CSI: Wintersong
IC date: Summer 45, 1008
OOC date: August 4, 2013
Location: Wintersong Forest - Forest's Edge
PCs: Dream-Daze, Magpie, Hoarfrost, Midnight-Sun, Wishy-Washy
GM: Snowfield

Snowfield's cottage is not much changed from the last time it was visited by ponies. A light snowfall has covered up the footprints from the previous intrusion. The ice barricading the entrance has not reformed since Sunshine bucked it into shrapnel, allowing easy access to the interior. The sky above is a featureless slate gray and the wind is blowing steadily enough to chill those without a coat.

Magpie fortunately does have a coat — other than the one she was born with, obviously — and even a little improvised sledge made from Kludge's scrap-wood pile. It's really just a couple of planks nailed together with a couple two-by-fours underneath, and it does sort of pull to the left, but it'll make it lots easier to haul back all the awesome loot. Though.. truth be told there's just one piece she's interested in here. That little necklace the diary mentioned…

Standing on the edge of the clearing the little white filly almost is lost to the snow falling from above. A case of white on white as it where, only her blood red eyes standing out at all. The only things she carries is her empty saddle bags and her usual umbrella. Taking another step forward, and with a deep breath Hoarfrost presses forward. "I was surprised when you said you wanted to come along. I couldn't get any of the adults to come with me." Looking about as she approaches the cottage, trotting as though she is disturbing sacred ground. "You really think you need that hammer?"

But there is one fully grown mare who -is- wandering up to this leg of the forest; One who in spite of her aversion to the cold is out braving the wet and fridged forest the clouds have been pouring fourth from. she doesn't really have too much winterware for this sort of thing, but she does have on a vermillion poncho that she used to wear through the desert to brave the sandstorms… that has to count for something, right? with narry a clue to go on other than the clouds and Dream Daze's visions, it's only by happenstance that she ends up stumbling upon the cottage. she sticks to hiding behind a tree for now, spying upon Magpie and the others.

Magpie leaves the sledge (which is a kind of sled) outside and noses into the abandoned house. "Hello?" she calls. "Anypony hoooome?" Not because she has an adversion to stealing so much as because a surprised occupant might come at her with a sledge (which is a kind of hammer).

Standing on the edge of the clearing the little white filly almost is lost to the snow falling from above. A case of white on white as it where, only her blood red eyes standing out at all. The only things she carries is her empty saddle bags and her usual umbrella. Taking another step forward, and with a deep breath Hoarfrost presses forward. "I was surprised when you said you wanted to come along. I couldn't get any of the adults to come with me." Looking about as she approaches the cottage, trotting as though she is disturbing sacred ground.

"Nopony is going to be home Magpie." Hoarfrost huffs as the older filly pokes about Snowfield's house. For her own part Frost seems to be nervously getting closer and closer. Tiptoeing on her hooves (a real accomplishment) to the door stepping over the sled. "I've never actually been inside…" swallowing she leans in to poke her head through the door. "Where would a pony keep their maps anyway?"

Wishy-Washy hears the name magpie and looks at the filly in the coat, reconizing the inky dark spots on her coat. She trots through the snow now, the red cloak still ophuscading most of her facial features, although bits of her green mane can still be seen spilling out and she still wears those golden bands around her hooves in spite of the snow possibly dirtying such lavish golden jewelry. "Magpie…?"

The entire of the cottage has been thoroughly ruined. Spikes of ice burst out of the floor in lines that criss-cross the floor and fully half of the non-spikey real estate sports a veneer of ice which make traversing the floor perilous. The cabinets have been thrown open and their contents spilled across the floor by local wildlife looking for a meal. Even without the frost covering everything, the small table (smashed) and sofa (cushions torn) in the room have an insulating layer of dust which indicates that they weren't used very often even while Snowfield was still here.

A single door leads to the other half of the two room cottage.

//» Hoarfrost rolls 1d10 (Ice walking spell) — Result: 9 | Sum: 9

But there's other ponies following other ponies tonight! While Wishy-Washy's busy tracking Magpie and Hoarfrost, another little filly's trailing behind her, hopping from hoofprint to hoofprint in the snow to chase after the cloaked mare. It was the easiest way to trudge through snowdrifts and everything, don'tcha know. She's been hiding, mostly, behind Wishy the whole time, poking her head out from behind the lithe dancer pony to blink at the ruined cottage, all the ice, and everything else. Whoa…

Magpie rolls her eyes. "Maps? You an' Tale Chaser, I swear—" She cuts off as she twists to wiggle under one of the protruding spikes. She starts scanning the room, peeking into cabinets, looking for anything shiny and//or valuable that is not, in fact, made of ice.

» Magpie rolls 1d10 (Finders Keepers!) — Result: 3 | Sum: 3

The little piebald doesn't find jack diddly. Snowfield wasn't exactly known for her ostentatious collections of wealth.

"Somehow I thought it would be different." Hoarfrost's ears droop as she looks over the wreckage that was her mentor's home. Glancing back she notes all the ponies wondering up behind her and Magpie. "Where did you all come from?" blinking in surprise "Are you all here to help find Snowy?" the filly beams before giving a nod to Magpie. "Ya. Snowfield said she had maps of the Wintersong. If we are going to find where she is hiding thats the only way we can do it!" a hoof taps the ice. "Oooh this is dangerous hold on guys I know a spell!" concentrating a pale blue light starts spread from her horn and over the ice on the ground making it not but a light dusting of snow. "So no pony slips and gets impaled!"

Yeah, well, maybe Snowfield kept her good stuff in the back room. Or in a secret room under the back room, that's what Magpie would do. If she had a secret treasure horde. Y'know. She puts her hooves on the door and gives it a slow, firm push. Then somepony calls her name and she yelps, spinning… The magic catching her hooves and sliding her to a stop an inch from a dangeously sharp icicle. "Waa! W-who's there?!"

Wishy-Washy heads on over to the cabin, peering in. she wipes her hooves off whenever she can before trotting on in, blinking at Hoarfrost and the nearly Magpie-kebab "'Tis I! Wishy Washy! I am looking for the reason the summer has been so cold, and happened to have spotted you two playing in such a dangerous place! What would Miss Ruby Blossom say if they saw you wandering around like this?!?

The door creaks open loudly. Even more ice is visible in the next room. Who would have guessed?

Dreamy hops along behind Wishy! When she stops to wipe her hooves off, the little unicorn does too, giving a couple extra stomps for good measure. And when Wishy makes a grand dramatic entrance, Dreamy gets up on her hind legs with a hoof on her chest and her other one outstretched like 'and me!' Though she can't say anything. She might do more mimicry…but something shiny (haha shiny in an ice house) catches her eye, prompting the little mute filly to scamper off past Wishy towards a particularly reflective ice sheet. …Or it could be a mirror with ice on it. Hard to tell. Either way she looks distorted in it. Nyaaaaah

"Who said we where playing." Hoarfrost gives an indignant look to Wishy and puffs out her chest. "We are doing a daring mission to find my teacher." continuing on she wonders through the cabin. "MAgpie! No! Thats Snowfields personal room. We cant' go in there!" stricken with worry and fretfulness she looks about. "Besides why would she keep her maps in there it makes much more sense to be out here like the book self!" hopping over she gives the shelf a once over.

"Probably tell me to check under the sofa," Magpie mutters in response to Wishy, trotting into the back room. "What're you two lookin' for?" She lets out a little pffft at Hoarfrost. "Her personal private room is where anything good'll be, *obviously*!"

There is no bookshelf for Hoarfrost to check. Cabinets, broken table, torn sofa are the extent of the decorations in the main room. There is also a wood-burning stove in the corner, but the odds of anything that isn't ash being in there are slim to none.

Wishy-Washy blinks when she sees Dream daze wander in, letting out a huff of visible breath at realizing how this has changed. she decides to quickly peek outside around the cabin and see if there's anything that would be good for kindling that isn't rooted to the ground.

Wishy-Washy blinks when she sees Dream daze wander in, letting out a huff of visible breath at realizing how this has changed into a baby sitting trip rather than a chance to look into the bane of her business of holding outdoor performances. Regardless, she decides to quickly peek outside around the cabin and see if there's anything that would be good for kindling that isn't rooted to the ground.

What? Dreamy could have sworn Wishy was out for an adventure! So she tagged along because…adventure! And look! They found an adventure! A spooky ol' haunted house! With other foals. One of whom she doesn't recognize. Dreamy tears her attention away from shiny ice to start following Hoarfrost around instead, mindful of other sharp little jagged things. Her ears perk up. They're looking for maps in here..?

Dreamy nods her head a few times. Of course she's Snowfield's friend. She's everybody's friend. And besides, there was this one time she and Snowfi got ice cream together… Anyway she stops nodding, attentive gaze watching what Hoarfrost's doing for a moment. Apparently they're looking for things. So she'll look too! Thus she spins around, and trots her merry way up to the couch to start poking at cushions and whatnot. You never know what gets lost in a couch. Old and dusty maps could very well have fallen there. Right? Right..?

Hoarfrost gives a smile to Dreamy "I don't think we have met, I'm Hoarfrost. Are you a friend of Snowfield's too?" still treating the icy ruins of the home like a sacred thing she carefully leans down to look under the couch first. Chuckling as Dreamy tears into it looking for the maps as well. "Do you have a name?" a little confused by the silence from the foal.

The search of the couch is a little more promising. Several bits appear to have fallen between the cushions— enough to buy a candy bar back in town! Score! Oh, and there's a piece of paper that looks suspiciously like one of the journal pages Snapdragon tore apart underneath of the sofa. But who cares about that, right?

Wishy's adventure outside reveals some small logs stacked like cordwood at the side of the cabin. This must be what is supposed to go inside of the stove. There's also another journal page here, stuck between two logs!

By way of answer, Dream-Daze stops pushing at couch cushions to pluck up her nametag in her mouth, offering it to Hoarfrost by way of introduction. Then she starts counting bits! Bits, bits, bits~ …oh wait, that's not a map. She sets the bits aside and reaches for the piece of paper! Maybe THAT's a map! …But no. No, not a map. It's just got words on it. Silly words, why can't you map right.

Wishy-Washy quickly plucks out the piece of paper with her levitation and gives it a go over before neatly folding it and bringing the fire wood in with her magic, setting in in the stove. The dancer pony then lowers her head and uses a spell she's… quite frankly been getting far too aquainted with for her liking…!

Midnight-Sun banks in a slow curve over the edge of the forest, trying to catch sight of the dream-making filly again. If it was really her, but who else would be silly enough to go traipsing into the Wintersong like that? For now, though, it seems he's lost sight of her. No dark blue unicorns to see. Instead, there's this cottage. Midnight is busily trying really hard to avoid the obvious conclusions about terminally optimistic fillies and spooky cottages when he spots a familiar mare searching outside. "She was supposed to wait!" he groans to himself as he comes in for a landing.

"Whats this?" Frost peeks at the torn page held by Dreamy, its paper maybe a written map? Does the Wintersong even have normal maps? "A page from something?" squinting she tries her best to read the name tag on Dreamy then the paper. "Dream-Daze? Thats a pretty name are you … mute?" trying her best to recall the term before getting back to the paper.

The text on the page that was under the sofa seems a little on the faded side, and the backside of it seems a little more beat up than the front does. This may very well be the very first page from the journal! And because it's the first page it doesn't actually have any information relevant to the windigo or the forest… or does it?

It's just as well that Blackbird left as he did. As time went on it became increasingly obvious that our relationship wasn't healthy for either of us. He has a marefriend already. There is no reason he should be turning to me for the relief he so requires, nor should I be vying after his attention.

I knew this, of course, from the moment he revealed to me that he was in a relationship. It was only with our last parting that the reality of the situation truly sank in. Perhaps that is the reason it stung so when he ordered me away. This isn't to say I didn't deserve it. I don't know why I felt that pushing him so far was a good idea. Perhaps I thought if he turned his attention on me he wouldn't engage in more dangerous pursuits.

Wishy's page seems like it's from somewhere in the middle of the book.

The foal from Daybreak came to bother me again as I was setting out to explore the forest. She was bound determined to follow so I let her stay close, though she desperately needs to learn boundaries. The landscape was not as I remember it. Where once the waterfall and valley were separated by several hours' trekking, now they are a short hike from one another. Could there be something out there manipulating it or has spending so much time in town simply left my memories of the land to moulder? I find the latter hard to believe, one doesn't spend years memorizing the safe routes through a land only to let a year away wipe them from her mind. I recall the Watcher saying something about wanting to look for something in the forest. The next time I see her I'll ask if this phenomenon is related. It's been too long since I gave her a Kiss.

Surprise surprise, the only thing in the stove is ashes. The wood Wishy adds to it burns cheerfully and slowly begins to warm the area around it though it will take some time for the entire building to thaw.

» GAME: Wishy-Washy made an unskilled roll with an outcome of Bad.

Wishy-Washy tries to spark a fire! and… oh wow, what a fire it is! a fire that leaps and roars out from the oven in quite the dazzling display that would probably catch nearby fruniture nearby. Wishy is left somewhat dazed from the magical feedback of the kindling spell coming out stronger then she wanted.

Dreamy nods to Hoarfrost again! Mute~ Then they get to the matter of actually reading what's on the paper. Dreamy scans it twice, even, but it isn't making a whole lot of sense to a filly that doesn't know anything about anyone's love life. So she shrugs. It's not a map. She turns to greet Wishy…when suddenly the stove practically erupts into fire! Whoa! She stumbles over in the moment of fiery surprise!

Midnight-Sun lands a few moments after Wishy-Washy reenters the cottage and trots up to the door, already starting with "Hey, Wishy, I've been looking for you all — gleep." He ducks, even though there's no real danger.

"Snowy loved some pony?" There is a dawwwww from Hoarfrost buried deep in the sentiment of those words. "No wonder she was always a grumpy guss." turning to Dreamy and giving her a nod. "But who is Black Bird? Maybe a mysterious Griffin?" tilting her head she stows the journal entry in her bag. "I guess … all that leaves in the *gulp* bedroom." head turning to the cracked open door.

It's a good thing that the furniture is completely iced over or that spell could have done a number on the cottage! The wild magic burns brightly for several long moments before finally reverting to a less exciting slow burn without setting anything important aflame. Hooray, no collateral damage!

Wishy-Washy lets out a sigh of relief before looking back to where she heard Midnight Sun's voice. "Hey. you showed up. did you bring your little arachnid friend?"

When the fire dies back down to a more reasonable level, Dreamy mirror's Wishy's sigh of relief. She watches the fire for a moment, then beams at both of the adults now visiting the ol' iced-over cottage, waving at them with a hoof! Hoarfrost's words grab her attention, ears swiveling, bringing the rest of the filly's attention to peek past the other filly, towards the bedroom door. Spooooooky…

Midnight-Sun pats his mane to make sure it's intact and takes a few careful stops into the cottage. Sophie the spider pops out of the folds of his scarf as he does so, waving two of her legs in greeting. "Yeah, and I don't even think she's singed. What's going on in here?"

Tip-hoofing over to the door Hoarfrost peeks in through the crack Magpie made. Turning to Dreamy she gives a nod. "Ok we can do this." she whispers. Slowly she presses the doors open, half expecting Snowfield to leap out and scold her. Cringing away from the door even as she tries to open it. Prying an eye open she looks into the room with the curiosity of a child entering her parents room without permission. "Lets go in." giving another look to Dreamy.

Dream-Daze is totally right behind Hoarfrost. Because spooky places just beg to be investigated, yep. Wasn't there another filly that walked in there already? She hasn't come out yet… SPOOOOOOKY!

The bedroom seems to have sustained significantly more damage than the main room did. Half of the bed is completely encased in ice and there is a large, irregularly-shaped brick of ice in the middle of the room with an imprint shaped like the rear half of a pony in it.

A bookshelf here, about a stallion's height tall, has a number of ancient tomes on it, all far too old to be related to the relatively recently founded town of Horseshoe Harbor.

A nearby desk is horribly stained thanks to several overturned bottles of ink, which have soaked permanently into the wood. It's also staining a parchment which is unfurled on the top, though it has thankfully not dripped onto the ones that are still rolled up and fallen around it.

"I followed a couple of kids here… I was coming out here to find the source of this all, but I should probably watch the little ones and make sure they don't get hurt, especially given that this place is littered with icicles that one could slip and stab themselves on…! Regardless, they seem to be looking for traces of the owner of this place." Wishy stays by the fire, although she keeps an eye on the young ones venturing into the bedroom.

Midnight-Sun nods at Wishy. "Funny, me too." He flicks an ear. "And what are those fillies do…" His voice trails off as he glances through the bedroom door and spots the bookshelf. It takes a few seconds for his attention to track from the tomes on the bookshelf to the weird block of ice on the bed. Wonder wars with fear on his face, but all he says is "Oh dear."

"M-Magpie?" Frost turns her head back and forth, wispering as if she might wake the great emptiness of the room from some ethereal slumber. "You better not be trying to sneak up on us!" making the most adorable frustrated pouting face she goes to the writing desk, avoiding the ink the best she can to look at the papers. "Dreamy check the book self please? I've got the desk."

Dreamy stands up on her hind legs and salutes Hoarfrost. Dreamy is on the case! ..Then she tromps over to the bookshelf to start climbing all over it, her horn aglow with a pale blue light so she can start looking at book titles. One of them could totally be a map book. …But if nothing else Dreamy's curious what stories may be hidden in a library so few ponies get to poke their noses into!

The bookshelf appears to be filled with old books of fairy tales. Should she care to look at the publication dates on them they are easily centuries old but in remarkably good condition considering this. Several have bookmarks in them— the story of Hearth's Warming Eve is so marked, as are the stories of the Windigo's Kiss and the Snow Princess. In fact, every marked tale seems to be relevant to windigos, although aside from being bookmarked there are no other indications that anything of interest leapt out to the last reader.

The rolled up parchments are maps of Wintersong! Success! Judging by the distances between some landmarks Hoarfrost might recognize, such as the frozen waterfall and the forest valley, they appear to be the old, out of date ones. Daybreak isn't even marked on them!

One thing Dreamy does enjoy is a good fairy tale! The bookmarked stories are particularly interesting, if fitting for the setting, the little filly sitting with her back to the bookshelf, the couple books she picked up opened to their respective stories. So many windigos…

The bookshelf calls to Midnight Sun, but the ice formations are so distressing that he doesn't even think to chide Dream Daze for her cavalier treatment of old books. Instead he shivers, fluffs his wings and steps carefully into the bedroom after the fillies. "I've never seen anything like it. What could have done this?" There's an edge of panic in his voice and in the way he keeps glancing at the corners of the room.

Wishy-Washy gets up now that she's warmed up a bit and ventures into the bedroom with the other fillies, pulling the hood off her head as she looks about. She looks over to Dreamy first and the books she's looking over. "… huh. the person who owned this place was a fiction fan, huh…? Hearths' Warming Eve… the Wendigo's Kiss and the Snow Princess? huh…"

"This can't be right. Snowfield said she was going to look at her maps, that was months ago. She was worried about it. Why wouldn't she have a better map, or at least notes?" eyes scanning the maps she tries to find a location that is circled or otherwise would look to hold importance. Stowing her new maps and glancing down she looks at the nearly ruined paper. "Maybe you …" picking it up with her magic all too carefully.

A lavender tail, then a spotted rump, and finally Magpie wiggles her way backwards out from under the bed. "I s'pose it was a windigo," she says, answering Midnight's question. "That's what she kept talkin' about in her journal."

Wishy-Washy gasps a little bit when Magpie mentions that, nodding. "That… would indeed line up with the coldness, but… Horseshoe harbor is not a place filled with hatred for such a creature to thrive…!" She idly stuffs a couple of books off the shelf under her cloak in her saddlebags.

Magpie shrugs. "Said somethin' about Daybreak gettin' all grouchy, though. Some mean barbarian types, I think?"

Dreamy's ear flicks. Windigos are definitely a common theme here. She closes the fairytale book, levitating it up above her for the time being. She trots up, and promptly hugs Magpie! Quickly. In greeting. Then presents the book! Look! She found a Thing!

The heavily ink-stained parchment from the top of the desk looks like it was Snowfield's most recent map of Wintersong. Large parts of it are blank, and those parts which aren't blank are completely unreadable because of the spilled ink, but there are a few things that can be made out. Daybreak (or at the very least 'ybrea') is labeled on the western edge. The frozen waterfall, labeled 'Grotto', is legible, as is a mountain in the middle of the forest labeled 'cient Hiv'. Assuming the forest hasn't changed its shape, it should be possible to navigate between those three landmarks with this! A certain little white filly might be able to fill in the blanks for another location or two which have been blotched out of existance.

Midnight-Sun's investigation of the ice block reveals that the pony-shaped imprint in it is about the size of a small filly. He may not have met Snowfield personally, but rumor about the town would confirm that she was awfully short for an adult, so these in all likelyhood are her flankprints.

Unfortunately, there was very little under the bed for Magpie to get her hooves on while she was doing her own undercover work. Or would that be undercovers? Because it's under the bed. …the point is there were a couple of blue flowers under there which look identical to roses, save for the unnatural color. A broken vase on the floor at the bedside explains how they got under there. Dream Daze might recognize them as the flowers that illustrate the end of the "Windigo's Kiss" fairy tale in one of the books.

Magpie's hovering the blue roses in a red-rose-colored cloud of magic. "Huh. Those are kinda pretty," she comments. Not shiny enough. "Ack!" she laughs as she's suddenly hugged. She ruffles Dreamy's ears. "What's up, kiddo? Got a book, huh?"

Dreamy nods! She settles the book against her back, then blinks up at the floating flowers above Magpie's head. She tilts her head, squinting. A hoof gets pointed at them. Those flowers! She just saw them! She points at her book! In here!

Midnight-Sun seems signally unreassured by Magpie's answer. He tries to laugh it off anyway. "Don't be silly, Windigoes are just fairy t — yeah, I can't do it."

"Cient Hiv?" Hoar frost tilts her head the map hovering in her telecentic grasp. Turning she spots the flowers and trots over to look. "I've seen a Windigo. Snowfield can summon them and control them." she is beaming. "She used one to fight a dragon, a dragon guys."

Magpie hums. "Did you say Hive? There's an old changeling hive somewhere out here, I think. That's where the hole to the nightmare world was." She peers at Dreamy a bit confused. Point point? Flowers book? "I don't get it."

Dreamy huffs. She floats her book over (because she's claimed it now. It's her book until Snowfi's around to say otherwise, nyah), and starts flipping through bookmarks until she gets to the Windigo's Kiss story. Flip, flip, flip, point! Flower! It's from a fairy tale!

Magpie shiftylook. "Uh… I can't really read it in this light," she demurs.

There is a convenient illustration at the end of the story of a Windigo's Kiss shrub growing in an empty tundra.

Wishy-Washy rolls her eyes and simply casts a bright light spell with her horn, luminating the whole place. "Indeed. it seems like you kids are sharper then I would have imagined. come. I have a nice warm fire in the other room that we can warm ourselves around…!"

Dream-Daze points to that picture specifically! …Oh, yes, fire is good. She starts floating the open book off with her, trotting back into the other half of the cabin where the fire is. Because cold sucks.

Magpie aughs and shields her eyes from the light (hiss!) and scuffs around the corners a bit more, as if in hopes of finding something. Anything. This trip is a total wash…

Looking things up in books, now, that's a mode of adventuring Midnight Sun can get behind. He scans the open pages, compares the illustrations to the live specimens. As the book starts levitating away, he follows it without sparing a glance for where he steps. "Right. Fire." he says absently.

» Snowfield rolls 1d10 (Does the universe throw Magpie a bone?) — Result: 7 | Sum: 7

There isn't anything around the edges of the room, save for a few stray drops of ice on the ground. They are depressingly reminiscent of fallen tears.

"You mean … " Frost blinks and brings out another map to check to see if this hive is marked on any of the other ones. "You don't think she crossed over to the other side of the gate? That would be crazy!" Frost for ehr part stays away from the hear (hiss) the cold is much more her style, she is an ice witch after all.

Magpie finally follows the others to the first room. With the fire and all. "What? No! I mean the thingy is gone. As far as I know. It coulda come back I guess."

So there's a fire in the stove, a book of fairy tales, and interesting ponies. All Dreamy needs now is a blanket and she'd feel right at home. She plunks the book down for Midnight's benefit, then helps herself to crawling up and nestling between his wings. Mindful of Sophie. She knows there's a spider there, somewhere.

Wishy-Washy brings herslef back into the main area of the house, getting close to that warm and glowing furnace before curling up… she really isn't used to all this ice and snow… it's very pretty to look at, but she just doesn't like being cold in the absolute slightest. "Regardless, I certainly do not like the idea of Windigos coming and chilling the firey passion my art awakens in the Lo~… Hearts of my customers…! … perhapps I could put on a show for the people of Daybreak to remind them of friendship and love and beauty…?"

"Thingy? Magpie I found the m-" Hoarfrost suddenly deadpans "you where here for something else weren't you?" with a heavy sigh she glances back to the bed room. "I wish she left us some better clues … a note or something." wondering what she isn't seeing in all this.

Midnight-Sun absently unwraps a bit of his scarf and tucks it around his new passenger. This frees Sophie, wearing a miniture of the same scarf, who offers two legs to Dreamy for bumpin'. Wishy's words drag Midnight out of the book. "Plans, right. I really don't think this is just a case of a few angry ponies. On the other hoof, that would be the first thing to try, and maybe we can come up with a real idea of what's going on. For example, if someone could fill me in at some point, that would be swell. I've had a weird first few days in town."

Magpie shrugs to Hoarfrost. "I just want Snowfield to be safe," she says piously.

Wishy-Washy 's ears flick at Hoarfrost's words, levitating over the journal page she ended up finding to the little pony. "Your wish is my command… sort-of." She does seem a little upset that Midnight Sun seems to think this won't be as easy as shaking her flank at a crowd.

Hoarfrost blinks at the journal page and gives it a quick read. She blushes. "She is kissing the Watc-oh no I-" the pale filly laughs. "She says Kiss she means the flower she used to put her friend on ice. Anypony know a Watcher? Snowfield thinks she knows some things!" smiling and bouncing about the room "This is the best lead yet! Thanks Wishy!" moving in to give Wishy a hug if she can. "Maybe … maybe we will find her after all." the foal sniffles holding back happy tears. Snow Witches don't cry after all!

Magpie says "Wait — back up, what about a watcher?"

Hoarfrost hands the journal page to Magpie.

Dreamy totally gives a spider a high-hoof. Or whatever the equivalent is. Then she peeks from around Midnight's head at the other foals. Watcher? Wha? She doesn't know a Watcher pony. The first thing that comes to her mind is a pony perched atop a tree, gargoyle-style, watching things.

Magpie uh. "I'll read this later."

Wishy-Washy hugs Hoarfrost and smiles… this is probably the sort of snuggles that convinced Ruby Blossom to feed the 57 fillies and colts that she keeps at the mane affair. "I am glad to be of service, little one…

»GAME: Magpie made a skilled roll with an outcome of Bad.

The wind gusts outside the cottage momentarily. Perhaps something interesting is out there, perhaps not. Unfortunately, the pony in the best position to be bashfully staring away from everypony else and out a window isn't perceptive enough to notice anything.

Magpie rubs her chin. "Watcher. I think she mentioned somethin' about Watcher in the other part of the journal. And a tent." Ponder. "Oh! Hey, y'know who we should ask? Manyara lives in a tent too, and she's some kinda oracle or somethin'! I bet she knows who the Watcher is!"

Midnight-Sun's ears perk up. "There's more to this journal? Getting a look at those would be very useful. Later, though. For now, should we go see if this Manyara pony knows anything about the matter?" . o O ( And can we please get out of this spooky house to do it? )

"… you mean that tent my wagon has been parked by for most of my stay in the harbor…? I've… honestly wanted to greet them, but they never seem to be home or something." Wishy lets Hoarfrost go before standing up. her horn begins to glow again.

»GAME: Wishy-Washy made a skilled roll with an outcome of Bad.

Dream-Daze sets her horn glowing and sends out a little daydream about ponies sipping cocoa. Because that's what she'd really lke to be doing right now, is sipping some cocoa.

The distraction of cocoa makes the spell Wishy casts manifest in the form of a gust of wind that blows upon the flames. What was meant to squealch them of course causes them to ROAR out of the furnace agian in much the same way they did when she first cast the kindling spell!

Magpie yelps as the flames go shooting out and charges out into the forest outside!

Dream-Daze ducks down between Midnight's wings, her glow immediately fading! She totally didn't mean to cause that. Whups… Hide-mode, activated!

Midnight-Sun jumps back, and almost whirls away from the flames. Except there's a weight on his back so that he really shouldn't turn so as to expose his back. Instead he crow-hops awkwardly backwards, definitely coming away singed [for 10 Fortitude] this time. But he thinks his passengers made it.

Dream-Daze is a-ok! She's hunkered down, and totally safe. She even gives the pegasus a thank-you hug (careful of the spider) on the back of his neck, before returning to her perch. …She may be intending to stay there until they go back to civilization now.

»GAME: Magpie made a skilled roll with an outcome of Good.

As Magpie gallops out of the cottage an unnatural movement may catch the little piebald's attention in the trees: something not quite white and fluttering in the strong breeze of the unnatural winter storm that's floating above Wintersong.

Wishy-Washy is given momentary soot-covered face, but one thing she's good at is cleaning herself off and looking fine as the flames die down now after the initial wiliness of he air spell. she then steps outside whens she realizes Magpie ran out.

Midnight-Sun takes a moment to reassure himself that his freight is unharmed, then quicksteps out of the cottage. He has had enough! with creepy cabins! and being set on fire!

AH! Fire! Hoarfrost leaps away holding her maps close to protect them! "Fire is why we can't have nice things, just put it out with water we have lots." she points to all the ice.

The fire settles down after chasing half of the ponies out of the cottage.

Magpie is standing outside in the snow and wind, peering up through the trees.

The thing in the trees is another journal page. The wind must have blown it back into the area and it got caught in a crook in the tree. Improbable yet convenient!

Magpie grabs at the paper with her magic, blinking. "Oh! Hey! I found somethin'!" She hesitates, then pushes it at Hoarfrost. "Here, you read it!"

Frost blinks and stares at the paper. Taking it up with her magic. "Oh course …" eye flicking back and forth across the paper.

I think I've realized why I kept the locket I found a while back. It looks a little bit like his cutie mark, if you squint while looking at it. I really ought to just throw it out, but now that I've been carrying it around it would be disrespectful to the original owner to simply discard it.

"Its just about her silly locket thingy." Hoarfrost shrugs and sticks it in her bag. "Nothing new there." and she got her hopes up so much. "Wait … why are all these journal pages loose anyway. Its like they where all torn up. I didn't even see the bindings for the book. Maybe some evil pony got here first and tried to destroy the evidence!"

Magpie coughs into a hoof. "Uh. That was Snapdragon. He found the journal and, uh… played chewtoy with it."

Midnight-Sun managed to read a bit of the page before Frost tucked it away. "Is this the missing pony's journal? What did her locket look like?" He pauses, then adds, "And could I have a description of this 'Snapdragon' so as to be certain to bar him from any libraries I find myself responsible for?"

"Its just about her silly locket thingy." Hoarfrost shrugs and sticks it in her bag. "Says it looks like Black Bird's cutie mark. I didn't realize she was wearing it because it remined her of him."

Wishy-Washy shivers a bit and nods. "that's all nice, but, I would like to make haste out of the woods…!" she starts to march on, her cloak dragging and making an easier path for the colts and fillies to follow along.

Magpie sticks her tongue out at Midnight. "He's about yea tall and can't talk. You can't miss him."