Somber Strategizing
IC date: Summer 19, 1007
OOC date: July 10, 2012
PCs: Polaris, Snowfield

It's been… an eventful day, to say the least. The untimely death of Mayor Salty in the early afternoon, followed shortly by the brazen theft of the body by Snowfield, is likely to fuel all sorts of wild rumors in the harbor town. The forest witch, of course, would have nothing to do with it: after taking the body she headed directly to Manyara's tent, ignoring all onlookers and any pleas for her to drop her bloody cargo. Several tense and magically uninterruptable minutes later she exited the tent with frustrated purpose, heading into the Wintersong Forest.

Surely the little unicorn must have known where she was going to go to such a dangerous place, but as the hours stretched on and she continued her trek into the snowy woods with no sign of slowing down any would-be followers might start to get a little nervous. The sun has a hard enough time breaking through the treetops even at high noon— by the time twilight hits it may as well be pitch black under the trees with the only illumination provided by the magical blue glow surrounding Snowfield's horn and Salty's body as they weave their way through the trees like some sort of terrifying will'o the wisp.

Polaris had plenty of pleas. He had pleas galore. A plethora of pleas, if you will. A prodigious proliferation of panicky pleas. He implored the closed tent while scarcely pausing for breath, and when Snowfield came back out, the colt had worn a small divet in the ground around the tent. When she comes out, it takes a moment to realize it, but Polaris is after her again, stumbling his way into the woods.

Yes, the woods are dangerous. Yes, he's terrified. But being Salty's aide for so long is equally as terrifying, and Polaris has gotten a handle on taking that fear and making it productive. For example, he pretends there's a great, big monster behind him and he will get eaten if he doesn't keep up with Snowfield. The yelps this piece of pretend induces aren't very dignified, but it's effective at least, because the forest witch arrives at her home, with the adolescent aide coming up behind, panting. "Miss Snowfield… please… wait…" he pants.

Silly Polaris, needing to use his imagination to keep him pressing on when there are perfectly good /real/ big monsters who would have been happy to save him the effort.

"There's hardly time for that," Snowfield says as she glances over her shoulder at the patchy pinto. She's currently standing in the middle of what appears to be a clearing. "Kisses alone will only keep her on ice for so long." She doesn't offer any more explanation as she turns again and begins to walk away. Should Polaris attempt to follow her he will discover that the clearing is, in fact, a frozen lake and that it offers very little in the way of traction.

"Kisses? What? What are you…whoop!" Almost like this were some kind of story that was based partially on slapstick comedy for the amusement of the younger demograpic, Polaris' hoof slides out from under him when he takes his first step on the ice. He scrabbles and dances, letting out undignified yelps as he tries to stay upright, before falling flat on his belly, splayed out and spinning slowly at Snowfield's heels. "Ow…"

Snowfield rolls her eyes, an action barely illuminated by the body of the mayor floating peacefully through the air. "Yes, Kisses," she says as if speaking to a child. "Windigo's Kisses. I've stuffed Salty full of them in the hopes that it preserves her body." She resumes walking across the ice, the glow of her levitation spell soon illuminating a cliff wall with a large, frozen waterfall cascading down it. She trots to the edge of it, not bothered in the slightest by the ice underhoof, and squeezes through an opening between the ice and the rock with ease.

Salty doesn't fit through nearly as easily, thanks to the weather vane still sticking out of her back, and spins around stupidly for several comical if horrifying seconds while the witch tries to figure out how to get this particular blockhead through the proverbial round hole.

Polaris lifts his head up to look from Snowfield, to Salty's body, to Snowfield, and back to Salty, the horrified look on his face getting worse by the minute. "…ew? Those aren't /real/ kisses, right? Cause that sounds REALLY gross… Er, ma'am. But what are you going to do with… I mean, she's not /really/ dead, is she??"

And there's more horror as Salty's corpse piroeuttes disgustingly. Polaris has to avert his eyes, and choke down his lunch, before squeezing after.

Behind the waterfall it's surprisingly spacious, and just warm enough to keep a pony from shivering uncontrollably. Snowfield kicks some small ice sculptures on the ground out of the way, the beautiful pieces of art shattering on contact with her hoof. "They're flowers. What, do you think I'm so perverse as to snog a dead body? I'm a spiteful pony, not a twisted one." Not like Salty, who is currenly hovering upside-down behind Snowfield's shoulder.

Having cleared a space in the cozy little cavern Snowfield places Salty against the wall and, with a flash of her horn, summons a wall of ice to hold the taller unicorn to it. "I don't know, I'm afraid. The Bone Mistress isn't the sort of mare to make a big production out of taking a soul away." She takes a step back to look over her handiwork, finding it sufficient if needlessly morbid for her purposes. "The only way to know if she's dead or not is to try to wake her up, and I have no intention of doing /that/ any time soon."

"What? Why not??" Polaris asks. Most of all of that is going right over his head, as he stares in utter amazement at the cave around him. WHAT IS DIS?? That last part totally gets his attention, though. "If she can be woken up, we should wake her up! This…that…" He points with a hoof at the suspended ex-mayor, and shivers, "Can't be good for her!"

"That, little aide, is /exactly/ why we can't wake her up," Snowfield says as annoyance creeps into her tone. "I'm not sure if you realize this, but there's a large piece of metal impaling our dear mayor." She turns to look Polaris square in the eyes. "If I were to let that Windigo's Kiss wear off now, what do you think would happen? Assuming that I managed to give her the Kiss before she passed from our world, and that's a very large assumption all things considered, she's mere seconds away at best from losing her grip on the mortal coil." The unicorn shakes her head. "No, the safest place for Salty right now is frozen in time."

"I…well, sure there's that…" Polaris says, a little sheepishly. For the first time, he forces himself to look Salty in her face. Her slack, glassy-eyed face. He cringes, looking away again. "Frozen…until when?" At least he's trying to make some sense of this.

"I don't know," Snowfield says. "I didn't think that far ahead. If I give her the flowers straight, I should have enough for six or seven days before I deplete my reserves. If I can get the recipe for potion of frozen life within the next few days then I could stretch that out to several weeks." The unicorn sighs. "What a mess."

"So… we have a week, if we're lucky, to bring her back to life?? Oh this is bad, this is bad, this is really really bad!" Polaris finds a small patch of snow-covered ice, and starts to pace there incessantly. "Do you have ways to bring her back? I mean, if we can get that arrow out and heal her, then bringing her back to life won't be a problem! But if we…" The longer he talks, the faster it gets, and the more high-pitched his voice.

Snowfield shakes her head. "We have a week to get the recipe for a more effective potion. Or rather, YOU have until week's end to do it. I'm not about to abandon a body in the middle of the Forest. Some creature may decide to investigate and have its way with Salty unless one of us stays to ward them off, and quite frankly I don't believe you'd last more than a day out here."

She watches Polaris pace about her cavern, which isn't THAT icy on the inside. It's mostly just the one wall you need to watch out for, and the shards of destroyed carvings. "Figure out how to brew a frozen time potion and we'll have the better part of a month to figure out what to do with the vane. We can worry about healing the wounds once we're not on as terrible of a time crunch."

"What?" Polaris stops his pacing, and stares blankly at Snowfield. "Me? But…I don't know anything about magic! Just papers and money and avoiding getting things blown up! How can I possibly help?"

"Believe me, I'd much rather ask Blackbird or Manyara to do it," Snowfield levitates a small lantern from the ground and zaps it with magic, causing a small blue flame to come to life within it and brighten up the cavern considerably more than the unicorn's horn glow had been. "Unfortunately, one of them is in Canterlot and the other has vanished, which really shouldn't have surprised me as much as it did. You can't trust somepony like her to be around when she's actually needed."

The lantern is placed in the center of the cavern and a few blankets strewn about the ground are picked up in turn. "If you're good with papers that should be sufficient. Research the potion, see if you can find an ingredients list and bring me the materials. You'll know you have the right one if Windigo's Kiss is the active reagent, if it's just a secondary herb then you've got the wrong mixture."

"Gee, thanks for the vote of confidence," Polaris says a little dourly, his ears drooping. He blinks against the brighter light, squinting at Snowfield over the lantern. "Research… sure, okay, I can do that. Windigo's Kiss, primary ingredient? Let's see…" He turns his head back, rifling through his pack to come out with a notepad and a pencil in his mouth. Balancing the former on his hoof, he marks off a few quick notes. "Anyfig elf?" he mumbles around his pencil.

"Do you want me to hold your hoof and tell you what a good little colt you are and how very helpful you're going to be?" Snowfield says dismissively as Polaris pouts at her bedside manner. "If you happen to find a way to pull an arrow out of somepony's spine without paralyzing them, that might be helpful. Any sort of potion or salve than can heal wounds, internal or external, would be of help. Preferably something instant acting, I doubt we'll have much time for it to take effect once we wean Salty off of the Kiss."

She considers Polaris for a few moments, pencil hanging out of his mouth. "If we have a competent alchemist in town you might want to double-check if any of the potions or ingredients have herb interactions that could cause trouble."

Polaris sighs. The exact same sigh he's given to Salty every day of his life since she snatched him up. "No ma'am, that's fine, ma'am," he intones, making a few more notes from her suggestions. He nods along to the alchemist suggestion, marking down a few more notes. He looks up to her for a moment, ears up hopefully in case she has any other advice.

The levitated blankets are arranged into a neat pile. "Good," Snowfield says, pretty sure she's covered all the bases for the colt's scavenger hunt. "Get some rest. You can't go out into the forest in the dead of night so you may as well make yourself comfortable. I'll see if I can't conjure up something that will help you find your way back here on your own during the night."

"What?" Polaris' pencil drops out of his mouth, and he looks around the cave in dismay. "No, that's…. uh, it's… no, I can just try and find my way back," he says, giving an unsettled glance towards the hovering corpse as he backs towards the entrance, "I'm sure it's not too hard. But thankyouforyourconsiderationanyways!"

Snowfield glares at Polaris. "It's not a matter of finding your way, although the odds of you doing /that/ at night is all but impossible as well. There are more than enough pony-eating monsters in this forest that I guarantee you will not survive the trek back if you leave now." She picks up the blankets again and moves them further back into the cave where Salty's terrible undead gaze doesn't reach. "If it makes it any easier you can sleep in the back. You won't have to worry about being bothered there."

"Oh." Polaris sounds defeated, and he shoots one last wistful glance to the cave exit before shuffling towards the back of the cave, head low and giving Salty's corpse a wide berth. "Yes, that'd be nice. I'm plenty bothered already. Thank you." Siiiiiiigh…

"Sleep well," Snowfield says as she picks up the lantern and begins looking it over.