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Showing content with the highest reputation since 05/31/2019 in Posts

  1. 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!
  2. 9 points
    The rooster crows at the first light. As the sun peeks over the horizon, settled fog is exposed in the valleys of the apple orchard giving it the nonverbal command to quickly disperse. Conditions were perfect. It was a relatively beautiful day with a chilly breeze to remind all living creatures of the coming holiday seasons, the first of which was to be a Ponyville tradition known by ponies far and wide. It was cider season at Sweet Apple Acres! Along the road back to Ponyville from the farm were rows and rows of tents where ponies camped last night in an attempt to try and beat the crowds. The famous cider had created an insane demand for its taste, but the Apple family way of doing things would only yield so much cider for so many ponies to drink. Applejack would always assure everypony that there would be enough cider for all as long as ponies were willing to not take shortcuts and wait for the process of making the best cider in Equestria. And even though she would always be faced with criticism of short supply, she would be right all along and in time everyone would eventually go home happy and Applejack would be able to take a few barrels of cider for her family and herself for the next few weeks. The season wouldn't officially start for another hour or so, but even so several ponies were getting restless in their cooperative lines waiting behind the great cider counter set up at where the farm paths meet the road. The counter was adorned with all the spigots and tools needed to uncork new barrels and squeeze the apple nectar into wooden tankards, which were clean ready for their first pour. Applejack allowed ponies to bring their own vessels for the cider, but if not, she had a rotation of clean mugs ready for every customer that needed them. The sign above told everything everycreature probably already knew. 'Two bits for a cup, limit one per pony per day.' "Apple Bloom, could you bring over that spare pump, I think this one might quit on us at some point." Applejack yelled lovingly to her little sister as the orange mare looked over her counter for problems to minimize. To Applejack this was like any other day, it just had the higher volume of customers and slightly more tourism. Ever since the debacle from Flim and Flam trying to put the farm out of business, a healthy coating of sympathy and appreciation covered the cider season operation, with some ponies offering their help on the back end to make more cider and clean equipment involved in the process. Of course, Applejack was more than willing to pay a fair wage to the ones who earned it. She stepped out onto the road and looked down it, seeing the long line of ponies getting excited for their cider breakfast. The low sun reflected off the luster of the Ponyville road. "Howdy! How ya'll doing this morning? You guys ready for cider season to start?" Cider season wouldn't start for several minutes, but it was still nice to have a little moment to make small talk with the colorful ponies of Ponyville to help them manage their expectations and to gauge how impatient the crowd might become this year.
  3. 9 points
    A black griffon poked her head out from her tent, only to be driven back in due to the sun's happy rays that met her eyes straight on. "Hok a chanik...", she grumbled to herself. Her silly Ponyville friends managed to convince her that the Apple family made the best cider of all time. Everything else was utter schlock when compared to this famous, fabled beverage. The griffon had her doubts, and she had some of the best Rockwington Dry Ciders one could try....Canterlot Estate No. 139 Dry Rosé Cider.....Froggy Bottom Hoofmade Cider. And even Angry Appleloosa Old Timey Western Cider. This was all crap when compared to the Apple's, they said. And you couldn't just shlep on down to the nearest Cantermart and snatch a six pack from their coolers. Nope! You had to visit Sweet Apple Acres on a certain date and be ready to wait. For a long time. Maybe event rent. a pup tent. Do it, or you'll regret it. There were plenty of things she regretted in her life. One was a permanent marking on her right claw. Pretty blue markings. Done by an artist who dumped her during what was to be a very happy day for her. And now she was in an tent. Waiting for a mug of cider. After letting out a sigh, she pushed her tent flap open again. Thankfully she was ready for the light this time. One of the famers, a pony she knew as Applejack had greeted the little tent city. The line had gotten a good deal longer since the night. Wow. She took a good look at the nearly endless row of tents behind her. Ahead of her was a cute griffon....Oh. He was a little on the young side. A boychik. One with a rather unique bright blue coat. Was he there when she set up her tent? Did he cut in line? He called the farmer an 'Professor'. Heh. Typical griffon snark. Hearing the name, 'Griffonstone' did sorrow her mood just a little. Did the kid come from that dump? She had heard they were -trying- to fix up those ancient pile of ruins, but it wasn't worth it. And the cider BETTER not be decent. Or even just good. She heard 'Big Mac's name called. The last time she ran into that big stallion, they were fleeing from an horde of angry and probably mutated termites. Hopefully they took care of that mess before they started on the cider. Even the best drink would go in the bin the second she saw an nasty little bug floating around in it. Since she still had time before the line started to move, the griffon started to roll up her tent. Hopefully they would be able to finish this quickly, so she could get her deposit on the tent back. She gave he young griffon an 'Morning' before she turned and nodded politely at the unicorn as she continued to work on her tent.
  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
    Completed the final of three arts of these two! So cute together ❤ @Hippo's Remington and @SteelEagle's Moonlight Glitter.
  8. 8 points
    I felt like practicing some pony armor today! Also been trying to practice some background stuff. @IceStorm I hope you like this:
  9. 8 points
    Silverstream's curiosity had soured the moment it spurred, as the stranger she inspected was disturbed enough to pull away. Just as he did so, the Chancellor walked by expressing his own perspective on the social blunder Silverstream would so commonly make. Although the role model would quickly get in line ahead of them, a line which lost it's meaning every second that passed. And the griffoness near the batpony was also outraged at her breach of conduct, calling her something she had never heard before. She would have to ask the elderly griffon about it later. She rubbed the back of her neck and looked away at the ground. She chuckled as she explained herself. "Oops, sorry. I just get so excited about things I've never seen before. I grew up in Seaquestria where we don't have many of the things that you can find on dry ground, and because I was born into a society trying to escape the Storm King, we never got many visitors either, especially a..." Silverstream looked around the batpony for a clue to the name of his kind, but she could not think of what it could be and she refused the obviousness in her head. "What kind of pony are you? Like a vampire pony or something?" She didn't think he was a vampire, but now that she said it out loud she started to notice the incredible length of the pony's fangs and began wondering if vampire ponies were actually a thing and not just a silly campfire story Gallus told her when they went camping not too long ago. Current fresh cider supply: 29%
  10. 8 points
    The griffoness could not help but grin just a little as she spied the cute blue griffon through the corner of her eye, checking her out. She was that way too when she was his age. Always hanging around with her friends in Canterlot. Fire Walker was the military minded tough-girl. Presteza was the creative and cute planner. Docket was the brains. Together they......Wow....Something else caught her eye. Towards the farm, there was a rather large wolf-dog-thing? Did the Apples trade away their Border Collie for that big fella? Apparently they were ready to make a big batch. Hopefully enough for every creature. From what she had been told, the cider was made on the spot. Fresh with an proper head. Shame it wasn't hard cider. There were a few other interesting folk nearby. From a rather adorable and fuzzy bat-pony in sun-glasses. Wait a second? Were those dragon-wings? He almost looked like Wind Walker's little fuzzy 'Draco The Dragon-Pony' plush doll she used to have on her at all times.Was Draco for real? Further down was an rather attractive mare that seemed to be offended by the very idea that she was standing on an dirty, unpaved path. Still, she was a cutie. Griffons were born with incredible eye-sight, so she could see Prince Blueblood...And she was sure her old friend Fire Walker had been pulling her tail. Said he used magic and turned himself into a mare. Ha. Even said former colt-friend Dunder did the same. Poor gal must have been drinking some of Swift Squall's stronger wines he had in his cellar. Squall Sherry....And speaking of Dunder...That mare did look a little like.....Nah. It was probably a good idea to dissemble her tent and roll it up, which she started to. The griffon did not want to lose her deposit. "Huh....", she caught sight of a creature she had only heard stories about. An Hippogriff, and a rather pretty little on at that. She seemed to know the bluey and even called him out. Gallus. An proper, heroic griffon name. She liked him even more. They were probably school-mates over the nearby school. Being an bit of the beaky side, she decided to listen in to their conversation as she finished putting her tent back into its bag. Was it always this small? Oh feathers.
  11. 8 points
    Bellissima Stella: talented, beautiful, and had a heart of gold and a kind soul. Ha! Maybe half of those are correct. This popstar princess was all looks and no personality, but most didn't know that. It took a while for anypony to actually catch onto her snooty, cocky self. This mare wasn't one to mess with, yet with her popularity growing, one did not look at her for her personality, but her talent. And she knew that. Why would a growing singer be stuck in a line waiting for some high class cider, though? Who knew. But there Bell was, sleeping peaceful in her very large tent, behind a couple ponies and griffons in line. The sky was clear, and the sun had just risen over the shelter she had made with a quick spell. She remembered she didn't really speak to anypony the night before as she set up her tent. The tall unicorn knew though in the morning she'd have to talk to somepony, because this was Ponyville. Ponyville met ponies liked to make friends. Bell wasn't much for friends, and that could be a problem. The high class unicorn already rehearsed what she'd say in the morning though, probably a few times over. She'd smile, flutter her long lashes, and tell everypony a good morning. Seemed easy enough. Maybe somepony would recognize her, hopefully. She loved the attention. But this wasn't about her, it was about the cider. She heard from countless news papers that it was cider season, and she wanted to put her own opinion in. Apple family cider. Bell loved cider herself, it was sweet and juicy. Her favorite fruit was apples anyway, so it made sense. There was no class on a tree farm, but she could deal with it. She didn't need marble floors and chandeliers to be happy- though, it would make her a little less grossed out from the dirty ground. The pink unicorn woke up quite late, later than everypony else. The mare needed her beauty sleep after all. A tired Bell was a grumpy Bell, and no pony needed that. So, when she woke up, she slowly got herself out of her sleeping bag and grabbed a hairbrush to get all the tangles out from her very long, colorful wavy mane. As she was brushing herself out, she heard creatures talking from outside. Bell knew she should probably go outside now. The mare trotted to the front of her tent and zipped it open, peeking her head out and looking around. She squinted from the sudden brightness, groaning as it shocked her eyes. "Why doesn't the sun ever warn precious 'ol me? It could blind any poor onlooker trying to get some sunshine!" Her nose scrunched up, bringing her whole body out of the tent and setting her hooves on the dirty ground. "Elch! Who dares live on this filth?" she questioned quietly to herself, huffing then turning towards the voices near her. She then put the fakest smile on her face. "Good morning, everypony! How are we all this kind morning?"
  12. 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?"
  13. 7 points
    Hello. After some nostalgia and me totally being right about everything Discord, I was thinking about coming back to roleplay. To be sure I am getting a little better as I had been going through a difficult time in life so the overwhelming negativity had taken its toll on my weakened state of mind. I am feeling a bit stronger and can assure I will be more inclined to disregard the behaviors that had first driven me away, if those that wish to roleplay again, really a deeply important hobby of mine, wish to do so. I am looking to resume or pick up threads I have previously been "the next to reply" to if it is viable.
  14. 7 points
    @IceStorm I'll add it to my list In other news: Finished this for @PrinceBlueblood! It was requested by @Bellosh Feng in his new armor for his new job. He's a handsome fella
  15. 7 points
    Kay Dreamer awoke as soon as the sun rose, sparkling through the bright crystal panes of the window on her little caravan. She'd left it to the side of the apple orchard, hoping the morning breeze would carry the scent of fresh apples through the crisp, dewy air. It did not disappoint. Breathing deeply, and with a contented sigh, she gathered up her sketches from yesterday, placing them into a saddlebag along with a set of field paints and a small jar of water. She hadn't had a chance to speak with the great wolf creature from the day before, as he had seemed much too busy on the treadmill - and to be fair, she was much more interested in drawing him, anyway - but she hoped she'd have a chance to learn more about the many other creatures who had come to sample a mug of Equestria's best cider. Kay was delighted to see that she was one of the first ponies in line this time, deciding that she'd take this opportunity to try some cider herself before settling down to paint and sketch some of the more interesting looking ponies and creatures as the day wore on. 'Just keep your cider away from your paint water, Kay,' she thought to herself with a smile. She'd lost count of the times she'd swigged a glass of paint water, or dipped her brushes into her tea or her wine. It wouldn't do to waste good cider like that! Kay trotted to the up to the counter just as an orange mare called out that it was ready to pour. Fishing a few bits out of her saddlebag, she clinked them onto the counter. One of them was stained with black ink, while another was suspiciously antique looking, but bits were bits, right? "Hello," she said cheerfully. "One cider, please!"
  16. 7 points
    Kay Dreamer had arrived a little late to try the famous Sweet Apple Acres cider, if the empty barrels and the dwindling line of disappointed faces were anything to go by. But that was okay. The cider wasn't the only reason she'd come. The gleaming crystal mare trotted past a very strange assortment of creatures on her way to the front, trying not to stare too obviously as she did so. The tales she had heard weren't exaggerating - it seemed Ponyville really was the most diverse location in the whole of Equestria. There were many disorienting things about jumping a thousand-or-so years forward in time, and this was certainly one of them. Kay had seen paintings of some of these creatures but she never imagined meeting them in the flesh - let alone so many all at once. It was a little overwhelming. 'I suppose if anypony- any- anycreature? If anycreature is upset by my staring, I can just ask to draw them and maybe they won't be offended,' she reasoned to herself. And there were some remarkable looking creatures here. The griffons, with their fierce shapes and sharp eyes, one of the bat-winged ponies she'd only ever seen with Princess Luna's royal guard… but as she looked around, one creature in particular caught her eye and she immediately stopped dead in her tracks, her staring not even remotely concealed now. There was a huge wolf running on a contraption of some kind. A huge wolf with horns. A huge wolf with horns and green fire on his head. A huge wolf with horns and green fire on his head and a tail made out of swirling clouds. Kay was watching him run, open mouthed. Never in her life had she seen anything remotely like him, not in a painting, not in a book, not anywhere. All discretion gone now, she cantered over and skidded to a halt just off to the side where the light best caught the edges of the flowing clouds drifting from his body, took a thick-papered book and a pencil from her saddlebag and started to sketch.
  17. 7 points
    Oh, wow. That was a very, very large dog working the treadmill on that machine. Not only very large, but also enveloped in an aura of smoky clouds that blended in with illuminated markings across his body. As the creature responded to Blueblood's wisecrack, Dunnie could only watch in awe as the creature moved legs and jaw. Only after a familiar voice entered her ears, did she realize that she was staring. Her cheeks flushed red as she took a deep breath. Her reaction can't be that bad, can it? She smiled as she laid eyes on the black griffoness. "Hey." Dunnie said back, then paused a moment, "Hay is for horses." "I haven't seen you in a while. I think you've gotten a lot taller." Dunnie grinned at the black catbird. While Blueblood was distracted, she dropped a bit of her own cider into his mug to give him a little more. He had saved her a spot, afterall, and he was the one excited about all of this. On time with Zelda's cheer, she took a sip. After a gulp she was starting to realize why ponies lined up for this stuff. The flavor, apple, acidity, smooth. All with the zing of fermentation at the end.
  18. 7 points
    Apple Bloom fell back from the counter, wiping the hard-earned sweat off of her brow. A few customers were getting a bit antsy with their words, saying how it wasn't right how some ponies got cider and others didn't and what a waste of time it was. Yet they'd be back tomorrow and Apple Bloom'd serve 'em all the same. The Apples well knew the passions their products could easily inflame in the hearts of others and didn't hold against them the flowing filth that screeched out of some mouths. If you were denied a taste of heaven, wouldn't you be cranky? Speaking of cranky, Apple Bloom had to roll her shoulder once or twice to get some soreness out of it. Talk about a workout! "Wooo-wee Applejack, that was a good first day! Mah crank-hoof's gonna feel it once tha season's over. Whatcha want me ta do now?" the filly asked as she approached her sis, ready and willing to take some additional orders. Hours had passed and the day grew long but her energy had yet to be fully spent. -------------------------------------------------- Somecreature whose willpower for the day had been spent was Gallus, whose mouth was agape at the knowledge that the day's cider had been sold. They had all year to prepare for this and they ran out this quickly? It was busier than it had any reason to be yeah but did they really just prepare a few hours worth of cider and then pump more for the next day? That was absurd. This as absurd. Everything was absurd because he didn't have a mug of cider and he could smell it and it smelled good. Damnit! "Oh what, really? You're out already!? I thought the Apples were supposed to be good at preparing for this event!" He yelled, though it would be hard to be heard over the din. It died down quickly enough- ponies held their anger so briefly. Good on them. Good for him. That meant he'd be the one to get cider at some point. Forcing his anger to evaporate was Silverstream's excited report about a new type of pony and how excited she was to know that this line provided for something else other than fuel for Gallus' frustrations. It, for example, gave him fuel for another idea. "Yeah...well I guess we'll have to come even earlier tomorrow. Hey, Silverstream- wanna camp out here together? You might need to go and get a tent or a bag though. I don't have a lot of room," he offered, happy to spend time with a friend rather than alone. Especially with that black griffoness and her indecent floof.
  19. 7 points
    Seaquestria? Seriously? That sounded so made up. And she mentioned -dry- ground? Did her kind escape that bloated snow-baboon by hiding in the clouds? Or did she mean she lived under the sea? Like a sea-pony? But she was an.... Ugh, it was far too early to be thinking so much. She just needed to be patient and wait in line like a good little birdie and soon she would have her fancy pony apple juice and then her friends would shud-up about it already! It was like this every year! Did you go to the opening day of cider season? No. I had to work. Did you go to the opening day of cider season? No, I want to sleep in that morning! This was supposed to be the best of the best! Something to make your feathers stick up! The black griffon did roll her eyes up a little when the pink gal mentioned something about vampires. Oye. A somewhat familiar voice called out to her. She turned. "Oh.". Yep. Fire Walker wasn't messing with her. What was his...her name now? Donnie? Dander? Danny? Dunnie? Drander? Flanders? Oh crap. The big griffon gave her old friend a hug. "Hey...Haven't seen you in ages....", she purred. It took her a moment to figure out what she was doing with Blueblood, when she remembered the little job he..she...Fire and Muggo went with him all those years ago. She wanted to say a few more things, but someone, or somepony was trying to get her attention. "Oh. Last mug?", were the others going to have to wait until the next day to have their cider? Holy Moley! "Thanks kid.", she handed over the bits and took the glass. "Hey Brownie...If you want half my glass, just ask...Feel odd drinking this right in front of you.." She took her sip. "Mazel tov!"
  20. 7 points
    Bell felt like there was a little fly swarming around her, and she just wanted to swat away. It was like the fly was hitting her in the face and sticking in her perfectly styled mane. She'd use her magic to poof this little sucker away, but she didn't know the spell for that. Who did these days? She figured out this little mutt of a pony was the annoying little fly. Even just the way the pegabat was looking at her, the pink unicorn just wanted to vomit. Like, actually vomit. She'd vomit her dinner from the night before all over the ground. She was holding in her gag. Just the look from this pony made her cider taste soiled. "I don't need to sip-" she stopped herself from losing it. There were so many ponies around, she couldn't just take out this.. creature with her words. So, all Bell did was lift the bottom of the mug up and take a swing of the sweet drink. It did calm her down a bit, but she felt so uncomfortable. Who did this pony think she was? This wasn't the country where all the lunatics ran about. Wait. This was the country. Bell let out a soft groan, holding in what she could from the sudden realization. This stuff was probably going to happen. A freaky weirdo would come over and antagonize her wonderous beauty. This poor, poor girl. Reckless's question left Bell trying not to spit her drink out. The unicorn took a big gulp, and looked anywhere but the mare in front of her. "Yeah- it's pretty- sophisticated for such a dirty location." Her voice quivered with the word "dirty", as she finally looked at the pony in front of her. Bell just gave a small smile, her deep blue pupils growing smaller as she noticed the pegabat was staring right at her. She was confident, and Bell couldn't handle it. She cleared her throat, looking back at the sky. She had to be nice, she had to be nice, she had to be nice... "So- you try any of this cider yet?"
  21. 7 points
    After taking a quick second to note that his student's excessive enthusiasm had been tampered, Blueblood was able to devote his entire attention to the matter at hand: the best cider that Equestria had to offer! Of which no second mug would be forthcoming today, apparently. "Well, you can't blame me for trying, can you? I'm sure you've endured flimsier pretexts in attempts to wheedle you and your clan into inequitous generosity. Ah well, thank you, Miss Applebloom!" Taking his now full mug from the growing filly, he raised it in a toast with Dunnie, then with Bellissima in turn, before taking a deep draught himself. "Ahh, now that's the good stuff. Nothing quite like it; the only thing that can possibly compare is taking in the Beaujolais nouveau straight from the Prench vineyards." He had to chuckle at how... fancy that sounded, though the actual experience was, indeed, very much like this: wading through the crowds in a rural town to take in a near-divine libation straight from the hooves of the local earth ponies. "You know, Applejack," He raised his mug in greeting to the orange mare behind the fence, "If you ever get the chance to travel, I do hope you'll get a chance to visit the vineyards yourself. Honestly, as fancy as wine seems to to most ponies, and don't get me wrong, it is; but the ponies who actually grow the grapes themselves are as down to earth as they come. They might even be distant cousins of yours!" Speaking of the workers behind the fence, he owed a greeting to a certain yokai. "Taira, you old rogue!" He called out, after taking another quaff of cider to wet his whistle. "That's a pretty far fall for a king of the mountain, treading a mill on a valley farm, eh?" He laughed, feeling the fizzy feeling of the cider he just drank flowing through insides, lubricating his social self.
  22. 7 points
    Bell was loving the attention she got from such a handsome stallion. Something about him made her heart flutter, maybe because she knew he was some kind of royalty. Though she couldn't fit a name onto him, the way he talked seemed higher than normal pony folk. She knew a high class pony when she saw one. She wasn't an idiot, a fraud. She knew who she was talking to. "Why, you're not too shabby yourself." She fluttered her eyes, bringing a small smile across her face. "Ah, yes, that's right. Prince Blueblood. How quaint to meet you." She gave a smile again, noticing the line become more of a blob. "Well, I hope your duties well. Hopefully we can meet again, yes?" Fast forward.. After she got her cider, she looked at the little filly with a sparkle in her eyes. "That sounds very.. appetizing!" Bell grinned, grabbing the cider with her magic. She then hunched over, acting like she dropped something. "If only I could understand this little spec of mud- She sounds like she was raised by farm animals," she whispered to herself under her breath, very unlikely anypony heard her. "Thank you, again, little one!" The unicorn trotted away with her cider, leaving room for the next ponies up to try some. She looked around, making sure she wasn't just awkwardly standing by herself, and took a quick swig. The cider was very smooth, and very tasty. Bell actually thought it was the best drink she's ever had, and that says a lot. It was sweet, and tasted fresh and homemade. It probably was fresh and homemade. Now, the pink unicorn actually thought this was time well spent, until somepony came up to her. A black blur swooped in next to her, making Bell jump a little in shock. The mare looked incredibly athletic, grey and pink, didn't look 100% pony. Bell scrunched up her nose, trying to hold in the squeal she had in her. She didn't want this thing approaching her. The unicorn was picky with the ponies she talked too, and this was the main reason. The only thought that ran through her head was that some weird dirty half-pony got enough courage to talk to a gorgeous specimen like herself. There were so many ponies around her though, she couldn't be anything but nice. Bell took another sip, looking away then looking back at the grey mare. "Hello, there." Was all she said, as she gulped down another sip. 'Stay calm, stay calm, stay calm'....
  23. 7 points
    Apple Bloom had to stop herself from giving a bit of an impish squeal. Why, Stella was even prettier and nicer inpony than she had imagined! She even hooved over her bits with grace as Apple Bloom talked up the cider she now held in her hooves. “Oh, its real good! This year's vintage got tha intense passionfruit-like aroma of freshly picked and pressed Jonagold and Porter’s Perfection apples, flourishin' all nice like! Try it, you'll be hooked,” she said confidently before the rush of customers once more stole her attention. Two bits, mug. Two bits, mug. “See ya!” Two bits, mug. “Chiao!” Two bits, mug. Two bits, mug. “Ahriivahderchi!” Two bits, mug. This is really hectic...but kinda fun! Another customer, a more regal sort. Apple Bloom knew this fella well enough. He was Prince Blueblood after all, and anypony who knew anything knew about the little side nobility that didn't much matter to anypony but themselves. Blueblood had a poor reputation at one point but his work with IMAGINE had turned that around pretty well, and everypony liked Princess Bluebelle! She was the Chancellor of the big school after all. So was Blueblood. Bluebloodbelle? It was hard to get it all right. She reckoned she'd just be as simple-minded about it as possible. If she got it wrong how could anypony be angry at her? “Hey there, Chancellor Blueblood! Fancy seein' yer fancy self this mornin'. Ah forgot, was it cold or hot drinks that did all the magical thingamajig?” She asked as she took his bits and sent over a foaming mug of ice-cold cider his way. So that was Silverstream's excuse? Well, knowing her, he could safely file that as a reason and less of an excuse. She rarely needed good cause to do anything at all as simple flights of fancy were things that well suited her on any given day. Still, she had better things to do than waste her time on this 'line'. “For all this? The cider better beat the expectations. I mean, its just an fruit drink. How big of a deal could it possibly be?” He said, looking around. “I guess a big deal. Maybe ponies in these parts are just really bored. It is a farming village, after all,” he said, turning around to catch Silverstream. He was deafened as she saw a batpony and flew up to it, touching it and being very invasive. Silverstream and her curiosity was almost as powerful as his desire to get his way through the line. Almost as powerful, anyway. He knew enough about batponies to know they were ponies with some bat features and were the rarest of the tribes. Maybe if he had his 'Stamp Once For Every New Creature You See And Befriend' Diversity Card for a free lunch in Canterlot he'd bother but he also figured that joke was played out. He turned his head back towards the crowd and tried to find a way through it, the noise of the crowd drowning out Zelda's rabid defense of the Lunar Guard as Gallus looked at the counter and saw some sloshing cider and felt a thirst that was different from the thirst he had felt just a minute or so ago start to build within him. @PrinceBlueblood
  24. 7 points
    Waking up at the crack of dawn was not something that Dunnie was used to. At least, not anymore. However, camping was an exception no matter how close to civilization the camping was. These were also unusual circumstances for the mare, it seemed that Blueblood's collection of expensive drink would not be complete without some of that famous Ponyville cider, made by none other than the Apple family. Dunnie knew well enough that this was a popular enough occasion for the locals and some out-of-towners to break out the tents, so this had better be some good cider! She was trotting back along the endless stream of tents. Ponies waking up, milling about, preparing food or drink to start the day of waiting in line. Fortunately for her, she had a spot saved for her closer to the front of the line. Surprisingly so, since she had just arrived yesterday to find that her quarry had been camping early enough for him to get a good spot. Fresher cider, or something like that. As she trotted back up, she noticed that Blueblood was already awake and talking to a neighbor. She smiled and trotted past the pale pink pony and took a spot up next to Blueblood, where she would plant a kiss on the side of his muzzle. "Good morning." She opened up her wing to reveal a paper bag. "Got us some breakfast! For some reason, though, the only place open was the fast food restaurant." Guess they couldn't ditch work to snatch up some limited time cider. "Is this your friend?" She certainly was pretty, and definitely did not look like a local. A Canterlot native would not be far fetched.
  25. 7 points
    Prince Blueblood, Head of House Platinum, foremost of the Canterlot Nobility, hereditary head of the Equestrian Unicorns, and part-time Princess (very long story) had recently added to his list of titles. As Twilight Sparkle had been selected to be the new Head of State, she had devolved her duties at the School of Friendship to him, making Blueblood the new Archancellor. No doubt she sought to make use of his extensive experience with diplomacy to continue international outreach, as well as his domestic political connections to shepherd the fledging academy around the pitfalls and traps laid in for it by obstructive bureaucrats and obstreperous nobles. And it had to be said, that despite his superficial reputation for superficiality, he did take these duties seriously, even to the point of taking up temporary residence in Ponyville, and trying to fit into the local life of the place. He would find himself often bemused at the differences in the social scenes between a growing but still small town and Canterlot, the city of his birth. It was in some respects quieter, of course, but more than the mere reduction of activity, what struck him was the unanimity of it when it came. For instance, Canterlot would often receive special shipments of food or drink, as highly prized among his class as any cider, but only his class tended to show up to such events. For the Apple Family Cider Season? Literally everypony in town was here, and that wasn't counting the out-of-towners. No wonder it was one mug per pony... He had, of course, reserved his spot with an extra-large tent, not to show off, or at least, not just to show off. He had some office work that still needed done, cider or not, and made a small workspace to finish up papers by lamplight before turning in the night before. This, naturally, led to a late wake up time, further extended by a thorough mane-brushing before emerging to greet the morning, along with a striking unicorn that had been his neighbor in line. "Oh, well fancy that!" He remarked upon laying eyes on Belissima Stella. "It is a good morning indeed, but I can't help but wonder, have I seen you somewhere before?" Seeing how a pony reacted to that question was a good way for Blueblood to get a sense of their character. Most ponies around here, would deny, truthfully, that their social circles had ever intersected. Some would do some humbly, others defiantly, still others in such a manner that betrayed desperation to enter his rarified world.
  26. 7 points
    Gallus replied with a cocksure grin. No doubt her cider would be worth it but he couldn't act like it was a closed deal now, could he? Besides, how could he ever deny the chance at razzing one of Equestria's heroines? "Deal, Professor. Next time I'm in Griffonstone I'll tell them all about it, assuming all the boasting is true," Gallus said with a laugh. The caveat being that he didn't plan on returning to Griffonstone unless forced and if her work was half as good as advertised then he would be happy to talk about it. He just had to wonder if there was a secret code word to get the good stuff. He didn't have to follow their pony drinking laws, right? Griffons aged differently. He was technically an adult and could drink if he wanted. Or at least he would say that and hope they didn't challenge him on it too much. His mind wandered as he imagined just what he could get away with if he pursued that logic. Probably a fair bit until either Fluttershy or Twilight found out about it and then he'd get in a fair bit of trouble. Until that point though? Being treated like an adult griffon would be pretty nice. Had to be, right? Maybe lost in some old Equestrian law was the right for a Griffon to hunt down some wayward sheep and get some meat inside of him. That was something he missed. Harmony was great and all but veal was simply delicious. He was content in this thought process until he turned over to the sound of somecreature saying hello. Oh sweet feathers, look at her chest plumage! No don't let her catch you staring! He looked at her, then down, then away. She had such good chest plumage, damn. He then shook his head and replied with full confidence. "H-hey, yeah. Nice to see another g-griffon out here, haha!" he replied with extreme coolness and calmness. She also had cool coloration. You didn't see a lot of very dark shades among griffons from Griffonstone anymore and he always found it kind of...hot. Plus she had these cool markings on her talons. Were those natural? He wanted to look but he also didn't want to look at all because if he did look he was gonna try to sneak another peak of her awesome chest plumage. Well maybe just a peak... AT THE CIDER GALLUS COME ON! Apple Bloom took a deep, deep breath of her home's sweet air. Sweet Apple Acres was the best smelling land in all of Equestria because what came from it was the dual pleasing smell of apples and the familiar process of cidermaking. It was that time of year! That very special, very lucrative, time of year when the family's efforts became unnaturally focused on a single style of product and the time of year when everypony turned their eyes to Sweet Apple Acres. What would this year's vintage taste like? How would it hold? Ponies had so many questions and who could blame them. Sweet Apple Acres Cider was the best Cider in Equestria, maybe the whole world- no, definitely the whole world. She felt confident in that assertion. She also felt confident that this year she could actually help out a whole lot and actually earn her place at the Apples' celebratory table when all this was said and done. Sure she helped out but this year she wanted to *work*. She had brushed up on her sales techniques in case Applejack needed her to help push their family's fine product along. It spoke for itself but still you needed somepony up there to do the deed. She had her old bullhorn on hoof because she knew she could hype it up lie nopony's business. When you had as much passion for it as she did the job pretty much did itself! Inventory management is a pretty big deal so while it was super boring it was also just another way she could help ensure this was the best season ever. Security? She was super tough! Apple pressing? Super tough! Managing the barrels heading off the farm elsewhere? Super smart! There was no task that she could not complete and she would be happy if she could have Applejack look at her at some point and think to herself, "that young mare is pulling her weight and then some!" Apple Bloom trotted next to Applejack and was nearly jumping in place, such was her excitement. Of course despite being a young mare she had all the energy of an over-caffeinated filly to let out today. She had been storing it up after all! "Ah'm ready ta help! Where ya need me? Salespony, hypepony, inventory management, Flim n' Flam looker outerer! Whatcha need?" She asked with a wide grin, looking around with eyes seeking jobs and work for her to do.
  27. 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.
  28. 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....
  29. 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.
  30. 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!
  31. 6 points
    Aaaand this got done! Requested by @SteelEagle of @Hippo's Oc Remington So handsome!
  32. 6 points
    Not on the list but was a request from @SteelEagle for the new Friendship School uniforms. There's another one to go with this one that will be up soon!
  33. 6 points
    I wanted a group shot of my newer OCs 🙂 going to release some over the next few days. First up Reckless and Oblivion!
  34. 6 points
    Well, this happened today! Vote for Spoiled @Bellosh @PrinceBlueblood
  35. 6 points
    Got a little unicorn here for @Dubstep! I hope you like it! Probably a follow up head shot of her in a her hat coming soon!
  36. 6 points
    Equestria was a land of peace and harmony, its values bare for all to see. It saw only the best n every creature and nation and would never be accused of being an aggressor. It sought diplomacy where others sought war. It sought friendship where others sought strife. These things would never, ever change about Equestria or Equestrians for that matter. But Twilight had seen enough to understand that there were threats big and small and relying on a small group of heroines to handle everything was a recipe for disaster. She had other tools at her disposal. Equestria had other protectors she could empower. And so today she was holding a meeting with various branches of the armed forces to see what they could do to improve the nation's security, from an organizational, technological, philosophical, and activity standpoint. The Twilight Guard was invited, of course. They were her personal guard and would need to be kept fully aware of anything that was going to change how they did their jobs with her. The Solar Guard would have to show up, of course. They were what ponies thought of as the Royal Guard and while their role was about to change, the prestige and honor of their position was without question. The Lunar Guard was too small to warrant a direct invitation to the meeting as they were technically within the rolls of the Royal Guard, now Solar Guard. This would account for the Royal Guard collection and while they were the faces of Equestrian security that could not be denied, they were far from the only ones. The invitation list continued. The Royal Equestrian Army was the most important invitation of all, as Twilight looked over the world map and understood the dangers and threats that lay beyond the borders of Equestria. While the Guards were there to protect the royal line and duties similar at best to those, it was the REA that was tasked with protecting the national integrity of Equestria. While a great many things were due for a change it was they that would see the lion's share of it all. The Royal Equestrian Navy had been allowed to wallow in its misery for untold generations. It looked impressive on paper but it suffered from a vast number of faults. They would have to show up and be given the sort of resources needed to remake them to answer the threats they faced on the seas and in the skies. The meeting took place a week after the coronation, when the very last of the long-form guests and gifts had been opened, when the tales and the fables of the disaster that was the ceremony, had finally subsided. The coasts had been clear for the ships long left to rot ashore to come home and once more refitted to stand the test of time. The room they gathered in was not technically in the castle, however. Instead, when the castle had been rebuilt, Twilight had an idea. A complex was built in the mountains themselves with hidden paths through the castle. The complex itself was a defensive redoubt built into the mountain with the capability to house thousands and continue the functioning of civil government. Should everything else fall, this area could be protected and defended for years and had enough space for most of the city's residents. It was in one of the many rooms near the front of this complex that the meeting would take place, with a view over the city outside. It was a one-way mirror rock. It looked like a normal part of the mountain to most of the city's residents but it was a window from which Twilight could gaze out in safety. She didn't plan on using this complex much but considering she had designed it she wanted to make sure everything worked. She wanted desperately to ensure everycreature's safety, not only through this complex but through the reformations they would discuss today. A better, safer Equestria for all was one of her most important duties. She turned away from the city and took her seat at the head of a large table. Each chair at it was given a full folder of information about today's topic and a glass of water- to be refilled by two castle workers who were going to filter in and out. Twilight sighed, waiting for the others to show. A less desirable task she could scarcely imagine. A more important one she could hardly fathom.
  37. 6 points
    The beautiful crystal pony didn't have the time to really respond as the entire line surged around her. Drats! That was a nice looking pony right there! Apple Bloom moved on though. She didn't have as much cider to give out this year and she didn't really think about it more than that. She had to make sure she did right by as many ponies as possible as quickly as possible. And with that on her mind she went right back into the raging maelstrom of her work. Apple Bloom moved like a mare on fire, taking bits and pumping cider as fast as she could. Two bits, mug. Two bits mug. Two bits mug. “Y'all have a nice one!” Two bits, mug. “Hehe, only mah sister knows that secret!” Two bits, mug. Two bits, mug. “Oh, we'll have more days after this for sure” Two bits, mug. Two bits, mug. There was a certain anxiety as barrels vanished but she didn't let it show. “Ah reckon yer gonna remember this mug for a long time!” “Say hi ta 'er for me. Return mah letters, dangit!” “What a charm-” Two bits, mug. Two bits, mug. Eventually her eyes settled on...was there a bat pony, one of those aerions or what have you? This one had pink mane and pink wings and as just adorable! There weren't many bat ponies around and for the life of her Apple Bloom never understood why. as there too much light? Did bat ponies care about light? Did they just like cities because of the hustle and bustle? There were a thousand things Apple Bloom didn't know about the how or why of Equestria and she was interested in the answers to all of them. She didn't think she'd be getting the answers today though. The only thing anycreature was getting was a much of cider from Apple Bloom in exchange for two bits, which Apple Bloom collected from Reckless as she poured a cup and sent it over. "Ah ain't seen you 'round here before. Where'd you come from, if you don't me askin'?" He inquired, her mind unable to filter the question out. Gallus poked his head out quickly, allowing Silverstream to get decent for everycreature else. Not that she needed to on his account, what he saw had been decent enough for him. Though if he were honest? He did like her hippogriff form better. Swimming was not like flying and flying was best. In due time she was out, though they were stuck far back. "Yeah, I guess we were just too tuckered out. My bad, I should have set a better alarm," he said as he looked around. "Wait. Why are two Princesses here?"
  38. 6 points
    RECKLESS Art by the awesome: GoldenDaze! She's had oh so much fun yesterday that Reckless had decided one more night would totally be worth her time to get a mug of the good stuff. Perhaps she'd find another stallion or mare to meet like she had the lovely Bella yesterday. "Yeah..." She stretched as she exited her tent and zipped it up. "She was so into me," The pegabat laughed dryly to herself and made her way through the tents and towards the scene of chaos building before her. So many ponies and creatures had been drawn by the siren's cider call! Reck was impressed! It had to be worth it, it just had to be! She trotted into the line and yawned before glancing around. "Another day another cider huh?" Another dry laugh as she spoke to nopony in particular...
  39. 6 points
    Given how... comprehensive Apple Family reunions were, Applejack was probably right. Still, there had been that whole business with them discovering a distant relation to the Pie family, wasn't there? Or was it Rarity's? One of AJ's friends, at least; he remembered that much from a long spiel from Twilight he'd only been half-listening to at the time. "I certainly will, though unfortunately the only one I know of who has left the farm is a certain quote-archaeologist-unquote going by the name of Doctor Merlot. I doubt you'll ever see him, though; he's the sort that can't bear to stand in line with ponies that won't give him money or social standing, even for the best Cider in Equestria!" Insufferable snob as he had once been, there were many snobs that had always seemed insufferable to the stallion. Snobs, in fact, almost never enjoyed the company of other snobs; they were just competition for the attention of the really important ponies. The Prince had at least come to learn that those who love and care for you are those who are really important. Speaking of which, a good friend had come down from the treadmill to greet him. "I suppose that's why you're looking hale and hearty as ever in your old age." He continued the good-natured joshing as the wolf yokai approached. "And Niilavin isn't a... pet exactly. Yet to be housebroken, though we're making progress. I made him promise not to eat anypony while I was gone, and he does take his promises seriously. At least, the ones to me." Taira directed his gaze to Silverstream and the griffons, just as Dunnie was secretly topping off his mug. "Oh, Silverstream and Gallus, the pink and blue one respectively, are my students. Oh, did I tell you that Princess Twilight appointed me the Archancellor of her school? I'm taking over for her, now that she's moving into government. As for Zelda, she's more a friend of a... dear friend." He gave a warm smile with some fairly obvious implications towards Dunnie. Words nearby attracted his attention, and he caught the exchange happening between Bellissima and Midnight. Oh, what a delightful frission! He gave Dunnie and Zelda a nudge, indicating the unicorn and thestral with a discreet wave of his mug. "I think we're in for a show, ladies." He spoke in a low tone. "Bellissima's cracks are starting to reveal themselves." High society meltdowns were so entertaining, and to get one in the country, just as one was enjoying a lovely beverage? A perfect end to a perfect morning.
  40. 6 points
    Silverstream was relieved to see the bat pony she was curious on wasn't so abrasive to her invasion as much as the dark griffon close to him that seemed annoyed for him. "An areion. Wow! I haven't learned about you ponies at the school yet." Silverstream hovered up and held her talons to her cheeks in typical astonishment. "And your eyes! Your eyes are so so cool!! They're like... up and down!" She exclaimed as the bat pony drifted away from her towards the front of the line. The pink hippogriff zipped back to Gallus, which took her a few minutes to see where he had moved, which happened to be close behind. "Gallus, this is incredible. If I had known there would be creatures I had never seen before, I would have insisted we camp out together to get a good spot in front of all the different things to see!" Silverstream did not know how cider season was typically run. The moment she would find out about a second day, she would plan her entire evening around preparing for it. Applejack saw that the spigot was sputtering on the last barrel, as Apple Bloom poured the last drink. She hopped on top of the cider counter to get a good look at all the crowding ponies and griffons, and bat ponies, and whoever to soapbox her planned speech at this time of the day. "Alright ya'll. That's it for today. We knew we'd run out, and its that time that we ran out." She paused for expected groans. "But, with the help from a few friends, including my new best farm-paw over there helping me press apples, we should have plenty of cider to sell first thing tomorrah. Just give us tonight to make some more, and we'll be back to selling the best cider in Equestria!" Applejack hopped down and stayed nearby to receive any criticism to block any that would be unfairly directed at any other member of the family. Even though Apple Bloom would declare she could take it, Applejack would never want her to. Meanwhile, in the crowd of ponies, Granola was attempting to reach the front but failed to get closer enough to the orange mare who was addressing everyone. She would continue to stand close for an opportunity to talk with the apple orchard's future matriarch. Current fresh cider supply: 0% ((The day will reset in 7 days, on November 11th 12:00am UTC))
  41. 6 points
    RECKLESS Art by the awesome: GoldenDaze! Playing "hard to get" already? Reckless let a tiny breath escape from her muzzle. That was a classic move, classic for a mare who was wanting more. The pegabat could take care of that and then some. After she had some of that cider of course! Looked like the unicorn could use some too, she seemed like she was about to jump out of her skin at the moment. "I think you might need another sip babe," She spoke casually, like she'd known this lovely creature for years and years. She raised an eyebrow, watching the reaction she was getting. She knew she was one hot item but she hadn't thought she was attractive enough to make an obviously refined and oh so beautiful mare get all nervous. That was new. After the unicorn had enough time for at least one more sip she pressed a question on her. "So is it the best you've ever had?" The words were coy and her eyes were fixed on the unicorn's at the moment, not her cider mug.
  42. 6 points
    Keeping up his dash on the treadmill, Taira was only distracted a moment when he heard the familiar voice of Blueblood. The dapper stallion had a bit of a silly look on his face after his swig of cider, a look that made the old wolf very curious. "Come now, Blueblood!" He said as he kept up on his sprint, "A noble savvy as yourself must know the importance of keeping oneself in shape! None with a lofty titles can claim they're truly beyond the need to work now and then!" Taira had been at it for a short while now and despite the want to push on, he had to admit: he was feeling the burn. He was more than happy to try and push through it, but eventually he would need to take a break. At the very least he'd have to re-hydrate. All the resistance on the mill from that giant stone grinder made for quite the challenge. By the time Applejack got over to relief her new ranch-hoof (or was it paw in his case?) was panting heavily. Ears perked up when he heard the word break and soon he slowed his gait down until he could come to a full stop, "Wow... This is hard work. No wonder your family is so strong!" Now armed with the information of a Barrel of the cider behind the other mill, Taira perked up. He may get to taste what all this hubbub was about after all! Rather than speaking up about the barrel and potentially causing a riot if the crowd knew there was a backup barrel, Taira gave a calm nod and smile. He casually made his way to the back and found the barrel in question. After a few seconds fiddling with the spigot , He had his cup and took his drink. To any in the back it may look as if the old wolf might have been paralyzed. In actuality, Taira was completely floored by how incredible it was. He'd not gotten to taste anything this good in years! How many other things had been developed by the Equine that would be so amazing! Maybe that fox from the valleys had the right idea all those years ago to look into equine Kiwizeen... was that what she called it? Oh well, no time to get lost in his thoughts, Taira had seen many a curious creature in that line and he was hoping to get to know a bunch of them! Once he'd downed his cup and set it back down beside the barrel in a handy space marked "used mugs" He made his way back over to the front and into view. First he gave his attention to Blueblood and grinned, "Good to see you again, My prince." He dipped his head gracefully before sniffing at the air, "Oh-ho! Did someone get a new pet? I smell cat on you... Hoping to bring him a sample? Speaking of cats..." He looked over to a few of the catbird visitors nearby, "Are you friends with any of them? I don't believe I've gotten to speak to a griffin before... Or that stallion with the bat wings, or her with the pinkish coat and baby blue mane. I never knew ponies and griffins had gotten so close!"
  43. 6 points
    Midnight would give Silverstream a half smile, though this emphasized his fangs. “It’s alright,” he would say with understanding in voice. “I too grew up in relative isolation as well. Before Princess Luna returned, we where see as almost sub-pony.” He chuckled at the vampire comment she said. “No....not a vampire that I know of, but you never know....” He would remove his sun glasses so they hypogriff could see his purple eyes. “ “Areion is the proper term...though most of us just use Bat Pony. It’s easier to remember.” He would wink. As the mob continued to move, he would find himself at the counter being greeted by a filly who was handling the sales. It caught him a bit off guard that he had made it to the head of the line. He would put his bits on the counter as well as a small tip for the youngest Apple Family member. ”My name is Midnight Oil,” he would say as he licked his lips as the cider was poured in front of him, his eyes locked onto the mug. Taking the first sip was like heaven to him as he savored it. It was the sweetest, most perfect thing he had tasted...better even then Areion Ale.
  44. 6 points
    Dunnie chuckled at Blueblood's late thoughtfulness with the kitchenette. It was the thought that counted, afterall. "Oh, Blueblood. Lack of a cooking space is no worry, I get to take a break and we get to try the local cuisine!" She pulled the fast-food bag free from under her wing and set it inside the tent. The brown bag's bottom was stained noticeably dark from the oils. Just as soon as the bag was set down, it seemed that the line was moving. Talk about good timing, "Right, lead the way!" She tried not to get swept up by the crowd and stick close to Blueblood. How this place managed to not turn into a full on riot was beyond the brown pony. So many bodies were lined up and eager to taste something of such a limited supply. The Apple family must be flattered. She was trotting alongside Bluey while glancing about the trees and landscape. She would have flown overhead, but, she also wanted to blend in as well as she could. When the unicorn pulled her attention toward someone she knew, she glanced over to see none other than...Zelda. "Ah! Zelda!" Her eyes lit up. Indeed, she was an old friend. They had been through a lot and shared a lot with each other. Though, the bird has not seen this form of Dunnie. "Oh, two cups?" She asked. Perhaps she could get another cup with some cunning. "Well, it seems most ponies already know you are as you are, so." She took one of the mugs, thanking Blueblood for the payment and smiling down and thanking Apple Bloom too. So cute! "Anyway, seems that the cider is going to run out before you can try." She eyed the cider stocks, already getting dangerously low.
  45. 6 points
    RECKLESS Art by the awesome: GoldenDaze! Reckless was a liiiiitle late getting herself up and outta her tent. "Whew! What in Celestia happen-..." Her exclamation cut off as she realized she wasn't the only pony around. It was true though, Celestia only knew what she'd gotten into last night. She was, in fact, in a line... a very long line. "Why was I here again?" She tapped chin thoughtfully for a moment before the commotion further up the line drifted down to her. "Ah! Sweet Apple Acres cider!" She trotted in place for a moment, excited to taste some of that amazing golden goodness! She just wished she didn't have to wait in this dang line! The hybrid bat checked out the scene. Lots of ponies, yep, looooots of ponies. Most were run of the mill regular Ponyville ponies, bleh. Boring. Some were a bit more flooty and snooty, and some were ahha! Some were famous! She spied the pretty no, beautiful pink unicorn up at the front of the line. "Well, if I'm gonna do this I better do it right!" She ran a hoof through her mussed up hot pink mane to "fix it" as best she could. The bat pone trotted up like she owned the place, ignoring the ponies along that way that gave her stares of irritation for cutting the line. "What?" She smirked at one such fussy bottomed pony. "I'm just gonna go say hi to my friend!" A little closer and she could see that that same beautiful unicorn, who just happened to be fairly famous too, was hoofed over a mug of the good stuff! "Perfect timing!" She slowed to a calm walked and sidled up next to the fancy mare. "Hey there sweetness." Her words issued silky smooth like the feel of that perfect cider.
  46. 6 points
    Magnus hummed to himself slightly at the mare’s confident response, his exercises winding down now as he settled back into his spot in line. He looked back towards the griffon that she responded to next, watching the bird’s reaction before noticing what was apparently a new helper on the farm. Well, this one was interesting, an okami was a rare sight, especially one so openly themself and working on a farm. Perhaps that was something to ask him after getting through this line. “I am not standing by anything yet. I came to find out the truth for myself, I don’t tend to just take others’ words on it.” The unicorn responded simply, waiting for the booth to open up for the day.
  47. 6 points
    Reckless watched Aegis incredulously as he checked her out from his upside down position. He soon rolled upright to introduce himself. Ah stallions, who could resist their obvious charm? This one seemed nice enough and her guard friends that helped with this set up hadn't been wrong, he was one good looking stud. He lifted his hoof after his introduction and she smiled with an eyebrow raised. "So formal," Her eyes narrowed as she bypassed his raised hoof and stepped closer to him, bumping gently up against his side. "Recruit Reckless," She stepped to the side and dipped her head slightly. "at your service." She glanced around, hoping to pick out some fun shenanigans to get this date going. There was music playing but from his look she figured it wasn't the sort he was apt to sing to. The mare turned her neon pink gaze back to Aegis. "Not time to pressure you into karaoke..." She stepped towards the refreshment table. "yet." She soon had a glass of sparkling cider for each of them poured. Nothing like cider to loosen a filly up. "So, how long have you been with the night guard?" She took a sip, figuring it would be nice to get to know him for a bit. ----- The mare in the suit felt good. She'd syked herself up for this like nopony's business! She'd messed up ummmm... like a ton on their last few dates. She didn't even want to think about the last well, disaster that had taken place. She'd been nothing short of absolutely awful that night. She had promised herself she'd make a change and she felt she had. Lots of thinking, lots of choosing the right directions. Lots of striving to be a better version of herself, as a marefriend. She didn't need to improve in any other area as far as she was concerned but she blew barley as a marefriend and Applejack didn't deserve that! Nope her mare, the love of her life deserved waaaay better than Rainbow had dished out lately. She didn't feel like she was doing this as a make up. She was doing this because she wanted to change. She wanted to be there for AJ, to compliment her as a true partner. She owed it to their little guy Zappers to make the change. She wasn't finished yet, not by a long shot but she'd started on the road to better things. RD landed on the steps outside of the Equestrian Guards Ball. She'd been sent as the delegate from the Wonderbolts to this event so she had even more reason to be on her best behavior. As she made her way up the steps the mare paused to straighten her tie. Her Wonderbolts medals and badges offset the formality of the suit and certainly made her look well, dashing! She had gotten herself a new pair of shades and she planned on keeping it cool in them for most of the evening. In she went, nodding curtly to those in the lobby and outside the main entrance doors to the ballroom. It was nice inside she had to admit! Lots of guard ponies that she knew but only one she was looking for. Ah! There she was! Rainbow stifled a blush when she saw her mare. AJ looked awesome. Her outfit was reminiscent of her Twilight Guard armor but fit her form in a much more pleasing manner. Rainbow trotted up next to AJ and gave a low whistle that only she would hear. "Hey there beautiful." She used a hoof to drop her shades and winked slyly at the farm mare.
  48. 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?
  49. 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! )
  50. 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?
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