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DE0B4429-1DD8-4626-8D4B-45DBB2AC6CF9.png
Occupied Equestria - Last Broadcast
Anonymous
fb92046
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No.165000
165002 165005
Continuing
444 replies and 10 files omitted.
Anonymous
fb92046
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No.166518
166519
>>166516
F

That's not terribly far from what could happen

>>166517
The Hayseed must surely be warmer than this, as a cool Fall breeze is stilled by the undergrowth of willows. Amber hears a rustling in the bushes, which is drowned out by the whining sound of the glowing white griffin.
"The wheel got stuck in the mud on the side of the road and... my husband went off ahead with the ox. I've been alone here for I think a few hours and you're the first to come along... surely you can help move our cart here?!"

The other members of Amber's party are no less surprised to see somegriff else on these roads. Then again, they've obviously had some recent use. Erich and Helder are curious though unwilling to be any part of this, and move slightly closer, while Federklied seems unsettled, and moves further away.

Erich replies to Amber's exclamation, if only to divert attention away from the female griffin:
"Never told you what?"
Amber Sunset
83964a7
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No.166519
166520
>>166518
Amber's imagination is evidently running wild again. Ghostly griffins will do that. "I thought for a moment you had a cart waiting. Nevermind."

A wagon would provide some helpful rest while continuing on their way, if only for a short while, but only if it is headed in the same direction. Amber asks the griffin, "Which way are you headed?"
Anonymous
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No.166520
166521
>>166519
She looks up towards Amber and makes eye contact. Her eyes are a yellow-green, or so they seem in the moonlight. Something in her expression makes it look almost as if she wasn't expecting Amber to speak to her.

"Oh, over towards the village. By the river."
Amber Sunset
83964a7
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No.166521
166522
>>166520
Griffons always look odd, but this is definitely one of the less ugly ones.

Amber turns to Helder. "That's not the way we're going, is it?"
Anonymous
fb92046
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No.166522
166524
>>166521
Helder takes a solid three seconds to seem to notice that Amber is speaking to him. But then he turns to Amber.

"Uh, yes. More or less."
Anonymous
fb92046
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No.166523
>>166515
[1d2 = 1]
Amber Sunset
83964a7
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No.166524
166525
>>166522
She blinks at his use of an affirmation for a negative question. "Yes, it's on our way or no, it's not?"
Anonymous
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No.166525
166526
>>166524
He blinks. Between the whining griffin and sleep deprivation he needs a second and a half to ponder Amber's question. "I'm not entirely sure what she's talking about, but it must be near the crossing."
Amber Sunset
83964a7
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No.166526
166527
>>166525
We really do need a rest. And at the very least, helping her might convince her not to divulge if the Inquisition asks questions.

Amber turns back to the griffin in the mundane predicament. "Sure, we'll help," she answers, then looks at the wagon to see how to free it. "Why didn't you use the oxen to pull it out of the mud?"
Anonymous
fb92046
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No.166527
166528
>>166526
When Amber asks her question, the griffin is looking forward and away from Amber. But her eyes immediately move to Amber in acknowledgement of the fact that she is speaking to her. She does not reply immediately. In fact, there is a longer delay. Her eyes look around.

"My husband... the ox... it could not quite pull it out. Not how it was stuck."
Amber Sunset
83964a7
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No.166528
166529
>>166527
"Okay…." There is clearly something this griffon is not being honest about. At least, except for the most paranoid musings she can be ruled out as an agent of the Inquisition. They would not likely come up with an elaborate trick in so short a time, they would not need to make a trap to catch them nor would they do so if they knew Amber's path. She looks to see how precisely it is stuck.
Anonymous
fb92046
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No.166529
166530
>>166528
The left front wheel is on the road, and the left rear wheel is on solid dirt. The front right wheel is in grass, and the right rear wheel is... in a rut? It's hard to see with limited light and the undergrowth
Amber Sunset
83964a7
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No.166530
166531
>>166529
"Only one corner is stuck, so I think we could all lift it out. It would be much easier with the oxen so they can pull. Do you know when your husband will be back?"
Anonymous
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No.166531
166532
>>166530
She blinks
"Sometime."
Amber Sunset
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No.166532
166533
>>166531
Sense motive: [1d20 = 5]
Anonymous
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No.166533
166534
>>166532
Amber is sleep deprived, and quite frankly, isn't the best at seeing through deception. But damn it, there was something off about the delivery of that last line.
Amber Sunset
83964a7
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No.166534
166535
>>166533
Amber blurts out, "Did your husband run off with another griffon?"
Anonymous
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No.166535
166536
>>166534
She looks at Amber blankly and starts laughing,

"Heh heh heh, No."

Helder, Federklied, Erich, and now Amber are all next to the cart. Amber hears more rustling in the undergrowth
Amber Sunset
83964a7
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No.166536
166537
>>166535
Amber has no choice but to admit that perhaps those paranoid musings were right now that the signs are unmistakeable. "It's a trap, run for it!" she shouts, pointing to the direction opposite the rustling and sprinting.
Anonymous
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No.166537
166538
>>166536
Next to the cart, two figures come out of the bushes. By their silhouettes, they must be carrying long guns.

Amber may roll to try to evade
Amber Sunset
83964a7
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No.166538
166539 166540
>>166537
Reflex saving throw: [1d20+2 = (8+2) = 10]
Anonymous
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No.166539
166540 166541
>>166538
Amber can see, out of the corner of her eyes, another figure on the road in front of them, and one behind them, near where the road goes back over water.

[1d20 = 5]
Anonymous
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No.166540
166541
>>166538
>>166539
Amber is able to dive into willows before she can be shot
Amber Sunset
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No.166541
166542
>>166539
>>166540
They have both directions covered! As much as Amber wants to make sure her compatriots are okay, she continues sprinting as far as possible.
Anonymous
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No.166542
166543
>>166541
Amber finds pretty quickly that she can't go very far at all. This location seems to be an island, though it's hard to tell. And the undergrowth is thick. All the same, she can at least, get a little bit aways from the attackers. It's not that hard to hide, with the thick willows and the limited light.
Amber Sunset
83964a7
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No.166543
166544
>>166542
Certainly an excellent place for an ambush, though it still boggles her how in this vast territory they managed to come across a spot prepared in advance. There is no time to dwell on such matters though. How far away are the trees on the other side of the water?
Anonymous
fb92046
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No.166544
166545
>>166543
A significant distance. Amber could honestly believe the water is an inundated field, as the proportions are rather similar.
Amber Sunset
83964a7
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No.166545
166546
>>166544
Trotting in a soggy field isn't pleasant in the best of times, and not being able to see anything as well as taking several minutes to get across….
This is one scenario where it truly is better to hide instead of run. Hide: [1d20+2 = (6+2) = 8]
Anonymous
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No.166546
166547
>>166545
Amber isn't the most subtle, but her task isn't difficult here. The willow bushes cover her, and the rustling of leaves in the breeze make it hard to hear her. One griffin at least looks into the bushes, evidently after Amber. Amber can hear the female griffin asking "where did he go?' But Amber can see that the other party members are being held up with their claws in the air... except for Federklied, who was evidently tackled to the ground by two griffins.
Amber Sunset
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No.166547
166548
>>166546
Drat drat drat…I was hoping the others would make it. There is nothing I can do, I am unarmed and they have guns!
Anonymous
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No.166548
166549
>>166547
And yet, for this, for all of this, Amber knows exactly what would remedy this situation.

Where'd she leave her viol?
Amber Sunset
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No.166549
166550
>>166548
Does she not have it with her? It's the one thing she would never leave behind.
Anonymous
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No.166550
166551
>>166549
Naturally. Just have to ease it away from the road...
Amber Sunset
83964a7
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No.166551
166552
>>166550
She dropped it, didn't she? Amber circles around the hostile band at a distance, trying not to make a sound. Move silently: [1d20+3 = (13+3) = 16]
Anonymous
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No.166552
166553
>>166551
Amber placed it down when she went to talk to the griffin. Fortunately, it was by the bushes.

Amber is able to creep through the bushes, and slowly, slowly, take the viol.

Amber can hear that Federklied had evidently reached for her gun (but the griffins disarmed her), Erich is being... impolite... and Helder is trying to negotiate. It seems they are simple bandits, as they are most interested in possessions of value, and whether or not they can obtain some sort of ransom.
Amber Sunset
83964a7
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No.166553
166554
>>166552
That…makes more sense, and explains why they were unwilling to shoot so as to not attract attention. Now that she has the viol, she retreats a short distance until hidden by the undergrowth.
Anonymous
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No.166554
166555
>>166553
Amber has the viol now. The large instrument is a bit difficult to drag through the undergrowth, but it is possible if one is careful. They have noticed that Amber is missing, and one or two griffins has their attention focused on Amber, though finding out whether or not they are proactively looking for her, or simply keeping guard if she returns, would require reentering line of sight with them.
Amber Sunset
83964a7
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No.166555
166556
>>166554
Although a plan has already brewed in her head, for now she will stay silent and listen to what's going on.
Anonymous
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No.166556
166557
>>166555
One male griffin has taken over interrogation. The griffin is trying to figure out where the group is going, and why. He doesn't quite believe Helder when the latter claims that they are simply travelling to Bronzehill late at night after their train was cancelled, to make it in time for the execution of a will; even if his story is strangely detailed about required witnesses and whatnot. They don't seem to know that Amber's party is fugitives, though they are certainly interested. The government probably would pay a bounty to highwaymen.
Amber Sunset
83964a7
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No.166557
166558
>>166556
Amber personally would have tried claiming that they are also criminals, even to the point of claiming to be thieves, but evidently that would not work either. Apparently the adage "no honor among thieves" holds true in Griffonia as well.

There is really only one thing Amber can do. After rubbing the mud off her talons, she takes her viol out of its case and starts playing a haunting tune.
Anonymous
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No.166558
166559
>>166557
Perhaps it would have; they would likely have taken their watches and let them go, if they believed Amber. But hope is a powerful thing, and it appears the bandits are hoping someone will pay handsomely for Amber's party, be they nobles ransoming relatives, or the government paying a bounty, Right now, the bandit leader's hypothesis is that the group are rebels fleeing after a successful strike, nevermind the fact that rebels fleeing an unsuccessful strike wouldn't be worth as much.

To play a haunting tune, place the bow against the string, and play it slowly. High pitched. Let the sound linger. The bandits will hear it, to be sure. No matter. It isn't for them.

But Amber knows there is True power held in the vibrations.
Amber Sunset
83964a7
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No.166559
166560
>>166558
To play music in a dark forest, on the run from the authorities, with the only unrestrained creatures around being greedy bandits, goes completely against common sense. But what would common sense get her? It would be to either flee as a coward or attempt a nigh-suicidal fight. To play, to put her heart and soul into her music, is what she must do.
Anonymous
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No.166560
166561
>>166559
Amber has spent the last... has it been an hour? Six hours? Longer? Hard to tell... the time has passed in an almost trance-like state, being tired, dazed, stressed and sleep deprived, feeling pain any time she stopped even for a moment. But not she grasps the wood of her viol and bow. Hearing the sound... She feels alive.

Music, Amber knows well, is the ultimate freedom from constraint. Free from the constraint of the limitations of the body. Pure emotion, will, and soul. Free from matter and space and time. Why not play a song for old friends?
Amber Sunset
83964a7
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No.166561
166562
>>166560
She does so, channeling her emotions and love for music into this perfect art form. All other worries and anguish can wait; in fact, they're not even relevant in comparison. Forget material woes and embrace the transcendent nature of music.
Anonymous
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No.166562
166563
>>166561
She saws, back and forth. She closes her eyes to focus on the music. She can hear yelling. The bandits can hear her playing. No matter. They have no power to disrupt true music.

In her mind, the music takes form. Or rather, the music depicts the act of formation. Shapes come into being from nothing; a formless void that is slowly occupied by ever changing and moving colors. Amber can't compare it to a kaleidoscope; the colors of the kaleidoscope give no pretense of tangibility. But these colors seem more like fluids, like moisture accumulating and becoming visible as it hangs in the air.
Amber Sunset
83964a7
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No.166563
166564
>>166562
And so on the music plays. A swamp is nopony's idea of a good theater, nor does it have great acoustics, but qualities in those areas only accentuate music being played. With these melodies being seemingly unearthly, and Amber entirely engrossed in her performance, trivialities do not matter.
Anonymous
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No.166564
166565
>>166563
Amber can feel the wind around her, circling and then sucking upwards. The leaves of every bush and tree rustle, but they cannot overpower the sound of the viol. Amber plays intensely, sawing the bow back and forth with an energy she would not have thought remained within her. The complicated movements of the bow come without mediation of thought as Amber translates her will into music.

The shapes take form. The forms does not correlate with any known, but they do resemble things that fly in the air, one like a bat, and another like an insect. Over here, one mimics the shape of a griffin. They dance around in the air, with their fangs and multiple sets of wings.
Amber Sunset
83964a7
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No.166565
166566
>>166564
There is no time or attention to spare for marveling at such a wondrous thing. Amber attempts to create more frightful tones in her music, to scare away those pesky bandits.
Anonymous
fb92046
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No.166566
166567
>>166565
Indeed, there is no time for wonder. Only for the music.

Another note joins the sound, followed by another chord, until a symphony plays with Amber. If it weren't so painful, she'd be in ecstasy. The recognizable forms lose their shape once again and they twist and morph into oblong clouds of fluid that dance around and transform again.

The music is pierced by the sound of gunshots. Several of them, all from rifles. These cretins don't appreciate music. But her friends do, and this music was made by and for Amber's friends, after all.
Amber Sunset
83964a7
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No.166567
>>166566
Such a cacophony rudely interrupts her music, but she does not stop playing. Her friends will be set free, and her music is tinged with menacing notes to make this clear.