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SteelEagle

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Everything posted by SteelEagle

  1. It was not unusual or unexpected that the topic would turn to Ice Storm. They had not gotten off to a great start and Twilight had heavy doubts that Ice's venture up north had enamored him with her any more than could be feared. Still, it was a good sign that it had not been worse and this meeting was taking place. "Please do not hold Ice Storm's vigilance against her. She is a wonderful mare and a great friend to all of Equestria. However, her watch and seeking out of danger to the nation often leaves her seeing the darker shades of our shadows rather than the sun that we bask in that creates them. A wonderful trait to have for somepony trying to keep the nation safe, even if it sometimes leads her to unnecessary confrontations," she said with a sigh at the end. It was all true, but for all of that Twilight wouldn't trade Ice Storm for anything. Luckily, the topic at least briefly moved on. He had modified a spell for weather adaptation and was offering it. How thoughtful! "Ahh, how useful. I'll have to peruse it!" She said, her horn lit up while she allowed part of her aetheric self to find this parchment (heavy with his aura) and read it. It was a good piece of work. She didn't know how it would necessarily fit into that category- already so many fantastic spells of its nature- but few could compare to the intricacy of the aetheric web he had woven to make it work. Sometimes spellcraft wasn't about the result of the spell or the power of it. Sometimes spellcraft was about the art inherent in the design of a spell and this was certainly an attractively designed spell. That was worth ten ordinary if effective spells, at least to a discerning mage like Twilight. As she did that he asked her how things were, which she was always happy to respond to. After all, every morning in Equestria was better than the last. "All is as well as it can be. Always a thousand petty matters that are boiling and a hundred more concerning ones that demand attention, but nothing that cannot be handled like those that came before," she said confidently just as she stopped admiring the spellcraft and returned in full to the table. Just in time, too, because Ice Storm came up again. "It was both of our ideas, to be fair to Ice Storm. A powerful mage in the frozen north. We had to learn more," She said bluntly but with no small amount of mirth, then shook her head with a smile. He then started started running down his family history. Some of the bitterness that came with being treated differently was still present. The traumas of our youth are rarely discarded when we leave those years, and many times they carry the sour seeds of discontent that burrow deep into the soul. It came from a variety of actors. Students that looked at him askew because of his familial relationship with faculty. The former Princess Sovereign of Equestria Celestia and her laser focus on what she wanted in a personal pupil. A sense of isolation that came from competing pressures. It was a perfect setup for troubled magical development, if not in skill and practice, then in form and emotion. And that was keenly displayed in his latter history. Nonetheless, she felt sorry for how his journey started and hopeful that it would get better. "Fillies and colts can be cruel as often as they can be kind, and often times in unequal measure. Celestia always kept what she was looking for in a pupil to herself- I know it had little to do with pure academic performance," she said execusatorily before she received the coffee. "Ah, thank you. Fire Walker, pop quiz. The whole, unabridged history of REA coffee, stat," she said playfully as she dropped the surplus near her Captain.
  2. Twilight nodded. It was good that the boundaries of magic were being pushed, though such runic magic would not prove as destabilizing in the field as one might hope. It was too...particular and demanding in craftsmareship to be a large-scale answer, but in the smaller affairs of personal magic accomplishment it would certainly stand as an intriguing triumph of creativity. She took another sip of water as she smiled at her Ponyville friend. "I see. Well then, you're certainly part of something special! Can't wait to see how this works out for you," she said, leaving it up to Aloe whether she meant the magical artifact, her burgeoning relationship, or both. She was referencing both. In any case however it was time for the rest of the meal to arrive. The servers walked in, three plates on two stallions and three bowls for the last. The first serving was of roasted zucchini lasagna, the second of paneer butter masala, and the bowls contained classic minestrone soup. Twilight had to stop herself from drooling. She could eat all this and much more- the diet of an Alicorn, especially a growing one, was the stuff of sordid legend and she was not all that shy about it anymore. Her primary concern remained her delightful guests, however. "Ahh, thank you sirs. These look excellent. Feel free to eat as much as you wish, gentlemares. Or as little, as your appetite may take you," she said with a wry smile as she started cutting her masala. "So Aloe, how is Mayor Rich doing so far? I hope she hasn't sold the town to a cabal of real estate developers just yet," she asked as she took a big bite. What are your plans beyond your 'quest', Rose?
  3. Applejack was, for a moment, lost in her daughter. Well, not just a moment. Many moments that would form a lifetime of love and affection but in this particular event it was but a few moments. Lost in her curly mane, so reminiscent of her momma. Ambrosia would never know Pear Butter and Bright Mac, would never know their voices and affections the way Applejack would. But every time Applejack looked at her daughter she saw that tiniest of resemblances and it took her breath away. Hopefully she would grow up to be as strong, wise, and kind as her grandparents were. Zap Apple was her first born and nothing could ever change how much she loved him and always would, but nopony could argue that a mother's heart wasn't attached stronger than the foundations of the earth to their newborn. And when she looked this cute, it was easy! She grabbed one of Ambrosia's hooves and waved it lightly at Naj. "Howdy there, Naj. Ah'm tha cutest lil' filly there ever was," Applejack said with a babyish coy to her voice as the little foal looked around in confusion. And hunger. She fake-giggled a moment before starting to cry again, which still only caused Applejack to smile. She pulled her daughter close in and took a seat, pulling for a blanket to cover herself as she started to feed her ever hungry daughter. "Being a momma...ah really thought that Ah'd felt everything, ya know? But Ah tell you something right and true, Ah ain't loved a thing near as much as Ah love mah kids. An-" she winched, "-Ah better, since she's a bitter, for sure," she laughed and took a deep breath. "Y'all got somecreature special lightin' you up, sugarcube?"
  4. There was a brief second in time when Gallus thought that Silverstream had gone insane. Or that he was insane. Or that he was just too distracted to really understand what she said. But said it she did. And understand it, well, he did after a moment. Zap was here the whole time. All that panic over nothing. Well, the first thing he did was close and lock the door. No reason to make the previous horror a reality. Then he, calmly and without reservation, put the cooling food away. Then, and only then, did he sort his way back upstairs in the proper mood to deal with this lousiness. Gallus wanted to be angry but he couldn't summon the righteously deserved fury at being deceived by absolutely nothing. Mostly because who was he gonna be angry at? The colt for being a colt? The air for being the air? Silverstream for being Silverstream? The only one he could be really upset at would be at Gallus for being Gallus, but Gallus was angry at himself enough so he didn't see the reason to make it any worse than it already was. Plus he was absolutely relieved to see that Zap Apple wasn't hydra food or getting himself caught in a cloud bank and scared. As completely annoyed as he was, and as right he was to be so, every other possibility was worse so he'd take this outcome. "There you are, Zap Apple," he said as he flew on over to be near the colt as he made a terrible mess of his mother's stuff. "Was looking everywhere for you," he said, looking around. he took a deep breath and sighed. he would have to clean it all up later, but that was a later Gallus problem. "Need any help finding goggles?" he asked positively. The colt didn't seem to like him much and he'd like to at least get him in an even mood before the parents returned.
  5. Moonlight laughed quite loudly as her cousin shot back. It was so nice she could still play around with her like this. It was such a special relationship and one that mattered to her so much, but had routinely been characterized by misfortune and mistakes. Now though the skies were sunny and clear and she had a breath of confidence in her chest that enabled her to engage with her cousin not as somewhat awkward distant big city cousin with a heart of gold, but a decidedly more confident and happy big city cousin with a heart of platinum. "Well now, this is a real disaster, like, for real. Must be starcrossed lovers! Him and his bananas and me and my apples. Might as well be a world apart! The horror!" She said as she dramatically fainted against a tree. A single apple fell off of as she fell against the trunk and landed on her horn, spiking it and sending the fruit halfway down it. The juices flowed and she licked it up- "Well, can't blame us for having good taste, now can they?" She said as she slowly levitated the apple off of her horn and split it in two, sending one half to her cousin as she started snogging the other. Speaking of Apples and Applejack and Applejack's Apples from Sweet Apple Acres, and boy did the apples live up to their name, she was asked to identify between two very similar looking red apples. Her eyes narrowed. She knew more about apples than most ponies but nothing compared to an Apple family member. She still knew too much about oranges. It wasn't a Red Delicious, though. Not deep red enough. Both apples were lighter red with some lighter shading, lighter stripes even. She wanted to say a Braeburn but they had moved production of that to the west some time ago. She got up as she considered her options, dusting herself off and wiping off her horn as she chewed on her own apple a bit. "Uhh..." she said with a full mouth before gulping it down. "Oh! I know. Are they...one of them is totally a Gala and the other, like, is it like a Cameo?" She asked hopefully as she gave a wide smile to her cousin. Maybe she was wrong. She was just pleased that they could still be normal ponies, even if she was in the midst of revealing the things that gave her butterflies.
  6. Gallus couldn't help but breathe a sigh of relief, even if it wasn't as fully formed as he would have liked. He didn't want anycreature else here. It was fated then that they would let slip his terrible error of judgement the night before and, one way or another, he'd be mocked. And why wouldn't they? It was flipping stupid what he did. The fact that ponies didn't mark their alcohol correctly didn't help. Nor did Griffon biology. Like dragons, they were highly susceptible to the grains and hops used in Equestrian brews. It wouldn't take much to get either one of them off their rocker and into the mistakes-only zone. But here she was and here he was and here Blueblood was and here his chance was and he wasn't going to blow it, not for such a silly reason. That didn't mean he couldn't try to keep it down, though. "Hay, Chancellor. Umm," Gallus said as he started fishing through his bag, hovering close to the Chancellor as his eyes darted around nervously, "congratulations on your big day! Wow. Uhh, two wives. Twice the problems, right?" he laughed nervously. Oh Boreas, stop this. "Anyway, I didn't come to...get you excited or anything. I bet you are already. I needed to talk to you about something," he said as he pulled out a rolled set of three papers. They were stained and full of legalese but had the signatures of a very drunk Griffon, a far less drunk stallion recruiter, and the insignias of the REA and Royal Guard. He whispered. "See this? I was out partying last night. Maybe I misjudged what drinks were what. All I know is that I don't remember signing up for any sort of Guard, and I wouldn't even make a good one," he chuckled nervously "so, ya know. You're a royal and all, and I know your class has the proper power to-" he snapped his talons "-this thing. So if you could be a pal and..." he ended hopefully, eyes darting around to make sure as few creatures as possible knew what was what. ****************************************************** "That sounds like a good agenda to me. Don't bring bits. We don't accept them in Acroneighos and I'd hate to make you work off my very excessive bar tab," Sky Crack responded evenly, with a small twinkle in the back of her voice detailing the ever so small amusement that would come from such an engagement. Certainly a far cry from the boredom on display as standard in this land's wedding customs. Luckily, when you had interesting company even the more boring aspects of life could be averted. To prove this, a Guardspony arrived. Sky Crack knew her, if only vaguely. Arena combatant. Guardspony with a good record. That often did not coalesce. Her own arena experience was for cause- to infiltrate and destroy a Jarl and to tame a dragon. What was Crusader's cause? "Tagmatarches of the Scout Accompli, Fourth Pegtasi," Sky Crack replied. "Pleasure to meet you. I know of your record. You perform well, Crusader," she then rolled her eyes. "As for my countrymares, suffice it is to say that they are...misusing themselves, but such is the curse of youth."
  7. Gallus entered the wedding proper and was pleased that the wonderful chaos that preceded the ceremony allowed him to more easily get closer and closer to his target. The small desperation that had taken root at the core of his self was ebbing now if only because his target was clear. One dressing room. One would-be married former bachelor. That didn't make Gallus wonder though. Blueblood was getting married. Was Bluebelle still a bachelorette? Could she still get married separately? If she could and the Chancellor decided to stay as one or the other did the one the Chancellor stayed as have to take up the new marriages? Everything was confusing, and he hadn't even managed to get drunk yet. Speaking of, he could see Smolder starting to get a little bubbly herself. Were dragons as lightweight as griffons? He'd have to- "Comrades Gallus and Smolder?......" - Gallus barely understood what was being said. Okay, yes. So it made sense there'd be somecreature taking care of Blueblood's affairs. Well, he couldn't help Gallus with his problem. But he could probably take him to the stallion who could help him with his problem, so maybe in a way this attendant could help Gallus help himself. And that was all Gallus needed, a helping hoof to help Gallus help himself by helping him out of this jam. "Oh, uhh. Hey there," Gallus said to Psmith as he shot him talon-guns, trying to search for the fella's name and coming up blank. That would be fine. "Hey, uhh, hey there. Sport. Uhh, I do need to see the Chancellor. Isn't school related, very personal. And urgent. So I need to see him if you'd just let me...?" he said, adding the pregnant pause at the end to allow Psmith to finish that sentence himself. ************************************************* Sky Crack's disappointment was immeasurable and her day was ruined. But she hid it well, because a true warrior mare didn't let on when she felt a huge let down coming on. "I see," she responded passively. "Weddings are events of some excitement in Acroneighos, and we celebrate accordingly. The habits of these lands it would stand to reason would be different, but I would be lying if I said I was not disappointed," she said with no less a sullen expression than was possible while remaining expressionless. She did enjoy the compliment. Acroneighos raised many healthy mares of proper athletic and militant upbringing and cut an impressive athletic figure, fit for soldierly duties across the world. "Thank you for the compliment. Acroneighos takes pride in the physical fitness of her people and her healthy bearing and soldierly conduct shine through her citizens as the sun. You would not look out of place yourself in the armor of an Accompli, Tempest."
  8. Applejack frowned. Maretonia was a land of misfortune and ill-harmony and it was no shock to the system to imagine that the state of affairs grew more complex and distasteful by the day. They weren't a lot that paid any heed to the ideals of friendship and as a result their land was one of sorrow and "That seems like it could be some trouble, Ah guess. Ah mean, Ah'd reckon there is a bunch of fellas out there we don't know much about. It'd be right ignorant of us ta think that there ain't some other groups an' cities, minor as they might be. 'course tryin' ta organize them 'round 'thing other than racial lines is tougher than tanned leather on a ca-yote. So if somecritter is up ta that, then yeah, Ah reckon y'all be havin' cause ta worry," she said as she gave a wry smile. While it was bad news, it was exciting. She liked a bit of danger herself, even if she were currently very much sidelined. The yokai conversation was just a little funny to her. Trickster spirits were being their trickster selves? Panic! "Well, Yokai can be a tricky lot. Y'all-" she started out, thinking she could help set his mind at ease some. Not all the way, just some. But life had other plans, as she heard her daughter's cry from the other room. Her ears moved as if seeking them out and she got up quickly and near robotically. "Sorry, got a screamer on our hooves," she said with a mirthless laugh as she vanished deeper into the house. She would return some time later gingerly, cradling a swaddled foal whose tiny horn poked out of the swaddling ever so slightly. "Now now, momma's got ya nice and tight, sugarcube. Hey, say hi ta Naj. This here's Ambrosia," she said as she unveiled a peach-colored unicorn with her momma's eyes and her grandmare's curly mane, or the start of one.
  9. Bon Bon couldn't help but have a wide, brimming smile. "Knowing Lyra, and the lack of chaos in the house, she is asleep. She is a late to bed and late to rise. Funny, since I'm early to bed and early to rise. I think one day we'll have our patterns so well set that we will never see one another and get married to new ponies and be none the wiser as we share the house," Bon Bon said with a chuckle. A hearty one, maybe too hearty, because she was so well-set in her habits and Lyra's always changed. Knowing how this pattern went soon enough Lyra would need to pull an all nighter to reset her flailing, failing sleep schedule and you know who would have to rein her in? Not her sugar-tossed friends. It would be up to her intelligent, suave, good-natured and well-mannered spy-chocolatier wife, and it would just be one of a million little good deeds that Bon Bon had done that would go unheralded as a new Equestrian dawn rose for its citizens. Not all heroines wore capes, but some did when they were alone. Which she never was. Why did she even bother keeping that getup? At least she could keep her name with pride. She knew she made a good bonbon but Bon Bon of Bon Bon's Bonbons sometimes worried that there was too much bon and not enough bon in her bonbons, at least for ponies not named Bon Bon, who proudly ran Bon Bon's Bonbons but with recipes for bonbons that Bon Bon's bonbon loving father had given her, leaving her somewhat unsure each time a pony tried Bon Bon's bonbons from Bon Bon's Bonbons. Of course, that didn't mean that the aforementioned pride didn't threaten to run a full court press at times. "Well, keep those ideas to yourself," she said with a playful wink, "don't want these bonbons to get the wrong idea. They can be a skittish bunch and before you know it, boom bam, you've been damned by vindictive chocolates who think you think that they'll lesser," she said, shaking her head sorrowfully for effect. A moment later, smile. "Make sure to write the idea down. Celestia knows I've lost a lot of good ones up here in the brain pan." And with that, the Bittsburgh filly was off to her business while Bon Bon was off to hers. It wasn't a lot of baggage on her end but she had some essential shopping to do, and not a lot of time to do it thanks to the storm. Luckily, her saddlebag was travel sized- perfect for the busy mare! The outside market would only slowly start to come alive and she couldn't afford the time, so she went to the least patrician place of all, Barnyard Bargains. When she first moved in she would admit that she didn't much care for it- overly busy and the produce, with some exceptions such as the Apple family products, were too generic for her Canterlot-raised taste buds. Then she grew up and realized that a carrot that wasn't bad was a carrot like all the other carrots so who cared if the names were different. She made her grocery run in record time and trotted home. She'd start the slow-cooking stew and then prepare the cart for a truncated day. Victory for everypony! Especially ponies who enjoyed themselves some nice bonbons from Bon Bon's Bonbons, and the mare who took their money. She won too.
  10. She poured the tea, relieved to have Fire Walker here. Truth was that she wasn't afraid of Blizzard Blitz and knew she could handle it even if something went wrong, but having a mare as capable as Fire Walker was always wonderful. She was also friendly and intelligent and while her role as Captain of the Twilight Guard was necessary, what was even more necessary was the warmth of the love and care that radiated off of her as strongly as her name would imply. They would need to bring that same heat if they had any hope of melting the shell of ice around Blizzard in conjunction with Twilight's honest and hopeful engagement. "Thank you for being here. This should go well, but you know how everypony worries if I don't have protection," she said with a sigh right before Blizzard entered. The first thing she noticed was that his coat was free and clear of the magically infused frost elements that had so artfully dictated the manner in which he was to be engaged. It was a more pleasant experience, dealing with a stallion whose heart of ice was a little less worn on his metaphysical, metaphorical sleeve. Any barrier between connection that was tossed aside was one barrier she was willing to let die, at least for now. "Captain, this is my friend, Blizzard Blitz. Blizzard, this is Fire Walker, the Captain of the Twilight Guard," she said with a smile. It was always good to expand the circle as she allowed them to get to know one another. And look at his tea game. Very strong! "Good choice. And I am happy to hear that the book helped. Knowledge used well is always good knowledge well used," she said as she offered him a scone. "You certainly look well, but how are your travels?"
  11. Twilight would let Rose's lack of knowledge about the REA slide, at least for now. She was highly intelligent but incredibly naïve- she knew so little about the modern world and those who inhabited it. It was the one area that Twilight had an earnest and honest concern growing in her regarding the ability of this wise and powerful sorceress to succeed in her endeavors. Science required research and knowledge, yes. But as she learned as she developed on her own, science required more than that. It required vision, yes, which Rose clearly had. But more than that it required awareness. Not of the exact subject itself, but of the time, of the place, of your surroundings immediate and grander. The greatest scientific discovery of all time would fall to the slightest of breezes if one lacked the context of the times. That- that worried Twilight. Not enough to dissuade her curiosity from being triggered more than it was before as they started going over the nuts and bolts of the device. "I know my fair share when it comes to runic magic. It is not native to this land- as such, its archanic structure needs to be efficient in order to work, as it pulls on distant aether." She watched as Aloe 'channeled' the magic, and the water became magicified. It was impressive. Her own magic investigated it as well. The arcanic construction of it was rather nice, especially for somecreature who claimed to have lesser knowledge of runic magic. Of course, there were complications in its aetheric purity. That left open the question of just how much of this was Aloe's magic being amplified and how much of it was a runic reaction to concentrated magical force, with the unintentional aetheric direction of its creator- in this case, Rose. Still, it was a wonderful device. "How interesting. Tell me, how do you feel when you do that, Aloe?" She asked as she drank her own water. "It is very intriguing. The interlocking archanic bindings in its base aetheric structure need rebuilding and there is too much ulnarian oscillation to mark it as stable for any greater experiment, but it is a wonderful piece of work. What gave you the idea?"
  12. Sunday.

    1. PyroBlaze

      PyroBlaze

      Sunday Sunday Sunday, at the Tacoma Dome!

    2. tacobob

      tacobob

      Tacoma? They named a stadium after my mom! Wow!

  13. He rolled his eyes. "That's exactly why it's interesting, Smolder. She swims and swims and swims all the time and lives down there, so why would she want to be reading this book? Unless, well- unless its not for her?" He looked over at his dragon fellow. cocking his eyebrow with a sly grin. "Maybe it's for a certain dragon friend who needs to take a shower every once in a while. Hard to bring it up, ya know?" he stuck his tongue out at her as he hovered past her. "Just a thought. Or maybe its for Yona. Watching her try to swim is...something," he said as flew away. Fact was, it was weird she would read a book like that. But he was sure she did. It still had her smell on it, ever faintly. But he wasn't sure it mattered. They were after the water bird in question, not really caring much about her motive unless it proved pertinent. Which it might, you never know. The sound drove them forward. It wasn't long until they found the janitor's closet. One bucket was on its side and still rolling around- she was just here. He didn't even bother looking for any good evidence on what was going on. They were so close behind her now! He'd leave any evidence collecting to his draconic friend. He went up the stairs, following her trailing scent. Then he got lost. Once they got into the main halls it was a little harder since she, along with every student ever, had been here not long ago. Still, it didn't take long for another noise to put them in the right direction. He flew on over to Pinkie's classroom and looked around- why was there a giant puddle? It seemed like something was missing. He was too hopped up on sugar to really pay too much attention in the class so he didn't put the pieces of the puzzle together. He flew over to the open window and peeked out. Sure enough, she was out there, talking about scruffy something? "Okay, found her. What in the wide sky is she up to?" He asked as he put his front paws on the windowsill. "Awww, great. Its wet, too," he muttered to himself. Talk about a poor night out so far.
  14. It would depend on the application itself. It would not be disallowed outright.
  15. Rainbow Dash was tongue tied or somesuch, and that suited Applejack just fine. Anything that could shut her up for a day, the pegasus talking as fast as she flew sometimes when she was nervous. This meant she was currently as calm as the western waters or as jittery as the eastern flow. Applejack wouldn't know for now, because she stuffed her wife's gaping wide mouth with a hoof full of cake and followed it up with a big smooch. After the crowd reacted, she pulled Dash in close as she could and whispered. "Wanna take this dance, sugarcube?" She asked as the band started to play their song. Moonlight held back her tears as best she could, which wasn't all that well, and she allowed herself some fanciful daydreaming. Her, in a beautiful dress, with a handsome groom, surrounded by royals. Canterlot Castle. Being crowned a Princess? She sighed. Such a fantasy was hers to light in the dark of the dreamworld but never to see the sunlight, a flight of fancy true to its tale. But she had a good backup plan and she leaned into him during the ceremony. She lingered a little longer after the crowd started to follow, making sure to be by Remington's side. The stallion had so little wherewithal during a wedding that he would probably end up walking into a Great Seedling trap if he wasn't tied to her hip. They sat down for drinks, him first- she had to admire somepony's form, so 'in' right now!- and she made sure she was comfortable when she returned. "One dark cider with, umm, maybe a cherry on it. And he'll take..." she paused and giggled as she looked him over, "one orange crush cocktail, por favor?" She asked sweetly. She was gonna have fun with Remmy tonight, Celestia help them both. Apple Bloom wandered on over to the reception, her brain afire. For all of the worries and petty complaints she harbored about things lately, she was still overwhelmed by the prospect of her family getting even larger. The Apples were the greatest family on the planet and adding the fastest pony on the planet only added to the endless roster of great abilities they had and the ponies who came with them. Now you could ask the Apples to do anything and they could do it. Well, except whatever it was that Discord did, since he was a barrel and a half of unpredictable consequences. As she made her way in she couldn't help but see him floating closer and closer towards the newlyweds, his gift in hoof. With Fluttershy though he was currently occupied with Zap Apple, and as Apple Bloom approached she saw him snap his gift shut and send it into the gift pile. Well, she assumed as such. "Aww, Ah knew you were secretly a softy. Between a gift an' yer cryin', Ah'd a thunk it was you gettin' married," she said with a wink as she elbowed the elder deity. "Fluttershy, yer lookin' good. How's tha sanctuary holdin' up?" She asked as she bent down to un-mess her cousin's mane. "Auntie Bloom is just so excited taday Zappy. Wanna get some cake?"
  16. Applejack fell asleep right quick, even before Moonlight entered. She was so weak and so completely spent that even when Moonlight came in and started to poke about, she didn't wake up. And she also didn't wake when the first cry from Ambrosia was heard, though her ears did twitch. Ambrosia's second cry however was enough to wake her from her slumber and in a panicked haze of needing to defend her daughter, she swung wildly. Moonlight had reeled back from the cry but was looking towards the door, ready to call for help in dealing with a crying infant, when a hoof she was not prepared for came charging in from the side and decked her clean. Applejack may have been weakened by this extreme length labor. She may not really have the same strength in her forelegs as backlegs. And she certainly didn't mean to send Moonlight flying. But fly she did- through the doors and landing with a skid at Tempest's hooves. Apple Bloom looked down in alarm at her cousin skidding across the floor, her eyes spinning in her head. Through the swinging doors she saw her sister, who was coming to. And her sister smiled, though Apple Bloom didn't know why. (Neither did Applejack, for that matter) The young farmer looked back at Tempest and laughed. "Haha, nah, Ah think Applejack's just fine...are you?"
  17. Doing right by those that aided you was respectable enough. She was here for less noble, far more boring reasons. "Acroneighos was invited to send a representative to attend this wedding as a foreign dignitary, to convey our joy at the union and our hopes for a strong future for them," she said with a sigh. It was boring work, but important. "I did get to decide the gifts that would be given to them. I shall also read to them excerpts from the Acroneighos Poetic Traditions. That should encourage them to seek shelter with one another really quickly," she said with a smile, stretching out one of her legs. "I do hope that the reception-events are enthralling. It has been a while since I was able to participate in Acro-Roaman wrestling with excelling competitors. Do you know if the pegasi here use cumulonimbus clouds for their thunder chase?" She looked up, quizzically noting the lack of clouds in the sky. "Perhaps they bring it in later...?"' Gallus felt as though everything was right in the world for one brief, shining moment. That he would be allowed past them and able to hunt down and speak with the Chancellor before the previous night's many transgressions could be fully vetted into his history for all the world to know and mock. But alas, it was not to be. In a moment of horror and panic he felt something being forced down his throat, his squawk of terror killed in his throat as he half-choked on the liquid. When he was let go he fell from the sky with a crash, grasping briefly at his throat in reflex. All of this because he didn't know what the bad cider was supposed to look like. And who in the world had even done it? She had spoken but he was too busy dying to notice. His eyes focused on on the subject and he was about to give her a tongue lashing (as ironic as it may be) even as he only barely registered the loss of a feather when somecreature else interrupted his train of thought. At least Tiger Blood's statement wasn't something that could get him angry. Well, he still would be. He was dying a little. "I'm-" he hacked up a pile of nothing as the liquid was still playing havoc on his throat. He shook his head and started hovering again. It also gave him just enough time to regain what little composure he had. "I'm not drunk," he said confidently. "I was drunk. Now, I'm hungover. Did you know that the Apple family cider looks like the same?" A pause. "Well, it did to me. Uggh, it doesn't matter," he said as he pocketed his 'invitation'. "Thanks for the potion," he said evenly, trying to not make a scene, "but I need to see the Chancellor before the wedding," he took off flying, eyes desperately searching for the right Okay. Okay. The stallion who spoke, she understood him. Kind of. He was speaking in an unusually formal and wordy manner but she...vaguely remembered her time in Manehattan and wasn't too caught off-guard. In private schools you always ran into ponies that thought verbosity passed for personality and wit but she found that idea lacking in concrete evidence. And really, who needed personality and wit, even a bit, when you got a flank that won't quit? Still, she guessed he might have been turning it on for such an event. And under all that, he was being awfully complimentary of her and she wasn't about to do anything else but very humbly and graciously accept and devour any morsel of attention she could. She tittered as he started leading her away. "Well, lead on. Like, this event is sooooo not ready for me. Tch, well, maybe," she said as she saw some of the dresses on display. Maybe she wasn't as cocky, though wearing a Rarity design was certainly strong. And then the mare spoke and her overwhelmingly exasperating choice of words made Moonlight's brain start to melt, overheated as it tried to comprehend some of the meanings and all of the intent and just coming back increasingly irked. Not that she'd show it. She'd just allow her brain to melt and reboot with a smile!
  18. Sky Crack bristled unintentionally. Being called a Maretonian mare was something of an insult to any proper Acroneighos mare. The Tall Mares- that was the translation of Maretonia. It was a term coined by either an Earth pony crime lord or those heartless unicorns in Kastrot. Acroneighos was a proud city-state of pegasi who, naturally, were shorter than the other species by some amount that was imperceptible to all but those that sought reasons to argue and fight one another. "Acroneighos, yes," she responded quickly but still cheerily. She may not be a diplomat but her parents had lavishly spent on her education and she knew better than to make a flank of herself here. "I am glad to see that you have made your peace, Commander. When we heard that the Shadow Lord of the Black Storm had been pardoned by the Sovereign-in-Waiting Twilight Sparkle, we had our reservations. After all, it is not often you see a combatant with such skill in the art of combat and strategic violence return to a more pastoral life," she added a pregnant pause, "with no regrets, at least. What is your relation to this Herd?" It wasn't that Gallus had gotten drunk. It was that he had gotten completely and totally destroyed. He didn't know what it had been in the first place! He had just been enjoying a party that he had maybe perhaps snuck into, perhaps without asking anycreature, and certainly maybe perhaps kind of illegally. It was one of many parties rocking the small town the night before due to the royal wedding and he just wanted in on the action. How was he supposed to know what that drink was? Griffons had very clearly marked bottles of *alcohol* and he had cider before and it hadn't been alcoholic. He thought Sweet Apple Cider was all the same anyway. he had trusted a brand. This is why you can't trust brands, even the brands of a creature you thought you knew because your knowledge would absolutely betray you. Like this one did. Well, not entirely just the alcohol's fault. In any case, he needed to see Prince Blueblood, Princess Bluebelle, Twilight, or even that snooty looking Mayor. Just somecreature he could get to sign some documents and end the encroaching nightmare. He arrived where the wedding was, his well-crafted fake invitation under his wing as he smoothed his messy feathers back and wiped the sweat from his brow. A sphinx, a changeling, a showoff, a guard, and a mess of confusion would be his ally as he flew on by the collective, trying to avoid the front door. His only ally, since he could never trust cider again. "Good day here, I take it?" he said breezily, or an attempt at such, as he tried to glide past them. Oh my Twilight, two weddings so close together. Moonlight could taste the excitement in the air and who could blame them? It wasn't every day you had a royal wedding! Almost, anyway. It had become rather common or seemed as such the past few years, at least in comparison to the previous centuries. Part of it was simply that Equestria was so much more involved globally that every minor royal wedding counted. But this one was Equestrian, in Equestria, in Ponyville to boot. It couldn't get more pony than this if it tried. And a herd? How outrageously scandalous. She had made sure to tell the Chancellor how exciting and taboo everything was. What cache would the Chancellor have in history now? A piece of trivia before. Maybe now the Chancellor would have a whole section in the book! Talk about an upgrade, right? She trotted into the wedding wearing a full length version of what would have been worn by Bluebelle if she had been the one up there instead of Blueblood. It moved with her like air, its green shine attractive and eye catching without being acutely vexing. She felt like seven thousand, six hundred, and five bits. Specific? yes. That was the cost Rarity attached to it! Luckily, Bluebelle was not up there today so the dress had to go somewhere...and Rarity already her dress picked out. As a member of the Fashion Club she had worked tirelessly with Rarity to help perfect the dress. She had modeled it, stitched it, worked the fabrics and dyes and gems alongside the older mare. It had earned her an invitation. And, for tonight only, it had earned her this stunner of a dress. She didn't mind showing it (and herself) off as she sauntered up to the castle and hooved it over, giggling like a schoolfilly (which she was after all) as she was allowed in.
  19. His eyes continued to shine bright, like orbs in the dark. "Oh yeah. Haven't had a good bite since....feels like forever. Well, discounting the Blue Moon Festival," he said sheepishly. He tried his best in Equestria to keep up with the customs but it was a total bummer that he was essentially starved much of the time. Well, felt like it anyway. he ate what they offered without complaint but that didn't mean he was happy about it. There were fisheries and hatcheries he could contact about it but most of what Equestria made was purely for export, leaving the small stock expensive, and the rivers, lakes, and oceans of the nation were protected from illegal predation. So no Gallus, the Swooping Hawk for him. "Really, thanks for this. It means a lot," he said a little lower as he tentatively grabbed one of the finished fish and licked his lips. Then he annihilated it. If there had been any possibility of a delayed devouring of the fish it hastily died when it met the reality that Gallus, for all of his slowly developing Equestrian ways, was a predator at heart. He started on the first fish slowly but once he got the taste of meat back it started to move quickly. A griffon could hardly be sated by anything that would pass as an normal Equestrian diet. Even with the best substitutes he could find Gallus had been steadily losing muscle mass and weight since he had arrived in Ponyville, and routinely had digestive issues. He did well to keep his feathers and fur kept up to such a nice level because he was very certain that Smolder would start ragging on him if she saw just how he had lost. It was, Boreas be his witness, a miracle to finally have fish. It tasted so good, and it tasted so right. Still, he managed to pay attention even as he lost himself in the succulence of the best meal he had in months, as indicated by his tail which was uncharacteristically excited. So, these came from outside the regional drift of Sequestria? He hadn't given any thought as to the concept of the ocean's drift before, but it made sense. he wondered if they had the sort of boundary issues down here that Griffons did in the sky. A griffon makes something in the sky, it drifts somewhere, now another griffon claims it. The more communally minded Hippogriffs probably solved it with a drum circle. And he certainly never gave any thought as to the relations between griffons and their prey, as long as that prey wasn't sentient. Predators ate prey and prey were eaten by predators. That was the whole circle of life, right there. "So, you only take fish from outside the drift? Why worry about the relations with other sea life? It isn't as if the squid is talking to the cod, right?" He thought about it. Well...in Equestria it seemed like some animals certainly spoke to others, so it was possible, he supposed.
  20. Despite her militant demeanor and those of her fellow countrisi, she wasn't one to say no to a wedding. And a royal wedding at that attracted all manner of interest far and wide. Even the halls of Acroneighos couldn't ignore it, despite their best efforts. With relations improving between the militant city-state and the nation-state of Equestria, it was decided quickly that somepony needed to be sent. Sky Crack knew that it wasn't her scene but she knew that she had some connection with one member of this 'herd', the one they now called Dunnie. She had fought Dunder in the Arena of Whitescar some time ago and proved victorious, as she did later against a brutish dragon that she left begging for mercy. Dunder had been the more difficult engagement. She respected the warrior and while puzzled at events that transpired later did not think it mattered much in the end. Skill was skill and greatness was greatness, so in honor of that engagement she volunteered to go to the wedding. When she arrived, she did so with less pomp and circumstance than others of her rank might. Two Acroneighos guards escorted her, begrudgingly on all sides, to the Ponyville city limits at which point they left. She flew the rest of the way there herself, landing softly in a trot to her assigned position. She wore the standard formal dress uniform of the Acroneighos military, a loose silk dress filled out over light laminar, the ends of the dress to the base of her tail as she refused it to go any further. It would reduce her movement too much she believed she would need that just in case Changelings attacked. It was possible. Equestrian history was littered with attacks during major events. Nocreature could tell Sky Crack it was unwise to be so prepared. It was why she refused to part with her gladius, which was held tightly in her underside in its sheath. Just in case. She found her seat next to the one known as Fizzlepop Berrytwist, aka Tempest Shadow, or the Shadow Lord of the Black Storm. She and her dread fleet had never touched upon Maretonia. Many, including Sky Crack, believed it was because not even the Storm King was arrogant enough to tussle with the Legion until he had that accursed staff of his. A part of Sky Crack knew it was more likely that he just didn't see the point in ruling a land with so few resources. She had always imagined what it would have been like fighting the Shadow Lord in combat. A quick glance over the mare confirmed that she seemed fit and capable which certainly meshed well with the rumors. In any case, Equesrtria's stunning leniency whenever they faced enemies marked her as friend and ally instead of enemy, so Sky Crack kept her theories to herself as she sat next to Tempest. "Hello. I am Sky Crack, Tagmatarches of the Scout Accompli, Fourth Pegtasi of the Citadel in the Sky, Acroneighos. An honor to meet, Tempest Shadow," she spoke in her thick Acroneighos accent, making herself as comfortable as she could allow herself in such seating.
  21. Hydra blood could help her research, at least to some degree. As an alchemical compound it was treasured for regenerative properties. Of course, using it straight along activators and triggers could lead to wild deformities, but an alchemist of Rose's degree would certainly be aware of those dangers. It used to be even more highly prized when it was believed that it would lead to an easy path to immortality. The truth was that the regenerative properties of a Hydra were about cellular reconstruction to an accepted biologic base. While a very specific species of hydra near Acroneighos was rumored to be able to split indefinitely, all known species of Hydra had a set number of heads at birth- most commonly three. Their ability to regenerate their heads after losing them did not change the aging properties of the heads in question. A Hydra still grew old and died. It just that meant unless something destroyed all three heads and all three hearts in quick succession, a hydra would not die until old age claimed it in a lifespan that could last multiple pony generations. A path to immortality? She didn't think so. But a properly made potion using it could in theory have a tremendous number of applications. Lost limbs and even failing organs, if used properly, could go from a fatal or life altering to treatable to the extent of living a full, happy life again. There had been many similar efforts and they had one fatal flaw or another and even with Rose's skill it wasn't as if Twilight was assured of her success but there was the value in trying in and of itself, and if anycreature could do it then Twilight was staring at her right now. Of course, she was more so worried about Aloe. She was a good mare and Twilight didn't want to doubt her but hydra wrangling was a tough, dangerous business. They were giant, violent creatures with a bite that was venomous as well as capable of cutting a pony in two. Rose had tremendous power- hidden in her own way perhaps but few things could escape Twilight- but enough to ensure Aloe's safety? Twilight thought about it for a moment. Then two. "Hmmm. Just remember, a hydra is particular vicious and dangerous. We don't recommend ponies go near them and would rather it be handled by the REA. But," she said as she tossed a hoof easily towards Rose, "she has this expedition planned well. I am sure you will staff it with those that have experience with hydras, Rose?" She asked, half of it as a suggestion more so than an inquiry. Any concern drifted away like a ship in the night when the prospect of an invention was brought up. Her eyes sparkled. "Oh, I would love to see it!" She said, refocusing herself on the wonders of the evening and spending it with the intriguing and the kind alike. A glass of water popped into existence on the table.
  22. "Yokai? Well, Ah know a bit about 'em. Did ya know one of 'em took part in tha Runnin' of tha Leaves a few years back? He did real good. Got second place," she said as she leaned back and looked at her first place medal from that year's Running. "Not quite good 'nough ta beat me, mind you. Let me tell you what, Ah was real shocked when I learned Ah had managed ta outrun some sorta immortal canine spirit or what have you. These legs got tha right stuff for sure," she said as she stretched them out. It felt good, good enough for her to neigh in a moment of weakness before she fell apart like a wet noodle in her seat. "He came ta work in mah fields for a while as part of a wager. He said a Yokai's word is very bindin', Ah take that ta mean it is magically so. Anywho, learned a lot. Felt like Ah could go right on ahead and add ta tha book that Twi gave me," she said as she got up and trotted over to her bookshelf. She pulled out a book and hooved it over to Naj. "This here is tha updated 'Compendium of Curious Creatures' by Ash Ravencrest. One of only a few copies, Ah reckon. Twi said that was only one of two copies the Royal Archives had an' that's sayin' something! Can't say it'll help too much, but thar's all sortsa interesting stuff there. What is this yokai doin' thats making ya so nervous? Could always writ Taira ta learn more," She asked as she sat back down with a heavy sigh. The subject turned ever so briefly to Maretonia. There was always something going on there. "Maretonia? What's happenin' now?" she rolled her eyes. "Ah swear that place is more prickly than a durian in tha cold, and Hippostion smells just as good ta boot. Ah started tryin' ta sell mah apples there not too long ago and some sorta mafia stallion tried ta strong arm me into signin' some sort of protection deal. Well, tha only protection Ah need is from Twi if Ah wring his neck and start a war or somesuch. Heck, the only place that didn't try to screw me over was Acroneighos and that was only for one shipment, as a courtesy becayse of what we did for 'em in Puerto Aguila."
  23. A giggle faced an early demise as it was buried under other layers of mirth and excitement as they made their way out of the dorm through an entirely too exciting method. She wasn't sure why they had to leave via the window but she knew better than to judge the risk of a situation before fully committing to it blindly. If you did so, then you would likely do very little in life that was worthwhile. She knew that there wasn't anything wrong with walking around the campus at this time. Most creatures were just busy with their own work and not wholly likely to buy into the restorative properties of an evening stroll. She knew that there were few things better than spending time outside with ponies you care about, mostly because her previous shuttered self was forced out into the day a thousand times by her wonderfully, joyfully aggressive farmer cousin. "Well, if there is one thing I know it is, that, like, ya know, we're totally the bad foals in class," she laughed as she put her hoof to her chest, "'oh, how can we ever hope to stop those two crazy ponies?'" she said in her best faux Rarity. Which was pretty good, since she was almost a faux Rarity herself. She then looked where Remington was pointing. That hill outside town? She was fine with it. She didn't think it was a big deal to go ahead and escape the environs of the town. She had one too many adventures and had become immune to the dangers and charms of the wilderness around town. And that hill was hardly the wilderness. "Well, lead the way to like, the mysterious waterfall, Mister Brave. If there is a Craggadile I expect you to take it on one-vee-one, right? Preeeetttyyyyy radical if you do!" she said as she filed in behind him. She didn't know what he had planned but she though it must be something since he seemed to have gotten either a sudden bout of inspiration or had finally refocused. Either way, she was just happy she had agreed to be his study buddy for the night. Perish the thought of having done anything else with her time!
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