New Fires
IC date: Summer 43, 1008
OOC date: 2013-08-02
Location: A trailer park outside Horseshoe Harbor
PCs: Midnight-Sun, Wishy-Washy, Aquamarine-Gleam, Starbright, Thunnini, Dream-Daze, Ruby-Blossom
NPCs: N/A
GM: N/A

Midnight-Sun cruises the outskirts of his new home lazily. Days of nothing to do have left him twitchy, and it feels good to fight the snow-bitten breeze for a while.

Another miserable and cold day in what is supposed to be this land's summer! the cloudy and gloomy nip in the air has had quite the negative effect all over. thankfully, the cold weather is something the vegitation around the Wintersong forest isn't hurt by at all, especially not the trees, which have been getting felled to stoke fires in the middle of the summer! a pile of such timber is ablaze around an area in Horseshoe Harbor's outskirts that many a pony park the wagons that they live in as they travel… one could even say it's a trailor park!

One such mare sits in front of the camp fire, shivering and hugging herself. she is wrapped in what look like very elaboratley woven quilts with sequins of gold dangling off. Her horned head is all that sticks out, a look of misery on the cyan coated and green mane'd pony's face as she stares into the flames.

Aquamarine-Gleam steps out from the treeline she'd been skirting for shelter against the wind. She hadn't thought she'd need her scarves and coats from her time in the Empire so soon, with summer still in full swing, but she was thankful she'd brought them nonetheless. Still, thick wool and exercise can only do so much, especially when her horn and hooves are left out in the cold, so even though she'd been walking all day, Aqua was shivering with the cold. "Did I wander back into the Empire?" she wondered aloud as she took in her first look at the town whose fires she'd seen from the foothills.

"Incomin'!" comes a cry from above. A gryphon plummets from the sky in a tight spiral, snapping his wings out at the last minute to prevent cratering into the green and blue pony. Instead, he tumbles end-over-end, and crashes into the pegasus instead, bouncing off and skidding to a halt at Aqua's hooves. "Oof! Sorry 'bout that, sugah," the gryphon grins, gryphonly, before hopping to his paws and shaking himself off. "Erm. Anyone wanna tell me wheahbouts Ah landed?"

"Horseshoe Harbor," calls out an approaching figure. As it gets closer, it appears to be a filly in some sort of cart, wearing a cloak and poling her way along. She had been visiting Pumpkin, and was heading back to the Harbor proper.

A squawk from near ground-level catches Midnight Sun's attention, and he banks into a spiral to get a better look at the wreckage.

There are actually two fillies in the cart. Though the other one doesn't say anything, just waves, with a similar pole in her other hoof. She appears to be helping the other filly push the cart along the road.

Wishy-Washy winces a bit at the crashing griffon, trotting out of the sanctity of her warm blanket to go by the forming group of folk. "Indeed. I was told worse then this accursed cold has crippled this land and they have survived. Regardless, are you all right, o' feathered avi… mam… What exactly -ARE- Griffons?"

Aquamarine-Gleam makes a silent mental note that sometimes having a good map really was overrated if she could find her way here without one. Her face remains professionally detached as she says "That did look like quite a crash. But that looks like a fire, and if I learned anything from wasteland patrols, it's that conversations are best held close to them."

Starbright flutters his wings, making sure they still work, before grinning at Aquamarine. "Ah couldn't agree moah, sugah!" He wraps an arm around Aquamarine and almost literally drags her over to the fire. He pouts a bit at the incoming figures. "Back in the Harbour? Ah thought Ah was headin' away from theah. Drat. Stupid cold got me all turned 'round." He beams at Wishy. "We're mammals! We're in th' same Supahordah Laurasiatheria. Related t' bats."

"Sounds like a good idea to me!" agrees the cloak-wearing filly, poling her way towards the fire. As her cart gets closer, it becomes obvious that it's part bucket, and she's sitting in the bucket. "My name's Thunnini; what's yours?" she asks of the ones she doesn't recognize.

Wishy-Washy darts immediatley to her quilt of sequins and silks, getting all wrapped up agian before nodding. "I am looking to leave soon too. this cold is destroying my business!"

Midnight-Sun's mane parts and an eight-eyed face peeks out. Looking quite unhappy about the cold, a spider leans forward until she is hanging in the pegasus' vision. She then gestures imperiously towards the ground and the fire. When Midnight doesn't immediately react, she repeats the gesture with emphasis and rude elaborations. With a sigh, he turns for a landing among the gathering crowd.

Aquamarine-Gleam allows herself to be dragged closer to the fire, it was where she wanted to be after all, and only inclines her eyebrow ever so slightly. She shakes her head and disengages herself from the griffon when she gets close enough for comfort with her woolen clothes and answers the filly's question first: "I'm Pr-ah, hmm…Aquamarine Gleam. And yeah, it was pretty cold up there. Something wrong here the pegasi can't fix?"

"I've heard the weather team's leader is in the middle of planning a wedding, but… I think it is more than simple incompitence. the forest is perpetually frozen over, and now this rotten weather has begun to leak over to the whole town!" the Cyan mare slams a forehoof down to punctuate her frustration at this fact, spitting into the roaring bonfire she created for herself. She sighs and nods to both Thumimi and then Aqua. "Forgive my temper, however. I am Wishy Washy, a traveling performer whom hails from the arid sands of Saddle Arabia."

Starbright flops in front of the fire, beaming happily. Aah, fire. "Ya know, Ah dun rilly know!" he tells Aquamarine. "Ah was outta town f'r a few days, so Ah'm a li'l bit outta touch." He beams at Thunnini. "Ah'm Stahbright. Ah don' think Ah've met y'all." He looks around, hrming. "Actually, I don' think Ah've met any o' y'all. Hi!" He waves at each and every pony, beaming.

Ruby-Blossom trots in from Main Street.

Ruby-Blossom has arrived.

Dream-Daze, belatedly, pokes her head from around Thunnini. She had been hitching a ride, but if the wagon's gonna stop she might as well get out and cozy up to the impromptu fire! It's /cold/ after all! Brrrrrr… She's got a scarf wrapped around her neck, but not so much scarf that it obscures her little nametag. She waves, again, at the assorted gathered ponies, then plunks her little flank down near the fire and holds her hooves out to warm them.

Midnight-Sun touches down a respectable distance from the fire, just in time to be included in Starbright's greeting. A momentary hesitation seems to trigger another bout of arachnid frustration, vented by means of furious knocking on his skull. Wincing, he starts into motion, hailing the fire in a light, clear voice: "Hello, there, everypony. Mind if we share your fire for a bit?" He tries for an insoucant grin, but it comes out extremely nervous.

Thunnini's eyes go wide at the mention of Saddle Arabia. "I've heard that the seaponies in the oceans near Saddle Arabia wear fancy jewelry," she whispers, eyes wide. "Did you ever see any of them, Miss Wishy?"

"Funny. I remember you. you were trying to peddle or purchase a dog at that griffon establishment trying to sell that strange veggie meat to try and pull in pony customers." Wishy licks her lips a bit… in truth, she wouldn't mind to eat one of those right about now… it beats the bland natural grazing she's been forced to do to make ends meet these past few days, that's for certain. She turns and waves Midnight Sun (Boy, what an oxymoron -THAT- name is) on over as she turns her attention to Thunnini. "The mines in Saddle Arabia produce the finest ores that in turn are refined by fine craftsponies like my mother." She opens her quilt to show Thunnini her various jewelry. she is defenatley not trying to be a filly flasher, nope!

Aquamarine-Gleam shivers one to many times for her own comfort. She positions herself between the wind and the fire, flicks her head in an irritated little motion, and conjures a wall behind herself, effectively cutting the breeze off and leaving the fire's warmth space to spread. "Aren't seaponies just a rumor, miss Thunnini?" she asks with as much diplomacy as she's willing to conjure in this cold.

Wishy-Washy is indeed opening her big quilt to a seapony foal.

Suddenly the warm spot in Wishy's big quilt is taken, and Wishy is snuggled up to; only Thunnini hasn't managed to make it over to Wishy-Washy just yet. Suddenly Ruby - she wasn't seen arriving, but sure enough she's there, and likely to scare the hoofs off anypony who doesn't expect her…which is just about everypony. She does however pat her lap for Thunnini.

Starbright eyes Aquamarine shivering. He sighs and spreads a wing out, wrapping it around the shivery unicorn, then he spreads the other one out around the little quiet foal. Being a gryphon is intensely useful! He hrms at Wishy, tilting his head. "Dog… oh, right! Ah was tryin' ta get rid o' th' darn critter. Thankfully, Red seemed ta be wantin' hisself a li'l puppy, so it all worked out." He beams brightly, before his attention is drawn to Midnight Sun. "Ah… uh… Ah don' mean ta alarm y'all, but y'all seem ta have a small… uh… infestation. O' spidahs."

Dream-Daze naturally waves to Ruby too! Mmm, warm fire… Her ears twitch, she's looking up from adult to adult to adult, and then over to Thunnini with a smidge of a hidden grin. Do seaponies exist. Pff.

Thunnini grins and giggles back at Dreamy. "Nope! I'm a seapony!" the seafilly beams at Aquamarine, clambering out of her bucket to scamper over to Ruby's lap. Yup, that's a finny tail back there, and not a second pair of legs.

Wishy-Washy 's eyes go wide as she seems to have mastered the parlor trick of pulling mares out of quilts! she clams down when she sees who it is though, letting out a relieved sigh. "M-Miss Ruby! when did…? how…? who's…? I'm sure the Mane affair is well staffed and Kludge has Magpie well in hoof. What brings you out here to this sudden impromteau campfire for many…?" Wishy wrapps the warm and thick quilt back around the two ponies who slipped in, the casmir silks manage to both breathe well and be keeping a surprising amount of heat inside…!

Sophie delivers herself of eight eyes' worth of affronted glare, but Midnight Sun takes the griffon's comment in stride. "No, she belongs there." He opens his mouth to continue, only to close it with a snap when Thunnini emerges from her bucket. "What? That's not…"

Indeed, when did Ruby get there - let alone know where to go? Foals. That's her answer and she's sticking to it. She beams warmly and gives Thunnini a warm little squeeze even if that tail is wee bit wet. "As the Salon owner it's my sworn duty to know everypony, and every happening." she points her hoof at Midnight-Sun and Aquamarine-Gleam. "On that note - I haven't had the pleasure of greeting you two, and considering I've thrust myself upon you like a Dreamy upon a bowl of ice cream.

Aquamarine-Gleam , is similarly dumbstruck. Conveniently enough for the fact that her confusion causes her wall to collapse, there was now a griffon serving as her wind screen. "Private Aquamarine Gleam…" she answers the prestidigitated foal in a dazed tone of voice. "I must be hallucinating, too much cold air in the mountains…"

Starbright peers curiously at Aqua and Midnight. "Ya get used ta that, 'round heah." He grins and shrugs. "It's fine, so long's ya don' cross paths with a kelpie in th' forests or somethin'." He nudges Dreamy with a wing lightly. "How come y'all're so quiet, li'l sugah?" he asks the foal, kindly, if a bit worriedly. "Did y'all's tongue freeze?"

Dream-Daze would giggle if she could. It's always fun to see the reactions ponies get when seeing a seapony for the first time. Starbright's question makes her ears perk though, the little filly blinking up at the griffon. She makes a motion with her hoof, of a zipper across her lips! Followed by a shrug. And then the lifting of her little nametag in her mouth to at least introduce herself~

Midnight-Sun clears his throat and tears his gaze from Thunnini with evident effort. "I mean, I'm Midnight Sun." He splits his introduction between Starbright and Ruby Blossom. "I'm new in these parts." As the spider hops off his face and towards the fire, he adds, "That's Sophie. Don't worry, she doesn't bite. What are you called?"

Wishy-Washy giggles a bit and stares out at both Midnight Sun and Aquamarine Gleam. "Expect the unexpected in Horseshoe Harbor. like the accursed fridged air preventing me from getting any sort of turn-out at my concerts. I can't afford to stick around, and that's a real shame because I was really beginning to like it here.

Ruby-Blossom giggles softly and nudges the quilt open in offer to Dreamy as well; surely Wishy won't mind if she piles all the foals into the quilt. "Dream-Daze is our silent sentry of the ice cream guard." Confusing ponies even further no doubt. Ruby-Blossom acks cutely "I'm Ruby-Blossom. I own the Salon on Mane Street, and you'll find a signifigent number of foals at my residence at any given time."

Thunnini giggles enough for both herself and Dreamy. "Yup, I'm a seapony! Normally they don't come to the surface in their sea-form, but I like hanging out with my friends on the land."

Starbright perks up. "Oh, Ruby, Ah almost fohgot. That li'l foal, the one's livin' in th' inn? Ah think his birthday's comin' up. Y'all might wanna watch out fo' it." He smiles down at Dreamy. "Well, it's nice ta meet y'all, li'l sugah. Y'all warm enough th… uh…" he blinks, distracted, leaning over to peer closer at the spider. Granted, he's still got his wings around Dreamy and Aqua, so it's either abandon the warm feathery things or get dragged right along with.

Aquamarine-Gleam starts and shakes her head. "So, we're in a town ice-cold in summer, where I can find seaponies that walk on land, alive, griffons and ponies from Saddle Arabia and the principality coexist, and foals can own salons and give shelter to other foals..?" she asks, leaning with the griffon sheltering her.

Dreamy debates the option of huddling up with other ponies. She seriously ponders this option… But then something interesting skitters nearby! And the griffon seems interested in it, so she just sorta follows suit because why not? She crouches down to squint at the spider. Squint!

Sophie has reasonably well-honed survival instincts, and a beak that would make two bites out of her gets her attention quite effectively. She spins in place to keep her eyes on the griffon and skitters back a few steps just to be sure. Which is how she bumps into Dreamy's squinting face.

Starbright is totally distracted now, pulling out a pair of glasses and perching them on his nose as he follows Sophie as close as he can. "Fascinatin'!" he says. He starts digging absentmindedly through his bag, pulling out a slightly dented microscope.

Bump. Dreamy totally holds her breath, eyes going as wide as can be! A /spider/ just bumped into her nose! A… A very big (as spiders go) and interesting spider. But still, a spider! She looks caught between a very important decision. Run like mad, or attempt to hug the spider. Because…in an odd sort of way, it's less scary and more 'cute'. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that this spider seems /smart/.

Either way, the lil' mute filly sits there, with a spider practically on her face, staring cross-eyed at it. Holding her breath. Such a tense moment.

Spider-poo. Spider-poo. Radioactive Spider-poo.

Wishy-Washy simply watches the anticts and listens to Ruby's tales… somehow, they do not seem all that implausable, considering the things she has seen and knows. regardless, she keeps good and close to Ruby. Sharin' the body heat and all that. "Regardless, I am considering going into the wintersong forest and figuring this out upon daybreak. I maybe have the bits to stay here for a couple more days before I will have to take my leave, and… honestly, I don't want to give up a place as profitable as a town laden with drunken sailors!"

Sophie does not take Starbright's intensifying interest well. So she bumped into something, but it's just a pony. Ponies are just fluffy terrain to an enterprising arachnid; griffons are scary! Sophie wastes no time scrambling up the face of Mt. Dream Daze's literal face. This tickles. A lot. And then she is cowering behind the filly's horn. It does not hide her very effectively.

Aquamarine-Gleam blinks and ponders the new information. After a moment, she shakes her head and says "Well, I did want to find somewhere more interesting. I take it I was successful." Somewhere around now, she also realizes that a mobile griffon is not an effective blanket, and shuffles out from under the wing and closer to the fire.

Thunnini watches the spider climb on Dreamy, then looks over to Wishy. "Would you like some company, Miss Wishy? I' like it to be more summery, too," the seafilly asks.

Ruby-Blossom glances curiously at Wishy-Washy while taking a long moment to decipher what the mare said. "What? You can't be leaving." she objects, perhaps a tad more loudly than neccessary, all the while snuggling the seapony on her lap. "I'd like to help with the Daybreak business too. I'm handy in odd situations, honest!" so says the stylist. She glances back to Aquamarine "Oh, I'll say - plenty more interesting. You don't even know the half of it, why after the wedding's all settled and the Daybreak incident too - we're heading to ice cream island using Dreamy's map and her ice-cream compass."

Are we sure Ruby isn't a foal?

Starbright makes an excellent blanket! Just also a very easily distracted one. He doesn't even notice as Aquamarine shuffles out, he's too intent on the spider. He looks about ready to set up the microscope on Dreamy's face, when his ear flicks and he looks over at Ruby. "Ice cream compass?" he asks, interested. "Is that a compass made outta ice cream, or a compass that points towards th' nearest pile o' ice cream? Or towards th' largest set o' discrete ice cream volume in a given cartesian plain?"

It takes all of the concentration Dreamy can muster (and the quick closing of her eyes) to /not/ turn and run like the dickens when the spider skitters right up her face! HER FACE! Only once it's seated, cowering behind the mute filly's horn, does Dreamy finally, slowly, rise up on her hooves, brace herself, and lets out all that held breath in a scream!

"…!"

Which really just sounds like a fast rush of air because having no voice doesn't translate very well into screams. This happens to come with the little filly bursting into a brief panic'd gallop around the fire, making two whole laps before skidding to a stop. Panting. Wide-eyed. But past her fear now at least! Wonder if the spider held on…

Thunnini wriggles free of the hug, not because she dislikes the hug, but because she's leaning forward to give Dreamy a comforting hug. Hug~!

Sophie is an expert pegasus rider! A filly running around a fire wouldn't be a problem. Normally. But Dreamy's reaction catches her just as she's relieved of Starbright's regard and relaxing. And so she is nearly tossed clear, only saving herself a tumble to the ground by a desperate snatch at the filly's mane with four of her legs at once. She comes to a rest hanging face-down in unicorn mane, looking disgruntled.

Wishy-Washy shakes her head at both Ruby and Thunnini when they express their desire to help. "Who knows what sort of dangers await us, though…? Something is very very wrong if the local guard and such hasn't managed to handle it yet. I am at least skilled enough with magic to fend off bandits and critters and if that spider comes anywhere NEAR my quilt that my mother gave me I'm tossing it in the fire!" she scootches back a bit as her horn starts to glow yellow to punctuate that final part of the statement.

Starbright awws at Wishy. "That's not rill nice, sugah. What if th' poor thing's cold?" He rummages through his bag until he finds a spider sized blanket, which he offers to the disgruntled looking critter. Well, actually, it's a wash cloth, but it is properly sized and it's rather plush, so it should ought to work just fine! The gryphon beams at the little spider.

Aquamarine-Gleam reaches for the spider telekinetically, intending to scoop it out of the filly's mane. Simple solutions to calm minds. "Is this yours?" She asks, gesturing toward the spider, whether scooped or not, and staring toward the pegasus.

Ruby-Blossom grins warmly at Wishy "Daw, I'm plenty helpful - you'll see." she leans foreward along with Thunnini to give Dreamy a reassuring little hug as well before slipping to her hooves. "Hmmm." she peers at the floaty spider before turning to snug Wishy again. She takes a slow trot around the perimeter of the group.

Midnight-Sun looked about to address Aquamarine Glean when Dreamy jumped up. He never gets quite around to closing his mouth again, instead looking intensely embarrassed through the seconds that follow. When Aqua carries the spider towards him, he stretches out a wing for a landing platform. He allows himself a moment to glare at his araneafriend before addressing the gathering in mortification. "I'm so sorry. She really doesn't mean any harm." Beat. "It just seems to happen."

Blink, blink. Catching her breath, Dreamy blushes softly under her blue pelt, as the spider is 'saved' from her mane and given back to her owner. The little unicorn scuffs a hoof against the ground, turning to give Thunnini and Ruby a hug back for being a greatly supportive pair of friends~ And then she trots up to sit next to Midnight-Sun, blinking up at where the spider was set. She offers a hoof in apology!

Wishy-Washy smiles a bit at Ruby's willingness to help, not bothering to wrap the quilt back around herself when Ruby does her once-around. She goes back to the introspective stare that she had before any of the other ponies flocked over to the camp fire she had made for herself.

Ruby grins warmly "Don't hesitate to come by later, Wishy-Washy. We've got a nice fireplace upstairs ya know." she offers a small wave to the group before taking a small trot backwards. "I have foals to to tend." she leans forward to peer at Dreamy and Thunnini "These one's aren't mine, but I'll still take care of them." offering a rather daft smile before waving again and trotting off to tend to her relatively new borns.

Midnight-Sun brings his wing forward so that Sophie can bump two of her legs against Dreamy's hoof. He looks after Ruby. "What a strange pony. Now," he turns back to Wishy-Washy, "it sounds like you think that there's something in the forest responsible for this weather? Isn't it just a problem for the local weather patrol to deal with?"

Wishy-Washy sighs and looks down. "The leaders of the local weather team are trying to plan a wedding, in addition, have you looked to the sky? clouds billow from the Wintersong Forest; a forest that has been frozen over for as long as anypony can remember supposedly!"

Ruby-Blossom heads toward Main Street.

Ruby-Blossom has left.

Dreamy beams at the spider, shaking its legs with her hoof. Y'know. In that 'hoofbump' sort of way. Friendly spider~ Once satisfied that she's done with making amends, the little unicorn turns around to the conversation! She hops! Hop! Hop! She knows something helpful..! So helpful that she risks lighting her horn up so she can do the one thing she does to communicate with other ponies.

She sends out a little daydream. Which lurks in the background in pony and griffon thoughts. It's a daydream, of the weather team in the Harbor, blowing back all the clouds! …But then the clouds come back. So they blow'em all away again! But they come back again! Back and forth… With the sun rising and setting several times! Because really, the weather team is /trying/. They're just…getting blown away by bad weather!

When the daydream ends, her horn light fades, and she studies all the adults carefully. Sometimes ponies freak out when she uses her magic… Aquamarine-Gleam ponders and looks toward the forest. She says "I'm familiar with places that don't stop freezing. I was stationed north after the whole…thing. You said there's a guard group here. I might be able to make myself us-use…use…" she trails off, at a loss for words.

Starbright blinks a bit. A magical daydream! This is fascinating! Unfortunately, it's a little too fascinating, and one day dream leads into another and… well, long story short, the gryphon is just sort of standing there, head cocked to the side, staring off into space.

Wishy-Washy blinks slowly a few times and nods, smiling down to Dreamy. "You… have a very special talent, little one. Thank you very much…!"

Well… There's two stunned adults, and someone smiling at her, so Dreamy might not be in total trouble yet! Her ears hesitantly lift, and she scoots herself closer to Wishy, y'know, just in case. She still looks like she might run if someonefreaks out though.

Midnight-Sun looks shaken [15 Willpower damage, yikes!], but finds his voice after a few tries. "What was… what… was that /you/? What in the wide, wide world of Equestria was that?!" He scrambles for a mental foothold, comes up with, "Well. I guess that does answer that question. I suppose. I guess that means that there's something extraordinary behind all of this." His voice slows, lingering over "extraordinary". There's a fire in his eyes that does not match up with his prior diffidence when he continues. "And nopony knows what it is." His lips curl back in a grin. "Nopony knows what it is!"

Thunnini nods. "Dreamy's cool like that," the seafilly smiles. "And she can make *awesome* dreams! Like the time we were a pair of adventurers!"

Starbright tilts his head to the other side. Then suddenly he jumps up grinning. "Ah got it!" he shouts, rather alarmingly. He scoops Dreamy up in a tight hug. "Thanks, li'l sugah!" he tells her, dropping her back down before pulling out a sheat of paper and starting to scribble down numbers and strange equations. In less than a minute, he's covered the whole paper. He frowns at he gets to the end. "No, wait, that won't work. Drat."

Aquamarine-Gleam tilts her head to one side, then regains her composure again. "R-right, well. I uh, I think, if there's a guard around here, I might be able to make myself…useful." she mumbles, staring at the seafilly. "That…seems like something that needs investigating, though."

Wishy-Washy blinks a bit at Starbright and Midnight sun's behavior at first, but then her ears flick at Aqua's statement, causing the mare to scootch away just a bit. "What… sort of investigation do you think a filly's magic needs?

Dreamy promptly flails! Scooped up! …Well okay. Nobody freaked out. That's good! She relaxes, returns the hug to Starbright, and when she's let go she trots over to sit next to Thunnini. All proud-like.

Aquamarine-Gleam shakes her head and says, "Not her magic, no. The…illusion? The dream and the images. Well, it looks like we could find out why they keep failing to fix the weather."

Wishy-Washy seems a bit relieved before nodding. "Y-yes. of course. Like I said, I can't afford to feed and warm myself like this. I do not want a job at a local establishment and I cannot afford to pay for a venue. Somepony has to get to the bottom of this, even if it is myself…!"

Starbright is already working on his eighth page of paper, the equations getting steadily more complex. "No… no… darnit. Ah need a chalkboard." He flaps his wings, looking up, then waves at everypony. "Ah'm gonna go buy mahself a chalkboard. It was nice to meet y'all. Or remeet y'all, at least. Take care, li'l ponies!"

Dream-Daze cheerily waves as Starbright flits away! Bye birdie~

Midnight-Sun grins and, unable to resist her pride, gives Dreamy an encouraging pat with one wing. "That doesn't sound good. And it's not a safe idea. I've been in that forest once, and got chased out by a wolf! Made of wood! It's not an experience I'm eager to repeat, and you shouldn't be, either!"

Dreamy keeps right on beaming. …But then it gets too cold and she scoots up next to the fire to warm her hooves up again. Maybe it's time for little fillies to wander home…

Aquamarine-Gleam says "I was a guard. Not…very highly ranked, but I was well trained. I can fight a little, even without my spell." Aquamarine-Gleam shrugs a little and scoots next to Starbright again.

Wishy-Washy nods a bit and lets out a determined huff. "I know it's dangerous. I have been wandering it, trying to go deeper, but indeed, the wildlife is quite… well, wild!"

Midnight-Sun follows Dreamy closer to the fire and lays a wing across her back. When he looks back at Wishy-Washy, he looks quite uncertain. "Your situation sounds desparate. And someone should clearly do something." His voice trails off, then turns thoughtful. "And of course, who knows what secrets a pony might learn in the process." He still seems hesitant.

Dream-Daze eyes the adults, though she leans into the wing Midnight offers. Warmth~ She listens with perked ears. Because…adventure is something she might sneak her way into.

Aquamarine-Gleam taps a hoof to her chin, thinking. "I'm no hero, but I don't mind a little guard work." she ventures hesitantly. She nods and gestures at the fire. "Least I could do that pays you back for the fire, right?"

"Yes, yes… although tonight it would be a fool's errand to go. there are monsters that leurk there and quite frankly… I am quite tired. Can I trust you to douce these flames when you leave…?" Wishy Stands up and begins to use her telekinesis to fold her quilt, levitating it over to one of the wagons that she opens and closes. it looks the kind of model that one might expect a traveling magician to ride around in and prop up an impromteau stage with…!

Midnight-Sun looks like he'd really rather dither some more. But instead: "You're planning to go tomorrow? Well, you certainly shouldn't go by yourself, and if you won't be dissuaded… name a time, and I'll accompany you."

Aquamarine-Gleam has connected.

Wishy-Washy has left.

Midnight-Sun looks at Aquamarine Gleam. "Well, maybe with your help we'll make it out alive tomorrow." He looks about to start kicking out the fire, then cocks his head. "I just realized that you look like you've been going a long way today. Do you have somewhere to stay the night?"

Aquamarine-Gleam coughs and says "I don't, at that. Do you…uh, I mean…this is kind of forward, possibly, or imposing, but do you know where I can bivouac for a night or two?"

You say "I'm staying at an inn myself — I've not been here that long, either. It's really not the greatest — I think their usual clientele is sailors or something — but it's a place to get in out of the cold while you look for something more permanent."

Midnight-Sun starts kicking dirt over the fire. "Just a minute, I'll show you."

Aquamarine-Gleam nods and readjusts her saddle bags for a moment, then scoops some snow into the fire pit with her magic. "Better?" she asks.

Midnight-Sun says, "Thanks. Here we go." He leads off towards the town proper. After a few steps, he says, "You know, what with all the plotting of desperate gambles in the woods — not to mention the comic relief" — here he glares at Sophie, who is perched on his right shoulder — "I never really got a chance to ask you about yourself. So. What brings you to the coast?"

Aquamarine-Gleam falls into step, a quick, regimental trot. "Would you believe the warmth? No. Then how about this. Guards hear rumors. One rumor a certain mare heard more than once was that there was a town that collects runaways, roustabouts, and hooligans. 'If ever a town needed a proper guard,', she thought, 'that would be the one.' So I left Princess Cadenza's ranks and set out for here. Looking for something more interesting than the Empire."

Midnight-Sun grins appreciation at the unicorn's wit and asks, "So? Does venturing into a dangerous forest on a quest to find the secret of summer's frost — on your first full day in town, no less! — satisfy that criterion?"

Aquamarine-Gleam allows herself a little bit of a smirk that even creeps into her voice. "Oh, I think that'd do nicely. I hope we don't find it the first trip out though." she says, tugging her scarf a bit to get it back into position.

Midnight-Sun looks briefly apprehensive, but shakes it off, fluffing his wings a bit. "Well, that's a problem for tomorrow." As they've been talking, they've wandered up towards the town proper along a well-worn path. Ahead, a large fountain gleams in the semidark. "We're almost there."

Aquamarine-Gleam creeps closer as they walk through town. "A bit…dim, isn't it?" she asks. After a moment, she realises that probably sounded rather dumb and adds "I mean, Canterlot and the Crystal Palace, they keep the streets pretty well lit."

You say "Well, they can afford to. This place, though… it seems like it's barely holding together. I know young Ruby's litany of strangenesses was utterly deranged, but it does feel like something is very wrong around here. Could be just the weather, I suppose. But — Canterlot as well? Was there really nothing to keep you either there or in the Empire?"

Aquamarine-Gleam shakes her head. "You watch one gala, you've watched them all. There was one about…oh, eight years ago? I was in training for that one, but I heard stories. The rest are all pretty boring. And believe me, the castle walls lose their grandeur about the twelfth hour you stare at them. And yeah, the place kinda does twinge something." she says, stone faced and near monotone.

Midnight-Sun's voice turns a bit careful, but he tries again. "Huh, I heard about the time the Gala went off the rails. It was the talk of the Palace for weeks." He pauses, then offers, "I lived in Canterlot my whole adult life. Didn't really pay that much attention to what was going on out in the city, though."

Aquamarine-Gleam nods and says "I was born and raised there. And yeah, that's the gala in question. The rest of them weren't as interesting. A bunch of nobles hobnobbing." After a beat, she adds "I wish I could make a decent light."

Midnight-Sun says, "I wasn't expecting to be out so late. Fortunately, we're here." He nods towards a building which, as threatened, does not look incredibly inviting. He starts for the door, then checks. "Actually, I thought most unicorns could just—" he catches himself and starts forward again. "You know what, it's late and there'll be plenty of time for questions tomorrow."