The Fiercest Battlecry
IC date: Summer 80, 1008
OOC date: September 7, 2013
Location: Open Market
PCs: Magpie, Whistlestop, Page, Hawthorn, Sablemane, Kick-Save, Steady-Binding
NPCs: N/A
GM: Fluttershy

The evening is crisp, and the market — not far from the ocean — is busy. Carts and stalls are still open all up and down the blocks, lanterns laced from roof to roof that light the area with a pleasant, warm glow.

Here, there's a squash seller, just gearing up to sell her wares for the autumn; and there, a woodcarver, selling beautifully hoof-carved toys and trinkets. A rather popular cart is the hot cocoa cart: only two bits a mug!

And through all of this is Whistlestop: easily nearly three times the size of a normal pony, the big, bulky plum pegasus tries to tiptoe his gargantuan way along the cobblestone without upending any lanterns (again). Hanging in his mouth is a bag, delicately wrapped. He COULD put it in his saddlebags, but no, apparently not.

Page is out shopping again: she has a little checklist with her of things that she and her brother need around the house and the store, and one of her saddlebags is uncharacteristically empty. Squash is on the list of vegetables needed and at the moment she's staring at a likely piece of produce, examining it for gloss, shape, proper firmness, number of bumps and furrows… there's a lot that goes into picking the right squash, you know.

Magpie slips up on silent hooves and stands much too close behind Page. That must be… the most fascinating squash in the WORLD. She leans in, curious if she can see what's so amazing about it.

Hawthorn is not out shopping! The poor little foal is just going for a walk, looking moderately morose. Maybe at morosity level 4 (basset hound). He perks up when he spots Whistlestop, though, because Whistle is clearly the BEST jungle gym. "Hi!" he calls, trotting over to the big stallion, skipping a little to keep pace. "How come you got a bag?"

It's nighttime! Well, evening. Which means it's morning. Which is to say, it's time to wake up. At least, it is for Sablemane! Unfortunately, it's also getting around bedtime at the orphanage, and that's… well, that's just boring, is what that is. He slept most of the day already! So he's out and about. He most certainly did not sneak out, definitely not at all with the sneaking. Hey, look! Ponies selling stuff.

Steady Binding is sitting on the ground with his saddlebags on, within view of the hot cocoa cart, nosing quietly at a small change-purse as he tries to make up his mind. Whatever this cart is selling, it certainly smells nice.

Kick-Save strolls up to a stall with purpose, rapping on the counter with a hoof to get the attention of the pony behind the counter, loudly enough to carry impressively far in the open air market. "Oi." She barks at the bakerpony behind the counter. "Bread me." Her horn glows, and a couple bits float up to the counter, as she points out a tasty looking baguette with a nod of her head.

Page turns the squash this way and that for another minute, going 'hmmm' in a most serious fashion, before she realizes that she's being watched. She yelps, leaping into the air and flailing a bit: the squash goes airborne! Who's it going to hit?

The baker pony behind the counter smiles politely, if a little stiffly, and starts to pull out the baguette in question. "Oh, dearie, would ye like some jam te go with it?" she asks, bustling around to get it put away in parchment.

Whistlestop, meanwhile, halts in the middle of the square, beside Steady (incidentally) and not far off from Mags and Page, either. "It iff a gefft," he says proudly around the package. "I am gnna giff it to Skehffwrrwrr!"

Magpie jumps back a few feet and starts laughing. Her horn lights up and, without looking, she catches the airborne gourd in a rosy aura. "Hey, you dropped your squash," she says, tossing it back to Page with a flick of her head. "Be a shame to bust such an /interesting/ melon."

Hawthorn ooohs at Whistlestop. "Neat! Uh. You're getting her a bag?" he asks, tilting his head, which incidentally brings Maggie and Page into view. He waves brightly at them. "Hi, Maggie! Hi… uh… Pony who isn't Maggie!" He beams happily, then blinks. "What's so interestin' about it? It just looks like a plain old squash to me."

"Nope." answers Kick Save, quick enough that the rejection seems quite rude before even considering her tone. "Bread's good." She looks back over her shoulder, regarding the conversation of the ponies a couple stalls over for just a moment.

Steady, with his nose still in the purse, looks up at Whistlestop curiously, perking his ears, trying to understand what he just heard. This colt wasn't addressing him, was he?

Page's cheeks glow about the same hue as Magpie's magic, apparently. She yelps and only barely manages to catch the squash with her own orange aura. "I was just making sure it would last long enough to be used properly, as well as being certain of its nutritional content and ideal flavor. There's a lot you can learn by examining the rind of a squash."

Sablemane trots through the stalls, looking around with interest - as much at the ponies as the wares. He might be earning a few stares himself, though he doesn't really seem to notice. Bread? Boring. Toys? He's too big for toys. (Oooh is that a model train wow look it's got the smokestacks and the caboose right and everything.) Something that smells chocolatey? Now /that/ is interesting.

"Iff a fower," mutters Whistlestop, blushing. But before he can say more, the bag is suddenly snatched from his mouth! A cloaked figure darts away under the light of the lanterns, leaving the big lug stunned for a moment. But then: "NnnnnOOOOOOO!!! THAT IS MY PRESENT!" he bellows in distress, prancing — nay, stomping — on the ground. "COME BAAAACK!!!!"

Hawthorn peers at the squash curiously, then flicks his ears. "Wow, Magpie, she sounds smarter than even TC," he notes, before his attention is drawn to a bat-winged pony. Whoah. He stares for a bit, until ninjas take Whistlestop's gift. "Wha… Whistlestop! You gotta go after them!" he urges, placing his tiny hooves on the stallion's massive flank and pushing with all of his (very inconsiderable) weight!

Kick-Save , having made her purchase, turns fully at the commotion. Horn glowing as she magic-lifts the bread to her face, taking a huge bite and chowing down with a bit of a wry grin as she watches the huge pony rumble about.

Magpie gasps at Hawthorn. "THAT IS NOT TRUE!" she snaps, then — Oh my gosh! Whistlestop just got ROBBED! But he's so NICE! "Come on, Page!" she shouts, charging after the mugger. After all, you know what they say about what you need to catch a thief….

Steady Binding raises his head and stares, mouth hanging open, as he tries to take in what just occurred. When he finally manages to complete the thought that a theft just occurred /right next to him,/ he noses back into his purse to make sure it's all still there.

Whistlestop makes a panicked noise and trips over his own enormous hooves, stumbling forward at Hawthorn's assistance. He takes in the distance between himself and the fleeing thief, and aaaaall the obstacles, citizens, and yes, lanterns in the way. "But what if I hurt a pony!!" he wails, too reluctant to run after. "I do not want to hurt a pony! I am a good pony!"

The thief, short in stature but tall in guts, bolts through the thinning crowd, bag flailing from its mouth like a flag.

You need a bookworm? Page is startled but nods, though she seems like she's unclear as to what exactly she can really do. Either way, she's chasing this villain!

Hawthorn prances on his hooves next to Whistlestop. "But… but… he's getting away!" he points out, somewhat usefully. "And… AND! You're a pegasus! You can fly OVER the other ponies!" Why didn't Hawthorn think of that first? "C'mon! In the air you're wicked fast, right? You can't let him get away! And Magpie and that pony that isn't Magpie are chasin' after him, what if they get hurt? You gotta make sure they're okay!" He pushes some more.

Kick-Save takes up the 'chase' at a safe distance. It almost seems as though she's ambling behind just trying to catch a view of the situation rather than actually catch up to the robber, but her lazy-looking strides actually seem to cover an impressive amount of distance, and it seems as though she might - wait, no, she just took another bite of bread. Definitely not trying to catch anypony.

Whistlestop prances (thunders) in place worriedly. But — they DID take Skyflower's gift, and Hawthorn's right: if he tries really hard, he CAN fly! So he steels himself, squares his shoulders, takes a deep breath, leans down, tenses his muscles, coils…

and…JUMPS!!

His wings, normal-sized despite his enormous stature, beat — nay, buzz — so fast that they're scarcely more than a blur. He hovers above the ground a good six inches, eyes screwed as tight as possible. He has forward momentum, sure … but a foal's errant balloon could probably beat him in a race. Heck, Hawthorn, while walking, could beat him in a race. Easily.

Still, there's much to be said for trying?

Kick-Save can't help but laugh at the bloated brute, but she disguises it quickly with a fake cough. Unfortunately, it turns quickly into a real cough, as she seems to be choking for a moment before she spits out a large piece of baguette. "Bluh."

A theft? GASP. Sablemane is distracted from toys and chocolate. (Not an easy thing to do.) What? What happened? Oh hey look it's that big pony from the orphanage. And… a fleeing thief? And a stolen bag? This looks like ADVENTURE. And, unlike Whistlestop, he's got wings that are /too big/ for his body! Surely that means extra speed! That's totally how that works.

Actually what it seems to mean is that in spreading them for takeoff he knocks one nearby pony in the knees and manages to bump a mug off the nearby stand, but either way, he takes to the air and dashes thataway after the fleeing form!

Hawthorn stares at Whistlestop, then facehoofs. Then he brightens with an Idea(tm). "Keep flappin', Whistlestop," the foal says, grabbing the great purple pony's hoof with his magic and taking off as fast as he can (significantly slowed by pulling a great purple pony behind him) after the thief. "MAKE WAY! Oh, hey, it's that bat winged pony…"

Steady closes up his purse and starts to check his saddlebag for something, but… that huge pegasus attempting to fly is awfully distracting. He stares again.

Page is honestly surprised at the display of aerodynamics Whistlestop presents but chalks it up to pegasus magic. "So do we have a plan aside from 'get them?'"

Magpie, meanwhile, pursues her quarry with all the speed her little body can muster, and all the cunning of years sneaking around these streets. "Knock 'im down and get the bag back!" is Maggie's only reply to Page's query. Do we really NEED more of a plan than that?

"Whuh— wha— WAGH!" Whistlestop flails more than a little when Hawthorn starts to pull him. THIS IS FASTER THAN HE HAS EVER FLOWN. AAAAAAAAAA.

Meanwhile, the mini-thief leaps up onto some shipping crates, clambers over some awnings, and scrabbles their way up to the rooftop of the nearby Fire Stuff shop. (Yeah, it's called 'Fire Stuff.' Not a lot of ingenuity THERE.) Still, they seem to be pretty clumsy at this stuff, so there's ample time to catch up!

the cocoa seller, meanwhile, is too dumbfounded by Whistle's flight attempt to mention the cocoa knocking over. So there's that. But he does, finally, murmur to Steady, "Do you…want anything?"

"Ah…" Steady Binding finally manages to turn his head away from the spectacle, to look at the cocoa seller again. "Yeah, I'll have, ah… yeah." He opens the purse again, takes two bits in his mouth, and stuffs the purse into his saddlebags. He walks up to the cart, with a hopeful expression.

"Whistlestop, that's not a very good battle cry!" Hawthorn says, pulling the buzzing pegabrick along behind him. "You should think of something to put fear into the hearts of criminals! An' make innocent citizens feel safe an', like, wicked protected, or somethin'." The foal is starting to pant softly with the effort it's taking to run while dragging Whistlestop behind him, and any further conversation is just going to have to wait.

Sablemane wings his way towards the fleeing figure. This pony's not very athletic, is it? /He/ could climb so much better than that. Even without wings, so there. "Hey! Get back here and give Mr. Bigpony back his… thing!" Whatever it is.

Page says "Well, it seems like this would be easier if we had something more sophisticated in mind." She's struggling to keep up: she's not the fastest of fillies and, well, her saddlebags are awful heavy. "Maybe… we can try to outmaneuver him?"

Magpie scrambles up after the thief. "You're really lucky I don't have my cape!" she shouts after him, totally forgetting she's supposed to be, you know, in an alter ego right now. "Come back here with that!"

Magpie hisses at Page, "Do you have a good book on ya?"

Page says "I have PLENTY of good books!"

Magpie says "Gimme one."

Whistlestop panics some more. Battlecry? Battlecry!! Blood and thunder? No! Blood is bad! Victory? But they aren't victory-ful yet! Eulalia? … What does that even MEAN? He finally just blurts, "I'M A GOOD PONYYYYYYYY!!!"

The thief gets to the top of the building and pants, dragging the bag behind. With Sablemane flying at them, they swing their head, using the bag like a bolas to try and smack him in the head. Which gives Page and Magpie plenty time to get up after them.

The cocoa seller nudges a big mug over to the seapony. "You ever seen anything like this afore in your life?" he asks. … He must be new here.

GAME: Whistlestop made an unskilled roll with an outcome of Great.
(OOC) Whistlestop: Ooh, that was for the thief to hit Sable. Feel free to dodge, but it was a good shot!

Page blinks some more and starts fishing through her saddlebags. "This one has some interesting examples of Diamond Dog poetry in it." She floats it over to Magpie. "What do you need it for?"

Sablemane is not expecting things to be swung at his head. One rarely is, after all. He gets smacked full in the face, giving a holler of surprise and toppling tail over wing.

Hawthorn skids to a halt behind Maggie and Page, flailing a bit. What does he do? What CAN he do? He starts up at the thief, tossing bags all around, and for one brief, insane moment, he considers FLINGING Whistlestop at the bag-tossing thief!

But that would be just silly. Whoever heard of tossing a pony at someone?

In the end, Hawthorn goes for the only reasonable solution. He flops sideways, utterly exhausted, while his magic goes out with a bad sort of sparking noise. The good news is, he's now a convenient cushion for Sablemane to topple onto!

Good news for Sablemane, that is.

Steady Binding tucks a hoof around the mug, and pulls it toward him. He looks at the rich and flavorful liquid with a broad smile. "No, sir, I haven't… but, ah, it smells really good."

Magpie shouts, "HEY CHUNKY! CATCH!"

With the flash of unicorn magic, several interesting examples of diamond dog poetry go sailing towards the thief's head.

Page screams! "What are you DOING?!?"

WHUMP. "Ack!" WHUD. "Hrmfkmf!" And that lays the thief out. The diminutive desperado flops under the oversized cloak, bag beside them.

Lucky for Hawthorn, Whistlestop has inertia! When the magic lets him go, he continues buzzing for a good foot or so more, until he's hovering over the fallen colt, staring up wide-eyed at the building. Maybe the thief didn't hear him? "I'M A GOOD PONYYYYY!!!" he calls again. Other ponies in the market rub their temples against the oncoming headaches. Yup.

Sablemane is a thin, lanky colt right in the middle of his growth spurt. This does not mean he is particularly light. "Oof!" Thump. "Ow." He is a pile of long legs and leathery wings, and Hawthorn is just so conveniently right there to be a part of it. How lucky for him!

Magpie lets the book just lay there on the roof. She hovers the bag and peeks over at Whistle. "I GOT 'IM!" she shouts, and lowers it down to him.

Hawthorn is going to have such a headache tomorrow. He rubs his head lightly, wincing, then looks up just in time to see incoming batpony. "Wha-" he starts, before his breath is knocked out of him by lank and leather. "Oooof," he wheeze, flailing weakly for a moment. Once he gets his breath back, he ums and blinks. "Uh. Hi. I'm Hawthorn."

Whistlestop blinks down. "Oh! Hello Not The Last Batpony!" beams the stallion. "I hope you are not hurt." When Magpie lowers the bag, Whistle's eyes get big and round and wobbly. "MY BAAAAGGGGG," he exclaims, wings snapping closed so that he THUDS down to the ground perilously close to the pile o' baticorn. Unibat? Whatever: Hawthorn and Sable.

On the roof, the thief groans and tries to struggle to its hooves.
Any tiny pangs of guilt Kick Save may have felt from not exactly whole-heartedly trying to stop the thief are fully assuaged when they go down. She's grinning openly, cockily now, as she munches some more.

Page stares up at her book. "…that was in mint condition. And you threw it."

Magpie lets go of the bag; she's got more important things to do. She has to unmask the Mysterious Thief! Also stop him from struggling. "Wha'd you think I was gonna do, sit down and read it?!"

Sablemane blinkblinks. He shifts a wing to peer down at the unicorn beneath it. "Oh. Hi. …You make an okay landing pad." He flails about a bit, trying to untangle himself. He's got one wing caught on a rear hoof and the other splayed out over Hawthorn. "Uh, hi, Mr. Bigpony. Did you get your thing back?"

Magpie says "…anyway it's right there. 's just *fine*."

Page pouts. "You could've SAID."

The mysterious thief, as it turns out … is a mare! A wee tan-and-spotted mare, probably a little younger than Magpie. "Get ooooffffffffff!!!" she wails. "GODDDDDDD."

Hawthorn shuffles to his feet, managing to remain under the batwing the entire time. "Thanks? His name's Whistlestop," he tells Sable helpfully, before peering at the batpony's tangled other wing. Then he blinks and looks at the wing over him, nosing at it lightly. "Whoa. Neat!" He giggles softly, nosing the wing more. He is sometimes easily entertained.

Big Pony beams around the bag hanging from his mouth, then quickly remembers what's inside. He sets it down, and noses it open, peeking inside. "…Oh good! It is not broke. That is a good thing. I do not want to give her a broken flower." Whew!

Page smiles a little, book forgotten for the moment. "I'm glad you got your flower back, Mr. Whistlestop." She starts concentrating at the book, limning it with a faint, flickering glow.

"Oh. Okay." Sablemane squirms a bit more. "Can you break a flower?" He looks over at Hawthorn, twitching the wing in question. "Hey. 'Scuse me. That's mine." To back up this point he flails about until he manages to unhook wing from hoof, folding them both in and rolling to his hooves.

"It is a crystal flower I had made special," Whistlestop says in a hushed voice. "It is blue like the sky. So it is a 'skyflower.'" He beams, so proud he came up with that himself. Yay!

Magpie blinkblinks at the little filly. "What're you doin' goin' around to steal flowers from big dumb ponies?" she demands, scowling, and feeling not an ounce of irony or shame.

Steady sips the cocoa. His ears perk up and his expression brightens considerably. He steps away a bit, and takes another sip, looking to see what the situation became while he wasn't paying attention.

Hawthorn meeps as the wing is retracted. He shuffles his hooves embarrassedly, blushing a bit as he looks down. "Sorry. It's just I've never been wrapped in a soft, leathery wing before. It was neat." He ohs and looks over at Whistlestop. "Wow, that's wicked cool, Whistlestop! I bet she'll… wh-whoa," he says, wobbling on his hooves. "Ugh. I think I sprained my magic. I-I'm gonna get back home. Bye!" He waves a hoof, nearly falls over, and then starts to totter back innward.

"I didn't steal no flower! I was FRAMED!" shouts the filly. "You got nothin' on me!!! My daddy's gonna sue you!!!" She scrambles up and away, leaving her cloak behind and scowling at Magpie.

Then she sticks out her tongue, and hops over the edge of the squat building, away from everypony else, having apparently vanished for the time being. They'll have to track her down another day …

Magpie is both flabbered and ghasted at that parting shot. She hesitates, then shouts after her, "FINE! Sue me! I GOT NOTHIN' OF VALUE!"

Page looks at the flower. "It's so pretty. It looks like a very thoughtful gift: I'm sure she'll be very happy with it."

Magpie then slides down to the ground and gives Whistlestop's knee a hug.