The Secret Ingredient is Ponies?
IC date: Winter 30, 1008
OOC date: Jan 18, 2014
Location: Town Square
PCs: Big-Red Stormdancer Wishy-Washy Camilla Seasong Jigsaw-Blade Samantha Grusha Winter-Solstice Starbright Straylight

It's a crisp day in the back lot of Big Red Robin's Restaurant, but with three fires roaring nearby it certainly wasn't going to prove fatal or even uncomfortable to anyone. Big Red was busy hauling a large oaken chest out of the restaurant and through the cleared snow towards the tent, where he had three stations set up. He oofs and grunts a bit, the chest looking to be quite heavy, but with great effort he gets it to the wooden table with a 'phew!'.

Her old cloak wrapped around her barrel, Stormdancer is once again playing the part of a flightless pegasus. Mostly on account of there not being nearly as many magical weightless carts around as one might like, so she's stuck pulling a standard-model wheeled one, through the snow and the slush. On the plus side, the sacks loaded into it give it some nice traction! And she's grinning, so it can't be all -that- bad! She waves a hoof out towards the big griffon and calls out. "'ey there! This's th' place fer th' cookin' brawl, righ'?"

Wishy-Washy is gathered by one of these fires by the resturant… not only because it's a good way to ward off the accursed chill of winter that seems to permiate every facet of her life these days, but also because she had decided to participate in today's competition…! then she spots Rising Chaos' friend with the funny accent and waves!

Camilla looks around at the ponies gathered. she's excited to see the competion. and maybe she can get the judges to try her muffins! she pats her tiny saddle bags stuffed with miniture muffins and crosses her claws for luck. to bad she didnt know how to sign up, though theres likely an age restriction. but hey, maybe not?

Seasong steps into the crowd following along behind Camilla. The old stallion stops and humms while adjusting his glasses. "What's all this now? Eh? Cooking? Why, this seems more exciting then, eh, well, something that's exciting."

A howling gust of wind comes and goes in a moment, heralding the arrival of a powerfully-built griffoness. She pauses at the doorway, her expression imperious and unreadable. "I sense something. Something… very silly."

Jigsaw-Blade wanders by, intrigued by the rumors about this event. That it would be done with weapons. That it would be done Griffon-style. That it was going to be too the death. That last one was probably totally made up! She comes in for a landing, popping up behind somepony so old, she can't help but mutter, "graverobbing. somepony did it wrong," under her breath.

Stormdancer turns her wave to her fellow camper-pony. "'eyas, Wishy! Comin' by ta watch me win?" The dancer gets a cheeky grin- Then again, it's her usual one, so what's different with that?

Big-Red wipes the brows of his head with a claw as he looks to the gathering. Wow, this was quite the turnout! "Hello, everypony and everygriffon!" Big Red greets with a booming friendly voice. "Welcome to the first-ever Iron Shiv Competition! Now…it looks like one of my expected competitors isn't going to make it, so I invite the other competitors to gather up and for a brave pony to join, if any dare!" He smiles a beaky smile and nudges the chest to the edge of the table.

Wishy-Washy smiles as she keeps to her bonfire, holding out her hooves. watching the way the flames flick and dance help calm her and prepare a level of focus that will be needed for the cooking ahead.

Camilla creeps forward and raises a claw. "Um…sir!" The six year old grifflet puffs up her chest. "I'd like to compete!"

Samantha wanders over and starts peering at one of the cooking stations. "Hey, what's goin' on here?" she asks, beaming at Big Red. "It looks like fun!"

Grusha narrows her eyes, peering at the tableau. "Competition? What is this competition?" She finds a handy bench and seats herself. "I am seeing dishes, but not cookware. Is cooking competition? Do competitors bring their own utensils?"

Stormdancer makes for the front of the assemblage, giving Big Red a sloppy salute. Then looks over at Camilla volunteering- "Augh! Th' brush monsta'!" She recoils! But only a little, and it's mostly just being hammed up anyway. … Mostly.

Winter-Solstice tromps around the corner and approaches the back lot, approaching, adorned with a bulging saddlebag. She makes her way to where the audience/observers/food eaters/gawkers are gathering, finds a seat, settles down, and digs around in her bag. She fishes out a big bib with a picture of a lobster on it (The lobster is wielding a hockey stick and underneath it reads HORSESHOE HARBOR SEAPONIES), then fishes out a fork and a knife, then holds them in her mouth, crossed. And thus she waits.

Starbright flutters down behind his sister, giving Samantha a nudge. "Hey, sugah, y'all seen a li'l ol' gryphlet 'round heah?" he asks, peeking around for his daughter. She said something about cooking a thing, but he was busy putting out the earlier muffin fires.

Samantha blinks and hugs Starbright! "Lawr— I mean, Starbright! Hi!" She adopts an expression of mock-severity. "Did you lose track of your kid *again*?"

Big-Red looks down at little Camilla and Samantha and smiles. "Having a cooking contest," he first tells Samantha, then saying to Camilla, "…well, if you think you can make something! But I gotta warn you, it'll be hard." He doesn't say 'no,' so she's in! The griffon motions to Wishy and Stormdancer to come to the table, then the griffons, and speaks clearly enough so that everyone can hear him. "Well, ladies! The name of the game is simple: this is the Iron Shiv Competition, where each of you will prepare a meal for our judges to taste. Now, I can only provide ingredients as necessary, you'll be on your own for those mostly. But as for cooking tools… <continued>

Starbright hugs Sammy back. "Ah didn't lose huh, peh se," he says, before brightening. "Ah, Ah found huh! Hey, puffb… Wait, did y'all just sign up fo' a cookin' contest?" he asks. Well, at least it doesn't involve pirates. "Good luck, puffball."

Big-Red flips open the latch on the chest and opens it up, then places on the large table the following: a set of throwing knives, a longsword, an axe, an ax, a crossbow, a morning star, the pointy half of a spear, a warhammer, another ax, another axe, a smooth flail, a quarrel of arrows, sling bullets, a parrying sword, a rapier, and what looks suspiciously like a gauntlet meant for a griffon. "You'll be making your food with these! Any questions?"

Samantha flashes Starbright a grin. "Oh! I'll help her." She leans down. "Would you like that, Cammy?"

Samantha blinks at the weapons. She glances at Camilla. "….okay I'm DEFINITELY helping you."

Straylight slips into the restaurant, looking a little worried and dazed. She hangs by the door, looking over the room until her eyes settle on Camilla. "Camilla? Cammy? I nee… Are you… wait. What did you, um, get yourself into?" She looks about to Samantha and Starbright for a sane answer.

Wishy-Washy steps forward and bows her head to Big-red as she approaches, smiling to both Stormdancer and… Oh no. things suddenly just got a lot more complex. then again, Samantha does step forward, so that helps to ease her worries. "First of all, I would like to thank you for allowing me to compete, Mr. Red. I am also thankful that you provided me with a raw slab of your meat-a-like foodstuff so I could do proper kebab." he horn lights up and wraps around the axe, the rapier, and the warhammer.

Camilla puffs up more. "I'm brave!" She insits. You dont HAVE to help me…"

Samantha ruffles Cammy's crest. "Some of those are sharp, and some of them are really heavy. And one of 'em is both. So, I'll help."

Jigsaw-Blade slaps the table she's found herself at. "Wow, maybe this really is gonna be to the death!" She looks over, admiring the weaponry from afar. She tilts her head as she follows the action, wondering how, even with help, the little hatchling's gonna actually do this - Jiggy can't cook even with proper utensils and a huge size advantage!

Starbright blinks at Red, then raises his paw. "Did y'all get insurance?" He awwws and ruffles Cammy's feathers. "We know y'all're brave, puffball, but, uh, with auntie Stahlight's help, y'all can really showcase yoah cookin' talent, an' let Sammy take cah o' th'… uh… li'l details." He waves a claw at Stray, too, when he spots her. It's like a gryphon family reunion!

Stormdancer peers over the selection- Heck, this is part of -why- she signed up! She pouts a bit at Big Red, though. "Don' got na hoofhammers o' wingblades?" Well, obviously not, otherwise they'd be here. "Guess we gottas make do!" She makes for the medium thwacky (morning star) and tiny stabbies (the throwing knives), before glancing back at Team Griffon. Though it might be funny to watch… She passes on the knives, and snags the longsword instead. After she gets them wedged into her ingredients cart: "'ow long we got ta do th' cookin'?"

Straylight blink-blinks at the selection of the weapons. She leans over to Starbright and whispers, entirely too loudly, "I'll, um, enter. To take worst things away from her. And I could use the, er, relief… who's Auntie Starlight?"

Samantha says "That's me, Stray. It's… my middle name."

Samantha waves a paw. "It's HIS too! I mean, Starbright. His first name's Lawrence."

Starbright nods. "She hates when Ah call huh that," he says with a grin, before coughing. "Well, uh, Cammy already entered, so Ah guess we gotta… HAY! Don't tell huh that!" He blushes furiously, grumping at his sister.

Samantha sticks her tongue out at Starbright.

Starbright nyaaaaahs right back at Sammy.

Camilla nods and goes to grab a few arrows. "Okay!" She smiles happily, "Aunty Starlight, can you get an axe?" She seens oblivious to the small family drama. and um…that sword? I got most of my ingredients on me. Flour would be good. And eggs, butter and milk? I've got the other stuff in my bags!"

"You've got an hour," Big Red answers to Stormdancer before he ducks to some kind of ice chest behind him, pulling out the meat-a-likes requested for Wishy and the eggs/butter/milk/flour combination for Camilla. "Here you go, Wishy Washy," the griffon announces, "and for the bravest chicklet in the Harbor," he gives to Camilla. "Now I expect everyone to cook fair and to focus on their work! Good luck, and have fun!" He smiles, indicating the cooking stations for the teams to get to work at.

Samantha giggles a bit. She slips the gauntlet over her right claw and makes a few experimental punching motions with it. Yeah! Take that!

Grusha has been staring at the 'cooking implements' for about four straight minutes. "…this competition violates at least four rules of cooking that I can think of and perhaps warrants the creation of three more."

Samantha grins at Camilla. "So. What do we do first?" she inquires, letting the kid lead.

Starbright eyerolls at Sammy, and goes to get the axe and the sword. "Ah'm not sure… anyway, what're y'all gonna cook, puffball?" he asks his daughter. "An' wheah d'y'all want a sword fo'?"

Wishy-Washy and she's off! she quickly stabs the totem of meat onto her rapier and heafts it up into a vertical position. she also pulls out a jar of marinate that she applies to the top half of the meat-a-like totem. she then has to focus a bit more to give the meat some magical insulation before sticking it whole into the fire, using the rapier and her magic to make a faux vertical roticery…

Straylight blinks at the revelation. "…I think I, um… like it", she tells Samantha and Starbright. "We'll have to check if we share, like, a fourth cousin twice removed." Then her attention turns to the competition and she murmurs something to Big Red about late entry before taking a spare station. The cooking utensils she nicks are a crossbow and a flintlock.

A whole hour before the food will even be ready? Well, Jiggy's not sitting for this. Her butt would cramp up! She gets out of her chair, and starts exploring about the place instead, spending a moment lingering at the display Wishy-Washy makes cooking at her kebab-y thingy, but reminding herself that the meat is faux. Not sure who it's fo', but it's faux.

Camilla takes a deep breath. this is going to be the biggest thing she's ever done in front of so many ponies and griffins! "Okay…um…do we got measuring stuff?"

Grusha marches her way over to Big Red. "Who are you having judge competition? Someone of great judgement, da? Is not job for silly folk." She sees the competitors and their chosen tools. "Are you having proper safety measures in place>"

Samantha shakes her head. "Nope! Gotta do it the old fashioned way, I guess. Eyeball it!" She grins at Straylight. "Well," she explains, "Momma liked ponies and thought we should have ponyish names, but Daddy was against it, so they compromised."

Big-Red motions once again to the weapons on the table for Camilla's benefit. "Everything you see here, nothing else." He smiles like he's been SO HELPFUL, even though he really hasn't been. With Grusha's approach, though, he smiles at her and says, "I will, and with you and one other pony I'd be delighted to share the judging with." He looks around, finding a large, strong pony with a lobster bib. "Like that one!" he says, pointing straight at Winter Solstice.

Big-Red leaves the question of safety measures unanswered.

Seasong startles awake after having nodded off in the stands there for a few moments. "Eh? ohh," the elder stallion murmurs watching the competitors set up. "Why, this reminds me of the time we had to make a cake for 'ol Spottyhoof and ran out of flour. Exciting times those were."

Stormdancer draaaags her collection of goodies over to her station before shrugging out of both her cloak and the cart's harness. She spends a minute or so limbering up, then rubs her hooves together. Time for some high-impact cookery! - Though she cuts out halfway through laying out her first set of ingredients (flour, sugar, salt, eggs) to zip over to the weapo- err, utensil's chest, and snags the speartip, too, before flapping back to her work: Mixing together some dough. Though she's also got a flask of some kinda sparkling liquid that she's being rather particularly careful with. … Come to think of it, are those scorch marks on her legs?

Starbright huffs a bit. "It's alright fo' y'all," he grouses. "Y'all didn't get named 'Lawrence.'" Ahem. He nudges Cammy. "Just gotta let us know what ta do, li'l sugah. As fo' measurin', just tell me how much y'all need. Food ain't so diff'rent from chemicals, an' Ah was always pretty good at measurin' them out."

Straylight ohs at Samantha. "Mine too", she explains. "We lived kind of close to ponies, and I, er, did not mind the name. Kind of led to the guild, I suppose. What's wrong with, er, Lawrence?" For her first 'ingredient', she gets a bundle of crossbow bolts. After making sure everypony (and everygryphon) is clear, she shoots a carefully lined up row of them just over the flames. A very martial grill.

Samantha says "Awww, c'mon, what's so bad about Lawrence? ….Larry.""

Starbright glowers at Sammy, then reaches over to put her in a headlock and noogie her. "What's so bad 'bout Stahbright?"

Camilla hesitates a moment before nodding. "Okay…flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a bowl first! and thats 2 cups….a half cup….2 teaspoons…and a half teaspoon for cinnamon and salt too!" she pulls out the missing ingredients from her saddle bags. "We can um….wisk it together with arrows I think."

Wishy-Washy gets to work on her veggies now. of course, mincing such with a battleaxe makes for some very over-the-top imagery, but it is efective in getting the tomato, parsley, mint, onion, and garlic chopped up and mixed into a pile! she adds a few things to this plate of veggies such as a bit of olive oil and lemon juice as well as some other stuff… but that was the easy par…

Grusha thinks about this for a moment. Her tail lashes back and forth. "…fine. But only to ensure proper standards are being observed. Cooking is civilized." This she says in stark defiance of pretty much everything going on right now.

Samantha peers at her gauntlet thoughtfully. Then at the fire. Then at some of the other weapons. Hmmm…

Starbright starts measuring out the things that need measuring, leaving them in neat piles on the cooking surface. He ums a bit, "So, uh, what're we gonna whisk 'em in?" he asks.

Big-Red smiles at Grusha. "Splendid!" he says before heading to the rear door of the restaurant. "I'll be right back with another table and some chairs." And into the restaurant he goes, one of the nearby snowdrifts shifting and shaking as the door shuts behind him.

Straylight snickers at the sight of Samantha being noogied. "Maybe I should call you, um, Starlight. So more people confuse us." She then grabs her first food item, a big eggplant. After cocking the crossbow without a bolt, she holds it in front of the string and pulls the trigger. Off comes one end. Then another. Then, with much twanging, she starts using repeatedly drawn crossbow string to chop off thin slices of eggplant lengthwise.

Camilla waves over at Seasong. "Be sure your paying close attention gramps! that way you can tell the story when I win!" she grabs the pan and then gives the bowl to her father. "the dry stuff first. and I'll toast the oats, kay?"

Starbright accepts the bowl, then starts whisking the try ingredients with one of the arrows. He eyes Stray's make-shift mandolin with interest. That's clever! So long as the string doesn't snap. Or the eggplant explode.

This is a true concern.

Samantha scoops up a couple of items and scoots around the fire to the other side, where it's more open, and starts heating a few utensils.

Wishy-Washy knows she has to get started on her dough as well! she gets to wprk with ehr hooves mixing flour and wheat and all sorts of things, rolling and mushing with a combination of both her hooves and that warhammer. of course she does add a bit of yeast as well to get that proper Levigned effect that makes pita bread so floofy! she gets it cut into proper small flat pies before shoving them in the oven provided at her cooking station?

Stormdancer mixes her concoction in her assigned bowl veeeeery carefully. What with hovering, she gets a good angle on mixing with the blunt end of the speartip in her mouth, which leaves her hooves free to add in her sparkling liquid- That audibly crackles as it hits the air. But so far she manages to avoid any mishaps, after emptying about half the flask into her dough mix. Then she transfers it over to the plate, flattening it out and letting it set. Next up: The vegetables! Both local and imported- And of the imported, they're all from the border regions of Griffonia. Playing to the judge's tastes? Maybe!

But now there's a flying pony with a longsword, hacking 'em up a little clumsily. Perhaps taking cover might be an option.

Grusha seats herself next to Winter. "I am more familiar with cooking than with weapons. I am recalling that you make things from metal for living, da?"

Camilla huffs and hands starbright a clawful of arrows. "no, like a wisk silly!" she clumps the arrows together in example. meanwhile she is toasting oats and adding the butter to the pot. should a six year old be handling two things on a fire at the same time? probably not.

Big-Red the back door opens again and Big Red is carrying a small end-table and a trio of stools, just for this occasion! When the door shuts close The snowdrift along it shifts and crumbles some more. But it looks like the door closing was done too hard, because a nice cracking trail splits all along the rim of the snow edge of this back lot, heading towards the tent with the cooking stations.

Meanwhile, Big Red sets down the end table and the stools, taking one for himself and watching the contestants cook. He listens to Grusha speak, curious of the topic.

Winter-Solstice stirs and sits up as Grusha thumps into the seat beside her, looking to the big griffon with upraised eyebrows. "Muhfuhmmhuhmumguffa," she mumbles around her utensils- before reaching up and plucking them out of her mouth. "That is, I make works o' metallic art. Sometims I get paid for it! So the answer to your question is… sometimes."

Grusha nods. "Perhaps, then, you can provide commentary on tools being used here?"

Starbright ohs at Cammy. "Of course. How silly of me," he says as he accepts the arrows and starts to whisk. He keeps a very wary eye on his daughter as she starts cooking things. Just in case. "Hey, uh, Sammy? Wanna grab a bucket o' snow? Just, ya know, in case."

Straylight finishes chopping the eggplant before the string gets uncomfortably close to her talons. The next part is simple enough, a bowl, a couple of eggs, and the slices doused in them. She pins them to a wall with spare bolts and reaches for croutons and the flintlock. It's a very noisy way of coating eggplant and anything around in toasted breadcrumbs.

Samantha's voice from around the bonfire — "Yeah, sure thing." This is followed by the sound of metal clanging on metal.

Wishy-Washy is starting to show signs of strain from having to hold such a complex telekinetic spell for so long to make for that improvised vertical roticierie she needed. regardless, she's still hard at work… this time taking the blowl and using the handle for the hammer as a motar and pestle to grind down some chic peas, garlic, and cumin into a fine paste while her pitas bake and her kebab roasts and rather effectivley marinates itself.

Starbright now strongly resembles fried chicken. o.o

Chop! Chop! Whunk! Stormie finishes dicing (for a loose definition of 'dice') one chunk of her vegetables- And so they go into the pot! Another set, the more common ones, go into the bowl, where the pegasus commences assaulting them with the morning star, reducing them into a paste, too. And there's her flask, over on the other side of the table, each thunk making it shake a lil' closer to the edge.

Winter-Solstice looks to Grusha for a few moments, before looking towards the competitors and pointing. "That's an axe," she says. "That's a rapier. Over there are a pair of son of a stud swords- never figured out why they called 'em that. And up there is a morning star." She looks back to Grush and smiles brightly.

Camilla puts most of the melted butter into a pot, taking the rest off the fire and the oats. she proceeds to start beating in the wet ingrediants the sword to mix it in. "excuse me mr judge sir! can I use the muffin pan I brought?"

Grusha blinks owlishly. "You are credit to your profession."

Straylight pauses to fuss over Starbright, brushing the crumbs off him. "I, um… sorry. Didn't think they fly that far." Returning to the cooking, she crumbles some hard cheese over the crumb-covered slices too. Then she gets about mashing together soft cheese and garlic, using a broadhead bolt as a sharp-edged spoon.

Wishy-Washy finishes her hummus and concentrates with her horn when she realizes that her magical barrier from the flames around the meat-a-like was fading! with renewed resolve, she drags the pot over, as she already had to use the bowl for Hummus… she then takes out the soggy sesame seeds that had to soak overnight and gets right to work on grinding them down into the sauce in the pot. she doesn't get far before the timer on the oven goes off and she has to momentarily abandon the Tahini to use that hammer to bash her pita bread flat! WHACK! WHAM!

Winter-Solstice stares at Grusha for a few moments. "Look, here, clearly you're not convinced. Lemme show you something." She sets her utensils aside, thrns towards her saddlebag and rustles around inside- eventually producing a small, iron object. It appears to be a spike with small spikes on it. The earth pony reaches out to offer it to Grusha.

Big-Red starts to answer, "To answer your question, Grusha, they're all my old weapons. I keep them clean and maintained, they'll issue a lot of righteous beatings in the right claws…" He stops, though, as Winter pulls out her object.

The crack along the edge of the snowbank wall slows to a stop just behind the cooking stations.

Camilla looks at her things. "um…daddy…can you use a mace or something an beat some cups into the pan?"

Starbright blushes a bit as he gets brushed off. "It's fine, dahlin', Ah shoulda just sat somewheah else is all." He ehs at Cammy. "Uh, sure, sugah." He goes to fetch a mace, then he starts banging on the pan. It's… loud.

Grusha peers at the spike-spike. "This is…a tool? Weapon?" Blink. "Perhaps paperweight?"

Winter-Solstice reaches out and sets the spiked spike on the table before her, then withdraws her hoof. "Frankly," she says, to Big Red, either ignoring Grusha's question or considering the matter settled, "I'm surprised you don't have shields for stir-frying in."

Samantha hops back around the bonfire to retrieve a mace and a couple shuriken. Goes back to what she was doing, which has nothing to do with helping Camilla.

Stormdancer finishes pulverizing her broth base, adding it to the pot. Along with water, some lil' packets of herbs, and-

"- Huh. Where'd it-" *Tink* A grasping hoof (don't ask how -that- works) bumps over her flask, rather than grabbing on to it. Imagine a slow-motion effect, if you would, the zippy pegasus diving for her Secret Ingredient as it heads for the ground- And not being zippy enough. It hits.


- And the condensed thundercloud inside escapes and discharges into the poor mare's face. Well, that's one way to get a new manestyle!

Camilla grabs the sword to start dividing the dough…and trips. with a squeal she hits the ground and the sword goes flying…right for the judges!

Starbright blinks. Ack! He dives for the sword, without having noticed that he's got his paws underneath the table, and he's still got the mace in his hand, and… well, long story short, the poor gryphon is sprawled beakfirst in the frozen mud, and there's a sword AND a mace flying towards the judge's table.

Wishy-Washy sees the weapons heading for the judge's table and has no time to waste… she whips her horn towards the weapons and manages to telekinetically divert them to that crack forming in the snow wall… this does however, also come at the price of having to let go of the hebab and let the flames lick at the meat-a-like uninhibited for a moment.

Straylight acks! The next thing she does is peek out from behind a table she toppled over as a barricade. She may as well have teleported behind it. Seeing Starbright's predicament, she leaps over to his side. "Are you hurt?"

Jigsaw-Blade dives out of the air as the weapons begin flying. "And I thought the 'to the death' bit was a rumor!" she says, as she looks over to the side to see the weapons, which have fortunately missed actually harming anyone. After a moment of awkward silence, she speaks up, asking, "How many points do you lose for murder attempts, anyway?"

Big-Red looks at Winter. "I have /a/ shield. I'm not going to have it be—" Before Big Red can answer he watches the mace and sword come flying towards him, about to pick up the table and use it as an improvised shield, but before he can he eases at the sight of the weapons being diverted straight into the wall. The good news is that the snowbank wall successfully impacts the wall and spares anyone from serious harm! The bad news is that it takes the time to voice its disapproval. "OW!" cries the wall in a muffled voice.

Starbright grins sheepishly at Straylight. "Ah'm fine, Ah'm fine. Anyone else hurt?" He blinks. "Er. Exceptin' fo' th'… uh… wall? That's only th' third time Ah've heard a wall say ouch."

Camilla cringes. "um…that was an accident! i didnt try to murder anypony!"

Winter-Solstice watches the weapons flying about, the bottles exploding,t he manes being restyled and the snow walls being assaulted with a flat expression, before digging around in her bag and pulling out a flyer for the event. She reads it over, lips silently moving, then looks up at Big Red. "I don't see anything about any of this on the stated itinerary. Was that the halftime show?"

Samantha makes a muffled "Aha!" and something goes "whoosh".

Samantha is busy doin' her own thing, pay her no mind.

Straylight 's ears twitch towards the… surprisingly noisy wall. "Is there somewhere in there?", she wonders. "Or do we have snow golems here?"

Wishy-Washy now has a fire to deal with… luckily, one of the magics she's mastered best is the ability to control wind and air current, and… of course that means she very quickly starves out the combusted meat with a lack of oxygen. the burning doesn't seem to be too bad. it's a mere matter of carving off the outer most layer that got turned to charcoal, which she does quickly. thankfully by now the marinade has sunk in, but she applies a bit more for good measure before starting the roticierie process agian.

Grusha watches, brow raised. "…is very impressive. Lacking entirely in safety standards, but impressive. I am reminded of my cousin Piotr and his famed juggling weasels act."

Stormdancer coughs out some smoke as she lays there on the ground, wings twitching and ears ringing. She gives herself a shake when she stands, her mohawk rather… More. But hey, everypony likes spikes, right? Still- There's cooking to be done! She staggers back to her table to collect her pot and get it over one of the fires. Sure, it'll be missing that little extra kick, but the filling shall be cooked!

Jigsaw-Blade stares suspiciously back at the wall that said 'Ow.' "How about for successful attempts?" she adds to her earlier inquiry, and makes her way over to the scene, starting to dig snow out from around where the blades have impaled into the wall. "What the heck are you doing in the snow?" she scolds as she digs.

Camilla ducks her head and begins making a streusel topping to go beneath the oats, which turns out quite nicely. "daddy…um…did…uh…is the pan working? Or should we go to the hospital?" he's certainly not looking quite as good as when the whole thing started.

Starbright pulls his beak out of the mud, wiping himself off as best as he can. Ahem. "Er, anyway. Ahem. Uh, no, th' pan should be fine. Heah ya go, li'l sugah," he says, handing the make-shift muffin tin over to his daughter. He eyes the snowwall suspiciously.

Okay, so let's run through this again. Camilla and her team just managed to fling weapons out of the cooking zone, Stormdancer just caused an elecsplosion, and Wishy just made a wall cry ow. Big-Red was certainly /not/ planning on any of this. "Okay, okay, time out!" the organizer calls out before letting out a sharp whistle. "Stop the cooking, this is starting to get too dangerous!" Because introducing weapons earlier wasn't dangerous, nope! When Jigsaw digs into the wall, she doesn't find anything where the sword impaled, but where the mace landed she manages to uncover something green. So sayeth the green thing that is not quite revealed, "I jus' wanted ta try the food! I smelled good stuff!" The voice is unusually kiddish.

Straylight looks relieved, still glancing at Starbright worriedly. She is about to return to cooking again when Big Red calls for a time-out. "Who is that?", she wonders.

Wishy-Washy pulls her kebab out of the fire and carefully sets it down on the cooking surface, frowning abit. "I really just needed to finish the Tahini and it would have been ready too…" She then notices she actually -HIT- somebody tyring to keep the flying weapons from doing so. she frowns and flattens her ears against her head.

Starbright awwws as everything gets halted. He gives his daughter a hug. "Y'all'll just hafta save yoah muffin mix fo' home. Uh. Once th' new stove's arrived, anyway." He nudges Straylight light, to show he's okay, then blinks over at the green thing. "Ah think it's an alien. They're frequently green."

Jigsaw-Blade continues to dig around the green thing, as she scowls. "Yeah, well you got nailed good. Unless you're some funny thing that bleeds green, tho, I don't see any blood so far." She continues scooping out snow, trying to remember the very rudimentary first aid she's picked up over the years of working with sharp tools. "What's your name, and how'd you get in there?"

Samantha pads around the fire and asks Starbright idly, "What color are they the rest of the time?"

Stormdancer rubs at her ear as she returns to her table for her speartip-stirrin' stick. "Huh? Say 'gain?" Then pauses, blinking, as something sounds… well, not there. "- Testin', TESTIN'- Aw, -ponyfeathers-." She ruffles her wings irritably, looking about to see- Nobody's still cooking? "- Kin anypony -write- what's goin' on?" This last part comes out a bit louder than expected, not that Deafdancer knows that.

Camilla droops notably. "i coulda done it." she mutters.

Winter-Solstice leans on the table, chin propped up in her big hooves, watching the cooking. She doesn't seem to have noticed that there's a thing in the walls. A thing that talks and doesn't lke weaponry being flung at it. Instead she's looking at the food being cooked and wondering what the heck it is.

The green thing in the wall provides some help to Jigsaw, trying to make its way out of the snowbank wall. "I'm Mala…and…urk!" The green thing, with enough digging and enough effort, pops out of the wall and tumbles down onto the ground where it reveals itself to be a strange four-legged scaly beast about two feet large with claws and fins and a cute little snout. "…and I walked here. Got hungry, smelled food…you know the rest."

Camilla screams. "ACK! MONSTER! DID YOU HERE IT?! ITS GONNA EAT US!" FLOOF! she resorts to her favorite disguise, the ball of feathers! no tasty grifflets here!

Grusha looks first to Big Red, then to Winter. "I am thinking this is not part of planned festivities?"

Straylight suddenly has a too-large camera pulled out from… somewhere, and the green creature gets pictures taken. Lots of pictures from different angles, while the gryphon has to suppress excited chirping. "Mala? What are you? Where are you from? What kind of food do you like? Are you a space alien?"

Starbright scoops up the Cammyball. "Aw, ya sure coulda, puffball. And they're usually grey, if'n they ain't green. Oah sometimes they're a coluh us Equestria-bound crittahs can't comprehend with ouah puny minds. Ah call that coluh 'sphlnee.'" He nods sagely. He peers. "Ah think that's a dragon."

Jigsaw-Blade gives a little groan, pointedly ignoring that she can't identify Mala's species. "There are easier ways to get food, that don't involved getting nailed with a mace," she informed Mala, before turning a dirty look Camilla's way. Whatever Mala is, she(?) certainly doesn't seem to be hostile in any way. "I don't see where you actually got hit, but you… well, might want to see a doctor just in case?"

Camilla starts shaking so hard you'd think it was an earthquake. "A DRAGON IS EVEN WORSE! I'm gonna get EATED arent I?!

Winter-Solstice mmms? She stirs, sitting back, looking to Grusha, then across the way towards the Green Scaly Thing Which Looks Like A Dragon But Let's Not All Jump To Conclusions Here, Folks. "That pony's got crazy kind of mange going on," s he says, staring at the wee thing. "Someone should prolly take 'er to the doc."

Starbright nuzzles his beach ball of a daughter. "Naw, sugah. Th' li'l space dragon's much too small ta eat a WHOLE gryphlet all by huhself. But Ah bet she'd like one o' yoah muffins."

Wishy-Washy frowns at the green thing… she approaches and bows her head gently. "I would like to offer my sincerest apologies..t hat mace was going to hit somebody and I only had enough strengh to redirect it's trajectory with my magic.

Mala picks herself up and dusts herself of snow. Scales: check. Fins: check. Lighter belly: check. Snout of pointy teeth: check. Conclusion: "Alien? Dun' think so. I'm a Leviva…a Lebibeea…I'm a Leputia…I'm a water dragon!" She gives a strained smile. "An' I got thick scales, I'm fine. Really. Jus' hungry for whatever smells so good!" Her attention drifts over to Wishy's plate, being the one thing not totally ruined just yet. Big-Red, now that he sees all this, REALLY makes sure everything comes to a screeching halt. "…uh…" Priceless.

"Leviathan?" Starbright offers helpfully. "Oah lapras, mebbe?"

"Yeah!" Mala exclaims, "That first one. Dunno what the other is."

Camilla tenatively pulls out the premade muffins that she'd brought. holding the bag in her beak she creeps close to the dragon. "do you eat muffins?" the feather ball asks.

Okay, not -totally- deaf. Screaming fillies- Or gryphlets, in this case- are apparently loud enough to be audible through thunder-based tinninitus! "Monste'? - -Dragon-?!" Stormdancer spins about, looking for a great, big, fire-breathing beasty- And, well, can't really -see- Mala past the herd-and-or-flock of beings around her. She does find some fire, though- Or at least her backside does (dumping out her vegetable pot pie filling in the process.) And that's enough for her- One moment she's jumping up from the burn, the other, she's leaving a blue streak in the sky, beating several personal speed records on outta there.

Straylight produces a notepad too, and is jotting things down. At the mention of 'water dragon', she nearly lights up. "Oh! So you live in the, um, the sea then? Maybe…" She follows Stormdancer's departure with her gaze. "…I guess she's scared of Leviathans… er…" She turns back to Mala. "…you can answer a question or two for me?"

You can almost SEE the thought bubble over Jiggy's head. 'Water. (beat). Dragon?', it would read. Dragons are rare enough, and certainly dangerous, usually. She seems to vaguely recall there being a big exception to that rule, but can't place it. "Well… I don't have any reason to object to you hanging about, but if you start to feel dizzy or funny, it's straight to the doctor's office with you," she says, in her sternist 'mom' voice - which is odd, all things considered. She backs away, and approaches the judges table. "Water Dragon?!" she whispers, bug-eyed.

Wishy-Washy smiles and levitates the somewhat burnt bits of shwarma meat-a-like on over and quietly offers it to Mala. it only seems polite, and it wasn't like she would let the more burned pieces be judged by the panel.

Starbright keeps close to Cammy, just in case Mala DOES eat gryphlets, but he smiles benignly as his daughter offers a muffin. Yay, muffins!

Winter-Solstice settles back down. "Oh. A dragon, not a pony with a condition." She frowns quietly. "Shoulda brought my dragon bib instead."

Grusha says "In the old country dragons are irregular visitors. Some grow to great size, but the more common dragons are the Crested Beet Dragon. They dig dens underground and hoard beets." Her tail lashes once or twice. "They are nuicances, but will trade for other vegetables."

Samantha frowns back at Winter, ooching over to the edge of the group. "That's awful. You shouldn't eat dragons at all, much less need a bib for it."

Big-Red is just as shocked as Jiggy is. "…uuuhhh…nooo…" he manages to mutter out as his head tilts to the side of its own accord, as though he were broken by something. Mala, on the other hand, went from feeling a bit sour to being more happy. "Thanks!" she says to both Camilla as she takes the bag of muffins /and/ Wishy Washy as she accepts the burnt food. She plops on the ground and digs right in. NYAM NYAM NYAM! "…hey, thif if gud!" she exclaims with a mouthful of food. Chew chew swallow. "I bet if ya made something really tasty for Mom she won't break everything when she gets here!" Having been appeased with food, she tells Straylight, "I guess. Whatcha wanna know?"

Winter-Solstice shoots Samantha a hurt frown. "Eat dragons? Gosh! What kind of a barbarian do you take me for? It's for putting ON dragons. They have atrocious table manners, you realize!"

Straylight nodnods. "Have you seen any, um… I don't know what you call them. Really big dolphin-y critters, colored black and white?" Mala's words take a few moments to catch up, and she flattens her ears. "…your mom will be angry? Aaaaah! What does she like, same things as you?"

Jigsaw-Blade boggles. "What would dragon even taste like?" she wonders aloud. Then she snaps her head a bit to clear the mental image. "Ok, logically, I'd think the seaponies would be the most likely to know what the heck to do about this, right? I mean…" She trails off, hearing Mala's very loud eating. "I'm really really hoping that's a really small adult, but none of us are that lucky."

Camilla giggles as she breaks out her brush to slowly reveal the grifflet beneath the fluff. "i'm camilla. and you should slow down! I was just about to make more muffins too…but I guess I'll have to do that somewhere else. hey mala! do you breath fire?"

Grusha nods to Winter. "It is true. I am remembering many very messy meals."

Starbright scratches his beak at Jigsaw. "Prolly… Ah betcha they'd taste like lobstah," he says, with a nod. "What with needin' a bit, an' all." He ohs at Straylight. "An ohca! Y'all're thinkin' of an ohca!" He leans over and grabs the brush from Cammy to brush her down.

Wishy-Washy blinks a bit…. that's… ominous to say the least. "Excuse me, did you say your mother was going to be coming here…? I mean, I am not surprised, but usually dragon't don't approach the settlements of ponies or camels." this is now concerning, and the thought of completing her shwarma goes to the back of her mind.

Mala was demonstrating some /very/ poor table manners, chewing with an open mouth and stuffing her face and dropping bits of crumbs everywhere. When she swallows she talks again. So many questions for her to answer! "What the pony there said, an okra! Mom and I see 'em lots. And sure I breathe fire! Just…ya know…not really well. Water, ya know? And my Mom usually doesn't, but she told me if I got lost to find the funny pony place and wait for 'er. So that's what I'm gunna do!" She nomfs some more muffins.

Camilla grabs her batter and starts filling her makeshift pan. "okay! hey mala, you think you can help cook these?" she always wanted a more unique stove. whats more unique then a dragon stove?

Straylight ohs. "Mala? And, um… which way were they, from here?" She quickly recovers and resumes working on her dish. Looks like she's making something that can't make up its mind if it's rollatini or a burrito, made with eggplant and cheese and spices."

Wishy-Washy looks to Big Red with EXTREME trepidation. this was problematic and she honestly wasn't sure what the best move would be.

Grusha watches Straylight cooking, deciding that the actual culinary events are the most interesting ones here. "I am not familiar much with eggplant. It is a strange vegetable. But it has a good, firm texture. Perhaps I make use of it for borscht for ponies."

Straylight looks like she's trying to make something she ate in a restaurant but has never cooked herself. Her use of weapons may have been clever, but anything beyond 'edible' in the final result would have to be luck.

Mala takes a crumb-covered claw and points out in the direction of the ocean. "Sumwhere out there. She'll probably come from far away, so she'll be really grumpy," she says unhelpfully before finishing off the last muffin with a happy sigh. "So good! Thanks! And, uh, what's cookin?" This left Big Red trying to figure out what to—DING! "Hi, uh, Mala? What did you say before about your mother and food?" he asks her. Mala looks at the griffon and says, "If ya make her something really tasty she might not break everythin'!" Big Red enters into severe thinking mode.

Jigsaw-Blade gives another nervous glance Mala's way, then turns back. "My suggestion is, someone get Rune, or someone else who might know about water dragons. How they act, what they do, anything that might help. And in the meantime, we do not do anything that might make mommy mad."

Camilla 'hmmms' thoughtfully. maybe if she can cook these just right she'll be able to meet malas mom and feed her muffins too! she places the streusel and toasted oats on top before placing it carefuly in the fire. "daddy! do you think malas mommy would like to try my muffins?!" she asks hopefuly.

Straylight hastily half-bakes, half-grills her thing atop the grill of crossbow bolts before presenting Mala with it. "Here, I hope you like these. I think Big Red would cook for your mom and we'll help him."

Starbright is impressed that Stray's bolt grill hasn't caught fire itself. He ohs and nudges Cammy. "Well, we can offuh huh some, sure, puffball," he says. He ums over at Mala. "Say, uh, just how big is yoah mama, roughly?"

Camilla stops suddenly. "Oh! Mr. Red!" she scampers over to him. "my brother works for you sometimes! I'd forgotten!"

Tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick…DING! Big Red looks up to the other ponies. "Straylight's right, I think I know the perfect dish to make for Mala's mother. But I'm going to need ponies to get me some of the ingredients, they're hard to get normally." Mala takes the crossbow bolt things and nibbles on them next in a very impolite manner before answering Starbright's question with a, "Really big and pretty! Like…bigger than the town, maybe?" NARF! Back to Big Red, "Is there anyone willing to volunteer to go out and find what I need?"

Jigsaw-Blade gives a brief, almost military nod. "How hard to find are we talking?"

Straylight eh-hehs nervously. "I'll, um, help of course. What do you need? And I'm almost… tempted to, er, watch the feeding from far away. Like, really far."

Wishy-Washy flicks her ears a bit. "as… much as I would like too, I do have to go pick up my daughter after this competition.

"Like, cabin next t' th' woods through a telescope, fah away?" Starbright asks, coughing into his hoof. He ums and nods at Red. "An', sure, Ah c'n help hunt down ingredients. What sorta ingredients we talkin' 'bout?"

Camilla puffs up her chest like she is prone to do. "I can do it! I'm extra super brave! i bet she'd like fish! oh! ask gramps! he caught a huge fish once!" she gestures towards seasong.

Seasong startles awake once more, looks around and nods off again. "Gotta keep the icecream warm…" he murmurs

Big-Red runs through the checklist. "…for sure, the hardest things are getting milk from a mountain goat, goldfish scales, and fresh rainbow…" He regards the volunteers while Mala is stuffing herself with more food. "You all have experience milking something rocky, right?"

Jigsaw-Blade gives a shrug. "Rainbow's no problem. Have to fly out to where we import'em from to get it fresh enough, but shouldn't be more than a ten hour turn-around."

Straylight tells Starbright, "I was thinking a cloud." She listens closely, ears perked. "I'm not a weathergryphon, I've never milked rocky anythings… um… I know the rivers around though. Is it all right if the scales are a little, um, dented or burnt to start with?"

Jigsaw-Blade says "Actually, come to think of it, I could just find the Cap'n and see if we've already got some in."

Camilla waves a wing. "I can get goldfish scales! i'm great at fish catching!"

Samantha ums. She wheels the results of her labors from behind the bonfire. "So… does anyone want to see my half of the Invention Exchange? I call it the Teatime Trebuchet!" And indeed, with a mace as the main lever arm, she's built a small trebuchet with a plate on the launcher end. And a scone.

Grusha stands up and walks over to Samantha. She looks at her, the invention, and then the scone. She gestures. "Did you make scone?"

Straylight gawks at the trebuchet. She pokes at it gingerly. "Cammy would love it", she mutters. "I do."

Samantha blinks owlishly at Grusha. Then at the trebuchet. "Uh… did I?" She doesn't *remember* baking scones.

Grusha leans in, sniffing the scone. She peers at it, muttering to herself. Her wings ruffle. She stands up and steps aside. "If you did, congratulations. Is good scone. You may fire when ready."

Big-Red rubs his head. "No, going to need them as undamaged as possible. I'm going to get a list made up…" He groans and starts going back to the restaurant back door. "…never thought someone would make me need to cook an Ambrosia Skillet again…" He opens the door and enters, shutting it behind him. Meanwhile, Mala was /so satisfied/ that she yawns and lies down. "Gonna take a nap," she says before curling up and snoring loudly.

Jigsaw-Blade gives a salute. "Alright, I'm gonna get the rainbow. One of you figure out the goat… heck, grab the whole goat if you gotta. We can always put'im back after, right?" With that, she darts off, searching for the erstwhile guessing-genius.

Samantha shrugs. She turns the trebuchet in Grusha's direction, and pulls the lever. *tink!* *creeaaaaaak* *scone!*

Straylight wilts a little at Big Red's words. "So I'll have to dial them down", she mumbles. "No problem, I will have the scales unharmed enough, especially with Camilla's help." She looks to Starbright and Samantha. "We should head home, I think, and get on saving the town?"

Starbright taptaps his beak, peering at the trebuchet. "Y'all know this was a cookin' contest, right?" he asks, peering at his sister's contraption. "Oooh, Ah like y'all's countahwei… oh, right, home! Yeah, sounds good!" He beams at his family. "Shall we?"