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How to Lose a Griffon in Three Days (Hippogriffs/Seaponies only, ask for invite)


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Free food? Count him in. Never say no to free food. It was the best aspect of Professor Applejack's class. You could count on her having some apples and maybe a pie to share. He doubted that this would go as easily. The acrobatic displays were pretty damn impressive. They moved back and forth, flowing lazily and then moving like lightning to the point. They never made full contact however. The first time or two Gallus would admit to a little wonderment. Why weren't they hitting one another? Were they scared to hit one another? It wasn't cool enough to justify not getting the impact right. Then he realized it was more just of an athletic display than anything else, and then he got into it a bit more. They answered the calls of the crowd, barrel rolling and scraping against one another in a dazzling display of athletic prowess.

 

This went on for some time before another armored figure hovered near the crowd. "Welcome and well met, Citizens and Friends alike! Do any of you wish to join in this mighty contest of skills, courage, and strength?" He asked the crowd at large, the enthusiasm in his voice leaking into the crowd at an accelerating rate as more than a few claws went up in an attempt to get his attention. Gallus did not raise his paw. Maybe if he knew who he'd be jousting but as far as he knew it was gonna be a guard or somecreature else that knew what he was doing. Behind the recruiter, the hippogriffs who had been pulling off the moves separated at a much greater distance before turning about and flying at one another at top speed. The smaller, thinner one was hit at the point of contact and went tumbling down into a strategically placed pool below, his jousting lance landing with a thick crunch against the ground next to the pool. Yep, he was fine not raising his paw just yet!
 

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  • 4 weeks later...

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Silverstream lit up at the prospect of the event speaker inviting onlookers to participate. She knew that there were very few moments when this would ever happen. One time she got to be a honorary participant in the celebration jousting event. To her, it meant a lot to be a part of the action and excitement with everygriff watching. What she would never remember to mention though, is that as a member of the Seaquestria Royal Family, she would always face a competitor who was scripted to either let her win, or act in such a way that made an amateur flyer like Silverstream look like a future captain of the hippgriff aerial squadron.

 

She inadvertently bumped Gallus, but then egged him on. "Gallus you should volunteer. It's super fun, and no griff ever gets hurt for volunteering. I'll cheer you on!" The reality of danger didn't phase Silverstream, but maybe that was because there hasn't been anything to fear on Mount Aris since the Storm King was sacked.

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Silverstream bumped him an soon had his attentions given over to the prospect of joining the festivities. He had so very little interest in it, but was trying his best to safe beak in front of her. He looked around for a good reason to not volunteer. "Oh, me? I'm-" he began, not realizing that he had raised his talon to point to himself. The scanning guard turned jousting enthusiast saw this and took it as the worst possible sign.

 

"Oh, looks like we have a volunteer!" He yelled out, and the crowd parted slightly. That left Gallus and Silverstream as the 'stars' of the moment. Gallus looked around, knowing what he had to do to not lose face and hating every moment of it. "...Yeah. I mean, yes! I'd love to!" He lied loudly, puffing out his chest and flaring out his wings in a display that would be impressive were he not surrounded by older hippogriffs.

 

The guard reached down and pulled him up and into the sky, where Gallus hovered in great anxiety. "Great! Haha, what courage! Tell us, who are you?" The guard asked, his booming voice displaying for all to see just quite how much of a disparity existed between this fit, tone guard and the only-recently well fed bastard griffon. For all of that though Gallus wasn't going to let them know he was born in Griffonstone. He didn't even consider that place his home, not anymore.

 

"I'm Gallus. Gallus from the School of Friendship," he said with as much pride as he could muster, trying to maintain the front as best he could. Some of the crowd murmured in understanding, not that it came as a shock. Anygriff with eyes could see he had been traveling with Silverstream, and the Princess had been at the School of Friendship herself. It all clicked easily in the minds of many. Rumors would spread.


"And does this foreign friend of yours have your consent, Princess?" The Guard asked playfully. Gallus had volunteered, but it was going to be fun to needle the volunteer regardless. Behind him, Gallus' smile was wide, strained, and pleading.

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  • 2 weeks later...

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The theatrics and banter of the guard's voice entertained the crowd. And with the added intrigue of a classmate of the queen's niece at the School of Friend that was began by Princess Twilight Sparkle, the audience began clamoring with chatter and suspense. The shakiness of the griffon's voice could be heard, but was mostly drowned out by the sheer fact a griffon had approached as a challenger, his bond with the royal niece notwithstanding.

 

Silverstream giggled. "Oh, yes. He's with me. Oh! Also, he told me once he is a fierce flyer, one of the most vicious from Griffonstone, and can beat anygriff in an air joust!" Silverstream played along with the guard, building up the atmosphere of the festival. Silverstream knew it would be a fun experience for Gallus, but she had no idea they would give him this personal of an experience right from the start!


A large hippogriff wearing heavy black armor landed near the guard. His armor covered most of his chest, and all of his head. His helmet had a vent that allowed the hippogriff knight to breathe and speak. In an chambered voice, the hippogriff growled up. "If this is the best the griffons have to offer, then allow me to counter his challenge." The strong hippogriff turned to the guard. "If you will allow me the privilege to defend Mount Aris from this foreign threat, it would be an honor." The mysterious hippogriff stood still and obedient, awaiting the guard's projected decision.

 

Silverstream started tapping her talons together with excited anticipation.

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  • 4 weeks later...

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Gallus really liked Silverstream. She was smart, smarter than what most creatures thought and more than they gave je credit for. She had a good eye for detail and was more driven than you would think. She was friendly, playful, and silly- such a good contrast from him, and he knew that. And that was to say nothing of how cute she was, which was a lot to say because Boreas above! He liked her. She didn't know just how much she liked her, not yet, but he knew it was a lot and he knew he wanted to find out more. He thought they would have a lot of time to really get to know one another and while he would never say it this way out loud, he was pretty jazzed about it.

 

But at this moment, he wanted her to never ever talk again.
"I didn't say-" he began as a challenger approached. Now, not a challenger. THE challenger. Or champion? Gallus didn't know, he was to busy shaking. Oh sweet feathers he was big. Gigantic. Enormous. And he looked like a serious competitor, too. They all were, right? He assumed most of the guards did it on a regular basis, probably for fun. But this stallion didn't look like he did anything for fun. No, he spent his days training for jousts, dreaming about jousts, getting angry that he wasn't in a joust, and winning jousts and sometimes all at once. That and eating and eating anything he could to help him build that muscle.

And he was angry. Angry at Gallus because of Silverstream! He was gonna get his butt whipped so bad he'd go back to Ponyville one bald cat. While he considered how best to hide the bald spots on his body, the leader of the guards made his announcement!


"I accept you as Mt. Aris' champion. That settles it. The match will be Gallus the Griffon of Ponyville-" He held Gallus up and the blue bird was nearly killed by the whiplash, "-versus Mt. Aris' own champion, Sir Stoneheart the Talonbreaker!"
Gallus looked around the crowd with his fear starting to break through, gulping once.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Silverstream stepped back with an overwhelming look of glee radiated from her smile. The champion stepped forward towards Gallus and gave him a nod, readying for the aerial joust. As soon as both competitors gave each other their signal to ready, they would both take off into the sky and begin flying at each other, attempting to best the other in flight dominance. The cordial version of these typically relied on artistic moves rather than real combative aggression. But occasionally, two fierce competitors would attempt to uneven their odds by being slightly more abrasive in the air, resulting in a power creep of soaring tension. And it was entertaining to watch. Silverstream grabbed a snack from a nearby food vendor and sat down to enjoy the show she instigated. She had no fear for Gallus' livelihood.

 

The champion jumped up and fluttered in the sky, his giant wings creating quiet the downwash of wind. He chuckled. "What are you waiting for, Gallus of Ponyville? Do you not want to defend your friend Silverstream's name?"

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Okay, really? Honestly? This guy was being a jerk. And he was a jerk because...well, he seemed confident. It was easy for others to mistake confidence for arrogance or even cruelty. He had seen that first claw. Maybe the guy was really nice, but Gallus felt backed into a corner. Silverstream had been kind by allowing him to experience the holiday she loved so much and he had loved it so far. But now she had tossed him into a situation he knew would fail at, and to top it off, he would fail in front of her. Fail hard. Maybe get hurt. And make everygriff here thing griffons were weak and arrogant and stupid. All because he couldn't just say 'nah not today' and walk away. Or fly away. Too much had been said and now Silverstream's respect was on the line. 

 

Gallus took a deep breath. He had lived by one motto his whole life, and it had served him well. From the streets to school to here now, all he had to do was stick close to this creed and he would prosper. 
If you couldn't make it, fake it.
He composed himself, returned with a steely gaze and a cocky smile, getting himself free of any other griff's claws. "Oh, I will. I was just trying to give *you* a chance to back down. You know, to safe face in front of everygriff. But ya know, I guess you want to be all brave or whatever," he shrugged and crossed his front legs over his chest with a smile. "I win no matter what."

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