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 More than she bargained for... [Inferno]

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OneUnknownEnigma



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Location : Drinking tea in a garden under the green umbrella trees in the middle of summer.

PostSubject: More than she bargained for... [Inferno]   Sat Nov 05, 2016 10:51 pm

Knick Knack hummed cheerfully to herself in order to keep her spirits up as she picked her way through the Everfree Forest. She'd been in and around Ponyville for quite a while now, but there had been no shortage of friendly ponies to meet... or adventures to get tangled in. Pleasant thoughts of her new friend Bright Eyes were dispelled as she remembered the last time that she had come into the forest and ended up tangling with less than pleasant magic, but she pressed on. ((Holy continuity, referencing other RP threads! Ha))

Her expression only became more troubled as she drew closer and closer to the castle. Something was... off. Something was definitely off. The smell of charred fabrics poisoned the dank forest air and she quietened her steps as she trotted through the arched entryway. Knick was barely able to contain her horrified gasp to a squeak as she saw the ashen remains of the once degrading but now destroyed tapestries that had hung on the castle walls. The sight of the ruined artefacts made her heart ache, and she drifted forward as if through a sluggish nightmare as she went further into the castle. Who could have done this?
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Bright Eyes



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PostSubject: Re: More than she bargained for... [Inferno]   Sat Nov 05, 2016 11:47 pm

Soon, if Inferno got his way (as he so often did), his castle would be crawling with guards - pegasi to patrol the air around the looming structure, his fellow but less powerful unicorns defending with their strongest magic, while earth ponies with the strongest of weapons fought on the ground.  Today, though, it was only Inferno, in his new home.  He prowled through the hallways, obsessed with the imposing walls of the fortress - it was grand, perfectly suited for him.  And it had a dungeon, far in the back depths of the castle, which he intended to use soon.  The plans were already in motion.

As he turned into the mane corridor of the castle, he paused briefly, ears perked forward attentively - and then he heard it, just barely, the very faint sound of hooves moving slowly over the worn stone walkway.  His head turned sharply and he darted forward to see who was there, blood red eyes narrowing as he caught sight of a small form, pale brown with a wisp of purple.  Stalking closer, his lip curled back in what was intended to be a smile.  "And who might you be?"
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OneUnknownEnigma



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PostSubject: Re: More than she bargained for... [Inferno]   Sun Nov 06, 2016 5:44 am

Knick turned her head sharply as a cold voice rang out from the shadows of the corridor. Though she was a little taller than the average unicorn, and physically stronger too – all that travelling and pulling a cart – she was dwarfed by this pony, whose blood-red eyes gleamed with a calm sort of menace. She was about to call back some kind of equally standoffish or snarky answer – 'depends who's asking' or 'I could wonder the same' came to mind – but something warned her that this course of action was not at all a wise one. As much as she was wary, it was more than that... she was almost afraid... As ridiculous as that seemed. She knew her magic, and this stallion radiated a feeling of angry magic. She took a good few steps back before answering in a neutral, calm and quiet tone. "I'm no one of consequence. Just a traveller passing through." And then, because her curiosity could rarely be restrained and this was no exception, she continued (slowly, carefully, gently), "What interest do you have in the Castle?"
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Bright Eyes



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PostSubject: Re: More than she bargained for... [Inferno]   Sun Nov 06, 2016 3:04 pm

Despite how terrifying he seemed, Inferno was actually trying to keep it cool - something that was naturally very difficult for a fiery brute like him.  With long strides, he hurriedly filled the space that waited between the two unicorns, appraising the mare with interest.  She looked physically fit.  Perhaps she could be convinced to remain there with him.  He could always use the magic of unicorns in his mission for glory.  Any mare worthy to stay in the castle would jump at the chance to be a part of his magnificent kingdom-to-be, to help build the empire he intended to create.  His voice seemed to calm when he spoke again - which was likely no less unnerving.  "Oh, you're here to see my castle," he stated, with emphasis on my so there could be no question.  "I am Raging Inferno.  This belongs to me now. And you. Why have you come?"
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OneUnknownEnigma



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PostSubject: Re: More than she bargained for... [Inferno]   Sun Nov 06, 2016 8:38 pm

His castle? His castle? No, take a breath, Knick thought, stay calm. She tried to back up without being too obvious about it but there wasn't really anywhere to go. "I'm interested in magic," she said, a little more firmly than before, "And oddities. A priceless ruin like this usually contains some of both. But apparently it's less abandoned than I thought..." Knick Knack started backing away in earnest now.
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Bright Eyes



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PostSubject: Re: More than she bargained for... [Inferno]   Sun Nov 06, 2016 10:26 pm

His unworldly eyes were fixed on the unicorn as she stated her interest in magic.  With every sly step she took backward, Inferno slipped closer still.  "I am interested in magic, myself.  Can you not feel it here?"  As he spoke, the arching ceiling of the castle seemed to ripple with red energy, like fire pulsating from the carved stones.  "You are welcome to search the castle for your oddities.  I can escort you.  What is your name?"  He thought this was a very generous offer.
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OneUnknownEnigma



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PostSubject: Re: More than she bargained for... [Inferno]   Mon Nov 07, 2016 4:18 am

Knick froze for a moment, looking up as hot red magic spilled through the bricks of the castle. It was only for a moment, but he'd already eliminated the distance between them and it appeared that the spell had taken him almost no effort.
She ignored his last question in favour of pressing on. "I wouldn't want to deprive the –" she paused. "Your castle of anything more than has already been taken. You've... obviously got things very under control here." She sensed a wall behind her and skirted to the side to avoid it. "Thank you for your offer of an escort, but I think I'll have to look elsewhere. There is certainly a lot of magic here but I think we both know where it's coming from and the castle has not much more to offer me." She was speaking too fast, she knew, but she also was aware that she had to get out before she let herself be tempted by any more dangerous situations. If she didn't leave quickly then one of two things would happen, this pony would do something nasty or she'd actually be tempted to stay, and neither of those were options she fancied.
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Bright Eyes



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PostSubject: Re: More than she bargained for... [Inferno]   Fri Nov 11, 2016 12:11 am

There was a glimmer of hope in the monster's eyes as Knick Knack spoke.  He wasn't blind to the fact that she was coyly shrinking away.  Another long stride, then another, and he was closer than ever, grinning down at the mare.  "Do you know where it's coming from?"  He challenged, but his tone remained even.  Patience.  "The castle has a great deal to offer to someone such as you.  You can feel the power here," he assumed with a smug laugh.  "It can be yours, too, a power beyond the comprehension of most.  But to you, I will reveal it."  Inferno's very generous offer was followed by the faintest nod of the head.
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OneUnknownEnigma



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PostSubject: Re: More than she bargained for... [Inferno]   Fri Nov 11, 2016 8:55 am

Quietly, Knick Knack came to realise two things. One, this stallion was almost certainly insane, or at the very least, prepared to go to extremes to get what he wanted. And two – she had better find out what in Equestria was going on here, or nopony stood a chance at knocking him off the pedestal he had obviously built up for himself. So she steeled her voice and steeled the backwards motion of her hooves, and stood front-on with him. "Then show me," she said simply.

((Are you okay with extending this thread a bit, or would you like to cut it off here? I'm happy to edit. Maybe Glitter Hail could even join the thread for a cameo, if this is after Inferno meets him.))
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Bright Eyes



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PostSubject: Re: More than she bargained for... [Inferno]   Fri Nov 11, 2016 10:18 pm

The mare didn't shrink away again, suddenly emboldened by a need to do the right thing, to help the others of Equestria rather than save her own hide.  But to Inferno, it looked instead like the nameless stranger was considering his offer of power and privilege - if she chose it, the world was before her.  Taking this as a positive sign, Inferno grinned a toothy, savage smile as he beckoned her further into the castle with a firm nod toward its depths.  "Mares first.  Now, you still haven't told me your name. What will I call you?"

((Fine by me on both counts!))
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OneUnknownEnigma



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PostSubject: Re: More than she bargained for... [Inferno]   Fri Nov 11, 2016 10:51 pm

She felt a chill as he grinned at her, but didn't let it show as she began to walk in front of him. "My name is Knick Knack," she said cautiously. "How long have you been living in the castle?"
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Bright Eyes



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PostSubject: Re: More than she bargained for... [Inferno]   Fri Nov 11, 2016 11:26 pm

He followed just behind the unicorn like a shadow, looming and disturbing. "Not very long. My reign has only just begun, you see. You have come at the ideal time, Knick Knack." He enunciated the syllables of her name with satisfaction. "As my kingdom is still young, there are many opportunities here. Especially for one such as yourself."
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PostSubject: Re: More than she bargained for... [Inferno]   Sat Nov 12, 2016 9:01 pm

"I see..." Every time her hoof hit the ground, the wooden charms on her bracelet knocked together with a tiny series of pattering sounds. It was unlikely Inferno would notice at all, the sound was very faint, and hidden beneath their overlapping clicks of hooves walking over stone – she could only hear it because she was listening for it, but it helped to steady her, and make her feel just a bit better. Revenant's teleportation spell was probably about to come in very useful this evening. "Have other ponies joined you thusfar?" She asked. It was less difficult to sound interested than she would have thought – she was genuinely curious to know just how long this stallion had been lurking without the rest of Equestria realising and panicking. Would any be stupid enough to join him? How many times recently had ponies like this one almost brought Equestria to its knees at the cost of their followers?
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PostSubject: Re: More than she bargained for... [Inferno]   Sun Nov 13, 2016 12:23 am

When the mare posed a second question, Inferno's lip curled, revealing a set of glistening, sharp teeth.  She was curious - perhaps a little too curious, be was beginning to suspect.  Still, he continued along the hallway, fully intending to give her a tour of his palace.  The further she went into the abyss of the castle, the more challenging it would be for her to escape, he reasoned.  After a moment of quiet, he responded in a voice growing tense. "Yes.  Those who are wise are joining my kingdom now, while it is still an option to do so."
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OneUnknownEnigma



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PostSubject: Re: More than she bargained for... [Inferno]   Tue Nov 15, 2016 1:51 am

She sensed his patience slowly slipping the further they went. She didn't fancy seeing what happened when this stallion got angry... While it is still an option to do so? –the stallion's last phrase sank in and she fought to hide her concern. What might happen to those ponies who tried to stand in the way of this power-crazed unicorn? Nothing good, to be sure. "You'll have to forgive my curiosity, I'm an inquisitive pony by nature," she said, forcing brightness into her carefully calm words. "And this situation is more than a little unusual..." She sneaked a glance behind her to see her response. At the sight of the stallion gritting his teeth – pointed in a way that was unnatural for a pony – she continued looking steadfastly ahead and tried not to let her voice tremble. "How much of the castle has survived? It used to be in pretty bad shape..."
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PostSubject: Re: More than she bargained for... [Inferno]   Thu Nov 17, 2016 8:06 pm

“Unusual, indeed,” he murmured back in response.  His pace slowed to a stop when the pair reached two enormous throne — once where the princesses once sat as they reigned over Equestria, it was now decorated in scarlet red rubies in a pattern resembling a growing fire. “There will soon be others here, working diligently to return the castle to its former glory.  They are gathering now... Or they are being gathered.” Even half in ruins, it was glorious to the narcissistic brute as it was.  But it could be improved — perhaps the earth ponies he intended to use could even add an addition to the already-massive castle.

“Knick Knack.”  The stallion leveled his fiery stare toward the mare’s pale blue eyes, his expression grim.  “Why are you really here?”
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PostSubject: Re: More than she bargained for... [Inferno]   Fri Nov 25, 2016 5:14 am

Knick Knack, who had been looking up at the throne with a look of horror on her face, risked a glance back at Inferno and found him staring her down with an expression that really did not bide well for her if she stayed any longer. "My motives were pure..." she said faintly, looking back at him as she slowly frowned. "Yours are not. What can you hope to accomplish here?" This anger was unwise. No, scratch that, blatantly adressing him like this was flat-out stupid. But it was better than cowering. It had to be better than just running without trying to at least provoke this answer out of him. "What are you honestly trying to do?"
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