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Storytime At The Explorers Society! (TheOne/Open For All)

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Welcome to the Explorers Society!
 
The pub was founded many years ago by an adventurer named Bounder O’ Adventure and his fearless group of like-minded friends. They wanted a place they could hang out and talk about the adventures they had either been on or were about to start. They hoped to create a place they could hang photos and paintings of their adventures and friends. And where they could display mementos of their epic feats. The actual society held monthly meetings in an hidden room on property, but with the disbandment of the actual Society, the room had been unopened for decades. For all intent and purposes, the ‘ES’ was now basically a well themed pub. This pub still allowed story-tellers to sit by the fire and spin their tall-tales. Grateful pub-patrons had been know to send a few drinks towards the narrator, as long as he or she had a good yarn to spin.
 
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Two ponies slowly made their way through the pub, only stopping to admire the many paintings of adventurers of the past. The older pony, a red Pegasus coated mare let out a sigh as her eyes fell upon a particular painting. This one  consisted of a rather heavy looking stallion adorned with an oversized white mustache that look up nearly half of his face and made him look like an elderly walrus. An neat little monocle and pith helmet completed the scarlet cheeked earth pony's 'uniform'. "This is grandpa and dad's old friend. Merry old 'Colonel Critchlow.", her voice was filled with respect and awe. "Once in a blue moon, we would pop over here and I would listen to the good Colonel's stories while dad would play cards or darts with his officer friends...And while I was told some of his stories were real, he generally liked to 'enhance' his tales....For the listener's sake."
 
The younger pony nodded her head. Hopefully somepony would have a tale of their own to tell.
 
 
 
 
Spoiler

This is basically a fun little place for Theone's character to tell some stories. It's also open for anyone else who wishes to post. This is an adventure themed pub for all ages. Those who study relics might notice that some of the items hung on the wall or are in display cases are probably well made copies as some of the real relics were probably too dangerous to be kept within hoof-reach of the avenger citizen. There is an proper bar with all kinds of fun little drinks. An regular restaurant area. An rather large fireplace with comfortable chairs for those who wish to listen to whatever storyteller had stopped by. And also a gift store. You gotta have one of those..

 

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Explorers Society.... Grey has heard quite a few things about this little, peculiar place from a couple of ponies and was planning to give it a visit for some time now. After all an adventurers pub is defenietly something that was right up this trvelers alley, so passing on such an oportunity would just be so unlike him. Plus, who doesn't like a good drink while sharing a story?

With a gentle push, Grey opened the doors to the pub and made his way through the doorway. Some clinging could be heard with every step he took as the clips of his old, weary saddlebags tapped against each other. While this stallion didn't look too shoddy, his dark grey mane was still a mess and a his coat defenietly has seen better days then... well, now. Stallions green eyes quickly moved around the tavern, taking in its surroudnings. The pictures on the walls seemed to catch his interest for a good couple of seconds as he slowly made his ways through the interior of the pub. It was quite suprising how empty this place was... Grey expected a bit more ponies in a place like this, but he couldn't say he didn't mind the lesser crowd.

Grey sent a polite nod towards those who were in the pub and slowly but surely made his way towards the bar, hoping to get himself something to drink. Once there, Grey's horn lit up and his saddlebags slowly onto the floor with a rather loud thud. "I'll have a glass of water, please." He asked as soon as he had a chance and place a couple of bits on the counter, throwing the bartender a slight smile. He hoped to start this visit slower with his drinks. After all, he didn't come here to get wasted, but to maybe have a chat with someone, share some stories and well... spend some quality time in here.

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A rather bored looking bartender slowly made a virgin Kawaiolanonapukanileo for her current ‘guest’. This was not a good night for tips. She made lots of foal-friendly drinks while pony parents pinched their pennies. She had hoped the usual lot of R.E.A officers would be stopping by. Those guys could drink like horses and tipped rather well. But nope! Not today! No wonder ‘Top Shelf’ was more than happy to trade her shift.
 
"Here you go...", she tried her very best to push out a smile as she passed her newly minted abomination to an very happy filly. Her next customer held great promise. He looked like a drinker. But one who would not even consider ordering something as silly as an Kungaloosh or Bongo’s Jungle Juice. This was a fella that was going to order something simple. Whiskey neat. Or even an Old Fashioned. She always enjoyed making those. Made her not regret the small fortune she hoofed over to attend the 'Flim & Flam Brothers Bartender College'.
 
Her smile quickly vanished as she heard the words every bartender loathed to hear. 'I'll have a glass of water, please'. UGH. Free water. Usually no tip.
 
A small glow formed around her horn as she levitated a glass that soon was filled up with cold and very clean, filtered Canterlot water. Her puffy pink brain commanded her to say something snarky, but she had already been written up twice this week. Need to play it cool.
 
"Here you go...", the glass found its way near the stallion. Her eyes shifted towards the fireplace. It appeared there would be no story-teller tonight. What a shame.
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Grey traced the glass of water with his gaze up until it reached him. As his horn lit up with a yellow tint, a purse slowly raised into the air and a couple of bits flew out. "How much do I owe?" He asked, not used to anything being free anywhere. Even a simple glass of water had its price tag and it usually was valued much more than its real value.

When the bar-tender mare turned her gaze towards the campfire, Grey followed her sight and hung his green eyes on the fireplace as well. After a quick sip of water, he spoke up towards the tired-looking mare behind the bar "I heard many great things about this place. Is it usually that empty or is it just today?" The green eyes were now turned towards her as the Grey stallion leaned back "I mean... I heard that adventurers and travelers alike gather here to share stories yet it seems a bit... empty" His voice wasn't a complaining or mocking one. He sounded genuinely curious.

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“Water is free....”, the bar-mare realized she did not have anyone to talk to at the moment, beside the stallion, so she might as well make the best of it. “Old Canterlot law. If you serve alcohol, water has to be free. Mind you, it’s tap water.” They were not hoofing out the bottled stuff for free. That would be crazy. Of course the bottled stuff came from the same source. But the bottled stuff has fancy names like ‘C’est Juste De L’eau’ or ‘Wasser Aus Dem Wasserhahn’. Put that free water into a fancy looking bottle and give it a foreign name and the bits will come.
 
“Eh. We could be busier.", she shrugged her shoulders, "We don't have a story-teller tonight, but both the ‘Uyanazi Room’ and 'The Library' are booked, but I'm not seeing the usual group of drun...er..officers...", she glanced up at two ponies who were now waiting at the bar. "Wow.", she gasped, "Haven't seen you since that whole Blueblood thing..."
 
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"Hey Carrot Bun.", an cheerful looking red mare greeted the bar-mare with a smile. She stood next to a filly who also seemed to be enjoying her stay so far. "Give me my usual and give the kid here an 'Balderdash'. Extra Balder.", as the mare turned to work on the drinks, the red mare turned to Grey Shield, "I heard her mention there wasn't a story-teller tonight. Which is a shame....Always loved coming here and listening to the old adventurers tell their stories...Was hoping my sister here could get the full 'Explorers Society' experience.'.", feeling a little on the rude side, the mare quickly added, "The name's Fire Walker..Captain Fire Walker of the Twilight Guard, and this little blue squirt is named Wind Walker."
 
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"You look like you've got some stories to tell.", the filly paused to size the older pony up. "My sister says if you wanna tell them, you need to sit by the fireplace."
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Free water, huh? Well, that surely was a nice touch Grey didn't expect from this city. Usually, everything here was made to rip someone off, but this rule... It seemed actually kind and very reasonable, how nice, even if it was just tap-water... "Oh... Alright. Well, keep that. As a tip" Grey placed the free bits he already took out from his sack since it would feel way too awkward to just put them back in now, plus he had some extra money so might as well be nice, right? Yeah... He will regret that later 

Oh. They don't have a story-teller... Well, could've noticed that... "I see..." He started even if not truly understanding the room names, but well... He could guess "Well. If you don't..." Grey stopped as he noticed the two figures approaching the bar. His green eyes quickly went over the two of them as he tried to take in as many details as he could.

When one of the mares started speaking to Grey, he quickly turned towards them with a rather nice and welcoming expression on his face. Hearing her out, Grey opened his mouth to answer that, but quickly shut it, deciding that indeed, maybe introducing himself would be better "Pleasure to meet you, Fire Walker" A polite bow came her way "And you too, Wind Walker" Grey leaned down a bit and sent the filly's way a warm, kind smile "The name is Grey Shield. A traveler and ex-bodyguard for hire." He presented himself.

"Weeeell" Grey scratched the back of his head with a bit of a chuckle escaping his mouth "I have to say I know a story or two. After all, I have my years on my back and I do not live the most boring life" He said as his horn lit up and the glass of water slowly lifted into the air "Fireplace you say? Alright! Let us go there, then" And with the same warm expression as before Grey slowly made his way towards the warm fire before sitting down rather close to it, on the ground, his flank facing it. "So. Tell me, Wind... What kind of stories are your favorites?" He asked, turning his gaze towards the filly.

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"Thank you sir." What was worse then hoofing out free water? A tip from free water!  Still, the stallion meant well and her shift would be over in....Oh crap. Four more hours.
 
Still, she her other customers to work with. Fire Walker's was simple. Lime juice. Ginger beer. Vodka and lime...and ice....All served in an copper cup. While the kid just got an assortment of juices all in a plastic sippy-cup that was covered with a picture of 'Mister Balderdash' who was a cartoon alligator who wore an monocle and top hat. He would go on adventures with his friend, Mister Dinsdale who was an angry badger that solved all his problems by biting them. The pair appeared on kid's place-mats either trying to navigate easy mazes or as part of a world jumble. She just thought up of one. 'I thae ym lief'. Kids, could you solve that?
 
 
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The red mare smiled back at Grey Shield. Had he been part of the R.E.A? She wanted to ask, but he turned his attention to the mare's sister. She had brought the filly for this experience. Wind could finally hear some interesting stories for a change. After her own adventures slowed to a crawl, she was a full time employee for Ponyville. Training residents to watch out for danger. Maintaining her station at the castle, and sometimes picking up lunch at the local café.
 
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The little filly scooped up her cup and made her way over to the now sitting stallion, "Well, I usually like dad's stories..But mom tends to get a little mad when he goes into his little rants. So far, our swear jar this year has already netted us enough bits for a trip to Whinny World.", she paused for a moment, "Fire use....", that was probably not the best word to use, "Is on a story-hiatus." That sounded better. Sometimes she had a decent story or two to tell. But not recently.
 
"I like true stories...But a little fiction splashed in doesn't hurt.", she added with a wink. She knew 100% true stories could be a bit dry. That's why most movies and books that SCREAMED BASED OFF A TRUE STORY were usually full of bumpus!
 
"How about one you enjoy telling?", usually those were either the more popular stories a storyteller would tell, or a very special one they only told on special occasions.
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Grey had his eyes focused on the mare as the warm fire from the fireplace gently tingled his fur, warming him up. Oh. So her father was a traveler. Was he the stallion on the pictures on the wall? Probably... Maybe? "Ha! Well, sometimes some words can slip out when the story is exciting, that's for sure" This grey stallion wasn't one to swear often but he understood why one would do that. After all, sometimes the best way to underline the importance of a sentence was to add a good old **** here or there.

When the filly mentioned her sister being on a story-hiatus, Grey turned his head towards the red mare and smiled "Really? Pity. I'm sure she would have some great stories to tell" His eyes went back to the filly as said that fiction doesn't hurt "Exactly. And the best part is when you cannot tell which is true and which is false" A small wink was sent towards her as a reply.

"A story I enjoy telling...." Grey placed a hoof on his chin, his eyes rolling upwards as he thought for a good couple of seconds, letting out a constant hmmm out of his mouth "Ah! I got one!" He exclaimed before turning his head towards his flank, which bared his cutie mark, a yellow shield. Above it, a slight scrape could be visible as a scar was formed, going through the side of his flank. It was definitely old since the scar was quite hard to spot. "I got this one quite a while ago" His head motioned towards his flank. "I was in quite a tough spot at the time since the little money I had was running out and I had to really cut corners to get by. I saved every bit I could and spent them only when necessary. One day, I was sitting in one of the pubs in Hoofington with my purse almost entirely empty. I was going to spend the last bits I had on a stew when suddenly I felt someone show my back, passing by. I turned around and noticed a rather young looking, orange pegasus with a bandage on his wing quickly throwing me a glace before heading off. I knew something wasn't right and started to check my belt with my hooves. The place where my purse should be was empty. Without thinking, I jumped away from the chair and dashed behind the thief, smashing the doors open. And there he wasn, heading down the street as if nothing happened. 'Hey! Stop!' I cried out before giving chase. There were many ponies in the street but not one of them bothered to try to stop him. And so, soon he dashed into one of the side alleys, probably hoping to hide in the labyrinth of small walk-ways that Hoofington has. Little did he know that I know this city like the back of my own hoof and managed to get some short-cuts. After a while of running back and forth, I managed to corner this thief into one of the dead-end alleys. 'Give back my purse' I said to him. And this orange bastar... sorry, stallion reached behind his back, presumably to get my purse. But oh, nooo, he couldn't make it easy. Instead what I saw was the bright reflection of the sun in the blade of his knife." Grey's tone jumped up and down throughout this tale but now he was silent, looking at the filly, judging her expression.

 

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“She’s heard all my interesting ones.. Edited for filly consumption of course.”, the mare added with a slightly tired smile.Probably not a lot of bards singing about the time they had to wait in line at the ‘Sofa & Quill’ store in Ponyville....Although the story about why they have a store in Ponyville that sells only quills and sofas would probably make for a ripping tale.” There were quills needed for her office, and even the Ponesturepedic memory foam mattress that she ended up getting for her little bedroom area at the castle. The store's owner, Davenport was right. She now sleeps like a foal seven nights a week!
 
"Dad is a big and scary guy with a voice that could shake the scales off an great wyrm, so I'm guessing nopony would dare tell him to his face that his stories were full of Wumpus..." She remembered the nights she would listen to his father and his friends try to one-up each other with their own stories...Obviously edited for a filly consumption of course. During this yearly event, it was probably encouraged to fill one's tales with Wumpus or humbuggery. She still never got to hear any of their Celestia stories. One would mention they had an Princess story to tell, and then after realizing a school-filly was within ear-shot, and quickly change topics. She enjoyed her beverage and waited to hear the stallion's story. As she did, even more patrons started to get into line. Some even peered at the story-teller to hear what he had to say.
 
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The filly glanced at the stallion's markings for a moment. What a weird race they were. No other species had a 'cutie mark'. If an griffon was really good at something or enjoyed a certain thing, they would probably have to tell someone. But a pony would end up with an graphic of said thing or activity they enjoyed on their flank. Why did this happen? And seriously? Or their backside? Why was this a thing? Grey had a shield marking and a rather old scar. He probably had more than a few interesting stories to tell.
 
Wind Walker smiled as the stallion told his tale. A thief snatched his bits, and the pursuit was a-hoof! And then the nasty pilferer of a Pegasus broke out his knife, "I'm guessing after this encounter, siting was a slight issue for you for a bit."  Oh, how she would HATE to be stabbed in the flank! Actually, she would hate to be stabbed at all. And to receive such a stabbing that one would get an permanent scar that could be seen through his hair. Even worse! There better be more to this story. An epic battle between foes. One that ended in victory for Shield, but one with a bit of owies at the end. End of the story. Beginning of pain for the pony.
 
"Go on..", she waggled her eyebrows at the pony. She obviously wanted to hear more.
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A creaking could be heard as the door to the Explorers Society as a pink-haired stallion poked his head into the establishment. Candy Cain gave a sigh of relief: This was the place after all. He had been worried at first - he had, more often than not, taken a wrong turn in his travels when it came to little establishments like these. He couldn't help it. He was new to the areas outside of Canterlot still. That could soon change though, He just had to stick with it and explore a little more. He continued to travel around to this day. For now, though, Cain was tired. He'd heard of this place from a couple ponies miles back, and had decided to take a look. It sounded interesting enough. But was it really worth walking all the way out here? That was what the locals had asked Cain before he'd set out to find the place. In his opinion, any place was worth it, as long as it was something new. This was new. So Cain would check it out, at least once.

The stallion's bubblegum-pink mane and wheat-colored coat seemed a bit dusty from hours of walking on the dirt trail. No matter, he could fix that later. Still, it pained Cain that he had to been seen like this: it was sort of embarrassing. He didn't want anyone thinking he was always a mess like this. Candy Cain took a few steps inside, shut the door quietly, and glanced around. It wasn't the biggest pub he'd ever seen, but it felt nice and cozy. There was even a fireplace, with a few ponies already gathered around. Cain allowed himself a lopsided grin as he walked a little closer to them. It seemed as if stories were being told over there. . . he'd go check it out, but it would have to wait for now. Right now, Cain was, above all, thirsty. The stallion made his way over to the bar, and knocked the wood with a hoof to catch the bartender's attention. He nodded to them, a silent greeting, before saying, "What's the best ya got? I'll take it." 

Cain wasn't normally one to spend a bunch of money on things like food (or drinks), but, hey. He'd walked all the way out here - might as well take a load off and enjoy a little rest. Something cold right now would be perfect. While he waited, Cain turned back to the fire, examining those who sat by it. An attractive red mare and a gray lad he'd never seen around before, and. . . "Well, I'll be," Cain allowed himself another crooked grin, his exhaustion forgotten, if only for a moment. "Would that be miss Wind Walker I see over there? Good evenin', sport!" They might not have spoken much, but Cain could certainly remember the little filly from Nightmare Night awhile back. He'd given her and a few others treats, after all. That had been fun.

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After serving an slew of well paying customers who knew how to tip, the bartender’s mood improved a good deal. This was just in time for the pink-haired stallion to order. What did he want? 'The Best'? Ugh. She hated ponies that couldn’t just pony up to the bar and order what they really wanted. She needed to do the actual work on that side as well. Fine. Whatever. She gave the unicorn a quick lookover. He just SCREAMED lightweight. Her real 'best' would probably KO the poor guy or even worse, get him really drunk, really fast.
 
After taking a good look at his ID, she decided to go easy on him. "Well...", she rubbed her chin, "How about an 'Son Of An Son Of Somnambula'? It's an old favorite of mine." And this was the truth! "It's basically Princess Pride Bourbon, Blackberry Brandy, lemon juice and a pinch of special Vanhoover syrup..."
 
 
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As the mare worked on his drink, the stallion alerted a nearby filly. "Oh hey Mister Cain!", she sat by an empty seat that had once held a stallion. "I was listening to their storyteller...Nice guy, but he had to go use the 'lil' colt's room'.  But I'll fill you in on his story, so when he comes back, he could just continue it...Easy peasy, lemon squeazy!"  Her drink probably contained a bit more sugar than advised by the Equestria Health Committee.
 
"The stallion had an really old scar on his...flank...Tell stories about getting scars is an popular type of story to tell at these places according to my dad...He actually got a really bad scar back when the Changelings were bad and invaded Ponyville.", it was almost two seconds for the filly to quickly veer off subject, "He gave this really mean Changeling a good clobbering, but the meanie grew really big claws and slashed him good in the face...Gave him a scar near his eye...Dad calls this an 'handsome guy' scar, but mom wanted him to get it fixed. But he didn't. Cause he never had a cool scar and couldn't tell cool scar stories without an cool scar...And nopony wants to hear about his appendix scar...Any-who.", she took a sip from her themed cup.
 
"The stallion that was here.", she pointed to an empty chair. "He was in Hoofington at a pub..Oooh..", again, she was not very good at telling stories, "My sister's friend Muggo' Ale owns a pub in Fillydelphia...Well, his family owns it...And sometimes we go there and Muggo' always has this old hat on and he....Oh..", she started to blush. "The stallion was in a pub, but he was running out of money..But oh no!", she acted surprised, "Some dirty boy took his coin-purse! And he got up from his stool to chase after the thief! Of course he had to yell 'Stop Thief' like they do in movies. Thieves never actually stop when ponies tell them to. Which is rude. Then he chased the thief into a dark corner, which is always a good idea and the thief was there...And the stallion called him a bastard, which I probably shouldn't say cause I'm a kid. But he calls the thief a bad word and the thief pulls a knife on him...Which you'd think he would have a dagger. Or something he can shoot darts at like in 'Daring Do and the Trek to the Terrifying Towers', but nope. He took out a knife, which he probably stole from the pub. But just when he was getting to the best or 'stabby' parts, he had to get up and use the baf-room. Boo."
 
"So.", she smiled back at the pony. "Do you have any stories?"
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Book 5 was on a bit of hold for now. She had hit a bit of a stump in her writing. As much as she delved into the world of fantasy and alternate realities, she still had to admit that her imagination did not stretch forever, and while this type of situation hadn't happened in a while, she thought it was probably overdue. And so she was here. Well, she thought she was. It was supposed to be this one, the fourth one on the left. Unless she miscounted or misheard. The Explorer's society, a pub named so for the history as a sort of hub for explorer's to tell their tales of epic and adventure. Stuff that she already did, although through books and paper. She came wanting to hopefully refresh her brain. Maybe hear some stories from others. They didn't have to be true or not, they just had to seem interesting enough to spark her mind. Of course, that was assuming she was at the right place. She heard of the place about two weeks ago through eavesdropping on her weekly grocery trip. She hadn't thought of it much back then, but it was useful to know now, and luckily for her, it wasn't too far from her place. 

 

Vella made her way inside the building, the unlocked door basically inviting herself in. Of course, that was kind of the only part that really did. She heard some chattering inside, that kind of reassured her, maybe she could have been in a store instead? Although what kind of store would have chattering at this level? Maybe she was inside a cafe instead? She stood there for a moment, taking in as much as she could. She had to admit that maybe she should have trained her senses more over the years, although that wasn't really something she could do often with her lifestyle. "This is the Explorer's society... right?" She said out loud hoping maybe somepony heard her. "Because if it isn't, well. I'm obviously not supposed to be here." There was no super standard protocol to design layouts in buildings to help her. 

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No Vella caught the attention of a young colt that had followed her into the themed family pub.
 
He was obviously trying his best not to sound rude. Afterall, there was a rather large sign outside that marked the building as the 'Explorer's Society', along with another, smaller sign that welcomed victors once they entered the building. All of the employees were wearing name tags with the pub's logo, and they were also selling a ton of ' Explorer's Society' branded merchandise nearby. And the rug underneath their hooves was also marked with the logo. Maybe she was distracted.
 
"Yes mam.", the little pony smiled back at the mare. "World famous and all.", he wanted to wander off and meet his friends, but he decided to help the poor pony out. "My parents took me here a few years ago..Said it was started by a bunch of famous adventurers as a place they could hang around and tell stories about their previous adventures." He waved his front right hoof at a series of painting that hung nearby. These contained creatures of all ages and sizes...Most decked out in fedoras or pith helmets...With names like Colonel Critchlow, Bravely Blue and Captain Merrifeather Pleasure. These were hardy adventures filled with daring doo! Brave souls that lived the life only the little colt could dream about!
 
"They would showcase their finds here and would have a secret meeting once a year." There were an assortment of interesting relics that were displayed in glass covered cases. "A few years ago, they turned it into an 'all ages' themed family pub. Dad said the regulars weren't keen about the idea, but it kept the place from going under....Tonight, they're hosting creatures to sit and tell stories...If you have a tale to tell, or just like to listen, follow me..."
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Ma'am? She wasn't quite expecting that. It would make sense under formal occasions, but nothing about this seemed to be formal. It made her feel quite old, She was a madam yet... Now that she thought about it, she did remember getting comments that she did look older than she was. That was probably it. But it didn't really matter. The point was that somepony was here to help her out and she was quite grateful for that. 

 

"Thank you kindly," she replied to the... colt? It sounded like a colt, but she didn't want to be mistaken because sounds can deceive. They said the place was world famous. Maybe famous locally, but she didn't quite believe that statement, it felt like an exaggeration to her. "I'm not sure if there were any indications towards the identity of this place, but if there are, they aren't any that I could possibly notice under my condition. I would say that maybe they still have their own exclusive location elsewhere." It was a classic trope to hide secret locations and societies behind fronts. Makes it easy to hide the location while still keeping it relatively easy for members to access.

 

She would follow the colt along to the best of her ability. "I'm not sure if you know me, probably not because I don't go out often. I'm No Vella. But you can just call me Vella. I came here intending to listen, but, I can probably let loose a tale, I've got some that haven't been heard before. They don't have to be true, do they? I'm not an adventurer, never was. My life was never that exciting." It would be really surprising to her if anyone truly thought her stories to be true within the realms of this world. Well, maybe some of them. 

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The little Pegasus pony blinked. She was not a vella? No vella? Oh. That was her full name. Like a novella. A short story! She thought that she would know her? Oh-oh! She was probably famous. "My name's Fast Track.", the little colt had a cute little train on his flank. "Parents work at the Canterlot Railway Company....Dad is an train engineer and mom works at the corporate office..Oooh.", he paused to admire an old framed photo. An rather impressive mustachioed unicorn decked out in an old timey train engineer uniform. He stood by an rather beastly looking train.
 
"That's Sir Neighel Gearsely, explorer and train engineer. He built the famous 'Fireball Express' and held the speed record until his daughter, Toot Tooter broke it rather recently."
 
He frowned as the mare mentioned that she wasn't exciting enough to tell a story. "Nonsense..", he shook his head, "Dad said everypony had a least one really interesting story to tell...Maybe it might not be an epic tale with you facing an mighty Cipactli or fleeing an big ol' rock in an ancient Temple of Chicomoztoc...But you probably have something to say...Maybe how you got into whatever you do for a living...Might encourage kids like me to go into that field."
 
The brown coated colt lead the mare into an rather large room. A heavily themed bar sat at the end, and an old brick fireplace kept the room nice and warm on the other side. There were an assortment of ponies, from a few who sat at the bar, to a small group of colts and fillies that mingled near the fireplace. All within distance held glasses that were filled with drinks of all colors..Some had bit of fruit that hung from the sides. Some even bubbled.
 
The colt waved at a small blue Pegasus pony who was in mid-conversation with an older pink stallion. "That's my friend Wind Walker....Her big sister should be around here somewhere...You could probably see an rather old chair near the fireplace..That's where the story-teller sits."
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"It's nice to meet you Fast Track." This colt did not seem to notice her blindness. She thought it was obvious, but, foals had the tendency to be oblivious when they were in their realm of interest. And judging by the way he spoke, he was in that realm right now. She guessed from the way he spoke that this 'Neighel Gearsely' was not actually present and was referring to, probably an image. "He sounds quite interesting. Is he still around?" Not that she had any intention of ever meeting him. She was just reinforcing the colt's admirations, bolstering them early. 

 

"None of my tales are real. Nor do they feature myself. My ongoing one is about Artemis and her rebellion against the union. That's quite a long one, I can't really tell it here. The publishers probably wouldn't like that either," she muttered the last sentence to herself. "One of my first ones was about time travel. A lot of ponies said it was okay, but I think it could have been better, maybe it's okay if you're not really paying attention too much. I tried writing a romance story first but, that was kind of boring to me. A whole story dedicated to just that? It's more of a subplot thing to me really." 

 

The colt led her into a room that felt a bit warmer than before. There was probably a fireplace there- wait yeah there was the colt told her. "I haven't seen anything in the last... almost two decades," she explained finding her way towards a spot. "This seat isn't taken, is it? I could tell the tale of Red Belly's lawful escape. It isn't really certain if it is a true story or not, but that just means I don't have to be right. And that's the best part about stories." 

 

"Just give me a moment to think."

 

 

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“Still around? Nah.”, the colt shrugged, “He went to the ‘Great Caboose In The Sky’ after he did his first test-run with his latest and very last creation, the ‘Trans-Equestrian Express'. Some say he went so fast he went forwards into time....While most say he and his train blew up due to his boiler..." Fast Track still remembered that dark day. He was a very little pony when he heard what happened one school day. Heard the explosion that is. He heard rumors that ponies climbing the 'Great Mount Everhoof' were able to hear the great ka-boom as well.
 
"Later his daughter upgraded the 'Fireball' and she was able to beat his record, which still stands today...", he smiled as the mare spoke of her stories. "Romance novels can be a bit...Much....One of my school-friends always seems to have some silly new book stuffed in her snout every time I see her....Nothing but kissing...betrayals and secret twin brothers....", she shuddered, "I usually prefer history-novels..And mysteries...", the pair found themselves in the main pub area....As the colt was about to wave and say hello to one of his friends...Something No Vella said, caused the little brown pony to turn a slight shade of red.
 
I haven't seen anything in the last... almost two decades
 
"Oh dear...I'm so sorry..." With all the distractions for Fast Track's eyes to fall upon, there was one thing he really did not pay attention to, and that was the mare! She was blind! And there he was pointing out all sorts of cool things she could 'look at'. Ho-Boy.
 
Being the gentle-sort, he helped the writer to her chair..."My friend is here...Her name is Wind Walker....Her whole family since like forever have been part of the royal guard...Her sister, who is also here is Captain for Princess Twilight's special guard....She's having a drink at the bar and chatting with some other ponies...And Wind is talking to some pink guy.....Erm....."
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The 'Great Caboose in The sky.' That was a... solemn way to put it. Although, one might remark that the best way to go, is around your own field, your own realm. She wasn't quite sure how that would apply to herself one day. She looked old, apparently, does that mean she would live less too? It was best for her not to think about such things. "I'm not sure if they found much evidence, but if not, then we could possibly get the answer in the future then?" The idea of one going forwards into time was something that she didn't really want to debate over herself. 

 

"Some ponies, just like to experience different ways that love could possibly happen, even if it's not personally themselves, so I won't blame them for enjoying such pure genre. I would probably die before I wrote a pure." Maybe one needed to experience romance themselves before such pure of a story could be written. "When you say history novels, how much, well, true history do you want in the story? I've had the idea of one that was more of a side plot to the history. The events still happened as they literally did, but there was some side stuff that I would come up with on my own."

 

Her suspicion was confirmed, and she could basically imagine the colt mentally berating himself. "Hey, please. No need to tread lightly. I've had ponies doing it since before. I can't fault somepony as yourself for not noticing." She didn't really elaborate on what 'before' meant exactly, but ponies had been treating her definitely since it started those decades ago. She was aided by the colt onto a proper seat. "Do they come by here often? I'm getting the vibes that it would be something they would do." While guards aren't quite explorer's, they aren't far fetched. "I should probably be asking you if you come by here often."

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"Oh, yeah?" Well, from the sound of it, the drink certainly seemed. . . Involved. In all honesty, Candy Cain had never had anything too intense before. Only a select few adult beverages, really. And even those had been pretty tough for Cain to keep down, let alone endure the following day. When it came to drinking, Cain was the worst. Still, this one certainly sounded like it'd be a treat. Maybe Cain would even get inspired by the taste. The stallion finally nodded, an awkward half-grin on his face. "Yeah, the Son of a Son of Som. . . Y-Yeah, that. I appreciate the suggestion, ma'am." It was always best to keep the bartender content; After all, they were serving you inebriants. It didn't seem likely, but Cain didn't want to end up on the floor because he'd provoked someone int serving him something strong. Still, Cain couldn't shake the feeling that he'd already done something wrong. He couldn't place it.

Cain turned away from the bartender (hopefully) before the worry showed on his face, directing his full attention to the two ponies by the fire. Trotting over and sitting down, Cain listened to the story Wind Walker had heard from a colt that had wandered off somewhere. His smile seemed a bit strained from time to time as he tried to follow the story. Was the story about Wind Walker's dad with a scar? Or some other stallion? Still, Cain politely sat through the story fragment, piecing together what he could, before giving a low whistle. "Well, I'll be." On a random side note, Cain had become aware of his ever-changing accent. From city colt to country stallion, it seemed. He rather liked it. He hoped it made him sound more mature. "That's quite the tale so far, Miss Wind Walker. I'll have to ask the fella when he get's back for a little more on it."

Cain's smile faded slightly, and a bit of nervousness and embarrassment showed as he became conscious of the mare sitting there as well. Him, recall a story? He felt as if he'd just embarrass himself in front of them. . . Cain liked to weave tall tales for little fillies and colts; He did it all the time, entertaining children and parents alike during his shows. still, somehow, it felt a tad bit more embarrassing in a setting like this. Maybe he could thin of something that wasn't too ridiculous. . . Cain gulped slightly, before speaking. "Ah, well. . . There's one story I could tell ya." Cain finally decided on recalling the events that had led towards him getting his cutie mark. He could mold the story a bit and make it sound like something he'd made up. It seemed less personal that way. "Y'see. . . Awhile ago, I knew this colt. Skinny little fella, didn't have too many friends. Since he was the youngest, weakest colt in the family back then, he didn't get out much. He was constantly outshone by his siblings, who all had some sort of special skill or ability. They'd all gotten their cutie marks; The youngest hadn't. Y'see, the little fella didn't perform feats of great physical prowess or intelligence." That was true enough, Cain supposed.

"He didn't even know how to make sweets yet, like his parents. Instead, he designed things. Little things, like toys or little models, y'know? It made him the, ah, oddball back then. He didn't mind it too much, since his creations were getting better 'n better each day. Then, one day, he built somethin' that was different from his other little things. He'd been working on it for weeks and weeks, not liking the results. Then, one night, right before midnight, on the, eh. . ." Cain frowned, staring slightly past the two ponies. ". . Fiftieth try or so, he finished the thing. A little model of some pony, I forget. The point was, it was special. It didn't have wings, or wound up or anything, but. . . It was unique. Y'know why?" Cain leaned in, a small grin on his face. "The lil' thing seemed to be alive, in a way. Trotted in a circle, then sat down, at the window; It never moved or showed any life again, but the colt still holds on to the little thing to this day." Cain chuckled. "That isn't even all that interesting, considerin' what happened after that." Cain paused, to see if the other two were following.

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