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Solisian Union
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Founded: Apr 22, 2018
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Solisian Union » Thu Dec 17, 2020 12:45 am

"I'll show you," Amanda said with a smile. "First, we wait while Sandy turns back in to his alter ego..."

After waiting for any questions – there were none – he did just that, kneeling down so the two women could climb on. Amanda helped Domenica settle just behind Sandy's wings. "It'll feel strange, since he's big, even for a horse, and very wide. You'll feel every wingbeat, but it's soothing and rhythmic. Lean forward a bit. OK, now get a couple of fistfuls of Sandy's mane."

Her instructions were broken by Sandy turning his head to give Domenica a pained glance. Amanda fell silent for a moment, then went on. "Remember, you are pulling his hair, so try not to pull too hard. But don't worry about pulling it out. I don't think mortals can do that." With that, she climbed onto Sandy's back behind Domenica, and he stepped forward into the abyss. He stood there, unfalling, and with another nod and glance to Domenica, indicated that he was in complete control of his motion. Then he spread his great wings and began another circling glide.


Domenica nodded at almost every few words that came to her ears from Amanda. While she sometimes gave her a few glances that had a little more of her narrowed eyes than her usual glances had, the Filipina waited for Sandy to kneel down so she could climb on. She took Amanda's help at getting on, but hesitated to grab some of Sandy's hair upon seeing his pained glance. She was quiet for a while then she said, "Okay. I got it, thanks." Then soon enough, she took some of his hair, holding on firmly but not too firmly, closing her eyes as Sandy stepped forward into the abyss. She pressed her face into him a little and just held on until she felt the wings and the gliding. She opened her eyes, a silent gasp overcoming her.

And along the way, she seemed to hold firm, not on Sandy's hair, but on herself. She looked around, not looking like she could faint, but with what seemed like excitement for what was to be seen. And when they finally got down...

Sandy started to kneel down so Domenica and Amanda could get off, but one of his ears abruptly turned, and he looked in its direction, rearing up a bit to get a better view, though not so much that the women would fall from his back. He saw an immense figure in the distance, slowly walking towards them on the path. The figure towered over the wall, and even far off, looked like it had many heads and more arms. The heads seemed to be looking over the wall.


Domenica was about to get off, but quickly steadied herself again on him, hands still holding some of his hair. She looked at the figure as it walked toward them. She said no word. And when it was okay again to try getting down, she did so, looking around, patting over her clothes and her bag so she could get her writing instruments and a pad of paper.

And as Sandy and Amanda spoke again, she turned to them quickly. "So do we try and talk to the warden? Or do we do something else?"
^_^

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Giovenith
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Left-wing Utopia

Postby Giovenith » Mon Dec 21, 2020 11:01 am

Willow chuckled while shaking his head and backing away slightly. "Oh no, I'm not like Sandy. I don't do piggy-back rides." He did, however, help her up and towards Sandy himself. He was soon after intercepted by Giovenith, who smiled but whose tone betrayed her concern as she leaned down to whisper to him.

"And how are you doing?" she asked. "You don't have to come with us, you know. We'd understand..."

Right. A dark, cavernous underground, filled with sinister, powerful beings. Here Willow was worrying over Domenica when chances were high that he should be the one fainting. Surprisingly though, he shook his head. "I feel like as long as I'm with all of you guys, I'll be fine."

She nodded. "If it becomes too much, let me know. I'll have ways to help you escape."

Starlight smiled but shook her head at Sandy's suggestion. "I could whip up a way to bring it down here. But not only would Cherry rip my cutie mark right off my ass if we damaged it, it's too much hassle to consistently pack and unpack and pilot an entire balloon when we really should be moving hastily. We can get on without it."

She looked to her friend for permission before coating him in turquoise light and lifting his entire body along with her own, effortlessly. She offered Giovenith the same, but the godling settled for being taken down by her paper birds.



As they landed, Giovenith instinctively cringed and tried to huddle the ponies around her, protectively. Willow stood close for her sake, but the magicians were quick to part and start taking in their surroundings. Sunburst used his telekinesis to give the Babylon Thread a good tug, making sure it was secure, then trotted up to the others.

"I've never heard of this place specifically," he said. "But I've read legends of other places, places beyond where the maps end. I guess it's not surprising that something this alien would lie beyond the Prison..." He gazed around. "Let's hope that your texts got it mostly right."

"A hug is a warmer greeting than our Princess of the Night would have given," said Starlight, taking some paper and a quill out of her saddlebag. She zapped it, and seemingly without her guiding it, it began to sketch her viewpoint of the Hekatonkheires in the distance. Leaving it there to complete this task midair, she joined her fellow experts. "Do you know how this place got started? What do the humans put in here? Princess Twilight told me that you don't have many magical threats."
❃she's ripping wings off of butterflies❃

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Solisian Union
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Founded: Apr 22, 2018
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Solisian Union » Mon Dec 28, 2020 3:43 am

Domenica observed how her companions came down in their own ways. She smiled at the paper birds bringing the godling down, while Starlight used some kind of light which coated her friend to bring him down safely as it covered her and brought her down safely as well. She hummed at the observations she made and later on turned to see Gio and Willow standing close to each other. Then she noticed Starlights paper and quill just working on their own. She had her attention toward what they both did, somewhat fascinated by such animation. She commented, "This honestly makes me wish my pens can do more. This is...well, it's obviously magical. Damn..."
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Northwest Slobovia
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Anarchy

Postby Northwest Slobovia » Thu Dec 31, 2020 6:58 pm

Olympian Tartaros

Solisian Union wrote:And as Sandy and Amanda spoke again, [Domenica] turned to them quickly. "So do we try and talk to the warden? Or do we do something else?"

"We can talk to him if you'd like." Sandy gestured to the tunnel. "Or we could, uh, see how far we can get into H-- into the land of the dead."

"I'd like to see what being embraced by the night is like." A scowl flickered across Amanda's face. "Is there really any reason to avoid naming her? She's right there. And the same for Mother Earth, too?"

With a shake of his head, Sandy relented. "No, just don't get careless naming the Olympians."

Giovenith wrote:"I've never heard of this place specifically," [Sunburst] said. "But I've read legends of other places, places beyond where the maps end. I guess it's not surprising that something this alien would lie beyond the Prison..." He gazed around. "Let's hope that your texts got it mostly right."

Sandy followed Sunburst's gaze for a second. "They're doing all right, so far."

"But," he said with a smile, "We're from one of those places beyond maps' end. It's called Bermeja. Ask around outside Equestria. You'll find it, even though-- Perhaps you should pack for a long trip. We'd be happy to..."

Giovenith wrote:Starlight [took] some paper and a quill out of her saddlebag. She zapped it, and seemingly without her guiding it, it began to sketch her viewpoint of the Hekatonkheires in the distance. Leaving it there to complete this task midair, she joined her fellow experts. "Do you know how this place got started? What do the humans put in here? Princess Twilight told me that you don't have many magical threats."

Distracted, Sandy turned to watch Starlight's spell sketch. He whistled appreciatively. "Magic that complex that performs without attention takes a deft touch. He turned his head for another look, his gaze repeatedly crossing the distance between Starlight and the quill. Then, he nodded. "And that answers another fundamental question. Your magic-- You can draw on ousia that's ultimately Olympian just as easily as I can work with Equestrian ousia. Which sets... some important limits on the structure of sorcery itself."

He nodded to himself for a while, as though he was answering more unsaid questions. With a start, he looked back at the Equestrian sorceress. "Oh! We don't put anybody in Tartaros. The Olympians did, and perhaps still do. I'm... I'm not sure where the other pantheons put their prisoners; we didn't pass through any section I recognized."

"We do have our own..." Sandy chose his words carefully. "Supernatural opponents, but we don't-- didn't! have the option of taking prisoners." He shook his head slowly, recalling long-ago battles.

With a sigh, he went on. "Tartaros is supposed to be... part of the world. It may be as old as our universe. It may predate time itself." He shook his head more vigorously. "I'm no philosopher or cosmologer, so I can't tell you, ummm, what that means.

Amanda scoffed at the self-drawing sketch, and pulled out her camera. After a moment of framing the approaching giant, she concluded he was too far off. "I'll get another shot later." She listened her husband for a while, then realized that if she let the spellcasters get going, there'd be no stopping the shop talk. "Sandy, the night calls."

He excused himself from the scholarly company, and winged himself and Amanda to the top of the bronze wall. After she dismounted, and he was more human, she stared out over the darkness. "Now what?"

"Well, first I tried touching Her with my wingtips as I few by. That didn't get a response, so I dragged my hooves through Her. That got her attention, so, I'd--"

She didn't need further prompting, and lowered herself to run a hand through Nyx, eventually settling for half lying down. Without warning, the silky blackness engulfed Amanda and pooled around Sandy's ankles. A second later, it vanished, returning to its previous home just below the top of the wall.

Dazed, Amanda blinked repeatedly to refocus her eyes, eventually looking up at Sandy. "A hug indeed! It was like being half asleep in a warm, cozy bed late at night. She seemed to know who I was. A telepath?"

Sandy shrugged and shook his head. "Her sons, Sleep and Dreams, might be at work too. I..."

Amanda grabbed Sandy's wrist and pulled herself to her feet. "How long was I out?"

"An instant." Amanda boggled at that, slackjawed, and Sandy recast the Metamorphosis, preparing to return them to the others.

While they were up on the wall, the hekatonkheires had gotten much closer. What had seemed like a slow walk from a distance was actually as fast as a human jog. He raised an arm to greet Giovenith, and one of his heads formed a trace of a smile. "Hello, god-child! You're one of Perlelei's daughters, aren't you? I'm Kottos, one of the watchmen down here. What's the word from your mother's realm?" He spoke a form of Greek so ancient that even Sandy needed the Babblefish's help to understand it, though he quickly realized how the language's sounds had changed.

As Kottos got to within a few yards, another head turned to Sandy. "How is my favorite colt today?" A powerful wind from behind blew Sandy into one of Kottos' hands. Sandy felt like he'd been sucked in by a vacuum cleaner, but Amanda's curls didn't even rustle. She, however, got out her camera: this was too good to pass up.

Kottos held Sandy the way a man would hold a puppy, one hand supporting his belly, another stroking his head, mane, and back. A second head spoke nonsense to him: "Is Pegasus a good horsey? Yes! He is!"

"Come, let us walk and talk," his first head continued to Giovenith. "I need to keep up my watch."
Last edited by Northwest Slobovia on Sat Jan 02, 2021 12:35 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Giovenith
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Left-wing Utopia

Postby Giovenith » Tue Jan 05, 2021 1:39 pm

Giovenith kept a certain tension to her as Amanda and Sandy flew off, furrowing her brow in worry. She agreed with Sandy's sentiments that they ought not to attract too much attention. Nothing was likely to go too wrong, but even the possibility of things getting complex wasn't something she wanted to gamble with. She gasped a bit when she saw Amanda swallowed up by darkness for a moment but relaxed a little when nothing bad came of it.

"You seem very strong, Starlight," she remarked to the purple unicorn, who was still taking notes. "Did you teach yourself magic?"

Starlight perked questioningly before folding her ears, somewhat bashful. "Uh, yeah, for a really long time."

"You seem pretty young though, most people take a long time to get to your level."

The unicorn organized her notes, tapping them into order. "I had a lot of time by myself to concentrate on learning and practicing. Sunburst knows more than I do though."

Sunburst smiled, though it was awkward and, Giovenith could tell, forced. "Oh, that doesn't matter much though..."

"Did you learn together?" Giovenith asked.

"For a little while, when we were really young." Starlight answered, somewhat dry in tone. "But not after that."

When the hekatonkheires, both Giovenith and Willow moved to stand protectively next to Domenica, sensing that the uninitiated girl might be overwhelmed. The being, however, was friendly, though it took Giovenith a second to decipher what he was saying. The ponies all looked to her for guidance in the matter.

"Good day to you, watchman," she greeted back. "Things are well enough. Sorry to interrupt your service. We can walk with you." She turned to Starlight. "He wants us to go with him, but he's obviously pretty fast. Do you think you could help carry us along so we can keep up with him?"

Starlight agreed, using her telekinesis to float along those couldn't fly under their own power in order to keep level and speed with the hekatonkheires.

"We came to learn about how things are working these days," Giovenith told the hekatonkheires as they went along. "Many of my friends here are scholars. Is there any news from your realms as of late, or is it the typical affairs to be expected?"
❃she's ripping wings off of butterflies❃

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Northwest Slobovia
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Postby Northwest Slobovia » Sun Jan 10, 2021 6:20 pm

Olympian Tartaros
Giovenith wrote:"We came to learn about how things are working these days," Giovenith told the hekatonkheires as they went along. "Many of my friends here are scholars. Is there any news from your realms as of late, or is it the typical affairs to be expected?"

Kottos, or rather his head that was talking to Giovenith, pressed his lips together tightly, and his expression stiffened. As she finished, another head looked over the others one at a time: "Mmmm, scholars. Not the usual sort of hero to visit my brothers and me. Those heroes just want a story to tell when they get back home." The head's eyes settled on Starlight's self-drawing sketch, and a corner of its mouth turned up. "Though perhaps not so different."

"So," the second head said to the unicorns, with more enthusiasm. "What would you have me tell you?"

"They don't speak Greek." Amanda lowered her phone so it wasn't blocking her eye contact. The words she said sounded strange to her: the Babblefish cued her, but she stumbled over the sounds. It definitely wasn't Sandy's smooth fluency.

Kottos' second head turned to her, eyebrow raised; she went on. "I don't either. I have... help. Most of us do. You're holding our only true Grecophone." Then, in English, she added, "Most of us speak this language, a distant child of Latin and German."

One of Kottos' heads said something nobody could catch, words meant for other Olympians. Forms stirred in Nyx's darkness, detached themselves, and fluttered over Starlight and Sunburst. Their shapes were hard to discern, just patches of fluttering darkness with vague, shifting edges.

Kottos' second head repeated his question to the unicorns. Their ears would make out only early Greek, but it seemed to them that they were remembering the meaning of the foreign sounds, though everything around them seemed to have a touch of unreality to it.

The head that had been babbling nonsense to Sandy carried on a parallel conversation, starting by squinting at him. It chuckled at Sandy, raised the hand holding him to eye level, and the other arm stopped petting him. "A good trick! Did Hermes show you how to do that, thaumaturge?"

Sandy cancelled his spell, leaving him standing in the middle of one of Kottos' palms. "Hermes?? Uhhh, no... the Muses--"

"That sort of mischief has to be his doing. Are you sure you talked to the Singing Sisters?"

Sandy nodded frantically. "Yes! In their house... in Alexandria... in, uh, Egypt."

"So you've been to the Pretender's city! Did you come to learn his doom, scholar?"

Sandy didn't answer immediately; he watched the bits of moving darkness, then turned back to Kottos. "Oneiroi?" A single nod was his answer, so Sandy called to the unicorns, switching to English. "Dream spirits... they're..."

Kottos broke in with, "Sending you a dream of our speech, Olympos' speech."

"Yes." Sandy turned back to the giant. "I... he's here? Alexander is here?"

"Apollo will never forgive him!" The head scowled. "Threatening His Voice, in Delphoi of all places! He's learning manners now. I can tell you where he is, but it's not a pleasant place."

"Uhhh, yes! But I wanted to first..." He glanced at the tunnel to the land of the dead.

"Of course, course. Come back afterwards, and I'll show you."
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Giovenith
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Left-wing Utopia

Postby Giovenith » Thu Jan 14, 2021 4:35 pm

Willow blinked rapidly and flew closer to Giovenith at the shifting of the shadows. Sunburst balked too, though not as much, and Starlight's expression hardened before loosening up when it became clear that the shadows were of no harm.

"Well, that is a good question," Starlight answered, steadying herself to a polite, conversational tone. "Unfortunately, I don't have a lot of context in order to ask some of the more specific, interesting questions I could think of. What are you doing down here? I understand that you are guards, but who do you work for and how do you decide who gets sent down here? Do you still have a connection to the humans up above your world? Do they do anything in deciding what you do down here?"

Sunburst didn't speak up directly with the giant. He passivley looked back and forth between the faces of Starlight and the giant, observing them, before looking down and seeming to mumble to himself. It looked awkward, but upon closer inspection, it was evident that he was tasting out the Greek words, repeating and trying to pronounce them several times, connecting them with the Ponish meanings he had gleaned from the conversation.

"Yes." Sandy turned back to the giant. "I... he's here? Alexander is here?"

"Apollo will never forgive him!" The head scowled. "Threatening His Voice, in Delphoi of all places! He's learning manners now. I can tell you where he is, but it's not a pleasant place."


Willow winced in thought and whispered to Giovenith: "These are the same people who did that thing with the apple, right?" He couldn't imagine that people like that thought of measured, humane punishments. "Is, everyone from that war down here?" She sharply shushed him and shook her head, not in response to his question, but as an urging to not ask any more of them.
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Solisian Union
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Solisian Union » Fri Jan 15, 2021 4:14 pm

Domenica was amazed now. She looked at how the darkness engulfed Amanda and knocked her out in an instant. It made the hair on her arms rise up, but she seemed more fascinated than scared, scribbling quickly notes on her papers. She eventually had her attention drawn back to the watchman, her jaw dropping at the sight of them. And when the watchman carried Sandy as they would a puppy...it...made her laugh hard. At first. She tried to hold it back along the way, but eventually it came out at the expense of Sandy. She shook her head as they came along with the watchman, slowly calming down enough that she could sigh and listen. And later on, she caught something. She said, "Do excuse me please, I'd like this to be translated to the dear watchman going with us, but this Alexander...do you mean the Macedonian? The conqueror? Or someone else? Certainly it could not be any of the Russian tsars, yes?" She looked on around her, hoping someone would translate it for her. Or if Kottos could understand her.
Last edited by Solisian Union on Fri Jan 15, 2021 4:16 pm, edited 3 times in total.
^_^

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Northwest Slobovia
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Anarchy

Postby Northwest Slobovia » Sat Jan 16, 2021 7:35 pm

Olympian Tartaros

Giovenith wrote:Starlight answered, steadying herself to a polite, conversational tone. "Unfortunately, I don't have a lot of context in order to ask some of the more specific, interesting questions I could think of. [...] I understand that you are guards, but who do you work for and how do you decide who gets sent down here? Do you still have a connection to the humans up above your world? Do they do anything in deciding what you do down here?"

Kottos' one head listened carefully to her questions, but as she asked, it became apparent that he was trying to suppress some emotion. For a second or two after she finished, there was nothing but the sound of his thudding footfalls, then a burst of laughter from a number of his heads. "Whom do I work for?" His head chuckled a bit longer, while the others returned to watching over Tartaros. "We all serve the First Ones, the Makers and Keepers! You, me, her." – he meant Giovenith – "Perhaps Zeus speaks to me and gives me specific tasks, but He too serves Our Grandparents." He kissed the fingertips of one hand, and reverently touched the top of the bronze wall with them.

"Without Them, all of Them and Their work, this wouldn't exist." His sweeping gesture took in not only all of Tartaros, Olympian, Equestrian, and every other pantheon's, but all of Creation. "And there would be only Khaos. All would return to Her." The babblefish showed people a jarring image of the endless, timeless Void between timestreams; those dreaming of Greek would feel the sudden, momentary tug of a nightmare of falling forever.

"But your next question is of some significance. Seven gods judge the newly dead: Hades; His three judges, Minos, Rhadamanthys, and Aiakos; and the Moirae, who provide the measure of a person's life, how much worth and unworth they have, and how they have used the Thread the Spinner has given them." The oneiroi and the babblefish provided not only meaning and identity for the names, but conveyed some of Kottos' fear and respect for the Fates.

Amanda piped up. "No counsel? No way of defending themselves against of the whims of gods?"

Kottos swept her from Starlight's telekinetic grasp with a breeze; she landed in one of his palms, the Boon giving her a gymnast's performance. "Are you a--?" A momentary squint. "Oh yes! You are!" There was more than a trace of regard in Kottos' expression; not nearly the way he deferred to Giovenith, but more than was apparent in his tone with Sandy. "The Moirae provide evidence like a true set of scales, more reliable than any witness you can call, so they and the other judges merely decide the nature of the soul's eternity in direct measure to its living actions.

"Except for those damned to Tartaros." He waved an immense finger for emphasis. "For whom Dikê provides assistance. No mistake can be made with damnation, and none of us can deny Themis and Her Daughters their say." After a brief silence, he continued, annoyance in his voice. "And for the Pretender, Themis had to negotiate Our jurisdiction, for many pantheons had claims against him."

Amanda kept her mouth firmly shut, trying to make sense of both Kottos' reaction to her – he must have the Sight, probably True Sight, to know that she practiced law – and what it would mean to be defended by Lady Justice Herself. Did Jesus serve the same role, a tireless public defender? Or was it one of the Prophets, counselling mercy in both life and death?

Solisian Union wrote:[Domenica] said, "Do excuse me please, I'd like this to be translated to the dear watchman going with us, but this Alexander...do you mean the Macedonian? The conqueror? Or someone else? Certainly it could not be any of the Russian tsars, yes?"

Domenica's request for translation cued her babblefish, and she found unfamiliar syllables slipping – stumbling – from her tongue. So she thought "Russian", but "Hyperborean" was what she said.

The head she addressed screwed up its face, and another of Kottos' heads asked Sandy, "Is this true? Do the Northerners know what the Pretender did?"

Sandy's expression was sour. "Many see... only a string of victories, and not their cost."

"Bah!" Kottos spat a huge gob onto the path beneath where most of the group floated. "Let the Hyperborean gods punish those so foolish to name their sons after a desecrator!"
Last edited by Northwest Slobovia on Sat Jan 16, 2021 7:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Giovenith
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Left-wing Utopia

Postby Giovenith » Tue Jan 19, 2021 9:47 pm

"I don't think any tsars would be down here," Giovenith explained to Domenica. "People usually go to the place they believed in, or at least the one with the faith they most identified with. Most of the tsars probably went to Elohim."

Kottos' answer wasn't exactly the kind that Starlight was looking for. However, it was to be expected to some degree. Starlight was not a professional per se the way Sandy was or Sunburst had once meant to be, but she understood the cumulative process of knowledge: Asking this being to perfectly explain everything necessary to grasp what they were experiencing would probably be like going back in time and trying to explain germs or radiation to an ancient pony. It wasn't necessarily that that ancient pony was stupid, but to understand those things required a foundational knowledge of many other concepts, all of which would take more time to explain than either of them had patience.

It was hardly futile though. Kottos' answer did provide something of a framework that she was already erecting in her head, of bigger and more complex things far beyond Equestria, its planet, and its royal gods. Forget germs and radiation, it was like someone who just learned the world was round now learning about astrophysics and all that lay beyond in the dark corners beyond their sky.

But Starlight Glimmer had never been afraid of things that came from dark corners.

"So there's a hierarchy, is there?" she asked, smiling. "Kind of like a family tree or a chain of command? That would make sense, given that Tartarus is apparently collectively shared." She looked between the giant and Giovenith. "Thank you, Kottos. I obviously don't want to bother you too much since we dropped in so unexpectedly, and there is a lot more to ask, so I'll definitely have to come back and ask more questions later."

Giovenith was a bit surprised at how well that Starlight was taking this. Of course she knew that the Equestrians were an enlightened people, but it was still a lot to press upon a preexisting worldview. "Aren't you, scared at all?"

Starlight blew a bit of turquoise flame from her quill pen as her spell finished its drawing of Kottos. "You don't become strong by being scared of new knowledge."

At this, Sunburst rolled his eyes. "Yeah, well, it's not a guarantee either."

Starlight smiled awkwardly and apologetically at him. She cleared her throat. "Well, what do you think about all it?"

The unicorn stallion's gaze swept over the ghastly landscape far beyond their vantage. His expression was hard to read, at least for Giovenith. With him, she got the sense that he was a generally passive guy, but not without a mind of his own.

"I've read a lot about the legends and beliefs of other cultures," he said. "I think ponies can be a little chauvinistic in that regard, because we generally don't have to rely on faith when it comes to how we got here and how we see the world; we've always had the Princesses to remember what's occurred and to confirm how things work. So we don't always see the value in stories from other places that don't have the same... confirmation factor to them."

"Willow says that faith isn't a virtue." Giovenith said, earning her a slight nip from her grey companion.

"I'm not sure that it is," Sunburst admitted, tilting his head in a concillatory way. "But just because something is taken on faith doesn't automatically make what's assumed untrue, or at least wholly untrue. There are lots of stories about where life comes from, what stars are made of, where the dead go..." He look a moment to clean his glasses with his telekinesis. "... and me and Starlight have seen unusual things before, to say the least. So of course I'm surprised by all of this, but I guess it's just... I've never particularly believed that us Equestrians had everything figured out when it comes to how the universe works."

"Especially not after Twilight Sparkle explained humans to us," Starlight added. "So when you've already accepted that there's another dimension full of talking hairless monkey-ponies, and you do already know that there's all sorts of crazy far off lands out there, something like this isn't going to bring quite everything shattering down..." She smiled and tapped her head with her hoof. "... when you run with the great adventurers of our time and culture, you learn to incorporate world-shaking new things about the universe pretty quickly."

Giovenith nodded. "I guess I can see that. Humans have uh, sometimes had a hard time having that sort of attitude..." She cringed a smile, remembering the inquisitions of old and counting Starlight and Sunburst's blessings that they didn't live in a place that would send them to the rack for bringing back the sort of knowledge that they were going to at the end of today.

Throughout the journey, Willow remained close to Giovenith, often reaching out to touch her side slightly (as it would be difficult to hug her while they were moving). He wanted to hang onto something, someone he trusted, to make sure that it wouldn't dissipate into illusions or betrayal. He had to hang on. His expression was stiff and steely, locked into place by a determination to not let a drop past the floodgates.

He tried to focus on something else. "Okay, so, who's a pretender and a desecrator and...?" Willow asked, squinting and blinking his eyes critically, lost.

"Uhhhh," Giovenith squinted her own eyes, trying to think of a way to summarize it. She placed a hand on his head to soothe him. Now perhaps was not the time to burden Willow with yet further information about humanity's follies. "Basically, this college kid named Alex tried to take over the world a really long time ago, it made a lot of people mad."

Well, it didn't make any less sense than anything else Willow had heard about human history so far. He raised an eye. "I would think so. Did it make your family mad?" He didn't actually know that much about what Giovenith's pantheon was up to before her birth. He supposed she didn't want the conflict of him passing judgment on them; he could understand that.

Giovenith shook her head. "We were mad for others when word got around, but we were too far away to deal with him ourselves. I'm sure my sister wouldn't have liked him, but she was busy with other things at the time."

"What things?"

"Stabby things!" She balled her fists in determination.

"Oh my." The shock was sarcastic, but Willow cracked a small smile. Even under the weight of all the anxiety and subtle sorrow he was feeling, his godling best friend was always able to take some of it off his shoulders with her silliness.

"So, where are you taking us now?" Sunburst asked Kottos, shading his sight with a hoof. "You said you were on your watch. Will we be dropped off somewhere?" They weren't exactly anywhere near where they came from.
Last edited by Giovenith on Wed Jan 27, 2021 10:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Solisian Union » Thu Jan 21, 2021 8:51 pm

Domenica blinked and realized that she had her babblefish. She blushed as she later listened to the others speak, realizing the misunderstandings she's caused. But she let Willow and Gio speak after Kottos did, but the stuff she's gotten now made her...

The Filipina cocked her head to the side and furrowed her eyebrows. "Wait, what? A college kid? But I thought we were talking about a Greek or...or.....HUH?!" She turned to Gio and said, "You're saying a college kid actually somehow pissed off a lot of people by messing with a lot of stuff like this? And I'm here, trying to figure out if, maybe, somehow, Alexander the Great was here being the cause of the troubles for Kottos or something."

She shook her head and calmed down, rubbing the bridge of her nose before she let out a sigh and said, "Sorry, I'm rusty. Have not really brushed up my Greek myths in a long while. Nor have I, like, anticipated that this place be real."

She later whispered something in Filipino that translated to, a bit more loudly than she expected it to translate out, "Fuck me, it's like all I've learned from my faith is just not gonna do well here."
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Postby Northwest Slobovia » Sat Jan 30, 2021 6:42 pm

Olympian Tartaros

Giovenith wrote:"So, where are you taking us now?" Sunburst asked Kottos, shading his sight with a hoof. "You said you were on your watch. Will we be dropped off somewhere?" They weren't exactly anywhere near where they came from.

One of Kottos' heads followed the floating unicorn with its eyes. "You came of your own will, you may leave of your own will. My watch takes me around Gaia's wall. The place you arrived is one of the better choices: from there, you can pass through the gates to the pit, or enter the passage to Hades."

All of Kottos' heads turned towards Nyx, even the head that had been talking to Giovenith. Nyx seemed to ripple, black waves taking form on Her black surface. Giovenith heard Her say something to Kottos, but making out what gods in another pantheon said to each other was far beyond her. Nyx flowed over Gaia's wall, darkness pouring out onto the the path at Kottos' feet.

Suddenly, part of Her reared up and engulfed Sandy, along with the hand he was standing on. There was a moment of silence – though Giovenith's immortal ears caught Nyx murmurring in the darkness -- then Sandy's terrified yelp. Amanda whipped her stunner out. "Sandy!" But what was there to shoot at? Not the part that held her husband; whatever the stunner fired might hit him. And the rest was just an inky sea, now covering the path.

From within the darkness came the familiar sounds of Apollonius' Fifth Transformation, though Sandy bobbled the casting and had to start over twice before making it all the way to the end. The darkness receeded, and took shape: a humanoid figure, likely female, wearing a long cloak or dress with an impossibly long train. Across Her dress' bodice was the constellation Pegasus, stars glowing in dazzling colors, white, blue, red, and orange, though unlike the stars in Earth's sky, Her constellation had distinct wings and hindquarters.

Sandy, still in winged equine form, stood shaking and wild-eyed, his forehooves on one of Kottos' forearms, rear hooves on his fingers. His whiteness was now marred by slashes and blotches of pure black; there was a series of them on his flanks that might be an abstract cutie mark, but if it was, it defied immediate interpretation. He collapsed onto one side; Kottos caught him with another hand so that he wouldn't fall to the path.

"Sandy!" Amanda, still on one of the giant's other palms, took a few steps back, holstered her gun, ran forward, and leapt to Sandy. On landing, she glided into a kneeling position next to him. "Sandy?" She reached out to touch him, and her hand landed on and passed into a black patch. She jerked it back with a startled gasp. "Sandy? Turn back! Turn back human. Let your spell fade. Sandy...?"

One of Sandy's eyes focused on Amanda, and after a pause, he returned to human form, almost curled fetal. He reached up; Amanda took his hand, and he pulled himself up enough to clutch Amanda's legs, still trembling. He was, however, intact; the blackness was part of his alter ego.

Meanwhile, Nyx had floated up the cliff behind the group and was moving towards the passage to Hades, Her dress trailing behind Her. Behind Her, three nearly identical figures, also jet black, were now crossing Gaia's wall to follow in Her wake.

[OOC: "Across Her dress' bodice": the upper front of her dress or cloak, where one would normally put decoration, not that it has a separate bodice.]
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Postby Giovenith » Sat Jan 30, 2021 9:35 pm

Giovenith's face pinched in concern and her heart sped up when the language between Kottos and Nyx dipped out. That wasn't good — it wasn't necessarily bad, but it wasn't good. There were things she was not entitled to know as an outsider, but then again...

In an instant, Sandy was swallowed by the darkness and Giovenith's stomach dropped, knowing what was coming. She whipped around towards Willow seconds before he started screaming. He ripped himself away from her and flew backwards while trembling violently, eyes locked on the spot where Sandy disappeared, caught between screaming and coughing as he choked from forcing more breath out than he took in. He began to turn.

"Willow, don't!" Giovenith called to him. She couldn't let him flee blindly into Tartarus!

Willow's body suddenly went rigid as it was hit with a burst of turquoise light, freezing him in place. Giovenith, confused, sought out the source of this and rested on Starlight. The unicorn was tense from shock and fear, but she pulled the pegasus pony back with ease and fixed him in place back with the group. He visibly struggled against the magical bind, still trying to flee and trying to open his mouth to scream, but he was unable to break free. Giovenith was slightly disturbed by this but didn't have time to think about it.

"Don't do anything!" she insisted to Starlight and Sunburst, getting in front of them.

"What do you mean?!" Starlight snapped. "He's in danger!"

"You'll only make things worse!" she said. "You can't fight them! Stay here, please."

She shook herself free from Starlight's magic and summoned a few of her paper birds to bring herself next to Amanda. She made sure to stay closer to her than to Sandy, though she would have liked to comfort him, to indicate separation from the pantheon's business — of which Sandy was now a part of, whether he liked it or not.

"Have we done something to offend the Most High?" Giovenith addressed Kottos. "I'm sorry if it's not my business, but we're sorry if we did. Please, I know that Sandy is subject to them, but he's new, he didn't know any better if he did. What happened, what can we do to make it better?"

Gently, she reached a hand backwards to touch Amanda's shoulder and briefly met her gaze with an intense, pleading look. The unspoken message was clear: I know of all the times to get angry and start shooting this is the time you most want to, but please, this is the worst possible time to do so. They'll kill us all in an instant, just play along for now. She lightly shook her head.

"What happened?" she repeated to Kottos.
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Postby Solisian Union » Mon Feb 08, 2021 4:11 am

Domenica's attention was toward Sandy and Amanda first. Her eyes narrowed as she observed Nyx and Kottos speak. And when she saw Nyx rear up and swallow Sandy like that, she instinctively attempted to grab her pen, the one that destroys things, but she stopped short as she saw Amanda whip her stunner out. Then she turned around as she heard Gio call out to Willow. She quickly tried to grab her pen of magical spells but again, she stopped short of doing anything with it, sighing in relief as Willow was stopped. She did however get surprised. Gio wouldn't do that, would she? She looked at the unicorn who did that to him and froze in place, shocked as well.

She could only watch as her friends acted as they did while she just froze. For a while. But later on, as she watched on, she snapped out of it as she saw Gio touch Amanda and look at her that way. Then she tried to help Willow and the other ponies, not sure about helping Sandy.
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Postby Northwest Slobovia » Mon Feb 08, 2021 7:08 pm

Olympian Tartaros
Giovenith wrote:"Have we done something to offend the Most High?" Giovenith addressed Kottos. […] Gently, she reached a hand backwards to touch Amanda's shoulder and briefly met her gaze with an intense, pleading look. The unspoken message was clear: [...] She lightly shook her head.

Amanda gave Giovenith an annoyed look. Who would I shoot? Kottos? He didn't do anything. If anybody needed shooting, it was Nyx... and if anybody here can plead Sandy's case, it's the lawyer, not the young super. She sighed and turned back to Sandy.

Giovenith wrote:"What happened?" she repeated to Kottos.

Several of Kottos' heads gave Giovenith looks ranging from surprised to puzzled and quizzical. "No, nobody did anything wrong. Nyx asked for Pegasus as an ornament. Pegasus is Ours, after all."

The three black figures formed up, walking in echelon, the center one a few paces ahead of the other two. They crossed behind Kottos, still following Nyx.

Sandy rolled onto his back, and looked up at Kottos' nearest head. He'd missed most of what Giovenith said, distracted by a Sound in the distance: a repeated Melody, familiar but too faint to make out, the Sound of sustained, unchanging magic.

He stood up with the easy grace the Boon lent him. He kept blinking and pressing his eyes closed like he was trying to shake something off, suggesting that the spell was doing most of the work keeping him upright. Turning towards the magic, Starlight's telekinesis, Sandy slumped. "Oh, no! We need to get Willow back to Cadance."

In the distance behind Kottos, the nearest of the three coal-black figures broke step, paused, and then resumed walking, though now a step or two behind its further counterpart.

Amanda stood up and laid her hands on Sandy's cheeks, pulling his attention to her. "And you, dear? Are you OK? You don't look so--"

"I'm fine, uh, physically, but when She... She-- Oh, that was a lot of ousia! I don't understand what She did... It took a lot out of Pegasus, and I Heard..." He stopped, blinked something away. "I Heard Them, the Olympians, like They were very close, as close as you are to me. And I felt so strange. I can't get either one – either, uh, sensation – out of my head."

Amanda gave him a brief hug, then stepped back to face him. "But how did She make you change into Pegasus? She didn't threaten you, did She?"

"She asked. I didn't think I could--" Sandy's eyes tracked something over Amanda's shoulder. She turned around to see that the nearest black figure was no longer following Nyx, and was now heading their way, gliding upwards to reach their height as it approached.

Amanda reached for her gun. Sandy fought off a tremor, then touched Amanda's arm lightly. "Taking pot shots at Death might not be the best of all ideas."

The figure seemed to shed a black cloak and rapidly take form, though each viewer saw a different person revealed, but always one that seemed friendly and easy-going. Giovenith, whose Sight was the best, saw a young man, though his features kept changing, sometimes resembling Marcus' features, down the occasional glint off of a cybernetic eye.

Amanda saw an old black woman, bearing some resemblance to the shape Sandy used to take on in Philly to fit in helping the poor and homeless in the bad areas south of Center City. Turning his head, Sandy gave the approaching bearded man a bit of side-eye, skeptically regarding him. He dropped his voice to a bare whisper. "Careful, might be an illusionist."

The bearded man chuckled. "Not bad, sorcerer, but not right." Amanda's grip tightened on her stunner; she snapped it into kill. The old woman's eyes pitied her. "No, not telepathy either. I see your dreams... and your nightmares, you poor thing." Amanda thought of drawing her gun, but something in that voice gave her pause.

And finally to Giovenith, the young man called out, "Hello! I'm Morpheus, Nyx's youngest. And you are...?"
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Postby Giovenith » Tue Feb 09, 2021 11:43 pm

Giovenith tensed up when she saw one of the figures approaching again, unsure of what to do if more rage was to come. She couldn't just leave her friends to their mercy but there wasn't much she could do to prevent anything either. Coming here was a bad idea...

Everything immediately shifted when Morpheus introduced himself. His friendly demeanor suggested that her friends were safe, which was good, but Giovenith was not happy. Her eyes widened in shock as she took in his appearance before she was just barely able to stop herself from scowling outright. She was supposed to remain respectful when interacting with other gods, especially when in their domain, but this had suddenly proven to be a difficult task.

Is he mocking me? she thought, darkly. But upon further process, it was clear this was not the case. Morpheus' form was shifting and the others around her had not reacted in a way that indicated that they saw Marcus too. His appearance was most likely based on her memories, not a deliberate choice on his part. Still.

"I am Giovenith of the Cloerith," she stated, taking on a formal, if somewhat cold, tone. "These are my friends. The small equines belong to Princess Celestia. The women are former followers of Elohim. We came here on behalf of the scholars in our group, as they were ignorant of your culture." She looked at Sandy and Amanda then back at Morpheus. "So, to what do we owe the pleasure of Night and Dreams gracing us with their presence?"

Domenica and the Equestrians were not exactly in the best position in all of this. Giovenith had asked them to remain still, and from observing hers and the others' tense postures from afar, it was difficult to say what they should have expected next.

"She said we couldn't fight them if they tried to hurt us," said Sunburst, adjusting his glasses repeatedly in lieu of fidgeting nervously. "You once fought Princess Twilight to a still and lashed out at Discord, do you think you could hold them long enough for us to get out of here if we had to?"

Starlight considered and shook her head. "I don't think so, and I wouldn't want to find out anyway." She looked at the pegasus pony in her grasp. "I know we came here to learn, but what caused him to act like this is something I can live without knowing."

Not satisfied with this, the young stallion wracked his mind briefly before perking and looking to Domenica. "Before this incident happened, you were talking about your faith and the culture of this place," he said. "Can you explain what's going on here?"
Last edited by Giovenith on Thu Feb 11, 2021 12:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Northwest Slobovia » Sat Feb 13, 2021 5:05 pm

Olympian Tartaros
Giovenith wrote:"I am Giovenith of the Cloerith," she stated, taking on a formal, if somewhat cold, tone. "These are my friends. The small equines belong to Princess Celestia. The women are former followers of Elohim."

Morpheus glanced at each as they were mentioned, though his gaze lingered on Amanda and he tilted his head uncertainly at her description.

Giovenith wrote:"So, to what do we owe the pleasure of Night and Dreams gracing us with their presence?"

"Mother was getting ready, of course, and thinking about jewelry to wear, and guess who should happen to come to visit? The Book Rescuer!"

Sandy's head jerked back. "I have an epithet??"

With an embarrassed grin, Morpheus turned to him. "Not especially, but you are known to Us. And you brought Pegasus. Mother thought he was perfect!, and since you were willing... Well!"

"She wanted jewelry? For...?" Before Morpheus could answer, Sandy's mouth froze open in an 'Oh!', and his arm hung suspended in mid-air and mid-gesture. His eyes slowly went big as the implications sunk in, and his hand slowly sank to his side. His reverie seemed undisturbed by blinking something away. If anything, Sandy seemed more intently focused on his inner world.

The dream god turned back to Giovenith. "As for me, your friend Willow is trapped in a waking nightmare brought on by seeing Mother." His expression went sour, regretful. "I can send him a little dream to chase away the nightmare... for a short while." Unnoticed by mortals, Morpheus added, "Banishing his nightmare would be easy, but of course..." Of course there was The Etiquette, and even here in Tartaros proper, Morpheus wasn't about to alter the mind of one of Celestia's faithful.

Morpheus returned to speaking openly. "I don't expect to see Cadance today. She rarely comes to this sort of thing, and Celestia comes even less often. I'm not sure that who They'll send will be able to help Willow, even temporarily. So, you wouldn't mind if I patched your friend up for a bit, would you?" His tone and posture suggested He was being gracious, extending courtesy to a visitor.

Giovenith could tell Nyx had called to Morpheus from the entrance to Hades, where She had stopped and turned around to look at Him. The other two black figures, presumably His brothers, stopped and faced Him as well. Morpheus replied, taking a couple of slow steps towards Her. Over his shoulder, He asked the godling, "Would you like me to?"
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Postby Giovenith » Mon Feb 15, 2021 12:52 pm

Oh. Giovenith let go of some of her tension. He had come for a benevolent reason. Especially benevolent considering that they were under no obligation to help someone who wasn't their follower. It seemed that even Nyx's actions were unintentionally frightening (she did not share Sandy's realization as to what it is she had wanted, though personally Giovenith thought any time was a good time for fancy jewelry).

She looked over her shoulder sadly at Willow, still caught in Starlight's grip. When he had first arrived on human Earth, she had taken responsibility for him in the absence of his own gods, but there was only so little that she could do for him. She couldn't protect him from the deepest nightmares.

Giovenith turned back and nodded. "If you could, please. He doesn't deserve to be hurt by all of this."
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Postby Solisian Union » Sat Feb 20, 2021 5:36 pm

The writer watched things unfold carefully, not giving the stallion her attention for a while as she fished out her notepad and her handy pen to take some notes. And to prepare questions.

Who was the Book Rescuer? And mother? She barely understood the rest of what Morpheus said, even more barely perceiving him. She gritted her teeth and wrote down some more, a little faster, not minding her handwriting. Why jewelry? What exactly did Sandy figure out? She will have to ask, shooting him a look for a moment. Then she caught a bit of...

She hummed. Then she shot a look at Gio, witnessing her look over to Willow. She frowned and looked away, turning to answer the one who had asked her a question before.

She shrugged.

Not satisfied with this, the young stallion wracked his mind briefly before perking and looking to Domenica. "Before this incident happened, you were talking about your faith and the culture of this place," he said. "Can you explain what's going on here?"


"Best I can say about it is that what we are dealing with here are the gods from another culture. An old one. We call it the Greek culture. My faith is not related to the Greek one as my faith is Catholic. And I hail from the Filipino culture. Albeit, it is mixed with Spanish and American. Still, what is going on here is....a rather interesting and surprisingly benevolent encounter with Greek gods."
Last edited by Solisian Union on Sat Feb 20, 2021 9:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Northwest Slobovia » Sat Feb 20, 2021 8:38 pm

Olympian Tartaros

Morpheus nodded to Giovenith, and changed course, heading for where Starlight's telekinesis held Willow. Kottos turned and, carrying Giovenith, Sandy, and Amanda, placed them on the cliff near where Domenica and the Equestrians hovered. "With Hypnos and Morpheus leaving, Typhon will awaken soon. I am going to be very busy with Him, so I must leave you now." With that, he took a big, sweeping step back and looked out over Tartaros.

Morpheus, meanwhile, approached Willow. As He did, first the Equestrians, and soon everybody else, saw His form change. As first glance, He now looked like Prince Willow: a grey alicorn, shorter than the Princesses, but just as majestic. But a second look at His constantly shifting appearance made clear that He never had both a horn and wings at the same time; that would be Very Rude to the Princesses. He smiled warmly at the ponies; to them, He seemed cozy and familiar, even if they couldn't quite place who He was. Willow perceived nothing else: just a Prince, about to chat with him.

Unlike the Equestrian spellcasters, the alicorn sat on his rump to gesture with his forehooves; something began to form in the air between the pretend Prince and Willow. Sandy took a couple of steps closer to get a better Look. Morpheus raised a warning hand at him: keep your distance. Yes, it was just a hoof, but dream logic prevented Sandy from noticing the momentary change.

Sandy did Notice what Morpheus was making: He was fashioning a dream from Willow's memories, strands of ousia weaving form into the oneiros: a fragment of an colthood aquarium, a glance at Giovenith, a phrase from a conversation with Nick. Work of great of subtlety and care, the best Sandy had ever Seen.

Sandy's fascination with Morpheus' work was shattered by a wave of anger from the entrance to Hades. Startled, Sandy recoiled and shrank into a defensive crouch; his eyes leapt to the source: Nyx, now somehow darker and more menacing. Even the stars on her dress seemed dim and flickering, like wild animal eyes in the wilderness. Giovenith could tell She had said something to Morpheus, though "shouted" was doubtless the appropriate word. Willow, wrapped deep in the dream-god's comforting blanket, remained oblivious.

Morpheus let up from his crafting. Sandy was quietly awed that He could hold a half-formed spell of that power and grace. The advantages of godhood and endless practice. Morpheus turned to His mother, speaking and gesturing, though only the divinities could tell. "This one is Her friend." He used an honorific, referring to Giovenith as though she was a full goddess. "And We should be courteous to Our guest.

"Anyway, if We leave the mortal this way, and the Princesses find out what happened... Well, today of all days, We should avoid bad feelings."

A moment passed, and Nyx returned to normal, the constellation on her bodice back to dazzling. Morpheus likewise returned to his work, and a little later, the dream spirit floated over to Willow. It was indistinct and fluttering, like the other oneiroi, but it had flashes of bright Equestrian colors and glimpses of cutie marks within its darkness.

As it settled between Willow's ears, another oneiros seemed to spring from his head, this one black, and oozing greasy black droplets. Amanda gasped with recognition: not only was it identical to what Cadance had pulled from Willow, she saw her own battle terrors reflected in the droplets as they fell away and evaporated. The grey alicorn nodded sympathetically in her direction: He did know her nightmares. Morpheus glared at the umbrum-oneiros; it fled into the distance, lost in the shadows.

"When you said 'chase it away', I thought you meant a figure of speech, not..."

Sandy caught Morpheus' smiling head-shake: "Not around Me." And with a nod and "See you soon!" to Giovenith, the dream-god-Prince turned tail and flew to his family, who filed silently out of Tartaros and into the tunnel to Hades.

Willow, meanwhile, daydreamed a conversation with the grey Prince, the best possible daydream he could have. By the time his oneiros dissipated in a burst of scattered thoughts, Nyx and her sons were long gone.
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Postby Giovenith » Fri Feb 26, 2021 3:37 pm

"Hmm." The closest analogy that Sunburst could think of was Discord, another being with power comparable to the Princesses who came from some unknown place to wreak malevolent intent on ponykind. Of course, if benevolence was rare from these Greek beings, he certainly wasn't going to voice that comparison out loud. "Is that why their space is used for this prison, then?" It made sense, in a twisted way. If the Princesses were going to stuff the worst of Equestria's worst together somewhere, it might as well be a place where stronger, even more dirty-fighting beings could keep them under a hoof. It was dark but effective. Probably Luna's idea.

Sunburst had to pull Starlight back away from Morpheus as he approached, as she had tensed slightly as if to defend Willow from the foreign god in spite of Giovenith's command. They both felt his comforting aura but understood it for the largely involuntary magical reaction that it was. Neither were particularly offended by his alicorn persona, it made sense within the context of their respective cultural languages, but they did both play close attention to the power he worked on Willow. This tentative peace was nearly shattered by Nyx's fury, which rightfully shook everyone in the group deeply, but again, the young stallion managed to keep his companion in line.

Giovenith carefully sidestepped Morpheus as he finally departed, giving a quiet "thank you" and nod but keeping her face neutral. She jerked in surprised as she was yanked to the cliff side with the rest of the group by telekinetic magic before being shuffled aside as Starlight and Sunburst swarmed in on Willow.

"Okay, what happened to him?" Starlight asked Giovenith, waving a hoof in front of the stallion's face. Her expression pinched with a controlled urgency that somewhat confused Giovenith. She seemed to recognize the severity of the situation but didn't have the sort of panic or confusion one might have expected. Giovenith guessed that she had seen similar alarming displays before, unfortunately.

"The dream god helped him," Giovenith explained calmly, stepping in closer to reassure the pony. "He freaked out before not because of what the Night goddess did, but because of something else in his past, so they didn't hurt him."

Willow, who had up until now retained a calm and perplexed expression, suddenly blinked hard and shook his head. Starlight released him from her magical grip and he stretched his limbs tentatively, Sunburst offering a foreleg to help him stay steady.

"Guys?" he said, opening one eye and lightly touching his own head. He gave his wings a jolted flap in realization and looked around at everyone. He folded his ears. "I'm uh, really sorry about that."

"You know what happened?" Giovenith questioned, going to him.

"It was explained to me in the daydream," said Willow, shifting slightly to get his bearings. "I'm okay now."

"What did you see?"

At this, he blushed slightly and flipped his hair in an attempt to seem unbothered by it. "Mostly fantasies I used to have, as a child," he admitted, being purposely vague. "Morpheus talked to me a bit about everything we've gone through too, just being cool about everything. He's a nice guy." He flicked his tail. "I'm sorry, again. I don't like it when I'm seen like that..."

"It's not your fault."

"I know it's not," he said, shaking his head. "And it's okay, I know you're cool with it too, it's just still a little, embarrassing is all."

"I understand."

Suddenly remembering what had triggered this situation, Willow burst through the air and landed next to Sandy, looking up at him with wings splayed. "What about you?" he asked, somewhat frantically. "Are you alright?" His expression burned with an uncomfortable intensity, as if he expected some kind of grim understanding to flicker across the historian's face at any moment.

"Maybe we should get going now," Sunburst suddenly cut in, walking to the center of the group. "This has been fascinating and all, but it's clear that none of us came to this place as prepared as we should have. I understand that Giovenith can protect us from the worst of it, but somepony still almost got hurt. Who's to say what else could happen?"

"I can protect us too," Starlight said, in a protesting tone.

"Do you know that for sure though?"

She didn't have an answer for that. She folded her ears,

"I'm not saying we can never come back," he said, turning around to reassure her. "Just that maybe we should come back after we've learned what to expect and with more plans for if things go wrong."

Starlight looked towards Sandy, as if he could counter this with his own knowledge.
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Solisian Union » Tue Mar 02, 2021 10:21 pm

Dom worked on her notepad with the pen she got. She made sure to give the pen a good look, letting out a sigh of relief when she saw that it was the usual pen that she used and not one of the other magical ones she had on herself right now. And upon that notepad, there will be questions. Notes, too.

Who was the Book Rescuer? Why can I barely see the beings that my companions are talking to? What did Sandy figure out exactly? Why jewelry? What kind of jewelry? And why did Morpheus change form so easily?

She stopped writing so she could try and see what was going on. She watched as Morpheus did...well, something...to help Willow out. At least she let out a soft sigh of relief.

The Filipina then waited, leaving them to do their thing until...

The moment she perceived Nyx came to being...with some kind of force. It was bad. It made her shake a bit. And that caused her to put away the pen she was using at the time in her pocket. To replace it, and just as Sandy assumed a defensive crouch, she drew out one of her pens. The pen of destruction. She removed the cap and tightly held her pen as if it was a knife, the notepad held close against her breasts as she hoped that she did not have to defend herself or Willow or the others.

She later sighed in relief as she put away her pen and capped it when Nyx returned to normal. But she made sure to keep her pen of destruction close.

Dom didn't want to take chances.

"Is that why their space is used for this prison, then?"


She snapped out of her focus on Nyx and turned back to Sunburst. She nodded and said, "Yes. Though there are...differences between this one and the other place which I and others...believed in." She then shook her head and said, "It's complicated, I am afraid."

Dom later kept herself close to the group, listening in to their conversations. But she did try to get closer to Sandy, tapping at his shoulder, trying to get his attention. She had her notepad up, and she asked him clearly and loudly, so the others could hear too, but not too loudly that it would irritate them all.

She asked: "And to think about all these, I have questions prepared. Notes too. But questions first...

Who was the Book Rescuer? And what did you figure out exactly, back then, when the other being, the one that helped Willow, let go of you?"

She made sure to ask her questions slowly, to not overwhelm Sandy, and after asking them, she paused, taking a breath.
Last edited by Solisian Union on Tue Mar 02, 2021 10:31 pm, edited 3 times in total.
^_^

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Northwest Slobovia
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Anarchy

Postby Northwest Slobovia » Wed Mar 03, 2021 7:04 pm

Olympian Tartaros

Giovenith wrote:Willow burst through the air and landed next to Sandy, looking up at him with wings splayed. "What about you?" he asked, somewhat frantically. "Are you alright?"

Sandy knelt down, smiling broadly at him. "Yes, I'm fine, really. And I'm glad you are too." He gave Willow a momentary hug: this was an ideal outcome, at least if his experience with Amanda was any guide. "Nyx wanted Pegasus as, um, jewelry. She's pulled him--"

Giovenith wrote:"Maybe we should get going now," Sunburst suddenly cut in, walking to the center of the group. […] Starlight looked towards Sandy, as if he could counter this with his own knowledge.

Rubbing the back of his head, Sandy stood up and paced back and forth for long seconds. "Anywhere outside of Equestria is dangerous. The Olympian underworld is... somewhat dangerous, mostly because we-- because of our ignorance.

"But outside of Tartaros," he waved a hand towards where Kottos was keeping close watch. "Nothing here is specifically out to get-- out to harm us. Some of the kthon-- underworld deities may react... abruptly to offense, but being polite should take care of that. And even then, Giovenith's presence should temper their reactions.

"Of course, to get into Hades, we have to get past the watchdog, and we'll, ummm... just have to see about that." Wistful frown on his face, Sandy turned towards the tunnel to Hades. "I'm going to try to get in. I want Pegasus back. Back, and in one piece. He's..."

He pivoted back to Willow. "So, Nyx wanted Pegasus as jewelry. She's taken on the form of a woman in black, aaand now has Pegasus proudly displayed across her chest, as a constellation. He's a handsome constellation, much better than the one in Earth's sky... like diamonds and rubies on black cloth."

He stepped back to include the group. "I... think She's pulled pulled him into the night sky, into Herself, and into Olympus, if...um, there's a distinction. But that's taken a lot out of him, and left me with..." Trying to describe the sensation, Sandy made shaping gestures with both hands. "A sort of ringing in the ears, or a persistent echo of what the Olympians' magic Sounds like. It's... hard to shake. And being in at least two places at once feels-- Hmmm?"

Solisian Union wrote:But [Domenica] did try to get closer to Sandy, tapping at his shoulder, trying to get his attention. [...] "Who was the Book Rescuer? And what did you figure out exactly, back then, when the other being, the one that helped Willow, let go of you?"

Sandy blinked at her, brow furrowed, trying to make sense of what she was asking and why.

A mental downshift later, he resumed speaking, this time in a measured, teaching voice. "Morpheus was referring to me as the 'Book Rescuer'. Some friends and I saved a few books from the Mouseion when it burned about two thousand years ago, in our timestream." Domenica's babblefish and the unicorns' Grecophone oneiroi translated 'Mouseion' as the home or shrine of the Muses in Alexandria, along with its associated library and university, and the unicorns got a momentary glimpse of its expansive collection.

"Aaand I figured out what Morpheus meant by 'jewelry', which is to say, Nyx wanted Pegasus, as a constellation, to wear, stars being gems for the night sky."
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Giovenith
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Left-wing Utopia

Postby Giovenith » Fri Mar 05, 2021 5:50 pm

Willow stiffened in awkward surprise at Sandy's hug but tolerated it. He smiled and gave him a friendly pat on the back before withdrawing in surprise at his next statement.

"Wait, wait," he said. "Get Pegasus back? You mean, she took some of your ability to change into him away from you?"

Giovenith cringed and crossed her arms. "I'm not going to lie Sandy, it might be pretty hard to get him back. Of course we'll help, but..." She let the implication hang, knowing that the professor would understand. Demanding that a fully grown goddess give back a trinket she treasured might not go over well. Unlike Willow, Nyx and her family were under no obligation to treat Sandy especially well.

Something in Starlight's expression seemed pained and she briefly looked down, clearly in thought. It was brief, and she looked directly at Sandy. "You can count on me to help. It's a terrible thing to have your magic taken away from you."

Sunburst restrained a sigh but nodded. "Then I'll go too."

"Same," Willow nodded. "Though it really sucks that Princess Twilight wasn't there when we left for this place. Her friend Fluttershy calmed Cerberus before, she could have helped us get past him again..."

"Fluttershy!" Starlight suddenly perked, holding out a hoof towards Willow. "Actually, wait, I might..." She rummaged through her saddlebag, tense in hope, until she finally found something and brightened. Her magic pulled out a neatly folded handkerchief embroidered with pink stitching. "Fluttershy made this for me not too long ago. It might be a long shot, but maybe if we show it to Cerberus, he'll recognize her scent and think the rest of us are friendly."

"It's worth a shot," Giovenith nodded. Then she turned to Domenica. "What about you, Dom? If we go to see the King of the Underworld, it will be pretty intense. Do you think you'll be okay coming with?"
Last edited by Giovenith on Fri Mar 05, 2021 5:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
❃she's ripping wings off of butterflies❃

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