It Ain't Easy
IC date: Winter 279, 1007 AN
OOC date: October 6, 2012
PCs: Magpie, Sodium-Fizz, Winter-Solstice
NPCs: ???
GM: Applejack, Trixie

Under normal circumstances one might say that a new day has dawned in the Horseshoe Wastes, but that would require there to be a sun that goes up and down. At the very least the timepieces in the resistance base say that something close to twenty or so hours have passed since the explosion that sent several ponies got thrown bodily across the barrier between dimensions. Perhaps for ponies on the other side of the barrier the passing of time was a little more obvious!

You know what else was obvious? When a magical aftershock hit the harbor the afternoon after the explosion that disappeared several ponies the previous day. A certain couple of ponies may have thought they were safe to wander around the harbor the day after the accident, but THEY WERE WRONG.

We join our intrepid duo in the frigid night of an unknown land. The cloudy sky overhead makes it impossible to tell direction by the stars and the snow covering the ground seems to blend seamlessly with the cloudy sky on the horizon. The air is colder than the deepest winter than the Harbor has ever experienced and the only landmark within sight is the edge of a familiar looking forest a hundred or so meters away.

Magpie, innocently skulking around smoking rubble to see if there was anything worth stealing, suddenly is blinded by the light. Her first instinct is to run, because that means somebody with a flashlight spotted her, but then she's falling in every direction at once, including a couple directions she didn't know she had, and PAFF. A shrill shriek eminates from a large snowdrift, and a little piebald filly scrambles out of it, and stares around in confusion. What?!

The little filly isn't the only pony out and about near the yesterday's crater, though rather than nicking valuables Sodium-Fizz was there to salvage what she could. Renting a little room Portside had seemed a good idea at the time. Now, not so much. She'd even lost her new alchemy equipment and she hadn't even had the chance to open the package. Considering the messes she'd gotten in since she traveled to Horseshoe Harbour she figured it just couldn't get any wor-… That didn't count! She didn't finish that thought, it didn't count! Right? Wait what's tha-?

Sodium-Fizz groaned loudly as she pushed herself onto her hooves, spitting snow. Scowling she looked around in a daze. What had just happened?

Several things become immediately evident: it's Very Cold, and it's Pretty Dark. There is so much not a lot of anything else that the coldness and the darkness stand out all the more strongly- and any deviation from the greys and blacks and washed-out whites stands out as it breaks the pattern. The hint of a dark rock thrusting up through the snow at a great distance across the horizon-touching white expanse to the west. A break in the trees, several miles to the north and east.

A lone figure somewhere between the point of the newcomers' arrival and the treeline to the north. The figure is distant, difficult to make out, but clearly moving, a splotch of darkness against the night-muted whites of the landscape.

The flash that accompanies the arrival of Magpie and Sodium Fizz lingers on the wastes, rolling out across them, briefly illuminating the trees and the snow and waning, slowly, as it is sapped and soon extinguished utterly, and in those waning moments of lingering light, the distant figure can be seen approaching, the shape of something large and dark behind it. Soon, a voice echoes across the darkness, weirdly muffled to a dull whisper by the distance and the insulating snow. "hello! hellooooooo!"

Magpie only stands there wondering for a moment. She tucks in tight against the suddenly arctic weather. "W-what's going on?" she asks the snowdrift. Her ears flick towards the call and she twists to follow the sound, dazzled eyes searching the chill night. "Ha-hallo?" she calls back, hesitantly. Her instinct is to not draw attention until she knows what's going on. But it's *cold*.

Sodium-Fizz blinks in confusion, her ears swiweling one way, then the other. There's somepony out there, yes, but also somepony right here. A hop and a beat of her wings take her clear across the snowdrift to land behind the filly, almost sliping in the snow with her attention turned on the little pony. The little one looked just as confused as she feelt. "Ah, hello…?"

She folded her wings tightly, both to appear a lot less imposing for Magpie but also to lessen the biting chill. She was a pegasus, for Luna's sake, cold shouldn't be this bad! That was rather a worrying thought, and for a moment she wished she had her flight jacket with her. Of course, that was somewhere in the rubble and nowhere near… wherever they were.

Magpie shrieks for the second time in five minutes when somepony jumps out right behind her! Without even looking she takes off at a dead run! Which turns out to not be that fast because the snow is up to her withers and she's more digging a trench or leaping into a series of holes than actually running.

There's a low hum that washes across the frozen landscape, as wind blowing in from a frozen sea plays unhindered through through the loops of ice and the mounds of hilly permafrost. The droning, bottomless sigh rises and falls but never really dissipates, and when it dips low enough, the distant voice of the approaching figure can be heard, still bellowing. "hello! hello! stay there! i'm coming!" It picks up a bit as the figure gets nearer; it's a deep voice, familiar and pony-like. Sodium may recognize it from a trip to the woods a few weeks ago. By now more of the figure is visible- a tall pony, the deep red of her striped mane standing out against the dull colors that surround her, although only barely. There's still something Very Large lumbering along right behind her. She IS running, maybe she's running from it? In any case, she's still a couple hundred yards off, and the abyssal chill is closing in MUCH more quickly than she is.

As she crests a drift in her mad loping to get away the snow under Magpie's hooves suddenly gives way! The snow here is easily deep enough to reach her chin and her hooves are mysteriously stuck to something underneath the powder. Whatever the material is has a little bit of give, in case she wants to try to trot frantically in place as if that will help her situation, but it's not going to release its grip on her feet any time soon.

Sodium-Fizz blinks in suprise. That was not the response she had been hoping for! "Oi, wait! Don't run, please! I'm not going to do anything!" The rest is caught in her throat as the other voice cuts in again, much closer than the last time, making her turn her head and squint in it's direction. The approaching pony did indeed look familiar, though whatever it is that's behind it, she doesn't particularly much fancy it.

Glancing around again she catches Magpie's fall in the corner of her eyes, bounding over to her and thrusts a forehoof into the snow, hooking it around the barrel of her chest to make sure she doesn't sink any further. "Don't worry… Everything's fine, a'right?" She glanced around the dismal landscape, and shook her wings. They were starting to go numb from the cold, as was her lower legs. "I hope," she added, mumbling.

Magpie twists to look at Sodium, then gasps and with a plume of frozen breath, says, "Pull me out! It's got my hooves!"

Magpie's continued struggles begin to dislodge the snow around her. It shifts listlessly for several seconds before deciding that it wants to pour away like sand in an hourglass from through what appears to be a hole a few meters to the piebald's right. It doesn't take long for Magpie's neck and chest to be freed from their snowy prison, although the mysterious substance under the powder is still holding fast to her hooves.

There also appears to be something else emerging from the snow. Something spindly and pony-sized, although significantly lower to the ground. It quivers as its exposed to the air.

The approaching mare seems to be having some trouble with the snow herself, and her approach is soon revealed to be a laborous lope. She has enough height that the snow can't stop her- but when she's in as obvious a hurry as she is, it certainly isn't making things any easier. Nor, would it seem, is the heavy sled she's lugging behind herself, the dark shape revealing itself as a battered wagon mounted on runners and stacked high with Something. She stumbles as she sees Magpie drop into the snow, still some 75 yards out, then hastily unhitches herself and leaves the sled behind to hasten her approach. Thus freed, she's soon skipping through the snow at a brisk clip. Hop! Hop! Hop! In short order she's closing in on the pair. "Hold on! Hold on! Okay! Almost there! Hup, hup, huz-" With a trip, she hits some snow-covered snag and topples face-first into the snow with a *puff* of ice crystals. A moment later she pops up and resumes skipping in. Lucky for her, she seems to be insulated by the puffy folds of a dull brown snowsuit stretched tight over her broad frame, although she does have a little mound of snow on her largely uncovered head following her pratfall.

Still, in a few moments, Winter Solstice bumbles up the snowdrift to approach Magpie and Sodium Fizz. She gasps. "You guys! You guys! You're from the harbor, I know it! Sodium, I know you! I saw the flash! You guys! Uh-" She slows up as she approaches Sodium from behind. "You guys, YOU GUYS, YOU GUYS"

Sodium-Fizz shivers as the arachnid shape emerges from the snow. "Um… Winter…? Less talk, more help please! Like, right now! Absolutely right now!" She sounds panicky, by all rights too. Pushing forward the mare wraped her forelegs around the piebald filly, hindlegs and wings straining to pull her lose from the sticky substance.

Magpie 's flailing and tugging at her hooves. The arrival of another pony does not much improve her feelings, because there's a giant SPIDER climbing out of the snow, and — She looks down in horror. That means she's stuck to —

Its web.

"I know! I know! Don't- just- make yourself look, like, look as un-tasty as possible!!!" blurts Winter, stomping up to Sodium. "Be less delicious as much as you can!!!" Rather than help loosen Magpie, though, she plants herself in between the trapped filly and the emerging beasty, shifting as necessary to block as much of its approach as possible. "Hurry up and get her out of there! Use, uh, use a- a thing!"

Not just any spider, a /giant friggin' spider/! It's easily pony-sized, much larger than the garden variety giant spiders that come out of Horseshoe Harbor's Wintersong. It's also chittering madly at Magpie. It's not often that delicious ponies wind up trapped in its web! And it's never had two at once! This shall be an amazing feast! The spider finishes crawling out of the snow as its web is exposed by the draining powder and steps lightly across the surface towards Magpie and Fizz, it's mandibles clicking in anticipation.

Magpie 's horn flickers, then flares. She scoops up a hoof-ful of snow and flings it desperately at the spider! Then another! More and more, snowballs flying as fast as she can make them! THIS IS THE WORST SNOWBALL FIGHT EVER.

Winter-Solstice stomps through the snow, all too mindful of the possibility of more webs underneath, and hoping she simply lucks out and doesn't trigger any further. She is not especially clever and is not particularly careful to hide her movements, but this is a dumb spider we're talking about, and also, she doesn't really have time to come up with something sneakier, so what she's doing is she's romping right towards the emerging spider. The snow hampers her approach; what would be a full-bodied charge instead becomes a spirited tumble. What's more, she can't really manage a firm footing to wind up and aim a good ol' KICK. Still, she does manage to blunder into the thing, rear up, and bring her front hooves down in a swift and brutal double-stomp to the thing's face. "LUNCH IS SERVED," she intones. "And JUSTICE is on the menu!"

Winter-Solstice rolls 1d20 (How delicious are two scoops of justice?) — Result: 5 | Sum: 5

Sodium-Fizz flinches at the sound of hooves on spider, her eyes closed and her heart hammering away in her chest. She wasn't quite sure if she was trying to free the filly at the moment, or hugging her for dear life. She'd only just gotten back from one near-death experience and mental breakdown with the Timberwolves, she really didn't need another one right now, not in some alicorn forsaken frozen pit of Tartarus!

Unfortunately for Winter-Solstice the loose powder underneath is terrible for traction. It slips underhoof when she rears back to stomp and her kick to the face ends up more of a tred on the toes.

At the very least it has the desired effect of sending the spider skittering away. It crawls to the far end of the web-cully and begins clicking its mandibles with anger at the interloper. Click click click click!

Click click click clickclickclickclickclick comes a response from… well, just about everywhere.

Several more pony-sized spiders crawl out of the nearby drifts and begin chittering in curiousity, hunger and mirrored anger. They begin to converge on the trio of mares.

Magpie 's horn fizzles out, its pale lavender glow fading as the snowball she was lifting falls back into the ground. She freezes entirely as a whole squad of spiders comes rising up from the snow. "N-no," she whimpers. "Please no, please don't…" She tucks down into the snow, trying to curl into a ball despite her glued-down hooves.

Winter-Solstice yelps with alarm as she slips and catches the Spider's feet, scrambling to pull herself upright once more and ready another strike. She hesitates as the creature withdraws, though, staring after it, then cackling. "That's right! That's RIGHT! You run! Oh, what's that, what are you chittering about? 'Oh man I can't handle this this just got too hardcore for me'? Yeah I bet it DID! I bet it IS too hard-" She pauses as more spiders emerge, her grin curdling into a grimace. Glancing about quickly, she considers, briefly, how much fun it will be to stomp on one spider, then hop onto the next, and smash them all in turn… but that's a bit tricky when you have too popsicle ponies to protect. She growls with frustration at how STUPID the SPIDERS are before whirling about and stomping towards Magpie. "Hold on, filly! This may hurt a bit!" Her stomp turns into a romping tumble as before, and she leaps at Magpie- not to SMASH the filly, of course, but to grab her around the middle and use the momentum of her jump to try and yank the wee pony right off of the web. She is not gentle, but she is in a hurry, and c'mon, hooves are pretty solidly affixed to most ponies. Sodium might get bowled over in the process, but hey, Winter is all about sharing that way!

Sodium-Fizz wimpers at the sound of countless spiders, all around. At leas untill she hear Winter-Solstice call out, opening her eyes in the last second to see the large mare barreling down at them, her own forehooves still wraped around Magpie. Oh sweet Luna, this was going to smart something fierce… though… Still shivering in fear she unfurled her wings once more, beating them hard in another attempt to pull the filly free. The two of them togehter were guaranteed to manage. Right?

A sudden sound of something whistling through the otherwise calm air, the iminent arrival of something not-spider making one of the nearby arachnids pause mid-mandible-click. It lifts up on its legs, starting to turn towards the source of the sensed disturbance when-

KAPOW!

The spider finds itself buried in its own snowdrift, giving a weak flailing by several spindly legs and an eerie, alien keening cry! Its chitin certainly cracked or worse by the figure now perched atop it. Average for a pony, and dressed in the same style of snowsuit other natives have come to adopt from ears to tail. Definite feminineish build though, from what can be noticed through the snow-white snowsuit. This one has a mask too, her eyes even protected by a pair of snowgoggles.

The other spiders pause for all of a second, but that's all it takes for the stranger to spring back into motion. Like some insane game of leapfrog, the white-clad pony leaps from the back of one spider to the back of another, adding an extra stomp or two to make sure that one gets cracked too! Then to a third, and a fourth! By the time she's landed on the fourth one, goggle-covered eyes train on the once-trapped ponies, one hoof pointing at the opening made in the wake of squashed spiders. Which by now Winter and Sodium's mighty efforts have probably succeeded in freeing Magpie from all that sticky webness!

"Shouldn't you three be escaping now?" the pony's muffled voice wonders, despite there having been all of a handful of seconds to realize there's even an opening to escape through.

Magpie lets out a yelp as she's manhandled and bodily ripped free of the gluey webs. That hurt..! And it woulda hurt a lot more if her hoofsies weren't already half-frozen. She struggles a little and groans, trying to get to her feet, but her legs are having a hard time, and the stupid horizon keeps wiggling around. Dumb graviy.

Winter-Solstice tumbles down the side of the snowdrift with Magpie in tow, holding the smaller pony close to help shield her from the worse of the clumsy landing. Sodium may be dragged along in the process, perhaps, sorry about that, the bruise looks nice on you, really it does. Winter is quick to pick herself up, though, pulling the smaller pony with, and seeing that Magpie is dazed, wastes no time in slinging the small unicorn up onto her back, which is thankfully broad enough that she has lots of room up there. "Hold on!" she says, before looking across to Sodium, checking to see if she's okay, then looking to their unexpected savior. Winter stares at the mysterious mare for a bit before blinking. "Hey! HEY!! That was MY idea! Don't kill them all, okay?!" She turns and starts running, towards the south, and towards the shack. "Save some for me, I gots ta have my revenge! Sodium, come on, this way, this way!"

Sodium-Fizz groaned loudly again, some dazed part of her mind noticing she'd been doing that a /lot/ the last few moments. Ugh, what was she yelling about now? Oh right, the spiders! The pegasus scrambled to her hooves in a flurry of snow and feathers before bounding after the tall mare in long bounces, wings spread to give her some airtime. Apperently simply taking flight havn't ocured to her yet, go figure. "I am here, right behind you!"

The spiders make angry spider sounds as they're left behind on the snowdrifts with the pony in the white snowsuit. Undoubtedly an epic fight is about to unfold just out of frame.

The mysterious pony in white proceeds to leap atop one more spider, standing up on her hind legs to throw a salute at the fleeing trio! "Don't worry! I only wanted to make an opening! There's plenty more to jump on later!"

As Winter and Co. escape past the line of spider's nest, back to the wasteland proper, those strange, pained keening sounds, and tons of angry clicking drift on what breezes there are. And then silence…

Magpie shakes her head and tries to tuck closer to Winter's warm back. "D-did we survive?" she asks, peeking out and around. "Is there warm anywhere?" Her little body just doesn't hold much heat, and she wasn't wearing a thing before the translation. She's starting to tremble violently.

"I hope so!" returns Winter's call, back over her shoulder and over the ridge. "Oh, oh! And thank you! Thank you!!" She then looks forward, tucking back into the escape. The sounds of the battle grow more and more distant until the groan of the wind carries them away and all is still once more.

Only then does Winter slow down, panting heavily. She waves for Sodium to stop as well, holds for a moment, then sighs. "Okay, okay, you guys are in a bad situation 'cause it's really cold out here, I'm sure you noticed. Rule #1 of Dark World: Don't go outside without bundling up." Reaching up, she gently scoops Magpie up and sets her down, then goes about hurriedly disrobing herself. Scandalous! Velcro is pulled opene as she twists out of the brown snow jacket that barely fits her, and reaches over to toss it to Sodium. "Put that on. Over your wings if you have to. It smells a little funny but so do frostbitten hooves when they thaw out and fall off, so you'll manage." She twists out of her pants, next, and turns to look at Magpie, hesitating. "… okay, sorry, small fry, this is the best I got." Scooping the smaller pony up, she neatly drops her into the oversized pants, wraps them about her as best she can, and then, assuming the younger pony doesn't squirm away at some point, returns her to her back. Biting her lower lip, Winter then turns back towards the south, and plows ahead. "O-o-okay. We're looking for a b-battered little shack out in the middle n-nowhere. I'm not sure I remember exact… exactly where it is, but, uh, yeah."

Magpie pulls the cloth closer around herself,and the shivering, while it doesn't go away, at least stops being quite so violent. Time away from the giant spiders probably helps with that. She pulls the waist tight around her head, just her nose and eyes poking out. "What's Dark World?" she asks, looking back and forth, eyes sweeping the dim landscape while Winter does the walking.

Sodium-Fizz doesn't even spare a glance backwards, she's just happy to be getting away from there. As far away as she could possible get.

She almost didn't catch Winter's motion for her stop, though came to a halt next to her, shivering. And not only from the cold, she's downright terrified, eyes darting back and forth across the frozen landscape as if expecting it to burst into chittering arachnid life once more. Or worse! The only thing that snaps her out of it is taking the jacket in the face. She eyes it curiously for several long moments before looking back up at the taller mare before what she said seems to even register, making her tug it on, over her wings indeed, with a muttering of, "Huh…? Oh, oh right…"

It was better. Well, a bit better, at least she wasn't freezing her feathers of quite as much anymore. And the smell of another pony was calming too. Fighting back against the urge to look around for more dangers she focused her gaze on the white-and-red maned mare and her filly passanger. "A.. shack, you say?" She glanced over her shoulder, very briefly indeed. "Isn't that… the Wintersong back there…? Where's the Harbour? And… what's 'Dark World'…? And… and… what…" The mare shuddered again, panting harshly and seeming right about to break into tears. This was just way to much!

At that moment there is a break in the clouds allowing the bright light of the full moon to fall upon the wintry landscape. For ponies not used to snow glare it is momentarily blinding as the very landscape seems to light up with an ethereal glow. When eyes adjust it becomes clear that there's nothing to see for miles in all directions— just the forest behind them, the open plains of snow ahead, and the familiar skyline of the White Saddles off to the east.

Winter-Solstice leads on, tuckin her head low and plowing a path through the snow. She lifts her head to glance about frequently, though, obviously looking for the shack, or some other landmark. She seems to find one, though what it is is not clear- one direction looks as good as another. "Well, I don't know what you'd call it. Dark World seems good enough. You guys saw a flash, right? Like you were out in town and you saw a flash? Me too, and like seven or eight or nine others, a while ago. And we all arrived here in this place, which is, like- okay so these unicorns were casting a spell, right? To try and summon Celestia, who is trapped, in the sun! But it went wrong because they're really kind of bad at magic and then instead they pulled a bunch of ponies from the Harbor to here instead. We're not sure how to get out yet. Oh, here is- it's-" She trails off a bit and reconsiders her route, then adjusts towards what is a more southwesterly direction? "Do you… do you remember… that the, uh, a thousand years ago there was the battle between the Celestial Sisters and Celestia won and imprisoned Nightmare Moon in the moon? Yeah? Here it went the other way around and Nightmare Moon trapped Celestia in the sun. And… and that was the last time the sun rose! This world's been frozen and dark ever since. It's really kind of a cool story except when you're stuck in the middle of it you start to realize how terribe it- oh! OH! There he is!" She perks up as the break in the clouds illuminates the plains around them, and makes a beeline towards something that has a vaguely pony-like profile. "I know exactly who to ask for directions!"

Fifty yards away, she slows up as she approaches what appears to be a snow pony, big rolled balls of snow clumsily stacked upward. Four long icicles stick out like legs in front of it, tapered tips wedged into the snow and broad bottoms facing outward like hooves. A couple of rock form his eyes. Winter smiles. "I built this guy so he could point the way back to the base. So which is it, huh?"

The snowpony says nothing, but he is pointing south with all four feet.

"Oh! Right! Thanks!" Winter turns in the indicated direciton and starts folllwing a remarkably convenient path of hoof-stomped snow some kind soul left on their last trip through here, headed north.

Sodium-Fizz gave Winter-Solstice's explanation half an ear, the rest having stared to go num from the cold. Still she got the gist of it, Dark World. Nightmare World seemed a bit more appropriate, she was certainly going to wind up adding swarms of pony-sized spiders to her list of nightmare material at any rate. She had no idea how Winter-Solstice seemed so buckin' calm about the whole thing, confident event, and she was downright ashamed that the filly seemed to deal better with it than she did.

Fizz shook her head, trying to pull her mind together. "S-so, where are we going? A shack in… the middle of… where Horseshoe Harbour is not seems a bit, well…" She flinched, she must really be out of it. She'd even dug out her old Trottingham accent. She ruffled her wings inside the jacket, feeling about. Hopefuly there was a bottle of spirits, or something, stuffed in a pocket…

Inside the coat pockets are some flint and steel and some tinder, and a little wrapped bundle of crinkly blue leaves. Nothing boozeworthy.

Magpie is starting to doubt their guide's sanity. She coughs. "Um, right… Nightmare Moon… no sun… okay. So where are we? I didn't ask for snow!"

"Nope! You d-didn't," agrees Winter, with Magpie. "But you got it anyway. Nobody really asked to b-be here, and it sort of sucks that we are, but you ARE here now so, well, them's the b-breaks." She sighs heavily. There's Sodium's answer: Winter is down with it all because she doesn't exactly have many options right now. She's quiet for a while, still plowing ahead, following her old trail- it makes it easier, at least, but she's still slowing gradually. Through the insulating pants, Magpie can feel the big mare shaking as the cold has doubtlessly been getting to her. "And there is no Horseshoe Harbor here," she eventualyl says to Sodium. "This is the region wh… where it WOULD have been if it had been but it wasn't so it's not." Tromp, tromp, tromp. She's barely looking where she's going for now, having fallen into a rhythm of following the path through the snow, gaze abstracted, drifting about the ground in front of her. "There's a base, that's where we all are. They'd sent me out to get some firewood, when I… oh… oh, the firewood. Gonna have to go back and get that later…"

A mile out, a little white smudge juts up from the landscape. The shack?

Magpie bites her lip. "I… uh… I think I can walk now?" she says. "You can have your pants back..?" She says it in a sort of questioning tone, as if offering but hoping to be turned down.

Magpie is not the only one sounding a bit hesitant, "If yo-you want I could help, I guess…" No, that's downright reluctant, really. The shorter mare shoots the shivering Winter a glance before closing the distance between them till they're walking side by side. Hopefuly that'd help, a bit at least.

"S-so… We're stuck in some kind… of insane nightmare realm… be-becaus some crazy ponies mucked everything up…" She scowled, trying to sort through the thousands upon thousands of questions buzzing through her mind before sighing. Only one really comes to mind. "Are we there yet, how much longer…?"

Winter-Solstice is slow to respond. There's a definite dull-headed rhythm to her movement by now, head bobbling about, heavy hooves tromp-tromping through the snow. If she appreciates Sodium drawing near, she doesn't show much indication, -that jerk.- She also doesn't seem to catch Magpie's offer. Tromp, tromp, tromp. "Mmnh? There yet? Yeah," she says, which is not a very good answer. Tromp, tromp, tromp.

The smudge draws closer. Sure enough, it's resolving itself as a little shack, surrounded by debris. Once upon a time, long, long ago, this might have been a little storage shed out in the middle of the plains. Maybe there were farming tools or somesuch here. Now, though, it just looks abandoned and wretched and dead, like so much else in this cursed land. That said, for an abandoned shack, there sure are a lot of tracks in the snow around it… and is that a hint of light shining out from under that domed hill beside it?

By now, Winter's eyes are closed entirely, her lips drawn tight. Tromp. Tromp. Tromp. She's not shaking any more… but she's not stopping. The endless night murk mutes her colors slightly, but the star-lit shield of her cutie mark almost seems to gleam a bit in the gloom. Built tuff.

As the trio approaches, the door to the shack creaks open, and a figure appears in the doorway, peering out towards them, holding a small light aloft.

Sodium-Fizz shoots Winter-Solstice a worried glance as they walk onwards. She didn't know particularly much about hypothermia, but she knew enough to notice that the large mare was most likely heading somewhere really bad. Much like herself, even bundled up and with the pegasi natrual resistance, if one could call it that, to high altitude temperatures it was freezing cold and she'd lost all feeling in her legs and ears short of a very dull needling feeling.

As they draw near the door she lets out a sigh of relief, or perhaps it's more of a sob, a thin smile spreading across her muzzle. "We're here…" The trio most likely looked rather appaling, all dull, cold and shivering.

Winter-Solstice tromps on… tromp, tromp, tromp… though Sodium may be able to zip ahead if she so fancies. The doorway opens into a downward-sloping tunnel… and the tunnel leads to a heavy door that slides open after much unlocking, opening into the Horseshoe Base. Winter walks past one door, then the other, on autopilot as she makes her way in.

Which she does, and she'll be fine, of course, because this adventure is MUCH too young for her to lose a limb yet. She does end up sneezing for hours, though, and when at last she's talking again, she's quick to tell everybody: "Hey, guys! I know you sent me out to get supplies since there's so many more ponies here now, but, guess what? I got two more ponies and no supplies instead! I hope we have more pants!"

Sodium-Fizz strode after Winter-Solstice down the tunnel, giving the doorguard a somewhat nervous smile. Finaly stpping besides the large mare she looks about the gathered faces nervously. Way to make things awkward Winter.

After a moment she sighs for herself. It's not like she could make it any worse, was it?

"Do you lot have any whiskey? I've had a /really/ bad day…"