The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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    Default Celestia's Finest: Thorns and Stripes

    The call to adventure came unexpected and unlooked for. A letter from Anaki, almost begging though she was still too proud for that, pled for Rose to come to their aid. The exact details were not included, but she said that a construction company owned and run by minotaurs had made several attempts to claim their new home and run them off.

    Of course, this would not stand. Though they had said their goodbyes, Rose is not one to let a friend down...those other times notwithstanding. The point is, she's not one to let THESE friends down! Yes. That sounds right.

    And so, as the little plane she chartered to carry her down to the border of the Equestria and the Wasteland, Rose is off to a new adventure!

    "You know," the pilot, a chunky earth pony mare, says conversationally, "You're sure as heck a lot friendlier than those other fellows I flew out here last week. Better smelling too."
    Last edited by Miltonian; 2019-07-06 at 08:51 PM.

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    Default Re: Celestia's Finest: Thorns and Stripes

    Quote Originally Posted by Miltonian View Post
    And so, as the little plane she chartered to carry her down to the border of the Equestria and the Wasteland, Rose is off to a new adventure!

    "You know," the pilot, a chunky earth pony mare, says conversationally, "You're sure as heck a lot friendlier than those other fellows I flew out here last week. Better smelling too."
    Rose was pulled out of her thoughts. She tugged at her coat as if by instinct. "Oh? Guess showers are going out of style. Did that other group of ponies give you that much trouble?"
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    Default Re: Celestia's Finest: Thorns and Stripes

    "Nah. They weren't ponies. Bunch of minotaurs hired me to fly their plane. Bigger than this, but they argued, wrestled, and shouted the whole way there. Never smelled so much sweat and testosterone in my life," she replies. She looks out the window. "Alright, small compound, right? Wood walls, buncha masks hung all over the place?"

    Down below, Rose does in fact see a compound made of wood huts with thatched roofs, a large cauldron bubbling over a communal firepit, and surrounded by wooden poles upon which have been mounted all sorts of wooden masks. Several striped forms look up at the plane flying overhead.

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    Default Re: Celestia's Finest: Thorns and Stripes

    Quote Originally Posted by Miltonian View Post
    "Nah. They weren't ponies. Bunch of minotaurs hired me to fly their plane. Bigger than this, but they argued, wrestled, and shouted the whole way there. Never smelled so much sweat and testosterone in my life," she replies.
    "Shipping neanderthals, how unpleasant. I hope they paid you well."


    She looks out the window. "Alright, small compound, right? Wood walls, buncha masks hung all over the place?" Down below, Rose does in fact see a compound made of wood huts with thatched roofs, a large cauldron bubbling over a communal firepit, and surrounded by wooden poles upon which have been mounted all sorts of wooden masks. Several striped forms look up at the plane flying overhead.
    "Yeah, that looks like the place. I recognize those stripes from any angle."
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    Default Re: Celestia's Finest: Thorns and Stripes

    "Very well," the mare grunts, "Some sort of corporation. I didn't pry. Just saw the name on the check they cut me."

    She scans the area down below and nods. "There's a field over there," she says, "We'll put you down over there." She banks the plane and begins her descent. With only a few bumps and jolts, Rose is on the ground once more. The pilot slides the door open and turns back towards Rose. "Give me a day or so's notice and I can swing by to pick you up again when you're done here."

    The zebras have assembled on the edge of their compound, peering cautiously at the plane, waiting for someone to emerge.

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    Default Re: Celestia's Finest: Thorns and Stripes

    Rose gathers her things. "Not a problem. I packed a good radio to call when I need you. Well, don't let any stuffy corp-types give you trouble. Testosterone is no excuse for manners." She hops down off the plane (not sure if already paid or not, assumed Rose paid?). "Thanks for the flight!"

    Rose walks toward the compound, looking to be in a good mood, tho not necessarily smiling. This is an answer to a distress after all.
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    Default Re: Celestia's Finest: Thorns and Stripes

    Rose did in fact pay. The pilot doesn't fly for people who haven't paid. As Rose hops out, she revs her engine, waves to Rose, and begins coasting down the runway until she takes off and climbs into the air.

    The zebras, seeing who it is, relax. Some of them scamper off into the compound. Three, however, remain behind: two of the stallions flanking Anaki, who looks just as fetching as she always did. She steps forward, a big smile on her face. "Rose!" she calls, "Ah, thank the ancestors you have arrived."

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    Default Re: Celestia's Finest: Thorns and Stripes

    Rose canters up to the zebra and offer her friend a hug. "Anaki! It is good to see you again. I only wish it was under less worrisome circumstances," she says. "I came as soon as I could to help."
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    Default Re: Celestia's Finest: Thorns and Stripes

    Anaki accepts the hug and wraps Rose up in her forelegs. The other two crowd around and Rose finds herself immersed warmth and welcome. "Yes, with you here, everything will be fixed soon," Anaki says, with all the confidence of a child to their parent or an acolyte to their god. "Come! Come inside. We have food prepared."

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    Default Re: Celestia's Finest: Thorns and Stripes

    Rose heard the song of her people. Or at least, her stomach. She made no hesitation to follow her friend back to the compound.

    "It looks like you have settled down in a good spot. Lots of level ground for farming."
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    Default Re: Celestia's Finest: Thorns and Stripes

    Anaki nods. "Yes, yes it will be. Much water. Everything grows easily here. It is good land. If we can keep it."

    She moves with Rose into the central building, which seems to be a communal dining hall. The smells that waft out and reach her nose are heavenly. Baked corn, fresh salsa-like substance, Roaman style beans...A feast has been prepared in her honor and all the zebras stand in respect as she enters.

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    Default Re: Celestia's Finest: Thorns and Stripes

    "You will definitely live here. I will see to it that your claim is honored," Rose says.

    She loves the scents that entice her nostrils. With all the zebras around, Rose lifts a hoof and waves. "Hello everyone. I came as soon as I could to help resolve your issue. I... oh my, I didn't expect such an honor. you humble me with such hospitality."
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    Default Re: Celestia's Finest: Thorns and Stripes

    That puts a big smile on Anaki's face.

    At the table, Oroko steps up and pulls out a chair for Rose to sit at the very head of the table. "This is more than a feast," he says quietly, "We thought you might appreciate a good meal while we told you..." He clears his throat.

    "Everything that's been happening," Anaki finishes, seeming to leave it intentionally vague for now.

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    Default Re: Celestia's Finest: Thorns and Stripes

    Might appreciate? They're playing to Rose's vices here. She graciously sits down on the chair offered and looks around the room. "I definitely appreciate all this. And it would be nice to catch up on what has happened since last we parted paths."
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    Default Re: Celestia's Finest: Thorns and Stripes

    In no time flat, Rose has more food than she should ever eat piled in front of her. It all looks delicious and wonderful and she wants it all, but her better judgement warns her not to pig out.

    "Most of our time was spent building up our dwelling and sowing the fields," Anaki says as the others pile the food in front of Rose, "These are the first-fruits of our labors. We think they are quite good. Other than that, we have passed the rituals of mourning and have prepared our minds and spirits to move beyond our grief."

    She scowls. "Then the bull-heads came and claimed that this land was part of the 'New Wondertainment Extravaganza' themepark, which was due to begin construction seven days from now."

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    Default Re: Celestia's Finest: Thorns and Stripes

    Quote Originally Posted by Miltonian View Post
    In no time flat, Rose has more food than she should ever eat piled in front of her. It all looks delicious and wonderful and she wants it all, but her better judgement warns her not to pig out.
    Roll to avoid getting tagged 'fat' on Derpiboru gluttony. (3d6)[12]

    She scowls. "Then the bull-heads came and claimed that this land was part of the 'New Wondertainment Extravaganza' themepark, which was due to begin construction seven days from now."
    Rose raises an eyebrow. "New WonderWhat ExtraVegan? That seems suspicious to build a theme park all the way out here in the wilderness, far from pony cities that would visit. And to wait until a week before building it to tell you about it?"

    "Something suspicious on their timing. Where are these bull-headed bull heads camped at?"
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    Default Re: Celestia's Finest: Thorns and Stripes

    The zebras mutter to each other at that. "We have no experience with such things," Anaki admits ruefully, "An 'amusement park' is a new concept. We do not know what goes into it. But you do. We believe they are lying, but we do not know where to begin to untangle their lies. You do."

    Auni points to a crudely drawn map that covers almost an entire wall. "A short hike to the North, Mistress Rose," he says, "We are the symbol for peace, they are the symbol for chaos."

    Unfortunately, Rose does not read Zebra glyphs. She does, however, note that one glyph is prominently in the middle and another above it is marked in red.

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    Default Re: Celestia's Finest: Thorns and Stripes

    Quote Originally Posted by Miltonian View Post
    She does, however, note that one glyph is prominently in the middle and another above it is marked in red.
    Color-coded for my convenience. Rose nods and studies the map. "An amusement park is... it's similar to that underground casino place we met at. Down the Wire I think it was called. The park is on the ground and usually open to the sky. There are places to play games and to eat. The thing that bothers me is that they're usually built near big towns, so that it's easy for everyone to come spend time and money there. We're no where near any big cities that I know of. I had to fly myself here. I think I'll have to pay their camp a visit and see what they're really after."
    Last edited by DigoDragon; 2019-07-12 at 09:45 PM.
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    Default Re: Celestia's Finest: Thorns and Stripes

    The zebras frown and mutter. "They want to turn out home into another Down to the Wire?" Timiti asks, horrified.

    "Or something worse it seems," Anaki says grimly, "If that is but an excuse, their real plan must be far more sinister." She plops down into a seat next to Rose, running a hoof idly across the table. "We know where they are," she says, "Where they make their camp. You can smell it from half a mile away."

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    Default Re: Celestia's Finest: Thorns and Stripes

    Rose fiddles with some food, then tastes it. "Well, I shouldn't waste time. Or food. I could use a meal, and then after I will want to visit their camp by stealth and see what I can figure out about their true plans."

    She idly ponders what that plan could be. Maybe they know of some buried resources around here and want it to make money? Hmm.
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