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Raven Rawne

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"Life on the Road" (Private)

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OOC link: https://mlpforums.com/topic/163788-life-on-the-road-1x1-between-moon-dancer-and-raven-rawne/?p=4832236

 

It was Spring in Equestria. The land was waking from it's Winter sleep, and you could smell the life, exploding in all shades of green, virsually everywhere. The Pegasi were busy delivering rain clouds to further fuel the waking Nature, and help farm ponies grow their plants. The roads barely had time to dry after the snow melted when Natural Order, an earth pony mare, left her parent's home to roam. as she did every year.

 

Such was her life on the road.

 

She didn't go far, just a day away from her home towm, Tall Tale, when she stopped in a familliar tavern, the "Felled Oak". She knew the innkeeper, an elderly stallion Clean Mug and his small family. They ran the business for two generations already, and the mare liked to stop by to catch up and have some good rest in a proper bed.

 

It was morning, around... eight? She was never really good with those abstract hours. After Dawn was her hour. Natural Order went out of one of the rooms upstairs and walked down the creaking, wooden stairs into the common room. She had her peaked hat with a raven's feather on her chocolate mane, a ponytail lazily swinging like a pendulum. She panned the room with a pair of golden eyes, slightly squinted as it was rather dim inside, and she still needed toget used to the gloom. Her mint coat was neatly brushed after a long evening bath, and for once, she didn't smell like said herb. Across her barell, a small sack, a quarell and an unproportinally big crossbow weighted the rickety mare. A casual observer would question how she was even able to lift it all, she was outright skinny.

 

Natural tipped her funny hat to the stallion who was sitting by the counter, and offered a wide smile. "I slept like a foal, I must buy one of those beds sometime..." - She laid down the payment for her stay on the counter as the innkeep replied, amused. "And where would you fit it? On the roof? Told you girl, wagons are not meant to be homes. Anyway, I have a business for you, if you're interested." The mare looked at him curiously, but nodded. "As long as you give me breakfast, sure. What's the deal?" Clean Mug chuckled out loud. "Always the pragmatic one, eh? You already paid for it, so why wouldn't I?" - He got rather serious all of a sudden, but didn't bother lowering his booming voice. Everypony present could hear him anyway. That meant... two stallions. each apparently on his own. "So I have some coin that would like to change hooves, if you can do something for me. Ever since the roads became traversible again, we had no ponies coming through Moonlight path. Those who tried to get through from Tall Tale, came back empty hooved. Something blocked the road and dem wagons can't pass! Not a good sign for my lil inn here, there was a lot of business coming down that road... Guess you see my problem here."

Edited by Raven Rawne
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@@Raven Rawne,

 

While they chatted, they were being listened to by Crystal Cog, who had came in last night, late though. The Armoured stallion had heard there was a sort of thing going on, on a path called Moonlight Path. The stallion listened until they had stopped chatting, and had approached them with a look of curiosity, his armour glinted in the sunlight and his deep purple eyes locked onto the stallion that spoke about the path and the mystery. He stayed silent for a second. "I'll join, gladly." he said as he smirked. His hooked horn was sure to draw attention.

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@@Moon Dancer.,

 

Natural Order measured the innkeep with her golden eyes, thinking. She was still undecided when a strange unicorn in dark armor came to the counter and offered his service to get rid of the problem.

 

"Would you now?" - both Natural and Clean Mug said in unision, and the mare laughed. The earth pony stallion continued. "Well, I guess I could ask for your help, sir. You seem like a capable type alright..."

 

Natural Order shook her head and replied. "And then you'll hire me when he won't come back. No offense, but that armor, even dented, would be worth more than your reward anyway. Although I guess we could split the coin and take it both." She narrowed her golden eyes slightly, looking the unicorn up and down, asessing whether he would be of any help to her. "Hmm... Guess I could use a heavy armoured crossbow stand like you. Wanna split the risk and reward?"

 

She pointed at the crossbow with her nose and smirked. It looked unproportinally big compared to it's owner.

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@@Raven Rawne,

 

Crystal Cog nodded to Natural Order and looked her over. She seemed innocent enough, when he saw the crossbow he was rather impressed. "I'm sure you are wondering what my weapon is...." he smirked and his horn glowed a dull grey, a triangular piece of his armour on his chest unclipped and it spun, making a whirring noise for a second, when it stopped they could see a sort of spear, the tip made of black crystal and the long rod made of a sort of metal. "Well. A reward worth something, is more than something that is worth nothing. I crafted this all myself, just so you know." he said evenly, the spear was lowered, though. They could see he also had a black mane and tail.

Edited by Moon Dancer.
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@@Moon Dancer.

 

The mare raised an eyebrow at the mention of a weapon. "Your spells?" She observed as he showed off his weapon, trying to look unimpressed. "Typically unicorn. You guys love to show off your magic... Well, let's just hope you can handle yourself."

 

Natural Order glanced at the innkeeper. "I'll look into your problem,  so don't spend that cash,  okay? Oh and, my breakfast if you please." She turned to the unicorn as the innkeeper withdrew to the kitchen. "So,  you're in? I usually work alone but, there's safety in numbers."

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@@Raven Rawne,

 

He frowned at her remark, his eyes flashed crimson red for a split second, he sighed, frustrated and then his eyes went back the calm purple as they were before. "I'll go. But, don't label me.... One of the things I hate the most.... is boundaries and labels, I do what I want, I won't be bound by rules." he said as he retracted his spear and put it back on his armour. 

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@@Moon Dancer.,

 

The mare shrugged. "Alright, no labels. Duly noted. Come to think of it, I don't like getting labeled either...  And by the way, name's Natural Order, and this is Natural Selection" - she nodded at the crossbow - "Nice to meet you." She extended her hoof in formal greeting as the innkeep brought a tray with her usual breakfast order.

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@@Raven Rawne,

 

The stallion had extended a hoof as well and shook her hoof aswell and he quirked a black eyebrow upon her saying her name, he also noticed her cutie mark. "Interesting cutie mark... My name is Crystal Cog. I sometimes go by Earthly Shade and Obsidian Hook. Take your pick of what to call me." he said, smiling.

Edited by Moon Dancer.
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@@Moon Dancer.,

 

Natural Order smirked, but her attention has been stolen by the tray of food that entered the counter. She looked at it, and took it greatfully, smiling at the innkeeper. "Ah, now I remember why it's my favourite inn!" Clean Mug chuckled at the exclamation. "Heh, I bet you tell that everywhere you go but, thanks."

 

Natural looked back to Crystal Cog, tray with her breakfast in hoof. "I propose we move to a table..." She led the way to a nearby empty table as the other stallion stood up to pay for his own expenses. She put the tray down and rested her crossbow next to her. "She glanced at her new companion. "You were saying somethig about my cutie mark? Or just tried a save after checking me out? No matter..." - she didn't seem upset, rather amused - "My talent revolves around reasonable exploitation of natural resources, as my Aunt used to say. I just know how much I can take without upsetting the balance. How about you? Kinda hard to take a peek through that armor, hehe."

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@@Raven Rawne,

 

Crystal Cog sat down in a chair and leaned forward. "Its interesting. Also, it really fits your name. Well as for mine...." he slid his armour off in astoundingly orderly fashion and set it on the table and showed his cutie mark to her, a black crystal with 3 cogs around it. "It represents my talent for Black Crystals and assembling stuff." 

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@@Moon Dancer.

 

The mare took off her hat since she was about to start eating, and nodded. "After my grand grand grandmother, but it does fit me well, even if I get a lt of funny looks." Hearing some scraping sounds she looked up and noticed the stallion was taking his plate off, and showed her his cutie mark. She raised an eyebrow at the display. "What next, comparing scars? I was just joking you know, but no matter. Nice to know what you're good at." She started eating her cereal, and spoke in between bites. "So, you're new around here or I just haven't seen you yet? I'm from Tall Tale, but live all over Equestria really. I spend Winter with my parents, since it's not the best season to live in a wagon and all."

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@@Raven Rawne,

 

The stallion put his armour back on and it went onto his body with quick, fluid movements. "Wow. You have a long family history and thats interesting. As to your question I usually just travel around, never staying nearby my old hometown, I prefer not to dwell on the past.... I don't like it there. Thats why I ran away once I was a foal." he said, frowning.  

Edited by Moon Dancer.
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@@Moon Dancer.,

 

Natural nodded as she swallowed her meal. "Just an earth pony thing, I suppose. Remembering aaaalll those past generations and stuff. So far it seems the family tree will end on me. That's why mom gave me this." - she pointed at the crossbow - "to increase my chances of not being eaten by something nasty and give her those grandfoals one day. well, the first part is a real possibility, all things considered. I have a couple scars, and not all on the front, so to speak..." She continued eating in a quick manner, seems she wanted to get on the road.

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@@Raven Rawne,

 

Crystal Cog nodded, he secretly didn't like hearing all this but he kept that to himself and simply just took it all in. "Alright then. So what is our plan to go check out to see what is going on The Moonlight path? We just head out and go or something else?" he asked, they needed to make a plan in his mind at least.

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@@Moon Dancer.

 

She shrugged and nodded, then swallowed the portion of her food and replied. "Basically,  we need to walk it's entire length and back. Takes 3, 4 days on average.  I don't want to half flank this cause they're good ponies and I would never take their bits for a job not done. I have some tools in my wagon in case it's a fallen tree or something like that.  Happens rather often after Winter actually. I just hope it's not a rock slide. That would make it done of the harder bits in my inglorious career..."

 

The mare finished her cereal and gulped the mint tea, then stood up to take the tray back to the counter.  "I'm ready to roll if you want to get going. My wagon is at the back."

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@@Raven Rawne,

 

He nodded, he would rather get going now. "Lets get going now. The sooner we start, the earlier we finish, and the earlier we claim our reward. 3 or 4 days isn't that bad, good exercise also, I have some cool tricks I could show you if we get into any trouble though." after he spoke he got up out of his seat and stretched a bit.  

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@@Moon Dancer.

 

Natural chuckled at his remark as she laid down the tray and bud farewell to the innkeeper, then went to the table to gather her things.  "Riiiight, and I'll play the mare in distress. Gotta work on my frightened scream though. I don't sound too appealing when I run for my life..." She gave him a confident look as she slung the crossbow across her back and led the way out.

 

Once outside, the mare inhaled deeply and smiled. "Ehh, love the Spring. I'll go get my wagon,  unless you too have something to pull. Then we can go together. Mine is the big one, colored like me."

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@@Raven Rawne,

 

The stallion followed and shook his head. "Nah, I have nothing to pull. You don't need to be a damsel in distress, I hate cliches so much.... Don't see why Mares are always portrayed as weak and feeble, as you certainly aren't, from what I can tell at least." he chuckled slightly and his black crystal armour glistened in the sunlight, he shielded himself from the sunlight.

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@@Moon Dancer.,

 

The mare giggled as she went to get her wagon, swishing her chocolate tail. "Oh but I AM weak and feeble, just look at my straw legs! It's a miracle how I can even lift that crossbow, heheh!" - At least she had enough distance to herself to joke from her appearance. Natural disappeared behind the building for several minutes, and just when one might start thinking whether she didn't just run away to break the deal, she showed up again, pulling a wagon that seemed to eright like, ten times she did. Four wheeled, wooden, fully enclosed type with one window on each of the longer sides, currently shut with wooden blinds. There were 2 spare wheels, again one per side. The whole thing had a fresh coat of green paint, sligltly darker than it's owner, and a brown roof with a tiny chimney. The mare's crossbow was hung on two big nails at the front side, easily accessible once she unstrapped herself from the harness. Apparently it wasn't heavily loaded, based on the very light grooves it made in the soil, and the factthat the mare didn't seem to have much of a problem pulling it, despite her petite frame.

 

Natural Order pulled up right nexto to the stallion, her hat providing some protection from the morning sun, and with a pipe in her teeth. She cupped it in her foreleg and exhaled away from him, then asked: "So, ready for some adventure?"

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@@Raven Rawne,

 

He had smiled as she left to get her wagon, when she got back she was rather impressed, he was still cringing in the sunlight and stood in a way so it didn't get in his eyes all that much. "Nice wagon, I am ready. As you can probably see, I am not one for sunlight. I'm more adapted for the dark nights." he walked up next to her and then stood next to her.

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@@Moon Dancer.,

 

Natural Order cocked her head slightly as she looked at him, taking another puff. She did her best to keep the smoke away from him. "Hmm... guess we can do something about it. Just a moment." She unhooked herself from the harness with one practiced movement, and trotted to the back of the wagon. After opening the back door, and some rummaging noises, she exclaimed. "Ah, found it!" The mare walked out and kicked the doors shut, then presented the stallion with a bark green cloak. She didn't use it this year, so it was fresh as new, if you turn a blind eye on some small holes here and there. "I guess it's not really your style, but it should help you with the sun. That black armor will fry you inside by noon, and the hood is roomy enough to provide some shade. Just don't lose it, I actually kinda like this thing."

 

She went back to the front of her cart and put the harness on, then slowly rocked the heavy thing forward. She kept a relaxed pace.

 

"So first we need to follow this road into the treeline. Shoukd help you with the sun problem, the plains around here aren't too rich in shade. If we keep this pace, we should reach a ford in a small river around noon or so. I'm actually curious how it looks this year. The Spring thaw changes it every year. There's a good camping spot deeper into the forest, and if nothing bad happens, we should reach it before sundown. So that's the plan on the first day. Oh and the "Moonlight Path" officially starts right after the ford. The road forks out, the other leg leads to some logging camps, nothing major. I'm actually curious what holds up the traffic up there..."

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@@Raven Rawne,

 

Crystal Cog put on the bark green cloak, it fit him rather nicely but it didn't really look all that great in his opinion. He followed Natural Order and kept her pace. "Its rather nice to be honest, minus the looks. I don't wanna get fried. I hate the heat. I won't lose it. I too am Curious as to what we can discover in our adventure, maybe some sort of monster that is protecting some treasure that we can take or something?"  

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@@Moon Dancer.,

 

The mare choked on her pipe smoke. "*cough* *cough* A monster?! Come on! Not funny! Last time I walked up on something nasty, I had to run away from my cart and wait three days till it went someplace else so I could retrieve it. Not looking forward to that again."

 

Natural Order huffed and corrected her hat, then took a few puffs of her pipe.

 

"Fallen trees and rockslides are most common, followed by hired thugs who put barricades on roads and demand pay. Too far from major cities for the Guard to bother, you see, and some companies won't shy away from dirty tricks to sink their competition."

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@@Raven Rawne,

 

The stallion sighed. "Well, if there is any I will be sure to protect you from them. It could be a fallen tree or a rockslide or something, but if it is anypony up there screwing around. I'll be sure to capture them and bring them in. One thing I also hate, is companies and their dirty tricks. They act like they are control, but in all reality they aren't. Not if nopony supports them." 

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@@Moon Dancer.,

 

The mint mare seemed to realise she acted like a scaredycat filly, and obviously didn't like that. She took a side glance at the unicorn and asked: "And how are you so sure of yourself? A suit of armor and a fancy spear may look cool, but I've yet to see a pony who just takes on a bunch of hired thugs or goes after a monster as easilly as they would go for groceries. Either you're over confident, mad, or both. I pinned some things with that crossbow and it was never a peace of cake. So I think twice before I fire a bolt at something, or somepony."

 

She seemed upset by how casual the unicorn was about killing and all that.

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