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[Nimbusgait lakes] Quest for the Crown Jewels (OPEN)

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OOC: Open to any and all foals/fillies/colts who feel like a goonys esk adventure! You don't need to be in the nut family, maybe you're just visiting or something! Lets go have a wild adventure!

--Three weeks ago--

"So let me get this straight." The burly Pegasus captain stressed, rubbing his forehead with a gold clad hoof. Before his ornate desk stood two forlorn trainees, both without their armour and looking very worse for wear.

"First, after being specifically requested by her Majesty for chariot duty, you arrive late and miss your departure time. Well, an easy start then. Care to explain?"

Vaguely drawing his hoofs to attention, the first of the two Pegasi privates proffered a well rehearsed reply "Sir, we were experiencing poor weather conditions and delayed departure for her majesty's safety."

"Really," Remarked the weary captain with only a hint of sarcasm. An idol hoof deferred to the heaped papers on his desk "So it wouldn't have anything to do with the sighting of all three of you in, where was it now, 'Pony Joe's Donut Parlor'? No, private, don't even try."

Before either Pegasus could reply, their superior waved a hoof and moved on to the next article on the agenda "So, having departed, late, you then took an unauthorised detour across the Nimbusgait lakes, deviating from all standard safety protocol. I've already taken the liberty of checking the weather reports for the Trottingham plains, so we can discount unexpected tornadoes blocking your path. Unless you'd like to suggest that the 'freak weather' that prevented you from taking off on time followed you for a hundred and fourty miles?"

There was an awkward pause while the two chastised guards shuffled uncomfortably under their commander's gaze.

"Sir, we..." Tried the second Pegasus, mouth flapping for a moment as he tried to phrase a suitable explanation. Finding none, his frame deflated as he delivered the honest truth "We... thought she might enjoy the view."

"Ah, I see. You thought she might enjoy the view." Mirrored the captain, nodding in mock understanding.

"And then for the icing on the cake. You lost control of the chariot, dumping Princess Luna into the aforementioned lake and scattering her belongings over a three mile strech of the Nimbus-Highlands."

A mumbled chorus of 'yes sir's issued from the defeated Pegasus.

"Sir? In our defence, Lun... the princess seemed to think it was funny, at the time I mean."

The commander of the royal guard, Cloudsdale contingent, fixed his stony glare on the two young subordinates. One was bruised and battered on account of still being attached to the chariot when it crashed, the other was covered in trails of duck-weed from his attempts to salvage the Princess's luggage. A fine company of stallions indeed.

Letting out a sigh, the stocky Pegasus continued "In all my years as a guard I have never seen a more shameful display of reckless insubordination, from members of my own contingent no less! I'm surprised you aren't being dragged in front of Princess Celestia herself. As it is, Princess Luna has personally requested that neither be subjected to any formal charges."

Relief spread palpably across the two chastised guards, thankful that at least they’d get to keep their jobs. As the captain contemplated just how many years of manure duty he could legally subject the two, there was a chuckle from the downcast pair.

"Something Amusing you, Private?" Snapped the frustrated comander.

"P-permission to speak freely, sir?" Stuttered the first guard, biting his lip as though trying to stifle a fit of laughter "For the smile on her face? It was still totally worth it."

--Present--

Athsetics always come at a cost. Sometimes the cost is planned for, other times it turns out to be completely unpredictable. The Nimbusguist lakes were an example of the latter. At first a city comprised entirely of clouds had seemed such a wondrous and outlandish concept. But on the practical side of things, everlasting waterfalls and torrential downpours had to go somewhere. This somewhere turned out to be the long rolling valleys of the Nimbus highland, which had rapidly filled into three enormous lakes.

Though it had been a blow for local farmers, the lakes were a blessing in disguise. Close to a millennia since their genesis, the land around the great lakes had turned from near barren moorland into a flourishing plain of meadows and lush forests. Nestled just below the largest of the three sisters, the Nutmeg family farm unrolled across the gentle hills as a patch work of warm browns and green orchards.

From one of the many scattered farm houses, a trail of dust gradually rose into the still morning air. Along the well worn dirt track, a chestnut paint filly galloped furiously towards the edge of Old Oak forest. She was late.

Exchanging chores with her brother had seemed like such a good idea three days ago, but it had never occurred to the young foal that he might actually hold her to her word. Begging, pleading and whining hadn't changed the situation, so double chores had taken double the time. Now she was very late. Her friends would already be gathered at the club house, waiting for the young Pegasus to arrive so they could set out on a day's adventuring.

Bracken land surrounded the edge of OldOak, remnants of the meandering river that now ran closer to the farm. Between a fork in the lazy river, a large island played host to a distinctive mound formed by fallen trees and a thatch of salvaged branches. Once a long abandoned beaver dam, now the super secret hide out for the past three generations of nut family foals and a plethra of friends from nearby villages. True it was now fairly obviously lived in, picketed as it was with various friendly 'keep out' signs and surrounded by a small garden of wild flowers.

Panting heavily, the Pegasus adjusted her cumbersome saddle bags before cautiously stepping out onto the fallen oak tree that served as the bridge to the small island. Though the filly nearly ended up in the drink several times, oddly she seemed to resist the urge to spread her oversized wings for balance. With a small spring, the foal landed on the sandy island and trotted up to the large upturned wicker basket the served as the hideout's door. Tapping twice on the hanging hollow log, the filly stood back and waited for somepony to lower the door from the inside, quietly mutering a prair to any deiaty that happened to be listening.

"Please don't ask for the password, please don't ask for the password."

There was the sound of shuffling somewhere within the fortress of sticks and a small face appeared within a slot that had been cut into the basket. Deep blue eyes observed her critically from behind a curtain of ebony and ivory forelock.

"Whats the password?"

"Horsefeathers! Macky it's me! You can see it's me, just please open the door."

The half-zebra squinted as tough looking for tell tale signs that the filly beyond was in fact an alien in disguise "That's not the point Peabee. What's the use of having a super-secret hideout, if anypony can enter by saying 'it's me'!"

PeaBee sighed theatrically and scuffed a hoof against the dirt "Fine.. Klaatu. errr Baradah.... Ummmm..." and a fit of exagerated coughing consealed the third word from the world.

"There! I said the password." Announced the foal, "Now will you let me in?"

The distinct shaking of the gate keepers head said otherwise "That dosn't count, you didn't say the whole thing! You've got to say the whole thing or else there's no point-"

"MACKY!" Bristled the pegasus, suddenly a ball of younger-slibling wrath "If ye' de'ne open this door right nah, ah' swear a'll buck t'stripes clean off ya!"

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"Hrk! Well, would ya look at that? Seems the password changed, just now, ta that, come on in! Heh..." Macadamia said, sweating a little bit before opening the makeshift door; man his cousin could be scary when she wanted to be, "So what's yer excuse this time Peabee? The password only changes once a week after all, cane't be all that hard ta memorize can it? Then again, this'n was kinda silly after all...Maybe somethin simpler next time huh?" standing aside to let Peabee in, Macadamia began pondering on what to make next week's password, maybe some kind of rhyme 'Open the door and let me in or....hmm...no...This door, this door it keeps me out, let me in or I shall pout?...No no....bah I'll think of somethin.' he thought to himself as he walked into the clubhouse; strewn about the club were the obvious things one would come to expect from children, comic books, toys, and the like, over in Macky's corner, however, were odds and ends of tools and unfinished projects, along with different doodled out schematics and a big beanbag chair. Plopping himself down in said beanbag, Macadamia gathered up a half done schematic and began to work on it, "May s'well get comfy and such, the others should be here shortly ah reckon."

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Purple Haze trotted along happily. Fet Loch, home sweet home, the loveliest lake in the Nimbus Highlands, the prettiest land in Equestria! It was so nice to see Ma and Pa again, even though she loved living with her big brae back in Ponyville. But still, this was where she grew up. And after the hugs and kisses and food and more hugs, there was only one place to go to really feel like she was back, at least for a little bit.

The dark green filly headed over towards OldOak, blending in with the surroundings even with her orange and purple mane. She followed the lazy river up to the fork. She hopped her way across a long tree trunk that had fallen across the river ages ago, balancing a basket of carrot treats on her back. She pushed through a bush, and saw the old hideout. And, of course, Mack was guarding the door!

"Oi! Mack, Oi'm back! Lemme in, Oi've some snacks, 'aven't Oi? Z'anyone else here, then?"

He couldn't possibly ask her for a password, right? She hadn't been here in months! She didn't know the new password!

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Relieved to finaly be rid of her heavy saddle bags and briefly apologising to her cousin, Peabee had been surprised to find the club house empty bar the half zebra himself. This was of course not counting his various haphazard projects, even if some of them did seem to be developing minds of their own. Disapointment flowed over her for a few moments, they had invited vertualy everyone they knew and no one had turned up yet. Were they even going to come? She knew she wasn't exactly popular at school but did they really have this few friends?

She had just been in the process of clearing away some of the clutter from around the den when the sound of hoof beats and a familiar voice had interrupted her lacklustre maintenance.

"Yes! They're here!" She exclaimed, recognising the strong accent of Trottingham but not the voice that spoke its brash tones. Standing on a reclaimed chair, the filly stretched up to look through one of the rough portholes that served as the den's windows. Out on the pathway stood a very familiar earth pony, green coated with a wild mane of orange and purples. Though it had been some time since she had last seen her, Peabee never forgot a friend

"Hazy?"

A smile spread across Peabee's face that threatened to divide her head from ear to ear. Without even thinking to wait for the 'password' the paint foal butted the door aside and burst into the open, bouncing around the newcomer with a joyous cry "Oh my gosh! Hazy, Hazy, HAaaazzeee! You're back!"

As the Pegasus finally slowed her lively greeting, she began to take in everything that had changed about the older filly.

Haze had grown a lot. Once there had barely been a few inches between them, now she was nearly a whole head higher than Peanut, easily as tall as Macky! What was more; the filly's flanks now boasted a proud carrot cutie mark, suiting the sweet smelling snacks she had brought along with her.

Peabee seemed undeterred though, dizzy with excitement and unable to keep still.

"Wow! I totally didn't expect you! I thought you went to your brother's farm or something? Did you just get back from Ponyville!? Oh WOW! When did you get your cutie mark?!"

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"Peabee, Peabee! YOU GOTTA ASK THE FOR THE PASS...word...oh fer the love'a crimminy....Spend all that time thinkin up a password, and what do we do? Let ev'ryone in all willy nilly! Consarnit..." Macadamia said as he got up to follow Peabee out to see who the arrival was; much to his surprise, it was their old friend Purple Haze, it had been a while since he saw her, but the mane and accent were a dead giveaway; walking over with a smile Macadamia gave Peabee a pat on the head, "Now now cuz, don't bombard her with so many questions right away! She just got here, there'll be plenty of time fer answers; let'er breathe now." turning to Purple, Macky nodded into the club house, "S'good seein ya Hazey, c'mon inside, the drinks are gettin hot and yer the first one here sides us."

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A bright smile spread across Purple Haze's face as a familiar foal burst out of the clubhouse! "Peabee!" she cried, happily, though she couldn't believe it! Peabee was so small! When did she get so small? Purple Haze couldn't run forward to meet her, not with her baskets of snacks, but she stood there, braced, as Peabee bounced around her with such incredible energy!

She totally and completely ignored Mack's grumbling about passwords. He *always* grumbled about the passwords. But she did follow him in towards the drinks, she was thirsty!

"Eeeee! Ye ne'er saw it?!" she cried happily to Peabee. "Aye, Oi got it just 'fore Oi left! Oi was home 'sperimentin', it was a family party, roit? An' oi mixed in a lil' bit ah this, a lil' bit ah that... um... in moi gram's signature dish ... " She blushed a bit at her audacity... though she'd totally do it again. "When moi folks all made a bruaha bout how was moi gram's best batch e'er, Oi could nae hold it in! Told 'em all bout how Oi'd made a few improvements! Ooooo, Gram was *mad*. An' proud! An' that's when Oi got me mark! An' since Oi got me mark, twas time fer me tae go travelin' tae live wit' other family afore gettin' a place ah me own! Since me brae was roit there fer th' party, Oi went roit with 'im back tae Ponyville!"

"But 'nuff bout me! Wot've ye all been hoiting 'bout, then? Oi've only popped in fer a short time, so ye've gotta fill me in on all th' loose talk, roit? Wot's Oi've missed?"

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Gratefully retrieving a drink of her own from Macky, the Pegasus foal sat transfixed by her friend’s tale.

"Wow Hazey! You're so lucky. Hmm, I wonder if I should have a go at improving Grammy's baking? Then again, after the puddin' accident last High Winter, she said she'd throttle me if I ever set hoof in her kitchen again."

Though gossip wasn't really her thing, Peabee did have some news that needed sharing as soon as possible.

"Oh! You've got amazing timeing too. You'll never believe this!" the foal swept away the assorted flotsam from the table top and dealved into her saddle bags "This is why I wanted everyone to be here today. You remember my Great uncle Butternut, the one with all the amazing stories about the haunted parts of the forrest an' stuff. Well! Last weekend I helped move a load of stuff out of his cellar, an' as a reward he gave me, This!"

With a flourish the foal pulled out a long folded tube of paper, holding it up reverentially as though it were some holy grail or deed to the kingdom. Carefuly, Peabee began to unroll the crinkled scroll, revealing a crewed map of the Nimbus highlands and Old Oak wood. Blotched with brown stains and tarshished at the edges, the map cirtaintly 'looked' old, though the scent of coffee grounds hung suspiciously in the air around it.

"It's a TREASURE map!" Announced the foal proudly, indicating the dotted line that led from the beaver dam, out into the wood and ended near one of the many streams that lead away from the great lakes.

"Apparently, it leads to a stash left by Captain Black Mane! The most fearsest pirate pony every to sail Nibusguite lake!"

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((OOC: Anypony still interested in this? I'm still defiantly game. Anyone wanting to join just post up and leap in! They’re totally expecting guests and most foals in the area will know ‘the password’ anyway XD There is still plot to be had here and I haven’t shelved the thread yet ^^, ))

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