Ancient Equestria Arc 2: Starswirl's betrayal.

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Re: Ancient Equestria Arc 2: Starswirl's betrayal.

Post by Cloudchaser on Sat 30 Nov 2013, 00:49

Vera and Inysa followed the guard captain to the library of the sheikh's palace, the corridors were quite massive, so big in fact that half the group could probably staple themselves onto Rhuno's shoulders and barely reach the roof.

"What's with the giant ceilings?" Inysa finally asked to break the silence.

"Hmm? Oh, our former master had a phobia for small places so when his father died and left his fortunes to his son he renovated the old palace and made everything twice as large to compensate for his fear of tight and small places."

After walking again for a bit in silence the guard captain stopped in front of a large door with ornate decorations covering them and the guard captain turns to them and says:

"Here we are, the library. Since you two are unicorns I take it you two probably care a lot for books and tomes, especially old ones, am I right?"

"Well I do enjoy reading old tomes and books, can't say much for my friend here, she's not exactly the study type, y'know." Inysa says

Vera snorted at the remark before countering the jab of being "uncultured" that Inysa made at her "I do enjoy a good book every once in a while, I've just been busy with other stuff, I grew up in Canterlot after all so I've had my fair share of nerdiness." she said and reached out a tongue at Inysa who simply just gave Vera quick peck on the nose. "Hey that's not fair!"

Inysa giggled at Vera's reaction and the guard was blushing slightly, poor sod had probably not had a mare in years. "You're so cute when you get upset, Vera." She said with a playful tone in her voice before returning to being serious "Let's however not forget why we're here, if you would open the doors and show us to the section we'd be most interested in that would be nice." Inysa said to the guard who nodded and opened the large bulky doors and led them further in to the library.

When the doors opened fully to let the sunlight from outside in the first sight that greeted them were dust and cobwebs everywhere. The guard simply shook his head in disapproval of how poorly maintained the library was, he turned to Inysa and Vera who were standing frozen in place, shocked at the sight that greeted them.

"w-wh-wha-what.. " was all that Inysa could get out of her mouth.

"Celestia be damned.. I've never seen such a poorly maintained library, even mine which I barely use is at least cleaned by my maids and servants.. Don't you have any maids or servants to clean this place up once in a while?" Vera asks the guard.

"We.. uh.. did.. However our master got tired of his maids having relationships with other servants or guards so he fired or killed everyone that had a relationship with another servant or guard, there's a reason the guards are all stallions and that his court were the only mares around. Sure some of us tried to have distant relationship with the court mares but they were all fighting for the masters favour so if one fell in ill favour with him that was just perfect for them so they purposely ruined relationships for each other." The guard answered.

"Just show us to the section that we're after.. Jealousy is one helluva thing.. " Vera said.

The guard led them on to the section they were after, Inysa and Vera carefully lifted down books and tomes with their magic, not wanting to risk by holding them in their hooves. Only with the delicacy of magic were they able to turn pages without them crumbling apart, a few hours passed and only a few tomes and chapters had mentioned mages dabbling with dark magic. They found a small list of mages who had exercises dark magic and what their status was, most were unknown but a few were marked as deceased and buried, one name stood out though as it had clearly been marked where she had been buried and the name had a small hint of magic residue as if someone had used magic to clean out that specific name to find out where she had been buried.

"Nyx.. No, it can't be her, surely?" Inysa mumbled and turned to Vera "Have you ever heard of Nyx more commonly known as Nyxanna the great?" She asked Vera.

"I believe I do, yes. I've heard she was an excellent magician, almost on par with Starswirl today however she lived when Starswirl was simply an apprentice, why what's so important about her?" Vera responded.

"Vera, listen. This tome has her name on it, and I believe Starswirl's been here and cleaned her name out to see where she's buried, if she dabbled with dark magic and Starswirl is looking for her tomb then Faust knows what he might be after that she might have left behind.." Inysa was freaking out a bit over what Nyxanna might have left in her tomb that Starswirl was interested in.

"Alright, alright calm down, honey. Let's focus on meeting up with the others FIRST before we start freaking out and running around looking for this tomb, if Starswirl is looking for it then we need to find it FIRST but we're gonna need the help of the others to do so. So calm down and let's go back to the throne room and see if the others are back yet, okay?"

Inysa was taking in rapid breaths to calm herself down before she nodded in response and turned to go back toward the throne room, Vera after her and the guard remaining behind to close the doors.


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Re: Ancient Equestria Arc 2: Starswirl's betrayal.

Post by Princess Blueblood on Tue 03 Dec 2013, 17:34

"You're trading me in, for my fucking daughter?!"

Steel's metal hoof slammed into the wood table, splintering it into shards. Eagle didn't flinch, instead just staring Steel down.

"I've made my decision, Steel. Gold is much more capable, to be honest. Her magic skill and fighting skill, not to mention her speed makes a good ally. While you are very helpful, a brute doesn't fit into our current situation."

Steel shook his head, before taking a swig of Ale. "Then why the fuck does Rhuno get to tag along?!"

"He's got opposable thumbs."

"Good point, I guess."

Steel stood up, somewhat stumbling, and walked over to Eagle, looking him in the eye.

"What gives you the right, eh? Why do you get to pick and choose your friends?" Asked Steel, putting a hoof into Eagle's chest. "What makes you better than me?"

"Seeing as how I'm part of her highness's Military court, an element of Harmony, and a Commander of the Pegasi Military. I've saved more than one civilization, and I've saved your ass on multiple occasions. I think I'd have the right to choose who comes with me on a political envoy."

"A political envoy? That what they callin' it now? You're goin' out and killin' things, Eagle. You know it," Steel said, turning his back on Eagle.

"Okay, so, I'm going out and killing ponies. Big fucking deal. You did it. What makes it so much worse?"

Steel paused for a moment, before turning back to Eagle, and sighing.

"Go. It doesn't matter anymore," Steel said, walking up to Eagle, putting a hoof on his shoulder. "Please, bring Gold back to me in one peice. She's the only family I've got left."

"I will, Steel. Don't you worry."


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Re: Ancient Equestria Arc 2: Starswirl's betrayal.

Post by Arualsti on Thu 05 Dec 2013, 19:33

Needle stretched her wings, barely needing to flap as warm air currents carried her up and around the city, Wind floating beside her. The heat of the city was intense, just like Wisp, but that was where the similarity stopped. Wisp was quiet, the air fresh and salty. This city was loud, the air thick with the smell of sweat and spice. It clouded her mind and made it hard to think straight. She dipped her wings and flew side by side with Wind.
“See anything suspicious?” She asked, their wing tips brushing.
Wind shook her head “Unless you count a slew of petty crimes and fights in the market district, you’d think the every guard was blind”
“Or just uncaring” Needle said solemnly.
They both flew lower, the noise and stink increasing. Some ponies looked up at pointed, gasping in awe. Some ducked into shops and side streets. Most of the pegasi in Saddle Arabia were mercs or bounty hunters, so most ponies with a price on their head ran at the sight of them. The descended slowly, as to not frighten the citizens.
They landed in a small opening in the crowded streets and were immediately overwhelmed by ponies, their words indiscernible over the thick accents and noise. They offered deals and barters, stallions winking at them and gesturing crudely, colts and fillies darted between their legs. One old mare grabbed a feather in her mouth and yanked it out of Needle’s wing. She winced. Needle and Wind stared at each other and nodded. They struggled to face each other in the crowd, but slowly they managed it, and without warning, they both flung their wings open, sending ponies flying in all directions. They were given a wider berth after that.

Balm and Rhuno made their way to the kitchen, a large, white room filled with dozens of pretty young mares preparing food. Rhuno grinned. Balm gulped and turned red. He approached the nearest mare.
“Where might your pantry be? We need to search it for ingredients” He said, trying to hide his discomfort. The mare giggled and turned, revealing just how short her uniform was. Balm tried to avert his gaze so much he was practically staring at the ceiling. Rhuno just grinned wider, mostly now just out of amusement at Balm’s actions.
The mare led them to the pantry and left them alone. The room was almost the same size as the kitchen, shelves upon shelves stuffed with fruit and vegetables, herbs and spices, even meat was tied to racks on one end of the pantry.
Balm went work as quickly as her could, mostly sticking to the herbs section, grabbing what he needed, asking Rhuno to grab what was out of reach to him.
“Sooooo” Began Rhuno.
“So?” Balm replied
“I guess whatever church you were in didn’t exactly allow much female company, given your reaction to that mare”
Balm went wide eyed “I, errr, well, not strictly speaking, I mean, I guess I just never really had time for mares, I was so busy, I just kind of...well...never thought about it” he stammered, staring down and what he was holding.


Wind and Needle found themselves enjoying the market now that the crowds were less thick. The occasional stall owner would try to get them to buy jewellery,  and a group of fat old stallions gave them disapproving looks and Needle kissed Wind on the cheek when she was distracted. They rested underneath an olive tree, the sparse shade giving them little respite from the sun. Wind suddenly screwed up her nose and scowled, lowering her voice.
“Needle, I think we are being watched” she said.
Needle fought the urge to turn her head in that direction, opting instead to pretend she was getting something out of her saddlebag.
She stole a glance.
A hooded figure peered out of a dark alley, the shadows obscuring colour, species and gender. Needle must have made eye contact though, as the pony leapt back into the shadows and was gone.

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Re: Ancient Equestria Arc 2: Starswirl's betrayal.

Post by Cloudchaser on Fri 06 Dec 2013, 21:06

Starswirl's dark friend as he called "it" had informed him of a certain scroll that held the name and burial place of Nyxanna the great, Starswirl had been but an mere apprentice when Nyxanna was archmage but he had always admired her work. As a filly/young ling he'd read all her books and hoped he'd advance in ranks within the magistrate of Canterlot and meet Nyxanna before she'd eventually succumb to old age.

She had however disappeared a few years before Starswirl eventually became the archmage, they had searched wide and far but Nyxanna was never found alive again. The dark friend had told Starswirl that she had grown bored of her life in Canterlot and she refused to court a stallion and produce off spring and settle down, she wanted to explore everything that had to do with magic. So she had eventually come to Saddle Arabia in search of the one magic she had yet dabbled with.. The dark forbidden kind and now he the great Starswirl the bearded as they called him in Canterlot was on that same path.

Starswirl had found the scroll in the disgusting sheikh's poorly maintained library, had he not been here on more important business he would have lectured the young stallion in proper respect to mares and other important envoys as well as giving him a thorough lesson in cleaning one's library. Now he was looking for abandoned building that marked the entrance to Nyx's tomb, he didn't know how his dark friend knew that she had fallen very far down in her dabblings with dark magic, so far down in fact that she had even started a cult following..

His thoughts were interrupted as he noticed two pegasi females sitting under a tree, buck! He'd been so occupied with his thoughts and finding Nyx's tomb that he had walked right out into streets, luckily he had been smart enough to hide his beard by magic and the cloak he was wearing was hiding his figure so no one could recognize him. He quickly jumped into the shadows of the closest alleyway and when he was out of sight he teleported back to his hideout in an abandoned house, he recognized one of the mares, blasted Wind Catcher. He'd run into her a few times at Canterlot, lovely mare with a good spirit and loyal as ever to the Princesses and their mother. Starswirl was wondering what she was doing here and who the other one was, last he heard she was on special mission in the Everfree forest, surely Sombra wouldn't have betrayed him and warned the Princesses of his whereabouts..

"Just to be safe I should scan the local area with my magic, see if I can detect anyone else familiar.." Starswirl thought to himself before scouting the region with his magic. "Ah, great just bucking great, Vera is here. Just bucking lovely, that bucking lying bastard of a "king" has obviously betrayed me to stay on the good side of the Princesses while he slowly sinks into his eventual corruption, I knew I should have cast a memory shroud spell to make him forget about seeing me.. I need to find Nyx's tomb before Vera and whatever company she has finds it, odds are they've found out about the tomb the same way I had.."



"Hmm.." Wind was watching the spot where the hooded figure had disappeared, he was most likely far gone by now and there were always shady characters around here but a nagging feeling tore at her, something was not right, the cloak was made to hide the figure of the wearer.. Needle poked Wind and got her attention "What is it, Needle?" She asked looking at Needle a bit worriedly. "The streets." Needle said and putting up a hoof in the air indicating that Wind should listen. "The streets are silent." Wind stated and got a nod from Needle. "I wonder what's going on.. Let's go check it out."

Wind and Needle stretched their wings out and took to the air where they could more easily see what was going on, once they reached the nearby market they saw that everyone had frozen up, those that could hide had done so and then the sight of a crystal pony and a minotaur walking through the streets greeted them and Wind let out a small chuckle. "Oh boy it looks like the guys have scared the local market, while pegasi are rare it's even rarer too see a Minotaur and when they do come through here they're most often hired as armed escort for some important pony. They've probably done the wise thing and gotten out of the way of them, I wonder what they're doing here though.." Wind said as they took a dip and dove toward Rhuno and Balm who jumped a bit from the sudden appearance.

"Hello you two, wasn't expecting too see you two out here, checking out the local life? Or did my sister send you on some 'important' task here?" Wind asked Rhuno and Balm.

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Re: Ancient Equestria Arc 2: Starswirl's betrayal.

Post by Guest on Sat 07 Dec 2013, 21:16

After foraging through the kitchen and pantry for various ingredients, Balm decided that they would need to visit the market in town for a couple more essentials. The two made there way out of the castle and down into the town surrounding it.

Ponies ran into houses and alleys, scared out of there wits. Doors shut and windows barred. Rhuno sighed. 

"What's the matter Rhuno?" Balm asked.

"Nothing... just... memories of times past is all. So... what ingredients are left to find?"

"Well, we still ne-"

Rhuno and Balm were surprised as Wind and Needle landed next to them.

"Hello you two, wasn't expecting too see you two out here, checking out the local life? Or did my sister send you on some 'important' task here?" Wind asked. 


"Oh, we were just looking for more ingredients for the potions. Thought visiting the market would help, but... as you can see they are all fleeing for their lives from me. Anyway, you guys see anything while out and about?"

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Re: Ancient Equestria Arc 2: Starswirl's betrayal.

Post by Princess Blueblood on Sun 08 Dec 2013, 21:11

Eagle walked into his room, throwing off his cloak and gear, leaving his light under armor. He sighed deeply, sitting on his bed, before looking out the window. He saw his reflection, a deeply scarred pony with uncaring eyes looking back at him. It was truly terrible, to know that he had become this.

"You know, its your own fault,"

Eagle sighed heavily, before standing back up. He felt the need to check on Gold, especially after his last talk with Steel. He felt a responsibility that he had only felt once before...

He walked out of his cabin, and along the side of the airship, past multiple guards, and over to Gold's room. He knocked on the door quietly, standing silently in the bustling wind.

"Come in."

Eagle opened the door to see the Arch Mage of the Recon Corps floating in the middle of her room, breathing smoothly, eyes closed.

"Hello, Eagle. What brings you here?" asked Gold, without opening her eyes.

"As your commanding officer, I just came to check on your well being," Eagle said, which got a little smile out of Gold.

"First, you tell me not to call you "sir", then you call yourself my commanding officer? Make up your mind," Gold said upbeatedly.

Suddenly, the airship jerked forward, causing Gold to lose her focus. She fell from her hovering point, falling a good 4 wing spans towards the ground. She was about to impact into the ground, Eagle caught her, stopping her from hitting the ground with force.

Gold looked into Eagle's eyes for a moment, her gold eyes quivering slightly, before jumping out of his grasp.

"Thanks. That probably would have hurt," Gold said, walking over to her bed.

"I'll take my leave, then. I shall see you at dinner," Eagle said lightly, before walking out of her room.

Eagle looked past the cloud cover, his eyes focusing on a large cloud colony on the distance, its massive spires shooting up into the sky, as if reaching for Celestia's warm sun. He smiled to himself, knowing that he had helped build the massive city, and re-build it to its former glory.

"Sir, I suggest you get inside, we're about to go through a hail storm. We'd hate to see the Pegasi Ambassador lynched by a hail stone," Said one of the guards. Eagle nodded, and headed towards his room.

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Re: Ancient Equestria Arc 2: Starswirl's betrayal.

Post by Cloudchaser on Mon 09 Dec 2013, 19:24

"You guys see anything while out and about?" Rhuno asked.

"Not much, just your usual market life and shifty alley way trading, though Needle did spot a peculiar looking pony in a cloak that was hiding his or hers features.. Someone that didn't want to be recognized, someone who had a lot of money or power since those cloaks aren't easy to come by.." Wind Catcher responded.

By now the towns folk had become curious as to what was going on and had begun to slowly creep out of their hidings, some more bolder ponies were slowly approaching where Wind, Needle, Balm and Rhuno had gathered.

"I think it's best if we head back, Vera and Inysa might have found something important." Wind said and the others nodded, Wind and Needle decided to fly ahead of Rhuno and Balm. As they were flying they saw the market life slowly creep back into life, the towns folk had started realizing that Rhuno and Balm were not mercenaries out for someone's head, some of them had apparently recognized Balm as the equivalent of a shaman in their culture and were trying to offer him all kinds of random herbs and spices. Rhuno was receiving some winks from mares who were curious to try something new.

"Looks like they're having fun down there." Wind pointed out to Needle who chuckled at the remark and just said "It sure seems so."


Meanwhile back at the Sheikh's palace.

Vera and Inysa arrived back at the throne room to where a guard approached them.

"Milady, your airship captain wanted me to give you this letter, she said it came from Canterlot." The guard said and reached out a letter to Vera who grabbed it and dismissed the guard. She opened the letter to see that it was from Princess Celestia.

"My dear High general Night Vera, I write too you to inform you that the proceedings with the gryphon empire's ambassador are over and I have sent Eagle Blade back to rejoin you in Saddle Arabia. The proceedings met an unfortunate end, the gryphon's were not willing to negotiate at all and I am afraid that they might start attacking pegasi clouds, I do not want to cause any alarm or panic while you're out on your mission but I still wish that you inform your sister of this."

"Good news and bad news my dear." Vera turned around to Inysa who just motioned for Vera to continue. "Well the good news is that Eagle and Steel I would presume are coming back earlier than we expected, the bad news.. Well we might be looking into an full scale assault on pegasi clouds that are too close to the borders of the gryphon empire. "

"Hmm, yeah that doesn't sound good, I hope Eagle and Steel get back here as soon as they can, will help in the search for Nyx's tomb.." Inysa got no further before Wind and Needle came soaring into the room.

"Ah, Hello, Wind and Needle. I'm guessing Rhuno and Balm are on their way back as well? Also anything to report?" Vera asked Wind and Needle.

"Weeell, not really but, We did see a pony in a cloak that hid his/her features so one couldn't tell who it was underneath, the pony managed to disappear before we had a chance to follow. They were looking quite shifty and when he/she noticed us, they quickly fled back into the shadows of the alley ways again, someone clearly didn't want to be recognized.."

"Mm, while you were gone me and Inysa found notes that Starswirl had found before us on an ancient mage called Nyxanna, apparently she dabbled into dark magics and started a cult here and from the note we found she's buried nearby. We'll head out in the cover of night and search for it, hopefully Starswirl has not found it yet." Vera explained to the others.

As nightfall begun to creep up the group ate a dinner together, conversing over the events of the day when they were interrupted by the captain of the guard.

"Sorry to disturb you in the middle of dinner, ma'am but there's an airship flying the Canterlot colours on approach, what do you want us to do?" The captain asked.

"Ah that must be Eagle and Steel arriving, make sure they dock safely and then show my friends to the throne room were we'll meet them." Vera responded.

"Right, away, ma'am." The captain nodded, saluted and then hurried off.

Vera turned back to the others at the dinner table and said "You're all free to join me in greeting Eagle and Steel in the throne room otherwise get ready to head out asap."

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Re: Ancient Equestria Arc 2: Starswirl's betrayal.

Post by Princess Blueblood on Tue 10 Dec 2013, 20:19

Eagle pulled on his cloak and weaponry, cracking his back as he mounted his massive weapons and sheathes on his back. He looked into the mirror, his eyes tracing over his multiple scars upon his face. All scars. All with a different story.

"Commander Blade, we're landing," Said a guard, who was quickly dismissed by Eagle.

The large pegasus walked out of his room, watching as they approached the massive empire of Saddle Arabia, lights burning bright in the silence of the night. Eagle was tempted to fly there himself, but he still had to take care of Gold for Steel. Knowing Steel's temper, and the Temper of the Sheikh, things could go bad very quick.

"So, this is Saddle Arabia?" asked Gold, walking up next to Eagle. She had on a pretty gold and bronze clothing wrap, with a shoulder and chest guard as well. She had a pretty gold ring upon her horn, complimenting the white gold color her horn was. In attribute to being very talented at magic, she also knew how to present herself.

"Yeah. We've kinda been at odds with them for about 50 or so years. I've made a few envoys here, but to no avail. I'm suprised our little envoy hasn't destroyed half of the city yet, so things must have gone either very well, or very badly. "

Gold nodded silently, and leaned against Eagle slightly, smiling. "Thanks for bringing me. I haven't been this far out before."

"Yet you're leader of the Recon Corps? I find that fishy," Eagle said jokingly, getting a playful poke in the wing.

"I get most of my information from scouts. I just simply got picked for this position, because I'm good at magic. I've never been past The Mild West," Gold said, sighing heavily.

"Well, I'm sure you'll see a lot more with us," Eagle said.

-----

The ship landed with a heavy thud, as both Eagle and Gold walked off the airship, both of them smiling. They were obviously enjoying one anothers company. They were promptly escorted to the palace to meet the rest of the group inside the throne room. As soon as they entered the massive throne room, Eagle was approached by Vera, whom looked both happy and confused at the same time.

"Eagle! How good is it to have you back!" Vera said, prancing up to Eagle and Gold. She embraced Eagle in a friendly hug, happy that she had her friend in her company once more.

"Same-wise, Vera. I'm sure the Princesses told you about how the talks went. To no avail. How goes the mission?" Asked Eagle, only getting a shake of the head from Vera.

"Nothing has come up so far. Just business as usual here, except that we've already killed the Sheikh." Vera sighed loudly, and then turned towards Gold. "And you might be?"

"Gold Ingot, daughter of Steel Ingot. I am the arch-mage within Her Majesty's Recon Corps. It truly is a pleasure to meet your aquaintance," Gold said, bowing down to Night Vera in such a manor as not to greet a superior, but an equal.

"Well, I welcome you to our humble group of warriors," Night Vera said, smiling. "You look hungry. We were in the middle of eating when we got the word that you were coming. Come, let us eat."

----

Eagle, Gold, and Vera entered the Dining Hall, greeted by the whole group, as well as multiple guards of Saddle Arabia. The smiling faces of all the ponies (And minotaur) inside the room told Eagle that, while the search was unsuccessful, it wasn't causing any discontent.

"Welcome back!"

"Welcome back, Eagle!"

"Good to see you!"

"Whose the pretty mare you brought along, Eagle? Didja trade her in for Steel?" Asked Rhuno, jokingly.

"It's a long story, guys. How about I tell you over dinner, eh?" asked Eagle, happy to be back in the company of his friends.

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Re: Ancient Equestria Arc 2: Starswirl's betrayal.

Post by Cloudchaser on Wed 11 Dec 2013, 02:03

Starswirl was walking back and forth in the abandoned building turned into a temporary magic quarter, magical instruments where whirring and buzzing and making all kinds of noises around him. The recent discovery of Night Vera, Wind Catcher and whoever else were with them had tracked him down was worrying Starswirl. His old age, while magically extended, had started to take it's toll, he felt more exhausted quickly and needed to rest longer, there's only so far one can extend their life with magic before the years catch up on you.

"Staaarswirl." A dark voice in his head called out his name, he knew instantly who and what it was and answered almost immediately.

"Yes, my master. What do you wish of me?" Starswirl called out to the empty room, had anyone else been with him they'd just see an old pony talking to himself for the voice in his head chose who it spoke to and when.

"How goes your progress on finding the tomb of my dear friend Nyxanna?" The voice asked with a silky smooth voice that showed no signs of anger or annoyance.

"I- I was interrupted in my search, the Princesses have sent their High General Night Vera alongside Special units commando Wind Catcher and a few others after me. King Sombra must have betrayed where I was heading just to stay on the good side of Canterlot while he slowly descends into madness."

Starswirl was starting to sweat a little, he was as far as he knew one of the if not THE most powerful pony mage currently alive. Yet this dark being that had found him in his search for the magics he had not studied scared him, he could feel immense power radiating behind the voice and that power was what Starswirl wanted. Surely with such power and knowledge he could ascend and become equal to royalty or even overthrow the petty Princesses and taking over the ruling of Equestria on his own.

"Hmm." The dark voice was pondering on what to do with him next, eventually the voice in Starswirl's head spoke again with a hint of annoyance in it's voice. "You chose wisely in aborting your search for the tomb, I will deal with Sombra once I am a part of this world again. "

"Excuse me master but did you just say 'when you will be part of this world again'? I don't mean to be rude and I haven't questioned you since you first came to me but I thought Nyxanna had left a strong magical artefact in her tomb?"

"Hah! You amuse me, Starswirl. You're bold and yet obedient, I like it. While yes you are partly right that Nyxanna left something after her in her tomb but it is not an artefact, I'm sure she left some of those as well but nothing powerful that hasn't been handed down to her apprentices. No it is her body I am after, I am only a spirit right now but with her body being empty of a soul I can take it over and walk the earth again. You, Starswirl will be handsomely rewarded for your loyalty."

"I would be honoured to serve under you my 'queen'." Starswirl said and bowed to the air, it was as if the voice already stood in front of him in it's new body. "I however must ask, Nyxanna has been dead for nearly 150 years, isn't her corpse just bones by now?"

"You underestimate the powers of a Necromancer my dear, while yes she's been lying in her tomb for 150 years, the dark magic in her body hasn't dissipated and is keeping her body in fresh condition until either it's previous owner decides to come back from the afterlife or if another soul or being wants to take residence."

"I see, well nightfall is coming up on us. I do not want Vera and her group to find the tomb first and the darkness of the night will help hide me." Starswirl said and opened the door to the house he was hiding in and pulled the cloak over him and disappeared into the night.

"Fail me, Starswirl and you will not live to see the sunrise." The dark voice said before creeping back to the back of Starswirl's mind.


Meanwhile back at the Sheikh's palace Eagle Blade was sharing his story on what he'd been up to at Canterlot, Wind and Needle were actively worried for the pegasi clouds that could be targets for the Griffon's assault and kept barraging Eagle with questions. Eventually the chatter died down a bit and Inysa got the attention of Gold Ingot.

"Gold Ingot?" Inysa said.

"Yes?" Gold replied.

"I take it you're very educated in magic, ancient languages, scrolls and such seeing as you're an arch mage from Canterlot."

"Yes..? I don't quite see where this is going, do you want to ask me something magic related? I can tell from your magical aura you're fairly adept with magic yourself, with some more professional training you could may-"

"GOLD!" Inysa yelled, snapping Gold out of her thoughts before she continued. "Yes, I am fairly adept with magic, but that's not what I wanted to talk about. Our mission here is stopping Starswirl from finding Nyxanna's tomb, if me a lowly mage who was home thought knows about the great Nyxanna then I am sure a Canterlot scholar knows more. We- me and Vera here found a note from one of her apprentices that details where she was buried but the writing is in a language I cannot fully understand, could you have a look at it and see if you can get any more clues on where exactly she is buried, all we know is she's somewhere in this town but not where. Searching through all the hundreds of catacombs and tombs would take too long and by then Starswirl will have succeeded in his mission."

Inysa handed Gold the piece of parchment that she had taken from the library that detailed the whereabouts of Nyx's tomb.

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Re: Ancient Equestria Arc 2: Starswirl's betrayal.

Post by Princess Blueblood on Wed 11 Dec 2013, 18:05

"So, what exactly happened with the Griffons?" asked Wind, leaning towards Eagle intently.

"They wanted to expand their borders beyond our agreement. They had originally started with light catapult bombardments upon different clouds who wandered within 500 Flight Miles of the Griffons lands, but now they're raiding them. We had a little discussion about how its wrong, and they brushed it off, acting like they were entitled to our lands." Eagle said, chugging some ale. He was thirsty and tired after his trip, and was glad to be back in the company of ponies who were on his academic and physical level.

"And?" Asked Needle, probably the first words she had spoken to Eagle in days.

"I killed them all except the ambassador, to show them I meant business. While they may have a highly advanced army, their whole society wasn't based off of the idea that all males are meant to be warriors. They won't do anything brash," Eagle said, taking a drink from his ale, as well as taking a bite from his Lilly salad.

Eagle finished his meal, watching as the rest of the group talked to the new comer. She was the center of attention, a new story to a group of ponies whom had fought through thick and thin. It was obvious that Gold had made herself at home with the new group, and while they seemed a bit sad at the lack of Steel, but they were just as glad to have Gold with them.

"So, whats the deal between you and Gold?" Asked Wind, looking at Eagle intently.

"Huh?" Asked Eagle, looking away from the pretty unicorn mare.

"I see the way you look at her, sir. She means something to you," Wind said, smiling slightly.

"Oh hush. She's a good friend," Eagle simply said.

"Like the type of friend Needle was?" asked Wind, smirking slyly.

Eagle just shook his head, and looked over to Gold once more.

------

Gold studied the parchment, her eyes darting back and forth upon the small paper.

"These seem to be old map, with some co-ordinates on it. It's in another language, but luckily, I leaned this one. Looks like it says that there is a tomb of a great pony somewhere near the northern border of Equestria and the Griffon kingdom. That what you are looking for?" asked Gold, getting a curt nod from Inysa.

"I guess I better tell Vera, then. Thank you, and welcome to the group," Said Inysa, whom quickly stood up and walked over to Vera.

------

Gold walked out onto the balcony of her room, and looked up at the stars, shimmering brightly, lit up with Luna's moon. Gold smiled to herself, the moonlight reflecting off her bright eyes. She smiled, and spun around on her balcony. While she was the leader of the Recon Corps, she was still a young mare. Barely 25 years old, Gold hadn't been in much pony on pony combat, and still saw innocence in the world. Not to mention she was still a very ladylike mare.

While she was spinning, she didn't hear the silent wing-beats that marked the arrival of Eagle, whom simply perched on the side of her balcony as she spun.

"Having fun there?" asked Eagle, causing Gold to stop spinning, and start giggling erratically.

"I guess you could say that," Gold said, breathing heavily. "I mean, look at this place! It's amazing!"

"Don't forget, we're here on work, Gold." Eagle said, jumping off his perch.

Suddenly, a weird golden shimmer appeared around Eagle and Gold. It was almost like gold snow, slowly falling out of the sky. Gold looked up, bewildered by the event.

"Star Sand. Saddle Arabia is famous for it, seeing as how shooting stars explode in the sky above us a lot. It's very pretty, very precious," Eagle said, circling behind Gold as she stared into the sky.

"Wow."

Eagle just chuckled, before turning back to Gold, who was still mesmerized by the Star Sand.

"I suggest you get some sleep, Gold. We got an early start tomorrow. We're heading off to that Tomb you found on that map." Eagle said, before spreading his wings. "I'll see you tomorrow morning, I suppose."

Gold smiled, and waved as Eagle dived off her balcony, into the thick night.

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Re: Ancient Equestria Arc 2: Starswirl's betrayal.

Post by Cloudchaser on Thu 12 Dec 2013, 03:41

The group boarded their airship again and travelled at full speed to the place where Gold Ingot had pointed out was the location of Nyx's tomb, they'd managed to catch 3-4 hours of rest before they arrived. "Everyone was on edge and the mood isn't specifically somber, Starswirl was finally within their reach and he's not just anyone to brush off. They would have to be careful, there's no telling how far down his corruption runs and how far he is willing to go." Vera thought to herself.

The airship started to slow down and descend to a level where they could jump off without hurting themselves too much. One by one they got off quietly, Inysa and Gold took the lead together with Vera as they were the ones most likely to recognize the tomb entrance. After walking for a few minutes, Inysa and Gold suddenly stopped in front of a rock face, Vera looked around expecting to see some form of doorway but found none and just gave up and sighed.

"So where's the entrance?" Vera asks but Inysa and Gold are busy walking in patterns and channelling something with their horns, no doubt they were using telepathic communication to better focus on whatever it was they were doing.

After a minute or two they stopped, faced the rock and spoke some words and suddenly the rock started shaking and rumbling. The rock was moving, slowly sliding backwards and revealing a set of stairs running down into the earth.

"Nyx sure wasn't stupid, I'll give her that. Hiding her tomb under a rock solid mountain where looters and uninvited ponies cannot reach it without knowing enough magic to reveal it." Gold commented.

"Is it safe to go down?" Vera asked Inysa and Gold, both who lit their horns up with an illumination spell. "I would say so, though we have no idea what is down there so we'll still have to be careful. I'm going to assume that Starswirl is already down there, he's at least twice as knowledgeable if not more than me and Gold so figuring out where the tomb lay was no match for him." Inysa answered Vera's question and motioned for her to cast an illumination spell as well. "Oh.. right.." Vera's cheeks reddened a bit from embarrassment , she still was used to not using magic much so casting a simple spell every filly would've learned never really hit her.

One after the other they went down, aside from the unicorns spreading out so that their light lit up as much as possible for everyone, they gave Rhuno a torch to hold. The tomb wasn't exactly made with minotaurs in mind so he had to crouch a bit to not hit his head on the roof of the tomb.

The tomb was decorated in typical style of depicting important events on the walls, Nyx had made sure she was buried as the equal of a queen or king. The tomb itself seemed to be simple in layout as they didn't have to worry about thieves or intruders so it was just one linear corridor, barely large enough for 3 ponies of normal size to walk side by side. Up ahead they could see a faint light that grew stronger as they came closer, hearts beating they approached the burial room as fast as they dared. Hoping against all hope that they were not too late and that Starswirl had not succeeded in his mission.

Just as they came into view of what was going on inside the burial chamber there was a flash of green and a loud gasp could be heard, almost as if someone had woken up from a nightmare or held their breath for decades.

"HAHA! HAHAHA!" A laugh that sounded evil and sinister at the same time came from whoever had let out the gasp. "Ah, this is wonderful, Starswirl. I have my body back, aaah I had forgotten how it was to be inside a body that is able to without all of my power."

"NOOO!" Vera rushed forward ignoring everything, she HAD to stop whatever was going on. Wind Catcher and Inysa rushed after her both swearing under their breath.

"Intruders! Kill them, my body has not yet regained it's power and I am still weak from the resurrection, they must not harm me!"

Starswirl turned around and without the cloak on him he was easily recognizable, "Ah Night Vera and Wind Catcher, how pleasant that you could join me in this great moment of resurrecting my master. I am afraid I don't have time to chat so I will just dispose of you immediately." For someone as adept in magic as Starswirl it only took a few seconds to cast his spell and then teleport out, he had made sure to cast a spell which they wouldn't be able to stop so there was no need to stay.

Wind Catcher flew ahead of Vera to try and knock Starswirl over but to her horror the spell just widened and filled the entire corridor, stunned with her life flashing before her eyes. Wind Catcher didn't hear Vera yelling nor did she notice the shield that blocked the spell and made it bounce up towards the ceiling of the tomb.

Night Vera saw her beloved sister soar past her and stop as she saw the spell widen to fill the entire corridor, if no one stopped that spell it would blast them all into pieces. Something inside her snapped, her love for her friends, for her sister that was the only piece of family she had left, her beloved Inysa and her loyalty to them and Canterlot all coalesced into a magic shield that blocked out Starswirl's spell and sent it up into the ceiling and blasted it to pieces and blowing out the mountain above so far that the morning sun shone in. The tomb started crumbling on top of them but the shield held until all that remained was rubble surrounding the group, Vera fainted with a smile on her, knowing that her friends had survived.

"VERA! NO!" Wind yelled and sped to her sisters side as fast as she could, taking her into her hooves and hugging her tightly. "Don't give up on me, sis. I wouldn't be able to bear it if I lost you now." Inysa walked up to Wind's side and put a hoof on her shoulder, both of them cared equally for Vera. "She'll be alright, her loyalty and love for us saved us all, I- I do not have a straight answer to give on how, I'll have to talk with Gold about it later. For now let's get back onto the airship and plan out our next move."

They all arrived back at the airship, dust and rubble all over them. Inysa made sure Wind knew that Vera was more than safe in her hooves before she carried Vera to their cabin and put her down on the bed to rest while Inysa went to take a shower before seeing Gold about the spell Vera had managed to pull off.

Wind Catcher was too worried about her sister to focus on anything else, she went into the dojo to get her mind off of things, Inysa had after all made sure that Wind knew Vera was in good care with her. She'd go and talk with Needle later unless she showed up in the dojo again.. Wind's mind went back to that time, things had seemed so simple then, now.. Everything was just starting all over again. She continued barraging the training dummies until her body couldn't take it any more and she laid down on her back, panting heavily, her mind was slightly more at ease now.

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Re: Ancient Equestria Arc 2: Starswirl's betrayal.

Post by Princess Blueblood on Thu 12 Dec 2013, 19:58

Gold looked over Vera silently, examining her from horn to hoof, her eyes making sure no hair went unchecked. Inysa sat in the corner of the room, worriedly looking at her significant other.

"It's not bad, but she'll need some rest. She's completely drained herself of magic, and whats more, is that she used a very unstable type of magic that not even an Arch Mage like myself dares to attempt. She'll need some rest, and above all, support from someone who means a lot to her," Gold said, turning to Inysa. "Stay by her side, make sure she knows you're there. She should be okay in a few days."

"Thank you, Gold. It means a lot to us. I wouldn't know what would have happened without you," Inysa said greatfully, walking to Night Vera's side. "But who is to lead us? Without Vera, we don't have much direction."

Gold shrugged slightly. "It seems that Eagle or Wind would be the best to be in charge. They've both had previous experience with leading in the military, but both with very different styles. From what I've gathered about Wind, is that she seems to prefer to see her companions as advisors, and usually takes their ideas into full comprehension. Of course, while Eagle's had more experience, he also prefers to have only one or two advisors, and sees the rest of the group as, well, unfortunately, an asset on which he orders around. That also makes him much more decisive and stronger, but a bit harsher."

Inysa nodded, and looked out her small window. "Should we have a group meeting, then?"

"I suppose so. We should take everyponys ideas into account, it'll be better with the input from the group as a hole."

-------

"Sir, why are we heading back to Saddle Arabia?" Asked Red Wind, raising an eyebrow.

"I'd rather not get caught with our trousers down if we run into a Griffon Patrol. We need some armaments, and Saddle Arabia is famous for its gunpowder.”

Red Wind raised her eyebrow once more, before turning back to the horizon. “Gunpowder? Sir, with all due respect, what can fire-works do for a ship? Distract them with colorful patterns?”

“I heard that the griffons have found a way to harness it for destructive purposes. And if the griffons have found a way, I suggest we do too,” Eagle said, flexing his wings. “Plus, I’m sure we can find whatever one of these contraptions in Saddle Arabia for a good price.”

“What would be a good price?” Asked Red Wind, turning her head back to Eagle. “We don’t exactly have bottomless pockets.”

“I’m sure I’ll have a bit or a thousand to spare,” Eagle said, before turning and walking out of the cockpit.

----

“So, you’re saying we need a new leader? Bit early to jump to the conclusion that Vera is going to die, Gold.” Eagle said, not looking up from his map upon his desk.

“I’m not saying she’s going to die. I’m saying we don’t have direction without a temporary leader. Either you or Wind or whoever needs to step up, and make sure we don’t derail ourselves,” Gold said, pacing behind Eagle.

“Why Wind or I? Why not Rhuno, or Needle, or even yourself?” Asked Eagle, turning around.

“I’m the only one with military experience out of them, and I don’t know the group that well. You’ve worked with them before, you know them well. Wind isn’t the most familiar, but she’s military. And you’re the leader of the most successful cloud in Equestria! How can you turn something like this down?”

“Gold, I’d love to, but I’ve got things to deal with,” Eagle said, looking back at the pretty unicorn mare. “Like running a goddamn military, and a cloud, all while being hundreds of miles away from where I should be.”

“So you’re not going to do it, then?” asked Gold, huffing.

“No.”

Gold shook her head angrily, pacing once more. “How can you be so selfish?”

“Because, I’ve got things to fucking run!” Shouted Eagle, smashing his hoofs into his desk. “Ponies are depending on me to make sure they’re fucking safe from those beaked fucks who are aiming goddesses-know-what at MY fucking clouds! Now, I’m sorry that Vera is hurt, and I appreciate what she did for us, but I do not have the energy, the time, or the resources to be a leader of this, while trying to run an empire from this small ass room!”

Gold shook her head, and walked towards the door, obviously upset. She walked out, and slammed the heavy metal hatch, marking her exit.

“Good goddesses.” Eagle said, before turning back to his maps.

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Re: Ancient Equestria Arc 2: Starswirl's betrayal.

Post by Guest on Fri 13 Dec 2013, 05:26

Rhuno was laying in his bed, spending his usual alone time in his dreams. He was awoken by a knock at his cabin door. He got up and went to open it. Standing on the other side was Gold.

"So Rhuno, since Night Vera is unconscious and Eagle is being a ass, we need a leader. Are you up to the task?"

"Uhh... wait... you want me" Rhuno points at himself, "to lead you guys," points at Gold. "after the ancient evil whatever it is and Starswirl?"

"Yes." came Gold's blunt reply.

"Well I dunno. I think we should grab the others and talk this thing out together. Let's all gather in the dining hall and talk this out, eh?"

Gold nods in approval and they make their way around the ship, asking Needle, Wind, and Balm to all meet in the dining hall.

Everyone makes there way to the dining hall, and they all take places around a table.

"Alrighty, so since Night Vera is spending her time resting and getting better, we need a game plan. And said game plan needs a leader. Any takers? I was asked, but I wanted to make sure everyone is on the same page. If there are none, I can do it."

Rhuno looks around the table, waiting for an answer.

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Re: Ancient Equestria Arc 2: Starswirl's betrayal.

Post by Princess Blueblood on Sat 14 Dec 2013, 20:05

Gold sighed, and looked around the room.

"I would say that a military personnel should take charge. All of us are high ranking leaders, and have had to have been in the position of leading in tough situations all the time. That would leave Eagle, Wind, and myself. And sadly, Eagle is being a complete ass, so he will not take the position."

"I suggest you tread lightly, Ms. Ingot. I am still, after all, a higher rank than you are," Eagle said, as he entered the room. All eyes turned towards him, as he took his seat at the table. "I concur with Gold, but do not completely discount the others. They have shown themselves to be capable leaders as well."

"What if we don't want to be leaders?" asked Wind, raising an eyebrow. Needle nodded in concurency.

"Then you don't have to be. It's just that someone is going to have to take the strain of running this gig, and It certainly is not going to be me." Eagle leaned back in his chair, cowl covering his eyes.

"Of course you would disregard yourself. It always seemed like pegasi were selfish." Gold said, angrily.

"Oh, thank you for labeling us all, Gold. Nice to see that you're so perfect," Needle said, a glint of agression in her eyes.

"Guys, can we calm down?" Asked Balm, his quiet voice cutting through the air.

"I'm perfectly calm. It's just that Needle seems to have gotten her stockings in a bunch after my little comment," Gold said, causing Needle to stand up.

"And what makes you so much better than us, huh? It's because even if you're a lady, you have a giant, pointed penis on the top of your head?" Needle angrily shouted, causing Gold to be taken aback.

"Well, I never!" shouted Gold, her horn outlined with a light yellow aura. "Take that back!"

"I have no reason to! I'm only speaking the truth!" Shouted Needle, putting her hooves on the table.

"Oh for the love of-" Started Eagle, only to get stared down by Wind, Needle, and Gold.

"You have no say in this! You completely disregarded the idea of becoming a leader!" shouted Wind, causing Eagle to stand up.

"I swear to Faust, we're bickering like a bunch of children!" Shouted Eagle, his booming voice filling the room. "We came to discuss leadership, not whom has what flaws!"

"I concur with Eagle on this one, as much as I don't like his attitude towards such leadership."

The whole room turned towards the entrance, where Vera stood, looking drained, but at least, alive.

"Vera, I-" Started Eagle, but was quickly dismissed by the unicorn.

"Hold your tongue, Eagle. I really don't want to hear it."

Vera walked to the table where everypony was sitting, and sighed.

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Re: Ancient Equestria Arc 2: Starswirl's betrayal.

Post by Cloudchaser on Sat 14 Dec 2013, 20:56

Inysa was treating Vera as best she could, Gold had said she'd need a few days of rest but she didn't know Vera as Inysa did. Vera would probably wake up within a day or so, completely drained but still stubbornly insisting that she's fine and ready to get back to work.

A knock on the door caused Inysa to float back to reality as she went and opened the door to find Gold Ingot there again.

"Hey, just wanted to let you know that we're having a group meeting to try and decide who should lead us while Vera's out, you coming?" She said.

"Oh. No, I'm gonna stay by her side in case she wakes up, she's probably going to be severely disorientated and confused." Inysa replied.

Gold Ingot gave a quick glance to where Vera was laying in the bed and then back to Inysa looking at bit confused at what Inysa had just said but decided not to press the topic further and instead courteously bid Inysa farewell and if she'd need anything they would all be in the officers mess.

Meanwhile Vera was reliving the moments just before and leading up to her blacking out in her mind, the faces of Nyx and Starswirl were burned into her memory, she longed for revenge, to make up for her failure. To prove to Celestia and Luna that she's worthy to be called their sister.

Inysa started hearing yelling and arguing from the officers mess, she was guessing that the discussion wasn't going well. Suddenly she heard shuffling from behind her and a low grunt that she'd heard so many times before, she turned around to see Vera trying to rise up from bed as if she'd just drank a whole keg of cider.

"Vera you sh-" Inysa began but got cut off by Vera. "I know you care a lot for my well being, Inysa and I will be ever grateful but do not tell me what I should or should not do when my friends are bickering amongst themselves, forgetting why we became friends in the first place.. Where are they gathering?" She said. "In.. In the officers mess" Inysa replied and watched as her lover opened the door and wobbly made her way out before falling over due to exhaustion. "Heh, looks like I might need some help after all.. Would you mind?" She turns her head to look at Inysa who beams up in a huge smile before walking over and picking Vera up and supporting her while they make their way to the officers mess.


"I swear to Faust, we're bickering like a bunch of children!" Shouted Eagle, his booming voice filling the room. "We came to discuss leadership, not whom has what flaws!"

"I concur with Eagle on this one, as much as I don't like his attitude towards such leadership."

The whole room turned towards the entrance, where Vera stood, looking drained, but at least, alive.

"Vera, I-" Started Eagle, but was quickly dismissed by the unicorn.

"Hold your tongue, Eagle. I really don't want to hear it."

Vera walked to the table where everypony was sitting, and sighed. "ENOUGH of this bickering, now I have a few words for you all so you best listen." Vera raised her voice slightly.

"After all this time together you still need me that much that you can't decide what to do yourselves?
" Vera began, stopping to look at her friend who had shameful expressions on their faces.

"Eagle my good friend. You're a pegasi warlord, king even, I know you have your cloud to run but does it really help to be stubborn when your friends need you the most?"

"Wind my dear beloved sister, you of all people should've known better than to start arguing. You're a special units commander, you've been trained and bred for these types of situations all the time but when your friends need it and your sister isn't there you resort to being a bully? That's not the sister I love."

Wind looked at Vera, tears swelling up in her eyes. Every word hit home so hard for Wind, she really should have known better than to start arguing, she should've just stepped up and said she'd do the best she can while Vear's knocked out.

"Needle, I know you come from an upper class home with prejudices against the other pony tribes but I thought we had gotten past that point, what happened to the mare everyone loves?"

"As for you Balm and Rhuno, I am glad some of you at least had enough sense to back out and not be dragged into this mess."

"Last but not least, Gold Ingot. You're the daughter of Steel Ingot so I was already ready for a hot temper. But you're an arch mage from Canterlot, you of all here should be able to control your emotions, a mage with a hot temper is never a good thing, it can lead you down some very dark roads. "

"If we are to help save the world as we know it we need to work together not against each other, Starswirl's master has been resurrected, we do not know where they went or how long it'll take for Nyxanna to return to full power but we cannot let that happen, now I- " Vera was cut off by a knock on the door and turned around to see Red Wind all pale and grasping a letter in her hooves. "What is it, Red Wind?" Vera asked.

"Snow- snow cloud has been attacked by the Griffons.. There's been hundreds of casualties but the pegasi guard was able to fend them off for now."

"But.. that's mine and Eagle's home cloud.. Vera WE HAVE to go and help, please. I know our mission is to stop Starswirl but we have no idea where he is right now so we might as well go and do some good." Wind pleaded with Vera.

"Hmm, you do have a point there. Alright we'll go and help as best we can, however we'll need to stop by Saddle Arabia first and pick up something.. Something that I think Eagle will fancy."

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Re: Ancient Equestria Arc 2: Starswirl's betrayal.

Post by Princess Blueblood on Sat 14 Dec 2013, 21:56

Eagle's eyes went pitch black, his voice monotonous. Inysa, Vera, Wind, and Rhuno all stepped back, knowing all to well what this meant. His head turned slowly, the sound of his neck bones cracking against one another.

"Let's make it quick." Eagle simply said, staring into Red Wind's very soul.

"I-I mean, we're almost there. We're docking in a few minutes."

"Good. Let's not waste any time, then."

-----

As soon as the meeting adjourned, Eagle and Needle rushed off the ship to the closest Armament Station, leaving the rest of the group on the ship.

Vera walked over to Gold, slowly, but strongly, and put a hoof on her shoulder. Gold nodded to her, giving a smile to the unicorn.

"What was up with Eagle earlier?" Asked Gold, her eyes layered with concern. While Eagle was irritable sometimes, she still cared for him.

Vera was obviously troubled by the question, her eyes falling towards the floor.

"Eagle, while strong, is very troubled by things that not even magic can explain. A curse, I presumed, but curses can be stopped. While it seemed that he had possibly cured himself of said curse last year, during our journey to Dragost, it seems to have re-appeared. Only time will tell how bad this shall get," Vera sad, sadly. "He really is a good pony at heart, but his responsibilities, and his personal ails keep the good in him down. It seems that now-a-days he only has time to show the dark side of him."

------

Eagle came back about 30 minutes later, followed by Needle, whom was riding atop a carriage, which had none other than a giant crossbow, with multiple bolts that were coated in a sticky liquid. Eagle's eyes had changed back to their original color, but it was obvious that he knew that his old curse had came back.

"Mount it up quickly if you want that bonus I mentioned!" shouted Eagle, as the multiple workers within the carriage started to mount the massive crossbow onto the ship.

Eagle walked up to Vera, and sighed.

"It was expensive, but I'm sure the pegasi government won't mind me spending a couple thousand Saddle Arabian Liras trying to save their capital," Eagle said, turning towards the massive crossbow. "We have it mounted on the front, with 50 Bolts of incendiary heads. We should be off in a moment, and possibly to Snowcloud by nightfall."

Vera simply nodded, and turned back to the workponies attaching the crossbow to the front of the ship.

-----

After about an hour of headache inducing engineering, the Crossbow was correctly attached to the ship, and the engines had started to sputter to life. All parties were accounted for, and while the feeling was anxious, both Eagle and Needle knew they weren't going to get there any faster by worrying. The two agreed that the best way to go at this was by getting some sleep, because if Red Wind's report was anything to go on, there would be a fight on their hoofs.

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Re: Ancient Equestria Arc 2: Starswirl's betrayal.

Post by Guest on Sun 15 Dec 2013, 05:28

Rhuno backed away from the argument with Balm, wrapping an arm in front of him in case the hot heads went overboard. But it was all settled when Vera showed up in the nick of time. 

After hearing that Snow Cloud was being attacked by griffons, the group acquired a giant crossbow, which Rhuno helped carry around the ship and attach to the hull. After that task was completed, everyone went their ways to get some sleep before the oncoming battle. 

Rhuno made his way back to his quarters, hopped in his bed, and fell asleep.

...

The lake was calm and the breeze ruffled the feathers in the trees. Rhuno and Luna sat by the lake shore, as they did many a night, conversing of the adventure the group of friends was undertaking.

"-and then Vera came in and talked some sense into everyone thankfully. Man... friendship sometimes can be more of a burden then a gift seems like." Rhuno sighed.

"Indeed it can be. But in the end, having friends with their flaws is better then having no friends at all."

"I agree with you there. So... any advice on Griffons? I have never faced them before... oh and I have never fought while miles above the ground. Can I just sit this one out and hang out at the palace, with you?"

"You know your friends will need you. You and your big, strong muscles." Luna poked Rhuno in the arm. His big, muscly arm.  seductive RD 

"You are such a tease. You know that?"

A loud knock resounded across the lake.

"Oh come on. Is it time already? Well, I best be off Luna. Tis time for glory and stuff like that."

Luna pecked Rhuno on the cheek. "Stay safe my friend. No worries, I have put nasty thoughts of flying Minotaurs in the dreams of the Griffons tonight."

"You can do that? Well... this will be interesting to see..."

Rhuno was jolted awake as a hoof poked him hard in the side. It was Balm. 

"You know, you just poked a big scary Minotaur while he was having a nice dream."

"Yes, but time is of most importance. Everyone is needed on the deck. We are coming up to the cloud."

"Alrighty then Balm." Rhuno hops out of bed and puts on his gear, pulling tight the heavy armor and nabbing a long bow he picked up before leaving Saddle Arabia. He hooked a hatchet to his belt and a quiver to his back as well. "Lets go get us some featherbrains, eh?"

"I heard that you buffoon!" came Wind's voice from the hallway as she walked by, heading to the deck.

"And you are the biggest one there is!" Rhuno yelled out the door, getting a "Well you are fat! HA!" in response.

Rhuno headed down the hall with Balm, towards the stairs.

"One rule Balm. Stick right next to me. I will keep you safe ok? The others will be doing the majority of the fighting with there magic and wings and whatnot. You and me, will prolly sit back and support. I am your shield. Your big, walking shield. Got it?

Balm nodded in agreement, gulping back his fear of what was coming.

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Re: Ancient Equestria Arc 2: Starswirl's betrayal.

Post by Cloudchaser on Sun 15 Dec 2013, 14:31

Vera had spent the rest of the day overseeing the mounting of the crossbow and having a small talk with Gold Ingot. Still feeling the after effects of her feat in Nyx's tomb she had finally taken heed on Inysa's constant worrying and gone back to the cabin to rest up, she'd need as much energy as she could for the upcoming battle at Snow cloud. She spent the rest of the evening together with Inysa who was enjoying nursing Vera back to her normal state, in the morning they were back to their usual routine. Everyone gathered able and ready at the top deck, Vera had made an remarkable recovery as well, there were no hints of doubt, fear or exhaustion in her voice. She knew this was a vital moment for the pegasi in her group, especially for Eagle and Wind who both had their homes here and both had spent most of their youth on these clouds.

Vera looked at her group of friends with something akin to a mother's pride, she was happy they all could forget last night's little argument and go back to being friends or even family in some cases. Their adventures had really brought them together and everyone knew they could trust the other to watch their back.

"Alright listen up, here's the plan: Eagle, Wind and Needle you three will form an attack squad, I want you to find where the griffon commander is and either capture him alive or kill him. The rest of us will provide whatever back up we can to the pegasi guards forces, since none of us are pegasi we can't walk on the cloud like you three can thus we're better suited to help out where we can from the air. The narrow spaces between buildings won't make it east to maneuver the airship so we'll have to go slow." Vera waited to see if anyone had any questions of objections but it was all clear on what lay ahead. "May Celestia watch over us all and good luck." Vera finished and watched as Eagle, Wind and Needle took off.

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Re: Ancient Equestria Arc 2: Starswirl's betrayal.

Post by Princess Blueblood on Sun 15 Dec 2013, 20:03

Eagle soared through the clouds, and shot through the upper layer, his eyes greeted by a horrific site.

His home cloud, Mothercloud, the one he had brought back from the brink of annihilation, was burning.

The Griffons had mounted a full assault. Catapults that the griffons had landed were launching massive burning rocks at the city, flames licking the skies.

"Go for the catapults first!" Shouted Eagle, causing the other two ponies to branch off.

Eagle drew his blades, and started to spin, diving right for a catapult. As soon as he impacted, his dual blades tore straight through the weak wood of the weapon, and even through the rock. The griffons ditched the weapon, and looked around wildly for Eagle, who flew straight back up, still spinning, his blades slicing through the bones of the Griffons. Within seconds, a whole crew was completely wiped out by a single, angry pony.

Eagle turned just to see another catapult get destroyed by a massive flaming bolt, seemingly sent straight from heaven. Eagle looked up to see his airship descending quickly, firing more massive bolts at different catapults. Eagle ascended again, and did another dive bomb, taking out another catapult crew.

Suddenly, a Pegasi guard flew up to Eagle, covered in a thick layer of Griffon Blood. "Sir! Your presence is requested in the capital building!"

Eagle nodded, and gestured towards to the airship that he was branching off. He got a wave from Rhuno and Night Vera, and he zoomed off.

------

Gold, meanwhile, had gotten her enchanted longbow, and was busy shooting Ethereal arrows at Griffons. She was fast, efficient, and above all, lethal. Her golden arrows pierced straight through griffons, and even through them into other griffons, knocking them straight out of the air. While Vera and Inysa worked the frontal gun, Rhuno and Gold covered the duo from stray griffons attacking the airship.

She saw Eagle fly off towards what looked like a giant spire in the middle of the city, a light protruding from the top of the spire.

"Gotcha!" Shouted A Griffon, pouncing on Gold, knocking her down. He brought his scimitar above his head, preparing to slice open Gold, but instead, was pinned to the wall, magical binds securing him there. Suddenly, his stomach burst open, a gold blade slicing right through him.

"Good goddesses, they should know not to mess with a unicorn by now."

----

"Officer on deck!" shouted a voice, as Eagle entered the capital, soaked in blood. What he saw shook him to his core.

Colts, Mares, and Fillies lay dead on the floor, lined up, clothes laid over them. How did so much happen in so little time? Eagle shook his head, and looked straight ahead. Now was not the time to mourn. He walked quickly, ignoring the cries of orphans, the sobbing of mothers, and the groans of wounded fathers.

"Sir, we're glad you're here. We've pushed the griffons back to the outer wall, but we've lost a lot of men. It seems like the griffons have some type of weapon we haven't encountered before, and its taking its toll on our soldiers. It seems fire based." Said Sparrow Wing, the new king of Mother cloud. "What should we do?"

Eagle turned towards him, bloods splattered across his white maw. He sighed heavily, and looked straight ahead, the silence of the room deafening.

"Abandon the cloud. We cannot afford any more casualties. We'll keep them busy." Eagle simply said, causing Sparrow Wing to look at him in dismay.

"But, sir!"

"You heard me, Sparrow. Sometimes, a good leader puts the lives of his people before victory," Eagle said, looking back at the rows and rows of bodies.

"But what happened to death by glory! What happened to never backing down!" Shouted Sparrow, causing Eagle to growl.

"That is our old ways, Sparrow. We are no longer barbarians. We are a civilized empire, and I will not let any more of our ponies die." Eagle said, causing Sparrow to lower his head, and nod.

"Yes sir." Sparrow trotted off, and started shouting orders to get ready to evacuate the remaining ponies.

Eagle took off, and flew high above the spire to get a vantage point of the battle ground. It was obvious that the Griffons had something of a very destructive nature, as a few areas in the city were nothing but smoldering ash now. It wasn't anything that the griffons were capable of making. It was the doing of somepony who had immense skill in magic. And Eagle only knew one pony who would give such a weapon to the griffons.

Starswirl.

Suddenly, a loud whistling sound filled the air, and Eagle looked straight up, seeing a orange glow seeping in from the clouds above.

And then he was falling.

Eagle was spiraling towards the ground, a burning sensation covering his body. He tried to flap his wings, and then he realized it.

He didn't have any wings anymore

-----

The group watched in awe as the spire collapsed in a flurry of ashes and flames. Something had come down, and just as suddenly, had destroyed the capital. The other two pegasi returned to the airship, looking out at the destroyed city, as it slowly burned. The screams of the dying filled the air, as the flames spread from the capital spire to the rest of the city. Needle had tears in her eyes, as she watched her home cloud become engulfed in flames.

"Where's Eagle?!" Asked Gold, looking frantically around the airship. "Where is he!?"

"A guard said that he was in the capital building," Said Wind, looking out. Then, her eyes went wide with dismay.

Gold fell to the ground, gagging on tears. Her eyes went bright gold, as she started sobbing uncontrollably, tears already pooling around her face. Wind, while less scathed, started to cry as well. The rest of the group just stared in dismay at the scene that had unfolded in front of them.

Eagle Blade, the great Pegasi Warlord, had died.


------

Eagle sat up, breathing heavily. His head was pounding, and he felt a lack of muscle in his back. He twisted his head around to get a good look at his backside, and started hyperventilating.

His wings were burned off.

He got on all fours, chocking on tears, as he looked around. His home, his life, was gone. Nothing but flames and bodies.

"So, this is the end to the great Eagle Blade, huh? The great warrior, the monster of Mother Cloud. The hero of the Pegasi nation." Said a familiar voice.

Eagle blade turned to see the Griffon Commander walking towards him, smiling. He was flanked by two soldiers, both carrying executioners axes.

"You bastard," Eagle said, looking up at the Griffon.

"Yes. Feel the anger, Eagle! Doesn't it feel good!" shouted the commander, pacing around him. "Feel the hate run through your veins, pumping through your heart! Doesn't it feel great!"

Eagle just glared up at him, his eyes starting to go pitch black.

"Ah, well, it seems that my men are getting a little antsy, so, I'm afraid we'll have to cut this counceling short," The commander said, before looking at his men. "Kill him."

One of the griffons held Eagle down, while the other readied his axe. Eagle had lost all will to live, and was easily held down. He waited for his moment to end, but it never came.

Instead, a screeching noise came from the pony holding Eagle down. Blood pitter-pattered upon Eagle's head, and he looked up. There stood a burned pony, no skin left on his body, killing the second of the two executioner ponies. He then turned back to Eagle, and smiled.

It was Sparrow Wing. He had survived.

Suddenly, there was a loud explosion, and there was a splatter of blood. Sparrow Wing fell over convulsing wildly, and Eagle jumped to his hoofs, looking around.

"Peculiar weapon, isn't it? It fires a lead round so fast, that it can rip your head of. Just a spark, some gunpowder, a tube, and a lead ball." The Commander said, throwing the weapon on the ground, and drawing his blade.

It was in vain, though, as Eagle charged him so fast, he hit the ground with so much force his spine broke. Eagle then shoved the commanders blade through his stomach, and twisted.

"Who gave you the weapon!" Screamed Eagle, his eyes black with rage.

"Fuck you!" shouted the Commander, his face contorted in pain.

"Tell me, and I just might kill you." Eagle said, and the griffons eyes went wide.

"Starswirl! Starswirl gave it to us! Theres a scroll in my pouch with his location! Just kill me!" shouted the griffon.

Eagle pulled his blade out, and sliced the Griffons head off.

-----

The group landed where they had heard the bang, looking around to see if Eagle Blade was alive anywhere.

They found him, cradling the dead body of a young pegasus, crying.

It would be the first, and last time they would ever see Eagle cry.


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Re: Ancient Equestria Arc 2: Starswirl's betrayal.

Post by Guest on Tue 17 Dec 2013, 01:27

Rhuno was on the deck of the ship, firing arrows at any griffon that got to close. Balm was at his side, staying close as to not put himself in danger. Gold was working away with her own bow, being far more effective since she could aim with magic. Vera and Inysa were manning the giant crossbow, taking out catapults left and right. 

Balm was shivering from head to toe in fear, never having been in a situation like this before. He kept backing up towards the edge of the ship next to the giant crossbow.

"Balm... don't back up to mu-" but Rhuno was cut off as Balm backed himself right off the ship and screamed as he fell.

"Aww shit!"

Rhuno, without thinking, charged after Balm and jumped into the sky.

Gold saw this. "OH SHIT! WIND! FLY ME AFTER THEM! I CAN GRAB THEM BOTH!"

Wind flew down, grabbed Gold, and went over the side, flying after Rhuno and Balm.

A griffon saw a crystal pony falling through the sky, towards the ground below. He thought to himself "That crystal pony would be worth a fortune back home!" and flew after it. The Griffon was gaining on the Balm, but froze as it heard a bellow from above. The griffon turned to see a Minotaur, sailing through the air, a axe raised in its hand. 

It was the Minotaur from it's nightmares. The griffons thought was cut short as Rhuno sliced clean through it while on his way to grab Balm. Rhuno and Balm connected with a thud, and right after they were both enveloped in a gold aura, as Wind was right next to them with Gold in her grasp. 

"You know... I could have just caught him Rhuno..." Wind said.

"Umm... I guess I acted before I thought it through... hehe..."

The four returned to the ship, just as Mothercloud exploded...

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Re: Ancient Equestria Arc 2: Starswirl's betrayal.

Post by Cloudchaser on Tue 17 Dec 2013, 02:31

Wind Catcher was revelling in the kill, she had hated Griffon's for most of her life, she'd grown up and first hand witnessed their cruelty and now it felt great to for once not be held back by a superior. Today she would avenge all her fallen comrades, all of those needless civilian lives that had been snuffed out by just being in the wrong place at the wrong time. She saw Eagle dart off toward the capital building and was guessing he had probably been requested to oversee the the military positions in the city. The rest of the group was giving cover and helping fleeing civilians from being torn down by the griffon's while still making sure that the griffon artillery was being shot to pieces.

Suddenly there was a loud crack and the capital building came crashing down in flames and ashes, the griffon's had hit it with something akin to a large fireball of destruction being hurled at it, Wind didn't know what to make of it, she hoped Eagle had gotten out before the building collapsed.

Meanwhile atop the airship Vera hissed out Starswirl's name, cursing him for whatever weapon he had given to the griffon's. She was sure it was his doing, no way was the griffon technology advanced enough to build something like that. They managed to save Balm and Rhuno who had thrown himself after Balm when he fell off the airship, they picked up Eagle who had had his wings burned off just before Snow cloud exploded in a flash of fire that engulfed anyone who was still within a mile of it.

Back on the airship the mood wasn't good, Eagle and Wind had lost their homes and pretty much everything and everyone that stood them near, Needle was shocked as well and was worried for how Wisp fared. Inysa had suggested to leave Eagle for Gold to care about for now and suggested that Vera should take Wind down to the dojo and spar with her, they had barely had time to talk with each other since they had first found out about their sisterhood.

Vera took Wind with her down to the dojo to try and cheer her older sister up, they didn't really spar as Inysa had suggested, both of them were too exhausted for that and all they did was talk about their parents and how they had grown up, Wind went into more detail on her upbringing in Cloudsdale's flight camp while Vera depicted the more dull royal court life albeit she was grateful that Queen Faust had saved her life, looking back at how she had been dressed in the prettiest of dresses by the best dress maker in Canterlot made her frown which caused Wind to giggle a bit. They both soaked in blood and sweat and neither of them looked like the type of mare who would willingly put on a dress, eventually they went on to talk about the pranks they used to pull on their dad almost making him go nuts once or twice but still maintaining the love for his two wonderful daughters.

"Do you remember that time when we were little and-" Wind started going over a prank they'd pulled off on a pony who lived on the same street as them.

"Oh yeah that was good one." Vera said and begun to giggle a bit but was interrupted by Wind hugging her tightly, she felt tears flow down Wind's face as Wind said: "Never leave me again, Vera. Promise me, I've lost so much today and in my life, I can't loose you now."

Vera let go of Wind and lifted her chin so their eyes met. "Hey you know what?" Wind sniffled a bit before responding. "What?" Vera chuckled a little and simply said. "You're looking at the High general of Canterlot, Guild Master of the famous Shadow Clan rogue guild, I've slain dragons and ogres, I have weapons crafted from dragon bone and flame. You're telling me to not die on you? Seems like you inherited dad's thickness instead of mother's brilliance." Vera said and stuck out a tongue at Wind who only looked mildly amused at her sister's comment. "Why you little.." Wind tackled Vera to the floor of the dojo before she noticed Vera wasn't under her. A second later Vera's voice came from the shower door entrance. "What was it that I just said? If not even the infamous Wind Catcher who's known for her lightning fast agility can catch me then what are the odds someone will kill me?"

Wind Catcher rose up, looked at Vera for a second before she opened her wings and in the blink of an eye she had tackled Vera again and flew her right into a shower slot and turned on the cold water and drenched her. "AAHHH COOOOLD!" Came Vera's voice a second later, she got up and stepped out of the shower, her fur and mane all drenched. "Y'know some ponies say mares look sexier with wet hair but I think the opposite goes for you" Wind Catcher commented and got a cold glare from Vera who went back into the shower and turned on the warm water and begun to wash out the blood and sweat, Wind Catcher decided that was a good idea as well and the next few minutes were spent in silence as they helped wash each other's backs. "I remember doing this to you as a filly, mother always made sure I knew how to take care of you." Wind sighed.

As they exited the dojo they saw Gold embracing Eagle and Vera turned to Wind. "You can go on ahead of me, I need to talk with Eagle." Wind nodded and went on ahead without Vera. "Eagle? Do you have a moment to talk?" Her voice was stern but still carried a bit of worry for her friend.

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Re: Ancient Equestria Arc 2: Starswirl's betrayal.

Post by Princess Blueblood on Tue 17 Dec 2013, 16:18

Gold sat by Eagle's side, her head buried in his chest. His breathing was ragged, and his body was littered with bruises and cuts. He was in the worst condition anypony had seen him in, but with a bit of healing, Gold could fix him right up.

Gold's tears made Eagle's dirt covered coat a puddly mess, and little trickles of water ran down the side of his body. The minor discomfort caused the large stallion to slowly open his eyes in pain. He looked around the room, and remembered what happened.

His wings, his home, his family, his friends. All gone. All he had left was the ponies on the airship. Even the young colt whom he had chosen as his heir, whom had given his life for Eagle, had perished in the battle for Mothercloud, which ended in a horrible loss.

Eagle looked down to see Gold sobbing into his chest. He felt something spur inside him. A feeling that he hadn't felt in a long time.

Vulnerability.

Eagle tentatively put his hoof on the back of Gold's head, and stroked her golden mane. The mare looked up, her yellow eyes tinted with a red haze.

"Take's a lot more than that to kill me, Commander." Eagle said with a smile.

Gold started to laugh, and embraced Eagle in a deep hug, burrowing her face into the nape of Eagle's shoulder. Eagle chuckled a bit, returning the hug. The two held the deep embrace for a long while, not letting one another go. Gold closed her eyes for, reveling in the feeling of security held in Eagle's embrace.

After a while of just lying together, Eagle looked down at Gold, who was smiling to herself as she warmed herself against the large stallions fur.

"Hey."

Gold looked up, her eyes smiling. "Yeah?"

"Thanks for coming back for me."

Gold smiled again. "Why wouldn't I come back for you, you big lug?"

"Because I'm a selfish, lowlife, arrogant, angry pegasus?"

Gold giggled, and booped Eagle on the nose. "But you're my selfish, lowlife, arrogant, angry pegasus."

Eagle raised an eyebrow with a smile. "Is that so?"

"Yes it is."

Gold placed her lips upon Eagle's, their tongues starting to intertwine with one another. They shared a moment of pure bliss, as the two laid together, lips together.

Finally, the couple drew apart, and Gold started to rub herself against Eagle, her face flushed red. Her eyes fell to half lids, and she panted heavily.

"Woah, hold the signal fire there, Gold," Eagle said, chuckling a little bit. "Don't you think its a little bit of a bad idea to have sex with your crippled, commanding officer?"

Gold stopped for a moment, looking a little bit offended, but then realized that the comment was but a joke. She placed her lips upon Eagle's once more, her horn glowing to pull her clothes off. Within minutes, the two were completely naked, Gold upon Eagle, still kissing.

Finally, the two released, and Gold started to grind herself against Eagle's already stiff stallionhood, causing Eagle to moan in euphoria. Gold's pants started to become more intense, as she lubricated herself upon Eagle's stiffness. Eventually, Gold was at full lubrication, and used her magic to move Eagle's Stallionhood into place. She shoved herself down upon Eagle, and cried out in pain, and faltered for a moment, looking deep into Eagle's eyes, hers shimmering with mischief. She started to move her hips in a circular motion, at the same time going up and down. Eagle panted heavily, his brain too engrossed in the sheer pleasure of Gold and him, that he couldn't focus on anything else.

After a few minutes passed, Eagle sat up, and pushed Gold down upon the bed, and shoved himself into her, at a slow but steady pace. She moaned with pleasure, placing one hoof upon her marehood, and moving it in a circular motion to increase pleasure. Eagle moved faster as he got closer to his climax. Finally, Eagle shoved himself as far as he could inside Gold, and released himself, climaxing simultaneously with Gold. They fell into one anothers hooves.

------

Eagle and Gold walked out of his room. After they both woke up, Gold gave some minor healing magic to Eagle to numb the pain, and tried to heal up his cuts as best as she could. They both left the room, and hugged one another. Gold had to return to her room to do some paperwork. As Gold left, Eagle heard Vera walk up to him.

"Eagle, do you have a moment to talk?" Asked Vera, and Eagle nodded, smiling.

"Sure, whats up?"

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Re: Ancient Equestria Arc 2: Starswirl's betrayal.

Post by Cloudchaser on Tue 17 Dec 2013, 18:26

Vera saw Gold walk away with a big smile on her face, seems like she'd had a good time together with Eagle and whatever she did it sure seemed like Eagle had cheered up a little from it. Vera made a mental note to thank Inysa for her brilliance, turning her attention to Eagle as he addressed her she looked at him, he seemed quite spent and with all right but perhaps spent in more than one way..

"I just wanted to make sure you're okay but it seems Gold already took care of that in one way or another." Vera said smiling at Eagle and winking at him that she was sort of onto what kind of stuff Gold had done to cheer up Eagle. She noticed Eagle's cheeks turning a bit red before Vera returned to her serious tone. "I know adapting to life without wings will be hard for you Eagle. If you want I can show you some tips and tricks to use in combat, I think you'll find that ground combat only is a lot different to when you have wings to aid you in various ways. You look rather spent for the evening though and since we still don't have a clue where Starswirl and his master is the best thing we can do is keep ourselves honed for when the final battle comes. How about you and I spar a bit, name the time and we'll meet in the dojo, no real weapons allowed though this is just a friendly battle between two equals and friends." Vera was smiling at Eagle waiting for him answer.


Meanwhile Wind Catcher had sought up Inysa in Vera's cabin, she felt like she needed to thank her for letting her sister loose for once. She knocked on the cabin door but got no answer, maybe Inysa wasn't in, Wind was just about to turn around and make her way to her cabin when she heard a satisfied moan and then some shuffling before door was opened and Inysa stood there looking at her.

"Oh, hello Wind. Was there anything you wanted? Where's Vera?" She said.

"Vera's talking to Eagle about something, I don't know what it is, saw Gold heading out from his room with a happy smile on her face, I reckon they rutted. Only time I've seen a mare that happy is when you're in heat and finally get rid of that itch. Anyway I just wanted to thank you for letting me have some time alone with Vera, I know you two are close but still thanks for letting me have her for myself a few hours." Wind said.

"Oh that's nothing, I'm sorry about the loss of your home and whatever friend you've lost but trust me when I say that you couldn't be in better company here, you have a little sister who cares immensely about you and Needle as well as the rest of the group." Inysa responded.

"Oh, yeah.. Needle, I should probably go and see how she's doing. I'll see you later Inysa!" Wind quickly gave Inysa a hug before she ran off to talk with Needle. She came to a halt in front of Needle's door, swallowed hard before knocking on the door, it had been a while since they'd had the time to speak properly.

"Hey, Needle. It's me Wind Catcher.. I wanted to make sure you're okay, you there?" She said and waited for Needle to respond.

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Re: Ancient Equestria Arc 2: Starswirl's betrayal.

Post by Arualsti on Tue 17 Dec 2013, 21:06

Needle could smell blood and fire on the wind. It stung her eyes and made her nose wrinkle in disgust. She took off after Eagle and Wind , sticking with them in close formation until they reached the Snowcloud. She peeled off, her eyes picking out the limp forms of dead ponies and griffons alike. Too many ponies, she thought, too many foals.

Suddenly a brown blur whizzed in front of her. Before she could react, a griffon was on her talons slicing the air inches from her face. Needlepoint kicked fiercely with her hind legs, sending the winded griffon spinning through the air. She didn't look to see if he recovered, diving in the opposite direction. She sharply turned round a corner coming upon what was once a fine plaza, shops lining the edges and a magnificent fountain with cold, blue waters sprouting from the centre. But now the waters ran red with blood and bodies befouled it's beauty. A group of 3 griffons were chasing a young mare, not much older than Needle, with a foal, barely a few days old, slung across her back. The foal lay unnaturally still and blood stained the mare's fine cream coloured coat. The griffons were playing with her. One could easily strike her down in the blink of an eye, but the trio instead chased her, laughing every time she ran into one, the circle closing in on her. The knife was flying through the air and embedding itself in the nearest ones neck before she even realised what she was doing. The two others looked up and found her quickly, launching into the sky, claws outstretched. She sped away her wings beating the air fiercely. They were fast, she was faster. She lead them through a maze of buildings, always staying in sight, always a wing length ahead. She could tell they were tiring, their turns were wide and lazy and each wing beat was slower than the one before. Needle's chest was on fire and her wings strained and protested. But this was nothing. This was a mere evening flutter to Needle. She climbed quickly and vertically, toward the sun. The griffons followed stupidly, the intense light enveloping Needle until she could no longer be seen. They stopped in midair, trying to find her again, when two hooves came crashing into ones skull. It cracked like a warm egg, bone and feather and blood splattering everywhere. The second one was dumbstruck and exhausted. Needle could almost hear the cogs whirring in her brain a he tried to process what he saw. He held the same dumbfounded expression as Needle slit his throat and let his body fall.

Balm shook and sweated. The noise was tremendous and the scent foul. He could taste gunpowder in the air, which confused him. A griffon flew near to him, he was brown, near black, and his claws were golden and sharp. Golden and sharp was also a good description the the arrow the pierced it, sending it tumbling backwards.

'May Celestia and Luna forgive you' he muttered as his eyes followed the body's progression downward.

Her tried to give last rites to all those he saw fall. He really did, but there were so many, so many already fallen, so many far below him crying out in pain. He could never help them all. He couldn't save their lives or their souls. The griffons pressed in close, as each one died, one would replace it, getting closer each time.

'May Celestia and Luna forgive you'
'May Celestia and Luna forgive you'
'May Celestia and Luna forgive you'

He was muttering faster and faster until,

His voice left him.

He was weightless and oddly calm. The screams were replaced by the roar of the wind, the sights of dead bodies replaced by the sun and the flawless blue sky.

He felt himself spinning. The white light of the sun would flash before him before being snatched away again.

'Celestia...' He thought he felt himself say. He couldn't be sure. The wind stole his words before his ears could hear them.

Chaos then invade his vision, smears of brown and gold, a monstrous bellow that reassured him rather than scaring him. Red. Then gold. A brilliant gold that shimmered like the sun on a stream. Then black.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Needlepoint was too numb to feel angry. The worry crept into her like the waves that washed over Wisp.

Wisp.

The tiny village that Needle loved more than she thought possible. It was miles from where she was. It was hundreds of miles from anywhere. She gulped, but was it 500 miles from griffons? The village was nothing more than a speck to be wiped clean to the griffons, they could destroy everything and the citizens would be powerless to stop them.

She gulped and forced the thought deep into the pit of her stomach where it writhed and curled. A knock pulled her from her thoughts. It was Wind. She hesitated to reply. She did not want to be around her or Eagle right now, they had lost much more than her, and she felt foolish for worrying about a tiny speck like Wisp, when hundreds had died that day. After she was all but certain Wind had gone, Needlepoint spoke in a voice much meeker than she had intended.

'Please come in Wind'

The door cracked open slowly, and Wind peered in. She was wet, cleansed of most of the signs of death and war that still clung to Needle's coat. She felt unwanted stirrings just below where her stomach curdled in fear. She looked at Wind, her large eyes filled with concern, and suddenly she felt all her fears spill forth. She cried. Fat tears rolled down her face and she could barely breath through her sobs. Wind ran forward to embrace her as she cried. Eventually she forced out 'Wind, i'm so scared, help me'


Balm lay in his room, staring at the ceiling. He felt empty inside, like his fall had shaken loose everything he thought he knew or felt, and it was up to him to put himself back together. He had been certain he was going to die. He had felt Celestia's embrace and he had been pulled back from the edge. He wondered how the Princesses would have judged him if he had died. He had tried to help ponies all his life, but he helped none today. Maybe that was why he had fallen from the ship, maybe the Princesses did not see him as worthy any more, so they decided his time was up. He shook his head at that. No, they were kind, not malicious. They did not kill, they forgave. He sighed and rubbed his forehead with his hooves. What was his purpose being here? He did not belong. He shook his head again. The Princesses would not have guided him to their own champions if they did  not want him to be a part of them.

Balm continued to think as he made his way to the food hall. He stared into his barley soup, not seeing it, the liquid getting cold in front of him.

'Not hungry?'

Balm looked up. Rhuno was sat behind him, a bowl of soup and large as a wash basin sat in front of him.

Balm shook his head silently.

Rhuno shrugged and slurped his soup loudly.

'Do you believe in the Princesses?' Balm asked eventually.

'Errr' was Rhuno's reply

'What I mean, is that do you believe they are more than ponies. Do you believe that have the powers to influence the lives of their subjects?' Balm asked, with more conviction.

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Re: Ancient Equestria Arc 2: Starswirl's betrayal.

Post by Guest on Wed 18 Dec 2013, 20:09

"Well... ummm..."

Rhuno thought long and hard about what to say. Balm was clearly shaken from the battle, and his beliefs of the princesses were clouded. Rhuno would have to tread lightly, as to not have Balm cave into himself.


"The way I see it, everyone has the power to influence anyone. Yes, the princesses have the power to influence more ponies then you and me could ever dream of, but that is because they are the princesses. I mean, you think of them as goddesses. Which do not get me wrong, you can believe that. But me, I believe they are just ponies. Everyday ordinary ponies. Like you. Like me. Although... I am not a pony... hehe... but not to get sidetracked! Yea, they have the power to move the sun and moon, but so what? They were born with that gift. Just as I was born with my strength and you were born with your love for medicine. That is the thing. We were all born into this world. We all have our role to fill. Wait... what was I getting at... ummmm..."

Rhuno scratched his head in thought... as Balm just stared at him, head tilted and eyes glued.

"Anyway... I think I was just rambling... so... your question was, do I believe that the princesses are more then just normal ponies?"

Balm shook his head up and down.

"No. No I do not."

Balm gasped. "BUT WHY!?"

"Have you ever heard Luna crack a joke? Have you ever seen Celestia go to bed after a long days work? You see... they are ponies just like us. They enjoy the things we do. They have the same limits, even if they can hurl a sun or moon at us. Deep down inside, we are all just ponies. Even me! A big ol angry looking brute. So... like... do you see where I am getting at?" Rhuno finished, waiting for Balm's response.

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Re: Ancient Equestria Arc 2: Starswirl's betrayal.

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