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The BranRiech
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Founded: Mar 24, 2011
Ex-Nation

Postby The BranRiech » Tue Jan 26, 2016 11:03 pm

Germanic Templars wrote:Thriller figured as much the prince would not be too keen on people touching him. A note he kept to himself as he studied the lad; he played along. "Of course I will admit I do not know what it is like being a prince, but the only thing that separates an emperor from a king is title and land. Everything else is politics and bureaucracy, especially in constitutional monarchy." However, as the prince continued about his lack of confidence, Thriller smirked at that thought of the Prince. "Oh really? What makes you believe that? Well other than your restive behavior." His stance changed to a more inquisitive, placing a foot forward and arms crossed. Don't think I can? His smirk stretched out a little more. " Maybe, but what makes you so sure I won't be able to? After all I do not know what you truly need help with, lad. If it is advice I can give you that. Hell, I can give ya want ya need or simply help, no trouble to me."

Drova-n to despair

"I actually told you what I . . ."

Wasn't that good enough? Drova would never, not in a million years, ever admit that something was wrong, unless it was to prove a point of course, but moreso that something was wrong with him. He was supposed to be perfect in every way, the prodigy that would bring his people into a new age of prosperity. Admitting something was wrong was a roadblock that Drova wasn't encouraged, or even allowed to address.

He regarded the Emperor with disdain, but a certain amount of respect for the stranger was still present. "I mean, you're obviously not a Prince, I assume? Correct me if I'm wrong of course, but the only other Prince here moved out some time ago."

He was referring to his long-lost friend, the rather controversial figure that was Octavian, the future-emperor of Aksarben.

"But there's just so much pressure, on me, on my future, that well, I don't know if I can handle it." He said, the words tumbling out with reckless abandon. "I'm not going to shy away from it, but I want to be ready for when the time does come, when my fate whisks me off to do my duty." He exasperatedly threw his hands up as if to say "I have no idea what I'm doing", and his wings shifted a little on his back, feathers rustling silently.

"I can't seem to figure out how to balance my life, and my fate, even though the two are intertwined so damn much. All my friends seem to have the freedom to do whatever the fuck they want, but I'm destined to be under pressure constantly until the day I die." The young man trembled. Torii could go off and do whatever she wanted, same with Kale, same with Gio, and same with Marcus. They had the freedom to decide their futures, but not Drova, or so he thought.

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Germanic Templars
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Founded: Jul 01, 2011
Capitalist Paradise

Postby Germanic Templars » Tue Jan 26, 2016 11:32 pm

The BranRiech wrote:
Germanic Templars wrote:Thriller figured as much the prince would not be too keen on people touching him. A note he kept to himself as he studied the lad; he played along. "Of course I will admit I do not know what it is like being a prince, but the only thing that separates an emperor from a king is title and land. Everything else is politics and bureaucracy, especially in constitutional monarchy." However, as the prince continued about his lack of confidence, Thriller smirked at that thought of the Prince. "Oh really? What makes you believe that? Well other than your restive behavior." His stance changed to a more inquisitive, placing a foot forward and arms crossed. Don't think I can? His smirk stretched out a little more. " Maybe, but what makes you so sure I won't be able to? After all I do not know what you truly need help with, lad. If it is advice I can give you that. Hell, I can give ya want ya need or simply help, no trouble to me."

Drova-n to despair

"I actually told you what I . . ."

Wasn't that good enough? Drova would never, not in a million years, ever admit that something was wrong, unless it was to prove a point of course, but moreso that something was wrong with him. He was supposed to be perfect in every way, the prodigy that would bring his people into a new age of prosperity. Admitting something was wrong was a roadblock that Drova wasn't encouraged, or even allowed to address.

He regarded the Emperor with disdain, but a certain amount of respect for the stranger was still present. "I mean, you're obviously not a Prince, I assume? Correct me if I'm wrong of course, but the only other Prince here moved out some time ago."

He was referring to his long-lost friend, the rather controversial figure that was Octavian, the future-emperor of Aksarben.

"But there's just so much pressure, on me, on my future, that well, I don't know if I can handle it." He said, the words tumbling out with reckless abandon. "I'm not going to shy away from it, but I want to be ready for when the time does come, when my fate whisks me off to do my duty." He exasperatedly threw his hands up as if to say "I have no idea what I'm doing", and his wings shifted a little on his back, feathers rustling silently.

"I can't seem to figure out how to balance my life, and my fate, even though the two are intertwined so damn much. All my friends seem to have the freedom to do whatever the fuck they want, but I'm destined to be under pressure constantly until the day I die." The young man trembled. Torii could go off and do whatever she wanted, same with Kale, same with Gio, and same with Marcus. They had the freedom to decide their futures, but not Drova, or so he thought.


His grin turned into an honest smile upon hearing the truth about the young prince. "Heavy is the head that wears the crown." Thriller mused. He figured as much that Drova was having issues, much to his own intrigue about this newcomer. Thriller started to pace; second nature to him when he is known to give lectures or tell stories."To be honest with you kid, I sympathize with you. You see I never wanted to be an emperor. Heck, by the time they did make me emperor I already died peacefully of old age on a spaceship carrying 5 million people to a new home. I was part of a council that was meant to maintain peace on the ship. My death left a hole there, I guess. Long story short, they took my body out of cryo just to try and capture what they could of the brain. My memories, my feelings, everything that made me - me. I was to be placed back on the council as a machine, retaking my old position fro the rest of the trip." Although he was no longer eyeing Drova as his feet carried him around the room and his eye examined the toys and other items laying about, his words did not lose any meaning or value.

Thriller cleared his throat as to break up the congestion he was feeling in his lungs, "Sorry. Anyway, We landed on Gliese. We came in contact of the natives known as the Krutes. Most were hostile to us and I was found leading the campaign against them. Years of blood spill later, humanity wins, peace is made with the survivors and the ship is dismantled and used to build Romlin, the empire's capital city."

"You wonder, what does this history lesson have to do with me. Well, everything. You see, it comes down to gaining the people's trust, not with words but with action. Your job as a leader is to not make people happy, so get it out of your head to be a yes man on occasions. Your job is to care for the nation as a whole, caring for it to expand in trade and in territory. It is a delicate balance between a display of tenacity in battle with a youthful exuberance while also showing temperance and patience."

He gave one last look at the prince and sighed, "However, a part of me feels as if you still don't want to do this. If so, is there anyone else?"
Last edited by Germanic Templars on Tue Jan 26, 2016 11:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Giovenith
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Left-wing Utopia

Postby Giovenith » Wed Jan 27, 2016 1:18 am

Yuna and Aegis

BANG! BANG! BANG!

"Alright, alright, that is enough! SHUT UP!" the Chancellor scolded the two squabbling ponies, rapping her gavel loudly on the podium. Anypony who got the talking stick could speak, but the Chancellor could just as easily silence them when things got out of control. "You two had your chance, now give it to somepony else."

The stick was tossed through the air up front and happened to knock Yuna in the head, just as she had more or less desired.

Meanwhile, in the way back, Sundae Surprise was getting antsy.

"They're not going to pick me, they're not going to pick me!" she began to panic to SkyWishes. "I won't get to say-!"

"Shhhhh," SkyWishes, ever full of compassion, hushed the girl and patted her back. "You'll get your turn."
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TotallyNotEvilLand
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Ex-Nation

Postby TotallyNotEvilLand » Wed Jan 27, 2016 2:39 am

Germanic Templars wrote:
"I would not call myself strong, but more physically fit as I should be." Max pointed out, despite not knowing what a circus was or even these "strong men" were.

Max stopped between the sixth and seventh floor not to catch his breath, however. "Whatever I need to win. Knives, rifles, rope, my own teeth. Maybe a grenade or two. One lesson I will share with you is this: If you are fighting a fair fight, you are wrong."

The dog rolled his shoulders, providing a sound popping in his back. "Ah, better. Now, plan wise, I am going to the roof and provide over watch on the situation. You can join if you want, or you can get killed, either way it doesn't matter to me." Max peered up the stairs and back at Crysal, "Now if you don't mind, I am on the eighth floor. We can talk later."

Crysal scoffed slightly. "Fit, then, if you prefer. They're interchangeable to me." After all, a person in good health was physically stronger than a person in poor health, right? It made more sense to her.

The Arkadacian appreciated the break. Had to saw off a rebellious strand of scraggly hair that kept getting into her eye, pulling out a small pocket knife to do so. Stuffing it back into her pouch, she smiled slightly. "Well, I didn't think we'd find something to agree on. Fair fights are for fun and games, not life and death."

She picked something out of her teeth. Her apartment was just a floor away, and she could armor up from there. "I've never been one for observing the fight from afar. Maybe I'll catch you at the gym again later." She said, giving a brief hand gesture... judging by her expression, it was one of a rushed goodbye, as she ran up the stairs again... wondered what was so pressing downstairs, anyways.
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Cerillium
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Postby Cerillium » Wed Jan 27, 2016 5:33 pm

LOBBY

The shaman chose to overlook the dark haired human pondering the meaning of life. It wasn't up to them to ascertain what the Ruinscrashers did to land in the Wold. Botched spell, mayhap. He focused on the first speaker instead.

"Your laws? You would do well to not cling to the human notions of law and justice," the shaman's whiskers bristled at Amanda. "Ruinscrasher or not, you are still Gatejumpers. To coin the Ascalon filth, You're not in Kansas anymore, Toto. The Law of the Wold concerns itself with the social norm of reciprocity for all Woldkin, including just war theory and right to thrive theory, and it is many-layered. You'll be better off sending a philosophical orator to court rather than a barrister."

Everything in the Freywold was easy. Nothing in the Freywold was easy. Perspective was only as good as the morals flavoring it, a fact that the shaman knew only too well. Were he a gallant champion riding up on horseback, the Ruinscrashers would not have bristled so. They would have been more apt to invite him in, of course. "Why do humans slay dragons and cherish unicorns? Because they apply their human morals to every last shittin' thing. That won't work here, Woman Bela. So when it comes to your reputation and word-of-mouth testimony by others, each action must be measured by the personal ethics of the speaker. You aided the village, and the mayor is thrilled; you stole from the Fae. Luckily for you, they apply a tenet of the Wold: We are all one. When one is harmed, all are harmed. When one is helped, all are healed. You helped the villagers, though it meant borrowing from the Fae without their permission. They won't seek reparations on the matter because they realize the purpose behind your actions."

"Are you through, Rudu?" the Möf grunted.

"Mm. Quite," the old shaman folded his hands and would have settled back for a relaxing, one-eye catnap had his leader's eyes not shot daggers at him. "Oh, yes, the dragon-litch. You'll be wanting information, yes."

He leaned forward, content to address the castle's shaman, Anais. "Written records exist but the most accurate are kept by the Unseelie Castoffs. Anal retentive, even by their own admission. All other stories are oratory, painstakingly retold with careful attention to detail. The Recounting of Varg, and the deeds leading up to his first demise, would take several hours. To summarize: those that had harmed him gathered here as one. When one warrior fell, ten more stepped forward to take his place. Varg was at the height of his power, and fueled by purloined magic. It was the black sages and shamans that worked their unholy magic to imprison varg. A lake of blood surrounded the creature by that time. They corrupted it, and called upon the souls of those whom died in the castle to serve as his wardens. We suspect your arrival shattered that supernatural prison and freed the souls here. Thus he escaped."

His head turned towards Romulus, "He took flight, we presume, though his wings would appear too moth-eaten to do so, and most likely retreated to his old mountain stronghold. Alas for his sorry ass -- it was destroyed long ago. Nothing but a gaping hole now. As for cooperation?" here he turned to observe Septimus, "You break it, you mend it. He is severely weakened by his long imprisonment. He has summoned nothing undead to aid him - yet - and had he any significant power at all, he would have used it when he struck our village early this morning."

"The Har'Keth Tribe is charged with maintaining peace in the Wold between Darkkin," the Möf set aside his empty tea cup, "Along with other bands comprised of different species. We are law enforcement. Varg remembers us well, but was incapable of doing much harm. Our females and offspring are weak, but tenacious."

"A meeting took place this afternoon," the shaman continued, "and Woldkin believe you should mend things by killing Varg while he is still weak. The Woldkin will aid you as you journey there -- meaning most won't molest you, and might offer some bread or shelter -- but the burden falls upon you. Everyone has enough to worry about as it is, and can't spare warriors or shamans for this quest. As for how to slay Varg? Bullets won't kill what's already dead. You must destroy every last bit of him, keeping nothing of him as souvenir, or he will regenerate."

Ocho's ear perked. A quest into the Wold? Though the Building would need people to stay behind to defend it, it was already set in his mind that he'd go on the trip. Gauging by the look in Amara's eyes, she was probably thinking the same thing.



BIOGARDEN

"... because the need was there to hide his DNA," Thaddeus wrapped up the tidy explanation that had occupied both cyborgs while Giovenith put affairs in order. "Hide it from Bodkins, and from Neste. Shit, if they found out about his existence-"

"It wouldn't be pleasant for the boy," Adrastus nodded. He stirred sugar into his tea, then tapped the spoon against the cup's rim. "But what now?"

"We're far from both Confederation and Nifid," Thaddeus rubbed his chin, still deep in thought, "I also suspect Doxi does more than regenerate. Her core broke down, and molecules reformed. I imagine the leashes and muzzles didn't reform with them. She is, quite simply, as she was meant to be. Temperament and all. It's going to get terribly interesting around here."

"Does Itum know?"

Thaddeus shook his head. "Of course not. And you aren't the one to tell him. It's not your place, Cosmo."

"Oh, I agree on that part," a content nod accompanied Adrastus' words. His face turned towards the path leading to Marcus room. The voices had stopped murmuring. "We might have company soon."

No sooner had he said it than Giovenith emerged from the path. Thaddeus offered a kind smile to the girl that had stolen his boy's heart. "You're welcome to join us for a cuppa," he gestured to a steaming pot, "but we won't be too offended if you take off to update Marcus' friends. Of course, you're welcome back at any time. We also might move him upstairs in the morning, if his strength allows, so he'll be more comfortable."



RACHE AND WILLOW

"Our branch of the explorer clan considers all within to be family," Rache interrupted. "Even outsiders that join are granted that honor, in time. It is sufficient to say that Willow has done well, and would make his parents proud no matter where he ventures. His talents enhance us."

It was better to give a half truth rather than watch Willow flounder, in Rache's opinion, and so he allowed Cloud Duster and Pansy to assume the Residents back home were ponies. The daemonpony offered a polite smile to odd pony. "Is it not so here? What reason would a mare have to quarrel with her son?"
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There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man’s fears, and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination.

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Primordial Luxa
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Postby Primordial Luxa » Wed Jan 27, 2016 7:19 pm

Primordial
The Luxans confidence grew as the Ogres described their foe, obviously it was a mighty beast of incredible power but it didn’t seem to be of the same caliber of the dragons or the litches which he had known in the past. The creature must not have a phylactery like most litches and appeared to be vulnerable to bodily damage, even if bullets and traditional weapons might be uneffective. Primordial would not have to worry about it reanimating entirely from any sort of death due to a powerful artifact like his own liches did. Instead this appeared to better fit his definition of a zombie dragon or something of that nature but he did bring this up.

Another not which emboldened him was the fact that this creature seemed to not only be in possession of but also vulnerable to astral based intrinsic fields or at the very least susceptible to spiritual arcanotech as demonstrated by his previous banishment. With a couple of days and some research into the details of both the building and the exact nature of the beast in question he was sure that some dark leaning magicians and himself could recreate some variant of the spell.

Primordial reached into his expensive coat and pulled out a rather large and seemingly old looking map of the surrounding woodland area which was a more precise and detailed version of the map which he had constructed on his first day here. This one had been created with the help of several of the DEiMOS powerful sensors which had come back online since that first day and so it granted him a very detailed but slightly small layout of the area surrounding the building. “Thank you, this is all very helpful. I feel confident that we could send out a small team to do some recon on Varg relatively soon." He looked as his other residential members indicating an interested in their opinion on the subject "Perhaps a pair of soldiers, a pair of magicians and a pair of healers? They could watch the thing for a short time while we study the ruins and do out best to recreate the spell or conditions that entrapped it, then we can send out a larger team to deal with the creature?"

He then turned to the Ogres and asked quickly but respectfully "One more quick question, could you point on this map where the beast was last sighted?” Primordial asked indicating the map. “I know it’s a small map but any sort of information regarding a location would be supremely helpful.”

Aegis
Aegis looked a Yuna sympathetically and leaned over to make sure she wasn't badly injured. Her lack of a full facial mask to protect her from falling objects was a poor life choice he thought. He took another look around the room once he was confident that Yuna didn't have any serious damage, eager to get a better sense of these earth ponies and also looking for a way out of the room when Smart Cookie gave an appropriate signal.
Last edited by Primordial Luxa on Wed Jan 27, 2016 7:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Swith Witherward wrote:But I trust the people here. Well, except Prim. He has shifty eyes but his cute smile make up for it.

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The BranRiech
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Ex-Nation

Postby The BranRiech » Wed Jan 27, 2016 8:13 pm

Germanic Templars wrote:His grin turned into an honest smile upon hearing the truth about the young prince. "Heavy is the head that wears the crown." Thriller mused. He figured as much that Drova was having issues, much to his own intrigue about this newcomer. Thriller started to pace; second nature to him when he is known to give lectures or tell stories."To be honest with you kid, I sympathize with you. You see I never wanted to be an emperor. Heck, by the time they did make me emperor I already died peacefully of old age on a spaceship carrying 5 million people to a new home. I was part of a council that was meant to maintain peace on the ship. My death left a hole there, I guess. Long story short, they took my body out of cryo just to try and capture what they could of the brain. My memories, my feelings, everything that made me - me. I was to be placed back on the council as a machine, retaking my old position fro the rest of the trip." Although he was no longer eyeing Drova as his feet carried him around the room and his eye examined the toys and other items laying about, his words did not lose any meaning or value.

Thriller cleared his throat as to break up the congestion he was feeling in his lungs, "Sorry. Anyway, We landed on Gliese. We came in contact of the natives known as the Krutes. Most were hostile to us and I was found leading the campaign against them. Years of blood spill later, humanity wins, peace is made with the survivors and the ship is dismantled and used to build Romlin, the empire's capital city."

"You wonder, what does this history lesson have to do with me. Well, everything. You see, it comes down to gaining the people's trust, not with words but with action. Your job as a leader is to not make people happy, so get it out of your head to be a yes man on occasions. Your job is to care for the nation as a whole, caring for it to expand in trade and in territory. It is a delicate balance between a display of tenacity in battle with a youthful exuberance while also showing temperance and patience."

He gave one last look at the prince and sighed, "However, a part of me feels as if you still don't want to do this. If so, is there anyone else?"

Drova

What luck was it even, that the random person Drova stumbled in on had any knowledge about running a country? And he had to admit, Thriller's advice was solid, but that was just the problem. It was too easy, things that Drova had been taught, or at least told the concepts of years ago. He knew he wasn't going to be the most charitable person ever, and he certainly wasn't going to be a cowardly yes-man. His problems were more deeply rooted than that. He knew how to rule, but he didn't yet know enough about himself yet. He was still young and impressionable. Was living at the apartment a good experience for him as a future-monarch?

"It's well . . . More than that. Though I must apologize for assuming you knew nothing." He respectfully bowed his head. "And trust me, I want to do this, and there's no one else even. My sister awaits a different fate than I, or so the code goes or something." The Prince explained.

He sighed, and looked down. Why the hell was he mad all the time? Was he mad at the world?

Was he mad at himself?

"I'm worried that I'll be a failure. I don't want to bring ruin to my people, but every time I picture my future, t-that's how it goes, every single time."

--

Yuna

About to speak up anyways, the stick colliding with the back of her head (While painful) actually gave her speaking rights, eliminating her fear of being struck out at, or worse, being called a witch or something. Well, that part still might happen yet, but Yuna's mind was dead-set, before the wind began to increase further. She didn't want her voice to be drowned out.

"E-everyone! I've . . . I've only been here for like, a few hours, right? We're all in agreement?"

She waited a moment, wondering if there were any dissenting voices.

"Why not just ask them? Send a delegation and ask them? Why would they ruin what seemed like a perfect cycle in the first place?" She asked, looking around. She knew there would have to be a few of them who would call them out, but why not? If anything was to be done, it wasn't going to come through anger and strife. Yuna knew that much all too well at least, having just been witness to the scuffle between her brother and Marcus just a day or two ago.

"If you all can't produce enough food, then why would the Pegasi and the Unicorns submit themselves to the suffering as well, considering, as I've heard, there's not even enough for them, right?"

She held the stick tightly, but her grip lessened as she finished speaking. Her arm wound up, in an effort to toss it to the back, to the voice she'd heard complaining about not having a chance. "Oh . . . Wait." She shook her head, feeling dumber by the minute. "Aegis, anything?"

She held the stick over to her companion.

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Cerillium
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New York Times Democracy

Postby Cerillium » Wed Jan 27, 2016 8:36 pm

THE LOBBY

The shaman's strange brow rippled as he studied the map. "Your castle is sitting on the Ruins. Covers them entirely. As for sending a team? The old cave is deep within the Freywold lands, a good week's travel, as the ogre runs. I don't see the area on this map."

The Möf coughed. "Varg is not to be trapped. Varg is to be destroyed. You lack the ability to trap him: slaughtering several hundred beings for their souls is not a viable option, even if you could reproduce the spells. Imprisoned things come back to haunt, a valid point made by the elves back in the day. How bitter than they should be proven right now. As for Varg's last sighting? It was during the attack on our village. We do not disclose that location to anyone."
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The BranRiech
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Ex-Nation

Postby The BranRiech » Wed Jan 27, 2016 8:59 pm

Bran

Were they really going to be like this?

Bran had met people who were . . . Difficult, yeah, difficult to deal with before, but the Ogres were something else entirely. An entire building, through no volition of it's own (That Bran knew of at least) crashed into some ruins, and somehow it was everyone's fault that lived inside of the building? He wasn't about to risk his life to save some people who seemed hellbent on pushing their own problems onto the residents. And like they said, hadn't hundreds died the first time they tried taking down this . . . Varg? And what the fuck was a Lich anyways? How would the Ogres expect the apartment-dwellers to have the strength to defeat something like that?

Well, hadn't they before? They'd beaten Gods, and all sorts of baddies through the years, but this new world was still confusing, and totally unknown to the man.

His eyes visibly rolled as he rested against the wall, shuffling his feet against the floor to bide the time.

"Wait, what?"

He looked confused, his eyes turned down to Maghrl. "Uh . . . Yeah, I've been here for several years." He nodded.

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New Aksarben
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Ex-Nation

Postby New Aksarben » Wed Jan 27, 2016 9:19 pm

Well the events of this day certainly were interesting. Maghrl was determined to go and fight this dragon-lich though. His sabers probably could cleave it into smaller pieces, and keep them together with the force so none manage to escape. Maybe. If he was strong enough of course.

Either way he'd do it to help protect these people, and the world. It was the job a jedi to protect people after all. Though not every Jedi would agree with him. Maghrl's personal philosophy said he'd protect just about everyone though. Especially if he had the power to do so. In fact, Did this dragon even have the force flowing through him? something undead was not of life, thus would it not be part of the force either? Interesting thought, one that brought back memories of the relatively recent war against another species of those lacking in the force. It was not pretty. Maghrl had been spared most of the fighting, at least, only having joined the jedi during the final phases of the war. Either way what he did remember was how horrific it had been.

When the man next to him finally responded, Maghrl grinned up at him and gave a small wave before he started to speak. He continued sitting in his meditation stance however, and kept most of his mental attention on monitoring the ogre's emotional states.

"Nice meet-greet Newwise Person. To Maghrl, Maghrl Mean. Maghrl" He gestured to himself with a small flourish of the hand. "New squib in building. Just arrive-fell here earlier. Is always so.... excite-dangerous?" He asked, hoping his meaning was being conveyed through his high voice and fast pace of talking.
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Mincaldenteans
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Posts: 9450
Founded: Feb 17, 2013
Ex-Nation

Postby Mincaldenteans » Wed Jan 27, 2016 9:21 pm

"Rudu," Anais addressed the shaman with a bow of her head, hoping to have pronounced it correctly as the Mof had done, "You said 'purloined'. Is the lich capable of that naturally? Or did Varg need the lake of blood to fuel its power? You also mentioned it being undead," she pressed a gentle hand upon the Baron to get his attention. While she would have preferred to address Septimus and Amanda as well, they were not casters, and likely would only understand her in the broadest sense. No matter, her words were for everyone regardless, "Alexia could be more adept to this than I. She is a healer first, but as a worshiper to Balthazar, her other spells may aid in the destruction of this dragon. Undead, in particular, but she is one woman, and we have other casters we may need to consult.

"I digress, we shall discuss strategy later," the ritualist apologized with a wave of her hand, not wanting to diverge further in front of their guests. Planning was the Residents' issue to deal with once their guests left. She noted the balance as Rudu mentioned and Anais couldn't help but feel they would only redress one issue. The matter with the fae, she didn't know enough and would need to ask Dan about this. He also made mentioned of another fae in the building who belonged to the Unseelie, but would not go further in detail out of fear for its very name. Uttering it was not advisable, Dan had cautioned and left it at that.

Continuing, "If we are to destroy it, we must imprison it - if only temporarily - and perhaps siphon its power before it can do more harm. Mof, even if the old stories take time to be told, are they no other written accounts that isn't in the hands of the Unseelie?"
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Giovenith
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Founded: Feb 08, 2012
Left-wing Utopia

Postby Giovenith » Wed Jan 27, 2016 9:24 pm

Rache and Willow

Cloud Duster stared at all three of them.

It wasn't long enough to be melodramatic or clownish, but skipped just enough beats to mark it as unusual. He took a micro-moment to himself, to keep his thoughts in track, to keep his face right, and to suck down the metallic tint entering his mouth.

"With all due respect, sir," he finally said in a simplistic tone. "The complexities of my family issues are something that only I can burdened with as the final son, not something that I should weigh down the worries of my guests with. That would be inhospitable."

Building

"I can stay for a little bit," Giovenith smiled, walking up to help herself to a cup, but remaining standing. "But you are right that I will have to go pretty soon, to tell my friends of course. Marcus fell back asleep..."

Should she have told them what he told her? Presumably, they would already know, given that Thaddeus was the one to tell her all these details previously.

"He said his mama was the Miss Neste lady, but I know I'm not supposed to tell anyone else that. I remember to keep these things private."
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Germanic Templars
Postmaster of the Fleet
 
Posts: 20453
Founded: Jul 01, 2011
Capitalist Paradise

Postby Germanic Templars » Wed Jan 27, 2016 9:34 pm

TotallyNotEvilLand wrote:
Germanic Templars wrote:
"I would not call myself strong, but more physically fit as I should be." Max pointed out, despite not knowing what a circus was or even these "strong men" were.

Max stopped between the sixth and seventh floor not to catch his breath, however. "Whatever I need to win. Knives, rifles, rope, my own teeth. Maybe a grenade or two. One lesson I will share with you is this: If you are fighting a fair fight, you are wrong."

The dog rolled his shoulders, providing a sound popping in his back. "Ah, better. Now, plan wise, I am going to the roof and provide over watch on the situation. You can join if you want, or you can get killed, either way it doesn't matter to me." Max peered up the stairs and back at Crysal, "Now if you don't mind, I am on the eighth floor. We can talk later."

Crysal scoffed slightly. "Fit, then, if you prefer. They're interchangeable to me." After all, a person in good health was physically stronger than a person in poor health, right? It made more sense to her.

The Arkadacian appreciated the break. Had to saw off a rebellious strand of scraggly hair that kept getting into her eye, pulling out a small pocket knife to do so. Stuffing it back into her pouch, she smiled slightly. "Well, I didn't think we'd find something to agree on. Fair fights are for fun and games, not life and death."

She picked something out of her teeth. Her apartment was just a floor away, and she could armor up from there. "I've never been one for observing the fight from afar. Maybe I'll catch you at the gym again later." She said, giving a brief hand gesture... judging by her expression, it was one of a rushed goodbye, as she ran up the stairs again... wondered what was so pressing downstairs, anyways.


It didn't take long for Max to reach his room. His speed at undressing and dressing up in his suit took less than two minutes. In no time, Max rushed up to the roof, promptly kicking the door open.

Max pressed two small buttons onto the side of his helmet, radioing in onto Dr. Smith "Sir, I have reached the roof, I am going to make my way to t-"

"Call it off, Max. They are in the building and are harmless at the moment." Smith remarked monotonously, cutting off Max with what he made sound as bad news. "Anyway, I need you down here when you get the chance. take your time, I am sure the run was exhausting."

"Understood, sir." Max sighed in disappointment at what he felt was a false alarm. He stood with the door behind him and the boot marking he left on the door.

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Germanic Templars
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Posts: 20453
Founded: Jul 01, 2011
Capitalist Paradise

Postby Germanic Templars » Wed Jan 27, 2016 10:11 pm

The BranRiech wrote:
Germanic Templars wrote:His grin turned into an honest smile upon hearing the truth about the young prince. "Heavy is the head that wears the crown." Thriller mused. He figured as much that Drova was having issues, much to his own intrigue about this newcomer. Thriller started to pace; second nature to him when he is known to give lectures or tell stories."To be honest with you kid, I sympathize with you. You see I never wanted to be an emperor. Heck, by the time they did make me emperor I already died peacefully of old age on a spaceship carrying 5 million people to a new home. I was part of a council that was meant to maintain peace on the ship. My death left a hole there, I guess. Long story short, they took my body out of cryo just to try and capture what they could of the brain. My memories, my feelings, everything that made me - me. I was to be placed back on the council as a machine, retaking my old position fro the rest of the trip." Although he was no longer eyeing Drova as his feet carried him around the room and his eye examined the toys and other items laying about, his words did not lose any meaning or value.

Thriller cleared his throat as to break up the congestion he was feeling in his lungs, "Sorry. Anyway, We landed on Gliese. We came in contact of the natives known as the Krutes. Most were hostile to us and I was found leading the campaign against them. Years of blood spill later, humanity wins, peace is made with the survivors and the ship is dismantled and used to build Romlin, the empire's capital city."

"You wonder, what does this history lesson have to do with me. Well, everything. You see, it comes down to gaining the people's trust, not with words but with action. Your job as a leader is to not make people happy, so get it out of your head to be a yes man on occasions. Your job is to care for the nation as a whole, caring for it to expand in trade and in territory. It is a delicate balance between a display of tenacity in battle with a youthful exuberance while also showing temperance and patience."

He gave one last look at the prince and sighed, "However, a part of me feels as if you still don't want to do this. If so, is there anyone else?"

Drova

What luck was it even, that the random person Drova stumbled in on had any knowledge about running a country? And he had to admit, Thriller's advice was solid, but that was just the problem. It was too easy, things that Drova had been taught, or at least told the concepts of years ago. He knew he wasn't going to be the most charitable person ever, and he certainly wasn't going to be a cowardly yes-man. His problems were more deeply rooted than that. He knew how to rule, but he didn't yet know enough about himself yet. He was still young and impressionable. Was living at the apartment a good experience for him as a future-monarch?

"It's well . . . More than that. Though I must apologize for assuming you knew nothing." He respectfully bowed his head. "And trust me, I want to do this, and there's no one else even. My sister awaits a different fate than I, or so the code goes or something." The Prince explained.

He sighed, and looked down. Why the hell was he mad all the time? Was he mad at the world?

Was he mad at himself?

"I'm worried that I'll be a failure. I don't want to bring ruin to my people, but every time I picture my future, t-that's how it goes, every single time."


Thriller stopped himself. He stood close to a window decorated with blue curtains made from a tough material Thriller brought from Gliese (after all, two kids with magical powers can tear through a lot of things). His head, which was looking up at the blank ceiling (a common thing for a man who ponders more than that is needed), turned and looked back at the Prince. Suddenly his whole body slowly shifted towards Drova, pivoting off the the heels of his recently scuffed black boots. His eyebrow raised as to give a more inquisitive glare. Now we are getting somewhere. He passively nodded his head."Now what makes you think you will fail your people? In what aspect? What way? I want to know so that we can start working backwards towards the true root cause and help you out."

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The BranRiech
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Posts: 31391
Founded: Mar 24, 2011
Ex-Nation

Postby The BranRiech » Thu Jan 28, 2016 5:15 pm

Germanic Templars wrote:Thriller stopped himself. He stood close to a window decorated with blue curtains made from a tough material Thriller brought from Gliese (after all, two kids with magical powers can tear through a lot of things). His head, which was looking up at the blank ceiling (a common thing for a man who ponders more than that is needed), turned and looked back at the Prince. Suddenly his whole body slowly shifted towards Drova, pivoting off the the heels of his recently scuffed black boots. His eyebrow raised as to give a more inquisitive glare. Now we are getting somewhere. He passively nodded his head."Now what makes you think you will fail your people? In what aspect? What way? I want to know so that we can start working backwards towards the true root cause and help you out."

Drova

"It's just that . . ."

Why did he think he'd fail?

It was a hard thing for Drova to pin down, something he was unable to do ever since he started having the visions in his mind. Were they just the product of an active imagination? Or was there something more mystical about it? "Oh, I don't know. It's just that, every time I close my eyes, I see it, myself as a horrible failure." The Prince gently patted his hand against his thighs, the delicate (For a guy at least) hand pressed his pants in slightly. His ears drooped somewhat as well, joining his wings in a look of disappointment.

"And I don't really know the root cause, right? It just feels like too much . . . Pressure. Yeah, I know I have to do it, and I know I want to do it, but how can one person hold all the power to run an entire nation?"

--

Bran

Maghrl's accent, while strange, was certainly on the more tame side of languages and accents he'd run into over the years, and hell, even before he lived in the apartment. Polish and Belorussian always sounded off to the man, both of them being tongues he'd run into on occasion living in the Branriech. At least Maghrl spoke english, and in a way that was at least endearing.

"Not always, not like this at least." He shrugged, nonplussed by the appearance of the Jedi. "No, lot of days it's usually quiet, but still in that . . . Exciting sort of way? I don't know, the building's a fun place, dangerous sometimes, but rewarding, with good people."

He looked over at the Ogres.

"And them? They're here because we, uh, crashed into their ruins, see, the building used to be in another city, back where we all come from, eh, some of us anyways."

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Primordial Luxa
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Posts: 12092
Founded: Oct 30, 2012
Left-Leaning College State

Postby Primordial Luxa » Thu Jan 28, 2016 5:22 pm

The BranRiech wrote:
Yuna

About to speak up anyways, the stick colliding with the back of her head (While painful) actually gave her speaking rights, eliminating her fear of being struck out at, or worse, being called a witch or something. Well, that part still might happen yet, but Yuna's mind was dead-set, before the wind began to increase further. She didn't want her voice to be drowned out.

"E-everyone! I've . . . I've only been here for like, a few hours, right? We're all in agreement?"

She waited a moment, wondering if there were any dissenting voices.

"Why not just ask them? Send a delegation and ask them? Why would they ruin what seemed like a perfect cycle in the first place?" She asked, looking around. She knew there would have to be a few of them who would call them out, but why not? If anything was to be done, it wasn't going to come through anger and strife. Yuna knew that much all too well at least, having just been witness to the scuffle between her brother and Marcus just a day or two ago.

"If you all can't produce enough food, then why would the Pegasi and the Unicorns submit themselves to the suffering as well, considering, as I've heard, there's not even enough for them, right?"

She held the stick tightly, but her grip lessened as she finished speaking. Her arm wound up, in an effort to toss it to the back, to the voice she'd heard complaining about not having a chance. "Oh . . . Wait." She shook her head, feeling dumber by the minute. "Aegis, anything?"

She held the stick over to her companion.


Aegis shook his head as he continued to look around the room and noticed how irate many of the other ponies were seeming to become. He didn't know enough about this confusing situation and didn't feel like he was in a position to provide any real advice. Yuna's seemed fine but he had no idea what sort of resources the equines had at their disposal and he certainly didn't want to exaggerate any more hostilities between them and the locals. He trusted that regardless of what happened regarding these three tribes he and his friends could avoid being drawn into a war.
Swith Witherward wrote:But I trust the people here. Well, except Prim. He has shifty eyes but his cute smile make up for it.

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Northwest Slobovia
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Posts: 11978
Founded: Sep 16, 2006
Anarchy

Postby Northwest Slobovia » Thu Jan 28, 2016 6:19 pm

Cerillium wrote:"Why do humans slay dragons and cherish unicorns? Because they apply their human morals to every last shittin' thing. That won't work here, Woman Bela. So when it comes to your reputation and word-of-mouth testimony by others, each action must be measured by the personal ethics of the speaker. You aided the village, and the mayor is thrilled; you stole from the Fae. Luckily for you, they apply a tenet of the Wold: We are all one. When one is harmed, all are harmed. When one is helped, all are healed. You helped the villagers, though it meant borrowing from the Fae without their permission. They won't seek reparations on the matter because they realize the purpose behind your actions."

Amanda tried to maintain a politely neutral expression during the shaman's lecture, but failed. She clenched her jaw solidly, and there was a certain tightness around her eyes. Oh, was their arrogance infuriating! They passed hasty judgement and spoke of crude stereotypes with the best of them. 'Human morals': how we wish there was such a thing! How wonderful it would be if we all could agree on right and wrong, good and bad, and how to make the injured whole. But such things were the foundations of castles in the air: Amanda merely had to glance at the occultist next to her to know that. He'd probably feed the entire Building to some horror for a spell weaker than the one that made her morning coffee.

Sandy had showed her that there were certain ethical touchstones in all human cultures as far back as they left records: do not murder, do not steal, do not lie, but they were all riddled with 'yes, but's and 'no, but's. And touchstones or no, there were plenty of people who passed off brass for gold when they could.

Nor was what Rudu said alien to the human experience. Sandy would forgive Kale because she intended to save lives, even if she left a massacre, a massacre Sandy and Anais and even Ogoti exhausted themselves redeeming. The same as what the ogre said or different? But more significantly, do the Burrows-dwellers think the same? She'd have to find a way to ask her guests before they left. She owed it to Kale to give her the best advice possible.

Amanda sat like a stone while the ogres and her companions discussed the dragon-litch. Her only success was that she didn't say somethig stupid. What finally put her back in the proper mood for guests was watching the know-it-all magician wave his proud maps and be told they were worthless. There's no freude like schadenfreude. She suppressed a smile, but slowly relaxed: it wasn't just her that was out of her depth here.

Mincaldenteans wrote:Continuing, "If we are to destroy it, we must imprison it - if only temporarily - and perhaps siphon its power before it can do more harm. Mof, even if the old stories take time to be told, are they no other written accounts that isn't in the hands of the Unseelie?"


Much of what Anais said was probably intended for the shaman or Primordial, but 'other accounts' suggested something to Amanda. She shifted in her gigantic chair, trying to look up at Anais without being rude to their guests. She hesitantly said, "There is one person in the Burrows who may know: the bookseller, who is perhaps a seer. She may know, or may know who we should ask. Perhaps there are others." She glanced back and forth between the ritualist and the shaman, looking hopefully for a professional opinion.
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Cerillium
Senior P2TM RP Mentor
 
Posts: 12454
Founded: Oct 27, 2012
New York Times Democracy

Postby Cerillium » Thu Jan 28, 2016 7:42 pm

LOBBY

"The lake of blood belonged to the fallen warriors. The dark mages used it in their spell," Rudu the shaman wistfully replied. No ogre, no matter how brutal, appreciated the work of dark sorcery. "As I said, it has very little power at the moment. The longer it rests in the mortal world, the more likely it will regain power. Your folk mustn't delay, shaman."

"MacDoma?" the Möf snorted at Amanda. "You don't have time to drag the Bean Nighe from her nightly haunts and then track down ancient tomes. We expect your party to leave at first light."

"Travel to the meadow where you procured the sheep, and then beyond it, heading due east," the shaman pulled a rolled parchment from his robes. "This map is rudimentary, mostly because the paths in the woods like to shift, but will still bring you to the old cave deep in the mountains. Dress warm. Winter has arrived."

The Möf rose, and the shaman took it as the cue for their time to depart. Both ogres thanked the Residents for the tea before making their way back outside to collect their weapons. The Lobby shifted back to norms once they set foot on the stoop.


HOSPITAL
Ogoti took in each new arrival in turn, saying nothing as Sandy did his business and left, and then waved a hand to the assembled staff. "Might as well come around this side of the desk. We can go over some of the systems in place."

It didn't take him too long to outline basic triage practices, point magic users towards their special areas, and hand out the pagers rigged by the tech priests in the basement. "Malaise never sleeps," he explained, "and she's capable of paging any of us at a moment's notice. If I understand things correctly, there's now an in-house phone system. Volker can call up here should we have an emergency situation in the Lobby. Is there anything you want explained, or any suggestions?"


ROOF

"That was entirely unnecessary," Klaus murmured to Max. The avatar hadn't left his position nor taken his eyes off the ogres in the distance. A plume of smoke drifted over his shoulder as he tapped an ash. "There is never a good reason to dynamically exit a building, especially as the door could be damaged, thus allowing the enemy an unsecured entry point."

Snow fell from his shoulders as he gestured to a dark corner near the hangar. "Also, the noise has drawn all the ogre's eyes up here. You've given away our snipers' positions. We've been quiet as church mice for the last hour."

The avatar's knees creaked as he rose from his squat. No sense in remaining in position. Klaus tamped the cigarette out in a flowerpot and approached the anthro dog. "Max, is it? I'm sure you're used to working solo, but Building defenders work as a team. Let me know if you'd like to join us. Otherwise, I'll have to ask that you don't take it upon yourself to wage a one person crusade. I'm not requesting this to demean you. Not my intent. I'm advising it because our numbers are few and I'd rather not lose men to friendly fire. You're welcome to ask Rudolf about it," he gestured towards the hangar again, "or find General Romulus. Speaking of which, I need to pay him a visit. Good evening."

He stepped past Max and trotted down the stairs.


BIOGARDEN

Thaddeus smiled through his fatigue. "Sleep will do him good. Nila suggested he might slumber a while. Giovenith, trust me when I say you needn't worry about him turning into a lizard under a full moon. Constructs contain the DNA of many species, including human. He is purely that species."

The old abbot waved a hand towards a chair before plating a muffin and sliding it over for the godling to eat. "You'll need to keep this under your hat, of course. Mr. Bodkins is a nice enough fellow, but he won't be too thrilled."

"When is he ever thrilled, the morose bastard?" the old cyborg chuckled as he rubbed at the circles under his eyes. The hands lowered and he shook his head at Giovenith. "Don't judge him based on my grumbles. As far as his race goes, he's not that bad. Xenometeorologist. Damn good at it. He was thrust into this oversight committee job, and is just as unhappy as the rest of us who were dragged in for the Drone invasion. He's had nothing but nice things to say about you, though. Says you're polite, and your kindness comes from your heart. His people value etiquette, 'specially when youth manifest it."

It was Adrastus' turn to chuckle. "Sounds very accurate, his assessment of her. He says you're a fucktard, Thad. Spot on there, too." The abbot pulled back to avoid a playful cuff, continuing his soft snicker until the corners of the old cyborg's mouth quivered in turn. Satisfied there wasn't any bad blood remaining between them, the abbot returned his focus back to godling. "I'm sorry this has been such a roller coaster for you. If you have any questions, we'll do our best to address them."


RACHE AND WILLOW

"Fair enough," Rache conceded with a swish of his tail, "And we are appreciative of your hospitality. I'm looking forward to recharging with some sleep. Willow and I have had long day, and we don't mind sharing a room."

By this, he meant he was looking forward to picking Willow's brain for a solid hour in the secrecy offered by shadows. He offered a telling look to his otherworlder companion.

"Do you and Pansy have duty in the morning? I haven't decided when I'll set off, and I might roam around a bit, perhaps look in a library before I go."
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Giovenith
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Posts: 19636
Founded: Feb 08, 2012
Left-wing Utopia

Postby Giovenith » Thu Jan 28, 2016 8:14 pm

Yuna and Aegis

All eyes were on Yuna as she spoke, and though the ponies were supposed to remain silent while she took her turn, the Chancellor did not step in to prevent them all from whispering to each other. What they could have been saying to one another was anypony else's guess, though it was most probable that what Yuna had done was address a white elephant in the room. It certainly seemed so from the way the Chancellor's eyes never left the pyserai-pony-princess, never widened or faltering.

"We have toyed with the idea of delegation," Puddinghead said, partly to Yuna and to the rest of the crowd. "And it has often been met with scorn. But I say now as your elected leader that the forest girl speaks the truth. Prejudice is never an excuse to be illogical."

"It ain't prejudice if it's the truth," somepony called out, clearly bitter.

The Chancellor banged her gavel with a fury. "We don't know nothing! Before we lived together well enough, but now when we are dying together, you'd all rather turn your backs on the system? Shame on ye. Shame on ye all."

Towards the back of the stage, Smart Cookie's eyes lit up and the corners of her mouth began to rise into a smile. Thank Mother Earth, thank you Chancellor, thank you. They had not abandoned their morals and reason yet. She was actually listening to her.

Way in the back, somepony else stood up, waving their forelegs in the air in indication they wanted the stick. The Chancellor narrowed her eyes to see better: Miss Sundae Surprise, the medic supplier.

Dammit! Cookie's mood was ruined. Seeing this as best a time as any, she locked gazes with Aegis and jerked her head towards the emergency side door.

"Miss Yuna, could you please toss the stick to Miss Surprise?" the Chancellor asked Yuna.


Building

Giovenith giggled at the silly idea of Marcus being a were-lizard, and nodded with blush at the compliments from both Bodkins and the Brothers.

"I do try," she stated. "And I promise I will keep this a secret, cross my heart and hope to fly. Nobody will question anyway, they'll just be happy to know that Marcus is okay."

It had been quite a roller coast. While she was happy to have precious starmate back, Giovenith was definitely going to set aside some time once Marcus was better to lecture him about taking better care of his own health. It was only fair, after the scare he gave her!

"I just have one question," she said. "Is there anything I should avoid asking him? Anything he might not be ready to face before the time is right?"


Rache and Willow

Cloud Duster shook his head. "The agoge has been put on hold indefinitely due to the severity of the winter. We only really get caught up in individual tasks our superiors assign to us, so staying free is only a matter of avoiding running into them."

Pansy confirmed this with a nod.

"I honestly wouldn't recommend hanging around too long," Duster explained, urging them along back to his house. "You're new, exotic, and killed a ghouling. Ponies will want to talk to you. It's technically forbidden to leave the city on such extensive trips without permission, of which Star Catcher is unlikely to give you. If you want to get out there and find Hurricane, you'll need to be subtle and sneak out when nopony can stop you."

"But surely," Willow tried to reason. "As the explorer clan, we inherently have permission to come and go."

"Keeping ponies alive and accounted for supersedes tradition," the colt Private said. "I'm only telling you what's easiest."

Willow nodded, it all made sense. He was sure they could figure something out.

Soon, they successfully arrived back at the house, Willow rushing inside foremost (having the least endurance of the three), glad to be out of the cold and eager to settle down after this long, confusing day. Pansy was about to follow him in when her sight caught their young host hanging back and looking into the distance.

"Cloud Duster?" she asked, tilting her head with concern.

He didn't answer. He closed his eyes and let the wind rush through his bangs and cut into his skin.

Summer.

The fourteenth hour of a summer day was when the Earth pony youth turned in for the day to help their family with chores and the daily work, leaving the glittering western pool empty and free from watchful possessiveness. It had taken him a while to measure the time and dates that they came and went and figure out the pattern, but he was good at these things. Even in the rigid confines of Cyniscan society, conventional social wisdom dictated that the more often you went out of your way to do good deeds the more often you were to get leeway to bend and break the rules whenever it suited your own needs. Plus he was good at spying. So when he inevitably discovered the summertime activities of his Groundtown peers, it had only been a matter of consistently inserting goodwill tokens into the ponies around him so that they would be blinded to his sudden frequent playing hookie and he could learn more about this intriguing discovery.

Earth ponies could float. Like ducks, he thought, but wondered how this could be when they weren't the ones with wings. For most of his life, he had always been under the assumption that like flying, climbing trees, or stinging, swimming was an attribute unique to certain animals that couldn't be learned or picked up. It certainly seemed so, he had once pushed a girl into the water out of curiosity when he was a foal, and she flailed and sunk like a rock before the Vigiles fished her out with a stick and revived her. He never forgot the beating that followed that, but he also never forgot the way she was dragged under, taking it into account in regards to his own safety when it came to the precious moments he was able to sneak down to the ground.

Until he came across these teens, of course. They were drowning, the Groundtown youth floating and propelled themselves with great cheer in the sparkling water, diving under and popping up, splashing each other, racing each other from one side to the other. It was all sport for them, not a risk of death. Made sense too, submerged in cool, sparkling spring water was definitely one way to cool oneself in the blaring heat of summer. After first he'd wondered about it, but dismissed it with the assumption that is must have been an Earth pony passive trait, like how only pegasi could walk on clouds. It was only by chance and continued curiosity in the swimming pony phenomena that he learned that this might not have been the whole story: Occasionally the adolescents brought younger siblings with them, whom they patiently taught the motions of floating and moving through the water. Paying close attention to that, it didn't sound like anything particularly magical, just common sense. And so he wondered. And so he played hookie, and spied, and learned.

Today was one of those days. From his clever position on the short cliff from which the pool's waterfall fell, he watched for a hundredth time as they repeated the basic motions of their activity, laughed and played, and then filed out one by one when the sun in the sky indicated it was time to go home. Normally that was when he would turn in too, fetching out his burdensome armor from the bushes and flying back home before he could push his luck, but today was different. Today he wanted to try something. Before he could even begin to try though, an obstacle made itself known.

"Cloud Duster! Cloud Duster!"

Well, well. This added a new angle to the day. Slipping into the shadows of the wild, overgrown greenery, he patiently watched as his cousin landed from the sky, panting and futilely swiping at the sweat dripping from beneath her helmet's rim. The dark metal of their high-crest headgear (and the rest of their armor for that matter) didn't mix well with the sun's rays. She was a loyal but silly thing.

"Cloud Duster, please come out," she called out loudly, thinking he was farther away than he was. "It's easier for you this way, please, we have work to do so we don't get in trouble..."

He knew how to stay out of trouble with the mentors. He was in trouble with mother no matter what he did. He didn't need her bargain.

He allowed her to clumsily stumble around for a little more while, bemoaning the heat and grass blades and pollen that stuck to her forelegs, before he finally revealed himself with a spring and tackle, knocking her over like a stack of tin cans.

"Welcome over, Thistle Whistle," he greeted, one hoof digging into her back and the other flicking her helmet aside. "Stay a spell, we're going to try something new today."

Thistle coughed as she choked on pollen and rolled over to push her cousin/foster brother off of her. She futilely tried to shake the plant bits from her yellow and pink hair, a situation made worse by it's sweaty dampened state, and fumbled to straighten her chest plates. Despite her name, Thistle had never been fond of the ground like Cloud Duster was fond of the ground, ever since they were children the things that fascinated him always frightened her. That was true for many aspects of their lives, not just nature.

Sighing at the hopelessness of her hair situation, Thistle replaced her helmet and addressed her cousin. "It's the day we visit the graves."

"Mmmmhm," Cloud Duster agreed.

"I know you don't care, but it will make both our lives easier if you just come along."

That was true. Thistle knew better than to lie to him, she'd grown up knowing that the best way to reason with her hyper self-focused cousin was to do her best to convince him of benefits and logic rather than appeal to his nonexistent reverence for the status quo. It would have been a lot easier for Cloud Duster to return with her and join his mother for their weekly mourning ritual, but sometimes Cloud Duster didn't want easy for the sake of easy. He was willing to take on a challenge if it meant he got something even better out of it.

"No, I'm going to stay here," he told Thistle matter-of-factually. "And you should too."

Thistle sighed, hanging her head. She began to look around for his armor, in the event that she could try to push him along by taking it with her. "Please Cloud Duster, it's been too long a day. If you skip out, Aunt Rainshine will go into a rage, and the day will be more miserable. Whatever you're thinking of, it's not worth it."

"I beg to differ," he said, offering a hoof to her, which she reluctantly took if only to reaffirm their trust. Trust was everything with them. "Don't you ever get tired with selling your life to the dead, Thistle?"

"I love my father," the blue filly answered. "And my brother, and my mother..."

"How? You don't remember them."

"I don't have to remember them to love them, or to honor them."

He didn't believe that. Of all the masks Cloud Duster wore and the games he played, pretending to miss something he never had, to yearn for something he neither needed or wanted, was the most tedious. It was hard to believe that Thistle, or anypony for that matter, didn't feel the same, but that was just his condition in life. Everypony lied. Everypony pretended to be somepony else. The difference was while they all tried to sew their masks permanently to their faces and eternally rub away at the line between role and reality, Cloud Duster was a lucid thespian aware of his costumes for what they were, wearing the mask and dancing the dance for those who needed to see but always knowing that there were options. When you didn't mar your face by trying to become one with the mask, endless roles were opened, to rehearse and to use. That's the way he saw it, anyway. As his mother put it, insincerity was his sin.

But acting was hard. Even for normal ponies, there were times when you had to rest yourself, set aside the mask and lounge your true self. You needed other ponies for that. Most ponies didn't like Cloud Duster's true self. Cloud Duster didn't trust most ponies with his true self. Save for Thistle Whistle.

"Then love and honor them from here," he said. "It's not as if they have preferences."

"That's not the appropriate way to mourn."

"Says the living, not the dead. Who cares about either?"

"I care about the living wrath of an angry aunt and mother," she threw back, getting a little snippy. "I can't force you to do anything. You know better anyway, you know how she'll react. I'll go without you and get half the punishment then."

He could make her stay. Refraining from a response on purpose, Cloud Duster stretched his wings and slowly hovered around Thistle, eyes still on her, and moved toward the edge of the cliff. Her own green eyes followed him with critical confusion, as he came to hover above the edge itself. It was impossible to read his facial expressions, but she had her assumptions. "I'm not going to chase you, Cloud Duster. Race away if you want. I'll just go without--"

The young stallion's wings snapped shut, and he lolled back like a doll as gravity overtook him and dragged him towards the plunging waters below.


"Cloud Duster!" Thistle screamed, heart suddenly stopping. What was he doing?! It took only two beats for her to realize that her cousin wasn't catching himself, pushing her into action as she dove over the edge after him, hoping to catch him up before the waters swallowed him forever.

But she wasn't fast enough! Cloud Duster fell through the water line with a splash just before she could scoop him up, leaving her to buzz over the water in an ever-growing hysteria, her growing hyperventilation causing many almost comical whistles to spring from her mouth. Damn her odd tick! Where was he?! Thistle splashed about and clawed at the water with her hooves from her spot in the air, begging forces unknown that Duster would still be close enough to the surface that she could pull him out and restart his heart and lungs if need be. Please, please, no! Don't be sunken! Don't be gone!

But there was no such luck. The swirling waters revealed no baby blue shape, only the churning glimmers and bubbles of the waterfall's touch. Dread and shock overcame Thistle Whistle, her hooves shaking and her mouth gaping in horror. She lead herself to the ground beside the pool, dropping down and staring at the water as her assumptions overcame her. Her eyes grew hot and she began to openly weep into her hooves, despite always being discouraged from turning so quickly to emotion. Cloud Duster, why? What had gone wrong? What had she missed? He just, he was just...

A squirt of water hit her on the nose.

Her sobs stopped as the water dripped off her snout, prompting her to dry both it and her eyes. Confused and a little worried, Thistle slowly pulled her hooves from her eyes and lifted her head to see the head and forelegs of her cousin peaking out over the land's edge, looking at her with a simple smile. Thistle shook her head to make sure she wasn't hallucinating out of grief, then scrambled over to catch on to him before he could disappear again.

"Cloud Duster, grab on to me!" she urged in a shaken but urgent voice. "I'll pull you out!"

Duster responded by gently pushing her hoof away then pushing himself out into the water again, temporarily inflaming her panic but then cooling it when she saw what he was doing. "Cloud Duster, you're... floating...?"

It was tricky, but drawing upon what he'd overheard the Earth ponies telling their siblings when first teaching them to swim, it was manageable enough. The trick was not trying too hard, just letting yourself bob about. Thus it was a difficult for him to maneuver the way he wanted without falling under, but he felt like if he just moved slowly and calmly enough, he could manage it efficiently enough. Till then he was more or less aimlessly wandering the water though, with Thistle flying after him in dumbfounded curiosity.

"But how?" she asked, amazement banishing her sadness. That in itself was soon overtaken by red-hot anger though, as her stupefied face shifted to outrage. "I-I thought you were dead!"

"Why would I kill myself?" Duster questioned with only mild annoyance that Thistle would assume such a thing of him, tongue sticking out and brow pinched in concentration as he tried to get a hand of the propulsion aspect of swimming.

"I don't know!" Thistle cried, flying in circles above him. "But what am I supposed to assume when you do such a thing?! Were you trying to scare me?!"

"A little, yeah."

In Duster's world, honesty meant that he truly respected you, but that didn't make it any less painful when the truth was that was a right asshole. Thistle seethed, wanting nothing more than to go off on her cousin about how bad, how wrong, how terrible what he did was, how why couldn't he just be normal? Why couldn't he just be fucking normal?

But that wouldn't work. He'd just stare dumbly at her and have everything she felt and said fly right over his head, not because he wanted to hurt her, but because it was hard for him to feel stirred when he realized he did. It wouldn't click. Oh sure, she'd fly away and he'd eventually come slinking back, offering some flattery or another to erase her ill will towards him and once again enjoy her friendship, but he wouldn't truly
understand. They could be fake. They could put on a play for one another. But that wasn't what Thistle wanted, nor what Duster needed... and oh did he need her. For as bad as he was, he would only be worse without her. She'd decided that was her job long ago, to help him through the world in a way he understood, and she needed to do it now.

Why? Because she loved him, and love was unconditional, no matter what he may think differently. In Thistle's world, it was as simple as that.

There was a very careful approach she'd learned to take whenever Cloud Duster crossed a line with her feelings and wanted to let him know it. First thing was first, she needed to establish to herself what was the point of telling him. There was no point in trying to fish for an empathetic, sympathetic, or vaguely emotional response, he couldn't give it to her even if he tried. Benefits and logic - that was the way to handle Cloud Duster. She had to frame all her requests of him in the light of feedback, letting him know that he was getting something out of it if he only behaved, if he only trusted and listened to her. Sucking up her emotional fringes and resolving to stay strong, she flew up ahead and placed a hoof on her foster brother's forehead, forcing him to stop bobbing about and look her in the eye.

"Cloud Duster," she said, her voice staying firm but non-confrontational. "You cannot deceive me like that. It breaks my trust for you, and if I can't trust you, I can't be your friend and help you."

He stared at her.

"Trust is necessary for respect, and respect is necessary for assistance. If I can't trust you, I can't help you stay out of trouble with your mother, I can't keep your secrets, and I can't be your crutch during difficult times. If you betray my trust, you inherently destroy my ability to help you."

The last part was difficult to phrase, and she could only pray he interpreted it the right way. Duster didn't respond to rewards that weren't directly connected to an action itself, trophies for obeying, but he did respond when the action was in it of itself a reward. She intended the later, and he hoped he wouldn't assume the former.

He continued to stare at her.

"I mean it."

"I understand, Thistle. I'll try to do better."

And he meant that, she could tell. She could tell because he didn't say sorry. "Sorry" was usually code for,
'I really do not enjoy the fact that your mood has altered, please revert back to normal,' rather than any true expression of peacemaking. It also implied remorse. Duster didn't feel remorse, but he did regret. He understood the logical reason as to why it was not good to play with his cousin's feelings and would actually make an effort not to do so. Maybe it wasn't for the reasons that most ponies would want, but as long as it lead to him doing the right thing, those reasons were good enough for Thistle.

"You're a good boy, Duster," she reassured him after letting loose a relieved sigh. "A good pony. You don't always do good things, but you're a good pony, and you can always try your best to act like one. I believe in you."

"When I do bad things, I hurt my good side," he said, almost questioningly, gaze still locked on her face.

"That's right," she smiled, smoothing some of his hair. "Yes, that's what I told you, always remember that."

"Will you let me teach you how to swim now?" he asked, turning his head to the side.

Thistle hesitated, still unsure about ditching out on Aunt Rainshine. The consequences would be dire. Seeing her uncertainty, Cloud Duster managed to wiggle out of the water with his wings and join her in the air.

"Going to the graves with my mother only makes you cry," he said matter-of-factually. "Swimming will make you smile. It's cool and fun on the hot days. I prefer to have you smiling, it makes things easier for me."


That made her smile. Again, right actions, wrong reasons, but still right. Taking a deep breath and just accepting the inevitable whooping and rage that was to come when they returned home, Thistle allowed her cousin to have his way this time and enjoy life in the present rather than sell it to the dead and the past. With the most sincere laughter, they skipped forcing waters of shallow, false tears on the land and instead dove right into the deep, natural waters of happiness and fun.


That was summer.

But summer was over.


Cloud Duster's eyes snapped open. The howling wind of winter roared in his ears and all around him for miles on end.

"Cloud Duster?" Pansy repeated.

"I'm coming, Pansy," he finally responded in a kind tone, turning around and smiling at her. "I won't leave you all hanging."
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Monfrox
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Founded: Mar 25, 2011
Father Knows Best State

Postby Monfrox » Thu Jan 28, 2016 10:13 pm

"As long as we're down here, snooping around to find out what's really going on may just be as important as getting a way out. After all, I don't need to tell you how bad this kind of predicament is. Oh man...now I'm really starting to wonder about the Wendigos...this is...hey wait!"

Brit realized she'd been thinking out loud only when Arrow dashed off into the cavern ahead of her. Oh no, she was not going to get stuck down here, in a place that seemed like a breeding ground for nightmares and other spooky things with her overactive imagination, because Arrow's unwillingness (whether by her own right or something else) to understand how bitchy she was being right now. She raced after her, hoping to God nothing was going to happen in her time down here.
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Xing wrote:Yeah but you also are the best at roleplay. (yay Space Core references) I'm pretty sure a four man tank crew is no problem for someone that had 27 different RP characters going at one time.

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The BranRiech
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Founded: Mar 24, 2011
Ex-Nation

Postby The BranRiech » Thu Jan 28, 2016 10:27 pm

Yuna

"Uh, thanks for listening, everyone!" The filly shouted, a far-cry from her assertive statement just a few seconds before. Yuna blushed furiously, and sat back down again, still holding the stick, almost forgetting the importance of the trinket.

She wasn't quite the expert peacemaker she saw herself as in that situation, but the fact that her suggestion at least held some weight was an accomplishment which furthered her goals of maybe being one someday. She turned herself around, and sighed. She was planning on tossing Sundae the stick, and nodded at the prodding of Cookie to do so. "Here!" She shouted back. As much ill-will she held towards the young mare, Yuna wasn't going to let it get in her way when the stakes seemed quite high.

Although just as a little revenge, she threw the stick at such an angle so that Sundae may have to run a little ways to get her turn to speak.

Turning to Aegis, and Cookie, she looked a little worried. "Was that good? I-I wanted to say something, and then the stick, and everything just sort of spilled out."

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Giovenith
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Left-wing Utopia

Postby Giovenith » Thu Jan 28, 2016 11:01 pm

Brit and Chrys

BRRRRRRMMMMMMMMMMMM...

The tunnel walls began to shake again even more violently than the last time. Dust and pebbles rained from the ceiling and for a moment, one could assume that it was about to collapse and crush the two unicorns to death. It did not though. Instead, for Brit at least, time seemed to slow down. The walls of the tunnel stretched and elongated as if on a bad trip, and a nauseatingly bright white light began to melt upwards from the floor and swallow up Brit in a suffocating manner before intensifying, dissipating, and...

Home?

Yes, she was home, and human again for that matter! Bipedal, furless, hornless, human! She was standing in the Building's library, which was as cool and quiet as usual, with not a color pony aesthetic or crazy Arrow in sight.

"What are you doing here?" a harsh tone demanded.

Behind her, Willow, dressed in working clothes and wearing reading glasses was seated at a table filled with books and papers. Having her not answer quickly enough, he looked back up at her with a glare and slid his glasses down his snout. "Well?"
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Monfrox
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Father Knows Best State

Postby Monfrox » Thu Jan 28, 2016 11:47 pm

Brit ran fast as her legs would allow, but the stretching of the tunnel briefly allowed her some respite by making he remember Bower's endless staircase in Super Mario 64. Briefly, until suddenly she became blind and felt everything, even her own senses, slip away. And when she opened her eyes, she had a little trouble remembering where she was at first. She had only visited the Building's library once, despite living in it for about over a year or so. She sat up and held her head and...held? Oh sweet mercy, she was human again! And yet her initial celebration was cut short by the voice she'd heard from behind her. Willow? Well, he certainly looked like him, but the Willow she knew wasn't exactly one for proper reading if she ever knew him. Maybe on the off-hand occasion, but not like he was now. Where the hell was his turtleneck? And then she had a thought.

"Am I....dead? What happened?" She asked, trying her best to not invoke an existential crisis again. One was enough for the week. "Willow, is that you?"
Gama Best Horror/Thriller RP 2015 Sequel
I wear teal, blue & pink for Swith.
Xing wrote:Yeah but you also are the best at roleplay. (yay Space Core references) I'm pretty sure a four man tank crew is no problem for someone that had 27 different RP characters going at one time.

The Grey Wolf wrote:Froxy knows how to use a whip, I speak from experience.

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Giovenith
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Posts: 19636
Founded: Feb 08, 2012
Left-wing Utopia

Postby Giovenith » Thu Jan 28, 2016 11:56 pm

Brit and Chrys

The book Willow had slammed shut with a loud and ominous thud, and he removed his glasses entirely to jump into the air.

"Our last residents' meeting made it plainly clear that you are not welcome in this Building anymore," he laid out sternly, point rather accusatory at her. "Arthur already gave his testament about your hopeless mental and emotional state, he's sick of dealing with you and so are the rest of us. So why are you back?"

He began to stack books atop each other with more hostile thuds.
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Monfrox
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Founded: Mar 25, 2011
Father Knows Best State

Postby Monfrox » Fri Jan 29, 2016 12:07 am

Brit was speechless. Had her own self-absorbed ways wore down the others more than they let on? Was she a burden to them, just as she was before? Wait, that's not right. This isn't right. Willow's sour disposition shocked her, but now that she thought about it she was just a bit insulted.

"Willow, something's wrong. Something's happened, and I need answers." She stated plainly, standing up. "I wasn't here a moment ago. I was in your world. Yes, your world. Something's gone awry with the magic and I was in a cave and helping some stuck up unicorn and..." She paused to look to him, hoping that he'd at least be paying attention.
Gama Best Horror/Thriller RP 2015 Sequel
I wear teal, blue & pink for Swith.
Xing wrote:Yeah but you also are the best at roleplay. (yay Space Core references) I'm pretty sure a four man tank crew is no problem for someone that had 27 different RP characters going at one time.

The Grey Wolf wrote:Froxy knows how to use a whip, I speak from experience.

Winner of the P2TM 2013 Best Fight Scene in a Single Post and Most Original Character, and 2015 Best Horror/Thriller Role-player awards.
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