Cutie Mark Chronicles: Part 1
IC date: Summer 86, 1008
OOC date: September 14, 2013
Location: Rusty Bucket Tavern
PCs: a bunch of players I'm too lazy to put down

If one is to look for an unusual sighty, even for Horseshoe HArbour, they can get one today on board the Rusty Bucket. The ponies in there are a far cry from the normal crew, but they aren't being disruptive. Even if Rising Chaos earned a few odd looks on entering, she's been in here all of once before, and has something of a reputation as not a drinker. Having been thrown out of many good pubs because she was WITH a very heavy drinker. Still, it's early afternoon and the mare wants a drink, and potentially some company, who kows.

There is certainly comany, at least in some form. For example, there's the somewhat unsteady on her hooves, at least on a boat, Quintessent Rune scooting over and planting her flank on one of the chairs nearby - a mug of something bright and liquid in her hoof. "For something so close to the ocean," whispered Quinty to Rising, "it somehow manages to be completely WRONG. Ponies were never ment to float around in boats upon the waves…"

Already inside the floating tavern is Blackbird, the resident schoolteacher. But he doesn't appear to be drinking, so much as taking notes and sifting through a few papers. The mug at hand appears to just be water. He glances up as Rising and Rune enter, a curious expression flitting across his face.

One of these reguars sitting at the bar is a dull tan stallion who's very much drinking his vice of choice. he has a bear trap for a cutie mark and gently sways in his seat.

Next to this stallion is a little dull pink filly munching on some fried seaweed! Then she hops out of her seet and waves! "mhhaa bhhbrrd!" she ends up trotting up to blackbird, her cheeks still stuffed with the fried foods.

Tradewinds peeks up from a conversation as the new arrivals come in. He takes a few moments to wrap it up, then smoothly disengages and wanders over, balancing a wooden mug topped with a paper umbrella on his wing. "Hey there, how's it going?" he asks cheerfully, somehow managing to imply that he actually wants to know.

Rising-Chaos pauses before taking a drink (grape juice, for those who are curious as Rune sits down

Rondeau is here too, tinkering with a small device and mostly just relaxing.

Rising-Chaos pauses before taking a drink (grape juice, for those who are curious) as Rune sits down. "I don't find it so bad, and it's convenient transport for large amounts of goods wihtout magic or the like." She raises an eyebrow, placing her glass on the counter. "I wouldn't take you for being a pony who gets seasick."

Then some stallion comes over, this si not entirely unwelcome. Chaos is feeling in a n odd mood today. "Hello, it is going acceptably well. Who are you?"

Blackbird's attention is caught by the little pegasus, and smiles broadly, waving her over. "Freeze-Frame! How are you doing, kiddo?" He also pauses, looking at this big table he alone is taking up — the only free table in the bar, interestingly enough — and waves RC and Rune over as well. "Feel free to take a seat," he says.

Quintessent-Rune shot Rising a somewhat repproachful look. "Miss Chaos, I do not get seasick. I do perhaps get boatsick however," Quintessent muttered before straightening slightly and taking a sip from her mug. "I do not remember the Bucket swaying quite this much during the dance… And hello mister…?"

Quintessent left that a open invitation as she turned in her seat, eyeing Tradewinds briefely - top of the ears to the hooves, once.

Freeze-Frame smiles and quickly grabs her plate of food before putting it on blackbird's table. Her father doesn't even seem to take notice as the pegasus gets comfortable by Blackbird. "I'm doing good! I'm like… really looking forward to going back to school, although I, like, really hope the repairs don't make us skip Hearth's warming break…"

Tradewinds grins playfully. He's wearing an eye-searing pink Hawaiian shirt and a pair of sunglasses perched on his forehead, which might well make him the best-dressed stallion in the room. Fear for your fashion. "Well, that's a bit of a philosophical question, innit? But my name's Tradewinds." He offers his hoof. "I haven't seen you around before…?"

Blackbird starts putting his notes away, piling them up and setting them aside. "It should be done pretty soon," he assures Freeze with a smile. "I'm glad you're getting excited for school though! Why don't you tell me about how your break has been?"

Rising-Chaos doesn't take the hoof, she doesn't do that with strangers she's no manipulating, and she's not manipulating Tradewinds yet. "Tradewinds, interesting name. I am rising chaos, matron of the Horseshoe Harbour orphanage. I also co-ordinated a lot of contruction work around town, if that rings a bell." She catches Blackbird's wave, and turns to look at the offered seats, then back to her current seats. "Well, I am feeling adventurous today, Rune, Tradewinds, what do you say to joining that stallion's table?"

Without waiting for a reply, she gets up and walks over. She doesn't look friendly, just calm and neutral, but she's trying to get out, or something.
If anypony ever tells you it's not hard to move clouds around, they're either lying or have never actually worked on a weather team. Didn't help that she had to move a few banks over the beach, which meant listening to the unappreciative boos and taunts from the 'Keep Summer' protestors. The latter was probably more tiring that the former, and probably why Windrose looks a bit on the sour side when she wanders into the Bucket. Stupid sun hippies, no respect for a hard working weatherpony.

"Greetings, Mr. Tradewinds," said Quintessent. Though where a 'pleasure to meet you' might have followed there was nothing. Though then again, there never was with Quintessent. As Rising spoke the slightly boatsick seapony-in-disguise turned towards her - only to cath her leaving the seat.

After a moment of blinking in suprise Quintessent smoothed her features into it's ever-present neutrality and got up herself. "I supose we may do as Miss Chaos requests. As for your querry, I am Qintessent Rune - though Miss Rune or Quintessent will do nicely - and I do not think we have meet before."

Tradewinds drops his hoof with a shrug. "Oh, well, I've only been in town for a little while. You might have seen my boat, though! It's that steam bucket out on the pier." He chuckles and trails after, though, giving the smaller mare a grin as well. "Nice to meetcha, Rune!"

Freeze-Frame takes note of Rising Chaos and starts to blurt out her summer before Blackbird ends up getting occupied with talking about boring adult pony things. "It was really fun and I tried all sorts of different stuff to get my cutie mark like volunteer weather team work and a lemonade stand and being a doctor by taking care of Maku when he caught that really bad cold from when the weather got all cold! that kinda like, broke up the summer, but I got to make snow ponies and I started to draft a Hearth's warming in summer play for the school play but then all the snowy weather went away so I went back to taking pictures and trying to come up with new story ideas and I wanna do this play about a little white griffon who's mommy is a pirate and I still can't get my cutie mark and I really really really really really want it!" the little filly huffs and puffs at the outburst, her little wings flaired up.

Rising-Chaos stops upon seeing Windrose who is a friend. "Windrose, off from work today?" She knows that the mare works hard, so hard that she never visits or says hi anymore. Which is fine by Chaos, because chaos is doing the exact same thing.

"Thank you, Mr. Tradewinds," came Quintessent's reply, followed by a polite incline of her head and her near-omniprescent, empty smile. Windrose got another nod, not that Quintessent knew her too well, and so did Blackbird and Freeze Frame as Quintessent took her sat by the table. The later got a long, thoughtful gaze at that.

"Truly? Would it not be more enjoyable to experiment for now?" Quinty asked. "After all, your mark might be something with a burden tied to it."

Windrose's ears perk up at hearing the familiar voice of a friend. And yes you are Rising Chaos, even if you trying to be all ineffectual loner about it. "Hi Rising. Well, I am for the day, at least. Stupid protestors." She shakes her head a little to fix up her mane curls. Oh hey, there's Rune too. "Hi Rune. What are you guys doing here?"

Freeze-Frame nods to rune a bit. "Yeah, but like… almost everypony my age has one! heck, Maku got his a while back! he's a potion brewer like his folks, but… I'm not a hunter like my daddy or a sailor like my mommy, and I really, REALLY wanna know!"

Rising-Chaos perks an eyebrow at the mention of protesters, but doesn't pursue to topic. She's fine wiht being Windrose's friend and would like to see that state of affairs continue. "I felt the need for a drink in some company, rather than at home. Perhaps you'd like t join us over here?" She motions, and walks towards the table where Rune, Tradewinds and the others are.

Tradewinds suddenly presses his hoof to his forehead and sways on his hooves, though he somehow manages not to spill the mug resting on his wing. "Wait! I'm getting a vision… a vision about… you!" He suddenly points to Windrose. "Yes… the spirits are speaking! You are… you are… desperately in need of a drink!" He gives her a grin. "Can I get ya one?"

Windrose rolls her eyes a bit at Tradewind's impromptu 'reading'. "Aren't you suppose to have an envelope for that gag? That's how Lettermane does it." She does smile a bit though. "That is, however, the best idea I've heard since walking in here."

Tradewinds shrugs. "Eh, my mom could read my mind without one," he winks. "So! What kind of spirits are speaking to you?" he goes on, waving his free wing toward the bar.


Rondeau comes chasing after an errant spring, which has landed in the middle of the table. Somehow missing the soup, though. "Er, sorry about that!"

Quintessent-Rune peered at Tradewinds, then facehooved rather unceremoniously for herself with a groan. "Sweet barnacle-clad coffers…" Shaking her head she turned toowards Freeze Frame. "So? The mark is important true, but it is not always easy."

Rising-Chaos rolls her eyes and goes to join Rune, taking a seat with her precious glass of grape juice. It's not very good grape juice, but Chaos is not a very good drinker. "Cutie marks aren't always the most wonderful thing, trust me. Just do what makes you happy. Mine's brought nothing but trouble for me." Her's is a brick forge, how myterious, since she's way too much of a scrawny nerd to be a blacksmith. To be fair, she's a scrawny nerd with some muscle and has the kind of presence that implies she is very close to yelling at you, but still.

Windrose grabs a chair for herself and settles on it. "Eh, I wouldn't know all the fancy names they have for stuff. I just need something to relax after putting up with clouds loaded with moisture for autumn rains and protestors on the beach… Huh? Talking about cutie marks are we?"

"That sounds very eventful!" Blackbird says to Freeze-Frame with a grin. "I'd love to read your Hearth's Warming in Summer play if you still have it." He turns to the others and waves in greeting. "Hello, ponyfolk! I see we've all had varying degrees of good or bad day here, hm?"

Rondeau's stray spring sproings in front of his nose and he blinks, eyes crossing as he looks at it, then over at the gryphon. "Inventor?" he inquires hopefully. "That's sort of my talent, too." But he nods to Rising. "Can't say my mark came with burden-free either."

Tradewinds nods. "A mojito it is! Good job on the sky, by the way," he adds sympathetically. He glances around the table. "Anypony else want something while I'm up?"

"I do not know, Miss Windrose. I supose we are, after a fashion," said Quintessent.

Rising-Chaos doesn't reply to the 'varying degreees of day' comment. Her day's been interesting, odd, neither good or bad. "You seem familiar, would you be Blackbird?" She has business with him. "I'm Rising Chaos, matron of the orphanage."

Freeze-Frame shies away from Rising Chaos. "B… but… it's a sign of who you are, isn't it…? I mean… sure you may be a little bit scraggly, but I can tell you probably like… make an excelent uhm…" Freeze Frame leans over and takes a peek at Rising-Chaos' flank. "blacksmith…? yeah… also, Mr. Blackbird, Maku spilled tea all over the papers I had that play on…"

"Sounds good enough to me," Windrose replies as she sits back in her chair. Then huhs as the filly rambles a bit about Chaos's cutie mark. ".. Why -do- you have a forge, anyways? You make magic and stuff, not metalwork. That's Winny's shtick."

Rondeau is intrigued. Gryphons don't have cutie marks, after all. He sits back and listens..

"Well that's a shame!" Blackbird says to Freeze-Frame. "You'll have to tell me about it later, then, Freezy." As Rising introduces herself, the stallion offers a grin and a salute. "That's me. I've seen you around but I don't think we were ever formally introduced. In fact, I've seen most of you around. But I, for one, am always curious to hear about cutie mark stories; being a teacher, I run into questions about that a lot." Wink.

Freeze-Frame 's wings pomf up at the talk of cutie mark stories as she starts to bounche in her seat! she does take a bite of her freid seaweed sticks first though… they taste REALLY bad after they get cold, so it's best to eat 'em while they're hot!

Quintessent-Rune glanced at Freeze, then up at Windrose. Finaly she fixed her golden gaze at Rising Chaos, head cocked to the side slightly. "I must admit… I have been somewhat curous of the exact reason myself, if you excuse me for saying so Miss Chaos. I do not wish to preasure you into feeling you need to say so."

Tradewinds says "Anypony? No? A'ight." He trots over to the bar and returns after a minute or two with a highball glass on his free wing. He slides it neatly onto the table in front of Windrose. "Cheers!""

The story si embarrassing, okay? So Rising Chaos tries to ignore it, and follows her line of professionalism. "Well, I am going to have to contact you soon to organize the foals in my care going to your school. I want them to have a proper education." She takes a drink to avoid gritting her teeth in frustration, then looks at the enquiring faces. "No Rune, it's fine." Sigh. "My cutie mark is largely symbolic, as my exact talent is hard to represent. I take any kind of magical energy, and turn it in to something I can use, much like a forge takes raw ores and turns them in to something usable. I myself don't do any metalwork, although it was somewhat involved in the process."

Freeze-Frame smiles a bit. "ooh! kinda like… alchemy, but with acutal magic and not Magic juice!" Yes. PERFECT explanation! "how'd you end up finding it though? I wanna know so i know what to do, even if I don't have a horn!"

Windrose puckers her lips in an "Ooooooh. It's -figurative-." Pause. "Huh. Must of been confusing when you first got it then, if it's that.. uh…" She scratchs the side of her head with a hoof, "not obvious." Then Tradewind returns with a drink for her. She takes the glass in the crook of a hoof and holds it up to examine it for a moment. Then shrugs and takes a sip. "… not bad."

Rondeau raises an eye tuft at that. "Cutie marks really are fascinating.. I apologize for the intrusiveness, but you know, there's nothing like them among griffins, and the whole thing is just SO INTERESTING. So it's symbolic? Some are so literal, some aren't.."

Quintessent-Rune's head remained cocked to the side, ears perked and a unsual look of curiousity plain on her face. Even her smile seems to have mostly faded, though the expression have taken on rather a genuine feel. "Metalwork had something to do with it…? I… must admit to rather a bit of curiosity on how you aquired your mark, Miss Chaos, I must admit. I'm curios to see how it differs from my own tale, and how it is simmilar."

As she spoke Quintessent turned her head slightly, throwing a glance down at her own flanks - towards the single golden odal rune on it's dark, spalthy field covering most of her rear end.

Tradewinds says "Well, sure… for instance, mine symbolizes that I'm crazy in the coconut!"

Blackbird leans back to look at Tradewinds' mark and laughs, tapping his own bubbling erlenmeyer flask. "And I myself am an inventor, though my mark chose to represent the chemistry side of all of that." And, for whatever reason, there's a small apologetic note to that. "Miss Chaos, that's a fascinating cutie mark."

Windrose takes another sip from her glass, and pffss softly at Tradewind. "Just means you fit right in as far as the Harbor goes. Very few sane ponies around here."

Tradewinds parks his mug on the table — does he ever actually drink from it? — and nods. "When I arrived, this bar was stuck through a cloud," he admits. "So, what does your rather literal (and, if I may, lovely) compass 'rose' for?"

Rising-Chaos grimaces, she's going to have to tell the story, now. This is what happens when she goes outside, she just knows it. "I was the first filly to learn magic in my school, by far. Almost half a year ahead of the next closest foal. After a story my father told me one night, I tried to make pictures to go along with it at night, because I liked the story so much. My horn lit up and the images were projected on the wall." She takes a drink. "Where I'm from, you were told that once you've found your spell, that's all you could do. so I was taught how to do illusions, and that's all. This suited me just fine, I love illusions, it's one of my favourite kinds of magic."

Blackbird sips his water, ears perked to listen curiously.

Freeze-Frame blinks and nods a bit, chewing on her last stick of Fried seaweed as she litens to the story intently. bits of flakey breading dot her muzzle as she quietly chews.

Tradewinds nods slowly… "Isn't that kinda like saying you can only do one kind of weather, though?"

Windrose hahs! "Rising Chaos, limited to one trick. That'd be the day. You're too dang curious and stubborn to stop like that." Takes another draw of her drink. "I'll go when Rising is done."

Quintessent-Rune leaned back, listening intently to Rising begining her little tale. At least till she glances down at Freeze Frame next to her. Reaching over the table she snapped up a napckin and leaned over, aiming to dab the crumbs of the foal's face.

Rising-Chaos stops a growl aimed at Windrose, turns it in to a nod. "you're right, and I wasn't satisfied. I could see so much mroe magic everywhere around me, that only doing illusions felt like a waste. So I worked hard, studyijng and practising every day and night."

She takes another drink. "Perhaps as a consequence, I didn't have any friends growing up." what a shocker, Chaos. "It didn't help that as soon as othe rponies found their magic, they were omore powerful than I. I've grown accustomed to the feeling now, but as a filly it's rather distressing." She pauses, to pull something out of her saddlebag, it's long, mostly rectangular and wrapped in cloth. "I did make one friend though, a blacksmith who lived on my street. I would go watch him some days, because I loved the power, the purity of the job. I've always been enamoured with metalwork, and the ability to create things."

Freeze-Frame blushes a bit and takes the napkin forn herself. She's too old to have adults trying to clean up after her! she hums a bit and frowns. "Yeah. I'd be pretty sad if I learned to fly early, but never really got good at it too."

"If you can't eat without making a mess," said Quintessent somewhat reproachfully, "you should not eat in public at all." That said the young seapony sat up straight, runing her full attention back to Rising, and at the bundle. "I supose I can understand the feeling, myself, seeing as I often work with metal. If rather in a rudimentary way…"

Tradewinds nods more soberly, peering at the wrapped object. "Good way to put it, kid."

"Aw, there's nothing wrong with being a bit messy," chuckles Blackbird. His untidy stack of notes might speak to that. "But that does sound…frustrating."
Windrose bobs her head, making her curls bounce a bit. "Go'on, finish the story."

"There's nothing wrong with being clean, either," Rising Chaos says. Her voice is still the pinnacle of calm, somehow, and her face is only kind of a grimace. "It is incredibly frustrating, I've learnt to cope. Being able to do many different things helps." She unwraps the thing, it's a sword, her short sword. It's in its sheth,m so as not to attract attention, but the hilt is pretty enough, if plain. "I hope to take it up as a hobby someday, mostly because of my friend." She rewraps the sword, and puts it away. "So one day, while watching him work, something slipped, and he burned himself on the hot metal of the horseshoe he was making. I panicked, because he was in pain, and wihtout thinking reached out, and healed him wiht my magic. It felt so natural, using different kinds of magic, and almost without me knowing, my cutie mark appeared." She takes another drink, thinking she'll get alcohol next. "It's been nothing but trouble since. Wouldn't trade it for anything in the world though."

"Aha! Interesting. I quite like that." Blackbird nods and grins, then elbows Freeze-Frame. "Taking notes? Anyone else want to share their story as long as we're talking about it?"

Freeze-Frame humms a bit and nods. she did pull out a pack of index cards that she bought on sale a month ago when School was supposed to be back in session and startst to write down… she always was a good note taker, if nothing else.

Tradewinds chuckles. "Maybe later," he says, eyes cutting toward the filly.

Quintessent-Rune smiled softly for herself - a reall smile, not the usual masks she wears - and gave Rising Chaos a slight nod before glancing down at Freeze Frame, her expression smoothing out to it's normal, expressionless smile. "See, miss? A mark is not always a complete blessing, or so I'd say - there might be less than iddylic circumstances surrounding it. I can most certainly attest to that myself."

"Can you?" Blackbird grins. "Would you like to share for the class, Miss Rune?"
Windrose huhs. "Well that does explain the strange not literal cutie mark." She gulps down the rest of her drink. "What did you say this was called again? So I can remember for next time there's not a helpful pony to make suggestions."

Freeze-Frame smirks a bit to the pony that napkin'd her snout. "I still would want to know what I'm good at! and what about you, then…? how'd you get~ yeah, what Mr. Blackbird said! he's my teacher after all! He wants to help teach me about cutie marks, so you should totes do what he says!"
Tradewinds says "A mojito. Rum, sugar, lime, mint, and soda water. Great for hot days, huh?"

Quintessent-Rune raised an eyebrow slightly at Blackbird and Freeze Frame. "I supose I might indeed. Very well then, let me see…" Quintessent leant back, her mug in her hooves as she took a sip before placing it on the table. Hooves came up, unfurling the scarf from arround her neck before folding it neatly and placing it on the table - the large sigil, a golden trident upon a inky whirlpool, at the center for everypony to see. "To explain my story, I supose I need to begin with my family - a somewhat prestigeous one in its circle, the Rune's garnered it's status almost six centuries ago. The trident is the representation of the act, our ancestor racing to forge an exeptional weapon in a time of dire need to defen his home - and succeeding before the eyes of all. In time he was hailed as a master artificer, a valiant soldier and amongst the most gallant and noble ponies of our ancestral hometown - not a particularly large place."

Windrose leans forward to listen as well as look at the displayed mark on the scarf. Huh. Trident. "Don't they usually use those at sea?"

Blackbird leans in curiously, examining the scarf as he turns his ears to the story. "Fascinating…" he comments softly.

Quintessent-Rune noded. "Indeed, though it is of a mote point for the purpose of exposition. Sufice to say, the Rune family have been incredibly proud of the fact since then - they forge magical weapons of unqestionable quality, they have proven themselves in times of distress and moved amongst the higher echelons of pony society. They have lived well, the responsibility for mentaining their valor, their fortune and their position passing from the the ruling matriarch or patriarch to the oldest child."

Quintessent's muzzle scrunched up slightly. "For this new, youngest generation of Runes - that happens to be me rather unfortunately. My brother, had he been born a year before me rather than after, would have been more appropriate for such a role; he relishes the postion of our family and excels in the matters of arms and martial combat, what my elders would consider the propper path for a Rune to walk - walking the path that our ancestor won for us."

"Looking at our past myself, I did not see what my parents did - that we had won our laurels and were free to live life to our liking, amongst the others of good breeding." Quintessent shook her head for herself, peering down at Freeze Frame. "And that, miss, sets the backdrop for the relatively uneventful story of my own mark."

Windrose reachs over to prod Rune's shoulder with her wing as she tries to not snicker too much. "Is that why you hide out in a backwater place like this instead of pursuing that noble calling?"

Freeze-Frame blinks slowly. "uhhhhh… Like I said, I don't think I'm a good sailor like my mom, or a hunter like my dad." She points a wing towards the drunken pegasus gabbing it up with the bartender. As stated earlier, the man's cutie mark is a bear trap.

Tradewinds says "Hey, nothin' wrong with that. I shipped with a guy once who could belch the entire national anthem on one bottle of beer. Turned out he was some nobility outta Canterlot. Never woulda known.""

Blackbird chuckles a little at the comments, but is still listening, regarding Rune with utmost curiosity.

Quintessent-Rune turned towards Windrose, letting the frown slip cleanly upon her expression, before settling back down, forelegs folding on the table. "It is, actualy, exactly the reason. I am neither the warrior nor the socialite that my family asks me to be - and trust me, they have tried. I looked at our family's long, and often sordid as of late, history and saw something else than they - I saw that once upon a time there were ponies in our family like me; fashinated more so by the forging of arcane instruments and mechanisms rather than the dance of high society and the quest for gloory. Decent, honest people so much very unlike those we were surrounded with, that we were."

Turning slightly Quinty looked down at her flank - at the golden rune on black. "In my spare time I studied my arts rather than seeking out the company of other young mares of suficient social standing to gossip, or young colts at which to swoon and eventualy charm, as was expected - or at least so I imagine. I chose to be BETTER." The word was unsualy forceful, comming from the young mare.

"I studied, I learnt artifice and golemany, and I did my best not to become like the ponies that surounded me from day to day… And sitting there, one night, I brought an spark of animate life to my very first golem - one which have stayed with me through the years since. That was when I came to my own realisation - I might be the heir to our family… but it is my own choice as to which legacy I will chose - the one my parents set before me, or the one in ages past; and my art is what empowers me to do so. Artifice lights my way, to what destiny I wish."

Blackbird's brows lift a little, impressed. "Huh! That's really interesting, Miss Rune. I've never met a golemancer before. I wonder what it would be like for a golemancer and an inventor to work together on a project." Such an intriguing concept!

Tradewinds stage-whispers, "As long as they do it well outside of town."

Freeze-Frame smiles a bit and bounces at that story before turning to look at her father agian, whom is chugging at a deep breen bottle with a picture of an elk on the label. Freeze-Frame speaks in a low voice. "Yeah, I don't really wanna be like my mommy or daddy either… but don't tell daddy that, okay…? but… how about you, Mr. Blackbeard…? you never tell the story to class…!"

"Eeehhhh, it's not a very, uh…" Blackbird trails off. "I mean, I don't think I should… uh. Erm."

Windrose must of got up to get herself another drink while Rune is finishing because she comes back with it now and reclaims her seat. "I suppose you'll want to heard mine ne—" Then the foal asks Blackbird instead, and she lets the comment go at that. Hff. She said she'd go but then everyone else started telling theirs instead.

"No no! By all means! Go ahead!" Blackbird encourages. Yes! Anything but him!

Freeze-Frame squeaks a bit and looks over at windrose, her ears flattening agianst her head. "Sorry, I uh… I just thought you'd take longer getting your drink? go ahead!"

Quintessent-Rune glanced over her shoulder, the same way Freeze Frame did, and nodded slowly. "I do supose I understand, miss - I do not know your name by the way - and you may consider my lips sealed upon the matter without your permission." Turning in her seat she regarded Windrose, though gave Blackbird a glance - yeah, you're not getting away from this!
Rondeau looks at Rune. "I know what you mean. Family can be like that.. And we don't even get marks! But, what if you get your mark, and it's not what you want to do? That sounds scary."

Blackbird offers an innocent smile to Rune, but there's that nice patina of NOOOOOooooo behind it.

"I'm Freeze Frame! and that's my daddy, Jager, over there!" Freeze Frame extends a hoof towards Quintessent rune politely.

Quintessent-Rune turns back towards Feeze, looking down at the hoof for a moment. Then shook it. "I am Quintessent Rune, though Miss Rune or Quintessent is the most common forms by which I seek to be addressed."
Tradewinds pats Rondeau on the shoulder. "It's not like you just draw a mark outta some hat, though. You don't get your mark until you find something you really wanna dedicate your life to."

"At least in some fashion," mutters Blackbird.

Windrose hehs. "It's okay kid, it's not a very long story." She pauses to take a sip from her refilled glass and sets it back down. "To answers Mr. Loudshirt's original question, my special talent is my unerring sense of directions. But my cutie mark is for the first time I used my talents for others. Cloudsdale doesn't really have a big 'Winter Wrap-up' like some communities call it because all the weather comes from there in the first place, so sometimes my family would go to other places that were short on help, pegasi sick or whatever, and lend a hoof. One year we went to a town that kept getting confused on where who was suppose to go with what job, so I made them a map showing them all the right routes for scattering the seeds for flowers in the field without getting mixed up with each other, and -that- is why my mark is also a flower. And a clever pun." She snickers a bit. "So sometimes it's not what your talent -is-, but what you find you're really good at -doing- with it."

Tradewinds hoists his mug to that. "'sright," he agrees and downs its contents.

Freeze-Frame nods and gets back to her notecards, picking up her pencil in her maw while she writes down more notes from what Windrose says. she then spits the pencil back out. "Uh-huh! and now it's mr. Blackbird's turn!"

Quintessent-Rune nodded for herself. "Indeed, the mark does take many shapes, for many different reasons." The words seemed most for Freeze's benefit, than anything. Finaly Quintessent turned towards Blackbird, the corners of her mouth turning upwards ever so slightly in amusement. "And as miss Frame noted. I do belive it is your turn, Mr. Blackbird."

Blackbird nods sagely. "Exactly. Ah— " Oh. Now it's his turn? "Ah…" Blackbird rubs his mane thoughtfully with one hoof. He glances at Freeze-Frame, trying to decide how much to reveal. "Well…" he starts slowly, "I was an orphan, growing up and a…family took me in. They were a…working family, of…ummm." How to sanitize this? "Whenever somepony big and important had a problem…my family was often called to, uh, fix it." He clears his throat. "And, uh. My job was, when I wasn't on field miss— erm. Uh. Problem…solving…duty… We would, uh, um." He trails off. This is tough to explain.

Windrose .. has to try really hard to not snicker at Blackbird's difficulties, so she busys herself sipping from her glass again.

Quintessent-Rune cocked her head to the side ever so slightly. "You are not very good at this, are you, Mr. Blackbird? No offense, of course."

Blackbird shrugs helplessly at Rune. "/That/ is not my talent." He clears his throat and continues, wracking his brain for how best to proceed. "Well, I was always a tinkerer, anyway. And we had a, uh, um. Particularly…stubborn problem to deal with. And they needed some…sleeeeping potion, yes. And, erm. A way to… administer it without uh…alerting them that they were being administered to! Sssso." The teacher is fiddling endlessly with his notes now, nudging them this way and that, and fretting and worrying the edges until they start to crease and wear. "Um. Uh. So the chief, uh, potion maker was not able to figure out how to create it to exact specifications, mostly because he was too busy with other more pressing problems, but I was an apprentice, so I had the time. I wasn't often on, erm. Problem solving duty. Yet.

"Ssss…so. I created a small, and well-concealed series of interconnected devices that could be easily set up in the targe— uh. Paaatient's home, and spent a while concocting a sleeping potion that would have the exact effects we were looking for that wouldn't implic— … give anyone a headache. In the morning. After he woke up." He glances from side to side. "Yes."

Clearing his throat, he finishes. "Anyway. The problem-solving was a success, and…when it worked correctly, I got my cutie mark. Oddly enough, that's how the home team knew it was successful, at first." In point of fact, his cutie mark represents a talent in devising chemical weaponry. But foals don't need to know that. Not at all. Nope. "And that's it! Who's turn is it now? Tradewinds! Your turn!" ANYPONY BUT ME

Tradewinds gives a little yip and twitches. "Huh? Me? Oh. Um. Right. Well."

Tradewinds clears his throat and settles back on his haunches. "I had a friend, Gold Leaf. We grew up together, but she got her mark real early, making jewelry and inlays an' stuff. When she went to a special trade school, we promised we wouldn't drift apart. And we didn't. But she eventually wanted to apprentice to a master jeweler." He takes along long drag on his cup.

"She was so stressed out. She just about broke her desk, stacking all the books on it so she could study them. I kept telling her she was plenty good, but she wouldn't hear a word of it."

Windrose smirks and holds up her glass. "Did you buy her a drink to help calm her down too?"

Quintessent-Rune raised an eyebrow at Blackbird - the simple expression seeming to convey the whole weight of 'really, that is the best you can do?'. Finaly though, she turned towards Tradewinds.

And again, Blackbird shrugs and smiles nervously at Rune. Eh heh heh … Luckily, there's a new distraction! "Oh, stress. Quite the killer," he comments.

Tradewinds grins at Windrose. "Not far off. The day before her test, she was insisting she wasn't gonna sleep, just study all night. Just what she needs, right? Show up lookin' like a zombie? Well, so, I… uhh… and I'm not saying anypony else should do this, but I swiped some booze from my parents' liquor cabinet. I convinced her to take at least one drink, and, well… she finally loosened up and we had a little party, and she promised to get some sleep." He snickers into his hoof. "Later on, she thanked me for helping her unwind, but she never forgave me for making her go to the test with a hangover!

Tradewinds says "Anyhow, my cutie mark appeared at some point, but… well…" He gestures to the coconut shell and umbrella. "Next day, I had to explain to my parents just exactly how I got it and what it meant! I was sooooo grounded." He hesitates and looks to Freeze Frame. "Uh, but, you know… don't drink, kid."

Blackbird laughs and takes a drink of water, grinning at Tradewinds. "Oooohhhh, ouch! Well you seem to have made your way okay at least."

Quintessent-Rune raised an eyebrow, sipping from her cup and giving Freeze Frame a most amused glance before turning towards Tradewinds. "Oh, most assuredly those of uss present and underage will not imbue any alcohole."

Tradewinds chuckles. "Oh, it wasn't so bad. They understood that I meant well. Why, I didn't run away to join the Navy until /years/ later!"

Windrose aaaahahahas

"Navy, huh? That's definitely one thng," Blackbird turns to Freeze, "your cutie mark certainly won't define all the experiences you have. It might guide them, but it's a light touch."

Windrose nods her head. "It's more of a starting point showing the way than a locked down no other options." She points her free hoof at the filly. "Just finding your talent won't necessarily tell you what to -do- with it, remember."

Quintessent-Rune took another sip from her mug, turning towards Freeze Frame. "And I supose that there you have it, those are the tales of our marks." Quinty took another sip from the mug, seeming to empty it, before she stood up. "And if you all do excuse me, I do belive I need to return home to prepare - I will have rather an intense next the few weeks consulting for NiceCO."

Tradewinds nods firmly. "You don't have to have a mark to be good at something — the mark just naturally comes out when you are."

Freeze-Frame finishes taking her notes and stuffs the notecards away, nodding. "Thank you all!"

Tradewinds chuckles and wave. "No problem, kid!"

Windrose smirks a little. "I guess this kind of counts as setting somepony in the right direction too. Maybe I should of been an advisor instead." Pauses, then waves it off. "Naaaah."