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Dio last won the day on October 24 2016

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About Dio

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    Computer stuff, political science, video games, table top games, good music, guns, airsoft.

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    Lev Nobleheart

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  1. Symphy is taking requests! (Limited space)

    I'm fine without tattoos.
  2. Symphy is taking requests! (Limited space)

    Might I indulge in some more Daedalus art? Reference:
  3. Cold Comfort [Closed: Steel]

    “And here I thought it would be wine and olives,” he said with a wry grin. He nodded in acknowledgement to the other Keeper as he passed, trotting to a seat opposite Twilight at the table. Shedding what remained of his tattered robes and traveling gear, Daedalus breathed a long sigh of relief and soaked in the cool, dry, air of the Keep. For the moment he could enjoy a modicum of safety to relax. Kyanaster detached from her armor socket and idly floated by Daedalus’ head, making a soft chirp to indicate she was ready to receive commands again. Daedalus placed his saddlebag on the table next to him and gestured with his head. “Kyanaster, catalogue remaining reagents.” Daedalus withdrew a notebook from the main pocket of the bag and opened it to a blank page with his magic. Kyanaster glowed blue, letting out a beep to acknowledge the command. A stream of runes scanned over the saddlebags, a second one reaching out to the tome and transcribing item names and quantities into an arcane ledger. While she attended to the mundane task, Daedalus finally turned back to Twilight; for the moment ignoring the food. “I would at this point prefer a long soak in the tub. The warp sickness seems to have expired, but that does not change the dirty and sweaty part. Being thrown down a mountainside can be such a hassle.” lock of hair fell in his face. It was onlythen that he realized his usual braid had all but come entirely undone. With a resigned sigh, he began slowly putting it back together with a combination of hoof and magic. “I would be entirely happy to retire for the next day or so to recuperate. That said, I cannot let the mystery of the Anchor go un-pursued. I have a hard time believing that there was not some intelligence to how it attempted to interact with you. I aim to find out why.”
  4. Cold Comfort [Closed: Steel]

    Kyanaster sounded a soft tone and shifted her emitted color, turning a bluish-green. The runes on the teleportation circle flared brightly and fired bright beams of light into the middle of the circle. What appeared to be a miniature sun ignited in the midst of the rune ring before quickly fading into quiescence. In its wake remained a floating sphere with mirror-smooth surface, holding an image of the receiving room of the Keep. “Yes. Safety before discourse with regard to these matters.” Daedalus said. Key words from Twilight’s musings lingered in his mind, however. Distant sun. Parents. Observing. Manipulation. Aether erasure. Dark energy. Uncertainty gnawed at Daedalus. The Anchor had brought them to the cusp of untapped potential, potential that they could unlock if they only but tried. But the Maretonian in him warned heavily of the watcher, whoever they were. Being comfortable around someone was a privilege that had to be earned. That Twilight would feel comfort around an entity she knew nothing about -- that Daedalus knew nothing about -- tripped all of the warning alarms in his head. “The portal is ready. Shall we?” Daedalus forced a smile and gestured toward the portal.
  5. IPS 4.2.7 has been deployed. This is a security fix with no front end changes. As usual, please allow at least 24 hours for indices and feeds to rebuild before reporting bugs.

  6. Cold scales lay on colder tile. Fur and feathers did little to hold heat against the shivering wreck that wrapped itself in loneliness and soft sobbing. Limbs, tail, and wings splayed, Qing was a right mess. The cool floor of the small bathroom down the hall was momentarily soothing to Qing’s aching stomach, but only just. The feeling of malaise lingered long after the offending allergen had been disposed of. Physiological ailments Qing could recover from. She had encountered many in officer school and while growing up. But the wounds which continued to weep and fester were not inflicted upon her body. She had failed in her service to the empress. Where a flawless party was to be planned and executed, she had let one thing after another derail her, resulting in the debacle she now had on her hooves. Then there was the matter of Discord. God of Chaos, Prince of Puns, Monarch of Mischief. Whatever he chose to call himself he had disrupted the proceedings with all the graceful elegance of a typhoon in a vase shop. Except the evening was not ruined by Discord. It was ruined by Qing’s failure to adapt. She could choose to blame the spirit for his antics. The court might even believe her. But in her own mind, she knew the truth. Her stomach rumbled one more time, but Qing was far too tired to move herself from where she languished. She would pick herself up and return to her apartment when she had gathered her strength. But until then, the cold floor was what she needed… what she deserved.
  7. Cold Comfort [Closed: Steel]

    The explanation was about what Daedalus had expected. The elder Princesses were inscrutable to even the ones who had lived with them for their entire mortal lives. That even Twilight herself did not know them in their entirety was neither surprising nor distressing. His ears perked up and turned in distinct interest at the mention of extradimensional entities. The epiphany struck like a meteor impact. Dimensional entities. Dimensional anchors. Dimensional princesses in dimensional dreams. If the magically inclined were wont to project their souls into an aetherically charged demiplane during their sleep, then perhaps Luna was merely interacting with it in a conscious and lucid manner. But if Luna could enter it and do… whatever moon princesses did in dream… then it would stand to reason that something -- or someone -- else could as well. “Dimensional entities,” Daedalus muttered, mostly to himself but still within earshot. “Twilight. I don’t believe I ever asked you properly about the artifact. Do you remember anything strange about it; any unnatural aetheric signatures, any live auras, anything perhaps… extradimensional?”
  8. Cold Comfort [Closed: Steel]

    Stonewalled. Daedalus was nonplussed, but did not show it, instead nodding before going about clearing away volcanic ash from Twilight’s selected site. The entire situation spoke of clandestine activities and half-hidden truths. Celestia was clearly suspicious of him, even if she chose not to immediately act. Specifically mentioning his lack of presence while scrying and Twilight’s scrambled signature must have been a play. While this had been their first meeting, Daedalus was certain the Princess of the Sun was no naive filly. Kyanaster detached from her socket and chirped as she circled the ritual site. Laying down the initial outer ring for a portal. Satisfied with site selection, she beeped twice and dropped low to the rocky sand. Spokes of aether reached out from Kyanaster’s position, connecting with the outer ring. The spokes began a slow, methodical rotation, a series of runes flashing as the aether was collected and arranged. “She agrees. Kyanaster, dial coordinates: The Keep, primary teleportation circle.” Given the circumstances, it would likely take some time before the primary location could be dialed in and after that it would require manual fine-tuning to ensure that transport would not encounter the same issues as their last attempt. While Kyanaster went about her work, Daedalus slowly pondered Celestia’s words and Twilight’s mannerisms. Well, if he was unable to get a direct answer, perhaps he could figure out something indirectly. “I will admit, upon first hearing about Princess Luna’s dreamwalking abilities, I was skeptical.” He finally said. “I thought perhaps it was a certain empath’s link spell or modified scrying sensor blown out of proportion, but from what I hear, it is something entirely different.” As the individual runes began to take shape, Daedalus lit his horn and carefully anchored them into the aether manually. He continued, “I am still uncertain as to the mechanism of its operation. I’m also uncertain as to when I’ll be able to seek an audience with Luna or if one for research purposes would even be granted. With how well you know them is there any insight you’re allowed to share, Twilight? If only to sate my curiosity!”
  9. Cold Comfort [Closed: Steel]

    Daedalus had half expected Celestia to catch them up in a whirlwind to bring them back to Canterlot. Thankfully, this was not the case. Her curiosity sated and the safety of her protege assured, Celestia departed for home, leaving them alone again. Daedalus brushed the sweat from his brow with a fetlock. Was it Celestia’s glare or the dawning sunlight? Or perhaps they were one and the same? “I’m ready to return home and ensure void exposure hasn’t scrambled my insides yes.” As if to drive home the point, Kyanaster woke from her armor compartment and gave an animated chirp. “Kyanaster is ready for portal generation. We just need set up a proper ritual site.” He could almost smell the wine and olives. Just the thought of hors d'oeuvres and drink brought his thoughts back to the strange dream and the stranger implications. Was it merely subconscious lusts playing out in sleep? Celestia’s earlier remarks about dreamwalking led him to believe otherwise. Daedalus began taking down camp and cleaning up after his attempts at cooking the previous night. It wouldn’t do to litter a pristine beach after all. “Twilight. I have to ask. Were you feeling alright last night?”
  10. IPS 4.2.6 has been deployed. This update contains only security and optimization fixes. As usual, please wait at least 24 hours for streams to rebuild and any reindexing to occur before filing bug reports.

  11. Cold Comfort [Closed: Steel]

    Daedalus released the breath that he hadn’t even realized he’d been holding. Confident as he was that Twilight would manage to talk them down, having weapons pointed at him would never be a comfortable scenario. As the guards backed off, Daedalus stepped forward, stopping just short of Twilight but being careful to remain mostly behind. The mention of dream-walking made his ear twitch. Ah yes, the constant nightly panopticon. Statistically, it was of no threat. Powerful as Princess Luna was, she was still one mare whose reach was limited by the fact that she was still an individual pony. That said, the ability to be nearly anywhere at anytime, even if it was not specifically in his head, gave the illusion of omniscience, which was enough to present as practical omniscience. On levels both pragmatic and philosophical, it was unsettling. That native Equestrians would see it as an everyday occurrence was beyond him. There was also the subject matter of the prior night’s dream and the admission that they had been located via the dreams. Daedalus did his best to keep a straight face, but it was clear he preferred not to revisit the dream in polite company. At the addendum of Twilight appearing to be solo, Daedalus cocked his head. If they were both in the same location -- presupposing Celestia’s honest and accurate recounting -- why would only Twilight be detectable? Daedalus ran through a number of possibilities in his head but arrived at the conclusion that dreamwalking was outside his area of expertise. He sighed and filed a mental note to investigate further at a later date. Twilight on the other hand seemed to react with much more apprehension. Perhaps she had not had nearly as much practice play-acting before a court? That would certainly explain the nervous posturing, but the blush threw him off. She couldn’t possibly have… could she? Daedalus’ tail flicked in a nervous tick. Perhaps he could discuss it later with Twilight, but preferably not in front of the reigning monarch of Equestria. Daedalus was not quite that comfortable or shameless with Celestia just yet. Celestia -- old gods be praised -- seemed content to let her initial inquiries hang as empty musings. Daedalus bowed his head at Celestia’s offer, masking his discomfort with displays of deference. “Your magnanimity knows no bounds, Your Majesty. I cannot speak for Princess Twilight, but rest and a proper meal would be most welcome to me.” He glanced briefly at Twilight, anticipating that she would take the lead when dealing with Celestia.
  12. Cold Comfort [Closed: Steel]

    Daedalus’ half-slumber was disturbed by shouting outside the tent. It had been no more than a day since their displacement and not long after their expected return; indeed they were still within their arrival window. Even if word had returned to Canterlot and Stalliongrad that they had been left behind at the crash site, there would still have been lead time for a decision to be made and search parties to be assembled. That a rescue party would find them so soon and with such precision was… suspicious to say the least. Now might be a good time to wake up Twilight. “Twilight,” he whispered, rolling back over. “Twilight--” The space that Twilight had blissfully slumbered in mere moments ago was empty. Daedalus froze. The murmurs outside continued. Quietly, with as little movement as possible, Daedalus reached out an aetheric tendril to check the front flap of the tent. The wards had been undone, an act that could only be done from the inside. Seeing as how there was also little sign of struggle, Twilight was not forcibly extracted from the tent. By all accounts it was safe. But Daedalus still didn’t feel right and something had to be done. He sighed and donned his harness, leaving the tattered remains of the cloak behind. If Twilight was being debriefed by a rescue party he supposed it best to show himself so that they would not assume him hostile. He nosed open the makeshift tent flap and stepped outside. Blinking back the brightness, Daedalus stopped dead in surprise. Standing before him in all of her solar majesty was Princess Celestia herself. Though he had yet to meet her in person, Twilight had gushed endlessly about her mentor and reigning diarch of Equestria. This was certainly a treat -- just not after the escapades of the previous night and the tribulations of the previous day. Having a shower and the opportunity to groom himself into something less disheveled would have been nice. Having the opportunity to collect himself more would have been nicer. One glance at Twilight was enough to put a twinge in his cheeks, partly out of the still-fresh memories of the previous night and partly out of the egregious self-awareness that such a thing was happening. This wasn’t like him. He didn’t get emotional, attached -- infatuated. It was a jumble of emotions and racing thoughts that Daedalus was not used to at all. He had little time to hesitate, however. Twilight embraced the princess warmly, leading Daedalus to dismiss the last of his doubts about the nature of their rescue party in spite of his suspicions. He put on his “game face” on and stepped forward. The sudden clink of metal and shuffle of hooves stopped him dead in his tracks. In an instant, the guards had formed a spear wall between him and the princesses. “Now, now, let’s not be too hasty,” he said, holding up a single hoof in a halting gesture. “Princess Twilight? There appears to be a… misunderstanding here.”
  13. Cold Comfort [Closed: Steel]

    Daedalus’ words were silenced by the press of Twilight’s lips against his own. His eyes went wide with surprise before closing in bliss. The prior realization that it was a dream only further dissolved his inhibitions. Indulgences here would reflect little on the real world unless he made it so. With the last of his shackles released, Daedalus dove deep, meeting the kiss with just as much enthusiasm. Wisps of incense seemed to reach out from the haze and goad him onward, steam bearing his hooves until he was literally floating alongside Twilight. Bodies pressed close and hooves already wandering, Daedalus drifted into the Princess’ chambers entranced. ****** Daedalus awoke with his face buried in the partly caved face of the coconut he had brought into tent the night prior. He coughed and sputtered, spitting out strands of coconut husk as he finally shook himself fully awake. The cool aftermath of evaporating sweat and heated breath lingered in his coat. This wasn’t the sweat of fever or sickness. It was earthier, healthier, as if he had been on a long walk for pleasure rather than trying to save his own life like the previous day. He felt strange inside, a lingering warmth that floated in his chest. This was not illness; the nausea from warp sickness was long gone. No, the warmth he felt was something else altogether -- a feeling that had eluded him since the last days with Acantha before his final departure from Kastrot: belonging. Consciousness’ return brought with it other revelations; specifically that he was not in fact face first in coconut. He was instead face first in Twilight Sparkle’s mane. Their limbs lay intertwined, bodies still pressed against each other in satisfied afterglow. His first instinct to recoil was countered by the fact that Twilight herself had not done so already. Checking himself over quickly, he found both he and Twilight seemed to be whole and hale. The wards of the tent were still in place and there were no signs of anything untoward that had happened the previous night. Everything was, at the moment, in order. Daedalus wasn’t about to do anything to Twilight without her express consent. As raunchy and frivolous as the jokes and teasing were, he knew he was not entitled to her affections, physical or otherwise. The dream was an indulgence he could afford to make but little else. When Twilight awoke, it would be back to the status quo -- back to just business. With a heavy sigh. Daedalus rolled over, separating his body from Twilight’s and feeling the pang of sudden loneliness when her scent finally left his nostrils. Next dream, perahps...
  14. Cold Comfort [Closed: Steel]

    Subtle enchantments? It seemed more than subtle now. With uncanny speed, the noise of the party-goers faded to a dull murmur in the background and the room became curiously indistinct, dissolving into a warm haze of incense and steam that hugged the floor. Despite his peripheral senses twitching in discomfort, the sight before him grew ever more inviting. Twilight led him forward by the hoof, stars in her eyes and honeyed words flowing from her lips. When he looked in her eyes, Daedalus’ suspicions melted. It was his dream and a lovely one at that. Indulgence in the deep of his subconscious would kill neither of them; not tonight. He downed his glass in an instant, the collected alcohol and flavoring instantly seeping into his body, sending him into a dizzying moment of delirium. The glass behind him dissolved into nothingness but Daedalus cared not. “There is no Kastroti royalty,” he laughed. “Well, not by name! The Assembly is meant to be representative of the ponies it governs, but they may as well be kings and queens of the isles of Kastrot. They could very well raise their own sun if they felt it was in their best interests. If only I could be so grossly incandescent!” The incense tickled his nostrils and left a buzzing in his head and a ringing in his ears. The steam gently caressed his hooves, immediately evoking thoughts of a long soak in hot springs with Twilight by his side. “This… seems like a great spot. I could go for a soak.” “But to answer your question, subordinates are not merely there to sate the materiel needs of their employers. They are also privy to more… intimate needs.” His voice dropped in tone, a twinge of somberness creeping in. “More than just carnal needs. Deeply emotional needs. It’s… rare that true confidants can be found. It’s amazing that in a land with so much physical contact, very little true intimacy is had…” Maybe someday he’d go over with Twilight in real life. Maybe some day he’d not have to hide behind a mask of snark. Maybe.