A Grumpy Guide
IC date: Spring 21, 1008
OOC date: July 29, 2013
Location: Wintersong Forest - Deep Wilderness
PCs: Hoarfrost, Snowfield

Spring progresses as it is wont to do. Now that the season is more than three weeks in the land around Horseshoe Harbor has been tilled and seeded, while several spring storms have washed away any lingering snow upon the farmlands. Out in Wintersong, however, the temperature has hardly raised a degree. Gotta love magical forests.

At her cottage in the forest Snowfield is currently locking up in preparation for a day out of the house. Not that she has any intention of going into town, of course, but spending so much time cooped up in a cabin in the woods is bound to drive a pony crazy.

Like clockwork the snow witch hear the rustling of the trees and the soft hoofs on the underbrush. Hoarfrost is loud like most bumbling through the woods but she isn't trying to be sneaky either. "Oh! You're leaving?" The filly leans to get a view on the inside as Snowfield locks it up. The interior of her mentor's home has been a mystery to her, and foalish curiosity has always got her trying to steal glances inside. "Brought you something from town. Its called a Waffle with bananas. I thought I would share it with you." bags mostly empty lacking the junk she is usually hauling about and she of course has her umbrella at the ready to fight back the sun.

Snowfield stops as she hears the crunching of snow underhoof and a familiar, annoying little voice offering her lunch. "I don't do waffles," she says as she locks the door with a click and magics the key into a saddlebag under her white traveling cloak. "Don't you have snow ponies to be mutilating?" the older unicorn asks as she trots across the clearing and into the trees.

The little white unicorn rolls her eyes a smile on her face. "I did all my snow pony murder before I came to visit silly!" almost skipping along after the snow witch. The white of her coat and mane almost making her vanish against the white of the traveling coat. "Don't do Waffles?" tilting her head in confusion. "Are you saying snow witches don't eat waffles? Why? They are so tasty!" the waffle in her bag feeling nefariously heavy. The bananay goodness tempting her from the path of the snow witch!

"It's not a matter of being a snow witch," Snowfield grumbles as the foal decides to follow her into the woods. "I don't like sweet things. Why don't you go home? There's nothing to do out here and you're just going to get yourself hurt." As if on cue a branch that the older unicorn pushed past snaps back into place right at head level. Better duck!

"You're here! Since you're not my teacher I have to watch you be a snow witch so I know how its done!" Clearly Hoarfrost thinks she has won the great battle of logic "Get hurt? No way I walk through the forest every-" Shwak! The branch catches her right in the face. It would have gotten her between the eyes if it wasn't for her muzzle taking the brunt of it. Crimson red to match her eyes drips from her nose. Tears form in her eyes, though they don't spill, hoofs going to her nose to try and keep the blood from spilling everywhere. After all there are allot of things out here in the woods that would go into a right frenzy at the smell of the stuff.

A short bark of laughter escapes the snow witch, for she is a mare who can appreciate schadenfreude. "I know what forests you explore, foal. The ones outside your town that the Bloodrage have frightened all of the beasts out of. You haven't traversed the deep forest where sunlight is a forgotten memory and the creatures of the wood lurk in every shadow." She glances over her withers at Hoarfrost. "Use your magic to pinch your nose and tilt your head down so the blood doesn't run down the back of your throat, I'm not slowing down for you."

Hoarfrost nods doing filly-darndest best not to bleed everywhere, and for Nightmare's sake not cry! Snow witches don't cry. The pale blue of her horn sheds a bit of light in the darkness and she tilts her head up a telekinetic glow about her nose. Stumbling a bit over rocks and bits of branches, her angled vision making it hard to see it all with the pace she makes to keep up with Snowfield. "My barbarian friend says there are manticors and river dragons." voice more of a honk now that her nose is plugged. "You can take them all though so I'm not scared of them. Some day I will be strong enough to fight them too." giving a confident nod. "What are we doing anyway? Are we hunting for some ingredient for a potion or something?"

"Down, I said. Tilt your head down." Snowfield makes an annoyed sound as she catches Hoarfrost lifting her head instead of looking at the ground in front of her. "I don't know why everypony thinks letting a nosebleed drain into your stomach is a good idea." She shakes her head then looks forward again. "There aren't any dragons in these rivers. It's too cold for them in the deep woods, the surface freezes and it's too much effort for them to breach. Downstream the bigger concern is kelpies. As for what I am doing, that is none of your concern."

Down but didn't she say up- Hoarfrost coughs and sputters a few specks of red dotting the ground before she lowers her head with a sorry look. Why is it she get so nervous and screw up about the mare that is supposed to be her hero? With a dejected sigh and an attempt to regain her Snow Witch Cool (Patent Pending). "Whats a Kelpie?" so many things about this side of the gate that is so different. She liked it better when it was just zombies and Shadow Bolts she had to worry about. Well and starving … or freezing, really there where easier ways to die over there. Distracted she trips again. "Darn it." she bemoans. White coat now totally covered in underbrush and muck for the forest. Shaking herself and getting back to her hooves without missing a beat to keep up. "and I guess I will find out because I'm not going home till I know."

"River monster," the witch says, still not turning around. Her eyes dart around the forest before her, keeping an eye out for potential threats and making mental notes of landmarks— though what exactly she considers a landmark in an endless sea of trees is anypony's guess. "Equine in appearance. They lure you close to the water so that they can drown you and eat you. You can't trust your senses in this forest, only your instincts."

"Is that how you navigate with the … everything moving?" Hoarfrost words still come out as honks but at least her head is pointed the right way now. This also has the added benifit of making it easier to walk. The unicorn watches closely with curious inrtent at every little glance or moment. Trying to detect the same little cues her mentor is. For a moment all the nervousness pauses and she focuses. Less noise is caused by her clodding hoofs and (thankfully) she stops talking for a long while as she starts to weave about the forest a little less dependent on the pony beside her. The silence is broken though as a frozen waterfall comes into view. "Woah!" it escapes her lips as little more than a whisper. "Its beautiful." glancing up to Snowfield as if asking if its safe to go up to it and take a look.

"What do you mean, with the 'everything moving'?" Snowfield asks. "Wintersong may be magical, but it's still just a forest. You can lose your sense of direction but that doesn't mean the landscape itself changed."

As they enter the clearing the forest witch comes to a sudden halt at the edge of the lake, scratching her head. "…it's been too long since I've traveled the forest, I could have sworn this was further west." She doesn't stop Hoarfrost from investigating because she is not the foal's keeper.

"But that royal Cat-grapher mare said that the land marks never kept in the same place." Hoarfrost seeing no signs of being told no assumes then that this is of course a safe place to poke her bloodied nose. After all why would her wonderful teacher do otherwise? Trotting up to the river and giving it a poke with her hoof smiles at the sight. "She said that only land marks you can trust are outside the forests boundaries. Then again, she did say she worked for Nightmare moon. I guess she could be lying." the fillies next bright idea is to test her weight carefully on the ice. This at least she seems to have a little bit of experience with and at least does it smart. Slow and careful, mindful of the ice under her and about her. "Didn't you meet her? She was in the forest for like a whole week."

The ice is frozen solid all the way to the stream bed. There is no risk of it collapsing beneath the little filly's weight.

"There's a method to the forest's madness," Snowfield says as she walks out onto the ice. She has no problem maintaining traction on the surface, a faint glow about her horn and hooves indicating her method. "It's not that the landmarks move, the natural magics just do weird things to your head as you're traveling. There are ways to find your way to where you want to go." So why is she here? This is not where Snowfield was heading. How curious.

Hoarfrost makes a little Oh! As she sees Snowfield's horn. It never occurred to her that she could do such a thing. That is brilliant! Her own horn glows a pale blue again wrapping her hooves in magic as she experiments with just how a traction spell might work. Is she sticking herself to the ice? Taking the slippery away from the ice?

» Hoarfrost rolls 1d10 (ice magic) — Result: 5 | Sum: 5

Well she doesn't bung it up at least. Its sloppy and only on two hooves but she manages to get it to keep her more stable. Turns out she choose to let her hooves sink into the ice to garner more hold. Sweat freezes on her furry brow and she smiles, trotting right up to one of the large icicles that form the waterfall. Placing her hooves on it she tries to yank it off to no avail. "If it is all in the know how, how come your all lost then?" she asks as innocently as can be.

"I'm not lost," Snowfield says shortly. "It has merely been a while since I traversed the forest and mixed up which route went where. I know exactly where we are. This waterfall was where I kept Salty's body in stasis while Polaris took forever to craft a potion of stasis." She continues across the lake and begins walking into the forest on the other side, brooking no argument on the subject.

» Hoarfrost rolls 1d10 (ice magic) — Result: 2 | Sum: 2

This revelation only makes the little filly try and pry the icicle off harder. Something about Snowfield finding this place important perhaps? "You kept a body in here? Why?" with a grunt she simply uses some magic to solve her problems. A glow of pale blue later a yelp later the sound of hooves running and the woosh of water hit the air. "Not good not good!" all it was, was a stream but it is still deadly cold and she tries to act all nonchalant fallowing after Snowfield. "Do you keep this Salty in your Cabin or something now then?"

Snowfield grumps at Hoarfrost. "Salty was the mayor of Horseshoe Harbor before Lorelei," she says, irritation playing across her features as she can't believe she is giving a history lesson. "She was killed by a falling weather vane. I kept the body frozen while ponies looked for a way to unkill her. That waterfall was a defensible space where the scent of blood wouldn't escape."

"Killed by a weather vane?" There is a kind of deadpan to her voice. Not at all sure if she is being toyed with or not. "You … you can unkill ponies?" That sends a shiver down her spine. "I'm not sure I want that power." its almost whispered "Did Salty get unkilled? You sound like you liked her."

"No, I do not. She is an enormous jerk and a drunken buffoon," Snowfield deadpans. "The town is much better off with Lorelei running the show and her death was one of the best things to happen to Horseshoe Harbor." She takes a breath to gather her thoughts. "You can't unkill a pony who was supposed to die. Once your time is up then the Bone Mistress takes your soul to the stars and that's the end of it. She is not a mare who barters except in the most extraordinary circumstances." Notably she does not say whether Salty survived her deadification or not.

"You're insulting her so you must like her." Hoarfrost gives a smile all together too warm for an Ice Witch. "I … I'm sorry." hesitating for a moment she tries to put a hoof on Snowfield's shoulder in comfort. She is used to death, it happens alot where she comes from. With a sigh she keep her head down again.

Snowfield reacts very suddenly when Hoarfrost's hoof brushes against her shoulder. The mare whirls around, horn aglow as the snow on the ground turns into razor sharp icicles all angled towards the filly. "…" The expression on her face is difficult to read, somewhere between anger and confusion. "…don't touch me," she eventually settles on saying before turning around and trotting purposefully into the trees again. The icicles are left where the are, stabbing out of the ground.

To her credit she doesn't scream. Eyes wide like saucers she just stares at all the pointed death pointed at her from all angles. One even pokes through the umbrella strapped to her side. The offending hoof is still out stretched toward the snow witch. "I …" she stumbles over the words swallowing. "-just" she shivers face changing expression all at once. "HEY!" she yells struggling to climb over the ice to get to Snowfield. "You can't just trap me here after that! You have to teach me what ever that was!" grunting and trying not to impale herself on icy death.

"You want lessons so badly?" Snowfield calls from the trees. "Consider that your first one. It's just ice. There are a dozen ways to get it out of the way."

She does not come back to watch the effort.

»GAME: Hoarfrost made an unskilled roll with an outcome of Bad.

"I- I can't!" Hoarfrost's horn glows and glows, she lifts it in the air trying with all her might to banish the ice. Its not so easy to melt things in the Wintersong Forest. Shivering as she flails against the ice she whines taking a seat back in the middle of the gauntlet of icy death. "Stop being cryptic! I know there is more too it then just melting. Its not working." mornfully taking her umbrella into her hoofs. There is a hole in it! Horror!

Snowfield is either out of earshot or ignoring Hoarfrost, because she does not respond to the little unicorn's calls. Try again, little filly!

»GAME: Hoarfrost made an unskilled roll with an outcome of Okay.

Taking a deep breath she sets in the center on her cage and focuses. Her horn glows and it focuses on one ice spire and it slowly recedes like a door slowly sliding away. Wisps of cold magic flowing about her horn, curling away like smoke. Grabbing her umbrella in her mouth she trots after her teacher in silence. A hoof going to her horn rubbing at it, hissing at the tenderness. "Sorry I touched you Snowfield."

Snowfield is not very difficult to find. The trees thin quite suddenly and reveal the steep drop of a cliff face. The mare is standing on the edge of the precipice staring across the valley to the forested mountains beyond. "This isn't right," she murmurs.

Hoarfrost looks up hoping for a response she never gets. Instead she looks over the vally and all the trees. "Are you ok Snowfield? You seem … " the filly can't find the words and just sets next to the ice witch. Suddenly she pops open the wounded umbrella and puts it between the herself and the elder unicorn. No nasty sun is going to get them! "Where should we be?"

The older mare shakes her head. "This cliff is supposed to be half a day's hike away. I know it's that far, I had to guide that silly zebra here from the waterfall to get her the Kiss. Something is wrong." She glances down at Hoarfrost. "I'm heading back to gather my maps. I recommend you follow along, you do not want to stay this deep in the forest."

"The Cat-grapher was right!" Hoarfrost chirps, folding her umbrella, and moving in behind her teacher. "You kissed a zebra? I didn't know you had a special somepony!" bouncing along she seems to be in a good mood again. "Tell me all about her!"

"It's not that kind of kiss," Snowfield grumps as she disappears into the trees. "Go ask Siyana if you want to know about it so badly."