Affairs of Darkness 2: Twilight Tales

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Affairs of Darkness 2: Twilight Tales

Post  Dr Blight on Sat Sep 27, 2014 9:17 pm

The city of Ambleon, crown jewel of the Grand Duchy of Cavallend, the land of ponies. The safest city in all the land, under the watchful eye of it’s patron goddess: the Grand Duchess Twilight Sparkle. Great walls seperate the city into districts like the spokes of a great wheel, radiating out from the center to the outer walls. Towering above all else where the walls meet is the Starlight Tower, the seat of power of the Duchess from where she rules and oversees all.

A chill, dry breeze is in the air as Fall draws near, the leaves in the trees changing into the red, browns, and golds of the season. A great many of them litter the streets and walkways, shaken from their branches by the rumbling of the bustling city. The sounds of merchants calling out, trying to attract customers in the midday crowds fill the air along with the chatter of the populace.

In the southern district however, the crowds are thinner, and the voices carry faintly on the wind over the walls. A district used mostly by the armed forces and those brave souls who stake their livelihoods on danger and protecting the weak, the average citizen has little reason to crowd here in great numbers.

In this district there is a certain building with two floors made of great white stones and built almost like a fortress citadel in miniature wedged into the space between two other structures. long golden silk banners flank the entrance depicting a white star with rays of light radiating from it. From inside come the muffled sounds of celebration can be heard through the doors.
This is the headquarters for the fairly new guild, The Light of Order, said to be favored by the Duchess according to rumor. Inside the newly accepted members mingle, drinking mead and sharing tales of adventures past. After tests meant to judge their physical and mental prowess, indeed they have earned the celebration.

However this is all behind you, or better said below you. Shortly after being informed of your acceptance into the guild a young pegasus pony with a cream coat and brown mane, only a few years past her cutie mark surely, approached you to inform you that your presence was requested upstairs. The clothing of the young mare marks her easily as a knight’s squire and the quality of her gear and the ease with which she carries it marks her as the squire of a great knight indeed. You’ve seen this pony before, among others, hanging back and observing your trials. Curious as to who calls for you and why you are led upstairs and find yourself waiting in front of a thick wooden door with half a dozen others picked from the group below. The squire having gone inside after asking you to wait for a moment to inform whoever waits inside of your presence. You notice that this floor has a large number of guards posted.

A few short moments later the heavy door is enveloped in a golden glow and swings open with only a slight creaking from its weight. Inside, sitting regally at a heavy-looking wooden desk covered in a rich deep magenta cloth that hangs over the front bearing the emblem of the Duchess sits a knight. One you instantly recognize: Dame Rose, the knight captain of the Ground Legions. Her sword rests easily in its sheath at her side. She regards you with golden eyes from beneath silvery locks, standing out strikingly against her deep red coat along with her finely polished silver armor. The magic on her horn flares once more and the door shuts quietly behind you once you've all entered.

“Welcome. You all must be wondering why you've been brought here before me? Allow me to explain, based on your performance today you have been judged to match what our organization is looking for in some way. I am here representing the Affairs of Darkness, an order under the direct command of our Duchess, to invite you to join that self-same order and serve the Duchy.”

She pauses for a moment to gauge your reactions and let that sink in before continuing.

“Rest assured that this IS an invitation, not an order. I encourage you to ask any questions you may have now and think well before you make your decision. Should you refuse you will be returned to the party below, though understand that all memories of this meeting will be wiped magically from your minds beforehand. You may not leave this floor until that decision has been made though.”

Some of the other ponies to hesitate at this, a few talking among themselves as they consider the invitation.

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Re: Affairs of Darkness 2: Twilight Tales

Post  quietkal on Sat Sep 27, 2014 11:43 pm

(Normal pegasus form, tagged with cat eyes)
(Casual outfit, skirted)

Altara spends a few moments looking around at the other chosen, gauging them and trying to recall any details she had picked on them through the tests, but gently smiling when she makes eye contact. After getting a good look, she faces Dame Rose again and quietly asks, "What...does this actually entail?"


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Re: Affairs of Darkness 2: Twilight Tales

Post  Ramsus on Sun Sep 28, 2014 1:32 am

((Chance is currently wearing outfit #4.)

"The who? Never heard of the Affairs of Darkness before. Which I guess means it's some kind of secret organization?" Chance asks. She also would have asked what the changeling did, but didn't see the point in repeating the question. She notices the changeling checking out the others assembled and tries to think on what she knows about them and if there's any reason for the changeling to do so aside from wondering about them. When the changeling looks her in the eyes, she tries not to give any reaction aside from returning a friendly, but not too friendly, smile. Though on an instinctual level that might show up in minute body language there might be a sign of slight discomfort, not that she personally has any problems with changelings. As far as she knows, this being the first one she's spent more than a minute near.
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Re: Affairs of Darkness 2: Twilight Tales

Post  telebiscuit on Sun Sep 28, 2014 2:30 pm

<Soft Shimmers>
I look around the crowd uneasily. I always disliked being around so many ponies at a time. Except for the sisters, of course. Standing near the back, I fidget, and frown. I shouldn't be here, there's been a mistake. Even so, I'm certainly not about to leave. Under the direct command of the Sixth Star herself? I would never pass up such a chance. I'll just have to be careful. "If...if we are serving the Duchess herself... will we be meeting her? Face to face? Often?"
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Re: Affairs of Darkness 2: Twilight Tales

Post  Dr Blight on Mon Sep 29, 2014 1:43 am

others in the room:
Aside from the Player Characters, there are three NPCs in the group of chosen with you.

One is a large male griffon with a dark brown coat and plumage and with a scar across his beak resulting in a jagged chip in his beak. He's wearing mostly leather armor with some plates in key areas and has a large zweihander sheathed between his wings.

The other two are both female pegasus ponies, and bear such a resemblance you're certain they're related. They both have pink eyes and pale pastel purple coats. One has a white and light-blue mane that appears windswept while the other has a pale green mane tied into a braid by a pink ribbon. Both appear to be dressed in relatively regular clothes, though you notice both wearing dangerous-looking iron boots over their hooves.

Dame Rose hums to herself quietly as she considers the questions asked and how to respond. After a moment she turns her attention to Altara.

"That's hard to say, truthfully. This order was established by the Grand Duchess in order to fulfill tasks that she couldn't easily send her existing legions. It could be anything from simply going to a town and investigating something, or clearing bandits from one of the roadways, to uncovering treasonous elements within Cavallend. What you'll be asked to do depends mostly on what your skills are."

She then turns her attention towards Chance and gives a small crooked smile, seeming slightly amused by the question.

"Indeed, hence the precautions regarding this offer, though I'm sure it helps that the order is only a few months old thus far."

the knight captain shifts her attention finally towards Shimmer and shrugs slightly in response.

"Perhaps. if you do exceptionally well or her grace takes an interest in you... She has high hopes for this order and as such is keeping herself personally abreast of our situation. I have no doubt you'd meet her on occasion were you to join, though how often I cannot say."

The two sibling pegasi continue to talk among themselves, their expressions seeming hesitant and worried. The griffin sits on his haunches with his arms crossed over his chest, a look that is either a sign of deep concentration or a splitting headache gracing his rough features.

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Re: Affairs of Darkness 2: Twilight Tales

Post  Paper Shadow on Mon Sep 29, 2014 1:46 am

"And what's in it for us?" asks Tindalos...
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Re: Affairs of Darkness 2: Twilight Tales

Post  Dr Blight on Mon Sep 29, 2014 5:43 pm

"You mean aside from pay befitting a servant of the crown and the dangers you might face? That depends what you want to take out of it. This guild, the Light of Order, was founded to give those who seek challenges, to do something meaningful, to help the weak, the chance to do just that and to be rewarded for it. I assume that such were the reasons you were drawn here? We offer you that very chance. To be the ones to brave the darkness and set the foundation from which a bright future may grow for all."

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Re: Affairs of Darkness 2: Twilight Tales

Post  Ramsus on Mon Sep 29, 2014 5:47 pm

"That's a good enough reason for me, but what kind of oaths do we have to swear or guidelines do we have to follow?" Chance asked, more curious than really concerned, though it helped to know what the limitations were.
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Re: Affairs of Darkness 2: Twilight Tales

Post  quietkal on Mon Sep 29, 2014 10:42 pm

Appearance:
Cat-eye pegasus form
Casual outfit, skirted
Altara nods at Dame Rose's reply, and looks thoughtful as she considers the offer. She glances at the iron booted pegasi periodically, somewhat uneasy about the metal being out in the open.
She also glances at the other lone pegasus in the room, trying to figure out why she was selected. Each of the other selected has a relatively exposed weapon or seems otherwise combat prepared, but she...doesn't? Perhaps a witch of some kind? Or mayhaps she's skilled in another area, and the ability to handle yourself in combat isn't a requisite for this invitation. Though, part of the test for acceptance to the Light of Order was combat ability...an interesting pony at the least. And interesting things always merit study.
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Re: Affairs of Darkness 2: Twilight Tales

Post  telebiscuit on Tue Sep 30, 2014 12:29 am

"An oath of allegiance to the Duchess, I would assume?" I offer hopefully. "I would gladly take such an oath." I focus only on Dame Rose, not really looking at any of the other ponies to notice anything interesting about them.
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Re: Affairs of Darkness 2: Twilight Tales

Post  Dr Blight on Tue Sep 30, 2014 3:34 pm

"To the order and the Duchess you will swear Loyalty, to never betray the trust placed in you by your comrades and our lady. To the world and its citizens you will swear Diligence, to strive to protect and preserve the peace and lives of the innocent. As such those of the order would be as family, you will aid them as they will you, and even though pain or threat of death you will not betray each other. Likewise you will avoid needless sacrifice if it can be avoided, even if it is more difficult. There may well be times you have to kill, but it shouldn't be your first choice. Should these two oaths clash, should a member of our order threaten the lives and peace of the innocent, then you owe them no Loyalty. Discretion is paramount."

She says simply before smiling.

"It is similar in a way to the oath knights take, but a fair bit more lenient."

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Re: Affairs of Darkness 2: Twilight Tales

Post  Ramsus on Tue Sep 30, 2014 4:54 pm

((Rolls to see if Chance knows any more details.
Streetwise: 10 + 13 = 23
History: 5 + 16 = 21 ))

Chance thinks about it, though only for a moment as she'd already been pretty sure of her reply before the question was answered, and says, "Well, that works for me. Consider me a part of the team....inside the other team."
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Re: Affairs of Darkness 2: Twilight Tales

Post  telebiscuit on Wed Oct 01, 2014 1:52 am

I barely listen to the rest of the oath past "loyalty to the Duchess". That's all I needed to hear, I would never oppose or betray her, and if my allies don't either, then I don't need to worry about them either. "I swear...or, um, I agree, without a doubt. I am honored to give my loyalty and trust to Duchess Twilight Sparkle and her allies." I smile eagerly.


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Re: Affairs of Darkness 2: Twilight Tales

Post  Paper Shadow on Wed Oct 01, 2014 1:04 pm

"And if we want out later down the road?" asks Tindalos, "I mean, I wouldn't plan on quitting any time soon but I ain't up for a life service either."
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Re: Affairs of Darkness 2: Twilight Tales

Post  Dr Blight on Wed Oct 01, 2014 8:42 pm

The knight smiles at Chance and Shimmer before turning towards Tindolas again.

"The same as would happen if you refuse this invitation here. Any sensitive information will be erased from your memories and replaced with a vague impression of the events that occurred, then you would be returned to your daily life. To use this as an example, you would remember coming upstairs to speak with someone about the results of your tests and the guild but the details would be lost to you and you'd find them unimportant."

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Re: Affairs of Darkness 2: Twilight Tales

Post  quietkal on Wed Oct 01, 2014 11:30 pm

Appearance:
Y'know I guess I could just put the picture in this and just put the picture and the description of the thing here.
Yeah that seems like a good idea.

Outfit: A white lacey underdress underneath a muted green, light bodice for a female pegasus, which laces up the winged side and typically attached by a series of buttons to a matching skirt,which leaves room for just the end of her tail to clear the ground out from underneath it.
Altara tilts her head at this latest revelation, and asks in a somewhat worried tone, "Even if we have spent years working for the Duchess? All of that time, all of the bonds we'd forged would just become...unimportant?"
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Re: Affairs of Darkness 2: Twilight Tales

Post  Dr Blight on Wed Oct 01, 2014 11:46 pm

Dame Rose smiles comfortingly at that.

"Not necessarily. That is part of why we recruit from this guild. Friendships can be kept by virtue of convincing you that those bonds were formed in service of the Light of Order rather than the Affairs of Darkness. Since you would be a member of both. You simply won't remember the sensitive details such as the exact nature of the mission you were on. The spell used is very precise and the spell matrix for it was crafted by the Duchess herself. In all tests done with it, we've never had any issues arise. As I said, in this order by our Loyalty we are as family, and we would not wish undue grief upon our fellows if it can be avoided."

Her expression turns solemn.

"However if the nature of your relationship is classified, then you will forget that unfortunately."

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Re: Affairs of Darkness 2: Twilight Tales

Post  quietkal on Thu Oct 02, 2014 12:27 am

Appearance:

Outfit: A white lacey underdress underneath a muted green, light bodice for a female pegasus, which laces up the winged side and typically attached by a series of buttons to a matching skirt,which leaves room for just the end of her tail to clear the ground out from underneath it.
Altara nods despite the muddled expression on her face, and says, "I see...I believe I also would like to accept."
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Re: Affairs of Darkness 2: Twilight Tales

Post  Paper Shadow on Thu Oct 02, 2014 1:26 pm

Tindalos grumbles to himself. "Mind altering spells seem so dodgy..." He looks around and sighs. "Alright, I'll do it. Bigger tasks means more experience, right? But you better not bounce me around."
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Re: Affairs of Darkness 2: Twilight Tales

Post  Dr Blight on Sat Oct 04, 2014 11:20 am

Dame Rose frowns a little in puzzlement.

"I'm afraid I'm not familiar with that turn of phrase."

She shakes her head slightly and clears her throat, more to compose herself than anything before continuing, the small peaceful smile returning.

"And have the rest of you made your decisions?"

The griffin frowns while the two sisters seem to rapidly discuss something before coming to a conclusion now that the attention is on them. The griffin steps up first.

"All due respect, I'm not so sure about pledging my loyalty to the big mare upstairs. A guild's one thing, and I'm all for helping the little guy, but I am what I am. I realize I won't be allowed to remember this but get back to me after I've spent sometime with the guild would ya? I'm still trying to figure out whether coming here was even a good idea in general nevermind all this."

He says as he gestures around the room with a talon. The pegasus with the pale green mane steps up next, followed by the one with the windswept white mane.

"I'm in."

Says the first.

"And if sis is going I am too!"

With the second chiming in soon after.

The knight nods in understanding, gesturing to her squire who quickly stands and walks up to the griffin.

"This way please."

She says before leading him out the door. Dame Rose takes a deep breath through her nose and lets it out in a sigh before smiling warmly.

"Well then, allow me to officially welcome you. And thank you for your courage. You will face great dangers from this day forward, and often find yourselves plunging head first into the unknown. Take solace however, in that you shall never do so alone. All that remains now is for you to officially take your oaths. I trust you remember them from a few moments ago?"

The two pegasi sisters step forward, making the oaths of Loyalty and Diligence the knight explained before.

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Re: Affairs of Darkness 2: Twilight Tales

Post  Paper Shadow on Sat Oct 04, 2014 11:40 am

"Loyalty and Diligence, right? Yeah, alright, I'll swear to that."
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Re: Affairs of Darkness 2: Twilight Tales

Post  Ramsus on Sat Oct 04, 2014 2:10 pm

Chance actually recites the oaths properly.
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Re: Affairs of Darkness 2: Twilight Tales

Post  quietkal on Sat Oct 04, 2014 3:16 pm

Appearance:

Outfit: A white lacey underdress underneath a muted green, light bodice for a female pegasus, which laces up the winged side and typically attached by a series of buttons to a matching skirt,which leaves room for just the end of her tail to clear the ground out from underneath it.
Altara smiles and tries to hide an amount of excitement, reciting, "I swear Diligence to protect and preserve the peace and innocents, and Loyalty to serve the order and the Duchess."


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Re: Affairs of Darkness 2: Twilight Tales

Post  telebiscuit on Sun Oct 05, 2014 2:33 pm

Still slightly distracted, I step forward as well,and recite what I can of the oaths. "I swear diligence in my, um... in my tasks and Loyalty to serve the Duchess Twilight Sparkle and all that she commands of me."
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Re: Affairs of Darkness 2: Twilight Tales

Post  Dr Blight on Mon Oct 06, 2014 2:43 pm

"And I, Regal Rose, knight of Cavallend in the service of Her Majesty Grand Duchess Twilight Sparkle have witnessed your oaths."

She says solemnly before her horn flares. A drawer at her desk opens and you hear something unlocking inside before seven identical rings float out in her golden aura. Five of the rings orbit around her while to are set down on the table as she beckons you closer.

"These signet rings will be given to each member of the guild, and they will serve to help you identify members of our order among them. The ones worn by our order are darker, and have small markings hidden within the imperfections. Both types glow when a specific frequency of magic is applied as a mark of authenticity."

She says as she demonstrates the glow, you notice that one ring is very slightly darker than the other now that you know to look for it. The symbol on the rings is a six point star burst with raised lines radiating from it. The depressions are made with an antiqing effect to make them darker but there are places where it's scratched like paint revealing the bright metal underneath. You notice that well hidden among the scratches are five smaller starbursts mirroring the smaller stars in the duchess emblem.

Done explaining them to you she levitates one ring to each of you after looping a small length of chain through the bands of each one. The slightly brighter ring returns to the drawer as something locks and the drawer is shut.

"Those rings are made of silver, so be cautious of having them stolen."

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