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  1. Past hour
  2. Thank you, all, for words, so thoughtful and kind. Glad I know, my efforts don't fall behind. If we keep communications open, I'll keep performing well, least I'm hopin'. If ever you feel I need work at all, know you can reach me, I'll come at your call. Thank you again, I will see you in post, for role play is great, I like it the most.
  3. Today
  4. Ah, the Imperial Gardens... Or Royal Gardens, rather. Lazy lillies and oopsie daisies glisten in the crystal coating of fresh morning dew, although Luna's darkened tapestry had yet to be drawn back for Celestia's painted blue sky. Rose was not a nocturnal pony. She wasn't a diurnal pony either. Rose simply followed her heart, whether it took her through the gates of time or Tartarus, such trivial things mattered little in the face of science and discovery. One such discovery happened to be underway in those very rosey beds, the seafoam savant hunched over her displayed alchemical materials as she plucked the petal off a large silver flower. The tips of her hooves were coated in dirt, eventhough she sat just outside the boundaries of the mulch, and small smudges of oddly odiferous substances streaked her cheek and limbs, as if she had spilled something while mouth handling it- or, perhaps, multitasking beyond her limit. Regardless, three small beakers had been setup on a placemats of sorts, her saddlebag close by with guts exposed to the cool, crisp air. "The petals of a Forget Me Not... I'm surprised to find these here, considering their potent mental effects," she murmured to herself as she dropped the leaf from her aura info the top beaker, which was filled with what looked to be water, steam rising up from the bottom beaker sitting atop a heating rune. The steam sparkled with small grey motes as it entered the third beaker, which was filled halfway in a ruby fluid. "Great for anesthetic purposes, but the loss of memory can sometimes prove problematic... It could be used to treat trauma, but... It needs something." The silver flecks bogged down the air above the crimson lake. In time, it diffused into the red substance, giving it the appearance of sparkling wine. Rose smiled. "Yes, I thought this may be a good idea. Sweet breams will be able to fight off the worst of the side effects and prevent hallucinations from forming nightmares. Genius!" She thrust a hoof into the air, nearly knocking down her equipment in the process. "Now I just need somecreature to test this on... I have enough petals here, so I can still distill more if need be..." She began looking around the garden for her next unwitting vict- volunteer.
  5. Strong Copper The whole point of pacing oneself throughout the race had been to avoid tiring out. After all, if you needed to stop and catch your breath because your body was screeching at you, then you likely weren't going to be first over the finish line. Now that the end was within sight, Strong Copper lowered his head and abandoned all pretense of reservation as he took off at an outright gallop. Yes, the strain of the race was starting to make itself known, but seeing the end in sight was wonderful motivator... and unlike some who were less conservative with their energy, he had taken it easy at certain parts of the Run in order to be in top shape for this final push. He couldn't help but suspect those who had tried to gain an early advantage by going all out during that calm, peaceful section of the trail were almost certainly regretting the decision by now. Then again... this was a remarkably long race and he suspected he was going to be taking the next day off in order to recover.
  6. Name: Kettle CornGender: Female Age: fillySpecies: unicorn.Eye colour: bright yellow.Character colour: butter yellow.Mane/Tail/Other: Her mane is gold and puffy, a frontal tuft swirling around her little horn. Her tail, likewise, looks like a popped kernel. Both bear silver streaks in them.Physique: Small and frail, Kettle lacks the raw muscle of earth ponies her age, and instead possesses a rather average, if slightly underweight appearance.Residence: The Corn Family Residence/ PonyvilleOccupation: "Corncobber"/ "Pop Conissuer"Cutie Mark: a red and white basket with popcorn spilling over the top.Unique Traits: Kettle corn was born with a rare genetic trait that caused recessive genes to express themselves, giving young Kettle Corn the horn of a distant ancestor. While weak and frail compared to her earth pony siblings, she makes up for this in enthusiastic telekinesis, assisting her family by reaching things from a range that they would have trouble with.History: [Pending]Character Personality: Wide eye'd and bushy tailed, Kettle is eager to help ponies out in any way she can. She loves candy and sweets, and has always had an eye out for Candy Corn, although she has yet to approach the mare. Character Summary: Kettle Corn is an exuberant and hard working filly that, despite her somewhat sickly appearance, does her absolute best to use her gift of magic in productive and constructive ways. Also, she really likes candy. And Candy Corn.
  7. Stage 7- Ponyville, The Home Stretch After quite the journey and race, the racers can nearly taste the finish line. Friends, family, and fans line the home stretch, cheering for somecreature as everycreature has something to root for. Buoyed by this adulation, the racers prepare themselves for a mad scramble for the finish line.
  8. "Thanks for offering assistance back there. I don't think I caught your name earlier. I'm Midnight Oil. It seems that Jade has run off ahead and Berry has Tiger to keep her company," he said giving a friendly smile. "You look like you could use a running mate for company," as he picked up his pace a bit to a slow gallop. Tongue Twister looked to the aerion stallion and gave him a slight nod. "Our name is Tongue Twister." she stated, "And some company is always preferable." "It's a tad warm still for a cloak, isn't it? Perhaps that's just me though. My line of Aerions has thick coats." TT briefly frowned. "We had a very - unpleasant - interaction with an ancient evil sorceress recently. Our wings were altered. We thought to prevent a scene by keeping them covered." She thought for a moment. "Your line of Aerions has thick coats ? Does that mean you have a family with similar thick coats ?" We're almost back to Ponyville. Time to use up some of that energy that us moderate pace ponies have been saving, right?" TT smirked. "Most definitely !"
  9. Midnight would smile at the mare whom tried to assist him, however it seemed that Tiger and to an extent, Berry had it under control, pulling the bat stallion out of the sap. Being licked, he would blush, however would attempt to return a lick to Miss Punch as well. "Same back at you," before looking to Tiger. "I don't think I need to know what Tigers taste like," he laughed. "You know, sap is mother nature's energy drink. Full of natural sugars and sweet...though sticky." He would try to stretch his wing, but to no avail. "I think we're all going to need hot showers after this..." As he looked forward to see the filly back on the trail, he would smile. "It's good to see that you got Apple Bloom back on the straight and narrow...though I do worry about her little brother was it? Hopefully nothing happened to the little pegasus ether...especially if he was as hard headed as the other Apple." Looking ahead, he saw that the caped mare had moved on forward. "If you'll excuse me, I have to thank that mare for offering assistance as well. Don't worry, I'll catch you guys by the finish line for that shower...." he winked before trotting ahead to catch Tongue Twister. "Thanks for offering assistance back there. I don't think I caught your name earlier. I'm Midnight Oil. It seems that Jade has run off ahead and Berry has Tiger to keep her company," he said giving a friendly smile. "You look like you could use a running mate for company," as he picked up his pace a bit to a slow gallop. "As I've found out, the Running of the leaves isn't so much about winning, as it is making friends, and of course knocking down the leaves." Looking her over, he would pause. "It's a tad warm still for a cloak, isn't it? Perhaps that's just me though. My line of Aerions has thick coats." Not wanting to pry too much however, he would shift subjects, as well as his speed. We're almost back to Ponyville. Time to use up some of that energy that us moderate pace ponies have been saving, right?"
  10. Pinkie bounced her way into the woods. Leaves were falling from the trees thanks to all those pounding hooves up ahead of her! One particular leaf caught on the head of a certain gator as the Pink bounded on. "Nice hat you got there guy?" She giggled as the gator dangled on her mane to a level where she could see him. "Looking really festive!" The gator just hung there by his claws until the leaf blew off and he sprung himself back up onto the top of the pony's poofy head. "Hang on gummy...we got...a sticky situation up ahead!" Pinkie started trying to avoid puddles of sap. It was flowing from some of the trees and was making the trail a little less than easy to follow... Would she get stuck? Time would tell...
  11. Since her help was not required, Tongue Twister turned back to the race, trotting along a shade faster than usual to make up some time lost from attempting to be helpful. "It appears my social invisibility talent is kicking in again !" she noted to herself, "You'd think that would be a key skill for espionage or investigative work - but only if ponies KNOW you have that talent ! The best spies are known only by their results, not their names or faces. And if they do things right, nopony could even be sure the spy did anything at all. Or was even there in the first place." She was struck by the sheer absurdity of it : if all your work is secret, you have NOTHING to put on a resume ! Thus everyone will assume you've done nothing, or ARE nothing. If you save the universe in secret, everypony will assume you're a good for nothing layabout, because OBVIOUSLY you've never done anything anyone has ever noticed. "Well, might as well get in a little linguistic practice to stay sharp ... Which language to try ? Oh, I know ! Why not a medley ?" So she trots along, singing Let It Go (Frozen) - in 25 languages.
  12. With Apple Bloom prepared, and Berry helping out, Tiger pulled on the branch and eventually freed the young pony. He gave her a smile and nod before following Berry back to help Midnight out. He couldn’t resist following Berry’s lead and licking some of the sap off of the aerion. “You’re right, Berry, that does taste pretty good.” He added, winking at Midnight before heading off to catch up with Berry. “Not to be sappy or anything, but I’m glad I met you all.” He added, chuckling at his little pun. This had been quite the fun experience, and now they were all free from the sap! Sure, it would’ve made winning more likely if he left them there, but that’d take all the fun out of it. Plus, he wasn’t even actually trying to win at this point, he was more interested in socializing while they ran.
  13. Yesterday
  14. Grabbing into Tiger's offered hoof, Beery managed to pull free of the mess that had caught her by the side of the road. Ruefully shaking her head, scattering some sticky twogs here and there, she quipped, "I feel like like such a sap for falling over like that, but that can't be helped. Come on, let's help get the others free!" She helped little Applebloom first, maternal concern all over her face. "The leaves will still fall if you take a breather, hon. Also, you better get that head of yours looked at after all this, ok?" Moving on from her, she helped to extract Midnight, licking up, some of the sap in the process. "Hmm, that's a real sweet taste. The Maple sap ain't bad either!" With a goggle and a wink, she went back to the path, picking up the pace to get free of the woods!
  15. ~~~Wind Dancer~~~ Wind Dancer smiled as she heard the music start and she began the song just like she did yesterday, using the same melodic and fluids movements that were more about generating wind than anything else at the moment. The mist that was still present on the surface of the lake began swirling an me flowing with the wind as the opening and the build up proceeded just as they had rehearsed. Her movements were sharper and more defined than they were yesterday and the windb was able to keep the mist compressed before like yesterday she built up the cloud making a small tower like she'd done yesterday and at the drop used the same effect and the cloud burst across the surface of the lake and she transitioned to the hybrid part of her routine. She continued through the moves that she had come up with yesterday until she kinda got to the final third of the song. This was where she didn't like what she came up with yesterday and instead of trying to refine, she moved on natural impulse creating a sort of wind tunnel effect on what mist had returned from the downburst. She herself wasn't aware of the rainbow effect that the mist was casting on hey from the reflection of the sunlight as her movements naturally lead into the final stance that would be the opening stance for Cave In. She paused from there as she waiting for a reaction from Sky. Both to see if that ending was better, and to make sure that burst effect actually went out this time and not up over the lake.
  16. Bringing over a large leaf and lots of what looks like string, she begins by placing the leaves down on the floor near the injured wing. Bringing out a large flat bowl, she places a large, flat, thick, somewhat spiky green between her hooves and squeezes out a milky clear jelly into the bowl, dumping in two cucumbers and some of the chamomile tea she had in the kitchen. She then brings out a large pot of honey and begins to warm it by the hearth. She begins to stop into the bowl, mixing up the selected ingredients. After a couple minutes, she retrieves the star shaped candied flower and places it in the recently emptied cup for tea and pushes that and the tea pot toward her guest as she gets to work. She nudges the honey toward the bowl and tips it in, pouring out the translucent honey, in which you can see globs of bees wax, indicating a very raw source. She then heads outside only to return with a bunch of wheat grass. Folding the honey and wheat grass into the mixture she looks to the pony she is hoping to aid, and says, "I hope you like the tea, you need more, my hooves are busy, else, for you, I'd pour. I'll place this" motioning to the mixture "on your wings, in just a bit. That sweet flower will numb you as you sit." Beginning to pile the mixture on the large leaves beside her new friend. Leaving a bit in the bowl to work with later.
  17. Rose noticed that her nostalgia for the stories she'd heard about the Zebra Lands didn't go over quite as she'd hoped. It seemed this Zecora wasn't too eager to talk about home. She could certainly understand that. She had her own things about her family she'd rather not discuss. She decided it would be best to change the subject. "So, I've been here for weeks, mostly mapping out the forest. I have a hard time, as you can tell," she chuckled looking at her wing "getting through the forest floor. Honestly, I probably never should've tried flying away in the dense trees to begin with." she sipped at her tea before she continued "Anyway, I was wondering if you had any advice to help me not be.... such an easy target." she chuckled nervously. "You seem to know your way around here, and you live here, for ponies' sake." she sipped again. It wasn't every day she found herself asking others for pointers. But then again it wasn't every day she was chased by a hunk of wood and saved by tree-dwelling herbalist either.
  18. "At least I'll be past these woods soon !" Tongue Twister noted nervously to herself as she quickly passed tree after tree leaking sap, "Then it's just a direct run back to Ponyville. But then what ? I still have expenses, so I need a job. At least the Devil's Business Card enchantment dad placed should get the word out faster than paying for ads in most papers ever would. Plus I'm still corrupted by Hou's magic. And she's still out there. Somewhere. Need to deal with those. What is that ancient curse ? 'May you live in interesting times.' 'Interesting times' would be more fun if there was a good chance of surviving them unaltered and intact ! Hmm - I wonder if any other museums need a linguistics expert ? Or someone that knows about artifacts and antiquities ? Hay - I'd even consider the SCP or the BPRD if nothing good comes up in a few months !" She took a quick look behind her to see how Berry and Apple Bloom were doing. Just in case. It looked like another pony was stuck there now - the thestral Midnight Oil ! She trotted back to see if she could be of some help. She recalled what the Abomination in her head stated : "It would be most comical if every pony in the race except you got stuck in the same pool of sap !" She'd thought that would be unlikely. Apparently she was wrong. "We were not aware that sap could trap ponies in a chain." she stated as she approached Midnight Oil, "Need some help before this turns into the La Brera sap pit ?"
  19. A grimace was quick to find its way onto Sombra's face when Luna piped up, suggesting the two options that they had. His grimace was for the latter suggestion: confronting Hou Shuren and trying to get the Remembrance Stone back. He'd been caught off guard when Hou faced him, a little rusty and out of his element. It was the only reason why she'd managed to best him and when he'd not wanted to fight her or anypony to begin with. Next time around though, he certainly wanted to be prepared even though he didn't fancy having to do so again anytime soon. His red eyes flitted between the two princesses when Twilight addressed Luna, hinting at a talk that they were likely to have later this night that he knew he wouldn't be privy to. As Twilight turned back to him and summoned forth a box, surprise flashed across his face at what she was offering him, a surprise that was shortly followed by a confused furrow of his dark brows. His magic reached for the staff within the opened box. "Why would you give me something like this?" he asked her, staring at the staff for a moment before looking past it to Twilight. "And what friendship? You barely know anything about me and I don't know anything about you outside of your.. granted royalty. I brought you this information out of spite for Hou Shuren, who could've easily gained me as an ally if she'd not attacked me and only heard me out about her wild suspicions." Sombra snorted and rolled his eyes. "I'm not sure why you would.. do this, let alone think that way after what I've done, and what I've heard my doppleganger do."
  20. Pondering for a moment the many things this pony said, another thought had come to mind. To form it into a good, short descriptive expression, she tried to figure out a method of delivery they might fill it better. Realizing, in a flash of insight, what she could say, she offers, methodically says, "There's not much can leave a mark such as this. Details we found, one could easily miss. Not live and well as you say it should be, there's only one answer that I can see. If I tied a rattle and shook my tail, hid in a bush, I'd make you're face go pale. I've spoken much of things I do not know, we need much more knowledge before we go." Looking at the friend that is helping figure out this mysteries secrets, she seems, once again, deep in thought. Thinking of lore she heard from home and from her own travels, as well as other travellers, about a mysterious Werewolf that had attacked ponies, but was found to just be a bad pony wearing a wolf's coat as it ran away. Maybe this is similar...maybe it's quite different. Maybe the creature is just sick and the wood, therefore, looks dead. We'll need more information, that for certain. All we have right now are ideas. She'll have to wait to see what the other pony thinks.
  21. Candy Corn Candy was excited as she saw their was no ill will for her clumsiness as she returned Windy's hoofshake, though with a bit more vigor then probably was expected. "Nice to meet you Wind Dancer. I'm Candy Corn, though most just call me Candy." she said as she released. her grasp. "Really? You'll buy me to lunch?" Candy's smile would grow into a grin as she soon found herself hugging the pegasus mare, though quickly released it. "Hehe," she chuckled "My family is full hungers." Candy would back away a few steps to give the Windy some space before levitating the guide map back in front of her. "Let's see...restaurants, restaurants...Windy, Is it OK if I call ya Windy? Where do you suggest? I am a bit famished and haven't had anything since breakfast on the train. Hm...Anyplace around here have Spaghetti and Tuhmaytu sauce?" As the young mare began to walk, she put the coupon book away. "I don't want to give off the impression I'm a moocher," she said with a half smile. "And I don't want to keep ya from your job if you need to get there for a rehearsal or something like that, or keep ya from any of your friends if yins ponies had plans. I'm sure you are in high demand being such a famous equine."
  22. The way that 'Jade' chimed in made the bat start to doubt if the legend going back in his family was true, as his face went flush of color and he slowed as that information settled. It took a few moments to regain his senses as he quickly trotted back up to Berry and Tiger as the exited the dark woods. Now Midnight had a new problem to deal with...The sun. It was quite a bit brighter out here and his eyes took longer to adjust then he would have liked. "Ugh," he said as the turned his head away. "I'm going to have to catch up to you. I can't take this sun," as he used a wing to shade his eyes as he let Berry and Tiger go off ahead. His speed had effective been limited to a quick walk as he kept his head down. "We just had to be going the way with the sun in our..." he mumbled. With a heavy sigh, he would continue. "You just had to leave your sunglasses at the inn..." As the Bat Pony kept moving forward, his eyes had adjusted enough to see that there where puddles of something near the trees. He could smell the sweetness from the trees as well. "Maples..." he muttered as he kept walking, increasing his pace back to a trot. Catching up to Berry, Tiger, and what appeared to be a living pile of leaves, he would waive, Squinting to make anything out. "Looks like you found some of our favorite snacks. Maple Sap is quite good tasting, and very sweet. Now Pine sap on the other off...." As he continued towards them, still with his vision temporary compromised. He now smelt some of the very sap he mentioned. That stuff was like tar... And Sap Midnight's vision must not have returned to normal as much as he had wished as soon he found himself in a very large puddle of sap as well...and it seemed the trees over him was dripping it on his back and wings. "Sassafras," he muttered. He had to get out of this situation. Closing his eyes, he would swallow his pride...as well as some of the maple sap. He may have lost some of his dignity, but what else could he do. His wings where useless in their sticky state. At least it tasted good...minus the occasional leaf that he had to spit out. With the puddle down to almost ground level, he fought to get his front hooves free one by one. At least now he could try to pull himself out by grabbing the tree itself for leverage. Finally, with a deep sigh, he would call ahead to Tiger. "If your not to busy, I could use a little assistance please!"
  23. Last week
  24. So far this morning is was another beautiful Tuesday in Las Pegasus. Wind Dancer had just finished her weekly meeting with Golden Bit. She held open interviews every Tuesday for performances, but for Wind Dancer it was more of a formality thing. Wind Dancer already had a permanent contract with the Mareage for her weekly performances. She just mainly came to the Tuesday open-house meetings in order to let Golden know what routine she was planning on doing that week. This week she would be debuing a new routine aside from 'Flight of the Pegasus'. That was the only part of her weekly routine that she couldn't change because of the volcano. Everything else was new though and she hoped that the crowd would enjoy it. As it was though, since she just finished her meeting she was now wandering through the casino floor taking in some of the tourist that might have been in the area. She want like most celebrity ponies and actually enjoyed mingling with what most in high nobility would call the "common folk". Such titles bothered her. There wasn't any one pony that was better than another. Well, that wasn't the complete truth. Sky Sailing was better than everypony else, be he was her special somepony so she had a bit of biased there. She couldn't help but giggle at the thought as she felt something bump into her backside making her eyes go wide for a moment. She turned around and found a grey colored mare that was shaking her head a moment with a tri-colored mane and tail with a map laying next to her. She could instantly tell what had happened and smiled to the point that had bumped into her. She began vehemently apologizing for timing into her and she could tell from hey accent that she was from the north eastern parts of Equestria. When she realized who she was, saying that she was the mare from the billboard and that she was famous, she giggled. Looks like I'll have to tell them to take that down again... she thought to herself. It wasn't that she didn't love the attention, but more she never cared much for excessive amounts of spotlight. She did what she did for the enjoyment of others. The happiness that she got from the smiles was enough. She knew they they only did it so that she could make even more do so though. This pony was certainly excited. "I am! My name is Wind Dancer," she said as the pony brought out a coupon book trying to find something she could use for the lunch that she offered. Wind smiled again. "Tell you what, how about we do lunch and you let me covert it for you. I can tell that you are on a budget so you shouldn't waste what you have buying me food just because you happened to literally bump into me. I appreciate the gesture though," she continued. "Is there a place here that you've been wanting to try? Anything you want, my treat," Wind finished extending a hoof to the mare.
  25. Strong Copper Unlike some, Strong Copper managed to avoid being sapped by nature as he trotted along, admiring the rare display of beauty that wasn't trying to maim and kill somepony for a change. Granted tree sap could be dangerous under the right circumstances, but he had been able to spy and avoid them easy enough, surely those who were running behind him in the herd could easily do so as well? Or at the very least, benefit from having somepony there to help pull you out if you got really stuck. In another life, where he had been closer to the middle of the pack of runners, he would have offered Apple Bloom a bit of magical assistance in order to get unstuck. Unfortunately, as far as he was aware he was one of the few outright leading the group, if not actually in first place. Considering that turning and looking behind yourself while moving at speed was generally a bad idea that he avoided (because running face first into a tree was not a fun experience for anyone), so he didn't see the hardships, trials and unity of the pony spirit that were happening back there. Instead, he just focused on keeping going, his muscles starting to ache but not as bad as they could have been. Turns out pacing yourself a little bit at times can pay off in the long run. Who knew?
  26. While the mare's statement did hold some weight, Strong Copper couldn't help but slowly shake his head. While he wasn't exactly ruling out the possibility that these markings were unrelated to his own affair, their presence so close to where he had been tracking his quarry could not be discounted. Unless what he had been following was some masterful mimic of some kind that pretended to be a timber wolf in its methods, attacks and evidence left behind, one had to observe the current situation as if the marks had been made by a timber wolf. With that in mind, a healthy timber wolf was made of living, oftentimes green wood and thus the presence of dead, dried wood made no sense... the key word in that sentence being 'healthy'. Copper had done his research on Timber Wolves since coming to Ponyville since the creatures were native to the Everfree, but he could admit that he was no expert. Since he hadn't been around the creatures enough to develop his own intel on them, he had been forced to fall back to the old standards of what little ponykind actually knew about them from what few animal experts had braved the Everfree and come back to write about it, local folklore and to a degree myths and legends. "An alternative line of thought because the sad truth is that despite my efforts there really that much known about timber wolves and some of the other animals local to the Everfree, but... could this be evidence of some kind of timber wolf sickness? Something that dries out and and leaves the wood that makes up their body dead? Maybe even a sign of old age as the wolf draws near the end of its natural lifespan." Focusing on Zecora, he politely offered "It seems like you've been able to gather a trove of field information on the various plants and animals of the forest. Does my idea have any weight to it?" Because honestly he wasn't sure if timber wolves had a natural lifespan. For all he knew, when a piece of their body got damaged, old and rotten they just tore it off and replaced it with a new piece of wood. If that was true, they could likely keep going until something inflicted enough harm all at once that they couldn't recover at all.
  27. "I see. I believe you are right, Sombra. The stone is very likely the prize she sought. Based on our knowns and our unknowns when it comes to that artifact I believe we are right to be worried," Twilight said as her horn lit up once more, sending everything involving this discussion away. "We will have to prepare active measures and countermeasures while the Keepers continue to delve into the mysteries of the Stone," she nodded to Luna. "I am sure we will have a plan soon. Very soon, if I may borrow you tonight?" She asked the Princess, happy to see her engaged in this. She knew Celestia was the most powerful pony in the land but there was a certain decisiveness to Luna that would be well-needed for her plan. She turned back to Sombra. "But as ffor you, Sombra. You did something very kind today. You had no reason to bring this information to us, let alone to...humor us, or me rather, with these questions. Yet you did. For that, you have my thanks. But my thanks are likely not enough for you," she said as she pulled a box out of thin air, gently hovering it towards him. The box opened, revealing a single item, a staff that grew in length as it left the box. "This is a relic of a bygone era, the Staff of the Glacial Isle. It is a powerful defense artifact in its own right, and is rumored to be the key that opens an island castle in the Far Badlands. For helping us in this task, I offer this as thanks, and as a sign of our goodwill and growing friendship," she said with a soft end, hoping he would take it in good spirits.
  28. Apple Bloom allowed herself to wallow in the sap of misery. It was an appropriate metaphor for the day. What had started off fun and a little exciting had ended up with her being hurt and not even close to winning, which was a double blow to the ego if she had anything to say about it. She had to admit it was a super disappointing first Running of the Leaves. That didn't mean she'd shy away from running again, though. An Apple didn't retreat from hardship. An Apple ran into, through, and over the challenges in their lives, not around them. Some called it stubborn but the Apples understood better than most that out there on the edge of civilization you had to be able to confront these problems and conquer them. Maybe that was naïve now that Ponyville was growing bigger and bigger. But it was part of her DNA. Luckily, she didn't wallow alone nor have to wallow long until somecreature decided to lend her a hoof. Or in this case, a stick. Tiger Blood had done her a solid and stopped on by to help her out, not that she hadn't heard Berry Punch throw over the attention her direction. She was stubborn, sure. Maybe not as much as her sister but she would have liked to run through this obstacle on her lonesome. But that wasn't in the cards, and she was in the sap. The solution seemed simple enough to her. She pushed her head forward, as much as she could at least, and bit down on the stick. She couldn't move her arm to reach it and, well, her tail was a mess. This was as good as it was gonna get!
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