The Pransylvania Venture IC

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The Pransylvania Venture IC

Post  Dusk Raven on Fri Aug 03, 2018 1:09 am

Characters:
Stormtuft the Hippogriff Crusader
Skäralvee the Centaur Plague Witch
Havoc the Pegasus Death Knight
Dropheart the Sharkpony Pirate
Swallowtail the Pegasus Archer

Pransylvania is known as one of the darkest corners of Old Equestria - not just for the dark forces that have taken it over, but because of the extreme lack of travel in and out. While other areas of ponykind's former territory see visits from explorers, monster hunters, and other adventurers - from Southern Equestria, invaded by Nagapon, to the cold North where Griffons, Yaks, Reindeer, and ponies struggle and compete for survival - Pransylvania is something of a forbidden zone for ponies. This is in part due to a deliberate pony blockade of the region, in an attempt to contain the dark forces inside... but it's also due to the rough terrain which makes such a blockade possible, sharply limiting the number of safe routes in.

While Pransylvania is not land-locked - having a sea to the southeast - but the waters around it are infested with monsters, and of course the ports have been abandoned for many years. Air travel of any sort would be a giant signal to lurking enemies - able to seek cover in countless forests and ruins that fresh prey was near. That left land travel - and the best method was through the Hoofpathian Mountains, a foreboding range of sharp peaks and sharper cliffs. This is where your journey begins.

Despite the relative isolation of the place, a well-maintained path winds its way through the grey stone and pale grass. This is because the path leads to Fort Mistwall, the last hold of ponykind before one enters Pransylvania. As late afternoon passes into evening, the path lingers on a cliff before opening up into a shallow, narrow valley that cuts through the peaks... and in the center of this valley, you see Fort Mistwall itself. It's really not much of a fort - more of a collection of haphazardly placed buildings between a pair of walls that each seal off the valley. But it serves its purpose, which is to prevent the forces of evil from taking the easiest route out of the Hoofpathian Mountains and menacing Equestria.

Past the fort, you see the bulk of the Hoopathians which you have yet to traverse looming up into the evening sky, promising a rough and difficult journey. Fort Mistwall will be your last chance to see pony civilization, stock up on supplies, and gather information before your adventure properly starts... use that chance well.

You make your way to the entry gate of the wall on the Equestrian side of the fort. The sentries spot you, calling out to you and demanding to know the reason for your "visit." You identify yourselves, you are admitted inside, for Luna has sent advance word of your arrival. The gates slowly open... and reveal a maze of haphazardly placed and quickly constructed buildings, along with an occasional pony going about their business, as though your bizarre collection of adventurers weren't even there. It's symbolic of Pransylvania itself, really - a place where survival is more important than social pleasantries, and the best pony (or creature) to rely on is yourself.

But, at the same time... your fate is in your own hooves. What do you do?
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Re: The Pransylvania Venture IC

Post  AleneShazam on Sat Aug 04, 2018 6:48 pm

Skära steps past the gates, shambling along on skeletal limbs seeming more bone than flesh. Her hooves drag along the floor, and as she chuckles it's like a bone rattle, a hollow sound that sends shivers down the spine, like nails along a chalkboard.

"This place is quite lovely, isn't it?" She asks, not really expecting a response. She looks around, taking in the sights. "I require no sustenance, but I suppose it's necessary for you fleshlings to acquire supplies."
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Re: The Pransylvania Venture IC

Post  A1C Bronymous on Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:31 am

Swallowtail, who had arrived easier with the Death Knight he was assigned to escort, and is currently atop the wall facing the dark zone with a few other sentries. He surveys the wilderness beyond while waiting for the rest of team he was supposed to join to arrive...
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Re: The Pransylvania Venture IC

Post  Senshuken on Sun Aug 05, 2018 10:16 am

"Try not to flaunt your abominable state, centaur witch.Those stationed here would look foolish if they lacked the means to put a cursed creature like you down for good." Sharp, barely restrained hate snapped from the beak of the only hippogriff that was with the group and the one who's had been trusted to carry the seal of the Princesses to confirm they were whom they claimed to be.

When he had been given the mission to travel into the long lost lands of Pransylvania and purge the darkness from it in the name of the Celestial Princesses, he had felt blessed. To be tasked with a crusade to reclaim lands that belonged to pony kind was the grandest duty that a servant of the crown could be given. The good cheer and high spirits had quickly disappeared from Stormtuft's very being when he had been introduced to those who were making up his 'crusade'; A centaur witch that flaunted her curses and dark abilities, a sharkpony who looked like he was only coming along for the chance to pillage the very ponies they were presumably going to liberate and a servant of a corrupted Princess Luna, claiming to be here to redeem himself.

Swallowtail seemed to be an alright sort, so at least he had someone that he could trust to watch his back.

Reaching up to fiddle with the pair of glasses that donned his face, Stormtuft tried to unruffled his light brown feathers while patting them down, trying to look somewhat presentable as he decided to walk away from the group to seek out his first port of call after traveling all this way in such... unorthodox company to clean himself; A local chapel dedicated to the Celestia royal family. True, he had never been here before and thus didn't know if they had such a thing, but this close to darkness tainted lands filled with monsters... to not have such a place of worship and rest would be madness.
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Re: The Pransylvania Venture IC

Post  Seth Veeper on Sun Aug 05, 2018 1:26 pm

Arco Skymane stared into the forge flames thoughtfully, waiting as the blacksmith adjusted his armor for better wing movement.

The trip from Canterlot to here had been uneventful, in spite of his squire's chattering. A dark presence seemed to follow him around, a fact that others were not ignorant of - the fortress denizens tended to avoid him, knowing him only as Havoc. With few of ways to actively assist, he had found himself largely alone.

He left after a while, heading to the chapel - it tended to be quieter here, and while it was devoted to Princess Celestia, his sweet Luna's love was easy enough to feel there as well.

His eyes lingered on the hippogriff only briefly before taking a spot on the opposite side, kneeling down in quiet meditation...
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Re: The Pransylvania Venture IC

Post  Senshuken on Mon Aug 06, 2018 12:21 am

Even as Stormtuft knelt in quiet submission to the almighty will of the Celestial Princesses in the chapel dedicated to them, he couldn't help but notice the presence of the repentant traitor joining him. His one remaining, mangled wing seemed to twitch in irritation, but otherwise he didn't break away from his prayer or seek to interrupt the prayers of another... even if he personally believed the being hadn't earned the right to ask for the goddesses favor yet after all they did.
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Re: The Pransylvania Venture IC

Post  AleneShazam on Tue Aug 07, 2018 5:34 am

Succeeding at riling up her travel companion, Skära chuckles mirthfully at Stormtuft's snappy reaction, shambling after the group as they head towards the chapel. She has no interest in gods or prayer, but it's simply good sense to keep the group together. Standing outside the chapel, she entertains herself with creating small patches of frost, brushing her hand over bushes and flowerbeds and delighting in the cold causing the plants to snap freeze.
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Re: The Pransylvania Venture IC

Post  A1C Bronymous on Tue Aug 07, 2018 6:56 pm

Swallowtail happens to catch a glimpse of the newly arrived group, along with Havoc, congregating near the chapel, and so flaps down to join them. "Not a fan of churches?" He comments casually to the ragged looking centaur as he approaches. "You must be one of the 'specialists' in our group. I'm Swallowtail."
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Re: The Pransylvania Venture IC

Post  AleneShazam on Wed Aug 08, 2018 1:02 am

"No... or rather, churches tend not to be a fan of me. I'm simply not interested in the hollow promises of royalty." Skära says, rising up to smile grimly at Swallowtail. She holds a frozen daisy in her hand, which snaps and crumbles into icy powder. "I am the great Witch of the Black Woods, Skäralvee. Alas, you meet me at a most inconvenient time, for I am hardly at my prime."
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Re: The Pransylvania Venture IC

Post  A1C Bronymous on Wed Aug 08, 2018 6:44 pm

"Likewise.” Swallow replies. "Do you know if this is where we'll be briefed, or is everyone else just stopping in for a rest?"
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Re: The Pransylvania Venture IC

Post  Dusk Raven on Wed Aug 08, 2018 7:10 pm

To non-ponies, "chapels" carries a particular image with them, but few pony chapels actually match that expectation. The simple reality is that ponies, in general do not quite view the Princesses as gods, and the Princesses prefer it that way. The Princesses are, however, venerated as heroes and paragons of ponykind, and so pony chapels are less about worship and more about commemorating the deeds of the Princesses and espousing their values, in the hopes of inspiring other ponies to similar standards of glory, morality, and the like.

Of course, pony chapels are as varied as pony towns, often reflecting the nature of the settlement... and Fort Mistwall's chapel perfectly reflects the disorganized, makeshift fort in that there's no dedicated building for it. It suits the standard meaning a chapel as part of a larger building - in this case, the chapel is part of the armory. Since the soldiers of Fort Mistwall must be ever-vigilant of attack, it's fitting that the time they are reminded of the Princesses and of true ponykind is when they are gearing for war. This chapel consists of a section jutting out from the armory, with murals of Princess Celestia's military victories (from the single-hoofed destruction of a predatory Griffon tribe, to her role in ancient war against King Sombra) within few of racks of weapons and armor. While the windows are all barred, and none are stained-glass, a large skylight gives a view of the sky and also provides much of the weapons storage's illumination in daytime.

Meanwhile, Skära does her best to find plants to freeze, but there's just enough vegetation in the area to prevent the place from being completely depressing... and they're actually someone resistant to cold, though not enough to stop a determined Cryomancer. Even the wildflowers are much more hardy than normal, and less vibrant. Just like a rough-and-tumble country mare, while there's beauty to be found in these plants, aesthetics take a backseat to survival.
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Re: The Pransylvania Venture IC

Post  AleneShazam on Fri Aug 10, 2018 4:20 am

Skära shrugs at Swallow's question. "Like wolves in the woods, being separated is the death of anyone. I don't care much for this group, especially not the fluffed up hippogriff, but there is safety in numbers."

She looks at Swallow. "You seem quite amicable, though."
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Re: The Pransylvania Venture IC

Post  Senshuken on Fri Aug 10, 2018 12:14 pm

"Surge super mortuo
Nos praemisit
Ferrum & thuris
Noctem pugnam
Vexilla summo usque ad summitatem de terra
"

As the words of the ancient tongue that was dedicated to prayers slipped quietly out of Stormtuft's beak, he kept his head bowed as he knelt in one of the few spots that had been made clear of the armor and weapon stockpiles of the armory for the purpose of prayer. Meeting the Celestial Princesses in person for the first time during his training in Canterlot had been something of an eye opening experience; Celestia's disdain for worship in a chapel or temple had confused him at first, but his training to be one of her champions had been enlightening in more ways than one. While it was true that her domain was that of the Sun, the centuries long war against the forces of evil had forced her to take on the baring of a goddess of war.

"Ius ad rubeum
Vos can adepto omnia
Ferrum & thuris
stabit
Post pugna
Faciat dextra defendi venimus
"

Those who worshiped her could not afford to do so from the safety of a temple if the resources could be better spent securing her people. Her blessing could not be earned with words alone, but action taken to drive the fiends that assaulted Equestria back to the foul pits that spawned them. Only through spilling the blood of the demented, the demonic and the damned would her lands be sanctified once more. The prayer he offered in her chapel was more of a force of habit on his part; Something that he had done ever since he could remember and he would honestly feel uncomfortable if he stopped.

"Si consistant omnia."

With the final words spoken, he dipped his head slightly before raising to his claws once more. Puffing his chest out a bit, he finally turned to gaze at the heretic to judge if he was finished his prayer yet or not. As much as he disliked being near him, he wasn't about to interrupt someone seeking redemption while praying. The Celestial Sisters could be forgiving after all.

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Re: The Pransylvania Venture IC

Post  Paper Shadow on Fri Aug 10, 2018 2:00 pm

Senshuken wrote:"Si consistant omnia."
"Gesundheit"

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Re: The Pransylvania Venture IC

Post  Senshuken on Fri Aug 10, 2018 3:01 pm

Stormtuft froze. He felt rage boil up inside of him as he glared at the heretic for daring, daring to make light of a prayer like that. Snorting through his nose, he tried to reel it in a bit before things escalated; The Crusade would be off to a poor start if he started culling his companions from the get go. "You have no idea how much I want to hit you right now... However, it would be poor taste for me to kill you before you've earned redemption for your failure and betrayal."
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Re: The Pransylvania Venture IC

Post  Seth Veeper on Sat Aug 11, 2018 8:28 am

Arco looked up, glaring at the intruder. "I agree," he rumbled darkly, his voice rich and deep. "If you aren't here to pray, or arm yourself, then you should leave; before I eject you myself."
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Re: The Pransylvania Venture IC

Post  AleneShazam on Tue Aug 14, 2018 5:01 pm

"And here they go again," Skära murmurs bemusedly. "I fear this expedition might tear itself apart before we even venture into the long night. In the end, it was the darkness inside us all that was our worst enemy... or so I'm sure the pony princesses would caution us."
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Re: The Pransylvania Venture IC

Post  Paper Shadow on Thu Aug 16, 2018 2:58 am

"Hey hey, honest mistake lads, promise," Dropheart confesses, an easily readable grin saying otherwise, holding his greave-weilding hoof up, its chains rattling a little as he does. "It's so cold here, even the bloody plants are freezing up! I was worried you were picking up the flu is all. I'll leave ya be."

Dropheart moves away from the fanatics to the others. "So, we're dropping anchor here, what's there to do?"

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Re: The Pransylvania Venture IC

Post  AleneShazam on Thu Aug 16, 2018 3:18 am

"Conserve our strength. Gather supplies, while we still can." Skära shrugs. "The job entails venturing beyond the border, so beyond the border we shall go."
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Re: The Pransylvania Venture IC

Post  Seth Veeper on Fri Aug 17, 2018 6:59 pm

Arco looked over at the hippogriff with a measuring look. "... Thank you. Many don't hold the due respect for temple armories," he said in a low, respectful tone.
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Re: The Pransylvania Venture IC

Post  A1C Bronymous on Fri Aug 17, 2018 8:28 pm

Swallowtail waits by the entrance, preferring not to step into the chapel proper. "You all should take this chance to rest, I think they want us to be ready to head out as soon as possible. Lots of monsters to hunt."
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Re: The Pransylvania Venture IC

Post  Paper Shadow on Sat Aug 18, 2018 12:36 am

"Ach, really?" pouts Dropheart, "This place boring or something?"

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Re: The Pransylvania Venture IC

Post  Dusk Raven on Sun Aug 19, 2018 11:20 pm

Finally, the quartermaster of the armory - a brown-grey stallion with a dusky red mane and rough fetlocks - stepped into the chapel area before addressing them in a muted but still notable accent. If y'all are done arguing... Princess Luna instructed us to provide you with whatever supplies you need for the journey." He sighed. "We don't really have much to give though. Rations aren't a problem - we always have more than we really need..." He pauses a little at this, seemingly lost in thought, before continuing. "But anything like weapons or armor or magical trinkets are on a 'need-to-have' basis. And as long as things remain difficult for us here at Fort Mistwall, our own needs come first."

He cleared his throat. "If you folk make things easier for us, however, we'll start getting a little looser with our supplies." He fixed those in the chapel with a wary glance, especially Skära.
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Re: The Pransylvania Venture IC

Post  AleneShazam Yesterday at 1:18 am

"I've no need for food or arms. A shadow does not fear mortal death, after all," Skära says dryly. "Spare what you have for the rabble."
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Re: The Pransylvania Venture IC

Post  Senshuken Yesterday at 11:56 am

Taking a couple of deep breaths, Stormtuft reached up to start trying to press down his ruffled feathers and slightly fluffed up fur; It was slightly embarrassing, getting worked up enough that he fuzzed himself up like a little fluff ball. Made looking like a respectable servant of Celestia kind of difficult.

As the quarter master spoke up and offered supplies (through made the point about weapons being harder to part with), he respectfully nodded his head as he shifted the remains of his mangled wing to revel the sheath of his sword, somewhat plain and worn but clearly well looked after. "Do not worry. We will not be draining your armory of means of fighting battles in the future. Some rations would be more then plenty to see us on our way..." As he lowered his wing again to cover his sword, a curious look appeared in his eyes as he asked "However I am inclined to ask... what sort of troubles are you having here currently?"
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