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 Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)

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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Mon Apr 07, 2014 3:13 pm

Not really having much to add to the conversation, Sword simply remained quite, idly snacking on popcorn and watching this new changeling glomp Masquerade. He took a mental note marking her as a noble of some sort, and would add it to his research list on changeling hierarchy for later. Ok, remember to not call Maredusa madam... "Lucky you Sugary. I was forewarned of her.... distaste for pegasi. Chatting with her and Chryalsis was quite nerve wracking for me, her tone seemed to be thinly veiled kindness at best. No coiling for me, although I can't complain there."

Listening to Sugary's inquiry about the military structure, Sword also took interest, sitting up a little straighter and listening for Thryssa's reply. He had no interest in joining, or interacting with it in general, but knowing the basics of its operating procedure would be helpful for constructing his growing knowledge of changeling culture.
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Tue Apr 08, 2014 2:42 am

Callista noses at the cake before taking a health slice, opening her mouth slightly more than seems natural, and inserting the entire thing. Her expression becomes one of absolute bliss as she enjoys her cake. "Mmm..." she purrs after finishing. "Oh dear, that was simply divine! Like, to the point where if a certain stallion ever found himself short of bits, a certain cafe-owning noble would be happy to give him large piles in exchange for cakes to sell at a premium price for a limited time."
Thryssa eyes her. "I somehow doubt he'ls going to be hurting for resources anytime soon, Marquess..."
"So what?" Callista grins. "I'm a businesspony. This is a product that would be hugely profitable because there's only one sweet-natured mercenary with a airship from a different world. Unique is valuable, and the cake is unique."
"I don't know, Callista," Tetti grins. "You'd probably get changelings concluding that the cake is probably a lie."
"The cake is a lie?" Callista laughs. "But it's true! It's so very, very true!"
Thryssa smiles a little at the exchange before she turned her attention entirely to Market. "Well, then Maredusa likes you quite a bit because she's loosened teeth when called 'madam' before. As to regular formation drills, we do indeed hold them but the only ones being held now are at the various posts: the Everfree Line, the borders with the Griffon Provinces and Drakonia, and the fortifications roughly in the middle of the wastes, built around an oasis. Until we have a class of recruits that have gotten to that point in their training, there's no drills to observe or learn about." She taps her hoof on her chin a moment. "Although I could give you access to the training manuals and you could try to derive something from those. Would that help?"
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Tue Apr 08, 2014 6:34 am

"Glad you all like the cake! And Callista, worst case scenario, I might just take you up on that offer... But I'd be happy to make some while I'm staying here at your home anyway. You just need to ask." While Sugary was only half serious about taking the offer, he wasn't joking about having requests made of him.

Looking at Sword for a moment and then at Thryssa, he felt that perhaps he was truly fortunate on how he got along with Maredusa... Or perhaps, aside from not being a pegasus by default of a delicate history involving a certain cursed pretend-lover, he had always referred to her as 'Madam' out of genuine acknowledgement of seniority and respect that others might have lacked in the past. "Or maybe she just really liked having me wrapped and nibbling on my ear...?"

Shaking his head briefly, he took Thryssa's words to heart, being reminded that she likely does simple sounding, yet stressful work as a protector; A concept he was very familiar with. "That and anything else you feel I should be aware of before getting to work. I can improvise as a solo act, but still need to integrate if it means performing as an ally given the circumstances, and an equal when it counts."
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Mon Apr 14, 2014 5:27 am

"Improvisation is always my preference," Thryssa replies. "But effective improvisation requires knowing the basics. You'll need to go to the palace to see to your vessel; when you're there, stop by the barracks of the Throne Guard. I'll leave instructions that you be given access to everything even vaguely military-related."
Masquerade blinks and her eyes widen. "Truly?"
"Of course." Thryssa leans down to give Sugary a light nosing. "What would he do with that information that would be worse than what he might have done anytime up to this point if his intent was ill?"
"Point," Masquerade acknowledges.
"So, can I pencil you in for next week?" Callista inquires.
Thryssa looks at her. "Pencil me in?"
"For a lunch date with Sugary Market, naturally," the noblemare smiles. "You... are planning to take advantage of the golden opportunity here, right?"
Thryssa blushes. "Well, it wouldn't quite be professional..."
"Hang professional, your Majesty," Callista grins. "You need a stallion like this one around you, to fill in your gaps. If not Sugary, then one similar."
"...you spend far too much time around Mother..." But Thryssa smiles shyly and looks at Sugary. "What are your thoughts, Mister Market?"
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Mon Apr 14, 2014 8:22 am

By now, Sugary had lost count as to the number of times he had flinched since he woke up that morning in Masquerade's bed. With Callista now having given him yet another reason to do so, he was slowly becoming more flustered by the minute. It also didn't help that Thryssa had nosed him gently shortly before, though it was by no means unpleasant. He was just beginning to feel awkward discussing both a possible personal matter that may or may not end up being romantic in nature while thinking on the work related information as well as the talking went on. "Er... Well, I appreciate the access to military information for starters. Looking forward to making the visit later on this week... As for the lunch date..." He slowly moved his head to stare directly at Callista with a soft smile. "... That sounds good. Really, it does... But I can't guarantee I'll be well by next week and be ready for my trials, let alone guarantee either of us won't be busy with work... And since you arrived afterwards, I had already told Princess Thryssa that I wouldn't try to go on a date until I got the title of Officer... And I'm sure you can understand very well why I shouldn't try anything resembling a date before that time comes... Although..." He furrowed his brows in thought, giving a little more consideration to Callista's proposal. "... Actually, a business lunch meeting a week from now would be a fine way to make a progress report in leisure. Will that do?"
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Tue Apr 15, 2014 8:17 am

"Splendid," Callista beams. "Business lunch it is."
"...you're scarily good at that, Cally," Masquerade kisses her on the cheek.
"I get more practice than you can possibly imagine," Callista replies wryly.
Thryssa smiles and nods once. "Yes, splendid, a business lunch... I can do that."
"You think," Tetti grinned.
"I think," Thryssa agreed unabashedly. "I've never tried having a business lunch before. How is it different than a regular lunch?"
"You pretend that you're actually working when you're eating," Callista grins. "It's also a way for ponies denying reality to call a romantic meal 'just business'."
"Cally!" Masquerade admonishes her.
Thyrssa doesn't respond to this except to blush a little and give Sugary a small, shy, excited smile.
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Tue Apr 15, 2014 9:57 am

Sugary scoffed lightly at Callista's utter lack of help in trying to keep things reasonably casual as intended. It was clear he was not likely to get it easy when all he had agreed to was to eventually ask Thryssa on a simple date to carry on with a strong suggestion of apparent compatibility between them by the others... while having to deal with the comical jabs left and right. Lightly flustered once again, he defended himself adamantly. "H-Hey now! I really do mean a business lunch. It's not like I can spend all my time right next to Princess Thryssa, so we may as well have a great meal as a pleasant meet up for more work details. If there are none, we eat in good company... Well, technically I could be next to her at all times if she orders it, but I really need to get back in shape and good health, or I might serve her poorly... And I'd rather avoid that happen... And speaking of serving, I really should head upstairs and start reading from those books I borrowed while I can. Anything else I can do for you, Princess Thryssa? Or shall I take my leave?"

Perhaps to some, it would look odd to see Sugary remain flustered on the side while focused on work. But as the saying goes, 'old habits die hard'... Even if deep down, he looks forward to a genuinely nice meal at Callista's in Thryssa's company.
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Sat Apr 19, 2014 7:40 am

Thryssa chuckles. "Yes... I wish to see you regain your health because I want good service from you. There's no possible other reason I might want a brave and popular visitor to Scarabi to be well."
"Speaking of visitors to Scarabi..." Tetti nuzzles at her quiet stallionfriend. "We've only really been to the gates and then the palace, love. Is there anything else you'd like to see? Anything else you'd like to do? One major perk of being royalty here is that I've an entire city to play in... and now I have a handsome stallion to play with."
"I'm sure you can arrange that," Callista comments. "But I gather he's a soldier of some kind?"
Tetti nods. "Something like that."
"So while we have the princess that heads all of the military here, why not invite him to question her?" The noblemare smiles.
"I'm right here, you know.." Thryssa grouches as she gives Sugary a strictly chaste nosing. "Although I'm very much amenable to the marquess' suggestion." She smiles to Sugary. "Perhaps Mister Market would be willing to offer his insights into things as well?"
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Sat Apr 19, 2014 11:39 pm

Sugary pondered the question given by Thryssa for a moment, flicking his ears in thought a bit as he looked at the fairly quiet Sword, Tettidora, and Thryssa once more. "Hm... Well... It's not too late in the day yet... A small tour while discussing details might be good. Plus, I could use the extra walk and more guiding myself. And I could read along the way just fine too if no one talked to me for a while. Otherwise, that's all I got right now."
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Sun Apr 20, 2014 6:51 am

Straightening himself out, Sword pecks Tetti's cheek before speaking. "As much as I'd like to spend the rest of the day traipsing about the city by your side love, I'd rather save such a stroll for the morrow, after I've had a chance to rest my hooves for a day and settle into the library. Also..." Sword removes Lepi's egregious recompense from around his neck, setting it on the table, cracking his neck and looking relieved, continuing onwards. "considering the amount of time I've spent in the city I've done a fair bit of meeting and greeting for such a little amount of time. The rest can wait until tomorrow, unless you have something you absolutely have to show me."

Getting up from his chair, Sword nodded in agreement with Sugary, looking at Thryssa. "However, a short stroll never hurt anypony, so perhaps the Princess-Marshal wouldn't mind enlightening me as to the militaristic state of her nation. I'm fairly certain that due to the hidden nature, as well as the harshness of your environment, you don't maintain a large standing army, but rather smaller squads of highly trained commandos. Would my assertion in this aspect be correct Princess?"
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Wed Apr 23, 2014 8:22 pm

"You're a very subdued stallion," Thryssa observed with a little smirk. "But I know your secret, Sugary Market; I heard how you backed 'Lady' Calliope down without even needing to raise your voice."
"Really now..." Tetti looks at Sugary with interest.
"It's just as your sister says, Princess," Masquerade said. "Calliope tried her normal trick of disarming with lots of hugs and cuteness, and then driving the knife in when her target was off-guard. Never seen a changeling get that pale when the little racist twit got a look at the marks Queen Chrysalis and Princess Lepinora bestowed on him."
Tetti snorts. "Heh... serves the fool right. Sounds like you really know how to pick 'em Thryssa."
"He was on his sickbed, starving, and I had to resort to a Throne Guard to make any headway against him," Thryssa smiles and nudges Sugary with friendly affection. "The call should have been even more obvious than it was."
Thryssa looks to Sword. "Speaking of the Everfree Line and, by implication our military, you surmise correctly that our standing army is relatively small in comparison to Equestria's but as a percentage of population under arms, or that could be called to be under arms, a great proportion of changelings serve. There is little choice; the Barrens are bordered by Drakonia, the Griffin Provinces, and Equestria. We have good relations with all three but to be blunt, dragons and griffins are naturally suited to war, and know it."
"Constantly projecting an image of a nation bristling with warmaking power fully able and willing to thrash any invaders is vital to peaceful relations," Tetti adds. "Predators are very good at sensing the weak prey to cull from the herd, so it all has to be very real."
"Granted, well over three quarters of those under arms remain demobilized until needed," Thryssa says. "We need food, equipment, luxury, and pleasure just as much as any other ponies and since few ponies--I only know of six or seven in all of Equestria--can distinguish between a changeling in their guise and any other pony, we have very little fear of starvation so long as we have something to trade." She nods to Callista. "Such as Marquess Dune's family crop."
"Lemons thrive in the semi-arid Barrens," Callista smiles. "They grow large and firm and have a very slight sweetness to them. I understand they're extremely popular with confectioners."
"And so, we can afford a larger-than-normal proportion of population under arms," Thryssa concludes. "As to the hidden nature, however... there's very little need to hide when the only safe way to Scarabi is through Maredusa's various grottos, by an airship such as Sugary Market's, or by hop-teleporting. All of them require knowing that we're even here... and I understand that Celestia has taken care of that little issue."
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Thu Apr 24, 2014 1:55 am

Sugary didn't blush, but merely smiled a bit at the comments involving Calliope and the events at the Everfree border. He did blush a bit when the comments came with another nudging from Thryssa however, leaving him wonder why someone who would apparently prefer to keep affection to a minimum in greeting would still nose him like that in other moments.

"Hm... Ensuring peace with martial might... Sounds about right... As for Miss Calliope? I hope she learns something from this... Now please excuse me while this happy not-so-sick and not-so-starving stallion goes to get some things for the evening stroll. I'll be right back..."

He moved the coolers with fruit somewhat so that they would not be in the way, respectfully nodded to the group in general, and made his way upstairs to get the book and Flora and Fauna for the walk while learning some extra details aside from Thryssa's insight as he intended to save the other ones for later. When he came back down, he'd be once again wearing his beloved red cloak and fedora along with the Inventory Bag strapped to his side and moved close, though not too close, to Thryssa's side. "Okay, ready for that walk, Princess."
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Tue Apr 29, 2014 12:31 am

Sword nodded along with Thryssa's breakdown of the Scarbi Military, noting her explanation of a large reserve, and something else he'd been wondering. "Honestly, unless I'm mistaken, it seems like you can draw love from other species than equine. And being aware of induction, wouldn't that mean that an attack on a changeling city would be nearly futile, since the population can, essentially, kill you without trying. Unless there's a way to block this effect that I'm not aware of?" Sword looked over Thryssa again with a more studious gaze. "Or the ability to modify their biology into that of a perfect predator. Seeing your carapace is quite impressive to say the least. Tetti's War Form is highly impressive, and even with my level of training, I'm having an issue finding a spot to stick something sharp." Sword turned to Tetti for a moment. "Is Thryssa the only one currently utilizing your war form love? Or is their a small squad of elites trained to use it as well?"
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Fri May 02, 2014 6:42 am

"Ponies like Calliope never learn and never will learn because they don't want to learn," Tetti remarks with marked bitterness. "They've had a thousand years to learn the right lessons from the exile. Instead, they cling to what Malys and her perverted court taught. I wouldn't be surprised if the mutants that attacked Canterlot were some offshoot of Malys' womb; certainly she had no more morals concerning her own than she did concerning other races."
"Almost wish Malys had been the one to confront Celestia long ago the way she demanded," Thryssa says with a grimace. "The Princess would have crushed her as an object lesson inside of a minute."
She nods to Sugary as he leaves and then extends a the dragonfly wings of one side and rests them on Sugary. Quite contrary to what the stallion might expect, the stiff-looking wings feel soft and slightly flexible resting against his back. "As am I, Mister Market."
"If your majesties don't mind, I'd like to linger a bit with Callista," Masquerade says, nuzzling her marefriend lightly.
"After attending to our guest since before you even arrived, Throne Guard, you've certainly earned a moment to indulge yourself," Tetti smiles. "I'm sure my sister will prove a good escort for him."
Thryssa doesn't respond to this outside of a tiny sigh before nodding to the door before stepping around the still-cuddled Tetti and Sword and taking Market outside.
Tetti grins a bit before kissing Sword and rising with him. "It'll be but a short walk, love, not much longer than we'd have anyway if we went back to the library. And as an added bonus, I can explain things as we walk, with Thryss'a help. The short answer to the induction question, however, is that it's extremely easy to stop before it starts... which is why you never used it against an alert enemy. Even I with my general magical talent or Chidi with her exceptional gift with all love-related magicks would be taxed by it and staggered, becoming easily vulnerable to a foe that expects it and prepares to block it. I'm not sure how well mass induction could be stopped, however, since that's a whole different order of magnitude."
Tetti would nuzzle him more as she gently takes him out the door, Chenko closing it behind them with the sort of perfect touch that comes from doing it hundreds of times, to find Thryssa and Sugary waiting. "So where shall we go, sis?"
"I'm unsure." Thyssa looked between Sugary and Sword. "Would you prefer the shortest journey or the most worthwhile?"
Tetti gives her a deadpan look. "Seriously?"
"Hush, little sis," Thryssa smirks. "I haven't' used up my yearly allotment of failing to be clever."
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Sat May 03, 2014 7:25 pm

Sugary flinched lightly in surprise once Thryssa placed her wing upon him; Partially due to the contact itself and the fact it was her doing so, but mostly due to how he had not expected it to feel oddly comforting and with a different feel than that of any bug wings he'd felt before. The idea of being escorted by royalty in such a casual seeming manner was also odd to him, but it was rather welcome as he kept pace along with her on the way out, sighing silently along with her on both the insistency of them getting together according to Tettidora, and Calliope's shameful mannerisms. Before going out the actual door, he made sure to activate the Inventory to take the coolers with fruit with him in case he got the chance to leave them with the Princess Marshall later on after the walk near her own dwelling, and bid a 'later' to Masquerade and Callista. For the time being, he had no input to add upon the induction techniques, and merely lent an ear as this was an area of magic he did not dabble in.

Once they were out at last in the open cool air of the barrens within the oasis city that was Scarabi,  he considered Thryssa's last question towards Tettidora, and thought of a suggestion of his own instead. "Say, Princess? Since we're out on Scarabi at the evening, would there by any chance be any special events or gatherings? One thing I've been wondering about the culture is music and dancing, and I'd like to see some of it up close... if it's not much of a detour that is."
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Thu May 08, 2014 4:37 pm

Sword smooches back happily, starting for the door with Thryssa and Sugary. "I see love. And I don't mind a bit of a stroll about your kingdom, the..." Sword coughs, digging his mind outta the gutter as he stayed by Tetti's side. "books will keep till we get back. As for our path, I'll take the most worthwhile, wherever that takes us. Preferably a route that doesn't involve me being mass rushed by a swarm of changelings, although from what I hear." Sword points to Market. "With him along that's almost a given. I for once, am glad that I don't have anything special about the love energy I give off. So, by your lead Thryssa."
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Thu May 08, 2014 5:16 pm

Thryssa tries, and fails, to suppress a snort of laughter. "Yes, Sugary Market is very... attractive to changelings," she said with a grin. "In a sort of cosmic irony, his positive emotional radiance is like candy... and I do believe a large number of our subjects will shortly learn that if you splurge on candy, there are a few minor... consequences."
"An ache from eating too much sweet energy is an experience most don't like to repeat," Tetti supplies. "Of course, there're always plenty who feel that it's entirely worth the headache afterwards. And, of course, it has its place."
"Quick energy of unusually great substance," Thryssa says as they start walking out of the manor district. "The headache only comes from accumulation; used quickly for spellwork, you can get significantly more from it... which has saved my flank a few times. The properties of 'sugary' energy are why the rare few changelings who radiate it are always made healers."
Despite Sugary's clear attractiveness (based on how many changelings seem to gravitate towards them as they walk), the changelings seem to sense that pigpiling him while he's accompanying another pony in the company of the two princesses would be unwelcome to say the least and for the most part, they linger near but keep a respectful distance. Except, naturally, younger changelings who have much more exuberance than good sense. For example...
"Hi again, Princess Tetti!" a young voice says from above them as a familiar aquamarine-and-orange-maned changeling filly drifts in to hover just above them.
"Princess Tettidora, Princess Thryssa," Sweet Belle adds, her hair ribbon already untied and hovering near to Belladonna wrapped in the faint green of changeling magic.
"Afternoon," Pearbloom adds, doing the same thing from the other side of Bella. "And pleased ta see you both again, Mister Market, Mister Symphony."
"Especially the one that tastes sweet," Bella grins.
"Bella!" Sweet kicks her.
"Ow! Hey, we agreed no kicking!"
"I have four ribbons, Bella..."
"OK, OK, sheesh... prissy bint..."
"An' what the hay is a bint?" Pearbloom asks suspiciously.
Bella shrugs. "Dunno, saw it in a book."
"...you read...?"
Bella kicks her. "Yes I read! I'll have you know, I'm a whole school ahead in ability!"
Sweet sighs. "She is, actually... amazingly enough..."
"Hmm." Pearbloom looks down at the quartet. "Anyhow, Princesses, happy returns of the day an' all. Goin' anywhere specific?"
"Just out on a short pleasant walk," Tetti replies. "Hopefully without being bothered."
"Sorry, Your Highnesses," Sweet replies with a slight inclination of her head. "We have a very... exuberant friend."
"'Scuse me?" Bella glares. "You were the one that..." At which point, her muzzle is tied shut, occasioning a deathglare at Sweet.
"Now, now, Bella... a lady doesn't gossip..." Sweet smiles sweetly.
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Fri May 09, 2014 5:27 am

Sugary felt odd being spoken of as a scientific and magical subject to the princesses, but nonetheless paid close attention on what apparently his positive energy which he seemed to share with a few others in the Barrens meant for their kind, as well as to chuckle on Sword's apparent lack of appreciation for Changeling mob pits compared to him and then refer to him as a meat shield. He paid especially close note about the sudden burst and boost of power that came with such an effect in a pinch, though he hoped he would not have to put that to the test any time soon despite his curiosity of seeing it happen for himself. "So... Healers often get their positions because of their very positive, but strong emotions? I hope the reason for the hospitaleer being far out in the barrens has nothing to do with induced headaches on the locals... Or is that more than just coincidence?" He was, of course, under the assumption that most of the better healers were in that location given previous information and the importance of that place within the territory.

Being surrounded by the other random changelings while walking about was oddly comforting to him, even if he was beginning to get a better idea as to why. Then again, he found that being close to changelings in general had been a pleasant experience for the most part given their tendency to encourage, allow, or act upon proximity nearly indiscriminately from what he gathered so far. In fact, while walking side by side with Thryssa, he moved a little bit closer to her in thinking that maybe, just maybe, she'd get something about the constant feeling of appreciation, gratitude, and respect he had for her. However subtle it might have been.

And then there was the moment the trio of very familiar young changelings that appeared before them. He chuckled a bit at their quips to one another, and then greeted them warmly as he remembered them from earlier in the day. "Hello again. Say, since the three of you just happen to be walking by, you think you could share some ideas on where visitors on a quick stroll ought to go around the city at this time of day?" He figured it would be fine to humor the young trio and have them give a response that could vary between something perfectly normal and common, or something that only they could come up with on top of his own suggestion that might add a fair bit of variety for the walk.
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Mon May 12, 2014 2:54 am

Sword groaned as he saw the trio he'd encountered earlier today glide down from above. Oh dear Luna help me... its these three again. he though as they hovered above them and went straight into the bickering. "Good afternoon ladies, how strange that we would meet each other twice in one day. Pray tell, did the living changeling attractor over there lure you three in as well?" Sword asked while they walked. Unlike Sugary, Sword couldn't help tense up every now and then as a group of changelings passed them by, band glowing out of reflex until he finally grew irritated enough at himself to take the blasted thing off and hand it to Tetti. "Mind holding onto this for me love? Or teleporting it to the library?" He asked as they continued their stroll. "And that is actually a good idea, and a good way to put this lot to work. You up for it girls?"
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Mon May 12, 2014 7:11 am

Bella unties the ribbon and raspberries at Sweet before grinning at Sugary. "Well, you could always go back to Green Leaf's place," she suggested coyly.
Both her friend facehoof. "Bella, do you know what the word propriety...?" Sweet starts, before she remembers and stops. "No, wait, of course you..."
"Conformity to established standards of good and proper behavior," Bella replies with a mocking grin before Sweet can finish "Booyah."
"What does that even mean?" Pearbloom sighs. "Oy, never mind. Thing is, Mister Market sir, ya already hit the hgihlights of the city with Miz Throne Guard's help. Foundary is a highlight an ya been there."
"Marquess Dune's cafe is another and she gave you a free meal on general principle," Sweet smiled at Sugary. "No, she didn't tell us and we weren't spying on your at all. It's just... she does that for all respectable sorts, such as the sort that might be in the company of a Throne Guard."
"Hard ta know how she keeps the doors open," Pearbloom shrugged.
"Ain't that hard to figure out," Bella rolled her eyes. "You make up for the gratis with volume and most days there's standing room only. You know why... peppers, prickly pear, nogales, and just the right touch of lemon and something special. Can't even get something that fine in Canterlot so the bits flow like water."
Her friends both look at her. "And yet... the manners of a ruffian," Sweet shakes her head. "I'd say, Princess, Mister Market, Mister Symphony, that the best place to visit is the refuge of the Hospitallers."
"Somethin' special for the non-changelings ta see," Pearbloom adds with a grin. "Ain't open to most folks but a coupla princesses are the magic key."
"Well, not quite magic," Thryssa replies, visibly bemused. "But yes, one of the many perks of royal blood is that you go where you wish when you wish with whom you wish."
"Must be way cool to be royal..." Bella says wistfully.
Once again, her friends both look at her. "Um, Bella?"
"DON'T say it," Bella replies seriously pointing a hoof at Pearbloom.
"Wasn't gonna," Pearbloom replies innocently. "Just gonna say that ya might want to tamp it do hoverin' within reach of royalty."
Tetti eyes Bella thoughtfully for a moment before looking at Sweet and Pearbloom. "Would you girls like to go to the Hospitaller refuge with us?"
"That would be delightful!"
"An' awesome!"
"Buckin' awesome, in fact!"
"That'd be great, thanks Princess!" All three reply in harmony.
Tetti laughs. "Just doing my part for the rising generation girls. But would you mind landing and walking with us instead of just hovering like that?"
"Sure," Bella replies swooping in and planting her landing right next to Sword, visibly practiced. Pearbloom alights on the other side of Sword, next to Tetti, and Sweet lands next to Thryssa, whom she gives a short bow to.
"Well this was... unexpected," Thryssa says as she pats the bowing filly on the head. "Not unwelcome--at least not entirely--but very unexpected."
"Better get used to it, big sis," Tetti grins.
"Yes, I know..." Thryssa sighs good-naturedly and they'd proceed through the city towards its northwest outskirts.
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Tue May 13, 2014 12:49 am

Sugary had to ponder why Sword didn't seem eager to meet the trio. "Wonder what they did to him...? Oh well..." Other than that one particular train of thought, he calmly walked side by side to Thryssa, smiling a little a the unexpected though not unwelcome company... That is, until they actually reached the edge of the city. He slowly began to light up his horn to make some light appear around them and cast view upon the ground as it was harder to see in the evening on the bare barrens, and didn't want to be surprised by an unwanted visitor along the way if they were walking to the Hospitalleer. "I'm gonna assume the path to the Hospitalleer is safe enough, but better safe than sorry, right?" For the time being afterwards, he merely read the book he had on Flora and Fauna to try and learn some more about the barrens along the way while relying on peripheral vision, his ears, and his magical senses to keep alert in case anything showed up. Particularly, he watched over the three young Changeling mares to make sure they didn't suddenly go off too far without being held back quickly.
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Sun May 18, 2014 7:50 am

Sword looked to Tetti as the two little ones landed on either side of him. "What exactly is a Hospitaller love? And why would only royalty and their guests have access to it? And as for the relative safety of this travel, we're among two changeling princess's, a highly trained pegasus trained by an alicorn, and some sort of extra-equestrial airship flying unicorn with questionable attire." Sword snorts, squinting as Sugary cast a light spell. "Also, if something is hiding in the darkness, you've just made us an easier target. You should research a nightvision spell for better effect."
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Sun May 18, 2014 6:24 pm

((This post made before Dual with her permission. o3o))

Sugary snorted and grinned slightly as well on how Sword described him as. He did of course, had a retort for him. "I get the feeling you really did need a vacation if you're thinking as if this were work. This is a walk, not a stealth mission. Even a blind stallion trips, so no reason we should either. And if we were spotted by something that wanted to attack us, it's more than likely to be big enough to be noticed or felt from a distance anyway... No, I'm not worried over large predators. I'm worried over smaller creatures that might be dangerous to suddenly stumble upon even in broad daylight because they are hard to spot themselves, like a scorpion or any other small poisonous creature for example... Or is the light just too bright for you? I'm only barely outshining a normal lantern as is."
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Sun May 18, 2014 7:05 pm

"The Hospitaller Redoubt is a sort of... secondary city," Tetti replies. "You notice the big hunk of mountain floating about Scarabi? If the levitating magic ever fails, we'll need a place to take all the survivors and wounded that's far enough away to be isolated from the fall, close enough for wounded to survive, and well-defended enough that we'd be outside the power of any nearby foe or hostile fauna."
"The Redoubt is even more well-defended than the city, and you can see the walls and towers," Thryssa adds. "It's located in a deep highly-stable heavily-reinforced cavern on the other side of this mountain. It's no exaggeration to say that even the Princesses would be hard-pressed to breach it, although if we've made an enemy on the scale of a goddess, they'd be much more thorough than dropping a floating castle on our city."
"Not only royalty and guests have access, Mister Symphony," Sweet says. "Royalty just greases the wheels, so to speak."
"The caretakers don't much like tourists just wanderin' around a hospital." Bella shrugs. "Can't imagine that's much different than normal, seein' as how sleeping does great stuff for ya if you're sick or beat up."
"Since the royalty regularly drops by to spread some love and concern..."
"...caretakers are lots more tolerant," Pearbloom finishes.
Thryssa chuckles at Sugary's initiative and then his reply to Sword. "Mister Market has a point, Sword," she said. "The stings of a scorpion or a disturbed snake won't bother changelings because of our durable chitin, so we don't tend to keep an eye out for them beyond the courtesy of trying not to disturb them. But neither you nor Sugary are armored--you for your own reasons, he because I understand that he gave Ally his armor for study."
"Besides, love... it's not that bright, is it?" Tetti inquires cheerfully as they come within sight of the gate leading out.
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Tue May 20, 2014 6:37 am

Sword rolls his eyes as they approach the Hospitaller. "If you want to see the bugs in this desert, you'd best be emitting UV light from that horn, otherwise you ain't gonna see a thing. And you'll hear the snake before you see it." Sword playfully bumps Tetti with his hoof. "Maybe for you ponies who gallivant  about in the daylight. To me its unnaturally bright. Although that light is likely to draw said nasty wildlife to us." He states with a slightly smug look on his face before returning to the more appropriate topic at hand. "Yeah, who's bright idea was it to build a city under a giant floating mountain anyways? I'd like to meet the pony who had such.... interesting ideas."
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