Before she was teleported, Autumn had nearly emptied out the complementary bar, and was holding on to some of the heavier stuff before she was teleported. She was still working on a flagon of cider, and didn't notice what had happened at all.
"...Puah! That's some good stuff. As nuts as he is, Discord sure has an amazing cache of booze!" She said, looking rather impressed. Autumn belched, and smacked her lips quite satisfied, before she realized she was no longer sitting on the bar stool at the bar, but rather on very squishy ground surrounded by very weird looking trees. She blinked a few moments, before rubbing her eyes.
"...Have I finally drunk too much?" Autumn said, poking the ground beneath her. The ground felt very strangely warm, which would've disturbed the normal, sober pony. "Naaaaaah, that's impossible. Musta been that hokey pokey stuff Discord was going on about earlier. Wasn't exactly paying attention and stuff, but I think he said something 'bout purple. Purple means fight or something? ...Purple what though?"
Getting up from her seat, Autumn placed the empty flagon among the rest of booze she still had on her, figuring she might need it later. Picking up the case in her mouth, she then started walking off in some random direction.
"[Well, knowing the... whatever he is, it's probably something kooky like a purple flamingo. Or a flamingo on fire, that's also purple. Or maybe just purple fire.]" She said, her speech almost indistinguishable from the combination of slurring mildly, and the fact she had something in her mouth. "[Well, whatever the case is, just gotta keep an eye out for purple.]"
After a bit of wandering aimlessly, Autumn taking in the strange scenery like it was an afternoon stroll, and passing through the trees as easily as she as going on one, going this way and that, something different from the strange, branch-less trees caught her eye in the distance. In fact, it looked pony shaped.
Setting the case of booze down gently, Autumn waved rather largely to the silhouette. Rather friendly for a pony in the middle of a fight, the brewmaster called out exuberantly. "Heeeeeey! You over there! How's it goin'?! You know where in the heck we are? I got some booze, so you wanna share?"
Noticing her hello, the shape rushed over, until it was clear it was a dirty blonde earth pony running towards her. Autumn couldn't sense any malicious intent from the distance they were, and was almost excited at the prospect.
"Hooray! Another booze enthusiast! Maybe for once, somepony can keep up-" She began to say, almost cheering. The mother quickly cut herself off however in finally hearing that the pony was yelling, and had a crowbar in hoof. Tracking the stallion's movements, she easily leaned away to the side from the downward strike aimed at her head, and then quickly countered.
"Hey, come on now." Autumn said, rather disapprovingly. She gave a firm strike to the joint that still held the crowbar, then caught the makeshift weapon in a hoof. Then, while the clearly inexperienced stallion was still off-balanced from the wild, uncontrolled attempt, The mare then swept the stallion under the legs, and with gentle direction of her hooves, had the stallion land on his rump in a perfect sitting position. With the crowbar still in hoof, she fluidly synced her movements with that of controlling how the stallion fell, and ended it with bopping the attacker on the head. She did so with an incredible amount of control, her taps really only feeling as though she was hitting him with a pillow. She continued to do so as she continued to speak.
"That's a little rude, innit? I mean, somepony kindly offers to share a drink with ya, and you go yelling at the top of your lungs, trying to bash their head'n. That's just bad manners, y'know?" She said, still tapping the stallion gently on the head in a rhythm. Autumn hadn't noticed the fact that the area around where the two had been surrounded by a purple forcefield. "I mean, if I just went up to some nice pony who offered me a free meal and bedding, and just smacked 'em across the face, then I don't deserve any sort of kindness at all!"
"Whuh- Hey, wait- ...Huh?!" The stallion said, stunned and confused at how he found himself just sitting, and being lectured by a strange, drunk mare, who had his crowbar.
"Now, lemme ask again. Want some booze?" She added, giving the assailant a questioning look.
"Uh.. Sure?" The other earth pony said, realizing that perhaps saying no while his crowbar was above his head was a bad idea.
Autumn grinned rather widely, before sitting down in front of the stallion in the same manner. She placed the crow bar gently to the side, before handing the other pony the empty flagon from earlier. She popped open one of the bottles, and poured until half the flagon was full, then kept the rest for herself. "Great! Booze innit nearly as enjoyable to drink when it's by yerself. So tell me, what's yer name?"
"Um... Hondy." The stallion responded, taking a cautionary sip from the flagon without taking his eyes off Autumn, who had begun to chug the rest of the cider, completely oblivious still to the purple field around them. However, he quickly smacked his lips, finding the taste of the cider quite delicious.
"Hondy eh? Not really a common name most ponies have." Autumn pointed out, pausing from drinking just to speak. "I could swear my husband woulda named ya! Bahaha, the bonehead always kept calling things some weird ridiculous thing. I mean, you could probably mistake what she named our daughter, for what he calls his armor!"
"Huh. So is that why you're in the tournament?" Hondy asked, a little more relaxed with some alcohol in his system. His lips weren't as tight locked as they usually were, thanks to the effects of the strong booze.
"Oooooh, so you know about that?" Autumn stopped drinking, looking impressed. She still was oblivious to the whole forcefield around the area. "Well, kinda sorta. My husband's dead y'see, Discord killed him while he fought for the rebellion early on. Ran away to Neighjing, for a safe place to raise my daughter."
"Oh, so it's revenge then?" The stallion asked, leaning back slightly. His guard was down completely now, and if Autumn was aware of the fact the two were currently fighting, she would've exploited it.
"Naaaah, not at all." The brewmaster waved a hoof, before taking another gulp. "Sure, revenge is nice and all, but that ain't gonna bring my cuddlebuns back. Ain't no point in dwelling on the past though, if y'can't change it! Gotta move on with yer life. My daughter's the actual reason why I'm in the tournament."
Autumn's cheery expression immediately turned into one of pure rage, much to Hondy's surprise. "Ooooh, that thickhead, the moment I get my hooves on her, I'm gonna beat her so hard upside the head, that she won't wanna leave her room when I ground her! Little dumb*ss' gonna get herself killed, if she wants to act like a child again, then I'll discipline her like one! I condemn her to 1000 spankings from hell!"
Hondy sat up straight a little at Autumn's little outburst, surprised. Unconsciously, he inched a little closer to his crowbar. "Uhhh, so I'll take it she's important to you?"
The drunkard returned back to her friendly cheery self at the question. "Oh, of course! Little Ryla means the world to me! If I had to fight the entirety of the world on my own to save my little girl, then I wouldn't stop until I'm dead. And even if I did die, I'd find a way to come back and continue until she's from harms way! And I'm sure my husband is doing the same right now. ...It's just taking him a bit."
She sighed, her expression turning very sentimental. "Aaahh, this booze is strong. Saying things too close to the heart. ...But I'm sure you understand the sentiment."
"Huh?" Hondy blinked. "What do you mean?"
Autumn smiled gently, and pointed at his tail. There, at the base, was a ring, similar to the one that was on her own tail. A discreet location where most ponies would put it after the ceremonies. "You have a ring. You're married aren't ya? I'm sure you'd do the same for your wife, or your kid if you had one."
"Oh. That." Hondy said, looking sad. "Well... that's true, things haven't gone so well though."
"Oh?" Autumn said, looking both intrigued and concerned. She set the bottle down, giving the stallion her full attention. "Well that doesn't sound good. ...Here, gimme yer cup. I think maybe you need the booze more than I do right now."
Hondy nodded gratefully, accepting the drink and taking a long draft.
"...My wife's gone, she lost her mind. She tried to kill herself one night, and then just ran off after I saved her." Hondy continued after his drink. He looked incredibly depressed, his eyes starting to look red like he was going to cry again. "I think... I think that ever since Discord came to power, the craziness that happened just broke her, and she lost it. Maybe now, she might be... she might be..."
The stallion then started to cry, putting his face in his hooves. Autumn slowly trotted over, and gave him a hug, gently rubbing his back. "Hey hey, hey now... Shhh shh, it's okay..."
"I just... I just wan't my wife back! I want my life back, where we were happy, and things were normal!" He sobbed. "I want to be back at my bakery, where I didn't have to worry about fighting, or surviving, or insanity, where the biggest thing in my life was that whether or not how we'd design the nursery when we had a kid! It's just... It's all just not fair dammit! It's not fair!"
Hondy was absolutely bawling now, clutching onto Autumn tight, like a child. Her coat was starting to get rather wet, but she ignored it and continued to gently rub the stallions back.
"Why?! Why why why?! Why did this have to happen?! WHY?!" Hondy cried.
It was a while before Hondy calmed down a little, and cried out his feelings a bit. Autumn could tell he was exhausted now, and she could understand why. Grieving over Sky was hard, but she never really had any close family to just let it all go for, so it was painful. She couldn't have lumped it on little Ryla either, so she just braved the grief and the pain, all so little Ryla could have a somewhat normal upbringing, that a single mother could ever provide.
"...I miss her... I miss her so much..." He said quietly, and very hoarsely. "All I want is to see her again... I want us to be happy again..."
"...I know Hondy. I know." Autumn said gently, continuing to rub his back, even after he had fallen asleep from both a combination of grief, and booze.
She was like this for a few moments, figuring that the stallion (who she now assumed was younger than she was) needed it, and would help his dreams a little. Then, she gently lowered his snoozing form to the ground, still not noticing the forcefield that was now dissipating. She stood up, finished off the rest of the drink that remained in the flagon, before setting it in the case.
"...This isn't an issue that he should rely on alcohol to deal with." Autumn said, somewhat subdued. "And I know this is hard little pony, I fully understand this. But life moves on, and although I wish the best on your quest to find your wife again, you must move on. I'd love to stay here and comfort you, but you won't be able to grow if I baby you."
She picked up the case of alcohol, and sighed before starting to walk off. "[...Ah, well. I need to find my little idiot daughter. I wonder when I'm supposed to see that purple?]"
Hondy shut his eyes tightly as the room filled with a blinding light. When he opened them, he was elsewhere entirely. The ground beneath him was a pale color and there were these strange long slender ivory colored pillars that were slightly angled near the tip. The entire scenery was utterly alien to the saddlebag stallion. He took a step forward and the pale ground gave a bit, like he was walking on the surface of some dense foam, and it only served to unsettle him further. The earth pony looked around, only seeing what seemed like miles of unchanging landscape. Great... Hondy thought to himself. It was then he noticed a faint, slightly glowing blue arrow on the ground beneath him. The arrow was so faint that Hondy would have missed it except when his hoof stepped where it was, there was no give to the floor, causing the mini stallion to look at what he stepped on.
Having no other direction, the small stallion decided to follow where it lead. As he walked, the scenery never changed, just near uniform rows and rows of alabaster spires, nearly three times the height of a normal equine. As Hondy was not the size of a normal equine, he felt like the spires were large, looming figures that swayed gently as if by some unflet wind. Thankfully it was daylight, else Hondy would have been reduced to a quivering form at the base of one of the countless pillars that continued to stretch on for as far as he could see, making it nearly impossible for him to tell if he was getting anywhere, each achromatic spire the same as the previous.
The arrow Hondy was following ceased to point in one direction and instead that the way it was leading the earth pony wasn't the way it wanted him to go, and promptly changed with an arrow pointing to the left. "Alright then..." Hondy said aloud just to finally hear something besides the soft pat of his hooves on the semi-rigid, blanched surface. But of course, lacking any other option, the buck runt turned as the arrow directed, and followed where it pointed. Though after a few minutes of walking, the arrow suddenly disappeared, and Hondy couldn't find it anywhere he looked.
After bumbling around the self-same scenery for what seemed like a few minutes, Hondy heard the soft patter of what he assumed was hooves against the paled, slightly flexible surface that still unsettled Hondy, albeit less after traversing it for an uncertain amount of time. The small earth pony turned and saw beige earth pony mare, nearly twice his size coming down at him with a hoof. Hondy barely had time to scamper out of the way, the mare stumbling after him, the odor of alcohol wafting from what seemed like every part of her. Despite being no stranger to a tankard or a bottle of wine, this smell was quite an assault on the saddlebag earth pony's senses.
Hondy's side was clipped, having misjudged his opponent's swagger as he dodged out of the way. With a swift motion he brought out his 2x4 with a hefty swing at the mare, which she blocked, but was staggered back. Hondy took his opprotunity and swong again at her, but she blocked once more, taking the blow and driving her weight into the small stallion. She gave Hondy a headbutt, which staggered him, causing him to step back to gain his balance again. Yet he lost his weapon and the mare did not look happy. So Hondy turned tail and ran, not sure if she was chasing him or not. But he soon found his answer as his own 2x4 found purchase in his hind end, having been thrown from the shaded red and buttercup maned white mare.
The rust colored stallion rolled over, watching her saunter drunkenly over. "Come on now. Running from a fight?" she asked, her speech slightly slurred. "Tha's just bad manners, y'know? Y'know what," she reached into a bag and pulled out a bottle of some alcoholic beverage that was unmarked. "How 'bout some booze? Always some time for booze."
Quite hesitantly, Hondy reached out and took the bottle. "This...we are suppose to be fighting."
"And we did," the mare said, pulling a heavily scratched, metallic flask and taking a quick swig from it. "Ya fought, I fought back, ya ran, I hit ya with a block a wood. Unless yer eager fer a fight again, I suggest you sit down an' drink yer booze," she stated, a bit of a threatening air in it.
The small rusty buck uncorked the bottle and took a testing sip and recoiled, coughing. "Fetching Lunacy!" he coughed more. "What in the Sister's name is this?!" Hondy's reaction got a laugh from the drinking mare, which got her coughing as well. Hondy quickly corked the bottle and set it down on the cushion-y ground.
"That is what ya get when amateurs make alcohol. It'll do more than make sure ya are awake. 'Specially in the mornin'." She bent over and swiped up the bottle, putting it back in a safe spot. "Put some more hair on yer chin there colt."
Hondy shot her a look. "I'm not a colt. I'm 20 years old."
She laughed again. "20?! Yer a liar. Ya don't look much older than 12."
"Hardly!" Hondy scoffed. "What you see is stunted growth. Nothing more. I am certainly not a colt."
The earth pony mare began to muse aloud. "I bet I could fit you in my saddlebag-"
"Like hell ya will!"
"Whoa! Reign yerself. I didn't mean anything."
Hondy sat down, still not at all happy with it.
"Why don't ya tell me yer name?"
"It's...well it's Hondy," he answered, a bit hesitant.
The warm beige mare raised an eyebrow. "Not a common name most ponies have. Almost a name my husband woulda picked. Always loved weird or ridiculous names."
"Lovely..." Hondy glowered, not really liking the comparison. "What about yours?"
"Oh," she paused to take a swig from her flask. "Name's Autumn, Wine maker and mother." She pointed to her cutie mark on her flank. "See, my cutie mark even says so 'case ya don't believe me."
The small stallion nodded, not really looking at the mare's flank to verify her claim. "Charmed. But you do know we can't just sit around and drink. Discord wants a fight. He made it clear that we can't leave until one of us wins."
"I suppose yer right," Autumn said, fumbling around with her flask, trying to stow it away. "We all did come here to compete. Shooting the breeze ain't gonna help us much."
Hondy nodded, pulling out his crowbar slowly from where it hung on his back. Autumn had finished putting away her flask and nodded to her earth pony opponent. "Suppose with yer size and such having a weapon makes it more fair. Gonna be bloody hard if ya ever fight some pony else with a weapon. That is, if ya beat me."
He shrugged, "Maybe. We could always team up," the rust colored earth pony suggested. "As far as I know it's not against the rules."
Autumn thought about that for half a minute. "Guess there's that, but gotta entertain the folks watchin' for a minute or two."
Hondy furrowed his brow, confused at her statement. But the oatmeal colored mare didn't give him much chance to dwell on it, charging him and causing him to scramble out of the way, swinging his crowbar wildly, missing it's target and smacking into the alabaster column. Hondy bucked at the mare, but yet again missed, leaving him open to a strike which his opponent was more than willing to provide to his ribs. He grunted as he scrambled clear of Autumn's reach. He turned to face her and swong his crowbar, catching her on shoulder with the cold steel. She yelped in pain and Hondy took this chance to barrel into the larger mare while she was off balance, taking her to the ground. He pressed the crowbar up against her throat, but he wasn't able to do anything effectively with his position and was quickly thrown off. She recovered sooner than Hondy was able to and hovered over him, ready to deliver a powerful, drunken strike. But Hondy still had his crowbar in his teeth, and he cracked Autumn in the chin with it. Not his full force, but enough he could hear the crack of steel hitting bone. Not something he wanted to hear himself do to a mare.
Autumn lay on the pale semi-rigid floor, not unconscious, but not getting up either. Hondy and her eyes met and the guilt of violently striking against a mare whom had not done anything besides had the misfortune of being brought to fight against him had caused him to look away.
"Well lookie there!" came a noted voice from not but a few hours ago, "I did not at all expect this." A miniature figure of Discord appeared in the air just infront of Hondy, eating a cube of yellow cake. "You do make great yellow cake Hondy, has anyone ever told you that?"
"Many," Hondy responded, shortly and not in the least amused.
"Oh! Yes, I remember now," Discord flashed away and appeared full form right next to the small stallion. "You won! Congratulations there Hondy, you get to move on! Well, provided things go as planned and this doesn't end up being some weird dream of yours and you actually end up loosing in actuality. But the odds of that are 50/50."
"Anything else?" the rusty stallion inquired, hoping that was indeed all.
"Oh don't you worry dear Saddlebag stal-"
"You do NOT get to call me that!" Hondy interrupted.
Discord flashed away yet again and appeared in front of the small earth pony, several feet away. "Well pardon me for trying to lighten up things. You, just have your fun, make your alliances, whatever it is. The two of you will be dropped off in the city in five minutes. So don't take too long." With that the lord of chaos vanished in a flash of light.
Hondy gave a sigh of relief and trot up to Autumn. "Autumn...I'm sorry about your jaw...but i was serious about teaming up. If either of us want things to get better, we will have a better chance of it together."
Autumn looked up at Hondy, "I'm in."
A mini Roleplay, set in an alternate dimension where Discord defeated the Mane Six and has been running amok unchecked. Discord is now hosting a challenge as the final chance to defeat him. Can Equestria and the world be saved?
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