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DerpRavener last won the day on October 28 2015

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About DerpRavener

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    Philosophical Changeling

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    Gaming, game design, philosophy, logic. A little writing on the side.

    Oh yes, also changelings. I love changelings.

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  • Character 2
  • Character 3
    Slim Chance
  • Character 4

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  1. It was over, they'd made it through the illusion, or pocket dimension or whatever it was. The doll was captured, Slim Chance was happy to let it be Discord's problem rather than hers when the spirit took it from her, and they'd resolved whatever scenario they'd found themselves in, even if Slim Chance didn't understand what they'd solved or how they had solved it. Although apparently solving it wasn't the end as the 'bubble', or whatever it was, began to collapse around them with a sound which made Slim think of grinding glass, leaving just a light a little ways away. Discord summoned up a walkway for them, just in the nick of time as the ground itself cracked and faded into oblivion! Slim Chance galloped despite the injury to her leg, the adrenaline and the urgency of the situation proving more immediate. After several tense seconds, and a leap toward the end, they made it! Though, the world on the other side was little more welcoming than where they just came from. They'd arrived in the interior of a building, or at least what used to be one. It was more of a shell now, existing in crumbling fragments of what was once surely a cozy structure. Now it was wide open to the elements, and snow covered what should have been the floor. Slim chance had to tell this from the feel of it against her hooves as she limped around, as the moon was the only thing giving them a meager light. The streets themselves were dark. “I hope not,” came Slim Chance's grim reply, “I'd hate for this to be what happens to the city.” While she didn't like the idea, she'd much rather be stuck far from home but know that home was safe, than to go home only to discover that this is all that's left. Slim Chance had to focus on the short term for the moment though. She remedied the darkness and the cold at once, by casting a quick fire spell from her horn. As long as she maintained it, it should provide a pleasant glow in this dark place, and a measure of warmth. She limped around the space, searching for means to make a proper fire, means to treat her wounds, or simply surveying the area, in no particular order. The first thing she found was a rusted iron gate, seeming to wall them in, although a tentative push showed that perhaps it would be able to easy enough to knock down with a little thought or effort. They would have plenty of time for that later though. Tomorrow, perhaps. Slim Chance turned back and started to search for something which could serve as shelter, when she saw it. A bright orange cone, scuffed in places but overall intact. What's more, when she looked closer she saw there were visible hoofprints surrounding it, which would have been fresh if not for the freshly falling slow. Slim Chance froze in place, for the moment uncomprehending.
  2. I think the character is improved, at least in terms of how they function. There's at least the potential to catch her when she's relatively weak, for a character with enough luck or planning. I'm still not a huge fan of how capable she is without her powers, as it seems pretty random/difficult to remove them for how capable she still is, and thus how little one actually gains for it. But maybe that works for your intended use for her. Again, if your goal is to have her be a sort of end boss or looming, somewhat distant threat I think she'll work. Maybe it's just a question of how vaguely certain aspects are defined. When it says she takes more time and alcohol to recover from obliteration, what's the scale? Is it worth actually fighting her now (if she's well stocked) because you can force her to take a few days to recover, or would that just change it from say, one second to ten seconds or a minute? This ends up being the big question for me, as the answer determines whether or not there would be a point in trying to fight her, and thus whether or not it would be worth sending any of my characters against her. Related question, how much can she do in ghost form, and what's the time scale for swapping between it and flesh and blood? Minutes, seconds, instant? In theory one could wear her down until her powers run out, and then she can be hurt like anyone else. I would prefer if she could actually be harmed by magic/magic-like energy though, while as described it still says she can't actually take damage that way. The way it reads to me, in order for any of my current heroes to reasonably fight her long term, I would need to invoke some sort of eldritch energy works around her immunities to make combat a reasonable prospect. Though that is just my perspective on it.
  3. Naj only half understood Wordsworth's response. This was common with things the stallion said, so much so that she'd gotten used to it, and didn't show more confusion that smiling and slightly shaking her head. What she did pick up somehow meshed that banter could be both agreement and lighthearted mockery, with the idea that the family here could use some extra humour after...something. Naj had faith that her friend was making sense, if only one had the ability to discern what he was getting at. Sadly, yet again that one was not her. As the group was offered food Naj resisted having more than a small sample of of the food when offered, and entirely avoided the wine. Setting aside the fact her dietary needs were distinct from what was on offer, she took her role as a guard seriously. Even if it had been largely a favour to allow her to see the country, she wasn't about to do a disservice to the position by getting inebriated or distracted by flavour. For similar reasons, she payed only passing attention to the conversation about wines, although it was also because she wouldn't have much to add. With a little perseverance, Naj was able to get Caramel's attention. As she'd hoped, the filly did remember the disguised changeling, and fondly. What she wasn't expecting was that the filly would get so excited as to launch into a hug. It caught Naj off-guard, and it somewhat broke her airs as a guard when she laughed and wrapped a hoof around the filly's shoulders in turn. This apparently made Feather Touch concerned though. Was that a hint of anxiety Naj was picking up? She supposed it was fair to be concerned that the foal knew a royal guard, even if she'd hoped her own relaxed attitude would set the pegasus at ease. In that case, Naj decided she'd do so herself. “Not from wearing the armour, I assure you.” As she released Caramel from the hug, she used her now free hoof to motion waving away the concern. “I happened to find her and her father while they were playing music in Stalliongrad. I don't remember making quite this impression, but I'll never say no being seen as a friend.”
  4. "They say this is where moons circle overhead like vultures.
    They say this is where fish walk the land and ponies swim the seas.
    They say this is where Celestia fell to Equus."

  5. It took Slim Chance a few seconds to realize she wasn't being pursued anymore. She made it a short distance away, before she finally noticed that Cerberus wasn't chasing after her any more. She stopped, and listened. The distinctive thumps of the canine's paws hitting the ground could no longer be heard. Though something could, even if the unicorn couldn't quite make out the noise. The combination of lack of immediate danger and a possible development was enough to get her to turn around, even if she was injured. Slim Chance crept back in the direction she came, and froze when she saw it. Discord was talking to...someone. Or was that something? She wasn't sure, though she supposed the difference was semantic in this case. When it came to ephemeral figures floating in night, what they qualified as wasn't high on the list of immediate concerns. She couldn't make out anything it was saying, its speech coming out muffled, like a crowd talking among themselves. She didn't dare move, already worried her intrusion might shatter the moment. Speaking of ruining moments, she wasn't the only one creeping about the sidelines. Slim Chance noticed the doll, it too having recovered from it's escape, and now creeping up on it's creator. She didn't know what the doll wanted to do, and for the briefest of moments was tempted to find out, but she wasn't going to let this opportunity slip by. She pulled one of the rules from her backpack. It was a shame to use it this way, but that was something to worry when the situation was a little more normal. She took aim...carefully...carefully...and let fly! A miss. The rune sailed over the head of the doll, and landed with a dull thump on the tree a little ways away from the three of them. The doll looked up, freezing in place for a moment as it searched for where the projectile had come from. It spotted Slim Chance. Just in time for Slim's next toss, which landed square in the chest of now-upright doll. The was a large crack of energy, arcing between the rune and the doll, before the latter was sent flying into the tree itself, stunned. Slim Chance wasn't going to let it get away. She was slowed down by her limp, grunting as she tried to gallop over, but the doll was thoroughly stunned. It was just barely starting to move again when she made it over, and stomped a hoof on top of it. It squirmed, until she held up the rune plate she'd recovered on her way over, and smacking it once for good measure. “That's for stealing my knife!” It was done, she'd caught the damnable thing. She took a moment to pull the other rune out of the tree, then let out a ragged breath of relief. And only then did Slim Chance look around, and notice the trees. Were they still trees? She could swear they were trees just moments ago. Now they were...blurry. She really wished she could have approached this a little better rested. This was giving her a headache. She looked to Discord, finally noticing him once again. “ do we do now?”
  6. The buffalo did not take up Naj's offer of assistance, instead only requesting that she stay safe. Naj felt a little bad, being unable to repay them for their help with the search. But she supposed it was just as well, the longer the spend on side tasks the longer it would take to find Flashfire, and the more likely it was for a catastrophe of some kind to occur. There were a few curious looks from the buffalo as well, but that was nothing she wasn't used to. In fact, it was one of her preferred reactions to her natural form, as these things went. "I'll do my best," she said. After a moment, she grinned and added, "and don't worry about me, I've been through worse." In other circumstances she might have liked to stick around to answer questions, but she did have a job to do. Perhaps she could revisit the desert at some point. She took one last look at the bundle she was given, before buzzing into the air and following after Dawnguard back to the cart. As Naj returned to the cart, through the air this time as she wasn't concerned about being spotted. The buffalo had proven not to be hostile, and they'd run off the only things which had thus far attacked them, so she felt safe enough to fly back. And just in time apparently, as Cryo was just asking what they found. “Flashfire definitely came this way.” She presented the bundle for a moment, giving Cryo and Dawnguard a moment to look before she made for the cart. “The buffalo thought he seemed alright. Or at least, as alright as a stallion who walks into the desert blindfolded can be.” She took a moment to set the items inside, before coming back. “They didn't follow him though, so I couldn't say what he's doing now.” Naj sat down next to the other two. “We've got a choice to make. I think we've still got a few hours before sunrise. We could probably get a few hours travel in. Or we could break for tonight and get a well-rested start tomorrow night.” Naj of course could keep going, but then she'd had a smaller role in the fight then the other two had, so she wanted to hear what her companions wanted. “What do you guys think?”
  7. Name: Grim Solace Sex: Male Age: Middle aged Species: Earth Pony Eye colour: Purple Coat: Dark Grey Mane and tail: Forest Green Physique: Physically Fit Residence: No set residence Occupation: Necromancer Cutie Mark: A wisp ascending to the sky. Grim Solace’s start in exploring necromancy began at a young age. One would think that a funeral home would be a dull place of work, and for the most part one would be right. But caring for the dead isn’t without the occasional hazard. One ‘patron’ wasn’t quite ready to leave, and resulted in a haunting. Furniture was thrown around the room, and for a time the funeral home was rendered unusual. Grim Solace was afraid, but also curious. What would drive a pony to cling to the world like this? He braved the room and tried to ask…only to be repelled like everypony else. But he was not deterred. He returned to the room, and while no longer willing to converse with the spirit, he was able to observe it. Creeping around the building, he was able to follow it and listen to it’s mutterings. He discovered that in life it had a beloved pet, and was driving itself mad worrying about what would happen to the pet cat now that the spirit had passed on. Now armed with with the knowledge, he tracked down the ghost’s cat, and returned to the funeral home. When Grim Solace promised to care for the animal, the spirit was calmed enough to move on. That was the day Grim Solace discovered his talent for interacting with and calming the deceased, or those close to them. Unique traits: Grim Solace has a talent for interacting with spirits. As well as the more conventional uses of speaking to or banishing the spirits of the dead, he has also convinced a few particularly helpful spirits to travel with him and assist him on his journeys. As a part of his study in necromancy, he has also picked up a talent for potion making, including the ability to identify commonly useful herbs, and the ability to make potions with various effects relative to spirits as well as a number of useful medical salves and potions. Grim Solace is also physically fit, and has a modest hoof-to-hoof combat ability. He’s no master martial artists, but in his travels he’s found that he can’t rely solely on his understanding of spirits to protect himself and learned accordingly. History: Grim Solace’s parents ran a funeral home, which had been in the family for a few generations. They saw it as sombre but important work. The young Grim Solace took this attitude to heart, and assisted his parents with the running of the business. Doing so gave him a unique appreciation to the effects of a pony passing on, as well as acclimatizing him to the emotions surrounding such events. As he grew up however, Grim Solace grew more and more curious. Beginning with the even where he earned his cutie mark, he grew more and more interested in death and the things surrounding it. Furthermore, being in the most rebellious time of growing up, he had a particular attraction to for forbidden and frowned upon. He began pursuing the skills and knowledge of necromancy. Progress was slow, but Grim Solace persevered, until he eventually found a knowledgeable stallion who could teach him. He lost touch with his family during this time, having followed his new mentor abroad. Grim Solace learned much from his mentor, but over time he came to have philosophical disagreements. The mentor was closer to what many think of as the stereotypical necromancer, consorting with the dead to gain strength at the cost of one’s soul and morality. Solace however wanted to understand the dead, to learn more about what was essentially his family’s longtime purpose, and to help those who most needed it. They began to argue with each other about whether necromancy should be used for furthering oneself or helping the spirits one encounters. Eventually they came to blows, and while Grim Solace was far less experienced, he was able to use his former mentor’s arrogance against him. The mentor was slain, and Solace made sure he would not return.. In the aftermath of losing his mentor, Grim Solace felt aimless. He had learned enough to continue on his own, but the loss of a stable source of instruction meant he was no longer certain what to do with himself. He began to reach out to his family, reconnecting to them through a series of letters, but he was not ready to actually face them by returning home. Instead he began to wander Equestria, chasing down stories of lost or suffering spirits and alleviating their suffering. Amidst his wanderings Grim Solace has reconnected with his family. While the combination of a regret over past actions and a drive to keep helping spirits prevent him from returning home for long, he is welcome there. He makes a point to visit when he’s in town, and is welcome to rest if he needs time to recover after a particularly harrowing journey. Lately Grim Solace has developed something of a rivalry with the caribou of Whitescar, Their own attitude toward necromancy has created what is in his mind an unreasonable number of unresolved spirits, which Solace has taken it upon himself to assist and send on their way. Personality/Summary: Grim Solace is generally speaking a serious pony, and often comes across as cold. He is not as uncaring as his first impression would imply, but he is not very outgoing. He is very quiet, preferring a few words of great impact over more regular speech. He cares about others, and tries his best to help but he’s only one pony, and often finds his attentions divided between the living and the dead. Grim Solace takes a patient approach to challenges. He prefers to wait and watch, then use that information to act precisely. He applies this mindset to combat, as well as puzzles and other challenges.
  8. “Awfully busy for a abandoned castle, don't you think?” While Applejack had been galloping around making preparations, it had been easy enough for the grey pegasus to keep hidden a respectable distance away. Now that she had stopped though, and was properly paying attention, it was only a matter of time before he was spotted. Granted, he might have had some success if he tried his hardest to stay hidden, but that would require him to make himself completely still and intert and such an approach seemed neither particularly useful or interesting. And so, seemingly perched lazily on a rafter in the room Applejack had chosen to situate herself, the pegasus had announced his presence. “Left alone for centuries, only for several ponies to show up all on the same day. And was that Princess Celestia I saw you coming it with?” Off in the distance, the distant trudging of several armoured hooves could be heard progressing through the forest. Several shapes emerged from the woods, resolving themselves into a loose column of ponies. They carried wildly varying sets of peculiar looking blue armour. No two really looked alike, but they did seem to have a couple general categories. There were those with bulky armour, inscribed with runes or given other attachments. They carried heavy melee weapons, such as pole-arms or hammers, a few of which had improvements of their own. The second sort wore reduced armour by comparison, but each wielded a bizarre, arcane weapon. They spread out into rough rows, with the the more heavily armoured advancing ahead of their ranged-combatant allies. The view was limited through the windows, but the sound of armoured ponies on the move and the hum of the strange weapons they carried were obvious. The pegasus grinned. “Looks like we won't have long to chat. I'm sure we both have our reasons for being here, and I can't imagine they,” he nodded in the direction of the advancing ponies in the distance, “will make our tasks any easier.” He stood, flapped his wings once and began an ascent to the higher levels of the structure.
  9. Naj's face fell slightly when Wordsworth stated that he wouldn't have made the same choice, but her expression changed to amused when when he suggested that Naj had the stronger sense of self preservation. “So,” she replied with a grin, “are you agreeing or making fun of me?” All the same, it was comforting that he didn't think she'd made a serious mistake. Her grin gave way to more somber expression. “I appreciate the vote of confidence, though.” Naj remained silent as Wordsworth addressed Stormstride herself, and the disguised changeling's attention was brought back to the present event. Wordsworth began one of his typical, verbose greetings though was cut of by Blueblood, to Naj's amusement, though the only outward sign was a smile. She mostly tuned out the following conversation which concerned things she didn't have a whole lot of experience in. The group was led deeper into the keep, to a door that, when opened caused a pleasant aroma to waft out. The stallion inside, the husband-to-be, explained that he'd been working on a new scent, though only after being mildly chastised by his fiance for working when he didn't need to. The pegasus greeted the group, although as he addressed his greeting to the 'lords' Naj wasn't sure if she should respond or not. If noticed, she would nod in turn. A little filly arrived, wearing a small pendant proclaiming that she was deaf, and offered to lead them to where the wedding was set to happen. Naj watching the filly for a moment, with a thoughtful expression. She could swear she knew that filly from somewhere, but she wasn't quite placing it... “Caramel?” She could just barely remember the deaf filly she met in Stalliongrad some time ago, travelling with musician. Remembering that the filly was deaf, and what that mean, Naj waiting until Caramel was looking her direction before trying again. She grinned. “Caramel!”
  10. Discord called out that the idea wasn't his. Slim Chance, from her perch up in the tree, lightly bit her lip. She wanted to call back to him, that it must be a first for him to not be the cause of something crazy. But with effort she held her tongue. Her plan would work much better with the element of surprise, and that would require Discord's comment to go unanswered. Slim Chance had asked Discord to distract Cerberus. At first, she didn't understand what he was doing in response to that, although she had it to admit it was nothing if not distraction. He'd materialized a large bow, as well as a vest and hat that to Slim Chance had nothing to do with archery. He also seemed to be missing his arrow. Slim Chance couldn't decide which was more strange. Undeterred, Discord let fly with his lack of arrow anyways, and it seemed to have the desired effect. Cerberus skidded to a halt. Though it wasn't quite ideal, as the large canine was several trees away from Slim's perch. Fortunately she was able to spot this state of affairs when she did, and had just enough time to start scrambling and across the branches. She had to line up her jump on the fly, stumbling once or twice and almost losing concentration on her grip spell, but she didn't dare slow down. Fortunately Cerberus was too shocked to notice the branches she broke off, and when she was close enough and Cerberus was approximately beneath her, Slim Chance leapt. She landed on the creature's back with a heavy thud, reactivating her spell to cling to it's side. Though the spell was strained almost to it's limits when Cerberus whirled around looking for whatever hit it from behind, causing both Slim and the doll to need their full attention just to hang on. Cerberus calmed down for just a moment when his efforts failed to dislodge either of the things attached to it. Slim Chance saw the opportunity and took it, charging across Cerberus' back at the doll. It was still orienting itself when she reached it, and lunged at the reins. She missed, but clipped the doll, and they both tumbled down to the ground. The doll rolled away, stood up and pulled the knife out of a scabbard (which hadn't been there the last time Slim Chance had looked) off it's back, and pointed the blade at the unicorn. As Slim Chance stood up she spotted the knife, and for a brief moment froze in place. She knew that knife. “Hey!” she shouted, “I bought that, it's mine!” She immediately wrapped the knife in her aura, and tried to pull it away from the doll which struggled to keep hold of it in turn. A growl brought a pause to the tug-o-war. In the heat of the moment both had forgotten where they were, and only now remembered that there was an angry, three-headed canine mere hoofsteps away. For a moment, everything stood still. Cerberus lunged. The doll abandoned the knife to Slim Chance's grip as it darted away, just barely dodging the dog's attack. Slim Chance wasn't quite so lucky. She was able to dodge the crushing jaws, but she was clipped by its paws, which sent her tumbling deeper into the woods, as Cerberus itself crashed into a tree. Slim Chance staggered upright, clutching her side. She had only a moment before Cerberus would recover, which she used to gather the knife into her telekinesis once again, and then she staggered away.
  11. Naj said nothing but reacted with a pained smile when Dawnguard assured her that he wasn't making enemies of the buffalo. She would never have thought he would be attacking them in the first place, her concern was more from knowing what an overeager soldier could get themselves into. Still, they seemed to be getting along pretty well, and so the pained smile was soon replaced by one a little more genuine. Dawnguard turned to confirm a time with the buffalo before asking Naj what their other companion was up to. “Yeah,” Naj replied, “Someone had to make sure the cart was safe, and he volunteered.” The buffalo didn't react to Naj's appearance with anything more than apparent mild curiosity. The changeling could only guess as to why this was: maybe they were more open-minded about strange creatures than Equestrians, or maybe it was just a matter of not having suffered a massive attack like the ones at Canterlot and Ponyville. Regardless of the reason, Naj felt fortunate that they didn't mind her presence, and approached in time to hear their response to Dawnguard's latest inquiries. She took a seat by the fire, borrowing it's warmth for a bit. The buffalo described Flashfire like they would an ailing beast, though by the sound of things it was more mental than physical. It could complicate things, but no more than they already were. Naj was already something was amiss about the stallion, as it took a special kind of pony to go wandering out into the desert the way her quarry did. One of the buffalo left the campfire for a moment, returning with a small bundle, which he said was traded by Flashfire for supplies. The first casualties of the journey, Naj supposed. Or at least, she hoped they were the first. Either way, it seemed a good sign that he had sufficient presence of mind to make trades, even if it didn't necessarily help in finding him. Naj took the offered bundle and looked hard at it, as though the whole story would reveal itself if she just stared hard enough. It didn't, though it was a curious set. She could see why these items would be traded away, as none would be much use in the desert, though on that basis she had to wonder why the buffalo would accept them. They seemed helpful, so maybe Flashfire had simply insisted on giving something in return? Finally, the buffalo explained that about the symbols they made to guide travellers to safe or useful parts of the desert. When they had finished, Naj bowed her head. “Thank you,” she said, before lifting her head back up, “this will be most helpful to us. Let us know if there is something, within our means, we can do for you in turn.” It only seemed fair to at least offer, even if she doubted there was anything the three of them could reasonably do for the natives of the area. Naj felt they had found everything there was to find relevant to their mission, but as she was standing up to head back, a thought struck her. Something didn't add up. Flashfire as described was honourable to the point of madness, evidenced in everything she'd seen except one. In the letter he'd originally sent, he'd asked for reinforcements. If he was trying to leave civilization, why would he do that? She paused, and looked to the buffalo. “Say, how often to you see ponies in the deeper parts of the desert?”
  12. That was it, An Xiang had the Empress' backing. She knew that in some respects, such a sweeping-sonding degree was less significant than it first sounded. As with anything at court, there was a heavy degree protocol and expectation at play, and when one reflected on it many aspects were things which already fell under the chancellor's responsibility and therefore authority. That wasn't to say it was meaningless either however. The Empress always had a choice, and this declaration indicated a trust in her Chancellor's ability to solve this problem. An Xiang felt validated. Bringing this up had been the right choice. The Empress was made aware of the goings on of her empire, even if her direct intervention had not been required. The Empress decided to trust An Xiang's judgement entirely in this regard, rather than make a recommendation on a course of action. And the compensation for afflicted farmers, as well as being the most noble choice, could be leveraged to mitigate any panic as well. The chancellor bowed deeply. “Thank you, your highness. I will being addressing the matter immediately.” The Empress asked An Xiang if she had any further matters which demanded attention from the court, to which the chancellor shook her head. “No your highness, all of my other responsibilities are in order.” Technically a bit of an oversimplification, but there was nothing outside the typical concerns of someone in An Xiang's position. Certainly nothing for the empress to be concerned with. She figuratively stepped back, allowing another minister to address the court.
  13. After explaining why he made the cursed doll, which was a dangerous combination of curiosity and boredom particularly in such a being, Discord theorized that the doll was working off of his own memories implanted in it. As his only memory of this place, or at least the one it was supposed to represent, was of practising magic that could be just about anything. Slim Chance wanted to inquire further, either to try to jog Discord's memory or so that she had a little more information to work with, but by the sound of things that line of inquiry wouldn't bear any fruit. Slim Chance didn't have to ponder the issue for long. The thunderous sound of the pawfalls of a large creature, initially distant and but rapidly getting closer, quickly took all of her attention. She paused, as Cerberus stomped into view, with a crude muzzle fastened around it's head and the cursed doll riding on its back. Given the snarling, Slim Chance could only assume it was none to pleased with the current state of things. “What are the odds...” she muttered to herself, and then laughed nervously. Discord as always was ready with a strange, tangentially related remark. Slim Chance wanted to inquire further, but Cerberus gave them no more time, and charged. Slim Chance got moving just in time, darting out of the way just as the muzzle came crashing into the dirt right where she had been standing. The muzzle prevented its jaws from opening, but the impact alone would more than do the job should Cerberus land an attack. Slim Chance didn't have time to look back, and thus could neither keep track of the creature or check on her companion. Though admittedly she wasn't too worried about the latter, as the relatively ordinary pony she would be in far more danger than the chaos spirit. After weaving through the trees for close to a minute, Slim Chance heard Cerberus' paws grow a little more distant, and a little slower paced. She'd gained some ground, and while it wouldn't last long it would be enough. Slowing down to a jog herself gave her an easier time casting a quick spell on herself, and a moment later she ran straight up the nearest tree, the spider-climb spell keeping her adhered to the bark in a way no hooves could ordinarily manage. Slim Chance stopped at a high branch, finally taking a breather and thinking, hoping that Cerberus couldn't climb. It seemed to work, for the moment at least. Cerberus could still be heard running around the base of the trees, but she had at least a moment before the oversized canine picked up on her location. With her moment to thing, she came up with an idea. It was a terrible idea, but she had a knack for terrible ideas, and making them work. If the source of Cerberus' aggression was the doll riding it, knocking the doll off would hopefully help calm him down. Failing that, it would at least make an extra target to further divide the canine's attention. Slim Chance was pretty sure she'd need Discord's help to pull it off though, and she'd lost track of him in the chaos. She smiled at that, here they were it what was supposed to be his element and yet he didn't seem to know what to do. But no matter, now Slim needed him. She called out as loud as she dared, which worked out to a stage whisper. “Discord! I have an idea, but I'll need help to make it work!”
  14. It had been some time since Naj had done any sort of wandering. She still travelled around of course, but much of that was on 'official business' in some capacity or another. It reminded her of a time before she'd met her fiancee, and while for the most part she'd be happier forgetting such a time, travelling was the one part she remembered fondly. She was able to see and learn so much, and meet so many new and interesting ponies! So when a good friend of hers mentioned that he'd been invited to a wedding in a foreign land, and that he was allowed to bring one more, Naj jumped at the chance. After making sure he didn't have anyone else to bring, of course. Naj had decided to use a disguise for the trip, at least to begin with. She was tempted to go without, as she had one time before, but that was in more familiar company. Now she was going to distant Kastrot, and she had no idea what their experiences with changelings had been. Even if she did thing in the long term more exposure of her natural form was better, this was a wedding. It might be in poor taste, and even if it wasn't she didn't want to risk tarnishing the wedding by showing up as something frightening. So Naj was walking around in her typical disguise, of a black pegasus with a short, pale blue mane. For the wedding itself she'd contemplated pulling out her Gala dress, even if she didn't know how appropriate it was, on the basis that it was the only dress she owned. In the end she decided against it, decided to borrow a set of REA parade armour instead. She'd heard that the bride-to-be was formerly a military pony, and so maybe would appreciate it, as well as seeming a little more true to Naj herself. Arriving at the location of the wedding itself, Naj was initially keeping quiet and out of the way. She was here as a guest of a guest, rather than someone who actually knew the couple, and so she wouldn't be doing a lot of talking until she was addressed. She stood by as Blueblood and Wordsworth made their greetings. She followed her friend's example, or at least half of it, and gave a wordless bow to the lady of the castle. Though when they started moving further into the keep, Naj would walk beside Wordsworth and whisper a question. “Was it the right idea to come in disguise?”
  15. The empress asked further questions! Perhaps a minor point in some ways, but it meant that An Xiang's choice to bring up the matter had been the correct one. Which she knew to be the case, but being able to predict something and actually experiencing it were two different things. She was caught slightly off guard that the empress would take such a personal interest in the matter, but she only hesitated for a moment. She had prepared for this. The questions asked were very straightforward, essentially 'what does it do' and 'what will it take to stop it'. Both good questions, but as is the case with such things answering them was proving more complicated. Unfortunately, An Xiang herself did not have full answers yet. “The reports are still coming in, I'm afraid. From what has been collected so far, it seems the symptoms aren't immediately apparent when a crop is afflicted, which makes answers difficult to find.” She swallowed. 'I don't have an answer yet' wasn't really a good response in this context. “I intend investigate personally, provided that doesn't interfere with my usual duties. Though I am a little conflicted, I would rather avoid a panic caused by spreading word of an unknown disease...” She trailed off, not quite sure how to finish the question, but she'd welcome any advice on the matter. Of course, if none was forthcoming, An Xiang would find a solution herself.