RP leader: Matchmaker. Other helpers may be required at times to cover the US time zone depending on the plot. Matchmaker is usually online between 6.00-7.00 PI time on and off till around 21.30 PI time.
Type of FP: Invite-Only. If you would really like to participate and I have inadvertently forgotten to invite you, please PM Matchmaker with details of your character. You'll need to be of at least intermediate RP ability and need to be able to post at least once every two days. Any questions please PM Matchmaker. Invite List: Ktrenal, Pristine, LNS, Eoko, Kitty Kinneas, MadMooCow, Gerfette, Nightfeathers, Cosmic Castaway, ChaosKirin, Mint, Steamwork Sprocket, Springacres, Hoppersnail Sales, Reisari, Calomel.
Continued from: http://www.ponyisland.net/index.php?src=forum&sub=replies&forum=191&topic=2880308
Characters: One character per RPer, no foals, no Water breeds, one familiar if you wish (see Rules below for extra info) - must be placed in Pet Hotel once we're on the submersible.
Rules: All Standard RP Rules, plus:
Magic allowed: Please see the Azuyan list of Magic : http://www.ponyisland.net/index.php?src=forum&sub=replies&forum=170&topic=2845091 if you wish to choose one of the standard powers. Otherwise, the list of Arcognian magic allowable is listed in the Arcognia WB thread http://www.ponyisland.net/index.php?src=forum&sub=replies&forum=171&topic=2872633. If you wish to change the magic your pony has used in a previous RP that is fine as this is not a canon storyline. Your pony is not obliged to have any magic powers. Remember magic is behaving somewhat erratically in Azuyan at the moment.
Familiars: Those already awarded via silver/rusty whistle in the previous RP are welcome here. In addition, your current familiar can have 'bonded' (gold whistle) status if you like, which gives it the ability to be more helpful to you and to react to your commands, within reason. Parts of this RP may have unsuitable locations for a familiar, in which case you may leave them at a Pet Hotel until you require them again, by summoning them with your whistle. Please write in bold if you are either putting your pet in a hotel or summoning it again. Also, it is prefered only small/medium sized familiars accompany your character, as the larger they are the more likely they'll need to be left at a pet hotel There will be an opportunity during this RP to acquire an Arcognian familiar. General information on familiars can be found here: http://www.ponyisland.net/index.php?src=forum&sub=replies&forum=172&topic=2601909
Items allowed: A small amount of PG, writing materials if you wish, small amount of snacks, clothes from the PI store or past PI events (smart and casual needed, don't forget to pack both!), or clothes from your character's island, backpack/bag, no weapons. If you have something special you'd like to bring, please PM Matchmaker to see if it's allowed.
Plot Outline: Jerold Creaklock's largest steam whistle in Arcognia has been stolen by a thief/thieves unknown. He has received a ransom note, telling him he can reclaim his whistle for a price, and that he should search the floor of Krater Caldera, a difficult prospect at the best of times. On the journey to his destination on board the steam train the Arcognian Express there has been the unexplained murder of a waiter, rocks on the line that could have derailed the train, and finally three more murders as the rest of the crew were killed and the train careered out of control, to be stopped in the nick of time by the passengers before crashing off the end of the line. It's been stressful, but will the Submersible find Jerold's Whistle, or is it just another red herring?
Setting: You have arrived at the small village of Brassmore, situated alongside the deep Krater Caldera, a naturally-occurring deep lake that was once a volcano. The lake is a beautiful deep blue, ringed by sparsely-vegetated, rocky low hills, a stunning location of natural beauty. There are only a few buildings here along with the Train Station where you can buy train, submersible or dirigible tickets. The main buildings are: The Pipe and Goggles Inn (cleaning services provided), Brassmore Supplies (for all general goods and snacks), Brassmore Post Office (Brassgram services), Copperwire Cruises (charter hire of boats), also various small stone houses, mostly leased out to tourists or holiday lets to well-off Arcognians.
Brassmore area Map
(Small dark squares are private holiday houses, larger squares are public buildings (shops etc).
Characters you should know:
Zinc Minx SP:20
Proprietress of the Pipe and Goggles Inn.
Laconic and laid back in her manner, she is nonetheless a very observant and shrewd pony.
Captain Bellatina Pepperwhistle SP:40
Captain of the Submersible The Riveting Rustbucket
Affable and courteous in her civilian role, but formidable as a Captain. If she shouts "Jump!" you ask, "How high?".
Cranshaw Ratchet SP:1
Boat Master at Krater Caldera.
Just doing his day job. He won't ask any awkward questions, or gossip about what he's seen.
Arlo Bogthunder SP:20
Magic: (Arcognian) Solder Iron - weak (ability to join 2 small golf ball sized metal objects)
Best friend of Jerold, also a watchmaker and steam whistle enthusiast. Loyal, dependable, but unimaginative. Badly affected by the recent traumatic events, how will he cope?
Xander Ironchisel SP:6
Magic: (Arcognian) Oiled Joint - weak (ability to get rusty/sticking metal joints working)
Fellow Steam Whistle collector, Optician and fierce rival of Jerold's. Outraged at being implicated in the robbery and out to prove himself innocent.
Ulrich Winter SP:20
Magic: (Standard) Weak: Using wind to go faster - Uses air currents to make self +5SP faster than usual (SP relates to speed only)
Shabby and shadowy figure of unknown intent who admires Jerold's whistle. Whose side is he on?
It was 10.20 a.m.
The Pipe and Goggles Inn had better quality food than might have been expected from its unremarkable, basic appearance, a small, granite building with large plain windows, its decor similarly understated and no-nonsense. The Luncheon Menu boasted the following:
Crispy Grilled Arcognian Crickets
Toasted Oatmeal Flapjacks
Cinnamon and Apple Muffins
Freshly-washed Green Leaf Salad with Edible Dessert Flowers
Spicy Tortillas with Cucumber relish
Cheesy Gears Nibbles
Coffee, Tea (Iced or Regular), Hot Chocolate, Apple or Orange juice
You are outside The Pipe and Goggles Inn where we shall clean up and eat prior to making Submersible arrangements. Feel free to get washed up in the Inn's bathroom (basic shower facility and towels provided) and help yourselves to food and drinks in the self-service restaurant that has a panoramic view of the Caldera and surrounds.
Jerold Creaklock SP:45
Royal Watchmaker from the Kingdom of Arcognia.
Magic: Attractive Magnetism, medium strength (Arcognian). Can attract/pull metal the size of a tennisball a medium distance (approx. 8 feet)
Items: Fob watch worn on a chain around his neck. Back pack with snacks and PG. Shiny gold whistle that summons familiar Gizmo, the Snowy Owl.
Jerold was incredibly relieved to step off the crewless Arcognian Express with his own and his friends' lives intact, even though he had to placate the irate station master who for some reason known only to himself thought the passengers had deliberately sabotaged the train. As suggested by the very sensible dragonpony Creamy, his first stop was to go to the train station where he reported at length the events that had transpired. Since Brassmore had no police station, crime being pretty much unheard of in those parts, there would be a delay of a couple of days in the investigation whilst a team was brought in via Dirigible from Cogsville, a Brasscard communication having been sent off with urgency.
Whilst at the station Jerold also enquired about hiring a Submersible for the group. It transpired that none other than the illustrious Captain Bellatina Pepperwhistle, bright star of the Arcognian Submersible fleet, was on holiday in Brassmore. At last, a happy coincidence! However the group was going to need to find and talk to her about their unusual request, would she agree to help?
Arlo stood by Jerold, looking inscrutable. Jerold felt terrible for his friend who was looking less connected to reality with every passing hour. However they had to get on and retrieve his Steam Whistle, then they could get back to Cogsville and he'd give Arlo a long holiday. Also, none of the group had eaten for hours, and it was time they stopped to replenish their energy.
In the basic washrooms, Jerold and Arlo both showered and washed the grime off their coats, towelling themselves dry as best they could. The hot, dry Arcognian air would do the rest. Arlo was looking decidedly off-colour so Jerold packed him off to a room to get some sleep, whilst he headed towards the Pipe and Goggles's restaurant, helped himself to some Grilled Crickets and a honey-drizzled waffle with coffee. He took a seat at a large table by the window that had a splendid view of the Caldera lake, to await the others. He felt emotionally drained after the dreadful journey and whilst physically he felt tired, the food and drink would soon pep him up.
Character Name and SP: Brimstone (SP: 1)
Picture (no more than 170 pixels please):
Link to pony's profile: http://ponyisland.org/index.php?src=pets&sub=profile&pet=12254490&usr=8434
Items: silver whistle used to summon her stoat, Emrys, currently in winter coat. Pouch worn around the neck with some PG and snacks. Festive cloak.
Magic (if any) and its strength: Weak Fireballs
Brief Bio: She grew up on one of the islands of KORR, but she left soon after growing to adulthood. Something within her simply didn't like what went on. She is finding her own way in the world, and has much to learn about living among other ponies. She is also learning how to care for her new companion though he seems to find trouble more often than not all on his own.
Brimstone couldn't have been happier to bid farewell to that accursed train. Emrys seemed to share her feelings, chattering and bounding from antler to antler the way he was. She had tried to watch him but it crossed her eyes which soon led to a mild headache.
As soon as she was able she headed straight for the restaurant. A little food would help her nerves as well as the stomach pangs. It might also make Emrys behave himself for a while. She was sure he could smell food a mile away and just prayed they didn't have any ham. The last thing she needed was to chase the little stoat through the kitchens.
Before she could eat Brimstone had to wash off the grime of travel. She didn't realize she was filthy until she saw herself in a window. At that point she all but ran to wash up despite the protesting squirrel brain on her head. Emrys too got a wash, though his was somewhat more haphazard since it involved chasing him under the spray and trying to keep him there long enough for the water to help.
It was a sad little stoat whose body looked about half as thick with his fur soaked that emerged from the bath. Even Brimstone felt sorry for the poor guy. She went over and got them both some food after cautioning him to stay aboard her antlers. When she sat down near Jerold he snatched some from her plate and sat down nearby for some serious eating.
Brimstone proceeded more slowly but not by much. She was starving. She just didn't want to look like a pig.
"How'd it go?" She questioned between bites. "At the station. Are they sending someone?" She didn't want whoever had done it to get away with killing the poor crew. They hadn't done anything wrong.
Jerold tried to smile as Brimstone and Emrys joined him at the table, but his face felt unable to form such a cheerful expression in the wake of the last couple of days. Had it really been only two days since he had been at the Convention, carefree and excited at the prospect of the Steam Whistle concert? It felt like a month at least, and he felt he'd aged ten years in the process.
At Brimstone's query about his visit to the train station to relate the awful events, Jerold shook his head a little, "It helpeth us not that the station master hath insisted we wrought the damage to the train and must pay, or that one of us must have caused the deaths of the crew. 'Tis not the money that troubleth me, 'tis the thought of that poor train crew and why somepony wouldst seek to murder them in cold blood, yea and seek to murder us all as well! 'Tis a miracle we escaped with our lives," Jerold said somberly. "Aye they wilt send a fancy Detective Inspector out, no doubt, the Brasscard hath already been sent. I shouldst imagine the streets of Cogsville will be alive with town criers relaying the news verily as we sit here, soon it will spread all round Arcognia, such doings be rare here." Jerold sighed heavily. He caught sight of Xander and Ulrich entering the restaurant, and stared darkly at his coffee. "'Tis all we need right now, that cranky, pompous Ironchisel putting in his ten PGs worth."
Jerold stared moodily at Emrys who was tucking into some of Brimstone's food. "Arlo be unwell, I sent him to take a nap, the stress hath changed him into a mere shadow of his former self," Jerold finally said. "We must findeth Captain Bellatina Pepperwhistle once we are all rested, for they tell me she is on holiday here, by great fortune. If anypony can find my steam whistle on the Krater bed, 'twill be the good Captain."
Xander Ironchisel felt thoroughly out of sorts. His beautiful cloak was probably ruined by the soot of that filthy engine room, he'd had no decent sleep and there was a killer on the loose. Still, the dogged little Valkyrie wasn't going to let any of that keep him from following that despiccable Creaklock and his cohorts, for he knew the minute he turned his back they'd frame him for the theft. No way was he going to let that happen, soot or no soot.
Hurrying into the 'town' that was more of a village in Xander's eyes, his aim was to get cleaned up before having any more dealings with the others, in particular, Tari. Nothing like the smell of soot to put off a mare, unless she was into mechanics, and Xander thought that was highly unlikely. Once he'd booked a room at the Pipe and Goggles, he sent his grimy clothes off to the cleaner and then got himself spruced up. He watched in disgust as the water draining off him turned grey and gurgled down the plug hole. Who knew what damage that might have done to his coat? He shuddered, then dried himself meticulously. Luckily he had other clean cloaks in his luggage and was able to emerge from his ablutions as pristine and elegant as ever.
Meanwhile Ulrich Winter had made his way over to the Inn at a more leisurely pace, taken a quick shower and shaken the water out of his coat. He preferred to let his coat air-dry, so much healthier than using a towel, in his opinion. He was badly troubled by the events on the train, and quite frankly would be glad if he never had to travel on one again. Every so often he'd glance over his shoulder, looking for he knew not who or what, but he could not shrug off the sense of unease.
Making his way to the restaurant, Xander encountered Ulrich on a similar mission, to fill up their growling bellies. Both nodded curtly at each other, unwilling to exchange words, for what was there to say? Social niceties seemed totally inadequate and false. Each heaped food onto their plates and walked towards where Jerold and Brimstone sat. Xander hesitated, for he did not wish to sit with either, and instead sat at the next table, setting his tray down with a deliberate clatter and glaring at Jerold. Ulrich was left with a dilemma, where would it be prudent to sit? In the end he decided to sit with the unscrupulous Xander and observe him, but not before he nodded politely at Jerold and Brimstone. No need to alienate them.
Captain North Star SP: 55
Link to pony's profile: http://ponyisland.net/index.php?src=pets&sub=profile&pet=4639860&usr=544555
Items: Bright pink captain's hat, bag of red hot candies, ribbons, bronze greaves, tail wrap, rainbow scarf.
Brief Bio: North Star is the Captain of the Riverboat Kitchikoo in the Love Isles. He is a hopeless romantic and it is to be expected that any free moment he has, his nose will undoubtedly be buried in one of his gushy romance novels. He takes great pride in his appearance and is constantly bedecked in a rainbow of ribbons braided into his mane and tail, he wears his special tattoo with pride and often sashies around to draw attention to his gloriously decorated rump.
North Star could not relate in words how wonderful it was to have his coat washed clean of the awful grim that had built up in his usual gleaming fur. He counted himself fortunate that he was able to wash the dirt out of his beloved captain's hat and his tail wrap seemed none the worse for wear.
Letting the air outside dry his mane and coat, the wishie stallion trotted through the town to air out his thoughts and once back at the Pipes and Goggles Inn, helped himself to a plentiful serving of spicy tortillas with cucumber relish (being rather partial to foods with a some spicy kick to the flavours) and returned outside and was faced with, well, a small dilemma. Where was he to sit? There was that flattering valkie fellow Mister Ironchisel sitting with a a pegasus stallion (Ulrich) with he'd yet to make proper aquintence with yet and then there was Mister Creaklock whom he'd introduced himself to on the train as it had karoomed out of control before they managed to stop it. The poor fellow was sitting with one of his friends (Brimstone) and was looking decidedly downstruck.
North Star's brow creased, he seemed to be having a terrible time of it. Making his decision and tipping his head politely to Xander, joined Jerold. There was plenty of time to chat with the charming little stallion later, right now the poor unicorn looked as if he needed some good news or someone to make him smile at least. "Jerold Creaklock was it not dear sir?" the captain greeted the unicorn and he tilted his head to the reindeer mare. "Do forgive me but I do believe we haven't had the proper introductions. I am Captain North Star," and with that he joined the pair, jumping slightly when he saw Emrys helping himself to food from Brimstone's plate. "Oh! Is-is that little chap yours?" he inquired with a nervous smile.
Jerold looked up from the imaginary dark clouds circling his coffee cup as the colourful Wishie stallion (North Star) took a seat at his table. The whole day appeared brighter, or was it just the stallion's attire, a little too bold for Jerold, more like a minstrel's outfit. "Aye Jerold Creaklock at thy service, 'tis a pleasure indeed to meet thee, Captain North Star," Jerold perked up at the (hopefully) nautical title. "Captain in what capacity, might I be so bold as to enquire, sir?" he ventured, "Art thou a ship's captain, or doth thy rank pertain to the land-bound military? I confess to a certain ignorance in such matters, being just a humble watchmaker myself." It might be very useful to have another sea captain on hand for their upcoming mission, Jerold reflected, probably naively, for he had no idea as to how Captain Pepperwhistle would react to another of the same rank coming along.
"Nice to have to meet you under more 'stable' circumstances my dear sir," North Star dothed his garish hat and plonked it back on his dark pink curls. When Jerold asked about his title, the wishie smiled broadly. "Why of course my dear Jerold, I'm a captain of a steam boat back on the Love Isles, the place where I fare from. My father was a nautical captain and I sailed with him on a great number of occassions learning his trade. He named me North Star because of his great love of the seas," the bright stallion then added rather wistfully.
"How wondrous!" Jerold exclaimed as North Star proclaimed himself to be a steam boat captain, "Thou wilt no doubt be interested to meet Captain Bellatina Pepperwhistle, submersible Captain of the Arcognian Fleet. They be steam-powered submersibles, a great engineering feat from our research laboratories." By this point Jerold felt certain the two would get along like a stoked boiler with an endless coal supply. If you had steam in common, what else was there to want?
"'Tis indeed a great comfort to learn one's trade skills from one's parent, I did not enjoy such a luxury, but if I have a son 'twould be my great desire to teach him all I know."
From the table behind, Xander couldn't help but earwig the conversation. Turning partly round, he had been about to make an unpleasant snipe at Jerold's general lack of any knowledge when he realised North Star was there and, well, he didn't want to make an enemy out of a stallion he'd spent some precious time flattering. So he held his tongue, with difficulty, instead exclaiming, "Fie! These crispy cricket legs verily get in between one's teeth!"
[[OOC: My first post in PI RP ever. If anything is wrong, please let me know. I'm just a tad nervous, lol ^_^; ]]
Character Name and SP:
The Muse/Tari (Tari for ease) (SP: 3)
Picture (no more than 170 pixels please):
Link to pony's profile:
Items: (including any familiar whistle)
A small tapestry bag containing PG and snacks, a small fob watch worked into an ornate necklace, Christmas Cloak-Berries, Glow Shoes-Festive.
Magic (if any) and its strength:
Weak: Can corrode an area of 6 inches
Brief Bio: (one short paragraph)
Tari is a cheeky, somewhat snarky little mare with a heavy accent. Strict (and a little snobbish) when it comes to good manners, she often looks down on those who lack an understanding of etiquette. Despite her "nose-in-the-air" attitude to some, she is rather fun loving and light-hearted, preferring a joke to being overly serious. Due to her corrosive magic, she is more at home working as a seamstress than as a metal worker, and is often responsible for some weirder and whackier outfits. Has an obsession with, well, odd hoofwear.
Tari had decided that train travel did not agree with her. Not in the slightest. It was dirty, messy, and apparently murderers were rife about the whole blasted system. Nobody thought that there could possibly be anyone lurking in the desert, did they? No, they had to ridicule her, and so openly too. And then more people died.
Troglodytes, the lot of them.
Tiredly, and a little wobbly due to the after effects of the train's motion - and definitely not the shock of so many ponies dead, perish the thought! - Tari bathed until the water ran clear, and the floor was thick with the grit and grime of soot. She watched as the shower washed away its layer of filth, before stepping under the flow of water again. One couldn't be too clean, not after that little journey.
She dried off and quickly dressed, sending the cloak Ironchisel had leant her, to be cleaned. She hadn't just bathed to wear something dirty again.
Tari stretched her wing, moodily, testing how well the jarring was healing, before starting for the restaurant. If that dratted Reindeer mare gave her grief again, she was going to give the beast a piece of her mind and then some.
Maybe, at the very least, she'd started winning back that Sea Foam. Maybe. What was this strange hold Brimstone had over all the others, anyway? Couldn't they see what a hypocrite she was? And how rude? And nasty?
Tari shivered slightly, and stepped into the restaurant. Maybe she'd be lucky and Creaklock would be alone and...oh for the love of all things sacred, was Brimstone attached to his hip? She snorted, slightly, seeing them sitting together with a that rather attractive looking Wishing male from the train. Hmmm...well, at least there was another male around. That was promising. Ugh, and that little stoat creature was eating at the table. Nasty, creepy little thing. Like a long hamster, with horrible teeth.
She gave the Wishie male a polite nod and a slight wink as she passed the table, before shaking her head, slightly, in Creaklock's direction. Time to try the silent guilt route.
Ignoring Brimstone, she strode over to Ironchisel's table and raised an eyebrow. "May'ap, then, yer shoul' no' go abou' eatin' them," she said, dryly. "If'n they're gettin' stuck een yer teeth."
Ulrich and Ironchisel. Interesting company. She joined their table and ordered the salad and ice tea. Unlike some mares, she knew to watch her figure.
As Tari entered the restaurant, Xander felt like a wave of fresh air had entered amidst the stagnant pool of Creaklock and his buddies. My goodness, the mare scrubbed up well! Much prettier than that Brimstone, he had never been keen on deer, those antlers were just unbecoming. Not to mention a hazard. He grimaced at the thought of one snagging on his beautiful cloaks. Or even scratching one of his gold steam whistles. Horrors! However Tari's acerbic response to his remark about the crickets wasn't what he was expecting. Was she on the turn, turning towards the watchmaker's mob? But no, she sat with himself and Ulrich. All was not lost.
Ulrich chewed steadily on his food, demolishing muffins, waffles and a flapjack. That journey had really given him an appetite, a nervous one, although for now he felt temporarily safer in this place. He watched as Xander got ever more paranoid, Ulrich could read it written all over the Valkyrie's features. He'd be a danger later on, if there was any more trouble. Fellows like that tended to bluster then crack under undue strain. "Remarkable how you've gotten cricket legs in your teeth considering you've not ordered any!" he quipped with a chuckle.
Xander's head flicked back with irritation to regard the rough-looking Pegasus stonily. "I recalleth not asking thee thine opinion!" he snorted. Turning away from him he forced a smile at Tari, attempting a civil conversation, "Greetings, Mistress Tari, 'tis wondrous good to freshen up, I must say, thou art looking radiant."
Ulrich just smiled easily and kept on chewing, enjoying seeing the other chap getting more and more unsettled. He had to wonder how much Ironchisel was in the know about the whistle. Instead he turned his attention to the attractive mare that had joined them. "Miss Tari? Ulrich Winter. Don't believe we've been properly introduced. Not been a priority with all the other happenings."
"What?! He thinks we did all that to the train?" Brimstone questioned, looking up sharply. "What an idiot." She snorted. "I suppose he thinks we decided it would be a lark to come within a hoof's throw of being pony pudding on the railway too."
She rolled her eyes and popped some of the cricket munchies into her mouth. They bugged a bit at the taste, but it wasn't all that bad. Just... sort of buggy. And very crunchy. She slipped the last few to Emrys who didn't mind in the least.
The arrival of that pompous Xander threatened the peace when he decided to be all clattery. She turned and glared at him. "Having trouble with your balance?" She asked. "It gets better after a while."
There, non-argumentative and even sorta helpful. She didn't want to make Jerold more upset than he already was after all. Though she still wanted to tell him what a clod brain he was, that could wait til later. It wasn't like he was likely to grow a brain any time soon.
She turned back in time to nod politely at Ulrich before her eyes widened. "Emrys! You do not need a whole muffin!" She quickly got it back before the stoat could sink his teeth into it. When he complained with a churlish squeak she gave him a piece instead. "It's bigger than your whole head! Here, you can have this."
Emrys was not pleased at being denied his sugar mountain of deliciousness. He sulked, but ate the piece she'd given him anyway. There'd be another chance, and the crafty little stoat knew it.
The Captain joining them seemed to have an uplifting effect on Jerold. Brimstone smiled at him. "Glad to meet you Captain. I'm Brimstone." She answered happily. "The little guy here is Emrys. He's mine, yep. And don't let his size fool you. He'll steal your food and try to guilt you out of your necklace if you aren't careful." She chuckled. "Otherwise he's really friendly though, don't worry."
She listened to the two stallions speaking while she worked on her own food. Her stomach felt like an empty cavern, though it was beginning to fill up now finally. Brimstone would have been feeling pretty content if Tari hadn't showed up to ruin the moment.
The WU mare left a sour taste in Brimstone's mouth. She shoved in the muffin remains and chewed determinedly in order to keep her mouth shut. If she couldn't talk without spitting crumbs she might just be able to stop herself.
Jerold nodded at Brimstone's outrage. "Aye, verily it beggars belief that anypony wouldst think we deliberately vandalised the Express. Mayhap 'twas the Blue WU that hath been mentioned, who hath committed these unspeakable crimes. He of whom I hath not glimpsed hide nor hair. Hath anyone seen him? 'Tis all too convenient, methinks, to invent a phantom pony to cover one's own or some other pony's crime." Jerold frowned, aware that Ulrich sat behind at the next table, for he was the one who had supposedly seen the 'Blue WU' just before Rusty had been poisoned.
In fact, Jerold suddenly had a rush of blood to the head, and swung round in his seat to face the strange Pegasus, of whom he knew absolutely nothing. Time to confront him. "Mr Winter, why doth thou accompany us on this journey, for thou knowest me not, nor my whistle, nor my friends. What purpose doth thou have? And art thou previously acquainted with Ironchisel here?" Jerold peered sternly at the rusty brown inscrutable Pegasus, awaiting an answer.
Ulrich considered Jerold's question for a few moments before replying unhurriedly. "I'm a writer, actually. I travel a lot, gives me ideas for stories. The theft of your whistle intrigues me, don't get me wrong, I wish you a swift return of your prized possession, but as a plot line it's inspired. I hope you find the culprit, good sir, and if I can help in any way while I travel with you I shall do so. As for Mr Ironchisel here, I know him only from a brief encounter at the Convention, as, indeed, I do your good self." Considering himself explained, Ulrich went back to munching his food with gusto.
Jerold's eyes flicked to regard Xander suspiciously, but the grey Valkyrie just nodded in agreement with Winter. "Aye he speakest true. I hath not seen this Blue WU either, though, 'tis a puzzlement." It was hard to tell if Ironchisel was lying, for he was so practised in the art of deception.
"Hmmph." Jerold turned back to the occupants of his table. His mind was becoming suspicious of any stranger. Was Ulrich telling the truth or was his explanation just too smooth? Jerold sipped his coffee before nibbling at some cheesy gears pensively. If there was a Blue WU, where was he lurking? How did he get off the train?
Creamy (Viridian Knight Creamy, if you insist on using his title) - SP 120
(picture is clickable to profile)
Items: Shiny silver whistle for his jungle squirrel familiar Saoirse, shoulder bag with travel necessities (snacks, a pair of cloaks - one plain, one fancy), a small locket with pictures of his family inside
Magic: Breathing Fire - Strong: Can breathe fire 3 feet in length for 5 seconds
Bio: Creamy is a Viridian Knight who has fought in numerous battles under the Cyan Temple's banner. However, he much prefers to put his skills to use in peacetime; he is a skilled metalworker, and would much rather make jewelry than swords. Paradoxically he also enjoys testing his fighting skills on occasion, since he never knows when they will be needed again. He is here on vacation, at his wife's insistence.
To say Creamy was relieved when the group finally arrived in Brassmore and made their way to the inn would have been a mild understatement. Inns meant showers, and food, and beds where you weren't liable to be tossed out unexpectedly.
The shower came first, though, and the dragon let out a happy sigh as the warm water sluiced over him, rinsing the dirt out of his fur. He didn't mind dirt as a rule, but it just felt so good to be clean, he reflected as he stepped out of the shower and vigorously toweled himself off. A clean cloak from his travel pack completed his freshening up.
Next stop was the buffet-style restaurant this inn boasted. Saoirse had crawled out of his pack and was perched quite happily between his horns as he entered, and became really excited at seeing the cricket legs. She did not stop chirruping until her master had filled two compartments of his tray with them. Then, and only then, did she let him proceed to the rest of the buffet.
Creamy's tray was piled high with honey-drizzled waffles, toasted oatmeal pancakes and cheesy gears nibbles by the time he was through with the food portion, but a cup of coffee was all he needed to complete his brunch. Looking around, he easily spotted Jerold and Brimstone at one table and moved over to join them. "Mind if I sit here?" he enquired politely.
Sea Foam (SP now 35)
Magic: Medium: Can control a breeze for 30 minutes
Items: Wearing a rank-feather and a set of leg-bells, and a leather satchel containing some PG and a silk cloak for formal wear.
Bio: Sea Foam is a member of a skydancing group that makes their home on the island of Big Egg, in the Nesting Isles. She is a junior dancer who intends on working her way up to the top, and spends a great deal of her time practicing aerial moves. Unfortunately, her dedication has led to a pulled muscle in her right wing, and her instructors decided to pack her off to Arcognia while it heals. Since the ash prevents her from flying there, she won't be tempted to hurt herself any worse.
Sea Foam was tempted to spend the rest of her vacation right here in the shower, letting the delightfully hot water soak into her coat and soothe her aches. There had been a simple selection of soaps and shampoos, and she now smelled rather flowery, which was a great improvement from the previous smell of coal dust and fear-sweat. Reluctantly, she stepped out of the shower and used a towel to wick away as much water as she could from her mane and tail, glad that she had never had many problems with tangles. After donning her leg bells and slinging her satchel back around her neck, she made her way to the restaurant.
There was a buffet on offer, and she headed towards the delicious-smelling food eagerly, only to stop dead as she realized one of the dishes being offered consisted of crickets. Large crickets, their shells seared to a crisp, their nasty little jointed legs tangled together on the plate. Sea Foam had an absolute horror of the dreadful little things, and the idea that someone might actually eat one-
"Fie! These crispy cricket legs verily get in between one's teeth!"
Sea Foam's stomach heaved at Mister Ironchisel's statement. She gritted her teeth and forced herself to take a toasted oatmeal flapjack. Hopefully eating something plain would help her nausea. She added a cup of hot tea and headed to a table by herself, back turned to the rest of the company. Not to be rude, but if she actually saw someone with cricket parts in their teeth she was going to lose it.
Brimstone waved the creamy dragon down into the seat beside her. Him she quite liked. She scooted over a bit to make room which made her have to move Emrys. He took the opportunity to steal a bit of waffle but she didn't mind.
"We shouldn't forget he might not have been blue either. It's possible to dye your fur any color you want." Brimstone swallowed and nodded her agreement. "Especially if your coat is light colored."
Tari of course had a white coat, but Brimstone was fairly sure she wasn't the killer. She might have killed someone, but she wouldn't have died her fur and she would have used a method that didn't risk staining her precious coat. Poison would be her style, but not brutality.
"Anyway he's probably gone for now. We're on land. It's a lot harder to kill ponies when there's no way of trapping them." She continued, getting a good drink of milk. That muffin had been dry.
"If he strikes again, it'll probably be on the boat. It's enclosed, y'know?" She added. "He didn't mind crashing the train. He'll probably try to sink it, unless he's trapped on it too."
Rorschach. (SP: 3 (So much stronger than before! :O))
Alliance: The Lady Yriina, on his home island of Notaxuvi.
Magic: Attractive Magnetism Weak: Can attract/pull metal the size of a golfball a short distance. (Approx. 4 feet.) (Adjusted the distance to fit Arcognian magic.)
Items: The bells he wears on his wings and a little bag strapped to a foreleg, inside which is a small pouch of 13 unremarkable black stones. He has also brought a little spending PG and a gift for Jerold.
Short Bio: Rorschach is a serious pony and a very deep thinker. Although he has whip-quick reflexes, he is so given to over-thinking everything that he rarely trusts them. He has had some training in fencing, but the Lady Yriina was quick to realise he would be better used as a scholar. He is very fond of Jerold after their adventures in Skora, and so he was eager to come and visit Arcognia.
- - - - - - -
Rorschach watched the water run past his shining black hooves until it was completely clear and then some. It took a good hour, he reckoned. He had unbound his tail and the lengthy plait in his mane, and now he worked at said plait with his forehooves, sitting balanced on his rounded rump. Once he was satisfied the extra-long tri-coloured rope was completely clean, he twisted his body somewhat awkwardly to clean his tail as well.
Somewhat bedraggled when he stepped from the hot water, Rorschach dried himself off with awkward manipulations of mouth and hooves against the towel, then did the same with his hair. Out of his little bag he took two hook-like objects which he fastened to his forehooves with elastic strips. A third hook he concentrated hard on, using his attractive magnetism to great effect. With the three hooks, he deftly wove both the mane-rope and his thick tail back into their plaited forms, and tied them off.
He put away his little contraptions, dipped his head and shook it roughly. His mane was the only part of him that wasn't actually symmetrical, and how he bore it was anyone's guess. However, when he looked at himself in the mirror, turning this way and that, it could be seen (if anyone was looking) that the serious-thinking Flutter was a little vain. He seemed to like the handsomly choppy look of his mane.
And of course, he definitely liked the fact that his markings were not only symmetrical when bisected, but so were they if he was bisected from nose to tailbone. Any mark on his left shoulder, for example, was replicated on the right. Any mark on the inside of his right leg was matched on the inside of his left. Curious, to have been born this way, but he was.
Once bright-white with stark black markings, there was only one thing left, and he was sure he could find it on an island obsessed with shiny metal...
Sure enough, not ten hoofbeats up the street, he found a young gentlecolt crying in a thick cockney accent that he would "spit-shine 'n' gloss yer ones 'n' twos, sah!"
Rorschach did indeed offer his "ones 'n' twos", or at least his hooves since he wore no shoes. The lad was quick to polish them back up to a glossy shine, and stuck out his hat for his payment. The inky Flutter looked down at him a moment in amusement (really, he was amused, even if he looked as though his dog had died) and tipped forward a wing so one of his bells hung in the colt's face. He was quick on the uptake this one, and soon Rorschach's bells were back to their high shine, which had suffered from the desert sand and coal of the train.
Now Rorschach paid and thanked the colt, then trotted off to the inn where he knew everyone was earing.
Sure enough, there were Jerold and Brimstone, along with Creamy and a Wishie Rorschach was pretty sure was called North Star. At another table were... well that was to be expected.
Rorschach predictably joined Jerold and the others at that table, after heaping a plate with bits of everything. He sat himself beside the elegant Wishie Captain with a soft; "Budge up there my dear gentlestal." and a possibly unnecessary nudge to his side.
Tari raised an eyebrow, again, as Winter quipped about the crickets. Interesting. "May'ap yer were merely goin' ou' een sympathy wit' the others 'oo 'ad the crickets?" she teased, slightly, before bobbing her head to Ironchisel. Well, at least she knew who to come to for compliments.
"Thank yer, Mister Ironchisel," she said, accepting her salad and poking at it. No need to bolt it down like Winter. She wrinkled her nose, slightly, in disgust. "Et's refreshin' ter 'ear a kind wurd oor ter, after wot woz said on tha' 'orrid liddle journey. An' et's loverly ter be clean ag'in. Ah do no' thin' Ah'm o'erly fond o' trains. Messy way ter tra'el an' dang'rous et seems. Yer lookin' noice yersel', Mister Ironchisel."
She chewed on her salad, watching in somewhat horrified fascination as Winter demolished a veritable mountain of food. "Et's...a pleasuire ter meet yer, ter, Mister Win'er. Et doe seem mos' thin's 'ave been o' liddle priority o' late. Loike the manners o' some," she snorted.
"No' yer, sir, bu' others o' our party. Et's 'ardly a surproise they're all 'uddle o'er there, loike a witches co'en. The mure Ah see an' 'ear, the mure Ah'm suire one o' them 'as a 'oof een thin's. Yer mark mah wurds."
There was no harm trying to pull Winter onside, too.
"Bu' et's no' worth worryin' abou' them, now," she looked around. "This es, at leas', a place worth stayin' een. Clean an' tidy, fer once. A relief after tha' business on the train." Tari shuddered. It was still disturbing her. All the dead bodies, how close they'd all come to death, too...it didn't bear thinking about.
The Pipe and Goggle's proprietress, Zinc Minx, was normally an easy-going mare without too many troubles. Brassmore was a quiet tourist destination, crime in the area was practically zero, save for some pickpocketing a few months back. However this whole 'murders on the Express' news was potentially a tourist-killer, not just metaphorically speaking. Already that morning since the news had reached the Inn, three of the Inn's patrons had enquired whether they were safe to continue staying in Brassmore, especially at the Inn where there was pretty much an open-door policy. Reluctantly, Zinc knew she had to act, and act fast. Donning her best 'I mean business' expression, and leaving her Arcognian accent behind so she was not misunderstood, she left Reception and walked purposefully to the restaurant where she spied the new guests from the doomed train sitting by the window.
"I am sorry to interrupt your meal, but a certain...situation has been brought to my attention, in connection with... ahhh...the Arcognian Express that arrived this morning," she began, "There is understandably some...disquiet amongst the guests at the Inn as to their...safety," she continued, choosing her words with care. "So it is with regret that I must ask you all to check out of the Inn forthwith, you may of course finish your meals and those of you who are still bathing may have a meal here, then I'm afraid I must insist you find alternate accommodation in Brassmore." She paused to let the news sink in. "I do have 2 private small holiday houses currently unoccupied where you'd all be welcome to say, just a few hundred yards up from the Inn. Each has private bedrooms, cooking and bathing facilities, and a small lounge area. Each will accommodate up to 8 ponies, and can be securely locked."
Zinc pulled a couple of keys from her bag, and placed them on the dining tables, one on Jerold's table, the other on Xander's. Her body language said clearly this was not a subject up for discussion. "Thank you all for your understanding, I do hope the matter is resolved as soon as possible for the wellbeing of us all." With a small bow, Zinc turned and walked away, her head beginning to ache, little lights flashing in front of her eyes. No wonder, the stress was setting off one of her migraines. She hoped there was not a murderer amongst the guests, but realistically, it was looking that way, and she wanted her residents to sleep soundly at night.
Edited to add:
The keys have labels, Jerold's reads 'Knobbly Cottage' whilst Xander's reads 'Sprocket Cottage'.
Both cottages are identical in layout. Rooms 4 and 8 have double beds.
NB No need to move off from the Inn and your meal as yet, just putting these images here for reference.
Jerold did manage a smile as first Creamy then Rorschach, both looking squeaky clean and dapper, rejoined the group after what Jerold calculated must have been a very long bathing session. It was a good job water was recycled in Arcognia otherwise the pair might have drained the local aquifer dry.
"Well met, my friends, I see thou hast spent much time on thy toilet, for verily thou dost almost sparkle in the sunlight," Jerold jested, "Doth thou seek to attract the local mares?" he directed this latter remark at Rorschach for he knew Creamy was a married stallion.
For some reason Rorschach gave Jerold a feeling of quiet confidence. Tracing it back, Jerold realised it had been ever since the strange battle in the clearing in Skora, where he and Rorschach had fought Little Billie by using their attractive magnetism hurling a leg wrap to and fro. The experience had forged a strong bond with the symmetrical stallion, and Jerold would always turn to him in times of need, and there had already been too many of late. Creamy seemed to be a good sort as well, Jerold had observed, although he had not known him as long and had he known his illustrious battle background no doubt he would have felt even more at ease.
The arrival and subsequent unwelcome announcement by Zinc Minx that the party must leave the Pipe and Goggles was a real downer on Jerold's mood once again, although really, had he thought about it, it was a blessing, for they would be in more secure accommodation than this Inn provided. He had been about to apologise again, then stopped himself, for the murders were not his fault, even the whistle theft wasn't his fault. However he did feel bad for his friends who had already experienced far more than they'd bargained for.
In the end, Jerold decided to be more positive. "I heareth the holiday cottages are most comfortable," he managed, for it was true, their reputation was good, he'd met the odd palace official who'd stayed in one. Looking at the key on the table, he noted the name, Knobbly Cottage. "There be no hurry to finish up here, I suggest we eat at our leisure, for surely no-one can think us a threat in plain daylight."
Xander listened with growing disdain as the over-accessorised little Unicorn proprietress told them they had to check out. He snorted as she finished her monologue and walked off, leaving them with two keys. "So, we're treated as criminals before e'en an investigation hath been held? A pox upon that!" His words fell on deaf ears as Zinc Minx's ample rump retreated.
Xander eyed the key in front of him, Sprocket Cottage then heard Creaklock's remark about the cottages being comfortable. They'd better be, because their names suggested the opposite. Xander would make sure he was NOT in the same cottage as that lying watchmaker, or that ridiculously mouthy doe Brimstone. He had an urge to grab the key but refrained in case it cast him in a bad light, or a worse light than he was already in.
As he craned his neck to see Jerold's table's key, he noticed the pale Pegasus mare eating on her own, back turned to the group. Now she was obviously fed up with the whole Creaklock drama as well and wasn't one of their groupies. Leaning towards Tari, Xander put on his best smile. "Oh lookest yonder," he said innocently, "'tis that poor, sweet mare seated on her lonesome, mayhap we couldst invite her to join us? I wouldst do so but I thinketh it wouldst come better from a mare such as thyself, for I hath not as yet been introduced to her, Arcognian customs thou understandeth," he finished, giving Tari what he hoped was an endearing look. If they could get another pony on 'his' side it would be one less for the Creaklock gang.
Ulrich nodded and 'uhh-huhhhed' at Tari's analysis of Jerold's group. Let the mare speculate all she liked, all the better for him. However her hopes of staying in the nice, tidy Inn were dashed by the Innkeeper.
"Well, that's nice of the locals, isn't it, suspects, all of us. I've quite lost my appetite," Ulrich said, pushing his plate away, which was almost empty anyway. "I'll wager the only reason we're not banged up in a jail is because they don't have one in this outpost." He downed the last of his fruit juice with a gulp and barely suppressed burp.
Brimstone's lower jaw fell open at Zinc's announcement. "What?" She questioned, but the mare was already leaving. Brimstone jumped to her feet. "You mean to say we barely survived the trip here, nearly died ourselves, and now you're gonna make us walk out to wherever these places are?! Why you..."
Beside her Emrys had spotted the keys. He gave a happy squee of weasely delight before slinking across the table to hug the pretty metal to his chest. Brimstone was distracted from her tirade and turned to pick the litle staot up.
"E'ry', dro' the eee." She ordered. He clung to it with all four legs. Brimstone sighed and set him down again. "You can't keep that. We need it to get in because the mean mare there is kicking us out." She glared in Zinc's direction.
Actually she was torn about what to do. On the one hoof she wanted to stomp out of here, advertising the whole way about how rude the owner was. On the other hoof though... free food. Which someone she currently hated was going to be paying for.
"I say we take some food for later." She decided. "We'll need it and since we aren't getting what we paid for here... Might as well not starve later."
Nihaia (SP: 30)
Magic: Can create a light globe the size of a tennis ball that lasts 5 hours (medium).
Items: Shaevos feather, Double Ribbon - black, Glow Shoes - purple, September Birthstone Leg Wrap - Bronze, Jewel Gauntlet - Festive, purple cloak, and a purple saddlepack with some PG
Short Bio: Nihaia has been on her own ever since she was a kid because she wasn't the son her parents wanted. Her experiences have made her strong and independent, but they have also left her distrustful and wary of others. Since she was shy to begin with, her social skills are not the best. At the same time, she longs to find a place where she can belong, and a family that will love her the way her own family should have.
Nihaia was incredibly relieved to get off of the train. After everything that had happened, trains made her more than a little uneasy, and she wondered if it would be possible to walk back when the time came.
With great pleasure, she luxuriated in a long, hot shower. There were a number of different soaps, and shampoos to choose from. Nihaia smelled each, then finally chose a couple of flowery ones that reminded her of flowers that grew near her village back home. The two scents blended together into a pleasing medley of aromas. Even after getting herself clean, she spent some time soaking in the hot water, soothing her nerves, and easing the ache of bruises she had gotten during the trip to Brassmore. When she was done, she quickly rubbed herself dry with the towel, and made her way into the Inn's restaurant.
Once there, she saw Jerold, Brimstone, and Rorschach sitting at a table with a flutter stallion (Captain Northstar) and a dragon stallion (Creamy) that she didn't know. There was an empty seat at the table, so after she selected a variety of fruits, and muffins along with a small pancake with maple syrup on the side, and a glass of fruit juice, she walked over to Jerold's table.
"May I join you?" she asked politely.
"I am sorry to interrupt your meal, but a certain...situation has been brought to my attention, in connection with... ahhh...the Arcognian Express that arrived this morning," she began, "There is understandably some...disquiet amongst the guests at the Inn as to their...safety," she continued, choosing her words with care. "So it is with regret that I must ask you all to check out of the Inn forthwith, you may of course finish your meals and those of you who are still bathing may have a meal here, then I'm afraid I must insist you find alternate accommodation in Brassmore."
Nihaia's eyes widened in dismay. She could understand the mare's point of view, of course. What Innkeeper would willingly allow guests who would drive all other guests away to stay in her Inn? And the Innkeeper had to see to the safety of her guests. It had to look as though whoever killed the train's crew was among their group. Knowing the feeling of being unwanted all too well, Nihaia was quite sensitive to it, and she didn't want to stay anywhere where she would be an unwanted burden. She glanced at her meal, and quickly made a decision. Nihaia took a small box out of her saddle pack, and carefully packed the fruit and muffins into it before putting back into her saddle pack. Those could be eaten later. As for the rest of it...although she had been starving when she entered the restaurant, the feeling of being unwanted killed her appetite completely. It left her feeling cold, and sick inside. She drank the juice, but she set the pancake on the table, knowing she wouldn't be able to touch it now.
"I do have 2 private small holiday houses currently unoccupied where you'd all be welcome to say, just a few hundred yards up from the Inn. Each has private bedrooms, cooking and bathing facilities, and a small lounge area. Each will accommodate up to 8 ponies, and can be securely locked."
Nihaia knew that a private house would be more expensive than staying at an Inn would be. She also felt that while the princess had said she would pay for Jerold's trip to regain his steam whistle, she would likely be annoyed at the extra expense. An angered royal was something to be avoided at all cost. Nihaia wondered how much extra the houses would cost to rent, and how long thy would have to rent them for. Back on Ilder, Inns and hotels would rent rooms by the night, and apartments could be rented out for a week at a time. But houses were considerably more expensive than either, and were rented by the month, or for a year. Nihaia really didn't think that the PG she had would cover the additional cost of her share of renting a house from the Innkeeper. For that matter, she didn't know how to ask without risking offending Jerold.
"I heareth the holiday cottages are most comfortable,"
Nihaia smiled weakly, and nodded.
"I'm sure they are." she said quietly.
"Well met, my friends, I see thou hast spent much time on thy toilet, for verily thou dost almost sparkle in the sunlight,"
Creamy chuckled at Jerold's remark. "Nothing like a good shower to refresh yourself after a long, dusty walk," he replied with a grin before digging into his meal. The waffles and oatcakes were delicious, and he was just savoring the last sweet bites when the proprietress walked up and informed them, politely of course, that they weren't welcome in the Inn and would have to find alternate accommodations during their stay in Brassmore. Not a surprising occurrence under the circumstances, but she did have a business to run, and Creamy couldn't entirely blame her for not wanting to antagonize her other guests.
"Good of her to at least offer us another place to stay," he volunteered before taking a long swig of coffee. "One that sounds as though it might be more secure. And I hear holiday cottages are generally more comfortable than inns, at least in the sense that they're more like being in your own home."
He didn't add that it was beginning to look as though someone might want suspicion to be cast on their group. The dragon vividly remembered Overton's threat to Jerold about his job, and getting the watchmaker accused of murder would be a perfect way of making sure Jerold lost it.
Rorschach was already eating when Jerold spoke, teasing he and Creamy about the length of their bathing. Rorschach would have grinned, were he given to such extravagant expressions. As it was his lips twitched a little.
"Long have I been accused of bathing for much longer than necessary," he admitted. "I do like to be clean, so as my markings stand stark against my coat and there can be no asymmetry caused by dirt. Furthermore it does take a bit of fiddling to bind my mane and tail." He indicated the two plaits. "And time also."
He chewed on some salad in consideration then replied to Jerold's last;
"Local mares. Local stallions. I am hardly choosy." With this he gave a bounce of his quad-coloured brows, showing slightly more emotion than usual. Then he dipped his head, sniffing over the last of what was left on his plate - the crickets. "I must say..." he mused. "I have never eaten meat of any sort..." He sniffed a bit, ears laying back.
Nihaia arrived then and Rorschach lifted his head, offering his biggest smile. (This moved his mouth about a centimeter each end.)
"Well met, Nihaia. Of course there is room for you here."
Afterall, she was so tiny.
He was about to say more, but a chocolate coloured Zebra Unicorn approached and told them they could no longer stay there. Supremely logical as ever, Rorschach nodded slightly as she trotted off.
"Perfectly sensible," he reasoned. "We were in the middle of it all, even if it was not our faults, and no matter what she may think, the majority of her guests will be made uneasy by our presence. And, as Creamy says, we can be much more secure with houses of our own. And I am certain they would be lovely."
"But I agree, Jerold. We should finish eating and wait to see if we are missing anyone before we go."
Jerold watched distractedly as Emrys grabbed the key to Knobbly Cottage in his greedy little paws. His mind wasn't on the key, instead he was taking in the reactions of his friends. Brimstone, typically, was ready to take the Inn's proprietress to task over their ousting. Meanwhile, Nihaia was looking pale and upset, but was trying to be brave.
"Please, sit, Mistress Nihaia, worry thou not, all wilt be well in the long run, e'en if in the short run it appeareth we hath the long shadow of suspicion hovering over us all," he told the little Fairy mare, giving her a brief nose touch if she'd let him. "'Tis wise indeed to conserve food," he carried on, even though it really wasn't necessary, but he knew Nihaia meant well. Besides, they had already paid for it, that was true. Then a thought struck him, the cottages were self-catering. "Canst thou cook, Mistress Nihaia? I hath little skill in that area, it shameth me to say, I oft eat out or with friends."
At Rorschach's enlightening remark, Jerold raised one eyebrow quizzically. "Mares..or..stallions? Why my friend I had no idea thou playest for both teams." Jerold grinned. It bothered him not, he did know a few stallions who liked both Cog Blat and Embroidery, and all of them could beat him at Cog Blat.
Turning to Creamy, Jerold nodded, "Aye, I taketh the Proprietress's point of view, for Arcognia is a small land, with many gossips, and news spreadeth fast, as fast as a pyroclastic flow from Mt Boom. Until whoe'er committed these crimes be brought to justice, the locals thinketh 'tis perhaps one or more of us. There be precious little else to do. Once the Inspector arriveth, 'twill be e'en worse for gossip, but at least we shalt clear our names."
Nihaia smiled a bit more at Jerold's gesture, and relaxed a little.
"'Tis wise indeed to conserve food,"
Nihaia blushed a little. She had the sense that Jerold was humoring her a little. Her need to conserve food came from her foalhood. While food was plentiful in her village, even for one such as her, it wasn't to be taken for granted. Although she had never had to worry about starving, she had had to earn every meal she ate from the time she was weaned. And while no one would ever deny her a meal she had earned, there had been times when she had been sick, or injured, or simply too tired, and unable to do enough work to earn both a meal and a place to sleep for the night. So there had been times when she had had to choose one or the other. As a result, she tended to feel the need to save food for later rather than wasting it when she lost her appetite the way she had now.
"Canst thou cook, Mistress Nihaia? I hath little skill in that area, it shameth me to say, I oft eat out or with friends."
Nihaia nodded, and her smile grew even more. Cooking was something that she could handle. It was something she truly enjoyed doing. And having something she could contribute made her feel more confident in herself.
"Yes. I can't cook any kind of meat, because most people on Ilder Isle don't eat it. We never had any in my village. Or crickets." she said, eying the crickets that some people were eating.
"But fruits, vegetables, breads, grains...I can handle pretty much anything other than meat."
I hope the others like my cooking. Most of the people in my village said they did...Mairis even said that she thought that my fruit pastries would please a noble if they ever tried one. she thought happily.
Tari was aghast. They...had to stay in a cottage. A...cottage. A little poky, dirty, tiny, poor pony's cottage. Really? Really? This was the kind of welcome they got in Brassmore. Her ears flattened in disdain. This was terrible. Horrible. They were all going to get...get...fleas! Or worse.
Her rant at the Unicorn mare was forestalled, though, by Ironchisel leaning over. She raised an eyebrow at his suggestion. Well, another mare around would mean sharing the attention. On the other hand, it was another on their side against that insufferable Brimstone.
"Aye," she said, with a small nod, glancing over at Sea Foam. Maybe her letting Sea Foam have space in her cabin might help wheedle the other mare over. There was no harm in trying. Other than getting another round of verbal abuse thrown at her.
Tari's ears flattened slightly again, before she stood. "Ah'll gi'e et a try. 'opefully she' no' so poisoned ag'in me loike the others."
She shot Winter a withering look. "Don' e'en try ter temp' fate," she groaned. "Oor nex' thin' yer know we'll foind oursel'es thrown een some jail tha's worse than a poky, 'orrid lidde cottage. 'oo li'es in cottages anymure, anyway?"
With a shudder, she straightened herself and trotted over to Sea Foam.
"Miss Sea Foam?" Tari said, prettily. "Wot are yer doin' all on yer own, 'ere? Yer don' need ter sit by yersel'. Come join mahsel' an' Misters Ironchisel an' Win'er. Surely some comp'ny es better than none?"
She smiled. "If'n yer decide ter join u, ye mure than welcome."
Tari nodded then returned to her table, leaving Sea Foam to decided what she wanted to do.