Cult Island Fire
IC date: Autumn 4, 1006
OOC date: September 23, 2012
PCs: Mwai, Sky-Sparkler, Salty
NPCs: ??
GM: ??

"Do you mean like last time," Mwai says, "we lost all the good silver putting that were-tiger down, AND we had to get a new anchor."

A pony the color of the green seas stands at the prow, squinting across. "Sail us closer, eh? Maybe we can pick up a pony or two," Pearl-Dust says. She turns a crooked grin back at the crew, revealing a solid gold tooth or two. "Could always use a few more shiphands; a little more leverage…"

Off in the distance, amidst the ocean, is an island half on fire. Smoke rises inky into the sky, and little ponies are flailing in the water, far off from where the Destiny floats. Deepmist, a dark zebra, glowers. "Weren't too hard to put the weretiger down," he scoffs. "Just a few good brawls…"

Mwai starts turning the wheel. "Suppose you're right, and besides, where there's burning armories there's a lack of discipline and something worth building an armory for!"

Apple Brown-Betty hops into one of the life boats and lowers it into the water and begins paddling with surprising speed towards a group of fleeing ponies off the port bow of the Destiny.

And, following sit, so does Pearl-Dust and Deepmist, leaving two remaining lifeboats. Mwai isn't sure but, he could swear he hears crazed laughter in the distance. … But it's just on the edge of hearing. Maybe he imagined it.

A cloud zips across the sky, this one heavy with water as Sky Sparkler heads towards the latest fire. Hopefully she won't do anything crazy, like water it on pure sodium.

Captain Mwai pilots the ship in close enough to weigh anchor and man the boats. "Alright mates, we're going into someone else's mayhem, looking for cheap shots and easy wins! Nopony get any ideas about heroisim unless it'd make a really REALLY impressive story later!"

"RIGHT-O, Captain!" sounds his crew, and soon a whole expedition is put together, rough and ready to loot! The island is silent, aside from the fire; all the animals have fled. That's probably no surprise, but it's a little eerie.

In the sand, is "SO" in rocks, with the beginnings of another letter, before it turns to dragging marks in the sand.

Apple Brown-Betty paddles back to the Destiny and begins tossing two nearly-drowned ponies onto the deck. "Betty! What did I say about heroism," barks Mwai. Betty just chuckles. "Oh, you know me, Captain, I can make a good story out of *anything*!"

Pearl-Dust squints up at Sky-Sparkler. "Hey! Feathers! I don't think you're gonna put out /that/ fire. Pretty big 'un! How bout you come down here and help us, huh?"

Mwai trots into the jungle, towards the source of the flames, picking his way through the underbrush with the sort of caution one might expect of the occasionally dead.

His crew follows with, trailing after with torches and weapons at the ready. As they go, they see branches torn from trees; rocks overthrown; mud, slung about. And blood. Lots of blood. These are surely not the signs of a fire.

Sky Sparkler is on top of the cloud in question. "I'm a Unicorn! And even if I can't put the whole thing out, I can use this baby to keep down the heat." She taps the cloud with one hoof. She's going to give the heroic ponies below some much needed air support. Pirates? What pirates?

"Flying unicorns," mutters Mwai as he squints into the gloom of what he can't quite tell is the inside of a temple or merely particularly dense underbrush, "what's next, zombies?"

"Unicorn, huh?" Deepmist eyes the cloud, and then shrugs. "Well, come on then." Off they venture! The jungle closes in around them, the heat radiating from the fire on the /other/ side of the island keeping them toasty but not choking. Sweat drips off brows and flanks, the only sound around the crunching of their hooves.

Until a leaf rustles loudly. Pearl-Dust whirls, peashooter pointed that way— but there's nothing. "Stupid bird," she grumbles around the handle of her gun.

Sky is still up there with the cloud, ready to start jumping on it. She's made a hole in it through which she can see what is going on below.

Mwai trots into the temple proper. "Oh bother, this isn't a burning armory at all. It looks more like the scene of some sort of…" Mwai almost slips on a blot of gore. "…NOT friendly ritual. This is definitely not a fruit sacrifice." The altar in the center of the temple seems relatively unscathed. Clean, even. "No loot though. Pity."

Mostly, the area around inside the temple — which is really just a glorified cave — /is/ clean. There are the remains of arcane runes, and lots and lots of scorch marks. And suddenly:

"That's my hat."

And no one's there. But it sounded like it was /right/ behind Sky.

!!!! Sky Sparkler lets out a clap of EMP as she spins around on her cloud. "Hat? What hat? I don't have no hat?" she blurts out in her own defense. Oh, and the totaly not pirates may get a little rained on. Just a little.

Mwai knows that voice… "It's mine now. Anything that can follow me through the underworld and to Ponyville and back is definitely my hat, so there."

"I don't think so."

Emerging from the shadows like a demon is a broad grin and a sharp blue gaze that promises a hurricane of the soul. Oily blue hair hangs in curls around the horn on the head of a green and very familiar unicorn. Her horn lights up an eerie green, and folds the hat in its magical grip before floating it towards her. "Or are you going to fight me for it?"

Mwai says "Are we doing this again? Really?" Mwai looks around at the burning jungle. "Okay, fine, I got the hat when I died, you get the hat when you die, but next time I die I'm taking it back!""

the talk of ponies dying.

Zombie ponies: not likely, BUT POSSIBLE!

Sky Sparkler is pretty freaked out, first by the temple, and by its apparent guardian. Then by the talk of ponies dying.

"So! Fine, now that the hats are swapped around," Mwai peers around the temple, "let's get to what's important. Is there any proper loot in this temple or is it all just wooden bowls full of blood?"

Salty rests it on her head with a triumphant rictus grin and steps forward. The skin of her hooves are crackling like ancient paper, bloodied and chapped, leaving bits behind as she steps forward. This Salty is…not drunk. She moves with a sure step, a single and terrifying purpose in her gaze as she stares at Mwai. "Have you come to rescue me?" she hisses, laughter in every word. "I'm all the treasure you need."

Mwai stumbles backward abruptly— he'd been working so hard on his nonchalance with respect to Salty's return that he hadn't picked up on the tennor of her voice or the…way… she just sort of… stands perfectly still and doesn't wobble. "Yes, well— I suppose—"

Salty looks… well. Crazy. She's a pony who's plummeted over the edge. "Good," she breathes. "I shall tell the world that the Dread Pirate Saltlick has returned. No longer a drunken, shambling /mistake/. The real deal, in flesh and blood…" She trots forward, and past Mwai, completely ignoring him as she heads for the entrance, like she has some plan in mind. Some plan she's certainly not telling anypony else.

Wait. "Dread Pirate?" Sky Sparkler asks, edging for the entrance, getting out of Salty's way.

Mwai manages not to mutter under his breath "ooer we got to get that filly a DRINK" and begins backing up in what he hopes is a sufficiently reverent manner. "So, um, Saltlick, the, um, Destiny Caravel is moored offshore from here… perhaps we should depart this, um, place of rebirth or what have you and, um, set sail for the mainland?"

"Oh! Is that where it is? Thank you~" Salty trots forward, and out of the cave, only to turn around and light up her horn then. "I shall be seeing you later!" Rumbling rocks suddenly start to rain down at the entrance. Apparently she means to seal them in! Especially since she turns and races away, galloping swiftly into the jungle.

"Oh ponyapples." Sky Sparkler says. The good news is that she's near the entrance to start with. The bad news is that getting trapped underground could sap her powers badly. She's galloping for the entrance, even if that means she has to get closer to Salty to do so; she's confidant she can port up to a cloud.

Mwai sprints after Salty! "Oh come on now just because I left you on Sidewinder Island that one time… *oof* It's not like *ack* I didn't make sure you had plenty of fishing line and—" Mwai cuts himself short before adding "rum," or perhaps it's just because he stumbled over a freshly fallen boulder. Either way, his mad scrambling keeps him just ahead of the rockslides in a manner which he will later recount as being much more dashing than his current stumble for daylight.

The rocks fall, but nopony dies — though a good majority of Mwai's crew cries out in dismay as an enormous boulder slams down to seal them in just a hair's breadth of time after Mwai and Sparkler escape. It's just them, Apple Brown-Betty, and Deepmist — even Pearl-Dust was left behind. But Salty doesn't care, not one bit. She just gallops through the forest with a terrible ease, heading straight for his ship and laughing crazily all the way. "YOU'LL RUE THE DAY YOU TANGLED WITH SALTLICK!"

Apple Brown-Betty sits down at the cave's entrance. "This looks like a lot of rock blocking us in, but I don't think it's blocking the air. We'd best take a nap and get back to digging out when our strength has returned." With this, she rolls over and begins snoring loudly almost immediately.

"It isn't!" Sky Sparkler shouts from the other side. "Weather pony here, kind of an expert!" She lets Mwai deal with Salty, she's got her own ride home.

Mwai's mind races as he tails Salty through the jungle. Just how dangerous IS Salty sober? The Harbor has burned down plenty of times but get somepony really interested in making a *difference* in the world there and it could bring down the Celestial Guard, or worse…

And Salty laughs as she gallops aboard Mwai's ship, throwing off the mooring and throwing wind into the sails. The craft is taking off far swifter than the zebra would like. In fact, by the time he reaches shore… it's pretty far out to sea, Salty's laughter ringing through the air.

At least there are lifeboats?

And clouds for Sparkler.

Mwai stands aghast on the shore for a few moments. "Marooned. On a deserted island in the middle of Celestia-knows-where, burning jungle, trapped crewmates and a madmare has my ship and all of my nice booze in the fore mess." There's a long pause. The jungle burns, the seaguls cry, and the flying unicorn earnestly tries to do something weather related. "I bloody hate Sundays."

Oh, cheer up, it could be worse.


In the process of blasting a hole in the cave to let your crew out, Sky Sparkler could start it raining on Mwai's head.

And Salty cackled madly off into the sunset, ship acquired and mayhem to wreak.

What a Sunday, indeed.