Chasing A Cold Trail
IC date: Summer 32, 1008
OOC date: July 22, 2013
Location: En Route to Daybreak
PCs: Dragonheart, Hoarfrost, Sunshine-Stormcloud
NPCs: Bright-Ice, Iron-Star
GM: Snowfield

It's an extra chilly day in the Wintersong Forest today. The sky above is drab and gray thanks to the extra thick cloud cover, although some distance ahead a hole has been punched through to let sunlight and blue sky shine through. Black dots can be seen zipping around the hole— pegasi actively keeping the sky clear above their new home. They lost the sun once, they're not about to let some bad weather do it a second time.

The road itself has a thin layer of snow dusting it with larger piles of what has already been plowed piled up along the edges. Even in the depths of summer the forest isn't about to play nice with the weather.

Dragonheart hops along beside Sunshine, pouncing on little drifts of snow before scuttling onward. She's admittedly a little chilly — something that confuses the little filly, since she was raised in Wintersong. It ain't usually no thang. But the strange weather changes combined with an extended stay in the warm harbor seems to have melted her resistance to the cold somewhat, so every once in a while she shakes herself off as if that will help before bounding onward.

"Cookie cookie cookie!" she claims. No matter how much Sunshine has tried to dissuade her, Dragonheart has gotten it into her head that this is a mission that will involve a cookie at the end. Nevermind danger. Nevermind suspicious activity. COOKIE.

"I don't have a cookie. I don't have a cookie. I don't have a cookie. I don't have a cookie." Sunshine repeats, as calmly as one can dealing with a relentless source of demands and activity, for the umpteenth time this trip. How long have they been walking the road? If she judges every mention of 'cookie' as a step, then… Several hundred steps into the forest already. She's got the broken journal tucked away in a sidebag, along with a small assortment of snacks and treats and whatnot. Just…no cookies.

"How about raisens. You like raisens, kid? Why'd you even follow me anyway?"

"Cookie cookie cookie cookie," Dragonheart chants. By this point she can't possibly even be still nagging. It's just reflex.

Sunshine rolls her eyes. She pauses in the path, tucking her head into her pack to pull out a little bag of raisens. She wasn't kidding about those at least! "Hey kid!" she mouths around the bag, dropping it into a hoof and holding it out. "Raisens. Try some of these. They're just as good as cookies."

"Cookies!!" That gets Dragonheart's attention. She bounces up and down, and then peers at the bag. "Raisins," she repeats, and then stuffs her head into the bag.

The observant might notice shadows flit overhead. Thanks to the gray sky, however, there's no telltale shadow flashing across one's vision to prompt a pony to look upwards.

Cold is a young snow witch's best friend and extra cold days have little the little filly out in the town bouncing about. The all white filly Hoarfrost sets under her umbrella magic about her horn moving the snow in swirling gusts and gathinging it into another lopsided Windigo imitation. Training is what she would tell anypony as she builds little snow windigos along the road hopping to catch her mentor's attention. "Roar!" she tries mocking a Windigo roar "I will eat all your hate NOM NOM NOM!" the floating statue smashes through another. Giggling she gathering more snow for another statue.

Sunshine can't help but get a little bit of a grin. "Yep. Raisins. They're good for ya." Keeping the bag level with the little earth pony, her periphial vision catches the barest glimpse of flitting shadows. She lifts her head, glancing about the gray skies and treetops… Then a smashing sound up ahead! And someone shouting roar? What?

Sunshine frowns, tugging the bag back. "Alright, kid. Something's up ahead… You be good and stick with ol' Auntie Sunshine, 'kay?"

Sunshine's advance towards the sound is rudely interrupted by the appearance of a pair of spears whose sharp points are aimed straight at the mechanical-legged mare threateningly. On the other end of the spears are a pair of pegasi: a large gray stallion with one eye scarred shut by an old injury bearing a cutie mark of a constellation, and an agile-looking lavender mare with a snowflake emblazoned on her flank. The two of them dropped down from the sky in the middle of the road.

They look like they mean business. "Identify yourself," the mare demands, speaking surprisingly easily around the spear gripped between her teeth. It's a learned skill. "What business do you have in Daybreak?"

OM NOM NOM. Dragonheart's head shoots up, her cheeks enormous and full of raisins like an overzealous chipmunk. "Raaah!!" she roars, spitting half of them out by accident. And she charges forward to meet Hoarfrost, only to scramble backwards with a squeal as something sharp appears in front of her face. Luckily, she has an answer for the pegabrute: "COOKIESH!" she says, her words a little muffled by raisins spitting out a few at a time.

So much for 'stay with the adult'.

Sunshine grimaces, starting forward a couple steps, all sorts of ready to go charging after the foal, but that proves to be unnecessary when other visitors drop down instead to greet them! With spears! And questions! The ex-criminal isn't sure whether this is wonderful luck or horrible chance.

"Easy there, Pokey-Smoke, we're from Horseshoe Harbor." she starts with, reaching a hoof down to try and nudge Dragonheart baaaack next to her. "We're just visiting because something freaky's going on to one of our friends, so I'm trying to find out what. Don't suppose you two could maybe put the spears down and talk with us, could you?" She tries to get a glance around the two brutes while she's at it. Surely there was something down there!

The mare keeps her eyes on Sunshine for several long moments before tucking her spear into a sling over her withers. "Alright," she says, voice still firm but no longer confrontational. She tilts her head to her stallion companion who is keeping his spear drawn though no longer pointed at anypony in particular. "This here is Iron Star, and I'm Bright Ice," the mare continues. "We'll walk you the rest of the way to town, but unless she's from Daybreak you're not gonna find her there. There aren't any outsiders staying with us right now."

Iron Star looks down at Dragonheart. He snorts once at the little foal but does not grace her declaration of baked goods with a verbal response.

Dragonheart munches a little more, slurping and smacking her lips as she devours raisins. "…Hallo I yam Dagonhart, I yam good girl." Beam! …Her teeth are covered in raisin. Also go figure that her first real strung-together sentence(s) would be far and away from Ruby and company, like the jerk she is.

Iron Star continues to stare down at the foal with his one good eye. He eventually grunts again, though it is a more pleasant and accepting grunt. It seems he accepts this answer.

The pure white filly raises a hoof over her eyes to peer out from the relative shade of her patchwork umbrella and over her sculpture garden. Shrugging she can't make them out with this blasted sun she is continues in her game of making and smashing snow sculptures. That is till the strangers pass by her spot along the road. "Whoa Harbor Ponies!" She stands and grabs her umbrell with her magic. "Bright Ice they get in trouble or something?" she trots along beside the pega-brute with a wry smile. "Also why is that one covered in crumbs?"

Sunshine bobs her head in a slow nod. "We'd appreciate that. I'm-" But then Dragonheart introduces herself. Like, legitimately introduces herself! With a full real sentance and everything! "…Way to go, kid." she murmurs in earnest compliment, fishing out the raisins bag to see about giving Dragonheart a bit more of a treat for the road. "Yeah, so. She's Dragonheart, I'm Sunshine-Stormcloud. Nice to meet you both. We just have a few questions…"

Suddenly newpony! Sunshine balks, "Wha… No! There's no trouble here. None. Just..looking for somebody."

NOMF NOMF NOMF. Dragonheart scarfs more raisins down before bouncing a little bit in place. When she spies Hoarfrost, she blinks. "Hiiiii!! Cookie cookie!" Once again, she is chipmunking her raisins. It's a terrible sight. She is contributing exactly nothing to this investigation. Get your act together, rookie, or you're off the force!

"They're fine, Hoarfrost," Bright Ice says to the little unicorn. "Just looking for a lost friend, it sounds like." The mare turns her attention back to Sunshine. "If she's lost all the way out here, though, I don't know how much luck you'll have finding her. The woods have been getting more dangerous since the Summer Sun Celebration." She gestures for the two Harborites to begin walking.

"Knock down those snowponies, Hoarfrost, you don't want to encourage whatever is out there." Bright Ice adds as they pass through the impromptu snow sculpture gallery.

"Hello um … Cookie?" Hoarfrost cringes away from Dragonheart, totally missing the fact she was asking for a cookie and not offering her name. Looking disappointed the exitment leaving her blood red eyes upon learning this is just a normal escort. "Awww, lame. Hey! How come you never help me look for my lost friend? Snowfield has been missing for like a month!" looking grumpy at Bright Ice and turning back to the new ponies and then her snow sculptures. "But … " she scrunch's her face and groans "Fiiiine." horn lighting up she pushes them over letting them slump over the ground.

It's a pretty little garden at least! Not every day one sees a full-blown miniatures parade. Sunshine's careful not to step on any of them, walking along with the pegabrutes and their new unicorn addition. "It's really more like we're looking for clues. I'm pretty sure she isn't at Daybreak. But we did find a journal where she mentions a windigo, possibly in relation to one lurking around your village, so that's what I'm here to inquire about."

Then Hoarfrost mentions Snowfield's name. Sunshine blinks. "Your…friend? That's who we're looking for too!"

"Sofeeld!!" Dragonheart pipes, bounding along after the other ponies. "Rrrrr!! Rar! Sofeeld help!" She is way too old to be talking like this. And yet.

"Because your friend lives out in the middle of the forest," Bright Ice says, eyes a'rolling. "And she can take care of yourself. You're just upset that you haven't been allowed out." The pegasus turns her attention to Sunshine when it is revealed that they are looking for the very same pony! "So she saw it, too, huh? There was some kind of monster lurking around the edges of Daybreak about a month or so ago. The few ponies who saw it swear it was a windigo, and the couple of pegasi who chased it off said it definitely looked like some sort of misty ice pony. We haven't seen it since, but the town's been on high alert ever since."

She jerks her chin towards Hoarfrost. "That's what's got this one all twisted up. We only just started letting the foals out without escorts, and only if they stick to the roads where the patrols can keep an eye on them from the skies, so she hasn't had a chance to go out to that cottage."

Iron Star quirks an eyebrow at Dragonheart's inability to string sentences together in a meaningful way, but he is a stallion of few words and declines to comment.

Sunshine glances back towards Hoarfrost. "It's…probably good that she doesn't go see the cottage then." she notes, quietly. "There's not much there to see." Nothing good, anyway. She lowers her head, trotting along after the pegabrutes. Keeping an eye on Dragonheart and mulling over words. WORDS! "Her journal mentions a couple guards that kept her from getting into town once. Do you two know of any reason you might not let Snowfield visit Daybreak?"

Hoarfrost looks a little shocked almost dropping her patchwork umbrella as she turns to look at Sunsine. Honestly surprised the Snow Witch had this many friends she is rather … cold. "I-um ya she is my mentor!" she beams proudly. "I'm going to be a powerful snow witch just like her. Able to command Windigos and banish billzards with a casual glace." trying her best, Snowfeild-too cool for school pose. Instantly it starts to melt though and she looks worried, glancing up to Bright Ice and Sunshine. "Master Snowy wasn't there? M-maybe she is hunting the Windago. Ya thats got to be it! She commands them after all! What do you mean Snowfield couldn't get in?"

Bright Ice looks to Iron Star. "I hadn't heard about anypony being turned away from town, just stopped on the road. What about you?"

The gray stallion shrugs.

She turns back to Sunshine. "If one of the clan turned her away, they didn't report in about it. Maybe she just got spooked when they asked what she was doing. We've been on the lookout for troublemakers coming to town. Don't want to make the place any more of a target for windigos than it already is."

"Winnigos," Dragonheart parrots, trotting along and trying still to figure out how to finish her raisins. There are a lot of them in her mouth, you see.

"Yeah… The journal mentioned that, too." Sunshine notes dryly. She looks from the two pegasus guards over to Hoarfrost. Debating, apparently, between telling the whole truth or what. She's probably bgoing to see it anyway, sooner or later. "Yeah, um… The whole cottage was like a big block of ice. It looked more like a windigo might've gotten to her." Her glance trails back to the pegaguards. "Maybe one of your guards was having a really bad day. I know if I was having an off day, I might point a spear at her too." More trotting! "I can't say what happened though, all I got to go off of are torn diary pages and hunches." A brief pause, Sunshine giving a little bit of a grin towards Dragonheart. "Yeah, winnigos. Winnigos bad…"

"Noway! No pony spooks Master Snowfield! She fought a Dragon. I don't see you fighting Dragons Bright Ice." Hoarfrost glares indignantly from under her umbrella, even if she is exaggerating a little she isn't going to but up with any lip towards Snowfield. "She … was gotten?" gut wrenching tight she lets her umbrella drop and winces as the light from above hurts her eyes. "We have to find her!" she bounds forwards forgetting her cover. "Why are we walking? She could be wounded somewhere alone and … and." tears form in her eyes and she bounds forward again. "We can't just … just canter about with our months full of raisins!"

"I don't know what sort of gossip she wrote in her journal, but it's not my business to encourage it," Bright Ice says firmly, having taken notice of Sunshine's tone of voice. "You can go straight to the source and ask Redmane. He's at the center of the whole mess." Hoarfrost gets a sharp look from the pegasus. "That's because you spent your whole life hiding in a hole in the ground, kid." One does not impugn the bravey of a Bloodrage lightly.

When the little unicorn begins to tear up at the thought of her mentor being injured and alone out in the wilderness the pegasus sighs. "Quit it with the waterworks, Hoarfrost. If half of what you've been saying about that mare is true then she's probably chasing the darn thing through the forest even as we speak. Maybe that's why it hasn't bothered us in a month."

Iron Star grunts sternly at Dragonheart, gesturing with the spear clenched in his teeth. It is if he is saying 'It is rude to talk when your mouth is full'.

Which Dragonheart ignores. "Winnigos bad!" she parrots Sunshine, trotting along. Of course, when Hoarfrost says 'raisins' that gets her attention and she canters over to the filly. "RAISINS," she says cheerfully, sniffling around for another bag of them somewhere.

"I hope you're all right." Sunshine mutters. "Snowfield's out protecting everybody in the Harbor and Daybreak from a whole army of windigos who popped out of some crack in the mountain that resembles a devil's rear end. That's got to be it." She's rolling her eyes at her own expression though, and mentally giggling at Dragonheart. Raisins. She taught the foal something! Ruby is going to kill her twice over for this.

"Anyway." Sunny contines, "I'd love to talk to Redmane. If something in your village attracted a windigo, it's as much a danger for us as it is for you. As a member of the Harbor's Guard, I need to identify threats, and provide aid to eliminate them."

"I'm sure he'd be happy to vent to somepony who doesn't care one way or the other," Bright Ice says with a sigh. "Seems like he's fielding complaints every day from one pony or another. Glad it's him and not me."

It gets significantly bright as the group reaches the outskirts of Daybreak. The hole in the clouds being maintained by Bloodrage pegasi allows the first sunlight in miles to shine upon them. "You ought to be fine walking back on your own when you're done here. We've got eyes in the sky who'll be able to watch your flank in case something tries to sneak out of the woods after you. Enjoy your stay in Daybreak."

"Some of us weren't born with wings." Hoarfrost snorts and looks to the ground. Grumpy little foal is grumpy. Made grumpier as she is sprayed with Raisins all over her her pristine white coat. "eeeeewwww." she whimpers and tries to whipe them off "Y-ya! She is totally out protecting every pony." whiping the tears from her eyes as well. "There is a crack in the devils butt? And its farting windigos?" she looks really confused.

"FART!" Now Dragonheart has a brand new word. "Fart fart fart fart." Undoubtedly she will be saying this all day. "Fart fart fart."