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 Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)

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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Tue May 20, 2014 8:44 am

Sugary only paid half attention as he already heard enough about the Hospitaller from Masquerade, but was somewhat grateful of the understanding behind his use of light by Thryssa. He was not nearly so grateful of Sword's response and smug visage however, and in fact snorted lightly in mild annoyance.

He closed the book he was reading, put it back into his inventory, and soon after made some spell modifications on the spot along the way as he once again replied to Sword, with a slightly bitter tone. "Forgive me for going with my basic thoughts that I've shared while traveling with others time and time again instead of being meticulous about every little detail. Unfortunately, however, I do not know a UV light emitting spell, hence why I went with my common sense with my use of magic. So, instead, allow me to do something much more thorough to make up for it and the light and our security and safety in this walk towards a familiar location where the injured and ill must be taken to, or perhaps even had to go there by themselves for all I know..."

He converted the light he was emitting from his horn into what resembled more a shower of sparkles trailing down his body for a moment and onto the ground, remaining there as a carpet of sorts that followed them. As it was, it would appear from a distance as if natural moonlight were shining on a bit of wet sand, where as up close it was just barely bright enough to allow to see the features of the ground and immediate path they were walking upon. Along with that spell, he asserted the Scan spell that he used frequently enough to the point of almost being passive and second nature to detect or feel nearby elements to instead focus it upon the ground to essentially see what could be beneath it that he might already be able to see with his own eyes if it was just big enough and alive enough for that matter to be worth detecting. No one else would really see what he saw along with him though unless they linked with his spell or copied it on the spot. "Ah, by the way, if something were to come out, would you like me to color code it so that everyone can recognize it as a threat or not a threat? And if any large creatures come to attack us, don't worry, I'll make sure to cast enough spells to send it to the afterlife and keep your feathers intact so that you'll be fit as a fiddle to cast spells on the way back for us instead..." It was obvious that the more he spoke, the more bitter he got. However, there was more to it than it seemed under the surface. Perhaps Sword might or might not be able to tell, but the emotivores that were the Changelings, especially and likely Thryssa who was the closest to him, would likely be able to tell that the outburst had only partially to do with Sword, and more with older buried feelings and memories that he had brought out instead with his comment.

He was very quiet for a moment as he kept walking, looking down at the improvised lighting spell he used in thought before he spoke once more. "... Sorry... You didn't deserve that... I'm... a little touchy on what others expect me to know of magic in general... That said, I'd appreciate it if you didn't assume that I were unable to tell the difference between a creature somewhat hidden in plain sight and soil. Attention to detail is something I learned long ago and had to be reminded of it one way or another... Also, unless you're familiar with the creatures in this territory, which I know I'm not, perhaps you should let the Princesses tell us if me lighting the way was a bad idea so close to their populated and secured areas... which neither of them has voiced so far..."


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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Wed May 21, 2014 4:42 pm

Thryssa drapes a leg around Sugary and noses at him. "Calm down, Sugary... I'm certain Sword didn't mean to question your intelligence or ability." She glances at Tetti. "Or is your coltfriend on the blunt side?"
Tetti visibly thinks about this. "Mmm... I prefer to think of him a brutally honest about what he thinks." She pecks Sword's cheek. "Fair enough, handsome?"
"He and Bella would get along famously," Sweet comments, earning a friendly slug from the aforementioned changeling.
Thryssa glances at Belladonna with amusement. "Indeed?"
"Eeyup," Pearbloom agrees. "She don't know when to pipe down."
Bella slugs Pearbloom too. "It's not the same thing as being brutally honest about what I think," she grouses. "The world just needs more opinions like mine. Makes everypony better off."
"Um..." Bella gives her a deathglare and Sweet sighs. "OK, fine, makes everypony better off."
Bella grins smugly. "Hah!"
Tetti smirks at the trio before nosing Sword, the gates opening before them to reveal desert but one with a definite path laid down in the sand using what are most likely boulders that have been buried deeply so shifting sands can't move them. "Well Sword, you might notice the lack of really defensible positions around here... or livable ones, for that matter. It may not be the best decision, but you're about nine hundred years too late to argue with the mare that made it. We stay here and continue to build, however, because there's really no other choice unless we decide to carve apart an entire mountain to create enough living space for everyone--and the stone of this mountain is supernaturally strong. I suspect its supernatural nature is why whatever experiment created the levitating part worked out so amazingly well and keeps running like it'll never stop."
Thryssa withdraws one-leg hug from Sugary but noses him again. "Mister Symphony may not appreciate your helpfulness, Sugary, but I think I do. Please do highlight any dangers that your magic detects, if only because my sister squees in the most adorable fashion if she sees one of the rarer species."
"She's not the only one," Bella grins at Sweet. Both mares visibly blush in response to the teasing comments and both have largely the same reaction: a swift kick of their respective tormentors. And both tormentors respond with nearly identical toothy grins.
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Thu May 29, 2014 5:27 pm

Sword frowned slightly as they walked. Seems I touched a nerve... "Forgiven, Sugary. I was a mite more smug there than I should have been. And yes Thryssa, you have me pegged correctly, although I do prefer Tetti's description. Only way of communication I know really." Listening to the little one above him, he withheld a chuckle. "Hehehe, I'm sure the world will spin just fine Bella."

Nosing back, Sword sighed at the sight of yet more sand dunes and buried boulders. "Well darn. Although I still would like to know what was going through their head when they saw a hunk of floating rock and decided "Yeah, this will make a good spot for a city." Bloody nuts if you ask me...." Hearing that Tetti would squee if they ran into a rare species provoked a laughing snort from him. "Now that I'd like to see. If you can, highlight more than one. The more squees the better."
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Thu May 29, 2014 7:53 pm

Sugary was initially reluctant at first, but eventually smiled at Thryssa's affections, actually nosing her in return this time as gratitude, though he felt as though he was being treated a little too well after snapping seemingly unexpectedly regardless. He also chuckled a little bit at how the trio of mares accompanying them were throwing little quips at one another, and then Sword's apology helped him ease up even further for which he was also grateful.

"Thank you... Still, I should probably explain a bit... There is a downside to being a multi-tasker such as myself. I can do well in many scenarios, but I've had the dis-pleasure of working with and for others that expected me to be a miracle-worker or some sort of omnipotent servant. These were the smug sort that would command as if we mercenaries were slaves for hire instead... Can you believe some of them had the balls to withhold pay even after so much work had been done for them just because me and others like me didn't perform perfectly? Let me repeat, perfectly. We can guarantee results, but there's always the chance of variables that get in the way once in a while, so something might not go as planned along the way. So some of these would bring up any little detail to not pay on top of having made us do all sorts of things to their specifications despite having actually gotten their initially desired results. And they would do so in smug tones more often than not, so you can see why that irks me after so long, and is one of the reasons I became a little more picky of what jobs to take... Fortunately, they weren't too many to deal with, but they were just so damn ungrateful... A bunch of them were nobles now that I think of it. Which is a shame, because I've worked with and for some other respectable nobles and Knights as well. A stain to nobility is what they are... Hm... There's more to it if you'd like to listen, but I might just be rambling and making an excuse to what I did by this point. Just ask if you're interested..."

He certainly also took note to spot for any unusual creatures, though he wasn't exactly sure what would be worth pointing out for a bookworm of a changeling princess. Along the way, he'd spot a small anthill bringing in a nondescript dead insect which was visible enough on their own in his improvised light spell as they were numerously moving back and forth. He'd spot a lizard running by and away for a moment, though it did not seem to be an uncommon sort for this sort of terrain as far as he was concerned. What did eventually really get his attention was when a scorpion out for a hunt was spotted by the edge of the spell ahead. It began to move away from the group, but no so fast that he could highlight it with a redish hue of light to distinguish it from the rest of the features. He was surprised by what he saw as, while the not-so-small scorpion did not appear to be a lethal sort for their size, it did have a particular rare feature that made it stand out. "Huh... A scorpion with two stingers..."
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Fri May 30, 2014 7:43 am

To characterize the speed with which Sweet and Tetti reached the extremely rare scorpion as teleportion would be vastly understating the velocity of the two changelings. Quite literally, they vanished from where they once were and appeared above the scorpion. At this point in the sequence of events, two things happened: a pair of impossibly cute "eee!"s were sounded in the ears of both Sword and Bella, and the two bug-seeking mares learned the unpleasant cranial consequences of two heads appearing in the same space trying to see the same bug at the same time. A moment after the squee's of glee, there was a resounding klonk and both Tettidora and Sweet found themselves on their backs, their hooves pawing thoughtlessly at the air, looking distinctly stunned at the mutual sledgehammer blow.
Bella walks over and tilts her head. "Sorry, Sweet, but my duty as your friend since nursery obligates me to do this," she informs Sweet, presently counting stars. She then reaches down with a hoof and places it in the center of Sweet's face. "Facehoof. Booyah."
Meanwhile, Thryssa has trotted over to her sister and leaned down to examine her. "Um, Tetti? Methinks you should wait a few more seconds between the squee and the rush to bug."
"Yeeeee... aren't the boss... of me..." Tetti replies in a very hazy voice, pointing vaguely in the direction of her elder sister.
"Sure I am," Thryssa replies cheerfully. "Big sister and all that."
"No ya ain't."
"Ah, but I am, and I can prove it," Thryssa grins.
"An... how ya do that?"
"Magic." Thryssa moves her hoof over Tetti's face and moves it back and forth. "By the power vested in me by big sisterdom, I command you to forget everything that just happened."
Tetti blinks owlishly up at the hoof and her eyes lose focus. "Uhhh... wha...?"
"Hi Tetti," Thryssa grins.
"Oh... 'ey Thyssa. Why am I on... um... my back...?"
"The bug."
"...wha...? Dere's a bug?"
"Yup."
"Oh, kay..." And Tetti resumes watching the sky, looking totally out of it.
Thryssa grins wider and walks back to Sugary. "When her brain resets, she's gonna be mad at me for that. So worth it."
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Mon Jun 02, 2014 5:49 pm

Sword blinked, utterly stunned at the brilliant display of lack of attention to detail. Walking over with Thryssa, he had a look of utter amusement on his face as she messed with her sister. "Wow.... she's one of the smartest mares I've met, but also the most absent-minded.... She always been like this Thryssa?" Sword asked, offering Tetti a hoof to help her up. "C'mon love, up ya go. We can see the rare bug later."

Not seeing much of a respond, he sighed, hefting the changeling princess onto his back, him nodding his head at their destination. "Well shall we continue on our way? She'll snap back to reality eventually. Might as well be at our destination when she does." He then started back on track towards the Hospitaller. "I'd imagine that'd be irritating Sugary. I myself only had one person to answer to, and only one time did she assign me a task beyond my capabilities."
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Mon Jun 02, 2014 11:53 pm

((Night stroll))

Sugary winced for a moment as soon as the mares made their head-to-head contact. "Ouch... I felt that..." He gave a chuckle of his own since it was hard for him not to do so at how everything had gone, though he did make sure to keep an eye on the twin-tailed scorpion as it frantically and seemingly angrily tried to escape the sudden appearance of the mares right on top of it. Or rather, it would have escaped, but Sugary made sure to use levitation on it and carefully lift it off of the ground with a clump of barren soil as he tried to check and see if he still had any leftover bug jars from his last job in his Inventory. Fortunately, he had a few spares remaining and proceeded to carefully place the scorpion inside a jar with the soil it was on first and sealed it accordingly with the pre-poked cap. He then presented the jar to Thryssa to either hold, or just watch it's contents up close for herself. "Heh... If she does, maybe you can give her this to distract her again...?" said he in a humorously hushed but sincere voice.

He turned his attention to Sword afterwards, nodding in understanding of the meaning of being duty-bound either by oath, salary, or both. "Incredibly so. Hard to put up with someone that wants everything and gives nothing in return... Still, I'd like to think we can at least learn from bad times like that. I mean, if things aren't gonna turn out fine, you may as well get something meaningful out of it, right?" It was then he pondered on something to himself as he looked at the couple, the young mares, and even Thryssa seemingly in good spirits at the moment. He thought back on his circumstances that led to this point, and smiled a very serenely to go along with the light and pleasant feeling of joy he had at that moment. "Yeah... Something wonderful alright."

He then looked upon Sweet still on the ground, and chuckled a bit while shaking his head while looking at the other two young mares. "Say, you want me to carry her? Just place her on my back, or let me put her there myself if she needs it." He had his magic at the ready to get her himself carefully, but would just as easily let her friends do her the honors as he waited right next to Thryssa to continue moving on.
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Tue Jun 03, 2014 10:47 pm

"Yup, pretty much," Thryssa confirms in response to Sword's question. "Often more curious than is strictly good for her, and absentminded as well." She gives Sword a little smirk. "Wild guess: she got distracted and accidentally revealed herself to you, whereupon she experienced a complete and total freakout."
"Mmm... firm strong pegasus..." Tetti purrs as she drapes herself belly-down on his back.
"..." Thryssa blinks and blushes. "Oookay... wasn't going to mention that part." She clears her throat. "Um... so how'd Tetti losing her guise lead to Tetti getting a pegasus coltfriend?"
"Better question, Princess," Bella piped up. "Why does it surprise you that a cute stallion takes one look at your sister and wants under her tail?"
Pearbloom immediately smacks her upside the head. "Belladonna, ya best respect yer princess," she almost growls.
"Ow." Bella rubs her head. "Whatcha think that was? Part of respect is to say it straight and honest."
"Other part is tact, ya nitwit," Pearbloom sighs as she stoops and gathers Sweet onto her back, using tendrils of light geenish magic to gently arrange her stunned friend in a comfortable position, giving her an affectionate nosing.
"Believe it or no, Pearbloom, I appreciate bluntness," Thryssa says, even as she blushes deeply. "Answer is, Belladonna, that I tend to be more than a bit blind to how sexually desirable my little sister is." She pauses. "Well, at least two of my little sisters... sort of hard to miss Chidinida."
Bella grins. "I know, right? Ya get it from the top."
Thryssa is all but beet red by now. "I... have no comment..."
"Generally the best way to deal with her," Pearbloom grins at Bella. "Though she ain't wrong, Princess... if birth didn't give her beauty, being who she is sure did."
Thryssa sighs and starts along the path again. "I know, Pearbloom," she replies as she walks. "Being the pony everypony wishes they could be is sort of the queen's job. It's just uncomfortable to hear, ponies younger than you praising your mother's looks."
"Eeyup, I expect so," Pearbloom agrees.
"Especially ponies who run Lepi's way," Thryssa adds with a tiny grin.
"Yeah, bet that makes it worse, don't it?" Pearbloom winks. "Sorry, yer Highness... didn't mean ta make ya uncomfortable."
"Nothing to concern yourself over," Thryssa replies as they continue. The path takes a hard right after a few hundred yards and heads back towards the mountain Scarabi is built into. Despite them having only traveled a very short ways so far, Scarabi is no longer in sight and instead, they see a sheer mountain, the side perfectly vertical and perfectly smooth as if something had literally cut the back off the mountain. Thryssa takes another dozen steps forward and looks slightly upwards at a point midway up the mountain. "This is Princess-Marshal Thryssa bar Chrysalis," she announces to what seems like empty air. "I see the Mark of Selune today."
"Very good, my liege marshal," a male voice says from the point Thryssa is looking at. "Please, be welcome at the Refuge. Are the two other mares in your company well?"
"Merely stunned, no apparent harm done," Thryssa says before striding confidently forward... and disappearing into thin air as she does.
"Ooo... this place looks awesome!" Bella exclaims as she follows Thyssa, and Pearbloom follows her.
Sugary might recall that Masquerade had mentioned him having marks of favor bestowed on him that were invisible to his eyes but every changeling could see as to him ans Sword, there's nothing there but all the changelings in their company could apparently see just fine.
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Thu Jun 05, 2014 3:49 pm

Sugary chuckled a little, something he seemed to be doing plenty lately and in good spirits, and just calmly watched and listened to the mares conversation as he carefully put the scorpion away into a pocket in his cloak, and kept the subtle light active throughout their relatively ordinary walk over the barrens.

He had to wonder why the mountain had a plain and smooth surface from afar, but the closer he got to it, the more he felt like something was and had to be there. What he felt would be confirmed as soon as a voice responded, eliciting a smile on him. "Wow... Hidden in plain sight alright." He had wondered if by 'mark' Thryssa would be referring to something similar to what he had on his head, but since he couldn't see past the illusion field with his bare eyes alone nor had a way to look at himself and spot his own marks since a regular mirror was not likely to reflect them alone either, he'd just take a walk of faith and follow her lead into the 'wall'. Aside from wondering if there was more to the magic field than just the veil itself, he was fairly eager to see the hospitaller and it's staff for the first time, as well as wonder what else he might learn from this place and the so-called highly loveable changelings that provide the best care and nourishment to the ill, injured, bedridden, or in treatment for any reason...
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Tue Jun 10, 2014 5:11 am

Sword shook his head. "Close, but no. We'd had a lovely day touring Manehatten after just stumbling into each other. Eventually we ended back at her hotel room. One thing lead to another, which led to us making our way to the bed. She disguised herself as a unicorn, so I embarked upon some..." Sword looks to the little changeling fillies following them. "Oh to hell with it.... I was going to give her horn a little suckling, unicorns really like that. Well little miss head collision on my back here neglected to give her horn the same sensitivity as an actual unicorn's. I noticed this, and started questioning. Then she freaked out, earlier she'd ferreted out my previous profession, abilities of my artifact, and that I'd been..." Searching for the right word, Sword shifted his shoulder to work a kink out, chuckling at Tetti on his back. "Indeed. Soft, plushy princess belly... Where was I? Oh yeah. I was eviscerated by a group of changelings whilst chasing the last remnants of Chrysalis's hive from Equestria's borders. As you can imagine, that'd leave a well founded distaste for them in your mouth. Luckily, Tetti had spent most of the day before discussing actual changeling culture and whatnot with me, and I didn't have my band on, so after the initial shock, we kinda... well... yeah we rutted." Snorting with amusement, he looked back to the peanut gallery. "True enough you lot. Although being who she is, she can change her form into anything, so its not exactly fair. Though I do prefer her natural form and..." Sword stops for just a second. "Why the hell am I describing mine and Tetti's sex life? Hah....Heh.... yeah buck this, new topic. Oh look, a giant mountain fortress, lets chat about that yeah?"
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Fri Jun 13, 2014 6:46 am

"I think yer describing your sex life with a princess because you're a stallion, Mister Symphony," Bella grins at him as they enter. "You're proud of yourself, and why not? Even if she's not drool-worthy stunning, our bookworm princess is interesting as all buck."
"An' there's no need to soften it any for the lot o' us," Pearbloom adds. "Ain't more than a year till we're old enough ta be considered mares 'stead of fillies. Old enough to hear 'bout you banging a nice bit o' flank." She peers thoughtfully at Sword. "Beggin' yer pardon, also, but what were ya about to say about whatcha do or did? An' why would it be enough ta make a princess flip out?"

When Sword and Market follow the changelings into what is clearly a gigantic concealment construct, the sheer side of the mountain is replaced by a massive fortification that appears to be many times as tall and extensive as the walls around Scarabi. Right above the gate is a shimmering silver symbol of a moon crescent turned so that its points are down and below it is an exquisitely detailed dragon's eye; apparently this is the 'symbol of Selune' Thryssa mentioned to the gate guard. As they walk through the gates, they can see that the walls are twelve feet thick at least and have doors leading inside, presumably to access bolt holes and other defensive measures.

Inside the walls is like stepping into a totally different reality.

The first noticeable thing is that the air inside is pleasantly cool and the desert sun is reduced to a smattering of brilliant rays by trees and plants as far as the eye can see. There are benches scattered all around and as they walk in, they'd cross over a small flowing creek on a footbridge onto a genuine cobblestone path. If they look to the right, they can see a small manor house and the various outbuildings that mark the immense green as some kind of estate and as they proceed in, the tangy scent of citrus would become very noticeable, about the time that they'd be able to see that most of the trees are lemon trees. To the left is a collection of one and two-story buildings with the snake-entwined staff symbol of medicine painted on them, and it wouldn't be hard at all to tell that the collection of buildings is the center of healing that the princesses and Masquerade spoke of.

"You arrived at a very convenient time," Thryssa remarks, smiling relaxedly and seeming totally at least in the cool, pleasant setting. "The lemons are just starting to ripen so you get the nice smell of citrus on the air."
"And yes," Tetti adds from Sword's back, sounding coherent again, "those are part of the lemon groves of the Dune family. Oldest changeling nobility except for the Houses of the Queens, prominent and important enough that their central estate is with the Hospitaller Refuge. To be fair, they did engineer all of the greenery and peace to facilitate the relaxation and recovery of those being cared for in the hospitals."
"Amazin'," Pearbloom breathed as she looked around. "Oasis in the desert an' all..."
"Prolly tapped a natural spring from within the mountain," Bella comments. "From there, you just need a siphoning construct tied to its origin point and you have flowing water and features. Bet it's exceptionally pure and sweet too."
Sword feels Tetti shift as she turns her head to look at Bella before she shifts again and he feels her face buried in his mane affectionately. "Mmm.... well, love... here's a nice place to relax and rest if you feel like it. When the staff isn't busy, I like to read on the hospital grounds."
"So where are the actual housing, Your Majesty?" Sweet inquires from Pearbloom's back, making no effort to raise her head. "Tunnels cut into the mountain?"
"Yes," Thryssa confirms. "Fortunately, nothing about the levitating stone that the palace sits on makes it heavier if its natural magic fails so a very well-engineered support system can keep the rest of the refuge safe."


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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Sat Jun 14, 2014 6:23 am

((Place of healing))

Sugary's face had a rather blank look to it while Sword told the story of how he and Tettidora got together. He found it to be hilariously absurd to the point he almost didn't believe it, but had seen and heard his fair share of odd tales of mortal enemies falling in love in the line of work, so he was far from being one to judge their own circumstances from a misunderstanding. Plus, they seemed to be plenty comfortable with each other in his eyes, and that was all that mattered to him in the end.

His mind did wander a bit into his time in the Everfree again, and how he came close to facing what might have been a battalion led by Thryssa herself as the worst of circumstances had he not heeded Masquerade's advice to stand down and negotiate... only to now find himself having proposed to date her after some relentless prodding from the others during the chat back at Callista's manor. He smiled, almost chuckling as to what it took to make it happen, but his expression then seemed a tad distant as he though if, perhaps, he'd actually end up like Sword and Tettidora: Genuinely coupled and happy with Thryssa, even if it meant more responsibilities instead of less. He was certainly happy with how things were at the moment, but not quite happy with her specifically, yet... Only time would tell what would be in store for him.

He snapped back into reality with a very light blush after thinking perhaps a bit too much rather than actually paying attention to his surroundings fully, but as he heard about the place they were in, and saw it, and smelled it. "Heh... I'm thinking too much on it... Maybe I'm just tired... Or maybe it's time I ought to follow my mother's advice and not wait till I'm too old and miss out... ... ... Mmmmm~ What a lovely place!"

He felt the most at ease he had been thus far in being in this safe haven. The smell of citrus in particular making him feel at home. "So this is where Lady Callista gets her supplies from? She's a special kind of Noble alright. Wonder if I could take a few with me... And I can see how this would make a perfect place to set a hospital near to. It's just so relaxing and, well... magical!" He chuckled again good-naturedly. "I can only imagine this took immense effort to make... And I thought Madam Maredusa's grotto was a sight to behold... Ah! Did she and her daughter, by any chance, help to make this place? You did say that the caves here were cut in, right? Also... I take it we'd get to see some of the magical stone used for making the castle here or there aside from the hospitaller staff and patients?"


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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Sun Jun 15, 2014 6:42 pm

Sword snorted, shaking his head at the fillies. "Pfft... Yeah not going to tell you the intimate details of my sex life with the princess. You can feel free to ask her yourselves. And I find her to be drool-worthy, especially with her cooking skills."

Taking in the sight before him, his gaze fell upon the odd insignia atop the gate before taking in the whole fortress as a whole. "By the moon.... think you've got the walls thick enough here? And..." Stepping inside, Sword was pleasantly surprised at the climate control they had enacted. "Ahhhh..... this is sooooo much better than being out in the desert... Nice to see you're coherent again love." He grinned as she nuzzled into his mane while they walked through what appeared to be the courtyard he'd guess. "Indeed love.... only a short flight for such a pleasant place to be. Certainly the right atmosphere for a hospital. So peaceful. But are we really about to tour a hospital? Or just the grounds around it?"
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Wed Jun 18, 2014 9:20 pm

"She'd have had to get good at cooking, what with never emerging from her room in the library," Thryssa chuckles.
"It's paradise," Tetti grins at her sister. "You don't leave paradise voluntarily, you leave it when your sisters kidnap your plot and drag you off to Equestria to get some fresh air."
"Somehow, you coming home with a stallion in tow wasn't quite what we intended." Thryssa looked among the lemon trees and lit her horn, plucking a few of the fragrant fruits from the branches and floating them over to Sugary. "Here, Mister Market, the Dune family pride and joy: sweet lemons. Well, not quite sweet so much as actually pleasant to eat plain instead of being so tart and acidic that they're only good for cooking."
Bella looked longingly at the trees. "Must be nice to be a princess... you can just take what you..."
"Only because the Dune family gave prior permission," Tetti interrupts sharply. "They're proud of their produce, and rightly so, and regularly renew a standing invitation for the royal family to come by anytime and enjoy the fruits of their labors."
"Quite," Sweets says, looking up from where she'd been laying stunned, her eyes still slightly unfocused. "Come now, Belladonna... you honestly believe that the princesses would simply steal the lemons from the trees, just because they're royal?"
Bella turns beet red and looks away, muttering out an apology.
Pearbloom rolls her eyes and gently helps Sweet off her back and back onto her feet. "Ya feelin' better, Belle?"
"Quite, thank you," Sweet smiles at her friend.
"Anyhow, love, we will be touring the hospital and the grounds," Tetti told Sword. "Just briefly, mind you, but this is one of the rare and happy seasons of very little injury or illness, so we can walk the halls without disturbing the peace of the recovering. I mean, if that's what you'd like to do, of course."
"I think he might enjoy the caverns as well," Thryssa says. "As Sugary surmises, they were created with the help of Maredusa and Mara Belle. As to the levistone used to make the castle... its all in the castle. The stone here is magically strong but wasn't used for the palace."
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Thu Jun 19, 2014 4:03 am

For the time being, Sugary kept things simple by continuously admiring the park of the hidden mountain. When offered the lemons by Thryssa, however, he lit up with a smile, glad to be getting some of Callista's reserves after all. "Ah, thank you, Princess! These are perfect...! *snif* Mmm~... Now what to make out of these later on...?" Taking the bundle she gave him and placing it into some of the coolers he brought with him, he'd store them away for later use. He was then somewhat hesitant to return the thanks physically, being slightly torn between the way many changelings freely accepted it, the way she had only semi-accepted it and returned it with an unusual kiss, and the fact she was still keeping close and occasionally showing him mild or friendly physical affection. Overall, he leaned with his better judgement and gave her a friendly nosing on the neck since her head was somewhat higher than his own.

Hearing that the caves were in fact made by Maredusa made him smile a little more. He wondered if the hospitaller was built with some of the intricate details he saw at her Grotto. Apart from that thought, given how relaxing the place was, he almost considered asking if he could get checked for his health for good measure, but he wasn't feeling particularly off, and didn't think it was a necessity at the moment. The only exception would be a direct request from Thryssa, his employer, to get him checked up more thoroughly on top of continuing to take his medicine for the next few days.
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Mon Jun 23, 2014 2:38 am

"And I am most grateful to them for doing so love. Otherwise I'd still be napping on clouds whilst on vacation in Manehatten. Although now that I'm here, and will be living in a library no less, I think I too will be living in paradise. Between the library and Librarian, you'll probably have to drag me out as well" Hearing that they'd be touring caves as well, he rustled his wings, shaking his head. "Sugary will probably enjoy seeing the caves, but not myself so much. Never met a pegasi in my life that liked caves. No room to take off or fly. Still, seeing this levistone should be worth it." He pointed at the Hospital. "Will we be starting there love?"
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Sat Jun 28, 2014 7:50 am

"Lemon meringne pie," Sweet suggested.
"Lemon tart." Bloom offered.
"Lemon-braised fillet of dune-runner on a bed of lemon leaves with a lemon-mint julep," Bella said cheerfully.
Her friends looked oddly at her. "An'... what's a julep?" Bloom asks.
"Cocktail prepared with water, sugar, and bourbon," Bella says. "Add in a slice of lemon and a sprig of peppermint and you've got one primo cocktail."
"Belladonna, you're a bit young to be a connoisseur of cocktails," Thryssa says as she gives the tip of Sugary's horn a very light lick in response to his nuzzle.
"Tell that to Highball." Belladonna grins smugly.
Thryssa eyes her and sighs. "It appears that I need to have a word with a certain free spirit..."
"Oh, lay off him Thryssa," Tetti grins. "You've been sore with him ever since he conspired with Lepi to celebrate your baton."
"The barracks was never the same..." Thryssa looks forlorn.
"I'm sure you're more distressed by the bumper crop of foals that came of it." Tetti grins at her.
"...no comment."
Tetti giggles before nuzzling Sword. "Yes, love, we'll start with the hospital. And frankly, don't fret about the caves... we're flying ponies too, remember? It wouldn't do to have defensible spaces where our wings would be useless. Now, we can start with an outer building, the nursing quarters."
"I wonder if Nurse Ratchet's in today..." Bella mused.
"Belladonna!" Sweet chided her.
"What? It's her name, ain't it?"
"Well, yes, but..."
"So what's wrong with calling her by name?" Bella gave her a smug look.
Sweet narrowed her eyes dangerously and lit her horn to do something nefarious, but the magic sputtered out and she groaned. "Ugh... backfeed..."
"I have a feeling, sis, we might have a reason other than curiosity to visit," Thryssa says, gesturing to Sweet who remains on Bloom's back.
"All the better."

The nursing quarters turn out to be a fairly roomy space that's clearly meant to give patients in good condition a break from the more institutional feel of a hospital. There's an indoor planted area in the middle of a vast room in the center and an abundance of couches, chairs, lounges, and other surfaces to relax on. At the moment, the only ponies in sight are a diminutive mare, a red-streaked mane in a pixie cut and dressed in a nurse's smock that seems cut to emphasize a mildly attractive figure, and a visibly burly stallion with his chitin bearing visible damage. As they approach, the mare is levitating a small-socket ratchet and using it to adjust a bolt on a prosthetic limb. Somewhat predictably, her visible cutie mark is a golden heart crossed with a socket wrench and a ratchet.
"Hey Ratchet!" Bella says cheerfully.
"Nurse Ratchet," the mare corrects her automatically in a lightly Trottingham accent, not turning. "And it's Ratchet Limb. And please bugger off."
"Actually, Nurse, we have someone we'd like to to look at," Thryssa says.
Ratchet jumps a little at Thryssa's voice and turns around, snapping her a crisp military salute with one hoof. "Marshal das Chrysalis, ma'am!"
Tetti coughs in an attempt not to giggle as Thryssa looks genuinely taken-aback at the greeting.
"Um... at ease, Nurse," she manages.
"Of course," Ratchet drops the salute. "Where's the patient, ma'am?"
"Oh for buck's..." Thryssa sighs. "Knock that off. My proper title out of the field is 'Princess', so kindly use it. And the patient..."
"...is right here," Pearbloom trots over with the still obviously aching Sweet. "Cracked her head pretty good an' got a backlash when tryin' ta do some simple magic."
Ratchet nods and, with a bow directed at Thryssa, walks over and picks Sweet up in a large magical field, trotting over to one of the more plush-looking lounges and depositing her there. "I need my bio tools, just rest a moment," she says before turning and heading for a nearby corridor, vanishing inside a moment later.
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Sun Jun 29, 2014 12:34 am

(("Cats on Mars"))

"Heh... Yeah, tarts and pie I can do. But that last bundle is... a bit too gourmet for my skills I'm afraid. Of course it would be an interesting challenge. Can't say bourbon appeals to me personally since I tend to not drink anything that makes me less sober unless it's medicine." Sugary took note of the fillies suggestions with a smile, glad for the help they were giving.

And then, being caught almost completely off guard, came Thryssa's lick of his horn. He had a feeling she'd do something in return, but he did not under any circumstance think she'd actually do something so... intimate... out in the open. The act was so unexpected to him that, even though he did feel a very pleasurable though fairly quick jolt run from his somewhat overgrowth-horn down through his spine and tail, it was startling enough to make him trot in place as if getting ready for a horse race, do so with a perfect posture along with wide open eyes and perked up ears, and make him neigh deeply and briefly while a small and harmless spark came out of his horn right after. From that moment on, any exhaustion he felt by that point was all well and truly gone with the exception of the lacking nutrition as if he'd just woken up and was ready to meet the day head on once more... only to cough nervously right afterwards along with a deep crimson blush at what had just happened and what he did out in the open.

He tried to think of anything to keep attention off of himself and his instinctive reflexes just now as he gave Nurse Ratchet a quick nod of acknowledgement and thought back to whatever else was said. Veeeeery reluctantly, he tried to look at Thrissa and speak to her. "S-So Thrys-...!!! Princess Thryssa. What was that about a b-baton ceremony!?" He was scolding himself internally at his current lack of composure...
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Wed Jul 02, 2014 4:16 pm

Reassured about the space in the caverns, he nuzzled her back with a smile. "Thank you love, and..." Sword gives the 3 fillies an awfully suspicious look. "Where the hell did you learn that little one? Not exactly common knowledge for a filly your age." He looks back to Tetti for a moment. "Unless the age limit is different here? Given the effects of..." he pauses for a moment, shaking his head. "Nevermind... So what's this about a baton ceremony and a large amount of foals being born? Sounds most interesting."
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Wed Jul 02, 2014 4:54 pm

Thryssa looks puzzled at Sugary's rather excited reaction to her licking the tip of his horn and she looks askance at Tetti. "Um...?" She gestures at the blushing stallion.
Tetti grins. "Unicorn horns are tactile and very, very sensitive sis. Sorta like licking a different horn altogether."
Thryssa eyed her for a second before she blushed and took a step away from Sugary. "Ohh.. oh, oh dear... oh..." And her speech descends into a steam of random words and stammering as the blush spreads down her neck and over her legs and carapace in a rather attractive pattern.
"Wow... that's cool!" Bella says as the reddish tinge spreads into something of an interconnected tiger-stripe pattern stretching from Thryssa's face to her flanks and even down to her hooves.
"Adorable, isn't it?" Tetti giggles. "I love it when she loses control of the blush like that."
"...hate you so much..." Thryssa mumbles.
"I love ya too, big sister." Tetti nuzzles at Sword as they proceed into the building and through the conversation with Ratchet. The nurse mare doesn't appear to notice Thryssa practically glowing with embarrassment and Thryssa manages to stop her stammering long enough to exchange words with her. When Ratchet goes to get her tools she collapses onto a lounge.
"I am so, so sorry, Sugary Market," she says. "Changeling horns are just keratin... no feeling from them at all. I had no idea that unicorn horns were different."
"Ah don't think he minded, Princess," Pearbloom smiled reassuringly as she trotted over to nose at Sweet Belle. "I take it it's supposed ta feel pretty nice."
"Speaking of feeling pretty nice." Bella turns to Sword with a Cheshire cat grin. "OK, so when somepony gets promoted to Marshal, they get this baton thing that's like a ceremonial symbol of their position. Doesn't mean much, just a nice stick, has lots of extracurricular..."
Pearbloom hits her across the back of the head.
"OW! OK, sheesh, not going into that then. Anyway, cool stick, symbol of position, yadda yadda. Anyway, there's this stallion called Highball. He's the changeling god of booze, knows everything about it--how to make it, how to mix it, how to age it, how to sell it, how to get giant kegs of it for special occasions, ya get the drift. So Princess Party Animal..."
Tetti clears her throat. "I think I can take it from there, Belladonna."
"Go wild," Bella grins.
"...alrighty then." Tetti clears her throat again. "Anyway, love, it was a once-in-a-lifetime thing, sis getting her marshal baton, so Lepi thought she needed a proper celebration. Conspired with Highball to get some of his best stuff and took it to the barracks for the soldiers to enjoy as they celebrated their new marshal. And... well, yanno how I got when I slugged too much whiskey?"
"The barracks was never the same again," Thryssa groans. "We had to dip into the reserves for years before the soldier mares could come back..."
"So she has a grudge against Highball for helping Lepi do her evil deeds." Tetti finished.
"And that's why Princess Lepidora is best party-filly." Bella finishes, grinning toothily.
"She's also the reason nature invented venereal disease," Ratchet says somewhat sourly as she trots back with a parade of medical instruments wrapped in her magic trailing behind. "Bloody shame it hasn't stopped her."
"Being irresponsible doesn't make her stupid," Thryssa sighs as Ratchet sets up and starts with a stethoscope examination of Sweet Belle.
"Oh, it does," Ratchet says, pulling out a light and a small magnifying lense to check Sweet's pupil dilation. "Her stupid, however, hasn't yet made her sick. Bloody shame, that... might teach 'er an important life lesson."
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Wed Jul 02, 2014 6:18 pm

There were many mysteries throughout the universe. Among them were ancient horrors, worlds full of myth and magic, and stallions traveling through the vast reaches of space to end up somewhere that wasn't their homeworld to name a few... For Sugary, seeing Thryssa's Tiger blush was a truly unique experience as he stared at her with tremendous intrigue, wondering if she, like her namesake, was about to transform into another creature right before his eyes, and instead stayed at that half-point between her original self, and something altogether different. It was mesmerizing to say the least... Until he heard Tettidora speak about how it was, in fact, a blush.

From that moment, he had to actually force himself to not chuckle for Thryssa's sake, though his lips kept contorting between a nervous smile and being on the verge of a grin. After all, he hadn't exactly given the most subtle of reactions himself. "Erhm... Well... It's alright, Princess. Really... For what it's worth, I've never seen something quite like... that... Pretty unique to say the least." He then added as an afterthought "... She looks so cute and beautiful and... wild... How does she pull it off...?"

He did his best to remain composed during the explanation as to the events of the Baton Ceremony, and then immediately understood why it seemed to bother Thryssa. "... Wow... Um... Yeah, I got nothing... You already know how I kinda feel about drinks..." He had little more to say on the matter, intrigued though not particularly interested in learning more about the Brewmaker. Instead, he focused on the Nurse treating Sweet, and what she thought about Lepinora. One thing that stuck out with him from the Nurse was how she spoke about the Spy Master of a Princess that was Lepinora in regards to her sex life. Something he hoped wasn't what he thought it was she was complaining about, knowing more or less Masquerade's and Callista's relationship circumstances, and why they could not afford to be as open about it as Lepinora and Crysta. "... I might not know much about Princess Lepinora, but it would be a bigger shame if she went badly ill. Besides, I'm sure she's matured since the ceremony, right? Sounds like it was quite some time ago."

He then looked around, as if looking for something in particular that he had yet to actually find given what he was told about the hospitaller. "Say... Is there any visible difference between a normal Changeling, and those so-called special healers?" He was curious if they behaved any differently, but mostly he wondered if there was some sort of unique form of magic or energy reading to them.
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Sun Jul 06, 2014 4:22 am

Sword cringed at the thought of a full blown orgy occuring in the guards quarters, and sympathized with Thryssa, his own dealings with Tetti under the effects of alcohol quite a test of his control. He couldn't imagine a whole platoon of horny, drunk changelings all clamoring for attention. "My condolences to you, Princess Thryssa. I made the mistake of leaving your sister with a bottle of my expensive scotch while I was out getting us food. Needless to say I wasn't expecting what I came home to that night. And speaking of Lepi.... knowing the effects of drink upon changelings.... I may have to find a new potential drinking friend...." He had another question though, again for the 3 small fillies following them. "And how the bloody hell did you 3 learn about that story?"
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Mon Jul 07, 2014 3:31 am

"No ill is too good for that obnoxious nymphomaniacal irresponsible layabout," Ratchet grouses as she floats over a headband with a set of telescoping lenses and puts it on, then levitates a small glowing gem and a caliper. She leans in and begins dropping lenses into place to increase the magnification as she does exquisite examination of Sweet's horn. "Sweet, can you please channel? Don't push yourself, just gather slowly and let it go where it may."
Thyssa leans over to Sugary while Ratchet is concentrating and speaks lowly. "A majority of changelings don't know the Lepinora that her family and a few others know," she says. "One of the many arts that she's a virtuoso at is theater and she's very good at being crude, blatant, shallow, nasty, and all the other things you'd associate with a 'black sheep'. It's all part of her cover as Mother's spymaster."
The message delivered to Sugary, Thryssa raises her head and looks at Sword. "Not to put too fine of point on it, Sword Symphony, but..."
"...Lepi can 'hold her liquor' extremely well, far better than a first-timer," Tetti finished. "And it's worth pointing out that I slugged back enough to nearly poison me because I knew nothing about scotch."
"With respect, Princess, I'd be far more ashamed of wasting scotch than being drunk and horny," Ratchet comments without interrupting her careful examination at all. "Scotch is an expensive thing to be guzzling like a cheap hops alcohol. Plus, ethanol is the most utilitarian chemical in battlefield medicine, combining anesthetic, relaxant, disinfectant, weapon, and cauterization medium in a single unit of liquid."
Thryssa looks faintly taken-aback before a look of understanding crosses her features. "That would explain the greeting you gave me."
"Before your time milady Marshal," Ratchet confirms as her examination reaches the upper half of Sweet's horn. "Ah, there it is! Belladonna, third iteration medical shorthand, please."
Bella blinks. "Um..."
"Front pocket, right side, notebook and pencil," Ratchet says briskly.
"Right." Bella floats out the notebook and pencil. "Ready."
"Jagged trunk four-point fracture orientated at fifty-one degrees off standard plane," Ratchet says, Bella scribbling a series of characters in response. "Second point orientates to eighty-eight degrees off standard and runs five micro upwards in keratin grain. Flow leak at two micro of branch, origin, and one micro of fourth point."
"...of fourth point," Bella repeats. "Done."
"Good." Ratchet puts down her tools and takes the notebook from Bella, looking at the shorthand marks. "And recorded accurately. Thank you."
"Um... don't mention it... seriously..."
Ratchet rolls her eyes slightly. "The impact gave you a small microfracture in your upper horn, Sweet. Quick fix, nothing to be concerned about. I'll be right back with my tools."

Pearbloom and Sweet stare at Bella as Ratchet disappears again. "...you..."
"Shutup."
"...ya know complex shorthand...?"
"I said shut up!" Bella's cheeks literally glow red.
Both of her friends snicker as Bella looks at Sword. "How do we know about the baton ceremony thing? Highball, of course. Gets chatty when he shares a tonic and gin with ya."
"He's quite proud of it," Sweet says. "First Royal to ever serve as the marshal of all changeling soldiers, and he was part of the celebration. It distresses you, Princess Thryssa, but if he was wrong, he'd be missing a limb."
Thryssa frowns at the filly but sighs and says nothing in response to this.
Tetti nuzzles at Sword and leans against him comfortably while she looks across the way at where Sugary's standing. "What's the difference between an ordinary changeling and one of the talented healers that work here? Four decades of experience, more or less, and being exceptional at their work. There's a reason that Ratchet Limb is twenty years older than Thryssa and looks a bit younger than her: nothing evoke more love from a patient and their family and friends than having their life and health returned to them."
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Mon Jul 07, 2014 5:07 am

Getting the whisper from Thryssa was a quick reminder that, as it were, Sugary was probably one of the few who knew what Lepinora was really like as a mare. He personally thought it was a shame that she was thought of as little more than a supposed Black Sheep, but was understanding of the reason as to why and even felt more respect for her.

Afterwards, he had a very hard time keeping up with Ratchet's explanation, only barely understanding some of the more basic terms she spoke off due to his classes when it came to the role of a Combat Medic, or more specifically, Combat Healer; Though even then whatever she said that flew over his head flew way over his head. He was personally impressed on how Bella did so well in turn. "My head is spinning..."

Then came the very unusual revelation of two things: Ratchet being one of the Special Healers, and the fact she was well over 50 despite her youthful appearance. He looked at tad stunned at the Nurse as she left and at Tettidora. He had thought it was something about those particular Changelings that made them unique such as some sort of higher level of energy or a different kind of technique, only to learn that what made them unique was their dedication to their talent. It was both humbling to him and felt it was certainly very admirable to acknowledge. "So that's what it is... And here I thought there was more to it... Still... Nurse Ratchet is over 50...!?" It was at that moment that he once again began to think about what he knew about Changeling magic and biology, which still turned out to be little, which meant he'd still need to get lessons about them from Tettidora later on as well as the rest of them in due time. Of course, that did raise a question that he simply had to share that had been on the back of his mind for some time, and now seemed like the best moment to voice it. "Then... And pardon my curiosity... How old is the Queen, and Crown prince for that matter...? I was told she holds the love and adoration of all her subjects, and quite literally too... That's a lot more to go around..." He spoke the question softly, and somewhat hesitantly as he might very well be indirectly calling the mother of the two Princesses right next to him old.
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Tue Jul 15, 2014 5:48 am

Chuckling, Sword nodded in agreement with Ratchet. "Indeed. Perhaps I'll end up sharing a drink with you in the future. Also? Obnoxious nymphomaniacal irresponsible layabout?" He let out a low whistle as they toured. "That's... quite a descriptive mouthful. And I thought I had a creative way with words on occasion..."

Hearing Sugary ask the ages of the Queen and Crown Prince reminded Sword that he'd not inquired as to Tetti's age yet. A gap in knowledge he'd fill now. "On the topic of ages, how old are you love? I don't remember asking you ever. Or is it taboo in changeling culture for mares to not tell their ages truthfully like in Equestrian culture? Hate that taboo..." He mumbled the last part, following the group and just observing, maintaining his usual quiet demeanor while they conversed mainly.
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