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The Mysteries of Hollow Shades [see OOC]


starsteemer
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(OOC thread here)

 

It was dusk in Hollow Shades, and one Aerion was up early for her kind, a small gently glowing lantern at her hooves, casting shadows from the pillar candle inside. The Aerion mare paced anxiously, worried If anypony would come. Ever since the hard-to-ignore supernatural occurences started happening, Golden Glow had decided action was needed. She posted fliers up around town, and even in some other towns about Hollow Shade's predicament.

 

The fliers read "Hollow Shades is in trouble. Stranger than usual things have happened, and several ponies, five of which were Aerion, have gone missing. The town is plagued by nightmares and never before seen disease. If you're an outsider or a resident willing to help, meet me at the tree in the center of Hollow Shades, at dusk. From there, we can come up with a way to stop this curse. "

 

Golden Glow read over her own flier. One was taped to the tree. Every day since she put up the fliers, she's been waiting by this tree from dusk until midnight, hoping that anypony would be willing to help. Most were too afraid to do anything, and Hollow Shade's government was nothing like an ordinary town's, so no help there. Golden Glow took it upon herself to delve into this mystery and find out what happened to the missing ponies before anyone else went missing, or worse. But the yellow mare knew she couldn't do it alone, and had been waiting for help. She had a good feeling about tonight though, seeing as out of desperation she had spammed every town accessable from Hollow Shades with her fliers. 

 

With the coming of night, the daytime ponies headed inside and the bat ponies came out, although that certainly wasn't absolute. Golden Glow noticed them avoiding her gaze, ashamed that they were unwilling to help. Truth be told, this was okay with Goldy. She would never harass any of them or make them feel bad for not volunteering, because it did seem rather dangerous. However, she had a couple ideas to figure out what was happening and put an end to it. She kept her eyes open, looking for anyone who seemed to be coming towards her, really hoping that somepony cared enough to help her solve the mystery, or the one of many of Hollow Shade's mysteries. 

 

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Skies were rapidly darkening and the atmosphere got just that little bit gloomier, and as the fog was slowly getting heavier, so did someones eyes. "hrn...nap...time." the white pegasus mumbled, slowly closing his eyes and relaxing his muscles as he slid into the dreamworld. Now, one could question whether or not this was a good thing to do while flying half a mile above ground, but you could argue that it was indeed late for normal ponies.

 

And so began his plummet towards the ground, head first. The wind was whistling violently as he catched speed.  "Hmmm...dad I said already...don't put the desk fan on max because it almost feels like..."  The pegasus opened his eyes slowly, his baby blue orbs meeting the swiftly approaching ground. "...I'm...falling." He said, his words trailing off, drowned by the howling wind around him.

 

He let out a surprised yelp, spreading his wings in an attempt to make the landing a little less of an experience. He was not a flyer despite being a pegasus and it showed. His speed did decrease, but not without side effects as he began to spiral, clearly out of control. Solarline tried to channel all the holy knowledge he had learned in the flying preschool as a filly, but in the end it was all for naught.

 

He crashed into the ground, the impact sending him flying ten feet forward before hitting the ground again. The force made him roll, all of his parts taking turns in being smashed. 

 

After the dust settled, there was quite a landing trail to behold and the white, yet very dirty and bruised pony laying on his back at the other end of it. He was breathing heavily, the balaclava he had on rolled up to reveal his mouth as he gasped for all that precious air. He swallowed painfully before rolling the mask back down, making a shaky attempt at rising onto his hooves. "Hah...didn't even...panic." He succeeded at it, finally taking a somewhat proper look at his surroundings. He was in a town, one that at least looked like his destination if the whole "nightmare ridden" part was true. He shook his head before taking his first steps in the new location, looking for someone, not quite knowing who though. Probably should have read the note through.

 

It was going to be a long night, that was certain.

 

Edited by AllScrewsLoose
Speedwrote this on a phone on the way to classes lol. Fixed a lot of stuff.
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A certain earth pony was walking through the woods, on his way back from the observatory, despite the sky barely filling with stars above him. He had arrived just a little early tonight, only to find that Starfall Wonder, the unicorn in charge, was sick in bed. She had barely been able to get up to answer his knock at the door, let alone work their equipment. She had tried to send Comet away, but he insisted on making her something to eat before he left. After making sure she was all settled in, he had closed the door behind him and started to track back home.

At least, that was what he had been doing, until a brightly colored flyer caught his eye. He picked it up from the ground and skimmed it, then immediately decided that he should go and help. After all, he had nothing better to do with his evening, and he wouldn't be able to fall asleep for another 5 hours anyway. He tucked the flyer into his saddlebag, alongside his star charts, evening meal, blanket, and various other things. He then set off to find the aforementioned tree, not minding his surroundings at all. He was far too focused on where he was going to be spooked.

Before too long, he found his way into Hollow Shades, and was beneath the tree in minutes.

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(Since the others who have joined have not yet answered, we will continue and they may jump in anytime after PecanPraline because that's the last person in order!)

 

Golden Glow covered her mouth with a hoof when she saw a pegasus crash into the village. Immediantly concerned, the pastel yellow bat pony trotted over to him, looking very concerned. "Oh my goodness, are you hurt? You fell out of the sky! Is it something to do with this village's curse?" The worried mare dusted off his originally clean white pelt, giving a small relieved smile when she noticed no broken bones. 

"Come over to my lantern by the tree so i can get a better look at you... " The Aerion mare ushered him to the tree in the center of the village with her wing outstretched over him to gently draw him towards the tree. Once in the lanterns light, she checked him over more thoroughly. "After a fall like that, you must tell me your name! Before you forget it from.. fall damage.. My name is Golden Glow, friends call me Goldy. "

 

When Comet arrived at the tree, he'd see the Aerion mare fretfully dusting off the pegasus, her lantern light flickering wildly. She realized a new pair of eyes on her and looked up at the new arrival. "Oh, hello! Do you know this stallion? He just crashed from the sky! I'm Golden Glow, by the way. " 

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The pegasus twisted his head instinctively, his blue eyes meeting the mare that rushed towards him, not quite reacting in time before she was already right in front of him, bombarding him with all sorts of questions. "Oh..hurt? Obvious-...Yeah, the sky...curse? No...I just...decided to take a little nap and then the ground ambushed me." He said, trying to get a grip of the situation, merely staring ahead as the Aerion checked him for damage. "The...lantern?" He questioned, already being gently pushed towards one that seemed to match the description. "Oh, er...hi Golden...Glow?" He greeted awkwardly after her introduction, raising his left front hoof to a slow, yet small wave. "The name's Solarline, friends call me uh...Solarline." 

 

He swiftly checked his surroundings, turning his masked head from left to right in search of something. He refocused on Golden Glow as it was his turn to question. "I was supposed to meet someone here. Got any leads on who that might be?" He asked, averting his gaze from the mare and squinting at a flier stamped on a nearby tree, eagerly pointing at it with his right hoof. "The one who made those!"

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Comet spared the pegasus a glance and shrugged. "Can't say I do. And if a pegasus would crash from anywhere, I would guess it was the sky. I'm Comet Dash, nice to meet you Golden Glow." His eyes flitted over to the tree at which the other stallion was pointing, and saw the flyer. "Ah, yes, I came because of those as well. Here, before we get any further-" He dug into his saddlebag for a long moment, dropping an apple and a bunch of pens on the ground before pulling out a first aid kit. He placed it on the ground, then pushed it over to the Aerion. It was then that his eyes adjusted to the lantern light and he realized that she wasn't a pegasus as well. His eyes went wide with curiosity and he crouched down beside her to examine her wings. "Oooooh...." he whispered.

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Golden Glow gave Solarline a big smile. "Oh, I made those fliers! You're in the right place!" Golden glow folded her leathery wings. "If you're here about the strange occurences, I have some ideas! You and anyone else can come into my home and we'll go over my plan, over some snacks of course.." She looked at Comet Dash, meaning him too. When he spoke, Golden Glow looked embarassed by Comet's totally smart reasoning, feeling silly for saying that Solarline crashed from the sky in the first place. duh, where else would a pegasus crash from? She watched him pull out the first aid kit and was about to politely decline, as it seemed this pegasus was particularly used to falling, when the earth pony came closer to examine her wings. Golden Glow looked embarassed but flattered that he liked them. 

"I um... take it you don't see bat ponies a lot? You'll see lots more here, it's almost always dark here. " Golden Glow watched him curiously, carefully unfolding a leathery wing for him to see. 

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Solarline returned her smile, although covered by his balaclava. "Yeah the uh...strange occurrences and all." He only had a distant clue what she was talking about. He came here because someone needed help, and those who need it usually pay for it too. His rent was like what, three months overdue and his lessor was probably waiting for him with a whip back home.

 

Thanks to his higher than average pain threshold he was already as good as new, stomping his hooves and nodding profusely at the mention of possible snacks. Only now noticing that there was a third pony with them, he raised his eyebrow at the earth pony and his fascination with the Aerions wing, most likely because the white pegasus had already gotten used to the bat ponies himself during his time as a royal guard, Celestias cutie mark that decorated his balaclavas forehead always reminding him of this. "So um...what's on the menu...I mean...how goes the plan?"

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"Nope, can't say I ever had. I'll be honest, I thought you were an old mare's tale. But wow, do you have a stunning physique! Not to mention these intricate wings. And your coat pattern is so unique! Are all bat ponies like this, or are you just especially beautiful?" Comet was speaking scientifically, but there was no way anypony would know just from his tone. He was fascinated by this new species of pony, so much so that he nearly forgot why he was here. Then he heard the pegasus' voice and snapped out of it, then realized he was being weird. With an awkward cough, he took a few steps back. "Erm, sorry, I'm easily impressed by things I've never seen. Although next to space, you really take the cake."

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The next one to arrive on the scene was a zebra mare decked out in nothing but a simple cloak. At least, that was the only adornment clearly visible on her, aside from what looked like some vials with liquid in them. 

 

"Greetings, my friends. I see we are up on fashion trends." She smiled from beneath the hood, only making her skull-like markings even more creepy. 

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The night's air was crisp and cool, a nice exchange to the day's heat. It was quiet with the exception of the chattering from the night dwelling ponies. However, even their voices seemed strangely subdued. Among the natives stood the looming figure that was Geode. The dog stood out from the locals like a sore thumb but, it mattered little to him. He actually preferred it that way. Whether or not he blended in was besides the point. What had brought him to this quaint little town was curiosity and well...the need to restock on supplies. Wandering from place to place as he did, rest stops were a necessity. What better place to rest than the sleepy village of Hollow Shades. Err..or so he thought. Ever since he arrived in Hollow Shades, a feeling of unease had settled upon his shoulders. Sure, the place had its spooky mysterious undertones but, he doubted this feeling of dread was brought on by that. No, this was something else.

 

The dog's attention fell upon a brightly colored paper that fluttered past his paws. Bending down he picked the paper up and scanned over its content. This. This was why he had that uncomfortable feeling. This was why Aerion foals were being kept close to their parent's sides. Why voices were hushed and why gazes scanned worriedly around them. This was why the town was on edge. Ponies were going missing. Vanishing into the inky black night as if they never existed in the first place.  Geode wasn't a resident but the news was just as chilling. Something was wrong. Very wrong. He had no emotional attachment to these ponies and yet a strong feeling of wanting to help arose in him...and by the multiple fliers strung up somepony else had that feeling as well. Folding the flier, Geo placed it in his vest pocket before heading to the location it had stated.

 

As the blue eyed canine approached a mingling of scents hit his nose. Ah, he was close. Had to be. The faint light emanating from under the tree was a sure indicator that he was in the right place. Geode walked up to the gathered group, doing so slowly so as not to startle them. The last thing he wanted was to cause more of a stir. These ponies had been through enough as is. Geode dipped his head in greeting to the group as he approached. There sitting close to the lantern was a golden colored Aerion. She seemed friendly enough and the slight worried look in her eyes was enough to guess that she was probably the one behind this meeting. Two stallions were there as well. A Pegasus whose face was shrouded in a baklava. Then there was the earth pony who seemed rather starry eyed with the Aerion mare. Completing the group was a cloaked zebra with the most striking facial markings. Quite the bunch of interesting individuals indeed. "If I read the flier right, this is the meeting concerning the disappearances?" He stated as if to show he had no ill intentions against the group. Geode's sleepy gaze glanced over each pony before landing on the golden mare. "The names Geode. How can I help?"

 

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Golden Glow looked delighted to answer Solarline's questions "Seeing as you've just taken a fall, I'm sure you're eager for some snacks! At home i have some tea, honeycakes and fruit salad. You're welcome to them!" 

 

Golden Glow's attention snapped back to Comet as he looked her over and examined her wings, and as he went on her blushing grew more noticeable. She was hardly able to get a word out, she was so flustered. When Comet finished his admiration, Goldy found the resolve to answer him "Ah, well, Um.. You are very kind! You'll see many more here, I'm not exactly an exception or anything special, everypony is unique!" Although Golden was being modest, secretly she was aglow with a little pride and flattery. She wasn't one to try to be noticed but she liked the praise when she was. 

 

Golden turned to the zebra mare arriving, composing herself and smiling in a friendly greeting, although coming from a bat pony the fangs could be intimidating, but the rest of her calm demeanor made up for the potentially intimidating fangs. "Greetings! Are you here because of my fliers too?" Golden thought she'd caught brief glances of the zebra mare around town, but Goldy didn't know everyone in town and wasn't out often either, and when she was out it usually wasn't right in town. Goldy peered curiously at the Zebra's markings, they were fascinating and beautiful to her, and she'd never seen a zebra very up close.

 

A prickling feeling arose on her neck and she looked at the diamond dog that had appeared. Now, If Goldy hadn't seen a zebra up close, she had CERTAINLY never seen a diamond dog. Her jaw dropped as she took in his size and height. "Oh my Luna.." She breathed in awe, not sure how exactly to react. She was a little intimidated, but sensed this was a friendly creature. She shook her head to clear it when Geode introduced himself, and remembering her manners she gave a quick bow, not wanting to offend him but worrying perhaps that she looked silly. "Yes, this is indeed the meeting! I'm Golden Glow! I... I've never seen.. um.. one of you! "

 

The Aerion mare attempted to retake control of the situation, and boldly announced "Alright, I think there's enough here for my plan! Let's rendezvous at my house, where there's snacks and we will go over how to stop these horrible dissapearances, among other things! If anypony or... non-pony ould like to back out, you may do so at any time but once we go into that woods to stop this thing, there's no turning back. Even if we did turn back there's no guarantee that we'd make it out. Er.. not to scare anyone, but it is serious business."

 

 

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"Oh, yeah? Cookies? Hay fries? Oh, maybe...you...ha...ve..." His voice trailed off as he saw the diamond dog approach, making him narrow his eyes and slightly extend his wings in caution. The dogs used to cause some real trouble for the royal treasure shipments back in his guard days, the gem convoys almost expected to be raided. The masked pegasus didn't really show any emotion towards the dog, even if he was ready to jump on him at any sudden move.

 

Not until the diamond dog, now naming himself Geode, presented a helpful paw to the Aerion mare next to him did he lower his wings and relax his tensed muscles, although rather cautiously.

 

Though when Golden Glow mentioned her house, the pegasus instanteanously forgot what he was going at and twisted his head to her direction, eyes glimmering in pure bliss. "...or even hayburgers, or cupca- no, muffins! Chocolate ones for sure!"

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"Nonsense, you are simply exquisite!" Comet looked around in interest at the new arrivals, and his eyes went wide as a grin broke out across his face. "Oooooh all these new non-ponies! This is by far the most interesting place I have traveled to!" He then trotted right up to Geode and extended a hoof to shake. "Greetings, good sir! I do not believe I've seen someone like you before. Do tell me, what species are you? And you too, miss?" He asked the zebra, turning to look at her in the same breath.

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"A zebra am I, it is a pleasure to meet you. You certainly seem like a good crew. Do these snacks include pie?" Zola asked, looking between the group. It was a bit strange that they had not seen her kind before, but oh well. She waited for the aerion mare to head out, following her to the home. 

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Despite his attempts at making a less threatening appearance, Geode could sense a ever so slight change in some of the equine's demeanors. Ah, well...he tried. For a split moment he entertained the idea that perhaps the mare would turn him down. He wouldn't blame her if she did. If he was in her position he would certainly consider it. Traveling with a creature that had the capabilities of turning you into its next meal? Nah, he'd decline in a heartbeat. However, the mare's rather amusing introduction banished those thoughts. Geode let his paw fall back to his side and mimicked Golden Glow's with one of his own. "Golden Glow. I like it." He spoke testing the new name upon his tongue. It was nice and seemed to fit her well. He had to hold in the snort of a laugh at her last remark. "Likewise. I've never met a pony with fangs or leathery wings." Well, at least not until a few days ago upon entering this village. Either way he thought the Aeron were a pretty intriguing race.

 

His sleepy blues fell upon the masked pegasus beside her. Judging from the stallion's slight change in stance, it seemed the dog's arrival caused a bit of a stir. Again it was completely understandable. The tall dog merely met the other male's gaze with his own and raised his brow a bit as if to silently ask  'Is there gonna be a problem?'. Geode was not much for confrontation and usually preferred to steer clear of it completely. In any case that didn't mean he wouldn't rise to the challenge if need be. He just preferred not to. If he could help it that is. However, no sooner had it happed did the masked stallion fall back into his cheerful demeanor, much to the dog's relief.

 

The bubbly voice of another had his attention turning to the earth pony. The stallion was all smiles and  enthusiasm. It proved to be contagious as Geode soon found himself ease into a more relaxed state that even prompted for a small grin. "Diamond Dog." He supplied wrapping a paw around Comet's extended hoof and giving it a shake. "It's nice to meet you too." He added as he released the stallion's hoof.

 

Geode listened as Golden Glow spoke, effectively gathering his attention. Her words started off warm with promises of a meal however, soon took a turn with a warning. The pierced dog glanced at his fellow team mates, as if to judge their reactions by her words. It was serious business and should be considered before devoting one's self to the cause. However, despite the chilling words Geo couldn't bring himself to back out now. With a curt nod to the golden mare, Geode let the grin from before resurface once more. "I'm in it for the long haul. Sorry but you're stuck with me now." He joked with a teasing tongue.

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Golden Glow tried to look cheerful and friendly again. "Looks like everyone is set to get started then? As for snacks, I um... didn't exactly order an entire buffet unfortunately, but I think you'll like what I have set up! But ah... I don't know what Diamond...Dogs... eat.. " Goldy trailed off awkwardly, then grabbed the handle of her lantern in her mouth gingerly, turning towards her home. "My house is this way, we can get comfy and discuss the plan! " She started to lead the way, smiling pleasantly in her new company. 

 

Golden Glow's home and shop was a quaint cottage, made from stone and covered in morning glory vines. Outside hanging from an iron bar was a dark wooden sign that read in painted yellow letters 'Candles and Wax melts' as well as 'Made from 100% natural, local beeswax' in small letters underneath. Maybe not the most creative of names, but it got to the point. Golden pushed in the door to her home and shop, and immediantly a draft of warm, cinnamon scented air rushed out. She held the door open for her companions, welcoming them inside the nice smelling home. Inside was shelves and display racks of candles of different length, width, color, type, smell and enchantment. To the right of the door was a wooden polished counter, with papers and candles on them, as well as shelves behind the counter of specially enchanted candles. Some cinnamon incense was burning on the counter, and the warmth seemed to be coming from a fireplace somewhere in the small cottage. The whole shop was a myriad of smells, and the small candle lit chandelier gave the interior a warm and cheery glow.

 

Goldy led everyone through the store section, to the back room where her home seperated from her store was, gently clicking wooden beads in the doorway. Now in the dining room, Golden Glow presented a modest table with a red tablecloth over it. A teapot, several teacups and cups for sugar sat in the middle, beside a tray of honey cakes in cute honeycomb designs with a drizzle of honey over them. There were enough for everyone to have two if they wanted, and they were fluffy and spongey, and a jar of honey provided more of the natural sweetener if anyone so chose. A bowl of fruit salad made up of blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, cherries, kiwis, banana and pineapple was placed between the tea and honeycakes, as a refreshing alternative to the sweet honeycakes. The table's chairs each had plush cushions in them, and the dining room was clean and lit with the warm dim glow of candlelight. On one end of the table was a rather large folder filled with documents, as well as books on strange phenomena in Equestria and beyond.

Golden Glow sat at the end of the table where the files were, spreading her wings welcomingly. "Make yourself at home! Let me know if the low lighting is a problem, i just prefer dim candlelight. Aerion's have sensitive light perception... " 

 

 

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The pegasus took rather gallant steps as he held his head high, seemingly free of all care, trailing tightly behind the Aerion. His eyes were narrowed in apparent happiness throughout the journey to her house, only fully opening them as he entered inside. It was an useless endeavor as he didn't see a squat regardless. Unsurprisingly, among various other things he had an exceptionally bad perception in darkness, or even dimly lit locations.

 

The pony took a slightly crouched stance, his eyes glimmering in determination as he took sneaking steps forward, making his best attempt at not bringing the roof down on his way to the dining room. He did good progress, only stumbling once midway through, all until reaching the destination table which he naturally collided with. His chest bumped against the piece of furniture, the wooden thump echoing in the room, followed by metallic clatter of the serving dishes as they shook. Solarline recoiled, gasped and froze the second he hit the table, his pinprick pupils locked onto the dishes as they wobbled. The event took only a split second, but the stallion staid in his frozen pose for a lot longer than that, his eyes shifting all around as he checked for any ruined servings. There were none. Taking a deep breath, his serious look faded and eyes squinted in happiness once more.

 

Not when he sat down on his comfy chair, nor when he hoarded the treats like a survivalist did he get the brainchild of actually telling her of his bad dark vision. It was probably pretty apparent anyways.

 

 

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Comet kept looking around at everything like a foal in a sugar store for the first time in his life. He also seemed utterly unimpaired by the lack of light, trotting along with hardly a glance to spare to his surroundings. The stallion was practically bouncing along despite the circumstances, too focused on all of the strange new sights he was witness to. He the more mundane things, such as the front of Golden Glow's shop, left him wide-eyed and in awe. When they entered, he took the time to sniff around at several candles, lingering until he realized everyone else was out of the room. He quickly rushed to catch up to them and sat at the table.

"Don't worry about me, I'm great in the dark!" he said with a chipper grin, putting a cake on a plate before it could be snatched up by the pegasus and pulling it towards himself. He also took a sip of tea, continuing to observe his surroundings until his eyes landed on the folder and books and he seemed to focus.

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"The dark is no stranger to me, though perhaps we should make some light for he." She responded, gesturing towards the masked pegasus. He didn't seem to be speaking up about his difficulties, so she took it upon herself. 

 

"Ah, information on the mission, may I see?" She added, taking a sip from her own tea and enjoying the aromas in the building. 

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The walk to the Golden Glow's cottage was not too long. Geode noted bringing up the rear of the little group. Before the door to the cozy little home was open, a flurry of pleasant scents hit his nose leaving it twitching in curiosity. Upon entering into the home the origin of the mixed smells became clear. Candles. And lots of them. Geode's sleepy blues drifted around the shop enjoying the smells and differing colors that decorated the shelves. Glow must have a knack for candle making. He would have to return to this store to fully appreciate the perfumed waxy works. Maybe even purchase a few. However that would have to wait...for now at least. As there was other more pressing matters to attend to.

 

The large dog made his way to the back of the cottage where there was a table. Geode took a seat after eyeing the pony sized chair to make sure it was sturdy enough to hold him. It would be rude if he broke his newly acquainted friend's chair. Not to mention embarrassing. The sweet scent of treats as well as the earthy aroma of tea brought his attention to the display in the middle of the table. Although the treats looked tasty, Geode would have to pass. Sweets never really jived well with dogs. Even if they were delicious and tempting, the stomach ache to follow was a tough reminder to resist. He would partake in the tea. Yes, that was a safe bet. His long forearms made it easy to access the teapot at he poured himself a cup before setting it back down. The small teacup appeared even more so cute misted to his bulky paws. However despite the jarring difference he managed to handle the fragile cup with care and sipped it's contents slowly. The warm liquid was enough to chase away any chill and he enjoyed it greatly letting out a low hum to show his pleasure.

 

Geode gently set the cup back down and focused on the parchments and books before Goldy. It seemed the Areion had already begun researching into the disappearances. It made his heart ache at the thought of just how long this had been occurring. How long had this village been tormented? How long had this mare been trying to find the solution? He has to know. "How long has it been?" He spoke. "Since ponies started to disappear?" He clarified folding his paws over his chest

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Golden Glow watched Solarline and looking a little embarrassed, she went around the room and lit more candles with some matches, until the room was sufficiently glowing with flickering yellow light. "Is this better? " She watched Solarline going after the food, and felt foolish for not making more. Well she hadn't expected very many to come, anyways. Golden Glow took a seat at the part of the table with all the books and research. Looking to Geode, the pastel yellow mare spoke solemnly. "It started with the dreams. Strange, but nopony got very alarmed at first. Then the undocumented diseases... not very contagious thank Luna but debilitating for the young and old who catch it, similar to pneumonia. The first dissppearance was a stallion who fell down a well. After that, one after another went missing. This all started about two months ago but the disappearances are very recent, the newest occurring three days back. And yes, i will pass the folder around so you all can see what information i have obtained. So far i have records of the missing or afflicted, and notes on what could have caused them as far as strange happenings. Case number one, Dawn Shadow. " Goldy held up a manilla folder labelled File 1, and passed it to Comet first, expecting him to pass down the folders once he looked them over, although she seemed apprehensive about solarline getting sticky hooves on them. 

"Dawn Shadow is an aerion stallion, who went missing at the well in the center of town between eleven and twelve pm. The only witness was a young foal who says he saw dark tendrils in the well, and heard sounds of splashing. Officials investigated the well but nothing was found. No bones, no monster, police are stumped. I investigated it myself and was equally unsuccesful. I researched the kinds of monsters that live in wells, but.. nothing really clicked. A mystery. " The manilla folder contained the police reports, eye witness account, pictures of the missing stallion and the Well, outside and inside. Notes scribbled by Golden were inside, suggesting different creatures or possible reasons to explain the disappearance. 

 

Golden Glow took out another file, aptly named File 2. She opened it and seven police reports fell out, three of them were normal pegasus, unicorn and earth pony, the other four were aerion. "These are the missing pony cases where there was no trace. They went out for a walk or to collect flowers or berries or herbs and they didn't come back. Whatever is targetting them doesn't descriminate, and no remains have been found to suggest a monster. There's really not much on these... no one could account for exactly when or where they went missing, reports were filed within 24 hours of the missing pony but searches by friends and families were conducted sooner. These ponies have nothing in common.. different races, different jobs, none of them had enemies. It seems like more aerion are missing than the others but that's easily attributed to the bat pony to other pony ratio. "

 

Golden Glow pulled out File 3. "This file has given me the best leads, because they actually left evidence behind and share something in common. They went missing at the same place. Back in the old days, Princess Luna was the patron princess of all aerion. Our kind revered her for creating the night for us to live in, and a temple was built. After her banishment, the ammount of aerion who payed homage to her grew less, as no one wanted to be associated with her turn to inner darkness. The temple now lies in ruins, but now that she's returned and has made a good name for herself again, some aerion have begun visiting the overgrown temple again, leaving gifts or asking for advice. Well, three aerion went missing here. We know this because after others started dissapearing, we had to tell somepony where we were going, so we could stay safe. These bat ponies dissappeared in the temple. Thats not all, there are signs of a struggle. Blood, smeared on the stone, but the trail ends abruptly. Hooves marks scraped on the stone, indicating a struggle. And mysterious black liquid, smeared with the blood like ink. " Golden Glow passed the file down, which included pictures of the scenes, different for each victim. One had blood on the ceiling, the other had broken glass, and one with just blood on the floor. "There  are no signs of what could have attacked them, other than the liquid, but magic scans showed a definite presence of magic. I plan to go here first to investigate. I haven't gone yet, i'm... i'm afraid to go alone.."

 

Delilah got out two more files, labelled File 4 and File 5. "These ones are less important but maybe worth a look. Two ponies, one earth and one unicorn caught a virus never before documented. It's pretty gross, so don't look at the pictures unless you have a strong stomach. And one earth pony has been experiencing severe night terrors, Had to be restrained for his own protection. Reports say his dreams were about abominations, everywhere and nowhere, teeth in the eyes and the eyes everywhere, chaos of a demented sort. Almost everyone in this town has experienced more minor nightmares though. Personally, i dreamed that i was drowning in thick black goo, and when i crawled out i was cadaverous, and being commanded by something and nothing. Really not much to go off of, and other accounts of dreams are just as vague and disturbing. Anyways File 4 is the diseases, File 5 is the nightmares. There's more stuff too, but only minor things like ponies hearing voices, feeling watched and missing objects. So, any questions as you're looking over the files?"

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The pegasus sat on his post like a happy filly, not realizing that the surroundings were lightening up. He grabbed one of the pastries between his front hooves and stuffed it into his mouth. There was something off though, almost as if he was chewing something woolly. He lowered his gaze to view his muzzle, covered by the black acrylic mask. Right, the pieces of the puzzle came together.

 

Solarline gagged the cake pieces out, spitting the mask out of his mouth as well. He didn't bother cleaning the accessory, rather just lifting it enough with his left hoof to reveal his mouth before making his second attempt. The food actually met his mouth this time around, the taste of honey caressing his taste buds making him feel borderline ecstatic. It might have seemed like he was listening to the vital information they were handed, but in reality he was enjoying this way too much, merely swinging in his chair, staring at the candle lit ceiling, a smug grin painted on his face as he chewed on the cake. Dawn Shadow's case, however, suddenly made the pegasus quit his silent swinging, making him give Golden Glow a suspicious sideways look for the whole length of the case explanation. When she proceeded on to the next case, the snow white pony only heard the reports falling out as he had directed his attention elsewhere; a spider on the ceiling. Slowly he began to swing on his chair once more as he squinted his eyes at it.

 

The pegasus slightly extended his wings in shock when a file was passed to him, waking him from his daydreams. He hastily grabbed it into his sticky hooves and opened it with something you could call excessive force, overdoing the whole 'eager and interested' act. "Oooh, must have been horrible! Tough luck...tough luck...because uhm...that...happened!"

 

 

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Zola hummed in thought as she listened to the mare's explanation of the situation. The zebra hadn't been around the town for a while, having been out on missions and deliveries most of the time recently. Still, she was a bit surprised that this was the first she was hearing about this. She looked through the files as they were passed to her, raising an eyebrow in the masked pegasus' direction at his words. 

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