In Love's name and for Love's sake, I assert that I will employ the Art which is its gift in Love's service alone, rejecting all other usages.
I will spread joy and ease pain. I will fight to preserve what loves and rejoices well in its own way, and I will change no object or creature unless its joy and love, or that of the system of which it is part, are threatened.
To these ends, in the practice of my Art, I will put aside despair for hope, and hatred for love, when it is right to do so-- Until Universe's end.
Sorry, sorry. Is there something I should do to be less surprising next time?
Walk loudly and make sure I can see you! And also I won't be so surprised now that I know that humans can talk.
I'll make sure to do that next time. Though I'm the only human I know who can talk?
Must be very lonely, not to have your own herd. You can join ours if you like.
That's a very kind offer! But I know human talk, too. So I'm not too lonely.
Oh good! It is very important to have a herd.
It's good. And now for the very important questions about moral emergencies. Do you like your herd, and the humans you deal with?
I like giving the human foals rides! It is important for everyone to take care of foals so they grow up strong and wise.
Awwwwww. I'm glad you're helping teach them.
Some of them kick! But I know that you can't expect better of foals. --I don't like the new hay they give me, they should go back to the old hay.
I'm not sure I can do much about that, but I can try.
Why are you the only human that can speak our language?
At least with a pony he doesn't have to worry about sounding crazy. It doesn't make it that much easier to explain.
Someone offered me the ability to, as long as I promised to help people. I'm working on making it so other people can speak it too.
Tail-swish. Well, I am definitely concerned about some things happening to horses.
...oh no. Anything in particular? I can't make any promises, but I'll try?
They keep us in our stables too long and it is really really boring. I get so bored that I weave my head back and forth over and over again just for something to do. And I talked to a horse who was whipped. I don't think they should whip us.
Mhhm that sounds very bad. Bad way above his qualifications except he's a wizard now and should really be able to fix this. I'll do my best?
Quest tree available: But Do They Suffer?
An enormous number of animals are being mistreated. Accept this quest tree to set a goal to fix it. (Accepting this quest will have substantial effects on the world which were not caused by your own actions.)
Success: ???, a more joyful world
...this quest is up there with the ordeal in terrifyingness. It's so much responsibility.
But. He made an oath to spread joy and ease pain.
He isn't going to break it.
What is being a human like?
We look after foals and spend time with our herds. But we also-- how is he going to explain human society to a horse? --work for our food, but not directly? We don't go find food, but we do useful things that make other people give us... food tokens.
That seems convoluted.
...it really is.
So, they managed two out of three intelligent groups before any ongoing moral atrocities, that's something.
(He sets up a recurring donation for one of those little 'we buy horses at meatworks and give them vet care and a paddock and friends' sanctuaries. It's not much, but it's... something.)
He keeps chugging away at quests, and the not-officially-a-quest of exposure therapy.
He makes a habit of every day, as soon as he wakes up, he practices the Speech for 15 minutes, and then tries to pick one Thing On The Worst List to try. (He even managed to ask Margot out, on an actual date, using those actual words, and it was the most unpleasant thing he ever had to do, but he did it. ...and at least he got to brag to Reverend Chris about it.)
He spends time on Pinterest during work hours. Yes, yes, he is stealing his family's money, but he isn't stealing it... worse, by spending the day staring miserably at Outlook. (And Cathy is on facebook all the time, and she has actual work duties. It's fair play.) He keeps a little board of nice apartment ideas, and works on it bit by bit. Some nice duvet covers. Some potted herbs next to the window, for greenery and colour and the making the place smell like basil. A nice soap dispenser, because you need one and there is no reason it can't be nice.
...and after a week of starting the day by picking something off the Worst List, he makes a Nice Things He Likes List. It's not much to start with-- the list started with 'cake? sexy selfies???' but did eventually contain things like a short list of relaxing television shows and food that is not cake and the concept of nice socks.
He is much more consistent about doing things on the Nice Things list, but he's only human and... it's actually a big improvement? Even if it means sometimes he comes home from work and goes "oh no, I haven't eaten a croissant today," he's trying and.. that's much better than it was.