Flash Of Genius
IC date: Summer 90, 1007
OOC date: September 18, 2012
PCs: Rumble-Riot, Mad-Mare, Ruby-Blossom, Kludge, Sky-Sparkler
NPCs: N/A
GM: Fluttershy, as Lily-Heart

It's been… well, let's call it an interesting week.

First there was the whole charging blind into the forest. That was a most excellent idea. And everything on the list, well, pretty sure that's in the packs. Pretty sure. Well, the hoard of jumping carnivorous rocks was a little exciting, but Rumble's pretty sure that's what it meant by pop rocks. Probably. And really, everything was properly adventurous, right up until…

Well, right up until he lost the list, really.

Which is a problem.

BUT, he does remember, there's that white feather thing. The phoenix feather. And that he hasn't been able to find. But there's a trail! They probably like heights, right? And there's a small mountain somewhere in these woods that he saw a few days ago and hasn't been able to find since. But it's probably up ahead.

Probably.

Rumble's whole life is a 'probably', come to think of it. Oh well. Nothing left to do but charge blindly ahead! Packless, list-less, tired from days of endless wandering, and probably more than a little hopped up on the forest's equivalent of hallucinagenics. He had to eat /something/, after all, and those mushrooms were rather tasty…

Frankly it's a miracle he hasn't turned into a wolfsnack. Or been drowned in a bog. Or eaten by a frog. Or mulched by malicious moss! Or…

So right. Trail. Mountain. BIRD! Phoenixes love high places! They have to. Rumble's been all over all the low forest places and hasn't caught whiff of a phoenix, let alone a white one. That only leaves the high places! Chaaaaaaaarge!

Charging ahead, Rumble finds trees! More trees! Some rocks! A log! A…cave? That's new. The rock seems to be blue, almost like turquoise. Icicles hange dagger-like over the entrance, while snow is packed around the outside in lumps and hills. A soft, delicate thrumming radiates from all around, like the gentlest touch of the world's tiniest, purest tuning fork.

A cave… An ice cave! This is familiar! Rumble remembers an ice cave from /so long ago/, like a distant faded memory. It had a dead body in it though, /that/ much he still remembers clearly. Any and every lead must be followed! Maybe the little dwarf that lives in the magic cave can give him directions on where to find a phoenix! Thus Rumble alters course, his blind charge carrying him with loud clop-clops into the land of tuning fork noise and icicles! "Hey! Shorty! You in here!?"

(OOC) Rumble-Riot: No, no he doesn't remember the frozen waterfall… Just the giant ice horse, and the cave of dead ponies, and midgets.
(OOC) Rumble-Riot: You never forget a midget.
(OOC) Lily-Heart snorks. XD

As Rumble races forward the echo of sharp, sudden howls resonate around him, mixing in and out of the resonating melody. Twin lumps of snow on either side of the cave shift and raise, revealing creatures that appear to be made entirely of woven streams of ice. They're wolf-like, but they appear both fierce and delicate, crouched on two legs and flexing claws on either icy fist. Their eyes glow blue, as they suddenly leap in unison onto the unicorn with a hunting howl.

Rumble-Riot rolls 1d2 (Fight or Flight?) — Result: 2 | Sum: 2

Oh dear. Those aren't midgets! This /must/ be the wrong cave. Two wolves, bad news! Rumble immediately spins around, willing his hooves to work on the snowy, potentially icy ground. "Sorry guys! Didn't mean to wake you from your nap! You can go back to sleep nooooooow!"

The unicorn turns! He tries to run! His hooves are having a hard time gathering traction on the ice! The two wolves fall on his hindquarters with some nasty, icy jaws. Rumble can feel the flesh around it plummeting into uncomfortably frigid temperatures, curling and stiffening in pain. They bite down, and start to drag him, with soft growls of triumph. Yeeessssss.

Ohgoodnesscold! Nooo! Rumble flails, falling flat from the fiercely frosty fangs! He howls too, scrabbling hooves at the slick surface, but it's of no use. Running has failed. Flight truely is for the weak.

That just leaves fighting! That much, he's good at.

"Fine! You want something to chew on? Chew on THIS!" Raaaah! He twists! He turns! He seeks to point his horn in JUST ENOUGH of a direction to give the nearest wolf a faceful of magical pain! "Leggo!"

Lily-Heart rolls 1d10 (How's his aim?) — Result: 2 | Sum: 2
Lily-Heart rolls 1d10 (Advantageous?) — Result: 5 | Sum: 5

It feels like the ice-wolves are trying to wrench his hips off his body, as they worry their fangs deeper into his flesh. The ice and snow around them is dotted with splashes of warm blood. He tries to fire at them, but he's off by a wide margin. … On the upside, the blast of magic hits the rocky side of the small mountain the cave is set into, and it sends large chunks of ice and boulders at them. They yelp, startled, and release their hold, scampering back and away from the onslaught… Though they certainly haven't left his sight.

Paaaaaain… It's just as well, Rumble's magic was never his strongest point. But those wounds, bites aren't all that fun to try and fight through! Despite all this, being released and having pure Adventure Adrenaline pumping through him, the plucky unicorn scrambles back up to his hooves, eyeing the damage he did to the cave! "…Hah! You're in for it now!" Maybe he'll have better luck backing away! Slowly, with slight limp, out of the cave. Why does he think this will work?

Because his horn is also glowing, Rumble totally ready to give another helping of magical justice. "Just try it again! I'll make your whole cave collapse!" …Wolves can understand ponies, right?

Wolves can totally understand ponies! Sure! … That's probably why they're circling him now. Pacing. Eyeing him and growling. A sudden sharp trill comes from the cave though, distracting the pooches, as a family of white birds shoot from within and zoom into the forest, jetting a stream of blue light behind them.

Rumble blinks, gazing up at the blue jetstream left behind. "BIRDS!" he cries out, the wolves /completely/ forgotten as he, once again, spins about to tear out after the zooming wildlife! "No! Come back! Come back birds, come back!"

Lily-Heart rolls 1d10 (How quick is he, with his wounds?) — Result: 2 | Sum: 2

(OOC) Rumble-Riot: XD
(OOC) Lily-Heart: The dice love two's tonight.
(OOC) Rumble-Riot: Indeed.
(OOC) Rumble-Riot: They're saying 'Rumble, stop being lazy and roll your own dang dice'.
(OOC) Lily-Heart snrks. XD
(OOC) Lily-Heart: Want to roll that one?

Rumble-Riot rolls 1d10 (I'm sorry dice! I'll roll you proper now!) — Result: 1 | Sum: 1

(OOC) Lily-Heart SNRK
(OOC) Rumble-Riot :|
(OOC) Rumble-Riot: NO I DO NOT.
(OOC) Rumble-Riot: Why did you say roll a one?

ZOOM! The birds are trilling and chiming melodiously, as they dip and weave through the trees. The wolves yip and howl, and Rumble can hear them giving chase behind him, icy claws pattering on the snow. The unicorn's having trouble keeping up with the birds and away from the wolves at this point: his butt's killing him, and a glance back shows blackened, painful flesh around the bites. Still, the birds are in sight! He can still follow them!

Which is more motivation? Chasing after his sworn quest? The only part of his quest he can remember?

Or not being devoured?

Either way, despite what appears to be either a form of horrible disease, or frostbite on his rump, Rumble has no choice but to pursue. Those wolves are a pesky and tenacious lot though. Argh!

"Stop following me!" he shouts at the winter wolves, deciding the best thing he can do about this is…shoot random bolts of unicorn POWAH at them! In between moments of dodging trees and trying to at least keep the bird family somewhat in view. "Biiiiirds! Come baaaaack!"

Rumble-Riot rolls 1d10 (Wolf Repellant Spell, GO!) — Result: 5 | Sum: 5

(OOC) Lily-Heart: Roll two more times.

Rumble-Riot rolls 1d10 (Wolf Repellant Spell, PART 2!) — Result: 6 | Sum: 6
Rumble-Riot rolls 1d10 (Wolf Repellant Spell, FINAL EPISODE!) — Result: 9 | Sum: 9

Rumble's horn glows with POWAH! It hits the first wolf with a glancing blow; the second shot breaks off the ice-wolf's brittle front leg with a shatter of ice. It yelps and collapses, and its brother skids to a halt to attend it— just in time for Rumble to blast a hole through its middle. The creature falls to the ground with a sharp yelp. Ha ha! Rumble is free to chase the birds!!

Free! FREE! Rumble tips his head up! Victory! "HaHAH! Stupid mutts!"

He'd skip, but he might crash if he did. So instead he turns his direction to his intended targets! "C'mon! Please stop? I just want a feather! One feather! To fix a dead pony! C'moooooooooon!" Why can't forest creatures be reasonable?

Horseshoe Harbor - Main Street

A bustling center of activity!

In the latest improvements brought about by the town rebuilding, the area for the main downtown has expanded and reorganized! Lots of the buildings around here are more entertainment-oriented, like the theater and the libary. There's also shopping! And food! It's small, but it's busy, and it shows just how much Horseshoe Harbor has grown in recent months.

Contents

Kludge Earth pony; cyan coat; green/red mane; vest & hat
Lily-Heart White unicorn filly with red hair & pink eyes.
Mad-Mare An off-white pony with a black mane.
Ruby-Blossom Turquoise earth pony, ruby colored mane.
Sky-Sparkler Unicorn mare, blue coat, yellow mane & tail


From outside, there's a beautiful, musical trill in the distance. It's answered by two similar calls, and something white and blue flashes by the window.

Followed shortly by an orange blur of a pony, galloping down the road after the streaks of white and blue. "For the love of all things feathery PLEASE STOP! Don't make me magick you!"

Interest! Within monents Ruby is peeking out the door of her Salon - curiously blinking at the pony dashing by "What in the blue yonder?

"Or orange and white and blue, in this case," adds Kludge, also looking out at the commotion outside.

Maddie's too frustrated to be curious. Her stern face is too stern, and her legs aren't moving so she can get up anyway. "…So what? We have more important things to discuss than random lights outside!"

"Stop it before it hits anything else!" comes a second voice from outside, emitted by a blue and yellow unicorn in hot pursuit of the first. Sure, Sky Sparkler can teleport, but today there aren't any clouds to bounce off of.

A trio of large white birds streak past in the air, chiming that same musical sound. Behind them trails a beautiful blue light, as they duck, weave, swirl, and spin. They arc overhead of the gathered ponies, zooming rather quicker than one would expect. Either way, they're doing their darnedest to stay ahead of their injured pursuer. …Which, honestly, ain't too hard at the moment, considering the blood, injuries, and blackened flesh on his hip, obscuring his cutie mark on one side.

Ruby leans inwards to her shop while grasping the door frame - now peering at Maddie from upside again! "We can talk about us later, Maddie. There's chaos about town~ <3 This is your opportunity to help somepony~" offering a warm and very encouraging smile to her friend!

"Who knows? Maybe we can figure a way to use this later against you-know-who," remarks Kludge, ready to join the pursuit.

The orange pony is certainly losing steam! Rumble can only run so far on such bad injuries. No doubt horribly aggrivated by his full-steam charge after the prize! He's panting, he's sweating, and then… He's doing something incredibly dumb!

Rumble leaps! It's a multi-part affair, because he's using a barrel for a step, then a pile of boxes, and the top of one cart. Leap! Legs outstretched! "Just one…FEATHER!"

Rumble-Riot rolls 1d10 (Is he even close?) — Result: 10 | Sum: 10

The orange pony streaks past, leaps up a barrel, some boxes, springs off a cart, and SOOOOARS! It's like he's a pegasus, the way he so elegantly arcs through the sky. The sight is arresting.

It's especially arresting for the trio of white phoenixes, who have paused, hovering, to watch in horror as their pursuer tackles the male, collides into the female, and takes their chick down with it. CRUNCH. Into the ground.

…They, uh. They're not moving.

Being something of a civil servant, Sparkler was doing her best to try and contain the situation. She seems to have failed. She skids to a halt, behind the orange pony, using her telekentic power to try and lift the pony, to examine the remains. "Ummm, that's bad, right?" she asks.

Maddie finally resigns herself to looking. Just in time to watch the murder of a phoenix family. "…Okay. I'll admit. That was worth seeing."

Ruby-Blossom winces at the situation - chicken patties to be made. "Kinda glad he wasn't around to help.." small glare "Even if he promised.
Kludge also winces. "I think we can still use him for testing structure sturdiness, though," he comments.

Lily-Heart rolls 1d10 (How flammable is Pop?) — Result: 1 | Sum: 1
Lily-Heart rolls 1d10 (How flammable is Mom?) — Result: 9 | Sum: 9
Lily-Heart rolls 1d10 (How flammable is Baby?) — Result: 5 | Sum: 5
Ruby-Blossom rolls 1d10 (Likelyhood of Ruby's salon being destroyed?) — Result: 7 | Sum: 7
Kludge rolls 1d10 (Likelyhood of Kludge's wagon being destroyed in the fracas?) — Result: 9 | Sum: 9
Kludge rolls 1d10 (How Thursday-like is this going to be?) — Result: 3 | Sum: 3

Crunch! Oh. Oh my.

Rumble freezes. He just did a bellyflop, from the top of a cart, onto a pile of phoenixes. He didn't /mean/ to do that! He only wanted a feather! The moment is probably made infinitely worse by the fact that he doesn't immediately hop up post-crunch.

He just kinda…lays there. With this horribly shocked, sickened look on his face. "…I…told them to stop…but they wouldn't listen… Oh Celestia why! Whyyyyyy!?" The poor lug sobs into his hooves. "Those poor birds! THOSE POOR BIRDS!"

Those poor birds, indeed! They're birdy pancakes now. At the very least, a few white and blue tail feathers poke out from beneath Rumble, under his nose, as he sobs into his hooves. Well, at least there's that?

Sky Sparkler looks down at Rumble Riot and the poor squished birdies.

No, she doesn't know much about phoenixes. (Phoenixi? Pheni? Phoenixeses?) Otherwise she would not be observing a moment of silence, head lowered, eyes closed.

…Oh look, feathers! Rumble suddenly realizes the whole reason he'd gone on this wild bird chase in the first place.

He promptly stops sobbing, plucks a mouthful of feathers free with his mouth, and struggles up to all fours. He gives the poor squished bird pile a salute! He will not let their sacrifice be in vain!

Curiosity getting the better of him, Kludge walks over to Rumble. "What type of birds are those?"

The feathers come up with a little crackle. … Wait, it's still crackling softly. What the—

KRAKA-BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!

As if to answer Kludge's question on cue — WHAT A COINCIDENCE! — the birds suddenly erupt into blue flames. Bright flames. HUGE flames. Maybe even less flames, and more… a giant blue Fireball. Fire explodes outwards in a rush of heat and pain, blasting into nearby buildings in a singularly impressive blast.

Rumble's eyes get (THIS__BIG) when, all of a sudden, what was about to be a victory prance is interrupted by a fireball. A big, freaking, flaming, explody fireball! That flings the poor orange pony quite the ways down the street, landing in a smoking heap and holding…the charred remains of a couple feathers in his mouth.

Sky Sparkler is scortched by the flames, freezing for a moment. Then formal training kicks in and she is off in a flash! Litterally, there's a little clap of thunder and everything, as she's off to find a suitable raincloud.

Kludge rolls 1d10 (Hat stability check!) — Result: 8 | Sum: 8
Sky-Sparkler rolls 1d10 (Cloud finding check!) — Result: 5 | Sum: 5

Kludge yelps and hits the deck, trying to stay out of the shockwave and the things (and ponies!) that it throws around. Looking around, his jaw drops - several buildings are starting to catch fire, including Ruby's salon! "Aw, nuts!" he groans, then runs towards his wagon so he can ready it for use as a mobile platform…

…only to discover that it's /completely/ on fire, as well! After staring in shock for a few moments, he lets out a string of curses and goes looking for a bucket.

Kludge rolls 1d10 (Finding a bucket!) — Result: 9 | Sum: 9

Blue flame spreads outwards, crackling through Ruby's nearby salon, Kludge's cart, and all manner of buildings. Suddenly, everything's on fire, and in the center of it all are three freshly plumage'd phoenixes. The white birds hoot and whistle, before taking flight. The biggest one nips Rumble on his burnt nose, tweaking it in irritation before they sail off in an arc of blue light.

But, where they were standing? A couple of feathers. Just for him.

It doesn't take Sky Sparkler too long to find a cloud, and pull it to the scene of the fire. The bad news is that it doesn't have as much rain in it as she was hoping, but she brings it low, and starts jumping up and down on it.

Kludge finds a bucket in good shape fairly close by, and some water in close enough proximity to be useful. Several bucketfuls later, the fire on his wagon is down to a low smoulder - not completely out, but down far enough that he can leave it alone for now and focus on less sturdy things, like Ruby's house!

Meanwhile, Ruby has dashed back into her living quarters, gathering up her significant belongings. Houses can be rebuilt; treasures can't, and certain ones could cause problems if they were discovered by the wrong folk.

Rumble was almost in tears over the whole ordeal. Aching rear, accidental murder, loss of feathers… But then? Then suddenly everything was alright with the world again. Because the birds weren't really dead. They were just…conveniently disguised explosives. The /real/ birds lived, and apparently tweaked his nose. Leaving Rumble to watch them all fly away…amid a huge fire.

Oh and feathers! Rumble scoops up these feathers, warily watching the rain and the fire and everything that could be /harmful/ to his new prize. Geez, the things a guy has to go through to help save the world. He turns about, and trots off! He has a pony to find! Surely the weatherponies will handle the fire, right? His blasty-magicks sure aren't going to be much use!

Now that, was one heck of an adventure.