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Blitz Boom

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@EQ_Theta

On 2024-02-06 at 4:36 PM, EQ_Theta said:

“When pain is all there is, it’s difficult to see or feel past it. Sometimes, you can ignore it, but it’ll be there to draw your attention back to it. Physical pain can be softened, and in time, it will go away. I can’t say the same for… well, this. Now that the truth is out, there’s no point in denying anymore. I just hope things don’t get worse.”

"It sounds complicated. It must be hard to be normal sometimes."

It sounded like Sen didn't even know how to explain pain probably, so what hope had she of understanding it? She understood as far as this being different from physical pain, like if you had been stabbed, but beyond that she couldn't understand. Especially when talking about this mind scape, because she understood so very, very little of it. It were just a place to her. Not something that she related to pain, as much as just some thing that shouldn't be here, they were trying to get out.

But then, she knew that she did not see things as normal creatures did. She were flawed, and chaotic. To her master, that were a compliment. To her, she were uncertain of it. When the world were filled with chaos, she fit in, as everything were abnormal, and many other creatures were too. Now though, in this stable, mostly orderly world, she were an outsider, trying to blend in when her very being were opposite of everything it stood for. Not just a child, but a child alien to it's surroundings, with no one that could relate to how and why it struggled.

Were she able to understand frustration, it might have led her down a dark path, being in the situation that she were, but small blessing there, in her being unable to grasp such a thing. And when one day she might, it probably wouldn't matter, as at that point, she would likely have figured out how to be whole, in this world.

As for what happened right now? She had no idea how to probably approach it. Maybe after she'd have some time to think over things, she would be able to. Right now though, it simply seemed so beyond her, with everything going on. She were best served simply focusing on being there for their sister, and then see where things would go.

On 2024-02-06 at 4:36 PM, EQ_Theta said:

“I’m sorry. After what happened that night, I’ve become scared that I couldn’t help those I care for, that I’d lose them too. It’s why I have to put myself between anyone who’d hurt you or Omen. Better that I take the hits instead of you. No one should have to experience what we saw. And Omen? I hope you never, ever have experienced that.”

“Yes, but now we’ll work together so anything like it will never come to pass. I should’ve told you that I knew. Maybe we could have spared ourselves having to go through all this trouble. Maybe now we could start to heal and move on from this.”

"I have experienced that. That is what Mother tells us to use the gates for. To protect our masters, and stand between them, and danger.

I could get hit too I think? Maybe that would teach me something."

She were still processing things here. Apparently, Lin had known about this deep, dark secret already, and the break from her end, came more from a mater of trust? She had no better idea anyway, though it sounded like some miscommunication to her. Now that they both knew, it should not be hard to move past that, no? Not for her anyway, but she assumed it were different with them. Maybe because they were not supposed to keep secrets from one another? That sounded like something she had heard siblings say before. That would fit with this in some ways.

"It is good that you both know what each other knows now, yes? About that day? Does it mean that you are going to be okay, and that Lin is healed?"

"She is, yes."

Elder Zhao's voice would return before she did, paint streaming out of nowhere, and getting painted into the form she had taken throughout their adventure in here, whilst the lands reformed properly around her.

"I did not find more traces of it. Best I can tell, it must have lost its grip when you were confronted with a traumatic memory, and chose to accept it, rather than fight it. That goes for you both.

However, I do not believe this to be the end of this entity. It had planted itself in your mind, but it were gotten rid off too cleanly. I suspect this might have just been it imprinting a copy unto you. If others encountered it, they may well fall under this same spell. I would advise that you kept clear of wherever you were affected, or at the least bring an escort with you, who understands such things.

As I am led to believe, your kin prefers being secluded, and handling things amongst yourselves? Let it be known that I can offer a helper, provided such things change. until then, simply stay clear, or send this one to test things. Her mind is a mess, that would not be simply overtaken."

She would point towards Omen, who were beginning to jump towards the gate, curious at what it were, but Zhao grabbed hold of her, and lifted her from the ground in one paw.

"I will deal with putting her where she needs to be. This path would simply cause her issue.

Peculiar that it is here though. It is not all whom ends these sorts of things with an open mind. You two are peculiar creatures. But we can talk more when all have awakened. Provided that you do, young lady."

She would now look towards Lin, as she spoke further.

"You have been through an ordeal, and it will tax your mind. You might find that it can be anywhere from an hour, to a few days before you actually wake up. No need to worry though. I will ensure you a bed until you are back on your feet, if it comes to that.

As for you Sen, you will most likely wake up with a severe headache, after the troubles you were in. It will pass fast, so just endure it."

"Will something happen with me too?"

"I haven't a clue. Your mind is too peculiar to make assumptions.

Now then, any questions before we finish here? If not, simply walk through, and we can speak after. And be advised that if this is a trap, you will be awakened far more forcefully than you'll appreciate."

She would wait 'til the end, and then take Omen out via her own ways. She did not need a presented path to traverse here. Though in the waking world, they would find that the elderly kitsune's front paws were on Sen and Lin's heads, and her eyes closed. The tip of her tail, resting on Omen's unconscious face. It had only been a few seconds after they had fallen from her knocking them out, despite how long it must have felt in the dream realm.

The mind worked fast. Though she would need a few more long seconds, before she would be done with Omen. Taking her out were one thing, putting her back as she had found her, were another entirely.

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@Blitz Boom
"The headquarters yes, while my unit is an unique one, regular procedures are still followed for now." Solar confirmed, doing both the office duties and the field duties, he couldn't really ensure his own presence for any specific times, so things like this had to go through the headquarters, but eventually he'd have more direct way of recruitment "And before I forget, Good job with Sheez, you chose the right approach." "The more reckless ponies may not think you did, but you can rest knowing you saved lives today." being a guard was a thankless job, so Solar figured he should make his own effort to thank others "And in more practical terms, you made my job lot easier, I thank you for it."

--

"There is no all-encompassing answer, as it depends on the oath one follows, but in general yes, the title comes with expectation of certain strengths, and certain obligations." "For me personally it has meant a life of scholarship, as I have spend most of my years studying to hone my abilities." "Healing is only one part of it." "As you are unfamiliar with the term, I should most likely explain the general idea." "In its simplest, a paladin is a knight, who's devotion for the cause is absolute." "It is often religious in nature, but it is not necessarily linked to any being." 

"As mentioned, life of a Paladin is not universal, but I can tell about my own." "My order was build around justice, the protection of the weak, the destruction of suffering." "I was but a youngling when I became part of all of it, I was chosen by forces outside my understanding, fate leading me to those who were to become my teachers." "My upbringing in the order was as you'd expect from any religious group, however, instead of religion, I learned history, and instead of praying, I learned combat." "My life as a Paladin was rather simple, when I wasn't out there fighting, I sat in the library learning, or was on the yard practicing fighting, I have vowed to fight for justice, so when I wasn't doing that, I spend my time learning how to do it better." "Thus my studies in healing, I am not naive, I know I'm but a single individual, so as time went on, I focused more and more on the small scale, how can I help individuals." 

"Which brings me to today, with the order gone, with me being the only thing left, my life is different, yet, I am driven by my oath still." "So to answer your question, What does the life of a Paladin entail? It entails the willingness to give your all to work for what you believe, willingness to constantly work on your mind and body to become better..." Myrkr again turned somber "...willingness to carry on, to have faith that even in the deepest darkness, you'll find light." 

Nerzhei probably didn't expect that kind of response, but she had been right in that Myrkr had nobody to share the weight with, so when he was actually asked about it, he may have gone bit overboard with the answer. 

--
"I'm alive." was Ruby's response to Leviathan's worry, and while she was as hard to read as always, minus the obvious pain caused by the wound and then Charir's fire, she was very much not 'okay'. Physically she was fine, what was a little cut here and there, and even the burn caused by Charir, since the pony form was not fireproof, was nothing to her, but mentally? She was good at hiding it, but she wasn't nearly as calm as she seemed, she was starting to feel more and more claustrophobic due to lack of room to transform, and thus was staring to feel extremely uncomfortable about being, quite literally, trapped in her own skin. She did not like being this helpless.

Leviathan's yelp got both of the other dragons' attention, Charir being more visibly worried, but as they both could see that she wasn't in active danger, and her words told Ruby what had happened, neither of them did anything, Charir wanted to do something, but didn't have the means to, nor time really, as his attention turned back towards the threats themselves.

 After the yank, Ruby spoke quickly, exhaustion audible from her tone "You already met the one chasing me." she gestured to the priestess "It reanimated some special mummy deer that speaks and can sense us." "Said mummy told the skeletons to bring us to it" she dodged and moved as necessary while she spoke "Have you tried to blow up a wall or a roof or something? if that doesn't work, we are out of options." 

Ruby was no help with fighting here, only way to do any real damage in this form, needed her to turn her back towards the enemy, which was just simply idiotic to do here, especially since they knew it would do nothing, however, Leviathan wasn't alone in fighting, because Charir still had plenty of energy, and while he knew it was ultimately useless, he rather went down fighting. So Charir went around slashing, mostly legs and the priestess's staff, yes they fixed themselves, but at least they would be out of the fight for that period of time.

While useless in fight right at this moment, Ruby still didn't just stand there doing nothing, rather she worked as extra pair of eyes, warning Leviathan and Charir about any incoming hit they may not notice, and if necessarily, even take a hit for one of them, fully aware that in this form that could be quite lethal. 

 



 

 

 

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@Catpone Cerberus

"I spend most of my youth being reckless, and cause problems for everypony around me. Almost got me in prison, until I were given one last chance, to turn my life around. So you can trust it when I say, that I've done enough mistakes to teach me about not doing something you might regret, and accepting when I'm out of my depths. You and the kobolds, all warned me plenty that she should not be confronted with hostility, so I listened, and acted upon it. And fully am I glad you were right about that, else who knows how things might have gone?

So while we are extending gratitude, please accept mine to you, for the warnings, on top of everything else you did. The town have had enough problems as it is, without her adding actual carnage to the equation. For a one pony operation, you so far have a good track record."

Stargazer were not ashamed of his past. His years as an orphaned thestral, left at night at the Canterlot Orphanage, were well documented. As were his criminal record for the time, as he lashed out, the more time went with him getting passed on for adoption, or even worse yet, sent back. A thestral had to be raised a little differently than you would a pony after all, and it were not something all wanted to get through the hassle dealing with. So he lashed out in anger, and a desperate attempt for attention, and in the end, he got it. From a high ranking officer in the Night Guard, that came to his cell when he had turned 18, and thus were able to be tried as an adult.  And the choice she gave him were simple: Accept the upwards of twenty years in prison that his various non-violent offenses had raked up, or follow her, and let the guards give him the purpose and discipline he sorely needed.

He wouldn't want to think of how his life had gone, had he not taken that offer, and dedicated himself to being better, and if asked about it by others who heard something, or knew him when he were young and reckless, he hadn't an issue telling the story. He had even been called in to tell it in details, at some places like school, and youth criminal holdings, to try and be both an inspiration, and cautionary tale for others, before they got too far.

Of course, it had become more problematic now that his half brother had shown up. Somepony he didn't even knew existed, much less who his mother were. The former of whom were a fugitive from a notorious spy organization, and the latter a dangerous criminal, who had escaped prison after capture. That part of his family history though, he kept to himself. There were still much he had to deal with there himself.

"I apologize for cutting our meeting short, but I have to go around and make sure that the locals are informed that they can come out again from the bunkers now, as well as find in which one my daughter have hidden in. If there is nothing else, I should go and do this, before somepony start going stir crazy.

Though know that I wish you all the best of luck, finding new companions for your group. I worry that we might need you sooner than others might expect. Times have been odd these last few years."

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

 

@Catpone Cerberus

Nerzhei would have pulled up a notebook from her bag, and begun making some written notes about the things he were saying, on the back pages. Her gaze were still squarely on him, as she did not need to look down to write. It was just a matter of practice, and she had had plenty of that, as she grew up around dullards and brutes. Things like practicing writing without looking at the paper, having good penmanship, and refining her geomancy, were things she had done that were more worthwhile in her mind, than going around, having wrestling matches with small-minded individuals.

"I know some who would mark Paladins, as zealots. I for one, am impressed with your degree of devotion. It takes a strong mind to not bend before hardships or pressure of others, and stick the course for something they believe is right. I do not compare it with my own ordeals and trouble in staying my own course though. It seems an unjust mockery to compare the two equally. Yet it allows me some degree of understanding and relatability, of what you are saying. And for what it is worth, you have my sympathies, for going through all that, to now stand as the final piece of your order. I can imagine you must stand with a heavy weight hovering above you, knowing that the order stands or falls, depending on your actions."

She wouldn't stop him from speaking of his order, and had waited respectfully for him to finish, before offering her own words. Truthfully, she were impressed with what she heard. The Paladins sounded like a fascinating order of essentially combat scholars with a cause. A good one at that, wanting to work for the betterment of others. For a dragon especially, that could be tough to do at times. Draconic pride were a harsh enemy to conquer, and she knew many who simply couldn't do that. Insufferable ones she'd say, though she were not without fault. She openly admitted to still having her pride, but she were not controlled by it. It were simply part of her. A part that she could mostly ignore, when the situation did not call for her to be self centered.

"I am a scholar by choice. I always found words and knowledge more worthwhile, than lumbering life with no other purpose than to toughen up, grow older, and try to prove physical superiority to others. When I dove in the ocean for crystals to study, and found the sealed box, wherein the tome that seem to hold answers to the long forgotten past before the dragon and pony war, I were told to toss it. Some even wanted to outright destroy it, as the mere notion that there were a time when we might have even gotten along well, were seen as blasphemy. So I beat them up, and left.

That's what I've been dealing with on the Dragon Isles for decades. Ignorance and persecution, amongst a collaboration of mostly dullards and hardliners. Getting somewhat exiled have frankly been a blessing. I'm provided somewhat peace to my studies, and for once one who are curious of the story too.

Just imagine. The book is written in an ancient combination of equine and draconian, and depicts cities where dragons and ponies wander close. What were this? What caused it to end, and the schism between dragons and ponies to happen? I know not the answers, and are appalled that some would wish to silence such knowledge."

She'd let out a sigh, and press her index finger and thumb on her brow for a moment, before shaking her head slightly.

"My apologies. I did not intend to rant. It is not many I have had to speak with over the years, beyond Lotus here, but she cares little for these things. She simply craves food, company, and violence. I acknowledge being at fault for the last trait.

I do not wish to keep you from your companions, if you need to move on, but if not, I would like to hear more of the Paladins. If not now, then perhaps some other time? Your order sounds like a worthwhile, fascinating organization, with good ideals. I'd like to know more of it, if the time allows it. Or if not, find a time that might suit you better?"

She were not saying that she wanted to be a Paladin. She didn't even know what the qualifications for it were, but at the very least, she'd like to know more some time. For now it had her interest, as Myrkr did. He were the first scholar as such, that she had met among dragons. Even the smarter, more magical in nature ones back home, had not been fitting for such a title, nor wanted it. Meeting one who also had good values, were highly fascinating to her.

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

 

@Catpone Cerberus

9 hours ago, Catpone Cerberus said:

After the yank, Ruby spoke quickly, exhaustion audible from her tone "You already met the one chasing me." she gestured to the priestess "It reanimated some special mummy deer that speaks and can sense us." "Said mummy told the skeletons to bring us to it" she dodged and moved as necessary while she spoke "Have you tried to blow up a wall or a roof or something? if that doesn't work, we are out of options." 

"I'll try when I find an opening. Annoying skeleton isn't making this easy."

She were trying, but she were forced into defense moistly here, to keep the dark magic from causing more trouble, while she waited for an opening. Maybe she could collapse some of the ceiling or wall, and then solve some of the issue that way, but she couldn't try, if it would cause the others to get hit. Her want for self preservation could take a hike, she needed to keep them safe. The beings who actually mattered to her, more than anyone had in a long, long time.

9 hours ago, Catpone Cerberus said:

Ruby was no help with fighting here, only way to do any real damage in this form, needed her to turn her back towards the enemy, which was just simply idiotic to do here, especially since they knew it would do nothing, however, Leviathan wasn't alone in fighting, because Charir still had plenty of energy, and while he knew it was ultimately useless, he rather went down fighting. So Charir went around slashing, mostly legs and the priestess's staff, yes they fixed themselves, but at least they would be out of the fight for that period of time.

While useless in fight right at this moment, Ruby still didn't just stand there doing nothing, rather she worked as extra pair of eyes, warning Leviathan and Charir about any incoming hit they may not notice, and if necessarily, even take a hit for one of them, fully aware that in this form that could be quite lethal. 

There were mistakes made here. The first being by Charir, who would feel the impact of his hybris, as the priestess did not need the staff whole to cast her spells. It were but a conduit in some cases, and in others, a ceremonial thing. When he got close enough where he slashed it, he would find two things. The first being that while he could slash through it, her bones would give, but not break and vanish. It would jerk back into place, with her stance not showing her to have been impacted by the sudden lack of a leg. Dark magic likely held her somewhat stronger in place that the others.

The other thing he'd find, were that he'd be trapped, with dark tendrils sprouting from the ground, and quickly wrapping tightly around him. He wouldn't be able to do much, as it were a strong grip, capturing him in a ball that would begin to hover in front of the priestess. He'd be physically held in place in there, and unable to use magic, as it would sting at him if he tried, but he could breathe in the darkness.

"Charir! NO!"

Leviathan would panic now, and that would be the second mistake. She'd use a force of magic to hammer into the wall behind the priestess, to let loose some rocks to smash her with, but it were no use. The dark magic were making the walls stronger it appeared, and the stone would not budge. So she would dash forward using what reserves she could to reach out to Charir. It would pain her greatly, as she were needing to use her magic to do this, and the tendrils started grasping her, but she'd keep doing this, and yank him out forcefully, tossing him back towards the hallways they had come from. He were sadly still covered in thin tendrils, restricting his movements, but he were out of the priestesses grasp at least.

Same could not be said for Leviathan though. As she had used her magic and focus on this, and not been aware enough, some of the dark blobs that had been tossed about would start to impact her, and rag her forcefully into the orb that Charir had left. Ruby could take some hits herself, but she would find the same. That they latches to her, and began spreading, with intended to restrain, and capture. The priestess wanted to bring them back alive. And now that she had Leviathan, she would send the dark orb towards the main chamber, where she would soon enough stand ready to face the mummified deer.

Ruby could avoid this though, if she rushed in and took her place in the orb instead. Got taken before Leviathan got in. She could also try to take form if she wanted. Maybe she could just about be in the room if she tried, but she'd be unable to move much. All the easier for the dark magic to grasp her, and eventually cover her in darkness, and lock her in place. Though she might also be able to grab the priestess, and smash her into small portions, and crush the bones to dust. It were the only way to completely destroy them.

If she did neither, the priestess were likely to just try and grasp her now, tendrils rising from many angles, as she wanted all the living here, to come with her. And if she got to Ruby, and got her away in her pony form, she too would feel herself being lifted, and taken elsewhere. To where Leviathan were though? That were hard to say.

There were also one more option, of course. That she had tried to intercept Charir as he were thrown, and thus would get tossed back into the hall with him. If not, he'd have to face the grim sight approaching by himself, a few seconds later, as the deer from the entrance would show up, and look curiously down towards him. If Ruby were there though, his eyes would focus on her instead, as she were a new sight.

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@Blitz Boom

On 2024-02-08 at 8:15 AM, Blitz Boom said:

"I have experienced that. That is what Mother tells us to use the gates for. To protect our masters, and stand between them, and danger.

I could get hit too I think? Maybe that would teach me something."

She were still processing things here. Apparently, Lin had known about this deep, dark secret already, and the break from her end, came more from a mater of trust? She had no better idea anyway, though it sounded like some miscommunication to her. Now that they both knew, it should not be hard to move past that, no? Not for her anyway, but she assumed it were different with them. Maybe because they were not supposed to keep secrets from one another? That sounded like something she had heard siblings say before. That would fit with this in some ways.

"It is good that you both know what each other knows now, yes? About that day? Does it mean that you are going to be okay, and that Lin is healed?"

“Had we known and understood the full picture, maybe we could have handled this differently. But you are right; it’s good we now know what each other knew. It still hurts thinking about what happened that night, but we’ll remember the best of our parents, about how much they loved us, and that scar will heal in time.”

“As for getting hit, let’s try to avoid that when it’s not necessary. There are other ways to learn without getting hurt.” 

A matter of trust, a matter of communication… Sen didn’t think this was the root cause of the rift between him and Lin, and she was already aware of what happened. Perhaps it was truly an error on both sides, and they could have just come clean with each other about what they knew, trusting that they handled the situation the best way they knew how. Had they worked together to process their grief, things could have turned out differently. The matter isn’t completely resolved, but they could slowly learn to ease the pain. No more anger, no more sadness.

However, that was for another time. Elder Zhao’s examination of the surroundings was complete, and her findings didn’t sound completely optimistic. Whatever it was they found in the ruins wouldn’t be the last time they’d encounter it, but Sen still recalls a previous matter. It may not have an established connection, but some aspects lined up just right to feel like there may be more than just mere coincidence. 

On 2024-02-08 at 8:15 AM, Blitz Boom said:

"I did not find more traces of it. Best I can tell, it must have lost its grip when you were confronted with a traumatic memory, and chose to accept it, rather than fight it. That goes for you both.

However, I do not believe this to be the end of this entity. It had planted itself in your mind, but it were gotten rid off too cleanly. I suspect this might have just been it imprinting a copy unto you. If others encountered it, they may well fall under this same spell. I would advise that you kept clear of wherever you were affected, or at the least bring an escort with you, who understands such things.

As I am led to believe, your kin prefers being secluded, and handling things amongst yourselves? Let it be known that I can offer a helper, provided such things change. until then, simply stay clear, or send this one to test things. Her mind is a mess, that would not be simply overtaken."

She would point towards Omen, who were beginning to jump towards the gate, curious at what it were, but Zhao grabbed hold of her, and lifted her from the ground in one paw.

"I will deal with putting her where she needs to be. This path would simply cause her issue.

Peculiar that it is here though. It is not all whom ends these sorts of things with an open mind. You two are peculiar creatures. But we can talk more when all have awakened. Provided that you do, young lady."

“Before we go, there’s something you need to know. Whatever it was that latched on to sister… it may not be the first time something like it happened. Something took over and spoke through her. A while back, the rest of the longma in our village, myself included, also experienced it when someone took the face of our previous elder and used similar magic. It was purged from us the first time, but I am afraid that whatever it was that spoke through Lin will do it again when it comes.”

“We weren’t the only ones exploring the ruin when this whole mess started, but measures were taken to seal away the area so no one would stumble upon it. As far as we know, no one else is aware of it. But, you're right; this isn’t the place to speak of these matters. Let’s head out and continue elsewhere.”

Sen wasn’t looking forward to the headache, but it that was just the tip of the iceberg. Lin being out for several days meant she’d likely be left behind while the talks with the elders were happening. It’ll be one less voice who can provide perspective, but they’ll have to manage until she is ready to join them. Travel wouldn’t be an issue if opening gates was their primary mode of transportation; making good on their greater task and ensuring their success was the objective when the time came. 

Hopefully, Lin could be lucid enough within a short while to talk things over with the rest of the group to figure out their next move. At best, some method of fortifying their minds against external control could be good. It’ll just require figuring out what method of mental manipulation they were dealing with. 

For now, the siblings walked through the entryway into the hut, beyond the bright glow, and into the other side. No more traps lay before everyone, and the transition to the waking world would be smooth. Or perhaps it could be as smooth as it could get with some minor complications, but nothing that would cause major issues. Sen opened his eyes to find a paw on his head and aches radiating all over his body. An uncomfortable feeling, but he’ll manage. He’d be ready to talk when everyone is back. 

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@EQ_Theta

On 2024-02-11 at 2:38 AM, EQ_Theta said:

“Had we known and understood the full picture, maybe we could have handled this differently. But you are right; it’s good we now know what each other knew. It still hurts thinking about what happened that night, but we’ll remember the best of our parents, about how much they loved us, and that scar will heal in time.”

“As for getting hit, let’s try to avoid that when it’s not necessary. There are other ways to learn without getting hurt.” 

Wasn't like it would cause issue if they did try to hit her, sorta. She would automatically summon a gate to swallow them up if they tried, out of instinct, unless she tried to keep herself from doing so. And if they then punched her, they'd find that it didn't affect her much. At most, she'd be somewhat confused. Wasn't like she hadn't been hit in the face with things before after all. She were about three thousand years old. Even if she had spent most of that in Mother's realm, she still had plenty of time to try things. Getting accidentally hit with things were among them, but none had really left her with any damage. usually the things dented or broke when they hit her. or weren't all that strong. Not that you needed that sort to defeat her. A ball of yarn usually did the trick.

Mother sometimes wondered why that were, but found no answer. Omen herself did not know it either, and when she asked Discord, he couldn't point to that being something he had caused. Least not intentionally. He did find it amusing though, and sometimes tossed various amounts of string, or rope over to her, to see what would happen. Worst time, she had gotten what amounted to a thimble of thick yarn, and somehow ended in a position that if she did breathe, she would have suffocated.

On 2024-02-11 at 2:38 AM, EQ_Theta said:

“Before we go, there’s something you need to know. Whatever it was that latched on to sister… it may not be the first time something like it happened. Something took over and spoke through her. A while back, the rest of the longma in our village, myself included, also experienced it when someone took the face of our previous elder and used similar magic. It was purged from us the first time, but I am afraid that whatever it was that spoke through Lin will do it again when it comes.”

“We weren’t the only ones exploring the ruin when this whole mess started, but measures were taken to seal away the area so no one would stumble upon it. As far as we know, no one else is aware of it. But, you're right; this isn’t the place to speak of these matters. Let’s head out and continue elsewhere.”

"It could have made you more susceptible to being taken over, though I couldn't say for sure, without more insight into the smaller details, that you are likely not aware of. Regardless, it might mean it is simply not safe for any longma to go to those ruins you encountered this presence. I would suggest all of you avoid it, and either let Omen examine it alone, or wait until a professional can take the charge. A non-longma one, mind you."

Yes they were isolationists, but if they wanted answers, then they had to let others take care of it. Omen appeared welcome, so letting her try would likely be fine, although she of course wouldn't know what to look for, or what to do, even if she did find something. She should be protected against the influence though. Ideally, she'd say to have one of the better students in this sort of field from equine or kitsune  origins handle it, but if they were isolated, who were to say how long it would be before something like that would be allowed? And sneaking them in? Would likely get these three exiled, or executed.

It were not lost on her that she essentially did say, what she had grasped were a rule with the elder that had split their family apart had said though. He too wanted them to not examine that place, and were at least right about it being a bad place for the longma to be. It did not mean that his response to that had been just. Disobeying should have some consequences, but what she surmised had happened... It were too much. Even for her kind, who did use exile as an extreme punishment measure, would not allow executions. If that punishment were to happen, it would not come from them, but from the ancestors, if the villain had done something harsh enough to deserve judgement by them. And even then, death were an extremely rare judgement. About once every century or so.

Hmph. If she got the chance someday, she'd have some choice words, and harsh truths to show their current elders. And she welcomed them to try and have her chained up because of her opinion, or harm her. Magicless creatures, who had no true experience dealing with things from beyond their limited scope? It were unlikely to be a large concern to keep them confused and unable to do much of anything to actually find her, much less hurt her. Her kin were masters of illusions, and at the best of times, it were hard to pin them down. Inexperienced beings wouldn't have much of a chance. It allowed her to approach them more brazenly, if for some reason, they would meet.

But something told her that a generation might pass on either side, before that would have to be a concern that any of them had to consider. It appeared the longma had a convoluted, narrow sight upon things and beings from what they considered outside, and used archaic rules to keep it that way. A pity really. Tradition were all well and good, but one should welcome outside perspectives.

On 2024-02-11 at 2:38 AM, EQ_Theta said:

For now, the siblings walked through the entryway into the hut, beyond the bright glow, and into the other side. No more traps lay before everyone, and the transition to the waking world would be smooth. Or perhaps it could be as smooth as it could get with some minor complications, but nothing that would cause major issues. Sen opened his eyes to find a paw on his head and aches radiating all over his body. An uncomfortable feeling, but he’ll manage. He’d be ready to talk when everyone is back. 

It would still be around a half minute, before the elder opened her eyes, thought the others could move from her if they were lucid before that. All but Omen, who stood... Well, not stood per se. She more like... Were slumped over, standing on her front legs, with her face planted in the ground. Regardless, Omen would be the last to move, when the Elder finally took her paw from the Ki'nathar's head, though she'd start slowly. A few movements of limbs, and a few seconds to re-orient herself.

They would still have someone else there though, yet he were none too pleased. He had been comfortably resting for most of their time here, laying on Omen's neck, so most just assumed he were a necklace of some sort. After she had slumped over though, he had woken up, and seeing things, had gotten cranky, and tried to attack the elder. And long story short, that were why he were currently floating in the air, encased in a feint, green mist, seemingly fast asleep. He had been a distraction, and needed to get out of her hair. Him trying to blast and bite her were going to halt the treatment.

He were not totally alone there though. Another elder kitsune, this one entirely silver in coloration, barring a single stripe of red left near her face, were petting the floating creature, whilst leaning against a cane.

"Done so soon? What a shame."

"Longer than I would normally have preferred, Elder Sohe. Apologies for the impromptu use of your study."

"Oh pish posh. I've done the same in my time, so think nothing of it.

Will they all wake up soon, dearie?"

Omen would move and do a slow flip, before getting back on her hooves, and looking around.

"Omen at least seems awake. She were not easy to put together in her mind again.

I am also aware you are awake, Sen. Don't just lie around now."

Lin... She were uncertain, but she would use magic to float the longma with her, if she did not seem to wake up yet, and then their first stop would have to be a guest room. She'd need rest, and time, if she had not woken up yet. How long? hard to say, but they would see. She had passed her ordeal at least, so the worst were over.

Elder Sohe would stop petting the unconscious Shrimp, and would wander over to either look Sen right in the face, or if he were still laying down, hovering over him, and look down. Her movements slow, and eyes radiating with the sort of knowledge, that came with age. More so than the others they had met thus far. That and how Zhao had addressed her as elder, even when she were one herself, should inform him that this kitsune were a good deal older than Zhao.

She also looked at him with warmth, not strictness like Zhao, or mischievousness like Gao, whilst leaning on her crooked, wooden cane.

"Hello there, Sen. How are you feeling?"

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@Blitz Boom

On 2024-02-14 at 6:54 AM, Blitz Boom said:

"It could have made you more susceptible to being taken over, though I couldn't say for sure, without more insight into the smaller details, that you are likely not aware of. Regardless, it might mean it is simply not safe for any longma to go to those ruins you encountered this presence. I would suggest all of you avoid it, and either let Omen examine it alone, or wait until a professional can take the charge. A non-longma one, mind you."

“Places like those ruins are considered taboo, but we were only told they were cursed. Even the younger longma in the village are told the same thing. The elder Solasan warned everyone to keep away from them, but not even he could follow his warning. What he found there was just the start, and it soon gained enough power to keep a whole village under its rule, with none of us the wiser. We had to learn why he was going in there and its importance; we just didn't expect to find what we did or lead to the mess we found ourselves in.”

“Sadly, even one place didn’t give us a lot of information, only clues to some unknown location through glyphs that glowed before fading. If the opportunity presents itself, we will look into this, but we... are aware that the longma investigating this matter presents problems. Omen also knows about it, so we have some way of moving forward without putting ourselves at risk, but we'll be careful nonetheless. If possible, we'll try to be discrete to avoid drawing attention to what we found and how we came across it.”

Though it is true that some knowledge gleaned from the glyphs, combined with additional knowledge from the scholars and longma knowledge of the forest added to what they already knew, it didn’t really seem to amount to much. A location hinted through a step pyramid was about the only tangible hint they had for now. However, making sense of that may only happen once they find that place, and even then, that wasn’t a guarantee. Sen could only imagine the disappointment; something was coming, but having nothing else to work with made things aggravating to the longma. 

Having someone investigate the ruins wasn’t a bad idea, but knowing how the longma viewed outsiders, the siblings were worried for them. It didn’t matter that someone else was poking around; the elders would like to think that would be good, as they weren’t risking longma lives. What secrets could be discovered in the ruins was likely something the longma would want to keep for themselves, and the longma would rather have no one delve too deep. Complications upon complications, with no answer in sight… it wasn’t something that appealed to Sen or Lin. 

For now, that matter may need to be shelved for another time. With the meeting before the elders’ council approaching, that was where Sen would focus. If things were to go well, perhaps it would pave the way for further inquests into the ruins, preferably with no one breathing too much down the necks of anyone investigating them. That would make things a little easier should Elder Zhao send some kitsune to investigate. Either that or Omen may be able to move around a lot more freely. 

Sen would slowly come to and regain his consciousness. The faint sounds of conversation filled the air, and although the longma appeared asleep, he’d slowly begun to perceive more of the world around him. It was fitting that the first clear words he recognized were from Elder Zhao, rousing him from slumber, followed by someone addressing him directly.

On 2024-02-14 at 6:54 AM, Blitz Boom said:

"Omen at least seems awake. She were not easy to put together in her mind again.

I am also aware you are awake, Sen. Don't just lie around now."

Lin... She were uncertain, but she would use magic to float the longma with her, if she did not seem to wake up yet, and then their first stop would have to be a guest room. She'd need rest, and time, if she had not woken up yet. How long? hard to say, but they would see. She had passed her ordeal at least, so the worst were over.

Elder Sohe would stop petting the unconscious Shrimp, and would wander over to either look Sen right in the face, or if he were still laying down, hovering over him, and look down. Her movements slow, and eyes radiating with the sort of knowledge, that came with age. More so than the others they had met thus far. That and how Zhao had addressed her as elder, even when she were one herself, should inform him that this kitsune were a good deal older than Zhao.

She also looked at him with warmth, not strictness like Zhao, or mischievousness like Gao, whilst leaning on her crooked, wooden cane.

"Hello there, Sen. How are you feeling?"

“Ugh… Oh! Hello to you, too. I… I’m fine. Hhngh… maybe not. I’ve got a headache, and the rest of my body feels like someone beat me up and knocked me out cold, but I’ll manage. It looks like I’m back from that strange mindscape.”

Lin nearby would twitch occasionally, though she wasn’t quite awake yet. It was only a mere sign of activity that gave some relief that she’d be up eventually. For now, she’d remain asleep, her mind likely attempting to make sense and repair what it could after Sen and the others did their part. Sen looked around to see Omen was up, and Elder Zhao moving and speaking about, they were likely just waiting on him. He’d give himself a moment to let some of the pain from his headache subside, though it would be hard to focus for a time on account of, well… everything hurting.

“I… uh… suppose now might be a good time to talk, right? Is Lin awake?”

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@EQ_Theta

On 2024-02-15 at 3:42 PM, EQ_Theta said:

“Places like those ruins are considered taboo, but we were only told they were cursed. Even the younger longma in the village are told the same thing. The elder Solasan warned everyone to keep away from them, but not even he could follow his warning. What he found there was just the start, and it soon gained enough power to keep a whole village under its rule, with none of us the wiser. We had to learn why he was going in there and its importance; we just didn't expect to find what we did or lead to the mess we found ourselves in.”

“Sadly, even one place didn’t give us a lot of information, only clues to some unknown location through glyphs that glowed before fading. If the opportunity presents itself, we will look into this, but we... are aware that the longma investigating this matter presents problems. Omen also knows about it, so we have some way of moving forward without putting ourselves at risk, but we'll be careful nonetheless. If possible, we'll try to be discrete to avoid drawing attention to what we found and how we came across it.”

"Hmm... From the perspective of the uninitiated, deeming the ruins that you were infected in as cursed, seems appropriate, albeit lackluster. It serves well enough as a means to warn others away from dangers at the least. This minute credit I will give your elder.

Yet to then wander into the embrace, of the evil that he forbade any else from seeing, and punishing dissenters to the rule that he broke, as severely as he did? Hmph. He's a disgrace to the position of power that he laid claim to. No degree of self insight, or acknowledgement of fault, speaks poorly of one meant to lead. You cannot properly lead others, if you do not lead both by example. And one way of doing so, is to accept your mistakes, and if something has happened because of it, to give yourself in, and choose the village, over the individual. Seeking simply power instead? Lackluster as a leader. I hope your other elders are better than this. if not, I worry for your kin."

Elder Zhao were not flawless. She had done things in her past that were less than ideal. As had most of the other elders. But they had accepted that, and confronted their flaws. If they hadn't, and had done as Salosan had done, they'd have been stripped of their position of power, and made to either improve themselves, or leave the safety of the village. Most then chose the former, and improved themselves. Got past their weakness, and became if not an elder again, at least a well respected member of their society. Certain other methods could also be used at times, but it did not detract from the fact that in their culture, an unwillingness to chose the village, over the individual, marked a weak leader. Someone like Salosan, would not have been well received here. They had several legends of some like him, that proved so.

"As for your curiosity, I am not one to judge for that. I only ask that you consider enough restraints, to show caution. You might not be as lucky as you were this time, if you do not.

Looking for locations, and referencing runes should be somewhat harmless though. Try and visit libraries of various kinds of creatures, if you have trouble deciphering them. Same if you find maps. You will find that different species, looks upon their country differently. Like the ways the Neighponese ponies marks their cites and roads, where we mark our towns, shrines, and ley lines.

There is no shame in seeking help from others."

On 2024-02-15 at 3:42 PM, EQ_Theta said:

“Ugh… Oh! Hello to you, too. I… I’m fine. Hhngh… maybe not. I’ve got a headache, and the rest of my body feels like someone beat me up and knocked me out cold, but I’ll manage. It looks like I’m back from that strange mindscape.”

Lin nearby would twitch occasionally, though she wasn’t quite awake yet. It was only a mere sign of activity that gave some relief that she’d be up eventually. For now, she’d remain asleep, her mind likely attempting to make sense and repair what it could after Sen and the others did their part. Sen looked around to see Omen was up, and Elder Zhao moving and speaking about, they were likely just waiting on him. He’d give himself a moment to let some of the pain from his headache subside, though it would be hard to focus for a time on account of, well… everything hurting.

“I… uh… suppose now might be a good time to talk, right? Is Lin awake?”

"Hmm."

The elderly kitsune craned her neck to look at Lin, as she twitched in her slumber on occasion. After a few seconds, she would return to gaze at Sen.

"She seems healthy, stirring a minor bit... I would think she'd wake soon enough. The mind is a delicate thing to meddle with, dear child. Even done by good paws, it can take a little time to readjust. Don't worry, we will make sure she is taken care of. is that not so, dearie?"

"Of course, Elder Sohe. I would never have suggested otherwise."

Elder Zhao would engulf Lin in a magical aura, lifting her above ground, and leading the way outwards. Unless it seemed like she were starting to wake up, in which case she'd set her down. If not, they would be ready to get on their way.

"What about you, Sen? Do you need help to move as well?"

"I can move him if he does.

Can I get Shrimp back now?"

Elder Zhao would wave her paw, and the sleeping refraction would float over on Omen, where he'd lay comfortably at her neck again, none the wiser about what happened.

"Your pet were interrupting the ceremony, so I cast a sleeping spell. Give it time.

Now then Sen, are you prepared? I am imagining you're dealing with some pain now, but don't fret. It will pass soon enough."

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@Blitz Boom

"I also have duties to attend, so I won't hold you any longer, I appreciate your words, and we'll meet again at some point, hopefully in calmer circumstances." "I'll put a word forward in the headquarters that this town needs more guards." Stargazer hadn't asked for it, but Solar didn't do it for him as much as he did for the reason of security, one guard could not do the job 24/7, or well, a regular guard couldn't, he could, but he was half machine, literally, though even he needed to sleep now and then...point being, forcing a single individual to be responsible for the town was at best negligent, and at worst deadly. 

If there was nothing else, Solar would seemingly take a quick glance at the area as a whole, before saying his goodbyes and taking off, but in reality, that glance was him recording the place for further analysis, in all of its negative effects, a good thing about being part machine was that you could do things like machine. If nothing else came up, he'd make his way back to his room in Canterlot, after leaving a short report about the town's security problem, which basically said 'While Stargazer did excellent job dealing with the newest threat, failing to reinforce the active personnel in Ponyville has the potential to lead to unprecedented loss of life.', of course written in correct official way.

Solar's office/rooms was rather normal, there was a front desk, empty at the moment, and then further in was his desk, and to the side there was a separated conference room, which was under construction to be transformed into a secure operation briefing room. Around Solar's desk was lot of paper, all the work in progress paperwork, and behind it an overly secure locked box, which had pieces of technology and whatever else samples he had gathered to investigate.

On a table to the side, there was a machine, he had gotten it made thanks to a tinkerer in ponyville, and simply put, it was a printer that allowed him to get information out of his mind directly on paper, it was very limited in its capabilities, thus the need to still write everything on the official paperwork, but he used it mainly to get the information on paper so that when eventually he'd get someone to help with the paperwork, he wouldn't need to share it verbally. He had ordered other machines too, but they were still under work, things like a projector that can project from his mind and such, basically machines that allowed him to share information from his systems to others, and machines that allowed others to investigate things without him being there, it was lot of work for the tinkerer, but it was possible with what this world already had.

After printing the draft of the report for the Sheez incident, Solar checked his mail for anything that may take priority over writing reports, and he did find one thing that did, a report from Manehattan. It stated that a body matching descriptions of what goes under Solar's responsibilities had been found and moved to proper storage to wait for him, along all the actions taken regarding the area of discovery. So Solar took off once again, and ended up taking a train because he had flown enough for today. 

---

"I am in no hurry, my companions can go on without me if they feel impatient, they don't need me, and I can always find them again." Myrkr stated, and as proof for his words, he sat down on the ground "But before I talk more about my order, I'd like to address what you said before."  "The line between a Paladin and a zealot is a thin one, that is the truth, I have seen other paladins, other orders, which I would call zealots." "At least in my point of view, which is of course affected by my upbringing, what determines the side of the line you are on, is awareness, there's a fine line between devotion, and blind fanaticism." "I'd like to believe that I have managed to stay out of the blindness, but it is something only others can judge." 

"Furthermore, blindness is what brought the doom of our order, in hunt for justice, we became tools of injustice, and in our quest  to bring hope, we lost our own vision for future." "Some of us became so fanatical, that they lost their devotion."  while somber, he sounded like he had accepted it all at this point

"I am sad to hear that the willing ignorance for history is true here too, guess it's just an universal truth for our kind, a saddening irony, as with our long lives we should be the ones to treasure it, to learn from the mistakes of those before us." "Those who do not learn from history, are doomed to repeat it." 

Then the wish for more information.

"It seems there may be a small misunderstanding, paladins is not the name of the order,  paladin, is simply a title, like knight, or general, there are paladins of various orders." "The names of orders are various, but usually reference something that is important to them, like the founder, the being they worship, or their core belief, however it can often be symbolic rather than direct." "My order is named after our founder, The order of Pyre." "Not much is known about them, other than the name, it's not even clear if it was their real name or a name they gained at some point." "And it's not matter of bad record keeping, the history of the order was written down in detail, but any mention of Pyre is kept vague." 

"The origin of the order goes further away than its creation, as before it there existed an unnamed group, part of which Pyre was, not many texts survived from this time, as they are ancient even by dragon standards, but those that did, tell a story of Pyre's group having to flee their home due to actions of a leadership, they detail some things from their journey, and finally mention the unjust suffering of Pyre." "It's unclear if they died or not, but the group was named in their honor, and that then evolved into the order." 

"Then things are quite uneventful for a long while, the group becomes a full blown order, they get new members, old ones die as time goes on, some things change, some stay the same." "Pyre was never worshiped, in fact, our order has always been quite open minded as far as religious groups go, as the only requirement was what's stated in the oath, so it didn't matter what you may or may not worship, as long as it is devoted to principles of the order." "However, it would be false to claim Pyre has no effect in the rituals of the order, most obvious example being funerals, as we burn our dead, on a pyre." 

"Things started to take a turn a millennia or so ago, the world became a darker place, more unjust, so suddenly the order's devotion was tested, the mission became more real. Things went well back then, but looking with hindsight, it was the start of the collapse." "Some centuries later, I come in." "I mentioned that fate chose me, 'forces beyond my understanding', it was not symbolism." "I hatched into a world of darkness, far from my land of origin, descendant to dragons who had to flee for their life." "My biology is bit different than you may expect, we evolved differently to dragons from Dragon Isles" "I won't grow much bigger than this." "But smaller size doesn't make us any less dangerous." 

"Without going in detail, I had flee my home, which is where the forces come to play." "I started hearing voices in my head, and while obviously at first I thought I was losing my mind, after a while I noticed things that couldn't be creations of my mind, which ultimately then led me to the order." "I'll come back to that." 

"The fall of the order was first slow and then quick, as things tend to be."  "As years went by, a great power grew around us, a collection of nations, an alliance on paper, an empire in reality." "They were militaristic, and while they started as a force for good, they became a tyranny." "We....helped them, we took down their enemies, who, yes, also were unjust causes of suffering, but were ultimately smaller problems than the one we were helping, even if indirectly." "This conflict broke the order, some couldn't handle the fact that there was no good choices, some were so stricken by guilt that they lost all hope, and some lost their belief in justice." "Some of us stayed, but then the last trial came, the empire gave an ultimatum, work for them, or die." he paused for a second "When the troops came, I was the only one standing guard." 

"If the order stands or falls is not a question, it has fallen already, I do not carry the weight of rebuilding, but the weight of legacy and history, I will continue my duties as paladin of Pyre, I try to inspire others to fight for justice, I will warn others of the mistakes we made, but the order will die with me, for it is my duty to carry the weight of our mistakes." "You may wonder why I stayed, why I still consider myself part of it, and to that, there's two answers, one is simple, I had...I have nothing else, it is as much part of me as I am part of it, and the second..." he took out an enchanted sword from under the robe, putting it on the ground in front of him, at first glance it looked like it was made of bronze, but at closer look the material was different, though that wasn't probably the focus point, as the sword was decorated with what resembled dragon eyes, one smaller and one bigger, eyes, which turned to look at Nerzhei "...I was chosen by the holy relic of the order, The blade of Sight, it called me to it, and it is my duty to carry it until I perish." 

---

It wasn't as much hubris as it was desperation from Charir, it was the only thing he could think to do to protect those he cared about, including himself, after all, he was well aware that even in best case scenario, it didn't do much, was it really arrogance to rather die fighting an unwinnable fight, than standing scared doing nothing? After all, as far as he knew, death was the only end result here.

This would show when he found himself restrained, as he was not filled with confidence nor determination, but rather, panic, as in his last ditch effort, he started spewing fire until his breath ran out, at which point, regardless of how effective it may or may not have been, if he found himself stuck again, all he could do was struggle and whimper, because ultimately, no matter how tough of a life he had lived, he was still just a youngling, and he was absolutely terrified. His state was such, that if he did at any point manage to break free enough to move, his first, and only instinct, would be to run in whatever direction the priestess wasn't in, and it would be blind, panicing run, like a wild animal. 

Ruby wasn't in a spot to help Charir, but if/when Leviathan did at least try to help him, she was in position to watch her back, and she would take the first orb going for Leviathan, and as she was being covered, she'd try to kick around a bit, but other than that, she wouldn't be much resistance, ponies weren't good at fighting something like that, and she was so tired from all the running that there was only so much force she could use. She held her composure.

She didn't try to transform here, mostly because she saw no use in it, nor was she really in the head space to quickly check if she could fit here without dying instantly, or more importantly in this case, without crushing the two others getting crushed by her. The fact that she could have done more damage in that form didn't really matter to her, because she had no reason to believe that it made a difference, as far as she knew, these things could come back from anything, and they had sealed the exist anyway. 

Ruby knew when to give up, they were against magic here, and the fact was that she didn't have much to do against it, regardless of her form, besides, the fact that they were still alive did imply that there could be a way out of this, after all, this place had dark magic that could burn flesh off your bones, so if they were wanted dead, why would they even bother with the capturing thing?

 

 

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(edited)

@Blitz Boom

On 2024-02-17 at 9:51 AM, Blitz Boom said:

"She seems healthy, stirring a minor bit... I would think she'd wake soon enough. The mind is a delicate thing to meddle with, dear child. Even done by good paws, it can take a little time to readjust. Don't worry, we will make sure she is taken care of. is that not so, dearie?"

"Of course, Elder Sohe. I would never have suggested otherwise."

Elder Zhao would engulf Lin in a magical aura, lifting her above ground, and leading the way outwards. Unless it seemed like she were starting to wake up, in which case she'd set her down. If not, they would be ready to get on their way.

"What about you, Sen? Do you need help to move as well?"

“That’s good to know. Lin can be tough when she needs to be, and I know she wouldn’t let something set her back or hold her down. I suppose worrying about her won’t be necessary.”

Sen slowly began attempting to move himself, albeit slowly to see if he had fully awakened and returned to the physical realm. Small movements were first, bending a talon or two before stretching his wings and legs. The pain from getting beat up in the mindscape was still present, but he’d power through it. Uncomfortable it may be, but what happened in there could not be taken back; he had to be brought back to his senses, and beating that into him was the option taken. Stinging and throbbing sensations were still present and radiating all over him, and they’d be there for some time.

Fortunately, Omen was already up and about, and Shrimp was safe. All of them are, and the longma’s need to concern himself with everyone’s safety wouldn’t be needed. Perhaps some lessons still need to stick, but maybe in time, his reactions wouldn’t go to such extremes on instinct. He’d turn to Elder Sohe first, appreciating the concern for his current state.

“I’m… I’m all right. I can manage.” The longma slowly stood up, attempting to balance himself on his feet despite leaning toward the nearest wall to keep himself up. Perhaps his mind is still adjusting to his return to reality, but it wouldn’t take long for him to be up straight again despite the discomfort. He’d then look to Elder Zhao, an answer given for Shrimp’s current situation.

On 2024-02-17 at 9:51 AM, Blitz Boom said:

Elder Zhao would wave her paw, and the sleeping refraction would float over on Omen, where he'd lay comfortably at her neck again, none the wiser about what happened.

"Your pet were interrupting the ceremony, so I cast a sleeping spell. Give it time.

Now then Sen, are you prepared? I am imagining you're dealing with some pain now, but don't fret. It will pass soon enough."

“You’re right; the pain will pass. I can remember where we left off from our talk inside Lin’s mindscape. About seeking help… I wish it were true for the other longma. A lot has happened since we returned to them from exile, and a lot of what happened after that wouldn’t be possible without help from Omen. Lin and I have a lot to be thankful for.”

“As for our elder Solasan, he’s… long gone. The real one, I mean. The thing that took his face is also facing punishment for what he’s done, but I suspect it has some relation to whatever got its hold on Lin. Unfortunately, we never learned what it was, only fighting it to free our village. Maybe now that we aren't in that kind of danger, we could learn about our past and about who we were that led us to our current state.”

The elders back home may have had contact with the creature that became Solasan, a prospect that didn’t sit well with Sen. Compromised leadership at the highest levels didn’t bode well for the other longma, but there was nothing to suggest that was the case in reality. Indeed, the other longma elders may be fine physically and mentally, but a cunning entity could just lie dormant and work covertly. The longma would need to just keep his eye out for anything out of the ordinary and act as necessary when the time comes.

But for now, there was likely more to discuss, and Sen would save his breath for more pressing matters. He tried to walk forward, attempting to shake off some of the static-like sensations in his body to relieve the numbness. 

“I believe I am prepared now, Elder Zhao. I think we may still have more to discuss following what happened in the mindscape. Is there something specific you want to talk about?” 

Edited by EQ_Theta
Corrected a typo
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@EQ_Theta

On 2024-02-18 at 12:39 AM, EQ_Theta said:

“I’m… I’m all right. I can manage.” The longma slowly stood up, attempting to balance himself on his feet despite leaning toward the nearest wall to keep himself up. Perhaps his mind is still adjusting to his return to reality, but it wouldn’t take long for him to be up straight again despite the discomfort. He’d then look to Elder Zhao, an answer given for Shrimp’s current situation.

"Seems you've been through something taxing in there, yes?"

"He fell to a malignant influence. I had to forcefully restrain him, and remove it. Such things causes a degree of pain."

Elder Sohe chuckled softly. A sound not unlike wind slowly escaping a balloon.

"That so? Ever the teacher, aren't we?"

She'd speak to Zhao as she said this, who simply nodded in response.

On 2024-02-18 at 12:39 AM, EQ_Theta said:

“You’re right; the pain will pass. I can remember where we left off from our talk inside Lin’s mindscape. About seeking help… I wish it were true for the other longma. A lot has happened since we returned to them from exile, and a lot of what happened after that wouldn’t be possible without help from Omen. Lin and I have a lot to be thankful for.”

“As for our elder Solasan, he’s… long gone. The real one, I mean. The thing that took his face is also facing punishment for what he’s done, but I suspect it has some relation to whatever got its hold on Lin. Unfortunately, we never learned what it was, only fighting it to free our village. Maybe now that we aren't in that kind of danger, we could learn about our past and about who we were that led us to our current state.”

"A pity he is dead. It seems an insufficient punishment for failing his duties. Unless your ideas of the afterlife, includes a just judgement process? Ours do, but I can imagine you are not in a state of mind to hear of that now."

"Let us get his sister to a bed first. We can sit and speak after, while he gets to his senses, yes?"

"That would be the preferred way we handle things, yes."

On 2024-02-18 at 12:39 AM, EQ_Theta said:

“I believe I am prepared now, Elder Zhao. I think we may still have more to discuss following what happened in the mindscape. Is there something specific you want to talk about?” 

"B."

"Better than I would expect you giving him, considering the state he is in."

"He had meditation practice, and approached obstacles with logic, when it came to restoring memories at first. The ending part were lackluster though, with an attempt at rectifying it afterwards done somewhat well."

They would wander out of this room, and back out to where water ran across the wooden bridges, leading them further up. The spirits were still wandering about, looking on, but this time, they seemed more comfortable getting closer, to have a look at the peculiar outsiders. Yet they would hide around Elder Sohe to do so, slowing them down some, yet she didn't mind. She had a smile on her face, and would reassure them that their guests were safe.

One large, elongated salamander, seemingly made out of water and twigs, would roil up from the river. it would stand over her, resting its form - in which water still ran through by the looks of things - on her back, with its long front legs on the ground. The back half of it still in the river, potentially meaning it were unable to leave it fully.

It stared at Sen, Lin, and Omen, tilting its head the same as Omen did, as she gazed curiously into its large, blue eyes.

It were the one who got closest. If Sen tried to approach any of them, they'd rush off, not wanting to actually get within range to be touched by him. Nor Elder Zhao, though she did not try either. The only one they wanted to have physical contact with it appeared, were Elder Sohe. Most would still remain at a distance, and curiously watch on though.

"Strange creatures."

"Be not afraid of the spirits. They mean no harm. River even braves their stream, to witness who is here. It is not often we have visitors of other kins, that walks with the elders."

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

 

@Catpone Cerberus

On 2024-02-17 at 1:41 PM, Catpone Cerberus said:

"I also have duties to attend, so I won't hold you any longer, I appreciate your words, and we'll meet again at some point, hopefully in calmer circumstances." "I'll put a word forward in the headquarters that this town needs more guards." Stargazer hadn't asked for it, but Solar didn't do it for him as much as he did for the reason of security, one guard could not do the job 24/7, or well, a regular guard couldn't, he could, but he was half machine, literally, though even he needed to sleep now and then...point being, forcing a single individual to be responsible for the town was at best negligent, and at worst deadly. 

"It is a little difficult in this case I am afraid. As the local princess, Princess Twilight has to establish her own guard order. She doesn't have protectors until she herself officially ask for some guards from the other guard unit, to cover things until she has her own, or to start off her own unit.

With all due respect towards the princess, I believe she's grown complacent, after her and her friends have dealt with all the big issues, and have neglected to understand the impact even the small ones can have. Or the fact that they are not always here, as for instance, she is out of town right now, and several large episodes have happened since.

*sigh* I came here, as a favor to Princess Luna, as she saw the issues, but I believe she underestimated things too, and believed I'd mostly be used for minor local issues, like pocket thieves.

So I appreciate if you can set in words, since then perhaps the generals might send some out of principle, regardless of her potential objections, and I will in turn, speak to that mare that have wandered around with her recently. I can tell she's battle hardened, and she seems protective. Perhaps I can convince Princess Twilight to use her, to establish a proper guard of her own. Ponyville's not as safe as it sometimes look.

Regardless, I shall hold you no longer. Thank you once more, and I wish you a good trip."

Stargazer would salute Solar, as were proper in his mind, and then go on his way.

Solar were not wrong that all of this, were too much for Stargazer. He did his best, and tried to utilize the few guards coming through, or lecturing some guest studies at the school, but he barely got any sleep, and it were draining him. If he could at least get a solar guard out here, so he could have one to switch shifts with at times, that would be a vast improvement, but the most important thing would really be to talk to the princess about the security personally. Hopefully she would be back soon.

Though he supposed... Perhaps if he talked to her friends first, it might help his case? He'd stand stronger, if he had at least some of them agreeing with him, since he knew she valued their opinions greatly.

On 2024-02-17 at 1:41 PM, Catpone Cerberus said:

After printing the draft of the report for the Sheez incident, Solar checked his mail for anything that may take priority over writing reports, and he did find one thing that did, a report from Manehattan. It stated that a body matching descriptions of what goes under Solar's responsibilities had been found and moved to proper storage to wait for him, along all the actions taken regarding the area of discovery. So Solar took off once again, and ended up taking a train because he had flown enough for today. 

Getting off the train, he'd find that Manehattan were about as one could expect. A sprawling metropolis of ponies, though i recent years, a number of dragons and griffons, among others, had started to move here. Curiosity got the better of many, and after how well Fillydelphia went, with having ponies and dragons coexist, there were belief it could be done here too. Albeit there had been a few awkward moments, to put it mildly, it were overall going well. Not as easy as Deltrot, but they had a leader of sorts there, so that tended to make for a more orderly population of dragons.

If he scanned around fast, he might also see that there were seemingly two hoofprints scorched into the stone near the entry to the train. It did not go deep, but the singe were notable, and seemed to be from a few days past. He'd find a few more around here, but they were scattered, and didn't leave much of a pattern to follow. Though in one place, there were signs that fresh cement had been poured into one stone, repairing some circular holes that had come into it. Looked more melted than carved or drilled though. Like someone somepony had dropped acid on the stone for some unknown reason.

Didn't seem like there were a panic though, so it were probably not something that he'd have to worry about. The local authorities had likely handled this a while ago.

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

 

@Catpone Cerberus

On 2024-02-17 at 1:41 PM, Catpone Cerberus said:

"Furthermore, blindness is what brought the doom of our order, in hunt for justice, we became tools of injustice, and in our quest  to bring hope, we lost our own vision for future." "Some of us became so fanatical, that they lost their devotion."  while somber, he sounded like he had accepted it all at this point

"I am sad to hear that the willing ignorance for history is true here too, guess it's just an universal truth for our kind, a saddening irony, as with our long lives we should be the ones to treasure it, to learn from the mistakes of those before us." "Those who do not learn from history, are doomed to repeat it." 

"There is an old saying, that goes that if you hunt monsters long enough, you will eventually become one yourself. I do not put much faith in it being that simple, but there is some truth to it that certain things can change you, if you are too exposed to it. Just as how faith can be corrupted, or a narrow view can cause one to loose their once pure vision. Sadly none of us tend to be perfect.

It also ties somewhat into what you said, about repeating history. Ignoring or forgetting what have happened before, no matter how painful, can cause you to go off track, or repeat past mistakes. That is why there is a need for conserving, and save history, so we can learn from it, and avoid the mistakes our forefathers made. Or in the case of us dragons, what we ourselves likely did, centuries past."

She were still rather young for a dragon, so she did not have this sort of look back on things that the older ones did, but she had seen, and heard from some, who did not learn, because they didn't care to remember, or record what they had done of importance. Of course, that were still better than those who did remember, and yet continued to do poor things, because they wanted to, but it were still irresponsible in her mind. They could live for tens of thousands of years. They did not just read history, they lived through a lot of it. Kingdoms had risen and fallen in the time of the elder dragons, and would continue to do so, while they continued to live. They had a lot to teach the younger races, if only they cared to.

On 2024-02-17 at 1:41 PM, Catpone Cerberus said:

"If the order stands or falls is not a question, it has fallen already, I do not carry the weight of rebuilding, but the weight of legacy and history, I will continue my duties as paladin of Pyre, I try to inspire others to fight for justice, I will warn others of the mistakes we made, but the order will die with me, for it is my duty to carry the weight of our mistakes." "You may wonder why I stayed, why I still consider myself part of it, and to that, there's two answers, one is simple, I had...I have nothing else, it is as much part of me as I am part of it, and the second..." he took out an enchanted sword from under the robe, putting it on the ground in front of him, at first glance it looked like it was made of bronze, but at closer look the material was different, though that wasn't probably the focus point, as the sword was decorated with what resembled dragon eyes, one smaller and one bigger, eyes, which turned to look at Nerzhei "...I was chosen by the holy relic of the order, The blade of Sight, it called me to it, and it is my duty to carry it until I perish." 

Nerzhei listened, and she wrote. Page up and down in her notebook, making sure to get the history lesson she were given, down upon paper. It were important it sounded as, though in general, she considered it highly fascinating too, albeit also sad. The rise and fall of an order, that were meant to do good... It were almost as a fairy tale, but she could see and hear, that he were not just reciting some fantasy. He had lived this, and knew the stories. He also knew well of the price of hubris, and falling short of your ideals.

She did not pity him, because offering pity to a dragon were insulting. Yet she did sympathize with him, for what he had been through, and what he would continue to now, as he stood alone with this knowledge, and the impact that it might have, in or after his lifetime.

The sword presented would make her stop writing for now, and get close to look at it. She knew ore and stone well, since as a geomancer, she meddled with many things in the earth. Of course she couldn't mold metal that simple, but with enough force and fire, she could, and had, made many materials to use out of ore she could sense in the ground, or in mountains, and push it into view. And she could definitely tell that this were not any of the sorts of ore that she had seen before. It were somewhat like bronze, but she had used a lot of that, and knew that whatever this were, it weren't bronze. Not exactly anyway. Perhaps some sort of mixed metal? It were hard to tell for her.

The other notable detail about the blade were... Morbid though, as it appeared to have dragon eyes on it. Potentially just elaborate gems of sorts, but the way they moved and looked at her, made her think otherwise.

Body parts used as enchanted foci of sorts were a little off in her taste, but she weren't gonna judge, or scream about the immorality of this. She had seen worse... Probably anyway. More graphic at least, and it wasn't her place to judge about this.

"The blade appears to be sentient. Fascinating... I mostly heard that as a feature of weaponry from Croshna, at least if the tales of the guardians of the gates of Tartarus are real. I haven't had much time to investigate that. Just heard some stories here and there.

Regardless, I can see why you would continue to carry this with you, and I can respect that you chose to honor your calling, by keeping this with you. I can't say I know of many who would be willing to do so, after all you have been through. Most would likely have cast everything that reminded them of it aside, and let it wither away, in some forgotten corner of history.

Still I wonder something. You say the order will die with you. Considering what you told, I can understand why you would want that. It became... Misguided over time. Yet as you also say, you carry the responsibility of this blade, and I will assume that when you perish, it is meant to then be passed on to another? With that, and the fact that it would appear that you try and live to the ideals of the order, and warn others of the mistakes that were made, have you perhaps considered establishing a new order?

I can understand you wanting the old one to be gone when you are, yet the ideals, and what skills you have, could benefit many, if set within a fresh framework. A clean slate, build upon ideals and ideas, from one who have seen the mistakes that can be wrought, and thus you would have if not all the answers, then several that could help you steer things in a better direction.

It is your decision of course, but you have millennia ahead of you yet, and a legacy upon you that could help to enlighten and guide others. Perhaps then if a tyrant would begin to rise again, as they are inevitably bound to do, you could help stir a new order in a better direction.

Speculation only of course, with a dosage of foresight based on unknowable predicaments. Though history does show that nothing good lasts, as it were. In time, the peace of any utopia will crack, and the ones living under it, will be tested gravely. Some will succeed in halting things. Others will fall in line, or die. There are certain patterns one can see, if they look at things long enough, and is why it is important to not forget history. It is easier to fall into such things, if you do not recall how it were lead up to the times before it.

As for size, I were not going to judge. I am an earth aligned dragon. If I do not experience a growth spurt within the next fourteen years, I will not grow larger than I am now. My variant are simple in that regard, and frankly, I would prefer not having that growth. I enjoy being part of a society, and that is harder, if you are larger than a castle. I do not slack with my magic, and it will only improve with time. Not to the degrees of Le Perinne I would imagine, but that is like comparing a bear to an insect. I accept there is likely limitations."

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

 

@Catpone Cerberus

While it were a noble sacrifice, Leviathan would be captured shortly after Ruby, as she'd desperately rush forward, preparing magic as best she could to fight this- And then got struck with a dark lighting from above her. A spell from the priestess's staff it would seem, that stunned her, with a dark glow going over her eyes, as she were rapidly cocooned. She wasn't dead, but this surprise attack in a weak moment, had left her defenseless for the time being, and they'd both be sent off back to the depths of the temple.

Charir would be somewhat safe, yet ultimately still restrained, in the hallways leading away from the priestess. And she were headed over to deal with him too, prepared to *upgrade* him from his weaker restraints, to make him primed for transport. He'd been able to burn enough of it to be able to wriggle along if he were trying though, yet it would be slow.

Still, she did not come for him. The odd deer they had met at the door, would wander past him, and go towards the priestess. For some reason, it would make her halt, and then backtrack, wander away from him, whilst her gaze seemingly still remained on him. He would follow a few more steps, until he would stop, though she would not. She would continue to wander away, seemingly no longer wanting Charir.

He would go back, and follow until he would find Charir. That included in case he had gotten his breath back, and had scorched through the last restraints. Without the priestess there to keep reinforcing the magic, it would not repair itself.

If he did find him still restrained though, the restraints would turn to smog, that would drain towards the deer's horns, seemingly being absorbed. He could run after that if he wanted to, and would no longer be followed. Or he could follow the deer if he wanted to, as he turned around, and began wandering back, towards where the others had been brought to.

As for the others, Ruby would find herself soon after, with the dark magic restraints dissipating around her, and then reforming to chains, that would wrap around her, holding her in place. She'd be before the apparent leader of these undead, with Leviathan being released next to her, though the dragoness slumped over, a dark haze still flowing across her eyes, as she didn't seem responsive anymore.

"Intruders."

His voice still sounded rusty and coarse, but it were more steady at least, and not breaking as before. He had also since been adorned with an old coat, that seemed threadbare, and had clearly had better days, but had once been important for some reason. But the passage of time tended to carry little for such things.

He'd take in a deep huff of air, and then look between them calmly. Ruby could try and transform if she wanted to in here. This room were around the size of an average cathedral main room, so high to the ceiling, far to the walls, and such. But it might still be too small for her real form. If not, then she could change, and even move around a bit perhaps. The size and surprise advantage, would likely help against this one, and the dozens of guards in this room, standing around and waiting for order. Or for either of them to become a problem.

The deer's mouth would open, and the darkness rushed out of Leviathan's eyes, and into his maw. She'd be groggy as she roused back to life, and looked up, as she were trying to get her footing again.

"Urgh, I hate bl- ...What the?"

She had to blink a few times, as she took note of the larger deer, as well as the restraints around her appendages. Which of course, halted her from casting magic. Worse than that. It seemed to sort of repress her body's knowledge that it even had magic. She couldn't even begin brewing something in advantage. And then others wondered why she hated this sort of magic. It were harnessed by bloody cheaters.

"Two wakeners of pony kin stirred it, yet I see just one. Where is he, wakener? Where wanders he, who opened the casket?

Give him up, or the intruder joins us."

The deer would speak directly to Ruby, apparently thinking that she had been here with another pony, and had done something. It seemed the ones who had been here before them, had started something that they were now about to be punished for.

Edited by Blitz Boom
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@Blitz Boom

It was good to be home.  Hooves planted firmly once again in the land of light that is Equestria, standing in the presence of his magnificent city.  Being in awe and amazement wasn't a rare thing when first seeing Manehatten.  Rising had the benefit of always being that way, in a constant state of amazement.  Every memory of seeing the city from this view, from many different angles over the year.  From the very first time he saw it through the train window when leaving Canterlot as a foal too young to even walk, all the way to now.  Forever present in his mind, at all times.  And he never tired of it.  But it was still fun to watch other pony's reactions to their first sighting of the city.  More enjoyment to add to his ever growing vault of memories.

"Patience Caramel.  I understand your eagerness, but you underestimate how far a walk to get to the city proper from here is.  My sister will have returned, whisked me and Will-O into the city and they'd be done with dinner before you even reached the first street.  Give her a few moments to get our parents settled.  We don't have the type of market you might be expecting.  Streets and streets of stores.  Dawn will make a much better guide in those regards.  Your gold will be accepted, but I suggest getting it exchanged for Bits when you can," the detective attempted to sooth the newcomer's desire to venture forth.  Then his attention was drawn shortly off to the left of the group.  Dawn was now standing there, "Ah, what did I miss?"  "One eager adventurer"  "Oh?  Was it Will-O?  Always bet on the timid ones" the mare chuckled teasingly.  "Come now ladies.  Let us drop off this luggage and then we sate some of that adventurous spirit with some city exploration, hm?" the older twin quickly took control from her brother.  "And we'll drop off one Sir Rising Dusk to his fortress of solitude," she assured her brother.  "Worry not dear ones, we will not part with him too long.  Brother dearest has royalty in this land he must also meet to complete that bridge between us," so concluded by igniting her horn.  A rainbow aura rolled off her form like a mist and pooled around her out about ten feet.  "A teleportation circle," commentated while watching the sharp rainbow tapestry build right before him.  "I never cease to amaze myself," the mare admired her own work.  Even though Rising felt she had far too many different ways to perform the teleportation spell.  Flare and presentation, vanity on full display.

"Looks like this is my farewell for now as well.  Caramel, Will-O, a pleasure.  We will meet again, shortly," Rising bowed his farewell to each in turn.  Walking into the rainbow pool around his sister, the hero of Harrowmark was gone in a flash of rainbow light.

"Ladies?" Dawn invited.

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On 2024-01-30 at 7:49 AM, Blitz Boom said:

would look up at the mare, as she got closer with Sear, eyes puffy from tears.

"Help mate?"

"That's what I'm here for. Just try and keep him still."

She'd be quick, drawing out a needle, and used it to poke hole on one of the inflamed blood vessels running around on his body. His blood would be tinted by a green'ish glow, from the poison, but she would keep examining, poking a few more holes elsewhere, trying to stay out of sight of Light, so that he couldn't see her. Every time she did, the result were the same. Tinted blood, dripping from the wound.

"No eggs, that's good. I can do s-something here."

She'd pull out a box of syringes from the bag, then rummaged around and found a small bottle. She'd draw a few inches of lightly blue liquid from it, then push the air out of the syringe, and look down on Light.

"It won't cure him, but it should help with the illusions."

If he stayed still, she'd jab the needle right into his bloodstream, and inject the liquid. After about thirty seconds, his delusions should start to flicker, making them easier to discern from reality, and ease the pressure he'd feel in his head.

"Sir? Can you hear me? You've been infected by a Harvest Mite. I've given you something for the symptoms, but we need to get you to the hospital right away. Can you walk

Light was still in a state of zen, but felt something coursing through his veins that seems to be healing him. He wouldn't take the chance to wake up from his zen state and agitate the poison within him.

He would probably try to wake up when he is sure that he is fully cured. Hence he would probably wake up in the hospital.

(Light would retain his zen state and probably break it when he gets cured.)

@Catpone Cerberus @Blitz Boom

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@Blitz Boom

On 2024-02-20 at 7:56 AM, Blitz Boom said:

"Seems you've been through something taxing in there, yes?"

"He fell to a malignant influence. I had to forcefully restrain him, and remove it. Such things causes a degree of pain."

“I… yes. Elder Zhao is right. I should have kept things under control, not make them worse.”

Sen paused, hesitating to spill even more about what happened in the mindscape. That was about as much as he wanted to disclose without delving into much more personal matters. In his mind, reopening an old wound wasn’t something he wanted to do despite having come to an understanding with Lin. Some things he may not ever move on from, though he’d try his best to not let that get the best of him. As it is, he’d simply agree with what Elder Zhao had to say on the matter and hopefully leave things at that. 

Though Lin’s status at the moment was ever-present in his mind, he’d still get some memories of old times flitting in and out. Old things that he hoped would remain buried and forgotten. The true Elder Solasan was already advanced in age and seemingly unremarkable as elders go, but there was no telling of who he truly was until that fateful night. Sen wondered if that was orchestrated by the true elder or the creature that masqueraded as him; perhaps none of that matters now and dwelling on it would be a pointless exercise. 

On 2024-02-20 at 7:56 AM, Blitz Boom said:

"A pity he is dead. It seems an insufficient punishment for failing his duties. Unless your ideas of the afterlife, includes a just judgement process? Ours do, but I can imagine you are not in a state of mind to hear of that now."

“Our afterlife? I guess haven’t thought of it much outside of what I was told growing up. The longma believe that we are part of nature, that once our time has come, we simply give all that is left of ourselves back to our source and surroundings. If some part of us continues after, I wouldn’t know, but I hope it might be true.”

The longma grew quiet, his attempts at hiding some of his private thoughts always on the back of his mind, though he still couldn’t shake what he saw in the mindscape. He once thought about the matter before, about how the spirits continue to linger around the living, though he expressed the possibility of them moving on to some kind of paradise. To some degree, he hoped it was true, and one day, he may find his father and mother there. There would be a lot to talk about when they are reunited. However, those thoughts abruptly ceased when Elder Zhao rated his…  performance within the mindscape. Unexpected for sure, and it certainly left the longma rather confused at what was happening for a moment before he recalled the events again. It was disappointing to him, especially when he already had a history of meditation, and he couldn’t even muster the effort to use that to keep himself focused.

On 2024-02-20 at 7:56 AM, Blitz Boom said:

One large, elongated salamander, seemingly made out of water and twigs, would roil up from the river. it would stand over her, resting its form - in which water still ran through by the looks of things - on her back, with its long front legs on the ground. The back half of it still in the river, potentially meaning it were unable to leave it fully.

It stared at Sen, Lin, and Omen, tilting its head the same as Omen did, as she gazed curiously into its large, blue eyes.

It were the one who got closest. If Sen tried to approach any of them, they'd rush off, not wanting to actually get within range to be touched by him. Nor Elder Zhao, though she did not try either. The only one they wanted to have physical contact with it appeared, were Elder Sohe. Most would still remain at a distance, and curiously watch on though.

"Strange creatures."

"Be not afraid of the spirits. They mean no harm. River even braves their stream, to witness who is here. It is not often we have visitors of other kins, that walks with the elders."

Fortunately, strange spirits emerged and looked on at them, drawing his attention. One, in particular, had an interesting look: a water or watery creature that caught Sen’s eye, though he considered keeping his distance as he continued to follow Elder Zhao and Elder Sohe.

“Spirits? And we could see them? I’ve heard of spirits, and I am familiar with how some believe in them being invisible, but this is unexpected! Do spirits take different forms, and do they decide if others can see them?  Maybe spirits are different depending on what we believe about them. I admit, I sometimes wondered if there are spirits everywhere and some creatures could not see them for one reason or another.”

Despite the soreness in Sen’s body, seeing and hearing about the spirits got him perked up and slightly giddy. Lin would have loved to see this happening before her eyes, but perhaps it will fall to Sen to learn about them. He’d quietly admit to himself that seeing all of this piqued his interest and learning about them wasn’t a bad way to pass the time.

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@EQ_Theta

On 2024-02-21 at 3:42 PM, EQ_Theta said:

“I… yes. Elder Zhao is right. I should have kept things under control, not make them worse.”

"What is youth, if not a time to make mistakes?"

Elder Sohe wouldn't judge, but just chuckle, as a few mistakes of her past came to mind rather fast. Aaah, what a little scamp she once were, and such trouble she got into. But that came from not knowing better. She grew up, she learned, and so, she faced her grey years now with wisdom. Largely from having learned not just from her mistakes, but those of others.

"Few are wise in youth, dear child. We are inexperienced, and lacking foresight. So we make mistakes. Some bigger than others, yet long as you live, there is the chance to learn from them. To understand how you erred, and what led there, so you can better yourself. You do that, and in time, you can face your autumn, with the wisdom that a long life of mistakes have given you.

Perhaps if you are wise enough, you can one day use what you learned, to teach tomorrow's youth how to avoid the worst of it."

On 2024-02-21 at 3:42 PM, EQ_Theta said:

“Our afterlife? I guess haven’t thought of it much outside of what I was told growing up. The longma believe that we are part of nature, that once our time has come, we simply give all that is left of ourselves back to our source and surroundings. If some part of us continues after, I wouldn’t know, but I hope it might be true.”

"A difference of culture, yet it sounds somewhat how the dryads and evergrown function. When they die, or chose to return to the earth, they will be taken in, and nourish nature, as it have nourished them. It is not how we do things, but yet I find their belief nice and symbolic.

For us kitsune, we know there awaits us an afterlife. Either we will wander to the lands of our ancestors, or we will remain here, infusing ourselves to objects, and passing wisdom until we are ready. Yet in the end, we will come to face the ancestors. That is why it is important that we can do so with honor, for they decide what will come of us. If we will rise as one of the great spirits, or a servant, so pay off the debts we earned in life. A punishment for those truly wicked, yet most fear not that, as much as disappointing their ancestors.

Once per year, we have a great ceremony, on the day where the barrier between the spirit world, and ours, are their thinnest. On that day, the ancestors walk among us, and we enjoy each others company. For many, it is a chance to see family again. A great comfort especially, for those who lost family at a young age. Even if they rarely look as they did in life, they know us, as we know them."

"I am personally always looking forward to seeing Manahu Li-Che. She always brings such energy to the festivities.

What of you? What beliefs have your kind of death?"

Omen would tilt her head when addressed, thinking on it for a few seconds.

"...We do not. Mother makes us, and tells us to live, and be good children. I think we are supposed to learn from our masters, and what they think about death too? My master is Discord, but I do not know what draconequui believe in with death."

"They believe in reincarnation. That their energies scatter, and eventually reform as a whole new draconeqqui. I remember asking Fright of that once, and she were happy to talk about something, that very few cared to ask about. A delightfully insightful lady that one."

On 2024-02-21 at 3:42 PM, EQ_Theta said:

“Spirits? And we could see them? I’ve heard of spirits, and I am familiar with how some believe in them being invisible, but this is unexpected! Do spirits take different forms, and do they decide if others can see them?  Maybe spirits are different depending on what we believe about them. I admit, I sometimes wondered if there are spirits everywhere and some creatures could not see them for one reason or another.”

"There are many kinds of spirits, dear child. These are nature spirits. They are somewhat related to elementals, and their forms are mostly static, yet malleable. River here for instance, looks as this, when they halt their flow and rise from the waterbed, yet mostly flows on, bringing life-giving water to far and wide. Others like the Lights over there, take on the appearance of flickering, bulbous flames, wandering and bringing warmth to where they rest.

They rarely take names, beyond just describing what they are. They have no need for those things. And they are ever visible, lest they blend in with things, as River did before. Yet they are often shy, and unwilling to approach us fleshy beings with any frequency. But you will sometimes feel them. A cooling breeze on a hot day, or a flickering flame burning strongly in your camp, on a cold winter's night. They like to help those, whom they consider friendly, or harmless, even if they do not openly show themselves.

Few beings like myself, are able to hear and understand their words. We are trained then, to be the voice of the elements, and help bridge the gap between our kin, that we may live side by side, in peace and harmony. The presence of a speaker like me, also emboldens them a little from time to time, hence why they have gotten closer now, though most are more curious and willing to show themselves, in this town. Treat them with respect, and they will do so in kind.

Other spirits, such as the souls of the dead, are different. Some are able to show themselves, but it requires a strong spirit to do so consistently. Most wanders around unseen though, for all but those that practice the right spirituality. Such as mediums, and certain kinds of necromancers. The good ones of either, try and bring peace to the restless dead."

They would be standing still as she talked, with River still hanging over her. But they would eventually let go, and return to the river, allowing them to move on. That they had not tried to interact with them, were a good sign, to Elder Sohe. But they could talk of things like that later. She would let the young man speak, and catch her breath a little, as they moved on. Weren't long from here, to a modest guest room, where everything in it were seemingly build from wood. The bed itself were plush, and round, which fit the kitsune more, as they liked to curl when they slept, rather than laying flat or stretched out in an line.

She'd have a nice place to wake, when eventually she would.

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

 

@Rising Dusk

On 2024-02-21 at 6:23 AM, Rising Dusk said:

"Patience Caramel.  I understand your eagerness, but you underestimate how far a walk to get to the city proper from here is.  My sister will have returned, whisked me and Will-O into the city and they'd be done with dinner before you even reached the first street.  Give her a few moments to get our parents settled.  We don't have the type of market you might be expecting.  Streets and streets of stores.  Dawn will make a much better guide in those regards.  Your gold will be accepted, but I suggest getting it exchanged for Bits when you can,"

"Oh very well. I suppose I can show some degree of patience then. But I will reach the markets sooner, rather than later. I cannot wait to see what fascinating things there is sold in this country And to meet your alchemist friend, of course. Maybe not today, but you simply must introduce us eventually. I am so very curious what he have made of my gift."

Truthfully, she'd be impressed if he had been able to make anything good with it at all. Not that it were bad stuff, good grievances no. It were simply a delicate plant, and she weren't certain if he had even been able to harvest it properly, much less then use the unfamiliar ingredient in something. She hoped so though. From what Rising had said, she had expectations that he'd be someone of note, which she'd much enjoy. She so rarely had any alchemist of worth to talk to. Having one now would be wonderfully delightful.

"It's probably for the best to take it a little by little, yes. I'd worry about getting lost in a big place like this."

This town were bigger than Copperhagen, a city she had thought unfathomably big for all her life. And yet here, it were dwarfed, by a myriad of large buildings and bustling streets. Everything so modern that it might as well be otherworldly to her.

Will-O wouldn't say it out loud, but she did honestly worry about going up to someone in this place, and ending up causing a lot of awkwardness, from just how ancient she must seem in comparison, and how little she'd probably understand of things here. It'd probably be best if she stood back, and observed how the others did things for a start.

On 2024-02-21 at 6:23 AM, Rising Dusk said:

"A teleportation circle," commentated while watching the sharp rainbow tapestry build right before him.  "I never cease to amaze myself," the mare admired her own work.  Even though Rising felt she had far too many different ways to perform the teleportation spell.  Flare and presentation, vanity on full display.

"Looks like this is my farewell for now as well.  Caramel, Will-O, a pleasure.  We will meet again, shortly," Rising bowed his farewell to each in turn.  Walking into the rainbow pool around his sister, the hero of Harrowmark was gone in a flash of rainbow light.

"Ladies?" Dawn invited.

"In my defense, this place looks very fascinating. How couldn't I feel the urge to explore it further? I admit that I hadn't expected you to return so swiftly though. You're a delightfully punctual mare, Dawn.

Alas, it seems time to say farewell. Take care for now, dear detective. And do remember to give my regards to your friend. I look forward to meeting him in person."

"D-Do take care, Sir Dusk. And try and get some sleep, okay? After everything going on, I'm sure you could use it."

Will-O were worried he might be pressuring himself too much here, but she didn't know his limits. Still she worried, and didn't want him to be overworked, if it could be helped.

Yet soon after, he would be gone, and so it were their turn. Caramel would go first, as to show Will-O that it were perfectly fine, with her crates going first. Couldn't forget her luggage after all now, could she?

After she were through, Will-O would approach, but halt for a moment, needing to ask a question of Dawn before she stepped in.

"I'm sorry for asking, but this... It's safe for undead, r-right? I wouldn't want Chirpy to get hurt."

The crow would cawk on her back, and move his legs a little, but he didn't seem bothered about things. He were sure that things would work well here. Soon as she were given the green light,. Will-O would take a deep breath, and then wander into the rune, along with Chirpy. She hadn't tried being teleported before, so... She weren't sure how this would feel. Hopefully okay.

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

 

@Evil Pink One

""Mate? Maaaaate?!"

Shark would poke him repeatedly with her snout, when he didn't say anything, after the doctor asked him questions.

Foxglove would force one of his eyes open, sop she could take a look, seeing only a faded line over it now.

"He's improving, at least for now, but we'll have to assume he can't move. Can you help me move him to the hospital?"

Shark unwrapped herself from Light, snuck under him, and lifted up. Even if he were regular weight, she were physically powerful. Her wings still needed some practice to carry him proper, but this were just lifting, whilst she could rely on her strong legs. She'd be able to handle him, lest he made himself heavy again. In that case, she'd drag him, with the help of Foxglove.

"Okay then, sir? If you can hear me, try and move around as little as possible. The drugs I gave you will last longer if you try and stay still. We're taking you to the hospital now."

She'd turn and look towards Sear, thanking her for the help in identifying the thing that poisoned him, and would then lead Shark out of here, and towards the hospital. They'd have some on the way, ask if they should help, but Shark would growl at them, saying "My mate!". She might be slightly possessive, as she were panicking and scared.

Light would at some point, end up getting knocked out by the drugs, more than likely. And if not, then the second shot he got would do it. He'd awaken later on in a hospital bed, with a drop in upper leg, and feeling clearer, yet heavy. If he looked, he'd be under a blanket, that bulged notably, with a nurse standing in the corner, writing on some paper. As she saw him wake up, she'd go over and look him over.

"Hello there sir. Don't worry, you're in the Ponyville Hospital. Everything's fine now. We had to clean your system, but the poison is out now, and Sergeant Foxglove wants you to know that you have made a full recovery. You might feel a little tired for a few more hours though.

You might also feel a pressure, but well..."

She'd go over and remove the blanket, revealing that Shark were laying across him. The weight were distributed somewhat, but she would still be resting soundly on him, with her head pressed against his chest, so she could hear his heart and lungs.

"We tried asking her to please let you rest in peace, but she made some... Convincing arguments for letting her stay." 

She'd point towards the corner, where several broomsticks they had tried to use to move her off, after she started to growl and hiss at them, were shredded in a pile.

"We assume it brings her comfort to hear you breathe. Sergeant Foxglove managed to convince her to reposition though, after a... Minor scuffle. She should return soon enough to check up on you again.

Can I ask for now, how are you feeling? No hallucinations, or sensation of something crawling under your skin?"

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@Blitz Boom

He'd check his senses, look at his hoof and to Shark.

He'd gently caress her mane, and look tenderly to his love.

He'd soon answer the nurse.

" I've been through worse..."

He'd check his surroundings to see if anything is amidst.

" well I don't think I'm hallucinating. But how can one tell, right?"

He'd soon grab Shark and bring her near to him for a hug, not caring if it would disturb her or if she would allow it.

It was a selfish desire, his actions was.

A deep strong yet gentle hug.

" good morning." He said calmly to her.

He'd give a kiss if it was allowed.

" how long was i out? What happened?" 

He knows that Shark was fine since she's there. But what of the others?

Is he allowed to leave now? What was that that attacked them? Should he head to anomaly? Or to head mistress starlight? Should he involve others?

" so whats next ma'am?" He asked the nurse.

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@Blitz Boom
Solar saw the explanation for the lack of guards as nonsense, because the security detail of a princess and the general safety of the town were entirely separate from each other, it was the duty of those ruling the nation to make sure every location was safe from outside threats, and if the local governing bodies, in this case the local princess, failed at that duty, then it was for the higher government to fix. And while for now he just put a report forward, if nothing would happen from it, he'd make it happen eventually, if nothing else, he could request to have a branch of his own unit down there for monitoring duties, since the town seemed to have properties that caused it to attract threats from both inside and outside Solar's responsibilities, as most of the appearances from his world he was aware of, had landed in the surrounding area of that town, even those that originated from outside Equestria. 


Ah, Manehattan, busy streets and selfish creatures unaware that others exist, it reminded Solar of home, be it lot less fancy, having lived his life in The Capital, even the most decorated city in this world paled in comparison to the Solar Capital, a city of the elites....not that it was a bad thing, he had never been a fan of the overly grand design of the place, he could feel the ego shining from the golden buildings there...

But more things were different, more they were the same, as he felt like an outsider there like he did there, sticking out like a sore hoof in both places, be it for different reasons. Here he stuck out due to his appearance, his half golden body making him hard to miss, and back home, he stuck out because he didn't share the...aura, he didn't radiate the energy of self-entitled elite, and it was noticed by others, somehow they could tell that his status was mostly inherited, even if they didn't dare to point it out too much, since he was legally above them.

He scanned the area as he always did, it was a automatic process he saw no reason to turn off, so he noticed the hoofprints, but besides saving a picture for later investigation, he didn't think much of them, nothing he was aware of matched this exactly, and everything seemed to be fine around, so it was a safe bet that it wasn't anything he should be concerned about, especially since there seemed to be fixing work underway, thus implying that if it ever was a threat, it's old news now.

So he continued on, heading towards the morgue where the aforementioned body had been sent, going through the details given in the letter quietly in his mind, a curious case certainly, as based on the description given to him, it sounded like a city elite that had been mauled by an animal, which was weird to say the least, as those two things shouldn't have been anywhere near each other. 

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

"Sometimes only a monster can hunt a bigger monster, when fighting the darkness, you need to be ready to embrace it. The question is which is in control? you, or the darkness." Myrkr stated regarding the saying, he had no illusion of pureness for himself, after all, as he had said to Sheez, all of them had blood in their hands.  
 

"The life a dragon is a long one, I've changed my mind before and will do it again." He said "But at current time, I have no plans to start an order of my own." "The blade will be passed forward, but it is not my responsibility, nor my right, as it will choose its own wielder, like it did to me, and like it did to every wielder before me." "It is not tied to the order, we did not create it, we simply adopted it, and many it has called, including myself, were outsiders, its origin is as mysterious as our founder, having been carried by one of the original members, who, like myself, had been called by it." 

"This place also doesn't have need for us in current time, it is filled with light, and has protectors of it's own, even if a tyrant was to rise, the natural order of this land would most likely call upon heroes to bring justice once more." "Besides, I do not believe an order is the right approach, by its nature, a fall is inevitable, as justice is not objective, yet an order needs an objective truth." he looked at the blade, it met his gaze "The greatest thing I can do is to make sure I will not be needed, and that is my current mission, our current mission." he looked into the direction of his travel companions, the two were having a conversation of their own "We were enemies mere months ago, we would have killed each other with no hesitation. We still would." "But we have put down our weapons for now, as we agree on one thing. It is our duty to make sure that we are the last of our kind here, that no conditions will ever arise to create those like us." "Be it duty to an oath, a promise to a loved one, or for sake of family..." as he said the reasons, his eyes went from the blade to the hooded dragon, and from her to Sheez, before returning to Nerzhei "...our reasons are different, but our goal the same." 

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

Charir wasn't at his sharpest anymore, as his instincts had taken control at this point, like Ruby had told Leviathan before, the more reasonable side of their kind was behind lot of work, and unlike Ruby, Charir hadn't had over hundred years to learn to control it, thus he was on pure instinct now, though luckily in his case this only meant that he was in full fight or flight mode, and had chosen flight. So he struggled and struggled, trying to push out fire now and then, but only managing hot air or tiny flames, as the fuel needed for the fire was like saliva, more was created constantly, but his body could do it only so fast, thus, with him pushing it out constantly, it didn't have time recover enough to make effective flames. 

Due to this, he wasn't really aware of what happened around him, so when the restrains got loose, he had no idea if he had burned them or if they just failed, nor did he think about it, as he could tell there was still something close by, and he took off running towards the exit. If the exit was still blocked, he'd freeze for a moment in front of it, before in his panicked state, he would test the barrier by sticking one finger/toe into it, just past the claw. This presumably burned his scales and flesh, which made him yelp and pull it away, leading to him pulling himself into a protective ball and staying there, Fight nor Flight was an option, so his instinct didn't know what else to do.

If the exit wasn't blocked, or it for some reason spared him from its effect, he'd keep running away from the temple for a while. 

 

Ruby held her usual demeanor,  though it was clear that she was exhausted, and while she was surprisingly worried about Leviathan when she first didn't move, she still was a creature with differently working emotions, so it made her more annoyed than anything. Again she didn't transform due to not being alone though, she wasn't reckless , she had no reason to think that these undead things wouldn't be willing to just kill them if they got annoying, they were unlikely have any more care for life than Ruby had, so she didn't want to risk Leviathan's life by starting a fight, or Charir's, since if the exit was still blocked, she could sense him still inside the temple. If she would have been alone, she would have transformed a while ago, as her own life wasn't as big of a concern for her. 

Ruby looked genuinely surprised by the question? "Who?" "The only male in our group is a dragon." "And while I saw the skeleton with the staff helping you out, I have opened no caskets."  "Must be some other pair of ponies, your servants were already walking around when we got here." since she was telling the truth, everything in the way she said it showed as much "I assure you, if I knew who you are talking about, I would happily bring them to you, wouldn't mind skinning them alive myself." honestly, if she did ever learn who to blame for this, she may actually do that. 

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

After Light had been gotten out of the tavern, Sheska walked in the middle of the space muttering something under her breath, which based on the tone most likely included expletives of some kind, before igniting her magic and starting to move intact stuff that was thrown around by light back about where it used to be, and any possibly destroyed stuff into its own pile to the side, she may have not been helpful with Light, but at least she could help with the clean up. If nobody stopped her, after she was done, she went to the table that Sear and Chega had been sitting at, sat down, and just let her head drop on the table with audible slam, before putting her hands around her head in frustrated manner. Naturally Chega made her way to Sheska to see if she was doing aright, while Sear kinda just stood there processing what had happened. 

 

 


 

 

 

 

Edited by Catpone Cerberus
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@Blitz Boom

On 2024-02-23 at 5:17 AM, Blitz Boom said:

"Few are wise in youth, dear child. We are inexperienced, and lacking foresight. So we make mistakes. Some bigger than others, yet long as you live, there is the chance to learn from them. To understand how you erred, and what led there, so you can better yourself. You do that, and in time, you can face your autumn, with the wisdom that a long life of mistakes have given you.

Perhaps if you are wise enough, you can one day use what you learned, to teach tomorrow's youth how to avoid the worst of it."

“Perhaps… It’s something I hope to do after experiencing things I never thought possible with those I didn’t think I’d get to meet. I just hope the mistakes I’m making don’t make things so much worse. Sometimes, there’s no going back after a big mess.”

Sen felt the pressure welling up inside him, the kind that could end in something as bad as permanent exile. There was a kind of terror in that, a life that must be built from scratch and knowledge from the past that may amount to little. The worst part is having friends taken away just as he begins to discover the joys such bonds bring, a severing that cuts much deeper than physical wounds. 

But for now, the longma delighted in the conversations he was having with Elder Zhao and Elder Sohe. Beliefs weren’t a big conversation piece back home outside of lessons, and those were just accepted as fact growing up. Now, an exchange of ideas opened his mind to pleasant imagery, some more appealing than expected for him. Morbid to some, but Sen found comfort in the ideas shared with him, and he wished there was some truth to that for the longma. Or perhaps there is power in beliefs that even he didn’t think was possible.

On 2024-02-23 at 5:17 AM, Blitz Boom said:

Once per year, we have a great ceremony, on the day where the barrier between the spirit world, and ours, are their thinnest. On that day, the ancestors walk among us, and we enjoy each others company. For many, it is a chance to see family again. A great comfort especially, for those who lost family at a young age. Even if they rarely look as they did in life, they know us, as we know them."

"I am personally always looking forward to seeing Manahu Li-Che. She always brings such energy to the festivities.

What of you? What beliefs have your kind of death?"

Omen would tilt her head when addressed, thinking on it for a few seconds.

"...We do not. Mother makes us, and tells us to live, and be good children. I think we are supposed to learn from our masters, and what they think about death too? My master is Discord, but I do not know what draconequui believe in with death."

"They believe in reincarnation. That their energies scatter, and eventually reform as a whole new draconeqqui. I remember asking Fright of that once, and she were happy to talk about something, that very few cared to ask about. A delightfully insightful lady that one."

“I’ve heard of the Evergrown and Dryads, but I have never seen one. A friend once suggested that our similarities may mean the possibility of us living close to each other without us finding out. Maybe they just don’t want us to see them. But what you said about your ancestors walking among the living… that must be special to know there is more beyond the end of one’s physical life. It’s a comforting thought.”

“As for reincarnation, that is new to me. I’ve always thought draconequii live very long lives, almost like they are eternal. I mean, Discord is chaos, right? As long as chaos exists, so will he. Or am I misunderstanding something about reincarnation being part of that?”

On 2024-02-23 at 5:17 AM, Blitz Boom said:

Few beings like myself, are able to hear and understand their words. We are trained then, to be the voice of the elements, and help bridge the gap between our kin, that we may live side by side, in peace and harmony. The presence of a speaker like me, also emboldens them a little from time to time, hence why they have gotten closer now, though most are more curious and willing to show themselves, in this town. Treat them with respect, and they will do so in kind.

Other spirits, such as the souls of the dead, are different. Some are able to show themselves, but it requires a strong spirit to do so consistently. Most wanders around unseen though, for all but those that practice the right spirituality. Such as mediums, and certain kinds of necromancers. The good ones of either, try and bring peace to the restless dead."

Sen followed and continued, seeing the flickering lights and taking in the surroundings to feel the influence and presence of the spirits around him if he could. It may just be a kitsune thing, experiencing such wonders within their domain, but it gave the young longma some perspective of his own kind’s beliefs. A moment like this just to… feel… it’s not the kind of thing one would think to try in a quiet time, but Sen tried it just for fun. 

Elder Sohe’s description of the spirits was rather appealing and sensible, though the idea of spirits is fairly vague to the longma in general. It was from a visit to the Moonlit Thicket that Sen was reminded that spirits of their kin do exist, an unfortunate state that even he sympathized with. He and Lin weren’t the only exiles, as he had come to learn from a visit with Elder Ghilan back then; some longma stood up to Solasan, protested the wrongful exiles, and they found themselves banished from their homes. However, they weren’t so lucky, and they eventually found themselves in a terrible fate. Perhaps he may seek them out to learn what he can do to help. The implications behind this were rather grim.

“Speaking with spirits sounds special! Maybe there might be a place for that in longma beliefs and practices if we could reach out to the spirits of our kind. There is already great reverence for our departed as we tend to the trees that are planted with their ashen remains, but it usually ends with those who stay true to the ways of our kind. Those who stray from it are not given the same courtesy, which calls many things to question… Maybe the restless of our kind could also find their rest.”

The longma had more to say on the matter, but Lin stirred again as she lay. This time, Sen noticed and watched, hoping they could have a better look at her or check up on her condition. He’d pause his conversation with Elder Sohe for now to see if there was more, although the stirring grew little by little despite Lin remaining asleep. Maybe it was a sign that she may be coming back into consciousness soon...

Edited by EQ_Theta
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@EQ_Theta

On 2024-02-25 at 8:43 AM, EQ_Theta said:

“I’ve heard of the Evergrown and Dryads, but I have never seen one. A friend once suggested that our similarities may mean the possibility of us living close to each other without us finding out. Maybe they just don’t want us to see them. But what you said about your ancestors walking among the living… that must be special to know there is more beyond the end of one’s physical life. It’s a comforting thought.”

“As for reincarnation, that is new to me. I’ve always thought draconequii live very long lives, almost like they are eternal. I mean, Discord is chaos, right? As long as chaos exists, so will he. Or am I misunderstanding something about reincarnation being part of that?”

"Draconequui are not the source of things such as chaos. More of a representation, that can harness the raw potential of the thing they spawn from. Discord is the purest representation of chaos, from which they all technically springs, and thus are considered the lord of it, but chaos will be, if he lives or dies. If it were different, the world would be a barren place, devoid of thought, as there'd be only order. And things such as free will, are too chaotic for that kind.

Ah, but you seem to think them immortal too, yes? They are not, I'm afraid. They are ageless, just like the alicorns, and strong enough that they will not easily die from any sort of fight, but draconequui have died, and eventually, more of them will die. How exactly varied. Some just wane in power over time, and vanishes. Others are killed by stronger beings, or their own. Best any can tell, they don't mind. They understand death is the inevitable end to life. But they are powerful demigods, and energy like that tends to not just vanish. Hence they believe in reincarnation. A brand new draconequui, ready to take on the world.

Sometimes there is more draconequui, other times less. They think that the new soul is just waiting for its moment, yes? Either to be born as they have offspring of their own, or through some act that spawns them. Like the Grand Nightmare Discord caused, which spawned Fright from the intense fear most beings felt.

Legends even have it they have a draconequui from the olden times, that represents death. Most consider it a fairy tale, but they do tend to tense up, if you speak the name of Mortimer around them. Heh, stories even tell of the olden times, when Discord would come to us every now and again, that he forbade the mentioning of the word."

"More than likely just their own beliefs, without substance. A draconequui spawned out of death itself, would be immensely powerful. There would be abundant stories about them."

"Oh, let an old fox dream, Zhao. It seems like an ever so fascinating story."

"Very well, Elder Sohe.

As for the evergrown and dryads... The dryads would have let it be known, if they lived near you. They are too curious by nature, about other races. Evergrown have been very reclusive, after what the Equestrians did to them, and are good at hiding. Even their scouting parties to find new homes, goes in secret, to avoid detection. You might have them nearby, and you'd never know, unless some anti-magic, or another evergrown came through. They always could see through their own defenses like that. Not too unlike us kitsune in honest."

On 2024-02-25 at 8:43 AM, EQ_Theta said:

“Speaking with spirits sounds special! Maybe there might be a place for that in longma beliefs and practices if we could reach out to the spirits of our kind. There is already great reverence for our departed as we tend to the trees that are planted with their ashen remains, but it usually ends with those who stay true to the ways of our kind. Those who stray from it are not given the same courtesy, which calls many things to question… Maybe the restless of our kind could also find their rest.”

The longma had more to say on the matter, but Lin stirred again as she lay. This time, Sen noticed and watched, hoping they could have a better look at her or check up on her condition. He’d pause his conversation with Elder Sohe for now to see if there was more, although the stirring grew little by little despite Lin remaining asleep. Maybe it was a sign that she may be coming back into consciousness soon...

"Sister moves. Do you think she is waking up?"

"It is hard to say."

"It is a good sign though. Most remain motionless for hours or days, before they start to show much of anything. You might be fortunate, and she will wake within the hour."

"We should probably have some refreshments ready for that. An ordeal like that, will have taken its toll. On you too, Zhao."

"I suppose it cannot hurt to have something prepared. If she wakes up before I am back, be prepared to perhaps hold her down. Waking up after this can sometimes be momentarily disorienting. Shouldn't be more than a few seconds, but just in case, keep her from Elder Sohe, until you're certain of her mental state."

Zhao would leave after that, and would return eventually. For now there were but them, and Elder Sohe present. The latter of whom would have a seat in the corner.

"Aaah, that was better. These old bones just aren't what they used to anymore, I'm afraid.

Sen? Those traditions of yours, I would think you're right, that a longma who did not have that, could get stuck. I have learned enough of the subject, to know that souls who linger, are mostly because they can't find rest. Traditional burials, can help on that quite a lot. Lacking that, could well be unnerving. Even angering to some.

This is why we make sure that our kin gets a proper burial. Even the exiles, if their bodies are found, will be taken and given their proper dues. Their punishment are meant for when they live, not to make them suffer after. As for how? We use small urns. A part of them at the least, will be burned, and placed in that urn, in one of our towns, waiting for the day where our ancestors come. They will guide them home, when they leave again.

Not always there is a soul left. Some passes well on their own, but it is tradition. A last mark of respect, from their kin, and family. I know next to nothing of your kind, but it is comforting to know that you bury your death with respect."

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

 

@Evil Pink One

On 2024-02-23 at 8:29 AM, Evil Pink One said:

He'd soon grab Shark and bring her near to him for a hug, not caring if it would disturb her or if she would allow it.

It was a selfish desire, his actions was.

A deep strong yet gentle hug.

" good morning." He said calmly to her.

Shark would rouse up as she were grabbed, going in closer, and wrapped her muscular tail around him. Her tensing up, showed that she had been thinking they were trying to take her away from him, or vice versa.  That until he spoke, and then drew her in for a kiss. A pony one that were, which she had to train at some point, but she were too excited to think of that right now, and just licked his face repeatedly, with great delight and joy. Her tail were positively wagging. To a point where considering the strength and weight of the limb, it were making his bed rustle around. The nurse were starting to think she had to come over and hold it, to prevent them both from falling down, when thankfully the wagging would tone down a little, and the vibrations would subside enough where she didn't think it would tip over.

"Mate is safe! Mate is okay!"

On 2024-02-23 at 8:29 AM, Evil Pink One said:

" how long was i out? What happened?" 

He knows that Shark was fine since she's there. But what of the others?

Is he allowed to leave now? What was that that attacked them? Should he head to anomaly? Or to head mistress starlight? Should he involve others?

" so whats next ma'am?" He asked the nurse.

"Oh my. She's certainly... Energetic.

As for your questions, you were out for a few hours, while the toxins cleansed from your system. According to Lieutenant Foxglove, you should be cured, but she will know more details than I. She were the only one who seemed to know about what had befallen you, so she took over your treatment. Doctor Toxina seemed to know too, and evaluated, but she seemed satisfied with the treatment the lieutenant set forth. It was very fortunate, considering we still aren't entirely sure what attacked you. Some kind of exotic pet, I think?

As for what's next, I'd prefer if you would stay here, until the lieutenant can sign you out herself. You are technically her patient, until she discharges you. It's simply protocol.

Before that, can you tell me how you are perhaps? Just in case there are any side effects we should be aware of."

It were just some standard questions to get out of the way. The faster that were done, the faster they could move on to other things. Such as him getting discharged, before his peculiar marefriend would make a permanent bed out of him. It seemed he wouldn't mind, and it were cute, but at the same time, they had some rules, and they couldn't keep wasting brooms. Nopony had been dumb enough to go and touch her themselves after the first time, and honestly, it were part of why Foxglove had to take over the procedure in full. She had helped Shark get him here, so the peculiar mare would give some semblance of leniency to the lieutenant, long as she were careful.

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

 

@Catpone Cerberus

Manehattan were a nice place indeed, though they had their own problems. Yet instead of Ponyville's problem, these were more down to earth, and manageable via tools available to normal ponies. For the most part. They did have their peculiarities, cursed trinkets, crazies thinking of higher power, the usual. But nothing as major as Tirek, or Discord. Not so far at least. But a new day could bring all kinds of odd surprises with them, now couldn't it? And today had the bearings of being a strange day, with the potential for something odd, or major. That would be up to the newly arrived specialty guard to figure out.

Getting towards the morgue, he'd find that whilst he did get looks, and some whispered among themselves about him, there were other talks too. One pair for instance, were talking as they sat side by side on a bench, of tales of strange creatures in and around town. Stuff like wandering skeletons in dresses, large tree creatures, someone who spewed flames, and mind controlling fauna. One of them said that it were just overblown hysteria, and probably something with changelings, showing a bias there. The other would claim it wasn't, and also bring up one of the schools that had been overrun by exploding insects, and collapsed. The former would claim it were probably just bad infrastructure, but they both agreed it were nice they hadn't heard of anypony being in there, when it collapsed.

Hard to say what were true, and what were gossiping though. Folks liked telling tall tales, like Slenderpony, or the Ghost Tenor of Southern Lane. The guards in Canterlot had plenty of stories like that, they heard from all over the kingdom. One even claimed to have known somepony, who was visiting a grave, and one of the statues moved and tried to grab him. Most things had no proof to it, but stories could still be entertaining, and it helped pass the time.

He should be able to get to the morgue without any direct incident. Who'd go up and approach him after all, lest there was a problem to handle?

He would finally be approached as he'd get to the morgue though. If he tried using the door, somepony would try and exit just as he'd attempt to enter. It almost made her drop the apparent steel briefcase that she had been carrying, if she were just shocked by him. If they actually impacted, she would drop it, though it didn't clack open. In either case, the mare would correct her glasses, before addressing him.

"My apologies. I appear to have been somewhat distracted by-"

Her words faltered as she looked at him. Though she didn't look horrified, as much as slightly curious. As for her? She didn't look too out of the ordinary. A unicorn mare, with a grey coat, with a short red mane and tail. The pupils behind the glasses were red, and if he knew his glass, he'd be able to tell this wasn't prescription, but just window glass. Her horn were also broken, with about a third seemingly broken off, which likely meant she couldn't use magic currently. Tragic, but it happened at times.

"...Fascinating. Not just layers of metal, but seeming integration. I wonder..."

She'd shake her head.

"Apologies sir, I didn't mean to stare. You just remind me of some of the sketches that an old colleague of mine made. He always believed in seamless unification of metal and flesh. Your presence caused some memories of that to return. Better times.

But I will not waste your likely valuable time with such trivialities, sir. Have a good day, and in case you were a friend of the recently diseased, you have my condolences."

Lest there were something else, or questions to be asked, she would be on her way, and leave the guard to confront either his duties. He were more than likely here about the body she had glimpsed, that she wasn't meant to. Grizzly business, and then came a guard... One would assume this were duty, but it could also be a friend. She ruled nothing out. Though either way, she would not interrupt his doings. There were plenty enough for her to do, as it were.

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

 

@Catpone Cerberus

"An alliance of convenience? Admirable, and in these peculiar times, outright wise. I have not been here in Equestria proper for long, but I already hear stories of the things they had to face in the last few years, and the frequency is disturbing, though not as much as the seeming escalation.

This town appears to attract the worst of things, likely drawn to Princess Sparkle in some fashion, and they have gotten exponentially more dangerous, with her not taking any true precautions, from what I have been told. At this rate, something will eventually show up, that can't be handled by ordinary means, and creatures will die. You and yours working in a largely preemptive manner, to avoid things escalating to an unsustainable level, is more than likely sorely needed. Or we might well end up with this country under the heel of tyranny, or worse.

You seem a capable dragon, and I would assume them just as much, if not more, in their respective fields. There is likely little I could offer to help, but I do have the ear of the local princess. Study partners in a sense, as it were. If not me, then perhaps you would in time require her, and I could see to help in that regard, if things stay well. Ponies are finicky creatures, and as you said, a dragon's life lives are long. Just as they are for the alicorns. It is hard to predict what is to come.

Well, lest you are Zhu I would imagine, but it is not as if that one would ever willingly show his face, lest something terrible were about to happen.

Regardless, if in some fashion you can use aid eventually, I would be willing to listen. I find this place to be if not perfect, then suitable. It would be highly detrimental if the country were suddenly on fire, or a war-torn ravaged wasteland."

She would also miss some of the ponies here, if she were honest, but these were still new ties to be made. It were questionable how many would want to actually get to know her, and vice versa. The princess did, but she were also a highly curious mind, presented with a long time study partner, over various things. For the time being, that being the tome that had over time gotten Nerzhei banished. It were an intriguing puzzle for them both, and whilst they hadn't scheduled their first proper read through yet, Nerzhei had seen the look in Twilight's eyes, as they discussed it. The princess hungered for knowledge, much as she. A young mind, so filled with curiosity... Lest things changed, she believed the princess could become a good friend over time. Better than any she had before at the least, barring maybe Lotus, but sadly, her bunny's lifespan were short. Miniscule really, for a dragon. A blink of an eye, and her lifespan had run its course.

When that day came, she knew she would be sad, yet that just left all the more reason to treasure the time they did have.

"I would assume I shouldn't ask too many questions about your companions, nor of what steps you are wanting to take currently, but perhaps I might offer some advice in their stead? A newcomer to these forests have recently taken lodging in the old castle. I would advise you to try and avoid that, as you wander through the forest. Draconequui are... Fickle creatures, best to leave undisturbed if possible.

Mind me asking though... You have spoken about your order, and I admit to take notes, as there is a fascinating history there. Yet you are among the more intelligent and level-headed dragons I have known, so out of respect, I would ask if you would prefer I keep this to myself, or if it is something that I might bring up if the conversation goes in such ways? I do not much like to let history be forgotten, but this is your history, and one with a grim tale associated with it, I take it. I get the feeling it might be prudent to be on the safe side in this regard."

She weren't planning on taking all his time. Him and his, were likely to want to move on soon enough, but it were a shame. She had rarely had a chat with dragons, that didn't make her feel that she were speaking to a troglodyte. The vast amount she had met sadly, were about as sharp as a pool ball, and thus she'd get nowhere having a longer conversation with them.

Still, they had potentially thousands of years ahead of them. There were plenty of chances for them to perhaps talk other times to. Be it in a day, or a decade, time were relative so to speak, when your life span were as vast as they were for dragons.

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

 

@Catpone Cerberus

On 2024-02-24 at 10:54 AM, Catpone Cerberus said:

Due to this, he wasn't really aware of what happened around him, so when the restrains got loose, he had no idea if he had burned them or if they just failed, nor did he think about it, as he could tell there was still something close by, and he took off running towards the exit. If the exit was still blocked, he'd freeze for a moment in front of it, before in his panicked state, he would test the barrier by sticking one finger/toe into it, just past the claw. This presumably burned his scales and flesh, which made him yelp and pull it away, leading to him pulling himself into a protective ball and staying there, Fight nor Flight was an option, so his instinct didn't know what else to do.

If the exit wasn't blocked, or it for some reason spared him from its effect, he'd keep running away from the temple for a while. 

Strangely enough, the entrance were open, sort of. A section of the black magic had a hole, big enough for Charir to get through, long as he kept his wings close to his body. He would however, also run straight into Spicy if he did so, as she were but a meter from the door, looking on in confusion.

"Ouch! What's the- Hey the lil' fellah! Where's your friends?"

If he just kept running, after plowing into her, she'd look towards where he took off, then the temple, and shake her head. This here were starting to smell like one of those times when a lot of stuff started to go wrong. The sort where she'd be best off not getting too involved, but knew she had to. So she'd load up a few things from her wagon, and go in.

If Charir stopped though, assuming he had enough wits about him to remember her, perhaps he'd act differently. Could be that he'd try and lead/force her inside to help his friends. Or he'd hide in her wagon, smashing the door. Could be something third entirely. Hard to say how folks would act sometimes, y'know? Either way, she'd probably be in there soon, ready to try and see if she couldn't actually do something about whatever this were.

On 2024-02-24 at 10:54 AM, Catpone Cerberus said:

Ruby looked genuinely surprised by the question? "Who?" "The only male in our group is a dragon." "And while I saw the skeleton with the staff helping you out, I have opened no caskets."  "Must be some other pair of ponies, your servants were already walking around when we got here." since she was telling the truth, everything in the way she said it showed as much "I assure you, if I knew who you are talking about, I would happily bring them to you, wouldn't mind skinning them alive myself." honestly, if she did ever learn who to blame for this, she may actually do that. 

"Yeah, we just showed up, and this place was crawling with skeletons."

This were so messed up, talking to what seemed like a mummified, ancient deer. Frankly this whole thing were gonna end up in her top 50 weird situation. Probably around 24'th so far, but things weren't over yet. Could still end up climbing the ranks.

"We know it to have been ponies Male, and female. The dragon that ran, were not the wakener, nor is she. But we will see if the answer will matter..

Take them away, and prepare the altar."

"What?! No way am I just gonn-Urgh!"

Her bindings would tighten around her, and she'd be wrapped up into a ball again, and taken away westwardly.

"You will both stay, 'til we know if you spout lies."

She'd be taken in after that, and would soon enough find herself locked in a cage, with guards leaving her. It was a good cage really Nice and sturdy metal, even if time had been a bit rough on the metal, and the stone around them. But a regular pony her size, wouldn't just be able to handle that either. They assumed it fine to leave her there.

As for Leviathan, there were no sign of her. She had seemingly not been taken away alongside her, but rather gone elsewhere. Potentially to ensure Ruby did not to something regrettable. Or it might end up that she were currently being flayed to join the undead hordes.

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

 

@Catpone Cerberus

The inn would start to simmer down, with all the activity being over. A fair few who had rooms, would want to retreat to their rooms, and try to just sit with their thoughts for a bit. Some of the locals would want to go home, and check on if it were still there, and to check up on their families. Several would remain though, needing a drink and some company after today.

The innkeeper would stay behind the desk for now, and just wash some glasses for now, and observing how things went. She weren't sure about Chega, Sear, and the two others. They were not local, and they seemed to have known the one that were acting up before, but they also seemed to help clean up after, rather than follow... Weren't really her place to ask about this she supposed. Not unless something happened. For now it were best if she just kept o doing what she did best.

That were until the helpful lady had suddenly gone over, sand slammed her head into the table. That... Didn't seem all that healthy. She'd get company soon after, but she would find that the Innkeeper - that being Bubble Tea - would stand over there soon as well, though she didn't make physical contact. Not everypony liked that sort of thing.

"Excuse me miss, but are you okay?"

She'd probably be told off. Wouldn't be the first time, nor the last, and she had gotten sorta jaded to it over time. Yet still, she did worry when she saw this sort of thing. Sometimes it led to somepony just needing to drink reality away for a bit. Other times, it were just a long day, like Stargazer had uttered the time he had come in, and done something similar. Though it didn't make as much noise as what Sheska had just done. It could also be an issue, like per se, a medical issue. Plenty of options, so when she saw this sort of thing, she felt compelled to go and check up on the one in question.

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4 hours ago, Blitz Boom said:

Shark would rouse up as she were grabbed, going in closer, and wrapped her muscular tail around him. Her tensing up, showed that she had been thinking they were trying to take her away from him, or vice versa.  That until he spoke, and then drew her in for a kiss. A pony one that were, which she had to train at some point, but she were too excited to think of that right now, and just licked his face repeatedly, with great delight and joy. Her tail were positively wagging. To a point where considering the strength and weight of the limb, it were making his bed rustle around. The nurse were starting to think she had to come over and hold it, to prevent them both from falling down, when thankfully the wagging would tone down a little, and the vibrations would subside enough where she didn't think it would tip over.

"Mate is safe! Mate is okay!"

he would not mind and welcome her way of affection openly. but he would try to balance it out a bit to avoid breaking or falling off the bed.

4 hours ago, Blitz Boom said:

Before that, can you tell me how you are perhaps? Just in case there are any side effects we should be aware of."

It were just some standard questions to get out of the way. The faster that were done, the faster they could move on to other things. Such as him getting discharged, before his peculiar marefriend would make a permanent bed out of him. It seemed he wouldn't mind, and it were cute, but at the same time, they had some rules, and they couldn't keep wasting brooms. Nopony had been dumb enough to go and touch her themselves after the first time, and honestly, it were part of why Foxglove had to take over the procedure in full. She had helped Shark get him here, so the peculiar mare would give some semblance of leniency to the lieutenant, long as she were careful.

"to be honest... confused."

a lot is on his mind right now. mostly questions that cannot be answered. hence, giving him more to think about.

" anyway im fine. thanks to Shark." he gave another serving of a tight hug to shark.

@Blitz Boom

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@Blitz Boom

22 hours ago, Blitz Boom said:

Ah, but you seem to think them immortal too, yes? They are not, I'm afraid. They are ageless, just like the alicorns, and strong enough that they will not easily die from any sort of fight, but draconequui have died, and eventually, more of them will die. How exactly varied. Some just wane in power over time, and vanishes. Others are killed by stronger beings, or their own. Best any can tell, they don't mind. They understand death is the inevitable end to life. But they are powerful demigods, and energy like that tends to not just vanish. Hence they believe in reincarnation. A brand new draconequui, ready to take on the world.

Sometimes there is more draconequui, other times less. They think that the new soul is just waiting for its moment, yes? Either to be born as they have offspring of their own, or through some act that spawns them. Like the Grand Nightmare Discord caused, which spawned Fright from the intense fear most beings felt.

Legends even have it they have a draconequui from the olden times, that represents death. Most consider it a fairy tale, but they do tend to tense up, if you speak the name of Mortimer around them. Heh, stories even tell of the olden times, when Discord would come to us every now and again, that he forbade the mentioning of the word."

“Hmmm… that’s unexpected. Not immortal is not something that comes to mind when it comes to Discord. He always felt like there was more to him than what I saw. A being that was chaos incarnate was like a living force that just is and will be, no reincarnation needed. I’m not even sure if that is enough to describe him; he seems like he's larger than life, so to speak. To think there are more draconequii… that is a scary thought.”

Though Sen tried to deflect his true thoughts on the matter with his more generalized feelings on draconequii, the name Mortimer rang some bells. Perhaps Mother mentioned it once or twice while they spoke before? An ancient being, one that can inspire fear? Maybe it was for the best that he didn’t bring that up on account of not having recalled enough to be a priority for this conversation. The only thing the longma is certain about this Mortimer being a very powerful creature. 

Admittedly, this conversation is bringing back a lot of things brought up in the past by friends and acquaintances, things that Sen hoped to investigate if given time. The evergrown and the dryads could probably be within the forest, but out of concern for both the longma and whoever he may find, it may be best to look into the matter privately. Based on what Elder Zhao mentioned, it may not be the dryads on account of their curiosity, leaving the evergreen the most likely candidates.

22 hours ago, Blitz Boom said:

"Sister moves. Do you think she is waking up?"

"It is hard to say."

"It is a good sign though. Most remain motionless for hours or days, before they start to show much of anything. You might be fortunate, and she will wake within the hour."

"We should probably have some refreshments ready for that. An ordeal like that, will have taken its toll. On you too, Zhao."

"I suppose it cannot hurt to have something prepared. If she wakes up before I am back, be prepared to perhaps hold her down. Waking up after this can sometimes be momentarily disorienting. Shouldn't be more than a few seconds, but just in case, keep her from Elder Sohe, until you're certain of her mental state."

 

“Knowing Lin, she won’t let something like this set her back or keep her down, but I’m sure she’ll need some time to get her mind straightened out after what happened.”

“That last thing you mentioned about souls being left... I wouldn’t know if respect is even true for the longma. Growing up, I always thought it was just normal for us to have so much respect for our surroundings and each other. Turns out that respect is only given to those who stay true to our beliefs, even if it hurts or tramples over others. Those that stray from our laws are exiled and denied our customs as if they never existed.”

The longma grew somber and silent, taking what he said and betraying his feelings for the longma despite wanting to help change them. Some things just couldn’t be left alone, and others weren’t so lucky to find peace even outside the longma’s forest. The thought that the same was true for his parents terrified and saddened him; it shouldn’t have happened, and they deserved better. All that was left for him was to remember the best of them and keep their promise. 

“I admit, I am jealous of your practices and beliefs. Your stance on your exiles and the respect you show them is admirable, and I feel like the longma could learn a lot from the kitsune. If only they could just be a little more open-minded. Still, it’s nice having this conversation with you and getting to know more about your beliefs and practices. Knowing even just a little more means I get the chance to examine the longma a little more and see where we could stand to be better.” 

“I know this idea might sound crazy, but is there a chance of me learning how to speak with spirits? I understand if the kitsune do not want to share that information, but is it possible for someone like me to learn what is needed to do that?”

If attention were drawn to where Lin rested, one could see her stirring a little more than the last. Her eyebrows appeared to furrow, her eyelids twitching, likely already noticing that she was in a different environment. Though she wouldn’t wake up just yet, signs of activity were a good thing, and it just got a little better with a new development. Lin’s twitching was now just as noticeable at her claws, with her talons appearing to move stiffly. The movement would subside after a few seconds, only to start again, then stop, with only some quiet groans and unintelligible murmurs from her. Any moment now, things would be looking up for the siblings. 

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@EQ_Theta

22 hours ago, EQ_Theta said:

“Hmmm… that’s unexpected. Not immortal is not something that comes to mind when it comes to Discord. He always felt like there was more to him than what I saw. A being that was chaos incarnate was like a living force that just is and will be, no reincarnation needed. I’m not even sure if that is enough to describe him; he seems like he's larger than life, so to speak. To think there are more draconequii… that is a scary thought.”

Elder Sohe chuckled slightly.

"Oh they are powerful alright, though it varies how much. Discord is often seen as the strongest among them, as he has the highest connection with chaos, and knows how to use it well, but there are several, of varying power levels. Most are somewhat harmless though. They simply want to live life the way they feel like, and then play some tricks on us linear creatures. Discord and us kitsune, once got along well because we hold kinship over trickery, and now he is back, we hope he will one day come and see us again.

Fright on occasion are in the area too. She doesn't trick a lot though, but comes here to speak of spiritualism, from time to time. In many ways, I'd think her stronger than Discord, simply because she is level headed, and in control of herself, even if raw power says otherwise. She's among the better of them you can run into, if you meet draconequui out in the world. A delightful lady really.

Hmm, but I guess I digress a little. Their mortality..,. They normally do not focus on it. Much like with dragons, having that many years, unlikely to die from simple, short term things as you or I, they simply see themselves are being, until they aren't. You live for enough thousands of years, it starts to keep the prospects of death further and further away, yes? But it varies. Dracopnequui are as different in personality and mind, as they are in appearance."

"I can tell Master Discord, that you want to see him. Maybe he would like that."

"That would be appreciated. Thank you."

The elder would nod her head towards Omen, who were moving closer to Lin, to see how she were doing.

SHrimp in the meantime, would yawn, then slither off and go over on Sen, slowly crawling him. It was his turn to be his pillow now. At least until there'd be some food.

22 hours ago, EQ_Theta said:

“Knowing Lin, she won’t let something like this set her back or keep her down, but I’m sure she’ll need some time to get her mind straightened out after what happened.”

“That last thing you mentioned about souls being left... I wouldn’t know if respect is even true for the longma. Growing up, I always thought it was just normal for us to have so much respect for our surroundings and each other. Turns out that respect is only given to those who stay true to our beliefs, even if it hurts or tramples over others. Those that stray from our laws are exiled and denied our customs as if they never existed.”

The longma grew somber and silent, taking what he said and betraying his feelings for the longma despite wanting to help change them. Some things just couldn’t be left alone, and others weren’t so lucky to find peace even outside the longma’s forest. The thought that the same was true for his parents terrified and saddened him; it shouldn’t have happened, and they deserved better. All that was left for him was to remember the best of them and keep their promise. 

“I admit, I am jealous of your practices and beliefs. Your stance on your exiles and the respect you show them is admirable, and I feel like the longma could learn a lot from the kitsune. If only they could just be a little more open-minded. Still, it’s nice having this conversation with you and getting to know more about your beliefs and practices. Knowing even just a little more means I get the chance to examine the longma a little more and see where we could stand to be better.” 

“I know this idea might sound crazy, but is there a chance of me learning how to speak with spirits? I understand if the kitsune do not want to share that information, but is it possible for someone like me to learn what is needed to do that?”

The elder pondered some, before answering these questions. It seemed important to Sen, and so, she wanted to address them properly.

"Respect holds many faces, Sen. For us, even those who are our enemies in life, are shown respect in death, because we believe that it is only our place to judge them, as they are in life. Their actions, their future acts- That is for the ancestors to decide on, and we believe that their judgement is fair. In parts because often when we see the exiles again, on the blessed day, they are repenting. It helps bring closure, and for their families to be able to look at their deceased with some level of fondness again."

There were also that they knew what happened to those that weren't given the proper burial, but she could not say that. It were a closely guarded secret, only meant for the elders. Yet it didn't mean that the rest she said, had not been true.

"Your people are not there. You value those who are part of the community, but shun them in full, for whatever reason got them exiled to begin with. It is saddening to hear that even the simple kindness of a burial, is denied those who stray from the flock.

Yet you are still young, and your mind is open, Sen. There is little that can be done of what happened in the past, but you can be one of those who pushes for change. A hard fight to win, I am certain, but us elders who guide the rules, will in time die. Such is the circle of life. Who comes after us, holds the key to change things for the better. If you pour your heart to it, you could well be part of that change, even if they will put obstacles in your way, to try and stop you."

While she spoke, Omen had gone closer to Lin, to the point were she had leaned all the way in, over Lin's face, looking at her twitching her eyes every now and again. Were she about to wake soon? Maybe. Maybe not. But perhaps if she stood here and looked closely, she would find out.

She were about the distance from Lin, as she had been when Shrimp had laid over both her, and Sen's face, as the latter had slept.

"And I cannot tell, if you could commune with spirits, Sen. Not here at the least.

As said, speaking with the nature spirits, is a gift that is not given to all. To us, it is proof of someone being chosen by the elements, and there is expectations that comes with that. You should have known, were you one of those, yet still, you might not have broken through, with no training, or understanding. I can take you a place, when Lin feels better, where you can try and listen. If you can hear them, I am obligated to offer guidance.

If you mean the spirits of the dead, it is something most can learn, yes. It is not easy though. Cutting corners there, will often do you more harm than good. But it is possible to teach you to be a speaker, over the years. If you mind your studies that is. Loa-Ni could explain this better than most.

And worry not it is only for us. I hardly think there is a race, who does not have their own versions of a spirit caller. The minotaurs have their shamans. The griffons call them omens. Ponies tend to go with medium, or decrying them necromancers. Camels call them spirit guides, the Yak Witherhooves, and so on, and so forth. It is not always wide spread, but there are invariably those who commune with the dead, in every culture. It is not against our rules to show our way of doing so, to outsiders. Not unless they are enemies, but you have come to our town armed with nothing but with and curiosity. You re not our enemies."

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

 

@Evil Pink One

"I like to think I had a hoof in it too."

Foxglove would wander in, having just heard his last words, with a bit of a smile on her face.

"It is good to see you are feeling better si-*Ooof*."

She'd get tackled by Shark, who took her into a hug. A rather tight one too, and the Lieutenant could tell that she was holding back too.

"Mate okay! Many thank to metal friend."

"Grfth..."

"You might want to put her down, miss. I don't think she can breathe."

Shark listened, and let her go, then went back over and nuzzled the side of Light's head, whilst Foxglove took a few deep breaths.

"Are you okay, Lieutenant?"

"Y-Yes I'm fine. She's just... Stronger than she looks.

A-Anyway, as I were about to say, you're cured of the poison, and thankfully there were no eggs, so you don't need any invasive surgery. The thing that bit you is called a Harvest Mite. It's a dreadful pest of a creature, that reproduce by infecting larger creatures with poison and eggs, and then the small ones hatch under the skin and... Well, it's not nice looking. It's also nowhere local. These things can only be found in very remote areas of Zebrica, and they're not allowed to be brought out of those areas, much less the country.

We'll run a search and figure out who and why got this illegally imported, but you can rest easy sir. The danger have passed, and we'll make sure to check it doesn't happen to anypony else. For now, I just need to be aware if your motor skills and such are okay right now. Could you please stand up, and walk a little? Soon as we know you're safe to walk, you can be safely discharged, though I'd suggest you get some food and water soon. You'll probably feel a little famished.

I would also recommend a shower, with all due respect, of course. It's just that the treatment did involve some profuse sweating on your end, among other things, so you would likely feel better, after a long, warm bath."

The lieutenant would speak calmly to him, explaining things as best she could there, with this clearly not being her first rodeo dealing with sick ponies. She wasn't much of a combat vet though, considering how easy Shark had gotten hold of her. Fairly typical medical staff issue sadly, so nothing surprising there.

Shark would let him walk up, but would stand close by, in case he'd start to wobble or anything. She'd probably be overprotective of him for a time after this, but it were little wonder. She had been terrified for him, after what happened. She didn't want that sort of thing to be a recurring issue.

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1 hour ago, Blitz Boom said:

@EQ_Theta

Elder Sohe chuckled slightly.

"Oh they are powerful alright, though it varies how much. Discord is often seen as the strongest among them, as he has the highest connection with chaos, and knows how to use it well, but there are several, of varying power levels. Most are somewhat harmless though. They simply want to live life the way they feel like, and then play some tricks on us linear creatures. Discord and us kitsune, once got along well because we hold kinship over trickery, and now he is back, we hope he will one day come and see us again.

Fright on occasion are in the area too. She doesn't trick a lot though, but comes here to speak of spiritualism, from time to time. In many ways, I'd think her stronger than Discord, simply because she is level headed, and in control of herself, even if raw power says otherwise. She's among the better of them you can run into, if you meet draconequui out in the world. A delightful lady really.

Hmm, but I guess I digress a little. Their mortality..,. They normally do not focus on it. Much like with dragons, having that many years, unlikely to die from simple, short term things as you or I, they simply see themselves are being, until they aren't. You live for enough thousands of years, it starts to keep the prospects of death further and further away, yes? But it varies. Dracopnequui are as different in personality and mind, as they are in appearance."

"I can tell Master Discord, that you want to see him. Maybe he would like that."

"That would be appreciated. Thank you."

The elder would nod her head towards Omen, who were moving closer to Lin, to see how she were doing.

SHrimp in the meantime, would yawn, then slither off and go over on Sen, slowly crawling him. It was his turn to be his pillow now. At least until there'd be some food.

The elder pondered some, before answering these questions. It seemed important to Sen, and so, she wanted to address them properly.

"Respect holds many faces, Sen. For us, even those who are our enemies in life, are shown respect in death, because we believe that it is only our place to judge them, as they are in life. Their actions, their future acts- That is for the ancestors to decide on, and we believe that their judgement is fair. In parts because often when we see the exiles again, on the blessed day, they are repenting. It helps bring closure, and for their families to be able to look at their deceased with some level of fondness again."

There were also that they knew what happened to those that weren't given the proper burial, but she could not say that. It were a closely guarded secret, only meant for the elders. Yet it didn't mean that the rest she said, had not been true.

"Your people are not there. You value those who are part of the community, but shun them in full, for whatever reason got them exiled to begin with. It is saddening to hear that even the simple kindness of a burial, is denied those who stray from the flock.

Yet you are still young, and your mind is open, Sen. There is little that can be done of what happened in the past, but you can be one of those who pushes for change. A hard fight to win, I am certain, but us elders who guide the rules, will in time die. Such is the circle of life. Who comes after us, holds the key to change things for the better. If you pour your heart to it, you could well be part of that change, even if they will put obstacles in your way, to try and stop you."

While she spoke, Omen had gone closer to Lin, to the point were she had leaned all the way in, over Lin's face, looking at her twitching her eyes every now and again. Were she about to wake soon? Maybe. Maybe not. But perhaps if she stood here and looked closely, she would find out.

She were about the distance from Lin, as she had been when Shrimp had laid over both her, and Sen's face, as the latter had slept.

"And I cannot tell, if you could commune with spirits, Sen. Not here at the least.

As said, speaking with the nature spirits, is a gift that is not given to all. To us, it is proof of someone being chosen by the elements, and there is expectations that comes with that. You should have known, were you one of those, yet still, you might not have broken through, with no training, or understanding. I can take you a place, when Lin feels better, where you can try and listen. If you can hear them, I am obligated to offer guidance.

If you mean the spirits of the dead, it is something most can learn, yes. It is not easy though. Cutting corners there, will often do you more harm than good. But it is possible to teach you to be a speaker, over the years. If you mind your studies that is. Loa-Ni could explain this better than most.

And worry not it is only for us. I hardly think there is a race, who does not have their own versions of a spirit caller. The minotaurs have their shamans. The griffons call them omens. Ponies tend to go with medium, or decrying them necromancers. Camels call them spirit guides, the Yak Witherhooves, and so on, and so forth. It is not always wide spread, but there are invariably those who commune with the dead, in every culture. It is not against our rules to show our way of doing so, to outsiders. Not unless they are enemies, but you have come to our town armed with nothing but with and curiosity. You re not our enemies."

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

 

@Evil Pink One

"I like to think I had a hoof in it too."

Foxglove would wander in, having just heard his last words, with a bit of a smile on her face.

"It is good to see you are feeling better si-*Ooof*."

She'd get tackled by Shark, who took her into a hug. A rather tight one too, and the Lieutenant could tell that she was holding back too.

"Mate okay! Many thank to metal friend."

"Grfth..."

"You might want to put her down, miss. I don't think she can breathe."

Shark listened, and let her go, then went back over and nuzzled the side of Light's head, whilst Foxglove took a few deep breaths.

"Are you okay, Lieutenant?"

"Y-Yes I'm fine. She's just... Stronger than she looks.

A-Anyway, as I were about to say, you're cured of the poison, and thankfully there were no eggs, so you don't need any invasive surgery. The thing that bit you is called a Harvest Mite. It's a dreadful pest of a creature, that reproduce by infecting larger creatures with poison and eggs, and then the small ones hatch under the skin and... Well, it's not nice looking. It's also nowhere local. These things can only be found in very remote areas of Zebrica, and they're not allowed to be brought out of those areas, much less the country.

We'll run a search and figure out who and why got this illegally imported, but you can rest easy sir. The danger have passed, and we'll make sure to check it doesn't happen to anypony else. For now, I just need to be aware if your motor skills and such are okay right now. Could you please stand up, and walk a little? Soon as we know you're safe to walk, you can be safely discharged, though I'd suggest you get some food and water soon. You'll probably feel a little famished.

I would also recommend a shower, with all due respect, of course. It's just that the treatment did involve some profuse sweating on your end, among other things, so you would likely feel better, after a long, warm bath."

The lieutenant would speak calmly to him, explaining things as best she could there, with this clearly not being her first rodeo dealing with sick ponies. She wasn't much of a combat vet though, considering how easy Shark had gotten hold of her. Fairly typical medical staff issue sadly, so nothing surprising there.

Shark would let him walk up, but would stand close by, in case he'd start to wobble or anything. She'd probably be overprotective of him for a time after this, but it were little wonder. She had been terrified for him, after what happened. She didn't want that sort of thing to be a recurring issue.

@Blitz Boom

He'd stand up and check if he's okay. Give a few kick here and there.

If the lieutenant says so, then perhaps he is fine for now.

"Well i feel fine on my side though? Is that all you need of me?"

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@Blitz Boom

Dawn looked between the undead bird identified as Chirpy and the sweet Will-O with her innocent inquiry.  Understandable to say the least, but the question made it evident the other mare had little experience in the realm of teleportation magics.  She simply smiled with the best, practiced reassuring smile she had, "Worry not Will-O dearest.  Chirpy sweetie came safely through the portal behind us, the same principle applies to my circle.  Albeit, I'm a little more practiced than some dusty old portal mages," Dawn winked.  "It is perfectly safe for all party present," affirmed.

With gathered company and luggage in tow, they could finally be on their way.  Only an effort of power from their patron in welcoming to Equestria, a growing effort after all the displays she's given adding up on her.  For the travelers, undead and all, could enjoy themselves a safe trip from the outskirts of the city to a place they couldn't quite see from where they previously stood.  All they had to endure was a flash of rainbow light, the gentle caress of an autumn breeze and the pleasant smell of... cinnamon?  Strawberries?  Fresh cedar?  Hard to say.

They all now stood in a circular courtyard.  The skyscrapers that once towered in the distance stood all the closer.  It were evident they were in the city proper now, but in a district more outside where the tall mountainous buildings at its center.  The trio were in Dawn's part of the city, manors stood around them along clean streets and polished lamp posts.  Lush midnight blue and orange hedges ran along with elegant decorated fences that circled a large parameter around them.  Marble pony statues dotted the lawn and stairs leading up to the nearest manor to them.  Rising three stories tall, elegant in a fine mix of wood and polished stone sidings.  Two towers topped with a fanciful Sun and Moon motifs in honor to Equestria's founders.  Arches ran along the roof with stain glass images of Dawn's own triumphs through her so far short years.  Stretching nearly two hundred feet in length on either side of the entry way.  Massive midnight blue oak double doors engraved with a striking print of Dawn's cutie mark towered over the six step staircase that was her front door.  A much different appearance than just a short time ago when Lily left Dawn's care.

Dawn started to walk toward the front door of her home.  The familiar rainbow ripples danced away from each of her hoof steps, telling of the mistress' return to her domain.  "Ah, home sweet home.  Did you miss mommy?" she inquired, changing her tone of voice as if speaking to a small pet.  The manor creaked in its magnitude and a shudder of excitement rang out through the grounds, the plants, the statues, the hedges and the very air itself on the plot of land that was Dawn's domain.  The large doors flung open on their own, leading into a large foyer decorated with more statues draped in heavy plant life.

"I hope you'll find yourselves comfortable here while you get settled into Equestria.  Please, come in," she invited her guests.  Some stone by them melted into a silver liquid and took up the visitor's luggage before rolling away like a wave into the manor.

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@Blitz Boom

Solar made a note of everything he heard, but while things like skeletons and exploding insects were unusual, they weren't other-worldly level of unusual, this world had plenty of oddities of its own, in fact, it was the less odd he was more concerned with, since in his world order had won, and all the weirder stuff was either eliminated or went hiding. The threats coming from his home were not weird fauna or tree creatures, but dragons, ponies and other normal creatures with the will and capability to destroy.  But he still kept things in mind, because while it wasn't really under his responsibilities, if he happened to be around when something happened, he'd take care of it until told otherwise by the ones in command. 

And some stories were more believable than others, cryptids usually had some truth behind them, though it was often lot more boring than the stories, and something like moving statues was very much possible, Solar had seen enough golems, cursed armors and other such stuff to not even question something like that.


Solar avoided the impact with the stranger thanks to the combination of inbuilt systems and his generally good reflexes, he also opened the door with magic, so there was slightly bigger cap than there would have been if he would have used a hoof or a wing. He scanned the unicorn with his eyes, but that was just normal practice for him, he did pick up on the glasses, though not to the extend that they were just windows glass, rather, he concluded that they were either that or just a weak prescription, since they didn't bend the position of her eyes. He also noticed the horn, and almost wanted to recommend somebody to help with it, but then he remembered where he was, this world hadn't gotten that far yet, you couldn't just fix a horn like that, you couldn't just put a horn on a pegasus and call it a day, like had done to him. 

"No need to apologize, can't blame you for not seeing through a door, and I'm used to being stared at." He responded in friendly manner, though something peeked his interest "Though, if you are not busy, I'd be curious to hear more about these sketches, would you be up for coffee or something in...half an hour or so?" it was certainly something to ask a stranger for a coffee after almost crashing into her at the door of a morgue, but he preferred to be direct, and he wanted to communicate that it was not a guard demanding information, but rather a fellow stranger that was just curious.  

Depending on the answer, he'd speak again, if his suggestion was accepted, he'd say something along the lines of 'see you then', if not, then he'd say he understands. For any questions he'd answer, if asked his motives, he'd state that he was interested in learning everything he can about the local knowledge on body modification, for obvious reasons, and if necessary, would specify that it was not him asking her for a date, nor him as a guard telling her to do anything, but rather just a hope for friendly conversation.  The reason for the half an hour delay was him having duties inside to take care of first. 

And of course if the mare was busy but suggested a different time and/or place, he would agree.

Regardless of what the answer was, he'd then go inside to do his job.

 

He was brought to the body, and given pictures from the location it had been found in, as the location had been such that they were forced to clean it up before he got there. It was a stallion, and 'mauled by an animal' was a good way to describe his shape, though this was not a case of feeding, as nothing was missing per say, he had just been ripped apart an unusual amount. The pictures and the report told that the pony had been found from the water, surrounded by seemingly random things one would find from a room; Solar asked them to send whatever was fished up to Canterlot. 

What remained of the stallions clothing, was decorated and high in quality, giving proof to Solar's theory of him being a city elite, however, since he couldn't recognize him, Solar assumed that the pony was from the Night-Realm. After getting everything he could get without touching the pony, he took a closer look to find any potential tech that could give useful information, and it turned out there was exactly what he needed, this pony, like many of the elites in his world, had a small camera implanted into their heads for security reasons, but since they were vain snobs, any such modification had to be as unnoticeable as possible. 

Solar dug the camera out, and connected it to himself to get any data it may have recorded, and what he saw both answered what happened to the pony, but also rose more questions. He then gave the permission to dispose of the body as was seen fit, and left. Curious case this one, it didn't provide anything to help him with his duties, but it did provide information none the less, and he'd need to analyze this one a bit. 

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

"Nothing I've said is private, so go ahead and talk about it." Myrkr stated "Anything that should be unsaid, has not been said." "And you are partly right when it comes to my companions, it is not that you shouldn't ask, but rather, I should not speak for them, as their stories are their own."  "However, I can say that they are quite unlike me, in fact, they are exactly like those I used to go after." "A dragon who through violence and greed gained all that dragon could want, riches, power and respect, a tool of injustice, however, once the power she held was used against her, she chose the route of betterment." "And a kobold who is the definition of the aforementioned saying, she fought monsters only to become one herself,  rejected by those she fought for, we try to help her to redirect that anger." 

"What comes to our means, is better left unsaid, as we field advantages better kept hidden." "And while I appreciate the offer, the princesses are no use for us, as our mission is bigger than them, bigger than Equestria, and it is more likely that they will be the ones asking for us." "Besides, there's already someone fulfilling our mission among the pony kind, a pony who's devotion to his duty is comparable to mine." he chuckled "I also have a feeling that the princess wouldn't be too happy seeing certain one of us, like I said, my companions have had a bad day." he took his sword and put it back under his robes, giving Nerzhei another possible glance at his armor, though there was nothing new to learn from it "And thanks for the warning, we wouldn't want to disturb anyone." he wasn't in a hurry, so he waited patiently still sitting down in case there was more questions. 

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

Charir didn't need to worry about his wings, as they were clued to his sides due to speed being his main goal, and keeping them even slightly open added notable amount of drag, though it also meant that he didn't have a chance to as much as try to slow down before running into Spicy. Luckily though, since he was smaller than a pony, he was around the same mass as Spicy, thus Spicy was spared from being run over.

At first he reacted by pulling away and getting his balance as quickly as possible, clearly ready to attack if need to be, however, the hit knocked enough sense to him to realize where he was, and who was in front of him, he didn't necessarily right away recognize Spicy as Spicy, but he did recognize that she wasn't a skeleton, and that got her to calm down enough to use her sense over his instinct.

First he started to just talk,but obviously Spicy had no way of understanding what he was on about, so as his wits came back slowly but surely, he started saying in very thick Dragon-accent "Dangggerrr." with every repeat sounding more like the word he was trying to say, that being 'Danger', and as he repeated it, he drew a rough drawing of the priestess capturing Ruby and Leviathan with tendrils coming from the staff; It may have not been fully accurate drawing on the details, but it got the message across hopefully.   

While he was more in his senses now, the panic was still clearly visible on Charir, and he kept looking towards the temple, and even seemingly jumping at any shadow that seemed darker than usual. And when he was done with the drawing, he ran to the wagon and hid behind it, rolling into a ball there. With the blind fear giving way to sense, it brought other emotions, as the possibility that Charir had once again lost everything crept in, and once again he had been unable to do anything. 

 

Ruby took deep breaths, she could sense that Charir had made it outside somehow, good, that was one thing less to worry about, she looked around her, a regular looking cage, with a lock, and there didn't at least seem to be any of that magic inhibiting smoke around, good, it meant that she would be able to use one of the few spells she knew to get out if necessary, again, transforming wasn't the first priority, it was the last option, especially now that there was a potential way out, transforming would only escalate things, and that assuming it even helped...though, she couldn't lie that she was very tempted to do so right away, as it was getting seriously unpleasant, even painful, to stay in this form...she knew what would be the first thing she'd do when and if she got out of this place, she didn't care if Spicy or someone else would be there to see, this feeling really wasn't worth the act. 

Ruby wasn't too worried about Leviathan yet, as she had a reason to believe she was fine...or well, not necessarily fine, but alive, why? because it very much sounded like they were planning to use her to make Ruby talk, now, it wouldn't work even if she would have been lying, as even with the newfound worry towards the two dragons, Ruby still lacked the necessary emotions for torture like that to be effective on her, but the undead didn't know that, so they were unlikely to kill her without Ruby being there.

She laid down, not much to do now than wait for now, so may as well take the chance to rest her legs, she'd need the stamina if something went wrong. She didn't stay put for a long though, as frustrated cry escaped her, and she got back on her hooves, pacing as much as the cage allowed, she couldn't rest, she felt like she was suffocating, she didn't understand what was wrong with her, she had never felt like this before, this indescribable discomfort, it made it hard to think. 

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

 Sheska glanced up enough to see who was talking, since she didn't recognize the voice, Chega meanwhile provided the physical contact, as she did various comforting things, knowing the reasons behind this, and thus not having reason to say anything. "I haven't been aright ever since our parents woke us up and told us to run." she muttered, before rising her head on her hands, the frustration visible in her demeanor, if she would have had hair, she would have probably been ripping at it "I've seen lot of things during my life, I've had kobolds die in my arms more often than I can count, I had to stitch up my brother after he lost half of his limbs." "I've been through literal torture which I'm reminded of every time I see myself in the mirror." she looked at Bubble Tea "And not once have I drank to cope,  not once have I felt the need to sink my sorrows into a glass." her hands pulled into fists and she looked back towards the table "Yet." "I've never felt stronger urge to just knock myself out for good than I do now." 

Sear made her way back to the table too during this, though she stayed out of the situation as from the two Chega was the one better with these things. Chega said something quietly to Sheska, but it caused no further action from either kobold. 



 

 

 

 

 

 

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@Blitz Boom

On 2024-02-29 at 8:07 AM, Blitz Boom said:

"Oh they are powerful alright, though it varies how much. Discord is often seen as the strongest among them, as he has the highest connection with chaos, and knows how to use it well, but there are several, of varying power levels. Most are somewhat harmless though. They simply want to live life the way they feel like, and then play some tricks on us linear creatures. Discord and us kitsune, once got along well because we hold kinship over trickery, and now he is back, we hope he will one day come and see us again.

Fright on occasion are in the area too. She doesn't trick a lot though, but comes here to speak of spiritualism, from time to time. In many ways, I'd think her stronger than Discord, simply because she is level headed, and in control of herself, even if raw power says otherwise. She's among the better of them you can run into, if you meet draconequui out in the world. A delightful lady really.

“I didn’t know the kitsune and Discord got along well! The longma know of him after his magic ran wild, turning our world into something so foreign and unknown. I wasn’t around to see it for myself, but it is a story passed down from generation to generation. They simply called it ‘The Madness’ for it was when some grew mad from seeing the world break. Trees would walk away while the fish in the rivers would fly above the water, among other things. It was a different time then, but I still didn’t imagine calling Discord a friend; he helped us out with finding and restoring Omen.”

Sen still didn’t think he and Lin could befriend the famed draconequus, let alone meet him, but it was a different time growing up and hearing the strange stories of Discord’s antics. The one regaled time after time by the older longma sounded so surreal, yet a creature capable of such chaos walked among them at one point in time. One could only imagine how things could have fared if they kept their preconceptions of the draconequus, but the two are happy to have him as a friend. 

At that moment, Sen felt the pattering of little feet crawling on him before coming to a stop. It seems like Shrimped has decided to make him his next point of rest. The longma took care to be gentle with movements now, but he is relaxed and unlikely to move around too much. He’d even give his little friend some gentle rubs. 

On 2024-02-29 at 8:07 AM, Blitz Boom said:

"Your people are not there. You value those who are part of the community, but shun them in full, for whatever reason got them exiled to begin with. It is saddening to hear that even the simple kindness of a burial, is denied those who stray from the flock.

Yet you are still young, and your mind is open, Sen. There is little that can be done of what happened in the past, but you can be one of those who pushes for change. A hard fight to win, I am certain, but us elders who guide the rules, will in time die. Such is the circle of life. Who comes after us, holds the key to change things for the better. If you pour your heart to it, you could well be part of that change, even if they will put obstacles in your way, to try and stop you."

The longma pondered what Elder Sohe had to say on the matter, though it is hard to see past the negative aspects of one’s kind when Sen saw the ugliness in the longma’s beliefs. Isolation meant keeping a rigid way of life, and staying within it was a sign of safety and belonging. Deviations from this also led to an understanding that one didn’t wish to be part of that way of life, and exile meant being removed from a life that could have ensured stability in an uncertain world. Sadly, experiencing that separation unfairly left too many scars that were unlikely to heal, but Sen saw some positives from it. He gained new perspectives while questioning old beliefs, and he wouldn’t have met so many wonderful creatures had he not experienced life away from the longma. 

“To tell you the truth, elder, I feel like I am being a part of something big: a change I hope would take root and last long into the future. It’s happening a lot sooner too, and I really want to go well. You can be sure I will pour my heart out for this task; I believe in the good it can do despite many uncertainties. I just hope what I do will be enough to get through to the longma because I don’t believe them to be too far gone.”

On 2024-02-29 at 8:07 AM, Blitz Boom said:

As said, speaking with the nature spirits, is a gift that is not given to all. To us, it is proof of someone being chosen by the elements, and there is expectations that comes with that. You should have known, were you one of those, yet still, you might not have broken through, with no training, or understanding. I can take you a place, when Lin feels better, where you can try and listen. If you can hear them, I am obligated to offer guidance.

If you mean the spirits of the dead, it is something most can learn, yes. It is not easy though. Cutting corners there, will often do you more harm than good. But it is possible to teach you to be a speaker, over the years. If you mind your studies that is. Loa-Ni could explain this better than most.

And worry not it is only for us. I hardly think there is a race, who does not have their own versions of a spirit caller. The minotaurs have their shamans. The griffons call them omens. Ponies tend to go with medium, or decrying them necromancers. Camels call them spirit guides, the Yak Witherhooves, and so on, and so forth. It is not always wide spread, but there are invariably those who commune with the dead, in every culture. It is not against our rules to show our way of doing so, to outsiders. Not unless they are enemies, but you have come to our town armed with nothing but with and curiosity. You re not our enemies."

“From what you said, I am fairly sure I can’t speak with nature spirits. The longma say they have a level of familiarity with nature, but I don’t think anyone’s ever claimed to speak and understand spirits that are tied to nature. But I appreciate your offer nonetheless. It would be good to be certain. Speaking to the departed is much more different, but maybe it is possible to do that. Perhaps when there is more time, as I am not sure if being away for years to learn this skill may not be the best thing to do now. Don’t take this the wrong way, elder. I’m not ruling it out.”

“Just being here, talking with you and sharing things about ourselves and our kinds, it is an honor. I don’t see the need for us to be enemies, and I’d much prefer us to be friends. Although with what we’ve been through to help my sister, is there a way for me to repay your kindness?”

Sen smiled and made his appreciation for the kitsune elders known. He didn’t see the point in making enemies of others, whether for any number of reasons or simply for the sake of it. The idea didn’t make sense in the slightest. And now, when they have given help to restore Lin, he certainly feels indebted to them. There already was what they spoke about with Elder Zhao, but the longma felt it insufficient.

Amid the others talking, someone else continued to stir, now more than before. With Omen watching Lin, one could begin seeing more movement along her claws, neck, and head. Her breathing became a little more audible now, and soon, her eyes slowly fluttered until they were open. Though present in an unfamiliar environment, being greeted with the sight of familiar company quickly put her at ease.

“Hello there, Omen,” Lin smiled and calmly greeted. “I felt like I’ve just woken up from a really long nap. Where are we, and what’s going on?”

  • Brohoof 1
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