The Assault of Rose Tavern
October 24th, 1818 AA
Darkness had fallen upon the vast Birch ecosystem that was White Tail Woods. Many of the trees within the forest had begun to shed their leaves and as a result, left a golden carpet along the trails of Equestria. The summer air was growing cold as autumn began to take its place. And winter wasn’t all too far away. It was for these cold winds brought from the North, that for the first time, the fireplace of Rose Tavern was lit. A gentle grey smoke lifted out from the cobblestone chimney that seemed to extend some feet above the slate roof of the tavern. Inside, several candles had been lit and a curious bartender awaited for his patrons to arrive, the name of this bartender was Free Form, a wizened old stallion clothed in a white linen coulter buttoned at all but the top last.
Tonight seemed to be rather quiet. Free had not in fact written any announcements about the tavern opening, and expected little, to no guest. The fire crackled and popped in the silence of the night. Just outside of the tavern, leaves could be heard rattling in the light wind and several golden leaves dropped down onto the stone stairs right outside the door. And in that very moment, somepony appeared at the door. This mare received a stare from Free, who was pouring himself a mug of ale. “Welcome to Rose Tavern. Please, take a seat and I’ll get you a nice apple cider to warm your body.” Said Free with a soft smile. He took a quick sip of his ale before placing it down on the counter and getting out a mug for the newcomer. As he worked his magic in getting the mare a beverage, she took a seat at the counter and awaited her drink. Free turned back and was finally able to get a good look at her. Golden eyes, no mane, and a beautiful golden dress that looked foreign. Free lifted a brow and placed the mug down in front of her. “Two bits please.” Asked Free
The mare did nothing. She did not speak nor look up at the stallion. “Uh... Right, I probably should have asked you what you wanted before... If you want something else, please just ask.” As he spoke, he levitated up his mug and was going to take a sip, not before noticing a certain bubbling in his brew. He pulled back before taking a sip and licked his lips. “You didn’t come here for a drink, did you?” Inquired the stallion. Free’s question was soon answered as a sudden gust of wind found its way through the open door blowing out all the candles and even the fire.
Free Form was blinded and slow on his draw. His horn began to hum and glow dimly in the darkened room as he cast a light orb, but the mare was faster and had Free pinned against the wall with a blade to his neck and a magic dispel. Several other hoofsteps could be heard stomping across the wooden flooring of the tavern. In a panic, Free cast a fast teleportation spell, he wanted anywhere away from the mare with the blade but found himself still in the dark surrounded by potential enemies. His horn began to glow yet again as he tried to cast yet another light orb but just the same as before somepony activated a magic dispel, followed by a shove that pushed Free to the ground.
He let out a grunt and began to crawl back until he hit what felt like a chair. With a quick cast and charge of his magic, his horn flashed brilliantly in whatever direction he was facing blinding several ponies. This left a flash* imprinted in Free’s eyes causing blinked and scrambled back some more to begin charging his light orb for the third time. This time nopony could stop him and a bright orb lit up the tavern in a pale blue light. He launched the orb onto the ceiling and detached his connection to the object. As a result of this action, he could finally see whom he was dealing with. Each and every one of the ponies was wearing the same brilliant golden coats and blue silk scarf with gold silk embedding, furthermore, aside for the mare who had first entered. Everypony was wearing an identical golden woven mask. Free gulped slowly as he took in their appearance. Yes, these were indeed the same ponies that had attacked him so many times before. These were the Abd Al Alim. His initial thought was to make his way out of the Tavern, but he knew full well that if he left. His home and business would be reduced to rubble. He’d have to fight.
The intruders scurried around, knocking down chairs and swiping randomly with their daggers; slim but heavy little pieces of metal with jagged edges for ripping their enemies flesh beyond repair. Free ever so quietly manoeuvred around the assassins. Holding his breath, he prepared a spell, as a result causing several bar stools and chairs to gently levitate off the ground. Free aimed carefully and finally shoved all the objects at his enemies. This sent all the furniture that Free had levitated flying around the tavern, sending splinters of wood flying and showering across the tavern floor. A single chair smashed against one of the assassins, disabling them and leaving a bloody gash in their neck from one of the wood splinters. That was one down. Several others began to charge at Free. Free prepared an emergency teleportation spell. This was quickly countered by a magic dispel and the assassins were just on him. In a ditch effort, he slammed himself against the wall and stood on his hind hooves. His horn flashed and be started rolling across the wooden wall, ripping away the wood from the cobblestone behind it. The wood was being held to Free’s body with a sort of rune he’d marked into his own skin, causing the wood to bind to his fur. The assassins slammed against his body just as he covered the last inch of his body in wood and began stabbing at him. A single dagger managed to find its way into his shoulder. Free cried out in pain, soon followed by a whimper. As a result of this injury, he cast a burn over the rune he’d put on his own skin and cast teleportation to get himself away from his attackers. The ripped wood dropped to the ground with a loud clatter, but the dagger remained in his shoulder and would remain…
In a bright amber flash. Free was behind his attackers and cast Unbound Fire**. He spotted the Intruder casting the magic dispel and quickly activated his spell, directing the brute of the attack against that pony. They lit up in flames but continued to rush on their target. They wouldn’t get far though and quickly succumbed to their injuries and fell to the ground with their skin nothing more than a black crisp. Free cast and charged another Unbound Fire spell, activating it prematurely again, surrounding himself in a circle of fire in an attempt to keep the assassins at bay. In truth, he knew it wouldn’t work, he understood just how loyal they were to their cause. But what the Abd Al Alim didn’t realize, was that it was nothing more than a feint. Just inside the ring of fire. Free had quickly placed twenty runes of lightning and bound them to a rune that he’d placed on the ceiling. As the assassins ran into the circle, with the ends of their exposed fur being burnt by the fire. Free Form teleported out and activated the rune. The electricity from each rune shot out, looking for other arcs of lighting to connect with, and in a mere couple of seconds, the lightning had closed into a cage of a sort. A temporary cage to hold his enemies inside that would give them random powerful shocks that burnt through their clothing and seared their flesh.
The assassins began firing at the cage with their magic in an attempt to weaken the rune. They seemed completely unfazed by the strikes of lighting against their flesh. Due to this. Free began collecting several splinters of wood with his magic and projecting it at the captives. The splinters were stopped by a forcefield that each of the assassins had formed. This caused the wooden splinters to burn into to nothing more than ash in the lightning that surrounded them.
The assassins force field began to grow in size and it wouldn’t be long before the lighting was bulging out, away from the runes. Free cast a number of magic dispels on them, but their magic proved too powerful. The field grew too large, and the lighting snapped in a similar manner to an overstressed steel cable, sprawling out, cutting and smashing through objects. Even putting several oddly shaped holes in the floor of the tavern. Free’s metal foreleg was struck by a strand lightning, ripping off some of the metal shieldings on his foreleg, the force was also powerful enough to knock Free to the ground. He’d hit his head against the wooden flooring while also driving the dagger in his shoulder only deeper.
Free’s vision went black from the pain. With his vision impaired, and his body overstimulated, he could do nothing more than simply rest there. At least until he heard more hoofsteps coming his way in, they felt so far away, but yet so close. Free began to panic and started scrambling back towards a wall if he could find one. The hoofsteps only grew closer forcing Free to crawl faster in his failing attempt to escape. This was put to an end as he felt a magical force yanking him back towards the hoofsteps. “No! No! No! No!” He shouted as he was dragged closer, his vision was just starting to return and he could see the soft glint of the steel dagger being swung down at his chest. Free began shooting several pulses of magic at the hoof that was swinging down at him, each one missing and ripping apart the ceiling which sent splinters falling to the ground. With the blade mere inches away from his heart. Free used his horn to push his attacker’s hoof to the right, sticking the blade into the floor, and only nicking Free’s already damaged shoulder. He’d then use his metal foreleg to push up and drive his horn into the assassin’s throat before yanking his head to the side ripping open their throat. Blood began pumping out of the assassin’s neck and they’d drop onto their chest, coughing and spitting blood across the floor from their trachea.
Free climbed back onto his hooves and took several steps back as one of the other assassins began swinging at him with a dagger. Free cast several Rift Bolts and attempted to fire them at the assassin, but each one was quickly stopped with a magic dispel. Free began charging another Rift Bolt***, and just as the assassin cast their magic dispel. Free cut off the magic and charged at the assassin. The female assassin intervened, casting and firing a Thundercrack**** at Free. He’d feel his muscles tighten and cramp, along with some of his flesh being seared from the lighting hitting his body before falling to the ground, groaning in pain. In his state of paralysis. Free could only watch as the female assassin approached him. She did so without little hesitation, what good would a slow assassin be to her master? In his panic, Free Form tried to move his forelegs, his back legs, his neck. No, none of it would budge. He’d have to finally reveal his little secret to the All-Knowing and hope that it wasn’t watching. As the female assassin’s blade slammed down towards Free’s chest. Free used his magic to lift his metal foreleg and activated the third crystal held within his prosthetic. A blade made of pure magic, white in colour shot out and penetrated into the mare’s forearm causing her to pull away. Blood seeped from her wound. She was quick to cover it and backed away to let the other two deal with Free.
The magical blade was quick to evaporate and Free watched as the other two assassins approached him. He could finally feel his muscles relaxing and began crawling backwards at a snail's pace. As they got within attacking range, Free cast his emergency teleportation spell and found himself falling onto the roof of his tavern. He let out a loud grunt as he smashed against the slate tiles and hissed slightly as he felt tiny shards of the cracked rock stick into his skin. Gravity began pulling him down the sloped roof and could find the strength to stop himself from rolling. As Free fell started falling, he quickly cast Drop Zone***** and activating it just below him. As he landed in the circle, he slowed down and gently touched the ground on his metal foreleg first, much to Free’s relief. Slowly, the stallion got onto his hooves and began to limp away from the tavern. The light had gone out within the establishment leaving only the waning moon to light the landscape. It was plenty enough light for the stallion. He inspected the area as he walked to the cobblestone wall in hopes that he could hide behind it. The stallion controlled his breathing and climbed over the structure. He hadn’t seen any of the assassins come through the door yet and assumed they were ransacking his tavern for what they were looking for. “They won’t find it.” He whispered with a satisfied smile on his face.
As the assassins made their way through the tavern. Free was busy setting up traps. He levitated several small pebble-sized stones over to the cobblestone wall and began imprinting runes into them with his magic. Once he was satisfied with his work. He quickly stretched out his aching muscles and practised several deep breaths. He was ready.
“Hey, assholes! Out here” Free shouted as he waited for them to appear. “Come on… Get out here you bastards.” Still nothing. Free was growing impatient, but more than anything. Free was worried. Hesitantly, the stallion climbed over the stone wall and began walking towards the front door. Behind his back, Free had six of the rune-affected stones held within his magic. Step by step, he walked closer and closer. He weaved his way through the fallen leaves to avoid making any noise.
Free tensed and began charging up a flash spell when all of a sudden a beam of energy sped towards him. Free’s flash let off, but it was useless against the incoming attack. With little time for reaction. He cast a shield to block the incoming attack. The attack was brutal and shoved Free back several feet. As he was pushed back, he planted himself in the ground to remain stable and began to lean into the magical beam that was beginning to eat away at his shield. “Come on! I can hold it!” Shouted Free in need of support. “Come on!” He shouted again. Free’s shield began to crumble. In yet another last-ditch attempt. He rolled the curved shield to the side and redirected the beam away from him as he let go of the shield with his magic and rolled out of the line of fire. Beam ripped through a nearby tree causing it to crash to the ground, sending broken sticks flying through the air. Free landed on his elbow and struggled to get back onto his hooves. The beam came to an end. Free started casting Shockboom****** when the next beam of energy came rushing towards him. This time he was prepared. As the beam approached him. Free activated the spell sending the bolt of lighting no larger a pen right into the beam. As the bolt travelled up the beam, it seemed to disperse the magic leaving behind nothing more than a gentle purple glow in the night air. As the bolt approached the origin of the beam, it seemed to slow and slow until there was a bright flash followed by a deafening boom. The door of the tavern was blown off its hinges and skipped off the ground until finding it’s resting place between the branches of a large tree. The very structure of the building seemed to bulge from the shockwave and with the door soon came a pony who was flailing in the air.
The assassin that was flung out the door from the shockwave landed against the cobblestone wall with a hard thud followed by several gruesome cracks. Free looked the assassin’s way and fired a Rift Bolt at its horn, causing it to crack and finally fall apart. He hadn’t the energy to end its life, and besides. There were potentially two assassins left. Slowly Free found his way to his hooves and began limping over to the doorway again with a magic dispel charging. A dim light appeared in the darkness of the tavern resulting in Free activating the dispel. He knew the spell failed as soon as he saw the aura induced of a teleportation spell. What he didn’t know was that the mare who started this mess had teleported behind him and yanked the blade from his shoulder out. Pain shot through his body causing his magic to falter. He nearly dropped the stones he’d been carrying. The mare teleported again prompting Free to turn around and keep a close eye on her. “This isn’t going to end how you want it to!” He shouted. “This is going to end with you in an early grave!” The sharp ‘Chh’ of teleportation burst echoed just a few meters behind Free. With a hum from his horn, one of the six stones shot in the direction of the noise and exploded into a massive heap of spiky icicles which expanded to seven feet tall. When Free looked its way, there was only the spikes, no blood. And so, Free would continue to wait. Off in the far distance, he could hear that same burst over and over. “Where are you going to be.” Free murmured to himself.
Free knew it was his moment. Four of the stones dropped from out of his amber aura onto the ground and in a flash of magic, he was gone. The four stones exploded into a torrent of sharp ice formations and a quiet gasp could be heard from within followed by another burst of teleportation. The mare appeared in front of Free. Blood was beginning to soak through her golden cloak. Free had gotten her. The mare swung her dagger at Free Form several times in hopes of hitting him. Free narrowly avoided all of the attacks and revolted by swinging one of his hooves at her. Before he could react, she grabbed hold of his foreleg and yanked him to the ground. With her target on the ground, he began stabbing at Free only to be stopped by his metal foreleg keeping her dagger from reaching his throat. As she stabbed, the dagger began ripping and tearing at several components within the foreleg as a result of the metal shielding being ripped off. With one particular stab, it broke through into the lower crystal compartment and disabled the lower joint in his metal foreleg. She tried to yank the dagger free of the crystal compartment only to pull harder, and harder with her hoof. It was stuck. Free took advantage of this time and yanked the mare her back. He wrapped his organic hoof around her throat and began choking her out, she however revolted by smashing her head against Free’s chin. Several of Free’s teeth scraped against one another causing him to somehow fill with only more rage. His hold on her neck grew only tighter, as did the mare’s grasp on her dagger. With one final yank, she pulled the dagger free of the compartment and aimed for Free’s eyes. Free spotted the dagger and activated the middle crystal in his metal foreleg sending the magical blade through her hoof. The mare gasped for air and began smashing harder against Free’s chin causing the magical blade within his foreleg to stutter, almost vanishing. He had to end this, this needed to stop. With each smash against his chin, her own dagger grew closer to her throat as Free guided her hoof closer to her own being. She continued to smash against Free with her heard and was squirming to get out. Free prevented this from wrapping his back legs around her as tight as he could possibly get and with one last smash of her head. Free let go of her neck and shoved her dagger into her throat. Blood began to pour from her mouth and droplets of blood began spraying on Free’s face as she coughed up her own serum. To speed up the process Free yanked her hoof to the side which caused the dagger to tear open the rest of her throat. Free’s magic finally let out, dropping the last two stones just gently enough to cause them not to burst. His metal foreleg stopped functioning as well. Free had no more magic left to control it. Free would simply lay there, looking away from the mare as blood began running down her chest onto Frees’. His lift quivered and he had to close his eyes as she continued to choke on her blood and spray it onto his face… The assault of Rose Tavern had been won...
*Flash - This spell emits a blinding flash that can be seen even through the eyelids. It’s been known to blind ponies before.
**Unbound Fire - Unbound Fire heats up the air around a selected area and pushes away all molecules that aren't flammable. And with a simple electrical spark a massive hell fire forms in the selected area, burning everything in its path.
***Rift Bolt - This spell creates a very powerful lightning bolt which strikes wherever the caster points at. This won't electrocute an enemy, but it will burn them.
****Thundercrack - This is a much stronger version of Rift bolt, however, instead of focusing on burning, it instead stuns its target and cause light burns to their body.
*****Drop Zone - This spell creates a large glowing circle on the ground that allows somepony to fall into from far distances into it and slow down to a speed of 0.2 meters per second, and survive most falls.
******Shockboom - Shockboom is the most powerful electric spell Free Form has. Not only does this bolt of lightning cause serious burns, both internally and externally, but it also has a force of a bullet, pushing straight through a body not wearing armour. In the case that the pony being shot at is wearing armour, if the armour is made of steel, then a large dent would be made most likely, and also spread throughout the metal casing, electrocuting and burning the pony.
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