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MudBug

Gala Greetings

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Another year.

Another Grand Galloping Gala.

Another boring year. She'd promised herself to atleast try to behave herself and not act too elated if any....'problems' should arise. The princess remembered the complaints from the last one and couldn't help but find the faintest smile tickle at the corners of her mouth before she delicately shook it from her head and made her way down the long hall that lead to the main hall of her home.

Some part of her hoped that her sister would join in the little soiree the castle was hosting and found herself longing for the company. Unsure if her student and her friends would be joining this time.

Not that she could blame them. But it would have been nice to see them all.

Hearing the steward on the other side of the door, who she swore knew when she was coming as a pegasi knew when it was time for the bird's to fly south, announced her arrival, the princess couldn't help but smile to herself and make her way through the doors as the fanfare of trumpets riled up in a loud welcoming melody.

Looking over the ponies in the main hall, the princess rose a delicate hoof to wave to all of them.

"My loyal and beloved subjects, I am overjoyed to see you all here at this year's Grand Galloping Gala and hope that each and every one of you enjoy your stay."

That said and a few small rounds of applauds later, she took her place at the head of the stairwell as per usual to greet the guests as they came in. Looked like a lot this year. Oh boy.

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The Grand Galloping Gala, a wondrous celebration held in the beautiful pony city of Canterlot; it wasn't too often that the Gala saw much excitement; discounting last year's disaster; another thing it didn't see very often, was Griffons, but this year however that would change; as luck would have it, a certain pirate captain happened to win a ticket to the majestic event in a game of poker; Tarisio, the Dread Captain of The Zephyrs Kiss; oft spoke of, but rarely seen; had wandered into the Gala wearing his best vest, it was a deep crimson red with light gold trim around it and black designs trailing across it.

Roaming his way slowly as the crowd moved to be greeted by none other than Princess Celestia herself, Tarisio couldn't help but smirk; as his turn to be greeted came around, he bowed deeply before the Princess, "Ahh your majesty, it's wondrous to meet you, thank you so much for hosting such a spectacular soiree! I see that your generosity is only out weighed by your beauty." Tarisio said with a charming smile.

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Knightly was apprehensive about the Gala and going to greet Princess Celestia herself. He remembered what happened before and why he left the knights of Canterlot. He was in some light Knight armor on his chest but he didn't bring his sword because it was probably something that wasn't good to bring to the gala. He noticed that he was pretty much next after the griffon in front of him. He thought that his crimson red vest was a very interesting looking vest he might be a good griffon to talk to.

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Guest ZiraStarfollower

Starflower wandered about the main hall nervously. She had never been to a fancy party before, let alone the party of parties, the Grand Galloping Gala! She was surprised one day to find a ticket to the event in her mailbox. Apparently, one of her more connected patients was so appreciative of the treatment and care he had received at her clinic that he sent her the ticket as a thank you gift. It was quite the pleasant surprise, and she had been dying for an excuse to wear the little number she had purchased in Glitzen's shop on a whim: A midnight blue Princess Luna dress, complete with sparkling stars and crescent moons, and with matching crystal slippers to match.

So far, she hadn't seen anyone she knew so far. Of course, she thought, I was just rather fortunate to get this ticket, I doubt many of my Ponyville friends were able to get one. There was one person she did recognize, though, and it would've been a crime not to recognize her: Princess Celestia. She stood upon the platform in the midst of the steps, greeting all of the guests. Wow, what a boring and tiresome job that must be for her...oh well, I suppose I'll go say hi to her. She made her way up the stairs, but as she walked, she got distracted by looking at all of the decorations hanging from the massive ceiling that loomed so far above. She didn't even notice where she was going. She walked past a stallion who was obviously next in line, and didn't stop walking until she bumped into the griffon who was currently saying hello to Celestia. She looked up at the griffon, and she blustered out an apology.

'Oh, I'm sorry, sir, I wasn't watching where I was going.' She said nervously. She hadn't seen many griffons, but the ones she had seen weren't all that friendly. She hoped he wasn't angry.

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The Princess was a little surprised by her first greeting, watching the griffin steep to a gentlemanly bow she nodded her head in a polite manner as a smile gently graced her features, hooves resting softly on the carpet beneath them as she weighed them out comfortably. Something nagged in the back of her head as she watched the griffin but she didn't allow it to stop her polite demeanor.

"The pleasure of being a host is all mine, I must say it's a pleasent surprise seeing a griffin of such finery as yourself attending the Gala, I do hope you'll enjoy yourself."

Whoever he was, small bells were ringing in her head, a little sign that prodded and tugged the thread of familiarity in her mind and she was about to ask his name before another of her guests bumped into him. Blinking softly at the commotion she hid a brighter smile behind a soft and understanding one at the unicorn filly.

"Are you alright, young miss?" The unicorn may not have been young, but then compared to Celestia, everyone was young.

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"Ahh thank you your highness, your compliments mean much to me; I'm most certain I'll have a wonderful time at the Gala" he said when a moment later he felt a bump into him; turning to see the apologizing mare, Tarisio gave a kind smile to her, "It's quite alright my dear, no harm done miss" he said kindly grabbing her hoof and placing a kiss upon it, "All is well, that is if you're ok."

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Maximilian Rockefilly Jr. tapped his hoof impatiently. As one of the richest ponies in Equestria, it was almost his responsibility to show up at the Grand Galloping Gala. "Another year at this dreadful gala, why didn't I just stay in Manehatton? At least there I can DO something..." He mumbled aloud.

There was business to be done, he merely wanted to get his customary greeting to the princess out of the way so he could actually try to enjoy himself, something he didn't often do. The white unicorn examined his tuxedo, a custom number from hoity toity's shop, and wondered what could be taking so long. He decided to see what the hold up was, and he was surprised at what he saw.

A griffin is here! He was taken aback as he stared at the winged creature before him It's acting quite strange... Max was certain they were all crude, violent creatures. ...but it seems there are exceptions to every rule.

Time is money, and while he was intrigued by the griffin he certainly didn't want to be held up because of it. Some poor filly seemed to have distrubed it, and Max made his way up the stairs to investigate further. With a a quick trot he found himself next to the griffin and the pony.

"Is everything quite alright?"

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Knightly was kinda waiting still as a big scene just started in front of him with the griffin a unicorn mare and another pony coming up to see what was going on. He didn't really want to get involved but he was kind of right next to the whole situation. "Um Are you ok miss you took a bit of a fall." He had to say something he was sure that Celestia may have recognized his voice now. He might be embarrassed if that was the case. He had to see if the mare was ok.

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She took her first step inside, between the massive stone doors she stood. She gazed in awe at the shining decorations, the brilliant architecture, and finally the beautiful fillys and colts. She trotted along happily reminiscing in the Gala's magnificence, almost running straight into a colt in front of her, the dance was more packed that she could have possibly imagined. Readjusting her dress she troted up the soft maroon carpeted stairs and greeted princess Celestia bowing to her. Dew walked passed and turned her head to glance back at the entrance, 'This is going to be the best night EVER!' she thought to herself.

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hi hi

Ginger Mint kept her eyes fixed forward as she found a spot in the assembling crowd at the front entrance, taking a few deep breaths to keep her heart from racing. Easy now, you've got all night so don't rush things. Everything seemed simple enough on the outside. Just play follow the leader and you'll fit in fine. It was a comforting thought, up until the point where she stepped through the front door and saw Princess Celestia standing at the top of the stairs, right square in her path, the real deal, not a painting or a statue but the living, breathing ruler of Equestria herself.

Ginger Mint's heart skipped a beat and she glanced around at the guests in front and behind her. What were they doing? How were they reacting? How should she present herself? Unfortunately, there was something of a scene playing out at the front of the line, with a few of the guests bumping into each other. Not much help unless I am looking to make a foal of myself... I hope this old dress of mine doesn't stand out too much, everpony here looks so avant-garde... I should bow, that much I know, but what if I bow too low, or not low enough?

Still looking around, Ginger Mint decided to risk breaching decorum by turning to one of the guests next to her and saying "Good evening... Have you ever met Princess Celestia before?"

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Fruitstripe had been horribly nervous this day... She was so unsure how or why she was invited to the gala but was ecstatic for it. She was so worried, this being one of her first social affairs in such a formal... No REGAL, place. She felt so out of place and hoped the others didn't see her that way. She had her mane combed and styled as nicely as she could, her favorite ruffled pink dress.

"I hope I don't mess this up... This is so exciting...!" She nervously looked at all of the other ponies... All dressed so formally and fancifully... "Eep... My breath...!" she breathed into her hoof to make sure she didn't smell bad, "Okay... Fruity... Wait it's always fruity! I eat nothing BUT fruit...!" She muttered to herself chuckling nervously...

She swallowed her fears figuratively and literally and made her way into the crowd of others excited for the afternoon that awaited her at the grand galloping gala, smiling from ear to ear and trying her best not to look as nervous and scared as she felt...

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Monty poked his head out of his chartered carriage. The palace was so beautiful and all of the decorations only served to make it look even more royal. He brayed in pleasure as he exited the carriage.

'This is going to be FUN!' he says out loud to anypony within earshot.

He had received a ticket to the Grand Galloping Gala but he did not know from whom. He had friends all over Equestria, some of whom were very well connected. He had pondered which one of his contacts might have sent the ticket but then quickly gave up the quest and danced around giddily. Of course he was going to go, Hoofington was just too boring sometimes and the Gala would be a great distraction from the doldrums.

He was decked out in his best formal attire, a brown tuxedo and a creme coloured shirt with a red bow-tie. The jacket and shirt matched his stripes perfectly but the bow tie clashed beyond all belief and that was why he loved it. It was much like his mane which was styled in a permanent mowhawk. He smiled as he walked up to the line at the head of which stood the Princess. He heard a meek voice ask,

"Good evening... Have you ever met Princess Celestia before?"

'Hello, no I have never met the Princess before but from what I have heard she is absolutely magnificent!' he answered. 'Oh where are my manners! I'm Monty! Pleased to meet 'cha!' he chimed out happily extending a hoof to shake as he smiled widely which caused his right ear to flop over.

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Bramble Rose looked up at the palace with excitement. His parents had always been to the gala - his mother being a highly respected professor in the University of Canterlot. He'd always been too young to go. This was the first year he'd ever gotten a ticket! He knew it was entirely because of his mother, but nonetheless, it was very flattering, and very exciting. His parents always had such wonderful stories about the Gala.

And the greatest honor of all - meeting Princess Celestia herself! And hear tell - Princess Luna should be here too! He stood in line nervously, checking over himself once more. The slim, delicate little purple unicorn had his long silver mane slicked back neatly, hanging down to one side of his slender neck. He wore a loose white dress shirt with a loosely tied black tie, a pinstriped charcoal gray suitcoat that he had left open, and a fedora perched atop his head, slightly tilted to one side. A silver rose was tucked into his lapel, a rose he'd grown himself very carefully. He didn't feel as fancily dressed as the rest of this lot, but Glitzen had said this was what he should wear, and he trusted the strange but kind pony to know much more about fashion than he would, himself.

The line moved slowly, and Bramble was too nervous to introduce himself to the ponies before and behind. He was fairly certain he knew one of them from one of his mother's fancy dinner parties, but he could easily have been mistaken. And he never knew what to say to them, anyway. So he waited quietly, carefully going over what he would say to Celestia time and again in the back of his head.

And then it was his turn. He smiled, his hoof taking Princess Celestia's, and he bent over her hoof in an old-fashioned manner. "A pleasure and an honor to meet you, Your Highness. I have heard wonderful things about your Gala, and I thank you for inviting me."

He knew the princess was always busy at these events, though - so as soon as the Princess said her few words, he moved on politely, eyes wide to see the rest of the Gala. Finally, the chance to see the royal gardens up close, rather than from afar, through the Library's window!

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Guest ZiraStarfollower

Starflower looked at all the ponies about her, and she felt rather embarrassed. She hadn't fallen or hurt herself or anything. She'd just bumped into someone!

'Everypony, I'm fine, really. I just wasn't paying attention.' She said, lowering her gaze, feeling an absolute foal.

When she heard Princess Celestia speak up, she quickly turned to her, curtsying. 'Ah, your highness! It's a pleasure being here at the Gala. I'm so glad I was able to come. Thank you for having me and all these other ponies...and griffon...here tonight.' Never in a million years did Starflower think she'd ever meet the ruler of Equestria, and here she was, talking to her! That by itself made this night remarkable.

However, what made it even more remarkable was the griffon. He turned to her, taking her hoof in his claws and giving it a kiss. 'I'm...uh...fine...' She said slowly, stunned. She looked at him, smiling back at her, and suddenly her heart leapt. 'I'm wonderful. My Starflower is name...err, my name is Starflower. It's a pleasure to meet you.' She gazed at him and let out a happy sigh. Starflower, what the heck has come over you? her mind asked. I don't know...but I think I like it, she responded. She stood there staring at him, a big, goofy grin on her face.

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Skye paused on the edge of the path leading up to the castle. He couldn't believe he'd never known there had actually been a -road- all the way from down in the wood up here to the castle, not in all these years. He felt rather foolish having had discovered it, what with the large numbers of ponies who had been travelling down it. It had become almost too much when he'd first started seeing the trickles of finery-dressed party-goers. Then had come a flood, and finally a torrent. And now, after it had started to trickle off, he finally felt it was clear enough that he could answer the call.

A ticket had arrived. A ticket! To the Gala! Of all places. He'd never expected to recieve one. The peryton knew a party would take place every year and had been for as long as he could remember (and that was a subjective amount of time, even he knew that) but the fireworks and the decor and the flood of ponies were regular as clockwork. But this year, he'd woken up to a mysterious sparkle of light and then before his nose, had appeared a scroll and the gleam of a golden ticket. Celestia had remembered him, perhaps through all that had happened in the past few weeks, or perhaps for other reasons, one couldn't say, but this year he determined he was going to go. He couldn't turn this one down!

The peryton had managed to aquire a few baubles and decor for an outfit. He hadn't thought it'd be much, but hardly could he show up unadorned and plain along with the rest of the other ponies who had come. Some gauzy fabric, a creative placement of a wreath of holly in his antlers, and some carefully coaxed fireflies to perch on his cerulean hide, and Skye took a breath to stroll across the bridge amongst a crowd of ponies who likely mistook him for just another outlandish costume like everyone else. As he entered the ballroom, he paused, his heart racing in his chest. Eyes wide as saucers, he had been here before, but never like this! It had only been weeks before that he'd seen this room and now it was very nearly mind-blowing! As his gaze lowered to the occupants of the hall, he smiled as he took in the nearly towering form of Princess Celestia. Skye carefully began to make his way towards the Princess and the ponies she was greeting. Maybe this was going to turn out to be lots of fun after all!

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This was starting to almost get a little overwhelming, she had never expected a gala so bustling and it warmed the ancient mare's heart greatly, especially to see some of her subjects so concerned for the filly that had bumped into the griffin and she smiled softly towards the unicorn's words.

"I'm very glad you're enjoying yourself, my dear, I hope the night brings you many surprises."

No mishief, her mind scolded, no mischief. Glancing over the ponies and the suave griffin attending to the unicorn, she heard a familiar voice and couldn't help but shoot a soft smile towards Sir Knightly. She knew practically everyone that had been in her service for the past thousand years.

A blessing and a curse in itself.

But she offered the pegasi a gentle nod whilst she attended to her other guests, shaking their hooves and bowing her head when neccesary as her soft, ethereal hair licked the air gently. There was some very well dressed ponies at the Gala this year.

Lovely garments. Hair pieces. The creativity of her subjects made her swell with pride.

Maybe it wouldn't be as boring as most of the other years.

Catching the light from Skye's pelt as he entered the main hall, she had to restrain herself from waving too enthusiasticly, but she did permit herself a very bright smile. He'd gotten the ticket. She was all too pleased now.

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Knightly blushed at the Princess actually remembering him. He went up to the princess. "It is great to see you again Princess Celestia I thought I would never gather the courage to talk to you again." He grabs her hoof gently and shakes it. "I am glad to be present at your lovely Gala and hope to have a great time at it." He then took a step back and did a respectful bow to Celestia like he always did back when he was a knight. He then stood up. "I hope you have a good time here at the Gala too you deserve it." He smiled.

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"Ahh, Starflower, such a lovely name~ It's an honour to meet you, I am Alexander Blackwing." Tarisio said lying through his beak, he wasn't about to out himself in front of some random group of ponies, let alone in front of THE Princess Celestia, "Perhaps you would like to join me for a dance in the Ballroom? I'm certain you'd be a lovely dancer" he said to the mare as he walked to the side of the line to let other pass while he awaited an answer from her.

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hi hi

Ginger Mint didn't realize she had been holding her breath until she exhaled in relief, a genuine smile on her face as she raised her hoof to shake. This friendly fellow with an unusual accent didn't seem nearly as formal as she had expected.

"The pleasure is all mine Monty, it is always nice to see a friendly face. My name is Ginger Mint." She said, shaking Monty's hoof firmly. "I've never met the Princess before, but I've heard she is very gracious, and she certainly looks it... If you don't mind me asking, you're not from Canterlot are you? I'm from Fillydelphia myself..." She gestures with a nod of her head around the room. "and so many ponies seem right at home here, like a visit with the Princess is an everyday happening."

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Monty liked the firm handshake. 'A good handshake is the start to a good business relationship.' he mused to himself. He looked over the mare. He found her dress to be very beautiful, she seemed to fit in rather well with all the other fancy ponies about. He smiled at her question.

'Well Miss Mint it's nice to meet 'cha! Yea the Princess is quite the spectacle ain't she. Between you and me and the night air I think sometimes she over does it though don't you?' He said nudging her shoulder with his as he winked.

After giggling at his own joke he answered her, 'Nope, I'm from Hoofington, got a small surplus shop there. If you need it Monty can get it for you . . . for a price of course.' He smiled and his ear flopped over again as he offered her a business card with his shop's info on it. 'Although I was born in the Zebra Homeland, I still can't shake the accent no matter how hard I try. May I add that your dress is quite beautiful, a wonderful balance of prim and proper with a hint of antiquity and grace.' He complimented her as he took a few steps forward seeing as the line had moved.

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hi hi

Ginger Mint carefully balanced Monty's business card on her hoof and carefully tucked it under her sleeve. As she looked back towards her sleeve, she noticed the faintly annoyed expression on the pony immediately behind her and took the hint to hurry up and keep moving forward as well. The commotion at the front of the line seemed to have run its course and the procession was now crawling along at a steady pace.

Ginger Mint glanced down at the floor at Monty's compliment, catching a faint reflection of herself in the polished marble. "You're too kind... and anyway, your own suit has a certain adventurous flair to it that seems quite fitting." Then, looking back at Monty with a quirk in her brow, "A lot like the accent I suppose. No no, don't laugh, I wouldn't think you'd need to shake your accent at all."

She was starting to ascend the staircase when she whispered to Monty "Just between you, the night air and I... you don't suppose her mane billows like that all the time do you? I'm not sure about overdoing it, but I think even without the breeze she would have a distinguished presence."

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Guest ZiraStarfollower

Starflower blushes hard at the compliment. 'Th-thank you, Alexander.' She saw him move out of the line, and she followed suit, not wanting to hold it up. 'Would I like to dance?' She said, the words hanging in the air. Yes yes yes yes! her mind squealed inwardly. 'I would love to. Although you might have to coach me a bit, seeing as I've not really danced much before.' She offers him her hoof. 'Shall we?'

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Tarisio smiled at Starflower's blushing, it seems his silver tongue had worked its delicate magic on yet another lady; it wasn't too difficult for the Pirate, he was rather dashing and well dressed, and it helped to know how to pull heartstrings, "Wonderful, I was hoping to have a dancing partner for the evening, and don't worry madam, I can show you the ropes, you're in good claws with me~" the charming griffon said as he gently took her hoof in his claw and lead her on to the ballroom.

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The peryton paused as he approached the princess and her small gathering. Catching her eye, he cast a bright smile back to her, and dipped his head in acknowledgement of her gaze. He knew better than to muscle in to a group of ponies surrounding their princess but he approached cautiously. Perhaps a bit nervously, in their proximity. He stood nearby, waiting for his turn to officially green Equestria's Princess. He didn't see Luna anywhere nearby at the moment, but he was sure the Princess of the Moon was somewhere nearby. This was too big a celebration for her to hide away in her rooms, and there was far too many opportunities that would be missed greeting her fellow subjects. But he was still eager to see her as well, just as he was to see her sister. But this sort of thing was still so very new to him, he wasn't used to being up at the castle yet even though he'd been brought here before. At the princess's summon, he would come!

When it was finally his turn to greet the Princess, he dropped to one knee and bowed in front of her, the holly in his antlers shaking a bit and causing the fireflies on his pelt to glow. "Greetings, Princess Celestia, from the Whitetail Wood, ever your servant." he said, before looking up to her with a broad smile and a twinkle in his eye. "The Gala is fantastic, and overdone as always." the last, with a wink.

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Greeting every pony that passed, the Princess had to offer a bright smile towards Knightly as her hoof was taken and she shook it in return with a soft bow of her head and then gently placed it back down upon the floor. Everything looked like it was going smoothly and to be visited by two old companions, the ageless mare felt this would be a very entertaining night to say the least.

"Thank you, Sir Knightly, I hope you'll enjoy yourself aswell."

And once that was done, she continued her duties as a greeter and a host.

Some part of her wished that Luna was here by her side, but the other part knew her younger sister was still recovering from what had happened...and may still be tentative on the subject of meeting their...well...subjects.

Brushing away any forlorn look she may have held on her features, she looked over Skye as he approached and soon found herself smiling yet again. The sorrows of the past washed away in a sweeping blow as she dipped her head to the peryton.

"Skye, my dear friend, I'm glad to see you could come and with such finery, not trying to to catch some poor lady's heart unawares I hope?" A light teasing, but it was friendly in her mannerisms before she looked out over the Gala. It was overdone, but the ponies of Canterlot liked that and in a way, she did aswell.

"Not too overdone for anypony to complain thankfully."

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