Princess Magpie's Birthday Party
IC date: Summer 32
OOC date: July 23rd, 2013
Location: Mane Affair
PCs: Magpie Ruby-Blossom Kludge Pumpkin Dream-Daze Tale-Chaser Dragonheart Snapdragon Toybox Hawthorn Straylight Sunshine-Stormcloud Cricket

It's still weirdly chilly out, considering it's mid-July. Maybe this is revenge from Winter itself for screwing up the snow with all that Spire business. Whatever, either way, the invitations went out and now it's the day and the time, and Magpie's just about dancing on her hooftips. She hasn't had an actual birthday in years and years. Literally, the last time she had one, there wasn't anypony to throw one and she didn't even realize it was that day until two weeks later.

But this one makes up for it! Streamers cross the ceiling to make the living room upstairs from the Mane Affair resemble the interior of a tent, and Magpie herself is sitting there under the middle of it, wearing her brand new frilly yellow dress (courtesy of Ruby-mom), with a little silver tiara — real silver! — perched on her curled mane just behind her horn. The princess effect is slightly ruined by the fact that she's also wearing a striped conical party hat, on which clings Sticky, the brilliantly green gecko, who is himself wearing a tiny conical party hat. He looks unamused by this, but geckos have a pretty much permanent unamused look, so that doesn't necessarily signify.

And nearby, on her back, is Dragonheart squirming mightily as she tries to bite the dress off of her body. Stupid yellow dress, like Magpie's, that is stupidly on her body, with /ruffles/, and rrrrr!! The party hat is askew, neatly arranged on her cheek like a horrible conical tumor.
(It's not a tumor.)
"WHYYYYYYY. NoooOOOOOoooOOOOooo!!!" She rolls and rolls and bumps into Magpie with the most dramatic of sighs, flinging a hoof across her forehead. "UGGGGHHHHH."

(OOC) Pumpkin dies.
(OOC) Cricket implodes
(OOC) Magpie loves Dragonheart.
(OOC) Hawthorn giggles.
(OOC) Magpie: Dragonheart's Face When right now.
(OOC) Dragonheart: Yep pretty much precisely. XD

Pumpkin doesn't own much in the way of fancy occasion attire, being of decidedly unfancy nature. But on the other hoof this is her friend's birthday so she's hardly going to say no to a simple request for the party, and so when she knocks on the door she's wearing a pale blue party dress her mother made for her and her tail has a fancy-looking new ribbon. On her head is balanced a small parcel.

Ruby-Blossom made sure to hand out invitations to all the ponyfolk (griffons included) - and these invitations had special instructions not known to Magpie, cause Ruby is sneaky like that. At the moment RUby can be found in the kitchen tending to the last of the appetizers. On the counter sits a big ol cake that reads 'Happy Birthday Magpie' with a frosting design of the birthday mare's cutie mark. Ruby leans over the counter to chime at Dragonheart "Come on sweetie, don't you want ot be like big sister Maggie, hmm? I even got you a cute dress to match hers!" she wipes her hooves on a towel then retrieves a paper-wrapped bundle which she carries over to Dragonheart. "It's Maggie's special day, but I have something I've been meaning to give you."

Hawthorn was a little confused by the invitation, but he's not going to argue. He comes peeking, an extremely neatly wrapped package (with a bright pink bow!) floating above his head, wrapped in the pale red that makes his magic. "Hello?" he calls, beaming happily. "Magpie! Happy birthday!" He comes trotting in, wearing a pale pink dress with lovely ruffles and frills. It's kinda cute on him.

Kludge comes trotting in. "Had a thing or two to tidy up in the workshop," he shrugs, a present balanced on his hat.

Ceiling cat is watching you! Wait, it's a ceiling gryphon. Does half a cat still count? Straylight is clinging to the rafters upside down, sporting a small camera. She still wears her usual attire (with a bulging pocket), but is now sporting streamers dangling from her paws and tail and even ears. It's a very colourful and festive camouflage.

Knock Knock Knock! The sound of little hooves taps on the door.

Magpie eees! Friends! She throws her hooves around Pumpkin and spins her around in enthusiastic greeting right at the door (the back one that comes right into the living area, naturally). "That's the cutest dress!" she says with a grin. She gives Dragonheart a little pat on the head in passing — so adorable! — And then Hawthorn shows up. Magpie blinks, opens her mouth — closes it. Considers. Finally she asks, "Did you get that from Jellybean?"

A package! Dragonheart ceases squirming and looks up at Ruby. And then she uses the new word she learned yesterday: "Fart."

No time to think about fashion, more ponies are arriving! And maybe it'll be the photographer Ruby-mom mentioned, who hasn't shown up yet! Magpie flings the door wide open!

Ruby-Blossom shakes her head and gives Dragonheart a little pat on the head. "You should say 'Thank you' when a pony gives you something nice." she offers a warm smile. "The other word, isn't a wonderful one." she pokes that little nose. "Open your gift, silly." she offers a friendly wave at all the arriving ponies.

It's a floating gift! No…wait. That's not right. OH! It is! Toybox just happens to be standing right behind it. "Happy Birfday Maggie!"

Magpie says "Wah! This box is talkin' to me!"

Pumpkin squeals as she's picked up and spun, then lands dizzily. "Why thank you, Magpie. Ma made it for me." She wobbles a bit, then hands Magpie her present. "Here. For later'n stuff." Hawthorn gets a blink, but then a giggle. "That's real pretty. Ain't a lot of colts who'd wear that, for sure."

Dream-Daze peeks out from right behind Toybox, dolled up in an adorable little poofy blue dress. Like many of the other guests, she has a package perched on her head, in her case it's just behind her horn. She waves a hoof at Magpie, the filly of the day~

Sunshine-Stormcloud peeks from one of the other rooms. Glance, glance. She sneaks out of that doorway, a box balanced on her flank, inching her way into the livingroom while Magpie's busy opening doors.

Hawthorn beams at Pumpkin. "Thank you! The pony at the rental place said it'd look wicked nice on me!" He pauses for a moment. "Though she did keep callin' me 'little filly'. I dunno why." He beams at Magpie, too. "Hi, Magpie! I got you a gift!" He floats it over to her, then looks around. Wow, lots of ponies!

After a bit of delay following Toybox and Dreamy's arrival, the bell rings and Tale Chaser enters. He opens the door himself because he's bold and daring like that. He's done up in the little collar and tie Maggie gave him for his birthday. And his mane is brushed. Mostly. There are a few little licks poking off here and there. He glances around at the crowd, suppresses a moment of panic, swallows, squirms, and hurries to pull a long, flat present out of his saddlebag, set it aside, and doff his saddlebags. The seapony then slinks off to the side, waiting for a moment for Magpie to look available, at which point he sort of lifts a hoof and goes "Ah-" until something else proceeds to be louder or more brightly colored and he lowers his hoof and falls quiet.

(OOC) Pumpkin eeee.

Toybox lowers the package to reveal herself. She's got on a lovely little gown and a giant grin. Snuck up on by Dreamy, she lets out a little cheery squeal and hugs the silent foal. Package in tow, she makes her way into the house.

"Dahngu," Dragonheart mimics, distracted for the moment as she noses at the packaging and starts to tear into it. She rips and tugs at the paper and soon it's all in shreds. In its place is a bundle of blanket and stuffed animal! "Oooh!! Toy!" she identifies, and she sweeps them into her forelegs happily.

Please. Louder and brighter, maybe, but Tale Chaser holds a special place in Magpie's eyes, and as soon as she spies him hovering in the background, she squeals and launches herself at him for an enthusiastic hug that knocks the tiara off her head and the glasses off his face.

*click* *clickclick* *clickclickclick*
It's hard to hear over all the little hooves and congratulations, but all the new arrivals are getting their pictures taken as they offer their presents. Speaking of presents — a small beribboned box on a small party balloon drifts down from her to rest on Magpie's back while she's distracted with enthusiastic hugging.

Pumpkin nods, giggling some more. "Can't imagine why." She makes a face when Magpie goes leaping after Tale Chaser. "Eww, are they gonna kiss again?"

*blink blink* "When did things get so blurry." Ruby asks with glasses on her nose and tiara on her head.

(OOC) Magpie: Princess Ruby
(OOC) Magpie: Behold, behold.
(OOC) Pumpkin harmonizes.

Kludge chuckles at Maggie's (completely expected) reaction to Tale Chaser's arrival. "Well, it *is* something that ponies do with their special someponies," he points out to Pumpkin, giving Ruby a quick nuzzle to prove his point.

Hawthorn shrugs at Pumpkin. "I dunno! It was really weird." He shrugs and smiles. "Oh, well." Then he meeps as Magpie goes flying across the room. She didn't even take her present. "Guess I'll go put this on the counter. Ruby, why're you wearin' Tale Chaser's glasses?" he asks, as he floats the suspiciously book-like present over. He blinks at Kludge, contemplating that for a moment, then suddenly blushes and turns studiously away as the stallion starts nuzzling at the mare.

Tale-Chaser reaches up to catch Magpie, eyes widening, and he succeeds! Technically! In that he cushions her fall with his scrawny pink body. He grins in a pained fashion and squeezes Magpie back. "Hey," he says. "Happy birthday…" He blinks a few times, squints, and starts patting the floor around himself for his glasses.

Ruby-Blossom acks cutely at the nuzzling. "Dreamy, when'd you get so big?" she asks squinty eyed through Tale-Chaser's glasses - which make her eyes huge.

Magpie gives Tale Chaser one chaste peck on the cheek just to annoy Pumpkin. Then hops off and brushes down her dress, returns her party hat (and Sticky) to her head, and.. "Hey, anypony seen my crown-thingy?"

Dreamy beams~ She hugs Toybox back! Then trots around to deposit her gift in the pile with the others, stopping to wave at Ruby. Blink. Silent giggle! And onward to put present away so she can get to greeting the birthday girl.

Over in the corner, an Iron Box Menaces with Spikes. It has a ribbon tied around one of them and a little tag tied to another, and a little tag tied to the tag. It was delivered earlier and it lurks.

That crown-thingy is only a foot or so away from Dragonheart, whose eyes have grown big as it rolls toward her and then comes to a stop. She abandons her toy, because like any cat, purchased fun is not NEARLY so exciting as found fun. She pounces on it with a squeal.

Sunshine, meanwhile, has successfully deposited her gift and retreated back into another room. Where she nudges the door slooooooowly closed.

Toybox hunkers down and prowls her way over to Dragonheart and the tiara. She gets almost nose-to-nose with the filly and giggles, "What've you got?"

Kludge places his present over in the pile with the others. The tag is slightly bigger than usual to accomodate a parenthetical addition, but otherwise it's an unassuming boxy shape.

"I yam a good girl!" Dragonheart replies excitedly. "Gotta cookie!!" … Tiaras are cookies now, you know

(OOC) Sunshine-Stormcloud daww.
(OOC) Magpie: ^^
(OOC) Pumpkin snerks.
(OOC) Ruby-Blossom: Wait, Dragon is pouncing the tiara? The one on Ruby's head?
(OOC) Dragonheart: Oh man I totally missed that.
(OOC) Dragonheart: Then yes. She totally is.
(OOC) Ruby-Blossom: I'll work with it.
(OOC) Dragonheart: She's hanging off your neck. XD

Pumpkin giggles. "Ah reckon we're gonna have a hard time gettin' that away from her now. Hope you're okay with that, Magpie."

Toybox wrinkles her nose in confusion, "That isn't a cookie!"

Hawthorn hasn't actually met Dragonheart. He moves a little closer, watching the foal quietly. "I thought those sorts of things were called crowns," he says, tilting his head to the side. "Aren't cookies, y'know, cookies?"

Ruby-Blossom wahs cutely as Dragonheart pounces. Knocked onto her back RUby giggles loudly as the little filly clings to her "Gah, I'm not a cookie! No noms!" she giggles warmly and squeezes the little filly in her pretty dress.

Dragonheart hugs Ruby back! Which is another new thing. But she's quickly distracted, looking at Hawthorn eagerly. "Cookies?!" Clearly he must have some if he said the word.

Ruby-Blossom releases the kraken! Well, feral - but it's just as devestating

For some reason, Sticky seems really important here. It's such a festive lizard. Straylight simply must have him for a close-up. She dangles an exceptionally long streamer from where she's skulking about the ceiling, trying to entice the gecko to hold onto the ribbon instead. Maybe she can rescue it from feral foals.

(OOC) Magpie: Sticky is on my head, actually.

Magpie shrugs a bit to Pumpkin. "I think I can probably get it back later." Steal it back, she means. "It's okay. I'm so happy everyone came! This is the best birthday ever!" Before she can get sniffly or anything, runs around looking at her gifts — wow! Wow! She does eye the terrifying lurking iron box in the corner. No question who delivered that one.

Hawthorn erks as he becomes the focus of Dragonheart's attention. "I don't… um…" He sighs and drops Maggie's gift off, then levitates a cookie from a hidden pocket in his dress, floating it over to Dragonheart. He was saving it for later, but he can't really argue, if only because he's pretty certain Dragonheart wouldn't understand the arguing.

Tale-Chaser pushes himself to his hooves and pokes around. He's familiar enough with the layout of the place that he can make his way to a chair without issue, but after settling down he seems kind of hesitant to go anywhere else.

Pumpkin hops and gives Magpie a friendly shoulder-bump. "So what're we gonna do, huh? Are we gonna wrassle? Have a pig-callin' competition? Race, maybe?"

Sticky eyes that pesky ribbon. Hm. It's following him. Maybe he better see where it goes. He grabs on and clings. He's good at that. Champion clinger.

Toybox bounces and giggles, "Ow maybe we can have a…a pig-wessling wace!"

Magpie uh. She looks over at Ruby questioningly.

Dragonheart's eyes get huge, still sitting on Ruby. But she does crouch down, ready to pounce, with her butt wiggling every few moments, eyes locked on the prize.

Success! And sneakily, but faster as it grows shorter, Straylight rolls up the ribbon. Sticky is a circus acrobat lizard now.

Hawthorn uhs at Dragonheart. He's seen that action before. He swiftly floats the cookie to a location where neither he, nor anything fragile, will get pounced once the foal decides to leap for it.

Ruby-Blossom shrugs. "We don't got any little piggies. But we have foals." she ponders then gets up, and wanders to a closet. *rummage rummage rummage* A minute later she returns with a bag, and dumps the contents onto the floor - a bunch dress-up pig snouts. "Plenty to go around?" picking up one she swiftly puts it on Hawthorn's cute little face.

Kludge watches Dragonheart amusedly, glancing around to make sure nobody will be walking between the hunting foal and her prey.

Magpie blinks up at Ruby. "I don't. What. Why do you even HAVE these?!"

POUNCE!!! Nothing deters Dragonheart — not even being sat down. She even makes the jump, mouth around the cookie as she dangles from Hawthorn's magic.

Dreamy promptly pokes her head up from the pile of dress-up snouts, one perched on her face. Another hanging on one of her ears. She blinks twice.

Pumpkin blinks and then stares at her own snoot for a moment. This is making her go cross-eyed. After a moment, it makes her fall over. "Ack!

Hawthorn tilts his head. He didn't even know he could hold up a foal with his magic! He's somewhat proud of himself! Until he gets a pig snout, which makes him blink and attempt to look at it. He's now a pig in a dress? His concentration broken, his magic winks out, and Dragonheart might find herself without any magical support. "What just happened?"

THUD. Doesn't matter, have cookie.

Ruby-Blossom ponders Magpie's question. "Uhh. I have cause, uhh…never hurts to have costumes just hanging a snout?"

Magpie AUGH and falls over

Toybox makes her way up to the pile of snouts and wrinkles her nose, "But…if we'ah all pigs…who's gonna do the wessling?"

Tale-Chaser rubs his cheek and makes a face. He can't see what's going on, but he knows a bad joke when hears one.

Hawthorn ums. He levitates Tale-Chaser's glasses from Ruby's muzzle back over to the seafoal.

Ruby-Blossom will wrastle all the foals, and with with hug-submissions.

Tale-Chaser blinks a few times with surprise as his glasses surface from the blur of his surroundings, and quickly puts them back on. "Thanks, ah-" He peers through them across at Hawthorn, clearly surprised, then smiles a bit, looking down as he toys with his glasses to make unneeded adjustments. "Thanks, Hawthorn."

Hawthorn beams. Pinkly.

Pumpkin rolls over until she's more or less seated, then looks around at everypony. "Y'all are goofy-lookin' with them there snouts. Ah bet ah look pretty silly too."

Oh look. Things! Still munching her cookie, Dragonheart rolls her way over to the snouts and winds up nose-to-nose with Dreamy as she does so. "…Herro," she says, spraying crumbs in the other foal's face.

"Well, there's one thing sillier than wearing one of the snouts," comments Kludge as he puts one on. "And that is… having a serious expression while wearing one." He does a deadpan Serious Expression, snout and all.

Magpie grabs a snout and snaps it in place. She pulls off the party hat and her magic sweeps her tiara back onto her head. "Princess Piggy!" she declares, leaping up to pose atop the couch.

Sticky gives Straylight a sideways tilted look. He's already acrobatic. 's not like he needs help. He licks his eyeball.

Hawthorn climbs up onto the couch, poking himself in the, uh, snout. Then he giggles at Kludge. He ohs and waves a hoof at Magpie. "Why don't you open your gifts first?" He knows you want to. "Then we can figure out who hasta chase who."

Straylight pulls Sticky up all the way and eyes the lizard up close. Poor gecko faces a gigantic (by its measures) lens. *click* Clearly there must be something very fashionable about the lizard. She tries to settle it on her chest.

Toybox bounces. Bounce bounce! "I wanna wessle the piggies!"

Tale-Chaser squirms slightly in his seat. Pigs are strange. He's seen a few in a farm on the edge of town. One of them oinked at him. It was terrifying.

Magpie points an imperious hoof— er, trotter at Ruby. "You! Fetch me my gifts." She points in Toybox's and Pumpkin's directions. "You and you, fight to the death!"

Pumpkin blinks. Looks at Toybox. Looks down at her dress. Looks back at Toybox. Looks at Magpie. Hoofscuffs. "Ah didn't think bein' the birthday girl could make ya go mad with power."

Hawthorn looks over at Pumpkin. "Have you met her?" he asks, deadpan.

Magpie muahahaha.

Dreamy slinks up onto the couch, trying to make herself look like just part of the 'royal entorage'.

Toybox blinks and looks at Pumpkin, down at her own dress, then back to Pumpkin and finally at Magpie, all in time with Pumpkin, "You want us to do…what?"

Dragonheart bounces over to Magpie and looks up at her eagerly. "Mahgpai! Wanna cookie!" Considering the crumbs all over her face, it's up in the air whether she's asking or offering but considering the source, it's probably the former.

(OOC) Magpie grins an evil grin. "Pumpkin has cookies," she tells Dragonheart. "She has all the cookies, and she's hiding them! Go get 'em back!"

Ruby glances towards Magpie and with a deadpan expression calmly replies. "Birthday Princess has no authority over her mother, the Queen." she places a hoof against her chest and sits up all regally, pig snout and all. She claps her hooves together "Kludge, presents."

Magpie giggles at Ruby. "You can't be queen, you don't have a crown-thingy!" She hops down and snout-nuzzles Hawthorn, Dreamy, and Toybox. "I'm *kidding*."

Kludge bows, still with his deadpan expression, then goes over to the collection of presents and brings one over to Maggie.

Hawthorn gives Maggie a brief hug, beaming at her. "I know." He pokes her nose, giggling. "Happy birthday!"
Ruby-Blossom huff cutely and mutters under her breath. "I have a way better tiara.." just one she can't show off, cause you know she stole it from the Royal Treasury.

"HAHPEH BIRFDAY!" echoes Dragonheart excitedly, still bouncing around Magpie and hoping it gets her a cookie.

Dreamy totally nuzzles back. Maybe joins in all the excited bouncing.

Pumpkin hoofscuffs, looking confused. "Ah'm still not gonna fight Toybox. That wouldn't be fair."

Magpie sweeps up Dragonheart for a squeezehug too! Eeeee! "You don't gotta. I was jokin'." But presents. Yes. Presents are important. Oooh, the big one from Toybox! Yes!

Toybox bounces some more and giggles, floating the present over to Magpie and beaming a grin. "I hope you like it!"

Hawthorn cranes his head to peek into the package, curious what Toybox got Maggie.

Dreamy, too, is peeking over Magpie's shoulder. From a convenient perch on a couch arm.

Down the hall a door opens up just a crack.

Magpie lifts out a pair of hoof-made but very detailed plush toys — one made up to look like Magpie herself, the other Tale Chaser. "Awwww!" she coos. "C'mere, TC, I gotta give you something~!"

The pile of plastic pig snouts stirs. It shifts. It… yawns? Oh. There's a nose in there that isn't pig. In fact, it's purple and pony. And there're ears too. And a wing, apparently. "Aaaooo?" And Snapdragon sounds quite confused. This is not where he thought he was!

Tale-Chaser watches with the faint smile of someone who is pleased by the goings-on if not necessarily as totally into it as the birthday girl. At least, until Magpie pulls out the plushies. The Maggie plush makes him raise his eyebrows; the TC plus makes him sit up with surprise in his seat. He hops down and pokes his way over, staring at it. "Oh, wow…" he says, before glancing at Toybox. "Did you- you didn't make these, did you? 'Cause… 'cause that's real nice." He adjusts his glasses. "Like you could prolly sell 'em an' make a lot. There's a big market for that sorta thing."

Pumpkin is sitting down, looking up at the Birthday Princess on her Throne of Gifts. "Those're cute!"

Magpie makes a little squee and hugs TC, pushing the her-plushie into his hooves.

Ruby-Blossom scootches towards the pile of pig snouts and rummages about in an attempt to retrieve the foal, freeing him from the opression of pig snouts - and opressing him with big hugs instead.

Toybox gives a great big smile paired with a great big happy nod at TC. "I maded them myself!"

Tale-Chaser leans into the hug with a smile, then hugs the plushie. Then glances between it and Magpie and gives her a hug. A tighter one. So she doesn't feel jealous. He smiles to Toybox over Magpie's head. "Good job."

Dragonheart, upon hearing her brother, abandons the gift-giving (it's boring, anyway. Nopony's giving her cookies.) and bounds over that way instead. "Aaauouuaahh!" she says cheerfully to him. "Mahgpie happy birfday!"

Hawthorn awwws at the plushies. That's adorable. He giggles a bit, then blinks at the two feral foals. Weird.

Snapdragon is retrieved! He doesn't seem to be too enthusiastic about this. "Aaaawaaahhneeee!" FLAIL. …Oh. Ruby. "…Ruuuu," he flutters his wings and tones down the flailing. Now he's just squirming. His ears perk as he hears Dragonheart - and a familiar name! "Mahpi!"

Magpie giggles. She waves to the little crazy ferals. "You're silly!" she calls to them as she pulls Kludge's gift over.

Tale-Chaser retires back to his seat, smuggling the plushies along with him.

Toybox sneaks over to the ferals and boops them both on the nose to get their attention. "Magpie. Mag. Pie. Magpie!" Awww…she's giving them speech lessons!

"Magpie!" repeats Dragonheart. "Magpie fart!" Because new words should go into every conversation. She beams. "I yamma good girl!"

Magpie says "That's a lie!"

Dragonheart says "FART!!"

(OOC) Sunshine-Stormcloud XD
(OOC) Snapdragon: who taught her this word? XD
(OOC) Sunshine-Stormcloud whistles innocently~

Hawthorn watches the unwrapping before his attention is drawn to Toybox's speech lessons. He peeks over the couch. Then he starts to giggle helplessly.

Ruby-Blossom huffs cutely "Dragonheart, sweetie. Don't use that word, good foals don't use /that/ word, and good foals get cake." she ponders "Have they had cake yet? Oh my…"

Toybox wrinkles her nose and scoffs. "No she didn't!"

"Cake!" Dragonheart's attention is latched onto Ruby. "Cake cake cake cake!"

Hawthorn perks his ears up. "Cake?"

Magpie coos, "Ohhh! Look!" The box itself it, oddly, wooden and lined in black velvet. From inside, she pulls a mane-comb made of seashells. "It's so pretty! This is from Thunnini?" A moment later, she blinks. Tugs a little strand of ribbon that's sticking up from inside the surprisingly sturdy box.

Snapdragon blinks and tilts an ear. "…Mahpi!" And then, new sounds. Luckily, he's not very good at f's, so he bypasses that one and goes for the next one. "Caaakeh."

Magpie blinks. She pushes the secret door inside of the box back down. Weird message… Sets that one aside in favor of Pumpkin's gift!

Kludge nods. "Thunnini was up late last night making sure the shells looked good in all light, so she's sleeping this afternoon," he explained.

Magpie awwws. "I'll have to go give her a giant hug later." Now: RIP INTO GIFT.

Tale-Chaser adjusts his glasses as he observes. Shells: good. But now he wants to know what else is in the box. That's gonna bug him.

If there is something to be captured from this party, it's the unboxing of gifts and the expressions immediately after. And so Straylight tries to capture that. Well, when she's not capturing extreme close-up of a gecko licking his eye.

Magpie tears open the box. Inside the box, is a saddle bag. She opens the saddle bag. It's empty. Peer.

Pumpkin says "You know. For carryin' stuff."

Magpie says "Ohhhhh. It's a gift for putting all my other gifts in! Clever!" She puts her mane comb in the bag. Then reconsiders and puts it back in her hair. "….uh, some of the … uh… other gifts."

Dreamy beams. So many interesting gifts! She sneaks around behind Tale Chaser to peek over his shoulder at the plushies though. Because those were very interesting…

"I think it looks nice," says Tale Chaser, regarding the saddlebag. "S'nice and sturdy. Good for goin' out on hikes an' stuff."

Magpie looks around. Augh. Which to open next?! She picks up one… "From… Sunshine?" She looks around. Where at?!

A thump comes from outside on the balcony.

Hawthorn nods. "A good set of saddlebags are wicked important! You don't wanna hafta carry everything around with your magic."

Sunshine is not in the room! But don't let that stop any presents from being opened…

Magpie opens the box. Inside, another box. "Uh." Wrapped in cloth. She starts unwinding the cloth. More and more and more… "Oh! It's a CAPE!" She frees it and swings the black cloak over her back. "Is this silk?" From the box, a wide brimmed black hat with a really fluffy feather. "Oh, I can be a musketeer!" she giggles. "THANKS SUNSHINE!" she hollers at the place in general.

SUDDENLY! "I had those tailor made based on bits from my personal collection. …What's left of it anyway." comes a voice from the living room's entrance. Because Sunshine was waiting for this moment to show up! Probably due to the fact that she has the grown-up versions of said cape and hat on her own person. Pony? "Happy birthday Maggie~"

Magpie eees and runs over to hug the big little mare. "I'll be all dashing." She darts back, then, and pulls over Hawthorn's beribboned box.

At Sunshine's appearance, Tale Chaser leaps in his seat and turns a pale shade of pink. I mean pale red. He is pale pale red. And sprawled back and hyperventilating for a few moments.

Dreamy, whom had been right behind Tale Chaser, is startled into flailing and falling backwards in a tumble behind the red-pink-pony! Thump.

Magpie blinks. She pulls out a book, and opens it. "I… what?" It's some kind of picture book about seapony clothes. "Where did you even — find this?"

Hawthorn flicks an ear. "The book store." He looks a little crestfallen. "D-did you not like it?" he asks, nervously. "I'm sorry. I can get you a better book, instead."

Magpie waves her hooves wildly! "No! No, it's great! I was just — We didn't even know seaponies existed last year, when did somepony find time to write..?" Starting to suspect the book more imaginary than not…

Tale-Chaser scrambles to his hooves once he realizes he is on top of Dreamy. "Oh! D-Dreamy! Are you okay?" he asks, reaching over to help the smaller filly upright. Now he is blushing. He is a colt of many pinks.

Not long after the thump, the latch to get in slowly starts to turn.

All these ponies are handing Magpie things. Dragonheart glances around, and looks thoughtful, biting her lip.

Pumpkin settles in and watches. "Y'all picked out some really neat presents. Happy birthday, Magpie. How's it feel bein' a teenager now?"

Huff. Dreamy accepts the hoof though, wiggles up onto her hooves, and hugs Tale Chaser for the assist anyway. She scoots to the side to find a less dangerous place to watch the gift-opening fun.

Ruby sneaks away from the group to retrieve another paper-wrapped bundle which she hands to Snapdragon before ruffling his mane with her hoof. "Here you go, you get something too.

The book may be the fevered imaginations of some land author. Only another seapony would know for sure! Hawthorn whews a bit as Maggie gets excited about the book. "Oh, good." He beams happily. "Glad you like it!" He settles back in to watch the rest of the gift-opening.

Magpie slips the book into her bag. Beams at Pumpkin. "Oh, I'm feeling grumpy and annoying." She looks over at Ruby. "That's right, isn't it?" she asks, as she drags th box from Dreamy up to herself.

Sunshine-Stormcloud finds herself a good seat, too. "Nice haul you got so far."

Magpie says "That's 'cause I have th' best friends."

Ruby-Blossom rolls her eyes. "That's pretty common for you, Magpie." she playfully quips before glancing towards the balcony - she suspects the noise outside was a certain somepony.

Dreamy's present is a small box, within which is a black wooden box lined with shiny silver detail, curled around the box like ivy. A little lock and key keeps the box secure, the key set with a shiny little crystallish bauble at the end. When Magpie flips it open, it starts to play a little song — a musicbox! With a snowglobe that has a little spinning version of Magpie in it. twirling in snow and playing this theme:

Sunshine-Stormcloud scoooooots over next to Ruby. She tugs her hat's brim down to cover her expression. "Ruu. Sorry I taught one of your little monsters a bad word. If it makes you feel any better I taught her a good word to go with it?"

"RAISINS!" quips Dragonheart, to back Sunshine up.

(OOC) Pumpkin dies.

Sunshine-Stormcloud points! "That word. Raisins. Such a good word."

Tale-Chaser missed the book on seapony fashion in all the hubbub. As he settles back down, he stares at the music box, toys with his glasses, and goes back to staring. "Oh…"

The door from the balcony creeeaaaaaaaaaaaaks open. Well…that didn't exactly go as planned.

Dreamy sneeeeeaks up next to Magpie, poking her nose up against the filly's shoulder while the musicbox plays.

Pumpkin listens to the music, head bobbing from side to side.

Hawthorn perks his ears up, tilting his head at the music box. One of his ears flicks in time (more or less) with the music. "Oooh."

Even Dragonheart has to pause in her antics to peer at the music box from afar. She scoots over toward Magpie to peek.

Toybox leans in close to the music box, hypnotized by the little spinning figurine.

Ruby slips to her hoofs to trot back into the kitchen, and retrieve the last of the bags; bigger than the other three she's handed out since yesterday. She carries it in her mouth over the to the balcony door and sets it down before trotting back to the crowd.

Snapdragon creeps over after his sister, ears perked up, wings fluttering slightly. He staaaares up at the little musical contraption, eyes a bit wide. Oooooh. Pretty noises.

Magpie giggles at her little duplicate dancing. "How many of me am I gonna end up with today?" she jokes. Then the time for joking is over because it seems like time to confront… THE BOX. She approaches it carefully. It menaces with spikes of steel.

It menaces with spikes of iron, actually. As these things must.

(OOC) Pumpkin: All craftsponyship is of the highest quality.

With all the other ponies (aside from Ruby) distracted my the music, it seems to be the best time for Cricket to sneak in behind the others. The bag goes unnoticed as she creeps around to go down the hallway.

It's a simple, if sturdy crate of iron. There are big hinges and no latch. It could probably be used as a blanket chest if you liked rusty blankets.

Ruby-Blossom grumps cutely as Cricket forgoes the bag with her name on it and heads down the hall. She casts a weary eye towards the hallway but leaves the foal be.

Magpie swallows. She reaches up, slowly pushes the lid up. Then.. the filly screams.

Sunshine-Stormcloud jerks upright! "What? What is it?" She splays her ears. "It's not a severed head is it?"

Pumpkin flails at the scream and falls over, joining in the screaming.

Hawthorn falls off of the couch at the sudden scream. "What happened?" he asks, his fur all frizzed up. It's sort of a strange look with the dress.

Screams are not pretty noises. "Aaaaeeeeeeeeooooooo!" Snapdragon wails, toppling over backwards and scrambling under the nearest piece of furniture.

Magpie says "It's not EMPTY!"

Magpie has to reach INTO the creepifying box and pull out… a length of thin chain?

Cricket vanishes elsewhere in the house for the time being.

Hawthorn attempts to smooth out his hair before looking over at the length of chain. "What?"

Dragonheart scrambles after Snapdragon — but does so to protect him! By squaring off against the crate with a glare. "Rrrrr!"

Ruby-Blossom slips to her hoofs and wanders over to Maggie, giving her a small hug while supervising the extraction of the contents from The Cube.

Kludge trots over to where he can reach Snapdragon and Dragonheart, giving the Twins a hug and a comforting purr.

The hinges of the spiked chest creak most ominously; flakes of rust sift away. It clanks for some reason.

And the chain is… a braclet, or at least something braclet-sized. Finely-woven links of pressed steel form a braclet that feels lighter than it appears. There's a pattern in the links: some are stained a deep, lustrous grey, while oth ers have an inlay of white metal. It makes for alternating bands of black and white. Magpie colors.

Straylight all frizzes up, Sticky suddenly having to find a new foothold in her rustled plumage. Screams are not proper celebration noises. Well, not usually. Unless it's Nightmare Night. Or unless there are explosions. She nearly lets go of the rafters, buuut… okay, one picture of Magpie looking silly-scared, done.

Confident the create poses no immediate danger, Ruby wanders to Kludge and gives him and the foals a hug before whispering to stallion. "Cake's on the counter when you ponies are ready. I need to check on the little ones." and the muddy one. The trots down the hall towards her bedroom.

Magpie says "Oh… oh. Okay. Hahahahaha. I thought it was a snake. This is… pretty…" She stares at the bracelet, then at the box. Did the same pony make these? Really?

Toybox climbs up onto the crate and stomps her hooves on it a few times. Be vanquished, foul box! At least, thats what she'd like the not-as-feral-as-befores to see.

The box lurks. With its lid open, it appears hungry.
The bracelet is just a bracelet.

Stomping on the box goes GONG GONG GONG as hitting something made of metal must.

*CLANG* At Toybox's stomp, the lid comes crashing down, trapping her inside!

And now…Dragonheart has vanished. Sorry, Snapdragon. She's on a mission!

By the sounds of things, Toybox is kicking at the lid with her hooves. It starts to glow a bit but she isn't very successful at lifting the heavy thing up.

Kludge gives Snapdragon another hug for good measure, then walks over to the metal box. He makes sure that it's unlatched, then helps push it open.

Tale-Chaser hops down from his seat and hurries over to help haul the lid open, grunting with effort. It isn't THAT heavy, but, it looks like it should be. It suddenly gets much lighter when Kludge pulls it open. Tale Chaser briefly feels very strong until he sees Kludge on the other side of the box. Oh.

As soon as there's even a sliver as light, Toybox gets herself wedged between the lid and the box and scrambles out. She falls over on the floor and pants, "It…it eated me!"

With Ruby gone and the other ponies still distracted, Cricket comes back out…sort of. She stands up against the wall in the hallway, peering out at the activities. Her saddlebags are loosely strapped and she's…well…she's clean. In fact, when she came into the house through the balcony she was clean.

Magpie gives the box a terrified stare…. then looks over towards Dragonheart. Hm. "….okay so gifts." She laughs a bit and opens the gift she didn't see Straylight deliver. "WHo's this from?" Opened up, inside there's a spyglass. And a tiny little toy tripod for it, like a real telescope. It looks rather familiar. "…very funny," she grumbles, but she can't argue with a spyglass, really…

Tale-Chaser starts to make his way back to his seat. He tries not to stare at Plot Twist along the way, but she has wings AND terrible scars and both of these are alarming. Still, he manages not to make too much of a fool of himself as he settles down.

Kludge looks around and notices Cricket. He takes the bag Ruby had prepared for the bughunter and quetly trots over. "Ruby got a little something for you," he quietly says with a smile.

Cricket lets out a sigh as Kludge comes near. She doesn't seem too thrilled that she's clean, but she is. "Don't matter. Ain't 'bout me right now…it's Magpie's birthday."

Magpie must do the last gift. Best for last! Her adorable cuddly Tale Chaser's!

Tale Chaser's box is broad and flat and not very impressive and it does not weigh much. Inside is… a garment of some sort. Comprised of gauzy, flowing fabric, it's hard to tell what it is without pulling it out.

But it appears to be a cross between a cloak and a dress. A ribbony neckline gives it structure, from which several panels of fabric flow outward, split to make room for legs. Their fabric is colored in soft blues and greens, speckled here and there with little bits of pearlescent glitter. A weave of ribbons afford a way to cinch it tight around the haunches so that the trailing lengths, which have been hemmed in a few places. It's an imperfect job, with careful, if often uneven stitching, and a slightly askew quality that only becomes evident on close scrutiny.

Tale Chaser shuffles. "It's, uh, it's a dress. For seaponies. But…" He reaches out and points at a few bits. "I modified it so you can wear it on land. Normally, um, you'd swim around, an' it'd trail out around you, and it's very pretty. The fabric's designed not to… offer much resistance against the water at all." He lowers his hoof, and scuffs it against the floor. "I thought you'd look real pretty in it."

Magpie hugs TC tight in her hooves. "You made it yourself!" She blushes warmly. "I love it. I'll wear it, uh…" she glances at her current dress and cloak ensemble. "..soon."

Suddenly, PILLOW.
One of the throw pillows from another room is thrust into Magpie's face, in the mouth of one very helpful Dragonheart. Everypony was giving her things! She has to too. One of the crowd. Herd?

Magpie laughs and paws the pillow out of her face. THen hugs it and hugs Dragonheart. "I will always treasure it!" she promises. "It's just what I wanted!"

Cricket looks at her saddlebags then out to the gathering of ponies. With a heavy sigh the filly slowly walks out to join. "Magpie…" she says, though its spoken so softly it'd be a wonder if anypony actually payed attention.

Snapdragon might not be the brightest bulb in the box, but even he'll catch on eventually. Everypony's bringing Magpie things! …But he has no things. (Dragonheart stole the best idea already.) He stares dejectedly over at the group for a moment, looking positively distraught, before, "Aaa!" He scampers off. Then returns a moment later! With… what remains of the book from an earlier adventure. It's mostly just a spine and a tattered cover. Small bits of pages still cling here and there, but it's hardly worth calling a 'book' anymore. Still, he prances over to deposit it in front of Magpie. It's his most treasured… treasure! (That he just got a couple days ago.) Surely it will do.

Magpie awwws. She's busily hugging Snapdragon and his adorable semi-present. Then gasps! "Cricket! You showed up!" She bounces on her hooftips! "Yay!"

"Yay!" Dragonheart hugs Magpie. And her brother. And then whoever else is nearby. It's a day for learning.

Dreamy puts herself in line for hugs. Becuse hugs = yes.

Toybox giggles and gives Dreamy a hug in the line for hugs, because 2x hugs = more yes.

Kludge joins in on the hugfest, because Dreamy and Toybox are right about extra hugs = extra yes. Simple math, really.

Dragonheart hugs Dreamy! And then Toybox. And Kludge. And even her brother, though he gets a bite too.

Cricket nods, looking almost ashamed to be at the party. Her entire body seems a bit…droopy. "I…I got something for ya. It ain't much…but…maybe ya'll like it." She lowers her saddlebags and pulls out a clear gallon jar. There's a few inches of mud and dirt in the bottom with various twigs and rocks in it, one of the rocks big enough to remain a few inches above the mud. Half buried in the mud is a little live lobstery-looking thing just a few inches in length. "Itsa craw-daddy…"

Magpie peers at the crawdad and tries not to express the first three — no, four thoughts that come to mind. Instead she goes with an exaggeratedly magnanimous hoof-wave. "I shall name him… Craw-Bob!" She then pulls Cricket into a hug and nudges. "Thanks for showing up. You really didn't have to bring anything." She smiles. "Who wants cake?" she says louder.

"CAKE!!!!" Three guesses who that's from. They're small and purple and make a lot of weird noises like 'fart' and 'cookie.'

Tale Chaser looks conflicted as Cricket shows up and he stops being startled by her droopy appearance. On the one hand, he was mighty cheesed at her last time he saw her. On the other, she brought a crawdad, and that's like a lobster, and lobsters are adorable. So he hangs back a bit and watches but doesn't say much.

Cricket lowers her ears a bit, "Been carryin' him with me since right befo' I axidently wound up on that boat that dun took me here." As she hugs, she speaks softly to Magpie's ear, "Despite the fact that we no'mally don't get along, you one of the only ones who…who tries to get me."

Kludge chuckles and starts serving up cake. First slice to Maggie, natch. The next two? The Dragon Twins, to keep them occupied with cake!

Magpie shifts. "Oh, Cricket! I can't take a pet that's been with you that long! Please, keep him! I don't even know what to do with a crawdad." She pushes the jar over towards Cricket.

Cricket shakes her head and pushes the jar back towards her, "They don't live 'round here. Back home, they's all over the place. I can get me mo' when I get home. This one's fo' you."

Magpie uhhs. "I, uh, thanks Cricket." Peers at the … ick. "…So! Cake!"

Tale-Chaser pokes his way over to the table and looks in at the crawdad. He watches it for a bit, then looks up at Cricket hesitantly. "That's a real nice gesture, Cricket…" Back to the jar. He waves a hoof at the crawdad. "He's cute."

Dragonheart is busy facefirst in a slice of cake, as given by Kludge. Whatever, crawdads, who cares. SUGAR.

Magpie nudges TC. "Talk to him. Find out what he likes to do.

Kludge finishes serving cake to everyone present. He even sets aside a slice for Thunnini to have the next time the seafilly comes over.

…wait, did he just give the Dragon Twins sugar-rich cake? Uh oh.

Tale-Chaser furrows his brow as he looks to Magpie. "I can't talk to shellfish, Maggie. Or jus' regular fish, either." He frowns back at the crawdad. "Well, I can. But if they talk back I can't understand 'em."

Cricket gives a small hug to Tale Chaser, then Kludge, Dreamy…and…well…all the others that she can hug. One more is saved for Maggie. She wiggles back into her saddle bags and approaches the filly with another long sigh, "Well…maybe I'll be seein' ya'll again someday…"

Toybox is certainly in line for cake. Cake. Cake!? Cake! Zula likely isn't very permissive in terms of treats the foal is allowed to have.

Tale-Chaser returns the hug, expression worried. He watches Cricket, then frowns as she speaks up to Magpie. "Are you leaving…?"

Magpie huh? "Someday?" She echoes, nodding with Tale Chaser's question.

For a filly who's normally a bit tough, it might be a bit odd to see her eyes teared up. Cricket nods and lowers her ears, "Finally found a boat headin' back that way leavin' in the mo'nin. I been lookin' every day since I got here…"

Kludge gives Cricket a big hug. "We'll miss you, kiddo," he says.

Magpie gasps! She scoops up Cricket in a hug! "Your momma misses you, she'll be so happy to get you back!" Uh- uh- AH! Magpie darts off to her room, and comes running back with a shiny crystal hanging in her magical grasp. She pushes it into Cricket's hooves. "Here! It's quartz. Y'know, as a… goin' away present, sorta thing."

Tale-Chaser folds his ears back for a moment. He hesitates, then slips in to give Cricket a hug after Kludge does. "S'prolly a good idea- you should go check in with your mom…" He draws back. "But we're not happy to see you go, honest. Will you write us sometime an' let us know you got there safe?"

Cricket wrinkles her nose at Tale Chaser, "I…um…I don't exactly do no readin' or writin'. But if…if you write down where to write to, I'm sure Mamma can help me write something." When Magpie comes back and puts the crystal into her hooves, she looks at it for a while. After tucking it away in a smaller pocket of her saddlebags she wraps her hooves around Magpie again, "I'll make sure not to loose it. Promise."

Magpie beams.

Poke. There's a frosting-covered nose smearing frosting all over Cricket's hind ankle as Dragonheart looks up at her. "Why so sad?" she asks, stringing together perhaps the most coherent sentence yet. She's obviously confused about all the sudden bummer mood. "Cake!" she points.

"Sure, uh…" says Tale Chaser, racing off to the kitchen. He rattles around for a bit. 30 seconds later he returns with a slip of paper in his teeth, which he offers to Cricket. "Here's the address of the Mane Affair. I figure this should work. And, uh, if you need help writing, s'okay. Lots of us need help." Don't look at Maggie don't look at Maggie don't look at Maggie "We'd still like to hear from you, though."

Magpie senses the look even if he doesn't actually turn his head. Grump. Not like Mister Scholarly over there needs help…

Cricket eeps as she's attacked by frosting and turns around. She sees the foal and smiles, leaning down so they're eye-to-eye. "I'm gunna be leavin'. Gunna go back home where I belong." After ruffling Dragonheart's mane, the filly straightens back up and nods. The peice of paper is tucked into her saddlebags with the rest of her stuff, "I'll get somethin' sent soon as I can."

Tale-Chaser smiles slightly, despite feeling as though a creeping doom is upon him. "Thanks…" He shuffles his hooves a bit. "So, uh… have a safe trip…"

Pumpkin noses Cricket. "You take care of yourself out there, all right? An' don't be a stranger. Send us letters. Ah know the mailmare can get them here, if'n she doesn't eat 'em instead."

Cricket gives a light hug to Pumpkin following a nod. "I'll do what I can." She takes in a deep breath and closes her eyes. When they open back up she releases and heads towards the stairs, "It…it was nice meetin' ya'll. Happy Birthday, Magpie."

Magpie waves… "Have a good trip, Cricket."

Tale-Chaser moves to settle beside Magpie, hooking a leg around her withers while he watches Cricket. "Bye…"

"Bye bye…" Dragonheart repeats, on Magpie's other side.

Magpie leans against Tale Chaser.

"Take care, Cricket," calls Kludge as he waves.

(OOC) Magpie stands with TC's arm around her, looking out at a proto-planetary nebula as the music soars, the Falcon flies away, the fleet zooms off into space, aaaand CUT TO CREDITS!