Fireside Stories Part 1
IC date: Winter 72
OOC date: March 1
Location: Portside
PCs: Frolic, Winter-Solstice Solar-Wind Sky-Sparkler Whirligig
NPCs: Torn-Sail

It's a cold evening! A cold, but very clear evening. A very typical winter evening. In a very typical Harbor, after a not-so-typical bout of awful storms and gloom. The port has largely been put back together in order, able to take and send shipments and visitors again. Plenty of work for the docks!

With the docks so busy, it's no wonder that, when one 'shady' character is discovered by the resident Dockmaster, a grizzled old sailor-type named Torn Sail, there's quite a ruckus to be kicked up! A ruckus that has wound up with a few fires spread out around some of the dock buildings and piles of ship cargo!

At this point, there's plenty of fire and dock-worker ponies are rushing about every which way to bust the flames, there's much shouting, and much confusion about where the Dockmaster ran off to. Not to mention the 'shady pony'!

Shouting, and ruccous, smoke and wait, whats this, fire?! Duty calls and Solar-Wind is active and engaged. He was on patrol as he normally is, but there's actually a fire, er, multiple fires now. The big pony steps up his game plan and knows what to do! Solar wheels about in flight and dives for portside, looking here and there for a barrell to secure in his rescue harness. Barrel found, and he's away and performing a drouge operation to fill the barrell with water, salt water will have to do, fresh is too hard to aquire just right off, but big wings up and out, a little out of shape, but he brusies through the airspace above the harbor and lifts off slowly with that barrell of water slung beneath him, Up and over to the first fire he can find, and hovers strongly above the smoke, ready to dump his first load of water on the ignition source.

A short while after the fires break out, and the shouting starts, and it starts to look pretty serious, and okay maybe ponies should help with this, the door to Iron Stock's Sturdy Seaworthy Sinkproof Shipworks is kicked open! Ha! Winter Solstice bursts from within, her white coat smudged and smeared with the soot of a day's work at the forge. Behind her, her boss, Iron Stock, howls from the open door: "Just use the knob next time!!!"

Winter can't hear, it's time for action! As she clatters down the docks from the north end where the foundry is settled, she veers to the side, ducking her head low, and scoops a rain barrel beside a building up onto her back. Balancing it precariously, she thunders towards the nearest fire. "Time to get wet, nefarious fire!" howls the mare, before hurling the rain barrel into the blaze with an upward toss of her shoulders.

The barrel goes flying! Yeah! Into the fire! Too bad it's empty! Because it's winter, it hasn't rained since they got that big dumb storm taken care of! But at least the fire has more to burn now, and Winter has a second irritated pony yelling at her from the doorway of a shop. Winter pffts and turns to shout back over her shoulder! "Look, ma'am, I really can't be troubled with your barrel problems right now! Don't you see there's a fire?!"

Fire… Fire BAD! FIRE BAD!

It's also something of a given in Horseshoe Harbor. Which is why, after the LAST fire she was involved in, Sky Sparkler was glad when Solar Wind came to town. Still, when she hears of today's fire, Sky Sparkler LEAPS into action, bringing a snowcloud towards the harbor, looking for the best place to aim it.

A witness floats underneath the docks, having arrived just as the fires began to break out. She keeps to the shadows for a little bit as they start to glow and grow. Judging by the necklace around her neck, she's actually a seapony! While Whirligig may not be the most keen on the concepts of fire, she understands that they don't like water. Doing her best to remain out of sight at the moment, she uses her wide tail to arc water onto the docks and onto the fires.

There's plenty of places to aim fire-fighting techniques! A barrel of salt water is still able enough to put out some fires, a burning batch of boxes saved from turning into charcoal. Snow…may not be as useful, but it might at least keep some of the things that haven't caught fire yet from starting so quickly!

Winter's flung rainbarrel lands on top of a separate burning pile of goods, and promptly catches fire itself. Proof that fighting fire with burning things is not the most effective method.

So far none of the main administrative buildings have caught fire yet. It seems most of the fires are among the dockside warehouses. With the biggest blaze pretty much engulfing one of the bigger warehouse buildings towards the end of the line, closest to the edge of town. It's from this building that noises /other/ than fires are also able to be heard, though the smoke in the area makes air visibility difficult.

Shouting. Old, gruff, pony voice: "This is all your fault! Why couldn't ya just leave well enough alone? Why'd you come back!? Get going before —"

The sounds of something collapsing…and the sight of part of that blazing warhouse caving in echo across the docks!

Dump, fill repeat, Dump fill repeat Thats the process Solar's been using to put out smaller fires, and trying to keep the edges of big structures from catching onto others. Then he hears/sees a colapse of one of the warehouses and the sounds of somepony there inside.

Solar-Wind refills that rainbarrel to the top and strains over to that big blaze grabing a breath of fresh air, before ducking his own muzzle into the loose fabric around the neckband of his uniform. The big firefighter doesn't have his gear besides that of the rescue/water harness on so he's not /fully/ prepared, but he makes a good showing. He flies a tight circle overhead dumping small amounts of water over that colapsed area, where the voices came from initially, and hopes that his efforts are going to help whoever is down below.

Winter-Solstice stares at the fire for a few moments. Look, the barrel is… yeah it's… maybe if there's just a bit of water at the bottom, when it bursts open it'll be all BLEAAH and spill everywhere? Maybe? May- okay no there's nothing. Winter sits up and blinks the smoke out of her eyes, turning away from the burning goodies and romping about. "I need water! I need water!" she calls out. "I need-" Oh! The ocean. "Thanks!" she says, hopping excitedly. "I need a bucket! I need a bucket! I-"

COLLAPSE! That's the sound of collapsing. Winter turns towards the big warehouse, glancing about. There's Solar, sprinklin' it from above. Here comes a cloud. The cloud will save us! But a cloud is in the air and so is Solar Wind. Winter frowns at the warehouse. There might be ponies inside! The voices coming from within would suggest as much- let's confirm our suspicions!

And so the big mare romps towards the warehouse, head tucked low, all her muscular might thrown into a headlong charge. She reaches the doors and kicks 'em open, only to tumble back as smoke and flame billow outward. "Augh! Stupid fire, I'm not here to save you! HELLO?" She squints into the warehouse, trying to see through the haze within. "ANYPONY IN THERE?"

Whirligig ducks back under the docks, away from view. She slides the necklace off of her neck and something happens below the surface of the water. It's now harder for her to stay afloat so she paddles towards the nearest ladder. The now-landy pony slowly makes her way up the ladder, though it might be easier if her legs were stronger and less damaged. Her head peeks up as she nears the top but for the time being she doesn't climb up onto the pier.

A young unicorn stands in the middle of the smoky warehouse, her bright red coat and orange-and-yellow mane and tail nearly blending in with the flickering flames. Luckily, she's wearing a brown cloak, which makes her a bit more visible! Except for, you know, all the smoke. She's looking… well, pretty freaked out right now. Eyes wide, gaze darting back and forth at the skipping flames, mouth open a bit, ears flattened back against her head. Occasionally she looks over to the dockmaster, stammering out whatever words come to mind. Which at the moment seem to be a lot of "Uh, I-I, er, I d-didn't, i-it, it's not, oh n-no," repeated in varying orders, over and over again.

Well, it's too cold for a proper rainy downpour that would really quench the fire, but once the first cloud is snowing away Sky Sparkler can 'port to the ground, and see how else she can help oh sweet Celesita something's comming down! Sky Sparkler runs towards the burning warehouse; that's clearly where help will be needed most.

It seems the two ponies caught among burning building and flames are a little too busy to answer bellows of help! Why aren't they running away from the fire? Why stand /in/ burning things? It doesn't make sense!

Said Dockmaster is scowling and waving his limbs at all the fire! Burning, everywhere! Multiple ponies arrive just in time for the Dockmaster to give a big, derisive snort to the obviously-scared unicorn. "Look at what you've done! If you don't leave you're gonna burn the whole darn town down! Get o—"

More sounds of collapsing building! Even as the Dockmaster advances on the unicorn, another chunk of the building breaks free and starts falling, in the way of the old Dockpony!

At least parts of the other fires have been put out. The air is hazy and smokey, but damp buildings don't burn nearly as easily as others. The little pony-shaped fire-thing that's skipping out of the big burning warehouse towards the docks? Now that's another story entirely. It's only a foot high, but it's clearly a fire with /purpose/.

Yipe! Falling things! The cloaked unicorn moves without thinking, darting forward and whirling on her front hooves to kick out her back hooves. Not at the debris, that's not exactly a good idea, but then again, bucking the elderly dockpony off his hooves isn't exactly the best of ideas. But it gets him out of the way, allowing her to scamper past him away from the debris as well.

Solar-Wind continues his fire barrage of dumping water above where the ponies are presumed to be at. Then He severs one of the supports to the barrel so that the entire contents of the barel are dumped upon that central blaze, With that 'fire-free' zone. Down spirals Solar-Wind right through the smoke hoping to get down and into the warehouse so he can survey the burn-a-tude, and maybe perform a rescue.

Winter-Solstice rambles back and forth, trying to look at the scene in the warehouse. So fiery! So smokey! Golly! These are terrible working conditions! And it's not that she's afraid of them- just, you know. It'd be nice to know what's going on before charging in.

Nice, but not necessary! Onward! The big mare thunders through the blaze and into the midst of the warehouse- though she very nearly bumbles into a fleeing figure along the way. "Wha-? Hey! Careful!" she calls back, at the fleeing figure. "Just because there's a blaze on doesn't mean you can get away with running into fwwEEEP!"

Not paying attention to where she's going, Winter trips over a BURNING CRATE, tumbles to the floor, and skids across a streak of ash, soot, and salt water left after Solar's dousing. She thumps up against a support beam, tipped up onto her head and shoulders and with legs splayed overhead. "Ufgh!" Even if the warehouse is suddenly upside-down, her upside-down surveying feat gives her a quick understanding of the situation. "Upside-down Solar Wind!" she calls out. "See if you can't get the upside-down dockmaster out of here!" She waves a hoof at Torn Sail. "He's all fulla smoke an irritability!"

Whirligig watches the ponies all go off into the burning building. There's not much she can do still clinging to a ladder, however, so she pulls herself the rest of the way onto land. Her legs don't seem to be the best at…well…doing leggy things. She trots the fastest she can (the equivalent of a slow jog) towards the warehouse. Assuming the path Winter had taken was clear, she trots in through the same spot, only to trip over the same burning crate. Being lighter though, she doesn't quite skid as far as Winter and ends up a few feet before the other mare. "WHY WOULD YOU PUT THAT RIGHT THERE?" she cries out, looking at the crate and then to her even-more-injured back legs.

Dockmaster Torn Sail isn't doing a whole lot of moving right about then. Not since his rough landing after the cloaked unicorn kicked him down! Out of the way of burning debris, sure, that isn't the point! Said Dockmaster hears the sounds of help arriving, his ears twisting towards the sounds. "Uhhh… Don't let her escape…" he growls, grizzled and stubborn to the end. Of consciousness. "Fireside…" he grunts, then passes out.

Oh look. A pony to rescue!

Meanwhile, Whirligig not only gets to trip over a burning crate, but out of the crate hops three more small fiery ponies! All three of which bounce and frolic about, leaving brief fire trails behind. The three of them scamper off in the direction the first one went. Presumeably to start more fires.
The red unicorn blinks and pauses mid-flee, glancing over her shoulder back at Winter and Torn Sail. But only for a moment. Then another pony shows up, and that seems to be enough to startle her into movement again; she dashes out of the warehouse at a gallop, right on after the fiery apparitions.

Solar-Wind circles once to clear smoke from the area, more or less he wants to be able to breathe when he gets down there, and then Thump he alights near-ish to the grizled old earthpony, that of Torn Sail. "I got this one!" he shouts over the sounds of kindling, fire, and breaking things. "Winter, ehh, get yerr'self clear o' this place, and, and, help that little earthpony behind you while you're at it!" he asks/tells/whatever's, he's not ordering no pony, just helpful ideas really. Solar sets about to work his rescue harness around the slumped and out cold earth pony. No help from that old pony, but he manages to get it around him

Winter-Solstice scrunches up her nose a bit, cartwheeling her back legs a bit above her head, before thrashing about enough she's popped upright, or upright enough she can figure out the rest and stand tall. "Okay, okay! -But only because that's a good idea of what to do right now!-" she calls back above the din of the fire and the crackling number. Because in a situation like this there is an unlimited number of burning beams always crashing dramatically to the floor in the background when people start shouting, of course.

Winter rambles over to where Whirligig- where did she come from?!- lies sprawled on the floor, and does her best to get the 'earth pony' back upright. This involves a lot of nudging. With her face. Insistently. Okay, all the big mare is really doing is plowing Whirligig towards the door, using her face as a pushin' thingy. LIke those thingies on trains. "C'mon c'mon! Get on up, get on up and dance on out! The club can't handle us now!" insists Winter.
The seapony's eyes go wide as the fireball ponies dance out of the crate. Her jaw drops a bit, wondering what kind of sorcery this is.

It would likely be easier for Whirli to stand back up she werent…yanno…being pushed around by the bulldozer of a mare. She skedaddles her legs around in the attempt to right herself but at first, the most that happens is she'll get halfway up before tumbling back over. There's only so many times she can try before giving up to letting Winter push her around like some sort of game. She actually giggles a little…

Crackle! Snap! Pop! Burning building is COLLAPSING now! Everybody out of the burning pool! Outside, a lot of the fires have been contained to just the warehouse district. There's a line of dockworkers, pegasus and earth ponies, beating back the fires bit by bit, advancing from the edge of the warehouse line, towards the great blaze at the end, where Winter, Solar, and Whirligig are now. A pegasus with a bullhorn hovers above the effort, shouting commands to the rest.

An organized firefighting force! One might expect the residents of the Harbor to know how to beat back a little blaze, right? But the four fireponies, and the bigger cloaked unicorn chasing after them, are heading towards the ships now. It would be a shame if the fires spread just when things were getting under control!

The cloaked unicorn skids to a stop suddenly, gazing out at the ships. She prances in place for a moment before whirling on her hooves, horn gleaming a deep, firey orange, and taking off down the docks in the opposite direction.
Solar-Wind goes for lift off, "Oof, Dockmaster needs a workout plan" he complains to himself more over, as he takes off lugging the Dockmaster Earthpony skyward up and out of harms way. Solar sees that Winter and Whirlywhat are at least getting clear-ish, and well Winter, nothing stops that force o nature right there.

Up up and Out! Solar and Torn-Sail head from flames and smoke towards the town square-ish, but wait, whats this now, there's burning flamie ponies?! The Firebirds air corps training never covered outbreaks of burning pony sprites, just what the feathers is going on here? Solar-Wind's education doesn't cover this, so as he descends towards town square with his passenger, so that he may get back into the fight so to speak.
Winter-Solstice manages to shove Whirligig out onto the street and just leaves her there. Just like that. That's what you get: pushed around and left.

The big mare then hauls her head upright and glances around, hurriedly up and down the docks. Small fires- pshaw! Those are a natural occurrence in this town. You just learn to look past them after a point. Those flamey little ponies, though… that's different. She narrows her eyes and watches them.

Then vaults forward, pursuing! "Those foals are on fire! This is basically as terrible as things get!" bellows thie big earth pony. "Someone throw them into the bay! That's the only answer to our problems!"

Whirligig kicks her legs around as Winter abandons her outside the building, "Hey Tha…" she starts, but the mare is gone before she can thank her. She eventally manages to work her way back onto her wobbly legs and starts hobbling towards the same direction the fireponies headed off in. Determined, her legs push her just about as fast as they can make her go.

No doubt Dockmaster Torn Sail would be thankful, if he were awake to speak. But he isn't. That's for the doctor to suss out. No doubt Solar shall be thanked profusely at some point.

Many of the fires have been dealt with. The line of dockworker firefighters have started to put the great collapsing warehouse out. What's left of it anyway. This is good! Though Winter's shout alerts the pegasus with the bullhorn to the presence of the small firesprites. That's bad…

"Foals on fire! Grey Lightning, Shot Dust, go put'em out! Go go go go go!"

Two ponies break away from the firefighters to go and run after Winter chasing the small firesprites! The four of which are happily cavorting, bouncing against one another. Absorbing each other. Growing each time. Until it's more like a full-sized pony, outright galloping towards the nearest ship!

The cloaked unicorn pauses in her running again, looking back at the cavorting apparition of flame. Her horn glows a bit brighter and she all but bounces in place. No no no! /This/ way. Towards… well… the /rest/ of the fire! But she dare not stay in one place too long, and she's already backpedalling, trying to figure out where to run to next.

Ok, count this one as weird, yup, weird, they definately didn't cover this topic in school! Solar-Wind goes to steal some other ponies water barrel so he can maybe try and put out those, er that, err what the hay?

Solar has managed to secure another barrel of water for his nefarious watering needs

Shop-Keep pokes his head from his portside stall and offers up a festive holliday treat, "Come one, come all, I've got Graham Crackers, n' Chocolate, And I've got Marshmallows too" he shouts out to the passing ponies, "But yer' going to have to roast the marshmallows yerself!" the old stallion offers to various ponies. "Its a regular burn-town favorite!" he calls out.

Winter-Solstice slows her pursuit as the fleeing firesprites go and combine forces like that. "That's not- hey!" She shouts after them! "YOU TRICKED ME! You made me think you were HELPLESS FOALS!" She stomps into a rapid pursuit once more! "Just for that I'm gonna put you in a jar and use you to light candles on really ugly birthday cakes! Is that what you want?! IS IT!?"

It's a race! The galloping firesprite vs. the gallping earth pony! Although the firesprite has a head start and also can just burn its way through things instead of tripping over them like Winter does. She trips over ponies, too. She gets a rope tangled around one hoof and pulls it from its coil, only for the other end to be revealed as being affixed to a small dinghy, which slowly starts to get tugged alongside the dock in a lazy, oblique pursuit of WInter as she herself pursues the firesprite. Exciting chase scene!

Whirligig is nowhere near as efficient as Winter, or just about any other pony around, at catching up to the fire ponies. By the time she catches up, it's now just a single large firepony and it's headed right towards the ships. Thinking on her hooves, she makes her way back towards the edge of the water and dives in. She puts her phylactery on and her tail comes back. In a desperate but hopeful attempt to help thwart the fire creature she starts splashing water up onto the docks with the thought that it might be afraid to walk on wet ground.

"Hey, my barrel!" one of the firefighter ponies shout as it's swiped! Hey, it's even full of water!

It's going to be close… A pegasus carrying a barrel of water, an earth pony dragging a dingy around, and a seapony swimming to cut it off. The firesprite pony seems distracted though. It's slowing down, turning its head towards the cloaked pony, looking like it might just change its course.

Yes, yes, come on this way! The red unicorn spun to gallop off again, glancing over her shoulder at the firepony to make sure it was following. She's running up the docks now, heading in the general direction of the forest in something of a zig-zag around all the myriad obstacles.

Winter-Solstice gallopa gallopa gallop! Well, there the pony thing looks distracted! The big mare tucks her head low and tucks further into the charge, pulling the dinghy faster and faster along the edge of the docks- it bounces off several pilings before at last the rope pulls tight and snaps completely! This leaves Winter free to charge, charge- and attempt to, uh… tackle… the pony made of fire. Uh oh. You sure about this, boss?

We're sure! "Don't play with FIRE," shouts Winter, as she sails towards the beast! "Unless-" Oof! She lands before she gets to finish her stupid one liner. Oops. But does she manage to tackle the firesprite?! And does it, you know, do any good, or does she just set herself on fire…?

Solar-Wind sees Winter go try and make herself a right flambe‘ o pony, and goes wide eyed, ’not going as planned' is on his list, He bolts skyward and goes for a dispersal pattern instead of a straight drop, he keeps going higher then goes for a strafing run. Water barrel is angled so that everypony on that particular dock is going to get really really wet!

Water! Plus Pony! Plus Fire! Equals… ….Well, a charging and suddenly soaked Winter tackles the firepony, which gives something of a sizzleish whinny before poofing into so much steam. As it had no substance, the laws of physics demand that Winter keeps going. Probably right off the dock!
Winter-Solstice does just that, gliding in a triple 360 sicknasty ollie-ollie-upside-down facegrind off the edge of the dock and into the drink. Sploosh! How much does she regret, though? Nothing. 500xp worth of nothing, to be exact. Or however much the firesprite was worth.

One can almost hear a fanfare playing. Or maybe it's just the pegasus with the bullhorn.

Whirligig's eyes go wide as suddently Winter is flying off the dock and into the water. Finally! The seapony can do something useful! She darts over as the mare hits the surface of the water, diving underneath and getting under her. Her legs may not be worth much, but underwater her tail can lift a lot. She lifts the mare back up to the surface of the water.

Solar-Wind comes up from his strafing run to inspect the scene, Ok, Winter's in the drink, and Seapony? and La' Flambe‘ pony has up and gotten all steamy, and there’s a fleeing unicorn, ok but why, whats to run from? Was she leading that, that that was? "Hey, You, Wait!" he shouts after the fleeing cloaked figure, he remembers Torn Sail begging for her to not escape, soooo… Yeah, fly after.

Winter-Solstice can swim, actually, she's not in THAT much trouble, though her paddlin' hooves might pose a hazard to Whirligig until the earth pony realizes she's being pushed up from below NOT by a deadly sea monster come to eat her face, but by a seapony, which is- wait, what? Winter furrows her brow a bit as he bobs to the surface, and peers down to see Whirligig. "Wait, I just pushed you around!" she says. "Now you're here! And you're a seapony! I think you might actually be the first I've ever met. Which is funny, considering like apparently EVERYBODY around here is a seapony in disguise. Nice to meet you! I'm Winter Solstice." She extends a hoof downward towards Whirligig, and in the process, upsets her own balance and topples sideways into the water again.

Whirligig takes Winter's example from before and keeps on truckin'. Wait. She keeps on keepin' on? That can't be right. She keeps pushing! Yes! As Winter goes sideways, the seapony is there to help right her again. Her eyes go wide at the mention of apparently a whole mess of seaponies being in the town, "There's more seaponies here? You mean, there's more like /me/?" She doesn't really mention the fact that she already knew of the presence of other seaponies.

Solar's shouts only seem to frighten the unicorn more, and she puts on an extra burst of speed, vaulting over a lumber pile and racing full-tilt for the Wintersong treeline with hardly a glance back at the fire-scarred dock.
"Yeah, there's like twenty. Maybe thirty," says Winter, balancing precariously atop her soggy steed- at least until she can reach out and nab a convenient ladder and start climbing back up to the docks. Though not withotu stopping halfway up to peer back over her shoulder and stare at Whirligig. Stare. Stare. "Yeah, fish tail. You're the real deal!" Up up up she goes. As she emerges onto the boardwalk, she's wet, of course, singed and sooty, plus a bit bruised from numerous trips and falls, but she's grinning brightly and she has ALL of her teeth as well as the rest of herself. "Did we win? Are the fires out?" she wonders, glancing up and down the docks. Huh. sort of looks like it.

Solar-Wind grrs some under his breath, slowed down by the remainants of the waterbarell, so he aims ground-ward and loostens the barell so that it may roll harmlessly to the side. The big stallion then charges after the fleeing unicorn "Wait Please, slow down!" Solar tries to ask at least, but the big stallion is a bit winded from all his lugging of water barrels, ponies and trick flying, its catching up to him a bit and he is certainly no Rainbow-Dash when it comes to flight speed. Ok, next try order, "Please?!" he shouts after her as he tries to catch up.

But the shouts get no response, and the forest is thick. It isn't long before the cloaked pony has vanished into the trees, leaving only a few scattered pink candy wrappers behind. Likely fallen from a pocket, one might imagine.

With the firepony gone, and the fire largely down to a smoldering mass that once was a big warehouse, the dockponies are breaking up their group to get down to the nitty gritty of fire cleanup. Brooms are passed out, and new orders are shouted…

The pegasus with the bullhorn flits down to land on the boardwalk near the triumphant heroes. "Hey!" he shouts. Bullhorn and all. "Thanks for the help! The Dockmaster will probably want to thank you personally. Later… But we got things to clean up now, so thanks again!"

Solar-Wind whew's some he's not going in /there/ not without his wife at least, that place is creepy n all that. The big firepony slouches with the others helping out with clean up.