Assault on the Black Forest

by Farseer

Farsighted and Nearsighted

We shall repeat what happened here in defense of House Everfree in a bit, but for now, let us move a few hundred miles southwest, to the town named Apploosia- to be specific, one room in Apploosia where an awfully familiar orange pony in a full suit of Juggernaut Armor, glaring at a report on a page while listening to the shattered Major. Her blonde mane and tail protruded from the armor almost strawlike fashion, while a black eyepatch covered her right eye. A large hammer emblazoned with an eagle leaned against the wall.

"...timber wolves, General. Timber wolves and their beastmasters, if they are any better." The major said, somewhat panicked., absentmindedly picking at the bandages around his legs. "And they... they made it into the ravines..."

"Don't worry, sugarcube. Ah have what happened all right here." She sighed as she read the report before looking at him intently. "Half the regiment gone before they were dealt with?"

"More than that, ma'am." He shook his head. "I'm sorry, ma'am... I failed you. We all failed-"

"I ain't the Archmagister, major. You don't have to suck up tah me. Tah tell ya the truth, it gets rather old."

"Yes, ma'am."

She sighed. The forest growing forward, the sudden attack of the Timber Wolves... the slaughter at the canyon. She sighed. For the first time in over fifteen years, Fluttershy had finally done something.

"Major... Ah have several things to think about. Do me a favor when ya go- see to your men. Ah've found that an officer commending their work is one of the most important ways to keep morale up, even if they did lose the battle."

"Yes, ma'am."


Major Sword Scar left in a new, walking-assist mechanism that the blacksmiths made, leaving a frustrated Applejack sitting behind her desk, massaging her forehead. Now she would have to organize some sort of contact into the Everfree, and there was no guarantee that the envoy would come back, anyways...

"Ah know that look on yer face, Applejack."

She looked up to see a adolescent pony in front of her, grinning. If it wasn't for the charred yet obviously still pink bow sitting on top of her head, she might not have recognized her. "Hello, Apple Bloom." She murmured. "How are ya doing?"

"Excellent! Me and mah boys got something cool done after we heard about the Everfree incident!"

Applejack gave her a look. "You mean the entire camp knows already?"

"Naw, just me and some of the Masters, that's all. But anyways, I've been thinkin'. How do you get rid of wood? And I thought, at first, axes. But after I designed a prototype of that, I thought, 'that's wasn't gonna wo-'"

Applejack sighed. "Can ya just tell me what'cha made, Apple Bloom?" Apple Bloom looked somewhat offended and was about to say something in retaliation when Applejack continued. "No, ah don't mean any disrespect or anything... Ah'm just tired. Mentally and physically. And unless this machine here is a miracle machine, I'm gonna haveta ponder what exactly we can do and say to Flutters, and ah'm not so sure she's completely... ya know. Sane."

"Say no more, sis. Hey, Hotshot! Come in here, please?"

A pony in a full rubber suit came trundling in. He wore a pair of goggles, as well as thick boots. Applejack gave him a good lookover before sighing. "Sis... it's a rubber suit."

"Actually, it's a custom-made rubber suit from Fillydelphia, but that's not important. What is important is what's on his back."

Applejack looked on the ponies back to reveal three metal canisters. "What are those?"

"That is a combination of oil and oxygen that comes out of..." she pulled a cord, and out came two long hoses, which slithered out about a foot before coming to a stop. "...this."

Applejack sighed. "So, we'll coat the enemy in-"

She then touched a button on the other side, and a small little flame entered the end. Comprehension dawned on her. "Apple Bloom! It certainly won't win the war- if it results in one- but this is a brilliant idea! Where did you get the idea for this thing?"

"Well, ya see, ah was thinkin'... how d'ya get rid of wood?..."

Let us now turn this entire situation around. There are two sides to every story after all, and if we focus on the House Earthborn, you won't get to see how the House Everfree is doing, yes? So we will leave General Applejack for now and go and talk about a pony near the mines of Fillydelphia, about six months ago. You see, this particular pony- named Junebug- was taking a walk with Woody and Chip. Two of her best friends. Well, more of a training run, since Woody and Chip were Timber Wolves. Which was entirely appropriate, as Junebug was a beastmaster for the House Everfree.

It all started one sunny- or, rather, shady- day. Junebug was busy training two new 'recruits' as she liked to call them. She had already befriended one of them, but Chip was being stubborn. He desperately wanted to return to the wilds, despite all of the proof that he had that he would have a better life here. She was told by Greenleaf, her Master Beastmaster, that Chip needed a walk, perhaps, to get used to his new territory. And so here she was.

Perhaps thirty minutes into her walk, both of the Timber Wolves perked their ears up before running off to the south. She had been dragged along, and, after yelling at them to heel until they listened, seen why the Timber Wolves were howling.

The canyon, where no one had been before, was garrisoned.

She stayed down and watched while edging on the wolves to stay still and quiet. Which they did. Somewhat. As she saw, there was perhaps a regiment of guard in and around the canyon, while other ponies pulled out... gems? Yes, gems. A banner which held a symbol of a large tree, with an apple below it, hung over a small building on the other side. The result was obvious.

It was a war command. And, seeing and the only other territory that the Earthborn didn't control in the area was Baltimare- which Rarity had made very clear that it was hers, thank you very much- there was only one direction that they could go. And she was standing in it.

She quietly withdrew with her Timber Wolves, prepared to sprint the several dozen miles back to the camp, while going through her mind all of the things she had heard about the Earthborn. Giant, steam-powered engines that would steamroller entire acres of the forest. Explosives that could reduce an Ancient Oak to char. And their insane blacksmiths were coming up with new things all the time. She was almost certain that they would all charge into their home, their home for over ten years, to run them out. For what? For cities, towns, mining, damaging the terrain, and polluting the environment?

All that she knew was that while she had a breath left in her body, she would never let that happen. And neither would Woody or Chip.