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 A Helping Hoof [open]

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Squadala

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PostSubject: A Helping Hoof [open]   Thu Sep 10, 2015 7:47 pm

Moondust exited the Everfree Forest with swift flaps of her wings. Coming to a landing, the ivory colored pegasus looked around her. "hmm... What to do." she began to tap her hoof against the ground. She really didn't want to accept help, though at this point she really needed it. The Everfree forest was full of secrets and mysteries, it was like a gold mine for Moondust. There was an opening somewhere among the dark forest said to be an old Zebra camp. No one knows what happened to the place, all they know is that the Zebra's there seemed to vanish. It was common to find old skeletons buried in the ground. Though she wasn't interested in the skeletons, it was a perfect place to search for ghosts. That's what the pegasus was after. Problem was, the area had become a timber wolf territory since the Zebra's had vanished. She needed somepony to help her out around that specific area, but not just anypony, she needed a fighter. Of corse, she would need to give something in return... a little cash would probably do the trick.

Now... how to get other ponies attention. She had an idea, a sign advertising the adventure. Though, she would need to make sure she would get the right pony. Not just anyone would be able to fend off a bunch of timber wolves. She had to put whoever was interested to the test. She decided to put on the sign to meet her at the castle of the two sisters hidden in the Everfree forest. If they were able to find it and avoid all the obstacles along the way, the two of them would probably make a good enough team to fend off the wolves. After she had gathered the materials, she posted a sign in the town square that read "Adventure in the Everfree Forest. Pony in need to help in studying an old Zebra territory. Be warned, creatures such as Timber wolves and possibly Manticores will be faced. Whoever wants to come must meet me at the castle of the two sisters, at approximately 1:00 pm. If mission is successful, each participants will receive 20 bits."

It was now about 12:00, that gave her an hour to reach the castle and wait for someone to meet her. If no one showed up, she would have to put this mission on hold. Though she didn't want to, this particular adventure had sparked her interest for a long time. She had just never had the courage to admit she needed help til now.
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PostSubject: Re: A Helping Hoof [open]   Thu Sep 10, 2015 8:13 pm

Con Trick has done a lot of unpleasant in his life; Slogging through the EverFree on route to an escort job was his newest addition.

The pay no doubt would be lousy, but one doesn't get much a choice when unemployment hits hard.

"Too hard, for too little. It's practically a joke." He waved a hoof at the flier.
"20 bits shouldn't be no joke to you, son." His land lord said.


So everyone starts somewhere. Con packed up a backpack with some essentials, and left without much notice.

The castle was pretty difficult to find. Everything in the Everfree was.

Squinting into the noonday sun, Con glared up at the looming archways and sneering portcullises of the castle. No ponies here, as far as he knew.

"Hello! Anypony here?" He called. "I'm here for the expedition?"
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PostSubject: Re: A Helping Hoof [open]   Thu Sep 10, 2015 8:59 pm

Moondust had decided to explore the castle while she waited, though it wasn't long until he heard somepony call out that they where here.  With a quick flap of her wings, she swooped through the halls of the abandoned castle to the entrance.  

"Hello"  she called out in an annoyed tone. She didn't mean to be rule she just didn't like to work with other ponies much. Though she had called for help, so she wasn't surprised someone was here to do just that.

She began to study the stallion before her."So... you think your up for the job huh? Let me warn you, we are entering Timber wolf territory.  It's even more dangerous out there then it is around these parts of the Everfree... trust me I would know. "
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PostSubject: Re: A Helping Hoof [open]   Fri Sep 11, 2015 7:25 am


"Hiiii." Although his lips raised into a smile, Con's eyes didn't.

"You're..." He squinted at the mare: "Moon Dash right? Nice to meet you too!"

Wrong name, gets them every time.

Con retrieved a pair of reflective aviators and set them on his nose, looking about the locale. "I wouldn't worry about me. Confidence Trick. My friends call me Con. You can call me Mr. Trick."

A halfhearted kick sent a pebble flying into the moat of the castle.

"Helluva meeting place." The stallion muttered before turning again to face the mare.

"So where are we going? Your instructions weren't exactly that forth telling."
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PostSubject: Re: A Helping Hoof [open]   Fri Sep 11, 2015 3:41 pm

"My name is Moondust" the pegasus said severely annoyed. "I picked this meeting place to make sure whoever was coming was capable of handling the Everfree forest, though I must admit you look prepared."

She paused for a moment before she continued.
"To answer your question we are heading east to an old Zebra camp. They mysteriously vanished hundreds of years ago, since then Timber wolves have claimed the land. It is my job to study the area, meanwhile you make sure the path stays clear of wolves. I am perfectly capable of taking care of myself, though the wolves can be quite a distraction. That is why I needed somepony else."

Without hesitation the pegasus continued to speak. "We should be getting going soon, before it gets too late." She gave a loud whistle amd soon her pet bat was by her side. "Follow me" she turned around and began heading deeper into the forest.
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PostSubject: Re: A Helping Hoof [open]   Sun Sep 13, 2015 12:14 pm


"Thanks. Proper prior preparation prevents piss-poor performance." Or so the old adage went.

"Speaking of which, I'm going to-"

"To answer your question we are heading east to an old Zebra camp. They mysteriously vanished hundreds of years ago, since then Timber wolves have claimed the land. It is my job to study the area, meanwhile you make sure the path stays clear of wolves. I am perfectly capable of taking care of myself, though the wolves can be quite a distraction. That is why I needed somepony else."


"'Make sure the path stays clear.' I think I can manage that. Let me just-"

His teeth set on edge as he heard the whistle and the flap of little wings. Con ducked as the winged creature swooped down.

Confidence trick had nothing against bats, but he found them a little... rodenty for his taste. His face demonstrated such.

"Mmmn... If we could-" He was interrupted by the Mare's tail swishing into his face. An eye twitched, but Con moved on after the mare.

"So... What exactly are you looking for there? Artifacts? What drove the zebras out?"
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PostSubject: Re: A Helping Hoof [open]   Sun Sep 13, 2015 12:37 pm

Moondust began to head down a hill, being careful not to slip on loose rocks while she listened to the stallions question.

"No one knows what actually happened, but their remains still lay buried beneath the debris. If you must know what I am after, I am a ghost hunter.. well sort of. I investigate legends and prove them true or false. But today I am looking for ghosts, I have heard a few stories of some sightings around those parts. Probably the Zebra's who used to live there. If I can find a way to communicate with them, perhaps we could even find out what happened their to drive them out."

She continued on her way, then suddenly stopped short "shh" she put her hoof out to stop Con Trick from going any farther. Her ears perked as she suddenly heard rumbling from a distance, followed by a fowl stench. "There here..." she said quietly to herself. Soon bright yellow eyes could be seen piercing the darkness of the Everfree. Looking closer, she could just make out the silhouette of a timber wolf.
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PostSubject: Re: A Helping Hoof [open]   Sun Sep 13, 2015 2:41 pm

"Ghosts." Con nodded slowly. "Ghost hunting. 20 bits for a trip into the Everfree in search of Ghosts."

On the sighting of the Tinderwolf, Con froze. Very slowly, he doing his pack down and started to rifle through it.

"Keep your eyes on the thing. I just need a few seconds." he grabbed a sizable fallen branch and started to wrap a strip of clothe around one end.

"I read a bit about these things before I got here. A little fire should be enough to keep them off our backs. We don't need a lot." He glanced around the glade for a moment.

"And keep an eye out for others. If their anything like normal wolves, they'll be in a pack-"

A second tinder wolf sprung from behind a tree and tackled the stallion to the ground. The makeshift torch tumbled to the ground half finished.

"I found One!" Con yelled between pained gasps and growls. His hoof hooked between his throat and the sharp brambles that made the wolf's jaw. The beast slowly and steadily pushed down.
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PostSubject: Re: A Helping Hoof [open]   Wed Sep 16, 2015 3:16 am

Moondust looked at the beast as Con was tackled. Taking a few steps back the mare didn't know what to do at first. She looked to the torch that had fallen. Her only option was to light it. While she didn't like company much, she wasn't that mean as to let someone who had come to help her be devoured by a Timber wolf when she could potentially prevent the situation.

She bolted over to where the torch had rolled over to and grabbed it, but the original Timber wolf she saw came running after her. Luckily, the torch had already been started, so she just had to finish lighting it. Once lit, the nearest Timber wolf bolted away, attempting to escape the flames. She began to head over to the one whom had tackled Con Trick, who didn't seem to notice her until he was already slightly on fire. Since they are made of branches, the fire rapidly spread across his body. The timber wolf flailed in hopes of escaping the flames, through only spread it farther. Eventually it slammed into a tree, catching the tree on fire as well.

Quickly, she slipped off her saddle bag, plopping it onto the ground and began to shuffle through it, finding her canteen of water. Though by the time she got it out, the fire had already spread to several other trees and would only spread farther if nothing was done to prevent it. It reminded her of the time she had been camping as a filly. Her tent caught on fire and while her and her mother escaped unharmed, it was the last she saw of her father. Quickly, she shook the memory away as reality finally hit her. The fire was spreading, and it could easily grow into a situation where the two ponies had no escape. They needed to find something to put it out and quick.
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PostSubject: Re: A Helping Hoof [open]   Thu Sep 17, 2015 1:30 am

Before the thing went alight, the creature sunk its teeth into the stallions arms deep enough to draw blood. Con's horn reacted, letting out a very small pulse of very dim magic. the beast was forced off of his arm, but the damage was done.

Con ducked under the wolf as it went aflame, quickly crawling out of the way as it went up. He went to his bag and threw it over his shoulder.

"Are you Stupid." Con groaned as the timber wolf stumbled into the tree. "You didn't need to light the thing on Fire. You just had to scare it off!"

Con circled around the slowly growing fire cautiously. He never fought fires, only occasionally started them.

The trees were vaugly circled around one another, so there was dome space between them and the other trees. That gap, however would not stop the fire. It was only a few branches that stretched so far though.... He produced a machete from his pack.

"Give me the torch and cut off the three branches there... there... and there." Not waiting for an answer, he grabbed the torch from the Pegasus. He let out a little laser pointer of light from his horn, indicating the branches.

"Now." His voice became harsh and commanding.
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PostSubject: Re: A Helping Hoof [open]   Thu Sep 17, 2015 5:02 pm

"Okay, okay..." Moondust rolled her eyes at the stallions demanding voice.

Flapping her wings several times, she lifted her body weight into the air. She looked in font of her at the illuminating branches under the unicorns spell and began to head over to them. One by one she broke off the branches and watched them fall to the ground.

Moondust swooped back down to the ground. "There. It's done." She said in a slightly annoyed tone.
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PostSubject: Re: A Helping Hoof [open]   Fri Sep 18, 2015 4:57 am

Con took the torch and carefully lit a second fire at the opposite end of the circle of trees. At first the flames spread, lighting the whole circle ablaze. But as the two fires clashes clashed, they slowly started to dwindle and lose heat.

The stallion sighed heavily and sat down. Wincing, he lifted his arm to reveal a bite mark. Blood slowly oozed out from where the tinder wolf was able to bite in before it was lit up. He kept the torch lit, floating next to him.

Con glanced over at Moondust. As a spy, you only get any feedback when you are unable to do your job right, but most ponies don't work like that. You need to know when to shut down, but also when to encourage and compliment.

"Thanks." He started awkwardly. "You really... Cut those branches... well."

Con sucked in air through his teeth and frowned at himself.

The fire was nothing more than embers, smoke, and ash.
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PostSubject: Re: A Helping Hoof [open]   Fri Sep 18, 2015 3:26 pm

"I suppose it's thanks to you actually, I would have never thought to put out the fire that way" Moondust replied just as awkwardly as Con had replied to her. She looked at him, now realizing he was wounded. Now she became a bit nervous. "Are you alight? That bite does not look too good." She sighed. "Perhaps we should turn around and get you to a hospital."
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PostSubject: Re: A Helping Hoof [open]   Sat Sep 19, 2015 12:24 pm

On the compliment, Con brightened up significantly. "Using fire to fight fire. Never tried it before but I've learned about it for a... when I was... working in a fire fighting brigade."

Not his best cover, but it'd do for now.

The stallion casually ripped a bit of gauze in his pack and wrapped it around the wound. Blood immediately seeped through the white. On the mention of a hospital, his face blanched to almost as white as the gauze.

"Mmmmmmmmno." He pursed his lips and shook his head. "No hospitals."

"Not needed. Look! Its not too bad!" With a wink and a smirk, he let out a little burst of magic into the gauze, which made the blood recede and disappear.

"There."
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PostSubject: Re: A Helping Hoof [open]   Mon Sep 21, 2015 7:52 pm

Moondust examined the stallion. The cut was obviously bad, but she wouldn't make him go to the hospital if he didn't want to. "well... if you say so." She turned around, looking at her surroundings.

"We should keep moving then. We have to be almost there by now." She continued to walk, though didn't go far before looking back to make sure that Con was following.
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PostSubject: Re: A Helping Hoof [open]   Wed Sep 23, 2015 7:43 pm

"I do say so." He nodded, a reassuring smile still plastered on his face.

When the Pegasus turned to go, Con looked down at his leg. The magic faded, and the blood returned with it. The illusion he cast couldn't pretend to hold his leg together any longer. He frowned at his leg, betrayed, but followed Moon Dust. He would not go to a hospital.

"So, you go on expeditions in the Everfree often? You seem to know your way around pretty well. I mean, as well as anyone can know this death trap."

A weathered eye peeled for any landmarks, Con tried to converse and keep watch for threats.
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PostSubject: Re: A Helping Hoof [open]   Wed Sep 23, 2015 8:56 pm

"I have explored this forest a few times... yes." she replied still continuing foreword.
"But I mostly know this route because... well... I have tried this expedition several times myself, and the past few times haven't worked out. That's why I finally called out for help, well, posted a sign anyways. I guess I have always just been curious to find out what drove the Zebra's out."
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PostSubject: Re: A Helping Hoof [open]   Fri Sep 25, 2015 12:43 pm

"Mm. Some reason, I'm not so keen." Con said quietly, glancing at a stray bone that lay by the roadside.

Luckily, Con had reached the stage in walking where if a leg had, say, a gash in it, the pain just becomes a part of the many aches of hiking.

"How'd you even hear about this place?" He interrogated. "There's not exactly a map of the Everfree."
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PostSubject: Re: A Helping Hoof [open]   Tue Sep 29, 2015 7:59 pm

"I read about it" Monndust replied. I study a lot of myths and legends, and there is a story claiming this land is haunted by some sort of ghost, however there wasn't much information on it, so I'm going to investigate myself."

The pegasus continued walking, until she finally reached a clearing.  Bits of broken down buildings were still standing, though slowly decaying away. "Well... here we are" Moondust took a deep breath and headed over to the nearest piece of what was once some sort of shelter and began digging in search for artifacts or some sort of clue that could point her in the right direction.

(sorry it took so long to reply, been really busy lately.)
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