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Fallout: Beyond Equestria 214: ...To Roam (Part 16)

Scorch_Mechanic Mar 1st, 2017 83 Never
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  1. [2017-02-22 13:44:14] <Mare-Do-Well> 3Previously...
  2. [2017-02-22 13:44:56] <Mare-Do-Well> 3Mwana admits, "I have no idea what most of that meant.  But the stars and their necromancy have always been a threat, at least according to the old religion.  So of course Roam would have defenses against ghosts."
  3. [2017-02-22 13:45:05] <Mare-Do-Well> 3Noble_Heart taps her chin thoughtfully. "We also believe it might be defenses against the catacombs. Apparently old Roam felt it important to have defenders of the -inside- of their catacombs. As if a threat would rise from them."
  4. [2017-02-22 13:45:11] <Mare-Do-Well> 3"So stripeypones took their zombiegoasts very seriously..."
  5. [2017-02-22 13:45:46] <Mare-Do-Well> 3Jugeote tells Shatara, "There is a reason that zebras burn their dead, and that the catacombs are not used as burial sites.  They were once.  That was a historically horrific mistake."
  6. [2017-02-22 13:46:04] <Mare-Do-Well> 3Get_Lost says, "at least from how you put it, it must have been an entertaining horrible mistake"
  7. [2017-02-22 13:46:10] <Mare-Do-Well> 3Jugeote answers, "It was the end of the First Age of Roam."
  8. [2017-02-22 13:46:14] <Mare-Do-Well> 3...
  9. [2017-02-22 13:46:35] <Mare-Do-Well> 3Jugeote clangs a hoof repeatedly on the gate.  The rattle of metal is loud in the undercity tunnel.
  10. [2017-02-22 13:46:40] <Mare-Do-Well> 3After several very long minutes, the door at the other end of the tunnel opens.  And a zebra rifle floats out, held in a weak lavender glow.
  11. [2017-02-22 13:46:46] <Mare-Do-Well> 3It is followed by the head of a unicorn filly, her horn glowing.  From her height, and her gangly legs, she appears in her mid-teens.  She sees the trio and speaks, fear pervading her attempt to sound fearsome.  
  12. [2017-02-22 13:46:52] <Mare-Do-Well> 3Jugeote replies, and a few more words are exchanged.  Then she turns to Shatara.  "Not 'very bad'... but very unusual.  I think the stripes here is, or was, harboring an Equestrian.  Either that, or we've found a pony family... but I can't imagine how that could be.  Not in the heart of Roam."
  13. [2017-02-22 13:47:00] <Mare-Do-Well> 3Shatara pauses in mild surprise at the small unicorn. "Well...there is a zebra town right in the shadow of Canterlot...maybe their story is the other side of that coin..." He cautiously steps forward and speaks up in equestrian. "Are you a pony?"
  14. [2017-02-22 13:47:05] <Mare-Do-Well> 3The pony looks at Shatara quizzically.  Then says something in Imperial zebra that Jugeote translates as, "She says she doesn't speak Aerie."  Clearly, she doesn't speak Equestrian either.
  15. [2017-02-22 13:47:13] <Mare-Do-Well> 3Shatara nods apoligetically and steps back. Zero for two in his linguistic abilities, it'd be best to let the stripes do the talking. "No gunfire yet, at least, so far so good..."
  16. [2017-02-22 13:47:23] <Mare-Do-Well> 3...
  17. [2017-02-22 13:47:43] <Mare-Do-Well> 3Fallout: Beyond Equestria, Session Two Hundred and Fourteen: ...To Roam (Part 16) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PPtEHWDca8&list=PL6lMYzCrh4VGBe86gFxsx3pNx06v5W78e
  18. [2017-02-22 13:48:46] <Mare-Do-Well> 3...Just a little while ago...
  19. [2017-02-22 13:51:25] <Mare-Do-Well> 3With the ponies and their friends gathered around, and after a little debate between the zebras, Mwana takes up the task of storyteller.  Jugeote knows parts of the story better than he, but he has read a lot of books, and probably knows parts she was never told.  Plus, he speaks Equestrian.
  20. [2017-02-22 13:53:16] <Mare-Do-Well> 3"I'm not much of a storyteller," Mwana admits sheepishly.  "So this probably won't be very good."  He frowns.  "Also, stories told should be done by a shaman.  With glamour powder."
  21. [2017-02-22 13:55:47] <Mare-Do-Well> 3"oh, I can provide the visuals!" a small, swarmy male voice announces.  A miniature umbrella appears over Get_Lost's head, unfurls, and Pan climbs out.  He sits on the cyberpony's head, holding the umbrella over the two of them.  "After all, I was there.  Well, for part of it."
  22. [2017-02-22 13:55:54] <Mare-Do-Well> 3--- Session Begins ---
  23. [2017-02-22 14:01:51] * Shatara blinkblinks. "Oh, hello there. Haven't seen you in a while..."
  24. [2017-02-22 14:03:28] * Get_Lost looks up, and smiles a bit "hey there how's going?"
  25. [2017-02-22 14:06:19] * Noble_Heart looks towards the chaos spirit. "We are somewhat surprised to find you here. Though We suppose that would be the point. It would not be very chaotic if your appearance was predictable."
  26. [2017-02-22 14:11:40] * Golden_Dream blinks. "Oh. It's you! Uh. Hey, thanks fer' the whole sending us back in time bit. That was, um. Enlightening." A brief flash of recollection overtook her. Shit, they have to crack this open in one go, otherwise, they'll just get Fluttershy and twist up the NCR in their favor.
  27. [2017-02-22 14:12:04] <Mare-Do-Well> 3Pan grins.  "What? You think I wouldn't keep an eye an my fun new friends?"  He reaches out his paw, and an eyeball worms its way out of the seclusion of Noble_Heart's mane, drops to the floor, and rolls over towards Get_Lost.  At the last moment, it bounces, and Pan catches it in his tail.
  28. [2017-02-22 14:12:23] <Mare-Do-Well> 3More eyeballs start wiggling out of everypony else's manes.
  29. [2017-02-22 14:14:09] * Golden_Dream shakes her head and tries to think of something else. Something not involving wiggling EYEBALLS IN MY MANE OH GOD IT'S IN THE HELMET AAAAH. After what must have been a rather impressive display of an emergency helmet evacuation, the power armor helmet was shot out like a bullet.
  30. [2017-02-22 14:15:13] * Golden_Dream made a mature and reasoned response of "EW EW EW EW", while rolling on the ground like a pony rolly poly.
  31. [2017-02-22 14:16:03] * Shatara yelps and ducks helmet-projectiles
  32. [2017-02-22 14:16:53] * Noble_Heart shudders more than slightly at that.
  33. [2017-02-22 14:17:45] * Get_Lost "yeah, eyes pun..." sighs and pouts
  34. [2017-02-22 14:18:28] <Mare-Do-Well> 3Pan puts all the eyeballs in his head, momentarily having a dozen of them.  Then pushes them together with his paws until them squish back into two.
  35. [2017-02-22 14:19:19] <Mare-Do-Well> 3Pan looks down at Get_Lost.  "Oh, don't feel left out. I could totally give you some.  Where would you like to grow them?"
  36. [2017-02-22 14:21:19] * Bookwright "Ew."
  37. [2017-02-22 14:21:48] * Bookwright shakes himself out. "Can you get on with it please?"
  38. [2017-02-22 14:22:01] * Bookwright mumbles something inaudible about eyeballs.
  39. [2017-02-22 14:28:15] * Get_Lost "ah... let's not do it, i'm fine...."
  40. [2017-02-22 14:29:45] <Mare-Do-Well> 3Mwana coughs uncomfortably.  Then says, "Okay, so this is the tale of the Rot Widow and the Fall of the First City of Roam."
  41. [2017-02-22 14:30:47] <Mare-Do-Well> 3Pan pulls out a lute and strums a few notes.
  42. [2017-02-22 14:37:51] <Mare-Do-Well> 3"You all know the tale of The Grand City... the very first city," Mwana begins.  As he does, Pan points his umbrella at the center of the gathered circle of friends and with a pwoosh, smoke pours out.  
  43. [2017-02-22 14:39:21] <Mare-Do-Well> 3In the shimmering as it fades, all can see the illusion of a great and sprawling jungle city, the trees warped into hallow homes from which the light of friendly fires flicker.  Masks of greeting and ceremony decorate most exteriors.  Street lamps burn with the light of fireflies.
  44. [2017-02-22 14:42:27] <Mare-Do-Well> 3"...how it was home for zebras of all stripes, a place of peace and prosperity, of merchants and harmony.  The first city of the zebra peoples... living as one in peace and friendship.  Every night, the stars would look down on it, and loathe it.  Until one fateful night, they came down from the sky to stamp it out."
  45. [2017-02-22 14:43:56] <Mare-Do-Well> 3Another pwoosh from Pan's umbrella, and the scene becomes that which Bookwright recognizes from the histories as the centennial meteor shower.  An event ponies would gather to watch with picnics and friends.  
  46. [2017-02-22 14:45:34] <Mare-Do-Well> 3Only on this fateful night, as the illusion plays out, the falling stars did not all burn up before reaching the land.  In Pan's illusion, several meteorites strike down in and around the zebra city, bringing chaos, destruction and death.
  47. [2017-02-22 14:47:34] <Mare-Do-Well> 3"After that horrible night, the scattered survivors banded together into tribes.  Some fled.  Other tribes fought over the ruins of the city.  And so began centuries of hardship, turmoil and war between the zebra peoples."
  48. [2017-02-22 14:54:19] * Golden_Dream looks off to the side. It's a sad thing, whenever you look back at something like that and the first question you have to ask is, which apocalypse was worse?
  49. [2017-02-22 14:57:01] * Bookwright hrms. "If ever there were more explicit evidence of the ill-intentions of the stars... I can see how the hundred-year reminder of this catastrophe would keep this /exceedingly/ old event fresh in the minds of every zebra."
  50. [2017-02-22 14:57:59] * Get_Lost listen to te story, her expression, as usual, hard to read
  51. [2017-02-22 14:58:47] * Noble_Heart frowns at that. "We are not certain that constitutes ill-intentions of the stars. Though We admit to having little reason to doubt their actions considering Our other dealings with spirits and stranger things." She tapped her chin. "But We do not see what this has to do with catacombs?"
  52. [2017-02-22 14:59:59] <Mare-Do-Well> 3Mwana nods to Bookwright.  He then continues.  "Even centuries later, the tribes never settled long in one place.  When one of the two southernmost tribes fell to its neighbor, those who survived fled beyond the mountains and into the steppes."
  53. [2017-02-22 15:00:03] * Golden_Dream rubs her cheek. "Oh, give it time. Bad news always comes with a preamble."
  54. [2017-02-22 15:02:19] <Mare-Do-Well> 3Pan creates another pswoosh of smoke, and they all see a beleaguered tribe of ancient zebras, hardened but sad refugees of a war, moving across a rocky desert.
  55. [2017-02-22 15:05:54] <Mare-Do-Well> 3"The tribe was called the Vagi," Mwana adds.  "Their name means 'those who roam'.  And in those steppes, the Vagi came across a great wonder.  The vision of a city made of clouds, regal and awesome."
  56. [2017-02-22 15:07:19] <Mare-Do-Well> 3Pan's next illusion is striking to those who know the old pony story of Hearth's Warming Eve.  For what the illusion shows is the original city of the pegasi.  Abandoned after the ponies migrated to Equestria, and left to drift the skies.
  57. [2017-02-22 15:07:57] <Mare-Do-Well> 3Mwana tells, "The tribe's shaman, Vagi Caesar, declared it a gift of the spirits of wind and sky.  She claimed the spirits were telling them to build a new Grand City that would once again unite the tribes of the zebra people."
  58. [2017-02-22 15:09:24] <Mare-Do-Well> 3"And so they did.  The Vagi ceased to wander, but still laid claim to their tribal name, and called the new grand city: Roam."
  59. [2017-02-22 15:11:59] <Mare-Do-Well> 3"They build Roam in the image of the cloud city they had seen in the sky," Mwana says.  "A new architecture, a new way.  Eventually, a new language."
  60. [2017-02-22 15:14:07] <Mare-Do-Well> 3"Vagi Caesar became the shaman of the city.  All tribes were welcomed.  The leaders of each tribe became the Imperial Senate, ruling the zebra peoples from Roam.  The tribes would contribute their best warriors to the Legion, which Caesar commanded."
  61. [2017-02-22 15:16:20] <Mare-Do-Well> 3"Campaigns began, driving back the monsters and wilder things, building aqueducts, turning the steppes into rich farmland.  And bringing those tribes who resisted harmony under control."  Mwana frowns.  Then adds, "One promise of the Caesar to the zebras throughout the land is that all who served in the Legion would be honored."
  62. [2017-02-22 15:17:21] <Mare-Do-Well> 3"Those who died, no matter what the cost, would have their bodies returned to Roam, to be entombed in the Imperial Catacombs, protected by spirits."
  63. [2017-02-22 15:19:07] <Mare-Do-Well> 3The illusion Pan conjures shows the catacombs in the height of their grandeur.
  64. [2017-02-22 15:26:17] * Golden_Dream squints a little at the catacomb illusion. "... I need t' check up on Sleipnir, see how she's doin'." She murmured, somewhat distant in thought. "Anyway," She began a bit louder, "Anyone else feel like RD'd find this part interestin'?"
  65. [2017-02-22 15:30:16] * Noble_Heart frowns slightly. "Or possibly distressing."
  66. [2017-02-22 15:31:32] * Bookwright "And by concentrating the dead all in once place, basically set themselves up for a necromantic atrocity."
  67. [2017-02-22 15:41:03] <Mare-Do-Well> 3Mwana nods again to Bookwright.  "And they got one.  Her name was striken from the records, but the warning tales told to (and by) children call her the Rot Widow."
  68. [2017-02-22 15:45:01] <Mare-Do-Well> 3"The Rot Widow's legend has been told so often, and with such variation, that I have no idea what is true."
  69. [2017-02-22 15:45:13] <Mare-Do-Well> 3He grins wryly, "Although, having once been a stupid, gullible and very foolish colt... I can tell you that the Rot Widow will not appear and take your soul if you speak her name three times while looking into the winter ice on a lake during the hour of the wolf."
  70. [2017-02-22 15:47:50] <Mare-Do-Well> 3"What is certain is that Roam turned the wandering tribes into a nation.  And it was the heart of the nation for centuries.  But slowly, the Senators grew fat and lazy and greedy.  The Caesar became disconnected from the people.  And Roam became like a shining palace of plenty while the zebra people suffered under one of the worst winters ever."
  71. [2017-02-22 15:50:16] <Mare-Do-Well> 3Pan's illusion illustrates all to vividly what Mwana suggests.  
  72. [2017-02-22 15:51:27] <Mare-Do-Well> 3Mwana says, "Most tales claim she was the wife of a zebra who attempted to steal from the Caesar.  Their son had caught the winter fever."  He pauses, "The stories call it that, but I think it was pneumonia."
  73. [2017-02-22 15:56:48] <Mare-Do-Well> 3"Her husband was killed for his crime.  By law, the Caesar could have the entire family slain, but instead she and her son were banished from the city.  Out into the cold."  Mwana frowns.
  74. [2017-02-22 15:59:34] * Noble_Heart scowls slightly. "A tragedy. When leaders become blind to the plight of their people, their empire crumbles."
  75. [2017-02-22 16:01:47] * Golden_Dream sighs. "Death by execution, or death by starvation. Ain't much better either way. I barely managed t' get us fed fer' a few days with supplies goin' through Crystal Kingdom turf. Can't imagine someone doin' that for an entire winter."
  76. [2017-02-22 16:07:14] <Mare-Do-Well> 3Mwana nods.  "Neither can I... and that's why the next part of the story always bothered me.  The storytellers tend to just hoofwave it... but I'm not sure how she managed to wander so far from Roam with her sick child."
  77. [2017-02-22 16:09:30] <Mare-Do-Well> 3"But according to the tales, the Rot Widow traveled with her ailing son to the forbidden scar of the first city.  And there, they say, she sacrificed up her son's dying breath to the stars, in return for the revenge on Roam."
  78. [2017-02-22 16:11:45] <Mare-Do-Well> 3Mwana looks at everyone, "But no one questions that she did.  For when the Rot Widow returned to Roam, she road on a beast of the winter wind, wearing metal forged from fallen stars.  And she brought back her son's dying breath with her.  A breath that became the Rot Plague."
  79. [2017-02-22 16:12:52] <Mare-Do-Well> 3Pan conjures up an image of a wild, mad-looking zebra mare riding a Windigo.  The metal of the rings around her neck resemble the blue metal of Nightmare Moon's armor.
  80. [2017-02-22 16:14:04] <Mare-Do-Well> 3"She carried the dying breath of her son into the catacombs.  And every corpse it blew upon rose, hateful and hungry.  And the Rot Plague spread."
  81. [2017-02-22 16:16:18] * Golden_Dream narrows her eyes. "Wait. Wait, back up." She looks up at the armor, and then takes notice of the eyes. She's seen something like this before. "... This looks familiar, somehow. Ain't this..?"
  82. [2017-02-22 16:18:50] <Mare-Do-Well> 3Mwana waves a hoof.  "Some say the dying breath infected the spirits of the catacombs too, turning them black and alien."  He puts his hoof down.  "It was only when the Caesar, a shaman like many Caesars before, unleashed spirits whose hunger was greater than the Rot Plague, that the catacombs calmed.  But by then, the dead armies had risen and Roam..."
  83. [2017-02-22 16:18:50] <Mare-Do-Well> 3Mwana sighs.  "Roam had fallen.  The zebras who once called it home, those who survived, had to burn the city to cleanse it."  He looks up.  "They say the screams of the Rot Widow rose on the winds above the fire, the city becoming her pyre."
  84. [2017-02-22 16:19:29] <Mare-Do-Well> 3Mwana nods to Golden_Dream.  "Starmetal."
  85. [2017-02-22 16:24:16] * Noble_Heart scowls and ruffles her feathers slightly at that. "A terrible fate for all involved. Born of the desire for revenge and a leader who lacked perspective." She shook her head sadly.
  86. [2017-02-22 16:24:48] * Golden_Dream winces. "... What if she just found that and got into it because, well, what else she gonna wear? And what if that's the whole reason this whole damn thing got started?"
  87. [2017-02-22 16:28:52] * Noble_Heart contemplates that. "We have heard allegations that star metal is corruptive. But We have rarely had reason to believe they are true. Certainly the Mother of Balefire had a stone made of Starmetal forming the Cult of LIV. But her corruption seemed to have come first, considering what We knew of her. Though We admit that We have not had the largest number of interactions with
  88. [2017-02-22 16:28:53] * Noble_Heart it."
  89. [2017-02-22 16:30:45] * Golden_Dream grumbles. "It ain't hard t' convince a starvin', freezin' anybody that can't go home to do anything."
  90. [2017-02-22 16:31:57] * Noble_Heart nods her head at that. "That is certainly true. We are uncertain that makes a reasonable argument in her favor, however."
  91. [2017-02-22 16:33:02] * Golden_Dream 's shoulders sag a bit. "I guess we ain't ever gonna know for sure."
  92. [2017-02-22 16:35:24] * Mare-Do-Well 3nods.  "That's all of the tale, to the best of my knowledge.   ... and ignoring the silly colt ghost-story stuff."
  93. [2017-02-22 16:35:31] <Mare-Do-Well> 3[redact]
  94. [2017-02-22 16:35:37] <Mare-Do-Well> 3Mwana nods.  "That's all of the tale, to the best of my knowledge.   ... and ignoring the silly colt ghost-story stuff."
  95. [2017-02-22 16:38:17] * Noble_Heart places a wing over Golden Dream. "We are fairly certain that may be for the best. IT does, however, explain why the catacombs need guarding. And why the spirits there are so aggressively against magic. The Spirits of Silence."
  96. [2017-02-22 16:39:35] * Golden_Dream retrieves her helmet, shakes the eyeballs out of it, and then examines the interior. "Does explain one thing, why th' hell th' Zebras went n' blew up Equestria. Thinkin' all they wanted was t' make sure no Rot Queen ever came back. We was jus' on th' wrong end a' paranoia."
  97. [2017-02-22 16:41:16] * Noble_Heart nods her head. "They could not see the difference between Nightmare Moon and Luna. Believing that their surrender would be their death." She sighed sadly. "It is not even truly pride. Merely misunderstanding. The worst reason for a disaster."
  98. [2017-02-22 16:41:55] * Bookwright frowns. "I do wonder if there's something more to the starmetal though. It seems like the stuff is always around powerful necromancers. Maybe it's a sign of favor, a gift from the stars?"
  99. [2017-02-22 16:43:17] * Noble_Heart ruffles her wings and frowns. "It is possible? It does seem common to appear with those who are in league with the Stars. But its presence alone does not seem to be enough."
  100. [2017-02-22 16:43:40] * Shatara frowns. "How do you get around that, though? How do you make someone believe you when you say you're not going to eat their babies?"
  101. [2017-02-22 16:44:48] <Mare-Do-Well> 3Mwana notes, "That's just what someone trying to get close to eat our babies would say."
  102. [2017-02-22 16:45:40] * Bookwright "I'm reasonably certain there were no promises or denials of baby-eating during the war."
  103. [2017-02-22 16:50:40] * Golden_Dream ruefully chuckles. "We can be reasonably certain there was some after th' war, though."
  104. [2017-02-22 16:51:11] * Get_Lost shrugs "there isn't really something we can do about the war, you know... we can try to stop the next one, maybe?"
  105. [2017-02-22 16:51:31] * Bookwright makes a face. "Only in the case of feral ghouls, near as I can find."
  106. [2017-02-22 16:54:09] * Golden_Dream sticks on the helmet and buckles it on. "Right, sorry. It ain't good to stew in this sort of thing." She fetches her brush gun and ejects a round to check if that functioned. It did. "Right. Love these broad-hoof levers. So, who takes point in the catacombs. Not it."
  107. [2017-02-22 16:57:00] <Mare-Do-Well> 3--- End of Session ---
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