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I'll make a Stallion out of you! (Closed, Leo & Pressy)

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Scions of the Royal House of Blueblood had never been known for their patience, and as far as Princess Bluebelle was concerned, this whole thing had gone on long enough!  All things considered, it was hard to impute her impatience as a vice.  After all, when one has been born as a Prince, living contentedly as one for one's entire life, to suddenly be made a Princess by magical accident was a little disturbing, to say the least.  

 

Princess Twilight had been working on a reversal spell, but the unusual circumstances under which the transformation took place (involving a sneeze messing up a healing spell), made the research slow going.  And in the meantime, several circumstances had been wearing down Bluebelle's ability to wait.  First was the fact that the transformation was bizarrely inconsistent.  While most of the time, she was a mare, from time to time she would revert back to her old body, which necessitated constant re-adjustment of everything from walking pace to wardrobes.  It was quite trying.

 

But perhaps even more disturbing was the fact that such reversals started out as very common, almost daily, but had slowly become more and more infrequent.  This started to breed a worry in the Princess that if measures weren't taken soon, the transformation might turn out to be irreversible!

 

Which would be terrible.

 

*Gah!  I need to focus!  It's even starting to affect my mind now.*

 

So it was, after a good few months of putting on a good show of taking her change calmly, Bluebelle took matters to rectify the situation into her own hooves.  And, after an intensive few days of research (on the part of her secretary), she felt a solution might finally be within her grasp...

 

~***~

 

"We can't be lost, that's impossible!"  Dressed impeccably in tailored khaki, Bluebelle frowned and fumed at the old map she was levitating in front of her.  "I can find a small island in the trackless oceans!  Surely one temple in one forest can't be hard to find..."

 

The expedition to the Leota had not been hard to scrape together.  She had royal funds, as well as an honor guard to serve as traveling companion and protector.  But once she had let slip that she was going hunting for an ancient magical artifact, said to be held by an all-stallion tribe that once lived in the Leota, she unexpectedly found her party increased by one, a mare from EPIC.  Not that she minded the extra protection, but she could not imagine what on earth any potential villains would want with a statuette that turned mares into stallions.  Well, except smashing it to spite her.

 

"Are either of you familiar with finding your way through forests?  Because I think we've passed that tree before."  She turned to her traveling companions, sizing them up for likelihoods.  Star Crusader, Bluebelle's honor guard, had proved to be a resourceful mare in the past.  It was this secure unflappability and readiness from the gigantic pegasus which had first caught the royal figure's admiration, even before Blueblood had seen what she looked like underneath the bulk of her armor.  The help she had lately given her in dealing with her current situation only increased that admiration, and Blue had come to trust Star implicitly.

 

The other mare, Rubble Rose, was more of a cipher.  For one thing, she was neither talkative, nor silently expressive in much of any way.  In addition to this strong, silent attitude was the fact that... it really didn't make a lot of sense for her to be here, as far as the Princess could see.  EPIC surely had more members available that were better suited to wilderness adventures... unless they anticipated some difficulty in breaking into the temple.  Then it would make sense to bring along an urban demolitionist.  *Is there something else, though, that I'm not seeing?  She had personally requested to come along as soon as she heard that we were going to an ancient temple....*

Edited by Rackenhammer

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Rubble nodded slowly at the princesses question but added, "Usually it's the one back in Fet loch I used to find my way in though." with that she popped her lollipop back in her mouth before looking around and narrowing her eyes towards the distance. From what she could see, there was what looked like cut stone in the distance between a great deal of foliage and moss... "What kind of building was the temple? Leotan inhabitants used stone-cutting right?" 

 

The unicorn couldn't be sure but there was always the chance the temple was casting an autospell that disoriented anypony nearby it didn't recognize. she'd read about that sort of thing in magic school. When the princess and her honor guard mentioned going on a trip to this place she had to insist that she come along, while she may be a demolition pony in profession she was also able to instinctively tell the structural integrity of any building and the idea of the princess and her guard now attempting to infiltrate a temple surrounded by aggressively growing local flora didn't seem to be a good idea. The weathering of the building and with not maintenance very likely meant this temple they wished to visit was falling apart... and if there was anypony they could use to find their way out of that situation, it was her. 

 

Her knowledge of the Blueblood... or bluebelle's situation was rather limited but she could sympathize with his situation... all the new clothes you had to buy, the adjustments to a new physique that you were unfamiliar with it sounded really troublesome. She still wasn't sure as to what to make of hi honor guard though...

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The mare known as Star Crusader would be open to admit that she’d be sad to see the prince’s dilemma gone. Though she isn’t entirely sure of the reason. Last she checked, she hasn’t exactly found herself attracted to mares. Or, maybe she hadn’t found one she’s attracted to yet? The prince excluded from that thought of course. Maybe it’s just a lingering open mentality as a Scion of the Nova house?

Regardless, it was her duty to protect, and see the Prince through all adversities in life. That was her duty as an Honor Guard. Or… probably the Prince’s only Honor Guard. Something that he had mentioned will be remedied soon enough. Something odd to get used to, but not unwelcomed if it means she can do whatever marefriends do.

 

And so, that brings her here to the Prince’s Task at his discretion. They have found themselves wondering through a forest in search of a long (not so) forgotten treasure. Something that could hopefully remove the Prince’s curve… or at least make it less random.

 

Star Crusader was dressed in her usual heavy metal armor. And as usual, the helmet was absent. She was well aware of it's benefits... however it's hindrance to her eyesight proved to be a problem. On her back was her tower shield. The only bit breaking the norm, was the inclusion of her favored weapon... a flail with a large and heavy weight with the shape of an octohedran.

 

The mare’s eye turned to the tree mentioned by the Prince, and then slowly tilted her head as she gazed at the tree. She scoured through her memory of everything she’s catalogued… building a deep mental map. However, some details had been lost, or kept limited due to physical limitations.

“No sir. I don’t believe so. All previous tree’s we have passed, have been of the variety of Oaks, Junipers, Cedars, Maples, and spruces, with a foliage patch count around seventeen to seventy five, with eighty to a hundred ninety-seven leaves in each patch. This is a Cedar… though not the first we’ve walked by. This one is unique.”

She points around the area. “This tree is a possible land mark. We are standing in a less dense portion of the woods, and nearby is a large stump from a cork tree. It’s corpse location is unknown, but this Cedar has taken damage from a pony made object.” She points to a few uncharacteristic imperfections in the side of the tree. They have been healed over making them rounded out.. but they were unusual.

“Also. I have triggered a snare that has been attached to this tree,” She placed her hoof down and raised a back leg with a rope that had been pulled taught, and streatches all the way up to the canopy of the tree.It appears to have been mostly hidden by mud that had been smeared to the side of the tree, and layered with bark and leaves.

“By design, it is a simple pulley trap designed to lift creatures the size of a pony, and lower up into the air to hang by the ankles. There is also an alarm that is triggered after the counter weight falls so far. However… it seems I am significantly heavier than it’s counter weight…” The mare then tilted her head with a ghost of a frown. “I believe it may be a sign for me to go on a diet later.”

She soon sat down, and pulled a dagger from her belt. She bit down onto the rope before she cut herself free… then tied the rope to the tree.

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It seemed that a working knowledge of Fet Loch forestry was all the intrepid party had to go with.  Fortunately, it also seemed as if that would be sufficient.  "Oh?  Well, I suppose it's helpful to know that we're going somewhere, though aside from this crude path, I don't see any signs of inhabitants."  Not that Bluebelle expected to find much; after all, forests like these grew according to their own wishes, and if ponies did not constantly work to keep them at bay, they would soon swallow any signs of habitation.

 

At least, that was her working theory, until Star Crusader pointed out the rope now attached to her back leg.  "Wait, what!?"  The Princess took the news far less calmly than her guard, casting wild glances into the underbrush and picking her steps carefully as she made her way closer to Star, lest she be strung up like a Heart's Warming decoration.  Bluebelle was suddenly quite glad that she'd brought along two hefty mares on this now-riskier venture.  She took a deep breath to relax herself; she couldn't freak out, being the technical leader of this expedition, after all.

"Oh, I would say the weight comes more from your armor, Star.  I certainly never thought your figure in need of adjustment!"  The remark was meant to make light of the situation, but it was true, as far as Bluebelle was concerned.  Her guard certainly had the curves of a mare, but that was more from the underlying musculature than padding; a fact which the royals aesthetical sense had appreciated.  Blueblood apparently had a thing for the Valkyrie type, of which the pegasus was a prime example.

 

Of course, their other companion, Rubble Rose, made a good go of it herself, something which would probably come in handy if they ran into any trouble.  As Star wrapped the rope around the tree, Bluebelle consulted with her in a low tone.  "There should be signs of stonework, yes.  Either the temple or a quarry; all that rock had to come from somewhere, and the path to cart the stuff ought to be pretty obvious too..."  She looked over the stump of the cork tree, and saw through the underbrush, the unmistakeable grey of weathered stone.  "Aha!"

 

She made her way towards it, carefully, still sticking to the path.  "Roughly shaped... but I think it was carved at some point.  I think we're pretty close!"  Bluebelle looked around, both in excitement, and apprehension.  All research and common sense had told her that the all-stallion tribe had died out.  It made sense to her; the prospect of 'no mares' made for an unattractive recruiting prospect, and there was an obvious difficulty in reproduction.  But that trap seemed to signify that this area was not so abandoned after all...

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Actually hearing audibly what other ponies were saying was still something Rose wasn't used to. She missed her headphones even though most ponies told her if she wore them all the time she'd end up deaf one day.She was glad to be of some use on actually finding this place, finding things was not her strong suit... well at least not in the wilderness. 

The mare approached the bit of stonework and put her hoof on it gently, closing her eyes. "Huh." She said aloud, "I was right to come." She said taking a few steps forward and turning to face what appeared to be a wall of vines, roots, tendrils, and dirt. the unicorn's horn lit  up faintly and she stepped forward, putting her horn against the wall of roots. Soon the foliage began to wither and crumble before falling to the ground , many of the vines breaking and soon revealing a marvelous stonework door.

The door looked old and remarkably heavy, by tartarus it might have taken thirty guards just to move something thi- "I got it." said the listless voiced mare as she pushed the door open as if it were made of wood. Attempts to do the same by the other two mares would be met by... frustration at best, madness at worst.
 

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Star Crusader’s eyes widened a bit in surprise. Crusader… could easily admit that she wouldn’t have attempted to best that structure with a push. She’d need a substantial amount of weight behind her to make it budge. Perhaps it was the demolitionist’s magic that gives her a hand? Yes… she reviewed the mare’s background… she had a tendency of just walking through buildings it seems.

“Well I suppose that works,” The mare began as she waited for the prince to take the lead, before taking the rear. Her gaze drifted behind herself, as she felt her feathers tingle. She had a sneaking sensation that they were being followed now. Could this civilization still be in existence? One would think they would have died out by their own customs…

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It was indeed a good thing that Rubble Rose had come along; Bluebelle doubted whether she would have ever guessed that the mass of dirt and vegetation she took for a hill was, in fact, covering a doorway.  And as for opening it... well, if Star Crusader would have had trouble, the admittedly much softer Princess would have been hopeless.  "It works indeed!  Thank you very much, Miss Rose."  The Princess tipped her pith helmet at the demolitionist, flipping a bit of mane back from her eyes.

 

"And looking at that, I doubt we'll have much to deal with from the natives.  I don't know any living property owner that would allow their buildings to get into such a state!"  She declared confidently.... before remembering a certain other property she owned that had fallen into severe disrepair.  "Er, well, barring extraordinary circumstances."  Such as, oh, say for instance, curses attached to ancient relics.  Ancient magical relics, like the kind they had specifically traveled here to find.  Suddenly, Bluebelle seemed a lot less certain of her future as she took point, stepping cautiously as she magically illuminated the stone tunnel before her.

 

Normally, this was the part of the adventure where the poison darts come out of the walls, and the adventurer has to do a lot of crazy dodges and rolls to avoid getting hit.  As it happened, however, none did.  In fact, the whole place was no more trapped than any public building in Canterlot.  After stopping every dozen feet or so to have Rubble Rose check for nasty surprises, only to find nothing, Bluebelle's confidences began to rise again.  "I always thought the 'trapped temple' cliche was a little odd.  I mean, why would you install death traps in a building you regularly gathered your whole tribe in?  Ridiculous, hmph!"  And so she strutted forward, turning a few sharp sudden corners to find-

 

 

A vast, open chamber in the center of the temple.  One could see, in the ceiling, holes that were meant to have let in the sunlight to illuminate the place, but had since all been choked with vegetation, giving the whole place an emerald hue.  There was a large space of empty stone floor in front of the trio, running up to a flight of stairs and a dais at the far end.  Upon this dais was an altar, and upon this altar could be seen, gleaming even in the dull light, a golden statue of a Stallion.
"Huh.  Well!"  Bluebelle dug through the notes that she had brought with her, comparing the laboriously-copied sketches of old traveler's descriptions with the supposed original.  They only looked vaguely similar, but the setting description was spot-on.  "I... honestly didn't expect it to be that easy."  She trotted forward, ahead of her two guards, before suddenly stopping.  It all was too easy...  "Uh, I don't suppose either of you... detected anypony following us?"

 

~

 

Detected or not, they had been followed.  There were at least two of them, for these two had held a whispered conversation, after seeing the large pegasus make a mockery of their trap.

 

"Mares, here?  What are they doing?"

"Well, young one, it looks as if they are headed for the Temple."

"What!?  The sacred space?  We must stop them!"

"Patience.  Were it any other of our secret places, they could not enter.  But the Temple is closed to none who wish to enter, 'For whatsoever they be who enter the Temple, stallions alone shall exit."

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Rubble calmly bowed her head in response to the Prince(ss) 's thanks, as she looked around the hall they strolled down she had this weird feeling that something was... off. She was soon distracted by the feeling as the group came to what could only be assumed as the ritual chamber. The ease of this operation was taking even this stonefaced pony by surprise; enough to make her eyes wide by maybe... a quarter of an inch? before lowering back to her normal expression. 

The artifact the princess needed was now in sight and it was nice to see the princess thought this was going far too smoothly as well. 

"I had a weird feeling earlier ... does that count?" she Asked, her head titling slightly.

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The mare stopped midway through entering the building. She frowned when she felt the feathers of her wings tickle, and glanced behind herself for a moment. She studied the scenery for a few long seconds then turned back around and followed the two inside.

 Her gaze calmly drifted up a nearby pillar to the ceiling of the ritual chamber. Her eyes danced along the flying buttresses that served little discernible purpose other than for décor. Perhaps they were just there to accent the height of the room in general, as the ceiling did reach up quite a ways. Then again… this seemed to be a common thing in pony construction, as it’s usually to compensate for Pegasus.

Her eyes then fell back down to the center piece. The center piece of a golden stallion. It was… an odd thing to look at in general. It looks more like an idol rather than a transformative artifact. But… such is the weirdness of magic in general.

Now to more pressing matters.

“Affirmative. A small group of ponies with unknown intent has spotted us some time ago. How long is indiscernable, however they do not currently pose a threat. Weather or not they are natives is still unknown to me. I could only see a small portion of their faces and eyes.”

The mare then tilted her head. "Due to the situation at hand, I believed it was best for your interest to focus on more pressing matters. The fear of being stalked may be a bit much when added to a significantly possibility of a misplaced hoofstep on a trigger."

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Oh, great.  It was all too easy.  After all, why bother with stuffing your ancient temple full of traps that might backfire on you, or break down altogether?  All this tribe had to do build a great stone building with only one way in, and trap any interlopers by holding the entrance.  "Ugh!"  Bluebelle sighed in frustration, but she couldn't fault either of her guards.  After all, the first priority would be looking out for traps or unstable floor, which could get her immediately, rather than stalkers who might just possibly not be hostile.  

Considering what the Princess was about to do next, that was not a possibility likely to last.  "Right," she said, magically lifting open her saddlesack, "Star, you and Rubble watch the entrance.  We'll just have to take this with us, and figure out how it's supposed to work later."  The alabaster mare laid her hooves upon the golden idol, and momentarily paused in surprise.  It wasn't cold, like one would expect metal lain untouched for years to be.  Instead, it was warm, as if it had been held tightly against a pony's body not very long ago... or if it had its own, internal, source of heat.

That would have only been cause for a momentary delay, except for the fact that the gold stallion now began to buzz and vibrate in Bluebelle's hooves, causing her to drop it.  Suddenly, a low rumbling began; the vibrations of the idol now resonating within the stones of the temple itself.  Star Crusader would be able to feel it through her hooves, and the more expert touch of Rubble Rose would be able to discern that mortar was now crumbling in certain key sections of the architecture...

"Look out- WHOA!"  The Princess cried out, before a sudden lurch in the whole temple knocked her off her hooves.  It seemed that her fall was extremely fortunate timing, however, since the instant after her chin hit the stones, the golden stallion effigy exploded, sending golden shards whizzing at high speed all across the chamber, along with a cloud of magical smoke that obscured all vision for a time.  Bluebelle had been knocked safely out of the blast radius, but both Star and Rubble would have felt as if they had been splashed with hot water, followed by an all-over pins and needles sensation....

Another lurch in the temple would have sent them all sprawling again, as well as knocked a few stones out of the walls and ceiling, fortunately nowhere near the ponies inside.  That bit of destruction seemed to relieve the architectural tension for now, as the shaking now stopped, leaving an empty altar overlooking a smoke-filled temple.  

"*choke*...*cough*  Ahem!  Is... is everypony alright?"  The worried voice of a mare called out over the smoke and dust.  Oddly enough... Star and Rubble would be alright, for two mares that had been presumably showered with high-velocity shards of idol.  They were both uninjured... though as the dust cleared, all would be able to see that they were not unaltered....

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The rocking if the temple and the subsequent explosion caught everyone off guard. Rubble needed to take a moment to gauge just how badly the vibrations of the artifact were affecting the temple's foundations, the answer; Badly. The stone faced mare grimaced faintly before opening her eyes and then suddenly getting hit in the chest with what felt like a very tiny dagger, but looking at herself she noticed no wound where it hit. The temple was already starting to fall apart, slabs of stone rained down from the ceiling and kicked up clouds of dust that made the demolition mare's nose twitch...

Just as that strange Pins and needles filling began to flood her sense she filled her lung with air in a series of dainty sounding inhalations that were followed by a Roar of a sneeze that shook the temple a bit more... if one was listening closely they may have noticed the tone of voice went considerably Deeper on the release, as if the one who caused it went from a Contralto to a baritone.

When the smoke finally cleared in Rubble's place was a stallion with a stronger looking build and the same color palette and the same expression on his face whilst rubbing a hoof to an itching muzzle.

 

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Spoiler

For an Idea on Male! Rubble's  voice, Google Liam O'brien. (or for a more quick idea of it... Google Vayne from Mana Khemia: alchemists of Al-Revis.)

"I'm Fine. We should leave though, This place is only growing more unstable the longer we stay."  The stallion who now stood before Blue(belle) and Crusader coudl still be recognized as Rose. Her manner of speaking and cadence was still evident if now considerably deeper. It seemed that Rubble's mind wasn't on her appearance or how she sounded at the moment as the stallion tilted his head at Bluebelle, "Why are you staring? Is something on my face?" The stallion reached up one of his hoofs and ran a fetlock past his muzzle, getting some of the dust and debris of the slightly rounded bridge of his nose before blinking at the sight before him; his hoof. "Huh." He said before setting his hoof back down, "My hooves are larger. Anyway, We should probably go."

 

 

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Admitably, this is perhaps one of the few times Crusader had been completely caught off guard. She had expected some sort of magic anamolly… but not an explosion of power. As good as she likes to believe in her skills, she knew better than to expect to be able to shield anything from an explosion. She let out a bawk of bewilderment as she quickly lashed a hoof out in the air to try and catch the flying mare, but to no avail. Instead she found herself quickly being engulfed in a strange field.

Her body felt… strange. Bigger… heavier… and with a few missing parts and an addition. When the smoke cleared out, she found herself… no… himself looking over his own form after ascertaining the princess’s condition.

“It… seems that we were misinformed of the purpose of this site,” He mused to himself. He pulled the shield off of his back and took a look at his own reflection. His mane had grown out a bit more around the sides. Dropping off to both sides of his muzzle instead of one. The pony tale remained the same… but his new muzzle…

It was certainly more pronounced. With features that he’d suppose mares would call handsome? Or maybe the figure of a Paladin. His body was certainly bulkier than it was originally. It might not be plainly obvious right away with her armor on. But the few sections that were left exposed and uncovered by protective barding did show that his muscles had become more pronounced. Not to the absurdity that would make him a disgusting beef cake, but the difference was noticeable.

 

If there was one word to describe him now… it would be gallant. A Gallant Crusader.

 

She then let out a sigh, “Or possibly we were well informed, and the site committed to it’s function. It may be time to speak with the locals.”

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In retrospect, this really should not have come as a surprise to Bluebelle.  After all, she had come to this place specifically because of powers rumored to change mares into stallions.  But, as the explosion hadn't changed her back into Blueblood, it was a little shocking to find that her two bodyguards had themselves transformed.  

And what a transformation!

 

Both mares had been muscular and rugged before, but their new masculine forms took those qualities and emphasized them to a degree not far removed from the platonic ideal.  Rubble Rose's very sneezes sounded as if they would hit almost as hard as one of his hooves now, which certainly were larger than before, thought that was hardly the most significant change!

As for Crusader... Bluebelle's mind was a blank, at first, as she tried to process this new phenomena.  After all, here was the mare she loved, transformed into a stallion.  Blueblood had once asked himself just how well they would take such a situation.  After all, Star had accepted Bluebelle every bit as much as Blueblood, but the royal had by no means been as certain that they could reciprocate.

"Um..." The alabaster mare just managed to close her jaw, but got no further as the locals began to step through the fog of smoke and rubble.  Whether or not the party wished to talk with them, the time had certainly come to talk.

 

The first to step into view was the older tribestallion, dressed... fairly plainly, with just a little pain under his eyes, and leaf wrappings around his legs to spare them from thorns.  He coughed as the dust settled, clearing his throat. "Ahem!  Herem... hack.  Hm, well, seekers from Equestria, it has been some time since we were sought out for our ancient services."  That was... surprisingly calm, for a pony whose sacred shrine had just been devastated.
The younger, however, was by no means so equanimous as he stepped out.  "Father, look!  She seems to have thought herself too good to transform!"  He pointed an angry hoof at Bluebelle, who was in turn stung into response by his tone.
"Well, it wasn't as if I wasn't trying.  Why do you think I came to this Faust-forsaken jungle in the first place!?"

 

All in all... not the best first steps, diplomacy-wise.

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Spoiler

Ignore the hat depicted.

 

The now-stallion sniffed a few times at the musty air. Weird, His sense of smell felt... Duller than when he was a mare. It wasn't by a huge margin but still a bit noticeable. The change of muscle distribution for an already immensely strong body was different but not so much that it was alienating. It may take a while before he fully understood how he felt about the change, but for some reason indifference and inconvenience came to his mind first. Still though... Rubble Rose wasn't the most fitting name for a Stallion, well at least not for one who looked how he did. 

While two tribesponies came in, The stallion was off in his mind as he tried to think up a name... The bright orange eyes looked over the now mostly ruined temple. There were still specks of dust drifting about in the rays of the sunlight coming down through the hole in ceiling. Remember an event that shortly proceeded this change, The stallion wrinkled his muzzle at a phantom itch in his sinuses before speaking up. 

"Dust... and " He said with weak snort to clear his head before looking down at some large chunks of building now littering over the inside of this holy place. The stallion put his-- Huh, his hooves looked a lot bigger now. Interesting. Oh well, back to the naming. Giving the rubble and busted bits of stone dotting the floor he went with the first word that popped into his noggin. 


"Debris."

 

"Oi'm Dust. S'good to meet yeh." Said the stallion in a characteristic fetloch accent. He extended his hoof to the younger one who seemed in need of calming. "What're you and yer father's names?"

 

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The younger one glared defiantly at Rubble Rose, clamping his mouth shut in protest against the insult of their existence, refusing to answer any interloper's questions!  The elder, on the other hoof, rolled his eyes at the other's attitude.  "The Elders in our tribe are called Fathers, and the young ones Sons, for all of us are on family under the Sun."  Clipping the recalcitrant youth on his ear, he induced him to say, sullenly,

"My name's Hoofpipe."  

"And I am Broadleaf."  The 'Father' bowed, but upon looking up, he frowned.  "It has been long since the ancient magics were invoked.  I fear this temple will need replacing.  And the focusing statue... unless you put it in your bags?"  He turned an eye on Bluebelle, and despite his more welcoming visage, it was a suspicious eye.

 

"Er, what?  Oh, no!"  She exclaimed, emptying her bag hastily to prove it.  Sure, if it came to a fight, they could probably take the tribesponies on... but the temple was probably surrounded by now.  Best not to make hostile moves, and cooperate as best as possible while her brain was trying to sort all of these things out.

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This was a feeling that Crusader never thought she would ever feel. The sensation of her body not feeling right to herself. She knew it was still her own flesh and blood, but all the same it still wasn’t what –she- was.  It felt like she was wearing someone elses skin like a suit pretending to be what she was not.

This was… also an enlightening experience for Gallant Crusader at the same time. With her gaze looking down solemnly to her own hoof, slowly turning it around, she had never realized how self-conscious she was about what she –wanted- to be.

 

Still… she could feel some benefits. Her body felt about the same in strength, but she felt more… rigid. Like she could tap into what full power she has under the hood without worrying about severely hurting herself due to some physiology difference. At least there was that.

When she looked up, she caught the ‘father’s ‘ suspicious eye looking to Blueblood. The large buck soon stepped in front of the prince and shot the stallion a hard glare that could probably kill a dragon. Suspicious or not, it would not do well for anyone to test the honor of a prince and call him a thief.

“Do not make an assumption you’d soon regret,” he growled. Her tone sounded like it was something that might have came from a large cave bear giving a warning to a trespasser. Her muzzle scrunched fiercely as she gave her warning. Her body standing tall, and looking down to the two accusers.

“Prince Blueblood had dropped the statue when it reacted with the temples magic. It is likely buried in the rubble near the altar.”

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Gallant Crusader's growled warning was enough to set the two tribal stallions aback.  For that matter, it set Bluebelle aback as well.  His voice stirred weird and varied feelings up in her, like a snowglobe in turmoil.  First was the sheer shock of it, the weight behind the voice was an unfamiliar one, the bass made it seem all the more unsettling.  And yet, there was a familiarity with it too, as the the tone of protection towards her was the same as Star Crusader's, a comforting rock to cling to.  And off-putting as it was, the Princess also felt that there was something... attractive to it?

 

*What's going on?  I know she's really a mare, and I know I'm really a stallion... so why am I as a mare, liking the look of her as a stallion?*  That bubble of confusion was the last thing she probably needed at this point, but today was turning out so topsy-turvy that she could hardly keep anything straight in her head.

 

Fortunately, the Tribal pair had good grips on their own, and upon hearing the word 'Prince,' they both looked at Bluebelle with new eyes.  "You think of yourself as male?"  The elder one asked.

 

"Of course!"  She snapped back, very loudly and hastily, drowning out the doubts in her mind.  "That's what I was, am, was born as.  Got cursed thanks to a magical accident, and I've been looking for a cure.  I read about your tribe, and the magic they held sounded just like what I needed..."  She looked around at the dust and rubble of the temple.  "I, uh, didn't mean to be so destructive... Oh, and I kind of didn't think you all were still alive, and such."  She felt a pink, hot cloud of embarrassment descend upon her.  "Sorry..."  She trailed off, looking to the ground.  "And after all that, it didn't even work..."

 

"Well, maybe not for you."  Hoofpipe, the younger tribal, pointed out the transformed guard and demolitionist.  "We're certainly not dead, and neither is our magic!  Sorry it didn't work on you, though."  The elder cleared his throat, staring hard at the younger before that pony relented.  "And... sorry about, you know, making you feel unwelcome.  If you'd just asked, we could have made the ceremony proper, and everything.  Old Scratcher would have loved to see that, before his eyes go completely."

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