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  1. 10 points

    From the album: Muddy's Album!

    Was thinking of how MLP plays a lot of mythology and tried doing a gorgon/naga/lamia
  2. 10 points
    *Submitted for Judging* This wasn't Feng Yinhaitao's first trip to the Western Lands, but it would be his first visit to Equestria simply as himself, rather than as one of the Empress' Watchers. Being among the more dedicated of her guards, the longma never left her side, and thus was not able to see much of this foreign land, at least not from the perspective of a commoner. He didn't mind so much, no time spent in the presence of his beloved Empress was ever dull or wasted. In fact, this land held a special place in his heart, for it was in Equestria that he had finally, finally opened up and confessed his secret, forbidden love for the young Empress Yu Yue... An unrequited love, as it turned out, which Feng suspected was why he was here. Officially, he was sent as a representative of Long Guo to the Iron Pony Competition, as a way of signaling the new openness of the Eastern Lands, with a side mission of bringing home some of that sweet international glory. Unofficially, Yu was probably using this temporary exile as a way of telling her bodyguard to go cool his head, in the hopes that some extended time away from her would have his unlawful affection fade. *Fat chance of that. There is a local saying here, is there not, about the heart and absence?* This bittersweet reflection notwithstanding, Feng was determined to perform his official mission with all the vigor and determination he applied to his regular duties. Youthful rambunctiousness honed by discipline, was this not the definition of the ideal athlete? He'd show these other ponies what it meant to have the blessings of the Eastern Dragons! He didn't rush to the front of the line for the obstacle course, taking a little time first to do some stretches and preening. There would be no flying for this event, but wings could be used for many things, as long as you kept the feathers in line. This also gave a chance for onlookers to get a good view of his exotic form; and while there was a small bit of vain pleasure behind that, Feng being a young stallion in his prime, high visibility was desirable for his role as a representative of his nation and kin. "Our second contestant, coming all the way from the Long Guo Imperial Capital of Huanjing, is Feng Yin-hay-toe!" Snrrk! The longma's stoic 'game face' was disrupted for a second with the snort of laughter. Oh dear, he'd forgotten that Equestrians might not know how to pronounce his exotic name. It wasn't usually written in an alphabetic language, to be fair... But! This was no time for linguistic reflections, this was a time for action! Time to show all these ponies what a longma could do! At the flash of the red flag, Feng was off, sprinting smoothly towards the mud pit. Being most akin to the pegasi of ponykind, he was built more for speed and dexterity than force, thus making the first obstacle the most difficult for him to surpass. It also didn't help that any such obstacles encountered professionally he was trained to just fly over, but he couldn't use his wings... or at least, he couldn't use his wings to fly. Instead, right as he hit the edge of the pit, he extended his wings and locked his legs flat-hooved to the ground, intending to use his momentum to hydroplane over the mud! And surprisingly enough, this improvised move worked!... for a little over halfway through. It wasn't a perfect hydroplane, as the v-shaped wake Feng left in the mud did end up digging down into it, stopping his momentum and causing the sticky mess to collapse back in on him with a *glup.* He did manage to raise his wings above the mud level before then, but the rest of the way through couldn't be called anything but a hard slog for him. All in all, that wasn't the most impressive showing. Neither was Feng as he emerged, mud splattered all over his golden scales. No matter; he'd have to make up time on the rest of the course, but he had full confidence that he could do so. Giving himself time for only one cursory shake, he took off running once again towards the barrels. Even without being able to fly, he had a good vertical jump which could take him clear to the top in one go. From there, he counted on maintaining momentum in his upward journey, aided by the fact that he had an 'extra' pair of limbs to grip onto the top edges and propel him onwards and upwards. However, this did mean that he took no time to steady any wobbling barrels, leaving the tower quite unsteady by the time he reached the top! He didn't let that stop his careening momentum, however, taking one last leap off the peak as the stack began to topple beneath his hooves! The event assistants would probably have to re-stack a few of those.... His flying leap took his right to the flat stretch of grass, and he tucked and rolled into his landing to come out still running, gaining precious seconds on the clock! This was one obstacle where his wings would be a hindrance, so he kept them pressed tight to his sides, trying to minimize wind resistance as much as possible. This maintained momentum had to drop upon reaching the final obstacle, and along with it dropped Feng's stoic expression for the second and final time. This was going to be an absolute ringer for him! He'd trained for literal years, sneaking to and from the kitchens to smuggle plates of dumplings into his infirmary bed! Pausing just for a moment, he slipped one pie onto each of his wings, and the third between them, folding the trio all onto his back, arching it just so to create a little nest, before heading off to the slaloms. It was an easy trip, for one used to having to dodge patrols without letting one tasty dumpling drop to the floor! With a graceful ease and grin stretching his muzzle, Feng streaked across the finish line, setting down two of the pies, and picking up the third. Still warm. Impulsively, he ducked his head into the crust and took a bite. "Mmmm! Měiwèi de!*" The crowded seemed to love it, and the longma gave them a happy wave back. This was going to be a fun assignment... *Delicious!
  3. 9 points

    From the album: Muddy's Album!

    I haven't watched this show in years, have no idea what's going on - but the style is still super cute and I have fond memories of it. <3
  4. 9 points
    *This post is submitted for judging* “Dreadful.” Tempest mutters under her breath. Well this was all fun and games she can’t help but place judgement on others. Getting off her haunches she approached the starting line. As she walked she leaned her head down to start undoing her armor… Piece by piece fell off with a hearty thump and by the time she was standing at the starting line all she had on was her skin tight jumpsuit. “Our next… um, contestant is Tempest Shadow from… nowhere!” Tempest rolls her eyes and digs her hooves in dirt, tail flicking and nose flaring as she takes in a few deep breaths and counted down in her head. Three. Two. one. The ground rips up underneath her powerful legs in a shower of dirt. First up was the mud. Long, deep and wide. Easy, picking up as much speed as she can Tempsit pushed off in to a long leap clearing a healthy chunk of the mud. Aiming her legs out she straightened herself as much as she can on contact. Her momentum did the rest as she slid across the mud. Soon as she slowed down she pushed her legs down and crawled the last few feet and out of the mud and on to dry land. She did not waste a moment, soon as her hooves were on dry earth she was off for the barrels. Without slowing down she leaps halfway up the stack. Soon as her front legs made contact her rear legs slammed down as she leaps over the top of the barrel stack with a spin just for more flair. Landing on her front hooves she pushed off and pulled a backflip landing on all four hooves. No sooner did she land she pushed off in a full dash. The long straight stretch was nothing for her. She ran every morning in full kit for the fun of it. Without that slowing her down and with a race in her mind Tempest was almost flying across the dirt trail with her bounding sprint as sweat drips down her body and lungs panting for breath yet a smile was big on her face. This was joy, this was love. Pushing herself to the breaking point and well past made so much melt away. Worry. Pain. loss. This was freedom and she was going to win… Not for a prize or for glory but for the sake of winning for herself. The fourth obstacle was… Something she was less used to. Sliding to a stop she panted hard staring at the three pies on a table. Her body was shaking, she did not want to slow down but she needed to. With her mind racing she grabbed the pies, stacking all three on top of one another before picking up the bottom pie in her muzzle by the rim. Trotting down the path she weaved between the wooden poles doing her best to balance the pies held by her muzzle. While it let her watch them and keep it more steady in the heat of the moment she forgot the pies were meant to be balanced on her back, not held in her muzzle. Passing the last wooden pole she puts the pies down and panted like a racehorse. After catching her breath Tempest looked up smiling. “That’s how it's done.” She remarked before walking back to the start of the race to pick up all her gear. Soon as she picked it all up she moved off the course to get water and rest.
  5. 9 points
    *This post submitted for judging* Applebloom pranced in place while she watched the first two competitors complete their runs on the obstacle course. "Whoa! That was just as fast as Boulder Dash!" She commented with excitement as Feng crossed the finish line and dove into one of his pies. "Are you sure this is a good idea Applejack?" She looked expectantly towards her older sister. If not for the farm mare's solid presence Applebloom was sure she wouldn't have been able to work up the gumption to even get this far! She gulped back her nervousness, knowing it was her turn next. "I mean, we've competed together in events like this a'fore but I've never gone through one of these courses all on my own! What if I git stuck?" Applejack smiled down at her younger sister, noting that she wasn't so little anymore. Applebloom had her cutie mark now, she was finding her way in the world. She was becoming a capable mare in her own right. Pride swelled in Applejack's chest as she bumped Applebloom lightly on the shoulder. "A'course this is a good idea Abby! An' yer not gonna git stuck! We've been trainin' hard an' yer more than ready to take this on. Besides," She let a half smile settle onto her muzzle. "This is for fun after all!" Abby's eyes brightened as she remembered why she'd signed up for the Iron Pony challenge to begin with. "Yer right big sis! There's no use in doin' this if I don't have fun!" "Don't you worry 'bout winnin' or loosin' sis! Yer a pride an' credit to the Apple family no matter what!" She nodded to the start line. "Now git out there and show em' how an Apple handles an obstacle course!" "Will do!" Applebloom called from over her shoulder as she readied herself at the start line. She could hear the crowd cheering for her and the announcer calling out her name but all that faded into the background as she focused on the task at hoof! She caught the flash of the start flag on the edge of her vision and took off like a starvin' raccoon towards a ripe corn field! "Eyes on the prize, eyes on the prize!" She repeated the phrase she'd worked on with her sister over in her head as she came up on the first obstacle. She really needed to pour on the speed for this one. Since she was rather light weight the plan of action was to tip hoof across as much of the mud as possible. Light and fast hoof steps were the name of the game! The young mare concentrated on moving her hooves as quickly as possible so they wouldn't get trapped and pulled down into the mud. This was the trickiest of all the challenges on the course. If she did sink, she'd be stuck and it would be game over! Her legs moved in a blur over the mud and before she knew it she was safely on the other side! "Whew!" She called out in relief and then galloped towards the next challenge. The barrels were stacked so high that the top was not even visible from her low vantage point. Not to be deterred by the magnitude of the climb she bunched her hind legs beneath her and sprang upwards! The barrels wobbled but not to the extent that they might topple as her weight wasn't enough to cause a large shift. Up up up she hopped until she was at last on the top! Applebloom sucked in a breath of air after the exertion of the climb but she didn't slow down! To the cheering of the crowds in the background she scrambled down two barrels until the height of the jump was doable for her. From there the Crusader launched forward and hit the ground running! Though the scramble down a couple barrels took a little time, the fantastic leap did much to make up for it! "Yeeehaaaw!" On she galloped through the straight away section of the course. Her legs may not have been as long as some of the other competitors but she went to the sprint with a will! Applebloom lowered her head and propelled herself forward with her hind legs like her sister had taught her. She could feel herself burning energy quickly, her muscles beginning to scream for oxygen as she pressed onward! She pushed through the pain, just like she saw Applejack do so often in competition! She may not have had the longest legs but she had the determination of an Apple! Finally she made it to the last obstacle! She flipped three pies onto her back with ease. She was a seasoned expert with pies being raised with them and so many other tasty renditions of apples. In fact the pies now in precarious balance on her back had been donated earlier in the day by Sweet Apple Acres. The young mare streaked forward with hardly a wobble, making her way through the upright poles with poise and style. The obstacle was behind her before she knew it! Abby used the last ounce of her strength for a speedy finish line crossing. There was Applejack waiting for her! Her gallop turned into a trot as she dropped off her pies and collapsed with exhaustion and joy into her sister. "I did it AJ, I did it!" She spoke around large breaths of air. Her heart was pounding and a huge smile was on her muzzle. Applejack hugged her sister and then held her at arms length. "Yah sure did sis! Yah did the Apples proud and more importantly yah did yerself proud!" Abby looked up at Applejack. "An' you know what sis?" AJ smiled. "What lil sis?" "I sure had fun!"
  6. 9 points
    "Mares and Gentlecolts! We are proud to announce the start of the Iron Pony Obstacle Course!" a Unicorn at the starting line cried into a megaphone to the crowds of cheering ponies and creatures. The Unicorn waved a yellow flag as a sign for the judges to sync their watches and then held up a white flag to summon the first contestant. "Our first Contestant, representing Ponyville, is the owner of the largest Tomato Ranch in the area and the thickest skull in Equestria, we are proud to present Boulder Dash!" the announcer said as Boulder Dash entered the track. Never one to turn down an endurance challenge, Boulder Dash had quickly signed up for the Obstacle Course and was eager to show his mettle again. Removing his signature farm hat and waving to the crowd, Boulder Dash smiled to the cheers he recieved from his home town representatives in the crowd. As he approached the starting line he made sure to bow his head low to where he knew the Princesses would be watching from before he adjusted his hat and took his spot on the starting line. "Boulder Dash are you ready?" the announcer asked as he lifted the start flag. Boulder Dash nodded and scrapped his hoof against the dirt like his Earth Pony ancestors. The Unicorn waved the flag and Boulder Dash took off like a shot. Moving at great speed for a pony of such large size. It was only a matter of time before he came across the first obstacle, the Mud Pit. "Too easy, just another mud bath" he thought as he dove into the mud and landed with a loud GLUP. Trudging and marching through the Mud, Boulder Dash's thick neck and head stuck out of the muck like a shark fin in water. He moved just as graciously as well, do to years of slopping pigs and muddin on the farm. As such it didn't take long for him to reach the end of the pit and he crawled out shaking some of the mud from his body like a wet dog before taking off at great speed again as the mud had cooled him off and reinvigorated him as well. Soon he came across the 2nd Obstacle the Barrel Wall. Normally he would just smash through the blasted thing and and be done with it, but he knew that would be frowned upon as the object was to scale it. Again his farm upbringing helped him here as years of lifting and stacking hay bales had given him strength and experience as he jumped up and started to scale the wall. Using his upper body strength to heave himself up, he started to sweat as he kicked up and scaled the wall. As an Earth Pony he was able to feel any weak or wobbly barrels under his hoof and could right himself when need. He finally reached the top and leaped off with a loud "HEEEEEEEHHHHHAAAWWWWW!" Landed with a crash loud enough and strong enough to shake the ground, causing some spectators to think an Earthquake was occurring. Smiling proudly he took off running again and soon came to the third Obstacle, The Long Sprint. Boulder Dash sprinted forward and shot out like a cannon ball. Running as fast as his long thick legs would carry him. He put a lot of strain into it and soon his 2nd wind carried him across the sprint line. Slowing a bit to catch his breath he approached the last Obstacle as he wiped some sweat from his brow. He collected his three apple pies and place them on his large back before taking off through the poles. He placed himself here as he was winded from the sprint, but kept the pies balanced while dodging and weaving through the poles. He tried to not let the aroma of the pies distract him as he worked his way through the poles, not easy for a pony as wide and muscled as he was. But Boulder Dash worked his way through and finally crossed the line at th he end as another pony waved a finishing flag. Boulder Dash dropped his pies off at another table as the crowd cheered again. Waving to the crowd, Boulder Dash went over and dunked his head into a large water trough, taking a deep sip of water before removing his head and sitting watch the rest of the competition. SUBMITTED FOR JUDGING
  7. 8 points

    From the album: Muddy's Album!

    Anybody remember these things? I do....I really like this design. < <;
  8. 8 points
    *This post submitted for judging* This long vacation had been quite the experience. Thank goodness, Nensho had talked Toboe into some time off... And helped her concoct an alias to play in this contest under. It was nice to run around in a look that wasn't so tiring to maintain around ponies. Now she could just walk around and not worry about any cameras or journalists from back home trying to make a bit or to by making some story about her. If word got out she was playing in these games the effect on her reputation would be questionable to say the least, especially if she lost. Well, all of that was irrelevant now. She'd come out of her favorite dress shirt and felt oddly exposed without it. It made the stretches she was doing at the starting line feel rather... embarrassing. Thank goodness most of the attention and cheers she could hear from spectators came from one weird looking kirin in an apron waving little flags. When she looked closer she couldn't help but notice that mare had her eyes closed while she cheered and those little flags seemed to bare the image of that Longma that went before. Was she his marefriend or something? No-no... Focus. Focus on the goal ahead. That Folksy pony announcer was sure to be introducing her soon enough. "Seems we got another visitor from way outta town...a Tuckered Hay-me?" "It's Tokkuri Hime!" She barked out in frustration, "That was only funny the first time!" The Kirin huffed through her nostrils and took her last couple stretches, then got into her her starting position. Her body like a tightly compressed spring of steel: Every fiber in her being ready, focused, and primed to burst through this course and take home whatever prize was to be won... even if she'd only started actually training herself in any serious capacity about a week ago. Much as she loved the work for the family and time behind a bar counter, she hated what it did to her physique sometimes. When that little red flag swished about she zipped right forward with a small cloud of dust behind her. Dust that soon became bits of dirt, and finally splashes of Mud as she met the mud pit. She snickered as she felt the thick mire surrounding her body cover her up to the shoulder, If there was anything in this course she knew she'd be able to handle: It was this. Memories of her and Nensho hopping around, playing in the rain came immediately to mind. For the sake of propriety back home she had to stop indulging in the simple pleasures of muddy puddle hopping. In her adult years it seemed she'd finally get to have a bit of fun in the mud again! Her speedy gait had been slowed somewhat , but only just barely as she was out almost as fast as she went in. The kirin looked almost disappointed when it was over, yet she moved on to the next trial with bits of mud still splashing off her now eighty percent brown coat. WIthout breaking her stride 'Tokkuri' moved on ahead to the barrels. Climbing them wasn't going to easy, at least not with mud still caking her hooves and an earthen paintjob that hadn't fully dried caking her coat. Not one to back down from a challenge, she hunched down and leapt from one barrel to the next. Stumbling at first from the layer of mud on her hooves, her balance off for some leaps and threatening to tumble down. On the worst stumble where she was sure she'd end up tumbling backwards she dug down and leapt to the top barrel. She felt the container wobbling under her weight and uneven distribution. In the hopes of steadying herself and stepped about... and then the barrel along with her rolled back down the hill of barrels with a series of wooden thuds that made the barrel roller cringe all the way to the bottom before leaping off and hoping that such a display wasn't considered disqualifying. With the longest part of the stretch coming up, the kirin realized she may as well use up the bulk of her stamina for it. She was more familiar with running with her head low so she ended up with a couple confused looks from the crowds as she ran forward with a great burst of speed, already panting and huffing in her excitement. She left quite the trail of dust behind her that an ill timed wind blew towards some of the spectators, leaving what appeared to be Feng's most passionate fan hacking and staring daggers into the runner's back. Feeling that glare 'Tokkuri' gave a dismissive snort, not that anyone would see at this point. With what she considered the most fun part of the course over and done with, the kirin moved along to the table of pies and with a swift motion of her tail brought each one onto her back. She knew that this wasn't going to be her best moment: She may have tried to carry herself with some grace back home, it was never something she felt she was inclined towards. She could already feel those pies starting to wobble on her back as she carefully marched along. She'd been raised to carry herself a certain way but her siblings were always so much better at it then she was... She could think of three of her siblings who could probably do this part of the course without batting an eye. Instead, 'Tokkuri' was here shakily weaving in between the poles. She had to freeze for a second on the first and seconds turns when she thought one of the pies was about to fall. On the third turn she flinched as she felt her muzzle itch. She cursed the season in her mind before hurried made her way to end with all the pies still on her back... though the crusts on top of the two bottom pies seemed suffered some minor damage. With a small smile the kirin let out a sigh of relief, "Well. That wasn't as hard as I'd tha-HACHOO!" The sudden sneeze made the participant reflexively buck and then the pies went up into the air... and feel back down on her, rendering the contestant a bigger mess than before. At first she was speechless but she quickly licked off some Apple from her nose and shrugged, "Hm... Still tasty! Anyone have a towel?"
  9. 7 points
    *This Post submitting for judgement* After some time to herself, Yanhua concluded that downing cupcakes probably wasn't the best way to get Feng's attention. If Nensho's crush could handle that obstacle course despite being kept behind a desk so often, This cook could climb some silly wall. While Yanhua had been mostly cooped up in the royal kitchen back home, She was still a nimble creature by nature. That, and being stuck in that forest for so long (traumatic as it was) did give her the chance to do a lot of running: Usually from the odd predator that entered the forest to make a meal out of something. If she lost some ground she could probably bounce herself back up, easy peasy. That announcer's warnings and allusions to the wall's trickery couldn't possibly be something to worry about. Yanhua's family were remarkable tricksters in their own right. If she could be outdone by some enchanted rocks, she'd have to turn in her tails! The Crowd let out a cheer as the kirin approached the wall. Yanhua flinched when she got close, Magic was thick on this thing. Who had enchanted it? More importantly why was that familiar scent meeting her nostrils. It was some odd mixture of a scent she was very familiar with: The smell of Woodlands, of a horribly tranquil and lonely forest. Memories of her time back in those woods some came to the forefront of her mind. Scurrying around in dirt, grime and tall grass, left only to her wits and with none of the magic she'd nurtured and practiced. If Feng were watching in the stands he'd have seen the cooks eyes wide open in shock for a few seconds until she rapidly shook her head about to try and center herself. When she looked back up she noticed something at the top of it... Was that her star-ball? She brought her hoof to her ear to check. It was still there. The one on the top of the wall seemed bigger and it that old Fulu that past spiritual advisor had left on it. "Is this wall making fun of me?" The cook took a deep breath to steady herself, "Calm down... It's just a wall, nothing serious." Once she properly steeled herself she lowered herself and approached the base of the wall. Then came the whistle. Yanhua go to a steady start as she gripped the rough surface of stone and pulled herself up, using muscles she'd not had to make use of in years. As she made her way up, the walls effects seemed to continue on. The familiar sounds of that hateful forest still surrounding her. That familiar drone of the cicadas, the calls of birds above in the trees, Every little rustle in the dark she could recall that woke her in the night. Still, Yanhua persisted. Then she heard the grinding sound of stone against stone. Looking up above her to the next level she saw all the spots she could have previously set hoof on swapping and switching around on the stone wall. When was one low and close to her, suddenly it was a two or three steps above her and then below. This certainly stalled her, Yanhua left trying to focus on staying tight to the wall and looking over the switching surfaces of the rocks above. Watching this constant swapping, Yanhua eventually noticed a pattern. It was a very short window, but there was a path of easily reached spots she could quickly move through. Timing would be important. The cook took in a deep breath and tensed up her muscles, like her body was becoming a compressed spring... Three... Two... One! In a slick, smooth motion Yanhua seemed to almost run up the wall past the switching stones and then hang on tight to the calm spot above. The Sudden exertion leaving her huffing and panting but then pushing on again. Vertical climbing like this was so tiring, why on earth would ponies do this? Jumping from ledge to ledge would be so much easier... but this chef had promised herself she'd get through this by the rules for Feng and she was going to do just that! The further she went up the wall the more the sounds it made seemed to change. Forest smells were replaced by the scent of the imperial palace, though not from the present. It was a scent tinged with a heavy nostalgia. As Yanhua went higher up on the wall she could swear she even heard the sounds of lively conversation by the voices of Long guo nobility from the past. "Why would someone make a rock wall of psychological torment?!" She screamed internally as she tried to push onward... only to see something snaking across the crags above her. Were those vines? Soon several green tendrils came rushing down to try and smash something into her face! She slid down from the first smack and then blinked as somethign splattered over her face. She then had to wipe what remained away and grimaced as a familiar taste met her tongue. Peppers. The same super hot kind that had blown her cover back in the capital so long ago. It was almost painful to experience this taste again. The raw power of the spiciness already made disguise start to slip, thankfully it was just around her teeth. At this distance nobody would notice... and this may just be her saving grace. When the next vine came to her she jumped forward to meet it, more pointed teeth shredded through it and with a tight grip she used it to pull herself up along her newly acquired "rope". Just getting this far made the chef feel exhausted. Her body was aching and even with the image of Feng in her mind she was starting to regret this choice. But, she could see the wall's chosen finish line for her. The fake star-ball just so tantalizingly close. With a couple more bursts of strength she made it , huffing and panting as she got to the top. Place her hoof on the end point the wall had made she immediately felt faint and had to steady herself before raising up her hoof to the crowd as cheers came. Something felt off, though. Feeling the wind on her pads shouldn't feel so od-- Wait. Pads? She brought the hoof to her face and noticed the bottom of her foreleg was no longer the bottom of a cloven hoof. In a panic she felt her face, it was still in a kirin's visage: thank goodness. All the exertion was wearing down her glamour. Why did she had to show off so much as the cupcake eating contest?! Rather than accepting the reward the Kirin Jumped down behind the wall in a hurry. When the pony who blew the starting whistle went to check on the contestant... she was gone! ...And somewhere behind the bleachers a fluffy, orange tail zipped out of sight.
  10. 7 points

    From the album: Muddy's Album!

    An attempt to draw a Changeling with the new designs they have.
  11. 7 points

    From the album: The Character Corner (Color!)

    A star in the Long Guo's culinary scene. Yanhua originally appeared as an uncommonly skilled cook who when asked on her past simply says she "Has roots in Neighpon and came from a forested countryside". The mare gained great recognition as a young mare who had the knowledge and skill of an old professional. Now Serving as the royal Chef, She in charge of preparing everything from banquets to lunch and snacks for the most influential Qilin and Longma in the Long Sun dynasty.
  12. 7 points
    Post submitted for judging Smolder had been looking forward to this contest,this IRON PONY event ever since she saw an advert plastered allover the school bulletin board. And here she was. A nearby sign reinstated what she had read before. There was no flying to be done, and since it technically be considered magic, no frying either. So onay eathingbray irefay as they would say. No worries. She was a mighty dragon. She bathed in lava. She was more than a match against dragons twice her size! She could do this! After signing in at an nearby booth, she paused to watch her 'competition'. There were a few of those odd dragon-ish type ponies she had briefly heard about. There was Applebloom who was apparently a frequent contender at the yearly 'Sisterhooves Social' held in Ponyville. While the contest was similar, you had to team up with your sister. The young dragon only had a brother. Maybe she could convince him to dress a gal and they would totally OWN the contest and none would be the wiser! She bet nobody else thought of such a scheme! After the unicorn finished, it was now her turn! She could do this! "Thanks!", a few pony volunteers stood by an offered small cups of water to competitors. She needed to be properly hydrated! After gulping the water down, she tossed the crumbled up cup into an nearby bin and readied herself at the starting line. Once a whistle was blown, she was off! The first obstacle was the MUD PIT. This would be easy for her. She quickly dove into the muckity muck with a great big It was a little thicker than she had realized, but she could do it! She pushed through the mud with the ferocity and strength of the dragon-lord! Still, these were times she wished she wore clothing as the mud was starting to find its way into places she really wish would stay mud-free. This almost felt like the first time she took a lava-bath. Keep your eyes open just enough so you can see, but not enough where the nasty stuff gets in 'em. And she needed to keep her mouth closed. Thankfully it was over as quickly as it started. Before joining the second round, she quickly shook off the excess mud. She now had to face the dreaded barrels. This would also be easy peasy. First she needed to..."Paaaak!", she cursed in the old dragon tongue as she smashed into the first barrel. This was not going to win her any ribbons! Or trophies! Or whatever they were giving away! She needed to be strong, and steady. Watch out for the wobbly barrels. Claws made things a tad bit easier when it came to climbing. Still, she needed to make sure they didn't sink too far into the wood or she might get stuck! After her poor start, the dragon made it up the barrier and leaped from the top and landed with a grunt. The third would probably be her least favorite. While she had lean, strong legs, she was nowhere near as fast as her four legged competition! If only she could run as fast as a pony! Poor Gallus would receive four times the noogies! Still, she needed to push herself, and that she did. She quickly scrambled down the track. Tail up. Feet in a circler groove, like if she was riding a bicycle! While she seriously doubted she broke any records, the dragon smiled as her feet hit the 'finish line' for this round. The final round was a bit odd. Carrying pies while she had to weave between wooden poles. Also easy but wait. She had to hold them onto her back! Seriously? While it seemed more unique races of people were moving to Ponyville, this was still the old 'Iron Pony' contest. She would need to act like a pony for this round. After gathering up the required pies, she bent down a little and let the tasty bits of crust rest on her back. She wouldn't need to get on all fours, but this would be harder for her than most. And while she probably could have simply held the pies with her wings, that probably would be cheating. As she made her way through the obstacles, it was obvious that the further she went through, the harder it was to dodge and weave through them while holding the pies. During this time, she remembered her little encounter with an colt named Valen Orange. He is a dancer. A ballet dancer. She needed to move just like him. Strong, but graceful. Like a swan holding her babies through a storm. Where did that image come from? Or a better image would be when she was younger. Her brother would carry her on his shoulders and together they would run through the jagged hills of the Dragon Country....He only dropped her....twice... She let a growl loose as she hit the final finish line. The pies were returned for further use, and it was time for another gulp of very chilly Ponyville water. There she could watch how the others would do....
  13. 7 points
    **Post submitted for judging** Nensho had really enjoyed watching Toboe’s run through this course, cheering on his childhood friend from the stands. All in all, this looked like it would be a fun time. As for now, he was stretching at the starting line, the okami disguised in his typical unicorn guise. “This next contestant is actually a good friend of the previous one.” The announcer said, waggling his eyebrows and earning a snort from Nensho. He may want that sometimes, but he doubted she felt that way and he didn’t want to ruin what they already had. “In any case, please welcome Nine-show Ha!” The announcer continued. Well, at least he was close. Once the starting flag was waved, he was off like a shot, quickly approaching the mud pit. Using his momentum, he took a running leap to skip a part of the mud, giving a laugh as he felt himself fall in. He had no qualms about getting down and dirty, and he had waded through plenty of mud in his time. One step at a time, he pushed himself forward until he trudged his way out of the mud. Figuring he had enough time, he took a moment to shake himself off like a dog before running to the next obstacle. He grinned as he came up on the barrels, immediately jumping up on one of the lower ones. Honestly, he barely saw this as a competition, it was just a fun time on an obstacle course. In his mind, he’d already won since he had the chance to do this with Toboe. Hopping from barrel to barrel was easy enough, though he might be toppling the tower one barrel at a time. That’d probably explain all the noise behind him, but at least it still seemed mostly intact ahead. Once he reached the top, he let out more laughter before jumping down in one leap and landing with a roll to reduce the impact. Now for the straight part. Really, giving a wolf a chance to run full-out? Nensho shot off, speeding down the track and panting. Running like this narrowed the world into what was straight ahead, so much so that he almost ran right past the table holding the pies. Thankfully though, he managed to skid to a stop next to the pies before plopping them on his back one by one. He moved off at a quick trot, not used to carrying things like this that he couldn’t just pick up again. His pace left the pies shaking on his back, almost falling off multiple times. Some quick adjustments and some swats from his tail managed to keep them up there though, and soon enough he was across the line. With the race done, he used his magic to pick up the pies and dig in to one of them. “Deeeelish! Compliments to the chef of these pies!” He laughed, looking over towards Toboe mischievously before launching a pie at her. Not too hard to hurt, obviously. “Tokkuri, catch!” He called out, heading over with the third pie for them to share.
  14. 7 points
    Welcome to the Iron Pony Competition! Welcome to the roughest- toughest- and dustiest display of skill in all of Equestria! Ponies will compete in events that test their strength, speed, endurance, and stomachs! Do you have what it takes to be your best? Do you have what it takes to exceed the rest?? Do you have what it takes to be- The Iron Pony?! Join us in the games- and show us what you've got! Basic Information and Rules: - Please observe all site rules while you participate! - The Iron Pony Competition will last for three weeks, Starting Friday, June 28th and going until, Friday, July 19th! Week One Events: Cloudsdale Cloud Diving, The Obstacle Course, Cupcake Eating Contest Week Two Events: The Tug-of-War, Super Sure Shot Sniping Session, The Barrel Weave Week Three Events: The Longest Yards, Unnecessarily Extreme Rock Climbing, The Iron Swimmer - We will host different events each week for you to compete in- please check each thread for rules on how to compete, and how each competition will be judged! - To begin participating, click on the event that interests you and read the instructions and guidelines- then begin posting! - There is honor to be earned for the ponies who prove their mettle as the toughest stuff- each competition will announce a winner! - Multiple OC's / Characters may be used for events. Please read up on the rules in every competition as they may be different per contest. - A judge's decision is final! Please respect the judges and your competitors! While we are competing to do our best, we are all part of the same community!
  15. 6 points

    From the album: Muddy's Album!

    I love sharks, so big scary shark monarch was a must to do.
  16. 6 points

    From the album: Muddy's Album!

    A Hippocampus like the ones I used to see a lot of around Canterlot.com <3
  17. 6 points
    Name: Sunset Shimmer Sex: Female Age: Young mare Species: Unicorn Eye Color: Cyan Coat: Ember Mane/Tail: Long flowing red hair, with curvy yellow highlights Physique: Typical of a mare her age Occupation: Guest speaker & substitute teacher at the Ponyville School of Friendship Residence: Whenever visiting Ponyville on business, she always stays at Twilight’s Castle Cutie Mark: Sunset’s cutie mark is a sun with curvy rays. The rays on one side are pale yellow colored, while those to the other are dark red. In the center of the sun are shapes reminiscent of a yin-yang symbol, also featuring the contrasting yellow-red color scheme. Unique Traits: Although technically a drop-out alumnus of the School for Gifted Unicorns, the accelerated rate at which Sunset Shimmer blazed through her classes (and various other “extracurricular studies”) long ago gives her a spellcasting repertoire equivalent to that of a typical summa cum laude graduate. Alongside Sunset’s relatively well-rounded magical skill set is a natural aptitude for fire spells... as one might expect of a unicorn with a fiery appearance and a sunny cutie mark. Back in her earlier troubled years, Sunset Shimmer discovered for herself how emotions could be drawn upon to further enhance a unicorn’s power. Filled with overwhelming feelings of pride and resentment, Celestia’s then-pupil readily channeled her anger and will to dominate to give herself power that exceeded those of nearly all her contemporaries. Not helping matters was Sunset’s brief flirtation with the learning of forbidden black magic. Although the unicorn didn’t get too far in her illicit studies before getting caught by her mentor, she learned enough to gain a rudimentary knowledge of the dark arts. Yet given Sunset’s desire to atone for her past mistakes, she vows never again to willfully wield negative emotions as weapons. How her resolve holds in the face of great emotional distress, however, remains to be seriously tested..... A curious recent development for Sunset Shimmer is the acquisition of advanced empathic abilities. These powers actually first manifested as a result of her adventures in the so-called “Mirror World”, after having come across rogue elemental magic that escaped from Equestria. If she wills it, Sunset can “touch” another creature with her magic in order to perceive their thoughts and memories. While using her empathy magic, the unicorn’s eyes glow with an unearthly white light. Foalhood: The tale of Sunset Shimmer is a tale of Villainy versus Redemption; of bondage to the past and the power to rise from one’s own ashes. It all began in the quaint town of Hope Hollow, a once idyllic community located “at the end of the rainbow.” But by the time Sunset was born, what had once been a popular weekend getaway for city ponies was beginning to fade into obscurity, and in the process falling into economic — and quite literal — depression. As ponies grew more hopeless, bonds between neighbors and families started withering away like flowers deprived of nurturing sunlight. So thus it was that in her first years of life, Sunset Shimmer knew nothing of love or friendship. Whenever her parents weren’t busy sniping at one another, they were taking out all their frustrations at their daughter. As for cordial playmates... well, such a concept was simply unheard of that day and age! Few foals ever congregated in Hope Hollow without getting into bickering matches or bullying one another. Little Miss Shimmer escaped all that by spending as much free time as she could in the local library; by then, nearly all townsponies avoided communal spaces like the plague. While piles upon piles of books were absolutely no substitute for the instinctive equine need to be loved and part of a herd, they did provide Sunset with the gateway she believed would lead her to the acceptance she desperately craved. In particular, the library’s unusually large Magic section (even divided into Arcane, Elemental, and Theory Of subsections!)..... Reading about amazing spells and great conjurers of old filled Sunset Shimmer with inspiration, igniting the fires of passion and ambition within her heart. Refusing to succumb to the scourge of despair, the young unicorn naively dreamed of a future where she’d shake the dust of her crummy old hometown off her hooves. First she would go to school in Canterlot to see what they knew, and then it would be off the see the world! She’d tour the castles of Kastrot and explore the arctic wastelands in search of the mythical Crystal Empire, fight magical beasts in the Everfree Forest, and write spells a volume long and forge a dozen- no, a HUNDRED enchanted relics!!! Sunset was going to be the greatest unicorn spellcaster since Starswirl the Bearded, and be praised and beloved by every single pony in Equestria!!!!! Naturally, Sunset Shimmer’s parents derided these lofty dreams as nothing more than foalish nonsense, but the filly had long since stopped giving a hoot about what they thought (at least, that’s what she told herself anyway). With the educational resources at her disposal, Sunset plunged head-first into the world of magic, starting first by learning how to conjure fire. Obviously, self-learning was no substitute for a proper education at an EEA-accredited institution, but Sunset couldn’t care less! So what if a few things accidentally caught on fire while taking the first steps on her journey? The fiery filly was making her dreams come true!!! It may not have been much of a surprise then that Sunset Shimmer’s first public debut of her talents to a crowd of jeering schoolkids ended rather controversially. Lacking the know-how to properly control her powers... and by subconsciously channeling her will to succeed at all costs, little Sunset’s clumsy attempt to magically create a fake sun out of flames left the manes of many a foal burned that day. But hey, that hovering sphere of fire actually turned out wondrously when all was said and done... and those neighsaying kids were jerks to her anyway. In that moment, Sunset Shimmer demonstrated the internal strife fueling her determination... and that in spite of everything she went through, an inextinguishable light burned brightly deep inside her heart. And so, Sunset was awarded with her cutie mark. Almost immediately afterward, the unicorn filly left Hope Hollow behind and never looked back. Judging by how she never heard or read of any news from that place since, Sunset simply assumed that crummy old town was finally abandoned and left to rot. Not once did she ever bother inquiring about the state of her former home or her family; those were all in the unicorn’s past... and her past was no longer today..... Under Princess Celestia’s Tutelage: If Sunset Shimmer’s first performance as a spellcaster could be described as a rocky rehearsal, then her entrance exam into Celestia’s School for Gifted Unicorns was an epically disastrous opening night. Reflexively channeling her feelings of extreme frustration, Sunset resorted to blasting the dragon egg she had been encouraged to try hatching. It might have actually worked too if the filly could have better controlled her powers. Instead, all Miss Shimmer accomplished was exhausting all her magical strength... and trapping herself in an inferno in the process! Had it not been for the timely intervention of Princess Celestia, things could have ended up a lot worse. Recognizing that Sunset Shimmer possessed powerful magic that she didn’t know how to handle, Celestia offered to take the filly on as a personal student so that she could learn to safely harness her abilities and use them to help her fellow Equestrians. Having believed just moments before that her dreams had forever shattered into pieces, this was understandably quite the turn of events for little Sunset. Needless to say, the young unicorn wasted hardly any time in hugging her new mentor out of gratitude. Sunset Shimmer turned out to be quite the fast learner of Magic… maybe too fast. Still embittered from her early foalhood experiences, the new royal apprentice continued to focus on studying to the exclusion of nearly everything else, Friendship most of all. That turned into a grave concern for Princess Celestia, who had come to believe that Sunset was destined to play an important role in forestalling the inevitable return of Nightmare Moon. Celestia knew full well that only those with Friendship in their hearts could wield the Elements of Harmony. Accordingly, the alicorn expected — perhaps unfairly in retrospect — that Sunset spend more of her time bonding with her fellow schoolponies. But Miss Shimmer failed to grasp the vital importance of making friends... nor did she even know how to make friends to begin with! All Sunset heard was a nagging mentor being a nag for its own sake. While Celestia may have been the most knowledgeable magic practitioner known to ponykind... her attempts at guiding Sunset towards Friendship proved woefully inadequate. This would bite Celestia in the flank a few years down the line, after Sunset started suspecting that she was being held back in her studies due to her mentor’s apparently nonsensical whims. Everything came to a head on one fateful night, when Princess Celestia caught her disgruntled student illicitly reading a forbidden tome on dark magic. During the insuring confrontation, Sunset Shimmer tearfully accused Celestia of having no faith in her student; the faithful student who only ever wanted to make her mentor proud. But when Celestia responded that declaring Sunset would have to be put on probation for her actions, the fiery pupil finally snapped. Cruelly mocking Celestia as a worthless hypocrite with no real friends of her own, Sunset betrayed and abandoned the mentor she had once loved as a daughter. Employing an enchanted mirror she stumbled upon earlier during her extracurricular studies, the unicorn fled Equestria altogether. Rising From the Ashes: As if living in self-imposed exile in the bizarre Mirror World wasn’t traumatic enough for Sunset Shimmer, the fact that she was now incapable of using Magic at all was nothing less than the ultimate insult. Magic meant everything to Sunset; without it, she was nothing. With her lifelong dreams utterly crushed, Sunset’s heart blackened and became filled with hate and rage. If she could not prove herself a girl worthy of praise, then she would prove herself a villain and hate the idle pleasures of those days. Plots did Sunset lay in her adoptive community, setting friend and clique alike against each other. Through manipulation and intimidation, the Unfaithful Student rose to a position of unquestioned prominence amongst her peers... though of course, petty social standing was absolutely no substitute for the Power of Magic. Swiftly consumed by megalomania, Sunset covertly returned to Equestria in order to steal the Element of Magic and exploit it in the Mirror World. However, as irony would have it, her diabolical plans were thwarted by the girl who took Sunset’s place as Celestia’s Faithful Student: Twilight Sparkle. Yet again in her life, Sunset Shimmer hit rock bottom... only for Twilight to unexpectedly offer the very foe she opposed mere moments before the opportunity to not only accept her Friendship, but to study it under her tutelage. Sunset was overwhelmed; all her life, she was led to believe that only by mastering Magic would anypony ever provide her with the acceptance she’d desperately craved since birth. But to be offered Friendship unconditionally, with no ill will and complete acceptance of who she was? ........................... .....Frankly, it was all that Sunset Shimmer ever really wanted in the first place. To this day, Sunset Shimmer deeply cherishes the pony who currently reigns as Princess of Friendship. With the additional help of a band of special companions from the Mirror World, the former villain has managed not just to turn her life around, but to transform into a genuine inspirational figure in her own right. While Sunset considers it her primary responsibility to keep tabs on Equestrian magic and exiles which escape into the Mirror World, more and more she finds herself returning to her homeland for both business reasons and for fun. And if the Headmare of the Ponyville School of Friendship gets her way, those trips of Sunset’s may become even more frequent..... Character Personality: The Sunset Shimmer of today barely resembles her past self. Kindled by the fire of friendship instead of personal ambition, Sunset is an outgoing individual, community-minded and always happy to lend support when needed. Additionally, Sunset nowadays appreciates the joys of recreational hobbies, art being chiefest among them. Although she presents herself as a cool laid-back girl, Miss Shimmer in reality possess a sharp analytical mind that many wouldn’t suppose at first glance; a lasting legacy of her time as an aspiring sorceress and Celestia’s prized pupil. Whilst undoubtedly Sunset Summer’s demonstrated her reformed nature many times over, other lingering elements of her prior life remain under the surface. For one thing, she hates losing; absolutely HATES IT! If placed under enormous stress, Sunset is also prone to lashing out in anger at others around her, although her temper usually subsides rather quickly. Oh, and if someone ever dares threaten one of Sunset’s friends, it will take a herculean effort on her part to avoid giving into the temptation to end them right there and then. Sunset Summer’s greatest fear is that one day, she’ll end up failing her dearest companions when they need her the most. Likewise, the Redeemed Student hopes that in the far future when all is said and done, she would have lived a good life, becoming someone earnestly worthy of love..... Character Summary: Sunset Shimmer understands that within her — along with the potential to cause great harm to others — is the power to lift them up with the light of friendship. But rather than dwell on her past mistakes, Sunset recognizes that everyone on some level can face the internal battles she once suffered through. If anybody is capable of both great evil and great good, then shouldn’t they be treated like they’re worth giving a chance?
  18. 6 points

    From the album: Muddy's Album!

    Local Changeling enjoys the smell of roses.
  19. 6 points

    From the album: Muddy's Album!

    Was just thinking up designs for more fruit-based farm ponies.
  20. 6 points
    *Submitted for Judging* Who'd think little grumpy Alizarin Fruits would compete in something as foolish as this? A competition wasn't her forte. Really anything wasn't her forte. Getting muddy and running with her little short hooves wasn't something she was really fond of. Her papa, though, would non-stop tell her to get off the farm for once and have some fun. Of course the snooty mare did what her father suggested, just to make him a happy ol' stallion. He's also goes on and on about doing these things when he was a colt, but that's besides the point. The midget of a mare watched all the other competitors with a grumpy eye and a scrunched up nose. They were either really fast, really strong, or both. Ali was none of the above. Well, she was strong, for a short farm pony. Her confidence was low for this kind of thing, so she just gave everypony the stank eye and looked as intimidating as possible so no pony gave her any confrontation. She would really scold somepony if they tried to talk to her. Ali was scary when she was mad. The splotched pony's ear twitched when she heard her name on the speakers. "And next up from the outskirts of Ponyville, Alizarin Fruits!" Immediately the mare scoffed, grumbling who knows what underneath her breath like a foal who didn't get the toy they wanted on Hearth's Warming. The negative pony took her good 'ol time walking to the starting line, getting into a starting position as the flag raised, which flashed down faster than a Pegasus performing a Sonic Rainboom. To prove for her father she's actually good at athletics, the mare's hooves galloped faster than lightening. The little farm pony flew across the dirt like nothing, soon appearing to come across the first obstacle: the mud pit. All Ali knew was that the mud was deep, and thick, something a little pony with short legs couldn't get through without a fight. Mud wasn't anything knew to the farm horse, but the feeling of it wasn't so soothing. Ali couldn't just walk through it, but she could certainly hop across it. Was that cheating? Maybe, but she trekked her way across the pit with no problem with her strong legs. And yes, she looked like a jackrabbit trying to hop out of quicksand, but it was really entertaining to watch. Soon she found herself out of the pit, her hooves covered in mud, which felt sticky and uncomfortable, but now her mindset was right on the money with this competition. Coming up fast was the stacks of barrels, the second part of the obstacle course. Her stumpy legs were tired from hopping across the mud, but they still had some juice left to hop onto the shortest stack and keep jumping up on the next like an annual rodeo her and her papa would go and watch. She had to take her time with the barrels, as her little legs could only push her up so high. She was tired, but her stubborn nature took over as determination made her power through all the wobbly barrels. Good thing she didn't weight much, or she'd topple over, but her patience and balance gave her the long end of the stick, and she flew over the top and landed back onto the ground. The third leg would be the easiest for her, yet the hardest, as her legs were wobbly from the last two obstacles. Ali had enough endurance to keep sprinting, as her head hung low and she powered through the long stretch of land. "C'mon 'ol legs, get kickin'!" she told herself, as she focused on the last stretch to reach the final leg. The mare was exhausted, yet quick, and faster than she thought possible. The final stretch was here, and it seemed way more relaxed than the others. The mare's legs could catch a break, and her patience and balance can come back into play again. Thank Celestia. The only problem was, Ali's back was too small to fit three pies on there. "Aw, shoot!" With a quick thought, she tossed two pies on her back, and one on her head, and she carefully, yet quickly, weaved her way around the poles, making sure the precious, yet fragile pies didn't drop to the ground. She knew for a fact dropping these pies would make her feel guilty, a feeling she never feels. She knew how much dedication a yummy loved pie took to bake. It would be devastating to drop one. Quickly enough, though, the mare crossed the finish line, not only proud for finishing, but proud of herself from how quick she was. "Guess short lil’ farm ponies are meant for runnin' through dirt." With that, she sat down to catch her rapid breath.
  21. 6 points
    Sweetie Belle was really excited to try out this year's Iron Pony. She was a big pony now and didn't want to play in the small foal games they had set up. She had a lot to prove to mom, dad, her sister- everypony! She wanted to compete in the same type of events that her friends and the others would compete in! To prove to everypony far and wide that she wasn't some little filly anymore, but a young mare who could do anything she set her mind to. And today she set her mind to running the obstacle race first. It was gonna be a ton of fun and a good way to get her juices flowing for the rest of the day. Sure it may have been considered 'uncouth' by her sister, but she got over that years ago. She approached the starting line with a wide, cocky, fake smile, one inherited from her love of stage acting. She had nothing but empty confidence and as she watched others run the course she had a sneaking suspicion that she had to start this sooner rather than later. Why hold it off? She knew what she was capable of and she knew she wanted to give it her all. It took her a few more seconds to pick up the pace and get to te starting line, taking several deep breaths as she did. You can do this, you can do this, you can do this... “Next competitor, Sweetie Belle of Ponyville!” Oh Celestia I'm next, she thought to herself as the locals applauded for her. She was hopefully a crowd favorite what with recent events and all, but that didn't change the fact that a nest of butterflies seemed to sprout up from inside her. Her mind narrowed and focused on the race ahead as she pondered what she would do at each step. The mud run wasn't going to be that tough, she climbed stuff all the time so the barrels should be simple, running is running, and pies were...pies? Okay, she had no plan for that. The flag went down and she took off, her confidence vanishing even as she began a stern sprint towards the mud. Now that she came up to it she wasn't as certain about her ability to deal with the mud, let alone the rest. How easily was she swayed! But now there was no turning back. She was going to do it and she was going to conquer it, whether that fluttering of butterflies foretold of her own doom or not. She could it! She knew she could do it! She didn't think she could do it- oh why was she doing this alone? The Sisterhooves Social was so much more fun! Doing this with others instead of alone was so much more enriching, entertaining and made her feel- -GLUP. Sweetie Belle had been so lost in her moment or ten of panic that she had lost track of her positioning and fell into the mud face first. She was buried face deep in the mire for more than a few moments, moving her whole body in it until, after what felt like a minute, her top half burst forth and she took a deep breath. No way she was winning now, but at least she wasn't going to drown in mud. She tried to pull herself through it but it was slow going, her muscles not at all primed for this. She wasn't afraid of getting dirty like her sister but that didn't translate her into being strong like Apple Bloom or athletic like Scootaloo. That showed in time, as she struggled through the mud. In the time it took others to finish the course or nearly do so, she barely managed to pull her way through the mud. She got her hooves on the end of the pit and pulled herself out, grunting all the while before collapsing to the ground. A few of the older ponies started to trot up to see if she was okay. She waved them off. "I'm- KAK- fine. I'm fine, really!" She yelled, her voice cracking at the end as she stood up. After a few more breaths she pushed forward, her muscles already tired from the stress. Barrels, oh boy. She didn't have the energy to take them quickly so she very slowly climbed up on them, like a slug or snail slowly oozing its way forward. With big, heavy breaths she managed the distance, ascending to the top of the barrels and then over with guts, determination, and more than one stoppage as she tried to regain her breath. Luckily she was so lightweight and was moving so slowly that the wobbly barrels weren't very wobbly for her. With one small leap and a squeak, she landed on her hooves and tumbled, got back up, and started to sprint her way through the third obstacle...open grass. This was better but by now her muscles were very tired and very sore. She galloped at first but after a few moments slowed to a canter, then a trot, as the muddy and tired filly was absolutely exhausted by her ordeal. She finally reached the pie portion and mechanically followed suit with the others, placing the pies on her back and slowly weaving through the poles. She was so tired and beat at this stage that she barely even noticed one pie fall off of her and smack into the ground with a sickening sound. She finally trudged across the finish line and promptly fell down, the thick mud making a spork sound as she oozed into the ground. “Apple....Bloom...I'll....leave this...to...you....” she said through panted breaths. Meanwhile, the scores went up for those who had run so far. Boulder Dash- 0:47.9 seconds Feng Yinhaitao- 0:46 seconds Tokkuri- 0:48.5 seconds Apple Bloom- 0:51.5 seconds Nensho- 0:49 seconds Smolder- 0:53.1 seconds Sweetie Belle- 2:19.4 (OOC-So far, every post has been super great! Lots of fun, everypony! )
  22. 6 points
    Submitted for Judging "... and remember, you say it like 'Yin-HI-tow.'" Feng had arrived at the cloud diving platform soon after his run at the obstacle course, after a quick hot shower to get the last of the mud off. He felt considerably more comfortable in this competition now that he'd gotten his hooves wet, as it were. This wasn't like when he was accompanying the Empress like on his last trip, a roguish smile and eager bounding manner was actually an asset to this sort of mission, rather than a potential diplomatic embarrassment. At least, as long as the announcer didn't pronounce his name in a silly way. That was only funny once; the competition had to take their foreign guest seriously to some extent. With all that hopefully taken care of, the longma walked back to the base of the ladder, stopping to give each of the judges a respectful bow, followed by a grin and a wink. No need to be too formal, almost every Equestrian that he or the Empress ever talked to seemed to be more comfortable if you related to them casually, though those in authority still deserved the proper respect. A bit incongrous, but hey, his kind were a mix of pony and dragon, what could you expect? Once he reached the base of the ladder, the announcer called out, "And now, hailing all the way from the Eastern Land of Long Guo, it's Fang Yinhaitao!" Alright, so it wasn't quite the right way to pronounce his first name, but honestly, he'd take it. Shaking his head with a silent laugh, he gave one last stretch and began climbing the ladder. His ascent was smooth and uninterrupted at first, though once he was two stories up, he stopped to take a look out at the audience. Most were watching him, some were talking about his exotic appearance. One was cheering enthusiastically though; a qilin from his home country that had come along on his trip from the east. He gave a feather-gun point-out to his friend from the palace, then resumed his ascent once more. After a little while, it wasn't really safe to show off, the ladder, while sturdy enough, had nothing like a safety rail. Your grip had to be steady to keep on top of it, but eventually, a climber would reach the top. This Feng eventually did, and finding himself amidst the clouds, he paused for one second to take in the celestial view. Though longma were similar to pegasi, few actually lived on the cloudtops. The closest thing that Long Guo had to Cloudsdale was the actual home of the Eastern Dragons themselves, a divine mountain which the young stallion had been privileged to visit once before. *And some Equestrians actually live in places like this? It seems so odd to have a dwelling so high, without the earth reaching up to meet it.* Shaking aside some homesick thoughts of the mountains, Feng quickly ran through his planned itinerary of tricks in his head, before bounding to the edge of the platform in three short jumps, hitting the very edge to push it down to maximum tension, letting it spring him up in the air with a Triple Solar Somersault! Striking a pose at the peak of his ark, arms akimbo with the sunlight shining off his golden scales, he tucked and rolled head over heels three times before diving down in a whistling streak of brown, gold, and green. Letting himself pick up speed just a little bit, he let his wings jut out just a bit, twisting them in the wind to add spin to his dive. Breathing deep, deep enough to touch the dragonfire within, he blew out a faint blue cloud of mist. Longma and qilin magic was tied to their breath, similar to dragons, and Feng's element was the wind. Thus, as he performed the Tornado Corkscrew, he added a bit of flair with an actual tornado in his wake! Just a small one, but being able to sustain it for so long during the dive was quite the accomplishment. Almost any pegasus could do this trick, but soon became dizzy or lost control of their creation. Feng, however, was able to keep spinning, and keep the tornado a steady size, all the way down, a feat which would impress the knowledgeable more than the common audience member. In fact, he kept this trick up all the way to the bottom, smoothly transitioning into a Waterspout Fountain Finisher! As soon as he hit the water, the tornado on his tail would have sucked up and sprayed out the water in a gentle fountain of spray all over the judges and the audience. Thanks to his judging of the angle of the sun from his first trick, Feng was able to make sure the mist formed a rainbow as he emerged from the pond! And as an added magical touch, the mist was infused with his signature breath spell, a pleasant minty odor which relaxed the minds and cleared the sinuses of all who smelled it. Shaking the drops of water off his wings, he gave another grin and wave to the audience. "And that's how we do it in the East!" Hmm, perhaps a bit more braggadocio than was called for in his mission of being a cultural ambassador. Oh well, the crowd seemed to love it! But would the judges?
  23. 6 points

    From the album: Muddy's Album!

    Another design I was playing around with.
  24. 6 points

    From the album: Muddy's Album!

    Just playing around with designs and such.
  25. 5 points
    Off to the side of the events, just out of sight from the bleachers, a large white sunshade was stretched over tall wooden poles, making a tent to rest out of the sunlight and heat. Underneath could be found seats for relaxing, supplies for hydrating, and spaces for stretching in order to warm up and cool down from the events of the Iron Pony. Athletes could come here to decompress between events, and mingle with other competitors, as well as any interested audience members. A small table with pens and paper was provided for the distribution of autographs too! "Uuurrraaaagghgghhh...." Feng Yinhaitao was currently doing some full body stretches, following by a set of crunches, all in the hopes of lightening the lump that 17 cupcakes had made in his stomach. Really, he supposed an eating contest was there for variety only, but he couldn't resist after seeing his friend compete in scarfing down those baked beauties! It was good practice, he told himself, for when he might need to eat in a hurried situation as a part of his Watcher duties. Not a case of eyes being bigger than stomachs, no siree! Taking a gulp of cold water, he sighed, resisting the urge to flop and sprawl over one of the chairs. Couldn't have a Long Guo cultural ambassador in so undignified a situation, could he? *Beeeelllllccchh* Welp, too late. With another sigh, he flopped frontside-down on the chair, letting the seat compress his stomach. That felt better, slightly. "Mph, mistakes were made..." He muttered to himself. Thank the Long the Empress couldn't see him now.
  26. 5 points
    It was not too much to say that Feng was a bit taken aback by the reaction to his question. Bug? Where had that come from? At least the teal one was nice, though altogether the puncture at his ego, and his ability to be diplomatic, did cause him to figuratively back into the shell he constructed for his on-duty persona. "Ahem, well, of course, I'd ask for yours too. They would make a good presentation on return to the Empress. That goes for all of you, by the way." He waved a wing at the whole company, before turning back to Sea Salt. "And I am sorry, but I must return home after the competition. It is a long way back to Huangjing, but if you ever decide to make the journey, the Palace is open to visitors." Pathfinder's continued chattering only confirmed Feng's first impression of her; he definitely was going to be called upon to remove her from the premises next time she visited the Imperial. Openly bragging about criminal activities? "You do realize, of course, that as a Watcher, I would have to arrest you if we met in Long Guo, right?" The Watcher's shell cracked again with a grin as the longma continued, "There are always old tombs in the mountains that we can't be bothered to regularly patrol. Bandits often hold up in them; would be nice to have a civic-minded sort clear them out from time to time." Speak of the bug, there came one who fairly bore that label! Along with a Pink friend of his, bringing with her not only an air of friendliness and joy, but also a mental association link that finally placed Tempest Shadow in her context. "Wait, wait a minute...." He turned back to the maroon mare. "You know her, and I think I remember from where." He gave her a look of much deeper appraisal than before; not just a mask of professionalism, but the actual real deal. "It is... interesting to meet you in person." He was fully standing up straight now, seemingly relaxed, though a trained eye could see he was 'at the ready' for something to happen. Not that he really expected it, but... something might. And yet, the first thing he did was rather unexpected. He went over to the little table, taking up a pen and some paper (ignoring the pastries as the cupcakes within were as yet not amenable to further companionship), and walked back. "I think I would like to get your autograph first." He said to Tempest, offering the implements. "Whichever name you prefer."
  27. 5 points
    "Come on, come on, come on!" Pinkie bounced about, impatient to get to the pavilion. She nudged the changling next to her who looked down on the pinkest of mares with a slightly jaundiced eye. "Are you sure Pinkie?" He glanced at the fair number of creatures that were in the tented area already. That was a lot of meeting and greeting! "I'm not even sure half of them would even care." "Care? Care?!" Ponk pulled the changling King's head down close to hers. "Of course they'll care! Who wouldn't want to show the ropes to the King of the changlings?" She had promised Thorax that when he next came to town she'd help him get to know other ponies. He was still practicing his friendship skills and this was a perfect opportunity! "Come on now big guy! Let's go mingle!" Thorax was going to say something but before he could she had bounded ahead of him and entered the pavilion. "OOoooooo!" She eyed the cherry treats that Pathfinder had just laid out. "Those look delish!" She smiled broadly at her favorite Daring Doo enthusiast. "Hey there Pathfinder!" She scooped up a cherry fritter and crammed it in her mouth. "Mmmph! You break your cloud diving record from last year? Gulp!" She glanced around, wondering where Thorax had gotten to. The King entered the pavilion and looked about quietly. He was a bit on the reserved side when around creatures he hadn't met. His demeanor seemed to radiate confidence which had proved useful a time or two. There was a large group of creatures in front of him and so he moved in that direction. Ah! There was someone he knew. He trotted up to Smolder. "Hello there young dragoness!" He smiled down at the friend of his Ocellus. "How have you fared in the games thus far?" Pinkie also bounced in the direction of the gathering of ponies and others. She noticed one mare mention something about fish and that same mare was all wet! "Hi there! You say you've got pet fish?" She grinning and searched through her mane for a moment before producing Gummy. "This is my pet Gummy!" The toothless gator blinked slowly at Sea Salt. He'd been sleeping and wasn't in the mood to be awake yet. "Ooooo! Were you just competing in one of the challenges?" She smiled broadly while barraging the mare she didn't even know with questions. "My name's Pinkie Pie by the way. What's yours?" She was a lot to take in but most ponies couldn't help but smile upon meeting Ponyville's resident friend making machine.
  28. 5 points

    From the album: Muddy's Album!

    So apparently there's a fungus that beetles cultivate called 'ambrosia' and that is the cutest thing I've ever found in an entomology glossary. Another changeling design.
  29. 5 points
    *Submitted for Judging* "Go Yanhua! Long Guo number one cupcake eater!" Just as Yanhua had been there to cheer Feng on through his feats of athleticism, Feng Yinhaitao thought it only fair to cheer his friend on through her feats of culinary consumption. All in all, he had to admit it was an impressive performance. He'd seen her breath magic at work, but always in a controlled environment; the Imperial Kitchens not exactly being a safe place for a qilin to go all out on the dragon breath. Here though? It was a display showing off the ability of a dragon-pony better than he felt he could do. Longma were more physically than magically strong as a rule. As Yanhua finished up, Feng got off the bleachers to greet her. "That was amazing! I don't know if I'll be able to top that, but given how much you liked it, I just have to give those cupcakes a try myself!" Thankfully, signups were always open for spur-of-the-moment competitors, a commitment to giving the common challenger a chance that Feng really had to admire. It reminded him somewhat of the Celestial Bureaucracy back home; the exams to join the civil service were always open every year to anypony, qilin, or longma who chose to give themselves a shot. After a quick word from the announcer, the audience would hear: "And from the same far eastern lands, Feng Yinhaitao!" She got it right! Third time was the charm! Grinning, he took a seat and immediately began chowing down. Not being a master of breath magic, he took the relatively mundane route of scooping any delectable-looking pastries in his primary feathers and shoveling them towards his maw. He favored the fruitier treats, chowing down on the strawberry ones for a bit, before discovering- a small batch of plum cupcakes! He didn't even know they made those! The taste of the jelly filling even reminded him of the orchards in his home village, cut into a little crest in the mountains... Wonderful. Such a shame no other contestant would taste such delights, but then, all previous contestants had ignored that little pile, no doubt thinking it either not the ideal flavor, or one that would slow them down. Their loss, as far as Feng was concerned. As the final seconds clocked down on his cupcake consumption, Feng used his wings to sweep up all the crumbs, ball them up, and take them all down in a final bite before the bell rang. Washing them all down with a glass of milk, he trotted back to Yanhua, feeling a comfortable weight in his middle. "Mmm, those were good. Gotta say, though, I still prefer your custard-filled buns as my treat of choice. Guess steamed pastries a weakness of mine." And with a chuckle, he made his way to the pavilion, first round of events done for now!
  30. 5 points
    This was probably not the most elegant of competitions that Yanhua could have inserted herself in, but some part of her (the chef part) couldn't resist trying some Equestrian confectionaries of various styles. Some of the tourist magazines she'd been going through had said that Ponyville was home to one of the best family of Baker's in the country! Nevermind that little spot in the pamphlet seemed to have been paid for by the Cake family. Still, the corrupting influence of advertising aside, She couldn't really resist the delicious scent on the air. Perhaps such an display of her 'iron stomach' as the announcer so eloquently put it, might not be the best impression of the eastern lands she was supposed to be representing along with Feng today. On the other hoof: Free food and a chance to see if there was something she could learn from the westerners. Pushing any anxieties on Feng watching her aside, Yanhua approached the stand and made her application. Then took her seat at her table, the competition was pretty stiff it seemed. Two dragons in the running? Dragons in Equestria were supposed to be able to eat minerals. She could only imagine how quickly they'd be able to tear through warm dough and she soon didn't even need to let her mind do the work as Smolder and Spike began. "Oh my..." She said almost sounding intimidated, "Speed hm?" She seemed to be wrapped up in her own thoughts for about a second before the announcer pony asked her if she was still up for continuing. With a mischievous chuckle she nodded, "Stand back a moment please." Yanhua sucked up a deep breath through her nose, her chest puffing up before she unleashed a large puff of minty green colored smoke and flame. It wasn't hot and didn't even seem to hurt. It functioned not unlike a unicorn's telekinesis and with such 'oomph' put into it the kirin managed to launch the table up into the air few feet... along with the big pile of cupcakes! The crowd at first had a bit of panic but soon that mass of green flame rose up above the kirin turning into a flashy miniature vortex that caught the falling cupcapes. At the small bottom of this funnel of magic sat the kirin with her mouth open. One popped out and she chomped it down, noting each flavor that met her tongue as it came down and swiftly chewed then scarfed them down with a surprisingly ravenous intensity. The magical whirl of fire diminished along with the cupcake pile held inside. In no time at all it was down to the final mote of flame and the final pastry that was snapped up with a contented smile from the royal chef. "Those were amazing! Do you have any I could take home? Oh! could I meet the bakers. I'd love to get some pointer---... Oh, Hang on." She noticed a rapidly growing shadow appearing on the announcer's nose. Just as it was about to come down on his face she lunged forward and snapped it up with a grin, "There we go!"
  31. 5 points
    *Post submitted for judging* Stage Lights stood with Thunderhoof watching the other ponies compete. "I'll bet you do great on that one, Hoof." Stage suggested watching somepony trudging through the mud. Thunderhoof frowned and pointed at the barrels. "I am sure you could figure that out. You are a lot smarter than you give yourself credit, Hoof. Just try it, okay?" Thunderhoof gave a heavy sigh and looked worriedly at Stage. "Let us make a deal." Stage offered "If you compete and do your very best, I shall do the same." Hoof laughed, soundlessly, at the thought of Stage Lights going through an obstacle course. Especially with mud. He held up a hoof. "That's the spirit!" Stage laughed and hoof bumped him. "I'll wait here, you show me how it is done, yes?" Hoof nodded and laughed again at the image in his mind of Stage trying to wade through the mud while keeping as dry as possible. Thunderhoof sort of half walked half stomped up to the starting line, making the ground shake with each step. He tried to look intimidating and tough, which wasn't that hard for him, given his stature and the large scar on his neck. Tho it was unnatural. He stared down the mud with determination as he waited for the flag, flaring his nostrils noisily. When the flag waved, Thunderhoof stood there for a moment, still glowering at the mud pit, seemingly unaware he'd been signaled to start. The flag pony waved the flag again, and this time Hoof noticed and began barreling down the track. His big long legs made the journey in no time flat before he splashed into the mud. Not slowing down, he ran through the mud like it wasn't even there, his thick tree trunk legs powering through the slop with impunity. It didn't hurt that he was so big, the mud barely went over his belly. He quickly made his way to the other end without issue. "Just like any Tuesday afternoon pulling the caravan." he thought to himself, proud of his physical prowess. After making short work of the mud pit, he felt a sense of pride like he could do anything. He devoured the distance between himself and the second obstacle ready for whatever it could throw at him. Then he stopped. It was the wall of barrels. He looked up to the top. He didn't like heights. He thought very briefly about simply knocking over the wall with his brute strength. He could probably do it easily enough, but he decided against it. Stage hated it when he broke things. He lifted a hoof up and placed it on a barrel "I guess I have to...." he mused silently to himself. The barrels were easy enough for him to climb. They were practically like stairs to him. But this stack was unstable, and the barrels seemed like they weren't equipped to handle his weight. He put his weight on his hoof and put another hoof up on the next barrel. "so far so good." he thought. He brought his hind hoof up and placed it on a barrel, which immediately imploded under his weight. Thunderhoof panicked and scrambled to find footing. His hoof landed so that it was sitting on the walls of two barrels side by side. That seemed to work. It held his weight fine. He smiled and began to climb a bit faster. Still shaking from the height. He reached the top and slowly turned around to climb back down backward. When he finally had all four hooves on solid ground, he breathed in relief. A moment later, he realised he wasn't done yet. In a sudden burst of energy he sprinted thunderously down the straightaway closing the distance with ease with his long gait. When he arrived at the final obstacle, he smiled. Many ponies assumed that because he was big, he must be clumsy. Or at least not very nimble. Au Contraire, my good friends, for he'd been taught, by fellow traveller Madame Cue one of the actors of Tour d'Equestria, "Proper Posture" or whatever she called it. As far as Hoof's concerned it was "How to balance more things on my back so I can be more helpful" In any case, he knew the key was to go slower than he wants to. He picked up the pies in his hoof and carefully placed them on his back. Then he walked carefully with his head held high looking rather posh, if you ask him. But really just kind of ridiculous. Slightly faster than a walk, but slower than a trot. The pies wobbled slightly as he walked, and he thought "I've got this" and as he neared the finish line, he began to speed up a little. The pies wobbled more precariously, but he didn't notice, he was focused on the goal. He crossed the finish line, and stood on his hind legs giving a silent celebratory "WHOO!" type motion. Before he turned around and saw every pie on the ground. He physically quieted down. Looked at Stage and pointed sadly at the pies then the finish line. Stage, who'd been laughing at the display, cleared his throat and said "He wants to know if still counts since he crossed the finish line first." Hoof gave him an "And?" look "And he's sorry he smashed your pies."
  32. 5 points
    This one is ready for judgement. Smolder slowly made her way past the assorted tents and exhibits that made up the IRON PONY. After running through a rather intense and muddy obstacle course, she was starting to get a little peckish. Thankfully there were an assortment of food wagons that were offering all kinds of tasty treats for those who were watching the events, along with those who were part of the actual competitions. From a wagon that sold sixteen types of macaroni and cheese, to one that had waffles with pretty much everything on top. There was so much to choose from, but the dragon only had one stomach. What to do? As she tried to figure out what to eat, the young dragon spotted cupcakes. And not just an few waiting to be sampled at the Sugarcube Corner booth, or even ones to be sold, there was an freaking mountain of the frosty, sweet delights! And not only were they free, they were part of a contest. One had to out-eat the other contenders to win. What a day to be alive! They never had anything like this in the dragon lands. After signing in, she noticed a familiar sight. It was Spike! Her little purple pal. Her brother from another mother! He was going to compete. “Heya Spike.”, she found a seat near the small dragon and waited for the contest to be begin. No matter what the outcome, this was all win-win. If she didn’t gain first prize, she would at least get to enjoy a few cupcakes with a friend. He had found the right spot, as they had a pile of dragon-friendly cupcakes with an sign warning non-dragons not to touch! The Cakes thought of everything! "Good luck oh' Great and Glorious one..", the dragon smirked back at the smaller fellow just as the contest had begun! Now what cupcake would she want? There were so many! Chocolate cupcakes with fresh strawberries on top! Peppermint cupcakes! Pumpkin cupcakes! This was not helping her win! She needed to grab one and get to munching before she fell behind the others! The first one was an Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel cupcake. Tasty. But it took awhile to properly finish off. She needed to grab the simple ones. The chocolate and vanilla ones. The ones baked in Dullsville. Thankfully there was a decent sized batch nearby. She could work on those. Shoveling them into her maw would just be messy. She would try tossing them in, one by one! This was also a good idea at first, but after missing the first two times, the judges started to get a little cranky. Cupcakes should not be wasted! Spike seemed to be having a good deal more fun than she was having. He was trying all kinds of treats, but that was wasted calories! After hitting a dozen, the dragon tried simply snatching up with the cakes with her tongue. This got old rather quickly. She had powerful lungs. How about breathing a cupcake into her mouth? This might have been a good idea, but along with a cupcake, she also managed to almost inhale a few leaves and someone's sandal. 10....9....8......Come on! She could still cram a few more in.......7....6....5...4....Stomach is starting to feel a bit queasy......3...2....1..... The contest was over! Yikes! They were right. Too much of a good thing.....Gives you an upset stomach.....
  33. 5 points

    From the album: Muddy's Album!

    Heavy metal pony design!
  34. 4 points
    The White Tail Woods standed as one of the prettiest places in Equestria. The trees of all shapes and sizes stood out from the blue sky, showing off their gorgeous deep green leaves. Their thick roots strung out from the ground, popping in and out of the short grass. Big bushes stood all over the landscape, as they too showed off their precious leaves and blooming flowers. The sun was going down at this point, rays of yellow, orange, and a rosy pink were shown through the darkening sky, creating a really pretty sunset. The stars weren't out yet, but it was getting dark quickly, as the sun flowed it's way down the sky. Camping was such a calming thing for most ponies out there, either to get close with their friends or family. Nature was at it's finest with the woodlands. Water in the distance, wind busheling through the trees, a nice sweet smell from the flowers that surrounded the paths. Most ponies felt at peace in this forest, as why so many ponies would come camp there. Too bad sightings of something big and dark captured all the news's stories, ponies hadn't stepped hoof there since then. But still, most ponies would take a look at this masterpiece of nature, thinking how amazed they are that such a natural thing in life could be so beautiful. The sunsets always had a beautiful view in the woods. A couple didn't care much about something so silly, just the sun going down. They could at least recognize the pretty colors the sky created. Some though, absolutely couldn't stand the hype sunsets get. That, or they were just a grumpy little sack of negativity and hated everything others generally loved. Alizarin Fruits stood at the front opening of the forest's path, tapping her hoof impatiently. Her thin eyebrows furrowed in a glare, like she was going to murder anything that came across her path. The brown mare just wanted to be at home, cuddled up in her soft bed and staring at the stars. She loved the night more than the day. Ali liked the dark, as she couldn't see anything. She didn't like thinking about things, or looking deeply into things. It kind of scared her, but little ol' Ali didn't have feelings or emotions. Nope! She was as soulless as a vampire, or so she thinks. The short mare didn't know why she was here, carrying a little folded up tent on her back with some saddle bags filled with bug repellent and a sleeping bag. Her father read in a newspaper that day something was out taking animals, and he felt horrible about it. The mare's heart always killed over when her papa frowned. Of course Ali hated seeing her ol' Pop upset, had to be a problem solver and go out to see what's out taking the 'innocent little creatures'. Ha! They weren't bothering her, they weren't hurting her business. There was no reason to go out and 'help the precious animals'. Obviously the farm pony had a heart though, if she wanted to save the little buggers. Ali was the first one to the scene, after her sweet Pop went and packed for her as she watered her apple trees. She got her chores done, with a frown, taking the saddle bags and getting the train to the woods. She had bags under her tired eyes, as she sat her little rump down in the soft dirt. The mare didn't want to head in first, but she did at the same time. The loner could've easily trotted in and left the other ponies, if there were going to be other ponies, behind. It's not like there was some group calling them to go save the creatures from the mysterious, scary, horrible, frightening, thing in the deep, dark, mysterious, scary, horrible, frighten- okay, you get the point. Anyway, the splotched mare sat there in silence, listening to the wind go through the trees and the birds tweeting. It was kind of peaceful for a moment, and Ali kind of felt at peace. It was quiet, soft, and the moment just felt like a dream. She felt asleep, but wasn't, as she could just sense the realness of her surroundings. Until she heard hooves stepping through the dirt.
  35. 4 points
    *this post submitted for judging* "Swim across a raging river that's probably infested with sharks, lined with the sharpest rocks, and colder than an iced tea on a freezing day in winter?" The Lord of Chaos stood at the entry area for the Iron Swimmer event. The old earth pony swimmer running the event nodded his head with an expressionless face. "Get myself across and back, then across again with no magic to enlisted the help of an army of goldfish and sea turtles?" Discord gasped, hardly able to comprehend any pony much less a draconequus such as himself could complete the challenge. The pony started walking away shaking his head. "But if I do make it I'll have a crowd cheering for me and probably a statue made in my name for my feat a bravery?" He cringed at the mention of a statue. "Well maybe not a statue... how about a sculpture of me made out of cupcakes? No no no... hmmm ah! A sculpture of me made out of pickles and jam! Yes that's it!" The pony he'd been conversing with was long gone but that mattered not to Discord. Neither did cheering crowds or sculptures. He'd do it just because he felt like it! Yes that was it! And maybe a little bit because Fluttershy might be watching. He blushed and tittered to himself while trotting towards the contestants area for the Iron Swimmer! "So," His brows dropped low over his eyes as he scoped out the challenge. And quite a challenge it was! "no magic, just moi!" Soon enough it was his turn. Discord moved towards the start line with an inflatable yellow duckie around his waist, a swim cap firmly in place over his head with his horns poking through, and a snorkel and mask strapped on tight! "Uh hem?" The earth pony judge moved in front. "Oh! None of this then?" He dropped the mask, snorkel, and cap. "Oh ok..." He shimmied out of the duckie and dropped it to the side. "You're no fun." He commented dryly before plunging into the river! The shock of the cold caused a gasp as he surfaced to suck in air. The draconequus struck out towards the opposite bank with well...tiny limbs. "Oh well now, this will never do!" It was all he could do to keep himself from using a bit of magic but no, he'd do this right! Focusing on his swimming the God of Chaos began to undulate his body in the fluid motion helping him to move through the water despite the current pulling him down river. He began to pant as he went, exerting all his strength to keep himself going. If that wasn't enough things were about to get worse! "This is proving why I use magic all the time." He grumbled while continuing onward. "Life's no fun without it." He rolled his eyes as an ominous shape moved towards him. A huge fish was coming right for him! He could see its spiked dorsal fin above the water and could only guess how many teeth went along with all those spikes. It shot towards him and Discord whipped the back half of his body to the side and out of the way. As the fish went by he lashed out with his tail and bonked the fish a good one right between the eyes. "You want some more?" Discord threw the challenge out, feeling better than he'd like to admit that he was getting through this all on his own. The fish receded down river and nurse his wound and probably prepare to assault another competitor. On he went and the other side of the river loomed near. Just as he was coming up on the place where he could push off to go back the way he came a bunch of branches came tumbling down the river! The draconequus launched himself up on the first large branch and then hopped along the others until he had touched the designated mark and headed back the other way. He entered the water with a splash as the branches and logs were carried away from him. "I can hardly wait to see what's next." He rolled his eyes and tried to keep his breathing even as he struck out for the side he had started from. As if on cue the river began to get rougher. Small waves turned into larger waves and soon Discord was being tossed around by large rollers that came from somewhere upstream. He was still being tugged by the current and for a few moments he floundered, letting the current do its thing. He gulped in a mouthful of water and gagged. "Well now this is just too much!" He turned and swam directly at the waves, ducking under them to keep from being washed away. Once he was back in line with the course Discord swam with the waves, using them to launch him towards the river's edge. He was there soon enough and starting his last leg! This last crossing would prove to be a test of all his mettle. The draconequus wished that he could snap his fingers and end up warm and sipping tea in his cottage in Chaosville but no, Fluttershy would just love to know he'd finished the course on his own. The pegasus thought so well of him though he'd failed her time and time again. He'd let her down and she'd stick by him and prove to him what friendship was. Yes Flutters was one in a million and he'd do his darndest to make her proud of him! He swam as hard as he could, using the rest of his energy to get the finish line within his reach! Then the water in front of him began to light up! "What now?" Discord grumbled and ducked below the surface to take a quick look. "Oh isn't this a pleasant surprise? What river race would be complete without a wall of electric eels?" The eels pulsed with electricity in rhythm and this gave Discord and idea! He gulped in a huge breath of air and dove down! To his surprise the current lessened in the deeper part of the river. He waited, watching the eels swimming back and forth. He'd have to time this just right. One, two, three...now! He struck out swimming in the same undulating style that had helped him thus far in the challenge. Under the eels he went as their pulse turned off and moments later back on. He surfaced and yelled out. "Yowch!" The electric current got him just on the tip of his tail! "That's bad form you know?" He complained while climbing up and out of the river. The draconequus was still rubbing his rear when he crossed the finish line. The cheering crowds snapped him to attention and he began smiling and applauding his performance. "Yes yes, I know," He grinned. "I'm amazing!"
  36. 4 points
    Now this was more like it! After spending a few months as captain of the Twilight Guard, Fire Walker had an different assignment for a chance! The young mare decided to wear her old adventuring armor for a change. It was better suited for forest treks than her Royal Armor. She also brought along a saddlebag full of necessary items. She was always happy to fulfill her normal tasks. She was there to make sure Ponyville residents knew what to do in case of emergencies. Usually through the use of training seminars. She also kept an eye on town to make sure nasties didn’t sneak in. There was also the occasional mundane task she would also take care of. But now she was leaving the safety of her sleepy little village to solve a mystery! Animals were vanishing and there was talk about the ‘Pony Of Shadows’. And so far everything lead to the White Tail Woods. A forest that shared the Everfree's beauty, but not the crazy. Noted animal welfare expert Fluttershy was also tasked to join this little critter conundrum. Very few ponies in Equestria were as knowledgeable about creature confronts as the pleasant Pegasus mare. The red Captain also asked if her occasional adventure partner Applejack would be able to join them, but they ended up getting her little sister instead. How odd. Still, if the little Earth Pony was one percent as clever and brave as her big sister, things should go smoothly. Another mare named Alizarin Fruits was also tasked to join them. She assumed the young mare was a friend of Fluttershy's. After much assurance from her little sister, the Pegasus mare also brought along the family dog. Gumby. He could be of some use. Dogs were good at sniffing. Barking. Fire Walker always wanted a dog growing up and never got one. She was still slightly bitter about this. Alizarin was also the first the good Captain could see. Waiting at the entrance. "Miss Fruits.", she called out as she slowly trotted her way. She was followed by a little dog. "Ralph!", the dog barked. The little critter stopped dead in his tracks. A strange scent crossed his nose. What could it be? He glanced in the direction of Sombra, but was instantly distracted when an butterfly landed on his nose. "RALPH!"
  37. 4 points
    *this post submitted for judging* Kerfluffle was just absolutely tickled pink! Well, not as pink as Pinkie Pie she was actually more of a sky blue sort of color... but that's beside the point! The real point was she was in Ponyville! She was in town to visit her newest group of friends and especially to see Rarity. She had plans to go over some of her new designs with the famed fashionista herself! Also, it just so happened that this was the time of the annual Iron Pony events! It had been super wonderful to have the Mane 6 in End of the Rainbow when the Rainbow Festival was in full swing and now her she was for one of the biggest and most fun events of the year in Ponyville! "Oh oh oh, this is jus' so excitin'!" She paced near the starting area of the Unnecessarily Extreme Rock Climbing wall. The ponies running this event eyed the pegasus skeptically. She sure didn't seem the type to do well in an event like this. It was unnecessarily extreme after all. Pretty much designed for ponies made of the sternest stuff... this particular pegasus seemed to be made out of clouds and marshmallows. Kerfuffle turned to glance at them and winked. "Now I know what yer all thinkin'. No need to hide what's plain on yer faces," She smiled disarmingly. "But as you'll soon see there's more to me than meets the eye!" The event ponies sighed with relief that they hadn't offended a contestant. That would be bad form! Fuffle made her way to the designated start area and took a quick trot in place to loosen herself up. She had recently worked on her prosthetic leg making sure it was in supple and oiled condition. She checked to make sure are her small of hoof chalk was secured properly to the belt around her middle. She was ready for action! FWEEEEEE! The start whistle sounded and she took hold of the wall! The first section she was presented with was cool, rough granite. Easy to grip and press off from. She kept her wings firmly on her side and started upwards. "Well now! This is pretty easy donch'a know!" She couldn't help but call out as a crowd gather behind her to watch the intrepid pony ascend to the heights! Kerfuffle got her hind hooves under her and pressed up, using the large muscles in her hindquarters to do the lifting work. Hold after hold was presented to her, for the time being all in easy hoof range. Up, up, up she went...well not really up per say as the wall was swallowed up behind her and more appeared not far ahead of her. The magic of the wall was not lost on the pegasus. She was quite fond of magic! Soon the holds started to range out a bit. This made the hoof holds harder to reach and she really had to stretch for a few. The mare began to use the hoof chalk that she kept in a little bag at her side. Sweaty hooves did not make gripping easy. She had to press off on tip hoof and let herself fall out to the side just a little to reach a particularly wide ranging hold. But she was able to grip it and on she went! It didn't take too long before her forelegs began to burn from the effort but she kept on climbing! Tweeeet twitter tweeet! The mare glanced up and saw a cloud of little birds circling above her. As she got closer to them they began to sing louder and swoop around her. They weren't attacking her, just trying to get her concentration to slip. Fuffle smiled at them. "Well you guys sure are cute aren't you!" A few birds flew about her head. "But I gotta keep on climbing so shoo please! Shoo shoo!" The birds stayed a bit longer, swooping near her when she tried for a couple difficult hoof holds. Fairly soon though they fell behind her and were swallowed up with the rest of the magical wall. Almost at the same time that the birds disappeared a warm wind began to pick up from her right side. The wind blew harder and harder and she could feel herself beginning to loose her grip! She re-chalked both her front hooves and grit her teeth with the effort of continuing to climb. It wasn't long before she realized the wall seemed to be trying more and more to make her fall! Not only was the wind super strong but now it was growing more and more slick and seemed to be moving faster too. She had less and less time to reach the next hold before she was deposited on the ground from the rate of the wall being swallowed up! She began to pant with exertion, knowing that her round was about to be over! "Holy moley! This wall's no joke!" Then she gasped as... ROAR!!! ...she looked up and stared wide eyed at a gigantic red horrible toothy quarry eel head! The animal was snaked partially out of a cave and the holds she was using were heading straight towards the beast! "Ummmm, yikes!" She shouted as the eel locked eyes on it's target! The monster lunged at her and in a boost of adrenaline she launched from the rock wall and landed right on the top of the eel's face. The impact snapped its jaws shut and she launched from there to a second quarry eel that had appeared right above the first! "EEEeeek!" She squeaked as the eel's jaws opened for her. It looked so real she thought for a moment she might really be in danger and then... ZAP! She was standing on firm ground, sweaty and puffing but with a triumphant gleam in her eyes. The ponies in the crowd stared at her dumbfounded for a moment. Had that little fluffy pony just managed to ascend all the way through that many obstacles? It was only a pair of quarry eels that had finally bested her! Really just one quarry eel as the other had gotten his face stomped! The crowds erupted in cheers and applause and Kefuffle couldn't help but giggle! She was beat and needed a stiff cider something fierce but she was unshaken! There was more to her than met the eye, that was for sure!
  38. 4 points
    Well, that was something to take note of. Evidently her name was something a sore spot for her. Yanhua nodded slowly at Tempest's outburst, "I see." She'd never seen so much anger on a pony's face before. This mare must have a story to tell, a very intense one: Though not here. Among a crowd of strangers wasn't the best place to lay one's past bare for all to see. That was something Yanhua had been avoiding doing for the past couple years for the sake of one special pony. Now that Longma was giving her an apologetic look before heading off. The chef's brow furrowed , but she nodded once and turned back to Nensho. With Feng out of earshot and tended to the emotionally wounded unicorn she spoke more openly with the disguised Okami, "Hm... Well I think you've better chances with your friend than I do with mine... I hope that the things you love about them aren't what keeps you away from them." She looked back to Feng as he tended to Tempest and heaved a conflicted sigh, "Is this special wo--pony what brought you all the way to Equestria, Nensho-san?"
  39. 4 points
    *This Post submitted for judging* Thunderhoof stood watching the ponies get covered in mud. He loved seeing them struggle against the rope. He'd thought about entering, but the idea of competing just didn't seem as fun when he couldn't just think about Stage joining in. That poor stallion had heard mud was involved and ran for the hills. He must still be traumatized from the last competition he entered. He'd taken so many baths, Hoof thought he'd wash his coat right off his body. He laughed silently to himself at the thought. In any case, Thunderhoof just liked watching, more than anything. He was content just seeing the others have fun. "Hoof! There you are!" a familiar voice called "We brought snacks!" Flaire was approaching, accompanied by Lilly Quille, the Itailian artist of their group. The beautiful unicorn was carrying a bunch of candy apples in her magic. and Flaire was coming up empty hooved. Hoof laughed soundlessly. she always has been better at those ring toss games. "I may have gone a little overboard playing the Apple Ring Toss game." she blushed slightly "I gotta admit, it kinda hurt my ego a little to loose so many times then see her win so easily." Flaire said "But she agreed to share, so.... all's well that ends well, eh?" Hoof drew in the ground with his hoof a little, using his only means of communication. "Well of course you get some, silly." Just then, another pony face planted in the mud. "That looks like fun. Hoof, why don't you give it a go. See how long the three will last before you pull them into the mud." Both Flaire and Lilly laughed, while hoof smiled. Flaire was only half kidding. He honestly felt Hoof was strong enough to yank them off their hooves, but he'd be too nice to do that. He'd probably just stand there holding the rope until they gave up. Thunderhoof drew on the ground again giving an evil smirk. Then pointed at Flaire. Lilly laughed out loud "This, I gotta see!" she said. "Do it, Flaire!" Hoof stomped in agreement. "Alright, alright!" Flaire gave in "Fine, I'll do it. But only if I get to do it my way." Hoof drew in the ground again "He's right, Flaire. You can't change colors. I'm sure they'll count that as magic." "But it doesn't give me an edge. It's just a bit of fun." he sighed dejectedly "Oh, you're probably right. Fine. No Colorshifting." he pouted Hoof slapped his back in a "you've got this!" gesture, which kinda hurt with his big hoof. "You'll do fine. Besides, it's just for fun, anyway, right?" "Yeah, yeah. You know, you guys are gonna have to make this up to me. I expect to have my spa day paid for, tonight." Hoof waved, dismissingly Once the next pony had finished his go, which seemed to take an impressively long time, Flaire made his way up to challenge the three others. He smiled weakly at them and waved. "Could you, maybe, go easy on me? I'm not vey strong." Flaire begged The one in front answered "Sorry, sir. For it to be fair, we have to give you the same challenge we give Everypony else." He and the others picked up the rope "Just pick up the rope whenever you're ready" He offered Flaire hesitated for a minute, thinking about backing out. But he decided why not, and picked up the rope in his teeth. The announcer's voice echoed as he called out "Alright! Let's get ready to start in three, two one, tug!" Flaire strained against the rope as the stallions pulled, giving him a challenge while not outright pulling him in immediately. It was then he realised what the challenge actually was. This wasn't about strength. It was about endurance. He didn't have to out pull three stallions, he just had to hold on as long as he could. He almost dropped the rope with his palpable sigh of relief. He stumbled a little, but regained his balance and pulled again, pulling with force as well as he could maintain. He knew the key to endurance was steadiness, so he tried to keep his pulling as steady as he could, trying not to jerk at all.As he pulled, he thought about changing colors to startle the others and get a good laugh. He'd probably be disqualified, but he didn't really expect to win, anyway. No, he thought, that would be bad sportsponyship. I'll just have to tough it out. He could feel his grip weakening, and snapped himself back to the task at hoof, yanking ever so slightly on the rope. Which gave him an idea. He started to relax his grip little by little letting them think they were besting him. They continued pulling the same, and he started slipping, but this was part of his plan. He got real close to the edge, and just before falling in, he pulled together all the strength he could muster and yanked on the rope like his life depended on it, trying to catch the others off guard. Unfortunately for Flaire, they were a little more practiced at this than he. They easily compensated for the sudden change and yanked back, sending Flaire sprawling into the mud. SPLASH! He quickly stood back up and began laughing his head off. "Well, that backfired, didn't it?" He laughed "You guys are pretty good at that." He gave them his signature genuine friendly smile "Thank you for the challenge, sirs." He bowed to them, and made his way back to his friends.
  40. 4 points
    Submitted for Judging Front and center among the prospective contestants was the winged visitor from the east, Fēng Yīnhǎitāo. He'd taken a quick break to rest and work off the after-effects of competing in the cupcake-eating contest, though the short break wasn't quite enough to undo the full effects of 17 rich baked treats. But, who's to say? Perhaps the extra weight would come in handy! The lithe longma was certainly going to need every ounce of inertia that he could muster for this event! "I'm up after you!" He called out to the pegasus who just came out from the pit, as he trotted up to where he was to take up the rope. He tuned out the announcement of his name, not caring whether or not the pronunciation was butchered. After all, the one event so far he'd placed first in was the one where the announcer had been the most wrong, and that patina of superstition that all sports everywhere accrued was having its effect upon him. Feng wasn't a pony to rely on luck, but neither was he one to ignore it. He'd seen from his life, and from the lives of others, how it could raise up or throw down a pony's fortunes... But now was not the time for pontification. Now was the time for taking the hemp between one's teeth and firmly grasping it! The three ponies on the other side of the pit, a couple of strapping stallions joined by a well-muscled mare, were already in place, drawing the rope tight. With that, the announcer's voice rang out: "Starting the war in three! Two! One! Tug away!" Almost immediately Feng had to brace his legs against the ground to avoid being pulled off his hooves entirely! The Watcher had honed his body to the peak of its strength, but there wasn't a whole heck of a lot of weight that he could throw around, and the cupcakes didn't seem to be making much difference. This wasn't even necessarily an event where agility could make up for a lack of pulling power... but maybe cleverness could. There was a bit of a stereotype about how long sun and ponies from the eastern continents fought, utilizing not sudden pulls, but sudden surrenders. Not an unjustified one, as Feng's martial arts training had included this technique among its arsenal. And it was one that he suspected the trio on the other side would not expect. Using one precious foot of ground, he kept a steady pull on his end has he was dragged towards the pit, using the time to read the pattern of their tugs. Once he felt he had the rhythm down, he leaned into one of their sharp tugs; the unexpected move cost him another foot of ground, but it also caused the lead stallion to fall over into the mare behind him, leaving them all in a pile. That gave Feng all the time he needed, scrambling backwards while their grip on the rope was loose, recovering ground and extending his time. But the trio rallied, regaining their grip and tugging again. This time, Feng tried the same feint, being dragged all the way to the edge before slipping back as an unexpected tumble caused the rope to slip again, letting the longma scramble back once again. Now, however, there was a look in the lead stallion's eye that told him the trick would not work a third time. Instead of gripping it in his mouth, the earth pony was up on his hind hooves, gripping it in his forelegs. Once the rope was taught again, he called back to his compatriots. "This time, steady pulls, on my count! One!" Heave. "Two!" Heave. "One!" Heave. "Two!" Heave. The predictability of their pulls was no longer something Feng could exploit; whether he held firm, or gave way, each pull was done by ponies who were prepared, and determined not to be unhooved by clever tricks. The more philosophical side of the Watcher felt this was an illustration of some ancient parable he'd read, once, about the futility of pitching intelligence against fate, how all one's clever schemes could not thwart the will of the heavens. Perhaps luck was merely one component of that, he thought, shortly before being pitched into the mud. At least his brain had thoughts to chew on while he cleaned off this time... "And that's game! Next?"
  41. 4 points
    “Wagh!”, the orange scaled dragon thought she blended so well into the background. But nope! Her blending abilities were no match for this Daring Do enthusiast! She asked if the young dragon had seen a ruin lately...”Well...Sort of..”, she glanced over at the angry armored mare. That was one ruined pony. Broken horn. And probably a broken heart to go with that horn. “Somebody needs to help that gal...Get her out of her armor...Take her out dancing..”, she whispered before clearing her throat and shifting topics, “That Spike....For such a little fella, he’s as brave as a dragon ten times his size.”, she didn’t want to brag, but the Headmare was more than happy to let the dragon borrow both Spike and Miss Fluttershy. “I’m always up for adventure...But erm...”, she glanced at the odd mare, “Who are you, and why are you dressed like Daring Do?" This was something she probably needed to know, " Also, I’m almost done..”, she pulled out a small calendar, “Making up for a week I missed in school...Erm.....Can’t do it then...Group assignment....”, she was assigned with a certain blue griffon on that one. Ho-Boy.....”Having te.....er..meeting with Fluttershy....”, she ran through a few more days....”You’ll just need to find a non-school day you can borrow me..” Oddly enough, one of her assignments was to hang around with an ‘unique’ new friend while doing something new. That surely fit the bill! Smolder smiled and waved at the odd Pinkie/Thorax team-up...."Not so well..", she whispered back to the king's question about her IRON PONY accomplishments, "But the games so far have been entertaining at least....Just need more lava-surfing and arm wrestling.', she added with a grin. "Then I'll be on the top of the board..." "Huh.", she noticed an rather silly stallion stroll into view. "Didn't know Miss Pie had a brother.", she nodded at the poofy mane-wearing stallion....What a weird day this has been so far...
  42. 4 points
    "Looks like we were right, Boneless Two. As usual." A tall, poncho-sporting stallion seemed to have popped up out of nowhere, standing at the very edge of the large tent, watching the others currently lounging underneath, who were staying cool, resting up, or chatting. Cheese Sandwich had gotten a feeling that something good was going on in this part of Equestria, and he was right. Bleachers, a big tent, and more than a few known faces? Some big event was going down here. By the looks of it, one phase was already complete. "I think we were a little late, though. We're getting rusty, I think." By the looks of it, Cheese had missed some sort of eating competition. Here and there, a few folks seemed to be struggling to hold their cookies - or whatever they'd been eating. Probably some sort of baked dessert, based off of the smell Cheese had caught on his way here. Poor fellas. The buzz of the contest was usually all that kept them from losing their lunch. Once it was over, all that remained was sheer willpower - In Cheese's opinion, it took lots of guts to take part in an eating contest. Sure, eating a lot was something he'd had more than a few experiences with, as a party planner, but this kind of eating made the pony a bit uncomfortable at times. Oh well - It wasn't like anyone was making him do it. Anywho - Big event! Cheese Sandwich had come all the way up from Las Pegasus, where he'd had the most difficult time trying to get a large group of tourists together into one big partying-machine. It wasn't that they didn't like partying - It was just insanely difficult keeping them together long enough to enjoy any festivities! To be fair, Las Pegasus was pretty flashy and distracting for newcomers. Even Cheese himself had been lost for a little while, trying to make sense of all the attractions and sights. Still, as usual, the party pony had gotten the job done. It had been costly in time, though - Cheese had only sensed the sporting event going down once he'd left the city. So maybe Cheese was a day or two late here. He was here, though! Sure, watching the events would be exciting and all, but he was really here for when everything ended, so that he could set up one giant, crazy celebration after all the awards had been given out. If one had already been planned, then he could make sure that it was as big, loud, and crazy as possible. Oh no, no pony here would be forgetting this event for a long time. Of course, there was a bit of time before everything ended. Cheese could afford to enjoy himself and watch Iron Pony activities from the sidelines while he waited. As previously mentioned, though, it seemed like this particular event was over. That stank. Worse than old cheese, sour milk, or your grandma's musty basement. Cheese Sandwich didn't let it get him down too much. He could spring back from virtually anything, and this was no different. Instead, the pony decided upon checking out the competitors and other spectators. Maybe he could get a few words from them, just to get an idea of how things were going currently. Cheese lowered his cowboy hat some, so that the brim shaded his face a little more, taking careful steps through the mishmash of bodies. There were a few faces he recognized. The young dragon Smolder was pretty hard to mistake for anyone else around these parts. Cheese wasn't too surprised that she'd show up for an event like this. There was another pony that seemed to have the attention of many under the tent, a tall, dark mare that Cheese vaguely recognized. He couldn't quite remember the name, though, or who they were, exactly. Only that he'd seen the face before. She looked rather grumpy. . . Nothing a good joke (or prank) couldn't fix, of course! in fact, he was just about to go do just that - - A flash of pink caught Cheese's eye. The stallion blinked, tracking it. No mistake about it, Pinkie Pie was here too. Cheese smiled, pulling off his hat and letting his brown curly hair pop out. He couldn't keep his act up when another party pony was around. She seemed like she was talking to someone, though - And who was that with her? A green fellow that Cheese had never seen before. No matter - He could just go up and ask, hopefully! Not now, though. It seemed a bit rude to just barge in like that right then, though Cheese was known for his spontaneity. Instead, why not pay that grumpy mare a visit, if only to make them smile? Cheese made a beeline towards the mare, stopping right beside them and giving a cheery wave, grinning like a fool. "Heya there! Pardon my asking, but why so down? This is supposed to be a fun competition, right? I think so. Do you think so, Boneless Two?" Cheese took the rubber chicken off his back, waiting for it to reply. It was a rubber chicken. Those do not reply. Still, Cheese acted as if everything was all fine and dandy. "Of course it is! Besides that, folks get to eat all the pastries they want over here. I just gotta find 'em. . ." Cheese glanced about for a moment. "Anywho, the name's Cheese Sandwich, miss. Who might you be? I coulda sworn I'd seen your face from somewhere. . . Have we partied together before?"
  43. 4 points
    Finnie spots a pink pony bouncing towards her, which lifted her spirits up more than she thought possible. The mare was bouncy and happy, and she seemed very fun to be around. Kind of like her own sister. The sudden thought of the similarities made her smile, as the pink pony inched more towards her and the other group of ponies. Pinkie seemed to know literally every pony, and that seemed really cool to the blue Pegasus. Was she supposed to know her too? Ali noticed the optimistic pony come closer, and her grouchy face became, well, more grouchy. "If that pony comes any more near me, I'm gonna flip mah horseshoe." Soon the pink earth pony was next to Finnie, and she felt an automatic sense of happiness. "I own quite a few fish, mate." The blue Pegasus smiled warmly, feeling a very calm sensation come over her. Soon, an alligator was presented in front of her, making her eyes grow big with excitement. "Woah! I've never seen one of this buggers up close before." She then approached Gummy slowly, completely fascinated by the green creature. As she was staring at him, the fluffy mare continued to talk. After gawking over the alligator, she opened her mouth to speak. "I competed over at the cloud dive." Finnie felt relaxed at this moment, her eyes fluttering calmly. Ali was sitting behind her, being a grumpy little pony as she normally was. "Nice to meet you, Pinkie Pie. I'm Sea Salt. Most call me Finnie." The quiet mare smiled again, enjoying the other pony's company.
  44. 4 points
    Slowly, Feng was starting to get a higher resolution picture of the mohawked mare's character; it wasn't all that dissimilar to the half-affected pessimism he often encountered from his fellow watchers. He probably encountered it more than most through efforts from his colleagues to balance him out, which he felt was fair enough. This sense of familiarity caused him to ease up further, finally beginning to slide himself off the chair. "My name is Fēng Yīnhǎitāo. I'm told in your language it means something like Maple Mountain, but that's not quite right; that would be Fēng shān." He shrugged, turning around to face Tempest eye-to-eye. That would incidentally give her a glimpse of his cutie mark, a maple leaf atop an upside-down mountain. "And you're right about the wings." He agreed with a grin. "I wouldn't trade mine for y- er, anything." He just barely cut himself off in time from saying 'your horn', upon seeing how it was broken. Seeking desperately to change the subject, his rapidly oscillating mind hit upon his semi-constant obsession. "Well, save perhaps for the affections of Empress Yu Yue. I'd ground myself for that." Perhaps not the most politic thing for Feng to say in the presence of Yanhua, but that's what she got for fixing on someone so oblivious at times. Speaking of, both she and a new mare were approaching the pair, the other a pegasus who struck him as the sort he was occasionally called to remove from the presence of his Empress. He also couldn't help but reflect that he'd have probably wound up like Pathfinder had his Imperial Watch training not straightened him out. Well, kept him from folding entirely, at least. "Ha, right. When monsters show up, I'm the guy who keeps them busy so everylong else can run away." He flashed his old friend a grin as he echoed. "Ah, yes. A reputation backed by appearance is often enough... but I don't think worms have eyes. Maybe they do and we can't see them? I'll have to ask the royal herbalist when we get home." He took a quick glance around towards the others, but as they didn't seem interested in the conversation, he wasn't sure what to say to them.
  45. 4 points
    "Ugh." After spending a moment to try to fly off all the extra calories she gained during the cupcake contest, Smolder found a nice and comfortable spot to sit. What was with those little cakes? She was a dragon! She could punch rocks into dust and eat gems! Gems! Those were thick and rocky! Cupcakes were soft and fluffy like an newborn kitten or a cloud. After a moment of pondered she was pretty sure it had to do with the milk. She wasn't a mammal and therefore her stomach was not used to milk. Good. But as she turned her attention to the small gathering of spectators and games attendees, a pony caught her eye. An armored mare, which was odd seeing, considering this was an fun little Ponyville event..And she was not wearing that 'Twilight Guard' armor she had seen a few stout ponies had worn before. Also, her horn was busted. Ouch. She appeared to be picking on that strange pony-dragon person.....They were both at the obstacle course! That's where she had seen then before. It wasn't her business to reply, but she was feeling rather salty after her poor performances at the games so far. Still, she would keep quiet for the moment and just relax. Then a strange mare dressed as Daring Doo appeared....Was she there to pose for pictures? For now, Smolder would just rest and do a little pony-watching..
  46. 4 points
    Roleplay Type: WoEName: AmbrosiaSex: FemaleAge: AdultSpecies: ChangelingEye colour: BlueCoat: Like her Changeling brothers and sisters, she has no fur - she instead has a pink and blue exoskeletonMane/Tail: Ambrosia has a 'mane' and tail of translucent spring green membranous chitin. Her wings are the same color.Physique: Ambrosia's physique is the same as other Changelings, barring her legs being slightly longer by a few inches or so. She shares traits with the more 'ladybird' like Changelings in the terms of her beetle like wing covering carapaces.Residence: The Changeling Hive.Occupation: Food Tender/Gatherer (Previously Love Harvester)Cutie Mark: N/AUnique Traits: Ambrosia's unique traits come in the form of an elongated neck and cranial chitin membrane and slightly more extravagant wings, she has a usual forewing and a teardrop shaped hindwing making it almost oddly butterfly shaped - maybe as a hint to her prowess with transformation. She also has a teardrop shaped gem in her chest like some of the Changelings of the hive. History: Ambrosia was hatched from the Nursery Hive around the same time as the brood that assaulted Canterlot during the Royal Wedding of Princess Cadence and Shining Armor, making her a relatively young adult by the time that happened - but before that, she was a run of the mill drone like the rest of her ilk. Some made to protect the hive, others made to capture those that trespassed, like the majority however she was made to 'gather food' for the Hive. And she did so unquestioningly, like the rest of the hive. She had a good niche for feeding off the love of others, be it the rogue wildlife, boastful griffons or the easiest of prey; Ponies. Ponies were so willing to give love and yet seemed always hungry to be reciprocated for it in turn, it was practically a banquet to stroll into a little farming village, find some lonely sap and let them whisper sweet nothings for hours and hours, lavishing their love upon her until she'd be so metaphorically fat with love she'd drag herself back to the Hive and her Queen with her spoils of the romantic battlefield. And that's the way it was, day in, day out, over and over feeding the Queen who fed it to the Hive...although not as much as the Queen fed, but she was the Queen! And she knew what was best. Right? Like the majority of the great swarm of her chitinous kin, she was right there in the thick of it when it came to the assault upon Canterlot, aiding in capturing and cocooning citizens that would eventually become delicious vats of love for the Hive to feed off of later, or whatever the Queen had planned for them all. What she didn't see coming was the failure or being launched back out into the wastelands with the rest of the swarm, all sent back to their Hive so they could lick their wounds. With what little time they had anyway. It seemed soon after that she and the rest of the Changelings were worked harder, gathering love, gathering information on 'important targets' to transform. Tempers flared but they kept working under the will of their Queen. Ambrosia included. It didn't matter if she grew tired, or her exoskeleton ached, or her wings felt dry and flakey from a particularly rough draining from her Majesty. The welfare of the Hive came first and the Queen always knew what was best. ...Right...? With the Queen more focused on this 'big goal' of total domination of Equestria, everything had to be prepared, finally Ambrosia and the rest of her kin were fed adequate enough love to be strong enough for a final plan that was set in motion so fast that hardly anyone had seen in coming. Notable figures were replaced, cocooned and brought back to the hive, the love they would get from feeding off of them would be immense. But something changed that Ambrosia and the rest of the drones hadn't seen coming. A different way. When Thorax returned with a rescue band - a rather pitiful one at that - it was easily quelled, till the apparent 'leader' spoke of how the traitorous Changeling had been surviving. Sharing love? Reciprocating instead of having it forced from you? Preposterous...but it made sense, no Changeling survived without feeding off of some kind of love and Thorax hadn't only survived, he thrived. It seemed almost too good to be true...but their Queen would have none of it and wished to only make the erstwhile Hive member an example to any who would consider such a treasonous act. But still...it perplexed Ambrosia, could it have been so simple? And had their own Queen known of this and not told them? Had they been forced into a life of near starvation for their Queen's sake when there had been another way all this time? Nobody had any time to discuss or think when the Queen's attempt to drain Thorax literally blew up in her face with the first transformation into their new selves. Followed by another and another and another till the majority of the Hive had turned into the much healthier and self sufficient new selves. After their Queen fled with the semi-destruction of the Hive and the captured ponies being freed, some Changelings took longer to open up to the idea of Thorax and their new way of life - some saw it as a weak and vulnerable lifestyle, where some like Ambrosia were just shaken by the fact that they had been worked to their non-existent bones when there'd been an easier way this whole time. However on one faithful day, she eventually turned around. Without needing to feed on love, food became something of a necessity - their bodies had changed and so had their needs, eventually the Changeling found herself looking for different things for her kin to eat. Mushrooms, flowers, nectar, worms and beetle larvae and even found a place in the new Hive to grow a fungus in the darker and damper places. She was no longer rushed, no longer forced, she could help at her own pace and feel pride in seeing her kin fed and happy and soon she felt comfortable enough to accept love and share it in return, opening the door to her transformation. Nowadays she does as all Changelings do nowadays, enjoy their day to day life, work on bettering the Hive and finding what makes them unique and special now that they've been given the opportunity to be so with this new path of life. Character Personality: Ambrosia used to be like every other Drone, hostile, temperamental and duplicitous - with other species (when she wasn't trying to harvest love) and with her own kind, when she and her ilk were given the chance to be something other than mindless irritable Drones, she was left in a bit of a slump at what to do or make of herself till she found her feet as a gatherer and food minder. Eventually she opened herself up and became a kinder and almost motherly creature to some of the hatchlings and younger Changelings in the Hive, showing them the best mushrooms to eat, the best way to sip nectar from flowers, etc. At times because of her motherly nature, she tends to get a bit protective of her Hive family, the slightest ailment making her pull out the honey remedies, the slightest scared hatchling causing a very irritable pink bear to form out of nowhere - it all comes from a good place, even if she doesn't know how to process these new feelings exactly. In the end she always eventually soothes herself when she realizes it was just a minor incident. Character Summary: Ambrosia is a gentle curious creature one moment and a stern protective mother figure the next, the epitome of the 'mom friend' vibe that some creatures and ponies give off. But in the end she is happy and content in the new life offered to her. Just don't look hungry around her or you might get a bowl of honey fried marsh worms pushed your way with great insistence.
  47. 4 points
    “And that is why I don’t eat junk.” Without making a sound a mare was standing in front of Feng, leaning down to be eye level with the lazy male he was greeted with a pair of blueish green eyes that had nothing nice or warm about them. Her gaze hit as hard as a spear to the chest as he felt her judgement. The armored pulled her eyes away, standing tall with a shake of her head she took a few steps away. “I must say, I was impressed by you. Somewhat. I saw a shred of real talent. So i’m despanted to see you laying about full of junk and sweets. Helpless. I’d never let myself be like that.” She snorted well looking at the others milling about. “But than few here care about such things… fun and games or something.” Her tone was just as heartless as her glaring eyes.
  48. 4 points
    *Submitted for Judging* Golden Daze had to try out this contest. She just had to. Her curiosity got the best of her, again, for the millionth time. Well, maybe it wasn't much of her curiosity, but the sweet smell of the delicious cakes that practically dragged her tall body over here. She couldn't just stray away from free cupcakes. That would be like walking away from a cute puppy that was begging to be pet. And that would be a crime. So, the dorky Pegasus pranced on over to the booth, signing her name down and smirking at the three ponies in front of her. Her golden eyes stared down at the rules, rolling her eyes at the easy text. "Ha- this will be a piece of cake," the mare said aloud, obviously intending the easy pun just for laughs. Or just to laugh herself. She always knew it was fun to entertain herself. As such, speaking of entertainment, she watched as two dragons and two ponies she's never seen in her life go out there and eat a ton of frosted covered mini cakes. The silly mare was actually blown away from how good they were at smothering down those sugary treats. Daze knew she was going to have some really tough competition, but who didn't like a fun go round of eating the most cupcakes in 30 minutes? The Pegasus sure did. Though, she didn't even think of what the gut wrenching aftermath could be... Especially with a sensitive stomach. Suddenly the loud speaker turned on, making Daze look up at it. "Next up, from the incredible Cloudsdale, Golden Daze!" The mare smiled at her name, of course feeling the same sensation of when she's about to fly for a race. The mare loved the eruption of fans all across the stands, the anticipation of competing, it was so accelerating to her. So, as her heart raced, she flew up to the cupcake table and looking at the mountain of cakes. The first thing she thought was, 'This is going to be so awesome,' but when she really thought about it, what escaped her lips left a bad taste in her mouth. "I'm going to have the fattest sugar crash of my life." The word 'go!' echoed off the sky as she dove right into some easy flavored ones. Chocolate and vanilla. She hoped she could mouth down those quicker than the rest. Though there wasn't much of them, she still ate them as fast as possible. She really wished she had some water, though, as the cake was getting stuck in between her gums and teeth. That wasn't a very nice feeling. It was like chewing on from really old gum that was starting to disintegrate. It was that gross. Daze was becoming slower and slower, as the flavored cakes crashed in her face one by one, causing her stomach to grumble in annoyance. This was a competition though, and the stubborn mare was a competitor. Winners don't lose, and going by that moto, she garbled down a couple more cupcakes, tasting more diverse flavors. Strawberry, apricot, even watermelon. Who makes watermelon flavored cupcakes? It was jelly filled. That was a huge plus. The jelly actually got some of the old cake out of her gums. But soon enough, by Daze's luck, the timer went off and she slumped over, her tummy big and round from the cakes she ate. Her tummy growled again at her, and she looked at no pony in particular, "I think I know why they call it an Iron Pony contest," she mumbled, standing up slowly, "You really need an iron stomach for this stuff." Excusing her joke, she sluggishly walked away from the table, trying not to lose anything she just consumed. "Note to self, never do that again"
  49. 4 points
    "Cupcake eating contest?!" The dragon exclaimed when he looked over the list of contests being offered in the Iron Pony competition. "I didn't know there was a cupcake eating contest!" He flexed her arm muscles and grinned. "I've been training all year for that event!" He glanced around, noticing various ponies hide smiles behind hooves. "Ok maybe it's not real training... buuuut not just any dragon can down an extra large sapphire surprise cupcake from Sugar Cube Corner in one bite!" Spike giggled to himself as he trotted towards the area the event was to be held in. When he arrived the dragon bolted up to the ponies running the contest. He glanced over the rules. "30 minutes complete the round. Got it! Don't make a mess. Understandable. Have fun!! I'm the king of fun!" He shouted with excitement. "Uhh," He waited for one of the ponies taking down names to pay him attention. "It's Spike the dragon." The pony eyed him and then wrote down his name. "You've read the rules, please take a seat! Good luck!" The pony gestured to the long wooden table that was laden with sweet treats! "This is amazing!" Spike took a seat right in front of a giant heap of cupcake. It was so humongous he couldn't see over the top! "Get ready to see Spike the Great and Glorious in action!" One of the ponies at the entry table nodded to him. "30 minutes! Ready go!" Spike set to with a will! One, two, three cupcakes were tossed up! One, two, three, cupcakes were snapped into his mouth by a lashing forked tongue. The dragon chewed, enjoying the flavor. "Yummm! Triple coconut chocolate crunch!" He licked his lips and gazed bout for a second helping. "I wonder if they made any cupcakes with dragons in mi-" His words were cut off as a rather sparkly pile of treats caught his gaze. "They did!" He launched himself towards the gemstone studded cupcakes. Four and five down the hatch they went. "Spared no expense! Ruby dust and garnet frosting!" Spike took a breath. "Whew! Is it hot out here?" He was starting to sweat just a little. Could it be the cupcakes were already going to get the best of him? Nope, Spike roused himself to the challenge! He would not be defeated this quickly! "Emerald and mint!" The sixth cupcake was slurped into his mouth. He chewed and swallowed, looking around for what might be next! When he reached his twelfth cake he sat back and patted his stomach. It was certainly looking rounded out! Suddenly a huge green fire burped escaped him! BUUUUUURP! The dragon covered his mouth. "Oh my gosh, so sorry about that!" His cheeks blushed in embarrassment. What would Twilight say about her number one assistant acting in such a rude way? Then he shrugged. It was a cupcake eating contest after all... not an etiquette contest! The burp had freed up valuable cupcake room! Thirteen and fourteen, down they went! He lifted the fifteenth one, a slightly green look coming over his already green complexion. "Wow, these are soooo good and I'm soooo full! I gotta try you though." He marveled at the cake in his claw. Rainbow colored with a variety of sparkling sprinkles and gems. "So delicious..." The clock was winding down... ten seconds, nine, eight, seven... "Gotta eat yah rainbow cake!" Six, five, four... In went the rainbow treat. It was so good but the little dragon was super full. He swallowed it down just as the clock went to zero. "Yum," Spike breathed the word and sat back, ready to fall right out of his chair!
  50. 4 points
    The cheering crowd rang in Scootaloo's ears as she trotted towards the base of the rainbow ladder. The filly's eyes narrowed as she focused in on her target. She was all game face today! "Alright Scootaloo!" The Cutie Mark Crusader pumped herself up. "Remember, stay focused! You've got your plan and you're sticking to it!" She couldn't help but smile as she heard what she thought was Applebloom and Sweetie Belle cheering for her up in the stands. "Don't forget your training, and most importantly..." She stopped for a quick stretch of her hind legs. "Stay flexible!" "Ladies and gentlecolts! We've got quite the line up for you today at the Iron Pony Cloud Diving Event!" An announcer called out over the crowd, bringing even more cheers! "First up to the ladder is none other than Ponyville's very own Cutie Mark Crusader Scootaloo!" There were a few gasps here and there from the crowd. She wasn't even a fully grown mare yet! Were the judges sure the event was safe enough? Statements of concern floated here and there. The young pegasus tried her best to block the comments out. She was old enough and could certainly handle herself! She'd trained long and hard on her scooter and at various diving boards for this event. She'd learned she could practice lots of aerodynamic maneuvers from the heights she could reach on her scooter. Today was another day of proving herself and Scootaloo was totally up for the task! That plus she knew Rainbow Dash was out there somewhere and she was sure her favorite and only big sister would be watching her dive! Scoots' front hooves grasped the rainbow railings on the side of the tower and began to climb! The first little while was no big deal. One hoof over the other, higher and higher she went. Soon the crowd was a faint sound in the distance, and then the cheers were out of range completely. A blue bird flew by, it's lilting song and the wind the only sounds in the filly's ears. "Keep climbing...keep climbing..." Scootaloo repeated. She was really far up now! A breeze blew by and the filly felt the tower sway lightly side to side. She gulped and then steeled herself. "Think of Rainbow Dash. She wouldn't be scared!" Thoughts of her hero pressed her onward and upward until when she glanced up she could see the end of the ladder rungs! "Almost there..." Hoof over hoof she went until at last the platform was within reach. The filly hoisted herself up and lay down on her precarious perch. "Ok Scootaloo, keep it together. Focus on the dive!" She got slowly to her hooves and kept her eyes focused on platform right in front of her. Slowly she raised her eyes until she was tentatively glancing at the wondrous view all around her. "Wooooow!" She breathed in the chilly air. "This is what it must be like," She glanced back at her tiny wings. "to fly." She shook her head and took a couple steps forward. She would be flying today, down towards the water far far below! "Three, two, one!" She launched herself off the edge of the platform and plunged downwards hind feet first! Faster and faster she dropped, gaining terminal velocity within a few seconds. From this speed she set about her first move the Head Over Heels Tailslide Corkscrew! She brought her front hooves out to ninety degrees, slowing herself just enough to begin to turn her body, head towards where her hind hooves had been. It was a graceful move and finished with the filly descending headfirst and quickly spinning into a looping corkscrew! Next up, slow her descent with her wings! She may not have been able to fly but she could use her wings in other ways! She angled her wings to bring her head up a little, turning her fall horizontal. Now for the Cobra's Figure Eight Weave! She used her wings in alternate angles to swoop through the air in an almost lazy figure eight pattern. Once, twice, thrice! She pulled out of the move with her head pointed down. Now it was time for the final maneuver! The wind whistled around her as the water below came closer and closer. The filly drove her body forward, reaching terminal velocity for the final time. She began a tight spin, so tight that she became a blur of orange and magenta! With a final effort she streaked towards the water, so quick that a little crackle of lightening glanced off her twisting hind hooves! The Lightening Bell Twister! A small splash saw her submerged below the water and the dive concluded! Scootaloo swam to the surface to the wild cheering of the crowd, a confident smile on her muzzle!
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