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  1. 5 points

    From the album: The Character Corner (Color!)

    Been a while since I drew an Ungulate so I made this Handsome Caribou Fella.
  2. 5 points
    Discord was a blubbering mess, crying into a yellow, green polka dotted hoofkerchief. He was such a softy. Honking blaringly into his snout napkin the draconequus would dab his eyes with the end of his tail, the napkin vanishing into a colorful cacophony of confetti to celebrate the vows. "Oh those poor ponies, you know marriage is a lifelong commitment full of cooperation, compromises and children!" He dare suggest that there may even be cooking involved! While he did dabble in the odd pastry, and odder teas the chimeric demi god was one to sate his sweet tooth on pony pounded confections and tenderly tasty toffees tossed by tactful hooves. Heavens forbid one dared ask the question of the draconequus' actual need to eat. he would run you around a block dictating the tale of having found the fluffiest meringue atop a mountain. Detracting from his antics. "Oh come, come Fluttershy let's find the bride and bride! I've my gift to gift them. I want to be first to present." As he was still quite the egotist at least it was in the spirit of giving. A strangely shaped package would manifest in his mismatched paws. It was a star-shaped box with a frilly ribbon of pink and white. The box itself was striped with green and orange, a tag sticking out from it where "Discord" was haphazardly scrawled in a multicolored scribble that befitted the hold of his large, more awkward paw. That in mind the bumbling spirit would putter over Berry Punch, a queer object manifesting beside her. Though in the past one would submit themselves to terror as the objects of Discord's giving were often hazardous to ponies in their nature, but with his newly reformed and far lesser known heroic reasons for his ferocious fiendishness: the juice squeezing proprietress would find herself gifted with a oddly shaped bottle of spiced juice from the distant shores of the tropical pony islands that were known to be the ports of paradise! Well Discord wandered often in his free time, of which he had plenty. There were no hard feelings, garlic, after all makes a lovely tea! He landed on the ground, standing perched on his toes beside Fire Walker and Dunder. "You know you should really visit during the next season Fire, I bet Squall would love it!" No Squall would hate it and Discord counted on it, preferring on teasing the precocious pony provider. The devious demiurge was always delighted to deny Squall the pleasure of rebuffing his company. Besides he had plans to help the business pony with his little trouble with a certainly Oligarchy!
  3. 5 points
    Myth had seen Ice's head move, but couldn't quite make out if she'd nodded or shook her head, she was just starting to try to guage what her intention was based on her emotions when Ice cleared that up for her. "Yes, about that, I thought I saw Princess Twilight's spell, earlier. Looked like some kind of shielding magic. I figured she had it taken care of, but I did wonder what it might be for. Then again, I was outside at the time, it might not have even been Twilight." she giggled, smiling at Ice's invitation "I would be more than happy to share the holiday with you! Making friends is what Hearth's Warming is all about, afterall, isn't it?" she gave one of her most infectious smiles, accompanied by a wink. Just then, Twilight's Royal Canterlot Voice™ echoed down the hall, and Myth could easily tell it was an official declaration of some kind. She visibly turned her attention to it, for a moment, listening carefully. Then, almost absently, lightly tapped her hooves on the floor in applause for the new "functionaries" she'd appointed. "So she was here, afterall." she said more to herself than anything. She had wondered if she'd correctly identified her magic, earlier, since she had limited experience with it. When the stallion introduced himself, she bowed slightly deeper than last time "I'm sorry, Prince Blueblood. I didn't quite know what your aura looked like. I've only heard of you, afterall." she succesfully suppressed a laugh. It was kind of funny that she'd called him a simple door greeter to herself. She didn't really care for nobility. She had some habits that her family instilled in her, but she never felt any reason to be in any special awe of them. In fact, all she'd heard about the Prince was that he was.... kind of a spoiled brat. Not that that's all that different from other high-society types. Although, none of that was apparent here, and she did see a kind of genuineness that she didn't expect from nobility. Besides, she'd already decided to give him the benefit of the doubt, in spirit of the holiday. "It's alright. Duty calls, right? It was nice to meet you, Blueblood. Perhaps we'll see each other around in Canterlot once or twice." she was genuinely interested to get to know what made him seem so different from what she'd heard. However that would have to wait for another time. As Raven spoke about Myth's apparent skill in magic, Myth kind of made a little face and said "Well, not magic, no. Other than illusions, I can barely do a simple levitation spell." she remembered her embarrassing experience failing her practical entrance exam for Celestia's School for Gifted Unicorns, but then she shook that away, not wanting to dwell on negative memories, and smiled "My talent, tho, is illusions." she pointed at her flank, where sat eight long triangles pointing away from an empty center. "I use a different technique than most probably do, because I don't know what light looks like. Although, if you're into new knowledge, then I think you and I might get along swimmingly." she winked. When Raven suggested they find a seat, she giggled happily "Yes, let's! My dogs sure are tired." she lifted a hoof and the end of it had, apparently, turned into a dog's head, which barked twice before she put her hoof down and the dog illusion shattered like glass, disappearing. It was at this moment that Myth realised she was still casting the illusory snow, absently, and giggled, blowing her horn out like a candle, dissipating her illusion, and giving a friendly smile."Now, did somepony say eggnog, or was that in my head?" she asked jokingly, following the others to the table.
  4. 4 points
    Guise. I finally did it. After 6 or 7 years or so as a brony and something like 30+ OCs.... I finally made my ponysona. Her name is Paige Scribble. Isn't she amazing! I love it so much! And it only took me like 1,000 hours to do (that hair was a nightmare lol).
  5. 4 points
    "MM-ba?" She could only look up in confusion at Zap tried to explain what presents were for. Were they not for chewing? She needed something to chew. And this day was about ponies getting what they needed, right? But then, magic happened! Not the sort of unicorn magic she'd soon be making her poor mamas lose sleep over her getting, nor the much-vaunted 'magic of Heartswarming' that brought families together and banished windingos, but an altogether more childish fantasy of transformation, where the pretty-colored boxes were turned into other things! "Oooh, ooh!" She reached her little hooves out for the onesie, which she was duly changed into. At which point, the apple pie chew toy was put into her grasp, and soon she was chomping down on it like she was little AJ at a fritter-fest! She looked so cute in the ensemble, that the Orange One would no doubt want the first new picture in her album to be of little Ambrosia's first christmas. And in future days, all would look back upon tonight as the night when the little charmer first got a taste for good-looking clothes.
  6. 4 points
    “That may be so, but that does not mean we wish to pursue them.” The griffin responded, sighing slightly. “Besides, if I wished to make something to use magic, I would ask for input from the unicorns onboard.” He was not all that interested in stuff like that, he wanted to make himself better at what he already knew, not spread himself too thin trying to get into a field he was not supposed to be in. “You know what they say about jacks of all trades. The two of us prefer to be master of a few.” Scarlett shrugged as she gave her own input. “We’ve only got so long in this world, no point focusing on something we don’t care about.”
  7. 3 points
    Tongue Twister paced back and forth in her rented room as she tried to figure out what to do next - and discern just how deep in the crap she truly was. "It will take a few days at least for my message to reach STAR." she mused to herself as she took a few deep breaths, "And an unknown amount of time for them to respond. Which means I have to hang around here until someone shows up !" "And when - IF - they show up, what will you tell them ?" the Abomination began, "You've been too busy cowering in fear in this hovel to keep track of Hou Shuren ! It's been almost an hour ! She could be anywhere by now !" TT thought for a moment. "Not really. One does not step off a luxury liner into a slum ! She'll most likely be staying at one of the better - if not the BEST - accommodations they have here. At least for a little while. All I need do is maintain surveillance of them, at long range so I am a pebble in a field of gravel." "How does that help anyone ?" "That is how the villain/hero cycle goes." she began with a sigh, "Heroes are reactive - they have nowhere to go and nothing to do until the villains DO something. So Hou having a few days head start is pretty much expected at this point. But if I hadn't been here and sent that note, no one would even know Hou was here until it was far too late to stop, well, whatever it is she's up to. At least now somepony will be watching for something odd to happen. And perhaps have better odds at stopping her." "You don't even know what she's doing down here in Saddle Arabia that needs stopping." "I don't have to know to know it can't be good for Equestria." The Abomination grumbled and shook his head. "I'm trapped in the head of a sappy, wanna-be hero !" "Well, you can leave any time you want !" TT cheerfully offered as she rummaged through her packs to retrieve a pair of binoculars. Then made her way to the roof for a clearer view of the area. She was watching the hedges and awnings near the better hotel entrances. "I doubt Hou is hiding in the shrubbery." "Most ponies can somehow sense when somepony is looking at them." she noted to Abomination, "But when somepony is looking at something near them ? Not so often ! It is safer to watch somepony out the corner of your eye than to look directly at them." Abomination thought for a moment. "You are suspiciously good at this sort of thing. Why is that ?" "Not sure." TT answered within her head with a shrug, "I may have once been an agent whose competence stole glory from her bosses, so they had my memory scrambled so they can keep looking good. Or I got cursed in a temple because I learned Things Mares Weren't Meant To Know - that is an occupational hazard for those that roam around in old, forgotten tombs. Or I've read or translated one too many spy novels. Or seen one too many cheezy spy movie. I'm - not really sure myself anymore."
  8. 3 points
    In the foothills of the Antlion mountain range, near Shatt al-Malik, a week's travel from Manephis Tongue Twister peered through the sighting line of her compass, and could just make out a small hill in the distance. Archaeological site SA:PV 1497-060-117B, 'The Graffiti Cave'. It was one of her favorite sites in the region. It had been used occassionally as a rest stop by various groups of travellers over the millennia. It was originally a small tomb at the end of a deep tunnel in the rock, but everything valuable had been looted about eighteen hundred fifty (+/- 15) years ago. But it still provided shelter from the sandstorms and shade from the relentless sun just as well today as it did then. And some of the many groups that had passed through had scribbled and carved on the walls. There were samples of at least nine different ancient alphabets all in one place. It was one of the first sites she'd worked on as a grad student. Back when she was still in school. BEFORE all the craziness in her life. "Why are we out in this desert again ?" the Abomination inquired, spoiling her good mood. "The best way to get away from all the craziness and drama is to literally get away from it all." TT replied mentally, "It's quite refreshing to just do something because you WANT to do it !" "Well, I don't want to do this !" "Well, I don't care !" she sniped back, "Since I'm currently waiting for an offer of employment, I have the time to actually enjoy life. At least for a little while. Besides, I can get a much better deal on certain items in the shops here in Saddle Arabia than I can back in Equestria." Once she arrived at the Graffiti Cave, she pitched her tent near the entrance (so as to NOT risk damaging an archaeological site), and started making a shopping list while paging through one of the books she bought from her dad - the Florilegium Mischiefii. "What is that mishmash of fragments of bad poetry you're subjecting me to ?" The Florilegium Mischiefii was written by a gadgeteer that made spy gadgets for a forgotten agency almost a century ago." TT replied, "But needing to keep his brilliance hidden drove him mad. So he wrote down how to make all his items, but encrypted it by writing it down in fragments scattered through a collection of what looks like bad poetry. There is part of a poem about the glory of rotting leaves on this page, and on the other side of the page is the last third of a poem describing the joys of mud, and some random illustrations of unknown vermin doing Celestia knows what. But hold the page up to a strong enough light source, and some of the strokes blend together to form words and diagrams. But only if you can read Akkadian script ! Which I can. He just used it as a direct cipher, probably because the letters lend themselves well to being depicted as lines and wedges. This page, for instance, gives the recipes for an assortment of small, throwable grenades. This one makes an inpenetrably thick smoke - and it even says how to change its color. This recipe makes a thick cloud that irritates the eyes and nose. This recipe is for a substance that will coat the floor in an extremely sticky glue. This one coats the floor with a nearly frictionless puddle. This one engulfs a small room in sticky silly strings that tangle everything up. This one makes a cloud of very strong acid that will dissolve just about any kind of stone or metal. This one just damages stuff by exploding. And still others !" The Abomination thought for a moment. "WHY would you waste time on any of that useless stuff ?" "It is not useless !" TT replied, "These gadgets were fifty years ahead of their time - about sixty years ago !" The Abomination looked at her blankly. "Again - why waste time on stuff that is so out of date ? It is no match for anything modern spies have." "It may not be a match for what spies have today," she replied, " but it can still give me an edge over just about anypony else that isn't a fully equipped spy !" After a few minutes, she noted that all of the various bombs had a few of the same base chemicals. So she made up a list and, in the morning, headed for the nearest town a few days walk away. Days later, Tongue Twister's saddlebags were stuffed with supplies of all kinds. "Whoa ! That is a big ship !" she noted to herself as she strolled along, "Must be one of those luxury ocean liners. More comforts than you'll ever have at home. Hmm - I wonder if I could afford a trip for mom and dad for their anniversary ?" She stopped for a bit to wait for the passengers to disembark and for the road ahead to clear. Then she noticed one of the passengers - then turned around, and ran and hid as fast as she could. "By the thousand and one names of Nyarlathotep !" she exclaimed to herself inside her head, "THAT was Hou Shuren ! What does the universe have against me ?! I go to Saddle Arabia to escape The Crazy - and The Crazy comes to me !! ... and just what are YOU laughing at ?" she snarled at the Abomination in her head (who was laughing so hard he nearly lost cohesion). "This land is loaded with ancient relics, powerful magics and knowledge unseen for aeons ! Why would you ever believe that she'd be here just for somepony like you ?" TT was angry at being insulted by a vagrant figment in her imagination - but then realized that he WAS ABSOLUTELY RIGHT ! "This is an Alicorn-level threat." she mused to herself, "And since I'm not one of Harmony's Chosen, I have zero chance of making a difference or even surviving direct contact. I need to contact the Important Ponies to deal with this !" she continued as she slunk away through the alleys. Once she managed to find a cheap dive to hide within, she sat down and composed a letter. Then realized that as the lowest caste in the STAR organization, she had no way of getting information back to headquarters quickly ! So she'd just have to rely on first class mail, and hope for the best. So she addressed the short missive to Ice Storm at her casino.
  9. 3 points
    Dunder was more than glad to give Fire a hug, and he even nuzzled against her cheek. The hug broke some and he looked down into her eyes. "Oh..." He said in response to Fire explaining that the Twilight Guard dissolved. His eyes drifted off to the side, away from the bad news. "Oh?" Dunder smiled, wings fluffing up at that. He looked back into her red pupils. The brown pegasus was gonna guess that she was going to get her appendix removed so she could take on more extreme missions in the REA. But then she went on to explain what she really meant, something much more serious! "OH?!" Dunder's right wing flared out in surprise when she said she was going to have a foal. His face flushed red at the news, what were you supposed to say when you got told that news? So many things were happening nonstop! When Fire told Dunder not to worry, his other wing shot up "Huh? Wha?!" Until he was told it was about the cake, "Oh, heh, yeah...." He scratched the back of his head, "Cake! Still, that means we can just get more than one piece, right?" He looked down to his crimson friend and smiled, "You should get double every time, since you're eating for two!" He said with a hint of awkwardness and chuckled softly. "Oh, yes!" She looked to Blueblood, "We are more than happy to help Princess Celestia with extra tricky situations." Nothing like a little espionage and unorthodox tactics! And with the perfect cover, a pompous diplomat and her casual guard. When Discord dropped in next to the trio, she looked up to him, "Oh, noodle!" She smiled, "It's good to see you, too!" She nudged her elbow against the draconeqqus' bird arm. "Not causing too much trouble, are you?"
  10. 3 points
    ~~~Wind Dancer~~~ Amidst all the panting from the performance and the lights coming on, and the posting that they were in, Wind Dancer could hear the cheering from the crowd. It made her happy that they had been able to make them as happy. Then she noted something else though. It seemed that the crowd caught on to what was going on as well and she started to hear the excitement from the crowd and a chant of 'Do it!' coming from them. At that point, she felt like she had waited long enough and the shock of the moment had faded from both of them proposing to each other as well... She smiled with tears in her eyes as she closed the gap between her and Sky and locked him in a kiss as they descended down back to the ground making it quite apparent to everyone around that she had in fact, accepted the proposal.
  11. 3 points
    Shortly after Ridge had arrived in Griffonstone, it had been everything that he could have asked for. Dirt poor with no real local government to speak of or law enforcement to contend with. His hunch about the gems and riches buried in the earth that had been mined back when Griffonstone had been an actual power having been abandoned as its major trading partner had disappeared and the kingdom was crumbling rather then just running dry had proved to be correct and thus he was free to set up Prosperity Mining in order to harvest it. Even having an Equestrian military base being set up nearby had proven to be an opportunity rather then a hassle, because not only did it mean that he didn't have to invest as heavily as he might have needed to in order to secure the city and more importantly his mining operations, but some early arrangements he made with them had given him a degree of legitimacy that his company would have needed time and effort to earn. It also offered him an early trading partner to sell the gems his company was mining too, but he knew better then to count on the Equestrians to remain as such. Equestria was naturally rich with gems and crystals, with their current interest in purchasing from his company being little more then an attempt by them to help start up a company within Griffonstone in order to try and kick start the economy of the old griffon capital. That good will and more importantly, the bits backing it would only last so long. He would need to branch out into other markets in time, but it was still a damn good start for a dragon's horde and even better for a new company. However, getting his company into the ground to start digging had not been the only thing on Ridge's mind as of late. The same day that he had inspected the quality of the gems to be mined in the future, the 'Emperor' had arrived in Griffonstone. A delusional, homeless gutter bird who believed he was soaring and had designs to uplift the rest of Griffonstone with him. While it was laughable to consider him as anything close to a real threat, Ridge hadn't gotten this far by allowing himself to become complicate; He himself had taken advantage of others believing that he wasn't a big enough threat to be worth considering a few times and he likely would again. The cold, hard fact of the matter was that the 'Emperor' might have been a joke, but he was a joke that the other griffons were entertaining... and considering his own plans for the city, griffon sovereignty under a griffon ruler was a dangerous idea to have floating around. However, disposing of the problem was somewhat harder because the crazy buzzard was somewhat popular and well liked; Setting such people on fire tended to work against the one setting the fire and that would simply cause further problems down the line if not ruin his plans completely. Alternative solutions were required... and as much as it hurt him deeply whenever he looked at the bottom line of the bill, the holidays provided him with an opening to deepen his roots and further cement himself here while making the 'Emperor' out as the bitless bum he was. 'The First Annual Prosperity Mining Hearts Warming Party' as he had taken to calling it on the posters he had placed around Griffonstone was, by the standards of the dilapidated settlement, a lavish affair in which no expense had been spared, delicacies that a hard working family might have saved up enough for once or twice a year were common place on the tables, the drink was endless and came in bountiful forms and several live bands had been contracted to play throughout the night. Behind the scenes there was very much a budget for the party and by the standards of more developed Equestrian cities like Manehatten or Canterlot if he had tried to host an event with the same budget there, it would have either needed to be a cozy, private affair with a limited number of guests or risk being so bare thread that it would have been over rather quickly. The fact that Griffonstone had such a low population coupled with the low standards that its poverty had enforced on the population had gone a long way to making sure that this was going to be a smash hit. Climbing up onto the wooden stage that had been built for the evening for the bands later on, Ridge the dragon gazed out at the crowd that had likely been drawn out if for no other reason then it promised to be a night of entertainment and food that they didn't have to pay for rather then by any actual holiday cheer or love of him or his company. Dressed in a lovely red jacket that blended well with his scales while helping to protect him from the chill that was generally always in the air, he cleared his throat before speaking with a tone of voice that commanded attention. "Ladies, Gentlebirds, ponies and anyone else who happened to be here that I haven't spotted in the crowd yet. As the founder and president of Prosperity Mining, Griffonstone has been good to me since my arrival here. As such, I couldn't help but feel the urge to give back a little to the community that has allowed me to prosper in such a relatively short amount of time as a sign of goodwill going forward into the new year. However before we can enjoy the music, take advantage of the food and get plastered on drink I do believe it's time for me to make a little speech." "And I believe it's time for us to take a little nap!" An elderly voice called from the crowd, the exact source of which was lost amongst the wave of merriment and laughter. Ridge himself couldn't help but chuckle along as he waved a claw in the air. "I know, but formalities and all that. Let's just get this over with quick." Reaching into a pocket of his jacket to remove a sheet of paper... and then into a different pocket to pull out an almost comically small pair of glasses that he donned, he started by going "My speech, here is my holiday speech." before politely clearing his throat before reading it aloud. "Thank you all and merry Hearts Warming!" before lowering the piece of paper and gazing out over the crowd. The silence was quickly filled by a different elderly voice from the crowd that seemed to be close to where the original had come from. "That was the speech?!" before it was quickly joined by the original speaker. "It was dumb!" "It was obvious!" "It was pointless!" "It was... short?" There was a silence as two old griffons turned to look at each other, before both turning back towards the stage and announcing together "I LOVED IT!" much to the amusement of the crowd and Ridge himself. "Well I'm tried of speeches." Ridge announced, before blowing a brief burst of flame that combusted the paper in his claws before declaring "Let's get this party started!" and abandoning the stage to allow the first band to get started, the dance floor to live up to its namesake and the food and drink to be open to the public.
  12. 3 points
    Somewhere, on the other side of the castle, Mayor Rich felt the hackles on her neck rise. She attributed it to poor ventilation on Twilight's part, and thought no more of it. Blueblood, meanwhile, was pleasantly surprised to be offered the nameparent role. Besides the old ceremonial role, it had a legal significance, as one obligated to take care of the foal if some disaster should befall Swift and Fire. At least, that was how the Prince saw it; he took these old things seriously when they came up. "I would be honored." He replied simply. The topic of foals of his own... well, that was a more sensitive issue. Not that he didn't want them, of course! All three of them, in fact, wanted them very much. But given the latest word he had from his doctor, this may be one of those situations where the spirit was willing, but the flesh was weak. "Well, I'm certainly trying my level best, as both Star and Dunnie can testify!" He passed over the issue with a laugh, inwardly hoping that Princess Twilight's list of suggested magical aids and remedies could make up for where his efforts could not.
  13. 3 points
    Rainbow let her wonderful wife pull her in for a big old smooch. Her heart was full indeed! This was more than she could have ever asked for or dreamed of. She had the perfect wife, the perfect family, the perfect pretty much everything! She smiled after the smooch, wiping a little hint of a tear from the corner of one eye. RD glanced around, noting the Amby was loving her gifts and nomming away. Abby seemed plenty happy with her gift and Rainbow really hoped it made her feel like the grown up mare she was becoming! She could tell by reactions all around the room that her presents had been a hit! "Yep, Ah think you knocked it right outta tha park this year, RD," Rainbow smiled again and looked lovingly at AJ. "Only the best for the best family ever!" She spoke softly, loving every moment of this.
  14. 3 points
    Shining Armor Even if Shining Armor hadn't known where the party was being held today, the sound of metal music carried in the air would have been enough to mark out where Tempest Shadow was. The Crystal Empire, for all its pretentious name, wasn't the biggest in terms of population. It was small enough that he could get a pretty good general idea of the tastes of his ponies, and there was almost no demand for music like this in the city. One couldn't exactly integrate a flugelhorn into metal music, though he did try once in High School. He chuckled, thinking back to that young lad, an oft uneasy combination of the nerd and ROTC type. Would he have believed his past self when told that he would be the Emperor-consort to the Alicorn ruler of a long-lost kingdom? Probably not. Heck, Shining Armor of last year would probably not have believed that he would be attending the birthday party of the mare who had temporarily turned his wife to stone. *In all fairness,* He reflected, *Tempest probably wouldn't believe that I'd come either.* That was Equestrian Harmony Doctrine for you. Not exactly a safe strategy, he'd admit, but a rewarding one. Best to have as many friends as possible, yeah? Stepping into the field, the Blue-maned stallion levitated the fairly sizeable box from his back to one of the tables in the picnic field. "Happy birthday, Tempest!" He'd been told by his wife beforehand that it was best to use that name; 'Fizzlepop' or 'Fizzy' was to be restricted in use as a nickname by Glitter. He smiled to recall the look of joyful triumph on his wife's face when her little matchmaking effort showed good signs of bearing fruit. He was rather interested in meeting this other mare, as well; whose heart was capable of calming the Tempest....
  15. 3 points
    She felt a bit odd, there were so many ponies here and she only knew a few. She wanted to say hello to Princess Twilight, but she had royal duties to do. And you do not get in the way of those! If it wasn’t for Dunnie, she would have found a proper excuse to leave the castle and head over to her folk’s place with her stallion at her side. Fire Walker made her way over to her friend and gave her a friendly hug. “Actually, this is Muggo-Free Jubel. No alcohol." Muggo's festive Jubel Punch involved four liters of chilled Jubel, one liter of chilled ginger ale (Ginger YELL Ginger Ale), two 46 oz cans unsweetened chilled pineapple, Sam 'O' Gonka Vodka. She was not sure how much, and pineapple slices, cranberries and mint leaves. And wallah! You have Muggo Punch! "I kind of...", had she told her former colt-friend? Um. Probably not. "I ah..", she brought her voice down low. "I'm having a foal. Just found out during my last-last little job. Dealt with a good deal of nonsense with Applejack. Probably tell you later. You might not believe it, but it all happened and I've been following the book and making sure to do everything correctly. No soft cheese. Avoiding wet paint. No caffeine! So no Earl Grey and no Dreaded Motaba Blend Coffee! And no Alcohol!" There was a good deal more that was part of a very big book she borrowed from the castle's library. The 'No's' were all written on a rather long scroll that was included with the book and when she opened it, the darn thing rolled out of the castle and towards whatever Ponyville called its 'Main Street'. Snagged poor Pinkie Pie in the process. "Still too early to tell if I'm getting a colt or filly."
  16. 3 points
    Applejack nodded. It was true, most years they'd so so in the morning but this year was different. Between all of her different jobs, Apple Bloom spending more time out and about, Rainbow's Wonderbolts duty, and Big Mac visiting Sugar Belle's family, this was one o the only times she could guarantee they'd all be together. It wasn't perfect and it wasn't necessarily traditional but sometimes you had to bend a little before you broke. She then winked. "Well, Ah reckon we're gonna do something different," she said with a laugh, inviting Zap Apple over. "We're gonna open up presents tonight so we can just enjoy ourselves all day tomorrow. Doesn't that sound fun?" She asked redundantly because he was Zap Apple and everything was fun, especially if it involves presents, if he was anywhere nearby. There were two ways the Apples normally opened presents. The first was how many others did it- one gift-opener at a time, all of their presents. That was all fine and dandy. The second, and the way that it was being done today, which was have the pony who was giving the gifts give out their gifts and then change the gift-giver. Both worked. Dash was the first to start with her gifts. Apple Bloom got her pouch and then tossed it in the air, pleasantly surprised at the heft of bits her sister-in-law gave her. It was a real nice pouch and the bits would certainly go a long way. Then there was the more emotionally connective of the gifts, the picture would remain near her bedside for the foreseeable future. "Thank ya, Dash! This picture means a lot ta me," she said as she stuffed the bits in her saddlebag and investigated the picture some more. Ambrosia got an adorable little onesie and a teething toy that made her wish she was still a foal! RD was getting a good eye for the cute and adorable. Maybe soon they'd both be having tea parties? Ha, as if! When it came time for Applejack to receive her gift it was exactly what she would have wanted: Another album full of family photos. "How sweet of ya!" She said with a broad smile before opening it and looking at it deeper. For a bit she got lost in the pictures. She had never seen some of these. She knew that she inherited her love of albums and photography from her Granny and therefore the fact there were unseen photos was no shock. But these memories were now hers to shepherd. Each of the older ones was a fragment of the past that only shed new and ever more fortunate lights on the ponies of the past. The spaces forward, though? Ever more space to document the growth of her family. It was the perfect gift from the perfect mare and Applejack was lost in it, unable to really put into words how much she liked it. She was pulled out of her focus when she heard the first barks of the new family dog. Truth be told she wasn't much on board with it at first. They already had Winona and she was heading into her season soon and with the growth of the town there were a lot of male dogs in the area. Bound to get a puppy that way! But that was easy for her to say. Everypony considered Winona Applejack's dog, even if it wasn't meant that way. She couldn't deny that she was the one who spent the most with Winona and took care of her, so she couldn't quite summon up the agency to put her hoof down. And besides, she liked dogs, everypony liked dogs, and having a pup of your own would be good for Zap. In time, another member of the family that would grow and change! "Yep, Ah think you knocked it right outta tha park this year, RD," AJ said as she pulled her wife down to the floor by her tail so she could plant a big kiss on her, as she deserved.
  17. 3 points
    Rainbow glanced at AJ and raised a brow. "Weeeeellll, I guess we can open presents tonight since you've been such good little fillies and colts this year!" It was of course planned that opening presents would happen tonight! Lots of families had their own Hearth's Warming tradition that were much more odd than opening gifts the night before. She thought about the Pie family for a moment. Pinkie was probably right in the middle of the oddities right now. But what was one pony's oddity was another pony's beloved traditions! Rainbow had learned much about finding the value in others over the past years and she'd grown a ton! Rainbow went to her bags and pulled out some specials boxes and packages. She placed them in front of each pony in the room that she loved. Then she sat back, sipping on some super delicious cider to watch their responses to her gifts. Abby was getting a fancy bits pouch with a fair sum of coins inside. She was a young mare now and would probably love being able to pick out her own gifts. Also there was a small framed picture of the whole family for her to set somewhere special. Ammy was getting a special soft apple flavored teething toy. It was shaped like an apple pie and everything! Yummy! She also got a sweet little super soft onesie with shooting stars and moons on it. AJ, the love of Rainbow's life. She'd had to think long and hard on this one! Family was AJ's first and foremost so RD had thought on that route. She'd spoken with Granny Smith and had been able to rustle up some very old photos that even AJ hadn't seen! RD had arranged them in a lovely and rustic album. There was lots of room to add new images of their family after the super old ones. RD had even added some recent ones of them. Zappers! It was a small package and inside was a collar. Not a large one but more puppy size. RD had asked AJ and they had decided he was old enough to start learning responsibility. It was the right time in his life for a furry friend of his own. Rainbow opened the carrier she had carefully hidden on the way in. Out came a puppy! Of course the whole family would e joy having a pup around but it would belong to Zap! RD waited to see how they would like their gifts! (I left the puppy details open so hippo can decide the kind of pup Zap should have)
  18. 3 points
    ~~~Ice Storm~~~ Ice Storm nodded when she heard Raven tell Myth that she had to be quite skilled with magic in order to make illusions like the ones that she had. She also nodded when Raven said that they should go find a table that they could sit at. It felt good to get back to the way that things had started. She saw the wave and a smile from Fire Walker and she returned the wave with a smile. At the very least whatever Swift had told her didn't stick with her, or at least she had a good way of not showing it did. As it was though, she was currently with Swift, and she wanted to be as far away from him right now as possible. She looked back to the discussion in front of her. She listened as Myth said that she had seen the magic from Princess Twilight's spell and saw that it was like some sort of shielding magic. She said that she figured that it was taken care of but she wondered what it could have been for. She said that she would be more than happy to spend the evening with them and make friends though. That this was what Hearth's Warming was all about. She then gave Blueblood a nod and acknowledgement before he went off to deal with Dunnie. She gave him a nod too. She hadn't ever met this Spoiled Rich before, but from how everypony reacted to the mention of her name, she sounded like the exact kind of pony that she was perfectly okay with not meeting. As it was though, she heard Myth speak up again and talk about her skill wasn't with magic at all. In fact she could barely do a simple levitating spell. She told them that her special talent was illusions though. She couldn't help but giggled as she accented that point whens he said that her "dogs" were tired from standing the entire time when Raven pointed out the table. Ice Storm nodded and followed. "A talent in illusions is actually pretty amazing and you certainly had me fooled! My own special talent is the creation and manipulation of Ice and Snow. I can use my magic to create Ice out of basically thin air, and then manipulate it to do what I want with it," she said as she lit up her horn to make a small block of ice appear. "And then from there I can reshape it, or even change it's density to where the ice can be stronger than wood or steel. Before I found out all of it's defensive and protective uses, I used to just use my magic to run a frozen treats parlor named Frozen Delights that specialized in fresh home made frozen treats. They still specialize in that even though I'm not the one directly running them any more," Ice said with a smile as they sat down. "So, needless to say, when I opened my eyes and saw the snow falling at first, I though my emotions had gotten the better of me and I was creating that snow with my own magic. So I can attest that your illusions are really good," she added. When Myth asked about the eggnog, she spoke up again. "There sure is! Punch to, and once they get the barrel set some booze to," she said levitating some of the eggnog over for Myth. "Now, do you want that as is, or would you like that as frozen drink instead?" she asked before turning to Raven. "How about you love? you want your punch as a slush or are you good?" she asked her marefriend giving her a nuzzle.
  19. 3 points
    Ah, she should have expected such an inquiry. "It depends on whether you are referring to my practice of alchemy or my own naval career,' she mused. "I would say my primary career began soon after my grandfather's passing. It is what sparked my passion for potioncraft, and with the focus on life extension in particular. Such a tired, old stallion... " She hung her head and sighed. "He did so dearly love me, in his own way." There was a moment of silence as she mourned his passing, but that passed quick enough, and she continued. "I would say I was a little over eleven then. The servants refused to tolerate my presence in the absence of Mister Chronicle, so I was forced out into the streets of my hometown, Port Sierra. Obviously, I couldn't fund my research and maintain my health on what few reales- er... Bits I possessed, so I hired on as a cabinmare for a merchant vessel. From there, the story is rather straightforward-" if one omits her counterpart's love affair in between. One, she noted, that failed horribly in the end for then both. "I spent upwards to seven years earning my place amongst the crew and, eventually, became captain-" not necessarily promoted, though. That implied they had a choice in the matter. "From there... I'd say ten plus years on the sea. Luna's Rose was a fine vessel indeed..."
  20. 3 points
    Dunnie would stand straight, tall, proud! Just like how she learned. Of course, behind and out of the way of the official swearing in, and definitely away from Spoiled Rich. Twilight recited the entire speech, and the entire oath from memory. Not surprising since she was the Princess of books. As Spoiled Rich repeated the oath, Dunnie watched with scrutiny from behind her mask. So many promises in those sentences, would she really hold true to all of them? For some reason, the pegasus was doubtful. When the swearing in was over, Dunnie didn't clap. Of course she didn't, she was a guard on duty! However, when the crowd broke, Dunnie took a glance over to Blueblood and caught his signal. She nodded at him and went to approach Spoiled. "Congratulations, Mayor Spoiled Rich." She spoke deliberately, professionally. "House Platinum congratulates you on your victory, and hopes the best for you and Ponyville. I will now take my leave back to the Prince." She turned and flew over the crowd back over to Blueblood. After removing her mask, she nuzzled back instantly. "No apologies required." She said with a grin to her stallion, "It wasn't so bad afterall. She wasn't mean to me." Her wings puffed up against his side as she walked with him back. When he offered to relieve them, Dunnie's eyes lit up, "Really?!" She beamed and leaned in to peck Bluey on his lips, wings fluttering in delight, "Thank you, thank you! I'm probably gonna go talk to Fire some, I think she brought some Jubel too! I could smell it from those barrels. It's one of Muggo's recipes, and those barrels look familiar too." She spoke rapid fire, teeming with excitement. "You can come along too, both of you." She said to Crusader and Bluey. "Or unless you two want to spend more time more alone." She grinned, "Either way!" She flew off again, this time after Fire. Just as quickly as she took off, she landed down next to the red mare, pulling her in close for a hug with a wing from the side while the brown pegasus nuzzled against Fire's cheek. "Heeeeeeey, Fire!" Dunnie said, grinning wide, "It's good to see you here! Seeing Squall without you, I thought you might actually have your hoof cleaved off!" She chuckled and gave a wing wave to Swift. "Did you actually almost get your hoof cut off though? I could have sworn I have told you to put padding in your punch daggers." It was true, as with most weapons, agility and precision came at the cost of protection. "Oh, and this Muggo's jubel? Does it have the 'good-stuff' in it? I've been trying to lay off of any drink like that myself." She put a hoof on one of them, remembering the time Muggo, Fire, and Dunnie had spent together.
  21. 3 points
    "Yeah, I'm alright.", the pony added with a grin, "Well, I have a few new bruises and I'm going to need to get my punch daggers fixed. Griffon nearly took my right hoof off when I tried to deflect a very powerful blow from a very big sword", she wiggled her hoof. "I'll see you when you're done with your shift..", she waved at the pony with her last good hood before turning her attention to the hubby-horse-to-be. "Pulling this has been rather easy, but lifting..eh..", she watched as the stallion's magic lifted the barrels and placed them over in the kitchen area, where two ponies started to work on one. Soon the festive beverage would flow into the empty mugs and there would be no chance any hatred or discord could be created for the windigos to feed upon. They would instead have to dine on Fruitcake and Hearth's Warming Eve pudding! Yum! "I was able to get help whenever I needed to actually lift these things..", she made sure to give the good Prince a proper bow and then a wave. Maybe she should have waved and bowed? "oh thank you.", she whispered to the attendant who helped remove her backband and push her cart back to its proper place. She could now enter the party properly. Knowing how absentminded she could get, the mare probably would have wandered the castle-grounds with her cart still attached! Whoops! "Don't forget to get a glass once it's ready!" Jubel was great both chilled, mulled and even in a shake! The officer made sure to give Ice Storm a proper wave. They weren't the bestest friends in the world, but the red mare could never be rude. She was still an officer of Twilight's, who was the princess of friendship and they were in the Castle of friendship in the village of friendship. Still, a few words floated by her ears. Words that made her rather annoyed. Was the new mayor speaking ill of her Dunders? Did she refer to him as a dog? Er, She was Blueblood's charge and...Her eyes turned a slightly darker shade of red before she shook the anger from her mind. Nope! She could take care of herself! Dunnie was a pro! She didn't need her ex stomping on an elected figure. Would not be helpful for both of their careers! Their new mayor couldn't be a villain. No pony named Spoiled Rich could be...oh dear. Maybe she should have voted for the other guy. What was his name? Goody Von Nice Guy? Oh boy. She turned back to her very special stallion. "Once we're done here, we'll need to stop at the folk's house....", she whispered.
  22. 3 points
    To say the two pirates were speechless would be a bit of an understatement. Neither had any idea of how to respond, so they stayed silent while Rose went off on her speech. Even as she finished and gave her offer to join her on the expedition, the two of them remained silent for a bit and shared a glance before Scarlett spoke up again. "Sure, helping you get a hydra sounds like a good time to me, I'm in for that. As for removing mortality... That sounds really weird. I'm all for having more freedom, but it's hard to wrap my head around what you're saying there. Oh well, I don't need to fully understand the inner workings of it I suppose." She shrugged, getting up to refill her cup. "We can talk about it some other time though, it's Hearthswarming after all, today's for celebrating. You want more rum?"
  23. 3 points
    Bevel was still inspecting the room when Fire called out to her and Dunnie. Disappointing as it was, there wasn't very much there to inspect and if Fire was right, the only time something interesting might happen would be when all six of Equestria's heroes were here. The fluffy maned mare gave a subtle huff and hopped to her hooves, "I'm coming!" She said with a peppy smile. Once she cleared the door, Bevel walked up along with her two friends. All the while she was still looking at the crystalline corridors they traveled through, "So, where are we headed next?"
  24. 3 points
    "Oh, there are ways for non-magical creatures to utilize magic ~" her tone came with a mysterious lilt, hiding a grin behind her tankard as she took a much more tame drink. "It's just... Challenging, and requires some very exotic materials to function properly. Materials I'm fairly certain Equestrians would not approve of, if I'm being honest." Once again, she was brought back to her past life. The things that mare did... While she shivers to think of some of them- and of being the same in many ways- she can still draw on those experiences and utilize them for the betterment of ponykind. It just takes a certain mindset to use that knowledge the right way, which she still wasn't sure she was.
  25. 3 points
    The griffin relaxed as the wing was released, folding it back up as he took another sip. Scarlett nodded to Rose’s explanation, glancing over at the griffin when she asked after the engineer again. “I am the engineer. And smith.” He said, nodding to Rose. Scarlett nodded too, taking another swig herself. “Yup. That’s why this stuff doesn’t use unicorn magic, he couldn’t use it if it did, which means he couldn’t test to make sure it worked at all.” She added, finishing off the cup and slamming it down on the table.
  26. 3 points
    Raven smiled as she she nuzzled Icy back. "Same here, especially some pony as interesting as you. You must be skilled in spell craft to be able to make such convincing illusions. The researcher in me can't help but get excited at the prospect of new knowledge." She said, giggling slightly into her hoof. "Why don't we go find a table, see about getting some punch... or other drinks. Ooh. I think I see some Ice cream on the desert table... Did your shop supply it Icy?" She asked, standing and offering Icy a hoof to help her up. She spotted a table that it seemed no one had a claim to, and pointed it out to the other two. "What do you guys think of that one?"
  27. 3 points
    The griffin didn’t say much, watching as the aura enveloped the wing. It seemed like he was worried about Rose accidentally breaking something on it, though that was probably unlikely with how sturdy the outside had to be. “No, there are no nerves to feel through.” He responded to her question, taking his drink and sipping at it for now. He had some projects he wanted to work on later, and getting drunk on rum certainly wouldn’t help him complete them. Scarlett, on the other hand, followed Rose’s lead and took a big swig, giving a sigh of contentment. “Ah, that hits the spot. I take it you know some stuff about all that?” She said, gesturing to the wing. “I’m more concerned with if they work than how they work. Figuring out the how is his job, anyways.”
  28. 3 points
    Ambrosia just gave out the most delightful giggles and babyish noises of happiness at the sudden onslaught of affection from The Orange One. She was learning quickly how to trigger these storms, and having been fed and changed shortly beforehand, had no desires beyond getting more love, more! Honestly, it would be hard to blame an onlooker for suspecting a changeling staged a switcheroo, with how persistently love was pursued by the little peach-and-pink fuzz ball. But would the same technique that worked on the Orange One work on the others? Amby would have a chance to test that many times in quick succession. First with her big brother, a pegasus excitedly telling her of all the wonders of the day. Not that she understood a word he said, in fact, there was only one recognizable sound she could associate with him. "Za-pa? Hehehe!" She cooed happily, reaching out as if to boop the colt's snoot, but she was far too tiny to reach. One pony who was big enough to reach was the Blue One, who gave her a pat on the head. Which was fine, of course, but not near enough for the cutest little filly in the world! "Ray-bo!" She called out, reaching out her little hooves for more. And then her auntie Bloom came in, though the yellow one was more preoccupied with the boxes than with her. That was alright, though; Amby had her hooves full with all the members of the family, figuratively anyway. Her literal hooves were soon holding a box, chewing the corner as she began to teeth...
  29. 2 points
    ~~~Ice Storm~~~ A few minutes had passed by and she received another letter from Sombra. He had agreed to come to the casino. A notion that would make her groan a bit at first until she read that he would be taking the train. It's not that she didn't want to meet with him, but more of the fact that she hadn't had a good chance to relax in a bit. KNowing now that it would at least be a day or to before he got there, she relaxed. "Finally I can have some me time," she said as she opened her drawer and carried on with her plans for the day. *** Two and a half Days Later*** Ice Storm was awaiting in her office once again in her armor and most of the security in the casino was in high alert. Sombra hadn't shown up yesterday like she was expecting. That meant there was a good chance that he was showing up today or tomorrow. She realized that she had no idea where he was actually coming from so she wasn't sure when his train would actually show up. She made sure to have one of her valets actually stationed at the station awaiting for him though. It was a simple shift, watch the platform for pony of importance. They show up, lead them to casino. Straight forward. She sighed finally when she got word from the valet that Sombra had arrived at the station. At the train station there would be a blue pegasus mare waiting standing on the platform sporting a full dress uniform of STAR. She held her post there until her reported times each day, taking breaks only to eat and use the facilities. It wasn't until the second day that she had been stationed at the train station that the pony that she was charged with escorting from said station to the casino had arrived. King Sombra needed no introduction nor did he have a problem standing out. Literally, he was taller than everypony else around so his head and body stood out above them. She had heard stories of what he had done, but right now the only thing that she could think of was... No, you're on duty. Professionalism is important... she said to herself before approaching the stallion. "King Sombra," she said to hem before raising a hoof to her chest in salute. A hoof that might as well have been a foal's in comparison. "Sergent Shock Wing of the third Platoon. I am here under the directive of the commander to escort you directly to her office without delay," The mare told him as she returned her hoof to the ground. "If you would follow me, we may proceed," she would stay but waited for the nod in affirmation before she would turn around and begin leading. She was still somewhat new to STAR herself but she also knew that he was an officer. An officer that had been in the field for an undisclosed amount of time. To turn around before given permission to do so would be disrespectful.
  30. 2 points
    It didn't take long for Sombra to eventually receive a reply, and he didn't bother to count the minutes. He simply settled down on the single bed in the room and pulled a book from the pocket realm he kept anchored to a space inside his cape to read, and he only got a few pages in when a scroll appeared before him. A short one. Sombra opened it to read, his expression impassive. Hmm.. It appeared he was going to go to Las Pegasus after all, and it was a good idea for him to have sent a letter at all if Ice Storm would be sending somepony to fetch him from the train station. Although how long it was going to take for the train to reach Las Pegasus from Canterlot was unknown to him, even with a map on hoof; he was still mostly unfamiliar with train travel and he didn't know how quickly it'd get there. He grabbed another slip of parchment and sent a reply. Sombra sent the letter off and once he tucked his book back in his pocket realm, he checked the room to make sure he hadn't left anything else lying about (which wasn't hard since he didn't have that many belongings to start with) and left to check out. _____________ The time it took for the train to eventually reach Las Pegasus left Sombra with enough freedom to spend it reading, or staring out the window and watching the countryside roll by between a couple of naps. Doing so provided him a good judge of how long it took for the train to eventually reach the city, which if he had been keeping track, seemed to be two and a half days by the time it came into view. The city itself was a strange one, looking as if it was set high enough to be among the lowest cloud layer or perhaps sitting on the clouds themselves much like he'd read about Cloudesdale. He saw more of the tall, square buildings with their shiny glass windows and various signs colorfully lit up with what he could only assume were the magic-powered lights that he occasionally came across in lieu of fire. The book he'd had sitting out was tucked away and the stallion sat up, patiently waiting for the train as it rolled up towards the station and finally came to a gentle jerk of a halt. As soon as the doors were open, he was quick to get up and made his way off without much issue from the disembarking crowds; his size, height, and no doubt his entire appearance made ponies part for him like a subservient wave. His eyes scanned the crowds, hoping to find the valet Ice Storm's letter spoke of waiting for him. Surely once he'd found the pony, it'd only be a matter of time that he could meet up with Ice Storm- all the while trying to bear the groups of excited ponies and all the noise this city seemed to invite. It was overwhelming, to say the least.
  31. 2 points
    ~~~Aloe Blossom~~~ Aloe nodded as well when The Princess asked about how the food was. "Indeed, this salad is delicious! I don't know what kind of dressing your chef used on it, as I don't recognize the flavor, but I would love to know how to make it myself!" Aloe replied before continuing to munch on said salad. The texture and pop of the tomatoes, the snap of the carrots, and whatever this divine sauce was, it was all masterfully put together and made her taste buds dance. There was only one combination of flavors that she thought were better, but that wasn't for polite company. Instead she simply smiled as she turned to Rose who mentioned another food item that would go well with the wine that they were served. It was apparently a fish of some sort. When she asked if it was a common thing in Equestria to eat... Aloe honestly couldn't answer. "Well, I don't know about other places in Equestria that are less landlocked than Ponyville or Canterlot, but I've personally never had fish. Although I would not be opposed to trying it at least once. After all, you never know what you might find yourself enjoying. I do know that a lot of the Hippogriffs that come to The School of Friendship from Mount Eris think most varieties of fish are good, so perhaps we can ask them what would be some good ones to try when we get home," Aloe said with a smile before looking back to Twilight for approval. At that same point she didn't know if it was actually legal or not for ponies to eat meat or not.
  32. 2 points
    Candy Corn As both Sky and Windy said yes, Candy began to cry tears of joy. The perfect ending to a perfect preference. As the crowd thinned, the unicorn and her sisters stayed behind to wait for the couple. Though she tried to hold back, the young unicorn’s excitement would get the better of her and she soon found herself hugging Windy and Sky in a group hug. “I’m so excited for yin’s.” She would say, still crying happy tears. “You two are perfect for each other. Having the same plan and everything. Some day I hope I get as lucky as you two to find a sweat match as well.” She would release her grip and step aside. “I don’t want to keep ya if you have other Heartswarming plans, but if you want to, we’re going to make popcorn strings and put them on a tree indoors. That’s our family tradition...your more then welcome to come to my apartment if you want though. It’s not the biggest, or a 5 horseshoe resort, but it’s my home away from home...”
  33. 2 points
    Blueblood hadn't known that about soft cheese, which was a pity, as he was quite partial to brie. "Princess Twilight must not have ever tasted one of Dunnie's Quesadillas then, they'll make a convert out of anypony. They certainly did for me!" There were quite a lot of dishes from her homeland that had made their way into his regular diet, function of giving her full reign over the kitchen. He nodded assent to Dunnie's offer to Swift and Fire to be nameparents, adding, "Yes, though for Star and I's first, Lady Presteza and Java have the honors there." Star Crusader gave a brief nod there. "I think between the three of us, then, that makes a full cadre. I know the Prince has had ambitions, which he will not be able to accomplish alone. Some loyal friends in high places will likely be necessary for that."
  34. 2 points
    The initial shock faded into a warm, fuzzy clarity that wrapped Sky Sailing up so tightly he could have sworn it wasn't winter anymore. He received the onrushing Windy's embrace, kissing her passionately as his outspread wings formed their air catcher, slowing the descent into a finale cheered by the crowds. After an eternity that lasted a minute, he felt his hooves touch the ground, and he stepped back to breathe, attention still captured by his marefrie- no, his fiancée and her shining, joyful eyes. "Uh, the answer is yes, by the way. Just in case that wasn't clear." He said, no doubt to the delight of the crowd. Yes, it may have been one of their smallest shows, but it would be one they would remember forever. A very Happy Heartswarming indeed.
  35. 2 points
    She could think of many ways this deal would be rather inappropriate in most other circumstances. But then again a lot had changed. She wasn't as principled or stern and he was every bit a young stallion so she reckoned she couldn't put his hooves to the fire too much. That and she had her biases. She didn't have to be fair. And today, well, she had been plenty fair. Five bits for a bushel was a real steal, almost as if she should be calling the Guard. She'd let it go though. She'd let it go and she'd seal this deal how Applejack had sealed other important deals in her life. With a smile and without responding, verbally, she pulled her son in for a big kiss on the cheek. She let her hug-grab linger lovingly before letting him go. She sighed happily. "Let's go home, sugarcube." *Zap Apple* Kissed 1-10 11-20 21-30 31-40 41-50 51-60 61-70 71-80 81-90 91-100
  36. 2 points
    She smiled as Aloe spoke her mind on pride on your heritage. While her parents' pride had gone far enough for all of them and then some, sir could definitely see where Aloe was coming from. It is important to be able to be proud of who you are and all the things that make you that. She'd lived with such an extreme for so much of her life, that she had kind of forgotten what it meant to have a healthy pride for one's heritage. She watched as Rose seemed to battle with something internally. Her mind seemed to wander elsewhere before she shook herself back to reality. Compass knew the feeling well. She gave a knowing smile as she replied to Aloe's invitation for friendship. "I like the sound of that." she sighed, laying back in the mud bath "I'm always up for new friends." she gave a little yawn and laughed "If they're ok being up at night, that is."
  37. 2 points
    ~~~Aloe Blossom~~~ "Back out? and let you have to fight that thing alone? Not a chance! I might not be a good fighter... or be good at navigation... or.. be good at anything that might actually be useful on the expedition... but I can massage... and keep company, and at least try to contribute in someway," she said with a smile that slowly transitioned into a bit of a saddened look as she realized just how little help she would actually be if she went on this mission. Still, she would at least try. She'd never done an expedition like this before so she wasn't sure what exactly she was or wasn't going to be able to do. maybe her knowledge of pressure points would make her a better fighter than she gave herself credit for. Who knew? At the mention of the spa, and hoping that her sister would be okay running the spa in her absence her demeanor shifted even more towards the sour. She knew that Twilight hadn't been to the spa in a good while, so it wasn't really her fault but still. "Actually Twilight. Lotus hasn't been around as much at all recently... I spent most of the holiday season keeping things steady on my own with a bit of help from Bulk Biceps to make it through the winter. I wish she'd come home more so that we could run things like we used to," she said with a small sigh. When the princess asked how they had met, Aloe looked back up to her, completely missing the cast of the spell that Twilight had used so was none the wiser of anything else that was going on in the room. "Well, believe it or no, we actually met when Rose came into my spa for a treatment. She told me that it was the first time that she had ever been to a spa, so I gave her a full works treatment for a the basic price. From there she'd been back a few more times trying out some of our other services and one thing lead to another, and now here we are," she said with a soft smile starting to return to her.
  38. 2 points
    Tempest sat alone looking down at the frozen river. The sun was long gone all ready, touching away behind the hills of trees so soon this far north. Yet she did not mind. The stars were beautiful up here. Yet they were not her focus at the moment. That was fixed on a bag in her hooves full of litters. She felt uneasy, nerves. Scared even. How long ago was the last time she had a birthday party? Two decades? And yet Glitter remembered it and was the one to nudge her along to ask others to come. It felt weird to do it. Yet she knew she needed to do it. This was important for her to do. She had to flip this last page and start the next chapter. After a few more moments looking at the frozen river she looked down the path and the city down the road. Somehow this one trip felt more terrifying then marching in to war. She has seen cities in flames. Masses marching in chains to work until they drop. And yet that one road and the letters in this bag made her hooves feel like stone. What was she after all? She didn't know. But she knew what she wasn't. And so she forced herself to move down the road. She had to drop the letters off before the mail offices closed. ---- Four weeks later. ---- Tempest waved as the old mare walked away. Everything was done. She’d have free run on this land for the rest of the day to host her party. Even if that word was something of overkill for what she wanted. More like ‘peaceful gathering of maybe friends’ but whatever. The land was a good sized plot of unused farmland in the farming district of the imperial city and inside of its shield. So even in the dead of winter the air was… Well, not cold as it can be. But what matters was the lack of snow and lack of freezing to death. They’d both be a bummer on a hang out. She had set up everything she hoped she’d need. Some benches to eat at, nice big firepit to stay warm and had some cake and food in order to show up later today. It was nothing fancy but that is way she wanted this. She did not want some big party. She just wanted something more basic and slow going… Mostly so she felt safe. Last thing she needed was a panic attack on her birthday. Now all she needed was for every pony to show up! And for Glitter to get her cute flank down to the city. She had some ‘last moment things’ to do back home, whatever that was. But she’d be here soon hopefully. With everything set and ready she hoped over to the record player and with a zap of magic powered it up. It may not be ‘birthday’ music, but buck it. She loved this band! This music just clicked with her.
  39. 2 points
    "Just as well." Blueblood remarked, taking a cup of the booze-free beverage. "Though unwinding would be a good idea this holiday season, keeping a sober head for the rest of the night would be best, all things considered." He took a sip, just as good as how he remembered. He needed to pay Muggo's tavern a visit, it really had been far too long by now. Blueblood, or Bluebelle, had met Fire at the wedding, but Star had not, so this was the first she had heard of it. "Congratulations." And with an effort that nearly made an audible creak, she managed to pull her mouth into a visible smile. A crooked, unpracticed one, but warm and genuine all the same. " I can't speak to the accuracy of that list, much of that is old mare's tales. Of course, mother told me that right after saying that she made sure to drink a cup of Apple Cider vinegar and eat a handful of peanuts every night when she was pregnant with me and Java. Neither of us grew up with food allergies, so who's to say she's wrong?" Blueblood laughed, leaning into Star as she pulled him and Dunnie ever closer to her. True, these days seemed so busy, but it was at times like this, where friends and family could slow down and spend time together, that really marked the rhythm of life, reminding everypony of why it all was worthwhile.
  40. 2 points
    As Ridge would speak his opinion on Norton's behavior, a few of the local griffons in the back would slink beneath the table, only now suspecting that the friendly "shift change" that had taken over the delivery and given them an early vacation were not, in fact, actual employees of the Prosperity Mining company. Besides that, accusations of banditry were not exactly considered damning in Griffonstone; property rights were already on entirely notional ground as it was. If Norton hadn't come with a group of loyalists if fighting age, he could hardly have hoped to keep anything like an "Imperial Treasury." As it was, it would be a while before he felt comfortable keeping a large amount of cash reserves on site. Once the dragon voided the stage, Emperor Norton turned to crowd. "Heartswarming was traditionally a twelve day feast. I don't know if he's paid for the full dozen; in either case, eat, drink, and be merry! For tomorrow, he may lose his temper." He raised a goblet of wine to the crowd, who duly cheered. All of them like a good show, and quite a few of them liked a good fight. They'd gotten the first, and might yet get the second. In all fairness to their perhaps naive eagerness, none of them had actually seen a dragon fight before. That might cause a few second opinions to sprout amongst the crowd... But for tonight, he had his triumph, and took a seat at the head of the table, Cemmoyāhua beside him. "I know. He said himself he's arranging for a letter, I am myself, as well. I actually drafted it up before hand, with the aid of my secretary. It is an open letter, explaining my actions and intentions, to be published in every paper that will print it, as well as sent to my fellow sovereign in Equestria. It is to be hoped that public opinion will provide an extra bit of pressure in our favor; woe betide the monarch for whom it is against!"
  41. 2 points
    "Oh, good! If you get the ginger ale and the pineapple, it tastes the same with or without alcohol anyway." And that's what made it so equally dangerous and beloved. Living life on the edge. Dunnie looked over her shoulders at Blueblood and Star Crusader as the light blue pegasus' wing draped over her. She smiled at them both and turned back to her former mare-friend. "Oh, yeah. You told me you had a little bun in the oven when we saw each other at the wedding, remember?" She giggled lightly, "It's okay if you don't. I looked different when we saw eachother then. And you've obviously been up to a lot, what with almost getting cleaved in twine." She spoke in a sympathetic tone, smiling to the red mare. "Oh, well you should keep me updated with your foal! I'll be wanting to know more about them!" She leaned in close to give Fire a little nuzzle on the cheek, nickering softly with puffed up wings. "Also no soft cheese? That sounds like a nightmare!" No more enchiladas....did that cheese count as soft cheese, though? "Also, you could get a filly or a colt and they could do the ol'" Dunnie stuck a wing out with two primary feathers sticking out, then twisted to invert them, "Switcheroo, y'know?" "Oh, and if you want to tell me later that's fine too. If you need to leave, don't let me keep you." She continued her sympathetic smile and tone, these days everything felt so busy.
  42. 2 points
    ~~~Aloe blossom~~~ Aloe Blossom nodded to Rose when she told her that if she opened up more hours that she could probably help her out a bit in the spa. Truth be told, she would love that. To have somepony there that she felt that she could trust, and have at least a common understanding of how the mixing of ingredients and the like worked... Rose would be an easy pony to teach the simpler stuff. Some of the basic shampoos, conditioners and herbal treatments that they offered at the spa should come pretty easily for her. With her potion making experience she might even be able to boost some of their effects. She also informed her that Scarlett was a retired Navy Captain and that they had been hired on as part of the expedition to the Hydra. She shivered a bit at the thought of it, making her sequins sparkle a bit. She wasn't entirely sure yet if she was looking forward to that or not, but she already told her friend that she was going. Plus, after the way things had been here recently... She wasn't about to let Rose go on that adventure alone. Er rather, without her present for it. "That sounds great! I can't wait to meet them. The better they can fight the more I won't have to," she said with a smile. It was about this time that they had entered the castle proper and were making their way towards the dining hall. Once they were there, the doors opened and one of the guards began bellowing out, almost right next to them. Apparently he had forgotten that they were inside the castle and not outside. Princess Twilight had then dismissed him and greeted the two of them. She seemed surprised by the fact that Aloe was here and then confirmed the sentiment by saying that she hadn't been expecting to see here here and asked how she'd been. "I have been well... The spa is every busy... Sometimes a bit too busy, but then I met Rose here a couple weeks ago or so, and she's been helping me restore a bit of society into my life. Apparently staying cooped up in the spa all the time is bad for my health," she said with a smile.
  43. 2 points
    Foolhardy though he may seem, Norton Breakbeak wasn't wholly unaware of the danger he was courting. As the old saying went, 'Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.' Still, if the research he'd managed to do (or rather, that his secretary had managed to do) was to be trusted, Ridge was the sort of dragon who could restrain such carnivorous impulses. Nonetheless, The Emperor was not coming into this crowd alone. Besides his own loyalists, there was the Tenochtitlan delegation, boosting his own numbers, and patronage, for that matter. The food and drink gifts they bore directly undercutting the generosity of the feast, as opposed to the furs, which might well be spun as a mere addendum. A bold statement the shrewd could not fail to miss, for sure. "Ah, of course, I should introduce my new friend, Cemmoyāhua!" He would have said 'our new friend', to appropriate the royal 'We' as well as include the now somewhat awe-struck populous, but that ran the risk of including the dragon in his patina, and that would be counter-productive to his purposes. "It is to be hoped, by the both of us, that besides goods, knowledge, skills, and well-being shall be frequent travelers of the road between us." There was no change in his expression, no pause in his speech as he moved on to his next statement; the smoothness belied the careful phrasing he'd constructed and practiced the evening before. "The Griffonstone National Mines shall only be the seed of our prosperity, to grow into a crop even more prodigious than the ones we feat upon tonight!" Boom. There it was, if Ridge caught it, and if he didn't, he wasn't half the dragon Norton thought he was. It would be a mistake on his part to assume the griffon was all that hung up about 'Free Enterprise'....
  44. 2 points
    It was Sky Sailing's firm belief that Wind Dancer underrated her singing skill. If this performance was any indication, her star would rise ever higher on the tail of her new talent. It was enough for him to be a planet in orbit around her, if not a twin star in the system. But gravity had pulled them too close for them to be anything but a pair, and tonight would be the public testimony to that! As she wound down the last of the trio of songs, coming in to land beside him, he lifted his wings to be carried on her breeze, bringing the guitar with him. They'd discovered this to be the best way for him to play and move on the stage at once, and it was part of his particular talent and flying style that he could be born on the slightest breeze, and yet keep a beat as steady as if he were on a gyroscope. He plucked the first few notes of the song, a planned duet with a sweet climax, quite appropriate to its bee-like theme: Don't remind me That some days I'm the windshield, And other days, I'm just a lucky bug. As cold iron rails leave old mossy trails Through the countryside. The crow and the beanfield Are my best friends, but boy I need a hug. (Boy I need a hug) Because my heart stops without you, There's something about you That makes me feel alive With that, the pre-recorded tones would bring in a richer tune from the chorus along with his guitar, as Windy joined in the chorus while they both circled around each other in the sky, If the green left the grass on the other side; I would make like a tree and leave. But if I reached for your hoof would your eyes get wide? Who knew the other side could be so green? When Sky began to play the intro to The Honey and the Bee, Wind Dancer extended a hoof to him they would do a few side steps to both sides before she would pirouette into Sky's wing as he started singing and then back out giving them a small burst of wind that would push them up into the sky when the percussion came in. She then used gentle sweeping movements that both of them were easily able to do to, and with practice they could perfect. Fittingly for the song, the dance routine that she came up with for the two of them in this piece was a simple replication of two honey bees doing their attraction dance. She would easily hit her lines on the bits that she came in behind Sky on the first verse and the chorus before they twirled back together, joining hooves as they spun in the air similar to what a pony would see in a waltz as Wind began singing her part. "Don't remind me I'm a chickadee in love with the sky But that's clearly not a lot to crow about 'Cause when the stars silhouette me I'm scared they'll forget me and flicker out I taste honey but I haven't seen the hive Yeah, I didn't look, I didn't even try But still my heart stops without you 'Cause there's something about you That makes me feel alive If the green left the grass on the other side I would make like a tree and leave But if I reached for your hoof, would your eyes get wide Who knew the other side could be so green" Catching the winds from Windy's wings with the effortless natural billow of a sail in his own, Sky played the part of the bee and ballroom dancer, all the while one hoof strummed the chords. The other was caught by Windy, keeping them together as they swept through the air, before the brief rest in the song where they spun away for the bridge. Backyard of butterflies surrounded me Here a cloud burst behind Sky into the shape of those aforementioned insects. I fell in love with you, like bees to honey As they progressed passed the second course, Wind Dancer watched as Sky used the cloud as planned to burst into an array of butterflies before Wind looped through her cloud to make the one that she had take the form of bees, using her winds to make them dance with the butterflies that Sky had made before he rod them up with her. She moved up to him as she sang her part. So let's up and leave the weeping to the willow trees. He slid down the row of cloud butterflies, leaving the trail bent in the shape of a weeping willow branch as he was now level with Windy. "And pour our tears in the sea", Wind sang as her bees started shifting to waves. During the silence, but right before Sky started the last part of the bridge, she gave another simple twirl and made sure that the burst of wind that came with it was perfectly times with "I Swear" sending them both into double figure-eights. I swear, there's a lot of vegetables out there, that crop up for air.... This part was the hardest for Sky, keeping his balance through the double figure eight. At this point, he was just singing to the backing track, it was just a bit too much at this point for him to keep strumming in tune. Besides, he needed his hooves free for the next bit... But I never thought, we were two peas in a pod, His wings leveled out, bringing them next to each other in a cloudburst that left a floral pattern in the sky. Until you suddenly bloomed and I knew- With a quick motion, and a preplanned pause in the music, he brought out what would be a familiar-looking box. Windy would have seen it in any number of romantic ads aimed at pegasi. That I'd always love you (Oh I'll always love you too.) He slipped it open, for the wing rings inside to catch the light of the winter sunset behind him. And if I could take your hoof for the rest of my life? IT was at this point in the bridge that Wind Dancer herself did something a little bit different than what they had planned as the last part of her second skate-style figure-eight took a much wider turn than the last one as she snatched a box of her own from one of the stage pegasi on one of the nearby roofs. Slowly with precise twirls to coincide with the timing of they lyrics she closed the distance on Sky. Each twirl more meaningful than the last before 'dropping' to a knee on the final twirl in the sky to sing the final part of the song. "We knew the other side could be this green" She said before her opening her own box showing a pair of wing-rings in it as well with their cutie marks intertwined. When she saw Sky's box though her eyes went wide as they had apparently been planning the exact same thing! She waited for the music to fade and for the response of the crown before she would do anymore as the rest of Ponyville's lights would start coming back on around them.
  45. 2 points
    If anyone in the crowd had the power to read minds or emotions, they likely would have reveled themselves because of their desire to suddenly be as far away from Ridge as they possibly could having betrayed them. Well on the surface he was smiling beneath the surface was a building, almost impossibly hot rage akin to the molten magma that ran deep under the surface of the Dragonlands. Had this been just about any other dragon, parts of Griffonstone would be on fire and the first part of it to burst into flame would have been Emperor Norton himself! However, Ridge wasn't like many dragons. He had tasted the bitter wine of defeat and being upstaged by others many times before and while he still hated it, it gave him the experience not to lose his cool and actually think about the situation despite the desire to remove the head of an upstart catbird. While on the surface Norton had won this round, Ridge took a mental step back in order to examine the situation from a place of cold calculation in order to attempt to figure out how he could turn this to his advantage... and suddenly the rage disappeared as he recognized the gift that the upstart had given him without intending to. The markets of Tenoctilan were now open to Griffonstone... and unless the 'Emperor' wanted to undermine his own announcement and give a solid amount of ammunition to politically be torn apart for seeking to stifle free enterprise, Prosperity Mining would also benefit from such an arrangement because it was (on paper at least) a Griffonstone company. Sure, there was going to be work going forward but opportunities always took work... and Norton's hard work had gone a long way to providing him with opportunities to profit. So he could let Norton have his win, if only because of the compensation he was going to get in return. So it was with a surprising amount of good grace that Ridge grinned at the 'Emperor' and announced with his arms flung to the sides wide as if he was accepting an old friend "Why Norton! What a surprisingly thoughtful and generous gift! I'm sad to say I don't have anything near as meaningful to give you in return but I'll make it up to you next year. Consider it something to look forward to when you host your first party of the holidays!" He actually made a small show of thinking about something before adding "We should actually line up the calendar for next year in advance. Don't want both parties to end up on the same day after all."
  46. 2 points
    ~~~Aloe Blossom~~~ Last night had been a rather special night for Aloe, and one a bit different than she was used to. But there was a sense of companionship that came with it that she hadn't felt in a long time. Sure it was only one night together, but sounding the night with Rose... She was still tingling a bit from the thought. The plan for tonight though was a bit different and Rose insisted that she got dressed up for it. It was a dinner with Twilight after all. At least that's what Rose told her. Twilight being such a regular customer of hers it was hard for her to see her as anything other than just Twilight. Still, she wanted her new friend to be happy. She decided to pull out an old dress that she had. It was a blue sequinned dress that matched the color of her mane and tail. She also wore two pairs of pink socks that were just ever so darker than her own coat and then her aquamarine shoes that she wore to accent them. She walked right next to Rose and have her a gentle nuzzle as the mare thanked her for last night. "The pleasure was all mine. I had a wonderful time last night, and most importantly, no pony spent Hearth's Warming alone. I can say with certainty that you made it equally as special. I have to say though, you're looking pretty good when you're all dressed up like that," she said before blushing a bit as she realized what she'd said. "Not... That you don't already look good all the time and way just..." Aloe tried to correct before deciding that it was probably best for her to stop talking before she made things worse.
  47. 2 points
    “Since joining up with the Navy, I guess. Well, aside from the time between leaving and getting this ship, I didn’t do much in there.” She shrugged, not seeming to notice Rose’s blush. Or at least attributing it to the alcohol. “Maybe before the Navy? I seem to remember going out in boats as a filly.” ”How about you? How long have you been doing your thing?” She asked after a moment of silence, giving up on putting a more concrete timeline together.
  48. 2 points
    Prince Blueblood "Oh, do pardon my lack of manners!" Blueblood replied, as soon as he realized that he had forgotten to make introductions to Mythic. "I am Prince Blueblood, and with me right now is Star Crusader, Captain of my honor guard." Among other things, but it was perhaps best not to get into that now. "I can't argue with the effectiveness of your intervention; you certainly make a good addition to the overall spirit of this party!" Like a good host, he broke off his attention to peruse the other guests. Swift and Fire still looked as if they were in a private conversation, and Rose and Scarlett seemed to have gone off to catch drinks together, which was good. The beginnings of a new friendship, it was to be hoped. With his friends now safely piloted out of their respective funks, the Prince knew that he had other obligations to be at. Not that he wouldn't have preferred to leave Spoiled to her own devices, but... well, it was really a little cruel to leave Dunnie in the mare's company. "I wish I could stay for longer, but I'm expected at the swearing-in ceremony. Don't want to get any working relationship on a rougher start than I have to. Besides, I can't leave my poor guard in the lurch like that!" He chuckled. Star, for her part, seemed a little disappointed, but not very surprised, at not being recognized. That is, anyone familiar with her normally inexpressive expression would have recognized those slight movements in the eyes, though Blueblood might have been the only one present who did so. "I'd hoped you would remember me, Icy; we did serve together, up north. That was some time ago, however, and much has happened since." She wasn't able to say more before the pair had to leave, but Blueblood bade her stay outside the ceremony hall while he entered in. She had to keep an eye on everypony while he could not. Spoiled Rich The mayor-to-be gave Dunnie a sideways look, as if evaluating the value of time that would likely be spent arguing with a mentally dense guard. Ultimately, whatever calculus she ran came up with the answer that it would not be worth it. Probably correct; both real and fake stupidity were infuriating and unproductive to engage with, and if nothing else, she wanted her term to be efficient and professional. Taking her seat right at the point where Prince Blueblood entered to stand on the stage beside Twilight, she stood proud beside the few who had been deemed worthy to be sworn in. The exclusivity of the club did little to deflate her ego, that was for sure. "I serve Equestria in three forms..." She began to repeat the oath as Twilight recited it. Did she mean it? Hard to say. There was no small amount of self-serving in her ambitions, but no small amount of public spirit either. Perhaps one needed a somewhat inflated sense of self to dare present oneself as a leader. "And with this oath taken in front of all Equestria, I submit myself to the judgment of the Princess." And just like that, she had done it. It was official, and now what remained was the long years of work, that would truly bring Ponyville from the rank of village to foremost city in Equestria! For his part, Blueblood was content to leave Spoiled to her hobnobbing, only signaling Dunnie to follow him back to the party. "Sorry to leave you in her tender company like that, but we had to make sure a crisis was defused." He gave her a nuzzle in the private hallway between the two chambers, before taking place beside Star once more, who was nuzzled in turn. "I think that's all the official business taken care of. I've half a mind to relieve you both for the night to party, would you like?"
  49. 2 points
    Applejack looked around, examining their surroundings as they trotted along. It didn't take long to concur with Fire Walker's assessment. The ground beneath them was stone, but the walls were fake. Maybe the path was also fake but just built to last. She'd worked on enough productions herself to know that either way this place was extremely high quality. The weather and general climate of the area meant that this place should have fallen apart years ago. Yet here it was, only now starting to show signs of decay. She had seen most of the Daring Do projector shows with her wife recently and while they almost all blended together in her head she did know that most of the recently filmed ones had more of an urban tint to them. So she could only reckon that this was here for a while and that it was built to last. But none of that really mattered because it was all window dressing. She doubted the ponies she saw enter earlier were so foolish that they didn't know the temple was fake, which meant there must have been something truly wild deep inside. That didn't even take into account the portly pig princess outside and what she wanted. So even if the setting was manufactured there had to be something real down below. And if attracted the attention of both a portly pig princess and ne'er do well mercenary types, then it was clearly something that the Twilight Guard would be interested in. The questions that came to her mind were in waves crashing against the bedrock of her logic. Why was an important gem here? Was it here before or after the temple was constructed for the shoot? Were the Mercenaries aware of this place's provenance (thanks Twi) before they moved in? How was the Pig Princess related to this place? The siren? Why was there so many random things on this island? Maybe this was all a bad apple induced nightmare. It would explain so many things. It wouldn't explain the ghost, though. Wait, a singing ghost? Applejack wished she could be scared but so many weird things had happened one after another that she couldn't really give the ghost the proper respect it deserved. All she felt instead was a deep level of annoyance, and there was only one creature she could take it out on. So after it said boo all big and bold like, she greeted it with a swift slap and then roughly grabbed it and pulled it in closer, nearly face to face, her hooves bathed in the purple magic aura that allowed her to interact with so ethereal a creature. "Stop it!" She seethed. "I'm plum sick an' tired of these here shenanigans! Pig Princesses turnin' ponies inta swine, mind controlled mercenaries, Daring Do sets, a real gem, a siren, and now you!?" She pulled him in closer, staring him down snout to...ethereal snout. "Ah ain't spooked and Ah'm not afraid, but Ah'm about ta get real angry! So you tell me what tha hay is going on or Ah'm gonna bust ya down like they do on tha projector shows!" She was too pregnant to handle this tomfoolery.
  50. 2 points
    She spoke! Well, she didn't speak in a way others would call speaking but Applejack considered it speaking. Ambrosia was the best foal currently in the world and she would brook no disagreement. She tickled her daughter's chin a little as she held back tears. She loved Ambrosia so much it hurt her. Her heart could only ever expand to take in how she felt about her family- Rainbow Dash, Zap Apple, and now Ambrosia all occupied their unique positions in her heart, in her soul, and sharing as much as she did hurt if only because she wanted to give even more. "Hearth's Warming is right, sugarcube! Day of an' you already got it, you smartie!" She said, giving her daughter snout kisses up and down. She could have done it for hours and she had, but today she was too excited. "Yer gonna have tha best time or else mah name ain't Applejack!" She said as she heard her son make his entrance. She was stunned every time she saw him. He was such a handsome little colt and so smart, well behaved, and he was growing up so fast! Well, to her eyes. She knew he could be a little troublemaker but you knew that those were the types of colts and fillies who grew up right and proper. What was foalhood but a time for excitement and learning? And there was nopony who was more excited to learn about the things that really mattered- home and hearth- than her little-big Zap Apple. "Yer right on tha bits there! Presents, good food, friends, an-" she pulled him in for a hug and a kiss, "-tha best big brother this side of Equestria," she said before pulling back and checking behind his ears out of force of habit. "Apple Bloom should be here soon, She ran ta tha post office real quick," she said with a wink. Some of the gifts she had ordered for had arrived awfully late and the post office was swamped. She would ask Rainbow but she had her own packages and matters to attend to, and at the end of her trip, her wife to attend to as well. And attend to her she did when Rainbow came flying in with her saddlebags, Applejack's heart aflutter as Rainbow gave her a kiss which she returned forcefully in kind. Rainbow had come a long way which as saying something because Applejack had loved her even before all that, but now she was as a mother and wife as high quality as she had been a fillyfriend and was a Wonderbolt. "Hey there hotshot," she said, nuzzling her wife as she stood up. "Still waitin' on Apple Bloom. You got everything?" Apple Bloom trotted healthily home, her back saddled with saddles of mail and presents. She was as perfect as pie today on account of it being the holidays and being with her family which always made her day perfect. She may have a wandering eye for the future and a desire to see the world growing in her heart but that didn't mean she didn't want to be around her family, especially around the holidays. Applejack had needed somepony to run to the town's post office and Apple Bloom was available so she made a quick trot on over. It was a mistake. It was busy. It got hectic. Derpy had messed up a delivery order and dozens of ponies were there. Apple Bloom wasn't sure how she had gotten out of there after only kicking one stallion during the ensuing melee but she had gotten out of there quick, clean, and with everything she was supposed to get safely tucked away. So when she made her entrance, she made it with a smile. "Don't worry everypony, yer hero's arrived!" She said as she trotted over to the tree and started removing packages. "Got a little bit of everything for everypony! Hey Zap, wanna help yer aunt set everypony's gifts out?" She asked as she mussed up his mane. After all, the sooner she got everything sorted out the sooner she could have the cider! Ambrosia had a bunch of smaller gifts and then a big box. Zap Apple had a wide mix, things that ponked and pronked and rattled and cackled. Apple Bloom had a few things but nothing like the kids, and Applejack even less- though the mother of two looked at the boxes with blazing hazel eyes all the same. Rainbow had a few things but Applejack always said it was hard to buy gifts for the mare that had everything- even her!
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