Into The Woods II
IC date: Spring 27, 1007
OOC date: April 17, 2012
PCs: Lavender, Sadaka, Siyana, Snowfield
NPCs: None
GM: Snowfield

It had been a cold night in the Wintersong Forest, as one might expect considering the climate is right there in the name. Snowfield hadn't been particularly bothered by it, so used to sleeping in the woods as she is, that she had not even bother with a blanket. The unicorn had simply put herself down on the cavern floor near the back and gone straight to sleep. The three fillies staying in her cavern overnight likely did not have as restful a sleep; the blankets were thin and did little to ward off the cold, apparently there more to provide something soft to lie on than to keep warm. Huddling together during the night would've definitely help.

When morning broke Snowfield didn't bother giving the fillies any specific directions, despite her very clear instructions the night before that they were to obey her every order. She let them eat breakfast as they wished of the flowers ands berries she had picked during the night and fight amongst themselves for portion size, opting instead to have gone outside and began carving patterns in the frozen pond surface to pass the time. Every so often a burst of magic from her horn would wipe the proverbial slate clean.

Exactly why the unicorn is stalling in helping Siyana find the flowers she needs is anypony's guess, but as hours pass it may start getting frustrating how lightly Snowfield is taking the matter despite her promise.

Siyana rolls onto her back and lets out a frustrated sound. "When are we gonna go?" she asks, to nopony in particular. "It's gotta be, like, almost night already!" Possessed, as she is, with a such terrible time sense, it's no wonder that every second feels like the world's most ungodly long hour. She finally gets to her hooves, cranky from lack of sleep, and shakes her totally ruffled braid. "I'm gonna go talk to her. Maybe she's backing out of it or something. Which would be SO not fair."

Lavender did indeed sleep rather poorly, and spent more of the night tossing and turning and moaning half-asleep about wanting to go home than she'd rather admit. She's still shaking now, the cold having settled into her bones somewhat, but moving around is helping at least, breakfast even more so. Now she's all energetic and just doesn't do that standing-still thing. "Yeah…I wanna go back out adventuring again…I mean we got all done with the first one already!"

Sadaka stretches stiffly for about the sixth time, trying to shake the cold from her sore muscles. She'd kind of forgotten what it was like, to sleep out without a good blanket and a soft couch. She wasn't entirely sure how she felt about that. "Well, she said she'd take us to find a flower… and back to town. I dunno why she'd not do what she said she would… maybe she's just got other stuff to do first? …Or maybe the flower's, like… in the ice or something?"

"I don't care!" Siyana snaps, stamping a hoof. She storms to the crack between the rocks and squeezes out, before tumbling onto the pond. "Snooowfiiiieldddd!! When are we gonna go??" It's pretty clear from the timber of her voice that she is frustrated, and her polite tact is down to about 5%.

Lavender rambles out after the howling filly and to the edge of the ice, and cranes out to grab Siyana's tail in her teeth before she winds up in the middle of a frozen lake, unable to get back off. She starts dragging her back to the waterfall, "We'hl go wheh whe wahts to…buh ih behher be hoon."

Whatever Snowfield's reason for procrastinating, whining doesn't seem to make Snowfield want to move any more. "When it's time," she says vaguely, drawing some abstract geometric shapes on the surface of the ice with her magic. "Just like when you'll get your cutie mark."

Siyana flops face first on the ground when Lavender drags her back, and she looks so sulky. "When's it gonna be time? It's been forever…" SIGH. SIIIIGH. Sulk sulk sulk,

"It has been four hours past sunrise, that is hardly 'forever'," Snowfield says as she carves a wide arc across her pattern that passes directly in front of Lavender and Siyana, spraying them with snow flecks. "Magic requires patience. If you want to set out now it just means you'll have to be patient when we get there instead."

Lavender squirms a little where she sits. "But it's cold in this forest and I wanna go home where it's warm… And if we wait all day and then go out, we'll be stuck in the forest all night again…"

Siyana flattens her ears. "Four hours? Four hours??? It's only been that long? Ohhhh godddddd, it's going to be foreverrrrrr!!" HUFFFFFF.

Sadaka peeks out of the cave, frowning a bit. "Well… how… long does it have to be?"

Snowfield sighs dramatically. "Fine, if it will get all of you to stop complaining, we can leave now. Maybe enough time will pass on the hike there." There's a 'poof' of snow across the pond as Snowfield releases the top layer of ice, erasing the patterns she was drawing, and she casually skates across the surface in a general 'that way' direction.

"YAY!!!" Siyana is up and bouncing onto the ice, only to skid and scramble all the way across. "Thank you, Miss Snowfield! Raaahhh, let's get the flowers! Where are they? Are they close by?"

Snowfield says, "No."

Lavender gawks a little. "Ooooh…She's really graceful," she comments to the others, impressed. But quietly, in case the scary snow filly takes offense. It's hard to tell sometimes! She leaps out onto the ice and attempts to skate the same way. She doesn't quite faceplant, but she sure isn't graceful. One way or another though, she gets to the shore. "Then…Where?"

Sadaka hesitates a moment before stepping out after them, skidding and slipping about halfway across the lake before she kinda sorta got the hang of it and managed to make her way to the edge in a slightly more dignified manner.

Siyana never gets more dignified, or graceful. But she manages after a lot of false starts to make it to the other side. "No? Well, okay! It's an adventure!" The tired foal is much peppier now that there's ADVENTURRRRRE to be doing.

"Into the forest, of course," Snowfield says simply. "We'll be traveling east, towards the White Saddle Mountains. It'll be a couple hours yet before we reach it. At this time of day there shouldn't be any dangerous creatures out, though it goes without saying that you should avoid every animal you see regardless of how fluffy it appears at first glance." At the lake's edge she shifts from skating to trotting in a fluid motion, swiftly disappearing into the foliage if the fillies don't keep up.

Lavender blinks a couple of times, "Are there timber bunnies out there or something?" Clearly, she has extrapolated from the wolves (that she knows nothing about anyway). "Because I bet the four of us could totally take them." She keeps up, not that far behind. "Ooh, I remember the last time we wound up in the mountains…"

Sadaka trots after them as quickly as she could manage, looking over at Lavender. "You've been up in the mountains before?"

Siyana goes quiet at the mention of the mountains, and though she's scampering after Snowfield, she gets a little lower to the ground. Ah heh. Heh. Hm. She does not pipe up, for once!

Snowfield slows down long enough for the foals to catch up, blue eyes glancing in Lavender's direction. "Worse. Snow bunnies. Their fur is made of crystals and sharp as a razor, to cuddle one would be like hugging a razor blade." Siyana's quiet attitude does not save the little zebra from the unicorn's attention. "You said you wished for the gypsy to give you a cutie mark. Surely your parents have told you that it will appear in due time, why are you trying to force the matter?"

Lavender nods at Sadaka, "Yeah, when--Mm, anyway--" At Snowfield's words, her eyes widen. She stares into space as she imagines snow bunnies. She looks to Sadaka again, "Do snow bunnies really exist?" As though she'd know.

Sadaka shrugs thoughtfully. "I dunno. I'll ask Mr. Blackbird!" she decided after a moment. "I've seen some bunnies in the woods, but I never tried to hug 'em. Maybe that's a good thing!"

Siyana blinks and straightens when she's addressed. "Well of course it'll come in due time. But why should I wait when I can get it now?" No really, she's clueless as to why this is a bad thing. She blinks so innocently. "And I bet Mr. Blackbird would know, he's really good at animals."

"As real as mountain lions," Snowfield says dismissively. "Did you see any of those in the White Saddles, by the way? You can usually spot a pride of them if you see a cluster of shrubs on top of a pile of rocks, that's usually a bunch of them napping together." A glance is spared towards Sadaka. "They'd probably run away if you tried, the bunnies out here aren't as trusting as the ones you'd see in a pet store."

The unicorn's eyes roll at Siyana's response to her inquiry. "And you trust gypsy magic to get you your cutie mark? How exactly is she supposed to know what you're special talent is if even you don't?"

Lavender gnnhs and scoots up closer to Sadaka. "I've heard of mountain lions. Those are real. I think." Then over to Snowfield, answering for Siyana: "Well the magic finds out for them, obviously!"

Siyana rolls her eyes right back. "Magic! Duh! That's what she does! She's more powerful than unicorns so of course she can make it happen. She gave Lavender a whole pirate ship!" Squee! Gawd, Snowfield, get with the program.

Sadaka tilts an ear curiously but stays silent. She… didn't really know how magic worked. But Lavender had a ship now and a crew and she said it was magic! And Siyana had a potion and was gonna have a cutie mark. So whatever it was it seemed to work good!

"A whole ship," deadpans the mini unicorn. She gives Lavender and appraising look and then sighs. "And here she was claiming to just be an observer. I can only imagine what her plan for that is." Back to Siyana. "Discovering what makes you unique is a life-changing event. It may not be what you expect, but given the circumstances of its discovery it always feels 'right'. Just having it handed to you… you won't have the opporunity to grow into it, to appreciate it if it's not your dream talent. Are you really ready for that?"

Blah, blah, blah. I'm Snowfield, and I'm a total buzzkill. Responsibility this and circumstances that. That's what you sound like right now. (Or so thinks a certain little filly.) Siyana lets out a long-suffering sigh in response. "Of course I'm ready. I've waited long enough. And she knows my real talent and I'll get it and I can grow into it after! It's not a big deal." GAWD.

Lavender gives a small huff. "It's a real ship and it has a crew and everything," she grumps. "And I already know my talent too, I just wanted my ship so I could get my cutie mark faster since my talent is obviously pirating. See? We know what we're doing."

Sadaka glances back at her flank, tilting an ear. Maybe she should wish for a cutie mark, too! She really had no clue what hers could be. What was she even good at? Remembering the past days' discussion, she looked up at Snowfield. "Can a pony get a cutie mark in nothing? What would that even be? Do they just stay blank?"

"I bet your special talents are calligraphy and arithmatic," Snowfield says without a hint of irony. "What you want rarely factors into reality." Sadaka's question actually causes the older pony to think for a few moments. "If your special talent is being a good-for-nothing, then your cutie mark would be something along the lines of a hammock. They're rarely literal representations of your talent." She gestures at her own flank. "Do you think my special talent is freezing hourglasses in blocks of ice?"

Siyana blinks a little, and scampers to try and catch up with Snowfield better. "What is your special talent? How'd you get your cutie mark, Miss Snowfield?"

Lavender nods a little, "Yeah…How did you get it? It's like…frozen time or something. Does that mean winter, like, the season or something?" She tilts her head. "Winter forever?" She looks like she's almost on the verge of figuring something out, then shrugs.

Sadaka blinks, tilting her head thoughtfully for a moment before brightening. "Those big, um… scul… scupt… suptu… statues, you were making in your cave! Is that your talent? 'Cause those were really neat! I've never seen ice stuff like that before."

"I'm a sculptor by trade," Snowfield says, nodding to Sadaka for figuring it out. She'll allow the momentary distraction from hassling Siyana about her terrible idea. "You're a quick one, I bet you're cutie mark'll be a detective hat. I take moments in time and seal them in ice. But just like you can't stop the sand from moving just by freezing the outside of the hourglass, my sculptures don't last forever, either. They melt with the spring thaw."

"Ooooooohhhh," Siyana murmurs, pausing. "Huh! Did you, ummm…did you make an ice sculpture and it made your cutie mark?" For now, her ADD has seized on a new opportunity to change topics. Wee!

Lavender rests for a bit, head on hooves, and watches Snowfield dispense her all-knowing wisdom. For she is truly wise.

Sadaka smiles happily at the somewhat-compliment, giving a cheery little bounce. A detective hat! That'd be neat! Better than nothing, for sure. She paused momentarily at the idea of those pretty sculptures melting, though. "Aww… but I liked 'em… it's spring now, and they weren't melting, were they?"

Snowfield takes a few more steps then turns to look at the resting ponies. "Tired already, are you?" she asks of Lavender. "What sort of pirate lord has so little stamina? You'd put Captain Seafoam to shame." She shakes her head at Siyana. "No, I got hopelessly lost in a blizzard and nearly died. When the weather finally cleared I found myself in front of a frozen waterfall and thought it was so beautiful that I wanted to capture other moments in ice like that as well."

The older mare shakes her head at Sadaka. "The ones I leave here in the forest are fine, but you don't see any more in the town, do you?" A pause. "Then again, you don't see much of anything in town anymore. And here I thought that accursed pegasus was going to keep an eye on the mayor after the traitor revealed her intentions. Ah well, just goes to show you can't trust anypony but yourself. Alright, you three, let's get going again. We're nearly there."

"Oohhh…. huh. Well, I'm sure it will be a moment of ephip….e… errr. I will like my cutire mark." MNEH. Siyana follows after.

Lavender's eyes widen. "I, I was just listening!" She hops back up to her feet and runs in a circle before coming over to Snowfield again and resume that listening thing. "Alright~. Oh, I'm excited. It must be some really fancy…thing."

Sadaka gets quickly back to her hooves. "Okay!" She looked over at Lavender, smiling. "I'll bet it's a real neat flower!"

The hike continues for a while yet, despite Snowfield's insistence that that it's only "a little further" After a few more miles of trekking she comes to a stop as the trees end equally suddenly. Hopefully the ponies she's escorting will stop as well, because there's a beautiful view ahead of the group: a great chasm carved through the middle of the forest which the group is currently overlooking. The trees far below look so very small… hopefully the snow at the bottom is VERY thick, because if somepony was to fall off the edge of the cliff here they would be falling awfully fast by the time they hit the bottom.

"Here we are," the unicorn announces. "This is just the sort of place that Windigo's Kiss grows."

Siyana isn't going too fast by the time they get there, so there will be no skidding toward the edge today. She's too pooped from all that! "Windigo's Kiss? Whassat?" she asks.

Lavender's breath catches a little, and she slowly approaches closer to the edge, enough to peek over a bit and see how far it is. "That's a really long way down…I didn't know there was anyplace like this here!"

Sadaka blinks and trots up to the edge curiously, peering down into the chasm. "Woah. We're up real high… this is cool, you can see all sorts of stuff from up here!"

"You can find anything in the forest if you look hard enough," Snowfield explains. "The forest goes up the mountains a little bit, so a few valleys like this crop up on the eastern edge." She looks at Siyana and sighs. "It's the flower we talked about last night, remember? I guess that rules out botany as your special talent." Having sassed at the filly sufficiently the mare walks up to the edge and glancing over thoughtfully. Her horn starts to glow as she pushes a tiny avalanche of snow off the cliff. After that, she…

…well, she jumps right off of it herself. Seeya!

"I'm tired," Siyana whines, but she slumps closer, until Snowfield jumps off the cliff. "AAAA!!!! Miss Snowfield!!" She goes running to the edge, immediately galvanized, to look over and see where she's apparently dropped to her doom.

Lavender's eyes widen like dinner plates. Then, after a moment of staring… "Eeee, that looks fun! And terrifying! And I'm gonna juuuump!" She takes a few steps back, then makes a running gallop to the same spot Snowfield jumped off from, and leaps! Majestically! Into the air! and screams all the way down.

Sadaka jumps about three feet in the air, eyes wide. "Miss Snowfield!" and then, "Lavender!" She scrambled likely less-than-safely over to the spot, pressing against Siyana and peering down frantically, ears flattened and eyes round.

Lavender only makes it a few meters before slamming into the flat end of shard of ice that is jutting out of the cliff face. Snowfield is standing on another shard off to the side and a little bit below, horn aglow. "…why in Equestria did you think that was a good idea?" she says slowly, an angry expression on her face. "Remember what I told you about not being responsible for you doing stupid things and getting yourself killed? That is still in effect."

With a brief flare of her horn she dislodges Lavender's spike from the wall and levitates it back to the top of the cliff, flipping it so that it dumps her unceremoniously into a snow drift. shard then bursts into a cloud of snow which races back over the edge, whirling around the little witch and slams into the wall in front of and below her to create a new platform for her to jump to. "I'll let you know when it's safe to come down," she shouts back up, hopefully staving off a repeat performance from Lavender.

Siyana's eyes are wide as she watches Lavender get thrown back up. "Whuh, huh, what? What--" She's very confused!

Lavender whoofs as the breath is knocked out of her, and pants. Well, that's one way to shut up the eponymously-coloured filly. "Oooog, why did I do that," she asks nobody in particular and rolls over.

Sadaka dashes over to her, bouncing around nervously. "Are you okay? How'd you get back up here? Why'd you jump off in the first place, you scared us half to death!"

A few minutes pass as Snowfield continues jabbing spikes of ice into the cliff face, presumably looking for the Windigo's Kiss. Eventually she calls up, "Alright, you can come down! Just make sure you land in the right place!

Looking over the edge now will reveal what looks like a cloud at first glance, but is in fact a blob of levitated snow a few dozen meters to the left and just far enough down to be terrifying to try jump onto.

Siyana scrambles over, doing as she's told, to jump onto the spikes. When she sees the weird cloud down below, she freezes (lawl), and hesitates… but with a deep breath, she gathers all her courage and LEAPS!

Lavender crawls back to the edge, "You're not going to hit me with ice again, are you?.." With more trepidation this time, she does at least trust the pony and her magic, and after some seconds of steeling herself she throws herself off towards the snow. Once again, it's accompanied by wailing as she falls through the air.

Sadaka blinks and stumbles back to the edge, looking a bit overwhelmed as they both jump off again. "Why is everybody jumping off cliffs today?!" she wails, "I don't have wings yet!" Nevertheless, she backs up a few steps, steels herself, and takes a flying leap towards the cloud of snow.

The snow cloud feels just like jumping into a snow drift! Except glowier, and Sadaka's back hooves manage to pierce through the bottom of it and dangle helplessly in the air until she can scrabble back onto it.

Once they have their wits about them the fillies will discover that there is a small terrace carved into the side of the cliff, invisible from the top of it because of the way the rock overhangs. It is entirely unimpressive, filled with gangly looking shrubs and a bored looking Snowfield. "Looks like we're still a bit early, I thought that might happen," she says to nopony in particular.

Siyana shakes herself off and looks around, before gingerly scooting onto the terrace. "Ohhh… wow, this is neat! Maybe we can make a fort here!" Because stupid children will always be stupid children.

Lavender gives a little nudge to Siyana, "Nooo, we're here for the flower, remember." She scootches over to Snowfield, "A bit early for what?"

Sadaka gave a startled squeak and frantically pulled herself back up onto the snowcloud, sitting shaking for a moment before scampering off of it and into the terrace.

"For the flower," Snowfield explains, walking to one of the shrubs. "This," she begins as she crouchs low and noses one of the closed buds, "is a Windigo's Kiss. It only grows in cold weather, which Wintersong is perfect for, but it abhors other flowers and will not sprout anywhere you will find other plants." She looks back to Lavender, Sadaka and Siyana as she continues to explain, "It also hates the warmth of the sun, even though it needs it to live. If it gets more than an hour or two of sunlight then the plant withers away in the heat." She stands back up and looks at the sky behind them. "They haven't gotten any sunlight yet today, so the buds are still closed. It'll be a bit longer before any light can get in here."

Siyana leeeeans in to look a bit closer, ears perked as she examines it. "Whoooaaaa. I bet my dad would love to know about this. He's a herbalist. Where's it come from? How'd it pollenate all the way out here?"

Lavender leans in a little closer too, "And what's so special about it anyway? That we had to come all this way for. I guess it must be a super rare thing, but what makes it, you know…magic? If it is magic."

Sadaka shakes herself off, taking a moment to get her breath back before moving over to the plant as well. "Why's it not like the sun? Or other plants?"

Her head is raised to gesture at the entirety of the overlook. "The same way this terrace was formed, in all likelyhood: by the wind. This alcove was likely carved out of the rock face by centuries of harsh wind." She stamps a food on the cold, solid ground. "There's no soil here to feed the plants, only hard stone, and the overhang above keeps the sun from shining. It's not a place fit for a living creature, and yet a single plant has decided that it would not only accept that challenge but thrive in it. As for pollination? It probably doesn't. It'll keep trying with every bloom, but the odds of the wind carrying its pollen to another plant are incredibly slim."

Lavender's question is met with a shrug. "It's a very potent stamina booster, and also has some unique healing properties. It can't cure anything on its own, but a properly prepared potion will stop almost any illness or a poison in its tracks. A potion of stasis is great if you need some impossible to find ingrediant to make an antidote and need more time."

The question from Sadaka elicits what can almost be called a smile from Snowfield. "Would you expect anything less from something named after a Windigo?"

Lavender lowers her head. "What's stasis?" She peers closer at the plant. "And…can't you make it grow somewhere else if you grow it in a freezer?" Then looks up at Snowfield, "Are Windigos really real?"

Sadaka tilts an ear curiously. "Oh, okay. I guess not. Um…" she fidgetted timidly, a bit moreso when Lavender seemed to know quite well what they were talking about. "…What's a Windigo?" she finally asked, curiosity getting the better of her hesitation.

Snowfield shakes her head. "Magic doesn't work that way. The plant will do what it wants, the way it wants to." To Sadaka she explains, "They're creatures of disharmony, ghostly ponies made of ice and snow. They're drawn to conflict and freeze everything around them. Legends say that the ponies of Equestria colonized this land after their old home was frozen by windigos."

Snowfield adds, "And yes, they are absolutely real."

Lavender looks Snowfield up and down, and bites her lip a little. "How do we get it back home with Sadaka safely? It sounds like if it sees the sun…"

Sadaka sits back on her haunces, examining the little shrub thoughtfully. Nothing interesting yet. "Could we… I dunno, get a shader for it or something? Big leaf?"

"I was wondering why you didn't bring a saddlebag," Snowfield says. "One would think that if you were planning on picking flowers, you would have brought something to carry them home in." She walks towards the edge of the terrace and looks up at the sky. "The forest doesn't get much daylight once you're in the trees, it should be safe enough on the way back through. Just make sure to gallop as fast as you can from the forest's edge to the Watcher's tent."

Lavender gives a small huff. "I did. But then we got lost and. Well. We'll find it someday…Um, anyway. Is there, well, anything else we should know about the flower? We won't be hurting anything if we take it, will we?"

Sadaka glances up at Snowfield curiously. "How'd you know these were here? I mean… do you use 'em for anything?"

"It's not going to explode, is it?" Siyana asks warily as she eyes it. "I mean… what if we don't get it there in time? Is it gonna explode?"

Snowfield shakes her head again. "It'll be fine. The flower's not cursed, if that's what you're afraid of. It just likes being left to its own devices." As for knowing they were here? "I found them while exploring the forest ages ago. There are a few landmarks in the deep forest that I can get between, this happens to be one of them. And no, they won't explode, they'll just dry up and turn to dust if you let them get too much sun."

Lavender rolls over in the snow. "I guess it just comes down to waiting for it to bloom. Snowfield…Thank you for helping us, yeah?"

Siyana lays down herself, partly to rest, and partly to watch the blooms. Lavender's prompt gets her to add, "Oh, yeah, thank you, Snowfield. It was nice of you to do this for us."

Sadaka settled down beside them. "Yeah… and for helping us last night, too, and letting us stay in your cave and all."

"So why's it called that anyway?" Siyana asks, poking a little at the bud with one hoof.

"Don't get used to it," Snowfield says when all the fillies start getting sappy on her. "You're just lucky you ran into a pony all the way out here and not something that wanted to eat you, and if I didn't help you you would have just gone out again and found that thing."

Then Siyana asks a question which draws a distant look from Snowfield as she recalls the story. "Legend says that there was a windigo that lived all alone. Depending where you are it'll either have been in a forest like this one, on a mountain, or out in the barren expanse of a tundra. Well, some idiot pony who didn't know any better and got lost came across the windigo, and either didn't see it for what it was or just didn't care. He decided to make friends with the thing."

Lavender's ears perk straight up, like, straight. She listens with great attention and gets a little bit of a funny look in her eyes, but sits there and listens all the same.

"Oooh, stories!" Siyana scoots in a little, leaving the bud alone in favor of STORY.

Sadaka brightens a bit, ears perking as well. She liked stories! Hey, maybe she'd have something new to tell Blackbird, something he didn't know about! That'd be exciting.

Snowfield sits down on the edge of the cliff, staring out at the valley as the sun begins to peek out from the behind the top of the overhang. "There's regional variations at this point in the story. Most stories say that the pony managed to thaw the windigo's frozen heart and became its friend, the saucier versions say he melted it outright and it fell in love with him. As I said before, though, windigos are creatures of disharmony. Concepts like friendship and love are anathema to them." That's right, Snowfi, break out the five Iron words on the little kids.

Lavender rests her head on her hooves. "Then…If that's the case, those stories can't be right, can they? What did the windigo really do?"

"Nanathama?" Siyana repeats, confused. "'zat mean bad?"

"I think it means, like… something they can't do right, or something," Sadaka suggested. She'd picked up some words, between Blackbird and Purple Prose, but she wasn't entirely sure she'd gotten them all straight.

The unicorn's story continues as her gaze remains locked on some indeterminate point in the distance. "Yes, something being anathema means it's completely opposite of you. The versions of the story that are cleaned up for foals say that the windigo was so distraught at the clash between her nature and her emotions that she ran away, crying a tear that sprouted into the flower, but that doesn't explain the second half of the name. The classic tale is that her inner conflict was so great that it killed her, giving the pony a parting kiss as she dissolved into nothingness."

The sun finally sinks low enough that it can shine past the overhang above the terrace, illuminating the bushes and casting a sharp silhouette across Snowfield. "All that was left behind of her was a seed, a fragile token of life which became the flower we know today, destined to be alone just as it had been in its last life."

Lavender gives a small little nod as she hears the end, "That's really sad…" She ducks her head, "And, the pony was a stallion…and it was a mare Windigo?" She gives Snowfield a look. It's curious and, in a way, just the slightest bit suspicious. "I guess at first I thought the pony might have been a girl…"

Siyana looks at Lavender, head tilting. "Oh, huh." But that's all she puts in! Because my brain fizzled. FIZZLE

Sadaka blinks over at Lavender, tilting an ear. "…Why's it matter? We're all girls… an' we'd be real sad if we lost each other somehow… wouldn't we?"

Snowfield glances over her shoulder, gaze not quite focused on the three foals. "The flower is blooming," she comments distractedly, completely blowing off Lavender's implication.

Sure enough, the small buds on the shrubs are blossoming into large blue roses. They have a certain sparkle about them that doesn't seem natural, as if the light can't make up its mind how to shine on them.

Lavender gives a small nod, then looks back at Snowfield again…then eventually ends with a shrug. She does look like a pony, not a windigo (whatever they look like), so…anyway. She's a little lost in thought, until Snowfield speaks. "Ooh…"

Siyana's attention bounces again, and she veers to look at the flower. "Wow!! Look at that! How do we pick it? Is there a special way?"

Sadaka clambers back to her hooves, looking over at the flowers. "Oh, wow, they're so pretty…"

"Just pluck one at the stem with your teeth, and mind the thorns," Snowfield offers as she lights up her horn again. There's a shower of snow from above as she makes a great big drift slough off the edge where she can magic it better, sticking a snowy stairway to the side of the cliff for the four to climb back up. "Hurry up, if you want to make it out of the forest before the sun sets again we have a lot of ground to cover."

Lavender squeaks. "It was co~old last night!" She looks to Siyana to watch for her to grab the flower, but is already on her way up the side. "Home…"

Siyana leans in and yanks one off its stem, and it seems she has enough experience with flowers to do so without getting pricked. Flower in mouth, she looks at the others with big eyes, and then runs after Lavender. "Hahmmm!!" is her joyous cry.

Sadaka stays to look over the flowers for a moment longer before following after them, admittedly a bit less eagerly.