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Archipelago (cyoa) #12
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Somewhere, in forsaken waters, dwells the Winded Archipelago
Apparently cut from the rest of the world since ancient time by the power of Abyss, Gem Stone, who came to explore it with her father and a sailor, is now trapped here after a strange accident
After reuniting with her father, and meeting Alga, Pearl and several other natives, they try to find a wait back to Equestria
They also meet Spume, leader of a resistance movement aiming at bring the tyrants down
And with their help, they attack the Rostrum and to end the tyranny of the Wind Lords
The attack is a success, and the last Wind Lord is successfully captured
But not everything went well
Abyss, a dark spirit of the depth, aimed at killing the Wind Lords to get freedom from him prison
And when that goal escaped his grasp he decided to use his eldritch magic to merge his spirit with the one of Gem Stone
The result was the two of them becoming a strange hybrid
Everyone is confused and scared by the situation, especially Gem herself despite her now considerable power
At least the barrier separating the islands from the rest of the word was easily taken down
But now, Gem has to find a suitable ending for both the pony and the spirit inside her, and not let her darker emotions get the best of her
Right now, it is night, and tomorrow the trial of the former rulers of the land will take place
But as Gem can’t sleep, she decides to take the offer of Varesolace, a dragon who’s been trapped in a mountain since ancient times
Now that he’s free, his lost treasure calls on him, and with Gem he’s off to scavenge what might remain of his former hoard

Previously: http://anonpone.pineapplecomputing.com/archipelago
>The perspective of leaving this boring bed sounds very enticing to your ears
“No need to wake the others, then, I’m just going to come to your island”
>”As you wish, I’m expecting you soon”
>Your eyes shoot open, and you begin to sneak you way to the dragon
>Everyone seem very tired, so you easily slip out of your bed and room unnoticed
>Yet, you still leave your friends a little note saying where you’re going in case you don’t make it before dawn
>And then you finally completely dive into the ocean for the first time since your transformation
>Ah… your element… it fells so right, so true and so much more comfortable than the land and air you were forced in for so long
>Here, you’re a bird, an aircraft, a living force of nature, faster and stronger than any predator
>You feel nearly all powerful here, and it’s very excited that you set your course before surging forward
>This is amazing
>As you zoom thought he depth, you lose you your pony shape almost completely, becoming a comet gliding though the current
>Forget about the boat, this is how the likes of you deserve to travel
>The water in front of you opening up to vacuum your body forward brings you really close to topping the speed of sound
>The feelings are intoxicating, and despite the impossible rush of water around you, you can still see and sense everything around you
>You feel like you’re going to like that travel to the mainland
>It takes mere minutes for you to reach the volcanic island
>And once you’ve slowed down, you notice that the top of the volcano is spitting a lot more ashes that usual
>The tremors in the earth have only been increasing as you approached
>And suddenly, the mountain seems to burst in front of your eyes
>First a few bright red cracks can be seen in the rocks, showing whole slabs of stone collapsing inside the crater
>And then with a stunning rumble, sprays of lava start to erupt from the depth of the earth
>It doesn’t have time to spill out of the crater than something a lot bigger comes out
>Varesolace emerges from his prison, sending out the biggest burst of lava yet as he swirls into the air to get the shining red liquid off his body
>Now that you can get a look on his whole body, you see his frame is sickly thin and every single bone of his body can be seen under his green hide
>But with his shining green eyes, swift movement and royal composure, it only makes him look like a vengeful spirit brought back to life
>”Ah! The rush of air into my face! I’ve nothing against a brimstone-filled atmosphere, but did I miss the sky!”
>”I see you’re already here, Gem, that should mean I would have to carry you since you’re that fast’
>”My treasure has awaited me way too long already, onward!”
>Losing no time, the dragon lunges toward the west, the distinctive glitter of greed tainting his mind
>You’re rather… disappointed by his speed, though
>Sure it’s impressive for such a sack of bones, but you’re not even close to give it you all
>Well, at least you’ll have more time to enjoy the journey
>The dragon brings you to what you believe is the southern border of Equestria
>Once at the shore, he carries your little form on his back, allowing you to get a glimpse of what pegasi experience daily
>You fly over the Hayseed Swamps, in the direction of the peaks surrounding the Badlands
>”We’re here… “ Varesolace declares, when a gigantic slit in one of the highest mountain comes into view
>With your senses you can tell the cave is still here, but it has a new owner… another dragon
>Varesolace seems aware of it too
>”Looks like I’ll have to make myself known again sooner than I expected”
>”I doubt he’ll let me look around for something I lost without trying to get it from me”
>”Oh, well, that should be a beginning for a new fitting hoard”
>And he seems already set on the warlike approach

>What do?
We shouldn't interfere with dragon politics, but we could try to lure out of the cave so there won't be any collateral damage.
“Wait” You tell your steed “I should try to lure him out”
“That way we’ll avoid damaging anything precious”
>The dragon considers your offer
>”Why not…” He answers “But make it quick, I’m aching to go in”
>”From the entry, it’s a one way to the chamber, he has to be there”
>With a surprising delicacy, Varesolace offers you his paw to step on, before leaving you right next to the crack in the mountain
>Wasting no time, you run in, you hooves making almost no noise as you dash through the rough cave
>And soon, you feel the occupant of the cave right behind the next corner, and already his loud snoring can be hear all around you
>You peek around the rocks to see a massive black form, sleeping on an even huger pile of shiny riches
>Taller, more muscular, and looking a lot heathier than Varesolace, this lizard looks like he could crunch diamonds in his claws
>Yet you doubt your friend is going to back away

>What do?
Anything in his Hoard worth stealing? Possibly a meal for Varsolace? After we find something we should spray him to get is attention and run outside with the loot.
>Let’s see… what better way to take this big boy out than to take one of his shinnies
>You get a little closer to the mess of wealth which is climbing the walls around its keeper, seeking for a sizeable piece
>Gold, hoof sized rubies, some weird sword, more gold… this guy doesn’t look like the kind to tidy his room often
>After a few minutes, you finally see something worth stealing
>An opal, bigger than your head and completely smooth
>You’re not sure who’s the genius who chiselled that beauty, but you’re ready to bet that was the piece of his life
>You take it on your back, then prepare your escape
>And right before going, you get the scaly beast a nice little spray of salty water on him
>The drake is already irritated to have has his slumber interrupted
>But you can feel his mind go blank with rage when he notices you and your prize
>Too bad you’re already on your way out
>But the lizard is quite motivated to get you it appears
>He surges in the air with stunning speed, destroying several stalactites while he goes over you in a single leap
>Landing in front of you in the narrow… for him… path in the mountain, he’s trying to cut you from the exit
>But before that, the beast already had the time to curse you a dozen times… in a really unfashionable way furthermore
>Sounded more like a random thug that a dragon, Varesolace must be the old school type of dragon
>Compared to this ruffian, he might as well be the finest gentlecolt of the land
>Or it might be because you took this little thing front his place that he’s so rude, regardless you’re quite angry at that lizard for that offense
>Should you still let you friend handle this guy? You’re tempted not to right now

>What do?
Varsolace has multiple reasons to fight this dragon alone.
>Finds the nicest pieces of gemstone in the entire hoard

That's some damn nice detail. Also, this >>26040006
>But this is not your fight
>You dash right on, this guy is way too tall to catch you anyway
>Still, as you come right to him, he thinks his breath might somewhat stop you
>He inhales deeply, before a torrent of red flames come out of his mouth
>You happily get through, the coldness of the place was starting to upset you
>It stings a little as you feel a tiny fraction of you vessel evaporate, but overall you could absolutely go for seconds
>You leap, emerging from the fire inches away from the face of the dumbfounded lizard
>After giving him a sonorous thank you for the warming up, you use his surprise to continue your way to the exit
>Still, the new wave of swears informs you the dragon is still on you heels, but since you’re already out, it’s not really of your concern anymore
>The big dummy is soon to follow, and there he realises he’s got someone else to worry about
>Varesolace didn’t feel like a sneak attack or anything like that would be necessary, it seems
>He hoovers in front of the squatter, looking down at him with his arm haughtily crossed
>The young dragon is quick to answer with another wave of crude words, and ready himself for the imminent fight
>”To think this brat is the first dragon I meet for ages” Varesolace slips in your mind
>“I just hope all of my kind didn’t become so… ruthless in my absence”
>While the green dragon was talking, his new rival saw in his inaction a perfect opportunity to pounce at him with astounding speed
>And not entirely prepared to such a charge, he takes the impact square in the chest, before the two are sent flying higher in the sky
>The two massive creatures start to wrestle in the air, and soon it’s obvious the younger one has the upper hand in this fight
>While you’ve yet to see blood, Varesolace takes hit after hit, and seem incapable to retaliates to any of these attacks
>Pressing his advantage, the black dragon take your friend in a choke, and manages to take a hold on a wing
>Unable to maintain his flight, Varesolace plummets, with his opponent atop of him
>The world shakes as the two colossi crashes down in the valley
>A cloud of dust obscures you vision, and you can only see the black dragon, who’s probably pinning your friend under his powerful claws
>And then, the sun rises
>A blinding light, a bright as the day erupts from Varesolace’s mouth, completely engulfing the other dragon’s head
>A roar of pain shakes the earth as the black titan falls off your friend, freeing him from the grapple
>Furthermore, the green fire sticks on him, and he has to struggle to put out the ablaze scales of his head
>A vague memory surges in your head… you’ve been the prey of this flames, and for the first time in a while, you’re reminded of something than could actually harm you
>However, when you can see Varesolace getting up, you realise he’s moving a lot slower than earlier
>It seems like he’s still frail from his lengthy exile, and that kind of damage might already have taken a lot from him
>His adversary has now managed to subdue most of the flames, and even if you see some molten scales on his face, he’s far from defeated
>While Varesolace’s breath is certainly deadlier, his opponent has quite a few arguments himself
>The outcome of this fight is uncertain

>What do?
Let's return the favor for our friend and use our magic to choke him a bit.
This. Try drowning spell.
>You guess you could give this situation a little… push in the right direction
>Unlike Varesolace, the soul of the black drack dragon, even if fierce, is blind and mute to you
>An easy prey, in the end
>Your essence encircle his own, until there’s no escape for him
>The unforgiving coldness of your powers sink in him, and soon you see him tremble down in the valley
>His knees give up beneath him, and he reflexively take a claw to his neck, in a vain hope the remove your hold on him
>He’s aware of your presence, or that… something is doing this to him, but he’s powerless to defend himself
>Fear start to bloom in his normally adamant heart, so you weight heavier on him, squeezing the life out of this poor helpless thing
>He shakes harmlessly in front of Varesolace, who’s quick to recognize your influence
>His eyes darts to you
>”I find it somewhat insulting you feel like I’m not able to carry my own fight”
>”But I didn’t tell you not to interfere, did I?” you hear the slightly outraged dragon say
>These words barely matter to you, though, it’s not like he’s going to actually do something about it
>And you can feel hint of relief behind his mask of grumpiness
>Besides, there’s something so much more interesting in your mind
>What are you going to do to this young dragon?

>What do?
This is still Varsolace's fight, all we did was give him a chance to catch his breath.
Tell Var if he's going to do something than go ahead.
>Yet, You can’t shake that little guilt about stealing Varesolace’s fight
>Damn, what he said spoiled all the fun…
“Well, he’s all yours, then, whenever you want” you answer
>”Hmf! I won’t sink so as low to let you walk me through this fight like a whelp!”
>”Now that you got him, do whatever you want to him!” The dragon with the bruised ego declares
>”It’s not for that brat I’m here anyway…”
>On these words, he carefully flies off to reach the entry of the cave
>”Join me when you’re over with him” he declares before entering
>The black dragon still squirms harmlessly in your mental hold, his resolve not to fall unconscious weakening by the second

>What do?
Lets consider this punishment for the earlier insults and let him leave.
Make him unconscious then leave.
Someone requested Gem Shine. What's the rundown on her personality so I don't fuck up like I did with Chalk Dust?
Gem Stone is into big hunky stallions and runs a jewelry shop.
>You’re simply going to give him a warning this time
>But still, you wouldn’t want this arrogant prick disturbing your searches, right?
>It’s going to be a just a little, but he must pay
>Mercilessly, you smoother his weakened mind under your power
>Panic settle in his heart as her the last bits of hope shatter in him, making you hunger for more of his well-deserved pain
>The adrenaline rushes into you, just a little more… and life would leave his body permanently
>It takes a great effort for you to release him after that, and once you’re back in your own body, you realise you’re trembling all over
>He’s out, but still alive, you can feel it
>You’ve done what you wanted and nothing more you’d regret later
>With nothing more to do here, you join you friend inside the cave
>Varesolace is rummaging through the piles of gold when you arrive while munching handfuls of jewels at once
>He only stops when the floor can be seen below him, and then he slowly puts his claw in a strange hole in the ground
>A little click can be heard beneath as he does
>”The mechanism, it’s old and rusty, but it held on” he says to himself
>”I don’t think it has been touched… quick, I must find the other switch!”
>The dragon giddily goes to another spot, completely ignoring you and searches for his second button
>Eventually, he finds it, and this time, it’s a whole corner of the cave which sinks in the earth to reveal a new path deeper in the mountain
>The opening forces the dragon to crawl in, and you follow him in the hole
>And you’ve not yet joined him that you already can tell from the sheer joy in his heart he has found what he came for
>The path goes to another room, much smaller than the previous one, but still high enough to allow the dragon next to you to stand completely
>And in front of you is… something, you’re not really sure what
>It look like a perfect cube of pure, transparent amethyst, no bigger than your hoof
>Something like that… this piece is obviously magical, and probably powerfull
>The strange gem hoovers a few feet away from the ground and casts a dim purple light on the walls
>A shiver does down your spine and you stare at the strange jewel
>You’re not sure what exactly, but you definitely feel great power inside this this stone

>What do?
Not that I'm against free art, and I'd gladly give lots of no homo kisses for it, but are you sure Gem Sone is the one you're looking for?

Also, good night, see you tomorrow
Gem Stone, yes.
Give him a few moments before we ask him what it is.

Enjoyed the session Pleeny.
a bump is just what you need.
page 9 bump
up up
good night bump
here, a bump.
Oh boy
>The dragon keeps staring fondly at the artefact, apparently mesmerised by his own possession
>And it appears he doesn’t plan on stopping, but you’re getting bored, and curious
“So” You intrude his blank mind “What is it?”
>When you take him out of his daydream, a mischievous smile appears on his face
>As much as a toothy dragon grin can be mischiebous
>”Oh, Gem, you really don’t know what this marvel is? Such beautiful, and powerful artefact”
>”I can’t believe it has been forgotten between the lines of history, such a waste! But let me repair this mistake, and hear me…”
>You feel like he really enjoys showing off this piece of him
>It reminds you of these middle-age mares who show the grade report of their colt in second grade to every visitor
>”BEHOLD!” His voice and mind boom “Taken from monster tribes on the other side of this planet…”
>”Before you stands an artefact crafted with an ancestral knowledge that has probably disappeared from the face of this world!”
>”Created to guide kings and lords and unite land and realms, stolen from the last prince of Asphodel by a mighty dragon after a battle of epic proportions!”
>”Before you, Gem… is… The Archive!”
>You feel like you should clap, but faking a surprised “ooooh” is all you can do
>Yet Varesolace is way too excited not to but it
>”As for what it does… I could explain it, or I could simply show you, what do you say?” Varesoloce offers with a glimmer in the eye

>What do?
Why not let him show it off. Also ask if he was the dragon from the story.
“Of course, you make it sound very interesting”
>”That’s because it is”
>The dragon extends his arm to delicately capture the cube
>When it gets in his claw, the gem stops shining, and now looks like an average cubic jewel
>”We need to go to the other room, you’ll understand a little better what this piece of art really is about”
>You nod and follow the dragon through the tunnel again
“Say” You ask him on the wait “That dragon of your story… it was you, right?”
>”Who else? Gem Stone, I was already quite aged when I ended under this volcano, I made my place in legends already”
>”Oh, these were the times… I better get back in shape quickly to do that kind of exploit again”
>Once in the main cave, Varesolace place the artefact in the middle of the room
>And as you feel the dragon focus on the jewel, you can tell something is has been activated in it
>The purple glow returns, but this time, it doesn’t simply light up the place
>Shapes start to appear in the cave, and ghostly sounds to accompany them
>Purple threads come out of the cube and seem to tangle to form a very big mass in the centre of the room
>And soon, the form of a dragon can be recognized, and a very impressive one with that, yet strangely familiar
>The scaly colossus in front of you could probably take down even that black dragon with sheer strength alone
>He looks like a fortress, the blocks of diamond-like chitin on his already large frame looking like a living armour on him
>And the two rows of curved horns on his head give him a crown worthy of a timeless warlord
>The titan has his eyes focusses on two huge bags of linen, each bigger that you
>Suddenly, he mercilessly tears one of them open, and as he does, a cascade of jewels, mainly pearls you think, rain down to the floor in a melody of crystalline rings
>”You made the effort to bring a nice little tribute” The dragon speaks “Puny wizard… I’m going to… consider your offer”
>You immediately recognizes Varesolce’s voice
>What you hear is a little deeper than now, probably because of the beefier body
>”I am very grateful, your greatness” Another voice, much quieter answer next to you
>You turn around to see a unicorn
>It wears a familiar dark robe, and arcane looking tattoos adorn his whole body
>And while his face in unknown to you, there’s a little something in it that reminds you of Auriga… or is it Capra? You’re not sure…
>”A spirit, older than the sea itself has appeared, and it threatens to-“
>”A spirit?” The dragon scoffs “That’s what threatens your people? Bwahaha! Being such a lowly creature than spirits can wipe a whole realm of yours!”
>”Truly you are only good enough for crawling in front of me, and begging for my help!”
>The image of Varesolace takes a handful from the tribute in his claw, and seem to lazily assess their quality
>”How much of these do your people make in a week?”
>”I offered you a whole season in these bags, your greatness” the pony answers
>”WHAT!? Is that all? How many ponies are even on these islands of yours?”
>”Less than a thousand, but pearls are never going to run out, you know, we’ll be able to supply you for as long as you wish”
>”Your price is my own, you greatness”
>The young Varesolace caresses his chin, trying to gauge how much of a bargain he can extract from the seemingly desperate monarch
>”One season’s worth… for each life I save” he finally announces
>”WHAT!?” The pony exclaims in panic “B-but that’s several generations of works you’re talking about!”
>”OF COURSE!” The dragon booms in victory “MY TIME ISN’T WORTH ANY LESS!”
>The unicorn looks devastated, but after a few seconds, he nods at the dragon, who gives him a satisfied smirk in return
>After that, the purple glow starts to fade, and you can only hear one last whisper before it vanishes completely
>”Such a shame… I’ll have to get you drowned too”
>And then silence return is the cave
>”I usually get angry when I think about this” Varesolace says “Being played like that, by this hack of a king…”
>”But the Archive always make it look better in my eyes”

>What do?
How so?
”Really? What do you mean?”
>”Well, sure I get to remind myself of something truly embarrassing about myself”
>“But at the same time, I see it thought the pinnacle of my glory”
>”So altogether, as long as I have this beauty, I can say I’m fine can still rise back”
>Varesolace head for another pile of jewels and start to get another snack
>”I’m taking a little break for now” He declares “There’s no reason to search anywhere else if there’s all the food I want here”
>”In the meantime, maybe you’d like to see something else” He makes the cube levitate in his claw
>”The most amazing thing about it, is that it can be bound to a place, but also to a person or an object as small as a single coin”
>”You can revive the history of every single thing at hand with the Archive, that’s why it was so precious”
>”It showed the truth, free of all lie, and even saw where no eye ever watched”

>What do?
Hum... I want to see when we became one, from my father's perspective.
“Then, may I see the moment I… became like this?”
“I’d like to get an external point of view, from my father’s, it should be perfect”
>”Mmmh… let’s keeps that for latter, shall we?”
>”Without your father here, we can only see your point of view”
>”We need either to find your father or come back to where it happened to do that”
>”That’s the rules of this artefact, but we should be able to do that back in the islands”
>Varesolace lounges a little more on the pile of gold
>”I’m getting a new start, so I should find a new place, but that beauty is coming with me”
>”So while I have it, there’s no reason not to use it”
>The room falls silent again, only interrupted by the occasional crunch of a gem in the dragon’s maw
>After a few more snacks, Varesolace stands up again, and stretches his old limbs
>”Alright, I got what I came for and there’s still hours before the sun rises”
>”As I said, your friends won’t even notice you were gone”
>”That is, unless you’d like to go someplace else…”

>What do?
I'm falling asleep on my leyboard...
See you tomorrow
Aw... oh well. Maybe you should consider having some sort of apprentice at some point? Seems dragons now days lack your... wisdom or ability. That other dragon is still unconscious outside, in case you didn't know.
It's been a long time since he's been free so getting reacquainted with the area might be good. There's also the promise of finding him some good places to get gems.
run and have fun.
go up
Definitely this right here. He might know of the two princesses but I'm going to wager they have more of a hold on this land than he remembers.
sleep tight
I know that feeling
look up in the sky!
“I still owe you a new pantry, Varesolace, let’s find you a better supply that this”
>The dragon seem to like the idea
>As both of you exit the cave, he gives the inanimate form of the fallen creature a disdainful look
>”So you spared him? Good thing I’ve decide to move out” He comments
>”Let’s get going”
>You climb on the scaled creature’s back and he flies off, al little slower than before, though
>The landscape scroll behind the both of, and soon you decide to break the silence
“Have you ever considered taking an apprentice” You ask him
>”An apprentice? What kind of silliness is that?”
“It’s someone who’ll learn from your wisdom and be able to pass it on”
>”Gem… I know what an apprentice is, but why would I freely share my knowledge with random strangers?”
“Well, you said you were sad that other dragon was so uncouth, wouldn’t you like to see your values spread among your kind once more?”
>”Mmmmhh, well, don’t you worry about that, the time will come”
>”Once I’ll have reclaimed the full extent of my power, those lesser dragons will come crawling for my advice”
>”I’ll make them bend, whether they like it or not, for power in language these ruffians probably understand”
>”And they’ll be willing to give up their precious treasures to obtain a glimpse of my superior ways”
>”Bwahaha! I can’t wait!”
>At least he seem eager to take on the task…
>Still, you wonder… dragons have changed a lot since your friend’s time
>Not that’s you’ve met a lot of dragons personally, but you had always pictured them as closer to monsters than anything else
>You wonder what else has changed…
“It’s been a while you were away, do you know about Equestria? About the Regal Sisters?
>”Equestria wasn’t a century old when I left, but yes, but yes I’ve heard two monarchs stood forth to govern it”
>”But their realm is furhter in the north anyway, it’s barely of my business”
“Well… It’s not that far, Equestria stretches to the limits of the Badlands, and from the eastern sea to the western one and up to the Crystal Mountains”
>”What? It does? Huh… Ponies have made a lot of progress then”
>”I’ll try to avoid pony settlements, in that case, I wouldn’t want to meet you or your friends in unfortunate circumstances”
>”Anyway, you’ve yet to tell me where to go, don’t you?”
>But what kind of place would be the best?
>You know there’s a network of caves in the Everfree that might have what you seek for
>However, they’re likely to already have some inhabitants, even if it’s not dragons
>Diamond dogs also dig for jewels on the Equestrian soil, and they rarely have a permit
>Several times you’ve come across stones you’ve identified as typical from somewhere between Fillydelphia and Dodge City where there shouldn’t be any contemporary mine
>There’s also the Canterlot Mountains, still very rich in gems and crystals
>But the excavations stopped when the main galleries threatened to collapse, so it’s completely abandoned in theory

>What do?
griffin lands shouldn't be a problem? Or maybe the Minotaur lands?
>For places out of Equestria… You know a lot less about it
>Some minotaurs do work with jewels, but it’s mainly for trading, and you’re not aware of any production in their lands
>As for the griffin lands, all the mines you know about here are still in activity
>But at least it’d be far from any pony

>What do?
He could get a little from each land. Might take a little long though.
“What would you say about taking a little from several places?”
>”Mmmhh… I’m not again having some choice, but I’ll probably settle down in a single place in the end”
>”Besides, right now I already had my meal from our previous stop”
>”Now, what I’m searching is a place where I can replenish my strength on the longer run”

>What do?
galloping gorge looks out of the way enough to not bother anyone.
Beneath Everfree might be a good place but warn him that if he starts trouble that the Elements of Harmony may be brought to bare against him. That new Princess Twilight has done some crazy stuff.
>You wish there were some suitable jewels around the Galloping Gorge, that place is empty of everything except the occasional hiker
>But unfortunately it’s also devoid of any dragon food
>The Everfree is probably the better choice, there’s already a bunch of dangerous creatures running amok in here
>Varesolace won’t bother anypony, and you think he’s capable of standing his ground against the other monsters in here
>You give him the direction of the forest, which he follows
>As you fly under the stars, you start to recognize bits of your home land
>Rail tracks are the first sign of pony civilization you see, and soon you pass over the few lights of Dodge City
>And a little later, the Canterlot Mountain rise from the horizon, and the capital shinning in the night in the night sky comes into view
>You’ve come home
>But you’ve little time to admire the landscape, as already the Everfree Forest is beneath you
>At your command, the dragon dives to the ground
“I have to warn you, though” You tell him “there’s a pony town at the edge of this forest where the Elements of Harmony live”
“They’re the beholders of a power which has saved Equestria more than once, I advise you don’t get on their bad side”
“Especially Twilight, the princess of friendship, she embodies magic herself”

“She and her friends have defeated several demons of incredible power these past years”
>”Humf! Harmony and friendship aren’t supposed to be measured in gold, right?”
>”Worry not, there should be no reason for any quarrel between the us”
>You find yourselves scouting over the rifts in the soil for an entry to the subterranean part of the forest
>Finally, you see a suitable cave, large enough for the dragon to comfortably go in
>The two of you soon start to explore it, and are pleased to see it houses nothing more than a small colony of bats
>However, there’s also no crystal or gem in sight
>”What a pity” Varesolace huffs “I liked the volumes… Should we try another cave?”
“There’s no need to, let me see…”
>The underground of the Everfree has always been full of riches, if it wasn’t for its dangerous inhabitants, the whole place would be riddled with mines
>And from the composition of the wall and soil this place has them, it might only need an itty bit of digging
>For example… there! You dig with your hoof, and after removing only a few inches of dirt, you’re met with your own reflection on a purple crystalline surface
>Varesolace seem pleasantly surprised, but he hasn’t seen the beginning of it
>The two of you start to happily dig and scratch the soil in search of more food for the dragon
>But after a little time uncovering the main deposits for your friend, something catches you attention
>A single soul, probably mortal, coming your way from the exterior
>But as soon as you try to appraise it, it simply vanishes from your senses
>You’re left a little dumbfounded, as you wonder what is could have been

>What do?
Go investigate. Ask Var if he sensed it aswell.
“Varesolace, did you just sense something? I think there’s someone else here…”
>”Hum? Really? I wasn’t paying attention… to think such treasures can be simply dug out of the dirt”
>”Let me tell you something, Gem Stone, to me your most amazing talent come from your pony self, you can be sure of that”
>You give him a little smirk, but still you’re almost sure you sensed something
>Leaving the dragon to contemplate his new base, you head toward the entrance of this cave
>The first thing you notice is the sky beginning to get clearer, it’s probably around five right now
>You also catch a very, very slight sound of breathing
>And as you concentrate on where you hear it, you feel like you can actually sense a little…
>But the pony bolts out of its hiding place, and he presses right to the exit passing only a few feet away from you, visibly not in the mood for company
>You only have a moment to react

>What do?
Tackle? or pick up and throw a rock at them to slow them down.
After them! Use tackle, or watergun if we can.
Do we have anything like telekinesis?
>A clever use of telekinesis could help you in that situation
>Sadly, you’re no unicorn…
>But you don’t really need that, do you?
>In a split second, you produce a powerful blast of water directly at the pony
>From such close range, it hits square in the side of your target
>And the sudden shock makes it immediately fall in the dirt
>Then, before it can get on its hooves again, you pin the pony under your weight, making it unable for it to escape
>Now that you can have a good look at you prey, you realise it’s actually a zebra mare
>At first she tries to escape from you, but soon she realises it’s useless
>From here she remains silent and still in your hold, glaring at your face inches away from hers
>And despite the obvious soul in front of you, only your eyes can clearly see her
>But the expression on her face is already enough to show a good amount of fear

>What do?

See you tomorrow
What are you doing all alone in such a dangerous place?
I am thinking of booping. But I am not sure. Ask if she would like anything. because she could have just asked instead of sneaking around.
Ask how she's able to hide from us.
Let's jump up

Should we also make a sound?
we must be silent like a cat
board is moving quickly tonight
beep beep
>A pony? Here? Ever for a zebra this is strange
>Your captive gulps as you lift you hoof over her head
>And mercilessly bring it down to press her snout, thus forcing a deep scrunch on her face
“Hello there” You echo toward where you suppose is her mind, not sure if she hears it “Would you like anything?”
“You know, you didn’t have to sneak around you could have simply come and asked me”
>The zebra is sweating, but after a moment she says she saw a dragon in the sky and was curious about it
“Ha! So you do hear me! But… Still it’s a little weird, I can’t feel anything, how’s that possible?”
>She rhymes that you feel… very impressing and explains she panicked when she realised you could see her that way
>So she tried to conceal herself, that’s just something she know how to do
“Yeah, but how do you do it?”
>The zebra is a little taken aback, but finally she says she confound herself with the rest of the world
>Which doesn’t really help you understand, though
>The startled zebra asks if you’re going to release her soon

>What do?
Ask what she'll do if you release her.
“And what will you do if I release you?”
>The zebra start to sweat even more, as if her life would depend of her next words
>She tells you it just feels very uncomfortable to be pinned like that and since there’s no need to be afraid of her, she’d like to walk on her own
>Of course, if you’ve got no objection about it she adds

>What do?
Well alright. She better not be up to any funny business.
“Alright I guess”
>You roll away from the zebra, who shyly get back on her hooves, shivering a little
>She merely stand there for a while, her eyes still watching you with an apprehensive expression
>After a moment she awkwardly asks you if you’d accept to tell her who you are and what you are doing here
>On that note, she also introduce herself as Zecora, and tells you she lives alone in the forest

>What do?
I guess we should introduce ourselves what Var called us. "Abyssal Gem."

We're looking for a home for a dragon.
”Me? I’m Abyssal Gem, and we’re looking for a new home for my friend”
”It’s the dragon you saw earlier! He’s inside if you want to meet him”
>Zecora politely declines your offer
>However, she adds there’s already a couple of dragon she know about around here
>This is definitely a good place you found, she comments with a tense smile
>But then she asks if you are going to live here too
“Of course not!” You reply “I already have a home, and ponies don’t live in caves”
>Her face somewhat shows a bit of relief as she lets out a very light huff
>And a after a moment of uncomfortable silence, she asks you permission to go back to her home

>What do?
Ask where she lives so that maybe we can visit later.
Sure, you may leave. Should we mention how we're a pony fused with a spirit? Could she help us? We have no reason to tell her but....
“Alright, I guess you can”
>It seems like a weight has been lifted from her
“Buuut…” She freezes again “Maybe you can tell me where you live! I’d be happy to visit you sometime”
>She audibly gulps
>Why would you possibly want to visit her poor, skimpy hut, she asks you
>She tells you it’s really not worth the sight and since she lives alone she’s very boring to be around
>As she does, she slowly back further and further away, and seem ready to tell you goodbye

>What do?
You've been in huts before and they're cozy. Besides, it's good to know where you can find a friendly face in this forest. How about you just follow them. You'll remember easier anyway. Let's go to your home!
Never met a zebra before.

Ask >>26076765
“You live in a hut? Hey, I love these! They’re super cozy”
“And there’s not many ponies around here, I’d really like to know where to find a friend in this forest”
“Also, I’ve never met any zebra, so don’t worry, I’m sure you won’t be as boring as you say”
“Oh, and I just had an idea! I’m going to follow you to your home so I’ll remember the way better”
>Your idea seem to positively enchant the zebra, she could die right here
>Since she can’t respond with anything more than a nod to you, you simply follow the zebra to her home
>But not before telling your dragon friend you’ll return in a while off course
>After a short walk in the forest, you arrive in front of the hut of Zecora
>Apparently carved it the stump of some elder tree, the place is decorated with many tribal masks from her home land
>The place feel really strange, but not in a bad way
>It’s almost like it has a soul of its own, which is radiating a faint aura of peace and calm around the home of the zebra
>She reluctantly invites you inside her little stay and quickly offers you tea
>While she starts brewing it, you get to observe the decoration
>She obviously has a job or passion for cooking or alchemy
>There’s masks similar from the ones outside, but also an infinite amount of vials and flasks of unknown content
>But it’s really the cauldron taking the whole center of the place which really gives away her occupation
>Now… she’s been giving you the cold shoulder for a while now, maybe you can warm her up a little to you
>Maybe, if you just open up a little;;;
“Say, Zecora?”
>The zebra perks up
“I’ve got a problem, do you think you can help me?”
>The clatter of crockery stops as Zecora gives you a puzzled look
“Actually, I’m in a really weird state right now…”
“I’m not a spirit, or a at least I used not to be”
“I was a pony before, but many things happened and I got fused with one…”
>That seemed to pick up her interest, and before you know it, you had had told her the bigger part of the story
>She’s completely dumbstruck by the time you’re finished, but she appears to believe you
>Still, she tells you this is completely unprecedented
>And it seems she’s very curious about that
>She asks you several questions about yourself
>About your body, your memories and you powers
>How do you perceive the world and how does it feels to you
>And if your emotions became different, or if they remain the same as when you were a pony
>You’re a little-at-ease about some of these ones

>What do?
Ask how much about spirits she knows.
“How much do you know about spirits?” you cut her
>She seems a little disappointed, but still ends up telling you she has learned wat she could about in her mortal travels
>There’s two definitions for the spirit, she starts, and the two are heavily linked together
>First, there’s the spirit that exists in all things
>In every pony, griffin, dragon, wolf, tree or even pebble on the ground
>The spirit of things, is what puts matter above a simple conglomerate of smaller part and make it something or somewhat as a whole
>It’s the very essence of a being, its meaning and sense, purpose and fate, emotions and feelings
>It’s what makes you feel love, hatred, friendship, envy, anguish, what give you hope and make you laugh
>Everything whiteout what, we would only be mere machines
>Then, there’s THE spirits, she continues, and they come in many form
>As opposed to mortals, who have their spirit, or let’s say soul, shaped primarily by their physical existence…
>The spirits have their soul creating their own existence, meaning they don’t need physical sustenance, and do not age
>But the core of their being is often the result of a swarm very similar small souls or emotion, or a very broad one
>Just like a desert is made of sand grains, spirits embodies a whole parcel of existence, and may control their domain completely
>And as a result, their potential to chance is close to none, as they can only change when the meaning of what they embody changes too

>What do?
See you tomorrow
To answer her previous question let's tell her everything we know, like how sometimes our emotions can fluctuate and we can communicate the same with others, even while speaking ourselves. It's like talking through water.
here is a bump
That is some interesting if a bit hard to digest information.
Now that I think about it, do we still have filly bits?
“Woah… that’s a lot to take in”
>The zebra answers it’s the best she can do with only words
>She adds that the knowledge of the spirit is more about understand the world around you on your own
>You scratch you head a little, that’s probably the best you can get from her without lengthy meditations under waterfalls or something
>Anyway since she answered your question, you guess you should answer hers
>You tell her about you, how your emotions are fluctuating, and how urges you didn’t have before started to appear
>Then, as you talk about your body, a wild thought pops in your mind
>Since your balder and stomach stopped bothering you, you realize you’re not ever sure you’ve got all the regular lady bits
>You don’t start to ogle yourself in middle of the conversation with the zebra, but with a little concentration, you feel it’s still there
>Still, you wonder how it works now though
>Finally you talk to her about how you communicate, and that while you gained the ability to gaze upon the emotion of others…
>Talking and hearing with you voice feels like there’s a veil of water between you and you interlocutor
>At These words Zecora lets out a sigh
>And while a benevolent smile draws on her face you start to finally get a timid glimpse of her spirit
>A strange mix of soft emotions and a whispering harmony in unison with the rest of the place appear in front of you, simply looking at it is a little mesmerizing
“Hey, thanks for that! I mean… It was a little weird to talk to you like that”
>”Around spirits, my course is to remain tame”
>”But you’ve shown me that you and I are the same”
>”However, your case is very unique”
>”I’m afraid my knowledge is way too weak”
“Well… I know what happened to me is complicated and you’re not the first to tell me that”
>”Don’t worry, I want to try”
>”This is something worth the pry”
>”With some research, maybe I could cater”
>”But then, it will have to wait for later”
“Really” She gives you a sympathetic nod “Thank you, Zecora!”
>In your gladness, you can’t resist hugging the zebra, even if only your disguise makes you cuddleproof
>At that moment, you also realise the sun is starting to shine through the windows
>It must be past six

>What do?
We should head back to Var and let him know we should get going.
>You gasp
“Zecora, the sun is up already, I’m going to be late!”
>”Then run, don’t let your dragon down”
>”Gem, I hope to see you around”
“Me too, Zecora, thank you for the tea!” You say as you bolt out of the room
>It’s a good thing you’ve picked up the spirit of the dragon, because otherwise you’d never have been able to find his cave again
>Varesolace is waiting for you, curled up like a cat as he tests the bedrock of his next home
>He perks up as you arrive, though, and soon the two of soar in the sky
>The trip back is a lot longer, as you’re further in the land, and your steed is in less of a hurry
>Oh, man… they’re all gonna be so mad…
>When you finally get over the ocean, you don’t wait for the dragon to take a break to jump off him to simply dive into the big blue
>You’re able to cover the remaining distance rather quickly and it’s only around eight than the hideout is in sight again
>And apparently, everyone is still asleep… except Spume, who you feel awake in the pantry
>Looks like you made it

>What do?
Go greet her a good morning. Tell her we went out for a while since we are no longer capable of sleep.
>Quietly you climb on the quay hoping not to disturb anyone else
>You knock on the door where Spume is
>Apparently she’s preparing breakfast for everyone
>She greets you, and says she’s surprised since she expected you to be the most tired of the bunch
>Upon hearing that you, in fact, cannot sleep anymore, she comments that maybe it’s not so bad, since you’d probably have nightmares to scare you for years if you could
>You’re not sure if she’s trying to cheer you up…
>Soon you find yourself helping her wake up the others, who seem in an alright mood
>But after you’ve watched them have their meal, serious business is next on the table
>Spume is going to leave soon, with the support of other rebels, she’s going to reveal the truth about the Wind Lords to the population on Coto then Ocre
>Then, around noon, she’ll come back to pick the two prisoners and bring them on Coto for trial
>Alga and Pearl want to go with her, while your father will remain here
>And for you…

>What do?
We will go. We might be the best to back her up in case they see her as a heretic or something.
>You will go with Spume to back her up, you state
>The Pegasus welcomes you help, but ask you not to reveal your true from out there for now
>Since she’s already going to shake their little world, you might scare the people more than anything if your condition is revealed
>You answer you understand
>This day too is going to be busy, you guess, in a less dangerous way than yesterday you hope
>You board with the three mares to Coto
>And after meeting up with almost all of the resistance and gathering the population of the island, Spume starts to speak
>She states the truth bluntly and crudely, not letting time for the obvious uproar that would follow to cover her voice
>Of course, at first the people of Coto don’t believe a word of her
>Even if they can’t explain the presence of their king’s previous concubine in front of them, they harshly refuse to accept what she says
>But there’s a number of voices against them, all of the resistance is here too, and the first wave of anger is soon replaced by sheer confusion
>The feeling that emanating from the crowd at that moment is that they want proof, and Spume had that covered
>Her memento of her late husband was displayed for everyone to see, and the absolute belief the people of Coto had in their master started to crack up
>As a result, several inhabitants accepts to travel to the Rostrum, and see for themselves that it is empty
>You’re on the boat too with the dozen volunteers from Coto
>But during the trip, you’re surprised to see that Quick Band, that medic from yesterday, is also here
>And he looks mildly happy to see you as he walk to you
>A little away from the rest of the ponies, he bluntly asks you what you have to do with all this

>What do?
You already know most of the story. I only left out the bits where I helped the resistance. Abyss came after the Wind Lord seeking revenge be decided to fuse to me instead.
Telling him about Abyss is a bit much.
We already told him what we are so he should know what's up.
Did we tell him that we fused with the ancient evil monster that terrorized the archipelago?
Yes. Well, maybe not the "evil" and "terrorize" parts but yeah.
I forgot that we actually told him.
>You decide there’s no more reason to hide anything from him
>The rebellion, Abyss, and how he was actually linked to the Wind Lords, you tell him the rest of the story
>Mouth agape, he’s shut silent for a moment after you explanation
>So much for seeking help on the Wind Lord’s side, he finally says
>But then he says something else
>If all you say is true, he starts, then the shadows, and the barriers from the crystals should be gone
>And you tell him he’d be right, from where he then asks you why you and your companions didn’t start from here
>The answer might be because you didn’t think of it

>What do?

See you tomorrow
Guess we wait and show them the Rostrum and whatnot.
wuh oh
how frightening
hmm, oh dear
One courtesy bump, free of charge.
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