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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.
1787 replies and 27 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
4a06f2f
?
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.
Anonymous
b2fe224
?
No.152971
152973
>>152970
Iron didn't mind taking things slow and careful, making sure to keep up with Sands leading the way currently.
Anonymous
c77989a
?
No.152973
152977
>>152971
The trio continue their way across logs, past unhealthy trees, and past medium sized animals - goats? Alpacas? Hard to say without taking the time to look at each one - that graze just a little further up the hillside on each side of the river, but do not come down to drink from it. On the opposite side of the bank, the river splits off southward, and Iron and company must turn around the bend onto a tributary that mergers at the fork. This new river is a big wider, with more flow than the last, and the banks are taller and wider apart with steep slopes up hill sides. They walk through another black rivulet that joins with the river, though this one is mercifully shallower and more full of stones than the last, although it is much wider. The group comes to a particularly wide section with exposed mud and a shallower slope, in view of a large, iron truss bridge.

Black Cauldron speaks after her long silence.
"I think it might be here. Or very near here."
Silver "The Floof" Sword
d23ebde
?
No.152974
152975
>>152942
"Hello? Sister Marery?"
Anonymous
c77989a
?
No.152975
152976
>>152974
She turns
"Yes? Oh. Fancy to see you here again. What was your name? 'Silver'?"
Silver "The Floof" Sword
d23ebde
?
No.152976
152978
>>152975
Silver nods.

"Yes, Silver Sword. I was hoping you could tell me what it takes to adopt, or become foster parent."
Anonymous
b2fe224
?
No.152977
152978
>>152973
Iron looks left to right, wondering where she might be pointing at exactly on where to go. He was expecting it to be inside a cave, and this place didn't really look like one.
Anonymous
c77989a
?
No.152978
152980 153001
>>152976
“Adoption? Well, that’s under the law of the autonomous zone now. I don’t quite have the requirements memorized. Generally there must be a married couple with no prior felonies. The orphanage tries to prioritize practicing members of the church, though I don’t think the autonomous zone allows us to make that a condition. As for being a foster parent, that may be easier, because it isn’t subject to the same laws.”

>>152977
This is very nearly the opposite of a cave, out in the open, in the middle of a river and its wide, sandy bank.
Anonymous
b2fe224
?
No.152980
152981
>>152978
"So where exactly is the thing?" Iron whispers out loud to Cauldron, unsure where to start looking.
Anonymous
c77989a
?
No.152981
152982
>>152980
“In the mud. By the river. Or in the river.” She answers
Anonymous
b2fe224
?
No.152982
152983
>>152981
Iron nods, now understanding why they were here. Without further doubts, he soon starts scanning the places Cauldron highlighted as possible spots for the package to be in.
Anonymous
c77989a
?
No.152983
152984
>>152982
Roll spot
Anonymous
b2fe224
?
No.152984
152985 152986
>>152983
[1d20+2 = (7+2) = 9]<Spot
Anonymous
c77989a
?
No.152985
152986
>>152984
Not quite
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3iFJpGJiug

[1d20+1 = (20+1) = 21]

[1d20 = 19]
Anonymous
c77989a
?
No.152986
152987
>>152985
>>152984
Iron doesn't have much luck in his little section of the river, but Black Cauldron moves to a section just a little further down, closer to the bridge. There, an angular piece of rotted wood sticks out of rows of mud, exposed in the low water levels of the river. And below this, sticks up an exposed portion of rusted iron. White Sands sees this too, and she rushes out closer to inspect it.
Anonymous
b2fe224
?
No.152987
152988
>>152986
Iron, noticing the other two grouping up, promptly trots towards where the two mares were looking.
Anonymous
c77989a
?
No.152988
152989
>>152987
The mud is not completely exposed. Rather, portions of it are an inch or two submerged beneath the river water, while portions stick out. White Sands more so that Black Cauldron tries to get near it.

White Sands:
"So... What is it?"

Black Cauldron:
"Large iron containers, each filled with about 76 pounds of metallic mercury. They were on a cart on the edge of the cliff, up there. But they fell, or rather I think the ground beneath the cart fell into the river, and they were lost for almost a century. A year or so ago, heavy rains washed away much of the soil, and you can see them now while the river is low. And that is what we are here for; these flasks."
Anonymous
b2fe224
?
No.152989
152990
>>152988
Iron does not try to eagerly get his hooves on it, remembering the harness that had been placed on it precisely because it was going to come into use but doesn't quite understand how it would work, so he simply allows Cauldron to explain how they should take out the packages out.
Anonymous
c77989a
?
No.152990
152991
>>152989
Black Cauldron stares at it for a minute longer:
"It looks like they are still buried in mud."
Anonymous
b2fe224
?
No.152991
152992
>>152990
With that observation, Iron soon leans into the mud, grabs the containers with his mouth and carefully tries to pull him out.
Anonymous
c77989a
?
No.152992
152993
>>152991
Either Iron's teeth will break off like so many corn kernels off of a cob, or the rusted outer layers of the flask will peel off into Iron's mouth in a similar way, but with certainty, the ~37 kilogram flask will not so easily be pulled out of the suction of the mud.
Anonymous
b2fe224
?
No.152993
152994
>>152992
Iron exhaled softly, mouth still holding the thing but not attempting to pull it. "Sthuck," he mumbles, somewhat frustrated.
Anonymous
c77989a
?
No.152994
152995
>>152993
Black Cauldron opens Iron's own bag, and pulls out a relatively small shovel.

"Dig around it, then use both hooves to pull it out. Or place a rope or something under the bottom and pull it out. There are more under the mud."
Anonymous
b2fe224
?
No.152995
152996
>>152994
Letting go of the container, Iron soon takes the shovel, looks at it for a few seconds before ultimately sinking the pointy end near the most visible container to start his digging progress.
Anonymous
c77989a
?
No.152996
152997
>>152995
Hmmm... roll strength for total effect
Anonymous
b2fe224
?
No.152997
152998
>>152996
[1d20+5 = (12+5) = 17]<Dig Dig
Anonymous
c77989a
?
No.152998
153000
>>152997
Iron successfully excavates around the one Iron flask. But what is more, he's found another two, and what looks like a third in a grouping. He's also found ruined wood, rocks, and discoloration in the mud.
Anonymous
b2fe224
?
No.153000
153002
>>152998
Iron takes one look at the time of day before looking at Cauldron. "How long should we stay here?"
Hopefully Sands or Cauldron are already starting to place the container he dug out on him or in a safe, unsinkable place.
Silver "The Floof" Sword
212df33
?
No.153001
153002
>>152978
"Hmm, marriage. Alright. Say you started fostering foal, and then got married at later date. Could you then adopt foal you were fostering?"
Anonymous
c77989a
?
No.153002
153003 153005
>>153000
*screams internally*
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f5BSyFjKGkg

It's mid afternoon.

Black Cauldron:
"We need to leave quickly."

White Sands:
"As long as it takes."

The flasks, which weigh a little bit more than eighty pounds, are located in thick mud where there isn't really a firm location to stand. The mares are unable or unwilling to pick the flasks up themselves.

>>153001
"Well.... perhaps?"
Anonymous
b2fe224
?
No.153003
153004
>>153002
With a shrug, Iron places one of the flasks himself with his mouth while glancing at Sands to use her telekinesis to safely secure it on him before continuing to dig out the rest.
Anonymous
c77989a
?
No.153004
153007
>>153003
And again, the item resists being removed so easily. It's not the heaviest of all possible items, but it does weigh the same as a bag of cement, or two thirds of White Sands' body weight, or eleven rifles. Neither Iron's mouth nor White Sand's magic will free it from its century-long tomb of silt and clay.
Silver "The Floof" Sword
212df33
?
No.153005
153006
>>153002
He smiles.

"I am interested, but I need bit of time before I can do so. Need to set up room for foal and all of that."
Anonymous
c77989a
?
No.153006
153008
>>153005
"Hmmm..." She closes her lips together. "Well that's lovely that you want to help."
Anonymous
b2fe224
?
No.153007
153009
>>153004
Scrunching lightly, Iron opts to instead pick it up with his hooves and with the aid of Sands' telekinesis guide it to its proper place.
Silver "The Floof" Sword
212df33
?
No.153008
153009
>>153006
Silver continues to smile for a bit, before a more somber expression takes hold.

"I am not sure it is my place to ask, but...what happened to cause White Orchid and Mint Marine to be where they were, in that horrible 'business'?"
Anonymous
c77989a
?
No.153009
153010 153011
>>153007
Sands is only able to do so much. Iron can pull it up with both forehooves, but doing so causes him to not be able to walk normally. And any effort at lifting places more weight on his hooves, which sink into the mud. It isn't quite quicksand, but it's certainly not solid ground, and every bit of force and weight causes each hoof to sink deeper.

>>153008
She blinks
"What... do you mean?"
Anonymous
b2fe224
?
No.153010
153012
>>153009
Iron's snout scrunches further before glancing at Cauldron. "How fragile is this thing?" he questions, all too eager to chuck it off the mud.
Silver "The Floof" Sword
212df33
?
No.153011
153012
>>153009
"How did they get taken and then sold to that monster, Comte?"
Anonymous
c77989a
?
No.153012
153013 153015
>>153010
"I don't know. It's made of iron and it's already survived a landslide. But's it's been rusting and corroding away for a century, so it's much weaker than before. The quicksilver itself is liquid. It's extremely poisonous, it will dissolve many metals, and it is very expensive. We don't really have an alternative way of carrying it."

>>153011
"Well..." she looks away. "The crime syndicate. They came and took them."
Silver "The Floof" Sword
212df33
?
No.153013
153014
>>153012
"Why did crime syndicate target orphange?"
Anonymous
c77989a
?
No.153014
153016
>>153013
"Because we borrowed money, and we couldn't pay it back..."
Anonymous
b2fe224
?
No.153015
153018
>>153012
Iron frowns softly before an idea pops in his head, pulling out the trusty rope and showing it to the telekinetic pony in the group. "Take this end of the rope and tie it into a really sturdy tree," he requests "and then I will use it to climb out with one of the flasks and can probably go back in to dig a little more."
Silver "The Floof" Sword
212df33
?
No.153016
153018
>>153014
Silver's eyes widen.

"Were there government budget cuts?"
Anonymous
c77989a
?
No.153018
153019 153020
>>153015
White Sands has gotten herself dirtier than Iron may have imagined, standing there knee deep in mud. She takes the rope, and tries to walk back to the shoreline, eventually coming to Cauldron, who looks around for something to tie it to. Fortunately, she seems to have expected something like this to occur, so she has a stake which, when combined with the uprooted trunk of a dead tree, eventually provides a stable base for the rope.

>>153016
“The government doesn’t run the orphanage. The church does. And there’s been all sorts of new expenses, with the new war orphans, the blockade, and getting cut off from Canterlot.”
Silver "The Floof" Sword
212df33
?
No.153019
153021
>>153018
"They really should provide funds. I am sorry to hear that. I can not believe any gang would be so absolutely despicable as to do anything like that. You would have to have no morals in slightest."
Anonymous
b2fe224
?
No.153020
>>153018
Alright, that's enough out of me.
Iron Iron Iron Iron
Anonymous
c77989a
?
No.153021
153022
>>153019
Sister Marery replies to Silver’s first remark first.

No. The government should stay out of it.

Then she says,
“Yes, it’s truly terrible what some ponies will do to others who are down on their luck. But that’s what happens when ponies prioritize money over harmony.”
Silver "The Floof" Sword
212df33
?
No.153022
153023
>>153021
"Do you know whose gang it was?"
Anonymous
c77989a
?
No.153023
153024
>>153022
“Yes. ‘The Waterfront Gang’.”
Silver "The Floof" Sword
212df33
?
No.153024
153025
>>153023
"I figured, they are biggest gang in Baltimare, but which boss from Waterfront Gang did you borrow from?"
Anonymous
c77989a
?
No.153025
153026
>>153024
“Well…” she looks away

Then she looks back to Silver
“I think… well… the lower level was a pony named Street Wise, but I don’t think it was him in charge. I think it was a pony named Bargain Strength.”
Silver "The Floof" Sword
212df33
?
No.153026
153027
>>153025
"Hmm..."

Silver files that information away for later.

"I wonder if other crews within Waterfront Gang know about what they did. They are rather well compartmentalized, to avoid one double-agent from compromising entire gang."
Anonymous
c77989a
?
No.153027
153028
>>153026
She shakes her head
“I don’t… I don’t know. I would rather it remain a secret, and they don’t know that I told you that.”
Silver "The Floof" Sword
212df33
?
No.153028
153031
>>153027
"Hmm. Alright then."

Silver looks around him at the garden.

"On different subject, can you tell me about garden?"
Anonymous
c77989a
?
No.153031
153033
>>153028
She looks down at the flower bushes. Bare of flowers and largely naked in the winter, they appear as messes of thorns.

"In my spare time, I like to tend to flowers. Keep them trimmed, and keep the weeds out."
Silver "The Floof" Sword
212df33
?
No.153033
153035
>>153031
"There is kirin mare I am living with who is trying to start her own garden at our house. Any tips I could pass on to her?"
Anonymous
c77989a
?
No.153035
153036
>>153033
She raises an eyebrow.
“‘Living with’? Is this Ash?”
Silver "The Floof" Sword
212df33
?
No.153036
153046
>>153035
Silver shakes his head.

"No, she is recent immigrant from Ngua Nam named Khoi Lua."
Anonymous
3046ecd
?
No.153042
Spark has been gone a while, but hopefully I can catch up on everything I have to do soon and get back to playing.
Anonymous
c77989a
?
No.153046
153047
>>153036
She nods.

“Oh, okay. So… what did you want to know?”
Silver "The Floof" Sword
212df33
?
No.153047
153048
>>153046
"Well, I suppose first is how we can get started. I also have question about Earth Pony Magic, if it is possible for pony with Earth Pony as parent to have it."
Anonymous
c77989a
?
No.153048
153049
>>153047
“If they are an earth pony, then yes, they should have it. As for how to get started on gardening, well, there’s almost too much to say. I would say you need to start with figuring out what it is you want to garden, and why you are gardening. After that, figure out where you are going to build your garden.”
Silver "The Floof" Sword
212df33
?
No.153049
153050
>>153048
"So...would it be possible for me to have Earth Pony magic?"
Anonymous
c77989a
?
No.153050
153053
>>153049
She smiles
“Every pony has their own magic.”
Silver "The Floof" Sword
212df33
?
No.153053
153054
>>153050
Silver smiles, evidently happy with that answer, and returns to the topic at hoof.

"I believe she wants spice and vegetable garden. She wants to plant some spices especially that come from her homeland. We live in coastal area so we built raised garden walls and are planning on filling it with more fertile soil than what is there in yard."
Anonymous
c77989a
?
No.153054
153055
>>153053
“Using a raised bed with transferred soil means you can make it just right, but be careful if what you use. Not too much manure, not too much clay or sand. Make sure the soil is neither too acidic nor too basic. And know what the plants you are planting need. Do they really grow in the climate of Baltimare? Do they need more water than what the rain provides? And what is the drainage like in your raider beds? What does it need to be? The answers can be different for different plants, so be careful of raising them in the same beds.”
Silver "The Floof" Sword
212df33
?
No.153055
153056
>>153054
"Hmm...there is lot to consider. When you learned how to garden, did you have any books to guide you?"
Anonymous
aff7182
?
No.153056
153057
>>153055
“Yes, there are books. I’m not sure I have any for those kinds of plants, however.”
Silver "The Floof" Sword
212df33
?
No.153057
153058
>>153056
"Did you use any?"
Anonymous
c77989a
?
No.153058
153059
>>153057
“Yes, of course.”
Silver "The Floof" Sword
212df33
?
No.153059
153090
>>153058
"Any you can recommend?"
Shimmering Spark
3046ecd
?
No.153070
I am going to be tied up most of this week and the next, but maybe I can figure out how to get something done this weekend.
Silver "The Floof" Sword
212df33
?
No.153077
Everyone in this thread is a cute pony
Shimmering Spark
3046ecd
?
No.153079
153080 153084
I might just be able to make it tomorrow
Amber Sunset
672ebd7
?
No.153080
>>153079
Same
Shimmering Spark
3046ecd
?
No.153084
153085
>>153079
Well, that didn’t work out. This weekend is going to be a bit less busy though.
Anonymous
9cdeb1e
?
No.153085
153088 153089 153090
b308c.png
>>153084
I'm not a participant, but I enjoy this thread.
Come back soon poners.
Shimmering Spark
3046ecd
?
No.153088
>>153085
Glad to hear you enjoy it. Life has been getting in the way, but we are still around.
Silver "The Floof" Sword
c16eb05
?
No.153089
>>153085
I enjoy (You).
Anonymous
c77989a
?
No.153090
153091
>>153059
“Well… there’s the ‘Encycolpedia of Gardening,’ by Tea Sander. Or ‘A History of Gardening in Equestria’ by Alice Amber. I like ‘A Book About Roses’,that’s it’s name, by Reynard Hole. I suppose if will depend on what sort of gardening you want to do, exactly. I like flowers, Roses in particular.”

>>153085
Yay! A spectator!
Silver "The Floof" Sword
c16eb05
?
No.153091
153092
>>153090
"I suppose that is why you are here in flower garden as opposed to vegetable garden?"
Anonymous
c77989a
?
No.153092
153093
>>153091
“Well, yes. It’s a hobby of mine, really. Sister Leather Sickle knows more about Horticulture generally.”
Silver "The Floof" Sword
c16eb05
?
No.153093
153094
>>153092
"Huh. I did not know Sisters had hobbies."
Anonymous
c77989a
?
No.153094
153095
>>153093
“We don’t have a lot of free time, really.” She cuts a bush with pruning shears. “But what time we do have, we focus productively.”
Silver "The Floof" Sword
c16eb05
?
No.153095
153096
>>153094
Silver looks inquisitively at what she's doing as he asks his next question.

"I imagine...how did you and other Sisters here get into this line of...work, I suppose? Was it calling?"
Anonymous
c77989a
?
No.153096
153097
>>153095
“I don’t know if I’d go so far as to say it is the meaning of my cutie mark, but, we’ll, yes. You could say it is a calling. I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything else.”
Silver "The Floof" Sword
c16eb05
?
No.153097
153098
>>153096
"It must be exhausting work, especially after War."
Anonymous
c77989a
?
No.153098
153099
>>153097
“Yes…. Yes it is…”
Silver "The Floof" Sword
c16eb05
?
No.153099
153100
>>153098
"There is not anything I could do, is there?"
Anonymous
c77989a
?
No.153100
153101
>>153099
“You’ve done so much already. We really can’t express enough how grateful we are.”
Silver "The Floof" Sword
c16eb05
?
No.153101
153102
>>153100
"Well, alright."

He smiles at Sister Marery.

"Thank you for all of your help. I need to check on my friend and make sure he is doing okay."
Anonymous
c77989a
?
No.153102
153103
>>153101
She looks up towards him.
“Very well. Nice to see you today.”
Silver "The Floof" Sword
c16eb05
?
No.153103
153111
>>153102
"As it was wonderful seeing you."

He bows to the nun, and returns to the orphanage building. Not knowing where Mala and Mint Marine are, he looks where Mint came from originally.
Shimmering Spark
Anonymous
3046ecd
?
No.153110
153111
Perhaps I can make it tomorrow.
Anonymous
c77989a
?
No.153111
153112
>>153103
Best guess - back to the room

>>153110
Yay!
Silver "The Floof" Sword
c16eb05
?
No.153112
153113
>>153111
Then that is where Silver goes.
Anonymous
c77989a
?
No.153113
153114
>>153112
A rust brown colt sits outside of the room. Looking into the room - a larger room with multiple beds and a pile of objects on the floor by a bed - is Mint Marine standing with a book opened and propped up on the bed by magic, and Mala sitting in a somewhat awkward looking way, hunched over and looking at the book.
Silver "The Floof" Sword
c16eb05
?
No.153114
153115
>>153113
Silver looks at the rust-brown colt.

"Is something wrong, little one?"
Anonymous
c77989a
?
No.153115
153116
>>153114
The colt sits down, just out of line of sight from the bed at the end of the dorm hall, though he leans over to look in. His hindquarters are on the floor, and his hooves in front of him. His ears are down.

He raises his hoof, and points inside.
“That”
Silver "The Floof" Sword
c16eb05
?
No.153116
153117
>>153115
Silver looks over at Mint and Mala enjoying each other's company, and smiles warmly. He looks over at the colt again.

"What is so wrong with that?"