Blitz Boom

Open Casual stroll

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@Windy Breeze

"Alright, just hang out a few minutes more, and she should hopefully start to get out of it. While we wait though, mind if I ask a few more things of you, miss?"

"Sure. And just call me Sorrow, please."

Frankly, the nurse - Blaze Tunes, as she identified herself as - seemed to hit off well, in the sense that Blaze were really interested in knowing more about where she came from. The more she heard, the more enthralled she just seemed to be, and that didn't lessen when the talk started to go on how Sorrow's clan were full of mediums, to varied degrees, and the area around the Moonlit Thicket were often drawing in spirits because of it.

Windy may learn a few things too with this. For example that yes, all of the members of her clan, had some degree of a morose name. A few had name changed to something less grim, during their history, but overall, it remained a stable. A sort of tradition, where the only ones these days who did not tend to have that sort of names, being the ones married to members of the family. Weren't anything about them having to change for their sake, as that would just be crazy talk.

She'd also learn that Sorrow's father were named Grim Dawn, and her mother were called Glitter Bug, and were an entomologist, while her father were a house caretaker for a wealthy adventurer in Canterlot. There would also be the notion that her family were indeed rather large, as she talked about the number of cousins she had by referring to there being dozens, last she had heard about it, though she had no exact numbers.

They'd start talking about the sort of things Weeping Mary apparently made, right after Quill had gotten her last bandages on, when said mare would begin to seemingly get out of her trance.

"Oh, I think the patient is coming to. Miss Rhyme? Can you hear me? You're at the Fillydelphia City Hospital. How are you feeling?"

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@EQ_Theta

18 hours ago, EQ_Theta said:

“Good evening to you, mayor. It seems like Queen Cheshire told you about us. I am looking to get some souvenirs and Weeping Mary’s booth was recommended by Banshee. My brother, Sen, and Rosa are at uh… having a little bit of competition at a booth. They said they were interested in darts but I think they’re still throwing knives.”

“You probably heard this a few times from others but this is a very pretty town. It definitely feels welcoming and I feel like I’m at home with the trees here. Do you like to wander around the fair?”

"Yes, I like to mingle, and see how everypony is enjoying our great faire. As well as keeping an eye out for troublemakers.

Do not get me wrong. I have the outmost trust in the Macabre clans ability to maintain order, but this is my town. The place were I grew up, and will one day be laid to rest. I cannot simply sit idly by if trouble might arise. So while I do not openly seek any out, I do interfere if I cross something on my patrol.

It is in part why I am the mayor. It is chosen by popularity, and shows whom the townsfolks trusts the most, to maintain order, and provide leadership. They know I would not willingly fail our town, and as such, pushed me to go from maintaining our town's jail, to this role. Though I am still the jailor of the town too, but you needn't worry about that. It is rare that the real cellars are used for others, as we have a friendly, reasonable town."

The mayor let out a short, deep laugh, and smiled down on Lin and Omen. Such a strange pair this were, and as Cheshire had told him, not their usual clientele. He'd have to agree too. Longma had he never seen before, and while Omen looked like the pony the things he had been told, made him certain that she were not, but merely had the shape of one. Somewhat akin to the Evergrown, but with a far less natural look to her.

"But I'm sure you don't want to hear about that. You say you were here to try Weeping Mary's souvenirs, yes? Might I ask, if she picked a doll for one of you?"

"She picked one for Shrimp."

"Shrimp?"

Omen's long tongue would come out, and be used to point at the napping refraction, laying about in her squirming mane. The mayor were rather surprised by this actually. No, not the tongue, he had heard things about that from Cheshire already. Rather, the animal she were carrying around with her.

"An infant dragon of sorts? Hm, not something you see every day. Best remember to take well care of it.

A doll would likely do it well too, really. Gives it something to chew on, when the teeth starts to grow.

In any case, you say the last two members of your group is in to compete at the weapon's range, Lin?  I hope they're proficient in handling dangerous objects like that, and not just looking for a cheap thrill? It can be dangerous if they're not careful."

19 hours ago, EQ_Theta said:

“The hunt master was stern. He knew how to get things done and how to do things right, but you wouldn’t know where you stood with him at all. One moment, he’d give good advice like a patient teacher, then he’d start criticizing everything you did. Nothing was perfect and if you made a mistake, you’d get an earful about how you’d never make a good hunter.”

"There is a plethora of ways to teach someone, Sen. One of the approaches, is to attempt to break the students, and then build them up. Usually goes along with attempting to test boundaries, and seeing how they do under pressure.

My guess is that he gave you some clear advice that he considered important, but then turn and present himself as one who expected perfection. I doubt he truly thought you were useless as a hunter, but rather expected you to make mistakes, and wanted to make you better. Certain methods of teaching, does believe in instilling a sort of spite as a driving force, when teaching their students. He says you will not succeed, and then you will push yourself to prove him wrong, or to get to a point where you can earn his respect, through proving yourself.

Unless he physically harmed you, I think he were merely attempting something such as this. He believed you could do better, and wanted to push you to do so, even though this method can instead at times, leave the students demoralized instead.

Where I am from, it were considered a good way to weed out those too weak for the job. My own opinion as such, are biased towards thinking your teacher were trying what he considered his best, to make you shine.

Though I may be wrong. He may well have merely been somewhat of a sadist, and enjoying watching the hope in your eyes get crushed. Or he potentially had a mental issue. It's not exactly common, but some of them does include you seemingly acting as two different individuals, or go into an erratic anger spike, where it takes little to get you riled up."

19 hours ago, EQ_Theta said:

“So, shall we begin? Even if I’m still trying to get this right, I’m not gonna let up easily!”

"Yes, I think it best if we make the best of the time we have. Now then, I believe I started our last area myself, so it is only fair you begin here. Show me what you can do, when you remain focused, Sen. Show me the archer I know you could be."

Rosa would give him a pat on the shoulder, and a friendly smile. Then he'd go and clear the arrows from the board that were already there, put them down near the quivers, and walked to the side, to give the longma more space. This one were going to be interesting, and quite frankly, he got the feeling that if he committed himself to it, Sen would decimate him in this discipline. But they'd see. Maybe he got too nervous, and Rosa's half-decent attempts would end being enough? Time would tell, but for now, Sen had to fire the first real shot.

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@Catpone Cerberus

"Illusions? But I'm not seeing..."

Leviathan's eyes narrowed, and a low, aggressive hiss escaped her mouth.

"I get it now. Magical traps, with materials clearly not meant for us, and laughable pits like this? Targeted illusions? We're not dealing with dragon hunters. It's Kitsune."

Several low, yipping laughs broke out around them. Might mean there were a whole flock. Or it could just be one that were messing with them even further, and making the sound come from all around, to confuse them even more. Either could end up being true, when it came to these sorts of creatures.

And sadly, there wouldn't be a shiny involved, that Ruby could track here. It were not overly common for Kitsune to wear things like that, when they were out having their fun, as it might cause some issues with deflecting the light off them at a bad time, so it were generally seen as best to leave such things at home, unless you were just out to travel or something. Nothing wrong with that after all, whereas getting your fun time interrupted, were a whole nother matter entirely.

"Briefly said, Kitsune are foxes. Only they're about one and a half times the size of ponies, and with incredibly strong magic abilities. Especially in illusions, and they love to wander around and mess with others. Usually it doesn't get dangerous, but they're very annoying to deal with.

Though I don't know what one of them is doing here. They rarely leave Neighpon, unless they've gotten themselves exiled. Grrr, I bet that annoying princess have given them an open invite to come here. Short-sighted equine should know where to limit herself.

Don't trust anything you smell, see or hear. Try and rely on common sense, and stay close. We have to try and find our way out of their little playground, or it won't end anytime soon. Last tie I ran into one at least, they set an area, and the *goal* were to get out of it."

"Those are the rules. Find your way out and be free."

The teasing voice came from of all things, the hole. There were still nothing other than glitter within it, and Leviathan angrily killed some foliage into it after hearing the teasing, nearly-laughing voice come out of there.

"Gaaah! I Hate Kitsune!"

Thunder sparked around her as she talked, and she had to press her hands on her head, and with gnashing teeth, take some deep breaths to try and calm herself, while a laughter went on, which seemingly moved further away.

She'd need a few seconds to gather herself, and while she did, there would seemingly be no more illusions. At least not targeted ones. It seemed their adversary wanted to wait until they could all *enjoy it* before beginning. Or had focused more on traps than anything else. It were hard to say, when it came to their sort.

"Walk in a single direction, and do not try and stray for anything. If he gets us separated, we're going to be in here for weeks."

If Ruby felt out things like she did earlier, about where something seemed to be missing, she might find that there were a few irregularities here. For one, the forest to their right had a lack of wind blowing through them, at the same strength as other directions, which seemed to suggest that something was amiss. So could it be that the sky seemed a little off, and if she'd try to fly, she'd find out why: About three meters up, she'd suddenly find herself flying towards the ground instead. A classic misdirection spell, yet not one that could be maintained for long. It had to be freshly cast, in a small area, so they had to be watched somewhat closely.

Beyond that, there were so far not anything happening, as they were now trapped in  little game, which Ruby were likely very thrilled about. What with her fun loving nature and all that.

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@Catpone Cerberus

On 11/11/2020 at 5:01 PM, Catpone Cerberus said:

"I met that shark-pony mare during my hunt, she seemed friendly, if bit odd." Nada informed "Didn't seem like the hugging type, but liked to boop her snout on me, I guess that's her take on hugs."

"That might explain why she were knocking on the door before, by walking into it with her head. I mean, if she used to be a shark, she's not used to having hooves to work with."

"She were. I saw the draconequui just snap her in out of nowhere, and hammer her forth thousands of years in evolution in seconds. I swear, draconequui are weird."

"Well, hard to argue against that, but I sorta think that is a racial trait of theirs. I'm sure that to them, we're the weird ones.

And the poor thing is probably confused. Being taken out of the water, than twisted and turned that much, and set lose to hunt frog monsters? Got to be a massive shift in her life. It's good that you ran into her Nada, and made sure she knows a friendly face in the area."

Berry didn't have much of a response to that, as she went towards the table, and the mares let Nada finish what she had to say. Seemed like she had quite an eventful day too, and made herself a brand new friend. A real special one at that, but maybe it were a good thing, right? They were both water predators, out of their element. Much as Berry, Ziggy, Agni, or any of the others who had befriended her, tried to relate, they couldn't when it came to being a predator, as they were generally vegetarian. Agni might eat small bugs, but that hardly counted, and Fah'lina were currently the closest of those still here, that she might be able to connect to. Even then though, she were a small mind, that couldn't talk like Nada might wish for.

Of course, Serenade were the best match, but for the time being, she were still at a prolonged family visit. Who knew when she'd return, and Nada could use a watery predator friend that stayed in the area. The shark mare seemed like she'd fit the bill, and by all accounts, it sounded as if they had a friendly interaction.

On 11/11/2020 at 5:01 PM, Catpone Cerberus said:

"Actually, one thing more, did you happen to hear anything about a mermaid being around these parts? a foal saw me and thought I am one, I'd just like to know if he kept it secret like he promised."

The others had gotten at the table as she finished, and they both sat and pondered over that one a bit. Had they heard about mermaids...

"...No, can't say I have. But I'm sure if the foal were gonna talk, it'd be to his friends. Not a whole lot of foals drink coffee, and there haven't been a rumor going at work."

"Nothing at the hospital either, including around the foals. He's probably keeping it to himself, until they start to question why he's looking around for stuff all the time. I don't think it's anything to worry about though. Even if he does start telling his friends, the adults are probably just gonna think it's a made up thing. We're pretty far from the ocean, and mermaids are harmless, so even if one were here, they'd just be curious. And if he figures out it's a siren, there's history books at the library. They'll just think he got it from there."

This were the end of what Ziggy had to say for now, as she grabbed the doughnut in the bag, and started to gnaw it down. Though she broke half off and gave it to Fah'lina, once she crawled up on the table. She didn't mind sharing with her little friend.

As the varied other baked goods were left exposed - a few muffins, a croissant, some honeyed hay balls, etc. - Berry would pick up the conversation, after taking a sip from her coffee.

"Okay, so backing up a little. You ran into the timberwolf matriarch? Loads have been talking about seeing her roaming the forest close to town. Gave some folks a real scare that she'd try to run in here, but apparently she turned around before getting too close. Just good really, that they know not to actually get into town. Less good that your friends got hurt. I'm guessing one of them were the shark mare, and the other... Urgh, so few live in the forest... Either the dragon, or the weird filly. Pretty sure it have to be one of those. Or both I suppose."

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@Catpone Cerberus

While he were *drinking* the offered liquid, Anomaly looked on in morbid fascination, at how he *drank* it. Such a cool sight, even if the pumpkin juice got wasted by it. Not that it were important. She often filled her head with this, and poured out some cups for others, or drank it herself with a big straw. Crazy to some, but if they were as delicious as she were, she were sure they'd try to do the same.

While she were impressed by that, Crow would heed the call, and come flying over. It were time to see how far this went.

As soon as the spird landed on him, he'd change drastically, and within two seconds from impact. Though there'd be no feeling from the process, to indicate that it hurt or anything. His size would remain the same, but his wings would look as if made by vines, moss, and a membrane of water lilies. The *bones* therein, would be from sticks, and heading down to his moss and grass covered, green body. A texture deeper would reveal bark, though at a glance, he'd look like just a pony with a green goat, like Evergrown tended to be.

His honey-colored, straw-like, long hair, would go down to his neck, and his tail would follow troop, with it having a somewhat odder look, as small flowers seemed to grow in it. Not as big as the blooming rose that were blossoming in his hair though, which were connected rather firmly to his skull.

The change were not just visual. The holes were not there in his body, so if he tried drinking again, it wouldn't just go out again, but stay in a tank of sorts, that'd empty when he reverted.

Crow too changed, into the form of a proper hawk, with glistening white and grey feathers, and a steel look in his beady little eyes, looking around on hismself, as he rose his wings up,a nd examined himself.

"Cool, right? I can go longer, and like, make you Feel alive too, instead of now where it's probably like wearing a full body suit, but I didn't know if you'd like that, and a reward should be something you like.

That's why I'm trying to work out how to make the mean earth lady not get her dirt in a tiwst, over me moving a few tree people. She's just really stubborn, and doesn't budge easy. A real stick in the mud sort.

A-N-Y-Way, do you like your reward? I even came with a little costume for Crow too, isn't it adorable?"

If he talked, Scarecrow would find that the costume physical illusion thing, would also change his voice, to make it sound like a deep, baritone kind of voice. Not the most normal, but definitely more normal than what he sounded like normally.

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(edited)

@Blitz Boom

Sorrow and her interactive the nurse, who introduced herself as Blaze Tune was like studying a lesson in a high school. Throughout their conversation, Windy would learn several things about Sorrow's family: one, the names of almost all of the members of the family are either grim or gloomy that the other members would change their name to make their name's less... Scary, worse is this was tradition, the last thing she would want to happen is meeting a member of the family whose name is associated with electrocution. Second of all, Sorrow's clan is chock full of mediums. Third, one of Sorrow's parents is an entomologist, which is great considering the morose names of most of the family, including Sorrow's father, Grim Dawn, not to mention said a father is working for a wealthy adventurer as their caretaker. Third, Sorrow's family was so large, no one could count how exactly the number are. And fourth, about what a pony, named Weeping Mary did, she guessed it's all about supernatural and stuff related to that since she decided not to listen to that part of the dicussion.

Finally, Quill Rhyme would snap out of her trauma expression and began to look around as if waking up and finding herself in an unknown place. Blaze would speak to her, to see if she is really out of her tantrum. Let's see...

Quill looked at her direction and stared.... She did not say anything, what she only did is to stare at the nurse and her visitors. And she started and stared and did not say a word-

“...Windy? S...Sorrow?” Nevermind, she spoke up. Her mane was a mess, making her look like she just woke up early in the morning and has never comb her mane, she stared at the trio with a tired look on her face. She seemed fine to see Windy, but when she move her gaze at Sorrow, she tightened her grip on her hospital blanket and tried her best not to show the anger she has stored in her heart and the urge to throw a tantrum and blame Sorrow for her current state “You two are a sight for sore eyes...” she moaned as she used her magic to move a strand of her mane out of her eyes.

Edited by Windy Breeze
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@Blitz Boom
Ruby didn't comment on Leviathan's explanation of Kitsune, as she didn't have anything to add that would have been useful for the situation, and purposeless talk would only make it harder to focus on the right things, so she just nodded.

Surprisingly enough, she stayed rather calm, as while she was very much annoyed, it only showed as flames coming out of her nostrils now and then, which may or may have not lit few things on fire around them as she looked around to see if there was anything of use to notice. While it was true that she was rather short-tempered, she had learned to control her emotions enough to not lash out on everything, that would be pretty counterproductive when you tried to act like a pony after all, and that also made it easier to keep one's mind in the game so to speak, because letting your emotions control you usually lead to stupid decisions. 

While Leviathan calmed down, Ruby took something out of her box, two things to be exact, a ring and a bracelet, neither seemed special, just some common stuff, she then gave the ring to Charir, saying something to him as she did, most likely explaining their situation and telling him to put it on based on Charir's reactions and the fact that he put the ring on one of his horn, where it seemed to fit well enough to not fall off. 

She would then offer the bracelet to Leviathan "Take it, and make sure you don't lose it, don't ask why, just do it." the bracelet wouldn't do anything or feel special in any way if Leviathan listened Ruby's surprisingly imperative/commanding words. Meanwhile Charir had made his way even closer to the two females, and the way he looked at Ruby indicated some kind of mixed feeling.

She didn't try flying, as she felt it would most likely not work considering how obvious it was, the most obvious answer rarely was the correct one, but she did notice that something was weird around them, because while she couldn't sense magic, she had learned to look for even the smallest of inconsistencies due to living a life where everyone and everything was a threat, so in other word, if it realistically could be noticed, she did notice it. "Something in that direction..." she pointed at their right "...and at the sky seems bit off, I can't pinpoint what exactly, but my instincts are picking up something." she used her general sense of direction to at least try to figure out where was what, and while she believed she knew where they were, she didn't know how much these Kitsunes could affect , so she wasn't sure if she could trust herself "I'll leave directions to you as you're more familiar with these creatures, but I'll inform you when I notice something." her annoyance would be apparent from her general tone and demeanor, but she kept herself calm at least for now.

------------------------
Nada nodded as she listened, the shark-pony being a shark turned into a pony did explain few things, and the fact that it apparently happened today, explained the childlike demeanor, but it still was weird. She also only nodded to the answers to her question, she had figured as much, but she wanted to make sure when she had a chance, one could never know, especially when that one was 1000 years behind on everything.

She also took a baked good, whatever was the biggest one left, not because she wanted more to eat, but because it would be easiest to not eat whole. She tasted it while she listened to Berry. "Actually no, the shark-mare wasn't involved, the timberwolf situation took place lot earlier, I just met the shark-pony." "You're right on the dragon though, I won't be saying names as they seemed like they liked to be alone, the other one was the Dryad you also have met at some point, she tried to calm the matriarch down put it didn't work." 

--------------------------------
"I must admit, I'm positively surprised." Scarecrow said, getting bit surprised by his own voice too, though it still wasn't visible since he had no idea how to make expressions anymore, until of course some kind of mind-reading emotion reaction was involved in the disguise. "I'm also glad you didn't do the feeling part, it could have negative effect on my mental stability." mostly the change between not feeling and feeling, but he was also worried that if he was to be reminded what used to be, that may be the thing to make him finally lose his mind in this wretched existence.

"Now I just need to come up with a fake name for myself, Scarecrow doesn't really fit this look." he had started to like the name Scarecrow, so he would be keeping it among those who knew his real form, he also was planning to keep calling Crow Crow, because while Crow was a weird name for a hawk, that could be explained to someone questioning it. "But while I am pleasantly surprised, and maybe even a bit thankful, I still feel like slamming this chair into your head until one of them breaks." the fact that Anomaly had truly kept her promise was obviously a positive thing, and it did make him dislike her less, but he still wasn't fan of her actions towards Lyriel, because while he wasn't as compassionate/caring as it at first may have seemed, he still did dislike powerful beings going after those who didn't deserve it in his eyes.

"One question, is that forced dancing thing still a thing when Crow eats or was it part of the game?" he mostly wanted to know so that he could avoid it causing trouble if it was still a thing

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@Blitz Boom

“Don’t worry, mayor. Rosa and Sen know what they’re doing. You can trust them to keep safety in mind when using weapons. And as for Shrimp, he may be little but he’s feisty. Sen always told me that animals are a lot smarter than they look. Same applies to Shrimp, and I wouldn’t have it any other way!”

“This is place is definitely friendly, and I really feel welcomed here. I am curious about what you just mentioned, though. Mayors are chosen by popularity? What if everypony chooses wrong and they put their trust in someone who couldn’t lead? What happens then?”

Admittedly, Lin’s question was something spurred by her own experience and the way elders are chosen through the longma villages. Someone is picked to lead based on their capability to do so, and successors are rigorously trained to take responsibility of a village’s welfare. Most shun that responsibility as they have enough problems of their own having everyone else’s worries on one’s shoulders is not a task that should be taken lightly. The same could probably be said about mayors or princesses. Ghilan has his work cut out for him, and that is without the council breathing down his neck. 

But back at the archery range, Sen smiled and nodded at Rosa’s request to take the first shot. Once more, he began his breathing routine, but this time, doubled the number cycles before loosing an arrow. One breath in, one breath out. As the second cycle started, the longma firmly gripped the bow, steadied his aim, and pulled back on the draw. He’d only let half of the inhaled air out when Sen took his shot, and the arrow flew straighter than the last few attempts, landing above the center of the target; that was the closest he’s ever got to the center.

“Ha! Would you look at that.”

“You know, between you and the hunt master, I’d want you to be my teacher. Okay, maybe that’s just me talking based on my experience with you and your teaching methods. Your turn, Rosa. I know you want to win this game, and now you’ve got a shot at victory.”

Sen stepped to the side, and although this was a kind of contest between him and Rosa, he was still rooting for him anyway. It wouldn’t be right to wish ill on a competitor, and knowing just what kind of skills Rosa had, the thestral could very well give the longma a run for his money. That would be an interesting surprise.

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@Blitz Boom

Watching an eruption event from an actual volcano was a sight of in itself, but seeing one unfold right before their eyes from a pony was something else.  The officers gave the green light once Magma stepped into their charged and ready magic circle.  Waiting patiently for the mare to go through her routine to cause the event to happen.  Each officer keeping their focus on their task at hoof.  As soon as an increase of heat was detected from the magma bubbling to the surface, the circle flare.  The inner circle sprung to life and began to rotate under the mare.  The outer barrier runes stopped their random spinning and ticked in more mechanical movements as if they were dialing in.  A veil of aether appeared in places around the mare where the magma seeped through the cracks on her body, localizing the protection that would otherwise harm the two officer from the intense heat.  Better yet, keeping the magma from dripping to the floor and burning the basement floor.  Tussle would kill them.

The runes continued to tick and click as they dialed into an adaptive barrier for Magma, even as she went for the special gum.  Which itself didn't appear to take all that long to take effect.  Only a few chews were enough for the heat rune to extinguish from lack of detection.  When Magma started to falter under the effects of the gum, Flare got a little worried, his focus drifting away from the magic circle.  "Calm," the stoic Bash told the smaller stallion.  Already running calculations through his head on how to adjust the formula for better results.  Returning his attention to the magic circle while Magma went dormant.  "Hold the circle," Starbright instructed while she released her own hold on it.  Trotting over to a cabinet to retrieve a rather plain, common quality bracelet that a young filly might collect.  The O.M.I. didn't have the biggest budget to provide fashionable attire to these types of services.  Returning to the circle just as Magma was waking up, "Quite successful," Starbright expressed in a cheery mood.  Her horn flared and the magic circle matched, crackling for a few moments.  The bracelet floated above Magma and the circle dissolved into indigo lightning that etched the results of the positions the barrier and heat runes were dialed into.  The barrier spell now attached to the bracelet just as she had promised.  "And that is Arc Weld," the unicorn smiled, finally showing evidence of the magic she'd spoken of since the start.  Letting the bracelet slowly descend onto Magma's head.

 

Omen should had a lot of questions in such a short amount of time.  She'd get along with the Boom siblings.  In fact, Rising has had to deal with quite the many chatter boxes in the last week.  So many questions.  Ponies need to discover more for themselves these days.  "I'm not lying," the detective chuckled.  Igniting his horn to summon forth the wisp the goddess had tainted, er 'blessed', with her light.  Likely the strongest source of the goddess' magic he could present as evidence of his contact with her.  How to prove his ending task to undo all the dark magics Twisted had used in his swamp to suppress and syphon the goddess' magic to the dark god, that might be a little harder and Omen might just have to wait to sense her growing power for herself.

Cork couldn't help but be caught off guard when the mare from Harrowmark asked about having to sign her soul over, coughing up a bit of her tea back into her cup.  "No Ms. Omen, there is no soul signing.  In Equestria, the soul of a pony here belongs to them alone.  We do not trade with them.  The proper paperwork is merely a record of you wanting to become a citizen of Equestria," Rising explained but Gold and Cork exchanged strange looks that even the topic of a pony's soul was in question.  "It is simply a written and verbal agreement that you'd follow our laws and be a productive member of Equestria," Gold Mane added with a sip of her own tea.

Not needing to dance around the rest of her inquiry of how a pony like Rising could do what no pony in Harrowmark, army or otherwise, could do.  "Shatter the Heavens?  That seems a bit extreme," Rising scratched the back of his at the idea of such a negative thing.  "Twisted relied too much on magic and my special talent is to meddle with magic," to make his point, the light tainted wisp gently poked at the air near Omen, or more precisely, the magic around her.  Cutting a strand of the invisible magic tapestry that was the veil given to her by Cork, turning Omen's coat a neon pink.

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@Rising Dusk

While the process went on, Magma kept her full focus on keeping that at a manageable level, so she did not take much notice of what the others were doing. She intended only to begin a minor eruption after all, not cook whoever stood within spitting distance, from the inside out, due to sheer, intense heat.

Magma tried her best to follow the bracelet, and keep some attention towards everything going around with things, but she were still feeling rather tired. It seemed the gum had some side effects after all, which just made it wiser that they had tested it here, rather than it having merely been used, somewhere out there. If she had collapsed after trying to calm her inner turmoil like this, then she would be ripe for kidnapping, and potential harvesting. Which would not be good, if the reason she had a reaction in the first place, were because she felt substantially threatened.

Casting a glance down, she did not see, nor feel with her hooves, any signs of melting damage, so the barriers had seemingly done their job well. She had to feel more than see at first though, as it appeared her head had to stand still, as the metal circle were floated down towards her head. She couldn't see inside of it, but she assumed this Arc Weld, were somehow inscribed inside of it?

"*Yawn* I assume there is an inscription inside of the bracelet - or circlet, as I think it is called, when it is set on your head - that is this Arc Weld you speak of? If so, should I perhaps go and get another, more fitting piece for the endeavor? A proper bracelet, or necklace of some sort perhaps? Someone with a clasp most certainly, that will not fall off by accident, yet can still be removed, in case there is a certain need for fire related magic. I assume at least, that this is intended to fully keep in all heat, and heat-related outburst I might produce? Or have I misunderstood things?

Also, what material would work best for a thing like this? Before my departure from Center Zero, I retained a reasonable amount of the research grant we were provided by Princess Celestia, of which I have used drastically little since then. It is of little consequence to replace this, unless it needs to be made of pure Midnight Onyx. I am likely in a better position if I try to dig that up myself, rather than try and find anything of it that is sold at a reasonable price."

Unless something erratic would happen once the bracelet/circlet hit her head, Magma would tentatively, and slowly, attempt to move out of the circle. If anything did happen, or she couldn't, she'd remain in there, and try her best to observe what were going on. Though quite frankly, she could do with a shot of coffee right now. Oddly enough, she had found that to still work well in perking her up a little, though she theorized that were more a placebo effect, than anything tangible.

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

 

@Rising Dusk

47 minutes ago, Rising Dusk said:

Igniting his horn to summon forth the wisp the goddess had tainted, er 'blessed', with her light.  Likely the strongest source of the goddess' magic he could present as evidence of his contact with her.  How to prove his ending task to undo all the dark magics Twisted had used in his swamp to suppress and syphon the goddess' magic to the dark god, that might be a little harder and Omen might just have to wait to sense her growing power for herself.

If Grave lacked evidence before, she certainly didn't now. Even if the amount weren't substantial, she could smell the magic oozing off the wisp quite well, and there were no mistaken the primordial energy from it. This were from a god, though more importantly, from Viz'nay, whose energy she had smelled before. A blessing given by the goddess herself, were more proof of his action, than any word, illusion, or even picture could ever give Grave.

Though silently, she'd give her own blessing to him. Not anything magical in nature though. Merely an audible one, recited in her head, that were more or less like well wishing. A prayer really, if you wanted to be technical about it, though she didn't much care. It weren't as if the power of her god could reach this far. Not unassisted, and she were a believer, not a self proclaimed herald, like Twisted had been. Grave couldn't tap into this sort of magic, nor had she any want to, with how Suusha had become. She'd much prefer his corruption were kept down, and stayed that way, until he'd one day return to his balanced state.

1 hour ago, Rising Dusk said:

 "No Ms. Omen, there is no soul signing.  In Equestria, the soul of a pony here belongs to them alone.  We do not trade with them.  The proper paperwork is merely a record of you wanting to become a citizen of Equestria," Rising explained but Gold and Cork exchanged strange looks that even the topic of a pony's soul was in question.  "It is simply a written and verbal agreement that you'd follow our laws and be a productive member of Equestria," Gold Mane added with a sip of her own tea.

"That's good to hear. I prefer my soul stays right where it is. I just sorta figured there'd be some sort of price for all this glamour and light. It can't be as perfect as it looks, right?

And just call me Grave. It's a little weird being talked to like I'm some sorta important pony. I'm not really. Or is this something against graves? I dunno if there's stigmas about some names here."

If there were, she'd probably have to change her name, but that wasn't the biggest issue. Just a matter of getting used to a new one, and likely sign as that too, when she were faced with the paperwork. One which did not involve signing her soul over, so that were good. Still sounded like this place were a little too perfect thus far, without much of a dark side to things. The medal had to have a backside, right? Some sort of price to live here? ...Perhaps she were just too paranoid, and the price were that you had to be a productive member of society? She could do that. If it meant living into his seeming utopia, she'd do whatever sort of work it took, long as she got to keep her body parts, soul, and didn't have to go around in a chain. Or were that too much to ask? She might be able to negotiate the chain, if it were long enough, and looked pretty.

1 hour ago, Rising Dusk said:

"Shatter the Heavens?  That seems a bit extreme," Rising scratched the back of his at the idea of such a negative thing.  "Twisted relied too much on magic and my special talent is to meddle with magic,"

Grave were about to say something more, this time about what Rising had said he could do, but she got more evidence of what he claimed here, as the wisp poked him. At the distance before, she could only really smell the goddess's magic there, as it stood tainted and passive. Once it interacted with her though, she got a whiff of the magic, and she... Well, she sneezed.

"T-That's a strong smell. Not something I've run into before, and... And..."

She'd open her eyes and look down on her leg. Then she blinked a few times, as the new color change registered fully.

"...Magic manipulators They really exist..."

She were a bit torn as she whispered this. On one hoof, this were both disturbing and incredible all the same, that there were actually one here, who could meddle with magic, which would definitely prove a challenge for Twisted. He had the strongest magic in the country, but physically, a well sized Diamond Dog would realistically have been able to crumble him up into a ball, and stomped him flat. A classical issues with powerful witches: Never thought they'd need to train themselves physically.

Yet on the other hoof... This were a pretty color. She liked her regular look much more of course, but this were something she had never seen on another creature before. A sort of pink that almost screamed into your eyes? Crazy stuff. Had she looked like this in Harrowmark, it'd be akin to wearing a big sign going *I literally can't hide from anything*.

Which emotion to follow though...

Well, the smile on her face, seemed to answer that, as fascination overtook reverence and worries for a time.

"Uuuuh , what's this sorta color? It's pretty. And does this mean you can see through magic too? Can you see how I look beneath this? *gasp* Are you a magic peeper? Naughty officer."

The last were said in jest, as her mood seemed to rapidly improve, and get closer to the jolly, good natured one that Gold and Cork had seen earlier. With a bit of teasing on top, as she pulled her tongue slightly on the officer at the end of her sentence.

The biggest factor of this change of mood, had been that she hadn't smelled anything bad from Rising, when he had cast his spell. The goddess were neutral. Her magic smelled of nothing but primordial power, and had no emotions to it. Rising's however, had come through, and though the magic would take a bit for her nose to get used to, she could definitely not smell anything resembling malice in his magic. It were more like a bunch of sugary bugs, crushed and drying out in the sun. A little sweet, yet also with a strong citrus waft, that mostly overwhelmed the sweetness, and went right to her nostrils. A bit fresher than she were used to in magic spells, to put it mildly, but it certainly stuck out.

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

 

@EQ_Theta

On 11/13/2020 at 1:31 PM, EQ_Theta said:

“This is place is definitely friendly, and I really feel welcomed here. I am curious about what you just mentioned, though. Mayors are chosen by popularity? What if everypony chooses wrong and they put their trust in someone who couldn’t lead? What happens then?”

"If someone is unpopular enough, for a majority to dislike them, they will be removed, and a new one will be put in place. The same applies if they fail at their job, enough for the council to take notice, and think it best to interfere themselves. Also, the one chosen does have the option to deny, if they don't want the job, but then it goes on to the next.

These towns are not ruled over by their glade elders, or mayors. We maintain the areas, and take care of local issues, but the final word lays with the Council of Three Wings. If they are informed of somepony failing the position they were chosen to, they will interfere, and have them replaced. Though if it is just incompetence, they may instead be assigned an assistant to help them.

And if you wonder what happens if one refuse to leave... Well, you've met certain members of the Macabre Clan by now, but I sincerely doubt you have met their matriarch yet. Believe me, no wise being would stand against Madamme Macabre, and those who does, are trounced. Tomb and Banshee - bless their hearts - are strong, but cannot hold a candle to her. And she holds if not a direct vote, then a strong influence on the council. If she have concerns about things, they will listen.

She also have quite the intimidating presence about her, which makes it hard to discount her as harmless as is. She rarely attends these festivals, but you may still see her one day. I can assure you, that you will not forget the meeting."

A minor run down of the local law, election process, and a smidgeon of information on the matriarch of Mary's clan. It should hopefully be informative. And just in time too, for Mary to turn around, and blow off the dust from the gravestone.

"Okay, I'm done."

She'd present the stone, and it would be carved just as it should be. With the flowing text, no accidental chipping here and there, and beyond a bit of dust still there, should look impeccable. It almost looked like a real tombstone, were it not for the text.

"And what was it you wanted to have written on it, miss?"

She'd look at Omen as she said that, and though it weren't easy to see, she'd be beaming beneath the garbs. She loved it when she made something good like this, and seeing it done just as it should be, never got old for her.

"Discord lies here."

This caused Mary to pause. The whispering voice were one thing, but this? This were... Weird.

"...Could you please say that again?"

"Discord lies here.

Master Discord liked to write that near his throne. He said he found it funny, because it gave him permission to lie to others. I do not understand why. I just want to bring him a present."

Mary looked towards the mayor, unsure what to think, though he were not, as he addressed Omen shortly. 

"Excuse me. Discord is not here, is he?"

He seemed tense as he said this, which were not a lie either. With how the last meeting had gone, the town were not exactly fond of the lord of chaos.

"No. He is in Ponyville."

"...Very well. It's okay Mary, you can make it."

Mary wouldn't say more, but just nod, before she turned around and got to work on this.

"I apologize for the way that may have seemed, but Discord and us, do not have a pleasant history together. Hearing him mentioned, makes me concerned."

On 11/13/2020 at 1:31 PM, EQ_Theta said:

“Ha! Would you look at that.”

“You know, between you and the hunt master, I’d want you to be my teacher. Okay, maybe that’s just me talking based on my experience with you and your teaching methods. Your turn, Rosa. I know you want to win this game, and now you’ve got a shot at victory.”

"Who knows? Perhaps one day when I get out, I may end up an instructor of sorts. Perhaps if more knows what I can teach, it will in some small way, give back to the world. Or if nothing else, teach others how to protect themselves, or hunt more efficiently.

It is something worth thinking about. Though I will admit, that I am not against the idea of teaching in some fashion. It sounds nice and relaxing. With the added benefit that I may get to slam others into the ground as part of some lessons, like I did with Lin. The perk of teaching the right thing, yes?"

He'd ready the next arrow, and fire it off. He'd hit just next to where Sen's arrow had hit, putting them at equal points. A dismaying result really. What were the point in this, if they were merely going to be even? There had to be a winner found here.

"Try and shoot again Sen, and aim a little lower than before. Remember: If you don't hit where you aimed, it's a matter og adjustment. It is the same if you shoot out in the wild, where you have to take wind into account.

So, try again, and show me what you got. One of us have to eventually get near the center, and prove superiority."

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

 

@Catpone Cerberus

Leviathan would take the bracelet, and greedily take it on around her arm.

"I am not sure what that is for, but I'll take it. Now come on, let's get out of here."

Leviathan would take charge, and lead them straight forward at a slow speed, and looked around towards the two points that Ruby bite note in.

"So we can't go right, and flying's not gonna work? Foolish kitsune is going to be roasted once I find him. Tell me if you sense more things, and make sure to keep a look on him. If he gets lost, I'm not sure if we can find him. A little shiny on him, won't make him stand out if the kitsune cloaks us in an illusion."

The path would go straight forward, and oddly enough, nothing seemed to happen right now. There were some rustling to the left, and the right would eventually clear up, but still carry some odd vibration to it. Yet they weren't being assaulted by anything, nor shown much, until they got about five meter more forward, and Ruby would be able to feel that the path behind them started to feel odd as well. In fact, it would feel just like the right had done before, whereas the right seemed clear. Visually, it would all be the same, but this may warn Ruby that something were off.

The sky magic appeared to vanish soon enough too. Likely in an effort to save more energy, but it still wouldn't be safe to go that way. It would be best if they just stuck to the path, and moved forward slowly and carefully, while ignoring things around them as best they could.

Charir would be the first one targeted by a more general illusion, which the others could see too. A pair of large, clawed hands would raise from the ground in front of them, and from the ground, would rise a rather familiar dragon. One who looked like Ruby, but bigger, and with narrower, more evil looking eyes. It seemed that whoever were messing with them, had listened in when talks fell on their mother, and thought this would be exactly like what she might look like. Though Ruby at least, should be able to tell that this were incredibly obviously just her, increased a little in size, so it clearly wasn't their mother. The size were likely not even right.

Regardless, the dragon still growled at them, and stepped forward to confront them.

"Don't worry, it's just an illusion, not something re-"

The dragons slammed her on the side of her head with her tail, sending Leviathan flying backwards. Seemed like this one might have a little more form than were at first expected. And now, the dragon were coming for Charir, with a mean scowl on her face, and flames tickling from her nostrils.

There'd be an opening in the forest to their left, that they could escape into, if they wanted to run, but otherwise, they had to confront this thing. Preferably before she started to feast on the lot of them.

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

 

@Catpone Cerberus

The biggest baked good in the bag, were a chocolate eclair. It were wrapped up in a separate wrapping and bag, to make sure it wouldn't get crushed and smoosh all over the other things. Soon as she peeled that off though, there'd be a lovely, mushy thing to feast upon for her. Likely the big win of the bag, depending on who you were.

Berry would just stick to her coffee, as the memory of Flit eating the frog were still in mind, after she brought it up, and it made her appetite just run away. If ever she needed to lose weight, she should try and remember this. It'd likely do wonders.

"Uuf, tough deal. I hope they'll be alright."

"Awh, poor Nerzhei. Already had her arm in a sling, and then she got into a fight? Dragons are tough, but that's still not good. I hope if she's seriously hurt, she'll come to the hospital again."

"So that's monsters, new neighbors from the ocean, timberwolves and dragons. All we need in this tale by now, is the kitchen sink."

Ziggy snorted a bit at that, before going over to the sink and pouring herself a glass of water.

"Not big on coffee?"

"I just woke up. I don't wanna start having to fly around for an hour to burn off the caffeine energy. A bit of an imbalance that makes me all hyper."

"That one's a decaff. Poured it by accident, but figured it were a waste to throw it out. It ain't perfect, but it's still drinkable."

Ziggy gleefully accepted the decaff coffee then, and started to gulp a bit of it down. It seemed like she were a fan of the taste, without the extra energy bundled on top. A plus really, as Berry did not like to pour out perfectly good coffee. Felt like a waste.

"Quite a day in any case. Thankfully everypony seems to be alive. We should count that as a blessing at least."

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

 

@Catpone Cerberus

Sadly there were no mind reading. He'd have to work out how to do those the old fashioned way, and right now, his face were just looking very neutral and slightly bored. Something to work on at a later date for him. It were the same for Crow, though in fairness, a bird did not have many expressions to begin with, so it were easier for it.

On 11/13/2020 at 1:23 PM, Catpone Cerberus said:

"I'm also glad you didn't do the feeling part, it could have negative effect on my mental stability."

"Pff, sanity is overrated. But I suppose it's okay that you don't go fully crazy. We already had one of those in the forest, and she were no fun. All *eat eat eat*. Really one sided and kinda boring.

Oh, oh, and remember, that the costume only works as long as the two of you are connected. It'll fall off soon as you're not touching, so watch out."

Crow made sure to remember this, and would as best it could, try to hang on during the time they'd actually be in town. Though it were still going to show off, and flap its wings wide, to make sure everyone could revel in its glory. And then if something bad happened, it might be the same, just with fear over it's shadier side.

On 11/13/2020 at 1:23 PM, Catpone Cerberus said:

"One question, is that forced dancing thing still a thing when Crow eats or was it part of the game?"

"Hehe, that's permanent. A fun little extra thing, but it's not like it'd be a problem. You weren't just gonna let it hunt down and eat someones pet on open street, right? And the forest is full of crazy things, so they wouldn't know if it was something that were there already. And I barely did any of the crazy things either. This place is just full of fun weird stuff. Not weird enough though, but that's what I have my own garden here now for. See? Total harmony and stuff."

If they looked over, they'd see that Lyriel were currently being swarmed by small insects and that the snake from before, had made itself comfortable on her head. As it seemed to sleep, even the glowing creatures would get closer, and seemingly interacted with her. From the looks of things, she were happy as could be during this, as she smiled and cooed to some of the small critters. It'd probably be a bit longer until she'd come over and talk with them.

As for Scarecrow, Anomaly would grow a chair from the ground, and push it over towards him, with a big, gleeful smile on her pumpkin.

"Now come oooon. Listen to your inner rage monster, and go smashy smashy."

If he did start bashing her pumpkin in, he'd find that every time it cracked, a new fruit would grow up, ripe for the bashing. And yes, he'd get covered in seeds and fruit pulp the more he went at this, and all the while, Anomaly would laugh away. And sometimes go *ouch!*. Maybe even squeal a few times, if he hit her good. Frankly she were a rather good stress relief creature, long as you had no moral idea against causing her pain. Though considering she seemed to get a kick out of it, it could be argued that it were still morally okay. Weren't like it killed her to get a few hits here and there.

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

 

@Windy Breeze

Sorrow weren't blind, nor stupid. She saw the way that Quill reacted to her presence, and would take a few steps back, while a worried expression got firmer on her face. She didn't want to cause issues here, with Quill calling her out. So despite what she said about them being a sight for sore eyes, she'd so far just stay back, let Windy talk here, and keep her muzzle shut.

The light would flare up in Legion's sockets, and look towards Quill. They too were concerned, though there were of course, one part of them that were the main one there. One who had been responsible for the state Quill were in now, despite how she blamed Sorrow for things. Not that Sorrow blamed her. She were partially at fault, though in fairness, she did not push Quill to go inside the part of town with them. She had been perfectly okay with just Windy and her moving on, and yet Quill had decided to follow them. It were her own fault, though it were of course not okay to sling that in her face, and she wouldn't either. Not without substantial provocation, though she'd likely still just walk off if that were.

Blaze would wander nearer to Quill, and grab a small light from the table.

"Please try and look directly at the light, Miss Rhyme. We need to have you properly checked up on. You were pretty delirious when I got hold of you, and we need to make sure there's no phycological damage of any kind, or other sort of trauma. I'm sorry in advance if any of this feels a little bad."

She would take the light, and flash it on in front of Quill's eyes, then drag it from side to side, and see if her eyes would follow it. If she would, Blaze would stop after a few seconds, and go over to pick up a few other things. There were more tests to run.

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@Blitz Boom

“Either someone’s gotta win this game or we’ve just found out that we’re going in neck-and-neck. Here’s to the next shot; may it fly straighter than the last!”

Sen took aim, holding back just a bit to readjust himself before letting his arrow loose. If the last attempt showed him something, he has to aim lower to hit the center. As he did so, the arrow did fly lower than the before, but this one landed below the center. There was a look of dismay on the longma’s face, clearly expecting to make this one land but falling short. 

“I swear I thought that would be it! Maybe I lowered too much? This is starting to feel like the first day of spear training all over again…”

Meanwhile, Lin listened to what the mayor had to say about leadership and the choices that go into it. Surprisingly, the thestrals also have a council, and by the sound of it, may actually be more proactive in looking after the welfare of those being governed. That part would’ve helped back then, but the role of the council of elders back home was more of convening every now and again to discuss… something. Admittedly, Lin had no idea what went on in these things because she never had a chance to do so. 

Council meetings were usually restricted to the council, and whatever they discussed would be relayed back to their own villages. Only the gravest of matters will anyone be allowed to meet with the council, and even then, that would need to get every member’s attention. Incompetence was not among those discussed openly, and grossly incompetent elders are unheard of, as candidates for elders were trained after a very thorough evaluation. 

“We met Banshee and Tomb earlier today. They’re doing great keeping this place in order, but I’m amazed at how their family is close to the spirits. They and their family do good work here; the spirits of exiled longma found their way to this place, and I am grateful that they could find peace and move on with some of the Macabre family taking the time to speak with them. It really put things in perspective when I learned about that."

The topic of conversation quickly shifted towards Discord’s… rather unsavory past with the thicket, which made the situation a lot more tense and awkward. Going by the respect toward the way shrines and the atmosphere of the place, it was good that Omen was able to quickly diffuse the tension. Lin would step in to help this further, but she was glad it didn’t escalate into something worse.

“Yeah… We heard about what Discord did here, but Omen is right. He’s not here at the moment. He’s living in Ponyville right now with a mare named Fluttershy, and he seems to be a lot happier with her nowadays. I suppose his tendency for chaos and pranks is still there, but he’s reining them in.”

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(edited)

@Blitz Boom

Quill decided to cooperate reluctantly. She would blink when the light first hit her eyes, but she successfully struggled to keep her eyes open, her eyes soowly followed as the light is moved. While doing this test, Quill spoke up “ have a brother living in Ponyville, his name is Writer Rhyme. Can you notify him of my hospitalization?” she asked, either to Blaze or Windy.

Meanwhile, Windy watched as Quill is put to a psychological test with concern “I don't think she's pleased to see you, Sorrow”

Edited by Windy Breeze
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@Blitz Boom

Ruby would stay mostly quiet, only talking when she noticed something she deemed important, so rustling or other things distraction didn't get mentioned, and her notes were said in short and simple ways, as in "Something behind." "Sky changed" etc.

Charir would have ran, if he could have, as Ruby had went to grab him the moment the hands first came to view, she knew this was probably not going to help with the whole trusting thing, but she saw it as the better option since the other one was Charir getting separated. The illusion dragon indeed was wrong, in fact, Ruby didn't even realize it was supposed to be their mother, she figured it was just a bigger and poorly made copy of her, since Charir was also scared of her still. Charir too could tell as much, but that didn't stop him from being terrified of it, and since he couldn't run away without ripping off one of his limbs, he instead froze from fear.

Ruby was surprised when she saw that the illusion had physicality, but she didn't budge, standing between it and Charir, making a mental note on the exact direction they had been facing. She breathed some fire at the thing, not really believing it would do anything, but it was good to try out the easiest thing first. She didn't really see this thing as too much of a threat, because she had hard time believing that magical fox could replicate attacks or other moves even near to her skills.

She didn't engage the thing, instead focusing on dodging, trying counter-attacks if a good chance showed itself, she also moved as little as possible to avoid losing their direction, she clearly was not impressed by it "Bad clone of me controlled by a magical fox?" "Unexpected, yet far from the worst thing I have faced." if she got hit, she would get back up, and for Charir, he couldn't help but go with the ride as Ruby didn't let go of him. "You'll find that I'm a stubborn dragon, and that I'm a killjoy for creatures like you." just the fact that she knew there was someone creating illusions made it so that she wouldn't flee regardless of what was thrown at her, this creature didn't seem like it wanted to kill them after all, but if she was wrong? so be it, she didn't fear pain nor death. 

---------------------
"Agreed, though it would of course be better if the bar didn't need to be that low." Nada said, 'not dead' is quite a low bar for a day, but it was all about being optimistic. The comment about the sink went over her head but she decided not to ask about it since it seemed to be a joke based on Ziggy's reaction, and she didn't want to ask anyone to explain a joke as that would ruin it. She decided to change the topic to less depressing one "So, what kind of coffee is this? I can tell it's not the same one as last time." 

-------------------------------

"Figured that much." 

For Anomaly's answer regarding the dancing thing, Scarecrow just nodded, like said, he only wanted to know so that he would be able to prepare for it, it wasn't like the first thing he was going to do was walking in the middle of the town, no, he wanted to see first how creatures, mostly ponies, reacted to the new form, and also come up with a name.

He looked at the chair for a moment, he half-expected it to turn into something that wasn't a chair, but he eventually grabbed it with his hoofs and slammed Anomaly's head with it with quite the force, causing it to go through and hit the floor hard enough for it to crack a bit if it wasn't magically indestructible chair, if it wasn't, he would hit one or two more times before the chair broke into pieces. If it was indestructible, he would still stop after the third time because it became clear the chair wasn't going to break and he had gotten what he wanted. He was almost concerned how good it felt.

"I know I said I'd do it only until either your head or the chair broke once, but it seems acting all nice and harmless have taken its toll." he admitted "Until now I have been able to take out my frustration only on rocks and trees." he still didn't wish to harm anyone, but the truth was that being in a state like his, it does take a toll on one's mind, and sometimes it took effort to not snap when things didn't go his way. "Now...Are we done?" 

 

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@Windy Breeze

"I understand. I'll wait outside while you talk, okay? And... I'm sorry Quill."

Sorrow would bow her head to Quill, and then leave the room, to stand just outside it. She'd close to door too, as she stood and thought over things. This weren't her fault, and she knew that. Though she understood Quill's perspective too. She were hurt, and wanted someone to blame. In the line of *work* that Sorrow did, that were often those like her, as they were easy targets. It were easier than trying to face what actually happened, and the concept of ghosts, which especially those who refused to believe they existed, just couldn't handle. It were why grandmother made sure that they all understood that at times, the response to the help they gave, would be very negative. Though that didn't mean they should stop helping.

Instead, she taught them to leave the area, and respect that they didn't want to look at them at that moment. Most times, they would eventually come around, and understand that what had happened were for the best. Sometimes they never did, yet that did not mean they were supposed to hate them, or be embittered by their work. Unless of course, they started to get physical. Madamme Macabre were a fair mare, who taught her family as best she could, how they were to act in their duties. Yet she were also a firm believer in there being a limit, which were one of the reasons why she encouraged her family to know at least of some way to fight regular beings. Something which most took to heart. 

Of course, they weren't supposed to kill anyone. But fending for themselves were plain and fair, long as you did not go too far. A widely understood concept, though they had stories what happened when the same lesson were attempted to be taught by Mourners Puppet. Terrible, terrible stories... Hopefully ones which were exaggerated, as otherwise, it would just give them more reason to fear that filly.

IN the meantime, in the doctor's room, Blaze would scratch her head in confusion at what she had just seen.

"Huh... Well, that's none of my business. You wanted a message send to your brother, Miss Rhyme? The hospital have a good mail office for just such things. Would you just like a standard notification, or is there something in particular you'd like to have written down in a letter to him? I can get you a pen and some paper right away if it is."

If Quill asked for pen and paper, Blaze would halt getting the things ready for the next test, to rummage around a drawer. If she just wanted a standard message, Blaze would pop her head out of the door, and look for the sort of folks they had to do this job. That being medical students.

A useful bunch, and they all had to start somewhere after all, but well... They did tend to get saddled with the low rung jobs, and get told it were learning experiences. Frankly, delivering a message to their post office were a kinder use then some others had of them, and they seemed to like a trip down there. gave them a chance to get some calm for about fifteen-twenty minutes. Days like today, there were sure some who'd yearn for that sort of chance.

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

 

@EQ_Theta

On 11/15/2020 at 1:45 PM, EQ_Theta said:

“I swear I thought that would be it! Maybe I lowered too much? This is starting to feel like the first day of spear training all over again…”

"If this reminds you of your first day of spear training, I would say you have started out as quite a natural.

My first day of knife throwing, I ended up shooting a knife into my own hoof leg. And while flailing around, trying to get it out from there, I ended up stumbling into the table where they kept the knives.

I believe an apt description of my condition then, would be a metallic porcupine. I spent a few hours in the infirmary after that, as the knives did not puncture that far for the most part, with others having quite a healthy laugh for a long time afterwards. I admit to it being rather funny in hindsight, though my point is merely that I envy your first day. The lack of blood loss and months of humiliation, would be something I'd gladly trade for, if the only detriment were a somewhat harsh trainer. At least for a first day.

Well, if we ignore Cleft... Nasty little goblin of a pony that one."

As is thoughts went back on his least favorite tutor, it sadly impacted Rosa's shot. He had been somewhat sure that he could hit bullseye, but instead had gotten distracted by one of several bad memories he had of this teacher, and ended up shooting poorly. Incredibly so, as he actually hit his own first arrow right where it were stuck in the board, which caused this arrow to not sit in correctly, and fall off the board. Effectively making it null and void.

"Never fails to amaze me, how even fifteen years after I last had to deal with that accursed bundle of malice, he still somehow finds a way to cause me issues. The power of deep seated resentment I suppose.

*sigh* Be that as it may, it's your turn now. And if your arrows keeps being at at least the area they are now, I will have to score several bulleyes to have a chance at making up to your points now, that I had a nullified shot. Let's see what you got."

What they did have, were only few minutes left before they had to move on, so two arrows each, if they focused. Maybe three if they sped along, and so far, it seemed to edge out in favor of Sen. And after this, it would be time for darts. The infamous thing, he had been warned off earlier.

On 11/15/2020 at 1:45 PM, EQ_Theta said:

“Yeah… We heard about what Discord did here, but Omen is right. He’s not here at the moment. He’s living in Ponyville right now with a mare named Fluttershy, and he seems to be a lot happier with her nowadays. I suppose his tendency for chaos and pranks is still there, but he’s reining them in.”

"I know well about Discord's... Marefriend, or whatever she may be to him. And I do agree that he is far less of a problem than he once were.

However, any draconequui, are bound to have some degree of chaos and oddity around them. It is in their nature, and even the more benevolent, like Lily Pad, cannot escape this part of themselves.

This becomes an issue in this town, with the spirit wards we have up. If they are disturbed, it can cause quite a lot of issues. So when Discord meddled with them, Madamme Macabre herself came by to yell him out, and have the clan work fast to correct his mistake.

My ruling on this is based on fairness. He can come back, if he is escorted by a bare minimum of two element wearers, and stay clear of the spirit tablets. If he wishes to have his fun in other areas, it can likely be considered tolerable, but it is a fragile system he meddles with, when he interferes with those. Though in what way, I could not hope to tell you. Madamme Macabre have simply said what their function are, and why they need to be maintained, though not much on the consequences. I believe it to be one of those situations where one is better off not asking.

Mark the words my father told me, from I were but a young colt: A wise pony does not question Madamme Macabre. I can personally attest that age have not done anything to lessen her intimidating, authoritarian presence. If anything, I find it to have only increased. Though she is a fair mare, and you sound as if you are both respectful and understanding, towards their actions. I would think any interest she'd show in you, would only by positive.

As for the spirits of your people, whom you say have been interacted with... I might have a pony I would think you would wish to meet, on a less busy night. A librarian of sorts, for some of the tales the Macabre Clan have about spirits. I can't say how much he'd be willing to tell of the stories they might have had, but I feel certain that he would be willing to at least part with their names. Perhaps there are some back home, that'd like to know their loved ones have found peace."

He of course knew nothing of their kinds history, but he knew that he at least would like to know, if one he once knew, and worried about, were at peace. It would hurt knowing they were dead, but he'd personally find a modicum of solace in knowing that they were at least not suffering. Having lived in the vicinity of the Macabre Clan for most of his life, he knew for a fact that spirits and the afterlife, were tangible, real things. As were getting stuck, and that were not a fate he'd wish upon anypony. It did not sound pleasant, when he had been described to some degree what it were like.

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

 

@Catpone Cerberus

The dragon did not move as she were set on fire, yet it didn't seem like the flames were just peeling off either. In fact, the dragon appeared to be catching fire, just not reacting on it.

3 hours ago, Catpone Cerberus said:

She didn't engage the thing, instead focusing on dodging, trying counter-attacks if a good chance showed itself, she also moved as little as possible to avoid losing their direction, she clearly was not impressed by it "Bad clone of me controlled by a magical fox?" "Unexpected, yet far from the worst thing I have faced." if she got hit, she would get back up, and for Charir, he couldn't help but go with the ride as Ruby didn't let go of him. "You'll find that I'm a stubborn dragon, and that I'm a killjoy for creatures like you." just the fact that she knew there was someone creating illusions made it so that she wouldn't flee regardless of what was thrown at her, this creature didn't seem like it wanted to kill them after all, but if she was wrong? so be it, she didn't fear pain nor death.

Ruby would also find that she  were not really dodging attacks, nor launch all sorts of complicated ones either. A swing of a clawed hand, or the tail, appeared to be it. Along with roars, and the physical moves were all very predictable. Not much of a true fight in this illusory dragon, and she would easily be open to get hit. Didn't even try to dodge, but seemingly just stood in place, with flames licking over her scales.

When Ruby would inevitably strike at the dragon, she'd find out why, as the illusion faded, and she'd be looking at a tree. One with swaying branches, that were currently on fire. Looking at the positioning, it were rather obvious that the attacks from before, were really just the branches being pulled back, and slammed forward, with a rather big one being what counted as the tail. The one which had sent Leviathan flying. Not something that'd be possible to do to Ruby, but she were also a larger dragon, which naturally made it harder to go at such a feat with any degree of success.

"Hehe, nice work. And here I thought I'd make you all rattled, and not just the little one. It's much too easy with a scaredy-cat like that. But you? Uuuuh, you're gonna be a fun one, aren't you? Have to think up something special for you."

The voice went into another short, yipping laughter, and then vanished. There didn't seem to be more active illusions going right now, though they did have a problem with a burning tree, that should probably get fixed soon, or it might turn into a full blown forest fire.

"He slammed a tree as me? Why that little- He's lunch when I get hold of him."

Leviathan got up near them, and shook her head, annoyed after her ejection before. Perhaps understandably, as it weren't exactly the most fun thing, even if it might look interesting.

She'd cast a glance at the tree, then shrug, before doing the same when looking at Charir.

"Hey, get that one moving already. We have too get out of here. Preferably before the forest fire. Let the ponies deal with that. Who cares if a few of those dies anyway?"

"Guess I shouldn't leave my toys on fire. Snipety-snapety!"

The tree wouldn't stop burning per se. It'd just sorta fall over, and hammer down into the ground, where it'd then start to fizzle out. From what? Hard to say, but there seemed to be glitter sprinkling over the surface. If any of them cared to touch it, they'd find the tree were still warm, but not ablaze anymore, so that were good. It'd be a right mess to deal with, if it were found out they had started a forest fire.

Ruby would also be able to get a bit of direction on the magic this time, coming from somewhere behind them. It were vague, but there were definitely a shift in things.

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

 

@Catpone Cerberus

"Pumpkin espresso. We got a surplus in, after they messed up an order. We didn't pay more for it, so y'know, we're trying to sell it off as we go, but there's so much, we're allowed to drink extra of it. Can't get enough of pumpkin flavor, so figured I'd have you indulge in my little weakness too.

Plus, the espresso part mean you won't fall asleep anytime soon, when served in cups this big. Which is great for me. Gives me more time to rummage around at night, when everypony is sleeping, and doesn't know I'm collecting evidence."

She'd take a good, hearty gulp, and feel her whole being tingling with energy. Sooner or later this much concentrated coffee were gonna give her stomach pains, but that's why it were a balancing act about not overdoing this. She didn't want to run into an ulcer here after all. That'd be seven types of nasty, and pretty painful.

"Caffeine is great like that. Really helps you with some on demand energy, though you gotta be careful not to overdo it. Some folks can't handle it, and even those who can, might end up with a real nasty stomach pain from it. All about moderation, y'know? Like, this cup won't hurt us, but four of them would likely put us in the hospital. Well, four for me. You're pretty big, so maybe you could handle more? I dunno how sirens deal with caffeine, actually."

While she were talking, Agni would rouse from his sleep, and coo weakly, before flapping over and landing on Nada's head again. He'd more or less instantly fall asleep again, right after that. Seemed like he were more comfortable when he could feel where he had her. A bit clingy, but so far not really an issue, so she might not mind. Or she'd start eventually be strict, and demand he used a stick, like some sort of parakeet. That'd likely go over well, considering he could set fire to any stick she'd present him with, out of spite and pride.

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

 

@Catpone Cerberus

The chair were not indestructible, but for it to break proper, it'd take a few hits. At which point, Anomaly would rise up from the ground, with what were currently a large aubergine as a head, and shake the last remnant of pumpkin off her shoulders.

"See? Working out frustrations is a perfectly fine thing to do, and you can't kill me, so that means it's all safe. Flawless plan.

And done, done... Sort of? I still gotta make plans with the special lady, but it's not gonna be easy with the grumpy grump in the ground. Guess you could leave, and I'd just find you when it were, maybe? Yeah that'd work. Hey plant lady! You won, everything's back to normal, and your spooky friends wanna leave."

Crow felt like pecking at Anomaly again, but it stayed still for now, and just looked impatiently at Lyriel. The dryad were still enjoying herself, but she knew well what was asked of her. She'd let out a sigh, and lower herself, to let the varied things that had gone on her, slither, fly, and wander away again. yet the three headed snake refused to go, and just tightened their grip on her.

"I'm sorry little one, but you are made for this ecosystem, not the one outside. Though I promise you that I will return."

"What? Not make it outside? Bawahahahaha!!!! Awh man, you're a funny one plant lady!"

Anomaly laughed so hard her head fell off, and roller over next to the dryad. A rather creepy thing for Lyriel, who retracted her hoof. No matter for the draconequui though, who just kept looking up, with a big grin on her glistening face.

"Everything can make it outside, even the light funsies, long as they stay out of real sunlight. Total night creatures. The snake ones are pretty good around everywhere. Just don't keep them in the dark for two weeks. They need light. Heh, why don't you take those? They seem to like you. Come ooooon. What's one tiny three headed snake gonna do? I'm pretty sure they don't vomit venom or anything like that."

"You're... Not sure? That is somewhat disturbing."

"Evolution isn't meant to be contained, and guided full on. There have to be some randomness to it. So yeah, unless I'm trying to make something fit a real specific thing, I just start the process, and see where it goes. Pretty much anyway. Now you kids have fun! I'll find you once I'm done nagging Dirt Mommy."

"Please don't refer to the Earth Mother like that. Though yes, we should be on our way. I wish you farewell. It have been... Something, yes."

As she wanted to leave, and the snake were not willing to let go of her right now, she would stop trying to shake them off, and just take the little one with her. It seemed more or less harmless as it were, so it probably wouldn't do something bad. Plus, she really wanted to get away from the draconequui too, before they got roped into a new game.

So she wandered closer, and once she stood near enough Scarecrow, would whisper to him.

"Let us leave, quickly. And be careful with your words. I do not wish to be part of more of these games."

She'd start walking, and hope he followed. All the while, Anomaly would wave at them, then start to chase her own head, as it began to roll around the indoor forest.

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@Blitz Boom

“That must have hurt! I don’t know what a porcupine is but having knives stuck on you doesn’t sound good, and it probably doesn’t look funny either. Back when I first started spear training, there were about twelve of us young longma. The spears were fairly heavy for our size, and we were expected to already throw them right. Not a lot of room for mistakes, so the hunt master had us keep throwing spears for a whole day. Just when I did it right, I had to keep the throws consistent, but not every throw will end up like the last…”

Sen readied another arrow and against his better judgment, aimed away from the center of the board before taking his shot. As expected, the arrow landed on the board but at the far left end, just barely at the outermost boundary. He’d pretend to look exasperated, but it was clear he wanted this to happen. There’s a little something going on in his mind that could put them both on even ground in the next round.

“Wouldn’t be much of a competition if we went with your last attempt. How about we even the odds? The last arrows we used don’t count, and we’ll keep score using only the first arrow we loosed earlier and next two arrows. I know you can do better!” 

Sen smiled as he stepped aside and allowed Rosa to take aim. Three shots seemed like a nice number to work with given what little time they had before moving to the next game, and the current one would end on a more interesting note. 

Meanwhile, Lin would continue to listen with intrigue about Soda’s and the Macabre clan’s matriarch, someone who probably has a lot of interesting things to tell. Be as it may, this night would be better spent capitalizing on the little moments that she could enjoy before the next day comes, though the mayor’s suggestion of meeting a certain pony who could tell her more about the exiles who made their way to the Moonlit Thicket. Might be useful to bring that up to the council of elders some time.

“Exiles… According to the practice, an exiled longma doesn’t exist. The exiled are forgotten like they were never part of the villages they came from. I… Maybe I can come back sometime and learn about the exiles who found their way here. This could help the council of elders back home to reconsider their stance on exile.”

Lin wouldn’t go further and tell the mayor of her own experience as an exile, nor bring up Sen’s troubled life away from the village. Soda, and by extension, Mary, didn’t need to be burdened by those things. It’s in the past, and even if that experience made Lin insular and angry for the longest time, she has picked up some useful lessons on the road. Combined with her newfound friendships through her travels with Sen and Omen, perhaps it was pointless to talk about exile further. 

“I hope you don't mind me changing the subject, and I am curious about this one. How long have you been the mayor? And what was it like when you first started out?”

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@Blitz Boom

“Just give me a pen and a paper, please” Quill looks at Windy and her eyes widened “W-Windy... Y..Your ear”

Windy realized Quill has noticed her ear injury. She gave her a smile “I'm fine, Quill. I had suffered injuries worse than that” she said to remedy Quill of her worry.

When Blaze gave Quill a pen and a paper, Quill wrote down.

Quote

Dear, Writer Rhyme, my precious brother.

I'm sorry to tell you, but I had been hospitalized In Fillydelphia Hospital. I know how you will react to that news, but don't worry, I only got a few scratches. Please come over and watch over me, I made plans to move out of this town and live together with you in Ponyville, your Wonderbolt friend, and a paranormal creep friend of hers are here too, but I don't think they would stay here, not that I wanted them to.

I am under care of a nurse named Blaze. I love you Writer Rhyme, I miss seeing your face.

From your dearest sister, Quill Rhyme.

Meanwhile, outside, a zebra stallion would take notice of Sorrow, standing outside of Quill's room, he decided to confront her “Aren't you suppose to be visiting someone who is laying in bed in that room behind you?” he knew her situation is none of his business, but it has been years ever since he has talked to some creature and being ignored as if he wasn't with them would make him go mad.

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@Blitz Boom

"They may be of no value, but soon you will see their power."

Skall raised his hand, snapping his fingers as he teleported both of them away nearby Tartarus
"Ah there he is!" He pointed forward to Cerberus, already growling at the two.
"The old dog still remembers me I see."

He chuckled to himself and started to walk forward with little care to if the hound would attack him.

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

"Oh yes, I have a dragon in mind..."
Rose grinned and turning away.
"However they are quite, slippery and hard to find. I don't actually know where they are right now."

She floated upwards, thinking with a claw to her chin.
"Well if they put away the Elements of Disharmony, they must be protected, and secured."

She started grinning.
"They must be in Canterlot... Are any of the Generals dragons?"

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@FanOfManyShows

The dog did not care for Skall and his approach. He did not belong here, and his duty were to keep things like this away from this place. He had already been reprimanded by some of the other guards for letting Tirek escape once, even if it were not his fault, and he did not care to have it happen again. He would not fail at his duty again.

Skall getting closer, would make the large canine stand up, and bar all three sets at teeth at him. The dragon had already gone too far, and due to history in the past, Cerberus were almost wagging his tail at the thought that now, he'd finally be able to tear this one limb from limb.

His muscles would tense, and suddenly, he'd lounge forward with surprising speed, maws open, aiming to tear into Skall's left wing, throat, and mid section. This should be eas-

"Cerberus! Down!"

The large dog stopped up mid pounce, and fell on the floor in confusion. A confusion that remined visible, as he began to look around, trying to find the originator of the voice. And then, his eyes fell on Grogar, and all his heads turned to look at the old goat, that smirked up at him with a triumphant smile.

"So you still remember your master then? Good. We are here to collect Tirek. Lead us to him."

One of the heads looked around, back at the gate, while the others whined a little. It seemed the canine were conflicted on this. On one paw, it wanted to obey its true master, yet on another, he were afraid of what would happen, if the master he had been gifted to, heard that he let the same prisoner go twice.

"Hades and I made a deal, Cerberus. He'll know not to blame you for this. Now lead the way, before I lose my patience."

Grogar were generally kind to Cerberus, as he were one of his favorites. However, a stern tone were needed with the three headed dog at times, or he would not listen. Sometimes a little more, and it seemed like Cerberus could still remember what that *little more* were, as he would rise up, and start leading the way. Seeing as there were set up a field to prevent others from just wandering through, after several recent escape attempts and successes, they would need Cerberus to get access, and exit it again afterwards too. Teleportation would not work in Tartarus. Not even the outer section they were going into, to get Tirek from his cage. Otherwise, the old magic stealer would have just done so, long ago.

Soon as Cerberus went into the field, there'd be a hole they could wander through as well. Through which Grogar took lead.

"That's a good boy. Now let's get this over with. Tartarus is a damned place, and staying for too long, you might get the real wardens to notice you, dragon. I've been to the lower layers before, and I don't think you'd like it."

The gruesome glimmer in Grogar's eyes as he said this, in a somewhat ominous, teasing tone, might indicate that this were seen as a thinly veiled threat/warning. One based off of experiences, with the sort of thing that happened in the place beyond the sort of purgatory that Tirek and other living evils were caught in. Or he were just messing with Skall, though considering how serious the goat seemed to be about things, that were likely not the case.

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

 

@FanOfManyShows

"They aren't, and you're not thinking about this right.

Dragons and ponies have not gotten along in a long time. Even if the protectors of the elements were neutral among one another, and might get to a certain point, I highly doubt they'd be allowed to hide something like this in the capitol. Nor would want to, with how often that town is the center of villains focus. Imagine if they fell over the true Element of Betrayal there. The kind of power they would have then, could be highly troublesome.

No, they would either hide it on themselves, or somewhere remote, where it could not cause issues. Nor make more copies of itself, to spread around the world.

If you want isolation and dragons, I would think it more likely that it were stored somewhere on the abandoned isles, near Dragon Land. Or maybe locked up tightly somewhere on the bottom of the ocean. Few are the races that could use it, that might reach there."

Speculation of course, but Canterlot just seemed like the absolute last place to keep something like this. Just look at the issues they had in the last few weeks alone. Why would anyone store something like this element, in the city? It were too great a risk, and frankly, if the element were as corrupting as rumors had it, they would notice it. The ponies would not have the happy bonds they have in Canterlot, if they were infected by betrayal.

"Or if you look for that other dragon, have you considered maybe looking for associates of theirs? They might know where they are."

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

 

@Windy Breeze

19 hours ago, Windy Breeze said:

“Just give me a pen and a paper, please” Quill looks at Windy and her eyes widened “W-Windy... Y..Your ear”

Windy realized Quill has noticed her ear injury. She gave her a smile “I'm fine, Quill. I had suffered injuries worse than that” she said to remedy Quill of her worry.

When Blaze gave Quill a pen and a paper, Quill wrote down.

The nurse looked up at Windy when she returned, at the mention of the ear from Quill. Though she'd deliver the pen and paper first, before scrutinizing Windy's injury a bit further.

"Hmm.... Looks like it's been cleaned, and your balance doesn't seem to have taken a hit, so there's no inner ear damage... I'd say you should return for a proper stitching in a few days, and we'll make sure that it'll get prettied up again. But right now, it's probably best that it gets air.

Though just to make sure, you're not feeling anything out of the ordinary, right? Like a searing, unyielding pain, or loss of hearing?"

It were probably fine, but Blaze still wanted to ask, just to make sure. It sorta came with the job to be worried when you saw stuff like that.

19 hours ago, Windy Breeze said:

Meanwhile, outside, a zebra stallion would take notice of Sorrow, standing outside of Quill's room, he decided to confront her “Aren't you suppose to be visiting someone who is laying in bed in that room behind you?” he knew her situation is none of his business, but it has been years ever since he has talked to some creature and being ignored as if he wasn't with them would make him go mad.

"I were sort of the reason she's here. Very indirectly, but she doesn't want to look at me right now. I get it though. It's easier to blame me, than something she doesn't understand."

Sorrow let out a sight, and lifted her head to look at the stallion who had approached her. A sight which gave her a small, tired smile on her face.

"Rare to not hear one of you rhyme, and being vague about things, sir. Are you feeling okay?"

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

 

@EQ_Theta

"A porcupine is somewhat like a large rat, with a smaller tail, and covered in needles. It's a strange creature really, but mostly harmless, if you leave it alone. The larger cave variants is another matter entirely, as they can fling needles at you. Those are to be avoided, or at least thread carefully around. Some things are simply not worth the risk"

Didn't matter if they weren't venomous. The needles still hurt, and had a habit or boring into you, like as if they were made of cactus needless. He could personally attest to that being anything but a pleasant experience.

"As for your training, you're correct. It is impossible to always hit exactly the same place. In the general area? Certainly, with enough years of practice, that can be achieved. But there are too many factors at work to where it will be the exact same spot, time and time again. Breathing, light suddenly hitting your eye, a shift in the underlayer you are standing on, muscle spasms, wind change, and so forth. It is not possible for a regular mortal to be exact. And an untrained one? Even those who are gifted at certain crafts, still fail. Natural or not, there is no such thing as perfection. There is hard work, effort, and methodical improvement.

Also, I am aware you failed that last shot on purpose. I appreciate the gesture, but if you do so again in any of our games, I will consider that discipline to be done with, and move on to the next. It takes all the joy out of it, when your opponent does not try their best, and I respect you too much to take a dive like that, Sen. I hope that gesture is returned in kind.

That being said, I accept your challenge. Let us see what happens."

It were supposed to be a competition. How would that ever truly work, if one part took dives like that, just to even it out? It would feel like a hollow victory, and he would neither want, nor offer that sort of thing to another. Not unless he could convincingly make it seem as if he genuinely lost, and needed the other party to win for some kind of work. Fanning egos like that were surprisingly effective at certain times.

His next three shots would be rather mixed. One ending in the outmost circle, and then finally, the last one, gave him a near bull's eye. It were in the final ring before the middle, which were still rich on point, but not perfect.

As for Sen's chance of winning, he were not counted out, even if he did not hit center. Seeing as Rosa's first arrow of the last two, had ended as far out as it had, it detracted a good deal of points. If Sen could have both arrows at least in the range he mostly had so far, he'd still win on points. Time to see if he had it in him.

On 11/17/2020 at 4:01 PM, EQ_Theta said:

“Exiles… According to the practice, an exiled longma doesn’t exist. The exiled are forgotten like they were never part of the villages they came from. I… Maybe I can come back sometime and learn about the exiles who found their way here. This could help the council of elders back home to reconsider their stance on exile.”

"Learn from the past, lest you want it to repeat itself. Doesn't matter what they did, they were still your kin, and it is important to remember them. For better or for worse."

It weren't his job to judge others on their practices, and think badly of their cultures, but Soda had a hard time agreeing with the longma way.

Exiling others were already something he found to be a troublesome practice, but he could understand it, if it were related to the worst among them, who had done crimes that did not leave them with the sort of trust that they wouldn't repeat it, were they to remain. Such as escape from any prison they might have, before rinsing and repeating. And it were mostly still a better choice than execution.

That being said, erasing them from your history? not only did you do something grave, by exiling somepony. You also left the history of them behind, and as such, would never learn from what they had done. And what if they were innocent? Or wanted to repent? There would be no way back, as to their kind, they did not exist.

Yet it seemed like Lin would prefer not to have him dig further into it. Something about the way she looked just gave him that impression. Though he could just imagine it, as this seems like a touchy subject, and he expected her to act in a certain way. Wasn't impossible that were the reason really. He weren't flawless. Like anypony else, he could make mistakes, and false assumptions, despite him wanting to get things right.

"As for your question, I have been the mayor now for five years. Sevens years ago, when I were still serving in the Night Guard, the former jailor in town wrote to me, and asked if I would be interested in taking over his job. I missed being home more frequently, and so I gladly took the position. That is what I were mainly doing then for the next two years, and were more than happy to do my duty for the town.

I admit that I were surprised when I were approached by my predecessor, and given the seal of the town, as I had apparently been chosen by the people. A tough job at times, but they have put their faith in me, and I strive to live up to that.

Regarding how it were, pretty much like now. Even if the leadership sometimes changes, that doesn't mean that the village does. The Moonlit Thicket enjoys our traditional ways, and most of what changes, are some machines that helps with the festival. Though only if they can pass certain regulations. As you can see, we are a village that takes pride in our natural roots, so if any of these machines are found to be harmful to it, they are prohibited.

Keeping traditions, and making sure your home is safe, are important things for us. I'm sure your home have a charm that you wouldn't want to have changed or threatened either, by outside influences. Correct? Nothing is perfect of course, but folks tend to have a way they want their homes to look like at least. How things are run, and when it is time to let go of certain traditions that are not compatible with a changing world, are things that the people should debate eventually."

Edited by Blitz Boom

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@Blitz Boom

The zebra frowned when he got the first reply from Sorrow “It's very easily for anycreature to blindly blame each other without thinking too much” he shrugged “But don't worry, she'll probably forget what made her blame you”

The zebra chuckled when Sorrow gave him another dialogue “Oh, I'm so bad at rhyming along with most of my relatives, including, my old sis, and my younger sissy, and I'm okay, besides being ignored by every single creature for 'millennia'” he offered his hoof to Sorrow “Name's Tepe from the Weyn herd” he said cheerily and casually. Nobody seems to bother confronting for talking loudly inside the hospital, where nearby patients are possibly taking good nap, and why would a zebra be in a hospital of all places?

...

Windy waved a hoof to tell Blaze she's fine “Nothing, no serious problems, Miss Blaze” she told her “though, I do still a little pain from the injury, my hearing is still fine”

Sometime after that, Quill finished writing in the paper, and turned to Windy “Thank you for visiting me with your friend” she said “Without seeing you here, I would become worried that you suffered a more serious injury”

Windy rolled her eyes, seriously, everyone should stop being paranoid “I'm fine, Quill”

Edited by Windy Breeze
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@Blitz Boom

Though Sen didn’t expect that kind of response from Rosa, it sounded a lot better in his head. Frankly, spur of the moment decisions don’t translate well despite being trained to work in similar situations. As a young longma, he frequently grumbled to himself when he’d was reprimanded for making rash decisions despite being put on the spot. Here? He was feeling disappointed in himself, but he sighed and conceded to Rosa’s words regardless.

“That’s firm but fair.” He’d watch Rosa loose his arrows and plan his move. With one arrow on the farthest end of the target and one pretty much at the center, he’d have to make some consistent shots to beat his score.

First shot was just as good as the last few attempts, landing somewhere around the halfway point between the center and the outer edge of the target. Good enough, but the next one landed a good deal close to Rosa’s last arrow, only about a few centimeters higher to be exact. That one got Sen looking giddy at just how close he got to the center of the target, something that would be achievement enough to get him feeling good again. Landing a shot near Rosa’s wasn’t intended, but he was feeling good about that.

“The folks back home might be interested in archery. Maybe they’d even expand their tools to include bows and arrows for hunting! Your last shot was impressive!" 

As for Lin, she was picking up on things Soda said that rings true for the longma villages and Elder Ghilian. The atmosphere alone was already homely, but what the mayor mentioned about tradition was what sealed the deal in her mind. Fears about losing one’s home to a technological leap was reasonable, but rejecting all forms of progress save for those made by the longma themselves didn’t sound like a good way to move forward. Now, Lin learned even more things she could relay back to Ghilan, things that could even smooth things over with the council and ease some of their fears.

“You know, mayor, the Moonlit Thicket is a lot like forest where I live. Lots of tall trees and the folks back home would really want to keep their traditions intact. We’re close to nature, respecting what it offers and acknowledging our reliance on the gifts it gives. Sounds like you’d get along well with a friend of mine, a village elder who’s eager to learn about the outside world.”

“Even the term elder is treated loosely here. He’s actually around my age, which means he’s… well… younger than you. Back home, village leaders are called elders, and when the last one we had did one too many unforgivable things, my friend stepped up and took on the responsibility.”

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@EQ_Theta

22 hours ago, EQ_Theta said:

“The folks back home might be interested in archery. Maybe they’d even expand their tools to include bows and arrows for hunting! Your last shot was impressive!"

"As were yours, Sen. And as it stands, your points add up to more than me, as you did not stray too far away from the inner portions of the target. A well deserves victory my friend."

Rosa would clap at Sen, with a pleased smile on his face. Sure it were nice winning, and he fully intended to give it his all, to try and beat Sen in the following disciplines, but it were good to not have it one sided. And this one had been a pretty close call, and a sport they could likely both get better at, and try again some other time. Though Rosa felt fairly certain that once he were reunited with the world at large again, Sen's aim would be nothing to trifle with.

"Next time we have a chance to repeat this, I fully expect you to show me a perfect bullseye, Sen. I see raw, currently unrefined talent when you wield that bow. Hone it, and I think you will be impressed.

And if anyone tells you that you are not good enough, heed my words: Their opinion is unimportant. Some stranger, or an old teacher, not believing in you? Push that aside, and remember that your friends do.

If they persist though, feel free to wholeheartedly inform them, that they can stick their opinion where they pulled it from."

A little crude perhaps, but sometimes, there just wasn't any chance of talking reason with people. The sort who just wanted to put you down, like a common bully, wouldn't listen to reason. Hence, momentarily stoop to their level, were the only sort of message that might penetrate their thick foreheads.

Of course if that didn't work, it were time to get physical one might argue, but if you responded to a minor tease like this with violence, you lost the argument. It had to be an actual threat, or very crude comments about a friend or family member, to warrant such a behavior. And even then, it were important to not go too far. Hard to make the argument that you were in the right, if you were kicking someone around that had fallen unconscious a minute earlier.

The owner would come in soon after, and look at the two of them with a big smile, before urging them to follow him to the next venue. Which would be the darts. Likely the safest thing here, so he mostly just explained the rules of the game, then left them alone. Or rather, he explained the majority of them rather rushed, and scurried away, as it sounded like someone were causing a stir in the thrown knives booth. Likely someone dropped one on their hoof.

"Hopefully you got the gist of that. Just try starting by throwing some of the darts, and try to hit the center. I doubt we'll actually end a game the official way, so whoever gets the closest to 0 when the time is up, will be the winner. First two darts are practice, rest are the real deal. Sounds good?"

If Sen agreed, Rosa would go over, and pick up a dart. They were a little heavier than he had expected actually, which would likely impact his aim somewhat, and present a challenge for Sen and him. They just went from two disciplines where strength were important, as well as precision. Now, it were more about flicking correctly, than trying to get it through with too much force. Though of course, if you used too little, it'd go nowhere.

"Let's see then... Place on hoof, aim... And flick."

It were easier for creatures who had claws or talons honestly. With hooves, you couldn't flick these as dexterously, even if Rosa did the best he could. He even made use of the same flicking of the ankle, that he had when it came to throwing knives. Though instead of a bullseye, he'd instead get a dart hammered into the 14 points slice of the board. Not a bad start honestly, in his opinion.

"Try to think of it, like a little spear. It needs to be thrown somewhat like it, just with less power, to accommodate the smaller size. Which is where wrist flicking does well. Try to keep it between two claws, steady your breath, and draw it back and forth a few times towards the board, but without letting go. Give yourself a feel for how it would be to throw it, before you do the actual throw. Then when you're ready, throw it, and show what you got.

And ignore the feathers. They are stabilizers, to keep it more even when it flies. A spear does not have that issue, as it is much larger and heavier, but this would suffer from air resistance, and potentially start wobbling fast without these."

On 11/19/2020 at 3:39 PM, EQ_Theta said:

“You know, mayor, the Moonlit Thicket is a lot like forest where I live. Lots of tall trees and the folks back home would really want to keep their traditions intact. We’re close to nature, respecting what it offers and acknowledging our reliance on the gifts it gives. Sounds like you’d get along well with a friend of mine, a village elder who’s eager to learn about the outside world.”

“Even the term elder is treated loosely here. He’s actually around my age, which means he’s… well… younger than you. Back home, village leaders are called elders, and when the last one we had did one too many unforgivable things, my friend stepped up and took on the responsibility.”

"This forest have stood for many generations, and we strive to make sure that it stays here for several more. It is our home after all, and we should respect that. Not chop it down to make some stone block houses. It would destroy the feel of the place, and make the breezies feel excluded. They do not thrive well in city like environments, and I for one, am not going to advocate for making life harder for our small brethren.

And as you say, nature provides to those who respect her. We take that to heart too, which is why we ensure that the trees stay alive, even when we make our homes within them, and carefully care for the trees, as well as our fields. Even the Macabre Clan, who lives in the shadow of death, does theirs to make sure our forest home stays brimming with life.

Some races also don't enjoy speaking with those, who despoil nature. It sounds as if you are one of them, but the evergrown, dryads, or more locally, the deer, feel the same. As does most zebras. You would likely find those to be understanding creatures to communicate with, if the elder you talked about, wanted to learn from the outside.

And might I ask, how old you believe me to be, since you say your elder is younger? I'll have you know, that I am only 25. I enlisted early"

At the age of 15, to be exact. Old enough to legally be allowed, yet it were still not common for one of that age to seek out service. But it were a tradition in his family, to have able bodied members take at least a single tour with the guards, and he felt the urge to join them sooner, rather than later. A good choice really, as he had been about to poke into his rebellious years, and the Night Guard were sure to teach him the discipline he needed, to not make a total dunce out of himself. It also gave him a lot of friends, and useful skill to employ, after he got back home again, so he frankly had little to complain about.

As for the question itself, it were obviously meant in a polite way, as he were not sounding, nor looking like, he had been offended by being thought off as somewhat old. Due to his position, and physique, it weren't exactly uncommon for folks to think him as being mid thirties, or early forties. A little odd, but he understood where they came from.

As for Omen, she were currently looking over the design that Mary showed her, and nodded. It seemed she liked what she saw, and Mary got working right away on chiseling it out.

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

 

@Windy Breeze

On 11/18/2020 at 1:01 PM, Windy Breeze said:

“Oh, I'm so bad at rhyming along with most of my relatives, including, my old sis, and my younger sissy, and I'm okay, besides being ignored by every single creature for 'millennia'” he offered his hoof to Sorrow “Name's Tepe from the Weyn herd” he said cheerily and casually. Nobody seems to bother confronting for talking loudly inside the hospital, where nearby patients are possibly taking good nap, and why would a zebra be in a hospital of all places?

Sorrow would offer her hoof to the diseased, whom were likely unaware of the fact that his hoof were likely to pass through. Though he did sound like an old spirit. Strong and/or spirits, could manifest physically, so it might well be that he were corporeal. He'd still be cold though. Hard to be warm, when you were but a lingering soul.

"I'm sure she'll get over things eventually, but it'll take some time. At least it means I can keep you company now though, right?

My name is Sorrow, and not everypony can speak to those in your situation, Tepe. My family's gifted enough to do that, but it's rare for others. Might be why you have felt so neglected for this long. Poor things might not know better.

"Another who wanders alone? Such a strange occurrence, to find so many in one day."

Legion's eyes flared up, and they looked up at Tepe. Sorrow might have a gift, or curse if you thought on it like that, but they were lingering on the same realm as Tepe were. They knew better than any creature would, what a spirit looked like, and it drew their attention.

Likely there'd be some seeing what Sorrow were doing now, who'd think she were crazy. Just shaking the hoof of thin air, and talking to herself... Must seem like the crazies hadn't let go of her yet, after returning from the hot zone. But it wouldn't be the first time someone would think she were crazy, and it were likely not the last one either. She sorta learned to live with it, even if at times, there were those who insisted that she were locked up in an asylum, as the thought she were on the brink of snapping. That were harder to just tune out, but she managed to avoid a straight jacket so far. Must mean she did something well enough.

On 11/18/2020 at 1:01 PM, Windy Breeze said:

“Nothing, no serious problems, Miss Blaze” she told her “though, I do still a little pain from the injury, my hearing is still fine”

"It still needs a looking at. Try and remember to pop in eventually, okay? Best to have it looked at, rather than have folks comment on it all the time, y'know?"

It were good to hear that Windy didn't have any pain from this, but Quill's reaction had a point too. It didn't look too grand. It'd need some time to get air, and heal a little naturally though, before they could work on it. They might be able to rush it along more if they used the remedies now, but it were safer to take it a little slow, in cases like this.

But hey, at least they didn't have to use leeches for this. That were a plus. Tended to make the patients rather squirmish.

On 11/18/2020 at 1:01 PM, Windy Breeze said:

“Thank you for visiting me with your friend” she said “Without seeing you here, I would become worried that you suffered a more serious injury”

Windy rolled her eyes, seriously, everyone should stop being paranoid “I'm fine, Quill”

"That prescription note is telling me otherwise. Also, you're looking a little beat up, miss. But there's certainly some we've seen in worse condition, come in here the last half hour or so. Something crazy must've happened in the locked off part of town. I hope they figure out what eventually, so they can stop it from happening again.

You won't happen to remember anything about it, would you Miss Rhyme? The doctors told us to ask if we got the chance, and the patients seemed lucid enough."

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@Blitz Boom
Ruby didn't comment on any of the revelations about the illusion, she had figured it was something else pretending to be a dragon, her first guess had been a wild animal, but since it didn't care about the fire, even though it was on fire, she knew it wasn't true. She hadn't really expected a tree, and was slightly disappointed, she had hoped something more exciting. 

She also ignored the words of the voice, not giving him the satisfaction of getting reaction out of her. "Try to keep your calm, you'll become reckless if you let him get under your scales." she didn't personally care about the potential of forest fire, it wasn't her problem, nor was it problem for her. She then turned to Charir, and after some words and bit of pointing at the tree he seemed to come back to his senses, though it wasn't hard to tell that he was not fan of being this close to Ruby, but there was also some mixed feelings and curiosity. He would make his way close to Leviathan, and Ruby would stay closer to him than she had before.

Ruby didn't comment on the change this time, instead she made a mental note of it, the timing matched with the tree falling over, so she may have figured out a way to track down their source of annoyance, and revealing that would be foolish. 

-------------------------------------------
"I don't know my limit on caffeine either as I have never really consumed it that much." Nada said as she continued drinking and eating as little at the time as possible for her "Though I doubt this will do much for me, if any amount, we are pretty resistant against poisons, and isn't caffeine technically a poison, like alcohol is." a species living in the sea needed a good poison resistance if they didn't want to be picky with what they ate, and while she wasn't expert on things like caffeine, she remembered seeing or hearing somewhere that it was a poison of some sort. She smiled at Agni, she didn't mind him sleeping on her head, why would she? it didn't bother her in any way, all it did was that she needed to remember he was before going underwater, and while she was aware of his clingyness, she was more flattered by it rather than annoyed. "Ziggy? You're the siren doctor, do you know anything about that?" 

------------------------
Scarecrow didn't really like the part about Anomaly finding him, or them, could be either in this context, because, well, what more did she want with them?

He didn't take part in the conversation between Anomaly and Lyriel, just watching the things happen with the plank/bored expression on his face, funnily enough that was probably the most accurate visual of his general mood since he lost his face so long time ago, or little time ago, he didn't couldn't tell. Lyriel didn't need to wait for Scarecrow to follow, as he would start moving immediately after she did, though he had few words more to say to Anomaly "Farewell fellow freak of nature, hope your current time of day will be as pleasant as you are." that would be last thing he would say to her.

 When they would be out, assuming they did get out, he would address Lyriel "So, what do you think of my new appearance...and voice, I'd appreciate an opinion from someone besides myself and the creator of this form." 

 

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@Blitz Boom

Tepe blinked in confusion “I don't know what you are talking about, but if it has something to do with you being able to notice me, then I'm glad you had it, I just want some directions to go back to my herd and be reunited with my family again, I don't want my parents and my sissies to think i'm dead, but i do appreciate having a casual conversations” he seem a little awkward while talking to her, slightly avoiding her gaze, still fighting to look back at her. That is when he took notice of the rodent skull.

Tepe fought back the urge to back away, he still has no idea why he's summoned here by some... Powerful magic, which seemed to be calling out to him and leading him into the hospital and the mare he's now talking to her, maybe the rodent skull is the source of the power? He wasn't quite convince of that, after all, why would a powerful wave of magic would come from an empty skull of a long dead animal?

“pleaaaase...i don't want to die....”

He unconsciously gasped and shook his head to rid of the memory, the memory which reminded him how close he is to death, and somehow managed to escape.

...

Quill gave Blaze a thoughtful look “I don't remember anything what happened, but I'll try” she shut her eyes, trying to regain the blurred memories of her in the locked up part of the town “It was foggy, and I had two companions with me, both mares. The place is empty, abandoned, and everything is written with....words” she began to whimper as she hesitantly continue “a-and i saw Wine and Sandy and their house, they looked fine until” the memories of the faces of the dark ones overwhelm her thoughts with fear “N-No, I can't-!" She retreated into the blanket.

Concerned, Windy moves closer to the bed “Are you alright, Quill?”

Edited by Windy Breeze
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@Blitz Boom

“I mean no disrespect, mayor, but your grizzled look suggests you’re older than 35. Then again, I suppose my claim from earlier is still accurate. My village’s elder is about 24 years old, which makes him younger than you. He also trained to be a hunter before taking on his role current role. A hunter also fills in as a village guard, which is about as close as the longma could get to having a form of organized security. Those who show interest in the role are trained at a young age, like my brother.”

Lin wasn’t privy on the details, only knowing about how the hunters trained young recruits based on what Sen knew. Their training was good for learning the basics of survival and self-defense, and only much later down the line do the full-fledged hunters get to experience the entirety of the task they’ll perform for most of their lives. Guarding villages, shoring up defenses, escorting caravans…. Safety was the primary goal. They even get to be storytellers in some their posts if the tales they bring back from being stationed in the traders’ field outposts suggest anything. 

“It’s great that you’ve got plenty of varied creatures mingling with each other here and feeling welcomed. I’ve heard about the evergrown and the dryads, but the deer are new to me. I only know a bit of hearsay about them, but is it true that they would prefer solitude or resent ponies? Maybe that’s just the rumors coming from Canterlot.”

Meanwhile, with the archery session concluded and Sen the victor, he took his friend’s applause with stride. The longma would even playfully bow toward Rosa. The thestral’s words filled him with determination and glee, remembering them wholeheartedly, even the last bit about… disregarding dissenting opinions. 

“Suppose we get another chance to play this, maybe we should do so in a dedicated archery booth with us getting a bit of time to hone our skills. It'll be interesting to see games where we can try to get as many arrows to land on the center!”

Once they moved to the darts venue, Sen examined the tool and mimed throwing one, though not actually letting go of it. There were some reminders of the time he trained with spears, holding one and getting the feel of the it was similar. The feathers were unexpected but with Rosa telling him what they were for, it made sense. 

“Okay, that sounds good. Not sure I’m going to make it in two attempts but here it goes. Aim and flick…” Sen tossed his first dart to see how it works, and it ended with the dart landing way short of the board. It was a fairly weak throw but it didn’t detract from the longma gauging his strength. His second throw would only fare a little better as it landed at the top and outermost section of the board. 

“These things are a lot lighter than I expected. Can’t be too rough on the throw and this whole wrist flicking thing is new to me. There’s no flicking with spears, only keeping a good form on the toss. Bent limb on the elbow that straightens on release and ending with a good follow-through. I’ll get the hang of this in time; just need to get used to the motions, that’s all.”

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@Blitz Boom

"This is Arc Weld.  My particular talent is attaching spells to objects.  Like enchanting, but a little more advanced," the proud mare nodded.  Only above the simple act of enchanting in the level of complexity and ease.  Like it's name sake, joining two tough substances together quickly, but at the arcane realm rather than the world of metal.  "It's a bracelet, I just landed it on your head to be humous... It appears I failed," Starbright tsked, a pity.  Not that she'd manage to get a laugh out of anypony, but she was always in a good mood when Arc Welding, even if it did go too far.

"Our funding right now only allows for these simple bracelets.  Not the most fashionable of items, but they get the job done," Flare brought up for her concern.  "The barrier doesn't keep in all the heat, just he most intense areas.  Where the magma leaks more specifically.  It'll isolate those areas for a few minutes, hopefully long enough for you to calm down or pop a piece of gum.  It is attuned as a heat barrier though, so don't expect it to protect against anything else.  Based on the heat we experienced, I'd say you have about three eruptions per recharge."  "It takes about twelve hours for a full recharge.  But for example, if you only erupt once in a day, it'll only take a third of the charge and take four hours to top off," Starbright explained, not really the best at offering user manuals to each enchantment they make at the O.M.I.

Bash had wondered off to a nearby table and was scribbling instructions on a piece of parchment with a pencil in his mouth.  Filling out the adjusted formula to the gum to account for corrections based on her reactions.  Laying the pencil on the table and rolling it up to place next to the beaker still full of his first attempt.  "Adjusted formula.  Finish the current one by cutting the gum cube in half before chewing," the large stallion instructed. 

 

"Not too pricey to live here.  Be productive, follow the laws and spread Harmony," Gold Mane brought up rather matter of factly as a pony that wouldn't quite understand why it was a difficult concept.  Not her fault, few ponies knew much else outside of Equestria.  "Not everything is perfect in Equestria though.  If it was, we wouldn't need law enforcement," she chuckled.  Creatures are still creatures and don't always get along.  Base on what Rising had learned about Harrowmark thus far, he could understand just as well the other side of the coin.  It'd be hard to believe a place like Equestria could even exist, just as hard as it would be for a pony in Equestria to believe the outside world could be any different.  "Grave is a wonderful name dear.  The detective here tends to be more proper than necessary," Cork teased.  Said detective rolled his eyes.

Rising could see the jest in her question at him as her body language started to shift from her previous discomfort.  Humor was a wonderful deflection tool.  Even if it did cause Cork to cough some on her tea.  "Peeping via magic is a criminal offense," he returned in kind.  His expression firm and unamused as he finished off his tea.  Putting his cup down revealed the smirk on his lips though.  "No, I can not see through magic, just simply the magic itself.  I can see the spell that makes up the veil you wear, but I see your physical appearance as a pink mare wearing an in-season dress.  If a pony were using an invisibility spell, I would not be able to see their body, but I could see the spell covering them.  From there I can put two and two together.  Not as naughty an officer many had hoped," he chuckled and smiled.

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@Catpone Cerberus

The source of their annoyance - as Ruby so eloquently put it - would move away from the vague spot he had been tracked to soon, leaving it obscure were he were again. Though he were bound to mess up again eventually, or do something erratic.

And speaking of erratic, Leviathan were not taking things too well. When faced with concern from Ruby, she'd act a little dismissive of the words, and start sparking around her claws with electricity again. A one note response currently it seemed, despite her repertoire being broader than this.

"Just keep moving. I'll feel better, once I'm away from this furry annoyance."

She'd just keep on moving, and not even dignifying Charir with a glance as he got nearer, nor comment on how this whole thing must have effected him. A little cold for her honestly. Frankly, if one couldn't see her right there in front of them, one could question if she were even being herself right now.

Another inconsistency were made obvious soon after this, yet this were less covered. Felt like movement to their right, rummaging through what seemed like thick underbrush in the forest. Still some meters away from them, but Ruby should be able to tell that there were something there.

Seemed like things would keep happening to their sides as they moved forward. Rumblings, growls, a few looks of immensely big claws- That sort of thing. It'd pigeonhole them into going one direction, but so far at least, it'd keep them away from confronting more things, and Leviathan seemed silently okay with just going that way. No paranoid words, no warning of things, of trying to fight back with perhaps fog, or anything else. Just wandering on in silence.

She'd wear the band that Ruby had given her, and that were definitely still jingling on her arm, as Ruby would be able to tell. Things just seemed a little abnormal.

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

 

@Catpone Cerberus

"Well, technically, it is an addictive substance, not a poison. And it does affect sirens, though there is a good deal of resistance in your system, based on what I've seen with Serenade.

If this is a standard degree of caffeine in an espresso, which holds a higher concentration, and judging by your size, and that of these cups... You'd need roughly two, to wake you up if you are drowsy. For it to have any sort of jittery effect though, it'd have to be about six, maybe seven cups. There's a certain treshold were the resistance kicks in, because the amount of added energy gets noticeable."

"Well, this is a standard amount of espresso, so those calculations sounds about right. Crazy how much sirens can take though. If I tried drinking six cups of this, I'd end up in the hospital."

"Different race, different tresholds. Sirens just deals with a lot of things better than ponies do. Like you said Nada, it's probably because of those resistances to poison. I haven't tried poison exactly though. Friends don't poison other friends."

A very basic way of looking on it, but there were truth in the words. You'd be a rather bad friend if you went around and poisoned folks that trusted you, even if it were for science. That actually made it seem like you were pretty cold and unfeeling, the more she thought about it. Nothing she wanted to be part of there, nuhuh.

"Actually, you're older than Serenade, right? Could you tell me how poisons affect you? Pretty please? It could be important later on.

And uh, I dunno how alcohol works with sirens for the record. I don't drink it, and I've not seen Serenade do it either. makes it kinda hard to compare, or have personal experience, beyond those I've seen elsewhere that were drunk. Never seen a siren that were though. Maybe you can't get drunk? Alcohol is more akin to poison, than caffeine is, so that might kick your defenses into overdrive."

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

 

@Catpone Cerberus

On 11/20/2020 at 8:49 PM, Catpone Cerberus said:

"Farewell fellow freak of nature, hope your current time of day will be as pleasant as you are."

"Thank you! Try not to- Hey, that tickles!"

Anomaly's wayward head would laugh, as one of the glowing creatures went into the paper bag around one of her appendages, and apparently tickled her. Which caused her to fall over, and tumble across the field. They would be gone before they could see what might happen from this, with Lyriel closing the door behind them, after Scarecrow, Crow, and herself had left the overgrown room. Rose would stay up there with her mother, and have some fun stealing her head, and flying away with it.

She'd remain silent until spoken to, and try to keep her focus on her odd new passenger, whom had begun to slumber around her leg. Though one head seemed to always be awake, and look around. It would change about every ten minute which one it were, and it overall didn't do much else, than look, and slither it's forked tongues out to taste the air. Such a strange big world they had come into, right after exiting another strange world, they had just gotten made for.

On 11/20/2020 at 8:49 PM, Catpone Cerberus said:

 When they would be out, assuming they did get out, he would address Lyriel "So, what do you think of my new appearance...and voice, I'd appreciate an opinion from someone besides myself and the creator of this form." 

"...R-Right, my apologies. Been without my connection for so long now, it's distracting me a little to have it back again.

Your appearance looks pleasant. A true pony you are not, but knew I not better, I could imagine you being a variation of a dryad. From what I have been told, that is what evergrown looks like, so you should be able to blend in well. The voice will help too, as it disguises well what hides beneath. I cannot even feel anything that I usually do, when in your presence."

She'd tentatively reach a hoof out, and briefly touch his mossy exterior.

"It even feels natural. Much as I can mention bad things to have happened from all of this, Anomaly at least kept true to her words, about the disguise you two would be able to have, long as you remain in contact. Knew I not better, I would never be able to tell what you two truly were.

How does it feel though? It must be quite a change from how you usually perceive things, right? I hope it does not cause you pain or discomfort?"

Crow would let out a few chirps in response to this, which Lyriel nodded at. It seemed now that she had her senses back, that included being able to understand animals. Crow in its current form, were a typical looking bird, so she could understand. If it worked when it weren't disguised, were hard to tell currently though.

"So you feel no different then? I thank you for your input, Crow."

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

 

@Windy Breeze

On 11/20/2020 at 11:04 PM, Windy Breeze said:

“pleaaaase...i don't want to die....”

He unconsciously gasped and shook his head to rid of the memory, the memory which reminded him how close he is to death, and somehow managed to escape.

"Did you have a bad memory, Tepe? You look a little frazzled."

"You don't know, do you? It is tragic to be stuck in this limbo, yet we have tried the same. We know how it feels, when reality lingers out of reach."

Tepe should be able to hear them, as he were dead himself, but it were likely not going to make things easier for him to do that. The fact there were a skull were one thing. That it had glowing, wisp-like flames that functioned as eyes, floating in the socket, following him around, were a whole nother. Hearing them speak to him though? That were going to be the icing on top.

The zebra should also be able to tell that the magic he felt pulling him in, were from the skull itself. Sorrow did not have this sort of power, but her grandmother were a very powerful medium. She had created this focus, and made sure it would function as a home for the wayward souls Sorrow would be able to draw in, and somewhat of a lantern. It didn't draw that many souls in, as most were unaware, but it tended to help them feel something draw in them. At times, that helped them get out of their emotional state enough to listen.

"Don't mind them. They are only concerned about you, just as I am.

If you are fine though, I promise I'm just going to talk to you, much as you like. All mares of my family will be able to communicate with you in fact, Tepe. It is part of our gift. Some can even make sure that others can't ignore you anymore. But they're far away from here, in the Moonlit Thicket. Have you ever been there? I think you'd find it a lovely place. In the midst of a forest, where we live in harmony with the nature around us. I heard zebras enjoys to live naturally like that too. Is that right?"

She'd be calm, and speak softly to Tepe. Poor thing were unaware if his situation it seemed, yet the situation before, made her think that it weren't too far away from his mind. Somewhere, he knew that he were dead, but he had probably been in denial for so long, that he forced the memory away. A bad fever dream, and nothing more. An understandable reaction if it were, but at least he seemed lucid, and untethered. That were a kindness that not too many souls ended in, unless they were part of communities that could help them.

On 11/20/2020 at 11:04 PM, Windy Breeze said:

Concerned, Windy moves closer to the bed “Are you alright, Quill?”

"That's enough about that. No more questions regarding whatever happened."

Blaze wandered over to the bed, and placed a leg over the blanket that Quill hid herself under.

"I'm sorry, Miss Rhyme. I'll write down that you don't know either, and stress that it isn't medically sound to push it. Don't worry, okay? I promise I won't let them try and force you to remember."

Whatever had happened in that part of town, it were clearly highly traumatic. Quill's mind had closed it off somewhere in the back, to try and cope with what had happened to her, and attempting to confront it would only cause harm to her patient. She didn't care what the other doctors said, she wouldn't ask Quill more about this. And Celestia have mercy upon anyone who tried to make her remember anyway, if she were around to hear it. Might be she were not a full scale doctor yet, but she had plenty of authority, to tell somepony to back off, in less than kind words. In a way that made it clear that she were not going to back down either.

Been something she had been reprimanded to a few times, but it were far between, and rather low brow, so it were more a matter of them legally having to do it, rather than thinking it had to be done.

The two of them showing Quill support and understanding, would hopefully help Quill too. Not enough to confront things, but that seemed unwise to do now regardless, if ever. It were likely best if that were simply just pushed aside, and they'd do theirs to help her get back into a state where it were locked down. She'd probably be able to cope better about it now, though a shrink would likely be needed some day.

"Just relax, you're safe now, Miss Rhyme. You won't get hurt again."

Elsewhere in the hospital, Doctor Needle would excuse herself from duty for a bit, to go and post a letter in her lunch break. Not with their in hospital postal mail though. No, she needed somepony independent to do it, with less of a trace, so she went for a private carrier nearby. It wasn't much time she had, but it should be enough to go there, get the letter done, and send it to her associates. It appeared that the situation weren't over with the death of Autumn after all, nor her foolish husband, and she needed to let the others know. They might have somepony going around here eventually, rummaging their noses into something that were none of their business.

Just like it hadn't been Autumns business, back when she started to seem like she'd prove a liability. Go figure it were Razor who suddenly grew a consciousness instead, and ended up causing unwanted scrutiny. The overgrown pigeon couldn't even die without causing them trouble...

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

 

@EQ_Theta

9 hours ago, EQ_Theta said:

“I mean no disrespect, mayor, but your grizzled look suggests you’re older than 35. Then again, I suppose my claim from earlier is still accurate. My village’s elder is about 24 years old, which makes him younger than you. He also trained to be a hunter before taking on his role current role. A hunter also fills in as a village guard, which is about as close as the longma could get to having a form of organized security. Those who show interest in the role are trained at a young age, like my brother.”

"No offense taken, Lin. I think it works somewhat against my looks, that I am as roomy as I am, but genes and proper army training, can do a lot to a stallion.

On the other hoof, I am likely to retain my looks into my later years, so there is a balance to this."

Long as he maintained his training, and didn't get overly stressed of course. Prematurely aging were rather common for those who constantly had to juggle stress, and if he lost his form, there'd be a lot of him that could suddenly start to sag. That's not help things, but he knew he could do it. Just as one of his friends, who were also a burlier bat pony did, and that one were a fair deal older than him. Smaller too, but not by a lot.

Reminded him that he should send a letter to him one of these days, inviting him to the next festival. He would probably need the time off, considering everything.

"It sounds like I might have things in common with your elder in more than age, if he also trained to be a protector of sorts. You can let him know that the Moonlit Thicket welcomes everyone, unless they give us a reason to exclude them. Seeing your exemplary behavior, and impression on Queen Cheshire thus far, I doubt that will be much of an issue. Though perhaps arrive on a less festive day, to let them encounter our fair village in a more calm setting."

"Is this okay then?"

"Yes. How much is things?"

"35 bits. Or do you mean-"

Omen would regurgitate a few times, before her tongue would slither out, dry and soft as always, and with a line of 35 bits stacked along it, which she then put down on the table.

Omen couldn't add numbers on a piece of paper if her life depended on it, but she knew how to count the things physically in front of her, one at a time. One of the few things Discord had taught her early on, which at least helped with these sorts of situations.

As for Mary, she poked the coins a little, confused as to how they were dry. Among other things, considering what she just saw, but... A sale was a sale, right? So she'd scoop the bits down behind the counter, and pack the items into a box. She made sure to put in some foam between the stones, so they'd stay safe, and put the necklace and doll on top of it, before closing it off. Seems like Lin being occupied, made it simpler for Omen to finish the transaction, and get them some souvenirs. They had to make sure to keep the box safe though, and she knew where to put that. Just had to wait for the right time to go there.

9 hours ago, EQ_Theta said:

“It’s great that you’ve got plenty of varied creatures mingling with each other here and feeling welcomed. I’ve heard about the evergrown and the dryads, but the deer are new to me. I only know a bit of hearsay about them, but is it true that they would prefer solitude or resent ponies? Maybe that’s just the rumors coming from Canterlot.”

"Ah yes, the deer.

How do I put this... The deer have a very reclusive picture of the world. They like living in peace, without others trying to interfere with them too much, and their traditions makes them clash somewhat with equines, as we are generally more open and welcome to others. Deer are rather like cats. They prefer to get a sense of you before they approach, unless you trespass on their grounds. Then you are asked to leave, and are escorted away if you won't do so willingly. Trying to get back after that, and they get less kind about it.

You should think of them less as hating ponies, as simply being weary of inviting strangers into their homes. Their young are fragile and easy to pick off, and their homes are usually in deep forests, where predators are not unheard of, so they have a kind of ingrained protective stance towards their territory.

I can assure you though, that if you can earn their respect, you will hardly find a more loyal friend. Though they rarely join us here. Most of the time, if any of them goes into this area, it is merely to pass through, and head to the breezies village. The closest deer tribe's leader, are an old friend of the breezies leader, so they allow deer or breezies, to visit the other every now and again.

And Canterlot does tend to have bad rumors about deer swirling around, but it comes from the top. The deer abhors your typical noble, as they act as if they deserve things, merely for being who they are, whereas the deer believes in earning what you have. Including respect. So they show none to the nobles, who then in turn starts acting uppity. The deer then makes them leave, and rumors start spreading, as the nobles can be quite petty. They are not as bad as most stories makes them out to be."

9 hours ago, EQ_Theta said:

“These things are a lot lighter than I expected. Can’t be too rough on the throw and this whole wrist flicking thing is new to me. There’s no flicking with spears, only keeping a good form on the toss. Bent limb on the elbow that straightens on release and ending with a good follow-through. I’ll get the hang of this in time; just need to get used to the motions, that’s all.”

"It's all a matter of practice, Sen. Just relax yourself, and try to remember to adjust yourself. Though considering everything, you may throw a few more darts first for training, if you'd like. Just tell me when you are ready for us to begin the real battle. Perhaps you should try and throw them, like you throw a spear? I can only say how I see darts thrown, but who knows? Perhaps you would indeed do better the other way. Only one way to be certain about it."

Rosa would wait for Sen to tell him that he were ready, before getting into position, and readying the three darts he had. Three per round, as the rules went, and he would get hits in 17, double 8, and 1. Not a massive start, but it were not too bad. Depended on if Sen would have improved his throw, when he tossed the next one.

"I do hope the others are not getting into trouble, while we are in here. No ill words about them, but I do feel concerned that there are so many varied creatures where, and not everyone will act kindly towards them. I expect a certain degree of calm from Omen, yet I am not sure how Lin would act, were she to meet someone who persistently did not get that she wanted them to bugger off.

I suppose I worry for nothing. Worst case scenario, there are guards here to handle whom were likely inebriated and needed a time out. Do please ignore my ramblings."

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

 

@Rising Dusk

9 hours ago, Rising Dusk said:

"It's a bracelet, I just landed it on your head to be humous... It appears I failed,"

"No need to apologize, it were me who misunderstood the situation. Be that as it may though, I think I will try and procure a more heat resistant metal, and then return to you to have that weld put on that. It seems as if there are a certain degree of heat proofing, but I believe it wiser to not take risks, if it can be helped. It will also allow me to return this, which I am sure you will need for something else, in due time."

She'd take the bracelet, and apply it to her leg. She'd test it if she had an inkling to do so, but there were further information about it which came afterwards, that made her hesitant to try. Namely, that it required time to recharge, which were something that made her hesitant to waste a charge.

"Eruptions are rather rare, for your information. Expulsion of heated air are a daily occurrence, yet proper eruptions, as the one that were in motion before, is something that does not need to happen, and which I do what I can to prevent. The relief of heated air is part of the process to avoid a more grueling outbreak, such as that.

Though, if I may ask, to what degree is your funding? Considering the duty you perform here, you should be eligible to proper compensation, if you seek a B51-Q9, under paragraph five, subsection fifty-seven. It stating that any speciality faction working directly for the crown of Equestria, are entitled to seek compensation, in form of duty specific materials, if required by the assigned special task.

It is the same ruling that Center Zero worked under, as well as the D.A.Y. guardians, whom protects the varied magical objects, that cannot safely be kept in society. A specialized taskforce working in an important capacity for the kingdom, just like you do. Considering everything I have seen and heard, I can imagine you would work with them to control, or potential de-curse, some of the things they acquire, yes? That would entitle you further to a BBL-14 Dash 6. Additional funding from erradicating troubling magical objects, so they could cause no further trouble. One can consider it a sort of bounty, from dealing with things that the crown, or it's primary task force, asked you to handle for them."

Magma clearered her throat after saying that, and looked to the side, slightly embarassed.

"But I'm sure you already know this, and the several other forms one can fill out to seek varied funds for an operation such as this. My apologies for making it sound otherwise. I am merely used to dealing with various requests for funding from the kingdom, due to how Center Zero functioned, and have a tendency to ramble at times. I am certain you are very capable ponies, and do not need me to tell you things you are most likely already making use of."

9 hours ago, Rising Dusk said:

Bash had wondered off to a nearby table and was scribbling instructions on a piece of parchment with a pencil in his mouth.  Filling out the adjusted formula to the gum to account for corrections based on her reactions.  Laying the pencil on the table and rolling it up to place next to the beaker still full of his first attempt.  "Adjusted formula.  Finish the current one by cutting the gum cube in half before chewing," the large stallion instructed. 

Seeking a quick distraction out, her eyes would fall on bash, that had wandered over to his table again. Surely to do something important, regarding the formula from before, which would provide a pleasant distraction. Praised be the sun for this action, that she may focus on that instead.

"If I may ask, Mr. Bash, in what manner do the gum form? Is it merely from pouring? And if so, how long does one of them last? It may be prudent of me to go and acquire a small holster if they have a long lasting date, to avoid potential accidental spillage. I can imagine the cold of this mixture would not suit the common creature well, to put it mildly."

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

 

@Rising Dusk

9 hours ago, Rising Dusk said:

"Not too pricey to live here.  Be productive, follow the laws and spread Harmony,"

"Spreading harmony in Harrowmark, is how we describe culling down zombified wildlife, when there are too many. You might need to be a little bit more specific."

In fairness, it had been a while since she heard that, butt hat had more to do with Grave not really wandering near settlements for a long time. Sure it made her a little stir crazy at times, but her appearance had made others all uppity, and she preferred to not deal with the hassle. Especially not as Rising kept a closer look on the towns, and not so much on the wilderness, or ghost towns. Meant she were a little further away from having to deal with the false herald.

9 hours ago, Rising Dusk said:

"Not everything is perfect in Equestria though.  If it was, we wouldn't need law enforcement,"

"Well sure, there's always gonna be someone that breaks some sort of rule, and need to be punished. That's why guards, or town protectors, are needed. have to be someone dealing with them, before they hurt someone who didn't deserve it..

Back when my family were alive, we lived in a town, and helped with protecting it. Then the mayor decided to make a stand against Twisted, and deny him his taxes. We made it out of there before the false herald had his amalgams ransack the town, to make an example out of him, and everyone who supported him. There's a limit to what you can be expected to save others from, as my dad used to say. I dunno if I agree with him, but I was tiny. Not like I could've said no."

9 hours ago, Rising Dusk said:

"Grave is a wonderful name dear.  The detective here tends to be more proper than necessary," Cork teased.  Said detective rolled his eyes.

Grave got a smile on her face, and patted Cork as she gave her this compliment to her name. Such a nice mare this one were.

"Thank you, Cork. I like your name too. It sounds bubbly and sweet, just like you."

9 hours ago, Rising Dusk said:

"Peeping via magic is a criminal offense," he returned in kind.  His expression firm and unamused as he finished off his tea.  Putting his cup down revealed the smirk on his lips though.  "No, I can not see through magic, just simply the magic itself.  I can see the spell that makes up the veil you wear, but I see your physical appearance as a pink mare wearing an in-season dress.  If a pony were using an invisibility spell, I would not be able to see their body, but I could see the spell covering them.  From there I can put two and two together.  Not as naughty an officer many had hoped," he chuckled and smiled.

For a brief moment, Grave got worried, as she heard the way that Rising spoke, when it came to the peeping comment. It weren't meant as an accusation. Surely he'd understand that, if she explained that, r-right? It wouldn't look good on her to have him think ill of her.

But then the sneaky little stallion revealed the smirk o her face, and she calmed down again. Tricky one got her good there. She'd remember that, and try spooking him some other time for it. Maybe by popping out of his mirror, and poke him on the snoot? That might get him a little unnerved. Though as he kept on talking, and said what he could see, it sounded like he'd know she were there, before she even got through the mirror. This would be tricky... A project for the future.

"I can't see magic, but I can smell it, and the intent behind the magic. There's always some sort of emotion in a spell, y'know? Anger, joy, malice, or when I got this pretty illusion on me: Kindness. It helps sniff out those who're trying to make trouble, or run away before someone jumps you. Nice for safety, and if that doesn't work, it's clobbering time, hehe.

Funny you're talking about invisibility too. Ancestor of mine tried to make herself invisible, and now we're all semi-see through. Well, I am, the others are dead, but it's kinda cool. Ever seen a pony right down to the bone before? You know, without them being dead. That'd put a real damper on things."

Edited by Blitz Boom
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@Blitz Boom

Tepe began to look around anxiously when he heard the voice “Huh? Who's talking?” he looked back to Sorrow and his surprise, the rodent skull was glowing. He did not realize immediately but he did soon become aware the voice actually came from the skull, he was disturbed by this, it doesn't help that Sorrow can hear the voices, and when he looked at the passing by ponies, they did not seem to hear it, and are giving looks at Sorrow, or was it him?

However, he felt a force pulling him into the skull, but instead of making him panic, it actually gives him the sense of piece, the feeling he wanted to have ever since he started his journey to go back to his herd and family, he wanted to embrace it and let his sadness go away, but then...

His family.

He began to resist the offer, his prey instincts kicked into action as he started at Sorrow with fear. Moonlit Thicket, forest, zebras!? What is that place? Is that a region in Zebrica? But, this mare says her family is in that place, and Equestrians don't live in Zebrica. Panic has clouded his mind, he could not listen to Sorrow anymore.

“Big brother, come baaaaack!”

“Tepe, please Ancestors, don't let something happen to him”

“It's my fault, it's my fault!”

“Come back, please!”

“Fadhila, Thamani, Dad, Mom, I'm right here, can't you guys see me!?”

“I-I sense a bad aura from you” he stuttered but tried to maintain a calm expression, but this facade will crumble “I'm sorry, but I have to leave. I can't stay here for too long, I have to find my way to my herd, my family” he was apologetic, but if this Sorrow spells danger, then he has to run away, especially from the rodent skull, Legion, whom he is mostly afraid of.

...

Windy sighed. It seemed Quill's condition is not making this easy for Blaze's interrogation. She pulled Quill into a hug, hopefully this could warm her up and cold her down, and begin to try to imitate her brother's voice in a soothing tone.

“Quill, do you like horror novels? I successfully made a novel about zombies and tried publishing it in Canterlot, but my nerve is too much of a coward for me to do what I want” she whispered to her. Despite the mentioning of horror genre, this appear to calm her down.

Edited by Windy Breeze
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@Blitz Boom

“Sounds like the deer have good friends in the breezies, and perhaps the longma back home could use something like that. As much as they’d have their weariness for outsiders, it would be nice to have good friends in other creatures to slowly introduce them to the much larger world. There might be something worth learning in that.”

“And the Canterlot nobles seem to have that going for them. Nice to be around them if you’re in the same social circles but they’re completely different folks to an outsider. That’s probably something Sen would say; he spent more time in Canterlot than me but he never mingled with the nobility in a casual manner. More like run-ins, to be exact. I suppose what the deer experienced has given me something to think about. Maybe sometime in the future, the longma could have the same kind of friendship with the thestrals and other creatures too." 

“Speaking of which, my village’s elder would definitely be excited to meet you some day. I think having some things in common would be great.” 

It was no secret that Lin harbored some resentment for her own kind, and she would sometimes take an opportunity to speak about the longma with a hint of contempt. However, some part of her was influenced by Sen’s idealism, that the longma back home could improve with a bit of help from the outside. She’d call him naive, but between him and Elder Ghilan sharing similar wishes for the longma at large, Lin would admit that making inroads to forming new friendships is worth a try. 

And right now, hearing about the impression she left on Queen Cheshire and Mayor Soda Stream, perhaps there may be some hope that this will be worth something in the end. Perhaps on a less festive day, Elder Ghilan could see what the Moonlit Thicket, Canterlot, or Ponyville were like. The small and quaint towns with their corresponding atmospheres were likely more preferable to the big cities. 

“Huh, looks like the Weeping Mary’s done with Omen’s carved stone. Hmm… I think I want to add one more thing here. Something simple, small, and easy to carry around."

Lin remembered she wanted to get something for Rosa as well. Although considering what was to come, she still didn’t want him to miss out on something to help him remember this evening.  

As for Sen, he was certain he’d need a few more rounds of throwing before getting a good feel for the game. Might not even matter if he was tossing them all over the board. Consistently getting them to land somewhere was already enough for him. Of course, with Rosa encouraging him to do better, the longma would prefer if he got it to land closer to the center. Bullseyes were tough but if the scoring system would convoluted, he’d probably prefer to get some consistent numbers on the double score zone.

Then again, he’d also step aside to watch Rosa’s technique, hoping to pick up something he could try in the next round of tosses. Three darts in a round, three chances to get it right, or to at least put up a challenge. 

“Knowing Lin, she could handle herself. And as for Omen… she’s outlasted me and Lin in situations we thought dire looking no worse for wear. You know, it’s alright if you are worried about Lin and Omen. You’re their friend and they’d be thinking about how you’re doing too.”

“I can’t speak for Omen on this, but thinking about how friends are doing feels different, at least to me and Lin. Back home, the longma wouldn’t worry about their friends because we lived close enough that we could just check in on each other whenever we wanted. That or the trading caravans moved around frequently enough that they often carried messages from different villages. But now, having friends in places like Baltimare or Las Pegasus has me thinking about them more, and we couldn’t just barge in on their lives despite being able to travel fast with the gates. I mean, everyone wants to have time for themselves, right?”

Now it was Sen’s turn. Once more, he’d take aim and make a few fake tosses to get the feel right. With a little less strength from the last attempt, the dart landed some distance to the right, the white section of the 4. The second dart flew with an adjusted aim, landing on 1 and just a smidge above the triple score zone. Taking Rosa’s suggestion, Sen took two steps back, readied his right foreleg, and moved forward to toss the last dart like a spear. Unsurprisingly, this didn’t turn out well as the dart nearly flew above the board, landing on the outermost section above the 5. 

“It appears treating the dart like a little spear isn’t really going to work. I’ll go back to flicking my wrist. That’s probably a better way to play.”

Edited by EQ_Theta
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@EQ_Theta

21 hours ago, EQ_Theta said:

“Sounds like the deer have good friends in the breezies, and perhaps the longma back home could use something like that. As much as they’d have their weariness for outsiders, it would be nice to have good friends in other creatures to slowly introduce them to the much larger world. There might be something worth learning in that.”

“And the Canterlot nobles seem to have that going for them. Nice to be around them if you’re in the same social circles but they’re completely different folks to an outsider. That’s probably something Sen would say; he spent more time in Canterlot than me but he never mingled with the nobility in a casual manner. More like run-ins, to be exact. I suppose what the deer experienced has given me something to think about. Maybe sometime in the future, the longma could have the same kind of friendship with the thestrals and other creatures too." 

“Speaking of which, my village’s elder would definitely be excited to meet you some day. I think having some things in common would be great.” 

"The less interaction one have with the nobles, the better. They are generally speaking, some of the worst representations of a pony you could find in Equestria.

Do not get me wrong. There are some who are good among them. Yet far too many have sadly fallen victim to a feeling of privilegie, and grown unbearable to be around, if you are not of the same high stand as they see themselves.

Most ensures to not be in the area when speaking ill of them, to not have the influence of these wealthy ponies punish you. Though at times, one find more brazen sorts, to varied degrees. I personally carry a certain fondness for Billowing Smoke, who earned his own fortune, and then bought one of the older noble houses. He made sure to invite several of the prominent members of high society to see him move in too, though I still laugh at seeing his true plan. Which were to have the house torn down, right in front of them, before wandering off and preparing to build his own home, upon the rubble of what once were. All done in complete silence, and with a big, teasing smirk on his face.

The degree of disrespect for his future neighbors, and their ideals of nothing changing their way of looking at things, often brings a smile on my lips. A pleasant adventurer too really. In fact, if you want one of the higher society ponies to speak with at some point, I would urge you to go there, and see if he is home. If he is not, his cousin tends to watch the mansion, so she may be able to relay a message."

Being a guard or mayor, Soda's view on the nobles hadn't changed. As in, he still considered them to be utterly wasteful beings to spend his time on, and only did so if he must. In the olden days to keep them safe at times, at certain events. And these days, to bucker up, and be as polite as he mustered, if there were in a more formal capacity. Though there were limits to what he would tolerate, and that did cause some nobles to refuse getting anywhere near this - in their words - dirty little swamp hole of a village.

Way he saw it, he would approach anypony new with respect, and expect them to do the same. If they did not, he wouldn't see a point in offering his, more than were required. And since nobles often preferred others to grovel at their hooves, and thought anything less to be rude... Well, a certain clash were there, which did not always end well.

"Coin Purse might also be an option. She is not the most prolific of her family line, but she is the last surviving member of it, and have shown to be surprisingly resilient to giving in to looking down on others. Even had her rush over to me once, when a sign impacted my wing, and I fell to the ground. It were rather surprising to have one of them worry about me, but it were welcome. Haven't seen her since moving back home though, but she may still fit your criteria, regardless. Just be cautious of her butler, if that... Uptight personage is still around."

He'd prefer no tot alk further about that one. The less said, the better, unless time had somehow managed to unclench him somewhat. Something which he doubted, but there were better thins to focus on than that.

"In any case, if your elder ever wishes to meet, do feel free to return to town, and we can arrange something. On more neutral ground potentially, if that would make him feel more secure."

22 hours ago, EQ_Theta said:

“Huh, looks like the Weeping Mary’s done with Omen’s carved stone. Hmm… I think I want to add one more thing here. Something simple, small, and easy to carry around."

Lin remembered she wanted to get something for Rosa as well. Although considering what was to come, she still didn’t want him to miss out on something to help him remember this evening.

"Oh? What catches your eyes, miss?"

Mary heard her name being mentioned, and had turned towards Lin to see if she were needed for something. From the sounds of it, Lin still wanted for some sort of object? Well, whatever were on display, were for sale, and could get a personal touch if she wanted it, so all Lin had to do, were ask. Or point something out, and speak up about her wants for yet another item. Seeing as she were running a stand here to make bits, Mary were certainly not going to complain about more sales.

22 hours ago, EQ_Theta said:

“Knowing Lin, she could handle herself. And as for Omen… she’s outlasted me and Lin in situations we thought dire looking no worse for wear. You know, it’s alright if you are worried about Lin and Omen. You’re their friend and they’d be thinking about how you’re doing too.”

“I can’t speak for Omen on this, but thinking about how friends are doing feels different, at least to me and Lin. Back home, the longma wouldn’t worry about their friends because we lived close enough that we could just check in on each other whenever we wanted. That or the trading caravans moved around frequently enough that they often carried messages from different villages. But now, having friends in places like Baltimare or Las Pegasus has me thinking about them more, and we couldn’t just barge in on their lives despite being able to travel fast with the gates. I mean, everyone wants to have time for themselves, right?”

"Considering what she is made of, and how long she have been solidifying, so to speak, I feel fairly certain that Omen will outlast us all. Potentially even Discord himself.

Still, I have become fond of all of you, so I do worry about things every now and again, even if it does seem silly. The cursed side of having friends I suppose, yes? Even if it is irrational, and you should know better, those close to you, still makes you worry for their wellbeing. Be they near or far, you never know what might happen."

Rosa chuckled a little to himself. If his teachers could see him now, they'd condemn him for giving in to such weakness, instead of being impartial and clinical about everything. Fortunate that he did not have t listen to their words anymore, beyond whenever he scolded himself. Tended to be one teacher or another's voice that rung through his head, when that happened. Though which one, depended on the situation. Blessed were he, for having so many options of disappointment to pick from.

"In truth, I envy your ways somewhat, Sen. The longma life is far from perfect, but it still sounds like there are some degree of attachment, and tenderness between individuals.

In my home, father pressed me to follow in his hoofsteppes, and that required detachment, as well as focus. My friends were only among other spies, and even then, it were loose friendships, more based on not having other options, than anything else. Something which were prominently taught us in the classes we attended, as we were openly encouraged to not get too close. That were reserved for couples, and we were strongly advised to not attempt frivolous things such as that, until after we graduated, as to not let hormones cloud our judgement. And stars have mercy upon those who were found to ignore that, and had it impact their performance.

Beyond father, I had no one I considered to be that close, which were in part why it hit me so hard as it did, when his mind started to slip. I felt as if I were losing the only one I had in my life, and I dealt with it in the worst, possible way..."

Rosa's mind wandered to memories of himself, sitting in front of a half-empty bottle, wallowing in his own self pity. All the while, his father were slipping further and further away, asking for his son in his lucid moments, but with the attendants having to tell him that Rosa were busy.

"...There is much I have to feel guilt and shame about in my life, Sen. But knowing that I let him down, and robbed him of precious time with his only son, is the worst of them all, and I will never forgive myself for it.

Just as I wouldn't be able to, if I caused you, Lin, Omen, or Shrimp harm. You are the closest friends I have ever had, and I can't help but worry if you will be okay, when I'm not around to help you anymore. Even if I know you're strong, and have managed through tough times, it won't leave me."

Rosa would close his eyes, and lean his forehead on his hoof. A vague smile grew beneath it, as he pushed these things aside again, and tried to focus on what mattered. Not failure and guilt, but a merry evening, before something that should not be thought of either right now. This were their night of joy, not a therapy session.

"My apologies. This is hardly the time or place to talk about things such as this. You say it is my turn? Let us see then, if I can focus on what matters."

Moving into position, he'd throw his three darts. The first would still be impacted by his mindset, and would miss the outer limits of the number 18 by a few inches. The second would hit a double 5, whereas the third, would hit just above a triple 20. Which put him 30 points closer to victory. Not the best, but it were getting better, a little by little.

"Seems it is your turn again, Sen. If flicking worked better, I'd suggest you tried to keep at that, and it will likely improve. The other tactic might require heavier darts than what is on offer here."

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