SkyPhazer wrote:Deep Inside Mt. Shadoviin, the Largest Mountain of the Draconic Peaks, is a heavily fortified city known as "Dragons Keep". It is the central base for The Dragons.
On the far South side of the Cavern lies Darkhall, the Grim Fortress where Darkfang Rules. Darkhall also doubles as a Prison.
In the middle of the town is a small general store named "Keeps Tools" run by Gloducii, a very mean tempered Gryphon, who is more prone to shouting at his customers rather than selling goods.
Across the street from "Keeps Tools" is "Dark Brews", a Potions Shop Managed by Quixintiil, a Light Hearted and very sneaky Zebra, whose store has the strange habit of making customers leave with less money than he had, even after he bought something.
On the Eastern Side of the Cavern lies "The Districts", where the Homes of the Races are kept. Theres the Plains, a flat, rocky terrain, where the Buffaloes have decided to stay, The Caves, where the Mysterious Zebras have built strange huts to live in, and theres the Foundry, where the Proud Gryphons have Chosen, so they can maintain order and keep production of weapons and armor moving.
Towards the Western Side of the Cavern lies the Entrance, which is kept under guard at all times.
If anybody finds themself in Dragons Keep on Accident, a bit of Advice. Run.
einsUNDcolt wrote:A pale colored griffin stood over Tack. In his right claw was an oak club bound three times with studded iron rings. He brought it down hard. Pain exploded through Tack's ribs, but he gritted his teeth, refusing to howl out in pain.
"You are a stupid pony." The griffin seathed and hit him again in the ribs.
Tack let out a cry of pain unable to hold it in. He lay on the weed infested ground, in a pool of his own blood. He had been shot in the flank and fell to where he lay now. The griffin who shot him sat on a nearby rock watching Tack get beat.
"Don't kill him," The griffin with the rifle said casually.
The pale griffin hit Tack once more then shook his head. He kicked dirt at the injured pony then walked away saying, "He's your charge now."
The griffin with the rifle stood up and slung the rifle behind his back. He walked over to the prone figure of Tack.
"Today just isn't your lucky day."
Tack struggled to breathe. It felt like his lungs were being constricted.
"Just... kill me." Tack struggled to say.
"Oh no, my little pony." The griffin smiled. "I have plans for you."
einsUNDcolt wrote:Tack struggled to remain conscious. The griffin had decided it was better to tie a rope around Tack and drag him instead of carrying the earth pony. The griffin didn't bother avoiding anything and several times Tack's head cracked hevily on rocks. He thanked Celestia that he wasn't on his left side, where his gun shot wound was. After several minutes of fighting off oblivion, he succumbed to the blackness.
Tack dremt he was back in Canterlot. He was in a small office with a simple desk made out of a wood that Tack wasn't familiar with. The office only had one chair, occupying the chair was female unicorn. She had a blue coat and white hair. The unicorn also had an eye patch over her left eye.
"You don't have to do this." The unicorn mare said.
"I know that." Tack frowned. "But I am still going to do."
Every time he saw the unicorn and looked at her missing eye, he wanted to cry. It was his fault she had lost the eye. Insead of leading the squad to clear out the house, she had. Now she only had one eye.
"I can order you not to go. I am your CO." The mare reminded Tack.
"I would still go Sapphire."
Sapphire got off her chair and put her forehooves on the desk. "Why do you want to go?"
"Because I feel useless here." Tack explained in a calm tone. And I can't let you, I won't let you go.
"Tack, just don't go alone." Sapphire pleaded
"I promise." Tack stated simply.
"Wake up you stupid stallion." A stikingly lovely voice demanded.
Tack felt a hoof stike his face. Weither he wanted to or not he was conscious. The one who struck him was a zebra. She looked like a common zebra though her most striking feature was her ruby colored eyes.
"You really are an idiot. Why would you come here?" She said but obviously didn't expect a response because she struck Tack in the ribs.
If any part of Tack wasn't alert, they were now. The pain was intense, way more than it should have been for just broken and brused ribs. He looked at his right side through teary eyes and saw why. His coat was rubbed down to the bare skin and it was severly lacerated.
The zebra raised a fire poker that was white hot. "You will not be able to leave here without a reminder of your own stupidity." She placed the poker along Tack's chest.
OOC: Edit: Changed it (in flashback) from a solo mission to a team mission.
einsUNDcolt wrote:Tack screamed out in pain and continued to scream even after the iron was lifted off his searing flesh.
"The fun is just getting started." The zebra mare smiled.
"Go soak your head." Tack spat.
"Now, now," the mare patted his head. "You are going to have come up with more creative curses to hurt me."
Tack tried to stand up only to have the griffin that shot him kick him back down.
"Does the little pony not like fun?"
"You're a psycho." Tack said through clenched teeth.
"So?" the mare asked. "Now would you please brand him." she pointed to someone behind Tack.
"Didn't you just do that?" Tack asked.
"Oh, that was just for fun." She bent down and whispered in his ear. "I just love to hear you scream."
Tack screamed as another branding iron touched his skin, this time where he was shot, just below his cutie mark. The pain was too much for Tack. The last thing heard, before passing out, was the zebra laughing in joy.
einsUNDcolt wrote:"He's a pony."
"What!?! Why is a pony here?"
"Don't ask me."
Tack kept his eyes closed. He was sore in many places and his left hip still throbbed in pain. So much had happened in such a short time, so much pain. He just wanted to close his eyes and pretend that none of this had happend.
"You know he's awake." A female voice said.
"Of course I do." A gravelly voice snapped. "He doesn't want to see what he looks like. If I was him I wouldn't either."
Tack streached out his sore legs and let out a groan as a wave of pain washed over him.
"Now he's getting up." The female pointed out.
"I'm blind, not deaf." The old voice said angrily.
Tack looked around and saw the source of the voices. There was an old zebra holding on to a unicorn mare. The zebra was thin, they both were, his eyes were fogged over and his stripes were a dull grey. The unicorn was once a vivid yellow, but her coat was now caked with dirt and what may be vomit. Her horn was now just a jagged stump.
"He's staring at us, isn't he."
The unicorn let out a dry and sad laugh. "Like an idiot."
Tack shook his head. "Sorry," he mumbled.
"There ain't nothing to be sorry about." The zebra snapped. "You didn't do this to us."
einsUNDcolt wrote:"Have you met the psycho zebra?" Tack asked.
The unicorn mare visibly shuttered and the old zebra frowned deeply.
"She is a vile mare." The unicorn said.
"I'm guessing you visited her too." The zebra asked.
"Gave me this." Tack showed the two his chest. "as a present."
"She smashed my horn." The unicorn's hoof went unconsciously to her broken horn.
Tack picked himself off the floor and looked at his left side. There, just below his cutie mark, was a brand. It looked like an "s" behind a five pointed star. Tack fell to his haunches as he stared at the ruined flesh.
"You look like Tartarus," the mare pointed out.
She was right, Tack realized. His hair was rubbed off on his right and his hide was now branded. He truly didn't look like himself anymore.
"I hate this place." Tack muttered.
He finally had the pressance of mind to look at his surroundings. He was in what appeared to be a cave room with bars at the entrance. The cell was really large and had seven bed mats on the ground. He shuttered to think about what happened to the other occupants of the cell.
"There isn't much hope here." the zebra's gravelly voice cut into Tack's mind.
"It has been noted." Tack said to himself.
Tack struggled to get up, his muscles were still sore and his left flank hurt with a new pain. He stumbled to the cave wall of the cell and tumped his head against it.
"You are a soldier, aren't you?" the mare asked.
Tack froze, his head an inch from the damp cave wall. "How did you know?"
"You act like one," she observed.
einsUNDcolt wrote:"Both of you be quiet," the old zebra snapped. "They are coming."
"Don't do anything stupid," the mare warned Tack.
Tack tried to say something but was sushed by the zebra. Soon he heard the banging of doors opening and the rattling of keys. The room they were in soon became full of bright lights, brighter than their singular torch that occupied the wall outside of their cell.
"Don't speak and don't do anything," the old zebra advised.
Three griffins and a zebra, different from the ones Tack knew, filed into the room. They all wore light plate armor and had swords and pistols. Two griffins pulled out swords while the third chose the gun. The zebra, however, didn't brandish a weapon. The one who had the gun walked up the the cell door, produced a key and opened it.
"Anyone moves, and they are dead, and it won't be quick." The zebra promised.
The zebra followed the three griffins into the cell. As he passed the blind old zebra, he gave him a swift kick. Tack gritted his teeth, but otherwise lay on his belly.
"Take a look at this one," the zebra pointed to Tack. "He's all sorts of messed up."
Tack tried to ignore the zebra, he didn't look all that great himself. He had a horrible looking burn across his muzzle.
"Just grab the mare." One of the griffins said.
"Oh yes, the ugly buck distracted me." The zebra walked over to the unicorn and kicked her. "Get up." He kicked her again.
Tack gritted his teeth even more when he first kicked her. When he did it again, Tack was seeing red. He shot up and rammed the zebra. He flew through the air and into one of the griffins. The first griffin with the sword, let's call him Stabby, charged Tack. He rolled to his right, groaning in pain, and quickly turned to buck Stabby. His sword partner, now named Slashy, came charging. Tack gave up on his attack and quickly dodged to avoid the slash from Slashy. He bucked Slashy in the beak and sent him sprawling, but soon found himself being pommeled by Stabby. Refusing to go down, he turned on Slashy had bit down hard on his wrist.
The zebra scrambled off of the griffin wielding the gun and came after Tack. He reared up and kick Tack hard in his brused ribs. Tack fell to his knees and soon all of the griffins were on top of him, hitting and scratching. The zebra pushed one of the griffins aside, he had a gun in his mouth.
"Don't you dare kill him." came a voice from the door way.
They all turned to see who spoke. It was the griffin who shot Tack and brought him to this Luna forsaken place. The zebra looked visibly angered, but didn't shoot. Instead he kicked Tack in his severly injured ribs. Without saying a word the four left the cell.
"Thank you." The unicorn whispered when they were out of earshot.
einsUNDcolt wrote:Tack was thrown down, back in his cell. His hide was full of lacerations from a barbed whip. His body still trembled from the pain. They asked him a few questions, which he didn't answer, but they seemed content with the whipping. It only went on for a few minutes, but it's effects could still be felt.
He lay on the cool cavern floor, breathing deeply and trying to steady him shaking.
"Unicorn," an adolescent green dragon said. "you are next."
Tack rose to his feet, his body still shaking. "No!"
"No?" the green dragon scoffed. "I don't think you have a say."
The two griffin guards laughed.
"You are going to leave her alone and take me instead." Tack said, trying to keep his body from shaking too much.
The dragon snorted, a puff of green flame coming out of his nostril. "You are willing to go another round of whipping?"
"Don't be an idiot." The unicorn mare whispered harshly.
"You are in no such condition to go another round," the dragon pointed out and moved closer to the unicorn.
Tack stepped in his way. "You are going to take me and leave her alone." He said through clenched teeth.
The dragon shrugged. "Follow close and don't fall behind or you'll regret it."
Tack took shaky step after shaky step. It was difficult, but he was able to follow the green dragon down the corridor and into the room Tack had been into not ten minutes ago. He walked up to the cavern wall and put his hooves it. The two griffins latched cast iron shackles around each of them. He clenced his teeth but relaxed his body, and braced for the whip to come.
The whip snapped through the air and bit deep into Tack's already bloody coat. He groaned loudly, but remained standing. Another strike from the whip caused Tack's knees to buckle. He quickly rightened himself and braced for the next. It struck Tack more to the side than his back, and he let out a soft howl of pain. The next caused Tack to scream in agony. Two more and Tack passed out, screaming to Celestia.
einsUNDcolt wrote:Tack lay on the ground again, but this time he was on a bed mat. His body was still shaking, but not as violently.
"Why do you have to act so stupidly noble?" the unicorn mare asked, shaking her head.
"Can't help it."
"You are going to get yourself killed." The blind zebra muttered.
The two sat together, infront of Tack. The zebra kept one hoof on the mare, while she just sat there.
"I couldn't let them do that to you." Tack said.
"Don't act like a gentlecolt here," the mare advised. "You'll only get yourself killed."
"I won't let them do that to you." Tack said more sternly.
The unicorn sighed and shook her head. The old blind zebra muttered something about Tack being stupid.
"How long have you been here?" Tack asked, trying to move as little as possible.
"I've been here a week." The mare pointed to the zebra. "Nearly two."
"How did you get caputred?"
"That's none of your business." The zebra snapped.
The mare shook her head. "Ignore him. I was at my home when dragons attacked and took some of us captive. There were twelve of us, now there is just me."
If it was possible for the unicorn to look anymore broken, she did now.
Tack sat up. He groaned as his cramped muscles began to move. "We need to get out of here."
The zebra laughed. "A blind zebra, a unicorn who can't use magic, and a severly injured soldier who will probably fall when the wind blows. Quite the force to be reckoned with."
"I don't know how, but we need to get out. In case you two don't know, Equestria is at war."
Mrmegamax95 wrote:Mace was ALWAYS stuck with janitor duty. Granted, his slightly taller size let him reach all of the shelves in the cleaning supplies closet, but that didn't mean that he LIKED it. As he swept the floors of a dungeon, he heard a conversation. 'That's odd, there weren't any prisoners yesterday.'. As he snuck closer, he caught snippets. It sounded like they wanted to ESCAPE. Mace knew he had to report it right away! But, then again... He also thought that he should learn how much of a plan that they had. He'd start with small talk in his cheeriest voice, which was really cheesy and fake, "Good afternoon, might I ask what brings you to a place like this...?". As he said this to the three in the cell he put on a big grin.
Korkoa wrote:"What?! Really?! Is this some kind of sick punishment?!" Razorclaw cried at the tiny dragon, Scales. "On the contrary. Greybeak needs assistance in this matter, and you happen to be available. We'll send some agents to retrieve Mustang if he gets tied up, don't worry about that." "That's not what I'm worried about! You know about mine and Greybeak's track record, we can't stand each other!" Scales went back to writing whatever stupid report he'd been at when Razorclaw walked in. "Yes." Razorclaw stared at the ugly colored dragon for a moment. "Oh. I get it. Fine. I'll be going then." "You do that."
RAZORCLAW TO APPLEOOSA VIA HOOFTERLANDS
einsUNDcolt wrote:Tack looked at the dragon. He had blue scales with orange spikeswith red eyes. Was this dragon dense?
"It's none of your business." The old zebra's gravelly voice boomed. "Filthy dragon."
"You shut up now." The unicorn snapped at the blind zebra.
Tack walked to the cell bars, the scabs on his back splitting open and oozing puss and blood. He winced with each step.
He frowned upon seeing the dragon's big grin. "You obvioulsy aren't seeing what's infront of you. We are prisoniers. We get tortured. We get beat. All for kicks and giggles, by you dragons. I've been here less than a day and look at me." He turned to show his hairless and scabbed right side. "I've been shot, hit, whipped, and branded." Tack turned to his left and showed the greusome brand on his flank. "So why do you think we'd come here willingly?"
Mrmegamax95 wrote:Drat, that didn't work. Maybe he should try a different approach. It was dark in the cell and he hadn't seen the extent of their wounds until the Earth-pony had walked up to the bar. "Is... Is that one alright?". He pointed to the one with a broken horn as she seemed to be barely gripping consciousness. Maybe a little compassion could soften them up enough to trust him. Although, you would have to be made of stone not to care at least a little.
einsUNDcolt wrote:Tack looked at the unicorn, she looked tired. She had probably been up all night looking after him. Tack flashed her a weak smile, and she smiled back. Then Tack realized he had never gotten her name.
He shook his head slowly then turned back to the blue dragon. "She's just tired. It's really hard to get some sleep around here."
Mrmegamax95 wrote:"Wait, you are all hurt.... Maybe I know somebody that could help!!" His act might be going too far, but he needed their trust. "My friend, Pooflina, she likes to take care of furry things like you. Maybe she could help...?". 'You IDIOT, he thought, now he had to fool POOFLINA too. Why did he think of Pooflina anyway instead of a buffalo or zebra...?
einsUNDcolt wrote:Tack laughed painfully, he gripped his severely ribs, and leaned his head on the bars.
"Dragon, your offer would be accepted. Except we are prisoners her and if they wanted us to be healthy, they wouldn't have tortured us so badly and they would have at least fed us." He lifted his head off he bars and looked at the blue dragon with the creepy red eyes. "I doubt they would let this Poofila even have a look at us. I am a Peacekeeper," He pointed to the zebra sitting on the ground, looking at nothing. "He's a zebra, imagine what he had to do to be imprisioned by his own kind. If you could help us, we'd be more than happy."
"I ain't going to accept help from a dragon." The blind zebra spat.
"You hush." The unicron snapped.
Mrmegamax95 wrote:"Hold on... Let me go get her!". Mace ran off to the hatchling quarters as he tried to think of a way to convince Pooflina to look at the hooved prisoners. Maybe she would just come from the goodness in her heart. She WAS always nicer to him than anyone but the Buffalo nanny that was left for them all.
Mrmegamax95 wrote:After a massive amount of begging, he managed to convince Pooflina to come and see them. Ot had cost him his Turquoise cakes for a month, but it was worth it. Pooflina, his tinier friend had yet to grow as tall as him and her coloring was a bright pink with white spikes. Along with this, her eyes were a deep, calming blue. Within half-an-hour, he had returned to the three prisoners and said "Here she is. Do you promise not to hurt her or escape when I open the door to let her in?". It wasn't that he would have cared if they tried to escape just from him, but he didn't want anything to happen to his only friend. This showed on his face.
einsUNDcolt wrote:"What do you think?" Tack asked the unicorn.
"He looked sad to see us like this," she observed. "But I don't want to trust him."
Tack still watched the cavern entrance. He was waiting, but for what? The dragon to return, the torturers, an army of Peacekeepers?
"I don't think I got your name." Tack said.
"It's Pale Lavender."
"Mine's Tack Calm"
The unicorn was about to say something when the sound of claws on stone grew louder. For a brief second, Tack thought it was the blue dragon returning. His hopes rose when it indeed was the blue dragon with the creepy red eyes, escorting who Tack believed was Pooflina.
Tack sat on the cold stone floor. He was actually happy to recieve some aid, but he still didn't trust the blue dragon.
"Check on Lavender first, then the zebra, then me." Tack instructed. "As long as she doesn't try anything I promise she won't be injured."
"Name's Tack, by the way."
Mrmegamax95 wrote:"I'm Mace. Okay Poof, here are your new patients...". Pooflina's eyes went wide as she saw just how bad the prisoners had it. In a very dainty voice she said, "Oh, you poor dears... You simply MUST let me look at you." The one named Tack seemed worst off, but he insisted she care for the others. As she worked, Mace decided to ask a question that was weighing heavily on his mind. "So, if you're prisoners, does that mean that you came from.... THE OUTSIDE?"
einsUNDcolt wrote:Tack almost laughed, he caught himself just after he started to smile but before any sound was produced.
"Of course we came from the outside." The zebra bellowed, his gravelly voice stinging Tack's ears.
"You be nice." Lavender snapped at him.
"You probably haven't been outside of this mountain have you?" Tack asked, and idea starting to form.
Mrmegamax95 wrote:"No, us hatchlings aren't allowed to go outside. Nanny says that it's dangerous for something as small as us.". Pooflina nodded in agreement as she finished up on the zebra and moved on to Tack. "So... What's it like...?"
einsUNDcolt wrote:Tack sat there, watching the pink dragon named Pooflina aid Pale Lavender. He was happy to see them get the attention they needed. He tried this best to ignore the pain in his left hip and think on how he was going to explain the outside.
"Outside is wonderful. There is no ceiling. It's bright half the day and dark the rest. The sun is just-"
Tack stopped short, he heard claws on rock. The Torturer! Tack thought.
"Get out here, soldier." Demanded the green dragon, completely ignoring the two other dragons in the room.
Tack picked himself off the ground. He walked out of the open cell, wincing in pain each time he stepped with his left hoof.
"I want you both gone by the time I get back." The green dragon said, pointing to Mace and Pooflina.
Mrmegamax95 wrote:Mace was so focused on listening to Tack, that he had completely forgotten to keep watch. OG well, he still had a trump card... "I'll have you know that *I* am the son of SOARS WITH THUNDER herself!! If you try to harm my prisoners, word will get back to her. And I don't think that you want that, do you?"
einsUNDcolt wrote:The green dragon narrowed his eyes at the mention of the name. "I am following my orders. I need to get the information out of this spy. I know my place, I don't need you threatening me. You got a problem, go take it up with your mother." He turned to his guards. "Pick the pony up."
One of the griffins walked briskly to Tack and picked him up. Tack knew better than to struggle, he was weak and tired, and those claws would make mince meat out of him.
Without another word the green dragon and his guards, one now carrying the injured Tack, left the cell room.
einsUNDcolt wrote:The last time Tack was tortured they went right, this time they went left. The mountain's complex tunel system looked the same. Torches hung from the walls every few feet because this part of Dragon's Keep didn't have electricity. The cave walls were occasionally marred by prison doors. Tack had no idea where they were carrying him, he was just happy to not have to walk.
He watche the wall and counted the doors he passed. Five... six... seven... Then came an odd door. He only had a short time to look at it but he knew it was serious overkill. The door was made out of heavy wood reinforced with many steel bands. The door was complete with elaborate locks, and a few bear traps were on the ground near the door. A magical field glowed behind the locks and another could be seen in front of the traps. A pair of guards were stationed there as well. Somepony important is behind that door. Tack mused.
Another minute of walking and they came to stop in front of a red velvet curtain that was way out of place in this Celestia forsaken place.
"Get in there." The green dragon pushed Tack through the curtain.
Mrmegamax95 wrote:Curses!! Even mentioning his mother's name had failed. Great... Well, at least they would have enough time for Pooflina to fix up the zebra. As soon as she finished, Mace led her back, but at the same time he "convinced" a few Diamond Dog tunnel diggers to instead guard the door to that cell. He also told them to make sure they got some food and water, at Pooflina's insistence.
Mrmegamax95 wrote:When he returned to his hollow, Mace knew that he had to do SOMETHING. Tack WAS a pony, but he was also much nicer than most of the other creatures that he had come across. Not to mention if MACE figured out the information from Tack first, he would undoubtedly be rewarded. Maybe he would get a chest full of gems!! Yes, he would find out what was so important about that pony... And maybe he would even have the chance to leave Dragons Keep.
einsUNDcolt wrote:The room was well kept, it had a few furnishings. A two seat couch, a small stool, a bed; all red. On a mahogany end table burned incenses. A fire place burned brightly across from the bed. Sitting on the stool was a female zebra. Not the psychotic zebra who had put a white hot poker to his chest, no this zebra looked... nice. Her mane was well kept and her coat actually had a glossy sheen. Her frame was elegant and she carried herself well. She was pretty much the exact opposite of the way Tack looked.
Tack felt so out of place in the room. Nearly half his coat was gone, he had nearly forty lashes on his back, two brands were seared into his flesh, and his entire body was dirty.
"You poor thing." The mare cooed, her voice as smooth as velvet. "Here take a seat." She motioned to the couch across from the stool
Tack limped slowly to the couch, wincing. Hating every second of the walk.
"Now I need to ask you a few questions, can you answer them for me?' Her voice was so calming, Tack nodded as if in a spell.
"Are you a Peacekeeper?"
Without thinking Tack nodded slowly.
What am I doing?
"Good," She said, her voice almost dreamlike. "Why were you here?"
"To...to..." Tack glanced at the zebra, smiling warmly at him, then to the curtain, then the bed, and finally the end table. "to... find out..." Tack trailed off.
"To find out what, honey?"
'How large..." His said slowly. His eyes focused on the incense burner.
Tack sat silent for a long time. Finally he spoke. "NO!!!!" and he shook his head violently. "YOU'LL NEVER FIND OUT!!!!"
The zebra mare's eyes, got the same look as the psycho's eyes, a murderious intent. She stood and slapped Tack across the face.
"You will answer my questions." She hit Tack again, this time knocking him off the couch.
She kicked him several times in his broken ribs, then slammed her hoof into the left side of Tack's face. The zebra breathed deeply, staring at Tack with murder in her eyes. For good measure, she stamped on Tack's face again. He let out a scream of pain as his cheek bone broke.
Mrmegamax95 wrote:Mace had trouble sleeping that night. He wished he could do something more about those ponies. They were no use to him dead. If Tack was tortured too much, he might even crack before Mace could enact the plan that he was forming. As he tried in vain to close his eyes, on of the Diamond Dogs from the cell appeared to tell him that Tack was in the cell again. Mace told him to go back and make sure nobody but him got in. Then, he quickly scribbled a note to Pooflina and used his flame to send it to her. As he walked back to the dungeons, he milled over some of the harder details of his idea...