Freezing Practice
IC date: Winter 75, 1006
OOC date: March 3, 2012
PCs: Snowfield, Blackbird, Jellybean
NPCs: None
GM: None

The depths of winter isn't exactly prime beach season, what with the snow that covers the sand far enough up the shore that the tide can't melt it. A few hoofprints marr the white expanse but other than that the blanket of snow is almost pristine.

Despite the time of year, however, one pony has seen fit to come to the water's edge and stare out towards the horizon in contemplation. The tiny form of Snowfield would be near-indistinguishable from the snow around her if not for her dark blue mane. Every so often she charges towards the water, horn aglow, and runs out onto the surface of it for a few steps before physics seems to catch up and send her scrambling back to shore with a splash.

A white colt plods through the snow, occasionally halting to hastily scribble some things (rather awkwardly) onto a piece of parchment. He pauses, canting his head at the unicorn's battle with nature, and he blinks, before putting his calculations away. The much taller colt trots over a little closer. "Perhaps walking on water is best done on … still waters?" he calls.

Snowfield flinches when somepony addresses her. She glances over her shoulder at the other white pony, shockingly blue eyes visible through a part in her dark mane. She remains tense as she quietly answers, "There's no difficulty in walking on still waters. If I want to improve I need to tame the brine." She turns her attention back to the ocean and charges back into it, making it a couple of good gallups in and leaving a frozen trail in her wake… at least until the rolling waves cause the path to buckle and crack. The little mare skids to a halt with a shower of snow and hops back to shore before the equally little ice floes she's standing on vanish.

Blackbird watches this, brows lifting a bit. "Huh, that's pretty neat. I've always admired unicorns, and their ability to do…that kinda stuff." He offers a smile and trots a little closer. "So, you do this often, then?" he asks the short little mare, grinning a little.

Jellybean, meanwhile, is soaring above, having finished a tough day of pushing clouds all over the place, and spots the two ponies below. He wings around and dives to meet them, drawing up just short of actually landing. "Hey there. What're you two do-" He stops in mid-sentence when he sees the ice forming. "Wow, cool."

Snowfield harumphs as she gets back to the shore, shaking off some seawater that splashed onto her ankles when she made her last jump. "Not as often as I ought to be. If this was freshwater I'd be able to freeze it all the way to the sand." She looks up at the taller pony— much taller, she notes, he seems a bit bigger even than the average earth pony. The dark circles under her eyes make her look very tired as she considers the stallion's words. "It's not that special, we all have our talents."

Suddenly there are more people intruding on her magic practice. Snowfield grunts halfway between irritation and exasperation, which really just comes out as a cute squeak. "I'm trying to hold back the tides," she explains to the newcomer.

"Fair enough," Blackbird offers, and his eyes seem to study Snowfield, as though trying to puzzle her out. Or he would, until Jellybean arrives and he grins. "Well, hey there. I'm just watching Miss Snow Scout over there do her thing. And you are…?"

Snowfield cocks her head. "'Snow Scout'?" she asks incredulously, unable to believe such a silly nickname was just applied to her.

The pegasus smiles and waves to Blackbird. "My name's Jellybean. I'm the new weatherpony for Horseshoe Harbor. Did you know that you didn't have one? I bet that must've been just awful." He pauses for a moment. Blinks. Then: "Why are you holding back the tide?"

Blackbird grins cheekily at Snowfield. "Well, I could call you something else. Ice Queen. (Or would that be Ice Princess?) Blizzard? The Wee Witch of the North?" Still, he bobs his head at Jellybean, and adds, "Blackbird. Weather pony? Good!"

"The weather worked itself," Snowfield says. "Breezes came in from the oceans and winter chills flowed from the forest. It was… unpredictable." She says that as if it wasn't a bad thing. As for Blackbird's list of nicknames? Her poker face is indecipherable as the mare states, "You may address me as Snowfield."

Jellybean's question gets a matter-of-fact, "Because it's there," from the little unicorn as if it was the most obvious thing in the world. "You may as well ask why a pegasus kicks the clouds, or an earth pony… does whatever it is earth ponies do." She gestures vaguely and glances at Blackbird's flank. A flask? "Alchemy apparently."

"Well, I kick the clouds because they're blocking out too much sunlight, and then I try to move around the ones that are left so it's all evened out. But you don't want to kick rainclouds, because they'll either slosh or burst. And it's bad if they burst." He flaps his wings a few more times, winging back and forth. "But I think what you're doing is neat anyway."

Snowfield says, "That takes all the mystique out of it."

"Aha, Snowfield. Appropriate!" Blackbird scoots a little closer, curiosity starting to get the better of him. When she addresses his lack of immediate purpose, the earth pony snorts. "Psh, alchemy. Invention! I invent things. Because things need inventing, just like clouds — /some/ clouds — need kicking and water needs…freezing?" He looks over at Jellybean then. "It's good we have a weather pony. Hard to plan events when the weather is doing its own things."

Snowfield harumphs again at the mention of water needing freezing. If only it was that simple! She glances at the waves lapping against the beach again, taking a few moments to go back to the water's edge. Rather that run into it again she raises one hoof, concentrates and slams it down into the water, causing spikes of ice to burst up around it. "…feh, only a few hooves tall," she murmurs with disappointment as her tiny spires and immediately knocked down by the next breaker.

"So what exactly needs inventing?" the unicorn asks as she steps back towards the other ponies.

Jellybean whinnies, circling around Blackbird curiously. "You invent things? That's a neat job. What sorts of things have you invented? I had an idea yesterday for a bell with a long rope that'll dangle to the ground so ponies who can't fly can ring it and I'll hear them in my house if they need things found, but I guess that's not really an invention." Another pause, seemingly something he just does. "I'm good at finding things."

Blackbird shrugs. "Things! Better travel, for example. You know we could get places a lot quicker than just using a train, if we could harness teleportation for non-unicorns. Things like that." He rattles off a few minor inventions that I haven't thought of yet, that aren't very impressive in the grand scheme of things but are pretty neat on their own. Jellybean's idea gets a bright smile, though. "Oh! Yeah that's a cool idea. I can certainly help you with that. So, uh, Snowfield, I bet you make pretty cool snowmen."

"Snowmen? Oh, no, nothing like that. Snow is entirely the wrong medium, it has far too many crystals that don't like to mesh together." She shakes her head in dismay. "I sculpt from ice. The finished product has a much dreamier, ephemeral quality than simple snow art." As for unicorn teleportation? Perhaps they should work on making it universal for unicorns themselves before trying to make it work on other ponies. It's pretty high level magic, after all!

The little mare debates if she wants to get Jellybean started, considering how distractable the pegasus seems to get, before asking, "What sort of things do you find?"

"Whatever people have lost. Really I'm good at guessing things. See?" he says, showing his flank and the three jellybeans that make up his Cutie Mark. "It's my special talent. So if you lose something, or if you want to know if today is a good day to do something, you could ask me. I can't promise that I'm always right, though."

Blackbird lifts a brow at Snowfield. "Huh! Interesting. I'd like to see your ice sculptures. I bet they're neat." After a moment, he regards Jellybean. "So! Good at guessing things, new weather pony… What's the coolest thing you've ever guessed right?"

"You won't have much time to look for it," Snowfield says, perhaps a little more sharply than she intended. "The season gets wrapped up in a week and the only place you'll find ice after that is in Wintersong." The unicorn tries to puzzle out how a cutie mark of jelly beans has anything to do with finding things and decides it's a question best left unasked. "Is today a good day to bend the ocean to my will?" she asks with the faintest of smirks tugging at the corners of her lips.

Jellybean lands on the beach, scuffing a hoof in the sand. "The coolest thing I ever guessed? That was the number of jellybeans in the jar. It's how I got my mark, and it made me realize that I should listen to my instincts whenenever I can. And…" he pauses again but then shakes his head, "No, I don't think today's going to be a good day for that." Of course if she were to press him on it he'd say that he doesn't think that any day would be a good day for that, but that's a personal opinion that has nothing to do with his guessing abilities. "Anyway, I think I'm going to head back towards town now, but it was nice meeting you both, okay? Maybe I'll see you around again sometime?"

Blackbird snickers a little at Jellybean's estimation of the day, and waves a hoof. "Pleasure to meet you, Jellybean! Have a good one." And off the pegasus goes, leaving the earth pony to the bad-tempered mini-corn. "Oh, that's right. Winter Wrap-Up's soon. What do you do for the rest of the year, then?" He blinks a little, because wouldn't that result in a bit of a … cutie mark meltdown? Maybe? A tiny typhoon of ICELESS HATE.

Snowfield is not entirely surprised by Jellybean's answer. She doesn't /really/ want to bend the ocean to her will, anyway, she just wants to be able to freeze salt water. The mare nods to Jellybean as he prepares to head back to town. "We'll see. I don't visit town very often… I'm not a big fan of the ocean. It fights back too much, and there's little else save supplies to draw a pony here."

Surprisingly, Snowfield hasn't suffered from Cutie Mark Failure Insanity Syndrome despite having lived through several summers. "I practice for next winter," she says, once again with a hint of bitterness that she didn't intend seeping into her voice. If only it could be winter year round…

"Aha! That makes sense, of course. Salinity is certainly a problem there. I think that what you were doing earlier was pretty impressive, myself." Blackbird plonks his butt down on the sand and perks his ears. "You spend time in the Wintersong forest? That's… not a good idea. Pretty sure there's some creepy stuff going down in there."

"Yes," Snowfield says. "Yes, there is." She does not go into any further detail, simply staring at Blackbird with those almost unnaturally blue eyes of hers and waiting for him to say something else.

Blackbird stares right back… and he seems a little unsettled. "…WELP," he says suddenly, "I gotta go… do… things. Invent. Sing songs… Uhh. Good…luck." Backing up, he gets a little way up the beach, before he hurriedly trots away. Not unsettled by a little filly, no sir, not him, oh god.

Snowfield has that effect on ponies after a while. It doesn't bother her very much, it means they're less likely to bother her when she's working. Speaking of, perhaps she should get back to that magic training now…