Two foals set out on an adventure to explore the Naue islands and oceans off the coast of Baltimare. Who knows What strange and interesting places lie beyond the horizon?
Last thread here! http://desustorage.org/mlp/thread/25972459
Previously on Across the Ocean:
>You take care of the remaining tab at Pan's Primitives and Poultices by sending bits with Dawn's mom
>Dawn and Bodi explore the butt island cave
>Come across a split path, take the path in front of you
>Turns out the cave is most likely some kind of hollow or home to a small pony
>The foals examine a bed that looks a bit like an eye from a distance and look at wall doodles
You feel a strange urge to leave a doodle of your own on the cave wall. "I wanna draw a butt" you say with a snicker.
"You sure?" Bodi asks, looking behind him at the hole you both entered from. "I don't want to like, mess this dude's place up if we don't have to, man. Messing with another's home brings bad vibes, so Koko tells me."
"Oh..." you reply through the crayon you're now holding in your teeth. Hearing the sound of your muffled voice, Bodi turns back around towards you.
"Dawn, what're you..."
"Too late." You say sheepishly, grinning broadly towards Bodi. A small equine rump now adorns the cave wall, adding to the graffiti displayed around the nestlike bed.
Bodi sighs and takes a step toward the hole. "Well, I think we should get moving, man. I don't really want to, like, hang out here anymore. I'm starting to get a weird feeling about this place."
"What about that stuff over there?" You ask, pointing towards the desk, or the driftwood piece acting as a desk.
"What about it?" Bodi asks in return, shrugging his shoulders.
"You think there's anything cool or neat there?"
"I dunno, dude. Go look if you wanna. I just want to leave this room."
Well, what do you do, explorer and graffiti artist?
"Weeeell, I wanna look over here first!" You give Bodi a playfully smug look as you trot over to the desk to see what you can find. "Well now," you say in slight surprise. "Hey Bodi, it's a map!!"
"Huhwha?" Bodi asks, leaning his head to one side as he makes his way over to the desk. "Huh..."
You show him the scrap piece of fabric in your hoof that you picked up from the driftwood. It looks like a crude map, and a crude pirate map at that, judging from the dotted lines and the big "X" on the lower half of the cloth.
"So it IS a map.." Bodi says in mild surprise.
"Think it leads to treasure?" you ask excitedly. "Like really awesome treasure!? Ooh, do you think that we could find this treasure and become rich treasure hunters?"
"Woah, I dunno man," Bodi says with a chuckle. "Though the map area does look a little familiar. I don't know... maybe?"
"should we take it?" You ask. All you get is an uneasy expression from your first mate. "I already feel bad enough for messing up the vibes here, man. I'd just copy the map, but it's your call, man. You're the captain."
What do you do?
Bodi is right. We could just copy the map. That's what our paper is for, plus it's easy to remember. It's in the bottom right corner. we now also know what the island looks like.
This takes the fun of mapping and exploring the island ourselves a bit.
Now let's go!
You decide to take Bodi's suggestion and copy the map to a piece of paper you brought with you. Bodi holds the cloth map out for you to look at while you do your best to copy what you see onto the paper.
With that out of the way, you both decide to leave the weird little room. Bodi crawls out through the hole first, holding the lantern in his teeth, and you closely follow behind.
You make it back to the fork in the pathway, and decide to take the path you didn't explore on your way to the room.
This pathway isn't as tapered as the other pathway, but it does make a somewhat blind turn to the right.
>Perception check: Dawn fails, Bodi Passes
"Hey..." Bodi whispers through his teeth. "There's some weird stuff on the walls, maan... I don't like it."
"Huh?" you ask, looking around at the walls as you walk. All you see are makeshift orblike things attatched to the walls near the ceiling. "What are those?"
"Dunno. They look like they're all attatched, too. I don't know what they do, but it's weirding me out."
Suddenly, it seems that the pathway stops ahead of you. The little trail leads down a small slope into a pool of water which expands to the edges of the cave walls. There's nothing else in here except for another piece of driftwood covered in rope segments, hooks and other scrap pieces of hardware.
It seems that this might be a dead end, unless the path continues underwater. What do you do?
How good are we at swimming?
If we got wet would it take a long time to dry off?
I want to continue onward but it might be too risky.
We should take a closer look at those orbs for now.
Probably isn't worth the considerable risk involved with cavediving, especially as foals without proper equipment or nearby help.
The orbs are probably makeshift water holders for whoever is living in the other room so they don't need to go down into the pool every time they want fresh water.
Well, this was a dead end. Or at least, dead at the moment as you don't wish to see how long you can last underwater. You're an okay swimmer, but you don't feel like risking it at the moment. Bodi's a better swimmer than you are, but even he doesn't feel like taking a dip at the moment.
Well," Bodi says, taking a good look around at the small port. "Looks like nothing's here. Maybe we should check out those weird or-"
Suddenly, you hear a noise behind you, cutting off whatever Bodi was about to say.
The two of you are interrupted by a terrible shrieking noise. It echoes noisily around the small cave walkway, hurting your ears and making you wonder just what made it. You can see a faint glowing getting stronger, and whatever it is, it's still behind the blind turn so you can't see it. The shrieking continues, and it's a little unnerving.
It's hard to tell just what's making the loud noise, but whatever it is, it doesn't want you here by the sounds of it.
What do you do?
The shrieking continues, making it hard to focus.
"Dawn!" Bodi shouts. "Take the knife and hide in the water! I'll fly with the rope over whatever this is." He snorts and takes a deep breath, closing his eyes for a moment before grabbing the rope from you and turning to face the exit.
Not sure what else to do, you panic slightly and fumble around for the knife in your bag. Turning the lantern almost off - it'd be too dark to see if you simply extinguished it - you dart over to the water and slowly submerge yourself up to your nose. A shiver ripples through your frame as the cold water envelops you, but you remained focused on whatever is out in the corridor.
Seeing that you're hidden, Bodi takes another deep breath and bolts for the exit. You hear a crash, another loud noise, and some yelling from Bodi as a greenish yellow fog erupts from the hallway!
You blink a few times, trying to figure out what's happening. You feel a bit more panic creep up on you. You've never been in a situation like this before! An actual fight with some sort of monster! Your imagination runs wild as you think of all the horrible things that could be out there. You hear coughing and the sounds of a struggle going on as you wait in your hiding place.
You feel sort of like a coward waiting here while your friend is out there fighting. What do you do?
You wait a few moments out of indecision, trying to figure out how to help your friend. It loooks like... some kind of gas is out there, and - eww, is that what it smells like? Some of the vapours reach you by this point, making you crinkle your nose at the nasty odor. Poor Bodi, he must have gagged on this stuff at the least. You can't determine what exactly the gas is, but man, it smells horrible. You don't feel like you're dying, so maybe it's just a stink bomb?
The flame in your lantern flickers erratically from the gas. Oh shoot! Without thinking, you lurch from the water and turn off the lantern completely before you blow up or something. It's now pitch black, but you don't want to take any chances like that. You can still hear hacks and coughs from the hallway.
You try to feel your way slowly towards Bodi, using your nose and hooves as guides towards the source of the stench. "Bodi?" You casll out barely over a whisper.
No response. "Bodii?" some coughs reply back. Bodi, are yo-oww." You trip on a rock. "You okay?"
"Errryeh..." Bodi moans back with a few coughs. "Stuck... err... I don't feel good, man... Think I m- ...might hurl, heh..."
"Stuck? How?" You call out in concern, still feeling your way towards the sound of Bodi's voice.
"Like... ropes or something. It was some... kind of trap, man. I saw something run... hrk... right before I got hit with one..."
"One what?" you ask. You think you're close to him based on the sound and the smell. It's almost enough to turn your stomach. You wonder how Bodi's managed to hold out for so long.
"Those orb things... I think..." There you go. You found him. Feeling for where he's stuck, you use your knife to cut him loose. Bodi slumps down, and almost no sooner does he hit the ground that he convulses and a nasty wet noise echoes through the hall. Poor colt.
You rub Bodi's back with a hoof to try and comfort him as his stomach settles.
"It's... it's a foal." Bodi says, holding his stomach but feeling a little better. "Saw it before I hit this trap. Ran off towards the room..."
Well, it seems that you forgot to take the lanturn with you. Great.
You can always go back to feel around for it. The gas should be dissapated enough by now. Alternately, you could try to feel your way out of here or towards the room. What do you do?
"Um... I kinda left the lamp back there..." You say softly.
"It's okay man... Let's just look for it."
the two of you sweep the ground for the lantern, trying to retrace your steps back to where you left it. It feels like forever before you find your light source, but after a few bumped heads and knees, you manage to find and turn the lantern back on.
"Ah, sweet light..." you say, patting the top of the lantern. "Now, let's get you to fresh air. I'll handle the foal."
"You sure?" Bodi asks. "Mhm," you say with a nod.
"Okay, but I'll be back down there as soon as I can. Just yell or something if you need me."
"I got dis" you say with a small smirk, patting Bodi's shoulder before beginning the slow trip towards the exit. You make it back to the split in the path before stopping.
"If the foal ran off to the room, do you think that leaving now would be a good thing? I mean, it could just run back to the pond room if we leave it."
"Yeah I guess." Bodi says with a nod. "Tell you what. I'll just start feeling my way out. It's just a simple path, so I should be good. You take the lantern and find that kāmamo."
"Oh, sorry, man. It means salmon butt."
You're not sure how that's an insult, but you shrug it off and leave towards the room. You make it to the entrance unscathed...
>Perception check: passed
You shimmy into the doorway, thinking that this foal is going to try and ambush you somehow. Sure enough, you manage to avoid a flying bottle that was aimed at your head. The little punk.
You see a blur dart into the nest, growling and trying to seem scary.
((Also, last one for the night, fellas.))
Oh, so it talks. Sounds like a colt, too.
"Who are you!?" You yell back. ""GERROUT!!" the mystery colt yells back. You sigh. This isn't going anywhere fast. You could always use the rope and try to lasso the sucker out, or you could try talking to him. You also kind of feel bad for the little guy, as even though you didn't mean to, you kind of invaded his home and drew butts on his walls.
Well, now you feel kind of like a jerk. Still, things are definitely somewhat hostile now, and you need to resolve them fast. What do you do?
Sorry for drawing butts on your wall. But you gotta admit, it was pretty funny.
Tell him we have food if he'll cooperate. We just wanna know what's going on. Otherwise, we'll skidaddle
Take a seat and sit in silence for a little.
Ask if he's able to understand you. Then tell him you're sorry for coming into his "home" uninvited.. and drawing a butt on his wall. But that's no reason to act like this.
we also would like him to apologize to bodi.
You feel kinda bad for the foal, and you think about what all this must seem from their position: two creatures barging into your home and rummaging through everything... drawing butts on things - though you actually think that part was funny - and making a lot of noise. Taking a deep breath to calm the adrenaline still keeping you pumped for action, you crouch and start talking in a more friendly tone. Maybe you can reason with the foal.
"Um, hey... I'm not gonna hurt you. Sorry for coming into your house..." you pause a second and glance to the driftwood bench. "This is your home, right? Well I'm sorry for barging in here... I'm Dawn."
You hear silence from inside the nest fort for a while, when suddenly a squeaky voice asks you a question.
"Is he gone?"
"Who?" You reply, getting a small growl from the nest to indicate that you should know who he's talking about.
"Yeah, he's outside, I think."
Silence again. It lasts for a few seconds, and although you can almost feel the tension setting back in, it's soon broken by the squeaky voice.
"huh?" You ask.
"I'mASTERN!" the voice shouts back, slightly aggrivated.
"Oh. Well glad to meet you, Astern." you say calmly, smiling at the nest. "Do you wanna come out and talk?"
You scrunch your face during the silence that once again sets in. Well, you've made first-name basis with whoever Astern is, so that's progress. What should your next step be?
"So... did you make all this stuff in here yourself? It looks really cool." Astern doesn't reply, though you can hear him whispering or mouthing something to himself.
"I'm sorry for the butt." you say, trying to find something to talk about.
"The butt. On your wall there. I'm sorry for drawing it."
You see the blanket move a little, and while you remain crouched, you get ready to move if you have to. the rustling only lasts a moment as it seems the foal was only trying to sneak a peek at your grafitti. You hear a soft "pfft" and what might have been a snicker before the room goes quiet again, save for the soft hiss of your lantern.
Remembering the map you copied from his desk, you decide to ask why he's down here. "Are you an adventurer or treasure hunter?" You ask with a soft smile.
"...Are yous with the navy?" Astern calls back.
"Uhh... no." You say, amused at the odd question.
"Pirate." Astern says from inside the fort.
"What'ja call me?" You ask with a small frown.
"I's a pirate!" Astern calls back proudly. "Astern Gear the buskaneer!"
"Pirate, huh?" you say with a nod. Suddenly, a stupid pun comes to mind and you can't help but share it. "So... I guess you could say that I gave you some booty on the wall then."
The joke was retarded and you knew it, but it caused Astern to giggle after he realized what you meant.
"So..." You continue, "mr. Pirate, did you know that Bodi and I are adventurers?"
"Mhm. We're exploring the oceans on our raft."
"YOUS HAVE A RAFT!?"
Suddenly the blanket flings aside and Astern hops out. He's... Well, Bodi was right. Astern's tiny. He only comes up to your eyes at full height. The freckled and ruddy colt looks at you with a determined grin.
"Yous Wanna be a pirate?"
How do you respond?
Astern's change of tone makes you giggle. "Sure," you reply. "I guess I can be a pirate. What's in it for me?"
"There's treasure!" Astern squeaks. "Yous gets to help find buried treasure! I... I need a crew and boat, and you have a raft..." He looks torn, like he's trying to figure out how to best propose an offer and make it seem attractive. "But I have a map!" His eyes dart to the desk where the map you already copied still rests. Seeing that it's still there, Astern looks a little more calm as he continues his pitch.
"Yeah, a map I found that's gonna lead us to treasure!"
"So you want us to help you find treasure." You nod before continuing. "Well... you know that Bodi's coming with us."
"What!?" Astern frowns. "I don't like him. He broke my wartiger."
You assume that the "wartiger" that Astern referred to was the jumble of rope and wood that you cut Bodi out of earlier. "Well you broke a stink bomb on him and made him puke. That wasn't very nice. You also threw bottles at us, dude. Not cool."
Astern fidgets uneasily for a bit before mumbling "S... sorry."
"What was thaaat?" You ask with a grin. Astern groans before looking down and frowning softly.
"Sorry I threw bottles at you."
"You need to apologise to Bodi too, little guy." Astern growls softly before conceeding. "Fine..."
"You know you're gonna have to get along with Bodi if we're gonna be pirates together." You remind the colt.
"I guess..." Astern replies glumly.
Well, it seems that you have a new member in your crew, for the time being at least. What do you do now?
Let's take him to bodi. Don't worry, you'll like him one you get to know him better. And tell him to apologize first and then bodi will apologize after. Then they need to shake hooves. After that we can try looking for the treasure.
Ask him where he came from, where he lives, and if he has any guardians. If he's alone we insist he comes home with us for his first journey. Missing children are a bit over our head and an adult should probably know.
"Hey, no need to be down about it," You say, smiling softly at Astern. "You'll like Bodi. You two just got off on the wrong hoof is all."
"I guess..." Astern says with a shrug.
"Oh, speaking of which; we need to go check up on him. He left without any light, so I hope he's alright. C'mon, let's go meet up with him."
Astern mentions the map and scrambles over to the desk while you pick up the lantern. Once he retrieves the cloth map, you two begin walking toward the exit hole.
"So," you say as you shimmy through the doorway. "What're you doing out here by yourself? How come I haven't seen you before?"
Astern is quiet for a bit before replying flatly. "I's got no parents no mo."
"Oh wow." You frown sympethically at Astern as you slowly make your way back through the winding pathway out from the cave. "That's rough. And you're just living in here by yourself?"
"Mhm. I's a pirate! Pirate's ain't got nobody but their crews... but I didn't have a crew till you."
"I see..." you reply. "Thing is... I'm the captain of my crew. Bodi's the first mate, and you can be our navigator, alright?"
"But..." Astern begins. "Look," you say, "Sorry, but that's how it is. Bodi and I built our raft ourselves, so we're in charge. I'm a nice captain though so don't worry."
"Fine." Astern looks a little crestfallen, but soon recovers.
Soon enough, you both emerge from the cave, blinking rapidly as you adjust to the lighting difference. Bodi is sitting on a rock, and looks relieved to see you.
"There you are. I was wondering where you were, man." His attention turns toward Astern. "Oh, hey." He looks back you and adds "so he's friendly?"
Astern blows Bodi a raspberry and hides behind your rear. "Yeah, he's alright." You recap what happened to Bodi, and he hops off the rock and walks up to you and Astern.
"Well, I forgive you, little man. Didn't know that was your house."
Astern fidgets again and slowly comes out of hiding. "Sorry..." he mumbles. "But yous gotta fix my wartiger!"
"The thing I cut you from." you inform Bodi. He nods in comprehension before turning around.
"Well, what now, man?"
Good question. You had already mentioned taking Astern to the raft. Is that your next course of action, or do you do something else?
You think that maybe you should show Astern the Horizon. Also, maybe he knows a bit more about the island?
"So, how do you fix the war tiger thing?" You ask Astern as you make your way back to your raft. "Like what broke?"
"You broke his fangs and ripped off his hat and cut off the net shooter!"
"Oh. Well we'll fix it soon." The three of you round the bend back towards where the raft is moored. "I wanted to ask you if you knew more about this area though, since you live here and all."
"Okay. I'll haveto show yous on pictures where we are and - oh wow is that it!?" Astern beams and bolts towards the Horizon, looking the makeshift craft over eagerly. "It's amazing! Yous builted this? Oh wow there's a house in it and floaties and..." He catches eye of your flag and jumps onto the the mast. You're a bit surprised at how agile the little colt is as he shimmies up the pole and takes a closer look at your flag wide-eyed. "Flag..."
He seems mezmorised by the cloth bannerfor some time before he slides back down the pole. "Yous have a good boat raft. We can be better pirates now!"
"Hey," you ask Astern. "How do you get around here if you don't have a boat of your own?"
"I can't..." the colt says bitterly. "I swim or I wait to steal things from visiting ponies or I find stuff here. But I have this now!"
"We have this." you correct Astern. "We're a team, remember?"
"Mhm," the colt replies.
((Also, last one for the night. Thanks for bearing with me heh))
"Anyway..." Bodi interjects. "You said you had, like, a map of the area or could tell us more about it?"
"Gimme stuff to write with." Astern says, grabbing a piece of driftwood. "We have a real map," you mention. "Eh," Astern replies. "Later. Here's where we are. The butts thing is over here, and that's where other ponies usually go when they come."
"Okay," you nod and make a note of that on your own map paper.
"Now he has to help me fix my wartiger."
"Um.. okay?" Bodi responds.
"Now! Cmon!" Astern hops off and tries to drag Bodi along. Bodi goes along with the colt as he leads him back inside the cave with your lantern. Darn. You were hoping to get home, too. Well, you'll try to get off this island as soon as you're done with the stupid "War tiger" thing. Well, Do you follow the colts, or take care of something else?
Yep, follow and continue asking questions to Astern. Ask how long he's been stranded here alone, what he had for sustenance, and also ask if he's seen anything weird in his time spent here... besides us and Bodi.
You sigh before chasing the colts into the cave, hoping to catch up before they get too far out of sight.
You manage to catch them in time, and the three of you make your way down the corridor leading to the room filled with water.
"So..." you begin, trying to learn a little more about your new navigator. "Like how long have you been down here, Astern?"
"mmm, about four." He replies, still looking ahead at the path.
"Four. Four what? Days? Weeks? Years? fortnights? What!" You squint a little, not knowing what he was getting at.
"Four!" The tiny colt replies with a squeaky shout. "I's here for four!"
Okay, so that made no sense. You roll your eyes a little and decide to ask him another question about his life here.
"So... like what do you eat?" You ask Astern.
Cheeky whelp. You ask him what kind of foods he usually eats. "Um, I eat grass and rubscrubs and bugs sometimes and seaweeds and sometimes stuff from ponies." He shrugs like nothing's out of place, and looks up. "Yous need to gimme another one. I had to use one."
He was referring to the orbs tacked to the cave walls. Astern says that a few he uses for light, and a few for traps. You made him use one of the trap orbs, so you need to make him a new orb for him to make a trap out of.
"Um... okay yeah fine." Bodi says, shaking his head almost imperceptibly. "The warter first, man."
"Wartiger!" Aster shouts, pointing ahead at your target. The "War Tiger" is actually a few large pieces of driftwood lashed together in the rough shape of a quadriped and attatched to a sled for mobility. It looks like a few small branches from the head area are broken, and the tail end is a heap on the floor. That was most likely the spot you had to cut Bodi out from.
"Fix it!" Astern says, still pointing. You raise your eyebrow at him, and he falters a little before adding, "Um, please?"
What do you do?
"Hey man," Bodi says to Astern. "Like, we'll help you and stuff, but you gotta tell us how to fix it. It's your thing, and we don't know what it does or how it's put together."
Astern sighs and trots toward the wooden contraption. "Aight, so yous cut off the tigertail and his back legs, and the rope gun's broken."
"Rope gun?" You ask. "I don't see any rope guns."
"Never mind, I'll fix that." Astern says with a shake of his head. "Yous can tie the legs back on to the body. Set it up and use some rope."
You and Bodi heft the stump that was lying on the cave floor and try to lash it back to the body of the wooden creature. The stump feels odd, like there's stuff inside it somehow.
"Hey, how does this thing work?" you ask astern. "Like, what's it even for?"
"It keeps out bad guys." the little colt says simply. "It's supposed to, anyway. Yous got through it, but yous aren't bad guys I think."
"Um, thanks I guess." You reply. While you were talking, Astern was able to somehow turn the jumble of rope and debris near the broken end of the tiger into a folded rope mesh.
"Oh, so you had a rope net..." Bodi said softly, looking over the trap Astern was packaging into an old can.
"Mhm!" Astern says with a grin. "The wartiger shoots it from his mouth to trap bad guys."
"You're a crafty little foal," you say with a chuckle. Astern scrunches up his face and stands tall - or as tall as he can, anyway. "Imma pirate! Pirates is supposed to be craftsy!"
Between the three of you, the Wartiger is soon restored to it's original shape. You still don't know all of what it does, but based on the weight of the stump and the rope cannon, you'd say that it's packed with different traps.
Now that you've fixed the machine, what do you do?
"Hey Astern." You ask. "Since we're like a company now, can we use this place as a fort?"
Astern shrugs. "Here? Okay. Yous can bring stuff in here too if yous want. Yous can use the underwater way too."
"wait, the pond has an underwater route?" Bodi asks in surprise. "Yeah." Astern replies. "It has fast water sometimes, but it's a secret entry so I like it."
"You don't say..." You wondered why there was water going into that room. You figured it was just water that came in from the ocean from some crack in the rocks or whatever. Knowing that it astually has an outlet makes in a bit cooler.
"Cool! Hey, can we go back outside now though? I don't wanna burn though all our lantern oil today..."
"Ah. Yeah, good idea man," Bodi says in agreement with you. "I'd like to get some clean air again anyway."
The three of you trek back up and out of the cavern,and you extinguish the lantern and set it to one side of the entrance. "So, wanna explore a bit?" you ask the group before looking at Astern Gear. "Also, you never told me what kinds of goodies you snag from ponies that come here."
"Well, I can show yous."
((Also, last one for the night, guys. Sorry about the small number of updates, but I guess I'm a bit more drained from work than I thought.))
It's a little past midday judging on the sun's position. A light breeze sweeps the pretty but not too exciting scenery as you and your band of mauroders explore the island. "Over there looks like a booty." Astern says, pointing to the buttlike plaining on the island's walkway. "Yeah... I put those logs there, man," Bodi says with a chuckle. "You did?" Astern asks in surprise. "Sure did." Bodi answers back.
The island itself is shaped almost like an enlongated potato, with your raft being moored on the southeastern area and Astern's cave a little to the west. You are heading northeast to the upper corner of the island and Astern leads you to a clearing with a few rustic tables.
"Ponies go here if they come to this place. Sometimes they camp, but mostly it's to eat yummy smelling food and pick plants. I steal food while ponies are away. Sometimes I steal better things for me."
Well, that's one way to stay fed. "Cool," you reply.
"Anything else?" Astern asks. Well, anything else about the island or about Astern that you want to ask?
If Astern doesn't mind, what happened to his parents?
He says he's been here for 'four.' Four weeks makes the most sense time wise, but I'm not sure why a kid so young would still use weeks as a measurement.
He might think his parents died, but they might have just lost him. We should ask Mom when we get back if there's any parents missing a colt.
"Hey, I was wondering," You begin, looking at Astern. "Where'd you get that cool hat?"
"I's stole it." the pirate beams proudly. "Took it from an ugly pony guy, I's did."
"Niiiice," you say with a giggle.
"So, Astern," Bodi interjects, "Like, do you have a favorite spot here on this place?" The colt nods and points back to the tables. "Here. I's steal food and stuff from here, so I like it."
"Do you know what's to the East and North of here?" Bodi asks. Astern shakes his head. "Too far."
"So, Astern..." you decide to ask the colt about his lack of parents. Hopping up on one of the tables, you try to figure out how to best ask him without bringing back too many bad memories.
You start off by asking what "four" means.
"Big moons? Wait, so like four full moons?"
So it looks like he's been here a while.
"You said back in the cave that you don't have any parents..." You see Astern tense a little as you bring up his past. He keeps a straight face however, so you continue.
"So... if it's not to much to ask... Like what happened?"
"They... They dead." Astern replies sternly, taking interest in a chunk of crabgrass. "Or I's dead. I dunno. We was sailing, and a big purpleblue rip came up and ate us."
He huffs suddenly and squeaks in anger. "I hate it! it ate my dad and mom and me, and, and, and if I find it Imma kill it!" You can see that the little colt is getting pretty worked up about all this. He's breathing heavier, and he occasionally stomps the ground or snorts in frustration.
"And it keeps coming back here, and I can't kill it!"
"Oh wow.." You try to comfort Astern, but you somehow feel that touching him will cause him to react aggressively. Instead you hop down and meet him at eye level.
"Hey now... It'll be okay, Astern. We're here for you, Bodi and me. We'll help you find that thing or whatever it is."
Seems that his loss is recent enough to still be emotional. What do you do?
Are we gonna follow the treasure map?
Ya'know, a smart and reasonable person would take this fella home and let adults know. Unfortunately (or not), we are an adventure seeking filly and hippe-colt.
"Tell me more about the purple rip," Bodi asks Astern, "if that's okay, little guy."
Astern takes a deep breath before plopping on his rump. "Gather 'round, lads and lassies, and I'll tell yous a tale of adventure." You and Bodi exchange glances before taking a seat on either side of the small colt.
"Yous see, it all started over four ago... Me dad, the bravest captian who ain't afraid of nothin; me mom who is a super swimmer and makes yummy food..." Astern pauses for a moment with a longing face as he thinks about food. "...And me!"
"We was on a quest... to get food! We were bringing food to a village of hungry ponies. We sailed through the thick and thin, ice and rain and wind, and, and... that's when it attacked!"
From the sky, and the sea, it came. The purple rip! my dad - the brave fighter - kept it away from mom and me, and we fought it off of our boat! It was hard to see through the lights and the rain and the sloshy waves, but we fought it for a long long, long time. Then... The the tricky rip... It ate us! Swallowed us whole, it did!"
Astern pauses for dramatic effect before continuing. "It took us away. I don't know what happened. It was all FFWSSHSHEWHSHHH!" AStern proceeds to shake his head rapidly and make swishing noises to emphisise his point. "Then it spat me here. Well... in the ocean over on that side." He pointed northeast as he finished his little tale. The little colt's story was seeming to border hyperbole, but you figured that the part about the 'purple rip' must be at least part truth.
"Think we should take him to see Koko?" Bodi asks. "This sounds like something she should hear..." You shrug. Heck if you know.
"And that's how I got here." Astern says solemly. Well, that was... something. How do you react?
Yeah, this does seem like an adult matter. But first we have to take him to our house so mom can make him some good food!
On the way back mention that maybe the Rip spit him out because it thought he tasted bad. Have you fought it since?
say "wow. what a tale."
do you remember the name of the island you lived on before? Or the place with the hungry ponies?
pretty sure his parents got spit out of a random location too so they might not be dead after all. let's not say that to him though. wouldn't want to get his hopes up.
yeah.Let's take him to koko.
Ask if he'll come with if we head back home. Grab a bite and wander around town until we have to bring him back.
Or is anyone keen on asking permission for him to stay a night or two? Maybe mom will have pity.
I'll admit I'm only asking this because I have my reservations.
"Wow. What a tale." You shake your head a bit, processing everything that Astern said.
"Do you remember the name of the island you lived on, man?" Bodi asks. Astern thinks for a bit before replying "Seamrog, I think. Dad always called it that anyway."
"Seamróg..." Bodi repeats a few times, trying to figure out where that was. "I... have no idea, man. Never heard of there before."
"You know what you need!?" You exclaim suddenly, causing Bodi and Astern to jump. "Heh, sorry... Anyway, you need to come home with us so you can have some real food! My mommy's a great cook!"
"Wait what?" Astern's eyes light up. "S... seriously?"
Of course!" You beam down at the tiny colt. "You should definitely come back with us."
".....Thank you!" Astern grins widely. "I haven't had mom food in... a while."
"No problem, little guy" you say with a smile.
"I think you should talk to Koko." Bodi says.
"Who?" Astern asks.
"Koko, my guardian. She might be able to help you a lot."
Astern hops onto one of the tables. "Yous guys is good. I like yous. We're gonna be a good pirate team!"
Well, that settles it. Looks like Aster'll be tagging along when you return home. Is there anything you'd like to do in the meantime? It lookos like you have a few hours of daylight left if you really wanted to do more stuff on the island.
(Last one for the night)
Speaking of food, you realize that you haven't had lunch yet. It's a little past midday already, but it's never too late for some food. The three of you head back to your raft and open two cans of veggies. You also take a few water bottles, passing one to Bodi and one to Astern. The three of you enjoy a nice and quick meal before setting off to explore the rest of the island together.
You turn to astern and ask about the treasure map of his.
"Oh, yeah I have this map I stole!" Astern proudly shows off his map to you again.
"Do you know where it is or what it leads to?" You ask.
"Nope! But that's why I have yous."
You remember the driftwood map and ask if Astern could mark off the areas he showed you earlier on your map. He complies, and soon you have an updated map of butt island!
"Anything else worth seeing here?" Bodi asks. Astern shrugs. There's a cool stream creek if yous wanna look at that. I catch bugs in there sometimes. There's not a lot oof really cool things on here besides that."
You think for a moment, setting the updated map of the area on a rock. Looking up, you can see the creek Astern's talking about in the distance. There's also a few hills along the area you could play on if you wanted to. The sky's a bit hazy today, so the sunlight isn't overbearing. Well, as far as attractions go, this place isn't super cool - minus Astern's cave house - but it's a nice day out, and adventurers always find a way to have fun.
What do you do?
This is the best map ever. Do we know how to skip rocks? We should skip rocks.
Sleep tight Sleepymint.
I think we should head home so we have more time to explain things to Koko and our mom. Plus Astern would probably appreciate a change in scenery, and now that he's showed us his island we have to show him ours!
((Sorry for the late start guys. I'm having really weird internet issues.))
"Hey, wanna check out that creek?"
You ask Bodi and Astern if they want to explore the creek, as it's one of the only major things on the very buttlike island you haven't seen yet. They nod, and so off you go!
Once at the creek, you take a few seconds to see what you can before picking up a stone. "So, Astern..." you skip a pebble neatly across the pond's surface as you as you ask the colt if he has a favorite food.
"Clovers." He nods and picks up a pebble of his own. "I loves clovers! They're tasty, and I used to eat a bunch when I's was with mom and dad."
The three of you spend the rest of the afternoon in idle banter and chit-chat, skipping pebbles and having fun being foals. Before you realize, it seems that it's getting close to sunset. The sky is a brilliant orange, with pink highlights bouncing off the partly cloudy evening skyline. It's really pretty to look at, but you know it won't last too awful long.
"Hey, where's Astern gonna stay?" you ask Bodi.
"Well, I think that Koko needs to talk with him, man. He'll most likely stay with me."
"Alright, that sounds cool. Mommy probably wouldn't like a new colt sleeping over anyway."
Well, young adventurer, you have a few minutes left to do stuff on the island if you really want to. Do you do something else, or head home for dinner?
Let's sail out. Head to Bodi's place with Astern after dinner, so we can tag along to for Koko's input.
Also ask mom if she's read any reports on missing ponies in the last few months, from what she can remember.
((Guys, I'm really sorry for ending the session so soon and updating so late, but a few things came up that need my attention the rest of the evening. That and more internet issues.
Thanks for bearing with me, dudes.))
You head home. The sun's starting its descent for the evening, and there's not much of anything to do on butt island anymore, so you decide it's time that Astern had a good meal again.
"Hey mom! We found a colt!" You yell as you and your enterouge enter your house.
"What was that, Dawn?" Your mother enters the back room and smiles at Astern. "Oh, hello there." Turning towards you, she adds "I see you made a new friend, dawn."
"He's an orphan maybe. Do we have any clovers? He likes those and he hasn't had any in a while."
"A what? An... orphan?" Heartwine looks at the three of you in concern. "Oh sweetie, is he alright?" She leads you to the kitchen where she does a check-over of Astern to see if he's injured in any way.
"Where're you from, sweetie? You're not hurt, are you?" Heartwine continues to bombard Astern with questions about his health, whereabouts and housing situation. An orphaned foal is a big deal, after all.
Astern uses this opportunity to spin yarns about his past that you and Bodi realize aren't entirely true. It partially causes you to wonder if the stuff he told you was completely true as well...
"He's staying with Koko tonight," Bodi informs Heartwine. "She needs to hear about what happened to him."
"Okay..." She still looks at Astern in compassion. "Is there anything I can get you to eat or drink? I don't have any clovers on-hoof, but if you wait I can go fetch some."
Well, what do you do? It looks like your mom's going to be gone getting clovers pretty soon, but you have the kitchen at your disposal till then.
Convince him to bathe and ask mom if she can pick him up a toothbrush, perhaps? I know we're adventurers, but bathing when it's possible is ideal I think.
Also, shitty art bump. Sleep tight sleepymint.