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Zeig last won the day on August 20

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About Zeig

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    Punny Punisher

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  • Main Character
  • Character 2
    Rakuen Ryuichi
  • Character 3
    Dēnglong Xiu
  • Character 4
    Lián Mei

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  1. What, we don't need moth ponies, there's no reason to start including fandom made species, come on now. *glances at picture* SO HEY, I was thinking, 'ya know, moth ponies, we should totally have them, I mean they're really just a subspecies of Changelings right? Right?! -steals-
  2. From the album OC Art

    I'd always wanted to draw a MLP-style european unicorn, because I've always liked the look of them (deer-like, lion's tail, etc). Plus, a discussion in one of the Discord's chatrooms got me wondering if I could manage to color "oil spill" hair, which is basically a color palette meant to mimic an oil spill. Those two ideas eventually led me to sketch and then color out this design. Killing two birds with one creative stone! Overall I like how she came out, especially considering I was kind of experimenting with both the bodily design and the color design. She might end up on that theoretical list of OCs for adoption that I've always meant to put up, since I have no immediate ideas or plans for her. On the other hand, I do like how she turned out, so I might end up apping herself. For...something or other, I'm sure.
  3. Ryuichi was mere seconds away from doing his very best to impersonate a Shogun-esque starfish against Sandā. Ryuichi was aware that he should have been vaguely concerned about this fact. Ryuichi was more aware, however, of the grey and gold figure that suddenly made its entrance into the room without being tackled by the guards standing vigilant outside the doorway, meaning said figure had to be someone he knew well. Or, a pony that someone else knew well, Ryuichi briefly thought as he cast a somewhat surly look towards his traitorous brother and his traitorous friendship with a traitorous golem trainer...which was treason. Probably. Somewhere in the annuls of Shogunate history, there was a rule about knowing golem trainers without the express knowledge of the Shogun, Ryuichi was thirty-six percent sure of it. "Aegis," the Ryuma greeted warmly once the grey and gold figure identified itself as one Ambassador of Neighpon, arriving late to the festivities but looking as cheerful as ever. "Think nothing of it," he proclaimed, waving a magnanimous hoof through the air as he sat himself upright on the sofa, no longer threatening to fall straight on top of Sandā, "you've arrived in good time. Please, help yourself to the sake, the sushi, the..." a brief wave of his hoof through the air, "everything else." There. Ought to cover all the basics well enough. Even those basics knowledges that a Shogun was to be made aware of when foreign guests were wandering the Palace Castle. "Never," the Shogun of Neighpon exclaimed, holding a hoof against his chest in good faith, "would I have dreamt of intruding on you and your beloved's moment under the cherry blossoms." He had plenty of Vanguard to do the intruding for him, after all. "A toast to your fair Mei! When can we expect an invitation to the wedding?" Ryuichi stated, then asked, and followed both with a liberal gulp from his sake cup. He was not so deep in his cup to start waxing poetic on the taste of Mei like some Caribou were wont to do, after all. Gently inspired to be a bit freer with his thoughts...maybe. But not completely and utterly out of his mind, no. A Shogun could not afford to do that even in the company of good friends and trusted advisors. A lonely bedroom was a far better place for it. He'd have to remember to order extra sake to bring back to the Palace Castle. Shirogane finished up her song then, and Ryuichi lazily watched the Pegasus step down from the stand to make way for Ishi, who began a song that...did the opposite of making him want to tap his hoof and bob his head and seemed entirely unfitting for a karaoke bar in the middle of the pleasure district of Polohama. He hadn't even known that the Pony Pulse had these sort of, Caribou Viking-esque songs to sing to. If he'd been any other pony, Ryuichi might have been tempted to make a face - as it was, he merely raised an eyebrow as he cast a glance over towards their Caribou visitor, who was also hovering close to the stage and scrolling through the song list in order to prepare for his song. Apparently Ishi was attempting to make Lími feel more at home inside the Pony Pulse, though Ryuichi was fairly certain said Caribou was too out of it to properly appreciate the effort. The Ryuma left them to it as he gestured for the golem trainer to join him then, moving off the couch to settle on one of the smaller, side couches as he beckoned the Pegasus forward. Because hay. If Ishi was going to sneakily go behind his back and invite golem trainers to these karaoke gatherings, then by the ancestors he was going to take advantage of that fact. "Come, Shirogane," Ryuichi said once she had gotten close enough, "sit with me a bit. We've just to truly speak. I told you I've followed your time in the Polohama Dome? As much as I've been able to. You rose to prominence in such a short amount of time."
  4. From the album OC Art

    Xiu and Feng found a Fenghuang bird being harassed by hunters in one of their RPs together, a while back. I'd always intended to actually draw it because I didn't like any of the Fenghuangs I found using my Google-Fu skills, and I finally got around to finishing the lineart that's been sitting around in my folders for months. Deciding on a color scheme took about an hour in and of itself, but I finally ended up deciding finishing it even if I didn't do any shading. Pretty pleased with the way it turned out in the end - I've always loved birds with that elegant, swan sort of look.
  5. Caught in her own trap. Xiu flushed lightly under Fēng's teasing grin, but still, couldn't help feeling a bit relieved. The ugly tension that had been slowly suffocating the room just moments earlier seemed to have entirely dissipated, along with her anger. Even if she now knew what Fēng thought of ponies like her. Despite the easing tension, however, Xiu wasn't really expected such a complete and factual breakdown of her question. Such a thorough look at the pathway and consequences of each option seemed entirely out of character from the Longma who acted more on instinct rather than logic she'd grown to know...or perhaps, along with their earlier conversation, this was more of Fēng that she had simply not been privy to until recently. Perhaps most of her perception of him was based on those rose-tinted images of the Longma fully regaled in Watcher clothing, valiantly placing himself between her and the bandits. She didn't think that was the case, not truly - her heart still picked up in her chest whenever she was around him, no matter if he was the dashing hero or the mischievous rogue - but then again, could one who's vision was biased in the first place really tell the difference? All these philosophical questions...and she hadn't even done any meditating today. It didn't help that when he carefully and succinctly lay out every option he felt he had in that department, her own seemed...pointless. Hopeless. If not for herself, than definitely for the Longma sitting next to her. If she selfishly pursued a relationship with Fēng, tempted him into breaking his vows, or keeping secrets from those he had sworn himself to...well. It sounded like it could only end in disaster for the Longma. An ending with him being kicked from the Imperial Watch, or leaving Huangjing, or changing in some way for the worst. Or being alone for the rest of his life. And even with all the different scenarios running through her head, Xiu herself couldn't see any other options. ...Maybe. Fēng needed purpose in his life, a purpose that he'd found with the Imperial Watch. Leaving might be difficult, but...if he were to find that same purpose elsewhere? Equestria? Wherein the regulations for guards and duty weren't so cruel as to force a pony to be alone for the rest of his or her life? Realizing that she was now actually starting to contemplate running away with Fēng as if they were in some Neighponese drama film, Xiu gave herself a mental shake as she focused back on the Longma. "Well...as you said, maybe those things are not the way they are," Xiu finally commented, and didn't miss the irony of her statement. Yes, the things she wanted to stay the same were simply the way they are, while the things she hoped for were not. Very convenient, that. "Maybe there's someone that would give you purpose...make it worth giving up, other things." She couldn't say it out loud - didn't even really want Fēng to leave the Watch, despite the strict rules it enforced. Things would be so much simpler if those ridiculous rules were not in place. "O-Or...a mare that, well. Wouldn't mind...getting any part of you, even if it's not...everything." She would mind. Oh, how she would mind, being with Fēng while knowing his heart lay with another. But what was it her grandfather had always said? Better to have something than nothing at all? Somehow, she'd never thought of love as anything other than "all or nothing", was too old-fashioned to think anything else. But...when the rules were pitted against her and the world was unfair and unkind, maybe her grandfather's words held weight. Luckily for Xiu, she was saved from yet another chance to bumble her way through explanations by a colorful arrival that suddenly swept into one of the open windows in the infirmary, drifting around the room for a moment before coming to perch elegantly on the wooden beams above Fēng's head. The fact that his abrupt appearance no longer startled her gave Xiu some pause, as she took a moment to reflect on the creature. The Fenghuang seemed to have the uncanny ability to know when other ponies aside from the two of them were milling about, because as things stood, Xiu had yet had to explain his presence to anyone, as the bird made itself scarce when others were around. Neither had she attempted to name him - it seemed almost a travesty to call him anything other than the magnificent Fenghuang that he was. Not to mention he was still...well, if he hadn't been a Fenghuang she might have described him as "odd." Sometimes he was graceful and elegant as he flew around the room - other times he hopped wherever he went, wings flapping wildly against the floor to keep his balance as he moved from perch to perch. He would even seem to almost...disappear from sight at times, a difficult feat for such a colorful and medium-sized bird. He moved almost silently, one moment sitting on her left, the next moment, gone, only to reappear on the windowsill to her right. Xiu would never claim herself an expert on the behaviors of a Fenghuang, but from everything she knew, he was...well. Odd. "Do you really think so?" Xiu questioned mildly, with none of the clipped annoyance that had plagued the very same question moments earlier. Her eyes remained fixed on the Fenghuang, an easy and believable distraction, as he flew down to settle himself on some spare bedding between the two of them, eyes slipping closed as one of her hooves automatically came up to gently brush at his head. "Are there ways to...keep one's honor, when you've broken the faith others have placed on you?" She didn't see how, in all honesty - otherwise she might have mended her broken relationship with her parents long ago. But, Fēng had proven himself full of surprises today, even if she didn't necessarily agree with all of them. Maybe he would have some insightful viewpoint that would rock her to the core and make her question everything she ever knew. Again.
  6. With the nature of his meditation fixated on the entirety of every last individual of Neighpon, it was of absolutely no surprise to find himself looking at an unfamiliar face that swirled to life, reflected on the surface of the Pearl. He was actually anticipating not recognizing the ponies that the Pearl picked up, thousands upon hundreds of thousands of citizens milling about their daily lives in Neighpon. Which was why it was entirely surprising to - somewhat - recognize the name that whispered into his mind, a moment later. "Sī jīn..." the Ryuma mused silently, golden eyes trailing over the kunoichi mask laying beside the morose looking Kirin. The symbol of the Chiyo clan was familiar enough for him to recognize it, but even then the answer remained tantalizingly out of his reach, that faint itch of, I should know this why don't I know this. The Pearl didn't exactly offer much help either, as a faint breeze seemed to swirl around the room, carrying with it the faint whispers of hopes and dreams and regrets. I can't disobey an order to withdraw...Ancestors take the contract!...I can't leave him... Ultimately, Ryuichi took to grasping the magic crystal from underneath his robes, Breathing on it to summon the servant standing at attention outside the meditation rooms. "Get me any and all documents related to contracts the Shogunate has taken with the Chiyo clan," the Shogun instructed, "and be careful - some of them may be quite old." The familiar dance of bowing and backing out of the room followed, and Ryuichi turned his gaze back onto the pink Kirin, her image frozen on the surface of the Long Pearl, until the servant was back with the requested documents. Turned out, the most relevant one was almost directly on top, and proved exactly the information he needed. A young filly, briefly met and introduced when he too was young...and a quick and precise briefing on her status as Yuè's new hoof maiden years later, a mere speck of information hurriedly passed on to him in the chaos of his mother's passing, before he'd been moved onto bigger and more important things and promptly forgotten all about it. A mere hoofnote in the wealth of information he was privy to on a daily basis, but a decision that had probably changed that young filly's life forever. Si Jin, it turned out, was the fulfillment of a contract the Shogunate had taken to send its own brand of protection for the potential future bride of the Shogun-to-be...a goodwill gesture of Neighpon's willingness to ensure her safety, treat a daughter of Long Guo as one of Neighpon's own. Yes, a deadly assassin was always a thoughtful courting gift, Ryuichi thought a bit wryly. Although, said contract had been implemented before Yuè's crowning. She was no longer a royal spare to be used to secure foreign alliances, which should have ended the contract, as it very clearly stated that the Kirin was to return home should the Empress cease to require her protection...yet this Sī jīn was, according to the paperwork, still carrying out her obligations in Long Guo. Which was...odd, to say the least. For a bodyguard of the highest caliber, Ryuichi could never remember seeing her around Yuè during his visits to the Imperial Palace. The Imperial Watch seemed to take care of all the Empress' bodyguard needs...so where was Sī jīn? Had she been assigned by the Empress to guard someone else? This mysterious "he" that kept floating around on the wind, that Sī jīn seemed so desperate to protect? If not Yuè, who was she protecting? And why? ... With quick and deft movements of his hoof, Ryuichi pulled a sheet of papers towards himself and began writing. The tone of the missive was ever practical as he arranged for the Karasu's informants to figure out who Sī jīn was currently in charge of protecting, and the circumstances behind this seeming transfer of duty - palace staff would gossip, the information wouldn't be difficult to figure out. Soon, the scroll was in the hooves of the servant and being carted away, as Ryuichi pulled a second sheet and began to write on it. He hadn't gotten halfway through, however, when the servant was back, much to Ryuichi's surprise, and he opened up the returned letter to see that the Karasu had been one step ahead of him - which, in turn, wasn't much of a surprise. Apparently, rumors of a highly ambitious and covetous mare who'd buttered her way to Prince Lián's side had sparked the interest of one of Iseiaisha's informants and, with a little bit of digging, it hadn't taken his Karasu much effort to put together the pieces and file the finished picture away as background information. So Sī jīn, at some point, had been transferred to guard Prince Lián after Empress Yu Yuè no longer required her services..and was now worried that her clan would pull her back to Neighpon due to the fullfilment of her contractual obligations. Ryuichi took a deep breath, eyes fixed back on the Pearl, and focused. I don't want to leave him... Well. He hadn't expected his first session of Long Pearl'ing to include rational deduction and not a small bit of good luck, but he was fairly satisfied with his conclusion. With the information in hoof and the red wax fully melted, Ryuichi readied the seal on his left and pressed it directly onto the paper, signaling its contents as void and useless. He started over on a new sheet, this time with the more definitive request to renounce Sī jīn's contract of protection for Yu Yuè and instead redirect it for Lián instead. The clan would lose nothing in the transfer - and in fact, probably stood to regain some lost profit, considering that the contract had been paid with the intention of Sī jīn guarding a royal spare, not the Empress of Long Guo. Much less cost involved in equipping a guard to defend a royal son than the leader of an entire nation. Still, if the clan wished a full renegotiation of the contract, Ryuichi was willing to comply, and wrote a quick and much more concise note to send to the Karasu, to inform her to watch out for potential contact from the Chiyo clan. Letters taken care of, the Shogun of Neighpon careful rolled up the first and sealed it with his royal seal and the golden wax, before sending both with the servant to their respective destinations. It wasn't until he was alone once more than Ryuichi allowed himself to sigh, eyes inevitably trailing back to the face shimmering on the surface of the Long Pearl. It was still a novel concept to him, this...focus on an individual Kirin and her individual problem that, had it not been solved, would have had absolutely zero impact on Neighpon. But still...as Ryuichi gazed at the worried face reflected back at him through the Pearl, the Ryuma couldn't help but smile a little. "Rest easy, Sī jīn," the Shogun said to the empty room, and listened to the rustle of the wind outside. If the new contract with the Chiyo clan worked out, the faraway Kirin would, hopefully, be able to rest easy. But that was out of his hooves for now, and with a deep Breath, Ryuichi once again Breathed upon the Pearl, ready to see the next son or daughter of Neighpon.
  7. Partitioning was all part and parcel of being a leader, filtering out the unimportant from the important, and the important from the Fix This This Very Instant Or Neighpon Will Implode important. Which is why Ryuichi didn't bother trying to argue Kaze's mild protest at her companion construct being referred to as a toy, the same way he didn't argue when she called it a "he". A Shogun was always careful to pick and choose his battles, and as far as he was concerned, it was a pointless battle at this stage in Kaze's life. Maybe she would grow up like Ishi and continue viewing golems like pets - maybe she would take after her eldest brother and come to think of them as tools. Either way, the concept of "life" and "machine" was too vague and far a concept for a little Ryuma to undertake at this stage in her life, and Ryuichi was fine leaving it as is. ...He was less fine with allowing Kaze to stay and watch however, and in an instant the Shogun of Neighpon was all ready to shut her down and insist Ishi return her to her rooms. Which is exactly when, of course, he made the fatal mistake of actually looking down and meeting his sister's eyes. ... "...Just a little while," the Ryuma conceded, and passed Kaze off to Ishi so he could keep his hooves free. "And you'll let me do my work in peace." The words were meant to be authoritative and factual, a statement of uncompromising truth, but there was no heat behind them as Ryuichi paused, reaching out to give his younger sibling a quick pat on the head, before turning back to his project. "Ishi, there's snacks and drinks in the cooler underneath Yuki's workbench to the left of us," he informed his younger brother, because there was no question that if Kaze was staying, Ishi was staying. There were too many stray tools and pieces laying around that an unwary filly could get her hooves on, and as engrossed as he could get in his work, Ryuichi was not trusting himself to be able to keep an eye on the adventurous Ryuma. "I'll have someone replace them in the morning." After all, it wasn't uncommon for the engineers and designers to keep food near their stations at all times. Even he could lose hours of time tinkering with golems, difficult though those hours were to come by, and having "brain" food laying around was definitely a boon to many. Grains, fruits, water, power drinks - most workers kept a good stock within hooves reach, and Ryuichi would probably be helping himself to Yuki's stash soon enough as well. ...Just as soon as he got this circuit right.
  8. long guo

    The fact that Yuè had immediately deflected his teasing as praise for her skill was almost enough to illicit another chuckle from the Ryuma. Instead, Ryuichi shot the Kirin a knowing grin and contented himself with a raised eyebrow as she caught onto the jest, before allowing himself to relax slightly against the weight and heat radiating snuggly from his side, golden eyes fixated on the swirling snow and darkening night sky. ...Aside from the dull, throbbing pain in his shoulder, this was almost...nice. And entirely inappropriate, in the grand scheme of things. Cuddling like two adolescent school foals rather than two grown adults struggling to survive in the harsh wilderness. Just thinking of the tabloid covers that would have undoubtedly run if any journalists had been within even one hundred meters of this mountain was almost enough to make the Ryuichi's head spin. And make him grimace in disgust. It was a complete shame, really, that a Shogun couldn't enjoy even the small comforts of life without the risk of it being spun in a negative light. Like the comfort of a warm body to take strength from, a friendly shoulder to lean against. Ancestors, she felt good by his side...and her lips had left an impression on more than just his inner fires. How long had it been?... Not since his time with that one mare in the military - his first adult relationship, and the last one, subsequently followed by his ascension onto the Seat of the Shogun. She'd been the only mare he'd ever fooled around with, for a couple of months when he'd been young and foolish and hot-blooded. Luckily for him, she had been the honorable sort who'd sought no place in the Palace, no money, no recommendation. No extortion or blackmail of any kind, that she could have easily gotten. She'd only been interested in shared body heat during the cold nights, and a friendly shoulder to lean against. Just like now. ...Well. Sans the imminent threat of freezing to death - or perhaps more spectacularly, stumbling off a cliffside in a raging blizzard. Slightly morbid thoughts aside, Ryuichi was glad for the distraction of Yuè's question, even as it took a familial turn. "Ah yes, Kaze," the Shogun chuckled lightly, as if the mere thought of his younger sibling brought endeared laughter to the forefront, "no, you wouldn't have. She was born just a few years shy of...of my ascension." Only the slightest pause betrayed Ryuichi's thoughts, but it was how he'd come to terms with statements like those. Centered around his ascension to the Shogun of Neighpon, not his mother's death. The positive event that had come out of the heart-wrenching one. "You would like her," Ryuichi continued, confident and bold in his statement, "as do all who inevitably succumb to her charms." The wry grin on his face probably let on exactly who fell to said charms the most often. "Ah hah," the Shogun laughed briefly, mind already conjuring images of Kaze running around the Imperial Palace, "I'm sure she would gladly welcome the invitation. Kaze is...free-spirited." Running up to the sit atop the Dragon Throne like an Empress-to-be. "And adventurous." Rampaging through the gardens and finding them lacking to the clearly superior gardens of the Palace Castle. Certainly. "And...full of life." Introducing every single Palace staff to Koeda-san, and unwittingly sparking up an international war as every single Palace staff passed out...courtesy of some future upgrades he had planned for the construct. "And Lián?" Ryuichi questioned after a moment, now that the subject of siblings was well and truly underway, "he is well? He's back from his venture into Equestria, by now." That one wasn't a question, and wouldn't have been even if he didn't have access to all of the Karasu's networks. He was a Ryuma who kept tabs on his friends, after all.
  9. ...In a way, Xiu could actually understand where he was coming from. After all, personal feelings were almost always seen as distractions from duty because they...distracted one from responsibility. But if that responsibility was the distraction, then, well. Was it really a distraction at all? It seemed an ironic twist, to be certain, but looking at it logically, Xiu could see how the Longma might have come to realize that so-called loophole. That didn't change the fact that it was still ridiculous, of course. Xiu knew, honestly honest, that said loophole wasn't the only reason why Fēng was so fixated on the Empress. But the fact that it was even a reason in the first place was ludicrous. If you believed that your life and love could only be found in one particular mare, then of course the chances of that happening were slim. Of course, the Qilin also knew that things weren't so simple and clear cut, that there was more in play than the average stallion had to deal with, and Fēng's last words spoke the truth of them. An oath was a promise, and not one to be lightly broken on romantic whims. She knew all this. ...Logically, she knew. Emotionally, was...an entirely different story. "Maybe some things are - are s-simply the way they are," Xiu said finally, stumbling halfway through because she had almost blurted out that some things are worth breaking promises for to a Watcher of the Imperial Watch like a complete idiot. Hooves fully rubbed raw and the conversation carefully veered off from an aggressive confrontation, Xiu finally relented from her ceaseless scrubbing, returning to sit at the relative safety of Fēng's mat. "And what if," she questioned lightly, casually, at least to her own mind, "what if...someone else breaks those promises for you? I-I mean...what does one do when someone else initiates the...breaking off of that promise? And you end up getting...swept along?" Xiu wasn't even entirely sure what it was she was asking, much less that Fēng could decipher her disjointed and fractures questions...and yet something drove to her question all the same, pale blue eyes fixed on the Longma beside her.
  10. The conversation had gone from anger-inducing back to awkwardness in two seconds flat. There were still tints of anger clouding the corner of her mind, but now it was coupled with no small amount of uncertainty. Which, considering the high levels of disagreement that two of them were having over a single subject, wasn't that surprising...but it wasn't even their wildly differing opinions that were causing her distress. It was the topic of said disagreement. It almost made Xiu want to do something stupid and foolish, like slap hooves over her ears or stick her head in the basin she was standing in front of. Because really, one didn't just casually listen to the intimate burdens and feelings of the Empress of Long Guo like she was any other pony! To know what Her Imperial Majesty felt about her mother's situation, and the previous Emperor's decision to marry her...it was simply too difficult to fully comprehend. Like she shouldn't even be standing here listening to Fēng talk about it. Fēng shouldn't have been talking about the Empress' private thoughts in the first place! This was the Empress of Long Guo, and despite how similarly he viewed her problems to his, they weren't similar because she was the Empress of Long Guo. It almost felt obscene, to hear about them. Still, even the panic at hearing details she had no right to hear didn't stop Xiu from hearing everything else, and it...stunned her, to say the least. That Fēng seemed to believe - or had used to believe - that he was a mistake, the product of a bad decision, was as foreign a concept as the Longma suddenly deciding to take it easy for a day. Fēng was always so full of confidence, so sure in his path, that the idea of him ever having doubted his very existence was...disturbing, made her silent and dull as she stared over one shoulder at the Watcher. It was also clear how deeply these feelings had, and still, affected the Watcher, to the point that Xiu couldn't even summon the reflexive bitterness at the mentioning of his feelings for the Empress. ...Even if a part of her still internally screamed at the Longma for approaching the bucking Empress of bucking Long Guo so forthright and casually. "Pride does prevent one from finding wisdom, that is true." That they could both agree on, and it didn't take an Elder Long to dispense that piece of warning. "But not always from loneliness. Pride prevents one from accepting different ideas, that one's way of thinking may not be the only way...or even the best way." A subtle and somewhat bitter commentary at the Longma's obsessive focus on a mare that he viewed as the only possible future towards his happiness, but it was easily lost in favor of the conversation. "Pride made you feel that you were a... a 'bad decision', that that was the only explanation for your existence...when any pony with half a brain can look at you and see a thousand and one more explanations." Xiu shook her head slightly, turning back to face the basin where she had been scrubbing her hooves this entire time. "A gift, a treasure, a surprise...pride would ignore all those in favor of deciding on one, and only one, explanation. And the poorest one, at that." She might have sympathized with Fēng's previously horrible opinion of his circumstances, but that didn't mean she was any more convinced at the Watchers equalizing of his burdens with those of Her Imperial Majesty. It wasn't a matter of an Empress' problems being so grand that none other could understand, not in Xiu's humble opinion...but the idea that they could ever be fully equal to another's problems was absurd. No one else was an Empress, no matter how similar a situation they might have been in beforehoof - no one else could comprehend the magnitude of factors bearing down on an Empress that coated her every decision. Fēng might have empathize with Her Imperial Majesties feelings, but that didn't mean his own solution to the problem was the best solution for the Empress in turn. He couldn't know, for he had never been an Emperor, either. Briefly, wildly, Xiu wondered if this was all going over her head. This issue of loneliness...maybe all Fēng wished was for the Empress to have someone to vent to? To talk of her problems with? Whether or not whatever decisions she made agreed with his own, better to have a friend to experience them with? ...Except no, he very obviously had more in mind for the Empress than simple friendship. 'Do you really mean that?' the Qilin wanted to ask...but didn't, coward as she was. For what if he didn't? What if he felt he could only find true happiness in the Empress' embrace, and deep down in his heart, wished only for his company and none others to break the Empress' loneliness? Xiu didn't want to know the answer to that. "Have you? Have you really?" ... The question came out, unbidden, and Xiu suppressed the urge to stifle her traitorous mouth with one hoof. But it was too late to rescind the question, because she had heard that little sigh, and all but felt it in her bones, and she valiantly trudged onwards as she stared down at the murky water in the basin, still fastidiously cleaning her hooves all the while. "Have you broken the pride that keeps you lonely? If - " the motion was calming, the skin beneath her fur raw and sore " - if the Empress cures her loneliness with another, will your pride prevent you from doing the same? Will it...will it keep you from recognizing that your own loneliness might be cured by someone other than h-her?" Will you ever be able to find happiness in another?
  11. No problem! If you've got other questions you can feel free to let me know (here or through PMs) and I can try to answer them as best as I can.
  12. Assuming you're talking about WoE here, because in FFA you can do whatever you want within the site's ToS. That includes using any canon character you want, and making extensive use of an NPC. In WoE though, things are different. The site's undergone some RP changes recently, so things aren't quite as stringent as they used to be, but the basis of making sure characters are appropriate for the WoE setting still remains. To my knowledge, you can't use a canon character as an NPC in WoE unless you've apped the character yourself, for the same reason you can't RP a canon character without an app. The point of the app for a canon character is to make sure the person can RP a canon character to closely resemble how that character is portrayed on the show, and not wildly out-of-character. I mean, what if I had an RP where I wanted my character to rebel against a tyrannical Celestia NPC who suddenly decided to enslave all the ponies of Equestria? That's not exactly true to canon Celestia. If you feel your RP really needs a certain canon character to propel things along, you can always just app the character yourself and then use him/her as an NPC. Multiple people can app the same canon character - that way, you don't have to rely on a single player to be willing to play a canon character for you, you can just do it yourself. As for NPCs becoming important to an RP...it's okay for an NPC to be featured heavily, but if starts getting to the point where you're essentially roleplaying the character, then they probably require an application. For the same reason that canon characters require an app, to make sure the character fits within WoE guidelines. That's probably a tricky thing to decide where that line might be - personally, I think that if you have an NPC set in stone (their desires, motivations, relationships with others, personality, etc) then it's okay to feature/use them prominently. But if those types of things about the character start to change and it feels more like you, yourself, are causing those changes due to how the RP is progressing and those changes not being a planned part of the NPC's path, then at that point it's probably more that you're roleplaying the character out rather than having him/her react as an NPC. ...I probably didn't explain that very well, but that's just how I see it. Like you said, NPC stands for Non-Player Character. If you are playing the character, then it's not a non-player character anymore. I'm not RP Staff, so someone might come along and correct some/all of what I've just said. But this is just to the best of my knowledge of what I know about the rules of WoE RPing. Again, the Free-For-All section doesn't put any stipulations on what kind of characters you RP or use as NPCs, so long as you still follow the overall site ToS.
  13. C'mon, guys! Ten characters, much chaos...let's keep the ball rolling!
  14. Oh, ancestors. The despondence in his youngest sibling's voice was usually enough to move his heart even in its most unflappable moments, and this time was no exception as Ryuichi felt the stern sheen of the Shogun of Neighpon floundering under Ryuichi the elder brother. There was just something about seeing and hearing Kaze, free-spirited, winsome Kaze, lose the color and excitement and wonder in her voice that threatened to do him in time and time again, no matter how strict he attempted to be. Still, he wasn't nearly finished with the golem in his grasp, and even his younger sister's pleading wasn't going to let him just forget the fact that she had stared an assassin in the face just this afternoon. "...You want Mr. Twig in tip-top shape so you can play with it tomorrow, don't you?" the Ryuma questioned, approaching the problem at an angle once it'd become clear a head-on approach wouldn't work. "You can hold out for one evening, and then in the morning things will be back to normal. See, look - " Ryuichi swiveled in his chair to pluck his youngest sibling from the floor, settling her in his lap as he faced the workbench again. From her new perspective, the deactivated golem was within clear reach and sight, although its crystal was higher up on the shelves. The various tools and seemingly indistinguishable golem parts scattered around the construct all spoke to exactly what he was doing with it - although he hadn't exactly kept it a secret, either - and Ryuichi could only hope the visual confirmation of her playmate's welfare would lift her spirits somewhat. "It's fine. Sometimes your toys need some tweaking to...make them better toys. That's all I'm doing." Toy, not pet. Despite the animal sentience that many smaller, companion golems inevitably grew once they became activated, Ryuichi never thought of golems as pets or creatures. He couldn't. Not when they were brought into being for the sole purpose of being used. Sometimes created as gigantic and colossal forces of imagination, simply for the entertainment value of seeing them torn apart by an equally large behemoth. Golems were creations that were made for selfish and greedy reasons - they were tools made for either purpose or amusement, and that was something Ryuichi could never overlook.
  15. And here's the Karasu, wearing what's probably a field outfit rather than everyday wear around the Palace Castle: