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Posts posted by Ciraxis

  1. "Vengeance?" Hou asked 'surprised'....or at least did her best to act like she was. I reality she was doing her best to not show how trite she was feeling. Not because she had any qualms against Magnus's motivation, no. But Shuren was expecting for his drive to be fueled by something more...original.


    .....Then again, it wasn't exactly her business of what he will be doing in his free time. At least the stallion seemed to be aware of cycling nature of such endeavor....and that one had to find themselves a goal after fulfilled revenge.


    "M a g n u s  D u r u m" sorceress slowly said stallions name, as if to taste it. "Not a name of Equestrian origin. Was your father from Kastrot? Or your father's father?" Hou inquired but quickly returned to 'introduction' part.

    "I would give you my name, but I guess you already know who your sought....." white unicorn said with confident smirk, which quickly turned into more serious expression.

    "Yes, I have the means and tools to turn your revenge into reality...and perhaps give you purpose beyond it....." Shuren admitted.

    "However, this - like all things - comes with a price. Not only that, I have to see if you are somepony worthy investing into. Are you willing to throw yourself at challenges I give you? Are you willing to pay the price to see those that wronged you suffer?" sorceress asked, her expression at the end turning into something equally wicked and excited.

  2. ".....Are they involve fighting?" Esaka asked Sunburst carefully. However the gossip of two winged fillies caught her attention.

    "Wonderbolt? What's Wonderbolt?" Homura asked, undoubtedly to the shock of younger and older winged fillies due to her obliviousness.


    Of course any and all questions had to wait in face of griffon boy's freak out. His luggage? Oh....

    "Well that sucks." she commented before taking her hat off and turning it upside down...."Alright we need to do a whip-round to buy Gallus..." Esaka started but at this moment the younger filly trio took off to chase after train!

    "Oy! What are you doing? That's stupid! And dangerous! Stupidly dangerous!" she scolded them but they didn't listen - especially pegasus filly seemed dead set to reclaim the cat-bird student belongings....

    "......Jeezzz... Alright Noodle-Legs hold this for..." Homura started to address the other Neighponian, but Kireina already flew after the receding wagons as well....

    "....<Yare yare daze>......" quilin muttered in annoyance before walking towards still stunned Gallus.

    "Here raptor-boy, hold this for me for a while. DON'T break it." Esaka said, as she stuffed her hat into griffons other talon....before she jumped the fence back into train-depot. When quilin walked on the tracks, she was already wrapped in amber flames.

    "....Alright, alright....it's been as while....I still got it. I still got it!" Homura psyched herself up, took a deep breath......and then let out the most hot-blooded scream any of her fellow students ever heard coming from the lungs of the filly!


    "ESAKA OUGI! - SHIN KAEN SENPŪ!!!" she roared as she punched/breathed forward - unleashing whirlwind of spinning air and fire that quickly caught up to winged fillies. However, true to it's name, instead of scorching their heels, the amber flame jet opened up, forming a half-pipe around and above Hyper, Fruit, Midnight and Kireina...but most importantly it also created a jet-stream-like rush of air, giving the winged fillies so much needed speed boost!


    • Like 3

  3. "Yeeees he did betray you...after you betrayed everyone else. Some friendship student you are." Swift said with a growl, his gaze shifting back and forth between draconequus and the bouquet that was pushed into his grasp.

    "They may have forgiven you, but they will never forget. The question is, have you forgiven yourself?" noblepony said aloud a painful reminder that surely had to gnaw at Discord's mind. After a moment Squall's stern gaze softened, if only for a moment. "There are no shortcuts for this one. It's something you have do rebuild little by little....until you can look at the mirror again, unashamed." unicorn saidmreflexively touching his chest, where his scars used to be. Despite help of everyone, he still found himself haunted by his guilty conscience...but at least Fire kept the nightmares away. Tooo bad she was leaving soo....wait.


    "Dear that story about that sewer maniac.....didn't you did that...yesterday?" he asked slowly. He was up all night long.

    "It...it's Thursday, right?" Swift asked, while taking look at incredibly expensive Long Guo statue calendar. "Right! And you were supposed to that job at Wednesday! This meas that today is you day-off!" noblepony realized. "......You know what, I tell oak to turn on pool heater while you change." he waved at her uniform. Yeeeah, not exactly easy to wash this one.


    Swift turned to the samurai.

    "I am sorry for the inconvenience. Things here are usual more...scheduled here. Please allow me to - AT LAST - show you to your rooms." Swift said before throwing glance at draconequus.

    "Yours as well, Discord." Squall murmured before leading the way.


    Of course their walk couldn't be silent as bored spirit of chaos kept rambling on and on.

    "Depends..." Swift mused when the Discord offered his 'help'. "If you know how to break the oligopoly that holds Equestria's shipyard industry while operating withing boundaries of the country law, then be my guest!" Swift growled again, for once venting his frustration on something else the chaotic being. Indeed solving this dilemma was a reason why he didn't shown at bed this night.

  4. Hou let out a giggle at stallion's first words.

    "Sombra's current state had little to do with this. He's always been less proficient in espionage and counter-espionage then he believes he is. Yet another display of his over-confidence. He get few flashes of cunning, but one swallow doesn't make a spring." sorceress mused before asking. "Did you extend the same request to him?"

    Shuren enjoyed Magnus reaction before continuing.

    "Not that it matters. Sombra pretends he can teach more then he could, but many of his talents stem from the fact that he wasn't born a pony." Hou explained patiently.

    "I remember a times when most of this...." she waved widely toward at surrounding landscape "...was a primeval beech forest. But I was always an unicorn, one that clawed her way up to where I am today...." sorceress explained before turning around and pausing. She looked somewhat....contemplative?


    "So you seek strength, and are aware of the price. The only thing that can defeat power is more power. That is one constant in this universe - even if that power takes many shapes and comes from different sources." Hou said. She already sounded like a teacher.

    "However, there is no point in power if it consumes itself. Power has to have a purpose." sorceress said with emphasis.

    "So, what is a purpose of that strength you desire, Mr.....?" Shuren asked, expectant expression.

  5. Spoiler

    This thread takes place between Dark Rendezvous and it's Epilogue





    It has been decades since Hou set hoof on the verdant rolling hills of this Itaily region. Long ago she chose it as one of her 'safe' vacation spots, relatively safe from her schemes and plans. Because - let's be honest - who would want to disturb this charming countryside and it's warm sun?

    Well, brutes like Tirek and vermin like Chrysalis would - the short-slightness that was a reason for their initial failures. Even when putting some thoughts and preparations into the actual planning, they found themselves bested yet again. Shuren was glad that they were gone. The trio presented an uncontrollable disturbance, one to be taken advantage off - like she did yesterday - but not manageable. Sorceress was even more glad that they were not off the board entirely. As her agents reported, Alicorn Sisters and Discord lacked the nerve to deal with term permanently. Good. Perhaps when the time comes, they will prove to me more...controllable pawns.


    For now their fate proved yet again, that challenging Equestria upfront without an army - no matter how powerful you yourself were - was inviting your own downfall. This country had to be weakened first, undermined until it was valuable. To make them guess each and every move, and to make their sovereigns look over the shoulder every minute. And that required subtlety...and patience.


    Like those present that was her tail right now. This was going long enough. By now Celestia probably thinks she left the country entirely, or moved south to disappear into crowds of Manhattan. That was of course what she would normally do....

    "You have been skulking behind me since half-way of Eponine Mountains crossing." Hou said, suddenly stopping in the middle of the country road and looking over the shoulder. "I assume  from your persistence, and lack of REA guards swarming to annoy me that you have business to discuss." unicorn mare added, in somewhat expectant tone.

    • Like 2

  6. It was only few days but during them, Squall was living with anticipation to show Miss Applejack Fillydelphias's New Wonder-In-Making. Well, two wonders, although the one that was in the air, in the distance wasn't really tied to Filly per say.

    His vigil lasted from daybreak, so Squallcoast could only breath in relief when Apple mare showed up. From his sources, Swift heard that between their last meeting and today, Applejack's kid managed to get his wing broken. He winced in sympathy when he got this information - wing fracture's were always ugly, even more so in the growing age. Thus Squall wasn't sure if earth-pony mare will show up - although seeing that she approached him now, he deduced that she really needed the money for the health bills.


    That said, her mood was quite perky. Good, seems that little colts prognosis was promising. Too bad her family wouldn't be joining her due to circumstances.

    "Hello to you too Miss Applejack. In impish mood I see." he mused before releasing magical flare into the sky. "Let's go for a walk. We need to give it space for a touchdown." he added, which was odd since there was plenty of space around them already.

    "I am sorry to hear what happens Miss Applejack. I know that Sparkle got you with touch with Equestria's best doctors, but in case if that wouldn't be enough....I may be able to reach out for those beyond the realm. From my pocket." he offered. Before earth pony mare could protest, noblpony already raised his hoof. "This isn't an gift from employer Miss Applejack, but one from a friend. I won't accept 'No' for an answer. I am as stubborn as you, remember? Also...." he paused as large shadow passed over them.

    "Fifty-five thousand  per month...." Squall added before droning noise above them couldn't be ignored any longer. Only now it became clear why he deemed it needed more space. While flying vessel appeared merely big earlier, it was only because it was far an away. Now orange coated mare could see that this balloon-lacking behemoth was actually half-mile long.


    "So what do you think? I wanted to show it to Sparkle first...but seeing that you part of Twilight Guard I was hoping you put good work for me." noble-pony admitted. "....Not that she can miss it from Canterlot anyway." he added after sudden realization.

    "Behold 'Endymion'. And before you ask - yes, the guy who named it is quite a Luna's fan. This is the last prototype from a long line, and as close to final product as possible. TEMPEST had to build a whole brand new shipyard just to have it constructed. The only thing he lacks are pre-installed weapons but....well, it's so large and so durable it could simply ram the Storm King's fleet and come up on top. It's all new magitech and state-of-art one at that." Swift explained as the landing ramp was extending for them. It in itself was wider them Applejack's house.

    "I...we are hoping for it to become Equestria's latest flagship. If Sparkle's agrees for a contract, then she will very easily can get two of those behemoths. Of course we will take care of building new maintenance bases for them too." Swift continued his explanation as they made their way to the bridge. At first it appeared that they were on the large terrace, but count quickly dismissed the notion.

    "The bridge is actually completely closed in. It's just that the hull above and forward is enchanted to be see-through from here, on top of durability spells. But ONLY from the inside." he clarified before turning to his companion.

    "So...ready to for a trip on the largest thing that took into the skies?"

  7. I somehow missed this...in order:



    In regards to staff I have few ideas. For example Squall really, really wants to become a better future spouse - which includes desire to learn to cook. And it's one of the things that he has no talent with. At all.

    He is also quite the Neighponesphile, and with his mansion commons he has enough place to put a whole garden and a castle in this style. Which he planned for a long time.

    Squallcoast manor is also old. It hides some secrets that even Swift doesn't know off....and some that he doesn't want others to know off.

    As of being his assistant - Swift travels a lot, and this tends to come with...accidents and excitement. He crashed twice so far in his business-pony career, and they were attempted kidnappings. He's also a very generous boss, willing to help his employees in more.....personal ways then just giving them a bonus or a raise.


    I love the idea, although I wouldn't call that 'crushes'. Probably add him to list of ponies that she's fan off (and imprint desire to know more about kung fu...because this is yet another chapter of it vs karate). Keep in mind she's also a street brawler, so she's has about zero knowledge about...ah...an etiquette when it comes to proper spar.

    I am also all behind her meeting Blue....although I wonder is he/she has to deal with issues of hot-blood incarnate....

  8. Homura stifled the initial response that came to her mind to Kireina question. After all, Noodle-Legs didn't did anything to earn her ire. At least so far.

    "<......Just looking.>" she finally muttered after a moment before returning to her drawing.


    The mere mention of 'gladiator show' however, was enough to stir Esaka from her torpor. It was like an jolt run through filly, one that filled her eyes with a little more gleam. Quilin got next to Sunburst so fast one could swore that she teleported. Only small yellow-gold embers on the floor told otherwise.

    "Colosseum? Gladiator show? Can we go? Can we participate?" the little blood knight inside Esaka reared her head. "Please tell me more Sunburst-sensei!" she pleaded.

    The change was probably astonishing for her traveling companions. After all, this was the most lively and excited that Homura got since enrolling in the School of Friendship!

    "They do the whole 'pankration' thing there, right? I want to see it's moves!"


    Of course before Sunburst could answer, it came the time to leave the train. Homura gave unicorn professor a look that indicated that she wasn't done before rushing back to gather her things.

    During disembarkment, the young quilin bumped into toga wearing reptile. This made Homura do a double take. Wait, this wasn't a mare reptile - it was a dragon! True, it looked like horned lizard blended with a bat - unlike graceful dragons of Long Guo - but looks weren't everything. And besides, it weren't the looks that interested Esaka. No, she was much more interested in western's dragons reputation as temperamental and combative creatures that fought with claws, teeth and fire.

    There was one thing however....didn't western dragons supposed to be HUGE?

    "Or is she fun size? Neat." she muttered before joining the group. She really hoped that they get to hotel fast - the faster they do, the faster they can get to this Colosseum place!


    • Like 3

  9. Not joining, but seeing that Hou is my character I will be happy to provide some info and pointers via PM's if anyone wishes for it. Especially so since she's an old foe for both Luna and Celestia (more so with the later than the former, obviously due to more interaction) so they should know what they talking about. She also isn't in many books, and certainly not in Long Guo ones since Empire deliberately erased records of her - than again, Princesses not mentioning old enemies of theirs to Twilight is kind of a habit of theirs.

  10. Epilogue:


    "....You are dismissed." Hou ordered to her minions, who in turn bowed and unobtrusively left the chamber. It's good to be back at Wunyun.


    Sorceress gaze glided across the spoils of the sucessful operation. It was good. Not perfect, but good, and that was enough. It was a shame that she had to reveal her presence to Sombra, but even more so that she had to leave his soul alone for now. But at least she got potential follower out of this mess...perhaps even student, if he fulfills his task.....

    He sough to learn from both her and fallen king. Good....she expected nothing less! Who knows? Perhaps with passing years he find himself with potential to become one of the Seven?

    And this pegasus that spied on them..... Hou wondered how her dark magic would influence her. She certainly didn't give it any direction. If she welcomes it, she may become something unlike any other creature in this world. And if she resist? Well, that was the mystery.

    No matter, she had time to find out answers for both of these questions. Of all ponies on the face of the world She had time. And she will use it to study her prizes in the meantime.

    Copies of Starswirl numerous notes, his monograph about mirror magic, the volumes of dark magic that eluded her for centuries.....Staff of Sacanas....those were but a few of treasures she got out of this.


    Shuren's gaze left the artifacts as she walked and sat on ornamented throne. Those were just tools, no matter how powerful. The true might laid in something else.

    Sorceress conjured magical images of exceptional ponies. Student's of Princesses.....two of the Sun...one of the Friendship....one of the Moon. Who knows? Perhaps Love will take apprentice of her own. She could hardly wait to match her wits and magical might with every one of them. Such delicious souls.....


    "Certainly, interesting times are soon to come....don't you agree, Your Highness?"  sorceress said, to the petrified visage of the Storm King......

    • Like 2

  11. "Hoity toity?" Swift raised an eyebrow. It seems they all had their own little prejudices. Even more surprising how weather teams were treated here then in Manhattan or Filly.

    "Curious. There seems to be disparities on how such career is viewed between metropoles and smaller communities, yes. Yet another thing Sparkle will have to get a good look over. Although....Sunt facta verbis difficiliora." Swift mused. Indeed, this will be something that will not be easy to uproot. After all, all ponies had tribalistic tendencies in their blood. One had to just get good look at Kastrot or Acroneighos if they wanted an more visual example of that.


    "Well this is outside of expertise of either of us. Maybe your other half would have some more info about the issue. I would appreciate if you share it if she did." noblpony mused while reaching for his longcoat with his magic.

    He caught off guard when - after putting on his garments - he saw Applejack's outstretched hoof. They didn't sign any paperwork yet! but after initial surprise Swift returned the hoof-shake, along with a smile of his own.

    "I look forward to it too, Miss Applejack."


    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


    Next Monday, Commons outside School of Friendship. 7:00 A.M.


    Squall had to admit - School of Friendship and it's immediate surroundings made for a pretty sight - which was why he didn't mind at all in the open. Twilight has chosen the location wisely - being far enough from Ponyville to prevent it's students from being distracted, while also having a room for potential expansion or perhaps dorms. At the same time it was close enough to not make access or logistics a hassle.


    And best of all, those wide fields could serve as makeshift landing strips, in a pinch!


    Such was Swift thoughts as he - garbed in white for a change - awaited noth his new business partner, and their transportation....


    • Like 1

  12. The unicorn knew that she will be eating well this afternoon.


    After all, not everyday you ran into such fiery soul. Sunset Shimmer - the other Celestia's student. And Hou knew that she chosen this - back then - filly for a reason. Sun alicorn wasn't unerring of course, but she had eye for quality. When it came to spotting extraordinary ponies, Celestia was very reliable.


    Even Hou had to agree, that the filly Pincess picked up to be her pupil was very special, as she watched her from afar. Great power, keen mind, burning temper....

    Shuren was so impressed that she was ready to offer Shimmer to be her student after falling out with her solar mentor. Alas, the events moved too quickly before invitation could be made, and it took sorceress years to figure out where Sunset disappeared into. By the time of her return, she was already molded, changed mare.


    But as do Equestrian's say 'Waste not, want not.' While it was to late too make her apprentice, Hou had other - more straightforward - uses for this very special soul.

    And this extraordinary mare in possession of it, chose unusual activity for herself today. Unusual, but familiar. Nostalgic actually....


    "Fenghuang Monk here. How...quaint...." Shuren mused to herself, before burning the flyer she was reading moment prior to ashes.

    Hou tapped her hoof as she pondered. How long was it was since the last time? Three hundred years? Long Guo monks and their practices were like a weeds. Let them out of sight for a moment, and they spread like influenza. Heh, she still remembered that event. She reaped many souls during those years. Did they believed her dead? That would be absurd, they should know better. True, her interests were directed more to the west and south for a while - but that doesn't meant that she was ignoring her homeland completely. Still, perhaps it was her fault after all? Maybe she was way to elusivey for her own good? True it benefited her in the long run, but how much more she could gain if she hid her true intentions under layers and layers of smokescreen? Throw an atrocity or two to make deception seemed plausible....


    Hou waved her hoof, as if to dismiss unnecessary thoughts. Straightforward plans are often overlooked by those who spin their webs of intrigue for way too long. Complexity addiction can often be as dangerous to one's health as is dismissal of details. Flexibility, was the word to live by.

    White unicorn smiled under her hood as she readjusted her cloak. Not only she will be eating well today - she had an opportunity to put back fear of the dark into followers of Harmonious Path. An opportunity she was more the ready to exploit. With those thoughts, Hou left Ponyville plaza and directed her steps towards the distinctive hill....

    • Like 1

  13. Name: Perla Serale Bandoni


    Sex: Female


    Age: Young Adult:


    Species: Areion


    Eye colour: Bloody red.


    Character Colour: Navy blue.


    Mane/Tail/Other: A long, bushy mass of hot pink hair, with tail being similar. Perla doesn't take much care in them aside from keeping them clean. Their 'blast from 20 years ago' look is completely natural.


    Physique: While she is fit - as expected for the army officer - her voluptuous hindquarters may give other ponies different ideas. Her physical capabilities are completely average.


    Residence: Depending on assigment. Her family home in in Neighples.


    Occupation: Lieutenant Colonel of the Equestria's Royal Air Force.


    Cutie Mark: A chessboard, with numerous planted swords and spears looming over it.


    Unique Traits:


    Military Genius: While most would be puzzled how such young mare could advance in the military ranks so quickly, those in the know realize that it's due to her mind being comparable to great conquerors of the past. While most military planners specializes in either strategy or tactics, Pearla possesses intuitive understanding of both. From Grand-Strategy to Combat-Theory - all levels of military thinking are open to her. This became especially apparent during Storm King invasion, when forces under her command where one of the few that weren't completely routed - with her winning against enemy with five times more numerous enemy - an accomplishment that earned her three-rank promotion by Princesses themselves.


    Cultural Analysis: Pearlas battle plans aren't made straight from thin air. Being a single child of prospering itailian family, allowed Serale early contact with literature and arts from numerous places of the world - giving her her insight into way of thinking of different species/cultures. Once she joined the military academy, Bandoni learned to weaponize those insights, spotting the conceptual blind spots and making brilliant plans to exploit them. This made her the first cadet that became undefeated in the Academy War Games in the last three centuries.


    Charismatic Leadership: All this genius wouldn't be for much if Perla wouldn't be able to convince those serving under her to submit to her lead. Luckily for her, her ability to understands other's mind, as well as her fervent patriotism allow her to project a presence that makes others follow her to Tartarus and back.





    Character Personality:


    Character Summary:




  14. Less then a week.....it was less then the week since Esaka arrived to this new school. And the first thing she got after accustoming herself a little to her new situation was...being dragged on the field trip.


    Then again, it's not like she was told to attend any classes at first. Most of the time she spend wandering School's halls, getting herself familiar with it and the town of Ponyville.

    Normally she would dive horns first into enjoying her new surroundings...and perhaps at some level she did found it exciting. It just...everything still seemed so grey, dulled out. Just not as much as back in Neighpon....


    If only her irritation was so suppressed.Not only she was dragged on a trip she wasn't really ready for, she had to go along with the Noddle-Legs who was sitting in the same row, but across the aisle. At least she got herself busy with reading, so Homura could forget for a moment she was here. So quilin got herself busy too, just with drawing instead. The occasional bump on the tracks made it somewhat challenging, but they came in regular intervals so she adapted. So focused Homura was - both on the drafting the picture of ship engine from memory, and keeping track on the bumps - that she didn't noticed the pegasus filly until she was right in her face.

    "Eh?!" quilin vocalized her surprise, which was followed by a pregnant pause.

    "I am....I guess?" she answered finally - glancing from under her cap - although in a half-hearted way. What was this Roam city anyway? From what she recalled from history lessons in her previous schools, this place was old. Like, Kyoma old. Except less disasters. That meant it had a lot of history....but what kind of history? Did it had...Gladiators? Homura knew that some old civilizations did. Well perhaps if she eavesdropp on those three she will find out. So Esaka did just that, all the while eyeing up Hinode....

    • Like 3

  15. "Of course I am on top of things Sombra! Unseen, but always felt for centuries. And now, I am dragging out the skeletons that Celestia has keept in her closet, and bringing them home with me!" Hou bragged.

    "And how that 'nothing' attitude worked out for you so far? Four times ...." Shuren started but interrupted herself seeing that warlock was about to snarl again "....Fine, have it you way - Two times you have tested yourself against Celestia or her puppets, and two times you had your posterior hoofed to you. Making all you worked for meaningless." sorceress pointed out. She seemed really, really annoyed right now.

    "Practice your 'detachment' as you like, while the world and those withing it pass you by." Hou added scathingly. "What doesn't change, dies. I am not the same mare that was your guest at Crystal Empire, just as she wasn't the same mare, that left burning monastery behind her. And I thrived! Go ahead, be an unchanging 'monolith', one that gets buried under sands of time. And while at it, say 'Hi' to 'Extinction' from me. I plan to see it never." She raising her hoof and, surprisingly, the bonds that restrained Sombra and Twist receded!

    "Congratulations, I know when I am beat, you convinced me. This was indeed the waste of time. I am not in a mood for a 'meal' anymore." white mare said dryly before turning towards cackling Twister.

    "How cute, she thinks she's resisting." sorceress summed up pegasus fit of laughter. "Nothing is Forever? Well, then it pleases me that I will be the first..." Shuren leaned over ground-sprawled pegasus. "When sentient life will forget what Equestria or Long Guo were, I will be there. When Equinekind will leave it's cradle, and spill to the sea of stars, I will still be there. When this universe collapses unto itself and gives birth to a new one. I. Will. Be.There." unciorn said with emphasis, wearing - simply put- a terrifying expression. "Now be silent, or I will rethink skipping dinner." she ordered before focusing at Sombra once more.

    "I believe I was wrong about earlier as well...." she mused while conjuring some item from thin air. Instantaneous artifice? No, she was accessing pocket dimension of so sort. "You are a king indeed Sombra." Hou said before thwarting said item at his hooves. Bracelet? No, a crown. And not just any crown, it was.....

    "A King of Stubborness!" she announced, before her words were drowned croaking from thousand throats. As Hou took a step back, an a flock of jade-eyed ravens flew between herself, and Sombra with Tongue. When the birds were gone, so was Shuren, leaving Tongue Twister struggling with what was happening to her, and the warlock - staring at his former possession.


    Moment's later, a pillar of Rainbow light shooting into the skies could be seen, rising from the fields around Ponyville....The Darkness receded...for now.

  16. "Stop it? No. Hijack it? Yes." Hou explained, while at the same time plucking crystal shards from her flesh. "Not all of your strength is at your disposal right now, your memory might be a bit fuzzy, and you bit directionless, but I know you an pragmatical opportunist. This way of thinking is worth respecting." sorceress admitted. "At least in those moments when your pride doesn't get better of you. If you're so dismissive about everything, why were bothering going there in the first place? Not curiosity, I could see that o 'Seeker of Knowledge'." white mare said with an eye-roll "....It almost....as if you had some...obligation. Did you swore an allegiance to somepony? No, that's not how you would think about it. Mutually beneficial partnership is how you view it. A favor for a favor...and you loathe being indebted to anypony. Is that it?" Shuren guessed, before turning to a writhing mare for a moment.


    "You know, it would be a lot less unpleasant if you just give in. Then again, it's no fun if that would be the case. It makes you think about things does it? Like all the times you turned the other cheek....when instead you should break his or her legs." Hou said, putting a suggestive imaginary in Twist head. "...it's so much more...interesting on the other side little mare. Especially in the world so unbalanced, so long under tyranny of the light. What point of living safe and sorted out life...if instead you can aim at the impossible and become a legend?" sorceress said. She learned long ago that those who resisted the darkness, wouldn't be appealed by pointing out how much more easy things could become. For those like them, it was much better to highlight the challenge. Hou smiled - almost invitingly - before focusing on Sombra once more. It seems that he was having another temper tantrum.


    "You know, if didn't know you better, I would say that your stubbornness borders on idiocy. So instead I will ask you a question. Have you been living under rock Sombra?" unicorn mare said with emphasis.

    "There been witnesses. It was on the HEADLINES: 'Former Tyrant Trying to Abduct Heir to the Crystal Throne.' or 'Warlock Defeated once More, in Canterlot!'. When whole world says one thing, but you insist on your version, that doesn't sound like you're paragon of hidden truths. It sound like you living in denial." she pointed out. At the same time, she had that distinctive feeling of being watched. Not sensing anything, just having a hunch...an you don't live for over millennia without realizing when to trust you instinct....


    "And before you bring out that you 'Me don't remember such thing!'...well.... it isn't really and argument, isn't it? After all you all but admitted having memory problems. Besides, it not like things like that couldn't be induced. This reminds me of that one stallion, who conquered the nation, and then strengthened his iron rule by erasing history of how things been before his regime, from the minds of his subjects.....Oh right! THAT'S YOU!" Shuren said as coyly as she could. "Wouldn't surprise me if somepony with a grudge tried to pull some karmic retribution here." she 'theorized'. Of course she knew what was really going on, but throwing it straight to his face wouldn't be amusing at all.

    "If you not afraid of an answer you might not like, and not want to ask anypony involved, why don't visit site of your last 'defeat' Yourself? Those bonds will hold you for around fifteen more minutes. Plenty of time between my minions wrapping things up, and with Celestia and CO. coming back from their road trip." she explained before pulling out and uncorking enchanted vial from before. As if on command, her hydrargyrum started to pull itself inside. "Just don't blame me, if you end up having some 'phantom pains'." she added.

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  17. Crude. Simple.




    Hou's enchanted hydrargyrum managed to intercept first crystalline projectile - forming into liquid tentacles that caught it, slowing it to a halt. But Sombra's aim stroke true, and sorceress was forced to drop her channeling - dispensing large amounts of pure aether into the air - free for either unicorn to collect and empower their magic.

    Shuren meanwhile - in a split second - assumed a fighting stance, took a single forward, stomping step and shattered the crystal with one punch.

    Shrapnel and obsidian dust filled the air for a moment - but when they cleared out, the white mare wasn't so white anymore. Countless trails of crimson stained her coat, and her arrogant smirk was exchanged for a frown, as she picked up small shards from her body.


    "............" no quips, no mocking. Just cold, piercing stare. Worst of all, despite looking like she fought legion of angry cats, Hou seemed to be underrated.


    And then, warlock could feel it. Not from Hou, but it was her magic. Not the Heartland fields around Ponyville, at where final clash was soon to commerce. Further north...Canterlot.

    Apparently Shuren could feel that pull too, because it - and the aside glance - was all that was needed for her smirk to return with vengeance.


    "You could feel it, don't you? Well perhaps, Discord, Luna Celestia or Tirek could too with some effort....if they wouldn't be so....distracted. Unfocused." she explained, extending her hoof and lightning her horn once more. The blood on her coat started to move, crawling towards her limb without leaving a stain. It - like her enchanted mercury - formed a steadily growing ball.

    "It takes a somepony like you and me - one's attuned to their core to dark magic to feel such phenomenon at all times, and despite any distractions. Which means, right now, in all of Equestria, you're the only living thing beside me that can do so. BLOOD SUN!" sorceress suddenly cried out before hurling the sanguine sphere up and forward, where it 'exploded' , bathing the area in crimson.....


    When their sight returned, former tyrant found himself in the grip of of 'tentacles' of pure red light. One's that extended from the artificial 'sun' Hou has created. Blood magic.

    Worse yet, those bindings seemed to prevent him from assuming his shadowy form! Meanwhile the silvery blob formed into staircase, that unicorn mare descended to speak eye to eye with her restrained colleague.

    "While it's nothing ponysonal, your very presence was a spanner in my plan. I  will admit, I had to adjust it on the fly. After all, I was convinced that Princess Sparkle and her friends had You erased during confrontation at Canterlot Castle's Throne Room. Of course You will deny that such thing had place, but in this case amount of witnesses may have say otherwise." Shuren pointed out - again, with a cruel satisfaction. Sombra's thought's had to be a mess right now!


    "Regardless.....I wasn't scheduled to be present here right now. But when I saw you appear, and going straight to the place where you can interfere the most.... Well...I had to occupy you. Because - even in your sorry shape - I am the only one that could. I knew that once You sense my sorcery in Canterlot, You would hurry up to check it out. So I had to make your schedule full. With myself.....and  my talk about how much I didn't want you in Heartland." she explained.

    "But now? I won. There is nothing you can do to stop my true plan. Either of you." Hou said. As if on command, another light-tacke shoot out of Blood Sun. Up. Into the clouds, wrapping itself around Tongue Twister. Pegasus ponies may have great reflexes, but how can one dodge light? The winged mare too was bound into conversation. If either of them was paying attention, the could see the Sun beating. Like a heart. It seems three appendages - one wrapped around Twister, and two trapping former tyrant - was it's limit.


    "Clever little mare...but not clever enough. You thought you can remain unnoticed, but you can't hide a soul. I don't know how long you been there, but the moment you became agitated, your presence was revealed." Long Guo mare explained, while stroking Tongue cheek in a creepy manner.

    "That head of yours is packed to the brim with mixed thoughts. I wonder. will this make them more organized....or opposite?" Sorceress asked, while suddenly sizing pegasus head with both front hooves. Twister could feel Hou's magic - her dark corrupting magic - seeping into her mind, body and spirit, poisoning it. One could recall what she did to the plants around her without noticing.


    And then it stopped. Her magic was less intense when she was flexing' against Sombra earlier, and it couldn't be more then a second....but a cruel, horrible second regardless!

    "I think it would be enough for now. After all, the fist time can be.....pretty rough for the unexpirinced. Ufufufu!" Shuren allowed herself a small giggle.

    "Perhaps if we meet again, I will do some more work on You. But! Let's go back to the lecture at present...." she mused before addressing Sombra once more, or rather both of them.

    "I didn't lie when  told that whatever happens in Ponyvile benefits me. It is however, only a secondary objective at best. If - by some means - neither predicted scenario happens? Oh well." Hou shrugged.

    "The true jackpot, was the Canterlot Castle. Or rather, the Castle's Forbidden Library, and Celestia's hidden vault where she keeps quite....interesting collection of items. Unattended. And both opened by scrolls infused with my dark sorcery. Scrolls that I handed to my servants...." Hou leaned towards Sombra "....Another resource you desperately lack. But of course they wouldn't be good enough to stop you. Which is why I had to make you busy. Perhaps if you have turned tail, and rushed straight to Canterlot, you would have had a chance at averting my efforts. But oh, that would mean running from the fight wouldn't it? No, you too proud for that.....and I was counting on this.... You lost the moment you chose to take this fight, Sombra!" white mare said in triumphant tone.

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  18. Oh, oh! I definitely adding my character for this....

    She fulfills Action Girl/Big Guy role. Desperately needs friends to get herself from her brooding state. On the road of becoming vitriolic best-buds with Hinode above.


    Also regarding field trip target....I vote Roam. It's waaaay under-utilized for a place that's basically combination of Rome and Venice.


    If willing to go overseas, Pharaoh Vale in Saddle Arabia or Unyasi (overall) also seem like a good choices.

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  19. Hello there mates! I seek to extent my roleplaying horizons, and to do that I am seeking to develop three of my characters I am most eager to play right now: Swift Squall(Duh!), Homura Esaka and of course Hou Shuren. To do that U wish to establish new relationships. Without further ado....


    Swift Squall:

    Apprentice - While he doesn't believe he surpassed his teacher yet in the way of the sword, Swift finally feels confident enough to find student of his own. Preferably non-adult and pony or quilin.


    House-staff - Swift has perpetual problem of not having enough hired staff for his enormous estate. As such he is desperate to hire even....very quirky characters.


    Personal assistant - Swift is a very busy pony, and his last secratary retired due to getting married. He seeks someone no-nonsense, who also wouldn't be a yes-pony. Species doesn't matter.


    Old Acquaintance - Squall used to be sellsword, and thus came to know many mercenaries/ bounty hunters. Perhaps one of the has taken contract on him, or seeks to recruit 'Emerald Flash' for one more job?


    Old Foe - Noblepony kicked the butts of numerous bandits, criminals and pirates back in the day! It seems logical that more then one would bear a grudge!


    Homura Esaka:

    New Friends - This one is no brainer. As a new transfer student Esaka lack any kind of buddies at her new school. Perhaps if she had any, she could come out of that brooding shell she build around herself?


    Grandfather - Living legend of Neighponese martial arts, you definitely don't want to get on the lawn of this gramps! Homura absolutely adores him, and wishes to learn more from him. Previously their contact was limited due to her control-freak of the father, but perhaps now they can make up for the lost time?


    Mentor/Favorite Teacher - The one teacher in School of Friendship that can show Esaka, that while punching jerks may work, it doesn't have to be only answer.


    New Rival - When you marital artist, that want someone near who will motivate you to surpass yourself. But will it be a friendly or ugly kind or rivalry?


    Hou Shuren:


    No. 1 Henchmen - Sorceress may have countless servants around the globe, but there is the one who is more loyal and competent above all others. More then just the henchmen she or he is Hou's trusted confidant and the closest thing she has to a friend.


    Inigo Montoya Expy - Shuren hurt a lot of creatures through the centuries. A LOT of creatures. One of them survived sorceress monstrous deeds, and this avenger will not rest until he/she have her revenge.


    The Other of Seven - Hou is member of Seven Shadows - a council of powerful dark magic users dedicated to advance their craft, and ensure is survives in the world. Those enigmatic figures are one of the few that she treats as her equals. With the forces of darkness in the defensive, only by sticking together they can push against the tyranny of light. Not all seats are taken at he moment, which gives the chance for young warlock/witch a chance to join his exclusive club.


    While those is ideas that I came up with for now, I am more then willing to try other things! So feel free to surprise me with some of your own! Wherever here or thorough PM, I am always listening.


  20. LQB 2 : The Quickening!


    Continuing numbering from the last time....


    40) Submarines! Invented yet or not?

    41) Equestria's Air Force. Who's the top dog? Wonderbolts?

    42) Time travel. how restricted it is?

    43) Are we allowed to discover/rediscover more dimensional mirrors besides one in Castle of Friendship?

    44) Equestria Games seem restricted to...well...Equestria (and Saddle Arabia somehow. Perhaps it's like Australia's participation in Eurovision?). Can it be possible to organize similar even but worldwide. You know, FiM version of Olympics.

    45) Where on u map Abyssinia supposed to be? The part we saw seemed pretty desert-like. South of Saddle Arabia?

    46) How big environmental changes we are allowed to make? Can group of  determinated players to create something akin to - I dunno - Aral Sea in the middle of Painted Pinto for example?

    47) Can we expect a bio of Dragon King Faba?

    48) Can it be possible for Equestria to acquire any overseas territories beyond Long Kong?

  21. "I guess....it would look good on your resume. Although, I guess it's already impressive enough event without such feat." Squall mused, when Applejack expressed interest in taking on an impossible task of teaching cooking to a spirit. Noblepony was pretty sure that Bubble wasn't a poltergeist kind of ghost....but then again, who knows? It's not like he consulted and kind of exorcist or spirit medium...


    "Perhaps it will change with Sparkle getting in charge..." unicorn mused while looking outside, when the farm-mare mentioned lack of competence of the current weather team. The heavy raining outside encouraged reflection, and Miss Applejack already proved herself a good listener.

    "...I think the lack of quality control is because Weather Maintenance is seen as dead-end job by most of the populace. Because every pegasi - better or worse, but still - can do it, it viewed as nothing special, a janitor level job. Thus, it is undertaken by those ponies who's special talent isn't one to bring coin, or one's who can't capitalize on theirs. - instead of those that could genuinely be good at it." Squall theorized "If I recall Miss Rainbow too was stuck on it, because despite being incredibly talented flier, she lacked proper work ethic and discipline to really reach out for her dream career - at least until the positive influence of your group made her change for the better, isn't it?" he asked his host.


    "I bet diamonds against coconuts that Twilight will thoroughly restructure the whole system in the next five years. Starting with raising overall pay. The way it is now, is way too low, especially for a work that can be high risk at times. They should receive the same amount of respect as firefighter or police force do." Squall expressed, showing a surprising levels of empathy before turning to Applejack.

    "While both taming and maintaining the land may be arduous, I have a feeling you wouldn't have it any other way. No challenge equals no satisfaction....and Me, You and your Marefriend are not so different regard." Squallcoast observed, while detaching his sheathed blade for a moment. "Even if challenges we seek are dissimiliar, the rewards are only sweet when there is an effort put into reaching out for them - regardless of the paths we chose."


    Miss Applejack already have shown professionalism by being willing to travel to Filly all on her own. However....

    "It does, but don't bother with the train. I will borrow the fields around School of Friendship, just as I did last winter with Sparkle and pick you up with...Well I want to say 'airship' but I guess it doesn't qualify as one." Swift explained.

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