The Cartographer's Cap Caper
IC date: Spring 65, 1008
OOC date: 5/25
Location: Town Hall
PCs: Magpie Tale-Chaser Salty

Magpie trots up behind Tale Chaser. She grins. "Hey, T. C.?" she chirps, cocking her head and batting her eyes at him. Feminine wiles, etc. "It's a beautiful sunny day and all, so… uh…" She winks. "Wanna go dig around in the town archives?"

Tale Chaser just about drops his abacus at that. That isn't a euphamism, he has an abacus. "Wha? Er-" Archives? Books? Maggie wanting to LOOK at books? The prospect is so enticing he doesn't even stop to question its far-fetched-ness. "You, uh. You had me at, um, archives." Feminine wiles are just style points on an already pat offer. He knows the way, of course. He's been there. So he's more than happy to go prancing off in that direction- inasmuch his normal clumsy shuffle is a prance- with Maggie in tow.

Magpie beams. She's GOOD at this wiles thing, who knew?! She almost dances up the stairs to the front door of the town hall, and magics it open for her cuddlefish. "So what's the beady thing for?" she inquires as she head inside.

Inside the Town Hall, Salty is squinting. Heavily. She is squinting at chicken scratch that is supposed to be something about the number of ducks hatched on the Bluebell farm, some hundred years ago. Somehow, she's a little skeptical as to whether this is at all worth the trouble of re-recording.

The mint-green unicorn with the silver scars sighs around the quill in her teeth, and makes a few notes on another piece of parchment. "Fftupid Inkwell," she mutters. "Having a fftupid bout of flu. Mayor'ff aide, you can copy recordff, right? Saddle my aff and call my Daiffy." Grump.

"Math," is Tale Chaser's answer. "It's for doing… mmm… math…" He trails off as he enters the archives alongside Magpie and takes a quick gander inside. He's up enough on his Horseshoe Harbor history to have an idea who this is, although… maybe he got the name wrong?

"Hello, miss Daisy," he says, anxiously, as he approaches the desk. "We're here to, um… we…" He trails off, then turns to look to Magpie. "Actually, I don't really… know what we're here for…"

Magpie says, "Maps! Old maps. Um." She peers at the unicorn. "…how come you're usin' your mouth for that?"

"Yeah, Maps," says Tale Chaser, scuffing a hoof and smiling crookedly. He likes maps.

Salty just deadpan stares at Tale and gingerly sets the quill down. "It's Salty," she says dryly, and to Magpie, she adds, "My special talent is chaos. Do you want a quill in your eye? No? Neither do I." Scratching her temple, she wrinkles her muzzle in thought. "Maps? I think I can find the maps. What kind of maps? Equestrian maps? Zebrekan maps? I think there's a couple'a cloud charts up there too."

Magpie says, "Oh, uh… maps of, y'know. The harbor. From a long time ago."

Salty arches a brow. "You're going to be a little more specific."

Tale-Chaser thinks Daisy is a pretty name. He shuffles a bit and looks to Magpie. "What're you lookin' for…?"

Magpie says, "Huff! I dunno, Salty! From a while ago! Like before everything kept burning down, sorta thing." Not that she's blaming anypony in particular. "Can we just dig around a bit?"

Salty rubs her chin thoughtfully. And maybe a little suspiciously. "I dunno, Maggiebritches. I've been put in charge of the records. I should probably be actually 'in charge' and horseplop like that. But I'll go see what I can find." With a snort, she heads into a side room, pushing open a door and slamming it shut behind her.

Tale Chaser falls into the silence of one who'd rather not come between two type A mares with questionable relationships with authority. He winces at the slammed door, then turns to blink at Maggie. "Mm… Maggiebritches?" He smiles a bit. "You, uh, you know her?"

There's banging and thudding going on behind the door. And one small-scale crash.

Magpie sticks her tongue out at Salty after the door bangs shut. Sticks it out as hard as she can. She shrugs to TC and waves a hoof. "Eh. Not really, I guess? I didn't really think she'd know my name…" Weird. "Buuuut I guess we're all Useless Unicorns together, so… that's something."

Whump whump whump. Thud. Smack. Swearing.

Tale-Chaser rubs his cheek. "So… are you really just kind of, like, lookin' for the sake of lookin'?" He turns to watch the doorway, listening to thumps and whumps. The incongruence of Maggie taking a sudden, if generalized interest in the noble art of history is sinking in more and more the longer Tale Chaser has to stop and think about it.

Whap! The door opens and Salty totters out on her hind hooves, a pile of scrolls in her arms. Forelegs. Whatever. She stumbles over to the table and drops them unceremoniously, apparently unbothered by the fact that some of them are ancient and could crumble at any time. "Here y'go. Feel free to take a seat and rifle through them."

Magpie ohs. "Um. Welllll, no, I mean, somepony asked me a question about the harbor and I didn't know, so I figured I'd, uh… find out?" Hoofscuff. She looks up as the door opens and frowns in dismay. Welp. That's why she brought the boyfriend.

Tale-Chaser squeaks breathlessly, simultaneously delighted at the sight of all that precious, precious ancient parchment and horrified at the ill treatment it's receiving. Were this his own library, he'd give Salty an earful, but then he realizes that this isn't his library and also Salty could very well give him that earful back, served up in his own ears. So with a flush he goes to start sorting the maps out, neatly arranging them along a table in rough order of antiquity. "Well, the pursuit of knowledge is as good a reason to pursue more knowledge as any," he says to Magpie, grinning slightly. "Thanks, miss Salty."

"You're welcome. No taking it out of the building or I'll have to whap you one." Salty gives them each a threatening look, which is a weird combination of not threatening at all (she's out of practice) and very threatening (her scars make her look like a patched-together doll, and let's be honest, it's kind of friggin creepy.). Then she points a hoof emphatically toward her eyes, and then emphatically toward them. And takes a seat to stare at the stupid chickenscratch again.

Magpie says, "Oh! Salty, do you have a map of what it all looks like /today/? For comparison, sorta thing?"

Salty looks up and stares at Magpie. "Oh sure, now you want another one?" HUFF. Up she goes to go and rattle around in that back room again. Pony skills: not her forte.

Magpie glances up as Salty leaves. "…okay, so I don't really remember what date I was looking for but it's like before everything started burning down every couple years. Can we find that?"

Thump thud.

"Well," begins Tale Chaser, rifling through his increasingly neatly arranged array of maps. "Most of the destruction has been fairly recent- largely when, ah…" He glances up towards the door beyond which Salty disappeared and back down to the maps. "When, er, with recent…. changes in, um… governance. So we don't have to go back that far to find something faaairly typical of early construction…." A bit more rifling, and then TC produces a map dating from approximately ten years ago, bringing it over to a second table to lay it out and unroll it smoothly. "This should, uh…" He trails off as he gets lost reading some very small, very fascinating text about sewer layouts.

The door opens again, and Salty comes out with a scroll wedged in her mouth. She trots over, spits it unceremoniously on top of their table, and stomps back to her table. HUMPH HARUMPH.

Magpie peeks over Tale Chaser's shoulder, trying to look knowledgeable, as if she knows what this all means. It actually looks a bit more like she really needs the restroom. She scuffle-shuffles some of the maps around a bit. "When are these all from, then?"

Salty, after a moment of observing Tale-Chaser getting a little too interested in sewer systems, sighs and comes over to the table again to sit and look at the maps. "This one, it looks like, uhhh…" She squints at it. "Some thirty years ago. 978. And this one is more like twenty years ago. 986. What specifically are you looking for?"

Magpie ums. "I can't remember exactly." She peers hard at the older one, conveying deep concentration.

"Hm. Well I can't help with that." Salty rubs her cheek thoughtfully with a hoof. "Want a drink?"

Magpie brightens. That's better than pretending to know what she's looking at! "Sure! ….lemonade shandy?" she asks hopefully.

"Lemonade whatnow?" Salty asks, one brow hiking in confusion. "I've got rum. Rum, and maybe some whiskey. Take your pick. Oh! And water. I could get you water."

Magpie blinks at Salty. Rum. She just offered a filly rum. "Okay! I'll have the rum. Oh, and shandy means half beer, half juice."

"Oh. …Huh." Salty looks skeptical, but she wanders back to the desk and starts rifling around in it. Out comes a small bottle marked in haphazard mouthwriting: FIRECRACKER RUM. The entire bottle, about as big around as Maggie's hoof, is delivered to the filly's table with a shrug. "Have at. Hope it helps. I've actually got a good amount of booze /somewhere/ around here, but I haven't really bothered unburying it since i got back." Ker-shrug.

Tale-Chaser looks up from his map, to the bottle of booze, to Magpie, expression carefully neutral. He goes back to the map after a moment. "Well, if you want generalized maps, here's… here's plenty," he says, to Maggie, after a moment. Soon he slides over to the table and sorts through some others. "The, uh… this one looks neat…" Unroll. "It's all sewer lines installed in 1002." Study. "Aside from it being the sewers and all gross, I bet there's all kinds of neat things hidden down there."

"Sewers aren't actually that bad," Magpie says with the voice of experience. "Most of 'em are just storm drains. There's a couple places where some idiot is dumping, y'know, /sewage/ in there, but most of it's not like that."

Magpie looks around to see if anypony is gonna slap the bottle right out of her hooves. She shrugs, then takes a quick swig from the bottle. She's cool, she knows how to — AUGH! She spews a fine rum mist and tries to scrape her tongue with her hooves!

Salty looks at the unrolled map blankly. Sewers. Hm. But then Magpie spews rum all over it. "Agh! Jeez, keep it in your mouth, would you?? It's my rear-end on the line if these things melt or something!" Why did they leave her in charge of this again?

Tale-Chaser throws himself over the map and bravely takes the rum spray himself. Also, he's a seapony and he's really not bothered by being damp. Afterwards, he slowly eases up off the table, reaches out to smooth the map out once more, then adjusts his glasses as he looks to Magpie. "You, uh, sound like you've been down there before."

GAME: Magpie made a talent roll with an outcome of Good.

Magpie pushes the rum back at Salty, knocking a number of rolled maps on the floor in the process. "That was horrible! I'm never gonna drink rum again!" she swears. Then glances to Tale Chaser as her horn limns to pick up what she knocked over. "Oh, yeah. Good place to hide if things get too bad. There's some places you can go and some places you don't, though." She shrugs.

The 986 map doesn't come back up. With any luck, nopony notices it vanish into Magpie's saddlebag.

Tale-Chaser squawks quietly and turns to start collecting maps. So distraught is he at having his nice, orderly system, so expertly established in short order, upset, that he doesn't really notice when bits go missing and he starts heaping them back up. The sewer map gets rolled back up, as does the other, ten-year-old-ish one he was looking at previously. "Huh. I guess, um, that'd be good to know…" he murmurs eventually.

Salty takes the rum in her hooves, and huffs. "SOMEponies don't know good rum if it bit em on the rump," she mutters, and off she stalks to her desk, unawares.

Magpie glances at Salty, then licks her lips. She peers at the current map and tries to judge if she can get away with pocketing that one too. She needs both…

Salty appears to be unawares for the moment, trying to fit the rum bottle back in the drawer and somehow failing to figure out the right orientation to make it be so.

Magpie stuffs it in quickly and tries to look like she doesn't know what's going on.

GAME: Salty made an unskilled roll with an outcome of Abysmal.

WHOMP. Someone hit their head on a drawer. And that someone is swearing up a storm, holding their head and gnashing their teeth. Maps? WHAT ARE MAPS? All that exists is pain.

Magpie stays innocently put and spends the next hour or so bored out of her skull while Tale Chaser pores over maps. Finally, unable to take it any more, she says a little over-loud, "WELP! That should be enough for —" Excuse. Uh. "For my… school? Report?" That's a thing that happens, right?

Salty, who has her head down on the desk and an icepack on top, mutters, "Fine, cool, arright. Leave 'em there. I'll put them away. Son of a horse." Mutter mutter. Whimper.

Magpie backs slowly towards the door. "I will definitely write the best school report. For school. With this map. Thing. In my head." Shuffle shuffle FLEE!