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Black Cauldron shrugs
"I don't think we're too far." She answers
Iron nods before continuing to be led on by the zebra mare.
Moving between the walls of the building and the hillside, Iron sees two diamond dogs moving together, coming out of a hole in the hillside ahead of them
"Are these dogs supposed to be here?" Iron whispers to Cauldron in soft tone, having this feeling they might have to fight a little.
"I don't know." She answers, moving back, and whispering to Iron.
"But I am less sure that we are supposed to be here"
"Understandable," Iron answers in a whisper with a small nod "so how long until we get there from here?"
"I don't know. I believe we are less than a mile away."
The stallion nods, quickly checking if he is in a fighting condition in case he needs to bust some heads together before following Cauldron as well as he can.
Iron is not in as good of a condition as he was when he arrived in the city. But he is as good now as he can be now. Black Cauldroj does not move forward, but stops, and considers her options.
Iron waits along with her, not wanting to ruin any potential plans she is brewing.
“Maybe” Black Cauldron says “We can walk past them, either by the river or above them, without them noticing.”
"I suggest going above them," Iron figures. "Less likely to look up than at the river."
"You want me to try it first?"
"If you succeed, then most likely I will as well. And if you fail.. well, you can probably handle that better."
"Sounds good to me," Iron agreed with a confident smile.
With that established, he soon started to make his across towards the path above the diamond dogs to sneak past undetected.
First, Iron must climb the hillside. Then, Iron must walk past them unnoticed.
Roll die, with dexterity bonus
Iron's climb is inelegant, and a diamond dog looks the way of the hillside
Iron just keeps climbing for the sake of it, wondering if the diamond dog will actually stop him or not.
The diamond dog moves to look around at the hillside. Iron himself doesn't seem to have been seen, but the diamond dog's presence forces Black Cauldron to go into hiding as he comes nearer. Iron makes it to the top.
Seeing himself seemingly successful, Iron slowly goes for some cover to hide behind just in case the diamond dog really
wants to watch the clouds or something.
The diamond dog looks around. Iron can see that Black Cauldron is within the doorway, hiding just out of sight.[1d20+2 = (13+2) = 15]
The diamond dog moves further, and further... And sees Black Cauldron
Iron immediately tries to gauge what sort of potential damage he may suffer from just dropping right on top of the diamond dog in question.
If the Diamond Dog can call for help, he may get noticed by the other one. And he may miss, or get stabbed, or run into a wall, or any of the other dangers attendant to jumping on someone from a height of 15 or so feet.
If that's the case, then Iron simply readies himself to jump the moment the diamond dog was surely going to try to do something bad to Cauldron first so he is at least more justified in his reckless decision.
The Diamond Dog calls out:
"Hey, we have a striped one over here!" Black Cauldron ducks away, into the building
...not quite pounceworthy, but perhaps he could get the opportunity to take down the one furthest from Cauldron if he comes over to aid his diamond pal.
The other diamond dog comes over
"What is he doing over here?"
"Looks like a 'she.' I don't know."
"I bet she's a run away. Do you think that if we turn her in, there will be a reward?"
"She's carrying big bags" the one near the door answers. "She's inside the mill."
The other diamond dog is not heading for that position, but to the other side of the ruined building. This one stands in the doorway
After a little waiting to ensure the other dog is far enough away, Iron finally commits to his pouncing idea, jumping out of his high ground to valiantly crush his body against the diamond canine's!
Iron makes a running jump, jumps down, and slams into the diamond dog's back. The diamond dog is big and tough, but Iron is a bit tougher under the circumstances. He may make a regular attack
Iron promptly makes a fully powered bonk to the diamond dog's head with his forelegs.[1d20+5 = (20+5) = 25]
<Fully powered up non-lethal unarmed attack
It's almost like smashing the mountain lion's head, as the large, grey, pitbull-like head is pushed into the door, his eyes roll up, and then close. His limbs spread out limply.
>>152754No kill doggo pl0x
Iron breathes out softly before going for the unconscious dog's body, dragging it into a safe place where no puppy would find it any time soon before even thinking about going to attack the other dog in the area.
"Iron?" Black Cauldron is inside the building with him.
The building has collapsed upper floors in some areas, but is has clear stone floors in others. Most of the interior is one large room, which has some decaying round machine in the center. There are a few walls remaining for smaller rooms on the sides that may still be closed.
"Other one is circling around," the native whispers softly after putting the body in a secluded area. "Get ready."
With that established, he soon tries to find the best hiding spot amongst the ruined interior, preferrably one of those smaller rooms he has spotted just now.
"Striped one? Don't worry, we won't take you back to the police. For a fee.." He peaks his head in through a door, into a hallway that sends in the large room with the circular machine.
Iron makes sure to keep quiet and hidden until he was just close enough for a surprise attack. He had no time for honorable battles in this hefty ordeal.
But it isn't so simple. The Diamond Dog pulls outside of the doorway, turns away, and starts to yell
"Frida? Didn't I just see you walk by? Frida? Frida where are you going?"
There's a third dog?This does not sound good,
Iron thinks to himself, deciding to take this opportunity to stealthily approach the door the diamond dog had just peeked out of in order to catch it by surprise when he/she decides to check in again.
"Uh, come by when you can, Frida, Diego found something and it might be good." The diamond dog turns around, and moves closer to the door.
The Diamond Dog has an expression of pure surprise, evidently not expecting Iron there.
"I am sorry in advance," the native sincerely whispers for the single pup before once again putting a fully powered buck against the canine's face.[1d20+5 = (15+5) = 20]
<Fully Powered Non-Lethat Unarmed Strike
"Yelp!" The diamond dog cries out in pain, and attempts to swing back, but is disoriented, and turns to run away.
Iron, feeling it may be better to risk being attacked by the third canine rather than alert the whole compound of their presence, soon runs after it to knock this supposed Diego out for good before word spreads too far.
The Diamond Dog is limping and clearly fairly stunned. But he isn't out yet. Iron can outrun him, at least if he charges.
Thus, the native charges the diamond dog to deliver a finishing blow![1d20+10 = (3+10) = 13]
<Slightly powered (2 points) non-lethal unarmed strike
The Diamond Dog tries to maneuver to avoid being hit. He fails.Hit.
Iron punches the Diamond Dog, and he falls forward, flat on his face. He does not move.
With that done, Iron quickly drags the unconscious one back inside and hides it with the other dog.
Iron drags it in. There are many places to hide them.
Black Cauldron speaks to Iron:
"Wow..." She says, looking down at the unconscious Diamond Dog.
She looks back up to Iron
"Not the nicest locals."
Iron opts to hide them in one of the smaller rooms, preferably one that has a door still. "Nicer than what I was expecting," he softly admitted with a small exhale.
There are no doors, and there are even holes in the riverside wall where a chute and a shaft once were. There is, however, a nice small area out of the way to place the two Diamond Dogs.
"What were you expecting?" Black Cauldron asks
"Kill on sight," Iron muses softly with the mineral to extract in mind as he softly plants the two Diamond Dogs in the secluded area.
He'd take this opportunity to look at them a little closer and see if they have anything to offer to the two hooved creatures standing.
"No. They can't ransom the dead." She answers.
In their pockets are a couple knives, lint, a few coins, a can of beans, a ticket for entry to the Temple of the Sun, and a folded crayon colored paper of a family of diamond dogs holding paws.
"That is true," Iron agreed with a stern nod.
His interest was piqued at both ticket and crayon drawing, inspecting them more closely to see if he could wring out some context.
The ticket seems to be an admissions ticket to some sort of attraction. The ticket is for one adult, for daytime admission, is in the city of Tenochtitlan, and is dated October 13th of last year.
The drawing is of four diamond dog puppies(?), a female, and a male. The diamond dog from whom the image originated seems to be be the adult male "father" depicted in the image, judging by him sharing the same rust-red coat, although the family in the image being that of a brother who shares the same coat color can't be discounted, nor can wilder possibilities like the depicted family being fake.
"Think we will stir too much trouble if we take the ticket?" Iron proposes to Cauldron
“It looks used or expired to me. And either way, he can’t exactly complain right now.”
Iron shakes his head, deciding to leave things be: They will wake up eventually and he does not want it to happen when they travel back with the goods.
That was, until he remembered he needed to obtain all of the moneys for Sands later, to which inspired looking into the bag of coins just to see if they were legitimate. If so, he'll just take it.
These are indeed real currency. Most of the coins are the older, pre-war Equestrian mintage, while a few are post-war Occupation Bits. It's only a few bits worth in total, though.
And one more thing. One of the Diamond Dogs has an earing that looks golden.
Iron will just take the coin pouch. Jewelry can have a lot more emotional meaning than just money. Something that could bring unwanted heat to them on the way back.
With that established, he soon looks to Cauldron with a nod. "I think we are done here," he concludes.
Iron takes the bits, but leaves everything else. Black Cauldron says, "I agree." The two (presumably) leave the building.
Indeed they do, towards the now clear path to continue towards the stash they are looking for.
As they exit, right above the mine entrance on the upper part of the hill, is a familiar looking creature.
White Sands lays down, with her forelegs hanging over the edge. She stares at the two:
"Are you two done fooling around?"
Iron chuckles softly, happy to see Sands in a non-depressing mood. "We are," he gladly confirms with a nod.
With that said, however, it was time to get back to the mission at hoof, meaning Cauldron is back on the steering wheel.
Black Cauldron turns to him,
"I thought she was with you?"
She turns her head away,
"Well, we can proceed by the river or above it."
"In a sense, she was," Iron jokingly answered before quickly turning serious when talking about the job. "We should go from above."
Black Cauldron nods.
They have to walk past the mine entrance to find a part of the hillside that lets them climb up it. White Sands lays down and watches this:
"No no. Take your time. If we don't get out of here before the last train leaves, then we can just stay the night, and it's been a such a lovely experience so far, why not
just make it last a little longer?"
Silver asks one of the present nuns a question.
"So, say I wanted to adopt. What do I need to do to do so?"
Both blink, and the greyish mare answers:
"I don't really know. I think there was a requirement to show a marriage certificate, and a recommendation from a church, and proof of income, and no criminal convictions, and proof of residency... But that was years ago, and we've had several new princesses and mayors and presidents since then. It's hard to keep up with. Ask Marery. She is the one who handles these."
"Do either of you know about becoming Foster parent?"
The grey mare answers,
“Well, I’m more of a tailor. I help with clothing.”
Then the green mare answers,
“And I’m a literature teacher here. I think you may want to ask Sister Marery, as she’s in charge of administration.”
"Ah. Okay then."
Silver looks at the play.
"How did you set all this up?"
The green earth pony and the brown earth pony try to speak some lines.
The grey nun answers:
"I helped with some props"
Then the green nun,
"I helped with the script."
The grey nun continues,
"There was this really nice pony, Dark Star, who suggested it earlier in the week. We thought it would be a nice way to cheer up the foals, and, well, celebrate the return of many of them. So we looked for some volunteers, made some props, and well, this is what we have so far."
"It does sound like great idea. White Orchid's costume must have taken while to make."
The grey mare opens her mouth in something like a smile.
“Heh. Yeah. I had to stitch together a number of pieces of fabric, and quite a lot of stuffing. It took many hours. It’s all built on top of a black nylon shirt, with red and yellow fabric stitched onto it. We had several foals make fins, tendrils, and the head out of paper machete, and then paint it.”
"It is good you got other foals to help. Are there many helping to set up play and work behind curtain?"
“Well, no. At least not yet. Not in the current set up. We only have a few actors, and a few props. But it means we may be able to get the foals to perform quickly.”
"I think it would be good idea to get more involved once things are figured out. It would be good for them to focus their energy towards something like this, considering their life situations."
“Yes, I think it’s a pretty good idea, at least for many of them. It’s something to do, and something to be proud of. It’s something to distract them from their past situations, and to teach them of the values of our traditions.”
"What gave you idea to choose this story for play?"
The green nun turns a little more towards Silver, and it is she who speaks.
“Well, I can answer that. It’s well known that foals are impressionable, and can learn truths about the world through story. This is true of adults too, but it is especially true of the young. That is why we wanted a story with an important moral lesson to teach our foals. More than that, we want to tell a story that teaches them where we came from. We, as a people, as a society, and as an institution, and how these moral truths relate to our purpose as both individuals and as a group. So of course we want to tell them a story from our history.
My first choice was the story of how the Elements came together and held back Nightmare Moon. That… was rejected. It’s too controversial, It’s also a little ambitious, with so many central characters, and so many scenes. So I decided to tell another story from our history. One that’s less controversial, and has fewer characters and fewer scenes.”
And then the grey nun states,
“I actually suggested this one from a list. We had already started working on the sea serpent costume for the story of the Elements. Of course I didn’t want it to go unused, especially since we already had foals make the head and fins, so we decided on a story that also featured a mare befriending a serpent in the river.”
The green mare:
“Yes, that too”
Silver looks confused.
"What is so controversial about the story of Twilight and her friends finding Elements of Harmony?"
The two mares look at each other, and then after a period of silence, it’s the green mare who speaks:
“Because Twilight is the former princess.”
“And there is an active resistance to restore her to the throne. So anything that portrays her and her friends - who were also parts of the former regime - in a positive light might not be looked upon so kindly by either the uh, well, either the Baltimare or the new foreign
regime. Best to tell a story not involving her. And Colopa is considered a kind of local hero, so I think that will be more palatable to… to both of our new overlords.”