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CFF541E9-0547-4B9D-A158-4F71F624E66F.png
Occupied Equestria - Back to the Forest
Anonymous
c77989a
?
No.151000
151002
Virgin Flame arrives in Baltimare and makes her aqua intense with the staff of a Cathedral there. Spark goes back to Blackwood, helping a rebel and several wolves. Iron takes a train off to the mountains where there is said to be treasure. Silver is pleasantly surprised to wake up to the world-not-ending. Dark Star goes home for the night, disturbed by the forces corrupting the youth, and left to contemplate his role in stopping it.
1887 replies and 28 files omitted.
Silver "The Floof" Sword
212df33
?
No.152820
152821
>>152819
Silver looks a little sick at that last line.

"Blehg. Still do not like that. Did you consider story of how Equestria was founded?"
Anonymous
c77989a
?
No.152821
152822
>>152820
The green mare looks up and taps her muzzle in contemplation. The grey mare, however, looks seriously offended:

Grey mare:
We’re not putting away my serpent costume.”

The green mare:
“It’s… not a bad idea, but it’s about, well, it’s about eleven months early for Hearthswarming, and that story, like the Elements, has quite a few characters. Not a bad idea for the future, though.”
Silver "The Floof" Sword
212df33
?
No.152822
152823
>>152821
Silver chuckles at the grey mare's response.

"Well, it will be only short couple of months or so before it will be traditional time for start of Winter Wrap-Up. We have somewhat given it up since Great War, but maybe you can have play about very first Winter Wrap-Up."
Anonymous
c77989a
?
No.152823
152824
5B9E902C-5AE0-462E-A631-F29043AF77B0.jpeg
>>152822
The grey mare looks over to the green mare

“I’m not even sure I’ve heard of the first winter wrap up.”

She sits up,
“Well it’s partly done by machine and mass spell now, and it was done in some form long before Hearthswarming, but surely there is a story in there somewhere. Maybe the first winter clean up after Hearthswarming. It’s only really a big show in places where there are no unicorns, though. In most places they just use magic. Unless it were to take place before the Hearthswarming in the Earthpony republic….”

The green mare seems to contemplate this idea
Silver "The Floof" Sword
212df33
?
No.152824
152825
>>152823
"Hmm...I will admit I do not know where it started, either. In my native Severyana, we did not have so much 'Winter Wrap-Up' like southern ponies did. We just let snow melt in Spring and add its water to our moisture-rich soil."
Anonymous
c77989a
?
No.152825
152826
>>152824
Both mares move ever so slightly back, and their mouths hang open

Grey:
"But then how does the snow, well, how does it melt?"

Green:
"And how does it melt on time?"

Grey:
"What if it melts at the wrong time, and it causes the rivers to flood?"

Green:
"And what if, well, what if you need to plant, and the snow is still there? Then what do you do?"
Silver "The Floof" Sword
212df33
?
No.152826
152827
>>152825
"Well, Celestia's calm, warming Light is what helps it to melt, at least in Severyana. When Celestia's Sun starts to warm up in Spring, it melts snow and helps our farms to grow. We help it along at times when we sense there will be problem, but Severyana has picky, moist soil. It produces plenty of high-quality food, but if we mess with natural moisture too much...we end up with famines, like what happened few years ago leading up to Steel Stallion's revolution."
Anonymous
c77989a
?
No.152827
152828
>>152826
There is silence for an extended period of time. The grey mare breaks it:

"But like... you still have to melt the snow."
Silver "The Floof" Sword
212df33
?
No.152828
152829
>>152827
He shrugs.

"It is just how things have been done in Severyana for time immemorial, maybe since time of Equestria's Unification."
Anonymous
c77989a
?
No.152829
152830
>>152828
They blink

“But how do the animals know when it’s time to wake up from hibernation? And what about migration?”
Silver "The Floof" Sword
212df33
?
No.152830
152831
>>152829
Silver looks like he's about to answer, but then he freezes with a confused look on his face.

"...I never really thought of it before, and never had thought to question it as colt."
Anonymous
c77989a
?
No.152831
152832
>>152830
The green mare proposes
“Well….surely somepony does it, or else it wouldn’t get done.”
Silver "The Floof" Sword
212df33
?
No.152832
152833
>>152831
"I honestly cannot argue against it."

He scratches his chin.

"Anyways, what other ideas did you have for play?"
Anonymous
c77989a
?
No.152833
152834
>>152832
The green mare answers
"Right now, we are simply letting them try it. It's a select few eager volunteers, with a few props, who can put on a short play for the other foals. And maybe, if it works well, they can put on the play for a church or two."
Silver "The Floof" Sword
212df33
?
No.152834
152835
>>152833
"What about large Cathedal across town?"
Anonymous
c77989a
?
No.152835
152836
>>152834
"Which one? The local parish?"
Silver "The Floof" Sword
212df33
?
No.152836
152837
>>152835
"...uh...maybe? There is more than one big Cathedral in city?"
Anonymous
c77989a
?
No.152837
152838
>>152836
“Well, yes. There is one in each parish. But the nearest one is Saint Eligius.”
Silver "The Floof" Sword
212df33
?
No.152838
152839
>>152837
"One I am thinking of is run by Father Maren."
Anonymous
c77989a
?
No.152839
152840
>>152838
"Well, Father Maren is at Saint Eligius. Yes, that's the one."
Silver "The Floof" Sword
212df33
?
No.152840
152841
>>152839
Silver smiles.

"Good, we are on same page. He seems like good pony."
Anonymous
c77989a
?
No.152841
152842
>>152840
"Yes, I've worked with him many times, since we both work with Equestrian records and literature."
Silver "The Floof" Sword
212df33
?
No.152842
152843
>>152841
"He also helped me to kill lich."
Anonymous
c77989a
?
No.152843
152844
>>152842
She blinks, and then smiles awkwardly

“To kill a leech? Sorry, your accent, I’m not sure I understood you.”
Silver "The Floof" Sword
212df33
?
No.152844
152845
>>152843
"Li-ich. Undead immortal necromancers who seal their souls in objects and can raise and control zombies, skeletons, and all kinds of undead."
Anonymous
c77989a
?
No.152845
152846
>>152844
"Oh, heh heh, you do plays yourself?"
Silver "The Floof" Sword
212df33
?
No.152846
152847
>>152845
Silver gives her a blank stare.

"Uhhhhhhhhhhh..."
Anonymous
c77989a
?
No.152847
152848
>>152846
“Just trying to figure out your meaning” she says

“Surely you don’t mean a real lich… is this some sort of game you two do? Or a metaphor?”
Silver "The Floof" Sword
212df33
?
No.152848
152849
>>152847
"Well, whether he was real lich is unknown. He did experiment with raising dead long ago, was extraordinarily long lived, and group of militia who raided his lair left warnings about his lichdom. But leader of militia was also originally betrothed to mare that necromancer pony married, he was sealed in stone casket so nopony could verify if he really was lich, and when Father Maren and I broke object supposed to contain his soul it was rather...underwhelming."
Anonymous
c77989a
?
No.152849
152850
>>152848
Both mares look in astonishment

“I… I didn’t know he did that. You two travelled a lot back in the day?”
Silver "The Floof" Sword
212df33
?
No.152850
152851
>>152849
"Actually, it was only few days ago, here in Baltimare."
Anonymous
c77989a
?
No.152851
152852
CD9110C0-55F9-4E9C-B810-4AC7F2DF9631.png
>>152850
“… there are liches in Baltimare….”
Silver "The Floof" Sword
212df33
?
No.152852
152853
>>152851
Silver is quick to correct.

"Was, there was one lich in Baltimare, but now he and his undead minions are no more. There is nothing to worry about in that regard."
Anonymous
c77989a
?
No.152853
152854
AD497EE6-F3D4-4092-BE57-7CCFB258FFCF.jpeg
>>152852
“Um… okay…”
Silver "The Floof" Sword
212df33
?
No.152854
152872
>>152853
If the scared nun is close enough, Silver gives her some reassuring pets.
Silver "The Floof" Sword
8e7a241
?
No.152863
wonders how the nun will react
Anonymous
c77989a
?
No.152872
152873
>>152854
Silver’s hoof simply hits the top of the coif, though the ears underneath seem to go down in reaction to the touch.
Silver "The Floof" Sword
212df33
?
No.152873
152899
>>152872
pet pet pet
Anonymous
c77989a
?
No.152899
152900
>>152873
mare is pet pet pet

As the coif is pressed down closer to her head, she closes her eyes, lowers her ears, and lowers her head somewhat, scrunching.
Silver "The Floof" Sword
212df33
?
No.152900
152905
>>152899
"There there, everything is alright."
Anonymous
c77989a
?
No.152905
152906
>>152900
"I'll... I'll have to ask him about that" She replies
Silver "The Floof" Sword
212df33
?
No.152906
152911
>>152905
Until he feels she grows tired of the pets, he continues. As a matter of fact, he starts to pet the other nun.

"You are quite nice to pet, you know?"
Anonymous
c77989a
?
No.152911
152912
>>152906
scrunchy face
Silver "The Floof" Sword
212df33
?
No.152912
152913
>>152911
"This does not happen often, I take it? You seem starved for attention and contact."
Anonymous
c77989a
?
No.152913
152915
5C7626DE-80C9-4035-9F84-46F7915D2986.jpeg
>>152912
This makes both of them more offended than they already are
Silver "The Floof" Sword
212df33
?
No.152915
152916
>>152913
"Heh...sorry."

Silver finally stops.
Anonymous
c77989a
?
No.152916
152917
>>152915
“I’m doing just fine, thank you very much.” She answers.
Silver "The Floof" Sword
212df33
?
No.152917
152918
>>152916
What's the other nun's reaction to that whole event?
Anonymous
c77989a
?
No.152918
152919
>>152917
Mostly, she looks away towards the stage at the foals practicing. Until Silver starts touching her, in which even she is likewise offended.
Silver "The Floof" Sword
212df33
?
No.152919
152920
>>152918
Silver looks at the nuns.

"Did you not enjoy pets?"
Anonymous
c77989a
?
No.152920
152921
D200C50D-30CB-4E65-A836-B93A79DA9500.jpeg
>>152919
The green mare readjusts her coif.
Silver "The Floof" Sword
212df33
?
No.152921
152922
>>152920
Silver tilts his head at the nun.
Anonymous
c77989a
?
No.152922
152923
>>152921
"I prefer not to be touched."
Silver "The Floof" Sword
212df33
?
No.152923
152924
>>152922
"Ah. My apologies."

He bows slightly to the nuns.

"Anyways, do either of you know where Sister Marery typically resides?"
Anonymous
c77989a
?
No.152924
152926
>>152923
The grey one answers,
"Today, she'll probably be out in the garden."
Silver "The Floof" Sword
212df33
?
No.152926
152927
>>152924
Silver looks to see what the performers are currently doing.
Anonymous
c77989a
?
No.152927
152928
>>152926
They are reciting lines, first repeating them by rote to memorize them, then trying to intone them correctly. The two mares sometimes speak to give directions.
Silver "The Floof" Sword
212df33
?
No.152928
152929
>>152927
Silver smiles, and says out loud, "Good luck with play, White Orchid!"
Anonymous
c77989a
?
No.152929
152930
>>152928
White Orchid looks over, and waves a hoof to Silver. He starts to walk towards Silver, and opens his mouth, but stops himself.
Silver "The Floof" Sword
212df33
?
No.152930
152932
>>152929
Silver, however, does not, and asks, "What is it?"
Anonymous
b2fe224
?
No.152931
152932
>>152796
Ooh colt, Iron thinks to himself with a slight tinge of nervousness, she might need more than just a luxury day at this rate.
He soon turns to Cauldron with a neutral look. "Which way is fastest to get to our destination?" he soon inquires, just to know for sure before committing to the hill climb again.
Anonymous
c77989a
?
No.152932
152933 152936
>>152930
White Orchid speaks out, interrupting a recitation by the filly:

"When will you be back?"

>>152931
>Which way is fastest to get to our destination?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jh09uIN6tl0

White Sands stands up, walks over to her right, and hops down a series of hoofholds in the side of partly rocky, partly muddy, and partly grass covered 15 foot drop on the hillside. She descends rapidly, at one point jumping early because the dirt slips out from under her. She arrives at the bottom, walks towards Iron, and then passes him, whipping her now frazzled and muddy long, desire-red tail at Iron. She walks behind him towards the entrance of the ruins, asking,
"Where'd you put them?" Without looking back

Black Cauldron seems a bit taken off guard by Sand's actions, but after a delay answers Iron's question
"Fastest? Uh, probably cutting across the mountainside. This river will lead right to it though."
Anonymous
b2fe224
?
No.152933
152934
>>152932
Iron was similarly surprised at being hit by tail hairs on his face, scrunching his snout ever so slightly. "In the building, inside one of the smaller rooms," he quickly replies.

Having said that, he soon faces Cauldron with a somewhat pensive look. Sands really seems to be gunning for going down river rather than the mountain side. Has she seen a big roadblock ahead or something?
"...it may be better to go along the river," he muses neutrally once again before tentatively following the unicorn along.
Anonymous
3ba74a1
?
No.152934
152935
>>152933
White Sands, however, isn’t going to the river. She’s going the opposite direction of the final prize. She goes right through the open door frame of the brick wall, and into the skeleton of the ruined grinding mill.
Anonymous
b2fe224
?
No.152935
152937
>>152934
Iron figures Sands is most likely going to finish them off or pickpocket them, he soon decides not to follow her and promptly turns towards the river instead, hoping the unicorn's assessment of that route is more worthwhile than his idea of the mountain pass. "No time to waste," he said out loud as he cautiously trotted towards what he hopes is their objective.
Silver "The Floof" Sword
212df33
?
No.152936
152937
>>152932
Silver smiles before he gives his answer

"I am not leaving yet, I just need to ask Sister Marery question and check on Mala. I will give you proper goodbye before I leave."
Anonymous
4a06f2f
?
No.152937
152938 152939
>>152935
[1d5 = 5]

Meanwhile, Black Cauldron has unfolded the map and is sitting down evidently attempting to read it, and White Sands has left line of sight.

>>152936
“Okay!”
He waves
Silver "The Floof" Sword
212df33
?
No.152938
152942
>>152937
He waves back, leaves his seat, and navigates his way to the orphanage's garden.
Anonymous
b2fe224
?
No.152939
152940
>>152937
Seeing Cauldron sit down and unfold the map to re-check it makes Iron's trot stop to look back at the zebra mare with a raised eyebrow. "Something wrong?" he asks.
Anonymous
c77989a
?
No.152940
152941
>>152939
She moves the map around
"Just... making sure of where we are going."

White Sands is still gone. The path by the river has dead plants, dead trees, mud, dirt, and logs, but is clearer than the river path further up stream.
Anonymous
b2fe224
?
No.152941
152942
>>152940
Iron walks back towards Cauldron with a small raise of his eyebrow, unsure how long she needs to properly reroute herself. "Can I help in any way?" he offers in an attempt to speed things along.
Anonymous
c77989a
?
No.152942
152943 152974
>>152938
Silver leaves through the walkway, then out of the back of the room, and likely has a difficult time - at first - finding the garden. Going outside he sees a big vegetable garden, but this is not the garden. He likely also sees more than one mare, but upon asking, they are not Sister Marery. Eventually, he is directed to a rose garden, where he sees a nun he can be relatively certain is Sister Marery.

>>152941
"Be patient. And stop trying to split us up. We came here in a group for a reason. It's dangerous to be alone, and small distracted mares are very easy prey. Now, I think we are here, and I think we are supposed to be here. That's by a big bridge and a larger roadway, and an abandoned mill... Now, we can get there going over land by this way, or we can follow the river... this way. But once we get it, it's not going to be easy to get out."
She points at various places on the map, and does not look up.
Anonymous
b2fe224
?
No.152943
152944
>>152942
"So there is no routes that would allow us to leave with the stuff?" Iron asks with a small tilt of his head.
Anonymous
c77989a
?
No.152944
152945
>>152943
She looks up at him to answer
"Oh there are routes. If it could be brought in, it can be brought out again. The question is how."
Anonymous
b2fe224
?
No.152945
152946
>>152944
Iron pouts slightly, already feeling it's going to be more of a spur of the moment route taking, before exhaling lightly. "Do you think you will be alright out here?" he asks soon after. "I want to see if Sands has finished her business in there."
Anonymous
c77989a
?
No.152946
152947
>>152945
She looks up at him.
“Yeah, I’ll be alright I think. Just… don’t take too long, okay? And don’t go too far.” She answers
Anonymous
b2fe224
?
No.152947
152948
>>152946
Iron simply nods at Cauldron's request before finally entering the presumed abandoned mill where he hid the bodies from the two canines in order to see if Sands was still with them.
Anonymous
c77989a
?
No.152948
152949
>>152947
Entering in, Iron sees nothing besides the decrepit circle of rust that was once, presumably, a machine, and debris on the floor. Iron turns the corner to see White Sands standing up, turned towards him, by the two Diamond Dogs. She looks startled, though she must have heard him enter the room.
Anonymous
b2fe224
?
No.152949
152950
>>152948
Iron simply stands there, eyebrow raised at her sudden startled behavior before peering over at the state of the two big dogs just in case they have somehow woken up from their forced slumber.
Anonymous
c77989a
?
No.152950
152951
>>152949
One of them looks dazed, but is still disabled on the ground. The other one is definitely not conscious. White Sands simply wordlessly moves around Iron, probably rubbing against him in the process.
Anonymous
b2fe224
?
No.152951
152952
>>152950
Glancing in mild puzzlement at Sands' retreating, Iron opts to instead walk over to the dazed diamond dog in question while idly scratching the side of his head with a spare hoof, curious to see what's up.
Anonymous
c77989a
?
No.152952
152953
>>152951
The Diamond Dog is breathing, laying on his back, and his eyes are partly open. It isn’t clear if he is at all conscious or aware, but he’s certainly not awake.
Anonymous
b2fe224
?
No.152953
152954
>>152952
With his curiosity growing, Iron promptly pokes the dazed dog in his snout to see just how cognizant he is of his current situation.
Anonymous
c77989a
?
No.152954
152955
>>152953
“Ehhh…” The Diamond Dog makes a soft, vocalized sound, but he does not move. Not even his eyes move.
Anonymous
b2fe224
?
No.152955
152956
>>152954
The stallion pokes him again, getting just a mite worried over his current status and what this could mean. What happened in here with Sands?
Anonymous
c77989a
?
No.152956
152957
>>152955
“You really did a number on him” Sands breaks the silence. “It must have been you, surely. I don’t believe the zebra could do that.” She looks down at the Diamond dogs with a smile. “Not one, but two. And with bare hooves.”
Anonymous
b2fe224
?
No.152957
152958
>>152956
Iron's ears perk up at Sands' voice, causing him to promptly look back up to face her proper with a puzzled look on his face coupled with a small, proud smile. "It is what I am supposed to do best," he replies with a nod.
Anonymous
c77989a
?
No.152958
152959
>>152957
“And indeed you do.” She answers. “I saw how you were with that cat-thing. You kicked it right in the face.”
Anonymous
b2fe224
?
No.152959
152960
>>152958
Iron nods again, smile losing some of its luster. "I am sure you two could have used some warning," he tentatively admits, not too proud over that.
Anonymous
c77989a
?
No.152960
152961
>>152959
“No.” She says, looking past him, and her smile likewise fading.

“I could see it.” She starts to move around the corner wall, back into the main room, to the hallway and out the door frame to the outside.
Anonymous
b2fe224
?
No.152961
152962
>>152960
The native exhaled softly through his nostrils in turn, taking one last glance at the dazed dog before slowly starting to walk back out where Cauldron was with that pressing question on his mind: What happened in there?
Anonymous
c77989a
?
No.152962
152963
>>152961
Black Cauldron is sitting down in the same spot as before. She watches the two come out.
“What were you doing in there?” She asks, seemingly in curiosity.

“Just admiring your stallion’s hoof work. You’re so lucky, really, that he’s here to rescue you from these sticky situations.”

Black Cauldron doesn’t seem to know what to think about these words, as White Sands walks forward. Cauldron begins folding the map.
Anonymous
b2fe224
?
No.152963
152964
>>152962
Iron's ear swivels at Sands' words, somehow feeling a little guilty over them as if it was solely his fault alone that she sounds so humble and supportive after barking at them to hurry this along a minute ago.
Regardless, they all came here for a reason, and seeing everypony is seemingly ready to continue, Iron quickly sets course for the river, as Sands had indirectly suggested.
Anonymous
c77989a
?
No.152964
152965
>>152963
White Sands moves ahead quickly, assuming the lead. Black Cauldron is the slowest, coming in behind Iron. She remarks, almost as if to herself.

“You didn’t have to kill the cat.”
Anonymous
b2fe224
?
No.152965
152966
>>152964
Iron swivels his ear once again at Cauldron's comment, but he'd rather not argue about it until they were at least back on a safe place. Poor creature was suffering insurmountable amounts of diseases and wounds and he couldn't just let it bleed out. If only he had the magical stuff the shamans had back at the tribe...
Anonymous
c77989a
?
No.152966
152967
>>152965
“Could have kept it, and sold it.” Black Cauldron remarks further.

Iron may have no interest in arguing, but White Sands is in a rather argumentative mood. She replies,
>”Who would want to buy it?”

“People buy animals like those.”

>”Why would you want one? It’s a dangerous wild animal. Unless you’re buying one to kill your neighbor’s pet rats, I don’t see the point.”

“Rich creatures who like to show off, and animal lovers.”

>”Those poor rich creatures, I’m sorry they lost a pet that could terrorize the groundskeeper.”

“These aren’t that dangerous. That one probably only attacked because it was very hungry.”

>”It tried to eat your coltfriend.”

“Only under very bad circumstances. It’s just doing what it can to survive.”

>”And so am I by shooting it. I’m rather happy it failed to survive.”

“We could have kept it and sold it.”

>”How? Would you want to carry it? Share a rail car with it? Where would you put it? In your apartment?”

“I just would rather not have seen it’s skull crack.”

>”Nor would I have wanted to have seen or done so many of the things I’ve seen and done, yet here I am.”

“Well, …” Black Cauldron does not complete the sentence, nor does she respond.
Anonymous
b2fe224
?
No.152967
152968
>>152966
"It was going to die either way," Iron finally interjected, wanting to snuff out the argument once and for all in order for them to focus. "Unless you had the things to actually save it, there was no chance for it to survive."
Anonymous
c77989a
?
No.152968
152969
>>152967
“Maybe.” Black Cauldron cautiously adds. “I don’t know.”
Anonymous
b2fe224
?
No.152969
152970
>>152968
Iron exhales softly before finally turning his head towards Cauldron with a softer look. "If you want to capture and sell sickly animals," he continues "then you got to be sure about your capacity to heal them enough to at least stave off death. Now let us focus back on what we came here for."
Anonymous
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No.152970
152971
>>152969
Black Cauldron scrunches and bares teeth, but otherwise shuts up. The trio continue across mud and rocky ground, past old dead trees, and occasionally newer logs that line the riverside, and require carefully moving over them.