Midnight Scribbler

Open Bloodlines (S.O.L./Horror Mystery) [reboot]

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Shadowhide

 

@@SilverHeart,

It was disappointing to hear Gemma wasn't sure on the process of becoming a servant. The few details she could provide weren't particularly useful, especially since she couldn't say who this third party is. The idea of becoming a servant to gain access to more rooms in the mansion was a long shot anyway, so it's probably best to forget about it now. Perhaps later she could find another way to get into the mansion's other rooms.

 

However, thoughts about servants was put on hold when Gemma gave an unexpectedly long recap of the history of the Thestrals to answer Shadowhide's other question. Even though it was unexpected to get such a lengthy response for what Shadowhide thought was a rather simple question, she listened intently to Gemma's explanation and occasionally nodded to show she was listening. Unfortunately, it felt largely irrelevant since it was mainly about bat ponies instead of Bloodwell, but it was a bit interesting at least. Although as Gemma and Lapis are bat ponies who have high status in Bloodwell, it's possible the history could come in handy.

 

It's been great being able to ask Gemma so much, but now Shadowhide was running out of questions to ask. She's already gotten so much information from Gemma, and she'll need some time to go over it all and look into some things. There's only one more question on Shadowhide's mind, to find out how important that bat pony history lesson will be. 'Are you and Lapis the only bat ponies, or Thestrals, currently living in Bloodwell? Incidentally, how do you wish to be referred to, "bat pony" or "Thestral"?'

 

@@Lume WMj,

As Shadowhide was speaking to Gemma, she overheard the other mare speaking to Gemma mention something about playing card games such as poker. It sounds like an activity she would enjoy. Ideally, she wouldn't relax and participate in recreational activities until she has uncovered everything that’s happening at Bloodwell, but she knew Aero would never stop pestering her to relax and have fun if she did. Besides, a break would help her focus later on, and getting to know another pony forced to attend the 'vacation' could always be useful. Aero might want to play poker too so it would be a good opportunity for Shadowhide to spend more time with everypony, although she was unsure if Aero would enjoy the gambling aspect. Ultimately, she deemed it a good idea to participate, so she said to the mare 'If you are seeking opponents for a game of poker, I am interested in playing. A friend of mine may also be interested in playing, but I'll have to ask him first.'

 

 

 

Aero Wind

 

@@SilverHeart,

'Yeah, I've already been to the library before, and I really enjoyed it,' Aero answered with a grin. 'Although while I was there, I only looked through the fiction section. I actually brought some research papers to read in my spare time here, so I didn't bother to look through the other sections at the library. But now that I've heard about these new topics of research that are at the library, I'd love to revisit it again so I can look for those too! I'm probably gonna want to visit the library a lot while I'm in Bloodwell to read all these interesting books you have. Could I go to the library whenever I want, or is that going to be a problem?'

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"...and when we fiannly got out we had to gallop like crazy just to catch the train on time, i mean it was so fu- oh!" Cherry paused "finally" when the elderly pony kindly offered her some wine, not even suspecting his real motives behind the gesture.

Cherry hesitated for a moment, if anypony knew Cherry, they would be well aware that her and alcohol did not mix well at all, even she knew this admittedly and tried to avoid whenever possible.

This was not such a case however, as the red mare didn't want to appear rude if she declined, and as Mirror wasn't paying attention right at that moment, what else could she have done?

 

"Why thank you, I'd love some!" She beamed widely.

 

As a glass was poured and given to her, Cherry took a moment to look up at Mirror sipping a glass of water as she looked at the other guests, a glance at her empty plate brought a small smirk to her lips, "Oh Immy" she thought to herself as subtly switched her own plate of yet-to-be-touched food with Mirrors.

She giggled slightly as she turned her attention to the glass of wine, observing it with a curious eyebrow.

 

How to go about this? Cherry had very little experience with alcohol quite literally, the only things she knew about it was it was a drink reserved for special occasions....and that some-ponies  would occasionally nurse it.....whatever that was.

Picking up the glass between her hooves she held it up to her muzzle, already a thick pungent aroma wafted from it and assaulted her nostrils as she instinctively scrunched her nose, ponies drank this!?

Deciding to go for it before she would make herself hesitate further, Cherry took not a small sip, but a moderate gulp of it.

 

Sweet Celestia the taste! It was indescribable! It was so strong it began to make her eyes water, she wanted to spit it out, but she couldn't! She and Mirror would never let it down if she did that here!

She had no choice, forcing herself she swallowed it all in one go.

Turning her head away from the elderly gentle-colt she raised a hoof to cover her mouth as she made a tiny cough, looking back up she smiled at him the best she could manage, albeit with slightly tearful eyes.

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@@SilverHeart,

 

Lilith listened silently to Gemma's explanation of their culture. She could see how the lines added up, resulting in the thestral's almost blind faith in Luna. She apparently led them towards a brighter future before her transformation. Secretly, she shared their admiration of Luna- it was under the moon that she worked best, after all- but this put a damper on things. How could she rely on the shadows to hide her when their eyes could effectively ignore all but the blackest? This would be an interesting challenge indeed; one that will require political intrigue of some sort. As she looked around the dining hall, she began looking for ponies who might prove themselves interesting figures to talk to.

 

Then she heard Harmony mention a play. Perhaps this is something I might be interested in attending. It might be about local history- it'll be nice to learn, and it'll help my reputation as well. Also, perhaps this sea captain is someone worth talking to- someone who's traveled a lot is definitely someone who I want to talk to. Perhaps she'll have seen some sort of pattern that'll help me in my searches.

 

@@FortyTwo42, @@Lume WMj,

 

As a few ponies were discussing starting a game of poker- one of them a nearby stallion whom she had marked as a potential ally- she smiled slightly. An opportunity to learn where loyalties lie while enjoying a game of chance- and an opportunity to practice the arts of vocal and postural deception. "Perhaps I, too, would be interested in a game of cards should an opportunity arise." As she said this, she raised her wineglass, and took a sip, her eyes fixed on the others as she awaited their reply.

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@@Golbez

 

Having equipped his overzealous conversation partner with a satisfyingly-successful silencer, the grey-maned stallion jumped at the occasion to scan the newest developments around the table, only to inwardly roll his eyes at yet another grand speech being delivered at the table, this time by one of the oh-so-noble hosts, spewing worshipful praise of -- who would guess it -- a pony seated even higher in the magnate food chain. As if it had been possible to forget about the stark contrasts in sophistication level of the invited guests, a gambling match of sorts was shamelessly being arranged parallel to the lofty laudation of the Night Princess. Swirling the wine in his glass with an absent, untrained delicacy he hadn't even remember having, Initial snuck a look at the neighbor he had muzzled so effectively with a proposition of liquor.

 

It took more self-control than he had supposed to possess to maintain a semblance of a straight face as he caught the mare in the act of downing half of a sizable glass in one swig, her mimicry likening the action to the execution of a self-targeted painful death sentence. The suppressed cackle threatened to throttle him as she didn't immediately swallow the liquor, but rather proceeded to sit there for a moment, looking as helpless as though there had been a frog in her mouth. Had it not been already ascertained that the unfortunately inexperienced pony was a magician's help, he'd readily ascribe to her the role of a professional comedian and reward her flawless performance with a hearty chuckle. As it were, he suddenly felt stung by guilt as the victim of his dislike towards distracting dialogue looked pained, facing away from him to try and hide it, then hurriedly composing herself upon turning back but still clearly showing discomfort at what she had been subjected to.

 

Looking at her now, Cursive felt disgusted with himself. Sans the formal attire, his temporary companion was little more than a filly, judging by the reaction with little to no previous exposure to alcohol as well. All she had done to him was respond cordially to an invitation he himself had thrown her way and initialized a conversation... it was his own fault for not exercising the social skills that he had been unable to keep up with it. A polite reaction from a properly-raised gentlepony such as him? Drown in wine, bitch! Focused on his bitterness, he automatically sipped at his own glass, a little deeper than would have been desirable.

 

Being, hum, knowledgeable about his alcohols, the stallion reacted with but a sharp intake of air through the nose, but he had to admit there was some kick to the drink. Ironically sobering up a little after the draught, he managed an awkward smile in return to the mare, forcing onto himself a blank indifference towards the current situation. Should he fail to endure in the face of such a menial, accidental predicament as misbehaving slightly in the presence of others, the barely-begun vacation promised to be even more hellish in nature than it had already been foreshadowed.

 

With his calm returned the shreds of a sense of gregariousness and an age-old saying that there's no time like the present. So, Initial decided to make amends as best he could, for now starting with what he hoped would come out as a friendly tone as he said, "Not really one for drinking, are you?" Belatedly, he realized that it might come off sounding like a patronizing taunt rather than an expression of honest concern mixed with a recognition of some wisdom behind such disposition. Unable to think of a fitting thing to append that might amend this, he just attempted to look sympathetic, the surrounding conversations he was so intent on following momentarily forgotten.

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@@FortyTwo42, @@Hederik, @, @@Golbez, @@Lume WMj, @, @@The Elusive Cinder,

 

Gemma

@@FortyTwo42,

 

Gemma's eyes widened at the word 'batpony' and she reared back in her seat as if she had been slapped in the face. "Thestral is the proper word. Batpony is a slur...it infers that we aren't real ponies and are less civilized than the rest of you." She scowled at the mare in front of her. She stayed silent as she reached for her half-empty glass of wine before she downed the rest of it in a few seconds. After her short break she resumed speaking, her tone was strained but it wasn't as full of malice as it was earlier. "Are you familiar with Zebras? It would be the same if you called them 'Stripes' or 'witches'. Yes, Lapis and I are the only Thestrals"

She took care to emphasize the word, "In this village. I believe we are the first to live here as well."

 

Harmony

@,

 

Harmony looked back at Lilith as she began to speak, fully expecting her to explain what a 'movie' is only for her to announce that she would attend the 'poker game'. She let out a sigh as quietly as she could. Being ignored wasn't something that Harmony was used to. Which probably made the fact that Lilith had purposely ignored her question sting all the more. A quick glance over to her sister confirmed that she wasn't having the time of her life either.

 

Mirror Image

@@Golbez,@@Hederik,

 

Mirror had effectively isolated herself from the rest of the guests and as such she paid little attention to what was going on around her. Not that she made it easy for anypony to talk to her. Cherry was her shield from the rest of the table And if, for whatever reason, somepony tried to talk to her...Cherry could handle the talking for the both of them, she was really good at that. Staring at the wall for so long was beginning to hurt her neck. Mirror glanced back down to the table, a full plate of food greeting her.

 

"Hmm?" The Magician muttered, more to herself than to anyone else, as she once again turned her attention back towards Cherry and her new 'friend'. She first looked at Cherry's teary eyed face and then to the cup in her hooves.

"Cherry...are you drinking?" She asked as she nudged Cherry's foreleg to get her attention "Can you...handle alcohol?"

Mirror was a little experienced with alcohol. There had been a short period of time where she had tried to drown her woes with wine and spirits. It hadn't been a very good experience, it was too difficult to control magic when you were drunk.

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Story Advancement

@@FortyTwo42, @@Hederik, @, @@Golbez, @@Lume WMj, @, @@The Elusive Cinder,

 

"Be quiet!" a muffled voice boomed as a nearly white stallion with an amber mane burst through the side entrance. His forehooves slammed down on the wooden floor as he shouted, "All of you just shut up!" Just by appearance alone, you could tell that this was Prince Blueblood. Though he didn't look quite like the pictures and rumours say, his mane was flat and frazzled looking. It looked as if he hadn't brushed his mane in days, loose strands of hair stuck out in all directions. His eyes, glassy and cold, were seemingly unable to focus on any one thing in the room. "I'm so damn tired of listening to all of you prattle on for-" Even as he spoke his eyes constantly darted around the room, lingering on the corners and the shadows of the room.

 

The Prince continued to ramble on, cursing each of you as Red Cask entered the room from behind him. The usually proud and haughty Steward now looked meek and even a little frightened. "I am terribly sorry," He said, his voice loud enough to be heard over the Prince. He spoke to Gemma and Lapis and to no one else, as he bowed to the ground before them, "I tried to keep him in his bed to rest but he ordered me to step aside. There was little I could do but let him leave, I tried to explained that it was for his own health and-" Red Cask interrupted himself  and apologized once more before he fell silent.

 

Lapis and Gemma looked from Prince Blueblood to Red Cask. "That's quite alright. We will take care of the Prince, why don't you attend to our guests in the mean time?" Lapis was the first to answer. "Please excuse us." She said as she turned towards the guests at the table. "As you can see the Prince is unwell and has been in such a sad state for the past few weeks. We ask that you recognize that he would not usually act in such a scandalous manner if he were not ill."

 

Gemma stood up as well and the two mares began to walk towards the Prince, passing by the prostrated Steward.

"Harmony. Tragedy." The two mare's ears twitched as they heard their names. "The two of you are in charge now."

 

"Yes Ma'am" The two mares chimed in unison, their voices revealed their pleasure at being given some responsibilities.

 

The pair of thestral mares whispered into Prince Blueblood's ears despite his continous shouting. Whatever they whispered to him was enough to pacify his temper. His shouting slowly died down as they escorted him out of the room.

 

(OOC:If this uploaded correctly, this picture is relevant)

post-6443-0-52342500-1455793578_thumb.png

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Emerald Gaze

 

'Out of character? Hardly, I would think. Perhaps more openly vocal than usual but I doubt anyone is genuinely supprised at his tone.' Emerald thought - raising a brow ever so slightly in response to her own internal monologue.

'Not that we can call such behaviour normal that is - it wouldn't be like any noble to burst in looking so disheveled, never mind Blueblood himself...'

 

She cleared her throat to break the tense silence after the prince had been led away. The best thing now was to keep things moving smoothly and try to brush the whole episode aside for the time being. Keep the tone neutral - show concern, but not too much so as to appear suspicious.

 

'Suspicious? Of what? We didn't have anything to do witg this - if he is sick then that still has no bearing on us.' She thought.

'Of course, if he isn't... it seemed earlier like there was something being hidden from us - and why would a sickness be hidden and not even alluded to - even if downplayed? Something doesn't quite add up.'

 

"Aha, I see. Well if the Prince is unwell I certainly hope he recovers quickly." The diplomat stated carefully - casting a sympathetic half smile towards her hosts, with just enough concern on her face to suggest a passing concern with no real emotional investment.

 

'So what next? If they already believe that I saw something while absent from the table just shortly before we were interrupted, perhaps I can use that? Or maybe it would be best to take a more discreet approach? Ugh - I wasn't prepared for this!'

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Aero Wind

 

What in Equestria just happened? That was Prince Blueblood? He was a dishevelled, raving lunatic! How could somepony like that be a noble? Apparently, it was all due to his illness. If whatever illness it was was bad enough to make Blueblood go mad like that, Aero really hoped he never catches that illness himself.

 

Aero was at a loss for words. His attention was focused on Blueblood during that... display. Once Blueblood left with the Thestrals, Aero simply stared at the door with a blank expression, his mouth open like he wanted to say something but no words came. He held that expression for several seconds, until he was interrupted by Shadowhide.

 

She spoke to him quietly, like she preferred they weren't overheard but wasn't too concerned about it. 'Is there really an illness that would cause a pony to act in that manner? Illnesses affect health, not personality. It seems strange that they blame an illness for Blueblood's temper.'

 

It seemed a little strange Shadowhide focused on that minor explanation out of everything that just happened, but that usually means she noticed something about it. Although to Aero, it all seemed to make sense. 'Well, I don't think an illness would directly affect his personality, but I still think it's plausible the illness is the reason. Maybe Blueblood is under a lot of stress because he's worried about his well-being? Or maybe the illness is making him delirious so he's mistaking us for somepony he doesn't like?'

 

'I see. Those are good points. I am rather unfamiliar with the topic of illnesses.' As Shadowhide continued, she became quieter, now trying to make sure they definitely weren't overheard. 'However, I still believe the illness is suspicious. They were vague by simply calling it an "illness" and not saying what particular illness he has. It is like they are hiding the true reason for his behaviour by stating an illness is the cause. I would like to hear them tell us exactly what illness Blueblood has.'

 

'Maybe we could look into it later. But the dinner is still on, so let's keep being good guests for now. Speaking of being a good guest, you really should have more of the food. You haven't been eating much, and it's all really good!'

 

Shadowhide gave a quick nod, and reached for more food. As she ate, Aero looked at the rest of the ponies at the table, trying to see how they reacted to Blueblood bursting into the room like that.

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After having gotten shut up by the unforeseen consequences of his barely thought-through actions, quite harshly in fact, the sharp order sounded like a sack of salt being hurled his way belatedly after the first wholesome welcome of stale bread went unrecognized by him. Only after the words sunk in past the shame - gripping his mind all the stronger for the rarity of this particular feeling's occurrence - did the aging stallion look up and come to the conclusion that the story around him might have redirected itself onto an even more interesting tangent.

 

While such a... wild display of power could not be held beyond the scope of what seemed rational to the, ugh, upper class, even an antisocial nopony like Initial had to wonder if that really was the way of splash a big fish wanted to make -- in his own pond, no less. That is, he would have to wonder that if he'd been blind. The Prince was an animated picture of a paranoid pansy's psychic breakdown. And apparently the unfortunate affliction has had him ailing for weeks... the gears inside Cursive Initial's head promptly pushed past the wrinkles and started madly milling the multitudinous possibilities.

 

The state Sir High Status had shown was no staged silliness. There was something going on with him. It was not alcohol, that much he could be sure of thanks to lifelong personal inquiries into the topic. Something quote-unquote better? Impossible to dismiss. Rich is noble is lonely is bored is looking for extravagant entertainments. Enter expensive extracts and elixirs to elicit euphoria of the elusively extreme and extremely elusive level. Was that the case? Bags under the eyes that reached the chin, mane that has forgotten the touch of a brush, all the other undeniable quirks of behavior... all added up pretty nicely.

 

Let's not jump to conclusions, however. While common troubles might not work as explanations here, maybe it was something beyond the control of the stallion whose position meant nothing but. Mental condition? It could not have escaped the attention of the ponyrazzi for that long. Unless it was a new development and the random assembly had been dragged here from all around Equestria to serve as a test group to gauge the public's potential reaction to one of the pinnacles of their society being an absolute freak. That would have had to have been thought through... prepared.

 

Did they not say this particular condition has lingered for weeks already? The sweetly-signed summons had been sent less that a week ago if postage stamps on the envelopes could be trusted in the slightest. Thus, this has all been a clever ruse to cluster and cage in a chance crowd of conveniently... expendable ponies. Sweat began to form in beads on the stallion's neck as he fought a dire urge to tug at his amethyst-encrusted bolo tie. Exactly what extravagant experiment were the excessively extraordinary hosts planning to conduct on them? Neither of the options he had considered presented pleasant possibilities as to that question's answers. Maybe there were others he hadn't thought of...?

 

His mind would hear nothing of it, busy producing portraits of the gruesome games they could have unwillingly become pawns in. Was the food more than a pointless pastiche, but indeed a pretense to poison the prone, naive ponies? If so, what for? Did His Highness want for companions in schizophrenic stupor? Or was this some kind of occult mass death ceremony aimed towards pleasing some unnamed abomination from the unspeakable abysses of...

 

Now hold on a darn second. This train of thought was derailing way too fast for his tastes. Which was entirely without ground, seeing as he had consumed none of the food articles offered. Except, as his nervous gaze returned unconsciously to the still sickly-scrounged face of his recently-cheery neighbor, the downed wine dawned on him. Bile rose in his throat, threatening a prompt return of his stomach's contents... probably not an unwise reaction if any of his feverish fantasies were related to facts.

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Blueblood's out burst was the straw that broke the camels back she stood, after he was lead out and quietly. "excuse me..." Summer then left the dinning room and stood in the hall outside for a few moments before turning and slumping next to one of the walls. She looked down her head in her hooves, she supposed that what the prince and said was not genuine but it was not nice what he said and she was rather upset not to mention that no one was talking to her and that she had offended her hosts. Summer was usually a happy bright bubbly thing but now she was in some hallway far from home...crying now she missed her friends and family and had no friends here a few tears rolled down her yellow cheeks she sniffed a few times and she quietly wept. I just want to go home...

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Mirror & Cherry

 

@@Mentis Soliloquy, @@Hederik, @@FortyTwo42, @@The Elusive Cinder,

 

((OOC: Wow, our little group keeps getting smaller and smaller.  @, I hate bugging you but it would be great if we could get a post from you, once we do we can finally end this scene.))

 

Miraculously, Cherry managed to stay silent, except for a single dramatic gasp as the Prince entered the room. Cherry raised herself from her chair after the Prince's outburst so that she was standing on her hind legs. One forehoof steadied her against the table as she stood while her other forehoof moved up to her grinning mouth. She loudly shushed the entire table. "Sssshhh, he wantss us to be..." She allowed herself to giggle before continuing, "to be quiet." With her announcement finished she unceremoniously collapsed back into her chair and leaned into Mirror. "Mirry, have you tried this stuff? I really didn't like it at first but it makes you feel really good." Cherry asked as she held her glass in front of their faces. "Like really good. It tastes super terrible, really extra super icky and it hurts to swallow but I feel so nice now. So you should try it too!"

 

Mirror stared at the glass though she made no move to drink from it. "Do it!" Cherry cheerily encouraged as she moved the glass closer to Mirror's lips. When she didn't drink from it Cherry pushed the cup nearer and tilted it back, this time Mirror acquiesced and drank. Cherry continued to tilt it back until Mirror had finished off the glass. Mirror pushed the empty glass away. Cherry dropped the cup and threw her hooves up in the air  "Yaay! You did it!" Cherry celebrated by clapping her hooves together.

 

Mirror groaned.

 

Harmony & Tragedy

 

@@Mentis Soliloquy, @@Hederik, @@FortyTwo42, @@The Elusive Cinder,

 

Both sisters stared blankly at Cherry during her outburst and for a few seconds after. Neither seemed entirely sure what to say so they did their best to ignore her. Besides they had more important things to worry about, like making sure the rest of the dinner went smoothly and wrangling in the mare that was audibly crying out in the hallway. Instead of speaking Harmony stared, with no small amount of disapointment in her eyes, at Tragedy, who in turn stared defiantly back. Tragedy rolled her eyes and barely shook her head from side to side. Harmony glared daggers at her sister before nudging her head in the direction that Summer had gone. Her glare was met as Tragedy openly shook her head refusing to go after Summer.

 

Their unspoken argument continued for some time before one of the twins sighed and got up from the chair and walked out of the room. The other twin clasped her hooves together and looked around the table with a smile. Her eyes settled on Emerald "Hi there! I know you've only been here for a few hours but how have you enjoyed the town so far?"

 

Harmony or Tragedy

 

The yellow pegasus quietly closed the door and walked over to the mare that was slumped against the wall. She raised a hoof to comfort the mare but hesitated and placed it back to the floor. "Uh...are you alright? Why are you crying?"

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@@SilverHeart,

 

Summer did not look up still sniffing she was not sure whether it was Harmony or Tragedy she was talking to she had offended Tragedy and did not want to say anything wrong again. "No one wants to talk to me I'm just some weather pony from Ponyville and I offended your mother and you or your sister I can't tell still. I'm awful pony I'll just go home and you can all get on with out me and my silly mouth...and my bad opinions." Summer just resumed her quiet crying she was almost happy someone was actually talking to her even if it was to get her to stop crying 

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Staring incredulously at the wild, uninhibited display of frugal initiation into the world of drinking, Cursive never stopped pondering his options. It was rapidly becoming clear that survival was the name of the game - and having participated in it already, years ago (mostly supportive as his role had been), the stallion had to admit the circumstances weren't pretty. A minuscule group of ponies, locked inside a stone mansion of ridiculous proportion, surrounded by unknown number of (again) unknown possible assailants... and that was just their immediate location. Supposing a successful breakout, there still remained an entire, unknown area of the village. While seemingly deserted, based on the glimpses caught during a hasty ingress, it was highly dubious that the settlement would indeed be so. Logic demanded that there should be some semblance of population, for instance because while the buildings did show signs of disrepair, unavoidable in the absence of dwellers, there were also glimpses to be caught of better preserved architecture. Besides, a noble -- of this caliber especially - never stayed anywhere without a numerous entourage of any sort, whether stationary or moving with him.

To sum it up: no information concerning the lay of terrain, the types and placement of inevitable obstacles, the number and nature of ponies (and probably other creatures, if the hosts of this lovely gathering were any clue) that would stand in the way... How was this setting different from a hostile jungle, again? Ah, yes, the environment was much harder to be useful in accommodating any surreptitious movement, and at least equally advantageous to the indigenous. Oh, and there was an actual jungle around, and from the looks of it, none the more pleasant for its geographical location in the 'civilized' part of the world. Thus, any plans of escape appeared to be doomed for failure from the beginning.

How has the situation devolved into this mortifying madness?

 

"...it makes you feel really good."

 

Aye, alcohol, the accursed ambrosia. Beautiful beverage, brewed to battle boredom and bring about bliss, then bitterness and behavior besmirching name and life alike. Had he not had been hungover with a humongous headache, he could have sensed the abominable stench of high society intrigue set to devour his existence. Instead, pained and dazed, he had allowed himself to be escorted into a cart and driven into this damnable prison-feast amalgamate. And, like an ambitious acolyte of the abysmal alcoholic deity, he began the process of spreading its dominion amongst other supposedly innocent souls. And spread it did, as he observed dismally a glass of the wine being forced down the throat of his unfortunate conversation partner's friend. It didn't help one bit that the liquid could very well be poisoned.

 

Dragging his look from the two mares he now fully expected to have on his conscience in a near future, the stallion observed a variety of reactions throughout the banquet hall that matched his mood very closely. He felt his ears droop and his shoulders sag as he watched the shushed, nervous conversations, smiles that were clearly forced even to the eye of a layman like himself. One mare was having a breakdown in a corridor just outside the room, washing the gathering in an additional wave of anxiety. And the hosts have vacated the premises, save for the two - currently one - young mares in an unclear position of the supervised having become supervisors.

 

This reflection brought back the thought of escape. A massive outbreak of panic could perhaps make stopping a fleeing group much more difficult a task, especially now that several of their gracious hosts were known to be otherwise preoccupied. Seeing as there was no better occasion foreseeable... How to precipitate such an outburst, though, without risk of being singled out as an agitator or crying something ridiculous like 'Everypony panic!'? He bit his cheek, delving into thought...

 

...not too deep, however, as the sound of a drinking achievement having been unlocked next to him reached his ears and made him twitch. A coppery taste filled his mouth, accompanied by a sharp pang... and an unexpected idea. He gathered a little saliva in his mouth, then pronounced in a solemn tone, forcing an unnatural stiffness onto his tongue at the same time, "Agreed, quite exquisite. Another round, perhaps?" he added, levitating the same bottle they had all already drunk from and a couple glasses.

 

Turning his head back towards the table, where the glassware hovered, he leaned forwards a little. "The aftertaste is uncommonly bitter, howev-" cutting his speech short, the stallion let his telekinetic aura die down suddenly, at the same moment losing his own balance. The falling glasses clanged, the bottle landed with a thunk and overturned, spilling its precious contents over the table, fortunately away from where the aging stallion's head lay, his eyes upturned and staring into nothingness as he allowed the carefully gathered blood and slobber ooze out of his mouth, hopefully reminiscent enough of a bloody foam to elicit the desired effect from the ponies around.

 

Worst case scenario, he'll have to endure some concerned checkup and a lecture about drinking in his age, or admit to having asthma or something. Best case scenario... all hell breaks loose.

 

EDIT: Corrected the mistaken information about the state in which the town's buildings are.

Edited by Hederik
  • Brohoof 2

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Emerald Gaze

 

"It is quite lovely, If I do say." Emerald responded with a smile. "Such interesting architecture and accommodating inhabitants - I could see myself visiting again sometime, should the opportunity arise."

 

It was all basic small talk and chit-chat, but every word had that small chance of uncovering something useful.

 

"There was something that I wanted to ask actually Tragedy... sorry, It was Tragedy, wasn't..."

 

As one of the newer guests made an offhoof comment and fell to the ground, Emerald mirrored him - jumping upright instead with an expression of concerned panic. She gasped in an almost theatric manner, taking a horrified step away from him.

 

What had he said, that the wine had a bitter aftertaste? No that didn't seem quite right, she hadn't tasted anything wrong with it, and she had been expecting to. She had been drinking more as well if she was correct, though admittedly her observations hadn't exactly been focused on the drinking habits of her other guests.

 

'Which means that either the fool is genuinely ill or he's feigning his ailment for some reason. Sickness doesn't usually set in so quickly so logically... but why?'

 

Either way, she wasn't in a position to administer medical help - she wasn't a doctor and on the off chance he had some intricate plan that she was struggling to see, she wanted nothing to do with it.

 

"Oh my..." She stated lightly, glancing around at the hosts and remainder of the guests. "I'm afraid I cannot help here - perhaps it would be best if I excused myself?"

 

Bowing slightly to the remnant of the hosts, she gave a weak smile - taking utmost care to ensure she seemed genuinely flustered yet gracious.

 

"We can speak later, when there are less pressing matters, yes? I would enjoy that I think."

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Shadowhide

 

@@Hederik, @@SilverHeart,

While Shadowhide was talking to Aero, her ears picked up the sounds of a pony's words getthin cut off abruptly and bottles being dropped onto the table. Those aren't the kind of sounds one expects to hear at a peaceful dinner, so she turned in the direction of that pony, and put her front hooves on the table to push herself up and get a better view. 'What the hay?!'

 

A pony laid their head on the table, completely motionless, with blood spreading from his mouth. Obviously, he was poisoned by his drink. The only things that mattered anymore were that somepony needed urgent medical attention, and another just attempted murder. She is not letting anypony die today, and she is not letting whoever's responsible get away with this. But making sure nopony dies has the highest priority.

 

'Everypony stop drinking! And somepony send for a medic, now!' She looked in the direction of Harmony or Tragedy, whoever it was still in the room, as she said that. But the command was directed at everypony in the room. Being in an unfamiliar room in an unfamiliar manor in an unfamiliar town, Shadowhide was unaware of how to contact a medic, but hopefully somepony in the room knew. At the very least, Harmony and Tragedy should know.

 

She could tell Aero was terrified too. But he didn't say anything, all he did is look at Cursive's limp body in horror. He also seemed to slightly move closer to Shadowhide. In a situation like this, Shadowhide really doesn't want to be separated from the only pony she actually knows well, and since Aero's moving closer it seems he has the same thought.

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@@Mentis Soliloquy, @@SilverHeart, @@Hederik, @@FortyTwo42, @@The Elusive Cinder

 

Cherry was buzzing, occasionally letting out a little giggle for no apparent reason as she gazed around the room aimlessly, but happy....though she couldn't understand why, nor did she care.

Why did it take so long for to to discover this amazing beverage? Every-pony should drink it, the whole world would be such a  better place if they did it was silly why-.

 

'Everypony stop drinking! And somepony send for a medic, now!' 

 

"Huh? Wh-why? This stuff is delycioussss..*HiC*.....Teehee...." Although beaming under the influence of the drink, Cherry couldn't help but notice that almost everypony was now starig at the elderly pony sitting next to her? Why was that? He was only taking a nap and oozing a little blood out of his mou....

 

It was fuzzy, she couldn't exactly remember how it happened but from what she could tell she was now clinging to the back of Mirror, panic stricken and screaming like a  little filly.

"HE'S DEAD!! OH MY GOSH HE'S DEAD!! OH MY GOSH! OH MY GOSH!" The red mare's breathing became very erratic and was beginning to weep a little as tears began to stream down her face, she was hysterical, completely and utterly. 

 

How did it happen? He was just sitting there quietly and enjoying his drink just like she wa.....oh dear, the wine! He drunk the wine and it poisoned him, wait SHE drunk the wine......SHE was poisoned!,"I DRUNK THE WINE! OHMYGOSHMIRROR I DRUNK THE WINE!"  She turned Mirror right around and shook her vigorously by the shoulders as the hysterical mare hovered in front of her, "WHAT DO I DO!? PLEASE MIRROR WHAT DO I DO I DON'T WANNA DIE! I DON'T WANNA DIE!" Cherry, weather through shock or instinct grabbed her own throat and slowly drifted aimlessly around the room, coughing and sobbing and kicking as if she were drowning at sea, which wasn't far from what the scene looked like.

 

She couldn't breathe, she couldn't think, the room was spinning, nothing was making sense, all there was in the poor mare's mind was shear panic and terror, she just wanted it to end. 

Fortunately she was granted her wish as she abruptly collapsed to the floor just behind Mirror's seat with a soft thud, having fainted in mid air from unintentionally starving herself of air.

Edited by Golbez
  • Brohoof 4

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@@Mentis Soliloquy, @@FortyTwo42, @@The Elusive Cinder, @@Hederik, @@Golbez,

 

Tragedy/Harmony

 

The young mare closed her eyes and quietly breathed out as she listened to Summer. "I think you are taking things little too personally. After all, it was a very awkward occasion, almost no one talked to each other the entire din-"

 

Several screams erupted from just inside the door. Her ears perked up when a mare called for someone to get a medic. Immediately she turned around and walked back in through the door to see what was going on. There was a mare walking around grasping her throat and screaming, a stallion was on the table with blood coming out of his mouth, and everypony else was either in a state of shock or panic. She immediately ran to her sister's side and shielded her eyes from the body with one of her wings.

 

Mirror Image

 

Mirror stared, her eyes wide and mouth hanging slightly open, at Cursive's body as he lay collapsed on the table. What had happened? She glanced to the bottle of wine that had spilled onto the table. And then over to the chalice that both Cherry and herself had been drinking from. She had only had a little bit but Cherry had had at least one full glass. The implications of what had happened slowly churned in her mind. Her stomach hurt but she wasn't sure if that was the poisoned wine or the stress of the situation. She didn't even notice that Cherry had been clinging to her until she felt her let go.

 

"Ch-Cherry?" she gasped as she turned away from the table and watched Cherry wander aimlessly around the room grasping at her throat. Cherry's pleas for help fell on deaf ears as Mirror sat helplessly in her seat barely comprehending the horror that was happening in front of her. Once Cherry strangled herself into unconsciousness, Mirror slowly lowered herself off of her chair and sat next to Cherry's unconscious form.

 

 

Harmony and Tragedy

 

Emerald's question caught her off guard, "Close! I'm actually Harmony." she said smiling at the mare. Her smile quickly faded as Cursive Initial collapsed on the table. She wasn't sure what was going on but there was blood coming from his mouth and he wasn't moving. Without even realizing it she had stood up from her chair and taken several steps back from the stallion's corpse. Death and blood were things that she had never been able to handle well. Before she knew it she had back up against the wall. It wasn't until her sister had covered her eyes that she was able to look away from his body.

 

"Are you okay?" Tragedy whispered to her sister and Harmony nodded back. She sighed in relief, "Good. We need to go check on our moms, they both drank a lot of wine too." Once again Harmony nodded back. Still shielding her sister from looking at Cursive's prone form, Tragedy announced that they needed to check on their parents and that they would get Red Cask to come help. Without waiting for a response she led her sister out of the room. And with that all of the guests were alone.

  • Brohoof 4

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Shadowhide

 

Seeing Cherry fall out of the air unconscious was very concerning. It would make sense for her to faint due to all the panic. But it would also make a lot of sense if she fell unconscious because she was poisoned too. It's looking more and more likely that somepony out there really wants to kill all of the guests. Did Blueblood want them all dead, perhaps?

 

Harmony and Tragedy left the room, presumably to call a medic. Shadowhide looked back at the horrific scene in front of her. The initial shock of it has worn off somewhat, and Shadowhide began contemplating her next move. She has just found herself at a crime scene, so now would be a good time to put her skills as a detective to use to try to figure out as much as possible about what exactly transpired. After all, she witnessed the crime and hasn't left the scene since, so there's been no opportunity for somepony to tamper with the evidence. It probably wouldn't last that way for long; the owner of this mansion seems fond of hiding and covering up everything, and he would have more reason to do so if he was responsible. Chances are she wouldn't even be allowed to return to this room later. If she wanted to search for clues, she'd have to do so now.

 

Although as much as she'd like to put her detective skills to work to try to find the culprit, there was, of course, a much more pressing matter. The victim isn't quite dead yet, so the highest priority is keeping him alive until the medics arrive. Unfortunately, Shadowhide didn't know what exactly she could do to help him. Short of having an antidote on hoof, which she certainly hadn't, there didn't seem to be anything she could do. It's not like he had an open wound and needed it to be covered with a bandage.

 

@@Hederik,

The only thing Shadowhide could think to do was check for signs of life, such as breathing or a pulse. She walked over to Curvise, put her hoof on his neck to feel for a pulse, and put her ear next to him to listen for breathing. She prayed she would find something to indicate he's still alive.

 

 

 

Aero Wind

 

Aero's mind was steel reeling from everything that happened. He couldn't think clearly. Somepony suddenly dropped onto the table and had blood come out of his mouth, and another pony suddenly dropped out of the air while she was flying around. Obviously, they were both poisoned from the food or drinks. And Aero was terrified he was going to drop next.

 

He found himself unable to speak, or even scream. The only thing he could do was make sure he stayed as close to Shadowhide as possible. He trusted Shadowhide. She would save him if anything happened. Everypony else was a potential killer. He followed Shadowhide closely as she moved around the room to get to Cursive, while keeping his distance from the other ponies.

 

He got the nagging feeling that something was wrong what was going on. Like it seemed the poison took effect too suddenly. But in his panicked state, he couldn't put it all together. He couldn't figure out what it means, but he just knew there was something more to what happened to Cursive.

  • Brohoof 1

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Cursive Initial was laying on the table in a pool of his own saliva, realizing belatedly just how uncomfortable it was. Never mind the gross self-drowning attempt; anyone who endured the atrocities of a southern jungle for a day could shrug such off as meaningless. Those who spent a night or a dozen sleeping therein wouldn't even notice something was out of place if not for years spent wrapped again in the comforts of civilization. No, what was so bad about playing dead on a high table was the awkward position he assumed in falling down. Despite trying to remain active, the stallion had his years and the pain currently growing in his back was threatening to really knock him out cold if he couldn't somehow escape this self-imposed predicament. He had considered sliding off the table and flopping limply on the blissfully level floor - imagine the effect of a presumed corpse flopping down! Preferably with a sickening squelch, although how to produce such a sound Initial didn't know. Unfortunately, the stallion's seat was wide and he was too well supported by it (not to mention lying on the table with a good portion of his front body) to convincingly fall down without displaying deliberate movement.

 

Thus immobilized, the possum pony turned his attention to studying the effects his performance had on the other guests. Cherry launched into a full-blown drunken paranoia - poor girl, he would have to make it up to her somehow. Perhaps he could buy her that top hat she so vividly described? A volley of particularly nasty vulgarities directed at himself followed. For now content with such punishment, he returned to his examination. It appeared that the two leftover hostesses fled; at least that much of his plan (a pompous name for an idea not even thought through, true) went accordingly. But other than that, there have been gasps, and probably shivers, maybe some frightened soul was hugging another, perhaps there were even some prayers going on in a few minds. Where in the wallowing witches was the accursed panic outbreak?! What happened to fight or flight instinct? Would these ponies really sit there and await slaughter or whatever was to come in this psychotic-filled manor unless he stood up and told them what to do?

 

But what were they supposed to do? And how sure could he be of the products of his own mind overflowing with suspicion and doubt? All the sound evidence there was included a death-threat-slash-invitation, a high as fudge homeowner, and... cryptic hostesses? A little shadow here and there? 'Back in my day we were more cautious of strange invitations,' he should tell them, 'and if we did go to a party, it took us a week to get there, but at least our parents knew where we were!' That should get them to panic alright, an old pony rambling. He barely contained a sigh.

 

Realizing there was a presence near him, he deduced that someone was about to call his bluff in checking for signs of life. What course of action to take from here? Unless the attendant was a complete moron, continuing his charade was out of the question. He could play the most obvious card of 'drinking in this age' and pass off as a silly elderly pony, but such would label him as nigh-incapacitated, unable to care for himself and probably call a lot of attention to him now and at later occasions. The other possibility was launching into a parody of the princely bastard, waving hooves around to ward of invisible enemies and bolting out of here in staged dread, then... right. He hadn't a plan as to what to do outside of the room, especially if there was no one to serve as a distraction for him. And the poor victims would probably chase after him themselves, causing more harm than he could work around. So...? Stand up and tell them to start a revolution, arm themselves with chairs and broken bottles and march out? For all he knew, there could be an entire battalion stationed somewhere within the town, just waiting for the delusional prince's orders. Or an arcane caster or two, even better.

 

A cold hoof touched a vein on his neck, while hot breath reached his ear. Typical enough for a simple checkup, but being stiff as he was, thinking rapidly and with his nerves on edge, the stallion reacted violently to the sudden contact, jerking himself upright with a huge gasp, only now realizing how shallow his breathing had become while he was playing his game. He briefly registered the pony standing next to him, then all went dark before his eyes as the abused back of the stallion refused to take one more strain and cracked loudly, flooding his mind with pain and sending him, without pretending this time, plummeting to the floor. Said surface turned out to not be as welcoming as his table-born thoughts would suggest.

 

Giving up, "We eat a ton," he said to the floor that now was his home. Perhaps he could move from it, but for now he was content just lying there and trying to convince himself he wasn't in that much pain. The sounds came out wrong, however, mumbled and distorted. "We need a plan!" he repeated, almost yelling this time to make sure he would be heard and understood, discarding for now the thought of how surreal the entire situation must look.

  • Brohoof 3

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(Apologies, I'm on holiday so I have a small excuse.)

 

Summer stop her quite crying from the commotion coming from dinning room. She took the choice to see what the issue was, maybe she could help somehow? Regardless of the poor conversation she'd had she would help anyone who ever needed it...

 

Weather this was a good choice by Summer? Well she would be first in line to find out coming back into the dinning room sering the scene...

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@@Mentis Soliloquy, @@SilverHeart, @@Hederik, @@FortyTwo42, @@The Elusive Cinder

 

If this certainly was what death felt like it certainly was taking it's sweet time. Cherry laid there on the carpeted floor motionless, her breathing shallow and barely noticeable and all the while the red mare had thoughts going through her head, "Why does my head hurt so much! Is somepony stamping on me!? Where's Mirry!? I want Mirry! I Don't want to leave her alone! I don't want to leave her surrounded by vampires! I.....WHY IS THIS TAKING SO LONG!!?!?!"

 

It was worth asking, she had been laying there for the past five to eight minutes and yet she found herself conscious, albeit only to some degree and usually the point of a poison was to deal with the consumer almost instantly, and what Cherry was feeling was anything but instant, if anything the only pain she was feeling was a throbbing headache!

What if?.........!!!

 

Out of curiosity...and a hint of boredom...Cherry dared herself to open a single eye only to find Mirror heartrendingly sitting above her silently, no doubt in shock from Cherry's predicament.

The red pegasi gave a low loan and grunted as she stretched herself, her muscles ached from the awkward position she fell in, yet another sign as she had expected.

Pushing herself up into a sitting position, Cherry Instinctively threw her forehooves around Mirror and held on to her for dear life, not so much as a comfort, but her headache was starting to retaliate by making the room spin and duplicating everypony around her, it was most confusing.

"Mirrooooooooor, " She said weakly, "Make the room stop spinning, I wanna get off!

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@@Golbez, @@Mentis Soliloquy, @@Hederik, @@FortyTwo42,

 

((OOC: One more post for each of you before this scene is over.))

 

Mirror hugged Cherry tight, pulling the drunken mare against her. She held her for several moments, ignoring the others in the room. She laid down next Cherry. "I'll carry you to our room. Just hold on and close your eyes." Mirror said quietly. She helped Cherry climb onto her back. Once she was safely balanced, Cherry carefully stood up and slowly walked towards the door. She pulled it open and walked through leaving the others to deal with Initial and the potential fallout.

 

((OOC: I would have written the scene all the way to the hotel but, I'm not sure if you wanted to write something in before that happened.))

 

@@Mentis Soliloquy,

 

((OOC: I'm not too sure what you want me to say. She would have entered when the twin did.))

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Aero Wind

 

@@Hederik,

Aero felt so tense when Shadowhide reached in to check the pulse of the unconsious Cursive laying on the table. He had to be alright. He just had to be. Seeing a pony die from poison right in front of him would just be too much for him to handle.

 

All he expected was for Shadowhide to turn around and announce whether he's okay or not. The last thing he expected was for Cursive to immediately jerk upright before a sickening crack sounded and he fell to the floor, babbling nonsense about food and plans. Aero immediately jumped backwards and flapped his wings briefly, like he was instinctively preparing to take off but quickly realized that won't be necessary.

 

It must have been really shocking, since Aero noticed that even the calm and collected Shadowhide had a surprised look on her face, with her eyes wide open as instinctively took several steps back. Her expression then turned to one of anger as she glared at Cursive, which came as a surprise to Aero. Something about what Cursive did must have really irritated or infuriated Shadowhide if the anger is visible on her face, but Aero wasn't sure what exactly Cursive did to cause her anger.

 

'Why? Explain yourself,' she growled at Cursive, seemingly unconcerned that he was lying on the floor immobile.

 

Cursive didn't seem to be in a good condition to answer questions. Aero didn't like how Shadowhide was pressing him, so hopefully Aero could convince her to calm down and give him some breathing room. 'Shadowhide, aren't you being just a bit insensitive right now? He's obviously not feeling well.'

 

'There is no time for pleasantries. When the thestrals return, they will most likely take Cursive away to question him themselves.' She returned her glare to Cursive. 'So, start talking, now.' Realising there was nothing he could do to dissuade her, Aero silently awaited Cursive's response too.

  • Brohoof 3

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@@FortyTwo42, @@SilverHeart, @@Golbez, @@Mentis Soliloquy, @@The Elusive Cinder

 

 

"Where do I even begin?" the stallion answered, glaring irritably at the mare standing over him. He didn't remember introducing himself, although maybe he had said something to the red mare and had been overheard. Nonetheless, being referred to in the third person hardly added any pleasantry to the usage of his name, spurting him further on to a rant that suddenly became more angry than driven by fear and doubt as his hurt pride added to other pains and resulted in an outburst of words. "Unless I'm the only pony present to have been quote-unquote 'invited' to this here haven of inequity with more blackmail than tact, thrown like a goddamn parcel to a courier's wagon and herded into a lush banquet hall as though it were my surprise 'happy last birthday' party, there is something really strange going on. And I'm not talking strange in a romantically mysterious way, I'm talking strange as in 'I wonder if anypony will get out of here alive'," deciding that the floor was really not a suitable place to look down on somepony from and in any case made him appear like a clownish speaker at best, Cursive attempted to sit up, but his body had different plans for him and so he found himself back in a sprawl, heaving painfully and with black spots dancing in his vision. "Have you given any thought to the setting?" he begun anew, the earlier bout of rage spent and subdued by the renewed physical discomfort. "We have all been driven a few inches south of the middle of nowhere, placed in what appears to be a ghost town with a few storefronts plastered on along the main road to make the whole thing look at least slightly presentable and told to enjoy ourselves under a close vigilance of our hosts, including, let's not forget, a supposed member of royalty at whose behest we had been hauled here and who only comes to greet - I mean, haunt - us, looking like a terminal junkie who has been off the sweets for a few days at least, while behaving like he just upped his dosage thrice. And guess what," the bitter resentment towards nobility painted his next word with heavy tones, "it turns out has been 'ill' for long weeks before the whole idea of gathering us here came to fruition. But oh, no, it's perfectly fine," he continued, badly mimicking a high feminine voice, "we will be right back, please sit back, enjoy, fatten and stupefy yourselves," then discarded the impersonation in favor of almost shouting angrily, "while we go about setting bear traps in the corridors and restraining the psychos from turning to attack mode too early on. I don't know what's on the agenda," he admitted more calmly, "though maybe I'll find out earlier than all of you if they do indeed take me away upon returning," heeding his neck's protest, the stallion allowed his head to flop back to the floor, cocking it ever so slightly to be able to conclude his speech. "Maybe the prince needs a few new organs due to his indulging ways, maybe there's a hunt on his mind and he lacked appropriate game. Maybe he's just lonely and we'll be restrained in this establishment for years to come for his entertainment. Or perhaps I'm the one who's raving mad here and all these circumstances are perfectly normal to everypony else, in which case you should probably pay all of it no mind at all. Otherwise..." he sighed, "we need a plan. And if there's not enough time to decide on one at present, it will have to wait until later. But it is necessary."

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Summer was not sure what to make of anything, poison? Something else? She had no idea everyone seemed to be angry or in shock. Summer's shock took the form of sizing up, she looked at ponies with a glaze over her eyes unsure what to do.

She kinda half zoned out in the confusion...

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