• Published 6th Dec 2014
  • 1,553 Views, 34 Comments

Voices in the Background - Visiden Visidane



Various correspondences in the background of Upheaval.

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Barrier Lands

Voices in the Background

Barrier Lands

Commander Field Burn, I assure you that the worst has already come to pass at Glacierfall and the local guards have everything under control. I'm aware that the Legion is beset with a great many grave matters at the moment involving the Heartland. A few relatively minor incidents in a Barrier Lands city hardly merits such scrutiny from Equestria's finest.

The few "refugees" that your troops have encountered are simply easily frightened, opportunistic ponies with grossly exaggerated tales of gloom and doom, likely trying to come up with excuses because you caught them about to engage in banditry.

Glacierfall has been a productive town of Equestria for two centuries. It shall continue to do so under my guidance, despite these trying times. I guarantee that it will only take a few months before this place can accommodate even a visit from the prince.

Stalk Leaf, Mayor of Glacierfall

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Silk Mane,

I'm sorry, but delivery or no delivery, I"m getting out of here. Glacierfall's gone to the gutter. Red Corn and his gang have gone nuts. He's raving about sneaking into the Heartland to raid the chosen. The other gangs are happy just feuding for territory. The rest of us who want nothing to do with these riots are practically locked inside our homes for most of the day. The guards have stopped coming, and the mayor's utterly deluded. He insists on not bringing the Legion in because he knows he'll lose his job once they get involved. The idiot's either forgotten that if things get any worse and the Legion is forced to start cracking down, it's his head he'll lose, or he's decided that keeping his job's worth the insane risk.

In either case, I'm leaving. After I send this letter out, I'll be sneaking out of town with as much of our goods we can carry. I know it's a massive loss, but we'll just have to bear it. Once things have settled with the chosen, we'll make up for it, I swear. I'm not going to get killed by some thug on the street, and I'm not going to stay around for the public executions once the Legion makes its way here.

Wool Mane


Notes on Brewery Experiment #145

Tried my lightning infusion spell on a pint of that rainbow Scarlet sent over. Bad idea. One of my stills now looks like a foal's first hoof-painting. Looking through the notes he scrounged up and sent along with the keg this time. Maybe I should have done this before experimenting.

Looks like this stuff was used for brewing love poisons. Damn. You could always tell that a pony's looking to get under your tail when they start getting a little pushy with the free drinks, but a love poison? I'd expect that from ophidites, not ponies. These chosen are creepy.

Maybe I can brew something less disturbing. "Storm Brew's Stuff-That-Gets-You-In-a-Rutting-Mood", maybe? Oh, Scarlet's going to want some credit so I have to stick his name there somehow. But wouldn't that make it seem like I'm doing it with him?

Going to have to find some way to test its effects on a drinker. Maybe I should hang a sign outside.


My Dear Star Ruby,

Canterlot is simply marvelous: the architecture is lovely, the nobles are refined, the food is exquisite. I must say, Heartland culture is a delight to experience. You and your husband should come and visit as soon as you're able. Perhaps not right away, though. The Legion is still directly involved in day to day affairs. Once the reunification has settled enough for the Legion to rein in their constant meddling, we can start socializing with these charming Heartland nobles.

One thing I must mention, though. The fashion! The dresses are lovely, true enough. Their designs are gorgeous too. They have this strange fixation about not using real leather or fur, it's certainly odd. I'm certain once they see the quality of an ursan fur coat or a set of ophidite scale boots with a bag to match, they'll see the beauty of the genuine article.

I have to tell you about this incident in a Canterlot boutique. I was about to purchase some particularly exquisite ones when I noticed that they had no tail straps. I assumed that this was merely a gross oversight on the seamstress's part, but I was informed that this was the standard for all skirts. Can you believe it? This is an absolutely ridiculous aspect of Heartland fashion. I wouldn't attend casual soiree without a hundred brushes to my tail, the finest silk ribbons from the Grove of Five, bead-work from Bear's Head, and a curling session. I'm not going to waste all that work just to stuff my tail under a skirt. Not to mention that it makes a mare's rump look twice as big. Honestly! Tail-in? If the Heartland can benefit from any Barrier Land tradition at all, it has to be this.

I understand that some Heartland nobles are visiting the Delve. Do write to me about how they take to Barrier Land culture, it will be a great talking point at parties.

As always,
Emerald Heart


The infiltration of the Heartland by the ophidite, Hashymissa, is an utter embarrassment to the Southern Legion. Forever shall we be known as the legion that first allowed an invader into the Heartland. They caught our sentries napping and our scouts bumbling about during the greatest crisis Equestria has ever faced. For our failure, one of our nation's greatest treasures was nearly snuffed out. We've allowed ourselves to become lax because the ophidites have had to deal with their own internal matters. We allowed the danger to the north to overshadow the constant threat of the Empire.

There shall be no redeeming the Southern Legion for this disgrace, but there shall be no lack of trying on our part. Even now, these brazen wretches to our south are making little advances as if we haven't noticed. But we have, and it's time we reminded our brothers and sisters in the other legions, as well as our enemies, what the Southern Legion is capable of. We slaughtered a trio of their precious coatls for the slaying of Apple Slice, we burned down two of their settlements for the loss of Deadmarsh Fortress. Have no doubt that the ophidites will remember yet again that we repay every slight.

Patrols shall be doubled along our borders. Not one snake gets to glare at Equestria's direction without us noticing. Track down the ophidite noble that this Hashymissa is undoubtedly working for. Trace their movements to the smallest detail. We bide our time as we reunite with our chosen brethren, but, when we strike, these ophidites will be wishing that they were being chewed on by crocodilians.

Commander Moon Haze, Southern Legion


Hassyth,

Well, cousin, you've gotten yourself into another fine mess, haven't you? Ervain Reis not yet the bottom for you, I see. You still need to dig yourself deeper. Your little clandestine mission may have been personal, but it's certainly caused a lot of ripples. The Equestrian Legion is sizing us up, and it's clearly planning retaliations. Truly we're at a fine time for that given our own little internal problems. And what have you achieved? Your best servant has been captured, you've lost your best slaves, and you are no closer to recovering your fortune.

The other nobles are also not very happy with you, cousin. Ensyth's slave caravans ran into a fatal ambush thanks to the massive increase to Legion security. He's out for blood, and I can't guarantee that he's not interested in yours. Formysath's harvesters are trapped in their camps with their goods rotting in their baskets because the Legion won't let up. She's gone a step further by calling for your arrest and execution.

I've reached the point where it's now costing too much to protect you. But, out of respect for my dear uncle, I will give you one last boon. Take it, and I shall be done with you for good. I have a small, secret manor far to the northwest. It was a converted laboratory I believe, from a time when Equestria held that land. A fitting enough place for one who likes to test his limits. Doubly fitting as it has seen far better days.

This will take you outside the Empire, and along the borders of Ursinium and Equestria. A good spot for you as you've worn your welcome in any of these nations. Stay there until all the ire you stirred up has cooled. I shall ensure that you are fed...adequately, and have enough guards and servants to befit the lowliest coatl, which you have certainly become. Do not provoke the Western Legion, cousin. Make things any worse, and I shall cut my losses personally. I assure you, I cut very deep.

Your loving, very concerned cousin,
Mylshisath


Dear Alpine Air,

We regret to inform you that your uncle, High Scholar Crow Quill, while traveling back from the Northern Barrier Land, suffered from a fatal heart failure. The Order of Speech mourns the loss of a beloved scholar and dear friend. We wish to extend our deepest sympathy for your loss. His personal effects shall be given to you. It's not much, but we would like you to know that we here at the order are willing to help you during this dark period. His remains are still here in the Order's main headquarters, to be taken care of as you see fit.

Respectfully,
High Scholar Ink Blot, Order of Speech

__________

High Scholar Ink Blot,

The letter could not be delivered. As it turned out, Legionnaire Alpine Air had been killed in action nearly four years ago. We tried to search for another relative, but could not find any. The letter, therefore, has to be returned.

Quick Tail, Barrier Lands Courier Service


Captain Whirlwind,

Turn these ponies away. Fangbreaker Fortress is busy enough without civilians showing up to get under-hoof. It's regrettable if some of them did indeed come from the Western Barrier Land, but we have neither the room nor the time to entertain these constant visitors. Let them spend a few hours here to rest then send them back to Bastion City before wherever they started from. Remind them that the grave of Pyre Valor and Blademane is not some shrine to make pilgrimages to. Hopefully they'll spread the word on their way home. Have messengers fly out to the nearest cities to hammer the message in.

Commander Dreadstep