Pegasus Quest
IC date: Autumn 30, 1007 A.N.
OOC date: October 19, 2012
PCs: Kludge, Solar-Wind, Winter-Solstice, Snowfield, Jellybean, Ruby-Blossom
NPCs: Professor Redmane, Glimmer, Heartsong, Ironmane, Bloodrage, Eagle-Eye, Jade-Lightning
GM: Gamble

Recent events have led to a problem.

The Hive has been overrun by /things/. It has become completely unsafe for foals, which necessitated a total evacuation of some thirty-odd foals to join an underground base that was already fairly cramped with new ponies. Supplies are scarce. Costumes moreso! There is but one solution.

It's time to go scavenging.

Luckily it's a new moon… Nightmare's eyes are elsewhere, even her scouts would have a difficult time finding a pony in such darkness. If there were ever a more perfect time to seek supplies, it would be now. Unfortunately there's only one place the Professor knows of that may actually have enough supplies to handle the new glut of pony.

So it is that Professor Redmane is, once again, helping to guide a pack of able-bodied ponies across the wasteland and to the nearby mountains, attempting to explain a little of his thoughts as he goes.

"I know we said that pegasi were rare, but it so happens we know where a few of them have banded together. We're going to pay them a visit and see if they'll help us gather enough extra supplies to last through Nightmare Night. After that we can hopefully send out a few gathering parties, and maybe all the ghosts and spirits and whatnot will have calmed down enough to get the kids somewhere safer…"

Yep! That's the whole plan. Ask pegasi for help. Sounds simple, doesn't it?

Yeah, about as simple as anything seems to go for Kludge when he's adventuring - namely, not very. He hasn't seen Ruby since the Hive was evacuated, and while he trusts in her skills, his concern is transitioning into worry. I mean, how often does she have to fight off monsters like that?

Solar-Wind The big flyer isn't exatly the most able bodied creature out here, but he is out here still, couldn't keep him bottled up in that cave. Solar-Wind is bundled up in some other ponies garb, pretty much unrecognizable except for his size. His outfit also lacks wing holes so that those well wrapped up wings don't unfold for him. He may well be a pegasus, but right now, he's a grounded earthpony at least till his wings heal properly. Untill that point, he is merely out of that cave, and on a mission, primary, 'help others, and protect the group' he does comment softly to Redmane, "What is with that flag upon the standard?" he asks, "We flew out to this point a week or so ago to check out the look of the mountains in comparision to our Whitesaddles back home" he notes in a soft not his normal voice doing his best to try to not be noticed. He has even sooted his nose so he appears to be darker in fur tone.

It's cool, you guys. The Sled is here. -I got this.-

The Sled is looking pretty good. The flight from the Hive did a number on it, but Winter was able to wrangle Kludge into fixing the thing up a bit. It's sturdier and hodge-podgier than ever. It is so stylish, in fact, that it dare not travel without a fawning entourage, and Winter Solstice is pulling it this time. Step aside for the man. The Sled is comin' through.

As was the cast last week, with the… …productive trip to the ruined village, she's light on supplies this time, packing instead great big empty armfuls of hope waiting to be filled with the fruits of a successful hunt! Although even if she had packed a lot, half of it would have been lost already. Why?

*Bonk* "Ow. Found a tree," says Winter, who shuffles past it for a few steps. *Trip* "Hey, is this a cool skull or a treasure chest?! No, no… it's just a rock." She shuffles on a few steps, and the sound of her shuffling veers off to the side. *Bonk* "Man, this tree is followin' me or something. Hey, hey! Someone shine a light over here again, would you? Thanks. Ah ha! I see you, rock! Thought you could sneak up on me again, could you?" Winter gives it a kick then saunters back onto the path.

Glimmer, who's trodged along with the group this time, is cranky as usual. Decked in full snowsuit and with a knife and other important utilitarian supplies at her hip, the bespectacled unicorn tromps through the snow trying not to glare so much. There've been so many headaches! "That's a rock," she says flatly to Winter. "That's a tree. And the same rock. UUGHHHH." TROMP TROMP TROMP.

"Seems reasonable enough," Snowfield says as she slides lazily across the surface of the snowpack. "Surely these pegasi are even-minded and inclined to trade with their neighbors." She's decided that leaving the heavy lifting to Winter-Solstice when they're trying to get supplies for thirty-plus is a little too much and has crafted a sledge out of snow and ice. It's not particularly pretty with it's form-over-function design but it will more than do the trick for carrying the heavy and valuable heater that the ponies of Horseshoe have graciously decided to barter away for whatever the pegasi are willing to offer.

As for how the little unicorn is pulling the sledge? Why, with magic, of course! The entire crystalline artifact is glowing a cheerful blue color and moving forward over the ice of its own accord. It's not Come To Life spell but active telekinesis will do the trick just the same.

Jellybean is happy to hear that they're going to find more pegasi: he's been worried about finding any who weren't working for Nightmare Moon, but here's a chance! To make a good impression he's done what he can with his mane and spiffed up the broach he's been wearing. In fact, he's still polishing it as they travel, idly buffing it with a little cloth he found. Shiny.

Heartsong is looking… /incredibly/ uneasy. After how the /last/ two ventures outside the base went, who could blame her! But she's not even quite managing to hum a cheery tune this time. She skitters along the path, wings fluttering nervously, keeping near the middle of the group and casting furtive glances around at their surroundings.

It says much that nobody has seen fit to question the Professor's ideas. At least not to his face. It has the most amusing effect on the old pony. Namely it makes him want to /keep talking/ anyway. Otherwise it would get..quiet. Too quiet even, despite Winter's bumping and Glimmer's complaining.

"Um… Yes. Well, our efforts at trading with this group have been questionable before…" the Professor explains, as the group leaves the edges of wasteland and forest to begin the trek into a mountain pass. "They're…a very rough lot." His voice drops down a notch or two. "Some might even call them brutes. Or barbarians. And they're not exactly friendly towards outsiders of any color, especially the Queen's ponies. I'm /hoping/ our gesture of goodwill-" he points a hoof at the ice sled and the heater sitting on it. "-will show we're just here for help, not to clip their wings."

Solar-Wind nods a little, "My wings aren't exactly helpful in this situation, but we do have Jellybean there, and Heartsong with us, showing that we are friendly towards Pegasi kind" he offers softly, "it shows /something/ at least, that and our goodwill, or desperation, if you will Sir" the pegasus offers softly

"If they break this heater you'll be taking the fall for it, yes?" Snowfield says to Redmane as she continues dragging her ice sleigh through the foothills. "Pegasi are a flightly lot at the best of times. If they're as barbaric as you say they may see us as a target rather than as traders." She looks over the rest of the group bumbling through the dark. "How are you managing to hit /every rock on the mountain/, Solstice?" she asks incredulously. "And why are you shining that brooch, Jellybean? There's not enough light for it to be shiny anyway."

"Well, if they try and start somethin' I'll pop 'em one in the nose," says Winter, offhandedly, because she says a lot of things about hitting a lot of people and it's easy for her to rattle off a line like that without paying much attention. That attention is better spent eyeing Snowfield's Ice Sled suspiciously. It's magic, that's suspicious. It doesn't have that nice veneer of rust and desperate lichen that the mundane, ancient Sled she pulls does. Also, it has a heater on it. It strikes her as somewhat strange that the heater is on the ice sled pulled by the wee wizard pony. Nightmare World is funny like that. At Snowfield's question, she draws herself up a bit with a toss of her mane. "Like this," she says, before lashing out with a hindleg and sending a rock spiralling off down the mountain slope; the sound of it bouncing and rattling along echoes clearly through the dusky night air. "Pro skills."

Proskills demonstrated, she turns her attention back to the Professor. "Do they keep to themselves or do they ever come try and trade with you? Or raid you? Or… or I don't know. Fly around above your base and drop things on it?"

Kludge is of mixed emotions regarding the handling of the Sled. On one hoof, it's good to see that the repairs are holding up. On the other hoof, does it really need *that* much proof of the durability of the repairs? He just sighs and keeps trudging along, tools in his saddlebags just in case the Sled takes enough damage to need field repairs - assuming it's not destroyed in the process, of course.

"That is absolutely not what I meant," Snowfield says to Winter-Solstice.

Heartsong blinks and casts Snowfield a bit of a /look/, raising an eyebrow a bit irritably. /Well/. Pfft. …But she couldn't really argue the risk here. She tucked her wings in close, almost as if trying to make them less noticable, and scuffed a hoof at a pebble on the path. Why did she keep coming along on these things? Because she was dumb, that's why. Clearly.

Jellybean blinks at Snowfield. "I want it to look good. And anyway, there's some light to see it with." He rubs it once more, in a clockwise direction… at which it starts glowing, rather brightly. "…I guess I made it really shiny?" he says with a blink. "But this is too shiny right now." He experiments with rubbing it some more, to see if it will get the hint, and apparently a counter-clockwise motion turns it off. "I guess it /was/ magic treasure."

In the distance, further up the dark path a faint light can be seen bobbing and jostling; making it's way /down/ the mountain path and towards the group! The light vanishes mere moments after coming into view of the group; leaving the path ahead dark once again. Ponies we're not alone.

The big pegasus (big earth pony looking) stallion near Redmane looks up the trail. "Uhh everybody, somepony's spotted us, I think" he mentions squinting up at the offending light, untill it poofs away. Solar mumbles, "might be grounded, but I'm certainly not blind" he rumbles under his breath.

Winter-Solstice shrugs at Snowfield. Her patchwork muppet-print snowsuit creaks with the motion, Ruby's careful stitching straining a bit.

The tall mare slows her step for a moment at the sight of the bobbing light up ahead on the trail, before continuing on without any evident worry. "Yeah, so, mountain passes. Classic ambush spot. Like this is where the ambushes ALWAYS happen. We should yell a bit, maybe, let them know we know they're there so they'll think twice. It's like bears."

Glimmer pauses, and reaches down to unsheathe her knife and grip it in her teeth, just in case.

"They don't usually bother with anyone." the Professor confirms, picking his steps carefully since low light plus rocky landscape can lead to plenty of tripping if one isn't cautious. He hears suggestions about making noise, turning his head to start to reject that particular idea when…

The silence of the darkest night is abruptly and violently shattered by the low, keening rumble of some kind of horn from further up the mountainside, followed by the flapping of many feathered wings overhead. What little light falls from the scattered stars above is briefly blotted out as dark shadows flit overhead.

Professor Redmane's ears perk up, his eyes glancing towards the skies for what good it will do him. "…Ah… I don't think…that will be very necessary…" he mutters.

Snowfield frowns as her attention is drawn to the torchlight ahead which is abrubtly snuffed out. The sound of wingbeats causes her eyes to snap upwards to catch a glimpse of their would-be assailants. "I have a sneaking suspicion we're not getting a red carpet, Redmane," the unicorn says as she pumps a bit more juice into her horn. The magical essense leaks out into the air in the form of a brightened aura, aiming to illuminate a bit more of the surrounding snowpack and give the party some more breathing room… assuming whoever is out there wants to stick to the shadows at least.

Heartsong freezes at the sound of the horn, ears flattening. She crouched down a bit, gulping thickly and looking up in alarm. "Ooooh, this is n-not good…"

Solar-Wind unfastens part of his garb, "Present Wings" he intones as he unsheathes his battteredd wings still laden in bandages from his fight. Presenting Wings is a form of respect to another flyer, even if his wings are broken. Red feathers are seen from him, showing that this indeed is Solar-Wind. He bows some with his wings presented as a show of respect.

Jellybean meeps. "But these are pegasi, right?" He flaps his wings and flutters to the front of the group, rearing up on his hind hooves and spreading his wings. He gives the other party a wave. "Hi! We're looking for pegasi!"

Kludge takes a gauging view of the incoming pegasi. He's not sure how this will go down, but he's at least trying to take a non-aggressive stance. Of course, if things turn sour (and how often *don't* they?), he's not going to hold back, either.

"I'm not bowing to a bunch of barbarians and scoundrels," Snowfield grumbles at Solar-Wind as so many of the ponies around her begin to get subsmissive. She lifts her head higher in response, hoping that the illumination from her horn will reach a few more precious inches across the ground.

Winter-Solstice slows once more, and then stops, attention turning from further up the hill, to up above, and the hint of dark shapes flying about. She sighs and grins lopsidedly. "Right!" Lifting a hoof, she goes about unhooking the Sled from the harness wrapped around her forequarters. The Sled does not fight; he has people to do that for him. Thus unburdened, Winter starts to slowly knead the snow underneath, shifting her weight from foot to foot, anxiously awaiting. "Tell you what," she says, to the others. "I'll totally not be the first one to throw a punch, here, just in case this isn't going to be a complete fiasco like basically everything else here in Nightmare Moon's Super Everything Always Goes Wrong World. But you want one of them smashed, just point, and say, like… SMASH. And I'll do it. I'll be ready."

Pegasi over head is bad enough. Then there's also the rustling along the path's edge to contend with; something not flying is out there and it's getting closer.

As torches are held aloft and magic brightens to illuminate the surrounding area a great number of figures jump forward into the light! Equine forms of numerous colors, all garbed in scraps of fur and hide and bearing the scars of countless battles, surround the group. They move with a purpose and swiftness that makes it difficult to track them as their encircle the group and their sleds with surgical precision.

And on the backs of every one of these raiders? As might be expected, a pair of wings.

As if the sudden appearance of a bunch of very aggressive ponies wasn't bad enough several of their number have spears clenched tightly in their jaws. Those who are armed are keeping heads turned so that the menacing bits are pointed squarely at the would-be traders. A few of the spears have the tattered remnants of banners hanging from them, although those tatters are very well kept all things considered. Each banner has a discernable emblem of a half sun and a stylized wing.

The fact that several of the other group are also pegasus doesn't seem to be lowering their aggression level by very much. Perhaps it has something to do with one of the party pegasus looking injured?

The Professor glances from one stern face to another, and from speartip to speartip. There's little doubt he's probably recognized too, and while he's not exactly keen on the whole 'bowing' thing, he does set his rear down and hold up a single hoof. Silently he's thankful nobody went ahead with some kind of sneaky surprise attack….and equally thankful that if things do turn ugly, at least this group might stand half a chance of fighting back. Maybe.

"We're not here to fight!" he claims, loudly, deciding the best thing to do is just lay their intentions out. When ones world exists on the basis of 'smash bad things', it's best to be as up front as possible! "We're just here to talk, and hopefully trade!"

Solar-Wind makes a slow movement to walk before Redmane, "We come to Talk, nothing more, Please, we need no further aggression here" he asks of the others of his kind "Please listen to him" he asks nosing in direction of Redmane

Snowfield is mildly impressed by the force brought to bear on their poor caravan. She turns and hops up on top of her sled and the heater it bears, horn still aglow and prepared to defend it more proactively if necessary. "I don't think they'll be talking with spears in the mouths, Redmane," she says with agitation.

Jellybean flaps his wings again and digs his hooves in the dirt. "Please, we don't want to fight! I haven't seen a lot of pegasi since I came here and I'd hate it if the ones I met were mean." He thinks, and then rubs on the brooch he's wearing in a clockwise fashion, making it glow like it did before. He takes it off, holding it out with a hoof. "If I gave you this, would you not hurt us?"

When in doubt, be deadpan. Kludge watches the pegasi with a "yeah, I see you, and I know you see me seeing you, and all the rest of that feedback loop" expression. As long as they're willing to co-exist, he's not going to worry about them too much.

Winter-Solstice continues to knead the snow underfoot. Even when she's not trying she tends to look like she's getting ready to start kicking down barn doors, and eventually she realizes this and that probably mabe she should try at least look a little chill, and she does this by sitting her duff down in the snow and looking around with feigned nonchalance. Spears? I ain't even mad. Her ears turn to hear her fellow base ponies' words, though, and her short tail snaps back and forth across the trampled snow behind her like a switch. And for someone so nonchalant, she sure is staring at the surrounding darkness along the ground pretty closely.

Then there's Ruby's voice. "I'd tell them to calm down, but they don't much like me either. Then again nopony seems to like me anymore." the rustling along the edge of the path briefly revealing the thermal-suit wearing pony whoe keeps trotting down the path - away from the spear-filled stand off; stopping to glance at the pegasi "Really? Do you have to /poke/ everypony you come across?"

Glimmer steps forward and takes a defensive stance with her knife in toothgrip, but she isn't outward attacking anyone. Still, should anyone decide that's a good idea, she's extra ready!

Solar-Wind cringes on hearing Ruby, but doesn't do so openly, he still has a hood and visor, Ruby would only be able to tell it was him by his exposed wings, still wrapped up in bandages. He is suposed to still be in bed!

"Spears do make talk difficult…" Professor Redmane notes over his shoulder, "But we haven't been stabbed with them yet. That means they're at least listening." His attention turns back to the ready raiding party, his eyes scanning the various winged ponies, landing on one in particular. "Ahhh. Ironmane!" he exclaims, hoof waved towards one of the spear-holding pegasus. "You know us. Well, most of us. We're not a threat… We're just here to talk with your leader."

The pegasus in question, a grizzled grey pegasus with a single scarred eye and a cutiemark that looks just like the spear he's carrying around, takes a single step forward to differentiate himself from the rest of the raiding party. The spear isn't so much spat out as it is planted and leaned against, achieving a look of both aloofness and the subtle impression that he could have that spear ready again before a hoof comes anywhere near his face.

"I know /you're/ not dangerous. How long did it take that limp I gave you to heal up?" One steel-grey eye casts out across the rest of the assorted ponies, lingering on Ruby, and back again. He spits at the ground. "The rest of them look different. They could be spies…" His eye lingers a second time, on the pegasus. "Or captives."

Ruby-Blossom rolls her eyes as she continues past the rather large crowd of ponies. "I'm always accused of being a spy." she waves a hoof dismissively before stopping to glance over her shoulder at Ironmane then at the rest of the bunch she knows at base - although it's more of a glare at the familiar ponies than a look *glare~*

Heartsong blinks and bites her lip, straightening a bit. "We… w-we don't have any c-captives. S-sir. We really do j-just want to… talk. T-trade. We d-don't want any trouble, honest."

"Don't waste time jawin', Ironmane," snarls a gravelly-voiced lady pegasus. Short with a dark blue coat, she's hard to differentiate from the darkness. "Give 'em an inch, and they'll murder us in our sleep. I say we kill 'em now before they have a chance." Light blue eyes narrow, then after a pause she adds, "You can leave the one you like, though."

"…And keep the little one. We could use more foals," she adds, off-hoofedly.

Solar-Wind says "Not Captive, Oh, the wings, I lost use of them, in battle with the shadowbolts, and sprung two captives from that mess" he states out to Ironmane, "I'm here of my own free will""

Winter-Solstice squints as the sneaking presence on the ground reveals itself as Ruby. Well, at least she doesn't have to worry about getting stabbed by sneaky ninja ponies, but maybe she does have to contend with a surprise manecut. She's not liking the tone of some of these Pegasi, though. It's getting harder to feign nonchalance, and although still seated, her forehooves resume her earlier, anxious pacing. Tap tap tap tap tap tap tap.

Ruby's here? Well, that's one less thing for Kludge to worry about. He gives Ruby a small smile, but keeps his focus on the pegasi. When combat isn't your specialty, you don't make moves to start a fight.

Snowfield's gaze descends upon the blue pegasus who wants to kill them all and be done with it. Her glowing horn brights as chunks of the sled crack off and float around the little unicorn, sharpening into dangerous looking icicles. "I'd like to see you try, whelp," she growls at Blue. "The Bone Mistress has missed her mark twice already, I'm not worried about the third time sticking." Her eyes flick to the side to judge how many pegasi she might have to take on. Winter-Solstice can be counted on to talk half out on her own, and after factoring in the other ponies in the Horseshoe Crew… yeah, that means the other half will be all Snowfield's.

Jellybean trembles. "I don't want to go away from my friends," he says in a respectful if perhaps tremulous tone. "We're from far, far away and we just want to go home. If you can help us we'll do whatever we can for you."

Something about what the blue-eyed mare says makes Ironmane grin, the gruff pegasus gesturing with a hoof at the odd newcomers. Apparently he's taking the thought of 'threats' well. "They had a chance already and did not murder us. We had a chance, and did not murder them. I say that makes us even. If you wish to tip the scales and attack…" That wizened eye trails back up to Snowfield, circled by dangerous looking icicles.

Then that one-eyed gaze tilts back at Jellybean, taking a second good look. He's got something…shiny. Shining, even. And it's being offered! "…I say we take them to the Chief." he states, giving a firm beat of his wings for emphasis. "They bring the sun with them. Perhaps they aren't enemies after all. No minion of the darkness would allow a child to carry something so bright."

The Professor lets out a breath he didn't realize he was holding right then, glancing down to Jellybean and his offering. Twice. "…Nice work." he murmurs, ruffling the little pegasus' mane. The 'threat' seems to have passed for the moment, most of the raiding party at least pointing their spears elsewhere, though not exactly dropping them. Half take off to the skies too, Ironhoof electing to stay on the ground to play guide.

"Just know…" Ironmane speaks as he starts to walk away, apparently just expecting others to start following, "…Just because we didn't kill you now doesn't mean Bloodrage won't order you dead. She's much harder to impress with shiny objects!" He laughs a hearty laugh at his own joke!

The dark pegasus snorts and flutters after Ironmane, glaring over her shoulder petulently. "But I wanted to kill some stupid ponies. You never let me have any fun, Ironmane."

Ruby-Blossom softly sighs - eyes locked with Ironmane as she looks over her shoulder, and past the rest of the Harborites and Base ponies. "Argh…" a complaint stiffled to a whisper as Ruby turns to follow the crowd. "Not her again." she mutters softly while falling in towards the back of the group. "I just got out of that place too." a little louder than before - well at least somepony will be happy about this. She does take a moment to give Solar-Wind a quick kick in the flank. "Why don't you go kill the undead ponies - kill them properly this time? Hmm?"

Winter-Solstice leans back, then forward, rocking upright, streeeetching as she assumes a suitably standing position. With a little cheerful whistle, she goes about strapping herself back up to the Sled. Smiling cheerfully, whistling tunelessly, you'd hardly think she was about two wrong words away from starting a pincussion collection, featuring her bonker as a centerpiece! "Nice work, 'Bean," she says, up to Jellybean, as she steps forward and moves to fall into line behind the Professor. "You got the touch."

Solar-Wind starts to walk, as if to catch up with Ironmane. He just keeps his pace and mumbles, "I'm only a captive of no wings, It was a good battle though, They will heal and then I'll be ready"

Kludge trudges along, a "here we go again" expression on his face. While following the pegasi might not be the safest move, it's likely the safest option available at this time.

Snowfield is unconvinced. She maintains her position on the high ground, or at least as high as she can get without wings like her enemies, by staying perched on top of the heater. Some of the nearby snow floats onto the sled to repair the spikes she pulled out of it to turn into makeshift weapons.

Speaking of, those icicles aren't going anywhere. They're not held at head level ready to hurl at a moment's notice but they are floating around regardless, making a slow, tumbling orbit around their wielder as she hums something off-key and keeps her eyes on Blue. Perhaps the fact that Snowfield seems to be as antsy for a fight as some of the other pegasi here will impress somepony.

Jellybean canters eagerly, apparently choosing to hear the good parts and not the 'we could still kill you' parts. "See? I told you they were good ponies." He holds out the brooch for another moment or two and, when it seems like nopony's going to take it just yet, he puts it back on. "Can we go see your chief now?"

Ironmane grins at the blue-eyed dark mare, his spear tucked underneath one of his wings. "And my job is to keep ponies from doing stupid things. If you want to try, you're free to. But they looked just as ready to fight." As Solar speaks up, the grey pegasus glances over his shoulder, appraising those damaged wings. "…I should have liked to see the battle that earned you those scars then, brother."

"Oh they're good ponies alright." Professor Redmane says in answer to Jellybean's comment. "They're just…a little high strung, is all."

Thankfully the walk is short through the mountain pass, the sheer rock walls making a narrow, and possibly easily defensible path to the pegasus' base. The path leads to a circular clearing surrounded by more tall mountainside, dotted in many places with caves and cracks that sharp eyes can detect pegasus movement coming in and out of.

Ironmane walks to the center of this clearing, turning around and planting his spear in the ground there. "Wait here." he says, wings giving a hard beat before carrying the one-eyed pony up, zooming off to one of the bigger caves in a nearby cliff. Assumedly to get the Chief.

Ruby-Blossom plants her flank on the ground to patiently wait for the chief - but she can't help but throw 'look' towards the rest of the party on more than one occasion - clearly somepony is upset even if the entire situation at the hive was her fault, and a mis understanding.

Solar-Wind gazes around with apreciaition, "I like this place" he notes softly now striking a grin, "I really do like this place" the big flyer smiles for once in a great while, then looks back around for Ruby and trots her way, to bow before her, "I was worried about you" he offers softly, "Went out to look for you, found Kludge and a bolts patrol instead"

"Here?" asks Winter, calling out after Ironmane. "Not over there? That place over there looks more interesting, can I…" She trails off as no answer is forthcoming, then turns to look at the others. "Friendly bunch. Ask them what they do on Nightmare Night, huh? Maybe they have ghost-killing spears. Maybe we should skip the dress-up and try and get some of those instead." She finds a rock and kicks it beyond the borders of the Waiting Zone. "What do you think this Chief person is like, huh? Probably someone good at clobbering, like some big muscle monster of a pegasi. Maybe with tiny little wings. Or maybe it'll be a surprise, and she'll be, like, really sweet and friendly-like." She stares off across the sheltered canyon. "Maybe they worship a giant heap of keys like those kelpers in the forest do."

Jellybean follows after everypony, brooch still a-glow. Apparently the glare doesn't bother him or something. "So what's your Chief like? Is she old? Is she young? Is she a fighter or a wise pony or does she make really good cake?"

The dark pony glares back at Jelly, before snorting and trotting onward. "She's stronger than you. That's all you need to know." Huff! Another pegasus, however, seems to be more forthcoming. "She's a strong warrior. Young but ruthless, and she protects her people."

The ice sledge carves its way through the snow into the clearing and slides to a halt, its driver still wary of their surroundings. "Typical pegasus behavior," she says as she watches Ironmane fly into the caverns. "The most convenient method of egress from here is up, leaving us trapped. We would have to abandon the sleds to make an escape back the way we came and if the topography is the same then the path ahead just leads into Everfree."

As the conversation drifts towards the pegasi leader Snowfield snorts dismissively. "With a name like 'Bloodrage'? Merciless, but undoubtedly just. It's ingrained in the culture— even in this world, I'm sure that they keep their military mentality. Lithe, probably, likely their strongest flier. Only earth ponies look for brute strength in their leaders, it will be somepony whose presence menaces rather than her size."

Jellybean pouts. "We're not all like that."

Winter-Solstice puffs her chest out a bit at the mention of earth ponies, brute strength, and size. "And my axe!" she concludes, with a hop for emphasis.

"Case in point," Snowfield adds as she keeps her eyes focused on the cliff face. "In ages past Winter-Solstice would undoubtedly have become an elder statespony."

A passing pegasus, so dark blue that she's nearly black, with a jade appaloosa pattern and a bright green lightning bolt cutie mark, gives a faint snort as she glances sideways towards the little unicorn. "What do you know about 'typical pegasus behaviour', little bit? Some kind of behaviour specialist or something?"

Solar-Wind says "This place is perfect, defensible, nice, I'd stay here in a wingbeat" he grumbles some, "if they worked" he notes, "They don't particularly hide though, unlike the base which isn't much for visibility…" he ponders aloud"

Professor Redmane patiently seats himself near the stuck spear, his eyes following Ironmane's trail as he departs. He squints, then turns around to regard the group. He squints especially at Winter and her mention of an axe. "Do you actually have an axe?"

"I've never met their leader myself." he continues, "But she's rumored to be rather vicious. Apparently kicked the head off a dragon once just because it looked at her crosseyed. If we want this to go well, I'd suggest being as respectful as possible."

"You have a good head on your shoulders."

As they're brought into the dim light of the fort's outer lights, a pegasus stands flanked by two stronger-looking guards. The smaller middle one is difficult to make out in the low light, but she has a short, shaggy mane and tail, and her body is marred by scars. One wing is in tatters, but she doesn't seem bothered. She nods to Snowfield, and then narrows her eyes at Solar, but she doesn't comment. She has an aura of just generally being /tough/ as nails. "Explain to me why I shouldn't just kill you all right now."

Jellybean thinks about this for a moment, hoof in his mouth. Then: "Because that wouldn't be very nice? We don't want to hurt you, after all."

Snowfield's gaze flickers down long enough to get a good look at whichever pegasus is sassing at her. "You learn a lot about how ponies act after your first few centuries, whelp." One of the icicles circling her rotates to face a more appropriate direction and streaks forward, slamming into the ground a few feet away from Sassy McLightningbutt.%r

…juuust in time for Bloodrage to show up. How awkwardly timed! "Because if were the sort to do that out of hoof Ironmane wouldn't have asked for permission," she says. Horn still aglow. Icicles minus one still afloating.

Winter-Solstice puffs up even further as the Professor asks her. "I DO, in fact! I call it Llallagallathor, Ent's Bane. I got it at a garage sale for five bits. It's back at home, though. Hey, you should figure out a spell to get us back there so I can get it and come back here and show you my sweet moves with it." She smiles brightly as she follows the group to meet Le Chief. Axes are so awesome.

Speaking of axes, here's an unlikely-looking battleaxe right now! Heyooo. Winter eyes the shadowed pegasus suspiciously, then offers an idea. "If we're alive, that means it's more likely Nightmare Moon's army of chumps will be paying attention to us, and not you. We're a valuable distraction."

Kludge looks to where Ruby is… or, more accurately, *was*. He doesn't sigh aloud, but you can tell who he was counting on for diplomacy. While he's not the type to be antagonistic, he would be the first to admit that he's only marginally better at diplomacy than he is at combat. And given his vast lack of combat capability…

Solar-Wind stands his ground, wings out slightly, they may be in bandages but other than that he can still look agressive as all get out, not to mention he is big, bigger than most of his kind, and built for it "I don't know how your resourses sit, but if they are like ours, then teamwork would be in your best interest as well, not to mention merely being a larger force for an opponent to deal with, Strength in numbers" He states boldly taking a stance well in front of the others, Pegasus to Pegasus

The lightning-marked pegasus starts a bit, though this pretty much consists of a slight jump and the spreading of wings. And then a small grin as their leader appears. Awkward timing for the unicorn, maybe. /She/ finds the timing quite amusing. What a lovely first impression.

The pegasus steps forward and draws herself up, scowling at Solar-Wind. "Strength in numbers. Strength in /numbers/. What /numbers/ are there when you're all /thieves/ and /spies/? The only safe bet is the hand we already have. Your wings mean exactly nothing to me, welp. As far as I'm concerned you're a traitor, and you've done little to explain otherwise."

Other explanations at least make her consider for a long moment. "Cannon fodder, a vote of Ironmane's confidence. Getting warmer. Keep talking and I might call off the archers."

There are no archers in sight. So where are they?

The Professor makes a gesture towards Jellybean, sitting straight up with all the respect an old pony like him can muster. "…What he said. And what she said!" In fact, he doesn't really have to say much on the subject, what with everyone pretty much throwing the right reasons in. Instead he brushes his mane back when Bloodrage gets a bit touchy.

"Fact of the matter is, we need help, and you're not with the Queen. We have need of keeping a bunch of foals safe through the coming horrordays, and this was the best idea I could think up." Redmane gestures back towards the ice sled and heater Snowfield's still standing on. "We brought you a heating unit in offer of trade for whatever you can give us. It works, and it's been charged, so it should last a good couple months at least before it needs another charge."

Jellybean steps closer to the chief, trying to keep his usual knee-knocking terror in situations like this to manageable levels. He'd like to see her, so he's bringing the light to her. "Please, Miss Chief? You wouldn't want a bunch of innocent foals to get gobbled up, would you?"

Solar-Wind practically growls, if ponies could do so at the other /leader/ "I'm not from around this nightmare you call a world" he "I'm No traitor, spy, thief, whatever you think my crew is" he "I had no choise getting sucked to this frozen crap shoot world where everything is freeking opposite of our home" he growls back at her. "I just want to stand a chance in something here, and maybe get back home"

Winter-Solstice opens her mouth to say something, but looks like everybody else is doing the talking. She drops back on her duff once more and casually loosens the ropes of the Sled once more, because again, maybe she might need to start clobberin' on short notice. Briefly, she thinks about working in the foundry back in Horseshoe Harbor, and when she had to worry about clobberin' inanimate sheets of metal instead of evil faces. Sure, this is all terribly exciting each and every day, but there's something to be said for clobbering you get paid for in money and not adventure points, especially considering she hasn't even found a place to cash the latter in at yet here in Nightmare World. With the Sled unleashed- and, in withholding its power, demonstrating it is the most powerful of all- she lifts her head and peers over the top of everybody else's, towards the Chief.

Bloodrage looks on Jellybean skeptically, then over at the Professor, and his heating unity (oh baby). "What do you think we have to trade? We have our own mouths to feed and foals to protect." As Jellybean steps closer, bearing light, he finds hard green eyes glaring down at him. Scars criss-cross all over what little coat shows from the shaggy fur hides she wears to cover her body. On her flank: a scythe and a dove. In the light, her mane appears to be pink, almost orange. "Little one, I don't take well to manipulation. Why don't you tell your other feather-brained friend I don't give two ice-rats about his sob story. I'm here to protect me and mine, not you and yours." At least she's veered away from the death threats!

Snowfield contents herself to simply watch the pegasus leader. She's already made her stance clear by the fact that she remains armed and prepared for a fight, guarding their precious cargo from assault.

"That's fine with me," the unicorn says as Bloodrage expresses exactly zero interest in bartering. "I wouldn't have expected barbarians living on the edge of the wilderness to have supplies worth trading." She looks towards Redmane and continues, "We should head back to Horseshoe before your friend here decides that her foals need Heatsink's furnace more than yours do."

"Just one more thought." Redmane says in response to Snowfield's suggestion, the Professor's eyes gleaming faintly. An idea occurs to him! Perhaps the spirit of his newfound friends is starting to rub off on the old coot. Or perhaps he's finally getting over the failure of his One Last Chance. Either way he glances back at Winter first, then Snowfield. "…So perhaps what we'll trade isn't supplies, but ponypower." he states, his gaze levelled again on Bloodrage.

"This pony here has pinpointed one of our dear Queen's newest outposts, apparently manned by one of the Queen's closer generals. That means it will have plenty of fresh supplies of their own. I'll trade you this heating unit for some of your brute force. Supplies enough for both of us to share through the horrordays, perhaps?" he gestures at Solar-Wind.

The dark pegasus blinks over at Snowfield, tilting an ear. "Geez, you got a deathwish or something? We'll grant it, if you're looking for trouble." She idly stretches her wings, shaking a bit of black-and-blue mane out of her eyes. "That's an idea, though. Heater around here'd be nice." She blinks at Redmane's words, ears perking with the first hint of actual interest she's shown in the whole situation - besides the chance to sass at things.

Solar-Wind bows slightly still with a growling voice, "I'm no Traitor" he notes with a glare, as he backs up into a more defensive stance of Redmane.

Jellybean blinks. "It's not manpullation. It's about right and wrong. I mean, we all have the same enemy, right?"

Winter-Solstice arches her eyebrows, clearly surprised at Redmane's offer. She pushes herself upright and squirms slightly, as a grin creeps its way across her face. "Joint operations, yeah," she says, to nobody in particular. "Double-barrel asparagus cannon of justice. Powwww."

Solar-Wind says "Happy to be of assistance" he notes while still glaring at /her/ "Been to the outpost got out of the outpost with two others, cost me my wings for right now, but I'll be back if I can to finish the job""

Bloodrage narrows her eyes at Redmane, scrutinizing. Her eyes flick over Solar-Wind dubiously, then over Snowfield even moreso. Finally, she barks, "Ironmane. They check out with you?" Her muscles are tense, wings just slightly flared. She holds up a hoof toward Jellybean's mouth, because she is nothing if not a suspicious little pony.

Ironmane, having been stoicly 'guarding' his leader, flicks his gaze down to the little blue pegasus. "…They brought the sun with them, Chief Bloodrage." he says with an easy shrug of his shoulders. "Between that, and the old pony, I don't doubt their intentions." A grin crosses his features. "Just their sanity, and maybe their muscle. But that's why they came to us, isn't it?"

"Try it and see what happens, little filly," Snowfield murmurs to the dark pegasus who is undoubtedly taller than she is. "I'm not frightened by the posturing of somepony hardly out of foalhood who's only brave when she thinks she has allies to back her up." Hopefully her little challenge to thunderbutt will go unheard by Bloodrage and Ironmane.

Finally, Bloodrage seems to spy the brooch on Jelly's chest and her eyes un-narrow slightly. There's a long, pregnant pause before she turns away with a flutter of feathers, the butter-colored mare vanishing from the light as she walks toward the fort. "Bring it inside," she calls over her shoulder, as the doors are pushed open from the inside. Warm light is thrown onto the snow from the inside. It's wide enough to admit sleds and ponies alike.

Jellybean follows curiously. He's glad ponies like the brooch, at least: maybe nopony will have to kill and eat any other pony in a terrifying display of nature red of tooth and hoof? That would be nice.

Solar-Wind settles down a bit, he's still in rage mode though, that whole being called a traitor bit doesn't settle well with him evidently. Right now he's 'working' for Redmane or perhaps for Bloodrage if she wills it. The big stallion, tucks his wings again into his garb and paces after, still before Redmane, just to be sure.

Winter-Solstice nabs the Sled's ropes in her teeth, rather than just strapping herself up again, because she's starting to suspect that when she does, that's when things are going to get all tense again. "Good job, 'Bean," she says, up to Jellybean, as she moves to follow the ponies in lead. "You got the pow-aaaaaah, YEAH."

The so-called 'thunderbutt' gives a faint snort, eyes darkening as she glares sharply over at the little unicorn, ears flattening. "Watch it, pipsqueak. You've got no idea what you're dealing with." She moves to follow the group, fuming just a little bit.

Kludge follows alongside the Sled. He's starting to suspect that things would've been saner if he had stayed back at the base… but then again, going stir-crazy doesn't just happen to pegasi, and simply waiting around and hoping for things to be solved would just make things worse.

Phew! Redmane grins in mirror to Ironmane's, glancing back to the other ponies in the party. He ambles up to give Solar a pat. "Your information probably saved all our lives." he drops in passing, heading to the ice sled with full intent to help pull the blasted heating unit in the appropriate cave. No sense keeping Bloodrage waiting!

Bloodrage trots inside, presenting them with a cold, but well-lit atrium. There are a few pegasi here and there, a few foals hiding behind the furniture or fluttering in the air. A few of them move a table out of the way, clearing a space for the sleds to move through. "Put them in the back room. We'll offer a little extra if you hook it up as well." Her voice is hard, but again, she seems to not be in a killing mood.

The Sled's rusty runners, ill-suited to anything besides proper snow, go SKROOOOOOOONK when they're dragged into the atrium and out from the cold. Winter tugs it along for a good dozen or so feet before realizing and stopping to look back over her shoulder. "Shh!" she says, around her mouthful of rope.

"A petulant child," Snowfield says to the dark blue pegasus as Bloodrage invites them in. The glow of her horn flares again as she pushes the ice sledge inside with /the power of her mind/. It does not make terrible scraping noises because it's runners are made of magically supercooled ice and not rusty scrap metal. She continues on through the atrium towards the appointed exit. "Redmane, I can take it to the proper room but I am not familiar with how Heatsink activates these machines," the little unicorn says to the Professor. "Would you accompany me?"

Solar-Wind gives a little nod to Redmane on his comment, he casts a gaze to Bloodrage. Offers the slightest bob of his head and goes for the door as if to act as a guard or something, He takes one of the spears thats leaning at the entry of the door, Yup, door guard duty is what he's gonna do now, battered, yes, beaten heck no. In growly mode/mood.

"Naturally." Redmane says, following along the ice sled to lend a hoof. "I think I've watched her enough times, I got a pretty good grasp on how she keeps these things running so smoothly."

As Redmane and Snowfield go to hook up the heater unit, Ironmane just /stares/ at Winter and the rusty sled making such horrible screeching sounds. Staaaaaare.

Jellybean steps inside and seats himself respectfully in front of Blood Rage, like he did when he was in front of a teacher at school. Only Bloodrage doesn't look like she's about to read anypony a story. His ears flick closed against the awful noise and he waits for her to say anything.

The dark pegasus whips her head around to glare at Snowfield, but any response is interrupted by the horrid screech of the sled. She winces and flattens her ears again, in pain more than anger this time. "Aagh, geez, is that /entirely/ necessary? Just leave it there!"

Bloodrage's ears flatten as she turns and squints heavily at the sled. She glances swiftly at the group of incoming ponies, specifically at foreheads. First she lands on Snowfield — but Snowfield's busy. Next? Glimmer. "You!" she snaps, and the unicorn jumps. "What, me?" "Use your unicorn fancy feathers and float that thing. Turn off that stupid noise, got it?"

The unicorn narrows her eyes behind her glasses, and snorts, engulfing the sled in her magic glow and lifting it off the concrete. At least it's not scraping by so horrifically. Satisfied, Bloodrage turns back to the group. "We have a little to trade, but we're a little low on supplies. For other ponies of the sun, I'm sure we can pool our various resources. And I'd love to get a nice kick back at Queenie, to be honest. At least get her back for penning us in here."

Winter-Solstice meets the myriad stares with a bright cheer, and spits out the rope. "Hi!" she says, thinking the attention is an invitation to talk. "Nice fort you all got here. Bit low on the hospitality, but I understand that was never really a -thing- in this whole world. It's okay, I don't blame you. I-" The Sled! It flies! Winter shuts up and gasps, whirling to face the Sled, reaching up with her hooves to press it back down lest it go too far. "Don't leave yet! We're just getting to the good part." She takes a moment to look it over worriedly before she turns her head to yak towards Bloodrage. "Now that's what I'm talking about! You guys have the right idea of it. Nightmare Moon could use a good pop in the jaw, or maybe have a few of her goons tossed around!"

Solar-Wind turns to look to Bloodrage, "I'd be happy to lead a team of your finest on an assult on that instalation, not to mention Captain Twist would love to see me again, though when My visit with that one ends, She'll be dead" He growls out to Bloodrage then slowly smiles "You'll have all the supplies you need"

"Wait, did the captive escape?"

Another pegasus flaps down from the upstairs, glancing around. If you ignore the scars, the choppy haircut, the different cutiemark — well, it's a light blue pegasus with a red mane, and blue eyes, and on his flank is a little seedling of some kind. He stops and looks straight at Jellybean, eyes widening a little, before jumping back, and flapping. "WAGH!! What're— you're— BLOODRAAAAGE!" Zoom! He flaps after the pegasus leader, in a little bit of a tizzy. "What's a mini-me doing here?!"

Bloodrage, for her part, turns around and blinks, looking up at the mini pegasus, before blinking. "I'd… never noticed. Must've been the light." Blink. She looks over at Solar and shrugs. "Sure, whatever. More able bodies are good. Just don't get anyone on /our/ side killed, and I'll be happy. That's my rule for pretty much everyone. And you, with the sled, shut up." Good lord. She rubs her temples.

Kludge looks from alt-'Bean to Jellybean and back, a small smile crossing his face - quite possibly the first one this expedition. "Aren't alternate universes fun?" he mutters to no-one in particular.

Snowfield is still in the other room and spared the terrible fate of having to deal with /two/ Jellybeans. Celestia be praised.

*WHAM!*

Apparently that signals the end of the setting up of one heater unit. Redmane trots merrily out of the back room, satisfied that, at least, one job is complete. "That's all it is. One solid buck and machines just behave around her." he states off-hoofedly, bowing his head slightly to Bloodrage. "It's all hooked up now."

Winter-Solstice turns about to face Bloodrage, and makes a little face while shaking her head. "No thanks. I've tried that before and I'm *really bad* at it." She sits down, and keeps the rope to the Sled handy, just in case it flies off, so she can latch on and be whisked away to a more interesting adventure than a bunch of grumpy pegasi who just complain about everything. The fantasy of this keeps her mercifully occupied while she waits.

Jellybean looks up at his doppleganger and blinks a few times. "What's your name? I'm Jellybean." He shifts so his Cutie Mark is on display.

The pegasus lands beside Bloodrage, eyeing Jellybean up and down. "Uh. Eagle-Eye. Seriously, did they set up a clone program or something? I'm a little— I'm a little worried here!" Bloodrage shrugs, and looks at the little one, and over at Kludge. "Been hearing them say stuff about alternate universes or something. Don't ask /me/. I just hit things."

Winter-Solstice breaks from her reverie long enough to point a hoof at Eagle Eye and nod knowingly.

The lightning-marked pegasus gives a sigh of relief as the screeching stops - only to wince again as the other pegasus starts shouting. "Dear goddess, Eagle, stop howling. It's a foal. So what he's got the same coloring as you, there's only so many different colors one can be." Even if that's, you know… a few thousand different combos. At least.

Jellybean says "We're from a place where Nightmare Moon lost instead of her sister. It's… really different. An' I'm supposed to be big like you only there was this curse and I was bad and didn't take the cure so now I'm all little until we can get back home." Pause. "It's nice to meet all of you, though."

Snowfield follows after Redmane out of the room, a cold breeze and a torrent of snow following in her wake. She apparently decided to get rid of the sled until they need it again and is carrying the base materials. She catches sight of Jellybean and… uh, second Jellybean? Huh. Well, it sort of makes sense, improbable as it is. "…I wonder where Blackbird is in this world," she comments to nopony in particular as she watches Eagle-Eye be very confused.

Solar-Wind offers an explanation to Bloodrage, "We have two queens Day and Night, as Captain of the Fireguard, I report to the daylight queen, Celestia" he offers, "We aren't from around here" is his only explaination.

"Why are you even explaining that?" Snowfield says as she makes a wide circle around the two Jellybeans and approaches Solar-Wind. "It's pretty clear she doesn't care. The safety of her herd comes first. Politics a world away are completely unrelated to the future of her race."

Jellybean turns and looks up at the other mare, the purple one. This time there's no blinking, only a remarkably shameful expression and a blush. "Can we please talk about plans now, Miss Bloodrage?" he asks in a little voice.

"It does make for a pretty interesting conversation piece," suggests Winter, looking up from her wonderful world of imagination and across to Snowfield. "Not every day you get to be like, 'hi there, I'm from another world.'" She quiets. "Well, actually, for us, yeah, we do get to do that every day." She pauses again, then looks down at her hoof. "Nevermind."

Bloodrage points at Snowfield, and turns away, trotting into the backroom to examine the hoofwork of the heater installation. Eagle-Eye gives Thunderbutt a bit of a snort. "The resemblance is uncanny, and you're a sourpuss. Wanna make a tussle of it, Jade?" He snorts, and flutters his wings.

When Bloodrage reemerges, she shrugs. "Looks good and seems to be working. Plans can wait. For now, it's too cold for you to return tonight, so I can offer empty space for ponies to bed down for the night." She pauses. "Well. Bed down for sleep, anyway."

That gets a wry chuckle out of Kludge. "Sleep does sound like an excellent idea," he admits. "Sometimes it feels like it's the only time to relax, but that just seems to be life."

"That would be greatly appreciated." Redmane says, settling himself down somewhere out of the way. "We can start making our way back tomorrow. After we plan."

Solar-Wind looks to Snowfield, grumbles some, "Figured someone should be informed" he mumbles, but remains at his 'guard' post content to just stand guard for now, This place may be Pegasus territory, but he feels less than comfortable here.

Jade-Lightning glances sideways over at Eagle-Eye, giving a snort of her own and grinning faintly. "Pfft, I'll just pin you again. 'Jellybean', huh? Yeah, I can see you as a Jellybean."

Snowfield shrugs and begins trotting towards the door. "Be informed of what? That while they're living a life barely on the edge of subsistance, fighting tooth and hoof every day simply to survive, that /somewhere/ out in the universe there's a world identical to this one except everything is sunshine and rainbows?" The unicorn shakes her head. "You've got to work on your tact, colt. That's not informing, that's gloating." Unless stopped she's going to head back outside into the cold and the snow. Perhaps she'll come back inside to sleep later but for now she wants to go vent on the ice.

Jellybean hears the words 'place to sleep for the night' and lets out a huge yawn that he's apparently been holding for an hour and immediately curls up on the floor. "Is your talent guessing things too, Mr. Eagle Eye?"

Winter-Solstice drags the Sled- with or without floatiness- over to a comfortable-looking corner, then starts rooting about in the supplies packed upon it. Dinner is there. Or is it breakfast? It's whatever you want to be, baby, as long as you don't want it to be delicious, because it's more blue leaves. She also has a few blankets, and some sticks. "Blankets?" she asks, holding one up, waving it at Jellybean, then Heartsong, then Glimmer. The sticks, though… those she keeps for herself.

Solar-Wind looks after Snowfield, and mentions, "maybe if you planned on going back to that, that would be true, are we even?" he asks with genuine interest in her response. "No one here seems to be able to send anyone back yet, so tell me that, are you going back somehow?"

"I have to," Snowfield says as she reaches the entrance with a glance over her shoulder back towards Solar. "I have to kill Salty. It's in my contract." And with that she's out the door.

Jellybean nodnods at the offer of a blanket, wings flapping.

Winter-Solstice hooks Jellybean up with the blank-izzle, then she herself beds down on the Sled, which creaks under her weight. She bundles up a blanket for a pillow and twists her head to look at the door swing shut behind Snowfield. With a little frown, she looks back to Solar. "Contract?" She looks to Jelly next. "Contract?"

Solar-Wind just shakes his head looking back to everyone as she leaves, the look on his muzzle is that of 'I have no idea?!' He gets said blanket, wraps it about his thermal suit, and remains at the door with a spear leaned against one hoof. Door guard, or really guard of the rest of the group, since he doesn't really /trust/ anypony at this time, well any pony besides the well meaning harborites.

Heartsong accepts the blanket, sighing as she drapes it over herself and lays down, softly humming a lullaby to herself. Any ponies near enough to actively listen in would likely find themselves feeling quite drowsy and yawny.

Jellybean shrugs an expressive little equine shrug. "I don't know. But I figure it'll all work out." He mumbles sleepily. "G'night Miss Solstice. g'night Mr. Wind, G'night Miss Heartsong. G'night bigger me, g'night bigger Typhoon. I'm sorry I haven't written the letter yet."

It seems Glimmer has already found a place to crash for the night. Back in the room with the heater. Away from everypony.

Eagle-Eye also appears to have snuck out! Or at least escaped back upstairs. Surely there will be more time for questioning later.

Jade blinks and tilts an ear, glancing over at Jellybean quizzically. "…Okay?" She eyes him for a moment longer before shrugging a bit, moving to trail off after wherever Eagle had disappeared to.

Winter-Solstice makes a little face as Solar and Jelly both seem as clueless as her, then shrugs, getting comfortable, hooves folded behind her head. She stares up at the ceiling, but she doesn't sleep. Not around these jerky pegasi, and not when there are various mysteries to ponder, which- along with fanciful imaginations of action and adventure and warm hearths and sunrises- keep her occupied well through the night.

Solar-Wind looks to Winter-Solstice, "I'll take first watch, get some rest, then we'll trade off" he offers to her as he eyes the others here untrusting of about anyone.

Winter-Solstice twists about to look across to Solar, then relaxes once more. "We'll see. Don't take it personally if I don't fall asleep, though."

Solar-Wind gives a little nod of his head, "Well, fine, I don't trust ANYONE here so, I'll just sit right here and watch everyone, everyone" he grumbles, "Goodnight Winter" he grumbles something about bedrest and wishing he had stayed at home or something.