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About a week ago Taira had been out on the town, Niju had been planning some surprise for him when he came back that night and requested that he stay a bit longer so that she could prepare things for him. Not being one to complain about such a thing, he went out on his best behavior and had a few drinks. While he relaxed in the bar he'd caught the eye of some griffin explorer who was getting a taste of the culture from the neighponese countryside to the north. Ashley seemed the decent sort so he decided to stick around and drink with him (Taira drinking tea rather than sake), through the power of alcohol the griffin let it slip he was interested in seeing the mountains to the north of Kaminichi... a place that Taira was all too familiar with. Seeing as Ashley was so interested in the mountain's mythical history, Taira told him what he did for a living: He was a mountain guide of sorts. He would bring people who were willing to pay up the mountains hidden by green mists along the safest paths and into the forests to explore. Sometimes when he did it he would learn a few things about his territory even he didn't know. There were ruins, places that could be haunted, and sacred sites where some events from ancient folklore still stood... although visiting certain areas would require him be paid a little extra. Ashley agreed but only requested a bit of time to put together a group he said he'd cover, an archeologist, someone for security, and that was all. A three pony group? That sounded like a pretty easy deal. One week later and Taira was at the midway point on the mountain road. He'd said to meet them here so he could get an idea how much walking they could take before they became winded and needed to rest. He wasn't opposed to anyone under his watch taking a breather but the longer they stayed on his mountain the longer he had to watch over them. The stocky looking Kirin had been resting comfortably on a large rock by the side of the road. Any silence on the mountain was broken up by the sound of a lively humming and some singing being done in equestrian. "I used to be a renegade... I used to fool around... But I couldn't take the punishment, I had to settle down. Now I'm playin' real straight, and yes I cut my hair. You can think I'm crazy, but I don't even care. Cause I can tell what's goin' on-- oh!" His ears perked up as finally caught the sound of hoofsteps on the smoothed steps of the mountain. A sniff brought him assurance as he realized it was definitely, Ashley among them. He had that dusty scent to him that made Taira's nose itch ever so faintly: The kind of scent that taira noted clung to those fond of scrolls and tomes. He was surprised he didn't have such a smell on his fur anymore actually, "I should really start reading again." Another sniff made him realize that another of those coming up the steps an odor of literacy around him... and the other one... "Hm... A wild scent mixed with the city. Almost like Niju... Oh well, so long as he doesn't cause any trouble I'm sure we'll get along." With that, Taira leapt off the rock and down on the trail. His hoof raised and he waved to the approaching trio with a smile, "Welcome, Ashley and Company! I trust you enjoyed the walk up!"
Most of Equestria is filled with places that can be both magical and dangerous for ponies. A standard side effect from living in a world where magic is at the whim of most creatures. Very few decide to use their magic to help others, and most non-sentient beings with magic is more apt to use it's magic to try to kill a pony for food rather than help you out of any dangerous situation that a pony might find themselves in. One of these places, is the Frozen North. In fact, it's dangerous enough that many ponies wont even attempt to go out into it. Not because the don't want to... well, okay, a lot because they don't want to, but also because of the temperatures. It gets it's name for a reason and the frigid temperatures can make an unprepared pony suffer from hypothermia in a very quick manner. This applied to most ponies. Ice Storm on the other hoof, simply used her ice armor as a wind breaker. Her affinity with ice making her much more resistant to extreme cold, but she still came prepared herself. It was likely that the deeper parts of the tundra would force even her to use some provisions of warmth to survive. She was still a pony after all and not a god. However, the fact that she could sustain herself in these conditions much easier than most ponies could was why she was one of the ponies going into the tundra. Aside from the fact that it was where the Crystal Empire was, and the area south of it had been pretty well tamed, everything north was still uncharted. In fact, She had very little information to go off of for what she could even hope to find. The only thing that she could find about the Frozen North in any records that she could find, is that they cold was dangerous, and it's where Sombra was once imprisoned. Otherwise, there was absolutely nothing to go off of. Herself and a few others had taken it upon themselves to venture into the dangerous Frozen Tundra, just to see what was out there, and what they could bring back. Considering that most ponies can't or won't come out here, this place must still be very resource heavy. These resources would go a long way to helping Equestria in many ways. The group that she found herself in was a simple one. A unicorn that she presumed was from the far east, judging by the name but she never verbally tried to guess where he was from. She though she remembered his name as being Nensho from when they first met up for the expedition. One of the other companions with her was a changling. She had met quite a few of them in her time and overall had a rather fond experience with them. there were a couple that seemed to be a bit too skiddish to really interact with, but none of them were hostile. This changling was the same way. In fact, she was a medic. She didn't know how hearty a changling was in regards to cold climates, that the hard carapace would be a benefit or if it would make them easier to freeze. but she supposed that they were about to find out. Naturally of course, they would always have a shelter if things got to nasty weather wise. she could almost instantly summon an igloo for them to stay in and shelter them from wind and provide warmth. The last companion that was with her was an Earth pony named Kappi. She couldn't really say that she knew him very well, but he came to her as a navigator and was interested in coming along. A navigator in a place that a pony can easily get lost in, was very much appreciated. She wasn't a total novice at it herself, but having a pony who's entire thing is navigation rather than a pony who read a few books on how to navigate is much better. Knowing her luck, she would end up getting lost and then EPIC would have to seen a regiment to try to find her. At least she hoped that they would. She looked around to everypony else as they sat inside an igloo that she had made for the first night. Enough holes in the door to let oxygen in and a small fire under the chimney way kept the igloo warm for the other ponies. She made sure to sit as far away from the fire as she could though. "So, where is everypony from? and what made you all decide to come with me?" she asked trying to start a conversation for the evening.
Tomirite threw his saddle bag on the ground checking its contents. There was in it a magnifying glass, a book on different minerals, a shovel, several containers for sampling, tape, many different types of markers, and a map of the out lying area. "Good I have almost everything I need for this little excurtion into the outskirts." Tom started to trott toward the door before he relized he was missing some very key things for his exploration. "Oh no what if I get hungry or thirsty. I don't even know the lay out of the town. I just moved here." Tom franticly passed back and forth in his little hut, finally he stopped. "Well then Tom you will just have to look around the town and get to know it better. I'm sure somepony will help you out." With that Tom left his little hut shutting the door on his way out. "Ok Tom here we go new town. HERE I COME PONYVILLE!!!" Tom bucked his legs into the air and trotted aimlessly into town. Not knowing were he was going Tom just began to wander the town aimlessly hoping somepony would come to his rescue. please correct me if I did anything wrong here