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 Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)

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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Thu Nov 05, 2015 1:05 am

"Well, yes, he was a very handsome stallion even in his old age," Thryssa says. "Although what I said was that he enjoyed doing what all crown princes do, and pretend to be just a handsome stallion seated next to the queen while being her partner and equal behind the scenes. He enjoyed the grand deception more than most of them do, although one of the distinctive qualities of the stallions that the queens end up choosing as their mate is that they take active pleasure in the mask they wear in public. If you think it's troublesome dealing with my mask, you should see the one my father wears." She chuckles as they go along, drawing nearer to the throne room from what Sugary would remember from walking this way before. "Pure empty-headed handsome face smiling in a thoroughly vacant way while Mother does all the ruling and the duties of the throne. Then the moment the door closes, it's Mother and Father actively discussing every possible matter of state and ruling, like the two halves of a whole they actually are. It's not as if anyone really thinks the mask is genuine--as far as I know, not a single person is fooled by it--but there are certain prescribed and traditional ways to play the game and everyone cheerfully takes part in the charade, if only because it's assumed the shape of a shared joke that makes everyone smile no matter how many times they've heard it."
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Thu Nov 05, 2015 4:39 pm

While not the topic of conversation he expected, Sugary was pleased to learn there was a catch as to what Thryssa was saying regarding the Queen and her mate. "Ah, so there is more to it than just being a pretty face of a stallion..." He though about the implications in general, and though he did understand the importance of having someone to confide everything to who was meant to always be there for you, he figured he'd poke her about it a little bit.

He adjusted his posture, started to walk with more poised and rapid little fine steps by her side, shook his long mane back, and looked to her as he wiggled his eyebrows. "Does that mean I more than qualify to be King then?" It was a bold statement, partially for not being married yet, mostly because he was more rugged than handsome, but more than anything he thought to harmlessly humor her once more before meeting with the Queen.
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Mon Nov 09, 2015 10:34 pm

"Yes Mister Market, you are a very pretty stallion." Thryssa assures him with a carefully straight face. "Not quite so pretty as an inexplicably fabulous stallion my little sister mentioned once, of course, but to be fair to you, very few stallions are so pretty that they look like mares."
"Your mileage may vary, Lady Marshall," one of the male door guards comments innocently.
"It's a little interesting judging a stallion's prettiness..." a female one pipes up.
"...or a mare's handsomeness," the male says.
A quick flash of viridian later and their genders are reversed. "When one can be the other at whim," they conclude cheerfully.
"..." Thryssa stares at the two of them. "...never, ever, ever, ever, ever do that again..."
The pair turn back to their former genders. "Yessir...."
"...milady Marshal, ma'am."
The two of them then push open the doors for a thoroughly squicked-looking Thryssa and she walks through, her gait stiff and automatic as they enter the throne room, where only Queen Chrysalis can be seen at the moment. She's engaged in talking seriously with an elderly, very slightly plump changeling mare dressed in so much finery that it looks tacky, tasteless, and completely ridiculous. The mare doesn't even twitch an ear at Thryssa's entry but in the breath between one sentence at the next, she's turned her head around to display a mildly pretty face pinched with disapproval.
"Is that he?" she asks in a very lightly nasal voice.
Behind her, Queen Chrysalis heaves a visible and audible sigh. "Yes Camri, that is one Sugary Market, my eldest's daughter's most promising prospect for an executive officer."
"He drop-kicked my granddaughter, twice."
"Your granddaughter has never been particularly smart about what fights she picks," Thryssa said.
Camri sighed. "The admixture of blood does indeed have unfortunate consequences. At the same..."
"At the same time, you have business with your queen and you're wasting her time paying attention to a guest instead of discussing relevant and important matters," Chrysalis said.
Camri's face got an even more sour look before she turns back to Chrysais and bows. "I apologize, Your Highness."
"No you don't," Chrysalis says with a touch of a wry smile. "But I don't expect you to. Now, what further do you have to add about the matter at hoof?"
"Nothing at the moment, Your Majesty," Camri says, glancing over her shoulder at Sugary.
"Then I consider the matter closed, permanently," Chrysalis says. "Now if you'll please leave, I apparently have a daughter and her beau to talk to."
Camri gagged. "What?"
Chrysalis points her hoof at the doors. "Please leave so I can attend to my daughter and a guest."
"Did you call him her 'beau'?"
"Shall I ask the guards to help you find the door?"
"Your..."
"Shall I ask the guards to help you out of the door with a swift kick to the flanks?"
Camri glowers at her although if Sugary is watching closely enough, he can see that the two mares' eyes are mirthful, as if this is a kind of joke between them. "No, I shall leave." And she turns and marches herself out of the throne room without even looking at Sugary again.
"Irrational nobility is the spice of life," Chrysalis says when the mare has completely exited. "Eldest daughter, Mister Market, what may I do for you?"
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Tue Nov 10, 2015 8:17 pm

"What an odd pair..." Sugary was chuckling to himself between Thryssa's compliment and the pair of guards by the main entrance to the throne room. Though he had little to say to them except for a 'thank you', he did begin to wonder what sort of boundaries there were to changeling transformations. "Surely a small dragon isn't the full limit... But that's a study for another time." Shortly after entering the throne room though, he felt, heard, and saw a rather nauseating mare that made his expression cringe a bit from a distance. "Oh, good grief, no..."

He was uncertain at first, but then he recognized the mare a little bit the more he saw her features. Plump she may be, but she seemed to have the same condescending stare in her eyes as her grand-daughter. Few times did he feel grateful that an apple fell far from the tree when it came to Belladonna at least.

For the most part, he choose not to make eye contact with the passing mare, and even waited patiently for the door to close behind them. Then and only then, would he sigh and approach the Queen with a strained smile and a light bow. "Well, I'd say making that other guest leave was a good start... Good afternoon, Queen Chrysalis." He chuckled a bit and then continued as he realized Thryssa said nothing yet, though a tad unprepared. "... Oh! Um, yes, we did come for a permit at least. We thought to try and make contact with the Sand Drakes... As in, us specifically. Will you allow this?" Two things that the Queen might notice, is that he seemed to have a bit of a pleading look to his gaze towards her, for Thryssa's sake; The other being the fact he was standing very close to Thryssa, almost brushing with her, and likely further aiding her claim about him being a 'beau'.
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Sun Nov 15, 2015 7:42 pm

"Good afternoon Sugary Market," Chrysalis says to him with a smile as she relaxes on her throne. "And I fear you were just in time to watch a sort of prearranged drama, a little bit of theater between I and Camri du Luc. I would never expel a noble from my throne room unless they had done some manner of grievous injury or offense, though it is an understanding between I and Camri that her family is the least liked but the most oft heeded. While some of their scions are brats and one is a clever young thing brimming over with promise, those who are old in their line are very wise and oft see things that no one else does. So I dislike her and make a show of it, but outright hostility and puerile threats are theater. She dislikes me and makes a show of it, but puerile antics on her part are likewise theater." She smiles to Market. "And she's grateful to you for kicking her granddaughter's plot, although she would never admit it. The distress at you being close to the heir to the throne, however, was completely real."
She listens as Market outlines their purpose in coming, her ears perking and rotating towards him with intense and focused interest. "You wish to make contact with the sand drakes? For what cause?"
There is something about the tone of her voice, some lilt or accent or subtle shift that tells Sugary that Chrysalis knows exactly what's going on, and Thryssa's cheeks burn as she bows her head to her mother. "Maredusa told you."
Chrysalis gives her daughter a very level look. "Thryssa, what is my position in this kingdom?"
"Queen."
"And what does the queen do?"
"Sees to the welfare of her people and all the matters of state."
"And what is a queen who is not intimately aware of all matters of state, all groups in her borders, all peoples under her watch, and all the delicacies of their sensibilities?"
Thryssa is just barely above a mutter at this point. "...irresponsible..."
Chrysalis smiles slightly. "And am I an irresponsible queen?"
"No, ma'am."
Chrysalis gets off her throne and steps over to pat Thryssa on the head in a motherly fashion. "Your love for me is appreciated, Thryssa, and your attempts to spare me the obligation to spar with their matriarch to prove my worthiness to speak as an equal is quite endearing. But there is precious little I do not know. You'll learn, when this throne is yours and you have a dutiful eldest daughter who's trying to keep you safe."
"...you're not angry?" Thryssa raises her head hopefully.
Chrysalis laughs lightly. "My dear, dear eldest daughter... I'm not angry at you, I'm touched by your concern. But do you really think I ascended the throne just because I was the eldest?"
Thryssa blinks. "Um... yes?"
Chrysalis laughs again and turns to lightly pat Sugary on the shoulder before she returns to her throne and lies down. "Coincidence goes an awful long ways to ensure that the most fit princess finds her way onto this throne, Thryssa," she says. "I floored the poor thing ten seconds into the sparring. It was almost cruel of the sand drakes to pit a young drakess who'd just taken over the matriarchy after her mother passed against a mature changeling queen with ample sparring experience, so I ended it quickly and with as little pain as possible."
Thryssa deflates. "Oh. So why don't we...?"
Chrysalis' expression became dark. "I told them that if they wanted us to be equals with good relations, I expected a formal apology for using me to abuse some poor girl still grieving for her mother. I'm still waiting."
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Mon Nov 16, 2015 12:18 am

Sugary had mixed feelings about theatricts in politics, but then again Changelings seemed to have a keen sense for playing with deceit in some form or other. He hoped at least his relationship with the others always remained genuine. A simple slow nod was all he had to give for the explanation. "Gonna be tricky picking up on all the little shows... I'm surrounded by pros!"

He also kept a tight lip while Chrysalis and Thryssa discussed royal and personal matters, but just as the Queen had sharp ears for him, his ears kept sharp for them. And while he was relieved to see that their relationship as mother and daughter was still sane, as well as begin to understand what he thought of as a lesson to what it means to be on top, he thought there might still be merit to Thryssa having brought the matter of the sand drakes up in the first place. He raised his hoof like a good colt scout. "Pardon... Perhaps we should go anyway and check to see if they intend to apologize at all? If the point of all this is to establish better relations, is there any point to keep waiting on them?" He then lowered his hoof, but continued as he looked to both mares, noticing Thryssa seemingly wanting to get something important done. "Besides, would this be much different than wanting to make good relations with Equestria? Why not let Princess Thryssa handle this task then?" He did worry at the back of his mind that he might be overstepping a bit, but he felt it wasn't the wrong thing to do either.
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Fri Nov 27, 2015 8:59 am

Chrysalis taps her chin thoughtfully with a hoof. "Perhaps you should go check anyway," she says after a moment. "It certainly can't hurt to ask and if they do anything untoward, giving each of their elders a thrashing to promote better cross-cultural understanding can't go amiss."
"Cross-cultural understanding?" Thryssa quirks a eyebrow.
"Quite," Chrysalis smiles pleasantly. "Our culture understands that they are pigheaded traditionalists who need to be dealt with by a combination of swift kicks to the plot and traditional diplomacy. Their culture understands that the changeling queen operates at a level so far above their own that I might as well be Celestia herself burning ants with a magnifying lens."
"I'm pretty sure Princess Celestia isn't prone to being a psychopath," Thryssa says dryly.
"I'm certain she's not." Chrysalis arches a brow when Sugary makes his final suggestion about the mission. "Sugary Market, I think you're too old to be raising a hoof when you want to ask a question. Now, it was my intention to send Thryssa to eat several servings of crow and approach the sand drakes on my behalf and in my name, and with the caveat that I'm not terribly concerned if you were to inadvertently beat them to a bleeding pulp. From there, a combination of good advice and introduction from Maredusa should make the affair somewhat more efficient and manageable."
"If not?"
"Beat them until they're cooperative. But only when asked by your right-hoof stallion." Chrysalis smiles warmly to Sugary. "That, my dear gallant Tantalus, is where you come in."
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Sat Nov 28, 2015 2:58 pm

Sugary had mixed feelings about the plan, very mixed feelings, but the mares did look very willing to follow through so he just took a light breath and sighed while saluting over his chest. "... Right... We ask nicely and wait for results, and scold them for rudeness... Anything else we should keep in mind aside from me acting as a supporting neutral entity, or will Madam Maredusa explain from that point? Also, when do we leave?" He doubted things would go too smoothly, but a mission was a mission. He was reasonably concerned that any rabblerousers were hardly small to deal with though, even with magic. "I might be recovering, but taking on an angry senate of giants might be a bit of a stretch...
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Fri Dec 04, 2015 3:27 am

"Maredusa will explain things," Chrysalis says. "She predates our presence in the Barrens by roughly two hundred years and knows the sand drakes quite well. If anyone is to fully understand them, it would definitely be her."
"And as an additional benefit, you won't need to walk anywhere Sugary," Thryssa says entirely straight-faced. "She'll probably just carry you from place to place wrapped in her coils and tell any drake that asks that she's saving you for later."
Chrysalis looks oddly at her daughter for a moment before shrugging. "Maredusa always has enjoyed..."
"...anything warm with a pulse..."
Chrysalis clears her throat loudly, although she clearly has to stifle a snicker. "I was going to say, ponies with an especially pleasant disposition. But don't worry, Mister Market, I'm certain she'll just linger around you and be friendly and very hug-y like she currently is. But more importantly, she'll be very helpful and demonstrate in a very clear fashion why I have such fondness for her in my capacity as a queen, as well as the fact that she's a friend."
"Is there anything else you'd like me to do in interacting with them, Mother?"
Chrysalis smiles bit with a touch of grin, with a little bit of fang. "Just be yourself, dear, and I dare say that all will be well. Now, scoot along and meet the sandy dragons."
"Yes Mother." Thryssa bows to her and then smiles and gives a cheerful wave before turning and walks out the door, letting Sugary follow as he may.
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Sat Dec 05, 2015 5:04 pm

Sugary had to keep himself from gulping and scrunching his face at the promise of having a lovely elder Gorgon giving him a ride, and full body hugs while only being able to guess wildly what the others meant about enjoying anything with a pulse. His heart was beating ever so slightly faster. "... I should not be this flustered..." He cleared his own throat and bowed to Chrysalis after she sent them off. "I-I'll be sure to keep that in mind. Farewell, and thank you." As he raised his head, he gazed at the Queen briefly with a warm regard, and then loyally followed her eldest daughter to serve and protect.

Following by Thryssa's side, he whispered rather casually. "Bit sooner to leave than expected, but that all went rather well! Now you can really show your stuff. Shall we pack for the trip?" He had yet to actually see the mare do much aside from giving drills, so he was eager to see her in political matters, though he suspected that might involve a fight... He also looked forward to seeing her show off that strength if hers if it came to it.
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Sat Dec 12, 2015 7:07 pm

Chrysalis gazes back at him with the same warm regard before he turns and follows Thryssa out the door. As they move beyond the guards, Thryssa looks over and slightly down at him with a smile. "It was always fated to go rather well, Sugary," she says. "I may fret about my mother, might worry about disappointing her and not living up to her very high standards, may be nervous about getting it wrong, but it's all because I have a very good mother." She chuckles and turns from him. "Besides, how much harshness do you honestly expect from the queen of a nation of ponies who enjoy a side of sweet tasty love as part of their daily nutritional needs? You can't be too harsh and hard over daily things, you have to save it for when the situation is serious and harshness is needed. It's why generally, so many changelings are pleasant and ponies like Calliope stand out so much."
She chuckles at his question about packing. "I'm sure it's not too far we'd have to travel, Mister Market, but I see the wisdom in packing as if we need to. Shall we stop by your Black Mambo while we're here? I'm sure that even if it's broken down for examination by Ally and his minions, your equipment will remain undisturbed and they'll be more than happy to clear the way for the actual owner and master of the ship to board." She thinks a moment. "Assuming you didn't take your things to Callista du Dune's home and are staying with her along with Masquerade. I admit, somewhat to my shame, that I didn't think to look after your living arrangements."
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Sat Dec 12, 2015 10:04 pm

"Calliope would stand out as is anywhere else I wager..." said he with a bit of disdain as he followed Thryssa out. "But, all things considered, I guess it could be a lot worse. Still..." He then looked to her with a bit of sympathy, moving close to whisper. "Just please remember to not bottle all your troubles in? If you want to conceal something, I can understand, but at least have someone to confide in to vent with." It seemed like the heir needed someone to shoulder some of the emotional burden as far as the stallion could tell.

When the matter of packing backs came along again, he mused thoughtfully, but shook his head. "Appreciated, but there's little in the ship I need right now. Best to leave it as is since I did bring my things over to Lady Callista's place... And come on." he smiled brightly "I've been okay over there so far. I really don't mind any of it. What more could I possibly ask for anyway? I'd appreciate a quick trip there, of course."
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Fri Dec 18, 2015 9:35 am

"Mister Market, I have so many bottled troubles that letting them out would make me a wreck," Thryssa tells him with a gentle and genuine smile. "It's how life is, as an experienced mercenary should know. There are a thousand tiny pains, a million little hurts, a billion unpleasant moments, and they all go into your box because adults don't cry over a stubbed toe or a little slight that really shouldn't mean as much as it does. Eventually, the wounds are covered over with scars and even when those scars fade a little, they're never entirely gone. The scars define, shape, and improve us just as much as our triumphs. You can't tell me that doing it wrong and getting burned a little hasn't made you better, hasn't taught you how to do it right by punishing you for doing it wrong. I'd like to think, Sugary, that I'm a better mare than I would have been if I didn't box up my little pains and hurts, and make them into scars, and let myself be shaped by those scars." She stops a moment and then leans down and kisses him on the tip of the horn. "But I'll try to remember to share some of them with you, take the burden off a little. You've been good to our city since you've come, Sugary, and I won't soon forget that." She turns to look ahead and start walking again, her gaze distant. "It's been centuries since there was a good pony in Scarabi that wasn't a changeling. We've... missed it, I think."

She smiles down at him as they reach the lift. "Of course we'll take a quick trip to Marquess du Dune's home. Maybe we'll see Masquerade there as well; there was a good reason, after all, that I sent her to the Black Mambo to deal with you and listened when she came back telling me that you were a good and innocent pony in need of our help. I hesitated for far too long, Sugary, far more than any changeling should. Do you want to know what's at the root of why my mother was disappointed in me, Mister Market? It's because pegasi fly, earth ponies grow, unicorns do magic, and changelings protect. Failing to protect and serve is failing to be a changeling, just like chopping off your own horn would be antithetical to who and what you are as a unicorn. But it's like a muscle that's not been exercised in a very long time: you forget how to do it right and forget that it's important to exercise it. The first thing that should have happened was that the scouts should have been sent to see what you were and what your purpose was, and then you should have immediately been embraced, sheltered, fed, healed, and helped. That is what a proper changeling ought to have done, and I failed to do it." As the lift drifts slowly to the ground, she steps closer to him and very lightly lays a leg over his shoulders in a friendly half-embrace, letting him feel the pleasant firm cool of her barrel against his as they ride down. Once there, she lets him go and starts towards Callista's manor. "Off we go then, Sugary Market."
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Sat Dec 19, 2015 2:24 am

It filled Sugary with determination once more in being reminded of the significance of one such as him staying in Scarabi, but that was just part of the motivation he felt; What really helped was who was telling him so. If Thryssa believed so, he'd believe in her in turn as to its value. He had his mind elsewhere of course, when he got the kiss. "My stay here is certainly been a fruitful one so far... And Princess, scars are harsh reminders to do better, yes. But I'm glad you're willing to share the burden, because..." He looked to her, and winked. "... Isn't so much nicer when you've got some ointment to soothe the wounds sooner? Less pain, same lessons, no?" He chuckled and looked afar as well.

When Thryssa hugged him, that was when he once again showed more affection to her, and just before they had reached the ground, he snuck a kiss to the side of her lips, smiling serenely and reassuringly afterwards. "Thryssa... I know. You don't need to keep saying it, you've been doing everything lately to show me instead. I'm very grateful." From there, they'd return to Callista's, and once they got there, he'd knock on the door eagerly and hope for a fine reception. "Hey, we're back again!"
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Wed Dec 23, 2015 7:02 pm

The door is opened practically the second that Sugary touches it with his hoof and inside the door, instead of the butler that has greeted him before, is Masquerade with Callista right behind her, both looking very surprised to see Sugary and Princess Thryssa.
"Oh!" Masquerade says, her eyes wide, before she smiles and--there's no better word for it--glomps Sugary. "Hello Sugary! Haven't seen you for a bit, how're you?"
"Mask?" Callista pokes her in the flank.
"Hush, glomping candy pony," Masquerade replies rather serenely.
"Mask." Callista pokes her in the other flank.
"But, candy pony!"
"Mask, royalty, hugging the candy pony before you did, you're trapping her leg." And indeed, Thryssa's leg has been caught in the glomp and the princess is looking somewhere between surprised and amused.
"Hmm?" Masquerade looks around Sugary to see the aforementioned leg. "...uh-oh..."
"Why hello Masquerade!" Thryssa grins with all teeth and fangs. "How are you doing today, soldier?"
Masquerade's pupils shrink in a comical fashion. "Eep."
"At the moment, this is my candy pony, otherwise known as Sugary Market," Thryssa tells her. "Also, that is my leg and I'd like it back, please, thank you."
Masquerade lets Sugary and the leg go and backs up into Callista, who's looking like she's struggling not to giggle at her marefriend's discomfort. "S...sorry!"
"Think nothing of it," Thryssa smiles genuinely. "I take it that the two of you were going out just now?"
"Not quite, Your Highness," Callista says. "Mask was going to the shops and I was following her to the door. So I'd be happy to host Your Highness in my home."
"We shan't be long, Marquess," Thryssa pats the distressed-looking Masquerade lightly. "Mister Market is accompanying me on a diplomatic function and we thought it best that we pack some of his things along. As you have hosted him, his things are in your keeping."
"A... diplomatic function." Callista blinks. "I hesitate to point this out, Princess, but I think it may be physically impossible to dropkick ponies or any other creatures to the moon."
Thryssa blushes. "I'll remind you, Callista, that was only one time and he was a... um..."
"A sod?" Masquerade suggested.
"Yes, that," Thryssa agrees. "And he was quite a..."
"Jammy."
"Yes, jammy sod that I didn't decide to go for distance." She stops and thinks. "What is a sod and what makes it jammy?"
"Trottingham slang for 'bastard' and 'lucky' respectively, Princess Thryssa," Callista says.
"Ah." Thryssa nods. "Thank you, Callista. So then, we'll get out of Masquerade's way and she can go get you entertainment."
Both mares blush very vividly and don't say anything, although the silence is confirmation enough. Thryssa grins at them teasingly and steps aside so a still-blushing Masquerade can scoot passed and disappear towards the city at a change of pace. Thryssa turns her attention back to Callista, who bows and steps aside, gesturing inside. "Your things are in your room, Sugary," she tells him.
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Fri Dec 25, 2015 12:48 am

Sugary was happy to see the two hosts, and despite his little chuckle fit at the scenario before him, he most certainly greeted Masquerade with a nuzzling as she hugged him and Thryssa's arm. As the dutiful mare passed them by, he spoke softly to her as she made her way. "Have fun, I'll do my best for Thryssa in your place, okay?"

As Thryssa let go of him, he'd first give a greeting hug to Callista. "Thank you, we'll be back as soon as we can, hopefully with good news. I'll be back out quick by the way." He'd leave the mares be for now, and hurry along to his room to gather a few things, namely whatever medicine he had, some books, and a sample of his personal belongings in case he needed them as he did not have his regular combat gear with him.

When he got back down, he didn't seem to be carrying extra, but a pat on the Inventory cleared that up. "Got it! Time to meet Madam Maredusa again, right?"
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Mon Dec 28, 2015 8:05 am

Callista hugs him back with real enthusiasm then smiles. "I'm sure you'll be successful, Sugary, Princess. So what's the object of this exercise in diplomacy?"
"The sand drakes, with the help of Maredusa."
Callista blinks and then seems to get pale. "You are going to approach the sand drakes?"
Thryssa's eyes narrow at her as Sugary gets out of earshot. By the time he returns, Callista is grinning at an annoyed-looking Thryssa, who quickly smothers her annoyance behind a smile. "I'm pleased to hear that you have whatever you happen to have, which appears to always fit inside your inventory spell."
"Inventory spell?" Callista asks.
"It's some manner of complex runic magic that lets him store impossible amounts of items on his person without having to really carry it," Thryssa says. "Something I need to get Tetti to look at closely because it looks interesting and useful."
"Hmm..." Callista taps her chin with a hoof. "It would certainly help provisioning for the army."
"My thoughts exactly, but something for another time." Thryssa smiles. "Until we meet again, Marquess."
"Of course, Princess." Callista bows to her and smiles to Sugary. "Good luck."
"In my experience, there's no such thing as luck." Thryssa winks and turns from the door of the mansion to head back into the city with Sugary. "Yes, it's time to meet Maredusa again although I suspect she'll meet us, probably by seizing you in her coils and hugging you. It seems to be her favorite way of saying hello."
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Tue Dec 29, 2015 8:51 pm

Sugary would give Callista a grateful smile and a nod on the way out, and would follow Thryssa out of the manor. Already, he looked left to right in the effort to spot the Gorgon ahead of time for a change. "You make it sound so tempting to just close my eyes and let it happen... As for magic Inventories helping with the troops...? Well, be prepared to know manufacturing it like mine takes finesse, time, and risks, but I owe one of my Professors for it. Mass production is possible, but it must be done right from beginning to end, or the enchantment undoes itself entirely in an outward force and you have to start all over... unless you prefer to work without the 'safety net' and have it risk exploding on you instead at any moment. I believe I mentioned of its harmful quirks before."
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Sun Jan 10, 2016 8:12 am

"Closing your eyes and letting it happen would certainly be better than what you're trying to do," Thryssa chuckles. "Something you really must keep in mind, Sugary, is that Maredusa is a predator. She's kindly and snuggly and very relaxed about life, but she's over a thousand years old. You don't live in a vast barren land and thrive unless you're so high above your nearest competition on the food chain that you reign unchallenged." Thryssa lightly bumps his barrel with hers, affectionately. "What I'm trying to say is, Maredusa has lived for centuries relying on being invisible and silent so that she can always choose the moment to strike, waiting for a weakness without fear of discovery until she can exploit that weakness. Changelings can only 'see' her because no sapient creature lacks emotion, and most dumb animals have emotion too, and emotional energy is part of our diet. You know that you have a sweet taste, as far as emotional energy goes, and so it's easy to notice you; Maredusa 'tastes' like..." Thryssa stops talking and thinks for several moments. "Well, it's hard to describe her 'taste' because she's very exotic. I guess the best analogy would be extremely high-quality spiced rum, the kind that costs a few thousand bits a bottle."

Thryssa chuckles and nods to what Sugary says about his Inventory. "Yes, I remember the drawbacks. And if we learned how to duplicate it, we'd certainly take our time and devise a way to set up several parallel production runs so that it can be done slowly and with care while still producing large numbers in a relatively short period of time. It's very much the process described by one Adam Smith in terms of how to manufacture pins with a large number of unskilled people: each person is trained to do precisely one simple task as part of the process and then passes it to the next person trained to do another simple task, until the complex product is completely built by a series of people who only do one simple task each. As you can tell," she says, gesturing to the rivers of changelings flowing through Scarabi "we have lots and lots of people to make it work and rather enjoy just sitting around and doing things together."
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Sun Jan 10, 2016 9:15 am

"Mm... Yes, I suppose that's one way to make an assembly line. Though I can't but feel concern over so many working on the same thing at once since it requires dedicated magical focus. Guess I'll just have to see it for myself some day, but I do remain optimistic." Sugary then smirked, actually following Thryssa's advice, and almost completely shutting his eyes. "... As for the Madam, I am a Merc. Been one for over 15 years. Figured it's good practice if I can get the drop on her instead... If I can't see or hear her, I'll just have to feel her coming..." He sounded very relaxed, willing to try a different approach to glomp Maredusa first. He just needed all out on his instincts as he waited for another body to come closer...
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Fri Jan 15, 2016 9:51 am

Thryssa laughs softly at Sugary. "You're quite something else, Sugary," she tells him affectionately. "You're told that it can't be done and you try to do it anyway. There's a reason we fished you out of your situation of starvation and poverty: you have the determination to be successful at whatever you like." She looks forward and walks for a minute before chuckling. "However, I fear you're doomed to fail this time."
Sugary would be able to feel the crowd around him getting denser and denser, slowing down and seeming to bunch together. Their reaction seems to be the same as when he's walking around them and they draw near to him to enjoy a brief taste of his sweet emotional radiance. Given that Thryssa has just gotten done explaining that Maredusa has a very exotic taste to her, like exceptionally fine and expensive spiced rum, it wouldn't be difficult for him to form a correct conclusion given the facts in evidence. He and Thryssa would continue wading through the thickening mass until Sugary would be able to feel that the changelings pressing near ahead of him have begun to shift like water being pushed aside by an oncoming boat and quickly would be able to somehow hear the almost soothing hissing of fine scales running over cobblestones getting closer and closer. It would seem that on this occasion, Maredusa has abandoned stealth and is happily slithering through the crowds, making no attempt to hide her presence and ambush him.
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Fri Jan 15, 2016 6:53 pm

Sugary couldn't just give up, even if Thryssa had her doubts. It was soothing to feel the locals moving nearby with his eyes mostly closed, giving him a chance to feel more of their warmth and proximity in a different and oddly comforting way. But alas, Maredusa wasn't trying to sneak up on them as he heard and barely saw her, which made his efforts pointless... Mostly pointless...

He made a commitment! And he was gonna follow it through! He looked to Thryssa with a smile, and as they moved closer to Maredusa, he hopped right towards the Gorgon for a soft glomp and nuzzling. He was gonna get his chance one way or another. "Think fast!"
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Tue Jan 19, 2016 3:47 am

Maredusa, as it turns out, thinks as fast as a fed and placid snake on a warm sunny rock, because Sugary has successfully glomped her by the time she gets around to looking in his general direction. She blinks and looks down at the stallion clinging to her like a soft and cream-colored limpet, and then  tentatively runs her hooves over his barrel. "I'm... I'm flattered, Ssugary, but I'm... um... not looking for a sspecial ssomepony right now. Or a wife. Or husband. Or courtesan. Or hooker. Or..."
"I think he gets the idea, Lady Maredusa," Thryssa says, clearly working as hard as she can not to laugh at the sight of Sugary glomping the snake-pony mare, or the sight of said snake-pony mare looking completely lost about how to handle the situation.
"Well, thiss iss the first time I've been glomped by a sstallion who didn't want me to warm hiss bed," Maredusa said with dead seriousness. "Conssidering my age, that'ss quite an impresssive sstreak that the Ssugary one broke."
"How many mares though?"
Maredusa grins in a very fangy way. "A mare hass to have ssome ssecretss," she says with a wink as she hugs Sugary firmly and lightly takes the tip of his hat in her front teeth and lifts it off his head. "I take it that your mother didn't kill you where you sstood?"
"Mostly she was disappointed," Thryssa admitted, seeming to be completely unconcerned that every changeling around them can listen in. Interestingly, none of them stop and listen as if the heir to the throne casually discussing her mother being disappointed in her is of no real interest to them.
"Ass sshe sshould have been," Maredusa says firmly as she lets Sugary down and leans down to place his hat atop his head again. "If the both of you are prepared, we will now go to the ssand drakess."
"I'm prepared," Thryssa says.
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Tue Jan 19, 2016 7:15 am

"As am I!" said Sugary full of spirit with a light scrunch and blush on his face given how Maredusa reacted at first, but he'd also keep his thoughts about supple snake-skin to himself. "And for the record, no, I'm not trying to elope with you or anything, Madam..." He then smiled more. "That said, despite Princess Thryssa's claim, the talk did end up with us going with you. We're ready as can be....." He then, more purposely, looked at the Gorgon's body all over. "Um... So, are you actually give us a ride or was that just a joke?" Walking or not, he was ready to move as needed, even if that meant moving onto the back of a Gorgon.
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Fri Jan 22, 2016 10:20 am

"Ssugary, you are free to ride me as long and ass vigoroussly ass you want," Maredusa tells him with an absolutely straight face. She then gives him a wide fanged grin and pats his barrel lightly. "Ssorry, I'm jusst teasing you, Misster Market. If you'd like to resst yoursself on my coilss and hitch a ride to where we're going, feel free. I can literally sswim through sstone; there iss no sstallion heavy enough that I'd even notice hiss weight ass I sslither."
If Sugary decides to take her offer, she places him on a midpoint of her coils between her pony torso and her snake tail and slithers through the streets slowly beside Thryssa, not moving the part that he's lounging on at all and barely seemingly to notice that he's even there. Despite the fact that her serpent part looks like it's made of some kind of living stone, he'd find that her scales are supple and very comfortable, almost soft to the touch despite how durable and hard they probably are, and he'd be able to feel very powerful muscle rippling rythmically under the surface as he lays there and is conveyed through the streets and to the massive gates that lead out onto the sand.
Neither Thryssa nor Maredusa break stride as they approach the gates, the immense and thick constructs parting smoothly before them as they approach and the immensity of the stark and barren deserts that extend in every direction from Scarabi fill the horizon. If Sugary looks up, he can see Thryssa light her horn and light constructs form around her hooves, distributing her weight easily and letting her walk through the sand smoothly without sinking into it. Maredusa clearly needs no such help; if Sugary looks back as they go, he'd see that one of her supernatural gifts appears to be that she can glide over sand so smoothly and lightly that she leaves no trace whatsoever.
"I wish I could understand Tetti's explanation of how you're able to do that, milady," Thryssa comments after a few minutes.
"Ssand iss sstone, jusst pulverized into minisscule grainss that sseem almosst liquid in how it flowss," Maredusa replies, seeming to find traveling over the sand relaxing. "I pass through and over and under sstone sso ssmothly that there'ss no trace of my passage, and to sswim through it takess no sspecial effort." She turns to look at Sugary and beams at him. "It'ss how I'm alwayss able to ssneak up on you and ssnatch you for a hug whenout you noticing me, Ssugary: I make no ssound over cobblesstone sstreets and can ssubmerge mysself in them partially sso I cannot be eassily sseen and certainly not ssmelled."
"It's hard to imagine a greater tragedy than the fact that you and Mara are the last of your kind left," Thryssa says sadly.
Maredusa shrugs. "That will lasst until Mara findss love and hass many babiess, and until I once again do the ssame. We live long, goddaughter, and very nearly require the intervention of a goddesss to kill. Celesstia losst her ressolve to kill long ago, Luna alwayss had a ssoft sspot for my people, Chidinida regardss me as a deeply loved aunt and issn't really a goddesss anyway, your mother hass practically adopted me ass a fifth ssisster, and Twilight Ssparkle iss an adorkable nerd that radiatess harmlesss all over the place. Illnesss doessn't take hold, age touchess uss so gently it'ss invisible, and rumorss of the fate of that cruel whore of a thoussand yearss passt deterss the violent and murdererss. Ass to other predatorss, well..." Even though she's now turned her attention back forward, Sugary would practically be able to feel the icy chill of her next words. "...I've taught them ssome very terrifying lesssonss."
"Rumors, are they?" Thryssa smiles knowingly.
Maredusa gives her a shrewd and appraising look. "I don't very extremely hard to hide it, you know."
"Because you know that the truth is harder to believe." Thryssa smiles.
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