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Lost Fables (RP)

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(https://mlpforums.com/topic/160754-lost-fables)

 

'Among fables scattered through the land, few stand out as legendary. Few and far between, the beings behind the tale are regarded as forerunners to modern-day miracles. And although it wasn't uncommon for their methods to be somewhat unreasonable, one must remember they lived during darker times.'

 

'A few of them are known as Valran the barbarian, Illem the old stone king, and Alastor the executioner. But they've long-since died from causes unknown, gone missing in their respective area of legend. Their corpses undiscovered, their treasures forgotten. Perhaps, to an aspiring relic-hunter, these are troves waiting to be reaped?'

 

~Nameless scholar's diary

 

Equestria was as it always was. Sunny, peaceful, full of sunshine and daisies. It was such yesterday, and it would be so tomorrow, but this was only true for towns, cities, and settlements--anywhere ponies had thoroughly explored and colonized. Elsewhere, however, in darker, unexplored territories...Malice lingered. Monsters beyond Manticores, magic beyond corruption, and fables beyond imagination. It only depended on who would prove themselves bold enough to go find them, to discover landmarks and lay claim to new areas...

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@@P-Jay

 

This feud would end, and she would be the one to end it.

 

Proud Ametrine checked her map again, her hoof following the trail as it wound through the countryside.  This was harder than it should have been, and she was quickly becoming frustrated.  Albeit, legends tended to not be so easy to find.

 

If what she read was true, then Valran's tomb would uncover a weapon of great power, one that would end her feud once and for all, one that would bring a peace and stability to her life that she had not known for two decades.  From one savage creature to another, she would have her vengeance.

 

And she would rescue her brother.

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@@P-Jay @@Hazard Time 

 

Adventures like these were one of the few things which kept Helios sane. In fact, albeit he didn't physically express it, he was quite excited on the inside. Those fables he read about during his researches, those books merely treated as make-believe stories for fillies. He pondered to himself, just what if they turned out to be true? What extraordinary turn of events would occur to the literary world known by ponykind then? Most important of all, what if Mr. Whitequill himself was there to witness it? Needless to say, it was an opportunity of a lifetime.

 

Lucky for him, he managed to find someone else with similar goals, who would serve as a trusty companion during his journey. Or rather, their journey. Or rather, her journey, given that she was the one holding the map and leading the way ever since they left Ponyville. Moreover, she seemed to be quite focused; sternly so. With his usual tranquil smile, he stared at the pink crystal mare in front of him, interest filling his eyes.

 

"The directions point west, correct?" He attempted at some small talk. "If my calculations are correct, we should be approaching White Tail Woods any moment now. Perhaps we could find clues to the barbarian's tale in there, miss...?" Helios stopped for a second, lowering his head in respect. "I beg your pardon, but I do not think I have gotten your name yet."

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The pathway out of Equestria and towards uncharted territories was a slow one; the map of presumingly unknown origins was drawn and signed by a peculiar traveler, signing his initials 'K. L. Lovelace' near the bottom. On the map, he pointed out the locations of various caves, temples, and other ruins to be explored. But of course, far to the west, he wrote a cryptic message.

 

'Beware beware, to the traveler unaware; this forest of red houses a barbarian who'll take your head!'

 

Of course, minimal research would tell any filly with access to a respected library that the forest was reknown for belonging to Valran...

 

As the two made their way deeper into uncharted territories, there would be a sword stuck in the ground here...A shield, broken in half there...In the distance, a forest would be peacefully blossoming. But of course, just as the map foretold...It had a strangely red color.

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@@Driz

 

erYRhnj.png

 

"You can call me Ametrine," the buff mare responded, staring out over the crimson forest.  "We've been heading west for a while now, and I'd say we passed Whitetail.  These woods belong to Valran.  I can only guess what's waiting for us in there, but I hope you're prepared.  A location would not be secretive like this if the proprietor didn't want it to be found."

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@@Hazard Time,@@Driz,  

 

"In a white room... with black curtains... near the station...
Black roof country... no gold pavements... tired starlings...

Silver horses... ride down moonbeams... in your dark eyes...

Twilight smiles... on you leaving... my contentment..."

 

"I'll wait in this place... where the sun... never shines..." finished the odd, cloaked mare as she stalked down the forested roads. "Wait in this place... where the sha... dows... run... from themselves..."

 

So, what was the purpose of teaching everyone the lyrics to this... debasement?

 

The mare slowed her rapid pace as her mane swirled and billowed around her, knocking her hood off and revealing her face. After blinking a few times to adjust herself to the light, she quietly batted it back into some semblance of order, even if it still kept moving- the gaseous cloud of her mane blowing as if there was a light breeze. "We must get used to the times, yes? It is not as if we can return home to seclusion and, as you keep calling it, 'true music'. Besides, even if it is odd, it is nice, and catchy."

 

"You said no strings... could secure you... at the station..."

 

... Hmph. It is no evening orchestra. Nothing will match their half-forgotten tunes...

 

"Platform tickets... restless diesels... goodbye windows..."

 

"We will never return to the old serenades, so we must make do, yes? It is better this then silence."

 

"I walked into... such a sad time... at the station..."

 

I think I prefer the sile- hush! We approach others!

 

The song generated from the spirits petered out, but Mori continued to hum to herself the last line, keeping beat with the handle of Durandos. Unaware of the two ponies stopped up ahead of her on the winding path, she sang out as she did before, quite distinctly from the other sounds of the forest:

 

"I'll wait... in the queue... where the trains... come in...
Lie... here with you... where the sha...dows... run... from themselves!"

 

((Song located below))

 

 

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@@Hazard Time

 

"Miss Ametrine it is." He took a bow. "Professor Helios Whitequill. Pleased to make your acquaintance. May our journey be fruitful." He said with a smile, continuing to follow behind the mare. Perhaps he'd lost track of how long they've been walking, considering the mythical red forest was already at sight. The stallion's eyes danced, attempting to reach and gather every single detail of the woodland's outside. From the get-go, already a fantastic discovery. "Such an unusual coloration..." He murmured below his breath, nearly losing his composure due to enthusiasm. "Worry not, miss Ametrine. I am prepared."

 

@

 

As the two of them slowly approached the forest's entrance, Helios' ears perked up to a distinct sound he thought he heard coming from nearby. He rapidly scanned the area, soon spotting a mysterious silhouette standing not too far ahead of them - the source of a sweet-sounding melody. He became still, enjoying the song and respectfully waiting for its finish, while at the same time trying to figure out whether it was friend or foe.

 

"The true adventure commences now." He whispered to his partner, not taking his eyes off the figure.

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@@Driz @ 

 

"A pleasure to make your acquaintance, Professor," the mare mumbled, distracted by a sound in the distance.  It was...nice, if too slow for her taste.  Speed it up a few beats, give it a heavy drum and bass accompaniment, and she might just like it.

 

Ametrine's eyes locked onto the lone figure, and she put away the map in her saddlebags.  She brought a hoof to her breastplate, checking the straps before making her approach.  A lone mare singing to herself in one of the most isolated parts of the country...either an insane mage, a deadly spirit, or an ally.  After taking a deep breath and standing up straight, she made her approach.  This would call for a disarming smile, no need to assume that she was a threat quite yet.  Her tall and bulky stature would speak for itself.

 

Bd1Lh6m.png

 

"Hail, traveler," she greeted, stopping a good ten yards from the other mare.  "I was not expecting others in these parts."

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@@Hazard Time, @@Driz,

 

Mori stopped upon hearing a roadside greeting that she did not expect. She stopped singing and, despite Mori's own bulk, shrank back a little in view of this mare, who seemed to be equally as large and well built as she was, coat glimmering as if she were crystal...

 

Crystal Pony? Mori's eyes widened as she realized what the pendant and the shiny coat implied. But the legends said that they lived up north, and that they were the fey royalty of the frozen wastes and the monsters thereof- that they had all of the lesser creatures and animals under their control. They also had power over the weather as well, and often entertained themselves with duels with frost wind. But... they were supposed to have all vanished after the rebellious sorcerer known only as the Dark One performed a ritual that gave him extreme power at the cost of his soul, leading him to be imprisoned for eternity by the mythical Celestia and Luna. But... one of them was here. In front of her. And with an attendant, she assumed, in the form of a learned pony who obviously doubled as a bodyguard of sorts. With facial hair as well, further proving that they could have come from the north.

 

I certainly like the look of them... the girl has regal bearings and immediately resorts to diplomacy, despite her obvious skill in combat. Even if she possesses no title, she definitely is related to someone who does. Perhaps a lesser noble. And the stallion... fufufufufu...

 

Slightly fearful, she immediately assumed a submissive stance and avoided direct eye contact, her cloak coming off again and exposing the billowing soulstuff that composed her mane, though it remained tame for now. Chain clinking as she took a knee, she responded quietly.

 

"Forgive me for intruding, mistress and sir," she started shakily, wary for anything that might suggest mystical powers being invoked, "My... my goal lies farther. There are several locations up ahead that have been haunted by a dark presence, and it is my task to ensure that they are cleansed... according to the tomes, the corruption starts in the redwood just up ahead. With... with all due respect, mistress... perhaps it would be wise to turn back? Unless you intended originally on venturing ahead..."

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@@Hazard Time, @

 

Helios took a few steps forward after Ametrine, standing next to her. He took a good look at the unusual pony that stood before them: light blue coat and eyes, a worn out cloak hiding some sort of armor underneath and, most curious of all, a smoke-like substance forming her mane and tail almost resembling flames. Evidently, the professor was intrigued by those spectral visuals, but maybe it would be best to save his questions for another time. Noticing the defensive stance she took, he bowed down inoffensively, lowering himself to match her height.

 

"No need to worry. We did not come here in search of trouble. In reality, perhaps our goals and yours follow the same path. You mentioned something about corrupted areas in need of cleansing around these woods, correct?" He brings a hoof to his chin and closes his eyes, pensive. "If the pieces fit together, that might just be the result of Valran's domain, which is our current objective likewise. Quite peculiar, indeed..." The stallion then displays a calm, comforting smirk.

 

"I am Helios Whitequill, and this here is Miss Ametrine. If it is not too intrusive on our part, could we perhaps work on a sort of collaboration? I do believe we are able to be of help to one another. The dark presence you speak of could be too overwhelming to handle alone... Ah--" He looks over at Ametrine and recoils a bit, staring down at the ground. "Forgive me, Miss. I should have asked for your input on the matter before deciding such things by myself."

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@@Driz @

 

The pink crystalline mare examined the mysterious mare's exposed features.  Spectral mane and features, it seemed.  A phantom of a past life, or an uncontacted species?  She had many questions, but her companion would more than likely ask them in due time.  Plus, he'd have more use for them.

 

"It's alright, Mr. Whitequill," the mare assuaged, patting the stallion's shoulder.  "It would seem that we're all heading the same way to do the same thing, so I can't say I have anything to add."  She turned her green eyes on the spectral mare.  "You may call me Ametrine.  How might I address you?"

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@@Hazard Time,  @@Driz,

 

Perhaps most telling of the truth of the stories- however odd they might seem to outsiders- was the reaction of the pegasus after talking out of turn. They were capricious creatures after all, the Crystal Ponies. A single perceived slight could spell disaster.

 

Ametrine? the Widow mentally commented, So they name themselves after gemstones. How intriguingly appropriate. I was expecting something more... wild.

 

Mori remained down for an awkward moment as Helios matched her bow before slowly standing up, making sure to maintain a respectful pose and a soft voice. "I am known as Memento Mori, Mistress Ametrine and Sir Whitequill... I am a healer, but also a mortician and gravedigger as well. I am delighted to make your acquaintance."

 

"I wish to state that I am in agreement with this... collaboration," echoed a strong, dominating voice from her mane. "Especially if it means more time alongside this particularly handsome specimen of a scholar. Strong, smart, and polite..." A hazy claw extended from the mist, pointed towards the scholar as if caressing his muzzle, from a distance. "Oh, but how I do want him for myself...!"

 

Mori's expression hardened, and she reached for her the shovel, the sharpened blade shining blue as grabbed it. The claw immediately recoiled and returned to the coalescing mist. "Attempt it not, or else consequences will follow."

 

"Hehehehe... are you jealous?"

 

Shaking her head, she used the blade of the shovel to corral her mane back into her cloak's hood before quickly fastening it, leaving only wisps dangling out. "... Forgive me. She is... more difficult... then the others. I hope she did not alarm you too much..." Carefully ensuring she didn't offend the crystal pony especially with the... outburst, she quietly sheathed the shovel before standing. "... yes, I would appreciate the company, assuming you would be so kind as to accept mine in return. And the tomes I read spoke of a rather brutal pony known as Valran. They said that he could have been a possible source of the corruption. If I were to ensure he has moved on, then perhaps the world will settle here..."

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@ @@Driz

 

Ametrine watched the mare closely, picking up on something.  The way the other mare looked upon her, was that awe?  Trepidation?  Fear?  She would not have been surprised to learn that this spectre had never met a crystal pony before.  Far from offended, she had gotten used to dealing with uncultured commoners.

 

Just as she was about to welcome Mori into the party, however, Ametrine was shocked by the sudden prominence of her mane.  Instinctively, she reached for her maul, only to stop herself as the other mare brought the situation back under control.  The mare allowed herself to relax, and apologetic smile coming to her lips.

 

"If what you say is true, then you will be an invaluable addition to the party, Memento, or do you prefer Mori?  As soon as you are ready, I would like to continue our progress.  You appear to know these woods better than I, so I will let you take the lead."

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@@Hazard Time, @

 

Helios was taken aback once a fourth voice spoke up amidst their conversation. It seemed as if the mare - who identified herself as Memento Mori - retained another character within her. A sentient spectre, having its own free will and personality. As the ghostly claw apparently attempted to flirt with the stallion, he couldn't help but to let out a joyful laugh.

 

"Hahah! What a magnificent meeting that was! I, for one, welcome you to our expedition wholeheartedly." He cheered briefly, soon returning to his usual self. He might have showed a bit too much of an eccentric behavior for his liking, but as a teacher, it was simply his obligation to discover and learn about the things he'd never seen before - not to mention it was also kind of his addiction. Controlling himself to not immediately bombard their new comrade with questions, he decided to sort out his thoughts. The moment they set camp to rest, his personal journal would most likely receive a mass of additional content.

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@@Hazard Time,@@Driz, @@P-Jay,

Mori visibly relaxed, and her voice grew a little firmer as she recognized that she seemed to have been... tolerated by them. At least she wasn't at immediate risk, though she did notice the maul that she reached for as the Widow attempted to flirt with Helios. Physical strength as well... She would have to be careful. "Oh, yes, Mistress Ametrine, I had no intention of delaying anyone at all... we should continue with all haste."

She quietly trotted to the forefront of the group, before withdrawing a dusty tome and consulting the pages within- a book that her friends had, as they said, 'found'. It contained a several rough maps, a few dozen pages of text, and a few small illustrations. Strangely enough, it didn't have an author, either- it was an adventurer's notebook of some sort. After reading a few of the pages located within, she closed the book and stored it before adjusting her cloak and continuing ahead, spending a few moments in pause at the sword and shield. A warning, much like the other places before it. Did Valran place this here himself, or was this some final warning from a doomed adventurer?

 

What an odd stallion, to call such an 'exciting encounter.' It seems he is more scholar than bodyguard. Perhaps an expert in this field? Or merely someone to document the exploration. Either way, he seems like a hole that must be filled with knowledge.

Mori remained silent through the spirit's continued musings, continuing onwards towards the wood.

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contained a several rough maps, a few dozen pages of text, and a few small illustrations. Strangely enough, it didn't have an author, either- it was an adventurer's notebook of some sort. 

 

 

Curiously enough, near the back of the book, just as the map Ametrine possessed, the initials 'K.L. Lovelace' was written.

 

As the three met and made their acquaintanceship, the forest in the distance remained as intimidating as ever. As the trio resumed their trek, a few noticeable relics began to be revealed...A sword, halfway buried in the ground, thick plate mail, violently torn in half by some unknown being, the more one took notice of the area, the more fallen warriors they'd see. Curiously enough, unlike battlefields, the armor changed from corpse to corpse; no two were alike, none sported the official Royal Guard armor, ancient or otherwise.

 

Clearly, these were all wandering fighters, legends in their own right. 

 

And they only began to appear in more numbers, as they approached the forest...The grass under their feet, already patched in red.

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Upon reaching the first sad, withered corpse- chest all but obliterated in the mighty strike it had received- Mori sighed, kneeling down and examining the poor warrior. After a few moments, she stood, and, with a motion, drew back her hood and obtained Durandos from her side. As she did so, her mane and tail seemed to lose form- where it once appeared almost as if it were loosely contained, it now was almost entirely replaced with a very light mist that spread across the ground, losing much of it's mass. It still existed, of course- a large, coalescent blob still was attached to her in the likeness of a mane, but unlike the others, it appeared as if something... shifted within it.

 

She could not handle this task alone, after all, without her newfound acquaintances being just as skeletal as the ones he was about to bury. An army of ghosts and spirits manifested before her, invisible to all except her. After some collaboration with each other, they began quietly tracing out plans through the forest, framing perfect three by five plots for every body in sight, spaced a foot apart from each other and placed wherever they could be while also looking decent and allowing sufficient space for travelers to move through freely- including a rather wide space between the two sides.

 

After about fifty of them had been planned, Mori quietly approached the first site, stretched, and, with the assistance of several companions, began her grim duty, a shadowy claw holding a small black prayer book open as Mori began to dig. As she began, several groups also began- onlookers would see as if nature itself was moving the various corpses into alignment, documenting what they could amongst themselves, before allowing the corpse to sink into the earth, clearing blades of bloodstained grass as they did so- leaving an almost picturesque grave, missing only a tombstone. They moved on, the six or seven groups manipulating nature to bury a corpse with the proper blessings in as little as thirty seconds a body. Mori, despite moving much slower than the others, acted as the center point of their efforts, chanting in a low voice so accented one couldn't make out what was being said.

 

@@Hazard Time,@@Driz, @@P-Jay,

 

While this occurred, a shadowy figure manifested, lounging on Mori's back. It was a pony in appearance, but was composed of the same coagulation of mist that composed her hair, and, instead of hooves, it instead had claws- in fact, it's left rear one was the one holding the prayer book for Mori. "Too bad we don't have more time to spare," the shadowy mare stated in the same ghastly echoing voice as before, if slightly quieter. "What do you think we could accomplish here if we were able to cut, say, a row of trees? A pretty little line of graves at least. This archaic spread will have to do, I suppose... I must say, I fear for your safety should this fellow still happen to exist as a visible specter such as myself. What kind of warrior is able to put this many to slaughter, no matter how skilled he is? Definitely nopony of natural origin."

 

As the specter talked, Mori began to move forwards at a slow pace, working as quickly as she dared while still maintaining the lead. Glancing around, it continued. "Perhaps in a few years from now, when grass grows over, this place will be even prettier with the natural grass woven in with the bloodstains. Or perhaps it will grow back red; that would certainly be interesting as well. Either way, with how many bodies are being displaced and considering the nature with which so many have perished, I'll be quite surprised if nothing particularly... paranormal, as you ponies may call it, happens. Other than what is already occurring, of course, but you need not to worry yourselves about that. You may wish to draw your armaments, especially if enchanted, in case a... negative response is invoked."

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@@Hazard Time, @

 

Helios could feel the overwhelming atmosphere continuously building up as the group marched forward. Corpses of fallen adventurers who dared to explore that realm before them appeared by the masses as if they were crossing the bloody aftermath of a battlefield. It was an unsightly scenario; one which the professor had never even imagined to encounter. It wouldn't be of much surprise if the crimson coloration of the forest was due to the bloodshed of those unfortunate souls. His expression grew sorrowful and his body tensed up. But as his fear increased, so did his curiosity. Nevertheless, he needed to show reverence.

 

When Mori started digging graves and placing some of the bodies in them, Helios watched, needless to say, fascinated. It was as if the earth mare led a grim waltz , granting all of those spirits their long-deserved rest. It took a while for him to grasp the situation, but soon enough, his dreadful feature soon turned into a soft, warm smile. He sat down on the ground, lowering his head and closing his eyes as to pay respect. He quietly whispered to himself a few words of good intent for those who have passed away that the Elsu zebra tribe - his foster family - taught him. After that, he looked back up, finding Mori still hard at work, with a small murky figure laying on her back.

 

"You can sense them, can you not?" He dared to speak up. "The spirits pertaining to those corpses... By burying them, are you able to provide them peace?"

Edited by Driz

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@@Driz @

 

As she had been wont to do since meeting this mare, Ametrine was content to stay silent and allow Helios to ask all the pertinent questions on her mind.  She had her own powers, though she kept them to herself.  Powers were being invoked, that much she was aware, but of what school, she was unable to place.  Evocation?  Necromancy?  It was obvious by this point that Mori served the dead, but was she not serving psychopomps?  If so, she was of the opinion she would have seen one by now.

 

How peculiar.

 

For a moment, she looked upon the long dead corpse, and pondered.  If she mutilated it, would it affect its soul?  Was it true, what Helios suggested?  What was it like...having your soul leave your body?  Would she ever know?  Or would she die without reclaiming her soul?

 

"I think a more relevant question is what killed them," she interjected, hoping to distract herself.  She swung her earthbreaker off her back, her eyes wearily watching the forest.  "Stay sharp.  I have no intention of joining them on this day."

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@@Driz, @@Hazard Time,

 

"Oh, if only it was as clear cut as that," commented the Widow from her perch as Mori continued her work. "It's very, very much a case-by-case basis. In fact, most of these fine fellows have already... er... left, so to speak. All any burial is, after all, is a to help preserve dignity from the perspective of those still alive, is it not? After all, it's rather hard to talk to someone who isn't there. Most of the time, they don't care; they tried their best, got as far as they could, and were expecting deaths. Other times..." she paused, glancing at a bit of unseen drama off to the side involving a pair of irritable souls in knight armor- one of them well known to her- currently occurring. "... not so much. But, yes, it tends to help more than hurt. I'm certain that if a bloody, unfortunate fate were to befall you, you'd definitely want your body to be six feet under instead of left to rot in the bloody charnel house this field has become."

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@

 

"Ah... I see..." The stallion pondered, still not entirely used to speaking to the ghostly fellow instead of Mori herself. Of course, ever since the very first life forms were gifted to Mother Earth, the greatest mystery of all has always been that of death: what brings it, what consequences it has, and what happens afterwards. If it means the end, if it means a new beginning, or if it is meaningless after all. Every individual has their own interpretation of what they think suits best as answers to those questions, although evidently, none of them possessed as much experience as Mori seemed to have.

 

Perhaps, if only Helios could perceive the afterlife as she could, it wouldn't be such a mystery anymore. He asked himself if he would be willing to take that burden to himself for the sake of discovery: for the sake of knowledge. Soon enough, however, he shook those thoughts away. He did best not to interfere with her line of work, at least for the time being. Nevertheless, it was a very beautiful thing to give the fallen souls a proper burial - or maybe beautiful wasn't the proper word to describe it. Perhaps noble, or reverent. At the end of the day, it was all about respect, which was something Helios could very well comprehend and agree to.

 

@@Hazard Time

 

"Indeed. The subject responsible for those atrocious acts of violence shall be anything but ordinary. But worry not, Miss Ametrine. As long as we keep our guards up, we will accomplish our objective unharmed. And if it comes to it, I shall protect you with my life." Helios managed to bring back his code of honor from his days of duty as a Solar Guard. However, even though he intended to keep his promise, looking back at his comrades, the two mares seemed to be much better prepared than himself. They were both bearing protective vestments and wielding weapons. The professor, unarmed with all but his trusty journal, a kit of medicinal herbs, and his wits. Who knew if knighthood alone would be enough to protect his friends?

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A foreboding aura would fall as the three conversed, the graves being dug, lined up. But Mori would find herself in quite the amount of work, if she intended to respectfully bury every soul that had fallen here...
 

The patches of red seemed permanent; the blades of grass themselves a crimson hue, that only cropped up more often as they advanced towards the forest, until they learned just how...Red, the forest was. From a distance, the red blended with the yellow of the light, but it was eerily so close-up.

 

There were less corpses as they approached, but a faint coppery taste in the air became apparent. The forest was silent, nothing made any change in the otherwise tranquil of the woods...

 

It almost felt like the environment itself was fearful to speak. The fields themselves were at least crisp with the air, a faint rustle in the air, but time seemed to have stopped within.

 

As they explored the woods, a small pamphlet would be seen on the ground, propped with a crease against a boulder. Not stirred in the least, by any natural elements, it looked surprisingly well-preserved, considering the area...On the back, once more, stamped in bold letters, were the initials 'K. L. Lovelace'. The way it was positioned, to most notably Helios, it would be obvious one was running, and a paper they'd been working on slipped out from their saddlebag...

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@@Driz

 

Ametrine could not contain her amusement at the stallion's statement.  If he was actually prepared, she might have been flattered.

 

jRwTxiE.png

 

"Sir Helios, you honor me with your chivalry."  She gave a mirthful grin and laid a hoof on his shoulder, gently squeezing the muscle in her grip.  Impressive, but without the typical toys of a warrior, she postulated his strength alone would not be enough.  "However, I cannot allow your scholastic talents to go to waste.  Until the day that you prove me wrong, I'm sorry to say that I would prefer it if you stood behind me."

 

@

 

She gave him one last endearing pat before she turned her attentions towards the growing graveyard before them.  That mare worked fast, and she had to admit that she was impressed by everything that she had accomplished during this time.

 

"I always believed that the dead were unaffected by the condition of their corpse," she began.  A thought wormed its way into the forefront of her mind, and she could not bear to keep it down any longer.  It was just an innocent question, after all...

 

"Mori, is it possible to place a soul back into a body?"

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@@Driz, @@Hazard Time,

 

"Why would you ask her anything important?" the Widow chimed in. "I'm certain your scholarly friend knows at least fifty times as much as this mere peasant does, especially in terms of magical theory. Unless, perhaps, you're desperate for something in particular..." Giggling, the ghostly image vanished back into a mere flowing mane, claw still grasping the prayer book. Mori remained silent for several seconds more as she finished her current task before turned around relatively slowly, wearing a dark expression which seemed to cast a shadow over her face, even without the hood.

"... it would depend, Mistress Ametrine," Mori started, her voice quickly flattening out all emotion, the fearfulness earlier completely gone and replaced with what could only be described as a mix of contempt and pity, "what you meant by putting a soul back into a body. In terms of my work, doing so is impossible. No matter one's skill at this craft, nor one's endowments by blood, once the connection has been severed between body and soul, there is nothing that can reattach the threads through mere physical or spiritual means- which then results in the requirement of magic to achieve what you ask. I am not a scholar and what I know about magic all come from ancient tales- many of which are mere rumor and speculation, though many of them do speak of resurrection and of soulless beings undertaking mighty deeds to obtain their own. Perhaps you could be more... specific? An example, perhaps?"

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@@P-Jay, @@Hazard Time, @

 

Helios lowered his head in agreement. On second thought, maybe he really should have come equipped with at least some means of self defense. When they set off, all the professor had in mind were the topics he would study and the potential new horizons he would discover. Facing such a supernatural threat was, by chance, something he briefly considered as a possibility, but not as a concrete need to arm himself to the teeth. At any rate, it was what it was. The retired soldier would give it his all to reach his goal, and nothing would change that fact. With that thought in mind, he turned back to face Ametrine.

 

"I will be counting on you then." He said with a friendly smile. Perhaps teamwork was really the way to go. He had his personal abilities and areas of expertise where he performed the best, while Ametrine and Mori had theirs. Against any existing odds, he felt safe.

 

After the crystal mare posed another question towards the gravedigger - one whose answer Helios was quite interested in hearing - he happened to notice a small piece of paper on the ground, sticking out from the grim, eerie environment around it. After picking it up and upon closer inspection, he was able to read the initials inscribed onto it. At that moment, akin to a metaphorical light bulb, something sparked inside his mind. That name looked so familiar somehow.

 

"Miss Ametrine." He called out. "I am terribly sorry for disrupting again, but if I may be in the position to ask, would you kindly lend me the chart we were utilizing earlier for a moment?-- And Miss Mori." He continued "Do you happen to be in possession of a sort of map related to this vicinity as well?"

Edited by Driz
Bedman broohoofs this

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