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@Sekel

"Awh, it's not so bad. I mean, all due respect to you guys, but you don't look all that scary."

"I guess not. But we're still good guards, you know."

Happy chuckled a little to himself and shook his head. It were hard to not straight up laugh in their faces, but in his defense, it were laughable that they thought they made for good enough guards. They were far too green, judging by their actions and demeanor so far. Unless this were one hay of a trick they had running, he doubted they could do much, were he to suddenly give them a bash or four.

"Just saying, it ain't easy getting fright points looking like we do."

"What are you here to talk to the king about, anyway?"

"My queen recently reformed, and wants to have some talk with the big guy. She figured she'd send an envoy first."

"And her?"

"Aurora? She's a lifetime hiveless I figured I'd bring along so she could see a bit of how it worked."

The talkative guard bit his lower lip as he heard this, and looked back towards Aurora, with pity in his large, colorful eyes.

"I remember being hiveless for a few weeks, after Canterlot. It felt like years, just slogging through silence. I can't imagine how hard it must have been for you."

"Can't miss what you never tried, right? Would've been way harder if she had gotten used to it.

Anyway, are we getting closer?"

"Huh? Oh right, we're sorta here already, actually."

The guard pointed his spear out in front of them, showing the outskirts of a village in the distance, with some rather rudimentary buildings in it so far. Not much of a sight, but still, it were recognizable as a settlement.

"Swanky. Lead on mate, we're with ya."

Soon as he turned around, Happy would sway a little closer to Aurora, at which point he'd give her a quick whisper, trying to make it so that the others didn't bite too much notice in it.

"If it goes wrong, back off me. If she ain't given a chance, it's best if they don't think you support us."

A bit gloomy perhaps, but he could get out of here. She? Ergh, a bit more unlikely, and he'd prefer she weren't hunted down. Hopefully it wouldn't get to that, but y'know, better be sure, right?

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@Sekel

"I will not be put in a corner by these simpletons. If they wish for a confrontation, then they shall have it!"

He suddenly swung around, whilst holding the torch high, and rightly as he expected, they were being followed. A half dozen dark grey, equine figures with pale eyes, clinging to the ceiling and hissing as the light assaulted their eyes. You'd be able to see more of them now than were before, as they did not expect this, and in the brief window before they crawled away, Karmic might bite notice in their hides having some familiar holes in them, though these had said openings filled with gems.

Their hides also seemed unnaturally hard and risen in places, as if they had some sort of plating that were indistinguishable from their regular hide color, but it were hard to make out details before they had taken off again, this time headed further towards the entrance. They would likely not be the only ones in that direction.

"...I know not what I expected, but it seems clear that forward or back, these things do not intend on simply letting us leave. Do you think they have something to do with how barren this place are?"

Enzo would wander on as he said this, not deterred by this from finding the source of this, and confront it. The things would likely pounce on any sign of weakness, and taking off like that sure seemed like a cowards path. Something he were not, nor did he want to see what would happen if he did appear vulnerable to these things.

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@Sekel

Last nodded, understanding that the princess wished to not continue this conversation. Nothing she could blame her really. As Twilight had said, Last's world sounded violent, and that wasn't a world that the princess wanted to take part in if she could help it. Considering her position and - from Last's point of view at least - sheltered upbringing, it were no wonder that she'd prefer not to know too much. Not yet at least, though the books in the castle made Last think that at times, she'd be asked more in small segments, when the princess were in a more curious mood.

"I hope it works too, Princess Twilight. Are you sure something can be substituted though? I don't really know how magic works. Or potions.... Or is it elixirs? A-Anyway, I'm sure you know much better than us, Princess Twilight."

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@Moonlit

"You want me to cut bananas? Squash them? Peel apples? Anything I can do to help."

Ziggy liked to feel useful, so when faced with something like this, she were getting all excited with the prospect of getting into he fray and help out. It made her feel all sorts of tingly and happy inside, plus in this particular role, there were the chance of licking the mixing bowl when they were done! Baking had perks beyond making others happy, though you shouldn't just lick things. It were unhygienic, if it wasn't done being used yet. And kinda rude when it wasn't your stuff, and you didn't wait for permission.

They'd still be first in line to test of the stuff were good though. Freshly baked muffins were heavenly, even if they were still good after standing around and getting a bit of time to cool off, so the frosting could settle right. Y'know, in case it were a frosted muffin. There were many ways you could make them.

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@Catpone Cerberus

Sadly, Ruby were going to be wrong that this weren't her problem pretty soon after, as Spicy started to gather up empty bottles, with a big grin on her face. In case Ruby did not see where this were going, or didn't try to stop it, the mare would begin to light up a special card, then toss the bottle up high into the air, and shoot at it. Spicy turned out to be a surprising good shot, even like this (or she were just lucky) which would cause the bottle to explode, and send shards of glass shattering all over the place.

Or well, it Would have, if said glass wasn't shatterproof. A little safety precaution if you would, so the glass would only look about ready to crack, with a fine web of cracks beneath the outer shell, though it wouldn't go all the way. However, the force from the blast would still send it flying, aimed riiiight about where Ruby's head were about now.

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@Catpone Cerberus

Lyriel fell silent at what Nada said, and turned to gaze into the forest.

"...Animals are friends of my kind. We have a calming presence towards them, which tends to draw them in, yet I find that some cats actively avoids me. They stare from a distance, and refuse to answer a call, or speak when asked. Those who does talk, tells me nothing, as if there is a grand secret among even the social ones of their kind, which are not to be shared.

I did not think of it in this way before, but could it be that they are following a master? One whom have sent them through the years, to bring you whatever he, she, or... It, wished for you to have? A strange thing to think of, yet I pray that if it is true, the creature in question are mostly benevolent, and simply does not wish to make full contact for some reason. Perhaps the timing are not correct yet?"

During this, Lyriel had looked back at Nada again, with an apologetic look on her face. She had just felt strange all of a sudden, as if she were watched. Paranoia though, surely. It were just because of the talk of these peculiar felines, and the potential master they may serve.

To imagine there being a master, or deity of cats, were somewhat spooky though, in all fairness. Cats were cunning creatures, with more layers than many would likely give them credit for. Anyone whom may control them, were one to be cautious about, as they may possess the same traits. If so, Nada might as well be a pawn or a playtoy, as she could be a subject of pity from another creature.

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@EQ_Theta

On 11/24/2019 at 4:12 PM, EQ_Theta said:

“Huh… fruity, sweet, apple taste but there’s a little something more there that I can’t describe. It’s delicious, don’t get me wrong, but is this taste normal for cider? That slight burn in my mouth?”

"That's a local speciality. I can't share the details, but let's just say that every Apple family farm, tend to have their own thing when it comes to making our cider good and making use of the local land. 'Round here, we spice it up, but others can be a bit more sugary, pure apple, sour, and so on and so forth. Ain't a lot, but it distinguishes the blends a bit."

Rosa had taken his own cup and looked down at the golden liquid. He could already taste it just by sight alone, even though it had been years past... The alluring, forbidden fruit...

Without even sniffing it, he put the cup on the table, and pushed it towards Omen, who had taken to just listen in once again, with an interlude when a bit of corn moved around slightly, and her eye were drawn to the slight movement of it evening out. A sight it would hold on for a while, until the cup were presented to her, and she went over to sniff at the content.

"Huh? Somethin's the matter, Rosa? I remember you really loving this the last time you were here."

"I did, and I know that I still would. It's alluring and addictive, filled with a promise to make me feel better about things. There are hardly anything like it, to escape the memories of a grim day. To just put your worries at legs length..."

Rosa didn't say more, as he pushed the cup a little further, and turned his back on it,t o avoid the temptation.

It might seem a trivial thing to avoid, but Rosa had been there before, where he would look for escape at the bottom on a cup that promised to ease his day. And where had it left him? No friends, a laughable reputation, and most bitterly, without the precious, lucid years of his father, before the dementia engulfed him.

What he would not give for a chance to redo everything, and be there for the old stallion as he had called out for his son, who were too idiotic to realize he should have answered sooner, instead of taking the fall into despair and self pity.

He had intended to drink this at first, yet as he had glanced into the cup, he felt the same urge that once took him over weakly pull its ugly head forth again, and Rosa did not wish to stir that beast again. He had enough regrets to last him several lifetimes because of that already, and he wouldn't have more added to it. Especially not when he risked losing more family again.

Whilst Rosa stood with a darkening demeanor, as memories of his father in his late stages came to mind, Omen started to lap up the content of the cup, using her long tongue to lap it into her muzzle like a cat. Slowly at first, but as she came to enjoy the taste, she'd find that it were rather good, and sped up a bit.

"Alright, that's your choice to make. Not gonna poke at that with a ten hoof pole.

Sooo... Pie's still good? Just gonna put the tray down, and you can have a piece when you feel like it. Goes for everypony of course."

Golden would put down the tray, and look concerned at Rosa, but thinking that perhaps this were one of those times where he would do best in just not pressing him for info. Seemed like there were some issues here that weren't any good poking at.

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@cwhip9

It were a short hallway, that laid behind the thin layer of ice and snow blocking the path. A small door were at the end, which would open with a stern push to get the old hinges swinging, and the room behind...

Oh my.

A substantial hoard of treasure were found in the specious room. From bits, to gold bars, to jewels and other shiny valuables, it seemed to be either a dragons hoard, or just an assortment of treasure put in here for storage. The amount of open chests seemed to suggest that there had been some attempt at one point to organize it, yet there were more loot here than there were chests to contain it. Nothing like crowns, swords or other typical royalty markers though, indicating that this had not been affiliated with a ruling class of any kind. Several golden statues of varied animals though, did show a more tribal influence.

In fact, quite a few golden statues were around, even of ponies, who seemed to be reaching out, or stand in other strange positions, with almost a light going off in their surprisingly detailed eyes.

In the midst of everything, where the crown jewel of it all. A statue of a small, meditating dragon, made entirely out of a glistening, deep onyx crystal. If they knew their stuff, they could even identify that it were carved out by a single, large piece of Midnight Glory. A rare, valuable garnet gem that were hard enough to come by even in small pieces, so this were quite a find.

It were also the piece alluring them in with magic, as it had so many others. If touched by bare hooves or skin, it would turn them to gold, and have them dragged away to join the rest of the collection, yet they should be able to tell that something urging them to touch it, in a place like this, were a bad idea. Or that this were a curse. Either would be a good sign that they shouldn't tamper with it.

They'd be able to find something odd though, floating above the dragons horns though, with a simple levitation spell. A piece of a fractured, pale-blue glass disc.

Edited by Blitz Boom
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((OOC http://mlpforums.com/topic/110032-casual-stroll-an-introductionary-roleplay-around-ponyville-open-for-all/#entry3092621))   The crisp morning air went through the town of Ponyville as the day

@Shineling @EQ_Theta "Take your p-pet. It might h-help you through." It was all Clayton said before he went back to try and keep his friends from breaking down too much. But how could he underst

@The Resident Brony "We would have handled them ourselves. Or have you forgotten how we only put you as a front figure for the sake of the public? You did not control the guards, we did. What happen

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@Blitz Boom @Rainbows2424

Thunder would look to Shell and nod "Alright, but if you do get colder, let me know" he would say to his now fellow guard before turning his attention back to Azure "Oh of course Azure, might be safer if you climbed up on my head though, I can't promise others will be as careful as I am" he'd say with a chuckle. He had been looking around and then begun to show both Azure and Shell around the library, before they arrived at the entrance. 

His ear would flick as he heard what Shell said about his mother asking if they were together "I suppose you are right there, and we can only wait and see I suppose, I do know my parents are very laid back, after all, they tend to give into Zephyr quite often"

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@Blitz Boom Harmony smiles "Yes". Harmony pulls out several mixing bowls, and a tray. And begins the process of baking. She hums along, and soon both can hear Serenade humming away from the dining room, in between snores.

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@Blitz Boom

“I suppose the one thing that stays the same among all Apple family recipes is quality. The taste is different but some things stay consistent among all. Ponies recognize quality and they go to you knowing you’re good for it. I’m starting to see why the Apple family is famous. I’m curious about something else though. Just how big is the Apple family? I’ve seen Ponyville’s Apple family orchard but are there more around Equestria?”

Sen took another sip of apple cider and enjoyed the symphony of flavors swirling in his mouth, each second it sat in his mouth was another excuse to not swallow, keeping this taste in mind. Lin would be really jealous if she heard about this famous cider and not get a taste; perhaps she’d regret staying behind to look after Shrimp. Maybe he’d be able to get a little for the road, but this wasn’t the time to ask. 

The longma took this time to sample the other dishes on offer; the pie looked delectable and he’d take a small piece. It really says a lot when something about food and drink brings new experiences with them, that it says a lot about who makes them and the Apple family had something going with that. It also probably says something about what Sen and Lin could strive for now that they plan to open up the longma to the greater world outside the forest. Quality, friendliness, determined, and sharp. Something to keep in mind for the long road ahead. 

That said, there was also Rosa and Sen grew concerned. As much as he is enjoying the pie, confirmed by the sound of audible content coming from the longma, he couldn’t see himself liking it if someone else isn’t. Putting the dish down and grabbing another, the longma placed the second in front of his friend and smiled, hoping to help however he can with this little gesture.

“You’ve probably already had this before but you should eat a little. Something’s bothering you and while I won’t ask what it is, I do know good food can help put in a good mood. Okay so maybe I heard that somewhere and it sounded good at the time but it looks like you could use something to lift your spirits.”

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@Blitz Boom

Bottle to the head wasn't really too big of a problem for Ruby who just wanted something interesting to happen, sure it was slightly annoying,  but it didn't make her to want to stop Spicy, and really, besides the first one the bottles didn't cause even any real inconvenience since she would simply move out of the way when it seemed one was coming towards her. Sure her slightly drunken status made her ability to spot them a bit worse than it would have usually been, but she was clear enough to avoid most hits. 

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"Some time ago I would have probably told you to stop being ridiculous, but now...I'd say that's pretty likely because...well, not to downplay the intelligence of animals, but cats really aren't the type of creature I'd see being able to understand enough to just randomly decide to start bringing book to a siren." Nada replied, then turning thoughtful "Maybe I could ask Berry if she has any ideas, because even though she is.....unique minded, she could have actually found something at some point." 

 

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On 11/21/2019 at 11:06 PM, Blitz Boom said:

"Flavored syrup? Intriguing concept. As one whom have tasted the nectar of the trees many a time, I do wonder if I will know the tree sort they harvested this from, as well as the region? Yes, I do believe I know what would interest me. What of you, Brittle? Hear or see something that you like?"

The changeling were tugged in closely to him, not feeling too good about all the ponies and varied creatures out here, several of which she could feel just... Starring at her. It reminded her of ill times in her life, though at least there weren't any laughter, or others throwing things yet. She had to think of the positive things, r-right? That's what Briar tried to tell her at least.

"I-I don't know... I've o-only tried h-honey, oaths and c-chocolate that d-didn't go up again, or h-hurt. I d-don't know about t-these other things. Uhm... E-Except strawberries. Not g-good for my t-tummy."

"Ah yes, we certainly would not want to cause such an effect, and this seems an ill opportune time to try and see what you might be able to feast upon.

I know that most chocolate have milk within them, as does ice, and you can drink water. So the ice itself should be okay. As for the additions... Velvet, would you be so kind as to inform us if there are an option for honey? If so, I believe a couple of vanilla one scoop servings will suffice, with one having a random sirup addition, and the other with honey. Both in cups. I may have some usage for them, later on."

As he spoke, the flower on Briar's head would begin to slightly glow, and the petals rustled, as if the wind blew through it. A clear green aura of magic came from this, and embraced his necklace, where it would open it to reveal it to be mostly full of bits. Around twenty regular bits, with a few five bit coins here and there. From his calculations, a single five bit coin, as well as three singles, would cover what he had heard, which is what he floated out before closing his combined necklace and wallet again.

A fortunate thing of the grim reality in Ponyville recently, had been the need of some extra muscle here and there whilst rebuilding efforts had been underway. As such, his services had been most welcome here and there, and had allowed Briar to earn some bits here and there for his time. Quite honestly, he took far less for his work than what he could, but the area had been in shambles, and he wished not to put a large burden on the residents. Just a few bits here and there to cover potential expenses, such as this trip with Brittle.

 

"Hmmm...What about berries aside from strawberries? It sounds like poor Brittle is allergic to strawberries. There's a few ponies like that around the place, so you aren't alone there." Velvet said, starting to wonder if he was pushing a bit too hard. But then, it was his nature to want to help others, and he was showing them around the place before they left. "Then what about other types of berries? Are there any you tried that you remember liking and didn't upset your tummy?"

He didn't want to guess too randomly. It was a poor time to go too crazy with experimentation when the pair were due to leave that day. "I'm sorry i don't know too much about what changelings can or can't digest aside from love. It'd be easier not to overthink, like I tend to do..."

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@EcstaticWind

"...I h-haven't tried o-other berries."

The changeling pressed herself a little more against her warden, and cast her gaze towards the ground. She wished that she were able to answer these sorts of question, but her approach to figuring out what she could and couldn't eat were trial and error, and after the experience with the strawberries, she had just avoided berries of any kind. It felt safer that way.

Perhaps she had once been able to eat that, but she just couldn't remember it. Anything that happened before she became... This, were just gone. No matter how hard she tried, there were just an empty void, where memories of her young filly years were supposed to be.

Feeling how Brittle were nearly tugging at him, and how her words had halted before saying much else, Briar understood that she had mentally stepped back again, and required him to fill in for her. Poor thing wanted to answer these questions, and he knew she were trying, yet some answers were either out of her grasp, or just impossible for her to put in words right now.

Thankfully, he knew enough to answer in her place. Hopefully, Velvet would understand some of her predicament after he did so.

"What a changeling can eat, actually varies greatly. From what I understand, most drones can only sustain themselves on love, with a few fringe cases able to deal with it better, or just storing it before regurgitating it, in case they are pretending to eat whilst infiltrating, and doesn't want to feel the consequences of trying to keep the food down. Royal changelings apparently have the stomach for more than that, yet these sorts of things are generally found out by the hives themselves, either doing their upbringing as nymphs, or whilst doling out what roles the varied changelings should fill.

Brittle is a... Concerning case, however. She weren't born into this life, but were a convert. And one whose conversion weren't completed, before she were broken out of her pupa and taken by some unscrupulous ponies. It leaves her with certain issues, such as a current inability to control her transformations, and certain parts of her system being a mixed bag between pony and changeling. Her stomach is one of those, and when you combine it with her having no time being in a hive, it makes it impossible for her to know what she can and cannot digest in advance.

Perhaps it would be easier if you said what options there were, and we could hear if one of those are some she have tried? I feel this is not a place to experiment too much, as it would draw unneeded attention, or worse yet, harm Brittle."

Brittle's story were not a kind one, but it were the facts, and in this case, giving a brief overview on the situation would require those. Further details - like how he had been told she were extremely lucky to have survived being *hatched* prematurely - didn't seem poignant to this discussion, so he kept that to himself. There would be a time and a place for that, just not currently, nor presently.

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@Catpone Cerberus

Things would devalue further over the next half hour, with several attempts from Spicy to get out of the room at random intervals, before she finally passed out drunk, slumped over the back of one of the sofas.

The room were in an absolute state by then. Trash and bottles strewn around, food in varied places from her attempts at juggling them, to throwing, etc. Scorch marks, torn linen, scribbles on the wall in what were hopefully tomato juice, and everything were covered in a thin layer of water, as about five minutes after the first explosion, she had accidentally activated the sprinklers, which had left a nice mist everywhere for several minutes, before turning off.

This had repeated three more times since then.

All in all, the room were not looking all that great, but it might have proven an entertaining look for Ruby, to see a pony slowly just dissolve mentally. If she wished to get contact with somepony on the outside to be let out, or tell them to get in here, she could use the speaker at the door, and there would come an answer. The ones who received messages had been explicitly told to not respond if it were Spicy who tried to get through to them, and stand ready with a medical kit and some fire extinguishers, just in case some sort of higher alert alarm went off in the room. Nothing that would have happened, as there were not blood or a raging fire in here. They had spellwork to check for that sort of thing, without invading privacy.

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@Catpone Cerberus

"Compared to higher sentient beings, such as sirens or ponies, cats may seem simple. Yet, I hear the words of all animals, and when you compare between the varied races, felines are often among the wisest. If you could hear what I do, I think they would surprise you."

Lyriel smiled at the siren, thinking on how strange it must be to not understand what those around you were saying. A blessing at times though, she would think. Animals were not always kind, and to put it mildly, if the generals population of ponies could understand what birds sometimes actually said, when the equines thought it just a pretty song they shared, her winged friends would start to seem a lot less endearing. Some of them had quite the pottybeak, and a willingness to take advantage of the communication gap between them and the higher sentient creatures.

"Still, you are right. They would not start to bring books on their own. I have known animals to show worship, yet they do not show that with literature, but instead by presenting things that holds value in their eyes."

Going over to where she had been when she stood as a tree, Lyriel would dig into the top layer a little, and withdraw a few acorns, a shiny sliver of red gem, a delicate twig, and the tail of a large rat. Small offerings that had been given her by thankful creatures, who appreciated her work, which she had kept with her. Their usage to her weren't important, compared to what they represented, and as she had said: Value were in the eyes of the beholder. Nada might see this and think it trash, whilst Lyriel herself saw it as treasured objects, holding a greater meaning than what they physically represented.

"Be that as it may, perhaps you are right that we should seek out your friend. I understand you don't like to be exposed to the citizens, but perhaps I can go in there alone, when we near town, and ask her to meet us? I'm afraid that while my magic can conceal myself and my grove, it does not work that way on others. At best, I could offer to cover you in foliage, though I do not know if you wouldn't rather we wandered, and you simply waited at a river, whilst I retrieved her? As she is your friend, I think it only fitting that you decide what we shall do."

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@EQ_Theta

On 11/27/2019 at 1:41 PM, EQ_Theta said:

“I suppose the one thing that stays the same among all Apple family recipes is quality. The taste is different but some things stay consistent among all. Ponies recognize quality and they go to you knowing you’re good for it. I’m starting to see why the Apple family is famous. I’m curious about something else though. Just how big is the Apple family? I’ve seen Ponyville’s Apple family orchard but are there more around Equestria?”

Golden took a hoof up and scratched the back of his head, with a sheepish grin going over his face.

"I'll be honest, I dunno how many we are. Most I've seen at a big family gathering were sixty, but we got folks all over Equestria, some holding their own parties, or not showing up for some sorta reason, like if their own farms are going wrong. A few just ain't that talkative, and then of course, there's the folks outside Equestria. Ain't too many that I know of, but... Heh, I guess us Apple's spread like wildfire. Could be dozens more out there."

It weren't bad to have a big family, but the Apple family were big enough to basically be impossible to keep track off. For most anyway. He could name a few elderly members who actually kept some meticulous records on everypony, which surely couldn't be easy for a family that had some... Traditional family values, so to speak. Hard to find any member of their family who didn't get at least three foals, and that sort multiplied over the generations.

Granted, he didn't have any himself yet, but it probably wouldn't be too long before that were gonna change. Despite his workaholic nature, he had found some time to spend with a local mare who might not be big on the farm work, but she respected his work morale, and there weren't a rule that you could only be married to the Apple family if you were a farmer. It just tended to happen, because most got attracted to the farm aspects, but even among their own sorts there were those who wouldn't lift a shovel. He could mention at least two cousins who preferred other sorts of work for example, with one of them being a fancy designer sort. Not one he saw a lot of, but it were nice when she swung around and had a chat.

Whilst this talking went on, the piece of pie had made its way towards Rosa, whilst the third had been taken by Golden, whom set it down in front of Omen. This were for the guests after all, not him. Except for the cup of cider. Seemed like Rosa for some reason weren't willing to taste that, so there were a cup in excess. Hard to say no to that for him.

The bat pony looked towards the pie for a few seconds, and as he looked up, and met Sen's gaze, it would be clear that something were haunting him. The look in his eyes and overall demeanor just looked defeated, as the memories dances through his mind.

Slowly though, a small smile would be found creeping up on his muzzle, and he'd reach out for the pie.

"...Thank you."

It might seem like little to Sen, but his presence and action actually helped more than he might think. It helped Rosa remember that whilst the past were full of regrets that he'd likely never get rid of, his life wasn't just saddled with dealing with all of these worries alone anymore. Sen, Lin, Omen- Hay, even Golden to some degree, were friends that he could rely on, who'd help him, and whom he could in turn, help too. They were part of a brighter future, and it helped him a little to be faced with a friendly gesture that reminded him of that.

He'd have to explain himself later to Sen more than likely, but it were okay. They had already heard most of the things that haunted him, and while he weren't completely certain that the root of this particular issue were one he had told them of, he felt like he could speak to them about this, hard as it were. Much like the guilt he felt over the damages his work as a spy had wrought, this were a highly personal pain, and if he could share one with them, he were sure he could share the second too.

As he slowly started to eat through the pie, Omen would turn and look at the piece offered her, and go over to sniff it. Seeing that the others ate it too, she assumed it were fine enough, and started to bite a piece off to eat. It tasted fine she guessed, but she weren't sure if this were how it were supposed to be. It were called an apple pie, so it should taste of apples - which it did - but how was pie supposed to taste? She had tried varied ones throughout the years, and they all seemed to taste differently. And had all sorts of things inside them. First one she tried had been a blueberry pie, and this were pretty different from that, with even the dough having another flavor, so it were one of those dishes she weren't sure about how they were supposed to taste. She pretty much ate everything, and judged it by how strong the taste were, so with that in mind, this were mediocre. Probably better for the others.

She's go between the pie and the cup at small intervals, still keeping quiet and listening in, whilst observing how the others took to the food and drink. It might help her determine what sorts of flavors were supposed to be good.

Meanwhile, with Shrimp and Lin, the former would be going at the gem for almost an hour, before he let out another large flame towards the exit to the cage, and then turned towards the ground, coughing. He had gotten a fair bit into the gem in this time, with about half of it devoured now, but he wanted a break now. It might give him energy, but keeping a big intake like this and then fire it off time and time again, made his little neck feel sore and rough in the long run.

Slithering down from the gem, he'd go over to Lin and grab hold of her to get her attention. Once he had that, he'd look up at her with pleading eyes, and snap his mouth open and shut a few times, whilst pointing towards it with his tiny arms.

"Lihm. F.. Fir..."

There'd be no spit on his teeth or tongue, which might help to indicate further that he weren't begging for food, but something to drink. Something which were a commodity he weren't sure how to get, unlike the small berry chest. He tried to ask for it too, but getting the last half of *Thirsty* out still wasn't easy for him.

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@Moonlit

Yey, kitchen work! And nothing she could set on fire now. Not unless she got reeeeally unlucky, or got too close to something that could burn.

Ziggy would go through things as they were pointed out or handed to her. Be it cutting, mushing, peeling or whipping, she'd go at it with big energy and an ever bigger smile. There were just something about the smell of a kitchen in full production mode that couldn't help but make you giddy, be it from excitement about making food, or the prospect of the food itself. For her? She were just excited about it all! Lot's of good things to focus on here, and it were a delight to feel useful.

Plus, it were nice and familiar, what with cooking being a bit like being a doctor. That wasn't crazy, just think about it: A doctor found an illness, and gave medicin to treat it, right? Well, cooks found hunger, and treated it with yummy stuff. Totally the same! Except fewer folks complained about having to eat a cupcake to feel better.

"Hehe, this is fun! A looot to do, though I bet it's nothing compared to all the stuffs you gotta cook normally, huh? The tiny, adorable flock of cuddly piranhas have to take a lot of effort to feed."

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@Dreadmare @Rainbows2424

On 11/26/2019 at 10:17 PM, Dreadmare said:

"Alright, but if you do get colder, let me know"

"Hehe, no worries, I'm all wrapped up against the cold."

What, she wasn't allowed to make fun of her own condition? First few hours after she got back to base from the hospital, she wandered around and pretended to be a mummy. Three other guards ended up shrieked like little fillies and ran for help, for crying out loud. It was hilarious.

The general thought so too, which were why she hadn't been reprimanded for messing around at work, though she had to promise to lay low a bit, after word started to spread about *The zombies are coming for our brains*. That seemed a solid indicator that it were time to halt this. At least according to her brother, who tried to reprimand her later on, but it were hard to take serious since he couldn't stop laughing, and gave up halfway.

On 11/26/2019 at 10:17 PM, Dreadmare said:

"I suppose you are right there, and we can only wait and see I suppose, I do know my parents are very laid back, after all, they tend to give into Zephyr quite often"

"Who's Zephyr? A family member? Like... Another brother?"

This were potentially fascinating, so she'd listen in here for sure.

She'd also pop some comments towards the funny little breezie that might be riding on Thunder's head, if she had accepted his offer from before, but Azure seemed to prefer to talk to Thunder right now. Best not ruin the first impression by being all pushy and stuff. As she had seen before, that clearly didn't work.

Hmm... Perhaps if she found a small bowl of nectar she could lure the breezie in? She heard they liked that sort of thing.

Then again, where'd she find that sort of thing in Cloudsdale. Clouds didn't make nectar... Did they?

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@Blitz Boom

At this point, the poor detective was rubbing his temples with his hoofs at this reveal.  Of course Ms. Wisp was the daughter of Twisted.  Fate has Rising gripped by the tail and is just dragging him along, like some sort of game master in those role playing games that have become popular over the years.  Of course she'd be completely clueless to such an origin, he couldn't imagine many who would know or even want to know.  Luckily enough knew to keep her safe from her father, or at least hopefully in not wanting to use her as a bargaining chip.  Ms. Wisp would of course be an unwilling spawn, no pony gets to choose the ones that give them birth. 

The continual close mindedness of Harrowmark showing its face again.  "Ya'll make the child suffer for the sins of their parents?" he asked.  Her comments were pretty clear, but Rising couldn't help himself from addressing the issue first hoof.  Rising had seen her magic, nothing of her father was in it.  Which only made sense considering the batpony was borrowing his power from a dark god and not invoking much of his own.  Lily herself sat here in her youthful self, stumbled on the floor after her less than graceful departure from the collapsing cage, because of that borrowed power.

"Does Thistle know?" he inquired, finally dropping his hoofs back to the aged wooden floor on the cell room with a satisfying thud.  A faint click came from the top corner of the jail room.  The specter pony always seemed to have her ear to the floor while she was imprisoned in Twisted's workshop, and if anything was going to have happened, it would have likely occured while Rising was recovering.  Thistle has great influence in Harrowmark, something must be able to be done.  Caramel or Sickle, the Mayor?  Any pony even going to attempt to help the town caretaker?  Ms. Wisp had been mentioned as to be one of the first of Harrowmark to travel to Equestria in the retrieval of Lily.  Maybe more can come to light.

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@Blitz Boom

Seeing Rosa smile was enough for Sen, nodding and returning to the slice of pie he was eating. This is certainly going to be the highlight of the day: genuine Apple Family pie and cider. The longma turned his attention to Golden and continue their point of conversation. 

“Could be that but really?! Sixty? At the least in one gathering? Most families I’ve known only have about ten members at most, relatives included. Very few ever have that many relatives spread so far and wide. If there are relatives of yours outside of Equestria, I haven’t run into them. How does your family keep track of everyone in it?” 

Of course, just how big the regions outside of Equestria are is a whole matter of debate. That and what there is to see, what kinds of creatures to meet, plenty of things for the intrepid explorer to delight in. Sen and the longma have their own portion of that world to themselves, hidden away with lingering magical wards of times long past. An irony, that the creatures who have an aversion to magic have something inherently magical keeping the world from finding them. Perhaps it may behave a little differently as Lin and Omen’s ability to open gates to their village was hampered once but now they can go to and fro without any problems. That certainly qualifies as a topic of research when someone with enough interest comes around. 

Back at the cave, Lin was about ready to doze off from boredom when Shrimp grabbed her attention. She hadn’t been paying attention to Shrimp’s progress but was more than astounded to see about half of it gone already. At that point, she was more than willing to call it a day for the little creature and give him a break. Suppose that time would be now given that he is letting her know something.

Pointing at his mouth, trying to say something, there is certainly something the refraction is calling attention to. “Eh, okay? F-fir? Omen might have said this was like eating the color away from a gem, so if you have eaten, maybe you want to drink?”

That ‘fir’ sound she was hearing was likely Shrimp trying to say ‘thirst.’ It wasn’t something that Lin caught onto at first but the more she thought about it, the more it was starting to make sense. Pointing at the mouth meant either he was hungry or thirsty. Shrimp just ate some berries an hour ago but didn’t get anything to drink so the latter made sense. Lin grabbed one of the cleaned out food containers used for their rations days earlier and filled it with water from the canister she brought from home. With it filling a fourth of the way up, it might be enough for the refraction.

“Here you go, drink up,” Lin brought the container closer and tilted it just enough for the liquid to move towards the brim and into Shrimp’s mouth. She’d have to remember to show the refraction the canister should he want some more. If he recognizes the berry chest for food, perhaps the same can be done for drink. 

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@Blitz Boom Harmony nods, "It's not that bad. We learned how ravenous one Siren can be, we just scaled it up" She puts a bowl that has the remains of whipped double cream in front of Ziggy, "Here you go dear, you get to clean the bowl". All in all, they've made a three or four dozen muffins of all kinds.

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@Blitz Boom
It had been entertaining as long as it had lasted, but unfortunately all aright things will come to end at some point, so now Ruby was bored again thanks for Spicy passing out, and being wet from the sprinklers didn't make the feeling any nicer. Luckily she had noticed the speaker, so she made her way to it and spoke to it "Spicy has passed out and I'm not planning to destroy anything so could you be so kind and let me out of here." she was drunk enough that it was apparent from her voice, but someone who had ever talked with a drunk creature could tell she was still fully functional. Her tone sounded like she was trying to be friendly but failed at being so.

--------------------------------------------------
Nada just nodded at Lyriel's mention of the gifts and to her showing what she had been give, she did understand the meaning behind them as she too had made friends in the animal world during her life thanks to her singing, so she had been given random things now and then, though unlike Lyriel, she hadn't kept them for too long.

"I'd rather wait in the forest, I prefer to not make my existence known before princesses have decided what to do." "But you don't have to go get her if you don't want to, since there isn't necessarily any hurry with figuring out the cat thing and she will eventually come to me anyway." she smiled, she of course didn't have anything against doing it now, but she didn't want to feel like she was bothering Lyriel with this relatively meaningless mystery.

 

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@Blitz Boom @Dreadmare

Azure squees in delight as she hops up into Thunder's mane. Her ears perked up when he mentioned the name of a pony. A pony that she knew.

"Wait, you said your parents always gave in to somepony named Zephyr. Isn't that guy the brother of Fluttershy, one of the famous ponies who are known throughout the land?"

Azure felt a slight tinge of suspicion, as if somepony was watching her, as she sat on Thunder's head.

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@Catpone Cerberus

"Understood ma'am. We'll be down in a few minutes."

It would take about three minutes actually, yet the door would still be opened up soon enough, and in would first step Diego himself, who looked over the state of the room, before letting out a sigh of relief.

"This isn't so bad. A thorough cleaning and a visit from the repair ponies should have everything back in working order soon enough."

As if they were just waiting for it, a cleaning crew of six ponies did actually come in right after, and by the looks on their faces, they too had seen worse. Be it from Spicy, or just guests in here in general, they were pretty jaded to how smashed this room were. At least nothing were currently on fire, and there were no exposed electrical wires.

As they began their work, Diego turned towards Ruby, with a friendly smile on his face. He considered moving closer, but she may be one of those who'd prefer their personal space, and she just spent some hours alone with Spicy, so he would not risk moving in closer currently.

"Thank you for keeping an eye on her. I will make sure that she is given a bed where she can rest properly, so worry not about her.

Hopefully she did not give you too hard of a time?"

====================================================================================

 

@Catpone Cerberus

"Before you arrived, I were merely resting. Nothing of which I needed to do afterwards, are something that requires haste. Even with the intrusive desert area, the forest is thankfully still mostly intact, and new territories have mostly been settled between the ones who lost their homes, and those who put claim on other parts of the forest. I thank the Earth Mother that the Ursa bears were understandable to the situation, and offered a sizable area for some of the smaller critters, even if they reiterated that any intrusion upon their caves would be met harshly. I have doubts that they will be disturbed, considering the tone in which they growled this.

*sigh* Keeping a balance can be a difficult process, yet I won't bore you with all the details, if it does not concern you."

It had been a pretty tedious process to get the animals sorted better in the forest, especially with how drained she had been after being in the desert as it grew, yet the worst had been weathered. Some were still reluctant to accept things, and she had little doubt that there'd be friction between some groups, but she sadly had to deal with these as they arrived. Some things were just not preventable, unless there were fences and walled in areas for each animals. Something which would turn the forest into a glorified zoo, and from what she had been told about those things, Lyriel wouldn't wish a fate like that upon anyone.

To get back to what I were trying to say though, I have the time to go and ask of her to meet us here, to share what knowledge she might have of your secret contributor. I could also send a volunteer to bring her a message if it were, telling her that you'd wish for her to research this some before next you meet? I have time for either, or to simply let you and her find this out on your own. I wish to help, but I am not going to force it upon you, if you'd prefer me not to."

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@Moonlit

"Aha! So they Are baby sirens?"

Ziggy got a triumphant, happy tone in her voice as she heard the words Harmony said, which basically confirmed her suspicions that the little ones were indeed tiny, hidden sirens. Totally explained a lot of things, like how good they were at swimming, the ravenous appetite, and the constant want for naps. The zegasus had seen Serenade act the same way loads of times, and with all the shush shush going on here, she sorta suspected it would turn out that she weren't the only siren here after all. Good to have it confirmed though.

"No worries though, I promise not to tell anypony. I get that it's all secret and stuff. Plus, the princess have told me not to either. Not that I would've, anyway. Serenade's my friend, and the tiny ones are her family, and reeeeally adorable! No way I'd get them in trouble."

She'd speak between licking the inside of the bowl clean of leftover cake batter. It was nice to get sort of confirmation on what were going on around here, and combined with this treat? Yum yum, cleary head fun time! Hopefully Harmony wouldn't like, think she'd lie and trap her in the basement or something.

====================================================================================

 

@Rising Dusk

On 11/29/2019 at 5:52 AM, Rising Dusk said:

"Ya'll make the child suffer for the sins of their parents?"

"You think that they will be rational about this, after everything he did to us?

Harrowmark is forever scarred by his actions, with the even the gods getting imbalanced because of what he did. You think that most would risk that happening again? Even if his offspring doesn't have his powers, or state of mind, they are still of his blood, and their fear of them either taking up the mantle he left, or somehow become a vessel for his damned spirit, will make them do irrational things.

It took only a single one to break away from their fear of repercussions to cause a village to attack his daughter and her husband, and he isn't there to intimidate them to leave his ilk alone anymore. Just like her, Wisp will be sought out by those he hurt, and if reason, laws, and the fear of what he'd do in retaliation didn't protect her mother, it most certainly won't protect Wisp."

It was a disgusting outcome, to let the offspring suffer for the sins of their parents, and normally this were heavily forbidden in Harrowmark. A taboo even, which Sickle were a great example of, as she were not seen down upon because of her relation to one of Twisted's apprentices.

Any blood relative of Twisted however, were going to be another story, because of everything he had done these past six centuries. The law would be too slow to protect her, and even if she had friends that'd stand by her side, there would be far too many calling out for revenge. It would be a lynch mob of which Harrowmark had never seen the like of, and she would be swept away by them.

"He made sure that all those who went for his daughter perished in gruesome ways, or worse yet, got included in his experiments. But other towns remain that remembers the unfortunate mare who were forced to bear his daughter, with a few I know of who saw the filly grow up before leaving the town she lived in. Soon as the description goes around of her, the residents of Oaksbrook will remember the desperate mare who ran into their town, and they could not forget the daughter that she never lived to see. Soon as the stories starts spreading out from there, it doesn't matter how much some of the ponies in Oaksbrook cares for her. Those who doesn't, will gather up to get to her."

On 11/29/2019 at 5:52 AM, Rising Dusk said:

"Does Thistle know?"

"I... I don't know. I can't see what goes on back there without a bauble. But if she does, I don't know what she'd do to Wisp.

If the stories of her that Twisted said holds truth, she were fanatically loyal to her goddess, and Twisted made sure that Viz'nay almost whittled away to barely anything. If the goddess turns out to not forgive that, then the high priestess wouldn't either.

The best Wisp could hope for is that Thistle does not know, or that she is informed of her goddess to show mercy, and that she can get to the capitol before the news spread. Much as the royal family would dislike blood relatives of Twisted, they are bound by the law, and the death penalty is illegal in Harrowmark. If she were lucky, she might just be banished from the country. For her own safety, as much as theirs.

I don't want to see her suffer for this. Her adoptive mother were a friend of mine, and when she died, Sickle helped her through the tough times until Wisp could stand on her own. I doubt she can even remember me, but I consider her to be a family friend because of that, and an innocent, that shouldn't have to go through this. Even if her potential disturbs me, that is no excuse to judge her for her grandfathers malice."

Pleasding had mixed in with her fear, the further along she spoke. A begging tone for this interrogator to have mercy, and see the reason in why she wanted to get hold of Wisp, now that Twisted had seemingly been defeated. It might be too late for herself at this point, as she were sure that he would like to wring her for further details now, but perhaps she could make him seek pity for a mare that - judging by his reactions - he had met. Seemed most likely too, considering he had clearly met Sickle, and the two were still close. Looked like that the last time Lily had spied on them anyway.

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@EQ_Theta

19 hours ago, EQ_Theta said:

“Could be that but really?! Sixty? At the least in one gathering? Most families I’ve known only have about ten members at most, relatives included. Very few ever have that many relatives spread so far and wide. If there are relatives of yours outside of Equestria, I haven’t run into them. How does your family keep track of everyone in it?” 

"Most of us doesn't, really. I think a few of our elders got some charts of the family we know of, but there's just too many for most of us to keep track.

Us Apple's tend to have between two and four foals, then they have their own, then they have Their own, and so on, and so forth. Give it a dozen generations or so, and you'll end up with a family like ours.

Funnily enough, most of us are farmers, but I have a couple of cousins that wouldn't know what end of a shovel goes into the dirt. My grandfather even tells me that his older sister were a gemophobe who wouldn't set hoof inside the family farm.

All my three brothers and my sister are farmers though. Each and every one of us are even here on this here farm, though I'm thinking that one day, Deep Red is gonna go off and start her own farm. She got the talent and the drive to run her own show somewhere, soon as she's ready."

His sister were more or less only here because she were soaking in how to run things, and preparing her finances. Soon as everything were in order, he just knew that she'd go out there, and start a whole new farm. He had some idea where too, but he'd see when time came. Depended on is she were still having a good eye to that city lad at that time.

"Going to need help with another deed?"

Rosa stopped eating his slice of pie, and looked over towards Golden. Whom in turn, looked a little awkward as this were said out loud, and waved awkwardly at the notion.

"Nonono, no need for that. She'll be fine on her own merit."

It were good to see that Rosa were relatively back to normal, but the subject matter brought up seemed to give rise to some of that history between Golden and him. And not a part that made the apple farmer look all that innocent, or he wouldn't have reacted the way he did.

"If you say so."

Meanwhile, back with Lin, Shrimp desperately clawed at her and chirped weakly, as she went away from him and wandered over to sort the water out. He were used to drinking from rivers, puddles, that sort of thing, so seeing her go over and meddle with some of the food canisters he had seen before, made him think that she were trying to get food instead. Something which were good, yet not what his dry mouth and sore throat needed right now, so he'd act as if she were ignoring him for some reason in his time of need, with the only thing he could: Confused worry and desperation.

His small outbursts were quickly stopped though, soon as he saw her pour some water from another container and into one of the food canisters. In fact, he'd he reaching up as high as he could, and try to snap at the canister as soon as he realized this were where the water would come from, desperately trying to get to it. Patience were rarely a virtue for a creature this age, though in his defense, he were thirsty.

23 hours ago, EQ_Theta said:

“Here you go, drink up,” Lin brought the container closer and tilted it just enough for the liquid to move towards the brim and into Shrimp’s mouth. She’d have to remember to show the refraction the canister should he want some more. If he recognizes the berry chest for food, perhaps the same can be done for drink.

No sooner would the canister be down at his level, before Shrimp went in head first, and gulped up the water in big mouthfuls. The assistance from Lin in the matter were appreciated, but not needed, as the ravenous little thing went to town on the quenching liquid, and wouldn't stop until the canister were empty of every drop he could get to.

Licking his lips afterwards, he'd look up towards Lin and start chirping happily, whilst swaying from side to side. He had come to understand that when he did this after some of their actions, they saw that he were happy with what they had done. It left it as his currently only tangible way of expression a *Thank you* for what he were given.

Now that his thirst were sated though, he'd start to look at Lin expectedly for an entirely different reason. A certain longma had after all promised that they would get to play after he worked some on the gem, and he had worked really hard. That meant he had earned his fun time, right?

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@Blitz Boom @Rainbows2424

Thunder chuckles and nods "Yes that is right miss Azure" he would say and then turning to Shell "Zephyr, or Zephyr Breeze is Fluttershy's younger brother and thus, my adopted younger brother" he'd explain to her "He's always trying out new things, gives up half way through and then comes home begging to be taken back, and of course mom and dad give in, which really annoys both me and Fluttershy" he'd finish explaining, then looked up to the small mare in his mane "and you can relax Azure, no one is watching us, unless the General or her husband put a spell on us to keep an eye on us" he jokes.

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@Dreadmare @Rainbows2424

"Huh, I never knew that Fluttershy had even one brother, let alone two. The others are gonna have fun hearing about this for sure."

She so rarely had a chance to add her own thing to the rumor and gossip rounds, yet now she already had something that weren't shared around when talked about Fluttershy? And she could say that she got it directly from a family member? Her time were going to come the next time she had a chance to join in on some scuttlebutt.

"And you shouldn't be silly, Thunder. The general and her husband aren't unicorns. They haven't cast any spells on us, hehe. You're thinking about the lieutenant. Remember that he were supposed to put a mark on you, so that you'd be getting a bit of help when the day came for the new recruits to show up?

He probably put a scrying spell on us too though, just in case. Lieutenant Frizzle always worries a lot. And don't be surprised if you didn't see it. He's a real sneaky spell caster, so if he did put a scry on us, I'm thinking that he weaved it in with the sky walking stuff."

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@Blitz Boom Harmony nods. "They are indeed, in fact they are Serenade's half-sisters. Same mother, different father as far as we can tell. "And thank you dear" Harmony replaces the first bowl with a second one, this one with a thin coating of chocolate and blueberries.

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@Dreadmare @Blitz Boom

Azure giggles a little while listening,

”Wow, you must’ve had a rough time with Zephyr. I wonder why your parents always give in to him, even though he’s doing this almost everyday. And thanks Thunder, I thought somepony was looking at me. I don’t really know much about magic spells, so I can’t really tell you much about that scrying spell that Shell mentioned.”

She brushes against Thunder’s mane gently.

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@Blitz Boom @Rainbows2424

Thunder blinked then chuckled "Ah yes, I meant the Lieutenant" he'd say and then nod "and you're probably right, given the fact I still have this" he'd say, motioning to his broken wing "I guess he wants to see if I do something else dumb" he'd chuckle again before looking up to Azure who had begun to nestle in his mane "And to explain, the Lieutenant who helped us get here quickly and made it so that Shell can walk on the clouds, also put a marker on me, or something like that, so that I know when to come for my first day of training"

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@Blitz Boom

Shrimp really was thirsty. That effort to really get the diamond chunk cleared up was impressive and Lin rightly would move the object away to make sure the refraction wasn’t going to go all out. The whole display of the little creature looking happy brought a big smile on Lin’s face, realizing she was doing something right. Of course, he fulfilled his part of their agreement and now it was time for her to hold up her end. The longma showed the wicker ball and placed it on the ground near Shrimp, proceeding to spin it on its axis with a harder push on the rear to have the ball spin towards the refraction. 

“Playtime! I haven’t forgotten about it and you definitely deserve a break. Show me what you can do, little friend!”

Meanwhile, Sen listened intently, curious as to how the Apple family became so widespread. Seems like it was through the succession of countless generations of ponies who mostly have taken to farming. And their elderly have a role in mapping out the family lines that have likely become convoluted as the histories behind the families themselves. As astounding as that is, the longma was more relieved that his family was kept small.

By the time he had thought about all of this, Sen was just about done with his piece of the pie and his cider. Delicious as they are, it was a shame he’d have to part with it. Maybe the pie he could go without but the cider was something else. 

“Golden? Would it be alright if I could take a small sample of cider to go? My sister’s been in Equestria for a while but hasn’t had the chance to try some of your family’s renowned cider. I’d like to bring her a little, if that is alright with you. This stuff probably won't come free but I'll pay for it.”

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@Catpone Cerberus

Drawn, not Drew.

 Widdershins began in a poorly accented, educated tone. A small younger kitten began crawling up his side out of dangerous curiosity mistaking the tall, wobbly draconequus as a clawing post. Its tiny claws hooking into his oblivious flesh, the kitten finds it easier to climb once it reaches Widdershins's shaggy mane. Unaware of the kitten, he/it continues his pretentious babble.

The latter intones that it was done by a singular being. I started the spell, that brought the item, that had the writing already on it. Simply a state of being, hmm? One does not ask who brought the fish to the sea, yes?!!?

 Some few yards away and unnoticed as well, a live fish drops out of the air and flops around for a bit. As perhaps an unintentional visual aid.

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@Sekel

 "You'd...defend me?..." Kaltrop trails off, unintentionally batting his eyes away and back to Dawn Streak. "...Not that I need it, of course. But that's awfully brave of you to say. Dragony, even. ...heh." The young drake places his right claw closer to her, tentatively testing if it would be okay to give a reassuring pat to the mare.

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@Dreadmare @Blitz Boom

Azure looks at Thunder’s broken wing in surprise.

“Whoa, you broke your wing? How did that happen? Did you get into some sort of a accident? And also, you said your General put a magical spell into Shell so that she can walk on clouds? Well, it must be all new here for her. Me, I have wings, so I can naturally walk on clouds. It’s cold for me, but fine.”

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@Blitz Boom
"Few flying bottles here and there and some drunken nonsense, I have tolerated worse." Ruby simply responded, her tone almost sounding like she had emotions, but what they were was hard to tell through the coldness that was still there "Do you happen to have towels anywhere near? I need to dry myself after....well, use your eyes." she pointed her hoof towards the mess.

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"I will accept your help of course, I just don't want you to feel that you have to help with this just because we're friends." Nada explained "For Berry, I'd appreciate it if you could get a message to her that I want to meet her, and that if she happens to have anything relating to the cat mystery, she should take that knowledge with her." "But in my opinion it would be better if she came to the house rather than here, because even though she is my friend...well, just between us two, she probably shouldn't know about this place, at least not yet." 

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@Widdershins
Cerberus silently told the kitten to be careful but other than that didn't do anything about it climbing Widdershins "One may not ask, but they still came from somewhere." "If you pull a drawing out of nowhere, it's a still a drawing, thus it has been drawn, and assuming you don't just teleport it from somewhere else, you are the drawer." "Not drawer, but the drawer." "Though knowing magic, you could also be drawer if you wanted to." he pulled out a piece of paper with picture of a drawer from somewhere  "And now I'm a drawer of a drawer." 

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@EQ_Theta

8 hours ago, EQ_Theta said:

“Playtime! I haven’t forgotten about it and you definitely deserve a break. Show me what you can do, little friend!”

Shrimp perked up even further when he saw the wicker ball be brought forth, and glanced at it like a cat being presented with its favorite toy. Finally it was time for his reward, and soon as it were laid on the floor, he wasted no time in indulging himself in the moment.

Throwing himself at the toy, he'd wrap himself around it as best he could, and gnaw down a few times as both he and the ball rolled around in a small circle. Since the ball weren't all that heavy, it wouldn't hurt him whenever parts of himself were rolled during these motions, though it would get fairly boring to just play with himself like this after about a minute or so.

At that point, he'd unfurl himself, drag it a little away, and then bash it towards Lin with his head. A hard one too, to make sure that it got all the way over there, so they could play a bit of back and forth. Or she could make him chase it if it were, it sorta depended on how she wanted to approach this. Shrimp for one would just be happy to just get his playtime, regardless of how it would pan out.

17 hours ago, EQ_Theta said:

“Golden? Would it be alright if I could take a small sample of cider to go? My sister’s been in Equestria for a while but hasn’t had the chance to try some of your family’s renowned cider. I’d like to bring her a little, if that is alright with you. This stuff probably won't come free but I'll pay for it.”

"Well, normally we don't allow that sort, but I'll have some leeway here, since you're a friend of Rosa's. I'll go find a travel tankard and fill some in it. You folks enjoy your apple treats until I get back. Unless you'd prefer we got sorted what you came here for to start with, Rosa?"

The bat pony shook his head as he were asked this.

"We will be leaving soon after I have retrieved what I came for, so you may as well get this done now."

"Alright, if you say so. Gonna be a shame watching you leave again so soon, but perhaps we'll see one another again some day, right?"

"I find that likely, yes."

Rosa kept up the facade until the stallion had left, and finished his pie with his ears perked, just to listen if Golden were actually leaving, or potentially snooping.

"*sigh* If he knew what were in that box, I doubt that he would find my presence all that welcome anymore. Despite his more... Open-minded side, some things are not so easily understood, nor forgiven.

But that is something to discuss later, once I have pondered over how to properly explain myself. And in his case, perhaps it is for the best that he never gets to know. As the old saying goes *Ignorance is bliss*. A few words that I can personally attest to being both colder, and ringing more true than many would believe."

Rosa weren't all that old, being only in his mid to late twenties, yet he had seen plenty of things throughout his life that he wished he hadn't, and learned of things that sometimes haunted him. Ignorance of these things, as well as how the world truly worked beneath all the shining layers of prancing of princesses and political bureaucracy, were something which he frankly envied others of, as he couldn't see the world as light and filled with goodness as those less informed.

A fortunate bunch... *sigh* Perhaps it was best not to linger on this now. He might just end up in the dark thoughts again, if he let this persist.

"Eat on until he returns. The tray seems to hold a few other things, and Omen seems to be- Oh for the love of the night."

He swore, this creature were ancient, and though passive, powerful beyond what most would think. And yet, he turned his back for three minutes, and she had gotten her muzzle stuck in the cider cup, and seemingly couldn't get it off, judging by how she were pawing at the side of it. Omen both astounded him and made him internally roll his eyes...

"I'll fix this, just... Stand still."

Sen would have some time to enjoy the varied snacks (or pack some down to share with Lin) whilst Rosa went over and started to try and pull this off Omen's face.

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@Catpone Cerberus

"Of course. Pellet, a towel for the lady, if you'd please."

One of the cleaning crew - a pastel-colored unicorn with a dark splotch and some dots as his cutiemark - would perk his ears and with his horn, float a large white, high quality towel with the initials DP (Diego Pennyworth) embroidered at the top right, right underneath a small depiction of the logo seen on the casino itself, over to Ruby. It seemed to be freshly dried and ready for use, so it had been expected that some had been wet in here it appeared. Doubly so as another one were going out and embracing the sleeping Spicy, who'd then start to be dried off by the large towel. Some staff would be on the way to transport her after this process were over with.

"Seeing as how Spicy is a... Dear contributor to this casino, might I ask what your plans are now, madamme? I would like to inform her of your potential whereabouts if possible, once she wakes up."

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@Catpone Cerberus

Lyriel smiled a little wider at the minor protest to her offer of bringing word to Berry.

"Helping others, is what brings joy to my life, and I believe it to be what the Earth Mother would want from me. Believe me, it is not a bother, but rather a blessing to know that I can help."

She had already experienced herself getting taken advantage of in that capacity by the sphinx, which were a situation that saddened her greatly, yet she could not judge all because of this. Though it would potentially make things a little tense, the next time she met one of their kind again, if ever that happened. The animals did not speak of ever seeing something like that here before, so perhaps, it would be a once in a lifetime opportunity. One could only hope.

"And you needn't worry of her knowing of this place. Even if she saw it once, it is obscured for those who are not meant to see it. Only by willing help of the animals, can one find their way past the defenses here in my own, small slice of the forest. I appreciate the concern though.

Ah, but be that as it may, I need to find a volunteer to bring a message... Jarrod? Might I please talk with you?"

From the crowns above, a small crow with a pale right eye would fly down, and land on her waiting, outstretched leg.

"I know you have wanted to go see your little friend again, but could I ask if you would please bring a message along to one of ours?"

The small bird would caw, and flap his wings affirmatively.

The next minute or so would consist of Lyriel using her magic to add a small extra layer of bark to the upper part of her leg, and then gently peel it off, before writing one it with the roots on her hooves. When she were done, she'd roll it up, and give it to Jarrod, along with a description on what the mare he were looking for looked like.

With the *letter* in beak, he'd soon fly off, and be on his way to Ponyville.

"Jarrod is a young bird, but I trust in his ability to do this. I wrote to give you until sundown, to give her time to seek the knowledge you asked for. I hope that is okay?"

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@Moonlit

*gasp* Blueberries! And chocolate too, sure, but the blueberries were the best part of the mixture. Yum.

"Same mom? Jeez, no offense, but their mom's a real bad parent, what with leaving her kids like that all the time. Oh! Unless it's like with turtles, and she buries her eggs in the sand, and then you come find them? I always forgot to ask Serenade about that."

Ziggy's muzzle would be pretty purple, even if she had only finished half of the bowl, but she didn't care one bit. She could always wash her muzzle later, but if the bowl were washed, that would mean wasted cake batter! What sort of monster would dot hat? Not her, that were for sure. She'd do the right (and delicious) thing.

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@Rainbows2424 @Dreadmare

"It's really strange, Mrs. Breezie. I've only ever been at the ocean, never in the clouds. I heard that ponies could walk in these pretty pegasus cities, if they had the right sort of spells, but it's really weird to actually try it. I sorta keep believing I'll fall right through, and have to try and flap my hooves real fast to attempt a flight, or wrap my gauze into a parachute."

It would hurt like nothing else if she tried, and it probably wouldn't work, but what one didn't do in a case of desperation, right? Best to try and get the thoughts of falling through out of her head though, and focus on something more positive. Like how the small breezie seemed to really get along well with Thunder. He appeared to be having a real easy time making friends in new places, which were going to be great for him once he joined the Coastal Guard more officially, as there'd be plenty of faces he'd have never seen. She really should remember to warn him away from some of them though, lest he'd be spooked off... Eh, he seemed happy right now, no need to bring the mood down just yet.

"You ever been at the ocean? The salty breeze, fishermen sailing in the distance- The ticklish feeling of rummaging through a shallow field of oysters... Ah, home sweet home."

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@Blitz Boom @Rainbows2424

Thunder would nod, careful not to knock Azure out of his mane "Y-yeah, I can be a bit clumsy, and sometimes easily distracted" he'd say, I was trying out some new stunts I had come up with, when I got distracted by something and crashed right into a cliff" he'd chuckle somewhat, before turning his attention to Shell "I wouldn't worry about that Shell, I'm sure that the Lieutenant would have made sure to give the spell a very lasting time period, and even so, there will always be a pegasus or two to come rescue you, should you unfortunately fall through the clouds."

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@Blitz Boom

Sen had some things to say, about what happened earlier mostly, now that the high of eating and drinking some well-known delicacies has come to pass. Perhaps it is too good to be true but maybe this would be the last time he will ever get to savor them. He has his saddle bag with him, and thankfully had one empty ration container to carry food some of the leftover pie for Lin to eat. This and Golden letting him part with some cider made him one happy longma. 

There was still a little bit of pie leftover and Sen slowly finished it before turning to Rosa and hear the rest of what he has to say. Or he would if Omen’s little predicament hadn’t caught their attention. Sparing no time, he immediately rushed towards Omen and helped however he can. If Rosa was going for the cup, Sen would try slowly pulling Omen’s muzzle on the opposite direction. Looks like a conversation will have to continue another time.

“How in Equestria did this get stuck?” The longma asked, slowly attempting to wedge a claw inside the cup. If Omen was sucking in air with the cider, it would explain the suction generated and holding the cup in place. Sen didn’t really know the science behind it but stuck is stuck, and he tried what makes sense, hence the wedge. “Looks like here’s something to work on in our spare time, eh Omen?”

Back at the cave, Lin watched as Shrimp gnawed on the ball, having fun as he went through the motions. It reminded her of the young animals she found out in the wilds, finding something that grabbed their attention and proceeding to play. Or more like those cats she heard ponies sometimes keep as pets. She hasn’t seen one yet but the way some described their playfulness is likely what she’s noticing at the moment. 

When the ball was knocked her way though, that’s when it got interesting. Once the ball reached her, she began quickly rolling the ball left and right, passing it from one claw to the other. “Where is the ball gonna go? Where's it gonna go?” she playfully said, clearly enjoying their moment of respite.

Though it looked like she was going to send it in any other direction, she passed the ball straight back to Shrimp. Though she had a trick or two in mind, she’d go easy on the refraction for now.

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