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SteelEagle

Iron Pony 2019: Unnecessarily Extreme Rock Climbing

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The rock wall seems rather normal at first but as ponies start climbing, the bottom of the wall seems to fold into the ground while the top changes- in effect, while the ponies are indeed climbing, they aren't moving. As they continue up new features start popping up- quarrey eels jump out of holes to try and eat them, lightning strikes cause rocks to fall, and sudden rainstorms make the rocks slippery. One by one ponies fall or are knocked off, though what was once a terrifying rock falling on somepony turned into a tuft of magic as they fell off. Eventually all the competitors fell, and to the hoots of approval from the crowd, another group tried their luck.


"Come one, come all, to the Unnecessarily Extreme Rock Climbing event! Do you have the fortitude and bravery to tackle a rock climb...when you don't know what manner of trickery will prevent you from reaching the top?! Just sign on up, get your climb gear, and try to reach the top!"

Rules:
 

1- The rock wall is a magical construct. As you climb it will continue to generate new obstacles for you to face. Some of these are psychological, but others will have a direct impact on how you climb.
2- There is no flying and no magic allowed.
3- You are considered to have fallen off if you are off the rock wall for more than two seconds for any reason.
4- You may have as many runs as you desire- only the best is considered.
5- After you have finished, you may continue to post in the thread. However, I ask that you refrain from interacting with ponies who are in the middle of their attempt.
 

Grading:

Every attempt will be graded. The following factors will be taken into account when an attempt is graded:
Post Competency- Spelling, grammar, and the overall structure of the posts in the attempt. A post that is almost unreadable becomes an obstacle for all of us- and one that is perhaps too hard to weave around! This is vital and will be treated as such. However, it is listed first as it is perhaps the least important of the three factors being graded.

Post Quality- Length, word usage, and general contribution to the flow of the thread of the posts in the attempt. A post that is too short or too long, that either lacks any flavor in text or seems greatly strained to appear more than it is, will be graded somewhat worse. The flow is vital and helping make this a fun, active, and quality roleplay. This is important, but is still not the most important factor that shall be graded.

Post Creativity- The actual story and character content of the posts in the attempt. There may only be a small handful of ways to tackle this challenge, but that doesn't mean you can't explore them all. How does your character react to the changing wall? What's the strategy? What's the pony thinking? How fun and entertaining, or how exciting and enthralling, is your post? What sort of challenges can you come up with? This is the most important part of the grade.

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*this post submitted for judging*

 

Kerfluffle was just absolutely tickled pink! Well, not as pink as Pinkie Pie she was actually more of a sky blue sort of color... but that's beside the point! The real point was she was in Ponyville! She was in town to visit her newest group of friends and especially to see Rarity. She had plans to go over some of her new designs with the famed fashionista herself! Also, it just so happened that this was the time of the annual Iron Pony events! It had been super wonderful to have the Mane 6 in End of the Rainbow when the Rainbow Festival was in full swing and now her she was for one of the biggest and most fun events of the year in Ponyville!

 

"Oh oh oh, this is jus' so excitin'!" She paced near the starting area of the Unnecessarily Extreme Rock Climbing wall. 

 

The ponies running this event eyed the pegasus skeptically. She sure didn't seem the type to do well in an event like this. It was unnecessarily extreme after all. Pretty much designed for ponies made of the sternest stuff... this particular pegasus seemed to be made out of clouds and marshmallows.

 

Kerfuffle turned to glance at them and winked. "Now I know what yer all thinkin'. No need to hide what's plain on yer faces," She smiled disarmingly. "But as you'll soon see there's more to me than meets the eye!"

 

The event ponies sighed with relief that they hadn't offended a contestant. That would be bad form!

 

Fuffle made her way to the designated start area and took a quick trot  in place to loosen herself up. She had recently worked on her prosthetic leg making sure it was in supple and oiled condition. She checked to make sure are her small of hoof chalk was secured properly to the belt around her middle. She was ready for action!

 

FWEEEEEE!

 

The start whistle sounded and she took hold of the wall! 

 

The first section she was presented with was cool, rough granite. Easy to grip and press off from. She kept her wings firmly on her side and started upwards.

 

"Well now! This is pretty easy donch'a know!" She couldn't help but call out as a crowd gather behind her to watch the intrepid pony ascend to the heights! 

 

Kerfuffle got her hind hooves under her and pressed up, using the large muscles in her hindquarters to do the lifting work. Hold after hold was presented to her, for the time being all in easy hoof range. Up, up, up she went...well not really up per say as the wall was swallowed up behind her and more appeared not far ahead of her. The magic of the wall was not lost on the pegasus. She was quite fond of magic!

 

Soon the holds started to range out a bit. This made the hoof holds harder to reach and she really had to stretch for a few. The mare began to use the hoof chalk that she kept in a little bag at her side. Sweaty hooves did not make gripping easy. She had to press off on tip hoof and let herself fall out to the side just a little to reach a particularly wide ranging hold. But she was able to grip it and on she went! It didn't take too long before her forelegs began to burn from the effort but she kept on climbing!

 

Image result for my little pony birdsTweeeet twitter tweeet!

 

The mare glanced up and saw a cloud of little birds circling above her. As she got closer to them they began to sing louder and swoop around her. They weren't attacking her, just trying to get her concentration to slip. Fuffle smiled at them.

 

"Well you guys sure are cute aren't you!" A few birds flew about her head. "But I gotta keep on climbing so shoo please! Shoo shoo!"

 

The birds stayed a bit longer, swooping near her when she tried for a couple difficult hoof holds. Fairly soon though they fell behind her and were swallowed up with the rest of the magical wall. Almost at the same time that the birds disappeared a warm wind began to pick up from her right side. The wind blew harder and harder and she could feel herself beginning to loose her grip! She re-chalked both her front hooves and grit her teeth with the effort of continuing to climb. 

 

It wasn't long before she realized the wall seemed to be trying more and more to make her fall! Not only was the wind super strong but now it was growing more and more slick and seemed to be moving faster too. She had less and less time to reach the next hold before she was deposited on the ground from the rate of the wall being swallowed up! She began to pant with exertion, knowing that her round was about to be over!

 

"Holy moley! This wall's no joke!" Then she gasped as...

 

image.pngROAR!!!

 

...she looked up and stared wide eyed at a gigantic red horrible toothy quarry eel head! The animal was snaked partially out of a cave and the holds she was using were heading straight towards the beast!

 

"Ummmm, yikes!" She shouted as the eel locked eyes on it's target! 

 

The monster lunged at her and in a boost of adrenaline she launched from the rock wall and landed right on the top of the eel's face. The impact snapped its jaws shut and she launched from there to a second quarry eel that had appeared right above the first! 

 

"EEEeeek!" She squeaked as the eel's jaws opened for her. It looked so real she thought for a moment she might really be in danger and then...

 

ZAP!

 

She was standing on firm ground, sweaty and puffing but with a triumphant gleam in her eyes. The ponies in the crowd stared at her dumbfounded for a moment. Had that little fluffy pony just managed to ascend all the way through that many obstacles? It was only a pair of quarry eels that had finally bested her! Really just one quarry eel as the other had gotten his face stomped!

 

The crowds erupted in cheers and applause and Kefuffle couldn't help but giggle! She was beat and needed a stiff cider something fierce but she was unshaken! There was more to her than met the eye, that was for sure!

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*This Post submitting for judgement*

 

After some time to herself, Yanhua concluded that downing cupcakes probably wasn't the best way to get Feng's attention. If Nensho's crush could handle that obstacle course despite being kept behind a desk so often, This cook could climb some silly wall. While Yanhua had been mostly cooped up in the royal kitchen back home, She was still a nimble creature by nature. That, and being stuck in that forest for so long (traumatic as it was) did give her the chance to do a lot of running: Usually from the odd predator that entered the forest to make a meal out of something. If she lost some ground she could probably bounce herself back up, easy peasy.

That announcer's warnings and allusions to the wall's trickery couldn't possibly be something to worry about. Yanhua's family were remarkable tricksters in their own right. If she could be outdone by some enchanted rocks, she'd have to turn in her tails!

The Crowd let out a cheer as the kirin approached the wall. Yanhua flinched when she got close, Magic was thick on this thing. Who had enchanted it?

 

More importantly why was that familiar scent meeting her nostrils. It was some odd mixture of a scent she was very familiar with: The smell of Woodlands, of a horribly tranquil and lonely forest. Memories of her time back in those woods some came to the forefront of her mind. Scurrying around in dirt, grime and tall grass, left only to her wits and with none of the magic she'd nurtured and practiced. If Feng were watching in the stands he'd have seen the cooks eyes wide open in shock for a few seconds until she rapidly shook her head about to try and center herself. When she looked back up she noticed something at the top of it... Was that her star-ball? She brought her hoof to her ear to check. It was still there. The one on the top of the wall seemed bigger and it that old Fulu that past spiritual advisor had left on it.

"Is this wall making fun of me?" The cook took a deep breath to steady herself, "Calm down... It's just a wall, nothing serious."  Once she properly steeled herself she 
lowered herself and approached the base of the wall. Then came the whistle.

 

Yanhua go to a steady start as she gripped the rough surface of stone and pulled herself up, using muscles she'd not had to make use of in years. As she made her way up, the walls effects seemed to continue on. The familiar sounds of that hateful forest still surrounding her. That familiar drone of the cicadas, the calls of birds above in the trees, Every little rustle in the dark she could recall that woke her in the night. Still, Yanhua persisted. Then she heard the grinding sound of stone against stone. 

Looking up above her to the next level she saw all the spots she could have previously set hoof on swapping and switching around on the stone wall. When was one low and close to her, suddenly it was a two or three steps above her and then below. This certainly stalled her, Yanhua left trying to focus on staying tight to the wall and looking over the switching surfaces of the rocks above. Watching this constant swapping, Yanhua eventually noticed a pattern. It was a very short window, but there was a path of easily reached spots she could quickly move through. Timing would be important. 

The cook took in a deep breath and tensed up her muscles, like her body was becoming a compressed spring...

 

Three... Two... One!

In a slick, smooth motion Yanhua seemed to almost run up the wall past the switching stones and then hang on tight to the calm spot above. The Sudden exertion leaving her huffing and panting but then pushing on again. Vertical climbing like this was so tiring, why on earth would ponies do this? Jumping from ledge to ledge would be so much easier... but this chef had promised herself she'd get through this by the rules for Feng and she was going to do just that! 

The further she went up the wall the more the sounds it made seemed to change. Forest smells were replaced by the scent of the imperial palace, though not from the present. It was a scent tinged with a heavy nostalgia. As Yanhua went higher up on the wall she could swear she even heard the sounds of lively conversation by the voices of Long guo nobility from the past. "Why would someone make a rock wall of psychological torment?!" She screamed internally as she tried to push onward... only to see something snaking across the crags above her. 

 

Were those vines?

 

Soon several green tendrils came rushing down to try and smash something into her face! She slid down from the first smack and then blinked as somethign splattered over her face. She then had to wipe what remained away and grimaced as a familiar taste met her tongue.  Peppers. The same super hot kind that had blown her cover back in the capital so long ago. It was almost painful to experience this taste again. The raw power of the spiciness already made disguise start to slip, thankfully it was just around her teeth. At this distance nobody would notice... and this may just be her saving grace.  When the next vine came to her she jumped forward to meet it, more pointed teeth  shredded through it and with a tight grip she used it to pull herself up along her newly acquired "rope".

Just getting this far made the chef feel exhausted. Her body was aching and even with the image of Feng in her mind she was starting to regret this choice. But, she could see the wall's chosen finish line for her. The fake star-ball just so tantalizingly close. With a couple more bursts of strength she made it , huffing and panting as she got to the top. Place her hoof on the end point the wall had made she immediately felt faint and had to steady herself before raising up her hoof to the crowd as cheers came. Something felt off, though. Feeling the wind on her pads shouldn't feel so od-- Wait. Pads? She brought the hoof to her face and noticed the bottom of her foreleg was no longer the bottom of a cloven hoof. In a panic she felt her face, it was still in a kirin's visage: thank goodness. 

All the exertion was wearing down her glamour. Why did she had to show off so much as the cupcake eating contest?! Rather than accepting the reward the Kirin Jumped down behind the wall in a hurry. When the pony who blew the starting whistle went to check on the contestant... she was gone!

...And somewhere behind the bleachers a fluffy, orange tail zipped out of sight.
 

Edited by Pretzelparty
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*Submitted for Judging*

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A bright yellow earth pony stood in front of the wall, staring up at it like some strange creature. Though the mare was eyeing it like a weirdo, she was absolutely thrilled to step hoof in this competition for the first time. The idea of climbing up a magical wall full of mystery and unbelievably hard challenges really made Long Shot excited. Something new and, what sounded to be fun, made Shot really pumped. It was the off season anyway, for soccer at least, and she had to find something to keep her mind from wandering into boredom. 

 

The smile never left her cute little face when she got her belt situated. Her positive attitude radiated her surroundings as she tightened the harness, then dipped her hooves in some chalk to make sure she wouldn't slip. She saw the last two ponies make their way up the wall, and it didn't seem that hard. Ha! The green eyed mare was a little delusional. So, her grin got bigger when she looked back at the wall, blurting out a "This will be so much fun!" Only if she knew what was up to come. 

 

When she got closer to the wall, the ponies behind her cheered for her bravery. Her hooves quickly pounded the ground from anticipation and excitement. Her mouth formed a tight smile as she heard her cue to start climbing. Shot immediately jumped right into action, her heart pounding and her strong back legs helping her up the first section, which seemed to be easy. It was like a normal rock wall, as little steps were plastered all over the section. Her strong yellow hooves climbed the moving wall with ease, her quick reflexes jumping to the next set of stones to hold onto and climb up. 

 

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"Huh?" The sudden noise shocked her, as a thick, brown, slimy blob of mud came running down the wall. Her braided hair hung off her neck as she stared at the quickening mass, making her gulp loudly. The mud was already at her hooves, making them covered to the brim with sticky mud. Her back legs kicked out, as her mind went to the next best thing. Her positive nature kept a smile on her face, as she found the lumps of rock sticking out from the mud. She pushed her little body up the slick plank, using her backs legs to keep her steady against the wall. Shot began to notice little spots of wall that wasn't covered in mud, and she used that to her advantage. 

 

It was like a soccer drill in her mind, like little step ladders. She used all her momentum to climb from one spot to the next, not caring if she got a little dirty. It was a little slow, moving up the wall from how thick the mud was, but she didn't find that as an excuse. It was like a pattern, left front hoof, right front hoof, then her back legs. 

 

The mud seemed to clear up quicker than she thought, as the wall kept moving at her pace. "I'm so ecstatic for this next run in! That mud was stick-y!

 

Suddenly, a small rock hit her head, making her shake it aggressively. The mare continued to climb, feeling more rocks roll their way down the magical wall. Soon, they got bigger and bigger, hitting her hooves and making her lose her grip. "Woah!" Shot hung the wall securely, dodging the rocks as best she could. Her heart was pumping fast again, like it did in the start of a soccer game. She tried to climb closer to the wall, but the rocks became harder to dodge. She mare was stuck in a pickle, and she needed to get out of it fast. 

 

Though the boulders seemed to be a huge obstacle that she wasn't expecting at all, Shot had to use this to her advantage. Her bright teeth shown through her smile as she thought of an idea, and she hyped herself up from the possibility of doing it. As the next rock came down on her, she leaped at the next step, throwing her two front hooves at the falling rock and holding it for a second, then throwing it behind her. Shot then leaped to the next spot, grabbing another rock and throwing it behind. It was like a pattern again, or another soccer drill. A shooting drill, perhaps. It was like a soccer ball getting passed to her to shoot, and she had to run up and get it. This time it was leaping to it, throwing it back, and grabbing the next potential spot to climb. Left and right, up and to the side. It made her body exhausted though, and she began to slow down. 

 

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"Oh, fiddlesticks." Pure panic plastered on the earth pony's face as she heard water splash down on her, making her drenched in water. The one thing she absolutely was terrified of was water, and swimming, and fish. The memory of her childhood flashed before her eyes, the idea of swimming made her stomach tight. If she knew water was going to be used in her attempt, the hyper active mare wouldn't have climbed the thing. She's been terrified of water since she was little- since the mistake happened. It was something about her so thought happy past that she'd never tell anypony. She was too happy to acknowledge it.

 

Too late now, as she was covered in the clear liquid and little fish were swimming down the wall, making her slow down a lot and stay quiet. It was like it was meant to freak her out, like the wall was trying to trip her brain out. The smell of the ocean swept all of her senses. She wasn't smiling anymore. She was just scared. The yellow mare didn't stop climbing though, as she just wanted to be done with this. She didn't think about the water, or the fish, she just thought about climbing up the little pegs that stuck out. "You're almost done! You're almost done! You're almost done!" 

 

Finally, she made it to the top, and the smile didn't escape her face when she did. "Psssshh, that wasn't that bad!" She gave a large grin, and climbed down her rope to meet the ground. 

 

 

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