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Windwright last won the day on October 7

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About Windwright

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  • Birthday 07/30/1987

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  1. Aquamarine saw the trap closing, and if she'd only been here as a guard or only been here as a guest she might've been able to politely decline, but who and what she was meant that she was obliged to accept her commander's invitation. Or obligated, she wasn't sure which. As she sat down, a waiter was only a few paces behind her with her food and place setting from the original table, apparently having been kept track of during her ramble. Once she was seated she quickly assessed the table and determined that she was only not out of her depth because, again, of her family history. And she couldn't exactly protest since nobody had pointed it out yet. Apparently the event coordinators had seen fit to seat all or most of the Heroes of Equestria at this table. Hooboy. "I can understand an appreciation for the determination that comes from having someone to defend. I've only been privileged enough to bear witness to such heroics, and only once or twice." the reluctant noble answered, not fully committing to the conversation yet. "It's truly a sight to behold, even when the defender is a civilian."
  2. Licorice's grin didn't falter, but anyone who knew him well enough, or anyone who'd been long enough around investigators rather than sentries, might pick up on the faint twitch of an ear and the fact that the guard shifted just a smidge toward his junior that meant that Heart Shield was currently occupying a great deal of Licorice's mental attention. He took a few more bites to finish off his main course, dabbed his mouth with a napkin, and turned a little in his seat so that he could fully face the other guard, coincidentally also putting him a little closer to his companion. "I was in the same position once but you'd be amazed what you can get used to if you guard Canterlot for long enough, and how much you might have in common with folks who come in different shapes." he said, mildly. "Admittedly I've spent more time with Sparkles and their pack than any other diamond dogs, and I may be a little biased."
  3. Oh sisters. He was actually coming over now. Aqua held herself in the carefully neutral pose she'd picked up from her sire but mastered in the Guard when standing sentry on the streets leading to the old palace. She was careful to position herself so that when he arrived, Shining Armor was facing the nearest cluster of guests and, notably, Aquamarine had her back to them. She was mid-salute when Commander Armor greeted her, but was able to change it to a bow with her hoof touched to the emblem on her chest. "Commander, thank you." She replied, trying to keep her tone from sounding relieved rather than merely grateful. "It was a bit of a trip indeed, but I took it a pair of weeks ago to attend to some familial matters." She once again tried fruitlessly to pin back the errant lock of mane and succeeded only in getting more hair to join it, adding just enough volume that at least it looked intentional now. "Which did unfortunately leave me with too little time to secure an escort to the event. House Resplendence of course always donates any invitations we are unable to ourselves employ, so I'm certain there is a guest attached to my plus one, but alas I've yet to meet him or her." the guard said, adding little flourishes here and there to the statement where she assumed her Dam would have. She did NOT need her commanding officer (her commander no less!) asking after her dating life. Especially if that inquiry ended with Princess Cadence, the Princess of Love, hearing about it and deciding to conspire with her family. And doubly especially since he more or less represented a happy ending to that dilemma minor nobility sometimes fell prey to where the needs of the heart and the needs of the station came into conflict. Her stock answers of 'noblesse oblige' and 'never enough time as a guard' wouldn't really cut it with the stallion who was himself a guard and a noble who'd managed to find or make time for a relationship. She settled remarkably quickly on an addendum "There has also been raised a question of suitability for potential suitors, an ongoing point of discussion in the Resplendence household." Which wasn't untrue. Her parents had attempted to engage her a couple of times, and she'd casually flirted with a few ponies who'd caught her attention. The resulting 'discussions' were at least civil. Lately, anyway.
  4. 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.
  5. 'Hmm...', thought Licorice to himself, 'the Princess had a point about the other guards likely tolerating somepony messing with his date about as well as they'd tolerate somepony messing with the barracks or the Palace itself.' Which was to say 'poorly'. It took a certain sort of obstinate pride to be a guard, and it made you like an extended family. Still, it was a bad idea to show up without a plan to make sure everyone knew the diamond dog was his date. Horsefeathers, most of the guards had only rarely seen one to begin with, nevermind seen a stallion dating one. Maybe a scene was exacly what the Princess ordered... They usually had a herald at the Ball, as Licorice recalled...
  6. Edelweiss is totally a pirate! He serves on his papa's airship as a cabin boy!
  7. Two stubs had been filled out and laid out beside the envelope they'd be mailed in with. Licorice knew in his bones that he was going to bring his special someone as the plus one to this year's ball. They had already shared more than a few quiet evenings together listening to radio plays and reading by the fireplace at his apartment in Fillydelphia or Sparkles's place meeting and working with the pack. He wasn't even worried about the Diamond Dog's reaction to being at such a large event. What worried him was that he and the other guards'd end up dealing with some if the upper crust's reactions to the Diamond Dog being a guest at such a large and formal event. Finally he decided to do something smart and ask sometime with better social chops than himself. He took out a quill and a sheet of paper and wrote, his horn writing neat and tidy as a typewriter. The publishable version of his letter, with identifying details stripped out, was coupled with a slightly longer one that pointed out just who and what his special someone was to fill in what Licorice felt were important gaps. Both were sealed into the same envelope and dropped into the Empire's mail the next morning. By dint of Licorice putting it there himself, which only took six attempts. At least teleporting back was done in two tries. Dear Princess Cadence, As a humble stallion gifted with enough sense to know when he's out of his depth, I'm writing to ask your advice on heading off a bad peice of business. There's a social event of some importance coming up to which I've had the good fortune of acquiring a pair of invitations. It's billed as a chance for the common pony and the well to do to meet and mingle with stallions and mares serving the community, but usually only a few of the more common common pony get to attend and the second of my two invites is earmarked for someone who's a little less common than most. I'm not worried about how he'll behave, but I am worried somepony might get the wrong idea and think he's either an insult or an easy target. I care deeply for my runt and I'd hate to have to cause a scene on his behalf. I was hoping you might have an inside scoop on how to make sure things go smoothly. Yours in service, Anise Surprise
  8. For all the bravado Licorice was projecting, he was grateful for Sparkles's attempts to lighten the mood. "Well this is meant to be an informal gathering, there are just a few...concessions to the donors, shall we say." the dark-coated stallion replied, trying to keep his war face on. He wove through the crowd, following the host who led them to a table that was already being served. Licorice pulled out the first seat with his horn and quietly indicated a soup preference to the waiter by levitating and tilting a spoon toward the nearly empty tureen of minestrone while Sparkles took take his place. Licorice took a quick glance and appraised him and everypony else at the table with the detached, almost bored eye career guards use for tactical assessments. As some of the other guests at their table were already engaged and the waiter moved away, Licorice inclined his head by way of greeting to Heart Shield. "Good evening, quite a to-do they've got rolling this year, hmm? Sergeant Licorice Whip, Royal Guard. This is my...hrm...well coltfriend isn't exactly the right word, but this is Sparkles." he said, pushing the diamond dog's chair in before he himself settled in the seat next to the pegasus and fellow Royal guard.
  9. Another card arrived and the herald picked it up and eyed it, then shrugged and stepped forward. "PRESENTING! SERGEANT LICORICE WHIP OF THE ROYAL GUARD! HE IS ACCOMPANIED THIS EVENING BY ESTEEMED ENTREPENEUR, LEADER OF THE RUBY HEART PACK OF SOLSTICE HEIGHTS, SPARKLES THE JEWELMASTER." It was not as ostentatious as the previous titles had been, but a bribe can only earn one so much. Much like the herald had been, Licorice was not wearing his mess dress, or not merely mess dress. He was wearing the formal uniform with his Sergeants' bars on his shoulder and a sash with every service medal, commendation, rank insignia, pin, patch, and ribbon he'd ever been awarded. He only lacked the cape and ceremonial sword to make the difference between what he was wearing and what would be Parade dress. He was making sure every mare and stallion in the gala knew exactly who he was and what he was capable of. Primarily because it would clarify that the diamond dog perched on his back was someone there by HIS choice, and his stance suggested that he was ready for a fight if one came to him. "That should get their attention, do you think?" The guard said to his plus one in a half joking tone. This was the first impression he was giving the general public of His diamond dog, and he wanted no misunderstandings.
  10. Security hadn't given anypony any slack, and even though Swift Squall had been able to get his cases into the event, they had been THOROUGHLY searched and nearly confiscated. Other staff too were busily doing their various jobs. Wait staff had approached the now empty table where Aquamarine and her cohort had been seated and left a card and a small silver bell they could use to alert staffers they were ready to order, as well as the table where Heart Shield had been seated. The tan-coloured unicorn nearest Heart Shield bowed and said "Ah, yes. The pasta al nero was an excellent choice. We recommend the tomato basil soup beforehand, though of course the gentlecolt is welcome to whichever first course he wishes." which was an offer one of his tablemates took up. A piping hot bowl of the thick soup was promptly and smoothly laid before her, just as others at the table were when the orders were placed. In fact, in the entire ballroom floor, only one pony seemed not to have a job already that he was busy doing. An elderly stallion of indeterminate race wearing the full Parade Dress version of the defunct Solar Guard. It covered the top of his head with an elaborately plumed helmet, and his back and shoulders with a formal cape, all in shades of orange and gold. A small card was levitated to him from a tube that lead downstairs, and the stallion cleared his throat and performed the one function still reserved for that ancient order. The one dread job he could possibly be there to do. "PRESENTING!" he declared in a voice loud and clear enough to be heard over the orchestra without magic "HIS EMINENCE, ROYAL CONSORT AND SOMETIME CAPTAIN OF THE ROYAL GUARD, COMMANDER SHINING ARMOR OF THE CRYSTAL GUARD!" he was a herald. "HE IS ACCOMPANIED THIS NIGHT BY HER AMOROUS RADIANCE, KEEPER OF THE CRYSTAL HEART, VANQUISHER OF DREAD CHRYSALIS, AND DISPELLER OF FALSE KINGS, MI AMORE CADENZA, PRINCESS OF LOVE AND LADY REGENT OF THE CRYSTAL EMPIRE!" The stallion hadn't even taken a breath, but once he was done he just sat back down and pulled out a newspaper. He'd done this bit twice already tonight when Fire Walker and the main Royal Guard's commanders had shown up as well, though their cards had been shorter. Much shorter. Even the conductor of the orchestra had been impressed by the herald's lung capacity. Aquamarine Gleam, who had been at the edge of the ballroom when she heard her commanding officer's arrival announcement, quickly ducked into a particularly thick knot of ponies and tucked the errant curl of her mane back into its updo. It promptly fell back out again, and she didn't have time or a mirror to spend adjusting it back into position. She adopted the haughtiest expression she could muster and did her absolute best not to be recognized in this outfit.
  11. Yeah, but all it really means is that there are a couple extra tickets floating around whose Invitees were told they came from Swift Squall. Technically it was Aqua's parents who donated but I can't see there being a rule against someone donating and giving away their invitations to attend under someone else's invite.
  12. Aquamarine Gleam was sitting at a table with a pair of donors from Trottingham, one of the Lunar guard she'd never met, and a sheriff from one of the wild land border towns. She'd reached a compromise with her family, who'd partly funded the rental as their 'donation to the cause' this year. She was officially attending as Private Aquamarine Gleam, but she'd been obliged to do so in a ball gown rather than her dress uniform. The gown was haute coutre of the latest fads, which her parents had just happened to have commissioned for her. She had wondered why her parents had wanted to provide a custom tailored dress uniform for her, and now she knew - to make sure this gown had been cut perfectly for her. It was in the style of classic ball gowns, with billowing bell full skirts and petticoats, but just enough not the classic ball gowns that it looked modern and completely messed with her five-year-out-of-date sensibilities. Her dam's staff mares which had helped her get dressed had been very polite about how she had been doing it all wrong, but they had nonetheless completely taken over in dressing her in this frippery, making sure her dam would not be embarrassed by her lack of current style. Even she had to admit it was gorgeous, perfect for her colors in powder blue silk and silver threaded seams, and she had to appreciate the concession to her affiliation to the guard in the form of the crest of the Crystal Guard filigreed into the breast of the tight bodice, but even despite that, she hated the thing almost as much as she hated the socialite she was sitting next to, exchanging pleasantries while he bragged about all the successes he'd had that year thanks to the REA. She and the aerion guard shared a knowing look when the stallion turned to a waiter to ask for his first course. It was a look nearly every lawpony knew, one part rolled 'get a load of this one' eyes, and one part 'grin and bear it' smirk. THIS was why she'd joined the REA in the first place, avoiding parties like this one with blowhards like this one. It was a tedious reminder of the life she'd escaped. Then there was a blessing in the form of an unthinkable faux-pas. The jerk went on bragging about the size of his donation and when he mentioned an exact figure Aqua's head whipped around so fast one of the curls of her mane pulled free from where it had been tucked into its elaborate updo and ended up danging at her temple. The entire table and the two nearest him went silent as every single eye locked onto the boorish stallion and Aqua employed the sneer she actually appreciated having learned from her sire. She wasn't as good at it as he was; her look said 'you are inadequate' rather than 'you are the type of thing left behind after bottom feeders consume pond scum and I never want to see you again' but it got her point across. She exchanged a glance with the other guards at the table and said "I think I shall enjoy the company over there. If you'll excuse me." in a passable imitation of her dam's clipped inflections. Everyone nodded and stood up together, the other serviceponies drifting off in various directions while Aqua, the only unicorn among them, pulled the chairs in and bid the embarrassed looking wife of the offender a good evening. She headed in the direction of the dance floor, pointedly ignoring anything further either of them said. It was an act, of course. At least once a year at these events somepony broke the taboo and tried to use the donation as a bragging point and the others at the table would stand up and walk away, but the guards would be back to the table in a few minutes to eat, and hopefully the braggart learned some manners by then. If not it might actually be a fairly enjoyable Ball. All of this was before dinner was done and the actual planned entertainment started even. Although now that she thought about it, tradition also dictated that she find the pony who had inherited the invitation she'd relinquished as a guard and get to know them. She hadn't been introduced to anypony yet by the staff, maybe it had gone unclaimed this year?
  13. You are hereby cordially invited to attend the Royal Equestrian Guards' annual Ball. This year's event will be held in the illustrious Royal Grande hotel in Canterlot. Security will be handled by a private firm, so please remember to have your invitations and identification with you when you arrive at eight hours past noon five nights before the autumnal equinox. Proceeds from this year's Ball will benefit the Equestrian Services Organization in their efforts to improve interdisciplinary cooperation and morale, as well as to fund improvements to the training grounds and academies for the Wonderbolts, the Royal Equestrian Army, and the Twilight, Solar, and Crystal Guards. Please indicate your meal selection and that of any guests who will be attending with you on the enclosed RSVP postcard no later than three weeks before the event. This is a formal event for guards and civilians to mingle and understand one another. Evening dress is strongly recommended. The Royal Grande was one of the largest hotels in Canterlot, and tonight the entire top two floors had been reserved for processing and housing the annual Guard's Ball. On the floor below, attendees were vetted quickly and efficiently by the hired security, then processed through the registration desks by the maîtres d'hôtel who then passed the guests off to hotel staffers, with the entire operation overseen by the Equestrian Services Organization. On the top floor, the orchestra was playing a selection of light melodies on the stage of the Grande Ballroom and several smaller event halls had been arranged with tables for the various branches of the armed services and policing forces.The lighting was warm and mellow as a summer sunset, and speakers in each room conveyed the orchestra's performance or the occasional interlude or speech to all attendees. Periodically the orchestra would bring a full band onto the stage as well to combine for a symphonic version of one of the REA branches' marches or anthem. True to the spirit of the event, no table was populated entirely by any single group, and even the smallest hall contained seats reserved for civilian ticket holders and donors alike. The seating arrangements had all been planned, with little cards at each place setting to let the attendees know which seat at which table in which room their meal would be served, and hotel staff were busily busing attendees to their assigned places. There were quite literally hundreds of guests seated already, and the rooms looked to be set to accommodate even more before the evening was over. In short, the ESO had done everything in its power to make sure tonight was as stress-free as possible for each and every one of its attending servicemembers, a place and a time where they could let their manes down and just enjoy the evening without the distinctions and duties of rank and regiment. At once formal and informal, exquisite and relaxed, tonight was a night to let down walls and build inroads, and to remind the isolated and insular that the armed forces and its members were a unified whole. Tonight was the Royal Equestrian Guards' Ball.
  14. Caught up to everything here so far, and gonna add both of my guards: Name: Aquamarine Gleam Branch and Rank: Private First Class, Grystal Guard Plus One: forfeited, also a donor in absentia And Name: Licorice Whip Branch and Rank: Royal Guard, Sergeant Plus One: Sparkles
  15. I'm gonna put his assumed name in as attending and I'm not gonna stop you from trying, I just don't know if trying to subtly interrogate a group of what are essentially cops and former comrades and commanding officers is the best plan of action here.
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