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  1. 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.
  2. 7 points
    Nightmare Night was never a huge part of Discord's life experience. Even the past few he never had a reason to participate. Given he was a regular resident of Ponyville, despite his home being located far and close in-between in Chaosville. He had dawned a fabulous cape with some paling powder painting his grey hide. With the addition of a false fang and a snazzy vest over a blouse the spirit became the spirit of lore as he dressed himself in the garments of an immortal, ancient undead count! Count Discord was ready for the night and with a slick of grease through his make he was ready to spook with the best of them. While it was no Fool's Day he could get behind an evening of tricks and treats! Of course it was difficult to convince his usual companions. Big Mac, unfortunately, was already signed up for a familial venture with the tiniest Apple and his parental entourage. Snapping the last of his vest's buttons and curling his beard the spirit would collect large sacks with spooky print and be out of his door in a flash! Let's see who else? Well aside from the Apples the resident CMC, of which he was an honorary member of, were out and about enjoying the evening most like together or with their authoritative figures. Luna, ironically so, was busy as well and Glimmer buried under paperwork. She would make a lovely cubicle zombie! It cut the list shorter and shorter. Than there was Spike. The spirit had, a week prior, been playing Ogres and Oubliettes with the guys, Pinkie and Rainbow Dash missing the session due to prior commitments. Perhaps they were lucky, or unlucky in that regard. But without the mares it seemed to have left Spike with the sole responsibility of handling a most auspicious idol and the noodle himself was not the sort to debase himself to such manual efforts, plus he had appraised the item to be worthless, so found no point in collecting it, dibs aside. This totem in question had some sort of enchantment attached to it that Spike's Detect Magic couldn't confirm, due to its level gap. The trap was triggered as soon as the wizardly dragon grabbed hold. Discord had looked through the module's manual, but was having difficulty understanding the details of the conditions as it was far from anything he's seen! During such games one would surmise some simple curse! But alas he had been unable to decipher it. Once more Spike had left before the game could end causing a glitch in the system of sorts. "I have returned!" He declared, appearing above a very discontent looking Spike and fabulous looking Valen. "Oh..." he wasn't expecting the prancing pony to present such a provocatively Prench outfit in public! "Well, well if it isn't the little Orange." The noodly count mused as he lowered down onto his hind legs. With talon and hoof touching to the ground he would hold out the dutifully needleworked potato sacks. They had fierce some designs on the fronts. Valen's an angry orange with fangs and Spike a ferocious rendition of himself as an adult dragon with a smoky sneer. "Here, you can't expect to fill such paltry sized sacks!" He handed Yama his which had a peculiarly profoundly pouting wolf with a devious grin on his maw. The spirit's own sack had a devious red balloon design with a toothy grin. He seemed to have been working on them last minute. The spirit of chaos did some fine work with the needle. You should see his crocheted sweaters! With personalized sacks there would never be a question of whose was whose! But why the massive bags? Surely they were just to go down the block and enjoy some of the games. No, no. Discord had done some reading up on this tradition. It seemed that collected candy was to be paid in full to the spirit of the terrifying Nightmare Moon, but given the absolving of her hideous fables the collected candy seemed to hold no purpose of sacrifice save to the small bellies of overfeasting foals, colts, and fillies! No Discord had declared to Spike that had he come out to trick and treat with him there was to be great reward. "Is that everycreature?" Oh it probably wasn't, but he would not be delayed as time was everything for an eternal serpent of madness. Pulling his picket watch from his vest one would come to realize the curious, bat-like shape of it. He tossed it to the side, leaving the clockwork creature to fly away into the night. "So as you may know I have gathered you all here for a very important mission." he pressed his paw and claw together as he nodded a solemn head bob. "You see I was doing a little research on this Pony holiday and it seems before Nightmare Moon the collection of candy had served a different purpose." Now knowing Discord he could be making it up, but when it came to candy and treats the spirit did not play games... mostly. Discord stared off to the houses. Parties being held, lights filling the streets and candies being passed out to good fillies, colts, nymphs, and other itty bitty creatures. "Have any of you ever heard of the Ghoul?" he swiveled an ear to the crowd. "Well it seems when you collect enough candy, at least your weight of it, a strange house shaped like a gourd appears on the edge of the Everfree Forest. In that house lives a Ghoul and for the most dutiful goblins and fiends who had collected their treats are to be rewarded with a candy equal, of not greater, than their size." Now Discord was not one to befall to legends and rumors of ponies, but this mystery had other parts. "It was even said that Celestia herself has seen this Ghoul and gotten a chocolate sized Celestia in return!" He clenched ups paw into a fist. "I'll not have it!" W-what? "She won't be the only one to meet this Ghoul!" So it wasn't just about the candy. The competitive chaos spirit would perhaps never change in that regard... "But there was just one catch... for any house to fail to offer the tastiest of treats we must return a trick." He manifested a tiny notepad and a pair of spectacles on the end of his nose. "I made a note of the conditions in the book to summon the Ghoul."
  3. 6 points

    From the album: Muddy's Album!

    A Hippocampus like the ones I used to see a lot of around Canterlot.com <3
  4. 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?
  5. 5 points
    It was not too much to say that Feng was a bit taken aback by the reaction to his question. Bug? Where had that come from? At least the teal one was nice, though altogether the puncture at his ego, and his ability to be diplomatic, did cause him to figuratively back into the shell he constructed for his on-duty persona. "Ahem, well, of course, I'd ask for yours too. They would make a good presentation on return to the Empress. That goes for all of you, by the way." He waved a wing at the whole company, before turning back to Sea Salt. "And I am sorry, but I must return home after the competition. It is a long way back to Huangjing, but if you ever decide to make the journey, the Palace is open to visitors." Pathfinder's continued chattering only confirmed Feng's first impression of her; he definitely was going to be called upon to remove her from the premises next time she visited the Imperial. Openly bragging about criminal activities? "You do realize, of course, that as a Watcher, I would have to arrest you if we met in Long Guo, right?" The Watcher's shell cracked again with a grin as the longma continued, "There are always old tombs in the mountains that we can't be bothered to regularly patrol. Bandits often hold up in them; would be nice to have a civic-minded sort clear them out from time to time." Speak of the bug, there came one who fairly bore that label! Along with a Pink friend of his, bringing with her not only an air of friendliness and joy, but also a mental association link that finally placed Tempest Shadow in her context. "Wait, wait a minute...." He turned back to the maroon mare. "You know her, and I think I remember from where." He gave her a look of much deeper appraisal than before; not just a mask of professionalism, but the actual real deal. "It is... interesting to meet you in person." He was fully standing up straight now, seemingly relaxed, though a trained eye could see he was 'at the ready' for something to happen. Not that he really expected it, but... something might. And yet, the first thing he did was rather unexpected. He went over to the little table, taking up a pen and some paper (ignoring the pastries as the cupcakes within were as yet not amenable to further companionship), and walked back. "I think I would like to get your autograph first." He said to Tempest, offering the implements. "Whichever name you prefer."
  6. 5 points

    From the album: Mal's art!

    Gift art for Ice pt 2
  7. 4 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.
  8. 4 points
    “...‘Family Discount Package for Equestria Land: The Magicalist Place on Earth’, don’t qualify... ‘The Ultimate Deal: A Romantic Roaman Wedding’, don’t qualify... ‘Crystal Empire Honeymoons: HALF-OFF!!!’..... Geeez. By Star Swirl’s beard, it’s like nopony offers you discounted vacations anymore unless you’ve got a spouse or kids.....” Stretching her legs after a long airship flight to Kastrot, naturally the first thing Moony did was telekinetically grab a whole bunch of vacation pamphlets to read as she disembarked off the flying vessel. Unfortunately, it didn’t seem like travel companies felt like attracting young unmarried adults with little to no household obligations was much of a priority these days. Which was a shame, because Moony and most of her Magic Guild cohorts fell into that “young unmarried adult” category. Thankfully, Kastrot’s ruling unicorns were footing the bill for the Magic Guild’s current outing. Officially, Moony & Pals were part of a delegation led by Duchess Silver Belle, who was to represent Equestria in discussions to establish an interlibrary loan arrangement between Canerlot's School of Magic and Kastrot's legendary College of the Arcane. A chance to visit the grounds of the most mysterious magical academy known to ponykind? What self-respecting spellcaster could reject that opportunity??? Disembarking the zeppelin, a vertigo-suffering pony would be advised to look over the side of the docking ramp, for the airship was moored to one of Kastrot’s highest stone towers. Moony however wasn’t scared of heights; having left her heavy luggage under the care of her dutiful partner Pocket Change, the unicorn mare put away the offending pamphlets from earlier as she switched gears towards the latest task at hoof; “Okay then, they said a unicorn would be waiting for us in this tower with a placard with our Guild sigil on it, and that their name is Heart Stopper. Huh; kinda sounds like the name of some evil, ugly ole’ assassin, dontcha’ think?”
  9. 4 points
    “Huh,” Flash commented as Pretezas wrapped up her story about Empress... Yu, or so her name apparently was. “You’d think Yu’s handlers would have tried harder to chase you off. But I guess not even an Empress is immune to Pres’s charms, heh heh.” The stallion gave his date a playful wink. As if on cue, Flash Sentry himself blushed in the face of the painter pony’s charm when she played up his skill as a protector. Personally, Flash knew better than to believe he could take on a party of Viking Caribou... even one alone would pose a highly challenging threat! Nonetheless, the Corporal had the good sense of projecting outer confidence by giving his companion a return nuzzle. “Oh yes,” remarked the pegasus; “They’re the caribou clan that paint themselves blue. We’ve been seeing more of those guys around Canterlot recently, especially going in and out of the Clan Askr Ambassador’s residence. Wonder what’s up with that? So Pres, did you manage to make any caribou friends on your last voyage to Whitescar?”
  10. 4 points
    "Last time we were this close to Crystal Heart, I was doing my best to not get my head looped off by caribou berserker. And Fire had similar experience and then some. Although we don't rule out going on vacation there soon." Princess Cadence’s ears dejectedly flopped downward; it seemed like some ponies still had the Crystal Faire Invasion fresh on their minds. And... was the Crystal Empire REALLY that remote of a realm? Crystal Spire could easily be reached via a several-hour long train ride, for Celestia’s sake! Regardless, it wasn’t in Cadence’s nature to be confrontational. Accepting that the Count was dead-set on having the honeymoon elsewhere, the princess meekly replied with a glum sideways glance; “Oh... I see.....” "She did write to me about their son. Even tried to set up a playdate with Flurry for little... Zap, I think it was?" “Zap Apple,” Cadence quickly filled in the blanks for Shining, grateful for the pivot away from the perceived shortcomings of a Crystal Empire honeymoon. When asked if a playdate was possible, the alicorn replied; “Hmmm... it’ll be tough, seeing that we won’t be visiting Ponyville too often once Twily moves back to Canterlot. But maybe our families could meet up next Summer Sun Celebration? Hopefully we can make it work out; I wanna see how much Zap has grown!” "Let's see now, I think I see the beginning of something beautiful over there, Cady. Not to mention, there's probably a good story over there." An appreciation for couple-watching was certainly one trait of Cadence’s that rubbed off onto Shining Armor. Something about the second couple struck the princess as familiar. It then dawned on her; “Oh yeah, the diamond dog’s companion must be the pony who wrote to Dear Cady about not making a scene over their date. I’m not seeing anypony else with a runt, it looks like. Oh, and it looks like they’re having a good time so far!” "In fact, the only one I see alone is... oh dear, one of mine." “Awwww,” Cadence pouted out of pity, sympathetic to the plight of being alone at an event where so many attendees are coupled up; “She looks SO bored to tears. How about we wave her over and find her a companion before the night’s through! Don’t you agree, Shiny?”
  11. 4 points
    “Nah, of course not!” Flash assured Presteza that he gown didn’t look silly, but then he added a playful smirk; “Although I’ll contend your Princess Luna costume is a strong runner-up to Best Presteza Outfit, heh.” He clearly remembered that detail from their very first encounter. As the dinner portion of the evening wrapped up, Pres’s mention of her meeting the Empress of Long Guo caught the servicepony’s notice. “How’d you manage that?” Flash asked his date; “Scuttlebutt from buddies of mine is that Long Guo's empress is surrounded by an army of bodyguards and handlers wherever she goes. Apparently they are, hmmm, how to put this diplomatically... hard to work with. And as the old saying goes; ‘One does not simply pop in on the Empress’.”
  12. 4 points
    The concept of being “fashionably late” had never really made sense to Shining Armor. Being raised in a family that believed in punctuality and politeness, and immediately transitioning into the REA, where lateness was met with swift reprisals, had driven any hope of empathy with such high-society foibles far away. He suspected the first pony to come up with such a concept was merely trying to cover themselves for travel time delays. Much like he and Cady had encountered on the way down from the Crystal Empire. To be fair, it was a far trip down through the Frozen North, and with the weather being what it was, trains were preferable to airships, especially with the recent accident he’d led a rescue team to recover. And, of course, they weren’t technically late, just arriving after most of the others. Still, travel troubles aside, the Captain-turned-Consort was looking forward to this. Any evening that he could spend out with his wife, Princess -turned-Empress Cadence, was a good evening. Especially now, with a new little Princess running around the Crystal Palace; fortunately, the royal Crystaller had made getting somepony to take up babysitting dute much easier, and now the two of them could enjoy a weekend trip back to Shining’s home city, and meet with some old friends. Or, at least, his old friends. “I kind of feel bad about dragging you all the way down here for this.” Shining admitted to his wife, as they walked down the cobblestone streets to where the ball was being hosted. “I don’t know how many of the ponies you’ll know here, and I don’t want you to feel left out. Still, I know you love it when we can dance together, and it’s been a while since we’ve been able to do that since Flurry was born. Not since that nice dance instructor gave us those lessons…” He did have to give the pink alicorn a somewhat cheeky grin at the memory. That had not been the kind of dance they expected to learn, but the couldn’t either of them say that they didn’t enjoy it. “And the food’s going to be good, too.” He remarked, as they handed in their invitations at the door. “Remind you of home any?” He checked himself one last time before entering the grand ballroom. As this was a formal military function, he’d come in his mess dress, a sharp suit of scarlet and cobalt with silver piping. It was similar to the one he’d worn as Captain of the Palace Guard, though this particular one had all the Equestrian sigils replaced with Crystal Empire regalia. New medals and coats of arms. Some of his own new command had come down as well, and he certainly wasn’t going to let down the side!
  13. 4 points
    And speaking of Apple Bloom. She was a really good kid. Smart, brave and resourceful, she’d make an idea future candidate for officer school. And she was actually helping them set up camp. And not just sitting there whining about the bugs or how she really would prefer her own bed over an sleeping bag. Oh, sweet Celestia, this was a kid she hoped to have one day. But would she? Little future kid would be raised in a mansion with al the things he or she could ever want. Would her kid grow up to be a spoiled brat? She dreaded the idea of having a "Little Lord Fauntlerpony'. A bratty little foal with a permanent sour look on his face and his mouth always ready to say...'I Want' or 'Wah!'. “I would be more than happy to have a glass of your famous apple cider.” Her family made some of the best ciders one could find anywhere, and when cider season began, folk tended to flock to Sweet Apple Acres to sample the batch. The lines would stretch far and long and resemble lines one would find at the grand opening of a new Whinny World ride. The little farmer’s food also looked better than what she had brought along. This was a small bundle of MREs or ‘Meal, Ready To Eat’ type meals. They were easy to put together and filling, but not very tasty. Fortified pastry. Eep. Fire Walker caught notice of Fluttershy who had vanished into her tent for a moment. She was probably looking after that devious little rabbit she kept at her side. The incredibly gorgeous mare was quick to offer help to the little farmer, but also turn down the officer's offer of whiskey. Oh, the red pony would pay ALL of the bits to see how she acted when tipsy. Thankfully Alizarin Fruits took up her offer. This was some good, primo stuff she had. Feeling a rather heavy wave of positive energy, she also offered up a drink to Sombra. The thought of this actually happening blew her mind just a bit. Was he a real, living creature, or an animated shadow? He had an somewhat adorable little sleeping bag at his side. Did he purchase this? She almost wanted to see the whole scene. The dark lord visiting an local general store...Maybe an Cantermart....Him with his impressive figure and bloody red eyes and horn...Standing in line, patiently, waiting to purchase his little bedroll. Maybe he even had a coupon floating at his side. What was he looking at? Both he and a few others were looking towards......She followed their eyes...To another pair of eyes...Ones that glowed in the dark....Probably belonged to an animal..."Can we help you?", she asked the owner of the eyes. Mr Gumby quickly made it to her side and waited for his commands. 'Ralph', he whispered.
  14. 4 points
    *this post submitted for judging* "Swim across a raging river that's probably infested with sharks, lined with the sharpest rocks, and colder than an iced tea on a freezing day in winter?" The Lord of Chaos stood at the entry area for the Iron Swimmer event. The old earth pony swimmer running the event nodded his head with an expressionless face. "Get myself across and back, then across again with no magic to enlisted the help of an army of goldfish and sea turtles?" Discord gasped, hardly able to comprehend any pony much less a draconequus such as himself could complete the challenge. The pony started walking away shaking his head. "But if I do make it I'll have a crowd cheering for me and probably a statue made in my name for my feat a bravery?" He cringed at the mention of a statue. "Well maybe not a statue... how about a sculpture of me made out of cupcakes? No no no... hmmm ah! A sculpture of me made out of pickles and jam! Yes that's it!" The pony he'd been conversing with was long gone but that mattered not to Discord. Neither did cheering crowds or sculptures. He'd do it just because he felt like it! Yes that was it! And maybe a little bit because Fluttershy might be watching. He blushed and tittered to himself while trotting towards the contestants area for the Iron Swimmer! "So," His brows dropped low over his eyes as he scoped out the challenge. And quite a challenge it was! "no magic, just moi!" Soon enough it was his turn. Discord moved towards the start line with an inflatable yellow duckie around his waist, a swim cap firmly in place over his head with his horns poking through, and a snorkel and mask strapped on tight! "Uh hem?" The earth pony judge moved in front. "Oh! None of this then?" He dropped the mask, snorkel, and cap. "Oh ok..." He shimmied out of the duckie and dropped it to the side. "You're no fun." He commented dryly before plunging into the river! The shock of the cold caused a gasp as he surfaced to suck in air. The draconequus struck out towards the opposite bank with well...tiny limbs. "Oh well now, this will never do!" It was all he could do to keep himself from using a bit of magic but no, he'd do this right! Focusing on his swimming the God of Chaos began to undulate his body in the fluid motion helping him to move through the water despite the current pulling him down river. He began to pant as he went, exerting all his strength to keep himself going. If that wasn't enough things were about to get worse! "This is proving why I use magic all the time." He grumbled while continuing onward. "Life's no fun without it." He rolled his eyes as an ominous shape moved towards him. A huge fish was coming right for him! He could see its spiked dorsal fin above the water and could only guess how many teeth went along with all those spikes. It shot towards him and Discord whipped the back half of his body to the side and out of the way. As the fish went by he lashed out with his tail and bonked the fish a good one right between the eyes. "You want some more?" Discord threw the challenge out, feeling better than he'd like to admit that he was getting through this all on his own. The fish receded down river and nurse his wound and probably prepare to assault another competitor. On he went and the other side of the river loomed near. Just as he was coming up on the place where he could push off to go back the way he came a bunch of branches came tumbling down the river! The draconequus launched himself up on the first large branch and then hopped along the others until he had touched the designated mark and headed back the other way. He entered the water with a splash as the branches and logs were carried away from him. "I can hardly wait to see what's next." He rolled his eyes and tried to keep his breathing even as he struck out for the side he had started from. As if on cue the river began to get rougher. Small waves turned into larger waves and soon Discord was being tossed around by large rollers that came from somewhere upstream. He was still being tugged by the current and for a few moments he floundered, letting the current do its thing. He gulped in a mouthful of water and gagged. "Well now this is just too much!" He turned and swam directly at the waves, ducking under them to keep from being washed away. Once he was back in line with the course Discord swam with the waves, using them to launch him towards the river's edge. He was there soon enough and starting his last leg! This last crossing would prove to be a test of all his mettle. The draconequus wished that he could snap his fingers and end up warm and sipping tea in his cottage in Chaosville but no, Fluttershy would just love to know he'd finished the course on his own. The pegasus thought so well of him though he'd failed her time and time again. He'd let her down and she'd stick by him and prove to him what friendship was. Yes Flutters was one in a million and he'd do his darndest to make her proud of him! He swam as hard as he could, using the rest of his energy to get the finish line within his reach! Then the water in front of him began to light up! "What now?" Discord grumbled and ducked below the surface to take a quick look. "Oh isn't this a pleasant surprise? What river race would be complete without a wall of electric eels?" The eels pulsed with electricity in rhythm and this gave Discord and idea! He gulped in a huge breath of air and dove down! To his surprise the current lessened in the deeper part of the river. He waited, watching the eels swimming back and forth. He'd have to time this just right. One, two, three...now! He struck out swimming in the same undulating style that had helped him thus far in the challenge. Under the eels he went as their pulse turned off and moments later back on. He surfaced and yelled out. "Yowch!" The electric current got him just on the tip of his tail! "That's bad form you know?" He complained while climbing up and out of the river. The draconequus was still rubbing his rear when he crossed the finish line. The cheering crowds snapped him to attention and he began smiling and applauding his performance. "Yes yes, I know," He grinned. "I'm amazing!"
  15. 4 points
    Submitted for Judging Not for the first time, Fēng Yīnhǎitāo was grateful that showers had been provided for the athletes at the Iron pony. Of course, 'showers' often meant a bucket brigade and a laundry tub, but that just reminded him of his foalhood. Ponyville might be growing into a bustling hub, but it was still a small country town at heart. Still, Feng had acquired enough big-city sophistication to not want any mud to linger on his scales after being pulled into the tug-of-war pit. That all taken care of, he arrived at the barrel weave's starting line with no small amount of confidence, perhaps a bit of a cockiness too, in his strut. All his years of martial arts training as a longma Imperial Watcher had given him a level of bodily control on top of his natural agility that had served him well through many events, and this was going to be a perfect fit for his talents. *Just gotta remember to keep my wings folded. Don't want to accidentally brush a barrel, or get hit with a DQ.* It would just be the sort of thing his hometown would expect, wouldn't it, for someone of his family; all that preparation for a spectacular failure- *NO! NONE OF THAT.* He grit his teeth, his earlier, easy confidence draining away as he tried to shout down his own doubts within his head. Closing his eyes, he took a deep, meditative breath. *Don't think about them. Think of the Empress. Remember her charge to you to bring glory and honor to her country's name. Keep her confidence in you in the front of your mind. Remember her smile, and know you shall summon it forth again* He wondered if Yu Yue knew how often she had saved him from being swallowed by his own sense of self-doubt and anxiety; it was one of the reasons he was so obsessively devoted to her. She had done her job once again, it seemed, as by the time the start of his run was flagged, he was able to regain his easy, confident gait as he sprinted forward, banking into each turn as if he were going on an easy flight. The key was balance, as the difficulty of the event came from having to shift one's weight back and forth so many times. It was a deceptively hard task for a quadruped, but Feng was making it look easy... for the first six barrels. The seventh turn he made was a bit too outside, and he knew it halfway through. His momentum was too high to easily run back without either losing time or knocking into a barrel. But Feng wasn't one to accept a bad dichotomy, not when he could show off by picking the third, crazy option. At the outer edge of his turn, he sharply banked back to the left and drifted, planting all four hooves flat and casting a cloud of dust in his wake as he made the turn on momentum alone, before kicking off around the eighth barrel, the balance in his run restored. It was the sort of move only a supremely confident, and none too heavy, pony could take, and fortunately Feng was both. The cloud hadn't dissipated fully by the time he reached the finish line, which caused him to cough as he stopped to catch his breath. Clearing his throat, after a second, he called out to the cheering crowd, "That one's for you, Yue!" The mere words would have merely seemed to most like an idle dedication of an athlete in the spotlight, taking on the mantle of 'humility.' But for the longma stallion, he really meant it; if it were not for her and the chance she (or her Watchers) had given him, he could not have hoped for anything like success or glory. Whatever he won at the Iron Pony was to be laid, gratefully, at her hooves.
  16. 4 points
    Look, kid... If you're going to illustrate yourself flipping us off, at least have the common courtesy to make it realistic.
  17. 4 points
    As much as Niilavin said that he admired the way in which Equestria gave dignity to the lower classes, he still had an insufficiently broad definition of those to whom dignity was to be afforded. Of course, it would take some pretty powerful juju on Prince Blueblood's part to overcome the natural hatred between dogs and cats, but for the sake of avoiding mass hysteria, something had to be done. "[Enough of that.]" Blue gave an ineffectual but symbolic bap between his sphinx's ears. "[You shouldn't let your irritations define your actions, that only lets them control you.]" Not exactly an order, so the magic might not compel Niil. But if discipline could be instilled, then the magic would be redundant. *I really ought to see about hiring an obedience school trainer...* Speaking of which, there were the dogs. "Apologies." He dipped his head to Hogo-sha. "He isn't quite... housebroken yet." Was that an unintentional slur to diamond dogs? Or... was Hogo-sha actually a diamond dog? A Changeling? No, they rarely adopted bipedal form. Perhaps a yokai? Was that still insulting? Gah, it was stressful being a diplomat. The anubis newcomer was only complicating the situation. Good grief, had the Prince brought home a nationalist? Shaking his head, and resolving to ignore Niil's little snit, Blueblood addressed the Saddle Arabian canine. "I heard little of his kind; he will grow larger in time, though that will be some years off, sphinxes being quite long-lived. Truth be told... I'm not sure if any yet living remain besides he. I freed him from a petrification curse when accompanying an archaeological dig; he was buried with the pharaoh that had ensorcelled him." He decided against revealing that the amulet was the source of said ensorcellment. Didn't seem like the safest policy to go about leaking that information. "By the way, I don't believe I ever caught your name...?"
  18. 3 points
    'The Annual Regionals Meet' was plastered across the arena in Cantorlot, the clouded track being set comfortably on the ground for any pony or creature to watch. Only sixteen pegasi were hoof picked to go and race in this meet, for the next meet was for districts. Only half could move on though, as districts required only eight ponies to qualify. The weather was nice and sunny outside, complimenting the spring trees whom had just bloomed outside the stadium. The warm air had caused a large crowd to form on the bleachers, since most didn't like sitting in the rain. A large crowd meant more money was coming through, just from betting alone. Of course the higher class ponies sat above all else, placing their own bets to attract the most attention. Within the stadium, were of course the sixteen racers. Golden Daze stood as one of the competitors, taking in the warm air into her lungs to relax her tense body. Her anxiety was off the roof. Though she's flown with a few of these pegasi already from her past meets, the idea of getting in the starting position, waiting for the flag to go down, made her nervous. Her dad believed she was made to do this, which kept her moving forward. All she had to do was place in the top eight and she could continue on with her season. It was only 250 laps, her main event. The event she trained the most for. It should be a piece of cake. The golden pony's uniform snuggled on her close, making her more comfortable. Though see all those creatures in the stands made her have a small mental breakdown, she was use to this. So, as the flag pony yelled, "To your marks!" Daze got herself situated in her lane, relaxing her entire body. The crowd fell silent, and all Daze could hear was her thoughts and the control of her breathing. "Set!" The mare's wings flung into the air, outstretching and ready for the first push into the air. The other 15 competitors followed suite, itching for the flag to fling down. Daze's ears twitched as she heard the slight shift of movement from the flag, causing her to launch into the air with a sudden burst of energy. Her wings were strong, and powerful, but so was everypony else's. Daze found herself in 5th place, and though she could easily settle for that placement, she wanted more. The 150th lap rolled around, and that's when Daze's wings kicked harder. Every flap counted to catching the next Pegasus up. She flew into 4th place, then 3rd, trailing behind two other ponies. Onto the 200th, she began to get tired, losing her momentum with the wind against her. She kept pushing though, slowly catching to 2nd place. 210th, 230th, 240th, ten more to go. Then, she past the 2nd place pony, putting her in that position. The race was over. The young Pegasus huffed, absolutely tired from her strong comeback. She looked up at the leaderboard, seeing her placement and time. "Not too shabby," she said out loud, looking at every pony else who just finished. She tiredly walked to the others, congratulating everypony who made it, and saying 'good job' to those who tried their best. She then went over to first place, smiling sweetly. "Nice job, kid," she said to them, then shook their wing. "See you at the next meet." The Pegasus smiled, just relieved the race was over. She always agreed to herself that before the race was the worst, during it is in the middle, and after is the best. The Pegasus didn't have to worry anymore. Her dad continuously told her to ice and stretch afterwards though, to prevent injuries. His voice was ringing in her head, the familiar sensation keeping her mind occupied. She got lost in her thoughts then, heading over to the locker room. She was sweaty and exhausted, and just wanted some water at this point. She was walking faster, at a trot, and as she closed her eyes to concentrate on her next actions. Soon, she found herself on the ground, landing hard on the concrete. All she knew was that she hit a big wall, a furry one, actually. A little taller than her. Daze was unfamiliar with the creature she just ran into, and she immediately felt bad for the collision. "Woah, hey, sorry, I didn't see 'ya there," she said with a hint of exhaustion. Hopefully the creature wasn't hurt from how hard the collision was..
  19. 3 points
    Applejack was pleasantly surprised to see the mare who came to her stand next was none other than Tempest Shadow herself! She was a strong mare. Combative and blunt, having led a rough life that didn't seem to play easy with her so she didn't play easy with it. New scars told Applejack that she wasn't keeping her nose entirely out of trouble but she had been keeping her name out of the papers. Small steps for big mares may not seem all that special but Applejack knew you had to take what you could get with some of the more fighty ones. And Tempest sure did qualify under that bracket. Luckily she did eventually crack her cold demeanor with a warmer smile and a question that tugged at Applejack's overplucked heartstrings. “It's been real good down here. Same stuff day in, day out! Zap Apple's been good. Why, he has started countin' his numbers real good-like. He's gonna be tha smartest stallion in tha whole wide world Ah reckon,” she said with a mighty chuckle, though her look of pride needed no augmentation. She really did think the world of her little stallion and knew that this opinion would be shared by literally every last pony who ever met them, Celestia help those that thought otherwise if she knew about them. “Ah hope you've been doin' well, Tempest,” Applejack said as she washed her stand top once again, partially out of nervousness. “Got worried 'bout ya. Happy ta see ya here again!” She said with a mighty big smile as a capper. She then spread her forelegs out over the stand. “So, what we got here is a nice deal. Five bits an you get yerself a bushel of fine Sweet Apple Acres apples. Not only that, but you get a big kiss from lil' ol' me,” she said with a wink. “So, what'll it be? What sorta apple's got yer name on it today?” *Tempest Shadow* Kissed 1-10 11-20 21-30 31-40 41-50 51-60 61-70 71-80 81-90
  20. 3 points
    A few weeks ago my kids were pronouncing exaggeration as ejaculation and I was like: Then it turns out that when I reach up to write on the board you can see my underwear. So i've pretty much flashed my class multiple times like: And then I accidentally kicked a child like:
  21. 3 points
    Tempest flicked an ear as the pink bird pony felt the need to speak up. She groaned and looked over her back at the filly with a cold, uncaring look she was so well known for. “I’m not gonna be baited in to that. Last thing I need is twilight sitting me down for some long friendship talk on why my discipline is not ok to use on colts and fillies.” She remarked looking away from them. But it seems Grubber had to open his trap again. At least he was not talking at her so she can’t really get angry at him for talking at another around her. Fleet days were long gone. Even if his lisp made her skin crawl. But hearing him stand up for her was… funny. He was ever faithful in his own way. For how much she hated how useless he was, he was not a total failure. His trust and willingness to follow her orders was good. Now if only he was not so lacking in all other things! Maybe when he’s older she can try her hoof at training him better? Was it even worth it? Probably not. But few were willing to go on rants about how good sh- hold up. Her ears flicked as she turned her head to look at him. ‘Best friend anybody can ask for’? It made a soft snort leave her muzzle. That was a lie. It's been almost two years and she’s not made one… Not for a lack of trying. It's not her fault. Was it? Whatever. It was almost her turn and she was getting hungry.
  22. 3 points
    Hey guys! I’m new here. I actually discovered this site yyyeaarsss ago but I was always too scared to join. Glad I’m here now, though!
  23. 3 points
    "It's not a button. It's a dial Moto. And there is no off option on it. It simply goes from 'Low' to 'Shut Up Already'." noblepony corrected his fiancee while adding some self-shade. "Well not my kind of relaxing...." Swift grumbled in muted protest. Then again it was probably him. Not many other ponies would find, say, bungee jumping as a refreshing experience. Events like these in comparison, absolutely bored him. "And small talk about what Dear? So far besides you and me there is nopony else that I kno...." Oh thanks Harmony! His prayers were delivered! If only some of his fellow EPIC members could show up, this event would get even more bearable. Than again, EPIC was not an official formation. Did they even count as a, military? A commando unit like Honor Guard perhaps? Come to think of it, most of members were the civilians, even if they had prior experience in REA or REIN, himself included. He needs to talk with Sparkle about this. seeing that soon enough everything will be in her hooves, perhaps she has few ideas to reorganize things a little. "When did she came back? Wasn't Pretzy....a Court Artist for Long Guo Empress?" Swift was asking real questions here.... "Probably they can. Everything counts in large amounts." Swift answered unconsciously. "Wait what am I saying?! And why we are sitting here? Let's join her!" swordpony was so hungry for social activity that he bounced from his seat, pulled Fire from her own and proceeded to move through the crowd while dragging their meals (and his suitcases) through the air. Thankfully his large stature made this easy, with him to move akin to icebreaker through the mass of other guests, allowing Fire to follow him without trouble. "Pretzy it's been....how long exactly? Well, too long the way I see it." he greeted the painter, with a very delicate shoulder punch "Knew you couldn't be tied to one place forever, even if it was nice one like Huangjing's Imperial Palace. Wanderlust always get better of us." noblepony mused before leaning to Fire. "Family trait Dear. In-blood for at least 500 years. Our ancestor married quite an explorer, Miss Chart Smart, and it's from her that we got it." Swift dropped some trivia about his and Presteza shared lineage before taking sip from his glass. Thankfully, Fire Walker knew his habits well and despite the color suggesting otherwise, it contained a simple grape juice. Of non-fermented kind. "And who is this gentstallion that invited yo......Wait, didn't I saw you somewhere? During.....Crystal Fair?" Swift addressed the Flash Sentry. But before he could get his answer the herald had to announce the arrival of the latest guests from Crystal Empire, just like he did when he and Fire came in. His eardrums still ringed a little from that one. "So the Empire strikes back....at least now we know where Celestia's Canterlot Royal Voice goes when she's not using it." Squall commented. "And Cadenza businesses card has to be very long indeed. Or it uses small font, which is low blow to the elderly." noblepony didn't omitted to make a playful jab at Mi Amore long list of titles. "Also Pretzy? You BFF calls you Miss when you can't hear her." he added while pointing at Fire and taking another sip of juice. The snark. It never ends.
  24. 3 points
    Panic was written all over the poor farm pony's face. She didn't care if she looked scared anymore, she didn't care if her stone cold face showed any other emotion. Ali just wanted out of the quicksand as fast a possible, but her panicking did no good for her or the deer next to her. It was dark, cold, and the only thing she could really see was her small candle and the group of ponies around her. The only thing the brown and cream earth pony could think was how much she wanted to be saved, even if she didn't trust these ponies. Did she not trust them, though? The small gal kept wiggling, getting deeper and deeper into the gooey sand, which slowly engulfed her in it's wrath. Her heartbeat was faster than a cheetah at this point, and she couldn't stop yelling random words, until the young little Apple Bloom walked right up to her. Before then, Ali watched as Sombra made a large crystal appear in front of her, making her pupils grow smaller. The big 'ol thing protruded right in front of her, making her teal green eyes stare at the odd use of magic. Apple Bloom began to talk to her, and Ali's stubbornness made her move even faster. "Ah'm literally almost neck deep in this goop and you think not movin' will do anythin'? I need out of here!" The little filly kept talking though, which soothed Ali's temperament. She stopped moving all together, which slowed down the sinking immensely. A flash of an idea popped in her head, something that probably wouldn't have happened without the little fillies help. And maybe the little drink she had earlier helped too, but she thought she could trust this ponies. That idea only popped in for a few seconds, but maybe these ponies weren't that bad. Soon the little yellow filly was gone, and the only thing Ali could do was look up at the red captain above her. All four of Ali's legs were stuck in the sand, mainly her back ones, and even with small movements she couldn't get them out. The black crystal was right there to grab, but of course she couldn't reach it. "Just gimme the rope! Just gimme the rope!" She tried to get her front hooves free, as she slowly sunk a little more. Ali was panicking again, as another thump shook the trees. "Please! I really don't wanna die today." She looked around, searching for Apple Bloom and Fluttershy. The sweet Pegasus was tending to the deer, and the filly was no where.
  25. 3 points
    Grubber might have gotten to answering the hippogriff’s question had he not spotted his former commander turned designated sponsor. For a moment, the hedgehog felt the tiniest inkling of a storm brewed over his head as Tempest Shadow mumbled something inaudible. Thankfully, that pit in stomach turned out to be a case of the imagination happily running wild, so Grubber obliviously answered the unicorn. “Oh, school’th TOTALLY been doin’ great!!!” He excitedly bragged; “I’m making lotth of new friendth and learning everything I can about Friendthhip! I’m thure the report cardth thay glowing thingth about me, or otherwithe, you’d be giving me the evil eye and dithciplining me with your crazy horn right about now... you know, just like old timeth, eh heh heh heh.....” .....It was perhaps a merciful thing then that Tempest Shadow didn’t know that according to the Friendship School’s mailings, Grubber displayed troubling signs of underachieving and being proud of it. The hippogriff used the slight pause in the conversation to interject with another question. “Yeah, that thoundth like Commander Tempetht alright,” Grubber nodded, glad he didn’t require any boring history book reading to get that right; “Thhe did the Throm King’th evil, evil bidding. Whenever he needed a city thacked or a kingdom enthlaved, Tempetht Thadow’th Air Armada came in and made everything all blow up and thuff! After we nabbed all four pony princesseth, Throm King promithed he’d fix Tempetht’s horn and-” Grubber did a double take; “Wait a thec, why doeth it thill look like you thill got a crackly chipped tooth on the top of your head?” He gasped; “Doeth thith mean you’ll alwayth be thtuck with tharky tharky boom thells FOREVER???”
  26. 3 points
    ........................... ................................................................. Sunset Shimmer was at a complete loss of words as Tempest Shadow laid bare her innermost emotions. This went FAR beyond a simple phobia of losing one’s magic. Rather, it sounded like Tempest despised everything about the path her life had taken. Evidently, turning her back on the Storm King had basically did jack all at changing the broken-horned unicorn’s view of the world. And honestly, what could a girl like Sunset SAY to things like what Tempest described? How could anybody who once benefited from Friendship — and then lost it all — ever be persuaded to give it another chance when they’re hyper aware of every possible rotten thing life could throw at you? Miss Shimmer wasn’t even sure if offering her personal friendship would help; Tempest Shadow was a proud unicorn afraid of showing weakness, and the ex-apprentice guessed that any attempt at befriending her counterpart that could be perceived as being done out of pity would be categorically rejected. Unable to immediately form a counter-response to Tempest’s assertions, Sunset merely stood there with a blank stare as the other unicorn started walking off. True, Hanabi attempted to flee from the group several minutes ago... but here she was now attempting to provide gratitude, while Tempest Shadow herself was in the process of retreating from the area after going on a heartfelt tirade. It was doubtful though whether talking to the mare would have any result at this point, but Sunset Shimmer couldn’t bring herself to let her counterpart go without a fight. At the very least, Tempest deserved to know she was worth being chased after. “.....We’ll see you guys in a little bit,” Sunset informed Feng and Hanabi after several moments elapsed. At this juncture, it was probably best if Tempest Shadow didn’t feel surrounded by strangers. Resolving to get through to her on a one-on-one level, Sunset broke into a relaxed but brisk canter in hopes of quietly catching up to Tempest.....
  27. 3 points
    Rage was in many ways the most powerful feeling for Tempest. Rage is what allowed her to live where others have fallen. Rage pushed her on past pains that made lesser willed turn back. Yet it was her biggest weakness as well. In times of stress, fear or pain it roared to the top and holding it back was almost pointless. And when she was not in the mindset to hold it at all the feeling blinded her. And that blindness was the opening Feng had as Tempest jumped for Sunset like a hungry wolf. Flailing and kicking out she struggles in his grasp, still trying to reach Sunset like some feral beast. “Traitors!” She screamed in her struggles to break free, pushing at Feng to make him let go. But his hold was strong and he made no move to harm her. None of them did. But his words did the most to reach Tempest. His commands managed to get past the blinding rage as her struggles slowed. Peace by peace everything that happened started to fit together. Details she missed, words blocked out. They all came together to show one thing clear… She bucked up. They were not trying to hurt her. Did her mind make up all of it? She did not know and that was even more horrifying on a truth to swallow. What if Feng did not stop her? How far was her blind fear and rage willing to go? With that she stopped struggling and looked away from all three of them. This. This is why she can’t have friends. And she knew it. “I…” She trails off, the rage in her face and words gone. After a few moments of deep breaths she spoke up again. “Standing down’ Sir.”
  28. 3 points
    Hi guys! I've been on the forum for a couple days now and haven't really had an opportunity to join any threads yet, and I don't really have a plot in mind for anything big, so... I thought I'd start off with meeting people (and the ponies they play) and making friends through slice-of-life RP! The invitation is open to anypony who could reasonably find themselves looking for fun in Ponyville, so... yeah, pretty much anypony! Premise: Hawthorn gets his hooves on some choice ingredients (which, given the location, is probably mostly apples) and with the help of his siblings is able to whip up a feast of mouth-watering treats that are sure to get ponies galloping in from all over town! Depending on who joins, we could specify a location (otherwise he'd just host it outside his house) or even make it a potluck instead! That's all that's set in stone, but I'm open to other ideas if we wanted to maybe introduce conflict of some sort (just off the top of my head, maybe there's a bad apple in the batch or one of Hawthorn's younger siblings accidentally puts something in the food that gets somepony sick?). The main point, though, is just to have fun and make friends so we can already know each other for future threads.
  29. 3 points
    Well there goes her multilayered plan she had floating around in her skull. The officer should have known better. You could tell young Apple Bloom to sit still, but if there was something interesting ahead, she sure as well wasn't gonna be sitting still! She was an Apple and those apples needed to keep rolling... Mister Gumby knew this as well and let off an "BORF!" before taking after the young filly. He would be able to keep an eye on the farmer and give her just enough time with the others. Fluttershy was next. And zounds. It was probably safer to sneak into a dragon's lair. Steal a bag of gems and then slap him on the backside with a bat while shouting, "I AM STEALING YOUR STUFF. DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!" While standing still than it was to bother an cute little fuzzy animal in front of the sweet mare. Fire Walker once heard that Fluttershy once punched a griffon square in the beak when he tried to slash at an helpless little chipmunk. This was probably total bullhonkey, but it made for an interesting visual. Young Alizarin was playing with fire and sometimes when you play with fire, you get burnt! With that, she ran into the darkness. The forest was creepy, but this was not the Everfree, and while it was dark and spooky, it was still a mostly safe bit of woods. The animals were friendly. The weather wasn't crazy. She was safe. But she was still ready for anything. "Hey Apple Bloom! You see anything yet?" Had she found the source of the yelp!?
  30. 3 points
    Fire Walker glanced over at the little filly. The old stereotype was that ponies were a very forgiving people was riding high with the little farmer. He might have enslaved an entire kingdom and later tried to conquer Canterlot with an army of mesmerized slaves, but that was like yesterday! The past! Move on! Don’t dwell there! Move on to the present! The present where the former king probably had another scheme to conquer all ready. She trusted Sombra as much as she could throw Canterlot Castle. She would keep an eye on him. See what he really has planned. She doubted he was that concerned with a group of random animals. Maybe he was seeking out a mare or two to snatch. She would not allow this. So now there were two mysteries at hoof. Find the missing animals and see what was going on with Sombra. Maybe he was really Discord. That silly serpent hadn’t bugged her in months. Maybe he finally found a girlfriend. Gumby stood by the yellow coated mare. He would also protect her. “RALPH”, he barked with a slightly husky tone. He would be her guard-dog. Nothing would get by him. This lasted about a second as a little butterfly lured him away. “RALPH!” Thankfully it did not lead him away from the group. Sombra was still there and still very cranky. Being an officer, she could not look weak and continued to look him in the eye. Something bothered her. In the flesh? Did Sombra have any flesh? What she had heard was that he was an Umbrum. A living shadow that was shaped into an pony form. He wasn't a real unicorn, but still very powerful. If he wanted to turn her group into mindless zombies, he would have done it by now. "Well, don't do anything evil, alright?" Maybe he was trying to earn some brownie points with the princesses. Yes, I did horrible things all those years, but I rescued some cute animals, so are we even? The small group took time to set up their camp. This was something the officer was really good at doing. The tents would stand tall, and the fire was within regulation. Thankfully she brought enough R.E.A approved 'Fluffy Puff' marshmallows for everypony! Young Alizarin appeared to be a tad bit on the grumpy side. She might have been worried about the animals. Worried that she might not be able to solve the mystery. Thankfully the officer had a flask of some of the finest Rockwington whiskey. She pulled it out with her wing and waved it at the worried farmer. Single Malt. Aged 30 years. A quick sip wouldn't make her drunk, but it would at least take away the grumpiness. Her offer was good to just about everypony, except Apple Bloom!
  31. 3 points
    Alizarin let the ponies have their ways with each other. She didn't really respond to the rest of them, just a simple head nod, eye roll, or huff would be enough to fill in the empty void in between conversations. The small mare just wanted to see the emotions and chemistry between each pony- to see if any of them had tension. Of course the sharp mare immediately noticed the spark between the red captain and dark stallion, mixed with the shy Pegasus. The little filly, or Apple Bloom, seemed to be brave enough to stay calm in the situation. How interesting. As soon as the meetings settle down, Ali took the opportunity to lead the group into the forest. By this time, the stars were starting to appear. Soon they'd have to rely on the light of the night sky, and the sounds within the darkness to lead them. Hopefully they'd find a campsite in time, so they can settle down. The pack on the short mare's back was starting to make her tired, and she just wanted to see where these animals were going. In her mind though, she thought she was the most competent of the five to lead the so called pack, as the others seemed to be mainly emotionally driven. Ha. Who needs emotions. The brown mare kept her attention on the small dirt path, listening to the sounds around her. Leaves rustled, but the wind seemed to relax as it got darker. No striking sounds yet though. Probably because it was still not completely dark yet. Her ear twitched when she heard the little yellow filly talking, so Ali cleared her throat, "Yeah? I grew up 'n these woods. Y'all can trust mah judgment." Her voice was deep yet truthful. Her Pop-pop would take her to these woods to see the wildlife. Even the plants. The duo would sit and watch the sunsets in a large tree that they climbed up. Sometimes they could see shooting stars after the fact. Ali's dad would always call 'em lucky. Ali thought they were a rare yet beautiful sight. Maybe that could also be her motivation: saving her childhood forest from the darkness. There didn't need to be an Everfree forest 2.0. The short farm pony led the group down a path that led to a small, secluded campground. Dark, large trees surrounded the perimeter. The mare trotted over to a blank spot and set her things down, getting ready to set up her little tent as quickly as possible. She honestly didn't think she'd get sleep that night, just because they needed to be creature watching. If the crowd got tired though, and if this took a couple nights, then the tent would be useful. Not the first night though. But anyway, she set up her tent in silence, soon speaking out to say, "Somepony light up a fire. It's gonna get dark here soon." She still had her grumpy voice. It seemed unamused more than anything. She entered her tent, setting down her sleeping bag then coming back out. Her eyes seemed to glow in the night, as she grew impatient with everypony already. Her face was scrunched together in a frown, as she was feeling already tired. Tired from what? Probably all the commotion. She wasn't used to talking to more than one pony at a time. The large group kind of set her off. "C'mon y'all, let's get a darn move on. We don't have all night- er day- er whatever."
  32. 3 points
    Yanhua had been scurrying away at a steady pace, but was still just within earshot. The last words she heard were tempest's and if anything they only made her more frazzled. This was terrible. They really were going to hunt her? Did Feng remember the stories back home about her told back in the palace and by talespinners back in the capital? Why were things turning out like this?! She knew by now it wasn't right to hypnotize a queen and take on her looks to get a good,free meal, but to be sealed up for so long just for that... She couldn't go back to being imprisoned in those woods. Or whatever woods they had in this area... Wait a minute wasn't some spirit imprisoned as a stone statue not long ago? This was equestria, what if that was how they punished rogue spirits here?! If there was anything worse than being stuck in the woods with no magic, it had be frozen in place for eternity. She had to run and get back to normal now, Just come back to the group as Yanhua. Tell them it was some sort of weird prank or some mean fox foal-napped her! ... They'd only seen a few glimpses of her tails, right? If she could turn back now she could make something up! She got low into the grass, trying to keep her extremities out of sight as best she could. looking back up to the group behind her through the tall grass, she could make out the magical one talking at length about something. While the fox couldn't put her paw on it, something about this pony seemed unique in addition to the magical gifts emanating from her. This Sunset seemed very astute. She could only just barely make out what she said by reading her lips in between the wind stirred blades of grass... The first thing made her panic spike again as she thought she read "Head on a wall..." Were they not even going to bother with the imprisonment?! This seemed like such a pleasant country! Were the ponies here really so secretly brutal to their enemies? As Sunset's lips waggled Yanhua only felt more restless, enough that she started to back up further and further into the grass. Something inside told her she should start running. If one of them got close she had at least one spell she could use to defend herself and inconvenience them... In her fear it seemed she failed to notice one of her tails drifting above the upper limit of the field of grass. Feng took the lead and as much as she knew she could use some magic on him and he'd be unscathed... she couldn't bring herself to cast it. The Fox turned tail and ran as fast as she could towards the mostly empty town, heart pounding away in her chest and sore muscles pushing her to flee. while she was surprisingly swift, her time on the wall was catching up to her and Feng was finding himself gaining on the vulpine runner.
  33. 3 points
    I will be posting Friday. After that, I will be able to reply quickly after posts by Tacobob. Dragonruin, if you could PM me your Sombra justification?
  34. 3 points
    “What?” Tempest asked, she sounded genuinely shocked by what Feng asked. She blinked at him, then put her bottle of rum down. She eye’d up the pen and paper as if it was going to hurt her somehow. After a few moments of starin she takes it in her muzzle and places it on the desk. “I… You really want that?” She asked, the coldness to her tone almost lost as a tiny spark of something can be seen in her eyes that was not hatred or contempt. She was shocked by the fact he wanted her autograph and seems so honest in it. Maybe it was thanks to where he came from he acted and felt so different. Taking the pen in her muzzle she put it to paper and got to work puting down the words. Tempest, big and bold. She was half way done with Shadow when some pony had to break the moment. Berrytwist Shadow. How come every time some pony used her old name they had to mess it up somehow? And then mix it with her new name? It was like getting smacked in the face with an earth pony buck. Fizzlepop Berrytwist was gone and there was no going back to her. She was gone long before Tempest came in to being. That mare, that name was dead ages ago to a filly all alone in the world. All it did was bring back pain, loneliness and repressed memories. The taste of ink snapped her out of it. Spitting up the broken pin and some ink she blinked at the half done autograph, ruined by ink mixed with spit. She needed to relax, Deep breaths… Than he came. Why. Why was this town FULL of them. There was no end, no peace. She wanted to see the town aflame, ash in the air as every last one of them was muzzled in to silence. Was that too much to ask for? She was at her breaking point. “NO! NO WE NEVER DID!” She screamed at the pony, her voice full of rage. “I never have and never will!” She snapped her head at the mare that miss spoke her name with eyes full of evil. “I am Tempest Shadow. That is my one and only name and all it has ever been.” with that she falls back in to her seat. Why did she do this. Why did she come out here. Every time she tries to interact with others this happened. Why didn't she just take the ship to Hesperia? She’d been better off. She’d never fit in here. Deep breaths. Deep breaths. “If you must know why i’m so unhappy it is how every pony must force themselves up in to my day. I was doing fine. I was happy. So if you want me to be happy don’t dogpile me. Just… Give me some space ok?” she asked, opening her eyes to look at Cheese and Yanhua then to the rest hanging about. she was makeing a mess and it was her falt in the end. not theme. "I'm sorry." It was not alot but even that felt hard to say.
  35. 3 points
    "Ah gotcha. My random knowledge came helpful for once," she replied to Khamsa, (or Fiver, she honestly preferred Khamsa in this situation). Her mother was the type to often learn about and remember arbitrary facts that got passed down. "Well, more than once, this isn't the first time, but whatever." She shrugged. "I want to say it's Griffon's integrated into pony society, but that's just judging from my own knowledge. There's still much more for me to learn about Crystal Empire lore," she said to Zelda. "I didn't hear much about the griffon settlement you talked about, but maybe I did and I just forgot about it." She could feel a chill go through herself. The air from the outside seemed to be seeping through inside now. She wanted to trust the authority of the train service. There's no way they would travel in these conditions. However, it felt like the conditions were very borderline. She went through her bag again. A bunch of winter gear including a blindfold for the potential weather. Her eyes were not completely dead, they still had feeling, a bit too much feeling if you would ask her and that would not pair well with her habit of keeping her eyes open. No problem with sunlight, but in cold weather, the wind and frost can suck. "Right, well, it seems you better get used to it because I don't think they're gonna end anytime soon," she replied to the flying pegasus. She thought for a moment. "I think there may be a pattern to the turbulence. Haven't quite figured it out yet..." "I think the clicking is coming from outside. I'll go check it out. I don't see what could be so scary about going outside for a moment, not like you're going to fall off, and as if that would be much of a problem for you." She pulled on her blindfold and got up from her seat moving into the aisle. A moment not too later, the train started shaking and she went down flat onto the floor. It was not the shaking, but the sudden barrage of items on top of her. "It... would seem... that the inside is more deadly... yeah."
  36. 3 points
    The black griffon took a quick gander outside. Let's see. There was snow. Snow. Snow and also snow. Snow on hills. Snow on mountains. Even snow on more snow. This was more than enough snow to see, so she returned to her seat and drawing pad. "Well, I guess we'll find out.", the griffon kept her eyes on her pad as she spoke, "I hope to check out the impressive, ancient griffon statues they have through the 'empire' and then maybe learn why they are there.", she added, "Did the Crystal Empire start out as an griffon territory, or if they were integrated into pony society? Also, if they have anything to do with a small griffon settlement nearby....Heard they all lived in this rather tall watchtower and were tasked to watch for the return of the Crystal Kingdom. So I'm guessing probably, but it will be fun to do a little bit of art appreciation combined with solving a mystery and then later taking a flight of Crystal beverages....Crystal Wine....Crystal Cider...Crystal Brandy....and so forth.." She would still need to make time for the race. Zelda was ready for the cold weather! Not only did she pack for such weather, she wore a heavy jacket with matching pants, boots and gloves. Since it interfered with her sketching, the black bird had taken off the gloves and had put them aside. She also kept an hat and beak-warmer in her carry-on bag. Hopefully it wouldn't get -that- cold, but a gal needed to be prepared. She looked up at Daze, "You just need to think more positive...I see you starting off slow...Like any wise racer....You build up your strength and them woosh!", she raised her hands up, "You zoom past your tired competitors and win the trophy...Or medal....And even end up on Cap’n Sucrose Cereal Boxes. Like my dad said, to be a winner, you gotta think like an....wagh!", she let out a squawk as their cabin started to violently shake. A few items from the overhead compartments started to spill onto the floor.
  37. 3 points
    "[There is one other major difference you are forgetting.]" Blueblood gently reminded Niilavin. "[Your old masters are dead, and we are not. If we say we are superior, that would inspire jealousy of our majesty; if we say we are equals, they see themselves in our majesty. It is wise to allow everypony as much dignity as one can, for if we strip it all away.... well, you remember what happened to your last master.]" That, Blueblood felt, was sufficient catfood for thought, and his sphinx could be safely left to chew on it as he addressed Hogo-sha. "Dignity is granted by how tall you stand, not how wide you rule." A wise, but not unmotivated saying; the Prince's rule not being particularly 'wide' as far as actual power went. "And Niilavin can understand common speech as well as you or I; it is simply that he is not always comfortable with using it. But that is a good question; how large can a sphinx get?" A good question, but again, not an unmotivated one. Right now it was feasible for Niil to live in Blueblood's back garden, if he didn't mind converting the rock patch into a litter box. But if he grew to legendary size? Canterlot could hardly hold up under him! The Prince's worries were compounded as the sphix confided further. "[What, you mean changelings?]" Blueblood still couldn't help that small tingle of fear down his spine, in spite of the fact that half the hive were now multicolored hippie bugs, and the other half were at least following a Chrysalis who was not pursuing an invasion plan. At least, she said she wasn't, being content to run a tropical resort that 'farmed' love. But was Blueblood wise to believe her? Probably not, actually, considering the Queen's known penchant for deception. His eyes scanned the crowd, then the roofs. A useless exercise, for a disguised foe. But, of course, it may all be a false alarm. After all, there were good changelings, and it wasn't only changelings that could shapeshift. Blueblood had met, and befriended, at least one Yokai. "[We are not hostile to all such populations, Niil. Some, yes, but not all. Don't cause panic yet.]"
  38. 3 points
    O and O post coming either tonight or tomorrow afternoon.
  39. 3 points
    Mary Mae Boulder giggled as a flour and sugar covered Pink Mare came into her kitchen. Ah to be young and fullbof lufe again, but Mary Mae mearly motioned to a pair of large pots on her stove that were cooking something delicious, in this case a pair of sauces to go with her egg plant dish. Going over to the pots, she stirred both and scooped out some dauce from one pot and blew on it before offering Pinkie Pie a taste. "I wanted yer opinion on the sauces I was gonna put out for our main dish. I wanna offer our special guests more then one option but as yer the expert I wanted yer opinion first" she explained holding the spoon out to Pinkie Pie. "This first one has a little kick to it. It's Grandpa Boulder's legendary Kicking Sauce. It's thick with a bit of a red pepper and garlic but not to strong. He wanted the recipe passed down from generation to generation and it's one of my boys favorites" she explained offering the spoon full to her kitchen partner. She then went over to the other pot and scooped up more sauce offering it to Pinkie Pie again. "Now dis here is my own special gravy sauce. Thinner, made with grown grape tomaters and a perfect mix of sea salt, basil, and sugar it's good for ponies who don't like spicy or thick sauces" she explained offering it to Pinkie Pie. As she did she turned when she saw a large figure stick their head into her kitchen window. She recognized the large furry head as belonging to one the other racers....Taira she believed he had been called. "Actually dear the family bane is Boulder. Dash is just my son's name. But you never mind that, ya'll gonna call me Mary Mae like all my boy's friends" she explained. Meanwhile Boulder Dash and Rocky both greeted the guests as they arrived properly bowing and addressing the guests. Heart Sheild was the first to arrive and Boulder Dash greeted the pony with a friendly grin. "It is indeed Heart Sheild. Ya'll git yerself a plate and help yerself. If ya want some tomaters to take home we got plenty" he said as motioned to the fields. The next to arrive was Hawke. The griffoness flew down from the sky like a rocket startling young Rocky who had never seen one up close before. Despite this the young Colt biwed to Hawke respectfully and treated her as he would any guest on the family farm. "Welcome to Boulder Tomato Ranch Ma'am. That smell yet inhaling is years of family tradition and hard work. Please enjoy yerself" he said with a smile. Then the race winner herself Applejack showed lugging a large barrrl if hard family cider on her back. Boulder Dash knowing she must have been exhausted from the race went over and helped set the barrel up on the table as she mentioned the scent coming from the family farm house. "That my dear Applejack is Ma's famous Eggplant Parmesan cooking. Everything in that dish was grown and raised on the farm here and believe you me when I say yer about to wrap yer purdy lips on something yet never gonna ferget again" he explained setting up the barrrel and tapping it so AJ could catch her breath.
  40. 3 points
    "Under the stars, huh? You know, I'm thinkin' this might work out a lot better than either of us had hoped. Minus you winnin' of course." Applejack snickered, happy to know that the big bad wolf seemed more interested in being friendly with competitors and had appeared to enjoy his experience spending time with those around him. It surely made whatever deal he had with Discord only the icing on the cake. When Applejack overheard Heart Shield timidly respond to not being invited to Boulder's after-race party, she was quick to grab his attention. "Nonsense, you're a runner just like all of us. You are more than welcome to come hang out with us. Since we just met, you should tell me all about your guard duties in Canterlot. I bet you got some amazing stories." She slapped him on the back. "But not now, let's do it over some cider and tomato sandwiches." She yelled out to everycreature within an earshot. "Alright ya'll, let's all head on over to Boulder Dash's farm. Last one there's made of molasses!" Applejack took a few accelerating trots, but as soon as the pain set in her stiff joints, she slowed to a normal stroll. "Uh, on second thought, let's all just walk there." Applejack would continue talking with others and laughing at jokes and remembering the crazy moments during today's race. She would always remember the day she finally won the running of the leaves, and she would revel with her friends about it until the sun set through the now naked trees.
  41. 2 points
    Even Licorice had winced at the volume of Cadence's unbridled enthusiasm for the apparently forthcoming nuptials. "Wow. Royal Canterlot voice indeed." The guard said, using his horn to nervously restyle the mane that may as well have been carved from granite for all the budging it hadn't done when the Princess's exclamation had washed over them. He too was served his meal choice, as was the rest of the table, and the wait staff moved swiftly and efficiently on. "And don't worry, it's not unusual for tables and groups to split up into smaller conversations, but that does occasionally leave an odd pony out." experience said in the voice of former Private Licorice Whip. "Usually gets easier to socialize after the dinner is over and most of the donors only here for status go home. More interesting, too." The last part of that was delivered with a cryptic little sparkle to his eye that one might almost call mischievous if it weren't on the face of an unflappable guard. Wanting to emphasize and highlight the mystery, Licorice tucked into his own dish, the ratatouille, with the singleminded determination of a stallion used to treating meals as a necessary intake of nutrients rather than a social period. ~~~~~~~~~~ Aquamarine was, not to put too fine a point on things, wandering bored through the crowd. It wouldn't be difficult in the least for anyone with any familiarity at all with her to detect that even though she was adjacent to any of a half dozen groups at any given time, she wasn't engaging in any of them except in the shallowest possible sense. Truthfully, she was halfway trying to avoid being recognized either by those she already knew in the...Royal, Crystal, some went over to Twilight, a couple went from Royal to Lunar...four? four branches of the REAs, or later on by ponies at this event who might run into her in the field, as it were. What irked her the most about the whole thing was that she knew intellectually that her parents were probably right, and that there really wasn't any reason she couldn't wear both mantles, knight and damsel equally. If she let herself she could probably even thrive in these sorts of high-society events. Sisters knew that the politics, intrigue, and drama of courtly life would give her a way to engage her mind even if she didn't herself start scheming. Look at Shining Armor, captain-turned-commander and Prince of the Empire. He looked like he was born to be here, and scuttlebutt around the barracks had been that he'd been an absolute dweeb when he was a cooooooh Sisters he'd just spotted her, hadn't he? Aqua snapped out of her reverie and offered her Commander a polite curtsy across the room to acknowledge that she'd seen him spot her, but kept on her noblemare's mask of neutrality even if her head was running a mantra of 'don't wave me over, don't wave me over, don't wave me over'. Uh oh, he'd pointed her out to his companion. The facade started to crack as the little alarm bell in her head started going off. ~~~~~~~~~~~~ All throughout the venue, carts and trays of food were starting to be replaced with carts collecting the empty and used plates, bowls and silverware as their respective guests finished with them. Soon enough, once everyone was done with their main courses in each section, the butlers would start circulating with desserts and snacks in addition to the drinks already being carried hither and yon.
  42. 2 points
    A new day of worldwide cooperation in the arcane arts draws near! Duchess Silver Belle — Guild Master of the Magic Guild — has been asked to represent Equestria in discussions to establish an interlibrary loan arrangement between Canerlot's School of Magic and Kastrot's legendary College of the Arcane. In the spirit of international goodwill, the ruling unicorns of Kastrot invite the members of the Magic Guild delegation to experience all that the Arcane City has to offer! To sign-up to be part of the Magic Guild delegation, one has to either already be a member of the Magic Guild or is otherwise is highly knowledgeable in the magical arts. It would also be much appreciated if we had Maretonian unicorns for the delegates to interact with! PS: Expect my ever-cheerful unicorn OC Moony to be there! ^_^
  43. 2 points
    Chatting it up with Commander Tempest started to remind Grubber of the good ole’ times when he got to snatch all the sweets he wanted and Tempest would be there to- WAIT NO, DUCK AND COVER! BAD OLD TIMES INCOMING!!! “EWWWWOOOHHH!!!!!!” It was almost a learned reflex for Grubber at this point, jolting as if a wave of electricity punished him for whatever mistakes he made this time. And yet... there was pain to be experienced. Yelling from Tempest, sure... as well as a light show of fiendish fright. Even some spit on Grubber’s face! But no part of his body had been touched by the scorch of crackling plasma energy. And then, Tempest just... coldly turned away. .....Was this the dawn of a new Tempest Shadow???! Initially dumbfounded, the hedgehog suddenly beamed and rushed back to Tempest’s side; “Oh ohhhh, have you been going to Anger Management therapy? Becauthe I can definitely thenthe you’ve made progreth, Tempetht!” He glanced behind him and gestured towards the frightened hippogriff; “Thee? Thethe guyth can tell, too! They’re not running away from you threaming, anymore!!!” The way Grubber was speaking, one might believe that Tempest just accomplished the most amazing thing in the world.....
  44. 2 points
    What the hanging nail was anthropology? That niggling concern aside, Gallus was satisfied and satiated by what his newest professor said. He didn't really understand why they needed this class. They'd already proven to be basically super perfect at this whole friendship thing. Just look at Smolder moving quick to rectify Yona's worry. Of course it was nice of SMolder to go through it with Yona, seeing as it meant she wasn't reducing that book to cinders too. No, Gallus wasn't bitter or anything. He just had a long memory, and was waiting for his time to get reve- to pull a prank of his own. Ya know, because friends pulled pranks on one another. With their school supplies. During the school year. What it came down to for this class was that it was basically friendship emergency therapy. See somecreature about to turn dark, try to light them up. Or if they have turned dark, how to stop them. Could be fun. Could also be lame. He always imagined what an evil Gallus would be like and then he realized such thoughts could go really dark really fast. He was a meateater after all with sharp talons and claws and teeth. A bad Smolder? Easy enough, lots of fire and hoarding. The longma, Kireina? Gallus didn't know that one well enough to really say. Probably something with poetry. Evil poetry? From his vantage, most poetry was evil. Was there a difference? Yona would probably smash and yell, but aggressively and angrily. So not too big a difference, except angry. The topic of Cozy Glow came up. Yeah, had she turned dark or was she always that way? "Yeah, Cozy Glow. That's a name I won't forget. I wonder if she was always that way or if she turned dark at some point?" He tapped his talons to his beak, then glanced over at the Professor. "So this class teaches us how to, uhh, engage those with dark hearts or...darkening?...hearts, but what do we do about creatures that are already dark as night itself inside?" He asked, sincerely wondering just how three-sixty this class would be. And later he'd need to learn what anthropology meant. And get some cool stories about wild magic and villains from this Professor, who just might be cool enough to hang with them.
  45. 2 points
    *Submitted for Judging* "Ali, you got this." Those words rung in Alizarin's ears as she took a nervous breath, staring at the last competitor as he finished. He looked absolutely dead, and that made Ali's little heart thump. Hard. This was Alizarin Fruits, though. She was never ever nervous about something as silly as this. If this even was silly. Her short legs itched with anticipation. Her mind raced with the thought of being crushed by these potatoes. "Hey- chin up. You've carried millions and millions of carts full of fruits, Al. You'll be okay." "I ain't nervous, Golden. I'm fine," Ali hissed. Her friend was just trying to keep her positive, but Ali was too sucked up in her head. It was too late now to worry more though, as she walked forward to get the pile of potatoes put on her back. The potatoes were heavy, but surprisingly lighter than she thought. She knew running with these on her back though was going to be very frustrating. The rope was tight around her waste, and was kind of uncomfortable. Ali would deal with it though. The little mare made her way to the starting line, keeping her eyes on the flag as it hung loose in the wind. "Down the course, around the-" "Yeah, I know, I heard," she snapped at the pony, as she was concentrating hard on the flag. Her back was already tired from the bag of potatoes, but it was too late to back out as the pony yelled a firm 'go'! The little mare's legs immediately kicked out, leaping her out quickly onto the course. Her strides were small, but her little legs could kick out fast. She kept her sharp gaze on the flag as she raced down the long course, and it honestly felt like a mile. Ali was doing fine too, until the bag crossed her mind and she focused on how heavy it was. Her legs were on fire, and she really wanted to walk. If Ali wasn't the most stubborn pony to ever exist, she would've quit right there, and she wasn't even at the flag yet! The bag wouldn't get out of her mind, as the weight shifted left and right, over and over again. It was like a pattern, and it was really bothering her. So, the little mare started leaning forward, keeping the bag on the top of her back and right in the middle so it wouldn't stick to one side. It actually worked, but it grew more tiresome. Her short little legs kept kicking though, as her body produced an enormous amount of sweat. The sweat pooled down her forehead. She could probably swim in it. Her mane was drenched and stuck to her head, as her muscles ached from the weight. Her little hooves became a little slower. They felt like they were tingling, like little flies were in her legs flying around. At last she reached the flag pole, bringing herself to make a complete U-turn. She took this time to catch her breath, and she began kicking her front legs again as they were before. The farm pony was stronger than she anticipated, as she guessed working in the field helped her out a little. She also guessed being an earth pony made her a little stronger too. Good thing. Sadly though, she found herself breathing even harder, like the wind took her breath away, as her body seemed to become extremely exhausted. She felt slow, and tired, and she just wanted this non sense to be done with. Her mind raced. The sun seemed to be hotter than it was, she felt sticky and gross, and her back was killing her. Everything ached, and she wanted to quit. Something in her though burned with passion, as she finally looked up from the course to see her hopeful golden Pegasus buddy. The smile on her cute face was unbelievable, and with a glint in her sea green eyes, Ali knew she could push through. Her heart raced again, as she kicked her forelegs out longer and harder, pushing her little body down the last 30 meters. She wanted to use the majority of her back legs too, as bucking trees almost everyday sure seemed to keep the muscles in there nice and large. The wind was thick in her mane as she reached over the finish line, tumbling onto the ground from absolute exhaustion. Ali felt numb, like she didn't even have a body. Breathing long and hard, her pack of potatoes was removed and she found herself standing up with very shaky legs. Ali really felt a million times lighter, as her wobbly legs moved her little body next to Golden Daze. "I'm about to amputate mah legs." "Oh, Als. You're being dramatic! I'm sure it's not that bad." Ali's glare was fiercer than a lion's. That's when Daze shut her trap and looked away from fear.
  46. 2 points
    Manehattan; the busiest and most packed city in Equestria, most would say. Celebrities, famous restaurant owners, stylish artists, and more, come from everywhere in this world to take on this city and what it has in store for them. Many come for the sights, and many come for competitions. Like one competition being held in town square. A music one, which entails many different bands and communities to come in and preform to be judged and win a prize. Mainly publicity, but some extra cash too. Ponies and creatures of all sizes want to come and show their talents off to be victorious in their matches, which normally leads to some unprofessional jealousy and such. One pony normally found this argumentation kind of funny, and entertaining, and she could watch these fights all day long while she paints her pictures on the walls of the backdrop. As long as they didn't touch her wet masterpiece, everything would be find and dandy. She was normally laid back anyway, and wouldn't fuss too much about it, but it would still make her mad. And her name was familiar on the tongue, as she was known all over from her family back in Las Pegasus. She wouldn't be here today without her famous family, as she wouldn't have been paid to come and paint her masterpieces on the backdrops for the competition. She normally couldn't be seen without somepony recognizing her, but not to toot her own horn, she loved the attention. "Street Art?" a random pony said from behind the purple unicorn, making the mare turn around. Rainbow paint was splashed all over her, but she was used to the sticky stuff on her coat. "That's me, baby." Her voice was as sweet as honey, which made the stranger melt from the soft tune. "Can I get your autograph?" "Sure can do, honey." Her horn lit up, lifting a pen and a random piece of paper she found on a stool, not noticing it was a music sheet. Normally her own self got in the way of being observant to others. The mare then signed the sheet with pretty cursive writing, and gave it to the pony. "Have a nice day." Art turned back around, fiddling around with her paint brush as she dipped it in a soft yellow, finishing up her orange sun in the corner of the painting. She wanted this pony's background to be fun and indulging, yet sophisticated. She felt like the hint of blues and yellows worked perfectly. She felt like she needed to add more, though. Maybe some orange? That should do. The mare got back to work, keeping herself contained, but also listening to the conversations around her. This day seemed perfect already.
  47. 2 points
    Ah. Ponyville. The biggest little village in all of Equestria. As the stallion retrieved his pack and trotted off the train, he surveyed the village. It was a good deal bigger than when he was last in town. There was now a giant freaking castle that appeared to have been snatched from the Crystal Empire. Nearby was a very impressive looking school that might as well be an high school. But they considered it a 'school of friendship'. Fine. His sister's friend Fire Walker worked and even lived at that castle. Hopefully he would not run into her as not only did she live in FREAKING CASTLE, she was also marrying a billionaire. He had heard more than enough from his identical sibling, and he did not need to hear it from her. Ol' Miss Braggy Pants. The last time he was here.....He had enjoyed a leisurely afternoon at Sweet Apple Acres. A small event had been held to sell apples. Buy an bag of apples and receive a kiss from the farmer's daughter, Applejack. Thankfully this was before he became a 'thing' with his current beloved. But he doubted she would have minded. He remembered that part rather well. The apple farmer smelled like her croup of choice, crossed with sweat and what he assumed was 'Sassy Horse' body-spray. But what else had he done that day? He had run into the pony that had invited him over. Silverbolt. Skinny guy. Worked as a mail-pony. Maybe? While he had a good job, he always was looking for a little adventure. Something beyond 'Whinny World'. As he pondered a somewhat lost memory...Pocket Change watched as a friendly bee buzzed near his snout. Oh how he loved honey. Especially the kind they mind in the south....They call it Tupelo....Tastes like cotton candy...:Pinkie Pie....Oh...Now he remembered. There was that strange place with the weird bug pony and Pinkie...And also Silverbolt. And the Whitetail Woods. He got lost in the woods and was stung by stinging bugs. Not a memory that needed bringing up. The unicorn let out a sigh. Hopefully they will be avoiding the angry insects this time around. One could hope. As he neared the massive farm, he quickly spotted the cobalt Pegasus. "Hello Mister Bolt..", he shouted as he drew near. Weird, he was still dressed for work and had a package. had he come too early?
  48. 2 points
    I came up with a scale a while back, that worked roughly as follows. Note that the lists are not exhaustive, meant more to give examples than encompass the tier. Tier 1 is approximately civilian level, generally low level or improvised capabilities. This would include wild animals, militia, petty criminals and the like. Tier 2 is that of active combatants, including your average soldier, higher skilled or more specialist police, and would probably lump in people with (atypical) powers or magic who are otherwise untrained. Tier 3 is where you get into more specialized or empowered combatants. I would expect 'typical' superheroes and supervillains to fall into this tier. Specialized and particularly trained military or magic users would also fall into this tier. Tier 4 is the start of the extreme end, where you get low grade or localized reality warpers, or people whose abilities while smaller in scale are much wider in range. Examples are a little harder to come up with for this tier, though I think things like demons, AIs (say in control of a facility) or large mecha could probably fit into it. Tier 5 is the top, including the most extreme sorts of things like physical manifestations of gods, ancient wizards who can raise armies of constructs or level cities, or AIs in charge of an entire fleet or a country. I'd also be up for using Tacobob's chart, though it'd be a little more involved. I'd also like to either get or come up with a scale for that one, to get a sense of what a given number means for a character. It might almost be worth using both, Tacobob's to be extra description that could be applied to characters, and mine as a means of shorthand for what level a given thread is intended or expected to be.
  49. 2 points
    “Swifty.”, the red Pegasus pony scooted up next to the stallion and leaned into him...just slightly. “You’ve done plenty of things that have left an impact.”, she assured the noble-pony. “There’s your businesses' that effect creatures from all over, along with your charities that continue to do good...That’s more than most can say they’ve done.”, she paused to listen to what Swift had to say. “I wonder if this ‘Wraith’ simply just broke up...Those involved probably realized there was nothing to gain in hurting others..Or causing disturbances....And they all did some growing up....Either that.”, The officer smirked, “After causing their last round of mischief, maybe someone decided to take them out one by one....When they were at their weakest point...Maybe a few bounties were put up...And even their former teammates took the bait, only to be in turn betrayed by another.” Fire Walker nodded her head as Swift spoke of the others in his group. Pathfinder! That was a name she had not heard from in ages. The mare was more than capable...Brave...Tough...Clever...But there was this whole ‘Daring Do’ disguise. Maybe she was incapable of such feats as her real self....Whoever that was...Her favorite stallion did the same...Only in very small doses. He would throw on a costume that concealed his identity along with a silly name to give himself. There was also her Dunders...What was going on with him? He was another pony capable of greatness....Nearly everything he could do was better than most, but the fuzzy brown stallion seemed to have rather poor self-esteem....Along with this ‘Dunnie’ thing. Fire had hoped they could continue with their yearly tradition....Gather up the gang and hit Muggo’s for a night...His family always decorated the pub for Hearth’s Warning Eve...And they had the best ‘nog. “Well, it’s an odd time to set up a meeting....I was about to crawl out of this uniform and into an tub....”, before she could continue, entered.. And this time through a window. Thankfully it was an open one. The mare turned a slightly darker shade of red after the mention of children. “Kids are a future plan....”, she added, “We still have a few things before that...Marriage....Getting the whole ‘Twilight’' Guard’ thing situated...And Swift and I still have not found the right dog. And then maybe which one of the chairs we really like in the living room.” She smiled at the well dressed mare, “No assassins that I can think of....”, she pondered the latest bits of Ponyville excitement...”We did have a child that nearly destroyed all magic....Which I’m still trying to figure out...” that was probably not their finest moment. “We need to invent an device that warns ponies that magic is about to poof away, so those who are flying can find a safe spot to land....Thankfully the magic in my armor lasted a little longer and protected me from needing to wear a full flank-cast after I fell....The previous time this happened, I had a nice Wonderbolt to land on. Poor guy.”
  50. 2 points
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