You've inherited a decrepit old inn from your late father. Can you turn it into a thriving business?
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2015-07-28 06:28:32 No. 24065197
>Ponyville seems to be a hotbed of excitement these days. Between the dragons roosting in the mountains, horrid monsters wandering out from the Everfree Forest, ancient ruins discovered deep in the earth, and the ever-presenting of all-out war between the Equestrians and the Gryphons, it seems like everypony looking for fame or fortune is flocking to this town.
>It is an age of knights, adventurers, dark magics, and destined heroes.
>You are none of these things. Your crowning moment of valour was when you wrestled with a particularly ornary chicken while working at your cousin's restaurant. And even being generous, you had to concede that that battle ended in a draw.
>And yet even though your arrival in Ponyville was greeted by a half-eaten sign that said 'welc o yvill', you felt confident that you would find your own fortune in this newfounded capital of chaos.
>You might not be some famed warrior or powerful wizard, but you had your wits and your determination and an old tavern-and-inn left to you by your father, whom you've never known since he was a jackass who ran off on your mother. Served him right, you figured; if he hadn't run off maybe he wouldn't have met his end being carried off by a pack of vampiric jackalops (according to the laywer's letter).
>It wasn't going to be running a five-star hotel in Canterlot, but with any luck, it'd be better than slaving away in a kitchen.
"Run an hard could that be?" you mutter to yourself.
>Such a question you'd feel more confident about if it weren't for the fact that a dragon happened to be circling in the sky over the town. The city guard that greeted you at the outskirts assured you this was 'perfectly normal,' which only made you wonder what passed for abnormal around here.

Welcome to 'Just Another Day', where you hope to find your fortunes, or at least a meagre living, running the local tavern-and-inn in Ponyville. Assuming you survive long enough. But first thing's first...what kind of pony are you?

2015-07-28 06:46:11 No. 24065469

>You were still admiring the sights of your new home when a flash of movement out of the corner of your eye caught your attention. Something was closing in on you fast and your first instinct, other than duck and cover, was to identify the threat.
>"Quick, a changeling! GET HIM!" you hear a voice shout just seconds before your vision is overwhelmed by a blinding flash.
>You spend the next few seconds babbling incoherently, blinking repeatedly in the hopes you'll be able to see something soon. Eventually your vision returns, though, and you see a pale blue unicorn standing in front of you.
>"Hrm...still an earth pony," she mutters to herself, frowning. "Guess you're not a changeling. Unless...." She fell silent for a second, scowling and glaring at you for a few more seconds. You want to say something but the robes and armour she wore gives you the impression she'd stab you the second she suspected you were a threat.
>"Who are you? And what are you doing here? WHO SENT YOU?!"

How do you respond to that?

2015-07-28 07:04:38 No. 24065736

"Oh god! Don't hurt me! I'm just here to run the inn!" you yelp in a hasty response.
>God, you hope didn't just piss yourself.
>"Inn? We have an inn?" the mare replied with a raised eyebrow.
>You quickly reach into your saddlebag and pull out the letter that the lawyer had sent you, the one that brought you to this lunatic of a town in the first place. Without a word, the unicorn takes the letter with her magic and starts reading it over.
>"Blah blah...representing the estate...yadda yadda yadda...vampiric jackalopes...liscened inn and tavern in your name..." She falls silent and glares at you again. "I guess this is good enough," she scoffs before shoving the letter back into your possession. " inn, huh?"
"Yeah. Dad left it to me."
>Her temperament suddenly relaxes, now looking a bit on the awkward side. "So...where might one find this inn?"

Roll to respond

1-2 - "First you want to kill me and now you want to do business? Bite me."
3-4 - "If I tell you, will you promise not to murder me?"
5-6 - "Down on the corner of Main near the market! Please don't stab me!"
7-8 - "Near the market, I think. Can I go now please?"
9 - "What's it to you?"
10 - "You didn't know there's an inn? Where have you been staying?"

2015-07-28 07:23:02 No. 24066011

"I... Don't actually know. This town is such a mess with everything getting torn down and rebuild so often I couldn't find an up to date map. I'll give you a free drink if you help me find it, all I really know is it was called 'The Last Wink' and that it's near the south of town"
>"That's the inn?!" the unicorn replied incredulously. "I...I almost feel sorry for you now."
>That did not fill you with much sense of confidence. On the bright side, at least this pony knew where it was, and she didn't look like she was interested in turning your organs into kabobs anymore.
"Follow me," she said, turning to lead you down the street. >"Apologies for the...reception. There have been some insidious changeling lurking in Ponyville lately, and I am on a mission to flush them out. You can never be too sure who is who around her. Speaking of which, what is your name anyways?"

2015-07-28 07:44:21 No. 24066291

"The name's Pot Luck, and yours?"
>"Azura. Azura Ice," she answers, sounding a bit hoity-toity for a second.
"And do you normally great newcomers by blinding them and yelling at them?"
>"It wasn't to blind you, that spell was to reveal your true form. In retrospect, I suppose I should've realized a changeling wouldn't take the form of some...ordinary-looking stallion. They are far more insidious than that."
>You try and take that as something of a compliment. You just hoped not every pony in this town is as unhinged as this one seems to be.
>True to her word, Azura leads you to the south end of town where she finally stops before what you presume to be The Last Wink. It was hard to tell as the sign was half-destroyed with charred edges suggest fire being the culprit. You could make out 'wink' you believe.
"Just a broken sign," you sigh, "not a big deal."
>"Wait until you see the inside."
>You go to open the door, but the moment you put even a bit of pressure against it, it falls off its hinges and lands on the ground with a heavy thud. Inside you could see what Azura was talking about - old tables and chairs were strewn across the place in an absolute disarray, most of which destroyed or broken apart to some extent. And there was a goddamn hole in the ceiling leading to the second floor. You had seen pictures of warzones that looked tidier than this.
"What happened here?"
>"I think it was the manticore...or was it the cultists? Or was it the cultists with the pet manticore. It's so hard to remember these days," Azura replied. "I', take a rain check on the free drink."

Well it wasn't much, but it was still yours.

Link to Inn's floorplan:

2015-07-28 08:06:26 No. 24066577

>You look at what remains of the bar, which has a sizeable dent in the countertop that you can't help but notice looks rather similar in shape and size to someone's head. Behind the bar are broken bottles of varying sizes and shapes, all covered in a fine layer of dust.
"Well, rain check on the drink it is, then," you announce with a sigh.
>"This is going to be expensive to repair. You brought plenty of bits with you, right?" Azura asked, carefully minding her steps as she trotted across the main room.
"A few hundred, maybe, but I don't think fixing ceiling-holes comes cheap," you lament with a sigh.

You figure you may as well inspect the rest of the inn and take final stock of all the damage. Where do you head first? Upstairs? Downstairs? Or check the back rooms on the mainfloor?

2015-07-28 08:25:48 No. 24066863

"Well maybe they'll be something worth salvaging from this mess," you sigh in resignation as you head into the back room.
>To your right you notice the hatch leading down to the cellar, though with a whole bunch of old broken crates atop of it. Nothing of value in the crates themselves so you start moving the debris aside.
"Don't suppose I could get a helping hoof?"
>"Fine..." Azura said while rolling her eyes. She aims her horn at the pile of debris and uses her magic to push it all to the side. For how simple it was, you wonder why she sounded so annoyed by the idea.
>You pry the cellar door open, it creeks loudly in the process. Thankfully, the stairs down seem to be intact so the two of you descend into the darkness.
>"Let me guess, you didn't bring a torch, did you?" Azura scoffed once the darkness made it impossible to see beyond your snout. She takes your silence as a yes, then uses her own magic to conjure up some light source.

Immediately, you are greeted to the sight of:

Roll for result
1-2 - A pack of giant rats
3-4 - A giant spider and its swarm of offsprings
5-6 - A small hive of changelings
7-8 - Old skeletons
9 - scores of pristine wine barrels
0 - a half-starved manticore

2015-07-28 08:40:10 No. 24067087

Yes, that was the plan.


I think I'll avoid being that evil this time around.


>Spiders. Lots of spiders. And one big fuckin' spider right in the middle of them. And judging by the scattered bones of various rodents still clinging to some of the webs, these spiders hadn't had a decent meal in some time.
>"Spiders. Why did it have to be spiders?" Azura whimpered.
>For a brief, fleeting moment, you think maybe they won't see you...until about a hundred eyes turn in your direction.

Plan of action?

2015-07-28 08:53:40 No. 24067296

>Perhaps if it weren't for the one spider about of a large housecat, you'd consider standing your ground.
>"Like you have to ask?!" Azura shrieked, not even waiting for a response before bolting for the exit. Realizing you don't want to get left in the dark, you quickly follow after her.
>Once outside, Azura slams the cellar door shut and starts throwing everything that wasn't bolted to the floor atop of the entrance, including you at the very end.
>"Right....I think it's obvious what we need to do now. Burn the whole place down. It's the only way to be sure," Azura said between ragged breaths.
"I think that might be a bit extreme..."
>"Well what do you suggest? Offering them a nice home-cooked meal? Negotiate rent? These are spiders...they don't have money and they'd rather just eat me!"

Well, at least the spiders were contained for now. Continue the tour of your new property or find a way to deal with the spiders now?

2015-07-28 09:10:53 No. 24067533
Gotta step out for a bit now. I might be able to get back on in an hour or so but I can't make any guarantees.


"They might be hideous spiders, but nothing is going to be taking up residence in MY cellar without fair compensation!" you state defiantly, after climbing off the top of the debris pile.
>You reach into your saddlebag and pull out some parchment and a pen, and begin scribbling furiously across it.
>"What are you doing?"
"Giving them a written warning as is my legal right as landowner," you explain. "They either start paying backrent or I'll have them evicted. YOU HEAR ME YOU DAMN SPIDERS! NOBODY STEALS FROM POT LUCK AND GETS AWAY WITH IT!"
>Azura just rolls her eyes and sighs. Once you finish the note, she opens the hatch up for you to toss the paper down.
>"You realize spiders can't read, correct?" Azura quips.
"I am following the letter of the law. Nothing more, nothing less."
>Of course, that still left the question of how you'd evict them if it came to that, but you figured that could wait for another time. In the meantime, you check the backrooms of the mainfloor.
>The kitchen appears to be in good order, or at least relatively so compared to the rest of the building. Not much in terms of salvagable material, though at least the cast iron stove is still intact.
>You do, however, find a charred pony skull inside the stove.
>"Cultists, remember?" Azura states flatly.
>Well, still a good stove, skull or not. Just needed a good cleaning.
>You head into the next room, one of which appears to have been used as a bedroom given the old straw bed tucked away in the corner. As you search through the remnants of the furniture, you notice Azura doing little but casually surveying her surroundings.

Might be a good opportunity, now that there aren't any spiders threatening you, to inquire a bit more about the pony that's been helping you out. Do you ask her anything?

2015-07-28 10:37:26 No. 24068497

>You make a mental note to, perhaps, keep a hold of the skull. You never know, it might make for a good piece of decoration or even a warning sign. It was a bit morbid, though, so you figured you'd revisit the issue when the time came to worry about decorations.
"So Azura, I take it from your little mission to hunt changelings, you're not just a city guard?"
>"Well obviously," she scoffs. "You think the guard would be able to afford a pony who can wield magic as deadly as mine?"
"I wouldn't know, all I've seen so far is light and moving stuff. Most unicorns can do that, right?"
>"For your information, I'm part of the Adventurer's Guild. We do far more exciting things than chase after pickpockets and mischivous teenagers."
>Now it was your turn to roll your eyes, though you were smart enough to do it when she couldn't see your face. So far your time in Ponyville has been plenty 'exciting' and you weren't part of any guild.
"Didn't realize they had a guild for that sorta thing."
>"Well it was necessary in order to keep order in this city given all the freelancers and mercenaries running amok. Also keeps the riff-raft out, ensuring that ponies like me don't get dragged down by amateurs who think swinging a sword will make them an easy bit."
>Your assessment of the room suggests you could probably salvage and re-use most of the furniture, and aside from the skull there weren't any other surprises to be found.

Head upstairs or continue chatting up your adventurer 'friend'?

2015-07-28 11:45:28 No. 24069182

"So couldn't you have just like...blasted those spiders with magic stuff?"
>You notice Azura visibly tense for a second. She flusters for an instant before frowning.
>"You were in the way. And it was too confined a space. I could've hit you in the process," she insisted. You remained skeptical of this claim, particularly since the only reason you would've been in the way was because she ran out of the cellar far faster than you did.
"Would you be able to help...evict the spiders if it comes to that?" you inquire.
>"M-me?!" Azura snaps back in surprise before restraining herself and returning to her usual expression of mild contempt. "Pest control is a bit beneath me. M-maybe somebody else at the guild would be willign to muddy their hooves with that, but I am on a changeling hunt, remember?"
"Of course..." you sigh under your breath.
>With the main floor assessed, you head to the upstairs. Again, the stairs seem to be intact but you do note that the hole in the floor leading back into the main hall would have to be dealt with at some point. At the moment, though, you and Azura are able to scoot around the edges safely.
>The upstairs consists of several rooms so you begin a check of each one. The upstairs overall is in better shape. Most of the rooms seem to have decent-enough furnishing to be rented out. At best you'd probably need fresh straw for the beds.
>As you check one of the last rooms, however, you are greeted to another surprising sight. Thankfully nothing quite so dangerous, though you do see, sound asleep in the bed, was a rather pint-sized changeling. It seemed to be blissfully asleep, one of its hindlegs twitching in the air every few moments, followed by quiet murmurings.

How do you respond?

2015-07-29 12:22:31 No. 24069524

>Considering you've had enough problems already within your property, potentially causing another commotion would likely risk some structural damage. If the changeling had managed to sleep through all the noise you've made thus far, it probably wasn't going to wake up if you quietly backed away.
>You cautiously glance over to where Azura was; she was idling in the hall, looking at the hole in the floor in particular.
"Well, top floor looks clear," you said as quietly as you can without making it obvious.
>"Good. Though I'm not even sure why I'm wasting time with you. I could be out continuing my hunt...far away from any spiders," Azura replied, muttering the last part under her breath.
"Listen, if spiders are more than you can handle, I can find somebody who'll take the job," you explain as you head back downstairs, making sure that Azura followed you away from the slumbering changeling.
>"It's not more than I could handle!" Azura scoffed. "I would just rather not bother. It's probably hardly worth my hard. Umm...but hypothetically speaking, how much might you be willing to pay?"

You have a thousand bits to your name, currently. Do you make her an offer?

2015-07-29 01:00:06 No. 24069786

>You realize it's going to be a bit of a gamble, but you opt to ask.
"You said you were part of a guild. Do they have any guidelines for fees and such?"
>"Ugh...lemme check the books," Azura grumbled in annoyance. Using her magic, she pulled out a small pocket book from her belongings and began flipping through it, muttering the various subjects and headings as she went along.
>"Let's see, 'Standard Vermin extermination fees start at 50 bits for all species listed in subsection C, table five...yadda yadda yadda...additional surcharges subject to Guild Adventurer's discretion based on supplies or hindering circumstances, see table nine for valid 'hindering circumstances...'"
"I'll give you fifty bits to get rid of the spiders," you offer, growing a bit impatient.
>"Seventy-five," Azura counters, "These are clearly very large and vicious spiders."
>You remain a bit dubious of that.
"Fifty, and I'll give you a discount on wine."
>"Hrmmm....fine, you have a deal," Azura nods in agreement before pocketing her booklet. "I guess I'll with the spiders then."
>She sounded a bit hesistant still. Maybe even a bit nervous. You were more worried that you weren't going to get your fifty bits worth out of this deal.

Perhaps some words of encouragement Or maybe something a bit harsher? Perhaps just say nothing all?

2015-07-29 01:57:00 No. 24070166

>You follow behind Azura as you proceed towards the cellar entrance.
"I, help if you want," you peep up for a second. "I mean, I know I'm not adventurer but if you really don't want to handle this on your own, I'll go with you. It's perfectly reasonable to be scared of spiders, especially the big ones. Hay, I'm kinda terrified of the idea myself."
>Azura stopped for a second and gave you a puzzled look, as if she was uncertain whether your offer of help was genuine or not. Or maybe she was just sizing you up for how useful she'd be
>"You'd need a weapon."
>A of the many things in life you weren't familiar with, unless you wanted to count kitchen knives. You frantically glanced around to see if there was anything you could use as a makeshift weapon. Eventually, you spot a small shovel near the fireplace. It was a bit on the small side, but it was all cast-iron so it'd make short work of any spiders on the receiving end.
"Will this do?" you ask upon returning to Azura with the aforemention instrument of potential arachnid death.
>She sighed and shook her head in dismay. "Better than nothing, I guess..." she lamented.
>The two of you return to the cellar door and begin the slow process of pushing all the debris aside until the only thing standing between you and your adversaries was the door itself.
>", if you have a suggestion for a plan of attack, I'm all ears," Azura asks.

Got a plan, oh great general?

2015-07-29 06:25:17 No. 24077296

"Why am I coming up with the plan? You're the adventurer," you reply.
>"Yes, but I doubt you'd like my 'blast everything that moves' since you might get hit," Azura snapped back in indignation. You shoot a quick, disapproving frown back at her.
"Let's just stick together, you handle the left, I'll take the right."
>It seemed like a simple enough plan, assuming things didn't horribly arwy. Despite taking a few calming breaths, you find your nerves beginning to fray a bit as the of you edge closer to the cellar door. God, you hoped this didn't end with a lawyer sending a letter to your cousin explaining how you've been eaten by a pack of spiders.
"Okay, open the door on the count of three..."
>Azura gulps and then nods.
>The door swings open; you grip your shovel firmly and are just about to charge in.
>And then you suddenly notice there's a piece of parchment stuck to the underside of the door, secured in place with webs.
>"You have got to be kidding me..." Azura deadpanned.
>Cautiously, you take the parchment. You notice it's the same note that you had dropped down the cellar door a short while ago...except now there's crude scribblings on the other side. You quietly read it to yourself...feeling a mixture of shock and bewilderment flood through you.
>"Well don't keep the rest of us in suspense," Azura quipped.
", spiders, they're claiming that the establishment was non-operational and abandoned at the time of their arrival, and as such their presence up until today does not constitute as legal tenancy. They're saying I can't claim backpay for times when the inn was not in operation."
>"You can't be serious."
"It's a pretty solid legal defense. I'm actually a bit surprised."
"They misspelled 'parley' too."

How do you proceed?

2015-07-29 06:49:08 No. 24077601

>If somepony had told you that morning that you would be engaging in tenant negotiations with a pack of seemingly well-educated spiders, you would've smacked that pony on the head and called them a damn, dirty liar. And yet here you were. You get the feeling that this is not going to be the weirdest thing to happen to you during your time in Ponyville.
>You pull out more parchment and begin scribing a response.
>"You're not seriously considering actually...talking to those things, are you?"
"Would you rather fight them?"
>"...point taken."
>You quickly jot down a note requesting a representative to engage in negotiations, along with an inquiry as to preferred methods of communication, and a statement of your new intents - that their continued presence is considered tresspassing upon his property without a valid contract between them.
>You drop the note down the cellar and wait patiently for a response.
>After several minutes, you notice some movement coming from the cellar. You and Azura cautiously take a step back as a small cluster of spiders crawl out from the cellar, huddling in a bunch at the top of the stairs.
>Most of the spiders are fairly small, save for one at the center which was about the size of a soccer ball. For a split second, you think you're hallucinating, or have lost your mind, because you could swear the large spider was wearing a tiny hat and necktie made out of webbing.
>"That is...both terrifying and kinda cute..." Azura muttered in disbelief.
>The pack of small spiders suddenly start swarming across the floor, leaving a thick trailing of webbing behind them that you realize in short order is forming letters and words across the floorboard.
>It reads 'You talk. We write. I speak for clutch. State your terms.'

So what do you tell tiny lawyer spider?

2015-07-29 07:18:30 No. 24077908

>Well, time to strap on your business pants.
"Okay, spiders...I realize that this place was somewhat abandoned when you arrived, but that is no longer the case. I am the lawful owner of this property, which means I cannot have a clutch of spiders inhabiting my cellar. I need that to store food items and other supplies; having spiders down there would probably consitute a number of health and safety violations."
>After a few seconds, the writing spiders formulate an answer.
>'Need cellar. Cool. Dark. No ponies. Safe.'
>You sigh quietly to yourself. Made sense that the spiders would want to be somewhere secluded and away from ponies. Most would squash them without a second thought.
"Well...even if we can come to terms with, I dunno, sharing the cellar space, that doesn't answer the question of fair compensation. If you stay, you need to pay rent, or some adequate substitute."
>The spiders don't write any immediate response. Instead they seem to swarm in a small cluster, doing something but you cannot see anything through the flurry of tiny legs and innumerable eyes. After a minute or two, the swarm disperses and the 'lawyer spider' picks up a small piece of a shimmering white cloth-like material, not much bigger than your hoof. It holds it up to you, and you cautiously take the item to examine it closer.
>It feels smooth and soft to the touch; not at all sticky like you expected.
>"It's...spider silk," Azura remarks with a hint of surprise.
>You look back to the spiders and notice that the words 'more = rent?'
"Is this valuable?" you ask your unicorn accompaniment.
>"If you can find someone to sell it to or work with it, yes," she replies.

How do you respond to the spider's offer?

2015-07-29 07:52:36 No. 24078356

>Expecting actual bits from a clutch of arachnids was a bit of a pipe dream, you realize, but their offer of compensation held potential.
"Okay, this can probably do for rent. Now if I do let you stay, I'm going to need most of the cellar. We can work on some kind of...partitioning or something later. Also, I'm obviously going to need you to agree not to try and eat any of my guests."
>For a second, you swore you could see the spider frown...or at least the arachnid equivalent of it.
>'Pony too large. Make noise. Attract others. Prefer small creature. Live.'
>On the bright side, you now potentially had in-house pest control. Could be useful for the future.
"Don't suppose you know anything about about renovating or fixing up an inn, do you?"
>'Web fix temporary. You need carpenter.'
"Yeah...I guess I figured as much. Okay then, I will see about getting this sample appraised, and then I will be back later with a draft of a formal contract. And when I get back, I'll need a head count, too. I can't have thousands of you nesting in my inn."
>'Agreed. Will await return.'
>With that, the clusters of spiders scurry back into the cellar, though not before the large one tips its tiny hat at you.
>"I saw it...and I still can't believe that just happened," Azura remarked, still a bit slack-jaw from the encounter.

It seems you have reached a temporary agreement with your spider guests. What is your next business to attend to?

2015-07-29 08:28:12 No. 24078891

>To no surprise, Azura looked immensely relieved when it became apparent that would not be requiring her services as an exterminator. Though the moment she noticed you had noticed her look of relief, she covered it up with her usual taciturn scowl.
>"I think it's safe to say that the terms of our contract have been fulfilled," she stated plainly.
"The agreement was getting rid of the spiders; they're staying, they haven't been fulfilled. Consider the job offer formally withdrawn."
>"Oh very well," she pouts. "But since I had prepared myself and was about to execute the terms of the contract, I will have to charge you a cancellation fee."
>You consider for a second arguing that she was far from being prepared or 'about to execute' anything, but decide against it. Arguing with heavily-armed ponies was rarely a good business move.
"Fine, I'll give you...ten bits as compensation, but you have to keep quiet about the spiders."
>"Deal." Azura was rather quick to accept. You hoof over the bits and she happily pockets the money away. "I guess it was a...pleasure doing business with you. When this place is actually running, I'll be back for that free drink."
>With that, the unicorn heads on her way. You're not sure whether you're happy or not to see her leave. Though the circumstances of your initial encounter were...mixed, she did seem rather useful.

Now you still have a changeling asleep in the upstairs. It might be prudent to get that resolved first but it could just as easily wait.

2015-07-29 08:59:14 No. 24079291
Stepping out again. Will try to be back in an hour or so...


>You decide it's best to deal with the immediate problems before they disappear on you or get worse.
>You return upstairs to find the changeling exactly where you last left it - sound asleep still. You wonder how something so seemingly innocuous could be so dangerous to the world. You've heard the same stories as everyone else, though, and you remind yourself that their innocent nature is supposed to be one of their main weapons.
>If worse comes to worse, you've still got the shovel with you. Carefully, you edge closer and then poke the slumbering creature with the aforementioned shovel.
"Come on, wake up little...thingie." Your careful not to sound too aggressive, though some fear and worry was beginning to creep up on you.
>"Five...more minutes..." the changeling mumbled in response. You poke it with a bit more force. Finally the thing stirs awake, its shimmering green eyes opening wide and slowly settling on your figure.
>Then it let out a startled shriek. It immediately bolted skywards, but apparently forgot that it was indoors and promptly ran straight into an overhanging support beam. Its tiny figure fell straight back into the bed, thoroughly stunned by the impact...
>Truly these creatures were a terror to behold.

Apparently changeling hunting isn't as difficult as you thought. What do you do now?

2015-07-29 10:51:17 No. 24080881

>You couldn't help but feel a small pang of sympathy for the creature. I mean, changeling or not...a hit like that had to hurt something fierce. You wait patiently for the changeling to slowly regain its sense.
>With quiet groans and murmurings, the changeling staggers back onto its tiny hooves.
>"But queenie...I dun wanna go to school..." it babbled incoherently.
>You decide to give another poke with your shovel with the hopes that'll help remind the creature of its current situation.
"Hey,'re squatting on my property," you announce in a firm, assertive tone. "And try not to fly off in a panic again, this place is barely holding together as it is."
>When the changeling realizes its situation, it becomes visible (and understandable) tense and nervous. Its beady eyes stare up at you, fear quite palpable at this point.
>"You're...not going to start hitting me with that, are you?" she (or at least it sounds girlish in voice) asks.
"I'd rather not. I'm Pot who're you?"
>The changeling gulps.
>"W-Wispy Wind."
"You okay? You beaned yourself pretty good."
>She nods, slowly and nervously.

You've caught yourself a changeling...sort of. What do you do?

2015-07-29 11:52:21 No. 24081669

"Now listen, it is miss, right?"
>The changeling nods.
"Good. Now listen, I realize this place might seem like a dump, but it's going to be a respectable inn soon enough, so that means squatters like you have to either leave or start paying rent."
>"L-leave?!" the changeling yelps. She glances to the nearby shuttered window. "Y-you mean out there...where all the ponies are?"
>You give the changeling a quizzical stare.
"Don't you things normally, you know, hide in a disguise and drain love from ponies?"
>The changeling frowns, averting her gaze and scuffing her hoof through the bed straw. "Maybe the good ones do..." she mumbled.
"What do you mean 'the good ones'? Aren't the good ones the bad ones technically. I mean, unless...wait, I'm confused now."
>You pause, sigh, and collect your thoughts. You got a changeling seemingly afraid of you and other ponies. Perhaps you could find a way to work this to your advantage.
"Shouldn't you be in a hive or with your own kind?" you inquire.
>The changeling lets out a disheartened groan. She sits down in the end, pouting quietly. "They kicked me out...said I was just a useless runt..."
>Another pang of sympathy rips through you like a plate of bad tacos.
"Er...listen, I realize I might regret saying this but...I won't throw you out if you're willing to help me out. This inn is a mess and it's probably more than one pony can handle."
>"You'd...let me stay?" the changeling asks. You slowly nod, hoping you're not making a huge mistake.
>Suddenly the changeling puts on a huge grin, lunging at you and wrapping its hooves tightly around your neck. For a split second, you think you've just bought it and was about to have the life choked from you...until you realize that it's actually just hugging you, shouting 'thankyouthankyou' repeatedly.

How do you respond?

2015-07-30 12:41:05 No. 24082291

>As moved as you were by this sudden display of affection, you still needed to breath as much as the next pony. With some effort, though, you manage to pry the changeling off you, at which point she plops back down on the old straw bed.
>She flashes a slightly embarrassed smile when she notices you gasping for air.
"You...said the others called you useless. What did you mean by that, if you don't mind me prying."
>"Oh...err, the thing is..." Wispy replies growing a bit wary all of a sudden. ", I can't really...transform...too good."
"How so? Could you demonstrate? Like...try turning into me."
>Wispy seems a bit uncertain of the request, but eventually nods. It was a harmless enough request, and it wasn't like you'd renege on your deal now.
>"Just...promise you won't laugh."
"Cross my heart and hope to fly," you reassure her.
>"Okay. Just gimme a second." She takes a few breaths and then shuts her eyes, groaning as if straining under a heavy load. "HRRRRRRGGGHHHH!"
>And then suddenly...she transforms in a pop and a flash.

So what do you expect to see? Might be a good time to describe what Pot Luck looks like.

2015-07-30 06:56:56 No. 24084262

>You had always heard stories about changelings and their ability to perfectly mimic other ponies. So you expected to see a copy of yourself, from your golden yellow pelt to your auburn mane. What you saw instead was a very bad imitation of you - the colours were all wrong, in varying shades of graytones, her overall size hadn't changed at all (making for a pint-sized version of you), and even the cutie mark was upside-down.
"That's bad," you comment, trying to stay positive.
>"It's horrible," Wispy replied, promptly returning to her original form. "Hard to steal love when you can't look like the pony your victim loves."
"Do you have any other marketable skills?"
>The changeling shrugged her shoulders. In all fairness, most changelings probably didn't have much need for skills beyond what was needed for stealing love.
"Well once the tavern is up and running, I could use a waitress. Assuming you could come up with some sort of disguise."
>"Oh, I got just the thing!" Wispy exclaimed.
>She proceeded to go through her strained transformation process, but this time emerged as a tiny gray-toned pegasus with a short, swept-back mane. It didn't look quite as bad, but that was because you had no idea who she was supposed to look like. "This is what I usually look like when I need to go outside."
"I can see that working," you nod in agreement. "We can, um, work out the exact details of our new employment contract later. And totally random question but do you have any issues with spiders, particularly of the large variety?"
>"Not really, but depends how large. Why?" she asks, blinking in confusion.
>You proceed to explain your encounter with your other set of tenants.

Though reluctant to believe you, she doesn't seem bothered by the notion. Now what?

2015-07-30 07:14:17 No. 24090573

"Well my first order as your new employer, this inn is an absolute mess. If you could start cleaning the place up, that would be much appreciated."
>"You got it, boss!" the changeling replied with surprising enthusiasm. For a moment, you wonder how working an inn could be such an apparent source of joy for a changeling. Perhaps in time you'd figure that puzzle out.
>In the meantime, it was due time that you got an estimate on the repair bill for this dump. You didn't imagine it would be cheap, but the first rule of business was you needed to spend money to make money.
"Hey you happen to know where I can find a carpenter?
>"That's easy. Just to go to Birchwood & Sons. They're in the market, you can't miss 'em," Wisp answered as she hopped off the bed.
>Your not sure how much cleaning one changeling can accomplish on her own, but you decide that it'd be a good test of her resourcefulness and initiative. As long as the place wasn't worse when you came back, you'd be content.
>As you head back into the streets of Ponyville, you cast a skyward glance and notice that the dragon you saw earlier was no longer hovering over the city. One less thing to worry about at least.
>Finding the marketplace wasn't too difficult as it's always one of the busiest places in any town. Shops and stalls galore for all of one's shopping news. And as Wisp said, it was impossible to miss the gigantic wooden behemoth of a store that had the sign 'Birchwood & Sons' on the front of it.
>No doubt the renovation business is booming in a town like this.
>You head inside the store and are greeted to the sight of immaculate wooden furnishing and the sound of woodworking echoing in the background. There's a large ashen stallion sitting behind a desk, toiling away with paperwork.

Input action.

2015-07-30 08:39:56 No. 24091602
To eat. Otherwise you'll wind up with food-puns through this adventure.


>You trot up to the task, which up close proved to be much larger than you had thought. The stallion behind it was towering; the kind that probably considered throwing cut-down trees as a 'fun pasttime.' Despite the audible clip-clop of your hooves, your presence goes unnoticed at first.
"Ahem," you clear your throat, "Excuse me, sir. I wish to inquire about some renovations and repairs to my property. Are you the one I should speak with about such arrangements?"
>Slowly, almost painfully so, the stallions eyes pulled away from the paperwork and settled upon you.
>"Aye," he answers, a flat and heavy baritone to his voice.
"So...would it be possible to get somepony to inspect my property and get an estimate?"
>The stallion blinks. "Aye."
"Could that soon?"
>"Aye." This time the stallion began to actually move, gradually pivoting in his seat away from you and towards a nearby stairwell.
>"'Ey! Rowan! Ya got work ta do!"
>"I'm busy, dad! Get Juniper to do it!" A voice shouted down in response.
>"I dannae care! Pull yer dick outta that sheep and get down here!"
>A few moments later, an equally large, shaggy-maned pony came trotting down the stairs, visibly annoyed.
>"For the last time, dad, she's from Shetland, not Sheepland!" the younger stallion quipped.
>"Just grab a board and go help this lad," the father instructed.
>You begin to wonder if anything in this town is normal.
>The younger stallion grabs a nearby saddlebag and fits it on before trotting over to you.
>"Afternoon there. Name's Rowanwood," he introduces himself. "Got some stuff fixing up, eh? What can you tell me about your property?"

How do you respond?

2015-07-30 10:13:36 No. 24092813

"Ah yes. Well I inherited 'The Last Wink' inn from my father, and apparently something went and busted it up. It'll be easier just to show than try to explain it all."
>"Ohhh. The Last Wink, you say? I was always wonderin' when somebody would finally do something with that shithole."
>You shoot the stallion a brief, disapproving frown. It might be a shithole, but it was your shithole and you'd rather others didn't speak so ill of it.
>The two of you head back to the Inn.
"Mind the door," you remark as the two of you step inside. "So here's the main hall, as you can see. A bit of a mess but it's salvagable, right?"
>You intentionally raise your voice enough so that any changelings or spiders hanging around nearby would be alerted to your return and the presence of another pony. Didn't want to scare off the people fixing your place up.
>"Ah yes, I see," Rowan mumbles and notes, taking notes on a clipboard that hung from a special harness around his neck. "I think most of this just needs a quick sanding and some fresh varnish. We could repaint the walls too if you like."
"And the hole?" you ask, pointing up to the ceiling. "How much would something like that set me back?"
>"Ah, don't worry your wee head off. Ever since dad appropriated our patented 'Wood Blending' magic from ol' Specs, we've really brought down the cost of repairs. Damage like that we used to have to tear up the floor and maybe even replace the whole support beam. Now we got some unicorn lads who come in and use their magic to fuse a fresh piece of timber where that gap is."
"Wow. Didn't realize we had advanced so far in carpentry techniques."
>"So what else needs doing?"

Take Rown upstairs or risk showing him the cellar?

2015-07-30 11:14:41 No. 24093723

"The upstairs isn't too bad, but most of the furniture could use some sprucing up though," you explain as you lead Rowan to the stairs heading up.
>You figure its best to make sure your new helper was aware of the situation.
"Hey Wisp, we got company!" you call out. "Could I have you out front."
>"Coming!" she shouts back. A few seconds later you see a familiar grayish pegasus come trotting along, carrying an old broom under one wing. "Just doing a little sweeping. Didn't think you'd be back so soon."
"The inn is going to need a lot of repair work, so Rowan here is appraising its condition," you explain as you gesture to the stallion accompanying you. "I was wondering if you could head to the cellar and make sure that it's tidied up a bit. You know, you don't want anything like...say, spiders, getting in the way." You throw in a few winks with the hopes that Wisp gets the message.
>"Spiders? Oh! Ohhhh...right, spiders. I'll see what I can do," Wisp nods in response. She hurries on her way, humming all the while.
>"Cute kid. She yours?" Rowan comments.
"It's...complicated." And somewhat unbelievable, too, when you thought about it.
>You lead Rowan through the various rooms with the stallion doing a lot of humming and hawwing as he looks over the quality of the furniture, the rooms, and the support beams overhead.
>Things seem to be going smoothly until you hear a loud, piercing shriek coming from downstairs...

Oh what now...? What do you do?

2015-07-31 12:27:49 No. 24094821
Sorry for delay. Stuff came up that had to be dealt with.


>"What was that?" Rowan asked with a raised, quizzical brow.
>You had a sneaking suspicion as to what it was about, but you obviously couldn't voice something that had 'giant spiders' and 'changelings' in the same sentence.
", wait right here. I have to look into this."
>Rowan didn't object, but you still hoped that your nervousness wasn't too evident. The second you were out of line of sight with the stallion, you bolted down to the cellar. Things had gone eerily silent since that shriek, which was never a good thing.
"Wisp? You there? Is everything okay?" you call out as you descend down the cellar stairs.
>All you heard was some quiet muffles, the source of which soon became clear when you saw your changeling employee suspended from the ceiling in a thick caccoon of webbing. She was trying to say something but another wad of web had been stuffed into her mouth.

At least she hadn't been eaten. What now?

2015-07-31 01:10:30 No. 24095239

>You sigh quietly to yourself and realized that it might have been prudent to tell the spiders about Wisp beforehand.
"Spider...things. Or something. What do I even call you?" you call out to nobody in particular, but counting on the critters to be close by listening.
>Sure enough, the familiar hat-wearing spider descended from the ceiling. Well, you presume its the same spider, but it could just as easily be a different one wearing the same hat. They all looked the same except for varying sizes.
"Let her go, she's my employee," you state firmly. "And I told you, no attacking ponies. She just came down here to let you know we've got a carpenter coming down soon to inspect the basement for repairs."
>The spider shifts its glance between you and the dangling changeling, then nods and ascends back to the ceiling. A moment later, the cord holding up the caccoon severs and Wisp is dropped to the floor with a faint thud.
>It takes a few minutes but eventually you peel away all the webbing and free Wisp.
"You okay?" you ask with a hint of concern.
>"Just...startled mostly. Little guys are fast. I took, like...two steps down here and them woosh! Web everywhere!"
"You seem to have lost your disguise," you comment, noting that Wisp was back in her changeling form again.
>"Um...y-yeah, that happens when I panic...or get scared," she admits reluctantly, flustering in embarrassment.
"Well get your disguise back on before someone sees you."
>You glance up and notice the hat-wearing spider is back. He is holding up a tiny web-banner that spells out 'sorry'.
"Don't worry about it. Just...don't pounce on ponies, okay?"
>The spider then starts gesturing past you with one of its appendages. Puzzled, you swing about to see what it's gesturing towards...which leads your gaze straight to a slack-jawed Rowanwood standing at the base of the cellar stairs.

Best to say something before the shock wears off.

2015-07-31 01:33:26 No. 24095440

>You briefly glance back to Wispy and the spider, both of whom have edged to hide somewhat behind you. You notice some movement up above, and see that the largest of the spiders was carefully positioning itself above Rowanwood, as about to strike.
>You subtly wave it. The last thing you needed was ponies thinking the spiders were dangerous.
"Okay, Rowan...I know this looks odd, but ask yourself - this town has a dragon that flies circles above, and I'm told a history of manticores and cultists. Are you telling me that this is really the most shocking thing you've ever seen before?"
>Slowly, but surely, you can see the gears inside Rowan's head begin to churn. He still looks nervous as his gaze pans between the changeling and the spider.
>"I...guess that's true," Rowan answers cautiously. "T-they're not dangerous are they?"
"Would I be standing here with my back to them if they were?" you counter.
>"T-true enough," Rowan nods slowly in agreement. His eyes look upwards and he sees the giant one hanging overhead. He flinches back for a second, but when the spider simply waves at him, he finally realizes that he's not in any danger.
"And to answer the why - the spiders are tenants, and the changeling is my employee. They have both sworn to be on their best behavior, and I assure you that if either of them pose any risks, I will be the first one to deal with it."

Rowanwood seems calmer now, albeit still a bit nervous. What next?

2015-07-31 02:06:37 No. 24095736

>You decide to try and steer the conversation back to the whole reason you brought Rowan in in the first place. It might help him get his mind away from the spiders and changelings business.
"Now listen, the spiders are going to be residing in the cellar. Is it possible that you could partition a section of the cellar off so they can have some privacy, as well as keep them separate from the food storage. Are you able to do that?"
>It took a few seconds but eventually Rowan's brain managed to kick back into gear.
>"O-oh, y-yes, we can do that. It shouldn't be too hard to just build a wall partition. large do you need it?"
"Good question," you reply as you turn to the spiders. "How much space do you think you'll need? And keep in mind you are going to have to assist in paying for this renovation."
>The spider makes a waving gesture towards the corner, where upon several spiders begein descending from the ceiling, leaving a thick trail of web behind them. Once they've reached the floor, you realize that the strands form a perimeter marking off a 3x3 section in the corner.
"There you go...about that big."

What business do you want to attend to next with Rowan?

2015-07-31 02:48:20 No. 24096019

>While some tension lingered, Rowanwood was able to finish up his notes and observations about the cellar and then eagerly departed for the mainfloor.
" you guys fix up outhouses too?" you ask, once again hoping that work-related conversation would keep Rowanwood's mind on task.
>"Uh, s-sure. Yeah, we can do that too. Do you need a new one dug out or just replace the upper structure?"
"Dunno. I haven't seen them yet either."
>You figured it'd be like its own adventure, except at best all you hope to find a decent shithole. You head out the back door, through the kitchen. The surrounding land of your property is modest, albeit in need of some lawncare. Nothing a simple sickle and an afternoon couldn't fix later on.
>As for the outhouses, there was just the one and, surprisingly enough, it seemed to be in decent shape.
>"I'd probably suggest getting at least a second one built. One outhouse gets a line-up pretty fast. You don't want your patrons using the walls to take a piss."
"And how much are those?"
>"About two hundred bits. I know it might sound a bit steep but you don't want to cut corners when it comes to shitholes."

Put yourself down for an extra shithole?

2015-07-31 03:28:59 No. 24096244

"We'll put it down as a 'maybe' for now."
>As much as you'd like an extra latrine for those late night crowds, you can't be too ambitious with your money right off the bat. If you overextended yourself, you could wind up with no money left to secure your supplies sources.
>You and Rowan head back into the kitchen.
"Hey Wispy, could you come here for a second?" You call out, unsure where your changeling employee is currently.
>A few moments later, you see the familiar pegasus trotting over to you. For a second Rowan looks a bit wary, but calms down soon afterwards. Seeing the changeling in disguise probably worried him for a second.
>"What's up boss?" she asks, eager and curious as always.
"How do you think of having the room in the corner for yourself?"
>"'d give me ALL of that?" Wispy replied, stunned by the offer.
"I'd feel better if you had a room that had less risk of a drunk patron wandering in and seeing you out of disguise," you rationalize. It made sense, though you can't help but wonder if maybe you just wanted to show some kindness to this changeling who seems to have been deprived of it.
>Once again, you find yourself getting another vice-grip of a hug from an overly grateful Wispy. Rowan is left snickering as he watches you pry the changeling off once more.
"I'm thinking perhaps, though, that we take out the door leading outside and to my room and instead give it direct access to the kitchen itself. You know, so she can leave without having to go through my room. And we'll need proper furnishing for these rooms, too."
>"Fair enough, I can do that," Rowan nods as he jotes down more notes and sketches.

Next order of business?

2015-07-31 07:17:43 No. 24096996
"Well I think that covers the basics for now," you said after taking a quick glance around. You plenty of ideas for growth and expansion, but until you had a solid idea of how much money you were spending and bringing it, there was little point in fantasizing about future expansions.
>You and Rowan head over to the bar, and he manages to find a couple of stools that were still sturdy enough to support a pony's weight.
>"Okay so just to recap; we've got general repairs to the floors, ceilings, and supports. You want a separate room in the cellar for your...tenants. You're a maybe for a second latrine out back. We'll take all the furniture, broken or not, and fix what we can, recycle and rebuild what we can't. We'll get some new beds for those two rooms on the main floor. We're taking out an exterior door, and moving one interior door to connect to the kitchen."
"I also could use a new sign for the front. I'm still thinking on the name so can I get back to you on that?"
>"And one new sign for the front. It'll take me a little while to get an estimate drawn up. Why don't you swing by the shop in...two or three hours and I should have it ready. From a rough look, though, we're probably looking somewhere in the five thousand or higher range."
>You feel your heart sink for a moment. You didn't quite have that much money available to you. Hopefully Birchwood and Sons had payment plans available, otherwise you were going to have to look for some huge influx of bits.


2015-07-31 07:19:25 No. 24097007
>Rowan than glanced at the bar countertop and noticed the sizable head-shaped dent in it. He grinned and chuckled.
>"Nice. That looks like a genuine Sundance Special you got there."
"A what?"
>"'ve never met Sundance, have you?"
>You shake your head.
>"She's uh...a bit...violent. Just a fair warning." Rowan lifts up some of his shaggy mane, revealing a nice scar along the hairline. "She gave me this a few years back. I made the mistake of saying something nice about, hindquarters."
>You grimace slightly. That wound looked like it had hurt at the time.
>"If your tavern opens up, you'll probably see her at some point. She's a good customer, at least, but damn does she have a low tolerance for annoyances."
"I'll...try to keep that in mind," you reply with a slow nod. ", Rowan, you're not, mention Wispy or my tenants to anybody, are you?"
>Rowanwood flashes you a reassuring grin. "If there's one thing that carpentry has shown me, it's that everybody's got something in their house they don't want the rest of the world to see. Wouldn't stay in business long if we babbled about what's in other pony's closets."
>With that, Rowanwood got back to his hooves and bid you a good day. As he departed, you are left pondering the future of your new business. There were going to be a lot of challenges ahead of you, but you knew as long as you took things one day at a time and tackled each challenge as they came, you'd get out ahead.
>Or you could just burn down the place for the insurance money...

And with that, we can bring chapter 1 of this crazy tale to a close. Thanks to everybody for participating, you've been a fantastic bunch of anons. Keep your eyes peeled this weekend for the next chapter.
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