Last time, on Anno Castra…1008 posts and 3 image replies omitted. Click reply to view.
The party set out from Ironcastle with their deliveries in tow, and bore witness to the awesome destruction of the land caused by the stampede of the Dreaded Ones. All the badlands to the north, east and west had been trampled and reshaped by the passage of the Dreaded Ones who were whipped into a frenzy by the Siren Singer's call. Crags and hills had been stamped flat, low valleys uprooted and shaped again into steep crags. Heaps of rubble and corpses of trampled Dreaded Ones lay underfoot. At least now this meant a somewhat easier passage from Ironcastle to their first stop.
They headed north over the trampled badlands, and found that the Old World town had been little affected by the stampedes, even though the land surrounding it had clearly been trampled. Why the town and the fortress was spared was unknown. It was getting late in the Cycle, so they decided to stop and rest here.
By the lakeside just south of the Abandoned Fortress, they saw a Helping Hoof, an Old World tankpony robot, designed for household cleaning and defense. It had just slain a pair of Sightseers, and took up residence in the Fortress. After some deliberation, the party went to the Fortress to investigate. There, the robot ambushed Zamrud, but seemed to be asking him for directions in Old Equish. It sought to know where it was in relation to a place called "Canterlot," a term unknown to the party. They discovered that the robot had a function for learning new languages and regional dialects, and so they spent the rest of this Cycle teaching it modern Equish by providing audio samples.
Good decided to give it a "Spicy Señorita" accent. Its ultimate accent would be determined by the aggregate of the audio samples provided, so other party members still have a chance to influence it in that regard, if desired.
"Very well, if nothing else I shall show them I am as eager to wrestle as them."
A rolling, raucous tune begins, made with chairs and metal plates repurposed as improvised drums, and a ragtag slew of tortured string-instruments in various states of repair. It's a far cry from anything a Castle-dweller has heard of, but it's more than enough to get the blood boiling.
"Well, if there's anything I can donate to your bunker, I will happily do so as thanks." He says in their language, trying to keep his translations simple to avoid saying something he isn't prepared to vocalize.
He nods to both of them, "Utqay, and Ch'utiy…" As she tries the 'Castle' greeting, Zamrud raises his brow. "Well… that is close to what some say, yes, but I personally am fond of a classic 'it is a pleasure to meet you.'. Both of you."
"Regarding the Shadedrinker… we aren't yet moving out, we need a bit more time to make preparations, but I had heard mention you might be interested in pursuing the hunt?"
Good rolled his shoulders as he started to bounce around on his hooves, beginning to get more and more into it.
The two nod. "I wasn't happy about running away, but Tay gave the order that we were only to get you and back down, before anyone could die."
"Weird, though," Utqay says, keeping his own sentences simple for your sake. "There was you, the small one, our Blood, the drill-arm, and the one in decorated armor. Tay said there was six in the battle, but I only saw five. Who was the sixth?"
Qhapaq elects to keep his metal claw-gauntlets off for now, but takes a moment to cover his talons in a set of wraps (if he can find any.) When done, he steps into the ring, and stares down Good with a calm, focused expression.
"For that, I appreciate you swallowing your pride and getting us out there. We 'might' have been able to slay the Shadedrinker then and there, but given the amount of casualties that would have occurred, I agree it much wiser to retreat, recover, and take it out while it's wounded to avoid further losses."
"The sixth was most likely our associated, Godspeed, who hails from a different Castle than ours but we have a collected interest in bringing down the Shadedrinker. You didn't see a lady zebra among us earlier?"
1 = roll it out
2 = RP it but if you break the kayfabe you dieRoll #1 1 = 1
"Oh!" Utqay says. "That's who I forgot. A shy one, is she? I got only a glimpse of her when the others came in – she took care to put herself at the center of your group, and hasn't been out since Tay summoned the shamans to help with the healing."
Good decided to make the first move as he was feeling it.
[1d10] time to wrassleRoll #1 2 = 2
Qhapaq, waiting to see how Good Intentions approaches, tries to catch him in the throat and shove him to the floor.>[1d10+1] Wrassle TimeRoll #1 9 + 1 = 10
"Yes, quite shy, though I think she's been coming out of her shell a bit since she started traveling with us…" his ears flicker as they mention her not being out since Tay summoned the shamans.
"You mean to say, she is still in the infirmary? She's very generous with her time, I must say. I'm sure plenty could use her help."
Good nearly gets flung out of the ring from that one little push, which takes out his breath and leaves him a stinging neck-pain in exchange. The ring of onlookers, still banging and playing, plop Good back onto his hooves and give him a hearty shove back toward Qhapaq, demanding to see more of the fight. Qhapaq notes that many of the supportive chants go from him, to Good – as is traditional. The Aya love a good underdog victory. Despite the brutal pain in his throat, Good feels a sudden power welling up from within, starting at his ears… seems there's far more to this tune than chaos and raucousness.
>Good gains a temporary +1 to wrasslin'!
Ch'utiy scoffs. "Heheheh. I think she's probably seeking council on secret matters, more than assisting Tay with butchering the wounded."
Good feels it hard and stamped his hoof before literally launching himself at Qhapaq in an attempt to take by surprise with a flying teenage pony hurtling at him.
[1d10+1] By god he's broken in half.Roll #1 4 + 1 = 5
Qhapaq wiggles his talons a little after tossing the young noble, rolling his shoulders out slightly and waiting for him to rise. He notes the change in the crowd's chanting- an expected one, for sure- but he takes it in stride. By the time Good flings himself at the griffon, the griffon's lunged to meet his leap.>[1d10+1]Roll #1 9 + 1 = 10
The crowd roars and whistles with glee and amusement as Qhapaq and Good lunge for one another, then groan as Good meets the floor once more. A steady beat arises in their stomping, as all the cheers and power transmit straight to Good, flooding through his ears, down through his throat, right into his chest and all his limbs.
>Bonus increases to +2!
"Secret matters?" Zamrud asks, his curiosity piqued. He brings his paw up to his chin. "Hmm… she did seem a bit peculiar earlier. You had a moment to see her earlier, correct? Did she mention what she was looking to learn from Tay?"
Qhapaq doesn't waste much time in this bout. He decides to keep his momentum going with a sweeping strike, punctuated with a loud cry.>[1d10+1]Roll #1 9 + 1 = 10
Good hurt but honestly he hadn't felt more alive than this in a while. So he decided to go for something big and brash to try and pick up and slam the bird.
[1d10+2] Real Wrasslin?Roll #1 9 + 2 = 11
Ch'utiy and Utqay share a look, as if in disbelief.
"Let's not ruin the surprise," Utqay concludes.
"You'll figure it out soon enough," Ch'utiy adds.>>749821>>749822
Qhapaq sweeps the leg, but Good clamps onto the leg and rides it through until Qhapaq can swing his leg no further – Good then climbs up his leg, circles around behind Qhapaq, grabs him about the chest, and suplexes him backwards into the ground. Qhapaq lies in a heap, with a deafening gasp from the crowd, as Good stands above him.
Good promptly hit the ground himself and just laid there for a bit. He may have been half earth pony, but by the Light of his castle was that one heavy Aya.
Qhapaq lets out a grunt as he's thrown to the floor. He rests on the floor for a moment or two, before bouncing up to all fours and flaring his wings out aggressively. After a moment or two, he relaxes, before looking to Good curiously. "You have proven more than a point to those watching- we can cease here, if you wish."
"That… sounds nice. The fact I managed to actually pick you up and slam you is something I can live with. Just nudge me out if you have to or something." he said panting and sore.
"So you DO know." Zamrud says, eyes narrowing between the two as he tries to gauge what it is they're hiding from him.
"Well… if they're private matters of Godspeed, far be it from me to pry into her personal business. But, I assume I could at least ask if it involves my company or I in anyway?"
"You're unraveling the truth before our very eyes," Utqay says.
"Just… don't overthink it," Ch'utiy says.
Good grunted and stood up "Ya know what, one last exchange, may the best of us win, deal? Would hate to leave these guys disappointed ya know?"
Qhapaq tilts his head to the side, mulling it over for a little. After a short pause, he nods, and takes a step back to ready himself. "Very well. I am ready, Good."
Good cracked his neck and let out one last cry as he went for a finishing slam to try and put Qhapaq out of the ring.
[1d10+2} Slam and Jam
[1d10+2] Lets try that againRoll #1 10 + 2 = 12
Zamrud sighs, mumbling aloud (in Equus, not the Aya language), "Thank the Abbey Qhapaq doesn't feel the need to speak in riddles…"
Back in Aya, he says, "Well, perhaps I'll find out in time. Back on our original topic, the Shadedrinker: we would appreciate your assistance in fighting it, as well as any information you may have on it. Apuchin had mentioned it was causing you all trouble for a while, have you fought it before?"
"It's been pretty insistent on sticking near our hideout," Utqay says. "And it's not just fast – anywhere the fog touches, it can move. It got quite a few of us sick the last time that we opened the bunker door."
"The only reason we were able to get out is because you held its attention further east," Ch'utiy says. "It was this that Tay saw in the divination, and why we were so quick to run out. We would have launched a full assault, had your wounds not complicated things. But, we really haven't had more than a few exchanges with it prior."
"All we have to go on are the tales of it," Utqay says. "It, and its deathly mist.">>749832>>749834
Good clotheslines Qhapaq so hard that he skids to the edge of the ring, at last interrupting the chaotic music as the ring of onlookers quickly becomes a full-on mosh pit. A great ring of cheers and whistles fly up as the tiny pony defeats the massive wrassler, and many Aya run forward to lift up Good onto their shoulders in celebration, while others give him light punches on the arms and legs – not painful, but definitely bracing and shocking… probably some form of congratulations.
Good basically went limp after the hit and just sort of let them mob him as the exhaustion and pain from before caught up and now he was just pooped. He did find an odd charm in it though.
The clothesline actually keeps the griffon down for a short time- that, and not wanting to get in the way of the crowd. He hops to all fours after a moment or two, though, smiling a bit as the crowd lifts Good up.
"The mist is quite a problem. Freezing and toxic all at once, the filters help prevent us from breathing it in but the ability to leap between any point within it is frustratingly difficult to plan around. What I found most concerning however are those skull-like mines it had based all around the battlefield. It was ultimately what took one of our own and nearly costed me an arm. Do you know of any effective counter-measures to those? Some way of knowing where the mines are placed, I assume they're as cold as the Shadedrinker's fog itself so thermal visioning will not likely find them."
Good looked a bit corpsey seeing as he was letting the crowd rag doll him a bit, but the occasional laugh out of him seemed to show he was fine if tired.
The mob starts to abduct Good toward the elevator chambers, chanting and cheering all the while. Qhapaq overhears bits and snippets of a plan brewing in real-time: They plan to bring him down to the Bar on B2F of the bunker. This is bad – Good's not old enough to legally drink.>>749838
"Ah," Ch'utiy says. "I've been working on something for that. Quite simple, in fact – they're still physical objects, hidden in a fog that renders them near-invisible."
She produces something of an IED, rolled up into a little ball of scrap metal, wires, tape and Iron-knows-what-else. It smells vaguely of smoke. "It's as simple as taking away their hiding-place."
Zamrud looks at the curious contraption Ch'utiy produces, offering his paw as though to ask if he could hold it. "And that is what this device does? It disperses the fog?"
Qhapaq chuckles a bit as he watches the crowd ragdoll the crystal pony around, eventually wading in to help him down. He steps in a little more forcefully when he hears of their plan, gently setting Good on the ground and speaking up in the Aya tongue with "Please, blood- he needs to be focused for the fight ahead. Perhaps another time, though."
"Were they taking me to another place? I don't think that was the way to the sauna." he said as he leaned against the big Aya.
"They were… not, no. They were taking you for another sort of celebration, which would not be for the best right now." he explains, patting the pony's back. "You did very good, though- the Aya were impressed."
"I could tell. My legs are a bit numb from all the punching and shaking. Were they gonna take me to one of those adult clubs or something?"
"Mmm… yes. The sauna might be better, though- you could use the chance to relax." he says, before looking over the crowd for Zamrud.>>749841
"Ah, there you are. Care to join us?"
As Qhapaq and Good enter the Commons area, the young lord carried onwards by a small crowd of the Aya, Zamrud's eyes open wide, and he quickly approaches Qhapaq to assess the situation.
"Well, that would depend. What exactly is it I would be joining?"
"Heading to the sauna. It was better than allowing the crowd to take Good to the bar."
"I beat Qhapaq in a wrestling match, They really liked it."
"You beat Qhapaq in a wrestling match? You had a wrestling match?" Zamrud asks, sounding very surprised as he looks around. "I wasn't aware the game room had that sort of entertainment prepared."
Qhapaq chuckles a little, before nodding. "It's a normal form of entertainment, Zamrud. I thought I'd told you at one point or another." he says, tilting his head to the side. "But, yes. He fought quite well, once he got his bearings straight and got riled up by the crowd. The Aya appreciate an underdog."
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"I am really sore and sweaty and tired. But I managed to duplex Qhapaq. So that was really cool."