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  1. 6 points
    Welcome to the Official 2018 Running of the Leaves signups, standings and OOC discussion thread. The start date is September 28th; the end date is October 21st. - The Running of the Leaves is a race that spans through the Whitetail woods. We will have a special thread for every three days of the race- each of these three days represent a different stage of the race through Whitetail woods. - Everypony on the forum can race with one WoE RP approved character. - Each post during a stage is worth one point. - We will also evaluate the quality of each post per section of the race, awarding a player between 0-3 points for the stage as an RP bonus. - Additionally, I will be rolling a D6 and adding that many points to your score. This reflects the randomness of such competitions. This system leaves a lot of the race up to random chance (which is much like a real race- you never know the strength of all your competitors!); but everypony will be able to directly affect their chances by how well, and how often, they choose to RP the race. - There are bonuses in five of the seven stages. Sometimes they will be explained thoroughly, while other times you will need to pay attention to the words of the OP and events in the thread itself. Some bonuses are optional while certain threads are littered with bonuses as well as deductions. Bonuses and deductions will be based on what the characters choose to do. Choices can be made, timing can be important. Sometimes it is best to be bold but remember that being bold can have a downside while being safe and secure is no guarantee of victory! Deductions are also possible. - Because of the way this is set up, even if you miss a 'section' of the race, you won't necessarily be out of your chance for 1st place- hang in there and give it your best! If you join late to the race, no problem at all! Just start RPing from the section that everypony is currently on- you never know, luck may just be on your side! - You can sign up and start racing at any time, no matter when as long as the event runs. Summary and Rules - 7 Stages to race in. - One point per post, 1-6 possible die roll, 0-3 for RP quality. -2-3 for deductions and bonuses based on the stage and events. - No double posting. There is also a hidden limit to the amount of points that can be gained by posting to prevent spam. Spam posts will result in deductions. We want you to post, but we want you and your friends to have good, fun posts, not spam. - No flying and no magic! Locations: Stage 1- Ponvyille Startling Line - September 28th-30th Stage 2- Bubbling Brook - October 1st-October 3rd Stage 3- Galloping Glade - October 4th-October 6th Stage 4- Rearing Ravine - October 7th-October-9th Stage 5- Roundbottom Hills - October 10th-October 12th Stage 6- Whitetail Woods - October 13th-October 15th Stage 7- Ponyville Home Stretch! - October 16th-October 18th The End- Final Standings and Aftermath - October 19th-21st Roster: Ice Storm - IceStorm Hawke - Dubstep Applejack - Riverhippo Swift Squall - Ciraxis Loose Cannon - szalhi Pinkie Pie - RainbowFoxxy Taira - Pretzelparty Coloratura - SteelEagle Discord - RexDraco Fire Walker - Tacobob Boulder Dash - Dashman Heart Shield- DreamWanderer Standings: Go See Final Standings and Aftermath! T1- Taira: 69 (10, 11, 11, 14, 11, 12) T1- Applejack: 69 (12, 9, 13, 11, 12, 12) T2- Coloratura: 64 (9, 9, 12, 14, 11, 9) T2- Pinkie Pie: 64 (10, 8, 14, 10, 12, 10) T2- Boulder Dash: 64 (8, 10, 11, 11, 14, 10) T2- Hawke: 64 (9, 6, 14, 15. 10, 10) 3- Fire Walker: 57 (10, 8, 9, 12,10, 8 ) 4- Discord: 49 (7, 8, 8, 8, 10, 8 ) 5- Loose Cannon: 48 (8, 7, 8, 8, 12, 5) 6- Heart Shield: 28 (1, 3, 2, 5, 4, 13) 7- Swift Squall: 27 (9, 9, 2, 4, 1, 2) 8- Ice Storm: 25 (7, 5, 3, 2, 6, 2)
  2. 5 points
    Ra-Ra found herself momentarily apprehensive. Not of the danger involved- she was certain that between Applejack, the other racers, and whatever safety measures existed downstream, she would survive and thrive. She didn't think she was in any deep trouble, no. But she was a little worried about ruining Applejack's chances at winning. The august mare had done so much for so many, yet what little Ra-Ra had known before their reunion told her that she had suffered greatly Ra-Ra didn't want to be the cause of her friend losing something else. But Applejack was, as usual, her confident self and she encouraged Ra-Ra to head down the bridge. She did so with full knowledge that it was rickety and less than stable, but most likely going to sustain itself for a moment or two longer than needed. While no great bit of confidence, she allowed herself to operate with the belief that it would be enough. And so she took a few steps, a gentle trot on old wood, as Applejack allowed her confidence to stream out of her. It had an undesirable effect. Few ponies could match the voice control of Coloratura, and the nervousness and doubt that seemed to reside in her friend were not assuring. Still, all seemed well enough until one of the wooden pieces broke. Applejack hadn't risked a fall into the water, but it definitely brought Ra-Ra's concerns more into the immediacy. "Applejack-!" The musical mare cried out, though it was more of a strained whisper. "Are you sure you want to continue...?" She asked, looking around. Others had started to join. That grey stallion was coming up right behind them, as was the Griffoness. She was worried about her friend, but she was always worried about the slowly unfolding disaster that could happen if they were to be the first to fall on a collapsing bridge. Applejack could take care of herself and likely Ra-Ra, but with four ponies, could she really be so certain of their safety? Applejack's eyes slowly started to widen, her smirk flattening. "I will explain in full detail how sure I am once we get to the other side. But right now you need to come on this here bridge so we can start moving across it." The stark contrast between not running and not moving was paramount for Applejack at this moment. Ra-Ra was already walking towards her friend, even before she had been alarmed by Applejack's partial collapse of the bridge. It didn't help that being somepony who lived and died by voice control that she could tell just how much slowly rising worry was being concealed behind Applejack's strong core. She complied, keeping herself loose in the process. "Applejack, it would be a shame if I had to spend a lot of bits on getting this bridge fixed and not getting you some nice, golden horseshoes. Speaking of, you ever have told me if you wanted them..." she trailed off, allowing the pregnant pause to invite Applejack to a topic not as immediately concerning as the bridge. Applejack heard her friend very clear. However, the orange mare's stubborn selective hearing would leave out the parts that didn't interest Applejack immediately. "Why would you have to spend money on the bridge? You know, just because you're a rich, famous," she took a step, "talented, resourceful pony who has a huge," Applejack wobbled as she spoke, "heart for charity, doesn't mean you gotta throw bits," she took another step, "at e'erything that needs fixin'." She never could trap her friend into whether or not she wanted some golden horseshoes? At some point, she would take measurements. Things would get awkward but that was fine. She had dealt with enough fans that social interactions being weird seemed secondhoof. She followed Applejack hoof by hoof, even a little faster than her friend so they could remain close. "Bits going for a," she stepped over a gap, "worthy cause are better than bits being spent otherwise, are they not? Besides," she said, sidling up completely next to her friend, finally closing the distance gap entirely, "we've always been good at fixing things, haven't we?" Seeing that the rope had slacked gave Applejack encouragement to go further. That is, encouragement that Coloratura was close behind and not because Applejack was terrified. Although, any self-respecting earth pony would not choose this situation most days. "You know as well as I do, hemptf" she lunged for the next plank, "that money doesn't solve everything." She took a short breather while her partner followed steps, and she noticed the rapids picking up water much more at the midpoint of the bridge. The water started annoyingly hitting Applejack in the face, causing her to look away from it, but she spoke in jest. "Remember that water slide at Camp Friendship?" She took a step. "Where fillies would ride down it into the lake?" Applejack checked the rope to make sure the water hadn't caused it to loosen. "You were always too scared to ride it, 'member? But you love standing on the deck at the bottom so that the water would splash you every time a boat came sliding down, heh." Applejack took a step and looked back, looked at Coloratura, but also noticed there was more bridge behind them than in front of them. Ra-Ra laughed, though she told herself it was in no way related to worry once the water started to act more violently. She was never somepony who shied away from active water, that was true. But she had one key advantage that Applejack forgot. "Oh, I don't think I was scared to ride it, at least I don't remember being afraid of the ride itself," she said as a gout of water burst up and drenched her, her wet mane falling at the side. "I just remember a certain filly almost drowning the first time she used it because she hadn't learned to swim just yet," Ra-Ra allowed her words to trail for a second as she took stock of their position. It was good. Really good. But the water was getting violent and she could feel bits and pieces of the bridge starting to uproot. Anypony with a sense of self-preservation would be concerned, but she believed they would get past it fast. "If I remember, she had a blonde mane, some adorable freckles, and played a pretty decent guitar..." Applejack chuckled at Ra-Ra's explanation. "Oh yeah, heh heh, I remember that gal." She took another step, this one more playful than those previous. "She also had one of the best friends, too. And if I remember right, she had a nice violet and blue curly mane, beautiful turquoise eyes, and the most pleasant singing voice I had ever heard!" Applejack paused again and looked at Coloratura, her mane wet as ever, but smiles fully cracked. "Those two ponies were the best of friends." Kerplack! Applejack's hindquarters fell through the bridge as a large piece of wood from it snapped and drifted downstream. She fell halfway through the bridge and halfway into the violent whitewater, as the water had almost matched the bridge's clearance. Her front hooves were grasping at the step she took previously. Ra-Ra wasted not a moment and jumped next to her friend, weakening the bridge even further. She instinctively grabbed ahold of Applejack's front legs and pulled on them, trying to pull her ahead of the collapsed portion. She grunted with the effort but she was, in the end, an Earth pony and they all had reserves of strength, even the daintier ones. With one mighty heave she pulled Applejack up, clear of the water- and then she fell backward. Ra-Ra fell on her back with Applejack on top, the bridge underneath cracking under their combined weight. Applejack took heavy breaths, for the purpose of instinctual preparation of being dragged underwater by the currents. As Coloratura used her strength to help Applejack, the bridge started to crackle in many places, and the apple pony took immediate notice. "We need to move, NOW!" She carefully helped Coloratura up from under her and jumped over the missing plank, caution be damned. "We're almost there, just jump the last step if you have to. This bridge is about to get washed, and I don't mean clean." She started briskly walking across the rest of the bridge, attempting to keep Ra-Ra at her heel instead of a few steps behind. As she did so the bridge finally gave away. It became detached from the start and end, with a sudden surge dropping Ra-Ra to her knees- she got back up a moment later as one more plank gave away, leading her too get as close as possible to Applejack. The Griffoness and the stallion she had been told to be concerned about were making good times themselves. Ra-Ra kept an eye on them always happy to see friendships seemingly forming out of the blue. Something was off about the stallion Applejack had called Discord. Was it a nickname to go along with a chaotic personality, or was he really some sort of spirit of chaos incarnate? She didn't know. But she did know that they were all stuck on this bridge together as it started to move downstream. “Okay, now what?” She asked, remaining calm. At least they knew where they stood now! OOC- The bridge shakes, shatters, and breaks for good, heading downstream slowly. It means nopony is gaining points, but there is still time to get to the other side of the riverbank before points are lost! Riverhippo provided Applejack for this post.
  3. 5 points
    OOC: Pinkie will be taking the high ground, not jumping! Pinkie was so super duper excited to meet this fellow! She loved meeting ponies and others from far off places. It was exciting, and interesting! She loved to learn all about other cultures and at the moment she didn't know much at all about Neighpon! There was so much she could find out from getting to know Taira! She already knew they were going to be just the best of friends. "It's great to meet you Taira! Well... Taira-san actually!" She did know that adding san after somepony's name meant you were friends. If there was one thing Pinkie could speak in almost any language it was friendship! As he spoke of taking the high road and having Gummy along for the ride she bounced extra high in anticipation! "Gummy's going to have so much fun hitching a ride with you!" She nodded at her scaly friend. "Where The Gator goes, I go too!" An umbrella hat suddenly appeared on her head as big old rain drops started to fall in earnest! She was happy to have the kirin shield some of the water from her. Yep, he was already a good friend! She could just tell! "Looks like we get to stick together for this leg of the race Taira!" She glanced up at the sky as hugely big bruised and blackened clouds covered the rest of the sky. The rain quickly started coming down faster! "We better head for the high ground quick! Gummy doesn't know how to swim do ya?" The gator eyed her, one pupil rolling off at an odd angle as he did so. The water started rising even higher out of what had once been a tiny little brook. "Hey Taira? How fast can a kirin run?" She nudged him playfully and took off at full tilt towards the higher pass of the roiling river!
  4. 5 points
    The runners swiftly galloped through the light forest, turning around farm ends, circling around the occasional boulder, not tripping over the sudden stump in the middle of the path. Applejack was so familiar with this part of the country that she could almost run it with her eyes closed. Which she did so inadvertently as raindrops started smacking her in the face. It started pouring. Applejack had known that there was cloud misconstruction today, as it said in the morning newspaper. Typically the town of Ponyville orders a few hours of gusts the night before the Running of the Leaves to weaken some of the leaves from their stems. Looks like somepony accidentally spilt in raincloud powder. "Consarnit, if I had a bit for every time the weather was misplaced around here, I could afford hurricane insurance for the farm!" Applejack decided to wait up for Coloratura. She knew that what was coming next would be a challenge to a new runner. Bubbling Brook was always the first hazard of the trek, and by sheer chance, it just happened to be at the time of a downpour flowing through a cheap bridge over a unforgiving stream. She knew that for the most part Ra-Ra could handle herself in a storm, but that she might need a little guidance and encouragement. When they were little, they got along so well together at Camp Friendship because of how little they both cared about getting a little wet or dirty. One time, after Applejack and Coloratura lost a tug-o-war match and got muddy, they both laughed it off, but both wondered what they were to do with the muddy clothes they had. Applejack offered that they should just jump in the lake, but Coloratura was apprehensive. Before they jumped into the lake together, a young Applejack smiled at her camp friend knowing that they would be fine and said, "Trust me?" And seconds later the fillies were splashing playfully without fear. Towards the end of camp, Applejack wanted to play a song she had written and thought Coloratura should sing it. But her friend was really nervous. Even Applejack was a little scared to get on stage to present, but she knew that their performance would be good so she encouraged Coloratura before they got on stage to help ease the tension. "Trust me?" The duo would then perform one of best shows of talent that year. Applejack had her moments with almost everypony; she was good at being friendly with practically the whole country. But there were a select few that Applejack had a special connection with. And with her foalhood friend Ra-Ra in the race, she knew that it would be best to stick with her during the toughest moments of the race. When the pop star approached, Applejack with her wet hat and wet hair was standing at the fork. "Hey! Ra-Ra! I want to help you cross this bridge here. I know it looks chancy, but I've done this before. The stream can sweep you away but the bridge should hold. And if it doesn't I have a contingency." Applejack pulled out from under her hat a standard rope. She tied the rope around her abdomen. "If we're tied together when we cross, we can anchor for each other to keep from being swept away. Don't worry, it looks violent, but it ain't that deep. A few seconds of running across a watery bridge, and we'll be in the clear." She tied the other end a loop for her friend to slip into and held it up. Applejack stared at Coloratura, the rain streaking from the brim of her hat. "Trust me?"
  5. 5 points
    Coloratura was an observer of the pony condition. It was rare to have something shift out of her awareness. After all, what was performance and stagecraft if not a thousand conflicting stimuli, motivated entirely by personality, interacting constantly in new and creative ways? It did not escape her notice that a raccoon had now entered the fray. It also did not escape her notice how it had done so. The gray stallion had suffered a bit of a fall and in the middle of it, a racoon had...appeared? It was strange. She didn't know what to make of it, but Applejack did. The mare told Rara to be on her hooves around this 'Discord'. The name rung a bell, but she couldn't quite place it. “Ah, one of those types? Sometimes a restraining order isn't enough, I suppose...” she said, watching as Pinkie Pie ably handled the situation. Hopefully. She continued her trotting which eventually became a lesser gallop, with the pack opening up and the path widening as they left Ponyville behind and moved deeper into the Whitetail. The sounds of dozens of quads of hooves and other random appendages beating the ground furiously like a friendly stampede echoed loudly across the landscape. The leaves were falling in their twos and threes, their bunches and their singular escapes. The sound and fury did its part, the impacts added in their own lot, and Equestrian magic did the rest. The seasons changed before their very eyes and Coloratura allowed herself to take in the beauty of it all, falling somewhat behind Applejack in the process. This was allowable. She was here to participate more than anything. What snapped her out of her pleasant acknowledgment of the leaves was the wetness and sloshing sound of water on her hooves. “Huh?” she asked, looking down. The path ahead, and indeed the trees, were mired in ankle-deep water. Nothing all that dangerous, and a little mud never hurt anypony. So this was what they had been warned about? She had to admit that she had in some manner distanced herself from the possible harshness of the race itself, enamored as she was with the idea and goals of the event, and coddled in the cocoon of friendship that other racers provided. She stomped her hooves inquisitively in the water. Splash splash, no big deep mud hole. So nothing too dangerous, but when she resumed her galloping she did so at a more conservative pace. In due time she approached the fork. The first led to a bridge, which looked rickety. It was a low bridge, one placed directly over the stream itself without an arch. As a consequence as the water level rose it was starting to come undone. While still attached on either end, parts of it were slick with water and it was swaying slightly. On either side of the bridge were trees, trees full of leaves and just begging to be denuded. It was also, based on what she had read, the standard route that the Running of the Leaves followed. The other route was off to the right and went up, marked with a 'detour' sign. It was likely much safer and thus enticing based on that alone. Of course it was going around which meant it was slower, and she wasn't sure if there would be as many trees to help the leaves off. Most importantly, she wasn't sure whether somepony would see her take the upper route and word would spread of her taking the easy way out. The papparazzi- well, you know what? She wasn't going to allow them to make such decisions for her. She just had to make it herself. Decisions, decisions...
  6. 5 points
    Thanks to the efforts a certain candy scented pink pony, Taira's passenger had finally calmed down... and he had new one! Taira bounded along with the raccoon and alligator passengers on his back, "Thanks for the help there! It's nice to meet you, Pinkie Pie and you too, Gummy!" This mare was a very intriguing equine! She had that curious magical scent clinging to her like the orange one did, "I'm Taira, I'm from all the way to the east: Neighpon." He took a second to gesture with his head toward the aforementioned direction. For Gummy and this unnamed Raccoon they would find Taira a very smooth if rhythmic ride, "You know, I' could have sworn I've seen creatures like this back home... although mine were less panicky and didn't have fingers. They were a bit more dog-like too... dog's I can handle but I'd never met one of them with a temper like this one had just a moment ag--" Suddenly Taira's face was bombarded with rain. By the mountains, the weather here was absolutely manic! One moment it was a brisk autumn day and now the foreigner found himself being blast by sheets of water. The sculpted kirin's height did manage to spare a good deal of Pinkie's body from getting soaked... and he was impressed that the pair on his back seemed to remain calm through the sudden shift! If Taira didn't know better he might have suspected his temporary rival having a hand in this, but if that spirit had anything to do with this he could have smelled it. He did have to wonder how he was dealing with this. No time was left for him to dwell on things as there was a split in the path that lead to two possibilities. That bridge seemed a bit too dangerous for him to try, especially with a pair of passengers on board! "Pinkie-san! I think I'll take the high road! If you're not coming with me I promise to keep an eye on your scaly green friend!"
  7. 4 points
    Stage 2- Bubbling Brook This idylic stream is usually peaceful, gently moving about the Whitetail woods lazily. However, the weather pegasi of Canterlot didn't do their job correctly and pushed a storm south and now torrential rains slam the area. The bubbling brook is beyond capacity and reports of flooding in the lower regions of the Whitetail Woods are filtering in. Everywhere however the storm is intense and raging and you have the sensation that as you leave the civilized town of Ponyville, this is not just a race and a cause for Equestrians to rally behind, but a battle of wits and skills in a poor environment. There is a higher path, one that is free of any real obstacle and only features a small, manageable leap for any equine over the stream. The other choice is the bridge, which is on the normal path and is much faster. Or maybe it will flood with you on it, dragging you away until rescue workers can throw you back. Choices, choices... OOC Note- Please put in bold at the start of your post whether you are going for the bridge or not. If you choose to go for the bridge, your time is limited and it takes more than one post. You may post your character going over the bridge and being finished with it when you think you've posted enough to do so, mark these posts as well. I will make a narrator post when the situation changes; those who have succeeded will be told then!
  8. 4 points
    SHE'S GONNA DO IT. SHE'S GOING TO JUMP. This was supposed to be a regular race right? So why did it feel more like a fight for survival? She was not expecting this kind of weather, it was pouring with rain, and if she had to guess, the stream up ahead was going to be ferocious. She had been through this area a couple of times, while not exactly on this path, she did know that there was a stream going through it. It wouldn't really be fit to call it a stream in this weather. She stopped at a fork in the path. One path went up higher than the other. Her range wasn't sufficient enough to notice much further down. She noticed a pony go up the top path which told her that both options were viable. If she had to guess, the bottom one had a bridge and the top one... had a bridge also? Maybe. Perhaps it would be easier if she could have read the sign. She decided to take the top path, it was further away from the water and so she thought it might be safer. She didn't know which route was faster but she didn't really care. She was wrong, there was no other bridge up on this path. She could make out the other side, maybe there was supposed to be a bridge here? It didn't really matter because she knew she had the prowess to spring herself across the gap. She stepped back a couple of steps before dashing forward to leap herself across the gap. Of course, she may have misjudged it. She made it, just barely. Her front hooves made it and she had to take the moment to pull herself up. Yeah, maybe she should have done the bridge instead, would have been faster too, maybe. Well, that didn't matter anymore. "I'm okay, I'm okay. I think I'm okay," she said to no one in particular. Her adrenaline rush faded away. "Yeah, okay. Right yeah, I... I... Should keep going." Wait, was this a physical test or a mental test?
  9. 4 points
    Boulder Dash followed close behind the leaders of the race. He kept his pace and made sure his breathing was regulated as he maintained the distance between himself and Applejack and Ra-Ra. Soon the bubbling Brook was coming up, an strict obstacle if there ever was one. Boulder Dash watched the as Taira and Pinkie Pie made a dash for the hill top and he nodded in approval as they ran up the hill side As such he chose to follow the two, fearful that his weight would cause the bridge to break. He decided to let the Mares take the bridge while he ran up the hill side and using his strong fast front hoofs he picked up his pace and soon he had caught up with Pinkie Pie and Taira. "A work out? Dis here is another day on the farm for me good sir!" he said as he reached neck and neck with Taira. "Regardless of how this ends, I got hot freid green tomater sandwiches and cold Bloody Mary's at the finish line with yer name on it Taira. But I'm not making it easy on ya" Boulder Dash said with a smirk on his face.
  10. 4 points
    (Applejack is taking the bridge.) After Coloratura slipped on her end of the rope, Applejack helped fastened it to keep it from slipping off easily. She let out a little grunt as she pulled the rope tighter. "Alrighty then. The best way to tackle this would be to try and stay on the upstream side of the bridge. That way, if we lose grip we can try and regain balance before falling off the downstream side, which ain't gonna happen." Applejack yelled to allow her voice to carry over the violently pattering rain and the rushing of the stream's whitewater rapids. "And don't run. A nice light trot should do. No need to run a sprint, it doesn't take that long to pass it. If we run, the bridge might break under the extra pressure of our hooves. So we might as well be light-hooved. You got it?" Applejack went in front of Ra-Ra, carefully taking the first step. She softly whispered to herself. "Easy does it, Applejack." She hadn't been nervous to this point but it was too late to turn back now. The entirety of Applejack's pelt was soaked, her hat sagging on all sides and covering her ears. She took another step, and began bracing herself on the side of the bridge. Now that she was on top of it, she could see the poor craftsponiship of the bridge. She would reserve judgement of the shotty structure and those responsible for building it for now, so that she could focus more on surviving the short venture across the waterway. When she looked back to see her friend who was probably shaken with a noticeable amount of fear and pensive to take her first step, she said, "Sooner you start, the sooner we can get on outta here!" The rope had reached maximum tension as Applejack took her third step. She would need Coloratura to start on the bridge before she could continue. "It's not that bad, the wooden parts of the bridge are holding up quite nicely." Just then, the plank Applejack's hoof was on snapped, and her front leg jolted through it. A fraction of a second later, or what seemed like an eternity to her, she used her strength to pull her leg out and maintain balance. Her muscles were now on high alert, attempting to gauge all the vibrations of the bridge to detect weakness in the structure like a spider on her carefully woven web. "Whoa nelly! Ah'm mean, see, easy as pie!" Applejack gave her friend a fake smile to continue confidence building.
  11. 4 points
    A smirk played on the beguiling wizard's features. The pony, though fit as any could be he was much older than most what with his grey-black mane and lines along his eyes. He jumped up in delight and pranced along with his tail up when his raccoon hat had landed on Taira, providing the Kirin with a little shade. "I see you've met my hat." The head cocking caballo chortled and resumed his run along the path. It was not until they arrived on a crossroads that the spirit would give pause to consider. He trotted in a circle and stopped to look at the others. Now he had never raced before and come to think of it he was not sure if there were traps triggered by taking the wrong road! The equine shaped noodle wasn't one for following the crowd, but this proved to be a dangerous venture. If it was trapped he could be disqualified or worse, he'd have to face a horde of swamp things. That brook hardly looked sanitary. His lip curled up in disgust before he looked to the wooden pathway. Folding his ears back the plainly grey unicorn tapped the edge with a hoof, testing it. He inched his weight into it and stood a moment. Bouncing around in place he would satisfy himself that the bridge was indeed not trapped. "Puh, of course I'm fine. It was a little trip, is all." Not really but that was what that smoky face mountain stallion got for distracting him. Even if Bevel in a cheerleader's outfit was a fine distraction, Nevertheless he had to keep face! Cheating was hardly what it could be called. Simply a distraction. Yes. So Discord would cross the bridge with a prance in his step to give that bird an eyeful of his immaculate magnificence! He noticed. Senpai always noticed, even if he said nothing. "Ha! Silly ponies, no dirty hooves for me!" He delighted. "This racing thing is easier than I thought. I could do without the walking, but if I outdo that loaded kirin -- well it would be worth it." He was assured that his lighter build was an advantage against the swoll Neighponese!
  12. 4 points
    Just in case RL prevents me from posting another post for this turn, Fire Walker will BE JUMPING! That bridge looks a bit iffy. This was it! Fire Walker's very special little 'happy section' of the race. She would canter among friends as they all got to enjoy the sights and sounds of the 'Bubbling Brooks'. The relaxing and memorizing natural soundtrack would lure her into an Zen like trance. She would be the Run-Goddess. Her hooves and the path would connect in perfect harmony. The leaves did not have a chance! After feeling rather bummed about Applejack's dead folks, the slight hint of tears gave away to rain drops. Plenty of rain drops! What the hay? Weren't the Pegasus ponies supposed to have cleared this all? If this were a regular marathon, the race would have been called off, but this was the 'Running Of The Leaves'! You either had to run, or be washed away by the wind and rain. So much for the 'relaxing' section of the race. "That bridge does not look safe.", the officer warned those who were near. "I'm sure just about any of us could easily make the leap, while the others should turn back." The 'running' was important, but not at the cost of one's life. There was always next year. She knew Applejack Pinky and the cheetah-bird would have little troubles making it over. But Swift? Had she ever seen him leap before? Maybe he could make it across the bridge. He was light and agile. The others, like the heavier stallions and Ice Storm and her bulky armor would probably either wait till the rain stopped or give up. The jury was still up for the Photo-Mat Vampire. She looked healthy, but would she make it? Discord would just find a way to cheat. Even without the use of her wings, the battle trained Pegasus pony would make it across. She was strong and aerodynamic! She just needed to hit the right speed and find the perfect spot to leap when the time came up...
  13. 4 points
    The easily beguiled spirit, given to distracts of such, turned a head to the field to find his fan section. Well he wouldn't mind making a habit out of this. He wondered if he won would he gain more of a following? Reaching a hoof up to brush back his mane, the spiky mess that it was. The grumpy, old stallion was already the most handsome here, why wouldn't he have the biggest section? In fact it was quite queer that there weren't throngs of ponies already cheering for him. His brow quirked before all four hooves clapped to the ground, having had only that moment where none of his toes touched to soil. Resuming his trot he let his horn light with the glow of his uniquely colored magic and filled a few bleachers with copies of Discords all holding banners, flags, and wearing matching jerseys depicting the grey magician. He smirked and puffed his chest out. "For such a wide load, you certainly haven't got the crowd on your side!" He spat before he resumed skipping along. He would take note of a rather lithe looking griffon. The sort was surprising given that he was unaware of any monetary prize and, what was more, is that wings and magic were two things renounced by this Earth Pony tradition. He supposed it made sense for Applejack to go what was it she said? Hog-wild, during such an event. He did not recognize Coloratura, but he wasn't one hip to the pony world of fashion and bourgeois. He supposed it suffice to say he has seen her, that is what was cool now right? Never meeting a pony and learning about them. Also something involving rampant photography while hidden in their bushes... It seemed Icy was to join the fun which, he had not expected given her new position had left her far less fun and busier than the Apple in question! Tempting thing to tarnish. He would be sure to interfere with her at some other time. Bouncing along his ears perked when he caught the red ruby Fire Walker giving in his form a peep whilst about with the pink bit of candy gal. Wiggling his brow the stallion cocked his head. Certainly she recalled him, the grumpy old magician. No the outfit wasn't complete was it? He looked forward and with a pop and spark a raccoon appeared atop his loony crown. It looks to had fall from the trees in its surprise! And what was an event without Squall taking Discord's attention away?! But now was his chance! Be it wholly by accident, or by the Star's will the dark-furred spirit tripped! Boulder Dash's calamity lent in on the whole parade of show for the spirit tumbled forward and sent the raccoon flying in hopes if would land and latch to the kirin ahead of him. Pushing to his hooves and a bit of faux dusting off the disguised spirit resumed his manic trotting as if nothing at all, had occurred. Ho ho ho!
  14. 4 points
    Applejack was glad to hear how the word about the running of the leaves traveled to all parts of Equestria, the borders of the nation, and even beyond the principalities of where equines live. "You just wait, Miss Dreamcrest, you ain't seen nothin' yet." Applejack, and many ponies for that matter, had come a long way from assuming all griffons are rude and obnoxious creatures. Although she had just met this one, the pleasantries were shining fairly bright without much complaint. The earth pony wondered what kind of challenges would bring out the real rapticious nature in Hawke. Maybe it would be something to make her angry, or just a mood swing of some other sort that is triggered by an awkward situation. Applejack didn't normally think on these things to this extent, but seeing as how strong Hawke looked, Applejack might as well see what makes the chick tick if it means running with her down the stretch. Might as well test the griffoness with the salty country-isms of competition. "But, the only zippin' you'll be doing requires some fancy hoof-work when we get to the densest parts of the woods." Applejack looked down briefly and pondered. "Well, talon and paw-work in yer case, heh." The large kirin paced closer to the group around Applejack. "Howdy! Name's Applejack. What, this here hat? I've always worn this type of hat ever since I was too small to wear it, back when Pa would strut it himself." Applejack's eyes welled up slightly. "I wear it to remember him and Mom. But also, because it makes me look good and keeps the sun outta mah eyes when ah'm workin' on the farm." Applejack took a break from talking to concentrate leaping over a large tree branch that was lying in the middle of the road. After the jump, she landed with a painless grunt and continued on. "I get the ones with the front of the hat styled out so I can see through the hat a little without having to tilt it. I buy these at a store in Ponyville, but I tell ya what, you beat me in today's race and I'll give you mine right off my head." The Countess remarked on her curly hair and how because of Applejack's suggestion, wasn't so curly at the moment. Applejack just rolled her eyes, but during the roll, her eyes caught the unfamiliar pioneer pony who appeared to be blind that Rara shortly chatted with. She was behind most of the runners, but she was trotting in the wake of the sound of the stampede. Applejack would continue to run the race, but she decided just for a short moment to come to a complete stop and make sure the pony wasn't having trouble. The dust settled around her hooves as she threw her voice towards Loose Cannon. "You alright hun? You're following the path pretty well so far! Have you ever run an event like this?"
  15. 4 points
    As the start of the race drew nearer, more ponies and other interesting creatures showed up to join the race. Fire Walker started to size up her competition. There were plenty of healthy runners in the race, but these were just grocery clerks and accountants. Applejack was there, and while she was tough as they get, she was too dang bulky to be a runner! The officer could probably run circles around her! There was also what she was pretty sure was an kirin who was rocking a 'green mist' theme. Where had she seen such a creature before? He looked rather handsome and was in decent shape, but he might as well be a rock with legs in the race. He sort of reminded her of an old friend of the Pegasus pony. Muggo' Ale. He probably could run as quickly as the hefty bartender. Easy peasy. She could not help but notice a familiar looking pony through the corner of her eye. Was that Docket's nerdy brother Pocket? He shared the same bushy tail and mane...And scrawny unicorn body. But the coat and cutie mark were not the same. And what was the deal with his eyes? And there was Ice Storm. Why in the world was she wearing armor? Fire assumed her lovable, but geeky fiancé would have done something like that. Or dressed up like some Space Trak character. Or whatever he called that show. Armor was good for fighting, but not for running! There was also her sweet lil' Swift Squall. She loved him with all of her heart, but even that was not going to help him win the race. The officer should probably start picturing where she was going to put her trophy. It would look good in her office in the 'Castle Of Friendship' next to her other trophies. Maybe give the trophy its own wall. Maybe...Oh dear. Fire Walker let out a primal yelp as a familiar figure bounced her way into view. Ah nutbunnies! It was Pinkie Pie! For some reason, she was fast. As in very fast. The red mare had seen the bubble-gum pony speed about Ponyville more than once and there was no way in Princess Celesta's sweet smile that Fire could even get near that gal in a race. And how could she move so quickly? Was she part mustang? Magic? Whatever it was, she would simply have to try her best to get second place. Silver was still nice. "Well, hello there Lady Pie.", Fire Walker was always rather respectful of the occasional bearers of the 'Elements Of Harmony'. They saved the world more than a few times and thus deserved it. "Well, maybe this isn't too serious of race, but it's always a good idea to be properly prepared before the whistle is blown!", she added, "Stretching is good, but you don't want to do too much as it temporarily reduces muscle strength." Wait a second. Maybe Pinkie could only run really fast in short bursts? That would make sense. Well, enough sense for the pink horse. Oh no. Her eyes fell on another racer. It was a griffon, but the pretty kitty was part cheetah! GAHHH! Third place was starting to look like an reality. Bronze was still a nice metal. Thankfully, there was no more time to freak out over her competition as the whistle was blown! And off they went! She tried to keep up an even pace, keeping herself in the middle of the pack. Now was not the time to get all speedy....Or to crash into rocks? What was going on there? The event planners should have cleared the track days ago! Did the stallion simply veer off the path? For the moment, she kept up with Pinkie. This probably wasn't going to last very long, but she could at least have a nice little conversation before her favorite unicorn caught up.
  16. 4 points
    It was hard to really make heads or tails of the gray stallion. He had the bite and wording of an older, angrier stallion. Her trained eyes caught some manner of dancer- no, a cheerleader- in the stands, sharing the cutie mark in her celebrations- and it made her wonder just who this stallion was. he seemed to take issue with a kirin who had arrived. A tall, broad creature at his smallest, the Kirin had taken up position in front of the stallion and after falling back to exchange words, took off again. She wasn't sure what was shared but it seemed that the competition, friendly at its core, could engender some manner of disagreement nonetheless. Rara watched how the stallion would respond, taken as she was with the slight melodrama playing out right then and there. There was less melodrama with a well-built red mare who was running, growling, and striking a fierce presence. Rara made sure to give her space. She wasn't entirely certain if it was just the aptly named game face or if it was something more, but she wasn't entirely sure that she wanted to know more. She knew from her backup dancers that sometimes the most physically fit amongst the group had to really delve deep to want to push for something more than their standard, as high as it was. Was there another factor pushing her for more? There may be. Maybe she wanted to impress that hunk of a stallion who had dramatically entered from his own airship up above? Rara enjoyed that entrance- pomp and circumstance was part and parcel of her Countess tours, after all. She wasn't sure why he felt the need to do so for such a small event, but she'd be lying if she said she wasn't plumbing her mind of knowledge regarding who own airships to try and place him, It was an exciting development, at least. Coloratura pulled back on the reins, slowing herself down to a healthy trot to keep with the pack and stick closer to Applejack. Around that time you could almost feel the ol' country exultation of yeehaw come blasting out of several locals, including a block of a stallion who had the look of a local. Both he and Applejack maintained a sense of the local country flavor that made this town so rich in tradition and sheer friendliness. Not to be outdone, Pinkie Pie was part of it, adding a level of energy and enjoyment that would be hard to match for anypony else today. “Wow, look at this crop of ponies, Applejack. This event...sure does bring out all types, doesn't it?” Coloratura said while cantering alongside the pack at a brisk, but not breakneck, pace. They were joined in no short order by a griffon of all creatures, who sidled up to the mares with the familiarity of a fast friend. She introduced himself as Hawke. “Hello Hawke! I am Coloiratura, nice to meet you,” she said, seeing a few ponies starting to pick the pace up ever so slowly and doing so herself.
  17. 4 points
    Earlier Today: The Running of the Leaves huh? A griffoness looked over the flier she found. Hawke Dreamcrest, the griff, the myth, the legend, had just so happened to have been cruising through Ponyville enjoying the first days of fall when the particular parchment plastered itself across her peripheral. Hawke managed to stop herself from crashing into a tree by a split second to look it over. From the sound of it, it was an annual Ponyville race through the Whitetail Wood! The griffon hadn't even heard of something like this. But that was to be expected, she wasn't a common fixture in Ponyville, nor was there much discussion of Pony traditions in griffon lands. Regardless of that, if it was a race of any sort, she wanted in! She didn't like to brag...much...but speed pretty much was her middle name. Middle name accuracy aside, the griffoness wasted no time in zipping over to the sign up area to jot her name across that sheet. It was at this point that the rules were explained to her. C'mon, it was a race, like she hadn't heard race rules before an-Wait no flying? Really? Hawke glanced back at her winds and sighed. That sounded really boring to be honest, but she had already signed up now. And if there was one thing Hawke Dreamcrest didn't do, it was back down from a reasonable challenge. Rather than going for the idea of trying her wings down — I mean really, how barbaric? — Hawke instead would take a detour into Ponyville before the race began. Sure somecreature would have a more comfortable way to bind her wings. Now: It was few moments before the race began and Hawke had just barely made it to the starting line. After a quick talk with a costume maker in town, the griffoness had managed to score a surprisingly comfortable skintight binder that both kept her wings snug at her side, and looked rad in the bright yellow with black racing stripes. The guy certainly knew what he was doing. Placing her number, 83, over her sides, Hawke would take her place at the starting line and look over her fellow competitors as the race coordinator spoke. Ponies and ponies and ponies and ponies. Mostly ponies, quite a few attractive ones too. Well it wasn't like she expected anything different. It was Ponyville after all. There were a few other creatures in the stands though it looked like. Students to that Friendship School probably. That's fine! If she ended up winning, she'd probably be the first griffon to win the Running of the Leaves...Not that she knew of any of the past winners, but hey. It made for good motivation. As the countdown drew closer, Hawke let her body tense in preparation. She couldn't start out of the gate at full tilt, this was a distance race, not a speed race. Burning yourself out in the first hundred would cement you for last. Brisk but not breakneck. She could do both sure, but without flight to back her up, she was a little hampered. A little. The spotted hind paws of her feline half dug into the ground. A low rumbling purr could be heard by those near her. She lived for this kind of thing. "Get Ready." Her talons gripped the ground. "Get Set." Pupils constricted and eyes locked forward. A sharp whistle breaks the still sound of the rustling leaves, and the next moment is filled with stampeding hooves with the griffoness' own paws and talons adding to cacophonous mix as she bolted forward past a few competitors. "Good luck to all of you!~" she would offer to the collection she passed a swishing tail was the next thing they managed to see in front of them. As Hawke gained ground, she would catch up to a pair of lovely mares keeping pace with one another. The griffon recalled mention of this being a friendly race so...why not be friendly! "Hey there ladies." she said as she gave a little wave of her tail and smile to both Applejack and Coloratura. "I hope I'm not interrupting anything. Name's Hawke Dreamcrest, it's nice to meet you two!" it never hurt getting to know your competitors. It made races more fun, less impersonal.
  18. 4 points
    "He he heeeeeeee!" The pink one squealed as she bounded towards the starting line! "This is gonna be so much funny fun fun!" Containing herself was not a strong suit of the number one Party Pony and the Running of the Leaves seemed to be just that to her...a big PARTY! "Whose ready to PARTY!" She shouted through a megaphone, pumping up the crowd in the stands. "I mean whose ready to have a running party?!" She cocked her head. "I mean actually a running, dodging who knows what kinds of danger, through the swamps and plains and Celestia knows what else... um party...?" The words slipped away. "Wait a second! This doesn't sound like a-" She was cut off as the race officially started. Pinkie found herself caught up in the jostle of racers at the start. They all seemed to be taking this so seriously! Soon they had all past her and she was left coughing in their dust. "Wow! Cough hack! These are some hack serious cough racers!" She looked around and noticed there were no other ponies in sight! "Aw come on you guys! Wait for me!" She switched into her jogging outfit complete with neon blue running pants and red sweatbands for her legs and brow. "Time to get serious!" With that she took off like a shot! It wasn't long until the others were back in view. She made her way up to the side of a rather determined looking red pegasus mare. She bounded next to mare, flashing her a smile as she bounced alongside. "Hi there!" A leaf caught on Pinkie's nose and she blew it off. "Pretty serious race here huh?" She grinned with good humor.
  19. 4 points
    This brought back memories, of days back on the mountains when he and his brothers and sisters would races across the fields. He wasn't the biggest or most physically inclined back then... and he was allergic to a certain plant back on the field which ultimately made him fall behind his family when it came to speed. Here and now those issues were far behind him and wasn't a runt anymore. He'd had many years of practice running from things and now was his big change to make use of that cumulative experience! His hooves beat fiercely at the ground as he ran, the long misty tail behind him trailing behind like a soothing flag on the breeze. Apparently it was so eye-catching that his most prominent competition had to remark on it! Taira would glance back a moment as his opponent, "Figured you'd like a nicer sight than my old backside taking up your view, friend!" He would glance to the stands would a playful grin, "Hey, that mare in the cheerleader outfit has your face on her shirt! She a friend of yours... oh! whose she talking to?" Whether the spirit of chaos fell for his own distraction or not, Taira would again start pulling on ahead. In his excitement he would shout out the same phrase that signaled to the start of this race, mostly to psyche himself up and leave the older spirit in the dust! Another stallion who was rapidly gaining caught his eye, mostly because of that flashy entrance of his. The nobles of this land much be richer than he thought if they could throw bits at such an eccentric introduction, "Hope you didn't spend your time arrangin' that, stranger! If you're in this to win, your appearance should be your last concern! Just a word from the old to the young!"
  20. 4 points
    Oh what an ill-begotten holiday. Leave it to ponies to invent a day in which the primary extracurricular activity is running, and more running! He would have words with a certain princess about their calendar. They needed more days off from scuttling about like critters! He was not one for wiggling around on four limbs. As the god of chaos he took a touch of pride when it came to disregarding the laws of physics and that would include plodding about on hooves, claws and all other manner of limbs he was given to! Now in Ponyville the god of chaos was hardly a surprising sight these days. His inwards and outwards manifestations of self and the occasional odd shopping trip hardly turned heads so when he donned a rather obvious ponysona to join the race it was a bit -- surprising. If nothing else the spirit was rather against hard work. Seeing as you have become a being of infinitesimal power it seemed prudent to lay about and sip tea while occasionally enjoying a weekend of of Ogres and Oubliettes. But from his stallion-cave of hobbies, odds and ends and into the outside world he would brave the predicable realm of nature! The unicorn shaped spirit wiggled his number around his body using his magic. The number read 42. "I don't understand what Fluttershy sees in it..." Though he complained on the matter he did delight in the oddity that was the shifting seasons what with the erratic colors and delightful crisp, fall air. "...alright so it is a bit quaint..." He cocked his head, hooves prancing to the starting place. His cropped tail and messy mane were a bit removed from his usual form of chaos, but it was Discord all right! Folding his ears back as he strode up beside the rotund rear end of a nosy kirin he would grind his hooves against the dirt in an attempt to find his hoofing. On honestly how did ponies walk on these things on a regular basis? He could see things clearly from the view of Rainbow Dash whose own hooves rarely, if ever, seemed to meet solid ground. He found kinship with her in that regard. With all the complaints he had about hooves and exercise one would think the chimera would find comfort in the bleachers with a box of popcorn and opera glasses observing the manic inclinations of racers and their no-do goodery to find way to the finish line. He always found competition between ponies fascinating. The distance they would go to find solidarity in victory, as if it made any more difference in their insignificant-- oh pish posh! Ponies were fun! And so were their games, he just wished they were bit more inventive. The only reason Discord was here was due to a certain -- challenge from an irritating visitor from the Neighpon region. Who did he think he was?! The spirit was old enough to be his great, great, great, great, great, ten times removed, great grandfather! He could handle a little race! The spirit made a show of stretching his limbs, brows wiggling at a certain little cheerleader in the crowd. Far be it for him to disappoint his fans. With the calls from the stallions it seemed the race would begin. An ear busting "Yeeeeeeeehawww!" was enough to alert Discord of a certain mare among the racers. He winced and shook his head. "Oh for the love of gingersnaps..." The spirit muttered and began off in his trot. His head was raised up as he proudly shifted into a measured gait. "Oh, I see you're taking up the whole lane with that tail of yours." he bit out at the kirin, the bulkier brute, raced passed him. The spirit in disguise eyed him with those claret orbs, which drowned beneath his molten sclera. He tittered out and flicked his tail in a decidedly, challenging manner. The words were meant to catch the mist keeper off guard as he kept his less than -- speedy pace for now.
  21. 4 points
    ' Well now, this was going to be a day to remember! This "Running" of the leaves was an event that had caught Taira's interest since he'd arrived in Equestria. It had been aged since he'd gotten to run in a good race, and it was the first time he'd get to run in one looking like this! The smell of the crisp autumn air filled the stallion's nostrils as he sampled this morning air, his exhalation producing a tiny bit of mist from his mouth and nose. Taira was already waiting at the starting line doing some warm up stretches, waiting for his competition to arrive... both the normal and abnormal. He couldn't help but notice a fluffy maned mare in the stands wearing a cheerleader's outfit. He'd seen that one in the company of Discord, most likely here to cheer on the chaotic lord in his first attendance. He gave a bright smile to the other racers as he waited his invited challenge to arrive. That first pair of ponies seemed to have quite a lot to talk about so he decided to leave them be and wish the others who popped up the best of luck. Even the red Pegasus with the growling face got a smile and cheerful word. Upon hearing that whistle, Taira scritched at his ear at the impressive volume. Seeing the others take off though he realized he should probably be moving to! He crouched down and then bolted of towards the rest of the group with impressive speed, leaving a cloud of dust in his wake!
  22. 4 points
    Coloratura had many ways to spend her time, if she chose to do so frivolously. Fame and fortune came with a great many issues and those were well documented and easily visited by any artist, who all had a penchant for the dramatic. It also came with an unending litany of possibilities. Did she want to spend her time on a cruise? In the sky? Perhaps in the islands for a few weeks, maybe overseas? She felt like she needed a break, that much was for certain. She had been broken upon the wheel of creativity for what felt like an eternity now. She had made three albums in the years since she had split with Svengallop. One of them had been a Countess Album, Flank to Flank, that had down very well but was markedly less successful than her earlier albums. Yesterday Morning, 2 A.M. Had been her first release as Rara and was critically well received, as was her next Rara album, Bookmarks. Neither had done as well as her earlier Countess works, but they did well enough to her. She also toured a lot. A lot. Two different styles at times as well. Some crowds wanted only the Countess and while the memories of what Svengallop took from her all those years, the joy and excitement on the faces of her fans was not something she could deny. Others wanted Rara, and she had an admitted preference for that sort of stagecraft herself. The dual touring schedule and creative energy she spent getting them to work and the albums to sound just right had taken a toll. She found herself tired and stretched out, leaving it all on the stage and while meeting her fans, nothing for herself. This needed to stop, and thus when most expected her to use the end of a tour as cause to start work on a new album, she decided to use it as the perfect time to announce that she was going to take a full year break from touring and work on music for some personal time. Ooh, the tabloids had something to say about that, didn't they? But she didn't pay them any heed. She had time to herself finally, some time to allow herself to get in touch with a mare long side denied: Herself. Ever since her break with Svengallop she had thrown herself into her work more than ever before. There was so much Rara wanted to say, had to say, that it took a while for her to realize she had thrown herself into the ocean without a life preserver. She trusted herself and found she could handle it, but had spent so long doing so that she still hadn't really had the chance to really sit down and explore who she was away from the stage. So now, now was the time...but what to do with it? The rumors flew, and she had to tell more than a few that she wasn't taking up a residence in a Las Pegasus Casino. So many options available to her that it was a shock when one of the first things she decided to do was run in the Running of the Leaves, a storied tradition in a small city but certainly not something everypony in Equestria was aware of. She had first learned of it when she was a filly and Applejack mentioned it. She had always wanted to experience it herself- the rush of country air was something she missed as a filly herself from her youth in Mustangia. The joy of working with others to create something wonderful, something meaningful, something shared and something permanent was beautiful to her. She could also count herself lucky to have a good friend there, Applejack. She didn't know the mare a tenth as well as she wished did, and what better way to get to know a pony like her than in the throes of competition? She knew Applejack that well, at least. Rara trotted down Ponyville roads alone. No agents, no guards, roadies or groupies, though not without some far off paparazzi snapping their pictures. She paid them no heed- she was so used to it now that their presence was safely ignored most of the time. She continued her excited trotting to where the Running of the Leaves was being started, a bunch of ponies stretching and getting ready. And among the ponies getting ready was Applejack! "Applejack!" Coloratura trotted up to her old friend, her voice carrying her excitement along without intent. Hard to keep it bottled up when it was overflowing! Applejack was doing stretches at the starting area, saying hi to her friends and getting a feel for the competition. "R-Rara? What'er you doin' here!?" Applejack shouted with excitement but then tried to continue without being conspicuous. "I haven't seen you in a few moons. Are you still touring? Oh!" The strong mare lit up. "You must be doing a show for the annual Running of the Leaves. Is it after the running?" The musical superstar gave a soft, lilting chuckle. Around Applejack, it was easy to find yourself a little lighter than air. Her enthusiasm was infectious, and it was something one welcomed with open hooves. "Oh, I'm taking a short break from tours and recording. I've been on such a pace...and I needed some time off, time to be me. As for why I'm here," Rara started pregnantly before, turning to show the 'number 37' on her flank, "I'm here to race! I remember this from what you told me as a filly. It sounded like so much fun, I had to give it a try!" "Oh my gosh you are gonna have quite the experience. And after the running, your legs will be barkin' more than an old tree in the woods. I used to think this was only for the ready, but I have seen any and everycreature compete without too much problem." Applejack finished her stretches and popped up giving her torso and flank an athletic wiggle, and then placing a '27' over both cutie marks. "This event has been such a great community event to get ponies together to help the leaves to fall. The scenery will be grand, the trek of the wilderness will be adventurous, and the smell of crisp leaves will be pleasant, that is, if you are able to take in a smell while runnin'." You could count on Applejack, from filly to mare, to espouse the country virtues of an activity and she didn't fail to make the Running of the Leaves sound any less appealing now than she did then. Rara found herself following Applejack's stretches very closely, and then promptly and somewhat absent-mindedly followed them move by move. When in Roam, right? "I can't say I've ever taken part in something exactly like this, but I'm just so excited to try. I don't expect I'll do as well as you- you've probably won one or two in your time-, but I'm just happy to be a part of something just so naturally good, so down to earth. But you know all about that, don't you?" she laughed. A few snaps of cameras off in the distance, the paparazzi lessened tremendously today but never that far off. Applejack approached Coloratura and gave her a squeeze. "If you need help along the way, I will gladly help. Fer starters, might want to pin back that glorious mane of yours." Applejack pulled a hair tie from seemingly nowhere and gently tied her mane so that the curls would not be tamed by the wind. "Some years ago, Twilight taught that feather brain over there," she pointed towards Rainbow Dash who was probably giving autographs, "and myself, that slow and steady may not win the race, but its a good way for anypony to run since you're still getting the job done without using all of your efforts at once." Applejack hesitated but then humbly mentioned her own past mistakes. "Also, no arguing and accusing other runners of tripping you helps too. If you can keep your head cool, everythin' else follows suit." Flash photography was seen from afar. Applejack noticed it, but instead of explaining the obvious, she wanted to ask a few questions. "We got a quick minute before the race starts. Mind telling me what you've been up to? Did you get a new manager? What are your shows like now? Still giving out hoofsies?" She chuckled. She accepted Applejack's help blindly, perhaps too excited about the squeeze to really invite serious concerns about her manestyle. She didn't mind much; messy manes were all the rage with new popstars. That or some sort of hyper-unique one like Songbird Serenade. She listened to Applejack's advise and kept a track of it. Much of it seemed to bounce off what she heard from others on her way here and resonated well. The last bit sounded a bit too specific. She wanted to know more but thought better of prying so close to the race. "Ah, I'll make sure that I don't do that. Truth be told I'm more worried about tripping somepony else up on accident, but I'm sure once the run starts some of the butterflies in my stomach will find their way out." Applejack asked about her shows. Would she be let down by her answer? Coloratura, Rara, gave a wearied sigh and laugh. "No hoofsies, though you'd be taken aback by how many fans are let down by that change. A lot, actually. I still tour as the Countess. The music I made...may not speak to me, but it speaks to others, and makes them happy. I also tour as Rara. I also release albums for both. It has been...very hectic, but very rewarding, to explore and share all of that with Equestria. How is Sweet Apple Acres? Every time I see apples I think of you, and they're my favorite fruit!" Rara was a fantastic musician and performer. But Applejack could tell when she was nervous. Even though she was older, something about Rara was the same ever since they were fillies. There was always a part of us one could never shake. "Hey Rara, as long as you try to be yourself, I think you'll be fine. it's good that you decided to take a break to do a race though. Few ponies would count that as relaxin'." Applejack chuckled as she noticed the race officials getting closer to the start line. "Sweet Apple Acres is as great as ever. You should come by the farm sometime, I'll give you the best tour of the place, assuming Apple Bloom doesn't invite her entire class to see you. Although I bet you'd like that, hehe. And yes apples are the best. You know what they say. An apple a day keeps the doctor from having to make a house call so that he can tell you that you need to eat more apples." As the officials began the countdown, Applejack reassured Rara. "Stay with me, Rara, and you'll be fine." Applejack leaned in on the start line. She looked at the officials. It was time, for better or worse. "I'll have to take you up on that offer, win or lose, class or not," she said with a smile and a wink, gaining some distance between the two of them as she allowed her mind to accept the warm gift of Applejack's friendship. She would need it today, based on what the race coordinator was saying. But as long as she stayed close to Applejack...what could go wrong? With that, Rara took her place at the starting line. She had made sure to stretch before she got off the train and then had a good trot on over, so she felt really good. She felt like she could conquer the world, but looking around her, she was safe in the knowledge that others felt the same. That meant she was where she needed to be. The cool country air, the sound of laughter and friendly boasting, and the great and wonderful sense of doing something that would leave such a positive impact. Maybe the tabloids failed to understand it but in that moment, she understood it. And that was all that mattered. When the stallion said get ready, she hunched down, ready to run. It felt like a long-held dance move. When he said get set, she tensed her muscles, ready to explode off like she would at the start of a Countess show. When he said, go, she jumped off the line quickly. She had read before the race how it was smart to pace yourself but she had gotten caught up in the moment, the exhilaration of being around so many racers. Her legs pumping as fast as they could take her to start with, it took Rara a few moments to really dial back. She knew she had to pace herself, and pace herself she would. OOC- Applejack by courtesy of riverhippo.
  23. 4 points
    After Applejack gave her hat to her sister for safe-keeping, she pounced from the start line at the blow of the whistle and gained her rhythm her hooves to the ground. The path was dusty but soft. The immediate clopping of hooves and talons started loud and synchronous around her, but quickly grew less repetitive and more continuous as the pounding of the ground shook the trees off leaves, leaving a wake of nothing but crisp orange and brown leaves and a thin layer of dirt. Applejack was not focused on anypony around her in particular. She was assuming Coloratura would be close behind. Even the less athletic types should be able to keep up at the start, especially since Applejack herself didn't feel the need to run as fast as ponily possible at this point. This part was all about learning your pace. The clouds were ominous though, and though Applejack wasn't worried for herself (or her hat, which decided was best kept with Apple Bloom during the race), she was a little worried for others. She remembered in years past some of obstacles and challenges during the running were not just inconvenient, sometimes they were down-right dangerous. But for now, everything seemed fine. Applejack briefly looked around her to get a glimpse of everyone else pounding the ground. That small moment gave Applejack a feeling of satisfaction. She loved the competition and she loved the community of running as a pack, and it made her heart glow. "Yeeeeeeeehawww!" She shouted, unable to contain her excitement.
  24. 4 points
    ... .....aaaaah. AAAAAAAAAHHHHHH! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! *he screms* *he crawls up, bit by bit, from the deep, dark bowels of the peach pit pit* *flings himself past the edge and stumbles to his feet, hair and fur tangled with lecherous lichen and lying lice and at least three different breeds of lazy Larrys* *goes to take a step forward* *falls flat on his face, instantly knocking his eyeball from it's socket* ... *stands back up* *eyeball dangles freely* *goes to take another step* *SUCCESSFULLY MANAGES TO COMPLETE SAID STEP* *left arm falls off* ...... *stares at it* *his detached paw flips him off* ............. *sloooowly turns away from it and continues lugging his decrepit body into the central clearing* *comes to a wobbling stop* *pulls a half eaten journal full of mud and dandelion petals from his knotted mane* *points his dangly eye at its pages for a moment before nodding and flinging it behind him into the peach pit pit* Long, long ago in the whirling eons of h--.... ..... *clears his throat* *coughs* *HACKS* *PUNCHES HIS THROAT AS HARD AS HE CAN* *hacks up a purple pulsating pustule which looks like it COULD be some sort of malformed abominable peach pit but it scampers off, screeching, into the underbrush before anyone can get a good look* *clears his throat once more* Long, long ago in the whirling eons of history, There existed an age of wonder, love, equality and mystery. Upon the tallest mount sparkled the radiant capital of the land, full of mirth and merriment, But high up atop the tallest peak of that tallest of mounts, sat a deity of noise, brooding upon a most abominable experiment. In her violently vibrant mind her thoughts raged and churned with lashing lust and deplorable desire, Focused with an unspeakable intensity upon one singular fixation: to be the owner of a celestially powered air fryer. In vicious subversion of all the merry laws of that land, she gathered about her all the forces she could muster, Sun and moon, light and dark, black and white, flower and mold, tea and coffee, all condensed down to a singular cluster! From an explosion of whispers and giggles did a writhing garden, a cardboard kingdom, a blurry parade of color and shadow burst forth, While with the very greatest of disappointment and regret for her failure, the noisome deity faded to dust, broken by her toil's worth. Thus was born the ragged race, the meaningless match, the battle of the broken and the boisterous Thus was born the band of brothers, the society of sisters, the menagerie of manic monkeys Thus was born Last Post Wins and all the consequences that would entail~ *takes a final deep, wheezy inhale!* Happy 7th LPWaversary all you lovely loners, losers, lovers, l-... loafs... lakemen? ....laborers?? .......loams??? :'I ...AND HERES TO AT LEAST 2-17 MORE, DEPENDING ON THE STATE OF THE ECONOMY!!!~<3
  25. 3 points
    Starlight chuckled and rolled her eyes. While the mare had decided to forego the cheerleader apparel, she was never the less here to cheer on her friends — disguised or no — as they made their way through the Running of the Leaves. "Eeeeasy there Bevel! Be sure to leave some candy for everyone else." she chuckled as she approached to put a leg around the mare to give her a hug. "I'm sure our friends might want some after the race too." Starlight herself had briefly considered joining in on the race too, buuuuut she figured that'd make Discord have twice as much to prove. Trying to impress her and beat this curious qilin acquaintance of his. Giving Bevel a little nuzzle she'd let the excitable mare free and turn to wave to Bon Bon with a smile. "Good afternoon Bon Bon! You've done an amazing job as usual, everything looks so good. This must have taken you all day." with a little poof of her horn, Starlight would summon a little coinpurse to dig a few bits out, may as well indulge her sweet tooth as well! "Oh, and how's Lyra doing? Well I hope!"
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