66w, 1dHuman in Equestria
62w, 19hAuthor Support
55w, 6dBlackWing is Awesome
55w, 1dUnique Transformation
54w, 2dThe Usual
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54w, 1dChess Game of the Gods
53w, 2dAwesome Reading People
46w, 6dbronys united
1w, 3dI Love Gryphons
9w, 6dThe Good HiE List
10w, 4dThe Griffon kingdom
8w, 3dHumanity sucks
4w, 4dHumans turned ???
I read the letter over and over, the whole crew taking a good look at it, making sure we didn't miss anything. I slammed my claw on my desk in frustration.
"Damnit! No! I wanted to be infamous! It... it's not fair, IT'S NOT FAIR!" I let my head fall to my desk in an over dramatic manner.
"But, isn't this a good thing? I mean, we no longer have to run from the law, we can go where we want and not be under attack? Why would you want to be... you know, wanted?" Maria asked.
"It's fun? They chase, we run, they lock us up, we escape! It sharpens the wit and is fun as hell! We've been pardoned, now the game is over......." I said while pouting.
"Hey, come on, it's not so bad.... maybe we'll get bounties again for impersonating royalty?" Gilda said, petting my head, trying to cheer me up.
"Yeah.... maybe... but we have to start all over on our badass image. I mean, how are all our enemies going to take us seriously if we're not wanted anymore? We walk into a town, and everybody cowers in fear, now that our bounties are gone, nobody will know who we are! We basically just lost all of our reputation in one fell swoop." I grumbled.
"Well, there is the royal wedding that you told us about coming up........" Nadene suggested. My eyes shot open with realization and I got a wicked grin.
"We're crashing it aren't we?" Gilda asked.
"Oh hell yes."
"Huh?" Maria asked.
"Simple, we go there uninvited, eat all the food, play obnoxious music, which we can totally do now thanks to that spell, maybe trash the dining hall, be as rowdy as possible, get plastered, and all around ruin the celebration for everyone else, then bail before they think to make us clean it up."
"I like it." Maria snickered maliciously.
"But, that's still two months away, first, we have to take Ruby Hollow, and, we're still a ways away from that....." Nadene stated.
"Right, and we have to be even more careful now that we're in Gem Fido, they switched from using a boat to an airship for quick travel over the mountains. If they spot us, the plan won't work."
"I jus can't wait ta get all those gems." Steelhorn bellowed.
"Me neither." Shimmer licked her lips.
"Oh, by the way Steelhorn, now that you're done with making our armor and the cannon for the ship, I've come up with something to keep you busy." I tossed him my blueprints for the laser rifles.
"Damnit boy, you don't give me a moment's rest do ya?" He said after looking at them.
"One for each member of the tribe, and one for each member of the crew except me and Shimmer, and a larger one on a mount for Trixie, preferably attached to her waist and maneuvered by her right hoof. She can charge it herself."
"Is that so? I don't work fer free ya know."
"Consider the fact that we'll be giving you all the materials you need, and the design itself will be your payment. After all, you can only start building them once we get better supply, and these will replace the bows we were using, meaning you're getting paid up front." He grumbled.
"Ah, alright ya weasel. You got yerself a deal."
"And here we are...... Ruby Hollow." Diamond dog warrens tend to be in valleys, nestled between mountains. There are massive tunnel systems running through the mountain ranges, being used for the dogs to travel to the other warrens, as well as airships for faster travel. The warrens themselves are built partly above and partly below ground, with the mines sinking down all around the city, and into the mountains as well. It was reminiscent of Greek architecture in design, but not in style. In fact, it had no artistic value at all, no effort was made to beautify, instead focusing on function. Means they're industrious, good, I'm gonna need hard workers. We watched as the zebra slaves were unloaded and hauled into the city.
"Alright, hold position here. Now, we wait."
It didn't take much effort to keep the ship concealed, as it was quite cloudy. All we had to do was stay at a high altitude within the cloud cover. Maria, Gilda, and I took turns watching the city below for activity, for when the dragon might show up. Three days passed. The entire time, the crew and tribe were all tense, sleeping a lot, but not restfully. We were all on edge, ready to go at a moment's notice as soon as it was time. The sun had just set, torchlight from the city below illuminated it, and, after a few moments, a shadow crossed our vision. It was time. Alarms rang throughout the ship, everyone jumping from their beds to take battle stations.
"Gear up, we've got a dragon to kill and a city to conquer." We all put on our rainbow armor. Gilda, Shimmer, Maria, Nadene, would be running distraction while Etch and Growl, being the same species, would be organizing the dogs below to keep as many of them alive as possible, while Trixie and I dealt with the flying blowhard. Red dragon, one of the more common ones, 3/4 the size of Blacky.
"Aw hell, this is going to be easy." I motioned to my crew, who all put our sunglasses on.
"Trixie, soon as I give the signal, make a red flare so the ship comes down."
"Can't we just kill it?"
"No, we're going for overkill. The point is we're gonna make an impression. We're not just gonna kick this dragon's ass, we're gonna butcher it so hard these dogs can't think straight."
Looking below us, the alpha of the pack came out to meet the dragon, followed by a number of griffins, about 15, as well as a handful of pegasi, and finally, a small pile of gems. I was confused for a moment before I understood.
"Oh, I get it, Zebra's are more valuable as slaves because they're smaller and stronger, and probably less trouble, so they did a swap. Well, looks like we get to have some fun. Okay, here's the deal. We have a number of goals. Trixie and I will lead the dragon away so the prisoners don't get hurt by it's thrashing, Gilda and Shimmer will free the prisoners and lead them to the airship, Etch, Growl, Maria, and Nadene, you need to hold the alpha there. Keep him above ground here and get the rest of the dogs to head underground. When the flare goes out, we charge."
We flew below the cloud level, still unseen, as the dragon and the alpha conversed. He was about the same height as Echo, though significantly less bulky. This is a good thing, although he was carrying what looked like a jagged diamond sword. Basically, a large diamond crudely shaped into a blade. Still pretty deadly, but, it would bounce right off my armor, and my sword could cut his. The dragon looked pretty angry, but resigned and nodded, seeming to come to an agreement. The prisoners were crying their eyes out. They knew what was coming, but they didn't know WE were coming.
"So, what should my war cry be?"
"Just do your regular thing?" Gilda suggested.
"Good enough for me. Now Trixie!" She shot a red streak of light over the top of the city, which exploded into red sparks. Basically, really big fireworks, but as a spell. Draw attention. She passed me a blood vial.
"Lumen. Sonor." My sword lit up like a second sun, not blinding my crew because of the shades, filling the night sky with brilliant, blinding light.
WRRRRRRRRRRRYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY The clouds themselves were pushed out of the way by my swords full charge effecting my voice, revealing the massive airship as it descended, and my light making it shine in the night sky as well. The dragon, as well as everyone else present, looked up as I dove at it, my crew breaking off to either side to perform their own duties.
TAG, YOU'RE IT! I bashed it on the top of it's head with the flat, a distinct ringing sound spreading throughout the warren below as it wobbled slightly from the blow. I flew into the air, the now enraged dragon following me as I laughed maniacally. Net launchers were readied by the dogs, only for the alpha to find a multitude of blades at his throat.
"Don't even try it." Growl said in his deep throaty voice, pressing his spear against the leader's neck.
"Release the prisoners or your boss gets it!" Gilda screeched. The alpha dog just sighed, not accepting or denying either way. The dogs quickly did as they were told.
"Go! Fly to the airship! You'll be safe there!" Maria called out.
"Dogs, get underground! We'll tell you when it's safe!" Nadene ordered. They looked at the cat strangely, like they were going to engage, but she hissed, followed by the dragon's roar filling the air. "Not you mister, you're gonna stay right here and watch."
"Turuk, is that you?" The alpha asked.
"The name is Growl now, but yes."
"Last I saw of you was eight years ago... I was told you had been taken as a slave...."
"I was freed. I have a new alpha now."
"Where is he?" Growl pointed into the sky as the bright ball of light slammed into the dragon over and over again.
"Come on! Come on! This way! Hurry! Follow us!" Gilda screamed so that all the fliers could hear. The newly freed pegasi and griffins followed her as Shimmer blew a small spout of flame to act as a beacon for them to follow, while I was busy leading the dragon away from the ship. Cheers went out as the fliers realized they were being rescued.
"Get on board and get below deck!" She screeched, and they obeyed.
Spotting the cats on the ship, they were a little unnerved, but Selma managed to calm them and explain.
"Git ur feathers below deck where it's safe, when it's all over, Captain Griffin'll explain when he get's done killin that thar dragon and freein the rest of ya, but fer now, get urselves a nice hot meal, ya deserve it."
"This is.... is this.... real?"
"Bwahahahahahahahaha! Come and get me fatass!"
"Does that answer yer question youngin?" Selma asked pointing over her shoulder at the dragon and bright light smacking into one another, not bothering to look, and all the while wearing her own pair of shades.
"You're jeopardizing everything. We made a deal, how are we supposed to survive the dragons if the deal is broken?"
"My alpha slew six this size at the same time over the ocean, when we left the Volcanic Wastes. He slew another in the jungle before that, and a black dragon before that." Etch smiles as roars of pain come from above, making all but the crew shudder.
"He cannot face them all on his own."
"Since we have become family, none of us are ever alone."
"I'm going to kill you! I am going to roast you alive and eat you!"
"Not likely, since I'm going to kill you now."
"Fool, after all this time, you have yet to draw blood."
"You're the idiot." Trixie piped up. "This whole time he's been playing with you. Can't have you torching our new city can we?"
"I was leading you away from the town to give my crew time to capture the alpha. Now that we're far enough away that nobody will get crushed by your falling corpse.... Lacero." A cross slash, passing through the scales of the dragon's chest and ripping through it's lungs, I pulled the sword with all my might, a spurt of dragon blood that had been charged with the magical light coming from my sword flew out in a beautiful arc across the sky as the beast let out a death howl, then fell to the ground. It landed on the side of a mountain, tumbling down the cliff until it finally came to rest at the edge of the valley. The light on my blade went out, having used the remainder of the charge for the cutting spell. I flew back down to the platform where Growl had the alpha at spear point.
"Alright, you can release him now."
"Your alpha is a griffin?" The pack leader began to laugh, only to have a small drop of blood drip down Etch's spear as it barely entered his flesh.
"Well now, look what we have here. Feeding people to dragons isn't very nice.... tsk tsk." I wagged my finger back and forth.
"And who are you to decide how diamond dogs live?"
"Your new leader, that's who."
"Only diamond dogs or their kin may lead a pack. You are not either."
"You know, I met an alpha before, he was young, bigger than you, and had flaming claws. I still kicked his ass. You're old, and all you have is that puny sword which won't even scratch my armor. I can just kill you and take over."
"Then why do you not?"
"Simple, you're their alpha, and they would be more accepting if they were lead by one of their own. They know you, and they trust you. You know the ins and outs of this place. I would much rather have you lead them in my stead. You would be king, and I would be high king, emperor, the 'Alpha of alpha's."
"For that title, you would need more than one pack....."
"All in due time. You already know of my power, you have seen it yourself. That was me alone. I have my crew, my tribe, and my ship as well. We are poised to conquer all of Gem Fido, and unite the northern provinces. No more slaves, no more infighting, no more starvation, and no more fear of dragons. You can either join me and still lead your pack, but under my rules, or, you can die. I think Growl here would make an excellent alpha." My dog gave a huff.
"We are diamond dogs, you are a griffin, why would you do such a thing?" The old hound asked.
"Because you're just as stuck as we are. I'm giving your entire kind a way out, and in doing so, my own as well."
"And what would the rules of this partnership be?"
"Number one, no slaves."
"Then how are we to gather enough gems?"
"Consider that you don't have a dragon to feed anymore."
"Another will takes it's place." He sighed, defeated.
"And I'll kill that one too. And the next one. And the next one. And the next one. And by that time, you dogs will be able to kill them yourselves."
"All we can do is drive them off, even with weapons made of their own bone, how do you suppose we strike them down?"
"Not gonna tell ya, trade secret. I'll consider it once I've got your loyalty."
"We cannot do so without first gaining something in return."
"You are in no position to make demands." I said, sharpening my gaze.
"The answer is no."
"Well then, we have reached an impasse. Perhaps you'll come around when the nearby packs have fallen in line. Considering your past relationship with my crew, I'll spare your tribe. I want all the slaves, and I'll take that gem pile while I'm at it."
"And if I refuse?"
"Draw your blade." He obeyed, holding it on guard in front of him, only for my blade to pierce right through and stop mere millimeters from his throat. The chunk of diamond fell to the dirt at his feet. Holding my blade in position, I picked it up, then jammed it into his arm. He howled in pain as he let go of the handle of the broken blade.
"You dropped your sword." I smiled wildly.
"Just take them and go." He relented, motioning to a few of the dogs who had come out to watch to go get the slaves.
"Etch, Growl, go check to make sure it's all of them." He gave a salute then ran off into the city. He returned a while later with a number of zebras, earth ponies, and a few unicorns, all dirty, emaciated, tired looking, and above all, scared.
"By the way alpha, what is your name?"
"Well Stone Fang, here is a message I want you to pass to all the other diamond dogs in Gem Fido. The message is, 'The day of reckoning has come. Those who follow shall find prosperity, those who resist shall be swept away by the tides of change. So says Griffin the cursed, captain of the Griffin Pirates, chief of the White Wind, kin of the Silent Wolf, and bane of dragons.
"Got enough honorifics?" He spat.
"In case you haven't noticed, I've earned every one of them. Anyway, any who want protection from dragons will find it with me, all they have to do is fall in line. Any who fight, I'll gladly meet them with my blade. While I'm gone, I suggest you think VERY carefully about where you stand. Oh, and if I find you taking slaves again, I'll fuckin kill ya. Trix, send it." Trixie's horn lit up, sending the red firework spell out at a number of airships, but instead of exploding, they simply hovered above them. A scorching red beam came from the Possibility, ripping through each of the balloons and setting them on fire, causing the vessels to drop to the basin.
"Let's go. No slaves, no gems, and no way to get more of either. I hope you change your mind before a dragon finds you, or the blood of your people will be on YOUR paws. Oh, one more thing, I know all about your prophecy, the wolf who slays dragons. Well, Echo hasn't killed any dragons yet, only hydras, which means unless I somehow turn into a wolf, your prophecy is bullshit, and your seers are blind as bats." And with that, we flew off, leaving Ruby Hollow behind.
"Grif, why didn't we take over? We could have done it." Gilda asked.
"I know, but if the dogs won't accept anyone other than one of their own or a 'kin' to lead them, even if I killed their alpha, I wouldn't be able to take his place. The entire pack would try to kill me, and the one who succeeded would get the throne. I'd have to leave Etch or Growl behind to lead them, and since they are not actual alphas, they'd get dethroned as well. They're more valuable alive, sending my message out."
"And if a dragon finds them? They'll get wiped out." Trixie stated.
"He's responsible for his people. I offered to take that responsibility, let him lead, but by my rules. He declined. It's his problem now. I expect eventually they'll come around. Tradition will hold no value in the face of extinction. Let's head to Tailfeather. We have families to reunite."
Dear Princess Celestia,
If I've been pardoned, how am I supposed to play with your guards? It was a rather fun game, and you were getting really close to catching me, although I supposed I'd just escape the prison. Way to ruin my fun, thanks a lot. *note sarcasm*
Troll: A trickster, one who manipulates others for humor.
Trolling: The act of manipulating another cleverly in order to cause them to perform a certain action or feel a certain emotion, most commonly rage or frustration.
Ex 1: Philomina, your pet phoenix, pretended to be deathly ill in order to make Fluttershy run herself ragged. That is trolling, and the one to perform the act, is thus a troll.
Ex 2: Pretending to sip from a tea cup so subjects overzealous in their attempts to please would overfill it, causing it to spill.
Ex 3: Knowing that your student has, including her assistant, six friends, yet only providing two tickets to an event they all wished to participate in.
Ex 4: Pretty much all of my letters. In case you haven't figured it out by now, that was their purpose.
I failed to conquer the diamond dog warren. They refuse to be lead by any other than one of their own, and while I could allow the alphas to remain in power, but answer to me, at this point in time, they have refused. I'm going to continue freeing slaves. Eventually, since they won't be able to get enough gems, the threat of dragons will become too great to ignore, and they'll come around, since I am the only one who can kill them, not just drive them off. On board liberated slaves, 20 zebras, 15 griffins, five pegasi, 3 unicorns, 18 earth ponies. I'll be stopping in the Dominion to unload a large amount of food and such before heading down to Canterlot to drop the ponies off, please make sure they get home and are reunited with their families.