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Crusade Anon 1

Feb 14th, 2017
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  1. "Pater noster qui es en caelis sanctificetur nomen tuum adveniat regnum tuum fiat voluntas tua--"
  2. >With each word you could feel yourself waking
  3. >It was a waking of not only your body but your soul
  4. >A special feeling
  5. >A holy feeling
  6. "--sicut in caelo et in terra panem nostrum quotidianum da nobis hodie et dimitte nobis debita nostra--"
  7. >The Vigils was always a special time for you
  8. >When you were nothing but an apprentice smith it had helped make the foreboding, bleak days seem brighter
  9. >When you were in the chapel with your brothers you had been more than a single peasant who hadn’t even known his father or mother
  10. >In the chapel, praising the name the name of the Almighty, you were nothing but a child of god
  11. >And that was good
  12. "-sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris et ne nos inducas in tentationem sed libera nos a malo."
  13. >A smile came to your face as you made the sign of the cross, now completely awake and alert and ready for another day
  14. "Amen," you murmured, kissing the cross in your hands reverently before pressing it to your forehead
  15. >Setting it back onto the simple wooden table that sat next to your bed, you rose to your feet
  16. >The sun still hadn't risen but it was a new day in this odd, foreign land
  17. >You were Ser Anonymous, a very lost monk of the Order of Solomon's Temple
  18. >And you had much to do today, as you did every day
  19. >Breakfast, as always, was bread that you had prepared the day before, along with some salted meat and a hunk of cheese that you had bought from the local apple farmer
  20. >After that you had washed, dressed, and groomed yourself before making your way into town
  21. >It wasn't a very long walk, but you found yourself enjoying it more often than naught
  22. >This land, though strange, was as beautiful as you've ever seen
  23.  
  24.  
  25. >The trees around you looked green and healthy
  26. >The cobblestone road you were walking on was skillfully and fully built
  27. >There was no sign of war, no disease
  28. >No beggars or half-starved, rabid packs of dogs sat in the alleys
  29. >You could hear no crying or screaming of any kind, and there was barely any smoke in the air
  30. >If not for the fact that you couldn't hear the majestic voices of a thousand-thousand angels singing you might have thought you were in heaven
  31. >The smile on your face widened a bit at the thought
  32. >That and this land's... interesting people
  33. >The town, as it always was at this time of day, was completely still
  34. >The buildings you walked past were dark, and the road you traveled was completely empty
  35. >Back in Acre the streets would have already been flooded with people, but it seemed like your new neighbors would only rise when the sun was in the sky
  36. >An odd quirk to be sure, but these creatures had so many
  37. >It was why you had become so fond of them...
  38. >Making your way down to the edge of the street, you made your way toward a little pavilion that served as the town's smithy
  39. >Your smithy
  40. >This land's people weren't known for their smiths, and while you considered yourself more of a monk than a blacksmith, you were leagues above most that lived in this area
  41. >So, since there were none of your order's castles in this land, and since you did not wish to be a burden to those that had taken you in, you had decided to put your old skills to work
  42. >And, unlike in your youth, you weren't forging swords or pieces of armor
  43. >You were making horseshoes
  44. >A LOT of them
  45. >Stepping into your smithy, you looked around, taking a deep breath as you did so
  46. "Well... let's get to work..."
  47.  
  48. ~_~-~-~_~
  49.  
  50.  
  51. >"We don't need ANOTHER set of bedsheets, Thunderlane."
  52. >"Yes we do Cloudy! The ones that we bought the other day clash with the sofa!"
  53. >"How the hay can it "clash" with the bucking sofa? The thing’s in the other room!"
  54. >"It throws the whole mood off in the house!"
  55. >"Clash? Mood? Are you reading those stupid Glitter Glim magazines again?"
  56. >"And what if I am? EXCUSE ME for trying to make our house look a little bit nicer!"
  57. "Lift your hoof up please," you asked Cloudchaser, who you were knelt besides, a hoof knife in your hand
  58. >The pegasus, glaring at the stallion that she had brought into your shop, did as you asked, lifting her left front leg up
  59. >"You're not trying to make the house look nice, you're trying to make us go broke," she growled, her tail flicking in irritation. "Every single day you want to buy something completely different and expensive because you saw it in some magazine!"
  60. >The stallion's muzzle scrunched up as you carefully cleaned the mare's appendage with your knife
  61. >While you did this you also made sure to check her hoof for any damage, rubbing your fingers along the edge of the hoof as well as the frog
  62. >"I don't ask EVERYDAY," the stallion said in a nasally, high-pitched voice that the males around here seemed very good at. "You're just exaggerating!"
  63. >The mare, leaning against you for support as you did your work, snorted
  64. >"I'm not going to argue with you, Thunderlane. I don't care if you go ahead and cry your eyes out, you're not getting those bucking bedsheets."
  65. >Thunderlane's face contorted into a look of outrage and anger
  66. >Looking over the mare's wither, you noticed that he also had tears in his eyes
  67. >...
  68. >Lord preserve you all...
  69. >"I can't believe that you care more about your money than you do about me!"
  70. >The mare groaned
  71. >"Just get out of here before Anon here brands you, you bucking crybaby."
  72. >With a sniffle, Thunderlane spun around and raced out of your workshop, thankfully not managing to knock anything over
  73. >This time...
  74. >"Bucking pain in the flank," the mare grumbled, looking down at you in exasperation.
  75. >"I'm really sorry about that, Anon. Thunder's been like that for the last couple of days, and no matter what, me and the girls do we can't get him to stop."
  76.  
  77.  
  78. "It's no problem," you said, reaching over to the forge and grabbing the rasp you had heating up in your forge. "Now hold still."
  79. >Carefully lifting the rasp, you positioned it over Cloudchaser's hoof
  80. >Moving your head away and holding your breath, you pressed it against the hoof
  81. >In an instant there was a sizzle as the iron came into contact with the bony appendage
  82. >Counting to three in your head, you put the rasp back into the forge
  83. "I see that you're keeping your hooves trimmed," you said, reaching over and grabbing a horseshoe
  84. >In most cases you'd have to make a shoe special for each individual pony--for their comfort more than anything-- but because Cloudchaser was a repeat customer you already had a few shoes lying around that would fit her
  85. >"Yeah, The pain in my flank that just ran off has been getting on my case about them," Cloudchaser said as you grabbed a small hammer and a few nails
  86. "I can tell, I didn't even have to use the clippers this time. Now, remember, tell me if you feel any discomfort or pain."
  87. >A few strikes of a hammer and you were done
  88. >Another shoe was finished, and another pony was shoed
  89. >"Thanks a lot for fitting me in today, Anon," Cloudchaser said as you ran your thumb against both the shoe and the hoof, checking to see if everything was where it was supposed to be. "I would have come tomorrow, when I know you're not busy, but I have to go to see Thunder's parents in Cloudsdale with the other girls and..."
  90. >You set the mare's hoof down
  91. "Take a walk around the smithy," you said. "Check to see if everything feels alright."
  92. >Nodding, Cloudchaser did as you asked, trotting around your smithy like a parade horse
  93. >The sight of her half walking, half hopping nearly makes you laugh, but you controlled yourself, instead saying a silent prayer thanking the lord for such an adorable sight
  94. >"Everything seems alright," Cloud Chaser announced, lifting a hoof up to examine a one of her shoes. "This cross hickey still feels a little weird when I walk through."
  95. >Again you tried to fight your joviality, but even so a small smile wormed it's way into your face
  96. >Though these ponies were nothing like the ones in Acre, England, or any other land that you had seen, Order policy dictated that you forge a holy cross into at least one horseshoe for a horse
  97.  
  98.  
  99. >It was, admittedly, an overzealous edict, but you nevertheless followed it without hesitation
  100. >You, a simple monk, had no right to question the desires of the Holy See
  101. >If they wished a cross on each horseshoe you made you’d gladly take the time to forge each and every last one
  102. >The mark of Christ was going to be etched into this heathen earth one pony at a time, even if the ponies didn't exactly know what the crosses on their hooves meant
  103. >For now...
  104. "If that is everything, then I believe that you're all done," you said, rising to your feet
  105. >Nodding, Cloudchaser reached into the saddlebag on her hip and produced a small bag
  106. >"It's twelve bits for all four shoes right?
  107. "That's right," you replied, dusting the dirt off of your hands while the little mare made her way over to give you your pay
  108. >"You know, you charge way too little for these shoes," Cloudchaser told you. "I'm not complaining, but you could get three times as much around here and nopony would complain. And if you had a shop up in Canterlot you could probably charge ten times as much."
  109. >You allow just a bit of pride to well up in you
  110. >Though you had been taught humility all through your life, it was still nice to see that others appreciated your work
  111. "I'm glad that you hold my work in such high regard," you said, inclining your head. "But I take only what I need, as Christ would have wished."
  112. >With your thumb, you marked the sign of the cross into your little furry friend's forehead
  113. "May the Father smile on you, may the Son be with you always, and may the holy spirit guide you and give you strength" you said with a smile. "Leave in peace, and may God's love be with you always."
  114. >Shaking her head--though you could see a small smile on her face, Cloudchaser turned away and made her way toward the street
  115. >As she passed one of your work tables she stopped and placed a couple of bits into a donation jar that you had set up for the local orphanage
  116. >Bowing your head, you made the sign of the cross
  117. >"God bless you," you said.
  118. >Cloudchaser stopped and looked over her shoulder at you
  119. >"You're such a silly colt, Anon," she said with a grin, before making her way into the street and disappearing into the crowds of ponies
  120. >You sighed, rubbing your hands together
  121. >Little Hour was in a few minutes
  122. >A few of the little ones were going to come into your shop so that you could preach the word of God to each and every one of them
  123.  
  124.  
  125. >It was your favorite part of the day, but before that you had one more customer to shoe
  126. >A customer who, as always, was late...
  127. >"Yo, Anon! I'm here! I'm here!"
  128. >You watched as Rainbow Dash, her mane wild and her eyes wide, raced into your smithy as fast as her hooves could take her, very nearly colliding with your anvil
  129. >Her tail, whipping around, managed to knock a dozen hammers off of one work bench and about thirty half-finished horseshoes from another
  130. >Which was a good deal better than most times she came charging in here...
  131. >Behind her was a frazzled and irritated Applejack, who had a fearsome scowl on her face
  132. >"Dangit, Dash! What where yer goin'!" the farmer chided, bending down to grab all of the fallen items
  133. >Rainbow, of course, ignored her, running over and standing before you
  134. >"I'm here! I'm right on time!" she announced, as if getting to an appointment on time was some great feat.
  135. "You are not," you said, looking toward the clock that was hanging from the rafters. "You're ten minutes late. Again."
  136. >Your crossed your arms
  137. "When you're late for an appointment you need to reschedule the day before. If you don't the appointment gets thrown out."
  138. >"I had a thing that I had to do!" the pegasus said
  139. >She cringed at the look you gave her
  140. >"I know you told me to come at twelve thirty but I really had a thing!"
  141. >She looked over at Applejack
  142. >"I was helping AJ over there! Applejack, tell him!"
  143. >Sighing, the farmer trotted over
  144. >"She ain't lyin', Anon. Dash 'ere was helpin' me fix muh barn," she said. "She woulda gotten 'ere on time but the two o' us had a bit o' last minute troubles."
  145. >You looked the earth pony up and down, searching for any falsehood
  146. >Like every other time, you saw none
  147. >Heathen or not, Applejack did not lie
  148. >It was an admirable trait, one that you respected
  149. >But still, truth or not this was the tenth time that Rainbow had been late for an appointment
  150. >And while Christ preached forgiveness and love, that still didn’t mean you couldn’t be a little upset with her
  151. >Frowning, you made a show of drumming your fingers against your bicep as you looked back over at Rainbow
  152. "...Come then, let's get you shoed. But I swear to all of the holy saints if you keep coming in here late you'll need to start looking for horseshoes elsewhere."
  153.  
  154.  
  155. >"Yes!" Rainbow said, pumping a hoof into the air
  156. >Grabbing your hoof knife and your clippers--you knew you'd need them for this one-- you got down on one knee
  157. "Hoof please," you said, patting Rainbow's back-left leg
  158. >The mare immediately lifted it for you
  159. >As you had expected, the mare's hoof looked like she had put it through a grinder
  160. >It was dry, cracked and chipped
  161. >It also looked like she had worn down her shoe to the nails
  162. "Oh sweet merciful Christ..." you murmured, running a thumb along the mare's frog
  163. >Rainbow squirmed, her face contorting in discomfort
  164. >"Hey, watch the hooves. They're sensitive."
  165. "I can see why. It looks like you've done absolutely nothing to take care of them."
  166. >Applejack snorted
  167. >"I told ya he would give ya guff 'bout them."
  168. >Rainbow, her frown deepening, ruffled her feathers
  169. >"And I told you that being awesome is a full-time job. I don't have any time to take care of my hooves like some prissy colt."
  170. >Rainbow winced as you traced a crack in her hoof with a finger
  171. "This one is deep," you said, putting her hoof down and standing up. "I'm going to need to put something on it and the other three."
  172. >Reaching over, you grabbed a container of hoof oil and a brush
  173. >Rainbow's nose scrunched up
  174. >"But what about my horseshoes?" she asked
  175. "You're not getting any this time," you said, kneeling back down
  176. >"WHAT?!" the pegasus cried, trying to take off into the air
  177. >Saving yourself a headache, you made sure to place a hand on her back to keep from getting more than a few inches into the air
  178. "If I try to shoe you now the hoof could crack in two," you said, twisting the cap off of the hoof oil and dipping the brush in. "You're going to need to buy a few bottles of this so you can put it on three times a day. I'm also going to need to take off what's left of these shoes..."
  179.  
  180.  
  181. >Be Appul hoers
  182. >Both you and Rainbow were making your way back toward the barn
  183. >Rainbow was grumbling to herself like an ornery rattlesnake
  184. >You didn't see why...
  185. >It was that filly's fault for not taking care of her hooves...
  186. >You might not have been Rarity, but even you made sure to put on a coat of hoof oil once a day to keep the ol' girls in working order
  187. >"I swear to Celestia, everytime I go in there that colt rips me off," she said with a frown
  188. "It's yer own darn fault, Dash," you said. "Anon tells ya every time to take care o' yer hooves an' every time ya ignore him."
  189. >Dash snorted
  190. >"Yeah, like I'd listen to some flat-faced colt," she said
  191. >Your head whipped around
  192. "Hey! You watch that name-callin'," you said. "Anon's a sweet lil' thing that just wants ya ta take care o' yerself."
  193. >Rainbow grumbled some more, but managed to reign in that mouth of hers
  194. >You gave her a glare to show her just how little you liked the idea of her bad-mouthing a stallion that had went through all of the trouble of helping her without so much as a thank you
  195. >You had made her drop a couple of bits into the jar that Anon kept for the orphanage, but she had grumbled about that too
  196. >This bucking filly…
  197. >You might have loved her like a sister, but sometimes you just wanted to smack her right upside her head…
  198. >A pearl of laughter caused you to look over your shoulder
  199. >Down the street, you could see a bunch of fillies and colts making their way into Anon’s workshop
  200. >This was around the time he’s read to the little ones, you knew
  201. >Most ponies around town would send their little ones to his forge
  202. >It gave the parents a break and the kids something to do
  203. >The kids also seemed to enjoy his stories so none of you saw the harm in it
  204. >You could see your little sister and her friends in the crowd, chatting excitedly to Thunderlane's brother
  205. >A smile came to your face at the sight
  206. >It was real sweet of Anon to read to the kids like he does everyday...
  207. >It was also sweet of him to have that donation jar out for the orphanage...
  208. >He was a sweet colt...
  209. >A sweet, hardworking, simple colt...
  210. >A little funny in the head, what with the praying and drawing crosses on your forehead every time he saw you, but what colt wasn't a bit funny in the head?
  211.  
  212.  
  213. >Yep...
  214. >That colt in that there smithy would be one heck of a catch...
  215. >The kind of stallion you could take to Granny with pride...
  216. >"DEUS VULT!" you heard the young'uns scream at the top of their lungs
  217. >”GOD WILLS IT, SO LET IT BE DONE!” Anon yelled back, which was followed by the children cheering
  218. >Hmm...
  219. >Maybe you should see if he has a special somepony for Hearts and Hooves day...
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