• Published 14th Feb 2014
  • 3,404 Views, 41 Comments

The Fat Friar - Ssendam the Masked

An argument with a brony sends a fat guy dressed as a monk to an anthro Equestria, where he enjoys the good things in life.

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I just stared for a while, bathing in the saccharine nature of this place. It says something that the place LITERALLY made me feel ill from how much sugar there was, and this is coming from the guy who has coffee with his sugar. Nevertheless, I needed to go there. I lifted up a foot, paused, then set it back down.
Screw this.
I wasn't going to risk getting MORE diabetes if I had to. There were other towns, and I guess I could go without food for a while...

Who am I kidding?
I swept my hood overhead, and reluctantly trudged in further into town. Food and water are important supplies. Really, they are. I kept telling myself that even though I felt like gagging. I was the man with the plan- I was going to get in, buy as much food and water as I could carry, then get out again. After that, maybe I could travel someplace that didn't make me feel physically ill. I hear that Hell is a good place to visit this time of year. Or maybe the Arctic Tundra. Yeah, sounds like a plan.

I could tell that my plans were going to go dangerously astray when I was suddenly set upon by something that my conscious mind registered as 'PINK.' Seriously, anthro horse lady was such a blindingly bright pink, my retinas were being burned by it. She was kind of chubby, but compared to my girthliness she was a noob. LOL, noob, lern 2 overeat. She was wearing a bright blue dress with an apron on it, which I though was kind of odd. Overall, I remembered her as the annoying pink one, who acts like she's in a cartoon. Of all of them, she was probably my least favourite. Still, I had to at least pretend to be polite. Politeness is a virtue, even if I am in a place that has given me type 3 diabetes.
"Hello, ma'am." At this, she gasped, floated in the air and literally zoomed away over the horizon. I steered after her with a flat, "wat..."

Well, what else does one say to that? What? Eventually, I shrugged it off and continued down the path, looking for some food. The town square seemed to have a market, so I headed over, curious to see what wares one could purchase.

Apples seemed to be in vogue. Like, everybody here bought apples. Made sense, what with horses and all, but really? try something different people. Instead, I headed over to the smaller, less well-maintained stalls. Those usually have better food than a commercial place. Yes, I'm onto your schemes, Woolworths! You can't fool me now!

Poor yellow mare seemed to be desperately trying to hawk her goods, so I decided to help her out a bit. As soon as she saw me coming, her day brightened up considerably. I mean, she was still getting business, but apple stall was getting a lot more customers.
"Good morning! Right here, one can buy carrots, carrots and more carrots!" I chuckled, perusing my coin pouch. Before I'd left, Zecora had been kind enough to give me some filthy lucre.
"Greetings. I'm just passing through town-" here the mare's face fell, so I hastened, "- and I'm in considerable need of supplies. Could you get me a dozen carrots?" She nodded, eyes sparkling. Heh, I probably made her day a bit more, buying so many. She scooped them together, bunched them up and tied the stalks together.
"One bit, please." I handed it over. I felt bad, so I decided to ask for directions.
"I'm going to be on the road for a while, and I don't know the town this well. Mayhaps you could direct me to the nearest store with camping supplies?" I handed her an extra bit, which she hastily slipped into her own pouch.
"Oh, it'll be no problem! It just so happens that business is a bit slow, lately, so it's no problem at all." She flipped a 'OUT FOR LUNCH' sign up over her stall and walked off, beckoning me to folio.

As I walked through town with my new guide, I was struck by how friendly this mare was. I mean, I was practically a hobo, and se was going out of my way to help me! How nice of her. I made a note to buy as many vegetables as I could from her. Maybe Pony Land wasn't so bad after all. She waved at me when she directed me to the store, then ran off.
"Sorry- business- really sorry that I can't stay and chat!" I waved. I could understand.

The camping store looked woefully rundown. My opinions soured. Out in the wilderness, one would need as many of these supplies as possible. I pushed open the door, wincing at the squeak of rusty hinges. The kind of manly dark green stallion lounging here perked up.
"WELCOME TO SURVIVAL SKILLS' EMPORIUM OF CAMPING WARES!" He's pretty loud. Must not get a whole heap of customers. As I got closer, I saw clear signs of malnutrition- sticking out ribs, hollow eyes. The sort of things that you see in beggars. I looked at my gut.
Eh, I can survive without too many carrots.
"Hey, I need quite a lot of stuff."
"Right. What do you need?" His face looked very hopeful.
"For starters, a box of matches, some pots and pans, a couple of flasks of water, a sleeping roll and a tent." He dashed, literally dashed off to grab all the stuff I asked him for. In about two minutes, he'd grabbed everything I'd asked for.
"That'll be ten bits for the lot." I counted out ten little gold coins, then threw him six carrots. He really needed them more than I. The poor guy's face lit up when he saw what I'd given him.
"That's a tip." I gathered up the stuff, and then paused.
"I think that I need a bag for all this."

Now fully prepared for the world of Ponyland, I stepped out, with a large, rather dusty rucksack slung over my shoulder. A flagon of water swung on my hip. As I left, though, something caught my eye. A pawn shop. Curious, I walked over. It looked kind of dusty and not very well used at all. Now, normally I'd have left it the hell alone, but something drew my eye towards it. Maybe it was the lump of gold just displayed in the window so blatantly.

I pushed the door open hesitantly. Nobody seemed to have locked the door, so I went in. I stared around me at all of the cluttered shelves, piled high with clothes, knick-knacks, all sorts of things.
"Ah, hello." The grey mare inside was looking pretty tired. She was wearing a pink, fluffy dressing gown that looked like it had seen better days, and she sipped from a cup of coffee that she held. What was interesting was the horn on her head- a unicorn.
"Name's Quick Hoof. Know why I'm called that?" Before I could answer, she flared her horn, and reappeared somewhere else, then popped back in front.
"That's why. I teleport. Useful talent in a pawn shop, I can tell you that." I didn't know how to respond to that. Her eyes danced with a fire that no other unicorn I'd seen in my brief stay here had- a desire to be something different.
"I'm just curious about the item in the window- the lump of gold?" She looked at it.

"Nopony wants it. There's a tale behind that one, I can tell you that." The mare teleported over to it, touching it fondly.
"Long ago, this lump here was dug out of the Everfree forest by an enterprising miner by the name Strong Pick. He took it to his town, and they all celebrated." Quick Hoof grinned.
"But one miner, Candle Light, didn't like Strong Pick. He felt that the gold had to be his. So, one day, in the mines, he takes a rock and brains Strong Pick to death." I was riveted.
"In a month, avarice and greed drove all of them mad, and they killed one another, for possession of the gold. Eventually, the Royal Guard found it- a small squadron. Even they fell prey to greed."
"So it's cursed?" In response to that, she laughed.
"By Celestia, no. The ponies here are kind of, well, yokels. They've got minds like pudding. They'll believe any story. No, all this lump of gold is is really big and heavy. The story actually is, it was mined from the Everfree Forest, about a hundred years ago. The thing is, every pony here believes that it's cursed, because it came from the Everfree." I shook my head.
"Yokels indeed. But why live here?" She shrugged.
"It's a living. Now," she looked me over, "I assume that you're not planning on staying here, right?" I shook my head.
"Not at all."
"Good, you've more sense than I do." She pushed through, waving her hands.

"If you're planning on going through the Everfree, then you'll need protection. Can you weave a spell?"
"Can you fly? No," she answered her own question. "Alright, do you know anything of herb lore?"
"A bit, but-"
"Can you run fast? Again, no." Quick Hoof fixed me with an armour piercing stare.
"If you wander through the Everfree without a guide, you will die fairly quickly unless you are incredibly lucky. Otherwise, you'll be killed or begging for death. The yokels here might be stupid, but they got one thing right about the Everfree- don't go in unless prepared. And even then, be careful." I nodded dumbly, pleased that somebody was going to help. She looked around, then teleported into a storeroom, then came back holding something.
"Here, I think you might like this."

It was a staff, made of brown wood with a spiralling pattern of orange and blue, with black and white stripes on the bottom. It looked kind of like my own, except for colour, but there was something about it. I was about to grab it, but she swatted my hand.
"Ah ah ah. First, ten bits." I obliged. She weighed the coinage, then handed me the staff.
"I present to you the Staff of Balance. Don't use it all at once."
"Staff of Balance?" She nodded.
"Feel that? You're holding a magical artefact that is either the most or least powerful thing you've ever seen. It all depends on how stringent you are."
"That would be telling. Now, good luck on your journey." With that, I felt a flash around me.

When I next saw light, I was standing far outside Ponyville. Huh, she can remotely teleport people? Interesting. I examined the staff in my hands. now that I looked at it, I could see that there were what looked like screaming faces in the pattern of the wood. I don't know whether or not what I held in my pudgy hand was evil or not, but there were sights in the world to see, and I wasn't going to stick around any longer. I waved with my staff and set off through the forest.

Ah, it was good to be home, even if it was only a home away from home...

Author's Note:

This is the end of the intro, I guess.
Soon, the action will hot up.
This is set two years before Twilight shows up in town.