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Everything posted by dragonofruin

  1. That's true, O: I haven't really thought about a whole lot for the setting beyond what I'd developed/what details I'd managed to hash out recently. On one hand though I can imagine if they kept up with the royal guards because of tradition or something~ Or some sort of city guard thing. Or both? O: At least with Canterlot since the royal sisters still live there. Elsewhere there's probably just police or a law enforcement of some sort to keep the peace in cities/large towns.
  2. Sure thing, 0: I imagine Canterlot's still keeping up with the whole 'royal guard' thing~
  3. King Sombra rumbled softly and sat down on the floor by the table, his red slit-pupiled eyes roving over the items Raven brought back from her trip out. Other than the silver ingots, there were quite a few different gems. "Is that so?" he repeated, picking up one of the gems and turning it over in his magic, eying it curiously. He looked up again to watch the mare working on a sketch, the design he presumed. As long as they had a design, it'd make their attempt to make a prototype easier, rather than trying a variety of random ideas and ending up nowhere. The tall stallion leaned forward to eye the design, making a noise in his throat as he deciphered her sketch. "It may work, but we'll never know until we try," Sombra managed to say before Raven caught up with what he'd said, and reacted to it by hugging him. Surprised by the embrace, Sombra stiffened a little, his eyes widening. It'd been far too long since he'd ever had a pony dare to touch him, much less hug him and it was admittedly.. pleasant. A foreleg hesitantly twitched up, as if he unconsciously intended to wrap it around Raven, but she was soon pulling away. He dropped his hoof and cleared his throat. "Well, I am not above stealing from them," he answered a little gruffly, trying to cover up how a simple hug made him feel. He was never terribly forthcoming with his emotions, not when he did it to protect himself; ponies could use them to hurt him, or find some way to get leverage over him with what they'd learned. Not that he thought Raven would do any such thing- she was too gentle, and she was so determined to help those less fortunate than herself. He could only wish that he had her strength to do anything like that, but he had too much hate and bitterness in his heart to deign to. "It would be.. worth it. So, shall we begin?"
  4. After what we talked about, we can probably alter that idea to her showing Sombra how bad the city is, or something?
  5. Princess Luna had looked to her sister to gauge her feelings on the matter of the economy, and she wordlessly accepted the tea Celestia made while she multi-tasked. The teacup was set down next to the folders she'd been given and gave a subtle start after her sister halted Twilight's tangent and asked her what could be done. A slight twitch of an ear, an adjustment of her wings. She rested her hooves on the edge of the table, glancing between the two alicorns and tried to gather her thoughts; she was sure she'd guessed correctly about the problems Twilight had underlined about Equestria's economy. "I feel a visit will be a good idea so that we might assist the towns and cities that are currently struggling, and that perhaps.. we ought to change a few things. We could assess the funding that each town or city is getting and adjust it so that those that aren't getting enough may get what they need for their population." It was all that she could think of to do, if only because it looked like the most obvious solution to her. Of course, she didn't have as deep a knowledge as the young purple alicorn did, and Luna had to admire her for being as knowledgeable as she was- the moonbringer could only wish she had the same capacity for information. In time, perhaps she could, but it was an unknown. Clearing her throat, she surrounded her cup of tea with her magic. "What other solutions might there be, Twilight? I am certain we may be able to find something that is a more permanent solution, among others that may prevent such a problem from happening again." Luna looked between then and lifted her cup to her lips, sipping at the tea in the silence. She wasn't sure if anything she'd suggested would be useful, other than what she knew Twilight had to say. If her own suggestions didn't sound like they'd work, what ideas Twilight had certainly might.
  6. A grey ear twitched towards the door to the study when he heard the soft steps of approaching hooves, and he didn't look up until the door opened and Raven entered. The king straightened in his seat, stretching to work out the stiffness of sitting in such a position for so long. The book was set aside in favor of giving the mare his attention, and he was glad to when she made it clear she'd brought both information as well as some materials for the focus. Sombra felt a little more confident that he'd be able to help Raven make one- although he could use dark magic, it shouldn't stop him from doing normal spells.. right? "Is that so? I'm eager to start on these prototypes," Sombra confessed, pulling himself to his hooves to investigate the silver ingots she'd placed on the table. He turned one over in his magic, curious. He hadn't thought about what kind of metals holding magical potential, only gems and crystals. It was a good thing that there would be some potential in metal, as it would be important to making this focus at all, be it a horn-band to fit over the crack in Raven's horn, or something else. Either way, Sombra was intent on trying to make it look more decorative than something that hid a disability. "What else did you bring back?" Sombra queried, setting the ingot he'd been inspecting down to peruse the other items Raven was setting out. "If whatever you intend to use doesn't work well in holding the spells and magic needed to help you channel magic better, I think I would be open to sneaking in the Crystal Empire with you to find a few, proper crystals to do what we need."
  7. The moon princess didn't miss how her sister's expression brightened when she'd entered the room, and just like with the sun she could feel some of that warmth radiating off of Celestia. It was encouraging, enough so that Luna felt she might be able to get through this meeting of theirs. She offered Twilight a smile after the purple mare's greeting and dipped her head to the younger alicorn. "It has been quite a while. I've been doing well enough." Luna gave her a simple enough answer, avoiding the possibility of having to give any details about, well, anything that was going on with her. It wasn't anything terribly concerning- mostly mere annoyances and a few issues that she felt she could discuss later. Mostly with Celestia. Any chance she had to ask Twilight about herself was lost as the princesses settled and Celestia opened the meeting, starting with Twilight. The youngest princess in the room would no doubt have quite a lot to go over, knowing how much information she tended to gather and store. Luna looked up with some surprise when the purple mare summoned a chalkboard and she was left wondering once more where Twilight stored such things to summon them so quickly for these occasions. Lifting a brow, the diarch placed her silver-shod hooves onto the table to pull the folders Twilight presented them both with, and Luna started looking through them. There was a wealth of information here, and neither it or what lecture Twilight soon launched into made as much sense to her. Princess Luna was still learning the ropes of being a leader in this day and age, but the complexities of economics was something she still hadn't quite wrapped her more old-fashioned mind around. Did some cities not get enough funding, and some were getting too much? It sounded like it, and that some families weren't earning enough.. Luna supposed it was all rather interesting to learn about how the economy was in different parts of Equestria, but there was so much detail to sort through much less pinpointing all of the problems as well as figuring out how to fix them without impacting others. The dark alicorn glanced up towards Celestia, who she felt had more experience in matters like these.
  8. I think that'd be pretty!! And it'd be something fun. I mean, I can imagine if she and Sombra decide to visit one whenever she comes to the city- because Sombra's just sort of given up, or she wants to show him how he's influenced business positively xD
  9. Glad to know! c: I'm completely open to any suggestions or ideas, or even helping you with ideas you might wanna do!
  10. This is something of an AU that I've developed of a little bit in the past and I kept most of that information, although there's still quite a lot that I haven't even gotten to touch on much less figure out, so quite a bit of it is left open. If you have ideas or suggestions, feel free to toss them in! Much of the base show information still exists that might've already happened when it comes to this AU. While noir tends to lean towards darkness and injustice and the like, this still has a lot to do with ponies in Equestria so it's not going to be like what is expected of usual noir stories. It'll still be ponies, just trying to get by in an unfriendly city- although a little less so elsewhere in the country. NOIR As the times changed, and cities grew, a new one was developed over the years, although it eventually fell into the hooves of a pony with greed and ill intent who instated a prohibition and used the rise of businesses like speakeasies to make money for himself while doing little for the city. With the corruption and more rampant crime growing within the city, the princesses eventually intervened to remove the mayor from power. Fixing the city isn't entirely beyond their ability, however, Princess Celestia was the one who decided to put somepony else in that position who she felt would understand corruption, King Sombra. It was also meant to be a test to see how well the former king would do in a position of leadership again, to see if he would rise to the challenge of fixing a city to see if he's changed, or fall to his old habits. It's a risky decision, but one she was confident in making with Princess Luna's begrudging support. On occasion the princesses may visit the city to see how well things are going with the new mayor; something of a permanent position until Sombra either steps down, or achieves the goal given to him. Having a responsibility isn't weighing particularly well upon his shoulders while he tries to keep out of the public eye and figure out what exactly will fix what seems like the unfixable- if just out of spite to prove that he can. And with all of the problems created by the previous mayor, he has quite a lot to deal with. Technology Level There are no cars or other motorized vehicles and ponies still use carts, chariots, wagons, stagecoaches and carriages. The Friendship Express and the Crystal Empire train are still in use, and aerial forms of travel exist more commonly in airships. Other commonly found technology consists of magic-powered refrigerators, stoves, washing/drying machines, microphones, speakers, gramophones, folding cameras, radiators, hairdryers, cylinder mowers, film projectors, printing presses, coffee-makers and tape players as well as radios. They use vinyl records. Basically, anything that would've existed around the 1920s. Weaponry is still medieval at best, with swords and other such weapons, as well as crossbows and anything magical. They have running water and a pipe system, no doubt with a magical filtration system, which means they have sinks, bathtubs, and toilets. However some may still use old-fashioned outhouses in some more country locations. There is also some manner of magical lighting, in homes, stores, street lamps, as well as stage lights. Characters The involvement of canon characters is a little loose, and that even the little bit of backstory stated above can be altered to fit the personal portrayal of any notable characters and what they'd do. Thus far the only notable ones are Princess Celestia, Luna, and Sombra. Discord is, as always, a wild card, and other canon characters are capable of being fit in somewhere since there isn't a whole lot of information or development- like if the six still exist as they are, or a little older because the sequence of events is different. It's completely open to suggestions, ideas, etc to flesh things out a little more. Royalty also doesn't have to be confined to their castles and just doing their duties, they can have moments of freedom to get involved in things. For example: King Sombra isn't always going to be busy with his job! He's likely to be out and about doing whatever that'll let others interact with him or whatever~ (though mind you, this AU isn't going to solely focus on him and the princesses). Princess Celestia; played by Stormstride Princess Luna; played by ___ Princess Twilight; played by ___ Princess Cadance; played by ___ King Sombra; played by dragonofruin Discord; played by ___ ... ... etc. Anything involving OCs is also entirely open too, so long as the character is made to/altered just enough to fit the setting~. There's quite a bit that an OC can be doing or be involved in, like a gang/mafia, or with a speakeasy somehow, law enforcement/investigation, some sort of criminal, a vigilante, famous, etc etc. It's endless! I'm not terribly keen on doing applications so, if you're interested just tell me about your character and what they do in a reply. The original setting of mine it was sorta pulled from had the city just called 'Dusk City.' For the pony one, it's just a placeholder until a better name is found to fit the horse pun theme. Useful links: 1920s Slang 20th century fashion refs
  11. This time the king didn't wait until it was already after noon. His sleep had been a deep one, with a few, vague dreams to fill that rest, and his waking was a groggy one. It took him some time to even wake fully enough to get out of bed, and he went about performing the usual post-waking rituals. After he'd finished brushing his mane, he slipped his cape onto his back and immediately made for Raven's study. Somehow, he wasn't surprised to find it empty. He plucked up the note she'd left on her desk upon noticing the out of place paper and read it. Heading out into town? This must've been whatever errands she'd talked about running.. Well, so long as she was gone, he had full reign of her study and her archive of books. Although he had one he hadn't finished reading, Sombra took this opportunity to snatch Predictions and Prophecies from off of its shelf, planted himself into the same chair from last night, and began to read. He hardly budged except to shift into a more comfortable position in his cushy seat, sometimes with his back against one armrest and his rear legs draped over the other. It wasn't very regal, but the king hardly even cared. The book and its stories were rather interesting, but the one that caught his attention the most was Luna's descent into darkness. It was all told the way ponies might tell a fairy tale to a foal, and it was no wonder to him that ponies were so surprised that something came true. They weren't prophecies at all, but an important event in Equestria's history framed as, well, a story! It disgusted him a little. Sombra finally set aside Predictions and Prophecies, putting it back on its shelf with the use of his magic, and turned his attention back to the book he'd been reading just last night. It'd be what Raven could find him doing whenever she returned, the hours having slipped by while he was so invested in spells and magic theory.
  12. King Sombra came to so sudden a halt it was as though the questions Chesster had posed to him formed an invisible wall to stop him in his tracks. They were something he'd never even considered before, either because some small part of his mind didn't want to or.. he'd just never considered that was possible. Would they slip another umbrum out of the prison the same way they'd done him once they figured out he'd failed his task? Had they done it already? His brow had furrowed as he was caught in that little net of questions and mixed feelings. It'd be nice to run into another umbrum to truly see what they were like, but at the same time.. it left him dreading such a meeting. They could hate him; his own species could shun him, too, all because he'd failed and finally refused to follow through with being used. "I -- don't know," Sombra answered at last, his voice quiet. "It's.. certainly something to look into, whenever that chance arises." He looked over at Chesster, gauging the crystal pony's expression, or lack thereof, with a curious eye. "So, I have some questions of my own, though I'm sure you still have plenty." Attempting to gather himself again, Sombra moved his hooves and continued walking down the empty dirt road. He caught Chesster's glance behind them and thought to do the same, only to find nothing. If there was anything the other stallion had to be concerned about, he felt it'd be safe to have a little wariness of his own- but it wasn't as if he felt any mortal pony could be enough of a threat to him. "Why do you consider the name Pierce to be something you need to 'earn' again? And furthermore.. what is this home of yours like?" It might be nice to find somewhere more permanent to live in, somewhere secluded.
  13. The king made a soft sound in his throat, acknowledging the answer. If Chesster wished to be called by the name he'd initially introduced to him, then Sombra would call him by it. Although it still brought up another question, one he chose to store away for now. Sombra turned his head to look over at Chesster with a broad smirk spreading across his muzzle. So was that the question they'd been asking? It baffled him that they hadn't managed to figure it out.. but perhaps only the older generation even knew or remembered, or crystal ponies were just blind in their entirety. "An umbrum," Sombra answered with confidence, if not arrogance. "I'm not sure if you remember anything of the Crystal Empire's earliest history, if you can call it that. The few times I've heard it told sounded like a foal's tale, but I can tell you their, our, existence is not a legend nor fiction, no matter how much the crystal ponies might embellish it. They also call us 'shadow ponies,' a name that might be.. self explanatory. Although.." he trailed off, thinking over something that'd been in the back of his mind for quite some time. Centuries, even. "I'm not sure if I'll look exactly like them, or they like me. I've never seen another umbrum, I've only ever spoken to one.The only reason I'm not imprisoned with the rest of them is because they forced me into this.. pony form in order to ensure my escape, so that somepony could set them free." His tone became a little more subdued as he dropped his brief, flashy arrogance. It'd been an uncertain decision on his part to reveal his true purpose, but he'd figured it was a risk he was willing to take. Even with as sharp a mind as Chesster's.. what could the crystal pony really do with that information, beyond making a few assumptions and perhaps a few correct guesses? "I can guess that I existed in the prison with them as whatever might be counted as a 'foal' for umbrum, but I don't remember anything from that time. All I knew was my name. That's it. In hindsight, I'm not exactly sure how they expected me to accomplish what they wanted of me. I suppose it doesn't matter anymore. I can do what I wish with my life now, and make something for myself, rather than what is wanted of me."
  14. The younger diarch chose to take her time getting to the location her sister picked for this meeting. If it were a casual gathering, Luna might've been there sooner, enticed by the prospect of getting to spend some more casual time with Celestia, something she rarely ever got to do these days. Their schedules made it difficult for them to get any sisterly time together- anytime they were both present was if there was something pressing. A disaster, a grand event, or some villainous being yet again putting Equestria in peril for their own gain. Alas, it wasn't a casual gathering in the least. It was a private meeting of the crown, something that would most likely involve lengthy discussions about varying matters of importance that they'd need to tend to. At worst, it might be somewhat drab. At the least, it wasn't court. Her own experiences with Celestia's daily duties had been something of a nightmare for somepony as asocial as she was, somepony who was far more used to solitude and simply doing her own thing at her own pace, if anything was required of her at all. The list she was required to bring to the table of what needed attention was an unfortunately short one, one she chose to discard in the small wastepaper basket on the way out of her study. Princess Luna's stroll through the castle to Celestia's study saw her arriving shortly after a certain enthusiastic purple alicorn princess. She'd never gotten to know Twilight particularly well and only picked up on what was most apparent about the new alicorn's personality. She was bright, enthusiastic, inquisitive.. and often prone to nervous 'freak outs'. Twilight had also done quite a bit for Equestria and carved a path to spreading friendship. It was a nice notion. The moonbringer stepped through the room with her usual silent grace, finding her place at the table next to her sister's. "Evening," she greeted, making herself known. Celestia might've noticed that she'd come in, but she wasn't sure how observant Twilight might be while she was focused on Celestia.
  15. On the way out, Sombra couldn't help eying the book Predictions and Prophecies and considered snatching it to read. He quickly decided against it and chose to shadow Raven through her home back to his room; he was content to let her lead while he was still learning the layout of the house. There was always time to read that book, among many others, so long as Raven tolerated him in her home and he'd rather not upset her, nor make her suspect he would steal. Thieving wasn't entirely below him.. he just wouldn't do it here. He had no reason. Perhaps he had some respect for this pony. Sombra ambled over towards his bed and leaned against the foot of it, watching Raven changing out the curtains for thicker ones that looked like they'd easily keep out the sun. After she left, he moved over to them to make minor adjustments, making sure there were no cracks in between the lengths of cloth. He hardly stopped there, choosing to spend more of his waking time trying to find the enchantments in the room as well as see what all there was. This investigation was put aside only once he'd grown bored and turned into bed, where he was glad to settle down in with his discarded cape draped over the bed's foot. The next morning didn't see Sombra awakening so easily as the previous. The king was content to remain curled up in the comfort and warmth of the bed, entirely unaware of Raven's usual, morning routine.
  16. The king shook out his long mane and took a step forward, growling softly. "And never would you have the power to force me," he proclaimed, his deep voice like a low rumble of thunder; stern and brooking no argument. Though Chesster was offering none. Sombra straightened up, lifting his head in that usual, proud posture of his despite a loss of his crown. Chesster's lackeys passing both of them by while they held this conversation hardly earned his attention, though he marked their passing in his periphery. "Surely, if you wanted a mutually beneficial partnership, you should have brought it up, rather than what you expressed you intended to do. I am always content to make deals with ponies more so than discovering their secret plots. If you are truly loyal to me.." he trailed off, inclining his head. He'd made his point, acknowledging the respect Chesster was giving him now. "I will be sure to speak with you, when I do. Should ever anything come along that would give me enough reason, then.. I'm sure whatever partnership we make will be a fitting one for that purpose. Until then, I simply want to live." Falling silent, Sombra observed the shift in Chesster's expression with some curiosity, from the furrow of the pony's brow to the set of his lips. Whatever Chesster was steeling himself to say was something that was going to be difficult for him. What Sombra heard didn't surprise him. "Indeed they were wrong," he agreed with a soft snort. "I wouldn't say that I'm any less brutal than they believe me to be. If given a reason, I will not hesitate to do what I need to. Regardless.. I believe we have all the time in the world to get to know one another better. I may be as.. open as I feel is necessary, and whatever information I decide to withhold is more for my benefit than yours, as well as a few, good reasons." Sombra finally turned away then, his stance relaxing back to a more casual one as he started after the two crystal lackeys Chesster traveled with. The confrontation went better than he expected it to, and he saw no more reason to face Chesster down. "So, what questions do you have? I certainly have one for you. Is it.. Chesster you wish for your name, or Pierce?"
  17. "The ponies may have forgotten, or perhaps it was never made very clear to them. I know how elusive princesses can be about letting others know the truth." Sombra snorted softly and moved one of his shoulders in a shrug. Ultimately it didn't matter to him, and he'd never really know all the details about the situation unless he talked to the royal sisters themselves, and he knew that they wouldn't want to talk if he showed up. His eyes slid past Raven towards the book she'd indicated and he marked its location on the shelf. One of her favorite books? It didn't sound as if it'd have much in the way of anything useful, and he never put much stock in prophecy, but it might prove to be an interesting read if what Raven said was true. Unless the stories within were only framed as predictions or prophecies while still being very much true. Sombra mused over the possibilities while he sat there, his head propped up by a hoof in such a lazy way that it was becoming more familiar in the position of his body. He only moved when Raven announced she'd be turning in, alerting him to how long they must've been sitting here, talking and exchanging parts of history that might as well be stories. Sombra glanced towards the windows to see where the sun might be in the sky, if it was still in the sky at all. It.. was starting to get dark. A little early for bed, but nonetheless. "Feel free, I suppose. I might be able to work my own magic on it and the windows to keep it dark during the day," he replied, pulling himself to his hooves to follow her out of the study.
  18. The flow of the story Raven told had a similar vein to the one the crystal ponies told about the Crystal Empire's very beginning. A struggle for survival, conflict, a great evil, and overcoming that evil by some sort of powerful magic that was seen as good. Something that might be seen as light magic. Sombra's scoff was far more audible this time, matched by a roll of his eyes after he heard the term the Fire of Friendship. He'd heard something of the stock ponies put in friendship in Equestria, but this sounded far more ridiculous. He had to wonder if it was true at all, or if something else had been involved in the windigos defeat. Speaking of, these windigos intrigued him. They fed off of fear and hate? It sounded similar to the umbrum, but Sombra couldn't allow himself to make any assumptions about it. Emotions were powerful things, as well as dare he think- magical. In a sense that they seemed to have an element of magic to them for them to be tangible enough to feed from, and corrupt certain alicorn princesses. "I wonder how Princess Luna feels about that, knowing that there is a holiday for her sister that celebrates her own imprisonment. If I were her, I would be quite upset, but then again.. I have never experienced what she has. I couldn't know the emotions of an immortal alicorn." Sombra shrugged and closed his eyes. Strange, pony cliches aside, he could admit to himself that he'd enjoyed hearing a story told by another pony he found tolerable, even pleasant. "Regardless, I suppose it says quite a lot about ponies. Not only are they predictable, but they're naive and they seem to place a lot of importance in concepts in order to feel like they've done anything beneficial at all."
  19. Her dark eyes flicked towards the pony's spread wings, noting all the different colors and the fiery shine to his feathers. They were rather pretty to look at, and she could admire them; they were far more interesting than the single colored wings of most pegasi. Yuna tore her eyes away from the stallion's wings to focus on his face, trying to make a mental note that his expression was most likely because of his monocle- thus far he seemed to be a friendly pony. "It's a pleasure to meet you too, Distant," she replied, offering an acknowledging nod. "Sounds like that's pretty interesting to learn about. I'm certainly curious about it, since I never really considered any of that before.." Yuna trailed off when he approached and started to circle her, eying her up and down. It would've been mildly uncomfortable, but nothing about him was creepy or lecherous.. at least to her own perspective. For all she knew, she could be entirely misreading him all because their interaction had been amiable thus far. "What is.. what?" she echoed questioningly. Yuna took the moment to look at herself, shifting up her wings with their white flight feathers and down at her legs. She couldn't see what he found so out of the ordinary that he didn't have or knew what they were.. although once she took a second glance at the other ponies around her, she realized. Her stripes. She'd gotten somewhat used to living around other zebras and zonies in Baltimare and she scarcely ever noticed, nor thought about them. "They're stripes," the pegasus spoke up, folding her wings again and curling a foreleg up as if to show him what he could already easily see for himself, saddlebags or no saddlebags. "Have you ever seen zebra before? I'm.. well, I'm half zebra at least. They're usually white with black stripes." Or black with white stripes if their stripes were particularly dark and thick that it appeared that way, which rarely happened, but that particular detail didn't matter either way! Yuna had one of her familiar feelings that told her Distant Lightning might intend on asking her more about zebras, and their culture, if he didn't already know- there was always a chance that a scholarly type like him might've never seen the species they'd heard or learned about with their own eyes, and found them difficult to recognize. The zony turned in place a little, ensuring that she could fully face Distant again so that they could properly continue their conversation, so long as he was finished eying her stripes. Otherwise she'd just have to stay still and wait!
  20. An eyebrow rose and Sombra shrugged, lifting his cup to his lips and drank the rest of his tea. "They were tormenting the crystal ponies," he idly pointed out. They'd had it coming. "The Crystal Heart isn't designed to hurt my kind specifically. It's designed to protect the Crystal Empire from threats. Although if you ask me, the whole using love and light to conquer 'evil' is a little.. naiive." He snorted softly and set his cup aside on the nearest table. "What is this.. Hearths Warming Eve? I'm not familiar with it at all, and I believe it's your turn to tell a story. I already have." His forelegs were loosely crossed over his middle and he slouched back in his seat, letting himself relax entirely and get comfortable. He needed to if he was going to properly enjoy a story, but it wasn't as if he'd ever let Raven or anypony else knew of his secret love of stories. It could be seen as a weakness, or something else: an embarrassment. For him. Sighing softly, he returned his attention to Raven, just in time to hear her suggest that he could be come a history teacher. Initially, he wrinkled his nose and scoffed, but the more he thought about it, the more it seemed somewhat.. appealing. A history teacher? As much as he didn't like the idea of such a title, he would be able to tell ponies of the truth rather than the overblown, fairy-tale like stories they'd been fed all their lives. Like the matter of the Crystal Empire's history. "Hrm," the king grunted. "I'll consider it. Now, tell your story about this.. Hearth's Warming Eve."
  21. Sombra dipped his head in a small nod and forced himself to relax in his seat again. It was always so.. difficult to figure out what ponies truly thought of him, and when a good interaction ever shifted negatively.. he felt unwelcome. That whatever he'd managed to find had slipped right back to nothing. While Raven busied herself with making more tea, perhaps out of habit, he quietly sat there rubbing at one of his sideburns with a hoof, a habit of his own that he'd fallen into. Once the tea was ready, the king straightened up a little in his seat and smoothed the black hair back down against his cheek while his magic handled levitating the teacup up to him. "Well," he began and took a sip. "It's more of a story, I suppose. It's an important part of the empire's history, and taught as such, but.. knowing ponies, it still has an element of a story to it because of how they like to tell it. Something hopeful. It's never been entirely clear to me where the crystal ponies might've originally come from or how much of it is true, but this happened some time before the three tribes came to claim Equestria. The crystal ponies tried to carve a home out for themselves in the icy wastes of the Frozen North and, despite the weather, they'd managed to build and start their lives." Sombra paused and drank a little of his tea. "The umbrum came then and attacked, sowing as much fear and despair in them as they could so that they could feed. The crystal ponies' young princess, Amore, tried to do what she could to defend them but her magic wasn't enough on its own. So, she fled in search of something that might help her and went to the mountains. She discovered caves there, full of naturally growing crystal untouched by crystal pony magic. It was there she found it. Now, I have little idea if she found the Crystal Heart as it looks now, or if she carved it herself, the stories are always told a little differently depending on which pony tells it, but, she brought it back to the blossoming city and encouraged her ponies to find the light and love that still existed within them to banish the evil. With her own love magic, and the light of the crystal ponies, they powered the Crystal Heart and Amore used that magic to banish the umbrum deep beneath what would become the empire, so that they might never threaten them again. It was this event that would inspire them to have their very first Crystal Faire the next year, on the anniversary of their victory over the umbrum. It would be their means of celebration, to keep their unity strong, and as a method of keeping the empire safe." A soft snort followed the sound of the stallion's deep voice fading quickly into silence once he'd finished telling the story, indicating that he thought it was mostly just a bunch of hopeful rubbish.. but even Sombra knew there was some truth to it, no matter how it was told. He managed to take some pleasure in telling the story himself, if only because of his love of them. "I suppose the umbrum are the reason why there were orphans in the empire at all, but Amore worked with a mare named Chestnut Falls to make a home for them. One that would eventually become my home too, but that was some years later, I believe. The Crystal Empire isn't quite so old as others might think."
  22. The mood in the room felt as if it'd shifted to something that was more subdued, less amiable than it'd been a moment ago. Sombra's ears tilted and pinned back against his long, wavy mane in some dismay. Did her opinion of him change over something? Did he do something to cause her to change her mind about him after all? His chest rose and fell in a heavy sigh and he crossed his forelegs over it, frowning. Her questions only earned a small shrug and a raised eyebrow. A different specialist? Well, maybe. His dark magic might not interact well with a crystal from the empire, considering how it changed under his influence. "You should experiment and see what will work best for you," Sombra finally spoke up again, his voice a low rumble that was almost.. resigned. It didn't matter to him what she chose to do- she at least sounded like she had something to put her mind to, with or without him. Her offer to travel with her to collect what they needed did manage to catch his attention and he considered it. It would be nice to have a traveling companion, and do what he could to enchant something that'd help her with her magic.. Maybe he would. "Provided you do want me along.. Of course." Sombra accepted with a shrug of his shoulders. "I'm pretty sure I told you everything that I could think of. I'm not sure what else there is to say about the Crystal Empire and what it was like growing up there. I feel, perhaps for a crystal pony, it would've been pleasant. Everypony always looked forward to the Crystal Faire most of all. I can tell you about its history more than I can about what's already been said."
  23. Princess Luna had little to say in the conversation, a trait she shared with Aster; not that she knew it. Her exile and the near solitude in which she spent most of her time had much to do with it, and why she rarely ever had anything to say to ponies except what needed to be said. It didn't matter if it was honesty, or simply what they needed to hear, rather than what they'd wanted to hear. The lunar princess's mind was currently on her surroundings, keeping track of where they were and every little noise that came from the forest around them. For the most part it was silent, save for the soft rustling of leaves or the underbrush stirred by the breeze. Luna only stopped again when the earlier, violent rustling of something moving around started up again and changed to soft thumping. The mare whirled immediately, spreading her wings and her horn alight with her silvery magic in preparation.. only to find the source of all the noise was a small timberwolf pup. Her wings sagged a little against her sides and Luna's stance became more relaxed, surprise crossing her face. Her magic faded and she made a soft noise in her throat. Just a pup. It wasn't dangerous on its own, but if its pack was nearby, then they'd be in trouble. Wild animals were notoriously protective of their young, and for a good reason too. "Ah," Luna sighed and folded her wings back against her sides. "'Tis only a pup, but we should still be careful. It's not wise to mess with the young of wild animals." It was a gentle warning that she thought to give Aster just in case the filly thought about running towards it. It wouldn't be wise.
  24. I'd definitely love to throw my Luna in and have her be a part of this~ any of it.
  25. Sombra inclined his head smugly, looking down his nose at Midnight with a soft snort. "Of course you wouldn't be. Even without my magic you'd likely not be a match for me. You'd tire easily, mortal." His eyes narrowed and he took a drink of what was left of his own cider, although his voice noticeably had less of a bite than usual. It sounded as though the king were joking with Midnight with his usual arrogance- to an extent. There was still some seriousness to his statement behind it. "Hm," he grunted softly and set down his glass. Midnight's idea didn't seem like it'd really work. The sisters weren't exactly stupid, nor blind, no matter how flawed Sombra knew they were. "I don't believe that would be a good idea. I doubt there are very many ponies that would dare.. dress up as me, not when there are crystal ponies now coming to Equestria to explore it too. I've seen plenty of them on my travels; they couldn't escape my notice, although I've certainly escaped theirs." Sombra frowned and lifted a hoof to brush over one of his well-groomed sideburns, smoothing down the black hair thoughtfully. "Do you have to make a report at all? Can you not simply report there has been nothing out of the ordinary on it? None of your superiors would suspect it. After all, I've seen very little in the way of danger here, especially in Canterlot. No pony would want to bring the wrath of the two sisters down upon them, not in their city." The shadow king shrugged and straightened up in his seat, growing restless. Perhaps now that they've had their drink, they could move on soon.
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