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Transcript: CHAPTER ONE

Cacitus Jun 23rd, 2018 2,296 Never
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  1. -CHAPTER ONE-
  2. Junction Outpost #7
  3.  
  4. OPENING ROUND
  5. @Everyone, excluding @Clemency: A knock comes at your barracks room door, promptly at 7am. A Day Guard is waiting outside, as your morning wakeup, and informs that you have one hour to eat and prepare to meet at the pagoda for departure.
  6. @Everyone, excluding @Clemency: Before the Day Guard leaves they drop off to you whatever improvements Krinza has made to your personal items, over the night.
  7.  
  8.  CitrineBlaze: Snoring, Blaze did not wake when the Day Guard knocked on his door, instead the guard had to bash it in with a buck from their hindlegs. Even then the Crystal Pony did not rouse. As a last resort the guardpony yanked on Citrines' tail, pulling him out of his blanket cacoon and onto the floor with a *THUMP*. "Wadda -OW!" Neighing in pain the groggy stallion stumbled upright, glaring at the Day Guard with righteous anger. However before he could give them an ear full they told him the magic words which drained his fury away.
  9. CitrineBlaze: An hour to eat.
  10. CitrineBlaze: Flinging on all his stuff haphazardly Blaze in hungered excitement he galloped for the Mess Hall, where he would bury his head in food, from sweetened veggies to chocolate covered doughnuts with tea.
  11.  
  12. NevilWayne: On Nevil's end, the night passed to the sound of shuffling and sighing. He had gone to bed early (or so he thought), but still; the wake up call from the Day Guard made him groggily blink awake, with the zombie-like look of someone who had the BARE MINIMUM of sleep required to even remember how to be alive; the ceiling of their barracks seemingly an attractive vista for Nevil as they stared distantly up to it for several seconds, with wide-open, bagged eyes. Nonetheless, the officer slapped away the sheets of his cot and flung himself to a sitting position with unhealthy speed, and in the moment that his feet touched down onto his boots, he slapped his face a few times. He still looked like a zombie, with those half-lidded eyes, as he got himself clothed in his forest green bodysuit, boots, red armband, and hat, briskly. He stood up slowly, taking the newly improved armor without much of a word or even a glance; the words "Thank you.." slipping out of him slowly, alongside a yawn; spying Citrine absolutely sprinting out at the corner of his very tired eye at the same time, and grumbling a quiet "Silly ponies..." in their general direction. They didn't bother examining the improvements of the gear he puts on; but does take a moment longer figuring out how to properly don the thigh armor part that newly added to the cream colored armor.
  13. NevilWayne promptly walked out of the barracks with another yawn; slinging his M41A over his back with the safety on as he yawned up to the ceiling and saying "Coonquer the dayyy...! Euh." beneath that yawn. And then, he was off to the Mess Hall, to get himself a LONG coffee. The usual beans, salad, and poultry he is used to; and MAYBE a doughnut, since Citrine's stuffing of himself brought his attention to what he was eating.
  14.  
  15. Lucius_the_Weary Lucius is already awake in his barracks room when the day guard comes calling. Rising early was something hist father had taught him, and even his passage into Equestria back then could not shake this instinct from him. He greets the small equine with a nod, responding with a quick, "Right away," before turning and donning his new armor. He spends a few moments tugging at and adjusting the new straps, holstering his gear just so, and hanging his cloak the way he likes. With all preparations made, the ranger yawns and stretches his arms, the tinkle of fresh mail finding his ears well in the still morning air. He then shoulders his trusty old rucksack and heads out toward the mess hall, ready to greet his newfound companions. 'A real ragtag bunch we all are, but... there is potential, in all of us. I returned to this place to gather allies. I suppose that the table is a fine a place as any to begin forging those bonds.' The thought tugged lightly at the corners of his mouth, bringing slowly his lips into the shape of a smile brimming with excitement at this new chapter in his life.
  16.  
  17. Hildemar_Veiel @GM_Jeff Hildemar's eyes snap open at the sound of knocking on his door, his morning prayers to Verena being interrupted by what he was sure to be nothing of importance. Pleasant was his surprise when it was a guard with his gear, freshly reforged and ready for service. After thanking the guard he returns to what he was doing and finishes by asking for wisdom to overcome whatever foul sorcery he may be confronting at this lay junction. Once he finishes up he collects his gear and gets himself to the messhall for a quick, mango-free breakfast. No fruit so colorful with an entire species all but worshipping it can be trusted.
  18.  
  19. JoelJustJoel Joel awakens to the guard's beating at the door, lays still for a while until he can summon the will to sit up and help himself to some hair of the dog. He dons his hat and tips it to the guard as thanks for delivering his equipment, before trying on his new armor, taking a moment to appreciate how much lighter it felt on his old bones. Joel then makes his way to the mess hall and enjoys a heaping plate of all the available fried foods and several cups of coffee, each with a healthy splash of everclear.
  20.  
  21.  
  22. ROUND1
  23. @Everyone: All of you spend your breakfasts in your own personal ways, some with more grain alcohol than others, and one of you luckily had a watch on you to signal the others for departure. You all pack toward the pagoda, as a group, taking in a noticeable change of guard- mostly Day and Royal guards walking and patrolling around the Fortress grounds. Entering the pagoda you find Jeff wearing a grey hoodie with the same lowers as yesterday, sipping from a steaming mug of coffee. Next to him stood a man clad in armor, similar to Joel's, while propping up a huge man-sized riot shield. Jeff seems to be going over a map with the armored man, as your gazes catch the elephant in the pagoda- except is more like a large armored tan vehicle... with no doors sitting on top of the translocation stone. And a huge machine gun on top. "Everyone this is Noah. Noah, everyone." Jeff motions his coffee at the new introduction and then to your group, in a tired fashion. "Alright, pleasantries done. Onto the stone, I'll explain the training session once we're on the other side." He hovers his hand into the air, bringing up a translocation menu, full of listed destinations. "Need to put the Dagor through its paces, before we can regularly field it."
  24.  
  25.  Noah_: Noah looks over the map with Jeff by him. Got up early for this one, just like back home with his precinct. With his shield at an incline so the he can rest an arm on it, he waves to the group before him, thinking to himself "What a diverse crew here..." "Hey everyone and pony, as Jeff said, I'm Noah." After the greetings, Noah then picks up his shield and slings it before making his way to the...well "area" Jeff gestured to.
  26.  
  27. Lucius_the_Weary impressed by the armaments, Lucius gives @Noah a wave and a grin. "Aha! A stout shield, I see!" He pulls his unstrung bow from his back for a moment. "The bane of those who follow my discipline! I daresay that even my dragon-slaying arrows may not pierce such a bulwark."
  28. Lucius_the_Weary Lucius extends a hand in greeting to @Noah. "Well met, friend!" He then joins him on the translocation platform with the others.
  29.  
  30.  CitrineBlaze: @NevilWayne It appeared that Citrine was eating a combo of healthy and not so healthy food, from thick gabbage leaves to sprinkle covered carrots. He was...Quite skilled and shoveling food down his gullet.
  31. CitrineBlaze: Blaze followed everyone, a big happy smile on his face as he reached the Pagoda he saw yesturday. His smile faultered slightly when he saw the new human and the HUGE metal box on the Translocation Stone. "M-mehtall bawks..." he muttered under his breath. Although unnerved he gave @Noah and @Jeff a waggle of a foreleg in hello. "HELLO!" Along with the others he embarks into the big thingie-ma-bob, the 'Dagor' as said by Jeff. Inside the midget train (because that is his only comparison to this thing) he began sniffing and snuffling all over the place.
  32.  
  33. Hildemar_Veiel @GM_Jeff As Hildemar enters the pagoda with the rest of his group, he immediately becomes fixated on the strange carriage. It seemed almost like a steam tank but without the armament, armor, boilers, or pretty much anything else that would separate a steam tank from a chariot. He walks up to more thoroughly examine it , almost forgetting to give a greeting at all to the new man who will probably be thrown into this irregular squad. "Yes, greetings stranger. Now what manner of machine is this? I don't see any setup for it to be pulled so presumably it's similar to a steam tank..." Hildemar continues grumbling to himself while trying to work out exactly what's going on with this scarce frame of a wagon. Steam tanks had always fascinated him but even the top imperial engineers scarcely knew how to maintain them, yet alone create more once the man who designed the first 12 was killed.
  34.  
  35.  
  36. ROUND 2
  37. Location: THE MOUNTAIN
  38. @Everyone: After introductions, and vehicle ogling, are finished Jeff types in a predetermined destination on the translocation stone. A brief warping of time and reality, in a shiny silver tunnel, you all appear to be on top of a small mountain, overlooking what still looks to be the Everfree. A small lake sits nearby, while a waterfall can be heard nearby rushing from the peak of the mountain. From whichever of you that know, this location is most likely the small mountain just East of the Fortress. "Right then, now that we're away from any eavesdroppers, lets get down to business." Jeff places his now empty coffee mug on the large vehicle and pulls out his map from before and lays it across. He motions everyone to observe it, as it turns out to be a gridded and landscaped map of the ley junction the puzzle map had revealed. Just right of the epicenter was a small red 'X'. Outside of the junction, down south, was a blue circle. "Okay, so quick overview of the map: red X is the location Torven was able to calculate, and the blue circle is the point you'll all be inserted at. Turns out it's a really small trading town for anyone crazy enough to go exploring the junction, and there's an international group that places observers at each one, for information gathering. Seeing as this one's technically in Equestrian territory, it's under jurisdiction of Canterlot University. I got in touch with a unicorn that runs the observatory there, goes by... Golden Gadget." Jeff stops to sigh at the pony's name, then continues.
  39.  
  40. @Everyone: "So. Because of the twenty mile gap between the town, and that's just the border TO the junction, I've brought another member on board. Everyone this is @Noah: ex-SWAT, and he's trained to drive and maintain the Dagor." Jeff pats the large truck's hood, confidently, then looks over at @Hildemar and @Lucius. "Think of it as a loud wheeled armored cart that propels itself." Jeff leans off the hood and walks over to the back of the truck. "No doors, but the armor plating should be enough protection. Fifty caliber machine gun on top. Three days worth of medical supplies, food and water, ammo, yadda yadda. Plenty of gas to get to and back. NOW, some gadgets I need to run by all of you." Jeff pops the trunk bed hatch down, sitting there is a black box with an antennae array sticking off of it. Next to it was a small open cardboard box, and a glowing white crystal the size of a pineapple. Jeff grabs the first item. "Because of the ley junction's isolation, we're going to need to install one of these radio transmitters in the town. I've already communicated this to Golden Gadget, and he's permitting us to set it up in his tower." He then grabs the box, and pulls out a small radio set one at a time, and hands them to @Lucius, @Hildemar, and a pony-specific one to @Citrine. "These will help you communicate effortlessly with eachother and with me here. Stick the small part in your ear and clip the radio anywhere on you. It's thought activated, and don't fiddle with the channels. @Joel, @Noah, I know you guys are already wired, and @Nevil- your equipment already works with our radio network."
  41.  
  42. @Everyone: Jeff points to the large crystal, next to the transmitter. "This is a power crystal, holds a concentrated amount of magic in it. If you guys find yourselves in a magic dead zone, you could draw power from it for any of your enchantments or if Citrine needs to use his rune spells. Otherwise, nothing's going to work. There's a small little glow stone, hanging from the rearview. If you're in a deadzone, it'll stop glowing, and it'll shine really brightly in an overcharged zone." He closes the hatch back up, and points to the somewhat uncomfortable-looking seats in the open bed. "There's only four seats, plus the gunner's ring, so someone'll have to sit in the back." Jeff shrugs, and continues without skipping a beat. "Now I won't be able to be in contact with you, until the transmitter's set up, so that'll be your first objective. After that, maybe get a feel for the juncton's layout from the locals; Golden Gadget should be helpful. Then start heading on in. There's an ammo can in the Dagor's bed with thirty-thousand bits in it, as emergency funds. Oh... one more thing. If anyone asks: @Citrine-" As he points directly to the crystal pony party member. "You're a researcher from the Empire, looking to perform some field studies, and you've hired Razorback to be your protection detail while inside the junction. Do not tell anyone your real objective, or give away that red 'X'." Jeff lets out a long-winded sigh, and crosses his arms. "Any questions, before you head out?"
  43.  
  44. Lucius_the_Weary "Only one:" Lucius says, swinging himself up into the Dagor and claiming the back seat for himself. "How much time do we have?"
  45.  
  46. Noah_: "Any particular wildlife we should look out for? I heard about the creatures this place can have."
  47.  
  48. CitrineBlaze: >Using the Dagors interior wall to rub the deep itch on his snoot, Blaze listened to @Jeff talk, eventually getting to Golden Gadget. "Oh, I know her! -Wait no, that's Golden Rain, wrong mare..." He coughed awkwardly and resumed nubbing his snout on the wall.
  49. CitrineBlaze: >Finished with his minstrations Citrine sat down and watched @Jeff go through everything in the metal boxes interior, his interest peaking at the crystal the size of a pineapple. 'Note to self, must Nom that later'. His ears perked when Jeff offered the thingie for his ear to him, Blaze took it but was a total fumblehooves about it. Eventually he had to finnangle it onto his ear by pressing his head against the Dagors wall.
  50. CitrineBlaze: >At being pointed at the Crystal Stallion sneezed. "Got it..." He said with the upmost confidence. He raised a hoof when @Jeff opened up for questions. "Can I call my security detail the Pony Prostitute Pounders?"
  51.  
  52. JoelJustJoel Joel snaps @CitrineBlaze "Watch yer mouth boy! Yer momma's a nahce mare." He then turns to @Jeff. "Anythin' you can tell us about this mare we're meetin'?" As he asks, Joel climbs into the passenger seat of the Dagor "Ah'd say it out loud, but ah've got too much dignity. Good ta meet'cha by the way, Noah."
  53.  
  54. NevilWayne had said very little throughout the while thing. He looked about, eyeing their new ride and appraising the supposed ex-SWAT with a glance; though for one reason or another, gave them nothing more than a blank nod of his head in greeting and a tired, dull-eyed glance in greeting. Even Citrine's antics didn't draw a smile from him, paying attention to Jeff with rapt attention as their glance sometimes wandered distantly during the briefing, towards the oddly shaped trees in the distance.  Its only when @Jeff asked for questions and others asked theirs, that Nevil's steady voice is heard again. "Are we expecting trouble?" He asked, slowly glancing back to Citrine overtly before putting his eyes back to Jeff intently; "We ARE going there heavily armed," - Nevil nodded his head towards their armored car decked with a machine-gun ontop, "--under the guise of a research expedition. Just wondering if there was anyone to 'look out' for?". After he asked that, he pauses for a moment, fidgeting his hand into rubbing the other's wrist almost nervously as he added a quiet "Unless this is completely within the norm, somehow..."
  55.  
  56.  
  57. ROUND 3
  58. @Everyone: "For a time-frame, @Lucius? Well, you guys have three days worth of supplies in the Dagor, but I can't see you being in there for that long. This is being treated as an extended field test for the Dagor, so no one's going to miss it for a few days." Turning his head from the archer, Jeff looks over at Citrine with an amused look as he covers his mouth to hide a snicker. "Heh, well I'm not going to stop you if you do. At any rate, Citrine, you'd only be in charge for appearances." He looks through the lot of you, landing his gaze on the colonial marine. "Uhhh, @Nevil. You should technically have the most experience, so you'll be in charge. Unless someone else wants to be, work it out yourselves." Jeff watches as some of you start to get comfy in the truck, and grabs his coffee mug and map off the Dagor's hood.
  59.  
  60. @Joel: Jeff looks at you, and shrugs his shoulders dismissively. "I really don't know much about Golden Gadget, other than he's a scientist of sort from Canterlot."
  61.  
  62. @Noah and Nevil: He addresses both of your concerns, simultaneously. "On the note of opposition. The town gets all kinds of weirdos passing through it, so they should be hospitable. As for inside the junction: I've heard very uncommon beasts roam in them. Some that thrive on the magically-rich areas, and others that don't rely on any ambient magic at all. You should ask around in the town, they'll know more than anyone else. The Dagor's armaments, as well as your own's, are strictly precautionary. Don't start any fights you guys can't get yourselves out of."
  63.  
  64. @Nevil: Before you hope into the vehicle, Jeff walks over to you, and reaches into his pocket and pulls out a polished iron ball about half an inch in diameter. "If you guys DO get in a bind, just drop this on the ground and help should arrive pretty quickly."
  65.  
  66. @Everyone: Having satisfied everyone's inquiries, @Hildemar remaining pleasantly silent, Jeff waits as the rest of you pack into the Dagor; Noah taking the wheel, of course. He punches in a coordinate into the translocation matrix, and waits for the Dagor to get started up. "Remember, your first task should be to meet with Golden Gadget and get the transmitter in place, then learn what you can in the town before setting off."
  67.  
  68.  CitrineBlaze: Citrine just blew a rasspberry at @Joel in response. The Crystal Stallions eyes widened when @Jeff clarified what he wanted from him. "YOU CAN COUNT ON ME!" He shouted in the confines of the rumbling box, smacking the side of his head with a hoof in a sloppy salute. Slumping into his seat, Blaze relaxed somewhat, letting the excitement of the day so far disapate. "Weirdos and Beasts...can't be as bad as that one brothel in the Empire." He shuddered. 'Bucking freaky silver coloured mare!' Blaze sniffed dismissifly at being reminded about Golden Gadget. "Where is she in the town, a big ol' stinking building or a gutter?"
  69.  
  70.  Noah_: Noah gives a Jeff a understanding nod as he starts up the Dagor. It almost reminds him of home, if not for the talking horses and the prevalence of crystals everywhere. He then begins to mentally plan his route, looking outside to the sky the get his bearings on his cardinal directions. He recalls the town being said being north of the insertion point so he plans his route from there.
  71.  Noah_: Noah, sitting around thinking and waiting for everyone to get in, now has a better mental map of the map, more specifically remembering that said insertion point IS the town and the junction is north of it. Silly Noah!
  72.  
  73. Lucius_the_Weary as he waits for the short trip into the town to get underway, Lucius, now comfy in his back seat and finding some enjoyment in the throbbing hum of the engine, decides to lean forward and tap @Citrine on the haunch, to get his attention. "Blaze, do you know anything about this Golden Gaget?" Then he smirks. "And oh? An empire brothel? Do tell, my man!"
  74.  
  75. NevilWayne looked to Jeff intently and listened to his responses, occassionally darting his glance towards Citrine and giving the pony a slightly furrowed brow and a very weak, amused smile before turning back to @Jeff himself. What he gathered from the Commander was enough for Nevil to nod his head in satisfaction, albeit keeping his glance tense and distant; he almost doesn't pay attention when Jeff moved up to him, prompting him to pause abruptly as he just started turning tot he Dagor, and handed him a funny looking iron ball. "I just drop it on the ground?" He asked quietly, as the colonial marine examined the ball; turning it in his hand as he raised his brow slowly. Eventually though, he simply says "Got it, sir." with a mildly determined tone to his voice, opening his satchel and slips the iron ball in, for safekeeping. Giving Jeff one final nod and small smile, before immediately turning to @CitrineBlaze to tell him that "Golden Gadget isn't a she, Citrine..."  , quickly climbing shotgun into the Dagor next to @Noah_. Nevil taking the time to exchange his normal Lieutenant Commander's green hat for the modified M10 helmet, adjusting the cin strap tightly before settling down.
  76.  
  77. JoelJustJoel Joel smiles at @Citrine's attempts to tease him back. "Ah thought we were talkin' 'bout a stallion?" Just as he is getting settled in for the long ride, Joel gains a seat-mate. "Look here, Nevil, ah lahk ya an awl, but ah'm not making this trip with you in mah lap."
  78.  
  79. Hildemar_Veiel @GM_Jeff Remaining silent through the majority of Jeff's explanations, Hildemar stared at his 'radio' and ultimately decided that such sorcery probably isn't going to go terribly, or at least not immediately. He settles into the back of the Dagor and continues observing the antics of this little 'research' group, briefly letting a smile through at the coincidence that they're using research as a cover for setting up magical communications when he's actually just using the comms as a cover to do research himself. "I too am curious about what could be so bad about a common whorehouse Citrus; what's the story there?" Hildemar grabs the handle of his repeater on the offchance that Citrus' whorehouse story is more debased than is acceptable.
  80.  
  81.  
  82. ROUND 4
  83. @Citrine: Jeff, looking somewhat defeated, rolls his eyes in your direction. "There's an observational tower, in town, where Golden Gadget should be. Should be your first place to look."
  84.  
  85. @Nevil: Your 'commander' nods at your confirming question. "Pretty much. I don't know if you've met the tall green masked man, but they're his. He should pull you guys out in a pinch, but only use it if you REALLY need to."
  86.  
  87. @Everyone: As you all finish piling into the Dagor, Jeff waves you all off as he punches a location into the translocation matrix. "Good luck out there. Radio me, when you have the transmitter up and running!" He yells over the growling of the truck's rumbling diesel engine, as @Noah puts it into drive and creeps onto the translocation stone. A ruby red portal opens, and you're all sent through a metallic metal tube.
  88.  
  89. LOCATION: LEY JUNCTION #7, Trading Outpost; 08:30AM
  90.  
  91. @Everyone, but mostly @Noah: Exiting the portal, @Noah brings the Dagor to an immediate stop as the wheels crawl over a fine layer of snow on a grass patch just off of a dirt road surrounding by sparse trees. A pair of Day Guards just in front of the vehicle jump backward and ready their lances, before looking at eachother and sighing in relief. They bring themselves back to comfortable ready positions as they approach the vehicle from either side, one addressing @Noah. "You're the research crew from Razorback we were told about, right?"
  92.  
  93. @Everyone: As the two guards overlooked the Dagor, a small... very small outpost town lied before you all. Only consisting of a substantial inn, several smaller buildings outcropping the road, and an obvious tower reaching around sixty feet or so behind the inn. The entire town sat on top of a hill, the dirt road leading into a dense forest below; the tower seemed just tall enough to look over the outlying forest canopy. From your positions, there wasn't any signs of a 'ley junction' anywhere. Only the small outpost in front of you, and a dense coniferous forest int he background.
  94.  
  95.  CitrineBlaze: Blaze bleated in surprise at @Lucius_the_Weary -touching- him on his haunch. "Y-you too..." He murmured before actually looking at the human. "No, I keep mistaking her as another mare I knew back in the Empire.. And uh, what can I say, its a brothel. Only thing good was the Lead Mare, big flanked silver coloured Crystal Pony. Great blowjobs!" Proclaimed the stallion loudly in the Dagors confines.
  96.  CitrineBlaze: Citrine turned away from Lucius to stare at @NevilWayne and @JoelJustJoel perplexingly. "U wot mates? Oh well, I was hoping to bribe them with my dick..."
  97.  CitrineBlaze: The Crystal Stallion sniffed through one nostril hard as he leaned back into his seat. 'Y'all are horny for some marepussy.' "A lot of animals used, and some hard BDSM goings on too. With how extreme the playtimes got I'd think it was couping sessions." Shrugging he ended his explanation. "S'all I need to say."
  98.  CitrineBlaze: Looking out into the Town Blaze smacked his lips as he took in the breath taking sight, remembering what @Jeff told him. "So we make a B-line for the Tower yey or neigh?"
  99.  
  100.  Lucius_the_Weary Lucius' erupts into laughter @Citrine's full account of the brothel. "Well, perhaps I should have asked for less detail!" Upon seeing the Day Guards, Lucius leans out of the vehicle and waves. "Hello there! We are indeed, but you'll want to speak to @Citrine about that." He motions with a thumb toward the crystal pony, seemingly horribly fixated on the tower and nothing else. "Though he appears to be a little preoccupied at the moment, so..."
  101.  
  102.  NevilWayne blinked and furrowed his brow, feeling the seat beneath him to not feel as expected. The MOMENT @JoelJustJoel started speaking, the colonial marine hopped off and rubbed various parts of his face to display various types of embarrassment as he briefly turned in Joel's direction to say "Sorry, Joel." He said, at first. Though, as he climbed up the back of the Dagor; unceremoniously sitting down and holding on, he spoke up again with a quietly playful hint in his voice, "Was wondering why the seat was suddenly so comfortable." He said, not chuckling to his own joke. Especially as he made it a point to tightly hold onto the Dagor and look down to not look off the Dagor while it gets translocated with them on it. Though it wasn't long until Nevil looked back up, straight toward @Citrine, as he utters such lewd statements, prompting a long sigh from Nevil, "Citrine..." he calmly said to the crystal pony, his lips tugging up with a small smirk for a moment, "Keep it in your sheath while you 'lead' us, please."  He softly told the pony, unphased by the stallion's lewdness; not even attempting to pay much attention to Citrine's explanation as, luckily, the trip doesn't last too long, and he whipped around to cast his glance down to the guards addressing the driver whilst speaking towards @Citrine again, "That's the plan." He told him, nodding his head once. Watching Lucius' conversation with the guards closely.
  103.  
  104. JoelJustJoel Joel wrinkles his nose at Nevil's "joke". "You and me ain't bunkin' in the same room." He waves his hand out of the window of the Dagor at the day guards. "Howdy boys." Turning back to his team, he asks "Where the hell is the ley line? None o' this looks any more magic than the rest." Then to @citrine "Good a place as any ah 'spose, any particular reason?"
  105.  
  106. Hildemar_Veiel Hildemar's face quickly contorts to clear disgust as he tightens the grip on his repeater, only releasing it for the sake of his current mission. "I shall take no further part in discussing the degeneracy of your kind." Upon the guards questioning his group, Hildemar gives a terse nod as his answer. Once the guards are done bothering everyone, Hildemar speaks up and starts trying to actually be productive. "I agree with going to the tower first; setting up the 'transmitter' is high priority and I think it's likely that it will house the observatory that Jeff mentioned his contact working in." Satisfied that even the not!Stirlander should be understanding the group's immediate goal, Hildemar sits back again and waits to see if it will be Citrine or someone else to say something profoundly stupid.
  107.  
  108.  Noah_: Noah sits in his seat, letting the others explain it to the guards about his "research" team. Although, he sits awkwardly due to the lewd ramblings of @Citrine. He knows about the lack of inhibitions of the ponies, but not this caliber. He pipes up with the rest of the crew. "Unless you guys need to go to some other stop, then yeah, that tower looks good." He then waits for the guards to address @Citrine in response to @Lucius, scanning the village for more inhabitants and other game trails leading out of the town.
  109.  
  110.  
  111. ROUND 5
  112. @Lucius, @Everyone: The guards nod their heads smiling at you. The one on the left listening intently at @Citrine's debauchery, while the right one acknowledges your other crewmates and replies a 'howdy' of his own back to @Joel. Since there were, you know, no side doors or windows on the Dagor- your conversations were pretty much public. "We can see that. No need, really, we know who you are by your appearance. The observatory is right behind the inn. The scientist should be up there." "Not like he ever leaves, except when he needs to get something to eat." The left guard add. "But I guess that's the whole reason he's here: to keep an eye on the ley junction. We won't hold you all up."
  113.  
  114. @Noah: As the guard visually allow you passage into the small outpost, you spot several common ponies mulling about between the inn and what you make out to be a sort of General Store to its left. As you scan the surrounding tree thicket, you don't really pick up any game trails in or out apart from the dirt road that runs through. There did however appear to be more foot traffic entering and leaving the outpost than toward the ley junction.
  115.  
  116.  CitrineBlaze: Citrine gazed at @Lucius_the_Weary with a 'uwot m8' look, and scrunched from @NevilWayne suggestion. "Mak meh." The Crystal pony dared. Blaze grunted, so many questions from the humans, they're bucking Bats in disguise he thought! "Because I have no Bits @JoelJustJoel, that's why." He said plainly.
  117. CitrineBlaze: His conversations and explanations were public? Oh buck, oh well. Not like any of them were gonna go to that Brothel anyway. "never leaves his toweer aye? Well, guess that means there should be no way for him to not be there." Blaze affirmed when the Day Guard clarified about Golden Gadgets' habits.
  118. CitrineBlaze: Stepping out of the Dagor Citrine gave the Guards respectful nods before trotting for the tower, assuming everyone else will follow him. Unless they were lazy motherbuckers. Or Pegasi.
  119. CitrineBlaze: The trek would be short between Dagor and tower, yet Blaze looked around carefully as he clopped along, giving what he could see a careful once over. Who knew, where could be horny mares waiting in ambush!
  120. CitrineBlaze rolls 1d6 = 2 #1d6 #1d6
  121. CitrineBlaze rolls 1d6 = 2
  122. CitrineBlaze rolls 1d6 = 2
  123.  
  124. Lucius_the_Weary "Well," Lucius says, finally, "Now that we're here, lets get down to business!" He hops out of the truck, re-adjusting his belt and cloak, giving a curt nod to the guards before taking up position directly behind @Citrine, scanning the tower to see if there was anything out of place.
  125. Lucius_the_Weary: E. Perception: #1d6
  126. Lucius_the_Weary rolls 1d6 = 6
  127. Lucius_the_Weary rolls 1d6 = 5
  128. Lucius_the_Weary rolls 1d6 = 1
  129.  
  130.  Noah_: Noah parks the Dagor over by the stone and pockets the keys. He's somewhat wary of the fact that the open-topped vehicle is left out in the open but he assumes no one would bother picking through it. And those that would will get yelled at. "Yep!" Noah gets out of the Dagor and slings the shield over him. He pulls it to get used to the weight before walking and keeping up with the orange stallion.
  131.  
  132.  Hildemar_Veiel: FACTION BONUS: +1 Perception/Scouting
  133. Hildemar_Veiel Hildemar dismounts the future-wagon after its driver, adjusting his hat forward slightly to fully encapsulate the image of 'don't fuck with me, I'm busy' that he's long since perfected. As he takes up his spot at the rear of the group, he passively scans the rooftops and alleyways for anyone who appears to have interest in his group beyond them being new faces in town. "Hopefully our contact is a hospitable sort; I'm actually looking forward to doing some of my own research on this leyline."
  134. Hildemar_Veiel: E. Perception: [ 1d6+1 = 4 ]
  135. Hildemar_Veiel: [ 1d6+1 = 3 ]
  136. Hildemar_Veiel: [ 1d6+1 = 2 ]
  137.  
  138. NevilWayne , Indeed, followed Citrine closely when he decides to hop off; doing likewise, albeit not before snorting and rolling his eyes to the 'mak me' he receives from Citrine, and quickly holding a hand to the strap of the  large, sleek rifle on his back as he strode along to keep up with the crystal pony. Instinctively, his glance darted around over every pony around them; internally figuring that these ponies would be slightly more harmless than 'semi-hidden terrorist militia', but still feeling the paranoia of walking through a frontier town for the first time after his past, slightly less than stellar experiences. "I'm sure he will. We just have to make a good first impression." He remarked in Hildermar's direction, while at the same time glancing over the distinct appearance of a witchhunter. Then slowly looking towards Citrine... He doesn't say anything to him, but simply gazed at him overtly with a hint of worry.
  139. NevilWayne: E. Perception #1d6
  140. NevilWayne rolls 1d6 = 6
  141. NevilWayne rolls 1d6 = 1
  142. NevilWayne rolls 1d6 = 2
  143.  
  144. JoelJustJoel Joel steps out of the Dagor and takes in the town before him. "Kinda reminds me 'o home." He says with a smile. "Not too big, not too noisy." On noticing his team can't seem to mind their own business, Joel checks to see what they're all look for.
  145. JoelJustJoel: B. Perception
  146. JoelJustJoel rolls 1d6 = 6
  147. JoelJustJoel rolls 1d6 = 5
  148.  
  149.  
  150. ROUND 6
  151. @Citrine: Embarking from the Dagor, and taking lead of the group, you merely trot up to and to the left of the Inn; behind it the mentioned observatory, clearly visible jutting straight into the cloudy sky. You don't pay much to any particular details as you look around, but as you pass the inn on your right a trio of black-robed ponies flank your party to enter the inns main entrance. The leader, only describable by his dark blue muzzle poking out from the confines if his shadowed hood greets you quietly. "Greetings crystal pony." His followers pay you no mind as they enter the establishment.
  152.  
  153. @Noah: Exiting the Dagor, one of the guards nudges your leg as you 'lock up' the vehicle. "We'll keep an eye on this for you, while you do your business." The other nods his head in confirmation, and both take up lax stances around the translocation stone. A certain level of concern washes from you, as you follow Citrine past the Inn.
  154.  
  155. @Lucius: As everyone falls behind you and Citrine, you notice a group of black-robed ponies heading toward the Inn. The leader gives Citrine a curt greeting... and  ignoring everyone else as they file in one-by-one. Keeping your eyes on the first pony, you notice by his hooves a glint of steel-colored chainmail peeking out around his back fetlocks before disappearing into the inn. Inside you can hear faint music playing, and several different beings striking up muffled conversations and laughing as you pass by.
  156.  
  157. @Nevil: Falling in behind Citrine and the rest of the group, you spot three dark-robed ponies entering the Inn. The leader greets your lewd leader, as the others stay silent. Missing anything descriptive on the leader, you do notice the middle robed pony *clanked* with its movements along with several angled points printed on their robe.
  158.  
  159. @Joel: Becoming somewhat sentimental with the small outpost town, your attention however locks onto a few ponies in identical robes heading toward the Inn. By the time you get close enough to them the first two already began entering the Inn. You do however make out the last pony: Two hunches on either side of its robed shoulder's, along with what looked like the tips of metallic blades poking out from the bottom of its robe.
  160.  
  161. @Hildemar: Bringing up the rear, you overlook everyone else's attention. Although them blocking your view wanders your view to the small shop to the left of the Inn as you began to pass by the inn. It's was clearly labelled "STORE", along with a sign in front that read: "For All Your Hunting, Exploring, and Treasure Hunting Needs!" Taking in the shops cleverly straight-forward marketing technique, you snap back to the inn to catch a glimpse of three black-robed ponies disappearing into the well-lit and occupied inn. Their appearance bothered you slightly. Could they have been of some religious cult? Something even MORE heinous?!
  162.  
  163. @Everyone: Personal observations aside, @Citrine eventually leads the group pass the Inn and down a dirt path that brings you all in front of the prominent structure. Around twelve foot in diameter, the laid stone tower shoots straight up, only tapering slightly as it rose to the coned top. On the side that supposedly faced toward the ley junction, several feet of a large telescope lense juts out of an open port at the top. The reinforced door in front of your group was shut, with a large iron door knocker adorned with the insignia of Canterlot. There were no sounds emanating from inside.
  164.  
  165. NevilWayne seemed to quietly furrow his brow as he took note of the odd group by the inn; narrowing his eyes over the supposed leader who had greeted Citrine and then left. Nevil watched them enter the inn with a slightly pursed lip - keeping up his power walk behind the crystal pony, as a red flag raises in his mind. "Look at that." Suddenly, the man quietly muttered, "You're already popular, Citrine." He playfully said, calmly looking back to @CitrineBlaze for a moment. Before his glance shot upward towards the observatory they were approaching, until his glance sets on the reinforced door and he picked up the pace slightly to reach the door; almost raising his hand to the knocker and briskly laying a few knocks on the door; before he stepped back, getting beside Citrine with a deadpan glance on his face - looking intently at the door.
  166.  
  167. CitrineBlaze: Citrine pursed his lips at the trios leader, they could of been anything from whichever faction. Or part of the Moon Princesses' ilk, they like to be all mysterious and shit. Regardless he didn't want to stick his nose anywhere he wasn't going so he just nodded in return and kept moving. Not before trying to take a sniff at the air, hoping to see what type of pony they were.
  168. CitrineBlaze: E.perception (smell)
  169. CitrineBlaze rolls 1d6 = 5
  170. CitrineBlaze rolls 1d6 = 6
  171. CitrineBlaze rolls 1d6 = 2
  172. CitrineBlaze: Whistling, Blaze was impressed by the observatory. It sure had the air of a building from Canterlot, the knocker being the cherry on top of the cake. Though, the door itself did make him wonder. With Gadgets activity and the reinforcements to the tower Blaze could imagine the Reseacher had found something big. "Uh huh..." He half mindedly responded to @NevilWayne as the cheeky human got out in front to knock on the door. 'Good, least if its magically boobytrapped Nevil will take the brunt of it' "Heh, trap."
  173.  
  174. Lucius_the_Weary Lucius raises an eyebrow at the swarthily clothed ponies. He makes a mental note of their apparent level of armament, hoping not to have to run by them again, especially not under violent circumstances. The sight of the tower, however, shook him from his thoughts. As Nevil knocks politely on the door, Lucius pipes up with a sigh. "My word, what a pain this is. This Gadget fellow could be anywhere in that tower, he may not even hear you." Lucius then bends back, hands cupped to either side of his mouth. "Hark, Sir Gadget! We, the anticipated research crew, have at last arrived!"
  175.  
  176. Noah_: Noah nods at the guards again, thanking them for their vigil. He then walks with the rest of the group, heading for the Tower. It reminds him of light towers back home, albeit maybe more ornate. When he gets to the door, he lets Lucius knock on it calling for Gadget. He then waits for some sort of response, though what Citrine said did worry if it is booby trapped, but that wasn't beyond reasonable doubt.
  177.  
  178. JoelJustJoel Joel takes note of the robed ponies, their number, their clothing, the color of their leader. Once the group is free of them, he pipes up "Only one kinda feller needs weapons and a hidden face. Them folk worry me." Joel takes up a waiting position waiting at the back or the group, listening for any new noise coming from the inn.
  179.  JoelJustJoel: B. perception
  180. JoelJustJoel rolls 1d6 = 3
  181. JoelJustJoel rolls 1d6 = 6
  182.  
  183. Hildemar_Veiel Hildemar lets out the tired sigh of a man who's seen the same bullshit a few too many times at the site of what appears to be yet another group of dark robe wearing cultists. He decides to not bring it up until he was certain there isn't anyone listening in. As everyone approaches the door, Hildemar grabs his repeater in anticipation of possible cultist ambush. "I agree with Joel here, regardless of affiliation, only common hooligans at best skulk about towns in broad daylight dressed like that." His focus is then centerred on the tower itself, looking for anything above that could indicate trouble awaiting the group. Good old witch hunting paranoia.
  184. Hildemar_Veiel: E. Perception [ 1d6+1 = 6 ]
  185. Hildemar_Veiel: [ 1d6+1 = 3 ]
  186. Hildemar_Veiel: [ 1d6+1 = 7 ]
  187.  
  188.  
  189. ROUND 7
  190. @Citrine: By the time you decide to take a hard inspecting whiff at the robed ponies, they had already entered the Inn. You do however catch the back-end of the last pony as the door closes on it: faint of leaves and wet dew. Definitely a pegasi...
  191.  
  192. @Joel: Hanging behind, you keep an ear close to the Inn's closes exterior wall. Inside you can clearly hear multiple rowdy conversations going on. One voice loudly explodes above the others, calling everyone a bunch of 'soft-hooved pansies.'
  193.  
  194. @Hildemar: Your paranoia pays off! Kinda... not really. You are, however, the first to notice a golden-maned pony poke its head out of a window high at the top of the tower and down below to you all.
  195.  
  196. @Everyone: Despite Nevil's several hearty knock on the tower's door, there wasn't an answer. High above, you all hear an accented(English) voice call down to you all. "Hello down there!" A whisp of gold mane sticks its head out of a window high above, looking down at you. "Are you the humans?! Come on up then, doors open!" The head disappears back in. @Nevil pushes the door open to reveal a candle-lit common room foyer at the bottom, furnished with a few couches and a counter covered with several opened parchments and more unopened mail. To the right, a stone-carved staircase spirals up into the tower.
  197.  
  198.  CitrineBlaze: Pegasi. Well, didn't really help with whoever the buck they were and from. Starborn to Las Pegaus Rogues.
  199. CitrineBlaze: The pony himself, Golden Gadget called to them from up high. Prick. Least Blaze knew where his name came from. Entering the tower with everyone else he was tempted to give everything a good lick, but stopped himself. Just. "I guess you guys wanna loiter down here snooping through his shit, imma go and say hello." With that Citrine pranced upstairs to find Gadget. "HELLO!"
  200.  
  201. Lucius_the_Weary Lucius, finding it more to his interest to be there for the briefing than follow @Citrine's suggestion, plods along behind the crystal pony up the staircase, taking careful note of his surroundings as he goes.
  202. Lucius_the_Weary: E. Perception
  203. Lucius_the_Weary: E. Perception [ d6 = 5 ]
  204. Lucius_the_Weary rolls 1d6 = 5
  205. Lucius_the_Weary rolls 1d6 = 5
  206.  
  207. Hildemar_Veiel His paranoia satiated by a friendly enough voice inviting him in, Hildemar calms down on his nosiness until he's given reason to be suspicious. Even witch hunters can have manners sometimes. He follows Citrine and Lucius to their contact, deciding against potentially offending the one person they knew here. "No snooping just yet; I'm not in the business of offending hosts involved with my employers unless circumstances demand it." As the group ascends, Hildemar focuses more on listening for where Golden might be approaching from since Lucius seemed to be visually searching well enough.
  208. Hildemar_Veiel: E. Perception [ 1d6+1 = 4 ]
  209. Hildemar_Veiel: [ 1d6+1 = 4 ]
  210. Hildemar_Veiel: [ 1d6+1 = 7 ]
  211.  
  212.  Noah_: Noah leans upward at the sound of the voice, thinking that must be their contact. As the door opens, looked around at the rather homey atmosphere of the foyer in front of them. As Citrine and Hildemar plan to meet the contact, Noah follows suit. "Oh no I'll see our guy. I'll plenty of time to sit when we get to the junction." Noah ascends the stairs, trying to keep his shield in check from bumping too much.
  213.  
  214. JoelJustJoel Joel shakes his head @Citrine. "Respect the man's privacy, Blaze." Joel follows Noah up the stairs, somewhat eager to find out what kind of misfit studies magic for a living. 'God almighty, Ah'm collectin' weirdos like baseball cards.'
  215.  
  216. NevilWayne quirked his brow slightly to Citrine's assumptions and everyone's collective replies. He, in the meantime, stood by the doorway; letting everyone come in whilst he looked behind them all and looked outside with somewhat darting eyes, quickly closing the doors behind them. By the time he turned around to follow the others everyone had already preceded him onward to the first way upstairs they could find; thus leaving him to take his sweet time to follow them. His glance wandered through the insides of the room he found himself in, a hand instinctively gripping the strap of his pulse rifle while slowly ambling forward -- suddenly looking a bit more frowny than usual. Though regardless, after making sure nothing was waiting for them on the ceiling and under the tables, he hurried up the stairs to find Golden Gadget as well.
  217.  
  218.  
  219. ROUND 8
  220. @Everyone: You all collectively decide to head to the top, to meet Golden Gadget. Citrine leading the march up the stone steps, you all spiral up counter-clockwise to a room a floor up. The layout was that of a small kitchenette: a tea kettle was resting on top of a cool heat stone, along with a couple ice chests and a small dining table. Everything either looked relatively unused, or kept extremely neat. Continuing up, the next floor was definitely Golden Gadgets sleeping quarters- tossed unmade bed and all, with night stand steamer trunk opened to show off several balled-up clothing. The room above was a study with several overly-stuffed bookshelves, pouring with loose documents and scrolls, and a disheveled desk far too messy to work on. Having finally finished trudging the spiral staircase, @Citrine comes to an open ceiling hatch door, and is the first one to peek his head out onto the tower's covered canopy.
  221.  
  222. @Everyone: Sitting to one side, face locked onto the eyepiece of a considerably large telescope pointed into the distance, was a young golden maned unicorn stallion sitting on a comfy pillow; his coat mostly covered in a star-lined cloak. Looking back and forth between the eyepiece and a notebook floating to the left of his head, quill scribbling on its own. He catches sight of @Everyone, and looks at you all blankly before perking up in a friendly grin. "Ah, hello! Didn't even hear you lot come up the stairs." Prying his attention from the telescope and closing his notebook, the robed brown-coated unicorn turns to fully face you all and stands up from his pillow to greet your only pony companion. "You must be Citrine Blaze. Golden Gadget, primary observer of Ley Junction Seven." He holds out a hoof, in greeting. "Can't say I've ever heard of you from the Empire, not like I keep up with its current members." He looks past you and to the rest of the group. "And this must be your security contractors, from Razorback. They certainly look well-armed, if you're going to traverse into the heart of the junction. Never one for field research, myself." Focus drifting off into no where in particular, his attention draws back to @Citrine and the group. "The letter from your administrator said you had to install... some sort of communication device, yes?"
  223.  
  224. CitrineBlaze: 'Wha-' An ear swivelled back to listen, hearing that everyone followed him. 'If I knew these buckos were gonna head up stairs I would of stayed behind to sniff everything!' He rolled his eyes at the missed opportunity, but moved on. Not like he could go back as there were several humans tailing his flank up a narrow stairwell.
  225. CitrineBlaze: 'Buck you you "didn't hear us!"' Blaze thought to himself as he extended a hoof to accept the greeting. "Golden Gadget, I'm Citrine Blaze. Leader of the Pony Pounder Posse." He blinked. "Eh? I'm a nopony nor part of the Knights...or Princess Cadences toys." The Crystal Stallions chest puffed out with some pride as Gadget observed -his- group. "Yup! Hoofpicked them myself, they can destroy any enemy or mare with a click of my tongue-" He leaned in. "-Or some stallions." Oh how he enjoyed bucking lying his flanks off! "Oh yah totally, the thingie-muh-jig. Its uh...We have it somewhere right?" Blaze asked, turning around to look at the humans, face deadpan.
  226.  
  227. Lucius_the_Weary: Lucius returns Citrines' blank gaze with a coy grin. "Oh what, boss? You're saying that in your infinite wisdom you may have neglected to check and make sure your 'posse' had remembered to grab such an important item?" Folding his arms, grin only getting wider, he continues. "Perhaps thou should have spent more time actually leading your, 'Pony Pounders,' instead of sniffing and licking everything mildly interesting and coming up with silly, inappropriate names?"
  228.  
  229. CitrineBlaze: "Stop deflecting the fact -you- forgot!"
  230.  
  231. Lucius_the_Weary: "And you presume it was my job specifically to grab it? You never even mentioned the item in the first place. You give the orders~"
  232.  
  233. CitrineBlaze: "Alright, I order you to get it."
  234.  
  235. Lucius_the_Weary: With a mock-salute, a grin, and a sideways glance at Golden Gadget, Lucius takes off, yelling behind him, "Aye-aye, captain!"
  236. Lucius_the_Weary: B. Sprint [ 1d6 = 2 ]
  237. Lucius_the_Weary rolls 1d6 = 2
  238.  
  239. Noah_: Noah just stands there with a confused face as he then realizes they all forgot the communications...thing. He was going to offer to go get it but was cut off from the banter. And he was relieved since he's pretty sure Lucius is faster than him anyway and won't knock everything down going at that speed. At least he's flattered by the "introduction" Citrine gave him and the rest of the crew. For now he'll just let the crystal pony talk while he just admires the room they're room.
  240.  
  241. Hildemar_Veiel Feeling a sudden headache approaching from the foolishness of his crew, Hildemar massages his temples and waits to see what heights of dissapointment Citrine could reach. He decides to be the first person to not act like he's in a travelling circus and speak something sensical. "Ignoring that moment of... eccentricity, what manner of threats might we face during our excursion, Gadget? We were not provided such information when given our tasks of providing security and delivering the device."
  242.  
  243. NevilWayne found himself staring blankly and eyeballing Lucius and CItrine during the exchange. Whether this was for one reason or another, he silently furrowed his brow and stepped aside to avoid collisions with the ranger and let him pass, still following him with his glance as he held a hand to the strap of his rifle and fidgeted with it. "Slipped my mind... Was operating under the assumption I'd have to ask permission, and then forgot to get it." He remarked quietly as his eye went back to Citrine apologetically for a split second, nodding his head back to the conversation with Gadget and their 'leader', eagerly awaiting the answer to Hildermar's question. While at the same time glancing backwards to check that Lucius hadn't somehow tripped down the stairs while running so fast.
  244.  
  245. JoelJustJoel Joel barely suppresses a chuckle at Cintrine's embarrassment. 'He forgot just like the rest of us.' "Getting pretty big fer yer britches, eh "captain"?" This time Joel can't help himself and gives a hearty snicker.
  246.  
  247.  
  248. ROUND 9
  249. @Lucius: After your mock banter with Citrine, you hastily make your way down the stairs... and almost trip down the first floor down. You decide to take it easy the rest of the way down, as you make your way down and out of the tower. Jogging past the Inn, you arrive at the translocation stone after a couple minutes. You stop right in front of the Dagor to an... odd sight. Both guards were sitting in the front seats, spears laid on the side of Noah's driver seat. The guard in the driver's seat was turning the wheel left and right with his hooves, making a guttural sound of the vehicle's engine as static played from the on-board radio. As you take in the innocent scene, they both catch you eyeing them, and their eyes widen in shock. "Oh! Erm..." The guard riding shotgun clears his throat, hastily. "We were just... keeping an eye on your vehicle from inside." "Yeah! Much better view, from here!" The driver-side guard smiled widely and nodded his head wildly, agreeing with his partner.
  250.  
  251. @Citrine: After Lucius took off, obeying your faux orders, Golden Gadget snorts at your lewd name given to the group. "Pfft. Well of course you're not a knight or one of Cadence's playthings. You're a member of the Empire's Ley Line Conservation Group." His eye cringes for a split second. "What was that about you... licking all of my things?"
  252.  
  253. @Hildemar: Golden Gadget shrugs off the licking comment, and looks at you directly. "Hmm... follow me down. I have a guide compiled of most of the creatures that have been encountered in this particular junction, so far." The cloaked unicorn, ushers you and anyone else down to the floor with the study.
  254.  
  255. @Noah: As everyone else converses with Citrine, your eyes meander around the tower's relatively open canopy. Other than the cushion Golden Gadget was just sitting on, and the large telescope aimed at what appeared to be a glowing multicolored storm over what should be the ley junction, there wasn't anything else of noteworthiness. As Gadget suggests everyone follow him down a floor, the telescope is left without a viewer to look through it. And it wasn't like you had to follow...
  256.  
  257.  CitrineBlaze: Blaze felt threatened. How bucking dare him to question the sacred licking! "Don't worry, I didn't lick anything, was tempted though..." He said, staring right into Gadgets' eyes.
  258. CitrineBlaze: Citrine followed the unicorn downstairs, thinking up a question so Hildemar doesn't sound like the only competaent one here. "So! Uh, Golden. Uhm... Know the quickest route to our destination?"
  259.  
  260. Noah_: Noah's eyes wander about the room until it glanced at the glowing storm in the distance. And judging by their target location, it seems to be where they are headed. As he notices Gadget ushering Hildemar and the others down, Noah begins to follow suit before looking back at the telescope. He thought to himself, "Peek shouldn't hurt, especially a quick one..." He walks his way over to the telescope and hovers his eye over the viewing lens, trying to get a better glimpse of the storm. After 5 seconds, he quickly makes his way down to the study and meet with therest of the group.
  261.  
  262. Hildemar_Veiel Satisfied with preventing potential compromise, Hildemar lets a small, almost smug smile through before following Golden. "Yes, that would be a great help." He would have checked out the storm, but he felt compelled to babysit Citrine in case he actually tried to lick Golden's belongings; it didn't hurt that the new guy already seemed to be on it. "I must admit I'm somewhat uneducated about leylines and their junctions, but is that odd storm normal, Golden?"
  263.  
  264. Lucius_the_Weary Lucius can't help but laugh at the situation. "Ah, it's quite alright. Please, don't let me interrupt your vigilant watch!" He gives the two a thumbs up before retrieveing the crystal from the Dagor. Wrapping it in his arms, he decides to try and book it back to the tower. Upon seizing the crystal, the ranger realizes his mistake. He instead grabs the transmitter, kicking himself for not paying attention.
  265. Lucius_the_Weary: B. Sprint [ 1d6 = 3 ]
  266. Lucius_the_Weary rolls 1d6 = 5
  267.  
  268. JoelJustJoel Joel grabs his canteen and follows behind Gadget and the others, idly sipping the sweet nectar within. "Yeah, about that storm over yonder. There any other kahnda booger stuff goes on around the leyline?"
  269.  
  270. NevilWayne , while he was appointed as 'leader' of the group by Jeff, seemed to be happy to simply be there and keep his eye trained on the conversation to listen silently, a concerned little frown constantly on the colonial marine's face as she eye-balled the ponies walking off with Hildermar, before his glance shot itself towards the telescope -- blinking for a moment as he found Noah surprisingly taking a quick peek, then skittering off to join the group again. The marine stared at the telescope for a moment, before snapping his glance back to Golden Gadget and briskly began to stride along them, following Hildermar. Though, seeing the amount of questions directed at Gadget, he simply opted to silently walk along and pay attention to the replies his comrades receive.
  271.  
  272. ROUND 10
  273. @Noah: Your curiosity overpowering you, you take a peek through Gadget's telescope for a brief moment. The magnification zoomed you right onto a multi-colored cloud storm which looked to emanate from the junctions center. Strikes of blue lightning crackle... almost out of thin air, and not from the sky. As curious as the storm was, you pull away from the lense to rejoin the others.
  274.  
  275. @Citrine, Hildemar, Joel, Nevil: "Well, I guess that depends on where you're heading. You do have a route planned out, right? There is a hunter's path that ends just south of the junction's center, but other than that it's mostly uncharted forest." Stopping at the study's level, Golden Gadget walks over to a packed shelf and pulls out a thin paper-backed... more like a pamphlet and levitates it to @Hildemar. "There you are. Now mind you, those are the only creatures that have confirmed sightings by explorers and hunters. There could be more species roaming about." He takes note of Hildemar and Joel's additional concerns, and points @Everyone to a map similar to the one Jeff showed you all before: The ley junction and affected area was clearly laid out, a line of red pins created a border just south of the junction's epicenter. "The storm you all saw is normal; the ley lines intersecting create unstable magical fluctuations in the air, causing a magically-charged electrical storm. Pegasi and gryphons find it impossible to fly in, and unicorns like myself might as well have lightning rods sticking out of our heads." He points toward his horn with a hoof, a little singe mark can be seen at the tip. "Went in with a research team, when I first stationed here. It won't kill ya, but it shorts out your casting abilities for a while. Couldn't even levitate a piece of tissue paper for a week I swear." Chuckling at his own learned misfortune, he points confidently at @Citrine. "Crystal ponies, however, seems to be relatively unaffected by the storm. If anything, you might find an increase in your rune capabilities, if you enter an overcharged area." At the end of that, Golden Gadget looks past @Everyone and to @Lucius, who finally returned with the transmitter. "Back, I see. You can mount it, anywhere on top."
  276.  
  277. @Lucius: Both guards look to each other blankly at your nonchalant response, and give you mock salutes with their hooves. And go back to 'driving' the Dagor, keeping watch over it. You bolt back to and up the tower to find everyone one level below the canopy, Golden Gadget captivating everyone's attention. He notices your arrival, and ushers you to mount the transmitter anywhere on the canopy.
  278.  
  279. CitrineBlaze: "I get a boost and others don't? WOOHOO!" Citirine whooped. Loudly. Without considering how noisy it was to everypony else. Seeing @Lucius was back with the Transmitter, the crystal pony mimicks Golden Gadget and ushers the human to buck the thingie somewhere.
  280.  
  281. Lucius_the_Weary arriving back at the tower, Lucius returns the looks from @Citrine and Golden Gadget with one of some embarrasment. "Aha, well while i certainly can mount this, I think perhaps someone else with more knowledge of these types of... newfangled devices... should perhaps inspect it first to ensure that it is working properly." He meets eyes with @Neville. "Ah! Why not you?" He walks up to the marine and hands him the transmitter. "I'd hate to mount the thing only to find out that we'd forgotten to turn the thing on! Here, I leave this with you."
  282.  
  283.  Noah_: Noah gets back to the group and in time for Gadget to explain the beasts. Well, explain by giving us some report. He then looks over to the map shown, looking just like the one Jeff showed us but without our own markings. And that's what the storm was. Good thing it'll just effect ponies. Maybe. When Lucius comes back, Noah looks at him expectantly but he hands it over to Neville, kind of making Noah internally smack his ownhead for giving the medieval person a piece of tech. He looks over to NEville expectantly.
  284.  
  285.  Hildemar_Veiel Suppressing any and all winces or other tells that would give away that they in fact did not have any plans for their excersion, Hildemar nods and acts like the suggestion Golden gave was his plan all along. "We'll take the hunter's path and then chart out branching paths from their." Hildemar takes the pamphlet and opens it up, skimming for anything that looks too dangerous while the weather events are explained for the group. "Hopefully such storms wont affect these 'radios' we've been given; I don't know what sorcery makes them function." Seeing that everyone else had taken to staring at Neville for having the transmitter thrust upon him, Hildemar folds the pamphlet back up and crosses his arms, joining in the collective staredown until the device is mounted.
  286.  
  287.  
  288. ROUND 10
  289. @Citrine: Golden Gadget nods, but then raises a hoof to put a damper on your gloating. "However, if you find yourself in an area devoid of magic, you'll be relying on whatever magic you have stored in you. And once that's all gone... well, I shouldn't have to tell you what a magicless crystal pony looks like."
  290.  
  291. @Hildemar: You flip through the pamphlet, and its contents were somewhat scarce. Other than a list of most common critters and harmless game, there was a scant list of predators. The acroline pops out at you, remembering they're loner predators in the Everfree. Timberwolves also had a listing... which were literally made of wood, and some sort of large swarming insect called a 'chitterfang'.
  292.  
  293. @Nevil(AUTOPILOT): Being handed the transmitter from Lucius, you quietly head back up to the tower's canopy where you get a better look at the relay. You notice a red button on its base, which read 'PUSH WHEN MOUNTED'. You inspect the entire relay, looking on the bottom which had an inscription: 'Sticky enchantment enabled. Will onto surface to adhere.' You take a moment to understand the instructions, and decide to place the transmitter on one of the tower's open shelves with mindful purpose for it to not move. Oddly enough it doesn't budge after placing it down, and the red button glowed dimly. You press it and your helmet's radio crackles to life as it connects to an open channel; probably the frequency Jeff had you set it to before leaving. You also recall he needed radio'ing into, once the relay was mounted.
  294.  
  295. @Everyone: As Nevil fiddles with the relay, a floor above, all of your headsets make an audible click with a second of static before returning to silent on your ears.
  296.  
  297. Round Absentee Penalties: Nevil, Joel
  298.  
  299. NevilWayne , upon hearing the familiar crackle of his headset coming to life, leaned back from the relay after the mild work out of setting the relay with a satisfied little smile on his face. Being the dorky, sleepy middle aged man that he is, he took a step back -- hands on his armored back, and begins stretching his back with a little, quiet groan whilst he remarked upon his success; "That was easy. Jeff's pretty thought to give us things that don't require actual intelligence to mount." He said, a small, heavy chuckle escaping him as he strengthened up again and idly glanced towards the telescope again; albeit not approaching it as he instead puts a hand to his headset to start muttering into it, "Commander Jeff, this is Nevil of the expedition's security; we have reached Golden Gadget and have just now mounted the relay. What's our next move? Over."  He said, whispering into the microphone. Then waited for a response to come through to them. As he waited, he couldn't help but feel a dozen eyes boring into the back of his head, and  slowly turns around to meet @Hildemar 's glance, and everyone else's, quirking an eyebrow silently for a moment before eyeing Hildemar more intently than the others, "Maybe those shady looking ponies by the Inn know a better way? Wouldn't hurt to ask around and gather more information, unless Gadget here's information is already exhaustive as is... BY the way--" Nevil remarked, somewhat off-handedly in the meantime as he promptly turned his attention to Golden Gadget, "How dangerous is it, roughly?"
  300.  
  301.  CitrineBlaze: Just as fast as they came up, so too did Citrines ears and shoulders slump. "Aw buck." He sighed. "I know that feeling, being drained and all that." And not even in the way a mare could do it either.
  302. CitrineBlaze: At the sound of his earpiece screeching to life Blaze jumped in the air like a cat, landing on the floor in front of Gadget. "Warn me next time that happens!" He screeched back.
  303.  
  304.  Noah_: Noah switches attention to Nevil climbing up the canopy and installing the array, silently hoping he's got the footing to not fall until he hears his radio set fizz into life before silent. "Hey Gadget, that storm over the junction. Is it something to worry about?".
  305.  
  306. Hildemar_Veiel Hildemar jerks his head to the side he put his ear piece in, not expecting it to make any sort of noise outside of his group speaking. Upon hearing a normal, not demonic voice come through he calms down and turns toward Nevil, pocketing the pamphlet. "I don't know if they'll have any helpful advice for us, but I do want to find out why they had more interest in us than anyone else here." As he hears Noah ask about something that was just explained as Citrine continues to make an ass of himself, Hildemar lets out the kind of sigh that was previously believed only possible by disgruntled state troops.
  307.  
  308. JoelJustJoel Joel looks over @Noah "Personally, ah'm not gonna make a habit of standin' too close to Blaze." Shifting his gaze to @CitrineBlaze "Nothin' against ya." before chuckling at his jumpiness. "If nothin' else, ah'd say gettin' struck bah lahghtnin' don't do a body good."
  309.  
  310.  
  311. ROUND 11- Was it something I said?
  312. @Noah + @Hildemar: Gadget looks towards you and @Hildemar, about your concerns of the storm. "Other than unicorns and crystal ponies? Fliers don't want any of it, and because of the magic surges the storm creates pegasi can't manipulate its clouds to try and clear it. Earth ponies and minotaurs seem to fair pretty well, but I haven't heard of any of them ever taking a bolt directly. As for animals: you're travelling in a group, so acrolines should be smart enough to avoid you as they're ambush predators. The timberwolves could, if it's a gutsy pack, and the chitterfangs attack indiscriminately; so as long as you avoid the area east of the epicenter, you shouldn't have to worry about them."
  313.  
  314. @Nevil+Everyone: Another light crackle of static cracks across everyone's headset. Jeff's voice cuts through, mostly clear, as he apologizes at Citrine's outburst. "Yeah, sorry about that. I'll try cleaning up the signal on my end, for a bit. Make sure you have everything you need, before entering the junction. Radio back when you start heading in." After Jeff cuts out, Gadget tilts his head in little a confusion at your and Hildemar's question. "Shifty looking ponies? Who are you-oh? Them..." The unicorn's ears straighten up, looking slightly worried as if he's just remembered something important, and gives you all a panicked smile. "You all seem to have everything you need, so if you'd mind I should really get back to my job. I need to-recalibratethetelescopeyeahthat'sit!" Before any of you can muster another word, you're all quickly half-pushed half-levitated down the stairs in a rush of levels-before any of you even know it the door to the tower is shut behind all of you. "Thanks for stopping by! Good luck on your expedition!" You're all pretty sure a lock is heard being engaged on the other side, and a set of hooves clambering back up the stone stairs from within.
  315.  
  316. CitrineBlaze: Blaze gave @JoelJustJoel a pained look, lower lip quivering. "M-meanie!" He barked, before turning back to the normal Crystal Pony he always has been. Then he was on his back with backlegs twitching, outside the tower. All he remembered was hearing Jeff speak off the ear thingie in his ear and boom! Outside. "Well that was rude." Citrine said, ears lowered as he snorted. "THE PONY PUSSY POUNDER POSSE WILL REMEMBER THIS!"
  317.  
  318.  Noah_: Noah nods, getting his answer. "No getting struck by God for me!" he thought to himself. And the other creatures wouldn't a worry, especially with the Dagor's armament. Noah did become interested at Nevil and Hildemar's question of shady ponies. And then he's outside. "What?!". He look back and heard the door locked and Gadget running up the tower. "Uhhh, should we start heading for the car?"
  319.  
  320. Lucius_the_Weary with a chuckle, the ranger dusts himself off. "Well, an interesting pony to be sure." He then puts a hand to his chin in thought. "Though, judging by his reaction to the mention of those shifty ones, I'd wager they have something to do with Gadget. He may be in danger, even, given how well armed those ponies were beneath their dark cloaks." With a sigh, he returns to his normal posture, placing a hand on one hip. "Well, I'd not like to leave the fellow in a state of probable peril, however, looking into these matters is outside of our current job description. Yes, probably best to simply shuffle along back to that mechanized metal carriage and make our way towards our objective." He pauses briefly before finally adding, "Perhaps one of us ought to radio these concerns back to sir Jeff?"
  321.  
  322. JoelJustJoel Joel waits patiently for gadget to float down and out of the front door. At the small drop that concludes the journey, he bends down and rubs his aching knees.@CitrineBlaze" Yer raht, not very neighborly of him at awl. Ah wonder what the connection is between him and those fellers. Oh well, prolly none of our business. Come own boys, let's scoot." Joel starts off in the direction of the Dagor and waves his teammates after him.
  323.  
  324. Hildemar_Veiel Having been shunted back outside the tower, Hildemar dusts his cloak off and stares at the door with barely concealed contempt. "I know not what circumstance our contact is in, but I do not like how he kicked us out. I say we investigate this group and find out where they fit in here." Hildemar starts following Joel, if only because he now had little reason to believe that the locals won't steal their belongings given what had just occurred. "I think at least I and one other person should check the inn to see if any pony from that group is still around; I want answers."
  325.  
  326. NevilWayne , after a near-tripping down the stairs from being shoved, levitated, and practically thrown out the door by a unicorn half his size, ended up finding himself with his back and ass on the floor and his gaze staring bewildered towards the door that had closed and locked behind them. His face twitches with annoyance, but he makes no remarks; standing up again slowly and patting the dirt off himself and adjusting the strap of his rifle and satchel alongside the others, before turning to Hildermar. "I'll come with you." Nevil told him simply, and decisively, "I am getting awfully curious now as to what the problem is... But if everyone else thinks this is above their pay grade, they can wait by the Dagor for us to come back." He said, straightening up and sighing inwardly for a good second. He idles for a second longer, before looking to the witchhunter right before starting to turn back on the road and start striding ahead towards the Inn -- looking for those cloaked, shady ponies with a hand on the strap of his rifle.
  327.  
  328.  
  329. ROUND 12- Hoodlum Hunt
  330. @Hildemar & Nevil: Both of you agreeing to split from the group, you make your way to the front of the Inn and up the steps to the entrance way. You don't get very far, as a ten-foot minotaur front within halts your progress with a huge open palm. He gives you both a one-over and nods his head, a low voice emanating from him. "You may enter. Please keep weapons sheathed." Although most of his form blocks the view into the Inn's main floor, you both do eye a bar at the back wall being manned by an aging pastel-green unicorn with several loners held up on the bar's counter enjoying drinks.
  331.  
  332. @Nevil: As you're being politely eye-searched by the minotaur bouncer, your radio springs alive quickly with Jeff's voice. *"Hey Nevil. Does your helmet camera happen to transmit on the same frequency as your radio?"*
  333.  
  334. @Everone Else: As Nevil and Hildemar take their leave to investigate the Inn, the rest of you head back to the translocation stone and Dagor. Upon arrival, both guards were still respectively seated in the Dagor, except now one was up in the turret ring, slowly spinning it around. Thankfully, the heavy caliber machine gun did not have an ammunition box loaded into it. Music now played from the Dagor's radio, instead of static before, and both ponies bobbed their heads to jazz music Lone Star was hosting back at the Fortress; the 'driver' still steering the vehicle while in park. The Day guard on the turret, spots you all first, and gives you all a lax salute. "Howdy! All done at Golden Gadget's?"
  335.  
  336. CitrineBlaze: Citrine snorted, giving the door they were hoofed out of the ol' stink-eye. "You're right @JoelJustJoel, buck this place." 'Canterlot Ponies I swear!' He thought as he trotted back to the Dagor. "Well @Hildemar and NevilWayne, I guess it won't hurt to snoop around, maybe those Guard ponies know something, if not, we can loiter for a while when we're done knicking loot." After how Gadget threw them out Blaze was more than willing to get answers.
  337.  CitrineBlaze: His mood improved when he saw the Guards enjoying themselves. 'Must be boring out here.' He waved vigorously "Hey, things went well enough, told us what we needed to do 'till he bucked us out of his tower." He stopped by one of the Dagors 'wheels, sniffing it. 'Did this wheel run over poop?' Shaking his head, he continued. "He threw us out when we mentioned a trio of hooded ponies, ya wouldn't know whats that all 'bout aye?"
  338.  
  339. JoelJustJoel Joel turns in the direction of the inn and stands still for a moment. "Ah'm not so sure Blaze, if they've made up their mahnds ah guess we should at least make sure they stay safe." Joel begins to make his way over to be inspected by the bouncer at his own old man pace.
  340.  
  341. Lucius_the_Weary the Ranger scoffs @Neville. "Well, I was not planning on tagging along, but now I feel as though you mean to make a loyal dog of me." With a huff, he makes long strides to catch up, walking with @Joel towards the bouncer, mumbling to himself. "Wait by the Dagor, he says!"
  342.  
  343. NevilWayne was clearly not expecting half the party to be concerned enough to follow him and the witchhunter, for he does not look back towards the rest behind him as he strode down the road towards the Inn. Infact, when @Lucius_the_Weary makes that remark and draws his attention, he raises a brow and casts a surprised glance in his direction... Which is quickly replaced by a cheeky smirk, "Ahh -- someone is wise to my evil schemes, I see." he replied in their direction with his deep, 'Houston Base Operator' monotone, before turning back forward -- JUST in time to spot the TOWERING bouncer at the inn's door. The appearance of such brick shithouse gives him pause -- recoiling for a split second and taking a step back, before easing up under the eye-check. At the same time, as he gave the minotaur a nod,  He put his hand to his headset and started muttering into it... "Sure does, chief. Over." he briskly replied to @Jeff, as he stepped into the Inn and turned his glance to @Hildemar_Veiel instead; hand slipping off the headset, "I'll let you take the lead to ask around, Veiel." He told him, "... I'll keep an eye out."
  344.  
  345. Hildemar_Veiel As much as he preferred performing his investigations alone, Hildemar made his way to the inn without dismissing his allies, suspecting that they'd just continue anyways. When he first sees the minotaur, he very nearly draws his repeater to do battle out of habit. Once he calms down he continues on and gives only the stink eye and a quick nod in response to the abomination. "Alright then, it's been long enough since I've done a proper investigation." He hangs his hat up on the hat rack nearest to the bar and takes a seat near a decent number of other patrons and orders himself a lager to not seem suspicious. Once the barkeep doesn't seem too busy he starts his questions. "Barkeep, what do you know of Golden Gadget? I was recently given business with him but he quickly kicked my companions and I out when we mentioned some odd hooded ponies that we noticed. What relationship do you suppose they may have?" Though he knew this line of questioning was potentially too blunt and open, he in truth did not actually know where to start in such a circumstance where he is in foreign lands and has no authority.
  346.  
  347.  
  348. ROUND 13
  349. @Citrine & Noah: The turret guard nods his head, then looks down at the driver. Both twist their faces, and snicker at eachother over some sort of inside joke that clearly goes over both of your heads. "Does he?! Snrrk, yeah he does." "Once a week, Gadget hosts a 'game night' with his buddies from Canterlot." The driver air-quoting 'game night'. "Their theatrics are kinda entertaining, but they always end up drinking too much and get rowdy. We usually have to haul them out, at Daruk's discretion." The turret guard then points to a small building to the left of the path you all took to get to Gadget's tower, which read 'GENERAL STORE' over its entrance. "There's a store over there, if you two are gonna hang out. Ms. Cornelia sells some pretty useful items that'll come in handy inside the junction."
  350.  
  351. @Hildemar & Nevil: As the minotaur allows you entry, you both walk over to the bar counter, where the older green stallion gives you his attention. "Well, don't you two look armed to the teeth. Heading into the junction, I'm guessing? Name's Jade Haze. Can I get you boys anything?" He tilts his head to the side at @Hildemar's question, then rolling his eyes and pointing to the far corner. "Course I know him. Boy's always in here, when he isn't keeping an eye on the storm. Then his friends show up once a week, drink too much, and Daruk has to drag them out." You follow Haze's hoof point, to the far corner table, where the same three hooded ponies patiently sat with a fourth seat empty. As if on cue, a fourth hooded pony sneaks in from a rear entrance and quickly sits down, carrying a large tome of sorts. They all lean into eachother, and look to your direction. A brown hoof points at you two from the fourth hooded pony, a wisp of golden locks falls out of the hood; clearly it was Golden Gadget in the concealing cloak. The ponies turn back to eachother, conversing too quietly for any of you to hear, and the largest pony produces some sort of metallic box from the confines of his robe. "Speaking of which, I should start them on their first round, since Gadget's here." The unicorn bar owner uses his magic to pour four copper mugs of a dark beer, and walks them over to the hooded ponies' table. "I'll be back in a sec, if you two want anything."
  352.  
  353. @Nevil: Jeff pipes up again of your headset. *"Copy that. Can you turn it on? I want to see if I can link it to the master radio. That way I can see what you guys are doing in real-time."*
  354. Basic Electronic Warfare Operator [1d6+1=6]
  355. Tacpad [1d6=2]
  356.  
  357. @Joel & Lucius: Following a few steps behind Hildemar and Nevil, you both are stopped by the minotaur bouncer before being allowed entrance. "Friends of the other two? No trouble, please." After stepping to the side, you both find your other comrades talking to a light green unicorn manning the bar, before he levitates a round of drinks to a table in the far corner; which just so happens to be occupying four hooded ponies.
  358.  
  359. Round Absentee Penalty: Noah
  360.  
  361.  CitrineBlaze: Blazes' ears drooped a bit at hearing how mundane the answer was. "O-oh, I was kinda hoping somethin' exciting. Like Some special branch of guards or elite mercs, now I'ma bit disappointed." He spoke the truth, but it did make sense. A small place like this wouldn't see much intrigue and action from the outside world. With a dismissive sniff the Crystal Stallion moved on from the disappointing revelation. "Thanks for the info, now to butter up a mare for better prices~" Citrine declared to the Guards as he grabbed a bag of a 100B out of his pack. Turning around he trotted back into village, giving the two guards a wave. "I think I smelled snacks in there, so go nuts!"
  362.   CitrineBlaze: Before entering the general store Blaze spoke into his earpiece. "Hey uh, apparently the hooded ponies are Gadgets friends, they do a lot of 'game nights' too." With that info shared he entered the shop, getting a good look inside.
  363.  
  364.  Noah_: "Ah, so that's why he was so bashful of that mention. Heh." Noah started to inspect the Dagor, seeing if there was any tampering done or if there anything missing from the guard ponies' "fun". It sort of amused Noah that these ponies have taken somewhat of an interest in something that if beyond their tech. Noah then looks over to said general store, somewhat interested. "Stuff? Like what?"
  365.  
  366. Lucius_the_Weary Recieving @Citrine's transmission over the headset, the ranger sighs and glances longways at @Joel. "Well, it seems we can safely let the other two handle this 'situation.'" The ranger then surveys the room absentmindedly for a moment before throwing up a half-hearted shrug. "If we're here, and we've already went to the trouble of getting past the bouncer, it would be rude not to sit and enjoy a drink, don't you think, Joel?" He gives the southerner a light clap on the shoulder before striding, his gait fluid and smooth as silk, right up to the bar, taking a seat of his own. "Greetings, barkeep. I'd like something cheap and strong, please! I am a customer who lacks scruples about drinking something economically and chemically efficient!"
  367.  
  368. JoelJustJoel Joel mutters something to himself about Gadget and his friends acting like children, then makes his way to a stool beside @Lucius, chuckling at his overly elaborate order. "You've never been in a bar, have ya?" He then turns to the bartender. "Whiskey fer me Friend."
  369.  
  370. Hildemar_Veiel Having been informed that his contact is in with this suspicious group, Hildemar deeply frowns and turns to put Golden's group in his peripheral vision. After giving a short prayer for protection from potential demon incursion against his mind, Hildemar activates his radio to relay his new information. *"Our contact appears to be be a part of the hooded group we noticed earlier; they are currently at the bar with a tome and a metal box that I could not identify. I want Citrine to come here and attempt to find more out on what this group is doing since they went out of their way to welcome him but not anyone else."* Hildemar then turns back away from the group and waits for the barkeep to return. "I'll have a pint of lager, barkeep, on the darker side if such an option is available." The witch hunter then leans forward on the bar to read what brands or types of other alcohol is available in case they want him to specify a particular brand.
  371.  
  372. NevilWayne raises a hand to the side of his helmet and to a little boxy black camera attached to the side of his helmet, with a big, black lens, and flicks  his finger  over a tiny switch onto the side of it -- turning it on for Jeff. Immediately, the feed would start with the camera directed towards Hildemar; whilst he 'prayed' and then 'commanded' Citrine to do things. Nevil himself pursed his lip slightly in his direction, but said nothing; instead turning his glance towards the group of cloaked ponies for a moment so that the camera and him could get a view of the group. "Is this working, chief? How's the feed?" He quietly, but briskly asked through the radio; before lowering the receiver for a moment to speak off comms, "It is likely that Gadget simply kicked us out so that he wouldn't be late for his outing with his mates. This is a familiar behavior to me." Nevil quietly remarked in Hildemar's direction, as he turned back to the bartender pony and gave them a polite smile, "Thank you ma'am. Do you mind bringing over a pint of cider for me, or just beer if there isn't any?" He said. After that, he put his hand back to the radio and downcasts his gaze, listening in for a hopefully positive response.
  373.  
  374.  
  375. ROUND 14
  376. @Citrine Blaze & Noah: The driver guard shrugs his shoulders, and fiddles with the radio on the Dagor. It switched over to a PSA of Jeff not to muzzle-sweep while on the firing range... or any other time. "All they ever do is roll those silly dice and argue. I swear, most of the time they don't even play." "Wait-what was that about snacks?" As Citrine takes off for the general store @Noah is left with the guards, the one manning the turret looking down at you. "Mostly useful items for inside the junction. Chitterfang repellent, fire-based items for the timberwolves... can't remember if she has anything for acrolines." "Hey, I found fruit nut bars in this compartment!"
  377.  
  378. @Citrine: *Ooookay. Keep me posted, I guess.* You enter the store, the inside strewn with wilderness survival equipment, food rations, a stack of odd-looking spears, and other trinkets that you had no idea about. "One moment please." A feminine voice comes from the back room, and out walks an older navy blue earth mare with a wavy black mane. "Welcome to my shop, mister fancy hat. Can I interest you in anything?" She eyes you, expectedly, over the counter.
  379.  
  380. @Lucius: You scan the saloon, before committing to a bit of light drinking. Other than everyone's main focus on Gadget's group of hoods, there was a table with three gryphons and one bat pony, going over a map in the center of them. In another corner, an earth and pegasus mare were conversing loudly over a bowl of chili hay fries. Your attention turns toward Jade Haze, who just returned from Gadget's table. "Ah, so you ARE going to get something. I'll open a tab, for you boys. One Teeto's Hoof-made Vodka for the archer." A glass is produced for you, and Haze generously pours it full of a clear liquid.
  381.  
  382. @Joel: After pouring a drink for Lucius, Haze looks over to you and levitates another glass with a nice brown liquor to fill it with. "One whiskey. Twelve year."
  383.  
  384. @Hildemar: *"Are you guys... all investigating Gadget's hoody party?*" You catch a faint sigh from the other end of the radio. *"@Citrine, can you assist Hildemar when you can?"* Jade Haze pours you a tall glass with a foamy top that even beats out Joel's whiskey's color. "One amber lager. It's from Gozka. The taurs make damn good beers."
  385.  
  386. @Nevil: *"Okayyyyy, and got it. A little grainy, but the feed's pretty clear. No delay, as far as I can tell."* Turning to Haze, who finished serving Hildemar, nods toward you and fixes you a glass of a light amber unfiltered-looking cider. "One hard cider. Make that one myself. Let me boys know if you need anything else." The bartender goes to check on the other ponies sitting at the bar counter, and Jeff pipes back up into your comms. *"So I was able to get a neat little feature working through your camera, on my end. If you use your IR, I should be able to get an ID scan on whoever you focus it on."*
  387.  
  388.  Noah_: "That's neat." Noah thought to himself maybe Citrine might bite for those items. Or at least the repellent since he isn't too found of what he's imagining as killer mosquitoes. He is keeping a close eye on the guard ponies, making sure the don't flip onto something "private". More so since Citrine threw him under the bus with the mention of snacks. He then starts to recall where the rations were stored, probable thinking leading him to the trunk. He radios in to Citrine. "Hey Citrine, you thinking about getting anything for the critters in the junction?"
  389.  
  390. CitrineBlaze: Mid eyeing the stores' insides did @Hildemar come through the earpiece, demanding Blazes Presence. "Buck." He was about to turn to leave when he heard the owner greet him. 'Buck!' "H-hey there-" 'She complimented my hat, oh no's, what do I do now!?' "F-f-fancy mare, just popped in to see whats on sale before wandering into the forests." He said as smoothly as one could be when taken off guard. 'Gotta make this quick, dun wanna keep @Hildemar waiting, didn't look like the patient type.'
  391.  
  392. Lucius_the_Weary the ranger sighs, taking his drink. "No, @Joel, I have to say that while I have been in taverns and pubs before, I have never made it a habit, and don't visit them often." He begins working on his drink. "Both here and... Where I am from, I'm an outlander, more accurately a ranger. My time since adolesence has been in large part spent in wild places, away from most people and certainly all places like this." He takes another drink. "What liquor I had was rare, and typically enjoyed by firelight by myself." He holds up his glass towards @Joel. "So I am glad to have someone to share a drink with, for a change. Here's to a successful trip to the junction!" He holds his glass there waiting for the old southerner to clink.
  393.  
  394. NevilWayne hems for a moment after @GM_Jeff tells him that, "That's pretty ... Unique, if it can interface with my gizmos that effectively. I might want to know more about that." Nevil softly said, as he flipped down a little black eye piece over his left eye's side of his helmet. And, at the same time, turned his attention to the bartender mare who brought the grump and not-so-grump their drinks. Smiling to them, as his eyes lowered to the amber beverage -- narrowing his eyes for a moment, as if he was closely examining it at first, letting his smile twitch for a split second. "Thanks, miss." He politely said with a nod of his head and a two-fingered salute, "I'll give you some feedback right away." He told her, picking up the glass and taking a long chug, as he tested the new IR function by casually leaning back, still sipping, and looking off towards the biggest of Golden Gadget's group.
  395.  
  396. JoelJustJoel @Lucius "Ah'll drink ta thaht!" Joel takes a gulp of his liquor. "Outlander, eh? Lahk a woodsman? Always lived pretty far out of the way mahself, but not anythang lahk how that sounds. Knew a ranger in the war though, nothin' t'awl lahk you." He sips his glass again. "An' yer absolutely raht, drinkin' alone ain't good fer the spirit."
  397.  
  398.  
  399. ROUND 15
  400. @Citrine: The mare leans across the counter casual-like, batting her eyelashes at you before taking aback slightly. "You? Going into the junction? I hope you're going in with some- armaments of sorts." She visually inspects your person, raising an eyebrow of concern. Suddenly the salesmare erupts from the earthpony."Well, look no further. I have just about every little knickknack and doohickey you'll need to survive anywhere near the junction. I have several flame-enchanted weapons for timberwolves, repellents for the chitterfangs, invisibility disruptors for acrolines. I even have gravity pendants for the, well you know, the low gravity fields that like to pop up."
  401.  
  402. @Nevil: *"The master radio was built with a collaboration of technology and magic, so there's probably some magically convenient compatibility going on. It's better not to question the convenience."* After thanking the bartender... stallion, who gave you a double-take before shrugging and going back to the other customers, you focus the IR reticle onto the biggest of the four hooded ponies. *"Want to guinea pig that one, huh? Alright give me a second."* Jeff remains quiet for a few moments, then the radio fizzles back on. "Okay, so his name is Klipz. He's an active Day Guard cadet. Hmm... guess that's all I'm getting."
  403. Anaylsis: Klips; HP: 300, DR:3
  404.  
  405. Round Absentee Penalty: Kraut
  406.  
  407. CitrineBlaze: Blaze gulped at the batting eyelashes. 'By Cadences' ass cheeks she could easily butter anypony up.' Breathing in he brought about his cool demeanor again, as it was. "Don't worry about me sweetie, I got myself some humans to cover my butt." He gave her a sly wink. As she listed what she got on sale Citrine looked around, whistling. "Good stuff all 'round, how much will it be for one of each?" He stepped closer to the counter the mare was behind, slipping into what he hoped was Stallion Modeā„¢. "And, could I get a discount for rendering my own 'services~?"
  408. CitrineBlaze: Expert Negotiation
  409. CitrineBlaze rolls 1d6 = 2
  410. CitrineBlaze rolls 1d6 = 2
  411. CitrineBlaze rolls 1d6 = 4
  412.  
  413. NevilWayne Nevil was quite happy to chug through half of the cider glass, albeit slowly, while eyeballing the information he receives both from his radio and through the "red-vision" (also known as InfraRed) eye patch piece. Inevitably, he ends up looking as if he is staring at the pony during his second of observing them; until he started lowering his glass from his lips and slowly making the sliding motion of slinking off the stool he was sitting on. Not abandoning his glass of cider as he abandoned Hildemar to his lager. "To tell you the truth, commander, this magic thing is weirding me out already; but I wont question it too much..." He said, quickly replying to Jeff with a rather unsure tone in his voice, "But it is pretty useful." He added. Flipping up the IR eyepiece while carrying the drink with him on his way towards the table of 'Do Not Disturb' cloaked ponies that were clearly fooling everybody, stepping around other tables carefully without bothering others (or at least trying not to,), "Excuse me," He casually called out towards the group as he approached,  "If I promise you all to buy free drinks would you kindly answer me a simple question?" He softly asked; non-chalantly sipping their cider once and for a moment, looking between the cloaked figures with a weak smirk.
  414.  
  415. Lucius_the_Weary the ranger gulps his drink down, giving a satisfied sigh. "Yes, I bet! Where I am from, fantastical creatures like dragons and dryads live. In truth, the transition here was only strange in the ponies we stand with, now." The ranger motions to the barkeep for another round and continues. "As a child I was raised to hunt dragons, in fact!" He taps the longsword at his hip with. @Joel sees that it is clearly an old piece of hardware, with lots of scratches. The hilt of the sword is ornate, however, bearing an accurate representation of the head of a dragon, cast in shimmering bronze, now somewhat faded with age. "This sword was given me by my father. Dragons and drakes are formidable creatures, to be sure. However, the life of a dragon slayer is oft one cut too short, so I fled that life and learned to live in the wilds, on my own terms. I've become quite the survivalist in my own right." The ranger raises an eyebrow. "What caused you to live so far from others? A love of solitude, perhaps?"
  416.  
  417. JoelJustJoel Joel takes his time, sipping his whiskey slowly while listening to @Lucius, seeing as he has plenty of time and booze to drink the rest of the day. "Somthin' lahk it. Ah never could stand awl the noise people make in the city, never a moment of calm. And ah enjoyed bein' able to do whatever ah pleased without upsettin' any neighbors. Anyway, there weren't nothin' lahk dragons an' such where ah'm from, thangs only existed in people's imaginations. Tell anybody you seen a minotaur or a gryphon and they'd think you'd lost it. As fer where ah learned to operate, soon as ah was old enough ah signed up fer mah country's army, wanted to go to the other sahd of the world an' faht fer what ah believe in." Joel takes a break to finish the glass. "So does the sword really work against dragons? Certainly looks more magic than Great Granddaddy's old cavalry saber." Joel puts a bit more money on the bar and orders another plain whiskey, and throughout it all keeps glancing over to make sure Nevil's business is going off without a hitch.
  418.  
  419.  
  420. ROUND 16
  421. @Citrine: Ms. Cornelia, you assumed, looked at you oddly for a second at your comment, and snorted. "Whatever floats your boat, sweetheart." Ears perking up at the possibility of a sale, the navy blue mare pulls out three items from her side of the counter and then points to a rack of assorted orange-glowing weapons on your left. One the counter, from left to right, lie: a glass corked round jar full of a noxious yellow liquid, a six-inch sculpted obelisk with anti-invisibility runes glowing white carved into it, and a silver necklace that was inlaid with gems that fluctuated colors. Over at the weapon rack, you spot a lance, mouth dagger, and a halberd, as well as a fireburst pendant dangling on the fourth. "All weapons are five thousand bits each, the fireburst pendant is ten. The repellant is two thousand a pop, the disruptor is ten thousand, and the anti-gravity pendant is twenty." Finishing up her offers, she looks at you incredulously at your own counter offer before bursting out with a quick laugh. "Hah! Oh my, I haven't been asked that in a while, sweetie. Tell you what? You buy two items, and for an extra five thousand you can rut me quick in the back." She leans over the counter, expectedly at you. "What's it going to be, fancy hat?" Other than whatever bits you currently had on you, you recall Jeff having stored away thirty thousand bits in the Dagor for 'emergency uses only'.
  422.  
  423. @Nevil: *It's really better if you don't. Luckily, your own technology isn't really far off from my own, which is probably why the magic helps with the compatibility so well.* As you make your way through mostly empty tables, you stop in front of Golden Gadget's hooded group table. First thing you notice is all four look up at you, gazes still expertly concealed. Except for Gadget, whose muzzle was clearly scrunched up awkwardly at your approach. On second observation, you notice the tome was leather bound with big 'Mazes and Monsters' scrawled across as a title. Third: the other three ponies all had smaller thin journal-like books and several variety of rolling dice in the center of the table. And fourth: the largest pony, whom you identified as Klips, gently guarded a decorative tin which had the artwork of a pony in a bakers uniform holding up a batch of steaming chocolate chip cookies- at which Klips pulls the tin in closer to him as you eye it. After scanning everything at the table, Golden pulls down his hood with a look of defeat on his face. "Oh! Hello! Sorry for... kicking you all out before. Almost forgot it was game-day with my  buddies." The other three hooded ponies nod in unison. The pony that initially led the three in, his dark blue nose poking out, lifted a hoof in query. "He is one of the humans from before, yes?" The hooded pony's voice is a little nasally, but smooth and almost oily as he spoke with a flat monotone. "*Sigh*. Yes, Quill." Golden looks back up at you, then to his comrades who all nod at him in agreement. "Very well. One 'simple' question, for one round of drinks."
  424.  
  425. @Lucius and @Joel: Noticing money being placed on the counter, and your glasses empty, Jade comes back around to refill both of your previous drink choices. As your conversation continues, @Nevil at least hasn't been jumped by the hooded ponies. Golden Gadget unveiled himself, and the table appears to be consensually agree to something Nevil is offering them.
  426.  
  427. Round Absentee Penalty: Kraut
  428.  
  429. CitrineBlaze: Citrines face grew red and brighter with each items' price, not out of anger, but embarassment from how over his head he was about the pricing. 'I only have a thousand! And I'm not sure my dick is that magical to lower the costs into the dirt.' "High prices just mean better quality, ha ha." He reassured him with wavering confidence. At her laugh and counter to his own offer Blazes' fight or flight response was bucked into overdrive. Pay for one of each thing on the counter which tallied up to 32k to make their trek easier AND an extra 5k for a quickie. Or, don't pay and leave immediately because he honestly could not handle this mare blabbing about how he had cold hooves. Then he remembered what Jeff had said on the way here, that 30k and the ten thousand he had in his pack would cover the costs of -everything-. The Crystal Stallion gulped. "Y-you got yourself a deal!...In a minute!"
  430. CitrineBlaze: With that he jumped out the door and galloped for the Dagor, where he said hi to @Noah and the Guards as he bashed his way through all the vehicles compartments looking for the Bits. When he found the Bit Bag he stuffed them in his saddle pack, placed it on, then ran back for the store. "SORRYAMBUSYHIEVERYPONYBUYINGSUPPLIESDON'TWORRYABOUTNOTHINGSEEYALATERBYE!"
  431. CitrineBlaze: Leaping back into Ms. Cornelia's store a minute and a half later Citrine was panting hard with his saddles stuffed with Bits. "Right...One repellant...Disruptor and the *huff* anti-grav pendant." He ordered between huffs of air. While the 30k was in one sack Citrines had his own bits divided into thousands, ten bags total. Heart already racing he placed seven on the counter. "Two thousand for the Repellant, and the other for a quickie." He said with a cheeky wink. Though, it was more to himself than the mare, for he was not fully believing he was spending so much. 'This Earth Pony better rock my world for these prices!'
  432.  
  433. Hildemar_Veiel Having been lost in thought for longer than he should have, Hildemar knocks back the rest of his lager and sees that Nevil decided to take matters into his own hands. He then stands up and joins the closest thing his group has to actual leadership since the investigation already got too open only to find that it is legitimately just a game that everyone was kicked out for. "A game, we were kicked out like we discovered some dark secret that could have endangered innocent lives because of a game. I made a big deal over shady actions from robe wearing ponies... because of a game. I'm done here." Hildemar sighs and shakes his head before joining Lucius and Joel at the bar. "If, and that's looking like a fairly significant if at this point, our contact and his friends don't really just throw on robes and act suspicious about a simple game, then staying here won't be any good since Nevil already directly confronted them. Once he's done I say we move our focus back towards minimizing risks on our expedition." Every word except the last sentence is spoken in a hushed tone, in case they really are cultists and they believe they've already completely thrown everyone off their trails.
  434.  
  435. Lucius_the_Weary: @Joel "Ah, I can empathize with that. Many of my childhood friends joined the nations' military during a blight of dire wolves. Nasty business of you ask me, but someone had to do it. For that I have respect." He takes another drink before answering the southerner's questions about his sword. "Nay, tis not magical. Functional, however mostly a decorative marking of my family's house and station. All of my brothers carry a blade such as this one. However, if you'd like to see some true dragon slaying equipment, look here..." Says the Ranger, drawing from a small hip quiver one of apparently five special arrows. He holds it up in front of you, twisting it by the shaft between his fingers. "This, friend, is the real deal! An arrow specifically designed to penetrate the scales of drakes and dragons alike!" You note the dim green metal which when turned in the low lighting of the tavern gave off glimmers and glints here and there. The shaft appeared to be made of tempered steel, the black markings of forge dust laid into the metal's surface to create a wonderful looking swirling pattern of black and silver. The thing was fletched with what looked to be genuine bird feathers, a deep red to contrast the dull green of the arrowhead. The head looked heavy, but as you watch, the ranger places the arrow dead center on his index finger, and to your surprise it balances perfectly. "These were given to me by my father when I was still quite young. He saw my skills with the bow and had these made for me. Luckily I have not yet had to use them, but in the event of draconic encounters, I do come prepared." He replaced the arrow in the small hip quiver once again as @Hildemar sits down to join them. "Ah, agreed." He takes another drink, finishing off round number two. "However, I must admit to being curious about you, Hildemar. What sort of life did you lead before coming to this strange place?"
  436.  
  437. Noah_: While Noah was chilling out with the Guard ponies and keeping an eye out on the Dagor, he spots Citrine running at ludicrous speeds. Before he could inquire about the running, Citrine leaves with a bag and a quick apology. He was about the sling the shield but he insteads leans it against the Dagor's hood and then waits some more for the others to finish their business.
  438.  
  439. JoelJustJoel Joel seems quite interested in @Lucius' arrow, craning his head to look at it from various angles. "Now thaht's somethin' else. Sure hope we ain't got ta use it." On hearing his question to Hildemar, Joel turns to the other man, swirls his drink and takes another sip, waiting for his response.
  440.  
  441. NevilWayne: The man in green and cream armor and helmet seemed to beam eagerly to the reception he receives -- even smiling and waving his hand dismissively in Golden Gadget's direction at his apology. Though does not speak out of turn, observing Klip and taking in the more 'mature' voice he gave off... As well as the grumbling emanating from Hildemar behind him, acknowledging it with a sideglance and a slightly pursed lip. Nevil nodded in quiet aggreement with the witchhunter, but did not have the time to open his mouth in his direction before he already left him. Leaving him with the ponies...
  442.  
  443.  NevilWayne: The colonial marine was not deterred from the Hildemar's grump, turning swiftly to face the ponies and giving off an inward sigh through his nose while once again offering Golden specifically an apologetic, weak smile, "My butt is a little sore from the treatment,I admit. But I forgive you." He said, sounding pretty non-chalant about it, as he eyed the little 'rulebook' they had on the table, sparing it a glance as he took a sip from the cider he had by now almost finished. "I just wanted to know why you were armed is all." He asked softly, snapping his glance over to Klip suddenly; "i couldn't help but notice it while walking by. It looked a bit funny." He said, nodding his head to himself.
  444.  
  445.  
  446. ROUND 17
  447. @Citrine: "Most ponies that come through here plan on spending some bits on survival items. Not like I adjust my prices around that or anything!" Ms. Cornelia literally flaunts the fact she hikes her prices up at you. Not like it's going to stop you from purchasing anything. Before the mare can get another word in edgewise, you sprint out of her shop and back to the Dagor to pilfer its emergency funds. You eventually find the ammo can with the bit sign on it, and pull out the hefty sack of thirty thousand bits. Ignoring Noah and the pony guards, you hoof it back to the shop and back to a rather incredulous-looking shopmare. Gleefully eyeing the bag of bits you drop on the counter, on top of your item choices, she pauses at your last offer holding a hoof to your mouth in contemplation. "My my. I was... only half kidding about that last part." She eyes the extra five thousand bits, then places a hoof down onto the counter. "Okay then, fancyhat! You got..." She eyes you seductively, and with superior earth pony strength pulls you over the counter and into her backroom in one swift motion! How and with what you couldn't tell. "-a deal!" The older mare presents herself to you, legs spread and tail to the side. "Don't make too much of a mess back there, fancyhat. I'm still open for the rest of the day." She looks back at you, expectedly, wiggling her rump at you. *QUE QUICKIE SCENE*
  448.  
  449. @Noah: Watching Citrine zip to and from the Dagor and back to the General Store, the two guards look at eachother and then to you. "I guess Cornelia must've given him a good deal?" "Probably!"
  450.  
  451. @Nevil: The hooded pony group focusing back onto you after Hildemar leaves. "It's not just a game... jerk." Klips mutters under his breathe, as the witchhunter returns back with the others. "Oh! The hoods... yeah." The other three ponies pull down their hoods. Klips revealed to be a heavier set light blue earth pony stallion, and Quill turned out to be a solid green unicorn with a pair of glasses, and the last unnamed pony was unveiled to be a stone-grey pegasus. "Armed?" Golden Gadget cocks his head, only for the pegasus to respond in a somewhat chill demeanor. "Yah, dude. We made these all ourselves. Helps us get into our characters before we start a session." "I of course don't need any, seeing as I am the Maze Master!" Golden proclaims his title proudly, much to the glares from his three friends. Awkward from the stares, he waves a hoof over tot he barkeep. "Oh Haaaaaze! A round for us on our friend here!" You hear Jade Haze respond back from the bar. "One round coming right up!"
  452.  
  453. CitrineBlaze: *QUICKIE SCENE CUMS AND GOES*
  454. CitrineBlaze: "Pretty worth it, in all accounts!" Citrine said with delight as he packed away the last item that was bought with Jeff's generous amount of money. Ms.Cornelia was a damn good lay, and being an Earth Mare meant a lot of bruising. Yet despite being left exhausted he was still able to help things get cleaned up in the explosive finale. "Hopefully I won't need these things, but ya can never be safe enough." Giving the Earthpony a hoof wave goodbye he left the shop and opened up his comms. "Hey guys I got some sweet items to help us on our mission thingie!"
  455.  
  456. JoelJustJoel Joel gives part of his attention to the nerds on the nerds talking to Nevil long enough to hear the words 'into our characters'. Then, after stifling a bit of laughter, he tells his two companion under his breath "They're playin' pretend!" Once he says so aloud, he can no longer contain himself and leans over atop the bar laughing to himself. Who ever heard of a bunch of grown men playing pretend with each other!
  457.  
  458.  Noah_: "Either that or he just didn't bring his money." Noah looks at that general store then back to the Dagor. When going back to hanging out on the hood, he starts to pull out a canteen of water until the comms light up with Citrine's voice and he sees him exit the store. "You sound a bit winded but ok. That's good."
  459.  
  460.  
  461. Hildemar_Veiel Hildemar stares straight forward for a few moments before answering Lucius, debating how much to reveal. "I was then as I am now, a private investigator who happens to find particularly odd cases; I also spent a decent portion of my time assisting local members of my faith with issues beyond their normal duties." He then flags a bartender down to order a glass of rum if available, smirking at Joel's outburst. "Oh come now, there are far worse ways to spend one's time, it can't be too different from more common board games."
  462.  
  463. Lucius_the_Weary the ranger frowns, suspecting @Hildemar is withholding quite a bit of information from the group. "Well then, keep your secrets if you must. I can understand a need for secrecy in one's work." He then leans back in his chair and yawns loudly. "Board game? More like BORED game. How dull! These fellows could be out enjoying the real thrills of the dangerous outdoors!"
  464.  
  465. NevilWayne furrows his brow excessively low to make a phony scowl, "Oh so you're going to brag about them but not show them to me; I see how it is. I'm not high level enough for all of you." the marine nodded his head, slowly lowering his lips to give a frown whilst he starts fishing up the pocket change of gold coins he had on him to bring to the bar counter to quickly pay the tab, "How much do I owe, again?" he asked the bartender. Whilst occasionally glancing back to the rest of the circle.
  466.  
  467.  
  468. ROUND 18
  469. @Citrine: After you both quickly get cleaned up, Ms. Cornelia stretches out her hind legs and watches you depart with your purchased items. "Stop by again, anytiiiime, Fancy Hat!" The mare waves you goodbye, as you head back toward the Dagor with your new stash of survival items.
  470.  
  471. @Noah: "Hope it's a lot. Cornelia's known to hike her prices up for anyone... whatever enough to tread deep into the ley junction." The driver guard comments, at which the turrets gunner agrees. After some time Citrine comes rushing back with several items. "Wow looks like you got a little of everything, there." The turret gunner guard gives an audible sniff of the air, and kicks the Dagor's frame toward the driver. "That's not all he got." "Huh? OH-" Both guard snicker to each other.
  472.  
  473. @Nevil: Having interpreted your sarcasm as a challenge, Golden's three friends stand up from their chairs and gallantly throw their cloaks off. Klips was revealed to be in neck-to-hoof lightweight plate armor of gold an blue. The pegasi wore finely-stitched, layered, leather guards around his joints and chest, and flares out a set of kanpri wing blades out from his primaries. And Quill unveiled a dark yellow mage's robe, lined with gold-tinted scalemaile layered with chainmaile. Quill sends you a retort, adjusting his glasses with a less intimidating voice from before. "We had these crafted from various smiths and tailors! Durable, AND fully functional!" Your radio crackles alive, after the three make their peace and sit back down. *"I know they're just role-playing, but that gear looks very real... By the way, figured out I can somehow remotely activate your camera from my end."* Hearing him being beckoned, Jade walks over and rolls his eyes over your added tab. "A round for them, plus your cider, is gonna be sixty bits." As you glance back over, Klips slides his metal tin box from his guard and pops it open with an armored hoof, giving you a grateful smile. Inside was a copious amount of cubed pieces of fudge with dark chocolate chunks "Want one for the road?"
  474.  
  475. @Joel, Hildemar, Lucius: As you three converse about ponies playing role-playing boards games, and their absurdities, the bartender makes another round to pour Hildemar a glass of rum form a bottle of a pony dressed like a irate fighting off a giant squid. "With that rum, your tab's up to thirty bits. Archer, your vodkas are ten. And cowpoke, it's twenty-six for your whiskies."
  476.  
  477.  CitrineBlaze: Returning to the Dagor, Citrine places his full packs back into the vehicle and slumps into one of its vacant seats. "Colt I'm tired."
  478.  
  479. Lucius_the_Weary the ranger slides the coinage across the bar, getting up from his seat and adjusting his cloak. "Well, I for one have had enough of this odd scene." He turns to the barkeep briefly. "Thank you, the service was excellent." He puts down a few bits more before turning to leave. "I'll be at the Dagor." Arriving back at the car, the ranger waves a hand. "I've returned! Good to see the situation much the same." He turns to @Noah. "I hope we can be off soon, I grow tired of this outpost. The comforts of the fortress tug at my mind, and I would much like to be underway."
  480.  
  481. NevilWayne had to briefly triple take on just the extend of nerd these ponies boasted; who went so far as to wear REAL armor for their game. "... Well hot damn." He remarked, pouting his lips and nodding in impressed approval; briefly taken aback for a second, "That must've cost a ton of coinage. You look ready to bust some knees!" He added, in earnest good-natured tone, chuckling as he absent-mindedly turned around to acknowledge Jade. Nevil was a man of his word and quickly starts fishing into his satchel's smaller, front-most pocket. He still technically had his wallet and assorted cards of ID and credit... But those are permanently useless for the time being, so he simply fights the age old habit of using prepaid cards and goes into both the coin pouch, and whatever he haphazardly tossed at the bottom, to starts taking out coins. Out of the 100 on his person, he draws out 60 and puts them on the counter unceremoniously. "That should be 60..." He mumbled, visibly darting his eyes and furrowing his brow. With that done, the colonial marine turned -- looking back to Klips who was offering him sweets; something that draws a small smile from Nevil who seems to approve of this, gladly taking the treat and offering a small nod, "Oh, definitely." He said, starting to hastily step towards the exit to join the ranger...  "You all have a good game n' stuff." He light-heartedly remarked, taking little rat sized bites out of the fudge on his way out. Though he doesn't immediately heads for the Dagor, preferring to hang out by the exit, looking towards the last two members of the crew, Hildemar and Joel. Whilst putting a hand to his radio to speak into it, "Roger that. That's good because we're about to get underway." He briefly replied to Jeff, before addressing everyone who had the ear piece radio on, "Everyone. We'll depart as soon as we are all together. Please make sure the Dagor is ready to move by that time." He transmitted. Before just idling until others responded in some fashion, nibbling his new treat.
  482.  
  483. JoelJustJoel Joel reaches to his hip and retrieves the small sack of bits he won at poker yesterday. For a second or two, he eyes it, remembering the game, and the buddies he won them from. "Thanks fer payin' mah tab fellers." he says with a smirk and sets the bag on the bar. "Keep the change, bartender." He casually leaves the bar after Nevil, and on returning to the Dagor, stands next to the passenger side door, eying the guard in his seat.
  484.  
  485. Noah_: "Interesting business practice..." Noah thought to himself. He sees Citrine coming back, and with a bag of stuff. He turns to one of the guards after saying about having one of everything but furrows his brow when he starts to sniff. The next comment he says and then hearing Citrine lead to one conclusion. "Well, at least he can back up his dirty mouth. Unless..." Noah thought again, looking over to Citrine. He then hears everyone going to rendezvous back to the Dagor so he gets up from the hood and gets his shield. "Alright, rides over. About to get going y'all." He motions for the guards to get out while going around to slide his shield into the back. He then takes his place onto the driver's wheel, starts it up, and takes a quick peek at the map, remembering to head north.
  486.  
  487. Hildemar_Veiel Hildemar nods in recognition Lucius calling out his ambiguous description and takes a drink from his glass of rum, savoring the familiar warmth in his gullet. "In the future I may explain more, but I need to learn more of this place first." Upon being given his tab, Hildemar fishes out 30 bits before he remembers that this backwards land expects patrons to give a give extra money to the services. He takes out another stack of 5 bits and places them next to his payment before moving off to the wagon. He takes the seat he had on his way there and settles back in. "Well then, let's see just what this sorcerous junction has for us."
  488.  
  489.  
  490. ROUND 19
  491. @Joel, Hildemar, Lucius: Bartender Jade collects all of your tabs, taking your tips with gratitude and wishes you all off as you begin to file out of the inn and back to the Dagor. "Good luck in the junction, and stop back anytime!"
  492.  
  493. @Nevil: The four ponies nod their heads in unison at your pricey assessment of their attire, and take it as a compliment. "Yes. They were all worth the investment." Quill adds, while cooly adjusting his glasses. Jade thanks you for picking up your tab and your free round, and Klips looks pleased as you take one of his fudge squares. As you leave with the others, they wave you good bye as Golden Gadget finally opens his game book and his friends open their player booklets. *"Roger that, Nevil."* You trail behind the others that were in the bar, being the final one to reach the Dagor as everyone else begins to piles in.
  494.  
  495. @Citrine: As you dump your haul into the seat with you, the two guard ponies dismount from the Dagor to allow the others to board without issue. "Guess we'll get back to work, then." "Yepp." Both loiter around while everyone else regroups.
  496.  
  497. @Noah: The guards having exited the Dagor, and everyone else beginning to take seats, yous tart up the Dagor's growling engine. One of the guards walks up to your side and gets your attentions, while you plot a course. "There's a marked hunting path, that leads to a lodge a couple miles in. A group of hunters went in four days ago should be using it, but we haven't heard back from them. Can you check and see if they're still alive?"
  498.  
  499.  Noah_: Noah looks up from the map and listens to the guard before checking the map for reference. "Hmm, seems quick enough along the way. We can stop by real quick to see if they're still around." Noah looks to everyone. "Everyone ready? Then let's go." Noah then slowly pulls out and not long after begins to put it into gear heading north on said trail. He inspects the trail a bit going along to see if it has signs of wear and usage and inspects the scenery, in case the trail gets to close for comfort with the trees.
  500. Noah_: Expert Perception
  501. Noah_ rolls 1d6 = 4
  502. Noah_ rolls 1d6 = 3
  503. Noah_ rolls 1d6 = 1
  504.  
  505. JoelJustJoel "Welp, off we go..." Joel sits down and shifts himself around until he's comfortable, then pulls his hat over his eyes to keep the sun out. As the trip begins, he carefully watches the distance for any signs of trouble. "Hey Blaze, you went shoppin, raht?" Joel pauses a moment to take a swig from his canteen. "Whatcha pick up fer us?"
  506. JoelJustJoel: B. Perception
  507. JoelJustJoel rolls 1d6 = 3
  508. JoelJustJoel rolls 1d6 = 2
  509.  
  510.  CitrineBlaze: Citrine puffed his chest out boastfully. "I am a great negotiator, so much so she wants to see me again, haha!" The Crystal pony said triumphantly, if not a bit delusional. Putting away his packs where he first stored them he sat and turned to @Noah, smirk never leaving. "Come on Noah, as 'leader' it is my duty to ensure we are always prepared!" Wiggling into his seat, Blaze got confortable as @everypony else entered the vehicle. "How'd it all go my pones?"
  511. CitrineBlaze: Looking back at the Guardponies to fully listen to what the had to say, Citrine nodded slightly in agreement with @Noah. Then they were off sending his back thudding against his seat. Now that the Dagor was driving he turned back to look at @JoelJust Joel, pointing a hoof at the back. "My packs are right there, in them is a ChitterFang Repellent, a uh Invisibility Disruptor and um. OH! One of those anti-grav pendants." Blazes' packs were of course colourful and gaudy, and bulging with the new items. "Go rummage and see."
  512. CitrineBlaze: Putting his eyes back onto the trail they were driving on, he looked out into the forest to see if there were signs of the hunters, if not anything.
  513. Expert Perception:
  514. CitrineBlaze rolls 1d6 = 3
  515. CitrineBlaze rolls 1d6 = 4
  516. CitrineBlaze rolls 1d6 = 5
  517.  
  518. Hildemar_Veiel As the wagon rolls along the trail, Hildemar takes out his telescope and sets it on the seat in front of him for stability, looking ahead for notable landmarks or obstacles. "I don't know how much use the invisibility disrupter will be for the time being, but the repellent will definitely be of use once we get farther down our path."
  519. Hildemar_Veiel: E. Perception
  520. Hildemar_Veiel rolls 1d6+1 = 7
  521. Hildemar_Veiel rolls 1d6+1 = 6
  522. Hildemar_Veiel rolls 1d6+1 = 2
  523.  
  524. NevilWayne: Making sure that the crew assembled in the Dagor, Nevil Wayne hopped up onto the backside of the vehicle and made himself comfortable, sitting close to the machine gun. He perform a rote check of his gear, making sure to secure his helmet and camera, before taking out his binoculars and keeping them handy well before they departed. Taking note of the guardsponies' statement with a glance towards them and @Noah , before quickly turning his attention to @CitrineBlaze instead; calmly asking the crystal pony a question: "Can you tell me how much you spent, so I can keep count?" He asked him, before quickly looking off and sliding down the IR eye-piece so he can glance around where they were going, keeping vigilant as much as he can; albeit idly.
  525. NevilWayne: B. Perception
  526. NevilWayne rolls 1d6+2 = 6
  527. NevilWayne rolls 1d6+2 = 6
  528.  
  529. Lucius_the_Weary: Lucius takes a seat in the Dagor, yawning and adjusting his cloak. "Well, this ought to be interesting."
  530.  
  531.  
  532. -END CHAPTER-
  533. XP REWARDS:
  534. Noah, Nevil, Citrine, Joel, Lucius: +2XP
  535. Hildemar: +1XP
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