1089 replies and 73 files omitted.
"It's a new policy, but if they were authentic they would know it exists–"
Amber feels increasingly dismayed with this turn of events.
"Bandits have also been known to smuggle police uniforms…" she says uncertainly.>>168999 →>pic related
She finds that she has a knife, an 8-inch pot, a mask, a small... fetish? totem thing? and a bracelet
I'll need to find a way to identify these later.
Are there any notable events during the ride back to lord Lament's lair?
No. Going up, and turning along a street, they go through a military check point. Mason directs Posey to be calm, and simply present the ID. He says it's okay, because it doesn't prove there were near the scene of... well, anything. There seems to be more military presence in this area. They go down a different road to go back through the city, beside even taller buildings and better lit streets. They pass yet another checkpoint exiting the city, and then are out. Back to Lament's Manor, uneventfully.
What time is it when they get back?
"Thank you for your service, dear." Posey addresses Mason politely as she steps out of the vehicle
She entered the mansion.
I think this may need a dice roll>>169005
At least 10 PM
Mason is silent and watches her as she enters. When she enters, she hears music playing.
The night is young though.
Posey is a nocturnal creature, and her energy only grows as the night moves on.
But mine doesn't, and I had a 10 hour shift today, so I'll leave this for another night.
Interesting story arch so far, btw.
The Engineer finds Amber's story unconvincing. Exactly equally as unconvincing as Grismonde's story. He throws up his claws.
Amber knows that she would be among the first to be questioned anyway, and she very much doubts she or her compatriots would withstand the weight of the Inquisition's scrutiny. It would be no worse in her eyes to prolong the chase a little longer.
"Do not take the chance. Let me take full responsibility. Full speed ahead.">>169007
Yours is too!
One thing left for Amber to do...
The engineer looks out of the window, and sees that a couple of the officers - two out of about six plus an obvious leader - have guns on them. One of them levels the gun towards the locomotive, which seems to be the final straw. He pulls on the accelerator, and gives full steam to the pistons. Then he blows the whistle, as a couple of the officers are either on the track, or dangerously close. The train starts to pick up speed just barely in time.
Amber's heartrate definitely spikes as the train takes off. She huddles within the locomotive's cab and makes sure none of the officers madly attempt to climb on, before heading back into the coaches.
Amber really can't be sure that they aren't going to climb on, but she can certainly head back to the coaches.
Oh the dilemma…how far is it to the next station? Are there any stations before the border?
Maybe... 20 miles to Soldau?
Amber will stay in the cab until the locomotive itself is safely past the officers.
The locomotive barrels past them, blowing the whistle, and still accelerating until it hits 100 kmph again. Amber can see as she moves past them that they are visibly pissed off. The engineer calls in.
"Officer alleging to be a Germar Grismonde of the Inquisition called to stop five miles from the Hellquill border. Refused to provide verification when asked. Train continued ahead to avoid possible robbery by bandits impersonating officers."
Amber does not hear the response, if there is one at all.
Amber goes into the first coach, locking the door behind her. She clears her voice and speaks to the passengers.
"Ladies and gentlegriffs, please remain calm. We received a message claiming to be from local authorities who refused to provide confirmation of who they said they are. They are likely bandits impersonating officers to try to gain access to the train. We are resuming our journey to Hellquill. Again, I ask for your cooperation and to remain calm."
This incites some whispering and talking amongst the passengers. In particular, Amber may notice that same rapscallion from much earlier, now moved to the second of the first coach car, squirming in his seat.
Amber can't spare any time to gossip. She proceeds down the carriages, giving the same speech to the passengers in each, and looks for her fellow fugitives.
A griffin does stop Amber to ask "Are we safe?" and slow her down, but mostly the response is either concerned silence, or talking amongst themselves.
Amber finds her comrades around about car four.
"Wait, what?" Erich says aloud from halfway across the car when Amber says it.
"Don't worry, we'll reach Hellquill very quickly where we'll be safe," Amber answers truthfully.
Amber holds up a claw to quiet him until she finishes. When she does, she moves over to him and whispers, "I wish we hadn't stopped at all, but I convinced the engineer to keep us moving. I need to keep the passengers calm so please look out in case any 'bandits' have climbed aboard. Make sure Helder and Federkleid stay with you."
Poesy takes a moment to redo her mane (a habit she's learned to do on the fly without mirrors), before she makes her appearance in the manor.
What kind of music is it?
For work related reasons by availability this weekend is limited>>169029>>169030>>169028
The music playing sounds like sheet music from just shy of a century ago, made for popular consumption. It's a song about love, and the emotion teeters or even seesaws between saccharine and melancholy. The version played here is vocalized by a mare and is clearly much more recent than the original song's writing.
Posey doesn't see anyone immediately, though entering slowly into the primary parlor, she can see that Licorice Lament is sitting down, alone, or at least, alone in the parlor.
>>169031>The music playing sounds like sheet music from just shy of a century ago, made for popular consumption. It's a song about love, and the emotion teeters or even seesaws between saccharine and melancholy.
Sounds like exactly the kind of music Posey would like.
Poesy struts into the room gracefully, the bones on her armor rattling subtly as she glides across the floor.
"Fancy yourself well, Lord Lament?" Posey implores
"I paid a visit to the homes of our late friends. Customs didn't leave very much in their wake, but it wasn't a fruitless endeavor."
"Hmmm?" His eyes open. He appears to have fallen asleep. Oddly early in the night to do that.
He moves his head and looks over towards Posey. He reaches out to pick up a glass of wine, but there is none there.
"What did you find?" He asks, not terribly drowsy despite having just woken up
"Not very much, to be frank.." Posey says
"Although I did find some things of interest in [insert forgotten name here]'s lair. Seems as though customs overlooked them."
She produces the mask, the bracelet, and the fetish.
"Magic." she says, levitating the three items on display
"I also had a chat with the relatives of another of our friends. I doubt they'll be of any help to us, although I think I might like to give the kaftar clergy a visit some day."
>>169034>[insert forgotten name here]scrunch
"Ah, so you did recover something. I would have thought everything would have been looted by now."
He gives a hint of a smile at Posey's last comment
"Now why is that?" He asks
"Customs killed the next in line for the head priest of the Kaftar temple, Agire. If my hunch is correct, Agire's affiliation with the league suggests he might have been savvy on leading his temple in a direction favorable to us." Posey says
"Since his death, the Kaftar's have been reeling. The temple has no successor. They'll need to replace him at some point, unless..."
she gives a bit of a manic grin
"...what if they didn't?"
His smile indicates that he's pleased with Posey's general direction
"What do you mean?"
"I'm thinking..." she reclines on the couch
"What if Agire returned from the grave, at his full power, and took over the temple, ready for vengeance?"
"Not just Agire, but all our friends.. Dumare, perhaps even Umoya. What if they all rise from the grave?"
He raises his eyebrow
"From what I've heard and seen... it wouldn't be the first time."
"I may only be an apprentice in the arts, but I know that the secrets to raise the dead lie not only in the self, but the dark powers from beyond the void. I've seen it performed some times before, sacrifices slain in rituals that turned them into undead monsters that no mere spell could create. Bodaks, Death Knights, Slaughter Wights, and monsters without name.." Posey reminisces
"Blood magic is the colloquial term, although I prefer to refer to it as an offering to the immortals. It's beyond my powers to raise the dead, but spells aren't the only way to raise a corpse. You could offer a sacrifice to the dark ones, and pray for a miracle.."This is the part where Posey proposes using Sacrifice rules from the Book Of Vile Darkness to attempt to return the corpses as various allied undead monsters. Also why I wanted that Pegasus alive.
Well, it would be pretty cool. That's not exactly a reason though...
Posey is caught off guard that her proposal for pony sacrifice and fiend-worship for the purpose of creating monsters is met with any degree of skepticism.
"... To make some friends?" she says, a bit more sheepishly than her usual commanding tone
She corrects her demeanor
"But really, Sorceresses like Dumare, Priests like Agire, and mages capable of crafting items like Umoya are few and far between, and securing allies to the League is my primary mission. I'd rather not have their skills at the arts lost to history, so on my own time, I'd like to try to bring them back at their full power, some day."
"True. Building alliances is likely your most important task here in Equestria." He twists his face "If you wanted to be all business."
"But your mission here, as I understand it, is less about power than knowledge."
"True, true. I came here to improve my knowledge of the arts, and by extension my powers. I also came to learn about Equestria, learn how the ponies and other creatures go about their ways, and how to bring this nation to it's knees. In less than a night, I feel like I've learned more about the world than I ever did reading about it in Magehold."
She shakes herself off a little bit, and reclines on one of the couches
"Perhaps I'm jumping the gun a little. Our legions haven't even laid their siege on the Arcturian order, and yet I'm already dreaming of conquering Equestria... Agire, Dumare, and Umoya aren't going anywhere anytime soon, and neither am I." she tosses her mane
"So I guess I can afford to relax a little." she says, leaning back
I have to sleep. Goodnight.
He takes a moment, but seems to understand.
"Very well. I do not know if those bastards have followed us, but they cannot get far." He says.>>169065gasp
Hey! You can't say that!
Amber briskly nods, glad to have friends aboard which eases her worries somewhat. She continues systematically telling the passengers about what happened. Once she finishes she is intent on finishing punching the tickets before they arrive at Hellquill.
With the power, err, magic of friendship, Amber continues checking tickets. The passengers are uneasy, but cooperative. Also that old griffin found his ticket (it fell on the floor). Hooray for small miracles.
Until Amber hears a loud knocking on the roof of the last train car.
The knocking jolts her. She weighs her actions. She could try to warn the others, but not only would she be abandoning this car for a short time but she could be spotted. Instead, she looks around for some kind of implement, anything really, to keep the "bandits" at bay.
At the very end of the coach is the bremserhaus, a small room to house the brakeman. The room has clearly since been converted into a general storage room, including housing a bucket and possibly other items of interest, as the brakes were upgraded to air compression years ago. But the room still contains a large wrench with a rather long handle, just incase.