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[Concluded] Path of the Ancient Crafter [Closed: Tacobob, Lux]

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Wind Walker let out a little squeak as the other filly almost ‘Snow Danced’ her way off the mountain. The griffon reacted rather swiftly as she snatched the girl as she drifted up and out of harm’s way. “Oh nuts.”, the elder grumbled, “We forgot to tether ourselves together. Hold still for a second you two.”, she unhooked two small bungee cords that came with their suits and attached her rope to Wind Walker, and the filly’s to Snow Dancer. “There, if any of you two bite-sizes tumble, we’ll be able to keep you from falling..Heck, if both of you stumble, I won’t have any issues dragging both of you up, Cause you’re so itty.”, she gave Wind Walker a somewhat condescending pat on her head.

Wind Walker rolled her eyes up as she did, “My hero.”, the filly grumbled as she continued to follow the griffon up the mountain...

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Before she could land Snow found herself in the grip of Zelda's talons as she remarked that something was missing from the group. In an instant the three were tethered together which was both a blessing and a bane for the filly. She liked knowing that she was ok if needing to be rescued but on the other hoof she didn't like the lack of freedom to move about.

Snow Dancer did roll her eyes at the fact of the griffon calling her and her friend tiny. She wasn't that small, was she?

"Awww... don't worry Wind, we're not that small. Come on, let's go!"

As they climbed the mountain Snow Dancer thought about something she heard about snow, particularly on mountains.

"Hey, do you two know if this mountain has lots of avalanches? I heard they can bury a pony in seconds."

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While the weather was worse the tedious, the trio proved stubborn enough to go on despite it. And behold! They efforts paid off. Through the snow, their eyes were greeted by the sight of the first shelter. Built into the rocky walls itself it was sturdy enough to simply shrug any blizzard, and withstand even the worst avalanche. As the three girls no doubt rushed through the snow and opened the heavy steel door they were greeted by unusual sight. There was someone inside already. Sitting before the bonfire inside was very old looking griffon. This looked ancient enough to be Zelda's great grandfather. It was even what kind of cat-bird combination was he, both feathers and fur were completely grayed out. Wearing a winter outfit from two centuries ago, he regardless didn't seemed particularly bothered by either the snowstorm outside or passing time, throwing a wooden briquette once in the while to fuel the flames. But even if his muscles were scrawny right now, his amber eyes proved still sharp. As the ladies entered the shelter his bushy eyebrows rose slightly.

"Another group? Well that's an surprise. Now, hurry up and close the door. You won't go far when Everfrost is in such foul mood. Stay a while and listen instead." he said in slightly raspy voice. In his more glorious days it had to be quite booming but not anymore it seems.

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The griffon let out a chuckle, “There’s nothing wrong with being small, I was little like you two when I was your age. Maybe even smaller.”, Zelda kept up a rather positive tone as they moved on, “You kids want to rush through all the early stages of your life, but when you get old, you just want to go back.” She nodded her head as the filly spoke, “Avalanches? They may have them, but I'm sure the generally they don’t keep these mountain trails open during certain seasons. If the peaks have too much snow, they wil....”, Zelda was cut off by Wind Walker.

“Hey guys, there's one of those shelters.", she waved a hoof towards the first of the rest centers, "And somebody must be inside.", the little Pegasus pony waved the same hoof towards the building's chimney, which was active.

"Thank you Miss Tour Guide.", the black furred griffon scooted ahead of the girl, "I'm going in first, just to make sure there isn't any...er..", she carefully pondered what words to use, "Actually, this door looks really heavy, so I better open it.", Zelda opened the door and peaked in. Her heart raced as she caught sight of the old bird. Did they just stumble into a building where some poor old griffon went in and passed away? Thankfully he was able to move and speak, thus removing him from the land of the dead. After believing the griffon to be mostly harmless, she lead the two children into the building.

"Nice to see someone else is on the trail as well.", the griffon added as she found a seat, "Just how long have you been here?"

As the blacksmith chatted with the old man, Wind Walker glanced over at Snow Dancer with a nervous look on her face.

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Snow Dancer nodded at the sage advice that Zelda gave about growing up and the fact that she at one time was small. It was hard to imagine a strong big griffon being small as the the filly currently is.

"Oh I don't want to grow up too fast. I like the way I am. Of course being a little bigger would help too."

Knowing snow, the Pegasus knew about the dangers of avalanche, but the words of Zelda reminding the climbers that the trail would be closed gave her a little peace. At the peak though anything could happen. Before she could dwell on that Wind noticed that one of the cottages that made up the first stage was occupied.

"Yeah, I think I can use a little rest too," Snow said as she followed the group to the building. Upon opening the door, the group noticed that there was an older griffon there. Snow looked over at the griffon then at Wind Walker who appeared nervous seeing the other griffon. Maybe she was afraid of new griffons. She didn't know but hoped that Zelda knew what she was doing.

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"Oh long enough. I climb this mountain each year you know? Nice to see that the other griffon picked the tradition, yes. This old frozen rock have some history, you know. Mind to hear it?" old griffon asked the Zelda, but not before giving her a warning. "But I warn you, it can take a while, bear it with me. Old age has it's needs and old birds like me like to ramble."

"And you two don't be shy little ones. This old me won't bite. This beak of mine dulled a lot, and honestly it hurts when I try to chew something hard, talons and claws aren't any better. Oh and you have no idea what lumbago can do to the wings. Owww, it hurts even if I just recall it...." and so on, and so on mentioning all or most of his affliction. It seemed that elder got a little carried away and forgot about the story he proposed to say. Was he demented? Or maybe he was just obfuscating the stupidity? Who knows? Whatever was the case, the elder apparently returned to reality to realize something.

"But wait, wait, wait. We have nice chit chat but wouldn't it be nice to know the names of the lovely ladies that happened to stumble at this feather duster of me?" he asked with a slight gleam in his eye. Either it was reflection of the burning fire or he wasn't as ditzy as he appeared.

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“Go right ahead.”, the griffon tried her best to get comfortable on the old bench. While she wanted to slide out of the climbing gear, it took far too long to put on. “I’m Zelda, formally of Rockwington. I’m currently living in Canterlot, and this here is Wind Walker. She’s also from Canterlot.”

“Not anymore!”, the little filly added as she fiddled around with a small coffee maker, “Remember, I moved to Ponyville with the folks.”, she let out an ‘aha’ as the machine made a hissing sound.

“Uh-hu. And this here is Snow Dancer.”, she pointed to the other filly. The blacksmith was polite enough not to add, 'whose parents were crazy enough to let their child climb a mountain without proper gear or supervision', "She's a new friend. Also climbing this mountain. Nice to have an old pro with us. We're just going to rest for a moment, but if you wish to come along with us, I'd appreciate it. I would feel safe having an pro tag along." Zelda knew better to underestimate one of her fellow birds, just because he was ancient.

(Snow Dancer's reply can go here...Or anywhere.)

She was about to say something, when Wind Walker appeared behind her holding an hood-cup, "Where in the world did you get that, and aren't you too young for coffee?"

Wind slowly blew on her cup, "Eh, it's coca. They have one of those mini coffee things that use the cups. You two want anything? I'm having cinnamon coca. They have coffee, hot apple cider among other flavors."

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Taking a cue from Zelda, Snow Dancer relaxed knowing that this older griffon was to be trusted. It helped her to calm and take her mind off of the inevitable climb that she knew was to come next and one that she was not sure she'd still be able to do.

"Hi there, I'm Snow Dancer, like Zelda said. I'm from Cloudsdale actually. You live up here right?"

before he could answer, Wind appeared with a hot drink and offered some to her.

"Oh, I'd definitely like a hot cider Wind. I usually don't have those until winter, but since it's cold here all the time I guess I can understand why it's here. Oh and I'd like to hear about this mountain sir."

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"Alright then young ones, listen up." said the old griffon as he begun his tale.

Long long ago even before the time of the Princesses, in Aquelia lived a young Prince Ravenspire. It was a good times, a kingdom has thriving. Relationship with young nation of Equestia were good, and daring explorers were traveling beyond the continent bringing knowledge of outside world back to home. Yet young Prince's mind was not at ease. Above all things one question troubled him 'What's make a good king?'. He pondered and pondered, yet he couldn't find an answer to this question. So finally he decided to ask his father.

When presented with the question, king said.

'My son, above all else, king should shine with example.'

Prince Ravenspire digested this answer for a while before he decided.

'If the king should be example, the I shall find how to rid myself of my faults. I will go on the journey for there is no better teacher then life.'

And he did how he said. Traveling alone and in disguise he searched the land in the ways of becoming the good ruler. Along the way he picked many companions, had many adventures, picked up many skills all the while conquering his own vices. Finally, on his way how he set his gaze one the mountain we now call Everfrost and said to his friends.

'We faced many challenges, yet there is always something we can learn. Let's best this magnificent peak as our final test.

The climb was long and challenging yet Prince with slight help managed to best the mountain. As he gazed on the lands below, he realized that this kingdom he were to inherit was not a prize, but responsibility. He returned home and with time became the great ruler known as the Crafter King. After his days has come to an end he was placed to rest on the same peak that teched him the final lesson. In honor to his griffons to this day replicate this feat, by climbing on the top without using their wings. Each step of the mountain symbolizing one of important lessons Ravenspire learned on his travels.

"And regarding your question young lady." old griffon focused on Snow Dancer "You could say that. I climb this mountain each year. But recently it became quite hard for this old bird. Would you, young ladies mind if I tag along?"

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"Guess I'll take a hot cider as well. Thanks squirt.", she smiled at the little filly as she quickly scooted back over to the small 'kitchen' area and started work on drinks for the others. Turning back to the elder griffon, she was rather surprised to see Wind Walker had already secured two ciders, and a hot coca, which she managed to balance all on a tray. "Here you go.". After Snow Dancer and Zelda had their drinks, she offered the coco to the elder griffon.

Thankfully, they were ready to hear the elder's story, which the pair listened to with great interest. Wind Walker wasn't terribly keen on the story as it progressed, since it seemed to be less about princess, knights and dragons, and more about 'responsibility'. A horrible little word she usually heard from parents, teachers and other older relatives. Generally in lecture form. Thankfully, she was a very polite pony and just smiled.

"Good tale, I believe I've heard it before, but generally it was told to my pair of slacker brothers, Fritz and Zerald. And yes, you're welcome to come along with us. You'd be a godsend, considering how well you know the mountain. But before we move on, could you tell us your name?", Zelda asked.

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Snow Dancer loved stories, especially ones about far away kingdoms and knights. It was an interesting story about a prince looking to find himself and what made a great king. She was so entranced that the blue filly almost forgot that Wind Walker returned with the hot cider.

"Oh.. thanks Wind," she said taking the cider and holding it with her hooves while immediately returning to the story. The story ended and the pony stayed there silent for a moment as she let the story sink in.

"So the Prince found his purpose here on this mountain, and that is why many climb up here," the filly said as she took a sip of her cider smiling as it warmed her insides,"Maybe we'll find a little more about ourselves once we reach the peak!"

She didn't know what that was she'd find, but she was certain that it was better than just climbing to get exercise or to just say she climbed a big mountain.

"Well if you want to join us sir then I'd love that you'd come."

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"Thank you young lade but I pass. I had enough share of it already." said the elder as Zelda offered him a cup.

"Oh the full story is actually much much longer. There were adventures, monsters and so on. But testing your patience with whole of it would be just cruel. The climbing of this mountain is metaphor of Prince whole journey, as he conquered the vices he had" old griffon explained. "Which in a way make you correct Snow Dancer. You need to learn about you self to see your flaws and become better."

When Zelda asked the grayed old bird he waved his paw dismissively.

"Names matter very little. That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet. But if you have to use one, you can call me Regulus. That what my friends used to call me when they were still among the living, bless their souls." the elder got up and wince of pain flashed through his beak.

"Ohh my lumbago. My back is not what it used to be. Please be patient with me when we climb."

As the group was getting their equipment, Regulus proceeded to be more informative.

"Now, most would climb up using a stairs, but there is actually secret cave tunnel nearby - hidden behind the wall of snow. If we spare just a moment to dig through it, we can spare ourselves some trouble later on. It will lead us all the way up to the second shelter."

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"Eh, guess that sounds..", the black griffon was quickly cut off by Wind Walker who was obviously not a fan of the elder bird's plan, "I'm not so sure about that.", she shook her head, "Wouldn't that be cheating? I'm sure the Prince Ravenspire in your story wouldn't take any shortcuts! He'd probably only want to climb the mountain the way it was made to be.", Zelda started to open her beak, but something started to bother her.

While they all lived in mostly peaceful, safe and sunny little world, there was always a little darkness that could be found it you look hard enough. Maybe the kid was right. While the old guy seemed mostly harmless, Zelda started to entertain thoughts of this being some sort of a trap. Crooks use harmless old man to lure them into an ambush!

While the griffon considered herself a 'nobody', Wind Walker's father was a rather high ranking member of the R.E.A and had probably made a few enemies during his lifetime. "Sounds like a plan kid.", she gave the little filly a pat on the head, "If we wanted to get to the top the fastest, we would have just flown. We'll take the more scenic way if you don't mind."

Once their drinks were finished, and their gear was secure, the blacksmith started to make their way towards the door, "Let's get moving!"

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Snow Dancer felt pleased that she understood the tale and what the Prince sought in his quest. She wondered what it would be like to face all her fears, maybe even ones she knew nothing about that came to light when she would be tested. Well, she guessed that eventually she would find out about her fears on this trip. She watched as the older griffon tried to stand and move as he cracked like an old wooden floor. Snow didn't like the idea of being old if it meant not moving or even flying really fast. But maybe when she was this griffon's age she would be less creaky.

"Well then nice to meet you Regulus," Snow Dancer replied as she heard the griffon's name. Now they were on the topic of where to go next. There were staairs and then there were the caves. Wind didn't seem to like the idea of using stairs as that wasn't what the Prince would do.

"if the caves are the way that the Prince went to the top then I'd be fine going that way."

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"Maybe some other time child." Regulus gently pat Snow Dancer on the head with his wrinkled talon. "Friend of yours aren't so eager to follow this path."

After this the old bird turned towards Wind.

"Which is fine young one, but remember, Prince didn't used the shelters, the stairs and the paths sculpted into the mountain itself. Yes, all of those were made after his visit." after this reminder griffin gave a smile. The one of those kind that only little children and elderly could accomplish, one that would be infuriating if it didn't...well....come from the children or elderly.

As the group walked outside Regulus spoke once more.

"To make sure we stay on the correct path, we must follow those obelisks." he said, before nonchalantly reached towards nearest drift, clearing it out. Indeed, under the snowy cover was resting an obsidian stone marker. On it's surface were present griffon blacksmiths at work, as well as arrow which pointed the direction for their match. Regulus strode forward first, making noises that apparently should be jolly chirping, if it weren't so out of tune.

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"I'm guessing the prince probably wasn't a child that needed to do attend school next week.", the female griffon added as they continued their snowy trek anew. Wind quickly added, "I don't have to go nex...", but stopped as the blacksmith gave her a glare. "Yeah, remember kids, we gotta follow them obelisks.", she waved at one very helpful one, which was pointing 'up'.

Wind tried her very best to make small talk with the other girl as they moved along the mountain, "So, er, when you're not climbing mountains with strangers, what is it that you do where you live?" she asked.

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Snow Dancer felt a little sad that her climbing friends decided to take the easy way up the mountain rather than through the caves. Well she couldn't always get what she wanted and she certainly didn't want to explore an unknown place by herself. The older griffon was quick to remind Wind that the way they were about to go was easy but not authentic to the way the Prince went. But it was true that the ponies and griffons couldn't spend too long on the mountain so off they went, Snow Dancer taking note of watching for the obelisks as she passed so she didn't get lost.

"So, er, when you're not climbing mountains with strangers, what is it that you do where you live?"

"Oh, well mostly I like to fly around Cloudsdale or play hide and seek with friends. Winter though is my favorite time where I can go sledding, build snow ponies, and have snowball fights."

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"Oh what I used to do? Ohh it was so long ago. Well you can say that I worked in the now former royal palace, small jobs here and there. Now it's a senate building. Anyway it was certainly a busy life working there, even if myself sent it mostly sitting and greeting those who visited. A lot of pompous and important figures I must add. A little less actually wise ones. All of them busy regardless, always working - and so was I. Why, you can say I practically lived there hohohoho! But back to visitors. Those smarter ones actually take effort to ask others about opinions about certain matters. I lent my ear from time to time as well. You would surprised how better you can make thing by just listening. I like to believe that those little effort I put made a difference."

Regulus was certainly quite exuberant about his job. Still his tone said he wasn't thinking it was important. Yet it seems that working in government building really came with much memories.

"Now be wary everyone. This road is much more unforgiving that the one through the caves, even if it too had difficulties. However we will soon meet some relief. We nearing famous path that runs under as famous rock overhang - the 'Wyvern Jaw' path. It will cover us from this icy tempest." old bird foreshadowed next attraction on their climb.

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“And don’t forget Hearth’s Warming Eve.”, Wind Walker added, “Although, I do get a little groany when a pony asks me if I’m too cold, considering I’m blue.”, the filly added, “As for Cloudsdale, I have a great aunt that lives there. Used to be an Wonderbolt when she was younger.”, the pony made her way over an snow-covered rock, slowly and carefully. “And back in Canterlot, we would all head over to the one of the parks, separate into teams and build snow-forts. Then the snowball fight would start. It seemed each year our forts would get more complex and realistic. Last year, one team even managed to make a replica of the Canterlot Castle. Shame I had to trash it.”

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Zelda glanced back towards the two fillies as they continued to make their way up the mountain. While Wind Walker’s question had been directed towards the other little Pegasus pony, it was interesting to hear what the griffon had to say about his life. “While I’m more than happy to make sculptures of any paying customer, I’ve had issue when doing ones of the upper-upper-crust of society. They would be like, ‘Oh, don’t make my beak too long, or slim my stomach down a little’. Usually when it’s finished, the statue looks nothing like its subject and they seem to be fine with it.”

The foursome continued down the path until the black griffon caught sight of the rather imposing ‘Wyvern Jaw', "Mmm. Sure looks like a big ol' dragon's mouth. Guess that's how it got its name. Freaky." The griffon hoped it was just stone, but would not be surprised if it were not. Back home, there were a few isolated places where an ancient dragon had laid down to die, and would end up turning into an rather impressive landmark.

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Talking with others helped to pass the time and ease the nervousness that Snow Dancer felt about not being able to complete the climb. She was interested in Regulus's explanation of how he did random jobs in a palace which eventually became a senate house. Although the griffon downplayed its importance she still found it interesting. 

 

"I think that would be neat greeting all those noble ponies and griffons from other lands. I've seen Canterlot Castle where the royal sisters live but never ventured inside yet. Hopefully though one day I will."

 

“And don’t forget Hearth’s Warming Eve.”, Wind Walker added, “Although, I do get a little groany when a pony asks me if I’m too cold, considering I’m blue.”

 

"Oh yes, hearth's Warming is a great time for me! I love when the city is decorated and the different events taking place and not to mention the presents I get. Last year I got ice skates from my parents! Still have trouble staying up on the ice but I'll get there some day. Oh and I get the same thing too when ponies ask me if I'm cold or they tease me when I'm in the air saying I blend in with the sky too much." 

 

“As for Cloudsdale, I have a great aunt that lives there. Used to be an Wonderbolt when she was younger.”, the pony made her way over an snow-covered rock, slowly and carefully. “And back in Canterlot, we would all head over to the one of the parks, separate into teams and build snow-forts. Then the snowball fight would start. It seemed each year our forts would get more complex and realistic. Last year, one team even managed to make a replica of the Canterlot Castle. Shame I had to trash it.”

 

"Ooo! You have an aunt as a Wonderbolt? That must be cool. Bet she taught you some neat tricks. I saw the Wonderbolts once when that were in Cloudsdale performing a show. I remember leaving there with my mouth open but no words coming out as I was so amazed! Oh you make snow forts too huh? I don't build them like Canterlot Castle or anything like that but I can made pretty solid walls. Next time you have a snow fort fight let me know and I help your team build one, ok?""

 

“While I’m more than happy to make sculptures of any paying customer, I’ve had issue when doing ones of the upper-upper-crust of society. They would be like, ‘Oh, don’t make my beak too long, or slim my stomach down a little’. Usually when it’s finished, the statue looks nothing like its subject and they seem to be fine with it.”

 

"Well that's silly that those ponies or griffons want sculptures of them that don't look like them. But I guess if that's what they want then you have to agree with that." 

 

The filly then paused as she looked up at the gigantic cliff. true to Regulus's words it indeed looked like the opened mouth of a dragon. Something though did cross her mind that made the pony shiver a little. 

 

"There aren't any dragons living on this mountain, are there?" 

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"Because it is! However that reptile was slain so long long ago that it remains fossilized, even before Prince Ravenspire time. As we will pass through you will see a sword - still in pristine condition stuck inside it. There is even a quite interesting legend along with prophecy surrounding it. But it isn't our objective."

 

Upon hearing Snowfall question Regulus patted the scared filly to hearten her up.

 

"Not anymore. They used to, with this wyrm which skeletal remains we will walk through being a ruler of this mountains. However since he was slain and his body crashed upon this mountain no dragon appeared here for centuries, wary of the blade that ended him."

 

As they walked and walked ponies and griffons could see the old bones prodding through the mountainside. Those had to be bones, because despite their stone-like appearance, no rock would take such form on it's own. They could easily recognize colossal vertebra and even easier the giant ribs pointing towards the sky - as if they were telling that once their owner soared through them, terror for anything below.

As they walked under what was undoubtedly one of the front claws Regulus spoke again.

"We will be walking through short tunnel now. Tug you wing close to the body, the wind howling throught it can be really vicious at times. There is no risk of falling but if you don't do so, our walk will slow to the crawl."

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“I actually got to hang around with Princess Celestia.”, the little blue filly bounced a little as she spoke, “During last year’s ‘Running Of The Leaves’, I ran into the very bestest of best princesses while I was watching my big sister get her butt kicked by a painter and fashionista, both unicorns.", Wind Walker slowly followed the others as they spoke, "And she was just awesome and pretty, and really really nice. I can't wait to become an officer in the R.E.A so I can clobber anyone who tries to be mean to the princess.", she bobbed her head up as the other filly spoke of winter, "Yeah, Sweet Cents probably should have made her fort more forty, and less delicate and pretty. My team just made a rather generic looking thing with really thick walls, and while it wasn't as nice as her team's, we did manage to kick their respected hinders."

 

She nodded as her second favorite holiday was mentioned, "This upcoming Hearth's Warming Eve' is going to be my first in Ponyville. We will visit Canterlot at least once during the holiday season, but it's going to be different.  Heard it's a less hectic in Ponyville during that time. "

 

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The griffon glanced back at the two fillies, "Wind, I know you're excited, but keep your voice down. Don't want to start an avalanche, do yah? And sometimes ponies, or griffons or whatever don't like the fact that they might have gotten a little older or a little chubbier than they prefer, and would like people to remember what they used to look like, but when they were ", Zelda turned her attention back to the rock that was actually the remains of an dragon, "I just don't get those guys.", she muttered, "I've heard dragons can be as tall as mountains, but I've worked with adult dragons that were not that much bigger than the two of us. Do they choose to get big, or do they have different sub-species like ponies and griffons?"

 

Zelda frowned a little. This old bird really wanted to get them into a enclosed area like a cave or tunnel, but this time, they did not have a choice, "Get a little closer to me you two. We're going in." After she prepared herself for just about anything, and the fillies were close, the blacksmith followed Regulus into the tunnel.

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"Not anymore. They used to, with this wyrm through which skeletal remains we will walk being a ruler of this mountains. However since he was slain and his body crashed upon this mountain no dragon appeared here for centuries, wary of the blade that ended him."

 

It interested to hear that a creature so big and vicious was alive at one time. It wasn't a rock formation like Snow thought it was but an actual head of a beast. 

 

"Whoever slain this creature must have been really brave. I don't know what I'd do if I saw something like this Wyrm." 

 

“I actually got to hang around with Princess Celestia.”, the little blue filly bounced a little as she spoke, “During last year’s ‘Running Of The Leaves’, I ran into the very bestest of best princesses while I was watching my big sister get her butt kicked by a painter and fashionista, both unicorns.", Wind Walker slowly followed the others as they spoke, "And she was just awesome and pretty, and really really nice. I can't wait to become an officer in the R.E.A so I can clobber anyone who tries to be mean to the princess.", she bobbed her head up as the other filly spoke of winter, "Yeah, Sweet Cents probably should have made her fort more forty, and less delicate and pretty. My team just made a rather generic looking thing with really thick walls, and while it wasn't as nice as her team's, we did manage to kick their respected hinders."

 

"Oh wow, you saw Princess Celestia too? I kind of guesses you wanted to be a guard like your sister is. Must have been neat to hang out with a Princess. Having thick walls is nice when building a snow fort as they can take several shots from snowballs without going down. I usually build mine like a horseshoe so that ponies can't sneak around it without me knowing about it." 

 

"We will be walking through short tunnel now. Tug you wing close to the body, the wind howling throught it can be really vicious at times. There is no risk of falling but if you don't do so, our walk will slow to the crawl."

 

"Get a little closer to me you two. We're going in." 

 

Snow Dancer nodded as she kept her wings tight against her side as the last thing she wanted to do was go flying by the gusts of wind. She had to also be careful not to get her hooves tied up in the tow line that she was connected to along with Zelda and Wind Walker. Going through the tunnel was a little scary but still interesting as she wondered what she may find. 

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While it was indeed a closed space they were walking in right now, it wasn't as dark as one could expect. There were very regular vertical openings on the right side through with light could come inside - that would explain the wind racing through it. With a certain effort both fillies could squeeze through them if desired. The tunnel itself was very...regular for a cave formation. It was almost ideally round, divided by segments. After a moment of walking girls could without the doubt say that tunnel was in fact remains of the enormous spine, with the tunnel being the place where in life spinal cord was placed. That made the howling of the passing air even more creepy.

 

"Not long for now. It's almost end." Regulus said when the passage started to get more narrow. Indeed short after those words, bone rings started to be too small to pass through. Instead the group found a hole leading underneath. By the shape of it, and the fact it dug through both rock and bone one could deduct it was made by artificial means. The wind that kept blasting them into the faces was gone too.

 

"I go first if you allow. After all it's a guide job yes.?" said the old bird before disappearing into the hole.

"It's all fine down here, you can proceed. By all means help yourself with wings during descent."

 

Not that trio of girls had any choice. It was either following the old griffon, or going back - and the latter would be rather awkward, as it wasn't enough space for larger Zelda to turn around anymore.

 

After joining with the Regulus, the three could see that they were now standing inside the very jaw they saw earlier. The color of dragon teeth that surrounded them became bronze due to the passage of time, they still had the sharpness they possessed centuries, or perhaps even millennium years in the past. The rest of the enormous skull fared worse, with the bone covered with cracks and partially fossilized. Among this display of decay, one item contrasted with appearance that didn't betrayed it's age at all. One would think that the thing was recent, brought up only yesterday.

"Take a look ladies. Behold the very blade that slain this behemoth sized wyrm." said Regulus while pointing upwards.

Over their heads, driven almost to the very hilt into palate of the dead reptile was resting a magnificent blade. Shining with gold and silver the weapon appeared to scoff at the passage of time, itself showing no sing of weariness. While not a lot of it was visible, there was no doubt that sword as a whole was preserved in the perfect state.

"There is an interesting tale...and prophecy regarding this weapon...but I expect that you aren't in the mood of listening about it." said old griffon in the strange tone...almost as if he was testing girls patience.

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“Well, I’m going to officer school, like the rest of my family, but my idea plan is to eventually join the Wonderbolts.”, the blue filly whispered, but kept a proud tone to it all. “It’s generally a better idea to start with the R.E.A and then branch off to the ‘Bolts’ due to the superior training and recommendations you can receive.” She knew any Pegasus ponies was free to join the Wonderbolts, but it took a special kind of Pegasus to actually be part of the team. Wind Walker couldn’t help but be impressed by the dragon’s remains. She had only seem dragons in artwork, picture books and one little purple dragon boy she had caught sight of in Ponyville. She wanted to stop over and say hello to guy, but he had been in the process of being hurried along by her least favorite princess, Twilight Sparkle. She probably used the poor kid as some sort of lackey.
 
She crept a little closer to the black raven as asked and continued to silently marvel at what she had seen. She let out a slight gasp as she saw the sword. Why did the dragon have to die? Was he or she evil? Couldn’t they just talk it over like rational people do? Did the dragon have a family that wondered where their brother, sister, mother or father was? Did they miss this dragon?
 
“I’d like to hear it.”, the filly spoke up. It had to be interesting. She knew back in the olden days, dragons did try their best to interfere with the lives of dragons, or was it the other way around?
 
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While keeping an eye on both the children, and the other on the path they were heading to, the griffon kept deathly quiet up and until she caught sight of the sword. “Oh, very nice.” Being the type of artist she was, Zelda pulled out a pad and paper and started to draw up several sketches of the sword, along with what she believed the weapon to be made up of. While she silently wondered why someone hadn’t swiped the old blade, there was a good chance that it had either been driven in too far to be removed, or those who knew about the ancient sword would simply know that it would fall apart once its long covered bits were exposed to the environment after being concealed so far.
 
“Story? Huh? Yeah, go ahead..”
 

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