Hollowed Ruins (Dunder, Andifferous, Winter, Sturmmann, and Phil the Time Wizard)ADVENTURE
Posted 04 May 2012 - 01:54 AM
After about 10 minutes of pacing in front of the fire, he bowed his head and sighed. Still no pony showed up. He specified to the readers of the posters the exact date and location. Where the Ripclaw River and White Raptorclaw river meet. Maybe I should have had a better method of recruiting? This poser deal is kind of too sketchy for some ponies. He thought. He looked into his small tent with a cloud bed, an idea from a close friend of his, and decided he might as well get ready.
He walked inside of the leaf and stick tent and pulled on his brown synthetic leather belt. A serious expression on his face as he looked down at the rapier, he closed his eyes as he took it. The cold steel against his coat felt good as he put the sword away in it's black scabbard. Other than the sword belt, he wore nothing else beside his saddlebags full of food and survival supplies.
The small red tassle on the end of his rapier scabbard bounced as he trotted out of the tent. He glanced out over the horizon again to check if anypony was coming.
Posted 04 May 2012 - 02:21 AM
"Hello!" he called to the only other pony in sight. "You Dunder Blust?" He asked. He immediately followed by introducing himself as Dusty Clouds; a name that was rather fitting of his appearance, coat and mane looking like he was covered in a fine layer of dirt and dust. He took a moment to brush his messy mane and adjust his olive colored vest, an article of clothing that had probably seen better days. He gave a slight smile to the other pegasus and offered a hoof to shake.
"Sorry I'm a little behind. Overslept. Hope I didn't miss too much!"
Posted 04 May 2012 - 03:36 AM
It was out of her way and would likely take some time. As it were, however, at that moment her daughter Hopesong, the one pony that usually kept her tethered to the Ridge and the surrounding areas, was currently away in Cloudsdale attending a Flight Camp which would occupy her time for many months. Because of this, MIdnight was free to wander a little farther and take on more time-consuming jobs. It actually encouraged as much. Midnight needed to keep busy with tough missions or she'd grow beset with worry.
The so called Badlands they were to explore were evidently dangerous. Midnight didn't really know much about the area. Even while she had still been a soldier she hadn't ever been deployed this far north. Still, she was confident she had the strength, training and survival skills to face whatever came her way. The big question mark was who else would respond to the postings set up by this Dunder Blust. She hoped it wasn't too many. One or two others at most. She disliked large groups; usually she worked entirely alone. Bigger parties reminded her of her past in the REA, which always ultimately reminded her of her most critical mistake.
The yellow-maned earth pony could tell she was getting close to the meeting spot. She had been moving in parallel with the White Raptorclaw River for a while now, and from the sounds of the river, she imagined it was nearing its meeting with the Ripclaw where they were set to meet. Judging by the position of the sun, she wasn't that far off schedule either. She nodded and picked up her pace until the Ripclaw and the campsite near its banks came into sight. She could see two ponies standing about. She approached them, slowing her pace.
"I've come in response to the request for help posted by one called Dunder Blust," Midnight Brand explained her arrival in terse terms. "I trust that is one of you?"
Midnight studied the two others quickly. She was chagrinned to find herself facing two pegasus stallions, both in the prime of youth, one brown and one gray. It had to be pegasus stallions, both roughly the age Wind Chaser had been back then. Midnight gave the smallest sigh as she nodded at them. At least the group was still small.
Posted 04 May 2012 - 05:12 AM
So old Dunder Blust was at it, looking for an adventure. The flier had ended up in Muggo' Ale's hooves somehow, and he planned to drop by just to surprise the guy. The bar was left in command of his father (again, technically, as Muggo' had first gotten it from Stout) and Meadow Runner, which freed him from his obligations. Usually he liked being around the bar, but adventure was calling, and heck, he could go for a good story after all this.
His standard grey newsboy cap was on his head, a grey matching the scraggly mane on his head, and for the first time in a very long time, Muggo' Ale looked ready for anything. A dark brown tweed vest, filled with pockets inside though only two on the outside, in case he needed to carry a lot, but most of his adventuring gear was in a pair of thick canvas saddlebags off his flanks, and a final bit of gear in the form of a utility knife attached to one of his saddlebags within easy grasp. It was there for tasks like cutting trees, underbrush, and helping get fires going and the like, more than a weapon. He said goodbye to his father, a few of the regulars, and his employees, then stepped out into the Fillydelphia sun.
That was, of course, a few days ago.
Now though, the older Earth pony stallion was trotting toward the meeting point. Others were already there, including his friend. "It's the grey one." he called to Midnight Brand, having heard her question and grinning at the crew ahead of him. "Dunder, how's ya gettin' on, old b'y?" he asked, his accent thick as ever. He trotted up to the camp and bowed his head to the two unknown ponies, a young pegasus, and another Earth pony that seemed about his age. "Name's Muggo' Ale. A pleasure to be with yous all." he said sincerely. They all seemed like nice folk, which was good. And judging by the cutie mark on the mare next to him, a fighter too. Good...no idea what they'd find out there. He was confident in his hooves to get him through though.
Posted 04 May 2012 - 05:29 AM
Posted 04 May 2012 - 06:58 AM
His eye caught a glance of another arrival. He looked over at Midnight Brand. He gave a warm smile to the mare. She looked young, but something was off about her. Although, she still looked strong and was definitely an addition to the team. Still, something looked off. She looked like she was worn a little, dispite her young age. She also looked like she was distraught to see them, but it was no matter. She would perk up eventually or else she wouldn't have come. He noticed another pony coming, but his bad far-sighed eyesight made him push off their still incoming presence. "I'm Dunder." He said almost at the same time as the other pony. He recognized that accent anywhere.
Dunder flew over and tacklehugged Muggo' after he introduced himself. He was glad to see his old friend and he didn't expect to see the pony pretty much in the exact opposite direction of his pub. "I'm getting on good." Dunder muttered as he rubbed his head affectionately against Muggo's neck. He soon let Muggo go and just smiled, "See? I told you we should go adventuring." Dunder said happily. "I see you're read to go. That's good, wouldn't want to send you home because you'd be a burden." He said as he playfully pushed Muggo's shoulder.
Dunder recognized Winter flying in. The yellow pegasus made himself hard to forget the way he acted. "Hey! Winter." Dunder said as he gave him a hug too. He soon broke the hug and trotted down back towards the fire. "Good thing I know some of you ponies." He said as he addressed all four of them, "As for the others, I hope and I know I will get to know you well." Dunder said with a smile to Dusty and Midnight. "By the way, what is your name?" He asked Midnight.
Posted 04 May 2012 - 07:34 AM
He took a breath to introduce himself before a voice called out, in a rather thick accent. Ears perked he looked around, spotting another newcomer approaching. Still as the older stallion spoke Dusty couldn't help but crack a smile, nodding back in return and giving his name. It seemed like Muggo was more his type of pony, relaxed and friendly.
Dusty listened to the banter between Dunder and Muggo, glancing around the clearing and getting himself oriented. This was a nice little spot to camp out, nice and secluded, right at the edge of fresh water... It didn't take long for him to get lost in thought,
I'm really doing it, aren't I? I'm going on a real adventure... His line of thought was suddenly broken by the sound of someone laughing. Turning his attention back to his immediate surroundings the first thing to catch his eye was the newcomer, another pegasus, this time bright yellow. From the conversation it seemed like this pony also knew Dunder.
He smiled back politely as Dunder began to address them, nodding in agreement. They all seemed like fairly nice ponies, easy to get along with to say the least. Dunder's last question drew his glance toward the mare, He hadn't picked up on her name either.
Posted 04 May 2012 - 08:30 AM
The group, five in number including Midnight herself still was workable. It was about a third the size of the platoon she once had lead. It was a decent number really. She just hoped it didn't get much bigger. After a few moments, it seemed that for now at least the new arrivals had stopped. Mdinight looked at Dunder Blust, watching as he interacted with the others.
"It's Midnight Brand," she gave her name in response to the question, saying nothing more. She had never been very good with conversation. In the REA she had wasted few words, and living a solitary life in the Roughrider Ridge hasn't awarded her extensive opportunities to grow any more skillful at conversation. She wasn't here to bond with these ponies anyway as she saw it. She was here to occupy her time until Hopesong came back and to make some money.
Posted 04 May 2012 - 03:16 PM
He turned to his other companions as they introduced themselves, giving a little bow of his head while sweeping his hat from his head for a moment. When Muggo' Ale straightened up and set the newsboy back in place, he took a moment to look over said companions.
Lots of pegasi...and they were young, too. Personally he would have wanted at least one unicorn, but you got what you got. Then the mare next to him, which he would put money down on being military, or ex-mil, just from the cutie mark and her curt introduction. He hoped she warmed up a little, going on an adventure this long with somepony who didn't like talking might get boring, or a little awkward. "It's just the five of us?" he asked.
Posted 05 May 2012 - 02:34 AM
Posted 05 May 2012 - 07:50 AM
When Midnight introduced herself, he smiled warmly at her. "Hello, Midnight Brand." Dunder said. She seemed cold and distant... the way that she postured herself. He needed to find a way to get her to open up. Camaraderie was needed on an operation like this and he would pry it out of her.
He took off into the air and hovered above the remains of the fire. "Morning, Dusty, Muggo', Midnight, and Winter. I'm glad to meet you all." He smiled at them, "For however long it takes." He put his hooves behind his back as he hovered, "we will be searching for ruins here in the badlands. A researcher has discovered an ancient map, and we are here to explore what it could possibly be. Of course, a scrawny researcher is not that scary and would likely get themselves hurt. So, they hired me to hire you to get this place checked out." He took a deep breath an his tone changed to a more hasty one. "And I know none of you are getting paid until after the operation. But I assure you, it will be worth while." He said. He actually wasn't sure if this whole thing was a big waste of time.
"Anyway, if we follow the Ripclaw River, we should come across some mountains. There the ruins should be." Dunder said as he pointed down the river and gave it a glance. "We move out now. The faster we work, the faster we get paid."
Posted 06 May 2012 - 03:09 AM
He took a glance up the river and stretched a little bit, waiting for Dunder to take the lead. Since they were a mixed group it would mean moving on foot, but he didn't mind that too much; he'd traveled with earth ponies and unicorns before, and it would mean he'd get to take in the sights from a different angle. After a bit something occurred to him and he picked up the pace a little to trot alongside Dunder.
"Mr. Dunder, you mentioned the researcher had discovered a map. Do we have it? Or at least a decent copy?" He asked, "If we do, I'd like to have a look at it." He figured he could glean some useful information off of it, maybe even compare it side by side to a more current map of the area.
Posted 06 May 2012 - 08:18 AM
Midnight didn't have much to really add so far, as she had no complaints when it came to the proceedings. She mostly observed, still unsure what to make of the group as a whole. The gray pegasus, Dusty Clouds, seemed youthful, the earth pony stallion, Muggo' Ale, seemed to have a hearty personality to go with his accent and the younger pegasus, Winter Bolt, seemed to have a lot of energy. It was hard to say much more than that.
Which was in itself a problem. A commanding officer needed to know what his troops were capable of. Not knowing as much made it difficult to assess situations and plan effectively. It could even prove dangerous.
"Before we depart, might I inquire as to the experience, training and capabilities of those in our group?" Midnight started in a low voice. "Not knowing such things leaves us more susceptible to danger, which could in turn weaken our overall effectiveness as a unit."
Posted 06 May 2012 - 04:12 PM
Just the way she worded it, and word choice, confirmed his suspicions. She was a soldier, or at least had been. "Well, I don't have REA levels o' trainin'." Muggo' said. "But I've been in me fair share of fights, an' heard tell of some stories from soldiers passin' through the bar. Ya won't have to worry about me gettin' in the way, that's for sure. Used to go on a few adventures as well when me father didn't need me 'round the Pony. Last one was out toward the Talonclaw Mountains when I was a colt. We had been goin' straight to the far shore, but the mountains ended up bein' a bit much so we turned 'round." he explained. He glanced at Dunder and chuckled.
"Oh, and then there's this one time when Dunder and I took on a Manticore. Remember that, b'y?" he asked with a laugh. "Oh, that's a story. Save it for later though, yeah, we got a long walk ahead of us." he said. All in all, he didn't have too much professional experience, but he knew, for the most part, what he was doing. He had a distinct feeling that wouldn't be enough for the ex-mil mare, but he didn't care. This wasn't a professional thing, and really, how dangerous could it really be?
Posted 06 May 2012 - 08:16 PM
Posted 07 May 2012 - 12:03 AM
Dunder stopped walking and looked back at Midnight when she asked what the skills of the group were. He looked down at the ground and zoned out while eh thought. He knew that Muggo and Winter were going to be useful ponies. Dusty looked like he knew what he was doing, or at least what he was going to be doing. Midnight seemed like she was strong and would be a good fighter. Although, he thought they wouldn't need fighting skills. He listened to Muggo' as he explained his skills. Dunder laughed and nodded when Muggo' recalled their experiences with the manticore. "Yep, we showed him not to mess with us!" He said and chuckled. With his stories, Dunder was more convinced Muggo' would be of good use.
Dunder then looked at Winter. He always seemed like more of a lean pony than a muscular one. He knew that Winter could be of use with his fast flying. Not sure how, but he knew he would be of use.
"As for me, I am a master rapier fencer. I've never really had to lead an operation like this..." Dunder said, awkwardly admitting his lack of experience with leadership "but, that shouldn't be a problem. This should be a calm job." Dunder said. The researcher had told him there was nothing to worry about, but Dunder could tell something was wrong... all he could do was hope that his gut was wrong. "What about you, Dusty and Midnight? What do you do well?" He asked them, wanting to get off the subject of danger.
Posted 07 May 2012 - 02:12 AM
Quickly laying out both maps, He sat on his haunches and looked them over thoughtfully, eyes scanning over details and similarities between the older map and the more recent one. After a few minutes he reached into one of the many pockets of his tattered green vest and drew out a map of his own, this one older and tattered from much use, covered in creases and stains. Despite the aging it was still readable enough; a fairly large map of Equestria. It wasn't particularly detailed, but he found it useful to have on hand for when his memory failed him. Mumbling to himself to keep his thoughts organized, he began to compare the different maps, getting a decent idea of where the ruins lay. Still he'd have to get closer and actually see for himself; his personal map didn't give much information about the badlands, only a couple of landmarks that also appeared on the researcher's map.
During all of this he had stopped paying attention to his companions, leaving him unaware of their chatter, or the questions directed at him and Midnight. He did however, realize they were getting further ahead than he would like, so he quickly started to pack up the maps, not wanting to fall too far behind.
Posted 07 May 2012 - 03:29 AM
Muggo' lacked any formal training, but he worked as a barkeep and had privy to all the wisdom and reckless brawls that came along with the profession. Furthermore he had adventured extensively as a colt so he likely was competent when it came to survival. Additionally, though she herself had warded off a young manticore while just a filly, warding off a fully mature manticore was still an impressive feat in it's own right. This pony also just seemed physically imposing with his larger size. In all, he seemed like the strongest link in the group and the one Midnight would have to worry over least should danger surface.
Winter Bolt's response lacked conviction, which spoke to youth and lack of discipline. The Wonderbolts were a name not to be thrown about lightly though. If he had truly trained with them for any real amount of time, that was actually a mark in his favor. So too was his frequent braving of the Everfree. If this pony were cornered, Midnight might have to extend a hoof, but otherwise he should prove effective in escaping trouble before it reached him. She'd keep an eye on him regardless.
Dunder himself spoke of his rapier skill. Even if he had learned through sport fencing, talent with a weapons was something most ponies lacked and spoke to skill and finesse, especially if he was the master he claimed to be. To be skilled at fencing one had to be quick and capable of thinking on their feet which was invaluable to leader. Which was good, since he made clear he had never lead such an operation. Midnight figured she could give him his space for the most part. He was their leader after all; it wasn't her place to step on his hooves.
Dusty didn't answer. He was lost in the map. He studied it rigorously, not looking up and inevitably falling behind. If he was a master navigator studying every contour for their benefit, Midnight supposed he might prove invaluable. If he was instead just an easily distracted fool, then he would prove far less so. Midnight would just assume he was the weak link for now until he displayed otherwise to her.
She nodded at Dunder's question. She hated talking about her past, but for the unit to function they needed to know her skills just as she needed to know theirs. There was no avoiding it.
"Some time ago I was a soldier; an officer and platoon leader in the REA. I have all the experience and combat training that comes along with that. Since leaving the force, I've spent the last many years taking on various paid jobs like this one," Midnight explained as straight-forwardly as she could, ending with a rigid nod.
Posted 07 May 2012 - 03:58 AM
"Ya must'a just gotten out then, eh? They still left a stick behind, if ya catch me drift." he teased, giving her a good-natured grin. He was obviously just playing around with her. If she wanted to be abrupt and short, that was her prerogative, so long as she worked for the group.
"So, Dunder, why ya, b'y?" he asked casually. "Tryin' to get yer name out there? Or just got bored with the wanderin'?" he asked.
Posted 07 May 2012 - 04:08 AM