"Calm down ya little spas, nobody likes a glutton" Jesse asserted
"Thank you for having us at your establishment."
I tip my head forward in a little bow.
"Thank you ma'am" He says sincerely and tips his hat to the mare
Little Sword puts up his hooves in submission as he backs off "Alright, alright. Put down the horn. I was just looking for where to pick up a serving."
"Good to meet you, I suppose. I'm Pippali. If we have any questions, we'll be sure to find you.">>705843
Pippali chuckles slightly at Little Sword's unexpected block, before heading upstairs and looking around for the mare in particular.
After snickering at the backlash Little Sword was receiving, the striped pegasus addresses the owner with as much kindness as she can. "A pleasure to meet you, Haggis." Sirocco warmly smiles, and gives the mare a bow, before turning to head on up the stairs. She stops after a single step, realizing that she forgot something. Swiveling back to face Haggis, with a silly smile spread across her muzzle, she speaks. "Before I go bother Suncatcher, I need to ask: Should we just come back to you when we're ready to bed for the night? Or is there someone else who handles that?"
He walks up to the chef
"I know you're all high society but don't threaten my little friend here" he growled at the chef
The chef strides away, back to focusing on a number of different dishes and soups in the kitchen, and you get the feeling he's already putting you out of mind. "Foreigners! In my Albion! Blimey, what's the world coming to?">>705851
Haggis checks the ledger, then fishes around under the desk, and gives you a large brass key, marked #11. "This is yours. The rooms are communal, as this is a hostel, but each bed has a set of curtains around it. If you really don't want to be around the stallions at night, there are a few other sex-segregated rooms.">>705847>>705848>>705849>>705850
After that's all sorted out, you head up to the second floor, finding the balcony at the far end of the hall. Outside are a small congregation of ponies of various types, hanging out and enjoying life over various drinks. Most seem to be some sort of magic users, as quite a few of them are engaged in magical games and competitions, showing off various spells. It is interesting to note that few of them are unicorns; the non-magical races use grimoires and wands to perform their magic.
You spot a mare by Suncatcher's description sitting on the railing, apart from the others. She appears to be ruminating over some notes with a deep frown.
"Hey missy, we heard you had some info about the goblin things 'round here. We'd appreciate it if you can tell us what ya know" he urged the monk
>>705853>"Foreigners! In my Albion! Blimey, what's the world coming to?"
When he thinks no-one is around to hear he says "Well damn, I'm not taking your daughters for wives I just want to eat dinner." He sighs and mozies on up stairs to the find the rest of his crew.
He ambles over to the guys to see what they're up to and maybe participate in the conversation.
"We are a group who have heard about the trouble around these parts and that you also had some interest in taking the pest out, so any help is appreciated," I say as I join Jesse.
Sirocco doesn't really mind rooming with the stallions, so she'll be fine with that, so she just thanks Haggis and heads on up the stairs to meet Suncatcher. The little displays of magic catch her eye, and she finds herself looking over at the wizards every now and then. When she is able to pull her gaze away, she greets Suncatcher with the same courtesy she always tries to show. "Hello there! Miss Suncatcher, isn't it? Haggis told us that you'd be able to held with the goblin beetles around here. What exactly have you found out so far?"
"Hello! You're Miss Suncatcher, right? We came to see if you knew anything about these goblin beetles."
Suncatcher's interest is clearly piqued by your introductions, but she takes a moment to size all of you up. "I hope you aren't just curious for its own sake and do plan to take them all out, but I'll go over what I know."
She rifles through her notes and then straightens them out. "It looks like these gobbeetles have found a cozy place to settle into in the tunnels below the Station of the Hounds. The Station of the Hounds is located in a cave to the southeast of here. Traditionally, this Station is the first one that pilgrims are supposed to visit as they go along the Pilgrim's Way. If you don't know, it's basically just a shrine and some mural or something.
"There are tunnels below the Station, but the local government blocked them off about ten years ago, as they are quite unsafe due to the risk of cave-ins and getting lost down there. But, that's the only place these gobbeetles could be hiding. No other place around here is damp and warm enough for their eggs to survive. To make sure, I've charted out all the known gobbeetle hatchling attacks in recent weeks, and they all seem to be in a radius of a few miles around this area, forming a rough circle with the Station at its center.
"All of this is to say is that they're in a damn cave. That's really all I know – not how many there are, or if there are adolesents and adults in there as well, or if it's just hatchlings so far. So, you still want to get in there and kill them, right?"
"Yes ma'am we're going down there to kill them. And thank you for telling us what you know." He sighs slightly disappointed. Hearing her voice causes him to stare off into space with a glassy expression. His expression turns sour and he stares back at the mare.
"So, when will we clean up this mess?" I ask.
"Yeah, we plan on still taking the task. You get a lot of people getting cold hooves I wager?"
"I'm gonna say as soon as we can. We already got a long journey ahead of us and we gotta get movin' fast." He commanded with a certain air of lost authority.
"About what I thought, then: Hidden underground," Sirocco comments as she knowingly nods her head. "And no worries, we do plan on taking them out, though a good night's rest comes first. Could you tell me about what the adults and adolescents are like? We've only really seen the hatchlings, I'm afraid."
"Ah, I knew it'd be a cave. No cold hooves here, too. We're more than willing to help you put an end to them, Miss Suncatcher- the sooner, the better." the zebra offers, giving her a hoof to shake.
"And, hey- maybe we can use the cave to our advantage- smoke them out with a fire, or bring the cave down on them… the second one's a little more dangerous, though."
"Whatever works for all these buggers. For today we are the hired professionals to take them out!" I exclaim.
"'Cold hooves' would imply that most of them at least had the mettle to accept it before backing down; most didn't even want anything to do with me when I first asked them for their help. Oh, on that note, I want to go with you people when you go to fight 'em; I need to visit this Station already so I can get started on my pilgrimage, and in return I'll clean, dress and mend any wounds you get. Deal?">>705864
"They get bigger and meaner, but not any smarter," Suncatcher explains. "But, they also get more territorial. While hatchlings will wander out and pester anyone and anything nearby, adolescents and adults will stick to their nest and guard it rather than go out and forage or pick fights. So, if we start seeing any big guys, about four to six feet tall, we should be getting close to the source. I don't know if they're susceptible to any particular substances or foods, or what their natural predators are. I've never been outside this province, to tell the truth.">>705865
Suncatcher backs away from the hoofshake as if you had pointed a knife at her. "Fair warning, maintain a one foot radius around me at all times. Leave room for the deity of your choice, so to speak."
"To your suggestions, I say go for 'em, as long as we don't damage the Station; I need it intact. But, fighting dozens of hatchlings isn't good for anyone's health, so if we can kill 'em without a direct fight, that's a good plan in my book."
"Ehhh no cave ins. Half the point is to make sure pilgrims can use the cave again."
"Well I'd be honored to fight along side with ya miss. Welcome to the group I guess" He extends his hoof to the mare and has an unusual hardy smile on his face
"No complaints here. I have to start on our pilgrimage as well. Around morning we should get the move on."
"Little Sword I wanna talk with ya inside real quick." He gestures toward the door of the balcony
"It is an adventure then our new friend." I ramble in the back of the group.
Little Sword stretches and yawns and follows you inside.
"As you know we're gonna be up against a lot of things tryin' to kill us. "We're gonna need a good plan so we don't die. I see how you see the numbers side of things so I want your help"
Sirocco gives Pip a consolation pat on the side, since the mare doesn't seem too keen on shaking, before responding.
"I'd be glad to have you along, Suncatcher. Having someone to dress our wounds would be much appreciated, especially if you can lead the way to the Station. At what time would you like to leave tomorrow? The walk seems long, so early morning seems best, if you want my opinion."
"One foot, got it." the zebra says, taking a decent step back. He's not sure why, but the large, bulky stallion's not one to make people uncomfortable. He gives Sirocco a friendly smile and pats her on the head before saying "Yeah- early morning sounds good, unless everyone has objections."
"Any ideas on how to start this attack?"
"If the majority of these things are like what we saw at the cliff steeps then we shouldn't have much of a problem just as long as we don't attract the horde. Pick at them 5-6 at a time and we'll be safe. Just as long as we stick together that is."
"I don't know, stab them all to death, don't break the cave. The most I can say is just be cautious about the surroundings so we find them instead of them finding us."
"We cant make too much noise, the cave'll collapse. I say we start of quiet"
"Draw them out into smaller groups, and smoke them out beforehand with fire perhaps?"
"I like that but how do we know their reaction to fire"
"We know they like warm damp places, not sure if we can spread a fire in that cave in the first place, nothing is ever that easy." I remark.
"If it's damp it won't burn too well"
"Do you two know what "smoke out" means? It means to "smoke" something out by filling a closed space with smoke. Smoke is dangerous to breathe for anything living, so it's not an unreasonable plan, though we'll just have to see once we get there."
"Fair point. We'd need to do an awful lot of work to get a fire started. It'd be good to find something to help us separate them, though."
"I wonder if we all would be able to fly in there?" I mumble to myself.
"Well we're not going to be carrying around logs of wood and chopping trees all day to smoke the cave.">>705881
"Nyeah, sure that would work too.">>705880>>705881
"Look I think you guys might be over thinking this one. We'll get a better read on tactics when we can actually see the grubby goblins. Now I'm gonna go check if supper is ready. I'll chat with you guys later."
"As important as this is it's gettin awful dark and we need strategy as well as rest" Jesse implies
"It would be nice to know what would be best to bring to fight these pest, is there any room to fly in the cave?" I ask.
"I'm gonna say not, wingspan's too long"
>outta character real quick. I gotta get off for the night so I may leave early. Sorry about that
"Yeah, fair enough." the zebra says, following after the unicorn. Supper does sound good. He'll drag along Sirocco, too!
Sirocco lets herself get dragged along by the zeeb. She could use the grub herself, to be honest! Though, she makes sure that one of her wings unfurls itself and flutters in Pippali's face, just to mess with him.
Jesse walks down the wooden steps and to the dining hall. He hasn't had a good meal in forever