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Post  Seth Veeper on Tue Aug 21, 2018 1:22 pm

Arco stepped out of the temple armory quietly, finding Swallowtail outside.

"We're going to be leaving soon," he informed his squire. "Go and collect my breast plate from the blacksmith, and double check our prepared rations."
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Post  Dusk Raven on Sat Aug 25, 2018 11:53 pm

The quarter master sighed. "For specifics, you'll have to ask Stone Rose, the garrison commander. In general, though, occasionally some of the smarter enemies of ponykind organize an attack. The last huge attack was last fall, but we still haven't fully rebuilt the walls since then. The monsters haven't made things easy - we have to keep watch to make sure they don't attack the workers. And of course, we have to send patrols out to make sure they aren't finding ways past the fort, attacking supply convoys... stuff like that."
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Post  A1C Bronymous on Wed Aug 29, 2018 9:41 pm

Swallowtail nods, rolling his eyes as the Death Knight passes him. He was there as an escort, not a servant- but he was meant to help in any case. "I'll be waiting by the gates once we're ready to go." He says aloud to those assembled, and then turns to find the smith and collect Havoc's armor.
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Post  Senshuken on Sat Sep 01, 2018 4:04 am

Stormtuft frowned as he glanced towards the heretic, clearly annoyed at him for demanding anything from anyone. However, his attention was quickly turned back to the Quarter Master and offered him a respectful nod of his head. "And where is Commander Rose currently?"
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Post  Dusk Raven on Wed Sep 05, 2018 3:52 pm

"Looking for you, most likely," the quartermaster quipped. "I expect she's received word by now that you've arrived. She's already gotten acquainted with the knight and squire. I'll step outside for a moment, make sure she knows where to go..." He trotted out of the chapel and the armory - and hadn't even left the doorway when it called out, "Commander, sir!" After a few exchanged words, Garrison Commander Stone Rose herself - a sturdy, khaki-and-grey earth pony who only looked middle-aged due to stress - entered the armory, and looked at the various ne'er-do-wells assembled within. The fact that she showed only a minimum of surprise was, perhaps, not a good sign.

"So, you're the group Luna sent word about?" Stone Rose raised an eyebrow. "Quite a group. In any event, Luna's instructed us to provide you with supplies. I assume Quartermaster Stout has already told you about that. But, there's not much we can really part with - and you'll see why once you leave the fort."

Her gaze turned a little more stern. "...I don't have any actual authority over you, but I'd request you take the path out of the fort through the mountains. It's the easiest path, and after a few miles there's an abandoned outpost you can take shelter in. It's haunted, but there is a Lantern of Celestia there. ...Also, I sent a patrol out there a few days back. If you could make sure they're still alive, I would be most grateful."

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Post  Paper Shadow on Fri Sep 07, 2018 11:45 pm

"Psst," Dropheart whispers towards Stormtuft, "What's so special about this latern thingy?"

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Post  AleneShazam on Mon Sep 10, 2018 2:06 pm

"The patrol will be tracked down, you have our word," Skära smiled grimly. "Alive, though, I make no promises. Anything special about the circumstances of this request? Particular reason why your patrol might be... missing in action?"

She thought for a moment. "Aside from the haunting, of course."
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Post  Seth Veeper on Mon Sep 10, 2018 2:52 pm

"I'm inclined to think it *is* the haunting," Arco said darkly. "Still, it doesn't change our mission. We will find them."
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Post  Senshuken on Wed Sep 12, 2018 10:43 am

Turning his head a little, Stormtuft clicked his tongue a little as he looked at Dropheart... through when he answered he did so at a normal tone of voice; After all, if anyone else didn't know what they were then it was only fair to enlighten them as to why this was such a big deal "While a lantern of Celestia can take a number of forms, all of them offer the same service. While the enchanted flame burns within them, they create an area of safety around themselves that encourages healing while hiding the innocent and faithful from monsters and those who would harm them. It's not surprising that there would be one nearby, since they are generally spread out in dangers places to offer patrols or travelers safe havens to rest without fear of being ambushed."

Once he was sure that everyone was on the same page, he cleared his throat as he offered the Commander a respectful nod of acknowledgement. "Can you give us details of who is in this patrol so that we can recognize them when we encounter them? Pausing for a moment as an idea presented itself to him, he quickly added "While we are at it, would you be able to spare a map containing what information you've managed to uncover about Pransylvannia itself? Any Intel you know for certain would be helpful to us. "
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Post  AleneShazam on Thu Sep 13, 2018 11:58 am

"As well the wildlife in the surrounding area and what guests we can expect to entertain," Skära suggested quietly."I like to know my prey before the hunt commences."
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Post  Dusk Raven on Thu Sep 20, 2018 8:17 pm

[Ugh... got this done last night, but then the site was down...]

Stone Rose shook her head. "There are any number of reasons, to be honest. The haunted outpost shouldn't have been a problem for them, but there's always the risk of monsters, or undead... there's even been a hive of Changelings that's moved into the region recently, and set themselves up in an old cathedral in the mountains." She put a hoof to her chin. "Which means the patrol's appearances alone won't help you identify them... and if they were captured by Changelings, I'm not sure what questions you could ask that an imposter wouldn't be able to answer... reportedly, a powerful Changeling Prince is among the Changeling in Pransylvania, and any changeling of his caliber would have the magic to know or find out the answers to any questions you asked him..."

She thinks for a moment longer, then shakes her head. "Anyway, the patrol contains Sergeant Falcon Glide, a tan pegasus stallion with a brown mane of multiple shades; Right Eyes, an earth pony stallion with a green coat and burgundy mane; Nine Feathers, a teal pegasus mare with a yellow mane, and Lantern Fright, a unicorn stallion with a dark grey coat and a sandy blonde mane.

"As for what to expect... well, aside from everything else I mentioned, there are a few monsters that wander around. A manticore or two from the forests at the foot of the mountain, a few owlbears... and, according to reports, a few cockatrices."
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Post  Seth Veeper on Fri Sep 21, 2018 8:14 am

Arco tilted his head slightly. "Is there no challenge question at all?" he asked in mild disbelief. "If there's changelings in the area, it's almost a necessity," he admonished.

"In fact - if we are willing to trust that nobody here is a changeling - we should perhaps agree on such a phrase now," he suggested, turning to the rest of the group. "It needs to be easy enough to remember without being easy to guess..."
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Post  Dusk Raven on Fri Sep 21, 2018 11:30 am

Stone Rose frowned. "Well, there is - you ask them 'When shall the sun rise in the west?' and the answer is 'when giant monkeys attack,'" She pauses for a moment, "...Not my idea. However, if they've been captured it's entirely possible that the changelings have learned it by now. And if the stories about Changeling royalty are true, they can mimic a pony so well that there's no question you can ask them that they won't know."

She put a hoof to her chin. "But... there's only one Prince, and he'll most likely mimic Segeant Falcon Glide out of the patrol. So... I have an idea. Ask Right Eyes something instead - ask 'what is your favorite color of cloak?'" She smirked. "He'll know what it means, but I doubt the Changelings will, even if they've interrogated him beforehand.."
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Post  A1C Bronymous on Fri Sep 21, 2018 8:18 pm

Swallowtail returns a few minutes later, hefting the large plates of Havoc's armor. He says nothing of it, but he is visibly sweating and breathing heavy from carrying the load. "Your armor..." he says, doing his best to lay it gracefullly on the ground....
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Post  Seth Veeper on Fri Sep 21, 2018 8:36 pm

"Thank you," Arco nodded approvingly. "Help me put it on, please?" he asked politely.
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Post  Senshuken on Sat Sep 22, 2018 7:25 am

"And when we ask him what his favorite cloak color is, what is the answer meant to be?" Stormtuft asked, curious as to why this was such an... interesting question.
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Post  AleneShazam on Sat Sep 22, 2018 12:01 pm

"Changelings," Skära murmured curiously. "I've not much experience with them. I wonder how well they hold up to a death-curse."

She shrugged, looking at the rest of the group. "As I said I need no preparation. And I begin to hunger, so it would be best to leave promptly. Before casualties happen."
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Post  Dusk Raven on Sat Sep 22, 2018 9:29 pm

((Shoot, I thought I put that in... just pretend she already said it. >.<))

"The proper answer is 'red.' the trick is that that's not his favorite color... that's blue. If it's the real Right Eyes, he should be able to explain it." She smirked, faintly.
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Post  A1C Bronymous on Sun Sep 23, 2018 8:20 pm

Swallowtail huffs, still catching his breath. He regards the heavy armor, and then shrugs and picks up a piece...
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Post  Paper Shadow on Sat Sep 29, 2018 11:31 pm

Dropheart has begun to look around bored as the conversation dragged on. "Hey, Captain Lady," he calls out, "Is there anything to do here or should we just leave already?"

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Post  AleneShazam on Sun Sep 30, 2018 4:10 am

"I would like to leave. I am hungry." Skara shrugged and left, leaving frosty hoof prints in her wake.
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Post  Dusk Raven on Mon Oct 01, 2018 12:34 am

Stone Rose shrugs. "Unless there's anything else you want to know, I won't keep you."
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Post  Senshuken on Wed Oct 03, 2018 6:18 am

Shrugging a little, Stormtuft glanced around to see how the group was looking (and tried to restrain the frustration and annoyance that was bubbling beneath his skin) before nodding his head and offering the Captain a respectful bow. "We will head out as soon as possible and see what we can find. Celestia watch over you Captain."
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Post  Seth Veeper on Wed Oct 03, 2018 8:40 pm

((Sorry this took so long... This bit was done over Discord by Bronymous and I.))

"Here, the breastplate first - this big one," Havoc said quietly. He had been incredibly patient in teaching Swallowtail how to identify and put on the armor pieces, his help being quite necessary in getting the Death Knight armored.

First he stuck his forehooves through the holes in the breast plate on the ground - which would then be brought up and buckled behind his shoulders.

Swallowtail, not a fan of anything heavier than chain, definitely struggled each time trying to lift and secure the Death Knight armor. He gets levergae beneath it and lifts it, slowly, up into position. Already sweating, he loops and hooks the straps just to secure it in place so it can be adjusted with ease. "Whew... hard part's done..." he says, moving along the larger stallion's flank to secure the breastplate properly.

Havoc nods. "You're learning well. The wing guards, next," he says, spreading his wings out for him...

The wing guards aren't nearly as heavy, but are fairly complex. It takes him a few tries to get it on right on the first wing, then he quickly secures it and has much better luck on the second. "I gotta tell you, being an actual squire seems like it would be torture, having to do this all the time..."

"... What do you mean?" Havoc asked with a raised eyebrow, flexing his wings and settling the guards into place. "Are you not my 'actual' squire?"

Swallowtail looks over the pile of plates remaining. "I mean, I guess it would be easier with practice. But I'm not a squire - at least, I wasn't a squire until I took this mission with you. And once it's over and you have your freedom, I'll probably go back to being a scout."

"The rump plates, next," Havoc reminded him, nudging the bundle of curved strips of metal, attached together by leather straps. "... I expect there has been some miscommunication, then..." he muttered darkly.

"Well it remains to be seen. Maybe I will end up being a squire... though it feels like I got demoted just for volunteering..." Swallowtail shrugs and picks up the piece, moving around behind him. He says nothing and keeps a straight face, but he secretly loves this part, being this close... He doesnt linger, though, giving no indication of his hidden thoughts as he swiftly attaches the hind armor piece.

"My understanding was that, provided we both survive this mission, and pending my approval, you would likely as not be knighted when we returned," Arco explained, shifting his rump slightly as the segmented armor wrapped around his hindquarters, a slit down the middle allowing his tail through.

"Ah, I see. Well then I wouldn't be a squire afterwards in any case, would I?" Swallow pulls his tail through, and then ducks underneath from the side. He pulls the straps around to secure them to his thighs and under his barrel. This time he lingers, just a bit, while he finishes with the armor, Havoc shifting slightly as the colt cinched it all down, oblivious to his lingering thoughts.

Normally, there would be more - but Arco had long disdained helmets (citing vision and hearing as more important), and leg armor that fit couldn't be acquired in time. "We're ready to go, then?" he asked.

Swallowtail slides out from underneath and stands, nodding. "I guess so. Hey, so when I'm a knight are you gonna help me put on my armor too?" He smirks.

"You'll have to get your own squire, I'm afraid," he replied, giving a small, rare smile.
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