Charting a Course
IC date: Winter 18, 1007
OOC date: January 6, 2013
PCs: Dream-Daze, Goody Horseshoes, Lorelei, Magpie, Muzaji, Ruby Blossom, Rumble Riot, Skyflower, Stormsailor, Thunnini
NPCs: Autumn Dust, Codex

It's a lovely evening! …Okay not exactly. In fact it's quite an overcast evening. Pretty dark. Windy. Chilly. Drizzly! Actually it's kind of gross. But it's an evening! And the ice-blue pony pacing in front of the fountain doesn't seem to mind the… damp. Possibly because it's been like this in town for a good bit by now!

Lorelei is, however, looking a bit uneasy. She's certainly pacing rather dedicatedly. Occasionally she pauses to look over the parchment she's laid out on the fountain again. Or look around the square. Or wonder if she put out enough bulletins! How many bulletins is enough bulletins? Should she have put more detail in? Where are they supposed to find a ship anyway - why can't everypony just be as good a swimmer as she is dangit. Huff. Pace.

Had it been a few months ago when she first sailed into this port, Muzaji really wouldn't given a buck about such things as looming disasters and cockney plans to stop them. But in her time here she's gotten wound more deeply into the going-ons of the Harbor than most ponies would care to be. Mostly due to the fact that while she can hold back her avarice, her curiosity refuses to stay down. And a trip into the seapony lands of legend is just too good to pass up, regardless of the reasoning.

Thus the zebra finally trots into the square, purple eyes glowing faintly beneath the hood of her cloak. How do Zebras do that anyways without 'magic'? You probably don't want to know.

Thunnini is sitting in her go-kart near the fountain - with the weather the way it is, she's not going to be *in* the fountain. The thought of helping the landponies out with protecting Horseshoe Harbor brings a determined grin to her face. The fact that this expedition is to her homewater just means that she won't have as many problems as the landponies in moving around. Of course, she can't take her go-kart with her on the ship, and she'd rather ride with friends than swim by herself, but that's not that big of a deal.

Stormsailor has taken a break for staring out at the whirlpool and wishing he had a boat he could take for a spin to come into town and grab a bite to eat. He's on his way back to the port with a take-out bag in his mouth when he sees a gathering in the square. It seems worth investigating.

A gaggle of foals lingers nearby, close enough to see what's going on but not so close one should expect them to sort of contribute to the conversation. One of them is Autumn Dust, an outlander earth pony filly with an orange coat and red mane reminiscent of a leafpile in october. She looks critical. Nearby is another earth pony filly, slight of build with a sandy brown coat and a blonde mane. She hangs back a bit but continues to watch, appraising each party as they arrive. Behind them is a white pegasus colt with blue hair, and he looks totally bored, frowning under hte brim of a rain hat that flops down over his face.

Skyflower is here, waiting, with two saddlebags positively brimming with supplies and a small pull-cart that seems to do likewise. "Madame mayor," she says, "do we have a plan? I'm happy to offer any assistance I'm able."

Also sitting inside Thunnini's go-kart is Dream Daze! Because she didn't want to miss the possibility for an exciting adventure~ Though she's really more curled up than sitting down, and possibly snoozing at the moment. Snooze…

Speaking of adventure! An honest-to-goodness call for /adventure/ means that certain hot-blooded unicorns simply /must/ attend. So Rumble Riot's taking time away from a Super Secret Project to scope out the scene, carrying one of those adventuring bulletins in his mouth, and roaming up to random ponies. "Hey! You feard abou thif? Huh? Oh how abou you? Huh? Who wanfs a go foo seaponyland!" I do! I do!

Lorelei looks over at Skyflower, letting out a breath. Plan! Yes. Plan. That is her job. Plans. She needs those. Especially now! "Well… first we need to find a ship. Definitely." Nod. "And then… then we'll need someone who can navigate." She peers off towards the port. "Because getting out of here won't be terribly easy I'm afraid. I know where we'd be going… though if any of the town zebras know the way, more's the better."

At least there's a bit of a crowd! She nods to the gathering ponies, drawing herself up a bit and trying to shake off the nerves. She doesn't want to seem as uneasy as she feels about this entire thing. Is this enough of a crowd? Should she start talking? She blinks and freezes for a second. 'Speeches' still do not come naturally! She looks back to the parchment again as though it might do the talking for her. No luck!

"I do not know the precise path to hold, only of ways myth and legend told," Muzaji chimes in at the query about local zebras knowing. "But seeing as the seafolk tend to take to us zebras more readily than the other ponykind, no offense intended to anyone, you're going to want a few along for the ride all the same."

Skyflower steps forward out of the crowd and bows her head. "Madame mayor, if you like I believe that I could provide an apt summary of the situation and our needs for same?" She takes a deep breathe.

Stormsailor takes a salad out of his take-out bag and begins to munch some lettuce. Lorelei gotten a good gathering here but the old captain has to wonder how many of these ponies are willing to risk life and limb taking up her cause and trying to escape the harbor? He chews slowly and watches Skyflower as the unicorn prepares to summarize the situation.

Such excitement! Rumble catches wind that Something Important may be about to happen, and starts bumping his way through the crowd to see about that front-row seat. Still with that notice in his mouth. Ready to listen.

The trio of foals near the fountain continue to watch and wait. Autumn Dust maintains her skeptical attitude, lifting a hoof to peer at its edge with a little frown. The shy filly at her side glances about, a bit skittish at all these strange faces. The pegasus colt is talking about how much cooler it would be to be off doing something else and nobody is paying attention to him.

Thunnini just sits and waits for the announcements and such to be made, so she can volunteer when volunteers are called for.

Lorelei blinks and looks over at Skyflower, blushing faintly. "Oh. Oh, yes. Alright, if you'd like." Saved! At least for a moment. She's probably still going to have to do that 'speaking' thing. She scoops up the letter from the fountain edge. This will work. There's interest! This can be made to work. She nods decisively. No giant stormthing is going to destroy /her/ town.

Skyflower taps her right forehoof on the wood of the boardwalk three times. "Ahem! If I may have everypony's attention, please?" She tosses her mane. "Behind me," she says, with a tilt of her head towards the maelstrom, "is a threat to our beloved home that could potentially destroy it if left unchecked. I was born here and I've grown up here and I am SURE that I'm not alone when I say that I don't want to see that happen. It transpires that this was the work of a seapony mare named Spindrift, and that her mentor in magic has offered his help in this matter. What is needed are ponies who are brave enough to make the trek to the city of the Seaponies so that we may talk with them and try to find a way to solve this. This is our darkest hour." She pauses. "Perhaps our fourth-darkest hour. But we must be brave nontheless. I am going: who shall come with me?"

"What about that time with the lemons?" Stormsailor chimes in. "Or are you already counting that?"

Skyflower says "I think this is worse than the lemons." Pause. "But perhaps only just."

Lorelei blinks, looking between them. "Lemons? …No, I don't think I want to know."

"OOH ME!" Rumble drops the tattered paper he'd been carrying everywhere, lifting a hoof. "I'll go! Take me! Pleeeease! I wanna be helpful! And kick things in the name of JUSTICE! And see new lands! And save the world!"

"I want to help," announces Thunnini as she poles her way forward. "I have lots of friends here, and I want to make sure they stay safe."

From the direction of the docks, a scraggly-looking fellow walks into the town, standing towards the back of the small group. There's a pair of rough-looking ponies standing with him like he's some sort of leader-type and they're following him around. The older gentlepony adjusts a dark monacle over one of his eyes as he listens to the announcement.

Muzaji glances towards Thunnini for a moment, recalling the night on the beach the two of them were the only witnesses to Spindrift's departure after her ominous threat. One that she has made very real, and much sooner than the zebra had anticipated. Not to mention the scope of it. But there certainly seems to be enough ponies willing to brave the matter for their home and lives. But why was -she- here again…. oh right, too dang curious for her own wellbeing. Especially if there was a potential profit margin on the side.

"And so the Wanderer has fulfilled her schemes
A nightmare woven from broken dreams
Now the call goes out far and wide
For those to brave that Sorrowed Tide."

From behind Thunnini in her kart, Dreamy pokes her head up. She also lifts a hoof. Foal volunteers, go!

Skyflower takes a step back and nods to Lorelei. "There you are: all summarized and explained. So glad I could help."

Lorelei perks her ears, looking a bit relieved at the quick responses. She smiles and nods over at Rumble, then to Thunnini and Dreamy - even if they are small, it's nice to see the little ones wanting to help! That's a good sign for the future generation, isn't it? Sure. Dedicated citizenry, always a good sign! She gives Skyflower a grateful smile and nod, then turns to the crowd herself. "Now this does sound as though it is something of a diplomatic venture," she begins, clearing her throat. "But that does not mean it will be simple. The storm will make it difficult just to get out of the port, I'm afraid. We will need brave ponies, skilled sailors, a navigator… a ship." She glances down at the letter for reference. "They say they'll provide accomodations once we arrive, but getting there, that's up to us. But we've got to risk it - and the sooner the better, before it becomes unfeasable to get a ship out of the Harbor at all."

Autumn Dust, the outlander filly, wrinkles up her nose at the mention of ships. "You guys are way too into ships around here. Back where I come from we don't even have any at all." The blonde filly at her side frowns a bit. "Isn't it… totally frozen where you're from?" she counters. Autumn Dust scoffs, and says, "Yeah, but even then we don't even need ships." The blonde filly considers this with increasing worry. "That doesn't… make any… … nevermind."

And here's the kicker. Stormsailor continues eating his salad as ponies begin to volunteer, reasonably sure that none of them are actually qualified to sail a ship out of the harbor even in GOOD weather. "You know, I sailed to Hastsverige in the winter once," he comments to Autumn Dust when she and her companions start talking about how useless boats are in frozen conditions. "The ocean itself freezes over that time of year. They've got special boats with metal prows that break the ice so everything else can still sail."

An "Ahem!" breaks out into the croud, coming from the older stallion in the back as he clears his throat. He straightens himself, "If it indeed a ship you are looking for, then it is indeed a ship I can provide. I must say, it is unfortunate that I was unable to bring it straight into the harbor due to this weather, but it is possible to get ponies to it in small quantities at a time…"

Muzaji idly leans against the fountain on the side opposite the kids. "Well, you've got no shortage of bravery by the looks of it, miss mayor…. but that doesn't really solve the matter of a ship. Considering what happened to the last one," she gives a nod of her head in the direction Queen Pegasus' boat had literally taken flight, and leaves it at that…. Ears perk up a bit when somepony else implies they have a boat available.

The shy filly at Autumn Dust's side shrinks back as a big scary adult like Stormsailor addresses her group. Autumn is not so readily dissuaded, however, and puffs her chest out and thrusts her chin upward and eyes Stormsailor as levelly as a filly can. "Yeah? Well our oceans are frozen all the way to the bottom and it's always winter so they never thaw out!" Behind her, the pegasus colt in the rain hat flutters his wings. "Yeah!" he says.

"Sounds like a job for a zeppelin, then," Stormsailor says, having an answer for everything. "They've got those in Canterlot since the city is landlocked. You take a boat and you attach a big balloon to the top and sail through the skies. I've never tried navigating one of those, you don't get an ocean spray when you're floating way up above it." He shakes his head sadly. "Once you take the ocean out of the equation you lose half the fun."

Lorelei blinks and perks her ears, looking over to the unfamiliar stallion as he speaks. "A ship? You have a ship for us?" She blinks again, looking him over. She doesn't recognize this one! Not that she knows /everypony/ in town, granted. Hey, she's working on it! "What manner of ship, sir? Could we borrow it? How would we reach it?"

Thunnini grins at the daring of Dream-Daze (Daring-Daze?), then looks over at Stormsailor with a wide-eyed stare. Using balloons to float ships into the air? Maybe it could work to help float an adventurous seafilly into the air! But that idea will have to wait for when she's not going to be swimming.

Her daring feat done, Dreamy peeks out over the side of Thunnini's kart. Talk of airships, fine, but she hears other foal voices! Like… Those three! Whom she now stares at, trying to discern if they're also advenureous kids like the rest of them. This may very well be like a school field trip~

Goody-Horseshoes makes his way a little closer to Lorelei, his two companions following behind, "I, infact, do have a ship. It is, shall we say, a bit of a small journey to reach it, but it is very accessable." He gets to the front of the group, "Allow me to introduce myself. I am Captain Goody Horseshoes, and these gentleponies with me are two of my crew of do-gooders. Now, I did not come here knowing that I would be needed, but it seems I could not have come at a finer time! If it is my help you need, then it is my help you will recieve." His speech sounds heartfelt, and his voice projects out like a true leader.

Magpie comes trotting over to the ponies. "…Crew of do-gooders? You really call 'em that?"

(… That name is comically cliche even by Pony standards) Muzaji thinks to herself. (Celestia must of been smoking alfalfa or something that naming day)

Autumn Dust puffs up a bit more and leans forward to stare down Stormsailor. "Yeah? Well back where I'm from, the Shadowbolts would come up and pop a hole in a zip-a-lin and drop it out of the sky!" The colt behind her hops, the droopy brim of his rain hat flopping. "Yeah!"

The shy filly that accompanies them is instead watching Goody Horseshoes, fascinated. Such high charisma!

Skyflower smiles. "How very fortunate we are, then!"

Ruby-Blossom trots along behind Maggie - she hadn't really been planning on getting all caught up in this; but there are foals to be watched here! She offers a small nod to the gathering of ponies.

Stormsailor scratches his chin thoughtfully. "I guess cannons aren't very good for taking out small, agile enemies." He looks down at Audumn Dust. "Why are you so hot to talk about how much sailing is terrible where you're from, anyway?"

Autumn Dust is about to reply, then zips her mouth shut. "'Cause…" she begins. The filly turns and thumps her quiet associate. "Codex! Why did we start arguing again?"

The brown earth pony hops in place and stammers. "I- I didn't argue, you're the one that was arguing…"

Answering Stormsailor's question falls to the wayside as a back and forth exchange of "Did not!" "Did so!" ensues, except Codex tags out and the mouthy pegasus colt steps in to take her place.

Goody-Horseshoes tilts his head towards Magpie, adjusting his strange monacle once again, "Why yes. Do not judge these ponies by their appearance. Though we may appear weathered by the sea on the outside, I assure you on the inside we mean the very best. I am fortunate that stallions as kind as these are a part of my crew."

Lorelei nods slowly. "Yes, that's… that's very fortunate for us! Thank you, Captain, that's a generous offer, and couldn't be better-timed." She looked around the group again. "If everypony who's willing to accompany can make arrangements… I do hope we can find a navigator and go within the week." In her looking she spies Stormsailor, and fixes him with a bit of a /stare/. Navigator indeed. STARE. "Before the storm worsens and makes such a voyage even more difficult."

Stormsailor is completely oblivious to the death stare from Lorelei, so engrossed is he in laughing at the foals bickering amongst themselves. "Alright, you three, that's enough horseplay out of you. Let's all agree that everyone argued equally, hmm?"

"I argued equally more," says Autumn Dust, casting a scathing glance at her companions. Codex looks just about ready to run home in terror. The pegasus can't see anything from under the brim of his hat and is glowering in the wrong direction. At length, Autumn looks back to the conversation, then to the mayor, then up at Stormsailor, then back and forth a few times with narrowed eyes.

Goody-Horseshoes kneels down by the three foals with a smile on his face, "I say, my three fine ponies…what are your names?"

"If he has his own ship wouldn't he have a navigator already?" Muzaji comments, without moving from her spot leaning against the fountain.

The three foals regard Goody Horseshoes in a defiant, terrified, and hatted fashion. "I'm Autumn Dust," says Autumn Dust. "This is Codex-" She gestures to the sandy earth pony filly, "And Rainy Road." This to the pegasus. "And you think you're a hero but how do we even know you even have a ship, huh? Maybe you're LYING."

Goody-Horseshoes shakes his head and pulls it back a little, "Why…a hero? I'm honored that you would call me such, but really, I am no different than any other pony." He acts very animated as if he's used to being theatrical with curious foals. "Why, you three could send out your best fliers to take a look for themselves! Three young adventurers like you? I bet all three would love to sail the great blue seas."

"I'm not goin', seaponies eat your face," says Autumn Dust.
"I'm not going, I need to help my mom with the shop," says Codex.
"I'm not going, I can't swim," says Rainy Road.

Autumn points across at Dream Daze and Thunnini. "They're going, though. THEY can get their faces eaten if they want to."

Goody-Horseshoes smirks at the foals, "Ah yes…you say you're not going, but you never said you didn't want to go!" He looks at Autumn, "Why, I've met a seapony on the rare occasion. They're odd at first glance, but they certainly would not eat your face!" He then turns to Codex, "It seems that your intentions are in just a good of a place as any other" then to Rainy, "You do not have to be able to swim to ride on a boat…and there is always time to learn!"

Autumn Dust's comment catches Thunnini's attention. The seafilly poles her way over, an impish grin on her face. When she gets close to Autumn Dust, the seafilly asks "Are you sure you meant what you said about seaponies eating your face?" Totally innocent look on her face, and her lower half hidden by the go-kart bucket and her acquired cloak.

"Don't be silly, of course they don't eat faces," Muzaji adds as she gets up from her spot and starts to wander out of the square. But not before giving the kids something else to think about instead. "Some legends say they prefer to suck the thoughts out of your head with a straw through your ear." But other than that little (false.. hopefully?) tidbit the zebra walks away without farther concern for the matter.

Ruby quietly watches the stranger talking to the foals while loitering about Maggie who appears to be dozing off on her feet; this prompts Ruby to lean down and push her head under Maggie so she can slide the filly onto her back.

Autumn Dust turns and squints at Thunnini suspiciously. "Yup. They live under the ice and if you're not quiet they burst out and drag you under and eat your face," she says, authoritatively.

Codex is listening to Muzaji, expression more terrified by the moment. Soon the sandy-coated filly is turning about in panicky little circles, mouth agape.

Rainy Road snorts. "Suck your thoughts out? Ha! Good thing I don't think!"

Dreamy likewise peers down from within Thun's gokart. She ducks down alllll the way so that only her eyes and ears are above the rim of the kart. Staaaaaaring at the three unfamiliar foals. Debating playing a prank… But it seems Thunnini's already about to play one!

Goody-Horseshoes throws his head back and almost roars in laughter at the young ones. He seems to be enjoying himself, all in good spirits.

Ruby rolls her eyes playfully. "Next thing you know these foals will be worried about the blanket monster."

Thunnini's grin just gets wider. She turns to Dreamy and gives the little unicorn the poling staff. "Hold onto this for a moment, please," the seafilly says with a pleasant smile. With the staff secured, Thunnini turns back to Autumn Dust. "You do realize that there's no ice here?" Thunnini asks, right before she leaps out of her go-kart and glomps Autumn Dust's head, (gently) nomming on the misinformed filly's head.

Goody-Horseshoes smirks at Ruby before turning back to the foals, "The blanket monster is indeed a formidable foe!"

Dreamy solomnly takes Thunnini's staff. And grins when the seapony foal leaps out to 'tackle' one of the others! She looks to the other two, and wields the staff like a giant straw, pointing it at Codex and making a slurping sound!

Muzaji pauses and turns partway back to look when she hears the sound of Thunnini sloshing out of her bucket, and stifles back a snicker when she latchs onto the obnoxious unifilly's head like that. Then Dream Daze joins in on the act with the slurping noises. Serves the little buggers right for speaking without thinking about why might be listening to it.

Codex shrieks and takes off down the street, sobbing and breathless with terror.

Autumn Dust roars! Except she is just a filly so that only goes so far. She then starts charging in circles around the fountain, taking Thunnini for a ride. "Raaahhhh! I'm gonna do to you what Pinkie Pie does to drift widows!" There isn't a lot of anything going on besides running around and around, though.

Rainy Road stays in place, the brim of his hat still covering his eyes. He turns his head this way and that. "What? Codex? Where did you go?" He turns vaguely in Dreamy's direction and reahces up with a hoof to lift his hat back a bit. "Wha? … That's a stick."

One of the crewmembers with Goody gives a nod to the captain before taking off down the street to help slow down and calm down Codex.

Thunnini just giggles and flips so she's holding onto Autumn Dust and riding along on the unifilly's back. "You're silly, you know that?" the seafilly asks.

Dreamy giggles~ Which is to say, she makes little breathy sounds that would be giggles if she had a voice. And yet! The stick seems to be ineffective on the behatted foal! So she shrugs and smiles at Rainy, waving a hoof all friendly-like. It was just a joke, after all~

Autumn Dust eventually drops to a stop and does a few twirls in place trying to get at the seafilly on her back. "I'm not silly! It's true! They'll eat your face! They'll-" The brown earth pony stops and twists to eye Thunnin's tail, stares at it, then squints up at her face. "Oh. Well, they would eat your face in -my- world."

Ruby-Blossom says "Everythin wants to eat ponies in your world."

Rainy Road continues to stare at the stick, obviously clueless. As he turns away and totters off in the direction that Codex and the crewmember of the Good Ship Lollypop went off after, he reaches up and scratches his head with a wing.

Autumn Dust nods briskly and points to Ruby. "Yeah. What she said. She was there, I remember her."

Goody-Horseshoes laughs whole-heartedly at the seapony clinging on to the you filly, "See…there's nothing to be afraid of!"

Thunnini hugs Autumn Dust. "From what I've heard of your world, it's not a very nice place," the seafilly points out. "But you're here now, so why worry about what things were like in your old world?"

"Who says I'm worried!?" contends Autumn Dust, who exists in a perpetual state of disagreement with everybody. "Why are you out here, anyway? Don't you breathe water?"

Dream-Daze poles Thunnini's Kart over to where the seapony ended up, peering over the side at Autumn Dust too. Such an argumentative kid!

"I can breathe underwater, but I can also breathe air," explains Thunnini as she clambers back into her go-kart. "We're more like frogs than fish in that way. Of course, we also find it easier to swim than to walk when we don't have rear legs, so that's one reason we usually stay underwater."

"Oh," says Autumn Dust, shrugging about to help get the seafilly off her back. "That makes sense." She is poker-faced for a moment before frowning and puffing her chest out. "You shouldn't have scared Codex like that, you know! She's scared of everything and now she's gonna be hiding in her house for days."

"Oh," says Thunnini, now somewhat embarassed and looking sheepish. "Maybe we can hang out after the adventure and I could apologize and show her that I'm not really going to cew off her face or suck her thoughts out with a straw?"

"Yeah!" says Autumn. "Yeah, you'd BETTER hang out!" She stomps her front hooves a few times and huffs through flared nostrils. "Maybe we can even be friends or something! So there!" She hikes her head and casts an imperious look about the plaza before turning and scampering off down the street.