Danger in the Dead Village
IC date: Autumn 23, 1007 A.N.
OOC date: October 12, 2012
PCs: Winter-Solstice, Jellybean, Snowfield, Sadaka, Magpie, Ruby-Blossom, Solar-Wind, Kludge, Sodium-Fizz
NPCs: Winter-Sherry, Heartsong, Plot-Twist, Dragon, Dragon-riding Commander
GM: Gamble, Snowfield

The wind howls tonight under the light of a waning half moon that dominates a clear sky. Though no snow falls the air is nonetheless thick with white powder as gusts blow the stuff off of the crests of the snow dunes that make up the Horseshoe Wastes. Through the harsh weather a group treks, making their way towards what countless centuries ago was a thriving little village.

"Look alive, everypony!" says Winter-Sherry, a stocky earth pony whose coat and mane are completely obscured by the pale green snowsuit she's wearing. "We'll have a couple hours to ransack the village for supplies before the storm dies down. By the time the winds stop we'll want to be out of there, we have /way/ too many ponies in one place to risk getting spotted by one of the Queen's reconnaissance pegasi."

"Look alive? I thought the idea was to look, y'know, dead," says Winter Solstice, lugging along close behind Winter Sherry. And lug INDEED, because she's carrying THE STUFF. or the thing the stuff may eventually go on. It's a sled, you see. A wagon, once, maybe, once upon a time, but its wheels have long since been replaced with rusty runners. Good thing, since a rough roll down a rotten road would probably shake the thing apart. As it stands the smooth glide over the snow is nice and easy, leaving a broad, smooth path behind Winter. There isn't a lot on the wagon at the moment, since this is where supplies get to be piled up afterwards, or maybe dead bodies if this goes really really terribly.

Jellybean isn't on the sled, or at least doesn't seem to be STAYING on the sled: the particulars of this operation are something he finds unhappy, to say the least, and so his anxious fidgeting has progressed to periodically taking off and flying in little circles after it.

Snowfield is in her usual adventuring garb, which is to say she is wrapped up in ice and doing her best Windigo impression. It's surprisingly warm on the inside thanks to the shell keeping the wind out! "You don't have to look dead until Ghostwalk," the unicorn says to Solstice, completely missing the joke as she tries to survey the area through the roaring wind storm. She doesn't intend to do much in the way of scavenging on this little adventure. Instead, her specialty will come in extra handy if they take too long in the village and the gusts die down. Somepony will need to cover their tracks back to base.

Winter-Solstice is also wearing the hodgepodge snowsuit Ruby made for her. She looks like lumbering frankenmuppet.

A little zebra trots along with the group, trying not to look nervous (okay nervous is an understatement) as she does her best to keep up, hopping through snowdrifts as best she can considering how bundled up she is. If Blackbird can't come, Sadaka will. It's a break from practicing her zombie face. Bleaaaah.

A scant few feet above the group, a pegasus hovers, one eye on them while the other scans the surroundings carefully. Heartsong is humming, keeping her voice down enough to not be caught up by any of the gusts. Even just the humming is uplifting for those who can hear it, a nice break from the dreary windy emptiness that would normally make up the 'sound' out here.

The group crests another snow drift and finds themselves within view of the abandoned village. Encrusted in ice and half-buried in snow, the old huts have a sort of thatch quality which really has no place in a winter wasteland. Undoubtedly this town was founded before the snows from Wintersong extended out over the open plains. It's no surprise that the residents of this place didn't stick around.

Winter-Sherry looks over her shoulders at the assembled ponies. "Alright, we're going to start by raiding the houses. Any clothing you find is worth taking, no matter how poor condition it's in. If any of you unicorns are good at finding things underground, try and track down the gravehard in all this mess, or see if there are any tall markers that are poking through the snow."

Magpie struggles along a bit behind Sadaka, keeping an eye on the little zebra filly. She's wrapped up in a grayish full-body suit with the hood pulled down so tight that her face is all but completely hidden.

Jellybean nods to the local and spreads his wings before taking to the skies, "I'll see if maybe I can see something overhead, okay? Don't worry, I'll be careful." With a clumsy little whoosh, he's off.

Winter-Solstice drags the Sled, which may or may not have Jellybean on it any any given time, into something resembling the center of town. You can tell it's the center of town because there's a statue there, mounted over what might have once been a fountain somewhere under the snow and ice. Speaking of indeterminate former states, the statue may once have looked like a filly striking some sort of heroic pose, not unlike the one of Seafoam back in Horseshoe Harbor. This one has been smashed beyond any more than a hint of a recognition- front limbs broken off and lost, head intact but face broken away.

Winter Solstice pauses at the base of the statue, looking up at it as she goes about absently untying herself from The Sled. "Wow, that's creepy," she says, to anybody who is nearby, before looking around. She looks through the gutted remnants of an old house, then beyond it, to the hint of the graveyard over yonder. "Wow, this is like the creepiest, saddest adventure ever," she says, before smiling cheerfully. "It's good to get a variety and everything but I think after this I'm gonna be due for another madcap romp through pirate treasure troves. Preferably someplace with a nice beach and some sunny weather." She turns to wave a hoof up at Jelly as he flies off, then starts looking around the rest of the group.

From ayonder a lone pony silently watches the group - as comfortable as any pony (save for Snowfield) can be in this cold; Ruby stays a tad distant from the group to watch over them <3. She told them she was staying to behind to rest up after her little mis-adventure last night - but really that was just an excuse to play the Batmare.

Heartsong blinks, calling after Jellybean, "Be careful! Call if you need anything. Or see anything! Or… or anything!" She fidgets her hooves nervously for a moment before starting to look around as well, flitting this way and that, peering over everything.

Magpie staggers into the lee of one of the buildings, crouching there out of the wind for a minute. It's /bitterly/ cold. And dark. And lonely. And monstery. She shivers, then slowly pushes her way into a house, at random. At least it's out of the storm.

From the outskirts of town slipping out of the foliage of the surrounding 'forest' appears three forms, short, tall and stocky, and stocky. The look of them isn't threatening, more shambling in an indistinct direction. On closer inspection ponies may become recognizable as Sodium-Fizz seriously supporting Solar-Wind, and Kludge on the other side of Solar, also doing some supporting as the big pegasus looks absoloutely beaten and bloody. His wings are unfolded and their tips are dragging in the snow evidently broken. Solar's head is barely above the snow level and hung low, not its usual proud look. They are slowly making their way into town. There's blood in the snow in their wake…

Snowfield nods to Sherry and slides effortlessly down the drift into town. Her horn begins to glow as she shifts the snow around on the ground, pushing it aside, lifting it up, scattering it and swirling it around so that it looks natural again in her wake as she searches the ground for the elusive graveyard.

"This is nothing," the unicorn says as Solstice complains about this being such a depressing adventure. "You should see some of the stuff back in our Wintersong. I've never looked at it up close but there's some sort of mountain out in the forest that I think once had a city carved into it. The wind whistles through it sometimes and makes this hollow, mournful whistle you can hear for miles."

It doesn't take long for Winter-Sherry to begin carrying things back to the empty sled that Solstice was kind enough to carry for them. Marginally shredded coats, cracked old boots, faded and torn sun dressses (hah!). The stocky mare doesn't discriminate, she just grabs everything in a closet and throws it over her shoulder.

It's pretty uneventful on her end, all things considered.

Winter-Solstice gazes across the village, towards Magpie. Ruby isn't the only one playing watcherpony, although Winter doesn't realize she's not the only one. Who watches the watchmen? Ruby does. The watchmen do not watch back because they are too busy watching other things. "See, now, that sounds neato," says Winter. "It's still creepy but in a different way. Colossal architecture hangin' around bein' all look upon my works ye mighty. This is just sad. There's no monument here." She waggles a hoof over at a house. "Just ruined lives. No names or history, everything forgotten, snuffed out quietly in the night."

As she says this, her smile gradually droops. Soon she's frowning. She stares a bit longer, turns to watch Winter Sherry work for a bit, then grumbles with a scuff of her hoof and makes for a house. "Man, if we don't really get to help fix this place before we go, I'm gonna be, like… I'm gonna make them botch their spell again so we can come back and do it over and get it right." She disappears inside a house, and the sound of some clunking and banging can be heard from within.

Snowfield gives Winter Solstice an incredulous look, then looks up at the ruined statue behind her. "I'm going to call her Star-Ember. Now she has a name." Without another word she goes back to shuffling snow around. It's a skill she's had a lot of practice with over the years. Practically every day she's shuffling.

Magpie slowly, reluctantly makes her way back out to the sled, dropping a coat that was mostly shreds and patches BEFORE it got frozen for however-long. Whatever. She said take anything. She goes back in and paws rather hopelessly at an ice-encrusted chest. "HOW DO WE MELT STUFF OUT?" she shouts over the wind at the nearest adult.

Heartsong is apparently not much of a scout. She finds a few scattered cloths to bring to the sled, but… not much. It doesn't take her long to give up the hunt, settling down in the middle of the village and starting to add her assistance in another way. Out in the 'open' like this is no place to burst into song, but she starts back humming that cheery little tune, hoping to bring some semblance of energy back into the group.

Sadaka rifles through the snow, pausing every few moments to sniffle or sneeze. Boy it's cold. And… /creepy/. Especially that statue. It feels… unpleasantly… 'familiar' isn't even the right word. This just feels like the sort of place she doesn't /want/ to be rifling through, but here she is anyways. Rifling. Branches, twigs… the occasional cloth. Is that an umbrella? She picks it up. Is an umbrella useful, all rusty and full of holes? Who knows.

Jellybean finds this weather to be difficult to fly in, but despite not being the best flier he's remarkably good at poor-weather flying for a foal. But then it's his job to fly in bad weather, so there you are. Not that he's finding anything yet. He flies down next to Winter Solstice. "I couldn't really see anything," he explains.

The incoming group is slowing as they approach the town, their speed couldn't be considered fast by any means, and to some would look practically labored. Solar isn't doing well as he steps, more stumbles along with the support of his friends another pegasus, and the earth pony. Their group sees movement in this 'village' and while they can't tell what it is, they are certainly not guard ponies nor bolts, perhaps friendly?

Ruby's field of view doesn't grant her sight of Solar-Wind's incoming party - after several long minutes she stealthily descends from her perch on a snow bank and into a lone hut away from the rest of the ponies - she can't help but be curious after all. Ducking inside the hutt she begins to dig around while casting a soft light - intent on remaining out of sight, and out of mind - after all she wouldn't want Magpie to get angry at her run then run off in this horrible setting.

The mare digs about coming up with nothing of particular interest save for a few odds and ends which she stuffs into her saddle bags - she /was/ told to grab whatever.

The three injured ponies aren't the only things out of place and coming into town! As if on cue, the sound of wingbeats rises barely over the sound of the wind's howl. Big wingbeats. Something decidedly not a bird. Possibly closer to plane-sized approaching in the skies, hidden by the eternal darkness. Something alarming that the two locals in the group would be sure to recognize.

Heartsong freezes mid-note, cutting off with a choked squeak as soon as she hears the sound, eyes widening. She leaps into the air, wings fluttering frantically. "Winter!" One can assume she's talking to Winter Sherry, considering that's who she's looking at. She doesn't really elaborate further than just, just giving her a panicked 'what do we do nooooow?!' sort of look.

Magpie is getting no help from anypony else. Ah well. That's /normal/. She found a single boot. Where's the other? Only Celestia knows. The filly sighs, and starts to head towards the next… she pauses, head tilting up. What was that?

"Just mark it for us and we'll send a unicorn around to get it out," Winter-Sherry answers Magpie. She trots over to take a look at the chest herself when she stops mid-stride and casts her gaze fearfully upwards. When Heartsong calls her name she snaps out of her terrified reverie. "…inside! Everpony inside! Get under a roof /quick/!"

The BANG, BANG, CLUNKing sounding from inside the house Winter Solstice dropped into stops, and a few moments later she pokes her head out and looks up. "Anybody else hear that?" she calls out over the wail of the wind. She then jumps with a start, looking towards Heartsong, because even IF the native wasn't talking to Winter Solstice, it's not like she can TELL or anything, gosh, at least until she sees Heartsong looking at the -other- Winter. Winter Solstice watches a moment, then shrugs and ducks her head back in. Must be business for cool native ponies instead.

Wait! No! That was definitely something scary in the clouds! She pokes her head back out the door. "Okay seriously I-" … and Winter Sherry makes her admonition. Winter sighs and ducks back inside AGAIN, and a moment later can be seen peering out of a nearby window, elbows propped up on the sill.

Sadaka blinks and freezes, moreso at the other ponies' alarmed shouts than at the wingbeats that she herself didn't recognize at all. She snaps her head up, looking around with wide-eyed alarm. "Wh-what? What's g-going on? What is it?"

Solar-Wind hears something outside, someone yelling, something about getting inside. He's doing his darn best as beat to heck as he is and now his friends are rightly pulling him along in desperation, he pants and shudders honestly trying, and the three of them manage to duck under the edge of a roof, not into a building, just hidden from view in town, out of view of what-ever-it-is. He can't talk much more than rasp out, "whatsgoingon?" he pants deeply looking from Kludge to Sodium-Fizz

Magpie has reflexes learned on the streets. When somepony says "run" or "hide", you do it. You don't ask or stand around gawping until you figure out what's so scary. So at Winter's shout, she takes to her heels without hesitation. She grabs Jellybean's wing in her teeth and charges straight at Sadaka, bowling the three of them into the nearest hut in a tangle of legs!

Snowfield's gaze lifts as well at the sound of wingflaps. She squints through the swirling snow unafraid of whatever is lurking in the depths of the sky. At Sherry's insistance, however, she's not going to play the Huge Target. "We don't know, best not to risk it," the unicorn says to Sadaka as she trots over, horn aglow. The snow around them begins to lift up— but not before Magpie tackles the little foal out of the way!

…well, whatever. Snowfield will just hide by herself then. She lays down on the ground and pulls the snow over herself like a blanket, freezing the bottom layer of it into an icy shield so that she has a comfortable little air bubble, with just a smidge of her shield exposed to the open air so that she can peek out through a makeshift little window.

"Deuced if I know," grumbles Kludge. While he's not as bad off as Solar-Wind, he's still hurting, and the sooner the lot of them can make it back to the base, the better. He's just glad they were able to get away at all!

Heartsong obligingly dives for the nearest hut, folding her wings to careen through the window and out of sight. After a few minutes she peeks back out through said window, but keeps far enough back from it to not be easily visible.

Jellybean yelps, yanked into a hut without any idea of what's going on, but manages to have enough presence of mind not to start carrying on. Now that he's inside, though, he tries to find a good place to hide and starts nudging the other two foals to go with him.

Ruby-Blossom's attention is drawn by the ruckus outside of her hut - the snowsuit clad mare peeking out the non-existent front door just in time to see every puck duck inside and hide. This certainly prompts a curious head tilt and a skywards glance as she surveys the skies for whatever is making that sound. (I'm getting sick of this. I really want to beat the snot out of Queen Mare and call it a day.) She grouses quietly while watching the sky.

Ruby-Blossom doesn't catch sight of what's in the sky just yet, but /does/ finally catch a glance of Kludge - she peers and peers long and hard to try to make out the other figure int he distance - almost instantly she realizes "Kludge?" spoken to herself and no pony else - suddenly realizing the trio of ponies are /struggling/ through the cold. Typically she likes to think things through - but like a fool she suddenly rushes out of hiding to assist Kludge, and the other ponies she hasnt' made out yet.

Whoosh! Whoosh! The wingbeats approach! Wind and snow scatter, luckily covering many of the fresh tracks made through the ruined little town. The beast behind the wings is…huge. Easily twice as tall or more as any building Horseshoe Harbor has to offer, with dark puple scales and a sea green underbelly. A long tail studded with spikes at the tip, absolutely huge wings, and a pair of nubs for horns rounds out the beast of a dragon, touching down with the subtlety of a wrecking ball near the outskirts of the town, opposite from where Solar, Kludge, and Sodium are limping in.

A dragon… But the dragon has company. A rider, even. A harness, with a bejeweled saddle, upon which a stunning white unicorn with a dark blue mane settles. Decked out in a sparkling dress of purple and black hues fit for a princess, and enough makeup to choke any lesser creature.

The dragon shuffles, two steps taken, the ground shuddering beneath its weight, and then it dips its head, crouching down to put the saddle closer to ground level, so the unicorn can slide off and into the snow.

"Twist!" the unicorn calls into the dying wind. "Twist you wreched excuse for a pegasus, where are you hiding? You said they limped this way, didn't you? Well where are they!?"

Yipe! Tackled! It's… kind of shocking how often that happens to Sadaka. Maybe the Joke hadn't been all that far off stamping a target on her flank. TACKLE FILLY HERE. It certainly seemed to work for Siyana. And apparently just as well for Magpie! The filly topples with a startled yelp! Luckily, she figures out pretty quickly to not make any further sound. In fact, Jellybean's 'find a hiding place' idea seems pretty good. She moves easily with the nudges, scooting into the niche beside him, ears flat back against her head.

Magpie shudders when the dragon shakes the ground on landing. She sits in a little row with the other two foals in the alcove. Without a word, she reaches over to tug the other two's hoods down nearly over their eyes, and she gestures down, lowers her head to the floor. Hopefully they'll be hard to see in the gloom with the hoods down and laying among the ice and debris.

Winter-Solstice leans forward slightly peering a bit out through the window towards the edge of town. Is that… is that a dragon? And the dragon has a rider? Who is a unicorn? Who is evil? Is there actually an evil sorceress riding a dragon?

She drops back into the house in a sudden state of bewilderment and stares about the darkness, at the dusty and dilapidated surroundings. She reaches up with a hoof, then, and slaps herself across the face. She'd pinch herself if that was something ponies could readily do, but no. Shaking her head, she sits back up and peers outside. Yep. Evil sorceress on a dragon.

A youth of reading terrible adventure novels and strong-arming her friends into tabletop games roar in her head. THERE IS AN EVIL SORCERESS ON A DRAGON. YOU REALLY NEED TO DEFEAT THAT. She bites her lower lip and leans heavily against the window frame. She wants to hit it, she wants to hit it really really hard, oh sweet merciful Celestia she wants to *hit* it like the fist of a righteous level 20 Palominodin in the name of truth and justice and then roll in its XP and loot forever.

But no, this isn't a game, it's a miserable horrible ice world. She stays inside for now. But she does listen… and she does watch. Her eyes dart from house to house, trying to track the others and make sure they're okay.

Solar-Wind can hear clearly enough to know that they've been tracked. Heck he'd probably been easy to track given the blood in the snow, and the tracks that they really didn't have time to cover. Each of them tuck in and Hide well under the roofline, schooching deeper under cover in the noise of the landing of /that/ beast. Solar swallows hard, he's in no shape for anything let alone /another/ confrontation, He shakes his head hard clearing the building fog and remarkable tunnel vision he's getting, the tunnel vision doesn't clear unfortunately, and he knows he's pretty bad off. 'windstorm really, why now?' he thinks to himself, 'its not really that bad out here really, warming up some"

Winter-Sherry doesn't even breathe in her hiding spot. She holds stock still, cowering against a wall and praying that the dragon doesn't turn her way. Because dragons totally have X-ray vision or something.

Ruby's sudden outwards lunge changes to a very sudden sideways roll to disapear behind a snowbank right around the same instant the dragon /lands/; both hooves covering her mouth. (Ohmygodadragon.I'veneverseenonebefore.That'sbig.Likereally,ridiculouslyscarybig.) Peeking over the snowbank ever so briefly before she attempts to move towards Kludge and Solar-Wind in super sneak mode.

Snowfield strengthens the ice shield above her head as she watches the dragon land. If it puts its weight on top of her she /really/ doesn't want that barrier to give way. "It figures," she mutters to the snow around her. "It's just a supply mission, so of /course/ we run into a dragon." Ruby dashing behind the snow drift catches her gaze and she finds herself wondering if the dragon also noticed that not particularly stealthy dodge roll.

"Commander!" A weak voice calls back on the wind. "M-my apologies." A pegasus in a bizarre looking Wonderbolts uniform. She looks like she met a blender, the uniform is cut up, a lens on her flight goggles is shattered. Her face scared enough to begin with has a new gash. She bows to the Unicorn atop the Dragon, "There was an issue with our captives … I have tracked them here." breathing heavy keeps her head down. "How …. how can I serve your?"

Jellybean follows Magpie's lead/shove and huddles down against the ground. His wings, on the other hand, seem to have other ideas and are nervously fluttering. It's not a lot of noise, but noise it is.

Solar-Wind has slumped to the ground, he can't really hide further than that really, but he is out of sight from any arial visitors, they just wouldn't see them from here. He murmurs softly, "I shouldn't feel warm" he notes softly before laying his head against the wall keeping to himself "Fff they come n near, get away" he murmurs to Kludge and Sodium-Fizz beside him, "they want me" he murmurs laying his head down on an extended forehoof, just being still, moving hurts afterall.

"TWIST!" the white unicorn shrieks! Maybe she's more banshee than sorceress. The high-pitched cry makes her dragon wince, missing a spectacularly horrible stealthy roll elsewhere in the town. In fact the dragon seems intent on looking away, off in the horizon, squinting against the cold and the wind and the snow being blown in its face.

"Aha! There you are." the unicorn says when her…at the moment questionably loyal Shadowbolts captain shows up. She's tapping a hoof impatiently, frowning deeply by the end of the 'report'. "A blind beggar with a cold could have followed the trail /those/ three left behind." she notes haughtily, sparing a glance up from her servant to eye the ruins of the village. "They couldn't have gone too much further than this. I demand results!" She stomps a hoof! "Find the prisoners, find that traitor! I have so many questions to ask them!"

The dragon lifts its head, turning just enough to half-glance at the town, and half tilt what passes for a dragon's ear. Dragons are mighty hunters, after all!

"Not gonna leave you behind, Solar," retorts Kludge in a whisper. "We're going to get back to safety, and we're going to get ourselves patched up. I'm not going to let Harborites die in this alicorn-forsaken wasteland, and that means getting all of us back to the medics."

Magpie swallows. She carefully reaches over and lays a hoof across Jelly's back, pinning the nervous wings down. She lets out a little hiss of warning, pressed up close against the other two….

They're going to search the town. Snowfield frowns and shifts the snow on top of her ice shield around a little to get a different view and see what direction the creature will be going in. She doesn't want to have to do anything rash but Celestia darn it all that might be necessary if this goes the wrong way.

Winter-Solstice, still watching, winces at all the yelling going on, and again shrinks back from the window as the dragon appears to be looking her way… but another peek suggests it is not particularly attentive. She drops from the window and slinks over to the door, changing angles, peering in the opposite direction. Traitor? Prisoners? This sad little town sure got busy in a hurry. Too bad Star Ember doesn't have a face, she'd probably want to watch what is the most interesting thing to happen here in like 542 years.

She twits her head slightly, catching sight of movement on the opposite side of a building from the dragon and its banshee of a rider. Is that… Kludge? No, no, that would be silly, he's off doing sensible things, not hanging around here being in danger. Or is he? She narrows her eyes, and then waves a hoof from her shelter. Maybe, if they look in her direction, through the darkness, and around that little half-snowdrift, and into the murky mouth of the empty house, they might possibly see her and then they can wave at eachother and probably not do much else until the dragon goes away.

Bad choices seem to have become a speciality for Ruby - and tonight is no exception. Suddenly a lethal weapon streams through the air towards group of unfamiliar ponies - it's target the dragon rider! Now - lethal weapon is likely an exaggeration as this particular weapon is /not/ leathal to the intended target - but throwing said weapon could prove fatal for the thrower! With any luck a simple snowball will strike the dragon riding pony - and hopefully draw their attention away from the /rest/ of the group. Sometimes the only choices are bad choices.

"Y-yes Milady." Captain Twist turns and takes a few steps before coughing violently, blood hitting the snow and freezing into the snow right away. "Stay back no sense to get your hooves dirty in this filth." Twist gives another bow facing the wrong way and hobbles off. "Traitors!" Plot Twist still manages to yell out and come off intimidating. "Surender yourselfs and you will still manage a quick death!" voice seathing with anger. Then she catches it a snowball. "MLADY!" the captain calls out leapign into the air and bravely taking the hit! - then falls straight into the snow below head spinning "-a-areyou ok?"

Jellybean stifles his wings for the most part. He looks to the two other foals as if to ask 'what do we do?' and then remembers that he's the adult in this hut, so if anypony's going to think of something to do, it should be him.

Sadaka gulps nervously, looking back and forth between Magpie and Jellybean. What should they do? Is it possible to hide /more/? Yes, she's quick to defend her friends, but that is a /very large lizardthing/ out there. She'd rather not be a snack today!

Solar-Wind's head lolls a little unable to support itself, he's still with us but he's not well off right now, He breathes out shakily, "Kludge, step on my shoulder please, bleeding out" he announces softly, "keep pressure there, keep victom warm and sheltered" he rattles off like he's reading from a text-book his mind slipping into emergency services mode, He's fading.

Magpie gives the other foals a little "stay put" gesture. She worms her way towards the door, carefully slipping her head just barely around the doorframe, practically on the ground, to see what's going on…

Paff! Thus is the sound the snowball makes, Twist's shriek of 'mlady!' and subsequent jumping in front of the snowball 'bullet' earning…

…A stonefaced look of total disinterest from the unicorn lass. What? She /expects/ her minions to jump in the way of flying dangerous objects for her. It's part of the job description. She sighs, dramatically, kicking a light bit of snow onto Twist in a mock of a grave. "Yes, yes. I'm fine. But somepony had to throw that…"

The unicorn clears her throat daintily, head lifted and horn glowing with a soft blue light, acting as a sort of flashlight, she begins to enter the village proper. Stepping on and over her faithful Shadowbolt guardian in the process. Her dragon just lurks at the edges, sniffing at the wind…

"Helloooooo? Anypony home?" she speaks in her sweetest voice, "I promise I won't hurt you much! I just have some questions! If you surrender peacefully I won't kill you!"

Heartsong gulps thickly, ducked down as low as she can get, head raised juuuust enough to peek out the window. Oh bad. Ohbad. Oh bad bad bad bad. Oh man she /really/ does not want to have to do this. But she really can't think of anything else, because if that unicorn starts actively searching the houses… So… she hums. A few testing notes, soft, barely audible as she tries to find the right pitch. And then, louder, out the window, just loud enough for the wind to pick up - and, hopefully, carry enough to make it hard to determine the source. The tune is soft, slow… creepy. Dang that is creepy. That… that is ghost town music right there. It makes one think of haunted places. There's a graveyard here, isn't there? Suddenly that seems like a /very bad thing/. No, no, this is not a good place to be hanging around. This is a /creepy/ place. Maybe you'll be okay if you're hiding, squirreled away safely inside those buildings where you can see that there's nothing creepy in them, but if you're /not/, who /knows/ what might be lurking in there? Ready to jump out at you any minute? No, no, this is not a good place to hang around.

Right, clearly they're all going to die. Snowfield decides now is as good a time as any to take the initiative. As the dragon and its rider begin to advance on the injured ponies the unicorn begins to sing to herself. Ever since the Nabber's Curse incident Snowfield has found that music has helped focus her mind when casting complicated spells, especially /this/ one which was seared into her mind when her own magic lost control and froze the harbor. As far as she can tell it's the melody of magic itself, or at least of /her/ magic. Hopefully the barrier around herself is thick enough that her own singing doesn't give away her position, or drown out Heartsong's creepy little ditty.

Ruby-Blossom huffs angrily as her attempt to draw attention does nothing really - which is disheartening considering she even gave away her position. The mare muttering angrily to herself "Stupid unicorn - too good to look at me." Being ignored by unicorns - that's just like her child hood, and that makes Ruby angry; really angry! She's really tempted to jump up and start yelling at the other unicorn in all sorts of aweful manner.

Of course that would just be foolish, and likely wouldn't end well - not to mention it probably won't help; so she just sits there grousing for the moment.

Kludge makes sure that Solar's bleeding is stopped with the help of Sodium Fizz, then steals a glance out of the building - and ducks right back in once he sees the dragon! This just isn't his week.

Winter-Solstice, watching from the doorway of House #3, winces as she sees the snowball sailing past, turning her head to try and spot the source- but wherever it came from, it was beyond the door's frame. She bites her lower lip. No dice. And it looks like Kludge and whoever he's with haven't seen her waving.

But it does give her an idea…

Returning to the source of her earlier CLUNKing and CLANking, she picks something up, delicately, in her mouth. Delicate does not come naturally to the big mare- so it's not without a little *scrape* of metal on metal that she picks the object up: an old saucepan, rusted and pitted, She stares down at it for a moment. Pity it has to be sacrificed for the cause… she rather liked its spunk, holding out so bravely here in the middle of this desolate place. Poor little saucepan.

Winter sneaks to the back of the house, glancing about. Ahh- a back window. Empty and gutted like the rest. Nodding her head, she balances the saucepan on the windowsill and turns her back to it, peering back over her shoulder. Ready, aim, and-

*Bonk!* A neat backward kick of one leg connects with the saucepan and sends it sailing out away from the house, through the air. A few seconds pass before it goes *CLUNK* against something distant… a headstone in the cemetary. The cemetary that is away from the ruined town. The cemetary that will hopefully be a more interesting place to look for the dragon and its rider, assuming the sound of the landing pan carries far enough over the wind. Also, Winter hopes she does not incur the wrath of ghosts by launching old kitchenware at their graves, because some of them are not very cool with that.

Magpie 's mane tries to stand right up as that creepy music floats on the wind. Her eyes get big and round…. then slowly she grins. Cupping her hooves over her mouth, she takes a deep breath and — giggles. A careless, girlish giggle that drifts along with that creepy music and echoes weirdly off the abandoned buildings…

Captain Twist wobbles back onto her hooves looking quite haggard at this point. Its been a BAD day. "M-mlady your shoes … they will get wet in the snow …." she chokes out along with a little blood and limps after her. Wings flapping with some strain she manages to get back into the air. That is one tough pegasus. A noise echo's from the grave yard the season caption turns her head and squints her eyes. Ears cocking back and forth … is that Music? "Something is not right Mlady … this smells of trap."

Jellybean hastily shoves a hoof over Magpie's mouth and gives a loud 'shhhhh!'

Noise! The dragon is first to hear the whistling on the wind, but it's certainly enough that the unicorn can hear it too. "Hush you wretch…" she hisses at her Captain, kicking a ball of snow at her just to show how displeased she is with her recent…failures. "I've set enough traps in my day to know what one smells like. It doesn't matter if it's a trap, I—" A giggle! A CLANG! Unicorn eyes open wide! She points a hoof towards the graveyard, using another to nudge Plot on the rear. "You! Go! Find that noise!"

Then she's scooting back towards her dragon, whom seems to be getting nervous for no good reason. He's a bloody /dragon/, nothing should be scaring him! And yet. Even though they work for Nightmare Moon, /nobody/ wants to cross the undead. Least of all the kind of creepy undead that giggle at you. It's just not quite enough to douse the flame this mare has to find a pony. The Queen would reward her /so handsomely/!

Solar-Wind is still listing textbook based assistance for emergency services, his eyes slip closed but he's still reading it back though that voice of his is practically drawling it out. His head twists a little finding Kludge then whispers, "get yourself and fizz to saftey" he pants, "They'll find me, and the search's over" At least he was trying to be helpful. The bleeding has stopped yes, but to what end. Too weak to do much else "gonna rest" he mumbles and lets his head back to its position against the wall and an extended foreleg, "get strength back" he nods lightly before closing his eyes.

Magpie's magic has a very light touch. Normally she uses that to, y'know, move small objects from one place to another without, y'know, the owners of said objects noticing. She winks to Jellybean. "I'm a ghost," she whispers. Her horn limns with pale lavender, and a snowball scoops up out of the snow, barely more luminescent than the snow itself. Then she throws it with all her might towards that horrible, stuck up unicorn!

Through a /completely coincidence/ the bucked saucepan hits a headstone a few meters away from Snowfield— hey, she /was/ the only pony here actively searching for the graveyard instead of just ransacking houses! Also by coincidence the ice shield around the little unicorn begins to glow a bright, distracting blue in the darkness, as if it were a bubble of energy underneath of the snow. It lights up the nearby grave markers like an ethereal beacon that screams 'pay attention to me!'

She begins to draw in the ice from the ground and the snow from the air, wrapping it around herself, sculpting it into a horrifying shape that could be called 'equine' only be the loosest definitions as she rises into the air surrounded by a thick cloud of mist that obscures the ground around her. The eyes of the icy form burn like cold blue fire and, just to be sure that the dragon is paying attention to /her/, it whinnies like a creature of nightmares and snorts a cloud of steam as the creepy little ditty continues to whistles hollowly through the broken windows and shattered walls of the old town. It is an unmistablesilhouette for anypony even the least bit versed in mythology or, heck, Equestria's own creation myth.


Let's hope it's a big enough distraction for the other ponies to start making their escape.

Well that seems to be going better than expected. In fact, it seems everypony else has caught on to the 'creepy' idea rather well! And then there's a Windigo. …WHAT. So Heartsong does the only thing that makes sense right now - SING LOUDER. Because this is the perfect creepy opportunity! Hay, maybe she can creep the Windio out too and they won't all freeze into little pony iceblocks in the middle of a ghost town!

Winter-Solstice, still at the back of House #3, facing towards the cemetary and Snowfield's sudden magic, goes wide-eyed as spells are cast- man, unicorns are prissy, but they can make some COOL STUFF happen- and the beast materializes. Of course she recognizes that, she killed like a hundred of them in games.

And it's right there! And it's swirling through the air over Snowfield! Oh my gosh! It's an ambush!

Winter is halfway out the back window, hind legs getting stuck on the frame, and is about to bellow something heroic, like: HOLD ON, SNOWFIELD! I WILL COME SAVE YOU FROM THAT WINDIGO RIGHT THERE. But she slips at the last moment and lands on her face, grunting as she gets a nose full of snow, and in that brief moment those poor, underdeveloped parts of her brain where she keeps her caution tell her that maybe there is a connection between the spell casting and the windigo appearing. Blinking her eyes open, pushing herself up, she then backs into the window, rump-first, slinking back the way she came. You see, while Snowfield may be able to summon a windigo, Winter knows how to windowgo. And in a moment, she is windowwent, and back inside.

The assorted racket certainly has caught Kludge's attention. He dares to take a longer look around, and is relieved to see multiple ponies that he knows!

…although he does wince at the sight of what looks like a pile of foals. At least this group *is* a group, and would have a better chance against that Shadowbolt patrol. The dragon, though…

Ruby-Blossom flops in the snow - between the eerie melody in the air, the windigo, and the prissy dragon riding pony - she's really out of her league. She mutters "Dumb unicorns." perhaps a little jealous she's never bothered with the silly magic. The mare begins to slowly, and carefully trot her way towards Kludge and Solar-Wind again - distrations are abound so she's liable to be unfound.

Jellybean nods a little to Magpie and her serriptitious assault. He raises his head, just a tiny bit, to look around in the hut for anything he might be able to use as a distraction. Anything to get them out of here: this is hardly a good place for them right now.

"WINDIGO!" Captain Twist calls out in either horror or as a warning. Something about a deal getting worse and worse. "Mlady seek cover I will … hold it off." there is a slight sound of defeat to her voice. In her prime she could handle it hoofs down. Like this? There isn't a horseshoes chance in Tarserus. Both blades flip out of their holsters and she flies up into the air lighting charged about her. "Come on you ugly, I'll tear you apart!"

It must be said that Windigos are horribly /horribly/ distracting! The noises were creepy enough, but having the veritable spectre of one of those horrible ice ponies of doom rear its hideous head? And another snowball too! MORE NOISE! Another paff as the snowball smacks the side of the white unicorn's head, dripping into her outfit, making her perform a shivery prance while squeaking out, "AH! COLDCOLDCOLDCOLDCOLD!"

All through this, her dragon hunches up, crouched down, waiting for an opportune moment to outright pluck his mistress up out of the snow and deposit her on the gemmed saddle instead. The unicorn finishes patting herself down, hunkering behind the beast's neck. "Hmph! Fine, I get the hint! But the Will of my Queen can't be ignored so easily! You just wait, you…stupid windigo! I'll bring my army back and root you out of this sorry excuse of a ghost town!"

"Come Twist! Stop fooling around with that ice beast! We have prisoners to find! Elsewhere!"

Snowfield snorts dismissively as she continues to sing from within her Windigo shell, an action mirrored by her animate ice sculpture as it blasts a wave of steam towards the general's face, as if to say YEAH YOU BETTER RUN LITTLE FILLY.

Plot Twist is not sure if returning with her commander is entirely preferable to tangling with a Windigo then again she can't say no to an order. With a quick salute, "Yes M'lady." she fallows after the dragon riding unicorn. Her pace is a fracion of her usual lighting speed but soon makes up the distance between them. "I will get towles for you the moment we return. You will catch yourself a death of cold."

Winter-Solstice creeps as best she is able back to the front of the old empty house. She's getting pretty comfortable in here. Maybe if this whole saving the world thing doesn't work out, and they can't go back home, she'll move in here. Patch up that drafty everything, replace all the terrible everything with better everything. Get some lights. Call someone about that dragon problem on the front lawn, or maybe just chase it off with a broom until it gets the idea. It sounds like it may be outbound soon, though, and she breathes half of a sigh of relief as cranky mcunicornpants indicates she and her toadie are FINALLY getting ready to go. Good thing, too, because seriously, she's been avoiding talking for so long her tongue is starting to go numb.

Heartsong keeps up the song until she's sure the dragon — and more importanly, it's accompaniment — are well and truly gone. Only then does she trail off, flumphing to the ground in relief. Holy ponyfeathers, it worked. She had /not/ expected that to work. She'd kiiiind of expected to be captured by now. Or dead.

Sadaka peeks her head out from their hiding spot, looking around and whispering faintly, "I-is it gone?" out towards Magpie.

The dragon, its rider, and the Shadowbolt Captain seem to be gone! Gone like the wind! BUT THEY'LL BE BACK! Just you wait and see!

Magpie looks up at the sky. She scoot scoots back away from the door. "Rule one of hiding: Hide twice as long as you think you need to, then hide a little longer."

It's about this time that Ruby should reach Kludge and Solar-Wind - and condition of the trio is quite a shock as she comes across the battered group. Barely managing to stiffle a gasp before waving towards the rest of the group that doesn't even know she's here. "Quick! Over here!" dragons be danged, ponies are in danger of dying! Well everypony is in danger, some are in just far more mortal danger tha others at the moment.

As the dragon flies away the Windigo paws at the ground angrily, continuing to be big and imposing and clearly a terrible monster until it's well out of sight. Then its body begins to slough off and reveal the unicorn conjuring it in the middle. She jumps lightly out of the collapsing mass of ice and hits the ground with a, 'oof', her horn and eyes still glowing brightly. "Well! That went surprisingly well," Snowfield says as she rubs at her eyes, trying to will away the glow which will fade on its own in about, oh, ten seconds or so.

"Are you a sight for sore eyes!" remarks Kludge as Ruby arrives. "And legs, and backs, and…" He shakes his head, the injuries and adrenaline making his thoughts rather fey. "Memo for base: gathering firewood without backup is a *bad idea.*"

Winter-Sherry pokes her head out from the building she's been hiding in this entire time. She didn't live this long by being a big darn hero like these other mares seem to think they are. "Alright, everypony, that's enough!" she shouts out with forced evenness in her voice. "It's not safe to keep searching around here. We'll just grab the sled and head back to base with what we've got."

Winter-Solstice bursts from the house. "THANK GOODNESS I swear I was going to DIE and probably SUFFOCATE maybe not in that order if I had to stay in there ANY LONGER and I swear at least three different spiders started making WEBS between my legs wait, wait, WAIT hold on- HOLD ON! I'll save you! I'LL SAVE YOU!" She turns and romps off through the snow… back behind the house. And towards the cemetary. And towards where that little saucepan landed. She starts poking about behind headstones, nosing through the snow, increasingly desperate, before throwing her head up and gasping. "It's gone! It's gone! I had it so close and now it's go- oh! OH! KLUDGE!" Turning away from the cemetary, she romps back towards the houses, up a snowbank, and scrambles back into the center of town before skidding to a stop and wheeling back around. "Snowfield! Snowfield!" Winter scurries back along the furrow in the snow she just plowed and towards the cemetary, sliding on her butt down a snowbank and into the cemetary. "Snowfield!! Quit being eaten by a windigo! We have to get our old clothes and single boot without a matching set and whatever else we're grabbing and get back to the base before they decide to come back and get us again because seriously that was the most boring exciting thing ever and I swear if you don't stop doing that windigo thing right now I'm gonna start thinking it's the real thing and fight it!"

Solar-Wind is still breathing, but he is non-communicado for the time being, out like a light still and has no signs that he's moving himself out of this place on his own.

Snowfield just… just /stares/ at Winter Solstice. "…okay?"

Winter-Solstice stares at Snowfield for a few moments longer. She then whirls about and romps back towards town. "Kludge! Kludge! Boot! Get the boots and the clothes! Kludge!"

Magpie glances at Sadaka and Jelly "Well… I /guess/ it's probably okay if they're all shouting." She shrugs and trots out of the little hut at last — OH GEEZ that's cold.

Heartsong creeps her way back out of her hut as soon as she manages to get her hooves back under her. That was /way/ too much excitement for one day for her. She's still a little shaky! She blinks over at Winter - Sherry, that is. "Well /that/… could've… y'know, gone… w-worse."

Ruby-Blossom stomps her hooves and friggin yells man - it's like ponies have sunshine and rainbows stuck in their head - and just ignore aweful things like hurt friends. "I SAID GET YOUR FLANKS OVER HERE THIS INSTANT." loud, loud bellowing at the rest of the group that seems to fail at acknowleding her call for help - Winny excluded - amazing how the densest of the bunch comes first! =3

Jellybean peeks his head out of the door. "Is everypony okay? Nopony got eaten, right?"

Magpie yeeps and trots out toward the yelling. "All right, all right, we heard ya. Sheesh." She suddenly freezes in place. "RUBY!" she yelps.

Winter-Solstice romps over towards Ruby and the others. She passes by Jellybean's house as Jelly peeks his head out, and slows briefly. "Jelly! You're okay! Good! No, nobody got eaten! In fact Ruby and Kludge and and some other people are here now when they weren't before! I think if we have more ponies now than we did before it means the dragon must have barfed them up?" She stops, does a little mental math, and a little mental consideration of dragon physiology, then blinks and resumes romping over to Ruby, skidding to a stop. "S-solar! Oh crumbs! Here, here, bring him over to the sled. Kludge, you too! On the sled! Everybody on the sled, hup hup! Man, good thing the dragon didn't, like, see it, sitting there, out in the open, in the middle of town."

Ruby-Blossom glances at Magpie as the foal reacts adversely to her appearance; and hmphs soflty with a small upwards motion of her chin before focusing solely on helping Winny get Kludge, Solar, and Sodium to the sled. The mare curiously looking over Solar-Wind with concern - and feeling utterly helpless due to her lack of medical training. "Somepony has got to help…" she mutters, angry at her own short-comings.

Magpie hits Ruby at a dead run, throwings her hooves around the mare's neck and squeezing tight. "I thought you died!" she chokes.

Solar-Wind is assisted so to the sled, he shivers a little showing that he's still there somewhere's though thats about all the motions you get from him. Still breathing, yeah, but definately not consicious. Thats gotta hurt!

Kludge gives Ruby a grateful smile. "You're willing to help. Never underestimate that," he reminds her. "At least we now have a better idea of what we're up against, and can ready ourselves against it for the future."

Jellybean joins in the hugging, clearly also of the 'oh good, ponies are safe' camp. Somehow he manages to hug both Winny and Ruby at the same time. He's a talented hugger.

Ruby-Blossom finishes helping Winny get the trio of battered ponies to the sload just in time to be assaulted by Equestia's greatest resource- the weaponized foal. A loud "waaah" is followed by a stupendous mushroom clowd of white powdered snow as Ruby is tackled by Magpie and left speechless by the little filly. "…" a look of confusion present as she places a hoof gently on Maggie's back in a consoling manner - Ruby hasn't been killed yet! But there's a whole weekend ahead!

"ALL ABOARD," yells Winter, as she hitches herself up. "The sled back to our super secret base is leaving now. You want on, you get on, otherwise you walk. Or fly. Or get dragged back if you sit around like a lump and we have to come get you because we will save you if we have to because we're not THAT mean." She grunts a bit as she leans into the harness, the sled weighing quite a bit more than it did when she brought it in, weighed down as it is by old clothing and broken ponies, but luckily, once she gets it going, it glides easily enough. While Winter might not be strongest pony, she does have staying power, enough to see her back 'home' even with the sled in tow. And she totally does- no time to stand around chatting things up when there are lives to save! MUSH! MUSH!

Magpie clings to Ruby for a little while and sniffs once, then blinks. She hops back a few steps. "Y-yeah. So. D-don't get yourself killed. Okay? You're not allowed!"

Jellybean thinks about it for a second and hops onto the sled. He's feeling worn out from all this running around and being scared at things. It takes him about five minutes to fall asleep on the thing.

Ruby-Blossom mummers softly as if to put an arguement up against the foal. "It was the best choice at the moment." she glances over at Solar-Wind - wondering if he returned to base as instructed; he'll need to explain what happened later. She gets to her feet then picks up Maggie to place the foalish filly on her back. "Not as comfortable as Winny I imagine - but she's pre-occupied." trotting along in Winny's wake.

Magpie squirms. She jumps off the mare's back. "I can walk," she says in a cross voice.

She stays kinda close to Ruby, though.

Ruby-Blossom ahs loudly "I didn't imply you couldn't…" turning her gaze forward as she seems to get under Maggie's skin yet again. A quarter's day trek ahead of the group sure leaves an aweful lot of time to chat - a few minutes of silence passing before Ruby glances towards Magpie. "I uhh…grew-up on my own, you know." attempting to make small talk with the filly.

Magpie glances sideways towards the mare. "Yeah," she says after a while. "…you said."

Solar-Wind grunts softly feeling movement, at least he feels something, though that could be a bad thing too as he's pretty beat up. Ooh as a bonus, all the fabrics thats on him is getting some pretty gnarly blood stains on it, perfect for undead costumes!

While Kludge is taking it easy on the sled, he is still paying quiet attention to the conversation between Ruby and Magpie. Even if he can't really contribute meanfully to the conversation, it's still a good idea to know what was said. After all, he's likely to be Ruby's listening board later, and being able to properly sympathize without stepping on any hooves is a /good/ thing.

Ruby-Blossom ahs softly and lifts one hoof to uncomfortiably rub at her own snow-suit covered cheek. "I've taken a thing or two in my day. Well, more than one or two actually." voice trailing off as she trots along Maggie amid strained conversation.

Winter-Solstice is plowin' along ahead. Between the swoosh of her snowsuit, the howl of the wind, and her own huffin' and puffin', she can't hear much of the conversation. "WHAT ARE YOU GUYS TALKIN' ABOUT BACK THERE," she calls back over her shoulder. "IS IT COOL STUFF?"

Magpie ums. "Yeah, you kinda… hinted." She coughs. Then smirks at Winter's question and shouts back, "TOTALLY COOL STUFF!"

Solar-Wind grunts again mumbles softly "Just resting" or something like that, though he never opens his syes or anything like that, if he's even awake at all.

Ruby-Blossom hmphs softly "In fact, I've stolen very valuable things. You'd be very surprised, Maggie." a moment of haughtiness replaced with sincerity. "I know I weird you out, Maggie. Honestly, I've never stuck around in place very long - I'm not good with being friendly, and all that crap. So sorry, and stuff."

"Awwww," whines Winter. "And I'm stuck up here and can't hear it! Remember what you're talking about so I can ask you later and you can tell me!" And she tucks back into her luggin' post-haste.

Magpie ums. "It's okay. Just… um… don't ever say that thing about being my mom again, okay?"

Solar-Wind is checked out currently, evidently alive by his breathing pattern, but otherwize checked out. He's off in dreamland right now, or some sick version of it given how he feels, just why does everything hurt?! and then that feeling of traveling /on the ground/ no thats not right, he never travels on the ground, well that might mean he didn't get captured, maybe, panic?!

Ruby-Blossom's ears splay softly - however this goes unnoticed due to thermal-suit wearing. "I'm sorry, Maggie. It was dumb of me - real dumb." she couldn't sound more sincere. "I'd still be happy to be there for you, and stuff. Ya know. I mean - if you can learn to stand me." her tone turning a tad more upbeat. "Frankly I /don't/ understand how Kludge tolerates me - it must be the head trauma he suffered as a child, right?

Magpie giggles a little. "You're not that bad," she says quietly. "And I /don't/ hate you."

Ruby-Blossom chuckles softly "That's good to hear, cause I like you. You're welcome to stay with me when get back, I mean if you like and stuff. I won't drag you off against your will or anything.

Kludge notices that Solar is starting to squirm in his sleep - probably a bad dream, given what the past few days have been like. He gently rests a hoof on Solar's shoulder. "Hey, take it easy, Solar. We've been rescued, and we're heading for safety."

At Ruby's comment, Kludge chuckles. "You're one of the kindest ponies I know, and one of the few I'm willing to discus my past with," he points out. "Anyone willing to spontaneously sing to support a lemonade stand run by foals can't be a bad pony."

Ruby-Blossom's attention turns to Kludge - who can likely tell that she's just peering at him even if he can't see her eyes. "It looks like Solar got the worst of whatever is it that happened; which means I can beat the living tar out of you if need be. So what happened?" The mare trotting along to keep up with super-mare and her sled load of junk.

Magpie's gaze slides off to go look at the snowy wasteland. "I'll… think about it," she says with a sigh. Oh. Ruby left.

Solar-Wind settles in again with a soft grunt hearing his name and mention of rescue or some such, he is reassured at least. All the same, every little rut or bump causes him to somewhat gasp under his breath, though he's not otherwize making any other hits of struggle.

Ruby-Blossom softly pats Maggie atop of the head - still trotting beside Magpie. "I'll shut up, Maggie. I suppose at the very least I can show you some of my cool sparkly stuff.

Kludge sighs. "I'll tell you about it once we're back at the base. Short answer, don't go solo to find firewood. Getting surrounded by a Shadowbolt patrol is not fun."

Magpie gives Ruby a bump. "I didn't say no," she says with a little smile. Then she sighs, melancholy. "If we ever DO get home."

Solar-Wind hears that word, "Shadowbolt" and he tenses some, hoping he's not been seen or something, captured, worse?"

Ruby-Blossom just glares at Kludge "I can't wait for you two to get better." her tone insinuating exactly what she speaks next. I'll wish you were in the wilderness with all the evils in this land. Ruby /did/ tell everypony not to go out without a member of the base did she not? Clearly she's not happy with Kludge's or Solar-Wind's choices.

The turquoise mare offers a warm smile to Magpie. We'll get home even if I have to kick Queen Moon's flank myself. Her tone suggesting she's been entertaining that very idea.

Magpie giggles. "Oh? AND the shadowbolts? AND the dragon?"

Ruby-Blossom is clearly kidding as she playfully boasts. "I'll steal the dragon, burn the Shadowbolts, and then ride the dragon to the sun to retrieve Celestia herself."