9e2a8 No.81000[Last 50 Posts]
Occupied Equestria: set six years after season 6, it presents an alternative history where Chrysalis chose a different approach to her second attack on Equestria. The Changelings have conquered half of Equestria, while an Equestrian splinter colony - soured to Princesses notion of harmony with all creatures thank to their dealing with griffins - Invaded and took the other half. In Baltimare and the Equestruan Southlands, the magic of friendship has weakened, as Communists, Changeling infiltrators, Fascists, gangs, and even ancient necormancers and dark gods threaten the city and the surrounding regions. This role play is based in large part upon the Equestria at War mod for Hearts of Iron 4, and uses D&d 3.5e mechanics.
In this latest episode, the crew has united once again, and returned in full to the catacombs under the Curwhinny farm. What old secrets they will unearth, whether they will survive without being turned into undead monsters… whether Silver will ever get paid… will be determined in this thread.
First for getting paid.
So, it's pretty damn late, so I think I'm gonna head to bed. Sleep well, everyone, tomorrow we shall conquer this catacomb!
Sister Ash reposes and burns all of the bodies.
I wonder what Ash would think of the situation.
been strangely absent from conversations which I would have thought she'd take an interest in>>81010
Ash discovers a door at the end of her hallway, which is now cleared. Of course, the door is open>>81010
Sister Ash speaks up as she returns from bringing the jars outside.
"By the atrocities that have been committed in this wretched place, I wouldn't be surprised if it were cursed.. Ponies unfortunate enough to wander in unprepared may have perished in various ways.. Who could tell what else may have been attracted to this horrid prison since its abandonment.." She says, before before turning to another corpse and reposing it with a prayer.
"… The Chimera.. was likely a creature that the necromancer captured in order to experiment on.. Such a unique creature, with so many different parts, he must have considered to be a valuable guinea pig.." she spits with disgust
"It may have been locked in that chamber for centuries.. Mindless, emotionless, and without purpose.."
She lifts her head
"The small ones.. the ones that ran earlier.. They couldn't have been anything but children… The vile one who reanimated them may have kidnapped them for the purpose of experimenting if his abominations had the capability of growing.. only to find they did not.." she say through gritted teeth
".. Such pitiful creatures.. Unable to grow older or pass on, doomed to starve forever, so long as they remained reanimated.. They ran from the light at the first chance they they got: their fear of the world superceded their unnatural hostility to living creatures… They've been crawling around down here in the dark, afraid of the outside world.. for all this time.." she says, her tone grim and solemn
Then she her tone picks up, sounding convicted
"They must be reposed. They cannot pass into the next world until the curse that enslaves them is broken. Perhaps, in that next life, they will not be so unfortunate.." She says, biting back tears
She glances back at the hall she came from, where the Sarcophagus laid.
"..That Sarcophagus was of ponish origin, from the region of Somnambula; I read much about them in my studies of ancient clergy. In the past, they practiced.. somewhat different modes of reposition for their nobility.." she says, slightly uncomfortable at the mention.
".. There was mummy dust in that casket. It likely held the corpse of a noble, or a guardian of a precious site, from a bygone age.. Judging by this casters writings, he may have stolen or otherwise acquired the casket for the sake of his reasearch, only to find that he was unable to make it shamble upon his command.. And so he left the casket there, ungaurded and out in the open.."
She glances back once more, seemingly nervous
"… The one who laid there.. may still be in this chamber. Since it does not rest, it must believe that its purpose is yet to be fulfilled. Perhaps that poor one mistook this wretched place for the place it was embalmed to guard; perhaps it is the corpse of a noble, awaiting for its servants to arrive; only time can tell.."
".. A poor soul.. having sacrificed so much for the sake of its faith, only to have its tomb descrated be grave robbers, and brought to this senseless hellhole for such selfish purposes…" She trails off
".. If that one still remains, I would like to sp-speak with it.." she says, trying to show conviction, although
"For that one deserves a proper eulogy, and an explanation of its circumstances, if it is to pass on in peace..">>81012
>>81012>She has been strangely absent from conversations which I would have thought she'd take an interest in
Sister Ash was busy doing reposition prayers, cremating the ghouls in the wells, and delivering those jars of dust to the outside. She knows that undead are still ponies, and believes that their eulogies are long overdo: every moment they spend shambling is a moment they're they're suffering; so she's been prioritizing their services before all else. She wanted to put the jars outside into the sunlight, seeing as how they'd be better off removed from the horrible place that bound them in the time before she liberates them in a proper reposition.
That, and I've been very busy (and sick), plus I can only mobile-post; so my RPing ability has been constrained.I'm taking the liberty to claim that Sister Ash overheard parts of the previous conversations as she was walking back and fourth; because if a slight bonus to perception is all I get for vital statistics, I'm definitely going use that to make up for lost RP time.
She laid the jars in neat stacks, on the side of the house, where they'd get some sunlight, but be out of the way. She tore off part of her gown as a make-shift blanket to lay them on; and she set out a fabric sign next to it with a biohazard symbol on it that says "DO NOT TOUCH".
Iron nods understandingly. "I would agree. These ponies have lost their life a long time ago and they are being puppeteered. We are doing them a favor ending their physical lives." Iron shudders. "To think even foals have been stolen their life from this bastard."
"It's more than just hacking their bodies to pieces." Sister Ash replies
"These are ponies we're talking about. They need to be reposed, not just destroyed. Every shambling corpse you see here, is a pony that was denied its eulogy and burial. Despite the poisoned states of their minds, they're still intelligent, and vaguely aware of their surroundings.. They can understand all of the words you speak near them: Some may even speak back if given a chance…" she says, trailing off with her head drooping as her eyes turn somber
"… The poor things.. all alone and confused…"
"These kinds of things need to be approached like one would hospice care or funerals, not just exterminating 'dangerous creatures'. The dead deserve the same respect the living do, even if they seem dangerous due to their circumstances."
Iron is confused. "What is this 'repose' process then? I thought it was just destroying their bodies for them to be rid of their physical burden. Is there any other way to treat such a creature?"
The pearly dragonmare ruffles her fluff (now exposed after tearing off so much fabric) and takes a long breath, her respect
"… To repose a creature means to see it off to the next life.. to liberate it, from its shambling prison.. Some may go quietly, others may be restrained by their slavers, or the poisonimg of their minds.." Sister Ash says solemnly
"Destroying a shambling corpse is only but a means to an end. Some creatures, through force, confusion, or fear, may, resist their reposition.. In that case, destroying their bodies is merely of method of incapacitating them, so that they can be sent off.." she continues
"A reposition is a funeral, of sorts. An order of respect for the dead, and an acknowledgement of life that was lost. A silent prayer, a flower on the chest, a drop of ceremonial water to the forehead; there are many ways to treat the deceased, so long as there is proper respect. Even those who know nothing of clergy can show respect, in their own ways.." She continues
"Simply regarding the undead as mere 'monsters', hacking apart their desecrated bodies without a shred of remorse and rummaging through their belongings as you tread on their graves, without a word of acknowledgement or the slightest bit of respect for the dead.. Well, that helps nopony.." she says, with a sigh
"The shambling ones are still ponies at their core, behind all their fear and corruption, there is a tortured soul to be released. Before the reposition, be sure to respect the pony you're freeing; for despite the stench and corruption that clings to it, it's a pony like you or me. If the shambler attacks, end the battle quickly: do not defile the corpse of the dead by toying with its once-sovereign body. If it flees in fear, the reposer must pursue it, but regard it is not simply a beast to be hunted: pursue the soul, and begin your prayers, to ease its fear as it is reposed."
Then she looks up once more
"And if the soul neither attacks nor flees, you should approach it with all the respect you would to a living pony. If you have a prayer to give, begin it as you state your purpose, then carry put the reposition swiftly. If the subject replies, acknowledge its sentience, but beware it may try to draw you into its madness as well, for in its rotten misery it may yet lash out in anguish."
Iron nods again. "I understand. I will not fight the undead unless they attack me. Nevertheless, I think the employer wants the undead out of the premises. We can move them after reposition, right?"
*nods, as she reads through part of a book*
"They're better off removed from this place, if not cremated. A pestilent hole like this is no place for corpses to lie." She says, looking around the place with visible disgust
"I think the owners may want to have the site baptised before they build anything here though. This site reeks of malfeasance."
"Be sure to mention it to the employer when we finish the job, whoever it is." Iron finishes his questions, now following Ash out of habit.I'll be AFK for a while, maybe one or two hours at the most. If you need strength rolls or just a pair of hooves to help out, you can roll as you control Iron as well, like Caleb. If the GM allows it of course. Besides that, Iron will not say much until I return.
"It's common sense, if you ask me. I'll try to get to it if I have the chance; it seems as though several duties have piled up on me."
>>81027I severly overestimated my AFK time. Back
"I know. I did say I would help you out, and I mean it." Iron smiles warmly at Ash. "Maybe someone else will try to help out with our problem after this. Silver seems like the stallion to help out, though I doubt that you need extra muscle if diplomacy is your way to go." Iron scratches his head. "Spark seems to have a way with words by how he sneaked by the guards back at the docks, so he could be of use when dealing with the mademares. Onyx is the same as Silver and Star may or may not help depending on how loyal he is for the Black Hooves and if he has the time to spare."
Can we get a roll call for today?
Here. Ash should be here, although he probably needs extra waiting time due to phoneposting.
It seems Dark Star and Onyx are not yet here.
By the looks of it, we may have cleared mist of it, if this side is about as big as the other. Unless of course there's another floor.
Also looks like we could link up with the other side of the right-side hallway.
Plausibly. Only time will tell.
Was there another cavern to clear?
Not as far as I know. We clear the undead from the catacombs, and we should be finished with the job.
Considering there was nothing blocking the cavern, it'd be best to be on guard. Things might be lurking on the outside.
"im still going to shoot them to put them out of their misery. they are dangerous after all, i cant let them hurt anypony else thats living."
Iron shakes his head. "You misunderstand. What she says is that they will not actually die and may come back unless a reposition is done to calm the spirit. You can shoot them if they try to attack you, but it is not going to solve the undead problem. You only postpone it. I trust her judgement in this matter."
"…" The look on Silver's face suggests he doesn't have much faith in finding undead that neither wants to kill them or wants to run away. "…If we come across passive undead, I will keep that in mind. I am just concerned about wisdom of setting so many fires in underground location."
I'm going to have to go eat at some point with the next hour or so.
Sister Ash just shrugs
".. That's just how I understand it. I guess attitudes towards the undead may very by sect. And of course, I'd never expected one to merely accept reposition."
Blue Skies comments for the first time
"Like differences in attitudes towards Changelings or Griffins I guess. Somehow I don't think the undead will be as amiable. But really, this isn't my project here, and I'll let you do as you do"
"I am not sure what Northern Orthodox sects believe when it comes to dealing with undead. All I know is that it is much easier to put undead to rest when they are fully dead. It is also easier to do so with dragon-pony in group."
Silver, as he has been, follows. He works the bolt on his rifle to chamber a new round. "On first sign of trouble, get behind me."
"Overall, the objective is the same: stop the bodies from moving, one way or another." She says with a nod
"I just think a bit of respect is in order.
It goes down some distance, perhaps 40 or so feet, and has a branch to its left after perhaps 20 or so feet. At the end seems to be an open doorway that descends. On the left side are two wooden doors, both seem to be blown open.
Something to note: This is area appears to be in less well condition than the hallways closer to the farm house. Bricks are dislodged, some rocks have come in, and doors are knocked out of place>>81055Goddamn I love the sight, sound, and feel of cycling a bolt on a riflehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9QAGe7s-LOE>>81056
"I guess you have your own objectives, and I have mine"
Sister Ash peaks through the doorway.>>81057
"I'm only here to make eulogies and repose the dead. Consider it charity." She replies
Fug>>81057>It goes down some distance, perhaps 40 or so feet
Fug. This place is bigger than I thought.>*Reconsiders how to use spells from thus point on*
"I do not like look of this." Silver peeks around the corner the left branch as they pass.
"Be Careful, this whole area looks Like it could cave in."
On the ground is a musket, a sword, a hat, and a jacket, right in the little corner where the hallway branches right. Did I say left before? Goddamn it, it is on the right
. Ignore the previous description. He sees nothing ahead in the like 10 feet of light that he has, and hears nothing that way. Slight draft coming from behind him and towards the doorway at the end of the main hall
On second thought, Sister Ash follows the rest of the group.>Light source
Dark Star goes around the corner and turns on his light
Iron does the same.
|Rolled 5 + 5|
|Rolled 20 + 5|
I'm going to go ahead and roll two Listen checks, to detect any movements nearby.
"Yes, I have had enough experience with that already.">>81062
"There are possessions of militia pony. But no skeleton." He searches the jacket's pockets for anything of value while keeping an ear out.
"What's that, boy? Do you hear something?"
Caleb hears rustling from through the doorway that is at the top of this map, and none from left or right>>81067
A keg of gunpowder that has almost certainly fouled centuries ago, and a Letter
"First echelon goes in at Whirlwind's command, and seizes the Farmhouse. We believe the real danger lies underground. Second Echelon shall form move in once the house is seized, and at the command of a whistle, both shall move in, First Echelon going left, and second Echelon clearing right. Fire is anticipated to be of only moderate use as the system is not expected to have much air, and sealing the system may be sufficient for our purposes. Exactly what awaits down there is not known. What is known is that Curwhinny has accumulated a power far beyond what he shows. And what he shows himself to be is a cruel but reclusive merchant. You must overwhelm him, and destroy him. You must destroy his books and notes as this is a knowledge that must not be allowed to leave its tomb. Fallen comrades may be infected with supernatural spells upon death. Be very cautious. Best of luck, and may Celestia be with you.
"There's something up ahead." Sister Ash says, translating for the keen-eared animal>Fire is anticipated to be of only moderate use as the system is not expected to have much air
Sister Ash groans in frustration upon hearing this part
"This could take longer than I thought.." she says
Iron nods and readies himself.
"Wherever you are, brave militia pony, I hope you are at piece.">>81070
Silver seems surprised that she can understand what the dog is saying. "Very well. I shall take look. Check out those rooms, if you can." He points towards the broken down doors to their left, before he slowly advanced towards the busted down door at the end of the hallway, rifle at the ready.
Sister Ash proceeds towards the sound of the rustling slowly, only stopping to peak into the broken doorways along the path.
… Don't want to see what made the rustling sound?
The sorcerer ponders this.
Which door did it come from?
The top one; the one Sister Ash is moving towards.
Who is going where?
Silver, Iron, and Ash (in that order) are heading for the door at the end of the hallway.
Sister Ash is moving towards the sound Caleb heard earlier, checking the two broken-open doors on her way there. Iron is following Sister Ash.
Dark Star investigates the rustling.
They both lead to rooms, or one room, but Ash needs to either go to the doorway at the end of the hall or check the rooms. She cannot do both at the exact same time
She decides to go towards the end of the hall first, not wanting to be flanked by some monster on a detour.
Iron follows Ash along. "What do you think made that sound?" He whispers to her.
A stairwell descends maybe 20 feet into what looks like a larger area of the dungeon
"Nothing good." Sister Ash replies
"Better see what it is now. We can take check those other rooms later."
"Whos going first?" Dark Star whispers
|Rolled 17 + 3|
Silver makes a motion for Ash and Iron to follow him as he makes his way down the stairwell.Listen
: Silver keeps his ears out for any further sign of what's ahead.
Sister Ash freezes at the top of the stairwell, visibly nervous
"… O-On second thought.. maybe it would be best to a this floor for later.." she stutters, looking back at the others
"Wh-what should we do?"
Just saying, I'm going to have to leave for half an hour momentarily.
Iron notices her nervousness. "We should check every room on this floor before we go down one floor. Just to ensure there is nothing waiting for us up here if we need to run away."
Definite growling sounds>>81092
Blue Skies lies a decent number of feet behind, pointing a gun at the darkness behind them, ears at attention
Silver whispers to the group. "If you wish to stay up here, go ahead. I will scout ahead to make sure way is clear."
|Rolled 11 + 7|
Dark Star also makes a listen check
"im going with you."
Growing, in front of him>>81097>>81099
"Well, let's hope that if you do encounter anything, it's not more than you can handle"
Iron is unsure but somewhat inspired. "Well, if you two are going down. I should go with you." He will follow either or go at the front depending on what is decided.
Silver takes a couple seconds to think, before pulling two potions out from his bag. He offers one to Dark Star. "Drink this. It should keep us hidden from undead, allow us to scout without getting attacked for a few minutes."
"Can you really call a place like this clear, even when no immediate threats are seen?"
Silver sighs at the number of ponies now wanting to follow him. "I only had those two potions, unfortunately."
"I understand. I will hold position at the bottom of the stairs."
Iron nods understandingly. "I will stay then."
I need to step out now.
Will be back later.Sorry.
"im sure we'll be fine.">>81101
"Alright. lead the way.">>81102
"Whats in it?"
Dark Star Drinks it
As they go down the stairs, the first thing they notice is that the area below them is really
damaged. Large rocks, bigs chucks missing from the ceiling of the tunnel…. even twisted pieces of metal, like a bar that looks like it once belonged to a door
"Alright, but I'd hate to have to find somepony to replace you"
Silver shrugs. "I do not know. I only know it keeps undead from seeing, hearing, smelling, or sensing us.">>81110
"Be very careful with walls. This tunnel does not look very stable."
Dark Star turns on his flshlight
Not the best statement for those numbers. Hope it won't come true.
Silver chugs down his potion of Hide from Undead, and starts to maneuver his way around the various rubble on the ground.
Dark Star Stays Quiet but makes eye contact as hes going down the stairs.
When they get down stairs, they can see first, that this new hall is about as wide as the wider one up stairs. On the ground is, of all things, detritus, like thoroughly decayed leaves. The walls look stained To the left side are big opened arched rooms. They seem to have once had iron bars as walls on them, but now they are open, with rusted iron on the ground. They look more or less empty now. The same to the right for at least the first few feet. And now, ahead of them, at least three of those yelloweyed creatures>>81116
"I mean, find a new deputy"
Silver motions for Dark Star to be calm. "Do not attack them. They do not know we are here." Silver looks to see if these creatures and the empty rooms are the only things here.
This section only spans a little ways before branching off right. There does seem to be a door on the right side though
"Alright lets go past them and see whats ahead then."
"I believe we can not go past them without touching them.">>81119Is the door past the ghasts/ghouls, or is it before them?
Blue Skies droops her ears, and after a moment resumes her staring into the darkness behind them
The door on the right is sort of near them. It is possible to go forward without touching them
"Follow me." Silver tries to avoid contact with them as much as possible as he makes his way to and through the door.
Iron feels the worry she has. "They should be fine down there. With their potions and their skills, they should not be in any danger." Iron says softly to Skies.
dark Star follows him past thrm
“I think I offended him…”>>81124>>81126
The door in the right leads into a large and very long room. To the left is open space with restraints and what appears to have once been cages, and to the right, are shalllow pits
Silver peaks into the pits as he goes past them.
The first is empty. The second one has two wolf skeletons. The third is empty. There are more of those white undead pony things in this room, which seem to simply roam around
Iron stands a bit closer, shaking his head. "I do not think such a little comment could destroy the love that he has for you." Irom smiles. "It could be at most a small issue that you can talk it out later when this catacomb business is over."
Dark star looks at the cages
|Rolled 11 - 1|
Silver doesn't like the idea that he was experimenting with creating undead wolves.Search
: Silver looks for anything else of interest in this room.>>81131
"This would be difficult fight. There is lot of undead down here…"
If you have ever seen a cat or a dog stare at attention at some dark corner, or through a hallway, you have seen something like how she stares into the darkness that lies behind the party, marking where they have been and the paths they did not take
I saw that Silver’s keepsake picture earlier. The way that he stared at his Pegasus bride. That will never be me”>>81132>>81131
Dark Star and Silver are able to determine three things from this very long room. First, that the cages look most optimum for keeping animals in, and there seem to be some areas that were more open perhaps for storing food. Second, this area is vastly more deteriorated than the main section. The iron that made up the cages is basically gone. Only parts of it remain in rusted piles on the floor. Thirdly, the pits are partly flooded, with some skeletons in water
Okay, so the other two are investigating the lower floor?
May as well check these two rooms then.
Silver keeps a mental note of this. "I do not think we will find much else in here. Come, we should still have some time left on these potions. Perhaps we can squeeze by those undead in hallway."
"Did he keep ponies in these cages?"
"yea lets get back by."
Dark Star heads back towards the undead
Sister Ash investigates the first room.
"I saw wolf skeletons in one of pits, so likely not. It looked like other rooms we passed could have held ponies.">>81139
Silver follows, sucking in his gut for squeezing past the undead.
The hallway to the right starts approximately after the last room ended. It is long, relatively narrow, and has two doors on the left. Again, this one is longer than normal>>81140
When she enters, she seems that it is actually one very massive room. There are big bookshelves, a writing desk, tables, a carpet, and cultural items from Zebrica and Griffonia, besides quills and so forth
Sister Ash cautiously approaches the shelves investigates the books and items one by one.
"Let us search different rooms." Silver enters the first door.
I'll note that she positions Caleb by the door, to look out for danger.
Dark Star opens the second door
Iron nods. "I understand your concerns. It is a natural feeling to feel unworthy of somepony. To think that a pony could devote their whole existence to any other pony is unbelievable to anyone." He looks at Skies "But remember, he jumped at the slightest suggestion that I made to him to kiss you. He wanted to be with you. He glared at me when I said you were jealous back at the docks. He cares about you. Do not beat yourself up just because you do not look or act like a mare of another stallion, because no mare is perfect overall, because he believes you are perfect." Iron wraps her foreleg around her neck. "Trust me on this. He loves you. Not that mare in a picture. You: Blue Skies. Do not forget that."
*, and he believes
|Rolled 16 + 9|
May as well roll spellcraft, before I burn all of this garbage.
>>81143>One by one
Does she have three hours to do this? Because that is how long that would take. This is a library
One book is "on the worship of Marewu and Vodun." Another is the "Quamoon-e-Islamb, or the customs of the Moosemares of Saddle Arabia" by Jade Saffron. A third book seems to have been handwritten, "On the Cult of the Eagle of Lemon-Orange">>81144
There was no door to block the doorway, as it was open. The very first thing Silver could not about this room is that it has natural light: at the far end of the room, is an open hole in the the wall that leads to what must be the quarry. There is at least one creature in this room. There are the remains of iron barrel rings on the ground, and it appears to have been a store room, but basically everything that is not stone is well past any conceivable use, being eaten by warm water microbes long ago>>81146
There was no door to open, as the door decayed away long ago. On the ground is the remains of a skeleton, who wears the remains of clothing that appears to have been woven by machine. The pony skeleton wears a hard hard, has a smaller pick, and has a plunger as would be used for detonating explosives. There is likewise a lantern on the ground. Inside the room there are the remains of what were once wooden boxes and barrels. It seems to have been a store room>>81150
Blue Skies enters the room, and starts rummaging it>>81147
She sighs "I hope you are right"
She leaves when Ash explores the room next to them
Iron nods. "I am sure of it." He notices Ash's disappearance and goes to her current location.>>81151
"What did I miss, Ash?"
"So, this is where tunnel leads…">>81146
Silver calls out to Dark Star. "I found exit to quarry!"
i pick up the plunger. is there any wire leading away from it?
"i found a store room!"
Some, maybe 5 feet. It seems to have broken
Silver trots over to the room Dark Star is in. He notices the plunger in his hooves. "Hmm…perhaps we could use that to seal off quarry exit, if we could find more wire on spool. I do still have dynamite from yesterday."
Just checking if there was anything but junk.
Sister Ash's brow furrows with smoke
"..Pestilence..!" She growls
She immediately sets the bookself on fire and watches the ghostly blue flames consume the room.
the plunger its self or the wire?>>81157
"thats what i was thinking."
"ASH! WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING!"
Blue Skies grabs a few items and rushes out
The books are very close together>>81157Silver's dynamite had adequate fuse for detonation
>>81160I'm not a dynamite expert, so I don't know if that means Silver has to light it manually or if he can detonate it remotely with a plunger.>>81159
"Alternatively, I could just stick it on wall, light it with lighter, and run like there is no tomorrow."
Actually, not really. For while the contents of the books may concvern themselves with arcane magics and cults long forgotten by history, they are still composed of Carbon and hydrogen, and as such burn like normal. The firs glows red and very quickly becomes smokey, then smokier as oxygen runs out, spreading soot
Iron, hearing the commotion, decides to go where the shout came from.
"Just disposing of some trash
.." Sister Ash replies, her hooves scorching the floor and setting the rug alight as she torches more ill-gotten gains
|Rolled 8 + 7|
"either way is fine with me lets see if we can find any wire before we do that though."
Spot Check to look for any wwire
B-but.. much special kirin-fire..>wanted it to be blue
Sister Ash leaves the room as soon as everything is satisfyingly on-fire, and proceeds to the next room.
The books glow bright red, orange, and with black smoke, as flames spread further. Ash spreads more flames
Sister Ash pays the fire no regard as she proceeds on to the next room.
Iron is shocked at how the fire has spread so much in the room. When he sees Ash go to the next room, he follows her. "Are you sure this is wise, Ash? There must be a better way to dispose of these books." He is worried.
>>81170Ash ends up being the reason we all die.Just like the old gypsy woman said.>>81167Spot
|Rolled 14 + 3|
: Silver aids Dark Star in his search.
Sister Ash turns her head.
"There is nothing in this vile dungeon worth saving." She says flatly
It isn't Ash that is burning, it's the books, Ms. 451>>81165>>81169
Blue Skies grabs some items, as the books burn with thick smoke, almost more like a charring than a direct burn>>81175>>81167
There is no wire in the hallway at all. In the wide hall with the arched-rooms, on the other hoof, they may have seen some wire
Wait. You guys were setting dynamite?!Fuck. Now I regret starting this fire…
Silver grabs the dynamite out of his bags. "If you would, look for wire in other hallway. I will get to work on setting dynamite up."
Iron is not amused. "What about us, for example? Your stunt will leave us without air to breathe. I am not saying not to destroy all the books. I do not care. I care about living here." Iron states as he follows her.>>81177
He is worried even further by how the books burn.
Ash always ends up exploding the room. This is just hilarious.>>81177
Is the smoke flooding the hall or anything?
"i doubt there will be any. go ahead and set it."
|Rolled 13 + 5|
|Rolled 8 + 5|
She looks down the hallway.
"The exit is right other there. The smoke shouldn't cause too much trouble.">>81183Fuck, fuck, fuck. I'm sorry…I thought the dynamite plan was cancelled.>>81184
"Fine, then. Go ahead and meet back up with others. No need for two ponies to be down here when I set it off." Silver heads back into the other room, heading down the hole in the wall to prepare the dynamite.>>81187F for Silver
It may be wise to vacate that area
Blue skies bolts out with a number of parchments, coughing, and almost dropping a book in her mouth>>81186
He feels a little lightheaded, but okay>>81179
Six sticks, with fuses>>81187
Ash feels really
Sister Ash feels an instinctive urge take over, and she bolts for the exit.
>>81189So does she faint?
Iron coughs a bit.>>81190
Iron follows her out.
Can I detect what is going on, or do I need a roll?
Eh, it's okay. It's in character. No one should die in this situation.
Silver tries to set it up in a place he thinks will have the most effect in blocking off the exit.
How could he possibly miss it? There is a large, smoking fire in a pair of rooms right next to him>>81195
I take it he wants to set it up in the store room with the hole?>>81190
As she runs, she feels her legs fail her, and she trips, falling down to the ground, slowly losing consciousness
Ummm.. can Caleb drag her?
He drags her outside at half his full speed.
He should have been murdered by all of the undead then if he went down along with the two who took the "hide from undead" potions
Iron notices Ash falling in front of him, but sees the dog carrying her. He decides to help Caleb with his dragging.
Then why didn't you say I was attacked? I just waited at the bottom of the stairs and you didn't mention anything about it.
Dark Star and Silver feel a kind of wind, drawn past them from the quarry to upstairs by an evident negative pressure
Silver stops in the middle of setting up the dynamite to look around. "Did you feel that Star, just now?"
Dark Star goes to the stairs but waits until silver lights it to go back up
"yea…that was strange."
I'd say it's character flaws or something.
Silver nods. "Let us hope it is not bad omen." Once Silver has the dynamite set up, he stands over in the storeroom, levitating his lighter up to the dynamite to light it.
It's pretty poetic, actually.
I just hope it doesn't kill any party members.
I hope so too. No one likes a character killer.Unless they want to die or something
Silver looks out into the blue skies above the quarry, as he prepares to blow up one of the only two exits out of the structure, one of the only two sources of air, while still sitting inside of a catacomb with many, many, many undead between him and the other exit and half of the catacombs unexplored>>81210
It's almost like Kirin have a habit of arson or something
"Well you gonna do it."We dont know about the fire taking oxygen
Alright then, the fuze of the dynamite is lit. It is a slow match, basically, designed to allow the handler of the dynamite plenty of time to reach a safe distance
"…Hmm…yeah, just…had weird feeling.">>81217
Silver makes his way back to the staircase, levitating his lighter back to him, careful to avoid touching the undead between him and the stairs.>>81216
"Come on, let us hope others did not get into too much trouble while we were gone."
He sees an artificial light at the top of the stairs
"…Oh no. Oh nonononono…come on, Star!" Silver rushes back up the stairs, afraid of what the others have done.
I'm so, so sorry…
Do Sister Ash and Iron make it out?
fire, producing much smoke
They can make it to the former hallway at least, where Blue Skies has collapsed with laborious breathes
" Silver holds his breath as he attempts to run past the hazard.
>>81225TIme for some darma
Iron now notices Skies' collapsed form. He lets Caleb keep dragging Ash and he decides to carry Skies with him. He then bolts for the exit where no smoke can impede his breathing.
If Ash was awakened by Caleb dragging her, she picks up Blue.>>81226
You can hold your breath for 2 rounds per point of Constitution (a lot), which should be enough.. I hope..
Or he can take her.
I guess Sister Ash is passed out until further notice..
"Heee… I can get myself" She tries to crawl along. She has probably at least half her weight in various items on her>>81226>hold breath
Silver wonders why he wanted to blow it up now
, or why he went deeper into the catacombs rather than into the quarry where there was at least air. He also realized that in 90 seconds, when that dynamite goes off, the one thing allowing there to be any flow of air at all will be gone, and it shall get much worse
The wind blows past him, from the quarry towards the fire
As Dark Star runs by he holds his breath to.
Roll for Fortitude save
Silver wonders why these things would pop into his head when he had no idea his companions would start a fire
in an enclosed
locations. He hopes he can hold his breath long enough to find the other exit, as he runs through the stone construct and his lungs start to wonder why they haven't received any oxygen yet.>>81235What kind? Fortitude? Constitution?
>>81235Then I'll do it.
Iron disregards her protests and picks her up and put her behind her back with all stuff she picked up. He now bolts to the exit where they came from, with the big hallway.
Trying to run carrying loot out is an architypical way for Rogues to die.>>81238
Someone with temper issues..
He can keep his breath>>81244
Iron can't go that
fast, but he can go. He is able to make his way to the hallways, although he can here sounds from adjacent hallways
Silver hurries his ass off back the way the group came as fast as he can.
Dark Star follows right behind him
Iron goes as fast as possible to a place where the smoke cannot get him or Skies, preferrably towards the exit of these catacombs.I need that map and where are our current positions.
They seem to have left in advance of them>>81249
That would be the long tunnel back to the basement of the farmhouse, where they came in.
Yes. That area has oxygen
Silver starts to feel a rage building up inside of him. It helps drive him forwards as his lungs start crying out for air.
>>81252Then I'll go there. Please update Ash's status.
Iron goes to the long tunnel back to the basement of the farmhouse, where they came in with Skies and her loot in tow. He should go back to fetch Ash as well after some breaths of fresh air.
Rages consume oxygen
"Is there anyway we can smother this fire?"
Caleb follows. His keen doggo-senses (common sense) urging him to drag his master out of the poisonous environment.
>>81255Then a hot throbbing anger inside of him. Either way, he's pissed.>>81256Well, I don't think you'll have to.>>81257
Silver seems more concerned with holding his breath and getting out of the catacombs ASAP.
>>81261>hot throbbing anger
Why do I think it's a name for your dick?>I don't think you'll have to
I hope not. Star is not going to carry you out that's for sure.
I think Ash was last seen pulled by Caleb. He would be slower than Iron>>81257>>81253
Now, and only now, does the set of dynamite go off, blocking the entrance to the quarry
Before, there was an air current where warm air was able to leave through the well, and fresh air entered from the quarry, keeping the catacombs far better circulated than they ever were in Curwhinny's day. Now, air can come in and out almost entirely from the well.
The fire, which previously burned richly, starts to consume a now finite amount of oxygen before eventually generating almost exclusively carbon monoxide gas
Is Skies safe now?
Silver takes this as a sign that he had better HURRY THE FUCK UP TO THE EXIT!
Dark Star runs faster
Yes, she seems very afraid of losing consciousness>>81267>>81269
Caleb's base speed is 40 feet. Sister Ash is only a medium load for him.
Iron places Skies on the floor and kneels next to her. "Calm down. We are out of the danger zone. Breathe."
Are you asking me to go back or something?
He cannot travel on a single breath, and must now breath>>81274
Oh she's breathing
"I can't faint, I can't
He must breath now
Roll fortitude save
|Rolled 18 + 11|
Iron slaps Skies with his uncovered hoof. "Snap out of it, Skies!" Of course it's non-lethal.
That'll just knock her out..>>81278
Can I roll to wake up?
She is safe from danger, so it's not that bad.
Silver evades collapsing>>81282
Dark Star feels weak, and can no longer run, falling to the floor. He is not unconscious>>81285
She is slapped back into consciousness, and stares ahead
"Where is Dark Star?">>81286
Maybe. She should be in the farmhouse by now if Caleb knows to take her there
|Rolled 8 + 5|
Rolling Fortitude to wake up.
"He is still inside. I am going back to fetch them. You stay here. That is an order." Iron commands. He then enters the danger zone again, looking for the remaining survivors, high priority being Ash and Caleb.
Silver hears Star hit the floor hard, and turns around to pick him up. "Come…on! You are…not dying…today!" He does his damnedest to pick him up or at least start dragging him along, not willing to leave somepony to their death.
Her eyes are kind of like this, with giant pupils as she tries to stay awake
"i'm gonna see mom again?"
"Do not…talk like…that!"
"I think its to late for me. get outta here!"
>>81290>Ash and Caleb
They should be the first, near the entrance>>81294
He trips, and must breath. Roll for fortitude save
He can also try again>>81296
It's a sign that much of the blood sending oxygen to her brain has been destroyed by carbon monoxide
|Rolled 5 + 7|
"No!" He takes a deep breath.
>>81301>blood sending oxygen to her brain has been destroyed
Can Iron even do something about that?>Ash and Caleb
Iron rushes to Caleb's aid to carry Ash with him to safety.
|Rolled 15 - 1|
Caleb administers a heal check to lick Sister Ash and Blue until they're properly awake.
-2, because no healer's pack. +1 Wis.
He is weak now, not well enough to run>>81303
You weren't even supposed to roll>>81305
Only a short distance to the farm house
"Where is… the handsome stallion">>81306
Blue is awake, Ash is awake finally
|Rolled 17 + 2|
"I…will…not…" He struggles to keep awake, and tries again to drag Star along towards the exit.
|Rolled 15 + 5|
Iron fears the worst. "I am going back in there. I need you mares to stay put and recover. I think Silver and Star are in trouble." He does some quick breaths to recover from monoxide poisioning. Rolling fortitude to enter monoxide land again.
Sister Ash gives up her Flame Blade spell to summon a small Air Elemental into the cavern, and instructs it to travel down the hallway.
Well, he is able to advance further. Don't assume for a moment that he is able to walk normally>>81310
Iron is able to keep his normal strength, even deeper inside of the catacombs>>81312
Iron retraces his steps in the hopes of finding part of the S gang.
|Rolled 4 + 2|
Silver keeps struggling to pull Dark Star, not knowing if he himself will die today, but knowing if he's going to, he's going to do so trying to get his friend to safety.
He should find both, round about the hallway that is the right-fork
Idk, my idea to try to give them 30 seconds of fresh air…
It's a Summon Nature's Ally II spell.
Dark Star hums knocking on heavans door by stallions and roses
"silver tell blue i was thinking about her.""
The air in the tunnel and the fork becomes more breathable, and leads somewhat into the wide hallway
Iron sees both Star and Silver sprawled on the ground, barely holding on. He picks up Star from his prone position and turns to Silver. "I will come back for you, do not give up!" He then goes as fast as he can towards the entrance to the farmhouse.
Sister Ash instructs the small whirlwind to follow Iron.
Silver weakly tries to crawl towards the exit after Iron. If at least somepony was able to get over here, then the exit must be near…
>>81318>Stallions and Roses
Vetoed, no 1990s songs in a 1940s setting>>81321
Possible for Iron to do without any danger of fatal inhalation. The air in the tunnel is significantly fresher than it was the time before>>81323
The flames in the distance flicker with a stronger yellow light
There is at least some oxygen here, though that doesn't solve Silver's problem
|Rolled 7 + 5|
After retrieving Star and placing him to safety, he comes for Silver. 'He's a heavy stallion.' He thinks. Rolling a strength check to pick up Silver.
Is the air still barely breathable?
Moments like these, Silver wishes he was his father. He wouldn't have had any issue with this stupid gas. Or, at least, Silver thinks so, in his oxygen-starved, semi-conscious mind.
He is able to pick him. The process, however, requires him to breathe. Roll for luck for quantity of poison gas in the area>>81329
Yes and no. There is enough oxygen to support life, but there is enough carbon monoxide to at least
make you dizzy, although it's very far from being as bad as it was nearer the fire
the monoxide has barely made its way this far, and the air elemental has further purified the gas. Iron can pull Silver along more or less normally
Iron does that, retrieving Silver and taking him to the safe zone at the farmhouse entrance.>>81332
"Do not give up! We are going to make it!" Iron exclaims.
The Elemental retreats a few feat where it came and assumes its Whirlwind form for one round, in attempt to circulate fumes throughout the tunnel. It's body dissolves into a cylinder of mist as it channels the air currents.
It can remain in Whirlwind for 6 seconds.
How bad is Dark Star fucked up?
He should be safe with Skies. Now make out with her.
Silver doesn't look like he's paying attention. His mind is lost in a memory to cope with how tired and abused it is at the moment, it seems.
Iron is able to carry Silver through the tunnel and to the safety of the farmhouse>>81338
Placed across from Skies, who is nodding to herself and repeating "stay awake," Dark Star is very
It'll only last for a couple more more rounds.
The air elemental, in its Whirlwind form, moves back and fourth through the tunnel, channeling air. It's fly speed is 120 feet (perfect).
"i thought id never see you again."
Dark Star is very tired, he thinks its time for a nap so he lets himself drift off
Iron pants, tired from all the carrying. He turns to Ash. "What should I do with Skies? You seem to have knowledge in this stuff."Should we pretend Onyx and Spark got out?
"Just keep her breathing.." Sister Ash replies with a cough
>>81344Onyx and Shimmer were in the least danger, and could easily have left without any serious risk of poisoning>>81343
"Stay awake" she repeats from her pile of books in the corner
Silver's breathing is weak, but steady. The memory in his head continues to run its course, letting Silver enjoy some unseen and joyful moment of peace and calm in his past while his brain tries to recover from the hell it just went through.
>>81349It actually would have been entirely manageable if they hadn't decided to blow the quarry exit at the same time>>81348
Definitely feels tired
I didn't think the smoke would spread so quickly.
Iron checks up on all the party members to see how they are faring.>>81348
Iron hopes he's not having the same problem as Skies.
"im tired. a little nap would be ok?">>81350To Be Fair Dark Star and Silver had no way of knowing a fire had been lit
>>81349I mean, Ash is the one who should probably be apologizing to the members of the party.>>81350
Silver tries to stay awake, even in his oxygen-deprived stupor. It's a good memory. He doesn't want to leave it just yet. He wants to enjoy something for once, something he'll never have again.>>81353This.
Sister Ash gets up and dusts herself off.
Iron approaches Ash. "Ash, take me off of my armor."
Skies's largest problem is that she is very afraid of falling unconscious non-voluntarily>>81354
Definitely dizzy with splitting headaches>>81355
Bad damned headaches. She won't be normal for several hours
|Rolled 7 + 5|
"Oh, alright.." she replies
Sister Ash busies herself with helping him out of the buckles, which takes about 4 minutes>>81358
Heal check to soothe headache.
"What happend? Why was there a fire?"
"That gecko lady. Wanted to burn allllllll
the wisdom of lost worlds">>81359
Better in part, but by no means gone.>4 minutes
For someone who hasn't fainted recently and is at full strength without headaches. For Ash….
Iron, now free of his armor, can breathe a lot steadier.He drops his shield and approaches Ash, furrowed brow and staring daggers at her. "Are you stupid?">>81358It's funny. I had endurance as a feat and didn't even use it. Fuck me.>>81361
Pretend the armor was taken off for this scene.
The headache knocks him out of his stupor long enough to groan in agony. As his headache makes him unable to use his horn for anything without feeling like he's going to die, he weakly calls out to the group, his accent especially hard to understand with the strain put on his body.>>81362>>81359>>81361
"… I.. I got angry…" She replies
"Gecko lady? you mean her?" he points to ash>>81365
Iron does not take this well. "We are going to have a serious conversation when the party heals, Ash. For now, deal with Silver, he has a medic bag on him."
"… I got angry.." she repeats
"At about the time I had entered that room.. I was very, very angry at what I had seen.. and I thought.. 'Wouldn't it be nice if everything here just burne?'…"
A note for Ash and Iron: Ash was the closest to the gas and fared the worst
of any party member>>81366
She sounds a little out of it>>81365
|Rolled 9 + 7|
Heal check for Silver
Sister Ash would only ever burn artificial structures.
She is at least exhausted
Oi, that guy only too 6 damage..
Dark Star crawls over to blue he has a worried expression on his face
"Blue are you okay?">>81368
"You couldnt have waited until we got back?">>81372>implying
Iron rounds up his armor pieces and sits next to the pile and his shield, waiting for the party to recover from the previous predicament.
Silver groans again. He looks like he's in complete and total agony from his headache as he crawls up into the fetal position. "Головная боль…болит…please…help…"
"I cannot do much and I do not want to make it worse for you. Sorry." Iron is guilty about this.
She is and has been nodding
"είμαι εντάξει" she says, reassuringly>>81377
Definitely dizzy and splitting headaches
"I-I think my ears are broken."
What time of day is it?
Iron, now a bit curious on the loot Skies had picked up, decides to check out the contents.
She puts a hoof on him and giggles
"Tá tú dathúil!">>81384
Outside of her bag are a number of books. That's really what she got, were books>>81383
Maybe 1PM at latest
|Rolled 9 - 1|
Iron is not convinced. He decides to look some more. No way she just got some books without something else.
Dark Star thinking his ears are fucked crawls next to blue and holds her>>81379
"Are you okay?"
At least you had some fun.
"…Headache…" He tries and fails to reach for something in his bags, trying to show Dark Star that he's wanting something from inside it.
Her bag next to her has more things, but that is still by her side>>81387
She tries to kiss Dark Star's fur
"There is nothing in those books that the ponies in this land do not already possess." Sister Ash says, folding her forehooves stubbornly
"Tombs such as those only serve to distract ponies from what they have in front of them.">>81388
It was fun, and intense.
Sorry about derailing things.
Iron feels proud to have saved both lovers from possible demise.>>81392
"Do not rant about evil books when you cannot even dispose of them properly. You almost killed us." Iron states. "But we can separate the books, put them outside the farmhouse and burn them, without risking all of our lives."
She smiles at him, tries to set herself upright, and places the books behind her, while holding onto Dark Star
Well. Apparently we escaped… That could have gone better.>>81385
I suppose I glance through a book for anything of note.
"Skies, you know you are tangling with evil stuff from those books." Iron starts. "No way we can leave you with those books intact without risking chaos and destruction."
"It's all stolen goods. Abuse of good magick, handled by a necromancer. Better off as a pile of ash." The Sister says, furrowing her brow as if remembering something unpleasant
"iron bring his bag.">>81391
Dark Star kisses her snoot
When he picks up the first book, he sees that it is the history of a Canterlot sorcerer. Entirely Hoofwritten>>81396
"No no, I know what I am doing, trust me on this…"
|Rolled 9 + 5|
Snootendoodle is kissed
She tries to kiss his mouth
Sister Ash cocks an eyebrow
"Do you?" she asks inquisitively
"Oh yeah? Then you mind telling us what you will do with the books, Skies?" He approaches Skies.>>81397
He motions Ash to follow as he approaches Skies.
Can I make out what it says? If so, any details about the sorcerer, such as ties to necromancy or specific magic?
"Do you know what you just burned?">>81402
"Do you know what these books are?"
"Paper." She replies flatly
"No, but it surely does not have nice stories of foals frolicking through a field of flowers." Iron sternly looks at Skies.
|Rolled 12 + 3|
: With no apparent help coming to relief him of his headache, Silver tries to get up on his own, hoping the strength and resilience of his body can overcome the red-hot pain in his brain.
Born in the year 304 in the high court of Baron Brazenhoof, he studied magic for six years under the stewardship of Darkwood the Wise and…. definitely something occult in here
Dark Star crawls over to his bag
"Then there is no issue">>81407
"You can't know that if you've never read it">>81410
"So you do not know what is in it?" Iron places his face close to Skies. "You seem like you do not know what you are doing."
"I might have to read more of these. Were you planning on selling these or turning them over to the authorities?"
Dark Star looks inside for what silver needed
Right inside his bag is a large first-aid kit, almost fully-stocked, containing what else but a bottle of headache medication.
Dark Star passes him the tylenol
Sister Ash spits at the mention
"Selling them would only put them in the hands of a Wizard who was interested in the same things Curwinney was. Turning them over to the authorities would lead to the same thing, only with more steps." She growls
"There's no reason for something such as that to exist. It's best thrown away."
She sits up firmly
"No. I've never read any of these books. But it looks like they are valuable histories. And I will tell you now. Knowledge is not evil. The Truth, is not evil. And hiding from it, or trying to destroy it, is an offense to the Great Mother">>81413
Shimmer has absolutely never read this
"The authorities, or course"
"Спасибо…" He greedily takes it and pops it into his mouth, barely managing to open his canteen and take a drink of water to chase the pill down his throat.
"Ah. A little disappointing. I would have liked to study some of these."
I offer the book back to Blue Skies.>>81417
"That is for you to convince her of. It is her loot after all."
"I believe what she said will be true. While knowledge is not evil by itself. The ability to cause harm to others may lead ponies to do evil."
Dark Star puts the canteen to Silvers lips
"Help me here Dark Star. Your Country needs you
" Blue Skies tells him>>81420
She takes it>>81421
"Iron, is strength something that can cause harm and do evil?"
He seems thankful, taking a couple large gulps, to both swallow the pill and to quench his thirst.
"Yes, but strength is gained from training and dedication of the pony in question. This is knowledge that needs little to no training in order to accomplish evil, so it increases the chance of someone doing evil, because it is accesible."
"Iron, do you honestly think any pony can learn history or magic without training or dedication?"
Ash, point out the filly who tried to summon hellhounds.
>>81423>>81425>the fascist is saving books>the neutral/harmonists are burning books
What happened? I'm confused.
"Shimmer, if you value arcane knowledge, help me out
"Blue is right. the books should not have been burned until spark or silver looked over them. there could have been a journal or something you burned."
Dark Star has a disapointed look on his face as he looks at ash
Well, if these books are spread, the methods on how to commit evil will spread. That is not good for the world.
Say it in character. No metagaming
"so all the books you burned where on how to create zombies?
"Blue Skies hasn't made a choice so far that we have regretted. She knows the harm they can do, and yet is assured that they are safely kept under the authorities. It also stands to reason the counter to the undead may be found in the study of the books."
"Oh please, she burned history
"Iron, let me ask you a question. Who do you trust, or rather who do you not
trust, with the ability to start fire?"
Sister Ash gives a snort
"A Wu ge-.. a Wizard's tomb collection is more than just knowledge: It's a tool. It's a culmination of magical practices synthesized for easy duplication. It is not merely a book meant to help those who seek to educate themselves, but a manual for what it was used to practice."
She snorts again, trying to clear the smoke out of her body
"Magical don't help ponies seeking to better themselves, or their understanding of magick. They're merely shortcuts; recordings of lucritive practices that ponies should
spend years planning to perfect. A borrowed tomb does little to make a better mage; it only serves to let cocky young ones believe they know even the first thing about magick because they happened to read it in some manuscript."
She points at the book
"The secrets in that book are useful to two kinds of ponies: the pony who write them, and a pony seeking to haphazardly immitate that pony. They are not unique secrets. An ambitions magi could naturally develop the same powers on their own, without needing shortcuts."
"Ash. How do you know what you burned were magical tombs. Do you think that he really needed 1000 tombs? Wouldn't just one do the job?">>81437
"Well, judging from a couple titles. Ancient and lost cultures a little on the occult side"
With a final satisfied sigh, Silver puts the canteen away, his headache reduced to a more manageable state. With the ability to think regained, the first thing that returns is his anger.>>81425>>81434>>81435>>81437>>81438
Silver steps forward, facing the arguing groups. He looks pissed
. He looks specifically at Ash as he begins to speak. "You can not burn knowledge as easily as you can books."
"Well, that answers the whole 'any pony can learn history or magic question', now doesn't it? If there is no need to learn magic to replicate it, then that question is null and void.">>81434
"Spark, do everypony here a favor and skim all books taken by Skies to see if any one of them contains methods to create any sort of undead, besides any other evil magic."
*question', does it not?
"If you think a Wizard only uses one tomb, you've never met one." She replies
"Wizards write spells into all the books they handle simply out of habit."Also, she was pissed of, and she had to burn something.>>81440
"That's exactly my point." She says
"Do you mind me looking though your books Skies as he suggests?"
!?" Her response only serves to make Silver even more mad. He takes a step towards the kirin. "Why did you risk our lives over burning few books!?"
"Oh please. They don't need a literal thousand. Ash, do you know
what these things are?">>81444
She lets him see the books around her
I skim though the books looking for parts related to undead.
Her ears droop, and she hangs her head
… was inexcusable.. I did not expect the smoke to spend so quickly, and I am to blame for any damages that may have been incurred.." she says with a bow
Dark Star loooks at the titles
At least that one hasn't served to anger him. It hasn't exactly calmed him, either, from the faint sound of his grinding teeth. "But. Why
".. I was reckless.."
"That is not the issue here at the moment. We need to ascertain that these books do not contain methods on how to do evil magic on them. Then we can discuss on the recklessness of Ash's actions."
Sister Ash's eyes slowly fade back to their normal state and she walks a good 10 feet away from the group and lays down.
Perhaps 9 books surround Skies. One relates to the legends of Kindokini. Another to the worship of Mar deep in the regions of Griffinheim. Another to the Va'kran cult of Zebrica. Another, the legends of the Nordlige Ponnier. Another 2 are like these, but 3 are different
They are hoofwritten, not written by somepony else.
These three are definitely secret histories. One concerns a sorcerer in Sonambula in the middle kingdom, another the aforementioned sorcerer, another even older, dating to the period before the windigos in the Unicorn tribes of the north
Not a single one of the books look like it concerns Curwhinny's powers over life and death. All of them concern the occult, and creatures who were interested in strange things as well as myths. 6 of them were copies of something else made at that time. 3 of them look irreplaceable. It can neither be confirmed nor denied if any of them contain functioning spells, although it would be far from surprising if they did. None are by purpose magical tomes>>81448
"Oh bow yourself. If you don't even have the foresight to know that fire in an enclosed space will kill everypony, then how are you a good judge of such philsophical questions of the value of knowledge?">>81451
"And you are reckless to destroy knowledge when you don't even know what it is!"
"Indeed you were." Silver sighs, sitting down. The feeling of his gaze burrowing into her subconscious hasn't entirely gone away. "You are not stupid pony. I know this from just having watched you in there. Even if those books had
contained forbidden, dark magic, you know destroying those books does not change fact that knowledge of these magics still exists. You did not even bother to check if they were indeed what you thought they were before acting, or gaining support from rest of group. Star and I were not even present for ordeal.">>81452
"It is issue to me
." A portion of his anger gets directed to Iron. "I have spent valuable time and money, sweat and blood, on this mission, and now I am not even sure if we will be able to finish it because she acted with impulse. I want to know why."
>>81454> dating to the period before the windigos in the Unicorn tribes of the north
Dark Star takes this one and flips threw a few pages
Dark Star can see that this book is written in cursive, and seems to relate the eyewitness accounts of a few unicorns who had been assistants of the court of Princess Platinum, who had a desire to contact the ones living beyond the stars
Dark Star looks Very Interested in this book
"Most of these pertain to religions and cults already around. A few of these are from long ago. One of these is before Nightmare Moon's banishment. I really wish I could study them further now. But nothing directly related to raising the dead."
Dark Star can recall from his childhood stories that Princess Platinum was a leader of the Unicorn tribes of the north at around the time of the migration and Equestrian unification
Iron's will breaks. "Wait, that is all?" He looks down, stupefied. "So the burning was worthless?" Iron shakes his head and sits down. "I cannot believe it." Iron, dejected, leaves alone Skies and retreats to his armor pile and shield in order to equip them, cursing silently.
Dark Star's eyes flash Recognition
"Wow, i had almost foregotten about her."
Dark Star reads some more about how she planned to contact them
Sister Ash wanders off to where she left the jars, trailing smoke as her body settles down.
I follow the Kirin.
Without taking the time to carefully study the book, it's very difficult to say just what, precisely, is going on. It looks as if the book is saying that in those short years before the Windigos. Before Discord. Before Princess Luna, and Princess Celestia. There was a dedicated group of unicorns. They opperated under the assumption that beyond the lunar sphere, out in the either, there were creatures. You could call them angels, you could call them minor gods - but immortal god-like creatures that danced and played on their own. They wanted to… actually, what they were trying to do is hard to determine, again, without taking a full 10 hours to read it. They wanted to access the outer planes. Or bring what was in the planes here. Or merge them…>>81461
"Not necessarily. Who knows what were in the books I couldn't
She gets to where the jars are, and sits upright cross-legged, completely silent before them.
They are equally silent to her
"Gods? from Beyond the moon?"
Iron still curses silently, strapping all his armor pieces and equiping his shield. He then follows Spark.
Silver just sighs once more. He gets up from where he is sitting. And goes to where Ash is heading.>>81466
"I still would like to know why." Silver's voice no longer carries the anger it once had, though it's clear he's still looking for an answer. "You are kirin. I have never heard of your people until now. It is clear you are gifted with fire…sometimes too gifted…I want to understand reasoning behind your decision. Why you made it, and why you made it so rash."
"… I am fine…" She says after a whike, visibly not
on fire anymore.>>81467
She's praying, silently
The text refers to them as "outer ones." They seem to be creatures that date from beyond creation. They are not monolithic, but rather are of diverse kind. Now he sees it. They wanted to talk to one under the light of a full moon. Or at least, that is what they did on one moonlit gathering - the unicorns all wearing their robes and prostrating themselves before the night sky
When is the next full moon?
Well, the moon last night was waxing gibbous, so definitely within one week. Like tonight or in two days, maybe three
Dark Star seems like he is considering something
Iron, still angry, now stands next to the prone Ash, looking for threats.>>81471
"Silver, as much as I would like to know her motives, I would suggest leaving some time for her to think it through." Iron states, fully armored except his good hitting hoof and shield equipped on his other hoof.>>81477
"Spark, do not be a fool. She is clearly not fine. Leave her be until then."
Reading on… wait. Wait a minute. The author did
try to get the incantations. He seems to stop to relate this part very carefully. He has at least two different versions of the same spell here, evidently coming from two different witnesses. He makes notes about translation issues. He talks also about what the subtleties could mean. He implies that he got this knowledge from "spirits" and at some point had to coerce the information out. It's obvious he doesn't know if the evocation permutations would work or not. He mere tried to write it down with as much detail as possible. That was a 5 page tangent as he describes the night
"Sometimes a fool learns the hard way."
*remove 'until then'
She speaks again after a few seconds
"… I was wandering through the lair of that stallion. I found the place where he kept his treasures. In the moment, nothing in that place seemed worth saving to me, nothing alive.. so I decided it may as well burn…"
She opens her eyes slowly
"… I cannot say what I did was the right thing to do, but it felt like that in the moment.. a room full of stolen masterpieces, all stolen from the ones who would have properly valued them, for the greed of a wicked pony willing to torture souls to amass his wealth and power… At the time, I only wanted it all to burn, perhaps not because the things in that room deserved it, but because it I felt they should…"
Her shawl gas finally stopped smoking
Dark star continues reading
Sources vary as to exactly what animals were brought, and what needed to be done for the ritutal, although the author clearly has his theory of what the components were, and he points out other details of the event that would be helpful should anypony reading it decide they want to come up with their own theory. Anyways, it seems as if it was successful in its first attempt with the unicorn contacting one of the Outer Ones. But the Outer Ones quickly filled his mind with a slew of negative emotions, causing him to break contact. This concerned the onlookers, but convinced them the process was working in part, and they committed to meet at the next full moon in an even larger session
Iron looks sternly at Ash. "As much as I would like to forgive this transgression, it is a sign of something more problematic. You need to rein in your emotions or this will happen again, and maybe somepony will die for it next time you lose control again, and I can guarantee that you would feel devastated by killing somepony who did not really deserve it."Ironic isn't it?
"Silver. Psst!" Blue Skies comes up to him and whispers
Silver nods. He understands, or at least, understands enough. "You are young, yet. You have not yet learned control of such feelings. It is not something I could blame you for, so long as you understand where you went wrong, and are willing to take steps towards controlling it." He gives her a pat on the back, no longer afraid of having his hoof catching fire from contact.>>81487
Silver turns to her, wondering what she wants of him.
is there any notes on what it said to him?
"Can we move away and talk in private?">>81490
The unicorn who was the conduit of the activity was not one of the perspectives who relate the story. The unicorn seemed to have been filled with hate at the time, and after contact was broken, seemed to have this theory that the rest of the group were plotting against him. That is just the first time, anyways
As if Dark Star has been put under a compulsion spell, he continues reading.
Sister Ash nods slowly as her eyes shut and she resumes her prayer.
Silver nods, standing up.>>81493
"If you wish, we can talk more later. I do not know what help I can be to you, but I can try to help you on path of control, if you will allow me.">>81491
With his talk with Ash concluded, he goes with Blue.
Well, with everypony busy, the sorcerer, glass by his side, trots back to camp.
"… I must finish this reposition.. These lost ones must have heir eulogy, if they are to rest…" She replies, before resuming her unintelligible prayer
Iron stands by her side. He has composed himself from his anger and stands straight. He wonders how could someone be taught not to be angry.
There was a debate among the unicorns of the circle. Some of them thought that the incident proved the outer ones were hostile, some thought them a mix of good and evil, and some of them thought that they could be placated. There was another session. In this incident, when they contacted the outer ones, one responded very clearly. The outer one seemed to think that everypony was… boring. Dreadfully boring and normal. He convinced the conduit that his quest for knowledge was futile because of the finite perceptual abilities and mental faculties of a pony. This revelation was said to visibly dull his coat and break him emotionally. But the effect was confined to the pony who had been the conduit, and everypony else began to believe that it may be possible to select who to speak to, or perhaps even to summon to the terrestrial plane>>81494
She takes him over to the side, and whispers
"Did you pocket anything else?"
"so they're evil? hmmmm"
Dark Star continues reading
"There was not much, I am afraid. Most valuable thing I found was this." He pulls out Alabaster's silver locket; he tries to carefully remove the picture it contains. He also pulls out the necklace the native skeleton wore from yesterday. "It seems, if there was treasure, it was either burnt down, or in area of catacombs we did not search."
In the third session, the conduit managed to contact a different outer one. This one was proper, well speaking, and at least seemed to be trustworthy. This Outer One seemed to have a problem with the ponies and their nature, finding them disorderly and in need of stern guidance. The conversation with the outer one continued for quite some time, but it is very clear that this one took a deep interest in the lives of ponies on the terrestrial plane>>81500
She examines it
"This locket is much too old to have belonged to that foal"
Sister Ash remains in prayer position before the jars for as long as the rest of the party remains outside, not moving from her position even once.
He seems interested in this particular bit of information. "Are you sure it was not just gift to him?"
"Look at the attire on this unicorn mare"
She shows him the image in the locket
"This looks older than 930"
Iron stands besides her, also not moving from his position as a guard.
"He contacted another one? wow!"
Where in Equestria is this set?
He examines it himself, even if he's unsure about his own knowledge on the styles of attire for different time periods.
A style of bun that looks particularly old, with ornate red dress. The locket it heart shaped and silver>>81506
Still another one responded as well. This one was not quite as enthusiastic as the previous: the outer one liked the freedom of the outer planes, and the creativity it allowed, and did not want to loose that. But neither was the outer one indifferent to the land of ponies
This is set in the northern lands north of Equestria, in Dream valley of the kingdom of the Unicorns, prior to the migration
"Hmm. That is odd. What do you think this means, if anything?"
"That this isn't Alabaster's locket. That, or somepony gave him a locket far older than his grandmother. I think he had it in his hoof or something"
Okay, it's getting really late for me.
Sister Ash will be praying for each jar individually. It may take her more than an hour, while the of the party does whatever.
"Hey Spark. come check this out."
>>81511Good thing I have to wake up early as well, then
Iron just stands guard near Ash, not intent on moving anywhere else except to follow Ash.
"Hmm…" Silver thinks more on this. "Do you think it could have been part of larger horde?"
Would I be able to hear this from the camp? I'm not entirely sure where it is in relation.
"What do you mean?">>81515
He he specifically went to find him, then yes
yea sure, Dark Star goes up to him.
"Could it have been part of personal treasure or collection of keepsakes Curwhinny kept? What if this is his locket? And this picture is of his late wife?"
"Plausible. Where do you think the foal got it from then?"
He thinks some more, before it hits him. "…Son of bitch. It came from cavity behind wall. One with book in it that Star took."
"That could be. Why would we find the cavity exposed as it was though?"
"hey i was reading this book, you gotta read this."
Dark Star Gives him a quick rundown
"That is less clear. Perhaps militia ponies, as they were attacking catacombs, disturbed bricks in that room. We did find skeleton of one not too far away from room."
"I always wondered about ponies… or whatever they are beyond the sky with the story of the stars aiding in her escape. Interesting stuff. How does it end?"
"I'm not so sure they would have attacked bricks. I am even less sure they would have just ignored that book. Weren't there a number of dislodged bricks and fallen rocks near the stairwell?"
"i dont know yet, i thought it was incredible i had to tell some pony."
Dark Star Continues Reading
"Yes, there was. Perhaps…what if mining operations in quarry caused both? That downstairs area was directly adjacent to quarry, and connected with quarry tunnel. And mining operations occurred far after than militia assault, and occurred before foal found their way into catacombs."
There was concern over the unicorns of the circle, as while they were successful in contacting several of the outer ones, and these outer ones had various responses to the questions asked them, none had offered promises of power or pacts. But of course that was a petty issue to others, as they did not care for any favors in the terrestrial realm. They wanted to reach the divine. They wanted to become like the outer ones. The outer ones for their part took various interest in the terrestrial plane. Some had no interest at all in it, one took an interest in its magic, one in its little ponies and kingdoms, another only as a source of entertainment… And of course there were mixed feelings about which of these were dangerous. The response, naturally, was that the process could be controlled. So a unicorn who had studied along side Star-Swirl the Beared proposed a way to try to gain limited access to the outer planes. The ponies themselves, perhaps, could go over and touch the outer realms.>>81528
"Yes… that would explain much of the damage to the catacombs. Many of those rooms look as if they had been boarded up, but the boards came down"
"Do you think, perhaps, there is more treasure there underneath well that has not yet been uncovered? Or elsewhere in catacombs, exposed by explosions from mines?" He rubs the back of his neck. "I suppose, it does not matter, unless we have way of surviving down there. Some kind of magic spell, or gas mask, or something of that sort."
"There are dozens of magical spells that allow you to breath in difficult conditions. We also have gas masks and oxygen tanks back at headquarters. Personally, I would recommend trying to remove all of that rubble from the cave-in you caused so there can be a breathing hole again. But who knows. There is definitely something
down there in the areas never visited. And it's neither unmoving nor forever sealed away.
I can tell you I
would like to see what hasn't been burned"
She gives her smile, and wags her tail slightly
"the unicorns wanted to be like the outer ones?
Dark Star keeps reading"
"Just asking for trouble, as usual. Things really don't change do they?"
Silver nods as well, getting a similar look on his face. "Sounds like you and I have same idea, here."
"the never do it seems."
They assembled again. It seems that the timing of the sessions was important because of the positioning of the celestial bodies, which natural affect the planes of the realms because the planes are determined by the bodies that inhabit them. The "outer ones" are actually not necessarily inhabitants of the outer most planes, but certainly always above the terrestrial plane.
They assembled together at a sight of many runes, and positioned the stones just right so that they aligned with the Celestial bodies. When this was accomplished, a portal was opened, and at least one unicorn was able to pass through it. He reports later that he saw the land from far above, and saw the angels as they danced in the outer planes.>>81534
She smiles still
"Tell me though. What precisely
do you seek? What do you seek to avoid?"
"In this moment in time? Bits, work, something to give purpose to my life beyond just living. As for what to avoid…failure, mostly. I would say death, but I no longer have such fear of it. As long as I succeed in my duties, I do not care what happens to me."
"Do you know what the ponies who employed you for the catacombs wanted?"
"Does the book say anything about how the pony acted once he got back?"
"As I understand it, they want undead cleared so they may continue work to fill in quarry without issue, turn land into real estate. I imagine if they only wanted tunnel sealed, they would have done so already."
That pony was filled with glee, for he had pranced with Angels.
They thought to expand the effect of the spell, to allow easier communion between the planes. The pony met with an outer one directly, and the outer one seemed amiable enough to allow to visit the terrestrial plane, nevermind the stated intent of domination of ponykind>>81540
"Wait, they want this for real estate
>>81536>domination of ponykind
"As far as my knowledge goes." He thinks some more on what he heard. "Perhaps it was for development. But those are fairly similar in purpose."
"Remember the different pony races didn't get along very well. Keep reading. I got to see how it ends for them, and how they swear to try again someday. Cults always swear to try again someday."
The outer one walked straight through the portal and into the terrestrial plane, and ethereal angel. It spoke with the unicorns and is reported even to have sat down for dinner with a few of them. As a sign of good faith, the outer one returned to the outer planes after request by some of the unicorns, with the obvious desire to return.
But this incident heightened tensions between members of the unicorn circle, as some wanted to go to the outer planes themselves, or did not like the assumption of the outer one that they would be its servants.
More so, there was tension in the court of Princess Platinum, as one of the ponies had been chosen to be Starswirl's apprentice alongside Clover the Clever, causing jealousy in at least one pony>>81543
"Then it sounds like they might dig into these areas for basements or tunnels. If not this year then in ten years or in a century.
Let me ask you a different question. What is it I could do that would make you stop willing to help me or work with me? What will you not help me do?"
It's the same response either way, as that is the next part of the story
Nope. She meant 'what lines are you not willing to cross'
'what is it I could do that would make you not
willing to help me or work with me'
>>81550Ah. Okay, I see it now.>>81546
"I am mercenary, no matter what my personal preferences are. When I work, I am loyal to contract first, Bits second. There is only one line anyone could ever or has ever tried to cross that would make or has made me not willing to fulfill job: an active attempt to bring end to my life."
Dark Star Reads some more
"In other words: there is very, very little I would not do to fulfill contract." His voice has a twinge of regret as he continues. "In fact, there has been very, very little I have not done."
She gives him her smile
"Good. Then we shall have no issues working together going forward. I know where my loyalties lie, and I can't say i can help you much with your contract with the developers. but as for bits…"
She opens the top of Dark Star's bag, and briefly pulls out a non-descript leather bound book, then the two booklets
"These here… These are worth something. I want to find more like these, if they exist">>81553
It was time to visit the outer planes again. And a unicorn was selected. Not just any unicorn, but the same who had been selected before by Star swirl the Bearded. And beneath the moonlight, he waltzed with an outer one, with now two of them intent on on coming to the terrestrial realm.
However, a stallion named Fortis Equus in particular took offense to this process. He did not like other unicorn evidently courting Outer Ones. So he told Princess Platinum about the affairs of the circle
Silver nods. "Curwhinny's notes. Indeed, I can see where Bits would exist, where these are concerned." He considers it for a couple seconds, before offering to shake on it. "If there are Bits in this work, then I shall take job."
"There is only so many ways this can go down. I'm shocked we lived at all when we were tempting powers beyond our understanding to interact with us."
Telling Princess Platinum proved catastrophic. Several of the members were arrested and charged. In particular, the stallion who had consorted with the outer ones became the target of suspicion, as it was believed that the outer ones he had talked to intended to take Princess Platinum's place. This was conspiring with foreign forces against the crown. As there was no proof that outer ones even exited, there could be no actual charge of treason. Still, it was enough to cause him to lose his position in the court
What remained of the circle met a last time
"This is getting pretty good."
"Very good. I can't wait to see how it ends."
"Excellent. Now don't let them take any more books and booklets, and don't let them know. Name your price, and you can have it. Just help me find more">>81559
It was a windless night with no moon. Probably half of the circle was not there, either because they had been arrested, or because they were afraid of being caught. No pony knew it had been Fortis who had informed on them to the Princess. All knew, however, that they must accelerate their plans, as their time had run out. They tried their best to make the incantations, and to draw a larger circle. When this was accomplished, the portal was established once again. The Outer One whom they had been in most contact with - the 'co-conspirator' according to Platinum, came through, bringing along another outer one who was more so conscripted into the scheme than a wholly willing participant. The Unicorn approached the two and addressed them as their servants.
At this point, Fortis Equus could not stand the sight any longer, and called out, demanding why the unicorn alone had travelled. After consideration, the unicorn himself decided that Fortis had a point, and let Fortis come to the portal.
When Fortis went through, he was accompanied by the two outer ones, and they pranced through the moonlight, and saw the stars as they hung. He was allowed to touch the ethereal coats of the outer ones, and to see the planet as it looked from the outer planes
"Well… I actually didn't see that coming. What happens next?"
After some time of prancing in the outer planes, they returned to the circle. As they stood in the circle, Fortis turned to the Unicorn, his heart forever cooled by the experience of the heavens. He told the unicorn what he had done in telling the princess, and apologized for it, saying he had not known he would have been invited along himself if only he had asked. And all of this as they stood along the circle itself
Exactly what happens next is not entirely clear, as one of the perspectives cuts off very shortly thereafter, but this seems to be what occurred. At the moment Fortis told the Unicorn, the latter's heart was over come with a rage and hatred. The portal had been easy enough to control so long as your mind and heart were still, and you knew what you were looking for, but the hate in his heart attracted something…
Not an outer one. An other one
, a lesser denizen of the sphere just beyond the terrestrial. Drawn as if summoned to this emotion, they came in herd, and flocked through the portal en masse, killing the Unicorn, Fortis, and all but one of the members of the circle, who later related part of this story
"1,000 Bits, to cover cost of supplies, and 50% of value of what I find for you. That is my price for this mission."
"Well then… that ended worse than I thought. Not sure why everyone was shocked the angry one demanding to be part of the travel was the snitch, but oh well. Apparently we can't be angry beyond the sky or else you die."
Spark takes a second to ponder all of this.
"Technically… those things that murdered the circle could still be around here. They probably would have gone back if they could, but with the circle destroyed, the portal could have collapsed."
"If we're doing this, I supposed I should stop lying to you. I am not selling
these books. I am buying
, as an agent anyways. How much do you want?"
"this didnt happen here. it happend in Dream valley."
"I mean here as in our world. They could have traveled around, or stayed there looking for a way back, assuming they are still here."
Spark is lost in thought for just a second.
"I really wish we could keep these, but we need to return the book to your marefriend now."
"maybe we could buy this one from her. im willing to put in half."
"She said it needs to go to the authorities. We can't buy it. Come on now. Let's go give it back."
"Alright, i guess."
I head back to where I last saw Blue Skies.
She's been talking and dealing with Silver
"Dark Star was just showing me one of your books. It was very fascinating, something about creatures beyond the sky and other creatures that came and killed everypony but one that witnessed it."
I motion for Dark Star to return the book.
"Charming. That will do nicely"
Dark Star looks a little hesitant>>81578
"its a very interesting book."
"Will the authorities study the books, or will they lock them up with the war going on?"
"Oh I can tell you that the war has made them far more
interested in things such as creatures from beyond the sky that kill everyone">>81579
"Good to see something of value survived the purges"
"Well, if they attempt it, they will kill themselves quicker than the enemy, I can guarantee that."
"Have any suggestions on what to do to get back in the tunnel? Would there be a way to open it up to vent out all that smoke?"
"only if they are angry."
Dark Star Gives her the book
I'll take that into account next time I want to destroy something.
I didn't expect that much smoke to spread in only two rounds. I have spells that can serve as precautions.
>>81593>Only two rounds>Only two>
Oh please. She started by setting the rug on fire (if that's wool, expect a relatively high concentration of Hydrogen Cyanide in the smoke) then lit a book on fire. Then another. Then another…
|Rolled 3, 2 = 5|
|Rolled 14 + 10|
Well, I'm back. Still don't know what the value of those books might be.
"4000 bits, you don't ask questions, I take all of them, and you open up about your wife and children to me later"
She tells him
After a couple seconds of silently considering it, he nods. "It is done deal."
"All this leaves now is matter of reentering catacombs."
Sister Ash is still praying.
"Do you have any plans, or think anything needs to be done first?"
"Besides acquiring way to breathe down there? There is not much else I would need to do to become ready. There is one issue I should mention, about idea of clearing rubble from quarry tunnel…"
"Rubble from which location?"
"Quarry tunnel. You saw quarry, earlier? There was tunnel, leading from there to lower area of catacombs. Before we knew there was fire set, we decided to seal off tunnel to stop undead from potentially wandering outside."
"Huh… I would have figured that any undead that entered the quarry couldn't get out of its walls"
"Perhaps. At time, both Star and I believed it to be good idea, either way, from just shear amount of undead in lower area. Of course, again, we did not know there was fire."
[praying arsonist noises]
Iron awaits for Ash's movement and/or orders.
She's waiting for everyone else to be ready.
He'll do that too then.
Iron thinks about Spark's abilities. He wonders if he is for hire.
I just got back if you want to go ask him.
>>81621Are you sure he's not interrupting the reading session Spark and Star that they are having?
Iron decides that Ash should be fine for now and could get someone that can charm his way around things for Ash's mission. He starts walking towards Spark, wherever he is.
Reading is done for now, though I like GM's stories. I wonder if it is a throw away story, or it will come into play sometime? Either way it is impressive.
The sorcerer sees you approach.
"Spark, I need you to come with me." Iron states, motioning Spark to follow him back to where Ash is praying at a respectful distance. "It is a favor I want to ask."
"Ok. What is it you need?"
I follow Iron.
I put things on halt because I am not sure what the characters want to do next . I think Skies would want to return to headquarters briefly, but I don’t know what the others intend
During the walk towards the place where Ash is praying, he speaks. "Before I ask, is this 'clear undead' job finished or do you plan to abandon it?" He then waits to reach Ash's prayer place before talking again.
"I can't abandon it, not until we make sure there isn't a monster left standing in there. But I can put my task on hold. If they have been trying to remove this problem for centuries, I'm sure that a little more waiting wont hurt them."
"Well, that is the problem. It probably is going to take a lot more time than clearing the undead from a quarry and from what I experienced, it is going to need somepony who has his way with words." Iron look to the sides. "You have skills as a diplomat, right? You can negotiate?"
"On occasion. I haven't mastered diplomacy by any means, but I can talk my way in and out of situations."
Iron nods. "One last question. You do not mind working for Ash, do you?"
"Of course not. I don't mind doing favors for ponies, especially if they helped me in the past."
Sister Ash wants to properly repose the jars she collected.
She told Abby Willows she'd see her in the evening, so she wants to be back around sunset.
Iron does not remember when Ash helped Spark at all. "I guess. Well, here is the gist of it." Iron clears his throat. "Ash heard that 12 or something foals were taken by the Waterfront Gang from an orphanage or abbey, no idea exactly what it is, due to high amounts of debt along with a mare. She is trying to take all possible foals back to said orphanage, and has succeeded with taking 5 or 6 foals so far. Now the issue is that 2 of the remaining foals were taken for training and one of the other foals remaining was taken by a pony in political power. I do not remember the politician but the address and names of the two 'caretakers' we do have and with Ash insistence on doing things non-violently, I need a pony capable of taking the foals through words and compensation. A pony like you." Iron inhales and exhales, then looks at Ash during her reposing process. "Any details that I miss, Ash?"
>>81635>>81633>Iron does not remember when Ash helped Spark at all
Neither do I, tbh…
>>81635>Any details that I miss, Ash?
Sister Ash remains silent for several seconds in prayer before answering.
"… I said I would prefer to resolve things without harming ponies. I never said it may not happen anyway.." she says, a bit too calmly for comfort
"I see. That is quite high stakes, but rescuing foals in very important. I do suggest asking the others to help as well, though convincing them to work for free will be difficult.">>81636
You pulled a bullet out of me. Painful, and you failed a few times, but you did so, not to mention the fight against Marecuse.>>81637
"I will do my best to avoid conflict."
>>81638>You pulled a bullet out of me. Painful, and you failed a few times
Oh yeah, I remember that now.
Iron glances at Ash. "Do not burn the building if you feel like venting. Remember. It is a rescue mission.">>81638>asking the others for help
Iron is a bit uncomfortable. "Well, I am not so sure about it. Skies will probably object Star to work for Ash after almost suffocating her and his coltfriend unless Ash and I pay an exhuberant fee, and I do not want to do that. Silver is a possible option and Onyx seems to be absent mentally most of the time, even though his battle prowess is impressive.">avoid conflict
"You seem to pack a punch with your magic, so that is good. Do not be afraid when things get rough." Iron smiles.Eh, if you say so. The doctor did most of the healing job for you.
**and her coltfriend
"Won't hurt to check. When do we head out?"
"You will have to ask Ash about that." Iron scratches his side. "Would you mind asking them? Take it as a sort of proof that you can convince ponies to do what you want."
I chuckle at that.
I go to the others.
Iron pokes Ash. "You have not commented much about his inclusion to the mission. Is something the matter?"
Sister Ash has been in a praying position murmuring silently for like half an hour now.
"… I'm taking care if these ones right now.. They've been alone for so long. They need care.."
Iron flinches. "Sorry. I did not mean to bother with the process."
|Rolled 18 + 9|
"It's fine.." she replies softly, her voice having become almost monotone>Focusing
Rolling Concentration, just because I'm feeling kind of bored
What exactly is she trying to do with these jars?
For now, she's speaking to each of them softly, as an impromptu eulogy. She's repeating a set of funeral prayers from her temple, once for each jar.
She's just making the ceremonial preparations for whateverthefuck I figure out to do next. I figured the next step would be to deliver them to a proper burial site and/or scatter them in a better place.
But really, I'm not actually sure what to do after this. I don't want to just pour them out here though.
I just figured that whatever she'd need to do would involve some kind of ceremony.
Iron watches intently at this ceremony of letting ponies' souls rest peacefully.>>81652How about taking them to a church? If not we can go to the forest and spread the ashes there.
Honestly I'm at a loss as to how to destroy the soul jars. You can't burn them, they've already been burned. You can't dip them in acid, they've already been treated by acid. You can't shatter them, they are already granular. So….
Well, they're physically similar to improperly-handled funeral urns; the only difference is really that they were handled with intent to cause despair, not reposition.
Thinking in character, Sister Ash would see them as that, and her go-to resolution would be to finish the funerals for each chamber, then scatter the ashes in an appropriate site to complete their reposition.>>81653
I considered that. I guess the most they could do is help with funeral services; maybe they could lead me to a place to scatter them.
Iron is a big boi, so he can carry most of the urns. I hope the taxi can do the same.
Please don't take Iron's headplate. It would be extremely painful.
>>81654>You can't dip them in acid
What kind of person other than a murderer would want to dip human remains in acid anyway?
Iron wonders what is taking Spark so long.
I'm waiting for at least one other person to show up to convince to join, or at least attempt to.
Spark approaches Dark Star. Is Silver there as well?
"Hey. Whats going on?"
Silver and Skies are together but away from Dark Star.
Having extremely private
"Iron would like to see if you are willing to help him and Ash hunt down some missing foals. Right now we are stuck out of the tunnel, and this mission is focused on peaceful resolution. Would you like to join?"
"yea, i will help out."
"Well, that was easy. Need anything in return for your help?"
I give 1 bit to Dark Star.
"You sure that is all?"
"yep, thats it, and we have to save those foals."
"Good to hear. I'm going to see what the others think, but go over and tell Iron that you are willing."
I look around for the others. I assume Silver and Blue Skies are not in sight?
I think I might go to bed soon.
Sister Ash will still be performing funeral services until she's satisfied with the state of each jar.
Dark Star Walks over to iron
"So whats up with these missing foals?"
Honestly, I have no idea where they are in relation to you guys. All I know is that they're still fairly close to Curwhinny Farm.
Maybe I will just roll perception or something to see if you are hidden from view.
Iron raises an eyebrow at Star's appearance. "Well, I was not expecting you to volunteer after being almost suffocated by smoke." Iron clears throat again and states the same as >>81635
up until '…doing things non-violently.' He then scratches his head. "How did Spark convince you to join?"
"he payed me. and i wanted to help the Foals."
"Even after Ash almost killed you?" Iron is dumbfounded
"its not a big deal."
Iron is unsure. "I guess Spark did pay you for this. Alright, you are in. We move out when Ash moves out."I'm not sure if the GM is here. I guess Spark and Silver could meet up but Skies should have an input in this deal since she's trying to do a deal herself.
"yea i asked for 1 bit."
Iron is shocked. "What? Why would you accept such a bad deal? We are going as far as political assassination if the politician does not give the foal back. Do you know how dangerous this could be?"
I take it Iron and all them are by the camp?
"danger is my middle name. and what politician?"
"I do not remember his name. I think he was a 'social democrat', some 'hero of the poor' or something. A weakling taking advantage of ponies like himself.">>81700We are at the place where the soul jars/ash urns are. No idea where that is, but we could be at the farmhouse still. I'll need to ask Ash or the GM tomorrow to ensure Iron, Ash and Star are at the camp or the farmhouse
Iron pokes his chin. "I think that is the stallion."
Dark Stars Eyes Flash with Determination
"Now im really committed."
"Huh, personal vendetta is actually a decent reason to choose to help. Well, guess that does it." Iron nods understandingly. "I wonder if Spark will convince Silver as well."Well, seeing how the GM hasn't really stepped in with the reunion of Silver and Spark with Skies, I'll assume that he is not able to participate for today/tonight. I'll go to bed now. Night everyone else.
Blue Skies' eyes go from mild irritation, to interest, to disbelief upon hearing this exchange
>>81710>Something vague involving missing foals>The implication of possibly murdering a democratically elected official
of it. This is either the worst conceivable idea or the best idea, but it certainly is not an indifferent matter to the Blackhooves"
"how would they feel about it?"
"That truly depends on exactly what this politician has to do with missing foals. If he is a serial killer or has a damned sex dungeon in his basement, then it would be fine to shoot him in the face and let that run on the next day's paper. It would be a million times better to gather as much evidence as possible, and have a long, very public trial that drags this 'democracy' through the mud. If this is just a custody issue over foals, or really, if that politician is doing anything less than seriously
immoral things, then the Blackhooves want nothing to do with it, and by extension, want you
to have nothing to do with it so long as you have one of their badges."
>>81713>>81714I assume Silver is here for this conversation.
"I have found it is running theme with politicians to have dark secrets. Perhaps job makes them like that. Perhaps job draws those with such tendencies towards it. I would not put it past this one to have something similar."
"That is probably right."
"Perhaps I have never clarified just exactly what the role of the State Security apparatus of the Baltimare Autonomous region is. State Security has three interests: to prevent foreign espionage in the region; to prevent sabotage of New Mareland operations by foriegn or
domestic elements, and above all else, to prevent and stop uprisings. We're a colonial administration, essentially. Regular crime is generally the domain of the civilian police force. The Blackhooves have chosen to have as light of a touch in the Baltimare region as possible, operating under the theory that however much the natives dislike the administration, they will not risk their lives to overthrow it so long as it does not actually have a meaningful impact on their daily lives, and so long as it engages in few public transgressions. A part of that is that - in this city at least - the civilian government is entirely self governing from the police system to the health care system. But that doesn't mean we like the local government either. They are left-leaners who are ideologically incompatible with the New Mareland administration, and anything that harms them in public opinion helps justify Blackhooves rule over the region.
If the matter involved here is something like a simple case of 'that guy has the foals now, I demand at least weekend custody' and all the stupid bullshit family drama that ought to be resolved in a civil court of law, then the murder of that official will cause riots in the streets if the Blackhooves are discovered to be involved. But if that public official is doing something evil - and I mean evil
- then bringing that to the public light"
She laughs in a manner consistent with her normal smile
"That would be just exactly what I would say this region needs. This Democracy
exposed for what it is">>81715
Dark? That is the question though."
The look on Silver's face suggests he thinks that maybe, just maybe, Blue is more concerned with the impact this could have on the public's faith in the city council than whether or not there are foals in danger. It also suggests, although to a lesser degree, that he's not too terribly ecstatic about the prospect of the Black Hooves gaining even more power in Equestria. "Yes, that is question, and it is why it is good idea to find evidence. So, if there are foals in danger, we can properly dispense justice."
"My dear Silver, you contact State Security if you want Order
. That is our goal. The prevention of absolute Anarchy.If what you want is 'Justice,' you contact Baltimare Police.
Yes, we could have said 'Equestrian can go fuck themselves if they want the right to police themselves. We alone have the right to search homes, to make arrests. To kill in the name of justice and the law. We have chosen instead to leave those functions right where they always have been: in the hooves of the local police. You do not have to agree with our decision to allow the Equestrians their freedom to govern themselves in as delicate a matter as criminal justice, but it is made and I shall abide."
He raises an eyebrow at Blue. "If you want to know reason why Equestrians do not like Black Hooves, it is attitudes like that within your organization."
"can i look into it?"
She growls audibly at Silver, and looks away. But she can't leave. So long as Dark Star is there, she must stay>>81721
"Look into it, certainly. Just don't do anything that will cause a riot"
"you have my word."
Silver doesn't push it, content with leaving the discussion there.
"Perhaps you should remember your reading of the Marena Carta. 'No free mare shall be taken, imprisoned, or in any other way destroyed except by the lawful judgement of her peers.' We are not a vigilante organization who dispense 'justice' as we perceive it and as we see fit. We we respect the rights of the accused, of the populace, and of due process."
"That is not what I meant, Skies. We Equestrians, we tend to respond more positively to actions reminiscent of the Elements. Kindness, Generosity, Laughter, Honesty, Loyalty, Magic. Claim to be benevolent for having good graces to not create totalitarian state after having invaded and occupied our lands, it does not change fact that invasion happened in first place, and that we still resent Black Hooves for it. And doubt that they care for us. I am merely stating, if you wish to gain more support for your organization and your cause, here, it would do well to think like Equestrian, and do things we would support in name of Black Hooves. Show you are not just here to 'keep order', but to do that which no others would be willing to do, and help.
"If, and that is indeed if, there are foals being harmed by this politician, and he is brought to justice, perhaps it would be better to claim this as proof that Black Hooves do care for ponies here, rather than trying to undermine faith in democracy."
As flatly as possible:
"What do you want from me."
"Democracy has failed."
"I do not want anything from you, in this case. Just consider that gaining support for Black Hooves in Equestria will require more hooves-on approach than you might be used to.">>81728
Silver shrugs. "I suppose I never made much use of democracy, in either case. I am not arguing in favor or against democracy. I am stating that Black Hooves will gain more support from ponies here, if they publicly appear to take their best interests at heart. This way that Blue Skies has framed this? It is good for working behind curtains, but it does little to build actual support among populace. Helping ponies, that is how Harmony became so powerful here, nevermind Celestia, or the Elements, or any of that. It was belief that helping fellow ponies, lifting everypony all up at once, regardless of who they are, is best for everypony involved."
"Silver, just four hours ago, when I told you that the Blackhooves have the power and the desire to save Equestrians from becoming livestock for changelings, you adamantly insisted that Equestria was strong enough and good enough to save itself, and that the Blackhooves had neither the desire, nor the power to save Equestria. Now, you demand for the Blackhooves to take take the time and effort to save Equestrians from the the ponies they have chosen to rule themselves. So which is it, because I am afraid you are not being at all consistent. Are the Equestrians who rule Equestria all powerful and all benevolent beings who can absolutely be trusted to safeguard a future for all foals, or are they monsters that the Blackhooves must personally see to it are 'brought to justice'? Are the Blackhooves weaklings too busy with matters elsewhere to even care that changeling swarms fly over the skies of half their possessions, or are they this all powerful world spanning entity that have enough time and ponypower to do good in every opportunity that presents itself? Because I am at a loss as to which you think.
I have already told you and Dark Star that if this politician is a murderer or a sex fiend, then yes, this is
a matter of Blackhooves concern. I just don't want him murdering an important person over what is basically a foal custody case."
"i agree with some of your ideas and i would put some of them in place if, i were the mayor of Baltimare."
"I can assure you, I was not selected for my particular line of work because I am 'good with ponies' or am known to be particularly compassionate. Working behind the curtains is kind of what I do and what I was hired to do. If you want a cuddly face to kiss foals, maybe contact Seabreeze or some other pony within my organization."
"You want me to think differently of Black Hooves? That your organization has our interests in heart, and that you all are not merely foreign invaders here to seek profit before Changelings come to kill us all? You want me to have faith in New Mareland, and faith in their ability to be our allies?" Silver looks her right in the eyes, determined. "Then I want you to prove it to me. To Equestria. Prove that you are here for more than yourselves. Prove that you care for us beyond just what we can provide for you. Prove that there is truth in what you say, in that we can count on Black Hooves, in your aircraft, in your armies, that you will all not simply abandon us once Chrysalis has had enough of entertaining this 'alliance'. You want that faith, that trust? Earn it. Do that, and I, and all true Equestrians, will follow Black Hooves to very depths of Tartarus, if need be.">>81732
"You do not need to be good with ponies. You need to understand them."
"Dark Star, what say you?" >>81733
"i think he makes a few good points, Doing whats best for the ponies of Equestria, and showing some care for them would go along way to gaining the trust of them."
She barely withholds a 'hiss,' and then pauses for a beat, and says the following
"If you had contacted Equestria's secret S.M.I.L.E. agency, before its dissolution at the end of the War, and told them you had an issue that had something to do with a foal, the first response they would have had is 'have you filed a police report yet?' Do not blame a spy for not being a police officer, especially when it is abundantly obvious that none of you have talked to a police officer, and no one standing here even knows what you are accusing this politician of doing. That makes exactly as much sense as being angry at your doctor for not fixing your car, when you can't even bother to tell him what kind of problems you are having with your car.">>81736
"So what should be done?"
Making an involved NPC was a terrible idea, because now I have no idea when I should keep her off scream, or when she should follow the party
"Again, I am not asking you to act, on anypony's behalf. But, when you say that, if something's up here, you wish to use this to undermine democracyl, it does not help foster support in your cause. It just makes you seem cold, calculated, withdrawn. It may work for you personally as agent of Black Hooves, but for Equestrians, who are looking for something or somepony to guide them in these troubled times? Not so much.">>81738All you can do is use your judgement on whether or not she would have any interest in what the party is doing. In this case, I think she would have some interest, but not in the same way that the party would have.
"well, i know they have a war going on at the moment so they probably couldn't do anything. So i would if i were mayor i would, open some schools to teach the foals Discipline and about history such as Eqrestria Declaring war on New Mareland. and hospitals to help the sick. and open more mines and foundries so Baltimare can be able to rebuild the Region thus improving life and the black hooves would gain the loyalty and adoration of their new subjects."
“Silver, have we met? I am
cold, calculated, and withdrawn. I am not
a guide for troubled ponies. I never claimed this to be a good thing nor did I claim to be a good pony. Nature did not bestow her gifts equally upon all creatures.. Some of us are doomed to be forever at a deficit of magic and Harmony.”
Silver just shrugs, figuring everything that could be said, has been said.
In any other work by any other author, the Gestapo SS agent would be the unambiguous, no questions asked villain, regardless of her actual actions, so long as she remained loyal to her sponsoring government. The only reason that an exception here is even possible is because of the unique situation of this image board, and because this work borrows in part from a grand strategy game - grabs strategy games being the one and only exception in all of literature that you are not allowed to take a fascistic government as your protagonist.
My original intent was to have each faction have an NPC that sort of represented then, and was attached to the party as necessary or made sense. An attempt to create a new faction of Church militants as a sort of representation of the Restorationist political movement - which is obviously winning the popularity contest - was shot down. I’m pretty sure the reason why is that an NPC following the party for a quest is undesired. So… I don’t know
>>81738>>81743It's a given that NPCs are going to be involved with the party for most of the game: quest-givers, item-suppliers, information sources, hired grunts, and even enemies/intelligent-monsters qualify as NPCs.The real question is for how long do you want to keep certain NPCs around, and how deeply you want to involve them in things. I don't mind some NPCs sticking around as recurring characters.I think there's a section on this in the DMG.>>81744Couldn't dividing the party into opposing factions kind of complicate things even more than alignment/motivations already could? I mean, it sounds like a cool idea, so long as they have a common goal (which I could easily adjust my character to match); but it sounds like a thing you'd want to let the PCs know about or motivate them towards, because otherwise it could potentially be like herding cats.Whatever it is you want to do or decide to do, I can gladly cooperate to the best of my ability. That'll be easier for me if I can get a vague sense of what kind of story you're trying to tell, since I can be an actor as much as a player if there's a story niche to be filled.
*you feel it's good.
Also, to everyone, I would like to clarify my actions about starting that fire, both in and out of character:
See, as I was back-reading, I saw that note from that fallen soldier that detailed orders about needing to destroy Curwinney's notes: a mission that Sister Ash would have agreed with, given her beliefs, past experience with necromancers, and the fact that she had just caught a child conjuring evil spirits from what she read in a black magick tomb the prior night (which was followed by a nightmare that I considered to be meaningful). Because of all that, I figured there were some manuscripts that were supposed to be destroyed in the dungeon (or that characters were morally being steered to do it), and I though that Sister Ash would be proper to fill the niche as the book-burner. Plus, I really wanted to use that Christ-chan reaction image, because it summed up how Sister Ash was feeling at the time (more on that later). When I found that room full of books, I kind of assumed those would be my target books, since that room was close to where the party found the note; it was a bad assumption to make, but I was being dumb at the time.
As for Sister Ash, her reasoning to burn the books was partially to destroy black magick, and partially an excuse for her own violent outburst. In her eyes, she saw what she thought were Curwinney's notes as his accumulated power/knowledge that he'd gained through decades of slavery, blasphemy, and cruel animal testing: To her, they were they product of evil and we're also evil (or at least she felt like that, because she was a hares breath away from full Nirik); she was furious and really only wanted to destroy them. As for the other artifacts, she thought they were cultural tools he'd stolen from all over the world for his research, not unlike the Sarcophagus: heritage items, only intrinsically valuable to the people who knew their cultural worth, that had been used as instruments of evil; in her anger, she felt they were better off destroyed. I had been trying to play her as being increasingly angry with everything she'd seen so I could make her go berserk when the combat came up (I thought that the peace-loving nun could fit the niche well if she were just slightly bipolar at times when morals we're at stake), and I saw the book-burning as nice opportunity to show how angry she could be.
I never intended to make her out as a person who disrespected history, or didn't appreciate the value of knowledge; quite the contrary. I wanted her to be a person who was very intrigued and passionate about pony cultures, and believed that traditions had intrinsic value. That's was actually why I thought she'd be angry at all those cultural items that had been stolen from the people who could appreciate them and been hoarded for a purpose that was practical rather than intrinsic (which is part of why she loathes evil necromancers). But again, I wasn't thinking very hard. The bullshit she spouted earlier was just me trying to communicate how irrationally angry she was. She's not supposed to be normally be a book burner; she just thought those particular books were better off burned to stick it to the necromancer who collected them, even if he was long dead.
Of course, I played her with the mentality that there was something in the dungeon that was worth destroying or I was supposed to; that was actually some poor metagaming in hindsight. Because of that, I felt just went ahead and burned those things with no remorse. I didn't at all intend to destroy any of the party's loot/clues/lore, or create needless conflict/danger just because it would have been "in-character" (rat-bastard logic). I just thought it made sense and wouldn't cause that much major loss. I would never, ever, ever, ever knowingly destroy loot that the party could use; the fact that my character doesn't believe in the value of wealth had absolutely no impact on my decision there. If I had realized moments earlier that the gas might kill or inconvenience the party, or that I was destroying something that you guys could loot, I would have not set that fire.
As for the smoke hazards, that was just me being an idiot. I thought that the fire would either stay contained in that room, or that the fire would slowly spread, and the party would be able to run outside while all the undead inside it burned. I didn't consider the poison gas effect on the situation.
>>81757Like I said before. OOC it's no biggie. You had a somewhat valid reason to go to town with those books because you thought it was evil in some sense that in hindsight was misguided. To create good characters, you need some flaws in order not to appear like a god amongst men, and you provided it with some drastic, emotional side that the kirin race fall prey to many times before, which provides justification to do those harsh things. Besides, this is only the beginning. The players have not gained a lot of character growth in order to like the characters, save for Star since he has a marefriend, and that could go badly if the same player wants Skies still as another character. I would not bat an eye if Iron died right now due to some ill-contrived reason, and I believe most other characters would not mind, seeing how many of them accept death so quickly, although jokingly.>>81758Well, you were reposing those urns and I wasn't aware that Skies was in the scene so Ash didn't have to interfere with the deals since the players are so willing to join up even if I said it was a suicide mission that will kill them or something. Skies was the wild card I did not take into account and the wording would probably tilt a normal person who stumbles into the scene, specially if it undermines the power of its faction that the person is affiliated.
I'll be taking smol nap. Be back in about an hour, hour on a half.
"Well, we've already influenced the curriculum of the public schools so that they accurately reflect history. Religious educational institutions retain their autonomy, but we are trying to reduce instances of false doctrines that are disruptive of civil obedience. The local government already supplies hospitals and medical care for the sick. As for mines and foundries, well, we're working on it. Manehattan is receiving a plurality of the industrial development as it is the de facto capital. We are developing mines for minerals down in the south, as well as rubber plantations, which both supply critical resources, and give economic benefits to the colonists and natives there. But there is only so much money to go around."
>>81769>we are trying to reduce instances of false doctrines that are disruptive of civil obedience
Sister Ash turns her head with a frown at this for a moment, but does not cease her prayer.
"Anyways." Iron steps in the staring, not wanting a mare-fight. "The whole 'assassination' part was an overexaggeration on my part. We are looking into peaceful paths about that issue. It was something to test Star's will for this mission. I do want him and the others to be serious about this."
"Who precisely is this politician, how did he get these foals, and what is he doing with them?"
Iron thinks for a bit. "I think it is Larry Berry, a 'social democrat: hero of the poor' stallion, manipulating the poor's wishes to increase his status as a politician. Not sure if I am missing anything else, but buying a kidnapped foal from a gang seems strange, unless he is infertile or something."
Sister Ash keeps murmuring a prayer for a few more lines as she finishes a verse, before she speaks up in the conversation.
"… From what I have understood, he bought them, like common goods." She says, still in her monotone voice>>81775
She snaps at this
"Foals cannot be bought by any means." She growls
"I'm not sure of what his motivations we're, but I do not trust him in the least bit."
Iron strokes Ash's mane. "I know that. Children are concieved, not bought."
"The politician purchased
them? Are you sure it was not an adoption fee?">>81777
"Oh, you don't need to birth a child to raise one"
"An adoption fee wouldn't surpass a foal's weight in gold." She hisses
"By the fact that the low-lives he dealt with still had foals on their hooves, I have little faith that what he payed was a noble ransome. He wanted to buy
a foal, and he wanted it done silently."
"Then it sounds like this guy had something to hide. Let us bring that secret to the sunlight and see how well it fares."
"For your first statement. Yes. The gangsters holding the unsold foals say that much. The foals could testify for this too, but I do not know if they know the purchase themselves." Iron thinks for a bit. "Your other statement, while true, is something ponies should avoid. It usually causes a lot of problems trying to raise a foal who is not linked to you by blood, but we can talk about it later when the job is done.">>81780
"Are you sure he does not have any influence that protects him if the secret got out?" Iron is skeptical.
"He payed what looked like more than the price of a small house. I'm sure he took great
lengths to keep his dealings secret."
"then i would expel the non ponies from baltimare,increasing social trust in the ponies"
"It is weird that the gangsters know that it was Barry who bought them if that is the case. It is possible that he has the whole gang under his hoof if I am thinking right about the implications of this." Iron scratches his side.
"He is clearly protected by wealth, influence, and power. That is probably how he is and has been getting away with it. None of that can do much to protect him from us
. If he has friends in power, we use the secret against them. If he has corrupted police officers, use it against them. If he has corrupted blackhooves agents, use it against them. If he has corrupted local media, use it against them. There can be benefits to having more than one governmental master">>81783
"All the same, the ponies voted for Social Democrats">>81782
Alright, for the 90th time, we are not
going for that bizarre hyper-inflation in whatever book. A house costs more than a foal, and a foal costs more than a cow, and stop trying to pervert it
"Ah, your skills shine through." Iron smiles. "Well, seeming you know what you are doing, what should be the course of action to leak that secret out? I am pretty sure our word are not as valid as a 'trusted' politician if we are to spread a rumor around, nevermind the fact that we become a target to be disposed of if he finds out we are the ponies who are spreading his secret."
"they didnt know what they were really signing up for."
"There are many ways it could be done. Perhaps the simplest is to break into his house - and that itself could be done any number of ways - and collect evidence of wrong doing. After that, the evidence is given over secretly to a judge who signs a warrant, and the police raid. Naturally all of this is best done without the target knowing. But once the police find the secret… Well, my superiors have their way of making sure it will promulgated to the masses.">>81788
"So tell me. Are all
Iron looks at himself, wearing a wolf-helmet fullplate armor and a police-like tower shield. "I do not think I am cut out for something like that, but it sounds the most reasonable by far. Before I suggest anything, you seem interested in this job now. I suppose you will take that chance to place one of your own ponies to replace Barry? It should increase power for your faction in terms of influence if it is possible for you to do so."
"in most cases,yes."
>>81790>full plate armor
"Not necessarily. You could be the bodyguard of a visiting important figure. You could be there to apply for a job as one of his guards. You could be police accompanying a routine inspection for dangerous gas leaks. You could even be the gardener, with your armor in a bag"
"Now this is extremely important. Are you absolutely certain
that the politician in question was Larry Berry, The mayor
, and not someponyelse?">>81791
"But you are aware that the Blackhooves must and do recruit griffins and minotaurs, correct?"
"For now they must."
"Do you think the ponies can be convinced to take up their place in history?"
Okay, forgive me for metagaming, but I'd really appreciate knowing how much things are going to cost:I get that livestock don't really factor into price, but how much does a simple house really cost in this post-medieval setting?The house Sister Ash is referring to was the Simple House described under the Urban Environments section: a one-to-three room structure with wooden walls and a thatched roof. Basically, one of the tiny cottages in Ponyville (pick semi-related, but not as fancy). It normally costs one thousand gold pieces (20 pounds of gold), which is a sum that a character lvl 1 character with 4 ranks in Profession or Craft job would have to save for almost 3 years to save that much (without murdering anyone). A level 1 NPC owns assets totally in 900 pieces, a level 2 NPC owns 2000. If two lvl 1 commoners got married and had one child (no wealth for him), they'd collectively possess 1800 pieces worth of wealth, which covers the house and 800 pieces worth of belongings.
When Sister Ash gave those guys their ransome money, I thought at the time that she'd given them more gold than she'd ever seen (including the sum of assets that her entire temple donated to the orphanage, which was 9000 pieces).
I get that foals would be expensive, because they're illegal to sell (same reason drugs are expensive), so only rich bastards would by them, and they'd pay through the nose because they [i]can.
How much is 1000 gold pieces worth in this setting, relatively?
Iron nods understandingly. "I see you have done this before." Iron makes sure to remember the name that was said by the gangsters back at the cannery Ash and Iron went yesterday and tells it to Skies.Mainly because I don't remember it OOC.
And for the record, when she said "house" by her standards she meant a medieval house, because the houses in the Kirin village were much less modern than what Equestrians live in.
"it might be a bit idealistic but yes i do."
>>81795If this crook payed about 1500 gold pieces for the foal, and the foal weighed 30 pounds, he would have payed exactly the foal's weight in gold by normal standards. That was a price I considered to be disturbingly ominous, so I included it in the dialogue.
Sister Ash doesn't understand Equestrian economics or currency, but she payed in gold, so her statement was a rough estimate that was "About one sixth of the amount of the maximum amount of gold that me and my dog combined could physically carry here".
Sorry for asking stupid questions…
I don't want to set out a large set of numbers right here because of how that could affect balance in the future, but I think I will have mundane non-combat items more expensive, and most everything else the same>>81796
She gives him her smile
"Indeed. Many times, actually.">>81798
"And if that happens, what shall be the fate of the Griffins, the Changelings, the Zebra, the Minotaurs, and the Diamond Dogs?">>81799
No. That is definitely not true. Stahp. We are not using those weights. If we used 1942 gold prices and one bit as 1 1942 USD, then each brick weighed 8.2 pounds
"Mass Deportation.except for the changelings. and if any resist well.. it wouldn't be good for them."
"I take it you have something different in mind for the Changelings? And mass deportation to where exactly? The Blackhooves already control a substantial amount of Griffin, Minotaur, and Zebra territory as colonies"
"Yes i do. Perhaps, they could be deported to a specific Provence."
She laughs malignly
"There are many
such suitable provinces. But first, I would like to return to the concept of the good Griffin. Surely you've seen Jacques, the white feathered griffin at headquarters? His family was a part of a set of nobles murdered by Revolutionaries and Iconoclasts in Pridea. He was given political Asylum, even as resettlement for non-ponies tends to steer away from Metropolitan New Mareland. He is now a loyal agent of the Order Police. I can assure you of that, because he is among the creatures I have spied on to test their loyalty. Tell me, should he and those other creatures like him - like the Minotaur Felipe Polemistís who you can often see in the main lobby - be rewarded specially for their service?"
>>81801Wait, shit. It's actually Comte Burgher, not Larry Berry. Never fucking mind.
Iron suddenly realizes that it was not Larry Berry but someone named Comte Burgher. He relays this information to Skies.
"As Long as they are 100% Dedicated to the cause. and so long as they know that being here is a privilege. i dont see anything terribly wrong with them staying."
"I see. I had figured taking down the mayor himself was too good to be true. No matter. A city councilmember is a high prize. This will hurt not only him, but all those around him"
"Interesting. Now, what about the Changeling Question?"
"Sorry about that. You can add it up to the 'punch Iron in the face' debt if you would like." Iron takes off his helmet and places it on the floor. "Anyways, are you up for a bit of political disruption?" Iron extends his hoof, expecting a hoofbump or shake.
*his unarmored hoof
She takes the hoof>>81810
"You see no room for any kind of coexistence?"
"they are giving me no choice on the matter."
Alright.As far as her point goes though, 1500 gp is still a fuckton of money. It's radsome-tier money. It's not the kind of person that an average person would be able to make in a short amount if time, unless they'd just murdered someone for it.
And for the sake of in-character continuity in why she would have said something like that, just consider that Sister Ash just believes that a small house shouldn't cost that much by her standards. She comes from a rural jungle community that lived in mostly medieval, wood-thatch cottages; a community who lived just a few dozen klicks away from an active Dragons' Lair and only lived peacefully right next to them because they were polite and had hardly anything worth plundering. That, and she considered even that meager level of wealth to be too fancy for holiness; and she opted for the life of a homeless hermit because she considers wealth as a concept to be little more than a distraction from faith and intimacy with the natural world.
When she thinks of a "house" she thinks of four walls, a thatched roof, a medocre floor, and the effort it takes to slash and burn the surrounding brush. She's clueless to the concept of real estate inflation because she doesn't really believe that land is something that can be idealistically owned.
Anyway, I'm back now.
Back to the conversation then..
".. That could be quite interesting." She
Iron smiles. "Then it is settled. You, Star, Silver and Spark now are in this foal rescuing business, at least on the Comte Burgher side of the mission." Iron then puts his helmet back on, being sure not to get any dust inside the helmet.Should I add Onyx to this list later on?
"I guess that statement is indeed true of Chrysalis's Imperialism">>81817Hopefully, probably on weekends only though>>81816
"You've done it before"
"Sometimes a bit disruption is necessary, for the growth of a herd."I was going to say "a people", but herd seemed more appropriate.
Iron leans on Ash and whispers. "How should we deal with the mademares? I got some information on their interests that could potentially increase the odds of negotiation for the foals."
"i Dont want to have to do it."
"The Changelings' reckless expansionism is certainly cause for concern. In recent decades, they've been as tenacious as Formians, and frenzied as locusts, casting aside their nature as infiltrating parasites and swarming over vast regions of land. Many creatures and environments have suffered from this trend, and their insustainable methods are sure to cause turmoil for their own hives within their occupied lands as well." she
"They are unable to nurture the land for resources. They need, creatures, particularly ponies, to survive. If they continue expanding at this rate, they'll find that the sustenance they're able to extract from their tortured captives is no longer enough to cover their empire.. And then..
" her tone grows dark
"They'll be attacking and swarming their neighbors even more viciously; waging greater wars not merely for the greed to their queens, but for survival…" She says, her voice serious
"If the trend does not reverse, continental wars may be inevitable."
Iron does not understand. "Why should they attack ponies directly? Will that not just deplete love reserves for them to feast upon?"
"The Day Of The Bug Spray will come soon enough."
She gives her her smile
"Like a forest fire that clears out the old growth, to make room for the new?">>81822
"Its a question that won't need answering until after
the backbone of their military has been broken. You'll have plenty of time to consider it.">>81823
"I do not think you give Hymenoptera Proteus Succuba
enough credit. Their breeding is the most strictly controlled of any creature on the planet. They know not to exceed their carrying capacity. Where you are terribly right is that they fully believe and intend to increase that carrying capacity by Imperialism over greater host populations. We've already seen Continental wars. What you must prepare for, is a World War.>>81824
"That's only the first assault. They lull the host into a false sense of security thereafter. That, and love is not so easily banished from the heart, as it manifests in times of great danger just as surely as in the most tranquil peace"
Sorry, phone posting. One minute.
"A World War? Thats impossible."
"It is all too
possible. Pray it happens on our terms, and not on theirs"
"Is the Duke Preparing?"
"He has been since before they invaded Equestria"
"Who is this duke you mentioned?" Iron is curious.
"Duke Erebus Haygle, former professor of the Philosophy of History at the University of Sunset, elected first president of the New Mareland Commonwealth after independence, and granted lifetime executive powers by the congress of the New Mareland State. The leader of the Blackhooves. By extension, the highest authority over all of the Baltimare Autonomous Region."
"He values strength and purity of the national spirit first and foremost as the vanguard of all else of value. He has been strong thus far in protecting his people. Is he as strong as Chrysalis… Well, that remains to be seen."
"So can he fight physically? I can see he at least he values it."
"Him? Personally? No. He is much too old for that, and in any case he is a bone head. That does not matter, because he does not believe that strength lies in the individual.
After all, how strong is
an individual? As an infant, could you fight? Could you even think properly? No. You needed your mother to nurse you, parents to feed you later. You needed ponies around you to learn how to talk and how to reason, and you need them still as friends and family. And even after all of that, you are still mortal.
You see, really, the individual is not the base unit of ponykind. That title belongs to the Nation. The Tribe, if you will. It is the Nation that is weak or strong. It is the Nation that has a long history and a long future. It was here before your birth, it has shaped you since your birth, and it ought remain long after you are gone.
None of this is to say the individual has no relevance. Quite the contrary, the nation is nothing without the individual, and they must assume many distinct roles within society for the nation to function properly. When individuals are weak at the roles for which they are required, the nation as a whole is weak. And that is why every individual must be strong in their own particular role, though it would be foolish to think that one role alone could a society make.
And now, is his Nation
strong? Yes, it has gone up against many, and fallen to none. They are damned
fine fighters. Ask anypony around here."
"Makes sense. No group can shrvive if they are not proficient at their jobs." Iron scratches his muzzle. "Say, can I get into a hooffight with some stallion from your party? I want to see the strength of said ponies. This does not mean your group is not strong. I just want to see for myself the strength of your best fighters in a simple hoof-to-hoof combat. It is not asking much, is it?"
She gives him her smile
“Perhaps Fillipe will take you up on that”
She puts a hoof on him
“Oh Dark Star, is that wise?”
Iron raises an eyebrow. "Is there something special about Fillipe? You seem to see him in a special light judging from your… smile.">>81844>>81845
"While I do like your courage and will, and you did beat me at hoof-wrestling, I suggest taking up Skies offer and reconsider."
“Have you ever seen a Minotaur?”
"Wise? i can say that its not. But im up for the challenge."
Iron thinks. "I heard that they have cow-like bodies and are usually very muscular, but I have never seen one before.">>81848
"Well, if you insist. I need permission from Skies for me to fight you though. She may not like you beaten to a pulp and try to drug me or something."
With an expression of dissapointmemt that seems feigned
“Now why would I drug you?”
"To drag and tie me up to be used as a punching dummy by some of your friends. What else?" Iron deadpans at Skies.
Her look changes to one of contemplation.
“Hmmm…. I will admit, that is s big more substantive than just leaving you drugged and in a ditch”
Iron smiles. "See? I knew you would like it." Iron looks to his sides "Do you let Star fight me, then?"
"Oh it wouldn't be you
I would stop"
Iron is confused. "Who will you stop, then?"
"Dark Star, of course"
"Ah, so you do not let him. Well, I guess that is reasonable." Iron strokes his chin. "So who is this Fillipe, apart from being a minotaur?"
"A guard of the Blackhooves Baltimare Headquarters"
"Would he accept the fight all willy-nilly? I am unsure that he can leave his post if he guards something." Iron pops his back bones, elicting a small pleased sigh.
'Probably not. But he may accept one after his shift."
Iron is excited. "When is that? Where could I meet him? Will he be tired after his shift to fight?"
"She said would. she didnt say she will."
Sister Ash seems to have finished her funeral services for each of the individual jars.
"… Changelings.. are peculiar creatures. Native to the wastelands North East of the Crystal Empire, they're a breed of creatures that are capable of sustaining their bodies without food or water; Sustenance..
it is a capability similar possessed by many living creatures of the outer planes, like the Formians, but by few in this world. I studied it for the sake of immitating it myself one day, and have found that it is possible for certain creatures to sustain their bodies through.. intrinsic sources.." she clears her throat
"The Changelings however do not possess such a perfect ability. Their Sustenance is derrived parasitically, in a manner that is in appearance similar to the life-draining powers of certain undead, but different on a profound level, and much less sinister. Changelings sustain themselves on 'love', not love of the land or love of eachother, but the love of loving creatures. Ponies, in particular have been a primary source of sustenance for their hives, and have been for eons.."
"It's not in accurrate to say that the Changelings fill a niche similar to wasps. They live in hives, surrounding a fertile queen. Hive members fly far out into Equestrian territory to collect love for their queen and her offspring, the same way bees collect nectar from flowers. Ponies, so radiant, charming and gentle natured, and so unconditionally loved by creation, are an irresistible source of love for the hungry Changelings. The Changelings would fly to great lengths to collect love for their hives, blending into pony society for years on end to build up love within their bodies, their loyalty to their queens never waning, returning to the wastelands when they'd built up enough power. The Changelings, through extensive deciet, are loved by ponies, and the Changelings share their love with their queens; the queen is able to grow stronger, and the health and safety of the hive is secured…. Or that's how it should be..">>81824
"Greed." She says flatly
"The Changelings are only able to survive as a race because all members of the hive unconditionally love their queen. The Sustenance they are able extract from ponies is only barely
enough to sustain them; their bodies are full of holes, emaciated by starvation, Despite this, the hive is able to live on because Changelings give their unconditional love to their queen: their mother. Changelings obey their mothers with utmost loyalty, following her commands precisely, all individuallity stripped away by the necessity of the hive to share enough love.."
"This lawful, Formian-like hivemind has a downside, however. If the Queen of a hive is rash, greedy, or naive, all the members of the hive will follow suit. Chrysalis is a prime example of such a queen: greedy, naive, power-hungry and completely willing to sacrifice the safety and sustainability of her hive to collect more love from her loyal hatchlings and burn it for the development of her own powers…" She says, her voice growing ever darker.
"Her aggressive actions in the past have only led her to humiliation and loss, but the fleeting rewards of what she gained in those minutes of success were enough to feed her ego and naivity. Her first for sustenance is far more predatory than the average wasp: it is a voracious as a spider-eater. By capturing ponies bringing them back to their hives, Changelings are able to extract greater bursts of 'love' through forced contact and feed it directly
to their queens. It is an avant garde and unsustainable method. Ponies, in prolonged states of despair, do not produce love in the same richness that Changelings are able to collect. The ponies that they capture grow detracted quickly, and the Changelings are forced to capture more ponies to sustain the greed of their queen. Similarly, ponies in the state of war become far less suitable as hosts for the Changelings: war-battered ponies grow paranoid, bitter, and vengeful, making it all the more difficult for the parasitic Changelings to extract enough love to bring back to their queen. The fact of this only encourages even more violence, the war-starved Changelings needing to capture even more ponies to maintain the sugar high of their queen… The wars they start create the need for even more war. They're able to swarm quickly, and attack in shocks, but their current lifestyle cannot sustain them forever. It was in Chrysalis's nearsighted greed and arrogance that she did not realize that the most abundant source of Sustenance for her hive lied in a happy and peaceful population of nearby ponies. She has ravaged her own race's primary source of food, and now she has doomed them all to go to war forever, until there is not enough left to fuel them… It won't happen immediately, but it will eventually, and the entire world will despair from the catastrophe caused by those who disturbed the harmony of nature.
(Fuck, I wish I had my computer so I could respond more quickly)
Sister Ash turns, unconvinced.
"It is the Changelings that give themselves too much credit, particularly Chrysalis. She believes that Changelings are capable of surpassing their natural niche, when they've only changed their tactics: she believes herself to be a predator, when she can never be anything but a lowly parasite. Even if she were a predator, she could never safely outnumber her own food supply. Her power and greed are unsustainable, and her entire race will suffer for it."
"She arrogantly believes that she is suited to rule the entire world alone; And if the way she's regarded the safety and well-being of her own hive in the past is any example, she is by no means a competent ruler. She takes the unconditional love of her hive, the foundation of her tribe's survival, to be a testament to her own supremacy. She does not love them the same way they love her: she only continues laying at increasingly monstrous rates with the state of mind that she's only producing more slaves for her war machine; she'd gladly sacrifice a hundred swarms for a mere tactical victory. Her pathetic aggressions on ponykind in the past are only a glimpse of how vain she can really be."
Sister Ash's eyebrows have once again started to glow
"Her rapid burst of power in recent years is far from legitimate. It doesn't stem from competant leadership or wise governance, but senseless greed. She has somehow finally managed to get the other Changeling queens of the wastelands to adopt her foolish practice, getting them high on short-lived bursts of sustenance, delivered by the bundle. Changelings we're always strongest when they fought and fed in numbers, and the recent advances to modern warfare made it all the more easy for their United powers to cause enormous amounts of damage at once. Now they've all grown fat, reclining on their thrones, having sustenance delivered to them by the bulk as their overies go into overdrive to increase their , all the while their armies die off by the swarm in battles that slowly but surely destroy their tribe's only supply off food!">More smoke
"The current expansionism of the Changelings has the potential of a plague of biblical proportions. They've taken up the niche of a swarm of locusts: usually semi-solitary creatures, on rare occasions they swarm; their horemones raginging in an ever-growing frenzy of food and sex, depleting everything the land has to offer, until eventually their swarm collapses and they die off by the millions. Changelings are the same; as soon as their queens find themselves unable to maintain their perpetual sugar-highs, it will don on them how dependant they've become on war. At that point, global war will be inevitable, for the Chrysalis and her possy will for the first time in their race's history, find themselves genuinely desperate for love."
And now, another perfectly fine nun's habit has been burned to dust. Only an angry black dragon-pony, with shiny golden armor (the spell), and a collum of ghostly fire
"The state of the Changeling empire is more than just a threat to ponies and their livelihoods. It supercede politics, for it has the potential to become an existential threat to all life in this world!"
Iron takes it all in, somewhat unfazed by her now firey form. "I see. So this ruler, Chrysalis, is dooming their own kind just because they want the sweet sugar cane that love gives them. Truly a stupid ruler." Iron shakes his head. He attempts to touch Ash's body, see how hot it is.
Iron is not convinced. "Well, prove it to me. Make Skies give you permission and then we shall fight hoof-to-hoof."
Holy hell, I've got a lot of backreading to do.
She sighs slightly
"His shift varies by day, but today I believe it should end at 6 PM, and he could be found at the Grand Baltimare Hotel as he leaves. I must say that I have never stalked him, so I could not tell you his routine after that.">>81862
*pats*>>81863>>81864>All of this about changelings
Alright, there is no conceivable way I could be silent on this
"What time is it, then? I would certainly want to fight someone else today, specially with such a reputation.">>81867>>81869Heyo, you missed quite a bit
Sorry. Today has been hectic.
It's fine. No need to devote your life to this. It's just a game.
"Exactly." She hisses
"She cackles in bliss as she crushes her enemies, but she stands, it is own tribe that faces destruction in the long run." She says, the combined light of her armor and fire looking like a miniature sun>>81868
That's really just an accumulation of what I've gathered from details of the show, what I've gathered in game, a few mlp/bug/ general headcanons, and what little lore I've read surrounding the Hearts of Iron mod. It's supposed to reflect Sister Ash's beliefs and understanding of the situation; she could be wrong…
"Shes not my mother iron."
Dark Star Strokes her mane
"So… Looks like either my diplomacy skills are decent, or we just have really good friends. Now to ask Silver."
I walk over to Silver.
Iron squints at this amount of light. "Yes, can you stop the fire already? I cannot see anything.">>81874
"Eh, it is more for my safety than your pride, Star. I would rather not give her any incentive to do bad stuff to me." Iron shrugs.>>81876
"Yeah, friends." Iron is unsure to call this group a couple of besties.
>>81865>He attempts to touch Ash's body, see how hot it is.
… Roll a reflex save..
Silver seems to have been lost in the conversation about changelings that had been taking place, but he notices Spark trot up to him in time to hear what he has to say.
._.It's a 15 DC save.. to resist catching fire.
… Roll a touch attack to see if you actually touched the fireball, because she would have tried to avoid it.
I'll roll a normal 1d20 and then add the necessary modifiers.
"Are you willing to help us save missing foals?"
Silver looks a bit thankful at how straightforward the question is. "I am still technically in your employment. Until this business at quarry is finished, what you do, I will do."
"Wait,W-What are yo-"
Iron, in touching the raging blue fireball "to see how hot it is", has now caught fire, and takes 1d6 fire damage.
fool!" She gasps in concern, stepping several paces back as she tries to put herself out.
>>81863>>81863>Native to the wastelands North East of the Crystal Empire
"Technically false, but I can see why you would think that"
>capable of sustaining their bodies without food or water
true, and certainly not true for developing hatch-lings, but neither is it wholly false"
>I studied it for the sake of immitating it myself one day
"Why would anyone
want to suffer the life of a Changeling?"
> Hive members fly far out into Equestrian territory to collect love for their queen and her offspring, the same way bees collect nectar from flowers
>all members of the hive unconditionally love their queen
"That I can tell you is false. The Equestrian government even sheltered defectors prior to the War."
>Despite this, the hive is able to live on because Changelings give their unconditional love to their queen: their mother. Changelings obey their mothers with utmost loyalty, following her commands precisely, all individuallity stripped away by the necessity of the hive to share enough love
"It is true that a Queen like queen Chrysalis is a queen in the sense that that is her biological sex, and it is true that Changelings have a devotion to their mother, their brothers, and their sisters. However, Changeling collective loyality is more abstract than that. They are perfectly capable of following a queen that is not their personal mother. That is how Chrysalis became queen not just of the hive she is the mother of, but off all of the hives on this continent. Really, Changeling collectivism is like pony collectivism, only stronger."
>war-battered ponies grow paranoid, bitter, and vengeful, making it all the more difficult for the parasitic Changelings to extract enough love to bring back to their queen
"This is not necessarily true. A combatant in action often fights to defend those he loves, and the country he loves. Indeed, it is a very strong form of love. Besides, the intent is not eternal love, it is to bring about peace under a changeling hegemony, which means ponies will go back to a sort of uneasy normalcy. What Chrysalis believes is that even if the ponies are less loving and more fearful under Changeling domination, then at least the Changelings can suck their love directly, which she thinks would be more efficient than sending 'honey bees'. Whether she is right of course, well, remains to be seen."
"I… don't know. If it doesn't happen, do you think she would be content with what she has?">>81864>A predator
"She is simply following the pattern of Colonialism taken up by other species. After all, it is how the Equestrians have dealt with the Buffalo and their own fellow ponies in the Crystal Empire and the Dominion. Changelings like to mimic the behavior of others, after all"
>she is not a competent ruler
"She defeated Celestia and the elements twice. Do not dismiss that offhand"
>She only continues laying at increasingly monstrous rates
"That I am… not…"
>She'd gladly sacrifice a hundred swarms for a mere tactical victory
"And a hundred swarms would gladly sacrifice themselves for their hives. When a bee stings, it pulls out its intestines along with its stinger. It sacrifices itself to defend the hive"
>all the while their armies die off by the swarm in battles that slowly but surely destroy their tribe's only supply off food
"It remains to be seen just how strong or weakened they will be in the war to come. But I will tell you this right now: you never, ever, win a war just by assuming that your enemy is weak and a pushover"
>They've taken up the niche of a swarm of locusts
"My dear, please stop for a moment to look at it from their perspective. They believe that they are engaging in Animal Husbandry. You raise cows for milk, don't you? And sheep for wool. That is what they think they are doing. Raising ponies like sheep and fleecing them, or like cows for milk. They are doing to ponies what ponies do to the other animals of the land."
>The state of the Changeling empire is more than just a threat to ponies and their livelihoods. It supercede politics, for it has the potential to become an existential threat to all life in this world
"Just so long as that means you are willing to cooperate with the Blackhooves">>81865
"No. Imagine a pony having its life force slowly drained from it forever. That is the future you face.">>81875>>81874
"I appreciate that Silver, but you are free to accept this or refuse without any penalty to your pay. It is your choice."
>>81888>You raise cows for milk, don't you? And sheep for wool
"What? i didnt mean any disrespect."
Dark Star pats her head
She said she was an agent of anti-subversive activities for the State Security apparatus of the Blackhooves. It's a part of her job>>81891
Uh… Probably? They raise livestock in the show>>81892
She just looks at him
"Ow! Your fire is not for show!" Iron exclaims as he gets burned by the fire. He is now rolling on the ground to stop the fire from hurting him more.>>81888
"Does the process hurt like this?" Iron is currently rolling on the ground trying to put
the fire out while her counter speech was taking place.
"That I don't…. know…."
She finds this strange
dark Star Scratches behind her ears
>>81888>"She defeated Celestia and the elements twice. Do not dismiss that offhand"
|Rolled 10 + 5|
Tbh, she always seemed pretty naive and foolish to me in the show. Not to underestimate her, but she's a pretty greedy Butch, and doesn't seem to actually give a fuck about her hive: not a competent ruler to me.
Sister Ash would think the same, from stories she's herd.>>81894
That requires another reflex save…
Caleb rolls Aid Another, to try to put out the flames with some of her spit.
Iron can add an additional +2 to that save
|Rolled 15 + 1|
"It is fine. It does seem like noble cause, to at least make sure these foals are safe." After a couple seconds of silence, he sighs. "It is also that I…do not have much else to do until we head back into catacombs.">>81888
"I see you have done your research.">>81889I'm about 80% sure that Blue Skies is actually a changeling. Whether or not she's a good or bad one remains to be seen.
And yet for all of that, she was the toughest enemy the mane six had faced besides possibly the literal god Discord>>81897
Now it does>>81901
"Do you think we would stand any chance of holding back the darkness if we did not? Have some faith"
"Understandable. If you ever need things to do, I will help you scout out something worth your time. Hopefully I won't come across a legion of undead next time."
Iron is no longer on fire.
Sister Ash is still trying to put herself out.
I'm not underestimating her capabilities, I'm just saying she's not the wise leader that she thinks she is. She's not stupid, just vain.
I was making a character sheet for Discord as a deity. Would you like to see it once it's done?
"It is not as if I would expect every member of Black Hooves to know expert's level of knowledge on changelings. Give yourself some credit, in that regard.">>81904
"Speaking of legions of undead, I am fairly certain one could call what is in lower area of catacombs 'legion of undead'.">>81908For shits and giggles, hell yeah.
Iron, after putting the fire out, chuckles at his own stupidity. "Well, I guess that answers that. Hoo I was not expecting that." He turns to Ash, thinking more stupid shit. "Check if you are not standing in anything that can easily burn and then scream with all of your rage and anger! Do it! Unleash your raw power!" He is clearly too pumped with adrenaline to think straight.>>81907I would like that if it meant Iron can meet up with changelings tbh.[/spoielr]
"I'm tempted to try and move that undetonated bomb close and blow it if that is the case, but with our luck, it will blow up when we touch it, or simply unleash the hordes upon the city. How are we supposed to clear…"
I ponder this for a minute.
"Well no, you shouldn't, I'm just in a role that requires more than an ordinary amount of knowledge. You see, the activity I do that takes up the largest amount of my time is loyalty testing of Blackhooves employees, NMAC reservists, local government officials, an so forth. Mostly this means looking for officials who are willing to take bribes, or who may help saboteurs, but because the possibility of Changeling infiltration is a serious one, I am studied to handle that as well">>81912
She leans her head into it, and her wings spread apart somewhat
"We are most certainly not going to mess with bomb. I do not want to explode just yet. However, it would be good idea to set up some sort of firing line. Perhaps pour oil on ground and light it on fire. Create killzone in hallway just after stairs.">>81914
"It is difficult to find changeling infiltrators without proper spells, or without electrical shock. Especially if changeling comes from hive that specializes in disguising themselves and hiding in plain sight."
"Indeed. We have several means"
"I cannot say that I am versed in military tactics, but I understand Changelings well enough as creatures. They're definitely dangerous to the existence of nations, but they can be just as dangerous to themselves in the long run if they continue on their destructive path." She says, crossing her forehooves,having ceased flamingPlus, in the Hearts of Iron mod, they seem pretty shock-trooperish. Their main strength seems to be that they're able to assemble for war pretty quickly, but they don't look really good at holding ground long term.
"I like your thinking. We will do that once this rescue is over. We should make it a point to stay far back from them as much as that is possible, and keep the flammables away from the Kirin, just in case."
Iron is a bit dissapointed. "Oh well, maybe next time.">>81914>>81912
"I can see why you seem intent on fighting me even with your mare's disapproval."
>>81917That's because they are outnumbered
"And indeed they are. Just don't understate the danger to East Equestria."
|Rolled 18 + 7|
Sister Ash gives a sigh and pulls a funny-smelling plant from her fanny pack and ribs it on Iron's forehoof.
Iron feels relieved by the plant's effectiveness. "Frankly, I think I did that to feel that sweet plant you put on me." He chuckles. "Maybe it is your touch. I cannot think straight, that I am sure of."
>>81920Well duh. They're parasites: they're doomed to be the minority. If they ever spread too far, they wouldn't be able to feed properly.
"That's exactly my point. They're not to be underestimated. Just because they doom themselves doesn't mean they couldn't drag a third of the world along with them, if fate had it."
"oh yea? why is that?"
"Oh you…" Sister Ash mutters, as she treats his hoof
"Or maybe it's shock from the burn">>81923
"Then you understand why the Blackhooves must remain strong in East Equestria"
"Then I can hope these means are enough. I have heard rumors that there are changelings in Baltimare, somewhere. I do not relish idea of this rumor being true, of Chrysalis spying on major factions in city. Probing for weaknesses.">>81918
"She will still have to tell me secret of how she is able to self-immolate like that. I wonder if all kirins can do that without hurting themselves."
>>81926She thinks the Blackhooves r gay.
"Hmmph, it is not my place to decide what faction is legitimate to government the Equestrians. I am but a foreign peace-worker, trying to do my best for who I can assist.
"Do not make me spell it out. Either way, I would gladly take you on now.">>81925
"What can I say? You are quite good at healing." Iron smiles warmly. "Can you take off my armor? I want to show Star how hoof-to-hoof fighting is done.">>81926
Iron sticks his tongue playfully. "You would do the same if Star had this magic touch."
"I think so. It has to do with anger if I recall, but how they don't burn themselves… I guess it has to do with being part dragon. Don't quote me on that though."
"Oh, they can all do it…" Sister Ash replies unenthusiastically
"The trick is learning how not to."
Didn't she already do that?
*Spends another 4 minutes taking off armor*
I put it all on again after the little spat with Skies.
"I can tell you right now that there are. Dark Star here killed one just a couple nights ago. Wait"
She pauses, and pulls out a small flashlight from Dark Star's bag, and shines it between Silver's eyes
"Changeling Empire alright. We found a nest of spies">>81928
"Unless you are willing to welcome your new insect overlords, you must support the one and only government that can resist them">>81929
*Civil disobedience intensifies*
"I am sorry, but I must remain politically neutral for the time being. Perhaps their motives and mine may coincide at some point."
"Neutral? You gave Joe Marecarthy a run for his money with your speech on Changelings"
"If it has to do with anger, then trick is to learn how to control it like weapon, lest it consume you. Literally, in this case.">>81935
The test shows nothing out of the ordinary as he sits still for it. "…This is not