the urges, It'll be much easier now that I know what to avoid
He glances distractedly away. "Kind of reminds me of djnn-lore or the old Tartarian bargain kind of things. I guess he really was that sort of creature, though, right? That much Discordian power… And all he wants to do is mess with ponies.">>672731
It will be about a day and a half voyage to the coast of Griffonstone. Take off right away, or do you want to do anything else here first?
I can't think of anything I'd want in this town of greedy smelly gryphons
"I guess I should count myself lucky all he wanted to do while on the ship was hitch a ride."
I'll think a moment.
"And talk with miss Selena, now that I think on it. I hope she found her daughters."
I'll flick my ears a moment, and then continue speaking.
"So, I hope you don't mind us taking a quick stop at Kotone's home island before we head to Autumnsreach. "
Then away from the town of greedy griffons and onward to the COUNTRY of greedy griffons!
He scrunches. "Well, there's nothing for it. It'll add at least a day in travel time, but I'll just have to be uncomfortable."
"Is… is there some hurry? Are you sure they didn't do anything to you while you were there?"
Woohoo I guess…
'1d10'Roll #1 3 = 3
She sighs and groans. "Well it's not like you wouldn't find out sooner or later - cloak and deep voice aside - but I'd appreciate it if you kept it low key to avoid any more joking. It wasn't the Celestials, it was Itztli. He wanted to play two 'pranks' in exchange for letting me free, and I agreed because what else could I do?"
She ditches the robes, although you don't see anything different about her feminine, lithe body at all. "I don't really care about the first one since I already have a way to fix it - more than I can say about escaping, which I couldn't do on my own."
Seeing your look of blank confusion, she annoyedly remarks, "Isn't it obvious he turned me into a mare? I'm way more masculine than this, that bunny… ! Stop playing along with him!"
She grumbles something about him saying he'd turn her into a 'literal princess' instead of a figurative one. "Anyway it'll be fixed in a few days so it doesn't matter.">>672737
The first day of travel is the most boring you've had in a long time. You see nothing of note but a few seagulls – and what's worse, when you go to target practice on them, you miss all your shots.
Steve just laughs and says you'll get better in time. Roll again.
I'll show you, Steve…
'1d10'Roll #1 8 = 8
In the second half of the day you can see the coasts of the Kingdom of Griffonstone. Although the city of Griffonstone is still far inland and out of view, you can see proud griffons diving at the sea here for fish.
You go fishing with your rod again, and this time you actually catch a mackerel with Prof Steve's help. You share it with Flapjack that night, who has calmed down about the dick thing by now.
I… Didn't know Flapjack ate fish? That's weird
Then again, he's a weird alpaca>>672741
'1d10'Roll #1 1 = 1
He didn't want the meat. He wanted the bones. That's PROBABLY weirder. He ground them up into powder and used water and sugar to make "gelatin".Terrible Storm
Another storm hits as you sail up the coasts of Griffonstone. It forces you inland – fortunately, it doesn't appear to be a magic storm. That'll slow you down, though.
I'll let that process for a second.
"Ohhhhh! So that's why you pulled back like that!"
I'll sigh in relief.
"I thought… well, it doesn't matter what I thought, I was wrong."
I'll move to go sit next to Cumin.
"You're right, it doesn't matter. Because that altar in the Lunar temple under Autumnsreach will fix that up."
I'll think for a minute, and then giggle.
"Though this does explain you using such a deep voice earlier. I thought you were just trying to make the rescue more dramatic."
That is actually interesting… I'll make sure to watch him make this 'gelatin' and learn how to make it myself
'1d10'Roll #1 5 = 5
"I was just trying to match how deep my voice normally is!"
Nope, his voice is exactly as feminine as it always was. Well, to give Itztli credit, he was able to pretty easily figure out what would get under Cumin's skin.>>672745
It's weird and jiggly - there's nothing else like it. You can see through it, bite through it like butter, but it's cool like pudding and almost semi-solid. It's so strange!
In order to get past this storm, you need to get some new crude oil and additives to create a fuel mix
by trading with griffons.
On the shore in search of mix until you roll in excess of six!
She glances away. "I mean… now that you know, it would be okay to hug. If it's not too weird, I mean. And I guess you wouldn't want your first kiss to be with a mare."
Probably not worth pointing out all those other kisses like the involuntary ones with Vlad.
Intriguing! ''Flapjack how did ya learn to do that?''>>672746
So wait, Do I roll or do I actually go rp and talk to the gryphons?
I'll laugh a little.
"It's not quite
as gravelly as you were trying to be, but it was close."
A few last titters.
"Don't worry, Cumin. Your secret is safe with me.">>672748
"Mare or stallion, it would still be you. That's the important thing."
Those kisses don't count.
A short silence.
"Though, there's something I should tell you, too. Something I only found out recently."
I'll take a deep breath.
"Apparently I'm descended from one of the four Lunar consorts, on my dad's side."
"Sweets are really popular in my homeland! I can make all kinds of stuff. Like cotton candy, ice cream… if we have the stuff. Hey, we should near Shangri-Lamb! It's not far out of the way!">>672750
She thinks about this. "That makes sense. The last noble family of Lunites led by a holy bloodline. The Sisters seem to love that kind of thing. But I have to correct you - Luna had twenty one consorts, but you're probably referring to the first two - Star Crossed and Cosmic Ring, whom she bequeathed stars from her mane… according to legend."
It's easy to forget that Cumin is an expert on theology from multiple religions.
I'll skip it just this once
''What is your homeland then? Dummytown?'' Snicker
''…Well what stuff do we need then? Maybe we can sneak out and get some later''Roll #1 9 = 9
"Actually, I'm from Machotown, which is, like I said, near Shangri-Lamb! It's a fun place! Ice cream though… it's hard to make it in hot places like this. My home is near cold mountaintops where we can get snow easy peasy. Cotton candy is just sugar but we need a special machine that they don't make in many places. But I can make other foods like cakes and pies too."
Onward! But you have to decide soon if you want to detour to visit Flapjack's home, so finish this conversation first.
"It was Star Crossed. Apparently Davy's family line is from Cosmic Ring's. That's why he was so intent on me. He thinks that, by joining the family lines, it would somehow free Luna from the moon."
I'll put my hooves together.
"Naturally I didn't much believe any of it. However, and this is what I put stock in, he swore on the moon herself. That's not an oath we take lightly, especially considering Davy was, in his own way, fairly devout."
I'll stare at my hooves for a moment, then continue.
"My complaint then became whether or not it was our princess that was to be released, or the demon which plagued her, the Nightmare. As I couldn't be sure, that became my basis for refusing him. That, and the fact he was willing to make a deal. He would cease his pursuit of me in exchange for one thing."
"The arranged marriage of my firstborn, and his nextborn of proper gender."
"What?! But… Couldn't we have gotten rid of him some other way? That's… medieval! I mean, if my parents promised me to someone else, how would you feel?"
''Woah… I never had Ice cream, cotton candy, cakes or pies before…''
Giggle ''But seriously? Machotown?''
"What? Does it sound too babyish? It was a fun place to grow up…"
''It just sounds silly. But hey, we should ask Mister MacRam if we could go. I bet I could even make the machine myself if I know how it works!''
"I'm a macho though! But that would be neat if you could."
''I'll go ask the captain then, since he likes me more!'' Stick my tongue out at him
Let's go ask the one and only Ram then
"The only other way to get rid of him by this point would be to do something ghastly and underhoofed. But it was either that, or… well, let's just say I wouldn't be free to be here if I had taken the other option. And if you were promised to some other mare, I… well, I'd feel pretty bad. But I'd challenge that betrothal."
"But there's a second reason I took Davy's written oath on this. It's so that I'd have time to look into what he thinks is going to happen. If it turns out that what will come out of that union is a nightmare in waiting, then I will have to break that oath and take the consequences. I'm not going to let those under me be blamed for releasing a Nightmare a second time."
You ask MacMeal about changing the route.
"We COULD pass through along the Lambish coast - in the Narrowing Sea, it'd be more friendly than staying on the Griffon side - but we'll have to pass through the middle of the sea, so it will slow us down by at least half a day. These things add up in time, but if you're okay with that Skipper, we'll divert our course.">>672767
"I don't know… it seems so surreal. Like a fae tale, an old witch asking for a firstborn sacrifice."
"Well, the pony he got this information from? That he swore on the moon was true?"
I'll wave a hoof.
"Swamp witch. And I met a fairy. Her name's Kotone, and she's traveling with us currently."
I'll shake my head.
"Truth really is weirder than stories sometimes…"
''Well, what really matters is if you're okay with that, Mister MacMeal. You ARE the captain after all…''
"Just the same, you have to take the source into consideration. Not everything you hear is true. It can't
"We're gonna have all the parts before the month is out one way or another - that's good enough for me, Skipper. I can't be sure if we'll make that wedding you wanted if we don't make good time, though."
"Well, at least we have time to check out whether it's true or not. My family line, his family line, what bringing the lines of the Stars together would even do…"
I'll slump my shoulders a bit.
"Sorry to drop this all on top of what you're already going through. I just didn't think it would be right to keep secrets this big."
I sigh ''alright alright, we should go straight for our goal then''
It's so light at first you're not sure what's happening, but then you realize it – you've been pulled into a hug. "It's okay. We'll… figure out something. That's still decades away. If we can even get married.">>672776
"If that's what you want, we'll stay on our regular course."
I'll lean into it.
After a bit, I'll chuckle a little.
"We could always elope, if they say no."
Nod and head back to my room, tell Flapjack the bad news
"There's one more thing. The other prank Itztli wanted to play on me… I don't know why I even think it's true, it's a prank. He just has a way of saying the exact thing that can terrify you. He said the second prank would be an uncomfortable truth. But it has to be a lie.">>672779
Flapjack is shoveling jello into his mouth.
"What's the matter?"
I'll blink at him.
"Wasn't this truth uncomfortable enough?"
''Well uh… We can't go, but I promise that once we're back from the moon, we can get all the candy we want!…Sorry''
He lets out a long sigh. "You know how I told you my family has a tradition of marrying priestesses, which prevents dynastic problems? And how my colors are really similar to your dad's? Itztli told me that we're cousins, and that your mother knew and didn't want to tell us because royal families used to marry cousins all the time."
She looks pretty devastated about this - which is saying something because she rolled with the whole gender prank pretty well all things considered.>>672782
Flapjack sighs. "Well, I kinda wish we could go home, but I understand. We can still cook for ourselves, though!"
I'll look confused.
"I thought you needed to have aunts or uncles to have cousins."
"Wait – your father doesn't have a sister who is a priestess? Oh, that's a relief! I knew it had to be a lie. You have no idea how much better I feel, though."
She gives you a little extra squeeze.
''We… Can? But there's nothing good we can make here… We don't even have sugar''
"Well not yet. But maybe once we reach the Great Canal! There will be a huge city, so we can get stuff there!"
''Ooh, you're right… What else do you know how to do, Flapjack?''
I'm still amazed by the gelatin thingie, it's like a weird, tasty kind of science
''…No I mean, what other stuff you know how to uh.. Cook? if you can call that cooking'' point at the jello
"Licorice, caramel, marshmallows - that kind of stuff."
''Okay, I need you to tell me how do you do those…Also who taught you how to do all that stuff?'' Sit down besides him, ready to make a mental list of the procedures and materials
"Wait… I think he… no, that's not really possible, is it? That'd just be too much of a coincidence. I mean, he said she was a priestess of… of…"
I'll go quiet for a minute.
"We're going to have to talk to my dad and your mother."
"A lot of sweets use a gelatin base, just like the one I already made. But making sweets isn't something you can just master all at once - it takes practice!">>672798
"I don't want your dad to know I'm… you know."
''Psh, if you can do it with with that pea brain, I bet I can too, and easily!''
"After the altar, but before meeting your mom. Though I'm pretty sure he knows about what the altar does, since he lived there for his whole life until he got picked up by those pirates."
"Or so he says."
"Dummy, cooking isn't from the brain - it's from the heart!">>672803
"I'm sure he does, but… Look, I know I'm not the toughest, beefiest stallion in the world, that's OBVIOUSLY why he did this to me, he knew it would bother me. But I'm not THIS feminine. I'm still just getting to know your dad, and I don't want this to change how he views me!"
And again for the record, not at all more feminine looking than normal.
Aw, come on, he had the barest wisps of a beard. I think. It might have been the light.
"Well, you're doing a good job of covering yourself so far, but… you probably shouldn't worry about it too much. I mean, it's a prank pulled by a servant of chaos. If nothing else, he'd probably just chalk it up to bad luck and say 'there's no helping it, we'll have to fix that.' Because I think that's just the kind of pony he is."
Scrunch a bit.
"Say, in relation to nothing, how good are you at singing?"
"Oh, I never sang seriously. I did choir like everypony. Why?"
"Do you remember the voice exercises to hit lower notes?"
''From… The Heart? What?''
Suddenly the voice of Steve rings in my mind again, him talking about brain, heart and dick…
"No, they uh… made me a soprano. That was a long time ago, though, my voice is definitely deeper now."
Truly they are the three things that motivate great creations!
"Yeah, you feel it! It's not just chemistry!"
''I don't believe you'' Cross my arms
''You know what, let me try, I'll make a gelatin just as good as yours
…Though now that I think of it, cooking IS just chemistry, you combine ingredients in portions and prepare them, put them in different temperatures until you get a satisfying result. Cooking IS just a kind of science!
"Well, if you'd like, I could help you practice your voice so it doesn't sound gravelly? I mean, as it is they might think you have a cold, so…"
I'll avert my eyes for a moment.
"So it wouldn't hurt to practice a more 'naturally you' voice. I mean, if you want to."
Cough a little.
"It would, uh, give us a reason to have some time to ourselves during the trip."